The CIA Party


audrey_icon.gif aviators2_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Also… featuring…?


Scene Title The CIA Party
Synopsis Don't bring a lie detector. Or do.
Date August 6, 2011

Washington, D.C.

The man moving down the street, in his suit and reflective glasses, was called Aviators by his peers when he first joined the military. Upon being inducted into the CIA, he was given the code name King of Pentacles. His identification states that, legally, he goes by Avi Epstein. Whether any of these three names remotely apply to who he is on the inside— is not a deduction that can be made at a glance or even closer scrutiny.

Especially not at the moment, crossing the street in the warm noon-time of Washington, D.C., the tie from his suit flagging in the wind and turning over, smoothed back into place by one broad, rough hand. He doesn't see the mockingbird and the sparrow that flutter and flitter in his wake, just two of a great many urban avian bodies that dart in and out between buildings and perch upon street wires and awnings, and they keep their distance, sacrificing hearing and continued sight for the sake of being discreet. Pausing to polish the toe of his shoe against pant leg, Avi veers off into the small, inner city parkland area, all wrought iron, green grass and strategically placed trees — even a small pond, a fountain fixture that sprays water as silver as mercury when the light catches it in a certain way. The place is the home of executives and lunch break types — no children, this end of town.

Leaning his considerable weight against the fencing off from the small body of water, Avi glances at his watch, and then sets about resetting it by some minute and fussy amount.

The slick looking man that is Avi Epstein is known to both Audrey and Ziadie. On the trip over, she had briefed the former NYPD officer on the need to know details and furnished a picture of 'Aviators' for him to study. Nothing Apollo related that would make other agents :/ at her and likely end up with yet another suspension on her record.

But they both knew what they were looking for, and where when they'd landed. Ziadie so far, wasn't a known factor in the trip unless folks had gone digging, and to Audrey, he was the ace up her sleeve. A human lie detector. How long she'd get away with it, depended on whether Avi lied or not.

Keeping her pace with Ziadie - But with the occasional glance to her watch to monitor the time like the somewhat, okay perpetual type A personality that she is - They aren't that far off. Soft sided briefcase dangling by fingers not her thumb or forefinger - those are clutching a coffee cup - She's dressed as Audrey is prone to dressing. Simple suits with not so flattering cuts and simple black heels that were made for walking. Blonde hair trimmed to her jawline, slicing forward with each step.

She was ready. She had a lead. Damned if she would fuck this up.

She didn't want to face Eileen in the fucking shower again.

The former cop just keeps pace, leaning occasionally on his cane as he walks. Hair that has long gone salt and pepper grey that was once black is trimmed neatly, beard is shaved and barely a stubble remains, and the worn leather jacket has been cleaned up, with a selection but not the whole collection of the medals that adorn it and signify the rank and honours that Ziadie had once held in the law enforcement world, much like the venerable service-issue weapon concealed within his jacket.

There's a twitch of his brows as he walks, and one hand pushed to his forehead as they pass the occasional bystanding conversation, but for the most part, Ziadie's ability remains passively active, awareness of any verbal sound and the intent behind it within the radius, and then there's a small quirky smile offered to Audrey as he pauses to lean on his cane, simply waiting on her lead.

If a dog were to detect an approach from behind, you'd be able to see their ears twitch on satellite hinges — humans have no such indicators, but Avi does hear approach by the time they're close, already knowing that Hanson didn't come alone like he imagined she would. They didn't stipulate the clandestine need of such, granted, but it doesn't stop him from tilting reflective aviators glass off towards her male walking companion, leaving the studiousness of his stare to imagination. Both Ziadie and Audrey have some skill at being able to pick whether someone is armed.

Avi is not, his jacket flapped open enough to demonstrate the lack of any rig at shoulder or hip, no shapes or heaviness concealed in the fabric. "If I thought we were bringing a plus one," he says, "then I might have asked my own friend to stick around."

"I'm sorry, I don't double date" A grim press of Audrey's lips as she gets closer and eventually ambles to a stop adjacent but not too close to Epstein. "But should I need to talk with you again Agent Epstein, I'll let you know my guest list ahead of time so that we can arrange better. Have you met Mr. Ziadie? He's an acquaintance of mine. Mr. Ziadie, this is Agent Avi Eptsein I believe" Her palm -free one - indicating the respective individuals. "I am of course, Agent Audrey Hanson" Her eyes settle squarely on Avi, keeping Ziadie and his hands in her peripheral vision and for good reason. "Thank you for agreeing to meet with me, I had some questions that I hope you might be able to answer for me"

Ziadie is more heavily armed than the one obvious shape of a holster that shows underneath his jacket, but for the moment, his hands simply fold in front of him as he leans on his cane. "Pleasure, Agent Epstein," he says, soft Jamaican accent colouring the mainly polite words, though there's the hint of steel to them that he never really seems to have lost. Or at least, now that he's sober. "I don't believe we've ever met before. I rarely had reason to leave New York, you know," he adds, conversational.

No need to shake hands, apparently, Avi set to lean back against the wrought iron fencing that circles the blue, fountain-having pond. "Well, let's see if I can't make your trip worth it for you," he says, his tone lazy, affectedly bored, before his head tips enough to indicate that his sights are set back on the blonde woman making the third point of their little trianle. "Though, my PA didn't impress upon me the nature of your visit, Agent Hanson — I figured it must be important, but I will remind you both that as an agent of the CIA, I might not be able to answer everything you ask.

"What do you want to know?"

"I'm sure Agent Epstein, that you will try to answer everything as best you can for me" With that, free hand is digging into the pocket of a briefcase, bringing out a digital recorder. "You don't mind do you?" Whether he does or not, the record button is pressed as the briefcase and coffee are put down, leave a hand free so she can hold the recorder. "Helps me with my notes. I'm the agent in charge of the Midtown Man case. A recent kill has cropped up my radar and I'm going back over some names that have come up in my investigation over the year. Have you ever met Sylar Agent Epstein?"

Avi's mouth twists at the recorder — a smirk that is not a smile, but neither is it a grimace. "Aiming for the stars today, agent. My contact with the Midtown Man is confidential material, and you can," he tugs his aviators down just enough to deal her a wink, "make of that what you will. I believe you've seen some of the literature on the subject, but I can't say if your friend here has, and so I am not at liberty to confirm that question, Agent Hanson. You might find this to be a pretty short conversation."

There's a brief moment, cane leaned against his leg, where Ziadie twists his wedding ring on his right hand as Avi speaks, before otherwise fidgeting with the zipper of his jacket and then adjusting the strap of his cane around his wrist, a muttered apology about creaking old bones inserted into the conversation, but Audrey's used to the complaints about his age by now, and she also knows just as well that half the time, Ziadie's only letting it slow him down. For the most part, though, he's waiting, as if they have lunch after this and he's just along for the entertainment value, gaze more on Audrey than on Avi.

"You're right, he hasn't and isn't likely to ever. But I didn't ask where you'd seen him Agent Epstein, may I call you Avi?" Audrey shifts her weight to one leg, regarding him. "I asked if you'd seen him" A control question so to speak, complete with a glance to Ziadie. One twist. "What is your given name Agent Epstein, and the rest of your details, for recordings sake, you understand" Since she can't get a proper answer out of him this first round. Living lie detectors, just as fickle to interpitation as technological ones. "How long has it been since you last saw him for that matter"

"And if I've seen him is still a matter of confidentiality, Agent Hanson. Take it up with my superiors if you've got a problem with that — I assume you have a number for the White House?"

That smirk is growing broader, more of a grin, the kind of find on the faces of jackels, showing canine tooth in open sneer. "The 'rest of my details'?" sounds almost insulted on top of amused. "You want my home address and how I take my coffee, too? My given name," and he leans in, as if doubting the range of the recorder, his voice facetiously loud and clear, "is Avi Epstein. And you, ma'am, are barking up the wrong tree — especially with that thing recording. I'm pretty sure they shoot people for less than waht you're asking me to put on record, you know?"

Ziadie's being helpful, at least seemingly ignoring their conversation, moving in to pick up Audrey's briefcase and coffee, so neither sit on the ground for too long. And as he does so, fidgeting with his ring, twisting it around a few more times, in enough of her sight before backing up to the better distance again. Avi gets a disapproving frown, but nothing else. For the moment, the older man will hold his peace.

Her thumb finds it's way to the recording button, one press effectively turning it off, no longer taking in the voices of the people there. SHoulders lifted a fraction before she slips it into a pocket even as eyes narrow a fraction, just a fraction. "To impersonate a federal agent, last I knew, was a Felony Mr Epstein, though they don't really shoot people for that" There's no agent used.

"Mr. Ziadie's signed a little piece of paper that says if he spills the beans so to speak, of what he hears, Uncle Sam will toss him a hole in the ground for a really long time. They tend to be a little more trusting of retired cops who left with full honors and clean records. I got him through special request. Did you know you could do that? Uncle Same even paid for his plane ticket. But if you were a real federal agent, you'd know that"

A hand goes to one hip, just planted there, frowning, that press of her tongue to the back of her upper teeth in thought.

"Did I mention he's a lie detector too? You know, the kind that through some freak genetic blessing or curse, really depends on who you talk to, can discern truth from.. lets say… fiction." She licks her lips, focused on Avi. "So you're names Not Avi Epstein, I know that much. Care to tell me what it really is? And don't bother lying" Clearly, she'd know.

Glasses taken off his face, there's a hawkishly hard quality to Epstein's stare leveled Audrey's way as she talks, notably around this hilarious punchline about Ziadie being a lie detector. Even in the face of Evolved discovery, there are those who might sneer cynically at this claim and call it a bluff, but Avi does not — his attention veers sharply to the unassuming black man at white woman's elbow instead, a studiousness that is in some parts accusatory, and in other parts, vividly fascination. His hulking casuality has drained away into the kind of tension that leaner men might move with, visible even like this, in the squareish angles of besuited shoulders, the ridges of his knuckles.

Then he smiles. "You bring a lie detector to a CIA party," he says, his voice carefully wry, "then you're gonna be in for some disappointment. You're right — I'm not born 'Avi Epstein', and I don't think I'm entitled to go into it any further than that, Agent Hanson — if you disagree, you know who Epstein's superiors are."

He's making motions to walk away, now, slipping his glasses back on and side stepping, the last of his gaze swallowed up behind reflective glass where it had been last seen fized on Ziadie.

"That and th' lie detector's goin' t' have a hell of a headache," Ziadie mutters under his breath. The jacket does a good job of hiding Ziadie's usual tension at his ability being mentioned. The old man is just fine with using it, but having it out in the open is another thing, and brows furrow in the twinge of a headache from the conversation.

"He's not lying," Ziadie says. "Sure as hell not telling th' truth, but not lying." If his power's been outed, there's no point with the finicky little signals, anyway. And something about the way that the CIA agent had just looked at, studied him, has raised the former cop's hackles. Briefcase and coffee cup are put down as summarily as they were picked up, so that he can better lean on his cane, tension showing in the grip on it.

"You don't like that I brought him to the party do you. Mr. Ziadie here is actually pretty handy, thinking of asking them to hire him full time. Cuts through a lot of the bullshit I find when interviewing and questioning people" It's in the body language, and it's a given. Who would like a lie detector brought to anywhere when being questioned. There's a nod for Ziadie. "Let me ask you something else. I mean, my case was just gravy on this particular pile of meatloaf" Audrey takes a step forward, aiming to place herself between where Avi is intended to go and where he currently is. "Munin wants to know something." What was it' She diverts her eyes to his hand looking like she just can't quite remember what it was that 'Munin' asked her. "Oh right, She wants to know how it's working out, you know, with that thing that Helena Dean spoke to her about"

Audrey crosses her arms, tight lipped smile that doesn't reach ears. "How is it working out?"

That tight smile is quite literally reflected back at her as Aviators levels his aviators in her direction, a slight head tip of interest that seems outside of this man's particular scope of mannerisms — somewhat dog-like and attentive, his attempt at simply walking away stalled in a sharp halt, and a small grimace blooming into a big one as soon as the name Munin comes out of Audrey's mouth.

He moves.

It is not a very big move. His hands go up, simply, and when his fingers go into a mock rictus clutch at nothing, a sense of entrapment suddenly clamps down on Ziadie and Audrey both, rendering them unable to move, their arms going stiff where they were last held, backs straight, and jaws locked. They can breathe, they can blink, they can fidget their fingers and the toes in their shoes, and not much else at all. "If I decide that you get to live through this, agent," comes the mildly sibilant voice of one Gabriel "Sylar" Gray out of Epstein's mouth, although, in the same motion of a heatwave, the illusion briefly wavers — the younger, slimmer serial killer behind the mask, in clothes of a darker and shabbier nature, although the aviators are apparently real, perched on his regal nose.

"You can tell Munin that it's not working out at all. Now, let's all go some place quiet and hug it out." He tips a look at Ziadie. "I especially can't wait to get to know you, officer." As one, they both find themselves forced to step back, Audrey turning as if to lead the way, her movements a little stiff, but effective. It's vanity that loosens their jaws, although there is the preparation to clamp them shut should what come out of their mouths is louder than words.

For all of it, Ziadie doesn't actually seem too disturbed. There's the notion that he's an old man, and if he hadn't encountered this before, he's certainly encountered it now. There is a particular nonchalance from the amount of peace the old man has managed to make with the world, but for now he simply bites down on his tongue and glances at Audrey every so often, more of his attention on Sylar.

This was unexpected and yet somehow - given who sent her on this little goose chase - She should have expected this. "Death is preferrable to being left blind for two weeks in the middle of a shack on Staten" There's no screaming from Audrey, just low vehement words. But her body turns and moves as it's directed to, wishing she could reach her gun.

On the upside, Matthew Parkmen knew where she was going and who with. "If I told you that I'd rather stay in public, maybe even shoot it out? Who's your CIA buddy that's keeping you in a cushy job as Epstein Sylar? Anyone I know?"

"Now Audrey," he says, his voice shifting back into the naturally deeper timbre of Epstein's, as the two are turned to face the street in preparation to leave. The drawl he drags his tone into could be that of either man — either way, Sylar is enjoying himself now that the pretense is shattered. "We wouldn't want to drag any innocents into this, now would we? And what makes you think I'd ever work anything but alone?"

He barely gets that last syllable out, when something louder interrupts him. The crack of the handgun going off knifes through the peace of the park, generated gasps and cries of the scattered bystanders in the sunny, public welcome, and automatically, Ziadie and Audrey are handed back their mobility with the suddenness of cut strings. Sylar's illusion breaks in second manifestation of his concentration doing the same thing, thrown back with the small of his spine connecting into low iron fencing — or it would, if he wasn't wildly making too late use of his phasing capabilities, instead landing in pool fountain with rosy red immediately rising to the surface.

"Run!" bleats the male voice. It's no one Ziadie's seen before, and no one that Audrey has met in person, but has seen many times in black and white photocopies in her case files, yet another victim of the serial killer. Isaac Mendez is a lanky figure, a young Latino man with unkempt hair, his clothing loose enough to have concealed the small black handgun he's now waving in gesture. "Get out of here!"

There's a very brief moment where Ziadie fixes Mendez with a memorising, studying look, face fixed in memory, but for the most part, the old man doesn't actually waste any time. Audrey's briefcase is grabbed, and then so is Audrey — by one wrist with a grip that's at least hard enough to be a rather firm suggestion she follow him in the direction of away, and at the pace he's setting if not faster. Despite all the insistence on his cane for the most part, it turns out Ziadie doesn't actually need it. At least, not to run. In his other hand, a sidearm is already out and at ready, for what little good it might do him

Sylar's impersonating Epstein, and someone is impersonating…. Mendez? "Fuck, another clone" Is fished out under Audrey's breath as the break in control gives her the chance to reach for her own gun, wield it with her one hand as she moves to do exactly what Ziadie was doing, make a grab for him, which leads to awkward hand bumping, and her making sure that both her hands are not being held by the other man as she leave what she's supposing is another sylar/gabriel/clone to have it out with his buddy.


Dripping wet, the Sylar formerly known as Epstein surges out of the fountain, in a sort of injured swagger that speaks of damage but not pain — which is less about beign tough and more about what other powers he has at his disposal. With a wild glance to where Ziadie and Audrey are getting away, and the figure of Mendez side-running down the pavement and awkwardly leveling his weapon, he makes a decision — the one that ties into his survival the best. Vanishing into sudden invisibility, a ripple in the air rips through the space, out onto the street, and as it collides with a car careening down the grey, windshield blows out in an explosion of glass shards, the horn sounding as it veers to crash its nose into a parking meter.

And then nothing. Or nothing left. Mendez tips his head back to search the skies, before casting a look towards where he last saw agent and former cop make their exit. He goes to make his own, tucking his gun into the waistband of his jeans and making long-legged lopes down the sidewalk, pushing past the rubberneckers with a hissed, Spanish swearword or two.

When Ziadie and Audrey have reached a sufficient distance, there's another turn, and the old man finally pauses, leaning on his cane and a nearby wall and abruptly simply putting down the briefcase. Gun is still out, even in the existence of nothing, and then eventually let to relax, as Ziadie looks over at Audrey, brows raised. "Ye owe me a bit more of an explanation, Hanson. Classified or not," he says, almost but not quite nonplussed. "But first, ye owe me a drink. Or something." There's a faint grimace as the headache doesn't get any worse, but doesn't fade, either.

Audrey doens't want to stop, but Ziadie is old - older - and so she does too, keeping her gun at hand and gaze on anyone and everyone who thinks to look, stray or go near the pair of them. Someone else owes her an explanation as well but figures she is unlikley to get it anytime soon. "I would give Nocturne, but you don't have the clearance and the only reason I know, is I blew every favor I had and mortgaged my first unborn child to know. Needless to say, that is the man that my career has been built around, and he's sitting in the bosom of the fucking CIA"

Which is disconcerting. For how long? For that matter, who was his patron that kept him where he was.

Where was the real Epstein?

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