After The Darkness


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Scene Title After the Darkness
Synopsis Magnes Varlane rouses to a waking nightmare.
Date November 18, 2014

First there was light.

Then there was darkness.

And after the darkness…


There is pain, excruciating and shocking pain that burns nerves and blinds vision. Magnes Varlane has never felt so much pain at once in his life, not without blacking out, not without disassociating from the agony. But then it is short lived, like pulling off a bandaid from every nerve ending in his body, leaving them tingling and afire. When the pain ebbs, his vision blurred by agony and reflexive tears shows little more than gray walls bathed in a lambent emerald hues, and the dark silhouette of someone looming large over him.

As the pain finally recedes like a tide, the confines of a ten-by-ten concrete room fill Magnes senses. The pain passes entirely, replaced by a numb tingling that spreads down to his fingertips and toes. There's a slight ache in his right forearm where an IV shunt is taped over a tapped vein, where a clear plastic tube attached to a hanging bag feeds IV fluids of some kind into his body. He feels heavy, dense, and dizzy.

Arthur Petrelli comes into a clear focus, standing over Magnes with one hand laid on his shoulder. Arthur's dark brows are furrowed, lips downturned into a frown Magnes had seen his father give him on occasion when he was younger, a patient disapproval. Slowly, Arthur's hand moves away from Magnes' shoulder, and the gray-suited man looks to the IV, and then to where Magnes lays in the hospital bed.

"Welcome back," Arthur says with a hint of perplexing surprise in his voice. "What's the last thing you remember?"

"Something exploded… right in front of me… why am I alive?" Magnes asks, raising one of his hands to stare down at it. "Tell me I didn't just die and get re-cloned…"

There's something like dread in his tone at the idea, but he shakes his head and just continues, thinking back. "That guy, one of the people from Messiah… I'm not sure if Messiah existed here or not, but that guy, Kristian Bentley, he appeared out of nowhere and had a dead man's switch. He looked right at me before he released it, and said, uh…"

"Fortis at libre? Something like that…" He places a hand against his forehead, and says, "Tell me I'm not a regrown clone. I can't… I can't live my life dying and coming back as some new person."

A self-satisfied smile crosses Arthur’s face at Magnes’ recognition. “If you were a new person, would you have the memories of the old one? If you can't tell the difference, does it really matter?” But then, in lieu of further philosophical waxing, Arthur shakes his head. “I didn't clone you.”

As he steps away from the bed, Arthur breathes in deeply and exhales a slow and steady sigh. Just past him is a metal door with a reinforced glass view port. In the corner of the room to his right is a security camera angled toward the bed. There's an aluminum toilet in the other corner of the room, a small pedestal table made of concrete that's sculpted out from the wall.

“Terrorists attacked Looking Glass, yes. Our security footage did positively identify Kristian Bentley, a member of the Guardians.” Slowly, Arthur turns back around and levels a steady look at Magnes in the bed. “They're led by Kaito Nakamura, does that name mean anything to you?”

"Isn't that Hiro's dad? He's alive here?" Magnes asks, sounding surprised, closing his eyes briefly as a wave of pain passes through his head for a brief few moments. "Back home I was friends with Hiro and Kimiko. Kimiko taught me some martial arts, I travelled through time with Hiro a bit. But I haven't met Hiro since we came here. Even back in my world, I haven't seen Hiro in… forever. And Kimiko's busy running the company, can't exactly call and ask to hang out."

"I never met Kaito though, he died before I knew the Nakamuras. I don't really know the details of how he died." Then, suddenly curious, he asks, "Wait, why would Kaito be running a terrorist group? He's the CEO of a corporation. Does that mean Kimiko is in charge, or… what?"

Then, staring at his hand again. "How did I survive? I felt pain, lots of pain… what happened?"

“Interesting,” Arthur admits again, brows furrowed and head down. “I suppose I should have vetted you a little more thoroughly before rushing to put you in the project, and that's my shortcoming. I don't begrudge you that.” Pacing back from the door, Arthur looks down at Magnes with a thoughtful, pensive expression.

“Kaito’s been trying to destroy Pinehearst since Kimiko died. I imagine since before then, too. After all, he's former Company, and we all know how trustworthy they are.” Frowning again, Arthur rests a hand on the rails at the foot of Magnes’ bed. “Your insights into Looking Glass were helpful, Magnes, but I think this is where our arrangement ends. Without Rich and the others, it's going to be hard to start over. But you know what they say, right?”

Arthur waves one hand dismissively in the air. “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.” His tired eyes dip down to the floor, then back up to Magnes. “Elaine and your daughter will be fine. They don't know anything valuable and honestly… I don't have the time to go after them anyway. They'll mourn you, and in time they'll move on and…” Arthur shrugs, “well, it won't really matter one way or the other.”

The feigned smile Arthur had been wearing like a mask drops. “I wish I could say I didn't suspect you had some involvement in the bombing, but… In times like these, it's better to be safe than sorry.”

"Wait what?" Magnes asks, slowly trying to sit up, immediately attempting to reach out with his ability, testing its muscles as he grows suspicious. "Why would I kill Rich, or any of them? We were friends. And why would I bomb myself?"

He goes silent again, then looks up at Arthur. "Why am I alive? How did I survive?" he asks again, growing increasingly uneasy. "I don't even understand what's going on!"

There's nothing for Magnes to reach out with. He can't tell if he's been negated, or if he doesn't even have an ability to reach out with anymore. Arthur watches Magnes sitting up, and it's only then that Magnes discovers his other wrist is handcuffed to the rail. That this isn't a hospital room, it's a prison cell.

“You didn't survive,” is Arthur’s horrifying response. “We lost hundreds in the explosion, but I was able to find enough of you to bring you back… because I had questions, and I might still need you at some point. But our open arrangement?” Arthur shakes his head and laughs a raspy laugh. “Those days are over.”

"This doesn't even make any sense. Why would I come from another universe to help you build something and then work with a guy I thought was dead to then explode myself to destroy the thing that I was trying to help build to get me home?" Magnes asks, frowning now, tugging against the cuff. "You're not making any sense at all!"

"You said you weren't the man I was told about in my universe." Looking down at his cuff, then back up at Arthur. "So what is this? What are you doing? Why would I wait until we're about to succeed to sabotage things? I could have killed you myself, multiple times, without killing myself in the process. So why… please… explain this to me… why would I do this?"

"If I did this, it would just… it would be fucking stupid!" is all he can really say to that. "I'd be putting my family at risk, leaving them alone without anyone to take care of them, I'd never see my friends back home again… What would possibly be worth doing what you're accusing me of?"

Then, as if it's completely obvious, he asks, "Why don't you just get a telepath? You're lying to me. I know that you can get a telepath. Why am I really here? This isn't about me being with Kaito or whatever, that doesn't even make sense. There's a million ways you can confirm it, if you could recover a whole wall that I ripped out and destroyed, if you could put me back together and bring me back to life, you can do this."

He sounds outraged, angry now, as if he's had his intelligence insulted. "Tell me what this is really about if you're going to keep me locked up forever."

Arthur laughs to himself, running one hand over his hair at his temples. He looks up at the ceiling of Magnes’ cell, then back to the reassembled man. He doesn't say anything for a while, just smiles in seeming appreciation of the ceiling, then slowly looks down to level a stare at the young man handcuffed to the bed.

“I told you,” Arthur says with a brief scrunch of his brows together and an unsurprised chuckle as he opens the cell door and looks back over his shoulder. With dark brows raised and a wide, toothy smile Arthur steps into the hall and closes the door all but a tiny crack.

“I'm not the man you were told about.”

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