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Scene Title Dogfight
Synopsis In 2009, two Nathans fell out of a window. This is before, and this is after.
Date July 16, 2009

The Petrelli Mansion

"Mister President?"

Harry Montgomery has two children and a wife who is currently living with her mother, because even the best of the best in personal security can have a broken up home. His suit is pristinely pressed and his expression neutral when he leans into the sitting room of the elegant Petrelli estate, watching as his employer takes a step back from the open window shining dappled July summer light into the room, angled at a late afternoon tilt and highlighting the gloss of polished wood in antique furniture, and you'd never, ever be able to tell that those fine wide windows are bullet proof. Nathan turns to glance over from his own distraction.

It's a watertight situation, guarding the President of the United States. And yet, here he is, saying the words, "Barrett Marcus is here to see you." The unconvinced expression writing on Nathan's features doesn't get seen when he glances back at the dimunitive man he's led from the front door.

Gray eyes dart, rabbit-like, around the parlor that he steps into, his hands nervously smoothing the coat of his suit over the pants — a more expensive suit than he'd ever worn in his life. Wiley Schnook clears his throat when he is introduced to the most powerful man in the country — or at least, what most would consider to be the most powerful man in the country. There are always more powerful sorts that the general public doesn't know. He gives a tentative smile and begins to step forward, his hand outstretched, before he remembers that this is the President, and Wiley is likely to get himself in a headlock if Harry decides that Wiley's attacking Nathan.

He drops his hand and gives a little bob of his head at the man looking at him without recognition. He clears his throat again, and offers in that quavery voice of his that sounds like he's still a 13-year-old boy: "Mister President," he begins. "Nate. It's me, Barry! Barrett Marcus. You remember me from school, right? I called you last week and you said to just stop by?" Of course Nate won't remember. But Wiley Schnook's power will suggest to the president that he in fact does.

There's a hawkish quality to the stare that "Barry" gets, as "Nate" stands stiff like a statue and makes no effort to friendly up to what is, for the next four seconds, a complete stranger, shooting a singularly incredulous look towards Harry, whose attention on Nathan seems to sharp at the slight vibe that there is something very terribly amiss. But it shatters as cleaning as a dropped plate when something clicks, and Nathan's ever-white smile suddenly appears like the sun peaking from densely clouded sky.

"Barry, of course, I mentioned I was coming to New York City," Nathan says, implied recollection filling into space like water, shaping accordingly, conforming. Harry's shoulders relax. "I'm glad you could stop by. Come on, have a seat." And the President gestures, inviting Wiley to sit down, his brown eyes warm in regard, if weary. It helps that he has an added decade to his tally. It helps because details of their mutual history are evasive.

There is a visible drop of Wiley's thin shoulders when Nathan buys the ruse, but he grins as if he never had a doubt. The smaller man darts in toward the seating area, shaking Nathan's hand with a quick up-and-down pump before dropping into his seat. "It's just terrific that our schedules aligned, Nate. It's been years, huh?"

He turns to regard Harry with a smile. "Thanks. Nate here and I would like to talk privately. It'll be just fine if you wait in the other room," he says, then looks over to Nathan with a nod. "Won't it, Mister President?" He grins, as if the title tickles him, and he hums a few bars of Hail to the Chief as he watches Nathan closely.

Rules are only as powerful as the people who obey them, and even simple things like protocol can go dismissed. Those rules crumble when Wiley's blue-eyed stare swings from the security man and around to the President, whose severe features soften a little more in a sort of hypnotised consent, nodding along and glancing towards Harry. "Take ten outside," he advises, with a hand wave, and though Harry has all the right in the world to tell him no, I can't do that, Mister President, he turns on a heel and drifts out the door as so much docile cattle.

Setting into the richly upholstered sofa, Nathan tucks his lightly scarred chin in out of acknowledgement for his friend. "I actually can't stay very long, I have a meeting in an hour or so, and you know how the traffic can be," says the flying man.

"Actually, Nate, that's exactly why I'm here," Wiley says, running a hand nervously through his dishwater-blond hair before pulling out an object wrapped in a handkerchief from his pocket. "I need you," he says, shifting to turn toward Nathan, his gray eyes fixated on the brown gaze of the Commander in Chief, "to take something with you when you go to visit Tracy Strauss."

Unfolding the handkerchief, Wiley reveals the syringe hidden within, handing it to the man. "Take this with you to your meeting. It is filled with a chemical that will negate Evolved abilities. Do you understand?"

His hand moves as if on invisible puppet string, or numb to what his brain is perceiving, not even glancing at the path it tracks as Nathan reaches to take the little implement of plastic and glass, safely capped. "I understand," Nathan tells him, neutrally, his heavy eyelids blinking slow over brown irises as if to clear them of some fogging haze, but he's moving, then, opening up his jacket to slip the syringe into the innerpocket of his jacket. "Take this with me to my meeting with Tracy Strauss. Negates— "

But his placid words short out, features crinkling into a wince. Syringe in pocket, his hands come up to cover his face as if a headache were sparking behind his lined forehead, beyond the neat hairline of bottle-dyed brunette. Probably not expected. For either of them.

With that sudden wince, Wiley's gray-blue eyes widen. "Are you okay? Do you need me to call someone? A doctor?" he asks, his tone querulous as he looks at the President in concern, before glancing toward the door. It's just a headache — why is he suddenly nervous, well, more nervous, about this errand he's been sent on? His gaze waffles between Nathan and the door as he tries to decide if he should flee, his duty carried out.

"No, no, I think it's just a migraine," Nathan says, but— well. His Ma would say that for a politician, he's an awful liar, and there's an edge of reserve in his voice and sudden guard in his eyes when he glances at Wiley through his fingers. A static pause ensues before he can summon up more words, or rationalise, as implanted thoughts and ideas all kind of tilt like careful building structure on a breaking earthquake. His mouth opens again, maybe to ask Wiley to stay put while he goes and gets security a doctor—

It's like a telepathic snap, and it hurts Nathan as much as it hurts Wiley — almost a rebuking kind of smack, psychic electricity from the front of Wiley's skull to the very back of it, tasting metal and seeing in double. It subsides almost as soon as it came, Nathan's brown eyes gone wide with startlement. It doesn't take a precog to know he's about to shout for help.

Because of course the President might have some safeguards against persuasion, against mental attacks, installed there from some Registered safety net. Of course of course.

Halfway to his feet when that snap makes his eyes fly open wide, Wiley brings a hand to his own head, his lids scrunching tight to get rid of the blurred image of Nathan and their surroundings. A moment later, they open again and he's up on his feet. "Stay here and I'll get help," he mutters, unsure if the idea will take hold or not, but he doesn't plan on staying to find out. "I'll get Harry to call a doctor for you."

With that, he's hurrying around the sofa, his hands out of his pockets so anyone can see he's empty handed and unarmed — not that that means much in this day and age of people who can fry one another with the blink of an eye.

Miraculously, the way out is empty, the immdediate hall free of men in suits, of guns pointed at his face, and the sandy-haired persuasionist is allowed to make a break for the door he'd come through, or was approximated to come through — even with his talent, it took a little more preemptive manouvering into these walls to get him anywhere near close enough to do his magic. He was lost, don't you know, came by to see his pal Nate. But when nothing better presents itself, the front door will do.

Behind him, something is happening. He's a goddamn telepath! echoes out the door. Not quite. Or something!

By the time footsteps are beating the floor, Wiley will be running if he has any sense of self-preservation, front door wrenched open as he comes spilling down the outside stairs, close to falling. But he never does, in the split second it would take for him to be tackled, cuffed, hauled off. They don't take chances, unless persuaded to.

But Harry is beating open the door with one thick slab of a hand, gun in the other, and nearly trips over his own feet at the shock of seeing absolutely no one there. Birds twitter merrily in trees. Greasy New York cloud smears out the sun. Barrett Marcus is no where to be seen. Harry isn't wasting time to be stunned, however, already barking orders into his radio that will have the place crawling with suits like a kicked at ants nest.

Seated in the lightly sunny living room, Nathan turns the syringe in his hand over and over as the last of the telepathic safeguard effects wear off like water taken off the boil and set to simmer. They'll advise him to stay at home while they can get some answers. They advise him about a lot of things. But he has a date tonight, don't you know.

With half a smile etching on his features, Nathan slips the negation syringe back into his pocket.

The Shattered Mirror, wherein a meeting with Tracy Strauss occurs. And ends abruptly.

The Sky, above Manhattan

He's spinning out. His heart is going loud in his head that reminds Nathan more of a jet's engine malfunction than a true heart beat. Engine RPM decaying, is a random, hysterical synapse firing as the world turns queasily around him, green, blue, green, blue. Skipping under 6000. Houstin, we have a problem. Is he bleeding? Maybe. From all the glass, but some of this blood isn't his, he shot that motherfucking mirror image twice, and yet he's the one dropping like a stone.

A needle prick into his throat, during their midair grapple. And then vertigo. Nathan hasn't felt vertigo in a long time.

800 feet. 600 feet. He could fly and he was going to die like this. Falling.

Something appears out his periphery, falling from the sky, a black shape, and panicky lunacy informs Nathan that it's a crow or an angel or a mix of both until solid arms suddenly bundled around him. It's someone else, out of nowhere, made of black, cut from midnight, and despite the spinning free fall, Nathan cling to him for dear life. Please, god.

The spinning world vanishes.

He is on his stomach in verdant grass, and is quick to lever himself onto hands and knees before he puked, contents rumbling up from his stomach like an earthquake, greasing like lava on dirt and forest floor. Dizzied, world still tumbling around him, Nathan veers aside, shoulder connecting into the trunk of a tree, and closes his eyes.

When he opens them again, he rolls his vision upwards to deliriously observe the canopy, sun dappled, full of life and birds. Tropical warmth coats his skin like a sweat sheen despite what he assumes the month to be, but that hardly matters. This isn't New York City.

It doesn't even feel like America.

Under the shadow of Cerro de Hierro Negro, Argentina

There is a solitary crunching foot step, a start of an approach, but it guiltily stills when Nathan gives a full-bodied, paranoid jerk and twists around, hands clutching to the grassy ground. Hiro Nakamura stands silent in his long black coat and severe warrior's ponytail, and though his mouth makes no curve of a smile, there's a certain quality of it in his eyes when he gives a short bow of his head in greeting.

"Flying Man."

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