Midnight Oil


peter2_icon.gif sabra_icon.gif

with an appearance by…


Scene Title Midnight Oil
Synopsis Peter comes by Sabra's office to discuss the missing doctor.
Date November 10, 2008

Primatech Research: Sabra's Office

Seven hours have passed since Odessa went missing.

It is now late enough in the evening where only the night staff of the Company facility are on duty. Day staff and researchers have gone home, save for a scant handful burning the midnight oil, and the drones of this very secure hive that are currently buzzing their wings off in light of that disappearance of one singular doctor. One very special doctor. It is on her way out of her office, having dismissed Agent Buckley and his temporary partner, that Sabra runs into one of those buzzing bees. A particularly persistant bee, and one that often buzzes into places it most assuredly shouldn't.

"Sabra." Peter's voice is unmistakable as he comes around the corner, shoes striking the tile floor soundly as he makes his way past a vacant reception desk towards the dignified, yet so very tired director and her aide. "I just heard from security down on Level-5," He glances around the front of the office, then settles his dark eyes back on Miss Dalton. "Odessa's gone?" There's a pleading look in them, one begging for this to be some particularly elaborate and poorly thought out joke.

Regrettably, the situation is far from a laughing matter.

As midnight as the oil is, there aren't many people wandering through the facility's corridors. It's therefore a simple matter for Sabra to be informed of Peter's approach just slightly in advance of his actual arrival. Enough to set her weariness aside, to pretend she doesn't feel every one of her long years at the moment. Just most of them.

The elderly woman looks up from her computer screen at the agent who enters; she regards him for a moment before turning away from the monitor altogether and facing him squarely. "She is," the director confirms. "Agent Buckley and the Haitian have already been assigned to her retrieval." And therefore you, Peter Petrelli, are not to concern yourself with it.

"Damnit." That thin shred of hope is taken away from Peter, and his shoulders sag decidedly at the assurance of the news. "I just got done talking to Elle after I heard." One hand rises up to rub at the back of Peter's neck, and the agent cranes his neck to the side with an audible pop, letting his eyes fall shut as he tries to piece his thoughts together. Every fiber of his being is screaming to go out and look for Odessa, and to look for her now, but the struggle in his mind about what he wants, and what he should do manages to settle on the side of obedience, for once.

His eyes open, slowly, and they settle on Sabra with a certain expression of uncertainty, "I think then, given that I'm not on the assignment of looking for her…" He's reluctant to take this avenue, "I'm going to — " But at least he's quick enough to veer towards a correction, he's not entirely hopeless when it comes to protocol. " — with your permission… Follow up on Odessa's research in light of her absence. I'd like permission to head to India to speak to Doctor Suresh directly, and find out what exactly it is that Odessa had sent to him, and what his final assessment was." He grimaces, somewhat awkwardly, letting his posture straighten and that hand slip away from his neck. It's clear there's more on his mind than just this, however.

Sabra doesn't so much as bat an eyelash at Peter's self-correction, which is in its way a mark of approval. Given that her usual genial disposition is not in great evidence at the moment, it's probably a substantial one. The elderly woman considers his request for a moment, then dips her head. "In regards to the… what did you call it, 'rage-dementia' matter? That seems most appropriate."

Permission given, at least to that extent — and Ashton's presence on the sideline ensures Mohinder will receive a message in confirmation as well, probably before Peter works out exactly where he needs to send himself — Sabra remains quiet, watching the agent with a faintly inquiring expression. She has the impression their business isn't quite concluded, so leaves him the opening to continue.

"I…" Peter hesitates, for just a moment, only to take a few more steps into the room and lower his voice. "I should have said something sooner. I just — " He winces, visibly, and stops in his tracks to fold his arms across his chest, letting his head droop almost as low as his voice seems to have. "When Odessa first convinced me to join the Company, she — She wanted me to retrieve Adam Monroe for her. She seemed, I don't know… obsessed with him. I — I was going through a lot back then, so it wasn't on the forefront of my mind." Eyes divert to the side, "Then, not long after her first trip outside. I was down in her office for a check up, the one you ordered? She…" Peter frowns, "She reminded me that she wanted me to strike a deal with her. To break her out of the facility, in exchange for her helping find Elle…" He frowns, shaking his head, "That didn't play out, but… I just, I thought she wasn't serious, or at least was just being rebellious like a teenager." One hand comes up to cover his face, "Damnit."

If Peter's 'listening', he might notice that Sabra has shifted to thinking in French — which could indicate surprise, the woman possibly reverting to a more familiar or comfortable language, but could also be (at least in some part) a deliberate mental shield. Outwardly, only a faint narrowing of her blue eyes is apparent.

"She is, in many ways, much like a teenager," the elderly woman remarks, drawing a semblance of calm — however weary — to herself. Almost entirely successfully. Appearances matter. "Most of our people haven't thought this through, and believe — or want to believe — that Dr. Knutson was abducted. Any suggestion that this is not the case, Peter, is not to be given without my express permission." The look she gives the young man is not a reprimand in any way, but there is a firmness to it — a glimpse of the steel beneath the velvet. This is, apparently, important.

Brows knit together, and Peter cants his head to the side, taking a few steps forward towards Sabra's desk. There isn't an immediate look of confusion on his face, not until he more thoroughly considers the implications. Then, that look cements itself on him in a manner that totally replaces the exasperated show of guilt he wore so prominently before. "But, there's hardly anyone who could — " Peter bites down on his lower lip, "With her power there's no one who…" Trailing off finally, Peter looks away and shoves his hands into the pockets of his slacks, shoulders slouching.

"I…" His eyes lower, then close, "I won't say anything contrary to the public memos." Peter's eyes flit back up to Sabra, then look around the room. "But between us," he likely counts Ashton into that, deaf or not. "What do you think really happened?" His focus settles on Sabra finally. "And do you want me to do anything…" He drops his voice a bit, head wavering from one side to the other, "…off the record?"

Watching the play of emotions across Peter's face, Sabra smiles gently. "Her power," she reminds the agent, "is not common knowledge." Either. The elderly woman inclines her head at his acquiescence, expression perhaps slightly relieved. "Good." One silver brow rises as he continues, and she chuckles. "I expect our wayward 'teenager' did what any properly rebellious teenager does. She put herself anywhere but here." Ran away, in more concise phrasing. The shadow returns to Sabra's face as she considers the corollaries attached to that departure, but they remain behind closed lips rather than spoken. After a few moments, the director shakes her head. "No, Peter. Thank you, but no. Bryan and the Haitian have matters well in hand, and you have a case of your own to attend to." The gaze she turns on him is a faintly pointed one — you've given me no results on that one yet; no fishing for another to get you out off that hook.

There's a bit of an awkward grimace that slips across Peter's face, and his head cants to one side. "Alright… I — If either of them need anything from me, I'll make time." Hopefully he means that only in euphemism, and not in a literal sense. "If we're done here, I'd like Doctor Suresh's contact information so that I can take my questions directly to him. Hopefully I'll be able to return with some information regarding the Rage-Dementia case."

There's a momentary quirk of his head to the other side, "If you don't mind, Director, I'd… like to go by myself. There's something else I want to ask Mohinder about, and…" His eyes flit over to Ashton, then back to Sabra. "I think it's best if it stays between Mohinder and I."

Sabra dips her head. "I think that's fair enough," she agrees. Not asking whether Peter is being literal or not; she doesn't need to know that detail. His further comments elicit a curious look, the woman's own head canting to one side. "I am… going to assume this 'something else' is something you don't want me to ask about, since you're being less than forthcoming," the old lady observes. "Am I going to regret letting it slide, later?" Her voice is light, friendly, even gently teasing — but the blue gaze leveled upon Peter is sharp and assessing.

Peter manages a bit of a smile at that, and for a moment he can always forget that he's working with the lives of countless people and instead socializing with a friend of his family. But the thought of parental matters causes that smile to quickly fade. "I…" he's hesitant to give her an answer, "You'll know when I get back. Depending on what Mohinder says, I'll have something to talk to you about, and it might relate to my case." His shoulders slouch slightly, "Or it might be another problem entirely." His eyes flick back up to Sabra, and he feigns that smile's return. "I'll… Let you get some rest." The eyes divert to the computer, "If you let yourself."

November 10th: Haven't Failed Yet

Previously in this storyline…
The Doctor is Out

This concludes the 'Death's Embrace' storyline.

November 10th: Hello, Goodbye
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