2009-10-01: Rallying The Outsiders



Date: October 1st, 2009


Joel receives some insight, warnings and orders.

"Rallying the Outsiders"

Company Headquarters

New York City

The room is dim, lit by the blue glow of many screens. The security and surveillance room. It's small, cramped, but it doesn't have to be huge; there are screens and computers enough. There's no need to move around. Just stand, sit, stare. At present, a technician sits in a corner, overseeing many video feeds that spy upon all corners of the headquarters under and around Yamagato here in Manhattan. He's not alone; Angela Petrelli is also paying a visit. The door to the corridor is ajar and her stately figure in a black, white-trimmed pantsuit can be seen standing in front of one of the larger screens, left of the entrance. Lit by the ghostly electronic glow of the screen, the chairwoman wears dour, serious expression as she stares ahead. Must be Thursday.

For the last few months, Joel has spent more and more time here at the headquarters, making use of the facilities and spending the majority of his time training and practicing. He makes use of what's available to him, a certain measure of seriousness causing something of a work ethic to form. Not in his usual jeans and t-shirt, he's actually wearing black combat fatigues with some padding for protection. Yet he does still take breaks, and it's during one of those that he's seen walking down that same hallway.

Sure he'd been up and down this hall before, but not with that door open to that side room. It's enough to cause his step to hitch faintly as he walks, a brow quirking and his gaze lingering upon the inner-workings of that electronics closet in curiosity. In his time here, though, he's learned not to let his curiosity rule him so he presses on. He wipes a forearm over his sweaty brow as if trying to wipe away the thought of 'Oh hey, that's neat' from his mind.

"Mr. Nelson." Did Angela even glance into the hall to see the man? Regardless, she's calling him now, phrased as a command. Few people ignore the tone of authority in the voice of Mrs. Petrelli. The woman's countenance isn't entirely stark when she does turn to Joel, however. No, her elegantly aging face has a smile on it as she nudges the door open a few inches more, although there's no denying the fact that she's calling him in for some purpose. Angela is never without purpose. "Step in for a minute, why don't you. I'd like to talk to you."

She can probably see the way his brow knits together, the momentary hint of surprise mingled with wariness. It's shunted away almost instantly, replaced with a featureless expression of calm. Into the room he steps easily enough, making sure not to interfere with the progress of matters within and taking up a place suitably out of the way before Angela. His body language isn't at attention, considering he's not really a military sort, but there's that impression of utter focus as he looks at her. "Yes, ma'am?"

Clasping her hands behind her neatly, Angela goes back to facing the screen in front of her once Joel has obeyed. She focuses on it, examining it, even as she speaks to him. The screen seems to be some kind of satellite feed positioned over the United States; certain points are lit up like stars and each point has what looks like a file number. "I read your last report," she says almost conversationally. Not quite. "I must say, I was surprised with that level of impetus, coming from you."

"Oh, uh, yeah." Joel's caught a bit off guard. So he finally submitted a report, his first one in fact, a contact report even. She might catch his first instinctive motion to lift a hand awkwardly towards the back of his neck, but he catches the motion and instead again inflicts that veneer of calm upon himself. He meets her gaze evenly then gives a nod. "Yes, ma'am. Was a surprise. Not something I went looking for, but seemed a bit evident, considering." He's at least learned not to ramble or offer too much until asked further, so he remains standing there before her with that focus in place.

"I'd like to think it means you're committed." The woman remains poised as a board as she continues to along the squared shoulder of her finely-tailored jacket, arching a dark brow at Joel. "Mr. Maddox will be watched. Thank you." Angela seems vaguely dismissive of the case itself, however. She turns back to the screen and intense gaze narrows. "There's something happening, Joel, something that you'll be involved in whether you're ready or not."

"Something, ma'am?" He doesn't press much harder than that for information. Joel just keeps his calm blue eyes level upon Angela, though there is a faint hint of inquisitiveness to the curve of his brow. Perhaps it's his first encounter with such Cryptic Talk, but then again probably not. She might not be able to detect the amount of control it's taking for him to not look all over the room at the pretty LED lights and LCD monitors flickering hither and yon, but he's managing somehow.

"You see this point here?" Angela reaches out and taps the screen on a vague area between Virginia and Maryland, one ruby-painted nail audibly rapping on the glass. That particular starry point flickers every so often, disappearing off the map. "That's one of our agents. Maxwell Swan. Presumably. He's one of several people with abilities who have gone missing in recent times, and I suspect he won't be the last." The matriarch turns all the way around to face Joel, her arms crossing under the neat V of her suit. Angela's pointed gaze misses nothing; she focuses on the young man, taking every singular shift in his demeanour. "We'll need all our personnel to work together on this."

When she makes that gesture, Joel's eyes follow over to it, focus, then almost immediately return back to her as she continues. His eyes narrow faintly at the name, then he gives a small nod of acceptance at the pronouncement. "Understood, ma'am." He seems to expect something further, however. Usually he doesn't get involved in this end of things, by the time he's called in all the sniffing and seeking's already done.

"You've been in the background and for your particular set of skills, that won't change," Angela explains levelly. "But be ready. Someone is tracking people with abilities and it's not us. Max was one of our strongest agents." Perhaps she's trying to plant a seed of fear in the young man before her, but she speaks nothing but the dire truth. "You might act as a useful silent partner when we investigate further."

As he listens to her his gaze doesn't waver, all the easier to see when that ghost of surprise or even doubt flickers over his features for a bare moment. Instead of voicing his thoughts, however, he simply gives a short precise nod. His hands resting at his sides, he lets the moment linger before he says, "I'll be where I'm needed." Much as he's always said, then he adds. "Was there anything further, ma'am?"

"You have contact with Jaren Maddox, see if you can't continue it for as long as he's in the city. At this point, I'm not worried about him being a threat, but the more we find out the better. Medical was concerned." Angela abruptly turns around and goes back to studying the screen. She hovers a hand over the keyboard beneath it — technology is not her strong point — and presses a key. The screen scrolls past North America, zooming over the sea. A shining point is illuminated in Greece. "That'll be all."

When her attention shifts from him, Joel's expression shifts as well. He looks momentarily puzzled, faintly surprised, and even a touch dismayed. With furrowed brow he nods again, then turns away to leave from the room. But he does not leave before he offers a level, "Yes, ma'am." And with that he begins his departure back out into the hallway.

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