A Thousand Shadows


arthur_icon.gif brian_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif

Also Featuring

joe_icon.gif kameron_icon.gif

Scene Title A Thousand Shadows
Synopsis When the lights go out at the Lighthouse, siblings are reunited, and then torn apart again.
Date July 3, 2009

The Lighthouse

The lights flick off upstairs. The last of the kids finally slinking off to bed. Brian comes slinking down the stairs to join.. himselves. It's been busy, and difficult to run the Lighthouse lately. Especially without the aid of Kameron. Without her around, well not only has his workload increased, his morale has decreased. He's been less and less jovial as of late, doing his best to keep up a front for the children, but that's all it is. A front. The kids still love him, most likely, yet.. Something's missing.

Arriving at the bottom of the stairs, Brian glances at the other two occupants of the living room in the Lighthouse. Both himself. One Brian is at the counter, with a bowl, preparing a birthday cake for the next day. The other is sitting on the couch, his eyes glazing over the letters of the Bible. Lately he hasn't been finding much inspiration in it… He tries anyway.

The third and newly arrived Brian sighs as he slumps toward the entrance, going to lean against the wall and stare out the window.

"This sucks."
With the rain trinkling down from the sky, crime may be lower (criminals don't like rain anymore than most people) but that doesn't mean the door doesn't open to admit someone. Gillian's not spent much time in the Lighthouse, besides a few brief moments stopping in, but tonight's different. Two long days of depression hanging over her head, and she's making her way to see the one person in all the world who could understand. All three of him. Four, if one includes Winters. It's not that one she seeks, though…

Dark hair soaked and hanging in small tendrils, she's made no effort to keep the rain off of her with more than a hoodie, which fell down a few blocks away. It's dark. Getting back before curfew will likely be impossible unless she can manage super speed, so staying the night may end up being necessary.

"Hi Brian," she says as soon as she spots him near the entrance, looking out the window. From the slump of her shoulders, the sluggish movements— something is definitely wrong with a woman this Brian hasn't seen in a while.

Another sigh is let out, a long drawn out affair that fogs up the window briefly. A finger goes to make a few marks on the glass, tic-tac-toe, until there is someone coming through the door. Brian snaps away from the window, to stare at the door. Two other sets of eyes mimick this motion, as Gillian slinks in through the doorway. An initial movement is made towards the door, as if to block the entry, with it being so late but as soon as he notices the longer hair, the more feminine features, he pauses. Being a girl buys her a moment of free passage, and then once he realizes this particular girl is Gillian, well that buys her a free pass. Brows arch high for a moment as the man stares at her, his lips drawing back. He stares at her for a moment, silence passing as she greets him. "Gillian." He finally answers.

"Gillian, what are you doing here?" He asks in clear puzzlement.

"Um— sorry for stopping by uninvited," Gillian says, looking around at all three of them for a moment, before settling on the closest one. "I actually need to talk to you about something important. I've been needing to for a while now but— is it okay if I stay the night? There's a lot to explain." Especially since she's unsure how in the loop he's been kept with everything going on.

"I don't have my power anymore, for one, so you don't have to worry about popping out twenty naked yous or anything." More like a dozen, but she's exaggerating. "But right now I have… my power got swapped— I have the same power that… that Peter used to have. Copying other people's abilities… And I— have yours too. I got it from… from the you that you tried to find with my help. The one that had been working with the Company."

"No problem." Brian hastily interjects when she apologizes, going to fold his arms over his chest as he looks at her. "You're soaking wet. I'll get you a towel." He doesn't move, but the Brian at the couch puts down his book and makes his way towards his bedroom. Brian then continues to watch her as she goes into her rapid explanation which for the most part leaves Brian.. perplexed.

"Wait.. How.. What? You don't have your power? You're Peter? What the hell." He says in frustration as he tries and fails to wrap his head around what's happening. "You talked to him?" That subject, however, comes across clear as day. "Did he hurt you? Are you alright?" Brian asks quickly, straightening off the wall to examine her for any wounds his other self might have caused.

"I just have his power," Gillian says, though the continued mention of the man seems to be creating a kind of tic, a flinch of her right eye. As soaked through as she is, though, she's only slightly shivering. Not the weather that bothers her, thanks to another ability she picked up, and one that's very easy to access right now, but the depression that's set in, making her unsteady and slow moving. "But he didn't hurt me, no— He's not working for the Company anymore. He's pretty much on his own, and… he's nice. I haven't told anyone about this yet. Everyone assumes I got it from you and not… him— you— whatever." Clones are weird. Both him, but both their own person at the same time. Like… twins. Twins.

"I ran into him by accident— popped out a naked version of myself when I got too close to him. The reason I didn't just run away is…" Her voice catches as she shakes her head. No signs of wounds, they'd have healed anyway… It's not that that bothers her, though. "I already did this once, you think it'd be easier the second time around, wouldn't you?" Why don't things get easier than this?

"Did Cat talk to you at all? About— the possibility that the two— " Four? Five? " —That we might be… related?"

The knock that comes on the front door, however, has something to say about that continued conversation. Who knocks at this hour of night? That's really hard to say.

"How did that happen?" Brian asks, with arched brows as she informs him she has Peter's power. Though he blinks at her tic, her entire presence at the moment. So downtrodden. And then she's informing him that she got his power. It starts to click together. "I got you naked? And I didn't even get to be there." A moment of silence for the sad event. And then it all snaps together. "You died, didn't you?" Lips sag down in a depressed sort of way. The third Brian steps into the room. "Gillian. Come in here and talk to me, I'll get you all dried off." The new one says, standing in the doorway of the bedroom.

The Brian closest to the door blinks at the knocking. Straightening up, he takes a step forward in front of the door. "Gillian. Go with me into the room." He repeats, staring at the door. The Brian making the cake sets down the bowl, and makes his way for the basement. Time to grab a gun…
From the flinch, yes. She died. That explains everything. The way her shoulders slump, the way she doesn't follow quickly… The way she looks like she's been crying under the rain water.

"You really haven't been kept in the loop, have you?" Gillian has to say with a marvelled sound. Must have been discluded cause his duties to the Lighthouse were too important. It is a safehouse, and has children, which could be one of the most precious things to protect that there is…

The knock draws her eyes back, then to all of the Brians, the ones still visible. "If it's dangerous you don't need to tuck me away somewhere. I'll be fine, trust me." That doesn't stop one of him from grabbing her— or trying to— and pulling her into that room, though…

Another series of knocks, these ones louder than the last, followed by a woman's voice. "Brian, are you awake?" She's trying not to be too loud, after all, Kameron knows just how early the kids go to bed. Kameron. The voice practically causes Brian's head to spin in a complete circle and snap right off, he hasn't heard her since she left the Lighthouse, but why— why now?

"God," she practically sighs out the word, "Brian are you there?" A gentle, quiet knocking once more, followed by a tired sigh on the other side of the door. It never gets easier, coming back, and from the sounds of it Kameron is having a hard with the entire idea.

"No. Not at all." Brian allows to Gillian, as he goes to pull her into the room. The whole 'related' thing is tossed out the window, it doesn't even register. Why? Because the love of his life is on the other side of the door. The Brian going for the basement stops dead at the door when the voice comes through. Kameron.

His head spins and his heart melts, eyes going wide at the voice. She's come back, she finally came back. It doesn't matter why she left, or why she decided to come back. All that matters is that she's back. Gillian is pulled into the bedroom. He'd rather not her see him melt over another woman.

The door flings open. "Kameron!" Brian says desperately.

Smuggled out of the room, Gillian doesn't fight as much as she might have if she could access anything except the rain falling down from the sky. The fact he's not really registering everything that she'd just told him might bother her, but he seems to be motivated. Once in the bedroom, she looks back at the door, as it closes behind her, reaching up to take his hands off of her. "I'm guessing this is someone you know?" she asks, looking over at the young man who happens to be related to her— whether he knows it or not. One of him, at least.

Big sunglasses, at night, dishy hair and a lopsided smile. It's pretty much exactly what Brian expected from her, though she never did wear a suit before. It's not quite the best fit on her, but the black trenchcoat worn over it to keep her dry from the rain seems to be making it sag a bit more off of her frame than it should. "Sorry about that," she murmurs with a shake of her head, "I— I didn't mean to come back so, uh, you know— abruptly?" Her brows crease together, pacing in through the front door, folding her umbrella closed as she does, rainwater sheeting off of it.

Looking around the ground floor Kameron pays a moment's attention up the stairs, then focuses back down on Brian. "Don't tell me you're living here alone right now, are you?" It's as speculative as one might think, but she seems so much more forward than last time, and— notably sans dog. Not that her canine issues are what Brian should be mostly concerned about. "You look like hell, have you been sleeping?"

"I do." Brian says happily, distractedly attacking Gillian's head with the towel in a half hearted attempt to dry her off. Relinquishing the towel to her fully, he gives a broad smile before it instantly and abruptly fades.

At the door, Brian's lips can't help but jerk up in joy as the woman comes forward. At first the details don't matter. She's back. She's actually back. Then his eyes go to the stairs.. "Where's P—" 'You look like hell.' Something Kameron, would never ever say. One, because she would never curse, even when she was very upset. And two, because "Kameron can't see." He states quietly.

The Brian at the basement door is immediately unlocking and swinging it open, bolting down into the basement to fetch his arsenal. The Brian at the door is darting for the kitchen counter, got to find a knife…

The towel covering her hair and most of her face, Gillian reaches up to touch the fabric, giving it a small tug so she can see, looking up at the taller man. Her twin. Another piece of herself that's been there the whole time and she'd never known it. A moment ago he was smiling, sounding cheerful and happy— but when she looks at him that's faded. "What? What's going on?" she asks, looking back at the door again. Her mood is already pretty bleak, but things could be about to get much worse.

"Oh." There's disappointment there, followed by one swift motion of Kameron's hand followed by a flickering snap of blue-green light in a simple, efficient beam that scores a line through the wall, across the ceiling and then shatters a window as it bores thorugh glass. Unfortunately, in that smooth path of blue-green laser light, Brian stood between the beam and Kameron's finger.

His right arm falls off first, cauterized and smoking on the ground, followed by the upper half of his torso and head, and then his legs crumpling beneath the loss of any motor control. Kameron's head jerks to the side, her other hand waving at the door to slam it shut, followed by a hissing ripple of air as she blends into a thing of living shadows, sliding up against the wall before gliding towards the basement stairs, superhuman hearing picking up the sound of thundering footsteps instead of the heartbeats in the other room.

The shadow glides swiftly down the stairs, through the open door, and then swirls back to life in the form of Kameron's femenine silhouette. One brow arches slowly, her hands removing dark glasses from her eyes, letting them fall to the floor with a soft click of plastic. "Brian Winters," she says with a curl of her lips into a pleased smirk, "you've disappointed me."

A grimace crosses his features as Brian visibly shakes in the doorway with Gillian. He doesn't have Winters training, he can't block his connections. The pain is still traumatic, still breaks him. Still brings him to his knees. But he doesn't have time to be on his knees. He has the kids to think of. Brian turns to his bed, reaching under the pillow pulls out a small pistol. The only gun he allowed in the house that wasn't in the basement. "There are kids upstairs, get them out of here." Brian commands softly, and with that he's taking the glock and swinging the bedroom door open, going for the basement. The way his copy, and not-Kameron went.

Thundering down the basement, Brian's hands secure the first weapon he comes by. A shotgun, spinning on his heel, his lips thin as Kameron is there so quickly. The shotgun is raised, his finger levitates over the trigger and then pulls—

"Get out of her face!" Brian demands hotly, his finger unable to pull the last bit. It's impossible to shoot at her.. "Get out of her face!!" Something that might not make sense later, but for now, it's all that matters. The shotgun is aimed steadily at her. "NOW!" His copy's steps thunder down the stairs…

"Wait, what's, Brian— " What's happening. Fuck. It could be anything on Staten Island. From what intel she heard through Phoenix, the Lighthouse had already been attacked at least once. Gillian curses under his breath as he runs out, looking around. One of him just died, didn't they? God damnit.

She can't affoard to be depressed right now. While he heads out the door to run down to the basement, she moves out to start upwards, to the second floor, opening the doors until she sees children. Fff. There's a heavy slap on her chest, like Tarzan before he cries out. Three times. The third time a second her pops out, with clothes on. Thank god. The next one may not be so good. "Grab two and run for it." The clothed clone nods and moves over to the bed. "Gotta go, kid, Brian sent me. You'll be okay." She can carry two a clone at least— God how many are there?

Then she heads out to the next room, tries thumping herself on the chest— no cigar this time. A moment later a naked version falls out of her. No time to grab a shirt, so she just moves to get two kids. "God damnit, why the fuck tonight of all fucking lights."

Two clones. Four children. The real her moves on, opening another set of doors… Cat said staying busy helped— right now she's too busy for one of her.

Kameron's head tilts to the side, lips quirked into a crisp smile. At least, in a fashion, this reaction was far more forgiving than others. Her hand raises, two fingers moving to the side as Brian's shotgun is wrenched from his hand, sent skittering across the basement floor, then with a twirl of her fingers is spun around in mid air, pivoted, and discharged with a thunderous crack of gunfire at Brian's legs, the shower of blood and scraps of his pant legs send him to the ground with the report.

Letting the gun fall away, Kameron confidently strides towards Brian, bones and muscle slowly shifting beneath flesh, youth fading away and bleeding off to reveal the weathered face of an old man with soft, blue eyes and salt and pepper colored hair. His head tilts to the side, filling out the suit far better now that he's several inches taller and wider. "Come here," his fingers curl up, lifting Brian up off of the ground, bloody and broken legs dragging helplessly behind him, "you've got something I need." A cold and clammy hand presses to Brian's cheek, followed by the horrifying sensation of hooks and barbs slipped beneath his skin, pulling at something inside of him.

As Arthur Petrelli's hand pulls away from Brian's face, a white sheet of light is drawn with it, vaguely resembling Brian's own screaming visage, drawn towards Arthur and sucked in to his body, fading away with a smooth ripple of his flesh and a furrowing of his brows. "You could have been someone Brian. I could have given you the world, if you had just listened to Goodman." He has no idea that he has the wrong Brian. Then, curiously, Arthur's eyes upturn towards the ceiling of the basement.

"Gillian?" His head tilts to the side, and he looks back down to Brian, letting his hand brush over the young man's cheek again. "I do appreciate your generocity." As Arthur says that, his body ripples and flesh contorts, followed by an audible pop as for the briefest moment a fleshy duplicate appears, only to immediately turn into living shadow and race up the stairs, followed by another, and another, each one after the next turning into phantoms of living darkness.

"Be fortunate," Arthur states flatly, "That whatever duplicates you have left, no longer have a link, and cannot feel this." Suddenly, Arthur's curiosity gets the best of him, and he wonders — what does it feel like to liquefy?

Brian finds out for him.

A wretched yell emits from Brian as he collapses to the ground. Partly out of pain, partly because he's desparate to wake up the kids. They have to get out of here. He may not survive tonight, but they have to. Lowering his eyes, the young man stares at the blood splattered on the ground. His own blood. "Father.." He starts in a whisper. Before glancing up to watch Arthur create clones, and send them off into shadows. This isn't good. What has he done? "Pro—" His prayer is cut off as his tongue stops being a tongue and starts being something much more.. mooshy.

"Protect them." Comes the end of the prayer, as the third Brian gets to the bottom of the stairs. His link is gone, his power, is gone. All he has left is a gun, and his faith. Stepping out into the basement, the former is raised while the latter is clung to.

"Don't ever use her face again, motherfucker." Three well aimed shots are let out from the glock, at the back of Arthur's head.

The scream is enough to send chills down her back. Two clones, but far more children than three people can carry. "Everyone up, now," the three of them yell, two grabbing the smallest ones. The biggest ones should be able to handle themselves. The original takes the scent of fear building in the room, using that to increase her strength as she throws a table through the window— and takes out part of the wall doing it. A safe home is no longer safe. Without even pausing, the naked one takes two of the smallest of the girls and jumps out the window, praying that she's got regen, and super speed, so she can get them to the Garden.

The rain gets heavier, fog raises up, lightning starts to fall. Hopefully Helena won't stop her this time— this time they might need it.

A twist of an ankle doesn't slow that one down, and she speeds away down the street— for once, Gillian's got what she wanted. Her brother is dying— one of her brothers is dying. But she has no idea who's doing it. Not yet.

The one with clothes grabs two more children, the smallest of the boys, and unknowing opens the window, instead of breaking the wall. This one intends to jump down and try to turn to steel. It works, leaving a rather deep crater that she has to pull herself out of.

The original's still upstairs, trying to gather up the bigger of the scared and tired children.

For the barest of moments, the sound of gunfire terrifies Arthur, that instinctual fear of something associated with assured death. Nothing like a gun aimed at your own back to get that feeling so crisp and clear. But the bullets meet with crackling white, a flickering spark of reflexive telekinetic energy stolen from Gabriel Gray, sending the bullets deflecting back across the room. Had he not heard the gun cocking back, that might have been a far worse encounter.

Turning slowly, Arthur's focus on Brian is narrowed with eyes painted a strange silver sheen for a moment, before the natural blue returns. Arthur's head quirks to the side, eyes narrowing as he hears the pattering of rain against the window behind Brian, then, with a scowl, holds his hand out palm-flat and sends Brian careening through the window, out onto the back lawn of the lighthouse. Slowly, he carries himself up the stairs with heavy, plodding footsteps. Outside, the rain has turned unforgiving, brutal, bladelike. Falling like tiny metal needles now, the rain whirls and whips as the ability of Gillian's own murdered sister is turned against a flesh and blood relative.

"Gillian." The voice is chilling upstairs, and in the doorway looms a humanoid shadow, a black silhouette of living darkness without eyes or hands, just ephemeral black that with a swift motion of its jerking body, sends a wave of crystalizing ice through the room to herald its entrance, steam rising up off of the ice as the phantom shadow glides over the floor, "I thought I killed you." Arthur's voice is unmistakable, even if one of his now shadow-formed copies. It seems unlike Gillian, he's managed to have his replicants have more than one ability, though it's hard to tell if they have them all.

Two of the other shadow-clones fly out the front door, but are far too slow to catch up with the superspeeded Gillian, turning back inside with hisses and howls of frustration as their inky black forms begin searching the downstairs.

A long groan is let out as Brian lays in a heap out back. Blood trickles down his forehead as he makes vain attempts to get up. The gun, well, it's long gone. No idea where it flew, Brian's mind only has time to focus on one thing: The kids. As long as he still has breath, they are priority. Elbows push him off his back, but he can only go so far as to roll over. On his chest, the young man manages to crawl forward, weakly and slowly. Glass protruding from his back, the former replicator reaches the wall and heaves himself to his feet.

One foot over, and then the other as Brian walks-no, limps and hobbles into the lighthouse. Leaning anything that he can put his hands on, he finally makes it to the kitchen counter. Where he produ ces a single sknife. The man he's facing just stopped bullets, and tossed them aside as if they were nothing. Yet, he still has to make an attempt.

Knife held with a deathgrip, Brian hobbles for the stairs. "Hey! Old man! You have a tiny dick." Collapsing on the base of the stairs, Brian looks desperately up them as he starts to climb up. "I'm gonna… I'm gonna chop it off."

"Arthur," Gillian says quietly, looking rather horrified— the darkened shadow form gives off the appearance of a living monster, like something out of an anime, or a Japanese horror flick. How do you fight something like that— how is she going to get the children out of here alive? The ice crystalizes, but she does the only thing she can think of. Another replicant pops out of her as the real one steps forward. This replicant, also naked, grabs another two kids, and risks jumping out into the rain. Breaks her ankle, but running is the only thing that she can do right now. The rain hurts, so she stops supplying it— not that that will stop him. Her own fucking sister's power.

That pisses her off. Toying with her heart, killing her brother, using her sister's power… Fuck him. Fuck him. Fuck him. The anger builds in a way that she'd been warned about, and suddenly rips out of her. Another replicant. A Fifth Gillian— but this one's so different from the others. This one is made of crackling electricity shedding light on the room as it takes up a position in front of her daring him to become solid. Speed of light should be fast enough to burn his heart out.

The unseen shadows of Arthur on the ground floor slide back out of concealment in the darkness, watching where Brian headed upstairs. They relent from following however, both heeding some unvoiced command and dart for the front door of the lighthouse, each one gliding over the ground in the way a loose piece of paper or a sheet caught on the wind may, living darkness propelled at the speed of thought on a gliding path towards the neon glow of the Rookery.

On the stairs, the one physical Arthur turns, focus lost on Brian as his eyes downturn to the knife. "Yoou just don't know when to stop, do you?" He takes one more step down, towards the man holding himself up against the wall. "Why can't you recognize," with that emphasized word, Arthur points towards Brian, snapping his fingers. In that same motion, there is a telekinetic pop and Brian's hand holding the knife erupts into a shower of dangling pieces of cartilidge, blood and bone, the knife wheeling end over end before sticking into the floor, "that you're facing a superior," another fingersnap, and the same thing happens to Brian's right knee, blossoming out in a shower of fabric and blood mixed with bone and tendon, "opponent!" one last fingersnap, and Brian's right shoulder snaps and pops as if hit by a gunshot, buckling outward as a spray of blood from some invisible bullet sprays against the stairwell.

Upstairs, the crying of two children left in the house is nearly deafening. One, young boy, pushed up against a wall with a long sweater on, stares blankly at Arthur's living shadow form, the other, a girl of far too many years younger has crawled under one of the beds in the boy's dorm to hide.

Arthur's shadow form backs up when it spots Gillian's electromagnetic wraith, and then billows out a cloud of icy mist that expands into the room, creating sparks of moisture up and down the electrical duplicate. However, it is not using that moment to attack, but rather escape. The shadow passes through a crack in the wall, and heads out of the lighthouse.

A feral scream is let out as Brian's hand quite literally explodes. His head wretching back as more blood is followed from his knee and then his shoulder. The scream rages out of his mouth as his body recoils from the massive amounts of pain that ring through him. No ability. No way to cheat death this time. His death, this time, would be permanent. In the back of his mind, answers are sought. What happened to his copies when they died? What will happen to him? For a moment, he hesitates.

And then, with all the strength he can muster, the young man leans forward, his good hand pressing against the stairs. Pushing up on his legs, the floppy kneless one not able to carry his weight, he instead relies on his good leg. His left hand missing, his right arm dangling at his side. Pain embraces him fully, yet his arm slowly raises. "Gillian. If you're still up there. Tell your Company friend he needs to find a way to kill this prick." And with that, his gray eyes lock onto Arthur. A look comes over his face as if his body hadn't just been blown to little bits by invisible brainbullets, and his middle finger extends.

"Go to hell, bitch."

The moisture in the air creates sparks and pain, slows the electrical version of herself down, but she follows him down the stairs, crackling— It moves after the shadowed form, towards the stairs— moving towards the real one, threateningly.

The one of her that's left, has tears running down her cheeks and moves to the childrens he can hear, "Come on, we have to get out of here— you'll be safe, I'll protect you. I promise." She's trying to stay strong, but all the emotions wracking through her gives her so much pain. She's going to have to find a way to kill him. The sound reaches up the stairs. The last words— the dying words, the electric version of her moves down faster, trying to get there as the real one grabs onto the little girl under the bed, holding her close. The bigger boy gets a, "Grab onto my shoulders and fucking hang on." Once he's on her back— she runs out of the open window. And her fall slows, gravity her bitch for a change. Only the electrical one of her stays behind.

Once she lands outside of the Lighthouse, Gillian hears and sees something horrifying come from the windows, a sickly yellow-orange plume of light, followed by a thunderously loud foomf sound, and then the entire Lighthouse shakes violently at its foundations, as a wave of flame and heat blows the ground floor windows out and blossoms into the upstairs room, followed by a tremendous shockwave that splits the floorboards and shakes the house, as smoke billows up thorugh a massive hole in the wall.

A localized nuclear explosion.

With the front door of the Lighthouse blown off of its hinges, Arthur strides out of the flames and smoke, his forcefield barrier crackling and popping over his suit, keeping every single hair in place. One by one, his shadows come back to heel at his side, almost like obediant dogs rather than copies of himself.

He turns, looking back up at the Lighthouse and the smoke rising up from the hole in its side, then scowls. "Go," he urges the phantoms, "find her, and don't stop until she's dead." The shadows recoil and then nod, hitting ground level before slithering out and away.

"Every last one of her."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License