To The Work


iago_icon.gif nathan_icon.gif peter_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title To The Work
Synopsis Nathan bargains his freedom with Peter, before Kazimir reintroduces himself to Iago.
Date December 19, 2009

Argentina: Within Cerro de Hierro Negro

The sonorous sounds of Jensen Raith's buzzing snores are almost as constant as the whir of electricity, the tik-tick-tik of metal claws outside the barred entrance of the cell that Peter Petrelli finds himself behind, in the same way Kazimir Volken is sealed up in the flesh of the younger man. It's been long enough, now, that all three cellmates are well used to the glimmering silver of the tiny, prehistorically shaped robot that skitters to and fro outside the hallway, all jerky insect motion and utterly impervious to Peter's degenerative tendrils, infuriatingly metal and wire and plastic. The mountain-deep bunker has clearly gotten some upgrades since the last time Kazimir walked its halls.

Nathan still has a set of bars between he and the two Vanguard man — the ability to fly makes keeping him difficult, frustration reminiscent of a fist clasped around a moth frantic to escape. He's taken to following Raith's cue, lying upon the secured bench within his cell, hands folded on his midsection and trying to both ignore and sleep through the presence of what isn't quite his brother. But curiousity is a bitch.

There's a robotic sort of chirp, and the little guardian bot out the hallway suddenly takes off at the sight of rodent movement. Nathan twitches a glance in that direction, inevitably seeks out Peter's silhouette, then snaps a look to the rocky ceiling above.

It's only once the whirr of another small sentry comes and goes in the distance that Kazimir slowly rises up from where he sits in the middle of that concrete room, brushing off his slacks, taking a slow pace around the confines of his cell towards where Nathan's partition keeps him seperate from Kazimir and Raith. Blue eyes look back towards Jensen, a deep sigh accompanying the affirmation of the man being asleep, and then a quiet clang of a knuckle against the bars of Nathan's cell. "You awake?" The rough tone of Kaizmir's voice is only passingly familiar as Peter's, but he hasn't taken a soft tone with his brother in many years.

Standing there in the doorway of that cell, it is something of a reversal of the last time Peter and Nathan Petrelli were together, but back then it was Peter who was so much the prisoner and Nathan the guest. Hector may have aspirations of keeping Kazimir here behind these bars, but it is only a temporary setback, unlike Nathan's predicament.

"You need to tell me who you are, right now…" It's as much of a demand as it is a question, and it's highly likely that the man in the black suit isn't going to like the answer. Or the explanation.

"A spy, disguised as the President of the United States as a means of being inconspicuous," is a mumbled response, Nathan reluctantly steering his gaze from the ceiling to regard the other man through he bars. A shift of weight follows levering himself up, boots touching down to cement with a rustle of his jungle-gear garb. He pushes a hand through lank hair, before getting to his feet— only to push toes off cement, steering himself up into the air by a few feet, on a trajectory that brings him landing closer towards the barred entrance to his cave.

His hands splay. Tada. "Should I be asking you that question?" he pitches, studying the features of his younger brother with a fair amount of scrutiny, brow wrinkling under its sheen reflecting harsh light.

"Cute," Kazimir states flatly, looking back over his shoulder to Jensen, "really cute." When blue eyes settle back on Nathan again, it's with a look of frustration more so than before. "If you're really Nathan, how the hell did they get you? I saw you just a few weeks ago, you tracked me down and sent me on this whole mission. Did they put a big net up over the house? Or did you fly into a bright and shiny light and get confused?" The venom isn't as strong as it once was in that voice, but the tone, the inflection, the jabs, those aren't Kazimir Volken's speech, his mannerisms, his cadence — it's Peter.

"Keep your voice down," Peter adds, leaning closer to the bars. "Just— give me a reason to believe that you're you." The sound of his voice is more of a plea than anything, he needs something to ground him back in what he knows, something sane, something familiar.

Holy shit. Is what Nathan's expression conveys, a few words into the sharp words dealt his way. There are few people in the world who talk to him like that — one of them would be his little brother. He doesn't come any closer, just narrows his eyes in something like wariness, but not shock, anymore. There are few things about Peter anymore that can surprise him. It's almost reassuring to know he can do it instead. Listening, two bristly brows go up in surprise at what he has to say, smile spreading in amusement— it's easier than getting angry.

"He sent you down here? Christ. Either he thinks I'm dead or he has some kinda sense of humour." His arms fold, back acquiring militant posture despite his bedraggled appearance. "Welcome back. I was starting to miss this, you know. The man who sent you here— he isn't me. He's a version of me, from the future. Took back what he felt was his and I failed to reclaim it."

The plea doesn't go ignored, though, Nathan vaguely disarmed before lowering his voice even quieter. "Hunting with dad. You couldn't take the shot, and I did it for you. You sulked for days. The treehouse, at the estate up north, I got you whiskey for the first time. Prayin' Simon doesn't do the same thing some day. After I came home from the airforce for the last time, you were the only one I let into the room for a week until mom stopped listening." The bush of the beginnings of his beard is slightly too thick to disguise old scars at his chin, but the memory of them fresh is plenty vivid. An eyebrow goes up, silent inquiry.

"Christ, Nathan it really is you…" For the first time in a long time, Peter feels a weight of relief at the presence of his brother. For a time, too, the thought that maybe all of the evils done in Nathan's name might have been done by this imposter. But all good thoughts, just like all good things, eventually come to an end. "From the future…" Peter recalls Helena, describing the future she went to, the people that came back to change it. Brows furrow, a scowl forms on his lips, that was after Moab. Some of that light in Peter's eyes fade, and his jaw tenses.

"I should let you rot in here like you let me rot in that desert." If that weren't a confirmation that he's Peter, very little could be. "But right now, you're a whole lot more useful to me out of this prison than inside." Peter's blue eyes flick towards the sound of another senty whirring past, then back to Nathan. "We aren't having this conversation, I'm not your brother. There's… it's complicated, but the people here, they have to believe, I mean really believe that I'm possessed by someone; Kazimir Volken. He's… their leader. Old, real old, really…" One gloved hand waves in the air dismissively. "It's not important, just— they can't know I'm in control. No one can. I don't know who can read minds, who can sense lies. I have a plan, to save everyone, but in order to do it, everyone has to believe that I'm him."

Shifting away form the bars, Peter eyes down the hall for a moment, then looks back to Nathan. "They've got a bomb, Nathan. A nuclear warhead, we're here to stop it, but right now I need to be out of this cell. I didn't… know you were here, hell I didn't think anyone would be here, except the guy who locked us up. I need to get him out of this country and back to the USS George Washington."

The news of a bomb doesn't seem to phase the man at all — the subtle surprise that makes his eyes brighter is not the kind of shock that goes along with such a discovery, more the kind that might come with uncovering a shared hobby of kinds. Nathan's hands tuck casually into his pockets, letting silence stretch taut between them before he steps forward just a little closer. "I'll keep any secret you want as long as you get me out of." A beat, then—

"As well as information about the warhead. I never got in close enough to know exactly where it's stashed, if you know what I mean, but they sure as hell seem prepared to have it."

"It's not here…" Peter says flatly, looking over his shoulder. "I know where it is, but I don't trust anyone enough to tell them, not until I know that I can disarm it and make it so no one can use it— not anyone." Blue eyes flick back to Nathan, sharp and intent. They are the one thing separating this man from the real Peter, those sky-blue eyes that belong to another man. "What the hell am I going to do with you if I get you out of here? You can't go back with your… with you running things. Where're you going to go? I'm not just going to let you run free. Hell, I'm not even sure if it's a bad thing an older, wiser you is in the White House."

Tilting his head to the side, Peter gives furthered scrutiny to his brother. "He made a deal with us, with everyone who's working to stop this. We get a blank slate, tabula rasa." One hand waves sharply in the air at that word. "We get to start over again, and there's some people on this mission that deserve it. Not like you and me. Real, good people. I don't want you screwing that up for them."

And up to the bars now, one gripping cold metal, rough against his palm and stare blazing across at Peter as if prepared to argue him down as he's done so many times before. "I just want my life back. Not the job. I want my wife, my sons. I want the opportunity to get them back, and I don't care how useless it seems now. But think about it, how much I would owe you if I did get out of here, if I did topple him. He holds the keys to you and your friends' freedom — you hold mine." Meeting eyes gone iceberg blue is unsettling, so used to the dark Petrelli stare, but he doesn't let it show on his face.

Nathan takes a breath, glancing over Peter's shoulder, then towards where Raith is huddled, and back to his brother. "You and dad put him in jail," he states, finally. "In the future he comes from. He spent years in the same hole we both put you in. You want to take your revenge out on me? He has the same sins, except with more of a reason to hate you.

"If I could use the bomb as leverage— " That thought is quickly aborted, for the simple reason that the amount of possibilities in contrast to a locked age have the older man's mind reeling too much to talk it all out, brow tensed on consternation as he thinks.

Dark brows furrow, and Peter's attention on Nathan is sharpened down to a knife's edge. The scar that cuts across his face seems even more stark in the lighting here, cast against the blue of his eyes, the pallor of his skin and the thinness of his face. His silence says a great deal, both about the story of the other Nathan's history, how he became to be. There's a tightness at the corners of Peter's eyes, a frown that cuts almost as deep as the scar, but not nearly as deep as a brother's betrayal. Those last few words are enough to shore up Peter's emotions, wall things up and brick them off.

"I'll get you out of here…" The reluctance in Peter's voice speaks volumes, "but as far as expecting anything from you, I know better than to— " Something catches Peter's attention, eyes flicking to the side and brows furrowing. It sounds like footsteps, and he's quick to tense up and take a step back and away from the bars. "If you were the real President, I'm certain someone would have been looking for you by now." Like a light switch, from Peter to Kazimir. It's almost difficult to tell which one is wearing which as a mask.

But appearances must be kept.

Nathan's eyes darken when the whiny Peter-voice firms up into some older entity; sends a glance beyond him, before turning his back. He said he wouldn't give up the charade — it doesn't mean he wants to participate. Lazy strides carry the President towards the bench he'd been lying upon before and he sets about sitting down, reclining once more, gaze turned from bars to wall.

Meanwhile, that steady set of foot steps comes echoing down the hallway — uneven, too, in a familiar kind of way, as if one leg were injured, or longer, or somehow heavier than the other, as much as two sets of boots are what touches the ground. As the broad-shouldered silhouette comes around the corner, one aforementioned boot rather casually kicks aside a skittering robot, two feet in height, light weight and bird-like. Its eyes flash, claws scrabbling to right itself, before continuing its guard-dog pace outside the bars.

Iago Ramirez steps into the door frame, slicing a glance towards Nathan's corner, and then regarding the two men. His black clothing is stained in dust, and he brings with him the scent of dirt and horse. Expression impassive, he does nothing for the moment, mouth flattened into a line and eyes heavy hooded.

The whispered conversation was easy to ignore, but the heavy bootsteps are too much for a light sleeper. And Jensen Raith has been a light sleeper since he was a Ranger. With a slight start, his head rises and his eyes open, looking out at the world from the corner he fell asleep sitting in. Yep; still in this crappy shithole. It's not without a change of the scenery, however.

With a muffled groan, the ex-… current… ex-?… Spy rises and stretches, working the blood into flowing more freely. With a pop-pop from his neck, Raith ambles away from the wall and has a look at who has come to join them, from a safe distance, of course. And immediately, he's got a question. "Can I come out of here yet, muchacho?"

"About time, Rameirez." Turning from the bars, gloved hands folded behind his back and back suit kept immaculate save for a little dust on one shoulder where he'd been leaning by the bars, Kazimir comes walking in slow swagger towards the bars dividing him from Iago. "I suspect that you have good reason to keep me detained behind these bars while Braxton is given the run of the field?" Blue eyes stare up at the tall, dark-haired man as Peter's modest height — comparable to Kazimir's — is a hand's length away from the bars. Then, despite his chastising, there's a crack of lopsided smile offered to the tall man.

"It's been a long time, Iago…" Those blue eyes are distinctive, telling, like a signature etched across Peter's scarred face. "Jensen could use something to eat, and I would not turn aside something warm to drink. The hike up this mountain may have been easier with these spry legs, but the weight of so much on my mind made it considerably more difficult."

Iago ambles up just as close to the bars, typically himself in that he lets nothing flicker across his face, as much as he meets the eyes of the men that address him — a lingering stare of wary recognition for Raith, and then lazy study of the man claiming to be Volken, unimpressed even as those familiar sounding words come at such command at him. Eventually, Iago raises one big block hand, then rubs the side of his face. "Kazimir Volken died in New York City," he says, words slogging with his accent and general demeanor, thick and low. "The leaders of Vanguard run their own dominions. They work alone."

And with that judgment passed, he steps back, turning all the way for as long as it takes for him to get to the panel in the wall. He picks out buttons among the metal, and with a soft whirr, the bars to their cell retract as swiftly as they'd come down. "Tontos. All of them. I knew you could not die. You are welcome here, seƱor."

Nathan manages not to stare, keeping his eyes firmly closed as much as disbelief makes his expression slightly loose at the jaw, tense at the brow.

"I apologise for Steel — he, like the others, doubted your resilience. I was busy sending a message to the, ah, infestation in the jungle. Giving my horse some exercise," Iago says, mouth managing to pull into something of a wry smile if only for a few seconds. He nods to Raith, now that the necessary words have been passed to their leader.

"Must be a pretty serious 'infestation' if you had to take care of it yourself," Raith comments. He arches his back slightly, eliciting another series of pops as the joint work themselves loose, and then fixes Iago with a very deliberate stare. "Save any for me?" he asks, "Haven't gotten a good workout with a shootin' iron for months. All this 'laying low' is pissing me off and my trigger finger's got a real bad itch, you dig?"

"Also wouldn't mind a little tequila, if you got it, and some food, like the boss said. Been a long hike getting up here."

"I'm interested in seeing how things have changed in my absence. You understand the necessity in secrecy in affairs, no doubt. After such a narrow defeat in America, preparing the failsafe has been a decdedly difficult endeavor." The next few questions, as well, seem oddly genuine. "I do wonder, however, if you have informed…" he hesitates, giving the new name time to settle in his mouth, "Steel about what is coming? He never seemed the type to so readily accept the collapse of what he held dear in his old life."

Another nod, Iago raises a hand and flipping fingers inwards to his palm. Come along, is the only response Raith gets — along with a hitch of a smile that may or may not be agreement. He turns his back on them again, deftly stepping around the guarding robot as opposed to kicking it, this time. No look is traded back to Nathan, who doesn't expect one when he's summarily left behind. Iago leads them out with his limp gait, and there's the barely detectable sound of shifting metal coming from somewhere on his person.

"Steel knows what he must know to operate the facility and stay safe until that is out of my hands. That is all. My cell has depleted since the last time you have been here — I can count on my hands the men under my direct command who operate from the stronghold. Steel has provided me with more than enough to make up for it, si? I hope his friends did not give you both any trouble."

There's a the shhwfft sound of an automated door sliding open, the air growing a little warmer as if they were headed more towards the exterior of the mountain. The halls are paved in cement and raw rock both, desolate, free of people, though now and then the sound of a footstep or two echoes from somewhere distant. Workshops are passed by, empty bunkers where men used to live, the lights line orange and white down the edges of the ceiling.

"Won't give them much fun. You know that, right?" Raith says in regards to taking care of the rest of Alpha Team, "A kid, two women and a slack-jawed faggot? You could probably throw some rotten fruit at them from the trees and they die from fright." Raith takes note of the path taken to reach the elevator, and of the surroundings. He may have to come back through here unescorted and in a real hurry some time later. "Hey, can we actually try that? That'll be a blast, I can already tell."

"Yes, Steel does seem to have some new… tricks up his sleeve since last we spoke. The devil's hands have proven to me quite busy." A blue-eyed stare is offered back towards Raith, fleeting, then attention is turned to Iago. "Once we've taken time to rest, I need to access what communications equipment you have available here to contact the other cell leaders, see what still remains. There is a concerted global effort to topple everything we have so dilligently worked to construct, and I will not be allowed to fail twice."

Looking down a corridor as he passes, Kazimir's brows furrow, creasing the scar across his face before looking back up to Iago. "That may not be an entirely bad idea. If you're sending your men out again, let Jensen entertain himself with them?" Dark brows go up, and Kazimir looks to Raith with a lopsided smile. "I'm sure he's got something up his sleeve he's been looking forward to using. In the meantime, I can attempt to reunite communications, I know that Wagner will not respond to anyone but myself, if he's not dropped off the grid entirely. With any luck, I'll be able to reach Grigori and Edmond in enough time to give them a schedule."

He pauses, verbally, not physically, "We're already past the twelfth, which means there is not much more time before the plan goes into effect." Kazimir's blue eyes turn to linger on Iago's back, flagging behind him a few paces. "But… we can talk about that more, later. For now, some food, and perhaps some catching up. Then… we will discuss the future. The Work," Kazimir notes with a fond smile, "she is never done."

"They have one of my men," Iago points out, leading the way into the elevator and hitting a button that indicates high ascent. "Rosco will likely kill them in their sleep, if they have not already finished him. If not— it is just so much sport, eh?" The slick sound of the elevator gliding up fills their ears.

The elevator doors swish open, and humid wind instantly hits them, along with bright sunlight that sends people blinking in contrast to the darkness and harsher lights of the mountain's interior. The sky is blue over head, and the valley of jungle that stretches out from the mountain is a tumbling green carpet of landscape, and shade is provided from the gazebo that Iago leads both men onto. They're not along, with a circular, fully stocked bar crowding towards the left — occupied by one Hector Steel, characterised by his broad shoulders, burgundy pinstripe three-piece and head of frosted hair that currently rests upon the his folded arms, an unfinished drink held by a loosely unconscious hand.

The woman behind the bar straightens up, Latina and wearing what appears to be a lime-green one-piece bathing suit, a flower in her hair and an ugly branded V on her cheek. Despite this, she smiles with her eyes as Iago approaches, placing her hands upon the edge of the bar. "«What can I get you?»" she asks, her voice demure, before glancing towards Peter and Raith. "«And your friends?»"

Iago braces a hand on Hector's shoulder, and shoves. The stout Englishman promptly slides off the stool, landing with a soft thud on the floor of the shady gazebo, and barely even grunting in response as he continues to snooze. The woman picks up his unfinished glass, and wipes down the bench with expert grace. "«Tequila, and send for food as well. These are honoured guests.»

"Sit, gentlemen," Iago states, to the two Vanguard men. Somewhere over his shoulder, Jeff the llama can be seen further away, nosing at grass with a flick of his tail. Beyond him, is a view of the silo itself, nestled in the crater of the mountain. "And let us make a toast to the Work."

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