A Race Against Time



Also Featuring:

angela_icon.gif charles_icon.gif linderman_icon.gif simone_icon.gif

Scene Title A Race Against Time
Synopsis Slow and steady does not win…
Date October 7, 2006

Traffic uptown is bumper to bumper.

Stepping out of a yellow cab, a lone man in an off-the-rack suit from a retail outlet offers a nervous look up the looming height of adjacent skyscrapers. His mouth opens as he squints against the afternoon sun, trying to find the right building. The cabbie seems less concerned.

"Hey, c'mon, you gonna pay?" The cabbie barks out the window.

"Oh, right." The mousy brown-haired man says, fumbling with his wallet. When it hits the sidewalk his license flips out and lands face up on the street.


"Sorry," Mr. Idaho says with a lopsided smile, "sorry." He picks up the contents of his wallet, then fishes out a $20 bill and hands it over to the cab driver while stuffing the remainder of his wallet's contents back inside. The cab driver pulls away from the curve, leaving Idaho standing on the sidewalk outside a building steeped in history and sitting on the crux of a historic moment.

"Fear is the mind-killer." Idaho says to himself. "Fear is the mind-killer." He repeats the mantra, firmer this time. It's only then that he works up the nerve to put one foot in front of the other.

The Deveaux Building

Central Park West

New York City

October 7th

The Lobby of the Deveaux Building is a picture-perfect lesson in Art Deco architecture. The floor is tessellated tiles of black and cream accented with gold leaf in geometric shapes. The high ceiling is vaulted with a copper-plated relief of clouds and a sun eclipsed by a moon. It is otherwise empty, save for a single security officer seated behind the curving front desk. A pair of cameras softly pivot up by the doors.

When Mr. Idaho walks in off the street, he looks up and around at the lobby's historic architecture with a mixture of appreciation and apprehension. The security guard looks up at Idaho for a moment, but then reconsiders and looks back down to his Sudoku puzzle, idly tapping his pencil against the arm of his chair. Idaho walks deeper inside and the security guard continues to ignore him, even as Idaho slips behind the desk and presses the call button for the penthouse elevator. It's as if Idaho doesn't exist. He pauses, looking down at the puzzle the security guard is focused on.

"Four," Idaho says, pointing to one of the squares. The guard smiles, as if it were his own idea, and pencils the 4 in. Satisfied, Idaho steps away just as the penthouse elevator chimes, and walks inside. The ride up is slow, and the century-old elevator makes creaking and groaning noises that are of notable concern. When it reaches the penthouse level, Idaho steps to the side in the elevator out of direct line of sight. The penthouse foyer has a handful of people inside, none of whom he wants to have any direct contact with.

"Unless you're here to make amends, you'd best leave."

The hawkish, older woman standing in the lobby isn't talking to Mr. Idaho. No, Angela Petrelli is dressing down Daniel Linderman, who loiters nearby with a mixed expression.

"Oh please," Linderman says with a frown at Angela. "You know this isn't some childish grudge," he says with a brief, sad look to Angela. "Charles always intended to go on his own terms. It has nothing to do with…" He holds back contemptuous words. "Our history."

Angela walks up to Linderman, resting a hand on his arm. "You should at least say goodbye." Linderman looks down at the hand, then closes his eyes and nods. He slips away from Angela, heading deeper into the lobby and then takes a right down an adjacent hall. Only when he's out of sight does Angela let out a held breath and turn for the elevator. Mr. Idaho takes his chance then, stepping out and slipping past Angela. She lingers in the doorway of the elevator, turning to look over her shoulder as if she felt something. Idaho pauses, their eyes meet. Angela furrows her brows and shakes her head, stepping back into the elevator. Idaho only moves once the doors shut.

Not far away, Daniel Linderman stands outside a closed door. The woman blocking his way stares at him with daggers in her eyes and fire in her heart. Simone Deveaux shakes her head in defiance, closing the distance to Linderman. Unafraid of him.

"Why're you here?" Simone asks with a squint at Linderman. "He doesn't want to see you."

"I know." Linderman says with a weary smile. "But you know your father: stubborn to the last, until it's past too late and he becomes full of regrets." Simone looks down to the floor and Linderman mirrors Angela's earlier gesture, placing a hand on Simone's arm. "He may not have wanted to see me when he was in good health, but I refuse to let my friend go without a goodbye. Neither of us can profess to know what he really wants, though, can we?"

Simone frowns, standing her ground. "I know the words he used to describe you the last time he chased you off." She says with smooth intensity as she gets up in his face.

Linderman's smile twitches into a grimace. "Then… give your father my regards. While you can."

Something about the way Linderman says that cracks part of Simone's resolve. She sighs, her brows come together in a furrow and she steps aside. "Go," Simone urges, motioning to the door, "before I change my mind."

At the end of the hall, Mr. Idaho watches the exchange sight unseen. When Simone steps aside, Linderman quietly enters Charles’ bedroom. Mr. Idaho once more seizes an opportunity and briskly walks down the hall. He motions to Simone, who unconsciously steps back and holds the bedroom door open with her elbow, watching Linderman for a moment. Just enough time for Mr. Idaho to slip inside before she shuts the door on his back.

Charles Deveaux lays motionless in his bed, an oxygen tube under his nose. Rays of afternoon light spill through the large doors out from his bedroom to the rooftop courtyard, dappling his comforter in shades of gold. An unoccupied seat beside Charles' bed taunts Linderman, who instead comes to sit on the edge of the bed and holds one of Charles’ hands in both of his own. Idaho is quiet, lingering by the door as he watches the exchange.

"You're a stubborn old goat," Linderman says with a bittersweet smile. Silence falls over them. Mr. Idaho senses something that perhaps even Linderman doesn't yet, and his shoulders slack and he leans back against the wall.

"Maybe that's why we never saw eye to eye," Linderman admits, squeezing Charles' hand. "Well, if you want me to stop. Just… feel free to wake up and say so." He says with a small, whispered laugh then searches Charles' expression. No response. Closing his eyes, Linderman lifts Charles' hand and squeezes it tighter, eyes slowly shutting as he focuses intensely.

"If it weren't for Arthur, it would've been you two…" Linderman says with a laugh. "She's afraid to say goodbye to you. Maybe she feels guilty. For not encouraging me to talk some sense into you. For all of us failing you."

Linderman shakes his head. "I deny that narrative. We didn't fail you," he says with a sigh. "We failed ourselves." Closing his eyes, Linderman squeezes Charles hand again. It's only then that he realizes why his healing ability isn't doing anything, what Mr. Idaho notices moments ago. For while there is stillness, silence, in the penthouse. “But the time for regret is passed, as is the time for your way of doing things. There is a new future coming, Charles.”

Linderman lowers Charles' hand and with it the last piece of himself that held any remorse for his actions. As he rises off of the bed, Linderman feels less burdened by the weight of his choices, by the weight of his failures. He walks past Mr. Idaho without even seeing him, and out the bedroom door.

Shit.” Mr. Idaho whispers, looking at Charles Deveaux’s body in the bed. He turns to the door just in time to hear a cry of anguish erupt in the hall. Simone. Mr. Idaho closes his eyes and slouches down to the floor, running his fingers through his hair.

Some Time Later

Outside the Deveaux Building

The sun has dipped behind the tops of adjacent skyscrapers. The sky is still lit a fiery orange, matching the shade of leaves blowing across the sidewalk. Mr. Idaho sits on the curb, arms draped over his legs and head bowed, brows furrowed and lips downturned into a frown that creases his face.

A low, whirring sound passes behind Idaho. He doesn’t hear it. But when someone speaks up at his side it sends a chill down his spine.

“Something the matter?”

Idaho looks up, spotting a dark-eyed man with a long face seated in a motorized wheelchair waiting on the curb. Idaho looks around with bewilderment, then back to the old man. Confusion paints itself across Idaho’s face.


“Yes, I can see you.” Broome says with a gentle smile. “And I can see that frown of yours,” he notes, making a ∩ gesture with one finger in the air.

Idaho laughs awkwardly, looking away out of embarrassment as he picks himself off the curb and dusts the seat of his pants off. “Sorry. I mean—I didn’t intend to cause a scene and—”

“You’re not causing a scene.” Broome says, one brow raised. “But I do wonder what’s got you so down.”

“I just—” Idaho looks back at the Deveaux Building, and Broome turns his head to follow the look. “I lost someone.”

“Ah.” Broome says with a soft sigh. “Yes.” He turns his attention to the long shadows cast by the buildings. “In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold. We are not bound forever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.”

Idaho smiles, exhaling a ragged breath before looking more intently at Broome. “Is that… the bible?”

Tolkein.” Broome says with a small smile. Idaho laughs again, this time more ragged and emotional as he shakes his head, smile growing.

“Where will you go now?” Broome asks, looking up and down the street as if to imply the immediate future.

Idaho stares off into the distance for a moment, then shrugs and shakes his head. Broome nods, his smile becoming more tender.

“Would you care to join me in the park for a game of chess?” Broome asks with that single brow still raised. Idaho looks down at his watch, then sighs and some of his tension leaves him. He looks back up to Broome, nodding in agreement.

“Sorry, I didn’t get your name.” Idaho says with a crease of his brows.

“Of course, how rude of me. Simon Broome.” He introduces, offering his hand out. “And you are?”

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