Conversational Whack-A-Mole


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Scene Title Conversational Whack-A-Mole
Synopsis Curt and Veronica arrange a meeting with April Silver, the better to ask her all sorts of questions — mostly about why she was put in Moab and who she came back with.
Date June 6, 2009

Bowling Green, Financial District

There's a place in the Financial District between the Charging Bull and the Customs House, just kitty-corner to Battery Park, called the Bowling Green — the oldest public park in New York City, a wedge of trees and greenery between two forks of Broadway. The center of this little park is a ten-foot fountain surrounded by beds of bright red tulips and a ring of wooden benches.

It's relatively sparsely occupied this weekend afternoon, despite the warm weather and bright sunshine; most people are probably off eating lunch. Still, between the people seated on benches, those walking past, and the multitude of cars driving down Broadway on either side, it's an eminently public place. This may, in the end, hurt April more than it helps her — but it is an assurance to those she finally agreed to meet with, just as much as it is a measure of security for her.

No one will want to start trouble they have to cover up after.

She waits, not seated at a bench but standing in the shade of one of the bordering trees, hazel eyes warily alert. Odds are there will be a familiar face — she once knew an Agent Sawyer — in the pair that are supposed to be coming. The question is, how many others will they attempt to bring along on the sly?

Two people approach the park. They might look like a couple from afar, but to April Silver's jaded and experienced eyes, they would stand out as agents. There's just a certain way a Company person moves — always aware of their surroundings, always looking for someone who might be covering the person they're meeting. As they come closer, Veronica nods toward April and murmurs to Curt, "That's her," in case he wasn't sure.

They approach at an easy pace, so as not to startle the woman and not to look aggressive. It looks like it's just them — no others on the sly.

"April?" Veronica says quietly, though her voice carries the several feet that still separate them. There's a gentleness to her voice, a tone that says 'we don't want to hurt you' without being coddling.

Curt stands behind Vee and to one side, eyeing her and the contact. He pulls a handful of pistachios from a pocket and pops one open with a thumb. He munches. Vee can do the talking, Curt does the watching. Eventually he'll say something when he feels the need.

The older woman, dressed in an olive-green tee and light blue jeans, watches the pair approach, the two who are visibly together but don't quite move like true friends out for a lark. One of them is familiar, the face she matches with Sawyer; April nods in response, confirming her identity.

"Hello, Sawyer. This must be Lu," she adds, eyes flicking to Curt. Her gaze doesn't linger there, but makes another quick sweep of the park, seeking others; seeking and not finding. The lack, however, doesn't seem to make April relax.

There's telltale signs, to those who know how to look; the loose curl of her right hand, stiffness in her posture. Defensive, rather than aggressive; April Silver won't attack, but she will respond if she feels threatened. For now, however, conversation has the upper hand. "You have things you want to ask me?"

Veronica nods. "Curt Lu," she says with a nod to her partner. "We do. We're mostly after information… Unless you'd like to come in to talk to our boss, or make an appointment with him personally? In either case, I'd hope to just chat with you and get the information first, in case you decide to change your mind about meeting with him."

She glances at Curt's pistachios and gives a shake of her head. Well, maybe it'll help April at ease. Agents don't eat pistachios when they're aiming to shoot someone, right?

"Basically, I want to know what happened to you since… well, since I knew you. How did you end up at Moab?"

Curt is even eating with his right hand! "Sup." he says with a nod April's way one he's introduced. He looks like he wants to say more, but eats the nuts instead. They keep him out of trouble on a regular basis. While Vee has April locked in conversation, his eyes make regular scans of the surrounding area, thorough sorts, trying to spot prime sniper's nests and the like.

"I don't think so," April replies, at the suggestion she come in and chat with 'the boss'. "No offense, but— " And here she smiles, wryly melancholic. "— I don't know that I would walk back out. Not with Pinehearst in play."

There are a number of very tall buildings to the east and west; not actually good places for snipers aiming into the Green, as the angle would be horribly acute. The Customs House, however, just south of the park, seems like an appropriate location for any such to be lying in wait. Unfortunately for Curt, there's none to find, no matter how long he searches for.

April closes her eyes briefly at the question, lips drawing back in a thin, bitter smile. "Pinehearst finally caught up with me. But I imagine that's not the answer you want."

Veronica shakes her head at April's words. "I want to know that, too. And maybe what you can see in hindsight that can keep you from having to go through what you have… maybe we can keep this happening. Maybe we can keep you out of Moab, if we know what to look for, April," Vee tells the other woman. "And it's possible we can set up a meeting with our boss — not bringing you into the facility. I can understand your hesitancy on that. I'm sure Curt can too." After all, Curt's Evolved and knows what they do on the inside from first hand experience. "While we're on this case because we've been assigned to be, April, you know I'd want to help you as an old friend. If I can keep you from having to be imprisoned… I want to do that, just on a personal level, you know?"

Curt doesn't leave such things to chance, he shifts his position slightly, walking in a lazy almost bored way to put himself between the Customs House and his partner. Just to be on the safe side. Won't save her /much/, but if she's quick enough it might. He shrugs noncommittally at the talk of his understanding. He signed himself into Company custody when he learned about his ability, they didn't come after him.

April shakes her head slightly. "What I mean is that it's the tail end of the story." She turns as Curt moves, positioning herself so that she can see them both. Watch them both. Even if the focus of her attention wanders more into those extra ten years of memory than it remains fixated on the present. They're Company; it's hard to remain wary amongst the people one identifies with.

"If Pinehearst is stopped, the rest will be. If not…" She rubs the fingers of her right hand against her left, remembering the feel of a ring she no longer possesses. "We're supposed to get married in October, you know?" She and James Silver, a man who is not Company and is not particularly notable in Company eyes save for that relationship. "Only we won't make it that far. Pinehearst moved to take down the Company, and they succeeded; word was passed down for everyone to scatter, but it came too late. If we'd had even an hour's more warning — Pinehearst came for me, and when they did, they killed him."

"I can… warn you… your… present self…" Vee shakes her head at the awkward phrasing, "before then. But then that's what you're here to do, isn't it? Is it what all of you time travelled here for? The others… they're with you? Doyle, Case, Niles?" she asks, tilting her head curiously. She tosses Case's name in there though Len didn't seem to think he was part of that group. "Pinehearst takes down the Company, then?" she asks. "Why'd they kill James — I'm guessing he tried to protect you?" she says with a frown. "We can keep that from happening… how and when do they take down the Company?" Too many questions — too many thoughts running through her head, so they all flood out at once.

Curt sighs softly, "This right here? This is why I abhor time travel, entirely to confusing… like, why does nobody come back with winning lottery numbers or who's gonna win the Superbowl?" he eyes April, "Unless you know who's gonna win?" he looks almost hopeful.

April's expression flattens at Veronica's phrasing. With you. "I wouldn't go that far." And she shakes her head slightly, but doesn't explain why. She turns to Curt instead. "Because people who come back come back to change something, and if you change one thing, who knows where anything else winds up?" A beat of silence. "I was on the run for two years, sorry." Didn't pay attention to the Super Bowl; there were other important considerations.

Looking back at Veronica, April nods briefly. That's what he thought he was doing. Her spoken reply, however, addresses the rest of her questions. "They're in the Company, Sawyer. Sleeper agents. When they moved — they dumped confidential information to the press and hit us from the inside right after. Which is why…" She waves a hand vaguely. Why the time-travelers sought to move first. Why April won't enter the Bronx facility and be debriefed like the agent she once was.

"Do you remember who else is…" she pauses, not sure she wants to know. Who else is hit, when the Company goes down. Killed. Taken. Lost. "And you don't know who they are… so how do we stop it without knowing who to target?" she says, this more to herself than to Curt or April. Then, she regains focus and looks up at April. "Do you have any ideas? How we can stop it? I know you don't want to go back, but Curt and I, we're on the inside. We can try. And Len, if he knows it's going to go down. When? How?" She sets aside the Doyle and Case matter for a moment, though part of her mind is puzzling over that.

Curt narrows eyes for a moment, "Better question, is Sawyer, me, or Len a Sleeper?" since if what April is saying is true then they have to make sure none of them are sleepers before starting to drop all their intel. April officially has his attention now.

April smiles thinly. "It's not like there's a roster. Or if there is, I never saw it. It — it was chaos. Bob Bishop, Angela Petrelli — their trials were heavily publicized, but the rest… I don't know who was jailed, who was killed, and who just hid. We didn't see it coming, Sawyer; we were blindsided." So she can't say how or who. Just that it was Pinehearst.

April looks over at Curt, smile darkly wry. "That's the $64,000 question, isn't it? Who do you trust, when the enemy is a Company Founder and his agents look just like your friends? Know everything about you? If I knew, Lu, then I'd go find them and tell them; I would've done it long ago. But I don't." She looks between the two agents, hazel eyes shadowed. "Even if you — if both of you are — I figure I'll walk away from this. But it's a risk."

"Arthur Petrelli," Veronica murmurs, remembering Goodman's words. "What … do you know what made him change sides? What made him take down his own company?" she says, looking at April intently. "And do you know if anyone's killed or otherwise… should be warned about this? If we can put together a plan before it happens. Obviously between now and October, but do you remember when? That way we could be prepared. Maybe use a telepath or something to scan for the sleepers…" Her mind's a buzz with thoughts and plans.

Curt remains stoically unsurprised and suspicious, but not overtly bothered by anything. He lets Vee ask more questions while he considers things himself. Grr. "Catch 22." he mutters aloud.

Hazel eyes narrow at Veronica — but April has dropped his name before; surely the agents sent to question her had access to Dahl's report. "I don't know," she replies. "He was supposed to be dead. Suicide, I think." The older woman shrugs; it's a moot point, ultimately, because Arthur is clearly not dead.

"August," she informs Veronica. "But — their plan has already been upset, Sawyer," April continues. "You can't count on that timeframe anymore." She looks past the two agents, towards the city at large. "Hopefully, we can bring them all down first and not have to worry about it at all."

Veronica nods, a bit pale. Her world keeps tumbling down around her. The Company that has been her existence, her identity, for the past five years, is falling apart, and who knows where her future lies within it. "All right," she says and glances at Curt, to see if he has any other questions, before she turns back. "Doyle, Niles, Case… they're not with you, but you all travelled together… do you know where we might find any of them?" It's a long shot, but it doesn't sound like April's loyal to them.

Curt was about to ask the same thing as Vee, so just shuts his mouth again, once more around a pistachio. Munch munch. His eyes have questions, and suspicions, but mostly they hold a cautious anger. He hates Catch 22's.

"I don't know where they are," she replies. "Only where they were — and you already have that." Textile Factory 17. Red Hook. Brooklyn. April shakes her head a bit. "I'm not sure they're even still together, wherever they are. Rather like herding cats."

"So Case is with you? Did he get sprung when the Company got… gets… taken down?" Veronica asks. "And shit, that's right, Doyle mentioned you, before he got busted from transport…" she remembers suddenly. "How long are you all here?"

Veronica amends, "Er, how long are you now? I think I mean. In our present."

Curt eyes Vee again and frowns slightly. The flustered way Vee asks questions and how much this news of the Company seems to shake her worries him a bit. Another nut is munched. She seems to be asking the questions at least, so he still doesn't interupt.

April frowns faintly. "I'm not… completely certain," she admits. "There's one who… Edward calls him John Doe. He doesn't remember anything. But I talked to someone else who… implied he was Case. John's ability is switching powers, if that provides your answer." She shakes her head a bit. "All I know is that he, too, was in Moab. I don't know if he was ever 'sprung' or not." The older woman blinks, regarding Veronica quizzically. "I don't follow… what you're asking."

Well, that explains that mystery, at least a little bit. Case at some point is put in Moab. Veronica can guess how he lost his memory. She shivers just a bit. After all, he was just a kid, no matter how dangerous his power was. "You time travelled here. Are you here permanently or are you planning to return to the future at all?" Probably not, if she's been on the run there. "Who is the time traveller, for that matter?"

Curt just sighs, "Calm down." he says in a exasperated tone to Vee. "One question at a time, think them through. She's not a game of conversational whack-a-mole." he teases lightly. He makes a face at April and offers her a pistachio, just to be friendly and all that.

April shrugs one shoulder as Veronica clarifies her question. "I don't know anything about time travel. I know there's no place there for me; so no, I'm not going back. Unless that's, like, a consequence or something. For all I know, when we've meddled enough to make the future look nothing like what it was, maybe we'll cease to exist." Another thin smile, melancholic. "If I survive all this, then I'll worry about 'after'." She either missed the question about who time-travels (unlikely), or is choosing not to answer; takes the proffered pistachio instead.

Veronica bites her lip, wondering whether she should repeat or not. She glances at Curt. Any questions from the pistachio gallery on this one? "Is there anything else we should know? Anything you can think of that might help, April? I really want to make sure you don't have to go through all of that again. I mean that." Her brown eyes meet April's hazel gaze. "I can't even imagine what you've been through."

Curt snorts, "Anything like maybe who time travels?" Vee won't repeat, but hell Curt's not that polite. He hands over the nut and then offers another even as he eats one himself. "I'm just saying." he shrugs.

"Case was involved," April states simply. Let's just leave it at that. The woman shakes her head at Veronica. "Not that I can think of, not that I didn't already tell Dahl. You know how to get ahold of me. I'd offer a faster method, but… if they've still got Reed on their side, nothing's secure. So I don't have anything faster." i.e. digital.

Veronica nods in understanding at Case's name. "All right. And feel free to contact us, if you think of anything, or find out anything on where the others are staying. I'll try to help make this right — somehow," she says, her brows furrowing with worry. "Is there anything you need? You all right on money, a place to stay, April?" She's willing to lend an old friend money, it seems.

Curt shoots Vee a look and then rolls his eyes. "I'm pretending I didn't hear that." he says with a soft groan. They're not supposed to help her! Bah. Oh well. She is soooo lucky that Curt's the loyal type.

April grins at Curt. "I'm covered, Sawyer, thanks," she demurs. There's a brief silence, before April nods to the agent pair. "You take care," she says, before beginning to move away.

"Thanks for meeting us, April," Veronica says, ignoring Curt's reprimand. She glances at him, not moving for a weapon or anything of the like. April could kill them if they try to take her by force, and really, she isn't a criminal… she's a friend and a colleague who seems to have been honest with them.

That's why Curt carries a Tazer. It stops people from hurting you cause it ceases allowing the shockees brain to function on willpower. Scrambles things up nicely. Well, that and cause Curt likes things that look like guns and have triggers. And he's semi-suicidal. "Don't leave town, or the present." he teases as he nods to Vee, "Let's bounce." he backs away. "Bounce. That is what the kids call it right?"

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