Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Dust


else_icon.gif feng_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
Synopsis When Daiyu Feng comes seeking Else Kjelstrom for personal reasons, nothing goes as planned.
Date August 25, 2009

SoHo, Else's Studio Apartment

"Fhhh," the sound is breathy, a sharp hiss, "I got fuckin' ashes everywhere."

Padding around a coffee table, bare feet precariously dance over cigarette ashes spilled onto the hardwood floor near an overturned ashtray. Moving with light steps, the wispy blonde's silhouette is dark and narrow, backlit by the venetian blinds spilling with morning sunlight around their edges and through their slats.

With a cup of coffee steaming in one hand, Else Kjelstrom sees the sun rise for the first time in months without having been up all night to see it. Her studio apartment is lit only by those soft blue tones that wash away other colors. Making her way into the tiny kitchenette, Else's bare legs shine pale and bright in that dim illumination, an oversized black t-shirt serving only as something to keep her from getting goosebumps.

On her way by the refrigerator, Else picks up her house phone, turning the receiver on as she makes her way to the sink. Pausing as her hand starts to reach out for a dishcloth, her dark brows crease together, setting down her coffee as she looks at the phone. Her thumb presses the off button once, then the on button again – no dialtone.

"Well tha's fuckin' odd, in'nit?" Turning the phone off, she sets it down on the counter space and reaches out to turn on the faucet, grabbing a dishcloth and wetting it as she flashes a perturbed glance to the phone again, long and slender fingers wringing the cloth out before balling it up as she makes her way back towards the toppled ashtray.

On her way across the room, Else passes by the doorway to her bedroom; blinds pulled down in there to keep it comfortably dark all day in the event that she needs to sleep at odd hours. But this particular morning, that doorway to her bedroom provides the necessary shadow for something other than sleep – a serpent in her midst.

The black-gloved hand lashes out like a striking viper, snatching Else by the face as fingers wrap over her mouth and she's yanked off of her feet, spun around and violently slammed into the wall beside the doorway, the silenced barrel of a nine millimeter pressed at the center of her chest.

Panicked, Else drops the wet dishcloth as her wide, dark eyes see nothing but her own reflection in the black lenses of her attacker's sunglasses – it's a wonder he can even see in the dimly lit apartment with them on. She's terrified, so much so that all she can do is breathe in a shuddering breath, hands trembling, lips parted and jaw trembling, tears already welling in her eyes.

Feng Daiyu is many things, and an interrogator but one of them. As he presses the silencer of the gun harder into her chest, the fingers around her mouth slowly unwind as he offers instructions, "If you scream, you get shot. If you struggle, you get shot, if you do not answer my questions you will beg for me to kill you." Then, after allowing her to shakily nod her head, he eases back on the gun's forceful press into her sternum and asks, "Where did you hear about Munin?"

Confusion, silence, and Else's blind hesitation breaks away quickly when she hears the click of the gun's hammer drawing back and she begins spewing forth words. "I wrote it! Songs—I—I wrote it I'm—oh God please don't kill me, please don't kill me!" Her words are sharp, terrified whispers as the tears welling in her eyes begin rolling down her cheeks.

"Wrote it? Explain." The gun is angled up under her chin, and Else wrenches her eyes shut, breathing in sharply through her nose, eyes up at the ceiling before they force shut and she strangles back a choked sob, trying to take control of her emotions so that her own fearful hesitance doesn't get her killed.

"I—I'm Evolved., alright? I don't—I don't fucking know." Trembling, Else bites down on her lower lip, and with her eyes closed she doesn't see the way Feng's scrutiny changes. "I write things, I just—it happens. I start writing things down and they happen, they just—they happen."

Backing away from her face, Feng lowers the gun down to her chest again, but hardly is pressing against her any longer. "What are your parent's names?" Feng's dark brows crease together, eyes narrowing behind the lenses of his sunglasses. Else begins to sputter a confused rebuttal to the question, but then immediately cuts herself off and answers directly.

"K—Kier and Else—I swear to God, they—they live in Newark, I—" Feng angles the gun up to her cheek, and Else shuts up immediately, shuddering out a ragged sob as she feels the touch of cold steel on her flesh. Feng's head quirks to the side, lips pressing together tightly as he edges closer to her.

There's silence, briefly, between the two as Feng considers what she's said. "Where do you keep your writing?" The barrel of his pistol traces up to her temple, then down back to the side of her neck, "Give me everything." One of Else's arms rises slowly, motioning towards the coffee table where the spilled ashtray is, a few stacks of spiral-bound notebooks laid out on the glass. Feng looks towards the table, and as he quickly moves the gun to her shoulder and squeezes the trigger.

The muffled snap of the silencer is drowned out by the pained scream Else releases as the bullet tears through soft tissue and bounces off of bone, sending her crumpling to the floor, leaving a red stain on the white painted wall behind her; looking somewhat more purple in the soft blue light.

But when Feng turns his head to look back at Else, he catches sight of something through the doorway to her bedroom. The window he used to climb inside on the fire-escape is open again after he closed it, and Feng only notices the dark silhouette charging at him through the room a moment too late, the sharp blue irises causing his heart to skip a beat as sees a man in a black suit reaching out for him from the darkness.

The snap of the silencer goes off once more, a bullet grazing over the blue-eyed man's shoulder even as his bare fingers reach out for Feng's throat. Fool Feng once – it is his fault, fool him twice – that doesn't happen. As Peter Petrelli's life-leeching hand grasps out for Feng's throat, Daiyu reaches up and grab's Peter's hand tightly with his gloved one, wrenching his wrist back and spinning him around.

A swift kick is delivered to the side of Peter's knee, sending him to the ground before a glossy black shoe kicks him square in the face, knocking him onto his back. "I don't know how you have a power like his," Feng stares with a snarl, lips pulling back to reveal too-white teeth, "but you use it like a crutch." Feng's foot rises up as he stomps down on Peter's throat, the snapping pop of the young man's windpipe loud enough to be heard across the apartment.

Peter's fingers claw up at his own neck, rolling onto his side as he gasps, chokes and convulses on the floor. Feng turns quickly, moving for the notebooks as he casts a glance towards where Else is struggling on the floor, only noticing her picking up a heavy lamp by the base seconds before she intends on swinging it directly at him. Feng's arm swings out, the gun firing once to punch a bullet through her midsection, sending Else staggering back and onto the floor.

But in that moment, Peter's wild-eyed form is up and on his feet, charging at Feng as he grabs the assassin by the arm. Daiyu ducks under Peter's reach, bringing the gun to his chest as he unloads the rest of his clip in a rapid-fire succession of twelve rounds. Blood sprays out of Peter's back as his fingers unwind from Feng's sleeve, legs giving way as he falls over onto his side, breathing out a hissing gurgle.

"You're nothing." Feng spits out the words, ejecting his clip and withdrawing another one from inside of his jacket, slapping it into the bottom of the gun as he moves to train it back on Peter. "If you had half of the power that Kazimir Volken had, half of his insight half of his grace I'd be the on e on the floor." Feng's lips creep up into a smile, "You're—"

Whatever Feng was planning to say next stops, his dark eyes widening behind his sunglasses as he sees something that raises immediate alarms. Peter has stopped bleeding, and instead, thin wisps of shadow are slithering out from the bullet holes in his chest and abdomen, tiny snakes of darkness crawling out of his body and feeling around at the air. There's not a moment of hesitation as Feng immediately backs away from Peter and steps towards Else's apartment door. He hastily pulls at the slide chain and fumbles with the door lock, swinging the apartment door open as he charges out into the hall, running from the apartment as fast as he can, leaving everything he came for behind.

Unable to move, Peter can feel the lifeblood draining out of him as he lays on his back, vision darkening in that horrible sensation so reminiscent of his last moments bleeding in the rain outside of Pinehearst. "H—hey…" A rasping voice weakly calls out, and Peter can barely turn to look with horrified eyes as he sees Else crawling on her hands and knees over to him. "Hey—oh my God—" her cheeks are wet with tears, eyes reddened as she reaches out a hand for him, "I'm—I'm gonna' call for help—I'm—"

Now he knows why Feng was running.

Before Peter can gurgle out a strangled warning, the black vapor escaping his body reaches out like grasping, needy hands, fingers of shadow coiling around Else's proffered hand as a howl of pain escapes the young woman. She recoils, like a child touching a hot stovetop, but the shadow stretches and pulls with her, thinning at the middle like some diaphanous mist.

Peter struggles to move, a wet sound in the back of his throat all of the warning and horrified reaction he can give as he watches the skin on Else's right hand begin to turn black and gray, veins darkening beneath her skin before bones become visible beneath receding flesh.

"No," Peter weakly manages to rasp out as his throat begins to repair itself as Else's life-force is siphoned away from her body "No!" This time louder, but still strangled sounding, as he watches Else fall backwards and begin thrashing around on the ground, trying to scrape the shadows off of her, and Peter is forced to watch, immobilized by his injuries, as half of her face begins to harden and turn gray, then crack and split revealing blackened ash and white bone. One of her eyes turns white, then shrivels in the socket as her screaming turns dry and hoarse.

Tears well up in Peter's eyes as he feels Feng's bullets being forced up and out of his body as his wounds stitch themselves shut. Bu the time he can move, Else has ceased moving. Her hair has curled and turned white, lips pulled back to reveal her teeth, and her arms are wrapped around her midsection; that terrified mixture of pain and fear plastered across her face the last thing she'll ever express.

Beginning to reach out for her, Peter hesitates and curls his fingers back against his palms. Blue eyes blink, batting back tears as he stares down at her lifeless body, half of her face withered away to nothing more than bone. Peter's hands shake, hands trembling as he brings them up to cover over his mouth, eyes wide in disbelief.

Looking to the burst open door, realization begins to set in on the reality of his situation. Police will be coming, he has to get out. But despite the way his heart wrenches around inside of his chest, the way his body feels sickeningly warm inside from having drained that young woman of her life, Peter's mind remains sharp – unwantedly so.

He moves across the apartment, treading in the ashes on the floor as he scoops up the spiral-bound notebooks into his arms, looking towards the way Feng escaped, and instead opting to walk back towards Else's bedroom. It's only there in the doorway that the gravity of what just happened hits Peter like a sack of bricks, and the dark-haired man's legs wobble and knees buckle. He drops the books onto the floor in a cluttered pile before falling down on his hands and knees, choking out a sob as he curls forward, ducking his head into his hands.

There'll be time enough to escape from the coming police, but right now, curled up on the floor of Else Kjelstrom's apartment, Peter takes a moment to remind himself why he does what he does, and refresh himself on the bitter sting of guilt. It's been a long time, he'd almost forgotten what it feels like.

But in those moments where Peter is scrambling out of the door, in those last moments where glimpses of Else's half-decayed face are visible through the darkness of her bedroom, there is a frantic and panting gasp. Rising up from her bed, with one hand clutched to her chest, Eve Mas' scream rings out in the dark of her own apartment, one hand clutched at the center of her chest, sweat clinging to her forehead and rolling down the side of her face, milky-white eyes widened that slowly begin to fade towards a soft gray color.

Her hair, clinging to one side of her face is sweat-slicked and matted down. Her eyes immediately dart around the darkened corners of her bedroom, looking for the presence of blue eyes in the dark — but there are none. Here, int he shadows she sleeps in, Eve has but only one comfort to ease the thundering beat of her heart in her chest.

It was only a dream.

But now, it's a race against time to save Else's life.

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