magnes_icon.gif matt_icon.gif

Scene Title Duty
Synopsis Matt Parkman meets with Magnes and increases the department's control over the mole.
Date August 27, 2010

Department of Homeland Security Facility, Battery Park, New York City

The facility where Audrey Hanson takes Magnes Varlane is mostly offices, but in the bowels of the building is a holding area built with thick concrete walls. Like many of the Department of Homeland Security's most secure operations, the level has been stripped and made as low tech as possible when it comes to electronics. Technopaths are a tricky bunch. The room where Magnes sits waiting for his interview is just that - a room. There is only one thing it in, apart from Magnes himself.

It's a chair.

The concrete seat is part of the floor, and it rises up ominously in the center of the room. Reinforced leather cuffs are set into the fixture with chain, giving the man about a foot's worth when it comes to freedom of movement. At least the cuffs are lined, so the thick leather doesn't dig into the wrists. Sometimes it's important to spare no expense.

One wall of the room holds a recessed mirror, which Magnes will recognize from his own days as a cop, though it's doubtful he ever spent much time on either side of the one-way surface. Only those with the appropriate security clearance have been allowed access to the adjacent room to observe the proceedings, but among them is a tall, lean man of Caribbean descent. He holds Magnes in his dark eyes, creating his trademarked field of negation.

The single door to the room opens with a bang, and iron-haired Matt Parkman strides through before it even has a chance to swing its full arc. "Magnes," he says with exaggerated politeness. "Nice to see you again." Of course, the mole won't remember the first time. But that's why it's funny.

"Again?" Magnes asks, having been brought in his neatly buttoned up black suit with a white shirt and a tucked in tie under the black jacket. "We've never met before, but I know who you are. I was gonna contact you once, saw your picture on the internet so I could figure out what you looked like outside of paper and find out what you were doing after the bomb. Matt Parkman."

He looks down at his hands, finding himself in yet another compromising situation with a sigh. "I know this isn't going to end well, just goes to show what happens when you actually cooperate. I've gotta remember to stop doing that, but I have this thing about giving chances over and over again…" He's keeping mostly calm, since going into a panic won't solve anything at all.

But Parkman purses his lips in a sort of half-smirk that makes his eyes squint and lifts a hand from his pocket to wave dismissively. "It's protocol, Magnes." The door swings shut and clicks, the mechanical noise a period in and of itself. Parkman starts a slow circle around the room, returning his hand to his trouser pocket, his suit jacket rumpling against his arms.

"It doesn't mean anything. Someone like you comes into a place like this to talk to someone like me, and they want to take extra…cautionary measures. No big deal." It's not like they're going to make him spend the entire 72 hours chained to a concrete chair, after all. That'd be inhumane.

"We're just gonna have a little chat, and you're going to be honest with me." He comes around in front of Magnes then, and leans to look him straight in the eye. "You're going to tell me the truth," he both says and commands, "And you aren't going to leave anything out. Understand?"

"I understand, but I hope you're not wearing a cellphone, since depending on the truth you want me to tell, some people might not be too happy." Magnes isn't very resistant to the commands, since he'd have likely answered that way anyway. Though if he was originally going to tell the entire truth is certainly up for debate. "Whatever happened to that girl in the wall? The one that Gabriel almost killed?" he suddenly asks, since the extent to which he read 9th Wonders, and the issues he's missed, tends to leave his knowledge with large gaping holes in it. "I can't remember her name, I'm not even sure if they ever showed it."

"I'm not an idiot, Varlane," Parkman half-growls before he straightens up and moves to the wall opposite Magnes, leaning his weight against the concrete. "And that's now how this works. I ask you questions. You answer them. It's not a two-way street. Got that?"

He doesn't wait for confirmation. Instead, Parkman just launches in. "There was a Humanis First cell in an abandoned school in the northern part of Staten Island. It's not there anymore. Messiah have anything to do with that little bit of destruction?"

"Well, I'll say right now that I'm not in Messiah, but I do know how they operate." Magnes sinks back into his chair, since not cooperating with a telepath is about the most futile thing one can attempt. "Missions in Messiah are almost always need to know, so if Messiah did have anything to do with it, I would only know from speculation. But I'll say this much, exploding things is more or less their MO, there's no other organization that I know of who does that. So, going on pure speculation alone? Yeah, it was probably them. I had a brief stint in Messiah just to see what they were all about, and I did not agree with explosions and murder, and their leader is a dangerous moron."

"Dangerous moron, huh? Worst kind, if you ask me. And I know all about your history with Messiah, Magnes. My internet can pull up a lot more than yours, remember?" Parkman tilts his head slightly to one side and squints a little more, the barest hint of a smile twinkling in his eyes. "Who might that dangerous moron be? What's his name?"

Again, the question is both asked and commanded, the words echoing in the sensory parts of Magnes' brain as well as the compulsory areas.

"Peter Petrelli. He has no idea what he's doing, he uses people, puts lives in danger, recruits children who are afraid of registration and uses that weakness to make them do what he wants." Magnes isn't entirely surprise that Parkman knows, after all, he does have a Company tracking device in him. "He's going to get a lot of innocent people killed, including his own, because his plan is stupid and makes absolutely no sense. How is killing and terrorism going to make the world better for us?"

Parkman gives a 'got me' sort of shrug before he lifts his chin slightly, his eyes still squinted as he looks down at Magnes. He doesn't otherwise react to the news of Petrelli being in Messiah. Maybe because it isn't news, or maybe because there are more important things to talk about. "So what is the plan exactly? You were supposed to stay close to these people, Magnes. Like we asked you to." Oh so nicely asked, even. "Who do you know that still runs with Petrelli - who's he got gunnin' with him these days? They got something in the works for next week? November?" Anytime inbetween?

"Like I said, the information is almost always need-to-know. There's this guy, Knox, and Claire Bennet, but she's being manipulated, this isn't her, so don't blame her, alright? Rupert Carmichael seems like the leader sometimes, but that's because he's smarter than Peter. He seems to want to break the group down from the inside, since he says he disagrees with the direction it's going in." Magnes grunts a bit restlessly as he squirms a little, apparently a bit uncomfortable with being bound. 

“During the 'big reveal' meeting, he explained that they stole files from Howard Lemay, and they discovered that the government conducted research in Mozambique back in uh, 2009 I think? It was for a viral weapon outbreak in the Evolved population. It's all a lot of convoluted stuff, attacks the central nervous system, and it's called the Shanti Virus. Apparently it was so the US could plan scare tactics so Evolved would be forced to register for vaccines." His fingers start to tap against the arm rests, since this story should be going somewhere

"The next stage, since I'd guess the H5N10 virus was the last stage, would be the concentration camps Rebel is always talking about, so the Evolved population can be controlled. They're striking out before this threat can take place. Neutralize your ability to produce the virus, prevent forced registration on unwilling Evolved with planned attacks against government registration centers, stuff like that. They also have an entire list of operatives, names, and what those operatives are willing or unwilling to do. Peter claims not to force people into anything, but what he fails to say is that he manipulates you into it." He grunts, looking to the side for a moment. "Like getting my ex to suicide bomb." 

Shaking his head, he just continues. "Anyway, I don't know anything about future operations, they don't tell anyone anything until a night or two before the operations start. But if you want to know something, Rupert's the tactical advisor and the head of intelligence. You're a telepath, I don't think I need to really spell that out for you."

During the speech, Parkman does what telepaths do best. He listens. He doesn't move much, save for the occasionally minute twitch of his head in one direction or another, as if he were adjusting the antennae on a radio to get perfect reception. When Magnes is finished, Parkman takes a deep breath and lifts his hands from his pockets to fold his arms across his barrel chest.

"Looks to me like we've got a fundamental problem with this set up, Magnes. You're on the fringes. And while that's a safe place for you to be, it's not very useful. I'd like it if you were more useful." He leans forward, his jaw set as he peirces through into Magnes' brain. The command he places has to be deeply rooted in the subconscious - like breathing - to remain hidden as well as discreet. To remain secure.

You're going to make nice with Messiah. You're going to get in good with Carmichael and Petrelli. You're going to make yourself useful to them. But you aren't going to put yourself in danger. When someone with a red orchid asks you if you'd like to go to Atlantic City, you will trust them with your life and do anything they say.

"Being more useful is hard, I have friends and a girlfriend to think about, I keep almost dying. If you lift my shirt up you'll see what kind of crazy shit happens when you follow Peter Petrelli." Magnes hangs his head, just plain looking nearly depressed now. "I'm never gonna get out of this life, never gonna get to do anything I want… fine, I don't have a choice, do I? I always get to lose everything for you guys, why stop now?"

Parkman arches an eyebrow at the response, but he doesn't say anything for a moment. He knows he rooted the command deep enough to work - any deeper and he would have been able to cut off the younger man's breathing. "Call it a duty to your country," he says in a low, gruff tone.

"We've all got to sacrifice to protect others, Magnes." Parkman should know that lesson by now, even if he hasn't learned anything else since he ducked under that police tape back in Los Angeles all those years ago. "And you do have a choice."

It's just that the other side of the coin isn't nearly as shiny as the side that says 'cooperation.'

"There's never a choice, everyone always gets what they want, or else the thinly veiled threats start. I want to stop Messiah as much as anyone else, I just don't want my friends and my girlfriend to suffer for what I'm doing, it's not fair." Magnes tugs on his straps a few times, but realizes it's futile, and just rests his arms there. "If I'm going to do this, I need to make sure I don't have anyone to get hurt. But I'll handle that part myself."

Light of dim mornings; shield from heat and cold; balm for all ailments; substitute for praise; comrade of those who plod in lonely ways (ways that grow lonelier as the years wax old)…

Parkman nods, and he squints once more as he looks Magnes square in the eye, reaffirming the instructions he's already planted in the man's subconscious. "Someone'll be in to show you to your accommodations. We'll talk more tomorrow." Because there's more to go over. Lists to compile. Operation bases to uncover. And, of course, there's the question of Sylar.

Tonic for fears; check to the over-bold; nurse, whose calm hand its strong restriction lays, kind but resistless, on our wayward days; mart, where high wisdom at vast price is sold…

When Parkman leaves, it doesn't take long for others to fill his place. The same men who brought Magnes in here and secured him to the chair remove him from it, under the watchful eye of the Haitian. The entire time Magnes is in their hands, the trio is silent, wordlessly carrying out their assigned task.

The accommodations Magnes is taken to are nicer than the interrogation room, but not by much. There is a prison-issue cot, complete with mattress, single pillow, and a charcoal gray wool blanket. A stainless steel toilet and sink are installed in the far wall. It is here that Magnes is left, but before he leaves, the Haitian pulls an issue of 9th Wonders from inside his suit jacket and tosses it to the floor. It's not the newest issue, and there's a chance that Magnes has read it before. But still. It's better than staring at cinder blocks for three days.

Tyrant relentless o'er our blisses all; — oh, can it be, thine other name is Heaven?

Three days. 72 hours of responsibility is just the beginning.

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