2008-01-02: Insubordinance

Starring:

Benjamin_icon.gif Noah_icon.gif Elle_icon.gif

Summary: Noah and Benjamin pay Elle a visit, and Noah has some questions for Elle. She gives the wrong answers.

Date It Happened: January 2nd, 2008

Innsubordinance


Elle Bishop's Apartment

Several days after her encounter with Gabriel Gray, Elle Bishop is holed up in her apartment, as she has been for much of the time, aside from having stepped out earlier in the day to visit a fellow agent. It's early evening, and the shades are drawn, the lights in the modest apartment all lit. In the kitchen, she's working on dinner, though she's hardly even started; there are various things laid out on the counter, and she's in the middle of chopping vegetables.

With a simple call to his Sprint phone, Noah soon make another to Benjamin Winters. The message is simple, asking Ben to head to Elle's apartment building. Considering the surveillance shows Elle is still in her room and alone, he has no qualms in such a public meeting place. As Ben moves toward the door of the building, Noah puts down the newspaper he was holding and walks along side.

As usual, the missing briefing is short and on a need to know basis as they go up the stairs together. "This is a simple mission; we need Miss Bishop to come with us. If what I hear is true, she might be helping a known escapee of the Company… Considering she might be working WITH the escapee, I don't think I need to explain what this could mean or how /important/ it is that she returns to the Company unharmed." As Noah arrives on Elle's floor, the final instructions are given. "Stay out of sight at all times, only use your power if it seems like Elle is refusing to come peacefully." Eyes shielded by glass turn to the Agent in Training. "Are we clear?"

Benjamin is feeling no pressure, partnering alongside Noah for this this outing. No pressure at all. He wasn't waiting very long for Noah at all at the apartment building. Now that the briefing has been made, he keeps quiet, listening to instructions, and focusing on doing the job. "Yes sir, perfectly clear." Staying down and out of sight works for him, he knows what Elle can do. Then that addition of her working with an escapee? He can stay down and play the waiting game. A more seasoned agent might put up an argument with Noah's orders, but not Ben. Not at this point in time.

Inside her apartment, Elle is oblivious to the agents approaching her apartment. In fact, she's unaware that her apartment is even under surveillance, though she ought to have considered the possibility. Standard operating procedure, particularly given her history. And it's precisely that history that has Elle so distracted tonight, her mind racing a mile a minute, as she realizes she's chopped about twice as many vegetables as she needs. Staring at them for a second before moving to put half of them into a container, she says to herself, "Get a grip, Elle."

Moving toward the door, the Company Man waits until Benji has gotten into position. If the Amazing Accountant isn't up against the wall and about seven feet of the door, Noah will motion silently for him to do. Once Ben is ready, Noah does his part. He knocks politely, preparing a nice warm smile before he keeps his handed clasped in front of him.

Benjamin does as instructed, down to the position of flattening himself to the wall. Technically, this is still a one of us, one of them partnering. He's still within range of acting fast to cover Noah's back.

At the knock, Elle turns to look to the door with a slightly surprised expression, pausing in mid-chop. She doesn't receive many guests, and the last time someone came knocking, it was a very unexpected visitor. Absently wondering if this might be that same visitor, she takes a cloth from the handle on the stove and approaches the door, drying her hands as she walks. She's not nearly naive enough to open the door without checking who it is, but what she sees through the peephole is not what she expected. She hesitates for a moment, hand on the deadbolt, unmoving… and then she unlocks it and pulls the door open, greeting Noah with a somewhat insincere smile. "Bennet," she says, ducking her head slightly, before continuing with feigned friendliness. "What are you doing here?"

"To be honest, Elle, I was hoping that you could tell me. I was notified that many of your reports were improperly filled out along with a few other concerns. I was asked to get to the bottom of it." Noah gives a regretful look at that before he tries to give a small smile to accompany his halftruth. "Is everything alright?" He pokes his head in to look around as he asks the question, trying to make it seem like he's worried that Elle is being held hostage or something is just as wrong. Whether or not Elle will buy any degree of concern from Bennet is another matter entirely.

Benjamin keeps quiet and still against the wall. His attention is focused on the pair, listening to the conversation. So far, so good.

When he sticks his head inside, Elle steps back from the door and sweeps an arm to invite Noah in, though she doesn't say as much. "Everything's fine," she replies coolly, her voice still a touch hoarse. "I'm coming down with something, so I took a few days off." Which is not entirely a lie, really. "But I guess that's why you're here, instead of finding me at the office." She adopts an innocent tone as she asks, "What do you mean about the reports?"

Noah takes a couple of steps in. Considering a satisfactory explanation isn't fore coming, Noah doesn't beat around the bush. "You were supposed to meet up with Peter Petrelli. Considering your history, we both know that he would try and maintain contact with you. Yet your reports have had rather noticeable gaps on your conversations with Mr. Petrelli." Noah looks around again, as if searching for the man himself. So far, no luck. "Your father is not going to be pleased if you are making this personal again. Not after what happened the LAST time."

Though she closes the door behind Noah, Elle doesn't move any further into the apartment, her hand hovering over the doorknob. Briefly taken aback by the 'personal' remark, she scrunches her nose, grip tightening on the doorknob… but she maintains her composure, refusing to rise to the bait. She may as well go all the way with her supposed ignorance of the situation, she decides, turning to Noah with a perplexed expression. "I don't know what you're talking about," she says noncommittally, raising her shoulders in a shrug. "I haven't seen Peter for weeks."

The Man with the Horned-Rimmed Glasses is not impressed, turning to face Elle, keeping his eyes on her and facing her as she now blocks the door. "Considering he told me personally that he wanted to talk to you, I find that hard to believe. After all, I was the one to tell him that you weren't dead after Sylar escaped from Level 5." Noah's eyebrows raise, the only sign that he is starting to get frustrated. "Now are you going to explain to me the truth or am I going to have to request an investigation from your father? We have better things to do than fill out paperwork, Elle. You know that, I know that."

Benjamin frowns as the door closes, but he doesn't move from his position. Tilting his head towards Elle's door, he continues listening in. Waiting for any signal that Noah needs backup.

"And he found me," Elle replies, equally unimpressed by Noah's persistence with the matter. "Months ago. It had nothing to do with the Company, so I didn't fill out a report." She pauses there, fixing him with a pointed look, one eyebrow raised. "Do you write a report about every conversation you have with your wife? How about your daughter?" Finally releasing the doorknob, she leans back against the door, crossing her arms. "We talked. If that's what you meant by 'personal,' then yeah. It was personal. Satisfied?"

Strike Three. "My orders aren't to talk with my wife. Yours were to talk to Petrelli and to report back any information. If you can't follow orders, I'll have to talk to Mr. Bishop… Or would you like to?" Noah pulls out his phone, flipping up the top in preparation to call.

Pushing away from the door, tossing the cloth back onto the counter in the kitchen, Elle rolls her eyes childishly. "Fine," she concedes, turning back to Noah with a look of exasperation. "Next time, I'll make sure I record the conversation and give you a tape." In other words, please don't call my father. "Anything else?"

A grim smile grows on HRG's lips, unable to keep up the perfect poker face for whatever reason. "Maybe you don't understand the gravity of the situation, Elle. You've just lied to me about your orders given to you directly by your father repeatedly. You are going to explain yourself to him in person. Now." Noah motions toward the door, expecting Elle to head out. He doesn't expect trouble out of her even at this point, but if she snaps well… That's what Benji is for. "Be glad that he protects you…. Or else this would have been MUCH messier for you."

Elle is the very picture of the "deer in the headlights" expression at Noah's command, and her heart skips a beat as she considers his words. Lied repeatedly - how would he know that? She flicks a glance to the door, eyes narrowing, but she doesn't approach it. Something about this isn't sitting right with her. "No," she says, long before thinking, and as soon as the word is out of her mouth, she can feel the colour rising in her cheeks. Recovering quickly, she continues, "I told him I'd see him on the weekend. I'll talk to him then." She tips her chin down, watching Noah carefully.

Clearly something has happened to Elle. Usually threat of daddy was always enough to have her leap and bound to his every command. The fact that she is trying to get out of it suggests that the variables have changed. This means the method of delivery has just changed. "I see. This was designed to be the final test. You can talk to your father, he's right behind the door." Putting his hand around his mouth, Noah shouts. "MISTER BISHOP I NEED YOU TO TALK TO YOUR DAUGHTER." Noah waits calmly with his hands in front of him. Hopefully, Benji will understand what this mean. If not, well, he's handled Evolved on his own before.

Benjamin does indeed understand what Noah's shouted sentence means. There's no one else out here who Noah could be speaking to. He knows he doesn't need to see his target to affect them. He knows who he needs to focus on, and she's well within his range. Even as he walks towards the short distance to Elle's apartment door, he's focusing his attention on putting her to sleep.

Uncertain whether Noah means precisely what he says or this is a call to a partner nearby - it could be either, and she wouldn't put it past her father to be standing outside - Elle hesitates. She hesitates for other reasons, too, which are more difficult to articulate in her mind. Dividing her attention between the door and Noah, she builds a charge in her hand, a blue glow emanating from her palm. "I said no," she snaps, and it would be much more threatening, as she raises her hand towards Noah, if she weren't suddenly overtaken with a wave of exhaustion. With a crack, the electricity dies before she can send an arc anywhere, and she stumbles. "Son of a…" Her eyes close, just like that, and Elle falls to the ground in a manner lacking for any grace. She hits hard, and for the second time in a matter of days, she's going to wake up with one wicked headache.

As soon as Elle is down, Noah calmly moves toward the kitchen area. As one would expect from the experienced man, he pulls out a syinge of a sedative. "Ben, get in here… Need to teach you something." Once the man enters the room, Noah begins his lesson for the day.

"First thing… Always try the most peaceful and safest route possible, but be ready for the worst. Elle wasn't going to shock me right off the bat, so I tried talking to her. When that didn't work, you were there to clean up." Noah sticks Elle with the syringe before going on. "Second thing, when you don't have something to keep them down, water keeps a electrokinesis Evolved from using their powers… Finally, do your damnest to keep your personal life away from the Company. It only leads to pain for all parties." With that, Noah takes Elle up into his arms and begins to make his way downstairs… Thankfully, Elle isn't TOO heavy.

Benjamin enters the room just in time to see that he was able to put Elle to sleep. So he merely nods at Noah's instruction and keeps most commentary to himself. It's just the easiest way to learn. Plus he's still firmly convinced that Noah will make good on the whole 'you are expendable' speech. "That won't be a problem. I don't have much of a personal life," he says quietly. It's the truth. Any friends he had outside of the Company for the most part now know of his affiliation and they don't trust him. When Elle is hefted, he helps Noah on the way out when needed.

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