"You know what?" Naomi asked as she lay on the couch.
"What?" David asked from his place on the chair.
"I've counted the ceiling tiles four times and each time I come up with a different number."
"That's because you're tired," David said, "It's because we're not doing anything and so we're getting tired."
"Or maybe they're casting illusions just to mess with us."
He rubbed his temples, "It's scary when that sounds like the most normal possibility happening in your week."
"I never thought I'd miss being a teacher," Naomi muttered, "You know sometimes I actually think being the person who saves the world would be cool. And then I go back to sleep when I realize it's 2 in the morning and I'm insane."
He laughed even though he thought the joke was horrible and watched her, "What do you think is going to happen?"
"I don't know."
"If we lose Lisa-"
"We're not going to lose Lisa," Naomi said and sat up, "We'll find a way out, we always do."
"You also realize that we're doing exactly what you're mad at your brother for by going to Starkson."
"Except we're not really making deals with him that concern other people's lives so I guess we're still better."
"Not really," Naomi muttered.
"Yeah, we're dealing with Starkson," David whispered, "Why can't we just put a bullet in his brain?"
"Because we're not the type."
"We could be," he offered.
Naomi had to admit that it was EXTREMELY temping to just open fire on the psychos that wouldn't think twice about doing the same to her if ordered. IT would also be tempting to do the same to Starkson as well but Naomi had to be better than that. They weren't killers.
"No." Naomi muttered, "We keep our edge as long as we have him."
"I don't think that's going to last too much longer," David said, "He's going to tell us everything he knows eventually and then we're going to have to put him down because someone like this…is too dangerous, Naomi. For everyone around.
"I know," Naomi said but she wasn't sure if she agreed.
The door opened and slammed against the wall, Naomi and David sat up with a start. Naomi's hand automatically went to her gun but David grabbed her arm to stop her from taking it out.
"We found her," the guard said.
Samantha Braun had long black hair and empty brown eyes that Naomi noticed immediately when she looked at her through the other side of the glass.
"That is your niece Naomi," Starkson said as he stood next to her, "It took eight men to get her down and sedated."
"How long did it take you to find her?"
"We slowed down time until we tracked her down." He said while staring at the glass, "What was half an hour for you was two days for us. We also used that time to try and create a cure but thus far we haven't been successful."
"Well then I certainly hope she's responsible," Naomi said, "And all that time wasn't wasted."
"She is." He said and watched as the interrogator circled her while he talked, "She admitted as much when she woke up from the sedation. However getting the cure is a bit…harder to get out of her."
"Is there even one?"
"She claims there is. And she'd have to have one to immunize herself."
"So then if she's not talking then what are you going to do?" David asked.
Through the window Naomi saw Samantha look up as if she sensed something, "I know she's in there, Starkson."
Naomi could see Starkson's jaw clench.
"I'm only going to give you that cure if you let me talk to Naomi."
Naomi handed David her gun and belt and then brushed past Starkson
"She's going to try and kill you," Starkson warned her, "She's been trained."
"Let her try," Naomi said and walked through the door.
Samantha watched Naomi without blinking as she came into the room. Naomi tried to keep her face blank but she realized what a bad idea this was as soon as she stepped in the room. She knew that she had a high chance or messing this up
"What are you doing here?" the interrogator demanded.
"Starkson said it was okay," she said and sat across from Samantha, "You may leave."
The interrogator started to protest but he must've gotten some signal from Starkson because he brushed a hand through his hair and left the room.
Samantha straightened up when the door closed, "Seeing as you're here I'm guessing you know who I am and what I want."
Naomi tilted her head, "Not quite clear on the 'what you want' yet but yes, I do know who you are. Or rather how you're related to me."
Samantha leaned back, "You know it was hard, right? Growing up surrounded by what YOU did. The damage you caused."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"You burn the world down Naomi, haven't they told you that?"
Naomi held the woman's gaze, "I know I don't join with Be3rnard Harving but I don't think I burn the world down."
"You do. I've seen it. I would've taken pictures but…I was barely five at the time."
Naomi watched her. She knew something about how she was destined to help burn parts of the world down, "I don't know what kind of game you're talking about."
"Stupid, stupid, stupid people." Samantha put her foot against the table and pushed the chair back until it was on its back two feet. Naomi wondered why they weren't bolted into the chair but since Samantha was chained to the table, Naomi didn't see her doing anything really damaging with it, "What kind of a hero are you supposed to be if you don't know everything you're supposed to do? You kill hundreds when you're claiming to save millions."
Naomi turned toward the mirror and then back at her.
"Oh sure, but you're going to save the world right?" Samantha taunted.
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Able looked up as Joseph walked into the living room, "Where do you keep running off to? You know I'm trying to get work done and I can't with you running in and out and not helping-"
He stopped when he saw Frederic Braun walk into the room. He immediately grabbed his gun and pointed it at them.
"Able, put it down!" Joseph snapped, "He's with us!"
"Until it doesn't suit him anymore!" Able snapped, "He shot Jane!"
"I did what I had to do in order to escape and set things up. You wouldn't have let me go in time if I had remained as a model prisoner."
"Listen," Joseph said, "If I can trust him for this then you can trust him."
"Yeah, because you've always been such a good judge of character."
Something beeped on the computer and Able sat back down, "It's David. He's sending me something."
Joseph sat next to him while he typed something on the computer.
"I certainly hope you know what you're doing," Able muttered to him and looked up as a picture came up of a dark haired woman with the name of 'Samantha Braun'.
Joseph narrowed his eyes, "I don't know a Samantha Braun."
"Oh no," Frederic muttered behind him, "I do."
Jane didn't know when she started watching her teammates. But ever since she was born she was always able to tell when they were sick or ill or something upset them. It was the distinct changes in their body that Jane immediately noticed and she knew that Lisa looked…wobbly when she came into the room, "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," Lisa said, "Just tired."
Jane sat next to her, Lisa was a lot paler than she usually was, "I hate John Walker."
"We don't hate John Walker," Lisa said with limited patience, "John Walker is here to help us. We better be grateful."
"If he figures out a cure then I'll be grateful. Until then he's arrogant and cold and he…just doesn't understand me and why I'm loyal to all of you."
"Give him time, Jane. He's far more human than you give him credit for."
"He's just protecting himself from getting attached. I can understand that."
"Well he thinks that I should feel that way too and he thinks that…if I don't stop staying with you then I'll become cynical and jaded."
"And what do you think?"
She exhaled and rubbed her hand through her hair, "After seeing Mark and Mary die? I think he might be right."
Lisa dropped her clipboard in shock, "Mary's dead?"
Jane felt the tears well up and nodded, "Died an hour ago."
Lisa sat back stunned, "I was hoping that with what…with us using the defibrillator we could've gained more time…somehow."
Jane didn't say anything but lowered her head, "I thought you knew."
Lisa propped her elbows on the table and rested her head in her hands, "No."
Jane felt guilt and looked down, "I'm sorry."
A few seconds of silence passed, "Do you think this is our fault? Do you think we brought the enemy here to them?"
"I don't know," Jane told her, "It could be because of us. It could also be a testing site by the government, it could just be some psycho, it could be anything."
Lisa didn't say anything but folded her hands in front of her, "I need you to do something for me."
Jane nodded, "Name it."
"When I die…things are going to go downhill pretty quickly. If no cure is found then they're going to turn against Robert. If a cure is found and they know half of what Robert did here then they're also going to turn against him. I don't want to pull you away from the others if you don't want to. But I would like to request that if something happens to me and it all snowballs out of control that you try and protect him. He's a good man and he always wanted a daughter; he might teach you something about honor that the rest of us all lack."
"Okay," Jane stood and started to walk away with her hands clasped in front of her.
She almost shut the door all the way when she heard something collapse behind her. She grabbed the door to keep it from closing and saw Lisa seizing on the ground.
Jane opened the other door that led to the hallway, "I need some help in here!"
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David didn't have to watch Naomi for long to know that she wasn't trained for interrogating someone like Samantha Braun.
Within minutes Samantha had disabled Naomi's thought process and had her giving fleeting glances back at the mirror.
David felt the anger rise in him and glared at Starkson, "This is getting us nowhere."
"It's only been three minutes," Starkson said.
"She doesn't need to be in there and you let her walk in," David snapped, "She's not equipped for this!"
"You wanted her to assume a leadership position."
"Interrogating an insane woman is far different than become a leader."
"Well the people that are equipped don't seem to be working," Starkson told him with a shrug, "We even sent in mind readers and she's hidden away the information and blocked it. She was raised by John Walker; she was trained for things like this and she wanted to talk to Naomi and if we can get a cure-."
"She's sinking in there," David hissed, "See what happens when you send someone into the fray without letting them know that they're in for?"
"As you've acknowledged several times," Starkson began, "Naomi's going to have to be dealing with a lot of things that she's not ready for which is something that you acknowledge."
"And amazing how most of the problems seems to be coming from you," David countered, "Perhaps if you'd actually let us know what we needed then things like what's going on at the docks would never have happened."
"Oh, you're accusing me of keeping secrets," Starkson laughed, "You? Really?"
"But you know precisely what is going on and you claim you're on our side but you only tell us the information that we need when it benefits you. THAT'S why I'm better than you."
Their argument was interrupted by Naomi who had finally pulled herself together on the other side of the mirror, "So is that why you're doing this? To talk to me? To get back at me for something that I haven't done?"
"Oh no, it's not all about you. At least you're not the main reason why I'm doing this. It's more of an…audition so to speak."
"To take over the Guardians," Samantha said in a cheerful voice.
David watched Starkson's face darken for a slight minute but then he immediately pushed the feelings down and just shook his head, "She never will. She's not one of us."
"You hear that Starkson?" Samantha yelled and looked past Naomi, "Oh I wish I could be in there to see the look on your face. You have everything under control you think. You have it all down pat. What are you going to do when I uproot that little plan of yours?"
"She can't," Starkson shook his head, "She doesn't. It hasn't been written down. I stay in charge, that's what the history says."
David watched him, "Who wrote that history?"
"I did. Or at least the future version of me, and the people that were actually there."
"History is written by the victors," David said his mouth set in a grim line, "What if they lied?"
Starkson glared daggers at David, "That's impossible."
"Is it? You made sure all your historical texts said that Naomi would join Bernard Harving and not kill him. You did it to protect her and in doing so you put that bull's-eye on Naomi. Now who's to say that someone else didn't do the same?"
"I would've known."
"You didn't know about this," David reminded him, "Well Starkson, you don't seem to have as much control as you would like to think you do."
Starkson glared and David smirked and rocked on his heels. He knew that this wasn't the time for it, but he couldn't help himself, "Isn't that amazing?"
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Naomi watched Samantha carefully. She was arrogant and knew she had the edge. Naomi knew that she had to be careful with this because she could lose any chance she had for that opportunity to use Samantha's arrogance against her.
"And so you want to use your chemical weapon to….what? Kill everyone if you don't become leader?"
"Well I wouldn't have to if they just allow me to become leader but they have to have standards. I think everyone would be a lot better off if they took me up on their offer..."
"And how is that?"
"Get control of the Guardians, crack down on just how 'free' the advanced humans are…you know the Guardians are a quite capable lot if they wanted to be. They could be solving the world's problems instead of causing them but they don't because it won't' benefit their own sadistic power needs."
"As if you're one to talk," Naomi said.
Samantha propped her legs up on the desk, "Starkson and I do agree on something and it's that sometimes the ends justify the means. When this world starts to crumble…and the superhuman's existences are revealed…instead of helping do you know what most people do? They try and take advantage. I can't blame them really…its human nature. I know that I've taken advantage of my ability. But just because its human nature doesn't mean I'm going to allow it for others. Instead of just watching people and locking them up when they misbehave like Starkson, we need to let them know that there's a system and there are rules and disobeying it will end badly for you."
"We have laws."
Samantha smirked, "Give a human an extraordinary ability that allows them to rise above the norm and they think that takes them above the law. You've had encounters; you know people will use their abilities to get what they want. Look at the things that you've done. I think you'll agree with me that being an advanced human isn't a blessing when you can't use it. It's a curse."
"And so you want to take control is that it?"
"Yes, I believe that with our sources and contacts then it's time we stop hiding in the shadows. Right now Bernard Harving is going to great measures to put everything in place but he feels like he can't do that without you. So while I'm putting order to the superhuman society I'm also going to kill you because he doesn't feel like he can do it without you. I imagine you're a lot easier to stop than he is. He's competent."
Naomi met her gaze and for some reason felt an arrogant smile cross her lips, "I'd like to see you try."
Samantha propped her legs up, "So, I imagine you'll be asking for that cure now."
"Where is it?"
"Oh you're going to have to do a lot better than this to get it."
"I thought you said that you'd give us the cure if you talked to me."
"I lied," Samantha smirked.
"Then what do you want?" Naomi demanded.
"I have what I want," Samantha shrugged, "You can't get in the way of this Naomi. You just can't."
Naomi slammed the file closed and stormed out.
"Say hello to my father for me!" Samantha called out mockingly behind her.
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Naomi stormed through the room that had both David and Starkson and walked into the hallway. What was she going to do? They failed. Lisa was going to die. They lost their only lead now that Samantha was refusing to help them.
"Naomi," David followed her out and grabbed her arm, "Naomi-"
She pulled out of his grip, "She's our only lead, David."
"How am I supposed to get information from her if this is exactly what she wants? I can't- I can't torture her, she's Joseph's daughter. She got this way because of whatever the future me does! I don't think I can…I can't do this."
"You need to find out what that cure is," Starkson said as he walked into the doorway, "You know sometimes being a leader means that you made the harder decisions so that others won't have to."
Naomi swallowed and nodded.
David looked at Naomi, "What are you planning?"
"Can you take her to the docks in time to save Lisa?"
"Easily," Starkson smiled.
"Then get her in one of the trucks."
"Naomi!" David called out as she walked off and he glared at Starkson.
"Now that was hints of the Naomi that I've heard so much about growing up," Starkson smirked and left David alone.
David started off after Naomi, "What are you going to do?"
"What I need to do to save everyone that's still surviving."
"If you go to the docks then you'll be infected too!"
"I'm not going to the docks; I'm sending her to the docks."
"And what are you hoping to accomplish?" he demanded, "She's not going to be infected Naomi, I imagine she immunized herself so that couldn't happen."
"I'm not hoping she'll get infected," Naomi said, "There are a lot of angry people at the docks right now. I'm going to give her to them."
"Naomi, you need to start thinking rationally, this isn't something that you would do."
"I'm not going to let anyone else die on account of our family," she snapped "And besides, aren't you the one that's usually telling me that I have to step up and do what I need to do anyway?"
"Yeah, but sending your niece to her death?"
"She won't die if she tells me what I want to know," Naomi said trying to justify it, "And besides, it's not as if I don't already have a body count."
"Yeah, people you've accidently killed, but this is going to be different and once you cross that line …"
"If you have a better idea then I want to hear it," she kept walking, "I'm not going to let Lisa and the others die."
"And I want to save her too but sinking to levels like this…." He shook his head, "You and Starkson agree on something. Does that tell you how bad this plan is?"
"I don't care."
She ignored him and kept walking.