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#313 : Le virtuose

Alors que l'équipe des Mutant X s'évertue à extraire une formule cachée dans une collection d'objets d'art, Shalimar reçoit des informations provenant d'une source mystérieuse.



4 - 3 votes

Plus de détails

George Buza ... Lexa's Contact
Lyriq Bent ... Randall Blake
Boris Buhot ... Guard
Vladimir Radian ... Guard with dog
Eric Weinthal ... Art critic

                                 The Art Of Attraction

[Opening scene: Up in the Double Helix, Jesse and Brennan swoop down over an elaborate art gallery, where a private party is underway. A couple of guards and security cameras watch as thirty patrons mill around sipping drinks and looking at paintings. Posing as one of the guests, Shalimar looks around the room while Lexa, dressed as a waitress, picks up some drinks from the bartender to serve to the guests. As she places the drinks on her tray, Lexa tells the bartender her personal name for each one.]

Lexa (to the bartender): Okay. One 'Slippery Navel,' one 'Sex on the Beach'...oh, and my personal favorite, 'Pink Panty Pull-Down.'
Jesse (listening from the Double Helix): Sounds tasty. You know, I was thinking, Lexa, maybe you and I could go for one when this is over.
Lexa: Well, it's a date. [Jesse grins at Brennan.] What's happening down here?
Jesse (tracking her signal on his computer): Okay, uh...you've got two guards between you and the painting.
Brennan: Yeah, not to mention four surveillance cameras and a motion sensor system.
Lexa: Just like we expected. Let the games begin. [Shalimar smiles one of the art critics, walking closer to him when he returns her smile. Serving the last of the drinks on her tray, Lexa starts towards the inner door.] Okay, guys. Making my way over.
Jesse: Let's move.
Shalimar (suddenly slapping the critic's cheek): What do you think you're doing?
The Patron (confused): Um, excuse me?
Shalimar (very loudly): You touched me! Did you see that? He touched me!
The Patron: Hey, I...I didn't!
Shalimar (pushing him): You pig! Keep your hands off! Can somebody help me? This guy's a pervert!
The Critic: I didn't touch her, I swear.
Shalimar: Yeah, that's what they all say. [The two guards leave their post to help Shalimar, and Lexa takes advantage of the distraction to turn invisible and slide through the inner door.]
The Critic (to the guards): I didn't, I didn't touch her.
Guard #1 (escorting him away): Yeah, sure.
Lexa: I'm in.
Jesse: Okay, take your next right. The door should be right in front of you.
Brennan: Hey, look out for a guard, he's heading your way. [Invisible, Lexa backs up against the wall until the guard passes her, then continues down the hallway.]
Jesse (spotting a signal inside the room]: Woah, Lexa, something's wrong. You've got company.
Lexa: Hurry, Jess. Give me the code.
Jesse: 447982.
Lexa (punching the code into the lock): I'm in. [She enters the room, closes the door behind her and turns visible. At the opposite wall, a man is already taking down one of the paintings.] Bad idea. That's mine. [Turning to face her, The Thief quickly lifts his right hand, projecting a beam of dark energy at her. She's thrown against the wall.]
Jesse: Lexa, talk to me. You okay?
Lexa (standing up): Nothing I can't handle. [The Thief sends another beam at her, but misses when she turns invisible. Reappearing beside him, Lexa punches him in the face, then fires a laser at him, which he counters with more dark energy. Their energies combine into a huge explosion, sending both crashing backwards into opposite walls, and setting off the overhead alarms.]
Jesse: The calvary's on their way, Lexa, get out of there. [Lexa and The Thief run out of the room together. As two guards head down the hallway towards them, Lexa grabs him and turns them both invisible until the guards have passed. Visible again, Lexa lets The Thief go, and he kisses her on the lips.]
The Thief: This was fun. But you cross me again, and you won't walk away. [He disappears into a black cloud and floats away, leaving Lexa alone in the hallway.]

Opening Credits. "Art of Attraction."

[Back in her Sanctuary office, Lexa's talking via video link with her Dominion Contact.]
Lexa: I don't know. Whoever he was, he was a mutant. He threw out some kind of dark matter, like anti-energy.
The Contact: His presence was unexpected. Even by us.
Lexa: Yeah, well, because of him, I couldn't get to the painting.
The Contact: So you try again. That painting conceals a secret which must remain hidden to the outside world.
Lexa: Excuse me, but after the first try, their security's gonna be all over it.
The Contact: Your presence was not observed. We wiped the security surveillance, so the gallery believes your intrusion was simply a false alarm.
Lexa: Yeah, but still, without a party as a distraction...
The Contact: You'll find a way. [He abruptly cuts off the connection. Lexa joins Shalimar and Jesse in the main room, where they're studying a computer generated hologram of the painting they're after.]
Jesse: It's not bad. It's got definite echoes of the Byzantine Empire.
Lexa: It's not the artwork we're after. It's what's coded within the canvas.
Shalimar: And that would be?
Lexa (sighing): The key to an undiscovered technology that could threaten the world's security. See, when the scientist who owned the painting died, his family liquidated the estate. Now, we've got to get to this painting before our party crasher gets to it first.
Shalimar (watching the security video of the night's events): So, what have we found out about our rival thief?
Lexa: Nothing so far. I mean, whatever his power is, he seems to be able to counteract energy.
Shalimar (watching Lexa and The Thief turn invisible, then kiss): Guy looks pretty smooth.
Jesse (hurt): Very smooth. Looks like you're having a hard time fighting him off, Lexa.
Lexa: I'll get him next time.
Shalimar (smiling at her): What next time?
Lexa: Look, he's going to make a move for the painting again. I plan on beating him to it.
Shalimar: I'll have Brennan run our Romeo through the mutant database. I'm gonna start monitoring the security system at the gallery.
Lexa (to Jesse): Okay, let's go.
Jesse: Yeah. [He follows her out. Shalimar's typing something when her screen fuzzes out and a distorted voice issues from the computer.]
Shalimar: Hold on.
A Distorted Voice: Hello, Shalimar.
Shalimar: Who are you?
The Voice: A friend.
Shalimar: Friends show themselves.
The Voice: In time.
Shalimar (setting up a trace): What do you want?
The Voice: There's more to the painting then you've been told.
Shalimar: So why don't you tell me about it?
The Voice: The scientist who owned it was named Illich Sefchek. Find out who he was. He represents the key to finding out what's really going on. [Shalimar frowns as her trace fails.] Nice try. Sorry, but it will take Sanctuary's system at least thirty more seconds to triangulate my signal. Goodbye, Shalimar.
Shalimar: Wait! Why are you doing this?
The Voice: 380735. Remember that. [The connection is dropped.]

[Brennan and Shalimar wait up in the Helix while Lexa and Jesse return to the art gallery. Jesse phases the wall, letting the two of them inside the gallery's storage room.]
Jesse: Brennan, we're in. [He opens his laptop and taps a few keys.] Okay, I've hacked into the gallery's security system.
Brennan: Well, in case you were wondering, I have an update on your mystery mutant. Turns out he's an international thief specializing in high-end art.
Shalimar: Take a look guys, I'm throwing him at you. [She sends the file to Jesse's computer.] His name's Randall Blake.
Brennan: Yeah, and according to his dossier, he's quite the lady-killer. He's made a career selling paintings and hearts.
Jesse (grinning at Lexa): Well, that's good to know, isn't it, Lex? [She just rolls her eyes at him, so Jesse hacks into the security camera outside the room with the painting.]
Lexa: Oh, no. Blake's already here.
Jesse: Where?
Lexa (pointing to a black cloud outside the room): Right there. I've gotta get in there before he does.
Jesse: Well, how? [Before he can stop her, Lexa turns invisible and hurries out of the room.]
Lexa: Guys, give me Blake's location.
Brennan: He's heading up the back staircase, right towards you.
Shalimar: You'd better hurry, Lex. It's gonna be tight. [When a security guard notices the black cloud going down the hallway, Blake appears out of the smoke.]
Blake: I think it's time for your break. [The guard reaches for his gun, but Blake knocks him out with a beam of black energy and continues down the hall.]
Lexa (at the door): Jess, what's going on? The code's not working.
Jesse: Uh, they must have changed it.
Lexa: Feed me the new one.
Jesse: Look, it could take me hours to break into the security database again.
Lexa: Well, I can't stay invisible forever.
Shalimar (remembering): Try 380735.
Lexa: Where'd you get that?
Shalimar: Just do it.
Lexa (putting in Shalimar's code): That's it! I'm in. [She enters the room and removes the painting to place in her case.]
Shalimar (ignoring Brennan's odd look): Come on, you've only got a few seconds.
Randall Blake (appearing in front of Lexa): I believe that belongs to me.
Lexa (holding up her case): Possession is nine tenths of the law.
Randall: You're not out of here yet. [He blocks her path.] Besides, there are three paintings to this set and I already have one of them.
Lexa: It won't do much good without this, then, will it?
Randall (playing with a ball of dark matter): I warned you. Not to get in my way.
Lexa: You know, if you didn't want me around, you could have just said so. [She creates a starburst of light, followed by several lasers which Randall easily absorbs with a web of dark energy. He then pins her against the wall with a dark energy wave.]
Randall: Give up, now. You can't hold out as long as I can.

******Commercial Break********

[Lexa struggles to breathe as Randall's energy wave holds her against the wall.]
Blake: Why don't you be a good girl and just hand over the painting?
Lexa (panting): Because I'm not a good girl.
Randall (smiling): Even better. [Just then, Jesse's arm phases through the wall, encircles her and pulls her through the wall back into the storage room. Randall rushes forward, but he only grabs empty air.]
Jesse: You just had to do it alone, didn't ya? Did you get the painting?
Lexa (holding up her case): Yeah. One of them.

[Having returned to Sanctuary's lab, Jesse and Brennan are watching Lexa scan the painting into the computer when Shalimar joins them.]
Shalimar: Why weren't we told there were three paintings to begin with?
Brennan: Well, maybe the guy's bluffing. At this point, I wouldn't put anything past him.
Jesse: Yeah, that's what I said. But Lexa seems to feel this guy's on the level.
Lexa: Well, we'll find out soon enough. I'm running an infrared image of the picture, see what we get. [She brings the image up on the computer screen.]
Brennan: There it is.
Shalimar (to Jesse): What do you think?
Jesse: Oh, well, it's a code. Looks like it's some kind of formula. But no, the code's incom...plete... I'd say each one of the paintings represents another layer to the formula.
Shalimar: Separately, they're worthless. We need all three.
Lexa: Well, Blake says he has one of the paintings. And he knows where the third one is.
Jesse (smugly): Well, according to my math, that puts us right back at square one, doesn't it?
Brennan: No, not necessarily. I mean, his buyer is gonna need all three just as much as we do.
Shalimar: It's anybody's game right now. He needs us as much as we need him.
Lexa: Wait a minute. He thinks I'm a rival thief, right? What if I convince him to partner up and split the profits of the three paintings?
Jesse: Woah, woah. We're not just gonna jump into bed with this guy!
Lexa (smiling at him): Speak for yourself. (Giving Shalimar a wink, she heads out of the lab.]
Jesse: What, are we all taking crazy pills here?! [He follows Lexa out. Shalimar and Brennan exchange knowing smiles.]

[Lexa flies the Double Helix out of Sanctuary while Jesse searches for Randall Blake's name in the computer. He finds a listing under one of Randall's aliases, Rydell Simmons.]
Jesse: Well, looks like Blake's got a place here in town.
Lexa: What, is his listed in the Yellow Pages?
Jesse: No. He owns a bar downtown under one of his aliases: The Brasserie Du Boheme.
Lexa: I guess his love of art goes deeper than cat burglary.
Jesse: Lexa, why are you so eager to face this guy again? I mean, he tried to kill you, you remember that?
Lexa: Listen, if he had wanted me dead, he would have tried a lot harder.

[Shalimar's doing research on Sanctuary's main computer when Brennan walks in.]
Brennan (resting his chin on her head): Whatcha working on? Ill-ich Sef-chek. Who dat?
Shalimar (scratching her head): I'm not sure.
Brennan: Hm. Well, first you pull the code for getting into the gallery outta thin air, and now you're, well, looking up Russian scientists. What, can I buy a clue?
Shalimar (laughing): Okay. I didn't know whether to believe it or not, but I got a call from someone on our internal line. Didn't give a name, just gave me the code.
Brennan: Just like that?
Shalimar: Well, he said there was more to the story of the paintings then we were being told. Said that I should look up this guy, Sefchek.
Brennan: You tried tracing the call?
Shalimar: Of course. But he must have known beforehand because he kept bouncing the signal all across the country.
Brennan: Sounds like this guy's kinda got you freaked out.
Shalimar: Well, I don't know what to think. I mean, he said he was a friend; he spoke like he knew me.
Brennan: Don't worry. Next time this guy calls, we'll be the ones messing with his head. [He kisses the top of her head and returns to his room.]

[Lexa saunters into La Brasserie du Boheme, searching for Randall. A painting on the wall of a woman catches her eye, and she goes over for a closer look.]
Randall (handing her a glass of wine): That could be you.
Lexa: What, you were expecting me?
Randall: I knew you couldn't stay away.
Lexa: Oh.
Randall: So you like it?
Lexa: Yeah. Who's the artist?
Randall: Me. [She looks at him in disbelief.] It's an early piece. But it lacks in courage.
Lexa: That's funny. I never took you to be the modest type.
Randall (caressing her arm): Only when it comes to my...art.
Lexa: Let's just keep this business.
Randall: I'm listening.
Lexa: You have one painting. I have one. The third one's still up for grabs.
Randall: And your point is?
Lexa (whispering into his ear): It doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize the real deal here is by delivering up the complete set.
Randall: Yeah, well, my buyer's willing to pay north of five million.
Lexa: I want in.
Randall: And...just why would I do that?
Lexa: Because you'll never get your hands on the complete set without me.
Randall (realizing she's right): Let's do it.
Lexa: Good. Oh, but first, I want to see your painting, just to verify it.
Blake: Okay. You show me yours, I'll show you mine.

[Meanwhile, Shalimar's at the computer when a warning beep goes off.]
Shalimar (motioning to Brennan): Brennan! It's him. [Hurrying over, Brennan starts a trace on the opposite computer while Shalimar talks to The Voice.]
The Voice: Hello, Shalimar. What did you find out about the lead I gave you?
Shalimar: He's a chemical engineer specializing in environmental research.
The Voice: Exactly. And the painting? What did you get from the scans?
Shalimar: Well, we're not sure yet.
The Voice: The paintings are the key to the whole puzzle. It's imperative we find out what they're hiding.
Shalimar: Look, why don't you just tell me what this is all about?
The Voice: Why don't you ask Brennan? I'm sure he's full of bright ideas.
Brennan (surprised): What the hell? [Suddenly, Brennan's computer flashes a warning: Firewall Breached.] He's in our system.
Shalimar: What did he get?
Brennan (typing furiously): He was trying to access the scan of the painting. I have no idea how much of the file he was able to download.
Shalimar: How the hell did he get into our system in the first place?
Brennan: How does he know so much about us? [They stare at one another uneasily.] Damn it.

[Perched on the roof of Randall's bar, Jesse's waiting in the Helix when Lexa returns to get the painting to show Randall.]
Jesse: Tell me we are not just going to hand this painting over to him.
Lexa (sitting next to him): It'll never leave my sight, okay? Now, once I get in there, I can get a look at his painting. That way, we can get information from both.
Jesse: Yeah, but once he gets his hands on our painting, he's not gonna need you anymore.
Lexa (annoyed): I told you I can handle this.
Jesse: I heard you. [He snatches the painting off her lap.] Look, I'm coming along this time. [She starts to object.] No arguments. [He stomps out of the Helix.]
Lexa (to herself): Okay...

[Brennan and Shalimar stand at Sanctuary's main computer screen, analyzing a recording of the mystery caller's last communication.]
The Voice: The paintings are the key to the whole puzzle.
Shalimar: I'm going to remove the vocal pattern. Let's see what else we can hear.
Brennan (listening to the background noises): What is that?
Shalimar: Sounds like the call came from a restaurant.
Brennan: Can you narrow it down a little further?
Shalimar: Trying. [She changes the focus, and they smile when they hear a voice say, "Chang Kitchen. Can I take your order?"]
Brennan: Nice! Sounds like our secret admirer has a penchant for Chinese food.
Shalimar: You in the mood for takeout? [Brennan laughs.]

[Jesse and Lexa enter the empty La Brasserie du Boheme together. Randall's face falls when he sees Jesse.]
Randall: Not exactly the kind of party I had in mind.
Lexa: This is Jesse. He's my backup.
Randall: Come with me. I have a digital scanner in the back; we could verify my painting first...if you like. [Leading them to the back room, he places his painting in the scanner and points to his computer.] Here we go. Be my guest. [Jesse types a command, bringing up the digital image.]
Randall: Now your turn. [Jesse reluctantly hands over their painting, and Randall places it in the scanner. Lexa takes a picture of the combined scan results with her tiny camera. While their backs are turned, Randall removes the painting from the scanner. ]
Lexa (to Jesse): So, it's true. What we have represents two thirds of the puzzle.
Jesse (nodding): Yeah. [Randall hands him their painting.] So when do we move on the third painting?
Randall: WE don't move on anything. I'm working here with Lexa alone. Don't need any more baggage.
Jesse (advancing on him): Hey, listen, buddy--
Lexa (hastily stepping between them): Hey, Jesse. Jess? Just take the painting. I'll contact you when we're ready to move, okay?
Jesse (glaring at Randall): Yeah. [He starts to walk out when Randall calls to him.]
Randall (hovering over Lexa's shoulder): Ah, don't worry, Jess. I'll be gentle with her. [Shaking his head, Jesse reluctantly leaves.]

[Meanwhile, a disappointed Shalimar and Brennan emerge from Charlie's Kitchen; Brennan eating from a container of noodles.
Brennan: What'd you think, Shal? That he was just gonna sit around and wait until he got the itch to call again?
Shalimar: I don't know. I guess I was hoping I'd at least find some clue to his identity. [As they walk past, the pay phone behind them starts to ring. Looking at Brennan, Shalimar picks it up.] Hello?
The Voice (on the other line): You've managed to get close.
Shalimar (looking around): Where are you?
Brennan: He must be watching us.
The Voice: Are you getting closer to recovering the other two paintings?
Shalimar: We're working on it.
The Voice: The information can't get into the wrong hands. [Shalimar's feral eyes flash as she hears a regular buzzing sound on his end of the line. Searching the immediate environment, she spots a neon sign "ROOMS" on an apartment complex which is flashing in time to the buzzing.]
Shalimar: What would an environmental scientist have that would be of risk to national security?
The Voice: Are you ready for the answer?
Shalimar: Yeah, why don't you tell me what the hell's going on? [Hanging up the phone, Shalimar indicates the apartment complex.] The call's coming from that window. [They head into the building. Shalimar slows when she hears squawking coming from the room she thinks the call came from. Finding the door locked, Brennan bashes through the door with his head. The room is empty except for a chair with a pile of disks, and a parrot in a cage in the corner.]
The Parrot: Good work, Shalimar. [Shalimar and Brennan look at each other.]

*****Commercial Break*******

The Parrot: Good work, Shalimar.
Brennan (chuckling): Well, unless you and your fine feathered friend here go way back, our informant knew we were gonna be here.
Shalimar: Yeah, I know, but how? The only way I found him was through my feral hearing.
Brennan: He anticipated it. He definitely knows our moves. That's how he's able to stay three steps ahead of us. [He picks up the disks on the chair.] What say we check out these little door prizes he left for us? [As Shalimar and Brennan walk back out of the room, Brennan turns to say a last word with The Parrot.] Skrawk!

[At La Brasserie du Boheme, Lexa sits at the bar. Blake walks up to her.]
Lexa (pouring herself a glass of wine): A cat burglar, a bar owner, and an artist. Tell me, who's the real Randall Blake?
Blake: All three. The bar keeps me legit, the burglary keeps the doors open, and the painting...ah. The painting feeds my soul.
Lexa: And that's important to you?
Blake: The rest is just surviving. Art is life.
Lexa (rolling her eyes): Oh, I didn't realize I'd be getting a free lesson in philosophy.
Blake: Are you always this cocky?
Lexa: No. I'm worse on the job.
Blake: Yeah, well, I hope you're as good as you think you are. The last painting of the trilogy's the hardest of all.
Lexa: Okay. What are we looking at her? A bank, state of the art security, what?
Blake: Worse. It's part of someone's private collection. Have you ever heard of Slava Chekanov?
Lexa: Should I have?
Blake: Slava's a major player in the Russian mob. Painting's stored in his mansion.
Lexa: Okay, how hard's it gonna be to break in?
Blake: He's got a small army protecting him and his toys. A cockroach couldn't get in. [Lexa nods.] Is this making a dent with you at all? This job is about as deadly as...as it gets.
Lexa: You say that like it's a bad thing. [They smile at each other.]

[Back at Sanctuary, Brennan hovers over Shalimar at the computer as she tries to decipher the disks from the apartment.]
Brennan: Does this make any sense to you?
Shalimar: It will in a minute, as soon as the computer finishes translating this into English.
Brennan: Well, what is it?
Shalimar: Well, it looks like a proposal by the scientist who owned those paintings. He thought he could create an alternative to fossil fuel. A cost-efficient way of processing water into hydrogen power.
Brennan: Well. Clean, safe, cheap fuel for the whole world. Am I stupid, or is this the breakthrough we've been looking for for the past 50 years? [Shal smirks at him.] Don't answer that. So that's what it's all about, huh? Think he actually made it work?
Shalimar: Who knows? But I bet he hid that formula in those three paintings. Jess, you getting this?
Jesse (in the Double Helix): Oh, yeah. No wonder somebody's trying to suppress it. You know I'd bet the Helix that whoever's paying Blake's got tentacles to the oil industry in some way.
Shalimar: Yeah, well, this information's way to valuable for us to let it slip through our fingers.
Brennan: The only problem is we only have one third of the equation.
Jesse: I'm gonna take another look at what we've got. See if maybe I missed something that could lead us to the last painting.
Brennan (sitting down across from Shalimar): You know what I wanna know is is? Is why did The Dominion lie to us in the first place, right? They said this technology could jeopardize world security.
Shalimar: Well, everything always boils down to money.
Brennan: I don't know who to believe anymore. But I do plan on asking some questions. [He gets up, heading toward's Lexa's office.]
Shalimar: Hey, not so fast. Lexa's the only one with an all access pass to the Dominion.
Brennan: Well, maybe we oughtta add our name to the list.
Shalimar: No, it's not that easy. We need access codes. I mean, calling the Dominion isn't like picking up the phone and dialing 911.
Brennan: Well, if we can't call them, maybe we should get them to call us. [Shaking her head, Shalimar follows him.]

[At La Brasserie du Boheme, Lexa and Blake are studying blueprints of Slava's estate.]
Lexa: I thought you said this place was like getting into Fort Knox.
Blake: It is. Fortunately, what we're here for is a lot easier to move than three tons of gold bullion.
Lexa: How many men does Slava keep on staff?
Blake: I don't know. No one's ever made it out alive.
Lexa: Good. I'm looking forward to being the first.
Blake (grabbing her arm): You really are fearless, aren't you?
Lexa: That's the only way to play it.
Blake (pulling her close): What I would give to capture that fire on canvas.
Lexa (smiling): I'm sure you would. [Blake kisses her. Jesse's voice sounds over Lexa's comlink.]
Jesse: Lexa, we need to talk. Now.
Lexa (pulling away): A little more wine, maybe? [She hands Blake her empty glass.]
Blake (heading to the bar): Yeah.
Lexa (whispering): This better be good, Jess. I'm working here.
Jesse: Yeah. Your boyfriend pulled a fast one on us.
Lexa: What are you talking about?
Jesse: Well, he switched the paintings. I'm looking at a counterfeit.
Lexa: That's not possible.
Jesse: Oh, it is. I just re-scanned it. Now you try and tell me that he doesn't have your head all turned around.
Lexa: Hey, you're wrong.
Jesse: Okay, then you explain it. Because the Lexa that I know wouldn't drop her guard for a minute for some low-life, smooth-talking--
Lexa (rolling her eyes): Let it go, Jess. I'll get it back.
Jesse: How?
Lexa (taking a tiny tracking device out of her watch): I've got it covered. [She joins Blake at the bar.]

[Shalimar's sitting in a chair in Lexa's office, talking to Brennan, who is examining the computer's modem under the desk.]
Shalimar: Sure you know what you're doing down there, babe? I mean, we can call Jesse.
Brennan: Oh, Jesse, Jesse, Jesse. Man, you know, he's not the only one with a brain around here.
Shalimar: I'm just saying, you don't exactly have a degree in electronics.
Brennan [fires up a tesla coil]: Oooo, hey, look at that! Hey, that's my diploma, okay? Look, all I'm trying to do is trigger an alarm in the encryption device. That'll give them a reason to respond. [He zaps some wires and an alarm beeps.]
Shalimar: Nice work.
Brennan (bumping his head on the desk as he sits up) Oooh.
Lexa's Dominion Contact (appearing on the computer monitor): What exactly do you think you're doing?
Brennan: We need to talk. We want some answers.
The Contact: That's not how it works.
Brennan: Well, it is now, Chief. Unless you want whatever it is we find published in the Daily Times.
The Contact: What is it that you require?
Shalimar: A face to face. We've got questions; you've got answers.
The Contact: Two hours. The alley between Division and Third. [He cuts off the connection.]
Brennan(getting up): Well, that wasn't so difficult.
Shalimar (following him): Yeah. That's what worries me.

[In a back room of La Brasserie du Boheme, Lexa and Blake lie naked in bed together. Lexa's kissing his neck. Seeing that his eyes are closed, she places the tracking chip on her tongue and works her way up to his earlobe. Feeling a pinch, he grabs her shoulders and pushes her back.]
Blake: That hurts.
Lexa: Sorry. What's the matter, don't you trust me? [Considering, he lets her go. She kisses his ear.] There. All better. So um...while we're on the subject of trust, when were you going to tell me you stole my painting?
Blake (frowning): I don't know what you're talking about.
Lexa (creating a laser with her fingertips and holding it to his cheek): Let's try this once again. Or were you looking for some free laser surgery?
Blake (lying very still): Yeah, you do it, and you'll never see any of those paintings again.

*******Commercial Break********

[Lying on top of him, Lexa's still holding a laser to Blake's cheek. Considering his words, she shuts the laser off.]
Blake (smiling, playing with her hair): So, I take it we're partners?
Lexa: That's right. Splitting everything right down the middle.
Blake: That's what I want to hear. [She kisses him.]

[Meanwhile, Shalimar and Brennan wait in the alleyway until Lexa's Dominion Contact drives up in a black car. He rolls down the window.]
The Contact (angrily): This was a very risky maneuver on your part. I take it Miss Pierce had no knowledge of your actions.
Shalimar: We don't answer to her.
The Contact: Clearly. It was foolish to suggest you would reveal the formula to the world. We don't take kindly to blackmail.
Shalimar: You lied to us. You said this was a threat to national security.
The Contact: We anticipated your response to the real nature of the technology and we told you what you needed to know to do the job.
Brennan: At least you admit that you tried to play us.
The Contact: We directed you. That's our role. Do you have any idea what would happen if you release that formula?
Shalimar: Oh, I don't know. The world would have an endless supply of fusion-free fuel?The Contact: And the impact of that technology would cause a shift in the balance of world powers overnight. Whole economies collapsing, decades of war and millions of lives lost before order would be restored. Does any of that fit into the category of ‘threat to national security'?
Brennan: So you are going to bury the formula.
The Contact: We will release it when the world is ready. These kinds of changes take careful planning. The Dominion has controlled the evolution of technology for hundreds of years. This conversation is over.
Brennan (holding up a tesla coil): Think again. I didn't sign on to be your puppet, so you're gonna give us everything you know from now on.
The Contact: You're in no position to make demands. I'll advise you to back away slowly, as there are ten weapons sighted on you right now. [He rolls up the window and drives away.]
Shalimar (looking around): Think he was telling to truth?
Brennan: Doesn't matter. First we gotta focus on finding those other paintings; figure out what to do with them later.

[A few hours later, Lexa finally returns to Jesse in The Double Helix.]
Jesse: Took you long enough.
Lexa (sitting next to him): I did what I had to do.
Jesse (noticing that her shirt's unfastened): Yeah, I know. So how're we gonna get the paintings?
Lexa (following his gaze, snapping her shirt together): Right after the job tonight. I attached a tracker to the back of his earlobe.
Jesse: How'd you do that? I don't wanna know.
Lexa (grinning): I'm sure you don't. Just keep your eye on his every move, okay?
Jesse: Oh, I intend to. Here we go. [They fly back to Sanctuary.]

[That night, at Slava's mansion, a small black cloud floats through the front doors into the living room, then forms back into Blake and Lexa.]
Lexa (smiling at him): Sure makes getting around easy, huh?
Blake: Yeah. The painting is in the second level study.
Lexa: Yeah. We have to get past the guard station first.
Blake: Exactly. Ready to move?
Lexa: Yeah. [Hearing a dog barking, she freezes.] What's that? [She takes Blake's wrist and turns them invisible. A guard walks past the room, trying to hold a huge snarling dog back from entering the room.]
The Guard: Tasha, what are you barking at? There is nothing there. Come on, there is nothing there. Come on! [He pulls the dog away.]
Lexa (visible again): You didn't say anything about a dog.
Blake: That a problem?
Lexa: Yeah. I don't do dog.
Jesse (in the Helix above the mansion): All right, Lexa, I've hacked into the security system. [Monitoring their signals on his computer display, he notices someone on the second floor.] You've got a guard up ahead of you. Ten meters away.
Blake: Second floor should be cleared.
Lexa (starting up the stairs): Guess again. There's a guard headed our way.
Blake: How do you know that?
Lexa (grinning): A girl's gotta have her little secrets. [As they reach the second landing, the guard looks up. Blake shoots a beam of dark matter at the guard, dropping him before he can say anything.]
Blake (stopping outside the door): Now the hard part. The painting's protected by a high-end laser system. A strong breeze could trigger it.
Lexa: Just let me in. I'll take care of the rest. [Blake turns them into a black cloud, seeps under the door, and reforms on the other side. He sprays an aerosol gas into the room, illuminating the parallel rows of laser beams in front of them.]
Blake: Can you handle it?
Lexa: Of course. Just stay with me.
Blake: I'd love to. [Using lasers from her own hands, Lexa bends the security laser beams outward just far enough to allow them to pass through. Lexa picks up a small stool and steps on it to cut the painting out of its frame above the fireplace.]

[Outside the mansion, Jesse's still sitting in the Double Helix when Brennan and Shalimar arrive at the mansion. Brennan knocks out one of the guards who is standing at the front door.]
Jesse: Brennan, keep an eye on Lexa. I don't trust this guy as far as I can see him.
Brennan: I hear you. We're on it.

[Up on the second floor, Lexa rolls the painting up, puts it into her case, and hands the case to Blake. Case in hand, Blake quickly turns and steps back through the laser beams, setting off the alarm.]
Lexa (gasping): What are you doing?!
Blake: Sorry, angel. I'm really gonna miss you. [He turns into a black cloud and seeps under the door, leaving her locked inside the room.]
Lexa (running to the door): Yeah, trust me, you'll be seeing me again. [Hearing the alarms, three armed guards on the first floor rush up the stairs towards the room. Lexa, unable to open the door, calls her teammates over her comlink.] Guys, I need help here, quick.

*******Commercial Break*******

[Lexa turns invisible and backs away from the door as the three armed guards burst into the room.]
Guard #1 (noticing the empty frame on the wall): It's gone! [He's about to turn away when he notices that the laser beams around where Lexa's standing are slightly distorted.] What the hell? [He starts into the room, but Brennan, standing on the first floor landing, zaps him. Shalimar leaps up the stairs and throws the last guard to the ground.]
Shalimar: Guys, we've gotta go. [Shalimar, Lexa, and Brennan flee down the stairs. They're stopped by two guards who start shooting at them. Brennan electrifies the first one's gun, forcing him to drop it. Lexa creates a starburst to blind him, and Brennan and Lexa punch the two guards unconscious as Shalimar takes down a third.]
Brennan (to Lexa): Did you get it? [Lexa holds up her apparently empty hand, then makes the rolled-up painting she's holding visible. The one in the case she gave Blake was a forgery after all.]
Lexa: One down. Two to go. [Lexa, Shalimar and Brennan head out of the mansion and run into the back door of the Double Helix to join Jesse, who's waiting for them. Lexa runs to the seat next to Jesse.] Where's Blake?
Jesse (monitoring Blake's tracking device on his computer): He's on his way to the train station.
Shalimar (sitting down in the back): What do you say we make sure he has some company?
Jesse: Oh, yeah. [The Helix takes off.]

[At the train station, Blake is standing in front of a row of lockers, holding a duffel bag. He begins to open a lock on one of the top lockers. Peering out from behind a wall, Shalimar gives directions to Jesse, who has phased into the wall behind the lockers.]

Shalimar (into her comlink): Looks like the fourth from the right; top row. [Jesse counts four over and leans over to unzip his own duffel bag. Meanwhile, Shalimar emerges from behind the wall toting a suitcase and purposely bumps into Blake on her way to the locker next to his.]
Shalimar (acting ditzy): I'm sorry. I'm not usually this clumsy.
Blake (checking her out): No problem.
Shalimar (pretending that her suitcase is too heavy for her to lift): Would you mind giving me a hand?
Blake: Of course. [As Blake lifts her suitcase into her locker, Jesse phases into the back of his locker, removes the two paintings inside, and replaces them with forgeries.]
Shalimar (to Blake): Thanks. [She reaches out to get her key from him, but he holds onto it a little longer.]
Blake (looking at her closely): Have we met?
Shalimar: I don't think so. [He hands her the key.] Maybe I'll bump into you again sometime. [She bounces off, throwing him a flirtatious smile over her shoulder. Jesse manages to get his hand out Blake's locker just as Blake opens the locker door on the other side. Blake puts the two cases into his duffel bag and walks off.]
Jesse (into his comlink): It's done. [He phases back out through the wall.]

[Back at Sanctuary, Brennan and Jesse are looking at Sefcheck's complete formula on the computer screen.]
Jesse: Decades of war and millions of deaths for a safe non-polluting fuel.
Brennan (sighing): Well, what do we do with it?
Jesse: Tough decision. I know what Lexa's vote would be, though.
Brennan (rolling his eyes): Yeah. I say we hold onto it.
Jesse: Mmmm.... Not enough information.
Brennan: Well, then we get it.
Jesse: Nope! We're gonna have to give it to the Dominion. [Brennan stares at him.] Look, I talked to Shalimar and she agrees. Right now, we're just gonna have to trust them. But we will make a copy of it for here in Sanctuary, just in case. [Going to the computer, he saves the file.]

[At La Brasserie du Boheme, Blake is drinking alone at the bar when Lexa walks up to him.]
Lexa (smiling): No hard feelings, I hope.
Blake: I didn't expect to see you so soon.
Lexa: After you tried to kill me?
Blake: Please. I knew you could take them in your sleep. I just tried to slow you down, but I couldn't even manage that, could I? My buyer wasn't too pleased with the fake you gave me. [He chugs his drink.] Nice work.
Lexa: It was lucky that you got out alive.
Blake: So we're even.
Lexa (reaching up to take the tracker from his earlobe): Here. [She sticks it to his finger.] A little parting gift. It's how we found you.
Blake (smiling): Maybe I'll keep it. In case you ever want to find me again.
Lexa: Oh, I'll be back. [She starts to walk out.]
Blake: Really?
Lexa (stopping): Yeah. There's a little painting over here I'm just dying to add to my collection. [She nods at the painting of the woman in the corner; Blake turns to look at it.]
Blake (turning back to her): Well, we could always... [He stops, realizing Lexa's's already gone.]

[Shalimar walks into her room, taking off her coat. Her computer beeps to signal an incoming message.]
The Voice: Hello, Shalimar. You've chosen to trust The Dominion.
Shalimar (going over to the computer): You telling me that was the wrong thing to do?
The Voice: As far as I know at this point, it was the right choice.
Shalimar: Then why didn't you tell me that to start with?
The Voice: I did not have all the answers. You needed to discover the truth on your own.
Shalimar: Who the hell are you to tell me what I need?
The Voice: Patience, Shalimar. You'll find out soon enough.
Shalimar: Next time we speak, it'll be in person. [She slams the computer shut. Unseen, the screen dissolves into a sea of flipping numbers and letters, then clears to reveal the face of Adam Kane. He's sitting in an empty room, in front of a blank computer screen.]
Adam (to himself): Fine. If that's the way you want it.

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