Pulse

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gillian_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Pulse
Synopsis Gillian discovers that even the most innocuous powers can be used as a weapon in times of need.
Date November 21, 2008

Ruins of Midtown, Deveaux Building Rooftop


The night air in the city is cold enough to chill to the bone, even more so at high altitudes and when moving at fast speeds. While the cold may not bother Peter Petrelli, it most certainly has a different effect on the kidnapped Gillian Childs. By the time they arrive at a comfortable, safe feeling destination — at least to Peter — her cheeks are windblown and reddened, hair wild and unruly, much of the feeling in her nose replaced with the bitter sting of chilly autumn air. But the cold, as it is, is proven to be the least of her worries.

The pair touch down, roughly, on the rooftop of a multi-story residential building overlooking the ruins of lower Manhattan. While the crater is mostly invisible at night, the jagged outline of the ruined skyscrapers backlit by the lghts of the surviving portions of the city paints an equally ominous portrait of ruin.

The sound of startled birds fills the air as Peter releases Gillian, and the black-haired kidnapper lurches to one side, leaning weakly against the stone railing on one arm. His hand comes to rest at his head, brows tensed together. He all but dropped the girl the moment they landed, and the sound of their arrival sends the pigeons that had gathered here scattering in the winds. From the looks of it, the exertion of sustaining flight seems to have unsettled Peter, and perhaps Gillian's wildly fluctiation power also causing his migraine to pulse and throb inside of his head painfully.

The fluctuations continued during flight as well. And with the close proximity of having to hold onto Gillian, this flying nuke felt the brunt of it. Even more than when he was standing a few feet away. On, as her fear and anger took over— off as she tried to settle down and cling to the only stable thing she had. Somehow, through all of this, she's not lost her bag. Her scarf and some of her personal belongings lay back in the Bronx, but the bag, with a few important things, is clutched against her chest during the flight.

As they land, she's dropped rather heavily, once again. She ends up on her knees, groaning in pain. The bag remains clutched in hand, with a few important possessions, but it thunks on the concrete as she kneels there for a moment. Breath heavy, she glances up at him. Fear spikes for an instant, the sight of ruined buildings just past him, and him— the fear causes another surge— which she shuts down a moment later. Little does she know how much affect this is having on him. "You— you son of a bitch."

Cuts on her arms and legs from the manhandling bleed, though not as much as they might have in another situation. Cold air slows the flow of blood, numbs some of the pain. She's shivering, though— the coat she'd had on not near enough. And one of her feet ended up bare, with only a sock between it and the chill. When she lost a boot is anyone's guess. "All— your fault. I know it is."

Peter struggles to get standing again, straining through the pain of his migraine. Gillian's words cut him deeply, almost as much as the slider of glass from the car windshield that is still embedded in his back. "This?" Peter snarls, finally turning his focus to the brunette, "All of this is Sylar's fault!" As he raises his voice, the stone tiles underfoot rumble slightly, sending the dust and debris rattling away from Peter for a moment. "I saw him in your mind, I know you know him…" Peter cranes his head to the side, trying to work out the tightness and tension in his muscles. "I want you to tell me where he is, because I know he's just using you for whatever reason he has, whatever it is you do." There's a momentary pause in his approach, and Peter breathes in deeply through his nose, "You'll tell me, or I'll take it from you."

There's a grunt as she starts to move to stand, refusing to face this on her butt, no matter how much she'd like to just sit down and pretend none of this has ever happened. While Gillian stands, she reaches into her bag, happy to find the one thing she might be able to use against him happens to be there, and grabs the pistol. The Company gun— not the one that shot at him the first time, but extremely similar, is pulled out and pointed at him. "You're a liar. Your brother's a liar. And you shouldn't even exist, you fucker. You wouldn't exist if it wasn't for me." She'd been there— for all she knows his very existance is because he'd been drawing energy from her.

Just like before, her hand is shaking. The grasp on her ability slips again. Not a full surge, but energy bleeding out of her in his direction.

The bleeding surge of energy seems to ease the look of strain on Peter's face, like an addict getting a hit off of their favored drug. He straightens his posture just a little, "Right on both counts, Gillian. Nathan and I are both liars." Both of his dark brows rise up, and then fall as his expression distorts into a frown, "And yeah, maybe you're right, maybe you are to thank for this freedom I've been given. But you know what?" He raises his hand, pointing two fingers towards her, "You want to shoot me? Is that it?"

He squeezes his two fingers as if he was pulling the trigger of a gun, forcing a telekinetic pressure down on Gillian's fingers. The gun discharges once, the shot going wide from the shaking of her hands. "You want to just pull the trigger, put a bullet between my eyes, and make the bad man go away?" Another squeeze, another bullet fired off, this one striking one of the broken cherub statues flanking the stone ring on the railing with a loud ricochet. "I'm not the monster." Another squeeze, this bullet blows square into his shoulder. He winces, visibly, and the bullet forces its way, slowly, back out of the entry hold before falling to the stone floor. "Sylar is." Peter's dark eyes settle on Gillian's, "Now tell me where he is. You're right, you did make me. Which is why I'm not ripping your mind apart right now… Tell me where I can find him, and you can go."

With him forcing her finger— the shots ring out on the rooftop. Gillian's shocked at the first one, jumping a little where she stands — joined by another surge — but the reason the third hits at all is because, by that point, she's ready for it. Her hand has stopped shaking. "I don't know anyone named Sylar." Her words speak the truth. "Only Sylar I know of is the one you and your idiot older brother pinned your weakness on. How many thousands of people are dead because of you? And how many thousand more lose their freedom every day because of what you did— because you made people afraid of us." In her anger, she doesn't even try to hide including herself among those the people are afraid of.

"The only monster I see that will destroy the world is you. And if I helped create you— then I have to stop you." This time, he doesn't need to force her hand. "Assface." The bullet that leaves the barrel of the gun is entirely her own doing, though even at this distance her aim isn't the best, though it puncutates her nickname for him.

There's a sudden blur at the last shot, and Peter moves from one place to another with startling speed to dodge the bullet, so startling that even he looks surprised by it. When he stops moving, that look of bewilderment is front-and-center for Gillian, with the dark-haired man just a few inches away from her. He grabs her gun, wrenching it out of her hands to throw down to the ground nearby, then reaches up to rather physically grab her by her collar. "Sylar is the man in your mind I saw! The guy with the glasses who's pretending to be innocent!" A name, the name from the string map in Isaac's apartment, "Gabriel Gray." Peter throws Gillian back, sending her into the pigeon coop, causing the wood to rattle.

"Tell me where he is!" Peter holds out one hand, now at a distance, letting that tightness creep up around Gillian's neck, the same sensation she felt the last time she and Peter met, but this time there's no one here to save her. She has to save herself. Peter winces for a moment, struggling to focus on the telekinesis as his headache throbs in the front of his head behind his eyes, every wax and wane of her powers seems to coencide with a wince or a twinge.

Assface can dodge bullets. "Fuck," Gillian curses loudly, just before she's manhandled yet again, gun wrenched from her hand to go crashing to the rooftop floor, and physically grabbed. As he does this, there's another surge, sudden, unexpected, but it cuts off again when he speaks of who Sylar is exactly. Gabriel Gray. Her protector. Last names don't matter, she has a false name too, but Gabriel being the man they blamed the bomb seems to settle a thought into her head. Realization starting to form in her eyes as she lands against the pigeon coup and gets hauled back up aagin.

No bullets.

No one here to save her.

Can't even kick him at this range. All she has is one thing— an ability that could destroy the city again, kill her.

"I'm not— helping you," she says firmly, taking that flow of energy she's tried to clamp down, and looking right at him— before sending all of it, as much as she can at this distance, right into him. Every ounce. As much as she can manage. The connection's almost instant, pushing energy into him, trying to force things upon him. The idea was given to her by Gabriel— to force an overload. Dangerous person to test it on. "Screw you."

At first the surge of energy seems to embolden Peter, causing him to clamp down harder around Gillian's throat, but then it's simply overfilling an already topped-off glass. Things begin spilling over, and it first manifests in wisps of flame that rise up off of Peter's shoulders and crackle into the air. His telekinesis wavers, stumbling and staggering to the side, then his hands begin to glow, bones radiating light out from his palms. For a moment, Peter looks down to the glow from his hands with a horrified expression, the radiant surge of atoic energy flowing through his body. His teleinesis wavers again, then finally releases Gillian, dropping her down to the ground.

"N-No! Stop!" His scream pierces the air as he smashes back into the ring of stone flanked by two cherub statues, "Stop! No! I won't — Not again! Please!!" Peter howls out as flames roar up and over his body, engulfing him in a pillar of flames and nuclear energy that causes the bones in his fingers to shed forth searing waves of light and heat. His body flickers in and out of visibility, and some of his motions begin to appear as jerking and impossibly quick flashes of speed.

While there'd been a squeak of pain as the clamping got heavier, words cut off, Gillian just closed her eyes for a moment and pushed and pushed— until it wavers and she stumbles, back on her feet and dropping down to put her hands on her knees. It worked.

When she looks up, though, through a veil of brown hair that lays in her face, she sees it worked a little too well. She watches him fumble about, with various losses of control— and at his words, his plea specifically, her lips part. And she clamps down on the surge, stopping the flow of energy from her to him.

"Don't— touch me." Valid warning, cause the surge would happen even worse, in that case. "You or your powers," is more of a threat, though.

The moment the surge ends, Peter's knees buckle and the flames roll off of him in one last smoky goust, having blackened and cracked his jacket's leather. He slumps down, knees hitting the rooftop with a crash, one that sends a pulse of electromagnetic energy outin a blue flash from his body, bones dimming down and no longer visible beneath his skin. He slouches forward, the blurred movements stopping as his hands come down to rest at his side, then leans back and slumps up against the stone railing beneath the two weathered and cracked cherbubs, the ring of stone resting just above his head.

A wheezing breath is drawn in, and Peter looks up at Gillian with heavy eyelids, "Sylar…" He swallows, dryly and painfully, "Is going… to kill you." His jaw sets, tensing for a moment before the muscles begin to relax again. "Once he — once he figures out how your power works… a-and how he can use it for himself." One weak hand rises up to hold the side of his head. "Sooner or later…"

There's a shuddered release of breath as the possible disaster fades out. Gillian knew it'd been a risk, one that she had to take. While he settles, she's stumbling over to retrieve her gun, the birthday present that she'd been given— the only one. It'd clattered across the rooftop, but hadn't fallen off. Her bag is easier to find— it's exactly where she dropped it. Many options face her, but with a glance to him— something makes her walk closer again and kneel, outside hand reach, but— he doesn't need to use his hands.

"You're wrong," she says softly, keeping hold of the gun, though she doesn't fire or even point it when she'd have a good chance to do so now. "I don't know who he was before, but Gabriel wouldn't hurt me, much less kill me. Can't say the same for you— or the Company your other half works for." There's a slow inhale and she looks away from him, risking a glance toward the skyline. "And you're one… to accuse someone of killing, Peter Petrelli. At least you could take responsibility for your own weakness."

"Don't you think I take responsibility for it, every single time I look out over that crater?" He's too weak to fight now, but at least the conversation is buying Peter time, time fo rthe feeling of fire in his chest to die down, for the searing ache in his muscles to quell, and for the constant throbbing in his head to slow to something manageable. "My brother chose to tell everyone that Sylar destroyed the city… The same brother who abandoned me when I was here fighting — " Peter starts coughing, loudly, just as he was about to drive home his point. A trickle of blood runs out of his mouth, the back of his hand used to smear it into his beard in a vain attempt to wipe it away with tired limbs.

"I tried to stop this. We all did." We? "You can't change the future, Gillian. But I can damn sure settle my score with him, and prevent this shit-hole of a world from becoming worse because of monsters like him." Peter turns his head, spitting out a spot of blood onto the rooftop. "Two fifteen, Reed Street, number seven, in SoHo," It's a wonder how he can remember a detail so miniscule even in a condition like this, "Go see for yourself, sometime… if you don't believe me."

It'll be a wonder if Gillian remembers the exact address, but she's paying attention, she's thinking about it— so it's possible that she will, even without the benifit of some kind of enhanced memory. Had been a librarian— sometimes numbers and words are easy to remember. "The one more likely to make things worse right now is you," she says in a stubborn voice— obviously not accepting of his words just yet. It might take whatever is at that address for her to do it. Or the sight of the man in question showing her a face beyond Gabriel Wilkins, her neighbor and protector— her teacher.

She could shoot him again. But she stands up and limps over to her bag, turning the safety back on and shoving the gun inside. "Maybe I'll check it out. Two fifteen, Reed Street, number seven in SoHo." Repeating what he said is the best way to remember it. "If you've really faced it every time you look at that…" She points to the buildings to emphasize, "Maybe you should give a second thought about making things worse just to settle a fucking score." It seems, at that, she's going to be leaving him there, rather than riddling him with holes or making him overload on his own abilities again, because she starts looking for a door. Surely she can get down to the street without jumping.

Gillian catches sight of a door around the other side of the pigeon coops, through a tangled mess of iron framework from what might have been a greenhouse before the bomb. The roof access door is open, caught in the cold wind that rattles it against the doorframe. Peter watches as Gillian rises and makes her way over to her bag, then towards the door, this is the second time in as many days that Peter has been bested by one of the women that Sylar surrounds himself with. He manages a smile, though, at that, "You aren't going to finish me off?" The question seems spoken almost accusatory, as if he had fully expected, and perhaps wanted her to.

"You said I can't change the future, didn't you?" Gillian says, glancing back at him for a moment, not returning the smile and looking rather serious as she says that. It's quiet for a moment, even more quiet than it would've been up here over two years ago. "This isn't where you die." The painting hasn't happened yet— even if she'd been gungho about shooting at him before, something changed. A seed of doubt planted. Something she needs to reevaulate herself.

"Besides. I'm out of bullets." A lie. But a reason. And one she'll make true before she gets back to the apartment to talk to Gabriel.


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November 21st: Courting Trouble
Previously in this storyline…
Vehicular Manslaughter For The Win

Next in this storyline…
To Peter, From Sylar, With Love

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November 21st: Modes Of Operation
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