What Would Daniel Do?


daniel_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title What Would Daniel Do?
Synopsis Helena asks Daniel what he would do if he was in charge of PARIAH's agenda.
Date September 10, 2008

Condemned Tenement - Rooftop

While some parts of the roof are less structurally sound then others, someone seems to have sorted out which areas are dangerous and blocked them off. Some overhangs have been jury-rigged up to block a direct aerial view that gives definite indication of the presence of squatters - a rooftop garden, clearly meant to provide sustenance rather than aesthetic. Tubs full of dirt are situated to take best advantage of the light despite the overhangs meant to keep them from prying eyes. Tomatoes, beans, carrots, even potatoes and onions and chili peppers are carefully tended, little laminated labels indicating what each row of planting is. There's a seperate section for a small variety of herbs, and a sole small window sill style planter that houses the one concession to beauty; a row of sunflowers, and even these can be harvested for their seeds. Here and there decrepit lawn furniture has been scattered to give the illusion of abandonment; a stone bench here, an ironwork table with chairs there, one of those latticed metal fold-up chairs leaned at an awkward angle in a corner. Aside from the overhangs, the rest of the roof is open to the sky, providing a view of the city and the span of rooftops surrounding the tenement.

It's late afternoon, and in the last of the sun's rays, Helena is watering the garden. She doesn't need a watering can either, instead there's a tiny little fluffy grey cloud hovering over one head, providing a shower of rain in miniature. She just moves it along with the force of her will. Cameron says it's good practice.

Daniel approaches, no mask or anything, up the stairs, with his feet actually touching the stairs. He's changed shirts, and pants, they're clean, the shirt still dark and simple, but it's actually been ironed and lacks the mess of a day shlepping through the ruins. He's re-trimmed his hair right back down to the scalp, shaved, and even put on some aftershave. It's hard to tell if he's nervous, with his poker face. "Hey, Helena." he says quietly, drawing nearer, on the other side of a rack of plants from her as they move along the aisles.

Helena flashes him a smile briefly over her shoulder as she waters the sunflowers. "Hey, Daniel. Do you mind if after shift at work we stop in one of the uptown groceries? I have some things I want to pick up."

Daniel says, "No, I don't mind at all, uh, in fact, I wanted to go up that way anyway. There's a movie theater that's reopened up there, and, I was wondering, if you wanted to go. Out to a movie, maybe we could get some dinner made for us, afterwards." He's a bit nervous - but it's not like he hasn't asked girls out before. Just not for a long time.

Helena looks surprised. Is he asking her out on a date? "We've got a grafitti run that night." she reminds him gently. "But what about over the weekend? If we're not, you know, enacting civil disobedience or liberating our Evolved brothers and sisters or some such." She gives him a teasing smile.

Daniel says, his smile turning relieved, "Sure. Weekend's good. How about Saturday?" He nods at the graffiti thing. "Yeah, long way from tagging subway kiosks."

"Are you going to come?" she asks, and then nods. "Sure. Saturday, barring any action." she cocks her head, puzzling at him as if trying to figure out if he just asked her out. Daniel doesn't exactly broadcast his intentions, but she doesn't want to make things awkward. "What did you want to see?"

Daniel says, "Was thinking of Iron Man. Everyone else in the country got to see it, why not us?" Even after the apocalypse, he aims for the matinees rather than the top-name movies. He is smiling about as wide as he ever smiles, though that poker face is now working a bit against him - his intentions may not be completely clear. "Yeah, I'll definitely come." he says, his voice turning playful. "Can't expect small town girls to know how to throw up a piece in the fiercest ways." Then more seriously: "Iron Man good for you?"

Helena laughs. "Hey, I can spray the latin. I'm just not a serious artiste." She nods her head. "Iron Man is fine with me." She waves her hand, dissipating her mini-raincloud. "Are you managing better now? With Peter and the way things are changing, I mean."

Daniel says, "Mm." noncommittally, but opens up a bit to her: "I've always wanted to do things the way Mr. Petrelli wants to." Mr. Petrelli, because he's eight years OLDer. "Bombs, that kind of thing? It's not my style." he says quietly enough that the statement is its own proof. "But I did things Cameron's way because he seemed to have a plan, seemed to know what needed to be done. Now I'm a little pissed off. Either he didn't know after all, and I was wasting my time then, or he doesn't think it's going to work now, and we're wasting our time now. I don't mind shifting gears, I'm just pissed at how easy it was all along. Like discovering your transmission was stuck in first gear after you're already a hundred miles into your road trip."

Helena cocks her head. "What Cameron was doing was a start. Being pissed about is like hacking away at a tree with an axe for an hour, then having someone come along and cut it down with one chop. Doesn't mean you didn't contribute to getting it down. Your effort has value. But don't call him Mr. Petrelli. It'll go straight to his head."

Daniel says, indifferently, "I don't know the guy very well, so." He shrugs, "You asked. I'm pissed." is the sum total of his rebuttal. "Anyway, he has his room all set up now…did you ever learn what that meeting was about, that the messenger came to him for?"

Helena nods. "Keep it on the DL, but apparently he's been told that Sylar - you remember the stories about him? He allegedly has survived the bomb. I was suggesting Peter try to confirm it for fact before freaking out about it."

Daniel says, "I sort of remember. Some kind of Evolved serial killer or terrorist or something…I assume he'd be public enemy number one if the government knew he was alive."

Helena nods. "I don't have much in the details, but hopefully there'll be more soon. It could be a big fat lie."

Daniel thinks this over for a minute. "Do you think, even if it's not true, we can use him as cover? I mean, every checkpoint guard with a machine gun would be out prowling around looking for him, not us."

"I think one of the authorities may already have him, based on what Peter said." Helena explains. "Which is why he's not turning the building upside down and we're not having a monsoon."

Daniel ohs. "Well…I assumed the cops, I mean authorities, /did/ have him, like they had every other Evolved from here to San Diego. Not specifically, but…" He trails off. Then changes the subject: "So what should I be looking to steal or find out now? I've been going to the usual places, but if this Wireless person will give us some camp info, maybe I should be looking somewhere new…"

"We should wait to get the information on that before you start poking around. Best as I know, there's a facility in the Bronx somewhere." She waggles a finger at him. "Don't you go poking yet. We need to know more.'

Daniel grins that non-huge grin and says, "Me? Noo. But if it's the Bronx, I can talk to my people up there. Find out where the people that answer the phones and hold the clipboards eat lunch."

That finger that was waggling at him now gives him a poke in the arm. "Wait until we have more info. And make a point to tell Cam and Peter that you have contacts in the Bronx, okay?"

Daniel says, "I have contacts everywhere. I was here trading food when nobody else had any. Everyone wanted to know me then." He does not sound nostalgic.

"They don't necessarily know that." Helena points out patiently. "I'll tell them if you want."

Daniel shakes his head. "No, no. I will. I was just saying." he says. Then he sort of half-smiles. "If you tell me to do something, don't think I won't do it just because I don't say 'all right' out loud. You can count on it getting done."

Helena can't help herself, her smile turns sly. "Really? That's dangerous, telling a woman that, you know."

Daniel says, flirting right back, or is he? His voice makes it sound like it: "I've heard. So I don't just tell any woman that."

"Ooh!" Helena balls up a fist and pops him one on the arm. It's a girly punch, though, so probably not terribly impressive. "Are you going to come with us on the tag run tomorrow night, then? Or should I just tell you to?"

Daniel says, "Wouldn't you rather be surprised? I'm good at surprises." It helps to be able to be /completely silent and creepy/, yes.

Helena laughs. "Well, not when we're at the target site." she says. "Screaming in surprise doesn't help with the being quiet part. Not for us in general anyway."

Daniel replies, "Why not come along with me? I'll find you a mask, you'll be completely silent too."

Helena points out, "Because I'm leading this little art crawl. So people have to kind of be able to see me and hear me and notice when I say something."

Daniel says, "That's the fatal flaw in being a leader. Everyone has to follow you." in a playful tone. It's getting easier for her to gauge his moods.

Helena puts her hands on her hips. "Daniel, was that a…sense of humor? I'm shocked. Truely."

Daniel says, "I keep it to myself, most of the time it's not that funny. You'll only hear my really good jokes."

Helena grins. "It doesn't mean you don't have a sense of humor…just that you have a really awful one." She reaches up and tweaks his nose. Well, if he doesn't phase out or step back.

Daniel lets her tweak it, and covers it belatedly, he doesn't blush a little but it's the first time she's seen his teeth when he grins. His reply is flirtatious again: "I'd rather hit one out of the park than get a few dozen singles. I've always been that way."

Helena opens her mouth and then closes it, perhaps having thought of something to say about hitting home runs that might just make Daniel blush furiously and thinking the better of it. She settles for switching the course of conversation. "Do you have any ideas? Things you want to do, for what we're doing? With PARIAH, I mean. It's been said that the grafitti tagging is juvenile." She wrinkles her nose in obvious disagreement.

Daniel nods - clearly in agreement - but: "I mentioned before that a lot of scavengers made a sort of life here after the bomb went off. I am not saying it was a good time, let's keep it that way, but…there's a community there. There's people with relationships who want to do right by each other. And pretty much they're going to be steamrolled out by the government and the builders. Not everyone has a place to go, or family that survived." Like him. "I'd like us to do something to help them out."

Helena cocks her head to the side. "I feel for those people, but how does that help the Evolved agenda?"

Daniel says, with a grace and certainty that he rarely displays: "The Evolved agenda? I'm not here for the Evolved agenda. I'm here for the agenda of everyone getting a fair chance, fair opportunity. Nobody should get stepped on in that way."

"PARIAH's focus is the persecution of the Evolved, though." Helena says reasonably. "We're talking about liberating holding facilities and discouraging registration."

Daniel replies with a nod: "That's the method, yeah. It's the biggest problem out there. It doesn't mean it's the only problem."

"But we're kind of limited in our resources." she points out. "I'm not saying it isn't a problem, but we can't scatter our attention. At least in my opinion. I mean, help where you can, but we do have a particular purpose."

Daniel says, "You asked what else I saw. I see that. I, uh, don't really know much about politics and stuff, so I don't have much to add to the main issue."

Helena says after a moment of struggle, "I meant with regard to our main goal. Stopping the persecution of the Evolved. You don't are about that?"

Daniel says, protestingly, "I do, a lot! I just don't have a /plan/. I'm not a leader like you or Cameron or Peter. The best I ever did before I hooked up with PARIAH was hide some Evolved people out and try to get them out of town. It didn't work at all."

"You should maybe talk to Peter about being a liaison with the Ferrymen." Helena looks thoughtful. "I mean, that's what they do, really. And you could certainly move quickly and silently, which would be helpful."

Daniel says, "They might be more willing to talk to us now than before." He explains further: "I'm pretty aware of my limitations. /Very/. That's why I'm always working on stuff, so I can get better at things."

Helena nods enthusiastically. "There's already been some contact with them. But we could go pitch the idea of a liaison, or someone to do the messengering, and hey, it's not like you don't have experience with that, right?"

Daniel says, agreeably: "Exactly. I'm not much of a talker, but sure. What about you, what do you think our next move should be?"

"Well, we're waiting on the list of held Evolved. After we get it, we need to determine who's the most important to free, and develop plans accordingly." says Helena, crossing her arms over her chest. "We also have to work on our own internal security to make sure we're not breached. There's also Sylar to consider if it's true, not to mention this Matt Parkman guy in Homeland Security."

Daniel says, "I think we ought to go after the ones who aren't doing so well. Like, the ones that are sick or, or…" He remembers the word: "… vulnerable inside." It makes no tactical sense. But Daniel is saying it from the heart.

Helena gestures at the building. "You think we have the facilities to care for them?"

Daniel says, "Oh…uh…no, I guess not. But maybe we could find someone who had the power to heal them up? Or maybe we could get them fake identities, and into the relocation hospitals."

"That's assuming there's any such thing as relocation hospitals." Helena says gently. "We might be able to get them out, but it'll be that much harder if they're sick."

Daniel says, "Oh, yeah, there are, people I know went to them during the scavenger times." He nods slowly. "Well…yeah, that makes sense, I guess."

"I don't mean to shoot you down." she says apologetically. "It's definitely something you could look into, but I know there are things, other issues that the leaders are going to want to focus on." She doesn't count herself amongst the leaders, it would seem.

Daniel says lightly, "I told you I wasn't much of a planner. It's cool."

September 10th: Welcome to Level Five

Previously in this storyline…
Welcome to Level Five

Next in this storyline…
War Torn

September 10th: The Devil's Smile
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