2007-03-21: The Man with the Horn Rimmed Glasses

Starring:

Mara_icon.gif Noah_icon.gif

Also appearing: The Haitian

Summary: Noah and his partner are on a mission to deliver information. They discover they're going to need to take more than than they came to give.

Date It Happened: March 21, 2007

The Man with the Horn-Rimmed Glasses


Mara's Apartment

Evening finds Detective Damaris lounging on her couch with a pint of ice cream and a CD playing. There's a glass of what could be mineral water set on the collapsible TV tray, next to a score of newspaper articles that have been carefully cut out.

The police woman is home, which requires a somewhat more direct approach than simply waiting inside. Noah and his mostly silent partner quickly discuss a plan of action. Noah simply knocks on the door, standing in plain sight, the Haitian around the corner. Noah is dressed for the office in his suit and tie, and long wool coat. Decent looking leather gloves cover his hands, and they are folded in front of him as he waits at the door.

Who the heck could that be? "Just a second!" Mara takes the time to hide the evidence of her sweet tooth by replacing it in the fridge before moving to answer the door. She pauses only briefly to grab the handgun stuffed under the throw pillow on one end of the couch, then approaches the door. "Yes? Who is it?" She peers out the hole in the door. Well, it's not Gray. But that's only one small comfort. She still doesn't recognize the man on the other side.

"Detective?" Noah asks, tilting his head to listen. "My name is Jack Butler, and I came to you because I have important information." The lies come easily, mixed with truth. "On the man who calls himself Sylar." Noah raises his hands to chest level, showing they are empty. He doesn't look directly at the peephole.

He said the magic word. Mara unlatches the deadbolt, leaving the chain on the door so she can peek out through the crack. She keeps her gun out of his line of sight. "I've been transferred from that case." The healing gashes and fading bruises on her face might have something to do with that. "I think you'd rather be talking to Detective Parkman?"

"I don't want any official involvement," Noah says, sounding genuinely frightened. "Look, I'll tell you everything I know, and you can pass it on, tell them it was an anonymous tip, whatever." Mr. Butler is almost pleading with his voice, forehead wrinkled with anxiety. "I don't want him after me again."

Mara narrows her eyes for a moment, skeptic. Finally, she relents. "All right." The door is closed again long enough for the chain to be removed, and then the detective reopens the door to allow the man entry. Her gun stays in her hand. "What can I do for you, Mister Butler?"

"You can stop him!" Noah says emphatically, his eyes wide. "Catch him, lock him away forever before he kills anyone else! I know how," Noah says, leaning a bit closer and dropping his voice, "he picks his victims."

So do I, Mara thinks, now why don't you impress me? "Go on. I'm listening." She gestures toward the couch, the unspoken invitation to make himself comfortable.

"He picks people that he thinks are special," Noah says, stepping inside slowly. He casts a wary eye towards the weapon in her hand and swallows, but says nothing. "And," Noah continues, moving past Mara and turning around to face her, "I know what he does with the brains."

That did it. Mara's eyes get wide with surprise. No way. There's no way. He's just some crackpot, right? "What does he do with the brains?" No. freaking. Way.

Noah swallows visibly and looks behind him, as if checking to make sure no one is in the apartment sneaking up on him. "He takes the brains and…he." Noah's voice drops, as if he is reluctant to go on. He doesn't give one glance past Mara towards the bald Haitian man silently approaching, a gun in his hand. "You have to promise me, my name doesn't get written down, anywhere."

"No where. I swear to you." There's a knot in the pit of Mara's stomach. She can't quite figure out why she's got this sense of growing dread. This is what she wanted, right? But something just isn't right. She turns her head and as soon as she spots the Haitian, her gun is aimed and ready. "Son of a bitch!" Safety? Off. She dances back a few steps, trying to keep both men in her line of sight, even though only one can be in the line of fire.

The Haitian stops in his tracks when she turns, but has his own gun drawn on her. "Drop the gun detective, and no one needs to get hurt," Noah says, brazen enough to reach for and draw his own gun. "Believe me when I say I don't want to kill you." The voice is no longer frightened and much colder, but is just as sincere. Both men are counting on a strange tendency in normal people to be hesitant to kill.

"I know how partners are. If I drop one of you, the other's going to be really pissed." Mara's eyes flit briefly between the two men. "You gonna be pissed if I drop your man here, Butler? Is it going to leave this hole in your life? Aching guilt? Sure, I'd be dead before he hits the floor, but then you'd have two bodies and no answers." She's counting on the assertion that they don't want her dead. "So why don't we talk about this like civilized human beings, eh?"

"We'll talk," Noah agrees, and he's smiling now and looking rather pleased with himself. "And I will tell you everything we know about Gabriel Gray, which is considerably more than the police," Noah assures the woman. The smile is quickly gone. "But I will kill you if you do not put the gun down and do exactly what I tell you."

Mara takes in a deep breath, anger more prevalent in her eyes than fear. "You show up at my home with guns drawn when all you want to do is talk? Something in this equation doesn't add up. No, I don't think I'll lay down and die so easily. My gun gets lowered only after you two do the same. I really don't want to have to do the paperwork involved in the aftermath of shooting somebody."

Noah looks to the Haitian, nods, and tilts his head towards Mara. Without a word spoken the Haitian puts his gun inside his jacket, and Noah lowers his, though does not put it away. The Haitian begins a slow advance on Mara, his hands held up in front of him.

"Stay the hell away from me!" Mara warns, tightening her finger on the trigger. She doesn't waver, aimed for his upper torso in what would likely be a fatal shot, if she took it. While the detective wouldn't exactly classify herself as normal, she does find herself hesitant to kill all the same.

"The last 10 minutes should do just fine," Noah says, his smile returned. The Haitian doesn't need physical contact, through proximity helps with precision. He stops with an intent look on his face, trying to reach for the woman's mind. There is no sensation accompanying it, for the memory of the invasion is erased the moment it happens.

"What are you- Oh fu-" By the time Mara realizes what's about to happen to her, it's too late. She stumbles back and stares straight ahead in shock. Her arms drop to her side and the gun actually slips from her fingers. By some miracle, it doesn't go off when it hits the floor.

Noah keeps his gun on the woman, watching her carefully, the smug air of confidence gone. He nods at the Haitian, and his partner bends over to pick up the detective's gun and hand it to Noah. "It's confusing, I know," Noah says. "But I do intend to give you all the information we have on Gabriel Gray. I'm not allowed to kill Sylar," Noah says. "But I'll settle for behind bars for life."

"What the hell just-" Mara rubs her face with a quiet groan before it registers that she's not alone. "Who the hell are you?" She almost looks more confused than she does scared. "Gray…? What's going on? Did… Was I unconscious?" Shit. Another blackout? Didn't Mohinder fix those?

"Sit down, Detective Damaris," Noah says, and he points with his gun towards the couch offered earlier. "Trust me when I say it doesn't matter. We're going to have a little information exchange, and then we'll leave you to enjoy the rest of your evening." Noah makes a show of removing the ammunition from her weapon.

Now the fear sets in. Thick and entirely unsettling. Mara makes a point of splaying her fingers out in front of her, out of habit, even though they all know she's unarmed. With slow, deliberate steps, she moves to the couch and sits down. "I don't understand."

Noah gives the Haitian a look. Just how much did you take? With a quiet sigh he moves to stand in front of Mara, facing the couch. "My friend here took your memory. I'm telling you this because I want you to understand, and because he's going to do it again when we leave. You won't remember us or anything about this visit, but you will have a list of every Sylar victim as well as potential targets. In exchange you'll tell us everything you know about Sylar, or Gabriel Gray."

"Oh no… No, no, no." That's terror. Mara scrambles off the couch and back toward the kitchen. "I'm not telling you a damn thing! You're with-" She stops in mid-sentence, eyes wide. Oh shit, I've said too much already. "I've /got/ a list. And I /know/ why he does it. You've nothing to offer me in exchange."

"Perhaps you've misunderstood my pleasant nature," Noah says with his smile. "It wasn't a request." He starts a slow pace of the room, examining it. "You see, my daughter is in danger. And there's nothing I wouldn't do to protect her. Nothing." Noah picks up one of the pictures in a gloved hand, examining it. "I'm sure your parents would understand. You can start by telling me who you think I'm with."

Mara doesn't hesitate to answer, "The Company." Back, back, back… To the kitchen. Get some counters between you, Mara. Get a knife. Get something. Get anything. "Your daughter. Who is she? I can protect her."

"That's far enough Detective," Noah says, raising his weapon and pointing it at her. "I hate to repeat myself, but I will shoot you, and I don't blame you for forgetting. Memory," he says, putting the picture face down where he found it, "Is a tricky thing. What would it be like, do you think, to completely forget that you ever even had a mother?" Noah asks. "Tragedies can be avoided, however. Who told you about the Company?"

Mara stops in her tracks, eyes flitting to the Haitian, then back to Noah. "Hiro Nakamura." Would it do her any good to lie? Maybe. But her desire not to lose the memories of her family, especially what little she can remember of her parents being together? It's not worth the risk. "He came to me to tell me about Gray, and felt the need to warn me about the Company." Can't imagine /why/.

That misguided man-child is far more trouble that he's worth. "He has a big mouth. Especially considering his father is part of the so called Company. Let her remember that," Noah adds in an aside to the Haitian, not taking his eyes off her. "We have the same goals. We both want Sylar stopped, for the public good. Did he do that to you?"

Mara nods slowly. "You don't have to do this," she begs. "If our goals are the same, then you've nothing to fear from me. From letting me keep my memories." She starts to tremble. "I want him locked up." That's a lie. She'd sooner see him dead than locked up.

"I want him dead, but I'll settle for that," Noah says with a tip of his head to one side. Even when he isn't bearing one, the air of a smile hovers around him. "Hiro Nakamura already organized one attack against us. I think your life will be much simpler if you never knew we existed. Hopefully when if we ever meet for the first time again, it will be under better conditions. I'm really not so bad, once you get to know me." Noah nods at the Haitian again, and they both advance on her now. The Haitian to remove all knowledge of himself and Noah, and Noah to give the detective her gun back.

The Company men do the one thing that Gabriel Gray has been unsuccessful at. They get Mara to scream. Fight or flight kicks in and Damaris takes off running, a desperate dash for the front door.

"Grab her!" Noah orders, and he attempts to intercept the woman himself and trip her up. They just need to stop her for a few moments, long enough for the Haitian to do what he does best.

Mara shrieks and struggles when Noah manages to grab hold of her. "Let go of me! Let go! You don't have to do this! DON'T!" She thrashes about furiously, opting for fight now that flight has failed her so miserably.

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