About the Big Bad Boogeyman


helena_icon.gif mohinder_icon.gif

Scene Title About the Big Bad Boogeyman
Synopsis Mohinder stops by the tenement looking for Peter, but ends up engaged in conversation with Helena instead.
Date September 16, 2008

Condemned Tenement

Once home to dozens of working-class families, this building has long ago been officially evacuated and condemned after it was partially gutted by a fire. The brick exterior is covered with layer upon layer of graffiti, the windows are boarded, and some sections of the roof are less than sound. The fire took hold on the fourth floor and expanded upward. Below that, many of the apartments are still intact.

Helena has a favorite book! Maybe other young women are reading the latest Meg Cabot, but Helena's reading of choice? Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence and Security. It's like, super fun! Or maybe not. She's lying on her bed, the room kept at a cool temperature that seems to be what she finds comfortable, as she peruses the manual with intent concentration. Every now and then, highlighters are involved.

There's a reason that this tenement is on the city's condemned list. Having fallen into a state of disrepair shortly after the bomb, the structure is slowly rotting from the inside out, making it impossible to run wires through the crumbling walls and restore electricity to the sections of the building that have gone without for almost two years. It has also made it impossible for PARIAH to install a working intercom system of any kind, and so visitors — whether or not they're expected — have to settle for knocking on the front door and hoping that whoever answers doesn't point a gun in their face.

Outside on the front steps, a lean man dressed in a heavy overcoat and leather loafers is about to do just that. He raises a gloved hand to the door and raps his knuckles against it, just loudly enough to catch Helena's attention.

Helena pauses, frowning and checks the intercom. The guy doesn't look like he's a cop, but she's hesitant to open the door to a stranger. She rises, and heads for one of the apartments adjacent to the door. Opening the window, she sticks her head out. "Yeah?" she calls to him from his spot on the stoop. Her attitude is meant to suggest she's a squatter, not uncommon in this area.

The man cranes his neck to get a better look at Helena, squinting from behind his wire-frame glasses. "I'm— looking for a man named Peter Petrelli?" he tries, his tone hopeful. "We spoke several days ago, and I was under the impression I might still be able to find him here. My name is Mohinder Suresh."

Peter has mentioned Mohinder, and of course Hel has read his father's book. Nonetheless, Helena's noted for her common sense, and so her initial reply is, "Can I see your ID? Wanna make sure you're not a cop. People squat here, you know." She doesn't quite answer as to Peter's whereabouts yet.

Mohinder appraises Helena in silence for several moments before reaching into his coat pocket and producing what appears to be a wallet. "I'm afraid that you're going to be very disappointed," he warns Helena, "my personal identification doesn't indicate who I work for." Or who he answers to. Just the same, he slips the driver's license out of the appropriate pouch and holds it up for the teen to see. Sure enough: Mohinder Suresh.

"That'll do, Doc. Hang on a sec." She ducks back in, and closes the window. A few moments later she comes out onto the stoop, closing the door behind her. "He's not here." she says. "I can take a message, or you can wait for him here. I'm sorry, but I can't bring you inside." She perches on the stoop, peering up at him. "You must take after your mother." she remarks. "Your father was bald in his picture."

"Been studying genetics, have you?" Mohinder places his wallet, and his license, back in his coat pocket. "It's recessive," he says and leaves it at that, joining Helena on the stoop. "How much do you already know?" His tone suggests that he isn't talking about genetics anymore, but just in case she doesn't take the hint, he softly adds, "About what I've told Peter."

Helena continues to study him with an air of savvy. "You mean about the big bad boogeyman not being dead after all?" she inquires levelly. It's not a Voldemort thing, but sometimes slinging certain key words around isn't necessarily a good idea. "And where to find him? Yeah."

Mohinder offers Helena a small smile. "When I told him to make some friends, I wasn't expecting— Well." He looks down at his hands and rubs them together a few times, working off some nervous energy. "If you could tell him that I've changed my mind… I'd be very grateful. When he goes after you-know-who, I want to come along, and I want to assist him in any way that I can."

Helena lifts a brow. "Just like that." she says skeptically. "Don't you work for Homeland Security, Dr. Suresh? With a telepath at your disposal? Bad enough that you know about this location, but suddenly we're supposed to let you in on things because you've suddenly and conveniently decided you have a spine?" Now, here's the kicker - despite the harshness of the words, Helena isn't outright contemptuous. But she's made it pretty clear she expects Mohinder to explain himself. To her. Yes.

"It's my fault that Sylar was able to achieve what he did. Mine and my father's. My family's burden to bear." Mohinder lets out a slow sigh through his nostrils and reaches up to run his fingers through his hair, pushing it out and away from his eyes. "Homeland Security, at least for now, is a necessary evil. Men like Agent Parkman exist to keep men like Gabriel Gray— like Sylar in check. If they weren't patrolling the streets and imposing mandatory registration on the general populace, then another killer could easily slip through our fingers. I don't want to see another disaster like what happened on November 8th. Not ever again."

"Security for freedom, right, got it." Helena's tone is mild as she continues to gaze at him. "And exactly what will you be bringing to the table to incline a go to come along? You're obviously a very intelligent man, but in a fight, all you'd do is go squish at the wrong moment."

Mohinder bristles at Helena's description of him, but he doesn't do much more than wrinkle his nose and cast his gaze in a different direction. "I've been to the facility before," he says, "and I know my way around, well enough. It's true that I'm no physical match against Sylar, but there are others imprisoned there — others who I'd be willing to help you release."

"Why?" Helena asks. "I mean, who would be so important to you that you'd want to make sure they got out? And what would you do if they did? Secure their freedom so they can be registered and treated like a second class citizen in their own country?" A faint, wry smile. "Not that someone from India would know anything about that." She straightens. "Maybe I'm not being fair. But it's up to Peter, and the folks who wear the Big Hats."

"I'm risking my job as well as my life to help you and Peter, people whose ideals don't necessarily line up with my own. Not because I feel guilty, but because I know it's the right thing to do. If that isn't enough for you, then what is?" Mohinder swallows, hard. "What would you do, if you found yourself in my position?"

"I don't think I'd put myself in your position at all, Dr. Suresh." Helena says with quiet honesty. "I'll give your message to Peter. You have my word on that. Does he have a way to get in touch with you?"

"No," Mohinder admits as he rises to his feet, "and frankly that's probably safest for all of us. Tell him I'll come by tomorrow after dark to speak with him. Assuming he'll listen."

Helena watches him get up while remaining seated, herself. "I won't bias him either way. At least I'll try not to." As if this girl has some influence over Peter Petrelli! "I'm in the habit of believing the best of people, Dr. Suresh, but I'm also not an idiot. For everyone's sake I hope you really are as altruistic as you present."

"I'm glad to see that Peter has fallen in with such prudent company." Mohinder dusts off the back of his coat, dirty from sitting on the tenement's stoop. "Enjoy the rest of your evening." With that, he turns and begins making his way down the steps and — unless Helena has anything else to add — back the meandering way he came.

Helena simply watches him go until he's out of sight. Then wordlessly she rises and slips back into the building. She'll have to talk to Cam and Peter both, now.

September 16th: Shifting Focus

Previously in this storyline…
Shifting Focus

Next in this storyline…
Plans Within Plans

September 16th: Looks Like Tomorrow Morning
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