2010-03-05: Uprising

Starring:

Nathan2_V4icon.pngTracy_V4icon.png

Date: March 5, 2010

Summary:

They will not force us,

They will stop degrading us,

They will not control us,

And we will be victorious!

SO COME ON!

Uprising — Video contains SPOILERS from Season Four (Volume 5).


"Uprising"

Nathan Petrelli's Office — NYC

Nathan Petrelli's office is dead. Completely and totally dead. Probably because of the Senator's apparent health problems. What once was a buzz of activity is now completely still. Other than the noise of a large motorcycle approaching. The motorcyclist's all-black gear helps him blend with the rest of the city. The helmet remains on after the bike is parked at the curb.

He walks around to the side of the building to a backdoor of sorts, somewhere that has little attention. The alley is equally quiet, equally still. The cyclist takes off his leather gloves and reaches into his pocket, extracting two pins. Carefully he works, but that's not to say he isn't quick, in fact, the lock opens easily enough. The click is met with a nod, he's in.

After glancing up and down the alley, he opens the door and steps into the building. The helmet remains on as he walks down the rows of offices, down to the one of interest: the executive office belonging to the state Senator. Finally, once he reaches it, he tugs on the door. It is also locked. The figure scoffs audibly as he takes out his pin again, ready to pick yet another lock.

The thing about a place that's been turned into a ghost town is… It's bound to have a ghost or two.

The barely-there, blue glow beneath the door of the office could easily be mistaken for city lights sneaking in through a window. It's not out of place until it's gone. Inside, the screen of a computer gone unused for many a week blinks off and the office becomes even darker still.

Endeavours to sneak around hastily put on hold at the sound of someone in the building, the careful intruder presses against the wall inside the office — next to the hinges, behind the swinging door. The figure is in hiding, pale hands grip a thin stack of folders plucked from their proper place, waiting for that door to open with bated breath, not moving another inch. Not yet.

Click.

Nathan's door unlocks.

The doorknob turns.

The helmeted figure enters the room. His all black apparel make him almost seem like a spy.

Quietly he closes the door behind him before walking over to the desk. It's dark and he's wearing a helmet so the other figure remains momentarily unnoticed.

The figure doesn't struggle to make its way around the room, in fact, it seems to know where it's going. Reaching into its pocket he pulls out his gloves and pulls them over his hands before powering on the PC. As the light of the screen comes on, he becomes aware of another figure in the room. Instinctively, the person reaches for a gun fixed to the bottom of Nathan's desk which he draws.

Blue eyes hone in on the shape of the man as sharply as possible in the dark, narrowing with skepticism. He broke in, but knows the office well. Interesting, to say the least. Also interesting: having a gun pointed at you.

In shadow, it's nevertheless evident that the shape by the door is tall and slender — a woman, evidenced further by a hint of long, blonde hair. She makes no move to surrender or step forward. Revealing herself to another mysterious intruder in a motorcycle helmet? Not a smart move.

So instead, the helmeted figure will find a sudden stream of cold, forceful water spraying at him from seemingly nowhere, straight at the aimed weapon. The water barely has time to splash to the ground before the woman is making a mad dash out the office door.

"What the —?!" Nathan's voice exclaims as the gun is dropped to the ground by the water he'd been holding onto. Instinctively, the Senator ducks under the desk. He'd be in hot pursuit, but fugitives shouldn't draw extra attention to themselves. The computer monitor continues to shine. "St-op" he urges the figure and then his eyes flit to the files. His files.

Decidedly, he launches himself off the ground, flying after the figure as quickly as he can manage.

SPLASH!

That is not the sound, nor the sensation, one is supposed to experience when tackling someone to the ground, but it's certainly what the end of his flight is met with — along with the hard floor, cushioned only by an empty, black wool coat. The files fall off to one side, scattering.

That voice, though… Even muffled by the helmet, Tracy is ninety-eight percent sure she recognized it.

Seconds after her sudden turn to what seemed like, in the moment, life-saving water, she starts to reform in her clothes, a solid and breathing person under Nathan — if not a moving person, as the woman is quite successfully pinned against the floor. She stares up at the helmet, seeing only her own startled face reflected back. "Nathan?"

Nathan's shock underneath the helmet is more than apparent by the expletive he murmurs. He groans against the floor and then… "Tracy?" he asks as he pushes himself to his feet and removes the helmet. His features aren't as clean cut as he normally would have them.

His eyes narrow at her, but he only looks for a moment before he bends down to pick up the files. "We seem to be after the same things." His eyebrows arch at her.

"They said you were dead —"

"I must not be." Clearly. 'They' were wrong. Without taking her eyes off Nathan, Tracy gets to her own feet, wet and faintly out of breath, but no worse for wear. "I thought you were— " she starts to echo. Her shock easily hedges into suspicion, but there's a hint of hope to her voice as questioning as it is. " —I thought you were… taken. What happened?"

"I think they actually believe you're dead too. Kudos." Nathan smirks as he begins to pick up the files one at a time. Finally he hmmms, "I was taken." And as the pile in his hands gets larger he suppresses a sardonic chuckle. "I have an extraordinary younger brother." With a shrug he straightens the stack of files before absently touching his neck with his free hand. While the collar is gone, there are moments he can swear it's still there.

At the kudos, Tracy bypasses any and all indications of pride; on the contrary, her jaw grows stiff. It's not as if she faked her death on purpose.

"Peter." An unsurprised statement, though there's some doubt behind it; gotta wonder how he pulled it off. Tracy forgoes asking, however, and moves right along. She steps in as if to help retrieve the files, but Nathan seems to have it covered. "Guess that puts us on the same page," she says bitterly. "Except…" A vague hint of a laugh chases her words as she gives the Senator a more critical stare. "I did some digging before we both vanished off the face of the planet. Into you. Your past."

"Did you?" Nathan asks with an ironic smile. A Logan smile. It's relieving in a way not to fake diplomacy after two months of doing so. He straightens and shakes his head. "And what do you think you know, Tracy?" He smirks again as he plucks the gloves off his hands, before he observes bitterly, "I'm a politician, we all have skeletons."

"Who did you talk to and where did you dig?"

Despite her bold statement, having dug into Nathan's skeletons, Tracy is her cool and collected self besides that criticism in her eyes, that suspicion. That challenge. She brings her hair over one shoulder as she listens to him, and before she speaks up, she casually wrings out the soaked locks of blonde. Blonde, dark now that it's wet, but still lighter than Nathan would have seen. On her.

"Jack Derex." Tracy is absolutely certain she doesn't have to explain further.

Nathan alone probably would've cringed at the name, Logan might've sneered, but there's something oddly different about him. Instead the Senator smirks. "I am who I am, Ms. Strauss." His lips crack into a kind of ironic toothy grin — somewhere between Brayden's easy-smile, Logan's sly one, and Nathan's diplomatic one — it's telling onto itself.

"A person can deny who they are, or they can recognize the past is what it is: the past. And then move on." He tucks the folders under his arm. "Unlike those from my past, I spent the last two months wrestling my demons and denying some of them — only to realize they're still pieces of me." He shrugs. "Obviously you already have formed your opinions of me. If you have a question, ask it." It's a dare. A bold-faced Brayden dare. "I don't have anything to hide anymore."

"But if you're looking for remorse… I'm afraid you won't find that here. Not now. There's no time. Not when there are more Protocols and near-certainty the President doesn't know what's going on under his nose." He tightens his own jaw, "And there's been two months of that while in custody."

It's an easy bet that Tracy takes in every one of those differences about Nathan with her watchful eyes. But there's something different about Ms. Strauss, too; perhaps not as clear as Nathan's, but she's had her own demons to battle. Gradually, her head ducks in a nod of realization. Maybe acceptance of Nathan's straight-to-the-point answers, even if she has her doubts. A few months ago, so soon after learning about the Senator's past… issues, she may have had a different question to meet his dare. Tonight…

"Yeah. I have a question." She looks down, pointedly at the files, and back up at his face. "What're you gonna do about it?"

"I think there are ten Protocols — Alpha to Kappa. There's a woman on the inside," Nathan's lips curl slightly upwards into an equally telling smirk, "Tiffany," he knows that's not her real name, but it's what he met her as the first time, "I'm going to find her."

"I intend to find out their agendas. If the President isn't the man in charge, I'm guessing it's one of the facets of governmental organizations… but to even predict who it is, we need to figure out what they're doing." Nathan's dark eyes study Tracy. "And what were you doing about it?"

"I lost my freedom once to stop them and they held my family," he observes quietly. "But Heidi and the kids are safe now." He purses his lips, "I joined the navy to defend this country. I worked as a DA to bolster my life into politics. And now Ms. Strauss, I would give up my very life to stop it." A flicker of a smile edges his lips, "But that's what public service really is."

It ought to be telling, the way Tracy doesn't show any sign of surprise when Nathan announces the amount of Protocols, the slew of Greek letters. She does, however, give him a vague arch of her eyebrows right around 'Tiffany'. It's short-lived as her gaze grows intense the more Nathan goes on, eyes well-adjusted in the dark hall by this point. Her eyes say one thing — agreeing with him — but her voice says another. "Did you take that from your bio?" she gives a quiet laugh and a light smile that doesn't last. Breathing out abruptly, she looks to one side seriously, seeming to consider. "Do you really wanna know what I was doing?"

"Sounds that way, doesn't it?" Nathan chuckles with a sigh. "I guarantee you I'm not naive about any of this anymore." He watches her carefully, "You knew. Do you know the agenda? Ten protocols mean ten goals. Anything I can get might give us clues as to who's behind it." He runs a hand through his hair before slowly releasing a breath of his own, unsure how to answer the question. Finally he nods a little, he wants to know.

Tracy seems to hesitate after the fact, reconsidering. She asked the question but she doesn't have to tell him. Why should she? It's obviously a weighty subject, the way her jaw tenses, brows starting to knit together will lingering anger, the way she wavers. She's Tracy Strauss; she doesn't waver.

"I was killing them." There it is. And in notable past tense. Gone is her cool demeanour. "Drowning them. Hunting… them." The woman glances away, moving a short distance and crossing her arms. "…I know some things," she adds as a quiet afterthought, distracted. "I don't think anyone outside've the top table knows the whole agenda."

If Nathan's bothered by this fact, he somehow manages to maintain his now-serious demeanour. He watches her carefully. His arms are crossed over his chest again and he turns away to face the wall for a moment, as if weighing something in his own mind. "What do you know?" Her misdeeds aren't addressed; everyone has their own demons, and it's not like Nathan can judge.

Which might just be why Tracy can't judge Nathan's demons right this second. It takes her a moment to reply, still riding on the unease from her confession. "What you know. The Protocols, some've what they've been up to…" Having turned away, her shoulder now swings back and she faces the Senator-turned-biker. "They want— to control us, Nathan. They want to turn us into weapons."

"Control us," Nathan repeats, his expression turning grim. "Weapons." His gaze flits over Tracy carefully. "That's. Huh." Leaning against the wall, he feels almost like he's been hit with another tranquilizer dart. The realization sweeps over him slowly as his mind turns to his fellow prisoners. "They put collars on everyone. Pete… said he couldn't get us out until they were off."

His mind still working, his eyebrows furrow. "Weapons to what end? For what cause?" His eyes clamp shut as he rests his forehead on the wall. And his mind goes somewhere perhaps it shouldn't, "Human weapons…" His eyebrows furrow. "Do you have any idea who's doing this?"

Reluctantly, Tracy shakes her head. "No. I don't." She moves to lean against the wall next to Nathan, arms still folded, looking straight ahead. "Undoubtedly, someone connected to de Souza. Maybe someone in the weapons trade," she says. "Collars…" It's spoken tiredly, and with a sigh that's just as fed up with it all. "At least all I got was chains. Even without the collars 'n' the chains — look around." She looks down the dark hall. "They've taken away our freedom even when we're not in their captivity. Think what they could do if they could control us. They'd have an army."

"But then are we ever really free? Like circumstance, family situation, genetic predestination, is there such thing as freedom?" Nathan asks rhetorically. "Sorry. Two months in lock up pretending to cooperate are grating," he apologizes as he continues to lean against the wall. "A private company, maybe? Specializing in weapons contracts? Close enough to the government to get, far enough to keep checks and balances out?" He raises a single eyebrow. "We need to figure out who currently has contracts with the government." He blinks a couple of times, "Control us." The words are repeated again. "What…" now he's thinking aloud "…what if deSouza was just a pawn? She can't have been in charge — not now that she's dead. She was one of us… what if people like us are already under their control?" The tone is grim.

"We make our own lives," Tracy is quick to snap, her head quickly turning to Nathan. Genetic predisposition. Her defensiveness grudgingly relinquishes its hold on her voice and she shakes her head. "…At least that's what I always thought, until I found out the truth. I've been controlled from the start. But you said it yourself, the past is the past. We make our own decisions. We can't let them control us."

Tracy moistens her lips before going on — the more she talks, the angrier she gets on the subject. "It's possible. I'd ask how you manipulate someone who can just erase you with a thought 'n' change your mind, but Ivory was manipulated. He was a pawn and he could convince m— " Pause. "…anyone… to do anything."

An eyebrow is arched at Tracy's anger. "I don't know how they plan to control people, but if that's the goal, would we even know if they'd succeeded?" Nathan laces his fingers together. "Whatever it is, it isn't simple or straightforward. If deSouza was controlling Wynn" yes, he noticed the explicit use of the former-Senator's first name "then who's to say no one controlled her. The project hasn't stopped even though she's dead. They captured me during my tour of the facility. And I'm actually inclined to believe the President was being honest about letting me on the project. Or he's being manipulated."

And then in a very Brayden moment he murmurs something Nathan wouldn't have dared utter on his own, "This blows. And rooting out the villain here is the real struggle. Especially when so many could benefit from an army of evolveds…" Come on Nate, tell us how you really feel.

Nathan's frank opinion prompts an unexpected, amused smirk from Tracy, but it's doomed to fade as she answers, "Maybe if anyone had a choice in the matter it wouldn't be so bad." But they've been over the hundred and one reasons why it is so bad, and Tracy couldn't agree more.

She pushes away from the wall, though she goes nowhere. "I've been in contact with Bennet." If one meeting and no phone call can be called 'in contact'; he's valuable, all the same. "He's all about the waiting game. Waiting, for the right move. I don't disagree but I was tired of waiting a long time ago." Obviously, if she started going after Protocol agents directly. Now, she's stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to making a difference. "I'm tired of talking and strategizing — even though it's among the things I do best." Another smirk appears, a remnant of her pride. It gently fades away. She faces Nathan, her stance seeming to deflate a little. "Now I just want it to end."

"Bennet is a patient man," Nathan observes. "And as long as… " his cheeks flush, there's one name that he actually struggles to say, "…his daughter" Nathan's daughter "is safe, he will take his time. And strategy is everything, but I think what we need is real reconnaissance. We need to find out who needs to be spied on, and figure out what these people actually have versus what they plan on doing."

He presses his lips together and studies Tracy before stating, "We'll end it, Tracy. And we'll end it soon." How can he make a promise like that? "Or die trying. We have allies. A lot of them. With a lot of unusual talents. If we can find out how they're controlling people there's no reason we won't win this thing." He reaches out to give Tracy's shoulder a squeeze, "They'll pay for what they've done. But before they can, we need to know who's head should be on the block." His eyes flicker with something Logan-esque: vengeance.

Tracy grins for an instant. "'N' where've I heard that before?" That's right, from Nathan himself in the office nearby, a few months ago. Things have gotten worse since then, not better. "Trust me, some've them have already paid." The vengeance strong the woman's tone is tempered by something a little less steely in her eyes, evasive about the crimes she already committed and already mentioned.

Instinctively, Tracy takes Nathan's wrist as if to push it off her shoulder when she steps back, except that she doesn't quite let go when she takes that backward step. "I'm glad you're determined enough to die, but I already thought I was dead once. Because've them. I may not have much left anymore, but not so ready to risk everything."

"Some of us just have less to lose," Nathan says as she holds his wrist. He draws his wrist back to his side. Although more than anything he wants his family near him, he's semi-resolved this is unlikely to happen, yet he holds out hope for the woman he still loves — always will love, even if she can never forgive him. Of course, then, he did try to kill her…

"Look, you know I have a checkered past, I'm sure Jack explained that, and through it I lost everything important to me. Everything." In so many different ways, including shooting his daughter, killing his brother (it's awesome he can regenerate), his wife, his sons… himself. "And the worst part is I did that to myself. But now? Now I'm willing to give up everything for those I lost. And that is key. Even though I don't have anyone left… they still have me." He shrugs. It's sentimental in a way. He takes a step back towards the door. "Look Tracy, I'm staying with Pete…" for now "…stay in touch… we'll put our heads together and if we can't conquer this thing…" it's better to die than hurt his loved ones anyways.

"Doesn't sound to me like you have less to lose." But Tracy seems to understand where the Senator is coming from,. She smiles, vaguely bittersweet. She lingers back as Nathan makes to leave, folding her arms over the slightly damp coat she wears.

Then: "You assume I have any idea how to contact your brother?" That was a number long lost. She whisks down the hall into the familiar receptionist's area, made strange and dull by the lack of lights. She finds a block of notepaper and scrawls on it with its neighboring pen; her writing is somewhat neat, even for a hasty note in the dark. It's a phone number, nothing more. It's brought back to Nathan, holds it out on the tip of a finger. "Here's my number."

Nathan nods and then smiles faintly. "I'll be in touch then." He arches his eyebrows at Tracy, "Sometimes losing everything creates a dose of real perspective." He takes the number and thrusts it into a pocket. "Watch yourself, Tracy."

That said, he pulls the helmet over his head before trudging back to the door and wondering if any of his security team will have caught that on camera and will see the footage.

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