Butterflies, Hurricanes, And Storms To Come


hiro2_icon.gif marcus_icon.gif

Scene Title Butterflies, Hurricanes, and Storms to Come
Synopsis Two uneasy allies meet to discuss what is, what was, and what will be.
Date May 3, 2021

«What you are seeing is happening live

An emergency alarm is sounding in the stairwell, the ear-splitting scream of a hammer and bell alarm like that found in a fire station. The sound carries down the open shaft of the stairwell, and the darkly dressed man hurrying up the stairs looks wide-eyes in worry. There are fire extinguishers every landing, red valves connected to rolled up hoses. The alarm isn't for a fire.

«It is… it's total devastation. In my entire career of news broadcasting I have never seen anything so horrific.»

The noise of the alarm is so persistent that it's faded into a piercing hum in the back of his mind. Hurrying up the stairs, he skips two steps at a stride, taking the time of the ascent to clear his thoughts. He could get there faster — to the penthouse — but he needs to be certain this is what he wants to do. Pausing at the 75th floor landing, he looks up to the remaining dozen or so floors, swallowing tensely. Dark eyes narrow, purpose found. It's not about what he wants. It's about destiny.

«Authorities are estimating the death toll to be incalculable at present. Conservative estimates from independent sources cite possible fatalities at more than one million.»

Dark denim pants and a zippered pullover are seasonal attire, and perhaps appropriately somber given the date. Floor after floor, legs aching, chest burning from exertion, he finds the resolve to do what must be done. When he reaches the 84th floor he grabs the door handle with an adamant grasp, wrenching it open and stepping into evacuated office halls. An enormous logo of a stylized mountain and its reflection on a river greets him, along with the words YAMAGATO INDUSTRIES in gold.

«Emergency rescue services are paralyzed due to the unparalleled severity of the catastrophe. We go now live to President Nathan Petrelli on board Air Force One.»

Executive conference rooms are empty, and up here every television mounted on conference room walls shows news broadcasts from around the world, with terrified-looking newscasters all reporting on scenes of coastal devastation. One by one, each of them begins to cut away to footage of a clean cut man in crisp suit with a red tie up against a blue backdrop. Briefly, Hiro Nakamura catches a glimpse of his own reflection in the television, and sees how haunted his eyes are.

«Today, America and the world face an unparalleled disaster not seen in human history. Today, we stare into the face of Armageddon.»

Moving further down the hall, Hiro passes by an empty desk with its chair pushed out, phone left off the hook, headset still swinging where its tethered to a computer, caught on the arm of the office chair. He barges in through the gold-leafed wooden doors to the executive office, there a darkly dressed and severe looking man has his back to a television, watching the skyline of Tokyo ahead.

«I have been told millions may have died today on the east coast of America alone. South America, Europe, and Africa are all likewise facing equally devastating tragedies. Equally unparalleled loss of life. But the worst is not yet behind us.»

Over the howl of the alarm Hiro comes up behind the haunted silhouette of his father, Kaito, and locks eyes with him. “Otosan. Osoku natte gomen’nasai.” Kaito’s severe expression softens, and he approaches his son with weary eyes, resting an affirming hand on his shoulder. Hiro looks away, briefly to the television, then back to Kaito.

«A second tsunami is bearing down on America’s west coast as we speak. Though early warning systems were able to provide some advance notice, it will not be enough. Japan, China, Australia, and other pacific nations stand with us in preparation for the inevitable.»

“Mattaku sode wa arimasen.” Kaito responds to his son, squeezing his shoulder and then relinquishing the grasp. Kaito reaches inside his suit jacket and pulls out a Yamagato Industries business card, “Anata wa jiken-doridesu.” He flips the card around and offers it out to Hiro. On the back is a series of numbers: 051061

«The disaster that is changing our world as we speak is just the beginning. We must accept that there are events outside of our control — acts of god so unfathomable in their cruelty they make us question our own faith.»

Honkeidesu ka?” Hiro asks his father, and Kaito merely nods once in certainty. Looking at the card one last time, Hiro breathes in deeply and closes his eyes, nodding his head. “Watashi ga owattara mochido o ai shimashou.” There is no reassurance from Kaito at that, just the cup of his palm against Hiro’s cheek and a nod to acknowledge Hiro’s promise.

«We must cast aside the shadow of those fears. We must bring ourselves together, not just as a nation but as a world, and square our shoulders to the task ahead…»

Behind Kaito, our the tall window that overlook Tokyo, Hiro can see the growing shadow of a tsunami roaring toward the coast. The skies have darkened in its approach, crowds of people flee at street level, moving like brightly colored ants between lines of gridlocked cars. The wave begins to collide with buildings, crash down streets and sweep rows of cars with it. Tears well up in Hiro’s eyes, and he sucks in a sharp breath. And disappears.

«…humanity will once again survive the Flood.»

"Sayonara, Hiro."

Eleven Years Later

…in another time.

May 3rd

8:28 pm

Hiro Nakamura sits up with a startle, sucking in a sharp breath.

Concrete walls, fluorescent lighting, the creak of a leather armchair he'd fallen asleep in. Hiro sits forward, cupping his face in his hands and sighs into his palms. The clink of ice in a glass him from the silence of his thoughts, and his attention goes to the source of the noise, where Marcus Raith sits on a sofa across the way from him, a mostly finished glass of Scotch in one hand and an Awasu tablet in his lap. Marcus looks up with his one good eye to Hiro, and asks, "Bad dream?"

Hiro grunts, sitting forward and pushing himself up out of the chair. "Sort of," is his dismissive answer.

"I didn't want to disturb you," Marcus says, setting his tablet and drink aside as he stands with Hiro. "There's food riots in the Cal Safe Zone," he says as if they were discussing the weather. "Ten thousand something people trapped out there. Secretary Hesser is calling it a national emergency, they're flying food out and trying to get planes in to take the citizens back as refugees." He shrugs, helplessly. "It's amazing the shit people will set themselves on fire worrying about when the real problems are hanging over their heads like the Sword of Damocles."

Hiro gives Marcus a sharp look. "It takes a certain kind of asshole to criticize someone for being ignorant of a crisis that is being hidden from them."

"Please." Marcus rolls his eye. "If the President got on the television and told the American people there was a solar flare about to wipe out all life on Earth, what good do you think it would do?" He spreads his hands and shakes his head, walking to the door to the lounge. "About as much good as that fucking stunt Petrelli and Linderman pulled after the Bomb." He says snidely, adopting a mocking tone. "Ordinary people with extraordinary abilities." He shakes his head, pushing the door open and nodding for Hiro to follow.

"What's wrong with that?" Hiro asks, following Marcus into the bunker hall.

"It's idiotic. How many millions of people wound up dying because this dirty laundry all got aired?" Marcus asks, though it's all rhetorical. "It's like the Looking Glass. If we tell the American people there's potentially infinite worlds out there and we don't know how many interlopers have invaded from other dimensions, it's going to be people lined up against a wall and gunfire in the streets. Again."

Hiro considers Marcus out of the corner of his eye, following him down the hall. "You don't have a very high opinion of the human race, do you?"

"Why should I?" Marcus asks with a snap of a look at Hiro. "No one's changed. Not in eighty God damn years. We just played musical chairs. But it's all the same types of people making the same types of decisions. Just jumble the letters around and spell out the names of new assholes."

Hiro narrows his eyes. "And you're the one who is going to save the world?"

"I said I don't have much faith," Marcus says as he comes up to a door, opening it to a stairwell that descends deeper into the bunker, "I didn't say I wanted some dime-store divinity to wipe it all out."

As the pair descends the stairs, Hiro shakes his head. "I don't know what my father saw in you," Hiro sighs.

"To be fair, neither of us will ever know the answer to that." Marcus admits as he reaches the bottom of the stairs. "For as brilliant a man that he was, he sure had a tendency to wind up dead in every known timeline." Hiro holds his tongue at that comment, following Marcus through a doorway at the bottom of the stairs. As they proceed through another hallway, Marcus continues to talk.

"You know, there's something I always wanted to ask you." Marcus says, glancing over his shoulder at Hiro.


"If you had the chance," Marcus says, stopping at a metal door halfway down the hall, "would you just go back in time and kill the Entity? Just find her as a baby and…" He draws his thumb across his throat, then laughs awkwardly and punches in a number sequence on a keypad beside the door.

"No," Hiro says flatly. A moment later there is a beep from the door and it unlocks. Hiro watches Marcus take hold of the door handle, but Marcus doesn't open it. He's waiting for the latter half of Hiro's thought. He knows its there. "I wouldn't," Hiro reasserts. "Because that would only create a rift, and it wouldn't solve anything."

Marcus laughs, shaking his head. He doesn't comment otherwise on Hiro's stance, but instead throws the door open and steps into the climate-controlled room beyond.

"Why do you ask?" Hiro wonders at Marcus' back.

Marcus doesn't answer right away, but instead leads Hiro into the morgue. Here, two metal tables lay side by side, each containing a full set of ancient skeletons of crumbling, poorly treated bones.

"I could have retrieved these for you." Hiro says with a tightness of distrust in his voice. He briefly glances at Marcus, but his attention is transfixed by the bones, their ancient condition, the brutal story of violence their shattered remains tell. Hiro reaches out, then stops when he notices a glimmer of metal in one of the skeletons' ribcage. He stares at it, a fragment of metal wedged in bone and snapped off. Hiro's heart starts to race in his chest as he reaches out to touch the fragment of metal with his thumb as Marcus walks over to one of the morgue drawers at the back of the room.

"I ask…" Marcus says, reaching into the drawer to retrieve the weathered hilt of the Kensei sword. Hiro's eyes widen as he sees the nub of the blade snapped off at the end of the hilt. His eyes track back to the metal in the skeleton's sternum.

"…because I think somebody does."

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