Every Prophet


angela2_icon.gif aviators_icon.gif brennan_icon.gif broome_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif claire_icon.gif colette_icon.gif corbin_icon.gif delia_icon.gif

delilah_icon.gif edward2_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif else_icon.gif faye_icon.gif francois_icon.gif gillian4_icon.gif s_hokuto_icon.gif jessica_icon.gif

joanna_icon.gif julie_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif lashirah_icon.gif luis_icon.gif lydia_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif matt_icon.gif

monica_icon.gif mitchell_icon.gif niki_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif raith_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Every Prophet
Synopsis Across the country, those affected by the Flash Forward months ago create new ripples and currents in the waters of time, and those distant ripples crash violently on distant shores…
Date August 31, 2010

Delia Ryans & Benjamin Ryans, Queens

12:07 AM

The flickering of the street lights as they pass by, strobe Delia's face through the SUV window. He hasn't said a word to her at all, nor she to him. The silence is heavy, deafening, and too uncomfortable for the youngest of the man's daughters to keep quiet for too long. Luckily there's no traffic. As soon as the vehicle stops, the redhead is out like a shot and up to her room, locking herself in just like she had every night so many years ago. They didn't have much time back then, they don't have much time now.

She stares out to the small glimpse of the water that's visible from her second story bedroom, sniffling once before her tears start again. Streaming in rivers down her face. She climbs onto the windowsill and just stays there, letting her forehead cool against the glass for a few minutes.

Then she hears it. The television being turned on and a classic war movie being played.

Grabbing one of the blankets off her bed, she tiptoes down to the living room and creeps around the couch until she's standing just off to his side. It wouldn't surprise her to find out that he knew every movement she's made since she came home. She stands there for a few minutes, just looking at him, his face younger than it was but still looking weathered beyond its years.

"Daddy? I'm sorry… " She squeaks, crawling onto the couch beside him and curling up against him like she did when she was a little girl. Her red hair is just as bright and springy as it ever was. "I'm scared… I don't want to get hunted. I don't want to die… I should have just listened."

Colette Nichols, Queens

1:20 AM

Aluminum clunks in steady rhythm, the sound reverberates against the bare walls. The smell of kerosene stinks up the air, makes the cloth wrapped around Colette Nichols' face only somewhat filter out the noxious fumes. The flammable fluid soaks into the quilted fabric of a sofa and armchair, splashes along floorboards and the toes of her boots. Stepping across the hardwood floor, Colette throws the can aside once it's emptied, letting it land with a clang against a coffee table dripping with its former contents.

Another can is taken, the plastic top unscrewed and once more the apartment is doused. Kerosene sprays up the walls, sloshes down windows in rivulets and pools on the sills. A second can is tossed aside and a third leaves a fume trail out of the apartment, drizzling wetly across a linoleum floor, up the front of a stove and across the door frame then out into the hall. When the can lands on the floor with a clunk, Colette's gloved hand reaches down to her side, pulling out a rolled up copy of the New Voice Newspaper and a zippo.

Mismatched eyes peer over the cowl of her blue kerchief face mask, down the hall of numbered doors, then back to the doorway she's standing in. Colette's shoulders slack and she flicks the zippo a few times, spark after spark until finally a flame. Swallowing noisily, Colette sets one end of the rolled up newspaper into the flame, watching gray paper turn brown, then black, then crack as fire slides up the paper like hungry fingers grasping for food.

Closing the lighter with a metallic click, Colette looks down the hall of doors one last time, then into the apartment and throws the newspaper into the room. It lands on the linoleum floor and in that slapping motion flames puff to life, spreading across tile and quickly consuming just the flammable chemical. It isn't until things like carpeting and old furniture start to catch that the fire seems like it may actually burn. Given enough accelerant, anything burns.

Flames rise up through the apartment and begin to lap at the ceiling. With the glow of an arson's handiwork at her back, Colette allows herself to bleed away from the world. Light bends around her body in the same way smoke bends around air, whispers her into invisibility as she fades to monochromatic eddies and currents and then is painted away into the background like an unwanted piece of scenery.

Only kerosene dampened bootprints betray her departure, out of the apartment and down onto the street. From the curb, she can see the flames lashing at the windows, crawling up the drapes and burning at the glass. Just a little over two months from now, she'd be laying here on this street, having come out of this building, dying in Tamara's arms. Her rationalization isn't entirely without flaw, but it begs to stand — if the building isn't there, why be here?

Colette always said she'd do anything for the people she loves. With the vision of fire dancing behind an apartment's window, smoke issuing out and no one around in this desolate neighborhood to call it in until its too late… she's proven that point. It was going to burn down anyway, there's no harm in helping it along.

No harm in a good cause.

Lynette Rowan, The Bronx

3:00 AM

Standing over her dining room table, Lynette's palms press down against the wood as she looks over blue prints of Gun Hill. There was at least one passageway out in her vision. She has already marked the spot in a bright red pencil. In high contrast, there's a vial of bright blue liquid sitting by her left hand, just waiting there. Temptingly.

She needs to remember.

That passage, she needs to remember as many details about it as possible, so when she finds her handyman, they can get it right. It's all for the cause. Because if that passage isn't there, the people she's hiding won't be able to get out unseen. They'll get caught. If she doesn't do all she can to prevent that… then she isn't doing her job.

Justification firmly in mind, Lynette reaches over for the vial and sits down in one of the chairs. She pulls over a pad of paper, so she can write down what she remembers afterward, when it's fresh. She makes herself nice and comfortable. She takes a moment to roll up the leg of her pajama shorts, to expose her new favorite place for injections. She carries the marks to prove it. But she's not an addict, she can stop anytime. Really.

Her eyes close as she brings needle to skin, almost savoring the familiar piercing feeling. The thought crosses her mind briefly as she waits for the drug to kick in.

Lynn, you're really fucked up.

Lashirah Lee, Long Island

3:33 AM

Another quiet night in the labs within Fort Hero. Yet there was stirring. The sound of a spoon in a cup of coffee. A lone awake soul leaning back in her chair, considering the changes in her life. And considering a heavy burden in her head, one she hadn't shared with another. Not her enemies. Not Her friends. Not even Ryans.

She sips at her coffee and looks over the text she had written up. She didn't own much. The list of all her worldly possessions was updated with everything she legally owned. She mentally checked off each item, before finally leaning back and setting the coffee down, unfinished as she rubs at her forehead running through the possibilities again. There had to be another reason. There had to be any reason…

Any reason at all, that, while everyone else around her saw a glimpse of the future, Lashirah Lee… saw nothing. A blank void.

Richard Cardinal, Manhattan

4:04 AM

A cat's cradle of many-colored string sprawls across the concrete floor of the basement, stretching between free-standing posts with sand-filled bases to keep them stable, little post-it notes and photographs hung from them here and there like a Christmas tree's ornaments. Those dangling labels bob and dance wildly as another is drawn across the web and tied carefully into place at its end near the heart of the mess of strings. Once it's settled into place, the subtle vibrations that shake the other strings slowly die off, leaving the photograph of Colette that hangs from it to sway gently for a few more moments.

Richard Cardinal rocks back onto his heels like a crouched spider in the midst of his web, regarding silently the knot that marks the ending of a young girl's life long before its time. It isn't the only such knot, as much as he wishes he could say otherwise. His eyes move on, momentarily alighting on an unlabeled string that runs parallel his own - and ends there while his own goes onward.

He doesn't plan on labeling that one.

A push up to his feet, and he picks his way carefully through the tangle of time, leaving those predictions behind to step over to the table where his notes are scattered, thoughts on how to safely unravel the web. DON'T LISTEN scream the words on one piece of paper, Tamara's words certain to make sense in retrospect. But there's not enough information, not enough pieces to the puzzle. He can't see the big picture yet. Just enough to know he's missing something.

Silence reigns for long moments in the otherwise empty basement, and then a guttural sound of frustration and anger rises up in his belly, and he sweeps one hand sharply across the table, sending the papers fluttering in all directions, slowly drifting down towards the floor like falling leaves. He drops heavily into a chair, elbows slamming to the table and head dropping down into both hands, fingers curling roughly in his hair. "I'm not Edward. How the hell can I do this," he whispers roughly, eyes closed, "God, if you're listening… if you listen to me anymore… help me. Please."

As the page on Tamara's solution settles to the floor, it's covered by the transcription of the flash that Jaiden had received on that fateful day, a single phrase staring up at the stark lighting of the basement.

Every Prophet In His House.

Gillian Childs, Staten Island

8:12 AM

Black on white. Sketches are easy to describe, dark lines on white paper, that cross each other and stand alone. This sketch isn't one like Gillian usually puts to paper. Gentler curves, less spikes. Unlike so many others. But she's changed in recent years, new priorities, new tattoos. A clean slate needing to be filled, as she draws a sketch for one such addition to her body.

A sleeping baby angel. Like the cherub she had shot through the heart. And like the dream of a child that will never be, except in image. Born in a world that will never be, except in thought.

The sun shines through the trees, splaying light over the pattern as she flips the page up, to reveal something else under it. Another drawing, of the figure of a man, all she could remember of the vision she got all those months ago. The visions her ability helped spill into the populace. The deaths caused by the blackouts, the Ferrymen who died to get her out of their hands, the lives likely ruined by fractured snippets of futures that may not ever be, like the child that won't ever be.

The notebook gets tossed down, landing heavily a thick leather bag at her side. Future's change, future's die, new futures show up to take their place. Just knowing it could happen changes everything.

If only the present could be changed so dramatically.

Red hair falls into her face as she leans, to reach into the bag, digging around to find two things. A small notebook with a number written on it, and a phone. Dialing the number with her thumb, she shoves the paper back in and waits for the voice on the other side to answer.


"Hi— Um, this is Gillian," she says into the phone, voice raspy from the warmth, even in the morning sun. "Sorry, I'm too deep into Staten for good reception, but… I know it's been a while. If you got time today, can you make it out to the Garden? I have something I want to give you…"

Corbin Ayers & Hokuto Ichihara, Brooklyn

8:15 AM

All cemetaries seem the same at certain times of the day, with the sun streaming down. Rows of headstones of various shapes and sizes and colors, the occassional mourner, flowers and winding paved paths. Corbin Ayers had taken to an early morning routine of walking the grounds, trying to find the right curve of the road, the right incline, but on each walk, he comes up empty. He'd not been paying attention to the placement details enough, his mind hadn't thought about landmarks and locations. There's so many cemetaries in the area, and most of them have similar features.

"I'm never going to find it, am I?" he asks outloud, glancing back toward the sun soaked path, where he knows someone should be standing. "I never did ask you if you saw what I saw…"

Sitting, not standing, on someone's gravestone as if that weren't the most sacrilegious thing she could do. The long trail of her red dress folds in ruffles down the front of the thick granite headstone and Hokuto Ichihara is leveling a gold-eyed stare across the green grass towards Corbin. Wind plays at her hair, as one would expect from a wholly corporeal entity, though that she fits in to the background of this scenery doesn't mean she's really there.

"I didn't," Hokuto admits demurely, as if dancing around a topic all her own, "I was tired… distracted. It's complicated," because most lies are. She slides down off of the headstone, bare feet touching down into the grass, starting to walk towards Corbin, even lifting one hand to brush aside dark hair from her face, as if she needed to. All the details of something real, without the truth of it really being.

"But that doesn't mean you shouldn't tell someone…" Hokuto's suggestion there is, perhaps, a bit overtly suggestive for Corbin.

A buzz-buzz comes from Corbin's phone, vibrating at a text message. The name that pops up makes him smile, faintly, as he turns to walk down the path back to his car. "I think I'll tell her tonight. After I finish up on some paper work." Daphne'd been there when the vision hit, the dream, the conversation with a ghost in front of his grave. But he'd never told her what he saw.

It's time he did.

Benjamin Ryans, Queens

8:22 AM

"You wouldn't believe the increase of people looking to have Wills drawn or updated." A rather portly man, cheeks naturally pink, making him look like a beardless Santa. His reaction to what he says, could border on jolly. He's making a killing, cause of peoples fears. "Yes, sir. Those visions were a godsend, really."

A fedora sits on the end of the desk, next to a man bent over forms. An intense blue gaze runs over the wording, brows furrowed with his mild confusion at the flowery word. Benjamin Ryans came here today, early this morning before work, to update a will. Something he's been meaning to do since Mary was killed, but had dragged his feet on the matter. The vision from November, forced him to act. You don't take prophetic visions lightly.

The laywer's babbling, has him pausing with his pen hovering over the signature line. His head tilts up slowly, just enough to fix the man with a flat gaze from beneath his brows.

Like anyone that has been on the other end of that look, the ruby cheeked man, stutters to a stop, cheeks flaring redder with his embarrassment. "I - I - I am sorry, Mr. Ryans. T-t-that was in poor taste." He pulls a handkerchief out of his coat pocket and blots it across his forehead, now beaded with sweat. "I-i-if you would just sign there." He reaches forward to try and get the Agent's mind off the lawyer's slip up.

The damage is done. Next time, Ryans is probably going to Chesterfield, for now… the pen scratches over the paper, putting his name to paper.

His girls, of course, get everything.

Matthew Parkman & Andrew Mitchell, Washington DC

10:02 AM

"I'm glad you could come down here on such short notice," is a polite way of making a demand seem far less demanding. Standing beside the limp fabric of an American flag, the man looking out onto the front lawn of the White House belongs in this office, but not in the capacity he'd once desired to. Andrew Mitchell may be the Vice President, but he has proven not to be as much the yes man that most Presidents employ for this position. Charismatic, forceful and popular, Mitchell has aspirations for the future all his own. Today, however, this has more to do with the future than Matthew Parkman is expecting.

Turning his back to the tall windows of the Oval Office, Vice-President Mitchell takes a few steps away from the resolute desk, his hands tucking into the pockets of his slacks, dark eyes focused down on Matt. "Now, I've seen some very important names crop up lately, names in discussions that I frankly am worried about seeing. So, I'm here right now to tell you to ease back on the Messiah angle."

Mitchell's brows crease together as his attention comes to rest on Secretary Parkman seated on one of the sofas in the oval office. "What you're about to hear, does not leave this office. Am I clear?"

"Of course, sir." Matthew Parkman stands as if he isn't sure what to do with his hands. They hang at his sides, but there is a tension that suggests he'd rather put them in his pockets, or clasp them together either in front or behind. The result is a slightly twitchy thumb and a tense jaw. It isn't easy standing here with Vice President Mitchell.

But it is what it is. Parkman steels himself, resisting the urge to delve into his superior's brain as a matter of professional courtesy and instead running through several possible defenses. He'd thought he'd followed orders. Done what he'd been directed to do. Done what was in everyone's best interests.

"Messiah's a false flag operation," comes out like smooth silk from Mitchell's lips. "You know how hard it was to get Registration authorized across the board in this country, you know how hard it's been to get the non-evolved registry. We've had to make some sacrifices, as a nation, and getting the populace to agree to the necessary legislation to handle the situation presented by people with abilities has been an uphill battle. When PARIAH was out blowing up buildings, we had funding coming out our eyeballs…"

Which is to say, when PARIAH went down, Mitchell's funding and the government's special aquisitions department didn't have anything to work with in regards to the Evolved. "We wouldn't have the DoEA if it weren't for the Narrows going down in New York. So, we engineered a measured crisis in order to develop the results we needed in a timeley fashion so that we can more properly contain this situation. We aren't talking about civil rights here, we're talking about living, breathing weapons."

By now Mitchell stands beside the sofa, his hands squarely on his hips, attention settled on Matt. "I need you to steer away from the Messiah investigation, at least, steer away from Rupert Carmichael."

Of all the names Agent Hanson and Secretary Parkman had gotten out of their mole - the mole Mitchell asked for - Carmichael's isn't the one that he'd prepared a response for. Neither had he expected the terrorist organization to be a government ploy. Parkman is left with his eyes slightly wide beneath furrowed brows, but he nods slowly as he watches his superior, knowing that too many questions could more than just his own safety at risk.

The implications of that are hard to swallow, but even so, Parkman bends. "Understood, sir," he says after letting it all sink in for a moment.

"Good. Just so you'll sleep better at night, Matthew, I want you to know that everything we've fed Rupert to have his little organization to go after has been a carefully calculated endeavor." Mitchell's dark eyes sweep across the floor in a slow look to the closed doors of the office. "The Pharmatech building in Montana, the CDC building in Chicago, both understaffed and dressed up to look like legitimate targets, but all of the sensative personnel and equipment had been moved out of them, just some token hired guns from a PMC that we put on-site. Acceptable losses. Company databases… you know," but of course mitchell doesn't explain the attack on Building 26 or the Biodynamics building, save for a token addition of, "the only time they're a threat is when Carmichael colors outside of the lines."

Offering an approving look to Matt's acceptance, Mitchell dips his head down into a slow nod. "Their other leader, Petrelli? He was hand-picked by us after he came through Apollo. We had Rupert work him over with his ability for over a week after we picked him up. His desire for minimized civilian casualties have given this the perfect spin for us, and will keep doing so. When Varlane came knocking on your door, I wanted you to keep him quiet and I wanted to see what the agency could pick up on their own."

Mitchell rolls his shoulders and walks around the sofa to stand in front of Matt. "You found out more than I anticipated. So, I'm asking you to lay off… at least until we're ready to make a spectacle out of all of this. Once we're done with Messiah, there will be zero oppisition to the future plans for the… SLC-expressive." The political friendly term is so carefully chosen.

While it may not have been immediately clear, to Matt Parkman one thing was becoming obvious. Maury served the Devil of the Company to do what was necessary, and now he too had begun bending a knee to a red-suited master with horns and a forked tongue. He truly was becoming his father.

It is a sobering revelation.

Peyton Whitney & Lydia Taylor, Roosevelt Island

11:37 AM

A cool quiet floods the room as Lydia's fingers move away from the second in the basic five-card spread, THE MOON — the card representing the past — as her eyes flit to the third card. Her red fingernails linger on its edge, as her gaze finds Peyton's before, once again, returning her attention to the next card in question. "This card," she declares smoothly, "represents the future and what's in store for you beyond what you currently see." Her teeth graze her bottom lip before finally flipping it over.

The card itself is faded, but it contains a picture of a knight dressed in silver coloured armour, riding upon a white horse, while carrying a black flag. At the bottom of the card reads a word in all black capital letters DEATH.

Lydia's lips twitch at the card itself before uttering. "Just breathe," while the tone is more forced than much of what she says, with a hint of warning, it still comes out smoothly with no word more urgent than the last. While Lydia hasn't explained herself to the querent, she knows more than she's let on. "The death card signifies endings and new beginnings. Something in your life will stop and something else will begin. Trust in the new beginning. Bask in the transformation from one thing into the next." Expectantly, her dark eyes turn upwards to meet Peyton's once again.

The card that represented her past had been eerily relevant — illusions and deceptions, aimless wanderings and chasings of fantasy. Peyton, despite her prior palm reading from Lydia, was a skeptic, but the Moon card described her spotlight seeking and her pointless life for the first 20 years perfectly.

It shouldn't be a surprise when the Death card comes up — it's exactly what she expected, really, and yet…

She can't help but recoil, hands jerking off the table; dark eyes stare at that card and then up to Lydia's face as the woman speaks. "Something in my life will stop," Peyton echoes, and she shakes her head, giving a soft huff of a humorless laugh. "Like my heart?"

The transformation wording is pretty — if it were a metaphorical death, or if Peyton believed in the afterlife. "I don't believe in anything after this life. There's nothing to bask in." Clearly she's taking the card literally.

"Peyton," the name is firm as Lydia shakes her head, reaching long fingers to the other woman to squeeze her hand. Her lips press together while her eyebrows knit together with concern. "It might not be literal." There's a pause while her lips press together again in quiet contemplation, the blonde unsure about how much or what to reveal. "You can't let your fear ruin your life. Nothing is certain and not everything should be taken literally! Don't let yourself succumb to it — it's not inevitable… it's not…"

It's forward considering her general cloak and mirrors secrecy, but Lydia's lips curl downwards into a frown. "Please. Just take a breath. Change is coming not necessarily death itself…"

Peyton pulls away, standing and turning, the peacock feather's eye on the back of her neck peering back at Lydia when the clairvoyant refuses to listen and see.

"Nothing's certain. Nothing's written in stone. I know. I know, but he said he'd kill me and now that I've seen it — I know it'll happen. Maybe not on the eighth of November. Maybe we've changed the path enough that he'll find me earlier or later than that, but he will. I know he will."

She turns to look at the cards laid out once more, and gives a shake of her head. "It's all pointless. I'm sorry, Lydia. I wasted your time." She pulls out a bill to pay for the reading, and heads for the door, leaving the fortune teller with the ominous card.

Monica Dawson & Niki Sanders, The Bronx

12:14 PM

What's left of a cheap, delivery pizza sits in its box on the floor, along with a half-gone 2-liter of soda. And Monica is sitting cross-legged next to her cousin there on the floor as well. Monica has yet to really recover her apartment from the whole… sucked into a vortex issue.

With a gentle sigh, the girl shakes her head softly. "It all feels pointless, to draw it all out when all of this is going on, you know what I mean?" Her soft southern accent given the words a little twang. She doesn't seem able to really look at Niki just now. Embarrassed.

Niki's features are sympathetic as she listens to Monica speak, slowly chewing the last bite of her pizza. She reaches across their little apartment style picnic and rests a hand on her cousin-in-law's knee. "What we're doing isn't pointless. And it won't last forever. You have to think about yourself, too. You're… You're still so young. And you have your whole life ahead of you. You don't have to resign yourself to this life."

"It won't? Hasn't there been one disaster after another, year after year?" Monica looks over at Niki with a crooked smile she doesn't actually feel. "My whole life… Nik… That looks like it's going to be from now to November. I know Rich is trying to stop it, but…" But the registration laws have put her on edge over it.

Niki smiles gently, though not to discredit Monica's inner turmoil. "Disaster after disaster, but that doesn't stop the rest of the world from carrying on as though the world isn't falling down around their ears. You could still walk away if you wanted to." And if she'd keep her nose clean. But knowing anyone of the Hawkins lineage, that's doubtful to ever happen.

The blonde's expression turns somber, serious when Monica declares that her life will end in November. She reaches up and cups the side of her face now. Her voice lower, more husky, she says, "I'm not going to let anything happen to you." It's uncharacteristic of Jessica to give physical reassurances, like the way she brushes her thumb over the dark skin of Monica's cheek. "I am watching out for you. If anyone, anyone tries to fuck with you, I will break their fucking neck."

"I don't know if I can walk away, knowing what goes on." Monica is, at the core, a good person. Her sense of obligation and responsibility runs high. And gets her in most of her trouble. "I don't think I could ignore it like that. And people I care about being in the thick of it." That means you, Niki. Niki-slash-Jessica.

When the blonde's hand touches her face, Monica has to blink away some tears before she makes a great big fool of herself. "I'm glad you are," she says, an genuinely so. She doesn't seem to care if it's Niki or Jessica or whoever's in charge at the moment, because this woman is family either way. "I'm really glad you're here." Oops. One of those tears does sneak out to slip down her cheek. But the younger of the two shifts to lean over and pull Jessica into a hug.

Jessica returns the hug in kind, passing her hand over the back of Monica's hair the way she would soothe Micah in times past. "It's okay," she murmurs, her arms tightening protectively around the younger woman. "I've got you."

Niki stands watching the pair, a reflection in a window. A tear slides down her own cheek, her heart breaking for Monica's distress. Jessica fixes her other half with a stony expression, full of promise to make sure she doesn't fail to protect Monica the way they failed Niki's son.

Harve Brennan, Manhattan

1:12 PM

"Oh my god! He's gonna jump!" Someone screams, hand thrust in the air and pointing an accusing finger up in the air towards the person who clings to the top of a tall building in the financial district. They let go, body plummeting down, throwing themselves out and away from the building.

He lands with a crash, a sickening thud and crack of bones while people shudder and stare in horror. The roof of the car indented from where 160 pounds of human weight slams into it at terminal velocity at the sound of a collected scream from those who witness. Brennan, fresh from the coffee shop across the street, abandons his caffeine concoction, dashing across the street and forcing his way through the gathering crowd, proclaiming that he's a doctor.

Odds of someone living through that is low, very low and even as he scrambles up the hook of the crown vic that had the misfortune of parking there, he can see the pulse of blood that leaves the body of the middle aged man who blinks glassy eye'd, lips moving in a near breathless as Brennan's hands come down in search for vitals, asking the man his name, yelling for someone to call 9-1-1 when he finds fading lifesigns. The death rattle, exhale of breath, Brennan nearly face to face with the dying man, he can see that it's useless and the words that the man spoke, his last ones, leave a shocked look on his face.

"What did he say?" A woman who's come forward to help Brennan. "He said something, what did he say?"

Brennan looks at her, then back to the now dead man. "He said he didn't want to kill her. That it was the only way to keep it from happen" The words spoken in hushed disbelief. "November. He was going… to kill his wife"

Hokuto Ichihara & Angela Petrelli, Manhattan

4:35 PM

The windows here are new, they'd been replaced almost two years ago now. But the office is so much the same as it always was, from her husband's desk to photographs of her boys standing side by side and smiling. They hadn't been her boys in so long, they'd become names and statistics and dopplegangers. One photograph, though, of Nathan and Peter together at Nathan's wedding will always remain iconic of the life they had.

Photographs of Daniel, Arthur and Angela together on Nathan's nomination to the position of District Attorney brings back more painful memories, while the image of Charles Deveaux and his little girl Simone together before Charles was wheelchair bound all evoke different feelings, remind her of different choices. That is the burden of being able to see the future and not know the future.

On July 10th, thousands of people in New York City began to understand what it's like to be Angela Petrelli.

Angela picks up the picture of her sons at the wedding, framed in gold, and turns to lean her hip into Arthur's desk as she curves her thumb around one corner and feels the muscles in her mouth tighten until they're sore. Her other hand goes to her chest, and she curls in the tips of her fingers, squinting against the late afternoon light reflected against the picture's glass surface. Through the glare, past her boys in their smart black tuxes, she can make out the shape of Arthur's back — all broad shoulders and thick, sturdy arms — and the familiar profile of the face that sat on the pillow beside her for more years than both Nathan and Peter have been alive.

Like his ashes, her family has been scattered to the wind.

The reflection in the portraits glass is her first greeting, a woman peering over Angela's shoulder that wasn't there a moment ago. But once eyes are peeled away from the photograph of happier days, she's visibly seated atop the desk — or at least that's the impression that Hokuto Ichihara conveys. One leg is crossed over the other, a backless red gown fit more for a formal function wrapped tightly around her body, ink black hair spilling down her shoulders in loose and wild care-free style.

Gold eyes, the kind that would belong more on a cat, stare out from behind the dark fringe of her bangs. Unified from the dispirate portions of her own fragmented mind, Hokuto Ichihara's phantasmal form isn't a surprising ghost to be haunting Angela Petrelli. In a way there's some kindness in this confirmation of some semblance of life after death. They may not share the exact same ability, but the similarities outweigh the differences in that respect.

"I never kept photographs," sounds like a lament when the dreamwalker offers it, her hands flattening against the desk's surface, her presence on it not disturbing any of the paperwork. There but not there. "I can see the appeal, now." Dark lips pull up into a smile and gold eyes are shadowed by downcast lashes. "How can I help?"

"There you are." Angela's lips crease around a wan smile. She sets the photograph back down on the desk with a gentle click of metal against glass, but does not reach out to touch the younger woman's cheek or brush her bangs from her brow as she might have done when she was still alive. "I had begun to wonder."

When she eases away from the desk, it's with the deliberate slowness of someone whose pride is the only thing keeping her ahead of her age, though it's only a matter of time before that, among other things, catches up with her.

And it's with this in mind that she turns her gaze out the office window and focuses on the skeletal tomb that is Midtown. "I've seen how all this ends for me," she says. "There's no changing it this time. So very little we can do."

Worry replaces feline amusement in Hokuto's eyes, dark brows crease together as she eases off the desk, bare feet touching the hardwood floor. A few scuffing footfalls take her to Angela's side, one hand on the elder's arm, gold eyes downcast to the photograph, then back up again slowly. "You always have a plan," seems almost like desperation for confirmation. "Don't— don't give up hope just yet. Besides, you wouldn't have expected me here if there wasn't something I could do for you."

One black brow raising, Hokuto gives that arm under her hand a gentle squeeze, gold irises intently leveled on her former mentor's far less vibrant ones. "I owe you… so much, Angela. It's high time that I repay th debt I owe you for having protected me as long as you did… for better or worse." Keeping a djinn like Hokuto Ichihara bottled up was eventually going to come back for Angela, either to be the wish she needed granted, or the curse she'd long deserved. The form of payment hasn't yet been decided, but with the Nightmare Man gone, odds are errign in the favor of the former.

Hokuto was always fond of the notion of wish fulfillment.

"I dreamed too big," Angela says. "I want to end small." She places the tips of her fingers on the back of the hand at her arm. "My son was involved with a woman named Gillian Childs, who used to work at the Lighthouse on Staten Island. You won't be able to convince Fulk to abandon it, but there are others.

"When the time comes to take action, I won't be in any position to help them, and neither will Daniel. I'll need you to speak for me and help Miss Childs make whatever arrangements are needed before the world finishes falling apart."

"I know her," Hokuto admits with a hesitance and guilt in her voice, though her hand does not falter from Angela's arm, "I'll— make sure it happens." Worry paints itself visibly across the dreamwalker's face and as she looks down to that photograph of a broken family, there's a tension that rises into her voice as she talks. The mind can be just as strained as the body, and it is reflexively displayed in her mannerisms. "What about you?" It's the obvious question, one that the hand at Angela's bicep urges to be answered with a gentle squeeze.

"I'm not… just going to leave you to fend for yourself when whatever comes, comes. I— I won't abandon you, you stayed by my side when it would have been easier for you to just lock me up in Level-5 and never let me see the light of day again. I will not trade my freedom for your imprisonment," and that much is just like her father's stubbornness.

"Tell me what I can do for you," because in Hokuto's view of the world, there always is an anwser, a way out.

"Convince Heidi she should leave my son. I don't want the children anywhere near him."

Faye Crawford, Red Hook

6:10 PM

A picture of a young woman sits against a desk, framed in dark brown and covered in glass to protect against dust. Faye Crawford didn't have a picture to look at a year ago, didn't even know her daughter's name. In many ways, she knows it changed everything for her. And on November Eight of this year, she could lose it all, or her daughter could lose it all. In a single moment. A minute that may change, or may not.

Fingers run over the smooth glass, leaving a slight smear, before she looks down at the printed letter.

Operations Director Kershner,

I am tendering my resignation as Unit 01, Squad 2 Communications Officer effective on the first of November 2010.

I appreciate all the oportunities that I have been given as an Officer in FRONTLINE…

Before she finishes reading, she glances away, to look toward the picture, focusing her mind toward the small sensation in the back of her head that tells her that her daughter is still there. When she looks back down, she folds the single sheet gently, hiding the words under a field of blank white.

Tasha Renard & Joanna Renard, Manhattan

6:35 PM

Tasha's turning to leave, passing through the office door even as Joanna is tapping away at the keyboard, her screen showing the dates for a cruise through mexico at some blurred out cruise line. The attorney adjusts her reading glasses, the dates set for the last week of october, and information for three tickets all set out in perfect order on the screen.

It isn't until the doors close,d Tasha gone and left Joanna alone to her scads of work and to press the pay button for the cruises that Joanna hesitates. It takes two seconds, lickety split, change the dates, make sure that it's all set. For all that she promised Tasha they'd be refundable, they won't be, as she clicks pay this second time around.

A screen changes, approval processed and a thank you for purchasing, have a great vacation Ms Renard, your credit card has been deducted for November 5th till November 11th. "The only way, to make sure nothing happens" Joanna murmurs to herself before turning her chair to start heaping her books back on her desk. Vincent will help make sure that their daughter shows up. "This or arrest" She murmurs again. "This… or arrest"

Else Kjelstrom & Delilah Trafford, Roosevelt Island

7:37 PM

From the Octagon, a sunset view is both beautiful and unsettling.

Through large windows orange rays of sunlight spill like streamers between the jagged western horizon. Manhattan's scar stands skeletal against the setting sun, a silhouette of the past catching rays of fading sunlight between broken fingers of concrete.

A silhouette all her own, Else Kjelstrom stands with one arm braced against the window, her forehead touching her forearm, watching the sun set through narrowed eyes, dark lashes filtering the bright sun's rays. Straw colored hair is pulled back into a messy bun, the apartment is spotless and a mop slouches against the island in the kitchen as if it too was exhausted by Else's obsessive cleaning compulsion. She cleans when she's upset, she cleans when she's worried.

The apartment has been very clean as of late.

Samson, the man of the house, has also been very clean. If only because at that point he won't dirty things. He hates the smell of dog shampoo, for the record. He also hates anxiety, as most dogs do; anytime that Else is like this, he takes to following her around while she mops- unfortunately in the way- and cowing around when she stands still. Right now he is sitting beside her, his broad shoulder on her leg and long, thin tail thumping sporadically onto the carpet. He cannot appreciate the view as much, but he is looking between it, and the woman at his right, brown eyes flickering up and down again if he thinks she is looking.

Delilah usually bears with Else's compulsions, to a degree. If it is too much, she will say it aloud; if it is just right, better that than something like drugs. She helps, sometimes, if Else lets her. Right now she is putting away various dishes from the washer, the air seeping out of the kitchen warm and somewhat sticky with that residual scent of detergent.

"Over In Killarney, many years a-go…" Delilah chimes into a spoken melody, rather than hum as she puts the glasses away. Else has moods that are either easy to fix- or very hard to fix. Perhaps she is testing it. "Me Mother sang a song to me, in tones so sweet and low…"

"You're not even th' least bit concerned?" It sounds a bit accusatory, almost like Else lobbed those words at Samson. However when the blonde finally turns her head, chocolate brown eyes are peering askance at Delilah thorugh a few errant locks of light hair. "I ain't never seen you crack, like… not once. Y'like some weird alt'nate reality redhead tha's all level-headed n'junk. Where's your pepper?"

Letting her arm slide down the glass, Else leans away from the window, carefully stepping over Samson's tail on a meandering path towards Delilah in the kitchen, her shadow pantomiming her motions against the far wall. "This whole city's gon' t'shit in a few months… m'so bloody worried about it that— " she cuts herself off, and in that silence Else bites down on her bottom lip and looks aside to the windows again, staring at her own muted silhouette. "M'sorry."

Delilah waits until Else has finished, keeping silent and inward, considering her words. Else apologizes, and Dee looks over and shakes her head once.

"I'm worried too. But I'm not about to let it ruin the rest of my life. And I've got pepper, you know that." She smiles, looking back to close the door to the dishwasher. "Don't apologize though. You've every right to be as worried as you wanna be. Everyone copes differently." For Delilah, it seems to be pretending to ignore it, and taking care of it when she is alone. Her voice goes from lighter, to steadier, and finally to as solemn as she can muster. Her brown eyes turn to gaze out of the window at the city, and back to Else."You say it as if this is all normal, though."

"In fact, a friend of mine asked me to leave the other day. When the baby is born, or before, I'm not sure how she meant it. She has an empty place in Munich, apparently. I am not sure what to think of it."

"You weren't there," sounds guilty when Else finally admits it, looking at her socked feet instead of her flatmate. "Andy an' I were… ridin' out of the city in his pickup, caught in the traffic flow of people wantin' t'leave everything behind. Y'weren't there, Dee. I dunno why y'didn't go with us, maybe it was b'cause of th' baby, maybe somethin' else," shuffling forward, Else makes a hesitant approach to the island, leaning over it and wrapping her arms around her midsection. "I'm scared tha' I'm bein' a coward an' runnin' from everything… tha' it wasn't jus' cause've your baby, but b'cause I left you behind."

The guilty tone of Else's voice doesn't leave, though silence between words hangs as heavy as Delilah's belly as she looks down at the marble countertop with a crestfallen expression. "I've been havin' trouble writin' things lately… songs, music an' all'a that. It's like… it's just not comin' t'me. I think it's the stress." Brown eyes flick up to Delilah, and Else's lips creep up into a rueful smile.

"Don' let me abandon you, Dee…" Else's hushed plea sounds a bit ragged, admittedly. "Or— I dunno, a'just don't wanna' miss your little man comin' inta' this world. He's gonna be somebody special, y'know?"

"I wasn't there because I was being taken to the hospital. I saw it. He was born en-route. You didn't leave me behind. Not really." Delilah takes her time in answering, leaving out some choice parts as to avoid worrying Else even further. She watches Else from across the counter at first, before sidling around the end of the island. "I know he will be. And not just because some creepy fella told me so." Her hands lift out and crook at Else as she moves closer. C'mere!

"I want you there, if you want to be. You were there when I found out, figures you should be around when he comes out, right?"

Looking up to Delilah with a weary smile, Else threads blonde hair behind her ear and leans away from the island, stepping over to the redhead and wrapping her arms around her. Hiding her face away in Delilah's shoulder, Else exhales a breathy sigh and shakes her head slowly, brows furrowed and eyes shut, fingers curling into Delilah's shirt for just the barest of moments in that embrace. "You're a good frien', y'know?" There's a hushed laugh at that. "A'course y'know, yer' Delilah bloody Trafford."

Leaning up and away from Delilah's shoulder, Else slowly starts to unwind her arms from around the heavily pregnant mother-to-be, then slides one hand down to rest on the full curve of her stomach. "This little bugger Walter s'gonna' grow up nice an' awesome," she says in a hushed tone of voice, shaking her head slowly and closing her eyes. It's harder to notice that they're a milky white in coloration when hidden by dark lashes.

"He'll come chasin' shadows. He'll come chasin' shadows down, down, down…" is whispered quietly as she moves her hand over Delilah's stomach, "He'll come huntin' season, he'll come seein' red, he'll— " her voice hitches, eyes open and quickly shift from white to brown, like milk washed away from the surface of water.

"Bugger kicked me."

Claire Bennet, Ruins of Midtown


The New York Public Library has been an empty shell for the most part since the bomb, only housing a few people over time. One of those had been EndGame. At least til the winter over took them. Last time, Claire Bennet had been here was to help the group move important stuff.

After that, she had been told to stay undercover… deep undercover. Never seen Cardinal whole and alive… she feels out of touch.

The step of her boots echo around her in the abandoned base of Endgame. Claire doesn't know what had her hoping against hope that maybe someone would still be there. She's not surprised they all moved on elsewhere. There is a touch of homesickness here.

She comes to stand in the middle of the map room, eyes searching the room, before she reaches under her black leather jacket to pull out a knife. It had been a gift to her from Bones, one of his attempted romantic gestures. That thought brings a small smile to her face, and hot tears prickle at the back of her eyes.

Something that she should have cherished, is stained by the vision she had. The memory of using it to cut an innocently mans throat as he begged her not to. A man she knew didn't deserve what was happening to him.

Claire never saw herself as the type to do it. Bad people like Autumn, yes. Not some poor schmuck on the street at the wrong time.

Her eyes burn with the pressure of tears that have never been spilled. With a despairing wail in the back of her throat, Claire throws the knife away from her. The action, bumps her back against the wall and she slides down it to sit heavily. The sound of the knife clattering away is odd, since it is not truly made of metal, and it echos back to her ears.

When it lays silent, tears well up into the regenerator's eyes, spill over and down her cheeks. Here no one will see her cry, to hold her and give her a shoulder. Claire buries her face in her hands and starts to sob softly. However, the dam is broken and all those emotions she's been holding inside what to be expressed. So the young woman's crying gets louder, and become almost uncontrollable.

She slides along the wall til she can curl into a ball, on her side, and cry herself out… alone.

Kaylee Thatcher, The Bronx

9:45 PM

It's late at night, the world seem so still, only the occasional sounds of cars as they pass and the wail of a police car. This night, Kaylee can't sleep.

While she acts like everything is alright, after just about dying in the past, the nightmares have been keeping her up at night. Kaylee never thought it would be like that. Her own personal hell, even keeping is a secret from Joseph. It got her thinking about another moment in her life. Of something that could happen in the future, a vision given to her by the pastor, while he was in Institute care.

Her death.

…I told people I saw nothing, but that's not true. You know that, you saw. What happened is still clear in my memories. I could feel my life draining from me, the chill settling in. I remember the feel of the blood seeping between me fingers, sticky and wet.

I don't know if it'll happen, but I can't take the chance. But should I die on November 8th… I want you to know what I have been keeping to myself. Feelings I've had for you, but I'm too scared to voice. You probably already have an idea, but this way I won't have to see your reaction — especially if it's bad — but you'll know the truth.

It bothers her… and even knowing her time is short, Kaylee can't seem to speak up and say something to the pastor. To tell him how she feels about him, emotions that have endured a whole year. So it makes it that much more confusing that Peter's name left her lips as she died. He's not the one that is always in her thoughts.

So… she sits at a desk writing, with paper and pen in front of her. Eyes blurred with unshed tears, as she tries to puts the right words to paper.

It all started, when Sheridan kidnapped you…

Two envelopes sit on the desk she's sitting at. One is sealed and thick with the folded note hidden within and Peter Petrelli written in Kaylee's hand writing. The other has Joseph Sumter written on it, laying open waiting for it's burden. They will get tucked safely, in a drawer or stuck between books on the bookshelf, till the day arrives.

Just her preparations for what might happen… to clear her conscious before she goes… where ever she's bound in the afterlife.

… I know I should have told you all this face to face, but I didn't want to lose a friend, cause of a silly crush. Besides, you are so much a better person then me and deserve someone that hasn't done so much wrong in her life.

Francois Allegre, Manhattan

11:00 PM

Putting pen to paper is somehow easier for confession than it is to say out loud — Francois made a bad Catholic once before, and stopped trying sometime in the forties. He can't recall who he's told. Melissa, maybe, who hadn't blinked, maybe assumed drama. Teo, who thought it was a fairly nice vision.

I remember my hands the most, even more than the letters I had written, or the woman I don't know. My hands suddenly lined with all the years they have worked, and one was scarred, still, which makes me believe that things are already changing, but I don't know what could have changed except knowledge. How do you stop yourself from aging? Even fifty, sixty years of aging in the time of two months? There had been moments earlier when I felt like I could disappear from time altogether, like there are larger things at work that know I am an intruder.

Perhaps this is the same process, the years I have cheated coming down upon me, withering me. December, 2010, I am ash, unremembered.

A hesitation, before he draws a neat line across the page, indicating a break of thought, lazy and impatient.

When I think of the other one, I remember how there are people I once loved and recall them without loving them anymore, but that is because they are dead. I feel like fond memory.

I miss him so

The thought stalls out before it can be expanded, and Francois pitches the pen aside, rubbing his face with the journal open in his lap. There is a glass of wine by his bedside — or there was. There's mostly just a glass, now.

Why he's putting the dusky leather bound journal into this wooden lockbox is beyond them. Aside from the girl-shape that exists upstairs, and even then, why should she care, there is no Italian with compulsive hands to pick up a set aside book and harvest private words for himself. Still, habit is habit, and Francois unlocks the wooden box to slot the journal within.

This time, something different happens. As the leather spine of the journal nudges up against the lid, and the wooden inset within angles downwards, adhesive coming loose with its age and making Francois start, mouth twisting in regret. Tipping the box back, he begins to push it back into place before, upon the realisation that it won't stay without proper application, he removes the inset altogether, studying the thin layer of pine, the approximate colour as the rest of the box.

It doesn't hold his attention for very long before something else catches it.

Engraved by knife edge into the inner of the lid, too rough to be something produced by the carpenter that put the piece together, is the etching of numbers and words.


Avi Epstein & Jensen Raith, Staten Island

9:30 PM

This deep into the greenbelt, the forest swallows up much of Staten Island. Parked in the middle of a stretch of dirt road halfway between what opens up into the Rookery and the lights of the Reclaimed Zone, a tan Jeep Cherokee sits dark and alone. The forest has swallowed up the city here, or so it looks. The bough of trees on either side of the road meet together above the dirt, blocking out the night sky overhead.

Leaning up against the side of the truck, Avi Epstein looks conspicuously like he belongs in this environment. The battered leather of his old brown jacket compliments the shade of brown of his truck, though a few darker, mirrored sunglasses slouched down the bridge of his nose, squinting to see with his one good eye in the dark.

The only light comes from the display of his digitla watch, glowing firefly green when he looks down to the time. Being alone on a dirty road at 9:30 at night on Staten Island is something most people wouldn't ever choose to do. Had Jensen Raith not had a strict taste for out of the way meeting spots, Avi wouldn't be here either.

Unfortunately, this really can't wait.

It's fortunate, also, that it isn't left waiting long before the silence of nature is broken by the low, distant rumble of a diesel engine. Avi's watch may be the only artificial light, but the stars and half-moon hanging in the sky do just enough to illuminate the area so that, even with its lights turned off, the outline of the truck is visible when it's not covered by overhanging tree branches. And from a distance, there's something not quite right about the outline of the truck when it is visible.

When it finally rolls up and its dull roar dies away, it's suddenly plain what exactly was 'off' about the truck's outline. This isn't the usual truck the Remnant cruises around it, but is a newer model that has been converted into a technical fighting vehicle, small metal plates bolted on top of the engine compartment and over the doors to the cab, with the most obvious conversion being the pintle-mounted heavy machine gun in the truck bed. Only by Raith, only on Staten Island would this even be considered possible in New York City.

The driver's side door opens after a few moments of silence from the engine, possibly the driver waiting to make sure that the forest around him doesn't suddenly fill the view of his aging night-vision equipment with muzzle flashes and bullets. But finally, he steps out, walks around the front of the truck and, removing his goggles, regards Avi Epstein. "You're early," he says. Of course, neither of them is early.

Brown eyes, one glassier than the other, regards the monster of a truck with a moment of silence. A lot of words could fit properly here, though "Okay," seems both the most sarcastic and the most appropriately timed. That he's surprised he's not surprised is worrisome for Avi, this sort of juxtapositioning of sanity and insanity — in measures he's not sure of the distribution of — has become the norm.

"I just got my unofficial new marching orders," Avi explains as he walks alongside of his Jeep, hands tucking into the pockets of his jeans. "Avi Epstein is going to remain in DC for a while handling some very attractive closed-door meetings with more government suits than I'd like, discussing terror readiness and application of special forces training on civilian law-enforcement or some bullshit like that."

But, Avi Epstein isn't in DC, or some bullshit like that.

"Unofficially, I've been kicked to the curb and given a cover identity. They've got me doing security consulting for the FBI indefinitely here. You're looking at retired Air-Force Major Isaac Camden, apparently. Because they can't well have two of me running around logistically." Avi halts by the bumper of his jeep, arms folded across his chest and head bowed.

"So, like… I can't stay at my apartment in Brooklyn and it's gonna' be a couple weeks before they get a cover residence in place." Avi reaches down to push his sunglasses up the bridge of his nose. "Do, ah… you have a spare bed for a couple weeks?"

For several seconds, Raith is quiet. He's not taking a great deal of time to think about this change of events, not especially, and that would be evident if his face were clearly visible. Rather, he gives a heavy sigh and then turns and walks a short distance away, sitting down on the front bumper of the truck. "It starts," he says, "Adrianne's next." It's just sinking in, the fact that slowly, the three Royals that the agency could never completely control are being replaced with one that they can. Or at least, one's the agency thinks it can control.

"Camden, huh?" the ex-spy follows up, checking the rest of the information. "Could be worse names, I guess. Least it won't keep you from finding a mattress to fall down against." Sounds like an affirmative as far as lodging is concerned.

Exhaling a ragged sigh, Avi runs one hand over the back of his head. "I've got a lot of shit to deal with on craphole island, and right now the last thing I want to do is worry about sleeping in a pillbox or a fucking urban foxhole with a gun under my pillow." There's reluctance in Avi'a voice, a tightness in his neck and shoulders that isn't going away. "I gotta' talk to your man too, caterpillar-one?" One of Avi's own brows goes up at that notion.

"You think you might be able to do whatever dance you've gotta' do t'get him to show up sometime?" Then, looking back at his Jeep, Avi makes a disconcerted noie in the back of his throat. "I can give you Ruskin, if you need something in return." To that much he doesn't mean Eileen.

In response, Raith raises up one hand to indicate, 'No.' "I've got somewhere else you can stay. Somewhere that doesn't need Gabriel's permission. Somewhere that he's not going to be in." Translating to, 'somewhere that's actually safe.' "There's another leftover from the Vanguard there right now. Salucci, if you remember him at all. He's still kind of a pill, but he's cleaned his act up. He also had to give up suits, maybe you two can form a support group, or something." Just as it's apparent that Raith genuinely wants to help his brother-in-law out, it's also apparent that it's not easy for him to wisecrack the way he normally does. The year's been tough on everybody. "If you need to stay longer than two, just say so. Stay as long as you need to. Or as long as you want to. You know, if you, really like it, or something."

"Salucci?" Avi echoes with both brows furrowing, "yeah, you know… I actually have some thumbs to put screws to with that one, so I think some one-on-one time with the pious little pill might be a good time." But it's odd for Avi to consider the ramifications of his actions, Jensen's generosity, and yet still affirm, "I also still do need to talk to caterpillar-one."

It doesn't sound like he really wants to, unless it involves pliers and one of Gabriel's eyes.

"I gotta talk to him about his buddy up in Washington that's wearing all my nice suits and sitting in my window office." Avi's lips press together with a thin line, then hook down into a frown. "Because I'm starting to get nervous with how close his ass is getting to real people in power. The last thing we need is that basket-case in the Senate or something."

Now that it's been brought up, the silence that passes might indicate that now, Raith is becoming concerned about it, too. "How do we know he already isn't?" It's far from an innocent question, really. It might actually be the worst question to actually need an answer. "We both know Sarisa would let him do it, if she thought she would benefit from it. Maybe even if she didn't think she'd benefit from it."

There's a grumble in the back of Avi's throat when Sarisa's name is invoked. "That," Avi grouses with a wave of one hand in the air, "I'm not even going to specu-fucking-late about because I like to be able to sleep at night, even if I have to have the creepy bad-touch priest looming over my bed saying his fucking hail Mary's or whatever." Lifting up a hand to rub at his forehead, Avi just looks tired. As old as he is, he isn't cut out for this line of work anymore.

"Let eyebrows know I wanna' talk, and…" Looking down the road, Avi hesitates, then looks back to Jensen. "I guess I'll follow you out to this safe house of yours."

Though it's dark, there's something in Raith's voice that lends to the image of him giving a knowing, wry grin when Avi mentions following him out. He asks, with a familiar, carefully measured enthusiam, "Sure you wouldn't rather ride shotgun?"

Pausing mid-stride, Avi looks up and over his shoulder to the truck, puffs out his cheeks with a sigh and slowly shakes his head. "Nnnn— I, ah, I'm gonna' take my chances with the rattly floorboards and loose clutch. No offense to your Mad Max mobile, but…" there's a slow shake of Avi's head. "I don't think I'm quite in for the full penny and pound yet."

There's a flash of a smile that Avi thinks is charming and Raith realizes is just oblivious.

He's already in all the way, he just doesn't realize it yet.

Jean-Martin Luis & Julie Fournier, the Commonwealth Institute

10:10 PM

"I'm worried," sounds more childish than Julie Fournier intended it to. Looking up from where she sits on the corner of her bed, blue eyes are squared on the gray-haired doctor coming to sit by her side amidst the neutral tones of sage green and sienna that decorates her bedroom in ways that make it look less like a laboratory space. Grandfatherly, Doctor Jean-Martin Luis offers Julie a mild smile as his hands fold in his lap and brows furrow.

"Alright," he diplomatically offers, looking down to his hands before turning his attention up to the young teen. "Why don't you tell me what you're worried about, and then we can try and figure out what that means for us." Psychiatrists are like fake doctors, but it doesn't stop Luis from participating in some armchair psychology of his own. In fact, it makes him appreciate those with degrees even less.

Julie seems reticent to talk, her hands folded in her lap, knees together and shoulders rolled forward. Silent expectancy from Luis, however, has her biting her bottom lip and eventually lifting up glassy blue eyes to the man she considers her father. "It was dark," has no context at first, at least not explicitly stated, but Luis already knows what she means. After all, it was dark for him too. "It— Gregor said it was dark for him, and then he died at the hospital. Does— does that mean we're— "

Lifting up one weathered hand, Luis rests his palm on Julie's shoulder. "The future is not written in stone, Julie…" and it is admittedly delivered with a smile of some sorts from Luis, even if not entirely honest. "Doctor Broome has said that time and again, our research into Edward Ray's efforts have proven that. Use the empirical evidence in front of you, that time is a mutable thing and that we have a chance to move away from outcomes we can observe."

"The observer effect," Julie offers with a less overwrought tone of voice, lifting up one hand to rub the heel of her palm against one eye. Luis offers an approving nod, his hand gently patting against her shoulder.

"Yes, that's right. Now, no more of this melodrama," Luis instructs with a wag of one finger and a feigned expression of chastisement. "We have work to do in the lab, and I would be nothing without my most wonderful assistant. We have to persevere, so that we can get your sister back. There will be no darkness for us, you have my word…"

Eileen Ruskin, Staten Island

11:58 PM

Water rocks the cradle, the lapping waves a whispered a lullaby. The boat moored at the concrete pier outside the Old Dispensary on Staten Island is tethered to one of its support pillars by a long piece of worn rope that the woman laying in its bottom used to navigate her way aboard.

Tonight only, the rhythm of another body breathing isn't enough to put her under. In months past, folding him in her arms, nose buried in his hair as though their sizes were reversed protected her from doubt as effectively as she still believes she can protect him, but that had been before he hit her, and although the force behind the blow failed to crack skin or open her lip, it left fissures large enough through which they can slither, slippery like the fish she imagines live under the mud at the bottom of the cove: thick, black things with eyes on the sides of their heads and rubber mouths.

She does not question his love for her, or hers for him. Instead: that what Joseph showed her could never come to pass. Eileen has yet to make the leap from could to will because — how many times has she told them all before? — unless you count death, nothing in this world they now live in is inevitable, not even growing old. And yet—

If these thoughts could ease her worries, she wouldn't be on her back on the floor of a boat so he doesn't wake and feel her aching beside him.

Her chest hurts.

Simon Broome

11:59 PM

The whirr of a wheelchair's tiny engine joins the white noise of computers running in chorus as Doctor Simon Broome rolls into a dimly lit lab. One hand manipulating the joystick of his wheelchair, head slouched slightly to the side and a book on his lap, he is making a direct path towards a hospital bed, whereupon a single patient lies in silent slumber. Wheeling himself to the bedside, Doctor Broome comes to a gradual stop, taking out the book from his lap and folding it open with one hand.

On the bed beside him, Doctor Edward Ray lays in silence, a tube down his throat to regulate his breathing, monitoring sensors attached to his head and hands to check his brainwaves and heart rate, those machines softly beeping in steady rhythm. "I'm sorry I'm late, Edward, I was delayed in a meeting…" weathered fingers carefully flip through the book, finding a dog-eared page where the page-turning stops and Simon's hand comes to rest. Looking up at the bedridden physicist, Simon exhales a sigh and looks down to the book in his lap.

In the shadows of the lab, a janitor cleans the computers, blowing compressed air into the vents to clean out dust. His progress across the lab goes unnoticed by the gray-haired old man finding a spot in the book with his fingers. "Nineteen ninety nine, two-thousand, twenty fifty-five. The machine stopped." Reading aloud from the book, Broome's fingers trace the lines of the words. "'Get out,' said Travis. The room was there as they had left it. But not the same as they had left it. The same man sat behind the same desk. But the same man did not quite sit behind the same desk. Travis looked around swiftly. 'Everything okay here?' he snapped."

As Broome reads from where he'd left off yesterday, the janitor cleaning the computers moves on to the monitors, brushing down the flat screens with a white cloth, dragging a wheeled bucket and mop behind him as he quietly attends to the thankless task ahead of him. Broome's voice, however, serves as entertainment for him in this job, and of the famous story he's reading. "'Fine. Welcome home!' Travis did not relax. He seemed to be looking through the one high window. 'Okay, Eckels, get out. Don’t ever come back.' Eckels could not move. 'You heard me,' said Travis. 'What’re you staring at?'"

Turning the page with a soft scrape of paper on paper, Broome looks up to where Edward lays, then frowns softly. "Eckels stood smelling of the air, and there was a thing to the air, a chemical taint so subtle, so slight, that only a faint cry of his subliminal senses warned him it was there. The colors, white, gray, blue, orange, in the wall, in the furniture, in the sky beyond the window, were… were…" There's a touch of theatricality when Broome reads for Edward, enjoyment.

"And there was a feel. His flesh twitched. His hands twitched. He stood drinking the oddness with the pores of his body. Somewhere, someone must have been screaming one of those whistles that only a dog can hear. His body screamed silence in return. Beyond this room, beyond this wall, beyond this man who was not quite the same man seated at this desk that was not quite the same desk… lay an entire world of streets and people. What sort of world it was now, there was no telling. He could feel them moving there, beyond the walls, almost, like so many chess pieces blown in a dry wind."

Looking up to watch Broome, the janitor offers a nervous smile, one hand lifting up to rake through coppery red hair, head canting to the side subtly. The story is a timeless one, and one with a potent message to deliver as well. "Somehow, the sign had changed," Broome explains with both brows raised, "it was more crudely written than anything he could have imagined. It looked alien, foreign to him, as if written in the hand of a child."

One cinnamon brow belonging to the janitor arches at Broome's opting not to speak out the phonetics of the book's revisionist view of the sign, but rather ad-lib his own narrative to describe the way the sign is written. He too is enthralled by the story, watching Simon read.

"Eckels felt himself fall into a chair. He fumbled crazily at the thick slime on his boots. He held up a clod of dirt, trembling, 'No, it can’t be. Not a little thing like that. No!' Embedded in the mud, glistening green and gold and black, was a butterfly, very beautiful and very dead…" It is the classical warning to any time traveler, to not tread on too many butterflies, lest one drastically alter the future.

"'Not a little thing like that! Not a butterfly!' cried Eckels. It fell to the floor, an exquisite thing, a small thing that could upset balances and knock down a line of small dominoes and then big dominoes and then gigantic dominoes, all down the years across Time. Eckels’ mind whirled. It couldn’t change things— '" Though as Broome reads that line, the book he's reading from falls from his one-handed grip, tumbles down past his knees, strikes a foot and lands cover-up on the floor. Leaning forward, Broome struggles to reach the fallen piece of literature, but his own immobilization in the wheelchair prevents any such thoughtful movement.

It is only when he sees a pair of scuffed sneakers come into view that Broome stops reaching watching the red-headed janitor bend down and pick up the book, then offer it out to him with a smile. "Sound of Thunder?" The Janitor asks with a half-smile, one eyebrow raised crooked on his head. "That's one of my favorite stories when I was little. My mom used to read it to me." Broome's dark eyes study the janitor for a moment, then offer a thankful smile as he reaches out to take the book back.

"Thank you," is genuinely offered, though Broome's raised brow seems speculative. "I don't think we've had the pleasure of meeting yet, and that is entirely my fault." While being humble, Broome's dark eyes drift down to look for a name tag, POLK. W, then flick back to the redheaded janitor.

"I just started working here," is humbly offered in return by the young man as he starts to turn and walk away, past the wheelchair, past Edward, past all of the sensitive machines. "Oh, ah— " turning around slowly, he offers a smile to Simon, watching the older man pivot in his wheelchair. "My name's Walter. It's nice to finally meet you, Doctor Broome."

"It's a pleasure to meet you too, Walter." So does Broome look back down to the book in his hands, finding that dog eared page, moving one ahead and finding the final line for which to finish reading.

"'Killing one butterfly couldn’t be that important! Could it?'"

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