Handing Out Homework


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Scene Title Handing Out Homework
Synopsis After her conversation with Edward, April carries his messages to the rest of the time-displaced crew. Or most of them, at any rate. They manage not to descend into anything worse than verbal sparring before splitting up to go about their respective tasks.
Date April 17, 2009

Textile Factory 17

Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in the Red Hook neighborhood, Textile Factory 17 was once a part of a greater industrial complex in New York in the late 1800's. The building itself has that distinctive architectural look of an industrial revolution factory; constructed primarily from aged red brick, Textile Factory 17 however has one defining trait that sets it apart from the other factories in the area, an outer wall that surrounds the factory that closely resembles the bailey of a castle more so than an industrial complex.

The Factory complex is made up of seven distinct buildings, all having been abandoned since the company that owned the mill went bankrupt thirty-six years ago. The factory, warehouse, commons and shipping buildings all sit in derelict condition, having been cut off from the majority of New York's homeless due to the heavy gate that cordons off the facility from the nearby roads.

While it rests clearly in public view and is considered a historic landmark to the Red Hook neighborhood, time and circumstance has not allowed the factory to be refurbished for other purposes.

It isn't until the morning of the 17th that April calls the rest together — or at least the ones she's now 'supposed' to talk to. The room is the same one used before — out of the way, tucked into the corner, a long ways away from Edward's tower. It's dusty; everything is. There are mice in the walls, cobwebs in all the corners, and the furniture is not the most stable. But it serves.

The one table in the room holds a netbook with an attached microphone, to make it easier for Reed to hear. Less that April has to go over multiple times. Presumably he can digitize a voice to speak with. She herself sits just to one side of the computer, facing the doorway, but regarding the translucent silver orb cupped in one hand.


An old, battered rolling chair comes rolling down the hallway and into the room, slowing down once it gets over the threshold. Coming to a halt, it spins lazily until its inhabitant is facing outwards into the room, and he puts one sneaker'd foot down to stop its movement with a squeak.

"Good morning," Doyle greets with a sardonic smirk fully in place upon his face, a baseball jacket (Mets, for those who glance at the logo on the blue garment) slung over a white button-up shirt, a black ball-cap perched upon his head. Slacks. "And how are the members of our merry little band of misfits this morning?"

It's been very strange. Sleeping a real bed, choosing clothing, having a choice in food, freedom to roam — well, it's all been very heady. That and the use of his power. Regardless of what happens next, Niles feels a certain debt of gratitude to the mastermind.

He's wearing a pair of dark jeans, a collared shirt and a calf-length leather jacket. His hair is slicked back and he carries a large coffee mug. Ah, lattes. Luxuries are even more so.

Despite his good mood, the duplicator doesn't smile. He walks forward and stops not far from April and the computer. Doyle is glanced to sidelong, then he sips from the mug. "So. We have news? Not that I haven't been enjoying…rambling around my old haunts." And killing a few old ghosts.

Reed has been cruising around, actually staying out of trouble for the time being. He received word of the meeting and has plenty of time to get there. He's far too hyper to just sit in one place and veg with nothing going on. He figures he'll show up a couple minutes ahead of time, which is enough time for him to gather a few samples for voiceovers during the meeting. He arrives just in time to hear Niles and Doyle through the microphone and he slips into the system. With this being a serious meeting and all, he decides to use the voice of Batman. "I think April has news." he says through the loudspeakers. "Not entirely sure what it's all about."

There's no sound when Nathan appears in the room, materialising out of nothing as he folds space, removes himself from one place and reappears somewhere entirely different. It doesn't take as much getting used to as he thought it might. Fashionably late, apparently, the older man's entrance isn't particularly dramatic — off to the side and out of the way, only the sound of air shifting away from the sudden vacuum of occupied space heralding his appearance. He's dressed well, for a fugitive — a white dress shirt beneath a navy jacket and match slacks, the grey bristle at his jaw not so much shaven as tamed. His hands find purchase in the pockets of his jacket. "Hi," is the simple greeting, brown gaze wandering directly to April. There's a tension about him, as there usually seems to be when standing with this particular group of individuals.

April is polite — which is why, after everyone is in the room and subjected to a glance and a dip of her head, she replies to Doyle with "'The band' seems to be fine." The toy forcefield is banished, and the woman folds her hands in her lap. "Edward talked to me yesterday. He had… suggestions for all of us." She's a little dubious on some of them.

Hazel eyes flick to Doyle. "He wanted to talk with you himself, but apparently his plan is for you to do something in the Bronx facility." She doesn't need to explain what that is — but the deepening of her frown suggests this is the part that bothers April most. "He didn't tell me what he was expecting, so that's all I know."

Doyle's head cocks a little to one side, those heavy-lidded eyes opening wide at the name of the facility. "Oh… oh really," he murmurs, one hand raising to splay thick fingers over his heavy-jowled chin, rubbing slowly as he considers this, "I'll have to go ring up the good doctor and find out his plans then. This could be a fun game." A faint smile, "I wonder if I'll meet any old friends."

Niles reaches into his jacket and pulls out a pack of cigarettes. He lights one and takes a drag, rocking a half-step forward onto, ironically, an old, dented 'No Smoking' sign. He sucks air between his teeth and rubs the thumb of the cigarette holding hand against his chin. "Suggestions? Mmm. Suppose it depends on how fun these 'suggestions' are." A rough chuckle. It's not a particularly kind sound.

The voice of the animated Dark Knight comes from the computer. "As long as his plans don't conflict with my plans, I'm in." Yes, that's a game of solitaire being played at rapid speed on the monitor. Win after win after win. "Do we need money? I can get us money." In fact, Reed has been quite the busy beaver when it comes to handing out money.

A baleful glance is cast towards Niles, grey brow furrowing a little at his words, then said look is swivelled back to Doyle, then back on towards April. It's all fun and games until someone is thrown in jail, and such, and such keywords seem to put the former United States President on edge. He paces forward on new shoes that don't squeak. "It's about time," Nathan says, agreeably. "God forbid some of us get bored." Pointed comment aside, any more rebuke is reserved when Reed brings up a good point. His voice raises a little as if maybe that would help the disembodied Batman-voiced technospirit hear him, "Sure, it's a material world. You can probably cover your tracks better than I can."

April looks sidelong at Niles. "Well, he's mostly left you at my discretion. But he also wants you to be our 'smokescreen'." She turns the netbook around a bit so she can look at the monitor, pulling up a file with notes. "Mm… key words media spectacle, mayhem, destructive vandalism, 'justified' killings — as in, mostly criminals and the like." Her expression is neutral; turning back to the group, she folds her hands in her lap and holds them there. Nathan's interjection elicits a glance from the woman; it isn't rebuke. She isn't any more comfortable with their present company than he. After that brief moment, April turns back to Niles. "'Fun' enough for you?"

"You weren't locked up in there nearly as long as some of us… Mister President…" Doyle's hand drops to rest on his knee, and he leans forward slowly from his seated posture, the seat squeaking lightly as the shift moves the chair's long-neglected wheels just a bit. Those fingers curl to his kneecap, and he regards Nathan with a flat gaze from beneath the shadow of his ballcap's lip. His other hand lifts, fingers meeting thumb in a very purposeful gesture — his ability spooling out to grasp the muscles of the once-and-current president's jaw and keep his mouth closed and tongue still for a moment. "I just might think about the attitude you're putting forth towards your… new friends… before some of us decide to remember who authorized all of that in the first place." Then he smiles, leaning back again slowly and releasing his grip there, "Just some friendly advice."

"Smokescreen? Smokescreen to cover up what, exactly?" Niles takes a draw from the cigarette and exhales slowly. "Sounds like more than a one-man job. And as much as that does sound like a bucket of fun, that also sounds like a good way to get my ass back in jail if I'm not careful." He sucks air between his teeth again and shifts weight from one foot to the other. "Not that I don't intend to be careful.

"Not that I'm not playing ball," he flashes a toothy smile towards April. "I just want to be certain that I'm not the sacrificial lamb in Edward's grand scheme. I've rotted away too long to have it all taken away again."

He glances to Doyle. Apparently, he's in agreement with the puppeteer. The same toothy smile he gave April he now gives Nathan. "I think he likes you, Chief. I think you'd do well to keep it that way, hmm?"

Reed is listening to all the conversations going on in here and really, absolutely none of it has to do with him, so he finds himself already getting bored. He waits for a lull in the noise before he voices his own. "Anyone picked up a cell phone yet? I can only get you cash, so someone is going to have to meet me somewhere in order to collect the money." Maybe if he moves this along, then they can get on with it and he can go about his own business. "If we have a number, that would help me to know how much to get you guys for what you need." He doesn't really need a dime himself, but he knows whatever they are planning will probably require some capital.

The sudden lock on the lower part of his face gets a shimmer of a jerk from Nathan's body, going still when he realises exactly why his teeth have clicked together and why he can't pry them apart again. Nothing that reinvents the wheel for Doyle, a rather fixed glare settling on him during the duration of the puppeting, faltering only when he's released, a hand coming up to touch his unshaven jaw.

There's a pause, looking towards Niles as he makes his interjection, and then he awards both men with a tight smile, crow feet wrinkles at his eyes deepening. "Do that again and you'll discover what a long walk home it is from Nigeria," he says, simply. "But sure, let's be friends. Thanks for the advice. Where's Mr. Doe, anyway?" Hard to say if he cares of if he's more willing to let the attention steer from him.

"Don't blame him," April points out to Doyle and Niles. "The Company was doing its thing long before he became President." A generation before, even. Plus the President is just as much the official face as the actual authority; the bureaucracy often does its own thing, also.

Her attention focuses on Niles. "Well, given that you're the one who can be — what is it, six? people, that makes you the obvious choice, doesn't it?" April shrugs. "What kind of trail does a bunch of electricity leave on concrete? Do your replicants even have to walk? I think the rest of us are more likely to get caught than you." And that makes them the sacrifice, doesn't it? Such a pleasant thought.

The woman glances to Nathan, her lips pressed into a thin, not exactly happy line. Perhaps just because she's having to argue with these people, in however mild a fashion. "Speaking of the President… Edward thinks you should replace yourself. And he wants Reed to help keep it from being noticed. Along with gathering information. The same stuff I already asked you for," April adds in an aside to the computer.

She rubs her forehead at the technopath's question. "I can do that," the woman replies. Looking back to Nathan, April shrugs. "Not my business according to Edward, apparently. Neither is Rickham." Not that Nathan is likely to lose sleep over that.

"It's true," Niles says, though his voice is tight. "But. The Company has a rather large file on me, not to mention me in custody. They know how to catch me and they know what the result of my power looks like." Not that he's backing down. On the contrary. It's just making him think and puff on his cigarette so he's sending up smoke like a chimney. "Subtle, but obvious. Right. Simple." A snort. But there's a light in his eyes. This is a challenge. And a welcome one after so long behind bars.

He turns to the computer monitor, and therefore to Reed. "Depends," he reaches into his coat and slips out a cell phone — presumably stolen. "Can you hack it? Haven't dared use it yet in case the police try to track it down."

"I can't see the phone you goof." says the digitized voice. "Just make sure I get the number. And I can try to hack it, but if I hack it, I can't promise you'll be able to use it. I can encrypt the transmissions, but I'd have to do it to all the phones you have in order for you all to be able to talk to each other. So if everyone wants to get a cell phone, I can make that work." He pauses for a moment. "What I wanted the phone for was to contact someone to come meet me at different ATMs so I can spit out some money. That's the only way I'll be able to make your funds untracable." Of course, someone's going to be carrying around a lot of 20s.

"April, I don't think Nathan can pass for the current president. He's gotten ancient, and I don't do plastic surgery." There's some canned laughter that plays across his speakers when he stops it suddenly. "But I could do a little airbrushing on photos and videos."

Edward's suggestion via April gets a stare from the former and current President, doubt written all over him. Sure, changing the future might mean a little more than a bunch of kids with sticks running around making trouble, but—

"Oh come on," Nathan rebukes the technopath, steering that gaze towards the netbook as much as he won't be able to appreciate a Petrelli-style withering look that would communicate 'why don't you come out here and say that'. "There are more alarming reasons why I can't. What's the plan to do with the— the me that's here?"

Since Niles has moved on to discussing phones with Reed, April just leaves him to think about whatever he is or isn't doing as their nominated smokescreen. She can only shrug to Nathan. "I don't know. He didn't say. I guess that would be up to you." April sits back in her chair, with the air of someone who's delivered all the messages she has.

What? No webcam for Reed? Poor technopath. Niles thumbs through the phone until he comes up with the number. "All I want is for the bill to be going somewhere other than to the guy I killed. So's the cops can't phone this number and find me." He reads out the number and then snaps it shut.

Then he turns to April again. His cigarette is crushed out under his foot and he scrapes nails across his stubbled cheek. "What about you, messenger girl? What's your part?"

"I could give him a new job," Doyle suggests mildly to Nathan, lips twitching in a bit of a smirk, "Ballet, perhaps. Or a clown. Nobody would be looking for the President under a thick coat of whiteface and a beautiful rosy-red ball nose, after all…"

Webcam wouldn't do much good. He'd still need the number, which he has at the moment. Reed's attention moves to Nathan. "What else can we do with him — but kill him." The haunting Batman soundtrack plays in the background complete with thunder. He even flickers the screen for dramatic effect. "Seriously, we may have to off him. I doubt we're going back, so we may as well get him out of the way and put you in his place. I guess the obvious question here — which has already been stated at least once — is if we can trust putting you back into power."

Up to him. Nathan snorts, lightly, and it won't be the first time in the past couple of weeks that time paradoxes and the like strike him as— complicated. Doyle gets a hard look, one that communicates the fuck off he doesn't currently have the courage to put words to, but also consideration. Presumably he can't kill himself

For the second time tonight, Reed gets an unseen look his computer's way. "Don't you think that's kind of a paradox? How about we talk about assassination after Ray confirms I won't vanish into thin air because we're impatient?" His hands unconsciously adjusting his jacket as if to reassure himself in some unknown way.

Apparently he should have stolen some ties after all. Hands open out to indicate those in the room with him, an eyebrow raising. "You got a better candidate?" Nathan asks the room, voice quiet rather than the heated defense he wants to speak with. "Ray doesn't. If I implicate any of you, I'll implicate myself and get thrown, again, into the deepest darkest pit they can find. Probably make all of our futures suddenly come slamming into our faces quicker than before. I'll talk to Ray," and he looks towards Doyle, "and you. Later."

Nathan fields his peanut gallery adroitly. April focuses on hers. Fortunately, it's smaller. "Information regarding Pinehearst and the Company in this time," she replies calmly. "Reed needs to know where to start looking, and I can help figure out what's more relevant." There's a lot of information out there to sift…. and well over 99.99%% of it is completely useless to them. April also knows Company protocols from the other side of the fence… but let's not belabor that point, shall we? Instead, the woman smiles thinly. "And designated messenger girl, obviously."

"I'll bring popcorn," Doyle drawls out in response to the look and the comment about speaking, one hand lifting up to wriggle his fingers in affirmation towards Nathan before it falls down to rest against his thigh once more. "I just hope the Doctor knows what he's doing."

"Well," Niles claps his hands together. "As lovely as it is to hang around with you all," from his smile, that's not especially genuine, "…if there's nothing else, perhaps meeting adjourned before this turns into a little rumble?" He's eyeing Nathan and Doyle specifically. Not that it wouldn't be entertaining, but it would be counterproductive.

He's also not sure he wants to hear too much about April's involvement in the Company. It might just twitch his temper. And now is not the time to be taking out grudges on the shield-girl. "I would like to free my present self. It was fairly miserable to be locked up down there in the pit. Though I recognize that might not be in line with…current priorities."

When the conversation shifts to Pinehearst, Reed becomes awfully silent. He's made a decision, one that is a very risky one. He decides he needs to tell them, because if it goes bad, he would cease to exist. "I'm going to go into Pinehearst. The information we need is inside." The implication of his words should be clear to almost everyone in the room.

Nathan draws himself up a little more, having said his piece to no real argument. Talk of Pinehearst, well, that gets everyone's attention, doesn't it? Including his own. He doesn't speak of his own wishes and intents for the company as of right now, although the overt scowl might be of some indication.

He has his own priorities, and much to think about, at least. "Well if we all got our homework…" Nathan wryly says, as he begins to move for out, intending to leave behind the collection of people who make him so uncomfortable, in varying degrees. "I'll see you kids later."

April looks between the men (and one computer) in the room with her. And while there are several things she could say… not saying anything seems like the best course of all, right now. She nods to Nathan as he takes his leave, seconding the move to adjourn.

A noncommittal sound is Doyle's farewell, his head turning to regard the laptop then as it speaks— and he purses his lips, fingers drumming against his knee. "Better you than me," he finally states cynically, before pushing himself up to his feet, hands lifting to adjust the set of his jacket. "Well, then. I guess I'll see you all around." A mock-bow, twirling one hand in the air and then out to one side, and then he strolls along for the door, leaving the chair behind.

Niles takes a moment to look around those gathered. Good-natured charm is slowly being replaced by a darker look on the former prisoner's face. Nimble fingers reach up to fasten the buttons of his jacket. "Well then. I suppose there's work to be done." There's a final glance around, at former President, puppetmaster, shieldmaiden and computer before the duplicator takes his leave.

Chaos, eh? He can do that.

"If you don't hear from me once every 24 hours, assume I'm gone and go on without me." With that, almost like the original Batman, Reed vacates the computer without a trace, disappearing back into the Internet.

Still seated, now with one more chair accompanying her in the room, April waits until they're all gone. Until the door is closed, the microphone is unplugged and the netbook turned off. Then she walks over to the windowsill, leaning on a smooth plane of force that protects her hands from broken glass. Looks out upon the sun-dappled frames of buildings long neglected, grounds grown over with weeds and spotted with windblown trash. After a moment, the woman closes her eyes and lowers her head.

There's an easy way to fix… everything. April's certain of it.

Why is she still here?

<date>: previous log

Previously in this storyline…
Eyeing Zoe

Next in this storyline…

<date>: next log
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