Bloody Legacy


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Scene Title Bloody Legacy
Synopsis Blood and water have many similarities.
Date March 12, 2009


Cover charge. Security guards. Big damn cage with packed-dirt floor, signs of use marring the bars - burn marks, ice marks, dents. Hooks curve wickedly, a few from each cage wall, sometimes bare, sometimes holding rudimentary weapons.

First front row shows sign of similar ruin, often empty of people, crowd pushed back and around the cage. They cheer, they pass money back and forth, they call out requests like CRUSH or KILL or DECAPITATE. A surrounding balcony is filled with those who don't wish to rub elbows with the lower class of gamblers down below, safely away from the danger.

Welcome to the Pancratium.

It might be true that Tavisha will tell those he encounters that he is not the same man that they once knew. He doesn't like to hurt, and he certainly doesn't like to kill. He doesn't relish being employed in some underground fight club that imprisons unwilling participants and forces them to fight for the profits and gains of others. That he'd trade in all the power in the world for the opportunity to carry out a normal life.

Most of that's true. But not all of it.

Alone in the ring, Tavisha prowls like a caged animal, bare feet making light prints on the packed earth ground. Dust collects on the bottom hems of black pants, which seems to meld into the black wife beater that does nothing to protect him from whatever will be put through those cage doors. The crowd has become rowdier ever since he admitted himself through the cage doors, and now, at the very back of the crowd, the chanting has starting. Two simple syllables, repeated over and over.

Sy-lar. Sy-lar. Sy-lar.

He could almost get addicted to this.

A hand extends, and something attached to a hook rattles. A chain with a hook at the end suddenly volts off its perching place, spins through the air in a deadly arc, almost enough to take Tavisha's own head off as it spins towards him. He ducks, that hand moves to catch the end of the chain, flicks a wrist, let's it come down hard to bury on curving hook of rusted metal into the dirt. A small trick, one that looks more difficult than it is, one he could never repeat in the heat of battle, is enough to gain a roaring cheer from the crowd eager for three things:

Money. Entertainment.

And blood.

The display may have the crowd roaring, but the opening of one side of the cage in a roar of metal might bring out even more. After all… displays of ability only give so much excitment. Blood only comes when a second opponent enters.

Red hair hangs into the woman's face, green eyes peeking out and looking into the cage at her opponent as she steps inside. Some of the cries change. They know this woman. They know what she can offer them.


Clothes slide over her skin, black fabric that covers her from neck to ankles, with her arms bare. Arms scratched and scared, visible scabs still healing over. Knives hang from a belt at her waist, weapons. Tall, lithely built, she doesn't seem to be imposing, if one didn't see the look in her eyes.

"So you're the Midtown Man," she murmurs softly, looking him over. That's what they call him. That's the name they're chanting. "The man who blew up New York."

There's a hint of a smile, as she glances to the hook. The end of the display had been caught, she might be wary about it, but her heartbeat… it's completely steady. No signs of fear. No signs of worry. It's slow. Firm. Unrelenting.

Ni-na. Ni-na. Ni-na.

Tavisha looks out towards the crowd before acknowledging his opponent, the tide temporary shifting, changing, chanting someone else's name. The energy is palpable and only grows as his territory is infringed upon, looking towards the far more experienced fighter. He gives the chain in his hand a quick jerk, the hook jumping up, caught in his other hand.

"That's right," he says, stepping closer, gently windmilling the hook and chain around in a gradual circle, fast enough that the chain remains taut but somehow still slow, still lazy. The metal cuts through air in a rhythmic whoosh.

"What do they call you?"

Their names begin to mingle. The betting is almost fifty-fifty, if that's to be of any indication.

The metal cutting through the air should make just about anyone in the ring anxious. From the sound of her heartbeat, though, she doesn't even seem excited.

thump thump thump thump

The yelling of their names is more varied than her heartbeat, the whoosh of the chain might be about as steady. Despite the lack of fear there, though, there's a hint of it in her eyes, as she watches the chain. A heartbeat is difficult to fake, though, a visible cue always is. Could she be playing up anxiety for the crowd?

"Lady Blood," she remarks softly, offhandedly, as if she thinks little of the name. It might sound better in another language. Nina doesn't seem to care for it, even if the audience does. Blood, after all, is what they come for mostly.

One of the knives at her belt is drawn out, and she keeps a quiet distance from him as she watches the chain spin. She might need to dive any moment, and she knows it.

Her heart remains as steady, as true as a ticking clock.

Flicking the knife, she holds it underhanded, against her arm, as the cage slams closed.

"Lady Blood," Tavisha repeats, gaze going down to the sharper weapons in her hand, the way she weilds them, and of course, he listens to her steady heartbeat, preternaturally so. The circular motion of the hook almost matches it, and as she begins to draw her knife against her arm, as the hinges creak for the cage door to shut, he picks up the pace of the chain swings, even as her heart beat does not.

Clang. The door shuts. The locks click into place.

The hook arcs over head, in two vicious circles, before the chain is released and both it and the hook go hurtling towards Nina, more force than finesse, but there's no doubt in his throw. Nothing like a killing blow, it's designed to get things moving. Either way, the crowd cheers. The fight's begun.

The lack of finesse and the preperation for movement mean Nina's ready when the chain hook hurtles toward her. She dives out of the way, the hook impacting ground where she'd been standing. The end of the chain catches her side, but doesn't do much beyond bruise her and earn a soft curse not in English. Russian. This does not mean she comes up without visible injury, though. The knife that she pressed against her arm dulls with blood, the dirt has some sprinkles of blood on it as well. Not nearly as much as what happens to be gathering on her arm.

The Lady of Blood can live up to her name. Blood rolls down her arm as she straightens, but there's no change at all to her heartbeat. Injury should make that go up. Pain should. There's pain in the way her lips twist, but there's still no change. Not yet.

The blood flowing out of her is flowing much too quickly, though. And except for a few drops, none of it falls. It gathers. It collects. It splays out. And it hardens.

Suddenly she grasping a deeply colored rock like hook, much like the one he threw at her. The blood continues, writhing into something like a chain and wrapping around her arm. It doesn't go solid, it continues to flow. Much like water. Only not.

Without waiting for it to be ready, she darts closer, feet moving against packed dirt as she tries to swipe at him with the knife.

The chain releases from his hand, and he's already summoning another weapon to his other. The trusty lead pipe, which never proves to be too trusty in the end, but it serves its purpose. It jumps up from where it had been hooked, smacks against Tavisha's palm with force enough to sting, and with a white-knuckled grip, he turns just in time to counter Nina's lightfooted approach.

The knife flashes in the spotlights, swiping around to cut, and he lashes right back with the lead pipe, a metallic grind sounding sharp as the blade meets the blunt, rusted edge. More luck than true training, he attempts to fend off the next attack, barely even unconscious of the blood-formed hook she's developing. Too much to think about, like pointy knives.

The defense might have caused a waver finally. Nina's heart skips a beat. Only once. It's only noticable because the rhythm got thrown off, missing a step. After the skip, it sits back to normal. a light steady rhythm. The next attack follows. No time to pause. He's distracted by the defensive moves he makes in response to what's distracting her. The move becomes sloppy. Sweat beads down from her forehead as her jaw tightens.


No, just sweat.

But for an instant there's a flicker, like a stray frame in a movie. Maybe the way her hair hangs in her face caused the illusion of trails of blood, with the way the light flickers off of the blade, off of the pipe.

In an attack so sloppy that she leaves an opening, her arm finally comes up, the chain of blood unravelling and flinging out at him. The blood has darker shards buried in the liquid, like glass in water, threatening to cut skin and bite at him as it whips outward.

With a solid hook carried on the end. Much smaller and shorter than the hook and chain he threw around, and with a kind of life of it's own.

No time to think. Even as the woman's appearance seems to distort, as beads of sweat turn red and hair becomes liquid, in the center of a moment, it can be dismissed as a response to adrenaline, as the blinding lights that beam down on them, of the roaring crowd and the energy it generates.

Tavisha has more things to worry about. And yet, he blinks

The crowd bears witness to the Midtown Man tipping his head back in a snarl when the hook's wickedly sharp point catches on his arm, making a deep, gouging wound from shoulder to elbow before he manages to skirt away. Far less freer than the wound on Nina's arm, blood still flows, long dark red streaks coursing along the curve of skin over muscle. Still, there's room there. He brings the lead pipe around to snap across her jaw.

The opening is taken. The pipe snaps across the woman's jaw. Nina is whipped away by the strength of the blow, blood forming at her mouth as she falls against the side of the cage. The blood chain falters, knocked down, half of the thick liquid splashing against the dirt. Her heart beat skips again, speeds up, then falls back into the steady rhythm.


For a moment it seems like she's curled up in a ball against the cage, arms over her head, covering her hair.


The blood writhing on the dirt, trying to keep from getting soaked up, looks clear for an instant. The dirt looks flatter, lighter.


It's gone as fast as it appeared.

The blood flings back upwards, having lost some of the length it had gained, but with enough to lash out at him again. Her arm moves as she manipulates it, the arm that still bleeds.

Green eyes are defiant, angry.


Horrified. Scared. Pained. Degraded.



There's a soft thud as the pipe falls, landing on the dirt and rolling away, Tavisha staring as the visage of the woman shifts in flashes, such subtle changes - posture, eyes, water, blood, and everything else is so constant. People with money on his name know a twist of anxiety as the Midtown Man stands stock still for a moment, doing nothing.

Even when the blood chain kicks up, the hook arcing towards his face. It glances off his temple, sending the tall man toppling back down against the packed earth. A cheer for Nina and a groan of restless annoyance from the others, more blood— so much of it, the smell of it enough to make him stomach twist— spider webbing down his face.

Shadows in defiance of the bright lights start forming beneath his hands, ashy smoke curling like tendrils, and Nina will feel it, a prickle of discomfort across her skin, feeding at her injuries in particular. A dryness in her mouth, dry as death, a stab of nausea, but it's gone in the next moment. The wound at his arm, the one at his temple, closes up.

Entirely instinctive, Tavisha flipping around on his back to stare at her, to clumsily crab crawl away.

The nausea might hit her more than it should. On top of bloodloss, the draining of something else pulls at her and keeps her on her knees. The defiance in her eyes falters. This time without the flickering. Nina growls, the knife left behind on the dirt as she reaches up to wipe the blood off her mouth. It smears at her cheek. The bruise is already forming, forming even more than it probably should be. The wound aches. Her heart beat falters again, before falling back into the controlled rhythm.

"You heal," she spits out with a growl, not liking this at all. How can she take down a man who can heal himself. It will have to be quickly.

The blood on her arm starts to gather around her, the whip that she'd made moves back to her, joining it, adding to it. Little shards of dried blood are left behind on the dirt.


It looks clear again, writhing around her body as if trying to protect her. Her hair looks stringier, her skin dirty. The physical likeness remains constant, but the transparency of the blood fades in and out.

Standing, the blood— Flicker. — water — Flicker. — blood moves with her, like a second skin. Hair hangs in her face, stringy, red, darkened with sweat. With blood. The bruise on the side of her face fades, looking as if it's days old, then looks brand new again.

"You're going to die, Midtown Man," she threatens, voice carrying pain that her heartbeat masks.


No, no presence of a new ghost in his head, just the remembered instruction from that ice-cold hunter's perspective he'd adopted just the previous night. It slides a shard of ice through his scrambled concentration, defeating, for a moment, the horror-show images of Nina and the red-headed woman whose presence seems to pierce at his soul. He doesn't know who she is, but he knows two things.

He has her ability, and he asked her forgiveness. Something in him very much wants to break, but the rest of him won't let that happen.

It's not his fault, not now, and maybe not even then.

Qilai is another way of saying get up.

His fingers dig grooves into the dirt as Tavisha gets back on his feet. "I heal," he agrees, a growl in his voice and lips pulling back to show his teeth in a barely contained snarl. His arms spread, unarmed, daring her to take a strike. Though she can't hear it, his heart hammers with more fear than his outward appearance betrays, just like her only inverse.

"Healing won't save you," Nina hisses out through her teeth, standing up and looking stronger than she should. She got bodily tossed about. Her blood hangs around her, flowing over her skin. It still wants to flicker. The protective shell of liquid changing. Forgiveness.

The walls of the cage almost seem to tighten, to come closer. A dripping sound in the background. Even with the roar of the crowd, chanting of names, voices that want more blood, that want death, that want pain… there's a drip.

Once upon a time, water could be used to tell time. The drip-drop of water pulled by gravity almost as steady and accurate as a ticking clock. It's in perfect tune with the heart that beats in the woman's chest. Slow. Steady. Drip. Thump. Drip. Thump.

Dared to strike out, the blood on her body gathers into a single spot, moving back down her arm. The flow of blood halted from her arm has lessened, but hasn't sealed over. Her skin is pale. There's a lot of blood in use. But she has time…

It forms into a lash with a thought, propelled toward him. It doesn't get solidified, though, it doesn't have shards of dried blood to cut. Instead it tries to splash him, to cover him.

No defense for that. Telekinesis requires things to grab, things a hand can grip fingers around and break, throw, lift. Tavisha arms come up as thick red liquid arcs towards him, spattering over the tattoo on his arm, soaking into his shirt, a splash on the side of his face and through his hair.

They'd told him, her fights were messy. He hadn't quite prepared himself.

Looking down at himself, then back up at her, Tavisha's jaw clenches and he points three fingers in her direction. Three needle-fine beams of light emit from the tips, piercing her with points of intense heat before cutting out again, other hand coming up to shove her hard against the bars with a telekinetic push. He watches as the blood on her, on himself, seems to shift to something more translucent with every blink.

Leave me alone, he projects into nothingness, desperately.

He took her power. Not Nina's, just this— entity's. Water. He never asked anyone how he ever did it, he realises, how he ever got access. The blood on his body seems to dilute, not out of a mirage, now, but real water starts to collect on his skin, feebly pushing through the blood in rivulets, although it's absent minded, instinctive.

The lasers piece skin, burning through three points in her body. An arm. A shoulder. Her hip. Nina lets out a scream, a yell. The crowd roars. This is what they want. The ones who placed money on Sylar have begun to feel their hope renewed. They want their money.

The lasers minimize additional bleeding, burning the veins so that they don't gush with new blood, but she doesn't have a chance to do much more as she's slammed back against the cage by unseen hands. The water deludes the blood. The heartbeat speeds up, finally losing the calm hold for the moment, mimicing a mirrored heartbeat sound that had been so afraid in the moments after lasers flew from his fingers.


The desperation causes her to reach out toward the blood with her mind, grasping it, hardening it. It tries to go solid, as she'd wanted it to, but it only serves to leave behind shards in the water, rather than trapping his clothes or forming around his body.

A yell escapes her. She thrashes against the hold.


There's a line of blood across her forehead. Blood and hair mixing to make rivlets down her face. Eyes that stare out asking a simple question. Why?


Much of the clotted blood falls heavy in pieces, collecting on the floor as he shakes his head. Some of it manages to create steel-like cases. His arm, his elbow bent in place as the dark rusty red armor seals around it. For a moment, the telekinesis holding her in place falters— but only because Tavisha suddenly implodes into a black, inky cloud, the remains of her attempt falling uselessly to the ground as his flows out of it, landing with a slight stumble when he reforms.

The crowd oohs. The crowd aahs. The fight has become more spectacle than industry. They go ignored.

A hand extends and Nina is slammed back in place once more, a circlet of water and blood making a ring around her head. Tears mix with water on her face and he can hear the ocean instead of the beating hearts of a crowd, and the air is colder than it should be. The bars of the cage show a warehouse beyond it, disappear altogether. The lines between what's real and what isn't spreads passed Nina, into something else, a replay of some memory that is barely his own, something shared.

Her heart beats. Water drips. Clocks tick.

Why? She pleaded this with her eyes, if not her words. Tavisha doesn't know, and that alone should be a reason to stop. And yet there is something urging him forward, something deeper and darker and more primal than one man can contain, the same simple trance-like fascination with which he sewed a wound shut urged on by something harsher, the desire to see something more complex. A hunger for knowledge. A thirst.

Why not?, is his silent response. His hand lifts, two fingers point, his eyes go glassy as that line of red he sees becomes real as Nina's forehead starts to split.

The fear, the anger… all of it. None of it counters the hunger, the thirst. The power to manipulate blood. The ability to control many aspects of the circulatory system, to understand the very life essense that flows through veins. It's tempting, of course. It would have to be.

The heart that beats in her chest is paniced. Nina screams. The Lady of Blood that killed and fought in the cages, that lived off of her earnings as a hired fighter and not a forced one… is visibly afraid. Terrified. And dying.

A invisible knife saws through skin, through bone, ripping across in a motion that traces a line that flickered in and out, until it's complete.

The end is near. The heartbeat slows. The thirst doesn't go away. The hunger. The need.

But a small voice tries to whisper at him, tries to pull back at him.

Wouldn't you rather go home?

She did.

It's almost enough. The voice makes the hairs on the back of Tavisha's neck prickle on end, but it doesn't stop the slicing and that final, sickening crack of bone parting from bone. The heart beat, as relentless as it once, simply stops. Nina's body collapses, a puppet with cut strings, a spell folding in on itself. The bars separate himself from a crowd that's now on its feet, cries of dismay at what's being witnessed, some surging forward while others retreat back.

Tavisha ignores them, moving to kneel down next to Nina's corpse, pale skin white and making the blood and her shock of red hair stand out.

I don't know where that is.

He studies, tipping her head a certain way as he evaluates what's been exposed. No one moves to open the cage door, too wary to do so, as no one had saved a prized fighter either. Money is being passed into winning hands but it's also been largely forgotten, almost, as the full house of Pancratium spectators bear witness to a serial killer's legacy.

Late night on the 12th of March, Pancratium goers leave the fight arena with a certain story on their lips. Rumour has it and spreads quickly that the Midtown Man, Sylar, killed a famous fighter named Nina out of cold blood (pardon the pun) in their scheduled battle. Those who attended are saying that they witnessed With Their Own Eyes the poor woman getting her head cut open.

Details then kind of get hazy. Some say he then removed her brain. Others say he only poked around at it.

If one is inclined to dig a little deeper, one may also get the story about how Sylar apparently broke open the cage door shortly after in order to get out, as if terrified, which is weird because you know… what's there to be scared about?

March 11th: My Favorite Color
Previously in this storyline…
Close to the Chest

Next in this storyline…

March 12th: What Side Of The Line Are You On?
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