Flatiron Fallout


sf_faulkner2_icon.gif sf_jac2_icon.gif sf_valerie_icon.gif

Scene Title Flatiron Fallout
Synopsis Valerie reaches out to Faulkner after the bomb attack to secure healing for Jac.
Date March 13, 2021

Near the Flatiron Building

Near the Flatiron Building, Isaac Faulkner sits at a bus stop, phone in hand, eyes scanning his surroundings.

"Yes, I'll still be there," Isaac Faulkner says into his phone. "I may be a bit late, though; something pressing's come up." His voice is calm and composed, his expression composed, but the Senator is not in a good mood… although, to be fair, that's hardly uncommon these days.

Still, he's practiced enough that no trace of his irritation makes it through into his voice. "Yes, that's why I'm calling ahead to let you know. You know I've never been one for late arrivals if I can help it, but even I can't plan for every eventuality. I may not even be late, but I wanted you to be prepared should that come to pass. Okay?" He waits a moment. "Alright then. I'll be there soon. Thank you," he says, and ends the call.

He checks his watch, then looks back up and scans the street again for any sign of Kaylee. Nothing yet.

But suddenly there is. Out of nowhere appears the trio comprised of Kaylee and Jac Petrelli, along with a diminutive blond woman who stands with her hands on both mother and daughter’s shoulders. They show up halfway between the flanking streets of 22nd and 23rd, Daphne choosing to split the difference without knowing where on the long 5th Avenue block their target would be.

Daphne steps back, looking woozy, her hand reaching up to her head. “Is your contact here? If not we should just go to the ER,” she tells Valerie, casting another worried glance at the far-too-pale teenager cradled in her mother’s arms.

Passersby give the women a wide berth but no one seems to react to their sudden appearance — which is strange in and of itself.

Eyes narrow at the passerby suspiciously, but Daphne’s comment pulls Valerie’s attention to the wider world. It doesn’t take long to catch sight of Issac. “He’s here,” Valerie says with confidence and a jerk of her chin towards the bus stop.

“Go make sure Asami and Brynn know where we went,” Valerie says gruffly, looking at the pale teen in her arms. “I got it from here.”

Without another word - or care for her or Jac’s bloodied state - the heiress heads for Issac, her long legs covering the distance quickly. “Issac,” Valerie barks out when she’s close enough to know he can hear her.

Daphne salutes to Valerie’s retreating back — she’s wise enough not to say anything to her front, having caught on something strange is going on. She’s not close with Kaylee Petrelli, but she knows her demeanor well enough to know that this isn’t it, even if she’s under a lot of duress.

Her brow lifts when she sees who Valerie carries Jac to, and she watches a moment, then scrunches her nose and eyes to return back to the safety of her own bar.

Isaac picks up on the sudden change in his peripheral vision — the sudden addition of three people in an area he'd just looked over a second ago — but the lack of reaction from the crowd makes him hesitate for a moment. Can they not see?

Maybe not. Maybe they can't… anymore than they really saw him after his car accident. A glitch in the Matrix, Nova had called it…

Whatever; he doesn't have time to think on what that might mean right now, because Kaylee's striding towards him like a torpedo… and Jac doesn't look good at all. Shit.

The sudden absence of their third is noted — he'll remember her face — but for now he has other business to tend to. "Kaylee," Isaac acknowledges. He gestures to the bench he'd been sitting on just a second ago. "Lay her down."

Jac, unmoved by the teleportation, cracks an eye at the abrupt and shifting movement of Valerie’s purposeful strides. “Brynn?” They found her sister? That's what matters right now, in her mind anyway. A breath follows her query, wet and shallow. It hurts. That they're no longer in the back room of the bar — outside somewhere — registers on the edges of her awareness. “I'm sorry.” Jac’s voice wavers and rasps faintly. “I'm sorry I left…”

“Valerie,” the blond is quick to correct him gruffly, “Kaylee’s not in right now.” It would sound like a joke if she hadn’t said it so seriously.

When directed, there is no hesitation in her moving to lay Jac on the bench. She doesn’t seem to care that the people around them are ignoring what was happening or the dark red stain that covered the front of Valerie’s light gray power suit.

Fingers brush at her daughter’s hair as Valerie shushes her. “Brynn will be fine, but I need to know what happened. Tell me about who attacked you.”

Isaac's gaze flickers to Kaylee Valerie for a moment, trying to assess her… but there is work to be done. Jac… definitely looks pretty badly injured, so that's probably best dealt with sooner rather than later. "I'll start," Faulkner says in a low voice to Valerie, laying a hand on Jac's forehead.

He takes a deep breath in and then slowly breathes out, feeling that now-familiar sense of vitality pooling in his hands, seeping out into Jac's body as he tries to determine the extent of her injuries… and subsequently how hard it's going to be to fix.

Jac’s breath catches then slowly leaks out as she's lowered. Fingers twist in the soaked fabric of her shirt, arms reflexively curling to cradle the wound in her chest. Her eyes swim toward Faulkner then drift back to her mom.

“I don't know.” Apology lingers in her tone as she tries to understand what happened. An explosion, then she was running. “They just… I heard someone. I heard them…” Tears leak from the corners of the girl’s eyes. Why did it happen? “They had suits and… and a car.”

Ignoring the reflection of a panicked Kaylee in the marred glass of the bus stop, Valerie watches Issac do this thing. She knew, but had never seen it in action. Brow furrow, only half listening her to daughter. What Jac had wouldn’t help her find whoever it was that needed to be dead.

Though something nagged at the corner of Valerie’s mind and finally she looks at her reflection. Meeting the eyes of the other woman, a connection is made briefly and a query offered.

Blinking Valerie looks down at her daughter. “Did you happen to see the color of their eyes?” It was a wild shot… but she had to know.

The color of their eyes? That draws a puzzled look from Faulkner, but he doesn't have the attention to ask about that; right now, he's working. He takes a deep breath and works on healing Jac, knitting together torn muscles and skin, reconnecting severed blood vessels, mending cracked bones.

“Eyes?” Jac asks, putting words to Faulkner’s look. Normally she'd share in the curiosity, wondering why eye color is important while dredging up every last detail she can recall. Instead she fumbles with remembering the last handful of minutes with as much success as putting together a puzzle starting at the center. “They had suits,” she offers again, “I don't… I couldn't see.”

There is a heavy sigh from Valerie as the question yields no answer, but she manages to offer the girl an understanding smile. “It’s okay. She never told you, because she didn’t want you to worry. She should have.”

Valerie ignores the furious pounding on the glass, as she lays out the reasoning for the question. “We were attacked at the end of last month.” By ‘we’ Valerie clearly didn’t mean any of them. “People we knew turned into killing machines with yellow eyes, and tried to kill us. I made sure they didn’t.”

Not looking up from Jac’s face, Valerie asks, “What about you, Faulkner? Any attacks?”

Faulkner blinks. "No? Not… not anything like that. Just Federal agents going over my tax returns with microscopes, no one trying to murder me." He pauses. "The only one I've seen with golden eyes was… Asami. When she attacked me." When she almost killed me.

Shaking her head slightly is the most denial Jac musters for Asami’s involvement. She was sure her mentor wasn't intent on killing the senator — even if it nearly happened — and today was nothing like that.

“I never saw them before,” she explains of the men who attacked her and Brynn. “They just… they…” The teen’s brow knits and she looks between her mom and Faulkner. She heard them, she's sure, just before the explosion. “They were looking… they were looking for us.”

Valerie shakes her head at what Issac is obviously thinking. “She could have killed Kaylee many times over. I feel confident that what she did to you was a fluke. Why awaken these abilities only to kill us?” Shifting her daughter, Valerie holds up a bloodied hand, “However, I think there is a connection. Maybe one she is unaware of, as it seems like two different agendas going on. She’s key to finding out who these people are. Her and this person that helped her that first day.”

Looking at her reflection, Valerie adds, “Clearly they are aware of us,” she looks down at the girl with worry, “And now hunting us. Which means we’re going to have to be on our guard and warn the others we know about.”

"Asami doesn't, no. But then, she isn't always in control of herself, either…" Faulkner muses. "And it was right before she came after me that her eyes went gold." He remembers that, oh yes, remembers it vividly.

There might be something there, but he isn't quite sure what, yet; he nods slightly at Valerie's supposition on different agendas, as it seems to fit with the pieces available. He's silent for a few moments after that as he focuses on Jac's healing… then, tentatively, he withdraws his hands. Tiredness washes over him in the aftermath of the healing, as it usually does, and he lets out a sigh.

"Done," he says to Jac, taking a step back to lean against the side of the bus stop before turning his attention back to Valerie. "If I were going to hazard a guess, I'd say that these people were connected to the agents who came after Asami in the first place — the ones who, to hear her tell it, were shooting first and asking questions never. But…" he trails off, frowning. "The timing."

“But why?” Jac, who'd gone quiet and introspective, erupts with the question. Why is what she tried asking Asami that night the fencing teacher had shown up in — flown into — the garden. Why is now what she wants to know about the attack on her and Brynn, and the attack that apparently happened to her mom. “Why is any of this happening?”

Now that her daughter has been healed, Valerie moves to help Jac up. The kid’s question gets a sympathetic look. “You’re guess is as good as mine. But… if I had to guess it’s fear for what we really are.”

As for Issacs thoughts, “I think you’re right. She was the first, but now they are realizing there are more of us… speaking of,” Valerie looks at the milling crowds with an air of suspicion and unease. “I think sticking to one place out in the open like this for too long is a bad idea. Especially, grouped up in one place.” There may be safety in numbers, but it also makes them far more visible to the enemy.

"I don't know," Faulkner answers, and for a moment some of the weariness he's feeling shows. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

He takes a deep breath and steels his will, the signs of weariness buried again. But not today. "But… I'm not surprised, either," Faulkner says grimly, looking to Jac; he had warned her about this very thing, though he has enough grace not to come out and say it directly.

"In any case. Valerie is right. Both of you have already been attacked once; better not to take chances." Faulkner shakes his head. "I can call my car around; my driver can drop me at my destination and then carry you wherever you need to go," he says, looking to Valerie with a raised eyebrow.

“Okay, but…” Jac, slow at first and then with increasing haste to move, sits up and swings her feet around to stand. “Okay. But…” Her eyes dart from the adults to the sidewalks and roads. It looks just like any normal day, just like it did before the attack. “But where do we go?” She hears none of the warnings she'd had before; no cars going by with claims about finding anyone, no men in suits and sunglasses. “Who do we trust?”

There is a thankful tip of her head to Issac. “Thank you. For now, we go home,” Valerie says blandly, a hand resting protectively on her daughter’s shoulder. “I have no doubt, Asami will find your sister and then bring her home. I want to be there.”

Her focus shifting to Jac, Valerie looks thoughtful. “We trust ourselves. And those like us. Powered.” That is her advice. She looks up at Faulkner and adds, “Mostly.” Cause she knows that trusting Asami wasn’t going to happen, even if she was a means to an end.

"Mostly," Faulkner echoes, giving a tiny nod to Valerie — he gets what that mostly had been about. Kaylee had always had a certain grace with words — not surprising, given her husband's occupation and the social circles she moved in — but it seems that Valerie has that skill, as well, when she chooses to use it.


Most interesting.

Food for thought for later, perhaps. But she's right that they need to get moving, so Faulkner pulls out his phone and calls for the car; the first order of business is to get Valerie and Jacelyn home, and then get himself back to his own efforts — investigation, damage control, and the reconstruction of a foundation that two weeks ago he'd have said was in fair shape. Then, and only then, will be the time to ponder on the meaning of this day's events.

There are a lot of things left to be solved, a lot of answers that they don't have… yet. But that will change. Faulkner means to make certain of it.

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