...To A Scream


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Scene Title …To a Scream
Synopsis With the partial data they recovered thanks to Cassandra, Pinehearst continues to move to identify the invaders.
Date January 23, 2012

Pinehearst Tower dominates the Manhattan skyline. It is a column of green glass that evokes memories of the Wizard of Oz, of the Emerald City, and in some respects the proverbial Wizard himself. Today, Molly Parkman is off to see the Wizard.

One hundred and sixty-seven floors from the street, Molly is accompanied by her own personal Cowardly Lion. “Everything’s going to be fine,” is the calm reassurances that her adoptive father Matt offers as he places a heavy hand on her small shoulder. The pair had been summoned by Arthur Petrelli for what Matt amounts to a personal favor, a use of Molly’s unique ability for yet unknown purposes. Coming to the Pinehearst building, meeting Arthur face-to-face for the first time, it’s a widening experience of Molly’s world, much as coming to Oz was for Dorothy. So far, though, no Wicked Witches.

When the elevator doors open to the executive level floor, there is a tall and thin silhouette of a man waiting to greet the Parkmans. “Matthew,” is delivered with a deep, smooth voice, “it’s a pleasure to see you again. And you must be Molly.” Roger Goodman puts on a charming facade, for a man with all of the limbs and willowy build of the Scarecrow. His dark eyes square on Molly and one long-fingered hand is offered out to her as he flashes a charmed smile.

Behind him, the green glass doors that lead to Arthur’s office are obscured by their frosted texture. Arthur’s personal assistant Dirk Dickson chats idly on the phone, occasionally watching the scene unfolding in the executive-floor lobby.

Pinehearst Tower

January 23rd

3:12 pm

They always came.

Didn't matter what shape, color, size, accent… they always came. Goodman was a different face on the same revolving door of bodies that she met with before using her ability for their own purposes. She had grown numb to it at this point and as they walk into the lobby of Arthur’s office, she looks around with mild interest before morphing into a look of exaggerated wonder. Papa Parkman’s boss is here and though she calls herself a ‘big girl’ to he and Papa Momo inside Molly feels nerves and it's taking all she has to not shake uncontrollably in front of the tall Scarecrow of a man.

“That's me.” She says lightly with a warm smile, one that totally betrays the feelings on the inside before removing her hand from Molly’s ‘Guardian Angel’ Matt with a look up towards him before extending her small hand to Roger’s. She had gotten good at appearing to be what was the word she heard Thompson use? Malleable. Yes she had made sure to write that one fifty times so she could remember the correct spelling.

But Molly had no reason to fear these men today. They put on a nicer face then those at the Company and being as young as she is.. she didn't get much say in the matters of her life. Yet.

“The tower is very pretty. You don't keep princesses locked away at the top here do you?” It's an innocent question from the young girl who looks like she's recounting the memory of a scary story that one of her Papa’s most of her told her.

“No princesses here today,” Goodman notes with a surprisingly good nature around children, “other than the one I have the present company of.” That addendum elicits a smirk from Matt and a bob of his head into a series of sharp nods.

“Okay, okay,” Matt playfully grouses, “no filling her head with those sorts of expectations or Kay and I are going to become serfs in our own home.” Matt meets Goodman with a firm handshake, one of both professional courtesy and personal respect. The two go back all the way to the Vanguard crisis in 2009, and they had been close work associates ever since, even if on dramatically different sides of the fence.

Motioning to Matt and Molly to follow, Goodman begins to walk ahead toward Arthur’s office. Helpfully, Dirk motions with one hand and a perfunctory, “Mr. Petrelli will see you now.” Of course he will, Dirk.

She'd rather be the Queen of an Undisclosed Island but she’ll settle for princess of Pinehearst Tower today. Molly giggles at Matt, “You would be the best butler though!” The hint of a lie in that face while she grins up at Matt before flicking her gaze over to Roger as they walk up to the doors of the office she blinks down at Dirk’s nameplate.

“Pa-Dad,” Papa Matt and Papa Momo were nicknames she was trying to grow out of. Force herself out of really. The young girl looks entirely too serious as she whispers to both the men as they past the desk. “Is his name real?”

A moment later. “Is Peter around?” Schoolgirl crushes.

His name is very real, and it’s not polite to make fun of people’s names. Matt insinuates as subtly as he can, as the man who was made fun of with Monopoly-related jokes as a child. Free Parkmaning, and so on. Kids are both cruel, and stupid.

“Peter is working right now,” Goodman admits in a hushed tone as he pushes the doors to Arthur’s office open, “but I’m sure Mr. Petrelli would pass along a kind word from you to his son if you asked nicely.”

The spacious office is brightly lit at this hour of day. The curving wall of green-tinted glass floods the room with light and the sprawling panorama of Central Park and Manhattan is especially verdant today. Arthur Petrelli stands in a patriarchal pose behind his desk, one hand on the back of the chair and steady stare fixed on Goodman and Parkman as they enter. Though that look soon sweeps down to Molly.

There she is,” Arthur says with all the charm of a kind old grandfather, his everybody loves Arthur public persona. “Matt, you’re in a considerable amount of trouble,” Arthur quickly notes, eliciting a brief look of panic from Matt. “Because you hadn’t told me she got this tall.” Matt relaxes, immediately, and offers a huffing series of nervous laughs to Arthur.

“She’s growing like a weed,” Matt admits with a hand still on Molly’s shoulder. “What can we help you with, Mr. Petrelli.” The we in that sentence elicits a look from Arthur to Goodman, and from Goodman to Matt.

“I’m sorry, Matt, but Arthur’s asked for this to be a closed meeting.” Goodman reluctantly informs his friend, and Matt fires a look of wary uncertainty right back at Goodman.

“Ok, nobody told…” Matt brings one hand up to his brow, massaging his temple. “I’m not comfortable with this. Molly’s ability puts her at serious risk depending on the target. You remember what happened with Maury when— ”

Arthur raises one hand, smiling patiently. “Matt, please. Of anyone, you know you can trust me, right? I’ve been looking out for you and your family for a long time. But there’s some things that are… corporate secrets.” Matt remains tense, the hand on Molly’s shoulder firm now.

“She’ll be fine,” Goodman reassures, “I promise.”

Entering the office of such a powerful man and as a well received guest was mind boggling and Molly does in fact take a moment to feel that. Things happened in this office, in this tower. Her father's helped with that work and she was inclined to enter the “family business”. She forgot sometimes, what her real dad use to do. That thought pulls a frown out of the girl but then Arthur is being his usual charming self and her smile lights up faster than you could say Gameboy PS. And while yes, he was who needed her ability, he was also her savior in a sense. One of them, her feelings were complicated on the matter.

“Hi Arthur!” The man who saved her from the Company and her dads too. Her red sweater she wears is pulled down to seem more presentable, Momma Kay always said that Arthur was a serious businessman, very proper. No hair out of place, dark blonde hair is held in place by a small single braid style.

But her father is put off and she notices in the way he tightens his grip on her shoulder as well as the words ‘closed meeting’. She knows what that means and there's a moment of fear in those blue eyes as Matt mentions The Nightmare Man. Molly’s face turns upwards to look Matt in the eye. Her nerves were steel, just like when she had to hide in the closet. The day Papa Matt found her. She put that brave face on that her mother had said it was time to wear. Big Girl Face.

“I'll be fine dad I promise.” Not that it's her doing Matt is worried about but she's not looking to get embarrassed by the overbearing dad. She smiles, “No more Nightmare Man you said remember?” He did promise.

The look Matt gives her is one of momentary uncertainty, serious and silent, but then as he looks to Goodman and then Arthur, Matt finally lifts his hand from Molly’s shoulder. “No more Nightmare Man…” he agrees, the fingers on that hand curling tightly to his palm. “Arthur,” Matt says in deferential resignation, “Goodman.” A little more pointedly, there, but only just so.

Matt lifts a hand, gently brushing knuckles under Molly’s chin, and then looks back at Arthur one last. “Mister Secretary,” Arthur says with a warm smile, before Matt departs back into the lobby and shuts the doors behind himself.

At Matt’s departure, Arthur walks over to his desk and picks up a file and begins spreading out photographs. “Alright , Molly, why don’t we come over here and see what we can do. There’s some dangerous people who’ve snuck into the country, and we need your help to find them before they can hurt anyone.”

Goodman fills in Matt’s spot, gently placing a hand on Molly’s back and guiding her forward.

I’ll be safe. Love you.

It's projected outwards to her father’s retreating back and she watched him for a moment before turning back to Arthur. Upon hearing about dangerous people sneaking around, Molly looks up at Arthur as they walk. “Terrorist?”

She had seen news of people who liked to blow up buildings and people. Like PARIAH. She didn't like those sorts of people at all. She's nervous though, the words of her father just a moment ago ringing in her head. Nightman Man. But he was gone, Matt had promised. He didn't keep all of his but he made sure.

Walking over to the man and the desk with photos, Molly takes the first one and looks deeply at the face. She doesn't look up at Arthur for a few moments but when she does the look an innocent, nervous little girl are gone. Instead the face of a child who has endured way too much, too soon stares up at him. “I need to ask you a favor.” To the point. She looks ahead of them, making sure her father is gone.

Goodman’s brows shoot up like Molly just asked Arthur if he’d sing a song for her, for how preposterous it sounds. But he keeps that reservation close to his chest, eliciting a smirk from Arthur when he catches the expression.

“That sounds fair enough, Molly,” Arthur relents, taking a seat on the corner of his desk. The photographs spread out at his side mostly show Penn Station just a few blocks away, though some show a blonde woman with a bandage on one side of her face, and another shows a dark-skinned man with dark, curly hair.

“What can I do for you?” Arthur asks, like the proverbial Wizard.

Swallowing hard, she almost wants to ask for water but that would be a waste of her one wish. Maybe she gets three though she doesn't dare ask that question. And so Molly places the photo down on the table and faces Arthur head on. If she were on the brink of tears you wouldn't know it but her body does vibrate, shake in grief, rage.. loss.

Cold blue eyes stare up into Arthur’s, “Kill Gabriel Gray.” The irises wobble but she holds her mouth firm.

Goodman’s eyes widen at the request, and he immediately looks at Arthur with a stunned expression. Arthur, to his credit, remains markedly calm even as he wrings his hands together. Quiet for a moment, Arthur’s expression belies his answer before it’s even slipped past his lips. “I understand your anger,” is as diplomatic as he can be, “and trust me that my son had a similar request once upon a not-so-distant time. But…” Arthur looks to Goodman, then back. “It isn’t, unfortunately, that simple.”

“I’m a powerful man, Molly, but even I have my limitations. Gabriel’s served his time and he’s done a great service to this country and the whole world by helping root out the remainder of the Vanguard and put the ones that aren’t dead behind bars.” Looking Molly up and down, Arthur raises one brow. “Nothing will bring your parents back, no matter how much you might want them to.”

“Peter gets a parent still.” She's on the verge of saying It’s Not Fair but she realizes that life isn't fair. Maybe it's not fair to place Arthur in such a position, maybe it wasn't fair that Molly even felt the need to in the first place. Her expression is hard though tears almost cloud her vision before she hastily wipes them away. “One miracle doesn't wash away the stain, of that ma- monster.”

His answer isn't fair to her either. It's not a fair day. Molly holds his gaze for a moment longer before dropping her head and shrugging her shoulders. “My parents are serving a life sentence as fertilizer,” she heard that one on a TV show. “He should be too.” The young teen sighs and sniffs as a tear drops from her cheek to the surface of the table.

Not now then. But someday. She promises to herself. To her parents. “I'm sorry.” She says softly and it feels like there's a huge weight lifted off of her chest, she had been debating on whether or not to ask since she heard the news she would be coming here today.

“I don’t disagree with you,” Arthur says in a diplomatic tone of voice, assuaging Goodman’s concerns but not his surprise. “But right now we have to make sure that other people, who might be just as dangerous, can’t hurt anyone else like your parents.” To that, Arthur moves a photograph closer to Molly, of the curly-haired man with the stubble and dark clothes.

“We believe this man’s name is Mateo Javier Ruiz,” Arthur holds the photograph out for Molly. “He has the power to create vortexes and is… very dangerous. We want you to help us identify where he is, can you do that for us?” From where he sits on the corner of his desk, Arthur offers a sidelong look to Goodman, then settles his attention back on Molly, trying to lead the conversation away from the minefield topic of Gabriel Gray.

Hearing that Arthur doesn't disagree gives her a small pinch of comfort but knowing that she isn't going to get what she wants out of that request presently means it's time to move on to what she is really here for. Molly takes the photo, running her fingers over the man's face. He looks nice enough but she knows looks can be deceiving and so when asked if she can find him she can't help but smirk.

Digging into her pocket she pulls out a map that's been folded one too many times. Various marks in different colors mark up the edges, little notes to herself. It closely inspected the letter S in bold lettering can be seen more than any other note. Someone's been doing their own tracking. Or watching to make sure the Boogeyman doesn't end up coming for her without Molly being aware. He’d never catch her again. Shaking her head to rid her thoughts of that shadow, she holds the photo of Mateo and closes her eyes, finger held out over the map as her eyelids start to flutter and her finger begins to move slowly on the map.

Slowly, Goodman creeps over to watch the process in effect. No matter how many times he'd seen Molly use her ability, the uncanny accuracy she possessed and continued to hone was frightening. It frightened him when he was with the Company, and it frightens him today. With her ability, there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

“Amazing,” Arthur praises as Molly begins to trace her finger along the map. “Peter’s tried to use your ability before, but he lacks… something analytical to parse the information the way you do. He gets gut feelings and instincts but that can't translate to paper.” Smiling, Arthur continues to watch her trace the map. “Some people are just… unable to be replicated.”

That comment elicits a brief look from Goodman to Arthur, but is otherwise silent. When Molly finally pins down the location on the map, Arthur’s smile spreads wider and he slides off of the desk and rests one hand on Molly’s shoulder. “Molly, you are a treasure. I'll see what I can do about your… request, at some point. Because I think you're right. Eventually, that has to happen.”

Turning to Goodman, Arthur makes his next intentions crystal clear. “Get my son on the phone, tell him it's urgent. And…”

A smile slowly spreads across Arthur’s face.

“Get me Odessa.”

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