Catch Of The Day

Participants:

jack_icon.gif logan_icon.gif muldoon_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Catch Of The Day
Synopsis My, my. Look what the Jack dragged in.
Date January 28, 2009

Aboard the Dirty Deeds

Muldoon, Jack, and Logan are crossing back to Staten Island from Manhattan in Jack's cigarette boat.


It's getting darker, and it's getting colder. He should be dead by now. And he isn't. It's hard to kill a cockroach and a geneticist once said that if God were to take on a form, He might choose such a lowly critter for such an instinct. And Kazimir had always said he'd make Sylar into a God.

Sylar stays alive.

The waves carry him away from the destruction that is the Narrows, rescue boats teeming around it, hunting for survivors. Maybe they find some. But they don't find him. A current distantly manipulated by what part of his brain is even aware of his surroundings pulls him away, the legacy of Jennifer Childs' using guiding hands to keep his face above the water, a pale moon in a dark sky of ocean that's only getting blacker. His dark clothes are tattered with burns, and he doesn't look to be in any kind of shape himself. Possibly just a drifting corpse, save for the rhythm of breathing and the thudding of his own heart beat, arms out as if crucified as he drifts along the surface of the Hudson River.

Traffic on the VN bridge is sometimes heavy. Vehicles are sometimes searched, and certain individuals prefer discrete modes of travel over stylish ones. For all these reasons and more, Jack was called upon to ferry his benefactor to Manhattan and back on short notice. Not a surprise or a rarity by any stretch of the imagination.

Then the bridge blew up. That was out of the ordinary. Within seconds, Jack's mental wheels were spinning. He could actually hear himself making more money.

Now, on the way back, he's probably the only person in the city who doesn't mind dodging debris and shielding his eyes from the glare of flames on the water. Behind the tiller of his cigarette boat, he whistles a merry, nameless tune that's lost in the sound of waves and diesel engines.

Muldoon is one such individual who prefers discrete modes of travel over stylish ones, though he personally had no say in choosing the vessel he's now perched on the back of — that responsibility falls to his sometimes business partner, John Logan, the man who lords over the cigarette boat's captain.

He says nothing, staring out across the water with a neutral expression on his bearded face, blue eyes dark with some pensive emotion or another. It's by chance rather than design that he spots something floating on the water's surface some fifty feet from their current course, though he doesn't immediately draw attention to it. Instead, he narrows his eyes, using the distant light of the flames to better discern the object's shape. Only when he feels that he knows what it might be does he lean forward, one hand grasping the edge of the boat as he cranes his neck, trying to get a better look.

"John."

The man Muldoon calls attention for is huddled into the boat, never particularly happy when he's out here. It's cold and uncomfortable, but it is, in the end, the most direct route to Manhattan. Logan doesn't have to like it. His brown weather resistant coat is wrapped around him, held so with clasped hands, neck covered in a scarf and chin tilted down. When he isn't staring into space, he's observing the wreck of the Narrows. His mind doesn't automatically go to dollar signs like Jack's, but it's certainly a good thing. It'll take a while to repair, won't it? And— he barely notices Muldoon fidgeting around next to him until his name is spoken.

"What is it?" Logan asks, a little miserably, before his eyes narrow when he sees Muldoon is looking for something in particular. Shifting up, he too cranes his neck a little out of the green scarf wrapped about it, gloved hands gripping the boat so he can move. It takes him a moment, but he sees it too. A corpse isn't so unlikely, but usually they sink a little bit more than that, don't they? Logan would know.

"Jack," he says, mildly, orders carrying on down the chain of command. Said order is then only communicated by pointing towards what Muldoon is spying.

Now that they're growing closer, Jack sees it too. His heavy brow furls ponderously as he eases up and then back on the throttle, bringing the little boat to a quick, quiet stop at a safe distance. He springs nimbly up onto the forecastle and blinks several times, studying the situation with keen, practiced eyes. Unlike his boss, he's wearing only a thick sweater and a pair of deck pants to ward off the wind and chill.

After a few moments he turns to face his passengers, folds his arms over his chest, and cocks an eyebrow. "Still alive," he judges, his English thickened by traces of French and Somali accents. "Too soon for him to be floatin' if he weren't. Want I should fish him in?"

"Please do." How anyone could be alive after being in the water for so long is something of a mystery to Muldoon, though it won't remain a mystery to him for long. As he speaks, he peels off one of the soft leather gloves, exposing the rough skin of his palm and the bumpy ridges on the back of his hands that are his knuckles. "What kind of Good Samaritans would we be if we didn't?"

Logan shoots Muldoon a quizzical look, but doesn't protest. Just makes way, perching on the back of the boat with careful movements. He's certainly not about to help Jack, the rocking of the little speedster boat making him plenty nervous. Rather sure he'd be dead if he was in this man's position, he's not about to risk anything. And those boats in the distance make him plenty nervous already. "Be quick," he says, quietly, looking at Jack. "I reckon 'alf of those around the Narrows are gonna be feds, seeing as I don't think it was exactly a scheduled demolition. Fucking terrorists." Although maybe this time, they did them a favour.

Closer, Sylar doesn't move, doesn't respond to the voices that threaten to break through his half-conscious state. By the time he'll be reeled in, he'll be out completely. Up closer, more details come into view - he's wearing a long coat that should certainly have dragged him down by now, a dressed shirt that's been burned to hell, pants not much better, and a shoe is missing from his foot. A burn mark, like a bullet graze, makes a line across his cheek, his bottom lip split as if he'd been in a brawl rather than an exploding bridge. The myriad of other bruises would be a credit to that event.

Jack doesn't answer Muldoon's rhetorical question, but he does shoot the man a brief, amused glance. He then hops down from the fore, reaches under one of the side rails, and unslings a long wooden rod with a metal hook at the end. It only takes two tries for him to snag the body's belt. Maybe he's done this before.

Just maybe.

With strong, hand-over-hand pulls, he reels the body in and drags it over the side like a clubbed fish. Once the man is settled to the deck, Jack turns him over and checks for a pulse. "Mhm," he grunts. "He appears none the worse for wear."

As Jack checks for a pulse, Muldoon touches the back of his fingers to Sylar's cheek, stoic and silent. There's a faint flicker of something visible as lines creasing his forehead and a slight tug at the corner of his mouth, but otherwise he does not respond. Then, wiping his hand off on his slacks, he wrinkles his nose at the body and gives Logan the smallest of nods, chin tipped in its usual, haughty way.

"We'll take him back with us," Muldoon decides, pulling his glove back onto his hand, fingers slipping easily into the appropriate holes. Although his tone is light, it also has a rough edge to it that suggests the touch was more than just a casual brush of his knuckles against Sylar's cheek. "This one looks like a keeper."

He knows something the other two men don't. And he isn't telling.

Logan's eyebrows raise a little at Muldoon's decision. "Out of the goodness of our hearts," he says, dryly, but he doesn't really argue, just peers down at the unconscious heavily eyebrowed stranger lying limply on the deck of the boat. Perhaps it was the slight nod to him that forces the brothel owner to not suggest they simply toss him out and let nature take its course, let the Hudson swallow him like it's done so many before if fiction proves to be accurate, and he makes a vague hand gesture. "Go on, then. If he dies, you get to deal with it, Muldoon." A pack of cigarettes are extracted from his pocket, a cigarette pulled out and lit up, then offered to his business partner. And lower, he asks, "Care to say why?"

After a quick appraisal of the wounds on the body, Jack stands, stretches his back, and steps away from the dripping, sodden mess. "He'll keep 'til we get back to shore, I think. I'm surprised he's not dead already."

The authoritative exchange between Muldoon and Logan doesn't go unnoticed. No, sir. He sees someone tell his boss what's what about as often as he sees a giant, bridge-eating explosion.

Unfortunately, the 'why' is none of Jack's concern until someone tells him it is. With a quick shrug, he resumes his place at the controls and works the throttle back up. The little boat immediately takes off and resumes its nimble skim toward Staten Island.

Muldoon takes the pack of cigarettes and thumbs out one of his own, rolling it between his fingers as he ponders the best way to answer Logan's question. Beneath his feet, he can feel the engine's vibrations rattling through the boat, propelling it smoothly through the choppy waters like some great metal leviathan. For a long time, he is absolutely silent, pondering the 'why' with a small, knowing smile that begins to curl at the corners of his mouth before spreading the rest of the way across his face.

Muldoon strikes a match, pauses to let the glow illuminate the man sprawled on the floor of the boat before he uses it to light his cigarette, then discards the spent stick over the side.

"He's special."


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<January 28th: Dreaming's Rescue
Previously in this storyline…
Discerning Tastes

Next in this storyline…
Making the World Perfect Again

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January 28th: My Many Faces
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