2007-08-11: DF: Selection


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Logan and Cass have a heart to heart.

August 11th, 2009:


An Undisclosed Office

It's been a few days since Cass was last afforded a personal presidential meeting of any kind. She might gain the hint, however, that she will be getting another one, as security on occasion passes by her window, not making eye contact - simply covering the area. At least, it's not Jadens. Abruptly, at a time unknown to Cass, as the lights never do change to indicate night or day, the door swings open, a man in a suit and an earpiece and likely armed to the teeth steps into her room. "Ms. Aldric," comes the strangely formal, almost polite greeting. "You're being relocated."

Though it may seem like Cass is just curled up on her small prison style cot, really she's alert. Waiting for any sort of information or weakness to exploit. Unfortunately, there are none that she has been able to find. Whatever time it is, it's been awhile since she slept and even then it's hard for her, what with Benjamin messing with her schedule as a strange and horrible form of torture. Unfortunately for them, it's made her more snappish and uncooperative as opposed to less. She's cranky. Not being fooled by phony politeness or anything of the sort, she frowns, but doesn't pull herself up. "What, am I finally being awarded the Royal Suite?"

"You're being summoned to meet the President," the agent says, tone reasonable sounding, as if Cass's snippishness is totally misplaced. And why oh why doesn't Petrelli wish to meet her down here, as he had a certain other human countless times? That's for Cass to ponder upon, as the agent doesn't elaborate, just waits for to get up. Or not get up. Either way.

"What, he doesn't want to get his new shoes scuffed?" Cass knows the drill, but that doesn't mean she's going to make it any easier for the poor agent. Maybe he's trying to do his job, but that job is to work for an evil dictator. Who knows why Nathan doesn't want to meet her down here, but that doesn't make her curious. It makes her annoyed. She makes no move to get up or to follow him.

No reply. A few patient moments pass, before the agent starts to move in on her, apparently under orders to do that relocation whether she wanted to or not. Another agent (call him Second Agent) steps inside too, holding a pair of handcuffs, the metal clicking together as he opens one, as First Agent reaches out a hand to grip her arm and pull her upright.

While Cass makes no move to help the Agents, she doesn't exactly fight them. It's a waste of energy and the last thing she really wants is to be handcuffed. When yanked up to a standing position, she just glowers at both Second and First agent. "So, where am I being summoned to?" Any move to put handcuffs on her will be met with struggling.

They attempt, at first, to simply guide her towards the door, out into the corridor, both of them still gripping her arms until she complies. Perhaps under orders to treat her less like a prisoner, despite the surroundings, despite the very obvious prisoner-like situation in which she finds herself. "Somewhere a little more comfortable, Ms. Aldric," is the explanation she gets.

As soon as it's clear that they're not going to handcuff her, Cass is a little easier to guide through the corridors. This is something new at least, it gives her a chance to take a better view of her surroundings, where she's being kept. When she was brought in, she was in a coma and didn't get a chance. Something to remember for later, or should she ever get her chance. "Well. I've got to say, your room service sucks." Doesn't mean she's not going to be snippish.

That it does, Cass. That it does. The corridor boasts rows and rows of doors just like the one she was brought out of, although the windows are either took dark to see into, or obviously empty. Everything is cement, metal, and cold, and their footsteps echo hollowly throughout this abandoned setting. No windows are passed, but when they go up a level, the floor - it even has carpeting! Almost like an office space, this area of the building is far less foreboding than its basement, and she's lead into a room. The windows have some sort of cover over the outside, but the lighting is sufficient that all corners may be seen. It's almost like a staff lounge area, a couch and a table, though otherwise spartan.

Cass is urged inside, and the door is closed and locked behind her, the agents breaking away to take up positions near the corners. A bold move, seeing as they never did handcuff her - and Logan is right there, waiting for her, casually leaning against the table and turning pages of an open folder placed on the wooden surface. His right arm tightly bound in its sling, he uses his left hand, and he's dressed in a button down shirt and formal slacks - not full out tie and suit ensemble today. "Morning, Cass," he greets her, casual as you please.

While they walk, Cass soaks everything in that she says. When she gets out of here (when, not if) this is definitely something for her to tell the others should they need to break anyone else out. That and, well, it's nice to just be out of her cell after being cooped up there for so long. Once she's taken into Logan's office, she frowns, eyes sliding from the two guards to Logan. As if she's deciding how easy it could be to attack him. At the moment, not so good. "My, don't you look like one of your campaign ads today." It's not exactly small talk, but it's laced with false sincerity. "It looks like something happened to your arm, Mr. President."

These terrorists and their complimenting his appearance. Talk about your mixed signals. "You look like you could be having better days," Logan says, casting her an insincere smile. "My arm is nothing for you to worry about." Aside from the sling, there aren't any visible signs of bandaging, or pain from the country leader. "It's been a while, here was me thinking you'd be all too happy to see an old friend."

Keeping the evil dictators on their toes, it's what Cass has been doing for about two years. "Hm, I can't imagine why." Of course she has had better days. She hasn't been locked in a cell and had someone interrupt her sleep for days on end. "Oh, believe me, I'm not worried. I'm a little sad that whatever it is wasn't a little more fatal." Even if there's no other sign of pain, she hopes that it's all but unbearable and he's managing to keep it behind a mask. "Well, if you have someone who's actually a friend of mine hiding in your desk, then I'm sure I'd be glad to see him. What do you want from me?"

Logan chuckles once, as hey, it was a good comeback, and then he abruptly slides the file over in her direction, the papers stopping short of the edge of the table. "To finish the work of Mohinder Suresh," he says. "To be part of the team, Ms. Aldric." Because for him, addressing her like so is far more comfortable. He knows Cass, the way Nathan knew her, but it wasn't him that forged such a friendship. He was just the one that severed it.

The switching between being called Cass and Ms. Aldric does throw her a little. Nathan never called her Ms. anything. Not even when they first met. But, he's trying to be his working Presidential self, which explains why he switched to the more formal name. Frowning, her heads tilt a little. She caught that inflection. "What did you do to Mohinder?" Because if he was still around, they wouldn't need her any more. She's pretty sure she knows the answer to this question, but she has to make sure.

Sharp one, isn't she. Logan seems to consider how to answer this question, before he chooses the most direct form of answer. "I shot him until he was dead," he says, frankly, emotionlessly. The security guards stand as stoic as ever. "This is what happens when people with nothing to bargain with cease to be cooperative."

Though Cass and Mohinder were never friends, the news still hits her like a physical slap. The woman clenches her fists and the vague disinterested and glowering look turns into a full out glare at Logan. This man (or at least Nathan) was /her friend/. A man she trusted who is now reduced to nothing more than a cold-blooded murderer. There are no tears in her eyes or grief related yells, instead, her voice is very low, the anger impossible to suppress. "You're worse than a monster, Nathan. Monsters inspire heros sometimes. You only make more monsters."

At least she knows what she's dealing with. The corner of Logan's mouth lifts in the slightest of smiles, as if trying to modestly hold back is pleasure at a compliment, but it only goes as far as his mouth. His gaze on her is utterly detached. "Heroes do nothing but slow down progress," he says. "They're stupid, idealistic, and get in the way for what, glory? Temporary peace? As far as I can see it, monsters are what's required, and I'm the only one prepared to be one. This new world was never going to be a painless process."

"This /new world/?" Cass shakes her head, once, violently. "You're deluded! And worse, you're an idiot." Whoever this is, he's no longer the Nathan she knew. Not on TV and not in person. This is someone completely different from the man she would drink Merlot with. He's a sociopath. "You understand nothing of the human condition. The last thing the world needs is more monsters, more killers, more evil. What it needs is inspiration and heroes. People trapped in a corner will fight back far more readily and violently than you could ever imagine. If you wanted to change this world, you should have used honey, not vinegar."

He seems to be listening, and when she finishes, silence descends. Then he smiles, and lifts a hand - his left hand - to sort of gesture towards her with a flick of his index finger. "Suresh and I had many a conversation just like this one," he says, voice full of warning. "Leave running the country to the professionals, Ms. Aldric. You feel cornered, then fight all you want, but remember there's only one way that can end. You won't escape here on your terms. Work with us, and maybe you'll be able to see the outside of these walls again. You'll be able to see your husband again. Your daughter."

He may seem to be listening, but Cass knows better now. This man doesn't feel anything, he only manipulates emotions to try and get a desired result. "I would, but the professionals are clearly Nazis." All they need is Indiana Jones to save them all now. "And I know better than to negotiate with terrorists. You killed Mohinder after, I'm sure, he worked for you for two years. You probably made him the exact same promise. I'm not a person to you and as soon as I'd give you what you want, you'd kill me." It's not a maybe in her mind. It's a fact. "I've seen what you do to people who give up their bargaining chip. And my chip right now is my information. I'm not about to give it up just because you bring up the old friend connection and threaten that I'll never see my family again."

"FINE," Logan snaps, sudden and loud, a flash of anger, of true colours. Impatience, maybe, or perhaps his shoulder is starting to bother him, or Cass's stubbornness is clashing with his. All of the above is the likeliest. He takes his weight off the table and snatches up the file - the papers of research are then pushed dismissively against her chest with a haughty slap. "You work with me, you die someday. You fight me, you die quicker. Enjoy those options, they're all you got left in this world."

There's a stunned silence from Cass for a moment when Logan snaps and erupts in anger. True colors are always so refreshing to see when on a man such as him. Then, a sort of smile spreads across her face - more of a smirk than anything else. She's seen through Logan's facade. Even better, she's cracked it a little. "We'll see about that." She doesn't think those are her only options. Not at all. When papers are slapped against her chest, she wasn't quite expecting that. Her attempt to catch them instinctively fails, and while she manages to keep some of them in that file, others scatter to the floor. That doesn't seem to bother her, though. And she doesn't move to pick them up.

And neither does Logan, who just levels a cold glare at her. He was content in seeming like that - ice cold, collected, but there's only so much of that to go around when you were near created out of anger and grief. However, his composure is restored - as if a switch is flicked - and his good hand comes up to brush the backs of his knuckles down Cass's jaw, a far more intimate gesture than he has any right to. Again, nothing Nathan would ever have tried, even to disturb her. "I guess we will," he says, with a hint of a smile. "Until next time, Ms. Aldric." He moves to leave the room.

That smirks stays in place only a short while as Cass gets the cold glare from Logan. Then, it melts into something akin to the other man's face, except with more emotion easily readable there. Anger and pride that she's not about to give up to this man. However, the moment that he brushes his knuckles across her jaw, there's something else that flashes across her face, impossible to repress. Fear. This is not her friend, this is someone dangerous and unpredictable. When he moves to leave the room, she makes no move or gesture to stop him. In fact, she's glad that he puts some distance between them. A good excuse to not look at him any more are the papers on the floor, which she slowly lowers her gaze to take in.

Graphs, reports, numbers and diagrams and who knows what else? Theory, genetics, and something else. The words "Artificial Selection" make up a heading, a list of names both female and male, carriers? On the floor and in her hands, it's all a mess and out of order, but the jist is there. Cass has gotten some reading material. Alone now, in the room with two silent security guards, there's nothing else left to do.

Meanwhile, Logan moves through the hallways, and somehow, Nathan's angry, stony silence is far more distracting than any argument, insult, plea.

It only takes a few glances for Cass to tell what this information that she has been given is. Artificial Selection. Lists for names. This is just wrong. /Wrong/. Alone in the room, without knowing what else to do, she slowly lowers herself down to scoop up what she's supposed to be reading and just stares at it. She knew things were bad, but this is human experimentation. Flipping through a few of the pages, she stops not even halfway through, already feeling ill. Even if the pages are out of order, she knows what the rest of it will hold. No matter what, she's not about to help with this.

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