Scene Title Desperate
Synopsis The voice returns.
Date February 8, 2009

Staten Island — Somewhere Along the Coast

A trip to the Angry Pelican proved useless. Tavisha was late, Jack had already gone out on his boat with his makeshift crew, and now he was facing a walk back inland for nothing. In defiance of this, he moved down the beach, shoes removed once safely away from Fresh Kills Harbor and its tendency to leave broken glass and needles in the sand, and started making tracks along the abandoned shore of Staten Island.

Now, it's reaching noon. Tavisha fancies himself to be likely the one person in New York City to have nothing in particular to do. Perhaps this is how the homeless feel. The family-less, the friend-less. It's actually a bittersweet idea. Having no real obligations, nothing tied to emotion, has its advantages. Shoes tucked into the sand, coat shed, Tavisha sits partially cross legged on the flattest, large outcropping of rock in can find, the terrain he's located purely rural, with a small paperback book extracted from his coat and currently being read. Or scanned. Or flicked through and skimming the surface, to be honest.

It sates itself on the life-blood of fated men, paints red the powers' homes with crimson gore. Black becomes the sun's beams in the summers that follow, weathers all treacherous. Do you still seek to know? And what?

The repeated line to the bookshop owner had handed him this book, a cheap text on Norse mythology, and he feels slightly stupid for it. And he's rather sure he needs glasses. But he has nothing better to do, so he combs his hair back, and reads. Salt water spray never quite touches him when it crashes on the rocks, but it makes an effort.

"What will be after heaven and earth and the whole world are burned?" a familiar voice tickles Tavisha's ears, though unlike the last time he heard it speak, it sounds oddly corporeal and drifts in with the breeze, accompanied by the whisper of bare feet brushing against the rock — a noise he might not even be able to detect if it weren't for those ears of his. "All the gods will be dead, together with the whole of mankind. You're very clever, Tavisha, though I doubt that book is going to do you much good. I'm starting to worry you might even be beyond help."

In his peripheral vision, something moves — a flash of gray on white, seagull blundering in for a brazen landing mere feet away. "Of course," the voice adds, "if I really believed that, I wouldn't be making the effort after you so rudely suggested I get lost."

The slap of pages of a book abruptly closing is an audible interruption, Tavisha's large hands clasping the paperback on either side as a voice begins, not for the first time and not for the last, to haunt him. His head turns with sharp paranoia towards where the seagull has landed, and then over his shoulder to see if he is, in fact, alone. Save for the new arrival of the bird, which he all but ignores now, looking back out towards the massive body of water in front of him. "The voice in my head is saying I'm beyond help," Tavisha says out loud - likely to the voice itself, and he's just glad he's somewhere secluded this time. He clasps the book tightly, lifts it until it touches his forehead in a slight smack, a gesture of exasperation. Voice lowers to a mutter. "That's a dire situation." And the book goes down again, and is tossed aside. "You quoted— a poem. This book has them in it. I don't know what I'm supposed to be learning."

"If I told you everything about who you are and what I am, you wouldn't be believe it. All I can do is gently nudge you in the right direction until you're in a position to draw your own conclusions about why you don't remember anything before last week — the end is the best place to start." The seagull edges closer and parts its beak into a shrill aah-aah-aah!, and though it sounds like the bird might be laughing at him, its voice has a mournful sort of tone to it, hoarse and tired.

"You're frustrated," the voice says, "but that's nothing new. You've been like this the whole time I've known you — impatient, hot under your collar, demanding too. Do you still think this is all just a figment of your imagination? Maybe you've been out in the cold too long?"

The cawing of the seagull isn't really something he can ignore - his superior level of hearing aside, there is something especially nagging about the bird's presence, and if he had the presence of mind to think back onto similar times he'd been near such creatures, he'd recognise the pattern. Right now, Tavisha is only irritated, an arm balancing his elbow on a raised knee, hand rubbing at his face wearily. "I don't know," he admits. "I don't know what this is. If I'm just insane or— " He bites down on what he's saying at first, before finally ending it with. "Or just desperate."

And the seagull continues to cry at him, Tavisha impulsively snatching up the cheap paperback, completely forgetting the fact he's technically able to do such a thing with only a thought. He's angry, the seemingly sweet young man prone to a short fuse, it seems, as the book bounces off rock once thrown in the bird's direction.

The seagull explodes into flight, its large wings like a clap of thunder in Tavisha's ears as it takes to the sky once more. But more than that, a brief surge of fear courses through him, striking at his heart in the instant the bird's feet leave the rock, the ebbs away much like the tide pulling the water back out to sea. The book remains where it came to rest, splayed open, pages fluttering haplessly in the wind.

"Insane," the voice murmurs, taking on a freftul edge, "you aren't. Desperate? I'll buy that. He didn't do anything to you."

The fear could be his own, and it is, for all intents and purposes, but the fact that it unravels once more as the bird flaps and flaps away— either makes more sense or less sense than just an irrational stab of fear. Take your pick. Tavisha watches the birds progressive flight away, before swallowing, and reaching over to pick up his book again before it can slide between rock and get ruined. He doesn't open it, just holds it by the spine. "Then tell me who did," he says, bitterly, not expecting an answer. "Tell me why I was on an exploding bridge." A pause. "Are you the girl who went in with me?" Even as he says it, he grows certain - he doesn't remember anything about said girl but the grip of her hand, but it makes a kind of literary sense. The only kind of sense he has.

There's a long pause, presumably as the voice wonders whether or not giving him a small boon would be worth the trouble it will inevitably lead to. "You shouldn't have gone in at all," it finally decides, "but yes, it's her fault, if not for being careless, then for befriending you in the first place, for sending you away to face your demons alone, for abandoning you to imprisonment. You would have been wiser to stay with the other one — at least then you wouldn't be a slave to uncertainty, pale imitation of what you once were."

"The other one," Tavisha repeats, but doesn't pursue it. He knows better. That, and invoking up yet another voice isn't desirable. His bare feet brace against the warm rock, the continual, icy sea spray barely reaching his toes as he circles his arms around his knees, book held loosely. The last part - pale imitation - makes him almost flinch, jaw clenching in bridled anger. "Only because I can't learn from past mistakes," he argues. "There's just— nothing. And ghosts."

"Ghosts?" It's a more accurate assessment than Tavisha knows, and it causes a twinge of amusement to cinch the voice's next words. "Most of us are dead, that's true, but there are some who still live — even when we shouldn't. You aren't the only one who's made mistakes, you know."

When next the sea spray spatters his feet, it leaves them tinged pink, slick with a fine layer of what looks — and feels — like blood. "It still wants you," the voice then adds, sounding subdued, perhaps by way of explanation. "Please be careful."

It's warm, too, and forces his gaze back down from the horizon to where the shining droplets of crimson seem to make pin-fine dots of red on his feet. The reaction is instant, Tavisha scrabbling to stand and almost dropping the textbook in his hands as he does, but by the time he's on his feet, there's nothing to see but glistening water. His steps back leave damp footprints on the rock, and he tries to get his heart rate down to something normal.

Spooked, is the term they use for such a reaction, almost ironic considering the subject at hand. "If there are more of you," he finally says, "then will I find out more about who I am from them?" A pause, and he shrugs his shoulders, despite there being no one around to see it. This is ridiculous, talking to nothing, but it's long since stopped feeling strange, at least. "Or what you're really saying is what you're not saying. That it's better not to know. You know my name isn't Tavisha but you haven't given me any alternatives."

This time, the voice doesn't respond as it has in the past. The answer Tavisha receives is a brief flicker of something he lacks: memory.

The shadow's mouth pulls into a sneer, but anger is clear in its eyes, burning resentment. "Killing must come so easy when you blow the city away when you don't even mean to," it says, a rough edge in its tone, sneer turning into a scowl, a flash of teeth in the dark. "That's what the name Peter Petrelli means. He's the one that ripped New York to pieces, not me, and all because he couldn't control that gift of his."

Tavisha wanted an alternative. Now he has one.

The book falls forgotten when the flood— it's not really a flood, no, but it's a dam breaking, how much memory can one head hold? A lot. The dam breaks, just a little, and his hand drifts up to clasp his forehead, savouring what images he's granted. "No," he breathes out, when it ends, and tries to grasp at the context surrounding it, but there's just nothing there. Nothing he's mastered. "Peter Petrelli," he repeats, hand drifting down and looking towards the ocean as if that might yield confirmation. "No. No, that's not enough." At his emphatic words, a bigger wave crashes against the rocks, spilling water up over as if the tide had come in for a moment, and soaking the fallen book which Tavisha quickly retrieves with a hiss of annoyance. Impatient, check, hot under the collar, check, demanding, check. Control of his gift? Nada.

Whether or not it's enough, Tavisha's fleeting glimpse into the past ends as abruptly as it began, leaving him utterly alone with only the roar of the ocean and waves licking the rocky shore to keep him company. If it could take a physical shape, it would be the water itself, trickling through the tiniest gaps between his fingers until there's nothing left to grasp at except for an empty fist that smells strongly of salt.

The voice, too, is gone.

The once sun-dry rocks shine with dampness, and Tavisha waits, until it's apparent there's nothing more to wait for. With answers that demand only more questions and a ruined paperback in his hand, Tavisha scoops up his shoes and coat in a bundle, and, silent, walks back down the length of the beach, just the way he came. If only all kinds of back tracking were so easy.

February 8th: Parting Of The Ways
February 8th: This Scene Brought To You By...
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License