Anomaly, Part II


ff_drucker_icon.gif ff_heller_icon.gif ff_mitchell_icon.gif ff_roux2_icon.gif ff_sarisa_icon.gif

Scene Title Anomaly, Part II
Synopsis \ ə-ˈnä-mə-lē \ — 2: : deviation from the common rule
Date June 30, 2021

High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program
Research Station

Mt. Natazhat

June 30th
6:18 pm

The noise of dozens of soldiers settling in to the HAARP Research Station echoes through the geodesic dome of the computer lab, drowning out the remaining notes of Thelonious Monk's Japanese Folk Song. The domed lab feels crowded now, as Drucker and Roux sit in wheeled office chairs at the far end of the room from the entrance, facing a trio of former US military and governmental officials.

"Captain," Drucker addresses Mitchell, "if you wanted to come up here to share some research, there would have been a lot of subtler, kinder ways than inviting yourselves in like you own the place."

"We do own the place, Mr. Drucker." Mitchell quips back. "The Office of Naval Research bankrolled this and the Gakona, Alaska station over thirty years ago with the backing of the organization you both worked for." He gestures to both Drucker and Roux with two extended fingers. "This is a United States Government facility and that we have allowed you to take care of this site until we were ready to utilize it is—"

"Captain?" Drucker raises one hand slowly, cutting Mitchell off. "Captain, if I may?" Mitchell's expression sinks into a silent frown. "Have you… looked around yourself, lately? There is no United States. That world…" he waves one hand to the side, "it got washed away. What you're clinging to is just—it's a delusion."

Mitchell crosses his arms over his chest and looks from Drucker to Roux, then over to Sarisa and Heller who stand toward the back of the room. After a moment, Mitchell turns back to Drucker and Roux with a disappointed look in his eyes. "Well, I will go and tell the President that tomorrow, but I can assure you that he won't care what you have to say about his nation." That assertion elicits a look of confusion from Drucker, and a glance to Roux. "Oh, you didn't know? That right, we've kept most of our official communications off of open airwaves so they weren't intercepted." Mitchell says with a smug satisfaction. "We followed the chain of succession, following the collapse of law and order after the flood and the Sentinel's attack. There is a sitting US President waiting to re-establish law and order to this country."

"Is this some Wizard of Oz situation?" Roux asks with a squint, then glances past Mitchell to Heller and Sarisa. "You go into a dark room and pretend to talk to the President and then carry out his orders?" She has no faith in anything Mitchell is telling them.

Mitchell, sliding his tongue over his teeth, shakes his head. "Well, once we secure this facility you'll be able to ask him if he's real yourself. In the interim, Mr. Drucker, Ms. Roux, we're here to commandeer this facility."

"To do what, exactly, broadcast the weather report to anyone with a working radio?" Drucker quips.

"No," Sarisa says from the back of the room, slowly walking up to join the conversation. "I know what the DoSA built this facility for, and I know what the DoEA repurposed it into when they built Site 2 up here in Natazhat. I thought you might have recognized me, but I realize we moved in very separate circles back in the day." Sarisa tilts her head to the side. "I was the undersecretary of the DoEA. I know about Hephaestus." The moment those words leave Sarisa's mouth, Drucker is up and out of the chair lunging for her. Heller puts his hand on his sidearm but Mitchell waves him off. Sarisa, without blinking, grabs Drucker by the arm and throws him to the floor, dropping down atop him with a knee in the small of his back.

Roux is up and out of her chair in an instant, light glowing under her skin and burning her eyes a radiant white. Surging coronas of solar energy whip off of her body and send a warm breeze through the lab. Computer monitors begin to flicker and gutter. "Get your hands off of him!" Roux screams, her voice crackling with plasma behind it. Sarisa freezes in place and glances at the monitors, then Mitchell who has moved his warding gesture from Heller to her.

"Doctor Roux," Mitchell says evenly, "let's all stay calm here. Ms. LeRoux was just defending herself. And even if you did take one or two of us out, there's a whole company of—"

"It would take one second to emit an EMP that would wipe every single hard drive in this entire fucking building and turn it into one giant frozen fucking paper weight." Roux threatens, a crackling wave of white hot plasma lapping off of her right shoulder. Sarisa meets Mitchell's eyes and shakes her head. Don't test her, the look says. Mitchell slowly raises both of his hands and steps back from Roux, and gives Sarisa a nod. She, in turn, removes her knee from Drucker's back and slowly comes to stand.

"Now, let's not do anything rash." Mitchell says, making sure no one on his side is threatening to escalate anything. Heller looks like he wants to, his armored hand hovering by his holstered sidearm. But he also understands who has the more level head in the situation, and gives Mitchell the benefit of the doubt.

"I want you and your men out." Roux says as she takes a few steps closer to Drucker, who rolls onto his side clutching his ribs with a wince. "And if you ever so much as breathe in the direction of this facility again I'll w—" The remainder of Roux's threat turns into a full-throated scream as crackling waves of electricity leap from her body and arc down to the floor leaving a shower of sparks. After a second she collapses down on the floor beside Drucker, her chest rising and falling sharply.

"Charlotte!" Drucker wheezes, rolling over to take her hand in his. It's then that he sees a shadow looming over the both of them, a dark-haired woman in a lab coat who somehow got into the room behind them. Electricity leaps and dances between her spread fingers and crackles in her hair.

"She will live." The dark-haired woman says with a glance to Charlotte. "Unless you attempt this a second time. Which," her brows furrow together, "I will insure you do not." The world grows hauntingly silent for Drucker, the hum of what few satellites still remain in orbit go dead. The radios and wireless access points around the lab, all deafened. Confusion, and then horror, sinks in.

"Doctor Tavara," Mitchell greets the woman in the lab coat with a nod. "You have perfect timing."



A dim yellow glow from exterior lights spills in through the small, round windows in Drucker and Roux's bedroom. Richard lays on his side in their bed, shirtless, his ribs bound. Charlotte sits at his bedside, stroking a hand through his hair. Outside, the noise of heavy footfalls and construction reverberates through the closed door. "You did a stupid, brave thing…" she whispers to him, massaging her fingers against his scalp. "How're the ribs doing?"

"Bruised." Drucker says quietly. "Their doctor said they'll heal. She… apparently also has X-Ray vision." Drucker looks up to Roux. "She's a mosaic, Charlotte. That's how they're negating us, she must have some kind of… I don't know." The word mosaic has weight to her, worryingly so. Charlotte nods, returning to stroking her fingers through Drucker's hair, then moving down through his beard. He closes his eyes, pressing his face into the pillow. Silence hangs in the bedroom for a time, but both Charlotte and Drucker can feel a weight looming over them. Eventually, Charlotte can't let it sit any longer.

"What's… Hephaestus?" She asks, afraid for the answer. Or worse, that he won't.

Drucker sighs into the pillow, then gently rolls onto his back so he can better look up at Charlotte. "A mistake," he says with a shake of his head. "A horrific mistake that I should never have been a part of." She searches his tired, old eyes, and brushes a curly lock of hair from his brow. There is no judgement in her eyes, just concern. It pleads for him to tell her more. "Back when… Petrelli was in control of the DoEA, before that dust-up, he initiated a research program designed to… subdue the Evolved population, in the event of a mass uprising."

Roux's eyes search Drucker's for a moment before she asks, "Subdue, how?"

Drucker closes his eyes. "The research we conducted on electromagnetic waveforms in the 90s?" He glances over at her. "It bore fruit. We were able to reverse-engineer the research Doctor Suresh started at Coyote Sands before it was shuttered, that work with the Compass? That gave us a magnetic frequency for the EM field our kind emit." Slowly, Roux begins putting pieces of this horrific puzzle into place. "The first HAARP station that was built at the start of the new millennium? That was a test site for Hephaestus. An EM weapon that could manipulate Earth's magnetosphere to create an ionizing radiation to disrupt the EM field created by Evolved, effectively… suppressing their ability so long as the device was active. It… had an effective range of fifty miles."

Roux slowly raises her hand to cover her mouth, glancing out the window to the field of antennae and the satellite dish. "This was the finished product," she whispers into her palm. Drucker nods, closing his eyes.

"It was never finished, per-se. But it could be." Drucker admits with a sigh.

"Hephaestus forged the chains that bound Prometheus…" Roux says softly, lowering her hand from her mouth. "How—large is the effective range? If the work here was finished?"

"Global." Drucker says in a hushed, shamed voice. "It manipulates the global magnetosphere to suppress the EM field in all non-shielded Evolved. Anyone not sufficiently deep underground or otherwise insulated from ionizing radiation. No powers, ever. In theory, anyway. We never fired it up, but the math was sound."

"Jesus Christ," Roux whispers into her palms. "Why—why would the military want this? The Sentinel I could've understood. But this—they obviously have Evolved people working for them."

"I don't know," Drucker says with a shake of his head. "It doesn't matter. We can't let them take control of this facility." He glances at Roux. "If they see the research we've been going on the atmospheric anomaly…" He doesn't finish his sentence. He doesn't need to. Roux nods, taking her husband's hand.

"We'll do whatever we have to do." She says, giving his hand a firm squeeze. "I'm—I'm just glad Nova got out of here before this all happened."

Drucker nods, drawing Roux's hand to his mouth to kiss the back of her knuckles. "We'll figure out what to do. Maybe—maybe they have a sensible reason for wanting this station. Maybe they don't need Hephaestus. We shouldn't jump to conclusions, as much as I want to. I'll be honest, I'm glad I'm an old man now. A younger me might have—done something very reckless." He looks at Roux and smiles. "Like you."

She smiles back, kissing his hand. She loves him so much.


In a small office on the ground floor of the HAARP facility, Andrew Mitchell paws through old paper files left on a desk. When the door opens, a warrant officer wearing a backpack with an antenna rising off of it steps in and removes his pack, setting it down on the floor. From one side, he detaches a corded phone. "For you, Captain." The young man says, handing the phone off to Mitchell. Mitchell nods and the warrant officer steps back and excuses himself from the room. Before he answers the call, Mitchell sinks down into the chair behind the file-laden desk.

"Mr. President," Mitchell says smoothly into the receiver.

«How's everything going, Andrew? You've been quiet.» The President's voice croons on the other side of the radio, interrupted by clicks and pops of static at their distance. «No speed-bumps, I hope?»

"No Sir," Mitchell says with a slow raise of his brows. "We've secured the Mt. Natazhat HAARP facility and detained Drucker and Roux. They're abrasive, as expected, but I have faith we can bring them around to our way of thinking. I'm…" He grimaces slightly. "Sorry if my report is a little extemporaneous, I don't have any of my field notes here with me. I wasn't expecting this call for another hour."

«I got excited, Andrew. I couldn't wait. You know how important this is to me.» He says with a smile in his voice. «Look, I'm glad, though. I'm glad this has all gone over smoothly. And I'm going to be hands off, let you, LeRoux, and the General run things your way.»

"Much appreciated, Sir." Mitchell says with a flatness masked by a feigned smile. He hopes it's conveyed through the comms. "I'll be sure to keep you updated should anything change. Our plan is to finish securing the facility, make sure there aren't any outside forces looking to hit this place while it's in a transitionary state. We… do believe there was a third person staying here, but we've yet to confirm. I found some references to a boat purchased down at Anchorage. We'll see what details we can pull together."

«Good, good. I have every faith in you.» The President says over the phone. «What do you think Drucker and Roux were doing up there, anyway? Hunkering down for the end of the world?»

"No…" Mitchell says, reaching for some papers on the desk. He turns a print out around and looks at coordinates listed several times. "It looks like they were conducting atmospheric research when we arrived. Drucker was attempting to align the main dish to a still-functional satellite, and Roux was waiting for some calculations to finish on a laptop kept off the network."

«Atmospheric research? Why?»

"That, we're not clear on. But it seems to involve something called an atmospheric anomaly." Mitchell quotes off of the paper.

«Like the storm, off Boston?»

"Maybe." Mitchell says, but he isn't so sure. "Either way, we'll figure out what it is. I'm going to give Drucker and Roux a chance to come clean themselves before I have LeRoux dig it out of them. No sense in souring our relations with them unless we absolutely have to."

«Of course.» The President agrees. «I've taken enough of your time, Andrew. This is good. This is all good. I'll be patient for your next call.»

"Of course, Mr. President." Mitchell says with another feigned smile into the phone.

«Andrew. How many times? We've known each other too long for you to be that formal in private. It feels weird.»

Mitchell smiles, a touch more honestly. If only just. "Of course, Roy."


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