Truth In The Reflection


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title Truth in the Reflection
Synopsis Peter recieves orders to pick up Doctor Salonga from Jessica.
Date October 2, 2008

Upper West Side: Abandoned Tenement

Jessica isn't sure she can trust the Company as far as she can throw it. But it's the only way out she can see that doesn't involve her being hunted non-stop. She looks over to the room that Claudine is in, unconscious and tied up, and then back around. Some of the Gestapo should be showing up soon.

Soon happens to come in the appearance of a pair of headlights shining through the darkened windows of the tenement building building. A single black sedan rolls up towards the front parking lot, matting down grass that hads grown up through the concrete. After a few moments, the engine turns off, but the headlights still shine through the windows, casting bright light in irregular patterns through the broken glass. Two doors open and then slam shut, a pair of voices outside begin a quiet conversation, unaware of exactly where Jessica Sanders is hiding. "You know," One of them begins, his voice having a crisp British accent, "I've half a mind just to taser this broad an' bring 'er back in anyway, right?"

"Woods." Another voice, far more American and far more agitated seems to clip the other's enthusiasm, "We're not here to do that. Bob gave us specific orders, she called in and offered a trade for her safety. He's agreed. Just… stay back and keep quiet, alright?" The voices grow closer, approaching the front of the building. "Miss Sanders!?" The american calls out, and she can see him now through one of the busted windows, a fall and dark haired man in his twenties, a distinctive scar cutting across his face. Jessica wouldn't recognize him, but other residents in her mind would. "We're waiting."

Jessica comes out of the building. She has a handgun, and it's appropriately enough, in her hand. Just in case she needs to shoot somebody. "You're the collection squad?" Of course, as mentioned…yeah. Certain people in her brain DO know that face. Peter Petrelli?! Niki's internal monologue speaks to Jessica through one of the windows' reflections. What in the world is he doing here?

The other man comes into view once Jessica slips out of the building, about the same height as Peter, lanky and wiry with short cropped blonde hair and a perturbed expression on his face. He, much like Peter, is holding his hands up with his palms out to show that he's unarmed. Though, unlike Peter, he doesn't seem as comfortable about it. "Miss Sanders," Peter's tone of voice smacks of presumed authority, "We're here for Doctor Salonga." He motions to his partner behind him, who moves slowly over to the car and opens one of the back doors. "We don't want to make a scene of this, Mister Bishop just wants to get his agent back, and any information you could give us about the location of Elle Bishop will show a willingness to cooperate on your part." Peter keeps his hands held up, at about shoulder level. He looks different, thinner, in a suit.

The tall blonde replies "She's in the building. Apartment 103. Out cold, but she's fine other than that." Something in the window is distracting her, and she says to neither of the agents "Who?"

Peter tenses when he sees Jessica look at the window, and snaps one of his fingers twice on his right hand, trying to draw her attention away, "Jessica, stay with me." He says in a gentle tone of voice, "I'm going to direct my partner to pick up Agent Salonga." Peter turns slowly, looking over his shoulder to Agent Woods, motioning to the interior of the building. Woods nods, edging around Peter with his hands still raised, and when he gets to the doorway he hesitates, watching the two for a moment.

"Petrelli, you going to be — " Woods' concern is cut off by Peter just shooting a glance to the man, and motioning with his nose for him to get inside. "Right-o." He murmurs, slipping into the apartment building through the doorway Jessica had come out of. With Woods gone, Peter turns his focus to Jessica, slowly lowering his hands in an attempt to relax the atmosphere.

"Jessica, I need you to tell me where Agent Bishop is. Adam Munroe is a remarkably dangerous person, and if you can help us get Elle out of his hands, it will reflect well upon you. Give people more incentive to trust you…" He looks to the window that had taken Jessica's focus, trying to discern exactly how she knows him, the confusion is evident in his expression as he looks back at her.

Jessica looks back to Peter a moment. "—I…" It's rare the blonde hitwoman is at a loss for words, but Niki's pushing HARD, and it's forcing her to have to give attention to it. "They're moving frequently. Initial safehouse was Brooklyn, then a bit outside the city." She gives both addresses, then a third. "That's where they were when I last saw them, 2 days ago." And Niki is shouting from the reflection. Peter Petrelli! Niki slams her palms up against the window. You know, the brother of the guy you decided to screw at Linderman's request? The politician? Something is going on. Now Let. Me. OUT! Another slamming of palms against glass.

Peter notices the disassociation going on, furrowing his brow as he repeats the addresses to himself over and over again, trying to commit it to memory. His eyes shoot to the window, though, at the mental scream he hears inside of Jessica's head. "Nathan?" His eyes narrow, the words mumbled on his lips, and he looks back to the blonde with an intent expression. "What's going on, how do you know me?" Peter tilts his head to the side, starting to take a step towards Jessica, but stops when he realizes how she might react. "I… Did we know each other?"

Jessica looks back to Peter. "I…look. I've told you what I know. I'm getting out of here." She says, and she looks distressed, clearly. She starts to take a few steps away, and Niki continues to shriek at her from the window. She slams her hands against the window again…and then she gets a flash of inspiration. The girl in the mirror looks over at Peter, not Jessica. PETER!!! If he knows what he seems to know, somehow he can hear her. HELP ME! Get me out!

Watching Jessica in the manner one would look at a wild animal, Peter tenses. As she begins to back away, some of that tension fades, but the unanswered questions simply leave a lingering and bitter taste in his mouth. When he hears Niki cry out again, his eyes dart over to the window Jessica had been staring in, then back at her. "Wait." He holds up one hand, "Jessica, relax. Are…" His eyes dart from side to side, Peter tries to stall for time, jaw clenching as he struggles for an idea. "Are you sure there's nothing else you can tell me about where Agent Bishop is?" Warily watching the frighteningly strong woman, Peter doesn't dare make any sharp movements, doesn't dare take any unnecessary risks — He's seen what she can do, in her file.

Jessica looks at Peter. "I told you, I know where she -was-, not where she is, necessarily. The faster you move, the less time you waste with me, the more likely you'll find her intact." She winces as if she has a headache and looks back at the window again, hair whipping about as she turns her head. "Shut up!"

Straining a harsh sigh through his nose, Peter takes a few steps forward. "Niki, I know you can hear me," It's a dangerous risk, "Niki if you can help me, you have to. You know you're strong enough to take charge of yourself, remember what Doctor Salonga was helping you understand." Peter's hand remains outstretched, as if offering it to the tall woman. "Come on, you know you need help. We can still help you, and we know that's what you — "

Peter's attention is broken as Agent Woods comes struggling through the door, hauling Claudine over his shoulder, "Damnit Pete, get the car running!" Peter's eyes snap to the agent, looking surprised by his hasty return, and more surprised that he's managing to heft Claudine's weight. Peter's played his hand, and Woods' distraction cost him any more negotiation time with Niki and Jessica, the only hope now rested in Niki's willpower.

The blonde snaps her hand up, gun aimed at Peter. "Shut -up-!" she hisses in annoyance. And then Niki's still beating on the glass…and the sudden distraction that "dealing with Peter" provides gives her a moment. She hesitates, and then lowers the gun. "Peter? What are you doing working for them?" she asks, in confusion.

When the gun is raised, Woods ducks low and rushes towards the car with Claudine, "Christ, Peter, get in the goddamned car before she shoots us!" Peter's eyes whip over to Woods, watching him haul Claudine into the car, then flit back to Jessica. He's dumbfounded by her question, head canted to the side for a moment in a look of confusion.

"They helped me, Niki." To Peter, it is the only truth he knows, "Just like they wre trying to help you. I was in a terrible accident, but they've taken care of me, and given me the opportunity to work with them, to make a difference." He tries to tune out Woods' shouting from the car. "Come back with us, willingly. We can get you the treatment you need. We can help you get control again…" He seems to whole-heartedly believe what he's saying, still offering that hand out to Niki.

"God damnit Petrelli she's gon' t'rip you in 'alf like piece a'paper! Get in the bloody car!" Woods howls from where he crouches behind the rear driver's side door, having secured Claudine's unconscious body in the back seat.

Niki considers. She looks uncertain, and takes a step his direction. The gun has been lowered. She doesn't know enough to know all the details, certainly. "She'll get out again, and she'll hurt someone." she says, concerned. "She always does."

"Do you want her to get out here," Peter motions to the city around himself, "Or somewhere safe, some place where you can have the proper precautions, treatment… I'm not going to let what happened last time happen again," Peter's brow tenses, head shaking from side to side, "Those terrorists aren't going to ruin your treatment a second time, Niki, I promise." Jaw tensed, Peter tilts his head to the side, offering a hand to Niki still. "Think of it like this… what else do you have?"

Lightening his tone of voice some, Peter slowly begins to try and clear the distance between he and the woman. "We could use your help, you and Jessica. Your strength could save a lot of lives, protect a lot of people… You could do some real good." He manages a smile, offering the hand again. "You can come with us, right now, or you can turn away and never hear from us again…" His stare rises, meeting with Niki's eyes again, "It's your choice. I won't force you." From behind the open door of the car, Agent Woods watches on with modest disbelief, half expecting Niki to rip something out of a socket any time now.

Jessica is now the one screaming from the window. Let me out! Niki, don't do it, you stupid BITCH! They'll lock you up and use you for a lab rat again!!! Don't! Niki hesitates, and then steps up to Peter offering him the gun into the hand he's held out. "Let's go." she says. "Now, before she can get out."

Woods pops up enough to peer through the glass of the window, "Son of a bitch, 'e did it." Stumbling out from behind the door, woods rushes over to Peter's side, taking the gun from his hand, "Jesus christ Petrelli, Bob's going to shit out a whole golden goose when e'ears about this!" Peter looks over to Woods, eyeing the car, and Woods merely cracks an awkward smile, rushing over to slip into the driver's seet and get it running. Turning his focus back to Niki, Peter still seems tense around her, nodding when he catches her attention again.

"I'll keep an eye on you, but you have my word, Niki. You'll be treated well. We need you." Peter's brow furrows, hearing Jessica's voice screaming inside of Niki's head, if only he had more practice with Claudine's gift. "Let's get you back to the facility before something else happens…" Peter motions to the passenger seat, to have Niki sit next to Woods, and Peter withdraws a small taser from his jacket, moving in to sit in the back seat behind Niki.

Niki moves over to the car with Peter, and gets in. She looks back to him, worried. "If you see me do anything I shouldn't, shoot me with that." she tells him, looking over her shoulder. "I don't want to hurt anyone."

Woods looks nervous to have Niki within mauling range, and he's hasty to turn the ignition and get the car running again. As the sedan starts to back out of the vacant parking lot in front of the abandoned building, Peter gives a slow and solemn nods to what Niki asked of him, staring down at the taser in his hand, "I planned on." His voice is dutiful and solemn, curling his fingers around the taser before looking down to Claudine's unconscious form next to him,

"I won't let you hurt anyone."

October 2nd: Keeping the Faith

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

October 3rd: Cruel to be Kind
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