Calm Before the Storm


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Scene Title Calm Before the Storm
Synopsis PARIAH prepares for its biggest operation yet, and Helena recieves a terrible warning of the future.
Date September 13, 2008

Condemned Tenement

Once home to dozens of working-class families, this building has long ago been officially evacuated and condemned after it was partially gutted by a fire. The brick exterior is covered with layer upon layer of graffiti, the windows are boarded, and some sections of the roof are less than sound. The fire took hold on the fourth floor and expanded upward. Below that, many of the apartments are still intact.

Morning hours at PARIAH's headquarters usually aren't busy, but today the halls seem abuzz with activity. Members of the organization that have been out of town or away from the base-of-operations for weeks on end are beginning to slowly congregate back on this location. The halls of the tenement building are filled with young men and women, most of them all reading newspapers while sharing breakfast.

The unclaimed apartments have all been opened up, some filled with tables stocked with supplies, others serving as makeshift dining rooms for smaller and less social groups. Just coming out of the kitchen, Peter walks with his head held high and a smile on his face. There seems to be no cloud to his demeanor, whatever pall had hung over him since he joined looks to have lifted. Carrying a newspaper under one arm and a plate of scrambled eggs and bacon under the other, he walks side-by-side with a young brunette girl in a hiwte tanktop, messenger bag slung over her shoulder, who motiong to something on the front of today's headlines. "Yeah, if it weren't for Helena I doubt things would have gone over as smoothly," Peter says with a notable tone of affection in his voice, "I'll keep an eye out for her though, uh…" He arches one brow, looking to the girl as the pair halt in the wide and open foyer where a handful of other members are seated, conversing and eating. "Sorry, I mean, I recognize faces but — " Peter grimaces, "I don't think I ever got your name."

"Kathleen." She says with an inclination of her head, an affable smile spreading across her lips as she motions to the door over her shoulder with her thumb, "I've got to get going, though, Cameron's expecting me. If you see her, though, please… let me know?" She raises both brows, affording Peter a thankful smile as she backs towards the door, bumping into two other members on their way in, moving around them and out down the front steps. Peter looks down to his meal, rolling one shoulder as he mumbles to himself.

"Guess everybody is looking for someone…"

Also entering the room is Eve but it doesn't look like she is there to eat. Her eyes have no shine or light to them today, her hair is wound in a messy bun and she is wearing a blue dress with dark boots. Her hands have the remnants of paint on them and she scans the room, when her gaze lands on Peter she makes a beeline for him. "I need to talk to you" her tone is serious and she looks behind her shoulder. She has been seeing Sylar's face whenever she closes her eyes and thus she has been getting even /less/ sleep than before. "I had a vision and? it is about the raid. You have to come with me" she states and looks visibly worried and in pain.

Some of the PARIAH members eye Eve as she talks to Peter, they don't hate her but her presence just makes some people uncomfortable. Guess people don't like that someone can tell the future?

Peter pauses, plate of food in hand, looking like he was headed for the roof, "Huh, oh, Eve," There's a look of puzzled surprise on his face, "Where have you been?" There's honest concern in his voice as he turns around, looking down at his plate of food with his brows tensed, then back up to Eve. "Ah, yeah, sure…" He finally concedes, glancing over his shoulder for a moment, "I was going to go have breakfast with Helena, but," He tilts his head to the side, eyeing the paint on her hands, "If it's important, sure."

"Hey Peter!" A pair of young men walk up from the basement carrying buckets of paint and brushes, "Saw the newspaper, man — Right on!" The other young man just nods, tipping his hat as they wind around Peter, heading up the stairs carrying the supplies. Peter just smiles and nods to the two, looking back to Eve with a crooked smile as if to say — you've missed a lot.

Eve isn't so used to people being that friendly or concerned about her. Except Helena maybe on a good day and Cameron, when he isn't in full jerk mode. So it catches her off guard that Peter isn't reprimanding her for being M.I.A. she nods her head a little, "Thank for sounding so? much like you actually care" she blinks and then puts a strand loose from her hair behind her ear." I heard about what happened. Seems like you are getting people excited around here" her eyes then go towards the ceiling. "I've been painting the vision I had a dream of and it isn't a success" she blinks back tears and then starts off to her apartment.

As the two near her apartment she turns back to Peter for a moment looks at Peter before opening the door and revealing her apartment. In the center are four paintings. The first depicts a man who looks a lot like Daniel mangled dead and drapped over a railing. LEVEL 5 looms behind him. Next to Daniel is Helena taking her last dying breath with a metal rod jutting out of her stomach. The next painting shows a man, who Peter might know with his head cut off and the suit of feudal Japan armor. Blood is everywhere in this painting, the next one is of Eve with her back against the wall and a man shoving a sword in her stomach, her expression in the painting is one of utter horror. The final painting is of a man's face and he looks insane, scars can be seen on his face but a few of them look as if they are closing up, like he can regenerate! The name SYLAR is in the right hand corner, painted in blood.

Eve puts a hand over her mouth and shakes her head, "He haunts me now. Sylar is his name, he killed them! He killed them at the raid!" Eve backs away to a wall and slumps as she stares at the paintings in a open-mouthed expression. Her head lolls and hair falls out of the bun.

Peter's brow tenses as he follows Eve through the halls, "Hey, I was worried something might've happened to you while we were all caught up in things. There's something I need to talk to you about, too. I went and talked to Dr.Suresh…" As Eve pushes the door to her apartment open, Peter steps inside, glancing around until his eyes come to settle on the painting. Peter freezes in the doorway, not taking another step in as he sees the canvas depicting the vignettes of scenes from Eve's dream. Barely managing to keep his plate of food held in one hand, Peter instead relaxes his other arm, letting today's newspaper fall to the ground with a slap.

Walking over, hesitantly, he sets his plate down on a small table by the door, then edges towards the cavnas as if wary it would leap out and bite him. "Eve…" Peter's eyes wander back and forth across the grisly piece of artwork, "You…" His gaze darts over to the black-haired woman, then back, "You saw this?" He begins to straighten back up, "I — Did anyone tell you…" His thoughts are disjointed, he keeps staring at the image of Helena on her back, the metal rod through her stomach. "Did anyone tell you?" His brow tenses, a worried look. Please let this not be what it seems.

"I saw it all. I didn't want to; I never want to see the bad things from the future, but I did. He asked me did I know him and when I tried to fight him off he healed? He healed like Claire! Then he stabbed me, it was horrible, terrible. This man is dangerous." Eve shakes her head and grips her head. "Nobody told me, I've been in my apartment since it happened. I was afraid that he was coming for me," she says softly and breathes in and out slowly. Not surprising that nobody came to check on her. Normally Cameron would if nobody had seen her in awhile but, things haven't exactly been normal with them lately.

Eve's eyes widen and she looks at Peter, "Do you know him? Why is he doing this?" her face is chalk white and she looks from Peter to the paintings.

"Know him?" Peter narrows his eyes, glaring at the painting, "He's who we're going after." Turning to look at Eve, Peter breathes in slowly through his nose, "Doctor Suresh contacted me, he told me that a group called the Company is keeping Sylar prisoner in one of their facilities — alive. I've decided that's going to be our first target," He looks back at the painting, now more angrily defiant than fearful.

"Sylar is a monster, and can't be allowed to live. That painting, it just shows me who I can't have with me." He tenses, looking at the images, "We're going to liberate the people the Company is holding, experimenting on, and I'm going to kill Sylar, like I should have." He looks to Eve, watching her for a moment, "At the meeting, I wasn't lying when I said I'd fought him before. That day…" Peter curls his lip up into a snarl, glaring at the painting, "I have every intention of finishing the job." He nods, breathing out through his nose slowly, "Don't worry, Eve." His eyes focus back on the prophetic one, "I'm not going to let this happen."

"He loves to kill, I could see in his face? his eyes" Eve shakes her head and stands up straight. Her expression hardens and she nods, "/We/ are not going to let this happen. If he is our target, than he must be stopped. Is he like you? Can he absorb others abilities?" her head tilts and she is in full seer-leader mode. "Are we going to tell Helena and Dan about this painting, because I do not think that we should keep it from them" It's scary how she can go from deranged wreck to a calculating mind in a second, it's why she has been apart of PARIAH for so long. Her eyes scan the paintings and she still shivers some when they land on the Sylar painting.

Helena's query of "Hey, where's Peter?" was greeted in the common area by a few smirks, accompanied by compliments on the tagging job. As she offered thanks, a few kind souls pointed out that Peter's gone off with Eve, to which Helena's thoughtful response boiled down to, "Hunh." Snagging a glass of oj, she proceeded then to check the roof and the basement and Peter's apartment, but finding neither soul there, she heads for the next logical place; Eve's apartment. Knock knock.

Peter's focus is now on the painting again, listening to Eve, but something stormy works its way behind his eyes. "He's nothing like me." There's bitterness, anger, hatred there. "He steals powers, takes your brain right out of your head…" Tilting his head to the side, Peter finally recognizes the face on the decapitated head, "Him." He looks puzzled, not so much a sound of recognition, more so than added confusion.

Looking back up to Eve, Peter nods slowly, "We should, it will give them a strong idea of what to expect." Then, though, Peter looks troubled. "Eve, I'm not sure if you should go with us on this one. I know you carry that gun around, but this might be over your head. I don't want you getting into something you can't handle…" He doesn't hear Helena approaching, standing just to the side of the painting as he talks.

Steals powers? Brains? Eve cants her head to the side and studies the painting that Peter is looking at, "The sword, Sylar used to… stab me. I think it was that guy's" Her eyes flick to Peter as he says he doesn't think he wants her to go. "Peter, I understand what you are saying, but I must go. It's imperative. I can only help prevent it if I'm there, I trust you and your abilities, but sitting at home wouldn't help anyone. When I joined this group so that I could help make this world better, I don't like it either, but I'm sure that I must go" She jerks her head in the direction of the door as Helena knocks. She crosses over and opens the door, her eyes widen slightly at the sight of Helena at her doorstep. "Hel?" is all she says and then opens the door wider to let the young woman in. No doubt the first thing she will notice is the paintings. She goes to stand near the paintings and she studies them one by one. She has been doing this since she saw the vision and painted them.

"Hey, I was looking for Peter." Helena steps inside when Eve invites her in, brightning when she sees him and saying, "Oh there you - " Stop. Stare. Her expression settles into something akin to horror as she gazes at the series of paintings. She looks between the two, expression bleak and asks, "Which one of you did these?" It's important to her. Peter paints the future. If he did it, it can practically be considered a certain thing. Eve's visions might be more malleable. Her hands drop to her sides, clenching to keep them from shaking. She takes a darted look at the picture of herself skewered by rebar, and has to look away. Which sends her eyes toward the picture of Daniel, and that just puts her eyes to the floor.

While his plate of scrambled eggs and bacon now cold on the table nearby, Peter looks for all his worth to be all too wrapped up in the discussion with Eve and the painting to notice. "I appreciate the concern, but…" Peter tilts his head to the side, "You said yourself, it comes in dreams, not in the immediate future. You can help us at the briefing before we go, but I'm worried with just a gun to defend yourself, you'd be a liability." He doesn't like saying things that way, but he's trying to be frank with her. "I just think — " The sound of a knock on the door catches Peter's attention too slow, Eve's already at the door, and when it opens to reveal Helena, all of the color drains out of Peter's face.

"Lena — " Peter swallows his words, she saw the paintings before he could move to interpose himself. His expression darkens, guilty looking. His eyes dart over to Eve for a moment, concerned, then back to the young blonde. "It's Eve's…" Peter says with a quiet tone of voice, immediately clearing the distance between the two, "I didn't mean for you to see them like this." His hand comes up, resting on her shoulder ans squeezing gently. He seems hesitant, as if not entirely sure how she'll react — he knows first hand how troubling it can be to see yourself dead in a painting.

"I understand Pedro, it's just — "she shakes her head they will talk about it later. Her gaze goes to Helena and she looks in pity at the girl. "Don't worry Hel, none of this will come to pass. I promise you that" with that last phrase she looks Peter as if she is saying, I will have to be a part of this assignment. Eve's eyes then study Peter and Helena and the way they are interacting, at least someone has time for love in this whole mess. She thinks and then shakes her head.

Helena takes another furtive look at the paintings, shudders again, and then lifts her head and squares her shoulders. Put it away, Helena. Calmly she says to Eve, "Don't look at me like that. No one needs to be sorry for me." She doesn't shrug Peter off, but when she turns to face him and Eve, naturally his hand would fall away. "It's Cameron who makes the decisions on who stays and who goes." she says. "So going back and forth about it won't do either of you any good."

Seeing the look in Helena's eyes, Peter watches her closely, frowning for a moment. His expression isn't at how Helena reacts, though, quite the inverse; His expression is to the fact that she has to push down her feelings, to toughen herself, to be a leader. It's something he doesn't relish seeing the young woman have to do. As he listens to her, Peter nods slowly, letting his hand fall away as she turns, sliding it into the pocket of his slacks — She's going what she has to do. "You're absolutely right," Peter says in affirmation, though not clarifying exactly in affirmation of what. "I guess, then, we have to make sure everyone sees this." His eyes wander the paintings, "As much as I hate to think about it."

Eve's eyes turn hard and she shakes her head at Helena, "Acting like it doesn't affect you won't help you either. I'm sorry that I don't want to see one of my family die" Eve is tired of everyone treating her with disrespect. She closes her eyes and lays her head against the wall. "Doesn't matter what we say, true. Cameron will decide who goes and who doesn't." Her hair has now fallen completely out of her bun and it falls almost to her back. "I'm sorry for dreaming your death," she states blankly and her gaze then goes back to Peter. "It would do well for everyone to see these, no use in hiding them" she nods and shakes her hair out and regards Helena with another look. Her shoulders straighten and she looks at the paintings again. "Level Five is where he will be. That is well this is where it is all suppose to happen."

Her expression goes steely and her jaw sets. "This will not be allowed to happen." She then looks over to Peter and Helena, "I will be in my room, don't come in and do not knock. I need to… do something." she doesn't tell how she has been trying a new technique with her visions, by trying to make herself have them to help the team more. Her dress rustles as she moves and she stops at the door. Without turning around, "Warriors are allowed to feel and have emotion Hel. If you don't? You just become the enemy, heartless and cruel," and with that the seer walks into her room and shuts the door, the lock is turned and silence enters the room.

Helena frowns a little at Eve's chastisement, but rather than linger on it, she simply lapses silent, perhaps thoughtful, perhaps resentful. It's difficult to tell. She steps back toward Peter and takes his hand, and from her expression, she's clearly disturbed. "I hope Cam doesn't keep Daniel and Claire and me back from this because of these." she murmurs.

"We can't take that big of a cut," Peter says quietly, looking over towards the bedroom door Eve retreated into, then back to Helena. "He'll know that." He takes her hand in his, giving it a reassuring squeeze, "I won't lie though, part of me wants to keep you off the team that goes for Sylar." Peter bites down gently on his lower lip, looking back to the paintings, then to Helena, "Cam and I could handle that… maybe Alex." He takes a step closer, bringing her hand up as he does, leaning in to press a quiet kiss to the back of her knuckles. "Whatever ends up happening, I'm not going to let that happen to you."

"Cam doesn't usually put me in the front lines anyway." Helena says, color spotting her cheeks briefly at the kiss to her hand. "He uses my abilities to provide cover and distraction, that sort of thing. She looks over at the painting one more time over her shoulder, and face Peter again. "I'm scared." she says with what is perhaps surprising calm.

"You're not alone." Peter notes with a crooked smile, lowering her hand and just holding it, "I think we all are, in one way or another." He looks down, to the hand held in his, "I'm scared of failing again, scared of letting everyone down," His eyes wander back up, "Scared of losing you." His brows furrow at that comment, a faint smile creeping across his lips. "I just have to make sure that fear doesn't take over when I need to be strong," Peter's hand squeezes Helena's gently, "That's all any of us can do."

September 13th: I Want to Ride My Bicycle

Previously in this storyline…
Right Where I Belong

Next in this storyline…
The Strong One

September 13th: The Strong One
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