Good Intentions, Part II


amid_icon.gif bennet3_icon.gif brian_icon.gif samara_icon.gif

Scene Title Good Intentions, Part II
Synopsis Brian Winters and Samara Dunham work with Noah Bennet in trying to secure Amid Halebi from the clutches of Mazdak and the US Government while protecting the life of his daughter. But what other plans does Noah have up his sleeve?
Date January 30, 2011

The smiling face of Bradley Russo, six feet tall and covered with road salt rolls past the bus stop. Brown grime has plastered itself across the celebrity's teeth and tactically unshaven jaw, along with the logo for his talk show, THE ADVOCATE in marquee below his chin. The bus rolls to a stop, air brakes hissing noisily and door rolling open with a clatter and rattle of its plexiglass window and aluminum frame. Boots slap wetly on slushy snow underfoot, and the first person off skids on the ice at the sidewalk, bracing himelf against the bus' doorframe.

One by one, passengers disembark into the cold, their view of the Washington Monument cutting a sharp line of white against the dark of night's sky in the distance. People hunched inward for warmth rise up off of the bus stop, squeeze past the people getting off to find their own ways home, or some semblance thereof.

Bumped into by one of the people getting on to the bus, one passenger disembarking loses his balance on the slushy snow, arms windmilling out to his side, one gloved hand grasping on to the sleeve of a man at his side. Amid Halebi lets out a ragged, tired sound as he braces himself against Brian Winters, looking back over his shoulder to the man that shoved him. Steam ejects out of Amid's mouth as he sighs, turning wide, dark eyes up to Brian with an apologetic shake of his head. His fingers unwind from the jacket, pat down the spot he touched, and Amid backs away with both hands raised passively.

Tonight they're strangers.


Super 8 Motel

Washington D.C.**

Two Miles Away

"They've made it to the rendezvous point…" Drawing the blinds of the motel room closed, the tall and broad-shouldered frame of Noah Bennet turns away from the windows, one hand on the draw string that twists the blinds shut with a plastic clatter. Dangling from his ear, a cord connects his earpiece to a transmitter clipped on to his belt, just visible beneath his brown suede jacket.

"You should eat something…" Noah anxiously admits, crows feet crinkling at the corners of his eyes. On the table nearby to the window, boxes of Chinese takeout are opened beside a folded brown paper bag. Most of it has already been picked through an hour ago before Brian and Amid left for the rendezvous site. Nerves have kept Noah from eating, he'd always gotten this way during an assignment. He can't recall seeing Samara eating either. He's worried that she's just as nervous as he is.

Or that he's starting to lose his perceptive edge.

"Good, right? At least they're there on time and everything will turn out as it should," Sam answers abruptly. While she may feign optimism, her real attitude is somewhere in between negativity and optimistic caution. In fact, quite absently she's been pacing the room, not wholly aware of what she's doing. Her anxiety matches Noah's, but then, she's always somewhat wiry.

The comment earns him a smile though and a tight shake of her head, "I'm not hungry. I ate— " Hours ago. Many hours ago. And it'd come back up, an admission she refuses to make. She presses a hand to her stomach, mentally trying to calm the butterflies within.

She forces herself to sit down on one of the chairs in the motel room, there's no reason to continually wear down the carpet. Biting on a single fingernail, her lips flick upwards again as she eyes the Chinese. Maybe if she eats something she'll allay some of these butterflies. It's a strong maybe. She reaches for a box of dumplings. They're cold. She doesn't notice as she plops one (rather queasily) into her mouth. "You should eat too."

The ghost of a smile flashes across Noah's face at Samara's concern, ever so briefly. Letting his head bob into a seires of short, non-comittal nods, the 'retired' agent walks around the table, pulling out a chair opposite of Samara as he settles down, one hand braced on the crook of his cane to steady his descent.

"I've never been able to eat during an assignment…" It's not just an excuse, but also the gateway into an anecdote. "When I first joined the Company, I had a lot of ones like this— Stakeouts. Claude and I… " Noah leans his cane against the side of his chair, looking up and across the table to Samara. "My old partner," he clarifies. "We used to do what Brian and I are doing now. Claude would go out and scout a location, and I'd stay back and keep tabs on him. Back then, I'd be the one ready to jump up at a moment's notice and go down to back Claude up."

A smile crinkles the corners of Noah's eyes as he pats the crook of his cane with one hand, looking down to it, then back up to Samara. "I'm in no shape to be hopping fences and chasing people down anymore. But you…" Noah inclines his head towards Samara. "Brian's going to be counting on you." Noah's smile grows just a little more, this time sympathetically.

There's another flicker of a smile as she forces the dumpling down. It's not good. And it leaves things even more unsettled. So Sami tries not to think about it. With a quiet sigh, she pushes the box away from her— she doesn't want to look at them anymore. Or smell them.

"How long were you with them? The Company, I mean. Not Claude, particularly." He's shot another smile, this one more haphazard than the last, she's clinging for something else to think about— something else to consider.

And so she latches onto the last. "You know. I wasn't very dependable for a long time. Hard to be when you're nothing. Like literally nothing. I could walk down New York City and night and see all kinds of nasty things going on and could do nothing about it. I mean, I always showed up, but for the first time in a long time— I think I am. Dependable, I mean. Counted on, I guess." There's an easier smile though as she recalls, "And sometimes I was really really thankful I couldn't be seen— there was this one time when a guy in the park and his girlfriend— " Her cheeks redden slightly while her head shakes again. "Sorry. I talk too much in general. MOre when I'm nervous. Or excited." Her eyebrow arches, "Or hyper." She shrugs.

The smile Noah offers in regard to Samara's rambling is bittersweet. "You remind me of Sandra…" isn't something that Samara immediately clues in on, and were it not for Noah's impending clarification, the comment may have seemed far less bittersweet. "My— wife?" That his voice creeps up on the end there indicates his uncertainty about their status these days. Married on paper, but in paper alone. "She talks, to cover for her nerves. Cooks, too— so watch out, you might wind up being a compulsive chef. Though, with however many of Brian you wind up being around at any one minute, that might be a needed trait."

Reclining back in his chair, Noah's eyes drift down to the half emptied boxes of takeout on the table. "I was with the Company…" and the answer takes him a moment, loses him in the context of the past he hadn't considered in a long while. "I was with the Company for fifteen years." He exhales a huff of breath that is almost a laugh, but too rueful. "Fifteen years," he echoes, shaking his head slowly and lifting one hand up to sweep his glasses off of his face, then rub at the bridge of his nose.

"I spent so much of my life angry at people like you," Noah explains in a tired, reticent voice. "Spent even more of it resentful and uncaring. Right up until I met my daughter Claire for the first time…" Trailing off, Noah shakes hie head and stares down vacantly at his lap.

The silence is thick, heavy and oppressive.


Outside of Saint Peter's Church

"Sorry bro."

Nevermind it wasn't his fault, one hand comes up in an apologetic motion to Amid. His head lowering, reaching up he tugs his baseball cap down. Shoving the white iPod earbuds into his ears he takes a few steps away from the other man. Communication in one ear, Black Eyed Peas in the other. A backpack slung over his blue jacket, Brian is for all intents and purposes just another student in D.C. Nevermind all the weaponry that is placed in various places on his body, and backpack.

Glancing over at his shoulder at Russo on the side of the bus, Winters' lips crook into a lopsided smirk. "I've met that guy." Brian mutters to a passing nobody, before grabbing at the top of his shirt. A pair of aviators are slid over his eyes as he grabs the straps of his backpack and starts walking.

Amid's lanky frame moves with anxious haste across the street through a crosswalk. His body is silhouette by the glow of headlights from stopped traffic. In the night sky, Brian can see the running lights of helicopters patroling the skies of the nation's capitol, the chop of the helicoptor rotors distant and muted. They evoke memories of the riots, memories from a half dozen Brians.

Crossing the street into the tall, gothic shadow of Saint Peter's church, Amid hustles across the sidewalk towards the payphone. Up and down both sides of the street, traffic is sparse at this hour of night. Not as dead as it would be in New York City, the lack of a curfew in D.C. keeps pedestrians and non-government vehicles out on the street far longer.

Brian can see Amid pick up the payphone, retrieving a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket as he checks the number. A coin slips down into the phone, then another, and Amid's shaky hand dials with frantic haste. His daughter's life hinges on how quickly he places this call.

Training from the Company has taught Brian not to focus on the obvious, never to focus on what is directly visible in front of him at any given moment in time. The homeless woman pushing a shopping cart full of plastic bags has his momentary attention as she wheels past through the snow. Then to the old man sitting at the bus stop after the bus departed. The windows of the Radisson Hotel a block away facing the church, some lit, others dark, some blinds open and some blinds closed.

As Amid places the call, Brian can see how brief it is. The phone hangs up quickly, and as Amid turns to check up and down the street, Brian spots the old man at the bus stop tilt his chin down to his collar. Lips move, he's talking. A wire is coiled behind his ear.

Behind the lenses of aviator sunglasses Brian spies a black sedan parked on the side of the road three cars down from him turn its headlights on, tinted windows hiding the occupants.

That isn't Mazdak.

"Boom boom boom…"

"Company. Looks government to me. FBI. ATF." Then his voice goes back to singing the lyrics of the song. He's just a bopping kid after all, who is very observant. The sedan is eyed then back to the homeless man. He won't do anything yet. But he will get a little closer. Making his way down, lightly singing Black Eyed Peas to himself, Winters goes to take a seat at the bus stop. A little nod given to the homeless man.

Reaching into his pocket a cell phone is pulled out as he begins to text. Paying less attention to the man with his straight gaze, while watching him in his peripherals and straining to hear past hos own music. The ipod is turned down.

"Contact's been made," the old man at the bus stop murmurs into his collar, "Pick him up." The sedan pulls away from the curb at that request, cutting off an oncoming car and whipping out into traffic. Tires spin on the icy, snow-covered street and the sedan fishtails. Amid doesn't yet recognize what's happening, his back to the car and eyes focused down the street. On seeing the sedan pull out, Brian spots another sign of movement, a white box van turning the corner onto C Street too fast to be adhering to the speed limit.

Tinted windows and a flower delivery service logo on the side indicates that it comes from a local florist. As the van rounds the corner, the sedan switches lanes, moving closer to the side of the street that Amid is on. The old man on the bus stop bench hunches forward, resting his hands on his knees, then pushes himself to his feet. Brian can see the bulge of an underarm holstered gun beneath his winter coat.

Amid turns, spotting the van, then catches the sound of screeching tires as he looks to the sedan that whips around in a U-Turn and cuts into traffic, in order to position itself to sweep back around and presumably pick up Amid before Mazdak can get to him.

Brian has to think fast.


Super 8 Motel

"Why?" she asks quietly while Sam frowns a little, feeling queasier as the minutes wear on. Even being in a room alone with someone who hated people like her. And then, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear she quietly chuckles. "I was angry with people like me too. For awhile. I mean, I thought I was dead," she lets out a loud breath, nearly a scoff. "I thought one of them had killed me and had taken my entire life from me. Pretty easy to be angry at." She smirks, "Until I decided my best friend was evolved…" she decided. "Because she could always see me when I was invisible to the rest of the world— "

She bites her bottom lip and shifts on her chair before pushing away from the table, and stepping towards the door, putting some distance between her and the food (that continues to turn her stomach). "How old is your daughter?" she asks, trying to distract herself further.

Noah looks up from his lap, considering Samara for a moment. "You two are probably the same age. She's… had a hard life. I— " Noah cuts himself off, brows furrowing as he lifts one hand to his ear, trying to block out noise to the earbud so he can hear it more clearly. His eyes flick from side to side, and with one hand snatching his cane up, Noah pushes himself to his feet shakily. Through the frames of his wire-rimmed glasses, Noah squares his attention on Samara.

"Brian's spotted federal agents closing in on Amid," is stated with an urgent tension in his voice, and Noah fumbles down to his collar, picking up the dangling microphone to hold closer to his mouth and turn on, so that Brian can hear him. "Do not let them get a hold of Halebi," Noah asserts into the microphone, hobbling away from the table to get back to the motel room's window, pulling one of the vertical blinds aside and staring down the length of C-Street, trying to get a visual on what Brian is describing. His hand reaches down to his side, pulling out a pair of folding binoculars from his jacket pocket, snapping them open and bringing them to his eyes.

Through the bifocal lenses, Bennet can see the sedan swerving thorugh traffic, his focus swerving likewise up to Amid, then the white van heading in the opposite direction down the street. "Brian do you hear me, do not let them take Amid." Turning to look over his shoulder at Samara, he motions for a black, vynil case on the table near the Chinese takeout.

"Samara, there's a GSP tracker in that case. It's programmed to show the coordinates of Brian's transmitter. Turn it on." Bennet turns back to the windows, lifting the binoculars back up again.

"Call them off."

Brian says quietly, almost too quietly to be heard. And in the next moment he's pulling down the zipper on his jacket. Reaching into his jacket pocket, he glances at the man and then glances down at his jacket. Inside, a gun is staring up at the 'homeless man' barrel ready to take his head off. Invisible to everyone but Brian and the man, covered by the young man's jacket Brian continues to watch the street. "We have snipers. If you want to test me, test me. Your driver will be taken out first. We're more prepared than you are, and we're more evolved than you are. So tell them the mission is compromised unless you want to be responsible for an entire unit, dead."

Brian doesn't look at the man openly. He just sits at the bus stop. Two men sitting. One with a jacket slightly open. The gun waits, as Brian does as well, expectantly. "Don't make me kill you."

Sami tilts her head as Noah's eyebrows furrowed, that unsettled expression speaking volumes before she even knows what's going on. She twists back towards the window, traipsing after the man with the cane. She peers after him, not able to see anything of note with just her eyes, but she looks anyways, obviously tensed at the notion of federal agents closing in. "Oh no— " she murmurs quietly.

At the instructions, she rushes back to the case, opening it (and ignoring the food on the table) as she examines the tracker carefully. WIth a flick of a switch, the GPS tracker is turned on. "Done!" The machine begins to operate as it should.

Down on the street, the old man turns with a sharp look to Brian and one brow raised. Tension is evident in his posture, eyes wide and throat hitched around words he was about to offer before the threats of snipers and teams are brought about. The old man's attention drifts to the car, watching it pulling up alongside where Amid is standing at the phone, then back to Brian.

"Do you have any idea who I am? You won't make it off of the corner of this street alive." There's a boastful tension in the old man's throat, trying to mask his fear. Brian's dealt with this before, seen this type of posturing enough times to know that when push comes to shove, self-preservation always wins out against anything else. He just needs to twist the proverbial screws a bit tighter. But he needs to do it quickly.

"Brian's in the middle of trying to bluff whoever it is that's after Amid. If Brian gets out of sight, I need you to follow him. You can move faster and through obstructions quicker than I can. I need you to keep Brian safe, he's the only one we have down here, and I'm in no condition to extract Amid from his people if we lose track of him on my own."

Down on the street, the sedan stops on the curb. Amid backs away from where it's parked, looking up the street to the white van, which is now slowing down, likely due to the presence of the black car parked on the same side of the street as Amid. Turning away from the sedan, Amid tries to speed walk away, hands tucked into the pockets of his jacket and head down, as if he doesn't notice them, doesn't recognize them.

"You have three seconds to say Mission's Compromised. When I get to number three, your brains are painting the wall of the bus stop. You have two seconds to get your priorities straight. Then you have one second to either die, or make the right choice." Brian glances through his glasses at the car approaching Amid then back to the man. Maybe he should have counted to just two. But it has to be three enough time for it to sink in.


The jacket opens up a tad bit more, a subtle hint that Brian is getting the finer points of his aim down..


His head turns as he now openly looks at the old man, the barrel off the gun's stare probably a tad more menacing than his own. Only one more number to utter.

Sam takes a quiet deep breath, gently reminding herself there's more Brians back home, there's little worrying on that front— but getting Amid out is of prime concern. She tugs on her coat, a short woollen brown jacket that is quickly zipped. Not that she needs to leave yet, she just needs to be ready. "You should know— if I need to drive…" she frowns a little before blurting, "I haven't driven in four years. And even then I failed my driver's test twice before getting my license— " for various infractions. Like her lead foot.

But she's ready. And willing. No matter what it takes. "But I can move fast. And through things." Because she's been practicing. Yay for practice!

Down on the street below, the man staring down the barrel of Brian's gun inside of his jacket takes until the count of two to make up his mind. Dying for his country is something he'd always said he'd be willing to do, but when push finally comes to shove and a civil servant is placed directly in the line of fire, survival instinct takes precedence.

"Abort," is clearly stated into his collar, "abort right now goddamnit abort!" Sharply hissed words cause the sedan parked on the side of the road to linger for a moment, then pull away from the curb without incident. It moves slow down the street, passing parallel to where Brian holds the old man at concealed gunpoint.

"You know you just signed your death warrant?" The old man splutters those words out, his lips downturning to a frown. "You have no idea who you're dealing with or what you just did." Fear controls the man's admissions, and Brian can see that terror in his eyes, staring into the barrel of a gun unblinkingly.

When the sedan pulls away, the florist van moves up into its space, rolling along the curb beside AMid. View of the engineer is blocked by the van, and when the vehicle comes ot a stop there's no sign of Amid continuing his walk forward.

Up in the motel, peering out the window, Noah offers a rough croak at the back of his throat. "Samara, can you make other people intangible?" There's a quick look back at her and away from the binoculars before Noah turns his attention back to the lenses, addressing Brian in a more firm and clear tone of voice.

"The van's stopped, the side door's open and Amid's heading towards it. Mazdak's making a mobile pick-up. If we lose contact with the van we'll never find Amid again. I'm sending Samara down."

"I've signed that dozen of times, my friend." Brian is muttering as his free hand comes up. The tazer connects with the man's neck and is held for a long moment. Once Brian is sure that the man is probably pissing himself and unconcious, he releases the button. Stuffing it back into his jacket, the old man is hastily searched for any form of ID. And his earcord will be taken too, stuffed into Brian's own jacket. The cord will replace the iPod. He won't take the collar communicator. That would just be unnecessary.

Once done with the old man, Brian lets out an aggravated breath. "I got it~." He lets out, moving across the sidewalk. A hand comes up as a taxi slows down in front of him. "You don't need to send her, I'm handling it."

Noah's question to Samara is met with a semi-pained expression. "I.. I haven't tried.. when I first came back— " from the dead "— I couldn't even phase with clothes which is incredibly embarrassing…" and probably more information than Noah needs. "But… maybe? I can move with larger and larger things— "

At the last, Sam's eyebrows arch, she's treading towards the door, lingering a moment before opening the door. Forcefully it's closed behind her and she treads down the hall. She takes the stairs two at a time, winding down the staircase as quickly as she can before reaching the main floor and hailing a cab all her own.

The one similarity that New York City has with Washington D.C. is the prominence of its public transportation. Here in D.C., hailing a cab doesn't require a swipe of Registry card, yet. When the white taxi pulls up to the curb and comes to a stop, Noah watches Samara from a distance through his binoculars, rather than Brian's situation down the street. His throat tightens, eyes narrow, and he reaches up to turn off his microphone. When Samara disappears into the cab and the door shut behind her, Noah reaches inside of his jacket for his cell phone.

Through the binoculars, he can see Brian hailing a taxi, even while the man he tasered is kicking and twitching on the sidewalk, attracting no attention yet from the sparse pedestrian population, given the weather. That cell phone is slid open, a number dialed from memory across the keypad with one hand. It starts ringing before Noah can even bring it up to his ear.

"It's Bennet…" Noah murmurs into the phone, brows furrowed together. "I'm going to have something for you, probably by the end of the week…" The voice on the other end offers a quiet response, distrustful and uncertain. "No, I'm not alone. But don't worry, I can handle this. Just make sure you're ready when I call you again. I'm not going to have much time to handle this in."

Noah's eyes narrow subtly behind the lenses of his glasses, lips downturning into a frown. "I told you, I keep my word."

Down on the street, the white van pulls away from the curb, and it's clear that Amid has been taken inside. Through the windows of the cab he hailed, Brian can see the van pull away from the curb at a casual speed, not trying to draw attention to itself. The driver turns, looking over his shoulder with brows furrowed. "Good evenin'. Wher'r we headed?"

"I bet you're excited." Brian starts. "Follow that white van. Don't lose it, and I'll triple your fare." The door closes behind him quickly. Eyes touching on the twitching man as he makes himself comfortable in the cab. The door is closed as he grabs for his pocket. Noah seemed all too eager to send Sami down. It's not a move a man like Noah should make. Sending a twenty year old untrained girl after a Mazdaq van. A phone slides out of Brian's pocket.

Keying up a quick text, he shoots a text to the go-phone on Samara: dont leev noah

With that the phone is shoved back into his pocket. The leather folio unfolded in front of him. Agent Duncan Thomas Taylor. Department of Homeland Security. "It's HomeSec, Noah." Winters lets out. Pushing one ear to his other earbud to listen and see if HomeSecs team is making any new hasty decisions. He glances to the driver. "Hurry."

Sam flashes her cabby a weak smile, she'd thought of this on her trail down the stairs. "Hi— " there's some hesitation on her part at her own greeting. "Listen," she frowns as she allows her lips to curve downwards, "I know this is probably totally unconventional, but I need you to follow a cab not far from here— a few blocks up. My fiancee— " she bites her bottom lip like suppressing some unexplained emotion. "— he— " there's a distinct pause as there's a beep on Sam's phone. The text message is regarded cautiously.

Her brows knit together suspiciously she peeks up back towards the motel, not having told the cabby anything. Finally, biting her bottom lip, she sends a text all her own back to Brian: /already did../why. A second text is sent in quick succession: //wuts going on r u ok.

But the sentence from Brian remains. Don't leave Noah. Her lips press together as she reaches into her pocket and gives the cabby five bucks. "For pulling over." She doesn't bother opening the door, but reopens it to step out. She slides down to the sidewalk and returns to the stairs. Two at a time to return to the room.

It's a long haul back up through the stairwell to the second floor, down the carpeted hall and back to the hotel room Noah is in. Without a key to his room, the door refuses to open. Samara has a couple options: She can knock, or she can let herself in.

Down on the street, confusion paints itself on the cabbie's face after Samara has departed, brows furrowed and mouth agape, holding five dollars in one hand and staring at the front of the Super 8 Motel with a confused hesitation. Eventually, he leans away from the window, puts the cab in drive, and will recount to his wife after his shift about the strangest thing that happened to him while he was at work today.

Just a little under two miles away, another cab driver for the same company will have a similarly confusing story to share.

"All— right," he awkwardly agrees, looking at Brian in the rear-view mirror with furrowed brows. The meter is clicked on, and as the cab pulls away from the curb, the white florist van is already a good distance ahead of them. "Which— which vehicle am I following here?" There's a narrowing of the cabbie's eyes as he turns his attention across the tail lights ahead of him. "Do I like— o you want me to ride the guy's bumper kinda' follow or— I mean like— I've seen those Bourne movies, y'know? Are you some kinda' federal agent?"

Dark eyes look up to consider Brian in the rear view mirror at that question, one brow raised.

"That white van. Gun it, god damnit." A finger flies out to point out the van. "When we're sure that you're not going to lose them, then yeah, Bourne it up." He gives a little nod. "Department of Homeland Security. Agent Taylor." The badge is flashed up. "It's a matter of national security. Do not lose that van." Brian growls, smacking the back of the seat. "Go"

The phone is picked up, and tapped in rapidly. no trust. if i think i am going 2 lose him i will txt. lie 4 noah The phone is then dropped back into his lap. A pause. Then picked up. love u. The phone is then dropped again as he eyes the van outside the windshield.

The next text messages are regarded with a furrow of Sami's eyebrows while she lingers at the landing. That uneasiness in her stomach grows. Yet even in that uneasiness, the last text earns a grin. love u she returns quickly before repocketing her phone and reaching that door that won't open.

Her lips purse together. Determinedly, she closes her eyes. Sam lets herself in. That's the real joy of phasing.

When Samara lets herself in, Noah is in the process of standing over the table and twisting a silencer into the barrel. He looks up, catching the movement of an intangible form passing through the door, jumping at the unexpected presence until he recognizes her for what she is. Relaxing reluctantly, Noah looks frustrated as he continues screwing the silencer on the handgun.

"I thought I told you to get down there and go to Brian?" It's a judgmental, fatherly tone of voice. "Samara, if he gets himself hurt or killed this is going to be on your head. I need you down there to be able to get him out if the situation turns violent. We can't afford to wait for however long it would take for Brian to send another copy down here, and I can't go around hobbling on a cane chasing down Halebi!"

The silenced handgun is laid down on the table, and light from the lamp gleams bright across Noah's glasses. "What are you doing up here?"

Back down on the street, Brian's cab weaves through traffic, moving to cut ahead of the slower moving vehicles in an attempt to catch up to the white florist van. "They're taking a left," the driver explains with a look up to Brian in the rear-view mirror. "That'll take them down to the harbor." The directional for the cab is clicked on as well, tick-ticking between the pause in the cab driver's words.

Up ahead, the van has halted, exhaust fumes billowing out of the tail pipe, shining red in the glow of tail lights. "Ah, is— am I in any danger?" The cabbie suddenly thinks to ask, looking up to Brian in the rear-view mirror again.

"None at all." Brian explains calmly. "Just don't lose the fucking van." He reinstates. "As long as you can do that. Nothing bad is going to happen to you." He quietly lies. "To the harbor?" He asks, tilting a brow. "Alright. Once they stop, stop out of sight okay? And pop the trunk. Once we're stopped I mean." He just sits back and patiently waits for someone else to do all the work for once.

Lie 4 Noah. Those were Sam's instructions. Hopefully she can pull it off. "I'm going to hurl," and sure enough, after reaching down for a nearby garbage can, she does. It turns out it wasn't much of a lie. That dumpling really was a bad idea. "Look. If I'm taking a cab to follow Brian, I need you to come with me." The phrase 'dont leeve noah' doesn't mean don't bring him with you.

"I don't have any combat skills," a small lie since Brian had been training her, "I barely know how to shoot a gun," pause, "and I can phase with you if I need to get you out of something quickly. Besides we're just taking a cab. You can see what's going on from the car." Beat. "Let's go." It's unusually confident. Fake confidence. She has no idea if what she's doing is the right thing. "You don't have to hobble, but you do need to see." Her head turns to the door. "C'mon." There's no smile, just a deadpan expression and more butterflies in her stomach.

Noah's eyes narrow behind the lenses of his glasses, chin motioning in the direction of the bathroom helpfully, as if the open door and light on inside weren't evident enough. "Samara, just a minute ago you were saying how you weren't sure you could phase anyone at all. We agreed on this plan when we all got together and now you're wasting time sending Brian by himself? You told me that you could handle this, that you were ready for this."

Noah breathes in a tense breath and rests his weight down on the cane again. "We're not going anywhere, and apparently you aren't either. Winters needs me here to man the communication, and apparently it's clear that he can't rely on you to follow orders when push comes to shove." Reaching up to click his microphone bakc on, Noah returns to his position by the window, picking up his binoculars again.

«Brian» comes through the earpiece in the cab. «It's Noah. Samara came back up, we can't rely on her. You're on your own. I'm sorry.» The cab pushes through a yellow light, following behind the van just in the nick of time to avoid running a red light. The cab driver tenses up as he watches the van slowly change lanes, heading down the street and eventually into view of a lighted marina, passing by exits that would go out to the harbor, instead sticking to the road following the curve of the waterfront.

«I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought her. Fuck. I'll try to do this on my own.»

At all the negative words from Noah, Brian taps in another text. ur a star He smiles brightly. His baby. Fooled Noah Bennet. The burst of pride in his chest swells up, and the thought of baby has him thinking on a different topic. Another text is tapped in. Hopefully Samara remembers to be secretive about the phone. if u r pregnant. i am happy He may regret those words later, but at this moment, he's very proud of his girl.

Glancing up at the driver, he smiles lightly. "You're doing a great job man. What's your name? You're doing great. Keep it up."

There's a distinct sting in her chest at the comments, but it doesn't register on her face this time aside from those hazel eyes which blink hard, nearly suppressing that pang somewhere deep inside where she can't regard it; instead, she focuses on those texted words, remembering where her loyalty lies. "Brian can always rely on me when he needs me," most of the words are matter-of-fact, hesitation only detected in the last syllable as her voice squeaks around it. And then her phone vibrates in her pocket, but she doesn't reach for it. Not yet.

Her eyes roll to the table as she spies the weapon upon it, not having taken notice earlier. "Why the gun? If you were staying up here… why do you need…?" her hazel eyes narrow slightly. Her lips press together while her head tilts quizzically, but what she says isn't a question, "It must be hard for you… having a daughter… seeing what's happening to Amid… that can't be easy. I don't have any kids and my heart breaks for him— "

Noah lowers the binoculars, unable to find where Brian had gone to. His eyes turn lower to the table and the gun between the takeout as he turns to face Samara, then alight back up to her. "Amid…" Noah's lips press together tightly. "Idon't envy Amid's position. What he's going through. But I understand why he's doing what it is he's doing. A father— father's will do anything to protect their children. It's just human nature." Walking over to the chair Samara was originally sitting in during their first conversation, Noah slouches down and settles into the seat, the wood creaking as he does.

"The gun," he looks up to Samara, "was in case anyone from Mazdak managed to follow us back to this motel. They're an Evolved extremist group, Samara. You have to imagine that the potential for them to jave precognitives, remote viewers, even someone who can turn invisible are high." Looking down to the floor, Noah lays his cane against the arm of the chair.

"You seem better…" Noah opines as he looks up from his lap to Samara, one brow raised.

"My— my name?" The cab driver looks back over his shoulder, eyes wide, then back to the steering wheel. "Ah, it— Stephen." The identification badge hanging from the center console seems to confirm that; Stephen Tremont. "So— do you federal agent types?" Dark eyes look up to assess Brian in the rear view again, briefly. "Do you usually use cabs, and… you know, public service vehicles to get around?"

Squaring a look back out the front windshield, Stephen watches as the florist truck pulls down a one-way street between tall, brick buildings. He looks back up to Brian, one brow raised. "You want me to go down there, or… That's gonna' be pretty obvious, man."

"Stop here." Brian encourages. "Put it in park. Pop the trunk." Winters commands easily, just as the tazer comes out again. And it connects with Stephen's neck."Thank you for your help Mr. Tremont." Bzzzzzzt. Holding it there for another long moment, it's brought up as Brian goes to exit the cab. Only to open the drivers seat door. Stephen will be taken to the trunk.. Undressed and plopped in there. Back into the car, Winters suddenly gains company. Two more of him. One is quickly donning the clothes of Stephen Tremont, while the other is digging in the original Brian backpack, digging out an extra pair of clothes as well as a weapon.

The two newly arrived naked Brian quickly get dressed as the first Brian ventures out off the cab. He will follow on foot now, he hangs back though. He will take every caution to not be seen.

Sam's eyes affix on Noah as he talks about what fathers do for their children. "My dad is a doctor. I'm not sure this would be on the list of things he'd do for any of us." The us is implicitly her and her siblings. "And not all parents would go that far for their kids. I got to roam invisible for awhile— there was a lot of different parenting. Not everyone's completely devoted to their kids. Claire's lucky. So is Lucine." Her lips press together. "And so am I, even if I'm not wholly convinced."

Her lips press together tightly as she glances down at the garbage can. "I guess I'm feeling a little better," she's not, "Or my stomach is empty again. That dumpling was a really bad idea. Too much stress to eat cold Chinese food— " Oh wait. The texts. She runs her tongue over her teeth as she still holds onto the garbage can. "I think… I'm… " she glances towards the bathroom, "I need to brush my teeth." Because she vomited. Clearly this makes sense.

Stilted, nearly unnatural paces quicken towards the bathroom. The door is left an inch ajar and she turns on the tap only to shut it off to read the texts and pretend brushing her teeth.

The messages actually draw an unexpected sparkle to her smile. Even if she's making a mistake at least Brian is happy about it. That's saying something, right? She texts him back quickly: really? i luv u before putting her phone away and turning on the sink again to pretend rinsing her toothbrush etc. Unfortunately, amid the texts there's no time to actually brush her teeth, but that's life.

In the reflection of the bathroom mirror, Samara can see how pale she looks. Color has drained out of her face, not just from nausea but also from anxiety and nerves. While she may be maintaining a calm demeanor in front of Noah, her body can't hide the natural reactions to the situation. Just the fact that she's looking at herself in a mirror again brings back those memories she'd spoken to Noah about.

Helplessness, invisibility, fear. Every mirror stares back at her as a reminder of her past, and how much distance currently resides between herself and the one person who believed in her for the years she was 'dead'. Wherever Rue Lancaster is now, she might not ever believe that Samara is doing the things she is now.

A few miles away, plural Brians are beginning to discover the simplicity in Mazdak's organizational structure. While Stephen blearily lays trapped in the trunk of his own cab, one of the Brian are changing into his clothes, a size too large in shirt and pants, and especially shoes. Stephen was taller and thinner than Brian, leading to a tightness in the shoulders of his clothing and a looseness in the pants made up for by a cinched belt.

Down the one-way street, ducked behind a dumpster, Brian can see the white van stopping. It isn't stopping outside of a florists, but rather an unmarked rear entrance to one of the brick buildings. The side door of the van rolls open, followed by a hook-nosed Kuwaiti in a delivery uniform. There's a handgun tuckedinto the back of his pants, and everything about him screams anxiety.

As he looks up and down both sides of the street, Brian can see his eyes shift to a vibrant green for a moment, before he walks over to the door and takes out a key, unlocking it and slipping inside. Next out of the van is Amid, a bag over his head and zip-ties holding his hands in place. He;s led out at gunpoint by a paler, bald-headed man who could possibly be Turkish, or maybe Armenian. A handgun is pushed between Amid's shoulderblades, and the bald man leads Amid in through the door, then closes it behind himself.

The van door starts to slide shut, even as it begins to roll ahead and continue down the narrow, one-way street.

Sitting in the drivers seat, Brian is adjusting himself in the drivers seat. The other Brian makes his way towards the brick building. Looking to get on the other side of his current copy already there. Keeping the engine on, Driver Brian is prepared to drive the pair away. He also texts. Now that he has time he can use a little more punctuation.

I love you too baby. I'm so happy I am with you. Catch Noah doing anything?

Watching Amid go by, Brian leans over to the side of the dumpster. As the van rolls away, Winters creeps around the dumpster and goes to stalk closer to the entrance. He just has to hear, make sure Amid isn't being killed and then… wait.

The examination of her reflection in the mirror actually has Sami paling more. Reflections. Always reflections. Her eyes narrow as her hands move to her stomach, her nausea increasing at her own appearance, not convinced Noah actually would've bought any of it after seeing herself. Even if she stayed relatively even.

Her dark eyelashes blink at her reflection while a subtle frown edges her lips. The girl in the mirror is someone she doesn't know. Something she'll deal with later, particularly as her phone is buzzing again— louder this time as she'd left it on the counter.

had gun on table with silence. seems angry with me. wouldnt take cab with me to follow u. She really has no idea if any of the things listed are odd. She barely knows the man, but she writes them anyways before returning the phone to her pocket.

Inside the taxi, Brian mutters into his wire. "«Okay. I have an address. And a location where they're keeping him. I'll keep some of me out here and come back to the hotel room.»" As he says this, he's typing into the phone already. Search his room tonight. When he's sleeping. You'll have to be very careful. If you're caught, we're screwed. Check everything tonight.. notes.. computer.. phones. Delete these messages after you read. You're my fav. "«All we have to do now is watch and wait.»" Winters reports. He glances in the rear view. He's going to have to do something about Stephen. A light sigh is given out. "«Give me an hour or so. I'll see you then. Noah. I'm sorry about Samara. i shouldn't have brought her.»"

I luv u bb, im glad u r here

Reclining back into his chair, staring up at the ceiling, Noah's vacant expression comes with a hint of otherwise unseen tension. He exhales a sigh, closing his eyes before forming a response for Brian.

«I wasn't aware any of your clones could replicate. Interesting.» The voice reports in Brian's ear, tinnily. It's quiet on the other side of that metal door he's near, cold out in the narrow street. Brian has some certainty that there's no executions in play tonight, but that they might move Amid is something that will keep him there in the alley overnight. All they have left to do, is wait for the appropriate time to extract him, once Brian is certain that Lucine is safe, and once he knows that Mazdak is certain that Amid is who he says he is.

«She's young, don't be too hard on her. Be thankful about the fact that she's nothing like us, Brian…» That much is admittedin a quiet tone of voice. «You have someone who loves you, someone who's capable of being something that people like you and I aren't ever going to be capable of. Being normal… being happy. Don't drag her into our world like I tried to drag Sandra…»

Noah reaches up to tug his headset off, setting the earbud and cord down on the table, hands sweeping over his face, and his final words spoken only into his palms.

"Or you'll lose her."

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