munin_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Dichotomy
Synopsis Great minds think alike, whether you want them to or not. Sylar uses a new ability on Munin with unexpected results.
Date November 15, 2008

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge that connects the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn in New York City at the Narrows, the reach connecting the relatively protected upper bay with the larger lower bay. Before the bomb, this vehicle-only suspension bridge spanned the divide between two boroughs as one of the major through-ways, but shortly after the bomb, this bridge, like many others were blockaded by Homeland Security and used as a Government-Personnel direct access route into the city. Only authorized emergency vehicles and government agencies were allowed passage across from Staten Island, as a measure of keeping emergency traffic flow free.

In the months following, the blockade remained despite the lack of necessity in the matter. By the beginning of 2007 it was deemed that the bridge would remain restricted to government vehicles indefinately until the majority of repair to Manhattan was completed. Currently both levels of the bridge are blocked on all but one lane by concrete dividers that, without the assistance of heavy lifting equipment, cannot be bypassed by vehicles. The bridge remains reserved for emergency use only, though in the beginning of 200, pedestrian traffic was authorized on the upper deck of the bridge between Staten Island and Brooklyn. Tresspassers on the lower deck could be detained by Homeland Security indefinately.

Still maintained and kept in solid working order for emergency use, the bridge is now one of the best ways in and out of Staten Island since the Staten Island Railway ceased operations shortly after the Bomb.

In recent months, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge has become a hotspot for jumpers looking to swiftly and painlessly end their lives by spreading their arms and casting their bodies over its edge. The young woman perched on the railing with her legs dangling into space could be mistaken for one such person by those who do not know her; Munin's mind is occupied by thoughts other than suicidal impulses, and though the expression on her face is a solemn one, her eyes are not without mirth. Arms folded across her chest, gloved hands squeezing at her elbows, she stares down into the inky pit below and listens to the faint sound of water lapping against the bridge's supports.

Her dark clothes — black pea coat, cashmere scarf and grease-stained jeans — make it difficult to distingish or separate her slim shape from the blackness that surrounds it. The distant glow of Manhattan's city lights reflects off the water but isn't strong enough to illuminate much else, which might be why Munin chose this particular location; she knows from experience that Peter Petrelli, if he wanted to, would have a hard time finding her here.

And yet, it allows the other most dangerous man in the city to more easily locate her. Easy, however, is a relative term - Sylar has been searching for quite a long time when discovering the tenement was devoid of the young woman, but full of clues and signs of… something happening. But it wasn't out of true concern or fear that sent him on his mission. Call it dog-like determination and curiousity.

Plus… he has something he needs to do.

Sylar doesn't announce his presence when the fourth place in the entirety of New York yields whom he was looking for. But soon enough, melting so slowly into the relative silence that it might at first be hard to detect, foot steps against pavement begin to sound out. His feet are covered in patent leather shoes, scuffed and well-worn. Dark jeans, almost black, cover long legs, and over that, a heavy dark grey jacket, the same colour and almost the same texture of a rough road. Relatively windswept, his cheeks have colour from the cold, and his hair is mussed, but he doesn't look tired from his trek. Just satisfied that it's brought to a successful end.

If I was to choose how to die, his voice whispers through her head, too far away still to communicate with voices, it would not be like this. Too much time to regret it, and they say drowning, if you survive the impact, is the most painful way.

One of the downsides — if Sylar even wants to call it a downside — of having a disembodied voice is the fact that the person you're talking to doesn't know where to look. Munin lifts her head, her attention momentarily drawn away from the water, and glances back over her shoulder, squinting through the darkness. As soon as she realizes she isn't going to be able to pick him out from amongst the shadows, she shifts her gaze out across the ocean.

"You wouldn't choose to die at all," she murmurs, trusting his ears will pick up the sound of her voice in spite of the distance that stretches between them. "I didn't come out here to jump."

You're right, he responds, simply, and that's all there is for the time being it. Takes almost a full minute for him to finally come into view, but come into view he does. There's more light coming up from the second level of the bridge than the first, and on occasion, the sound of a government vehicle rumbling past sounds out from underfoot. The presence of so many people would shoot him six ways 'til Sunday just below him isn't, apparently, a concern of his.

"So what are you doing out here?" Sylar says, now within range as he joins her at the railing, arms coming to rest down on the cold metal. His hands, too, are gloved - cheap woolen gloves he probably picked up from whatever store closest would sell them, and they seem just a fraction too small, but adequate. In a fidgeting gesture, he tugs them off in small, jerking movements

"Taking some time for myself. I'm supposed to stay away from Ethan's until Dr. Knutson is settled in, and Amato's— " Munin doesn't even know how to describe where her relationship with Amato stands. "Well. The waterfront doesn't spout sermons at me." In her peripheral vision, she watches him remove his gloves, turning her head just enough to get a better look at his face and the colour of his cheeks. It's comforting to see that even Sylar, with all his power, isn't immune to the nip in the evening air. "Did someone send you?" she asks. "Or am I trespassing on your private thinking place?"

Sylar shakes his head by way of answer, first, before looking at her - up, for once, her perching on the railings rendering her taller than his slouch against the same structure. "No," he says, a little firmly. "No one sent me." It's as if he almost resents that remark, a little unfair, considering he actually is here on an errand, but then again, he didn't have to wander New York to complete it tonight. His gaze drops back down towards the dark water below, which, between the light of the sandwiched first level of the bridge and the night sky above them, is a little hard to see in terms of its details. But the sound of it is constant, like a heart beat. "But I went to the tenement, you weren't there. But something happened there."

This time, Munin's response is a long, uncomfortable sort of silence in which she inhales deeply through her nostrils and then lets the breath back out again through her mouth in the form of a thin, silvery mist. She isn't about to deny that something happened at the tenement, not because she wants to talk about it, but because she's a terrible liar. "It wasn't anything you need to be worried about," she says finally. "One of the mattresses caught fire. I left." Both statements are true, though there's something evasive about her tone that suggests they're only a small part of a bigger story. The only physical evidence on her person is her split lip, and she's confident he won't pick this new injury out unless he's specifically looking for it.

When she finally speaks up after the awkward silence, Sylar is watching her. From this angle, no injury is visible, even if he was looking for it, and so it's her tone he listens to, her heart rate, her breathing. "I'm sorry to hear that," he says, in a light tone, the kind he has to put on, that doesn't come naturally - not anymore, anyway. "Kazimir said to take you some place safe and warm but I guess he didn't mean that warm." He leans a little further, so he can see her properly. "Did you find somewhere else to go?"

"Here." Munin swings her legs over the side of the railing and, slowly, slides down until she feels the tips of her toes make contact with the pavement. "Funny how easy it is to slip back into old habits — I've been on the move since I was little." She still is. Physically speaking, anyway. Now that she's back on the ground, the difference between her height and Sylar's is a lot more apparent than it was when she was still on the railing. "I don't mind it so much, and really, it's safer this way."

Sylar straightens his back once she steps back onto the bridge, reaching that full one foot of distance between their heights again. "Safer," he repeats, looking down at her as he stuffs his gloves into the pockets of his jacket. "I see. What happened to your mouth?" The thing is, when you're talking to someone like Sylar, he expects lies. He expects negotiations, and omissions, and sometimes, that paranoia, that the world is denying him things like honesty, pays off.

Munin reaches up, touching two fingertips to the side of her mouth. She'd forgotten about her lip until now, but applying even a little bit of pressure brings back the pain — and with it, the memory. "Oh." A wince. "You know how it is. Boy meets girl. Girl tells boy to go fuck himself. Etcetera. It looks worse than it really is."

"No, I don't know how it is," Sylar says, audible irritation entering his tone, now. But an odd silence comes over him, glancing down at the pavement between his feet, before looking back up at her, annoyance gone. "Fine, it's not my business," he says, smoothly. "But you can at least let me take the pain away for the time being before you decide to go find a box to sleep in."

"This from the man who flinches away every time I try to touch him?" Munin's tone is amused rather than hurt, and not at all unkind. "Don't waste your ability on something as insignificant as a few bumps and bruises. If I needed you to take it away, I would have come knocking on your door." That isn't to say she doesn't appreciate the offer. She gives him a small, rueful smile in return, the gesture half-hidden by the shadows, and puts her hands in her pockets. "If nobody sent you, and what's been happening to me isn't any of your business, why are you here?"

Sylar blinks a few times, a little surprised by her first statement - as if he hasn't realised his own behaviour until right then. Well, that's one way to guarantee he won't do it again. This last question is ignored, and he holds out a hand, bared palm turned up towards the sky. "You said I hurt you," he urges. "You said I meant it. I didn't." He did. At the time he did. But it doesn't matter. "Let me fix that."

Much like Sylar, Munin doesn't expect or even want pity, but the way he chooses to phrase his words causes the young woman to soften slightly, the same way a child might yield if slapped with a mild rebuke by one of her elders. If she were to tell him no, she'd only feel guilty about it later. "All right," she murmurs, reaching out to place her hand in his palm, "if it's important to you…"

"It is," Sylar says, and watches as her hand touches his. For a moment, there's a flash of something like guilt, as if he is quite aware that this is wrong, this lying, to someone who has been kind to him, although the emotion itself, it doesn't surface. Still, that knowledge is there, and he shuts his eyes, clasps her hand tightly, and recalls the squirming gap-toothed blonde woman he'd pinned to a mirror just an evening or so ago.

What happens next is not what he'd anticipated. He'd had his mind pillaged before by telepaths, he knows what it's supposed to feel like, and so expects what it might be like on the other side and braces himself. And Munin will feel a mental tug, and then nothing. Her part has been and gone. But the show's only begin for Sylar.

With a startled gasp, he lets go of her hand and staggers back a step, reaching to grip the bridge railing to steady himself.

Startled, Munin recoils as Sylar staggers back, her hand flying up and away from him. He acts as though her touch has burned him, and she actually has to stop and look at her fingers to ensure this isn't the case. When she discovers that, no, she isn't glowing, on fire, or something equally implausible, her eyes dart back to the man grasping at the railing. There's worry in her eyes, if not for herself then for him. "Did I hurt you?" She may have been half-conscious the last time he used his ability to numb her pain, but she likes to think she'd remember if something like this had happened as a result.

She doesn't.

It's like lights going off in his head, leaving behind flashes of images, impressions, words, confusing, disjointed - one day he'll be able to make better sense of it, but he's not controlling it. He's not even touching her anymore. They're just appearing. And it's frightening. "No, I'm not hurt," Sylar says, although his eyes are clamped shut, like one might with a migraine, and his hand still grips the railing as if needing something structured and strong to hold on to.

He'd hurt her, the other night. Not just the bruises. Beyond that, he'd scared her, and the words and knowledge slowly unravels in his head, and he can tell these are just the wisps of recent thoughts - she pities him as she might pity herself, that uncontrollable urge and hunger— that addiction. They have addictions and she understands it.

Mirror images. Sylar leans heavily against the railing. "I did something," he admits to her. Because she's the only one right now who could help him, starting to realise that this ability is best used in a nice quiet room where he can be alone. They happen to be standing on a public bridge with a government agency controlling the level below them.

What's happening under their feet is just one of Munin's many concerns. She can ask what he did later. Right now, her number one priority is getting them off the bridge and somewhere Sylar can recover without having to worry about HomeSec barging in on them. She steps forward, closing the distance between them, and loops one arm around his waist so he doesn't have to lean all his weight against the railing to remain standing. Her other hand reaches up, takes his, and attempts to drape his arm across her narrow shoulders.

"Can you walk?"

"Yes," he grits out in a tight voice, but her help isn't unneeded. If not to keep himself on his feet, for balance and direction, and Sylar finds himself leaning against her. It's dizzying and disorienting, but he finally forces himself to open his eyes, put one foot in front of the other, and walk. All the while, he's bombarded with thoughts, memories— and feelings too.

The tenement, he remembers it like she remembers it— "Peter," Sylar mutters under his breath, not the sanest of ways to behave, but he's caught up in the way knowledge just seems to bloom in his mind. Not details, and mentally he scrabbles for those details - but it's not his decision and the knowledge occurs to him as it will, like a cookie crumbling.

But he knows that she thought Peter could be close by, her birds, he knows her birds, and she fears him… "I did something that Kazimir told me to do, he…" And he trails off again, jaw clenching. Not just fear, she hates Peter, and he— threatened her. "But you lied too," he says. "You didn't tell me you saw Peter again. What message?"

"I didn't lie," Munin clarifies through gritted teeth. There's anger in her voice, a low growl when she speaks that wasn't there before. Just by listening to the things he's saying, she can piece together a picture of what happened. "If you wanted to read my mind, you should have asked." Not that she would have given him permission. The fact Sylar now has access, however temporary, to her most intimate and personal thoughts doesn't just make her uncomfortable — it makes her bristle outwardly, too.

Realizing there's no use trying to keep the whole truth for him now that his most recently acquired ability has thrust it upon him, she leads him along the bridge — back toward Staten Island rather than Brooklyn. If Peter is nearby (and that is admittedly a pretty big if), she wants to be out of the way, someplace where there are more dark, shadowy places for them to hole up. "I wouldn't tell him where you were. He was going to kill me."

The access to her immediate thoughts is extreme, but it's not going backwards in time. It's just… getting deeper. Expanding. A snapshot of her state of mind when they touched hands that is gaining more and more detail. And not looking like it's going to stop any time soon. "It's not one of those things you just ask for," he points out, with a bit of a growl as well, but not with the same anger either. "Kind of… ruins the point… but for what it's worth, I don't want to see all this. This isn't— " Isn't his intention, especially when he knows exactly how she had felt when he'd slammed her against the wall. That memory, a surreal experience, staring down at himself with that pressure against her chest, a cocktail of confusion and fear.

Is it always like that? For all of them?

But she'd felt more fear for Peter. He'd threatened her with something like Sylar is doing right now, calling on old fears and past traumas of similar if not exactly the same issues of teenage years gone past. "I'll hurt him," he assures her, as they walk, and he stares blankly down at the pavement. "Hurt him for it."

Only part of Munin is paying attention to Sylar at this point. He's a large man, a heavy man, and they're still a long way off from anywhere that even remotely resembles safety. She focuses on the sound of her feet on the pavement and the stretch of cement unfolding in front of them, using the audio and visual cues to distract herself from the fury she can feel swelling up inside of her like a balloon. As tempting as it is to shove him over the railing, she has to remind herself that — assuming he's telling her the truth — Sylar didn't do it of his own accord; Kazimir made him do it, and he's already in the process of being punished for the invasion. "You don't have to do that. I made sure he knew you wouldn't care, so I doubt he'll be bothering me again."

He knows she's not lying - the details are blurred, still, but slowly starting to come to him, what happened. Just not as quickly as he'd like them to come, and everything else he's not interested in is clouding his concentration. "It's a message," Sylar urges, sounding— not sounding entirely sane right now, if he ever does. But that's what happens. "You're meant to reply to messages."

But the conviction peters (pun unintended) out of his voice as more hits him, and his free hand comes up to press against his forehead, although he doesn't stop walking with her, legs moving on automatical, wanting only to sit down and process what's happening.

And he's slowly starting to understand her logic, not through what she's saying now, but how she felt about the event just yesterday. The hand draped over her shoulders grips the fabric of her coat tightly.

It's another few minutes before the pair reaches the end of the bridge, and Munin guides Sylar off the cement pathway, down onto a patch of grass on the side of the road. She's made the journey from Brooklyn to Staten Island by foot enough times to know there's a heavily-forested area not too far from where they're standing right now, but locating it in the dead of night with only streetlamps to guide them is going to be a problem.

"This is all Kazimir's fault," she mumbles under her breath, more to herself than to Sylar, and begins leading him across the grass in the direction she remembers there being trees. "Asking you to do something stupid without stopping to consider the consequences."

"It wasn't meant to work this way," Sylar says, catching her mutter no matter how quiet it may be. He doesn't even look where they're going - outwardly, he's only aware of Munin, and the fact that he's walking. There's simply too much going on inside his head to even factor it in - and he's barely hearing himself talk. "It's called— " His hand tightens again, breath hitching. Starts again. "It's called tactile telepathy. I guess we thought it was mindreading through touch, maybe even mind control— something. Not this. Blame bureaucracy, maybe they didn't even understand it either, but I was meant to. Don't tell him. Don't tell him I didn't know."

Munin's flats splash through puddles and slog through mud as the terrain changes to something a little more rural, slowing their progress down. It's only when she narrowly avoids plowing into a sapling that she decides they've gone far enough. Shrugging Sylar's arm from her shoulder, she turns around and takes both his hands in hers, pulling him down to the ground with her. Above them, moonlight filters through what she suspects are the branches of a cottonwood tree, lending credence to her theory about the undergrowth. It isn't going to get any sheltered than this, not under these unique circumstances or on such short notice.

"Did he tell you why he wanted to go poking around my brain?" Probably a poor choice of words.

Sylar readily sits down - not quite buckling, but not graceful either. He can feel his clothing start to soak up the damp terrain they rest on, but at least they're resting, and it's dark, and quiet, and he doesn't have to walk anymore. One hand stays locked with Munin's and the other comes up to pinch the bridge of his nose, eyes closed. It doesn't hurt, as Munin's thoughts and feelings of the moment continue to smooth over his own, but he doesn't know when it will end, or when it will reverse. He just wants it to go away.

"He just said he was concerned," Sylar says, tone vague. "He wanted me to assess your thoughts, on the Vanguard, on what's happened lately. He says you're important to us." His eyes flicker open and he looks across at her. "So he wanted a closer look."

Munin will worry about the potential implications of such statements in the morning, after the sun has risen. Until then, she's going to stay right where she is — on her knees, beside Sylar, one hand holding his while the other rests on his knee. Leaves crackle as she shifts positions, settling into something a little more comfortable. "Do you believe me now when I say that you can't completely trust everything he tells you?" It's not exactly a rhetorical question, but she doesn't expect him to answer it either. "Keep your voice down."

Rhetorical answer or not, Sylar breathes out a barely audible, "yes" before descending into silence, almost meditative, trance-like, though his grip on her hand is strong and he doesn't seem relaxed, exactly. Time passes by and the night remains solidly black, and every now and then, he shifts where he sits, or his breathing catches, and then after a moment, he leans back a little more, free hand bracing against the damp, leafy ground as he glances up at sky obscured with branches. "It stopped," he says, quietly, but his voice is changed, subtly. Almost as if he were fitting into Vanguard better, American accent pulling back.

The change, subtle though it is, does not go unnoticed by Munin — and even though he can't see it in the dark, her eyes narrow to slits, assessing his silhouette. In a circular motion, she uses her thumb to rub the center of his palm, hoping to either reassure him or distract him from whatever it is his ability is forcing him to experience. "Better?" she asks, following her own advice and keeping her voice low, soft, all traces of anger gone.

"No," Sylar says, bitterly, and that accent remains - the 'o' sound especially is distinctly English, although when he next speaks, it's a confused mix between his own way of saying things and, well… Munin's. The former sounding forced, deliberate, while the latter, bizarrely enough, more natural. "But at least I can think." He glances about their surroundings as if just coming out of a daze, which is mostly accurate, then looks back at Munin. "Kazimir's wrong to doubt you, y'know. I can feel, what you feel about all of us. If it's anything like what you think when it comes to me, anyway."

Munin has always suspected that Kazimir doubted her. Hearing it from Sylar, even though Sylar sounds eerily similar to herself, drives those misgivings home. "You can tell him that," she says, "but I don't think it's going to change his mind." She swallows, pushing down the lump in her throat. This is weird. Incredibly, inexorably weird. "If you can feel everything that I feel, what do I feel about you?" It's a question she's spent a lot of time wrestling with ever since she first encountered Peter in Midtown, and not having been able to consciously arrive at a conclusion of her own, she's interested in hearing things from his perspective — especially now that he's made himself familiar with hers.

"You pity me," Sylar tells her, flatly. But he keeps his hand linked with her's. "Even when I was threatening you, even when I scared you. I don't know, it doesn't…" He squeezes his eyes shut again, which might go unseen in the dark, but the slight twitch of his profile indicates a wince, a flinch. The rocky part is over, but it's not easy still - and it truly is very weird. "It doesn't go any further'n that. Mustn't have been thinking as hard on the subject. But I guess it helps, the pity. 's only there 'cause I'm like you." His voice lowers a note, a rasp edging the words when he adds, "An addict."

Guilt fills Munin's eyes, weighing her gaze down, down, down. There's a reason she never broached this subject with him. It's a difficult subject for her to talk about, and she doesn't feel comfortable passing judgement out loud. She's in no position to tell Sylar what he is and what he isn't, and she doesn't think she could muster up enough courage to tell him he's in serious need of help. "It isn't just the hunger that consumes you," she agrees softly, "it's the process, the ritual. Getting there's just as important as the way it makes you feel. You do what you do because you need to, because it's a part of who you are whether or not you want it to be. And it never, ever goes away. Not even if you stop."

"Yes," Sylar says in a sigh, head tilting back again to regard the sky, which is the clearest thing to see, really. Everything around them is a different shade of black, although his eyes are finally starting to adjust. But compared to the shadows down here, the sky is more of a rich blue with streaks of darker grey clouds that muffle out stars. Vague, blurry, much like the lines between who he is, who Munin is.

"Heroin," he says, simply, as if it just occurred to him. Only took a little… recalling, is what it feels like. Summoning up memories that aren't his. As he speaks, he doesn't bother trying to sound like himself - his voice itself is the same, but filled with accent and inflection belonging to the girl beside him. "You know, I never did a bad thing before. Not really bad. Shouldn't've been so easy to start, but it was."

It's kind of like turning on a faucet, the flood of memory, and Sylar's hand impulsively squeezes around her's, painfully tight. He's seeing things even he doesn't want to see. "Then it's… not worth stopping, is it. If you stop, you're gonna— " He swallows. "See yourself for what you are and it's not gonna be good enough." He's speaking for both of them, and he shudders, and while it mightn't all entirely be over, his accent filters back through for a moment, and he murmurs, "Oh god, Eileen…"

"It is worth it. Quitting was the best decision I've ever made— my whole life." Munin bites back a squeak as Sylar's fingers cut into her hand. "Just because it's a part of you doesn't mean it has to define who you are." The hand on his knee leaves to seek higher ground, trailing up his leg before she places it upon his cheek. Sylar, she knows, doesn't like to be touched — but she doesn't mind it, and he isn't exactly himself right now.

"I let it control me," she says, "and I let it give others the power to control me. Like Kazimir is using your hunger to control you." She pauses, on the verge of tears, and wets her lips which are suddenly feeling very parched. "He knows he'll have your loyalty as long as he keeps feeding it, giving you what you want."

Sylar lets out a laugh, one that's so empty of mirth that it can barely be called one, made audible only in the way it changes the way he breathes. It's hard to disagree with someone whose perspective you now share, if only for a while, and he doesn't flinch away from the touch to his face, and that hard grip on her hand finally relaxes. "Doesn't mean there's much left t'go back to," he murmurs, ruefully. "Not sure I like who I was before all've this. No one else did."

He's never thought like this, felt like this - and he knows, intellectually, it isn't his thinking, or his feeling. But it's so overwhelming that there doesn't seem like any other option, no other way to think and feel. He feels angry at Kazimir, resentment of his own hunger, and knows that the ex-heroin addict still felt sorry for him even after he hurt her. "As for giving me what I want, this is hardly it," he adds, dryly. Finally, after what has likely been a long time, he lets go of her hand to bring both his up to rub at his face, smearing a little bit of dirt there without thinking. "I think it's ending. Hard t'say."

In the darkness, Sylar, still not feeling quite himself, looks at her. "What do we do after this?" Not just tonight.

"I don't know." It depends, Munin suspects, on what Sylar tells Kazimir he saw when he looked inside of her, though she doesn't say this out loud. "You don't have to be who you were before," she says, lowering her hand from his face, letting it join the other in her lap. "But you don't have to be who you are now, either. The world isn't black and white like that. It isn't as simple as saying you're one or the other, Gabriel or Sylar, Sylar or Gabriel. People don't just change. There's no switch we can just flip on and off. I'm Munin, but I'm also Eileen — I'll always be Eileen."

"Kazimir said that hiding behind an alias is a weakness," Sylar murmurs. Munin. While he still has it, Sylar shuts his eyes, lets "his" mind wander back to when "Munin" was first uttered. Before Kazimir, before Vanguard, but all the same… "Yet he doesn't call you Eileen." His accent is slowly starting to filter back, the ride coming to a grinding and very gradual halt. The last thing he says, before the overlay of memory, thought and feeling completely disintegrates, is a whispered chuckle with the one word; "Hypocrite."

It's cold, it's wet, and he draws his knees up a little more, hands resting on his legs. He had all but blocked out his superhuman hearing throughout the duration of this ordeal, but now, he lets in the nighttime sounds of a rural-ish Staten Island. The thought of getting home now, of even standing up and trying to function again, makes him shudder and wish he had blankets to pull over his head, like a teenager on a school day. "I don't want to do that again," Sylar mutters.

Munin leans back, resting her head against the trunk of the cottonwood tree. "I'm not going to ask you to lie to Kazimir about what you saw, but if you tell him how the ability works he might ask you to do it again." Sylar can draw his own conclusion from there. She rubs the palms of her hands together and tries to generate a little warmth through her gloves. When that doesn't work, she adjusts the scarf around her neck, tucking it into the front of her pea coat so the heat of her body can't escape. The cold is something she can deal with — it would be a different story if it was raining. "You can relax now," she tells him. "Rest. The birds will let me know if anyone gets too close."

Sylar just nods. He knows that, and is already formulating exactly how to report back on this. Maybe he can talk to Elias. Pretend like their mission was a disaster. Or maybe just lay blame all on himself - he didn't replicate the ability right.

Or simply just tell Kazimir everything and come what may.

He'll leave those thoughts for morning. Sylar shuffles back just enough so that his back hits the damp trunk of a tree, and, uncaring of the dirt and leafy debris scattered around him, Sylar slouches low. For the first time in the presence of someone from the Vanguard, he lets himself sink into a light unconsciousness. But after being Munin, at least partially, for what feels like all night, he's pretty sure she's not going to slit his throat while he rests.

November 15th: Exciting? Interesting.

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 15th: Moving On Up
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