Breathe

Participants:

alexander_icon.gif daniel_icon.gif helena_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Breathe
Synopsis Daniel talks to Peter about the bomb, and PARIAH prepares for a mission.
Date September 12, 2008

Condemned Tenement

Once home to dozens of working-class families, this building has long ago been officially evacuated and condemned after it was partially gutted by a fire. The brick exterior is covered with layer upon layer of graffiti, the windows are boarded, and some sections of the roof are less than sound. The fire took hold on the fourth floor and expanded upward. Below that, many of the apartments are still intact.


Daniel is a difficult man to find. A loner, he comes, he goes, diligently doing the good work of the organization without needing micromanaging or recognition. He doesn't even have to use the door. But the scuttlebutt around PARIAH is that as far as scouting, gathering intelligence, and being sneaky goes, he's the man to see. Refilling compressed air canisters without a machine is a tedious process involving a foot pump and a hose, so he is sitting in a chair, fitting the hose tightly into place, refilling the battered-up fireman's air canisters that keep him alive in the eerie half-existence he enters so routinely.

It's unusual to see Peter coming and going from the building, he's either here in his room, up on the roof or not here at all. His presence as traffic through the halls is entirely unusual. Seeing Peter actually walking in through the front door is even more unusual, and the sound of it closing as he makes his way into the foyer carries in the old, decrepit building. He looks for all his worth like he hasn't slept toda, dark circles under his eyes and a fatigued expression on his face. Some PARIAH members had heard he was painting something up on the roof in the wee hours of the night, word had circulated after it was left up to other members to clean up the mess of paint cans, brushes and an easel. Though, there was no painting itself.

With his forehead smeared with long-dried white paint and flecked with red, it seems Peter hasn't had much of a chance to clean up today, let alone sleep. His clothing it dappled with mottled spots of paint, jacket hastily thrown over dirty clothes. He walks across the foyer, trying dilligently to keep his eyes open after passing by a battered clock on the wall and realizing it's already six in the evening. The sound of the foot pump and the clutter of the hose and canister catches Peter's attention, and he lingers, watching Daniel work, puzzling over exactly what it is he's doing.

Daniel nods in greeting to Peter, and offers no explanation, just working hard at the task at hand. He does give a brief verbal halloo: "Hi." he says. "Did you get whatever it was you needed painted painted?"

There's an awkward, tired laugh that serves as half the answer, "Yeah," Peter says, rubbing one of his eyes, "Yeah I sure did…" He looks up the stairs, considering something, then breathes out a sigh and walks over to where Daniel is working. "Managed to keep it from coming true, so I guess that's something." He looks down at the hose, then the canister, finally starting to put things together. He watches the young man work for a short time, head tilted to the side, "There's a few abandoned gas stations," He motions over his shoulder, "Out in the ruins. I might be able to find you a working air compressor." His brow tenses as he looks back down to the foot pump, "That what you need?" He doesn't sound too certain of himself.

Daniel says, "What was in the picture that needed to be stopped?" He adds: "I can find one, we just don't have the juice to run it here. You need one of those big cables, not our little basement generator. It's cool, thanks."

"Friend of mine, she…" Peter shakes his head slowly, "It was pretty bad, nothing to worry about now, though. I don't think." Peter shifts his weight to one foot, and hearing Daniel's comment about the electricity, a crooked smile crosses his face, "Oh, yeah, I guess that would be a problem, wouldn't it?" His eyes raise up to one of the dim, flickering lightbulbs as it grows dim and then brightens again from some drain ehsewheres in the building. He seems lost for a further topic to speak about, but at the same time he looks like he's trying to make his presence known, to not be such a stranger. He's just doing an awkward job of it.

Daniel nods slightly. By contrast, he's absolutely okay in silences, even big long ones. "Tell me about the explosion." he says quietly, after one. "What happened?"

There's a look from Peter, a very abrupt and surprised look, maybe he didn't hear what Daniel asked right, maybe he did. For a moment he doesn't say anything, he just watches in silence, both of his hands reflexively closing into fists, and then very gradually relaxing as a slow breath is pushed out through his nose. "There…" He considers his words, "There isn't that mch to tell, I don't remeber it all perfectly clear." Peter looks away, his brow tensing nervously as he does, "It was at Kirby plaza…" He takes a couple of steps away, head hanging down, then turns to look back at Daniel, "Ground Zero. Sylar was there," Peter looks away again, "He'd killed a man — Ted Sprague. Ted had… this gift, I guess it was kind'vw a curse too." Rolling one shoulder, Peter starts pacing as he talks. "He was full of radiation, it just seeped out of him. He could create explosions with it, I don't really know what he was fully capable of."

Peter grows quiet, his eyes searching from side to side as he stares vacantly at one of the walls, "Sylar had Ted's power, now, and he was…" Hesitation in his voice, "We were fighting. I was trying to stop him. Hiro came in — " Peter looks back to Daniel finally, "A friend of mine, the person I learned how to stop time from. He stabbed Sylar in the chest, and, I guess he got thrown pretty far afterwards, by Sylar." Peter's story begins to become disjointed sounding, missing enormous pieces of information. "Sylar wasn't down yet, I remember a lot of heat and light," Peter's eyes trace across the floor, "I was so angry." One hand flexes open and closed a few times, "Then the explosion happened. I woke up, alive…" He skips over what could be huge pieces of time, "I just… I ran. Everytyhing was gone. I ran, because it was the only thing I knew how to do. I'd failed everyone." Peter's voice trails off, and he looks down to the floor.

Peter's behavior seems erratic, shaken and disturbed after having recounted the events. It isn't entirely familiar to Daniel, but he's seen that look on a lot of people in the first few days after the bomb went off. A look of disconnect from the current moment.

Daniel is not very comforting, though he does stop what he's doing to listen closely to the story. "Were you a cop or something? Why was it your job to stop him?" he says. "So how did this Sylar guy survive?" he asks. "You heal fast. Okay. You lived. What about him?"

Peter looks over to Daniel, his words snapping him out of whatever thoughts he'd been lost in, "Cop?" Peter cracks a distracted smile and shakes his head, "I was a hospice nurse." He seems somewhat embarassed to mention it, after the fact. "I just, I was the only person who had enough power to stop him. I… everyone who's born with these gifts, it's for a reason." He looks disappointed, "I thought so, anyway."

Growing quiet for a few more moments, Peter walks over to the stairs and takes a seat, contuing the conversation more comfortably. "There was a man here in the city, Isaac Mendez, he could paint pictures that showed what was going to happen in the future." Peter's brow tenses, "Isaac painted the bomb." There's a disconcerted laugh from him, "Some of us, we just… came together, coincidence really. My brother, Hiro, we…" He shakes his head, "We thought we could stop it, figure out how it happened." Peter looks up slowly, regret in his features. "I don't know how Sylar survived. He can't regenerate like me, like Claire. We stopped him from being able to. It's complicated, but…" Peter cracks a smile, an uncomfortable one, "Did someone tell you?" He looks up, "Helena." Peter closes his eyes, shaking his head slowly.

"I don't know how Sylar made it out alive, but he did. Some people, this… secret group of people, they've got him locked away. It isn't the government, it's this… I don't know, maybe it is some kind've top-secret government stuff." Peter's eyes drift across the cracks in the floorboards. "They've got him held at a facility in the city, high security, people like us working there. It's like Fort Knox, but for dangerous Evolved. They tried to keep him captive once before, but… he got away." Rolling one shoulder, Peter tilts his head to the side, "Sorry… I'm rambling."

Daniel shakes his head in lieu of saying 'it's okay. "So the guy is locked up by the government. Isn't that where he belongs? He sounds like a nasty character."

An apartment doorway opens, and out comes Helena. Helena is wearing black. Black t-shirt with a black leotard under it, black cargo pants, even black boots and a black watchman's cap. She's also lugging a black knapsack which clinks softly. She pauses a moment when she sees the two men, eyeing them with a raised brow. "Sylar?" she hazards a guess.

"They're not keeping him locked away for our safety," Peter says bitterly, folding his hands as he leans forward, letting his forearms rest on his knees, "Last time they could've killed him, but they wanted to experiment on him, find out how he could steal other people's powers." Peter's brow tenses, furiously, "When I found that out, after them bomb, I was glad he was dead." Peter's eyes close, "Now that I know they have him again, I need to finish the j—" Peter looks up, almost startled, but the sound of Helena's voice. When he catches sight of her, there's a baffled, blinking look of puzzlement on his face. One brow slowly rises, and he cracks a smile, "Ah, y-yeah…" He reaches up to rub at the back of his neck. "Dan had some questions, so…" Peter's mood drasticly changes, much of the anger and frustration melting away to something a bit more awkward. "Just, explaining to him what I know." He looks back to Daniel, "The bottom line is, they can't be trusted. If Sylar got loose, more innocent people would die. I can't let that happen."

Daniel brightens as Helena enters unmistakably, and nods to confirm her statement, but says, "I don't know that I like the idea of breaking into a place just to assassinate someone held prisoner. If he were loose, if there were no other way, if we had to protect people, sure. But if I have a guy ziptied to a doorknob, I don't cut his throat just to cut his throat, even if he might cause me big problems up the road." It's not a theoretical situation for Daniel, either, from his tone. "Not everyone the government locks up is innocent."

"You're both coming, right?" Helena prudently avoids offering her opinion on the Sylar matter. Daniel's smile is returned with a bright one of her own own before she eyes Peter. "You need a shower and a nap and a change of clothes." she tells him. "What's it going to take to get you to manage those before tonight?"

"You don't have to do it." Peter says with a grim tone, "In fact, you probably won't be down in the prisoner block. I haven't talked it over with anyone, but you're probably going to be in charge of your own infiltration team working with Wireless to neutralize the facility security, however you call it." Peter looks at Daniel intently, "It's still up in the air, I have to bring it up to Cameron, but you're the best person I can think to lead that group." There's a look of concern, and then Peter is distracted by Helena, tiredly pushing himself up from where he sits on the stairs, walking over to her. "Yeah, yeah…" He looks down at himself, "It's been a long, bad day." Peter blows out a sigh, rubbing at the back of his neck with one hand again. "I dunno, ah…" He's about to say something, glancing to Daniel, then hesitates and just cracks a smile. "Not much time, is there? I should get on that."

"Daniel, do radios futz out if you phase back and forth?" asks Helena. "We could probably keep in touch with you if you needed help, but if you're really not comfortable leading a team, we could shift things around." Helena lays a gentle hand on Daniel's shoulder, but then draws it away, abruptly blushing. "Anyway. We're all going to meet at the front at around 2 am, so be there for the run down. I've got enough people to split up into a few teams to go tagging in different areas; you guys are going to be with me. And probably one more." Because she clearly needs to keep an eye on this lot.

Daniel says, "I haven't tried radios… Iplugged up the radio port on this mask, since I couldn't find one that was working…."

One more being Alex, apparently. Late, but not fashionably so. He looks weary - it's been a long shift in the cab, and he comes trudging heavily up the stairs, pausing in the doorway to stretch.

Peter eyes Helena for a moment, smirking at her reaction, and then shakes his head, turning towards the stairs. "I'll find a shower that doesn't spit rust at me," He says, pausing after ascending a few steps to look back over his shoulder, "Then probably sleep for a couple hours." He smiles to Helena, nodding once afterwards, "I'll be there." With that, Peter begins making his way up the rest of the steps to the second floor.


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September 12th: It Wasn't For Nothing
Previously in this storyline…
Legwork

Next in this storyline…
Art Crawl!

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September 13th: Art Crawl!
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