Changes are Coming


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Scene Title Changes Are Coming
Synopsis Helena arrives at Peter's apartment, and witnesses a startling scene.
Date October 25, 2008

Lower East Side, Peter's Apartment

Some time ago this spacious apartment may have been a comfortable and warm place to live. The architecture is reminiscent of old-world New York, with many hallways and corridors leading to wide open living spaces and dining rooms. But in whatever times has passed since someone lived here, it has not been kind. Plastic and sheets cover much of the contents of the apartment, pulled over armoires and cabinets, couches and chairs and tables. Boxes half-filled with personal belongings are stacked up in cleared out areas of what might have at one time been a living room. Windows with blinds partly drawn view the streets of what is clearly the Lower East Side.

"…I told you, I told you a thousand times!" It's not what Helena expects to hear in the halls coming up to Peter's floor in the apartment building. The sound of raised voices, "They're doing good work!" Distinctly, Peter's voice. "It doesn't matter what they did in the past, god-damnit, didn't you hear what he said? No, listen to me —" There's a loud, angry growl followed by a crash that comes clearly from inside of the apartment. "God damnit!" The rest of the apartment floor feels as quiet as always, the few tennents who can afford to live here keep to themselves and mind their own business, only eight apartments to a floor, and Peter's is on the far end away from the other two people who live on the fourteenth floor. — But that was loud.


The sound of the key turning in the lock may prompt a halt to this discussion. Helena knows she can't keep using this apartment forever. Peter's a wanted man, it makes sense that eventually HomeSec will want to check the place out. And she can't be here when they do. But after the night she's had, even Peter at his angriest would be a welcome sight. She closes the door behind her and creeps in slowly, staying close to the edge of the foyer to peer into the living room.

It's an unusual sight to behold, Peter's out of his suit. In fact, he's back in his old attire, down to the long leather jacket that Helena is wearing at the moment. He stalks right across her field of view from the kitchen and into the living room, looking out the bay windows to the street below. His shoulders rise and fall with a heavy breathing, and he exhales a deep, frustrated sigh as he leans one hand against the wall to steady himself. There's a dripping sound in the kitchen, like something was spilled, and the light from the refrigerator can be seen through the doorway. He doesn't seem to hear the sound of the key in the lock, or even the door open. Likely whatever has pissed him off enough to wear his old attire and start a shouting match in his apartment is causing his blood to boil.

The look of him so fierce does make her pause, but eventually heart wins out over head. "Peter?" she calls softly. She seems to expect him to be angry at her for being here, but that doesn't matter. Helena continues to move forward, coming to the doorway of the kitchen. "Peter." she says again, to gain his attention.

Peter turns around at the sound of the voice, sharply, one hand raising for a moment and in that brief instant Helena can feel what amounts to a hand around her throat, squeezing, but only for the briefest moment. There's an exasperated sound, and Peter lowers his hand, exhaling a deep breath. "Oh, it's…" Eyes close slowly, "Sorry." When his eyes open again, he's staring out through the bay windows once more down to the street, brow tense and furrowed. "It's not safe to be here anymore. Homeland Security is going to be watching this place," He pulls the gauzy white curtains aside, peering around one end of the street and the other. "Get what you need and go," His gaze shoots back to her, "Where are you staying now, we can make the new drop point there."

Helena makes a brief, soft sound of fright as he grabs her throat, and once his hand is taken away. "It's good to see you too." she says in a not quite bitter tone, as she complies and starts to move out into the living room. "I need to talk to you. I mean, I really need to talk to you, things are changing - " she stops what she's doing, bringing her hands halfway up as if suddenly not knowing what they're for. She takes a breath, moves to her backpack. "I thought you didn't want me to tell you where I'm living now."

Peter gives Helena a spurious look, eyes drifting up and down her body, "Plans changed." He steps away from the window finally, walking with heavy, booted footfalls across the living room. "You got my last message, right?" His eyes shoot side-long to the blonde, "The one about Cat?" He's all the way across the apartment now, looking out the windows in the kitchen, his boots making a wet sound as he splashes through something on the tile, then comes walking back in, trailing watery boot-prints on the floor. "Where's everyone staying?"

"You're wearing your coat." She observes. The coat she has on. "I got the message. Tell me why I shouldn't trust her." She still doesn't answer his question. "You don't need to know that." Her tone turns dry. "For all I know, you could be Sylar, or someone worse."

Peter's brow lowers, and a snarl comes across his face, "If I was Sylar you'd — " He hesitates, then looks down at his jacket, then back to Helena. "It's new." His eyes divert to the front windows, then back to Helena. "Disregard it. The message about Cat — She's probably one of the only people you can count on one-hundred percent right now." Peter glances to the door, then back to Helena. "I can't stay long, but I'm glad I ran into you." He doesn't press the issue of where they're staying further.

"There's someone out there — right now — posing as me." His eyes divert to the living room, then back to Helena. "He looks just like me, but it's not me. He's the one who's been working for the Company, he's dangerous and he thinks he's me." There's a frustrated look on Peter's face, "Look, it's complicated. But whatever you do, you can't let him anywhere near PARIAH. He'll sell all of you out." The dark-haired man shakes his head, one hand covering his face. "He doesn't have telekinesis, but he has a lot of my other tricks. He's like me, but he's crazy. I know this sounds nuts, but you have to believe me. He can read your mind, just like I can. You have to be careful, Helena. He's dangerous."

Helena tilts her head at him curiously - at the scar in particular. "PARIAH won't be PARIAH for very much longer." She doesn't elaborate. "You can't just push me around like a puppet who'll just dance to your tune anymore. You're perfectly capable of teleporting both of us if HomeSec is going to storm this apartment anytime soon. Don't argue with me about time, I know you can make time. Sit down and tell me what's going on right now." Her voice raises. "I watched you disappear when you fought Sylar, I didn't know if you were dead and then the Company had you and you don't know what I was willing to do to get you back, and even after I nearly sold my soul, you stayed with them! So you sit down and you tell me what the hell is going on!" A rustle of wind sweeps through the apartment, quickly quelled.

"I can't — " Peter clenches his fists closed, "I can't control time anymore." Peter looks to the window, then back to Helena, "That wasn't me you talked to. The guy who brought here, the one you and cat saw? That was the Company agent. I've been gone since the raid on the PARIAH building, somewhere…" He shakes his head, "I can't explain it. But the person you thought you talked to? It wasn't me." Peter paces back and forth, hands brushing over the top of his head. "Didn't you find it the least bit suspicious that he didn't have any memories? That my regeneration couldn't heal that over?" He breathes out a heavy, sharp breath. "Look, something happened, and this agent they have — He did something to me, and he stole some of my powers. Like — right out from inside of me. I…" He looks away, never truly making eye-contact with Helena. "I can't stay here. You can't stay here, for all I know HomSec has been watching the building. I just came to see if — " He exhales a breath, "I have to go." Peter begins to walk towards the door, past Helena.

"You can still teleport." Helena says as she gathers her things. "And that Peter has all his memories now. You don't talk to me the way Peter would. I don't know who you are, and I don't know who to believe, but there's something very wrong about you and I can't put my finger on it. Then, "On the north side of Central Park, there's a half blasted statue of Alice and Wonderland. Leave messages under the mushroom." She tilts her head. "You don't have the abilities that the one with the Company has, right?"

"Teleporting's in the same… sort've area as time manipulation. It all belonged to Hiro, and he took — " Peter winces, one hand coming up to the side of his head, and he stares at something over the blonde's shoulder thorugh the french doors that lead into the bedroom, "I told you to shut up!" He holds up one hand, and there is a violent rumble in the air as a wave of force sends Peter's bed crashing into the wall opposite of the doors. "Aagh!" His hand comes up to his head again, and Peter struggles, staggering backwards for a moment, "No!"

The scarred man's skin ripples like the surface of water, distorting and spreading out and away like the stirred surface of a pond. That ripple then passes over his clothing, sweat beading on his forehead. Then, finally, after another wrenching motion Peter's skin and clothes ripple and shift again, exactly like when Sylar shapeshifted out of Mohinder's guide, and standing in the middle of the living room is Peter, clean-shaven, dressed in a stylish black suit with a gray undershirt and a narrow black necktie. He looks startled, eyes darting around the room for a moment, then up to Helena. "Uh…" Peter blinks a couple of times, looking around, "…Where did Nathan go?"

"The fuck!?" Helena kisses her mother with that mouth. Well, she did before her mother died, anyway. But Yet Another Crisis (Involving Peter) somehow gives her opportunity to not focus on the looming problems of her own. "Nathan's not here." she says through clenched teeth. "You…know who I am, right?"

Peter looks around with wide eyes, finally putting two-and-two together as he hears Helena's voice, "O-Oh my god," Brow tensed, Peter turns around in the room, seeming entirely less antagonistic and confident, posture a little slouched, even his tone of voice is just a little lighter. He sees the light in the kitchen, then glances into the bedroom at the condition his bed is in. Then, with a bewildered expression he looks back to Helena, "I — I was just talking wth my brother, and.. and my mother. I — I was right there with them, and…" Heavy and agitated breathing grows into an almost panicked hyperventilation as Peter covers his forehead with one hand. "Helena, how the hell did I get into my apartment?" More pieces start to come together, "A-are you alright?"

"I've been better." says Helena, mimicking the gesture of hand to her own forehead. She knows she's not crazy. "Listen, Peter - something is going very wrong with your abilities. I don't know what it is exactly, but there's at least three different versions of you, I think. And I know for a fact at least two of them wouldn't go near your mother right now, so I don't know why you would."

"W-what?" Peter tilts his head to the side, mouth open slightly, "Why…" He immediately starts walking over to the girl, resting on ehand on her shoulder, then bringing his other hand to brush through her hair, as if checking to see if she's been injured. "I had to see my mother. That note I left you, about Adam Monroe? I had gone to Japan to see Kaito Nakamura, Hiro's father…" Satisfied that she's not bruised or bleeding, Peter rests his hands on her arms, frowning slightly. "My mother, my father, they founded the Company, Helena. Alongside of a man named Adam Monroe. He… he's a monster, and he tried to kill a whole lot of people. I went to her to try and find some answers… Then…" He reconsiders what she's said, looking at her again, "Tell me what happened."

"There was a Peter here." She's a sucker, she submits to his ministrations, and holds back from just unraveling completely. It would be so easy. "You, and you were wearing the coat you gave me, but you were - cold. Almost cruel. And that Peter told me that the Peter who is working for the Company is going to destroy PARIAH, betray us, turn us all in. He…didn't seem right to me. I told him so and it seemed like he was arguing with someone, but no one was there…and then suddenly he turned into you." Helena shakes her head. "Peter - things are changing. I can't - I can't do this alone. And now I don't even know which or who of you to - " Helena shakes her head again.

There's a long, very frightened silence as Helena explains what she saw, and to Peter it's confirmation of something very dark, and very unsettling that eats away at the back of his mind. By the time he's managed to come up with something to say, it's not exactly the most comforting. "Parkman asked me to turn you all in," He grips her shoulders tightly, "I went to him to get to Molly, and it backfired. He shot me… a lot." There's an awkward grimace, and Peter just nods his head again. "I didn't do it then, and I won't do it now. I will never, could never turn you or anyone else in to them."

Exlaing a slow breath, Peter closes his eyes and looks somewhat distraught. "It's not safe to be around me right now. Not… not in any long-term sense. Something is happening I… I don't even know how to explain it." His thumbs lightly brush over her shoulders, and then finally he just wraps one arm around her back and pulls the girl close. "I'm sorry," her head is drawn to his chest, one hand holding the back of it. "Did you… did you get my present?"

Helena lets out a shuddering sigh. "I did." she says. "Thank you. It'll keep us going." She can't help a faint smile. "Alex and Teo nearly had accidents in their pants when they saw it." She pulls away, just enough so she can look at him. "But listen to me. Things are going to happen. There are going to be changes, and I'm going to need you. I can't tell you about it just yet, but I can tell you this much - PARIAH won't exist, not anymore, probably within the next few weeks."

Leaning back, Peter's brows knit together with a worried look, "W-what do you mean?" His head tilts to the side slightly, "I — Is thi sbecause of what happened to Cameron? I… you can't just give up like that." He doesn't read into it the same way she means, "Sergei, Eve, everyone's okay with this?" Giving her shoulders a firm squeeze, Peter gently bites down on his lower lip, a very faint smile on his face. "You could come work with me, you know… I… I could put in a good word with Sabra, she…" He can see that look in her eyes though, and it finally starts to click with him. "You're not talking about giving up, are you?"

Helena studies Peter carefully. "No. I've gotten some intelligence about what the government's doing. It's already started. They're holding Evolved, experimenting on them. Soon they'll have the means to detect us with just a few drops of blood. When they bring it into circulation, it's going to change everything. PARIAH can't exist anymore, we have to be something new. Some of them, they don't like my choices. They want to keep on with the bombings, the violence. They're going to split off, and I can't stop them. But the rest of us, if we drop PARIAH and begin something new, we can change things…" she reaches her hand around his arm to grip his. "If you came back. Peter. You and me, we could lead it together. These people are being taken from their homes - more will disappear. We have to stop it. Whatever it is we're going to become, I would - we all would be better if you were part of it."

The plea looks to take a toll on Peter, a look in his eyes that seems weak and weary, a hopelessness that seems to batter down on him from all sides. "I…" He grows silent for a time, and his brows furrow in a way that creases the scar across his face. "I can't do that right now." He turns to look back at her, nervous and uncertain, it's not a look in his eyes she's familiar with. "Not if what you said happened, happened. I'm… dangerous. Something bad is happening to me, something… I didn't want to think was going on. I have to make peace with whatever this is before I'm anything more than a liability for you." He leans in, touching his forehead to hers. "I've got to stick with the Company, they need me too, and they don't… I'm afraid what might happen if I'm not there. Homeland Security — If they're the ones responsible for this, they're not working with the Company. It… my mother and father were a part of this. They started it… and…" He closes his eyes, "I have to try. If I can get enough influence in there, change the Company from the inside. Maybe…" Peter closes his eyes, "I can't come back. Not yet."

"You're wanted for terrorism." Helena says softly, eyes closing. "Is the Company going to protect you from that? Right now you're not regarded as any better than us…and why would you tell me not to trust Cat?"

Peter winces, and shakes his head, "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. The Company has to make a choice where they stand in this too…" There's an anxious, awkward silence for a time, and then Peter looks back up. "Cat killed someone, Helena. She killed one of the sick people. I arrived on the scene a second too late, she… she shot him in the chest with an arrow and killed him. I… I tried to to teleport him back to the lab to get medical help, but he died." His eyes divert down to the floor, "He wasn't even hurting anyone, there… there was this guy, he could make acid come out of his hands… he was melting this woman and…" Peter closes his eyes, shaking his head. "She wasn't even sorry. She just… it was like she was a machine. You have to be careful around her… she's dangerous. Anyone who can take a life and just… and not even feel bad about it?"

Helena blinks at that, looking uncomfortable and uncertain. "I wonder if she'll go with the splinter group." she murmurs. "I'll be careful with her, I promise." For a moment, she just stands there, and then, "The other you tried to make me tell him where our new HQ is and I wouldn't. I've given him a new dead drop, so I'll see how far I can get with him." Her next words come out soft and shy, "He didn't feel right."

Peter isn't comfortable with the idea of the alternate version of himself, espescially with it being inside of him. But the dream is what haunts him the most, that was something entirely different, something physical. "I'll leave things somewhere else — The Deveaux rooftop, in the coops. We shouldn't stay here any longer, HomeSec is going to be scouting this place out." He hesitates for a moment, "I have to get back to the Company anyway… I'm waiting for a report on whatever killed those people. I'll… I'll tell you as soon as I know something." Peter hesitates, wincing, "Where do you want me to send you?" It's obvious he's not coming along.

Helena considers a moment. "The Deveaux rooftop." she says, and then, "Oh! Claude still wants to see you. He's usually there in the mornings. He's kind of mad, though. He may try to beat you with a stick. Which I'll do, by the way, if you don't fix your spit, okay?" She takes a deep breath, pulls all the emotions in, gives Peter a smile that doesn't quite reach her edges. "And if they let you out for say, Halloween? Find me. I bet we could go almost anywhere and no one will realize who we are. I need something to look forward to while hell's breaking loose." This said wryly, and with a roll of her eyes.

"Claude, yeah… You wrote me a letter about that. I… I'm not even sure what I'd say to him." Peter smiles slightly, nervously, then listening to Helena he gives a not, and then with a crook of his brow he slowly begins shifting through different appearances; Nathan Petrelli, Mohinder, Matt Parkman, Noah Bennet, then a round-faced asian man with a soul patch and a ponytail, then back to himself in the suit; smirking. "Halloween should be fun," he admits with a crooked smile, and places his nose to Helena's forehead. "Say hello to everyone for me." And then, there is a sudden sensation of falling, like the ground for a moment slipped out from Helena and returned a second later.

And from the rooftop of the Deveaux building, Helena can see the broken crater of Midtown in the distance, and the reason why all this has happened.

But changes are coming.

October 24th: Recon At The Wench

Previously in this storyline…
Like Father, Like Son

Next in this storyline…
Paint Me Destruction

October 25th: Reach Out and Touch Someone
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