Back On His Feet

Participants:

constantine_icon.gif muldoon_icon.gif nisha_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Back On His Feet
Synopsis Muldoon and Constantine keep their promise to Mr. Nobody.
Date February 1, 2009

Undisclosed Location


He'd been told not to get up out of bed without very good reason. Going to the bathroom is an exceptionally good reason, and after lingering by the mirror just long enough to know that he, at least, recognises his own face, the man Constantine off-handedly dubbed as 'Nobody' makes his way towards the window in his bedroom. As of yesterday, this bedroom and the bathroom adjacent to it is his entire world, and so he peers out the glass, a hand coming up to touch the cool surface. What he sees is nothing very special - brambly, rural terrain and a slice of road beyond that. Staten Island, apparently.

He's been dressed in clothes that mostly fit him - comfortable, loose pants that hide the precautionary leg splint, his weight on his other, and a hooded, nondescript sweater that somehow manages to be oversized, but at least warm. Bare feet against the cool floor. No watch in sight on his wrists and therefore, he has no clear idea as to what the time is, but that man— whatever his name was— did say he'd be coming today. He tilts his head to peer towards the sky, as if maybe the sun's position would let him know about what time it was. Of course, that helps exactly not at all when you have no sense of direction, and a sigh briefly steams the glass, palm hitting the window gently in a small gesture of frustration.

Then, he hears foot steps. Way before he should. Brow furrowing, he turns his head towards the closed door, listening.

The footsteps draw closer — not just one set, but three distinctly different ones — and a few moments later the lock turns, the door opens, and the bearded man appears in its frame. As promised, Dr. Constantine Filatov is with him, but there's also a new addition to their miniature cartel: a tall, statuesque woman with dark eyes, waves of long brown hair and burnished skin. Her face isn't one that he recognizes — no big surprise there.

"You're up on your feet," the bearded man remarks, not without a mild hint of reproach, though he grudgingly has to admit, "that's good." He shuts the door behind them, then gestures for the room's occupant to take a seat. "Nisha, this is the young man that the doctor and I were telling you about."

Nisha - the only member of the trio whom this battle beleaguered belligerent has not met before - smiles as she enters, her heeled boots clicking on the cement floor. It's a gentle smile, full of warmth and kindness, and occupies both her lips and her eyes. Her occupation isn't discernible at first glance, though she carries a thin leather folder. Dressed in a pair of boot cut jeans and a simple black cashmere sweater that hugs her figure without being ostentatious, the woman is certainly well-enough off to know it is not something to be flaunted.

"Hello," she says as she slowly steps toward him, shifting the folder in order to extend her hand in greeting. "My name is Nisha." Her eyes study his face, her own fixed with an expression of subdued wonder. "I hear you need to be caught up a bit."

As to whether or not 'Nobody' being on his feet is a good thing, Constantine keep quiet. Once again, he has arrived carrying his doctoring bag, and giving his patient only a nod of acknowledgment, begins to immediately 'set up shop'. For as last century as the bag looks, it is not without its modern use; the first object removed from it is a netbook computer. The rest, including a variety of diagnostic and surgical tools, small bottles of chemicals and some syringes, are kept neatly in a metal caddy that easily rises up out of the bag and rests neatly atop it, using the wide base for balance. Maybe more hydrocodone is in order.

With regards to the rest, however, he keeps quiet. He is here to doctor, not to babysit.

The fourth occupant of the room who does not know how quite to introduce himself pauses, before taking Nisha's hand, all the while glancing towards the bearded man, then back to the woman. A cut forms an almost black line down the middle of his bottom lip, although the swelling has gone down since a few days ago, and another seam closes a gash at his forehead, stitches relatively fresh ad surrounded by deep bruising. These would be the more superficial indications of his ordeal - it hurts to stand, despite having chosen to do so.

Handshake done, 'Nobody' moves at a limp to take a seat, opting for the end of his bed, the current center of his very limited universe. He keeps his right leg stretched out, left foot bracing against the floor, and his gaze drifts towards what the doctor is doing, even as he addresses the woman. Nisha. "Why," he asks, looking back up at her, "do you know who I am?"

The bearded man, meanwhile, leans into the doorframe with one shoulder and goes fishing in his interior suit pocket for his cigarette tin and a box of matches. It's Nisha's show now.

As if she wished she had better news for the man, Nisha's smile becomes strained as she shakes her head. "I don't. I am sorry." She moves to sit on the other end of the bed, giving Nobody plenty of space so as not to make him uncomfortable. She rests the folder on her lap, then her elbows on top of it. Her long fingers lace together, brushing the side of her face as she turns to face him.

"What I am going to tell you isn't going to be easy to understand," Nisha begins. "But you have to believe me."

There is no delaying it, and so, with a swallow, Nisha gets on with it.

"Just over two years ago, New York City suffered a nuclear attack engineered and carried out by a single man."

For the moment, Constantine hangs back. The examination can wait a short time while Nisha fills in Nobody's gaps.

It's a good call on Nisha's part, to maintain some distance - the already small room is only smaller now with the presence of three strangers, and it makes Nobody more on edge than he already was, though he doesn't express this in any way. He's starting to learn some things about himself. Shyness. Paranoia. Maybe that's just circumstantial, however. His hands come up to fidget minutely with the draw chords of his hoodie, dark brown gaze settled on Nisha as she talks, and his severe brow angles further somewhat as he frowns at what she has to say, eyes narrowing. Nothing he expected.

His gaze slides away to look, again, to the man at the door as if he'd offer explanation, then back to Nisha. "You're right, I don't understand," he says. He starts to say more, then pauses, and goes back into listening silence. Believing her, as instructed.

Nisha is a woman who lives and breathes the nature of facts, and it is clear from the look on the man's face that he would prefer some. She straightens her posture, tearing her eyes from Nobody in order to open her folder and pass him a matted newspaper clipping. She could easily be the journalist who wrote this article, were it not for the fact that the byline bears another person's name.

It is dated the ninth of November, 2006. The Chicago Tribune. The article details the events of the previous day, but the nature of the bomb that went off in Midtown is vague and admittedly uncertain. The focus of the article is on the rush of government agencies to contain the resulting effects.

"This man," Nisha continues after she's given her audience a moment to look over the clipping, "was able to do this because he was the device. Within him, he held the power of possibly countless nuclear warheads. The authorities had been tracking him for some time in connection with several murders, but…it would seem he adopted the 'scorched earth' policy when it came to eluding capture."

A second clipping is pulled from the folder, but this one bears the legend of the New York Times. On it is a picture of a man dubbed "Sylar."

This man bears a striking resemblance to one sitting not four feet from Nisha in a very small room, but only a slight quickening of her heartbeat would help support any claim that this alarms her.

"When it became known that a man could and did possess such an ability, the world soon learned that others did as well. Some, of course, were not as deadly. People were afraid."

He's quick to accept the information presented to him, at least physically, hand going out to take the newspaper clipping and scanning the words, easily filing them away for later contemplation with an abnormally good memory. A hand comes up to touch his fingertips to the stitches in his forehead, just fidgeting as he reads, though it drops again so as to take the second clipping, and subsequently freezing. The first clipping now lying on his bed is forgotten as he studies the photograph, of the man who apparently blew up New York, who showed the world the truth in one white hot moment of destruction.

People like this shouldn't exist. My, but does Nobody look an awful lot like him.

"Abilities," he repeats, a little vacantly, mouth dry all of a sudden and so he swallows as if this might help it. When he looks back at her, there's much uncertainty, unwillingness to make certain connections in what she's saying, but this topic he latches on to, readily, even if his fingers clasp the image in his hands tightly. "Like when I— threw the table across the room without touching it," a glance to the other two men in the room who witnessed it, as if to show that he's not talking crazy, it did happen, "that's what you mean?" He'd been thinking on that a lot, although he hadn't attempted it again since.

That smile finds Nisha's face again, reinflated with a pleased intake of breath. "Yes," she says with a nod. "That's exactly what I mean. But, of course, this changed a lot of things for a lot of people, especially those who didn't have such abilities. But they did have the ability - the power - to make laws.

"They passed the Linderman Act." Nobody is handed a third clipping detailing the press conference where the legislation was announced and what it entailed. "Those possessing abilities were required to register themselves with the government. Many were hunted down and killed by groups who were opposed to their very existence. Others fought back against those that would see them dead, or against the government. Still more went into hiding."

For the first time during her tale, Nisha looks away from the memory-less man to those who brought her here, as if awaiting some sort of pass to continue, but it is a fleeting glance. "This place - Staten Island - is one of those places. Since the bridge collapsed last week, it has been accessible only boat, making it difficult for the government to poke about."

Her own dark eyes settle back on Nobody's own with a subtle yet sharp urgency. "I know that the man who unearthed all of this when he tore out the heart of New York is dead. I know that… I know that should you leave this place and go back there, they will not hesitate. They will not ask questions. They will only see you and be immediately afraid, without cause. And they will act on that fear."

"There are people," the bearded man puts in, pausing to light his cigarette, "whose gift might be able to restore your memories. I don't know anyone who can do it, but my business takes me many places and allows me to make new friends. If you're willing to stay with us for just a little longer, Mister Nobody, I'll do everything in my power to track down someone who can help you remember who you are. Provided, of course, that you do something for us in return whilst I'm looking."

The information Nobody is given is set down on the bed sheets, hands then raising to rub his face wearily. Nisha's words are a lot to take in, but luckily, there's plenty of room for it. It could all be some elaborate hoax, but for now, he has no real choice but to believe it. If there's further truth out there… he'll find it. One way or another. His hands smooth back to the back of his neck, wincing a little as his shoulder twinges unpleasantly and he goes to grip that arm to him instead, and then looking up as Muldoon says his piece. His eyes widen a little at the suggestion that there is a way he can be fixed. That he can get his name back, whatever it might be, and confirm that the reason he doesn't feel like a murderer is because he isn't one.

"Stay— I can stay," he agrees, voice rough, likely from the amount of sleep he's gotten, as well as the hacking coughs that had plagued him through the night, and seemed to have backed off. "I don't have anywhere else to go." If what Nisha is saying is the truth, at least. He's not going to risk tempting fate. A puzzled pause ensues. "What do you want me to do? I'll— "

…do anything, should be the rest of that phrase, and yes, he's desperate. But this man who remains nameless to him still is not a reassuring presence, and so that sentence is cut off, mouth closing and awaiting the answer.

"I haven't decided what I want you to do," the bearded man says, and maybe this might bring Nobody some small amount of relief, "but I'm sure our operation has room for you somewhere. In the meantime, feel free to explore the island — you aren't a prisoner here, after all. Just don't go too far. It would be— unfortunate if you ran into the wrong person at the wrong time, if you follow my meaning." And just in case he doesn't, he gives Constantine a slight nod. "Dr. Filatov?" he asks. "If you'd be so kind as to give the young man a demonstration of what he might be up against out there?"

"As you wish." It's a simple enough request, and at his leisure, really, Filatov approaches Nobody while opening a small tube of over-the-counter antibiotic ointment, which he smears a thin layer of over the wound of his patient's forehead (although doing so only after he is certain that there will be no confusion about what is in the tube. The words are clear enough). That done, he keeps his index finger pressed against the wound somewhat firmly and works his magic, pushing the hands of the clock forward. Although Nobody can't see it, he can probably feel it, the passage of time as the cut pulls itself closed, a scar avoided due to the application of the antibiotic. When he's finished, it's as if his patient were an extraordinarily fast healer. "Take a look at yourself."

He nods his understanding at the bearded man's words, then stays still as Filatov approaches - warily so, and wincing a little when the man so firmly touches bruised and torn skin. "Ow," Nobody mutters, but any further complaint or question is gone when he feels the pain of injury simply evaporate. In confusion, Filatov is simply blinked up at, before a hand lifts to feel out the now smooth plane of skin where a scar should be. No further hesitation is made, ignoring the physical complaints of his own body at movement as he gets to his feet and limps towards where a mirror is fixed to the wall, hands coming to rest against the wall on either side to balance himself. Head tilts a little to inspect where the gash used to be, then giving a breath of laughter.

For the first time since he woke up here, there's a brief flash of a smile in his reflection. "That's amazing," he comments. Once upon a time, this man's approval of someone else's ability might lead to their demise, but there's no envy here. None at all. Just admiration. Quite a change. "Can you do that for everything?" he asks, now glancing to the doctor through his reflection, before turning back to the rest of the room. "Are— are all of you— ?" He's not quite sure of the word to describe it.

"No," Nisha answers with a soft smile. She sighs softly, tilting her head in an almost motherly manner as she looks at the man on the next to her. "But not all who are unlike you are against you - remember that. There are greater things to be afraid of." Reaching out a hand, Nisha tentatively cups the wayward man's cheek, smoothing the stubbed skin under her thumb.

Her smile widens slightly as her eyelids start to close. "You are no unknown," Nisha softly muses. "You are afraid of nothing. And why would you, Tavisha?"

Back on the bed now as she addresses him, glad to be seated, the touch makes him go still, a twitch away from recoiling— but he doesn't, perhaps due to the perceived harmlessness of this woman and the smile she affords him. Tavisha. An empty memory offers him little comparison in deciding if this is a good name, or a strange name, or any real opinion surrounding it other than the fact that it is a name… and therefore better than Nobody.

The newspaper clippings lay forgotten between them, acknowledged only in that a hand braced against the bed crumples one of them carelessly, and finally he turns his head from her, away from that touch. "Hard to be afraid of what you don't know," he says, picking up the clippings— hesitating at the photograph before handing all three back to the woman. "But I know more now." And fear isn't something to worry about just yet. "Thank you." There's genuine gratitude, there, even if a smile in return isn't present.

The bearded man blows smoke out through his nose, seemingly content with the explanation Nisha has afforded the newly-dubbed Tavisha. "You can come and go as you please," he tells him. "We'll set you up with more permanent accomodations as soon as we've found a job for you. If you need anything, ask for directions to the Happy Dagger, or the Pancratium. Tell them that James Muldoon sent you, and one of my people will be in touch."

With only a glance to the bearded man that carries a remnant of that same smile, though it could easily be said that it simply takes time to fade from her face, Nisha directs her attention to the articles. She gathers them back up to return to her folder, then stands to move back toward the door. "Alvida, Tavisha." She says at the door before she takes the initiative to open it and slip through.

"As important as I think it is that, 'Tavisha'-" That, is a name, right?- "Be brought up to speed, I do have a medical examination to conduct. I'm not being paid to add to the atmosphere, after all." That said, Constantine moves back towards his equipment and begins assembling the tools he deems necessary for work.

It's name enough. Watching as Nisha leaves with a hint of a nod in departure, Tavisha looks towards Muldoon as he's finally named to him as well, eyebrows raising a little at the slightly strange instruction— but everything is slightly strange here. As far as Tavisha is concerned, it's perfectly normal now. "Alright," he agrees, and that seems to be the end of it, turning his attention to Constantine and mentally bracing himself for his injuries to be poked and prodded at. If he'll be doing any exploring, well… that depends on how good a doctor Filatov is. Considering the massively depleted headache… pretty damn good.

Muldoon follows Nisha out the door, pulling it shut behind him with a gentle click. The sound of their retreating footsteps linger in Tavisha's ears longer than they probably ought, but they soon fade away all the same, whispers of shoes against the concrete outside. And then they're gone — existing only as a memory to replace those that he's lost.


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February 1st: A Waste Of Time
Previously in this storyline…
A Waste of Time

Next in this storyline…
Eve of Battle

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February 1st: My Mary Jane Varlane
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