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Scene Title Consultation
Synopsis Hana demands information from Bennet. It could've gone worse.
Date December 20, 2008

Primatech Paper Facility

Hana is currently in what passes for her stronghold — a piece of the abandoned Primatech Paper facility that the Ferrymen have co-opted, deep in the subterranean levels, isolated from the Saturday morning dreary lack-of-sunlight. The lighting is purely artificial, but set at a comfortable level for the gym room. Some of the original equipment used by Company agents and employees is still here, untouched by the fire that raged elsewhere; some has been added since. Hana's current exercise is one Bennet has ample familiarity with, as she practices throwing slim knives at a human-shaped target on the wall. With her left hand.

Ample familiarity or not, Bennet won't ever get over the unsettled feeling he's left with when he watches Hana at work. His exterior remains cool and calm as always — his demeanor as pristine as still waters — but on the inside he finds his stomach met with a faint prickling sensation that he'd probably recognize as nausea if he wasn't so impressed at the same time. "Your aim is improving," he remarks as he descends the stairs with his hands in the pockets of his jacket, leather loafers scuffing softly against the cement steps underfoot. He offers Hana a small smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes, no warmth or any real mirth in it. "Do you think one day you'll be able to throw with your feet?"

Thunk. The second-to-last blade sinks into the target a mere inch from the bullseye centered over its imaginary heart. The very last is balanced easily in Hana's hand as she turns to face Bennet. Her right one. "Bennet." She watches him come down to her level, not so much as a trace of an echoing smile on her face. "Do you really want to find out?" the ex-agent asks, voice dangerously soft. Maybe he'll find out today. The woman's dark eyes watch him intently, reminiscent of a felid prepared to pounce.

"As long as you're not throwing them at me." That probably could have gone unsaid, but one can never be entirely certain with Hana. Especially not Noah Bennet. Behind the lenses of his glasses, his eyes shift from the woman to the target and then back again. It's times like these that he's glad she's on his side — even if their alliance might not last forever. "To be honest," he says, "I was half-expecting to find Helena Dean or one of the other Phoenixes down here with you. How are they shaping up?"

"I might." Except it sounds more like I will. "They're children." It's not condemnation, but simple fact; they are. Children not unlike she herself was, once upon a time. "If they're lucky, they'll wind up decent. But we don't have time for that," Hana concludes, her tone as sharp as the stare which pins Bennet. "Apparently Volken is planning to release a biological. From their actions— " Such as impersonating PARIAH and dessicating random people. "— I suspect their 'Flood' is intended to cleanse the Evolved."

There's a moment's silence to let that sink in, before Hana takes a single step forward, light glinting from the blade still held in her hand with implicit menace. "Why do I think your old friends have something to do with this?" The question is hissed betwen bared teeth.

…On the other hand, this is the first time in the past three years that Hana's referred to the Company as Bennet's old friends. She also doesn't quite come out and accuse Noah himself.

Bennet's face remains a neutral mask as Hana speaks, and he adopts a seat on the bottommost step, long arms resting across his knees. "The Haitian still owes me a few favours," he offers. "We could have him look into it." While Bennet was still a part of the Company, his clearance levels didn't give him access to everything — as far as he knows, Bishop never authorized any serious research into biological agents designed to affect the Evolved, but it isn't something he'd put past him or the other founders. In fact, now that he thinks about it, the thought leaves him almost as unsettled as Hana and her throwing knives.


"How much do the children know?" he asks. Because the last thing they need is for the Ferrymen's newest branch to wither and die, cut off at the root in a moment of inexperience coupled with bad judgment. "We can't have them rushing headlong into this."

The difference is, Hana's right here — and Bennet isn't Evolved. Hana gives Bennet a long and dark look… but apparently decides lack of knowledge is not sufficient excuse for hurting him. Assuming he's telling the truth about not knowing. A flick of her wrist sends the last knife dead-center into the bullseye.

"Almost all of it. They think he plans to install a Nazi-esque regime." Hana walks over and pulls the handful of knives from the target. Her back's to Bennet, but don't think that means her attention has strayed anywhere else. "The Flood has always been a method for purification first and foremost, not power." A glance over her shoulder is given in response to Noah's last words. "You're the master manipulator, Bennet." Spoken with all that repressed anger from when she was the one manipulated. "You make them do what you want." Hana wants to take the fight to someone. She's been sitting on the sidelines for two years now.

Bennet snorts, rubbing his hand over the side of his face in thought. Once a Nazi, always a Nazi? He's not sure that line of reasoning is entirely sound, and it shows in the troubled creases at the corners of his eyes and the frown splitting across his mouth. "Genocide," he agrees, "maybe. The return of an almighty Fuhrer?" There's doubt in his voice about that. "Assumptions are the termites of Phoenix's infrastructure. Given Volken's past affiliations, I'm sure there's some reason to be concerned, but let's not encourage them to jump to conclusions. If you were in my position, what would you suggest Dean and Laudani do?"

Hana's pretty sure that reasoning isn't sound. But it's as good as any. "Whatever you didn't want them to do." And it isn't in the least spoken tongue-in-cheek. If Phoenix only knew the discord between their Ferrymen advisors. Stepping back away from the target, the knives make a lethal bouquet in the woman's right hand, each metal 'flower' being plucked in turn and thrown again. "Homeland Security couldn't find a coastline with maps, seven lighthouses, and GPS; never mind stopping Volken before he releases whatever his thing is. Assuming they believed whatever we sent — which apparently didn't happen the first time we sent them information."

Thunk. Thunk. "I'd do it." But Bennet already knew that.

"And so you will." With Friday's disaster looming over their heads like a dark cloud, Bennet is aware that he, Hana and everyone else are running out of time. They don't have much of a choice but to act at this point. "I'll make contact with the Haitian soon," he promises. "Our plan of attack will hinge on whether or not he turns up anything on the Company's side of things. In the meantime, sit down with Phoenix and make them aware that the kid gloves need to come off. They're young and they don't like getting their hands dirty, but you know as well as I do that taking the moral high road won't win us this battle."

Thunk. Hana snorts softly. "After last time…" And she doesn't mean the whole Rickham event. "…they're determined to stick to it. But they'll fight this. It's wrong on any level." With the last knife embedded in the target, again, she turns to look at Bennet, seeming to change the subject entirely. "How would you handle a time manipulator? Without the benefit of the Haitian."

"Sharpshooter from fifty yards," Bennet answers without hesitation, rising from his seat at the bottom of the stairs. "Back of the head. You can't stop something if you don't know it's coming." He dusts off the seat of his pants. "I prefer the Haitian," he adds, almost as an afterthought. "Phoenix has Norton Trask, and he's almost as good. Hiro Nakamura could work too."

Hana actually smiles at Bennet's prompt reply; but then, she had the same thought. "Trask — 'Sergei' to Phoenix," she reminds him. "He's only good if he gets close. Hiro…" The smile vanishes, and the woman snorts. "First trick is finding him."

"If he's still alive." Lately, Bennet has had doubts. He begins moving back up the stairs, the tips of his fingers trailing along the parallel wall as he goes. "Is there anything else?"

"If," Hana agrees. She frowns in concentration at Bennet's query — there was something… "Catherine requested a meeting with you," the technopath replies after a moment's silence. Also that Bennet receive a copy of the information Phoenix has, but he'll find that when he goes home.

This time, Bennet's response is restricted to a low chuckle as he arrives at the top of the stairs and vanishes amongst the shadows there. It will be several hours before he receives the aforementioned copy, but when he does he will undoubtedly set things into motion by seeking the Haitian out.

The sooner, the better.

December 20th: Will's Name Should Be Dick

Previously in this storyline…
Licking the Wound

Next in this storyline…
Misplaced Trust

December 20th: Hear the Music
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