Any Questions?


sylar_icon.gif kazimir_icon.gif

Scene Title Any Questions?
Synopsis Sylar is awarded a new assignment, among other things.
Date November 22, 2008

Eagle Electric

Most notable business collapse in Queens was that of Eagle Electric, a major manufacturer based out of Long Island City for decades, comprised of acres of warehouses and manufacturing plants designed to produce electronic components to suit all sorts of needs. The western warehouse of the Eagle Electric lot is an enormous and foreboding red-painted building made entirely from sheets of ridged steel. Amidst the grass growing up through the cracks in the pavement and the burned out cars in the parking lot, it seems just as uninhabited as the rest of the area. A large and ruined sign at the top of the office and manufacturing building prominently reads, "Eagle Electric—Perfection Is Not An Accident."

It's an hour at which that perhaps it would be hard to tell whether it's dusk or dawn. Like a half moon, it could go either way, until you notice the list and preference of direction. The way the sunlight is cast with a sort of emerging grey quality indicates the first break of day, piercing through the high windows of the warehouse and more lighting up the rafters than the area below. As usual, a small legion of ravens rest up there, all of them still at this hour - save for one, which darts inside to take roost with its kind. Only moments later, another drops from the rafters with expansive flaps of its black wings, soaring out the same window the other had entered in.

Down below on a more grounding level, Sylar sits on the gritty concrete floor of the warehouse, back against a freight container. If he has anything to do with the avian activity above, he shows no sign, almost meditative, his hands out. Between them, a sphere of water the size of golf ball spins restlessly in mid-air, rippling - and then it ceases to ripple, becoming a compact, perfectly smooth shape, almost quivering. Then, its clear surface frosts over in icy white, frozen within a second. Simple practice. Hard to say if he's here to practice, or simply passing the time.

It's been strange in the warehouse, several days where Kazimir simply hasn't been around. But the seeming abandonment of the facility ends with the sound of a vehicle rolling to a stop in the unused parking lot. The faint glow of headlights shines beneath the closed cargo bay doors, a dull yellow glow. The engine idles even after the sound of a door closing is heard. To Sylar, what should be a private conversation carries so well through those aluminum-sided walls that it would be almost criminal for him not to listen in.

"Take the car down to the harbor, I'll be around to the meeting place once the ship arrives in port." Kazimir's voice sounds filled with confidence and far more relaxed than he had the last time he was seen, much of the strain of being here day in and day out seems to have subsided. It seems, even people like Kazimir Volken take vacations.

The car begins to back out of the parking lot, even as footsteps make their way towards the side door, creaking it open on old and worn hinges. Hard-soled shoes strike the concrete floor with an even and measured beat, one far faster than the slow and deadened thump of a heartbeat in Kazimir's chest, a heralding sound Sylar has grown accustomed to. Winding through the cloth-shrouded crates and boxes, Kazimir makes his way to the dais, a location so central to the warehouse that it's simple to discern the location of just by how hollow and reverberated his footsteps sound on the wood palettes.

By the time Sylar hears the creak and groan of Kazimir's chair accepting its master once more upon it, there is no doubt now that the leader of the Vanguard has finally returned. And returned to so much that has gone unsaid.

At the first signs of life from outside the warehouse, Sylar goes still, the ball of ice hovering expectantly between his palms. He doesn't relax, even when he realises who it is, and finds himself sitting still amongst the crates covered in white as he listens to the conversation outside. Which means he doesn't really give himself enough time to vacate the area should he wish to. The over large hailstone made of water from the air is abandoned, dropped with a faint *plink* as the doors to the warehouse are slid open.

Through the eyes of birds, he watches Kazimir's progression towards the dais, where a blonde woman had sat in an attempt to stitch her own wounds, an action that had almost gotten herself killed. Sylar considers, waits for the groan of wood beneath wait, before finally pushing himself up to stand with some grace, dusting his hands off on his jeans.

"You're back," he says, unnecessarily, moving around the crate and into view. More importantly, he asks in an innocently curious tone, "What shipment?"

Sylar's voice elicits a raised brow from Kazimir, and the question only keeps it there. The old man settles to one side in his chair, resting his elbow on an arm and his chin in one hand. There's no cane across his lap, not anymore, and without it by his side it truly does afford him with less of the presence of weakness from his age. It brings focus more to the bredth of his shoulders and the strength of his eyes. It was as if the cane was some wand that distracted people away from the strengths of an old man, and instead on the presumed weakness.

"Are you truly curious about the shipment, Gabriel?" Kazimir rests two fingers at his temple, supporting the weight of his head, "Or did you merely wish to profess that you knew of the shipment to me, in so much as that you are not a man to be fooled or misdirected, rather than actually concerned with the contents?"

Maintaining some distance, Sylar comes to a halt, and then moves to sit down on a cloth covered crate, one tall enough that even his feet dangle an inch above the ground. Not quite on level with Kazimir on his dais, but the distance is such that the slight difference doesn't matter - he doesn't have to look up at the man to address him. "I can't help what I hear," he says, simply. "And maybe I am interested." His legs swing just gently, the heels of his boots drawing barely muffled thuds from the metal he's sitting on, but he ceases the action rather quickly. "Maybe it's a good thing to start asking questions."

"It seems things have not sat idle in my absence." Kazimir shifts when Sylar settles down to sit, leaning forward on his chair with his hands folding in his lap, watching Sylar with those inquisitive blue eyes. They focus, silently, on the dark-haired man across from him, and unlike other times where he has felt compelled to stand when another meets him at eye-level on the dais, he remains seated. "You were content to be led before, Gabriel. What concerns have been laid upon you now that you feel fit to ask?" Blue eyes remain focused on Sylar all the while as Kazimir speaks, his voice steady and even. The time away has done him well. "If you have legitimate questions, not just posturing, then ask them. I have been nothing but forthright with you so far, Gabriel."

Sylar is a statue of almost sullen silence as Kazimir speaks, giving up no information aside from the confirmation that yes, things have not sat idle. Particularly his mind. When put on the spot, Sylar's gaze dips down, as if he's taken on some sort of chastisement… and then that echoing sound again as his heel connects restless with the metallic crate he's perched on. "What shipment?" he asks, again, mimicking his own tone from before, meeting Kazimir's gaze with a raise of an eyebrow.

"Mortar launchers. Seventeen of them, outfitted with high-velocity chemical warfare wide-spread dispersal shells." The explanation comes off quick and smooth, "They're designed to launch the mortar shell as high as possible before detonation, in order to create an umbrella-effect with a biochemical agent." One hand lightly brushes up along the side of Kazimir's cheek as he shifts to lean back against the chair again with a heavy creak. One finger brushes a single errant lock of silvery hair out of the way, and then comes to settle down on the arm of the throne-like chair again.

"I intend on positioning them around the city at wide intervals, then they will be launched simultaneously into the air to spread an airborne contagion that will — figuring positively on the odds, immediately kill forty percent of the city's Evolved population, and leave another ten percent rendered powerless and infected — carriers. This is one facet of Phase Three."

Almost birdlike, Sylar tilts his head as Kazimir explains, his face unreadable but it's clear he's listening, filing away the information in an impossible memory. He nods, once, in understanding when the explanation finishes, his hands that were rested tensely against the edge of the container now resting on his knees, legs still half hanging down from where he's positioned. "Who's meant to survive?" he asks, apparently sticking by this philosophy of it being a good thing to ask questions. "Me and how many others?"

Above them, a bird swoops back in through the window, earning a glance up from Sylar. In rhythm, another launches from their perch and vacates the warehouse as his gaze returns to the older man. "Maybe I'm finding it hard to be led without knowing the end result."

"Ultimately?" Kazimir raises one gray brow, "None but yourself." There's a moment of hesitation, "Though you're the only member of this group who is aware of that fact. Up until I met you, I had been fine with the notion of killing off every last Evolved on this whole planet. But I feel someone must be left in place, with the true power and strength to see the world through to the new age."

Kazimir restlessly brushes his hand across his chin, stroking it slightly as he considers the man seated before him. "That is the end result of the Work that Adam Monroe and I had sown the seeds of so long ago. It was different times and different methods then, but he and I see eye to eye on our view of the world. It needs to be reforged through fire, and by survival of the fittest — only the fittest shall survive." Kazimir tilts his head to the side, "I haven't yet told Mister Monroe that he won't live to see that future of his. But, that is simply how these things play themselves out."

Taking another moment to consider his words, Kazimir watches Sylar through the conversation, assessing his reactions, taking into account what surprised him, and what didn't. "By the time that come around, Gabriel, you will be like a God unto man. To that end, how did your aquisiton of omniscience go? I take it that…" Kazimir's eyes close partway, "You're satisfied with the results?"

The name of Adam Monroe… it takes ever single fibre in Sylar's being not to react to that name immediately, not until Kazimir has finished what he has to say about him. Fingers curl, nails dig into his palm. A god? The disgust and want of such an idea makes his heart clench. It truly is the flood, except no ark is being filled to drift into the next world.

However, despite the weight of this topic… Sylar clings to it, if only to divert from the new one Kazimir brings up. Plus, he has a question, yet another one, he's been burning to ask ever since Munin dropped this name on the bridge between Brooklyn and Staten Island: "When do I get Monroe?" he asks, coming to stop and turning to face Kazimir, eagerness obvious. It's a hook, the one that just might make him follow this man right in the center of an insane world ending scheme, and it's not hard to see.

"When indeed." Kazimir asks with a quiet rhetoric, slowly rising up from his chair, using the arms of it to push himself up now that he lacks the support of his cane. "When his usefulness to me wears out." Blue eyes stare at Sylar quietly, "I still need Adam in order to get my hands on the virus will will serve as the catalyst to bring about the end of our work…" He takes a few slow and meandering steps across the dais, the cloth covering the wood muffling his footsteps.

Weathered hands slide into the pockets of Kazimir's slacks, and his eyes never leave Gabriel's, "Once I've secured the virus, you can do whatever you want with him. But I fear that merely lobotomizing him will not put an end to his uniquely malevolent life-force," Intriguing choice of words, given how Kazimir sustains himself. "You may need to find more permanent solutions. I would find death by a virus of his own design quite fitting." There's a pause as Kazimir reaches the edge of the dais.

"On that note," He steps down, approaching the crate Sylar sits upon, "I have your next target for you, Mister Gray." Reaching into his jacket pocket, Kazimir produces a thin and folded piece of paper, offering it out to Sylar in the way a drug dealer would offer another dose to a junkie. "This one, I will warn you, may be more difficult to obtain than the rest."

How do you kill an immortal? Fun riddle. One that may keep Sylar up at night, something to ponder when wiling away the hours in a day. His gaze flickers down from Kazimir's, towards the folded paper in his hand, offered. His feet land heavily against the floor of the warehouse as he pushes himself off the crate, a hand going out to take the information without a thought, that familiar rise of anticipation surging up within him, although— something crosses his features, a look of wariness, though not, it seems, to the idea that this target will be harder to hit. "What's the ability?" he asks.

"Healing." Kazimir unfolds the paper, flipping it open to reveal a photograph of a white-haired man in a pressed black suit. "The capability to heal anyone of any injury imaginable." Blue eyes level on Sylar, watching him carefully, "You can consider this both an assignment and a gift, Gabriel." The name on the document reads Daniel Linderman.

The paper is folded closed again, and offered up once more. "He will likely have other Evolved with unclassified abilities serving as security. Consider this a buffet, preparing you for what will be your grand and final aquisition which will come after."

If he views it as a challenge, it doesn't show, not right now. Instead, his earlier surliness seems a thing of a past for the time being as the corner of his mouth lifts up on a half-smile at the word buffet, showing both amusement and anticipation. That… that will be a good day. "The ability you sent Elias and I after," he finally answers, looking up from the image and back to Kazimir. "It's not what we expected. The woman called it a curse and it is, it is a curse, but it'll be wonderful once I master it."

Now, he reaches a hand for the document, and says of the assignment, "I look forward to it." A gift and an assignment - it will be something to think about. Something to steal his attention away from Peter and his terrorising, from Munin and her doubting, from Gillian and every worry and concern that surrounds her.

"I have no doubt in your ability to understand the intricacies of even the most complicated of situations, Gabriel." Kazimir levels his steady gaze on him once more, this time without the distraction of the document, "You could do anything if you put your mind to it, you could figure out anything, given the time and inclination. Your true strength lies not in your arsenal of powers, but in the singular one you were born with." He almost sounds proud, in some strange fashion, "The power of intellect."

Kazimir turns, looking down one of the narrow halls created by the highly stacked crates, "I saw the coverage of Ethan's handywork on the news…" There's a moment of quiet there, "He did well. The city is in a panic now, an uproar over the loss of life. He has done me proud, and done exactly what I expected from him…" Letting his words linger for a moment, Kazimir looks around the warehouse in silence. "Were there any other questions, Gabriel?"

The killing of innocents. Merely a drop in the ocean of the greater scheme of things. It's almost dizzying, and Sylar's
fingers crumple the edge of the pages - and in fact, the papers start to become a little damp, enough to make the ink around the very edges of the text and image start to blur as water from the atmosphere gathers on the surface. With a start, the serial killer abruptly folds the document and pockets it out of sight.

"No," he says, a little louder than intended, but he meets Kazimir's gaze solidly. The next words are dropped heavily, slabs of concrete falling unbroken into place. "There aren't any questions." And he truly has none. Not right now. The only one he has is for himself. To be decided at a later time.

One one last blue stare, Kazimir lets his eyes slowly fall from Gabriel as he makes his way back up onto the dais and towards his chair, "In that case then, Gabriel…" He lays a hand on one side of the chair's high back, then then slowly comes to settle back into it with a groaning creak of old wood shrouded by the white cloth, "Go home." Implying that the warehouse isn't it, "Be with Munin, she abides by your company…" His eyes unfocus, growing distant for a moment, "She needs the company, or she gets lonesome. If she will accept it from you, then so be it."

Leaning back in his chair, Kazimir lets that shred of his humanity fade beneath a vacant stare that hangs on the boxes and crates beyond his seat of power. The old man grows wordless, and his head slouches down, hands folding to steeple in front of his face. For now, he has returned home to roost, and now is the time to think, and plan ahead for the days to come.

November 21st: Not Quite Stasi

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 22nd: The Healing Miracle
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