Hello, Goodbye

Participants:

brian_icon.gif helena_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Hello, Goodbye
Synopsis Brian joins Phoenix, and Alternate Peter (aka Id-Peter) joins PARIAH.
Date November 10, 2008

Central Park

Central Park has been, and remains, a key attraction in New York City, both for tourists and local residents. Though slightly smaller, approximately 100 acres at its southern end scarred by and still recovering from the explosion, the vast northern regions of the park remain intact.

An array of paths and tracks wind their way through stands of trees and swathes of grass, frequented by joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and horsemen alike. Flowerbeds, tended gardens, and sheltered conservatories provide a wide array of colorful plants; the sheer size of the park, along with a designated wildlife sanctuary add a wide variety of fauna to the park's visitor list. Several ponds and lakes, as well as the massive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, break up the expanses of green and growing things. There are roads, for those who prefer to drive through; numerous playgrounds for children dot the landscape.

Many are the people who come to the Park - painters, birdwatchers, musicians, and rock climbers. Others come for the shows; the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater, the annual outdoor concert of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, the summer performances of the Metropolitan Opera, and many other smaller performing groups besides. They come to ice-skate on the rink, to ride on the Central Park Carousel, to view the many, many statues scattered about the park.

Some of the southern end of the park remains buried beneath rubble. Some of it still looks worn and torn, struggling to come back from the edge of destruction despite everything the crews of landscapers can do. The Wollman Rink has not been rebuilt; the Central Park Wildlife Center remains very much a work in progress, but is not wholly a loss. Someday, this portion of Central Park just might be restored fully to its prior state.


True to her word, Helena made arrangements to meet with Brian - a Brian, at any rate - to confirm his intentions and bring him into the Phoenix fold, as it were. She's at the north end of Central Park, near the Tavern on the Green - and sitting atop one of the mushrooms from the Alice sculpture. There's no way she can be missed, a petite blonde in a too-large black leather men's jacket. Idly her foot shakes to and fro as she waits for contact.

"It's like a sweet reunion." Comes the voice of the man, as he walks along the grass behind her. He seems to be alone, but who knows with this man he could always be in company. He is dressed snugly, a black track jacket, a pair of blue jeans and a white baseball cap. He's still looking so fresh so clean, and not at all like the bum she had met on a few occasions. "This is where we met. Isn't that romantic." He murmurs dryly, with a bit of a smirk.

Helena smiles a little, but doesn't comment on the remark. "The deal is, I bring you in, you help my friend, or help me figure out a way to help in. Are all of you in agreement about it?" No hello, no how are you, she just sits there on her mushroom. Just ask Alice.

A little laugh. "Those both sound like I'm helping you." The man points out. Not saying he won't take it, just saying. "There's only one of me. I just have a talent of being in many places at once. Except.." Around that cop. He's been giving him the heeby-jeebies. He shakes his head. "Listen, I don't even know your name."
For a moment it seems like she debates even giving it to him. Then, "Helena. You may find others more or less forthcoming until they come to trust you. Do you have a cellphone or a blackberry?"

"I broke my cellphone trying to cover up for you people. And that, Al guy." That was a name he got at least. "Georgia." His next encounter with 'Al' wasn't so pleasant and left a bad taste in his mouth. "Who's your friend that I'm helping, and how do we know that it is even the exact same thing I can do? What if I don't know how to help?"
"You'll need another one." Helena says forthrightly. "I suggest one that's easily disposable, and you'll be shown how to set it to accept messages. My friend is…complicated. But I do believe you can help him." She looks around. "If you want to discuss this further, we'll need to go somewhere. Come on. This is a bit of a walk." She slides off the mushroom.

"I have a car." Brian offers as he goes to step alongside her. "So a disposable phone. So I'm in now? This doesn't feel very official. Shouldn't I get a code name or something? A special badge? Make a solemn oath?" He asks, half joking. Seems like the Preacher boy has a sense of humour that cannot be contained.
Helena laughs a little at that. "We can take the car part of the way, but the rest, we walk. Where we're going is on the edge of the rad-zone. No code name, no special badge, no solemn oath. You're either in or you're not, but once you get what's coming next, the options if you decide to bail on us or go rogue and we find out become very narrow. You understand?" With this, she's serious. "We will regrettably but determinedly do what is needful in such events. And that's not something being hurled at you out of spite. Everyone gets that, more or less."

"So if I leave, you have me whacked by the mob. Awesome." Brian says in response. "I am honestly very distressed that there are no codenames involved. If you don't mind I would be glad to appoint myself as official codename giver. Everyone needs code names." With that headlights flash on them. A 91 White Dodge Spirit hums towards them at a gentle pace. "My chauffer." Brian says with a smirk, gesturing towards the car.

"If you insist, though I doubt it'll take." Helena neither confirms nor denies the whole whacking by the mob thing. It's better this way! "Head toward the rad zone, stop about five or six blocks from the border and park somewhere you won't get towed if you're gone for more than twenty-four hours." Just in case. She'll get in the car once Brian unlocks it, and adds wryly, "If Helena grates, I suppose you could call me Stormy."

Walking up to the car, Brian opens the passenger side for her. Who says chivalry is dead? Once she is in he shuts the door behind her. He then goes to enter the car in the back seat. What she'll find upon entering the car is another Brian, sitting in the driver's seat. This young man now takes the role of speaking. "Sorry about the smell. I've been kind of living in here." He flicks the little freshner tree that hangs from the rear view. "Doesn't help much. But I should be able to get an apartment soon." He says while putting the vehicle in reverse. "Is that what you do? That fog in the club? So like.. Halle Barry in X-Men?" He loves movies.

Helena rolls her eyes. "God, I hate that actress." she mutters. "I'm an atmokinetic." She shrugs. "It's probable that we can arrange better accomodations for you then your car, but it's kind of communal. But there's heat and electricity and running water. And sometimes, but not always, privacy."

"She's hot." Brian says in her defense, as if that justifies her. "Atmokinetic." Brian repeats, his eyes sliding over to Helena for a moment. "Yeah, that means.. you control.. Atmos?" A little grin. He starts driving the car in the direction she specifies. "Like I said, I'll have enough for the down on an apartment soon. And, you shouldn't have a codename for your ability. That's too cliche. I'll give you something unique. You'll just have to wait til I can figure it ouy. It has to be perfect."

"Close!" Helena actually smiles. "Atmo, atmosphere…weather. And weather phenomenon. I'm tied to it - it's hard to explain." She indicates a turn she thinks he should take. "You're welcome to take an apartment, just keep in mind a lot of people end up shacking up at HQ when and if they're compromised. You'll want to take similar steps to avoid that."

"I can stay at the HQ and an apartment." Brian points out. "So.. You can make it rain?" The young man asks with an arched brow. That's pretty intense. "I can make my own boy band.. But that.. -that- is something special." He says in regard to her ability. "You can like change the weather to your mood? That's almost as good as like having theme music to your life." He says, taking said turn and continuing on down the road.

"It works both ways." Helena explains. "The weather affects me, I affect the weather. I have to try and keep an equilibrium, you know? If bad weather's coming on, I can get depressed or angry, and if I'm depressed or angry, it brings bad weather. Same for being happy. And your gift is nothing to laugh at. Do all your replicants have their own personalities?"

A sharp laugh comes out. "Own personalities. Fuck, that would suck. No, I'm the same." He never says we. That's because it is no we, it is me. Just to prove the point that verbal answer comes from the Brian in the back. "I'm the same.. I'm just.. I don't know, I have like a hive mind. It's kind of hard sometimes. Getting totally different experiences and sensations all the time. It takes practice.. So I can only go up so high untill it starts to hurt my brain though, you know? And if shit starts going down, I'm more likely to loose it. Not saying I can't keep my cool, just.." The Brian in the driver seat gives a shrug. "But.. I'm kinda like the best way of communication." He says with a smirk. "Who needs a cell phone when you have two of me with two different people?"

Helena peers at him. "How many of you are there right now? This very moment?"

"Right, -right- now? Well there's two here, obviously. I'm also cleaning dishes at the Nite Owl, my back hurts like fuck from standing up so long, you know, kinda slouched at dishes?" He frowns slightly, feeling for his clone's pain. "I am also on a bike, doing some late night deliveries. And there is one more." Brian explains, then his face screws up for a moment. "What is that, five? Yeah, five."

Helena grins. "Maybe you shouldn't concentrate so hard while this body's driving." she points out. "There's a good place to park." she indicates. "About my friend," she says quietly, "His ability - is that he absorbs the abilities of others. And I think you may have met him, which means he got your ability as well."

When she says that much, Brian takes a moment to think. Then slams on the brakes where she said to park. Though he doesn't say anything yet. If she were to look in the backseat, she would see that Other Brian is astonished as well. Though that is quickly masked. "Interesting." The driver says, flicking off the headlights and killing the engine. "Should my personal body guard come with us?" He asks, jerking his thumb over his shoulder to the other Brian. "Or do you want just one of me?"
Helena lifts a brow. "There's no reason for a bodyguard." she says. "But what I am going to do is give you a password and counter-password. They change weekly, and there's a reason - there's more then one person out there with the means to take abilities. My friend just sort of soaks them up like a sponge…but Sylar's different. He'll take your ability, and kill you in the process."

"That doesn't sound pleasant." Though, the concept of death isn't -as- scary when there's five or more of you, it is still mildly frightening. A little smirk, "Alright." The Brian in the back seat opens the door then closes it, he then steps forward and opens Helena's door. "If I can ask, what is your friends name?" He asks before she gives him the password. The Brian in the driver seat remains, no reason for two of him to go, like she said.

"Thing is Sylar can shapeshift, appear like anyone. But he doesn't know things, so - passwords." Then, "Peter. His name is Peter. Only I think somehow when he absorbed your power, it went a little wrong." She gets out of the car after he opens it for her, and indicates the direction to walk in.

Once the door is shut behind her, the car roars back to life and takes off. Brian is left alone with Helena as they walk together in her set direction. He stuffs his hands in his pockets. "Peter." He repeats with a smirk, giving a nod. "So what's the password?"

Helena hasn't hit the tip of the iceberg about how wrong it's gotten, but she leaves it at that - except to give him the passwords for the week. As they walk, he can see what used to be something of a landmark and definitely on of Manhattan's tourist sights - the public library, stone lions and all. "They're going to pat you down when you walk in." she says matter of factly. "So if you have any weapons, now's a good time to tell me."

"Switchblade." Brian responds honestly. "I've been playing you this whole time just so I could take your purse." He says dryly, noting that she doesn't even have a purse. He reaches into his pocket pulling out the knife. "Do I not get to keep it?" He says, feigning a puppydog face.

Helena laughs. "First time in, they'll take it from you and give it back when you leave." She doesn't go up the front steps - instead she approaches a side door, and they go through - well, Brian goes through - a series of checks and searches. She simply gives her password and patiently waits for him to survive all of his.


New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.


Helena waits for that series of checks that Brian has to go through, but at last they enter the library proper. "We've got beds here." she says. "A little infirmary, even set up a little kitchen space in the offices caf. And of course, we're never bored. Plenty to read." Her tone is wry. "However, our current projects also keep us busy. We'll need to figure out where you can feature in those."

"I have a lot of uses." Brian says, finally after he's through all the pat downs. He does feel a tad violated, but carries on nonetheless. His grey eyes search the place. "So this is where it all happens, huh?" The young man asks with wide eyes. He taps his chest twice then speaks down towards it like speaking into a microphone. "Okay guys, we found the terrorists, come on in." Another joke, obviously, but one that even he doesn't laugh at.

Helena calmly reaches out, and if Brian doesn't duck, smacks him on the back of the head. "Talk like that will get you shot in here." she says seriously. "I know you think it's funny, but take my advice: don't."

Wincing from the smack to the head, Brian brings up an arm to belatedly defend himself should any more attacks come by him. "Shit." He replies with a twisted up expression. "Sorry. Fuck." He says, slowly lowering his defenses.

"Nice place." The voice rings out through foyer, "PARIAH is set up about the same, in their central headquarters anyway…" There is a rippling distortion from by what was once the front reception desk of the library as something like a heat-mirage peels away from a figure concealed from sight. There, with his arms folded across his chest, stands Peter Petrelli. With his head tilted down as it is, he stares up towards Helena, one brow slowly raising in a manner that creases the scar that travels across his brow. A moment later, he pushes off of the wall and starts slowly walking across the open floor, the long trail of his leather coat brushing against his legs with each thumping footfall.

"PARIAH's got some pretty involved setup, and multiple bases of operation. Different cells." His brow lowers as he looks around the unfamiliar location, then finally settles on Brian, watching him with a scrutinizing look for a moment, then flicks his focus back to Helena. "They're sophisticated, organized, and as far as I can tell privately funded." His arms move down, hands slipping into the pockets of his black slacks as his shoulders give a shrug.

Helena looks sympathetic, but her tone is firm. "This isn't a game." she says quietly. "Even if we're all kind of struggling for little bits and pieces of normal life where we can grab them, in the end, we're all here for a reason. And now, so are you. So pull up a seat, and I'll tell you what we - " she lets out a yelp, which causes an unexpected whirl of crisp wind to send loose paper in the room a flutter. "Jesus, Peter!" she says, and furrows her brow to look at him. "We've got funding," She's not sure if his statement is criticism to what effort they've made so far, or a report out of the so-called goodness of his heart, "And we've got plans. We've also got problems, and so do you."

Brian frowns a bit as Helena gives him the serious talk, though he seems to accept it. At Peter's sudden arrival, his arms twitch though his eyes are faster. A smirk rises on his lips at Helena's reaction. At least he didn't freak that much. Watching the man, Brian raises a brow. "Peter. Speaking of funding." Brian holds a hand out towards the man. "An elephant never forgets."

Peter's eyes flick down to Brian's hand, then up to Helena. "I'm fine, but I'll agree you've got problems." The dark-haired man walks right past Brian, circling around behind the two as he looks towards the front doors of the library, then back to the others. "I talked to Claire, and met with the leadership of PARIAH. They've got their act together, and I think they're on the right path." He turns, slowly, "This whole non-violent thing?" One hand slips out of his pocket, motioning around the library, "It isn't going to hold water…" His eyes settle on Helena solely. "It's cute that you've got the one-man band, though. Good catch." Peter's eyes flit over to Brian, "I was worried you might've gotten snatched up by the Company."

Helena makes a frustrated sound. "God! How many times have I said we're not non-violent! We're just not going to bomb civilians and when we bring it, it's going to be for a reason. And you do have problems. You're split in two, and Sylar knows it. Both of you are Peter Petrelli, and both of you are…are assholes right now. And I've got no idea how long the two of you can stay seperate." she jumps to her feet, strides all the way up to Peter, turning a furious expression up to his and ignoring poor Brian completely, "You stand there and you tell me that you've suddenly decided that bombing civilians is the right path, and you can't see how that's wrong? You sniff at this, at us," she gestures meaning the collective, and then you leave me on my own to make it better? Are you joining PARIAH now?"

Folding his arms after Peter decides to be a cheap-skate, Brian walks around the library a bit, examining. Though he stays close enough to listen. A affirmative nod is given when Helena says the word 'assholes'. A smirk. "So you took my power but you don't know how to work it?" Brian asks with almost a grin as he turns on his heels to face Peter. He's still very bitter about that damn golf club. He had no right to break it! None at all!

"Joined." Peter says flatly, "The system isn't going to go down without a few casualties. We tried it the way I wanted to, and it didn't work. It's time to take action." His head tilts to the side, taking a few steps forward. "Karl has a good, solid plan." He looks at Brian for a moment, then back to Helena, ignoring her comment about wondering how long he can stay split. "I came here to see if you'd reconsider, and come join me in PARIAH. Let go of this…" He looks around, then back to her, "Stop being put-upon by this position. We can work together, with Claire."

Peter's shoulders rise for a moment, then fall slowly, "What I want to know, though, is how do you know what Sylar knows?" One dark brow rises slowly, and a cruel expression begins to cross Peter's face, his eyes intently focused on the young blonde as his brow furrows, a hollow echoing sound in his head resounding in the moments before Helena's thoughts replace that background noise.

She knows because Eve told her that Sylar mentioned Peter 'being divided', and she's frightened to death of what Sylar could do, and all the things Eve might tell him, and the despair she feels when Peter says he's joined PARIAH. She can't do this alone. "You're going to kill innocent people." she says softly. "We're going to go after the sonsofbitches who are keeping Evolved locked up and using them as guinea pigs." She despairs, because she loves him, and believes she's lost him. And she knows that look, or somehow seems to sense its intent. All her pain and grief and fear and loneliness suddenly crystalizes into a single message that could stab:

GET OUT OF MY HEAD.

Taking a few steps closer, Brian eyes the two curiously. A lovers tiff? And one lover is a dick head. His eyebrows narrow slightly at Brian as the man takes a slow step towards Helena. He doesn't act yet, but should Helena ask for help, he is very ready to try and assist.

Peter's brow twitches for a moment, and his head cants to the side, "We're going after them too. But sometimes you've gotta break a few eggs before you can make an omelette." He scowls, "Besides, what's a little more blood on my hands after what I've done?" The words are spat out, bitter and angry, "So, Eve's the one who told you, but that doesn't answer how Sylar knows, or how Gillian…" Peter draws in a slow breath, the dark circles under his eyes making him look tired, his face sallow.

"It's a one-time offer," Peter intones, "You want all this stress, all of this thankless tasks, and all of the hard work that will get you nowhere. That's fine." He slides his hand back into the pocket of his slacks, "I'm not going to stop you, and I'm not going to fight you or your people. Who knows — Maybe you'll be right in the end, but I wanted to give you an out. I saddled you with a responsibility you didn't want, and it's my fault you're here. I didn't think Cameron would die." He looks away at that, then back slowly, "One time offer, Helena." Slowly, Peter raises his arm, holding out a hand to her, "Your choice."

Somewhere in the back of her brain Helena is slightly embarrassed that poor Brian gets stuck in this as the captive audience. She looks at that hand. The easy way out. An end to all the stress. To just be part of a group again, to re-unite with Claire, to be with Peter, even if it's only one half of his own self. Desire's path. It's so tempting, and in her eyes, both men can see she wants it. Oh, how she wants it.

But not at the cost of innocent lives.

Helena steps toward Peter - is she going to take his hand? Steps into his space, looks into his eyes, and then reaches up and kisses him, regardless of the poison she's seemed to forgotten his mouth is now supposedly made of. It's everything she feels about him in one moment, and it may even convince him that she's taken his offer.

But then she breaks it off, lowers her eyes, and steps away. "Give my love to Claire." she says, hands balling into fists.

"Make an omelette? Fuck dude, you fuckin' sixty?" Comes the words from the peanut gallery. Brian has made his decision on where he stands with Peter. He's an asshole, and Brian is now sure on that. His grey eyes go to the back of Helena's head. She just recruited him now she's going to somewhere else? These terrorists are flaky.. Then the kiss. Brian actually rolls his eyes as he tips back his head. Once that's done Brian finally returns his attention to Peter. "If there's another you out there. I would get back with him and absorb him before too long goes by. You haven't practiced like I have. That could take a toll on you."

The kiss causes Peter to freeze in place, tension coming up in the back of his neck, in his hands which move up to settle on Helena's shoulders. Eyes fluttering shut, that moment seems like much longer to him, and without the ability to control time anymore, he knows that isn't the case. When she pulls away, though, Peter exhales a slow, tired breath. His eyes betray a kindness familiar to her, of the person she knows he can be, and her words only bring that out more. But then, with his eyes rising up to meet Brian, all that fades away.

"The only thing I'm going to do, when I find him," Peter states, coldly, "Is kill him." Looking back to Helena, Peter's brow tenses for a moment, "I'll let Claire know…" He takes a step back, then another, "…I'll tell Karl that you said no, but that you won't be a problem. PARIAH is worried about you, and about Phoenix." His eyes divert to the tiled floor, then back up again. "For what it's worth." Then, there is a darkening in the air as Peter's body breaks apart into a silhouette of ephemeral darkness, and he steps back into the unlit corners of the foyer, sinking and melding into the shadows and vanishing from sight.

Helena watches Peter go. And then without turning to face Brian, she says in a low, but audible tone, "Tell me what happens if one of your replicants stays away for too long. Or if one of them dies."

Frowning Brian shakes his head. "If he's out for a long time. Especially if he doesn't know how to control it.. He'll get real tired. To the point of severe weakness. Can't even walk weakness. And.. I have never died before. So I don't know. But, our powers can't be the same."Brian says with finality to Helena.

Helena shakes her head. "Something's gone wrong with him. I'm fairly sure he has your ability, but it's gotten twisted up somehow." she says. "They won't be able to stay apart forever." She does a quick tear-wipe, more of a tear-check: is she crying? no? good! And turns around. As if that whole interlude didn't happen she says, "So, let me show you around."


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November 10th: Midnight Oil
Previously in this storyline…
On Proximity of Friends and Enemies

Next in this storyline…
From Frying Pan to Fire

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November 11th: Gifts
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