From Frying Pan to Fire


felix_icon.gif munin_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title From Frying Pan to Fire
Synopsis On her way back to Ethan's, shortly following her meeting with Huruma, Munin encounters an injured Felix Ivanov and decides to take matters into her own hands — only to have Peter then take everything into his.
Date November 12, 2008

Ruins of Midtown

Standing in the ruins of Midtown, it's hard to believe New York is still a living city.

There's life enough around the fringes — the stubborn, who refused to rebuild somewhere else; the hopeful, who believe the radiation is gone, or that they somehow won't be affected. Businesses, apartment complexes, taxis and bicycles and subways going to and fro — life goes on. Perhaps more quietly than in other parts of the city, shadowed by the reminder that even a city can die, but it does go on.

Then there is the waste. The empty core for which the living city is only a distant memory. Though a few major thoroughfares wind through the ruins, arteries linking the surviving halves, and the forms of some truly desperate souls can occasionally be glimpsed skulking in the shadows, the loudest noise here is of the wind whistling through the mangled remnants of buildings. Twisted cords of rebar reach out from shattered concrete; piles of masonry and warped metal huddle on the ground, broken and forlorn. Short stretches of road peek out from under rubble and dust only to disappear again shortly afterwards, dotted with the mangled and contorted forms of rusting cars, their windows long since shattered into glittering dust.

This is a hell of a place to set up any kind of shop. It's like a horror video game - empty streets, blown out buildings. The only people with a real reason to come here are the utterly desperate, and the criminal. Which is why some of the local mobsters have set up a stash house for the storage, processing, and distribution of hard drugs in what's left of a pair of apartment buildings. And why Felix has set up camp across the street. Not much of one - a bucket used as a stool, a pair of binoculars, a notebook, a flashlight, and his radio. The flashlight's unnecessary, what with the full moon smiling benignly down across the expanse of the rooftops. He's nearly hidden, at least from the front, behind one of the brick crenellations, as he patiently observes the comings and goings below.

One could argue that Munin is both utterly desperate and criminal, but she doesn't appear to be either as she skirts along the southern border of Central Park, moving through the rubble like a stray dog. Some debris she climbs over, while other pieces she maneuvers around or under, depending on how stable it looks. Smaller chunks of rock and broken metal crunch beneath her feet — if Felix can't see her from his perch, he can almost certainly track her progress by listening to the sound of shifting rubble, tinkling pebbles and the occasional scuff of her shoes against the concrete underfoot.

At a distance, she could easily be mistaken for any one of the other wayward youths who sometimes cut through this section of the city on their way from one side of Manhattan to the other. As quiet as the surroundings are, they also give a false impression of security; while trespassers on these hallowed grounds aren't going to be dragged into an alley and mugged, it's very possible they might get shot if they have the misfortune of getting caught out in the open by the wrong group of people.

It's been quiet at the stash house - even the criminally inclined must sleep, in the bitter watches of the night. But the motion is enough to distract him, and Fel risks peering out and down, in case she's he's quarry. Which she is, if not part of the syndicate he's working on. So he slips quietly down from that eyrie, working his way from story to story via the fire escape. It's also audible to her, in turn, if she listens - rubber soles on rusting iron. Until…..well, it may have been stable enough on the way up, but the brick it's anchored in is rotten, and there's abruptly the metallic groan of it peeling away from the wall, followed by a thud, and a patter of falling brick. There's silence, and then what sounds like a nearly canine whimper.

A few minutes later, which is the time it takes for Munin to muster up the courage to investigate, the soft footfalls draw closer to Felix's position — and though he probably can't see her from wherever he's landed, it's difficult to miss the hesitation in her step. She's wary, given their location and the fact that the only illumination there is comes from the full moon shining down overhead and the distant glow of Manhattan's lights.

She does not call out. That would be foolish.

Nor does he. If he's conscious, he's gone fairly still, listening - but there's still the faint hiss of pain-ragged breathing to give him away. He's sprawled limp amidst the rubble, though happily he wasn't crushed under the length of fire escape that came down, and now leans crazily across the alley. There's the glint of moonlight on glass lenses, though, as he rolls his head to peer around him, and then makes shift to try and rise. About all he accomplishes is to pull himself to a swaying seated position, and lean himself against the alley wall.

For a moment, Munin simply stands there, staring down at Felix from beneath her dark lashes. She's dressed much the same as she was the last time he saw her — black pea coat, colourful scarf, faded blue jeans and flats. The only difference this time is the fact that she has a firearm. It's a semi-automatic of foreign make that shines a faint gunmetal gray in the pale moonlight, though these details aren't particularly important.

What's important is she's pointing it at his head. "Agent Ivanov?"

That makes blurred vision sharpen -real- fast. But he just stares at her, rather owlishly - this close, it's clear that one lens has gone star-crazed, though it's still in its frame. And there's blood on his lip, and on one side of his face, streaming from a cut somewhere on his scalp. "Yes?" he says, tone gone quizzical, rather than frightened. He's still sitting there, cradling one arm gingerly, as if it might be broken.

Uncertainty clouds Munin's green eyes. If she wanted to shoot him, she'd have done it already. That doesn't necessarily mean she isn't going to; it would be in her family's best interests if she pulled the trigger, and in the past her family's best interests have always come before her own. "You're not following me, are you?"

There's nothing accusatory about her tone, but it's hard not to sound that way when you're a finger twitch away from putting a bullet in the center of somebody else's forehead. Perhaps to assuage him, she lowers the weapon a few inches, choosing to level it with his chest rather than his face.

He smiles at that. And oddly, there is neither sarcasm nor mockery in it, for once. It's almost weary. "No, I am not following you," he says, softly. "I have been curious as to where you are. And now…..well, more so," The admission is very quiet, as he glances beyond her at that now silent house. "But you are not my target." He shifts into an uncomfortable half-kneeling, half sitting position, and raises a hand slowly to remove the half-shattered glasses.

Munin watches Felix with a wary expression on her face, tracking his movements with both her eyes and her weapon. As he reaches up for his the broken glasses on his face, she keeps the gun trained on his hands just to be safe. She isn't clear on what his ability is, only that he has one and has outwitted Sylar at least once before. "If you're not following me, what are you doing out here?"

"I have others I have to follow who do business at night," he says, almost demurely. "I might ask the same of you. Last I knew, you didn't wear a badge," he points out. "I'm no threat to you, so please, put that away."

"Not directly," Munin agrees, though she doesn't point the weapon anywhere except at Felix. "I'm sorry." Her voice is strained, stretched so far between two different emotions that it sounds like it's about to snap. She angry, and at him, but perhaps not for the reasons he might think. She's also a little bit scared. What if she misses? What if she pulls the trigger and it isn't a clean kill? "I can't just let you get up and walk away from this. Turn around, please."

Some of the dust stirs on the ground, bouncing up and down as a very faint vibration hums through the broken street. Though the sensation can be felt most in Munin's gun-hand, the pistol giving a very faint trembling vibration a moment before it is yanked clear out of her hand by a sudden force, spinning through the air before it simply stops in mid flight, hovering a few feet off of the ground. There is a visual distortion in the air near the gun, the rippling contortion of light bending in manners it shouldn't, dissipating away like a heat mirage around a man dressed head to toe in black. "I think I've seen about enough of that."

The black-clad man takes a few steps forward, crunching over a piece of debris under foot with a pair of heavy motorcycle boots. The leather of his long jacket — one much like Wu-Long's — slaps against the sides of his black slacks, "Didn't anybody ever tell you not to play with guns." He twirls the pistol around, hovering an inch in front of his raised hand. Dark eyes flick over to Felix Ivanov, and dark brows furrow, creasing a long and deep scar across the middle of this man's brow. "Stay in one place long enough…" Peter says with a crooked smile, "You're bound to see something interesting."

"No," Felix says, that smile never wavering. "No. I'm not going to turn my back so you can make it look like a gangland execution. Shoot me in the fucking face, if you can bring yourself to do it. Because you -can't-. You haven't killed before and I won't be your first," His tone is utterly calm. And then Peter's pretending he's Darth Vader on Cloud City, and the Agent's face is a study in perplexity, before he simply lunges for Munin. It's a shadow of that blinding and inhuman speed - the brick fall was essentially an instant beating, and he's bad off. But he's still swift, even for a normal.

The instant the weapon flies out of Munin's hand, her head snaps in the direction she felt the telekinetic pull. There's only one person she knows who can do that, and her mouth immediately forms his name, blurting out the first thought that enters her head. "Sylar—!!"

Only it isn't.

Munin doesn't recognize the man in black, and her mouth hangs open for several seconds after he ripples into existence a few feet away, reflecting this. She's so stunned, in fact, that she isn't even thinking about the Fed until his body collides with hers and knocks her to the ground.

He certainly didn't expect that. When Ivanov rushes towards Munin, tackling her to the gorund, his eyes snap wide and then narrow in frustration. "Red Light." Peter says with a click of his tongue, dropping the gun at his feet and focusing his telekinesis elsewheres, grabbing at the center-point of Felix's mass and yanking him up off of Munin to hang in the air, "I don't think she likes you like that." His other hand flicks out towards Munin, snatching her around the wrist with a clamping force, then with a twist of two fingers bends her arm around and up behind her back, another throb of telekinesis and she's dragged up to her feet, wrist twisting slowly as Peter takes a few more crunching steps forward, "Now what am I going to do with the two of you?" Dark eyes drift back and forth, one to the levitated Ivanov, one to Munin.

"How about we start with introductions — My name's Peter," His lips turn into a lopsided smile, "Peter Petrelli." That lights enough red flags in Felix Ivanov's head to cause him to go color blind. Homeland Security has operatives looking for him everywhere at the moment. "Now how about we all agree to play nice," Sparks of flame erupt around both of Peter's outstretched hands, flickering and dancing around his fingertips, "Or I can just settle your little argument with a draw."

It leaves Fel crying out in pain, as the pressure hits cracked ribs and bruises, even as he dangles like a pup in its mother's mouth. But once he's mastered it, he just stares between them, horrified. Oh, talk about the frying pan and the fire. "You ARE working with Gray," he hisses at Munin, eyes narrowed, before he peers back at Peter. "Felix Ivanov," he says, between rattling breaths. He is, while attempting to make it look like he's curling in on injured ribs, sneaking one hand towards the gun riding under his arm, beneath the black coat he's wearing.

Munin lets out a tiny squeal as she finds herself wrenched back to her feet, one arm twisted behind her back at an angle that isn't even remotely comfortable. She squeezes her eyes, jaw clenched, gritting her teeth against the pain, and struggles to focus her thoughts. "E-Eileen," she sputters, "Eileen Ruskin!" Maybe she knows Peter's name, maybe she doesn't — either way, she's going to associate with feelings of fury and helplessness from now on. Felix's accusation goes ignored, at least for the time being. She has other things to worry about. "Please! Stop—!"

"Ivanov?" Peter nods his head slowly, the name clinging to his uncanny memory, "Well Felix," he's not one for formalities it seems. "One; I don't take kindly to little girls getting beat up by older men." Dark eyes flick over to Munin, head canting to the side, "Eileen. I don't take kindly to little girls executing older men." He nods his head in the same understanding fashion, "Well, Eileen — Felix." His eyes move between the two as he says their names, "Green light." The telekinesis ceases on both of them, the twisting and wrenching of Munin's arm relenting almost immediately, and the crushing force on Ivanov's chest ceasing to drop him the very short distance to the ground.

"We're all going to play nice together, and you're going to tell me why you're trying to kill each other on my turf." There's something teasing about the way his smile is so twisted, "Or we're gonna go from fyring pan," Foomf, the bones in Peter's hands begin to glow white-hot, and the skin of his palms turns a mottled orange swirling with shades of yellow and red. The pyrokinetic flames subside entirely, replaces with the swarming hues of atomic fire, "To fire."

Fel's face goes utterly blank, masklike. There's only the glitter in the blue eyes to betray that he's still alive and with them. The drop has him grunting in pain. "I'm a cop," he says, simply. He nods at the ruined apartment building across the street. "On a stakeout - there are drug dealers working out of that building," he recites, tone flat. "The fire escape I was descending gave way. She came up on me while I was trying to recover. She," Munin gets a venomous look, "Works with a local serial killer." Though really, Sylar's nationwide.

Munin brings her arm back in front of her body, rubbing at the sore spot encircling her wrist where Peter grabbed her. She doesn't say anything in response to Felix's statement, neither defending herself nor confirming his side of the story. Her stony silence and the infuriated glare she shoots in the Fed's direction speaks for her — she's livid.

"Cop?" Peter tilts his head to the side, eyeing Felix, then very slowly turns his eyes towards Munin as a twisted smile curls up on his lips. "So you weren't saying his name out of fear." Dark eyes turn back to Felix, and Peter raises one brow, lifting up a hand to point towards the agent, "Thanks." He says in what seems like complete sincerity, "Take a break." Two fingers flick forward, launching Felix off of his feet before slamming him full force into the adjacent brick wall before slumping down to the ground unconscious. Amused, Peter cracks a smile, and turns his attention solely to Munin.

"Now then," He starts to walk forward, tucking his hands into the pockets of his slacks as the radioactive glow fades entirely from them. The long trail of his coat flaring out behind him as a freezing gust of wind blows through the hollowed buildings and across the broken street. "Playing nice just got put aside. You're going to do something for me, Eileen." Peter doesn't raise a hand again, but there's still a sudden feeling of fingers wrapping around her throat, lifting her up by the neck just enough so her toes can brush the ground. "You're going to think," He cants his head to one side, stopping just a foot away from her, "Think as hard as you can about Sylar. Everything you know about him…" Licking his lips, Peter leans in, close to Munin's face. "And I'm going to watch."

Munin's hands fly to her throat, nails tearing at her own skin as this might dislodge Peter's telekinetic hold. Unfortunately, prying the invisible hand off of her neck isn't that easy — especially not if all she has to use are her fingers. She lets out a few choking gasps, squirming in place, legs thrashing, kicking wildly at Peter in an attempt to keep him at bay. When that doesn't work and she can feel his breath on her face, her struggles start to subside, replaced by violent heaves of her chest and shoulders.

Get out of my head, get out of my head, get out of my head…

Munin, though she might not realize it, has a slight edge — she's trained herself to pluck thoughts out of the minds of birds, and the sensation she feels building at the front of her skull is a familiar one. She'll fight it off for as long as she can.

Peter winces slightly as he tries to probe into Munin's mind, the sound of her voice is like nails on a chalkboard, coupled with the nonsensical shrieking and cawing of birds that echo behind her words. One hand shoots up to his head, and he stumbles, back, brow lowered and dazed. It's clear his own telepathy, coupled with a connection to Munin's avian telepathy created a unique form of psychic backlash that the darkly-clad Petrelli was not prepared for. The jolt, unexpected as it is, causes the telekinetic stranglehold to relent.

Munin is dropped back to her feet, and Peter curls his fingers into his hair, trying to sort out the sounds in his mind from all of the others that are now flooding it. The minds of once-sleeping birds that have roused to the noise in the alley scattered around the buildings fill his mind, and their tiny, insignificant thoughts create a sufficient background noise to distract him from his erstwhile attempt to rape the thoughts of that girl's mind.

Munin hits the ground with a grunt, dropping to her knees with her hands thrust out to break her fall. She pauses there just long enough to wipe her hands, palms skinned raw by the cement, off on her jeans before she lurches to her feet and propels herself forward, toward the fallen gun. If the noise Felix made when Peter slammed him into the wall is any indication, she doesn't have to worry about him getting up anytime soon — she can instead focus her attention on the man in the duster, leading with her shoulder as she rolls forward, grabs the gun in her small hands and scrambles to get inside the nearest building.

Or what's left of it, anyway.

"Nhhh…" Peter struggles still, even as Munin rushes past him, to clear his mind from the shrill voices of birds that flood his senses. He staggers back, head canting to one side as he seeks to find some semblance of balance. His thoughts reel, the echoing noise of so many disturbed birds fill his subconscious, and finally he is brought to a point of frustration so great, his mind lashes back. It is this mental urging, this conscious effort to push back against their thoughts, Go away!

The rustling flutter of wings taking to the sky fills the air, and dozens of birds that had settled atop the roofs of the ruined buildings scattering the street take to those dark night skies. Peter drops to one knee, his hand still pressing to the side of his head, and blurred vision focuses on the prone form of Felix Ivanov. He hisses out a ragged breath, then suddenly bolts back up to his feet, looking around wildly. He breathes in, deep and heavy, turning back towards where Munin was standing.


His head snaps around, to where he dropped the gun, finding it also absconded with. Lastly, he growls out and focuses back on Felix. Anxiety washes over Peter as he takes an uncertain step back. Felix's prone body rises up off of the ground, limply, drifting through the air like a marionette with its strings cut until Peter can curl his fingers around the agent's collar. He hefts the man up, and slings him over one shoulder, "I think Karl will want to have a word with you." His eyes divert back to the ruined buildings, searching for signs of the girl.

He doesn't dare reach out with his mind, not after that.

One last sweep of the windows amidst the gloom, and Peter scowls. She got lucky, this time. Though he is left to wonder just how many young girls Sylar can have at his disposal at one time. It's starting to become a harem. With that negative thought driven into his skull, and another of Sylar's women having eluded his inquisition, Peter bursts up into the sky like a bird himself, soaring into the night with Agent Ivanov in tow. At least he got something out of this mess.

November 12th: Under a Pale Moon

Previously in this storyline…
Hello, Goodbye

Next in this storyline…
A Captive Audience

November 12th: Rearrangements
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