Alone With His Own Thoughts


curtis_icon.gif ash_icon.gif

Scene Title Alone With His Own Thoughts
Synopsis Curtis struggles.
Date March 7, 2018

The Bunker

This is a rather spartan room. There is a matress on the floor in the corner of the room, as well as a footlocker beneath a fold out table. The biggest sign of comfort is a sturdy well built chair that sits at the desk. The only other thing that decorates the room is newspaper clippings that have been put up on the wall. They're about the operations Wolfhound has undertaken and the criminals they've brought to justice.

Steps echo softly in the spartan brick and concrete room. There’s a heavy click as the door to the room shuts, and then slow footfalls whisper around the room as he carries himself over to the simple fold out table and takes a knee in front of it, hands reaching beneath to pull out the footlocker with a grind of hard plastic on concrete.

The top is flipped open to reveal meager contents. There’s a folded black fog coat, patches telling the story of violence that the coat has seen. Beneath that is an armored black body glove, with a matching balaclava and a pair of compact military grade night vision goggles. A kukri in it’s sheath lies next to a battered .45 in it’s holster. Remnants of Ash’s short and violent life. A life filled with brutality and anger.

So much anger that it overwhelms him sometimes, drowns him in the red haze that he imagines the berserkers of ancient times felt. It’s a constant war within. Fighting down Ash’s horrifically violent tendencies. Tempering them with Curtis’s usually cooler and more collect train of thought. A battle that he sometimes loses. He lost it that day on the dam. He’s lost it plenty of times before. He lost himself in Ash during the war. He fed the beast within with death and blood and misery. But the war is not over. Not for him. He’s not sure it ever will be.

In the foot locker are some other keepsakes. The cracked and fractured helm of his Horizon armor, destroyed in the fight with something that called itself Sylar, and Sylar’s father on November 8th 2011. The day the world as they all knew it came to an end.

A picture of his grandfather. His namesake. The reason he joined the military. The reason he volunteered for the secret Institute mission. The reason he became Ashley Williams. The reason he killed his best friend. His mentor. USMC Michael Spalding.

Ash is incoherent. Beaten to a bloody pulp in his fight with Spalding. He lays on the street in Hell, watching the life bleed out of his nemesis. The unstoppable force against the immovable object. If he lived he’d bad sad to see the man gone. But he’d won, he’d beaten him. He met Spalding’s eyes as they both lay there on the cracked pavement, bleeding from a number of wounds, their lives flickering, fading. Then noise and bright light, a chopper descending from the sky.

A memory from the night Rupert Charmichael turned New York into Hell. From the night that the Institute retrieved him from his horribly botched undercover mission.

“Why General? Why Grandfather?” There’s no answers to his questions, and they never will be. His namesake was silenced forever, consumed in a moment. That fault lay with Rupert Charmichael as well. Curtis’s rough hands put the picture of his grandfather down, laying it over top of the fog coat to lift something else from within the footlocker.

A knife. Crafted from bone. His hand curls around it, holding it for a few seconds before he puts it on the desk. It’s time to let go. A sheet of paper and a pen are gathered and a note written.

/She and I recovered this together. From the library where so much wrong was done to you. She had those memories. They haunted her as I’m sure they do you. I thought it time to return what is yours./

Curtis doesn’t bother to sign the note, Claire will know who it’s from. The knife is rolled up in a bit of old newspaper, then it and the note are tucked into an envelope and put to the side.

He looks down at the bottom of the foot locker, at what rests there at the bottom. A small brown wooden box. He lifts it up, setting it on the desk, as well as the worn .45 from his days as Ashley Williams. He puts both on the desk, fingers running along the edge of the box until they find the hidden switch to unlock it. He flips the top, revealing glowing blue vials within.

One hand moves to rest on the gun, the other on the vials, fingers resting there, feeling the smoothness of the glass under his left hand, and the burrs in the metal of the pistol underneath his right. That gun has been through a lot. His hands rest there for a long time, seconds stretching into minutes. Does he feed the beast again? One last meal to finally sate the hunger inside? The driving need for violence and death. The force of nature that is Ashley Williams burning within, a constant scorching presence in his mind.

Or maybe he sedates the beast. It’s how he got through the war. It’s how he got through her death. It’s how he got through the news of the deaths of so many. The news that one of his most trusted friends was really the Midtown Man. It’s been awhile though. Since he needed to calm the beast, since it strained at his psyche this hard. Since it sunk it’s claws into his mind, drawing blood and pain with every pull. The hunts kept it sated for so long. But the hunts are slowing down. Less frequent now. And the beast's cries grow louder with every passing day.

“Fuck you Broome. Fuck you General. Fuck you Peter. And fuck you Ash, you god forsaken curse.”

Ash is just a much a part of him as Curtis is. He doesn’t even know if they could be separated at this point, if he ever found Broome again.

“Am I even me though? Who am I? Am I Ashley Williams? Am I really Curtis Autumn?” There’s a soft whine of anguish from him, fingers on both hands curling inwards, nails dragging against glass with a soft squeal, and over metal with a soft rasp.

Then all at once the fight goes out of him and he slumps into his chair. As his left hand closes the box, the light glints off of a circle of cheap gold resting inside next to the vials, then is hidden again as the lid clicks shut. His right hand lifts the gun and slides it back into it's holster with a soft rasp of steel on canvas. Both are returned to the footlocker. “Not today.”

He picks up the envelope and writes Claire’s name on the front before pushing himself up from his chair and walking the hall to her door. He doesn’t knock, he doesn’t stay. He just sets the envelope on the floor and walks back to his room. Steps echo softly in the spartan brick and concrete room. There’s a heavy click as the door to the room shuts behind him.

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