The Payoff


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Scene Title The Payoff
Synopsis Roger Goodman's investment in hiring Minea Dahl to the Company finally pays off, in a huge way.
Date May 6, 2009

Pinehearst Headquarters, Fort Lee, New Jersey

With a steady beat like that of a metronome, Roger Goodman's polished shoes click-clack on the tile floor. Alternating black and white squares underfoot briskly pass by as the tall, rail-thin man walks quickly past examination labs and containment rooms within Pinehearst's subterranean research levels. So many familiar names and faces have already been claimed here — Molly Walker, Claire Bennet – all for the pursuit of a better, brighter future. The one that he and John had idealized all those years ago.

This determined pace takes Roger to a pair of double doors that lead with silent grace into Examination Lab 7, a dimly lit operating theater filled with the lights of active machinery and rows of computers set along black-topped desks. Standing beside the rows of computers, Arthur Petrelli is half-lit by the pale glow of the monitors, staring through a plate glass window down into the operating theater below.

No surgeons occupy that lace, only a single table with a white cloth drawn over it, covering the silhouette of a human body. "Mister Petrelli," Roger says in a hushed tone of voice, politely announcing his presence as he makes his way into the room, dark eyes scanning the equipment, then finally following Arthur's gaze to the body covered by the sheet.

"Thank you for coming here on such short notice, Roger. You've done a remarkable job of handling my affairs and I hate to saddle you with any more responsibility…" In the time when Arthur pauses to consider his angle of approach for what Roger was called down here for, the tables of the conversation are turned as Roger – rather unusually for him, interjects.

"Actually, sir." The words bring a sharp look from Arthur, one dark brow rising slowly, "There's something I feel may be more pressing that I wanted to bring to your attention. My promptness in getting here is actually related more so to this, than your request."

Entertaining the notion, Arthur rests one hand down on the metal railing near the window, shifting some of his weight to it as his eyes survey the stoic features of the loyal spy standing before him. A singular, silent nod is all it takes to spur Goodman into explanation, and what is forthcoming is far outside of the realm of speculation Arthur had imagined.

"Months ago, I hired an agent into the Company named Minea Dahl." Folding his arms, Roger's eyes divert to the cloth-shrouded body in the lab below, "She's a forgery specialist, one I put specifically on the case of Hiro Nakamura in order to use her as a lure Nakamura out into the open as per your request."

Nodding once, patiently, Arthur's voice betrays a lack of patience beneath the surface. "I'm well aware of your training exercise for Agent Dahl, but perhaps you could cut to the point, Roger? I do have another meeting today." The Senior Agent of the Company tenses up at Arthur's verbal rebuking, then begins to pace anxiously across the floor.

"Since her appointment I've had two agents tasked with keeping an eye on her activities while reporting back to me; James Carmody, a chameleon, and Bruce Tanner, an audiokinetic. The pair work as surveillance team and have been helping keep tabs on Phoenix's movements in relation to Dahl, as well as building a case log of her activities for me…" One hand is raised, perhaps to forestall another interjection by Arthur, "Last night they overheard something that—I came to you as soon as I could verify what happened."

Raising a dark brow, Arthur looks Goodman up and down and turns away from the window, folding his arms across his chest, head beginning to cant to one side — now Roger has his full attention.

"Dahl was visited by Agent April , a long-time Evolved operative for the Company in New York, her power is classified among the most dangerous of our east coast operatives – force-field generation." Scratching at the side of his nose, Roger looks up to Arthur, waiting to see if he interjects again, but this time it's made clear in silence, that Roger has the floor.

"The overheard conversation bordered on the preposterous, however with Dahl's connection to Nakamura I'm beginning to see some veracity to the claims. According to what was said in the conversation, a group of at least four individuals have entered…" the words come out so foreign, so alien. It's almost impossible to believe the concept, "they've come from the future, with the intentions of preventing your work from ever being completed, Sir."

"The… Future." Arthur lets that word hang in the air, languishing in the absurdity of the idea. "Exactly how did they get here?" doubt begins to flutter across Arthur's expression, soon dashed by Roger's continued explanation.

"According to what I've heard, they were present in the Moab Federal Penitentiary of their time, and were transported here – potentially in the same temporal anomaly that your son accidentally caused." Roger squares his shoulders, looking to Arthur with an intent stare, then motions with one hand into the air vaguely. "They could be anywhere, but one of the agents is clearly either a look-alike of – or a future counterpart of Agent Bradley."

"What are we doing about this?" Arthur's question causes Roger to shake his head slowly, rubbing one hand over his chin in a thoughtful motion. "And is Dahl going straight to the Company with this?"

"No – that I'm certain she's not. April seemed to be aware about my position as a spy in the Company's ranks, and she was paranoid that other operatives may well be Pinehearst agents. I fear Minea might take this straight to Director Dalton, but April was adamant against it." Something in Arthur's face gives Goodman pause, just a moment of silence between thoughts, "Sir?"

Distracted by the last name spoken, Arthur looks down to the floor, the up to Roger. "You let me handle Sabra. She and I go back far enough to have earned fair words between one another. She's more reasonable that Robert ever was, so we might be able to nip this problem away before it spirals out of control…"

"What do we do about Agent Dahl, Sir?" Roger's dark eyes settle on the older man, and it's Arthur's prolonged silence that causes him the most alarm. Finally, though, Arthur seems to have come to a resolution on something, but ultimately it's not what Roger would have expected at all.

"I'd like you to pay Miss Dahl a visit, on my behalf. Take Maury with you, and if she fails to see things our way, you can have mister Parkman turn her into a vegetable. I'm not going to have any loose ends dangling in the wind when we're this close to settling things with the Company." Turn her into a vegetable. The very notion washes over Roger like a tidal wave, and his jaw sets squarely when he hears those words from Arthur.

Slowly, though, he gives a careful nod of agreement. Best not to show distaste in front of the man in charge, "Of course, sir. What of these purported time-travelers, then? Perhaps we should—" Arthur holds up a hand, much as Roger had before, silencing the words flowing from his mouth.

"I'll look into that. Right now I want you to keep a closer eye on Dahl and—" Narrowing his eyes, Arthur considers his planned actions, "Hold off on the public media exposure for now, I want to see where this goes. If these time travelers are expecting me to act on some preordained course of action, it might do well to find out what the mistakes were with the original plan of action."

As Roger raises one thin brow, Arthur flashes a confident smile to him, "It's not often you get to see the results of your plan before it even comes to fruition. We may very well have been granted the best opportunity yet." One hand motions to the door, "Get on that right away, Roger. Finding out what Dahl knows takes absolute priority over your other assignments."

At first accepting of the order, Roger falters only when he recalls the original purpose for having been called down here. "Sir," his eyes meet Arthur's, "you had called me down here for something, yes?" A growing concern dawns over Roger, brows furrowing in reaction.

"Oh, that—" Arthur flippantly waves a hand to dismiss the notion, "Don't you mind that, Roger; It can wait. Go handle Dahl, and I'll take care of the rest." There's an awkward silence shared between the two for a few moments, before Roger finally nods, and takes a half-step back, his skin beginning to radiate a warm violet light, before he disappears in a crackling haze of purple energy.

Arthur watches the light fade away, wisps of lavender and magenta twirling through the air, before he reaches for his cell phone. The device flips open, one finger pressing a speed dial button as he turns back towards the examination room. "Yes, it's me…" he murmurs into the mouthpiece, eyes transfixed on the covered body, "I need you to get in touch with Mister Childs for me."

There's a long pause, and Arthur closes his eyes, a faint smile creeping up across his lips. "No – no it's not about that. Just tell him I'd like to talk to him about his daughter."

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