Curiously

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helena_icon.gif verse_icon.gif

Scene Title Curiously
Synopsis Helena is brought in for interrogation by Verse, and the agent tries a new tactic, and a new line of questioning.
Date February 21, 2009

Moab Federal Penitentiary


One corridor after another.

A ride in an elevator labeled with a color scale that begins at green and ends with red, all the way down to the tarterian depths of Moab.

Dragged arm in arm by prison guards, carried, her feet off of the ground as she is hastily brought through these spartan passages. Eventually, she is escorted to one of Red Level's isolation chambers. The door is drawn open, iron sliding inside of stone, followed by the hydraulic hiss of pressurized steel shutters sliding up and down from the floor, and a third door of barred caging moving to the side. The chamber is small, featuring what looks like a black padded dentist's chair, complete with head and limb restraints, able to pivot in any direction. One wall of the cell is nothing but a reflective floor to ceiling mirror lined with metal rivets.

Hoisted up and dropped into the chair, Helena Dean is manhandled, her arms dragged to the armressts, leather restraints clamped around her wrists and forearms, more around her ankles, a strap lightly drawn around her neck, and another to her forehead. One guard begins to roll an IV stand over, but nothing is plugged in yet, no injections, no respirator masks. All she gets, are a pair of electrodes stuck to the sides of her head, connecting her to an EEG to monitor brainwaves.

And then the guards leave the room, leave the doors open and leave her bound to this chair.

It's no lie that Helena is terrified. But she's also spent time contemplating the idea that something like this was coming, and she begins to gather her mental defenses. The band is already playing in the back of her brain, and she keeps her expression level as she stares at the open doorway, breathing even and deep and trying to take herself someplace else by sheer force of will.

Footsteps quietly click down the hall, not the sound fo the guard's boots departing, but the sound of someone approaching after several minutes of prolonged silence. The shoes click and clack against the tile, bringing into frame of the doorway a tall man with an ink-black silhouette. His dark hair is worn up and in wild disarray, thin brows lowered into a contemplative expression, and his long, black coat is buttoned down from collar to waist.

It's him.

"Miss Dean." Brown eyes assess the chair, moving in through the open doorway before pressing one button on a keypad beside the door that sets all of the mechanical devices into motion, doors sliding closed and cages rattling shut with clockwork precision. "My name is Agent Steven Verse, you and I have been acquainted prior." His voice is similar to Peter's, in fact the two look alike, he has that same smooth gait that Peter did when he was working for the Company, and nearly the same hairstyle. He's just a few years younger, and cleaner shaven. "I'd like to talk to you, a little less invasively today, if you don't mind?" He begins circling the chair, taking off leather gloves as he does, one by one depositing them into the pockets in his coat. "The straps aren't too tight, are they?"

Helena turns her head to the side. "Cruel to be kind, in the right measure?" she asks. "I don't know why you're wasting your time bothering to play good cop, when we both know that you're not. I'm sure you think it's necessary to put someone who isn't even old enough to drink yet through something like this."

"Not old enough to drink, but old enough to lead a civil uprising and battle a group of european anti-evolved terrorists?" Verse smiles faintly, "Neither of us think you're a child, Miss Dean. If I had to guess, I would imagine your childhood ended when your mother passed away." Moving behind the chair, there is a scuffing of metal, and the agent drags a stool out from where it had been concealed, bringing it to the side of the chair. "I, personally, don't think this is parricularly necessary. However my superiors insist that certain security precautions be taken across the board when handling interrogations." His head quirks to the side, reaching inside of his jacket for a small metal tin of altoids. He flips the lid open, taking out one of the curiously strong mints before popping it in his mouth.

"You might think me a monster, Miss Dean. That's fine, I'm not here to persuade you otherwise. But you should be aware that society at large thinks you are too, thinks you're dangerous and deserving of far worse than this." He motions around the room, "Everyone can be wrong."

Rolling the mint around in his mouth, Verse considers something, "I want to ask you some questions today about someone, and provided we're able to have a conversation like this — like adults — I won't need to do anything more extreme. Do you understand?"

"I think if you were smart, society at large wouldn't know about me at all." Helena counters, avoiding his gaze not because she's shy or afraid (though afraid she is), but because people who can get into your head generally find a window by means of one's eyes. The old adage is true. "You can ask me what you like. I can't promise I'll answer." Her nostrils flare at the scent of the Altoids. Something in her seems to feel like she'll never be able to stand the scent again.

Verse just affords the young girl a modicum of a smile, if not somewhat rueful. His head lowers, and he slips the mints back into the interior pocket of his jacket before scooting the stool just a bit closer. "Good, good. That's really all I can ask." Resting his hands on his knees, Verse has the mannerisms of a young high-school teacher, less so than a federal agent and interrogation specialist. Perhaps the relaxed demeanor comes with the territory.

"How well do you know DHS Agent Matthew Parkman?"

"Not as well as I thought." Helena says, considering the question for a moment. "He was contacted because Kazimir Volken's forces were so large that we thought we had no choice but to include Homeland Security, despite misgivings. Everyone knows of Matt Parkman - and I'd seen him being assaulted in prophetic painting once before." There's a pause. "Can I please have my hands freed?"

Verse glances to the mirror for a moment, then back to Helena, "You can, but please don't try to release your other restraints." Rising up from his stool, Verse walks over and unbuckles Helena's left hand first, pulling the leather tongue of the strap through the buckle, "I'm looking to go a little bit further back than the Volken incident, actually." He moves around the front of the chair, so he can get to the other strap. "Did you ever see or hear from Matt Parkman during November of last year? Around the time when Allen Rickham was touring New York City?" One dark eyebrow rises slowly, and Verse's lips press together, "Anything you might know will be of a great help to us, Miss Dean."

Helena considers a moment. Parkman had made such promises. So had Rickham. And in return, Helena and hers had been fucked. As her wrists are freed, all she does is rub them each, and then go to scratch her nose. "We got wind of an attempt on the President-Elect's life." Helena says. "So we set out to put a stop to it. Parkman was there. We saved him, too. Those shots fired from a building were the assassin bullets. " And the lightning strike to the building wasn't a coincidence. "In the days that followed I had…opportunities to speak with Parkman."

"Got wind of how?" Verse's brows lower, head tilting to one side as he looks at Helena intently while unfastening the straps on her other wrist. Once it's done, he takes a half-step back and away from the chair, watching her carefully. "Did Matt Parkman have any advanced warninig about the assassination attempt as well, or was he caught up in the events otherwise?"

"A mole." Helena says quietly. "In Volken's group. That's how we knew. Parkman just happened to be there. We'd already had enough experience with Volken's people to know that they might find out if we went to the authorities." She begins to torque her wrists slowly, but otherwise doesn't move from the seat. So far, Verse's questions don't seem to be compromising anyone but Matt Parkman, and Helena has no problem with throwing his ass to the wolves.

Nodding slowly, Verse paces around to the front of Helena's chair, "The assassination attempt, you and yours participated in the thwarting of this engagement, if I'm understanding you correctly." Dark eyes drift to the side, then back up to Helena, "Following this, you claimed to have saved Matt Parkman. In what capacity, and how did Matt Parkman reciprocate this generosity on your behalf?"

"Saving Parkman wasn't part of the plan." Helena says tiredly, furrowing her brow. "He was there, protecting Rickham, and so by extension, we helped him. We gave him everything we could about Volken's group, and he agreed to help. Except…" she trails off.

Breathing a slow breath out of his nostrils, Verse finds his way back to his stool, settling on it again as he reaches inside of his coat and produces that metal tin of mints again, offering it up silently towards Helena. "Do you know why it would be that Agent Parkman did not turn you and your organization in to the Department of Homeland Security following this encounter? Are you aware of any dealings made on behalf of Phoenix that Agent Parkman may have made to conceal their existance from the government, or otherwise subvert investigations into such organizations?"

Helena still doesn't look him in the eyes. "We saved the president-elect's life." she says. "You strike me as a smart man."

"So you're saying Parkman arranged for Phoenix's existence to be kept quiet as a favor for assisting in the rescue of Allen Rickham's life?" He's looking for a concrete, and perhaps damning answer here, leaning forward just a bit on his chair, withdrawing the offered box of mints to tuck away in his jacket again.

"We didn't assist." Helena insists. "We saved his life. And Parkman might have the authority for that." Of course, of the two men in relevance, one of them certainly did.

Verse brings one hand to his mouth, rubbing his palm across it slowly. After a scratch to his chin, he slides the stool back and starts pacing again, looking anxious. His eyes divert to the floor, then back to Helena again. "How long was Matthew Parkman in the care of Phoenix along with the President-Elect until they were released?"

Answer what I'm saying. Do not act suspiciously. I need you to tell me what you know about Nathan Petrelli.

Verse's dark eyes level on Helena, intently.

"A few days." Helena keeps it vague, on purpose. Her eyes briefly flick to his, and dart away. He's Peter's brother, and was a candidate for president.

"A few days…" Verse echoes back to her, slow footsteps carrying the agent around to the back of the chair. "What was your contact with Agent Parkman like following his departure from your group's place of organization?" He stops directly behind the young woman, letting his bare hands come to rest on the sides of the chair.

Do you know anything about President Petrelli that would put his qualifications to govern the united States of America in doubt?

"Brief." Helena says. "I was…strongly discouraged from including Parkman or any form of the authorities in any further plans we had." Carefully, As far as I know, nothing about Nathan Petrelli disqualifies him from serving as president, save for the fact that he was not elected in accordance to the laws of this country.

Verse nose, his shoulders slacking some as he stops by the side of the chair, "Discouraged by whom?" His dark eyes look up and down the young woman, then looks up towards the mirror. In Helena's mind, his voice is absent, though the look of dissatisfaction on his face makes it obvious that he was hoping that somewhere, somehow, he'd have ammunition to go after the President himself.

"One of our allies." she says. "He had an ability to make logistical predictions. And he predicted that the involvement of the authorities in our efforts to stop Volken would reduce our chances of success. I believed him." Though maybe she shouldn't have.

Verse nods slowly, and steps towards the door, leaving his back to Helena for a moment as he hangs his head. "Are you willing to divulge the location of your collaborators in the organization known as Phoenix, as well as the names of your allies?" When he looks up over his shoulder, Verse's brow is tensed, waiting for the answer he knows is coming coal-black eyes watching the young woman strapped to the chair with a mixed expression of duty and guilt.

She's had plenty of time to pull up her defense. She turns those huge blue eyes up to his brown ones. She has so many choices. She could be defiant. She could be angry. She could be sullen. But instead she smiles at him. It's sad and it's sweet, and it's the smile that gave her a place in the heart of a man who could bring fire to his fingertips, and a man who could bring down buildings with the power of his sound, and a woman who never forgets, and two men who currently reside in floors lower than this one, but in very different ways.

"I'm sorry, Steven. We both know I won't do that."

Giving a nod of his head, Verse presses a button on the door, "I'm finished with Miss Dean for the night. Please return her to her cell." His finger comes off of the button and he turns to look at the young woman again, brows lowering. "If you think of anything else regarding the questions I have asked, Miss Dean, it would be greatly appreciated." There's a tenson to his voice, and his eyes drift down to the floor, away from her, and then find their way up to the mirror behind her chair, focusing not on just his reflection, but through it to what he can sense beyond.

"Thank you for your cooperation."

She's not released yet, so she simply sits in her chair. "If you want to thank me," she says, "You'd let me see Peter." She knows it's highly unlikely, but she won't have not tried.

Smiling faintly, Verse gives a shake of his head, and the agents words mimic Helena's in there sincerity and tone as the mechanical doors begin to slide open.

"I'm sorry, Helena. We both know I won't do that."


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February 21st: Watchkeeping
Previously in this storyline…
You Have Not Been Forgotten

Next in this storyline…
Crazy People

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February 21st: Good Luck
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