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Scene Title Convergence
Synopsis Convergence- is the approach toward a definite value, a definite point, a common view or opinion, or toward a fixed or equilibrium state.
That's exactly what Noah Bennet and Benjamin Ryans do in an iconic location.
Date August 03, 2010

Deveaux Building

The building that rests at 210 Central Park West is a ruin, and it's been a ruin since the nuclear explosion that tore through Midtown on November 8, 2006. Much of the Deveaux Building is in dire condition, with sagging floors, cracked foundations and crumbling brickwork on the exterior. All of the buildings windows have been blown out, some floors have completely collapsed inward to others, and all but one stairwell has been made inaccessible by the damage the structure has taken.

What leaves this demolished building remarkable is its rooftop. Connected to a desolate and badly burned penthouse apartment and demolished greenhouse, the rooftop of the Deveaux Building is an iconic piece of landscape for many people. Something about this place, from the decorative stonework arch and small cherub statues to the blastwave shattered pigeon coops seems to draw people from all walks together here.

Shell casings, broken timbers, chickenwire fencing, shattered glass and likely broken dreams all litter this rooftop. One of the two cherib statues flanking the round arch ont he brick railing has a bullet hole cracked in the stone at the angel's chest, signs of past violence here that the vista of Midtown's eviscerated heart helps convey.

Clouds fill the sky and the sun has nearly set. A hazy light glows on the western horizon, where the jagged and eviscerated buildings of Midtown Manhattan's gutted carcass bristle up from the ground like bony fingers. The view from the rooftop of 210 Central Park West used to be so much more hopeful, used to be so much more pristine. Four years ago the view from the roof of Charles Deveaux's building showed the prosperity and future of New York City. Now all it shows is how far the world has fallen, and how far the Company has come from its once lofty ideals.

Standing at the edge of the rooftop, hands pressed to the concrete railing that divides the cluttered rooftop from the ruins beyond, Noah Bennet looks out over a city he once swore to protect. This rooftop holds many memories for him, all of them bittersweet. It isn't reminiscence that brings Noah up here today, but convergence.

"Thirty years is a long time to commit to something…" Noah opines in a hushed tone of voice, staring out over the ruins of Midtown with a vacant look in his eyes. "I'd only been with the Company eighteen years before I broke away and turned on them. That's just over half the time you've spent with them," and that admittance isn't easy. As he turns, putting his back to the ruins behind him, Noah's attention shifts towards the ruined greenhouse where a tall man stands in the twisted framework of the doorway.

"Do you know why I joined the Company?" The question is one Benjamin Ryans doesn't know the answer to. Very few people know much about the man who became the Company's #1 enemy following the destruction of Midtown, following his going rogue. "Because before we get down to business, Ben, I think you deserve to have some context."

Dressed casually, tossing aside the obvious choices of clothing. Today there is no Fedora or Brown trench coat. The assistant director looks almost like everyone else, in his dark gray henley, a pair of jeans, and despite the heat of the summer a black leather jacket. The soles of his brown hiking boots crunch on bits of debris and sends a shell or two clattering aside in his wake, as he approaches.

Stepping to the edge, a breeze shifts strands of Benjamin Ryans' brunette hair, making them bush lightly against his forehead. Eyes narrow as he looks back out over the broken ruins of the city in the distance, his heart sinking a little in his chest. He could remember what it looked like before. So many of the newest generation of children would never know Midtown at it's prime, before a man exploded and changed the world forever.

It was humbling really.

"I hardly even remember the last time I stood up here." Ryans admits softly, a hand resting of the brick railing and resting a hip against it as he turns enough to look at Noah Bennet. "And your right… it is… I've seen the best and worse of the Company." He's seen it all. "But then… not many do… but yes, I admit I'm curious why you finally said yes to Thompson." Each agent has their own story to tell as to how they came to be there. Some more fantastic then others. Benjamin might be one of their best, along side the man standing with him, but his story wasn't all that… epic.

"You have my ear, Noah."

"Someone with a power murdered my wife," Noah offers in a hushed tone of voice, his brows furrowed and eyes settled down on the crushed remnants of the pigeon coops. "Not— Sandra, my first wife," theo ne he's never spoken about. "I used to work as a used car salesman, I had a normal life, I had a wife and plans on having a family with her. We were robbed one night, a man just broke into our apartment… he pinned me to the wall with his mind, it was over before I even realized what had happened and— she was gone."

Running his tongue over his lips, Noah turns back to the view of the ruins beyond. "I spent the next two years of my life hunting down people like him, trying to find him. I killed, I tortured… all so I could put her right, so I could make all the hurt I had inside of me stop. My actions attracted the attention of the Company, and they sent Thompson to turn me around…"

There's a rueful smile on Noah's face as he shakes his head. "It wasn't a hard stretch, going from doing what I did to becoming an agent. I hated them, the people with abilities. I hated everything they stood for, and I was a colder person for it, even after I met Sandra, after I tried to have a normal life again I couldn't trust them."

Closing his eyes, Noah dips his head forward and rests his arms over the top of that wide stone railing, then slouches his weight forward onto his arms. "The Company gave me Claire, so I could act as a caretaker for her after we thought her biological mother died thanks to a botched bag and tag operation. If she presented an ability I was supposed to hand her over to the Company, just— give her away." There's a furrow of Noah's brows as he shakes his head.

"I went rogue for my little girl, Claire." The little girl who has become a terrorist, who has abandoned her family. "I gave up… everything, to protect her. Now I'm running an organizaion that openly defies the government, hides people like the ones I used to hunt, helps them get a second chance on life."

Exhaling a sigh, Noah closes his eyes and swallows noisily. "I thought it might help for you to have some perspective, before we talked about what we're going to talk about. I know you, more than anyone else, can understand the lengths someone would go through for their family."

Brows furrow just a little as he listens to the man's tale, knowing what he was hearing was… in some ways an honor. To know a man's reasons for what he did. Reasons that in the years since Midtown he understands more and more. "I do. Understand completely." He rumbles softly, folding arms across his chest, the leather creaking slightly with the movement.

"When I joined it wasn't for family or anything like that. It was simply for a challenge. Then…" Ryans trails off a bit a small rare smile creasing his features. "Then Lucille was born and I saw a different reason. I wanted her protected from the worse of them out there. The ones that needed to be locked away. So many times we stopped some disaster or another." A soft sigh escapes his nose, blue eyes drifting up to the former agents. "It's why I stayed through the worst of what happened. I… turned a blind eye." Lips press briefly together into a fine line, a betrayal of the shame if feels for all that.

"And… it's for family now that I am crossing a line I never thought I'd ever cross." It's admitted blandly, arms unfolding, he turns to press both hands on the railing, eyes searching the ruins. "That bomb changed everything… and I wasn't around to really see it.

"I came back to a failing Company that had handed over so much to the government." His head dips down as he stares at the edge of the bricking before him. "The government especially, scares me how it backs this group and the obvious experimentation going on." The words are rough, softly spoken. "I don't like any of it, Noah and I am not the only one within the Company.

"I can't sit back and watch what is happening." It's a surprise to him really, especially that day when he protected a man from the Institute. The moment he decided to step off that walkway into nothingness above the raging waters pouring down the dam… he knew what lengths he'd go too. "It's… too much like what the Company had fallen into, but… worse. So much worse." Brows twitch down and he glances at the man in the horn rimmed glasses. The worry is etched in his features, "My eyes have never been so open, Noah." It's as honest an admission as he's ever given.

"The Institute is a threat to everyone," Noah agrees with his tone losing that witful edge, taking on the knife-like qualities of a businessman that is his persona as an agent, "is a threat to everything." Folding his hands together, Noah stares down over the edge of the Deveaux Building's rooftop, his brows furrowed and shoulders hunched forward. Exhaling a sigh he turns to look at Ryans.

"The Company is a sinking ship, Ben. No one knows how much time it's going to take or how its going to go down, but there's elements within the Company that have seen the writing on the wall. They've gotten in touch with me, about… planning eventualities." Offering an askance look up to Ryans, Noah's brows furrow thoughtfully.

"You saw what happened at that church in Midtown, whatt he Institute is willing to do to get what it wants. I also know that you helped a young girl get to safety in Washington by going through some of my people. I'd like to think I can trust you, Ben, but I know how hard it can be for a leopard to change its spots." There's the faintest hint of a smile there, rueful as it is.

"Can I trust you, Ben?" It's an honest enough question, even if one that isn't easily answered.

Fingers grip the rough and broken brick feeling how it presses into the callused pads, his long frame bent over to so, as Benjamin turns thoughtful. "I want to say yes. It feels like a yes. " What he's done lately has been so much different then what he once did. "I believe in protecting people from the worst… anymore it seems those threats are both evolved and non." His head lifts as he lifts his eyes to the broken city, watching a bird drift by on the thermals. Following it's path until it's lost in the husk of a building.

"I am trying, Noah." The words rumbling like a big cat purring. "If my actions lately have said anything. You knew me for the eighteen years you were there. I did what was right. I still operate that way, even now.

"The Company is in it's death throes. The government, and it's pet project, are perched like a grizzled vultures waiting impatiently for the end." Eyes close against the feeling that brings, he did after all invest thirty long years of service. "When they finally take us down — and it'll be soon I figure — they stand to inherit all of it, Noah. Despite everything the Company has done, you know just as well as I do, what a Pandora's box awaits for them to open." Slowly his head turns to look at the other man out of the corner of his eye.

"It's time for change." Ryans says softly, "Time for me to change. Unlike many of my agents, I will not step into the Institute's pocket. Working for them, won't protect the people that need it. It certainty won't be the right thing to do."

He falls silent for several long moments, only the sounds of the city around them. "I can't tell you to trust me, Noah, as much as I want too. I can't make that call for you." The assistant director concedes after that time. "I can only tell you, to look at who I am… What I have done — especially lately — and make your judgment."

Silent for a long while, Noah dips his head into a nod and creases his brows. He reaches into his jacket, then pulls out a folded piece of paper, keeping it pinched between his fingers. "When I was contacted about this meeting," Noah explains in a quiet tone of voice, "I received a phone call from someone I didn't expect, and found this in a mailbox waiting for me." Holding the piece of paper up between two fingers, it is revealed to Ryans that the paper is folded in the shape of a crane; origami.

"I was told to give this to you, and that you'd know when to use the information on it." The paper crane is handed out and set down on the brick railing between the two men, and Noah offers a look over the frame of his horn-rimmed glasses to Ryans. "It's an address, an address to a place where you'll be able to find help and safety should you need it, should you know for certain that the Company can no longer afford it to you."

When Noah's fingers move away from the crane, he keeps his attention squared on Ryans. "This offer is extended to anyone in your organization that you can confirm isn't working with the Institute, anyone you trust. The others— we can try and do what we can for them from the outside. I may have left the Company, but that doesn't mean there's not still people in it I have a hesitantly positive opinion of."

"My list of trusted is… sadly a small one." The assistant director slowly shakes his head. "I can think of maybe four agents at the moment… the Director included. Thank you." Reaching over to gently pick up the crane from the wall, Ryans gives the ex-agent a questioning look, before he studies the folded bird almost as if reluctant to unfold the delicate creation.

"We have staff… of both evolved and non that need to disappear." He says softly, glancing at Noah. "It's what the Director sent me here for people that are not… us. People that can simply fade into the shadows and the Institute… and it's dog Harper won't know til the dust is settled and they take count.

"For your organizations help to ferry out and possibly supply new papers to these people." Ryans doesn't open the crane yet, only holds it there, almost reverently. It was a glimmer of hope, for those of the Company working to keep the skeletons safely out of Institute's hands. "We can offer over information, even from our archives — depending on what it is and if the Director will sign off on it — some of it is like early designs/schematics of systems that were appropriated by the Institute." A small smile touches his lips. "Could be useful."

Shifting his weight and turning his back on the city, Ryans holds up a hand to stall off any answer from Noah just yet. "I'm not even asking for them to be brought into your safe houses and hidden… We just need them to be given new lives and ferry'd elsewhere. I do not wish to compromise what you have done."

Nodding once in slow regard, Noah casts his eyes to the side and offers Ryans a fleeting look before his focus returns to the ruins. "I have a friend in Russia that I'm going to be needing to pay a visit to soon, he has some things in storage that I want to make certain doesn't fall into the Institute's hands." Leaning off of the railing, Noah folds his arms over his chest and ovvers an angled look to Ryans with one brow raised.

"I want to know if I can trust you, Ben, and the best way to do that is by seeing someone in action. If you have a few days of vacation time, take it off. I'd like you to come with me to the city of Ryazan to visit my former trainer, your former trainer… Ivan Spektor."

Brows lift at the mention of his own trainer, as it's a name that Benjamin Ryans hasn't even thought in for sometime. There is probably an old black and white photo tucked away in that old box that Delia keeps pulling out looking for photos of her mother. Tucking the crane away into the pocket of his leather jacket, he turns thoughtful, not looking at Bennet, but focusing his eyes on the broken coup with it's twisted mesh and broken planks.

"I am sure, Sabra will approve the time. It might be a relief to her, to have me disappear for a few days, in light of everything." His other hand tucks into the other pocket and he his gaze moves to re-guard the other man. "Besides… I need to see if you are trustworthy as well Bennet." There is no real reading of the older man's face, when he explains. "I need to know I can trust you with the lives of my daughters. If my June 10th' vision is any indication, Delia may have the gene… and I will tell an associate of mine, to take my baby girl to your people."

It really says a lot that even in his vision, Benjamin Ryans trusted other's with the well-being of his girls. One of the hands slides out of the jacket and he holds it out to the ex-agent — either in farewell or as if settling an agreement — to the #1 one enemy of his employers. Times have really changed. "I'll contact you once I know I've got the clearance from Director Dalton, which I don't see being a problem."

"I'll let you know a time and date," Noah explains in a quiet tone of voice, brows furrowed and head canted to the side in a subtle nod to Ryans. "I still need to find out if Ivan is still in Ryazan or if he moved on after the winter. But when I find out, you'll be the first to know." Which implies that Noah knows how to get in touch with Ryans regardless of whether or not the agent wants him to.

Tucking his hands into the pockets of his slacks, Noah makes a slow departure from the roof, stepping over the broken husks of the pigeon coops with a clunk of the board, then pauses by the greenhouse door. "Oh and… one other thing," he offers over his shoulder, "bring two of your people you trust…" there's a furrow of Noah's brows, thoughtfully.

"Russia can be trouble."

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