Blood and Justice


audrey_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif

Scene Title Blood and Justice
Synopsis Audrey receives a new lead on the Sylar investigation at a cost.
Date June 6, 2011

A Locker Room

Sometimes, it's luck, to get the showers to yourself after a long session of raquetball. No Jane this time, off doing her own work, which left Audrey with a pick up game instead and a good sweat worked up and sore shoulders. She's never quite been the same since she got tossed off the bridge, muscles hurt just a little more after a good work out.

So the silence in the locker room before the water flared to life was good after the endless smack and whip of the hard little ball, against walls and raquets. The water pours down out of the shower, hot as can be, pattering down on her shoulders, soaking through blonde hair, over lean body that maybe is just a bit soft in the middle but not unexpected at her age and her desk job. It turns her hair a shade darker and drops off her eyelashes when enough moisture gathers. Her feet shift, bringing her further under the water to let it wash over her face, erase the sweat off her skin and the day off as well. Another day of not getting closer to what she wanted.

Tilting her face back letting water trace over her chest now, Audrey turns to get her soap and cloth, start actually washing off instead of letting water sluice over her. She may be a miser in her time at work and in life generally, but in the shower, she allows herself that few extra minutes of luxury.

What she wants gets closer to her. Sort of.

The swinging door that leads into the locker room creaks on its hinges, allowing a susurrus of voices and laughter to float in on the back of tennis shoes squeaking against the gym's old wooden floors, and the sharp scream of a whistle blowing time out on a distant court. It folds shut again in the next instant and boxes Audrey back in with the rushing water and the thundering sound it makes in her ears when she swivels her head at just the right angle, though it is not so loud that she fails to detect the meandering footsteps in the space behind her.

There is no cause for alarm until she catches the gleam of a reflection in the shower's cool, pale metal. "Hello," says a voice.

Finger hitch for a gun on instinct, meeting just bare wet flesh instead, the weapon locked up in her locker, safety on and well out of reach of the federal agent at this very moment. Audrey does turn at the familiar voice - footsteps are footsteps, people come and go - but last she knew, this particular terrorist wasn't part of this club, and wasn't prone to exercise of the non-running for your life variety.

Teasing federal agents?

Yup, she's been known to do that.

Instead, Audrey is armed with only a bar of soap, a wet washcloth and her hands with eyes narrowed and water rolling down her back as she turns to face Eileen in only her birthday suit. "You could have made an appointment" You know, a better time when she wasn't naked, wet and could have a dozen agents pouncing on the avian telepath and dragging her off to jail.

"I doubt if you'd have honoured my terms or conditions," Eileen answers, and she at least has the courtesy to give the appearance of keeping her eyes above Audrey's shoulders. Something glossy and sleek flutters in the locker room's rafters. There is a gun in her hand that does not belong to the woman she has cornered under the water, weapon aimed at her heart, but if she came here with the intention of murdering her then Audrey's blood would already be whirlpooling down the drain.

"I want to have a conversation with you, Agent Hanson. Out of respect for both your time and mine, I'll try to keep it to the point." The door to the locker room has presumably been bolted shut. Although this is a game Eileen plays with Audrey and sometimes Felix Ivanov, her reputation as a terrorist is a decisive one. "Last month there was a murder at a naval academy in Maryland."

"You read the news" Audrey remains, where Audrey remain, not yelling out for help, making no move to lurch forward towards the petite woman who adurey is somewhat taller than. "Nesbitt. You didn't happen to have birthed a kid with your boyfriend when you were about two, or he doesn't happen to have a sister that I don't know about does he? Because if not, He's looking pretty good for that particular murder and not any of his dopplegangers" Her fingers tighten around the bar of soap making dents in it.

If Audrey is looking for it, she'll see the tension intesifying around Eileen's mouth at the suggestion, no matter how facetious, that she and Gabriel might have a child. She is quiet for the time it takes her to try to remember where she was on the eighteenth of May and whether or not he was with her. He wasn't — at least not that she could see — but there is steely confidence and resolve in her voice when she asks, "And why is that?"

"Is he enjoying his new ability? Or burning old ladies in their homes in the middle of the night?" Not answering the younger womans question. "Bone manipulation. Interesting accumulation of abilities t hat he's going for. Tell me, he tell you how he got into the room without anyone knowing? How about memory manipulation? I bet that would come in handy too. Because for the life of me, I know his mother's six feet under and last I looked, there's no zombies, no sisters, and you're the only ass he's got on the side best that I know" A little more confidant Audrey starts to lather the wash cloth up. A glance towards the rafters and the bird up there. She'd throw something at it if she didn't think she'd get nailed by a bullet.

"But you're too young to have popped out any girl capable of doing this, so it looks like your boyfriends fucking with me as usual" soap leaves a trail of bubbles along her upper arm as Audrey starts to wash herself down.

Might as well not waste time.

"There were two of him at the gala, Hanson. Biologically they're identical because that's how the cloning ability works — DNA evidence means very little when there are multiple men shedding the same skin, the same hair." Eileen's bird, a female grackle with moon-yellow eyes alights where two beams meet, its matchstick legs splayed and clawed toes hooked in a secure grip. Its tail fans out behind it, perhaps for additional balance, and it gives a scissor-flick of its wings, edged in black.

"I know the individual you're looking for," she says, gun trained on Audrey while she bathes. "It isn't Gabriel, but let's call him Sylar — that's how I've been differentiating, and the name means something to you. How much do you know about the doppelgangers?"

"That there's a handful of them, maybe more. Your's, the one who impersonated Jane Pak, there's another that was living in the Lighthouse Orphanage, posing as a dead woman by the name of Jennifer Childs. That if he's made this many, apt to be more out there. Then there's daddy dearest, but we're pretty good at figuring out his kill from his son's. I'm guessing if you're here talking about him and not shooting me, that they don't play patty cakes well with each other?"

She half submerses beneath the flow of water, sluicing off the soap, letting it course down her legs and flow down to the drain. "You don't get along with them? Because i know one of them got along well enough with the Jennifer imposter enough to save her and toss me into a house blind for a few days"

"It's thoroughly humiliating to be made a fool of," says Eileen, "and in front of so many people. Sylar made sure Gabriel and I would be there. That you'd see us. He played both sides against each other and took advantage of the chaos it created so he could get at Davignon." The drain beneath Audrey's feet gurgles. Chlorine reeks faintly in the air. "We came with the purpose of stopping him.

"You want justice. You want blood. I can help you get it, but there are things I want in return."

We do not negotiate with terrorists.

Movies, real life, those words have been spoken to the American public for years in it's many forms, tossed out when a terrorist accosts a city, or people, taking lives. But behind closed doors, under manila folders with top scret stamped in blood red across the covers-

They do.

And while Audrey may still be washing up, her eyes on Eileen with her gun out, inside her mind, behind the closed doors of thought, Audrey is trying to figure out what it is that they want in return. Her silence and pointed stare is permission to keep talking. She'll hear Eileen out at least.

When Audrey does not protest, there is a temptation for Eileen to lower her gun and conduct the rest of the conversation from the other side of the wall of steam rising up from the shower's floor, filling the air with moisture that beads on the walls and microscopic on the surface of her exposed skin. Experience has taught her not to succumb to these sort of urges, no matter how human; time is short and does not allow for much sympathy for other people, especially those who would arrest her if given the opportunity. "Does your clearance level give you full access to the Apollo files?"

"I've been read into the apollo files and am well acquainted with what went on" She doesn't day that she had to beg and doens't get to read it again without random goob looming over her shoulder. "Care to get me a towel?" She's almost done here, skin starting to turn pink from the water and the scrubbing.

"You aren't pruning yet." There are towels on a wooden bench that divides the locker room at Eileen's back into two halves, and she takes a step back in an implicit promise to fulfill Audrey's request without actually reaching for one. "I was promised a pardon in exchange for my participation and received it. So did everyone else, with the exception of Gabriel who received two bullets instead, courtesy of Emile Danko. He was misled. I want reparations.

"What I'm asking for isn't mercy, or even a clean record. Lord knows neither of us deserve that. All I want is an official death certificate in Gabriel's name in the event of Sylar's death. You'll have your killer and this ends for both of you."

"A lot of you received pardons, and nearly all of you returned to the life you did before" She knows, she's now tracking one of those people in the form of Elisabeth Harrison. "Here's my question. You're asking me, to honor the pardon from the government, in the form of a death certificate, when I get my hands on Sylar. Can you look me in the face and tell me that your honey hasn't been responsible for any of the deaths that have cropped up on my desk since Apollo?"

Audrey turns, hand settling on the shower knob, turning off the water, letting ti slow down till it's just a drop or two left in the shower head being pulled down by gravity. "What do I do about Samson Gray."

"Try not to get in his way, if you're asking for my advice. I'm here for the son not the father." With her free hand, Eileen's fingers seek out the corner of the topmost towel on the folded pile of linens, and she plucks it up with a quick flick of her wrist. The gesture that sends the towel floating across the short distance between them is not quite so bird-like but nevertheless gets the job done. "I'm not asking you to honour Gabriel's pardon. As far as I know, he was the only one of us who was never promised one when he agreed to sign up, but there was an implication that they'd let him walk upon completion of the mission. That never happened — the way I see it, you have an obligation to give him the opportunity now.

"He's not the man who murdered that boy in Maryland. You have my word."

"I don't have an obligation to do anything like that"

Audrey snatches at the towel, snapping it open then wrapping it around herself, tucking the end between her breasts but remaining where she is in the showers, lips thin and eyes narrowed.

"But I have a duty, and while I don't agree with any pardon that might have been implied, the matter is, everyone got one"

Audrey runs a hand through her short wet hair, pausing to work out a tangle and looking up at the bird, always making sure to keep tabs on where the bird is. "I want Samson Gray as well. I want everything he has on his dad, that you have on his dad, and if I so much as catch a whiff of Gabriel up to his old tricks, I will be up his ass faster than he can turn into smoke or make me blind. Just like I've been all these years" God, she's bartering with a fucking terrorist.

"I don't have anything on Samson. The last time I saw him would have been last November. For all I know, he found a nice, deep hole to crawl in and die during the winter. He's old, Hanson." Eileen moves around the edge of the bench, the tips of her fingers skimming along wood. "If I agreed to give you his father, I'd be making a promise I can't keep. All I have is on Sylar who is, for the record, under the protection of a very powerful government official, so be careful who you talk to about your investigation and any leads you may happen to turn up."

"Who's got his ass covered?" Audrey can live without hounding them for Samson. At least when, if Sylar is caught, she'll still have something to focus her attention on. Feed the flame so to speak.

Eileen's shadow slices across the lockers. "I want to be able to trust you," she says, "but I can't, not yet. There's a man in D.C. named Avi Epstein. Goes by King of Pentacles in some circles. I need you to give him a message for me, but while you're there you should ask him about your case. They worked together on Apollo, and he has more insight into Sylar than anyone."

Audrey's familiar with the name, his name is all over the files like Eileen and the others who participated are. "I think I know who to bring with me" For asking questions. "Anything else to tell me spurling, before you and your shadow take off?" No apologies forthcoming for killing the one that accompanied her to the gala.

"Tell him that Munin wants to know how things are working out with what Helena Dean spoke to her about. I'd very much like an answer, but I won't be heartbroken if you don't bring one back." The lock on the door turns. Eileen's grackle disappears between the beams with a snap of its wings. "I'll be in touch."

Words are recorded down mentally, they'll be written down later so that she won't forget and will be mulled over with Jane and examined to within an inch of her life. "I don't think you'll be heartbroken if we're not in touch again. but if we are, next time, try a different venue other than naked in my gym shower would you?"

"You should be glad it was only me," Eileen says by way of farewell, committing to nothing more than she already has. "I saw how he dressed you at the gala.

"So did the world." And the door swings shut behind her.

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