2010-02-06: Why Are You Thinking in Arabic?



Date: February 6, 2010


Matt finds someone who isn't exactly on Alpha Protocol's side, even though she may not exactly be on his side either.

"Why Are You Thinking in Arabic?"

Building 27, Governor's island

It's a little known fact, but in Building 27, there is a set of four cubicles hidden away around a few corners and behind a door. It's one of the only places in the building where there's no cameras. It's possible that the 'Supplies' sign that was stuck to the door near the beginning of the move made it so the men installing the cameras completely missed it but they did. This is where Baker likes to spend a few minutes alone to think, nap, bounce a tennis ball against the wall while thinking, or review files. At the moment, the cubicle is littered with giant mountains of files, copies of files, and maps.

It's also a little-known fact that one of the inmates has recently been brought back to the land of the living, and he aims to keep it that way. Having browsed through the thoughts of passing guards to get a better feel for the schedule and the camera layout, Matt is now having his prone body wheeled down some corridors on a gurney - ostensibly on his way to be given a routine health exam - while he searches for others who might be able to help him, or alternatively who have abilities of their own and are nevertheless allowed on staff. Yes, he paid close attention to Noah's warning to that effect.

'Wahed, ithnaan, thalatha… arba'a…. Ayna ajedu Bennet… Ada'tu tareeqi.' The mass of thoughts are jumbled among the many on the floor, but they stick out just because they are in a different language. Someone is thinking in Arabic. Cody shuffles the files along the desk and stares at one, Peter Petrelli. 'Where are you now Peter… You have to be worried about that brother of yours, what's your next move…' Then her gaze flickers to Angela, 'And you… aren't you worried about that son of yours?'

Speaking of Noah, there's a trick right out of his playbook… and just as annoying as ever. It stops after a minute, though, so apparently it wasn't intentional. Matt reminds himself not to actually be seen craning his head… Have they captured Nathan to bait Peter into coming back? And how does Angela tie into it all? He can't hear anyone who sounds like any of them, so he keeps his attention on the one going through their files.

Cody picks up a stack of photos and begins to pin them against the soft wall of the cubicle in order. Copies of all the targets that Alpha Protocol has laid out, on their board they are in a special order.. which is why Cody made two copies of each photo. First she pins them up exactly as they are on the board in the common room then she cross references them to the files spread out amongst the desks. "Alexander la, Bailey la, Samedi naam, Belmont naam…' The list of names goes on and on, sprinkled in are those two Arabic words la and naam. The woman is profiling each and every one. Rubbing her head again, she closes her eyes and begins to breathe deeply, 'Ayna ajedu Bennet.'

Belmont. He knows that name; one of the women he rescued a few months ago was named Belmont. And Bennet, of course. But what does she have in mind for them? Carefully, Matt slips a command into the unseen agent's subconscious - « Think in English » - and waits to see whether it bears fruit. He's not used to doing this with people he can't see.

The subconscious thought is something that Cody wasn't prepared for, so it takes quite readily though there is the stray thought that does land in a different language. 'Where are you Bennet… And if I find you, will you actually help me or turn me over…' There's hesitation. She needs an ally, someone that can help her in her mission but there's the fear of being turned over. 'I'm already trained to be a weapon, not like any of these people. Would they just kill me? Try to brainwash me? Trade me to Sayf Udeen or Samedi?'

If Matt could see who he was listening to, then he'd narrow his eyes at this point. Turn her over? Maybe she's secretly working to take down this program, too. Maybe she's hiding an ability of her own. Then again, maybe she's completely loyal to the program, and has heard a rumor that Noah isn't. He needs to listen some more, get more context before he decides what to do next.

As she keeps pinning the photos up against the wall, she takes out her notebook and starts to make notes about all of them. All in English, which is a subconscious act because she's actually thinking in English instead of how she's trained herself to think in this place. 'Caulfield, bodily possession, could be used as a weapon if trained properly. Too reliant on outside factors… but…' She slips another photo beside Emily's a photo of an Arabic man. '…but.. if they traded her as a weapon for what.. what are they getting out of this deal? What could Sayf Udeen give them that they don't already have, stability? Set him up as a new leader of the country in order to exercise their own control…' Then she looks down at the page of written brainstorm and frowns deeply. Looking up from her page, she looks around the barren office space and narrows her eyes. 'Shoo hada?'

Aha, there's another name he recognizes - from the same time and place, in fact - only their relationship went sour at the end. Elisabetha seemed to have the same sort of dangerous potential, but nothing ever came of it while he was around. As for what this woman is planning for Emily… getting tangled up in what sounds like a foreign war? Way to really convince the United States that you're a bunch of terrorists. No wonder Noah was worried that they'd start responding with lethal force soon.

The thoughts become a little bit of a jumble for a few minutes as she translates what she just wrote in English to Arabic in her notebook. 'Better get rid of this, if they catch me and know that I'm on to them… I have to get in contact with Pyle, give him copies of all of this… should have done it last time I saw him. If I disappear he'll need these for the next Agent they send in, if they do…' The paper is deposited into a metal trash bucket and before she lights it on fire she climbs on top of the desk and encases the sprinkler/fire alarm with a rag. The small bits of paper burn quickly enough and hopefully the residual smoke isn't enough to come to anyone's attention on the other side of the door.

Scratch the pure-loyalist theory. Now the question is, who is she loyal to? Pyle sounds like a nice wholesome American name, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. While Cody is occupied with disposing of her English notes, Matt decides to risk contact after all… she may not be able or willing to help him, but at least he can threaten to pull her down with him if she tries to squeal on him. « Who's sending agents? Are you working for this Sayf Udeen guy? »

Pausing, Cody's mind goes blank for a few short seconds after the thought has been sent. Then a frantic jumble of curses in different languages as she gathers up the files that are laid out in the open… well in the the empty cubes. She doesn't send back an answer right away, she weighs her options Arabic once again before thinking very clearly, 'Sayf Udeen is a terrorist, I think he's working with Protocol. I'm from Delta Force.'

At least 'Protocol' is a familiar enough name to Matt; Peter mentioned it, the last time they met up, and he's heard it in some people's thoughts more recently as well. « A terrorist working with an anti-terrorist unit. Greeeeeeat, that can't possibly come back to bite them in the ass. So who— what's Delta Force? Haven't heard of that one. »

'Delta Force is the US counter-terrorism unit…' The thought drifts off as the woman seems to not believe the thought that was placed in her head. Who hasn't heard of Delta Force? There've been countless movies about her unit, of course they're all wrong… but still. 'You're not an agent, are you? Who are you working with?'

Hey, he's a cop, not a soldier. So much for solidarity among the men and women in (figurative) uniform. « I'm trying to stop this, » thinks Matt - in what may be a familiar voice to her. And there's something almost naggingly recognizable about hers, too, at least when it isn't rambling on in Farsi or whatever that was. « What are you trying to do? »

'I know you, don't I? You sound familiar. How do I know I can trust you?' Cody's met so many people and him only twice. Yes, the voice is familiar but she just can't place it. Her eyes float over the pictures on the board as she begins thinking about them in Arabic again. A mind reader but it couldn't be Petrelli, he hasn't been caught. Parkman but he's on the … 'Parkman? Are you working with someone?'

That's who it is. The hot dog vendor. The one who hauled him in here in the first place. well, one of them, anyway. Still, if she's not really on their side, then he can accept that; with luck, there'll be time later to be pissed off at her. « You could say that. » Play your cards close to your chest, remember. « Are you, or did they send you in here on your own? »

'I'm on my own on the inside… as far as I know. How long have you been listening to me?' Cody's trying to gauge exactly how much he's heard and if she's going to have to move her little base of operations. Not that it isn't cleared whenever she leaves, but having to find another place in the building free of cameras and sound equipment would be a task that she just doesn't need to split her time up for.

There's a non-verbal impulse: a shrug, perhaps. « I don't know… ten, maybe fifteen minutes? I don't have my watch with me. » Matt pauses, considering his own options here. « So what are you doing? Maybe you don't have to be on your own any more. » Then again, maybe she does; if Alpha Protocol has gone off the deep end, then for all he knows, Delta Force could have done the same.

'Shit…' Cody rubs her forehead and closes her eyes, it's very likely he's heard everything. having her volunteer the information might just be a ploy to get it on his own. Although, he's got someone on the inside helping him, someone that's high enough on the chain to keep him off the inhibitors. 'I need help Parkman. Nathan told me to find Bennet… Can you locate him? If you can do that, I'll let you in on what I can.' She can't give everything over just yet, she's worked on her own for so long and what if it isn't Parkman, what if it's someone pretending to be him?

One nice thing about talking this way is that you know you can accept what you hear. It may be incomplete or misleading, but she shouldn't be able to flat-out lie to him… it would probably take another telepath to pull that off, and he hasn't picked up any feedback from her like he did with Peter. « I'll let him know you're looking for him, » Matt replies. Still keeping things compartmentalized, in case she turns out to be an enemy after all. She mentioned Nathan, but wasn't she trying to lure him in earlier? Unless she means a different Nathan now.

'I'll be waiting. Maasalaamah.' Is her final answer, then she switches back to Arabic and apparently the conversation is over. As she starts picking up the files and pictures, she is overly careful not to think of anything in English, if he can go as far as to see what she sees, then there's nothing that she can do to stop it. When she is finished cleaning up her little office space she shoves all of her copies into banker boxes and begins to shove them away into the air duct before screwing the grate back on.

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