All We Can Do


adam_icon.gif tamsine_icon.gif

Scene Title All We Can Do
Synopsis Adam and Tamsine get into ethical discussions. Adam confides in Tamsine about his age and the Company's origins and she agrees to try to help him.
Date June 28, 2009

Tamsine's Apartment, Greenwich Village

Adam shows up at the apartment. He knocks on the door, but tries the handle first, because, after all, he probably deserves it.

Of course the door is locked. This is New York City! Tamsine is home; it's after curfew, after all. She opens the door after standing on tip toes to see through the peep hole. "Hey," she says, smiling and opening the door to let him in. She's barefoot and waring a Yankees baseball jersey over a pair of cut off sweats, in for the night.

Adam smiles. He, himself, is wearing his usual attire. A nice shirt and slacks with a sports jacket over top. He steps into the apartment and slips an arm around her waist as he leans in to kiss her gently before he closes the door behind him, "Thought I'd check in on you. It's a dangerous city after all."

"Of course I'm safe," Tamsine says with a chuckle. "Just going over some supplies for the bar," she says, nodding in to ward her living room where a few bar and restaurant catalogs litter the coffee table and sofa. The white kitten is curled up on top of one glassware catalog, looking pleased with itself as it rests on pages 32 and 33. "Can I get you anything?"

Adam mms and shakes his head, "No, not really. It's been a bit of a busy day, but I've kept myself pretty hydrated." he says as he slips a hand along her lower back and leads her towards the catalogs, "I'm glad you're looking into that. The bar is almost ready for renovations. So we'll need.." he twirls a finger.

"We'll need… spinning wheels? Curling ribbon? Crazy people? I don't know what that means," she says with a smirk, sitting down on the sofa. "But yeah. I think most of the stuff will do but I've made a list of the things we need to replace." Tamsine nods to a printout of an inventory list, some items highlighted with numbers scrawled next to them. "So how are you? Rough day?"

Adam mms, "It was informative." he pauses, "Things, I think, are going to get very violent soon. But.." he shrugs, "I suppose they always are." he shrugs off his jacket and slips a hand onto Tamsine's knee, "I think, pretty soon, I'll be going on another business trip. A lengthy one."

"Violent?" Tamsine echoes, her face blanching a little as her dark brown eyes widen. "What do you mean…? And where are you going this time? And what do you mean by violent?" she asks, each question getting a little louder and a little more tremulous in tone.

Adam mms, "There's.." he pauses, "Tamsine, it's hard to explain it to you. There's always some massive thing going on that threatens the stability of society. Telling you about every one would just worry you."

"You can't say that there's going to be violence and then not explain it to me, Adam," Tamsine points out. "And not explaining it will still worry me. The last time… I thought that was an exception. And I believe in what you're trying to do, but 'very violent,' that suggests it's not an exception and that it's more than just one person, and I don't know if I can believe in it if you aren't going to tell me."

Adam blows out a breath, "There's a man. Arthur Petrelli who heads an organization called Pinehearst. He's gone a bit…off his rocker with power. And now…people are going to try and take him down. I imagine it's going to be quite a bit climatic."

"People. People who? And what does this organization do? Where do you stand in the midst of all of it?" Tamsine says. Her louder voice has disturbed Pandora who mews plaintively before jumping off the catalogue and finding a quieter place to nap.
Adam rests his chin in his hand as he considers Tamsine. "You've disturbed the kitten." he says as he glances at the retreating kitten.

Tamsine glowers at him as he changes the subject and evades the question. "Who is this guy and what's this company about? Why do you know about it, and how are you involved? I mean… Adam, I need to trust you if this is going anywhere. As your business partner, as your… whatever I am. Friend. Girlfriend. You can't just say there's going to be violence and expect me to go, 'Oh, okay, dear. Can I refill your coffee?'"

Adam hmms, "Well, one can hope." he says, "Arthur Petrelli is one of the founders of the Company. He split off and created his own company, Pinehearst. For a short time, I worked with him." he pauses, "However, he has the ability to steal abilities and has decided to experiment on people…so now, I'm switching sides and I'm going to feed information to the terrorist group Phoenix and hope they all kill each other in a bloody explosion."

Well. It's not like he's actually pulling the trigger. She relaxes a little and pulls her feet up in front of her, wrapping her arms around her knees. "What information do you have that's going to be able to help them, if he's able to steal abilities? God. Is there a limit to how many he can have? One at a time or like… is he omnipotent?" she murmurs, a shiver running through her at the thought.

Adam shakes his head, "I don't know. I don't know how many powers he has. A lot, I suppose." he says, "And…I know who's in the organization and the building and most of the security." he shrugs a shoulder a bit, "The rest will be up to them. Who knows how it all turns out." but he seems a bit detatched, "But I'm sure it'll all work out for them in the end."

Tamsine still looks worried, her red eyebrows knit together as she stares at him. "You're so… blase about it…" she says quietly. "You're sure it will 'work out for them' — that they might end up blowing up an entire building? I mean… I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess maybe some of the people in that building might not be all bad. Might not be crazy omnipotent demi gods. Maybe they're just a janitor or a receptionist who has no clue what the president guy is up to. Shouldn't we take them into account?"

Adam mms, "I seriously doubt they'll blow up the whole building." he says, "They'll likely try and catch Arthur in a lab, or maybe out in the street. They're…" he pauses, "They're not quite as callous as all that. No, I'm sure this will end up being one of those mano-y-mano battles that the good guys win." he sounds a tad bitter. "I wouldn't worry too much about it. What worries me is the open bombing on Staten Island. I imagine there'll be open warfare there soon."

The redhead tilts her head. "It's awful. Too many explosions lately. I hope your friends at Phoenix don't just blow up an entire building. There's always civilians who get hurt, in any war, and it doesn't make any of it all right." Spoken like the true child of hippies.

Adam lets out a sigh and takes Tamsine's hands, squeezing them. And there's why Tamsine can always only know part. He looks up, "Phoenix aren't my friends. They're children playing a very old and very grown up game. And their sloppiness gets people killed. But, right now, they're the best tool to use against Arthur."

"If they're like children, and you're using them as a tool… how are they possibly capable of taking him out if he's as powerful as you say he is?" she says with a shake of her head as she tries to make sense of his words. "Are you trying to get rid of Phoenix, or this Arthur — did you say Petrelli? Is it a relative of Nathan Petrelli?"

Adam shakes his head, "They'll find a way." he pauses, "You ever see kids gang up on a bully? He's bigger than him, but they swarm him and bring him down. They'll do the same." he pauses, "That's right. It's his father."

"I thought he was dead…" Tamsine says, with a shake of her head. "That doesn't make sense at all. And when does it end? How many people are you trying to take down, Adam? What happens when this one goes… it'll just be someone else, won't it." The last part is not a question, despite its syntax.

Adam frowns a bit, "I told you that this was big, Tamsine. That this wasn't a simple thing. What would you have me do? Nothing? Let things go on as they are?"

She stares at her hands in his and bites her lip before shaking her head, looking up past him to a picture of Liliana on the wall. "I … no, I want you to make a difference," she says quietly. "Where is your next trip to? For how long?"
Adam frowns, "For a bit. I'll be traveling around the country." he pauses, "I'd ask you to come…but…" he trails off. She has some idea of what he's going to do and she's been clear that she doesn't want to be involved in it.

Her brows furrow. "What are you doing on the trip? I believe in your cause, Adam, I just don't want people to get hurt who haven't done anything wrong. If you're not hurting people… and if you need my help on the trip…" She gives a shrug of one shoulder.

Adam is quiet when she says the part about him not hurting people. "Tamsine. I'm finding all the founders of the company. I'm digging up the roots and tearing them from the garden. Believe me, they've done wrong."

She turns away to stare at Lily's picture again. Her chin lifts with some resolve. "You believe they're the reason the children were so frightened to tell anyone about their powers? That they killed themselves instead of living in this world? Are the founders and this Company responsible for the climate of hate? Answer me honestly, Adam."

Adam sniffs a bit at that. He purses his lips, "Not at first." he saysa carefully as if he was choosing his words. To be honest, the Company started off as something that would help. To protect evolved. Then came the experiments…the abductions, the imprisonments." his lips purse a moment, "These individuals helped that. Some of them are directly responsible. Others…less so. One of them created a virus that could have destroyed the entire world."

"Could have… but didn't? Did that person realize their wrong?" she asks. "I… if you're helping to get rid of people who are hurting the children and causing them to kill themselves rather than be found out… I can handle that, Adam. It's strange to say it… but I can." She lets go of his hands, her own arms moving to wrap around her legs again. "But if some of them are innocent - even if they were founders - if they were only a part of the good the Company sought to do, and none of the bad… it would be wrong of you to kill them."

Adam lets out a bit of a sigh. He pulls Tamsine's hands into his lap and says, "Tamsine. Answer me honestly. If someone had told your daughter that they were a mistake. If someone had said 'You need to be watched, tagged, feared..' and then later changed their mind. Later…left the world to go into seclusion instead of getting involved…would you want me to leave them alone? Would you want me to forgive them? Or would you want me to get revenge?"

"You even said that they were trying to protect them at one point," Tamsine points out. "And not all of them may have been in agreement." She frowns. "If what they're doing now — if they're not involved now and are trying to do better with their lives now — then, now, I wouldn't want you to get revenge. Not if they're… redeeming themselves," she says earnestly. "People can change. People can change their minds."

Adam shakes his head, "They're not doing anything now. They've buried their head in the sand and completely ignored the world around them. How about then?"

"I don't know," Tamsine says with a shake of her head, her eyes troubled at the ethical gray area. "People make stupid mistakes. If they regret them? If they didn't deliberately hurt people, and thought they were helping them? Maybe. I mean… do we kill soldiers when they return home from war? And what about people who make stupid decisions while driving — killing innocent people? We don't kill them because they were wrong or stupid."

Adam leans back for some moments. He frowns, "They did a bit more than.." he shakes his head for a few moments and says, "I'll think about it." he says, "But…there's so much history here that you just don't understand."

"I can't understand what I don't know," she points out. "I… these secret agencies and everything, it all sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory though I believe you… I mean, why would you lie, and it all makes sense. But I don't know the history, and just on the premise of 'They did bad things' — I want to help, though, if it will make things… better. I just want you to think and see if there's less violent ways of doing it. Take away their resources. Take away their money. Out them to the public. I don't know."

Adam strokes her hand gently and lets out a sigh, "You can't bankrupt the government." he says after a moment, "At least, not with the resources I have at my disposal. And…many people have tried to 'out' them as it were and failed." his lips purse a bit, "The truth of the matter is…unless I had my own army…which, frankly, I don't….I'm not sure how to stop them without just disposing of them one by one."

"What did they do to you?" she asks suddenly, looking from her hands in his lap up to his face, her eyes wide as the sudden epiphany strikes.

Adam frowns. He lets go of her hands and looks away a moment. He stands from his seat and looks around. His lips purse a moment before he says, "They locked me in away in a quiet little cell." he says, "They locked me away and threw away the key…for decades."

Tamsine frowns, and gets up, taking his hands again. "Decades? Were you like… a little kid?" she asks, not knowing what he's telling her without actually saying it. "You poor thing… God, I'm so sorry…" Her eyes are full of tears as she stares up at him.

Adam shakes his head. He turns towards her for a moment, "Tamsine…you don't quite understand…" he pauses for some moments, "There's…something I haven't told you. It's hard to imagine how to bring it up during a date, yeah?" he pauses a moment, "I'm….much older than I appear."

She tilts her head, looking up at him, looking so naive despite all of her losses. "Oh?" she says, brows knitting. "Oh, because o your healing abilities, probably? I would guess… your skin wouldn't age so swiftly… that makes sense. How old are you?" She's clearly expecting an answer like 50 or 60, maybe.

Adam frowns a moment. He looks a tad conflicted as if he isn't sure to tell her the truth or not. His eyes close for a moment as he thinks and finally, he says, "I suppose, depending on your point of view, I'm closing in on five hundred years."

Her hands drop his and she takes a step back in shock — the couch collides with the back of her leg, and she ends up following rather unceremoniously into a sitting position. "How… How is that possible?" she whispers, her eyes wide in her face as she stares up at him. "I thought these powers… I thought they were new, the past few … years. Not hundreds of years…" She can't seem to utter a coherent sentence.

Adam frowns a bit, "Who knows?" he questions, "History is full of men who defy logic. Perhaps Jesus of Nazareth, perhaps Alexander the Great…" he pauses, "There were less in the past." he says, "But we've always been here. I've run into one or two during the years."

"I'm… sorry." She stands again, and reaches for his hand. "I didn't… You just took me by surprise. I didn't mean to back away. It's not something to be afraid of or sorry for or… I mean, I get why you couldn't tell me before." She looks like she might cry, now that the shock has passed. "So they put you in a cell — because you had this ability?" She pushes away all the other questions — the fact that he's apparently immortal and that her life is a mere heartbeat compared to his.

Adam takes her hand and sits her down. There's a pause. "Alright Tamsine." he says, "Here's the story." He's quiet a moment before he looks at Tamsine, "I created the Company. I had a vision…an organization to protect and preserve evolved from the world. I brought together these men and women. Gifted men and women who shared my vision…and for a while…it worked. For a while…we did just that…" he pauses, "And then…things started getting out of control, Tamsine." he looks sad, almost as if he'll cry, "Things started to get out of hand. And people began to make deals with the government, people began to.." he pauses, "Victoria…a scientist…started to study this young girl, Shanti. And she found a virus in her blood…a virus that would destroy everyone." he squeezes her hand, "And I wanted to find the virus…destroy it. And..they caught me and turned on me and threw me in a cell. In 1977…" he pauses, "And I got out…two years ago."

Her brows furrow as he says he made this Company, this thing for which he has filled her with hate over the last few weeks. "I … you started the Company?" she repeats. "I don't understand. Why… you contradict yourself…" she starts, before her mind wraps around the date. "That's… I wasn't even born yet," she murmurs. "You were in a cell for as long as I've been alive." Her eyes fill with tears again.

Adam shakes his head, "I told you. We started out with such good intentions…we started out doing exactly what we should have done…we protected people, Tamsine. We taught evolved how to use their powers…I didn't start these…bagging and tagging protocols." he says, "That's when things started to.." he shakes his head, "Get out of hand."

"Are you sure all the people on your list… are guilty? Maybe they didn't like it any better than you did. Just be sure — before you hurt someone who is innocent," Tamsine says, her legs curling beneath her as she picks up a pillow and holds it in her lap. "I'm sorry though… that you had to go through that." She swallows as she considers his life time, and shakes her head again, unable to wrap her mind around it.

Adam sits back for some moments as he watches her glumly. "I don't really have much doubt about my list." he says, "I know these people. I recruited them after all.." he looks up, "Don't you see? In the end, it's all my thought. Everything…." he waves a hand, "I started it. I'm responsible. I have to fix it."

"Oh Adam," she says, softly, putting down the pillow and wrapping her arms around him. "It's not your fault," she says softly, her hands sliding into his hair to stroke it in a soothing manner. She may be some four hundred years younger than him, but she still tries to console him, to soothe away that 30-year-old pain. "I'll help you. If I can. I can't… I can't kill anyone, but I'll try to help you in other ways, if you need. If it will make the world better, the way Lily wanted it to be."

Adam turns to Tamsine and slides his arms around her body. He holds onto her tightly and says, "Thank you Tamsine." he says as he kisses the top of her head with a sigh, "Thank you." he says softly. "This is….difficult. It's all so difficult.." he strokes her hair, "I suppose this is too much to drop on you. I was hoping to come here to relax. And now.."

A tear slides down her face and against his as she ducks her head against his neck. "It's a lot. And it's hard. But I'm your friend," she murmurs, her voice muffled and her lips moving against his neck. "I … 500 years? Are we all like little children in your eyes?" She lifts her head and looks into his face. "I must seem so awfully naive… ignorant… in the grand scheme of things."

Adam lifts his head a moment and strokes his fingers against her cheek. He wipes her tears lightly up against her eyes at the top of her cheek before he murmers, "You can't…live a single lifetime." he says, "All you can do is live episodes.." he pauses gently, "And…I don't know. You might have this idea that in all this time I must be a wise master….but, all I've had is lives, full of mistakes, failures, successes, loves, loss, hatreds.." he pauses, "You don't. You seem like such a good person."

Her eyes fill again with tears, and more slip past her damp lashes. "Adam… I've made mistakes. I've failed. I failed my own child. I could have kept her from doing the horrible thing she did… and I hate myself for it." She shudders and looks away, wiping her eyes on her jersey sleeve. "Maybe we have more in common than we thought. We both failed at something that started out as something good. You with the Company. Me with my own child." She sighs, a long, shuddery thing. "I can't save Lily now but maybe I can keep someone else from having to do what she did."

Adam is quiet for the moment and instead just pulls her in close to him, stroking her back softly as he holds her there, squeezing her a bit, "I suppose…that's all we can do."

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