The Man Who Sold The World, Part II


arthur_icon.gif jenn_icon.gif maury_icon.gif matt_icon.gif

Scene Title The Man Who Sold The World, Part II
Synopsis Matt comes face-to-face with the true power behind Pinehearst, Arthur Petrelli, and inadvertently also finds his daughter, the hard way.
Date June 2, 2009

Pinehearst Headquarters, Basement Level 4

Greg Lawson is wishing he were upstairs, or better yet, outside Pinhearst Incorporated. Instead, he walks a few paces behind his superior, Deputy Director Matthew Parkman, as they answer the beckoning gesture of one Jennifer Chesterfield.

The tension in the air is palpable, and Lawson holds one hand nearly cowboy-style over his hip, just in case. They're here to make an arrest, but things have taken a sharp turn for the weird.

Matt doesn't look much better than Lawson, but his tension isn't out of fear or uneasiness. He's coiled and ready, expecting something - anything - to happen. To change. At the same time, he continues to skim the surface of the sea of thoughts, looking for that radar signal of sorts to sound from the deep and tell him his father is here.

But why would Jenn lie?

But Maury waiting on him? It's too unreal.

"Why would your receptionist say he wasn't in today?" Matt asks, his words hitting his teeth due to the tightness of his jaw.

"Because that is his cover." Jennifer states rather openly, heels click-clacking on the tile floor as she walks, keeping her leather folio held fast to her chest with one arm. "Maury Parkman isn't a public employee of Pinehearst for obvious reasons, and I think you of all people understand the necessity of need to know categories of information. Why would my receptionist call him by a different name?" She pauses, turning to look over her shoulder at Lawson, and then Parkman.

"The answer is waiting for you in there." One delicate hand motions to a pair of faux-wood finish doors at the end of a short hallway on one branch of a four-way junction in this basement level. No marker or indicator on the door signifies what might lie behind that door. "I have to go tend to an experiment down the hall, unless there was something else I could help you with?" Her attitude is perplexing.

Not a public employee? Needing a cover? Matt's eyes narrow as he scrutinizes Jenn further, coming to stop near her. "What's he do here, if it's not sorting mail?" Or will that only lead to more questions?

Lawson moves toward the door and listens, a hand on his holster. Sure, there are plenty of tricks that Parkman gave them, but it's hard to keep one's head when there is no telling what happen. "What's in there?" Lawson asks, his eyes firmly fixed on Jenn, his voice carrying the slightest Brooklyn brusque.

"He does what needs to be done, Matt." Jenn's expression shows a marked level of confusion, as if the answer were obvious. But then the latter question rewards that expression in a more pointed way, with both of her brows rising as she colses her eyes and draws in a slow breath. "Your father, and the man in charge of all of this. That's what's in there, and that's what's been waiting for you."

Dark brows furrow together, and Jennifer's thoughts betray themselves. I'm sorry about Molly. But she doesn't realize the notion has slip past her frontal lobe before it's too late to take thoughts back, to unthink what has been thought.

Matt winces as if he'd be poked uncomfortably in the gut, but the thought hits him like a punch. Taking a deep breath to settle his rattling nerves, Matt nods grimly. "Thank you, Mrs. Chesterfield. Lawson," and there is barely a breath between the two names, "wait out here." You know the drill. Two telepaths with a history of animosity should not be left alone for long periods - to do otherwise is just foolish.

Reluctantly it would seem, Lawson steps away from the door, allowing Matt to move forward and roughly grip the handle. It's like ripping off a bandage,m really. And Matt is in the 'do it fast' camp. Gritting his teeth to brace himself, Matt effectively throws the door open.

To reveal his father, staring right back at him.

Older, heavier, and grayer than memory recalls but identical to the man from the surveillance camera footage, Maury Parkman stands in stoic expectance deep inside of the subterranean office with his back to an old mahogony desk. Soft, lilting notes of music come from a record player on a bookshelf across the room, old and warm notes of big band music that cling to the air with a richness of pops and cracks that only vinyl can manage.

"Matty…" Maury's voice brings back a deluge of childhood memories, none of them warm and friendly. The click-clack of heels moving down the hall and away from Matt's back indicates Jennifer's quiet departure, leaving father and son to reunite, but not alone.

"Matthew Parkman," the weighty intonation comes from a deeper and richer voice behind Maury, "You've grown." As Maury moves to the side, a man clearly Maury's age is revealed seated at the desk, already rising from his seat with a warm smile spread across his lips. A dark suit and red tie against white looks almost Presidential as Arthur Petrelli strolls out from behind the old and stained wood, one hand in the pocket of his slacks, the other loose at his side.

"I apologize for all of the cloak and dagger, Matthew, but I'm glad you were able to make it here." There's worry in Maury's eyes, worry that seems to evidently be due to Matt's presence. Unusually, though, Matt receives that hollow noise of psychic feedback from both his father and the other man.

"There's no need to be hostile, Matt. Let's be calm, and we can discuss exactly what is going— " he cracks a smile, "where are my manners?" That free hand is held out, extended towards Matt in a kind and almost grandfatherly gesture of greeting. "I'm Arthur Petrelli, and I figure you have a great many questions for me…"

"Like why your office is in a basement," Matt says as he stares uneasily at Arthur and slowly walks into the room. The door shuts behind him with a defining yet soft bang. That slight buzz of feedback is all Matt needs to hear - not enough to send any of the men reeling, but enough to know - that they are all on relatively even footing.

As much as his criminal and deadbeat father makes him uncomfortable and angry, the bulk of Matt's hesitation comes from Arthur Petrelli. Father to the President of the United States.

"I know who you are," Matt says with a cautious sidelong glance at the man on the other side of the desk. He raises his hand to shake Petrelli's, eyes locked, stance coiled to strike if need be.

Arthur takes Matt's hand firmly, soon adding another to the back with a warm smile. "You know I was wondering if you might find your way down here." The sudden, shattering feeling of Matt's ribs aching and a hollow, sucking sensation in the center of his chest is what comes immediate after the handshake begins. A pale, white glow suffuses Matt's palm, followed by the feeling of something under his skin and in the back of his head caught by a thousand tiny hooks and barbs, ripped out from where it belongs in a sensation not entirely unlike the woozy high of blood loss, and the accompanying ghostly image of Matt Parkman's silhouette swirling into Arthur's body.

The experience is painful and harrowing, and one that Maury from his vantage point finds no comfort in. He hesitates, then takes a step forward. "A— Arthur!" The handshake is broken with that cry, and Arthur turns a sharp stare to Maury as he continues, "you— you told me he wouldn't be harmed! We had a deal!"

The younger Parkman cries out as well, but it begins as a growling, gritting of teeth. But when whatever it is that Arthur rips out of him so violently is freed - when the last of those hooks is torn away from its hold on Matt - it quickly rises into an agonizing moan.

When he's physically freed, Matt falls forward onto the desk. His brow is dripping with sweat before he's finally able to push himself up, but he keeps himself braced there as he looks from his father to Arthur, eyes slightly glazed as he tries to make sense of what they're saying.

It takes some degree of concentration.

Concentration that doesn't bring any feedback, or the thoughts of Lawson in the hallway as he makes radio contact with the backup upstairs.

Is this what happened to Molly?

Enraged, Matt stands enough to fight back with one of the only weapons he has left. When you take away someone's brain, you leave them with brawn. With a furious roar, Matt pulls back his fist to send a right hook flying at Arthur Petrelli's head.

A young man striking an elderly man in the side of the head has all of the reaction one might expect. While a little round in the midsection, it isn't an unhealthy regimen that gives Matt his shape, but rather the layer of muscle beneath a deceptively doughy exterior. When fist strikes brow, there is a palpable crack that comes with it, of splitting bone and the staggering sway of Arthur's footing several steps away from Matt as blood covers his knuckles and Arthur's temple.

Maury stands in wide-eyed amazement at the display, up until the door to the office slams open with a kick and Agent Lawson comes striding in with his gun unholstered. Before he can even blurt out a command, there is motion from what should be a man unconscious on the floor, and Arthur's hand motions in a two-fingered gesture towards Lawson, sending his gun in one direction, and with a hook of those fingers Lawson slamming up against the wall with a concussive thud.

Dark eyes flick towards Matt, and a hand rises as Parkman can watch the split in Arthur's skin slowly sealing as his injury sews itself shut thanks to his stolen gift from young Claire. An unseen hand grasps at Matt's throat, then slams him back-first up against the wall opposite Lawson, feet dangling in the air.

"Do you see what happens when I pull my punches, Maury?" Arthur's voice is a low growl, and he turns his focus over to the old man with narrowed eyes. Lawson moves without Arthur even looking at him, smashing against the wall head first twice more before falling limp. "Take him out of here."

Bristling, Maury looks up to Matt, and then to Arthur, "No." Dark brows lower on Arthur's forehead, shadowing blue eyes. "Promise me you won't hurt Matt. Promise me, Arthur."

"He'll be safe and sound with his daughter once he and I have some words." The venom in Arthur's tone is befitting of the greivous head-wound he nearly suffered, one that would have knocked a lesser man clear into unconsciousness. "Now take him out of here." Maury tenses, looking to Matt, and his expression turns weakly apologetic before finally reaching down to grab Lawson by the arms, and drag him bodily out of the office.

Once Maury has left earshot, the doors slam shut by unseen hands, and Arthur turn shis focus back to Matt. "I truly hoped that Goodman would have gotten you killed on Staten Island," the words come off as bitter and resentful. "You continue to both impress and disappoint me, Matt."

There's no sense in struggling against the unseen force that is Arthur's telekinesis, though Matt does wince and suppress a groan when his back hits the wall. Matt knows enough to know that. But Maury's pleading on his behalf doesn't escape Matt's notice, though it's hardly his focus.

Matt strains in an attempt to keep his airway open, turning wide and angry eyes on Arthur. "Like I give a flying fuck what you think about me," he growls

But it isn't true, and now that the protective screen of interference once taken for granted is gone, that much is obvious. I'm not a disappointment, Matt's mind screams, Deputy fucking secretary!

Arthur takes a few steps forward, hand held out in that invisible motion of grasping that lightens just a little. "The only reason you're still alive to say that is because I'm a man of my word, Mister Parkman." At least, he's a man of his word when there's not plausible deniability. "I don't know how you found out about Maury being here," one dark brow lowers, and Arthur's lips downturn into a frown. "But you're going to show me."

Of all people, Matt Parkman knows the sensation of someone rooting around in his head, though usually the feeling is on the other side of this psychic abuse. Arthur's touch is forceful, sharp and worst of all practiced. His mind darts and weaves through the undefended confines of Parkman's own psyche, searching for answers to his question even as he continues to talk.

"I would have let you go on blissfully in the ignorance of what was happening around you, but you just had to press this issue. I'm sorry about what had to happen to Molly, I truly am, but her power was necessary in order to facilitate the Company's end." Blue eyes narrow to slits, something found, something noticed. "I wonder how little Matthew is doing…"

It's painful, especially since Parkman doesn't want anyone rooting around in his brain. Still, there is some small degree of relative comfort in relaxing and just allowing it to happen.

Slowly, the office in the basement of Pineheart, Incorporated turns into Matt's Dorchester Tower's apartment. Two men are inside, one a doppelganger of the same that Arthur has pinned against the wall.

//""You always this impatient, Parkman?" A faint chuckle stirs on Cardinal's lips before he walks along away from the window, meandering through the apartment checking out this, and that, with a burglar's eye. "You ever heard of a company called Pinehearst?"

"Only when I got a burglar in my home," Parkman says with a smirk. "I empty a clip into the last one. It doesn't ring any particularly loud bells. Why?"

"Your father works for them," replies Cardinal, glancing back with a smirk upon his own lips, brows raising over the edge of his shades, "More to the point, he works for the surprisingly-not-actually-deceased Arthur Petrelli." A pause, "Do I have your attention yet, Matt?"//

The image fades then, the memory-Matt fading with it.

"Where is she?!" Matt asks, choked and gruff.

Dark brows furrow together, and Arthur relaxes the chokehold some, letting Matt fall to the ground with a thud, only to have the pressure applied to his chest to keep him seated on the floor. "Molly is fine, Claire has been keeping her company…" one dark brow rises slowly, "and I guess now that job can fall to you." There's no pleasure on Arthur's face for what he's doing, only the stern and disappointed expression of a domineering father.

"One day you'll forgive me for all of this, Matt, because you'll see what I can make the future into. But right now, you're on the wrong side of the fence," his head cants to one side, "so until I say otherwise, you're under house arrest. Maury will cover for your duties at work, and by the time anyone is the wiser, it won't matter."

It's not an expression Matt is used to. Maury was absent more than he was every disappointed in his son during his formative years. He shuts his eyes with a quiet grunt when he's dropped and then pressed to the wall again, and when he opens them again, they're filled with a smoldering rage. The thought of a despicable wretch like Maury assuming his identity again, having his security clearance, sleeping beside his fiance…

Matt grits his teeth and swallows in an attempt to focus. "You think you're better than all the other nutjobs out there who want to make the future better?" Matt's attempt at a smirk quickly turns into a grimace. "Think you're a hero, don't you?"

One dark brow rises as Arthur listens to Matt, but that click of his tongue and wag of one finger back and forth indicates he has another idea. "The world isn't nearly simple enough to be defined by narrow terms like hero and villain, Matt." The smile on the old man's weathered lips spreads into something both feigned in its honesty and depraved in the expression.

"I like to think more in terms of the winners, and the losers…" he makes a motion towards Matt, two fingers up in the air, and the DHS agent rises up off of his feet."

"Guess which category you fall in?"

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