Self Correcting Problem


f_edward_icon.gif f_doyle_icon.gif

Scene Title Self-Correcting Problem
Synopsis Doyle meets with Edward for the first time since their arrival, and finds that he's been a busy bee.
Date April 18, 2009

Textile Factory 17

If there's one thing a puppeteer knows about, it's strings.

Perhaps not, however, like the ones Eric Doyle is about to see.

High above the majority of Textile Factory 17 lies the observation tower, a place of curious design that overlooks the walled in courtyard of the abandoned factory's grounds. On the ascent up old and creaking stairs, the sound of instrumental music from an era too many generations bygone comes down echoing through the red brick tower. Closer and closer, the crooning notes of Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade brings a nostalgic feeling to this place.

Through the old, wooden door that leads to the tower's top floor, an expansive and well-lit room allows in the diffuse gray light of a cloudy and remarkably rainy afternoon. Here, however, is not the office of any one organized man, but rather the dominion of some organized chaos brought into clear, succinct focus. Strings of all colors and sizes criss-cross the room, thousands of them interconnected to bookshelves, pins on corkboards, and each other in some wicked game of cat's cradle. However each of these strings are not mere thread alone, but laden with newspaper clippings, photographs and other pieces of physical media.

At the center of this all, rests a circular wooden table with no chairs. Above the table, where all of the strings have converged, lies Doctor Edward Ray, hunched over the table with a pair of large shears, quietly trimming a photograph out of a newspaper. On the table, amid stacks of other newspapers and magazines, rests an old beat-up radio, squawking out a tinny and bass-lacking rendition of Moonlight Serenade to the best of it's shoddy quality.

Eric Doyle knows a few things about strings, and one of which, is that they're always attached to the person in control.

The ill-treated stairs creak and groan beneath a pair of shoes supporting a sturdy weight indeed, one hand lifting to push open the door to the tower's top floor with a protest of hinges that haven't seen oil in many years. Eric Doyle's head appears around the corner, a Mets ball-cap settled upon his bald pate, and the heavy lids of his eyes widen at the sight of the tangle of strings and thread that criss-crosses the room in an intricate rainbow mesh.

The puppeteer's gaze follows them to the heart of the chamber, and a single brow lifts. Quietly he works his way through the Ariadne's Labyrinth of thread and string and yarn, ducking under a few, stepping over others as he approaches the desk. Mildly, he asks once he's through with a hint of humor, "Arts and crafts day, Doctor?"

Large eyes upturn from the photograph, the look is one of surprise, but it shifts to this odd, puckered smile after a moment. "Eric," his focus turns back to the newspaper, shearing out the last bit of that article, letting the bulk fall away, leaving only a portrait of Nathan Petrelli behind, the caption beneath which reads, "Landslide Senate Victory."

Reaching for a paperclip, Edward's gaze follows Doyle for a moment before he stands up straight, and begins navigating the strings with the clipping in hand. "I'd like to ask you a somewhat pointed question, Eric." No explanation of what he's doing, only questions. "How well do you know Miss Silver?" He looks back over his shoulder to punctuate the question, his arched brow the embodiment of a question mark.

"Not as well as I'd like to, if you know what I mean," Eric replies with a brief grin that shows a few teeth, head bobbing knowingly for a moment and thumbs hooking through his suspenders. Then the grin fades away, his expression turning more serious as he looks back over the strings that surround them in a hedge of threads. The man's head shakes just a touch, "I don't know any of them any better than I know you, Doc. I don't like her."

Nodding slowly, almost absent-mindedly, Edward clips up the photograph of nathan to a navy blue string, then turns to look back over his shoulder again. "That little bit at the end there," he motions with one finger ambiguously to the air, "that's going to come in handy." Ducking under the blue string, Edward paces across the room, pawing at clippings and articles, as if looking for something amid the myriad faces and landscapes all shown in newsprint. "I want what we talk about in this rom to stay between you and I, Eric, because I think it might be for the best…"

Finding what he's looking for, Edward lifts up an article, looking it over before rising up on the toes of his wingtip shoes, staring over the string towards Doyle with an intent expression. "April is a talented woman, one who's ability is by and large among the most dangerous of all of ours. I've put her in a leadership position, because I feel she can be trusted with the responsibility of making sure all of our lives remain…" he grimaces, "well, better than they were."

Making a mental note of something, Edward begins following the string he was examining towards where it meets with a black thread, tugging on it idly with one finger, "However, the reason I know she can handle the leadership?" Edward looks from the string to Eric, his expression markedly intense, "Because for the lion's share of her life, April Silver was a Company agent."

As Ray rises to his feet and begins to work through the matrix of strings that criss-cross the room, Eric shifts to sit against the table's edge, one thumb curled through the strap of his suspenders, his other hand resting there on the table's edge in a light drumming of callused fingertips over the wood. A heavy-lidded gaze follows the Doctor as he moves about, noting what he's doing even if he doesn't know why.

When his gaze is met, he lifts a single brow back at him, listening attentively. A noncommital sound of disapproval - or disagreement - greets his first words, before then the last revelation strikes.

He's on his feet, then, a step away from the table as he hisses out, "Are you insane? She's one of them, she can't be trusted!"

Edward turns towards the sound of Eric's clear disappointment, brows rising up as he nods his head once in… agreement. "Well, yes. She can't be trusted — and that is actually where you come in, Eric." Tapping his fingers on one clipping, Edward ducks beneath the string holding it and starts crossing the room, not faltering in speech for a moment between steps. "April is motivated by the same thing we all are, in the end, selfish desire." He hesitates to look at a photograph of the Washington Monument, head quirking to the side, before continuing on his way. "We're all motivated to improve our futures, April's just happens to be behind the badge of a Company agent."

Stopping on the opposite side of the room, Edward rubs his fingertips over his thumbs, and begins searching for something, a distracted quality coming over his voice, "The…" his fingers wander through a minagerie of strings attached to one thread in particular — a white one. "The situation she's in — the defeat of Pinehearst means a lot to her future, which means as long as that remains a goal, she'll be nominally on our side." He looks up, as if searching for where Doyle is, like he was lost for a moment. "She— Miss Silver— will ultimately turn on us, it's how things like this happen." Foresight or assumption, it's hard to say. "I want you, Eric, to be the one holding her leash. If it looks like she might be doing something… untoward?" One brow rises before Edward returns to the strings, "Well then I want you to make sure she can't be a danger to all of us. I think you can handle that."

"Assuming she hasn't already decided that taking everything she knows to the Company is enough, and isn't leading them right to our front door as we speak, that is," Doyle replies in scathingly sarcastic tones, gesturing sharply with one hand and narrowly misses snagging a thick orange thread in passing. One hand raises to rub against the side of his face, fingers rubbing slow circles around his temple and the corner of one eye, his lips creasing in a deep scowl.

"I've had this job before," he finally points out, begrudgingly, "And in the end I'm the one that ended up locked in a little room, Edward."

"She hasn't." There's a sense of certainty to Edward's tone, "Not yet, anyway." Looking up to Eric, though, the strernness in Edward's eyes seems to fade some, followed by a few quiet footfalls on the wood floor as he makes his way back to the table. "I don't know exactly which wrong you're talking about there, Eric, but I can assure you I sympathize entirely. You're not the only person who's been behind those glass windows in those tiny little concrete rooms of theirs." The doctor gives a mild smile, then lowers his head as he looks down to the tabletop, fingers spread as he rests his palms on the wood.

"I can't say it's an entirely safe job, but someone needs to do it, and while I might see something unfortunate coming down the road, it'll only be if I'm looking." He begins moving again, circling around the table to make eye contact. "I just want you to keep an eye on her, I can't imagine that's too terrible of a job?" A mildly teasing smile creeps up over his lips, "And if she does something wrong, well… then we do what we have to do, right?" Edward quietly folds his hands behind his back, breathing in a calming breath through his nose before continuing. "The Company may be a necessary evil for the time being, but I assure you Eric," when he looks up this time, there's a deadness in Edward's eyes, a cold, dispassionate lack of connection to the human parts of himself. "They'll pay for what they did, to both of us. They'll pay as best as they can, and as often as they can." Those empty eyes narrow, "But for now, for now I need you to focus — and look at the bigger picture."

There's an anger that's stirred behind the puppeteer's eyes over the course of this conversation, the slow-burning flame of rage fed by betrayal and wrong upon wrong— his lips twisted into a scowl upon his aged features, ten years and more lost to Moab, to the Company before that. A disgruntled sound answers the doctor's words, and he looks away from the other man after only a moment's eye contact, allowing quietly, "Alright. I'll watch her."

After a few moments of silence, he slants over a look, jaw tensing, "And Petrelli?"

At that, Edward smiles and dips his head down proudly in a bow, "That is what I like to call, a self-correcting problem." When Edward's eyes upturn to Doyle, they're filled with an almost child-like mirth, "You just keep your eyes on Miss Silver, and I promise you Doyle, everything will work out exactly as they should."

All too pleased with himself, with his strings, and for the first time, Doyle may have to wonder if he's the marionette or the puppet.

"Is that all you want me to do?" A slight snort of breath from Doyle, giving the doctor a rather dubious sort of look, "Just keep an eye on Silver's shapely ass to watch for the moment she plans on sitting on us with it?" He shakes his head slowly, one hand landing flat on the table as he leans slowly forward to look at the man with a gaze flat, haunted by years of pain and built-up anger. And he smiles. Ever so slightly.

"I think I'll watch you, too, Doctor," he says in soft, cheerful tones, "Because if things don't 'work out' like you keep saying they are? You'll wish you were back in Moab. I promise."

Nodding slowly, Edward takes a half step back from Doyle, then pauses in mid-stride, "Oh— and while you're at this," he adds as if all just some flippant afterthought, "Talk to Reed, if you could? I'd like him to start researching the Company's Bronx holding facility — the one that was raided in October of 2008? Anything and everything he can get, up to and including security protocols and eavesdropped cell phone conversations from employees there." One brow rises, "Just make sure he knows to keep the information between the three of us. Make sure you get a good read of it too, because…" one hand waves in the air, "well, it'll come up later."

Edward moves away from the table quicker now, watching Eric with a coy smile. No reassurances, just strangely timed and placed orders, things only given half filled explanations at the strangest of times. "I think you can show yourself out."

The smile fades for something of a scowl, carven deep into the features of the puppeteer's face as he regards the other man for a long moment, clearly displeased at something — his manner, his words, the mere fact that he seems to be in control of everything.

"I'm sure," he replies flippantly, moving to stalk away from the table, ducking under a string on his way towards the door. The door slams rather fiercely, once he's on the other side.

Eric Doyle has never liked playing the puppet.

<date>: previous log

Previously in this storyline…
If You Happen to See a Spare Body Lying Around

Next in this storyline…
Intrusion Detected At Pinehearst

<date>: next log
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