2007-08-07: DF: Your Words Are Poison


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Guest Appearance:


Summary: Cyprus tries to show Kate another path. Kate chooses the high road, only to discover that he's just washed it out.

Dark Future Date: August 7, 2009

Your Words Are Poison

Derelict Office Building - Times Square

It's midday in Times Square, and no on really comes here anymore. Those who do pass through it quickly, keeping their heads down and backs hunched. No one wants to remember, no one wants to look up at the old signs and billboards and see what become of them. Millions used to flock here to celebrate the turning of the new year. Now, it is cold, desolate, and neglected.

One form stands apart from the others passing, however. He does look up at the old signs, taking in all that has been lost. He pauses for a moment, simply to stare up into the once familiar city, and shakes his head. Cyprus Donovan is a far cry from his usual business suit get up, wearing a loose jacket and two shirts underneath it. He walks over to one of the buildings marked with DANGER tape, and pulls out a key from inside a pocket. He steps past the DANGER tape, undoes the padlock on the chains holding it shut, and steps inside.

Many people avoid Times Square and Kate is no different. What is usually a thrilling sensation is now something that makes her skin crawl. The Square always seemed so alive when it was a hub of activity. Now, somehow, in its cold ruin, it's more alive than it ever was. The energy that pours from every building, sign, crack, crevice and crumbling facade makes her want to scream. There are simply too many memories here. Too many ghosts.

There's nothing to be done for it. Drawing in a deep breath, Kate hooks the thumbs of her gloved hands through the belt loops in her skirt and strides through Times Square with her head held high, as though challenging the ghosts of the City to assault her with their memories. She doesn't hesitate when she arrives at her destination, pushing open the door and entering as though she would have nothing to fear from any of this. The shock from the contact is felt through her glove and through her arm, but the vision doesn't come. Thankfully.

It was once that lobby of a successful office building, where young professionals would come and go, caught up in the busywork of their lives. Stocks rising, companies crashing, and somewhere admidst all the chaos, the enjoyment of those who live on the edge still haunts the walls of the building. No one was here long enough to leave a deep impression, however. Just a lot of noise.

Cyprus stands inside the building as Kate enters the lobby. He is making no attempt for stealth, merely standing in the middle of the empty, grey lobby whose windows are all covered up with opaque plastic. Even the lobby itself has long since been looted of any furniture. Cyprus watches Kate, and smiles slowly. "Mrs. Petrelli," he greets.

"Mister Donovan," Kate greets in return, listening to her voice echo off the walls of the empty office. "I must admit, I was surprised when you contacted me. I don't believe we've ever been formally introduced, except in passing at one of the President's affairs. What can I do for you?" Secret meetings? Yeah. This is some serious business. Kate keeps a casual air about her, however. It goes with keeping a level head. With keeping one's head.

"We've never had reason, before this," says Cyprus evenly. There is no move made to close the distance from the political aide, and he seems comfortable standing far from easy cover if there was about to be something violent occurring. "And please, Mrs. Petrelli… It is not for what you can do for me that I have asked for you here. It is for what we can do for each other." There is a long pause there. "These are… truly desperate times."

"Why, Mister Donovan," Kate drawls, "are you tryin' to seduce me?" The dark smirk only flickers there briefly before she's all business. "What we can do for each other," she repeats, trying the words out for herself. "You've got my attention." She folds her arms just under her chest and tilts her head to one side. For a moment, her eyes flash with confusion and her head tips just a bit further, as if listening for something. Whatever it is, she seems to shake it off quickly.

He lifts a brow slightly at the comment about seduction, and smirks slightly as well. "I don't have a death wish, Mrs. Petrelli," he answers easily enough, before taking a deep breath. He seems to consider for a second how to best phrase the next few words, and lifts his head. "We need to discuss your husband's most recent… indiscretion. And how best to respond to it. You being the outspoken supporter of the President, and now the wife to the currently most wanted terrorist in the United States, your position is most definitely… unique."

"Unique doesn't even begin to cover it," Kate agrees. He can't be intending to bring her in, can he? She'd have known. No way the visions wouldn't have warned her just from the business card she was handed. The vision always warn her. "I have no knowledge of these terrorist activities my husband is allegedly involved in." Well practiced words. And while those close to herself, her husband, and her husband's brother know that Peter's devotion to her is rivaled by… well, nothing, the official story is that she has no idea where he spends his nights, or with who. Her living in undisclosed locations is always purely for her own safety, of course. Official stories are nice like that. "What do you have in mind?"

And it is almost impossible to lie to someone who can read heartbeats and blink impulses from across the room. Cyprus has never needed a polygraph. There is a flicker of a smile, and Cyprus nods. "Of course, Mrs. Petrelli," he concurs easily. "But do you think you can remain silent on this issue? If so, for how long? While it is possible that the people will forget your husband's indiscretion, it is not in their nature to forgive. And neither will the President." Cyprus takes a closer, and continues. "It is very likely that soon, the position you hold, Mrs. Petrelli, will become an impossible one. What will you do then, I must wonder? After all… people would be willing to listen to you, if you were to make a statement. I can see to that."

"You're asking me to issue a statement denouncing my husband, Mister Donovan?" Kate's heartbeat picks up now. Especially when he takes that step closer. Her gaze stays cool. Stony, even. "I can see where you and the President benefit from that. I'm not seeing what I get out of such a situation." She holds her breath without realising it. Waiting is difficult.

"First, there is the matter of protection," says Cyprus easily. "While the government would not harm you, Mrs. Petrelli, what of the other organizations out there? Whom might have more of an issue with your husband's actions, and will be less likely inclined to believe your story. Peter Petrelli cannot protect you all the time, and if something were to happen to you, I'd hate to think of the consequences." Cyprus punctuates that last statement with a gesture towards the city beyond. "Second, you will be placed closer to the President, where you will undoubtedly be able to do some further good, however you might define it." And there is a pause, and Cyprus takes another step forward. "Third, and most importantly… it is not yet impossible for your husband to be redeemed."

A shudder runs through Kate's body. She reaches up to brush a ragged clump of hair away from the left side of her face - somebody apparently decided she needed a haircut and it wasn't Kate. Her hand rests over her ear, as if trying to drown out some noise. "Redeemed." In her mind, Peter doesn't need redeeming. He was set up. And now she's beginning to think she knows why. "How do you mean, redeemed?"

"It is not impossible that your husband did not intend to cause the train incident," says Cyprus simply. "And if that's true, I expect he would be upset. Call it an attack of conscience, call it a change in policy… But our kind cannot survive divided, Mrs. Petrelli. And so long as the President and your husband have their war, there will just be more death. Your husband has a chance to put the past behind him, and focus on the future of this world." And there is one more step forward. And Cyprus sounds truly genuine in this request. "Help us, Mrs. Petrelli. Help us help your husband. Before it is too late for us all."

"Your words are poison." Kate's other hand comes up in a gesture for the aide to stop. "Stay there. Don't come any closer." She then clamps both hands over her ears. "Shit."

Cyprus lifts head slightly, and raises a brow. "You and I don't have the luxury of being idealists, Mrs. Petrelli," he says simply. "We have to live in the world men like the President and your husband create. The offer stands. Take it or leave it." With that, he pauses once more. "Is something the matter?"

With a deep gulp of air, Kate moves her hands away from her ears. After all, it does nothing to block out the sound in her head. "Nothing. It- It's fine." She takes a step away from Cyprus. "Why are you doing this? Does the President want my leash shortened?" Quaking fingers drag through blonde hair, only for it fall into her face again.

"The President doesn't know about this, Mrs. Petrelli," admits Cyprus. He allows her to retreat, holding his ground but no longer advancing. "I weighed the risks of asking you against the benefits of you agreeing, no matter how potentially impossible it might be. I haven't lied to you, Mrs. Petrelli. And I would be very careful, soon. As I said, you have nothing to fear from us… but from some of your husband's associates… the same cannot be held true. If you helped us… Just think of what could be accomplished."

"Off the record, Mister Donovan?" Kate's dark eyebrows lift toward her much lighter hairline. She isn't about to be honest with him without the promise of immunity, and that her words won't be held against her husband. Even if it's less honesty and more half-truths that she's prepared to share with him.

"This entire conversation is off the record, Mrs. Petrelli," replies Cyprus without hesitation. It seems he has as much to lose by admitting to this conversation as anyone. Maybe he really hasn't told the President about this meeting.

"To make a public statement about Peter's activities would be a betrayal." Kate holds her ground, but leans back slightly. "My husband isn't a man that anybody wants to see upset." Her head tips to her left just slightly. "We both know this attack isn't Peter's style. He doesn't kill innocent people. We both know that train wasn't supposed to be there. So, let's cut the crap, Mister Donovan…" Fury flickers in her dark eyes for only a couple of seconds before she reins in her temper again, "Was my husband set up so that I could be manipulated into this? Did your people think he would be so devestated that he would just give up?"

"If your husband was set up, Mrs. Petrelli, it wasn't by me," states Cyprus evenly, without any trace of lie at all. It's probably one of the more unequivocably truthful statements he's made. "Is it possible he was set up by someone else in the government? Of course. Are there people capable of doing so? Speaking from personal experience… undoubtedly. But if you are looking for someone to blame, it's not me." There is a pause. "Personally, I think it was all an accident. Someone wanted to be a hero, and got a train full of people killed." Cyprus straightens. "There were, however, Homeland agents murdered by someone using telekinesis. So I wouldn't call your husband's hands clean by any stretch of the imagination. It's just a matter of whose blood rightfully belongs there."

Kate's jaw tightens. "So, you want me to stand in front of the cameras, smile real pretty, and tell them that Peter didn't mean to do it? Is that it?" Colour her annoyed. How could he think she would do that?

Cyprus nods. "If you truly think that doing so may bring us a step closer towards ending this mindless bloodshed," he says. There's a smile after a moment. "I wouldn't ask for you to say something you knew to be a lie, after all."

"And then what? You said you'd move me closer to the President. For my protection." Kate frowns skeptically. "Why would you do that?" There's a catch. There's got to be. There always is. And it can't simply be that she'd have to spend more time in the company of her brother-in-law.

"Simply for protection," states Cyprus simply. "Perhaps, should your husband see that his brother is willing to put this unpleasantness behind them all, we might all be able to take definitive steps towards the future."

"What are you playing at, Donovan?" Apparently, someone's patience is growing thin. "Do you think that by my saying a few words, my dear brother and my husband will suddenly make nice?" Kate seriously doubts this is the case. "Peter doesn't agree with the President's methods. He isn't about to throw anything that even looks close to support behind him."

"I don't play, Mrs. Petrelli," says Cyprus simply. "I'm merely thinking in the long term. I must be going. I've been here too long, as is. You have your means to contact me, should you see fit to take me up on my offer. Until then…" He pauses, and looks closely at Kate. "I trust this conservation will remain private." He flashes a quick smile, and begins moving towards the door.

Kate makes no move to stop him. She simply turns along with Cyprus so that she never gives him her back. She scowls at his retreating form. "A pleasure, as always." A cold mockery of pleasantries.

"Quite." And with that, Cyprus has left the building.

Hosted in a ballroom within the Marquis Marriot, President Petrelli gave the following speech to a host of reporters and media representatives. Played in full on the radio, as well as on TV, he stands at a podium (in seemingly uninjured health) flanked by secret service. It goes like this:

On the morning of August 4th, 2009, a terrorist attack was launched against the Acela Express Amtrak line. Two hundred and sixty eight Americans were killed that day, and since then, a further forty-eight have died. Three hundred and sixteen casualties, at the whim of a terrorist, and of that number, twenty three were Evolved. It has already come to media attention that the criminal responsible for this carnage is Peter Petrelli. I am here to confirm to you… that this is correct.

This is the biggest strike against human decency seen since the war that wrecked New York, that left a scar on the American map. This is yet another scar that will cost our nation millions of dollars to heal, and the damage done will be the minds and memories of the American people for years to come.

The majority of the people who suffered were not government officials. They were not military, they were not traitors, they were not prisoners. Peter Petrelli has the blood of civilians on his hands, the very people so-called freedom fighters work to protect. It has been proven that such acts of terrorism lead only to more destruction and death.

Those who wish to stand in opposition of the government stand side-by-side with this man. If there is any good that can come from this tragedy, it is that you understand exactly whose foot steps you are following - a terrorist no better than Sylar. Peter Petrelli will be brought to justice.

The funding of the Amtrak reparations has already begun, and it is my promise to America that like with the destruction of New York City, it will be in honour of those killed that reconstruction will begin as soon as possible. The trains will run on time once more.

Thank you.

Today was definitely not an easy one, and this press conference was just the icing on the cake. After her initial meeting with Cyprus Donovan, Kate decided she would not be accepting his offer. Even after meeting with the Alliance and their so-called Equaliser, she knew she could not accept his offer.

But this changes everything.

It's a snap decision, but staring at the television as the local news outlet recaps and discusses the announcement, Kate takes out a business card and her cell phone, dialing the number on the card.

"Mister Donovan. It's Kate Petrelli." While he makes an attempt to exchange pleasantries, she’s ignoring them.

"I'm ready to make a deal."

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