Children Of Icarus


gillian_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Children of Icarus
Synopsis Gillian, a child of the original Project Icarus receives a photograph of her parents, thanks to Veronica.
Date May 30, 2010

The Lighthouse: Gillian's Room

It's after hours at the Lighthouse, and once more Veronica Sawyer is there in secret. The hushed conversation in Brian's room leads to Brian leaving the grounds for a walk — at least the weather is warm enough that it is no longer potentially fatal to do so. Having assured him that she would tell his sister what she travelled to Staten to tell him, Veronica takes some time to gather her own composure. She washes her face and wipes her eyes, and takes several deep breaths before venturing to Gillian's room.

There, she taps lightly on the door, mindful of the children who sleep in this building, children whose safety Gillian and Brian have made their life's work. Orphans like Gillian and Brian were, though most of the children here at the Lighthouse were orphaned by the bomb — that apparently the Company knew about. How many children's lives had the Company and the greater entity of the US Government ruined? Veronica swallows. "It's Vee," she whispers through the door.

After weeks and weeks of tempatures dipped deep into the negatives, just below freezing feels postitively warm. The space heaters don't need to work as hard during the night, and the blankets are no longer piled on everything. Even the clothing can be less and less. When Gillian answers the door, she's dressed a lot lighter than she's been since Vegas, and the fever in her bed. A light cotton tank top and shorts, something she could comfortably sleep in. There's still big fluffy blankets on the bed, that she just rolled out of, a journal closed on the pillow, with a pencil trapped between the closed pages.

"Hey. Do you need me to turn on some music downstairs so you and my brother can get wild without the kids overhearing? Or me, cause— he's my brother." And that's just gross.

Normally, the comment would get a smirk or a laugh from Veronica, but she simply shakes her head, as if taking the question seriously. She holds a file in her hands, which she glances down at before looking back up at Gillian.

"He's out for a bit. Not sure if he'll be back tonight or not," she murmurs. Her voice is still huskier than normal, though she can speak without croaking. "Um. Can I come in? I have something for you." She taps the file. "And things to tell you. I … Brian was going to ask someone grownup to keep an eye on stuff, in case you need your space after this too, so you don't have to worry about the children."

That sounds ominious. "I'm not under arrest or something, am I?" Gillian says, trying to make it sound like a joke before she moves away from the door to plop down on her pile of blankets. An orange head peeks out from under the covers, ears perked and eyes wide, before stretching and yawning and kneeding at the comforter, as if trying to make it softer. "So what is it?" Something that involves both her and Brian…

The older of the two goes to sit on the corner of the bed, glancing with a smile at the cat before turning somber eyes back on Gillian. "We had a case where a former agent was trying to get revenge… trying to make things right for all the wrongs he did," she says quietly, staring at the file in her hands. "Sounds nice, right? But he was … he was crazy. Hurting people. Killing people. Using innocent people to do bad things," she begins.

"A group of our agents managed to track him down to a lab… that used to be used by the Company. He had files there." She glances down at the file in her hands, and finally hands it over. Inside is the second of the two copies Ayers had made for Brian and Gillian of the photograph he had shown her. A little tow-headed boy, a little dark-haired girl. Toddlers. With two happy, dark-haired parents.

Dark haired parents, one with light eyes, one with a dark hazel. Gillian can't help but reach out to take it, and scoot back into the bed a little deeper, so she can pull her legs up. The little dark haired baby even has her beautymark on one cheek, that somehow looks bigger and darker on her face back then then it does now. Perhaps the photographer had accented it.

"You know— I never noticed until recently that I never saw a picture of myself in diaper years. I think I may have realized when I was a teenager, but I had been relieved. No embarassing poopy butt pictures or naked one year old in a bathtub." Before such pictures were banned from being developed. "I knew a little about them, but I never saw them…" It didn't have to be said, really, cause she recognizes her beautymark, and the little tow-headed boy… "Peter recommended, before he remembered he was an ass, that I go and try to get access to some of their files, but I didn't know how to ask about that. A lot of your connection to Brian is supposed to be secret to them."

Veronica watches the reaction. She smiles at the remarks about poopy butt diapers and the like. "Believe me, that is a relief. I was an only child and I think my parents felt the need to document everything from spit up to toilet training, and there are quite a few embarrassing pictures of me in existence," she says lightly, before delving back into the serious nature of the conversation.

"I know you know that your power was synthetic," the agent begins slowly. "It was … you were… a part of something called Project Icarus that the Company was working on. But for some reason, they … they killed the people involved. The parents. The scientists. Most of them anyway, but…" the but really says everything she needs to, but Veronica knows it's best to put everything on the line, not to leave any doubt. "But unfortunately, the Winters were among those killed."

She swallows hard, before adding, "The agent who killed them — in a fire — he's the one who was trying to harm us. He's… he's gone, now."

"I had two younger siblings that my parents loved more," Gillian says quietly, as she looks at the parents she doesn't even really remember, except perhaps in her subconscious. "But I kinda get it now. Since I was adopted, kinda dumped on them through whatever ties they had to Arthur Petrelli or the Company. They loved me, just not as much." She wasn't theirs, and it seemed to matter just enough to her— Jenny and Victor were theirs, and she wasn't. "Project Icarus, huh? That must have been what they called the formula, stuff. I'm not sure what to think about what they did to us, experimenting on us… Maybe they didn't have a choice."

The agent sighs and shakes her head. "I'm sure your parents loved you. I can't imagine them taking a baby and raising her and not loving her. I'm sorry about your birth parents, though. I know you don't remember them so it's not like you will miss them, but … but I would guess you will miss the idea of them. And that's understandable. And you can mourn that, and don't feel like you shouldn't, okay?" Veronica nods to the photograph. "That wasn't supposed to leave the premises, but we made copies for you. Please don't talk about it with people who shouldn't know, as … you know. They would probably trace it back to me … even without knowing about Brian and me, they know you and I are close, from Argentina." She sighs, and reaches out to squeeze Gillian's shoulder. "I'm staying to try and find out more, and to try and keep things from getting worse — because right now, the alternative is worse. Believe it or not."

"The Institute-thing? I know a little about that, thanks to the weather issue. We helped stop it. Me, and Helena and a couple other people," Gillian explains quietly, as she looks down at the picture, her voice a little daydreamy. "I'm trying to stay out of these things as much as I can, but when you're one of the only human battery packs in the world…" She shrugs and reaches to open up her journal and stick the picture inside between the pages. "I'll keep it secret. I'm actually pretty good at keeping secrets." Unlike some people. But the weather thing didn't seem like the kind of secret she needed to keep anymore.

"You guys did that?" Veronica says, a lift of her eyebrows and a low whistle punctuate her words. "I'm impressed, Gill. And grateful. I don't know if I could handle any more of that weather." She almost died in it — with Paulson. But she doesn't tell Gillian that. And she doesn't know Gillian almost died in it after being mauled by dogs. There is so much that hasn't been said, so much that has happened that just seems too much to share.

"I…" Veronica begins, clearing her throat. "The other thing, and you should know just in case, because of your power, and I'm not sure what it would do, though I doubt you'd ever aim it at me not knowing this anyway but… I sort of manifested. I … I reflect some powers. Just so you know. I don't know what that would do to you." Vee chuckles a little. "Your brother's a dork and thinks it's all exciting, that I'm like him. Like it ever mattered."

The only thing that knows all her secrets would be the journal laying on her pillow, and the brothers and sisters of it that have already been filled in. Gillian's eyebrows raise at the mention of having an ability, one that reflects abilities? "Fuck yeah, I'll probably avoid that. May come in handy later, though. The strongest use of my power is always in sync with someone else using my power. If reflecting means what I think it means." Always Peter and Gabriel before, but it'd be nice to do the big things, like heal Cardinal, without needing to rely on them… It may not work as well, though, if all the power still just comes from her.

"Having a power doesn't really change much, but Brian does get excited about those things."

"He does," Veronica agrees, a fond smile for the man. She glances with a worried glance toward the window, as if she'd see him on his walk there, but of course she can't. "I don't know if I should stay and wait for him, or just give him space tonight," she says quietly. "It seems like we should have had enough space… we've been apart more than together for … well, forever, but I don't want to be here if it makes it hard for him to deal." Because she's a walking, talking, breathing reminder of the Company. "You are less upset than I thought you'd be, to be honest. But maybe you always knew, I guess?"

"Which part?" Gillian asks, looking over at her journal again. "I knew a little about my parents cause I went and talked to one of the few people I knew knew them— found out they were Agents. The Company does bad things, sure, but fuck— who doesn't? You think the Ferry is all roses and sunshine? Even all the good we did in Argentina, you think that mountain was evacuated completely? Think they didn't have servents or slaves cooking their food, that got blown up? Yeah— we didn't do it, but we didn't think about it either while we saved our own asses on the flying mechanical crab. I think everyone has dark sides by now."

Good, evil, all kind of floating somewhere in between. "I think you're one of the better parts of the Company, at least. I want to believe our parents were too. And I hope you don't get killed because of it."

"I guess," Veronica says quietly. "There are people who try to do good. But even when I think I'm doing good, it turns out it's always fucking twisted, you know? Managed to get this kid I'd been chasing, we thought he'd nuked a bunch of people, killed them. Microwave power, right? Turns out, no, that agent who was trying to kill us was puppeting him. So even getting him off the streets — thinking I was saving people, helping people — it was just the Company still screwing with us. Just… a ghost from the Company, in a way."

The agent stands, and glances toward the window again. "I'll stay, I guess. If he's not back by morning, I'll head out," she decides. "For what it's worth, it looked like you would have been a happy family — even if they were agents, Gillian. They clearly loved you — in that picture. You and Brian."

"I wish I could remember them," Gillian says, touching the book with her hand, before she gets up off the bed, so she can do something that may have been awkward a year ago, before things happened to loosen her up to the idea. She hugs Veronica, a near-sister. "Travelling's still hard enough I wouldn't want to kick you out in the middle of the night, but hey, we have a lot of catching up to do since Argentina," she dimples a bit, then raises her arms up. Her surprisingly unmarred arms. No scars, no tattoos. "I still gotta tell you how I lost my tattoos."

Veronica smiles and sits back down, bringing her bare feet up onto the bed to tuck them under a blanket. She's only wearing jeans and a sweater, her coat and boots still in Brian's room. "Wow. I didn't even notice. Tell me everything," she tells Gillian as she picks up a pillow and hugs it to herself, leaning against the headboard.

As Veronica listens to Gillian's tale, the realization of yet another irony dawns upon her: The Company may have killed Gillian's and Brian's parents, Veronica's father, and any chance of a normal life for any of the three — but the Company also brought Veronica into the Winters children's lives.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License