Final Solution


mohinder_icon.gif nathan_icon.gif

Scene Title Final Solution
Synopsis After receiving news that Homeland Security has captured Hiro Nakamura, President Petrelli puts plans into motion.
Date November 8, 2011

The Oval Office

Washington, D.C.

A prestigious line of men with variably corrupt motivations have long stood within the White House's oval office. The rich wood of the resolute desk shines with a fresh coat of polish under warm lights. President Petrelli, the 44th President of the United States prefers a cozier White House. Warm lamps with a firelight texture, as though to evoke fond generational memories of fireside chats and times that look better if you squint hard enough, or weren't someone with less social power. During daytime hours, though, the Oval Office is brightly lit and golden rays of sunlight cut beams through the tall windows flanked by navy blue curtains. Standing behind the resolute desk, at the windows and overlooking the front lawn, President Petrelli sees no brightness in those times behind, only what lies ahead. Ahead into his muted reflection in the glass, staring back wordlessly.

There's a knock at the door, rousing the President from his musing. "Come in," Nathan calls back, slowly turning and donning a mask of stern compassion as he tucks one hand into his pocket and assumes the proper posture. A White House page comes in, cell phone in hand.

"Sir, it's Deputy-Director Parkman from DHS." The page proffers out the phone, and Nathan quietly walks forward and picks it up. "It's on mute, sir." Nathan looks from the phone to the page, eyes partway lidded and brows furrowed ever so subtly. The page makes a sheepish noise, then awkwardly smiles and excuses himself from the room. Only once the door is shut does Nathan unmute the phone.

"Deputy-Director," Nathan enunciates the demotion clearly, as if to remind Parkman that these sorts of calls aren't his purview to make any longer. He listens to the man on the other end, eyes closing and one hand coming up to pinch at the bridge of his nose. "Can we get to the important parts, I have a meeting with Doctor Suresh coming up." On the other end of the phone, Matt stumbles over his words and speaks too much. "Can we — " Nathan draws in a sharp breath through his nose. "Matthew, I don't have an infinite amount of time." Once Parkman does get to the point, however, it is a decidedly sharp one.

Nathan looks to the door, hesitates, then pulls his attention back to the call with a more hushed tone of voice. "We've been after him for years, and today he decides to get sloppy just before the anniversary?" The incredulity is piercing, and Nathan can hardly manage to focus on the conversation with the direction his mind is going in. He dismisses Parkman's personal suggestion on the other end and pushes forward. "This can't be a coincidence. They're up to something. I need to know what it is." The they might as well mean everyone else in the world. But paranoia creeps in with creeping edges as he listens. "You sure it's — it's really him? It's not a trick or an illusion or something? Anything seems possible these days." These days. But then, with some measure of exasperation, Nathan is forced to tell Matthew Parkman how to do his job. "You're a mind reader, Parkman. Rip it out of him. If you can't do it, I'll get someone who can."

With that, Nathan ends the call with a click of the Blackberry. He rolls his eyes, setting the phone on his desk, then presses a button on the intercom. "Send in the professor." Nathan leans away from the intercom, takes a moment and exhales as he waits. Then, after just a moment, the door opens and in strides Mohinder Suresh.

"I'm sorry to keep you waiting," Nathan offers with the faintest of smiles as Mohinder eagerly lunges forward to shake Nathan's hand. Nathan squeezes it, but disengages as quickly as he can. Then, testingly, he lofts a notion to Mohinder. "We've captured Hiro Nakamura in Manhattan." He waits to see the professor's response, and it is an eager smile that is easy to please.

"That's excellent news, Mr. President." Of course it is Nathan considers with a mild smile, and Mohinder excitedly juggles some paperwork in one hand. He steps around Nathan, looking briefly out the window, and then back to the President.

Finally, Nathan comes to the matter at hand. "It seems we're running into some problems. You're the only person I trust to figure out what's going on up there." For a moment Mohinder looks surprised, he wasn't expecting to need to leave Washington, let alone on such short notice. But then, he can't say no to the President.

"I'll be on the first flight to New York," comes reflexively from Mohinder, and a faint bead of sweat runs down his forehead. Nathan smiles, but it doesn't reach his eyes. Of course you will.

"Thank you," Nathan offers in perfunctory fashion, motioning to a chair opposite his desk. "That's not why I asked you here. Please sit down." Mohinder folds into the seat with smooth grace, and Nathan comes to sit on the corner of his desk, hands folded in his lap. "Five years ago, you and I allowed a man to blow up in New York. Millions of lives came to an end, and the world was changed. Soon after, we sat down in my office. Do you remember?" One brow raises, slowly.

"Of course," Mohinder looks to the windows, a momentary wave of dizziness flushing through his mind. "We made a pact to eliminate such danger at any cost." When he looks back to Nathan, there's certainty in those sequences of events.

"Billions in research later…" Nathan opens his hands, spreading them out. "How close are we to that?" The uptick in his voice at the end is skeptical, testing.

"We, uh…" Mohinder's eyes sweep from side to side, trying to fill in the blanks. He plucks at information that seems like it fits, and then, "We're not much closer to reversing their condition than when we started." Thoughts cobble together like jigsaw puzzles, but they're all from different sets.

"What's the problem?" Nathan leans in, brows raised. Mohinder once again searches, eyes flicking from side to side. Knowledge compiles, different threads of understanding build atop one-another to inform a choice that was never intended to be. Possibilities come and go, until a cohesive narrative of why is constructed from background causality.

Mohinder solves the puzzle he'd never been working on, by drawing disparate threads together. "It's hard coded in their DNA," he offers with a look up to Nathan. "It's like they're a separate species. We cannot change who they are, Mr. President." Nathan's lips curl into a faint smile and Mohinder finds himself unable to break his gaze.

"So in other words," Nathan intones gravely, "we've failed." The concept of failure sends Mohinder on a spiral. He can feel the anxiety of failure looming over him, his father's disapproval, his own self-doubt. It crushes, it's real and heavy and—

"No, no," Mohinder stammers,puzzle pieces coming together, but there's no corners, "the measures we've put in place —"

Nathan presses harder, his stare intently locked on Mohinder's. "They're not working," hard truth. "We've outlawed their breeding," fact. "We've confined their movement," fact. "We police them," fact. "We track them," fact. "Their attacks continue," fact. "Their population is increasing exponentially," fact "Your numbers. Yesterday." Demand. Mohinder's throat is clenched closed, sweat beads at his brow, and Nathan moves from the corner of his desk to the chair, but Mohinder never notices. When Nathan picks up a file and slaps it down on the desk top, it jostles Mohinder from his trance.

"In Santa Cruz, a boy somehow sucked all the oxygen out of the air. Suffocated his entire middle school." The report from the Commonwealth Institute fans out before Mohinder, and Nathan's disapproving stare burns holes in his mind. Mohinder rises from his chair, moves over to the files, starts pawing through them.

"My God," Mohinder whispers, fingers trembling.

"These events are increasing. People are anticipating another Sylar," and at that Nathan leans forward again and levels a demanding look to Mohinder. "In your original assessment," lie; the mind constructs a narrative. "You posited a potential solution," lie; the mind constructs a narrative. "Extinction." Demand; the mind builds pathways. Mohinder blinks several times, looks up to Nathan and adjusts his glasses with a trembling hand.

"Yes," Mohinder begins, the fiction coming together from the fact, "but I never meant to suggest that— " Morality pushes his tone, but Nathan doesn't allow it to continue.

"They wouldn't be the first species to be exterminated for the preservation of another." Implanted; the mind treats the lie as fact. "Your words." Implanted; the mind constructs facts around a newly proposed reality. Mohinder scrubs one hand over his mouth, steps away from the desk, breathes deeply and exhales a rough sigh.

"I was talking about the natural order of things." Mohinder wheels around, the lie is too big. He can't reconcile it with his sense of self. "What you're talking about is genocide." Revulsion twists Mohinder's stomach, and Nathan locks eyes with the professor again. Mohinder's head swims.

"Self-defense," Nathan states flatly. "And I'm not suggesting it lightly." He is not. The gravity of those words daze Mohinder, and Nathan rises to stand by the windows again, hands folded behind his back. Mohinder blinks again, once the gaze is broken, and looks up to the President. The mind fills in the gaps. "We've just run out of options," Nathan eases back, making the lie seem reasonable. "You haven't slept in five years, Mohinder." The lie builds itself, coils around the back of Mohinder's mind. He hasn't felt this tired in his entire life. //It's true, it has to be. "We need to put an end to this." The finality of that statement is what finally breaks him, cracks his resolve and sends a good man spiraling down a dark path.

"You're one of them, Nathan." Mohinder's assessment elicits a raise of one brow from Nathan, a secret shared between friends he wasn't truly purview to. "Am I supposed to march you off to the gas chambers as well?" He still fights, and Nathan turns, realizing there's more behind Mohinder's convictions than self-preservation and moralistic ideals.

"I'm thankful for the secrets you've kept," Nathan assures with a painted smile. "But let's be honest. I can fly." He smiles again, the cat that got the canary. "I'm hardly dangerous." With that reassurance, Nathan circles around his desk and approaches Mohinder, leveling his eyes on the professor's in an intense stare again. "I value your opinion as a scientist and a friend," he appeals to Mohinder's kinder nature. "But if I gave you five years, ten years, twenty more years, be honest with me," he rests a hand on Mohinder's shoulder, and the professor is lost in Nathan's hypnotic stare. "Could you reverse it?" No echoes in Mohinder's mind.

"No," Mohinder parrots the voice in his head back. "Probably not," and the resolve crumbles. Satisfied, Nathan gives that shoulder one gentle squeeze, and he begins to lay the groundwork, the gas manes for the lights to come.

"Then we need to start thinking about Plan B."

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