Good Intentions, Part I


amid_icon.gif bennet3_icon.gif brian_icon.gif samara2_icon.gif

Scene Title Good Intentions, Part I
Synopsis On the road to Washington, Noah Bennet outlines the plan to keep Amid Halebi out of Mazdak's hands.
Date January 30, 2011

The Road to Washington D.C. may not quite be the road to hell, but damn if they both aren't paved with good intentions.

Snow-dusted scenery whips past the windows of a ten year old Buick Century, where for passengers of unlikely association are crowded together for an unlikely journey. Just twenty minutes following their refueling stop, signage for Baltimore Maryland means that the trip to the nation's capitol is drawing closer.

Leaned back in the driver's seat, eyes focused distantly on the glow of tail lights ahead of him in the flurries of snow, Noah Bennet looks tired. They've been ont he road for a few hours now, longer than they should have been due to weekend traffic and the weather slowing things down. Construction on the Jersey Turnpike only made matters worse.

As a Grayhound bus slowly passes by the passenger side window, Noah turns to look at the younger man seated next to him in the front of the car. Brian Winters may have had much in common with Noah, back during his brief stint with the Company. Both trained by Mister Thompson, both professionals, both met a love of their life while on the job, and both lost their loves after they left. Maybe Noah has something to learn from Brian, about starting over.

Silence, instead, is all he has to offer him. In the back seat of the car, Amid Halebi hasn't done much more than stare out the rear passenger side window, seated behind Brian as he is. Arms cross over his chest, his brows furrow tensely and anxiety turns his stomach upside down. The brief respite at the gas station had helped to clear his conscience, but not his head. His daughter, and his departed wife linger on the fore of his mind.

Beside Amid, Samara Dunham finds herself staring at her own muted reflection in the rear driver's side window, watching long stretches of concrete barriers and guard rails blur past. Reflections were once the only way she could interact with the world, a face in a mirror or a shadow in a rippling puddle.

Every reflection is a reminder, painfully so, of the unlife she lived all those years alone.

Everyone in the car understands what it means to be alone, even when in the compay of others.

Outside of Baltimore, Maryland


Glancing over at Noah, Brian looks like he might be about to say something. But eventually it relents into nothing. His gaze shifts back to the road. Adjusting in his seat somewhat, he glances in the sideview mirror. Getting a glimpse of the young woman in the back of the car. A light smile sliding up his lips. Pushing his head against the window, a sort of dreamy look takes over his features. Until he blinks away. And with his eyes off Samara for one moment, the depression of the situation sets back in.

Stretching one arm out, Winters goes to turn the volume knob on the radio up. ~If you're having girl problems, I feel bad for you son. I got ninety nine problems, but a bitch aint one.~ Winters glances over to the drivers side, a single brow arching up as if to imply how much this song can relate to the older man. He then looks back out the window, humming lightly along with the tune.

In some ways her own reflection has become an object of terror. Having lost four years of her life, living as nothing more than a reflection, Sam's fear is realized in her own image, something she may never let go of. Her pointer finger raises to her own image, allowing her to invisibly trace along the lines of her image, but she doesn't touch the glass as she does so, instead she grants millimetres from it, using thin air as her sketchbook; she's beyond having to trace anything in glass anymore.

Her lips press together into a thin line while she silently counts the number of red cars that have passed them. Always the red ones— any other colour would challenge the notion of the game. She hasn't said much since they stopped for gas, allowing nothing the scenery to be her company, her solace. She hmmms quietly to herself, the first sound she's made for most of the ride. It's an acknowledgement of everyone else in the car, even if it doesn't actually address them. THer eyes finally close while her gaze peels away from the window girl while the song brings a distinct frown.

"Amid," Noah reaches towards the radio to turn it down, perhaps only having this conversation now because he needed an excuse to turn that song off. The mild look he gives Brian across the center console of the car isn't quite withering, but it does have that disapproving dad quality to it. "When we get to D.C., where are you meeting your contact with Mazdak?" Looking up into the rear-view mirror, Noah first lays his attention on Samara, then shifts his focus over to Amid.

The engineer rouses from his silence, looking away from the bus passing by out the window, and up to the back of Noah's head, then tracking to meet his gaze in the rear-view mirror. "I do not know. I— have to place a call when we get into the city. There is a… ah, a pay phone?" Dark brows furrow together at the term, and Amid offers a slow shake of his head. "It is on C street southeast, outside of Saint Peter's church." Reaching up to scratch at the beard growing in on the front of his neck, Amid shifts awkwardly where he sits.

"You have the number to call?" One of Noah's brows raise as he meets Amid's stare in the mirror again.

"I— do, yes. After I make contact, they will set up a time and place to meet me, make sure I am who I say I am. They are afraid of— people. Men who can take other faces. A goul?" Persian mythology, though a term as descriptive as any other for a shape-shifter.

"Smart," Noah concedes, letting his head bob into a slow nod, "smarter than I pegged them for. How will they know it's you?" One brow arches, and Noah fears he knows the answer.

Amid looks away, down to his lap and his burn-scarred hands. "Answers to questions, then— what only I can do." He looks up from his hands to Noah, worry evident in his voice. "I can feel it coming back. The heat." The radiation.

Is it warm back there, Samara?

Winters glances over to Noah with a light shrug. "I don't control the radio." He lets out as he idly thinks how it would be kind of cool to have Norah's ability. Being able to play any song you want at any time. His lips purse. Or he could get an iPod and stay being next to immortal. He'll probably go with that option.

Glancing in the rear view, he arches a brow at the man in the drivers seat. "They're an international terrorist group, not a high school gang." He comments quietly. His teeth bare for a moment as he gives an awkward smile. He needs to be nicer. Be nicer, Brian. Glancing over his shoulder, he frowns lightly. "A public demonstration?" One hand goes up to grip the oh-shit handle. "I really hope not."

"And then?"

The weight of Noah's stare is enough to have Sam's gaze turn back to the window, which actually causes her to frown at her window friend. "Cogito ergo sum," she whispers to ReflectionGirl in the reflections nonexistence. She takes a slow deep breath before leaning closer to the window and letting her breath steam it; there's something relieving about this, especially as she draws a small smiley face in the fog— so much for not tracing on the class.

Sami's head turns to face Amid as her eyebrow quirks. Ironically, she hadn't felt hot until the notion of temperature was brought to her attention, a fact that has her smirking somewhat inappropriately— a vague smile that melts away moments later. "Wait— " she holds up a finger like she's raising her hand inappropriately and so doesn't want to draw too much attention to herself, just enough not to be rude. "— would they have a target in mind?" she's not tactical. "Or just whoever? Wherever?"

"No, no you— you misunderstand. Nothing so… open. They just wish to see, the glow, the burning and the heat from my hands. Nothing— nothing large." There's a weariness to Amid's expression as he feels the need to clarify. "To do something so brazen would be to martyr me to their cause, and I am more valuable alive than dead to them. My expertise is valuable, and when that wears out… they would see fit that I sacrifice myself for their own selfish desires. Not for any— noble cause."

Rolling his shoulders forward, Amid stares down at his lap. "They just wish for proof, which I have had to give before." Lifting up his burned hands, Amid's revelation causes a look from Noah that seems to indicate he misunderstood how Amid's ability works.

"You're… not immune to your own ability?" One of Noah's brows lifts, slowly. "The only other man I knew who could do what you do, he couldn't be hurt by it. Not immediately, at any rate. That's how you burned your hands?" It's a longer story than that, involving a terrifying moment on a ship, but Amid's shallow nod is all the answer Noah Bennet or anyone else is getting.

"When we get to D.C., I'm going to need time to set up for observation. We know where Amid's going to place the call, and it means they may have a permanent spotter at or near that location to put eyes on him if he makes the call, probably in a highrise, an adjacent building with an unobstructed view." Changing lanes, Noah moves to cut in front of the bus.

"Samara," Noah looks up into the rear view mirror at her, "do you have a functioning identification we can use to rent a hotel room? I'd rather not risk one of my identification cards or Brian's being on watch and drawing unwanted attention while we're here in D.C."

"I brought extra clothes. And a rifle." He gives a light shrug. He was never very forthcoming about all the stuff he was cramming into the trunk. "So I can.. watch and be ready.. Just in case. Not that I'm expecting to use it. Just in case you know. Be prepared. Boyscouts." Brian adjusts in the seat. He would answer for Samara, but due to their most recent fight he just falls silent

With a tight nod of her head, Sam peeks at Noah, "Yes. I do— Samantha Lazarus." The last name makes her grin, it's what she'd requested when she was coming back to life. Her nose wrinkles slightly, "And I shouldn't attract any attention, really. I mean, no one looks out for people that have been dead for four years." At this she shrugs her shoulders, corporeal or not, it seems she's destined to live her life as a ghost.

"Lazarus?" Bennet queries into the mirror, exhaling a sigh and letting his head slip down into a nod slowly. "We'll see how far your identification can get you, but since you're the only person not wanted in this vehicle, we're going to need you to do ordinary, day-to-day things. This isn't going to be a one-day stop down in D.C., I hate to tell you." Reclining into the driver's seat again, Noah and Brian both catch sight of a sign indicating the turn to get off on I-895 towards Washington D.C.

"Samara, when we get to Washington I'm going to bring us to a hotel I know in the area near where Amid needs to make his call. I'll give you the money and you'll rent us the room, we'll meet up there and plan. Brian, I want you to head down to Amid's contact point. I've got some surveillance equipment in the trunk. An earbud, some listening devices. I want you to keep an eye on anyone that approaches Amid, and follow him once he gets his location."

Turning his attention up to the rear-view window, Noah's brows furrow thoughtfully. "Amid, you just need to do what you normally do. Keep your focus, don't do anything odd. If you see Brian, whatever you do don't linger on him. Pretend like you don't know who he is, alright?"

A silent nod from Amid comes with a murmured noise of acknowledgement, and were it not for eye contact in the rear-view mirror, Noah might have made him speak up. "Samara you're going to stay in the hotel with me. If something happens to Brian or Amid you're probably the only person who'll be able to get to them fast enough to matter." The likelihood is slim, and perhaps Noah is only claiming that she'll need to help because it makes her feel more invested, more involved.

"Once we get a meeting location, Amid, Brian will keep close eye on you. Brian," Noah turns to look across at the younger man. "If it looks like they're going to move Amid, try to get him out of the city, I want you to stop it from happening if you can. Our goal is to find out where they're going to keep Amid long-term, and hopefully once we get confirmation from your contact," there's a tension in Noah's voice there. "We'll pull him out once we know his daughter is safe."

"Got it." A glance into the sideview mirror, Winters features soften some. Peering at her, he lolls his head to the side, gripping the handle a little tightly. His lips tighten as if he might be considering speaking with Samara. Yet he decides not to, ultimately. Instead he glances over at Amid. Then back to Noah. "Alright."

No matter what Noah thinks, Lazarus is still an awesome name in Sam's own head evidenced by her smug smile. "Sounds good to me," she replies flatly— flatter than she intends, and wholly unconvinced— while she turns back to the window only to catch a glimpse of Brian in the side mirror. Like him she wants to say something, but she falls silent again, allowing only a faint puff of her cheeks with the quiet exhalation of breath indicate anything is remotely amiss.

The soft click-click-clicj of the right directional comes with the Buick turning down the offramp onto the Interstate. Looking up at Amid Halebi's distant expression in the rear view mirror, Bennet's own expression hardens. Cold eyes consider the radioactive man in the rear of the car, and consider the future. The future of the country, the Ferrymen, Amid and his daughter.

"Well, then," Noah admits with a self-satisfied tone of voice, offering a hesitant smile across to Brian and a raise of his brows. "It sounds like we have ourselves a plan." Looking up into the rear-view mirror, Noah meets Amid's dark eyes briefly. "Don't you worry, Amid, when all this is said and done, I promise you that I'll get you to safety and make sure your daughter is okay."

Closer now to the nation's capitol, Brian Winters and Samara Dunham are one step closer to reuniting a man and his daughter, but in order to do so, they have to prevent an international terrorist organization from absconding with a man who could create another Midtown level cataclysm.

No pressure.

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