2008-04-05: The Meanwhile

Starring:

Angela_icon.gif FuturePeter_icon.gif Mariska_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif

Summary: The three, the free, the tea. Peter, Mariska and Felix hone in on the real location of Angela Petrelli and make a coast-to-coast trip to determine the direction of the future for a certain family or two.

Date It Happened: April 5th, 2008

The Meanwhile


Redwood City

California

Evening. A building that is both quaint and modern, the main headquarters of Redwood Technology is about seven stories tall and the colour of a redwood tree. That's the idea; in truth, it looks more like dark adobe. Green-tinted windows are fitted on every floor. Away from the main city, the offices are nestled on a hill with a backdrop of forest.

Quaint.

Angela Petrelli sits up sharply after an an unwelcome sleep, bloodshot eyes wild as she shoots up from the surface of a desk. The desk, small and made of glossy dark wood, is tucked against the wall; a stack of books and a journal, along with writing implements, sit on nearby. Beside her, beneath the tinted window overlooking the dark blur of California forest, is a cot. Quilt, sheets, pillows; it's made immaculately. She clutches the edge of the desk, looking around the empty room in shock and rare fear, taking in the sight of every corner and shadow. Angela is dressed neatly, but she looks like death.

Outside the top floor room, two men stand by. A third paces boredly. They all have CONFERENCE passes on their person, perhaps an excuse for why this floor is cordoned off from the rest of the building.

Split into two places, Peter is only faintly aware of the other location that he inhabits. Just a vague image in the back of his mind, a knowledge that something is there, and that his replicant isn't panicked or bothered, and may even be enjoying himself, as much as any clone of Peter Petrelli can. The presence of the young girl next to him might actually increase that connection more than he's used to.

"We'll be teleporting directly into a hallway. I'll be there with you, but I'm going to try to keep out of sight. The priority is my mother, but don't hesitate to defend yourselves. I'll also help if it's necessary." That's the most warning they get before his hands rest on their shoulders, and they shift forcefully from one place to another. Quieter than Mariska's teleporting, it doesn't displace things quite as badly, but when they no longer feel his hands, he's simply not there anymore either. Or he actually is, he's just not visible.

But they aren't alone in the hallway. With two men standing by and a third pacing.

Fair enough. Felix and Mariska have done this sort of thing once before — if only once — so it stands to reason that the second time around with an invisible third wheel might make things run a bit more smoothly. If their arrival hasn't been noticed immediately, the Russian teleporter does her best to escalate the alert… by acting casual. She simply strolls down the hallway direct for the door just as natural as you please. She's supposed to be here, see. She's not going to flinch an inch or bat a lash even as she passes by man who's pacing directly in front of her. They're going to stop her, of course, but that's all a part of the plan…

Fel is armed, not with his faithful Sig, but with some cheap Russian knockoff he's managed to grub up during their travels. Misha has… some amazing resources in their native land. But he's following her lead, trotting along just a hair behind Misha like he's her faithful attendant. Perhaps this can be done with a minimum of violence. That'd be just awesome. He's in a suit, and overcoat, utterly pokerfaced. Not the droids you're looking for.

Angela hurriedly switches the lamp on. It's small, new, halogen — its soft white light is ghostly in the otherwise dark room. Her eyes are sunken, hollow, and the light isn't the only reason her skin is pale. She slowly gets up out of her chair and turns around to face the door, expectant and cautious.

"Excuse me, this is the wrong floor," the on-the-move guard firmly informs Mariska and Felix, out in the well-lit, green-carpeted hall. He follows. "You're not allowed to be up here." The visitors get an eyeing from the stationary men as well. "Conference attendees only."

That would make things easy, wouldn't it? Peter watches a few feet behind them, checking the elevator for impending back up, watching to see if any of them reach for a walkie-talkie or a cellphone. No actions are taken by the invisible back up. Not yet.

While Mariska isn't dressed in a snazzy skirt suit set, she is clad in a pair of smart-lined trousers and some completely kickin' black patent leather pumps. The ensemble sort of screams something along the lines of: By day, I'm a working professional but by night I probably rock the pole.

So, when she walk right up to Mister Wrong Floor, looks him right in the eyes, and then sticks the matte black muzzle of a Glock nearly up his nose, it probably comes as just a little bit of a surprise.

"Conference is over," she says coolly, all those Russian consonants rolled over hard as if she were the latest Bond villainess over-enunciating every last syllable so that the audience is crystal clear that she's the bad guy in this scene. "Open the door and I let you keep your brain all in one piece."

And Fel does his magical gunslinger trick. Like a magician producing a rabbit out of his hat, only it's a .45. "You heard the lady," he says, gun on the second, blue eyes keen. His power's already just at his fingertips, because he's damn sure he's going to need it.

The pair takes the guards… well, off-guard, which is a crucial failure of their very duty. No one was supposed to know they were here, per se; no one was supposed to be able to get in here with a weapon. Those with the guns pointed all too close at them do nothing but freeze, while the other devoted Pinehearstian decides to very slowly go for his radio.

As the other men reach in the direction of their radios, they suddenly fly off their belts and across the room, disappearing into thin air. Unseen, the invisible back up used his mind to pull them to him, and the vanished when he touched them, just like the rest of him. Definitely a very odd sight for the cameras, though. The two people who shouldn't be here have back up, and it's going to try and make sure the three who are supposed to be up here get very little of their own.

The abrupt absconding of the radios provides the only movement scene in the background of the wide shot that features Felix and Mariska playing stick 'em up with the pair of statue guards nearest the door behind which they'll find the lady they came for instead of the tiger. "Open the door," the Russian woman repeats herself, each word emphasized. The man ought to have enough room to inch over if he's nursing any desire at all of keeping his skullcap intact. "Now."

"This doesn't have to end in blood," Fel affirms, softly, gesturing with the pistol at the door. "Open it, before that changes," He's poised for fight or flight, weight balanced on the balls of his feet.

Goodbye radios, hello opening elevator doors. These guards may have been rendered useless by the element of surprise, invisibility, flying belts and Russians, but someone watching the security cameras is on top of their game.

Meanwhile, the guard, when indicated, inches, sweating down a clean-cut face, to the door. This is because he has a gun at his head and for no other reason, since— "No can do. Ma'am. Sir." He manages to say nervously. "It's not our job to open the door. I don't have the key."

"FREEZE!" Back-up, in the form of a gaggle of security emerging from the elevator, has arrived, guns pointed.

That's a lot of guns. Peter had hoped things would go a little smoother. There's a thud as radios fall to the floor, suddenly visible. A single thought is sent toward the two Russians: Get my mother and get out of here. I'll take care of the back up.

Then suddenly someone is standing in the hallway. Only he doesn't quite look like Peter. He's taken liberties with his own appearance. The scar is gone, at least. He looks more like the Peter of current day. Hands go up and an invisible push tries to just knock them back into the elevator that just came out of. Back up get back inside the elevator. Thank you.

While Peter plays tag with the back-up for the boys in the hall, Mariska slings a subtle look over her shoulder and says to her husband, "He doesn't have the key…" As if that's supposed to mean something. She then begins to strategically relocate herself from in front of the man she's got the gun leveled at to somewhere (safe) off to the side. Uh oh. What's about to happen here?

That poor bastard conveniently located bodily in front of the door is about to find out…

Fel is not a terribly large or intimidating man. Tallish, but too skinny. But the goon in front of the door….is abruptly put -through- it, like an unfortunate 'toon. He's not dead, but it'll be a long while before he goes anywhere under his own power. Surprise, Mrs. Petrelli! Special delivery!

The men in the hall are thrown back like dolls into the elevator, tumbling, toppling over one another. Thud. The elevator doors are held open, waiting, as they sprawl over the threshold and scramble to regain their uprightness.

Zoom further down the hall: the door to the oh-so-important room, with a person-shaped gap in it, is the portal through which Angela Petrelli catches the first glimpse of her saviors. Pressing herself against the edge of the desk, her hand touches her chest almost tremulously as she looks beyond the man on the floor (who is now face-down and pretty out of it, indeed) — who, by the way, very nearly propelled right into her.

Though he'd likely intended to stay invisible, handling so many abilities at once meant… well… one of them had to fail. That one's the one that went. Peter keeps his hand raised in their direction, another shove pushing at them as they try to stand. The sound of the man being shoved through a door might have been expected, but breaks his hold for an instant as he glances back to the door, to look. Did Ivanov just put a man through a door? Indeed, he did.

He'll just hope the man didn't hit his mother.

That's what we call a real 'window of opportunity'…

The property damage that Felix inflicts with a relative flick of his once limp wrist is impressive and Mariska slings her husband and smile on the sly before initiating her whipcrack relocational skills and manifesting in what part of the room she can see from her vantage point in the corridor. Now face to face with Mama Petrelli, the Russian woman probably isn't the most welcome of wagons to be greeted by, especially in consideration of what happened to the last Founder who took a ride with her, but maybe someone's been fortunate enough to have foreseen something a little less nefarious in the future that might facilitate a little trust.

"Hold tight," says the Russian relocator before she embraces the other woman at then — KRAK! — disappears. Felix and Peter are now on their own.

"She's away," Felix says to Peter, matter-of-factly, even as he whirls to try a pistol-whipping on one of the goons down at his end of the hall. No reason to go for lethal damage unless they absolutely must. These poor slobs are likely paid by the hour as it is. "Get me out of here, Pete," Fel's not all that friendly.

Some of the men fly back bodily through the air, thumping against the back wall of the elevator. Others simply fall back. None of them, ultimately, can get any closer — but one man clings to the elevator doors, stubborn, reaching for his gun.

And Peter's mother— she's gone, mid-step over the fallen guard, who is left in the small, neat room alone.

Reaching for his gun. There are many things that Petrelli could do about that, but with his mother out of the way, Peter chooses to move quickly down the hall, ignoring the possibility of gunshots the this moment. The chance of the man hitting the one spot happens to be pretty low. Lower than most versions of low. Meaning he's not that concerned. Hopefully Felix will help him clear the distance quickly, by going in his direction. As soon as he grabs the man's arm, he'll teleport to the planned meeting place.

The man in the elevator door does manage to get his hand on his gun, and more than that, to fire it at the most super-powered of intruders. Most of the bullets fly through empty air.

When the two women once again manifest, the surroundings they find themselves in ought to be at least vaguely familiar to both of them — one more than the other, in theory…

Downtown, NYC - 1407 - East Centennial Apartments

Mariska withdraws her arms from around the other woman's waist and allows her a significant amount of personal space in order to regain her composure and bearings. Everyone's first time on the Russian Relocator ride runs a little differently; some people get dizzy, some people feel giddy, some people puke. Hopefully, for the sake of Peter's upholstery and Angela's image, she doesn't succumb to the latter.

Caught in a stumble, some leftover vestige of the step she was taking thousands of miles away before Mariska's intervention, Angela is unsteady. She recovers quickly, however, at least from the disconcerting relocational skill of the teleporter, taking in her surroundings with understanding. Her son's apartment. "Peter," she says to Mariska, a hint of question in a tone that is otherwise matter-of-fact. "He orchestrated this." That helps to lessen the sharp suspicion in the Petrelli matriarch's dark, widened eyes — slightly — as she steps backwards, away from Mariska.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch….

The boys are taking a little longer to get away. The bullets, however, that don't go wild, simply stop at a negligent gesture from Felix. Hey, look, he has some use other than breeding up mutants babies, who'd've thought? And then he dashes for Peter, in what's almost a tackle, grabbing Peter's wrist at the same time.

"Thanks," Peter says with a hint of a smile, either having trusted Ivanova to stop the ones that would have hit him in the back, or acknowledging that he did. As soon as they touch, they're hurtled out of the building much like what his wife would be capable of. A loud KRAK and a flash of light and suddenly they're in the apartment. This method requires just a bit less solid concentration. They're still moving as they appear in the apartment, tumbling into one of the chairs in the living area and knocking it over.

The shapeshifting faltered during the teleport. The scar is visible across his face. He's also sweating visibly… though it's almost difficult to tell with his hair gel slicking back his hair.

"You are alright." It's really meant to be an inquiry and yet, somehow, Mariska makes it sound like a statement when she asks Angela how the trip treated her. And then…

Right on cue. Mariska isn't burdened with the decision to confirm or deny after Peter and Felix almost literally crash land in the living room. So much for supernatural finesse. The Russian woman is swift to find her way over to the Pete-n-Felix pile of coats and cuffs and plays pick-a-part in order to retrieve what is hopefully her husband from the tangle of limbs. "«Are you okay? Are you alright?!»" she asks with a note of tenderness in her otherwise hard Soviet sway. She paws at him simultaneously in order to achieve tactile confirmation, just in case he's looking to man up and deny any bodily injuries. Aw.

Tenuously reassured by Mariska, Angela whirls around to witness the arrival of the two men. Her expression is not one of surprise, but it is one of alarm; granted, her whole state of being is stiff and edgy. On seeing Peter — what's more, recognizing him for who he is — her features harden. Still, there's a glint of something in those unbelievably tired eyes. Gratitude. If it extends to all of them, she doesn't show it, but she's a woman of few words tonight — and the sentiment hides, a moment later. "I see you're rethreading the past already."

"Ya harasho, harasho," Felix assures Misha, gently, cupping her face in a hand once he's detangled himself from Peter and what looks like the aftermath of a drunken tango. And Petrelli isn't even his type, really. He offers Peter a hand up, making a face at the wreckage of the chair. Angela's lack of gratitude earns her a rather wry look.

Rethreading the past. Peter makes a small sound as he untangles himself and gets to his feet. There's no sign of actual injury, though the exertion of so many abilities probably did take a lot out of him. In the back of his head he's still aware of his clone, still stronger than he should be. Stronger than the real thing. The baby sitting job is still being done. The daughter is okay. "I'm doing what I have to do, mother," he says in response to his mother, voice hoarse and thick as he stands there, jaw tightening.

The marital pair that comprises half of the shared surname shenanigans fighting force still linger close to one another while mother and son speak in riddles. Though Mariska's thoughts now gravitate with unspoken concern toward her absent daughter's welfare, she doesn't inquire about the girl directly in front of the woman they've just rescued — if the Petrellis have ever given the Ivanovs anything it would be a healthy sense of caution tempered by a very subtle shade of paranoia — and asks instead, "What now?"

Angela doesn't answer. Not right away. She regards each of them in turn, her tired-but-aware gaze calculating, considering, feeling the weight of all the various things that have brought all of them to this point in time. She takes a step forward — not toward the others, but to a seat. The movement is more tremulous and stumbling than a seemingly proud woman such as herself would prefer; she's pale, and it's clear that she's not well after her excursion under Arthur's watch. What now, Mariska said? "Now we all do what we have to do." Her look to Peter is simply acknowledging. To Mariska, then Felix, she nods slowly. "I expect you're not doing this out of the goodness of your hearts for an old woman, who you likely believe stole your baby away. You're looking for reparations."

Fel's lips thin out, and there's a definite chill in the blue eyes as he regards Angela. "That is something of what we had in mind, yes," he says, simply. But further than that, he's silent. He glances between Peter and Misha, as if expecting them to pick up the thread. Perhaps not trusting himself to speak.

"I brought them in because… I'm sure you already have an idea what the alternative was," Peter says quietly, voice stern. He glances towards Mariska and Felix. "They weren't treated well. They deserve a chance to be with their daughter. I believed this four years ago, and I still believe it now," he adds, unaware that Mariska does not know of his time traveling. "They didn't want what happened with Pinehearst."

'I believed this four years ago…' What's that supposed to mean? Mariska isn't quite certain. For now, however, it's something that she's going to have to let linger in a few more moments of uncomfortable silence until she finally says, "We all have much to discuss, I think." She borrows the other matriarch's inflection. However, contrary to a few of the more unflattering personality profiles concocted by the Company, the Russian woman isn't entirely devoid of empathy and when she sees the state that Angela appears to be in, she volunteers, "I'll make us some tea." It's the one thing she knows for certain that Peter certain must still have around here somewhere. She gave him that set and service, after all. She's quick to disappear in the direction of the kitchen, though she does so in the most mundane way possible lest the noise of her hopscotching rouse the neighbors to implied nefariousness that isn't currently afoot…

Angela gives the Russian woman a cursory nod and even a short-lived, tight smile; tea and politeness go hand and hand, you know. "It was all a matter of time." She glances pointedly at her son, four years too old for his time. "But I imagine you know all about time." Oh, her meaning implies quite the opposite, but the jab is not as sharp as it might normally be. The exhausted Petrelli matriarch folds her hands tightly about her knees. "Keep her safe," comes the swift answer, sans discussion. "The fact is, your Sasha has been improving in leaps and bounds."

Felix just inclines his head, lifts his brows, as if indicating they should both go on. He's still visibly biting back his anger, but at least he's clamping down on it, for now. Perhaps not trusting himself to speak.

"Yeah… I know a thing or two about time," Peter says, almost gaining some humor in his voice as he does. Almost. Mariska can find the tea in the kitchen, as well as a kettle for boiling water. The water hasn't been turned off yet. The apartment's kitchen has been cleaned out by someone, though, to keep it from reaking with his long absence. It's pretty clear that he's not living here right now. No one could live with this little stuff in the kitchen. Not even a bachelor. "And hopefully now she'll keep improving." There's something there in his voice, a hint that he could add on a 'instead' at the end there. Instead of what would have happened. "When you get back to the Company, the other people I informed won't be pleased with me. I sent them to spring the trap they would have found even without me… to hopefully distract Pinehearst long enough."

Angela listens to the news from Peter without any change in stoic expression, likely making it quite difficult to tell if it's news to her at all. She does, however, give a vaguely acknowledging nod. "You'll need our help." Now she's speaking to Felix, and by proxy, Mariska, in the kitchen. "Arthur wants Sasha's ability and he has ways of finding people if he really wants to. You'll also need our guidance to make sure your daughter stays in check. But I won't ask you to come back to the Company."

"Is there a way to remove her power without necessarily handing it to Mr. Petrelli?" Felix asks, finally, tone a weary rasp. Adrenaline has faded, and despite all his efforts, he's a little slumped, a little weary.

Eyebrows lower at Felix's words, but Peter just shifts away from where he's standing to look at his bookshelves. Bookshelves he hasn't really looked at for a long time now. There's a tension in his shoulders that gives away a fact that he doesn't like the option of removing her ability, but the only thing he adds on, "There are a few abilities that I would get rid of if I could… and I haven't been able to." It's not the best answer. Maybe there is another way that he's not found out about— maybe he didn't really want to get rid of them at all.

Leave it to the Russians to provide the white noise of industry in the background of an otherwise all-American conversation about what might well be the end of the world; Mariska will industriously rearrange the deck chairs while the other three chit-chat next to the string quartet. As she waits for the kettle to come to a boil, she presses her shoulder lightly against the jamb and lingers like a pale shadow on the fringes of a conversation that she has every right to be a part of and yet no desire to join. Just when the opportune moment for interjection seems to present itself, any eyes that might turn to her leaning form will find her absent again, attending to the tea somewhere out of sight… perhaps purposefully well-timed in her disappearance.

She only manifests again in the living room once she's manages to scrounge up a cookie sheet to act as a serving tray and totes a glass kettle containing what appears to be a drowned chrysanthemum in the company of chubby cups as well as a bag of already opened brown sugar. It's tea time!

"No." Angela shifts in her seat, where she makes a concerted effort to maintain a statuesque figure. She crosses one leg over the other. "There's isn't a way, not one which is an option. Not for a good long while. There's medication, which has been used sparingly," she pauses to lean ahead and prepare a cup of tea. The mundane, quaint little gestures — pouring in a scant bit of sugar, taking the tiny handle — seem at once out of place, for the circumstances, and natural, for the woman. "It's not meant for children; it's unstable. A life on those pills is no life for a child, which is why we kept her off as much as we could, away from triggers."

So, Arthur is still the most attractive option. Felix doesn't say this, but he doesn't need to. He simply nods to Angela's statement, gone thin-lipped and mute again.

"My father is not an option," Peter firmly says, as if he read Felix's mind there for a moment. Maybe he did. He's not going to bend on this belief. No argument. No negotiation. "You haven't seen what he will do with a power like that." He didn't set this whole thing up so they could do what he specifically went to them to stop. Saving his mother killed two birds with one stone. He glances over at his mother as he takes the offered tea, a narrowed look in his eyes.

Silence descends. Sip.

Mariska sips tea.

Angela sips tea.

Felix sips tea.

Peter sips tea.

END

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License