Schism

Participants:

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Scene Title Schism
Synopsis Not all recoveries are without aftereffects.
Date October 18, 2008

Primatech Research, Level 5


The analogue clock on the wall reads 11:55, and this deep down beneath the streets of New York, it's hard to be certain whether that means AM or PM. The halls of Level-5 are silent at this hour, most of the cells vacant, their lights turned off and windows darkened. Wall sconces shed pale white light up and down the bare concrete, and it is only the grinding sound of the freight elevator that breaks the stillness in the air.

Coming to a lurching stop, the double-layered doors slide open. First the steel-plated security doors that receed into the wall, then the cage mesh door that rolls up into the ceiling. From the elevator, a single man steps out, hands tucked into the pockets of his slacks, head skewed down and eyes focused on his polished dress shoes. The sound of those heavy footfalls echoes in the otherwise quiet hall.

He stops at one of the cells, pausing abruptly as he turns to look at his muted reflection in the reinforced glass. There's always something about the scar that cuts across Peter's face that draws his attention to it when he sees it, a reminder of a part of his past he refuses to talk about — To Cat, to Helena, to anyone. That scar across his face is a reminder of something secret, and something that, at the end of the day, is a permanent reminder to Peter about who he is, and where he's been.

"Does it make you feel guilty?" The voice causes Peter's breath to hitch in his throat, turning towards the sound only to find himself soaring backwards through the air with a violent thrust. Thrown off of his feet, Peter collides with the concrete wall, suspended some six feet off of the ground, hands reaching towards his throat as his legs kick in the air. "When you see that scar, does it make you feel guilty?"

Peter's head tilts back, struggling as his eyes peer at the ceiling. He tries to speak, but his voice only comes out in a hoarse and choking croak. Then, as abruptly as it began, he's released, crashing to the ground to land on his side. One hand presses flat against the floor, vision blurring for but a moment before he tries to right himself, looking up with a furrowed brow and a snarl to the figure standing down at the far end of the hall.

There, in the pale light of the sconce lamps, stands a man in a long black jacket made of smooth leather, the collar lifted up behind his neck, hair combed back tight to his head. As he walks, hard-soled boots thump loudly on the concrete, the long tail of the jacket swishing from side to side with the sway of his shoulders. "How can you work with them, after everything they've done?" Peter's expression shifts to disbelief as the figure storming towards him continues to speak. The look in his eyes, the same scar across his brow.

"How can you work with the Company!" His hand bursts into a wreath of orange flames, flickering and crackling as his palm spreads open, leaving a wake of rippling heat and smoke behind his arm. Climbing to his feet, Peter stares at his doppleganger, backing up until his heel bumps into the wall behind him. He raises one hand, slowly, arcing bolts of electricity crackling between his fingers.

"Because they're right." He says with firm resolve, "Because what they're doing is necessary! Take a look around you, at the world we're living in, at all of the chaos. There has to be order put in place, and we can't wait for Democracy to take a slow effect, or the world we know won't be here anymore!" Peter steels himself, keeping that hand outstretched, "How did you get down here, anyway, Sylar. What do you want?"

Flames roll up one shoulder and down the other, and Peter's opposite hand bursts into flames, "You think I'm Sylar?" A crooked smile creeps across his mouth, tugging at the corners of his beard, "I think you know better than that." There's a rush of air, and suddenly he's right in Peter's face, an arm's length away. Immediately a blast of flame sends the Peter in slacks and a suit Jacket reeling away, raising his hand to launch a bolt of lightning towards his imposter. It misses the mark, he's already gone.

"Who are you!?" Peter calls out, pressing his back up against the wall, lightning arcing down both arms as his eyes scan the hallways, trying to focus, trying to reach out and find the mind of his impersonator. Then, there's a screeching sound in the middle of his mind, a hollow echoing resonance of feedback. He brings a hand to his head, only to feel hands grabbing his shoulders, and yanking him through the wall he leans up against as if it were thin air.

Peter slides across the floor on his back, knocking over a chair until he collides with a desk, sending pens scattering to the floor and papers into the air in the dimly-lit office. Flames crackle and burn, illuminating the black-clad man who yanked him through a foot of solid stone, "I'm you." He intones, an angry and frustrated expression on his face, turning towards his prone counterpart, "What's the matter, need more proof?" He flicks his fingers, gesturing subtly as the desk flies across the room, smashing into the wall and shattering in an explosion of stationary and wood.

"No — T-that's impossible." Scrambling to his feet, Peter circles around his fiery mirror self, looking into his dark eyes, into the dancing reflection of orange flames that seem to represent the passionate anger welling up inside of him. "Are you from the future?" He swallows, dryly, keeping that lightning wielding hand held aloft. His mirror snorts derisively at the question.

"We don't have a future." He spits the venomous answer back, "Not the way you're going. The Company is going to use you, just like they used Parkman, and Bennet, and Suresh." A burning finger wags back and forth in a chiding gesture, "They're going to turn you on everyone that's left, turn you on PARIAH, turn you against Helena." The flames rise and burn brighter to punctuate his words.

"No! I'd never hurt her!" Electricity snaps and crackles as Peter throws one arm to the side in a defiant gesture, "I'd never hurt them!" His counterpart isn't nearly as convinced, rolling his eyes with a click of his tongue as he steps closer across the office floor, eyes narrowed in a dustrusting and displeased expression.

"Remember Simone?" Those words cut through Peter like a knife, "Remember what the Company did to Isaac? What that did to Simone? Remember when he killed her!?" Anger grows, turning into a curtain of flame that rises up off of the leather-clad Peter's outstretched arms and his shoulders, like a mantle of fire that backlights his body. "What good have you truly done? Who have you really saved? How has anything you've done saved anyone!"

"I saved Niki!" Peter shouts back, "I — I saved Elle!" Burning eyes narrow at the last assertion, and the fiery Peter shakes his head from side to side, quenching the flames entirely, snuffing them out in an instant. Now he is lit only by the pale blue glow of the arcing bolts of lighting running down his counterpart's arms.

"Did you?" He asks, knowingly, "Did you really save her? Is one prison any better than the next?" His upper lip rises into a snarl, "If you weren't here with them, Cameron would still be alive! You could've prevented that, you could've been there and done something!"

He has no response, backed into a corner both physically and metaphorically, so much so that the electricity crackling around his hand fades entirely, casting the room into pitch blackness. There, in the suffocating seclusion of the darkness, the voice of Peter Petrelli calls out in grim question, "When have you ever done any good?"

Those words send Peter screaming, leaping up from a seated position with sweat running down his forehead and chest. Blankets tangle around his legs as his arms flail wildly, eyes snapping open to view a white-painted room with a window overlooking the city beyond. Morning sunlight filtering through open blinds. He swallows, dryly, turning to look down at the digital clock on the nightstand, rolling to one side to lift it up.

11:55am

He breathes out a heavy sigh, closing his eyes and leaning forward to rest his head against his arm. It was only a dream. But perhaps that, in itself, is more disturbing than any one reality.


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October 18th: Business As Usual
This is the start of a Storyline

Next in this storyline…
Me, Myself, and I

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October 18th: Don't Go Sharing Your Emotions
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