2007-08-11: DF: Mission Briefing


DFElena_icon.gif DFJack_icon.gif DFTrina_icon.gif Gene_icon.gif DFMcAlister_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif DFPeter_icon.gif

Summary: The Saints have a mission briefing, going over the next course of action involving Cass Aldric's disappearance, the next rescue operation, and, of course, new shenanigans. After the meeting, however, Peter and Ali drop one hell of a bombshell.

Dark Future Date: August 11, 2009

Mission Briefing

Basement Levels, Phoenix Rising Penthouses

Evening. The Saint's Super Sekret Base - the living area.

It's still a few minutes yet, before the meeting starts; in that common space just outside the conference room, and just down the hall from what are rather sumptuous 'dorms', soft jazz plays. Miles Davis knows a horn - and its plaintive sound quietly fills the open space, experimental and light.

At the galley-bar here, perched on a barstool, is a girl in a dress - Ali, in particular, drinking simple water, listening - and writing, pen in hand, battered notebook on the counter in front of her. Heels are piled on the floor next to that stool, in fact.
No dresses for her.

Elena walks out of the war room, set aside for planning missions, with every intention to get to the conference room on the other side of this basement level. Clad in a black, Aerosmith shirt that fit snugly on the torso, a pair of jeans, and flip-flops, she doesn't look like she's about to plan on perhaps the deaths of a few more government agents. A fact she's made peace with a long time ago. Her hair is loose this time, around her face, tousled and softening the angles of her cheekbones. She's got a single disc in hand, a laser pointer in another. She's also got her cats eye glasses perched over her head.

She passes the living room area, vanishes on the other side….and then she backtracks to look over at Ali. "Hey, you headed over?" she inquires.

Ali looks up, blinks. "Oh. Yeah." The notebook is quickly folded closed, the Dj - well, admittedly somewhat distracted. No, she is not writing "Eric + Ali" dozens of times. That's a /speech/. Stop thinking it.

"You heard anything else yet? I know you're going to cover it - but. Doesn't stop me from hoping, you know?"

"We know what happened," Elena supplies, tucking a hand in her pocket and looking over at Ali. "And honestly that's all there is. Hopefully Gene'll manage to tear himself away from his computer screen to let us know if he's successful hacking into the NYTD's grid and see if he got something on those cameras." She exhales a breath. "My experience is that typically some of these events have shadows coming back to the scene of the crime to try and see who's checking the hot zone out. So just in case, I left a small camera and sensor in the ruins. Should get back to us here if there's anything moving in the site."

She's losing a little bit of hope though. There's -nothing- so far, in terms of the sensor and camera. But she isn't saying that.

"We'll get her back, Ali. I promise."

Meanwhile, someone passes by in the hallway. Peter's hair is heavily ruffled, perhaps from flight, and he's carrying a good sized Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle backpack over one shoulder. It seems to have some items in it, as well, filling it up. He glances into the room when he sees them and pauses, before he quickly continues on. They're talking, and he needs to get rid of this before he goes much further. Precious items inside… but not ones he can use right now.

An oddly alarmed look is on his face, though, as if he just heard something troubling. He slips into the room he'd claimed, drops the bag off, and is back in the hallway again… still looking ruffled. And wearing only jeans and a plain white t-shirt.

"Then we go gathering tonight. There's an agent out there somewhere that knows where she is - if they were going to shoot her, she'd be shot already." Ali glances up at the motion, of course - but shakes her head… one wet-behind-the-ears rookie-Peter isn't apparently terribly high on her list of concerns at the moment. Shoes left behind, she crosses Elena's way, tucking that pen behind her ear.

"There's always something more. If that's all we got, I need to pull a couple grand and go hit the street out by the Labs." Still tired, still thin - it doesn't change that grim set of her jaw. The stubborn is strong with this one.

"It won't be that easy, given who personally went to grab her. I'll field questions later, once we get the meeting under way. Jack's probably in there already, setting up," Elena says even as Peter rounds somewhere behind her. She doesn't need to see him to know someone's there - male. Young. But that was about a good chunk of the Saints. Still, since she's talking about Important Things, she doesn't turn around. "We'll weigh our options, but don't go burning the cash just yet. Eric might be rich, but he also needs to keep books, and every time he deals with another company, that company does due diligence on his funds. We need to be careful where the money's going, Ali, and how we spend it."

"I'll use my savings. There's enough left for that." Not that she hasn't been already. The woman pauses to glance at Elena, flashing a faint smile, then. "Your advice came up. Sort of by accident - but it came up. Thank you."

"Right but like I said, don't burn anything just yet," Elena repeats, firmly. Her expression is serious, and her tone holds no argument. Ali is stubborn, but she's pulling rank. That's why they're having a meeting - anything burned that they didn't need to burn just ends up being precious resources wasted. "The meeting's so we can decide what to do and delegate what has to be done. The Alliance's already closed down Bat Country and including a few of their safehouses according to the word down the wire. They had a major security breach. We're going to act, no doubt about it, but we have to do it carefully." And then she quirks a brow. "Eh? What advice?"

Running a hand through his hair, Peter starts back towards them, but hangs at a distance when he notices they're talking. He's never been the impolite one to spy on people, so he busies himself with straightening his clothes and hair— which is pretty much impossible to fix with just his fingers. A curl hangs in the middle of his forehead and just stays there even when he pushes it back. Since he still can't help but hear a little, he starts moving to get towards the meeting room. First part might be business, second part… sounds personal.

"Yes ma'am." Ali grins at Elena, "No problem ma'am. Yes ma'am." Someone's been watching Stripes again. Still in that black dress, she's down near the end of the galley-bar in the common area, talking quietly with Elena. Barefoot. Shoes are back up by the barstool.

Miles Davis is making some sort of point on a trumpet, too, while Elena looks serious and makes several points of her own.

Ali, though, can't help the smile. "About no regrets. I think you were right - and one way or another, I'm glad I took it. So. Thanks."

Peter is in the hallway, moving towards the meeting area— but he catches a word there that makes him stop and move back towards the door. Did Ali just tell Elena what he thinks she just told Elena? No regrets as advice. All right, now he's being rude and spying a little, but…

…did she make progress? Elena pauses. Her face is…well, for the most part, expressionless.

When she speaks up, she says softly. "Good. I'm glad. You deserve a break." Whatever she feels about it is squashed down by a single-ton weight, though that doesn't make her comment less sincere. She has a job to do and people to break out. There'll be plenty of time thinking about that later, though she hopes she doesn't. She turns around, and starts walking to the conference room. Shaking off that cold touch on her shoulder, she forces herself to think about the agenda…. and succeeds. Because Determined Elena is Determined. Besides, it had been her choice to dispense said advice, she has no one but herself to blame. She continues on, without looking at Peter as she makes a beeline further down the hall so she could start setting up.

She exhales a breath, snagging a bagel left there on the counter. It looks like Trina's. She's not anywhere. It's covered in cream cheese. MINE NOW.

The Saints' second-in-command shoves the door open with her shoulder, the bagel dangling on her mouth in what Manny affectionately calls 'The Nibble Face.'

Ali raises a brow. And… well. Observant Ali is More Observant Than People Continue to Give Her Credit For Being. The shoes are forgotten as the DJ starts that way, giving Elena a bit of space by the simple expedient of snagging a simple can of coke out of the 'fridge and, thoughtfully, taking her time about it before moving down the hall. Peter finally gets a wry smile, a nod.

"Hanging in there?" It's friendly, even warm. Finally.

Someone else in that room deserves a break to. Or that's what Peter'd like to say. He needs to her that mirror of advice giving and use it against her again… but alas. He looks down at his watch, currently on 'this world time' and moves away from the wall to get to the meeting room. Spying anymore would really be rude, and he now hears munching. And as he turns away, he's caught. He jumps a little and spins around, looking surprised. "Oh— yeah, sort of— just— covered a lot of distance today— really miss having cabs."

"Having.." Ali pauses, giving Peter the /oddest/ look for a moment before things parse… obviously she really /has/ been hanging around with Jack too long. "Oh! Cabs. Yeah. Cabs. You. Uh. Get used to it." She clears her throat, coughs once. "Coming?" A grin, and she .. well, pulls the door open and holds it for him.

Up the elevator, around the corner, and whistling softly to himself. Hands in the pockets of his bluejeans, his t-shirt a black one with a cartoon figure of a thief on the back with a big grin on his face and a speech bubble that reads 'Your GP or your HP!' on it.

He notes the figure of Peter standing at the door to the room and raises an eyebrow. Then he strolls on over to Peter. "Evening Peter!" He calls happily as he strolls down the hallway. "And Elena, and Ali…looks like everyone is early here!" He says with a wide smile. Of course, when he gets a good look at Elena's little Nibble Face he pauses.


Then he starts to snicker.

Ye gads. That's freakin' adorable.

"Not everyone," Elena says around her bagel, glancing over at Eric. "Gene, Trina, and Prime aren't here yet but considering they all know what's going on anyway, they can just catch up later, but I'd prefer we wait on them." She walks over to the presentation console on the other side of the room, busily working on the buttons as she slips the data disc in and lets it load. She furrows her brows in concentration, her lips pursed. Pulling her glasses off her head, she sets it on her nose so she can look at the little digital displays.

"Yeah, cabs," Peter repeats, not really sure what the young woman would have heard him say, before he slips into the meeting room through the door she opened for him. "Hey Eric," he says softly, polite, friendly, but there's something distant there still. Then again, he did tell Ali it'd been a long day— lots of traveling. And news. He's never been in this one before, but he looks around for a seat, counting the chairs to make sure there's enough for all of the Saints and— "Is it really okay if I'm here?" he can't help but ask, looking between each of the Saints in a questioning way. He's not one of them, after all. But he does have a few questions he might need to ask soon.

Ali picks a chair mid-table, trailing in after Peter, tossing her notebook ahead of her.. and flashing a warm smile over at Eric, before settling in. "Someone will probably throw you out, Peter, if you're not welcome. It's a little more direct, you know?"

"You're fine," Elena says, looking up from where she's working, her face still in that set, serious expression. The young lieutenant-figure was in 'work mode.' Pardon her brusqueness and all that. "You're living with us while you're here, and you're training, and you need to know what the hell's going on so you can go back and fix things. We won't be doing our part if we're really serious about taking a big middle finger through all this nonsense by keeping you out of the loop." It's a practical standpoint. With that, she straightens up, picking up a pen and swirling it around her long hair before securing it behind her head in a makeshift hairstick. And then, she swallows the rest of her bagel.


Ramon enters, filling the doorway for a moment. His whole face has shut down into a dark expression. He comes to a seat with a predatory, panther-like gait, nods once to the others in the room, shoots Elena a critical look to gauge how she's eating, utterly fails to eat himself, and folds his arms, his mouth twisting into a dark, dour expression.

Eric's smile flashes out as well towards Ali before he glances towards Elena, his face sobering. Taking a seat near one end he swings into a chair before relaxing back into it. He watches Elena for a moment with a half smile on his face before he twists his head towards the door. Woah. Ramon. The critical and evil look from the man only gets a smile and a wave lazy wave of greeting from the blue jeaned and t-shirted billionaire. "…evening Ramon." He calls out cheerfully. "How goes the business?" Of course she knows.

Now…are there any bagels around….he just realized he was hungry after watching Elena NOM the bagel.

Oh— "Mr. Gomez," Peter says with surprise, looking towards the older man and— they haven't really talked, or seen each other at all since the night of the rescue— where he more heard the man than saw him. He looks different, but from what he heard… he's not surprised. "Thanks… there's a few questions I probably have already," he adds, looking a little… bothered as he finds himself a seat. Only after he finishes counting them. If there weren't enough for all the Saints, he'd stand against the wall.

Ali straightens her dress - yes, she's wearing a dress, Ramon - fishing that pen out from behind her ear.. and, strangely enough? She offers the elder Gomez a warm smile, a nod. "Sir." But - for now? She's more focused on Elena and Jack, tapping idly on the table with that bit of writey plastic - a nervous gesture.

Elena is the one bustling around the front of the room. Eric, Peter, and Ali are already seated in the room. Ali is wearing a dress. Ramon has just arrived. When her father enters, the younger Gomez looks up at him….and her serious expression softens just slightly. She'll be telling him a few things he doesn't want to hear today, so she's bracing herself inwardly.

She turns to the screen in front of the room and taps her laser pointer on the indicator button to the side. The screen flicks to the devastated ruins of Bat Country.

Gene walks in. Gene is currently only with one arm attached to his body, the other one held at his side. The fake skin is peeled away from the prosthetic limb. While the artificial limb is held in his hand, a box of tools is held in the nook of his armpit. His black t-shirt sleeve dangles limb at the lack of an arm, the attachments for the shoulder harness for the arm swaying as he moves about. After settling down the arm at the seat that has the least light and furtherest away from everyone (sadly, in the DARK FUTURE, everyone wants to sit in the shadows, so those seats might already be taken), Gene just sets up shop and begins to work on his arm humming a light tune to himself. He acts like there is no one else in the room for the time being, but that's normal whenever he's focused on his work.

When Trina enters the room in her black spaghetti-strapped tank top and tattered jeans, the first thing she sees is that horrific annhilation of hope that is Bat Country. Oh, joy. This looks like it will be a lovely, inspiring meeting. Really. There wasn't a smile on her face when she walked in, and there's only a pale ghost of one that flickers across her lips with all the brightness of a dying ember. Hi. That done, she marches across the room with her slow, decided steps in her favored black boots and takes her seat wherever there is room. Beside an empty one if she can swing it. That done, she pulls an elastic band off of her wrist and proceeds to tie her hair up in a messy bun.

Jack pushes through the doors and limps toward the head of the table without making eye contact with anyone. It's clear that there's no slight intended; from the heavy, thoughtful furrowing of his brow and the flat, emotionless line his mouth is pressed into, he would seem to be a man with many unpleasant things on his mind. He slips into his seat and lets out a low, nearly imperceptible sigh. Tired. Very tired.

Finally, he glances up and studies each face in turn. It's a slow process that starts with Trina and ends with Elena. He nods once, though what he's nodding at isn't readily apparent. "Thank you all for coming," he grates. "I'm sure by now you've heard about the attack on BCL. It's true that Cass has been taken, presumably by Homeland agents. We'll be gettin' her back, obviously. I sent 'Lena out to survey the aftermath. 'Lena, why don't you brief us on what you found?"

'Angel' nods to the Shepherd, she points the laser pointer to the Bat Country Labs. "Homeland's the only one we know with this kind of firepower at their disposal," Elena begins without fanfare. "The entire place smelled like gunpowder and cordite. Save for us, the only people who can do this much time with the firepower they had at such a short time is the HS. Everything's empty, Eric's thermal scan didn't detect anything else heated inside the building. I scanned the building on my own and detected no life signs. I don't know how many people were in the labs themselves, but Peter's been in there earlier last week and he said there were a lot of people. Either they got evacuated, or they all got taken. However it looks like none of the panic rooms have been breached - the labs are still just half destroyed. Only gives credence to the theory that they were after Cass specifically."

She flicks through the different images they took while they were there. Indeed, Bat Country is a mess, but half of it is still intact. "I had Peter use his precognitive abilities to touch Cass's desk. According to him, Punktrelli." Ie. President Petrelli. "Made the pick-up personally. He was accompanied by a good number of his own agents, and another person." In this moment, her gaze locks towards her father. "Benjamin Winters. According to the visions, he's mastered his gifts. He can put people to sleep. I don't know how wide his range is, but from my experience mastery can be between 10 to 100 feet. Considering what I know of Winters, he started his training late. So I would estimate between 10 and 75 feet at most as his effective range. I'd consider him dangerous. After all, if you fall asleep in a firefight you're as good as dead. A well-placed sniper shot ought to do the trick, but from here on in we're going to have to endeavor to know whether he's going to be around or not."

She continues. "I had Gene try and get in the New York Department of Transportation's grid, see if he can grab some images from the traffic cameras situated near stoplights in the area. So far that's all we know. We know who took her, but right now we're at a loss as to where she's actually being held. Or why." She frowns. "The President's known her for years. He's known where she lives, what she does….I'm lost as to why the hell they'd take the effort to take her now. But the reason isn't really as important as getting Cass back. Once we get Cass back, she can tell us just what the hell is going on."

She ends this part of the presentation. "I'm going to contact Daphne Rousseau from the Zoo tomorrow. See if she can spare us some dogs and program them to send Lachlan a message. We didn't get a chance to tell him or Cass where our new dregs are, and there were no indications that Lachlan or Abigail were in the labs. Peter didn't see them in his visions. Right now I think we can safely assume he's keeping his daughter safe, but I know him. He'll want his wife back. The dogs might be our best way to reach him."

"As an extra precaution." Elena nods to Gene. "Gene spared me some equipment. Small ones. I hid a camera in the ruins of Bat Country labs, to transmit to our security console here. If HS agents come back, we can intercept them and interrogate them about Cass. I doubt the people sent there to pick apart the rubble will not know what happened there. It'd be stupid."

When the one armed Saint enters — and no, Peter has not chosen one of those shadowy seats — he looks up and blinks in surprise at the obvious lack of an arm on the young computer genius. Somehow, during the rescue, he'd not noticed. Perhaps because he only really heard his voice, barely saw his face, and didn't notice that he might be missing an arm. He's polite enough not to stare, but he does notice. He glances up towards the screen, seeing the broken building which he saw one of the first days he came here. It's not a happy sight at all, but… he already saw it once. In person. And far more personable than any of them. He actually saw the destruction take place… in visions. And then the meeting starts, and he shifts his eyes around slowly while people talk. There's some nods, but over all he seems to sink into his chair and listen. And brood a little.

Eric frowns slightly towards the image on the screen. Yes, it did indeed look that bad. Yes it was that bad. Elena says it all. So he just sits back and listens and quietly. His arms are folded across his chest as he now concentrates on the start of the briefing.
Ramon's dark look grows darker, and he starts muttering very /vile/ names about Benji in Spanish. His fist clenches enough to snap the pencil he's holding. The loud /crack/ shuts him up, and he tosses the twin halves of the pencil aside in furious disgust.

Ali listens. Turning over the words one at a time, watching the images, filing things away. That battered notebook of hers is opened idly, pages flipped past… and in her precise handwriting, she.. makes notes. Idly chewing on her thumb.

At the mention of Cass, Trina takes in a slow, deep breath, only to exhale it once more through her pursed lips. Great. Better than great, it's *awesome*. The place that had better, stricter security just lost the head of their facility. The guy who took her is one of the few abilities that there isn't a contingency plan for. However, it won't be here she that goes all C3PO and screams 'WE'RE DOOMED'. Yet. It's still early in the meeting, though. Instead, she just listens. Watches with attentive blue eyes. Assesses. Waits. And then she gives a small start when Ramon snaps his pencil and starts to look back… but then thinks better of glaring. Instead, she'll just glare at the screen. Yeah, that's a battle face. Totally. Not at all irritated at Ramon for spooking her. Nope. Not one bit.

Snapping the pencil seems to have cleared Ramon's thoughts though. He gives his assessment of the situation in a single, terse word. "Bait." Nothing about the way he says it makes it sound like he feels any different about going after her.

"Not to sound like I'm tooting my own horn here, but if you can give me some heads on where Sleeping with Sweaters is, I could likely cook up a swift and fast take down for him. A toy copter with a taser attached to it could do the trick. Or could send in Monster after him." Of course, Gene wants to take him down peacefully. "Could get some good intel out of him if we get him alive," he adds, not even looking up as he takes a screwdriver to the elbow. He does taken in Ramon's thoughts. "Maybe… They likely have her for Intel too. Being oh so likable means she had a lot of connections. When the amazing Flying F***er finds out she's not so useful-" Gene pauses as the arm suddenly freaks out for a moment or two on the table. It's almost like he planned it like that. "-We'll need to move quickly, bait or not."

Spanish is one of the many languages that Peter doesn't know. In fact, he knows English and that's it. But it doesn't take much to know what he's upset about. They'd been friends. Now he can't help but speak up, even if it's in softened tones, "He didn't seem intent on hurting anyone— or too happy to be working with— with the President. Emotions come through in the visions I get… He didn't seem as… dangerous as… as the President." He's so tempted to call him Nathan, or his brother. But… "I'm not… saying people weren't killed, but they didn't shoot anyone who he'd put to sleep either…" So there is that much. "They had a goal, and their goal was Cass." Why— he doesn't know.

"I'll get you intel on his known haunts if I can, Gene," Elena says. That would require money, and venturing out probably solo. But the young woman was more than up for the challenge. She cracks her knuckles absently. "But no promises. Money talks, but it can also talk too much. Whoever's willing to sell us the information will probably have no qualms selling information to others either, and give up the other buyers." When Peter reveals that Benji didn't seem too happy to work with the President, a glint forms in her eyes - but she doesn't articulate anything yet. With that part of her spiel over, she looks over at Jack before going onto the next thing in her mental agenda.

Ali looks up, and, she just asks, quietly - "What brought down the building? There are no blast patterns in those pics. No scorch marks. If you guys did that, it'd be half on fire before it fell over." She taps the pen on the pad then, thoughtfully, and looks between Peter and Ramon… then to Jack. "Are we sure it's Cass he's after? 'cause Lachlan is a target either way, don't you think?"

"We don't know. We don't exactly have a full forensics lab at our disposal, and none of us has the expertise to work something like that. Ballistics requires a hard science degree to master," Elena replies to Ali. But she can certainly get the information - however Prime isn't there to chime in. "And pretty sure. Peter heard dialogue in his visions, Punktrelli was pretty clear that he wanted Cass."

Trust me Peter, you don't even WANT to know what Ramon is saying. Eric really doesn't give a damn that Benji was upset about working with the president. He still did it, thats a big strike against him in his book. He glances up slightly before he sighs. "Evolved hit the building I'd say. Terrakenetic or something similar. Without any security tapes then we won't know, but that would be my best guess. He pauses a moment and frowns. "…I think Lachlan /will/ be a target if Cass doesn't do whatever the President wants. So its very likely he is already one, him and the baby. If for nothing else but leverage if nothing else."

"Yeah, Na— the President mentioned wanting her for something— a job, something like that. I just don't know what. I can't completely read his mind in the visions," Peter says, looking down towards the table. All the tension isn't liked, but he can toss that out. There's something he wants to ask… but he can't quite bring himself to do it yet.

McAlister nods, once. "I ask 'cause if we can sort who the guards were, it's a fair bet that Petrelli used them to ensure her transport. And if we can get any one of them, we'll know where she turned up." She frowns, adds - "Cass asked that if she /did/ turn up missing, or worse, we get Lachlan and the kid past the border. It's something to put on the table, too." But then? She subsides, spinning that pen once, listening.

Jack laces his gloved fingers together and rests his hands on the polished table, outwardly displaying patience that he doesn't feel. "'Lena's right. We don't want to tip our hand too early. We have to play this one soft, else we alert the baddies that we're on to them. Let's see what we get off the camera at the site of the attack. Meanwhile, Elena can dig us up some more intel. Until we know more, let's not do anything drastic."

At the mention of 'the guards', Peter can't help but look towards Elena, a hint of nervousness in his eyes. He'll let her field that one. He's definitely wary about it. Besides Mr Winters and the President, he only saw one person… many times.

"Winters and I used to be friends," Ramon points out. "Petrelli and I used to be friends. They don't know what I'm up to. If I go there to offer some sort of defense contract I can perhaps double agent and get us more. I'm still big-shot enough, and I've been very careful to keep my public distance from any of you. I don't think anyone's on to me."

"If those are Cass's wishes, we'll have to adhere to them. But I know Lachlan. He's not going to abandon his fiancée," Elena says simply. "But if that has to happen, Papa can help them through the border." Ramon runs detainees towards Mexico after all, he speaks the language, and her uncle helps them out. Grandma Gomez would probably be a safe haven at mid-point, she heard the government stays -well- away from her casa for some reason. When Jack agrees with her, she looks at him, relief in her eyes even though a certain person's nervous gaze is fixed on her. "Don't worry about the guards, Ali. What they know, we already know. And it's not much," she says. It's cryptic, but that information is need-to-know. Her and Jack and another person that's not in the room only. "Essentially what Peter just told us." She looks over at Jack. When her father speaks up, Elena nods. "Papa raises a good point. If that's the case, I want him on my surveillance team. If we do find a couple of agents picking through the rubble, a telepath is going to be handy on site. I also need a gunman as a trump card." She looks at Jack. "If you'll send me, nuncle."

With a simple "Righto, Elena", Gene is silent once more. He continues his work on his arm, merely pulling back in his seat enough to have his intact leg reach over the table to keep the arm down. Arching his body, he begins to attempt to screw the bolt in as tight as he can. When that doesn't work, he merely tries to using the side of his chest to keep it down. He learned long ago to let the people talk as they wish. As long as he doesn't seriously disagree with the plan or has something important to say, he is more than willing to wallflower it.

"Can't force her hand if there's no bargainin' chip for Commander Cocksucker to find," Trina agrees quietly in response to McAlister and Elena's part about Cass. There's a frown and a shrug. "Might be worth a check in with what's left of Alliance folk if we can find 'em to make sure they've secured somethin' for Lach and the kid past border control. Just… to offer a little back up if they need it. Though they ain't as good at that as us, they may wanna do it themselves." Or Lach refused. It's entirely possible to predict that man when Cass and Abby are concerned. "Either way, they may need a hand."

"I'm working on a Plan B with Prime. A little insurance policy, we'll say." A mirthless smile tugs at the corners of Jack's mouth. "But we'll put the bulk of our faith in you, Scrappy. Take Ramon and Eric with you, and page me if you find anything. I may go out of contact for a few days. If I do, you'll all be takin' your orders from our leading lady." He smiles crookedly and cuffs Elena on the shoulder. "As for Lachlan, you all must be takin' the piss if you think he's goin' anywhere until we get his lady back. He'll tear that toy Alliance apart with his bare hands if they try to ship him out, and us too. Better that we work with him."

Already aware he's not allowed until he's no longer a liability, Peter stays silent and watches all of them, quiet and broody. There's definitely something on his mind, and it can be narrowed down to a single word, which he can't quite bring up. Commander Cocksucker does draw his attention towards Trina briefly, a startled look in his eyes, before he looks back down at the table. Wow, his brother's got some interesting names. But he'll keep calling him the President.

"I think I agree with Fearless Leader on that one," Eric says with a slight smirk towards Jack. "Lach will take out anyone that tires to keep him away from Cass. I'd rather work with a force of nature than against one." He shrugs lightly before he nods towards Jack. Sure. He'll go with Elena. He has no problem with that one. "Aye aye," He says with a half salute. He can definitely go with that, follow Elena and obey orders. He pauses then before glancing over towards Ramon. "…I have idea about things like that, Ramon. I'll talk to you about it later."

"Jack?" Ali objects, mildly - "There is the baby to consider. And yeah, I'll babysit," that comes with a wry smile - she has before, after all. "But he's got two jobs, too." But.. she leans back and stifles whatever else she was about to say, though it's worth saying she does not look terribly pleased.

"I think as a precaution we should talk to them about the possibility to getting Abigail some protection. Lachlan might want her off his hands especially if he intends to look for Cass, and the Alliance has some of the best doctors around," Elena says, nodding to Trina. It's a good idea. "I'm medically adept, and I've taken care of a child before - but not anyone as young as Abigail is and I do want her away from what we do. The Alliance is pacifistic. Lachlan might not agree to being shipped out without Cass, but I think he'll agree that he'll need Abby protected by someone -not- us. We're too deep into the fire. Ali if you intend to babysit, don't do it here. Do it in an Alliance stronghold where you'll have access to better medical care if something goes wrong."

When Jack brings out a duo-mission with Prime, she looks at him, startled. She stares at him. She hadn't been told of this. But Jack was their leader, and with him gone, she'll HAVE to stay here and protect and lead the Saints. When he picks her gunman, Elena…doesn't look all -too- happy for some reason. For just a brief moment, but she nods. "Yeah, Shep. I got it." She glances over at Eric, but she doesn't address him. "I'll have Gene monitor the Bat Country camera. Gene, let me know if there's any activity if I'm not here myself?"

With that done, she waits for last questions and comments. "We have another op to discuss but I'll wait until everyone's done with this one."

"As fond as we all are of Abby, she isn't our baby," is Jack's reply to Ali's objection. He doesn't look pleased about it, but it's a fact they all have to make peace with. "What happens to her is up to Lachlan. I hope that he'll let one of us…" And by us he means someone else. "…watch her. 'Lena's right to say that this isn't the place to keep a child. There's too much risk in what we do."

"I'd rather not - " Ali offers, pointedly - "I can occasionally be more useful in other venues. But I can get her to the Alliance if it comes to that." But.. she goes back to listening - frowning yet… and nodding once to Jack.

Out of contact for a few days. Damn it. Trina looks entirely unamused as that bit of the conversation finally sinks in. However, there is nothing to do about it and nothing she can add. Thus, she just draws her knees up under chin so she rest her head and frown.

Gene doesn't mention the fact that Lachlan CAN be controlled. But he knows that conversations like that are ones he shouldn't challenge unless he figures that it's something he has to change. Lachlan will likely die. Cass will likely die. They play with fire too much. They shoulda just left while they had the chance. Gene's mind goes to the child for awhile, zoning out from his work on the arm AND Elena's new request. "Wha? Oh, yeah, I'll keep the place monitored if you want. As usual, if you see any interesting electronics, no matter what they were originally, bring them in. Starting to run low on small motors."

"You got it Gene. Put together a shopping list for me and I'll go out on a supplies run too." The busier she is, the more things can get done, and the more she can think about things she ought to be prioritizing. So dark, gold-flecked eyes glance over at Ali, Trina, and Jack. Trina especially, about the secret mission. Final word. Elena nods to Jack, and she stands up again. No one seems to be asking anymore questions. She gets back to the front of the room. The Cass situation is settled. 1) More intel. 2) Surveillance team is her, Ramon, and Eric. 3) Find a way to get in touch with Lachlan and figure out what they could do for him.

She flicks to another image on screen. These images will be familiar. Father Thomas Brady, the Gomezes' old pastor, is displayed on screen - the man who married Dezi and Ramon, and Jack's occasional confessee when he had been serious about going to confession. Jamal, Jack's old bouncer, who had also been in a day off when the Den blew up, and was an active member of the Flock before he got taken. There is also John "Milkdud" Carson, who Jack would also recognize as one of his joes, characterized by his giant mole on the face. The two black men are accompanied in the screen by a caucasian, ferrety-looking fellow.

"As you all know I was in deep cover for 10 days," Elena says, fixing her eyes on her father. "I posed as a human detainee to see who I could find in the new collection cup they've got going in Brooklyn, a stop-off point for reviewing detainees before they're shipped off to one of the bigger camps. Father Brady is my father and I's old pastor. He married Dezi and him. He's slated for execution on August 20th. He took the place of a young man with a hefty juvenile record."

Her voice sounds a little funny there. She clears her throat. "Jamal White. He works for Jack, Flock member since the outfit started. He was nailed in an op. He'll be joining Father Brady in the gallows along with Mil— John Carson, another associate of Jack's. They've been picking off the Shep's old circle for quite some time. Frankly I'm sick of it. I'm putting together an op to get them back, if the Shep is okay with it."

"The last figure on the screen is Archibald Mortensen, CPA." This time, her eyes can't help but fall on Eric. "He was Laurence Lancaster's tax man. When he was assassinated, he tried to flee the country, but HS nabbed him due to some discrepancies in his bank accounts. Him, we'll have to detain. If you know what I mean."

Ramon's eye goes even darker, if that's possible. He never did get very good control of his illusion power. The table in front of him appears to dance with black flames that radiate from his hands, but everyone here by now should know enough to know that kind of visual effect just kind of happens when he's pissed, and it's all fake, just manifestations of telepathy gone out of control. He clenches his jaw and remains silent, unaware of making mirages in his fury.

With the bulk of his important information imparted, Jack is now free to haul himself up out of his seat and do what he's wanted to do since he entered the room. He limps around the table to stand behind Trina and lays both gloved hands on her shoulders. Gently, he squeezes and massages at her (probably) tense muscles. "Don't worry, baby," he murmurs reassuringly. "I'm not leavin' for another day or two, an' I'll be back before you know it. See? We've got more work to do, yet."

Jack lifts his head and fixes Elena with a hawkishly intent stare. "We never leave our people behind. Never. I'll back you all the way on this one, Sucklips."

Ah. More notes - Ali listening, watching face after face. But - no comment, just yet. Instead - it's apparently enough to wait, for now. The pyrotechnic display catches her eye, however - and as dangerous as it may be? She reaches over to rest gentle fingertips on Ramon's forearm - at least until he breaks a finger or some such.

Now its Eric's turn to nearly snap a pencil in two. Instead he simply flicks it around his fingers as he stares daggers at the man on the screen. Mortensen. He thought he was dead, or out of the country. The other men are noted and catalagued. He knows the others yes, but its Mortensen that has his almost undivided attention. The pencil is tossed in the air and cought once, then again, then again. Up and down as dark eyes burn into the picture on the table. Now he has better control than Ramon, but he can't help the shadows around his chair darken into pitchblackness.

Of course, all that darkness is dispelled by the magic word said by Jack.


He can't help but suddenly grin at that pet name.

Ramon starts at Ali's touch. Its enough to break the flames…and oddly, she elicits a small smile. He does something rare. He puts a quick, brotherly arm around her shoulders and squeezes, then drops it. There are few people who can calm his rages. She apparently is somewhere on the list.

Sucklips. Peter can't help but turn a little red again at hearing that nickname. It turns him red every time, and he can't help but glare at Jack a little. There's a hint of a smile after a moment, but that doesn't make the blush go away at all. Really. That's an inappropriate nickname for a not-neice! He would never call his that.

As Trina feels those hands on her shoulders, her eyes close. Her shoulders ache in their tightness, but she lightly kisses one of those hands and then lifts her hands to tightly grip his. She won't say anything. She doesn't need to. He already knows that she doesn't want him to go, and she'd never dare ask that he stay. That's enough. Instead, since he's talking and presumably will have someone looking in his direction, the dark haired woman attempts a confident smile. For the most part, it fails, weak and painfully transparent. At least she's trying?

Her eyebrow ticks a little bit at the nickname, and Elena shoots Jack a -look-. Not in front of the kids.

She continues on. "From what I was able to gather, Father Brady was trying to convince that facility's brass to take the detainees to a local church in the outskirts of New York. Some sort of retreat. Moral guidance and the like. It….was his last request. They extended the courtesy to him because he turned himself in willingly so he could keep watch on the people there. His own flock. He hopes his death would be an example." Unconsciously, her fist is clenching on the side of her hip. Tightly. "He didn't have to do it. He's one of us. An Evolved. He has no business being in there but he went anyway because he takes his job seriously. Least we can do, I think, is get him back."

He was one of the last good men in New York City. She's -not- about to let him die.

She flicks another image. This is a map of New York City. She uses a laser pointer this time. "The convoy is going to move from Brooklyn. Part of the deal was the Sisters of Charity will be part of the convoy, as a ploy to disuade the more violent terrorist groups from hitting it. So the operation is sensitive. They absolutely can't know we're coming. The convoy will follow this route…" She traces it. "All the way to St. George Church in Fulton. It's the only church that'll accomodate this many people this month….in fact it's the -only- church still actively holding mass in miles. They'll have escorts, and from what Prime can provide me, there are standing orders for National Guard choppers in La Guardia to neutralize any and all threats. And not just because this is going on."

She looks at the rest of them and smirks. "This is also the day where the city is holding a Heil Petrelli Kiss Ass Parade, in honor of the esteemed President's visit to the state."

Ali leans into that hug for a moment, actually offering a quiet, momentary laugh before focusing again on Elena, and those visuals. But .. she lets it stand, for now, thoughtful once that moment passes.

"I spoke with Prime about the choppers." Jack bobs an agreeable nod, letting both his smile and the ages-old nickname slide off of his lips.. "We'll have copies on the rooftops with Stinger launchers to handle any air support, so that shouldn't be a problem. Much. I've got a new toy to handle ground forces, as well."


"Wait. Parade?" Already, the wheels are turning. Jack's smile is back, but now it's sinister. Mischevous.

A parade. Peter shakes his head. He really has very little to offer, because— he's not even sure he'll still be here on the 20th. It's a long way away, really— even if he's already been here a few weeks now. There's so much he still needs to learn, and while he's listening, this isn't exactly it. This is all something that stopping the war could fix. But— they all know he'd help, if they want him along. No reason to keep casting his hand out to get 'not ready yet' slapped on it. He'll just have to keep making himself ready— one day at a time.

Eric turns slightly to look at Ali, offering her a smile. Thank you for calming Ramon. Yes. Thank you. He blinks at Elena going and explaining about the op, raising a slight eyebrow. "…so…someone is going to have to be in the convoy itself aren't they?" He asks curiously. Boss already has air support handled.

Of course, then he hears about the Parade. He blinks once. Then he blinks once more. The smile that sloooowly comes onto his face is almost a mirror to the one on Jack's face. Oh little Eric has learned bad habits over the years.

"Yes. Parade." Elena's serious face, for the first time since the meeting started, curls up in a smile. It's a dangerous smile. The kind that a woman shows a man before she makes off with all his money. "I figured we could have a special broadcast while we….partake in the festivities." She looks over at Ali. "Ali, you think you'll be okay to handle your equipment? You'll be well protected, but I do want you to….play….something. Think you can drown out the propagandists waving their swastikas during the event?"

She continues on with the map and the briefing. "There'll be security of course. Probably a couple of vehicles at the back, and vehicles at the front. I think it'll be easier to actually just use the bus itself and hijack the prisoners, instead of providing our own transport. Less vehicles on the road means more room to maneuver. We can sandwich them here." She taps on a part of the map. "A Saints vehicle takes out the vehicles directly behind the bus. Another Saints vehicle takes out the ones in front. This should stop the bus entirely….but if all goes well, we'll already have people in the actual bus itself ready to take it over. I'm…leaving that up to our esteemed leader." This said with a sweet smile.

She nods to Jack about the Dittos. "They can position themselves on the roof to blow them out of the sky. Prime and Eric can take whatever vehicle they want to bring up the rear. Trina can drive while I and Papa handle the vehicles in front. We'll need at least one ditto in every vehicle we take. The plan is once security is neutralized, we all rally in the bus, and drive off to crash the party."

Ramon nods his head. He likes the plan. But…"I only have one thought," he rumbles in a scratchy voice. "At least a few of the people in that parade might well be innocents. I don't know that I'm keen on blowing up float girls just because they're high kicking on the wrong float."

He's still got /some/ morality left in him.

There's relief on his face when the older one-eyed man brings that up. Peter's worried about the people his brother would put in the parade to make himself look better, and those who would come out to watch it for fear of being targetted for staying at home and spitting at the man's image on television. He's sure there's a lot of people who only play along out of fear. Fear for themselves, or fear for their families.

"We're not going to take out the entire parade," Elena says. "Just this."

She clicks on the screen. It is a GIANT PAPER MACHE STATUE of Nathan Petrelli, his foot on a hill and his hand over his heart, staring up towards an American Flag set up in the float. "This is their centerpiece. Of course, as their centerpiece, there won't be any people on it to distract its…" Gaudy, RED WHITE AND BLUE color scheme. "….flair."

"…" Watch Peter stare at the screen. What the hell happened to his brother to turn him into this. This future must stop. It must stop now.

Ali murmurs, with a nod - "Yeah. the transmission rig Gene cooked up would do wonders - be better if we could tap whatever loudspeakers they're gonna use in the parade, though." She looks across to Gene. "Think you could cook something up? If you got time, anyway." A pause, and she looks back at that image. "That … harms what's left of my inner child."

Eric just nods slightly towards the rest. Yes, Ramon brought up a valid thought. Of course then Elena pops up the giant float on the screen. He pauses, he stares, then he just raises one eyebrow. "…oh yes. We HAVE to drive SOMETHING through that. Its our god given right as americans to destroy that…that…" He looks at Peter. "…what the heck would you call that?"

"Hideous," Peter says, shaking his head. "His taste in ties may have improved, but apparently he put it somewhere else."

Ramon stares at that image and his face twists into a comical expression. "It disturbs me that a grown male could — " He subsides into disgusted Spanish.
"All in favor of eradicating this monstrosity off the face of the Earth, say aye," Elena supplies blandly.

"Don't worry Ali, we'll set it on fire. Fire cures all problems." Eric nods, then raises his hand. "Aye."

"Okay, okay. We all think that the only thing he presides over is genital warts." Jack nods thoughtfully. "Jesus, there's an idea. Do we know anybody wot does diseases? Oh.. Uh. Aye."

As everything gets thrown around, points and counterpoints, Trina's gaze bounces back and forth. Then it halts at the picture of the float. Wow. As Elena offers her question, the dark haired woman thrusts her hand into the air. "Aye."

"Oh. Aye. Definitely. It's… like hypnotic. You just can't look /away/." Ali shudders, and raises her hand.

"I'll get the list to you… But in short, Elena, just get me whatever you can," Gene points out, seemingly putting the final touches on his arm. "Whatever I can't use directly… I'll just mod to my own personal use." Glancing toward McAlister, the somewhat young geek considers. "It depends. If it's a simple airwave intercept, I can do it no problem. I've done it before with the radio interception system I've made. If it's hard wired… It'll take some direct rewiring."

"I'll get you what I can, Genius," she says. There's a fond note to her tone when she addresses Gene, but it's always been present there, since two years ago. One of the few things that hasn't changed with the Saints' lieutenant. "Alright, we're all in agreement. Ali, I'll give you the CD later, but since there seems to be a unanimous decision to do what needs to be done for the sake of other people's lives and…well, our collective sanities, our meeting is adjourned." Elena shuts off the projector. "If you guys have any other questions, you can say 'em now. Otherwise, I set you free." She can't help but glance at Jack. She's still a little antsy about this secret op. Especially since he's taking the BFF along. But she HAS to trust him.

She walks around the table, a hand reaching down to touch Ramon's shoulder. She drops to press a light, fond kiss on top of her growly father's head. "(I saw Manny recently. He's been keeping out of trouble at least.)"

Ramon gives his daughter a backwards hug and answers, "(He came by the apartment. He's been keeping an eye on your sister.)." He means Portia. He's silent for a moment and nods to where she was just briefing. "(You look good up there, chiquita. It fits you.)" Its as close as he can come to approval. He's bursting with pride for her, but if he could get away with wrapping her up in wool and shipping her to Mexico instead, he would.

As the meeting has ended, Peter looks up and opens his mouth— but hesitates and then looks back down. There must be something he wants to say, that he's avoiding. Maybe he's hoping it was a lie, or something— or a misunderstanding. But it didn't sound like one and… Everyone's leaving. There's a sigh and he starts to move to stand up, looking one last time at the place where the projector showed the statue. The hideous statue of his brother.

Jack relaxes considerably now that the have something resembling a plan in place. He smiles over at Elena, his pride mirroring Ramon's, but far more openly. "We can do this," he mutters, more to himself than anyone else. "We have to do this." He stoops and wraps his arms around Trina for a quick squeeze, then straightens. "I think that about covers it. I'ma ship out and get in touch with Prime. It was good to see this many of us in one place. You've all done a great job since we started watching each others' backs. I couldn't ask for more from my friends, or from my family." He makes eye contact with everyone a last time. "I'm proud of you. All of you. Keep it up while I'm away," That said, he turns and limps toward the door.

Eric pauses a moment before he looks around the table, he sighs slightly, a smile coming to his face as he notes Elena and Ramon. At least thats a good thing. Family together again. At least thats something that he helped provide for everyone. A home. A shake of his head then as he stands before he nods towards Ramon. "…I'll talk to you later." He says as he turns, nodding towards Elena once before starting towards the door. "I'll go check on the toys, make sure they are all ready." He adds towards the room at large before slipping out of the room.

And Ali watches the younger Petrelli - and quietly asks, "Not what you were expecting?" She moves to stand herself, closing that battered notebook - nodding to Jack - "Be safe, Shepherd?"

"Si," Elena says. But the approval causes one of those very rare (at least these days), genuine smiles to appear on her mouth. She knows her father doesn't necessarily approve what she does now, but the comment is very much appreciated. Some tension from her shoulders leaves. She hugs her father back - the only measure of free affection she gives to anyone these days really. Unless people hug her first, like Ali. "(That's what I told me. I saw them both recently.)" She pulls away. "I have something to do after this…and I think I'll visit…." Ramon will know who. There are graves she needs to see later. "(But…I'll cook for you sometime this week if you like)." When Jack leaves, there's… a sudden shift in her expression. Fear. Some semblance of vulnerability. But this is schooled back into the determined face.

"No— this was— you guys have it together and… a lot of plans," Peter says, looking at her quietly since she's talking to him. He starts to stand up. "I just heard something that… it's bothering me." He looks off towards Jack as he starts to leave, the one person who truly made him feel welcome here— and he inclines his chin slowly, hoping that the now older man is safe.

"(I'd like that,)" Ramon says to his daughter. He lets her go then. He lets Eric go. He looks across the room to Petrelli and then to Ali. She'll take care of him, he decides, and find out what is on his mind. So he stands. But he looks over at the boy, as if he himself might try to offer something. Encouragement or something. He finds he doesn't know exactly how, and so he turns on his heel and leaves.

As Jack wraps her up in that hug, Trina hugs his arms and kisses them. Be careful, sugar. Someone else already said it. She, again, doesn't need to. Her face is expressionless as he leaves, her blue eyes following him as he goes. She's about to stay, but as soon as he actually gets through the threshold, she wordlessly rises and moves to trot after him. Least she can do is walk with him to the door, right? Right.

"We gotta do what we can. 'Those who do nothing but mourn find more than enough reason.'" The DJ looks up at that image, then back. "So you share it. Maybe we figure out a way to make it not bother so much - that's how it goes." She tucks the notebook under her arm. "Me? I'm gonna go change clothes - " And she glances, with fondness, at Ramon and Elena - "And kind of get out of the way. And maybe a beer, if we've got one - interested?" She looks back to Pete, tilting her head, questioning.

As a few people leave, Peter's eyes follow them through the door, eye-contact with the one eyed man, before he leaves. Then his eyes return to Ali. "You look nice— but I can imagine that'd be uncomfortable," he says with a hint of a smile, before— he should just say it. And there's beer. "Maybe if you got something a little better than beer, I'll take you up on it." He's not much for beer, but he could use a drink… really. And he hesitates, then glances around. Who's left? "I… ran into a member of the President's staff. Used to work for my father, actually— I recognized him. Cyprus Donovan? He mentioned something that… he said that— I didn't kill Sylar."

When she watches her father and Jack leave, Elena turns her eyes away and moves back towards the projector, hearing Ali invite Peter to a beer with that same, friendly tone. She couldn't help but feel approving, in a way, towards Ali, despite what she let her know earlier today. She was keeping the stronghold warm, at the very least. A good hostess. She absently hits the button…….and freezes. Her head snaps up at Peter. "….-what-?" Her eyes are fixed on the Petrelli brother, and….the room. It feels oppressive for some reason. Gold glints ferally in her eyes. The change is gradual but it shows. Her temper surges as a sharp blast of color on the golden tone of her cheeks.

"-WHAT-?!" is repeated.

Ali doesn't look much /happier/ - but she moves between Elena and Peter. "I know." It's blunt - and the DJ doesn't turn to look back at Elena. Not yet. She speaks quickly enough that /what/ she knows, exactly, may not be immediately obvious - but she /does/ drop an explanation. "Donovan isn't exactly /trustworthy/." And.. then, small as she is, she nudges him for the door. "go check the fridge, huh?" A pause. "now would be really, really good." There's no force in that yet - but there /is/ a sense that the DJ may be a bit more preoccupied with the impending explosion.. you know. Right over there.

Check the… fridge. Peter frowns a little at the 'she knows' part, but doesn't really think to even go against her request. Especially not with Elena looking like she might explode at him. It's not something he knows about really, he was just told. "I don't know if— he works for the President. He could have just been…" Trying to make him stay and work with him? He chooses not to answer that. Instead he takes McAlister's request and moves towards the door to go and check the fridge. Did she compell him? Not with anything more than her natural charm and his own naïvity. And maybe he gets the hint that he should leave the room since Elena looks like a bomb about to go off.

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU KNOW?!" is exploded towards Ali. Elena pauses, and takes a deep breath, lifting her fingers to pinch her nosebridge and closing her eyes. Whatever warm feelings she had for Ali earlier fades. "Why didn't you two -SAY SOMETHING-?" Peter had a point at least. Cyprus Donovan? He worked for the president, he can't be trusted. And it was Peter. Peter didn't know WHO to trust out here save for his circle. But to Ali. "State your source. Who told you?" Because even if Peter got his word from an unreliable source, why the hell is Ali suddenly saying the same thing? Two people were corroborating. Either people were spreading a false rumor, or it was true. Hence she asks for the source.

Ali turns to Elena - and stays firmly between her and the door until Peter's on the far side of it. "Because I /just/ found out - and whatever Donovan is up to…" She takes a breath. "I don't /know/ what Donovan is up to. Who does? I didn't even know he'd come out of DC." But.. she moves toward the other woman, tired - "If you want to throw punches, throw punches - but /that/ Peter idly tossing out /that/ was /not/ how this was supposed to happen."

Peter didn't know it was supposed to happen another way. It's just something that bothered him. Currently, he's out of the line of fire, and looking through the kitchen for something stronger than beer. What he finds is sufficent, and he tucks the bottle into his pocket and goes about retrieving glasses. He grabs two, and then pauses a moment, and grabs a third. Elena's twenty-one now, isn't she?

"You didn't answer my question," Elena says, closing her eyes and gritting her teeth. She counts from one to ten, and a blast of calming biochemicals in her system caused her to mellow out some. But not much. "Who told you, Ali? Who told you Sylar wasn't dead? This is important. I can't trust Cyprus Donovan but you seem to believe it. I trust your sources, so I need to know -who told you- that Sylar is still alive?" Her eyes lock into Ali's, and her jaw sets.

"Peter." Ali turns to that notebook, flipping it to the back. An envelope is there, in fact - one that's pulled out, turned over in her fingers, then held out to Elena. "The other one. He asked me to get these out." And, with a faint, rather worried smile. "And mentioned I should watch my back. That's comforting, isn't it?"

With three glasses picked out, Peter drops some ice into the glasses and starts back towards the room. Bad timing perhaps, but all he really gets to hear of what Ali says is the last. Comforting? Sounds like sarcasm. He frowns visibly. And what's in the envelope.

Dark, gold-flecked eyes stare at Ali, the feral quality vanishing for a moment. Elena was very much Ramon's daughter, but what Ali tells her feels like a sharp slap across the face, much like the time Peter told her to get out of his life a couple of years ago. But as the Voice hands her the envelope, she's still gaping at her.

He lied.


The bastard LIED.

After EVERYTHING, the bastard LIED!!

Hate and fury well up inside her, and no small measure of pain. She takes the envelope from Ali's hand, and yanks the photographs from it. But her hand was twitching so spasmodically that she can't grip some of them correctly. A couple spill onto the table, and what she sees makes her sick. It was the same MO. She's seen crime scene photographs like these in the past. But it's the face that gets her. Megan Deatley.

Lachlan's estranged sister.

To her credit, she doesn't fall onto a chair in a dramatic fainting spell. She could only stare at the photographs. Any hope left, any shred of feeling left for the Peter of this time is snuffed out like a candle. Whatever hope she had of him reclaiming his more heroic self gone.

Stepping back into the room, Peter's holding the three glasses, with the bottle in his pocket and he frowns at the sight of Elena, the photographs on the table. Unknowing of what's going on in her head, just the tension, he steps forward to look down at them, and has to put down the glasses before he drops them. That— "He is still alive," he repeats softly, staring at it. That doesn't make any sense. They said he killed him— It's true that Peter had a hard time believing that he could possibly kill Sylar, considering everything— but as far as he knows the man he used to be, the one who couldn't kill, died that day, and that made sense. But… why would Sylar wait a year to reveal himself like this? With pretty much every person not in a detention camp a target for him, why now?

Ali is not, as likely is expected, unmoved. She speaks, softly - "He told me he sealed him away. That he thought it was impossible for him to return - I don't know what that means." No, she hasn't seen young-peter come back in, yet - she's worried, trying to comfort, reaching up to touch Elena's shoulder, "He's hunting him, he said. And he won't stop - and we both know he won't. He's not who he was, then. And - I wanted to sit down with you and Jack - not like this. And not here."

The why. All that was left was the why. Like why would he reveal himself like this after a year. Why would Peter LIE about this? About having killed him? He said KILLED. HE KILLED HIM. It was OVER. She balls her fist on her side. There is a brief moment in her face where she looks…well. Absolutely crushed, but the same determination is back on her face, as if the earlier face had been an illusion. The Peter she knew, the Peter standing next to her, wouldn't lie about something like this. Hell the Peter she knew wouldn't kill Sylar and not only would he not kill him, but he'd openly admit that he didn't. She sweeps the pictures into her hand.

"So with humans being shuffled off to detainment camps, most of the people walking around are Evolved. It's fucking hunting season for him now."

He lied.


She stuffs the envelope in her back pocket. "I'll tell Jack." She pauses, and digs out the other pictures and hands them to Ali, without looking at her. "Ali, spread this to our allies, will you? And the rest of the crew." She picks up the whiskey and downs the glass. It burns. But she can't get drunk anyway. She sets the glass back down on the table and starts to move, briskly, out of the meeting room.

She's not looking at him. Peter blinks, watching her move away from him, even after she downed the the glass that he had poured. It surprises him how fast she downs it, but— why isn't she looking at him? He told them it happened— as soon as he knew. He only hesitated until almost everyone was out of the room… but that doesn't— why isn't she looking at him? "Elena?"

She's leaving. His eyes follow her quietly now, and then he looks back at the pictures. He doesn't recognize the woman. He's never seen her before. But based on the calender and the broken clock… this happened a week ago. And now he feels sick. Immediately, he does drop into a chair. Not to faint, just to get off of his feet.

McAlister puts the photos away - at least tucks them in that notebook. "I'll let them know." She's methodical, careful. And she doesn't really look at Peter.. yet. "You need to go home. Back. Away. Whatever. Whatever you need to know - whatever you /think/ you need to know, you tell me. I'll find it, if I can. But you have got to get out of here." The notebook is closed, then… and she looks up to him. Sad - so common an expression, these days. "For all of us. I didn't believe in you - but I need to now."

"Don't," she says lowly, a growl at the back of her throat. Blood was thicker than water, after all. And with that, Elena steps out, striding quickly down the hall, to intercept Jack and Trina, show them the pictures she had, and what Ali told them, and while they could talk to the Petrelli faction SOMETIMES, it was impossible now. The Peter of the present can't be trusted. People died under his command, and now he can't be trusted. And after letting Jack know that Megan Deatley was dead, she turns to head to the arms cabinet. She'll grab her guns, and she'll head for the shooting range. But she doesn't give a backwards glance. Ali's words echo somewhere behind her. Her eyes burn a little, but nothing falls. She takes a deep breath, and hits the buttons of the elevator.

Sunk into his chair, Peter seems to just deflate, looking down towards the glasses with whiskey and then a glance towards the door that Elena just left through. Don't— right. But he does hear what Ali has to say, even if his throat is so thick he can barely speak, and even if his chest is so tight it hurts. He needs to leave. He needs to fix this… "I need to know what happened— who caused the storms, what— what started the war. When things happened— when's less important because… all that can change. It could happen later if we stop it one time— we have to stop what causes it. The source. Who made the tornadoes, who waged the war…" There's a hurt look to him, a tightness in his voice.

Ali nods, once. "I know most of the faces, anyway. I'll do what I can. But.. I gotta.." She shakes her head, and reaches out to grip the younger Peter's hand, a moment. "I didn't know you 'till after. And I still believe in you - maybe it's because I'm stupid, or an idealist - I don't know. But I do - you forget, sometimes. You make a lot of messes - you do things I don't get. But all that means, in the end, is that you're just like the rest of us." A slight shrug.. and she turns away.

"I need to .. get this out. Get some rest. I'll see what I can find out."

"Maybe you shouldn't," Peter says hopelessly, finally, only after she's turning away from him and leaving the room. She has to get this out— and find out what he needs to know to stop all of this from ever happening. Reaching into his pocket, he pulls out the bottle, takes one of the glasses, and goes to find a place to drink in quiet. Right now… he really needs it. And his phone won't even let him call anyone.

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