2010-01-09: Serious Firepower



Date: January 9, 2010


Two individuals with Company ties have a meeting.

"Serious Firepower"

Deveaux Building - Elle Bishop's Apartment

Right and wrong, crime and punishment…what's the point anymore? It's all subjective anyway. Alternately a brigand, a knight, a petty thief, a philanthropist, and most recently, a Yakuza boss, Adam Monroe is in the Deveaux Building quite aware of the recent tragic happenings. The black vans outside aren't half as inconspicuous as the agents inside would hope, and he's sure as shit taking a risk by being here. But, Elle's information has been lost to time, and he wants her help.

Most criminals wear all black; only Adam would wear an all black designer suit and silk shirt, however. The familiar weight of his sword on his back is replaced by the hefty weight of a large caliber handgun in a shoulder harness. His methods are neither subtle or honorable, as the criminal takes over, and he breaks into Elle's apartment with a few hard kicks on the door. "Oy, I'm in a world of trouble when she sees what I've done to her door," he says to the empty apartment, as he sinks into a chair in the dark and waits, staring at the slit of light coming in through the open door.

In recent days, Elle Bishop has found herself in a routine: wake up, go to work, come home, sleep, repeat. It's quiet, it's mundane… and it's normal, which is exactly what she was going for. This isn't to say there aren't moments when she looks over her shoulder or gets a chill when someone looks at her the wrong way, but overall, Elle has been feeling secure for a while. Tonight, though? Tonight she doesn't feel so secure— at least, not once she has her front door in sight. Her hand closes tightly around the strap of her purse, her demeanor shifting to a much more cautious one now. She does not call out, however, nor does she barrel straight through the door. Sticking close to the wall, she sucks in a breath and holds it in her lungs, side-stepping towards the door, listening close for any sound of movement inside. Only when she's convinced herself that no boogeyman is going to leap out into the hallway guns blazing does she nudge the door open with her foot, just enough to allow her through.

Inside the dim apartment, clad in all black, he'd be hard to see. With just the light from the hall to illuminate from the front, and the dim streetlight admitted through the windows by the curtains and shades, Elle would be likely to see only a moving silhouette. Someone is in here. That someone is standing up. Not approaching, not reaching for anything, but standing. It's a calculated move. He knows this woman, to a degree; knows what she can do, knows a little about how she thinks, how she feels. Though she may claim she wants to be normal, Adam doesn't think that's the life for Elle. She's been used too many times, by her father, one of the many betrayers. Elle's been made into a weapon throughout her whole life, and he's here to see how hair-trigger she is.

The answer, is it turns out, is 'very.' Perhaps a year or so ago she might respond differently - pull her punches, call out instead of attacking - but Elle lives a very solitary life now. Some time ago, she had acquaintances who would drop into her apartment in a similarly unexpected way, but not now. They haven't been here in a very long time. That's why, when Elle sees Adam stand up, she lashes out with a sudden arc of electricity aimed straight for her intruder's chest. It isn't a shot meant to kill, but it's certainly meant to knock him off his feet, if possible.

Knock him off his feet it does! The dazzling blue arc of high-voltage death blazes out, illuminating the apartment for a moment, and enveloping the intruder's features in dark shadow, lit from below. Practiced aim ensure he's struck clear in the chest…and the force of the arc sends him backward. Adam's lifted off the floor a few inches and propelled back into the wall, where he sinks into a hump. The silk shirt is burned clear through, smoldering and smoking about the edges of the clean circular hole; the skin underneath is charred and blacked, but as he lies there, it begins to repair itself. "My word, I'd forgotten how terribly that stings!" he comments, dryly, standing back up. Hopefully, the sound of his voice will bring some recollection, with its English accent and all.

Recollection indeed, if the hissed curse that escapes Elle's mouth is any indication. The arc which struck Adam is long gone, but a pale light still remains, emanating from a small spark crackling in her palm. Without tearing her eyes from the man's form, she steps to the side and uses her free hand to flick the light switch. "You broke my door," she replies (with no shortage of bitterness), narrowing her eyes. Elle has no intention of getting closer to him, and should he try to approach her, the spark in her hand will grow more intense for every inch closer he gets. "What the hell do you want?"

Holding his hands out, palms facing Elle, he approaches…a bit, until he sees that spark getting bigger. "Can't two folks who were manipulated and used by the Company have a nice sit down? As for the door…well, I'm terribly impatient, what with the abundance of government surveillance outside this building. Or have you not noticed?" In the actual light of the apartment, she's able to see that the skin under the hole in the shirt is just as healthy and vibrant as ever, albeit 400 some years old. "You're not the first person from the Company to contact me, you know…" he starts to say, but gives her a moment to process the other stuff.

"I've noticed." Really, it's hard not to notice the way her building is watched - which is why Elle has tried, as much as possible, to be inconspicuous. She might be on a list somewhere, but she can hold out for reasonable doubt, can't she? It's why she carries a stun gun with her at all times: plausible deniability. "I stopped worrying about the Company a long time ago. I left them alone, they left me alone, life went on." A sardonic little smirk starts at the edge of her mouth, and though the blue light in her palm doesn't dissipate, Elle seems to allow some of the tension to leave her muscles. "You, though. Still holding a grudge?"

"Oh, as much as 30 years in their dungeon justifies. I've managed to move on, for the most part. However, I fear there is a bigger enemy out there. And despite what your father might have said to you in the past, somewhere, in this mess of oft-shredded organs, I do have a heart." The look she gives him is practically mirrored on his face. Across the width of her apartment, two of the people spurned by the Company stare each other down. "Candice Willmer and I have been making plans. Plans to dismantle Alpha Protocol in only the way that folks with our…unique qualifications can. Your name rapidly came to mind when thinking of serious firepower."

The name 'Candice' seems to resonate with Elle in a significant way, her expression changing briefly as she thinks of her old friend and confidant. Drawing in a breath, Elle leans against the door to push it closed as far as she can given the damage done when Adam broke in. "I was wondering what happened to her," she admits, her back still pressed against the door. The small ball of electricity finally crackles once and disappears, allowing her to fold her arms over her chest as she regards Adam with a seemingly disinterested gaze. "I'm out of the game, Monroe. I'm trying to stay the hell away from all of it."

"From the looks of those vans outside, you're not long from being pulled back in. I don't know if you've seen the news lately, but…the former director of Alpha Protocol is dead. The new one keeled over at the podium today. That puts who knows who in line for the position next. Petrelli Goes to Washington was there at the press conference today. I suspect he may be involved somehow." While he speaks, he paces a bit, clutching his hands behind his back. He wears a serious expression, as he thinks, like Elle, he'd been changing for the better. His efforts in the past to spread his gift, to turn his ability to heal into a miracle cure for the entire world, denied; now, the people he would once have striven to help, wrangled those with gifts and labeling them terrorists.

"I'm offering you a way to make a difference…to act before they capture you, Elle. And while I'm sure you'll put up one hell of a fight, they'll come at you in numbers, over and over, when you sleep, when you work, until you're hooded and drugged Rumor has it, they've got a drug now, one that neutralizes powers temporarily. Rene in a dart, as it were. You can make a difference now, help others like that, and then I can pay for you to fade away into obscurity on your own tropical island, should it come to that."

"Sounds like an easy way to get myself killed." Pushing away from the door, Elle steps further into the apartment, though she keeps her eyes on Adam the entire time. Memory allows her to get to the sofa without needing to look, and she settles down slowly, still somewhat on edge. "What makes you think they're coming for me? Other than the vans." She sinks back into the sofa, dropping her hands into her lap. "They haven't tried anything. Maybe they're just watching. And I'm fine with that, because I'm not going to do anything stupid that'll land me in their crosshairs." Other than, say, zapping an intruder pretty fiercely before she had even ascertained that it was someone she knew. This is clearly a mantra she has practiced many times, as if convincing herself.

"Are you unfamiliar with the fact that they've taken to kidnapping children? And foreigners?" Oh yes, in his investigation and through his informants, Adam's quite positive about both facts. Though, YouTube isn't exactly a secret. "I very seriously doubt they're going to let someone like you slip through the cracks Elle. You might be low priority now because you've been living a "normal" life, but I guarantee they've not forgotten you." And yes, he does the air quotes around normal. Then, he spins, and flashes her a dazzling, oh-so-debonair smile. "And really Elle, dying is quite hard to do when you're with me."

Though nothing he says appears to surprise Elle in the least, she listens attentively enough to suggest that she hadn't heard such rumors about the Alpha Protocol before. "Like I said, I stay away from all of this. I don't talk to anyone, I don't watch the news, I don't have conspiracy theories." Rolling her shoulders in a shrug, Elle lets out a short sigh. "I'm not stupid. I know they aren't going to forget me. I figured if I didn't give them a reason to think I was dangerous any more, they'd leave me alone. So far? It's working." It isn't much of a thread of hope, but at least it's there. "If they're so big and bad, what makes you think you can take them on? What's your big plan?"

"Well, Candice has been…working her particular brand of magic on a number of individuals. Angela Petrelli. Nathan Petrelli. George Dawson. The latter two of which have developed their own teams to aid in the effort. We've a good flow of information, and now, as I've said, we need to collect the firepower. As for the specifics, I'm afraid I can't share those with you until I know you're on board, Elle. You know I've been burned too many times before by giving out information before I get my payment." Leaving her to muse on that, Adam meanders to a window, displaying the shade slightly, to look out at the street, black van clearly in sight.

He hasn't given her much of a choice. By coming here, by standing at the window just to make certain that those in the van know who he was here to see, he has pulled her back into this world and jeopardized her safety. Even if she rejects his offer, it's likely that those watching will assume there is some allegiance here. Unfair, but a wise tactic on Adam's part, and Elle doesn't seem to like it one bit. "I need to think about it," she says stubbornly, shaking her head. "Have anyone else in mind? You, me and Candice don't make much of an army."

"There's…a few, yes. I've got some more old friends from the Company days to visit yet." Prime candidate being Peter Petrelli…oh, but if only cameras recorded invisible men! "Of course, take your time," Adam says with a solemn nod. "Should you need it…" he starts, reaching into his pocket. From within, he produces a small business card; on it is a few kanji characters on one side, and on the other a hand-written phone number. "Until then, I've got some steel to find before I'll feel completely comfortable. Oh, and, because I did smash your door in…" Adam says with a guilty smile, as he pulls out a few benjamins, and hands 5 of them to Elle. "That…should about cover it, I think."

Elle takes the money and slides it into her pocket without so much as a thank you. After all, he really did bust in her door - and for someone convinced that Alpha Protocol will come for her, he's not doing much to help keep her safe. "I'll get in touch in a couple days to see who else you get," she says, which is as much of an assention as he's likely to get, at least for tonight. "And next time? Spare me the property damage and call. I don't need the peeping toms thinking that I'm cavorting with old enemies of the Company, thanks."

"Right…right. I can tell you how much of a pleasure it's been Elle. I would've called tonight, but I don't exactly have your phone number, you know." Having said his piece, he doesn't save any time in making for the door, which is much easier to exit than to enter. A few days to get all the duckies in order to get Elle on board with the whole idea. The hair-trigger's there, oh that's for certain; question is, what does he have to do to load the gun.

Once he's out of her apartment, Elle takes a moment to tip her head back against the sofa and exhale deeply, her eyes drifting closed. She'd done well enough staying away from all of this for so long, but it had to catch up with her eventually. "Adam Monroe," she says with a shake of her head, accompanied by a sardonic laugh. "Interesting." She didn't expect it to be him. Alone again, Elle rises from the sofa to finally remove her jacket and boots, then sets about rigging a temporary blockade to make up for her damaged door. So much for her quiet, "normal" life.

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