2008-05-25: The Wicked Guardians


Novak_icon.gif Angela_icon.gif

Summary: Mr. Garbaldi meets an old acquaintance for a matter very close to his vest.

Date It Happened: May 25th, 2008

The Wicked Guardians

Central Park

New York City

Evening in the Big Apple, and specifically in the vicinity of Central Park. Not the best place to be at night, but it is still somewhat light out, and Novak is confident that he can avoid any trouble-makers in the vicinity by virtue of knowing they are there before they know he is there. He is wearing a gray long coat, and a red shirt underneath, with gray slacks. It's not exactly summer wear, but the evenings can still be chilly.

He takes a moment to consider everything that has happened recently, standing near a tree and looking out over the sunset-lit park. There's a bench nearby. After a few moments of observing and thinking and making sure no one is around who he isn't expecting to be there, he walks over to the bench, and sits down.

There is no one Novak isn't expecting, but presently, there happens to be someone who he is.

Preceded by very little warning, at least to those who aren't listening closely, a woman older than him by approximately two decades, dressed in a black two-piece suit — jacket and suit — takes a seat on the bench beside him. She sits with as much poise and assuredness that it might as well be her bench to begin with. A throne, in the sprawl of Central Park. She barely seems to glance at Novak, looking straight ahead, in fact, while she says, "You look well." A gesture civility, its sincere courtesy lacking. Angela Petrelli does, then, turn to examine the man fully, her dark eyes critical. "It's been quite awhile, Mr. Garbaldi."

Novak hums to himself for a few moments under his breath as he sits with his hands in his pockets. Then he responds, "You are a bit more aloof than I recall you being, but you are definitely Angela Shaw. Or Petrelli now, I suppose." He turns his head to look at her, a thin smile on his lips. He's not thrilled to be meeting up with her again after all this time, but he's also not necessarily unhappy. Seeing people he knows from his younger days is nostalgic, and reminds him of how he and others used to view the world.

He looks away, off into the distance, and says, "It would be polite to ask how you have been, but I gather you did not agree to come here because you had nothing better to do than chat with old acquaintances."

"Insightful as ever, I see," Angela responds dryly. A flicker of a smile passes by her otherwise hardened features, fleetingly nostalgic. The woman's gaze may not be quite as perceptive as the man on the other end of the bench, but it's certainly razor sharp in its own right — and wise. Her eyes have always been wise, but the years have given her lessons in spades. "And I gather that's not why you called me after all this time, so let's cut to the chase, Mr. Garbaldi. What is that you want of me?"

Novak nods. It was rather a silly thing for him to say, but with time comes unfamiliarity. With distance comes disassociation. They haven't spoken in years, so it makes sense to him to behave well below his full mental caliber. He doesn't know if Angela's Company is still going on or not, or what else she might be involved in. Being underestimated would be quite fortuitous.

"I have a daughter," he says simply. He is quiet for a moment, providing time for Angela to either say something caustic, or just wait for him to continue. "She has a gift. Though I have done my best to teach her how to control it, for the benefit of everyone, there is someone trying to sabotage my efforts. I have tried asking this woman to leave well enough alone, but she refused. And according to my analysis of her psychology, now that she knows that I know where to find her, she will attempt to make sure I don't do it again."

He turns his head to look back at Angela, smile gone now. "Her name is Kory Alexander. She calls herself 'the Muse'. I think you may already know who she is. You are far more experienced by now than she is with dreams." Sighing, he looks down as he pulls his hands from his pockets and puts them in his lap. "If this… 'Muse' does something to me… If I am no longer able to care for my daughter, or pursue my dream of saving the world… If I am no longer ME anymore… I would like to entrust Elisabetha's care to you. If she goes back to her mother then she will just suffer needlessly. Her mother is a vampire, sucking the life and joy out of everyone around her. But you have the resources and the knowledge both to care for her and teach her. And more importantly, keep her gift from going out of control and hurting anyone."

The name — names, rather, of Kory "the Muse" — rings a bell. Angela says nothing, not for a spell, but her head does tip up ever-so-slightly, her dark and attentive stare narrowing just a touch. By the time Novak has come to his point (so it would seem), a lift of her brows is paired with a faint scowl. She studies the man. "And why…" She ventures, "would I do that?" Needless suffering, gift going out of control, yes, she heard that part, but— "Why is it that this Alexander woman is … 'sabotaging' your efforts? And why did you come to me, after all these years…? I hardly think you're in a position to comment on my resources, Novak." The matriarch squints at Novak, as if trying to wile out how much he does, in fact, know. She glances away sharply into the dusky park. "Things change."

Novak hmms. Things do indeed change. Once upon a time, playing the compassion card would have gotten Angela to help him in an instant. Not now, it seems. Perhaps mixing in some logic will work, though. "I believe it is because she saw a dream of mine, and interpreted it wrongly. It was metaphorical, not literal. And you, I believe, know how odd dreams can be at times — how they are not always clear, or accurate, or necessarily interpreted correctly? Well, this 'Muse' thinks I am intent on doing something dangerous. In that she is correct. However, the danger is mine only. She is misguided, overzealous, and thinks she is saving the world by entering my daughter's dreams and changing her into what she wants her to be."

He leans his head back to look up at the purpling sky, stars mostly blotted out by city lights. "This is entirely unacceptable to me. We both have done things in the past that have made us seem wicked to the younger generations. They may never understand or accept our reasoning. They might never appreciate what we sacrificed to make sure they survived into the present. And that is why I came to you. Because once upon a time, I trusted you. Perhaps we are both too hardened by the years to trust so openly now, but I thought that if anyone could understand my position, it would be you."

Angela folds her hands over her knee, legs crossed neatly; she follows Novak's gaze toward the stars that are out there somewhere. "I understand," she says after a few moments, the matter-of-fact words lilted by an almost singsong tone. There is no lift in her seriousness, however. She pauses for another few moments, not looking away from the sky. "Your daughter. What is it that makes her dangerous?"

Novak doesn't answer immediately. Not because he wants to hide it, but because he is chewing over the issue in his mind. He has long held that Elisabetha's ability could cure the world of its sickness. But he is not quite delusional, and knows perfectly well it can also do great harm if used incorrectly. Finally, he says, "Entropy control. She makes things wither, die, and fall apart. It's possible to use the ability on a lesser scale to wear down neural pathways, artificially distancing an individual from painful memories, allowing them to move on… But mostly it just destroys everything. In order to learn to control it, she has to remain absent of emotion, or close to it. If she becomes upset, or happy, or angry… I do not know what might make her lose control."

"It sounds to me like she needs to be controlled sooner rather than later," Angela says sharply, her head turning to face Novak once more. "You're trying to help her control her ability, but you said yourself just now, you don't know what will make her lose control. She sounds dangerous, Novak; I don't like it. I can't promise to be her guardian for you, but I can promise to make sure this situation doesn't get out of hand."

The bespectacled man sits up slowly, hands on his knees. Then he looks to Angela briefly, before looking straight ahead. "I have spent years teaching her, without incident. It was not until this Muse-woman started fooling with Elisabetha's head that I became concerned. But perhaps you are right. I have to continue with my current work without running off to deal with every upstart child who thinks they know best. If you have a solution that will keep her under control, feel free." He lifts his hands in a 'surrender' gesture. "As long as she's still alive, I won't interfere."

"The solution is a simple one, but not one most parents would wish on their child," Angela explains — inasmuch as she explains at all. She doesn't give any details regarding her "solution," that's for sure. Mrs. Petrelli narrows her eyes at Novak for an instant, considering, or perhaps criticizing as she reads his features. "But what if she's right?" she challenges with a higher pitch, "This 'Muse'. What if there's a higher reason she's doing what she's doing that even you can't predict? Granted," Angela looks away and lifts a hand from her knee, waving a vague gesture to the night air. "We may never know."

Novak considers Angela's words, particularly the question she asks. He gradually rises to his feet, and turns to face her. "I suppose it is possible you are correct. I suppose it is possible that Miss Alexander has a good reason for what she is attempting to do. But let me suggest a hypothetical of my own, if you would. What if, heaven forbid, something were to happen to your son Nathan. Something that made him into a different person. So different, that you didn't even recognize him anymore. What lengths would you go to in order to ensure he remained your son, and not a twisted mockery thereof?"

Heaven forbid. Angela is on her feet in an instant, staring down Novak. The comparison is all too close to the truth — suspicion burns in her eyes even above defensiveness. "I would do what was necessary. I understand you're making a point," she all but hisses, "But with all due respect, Novak, my son— " At least not the one in question… " — doesn't have the ability to destroy all life. Let me ask you: what lengths would you go, hm? Am I the first step or the last resort?"

Novak just smiles at Angela. Seems he still knows how to push her buttons. He answers quietly, "What you are… Is someone I trust to do what is necessary for us all. Have a good evening, Angela. I'll be in touch." Then he turns and starts to stroll calmly away.

Angela has nothing but a nod for Novak, and the faintest of tight smiles. Almost courteous. Knowing, at the very least. She stands, watching him walk away, and only when she seems to deem him far enough gone, she starts to turn in the opposite direction. "I will," she says under her breath as she takes up a stroll along the path.

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