A Fatal Error


young_hiro_icon.gif matt_icon.gif mohinder_icon.gif nathan_icon.gif

Scene Title A Fatal Error
Synopsis While Mohinder confronts Hiro about the past, Matt Parkman finds himself more alone than ever.
Date November 8, 2011

DHS Holding Facility

Slouched into his seat, under the flickering fluorescent lights, Hiro Nakamura feels hopeless. Jaw tense and head down, he stares at his shackled hands and works his fingers open and closed. The mute man stripping him of his power moved out of the room a while ago, but he can still feel the absence that his nearby proximity affords. There's an emptiness without his ability, an emptiness that Hiro feels represents this entire twisted world he's found himself thrust into.

When the electronic lock on the door buzzes, Hiro looks up, expecting to see Matt Parkman. But the tall and slim man that enters is anyone but. Doctor Mohinder Suresh looks at Hiro Nakamura the way a naturalist might to an unknown specimen of bird. He slowly pushes the door shut behind himself, glances to the two-way mirror, then back to Hiro. There's awkward silence for a moment, as Hiro inspects Mohinder's nametag lariat hanging off his lapel. The guest badge shows that he's a doctor, and Hiro's attention raises up to his glasses, then down to something curled in his hand — paperwork of some kind.

"Save the cheerleader, save the world." Mohinder parrots Hiro's own words back to him, and the phrase sends a chill down the younger man's spine. "What does that mean?" Mohinder asks, breathlessly.

"How do you know that?" Is the only way Hiro can think to respond.

"Five years ago," Mohinder sets whatever paperwork he has face down on the metal table, then edges closer to Hiro. "Peter Petrelli and I were on the subway. He said someone stopped time." Both of Mohinder's brows raise up, and the look in his eyes is practically manic. "That's what you do, Mr. Nakamura. Peter and I were on our way to see Isaac Mendez that day. An artist who can paint the future." Mohinder reaches back for the paperwork, turning it over. It's black and white illustrations, linework for an unfinished comic book.

"A lot of his work is remarkably accurate," Mohinder explains, paging through the comic. "Except this," Mohinder then lays the comic down to a specific page. There, it shows someone that looks remarkably similar to Hiro Nakamura stabbing Sylar in the stomach with the kensei sword. Hiro perks up, dark eyes briefly flicking to Mohinder, before they return to the comic.

"Is…" Hiro squints, "that a new 9th Wonder?"

Mohinder taps his finger on the illustration of Hiro stabbing Sylar, leaves two fingers pressed there resolutely, and looks up to pointedly make eye contact with Hiro." The events in this comic. History didn't happen like this. You didn't kill Sylar. You're trying to change the past. Trying to stop Sylar, is that it?" Mohinder's other hand trembles, something at the back of his mind nags at him. Sweat trickles down his brow, his breathing is hasty, his heart racing. He can feel something, something like anxiety building in the pit of his stomach. The more he thinks about Sylar the sicker he feels. His breath hitches, he looks away.

Hiro levels a look at Mohinder, as if the answer to his question is obvious. "If you could save millions of lives, wouldn't you?" The question, rhetorical as Hiro meant it to be, burns behind Mohinder's eyes. Grabbing the comic, he curls it up into one hand and shoves it into his jacket pocket. His heart is racing now, blood pressure building, he can't think straight. Hiro, noticing Mohinder's agitation asks in a smaller voice, "Are you ok?"

Mohinder holds up a hand out at Hiro, shakes his head and takes his glasses off. Sweeping sweat from his face, Mohinder exhales a shaky breath. "I — I'm fine," he states with a tense swallow between words. Finally, he rests a hand on the door and looks back to Hiro. There's something in Mohinder's body he's fighting, something in his mind he's struggling to remember, but every time he gets close…

"I'm fine," Mohinder reiterates, opening the door and stepping through. As he emerges out in the hall, he swings the door shut an exhales a trembling sigh. One hand fishes for his phone in his pocket, calling the only person that can ever calm his nerves. It's a compulsive dial, as if all this anxiety was building because he wasn't reporting back, because he wasn't telling the person on the other line everything. But now, even as the ringing chirps in his ear, Mohinder is starting to feel better.

Then, the smooth voice on the other end of the line is a psychic balm.

"Mister President," Mohinder says with exasperated relief. "There's something we must discuss, urgently."

Isaac Mendez's Loft

A tangled web of colored strings intersects over a vibrant orange painting of a mushroom cloud. As Mohinder Suresh traces one line with his fingertips, a tall and looming figure stands like a shadow behind him. Nathan Petrelli's eyes coldly assess the string web, flit from photograph to photograph, filling in the gaps in the puzzle before him.

"Nakamura was trying to find a way to kill Sylar before he exploded," Mohinder explains, compulsively. His right hand stutters with a tremor as he talks, sweat beads at his temples. He doesn't turn to look back at Nathan, but he can feel his stare on the back of his neck.

"You actually think he can make that happen?" Nathan asks, both as threat and a question. Mohinder's jaw tenses at the tone, breath flutters in his lungs. He feels sick.

Finally, he finds his voice. "I do," he pivots, looking back at Nathan. "Think about it. Without Sylar, the world would have never considered these people to be dangerous. None of this would've ever happened. Imagine the possibilities." Nathan's brows furrow as Mohinder's tone shifts from anxiety to optimism. "If he kills Sylar, we can change the past." To Mohinder, it's a novel solution. It worked at Moab, it could work here. But the visual illustration, of Mohinder untying Sylar's black string, tells everything.

The entire web collapses to the floor.

Nathan is silent, jaw set, eyes trained to everything falling apart on the floor. "I don't have that luxury," is his quick dismissal. "I need to find answers in the here and now," he adds, looking back up to Mohinder with a demanding tone.

Mohinder swallows, dryly. "Genocide is not an answer." It's visibly difficult for him to say that, and internally Mohinder still can't quite determine why. Nathan switches his tactics, replaces the stick with a carrot of sorts.

"Is that what this is about?" Nathan treads across the fallen strings, pressing his heel down hard into a photo of Peter Petrelli. "You're feeling bad because you came up short?"

"It's wrong." Mohinder's retort comes with a tightness of breath, prickling fingertips, blurred vision.

"I was elected to make hard decisions," Nathan smoothly offers, then with some small irony he adds, "I understand how things work."

Mohinder relents, he can't fight the feeling in the back of his mind any longer. The more he disagrees with Nathan, the sicker he becomes, the more discomfort and prickling pain he's in. He relents and he feels relief. "And how is this going to work?" Immediate relief.

Nathan tucks his hands into his pockets, beginning to circle Mohinder. "Today I'm going to announce that you've developed a treatment to reverse this."

Mohinder looks up, shoots an accusatory look to Nathan. "You're going to lie."

"The world will cheer." Nathan offers his own take on it, but there is no cheer in his dead eyes.

"And what happens when people start dying?" Mohinder feels the tightness in his chest coming back.

"I'll say you made a mistake," Nathan offers, delicately. "A fatal error. At first, the world will mourn. They'll be united in grief. And then they'll just be united." Completing his circle of Mohinder, Nathan briefly glances down to a photograph of Claire Bennet in a cheerleader uniform, then looks back up to the doctor. "Mohinder, I need to know if I can trust you. I need to know if you're with me. Are you with me on this?" It isn't a question, it's a demand. An insinuation of intent. Hooks in the flesh, begging loyalty.

Mohinder pauses, pupils dilate, skin warms.

He has no choice but to say "Of course."

Nathan opens his mouth, about to deliver another directive, but the door to the loft opens. As Matt Parkman strides in, he fires a look down to the two. There's momentary suspicion in his eyes. He sees the string web taken down, sees Mohinder's agitated condition. Quickly, briefly he lances out into the doctor's mind.

Obey me. Love me. Obey me. Love me. Unquestioning. Unflinching.

Matt's breath hitches in the back of his throat, feeling an undercurrent of subconscious psychic conditioning. He can't stay stunned, he has to say something. "There are two of them, sir. Two…" Matt stumbles over his words, he can feel the cloying sense of suffocating pressure behind his eyes from even brief exposure to whatever horrific psychic ability that is. "…Hiros," is his belated end to the sentence.

"You're sure?" Nathan's brows tense, eyes narrow at Matt.

Parkman moves down to the stairs into the loft, trying to play it cool. "I am. I think we got the younger one. It explains the gaps in his knowledge." Then, a testing beat later. "I want to put him down."

The immediate response of "No," from Nathan sends a wave of relief through Matt. Maybe he was wrong about all of this. But then, Mohinder turns with a marionette-like gait to face Nathan, and Nathan locks eyes with the doctor.

"I want Dr. Suresh to do it," is Nathan's unquestionable directive. Mohinder tenses up, feels sick to his stomach, strains against the voice in the back of his mind.

"Yes, sir." It is said with such simplicity, as if he'd been asked to take out the garbage to the corner of the street. Matt's throat tightens, he dreads whatever is happening in this room, whoever is watching, whoever is pulling the strings. He doesn't know what's truly going on, but he knows now that something is inexorably wrong. Something's been wrong for months, perhaps longer. He has no choice but to play it cool. He's the only one who has the mental capacity to keep these secret suspicions in check.

"Mr. President…" Matt offers in a hushed tone of voice, "that's not the only thing that I found in Texas."

He's the only one who can lay a trap.

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