Slipknot

Participants:

alexander_icon.gif helena_icon.gif matt_icon.gif mohinder_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Slipknot
Synopsis Peter and Helena go in search of Hiro, and instead find a whole lot of trouble.
Date September 17, 2008

Isaac's Loft, SoHo

This spacious loft looks to have at one time been an art studio, judging from the wide array of paintings arranged up against the walls and littered across tables. Half-finished murals adorn one wall, nor merely faded spatterings of color. The loft is bordered on one side by a large row of windows looking out into the entrance hall, a door with a frosted glass window set into it leads out. From the entryway, there is a raised walkway that descends down a few steps into the main loft, where long and paint-stained tables are stacked with mostly blank canvas in frames, and some completed paintings in a stylized and sharp color-contrast style. What dominates much of the loft, however, is not the abandoned artwork or the layers of dust that have settled on them, but rather strings — hundreds upon hundreds of strings.

The entire loft is filled with strings that stretch from one side of the main room to another, most of them laden with newspaper clippings, photographs, or plastic baggies filled with strange oddies like locks of hair, a shirt button, interlinked paperclips and the like. The majority of the news articles are all related to the bomb that destroyed most of midtown manhattan in 2005, some also relating to Senator Petrelli's political campaign, then other seemingly unrelated incidents. A single red string seems to interconnect all of the other threads, bouncing from one point to another, tied off to different articles — all which can be slid by slip knots into new positions — and tangled up towards a knot at the center where an article related to the bomb is hanging, showing a photograph of a man named "Gabriel Gray." It takes a moment to notice that the shapes and colors on the floor beneath all of this chaos is an image. It is a profound one at that, the painting of a city being blown apart by an atomic explosion, complete with a crimson and orange mushroom cloud rising up from the middle.

Beyond this area, the entire north wall of the loft is a large line of blown out windows covered with venetian blinds, angled to filter in light during the daytime, and affording a view of the broken skyline of midtown in the distance.


Peter was acting strange all morning, having woken up not long after sunrise. Through most of the early morning hours, Peter spent time up on the roof of the tenement building, as if reminiscent about something. There was a certain look about him though, something that seemed changed — beyond just the sharp haircut and clean shave — perhaps it had something to do with the "trip" he was to take. However, unlike normal, Peter didn't decide to take this trip alone…

It was a long walk from the tenement building up towards Midtown, to a business district on the southern edge, outside of the irradiated zone, but still in an area of extreme devastation that had not even been touched by city repair yet. Burned out cars lined the streets along with smashed storefront windows and crumbling buildings. For some reason, he insisted on walking to his destination, despite the rough neighborhood.

It was Helena he chose to bring with him here, though under a certain veil of secrecy. He had said nothing of the destination, only that he sought a "friend," someone he trusts above all others who may be "around." Peter sounded dubious at the very prospect. By the time they had reached the destination though, it didn't look like a dwelling any sane person would be living in. The entire front facade of the multi-story renovated factory was pulverized by the blast-wave from the bomb. Windows were blown out and glass littered the street, even the front doors were blown clear off their hinges.

But Peter was sure.

"Two-Fifteen Reed Street," Peter says quietly, looking up at the building on the approach up the sidewalk, his hands tucked into the pockets of his slacks. Afternoon sunlight spills down between the many ruined shops and businesses lining the streets, light catching on the glass strewn about the cracked and upheaved roads, glittering like a sea of tiny diamonds amidst the debris. "Hopefully he's home…"

Of course, Helena has met Mohinder, but since she doesn't know what Peter's on about, she's willing to just take his mentioning of a friend on faith. She takes a lot of what Peter says on faith, and really, that probably says a lot about her in turn. "What's here?" she asks. "I mean, besides enough free radicals to insure you're never able to father children for the rest of your life." She can't help the slight numerous dig. "Now that you're here, can you tell me who we're meeting?"

Peter stares up at the building for a moment, then looks over to Helena, as if concerned about how to explain everything. He breathes out a heavy sigh, then nods, stepping through the broken framework of the doorway and into the glass-strewn stairwell, "Yeah, I guess…" Crunching with each step, Peter begins to ascend the stairs, talking as he does. "This loft used to belong to Isaac Mendez," He looks up the stairwell, to the cracks in the walls, one hand reaching out to run over them. "He was an artist, the one I learned how to paint the future from." Rounding a corner once up on the second floor landing, Peter continues to climb the crooked stairs.

"After the bomb, and long after he died, one of the only people I can actually call a friend took up residence here. He said it was because this is where it all started for most of us." A long and dusty hallway, partially obstructed by a collapsed ceiling spreads out from the stairs on the third floor. "His name is Hiro Nakamura," Thankfully, the journey doesn't take them past the collapsed ceiling, but rather to a door with an intact glass window, "I learned a thing or two from him too," He says quietly, inspecting the door, "More important than his power, Hiro taught me not to give up." Peter lightly pushes at the door, noticing it is already open…

Helena follows up the stairs, slightly behind Peter. "I thought you were going to meet Dr. Suresh." she comments softly, surprised at her own error - arrogant thing! She silences though, ready to follow him in, prepared to take her cue from him as to how to interact with this new player in the game.

Standing amidst the maze of yarn and string is a figure that, while familiar to Peter and Helena both, is not Hiro Nakamura. He is tall, dark and lean with a mess of curly black hair and a pair of wire-frame glasses that sit upon the bridge of his angular nose. It's difficult to make out the man's facial features in the dim light of the loft, but there's no mistaking the side profile of Dr. Mohinder Suresh. He stands in the center of the room where several of the strings converge, a single photograph pinched between the thumb and index finger of his left hand. The only thing that isn't surprising about the situation is that he's wearing a pair of leather gloves, partly to protect his joints from the chilly evening weather and partly to prevent leaving his fingerprints anywhere around the scene. The expression on his face belongs to a man who knows he's not supposed to be here.

"Suresh? No…" Peter says quietly, "There's no way — " He swallows his own words, staring at the figure in the center of the room. "Mohinder." Peter's tone betrays his distrust, pushing the door as he storms into the loft, ducking beneath a white string as he does. "What are you doing here, where's Hiro?" Peter's brows lower as he makes his way down the steps, ducking his head beneath a length of thin rope, and then around a somewhat dog-eared and worn photograph of a very blonde, very highschool-aged Claire Bennet, with a stick-it pad on the photograph reading save the cheerleader.

"First you track me down and deny help, now all of a sudden I'm supposed to trust you…" Peter seems oblivious to the details, either he's seen them before, or his current disgruntled attitude towards Mohinder has his full attention. "Now you just happen to be here." Stopping at the center of the room, a black thread snaking over one of his shoulders, and a white thread over the other, Peter stares at the doctor, intent on getting an answer.

"That is definitely the wrong kind of Asian man." Helena remarks. She steps down onto the floor, fascinated by the lines and strings. And content to let the two men have their confrontation as she begins following lines, espying the picture of Claire. She's actually tempted to nick it and bring it to her friend. And then her eyes drop to the floor. It makes her skirt back to take in the whole thing - a giant mushroom cloud of destruction roaring through the Manhattan skyline.

When Mohinder decided to come to this place, he obviously wasn't expecting to find himself confronted by a very irate Peter Petrelli. Where's Hiro? What's that supposed to mean? "Peter," he says, clearly taken aback by the pair's sudden appearance. It occurs to him that he never caught Helena's name when he stopped by the tenement, but now probably isn't the best time to be asking questions — not when Peter is assaulting him with a barrage of his own. "I have no idea what you're talking about," he snaps, his tone clipped, curt, "I came here to see what was left of Mendez's work and found this." He holds up the picture that he holds between his fingers. Gabriel Gray. "Don't tell me you're not responsible."

Peter halts as he sees the picture, in like manner to what stories say a vampire would when presented with a cross. He scowls, looking from the face on the news clipping back to Mohinder, "No." He states firmly, "None of this is mine." His eyes dart around the room, looking to Helena for a moment as if suddenly concerned, then back to Mohinder. "This is Hiro's problem, not mine." He steps to one side, ducking beneath the black string, that thin piece of yarn now dividing he and Mohinder. "You wanted to see me?" His brow tenses, and it's clear Peter is as blindsided by Mohinder's presence as Mohinder is by Peter's.

Helena pauses in her explorations, commenting, "He said he'd come by the building later this afternoon. This is unexpected." She peers at the picture of GG. "Is that…who I think it is?" she asks quietly. The boogeyman made flesh, or at least a 2-D representation. She pauses, her finger delicately poised over one of the strings as she watches the two men.

"I did," Mohinder says to Peter. Then, to Helena: "I was. Did I tell you I wouldn't make any stops along the way?" Deftly, he folds the photograph in two, flips it around and slips it into the inside of his coat pocket for safe-keeping. Helena doesn't need to look at that. Nobody does. "I want to help you gain access to where they're keeping him," he says shortly, "and if you have difficulty wrapping your head around that, think of it as penance for the sins I've already committed against your people."

"Yeah," Peter says in a disaffected tone, "That's him." His eyes drift from Mohinder to the photograph of Gabriel Gray, then back to Mohinder again as it's slipped into a pocket. "Sorry Doc, but I've already got someone working that angle to disable security. I think I have a pretty good idea of what you want." He slides his hands into the pockets of his jacket, eyeing Suresh for a moment, "Noah told me what happened between the two of you, he has some pretty strong ideas as to why you're sticking with Homeland Security." Peter takes one step towards Suresh, the scar in the middle of his brow creasing with a displeased expression, a scar he shouldn't — couldn't — have. "It's Her. Isn't it?"

"Her? Her who?" There's so much going on here, and Helena is privy to precious little of it. "There's someone particular you want us to spring, Dr. Suresh. Is this 'Her' the one you you've got in mind?"

Mohinder narrows his eyes at Peter, a series of lines appearing on his slightly furrowed brow. "Molly Walker," he says, the crisp edges of his voice softening as he speaks the name, "yes. I'd— hoped it wouldn't come to this." He must feel Helena is owed an explanation, because he turns to her and begins moving parallel to a length of string, trailing the tips of his fingers along its surface as he goes. "Two years ago, Sylar murdered her parents and would have killed her as well if it hadn't been for Agent Parkman. The Company has been keeping her locked away as a precaution, but it isn't out of concern for her safety. It's because they're interested in her ability."

Peter practically withers as Mohinder says her full name, his head downcasting and hands curling into fists at his side. His shoulders rise, then fall slowly, for a brief moment there's a posture Peter has as if he was going to knock the professor's teeth out. Thankfully for both of them, he keeps that burst of anger at bay. Parkman's name causes Peter to bristle a little, and he shakes his head, staring down at the depicting of the bomb on the floor. "I had suspicions she was being held there," He thinks back to the conversation with Wireless, an dhis mind replays that expression on her face when he mentioned Molly's name, his perfect memory relaying even the most subtle crease in Hana's brow.

"I'd considered killing her." Peter says without any glossing over the situation, "She's dangerous, to all of us. I figured if we struck at the Company, they'd use her to pinpoint everyone and take us out one-by-one…" His brows tense together, and from his expression it's hard to tell what Peter's thinking. "Besides, what kind of life do you think she'd be able to live, constantly on the run from the people you work for?"

"Molly…Molly Walker? As in The Walker System?" Helena pivots on her heel to stare at Peter. "You - you were going to - " she can't even say it. "You didn't tell him, Peter." she hisses furiously. "What do you think that would have done to Alex if you'd sent him and - " she cuts off, actually livid. "You don't get to choose to kill someone just because their powers are dangerous!" Sylar's a psychotic murderer. She doesn't know from this Molly Walker. She turns her back to Mohinder. "We'll get her out." she says coldly. "But if she wants to stay with us, that's her choice."

"You're sadly mistaken if you think I'm letting you delegate me to the sidelines after what he just said." Mohinder glares at Peter, his stare hard and cold. "She's a twelve-year-old girl, not a pawn to be disposed of during a moment of inconvenience!" His hand closes around the string, grasping it so tightly that the leather of his gloves groans and creaks beneath the pressure. "Kill her and you're no better than he is."

It's one thing to hear from his underlings that Mohinder is back from India, but quite another to hear the same thing the man says in his thoughts as he nears the loft, where the doctor was seen to enter. Was Mohinder hiding Hiro? The thought, along with many others, has Matt in a whirl, but when he hears this particular tidbit about Molly, Matt's pistol is in his hands before he shoulders open the door.

It's trained on the good doctor himself.

But soon Matt notices Peter and Helena, and that becomes even more confusing. Peter? Peter was supposed to be dead, wasn't he?

"Okay," the federal agent says with a heavy sigh in an effort to control himself, fully aware that the drawn weapon wins him the floor. "Answers. From all of you. Fast."

"Helena… I…" Peter closes his eyes for a moment, perhaps knocked to his senses from her reaction, and from Mohinder's words as well. Had the last two years been so hard on him that he would take a child's life? "It's not that simple…" There is not an ounce of pride in his tone of voice, much more shame than anything. "If she was turned on us, no one would be safe. God forbid if Sylar managed to steal her power, and suddenly was able to track down every single Evolved on the planet? Why not just hand the end of the world to him on a silver platter." Peter's arms tense, fingers tightening so hard his knuckles turn white. "You're right, maybe I should just lock her up in some deep, dark hole in the ground for the rest of her life because of a power she was born with? Isn't that what everyone — " Peter's words are interrupted by the sound of a familiar, and unwanted voice.

"Parkman." Peter holds out one of his hands, a low haromonic rumble emanating from where Peter stands as pieces of shattered glass from the blown out windows begin to rise up off of the floor, catching the afternoon sunlight in gleaming streaks. Each long and jagged shard tilts and clinks as they lightly tap against one another. "I should have known this was a setup." His eyes narrow, watching the gun, eyes darting to Helena for a moment, then back to Parkman.

The blood drains from Mohinder's face, leaving his skin pale and streaked with sweat. If he was surprised to run into Peter here, there's no word to describe the look on his face when he finds Matt standing in the doorway. He takes an abrupt step back, and then another as if to take a page from Helena's book and seek shelter behind Peter's floating sea of glass — but instead of continuing to move his feet, he drops his left hand to his right hip, reaching across his body for the gun he keeps holstered there.

No matter which way you slice it, Matt really has no choice. It's what he'll tell his superiors, and Bob Bishop, later. He had to shoot Mohinder. He /had/ to.

All in all, it's quick. Matt scrunches his face nanoseconds before he squeezes the trigger. The gun fires, and, unsilenced, the shot rings out. It strikes Mohinder in the right side of the chest toward his shoulder. It's not a lethal shot, but it's not like it lacks what the good ol' boys call 'stopping power.'

When Helena comes over, Peter watches her duck beneath the strings lining the room, and his concentration is broken for just long enough to not notice the change in Parkman's demeanor. The gunshot rings out, but Helena isn't the one recoiling from the sound, it's Mohinder. His eyes shift to the side, watching as the scientist is sent back against an easel from the shot to the shoulder. Helena's words ring out, his concentration falters, glass raining down to the ground as he shifts his attention, settling one hand on Helena's shoulder, the other reaching out and grabbing Mohinder by the collar. His eyes turn back to Parkman, watching the smoke trailing out of the barrel of his gun, and then there is a sound of air rushing to fill a sudden void, all of the strings in the loft rustling to the breeze.

Peter, Helena and Mohinder are nowhere to be seen.

"Fuck," Matt grunts, his upper lip quivering with the onset of rage. He shakes for a moment, then turns and slams the side of one fist against the doorframe, making a few more shards of glass that clung to their casements fall to the floor. A moment later, he's jogging back to his car, phone in hand rather than his pistol.

"Bob. Is Molly safe? No, I'm… Trust me. They're as desperate as—"

But Matt pauses, and a glower settles over his otherwise gentle features. "They're as desperate as Bennet."


Condemned Tenement: Boiler Room

Every run-down apartment complex has one. An enormous cavern of a room filled with furnaces, boilers, pipes, conduits, and all other imaginable forms of arcane technology required to keep the inhabitants comfortable and paying rent on time. Unlike most of the abandoned structures in the city, the utilities still seem to be operating here. The furnace is burning, keeping the building at a comfortable temperature. The lights are on. There are carefully tended valves and levers labeled 'GAS'. Locked cages separate the utilities into sections, preventing casual urban explorers from causing too much trouble.


Darkness replaces light, heat replaces cold, noise replaces silence. The world distorts and bends, reforming after a terrible sensation of brief falling, one that neither Helena nor Mohinder have experienced before. It's a sensation of missing a step while walking, of being uprght and suddenly gravity isn't where it should be. But after just a brief moment, just enough to offset balance, the world snaps back to the way it should be — only it's somewhere else entirely.

Mohinder is set upon by the noises of a dark basement, grimy basement windows let in a smear of light from the afternoon skies outside, filtering down through the rusted iron cages that contain the thrumming boiler and running generators. A horrible mural of a black-shadowed woman ripping flesh off of a body is spray-painted on the walls, a series of numbers swirled in his blood.

Blood, just like the kind flowing out of Mohinder's shoulder.

"Shit!" Helena pushes away from Peter the moment she's re-oriented, and moves to get herself under Mohinder to support him. "We need a medic or a doctor, or something, right now!" she says. "Or else we need to get him to a hospital or one of the street clinics in Chinatown!" She puts her hand on Mohinder's wound, trying to press down and bear his weight at the same time. It makes for comedical staggering. Or it would, if not for the blood.

Mohinder's chest heaves, his mouth opening and closing without making any sound as he sucks down air. The expression on his face isn't the only thing he has in common with a fish out of water. Even though the injury isn't a fatal one, the pain — combined with the onset of shock — makes him feel like he might be dying. He collapses against Helena, but when he turns his face up it isn't the blonde that he's looking at.

It's Peter.

"You— You saved my life." His voice is low and hoarse, fraught with emotion. "You didn't have to do that."

The sound of raised voices fills the basement, Helena's mostly. At that, Peter takes a step back from where Helena is crouching over a man with a dusky tan, black curly hair, breathing in wheezing breaths. Blood is flowing from a gunshot wound between his chest and shoulder, but no one down here is sporting a firearm, nor was there the sound of discharge. Peter stares at Mohinder, silent at his words, he was right. Then, turning to Helena, Peter tries to calm himself down, "He's as good as dead if we take him to a hospital!" His eyes close, hands over his face, trying to find his center. With that, Peter slides off his jacket, letting it fall to the floor in a rumbled heap. He unbottons his black shirt, quickly whipping it off as he kneels down at Mohinder's side, wadding up the garment and pressing it firmly against his shoulder. He takes Helena's hands, resting them on top of the cloth, "Press there, and don't let up…" He watches Mohinder for a moment, considering just what he's doing. "I've got to go find help."

There's the thunder of feet on the stairs, and Alex comes peering in, flashlight lantern in hand. "What the fuck?" he demands, curtly, already hurrying over.

Mohinder clenches his jaw, eyes squeezed shut as he rides the waves of pain washing over his chest and shoulder in relative silence. Every now and then, a small sound escapes him — not quite a groan, not quite a whimper — but he's at least making less noise than Helena was a few moments ago.

"He's been shot, Homeland Security." Peter figures that's the best way to fill Alexander in, though there is a rueful look as he sees the ex-officer, watching his approach with a modicum of disappointment — disappointment in himself. "Have you ever treated a gunshot wound?" There's an urgency to his tone, "Helena, just keep the pressure on…" There's a notable tension that Alex can pick up as Peter addresses her, and he helps the young woman ease Mohinder down into a seated position on the floor, back up against the wall. His eyes meet hers for a moment, then he turns away, ashamed of something, looking back up to Alexander.

"I have," Alex says, voice oddly acccentless. "Let me see it. From the sound of his breathing, it didn't hit the lung, which is good. And you've got pressure on it….might need stitching."

While Mohinder has to strain to keep quiet, he doesn't have to strain to hear. He nods in agreement with what Alexander says, turning his head just enough to get a look at the wound. One eye opens and then the other, blinking a few times as the world fades in and out of focus. He isn't losing as much blood as he was when he, Helena and Peter popped back into existence in the boiler room, but he can plainly see his blood beginning to darken Peter's shirt even further. "I think," he chokes, "I'm about to pass out — "

"I can't say whether or not he's going to be happy that Parkman didn't kill him," Peter mumbles, looking down at Mohinder as he loses consciousness, "Alright, I'll go get some tools, we'll patch him up and get him into one of the unused rooms." Peter looks over to Helena, and no words can fully elaborate on exactly how he feels about this. "Alex, I'm sorry." Peter doesn't explain what for, though perhaps it makes sense, with how he hadn't explained the situation either. Helena's stare causes Peter to recoil, and he looks down at the young woman for only one more moment before rising up from Mohinder's side.

"Once we get him stable, I think Cameron's going to need to know we have a new guest." Peter's brow tenses, and he turns to the stairs, rushing up to find the makeshift supplies needed to take care of Dr.Suresh's injury.

What comes next, is up to the good Doctor.


There's a pose of Helena's that's missing between Peter bringing the glass up to float and Mohinder going for his gun. If anyone has it, could they please put it in? — Ellis


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September 17th: Baton Passed
Previously in this storyline…
I Could

Next in this storyline…
The Red Zone

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September 17th: Just Trust Me
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