Change Needs to Happen


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Scene Title Change Needs to Happen
Synopsis Edward has April relay instructions to the rest of their crew.
Date April 16, 2009

Textile Factory 17

Somehow it always comes down to strings. Perhaps this was all a part of Edward's plan, perhaps this was just a fortuitous coincidence that everyone ended up in an abandoned textiles factory. But, much like last time, it all boils down to strings.

When they first arrived, Edward laid claim to the round tower connected to the administrative building in Factory 17, specifically the top floor, featuring an array of twelve windows set apart on the room at the same spacing as the numbers on a clock. It's here that April Silver knows he'll be, and here that he told her to meet him, specifically at this hour, specifically on this day.

The old wooden door to the crowning floor of the tower opened to reveal to April just how it always ends, and that's how we come to the strings. It isn't an office that the door opens to; it looks like it may have at one time been a library of some kind, what purpose it could have served in a turn of the century textiles factory is left unanswered.

Bookshelves are stripped bare, with volumes of old catalogues and journals stacked upon one another in makeshift piles of precariously balanced clutter. A large, circular table rests at the center of the room, strewn with old newspapers unfolded and torn apart, clippings taken out that now hang from the cotton spider's web overhead.

In the afternoon sunlight filtering through the windows of the round room, the strings look like tiny black filaments laced from one end of the room to another. It's like some magnificent game of cat's cradle gone awry, like the threaded web of some great spider.

Here, standing at the table, hunched over with a pair of shears, Edward Ray looks much like April remembers him. Having forsaken the orange jumpsuit for more fitting attire, the bespectacled mathematician works a pair of shears, cutting around an article in an issue of the New York Times, cutting out a face in a section clearly headlined: obituaries.

"It's good of you to join me, Miss Silver," Edward keeps his focus on trimming the picture free from the newspaper, letting the bulk fall away while the singular portrait and headline remains trimmed out in a perfect rectangle. "I'd hoped," his large, bright eyes lift up from the article as he climbs up onto one knee atop the table, "to have this all done when we talked, but it ended up being much harder to find the proper back issues of the Times than I anticipated."

Edward's lips creep into a smile as he plucks a wooden clothespin out of the front pocket of his brown tweed vest, clipping the article to where all of the strings in the room meet together. "They revoked my library card, you see."

Crawling back off of the table, Edward looks up to the article, breathing in a slow breath to allow April the time to navigate the maze of unadorned strings to come to the table he now stands at. "This, Miss Silver, is what I wanted to talk to you about," he motions with the scissors to the obituary article, prominently displaying the weathered countenance of a distinguished older gentleman — one April recognizes on sight.

The headline below the picture reads, Arthur Petrelli, dead at the age of 62.

Her clothes are purloined, but that stopped mattering… pretty much right after she got them. So are the shoes that strike their heels against old floorboards, rhythmic monotony accompanying the woman's entrance. It stops as she does, hazel eyes sweeping the criscrossing strings, a frown drawing over her features. "What is this?"

She asks before she really starts to see. Admittedly, even then it doesn't make sense. Not yet. After a halting moment, April continues forward, fingers idly brushing along one of the strings in a bemused gesture. She dodges the spiderstrands and comes up to the table, regarding the picture of Arthur Petrelli pinned in its place. Comprehension is elusive, and she looks at Edward, knowing he'll explain… something, at least.

Her earlier question still stands. She adds another one. "Why didn't you get Reed to pull them out of the archives or something? I mean, it's probably all digital somewhere even in this time."

"You could say I'm entrenched in tradition, there's something far more visceral about working with the actual newsprint." Edward lays the shears down on the table, circling the dusty wood surface as he paces, looking up at the mostly unadorned strings. So many, all tied off at different points, only half adorned with anything resembling notes or newspaper clippings. "Part of the exercise is one in study and research, I could've asked Reed for the starting pieces, but— " he finally turns to look back at April, "well, I figured you could all use a break and some… personal time."

Folding his hands behind his back, Edward stalks around the table further, eventually coming right back to where he started after giving a wide berth around April. "I figure most of you are itching for something to do — progress." He fidgets, wringing his hands together before shifting them to tuck into the pockets of his brown slacks. "Though I did want to ask," Edward eyes drift up and down, regarding April more carefully now, "How're you adjusting to your new surroundings?"

She turns to watch Edward walk, swiveling slowly around in place. "I think you can say that," April replies. "You're lucky no one's struck out on their own yet." Even her. Maybe especially Ms. Silver. 2009 presents many temptations, and not of the sinful kind.

She meets Edward's gaze levelly, unflinching. "It took a little while to adjust to the city," April allows. After having been acclimatized to the very different environment of Moab… come to think of it, 'personal time' was probably a good idea. Even if she's still impatient. Time's progression hangs over her awareness like a figurative Sword of Damocles; August isn't that far away.

"But we do need to get started."

Edward nods affirmatively to the last bit of what April says, having impassively listened to the rest. It seems only the choice to speak of action spurs him forward, "What we need to do — once we get started, that is — it's a rather simple matter when you get down to the heart of it." Moving a few steps away from the table, Edward comes to stand by one of the windows facing westernly, looking out across the river towards the island of Manhattan in the distance.

"Change needs to happen," and that very idea seems remarkably obvious, "drastic and monumental, in order to ensure that the future that comes to pass doesn't." Looking back from the window, Edward's eyes meet April's, one hand slowly adjusting his glasses. "I once told someone that the very concept of time is a mutable thing." The physicist turns his back to the window, folding his arms as he leans against the wall beside it. "But time's malleability is only to certain extents. Small changes are maneuvered around by historic events, and certain eventualities are remarkably difficult to prevent once the course is set. Changes like that, major ones, require something remarkable, something gigantic — you could even say biblical."

"That," he nods his head to emphasize, "is where you all come in." Edward leans away from the wall, unable to stay put in one place, pacing idly across the worn floorboards. "The fact that you yourself have been so accepting that we've actually come here and traveled back in time speaks volumes of your capacity to adapt and learn. Most people might be overwhelmed by the concept, or perhaps feel beholden to or reliant upon the ability to travel time to unmake mistakes." Edward's head tilts to one side, slowly, "It's more of a last resort. It was the last time I did this; it seems," his large, blue eyes narrow when his gaze falls to the floor. "That this time's no different."

April listens to Edward, standing stiffly still. She respects him. Owes him for getting her out of Moab, for giving her this chance. That's not the same as saying comfortable with or trusts in. Yet she does trust that he can guide.

But can he do it with a little less exposition? April rubs a hand over her face, squints at Edward. "Well, we're here. That much is pretty clear. And we're not going back." Also very clear. She lowers her hands, toying with the loose ring on her left hand. She's had it just over a week; it still occasionally seems unfamiliar. "I don't know what you mean about time and… things. Just that we need to change it."

Coming to stand beside one of the empty bookcases, Edward ducks his head under a string containing a clipping detailing a murder in Chinatown. "We're here for now, but while I feel we may have delayed the wrath of the man we so rudely borrowed a ticket here from, we won't be able to have the advantage forever. Which means," Edward gestures to the clipping at the center of the strings, to the portrait from Arthur Petrelli's obituary, "we have to fix that problem."

"Were it not for Mister Petrelli, this whole situation of ours would never have come to pass. Everything in this room is beginning to point to him being the lynchpin, he's the proverbial Red Sea we'll be needing to part." Pale eyes lift to April's, "In order for everything to change, we need to remove Arthur from the picture, and bring to ruin everything he holds dear. We can't just kill him," a motion is made with both of Edward's hands, as if he were cluthing a ball that exploded, sending both of his hands outwards in slow motion, fingers spread, "his very life has to crumble around him, and every facet of society that would have been spoon-fed his words needs their perceptions of him changed."

A slow, hesitant motion is given, gesturing to April directly. "I trust you, April. Not because I feel you have my best interests at heart. But, because I know you're a woman who is self-motivated," knows does he? "A woman who — like all of us — is motivated by the desire to change the hand she was dealt."

This, of course, finally gets to the root of the issue. "I need you to talk to the others, be the voice I'm not cut out to be." The resignation in Edward's voice is obvious, an uncertainty in leading a group, one that was true even when he directed Phoenix, but was absent at the time of their ultimate triumph. "I need you to lead them, towards an end that is better for us all. There's going to be sacrifices, yes. Difficult choices are going to have to be made," his jaw sets, hands hastily tucked into his pockets, "but if I had any doubts that the group of people I brought here would have a hard time making the tough choices, making the right choices," then his eyes upturn to April again, more intently than before, "I wouldn't have brought you here to begin with."

In motion once more, Edward paces through the strings, "It all starts with Nathan Petrelli — both of them I guess." A crooked shadow of a smile, as dishonest as any he can give, manages to cross Edward's lips.

"Our Nathan is in the unique position to place himself in a station of power and authority right now that can give us exactly what we want, but we have to move quickly on that front before someone notices we're here. I need Nathan to replace himself — his younger self — and serve as our hand in government office. He will allow us to go places and do things we could never otherwise, and lend hands to agencies that would — without our forewarned knowledge — ultimately be unspared in the coming storm."

"I would like mister Reed to work with Nathan, ensuring that the comforts of the digital age work towards our ultimate goals, and keep certain snooping parties from realizing what is going on. Reed's unique condition is something I— I don't think he's going to need much convincing." Either he already knows what Reed's been up to, or he presumes as much. Having read the profiles for hundreds of criminals in the Moab of his era, Edward likely became intimately familiar with Reed's psyche profile.

"In addition to what Nathan will need of Reed, have our young technopath working to discern the location of Pinehearst's holdings are in this year. I'm not well versed as to where this company got its start, so I want him to narrow down just where Arthur is working out of." Again, he's either one step ahead of or one step behind the curve, having asked for something April's already got Reed working on. The hesitant smile he offers is inscrutable as to whether it's knowing, or simply ignorant.

"However, Allen and John are on reserve for now, I have a special plan set aside for them. But they'll be working on their own. I can't entirely trust either of them to do otherwise, given their… particulars. But when the time comes, I assure you, they'll be right where they need to be."

"Finally, there's Eric." Edward stops a few feet from where April stands, tongue rolling over his teeth, as if giving considerable thought to his words, like a dog presented with two bones — he has to make a choice. "He was a Company prisoner for longer than any of us," the subtle implication there is telling, "and he knows the Bronx facility inside and out. I need Mister Doyle to perform a special operation for me, so just let him know to come find me and talk to me whenever he has time. It's not— well, it's not really a time-sensitive issue, but the sooner the better."

Affording April a shallow nod, Edward finally makes his way back to the table, leaning on it with his hip as his arms fold, blue eyes staring at her thoughtfully behind the circular lenses of his glasses. "Beyond this, April, you have everything I can do at your disposal. If I happen to see a pattern of activities that may lead us in an unfortunate direction, I'll let you know promptly. But by and large, you'll be working as team leader— " his pauses, gaze looking distant, as if having spotted something in the room he didn't notice before with a momentary twitch of his brows accompanying it. " — oh and, I'd be careful about personally interfering with your own life. From my experiences, the more you meddle with your own past directly, the worse it becomes. Consider it an informed warning from a concerned party."

This is an unfinished scene, but the remaining pertinent information was agreed-upon OOCly:

Edward would like April to work on getting information on the Company's activities (which should be easy for her since she knows all of the security protocols, etc). Edward wants her to get a lead on the current situation there, and where Roger Goodman may be operating out of and who his close associations are. Ideally without alerting the Company about — you know — eight time-traveling fugitives.

Edward would want Niles to help April in whatever capacity she needs him to, since he can be in multiple places at once. Edward would also insist that Niles be used to cause cover and distractions for the group, by creating a media spectacle with murders and unexplained deaths across Manhattan. Edward has no specific targets, but asks that perhaps he keeps some of his focus on criminals and "justified" killings, or mayhem creations like destructive vandalism. He wants to use Niles' ability partially as a smokescreen to make it hard to figure out exactly who is doing what. If that makes sense? Also he counts on April to "take initiative" and truly be the group's leader, to come up with ideas and plans, but to also keep Edward appraised of any actions she advises them on.

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