I Didn't Know Her, But...


peter_icon.gif rupe_icon.gif thalia_icon.gif

Scene Title I Didn't Know Her, But…
Synopsis On Peter's request, Thalia Ashford comes to talk with him, and he offers her some peace of mind about Isabelle.
Date June 13, 2010

Howland Hook Facility

By monday the Howland Hook Facility will look like any other construction site in New York, busy and full of overpaid and underskilled laborers toiling to make something out of nothing. That particular nothing are two acres of desolate concrete wasteland riddled with warehouses, mill buildings and factories all nearly four years abandoned. Grass grows up brown thorugh fissures in the concrete of the expansive parking lots and shipyards, while the exposed metal of unfinished structural supports for buildings that were never completed have turned a rusty brown from the sea salt air.

The newer construction equipment, towering cranes and bulldozers, all look like a steady movement towards progress, though is in actuality a part of an elaborate cover scheme hiding the operations happening at the Howland Hook Facility, where the appearances of a revitalization of an urban shipyard masks the operations of a clandestine anti-government terrorist organization squatting under their noses.

Messiahr uns a tight ship, as is evidenced by their comparably small roster of membership and apparently well-funded exterior. During this particularly gray Sunday afternoon, the facility is quiet of the impending construction work, devoid of the presence of more than just the shadow-skulking members of Messiah that cling to the corners of the urban landscape like windblown trash, blending in to their environment.

Within the abandoned factory complex adjacent to the shipyard, a handful of Messiah's more active membership present on the facility grounds make their home underground, in a basement complex designed after guerilla base camps in countries where guerilla warcare against the government is an average reality.

Conduits are bolted to the wall supplying electricity to the underground rooms via generators running up on the ground floor of the factory. Hanging lights suspended from the ceiling shine brightly against pitted concrete walls dripping with moisture, and the narrow corridors and cramped rooms are enough to evoke memories of the MLF bunkers in Madagascar, though only Claire Bennet would make that connection.

It's in one of these very underground rooms that Messiah's proclaimed leader — Peter Petrelli — has made himself comfortable, situated on one end of a folding card table, staring down at an unfolded and well-worn paper map detailing colored routes and zig-zagging paths of some kind. Push-pins have been placed into the map with small paper flags on them, one states GCT the other VAULT and another NYPL.

"…and what I'm saying, is that we should just keep an eye on these things. There's no reason we can't all cooperate, and I don't want to burn any more bridges like we did the night you sent West and Allen to go for the girl." Peter's voice carries quietly just outside of the room, unware that a young woman he's been wanting to speak to personally for some time isn't far from the entrance.

"Peter," is the mild response of the man occupying the map room with Peter, that of Rupert Carmichael, his skinnily-framed and bearded countenance a wavering and uncertain one. "Peter, I don't know for certain if talking with people like your friend mister Cardinal and the Ferrymen would be in our best interests. I don't think they have the wherewithal to do what we do, you know?"

Seems like Thalia Ashford arrived at an opportune time.

Dressed in a pair of short shorts and a black tank top, the young woman carries a messenger bag on her shoulder as she walks down and down, coming upon the room that she was told Peter was in. Ruffling her hair a bit.. she walks into the room unannounced and she tilts her head. There a couple things she has to talk to Peter about.. but when she sees Rupert. "Oh Rupey.." using the nickname that Isabelle used in her diary.

One hand goes to her hip, the air around Thalia comfortable and calm. She's been keeping pretty calm today. Hopefully it stays that way. "We need to talk." She says as she looks towards Peter, a loose grin crossing her lips.

There's not a lot of real amusement on either Peter or Rupert's face as the two exahcnge looks before offering a mild stare out to Thalia. Rupert's smile that he eventually does plaster from ear to ear is more awkward than welcoming, and he taps his fingers on the map to get Peter's attention before meeting his stare. "Peter," there's a warning hint in his tone, "I don't think going to Cardinal or the Ferry is a good idea… hold off on it for a little bit, okay? At least until we're more settled in? If any of them come to you just… play defensive."

For a moment Peter hangs there in silence, watching Rupert with a slow cant of his head to the side. It looks like Peter was going to say something right up until Rupert began talking, then just furrows his brows and looks lost for a moment before shaking his head and looking over to Thalia. "Yeah… yeah I…" Peter's dark eyes flick back to Rupe, then down to the map and back up again. "Are you going?"

"Just upstairs, I need to make a phone call. Rebel need to get in touch with Perry about a potential recruitment in Buffalo and I need to make sure he has a test kit available. Nothing major." Rupert's smile is a thin one as he stands up from the chair at the table, adjusts his skinny tie, then sidesteps around Peter making his way towards Thalia.

"Miss Ashford," Rupert intones in a hushed quality of voice, offering a thin smile before ducking his head and making it obvious that he's going to squeeze out of this conversation.

"See ya later.. I.. I'll talk to you later." It's always awkward for Thalia when she meets people that knew her sister. And.. it's.. sadden as well. A flicker of that sadness would flash past her light blue eyes but if Peter is actually looking at her, he'll notice that she quickly covers it up. Not good to be showing those weaknesses.

"Planning on outing us already Pete?" she asks with a tilt of her head. Then she strides forward, hips swinging as she extends a hand. "Thalia, Thalia Ashford. Though we haven't met.. I've read a little bit about you.. Isabelle thought you had a nice ass." She comments and then she's leaning against the wall, regarding Peter with a curious expression on her face, feet crossed at the ankles. Her bag is set on the floor but she grabs a few things from it. A couple photos it would seem like.

With Rupert withdrawing from the room, Peter slouches back into his metal folding chair with a creak of the backing. "No this… this is something else, don't worry about it right now." There's a dismissive wave to the map before Peter turns his attention back up to Thalia with a squint. "I didn't really know Isabella all that well, to be totally honest. I met her… a couple of times? It's hard to say, my memory from around then isn't exactly what it used to be." Clearing his throat, Peter motions to an empty chair around the table and folds his hands in his lap, tilting his head to the side slowly.

"I know there's been a lot to digest in the last couple of days, with the meeting and all of the new faces, I just… I wanted to talk to you about what happened to your sister, and…" there's a slow breath that Peter offers, his hands folding atop the table and his brows screwing up into a mildly troubled expression as he looks at the photographs, distracted by them.

"What're those?" is an honest enough question, though Peter's own curiosity is getting the better of him here.

Taking a seat, Thalia crosses her legs and nods at Peter. Leaning forward slightly. "You know what happened to her?" she raises an eyebrow and catches her breath. Her eyes shine as she looks at Peter, not batting an eye. Then he's asking about the photos. She slides them over to him and looks at him as she speaks. "I've bought a property recently, Ashford Auto." She explains as Peter would see the photos of the autoshop and the inside. "Underneath as tunnels.. they lead here." Pointing to another photo of a different building. "I bought that as well and it's going to be.. a tea shop, café like place." She says as she places her hands in her lap.

"What I'm proposing is that we use these tunnels to aid Messiah. If we need to get away or hide. There are extra rooms at the tea shop in the basement near the tunnels. If something were ever to happen to this place.. we have a safehouse. The tea shop is a front."

With a light smile, she waits until Peter gets to the other pictures. All of them are of vehicles. "I've started working on some things for everyone. A few vehicles. There's Bessie, a yellowbus I'm retrofitting with all sorts of nice things. There's also a host of bikes and muscle cars. We'll need speed if we aren't traveling on foot but I also have a few heavy duty vehicles on deck." She says to Peter, wondering what he thinks of it all. She wasn't given these assignment but she's a proactive woman.

The question of what happened to Isabella goes without answer, only an askance look down to the photographs and a look back up to Thalia. Peter's brows furrow and a hand raises to rake back his unruly hair from his face, brows furrowed and head dipping into a subtle nod before he breathes out a weighted breath. "That's a nice set up, keep it to yourself," Peter instructs quietly, pushing the photos with two fingers towards Thalia. "Those're yours, do with it what you want. It's your money, your resources, your ass if any of that gets traced back to you. The only thing that belongs to Messiah is this place. I wouldn't have it any other way."

Swallowing dryly, Peter furrows his brows and looks towards the map, then back up to Thalia. "I appreciate the effort about the vehicles, but we're not exactly a biker gang. The lower profile we keep the better, walking rather than driving, the like. If we need something specific, sure… we'll come to you, but don't worry about doing something like outfitting people."

Looking from Thaloa to the door and then back again, Peter finally addresses the elephant in the room. "I know who would know about your sister… which is really all I have to offer at the moment, I'm sorry."

"Ah, you don't want to play with my toys. Ugh, fine." Thalia smiles and she grins at Peter. "It's okay, if you need them.. let me know." Thalia shrugs lightly and then she's re-crossing her legs. "But if these things don't help.. give me an assignment." She's getting restless, when the Ashford women get restless.. it isn't good. Not at all.

"And don't worry about me getting caught, got it all covered. Alias.. all that shit." Isabelle's younger sister stiffens and as she does the air around her becomes still and heavy with emotion. Her eyes widen and it looks like she's almost ready to jump Peter. "Who." is all she says with a growl. The thought of Isabelle makes her want to tremble and cry. She does one of those things. Her legs start to shake and she looks at Peter closely.

"You'll get something soon enough," Peter notes with a hint of dismissiveness in his tone, trying not to touch too much on the topic of Messiah's actual work just yet, and on that note his eyes venture to the door Rupert left through as an afterthought before settling back on Thalia. "His name is Richard Cardinal, all I know is that they knew each other, and that Richard might've been one of the last people to see Isabelle alive. The problem is, finding him isn't exactly easy."

Rolling his tongue over the inside of his cheek, Peter offers an askance look down to the map, then back up to Thalia. "If I were you, I'd get in touch with Claire Bennet," Peter's eyes flick up and down Thalia briefly, before he glances back down at the map. "She's the short brunette that was at the meeting, with the pony tail?" Peter flicks a hand at the back of his head demonstratively.

"She knows Richard, might know how best to get in touch with him. But when— if — you get in touch with Richard, whatever you do about Isabelle is your own business. But what's important is that you don't mention Messiah, don't mention me, nothing about us. This is something to do with your family, and we shouldnt come up. If Richard asks about us, play dumb and let me know"

Peter's lips creep upinto a lopsided smile. "But, talk to Claire first, she'll be the one to know where you can find Richard."

"Ah, yeah yeah, you'll tell me soon." Then it's back to Isabelle business and she nods her head. "I met him briefly, at Lucy's.. by the way.. what the fuck happened to the bar. Brenda said.." she stops talking and shakes her head. "Claire.. Claire.." she thinks to how she knows her. "She was in Shedda Dinu with my sister.. Isa called her.. regen or something? She can't die?" Thalia scratches her head, she doesn't remember everything she reads in Isabelle's diary.

"Of course I won't mention you guys, I'm not stupid Peter." Thalia says with a light grin and she's nodding. "You just gave me my first lead.. I'd kiss you to thank you but, scruff isn't my thing. Maybe one day I'll make an exception though."

The news about Isabelle has Thalia's mind on the move, she's thinking all sorts of things. "Would you.. would you call Isabelle.. would you call her a monster?" she looks away as she asks that and she goes to pick up her bag. But then she's sitting again. She withdraws a journal, Izzy's. "The things she says in this.. it's.. hard to believe sometimes."

There's a certain mildly exasperated look that Peter offers Thalia, followed by a rubbing of one of his hands over his bearded mouth. He sighs away her flirtatious commentary in a manner more befitting a tired old man than anything else. "Like I said, Thalia, I didn't really know Isabelle, I know she spent some time in the same government-sanctioned prison I did, but we never really talked. Rupert knew her better, from what I know, you'd be better off talking to him about her." Then, with a look down to the journal, Peter's brows crease together in lack of understanding.

"None of us are monsters," he explains with a somewhat dry tone, "but sometimes we have to do monstrous things." That in itself in a worrisome commentary, but Peter's quiet and calm delivery gives it an oddly juxtaposed serenity. "As for the bar," which is admittedly an easier question for Peter to answer, "it burned down. Far as I know there was a heater that got knocked over during the storm and it just… went up." Shoulders shrug at those last few words, and Peter's expression is notably blaise about Old Lucy's ultimate fate.

"Things born, people die, we move on…" Peter's eyes track back to the map on the table, then up to Thalia again. "Huruma and Claire knew Isabelle a little too, Huruma the tall, dark and spooky lady with the white eyes you saw at the meeting. I think Ash might've known her too, he's the man with — inevitably — the most knives and guns in the room, you can usually point him out by that pretty easily."

"I know Huruma." Thalia says and then she shoves the diary into her bag and takes the pictures as well. "Sorry." She says feeling stupid, she doesn't really talk about her feelings openly. "I don't usually.. act like this.. but.. with Isabelle it's different. It's new." She admits and then she's standing.

"Thanks for the information, I owe you one. And I always repay my debts." She says with a slight nod. She begins to make her way out of the room. "Nice too meet you up close, hopefully this isn't the last time."

"You don't owe any of us anything," Peter admits with a shake of his head, "just do what's important to you, nothing more, nothing less. Remember…" there's a faint smile as he watches Thalia move from the table, "you can walk away from this whenever you want, just in case you aren't comfortable with what we're doing. Nobody's going to force you to be here, but sooner or later, everybody has to make a choice where they're going to stand, where they're going to fight, and what they're willing to die for."

Peter's brows furrow and his head dips down into a nod. "I don't know if that's something your sister believed in, but what little I do know of her makes me think it is." For all that Peter hasn't smiled much lately, and for all that he looks exhausted and fatigued over the last several months, the few moments of honesty he offers seem just a bit more bright.

"It was nice actually talking to you Thalia…" Peter lifts a hand up, not to wave but to tiredly rub at his forehead, "I don't think it'll be the last," he adds after a prolonged moment, offering the young woman a lopsided smirk.

"After all, we're all connected."

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