Ghost Of Island's Past


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title Ghost of Island's Past
Synopsis Late at night, Candy and Claire are visited by a spirit and shown glimpses of the past and the future…
Date December 21, 2009

"Tell me my future, oracle." The cold steel of a wolf's head presses firmly beneath the old woman's throat, lifting her chin up. Approaching her closer, the broad-shouldered old man wielding the cane clears the arm's reach that separates them, each step angles her chin up further. Blue eyes stare down from tired, old eyes to the short woman, and one of his gloved hands rises up to brush knuckles across her temple, sweeping a curly lock of dark hair from her face. "I have heard much about you…"

In the middle of Mandritsara, nothing looks the way it should. Brick and clay buildings stand tall, trucks move through the streets and the sound of chickens clucking in wooden cages nearby fills the senses. In the packed earth lot behind the hospital, an auspicious gathering has come together. An old and weathered looking man in a sleek black suit stands tall over an old woman on her knees, angling her chin up with the metal wolf's head of his cane. At his right, a monstrously tall man in a sleeveless canvas longcoat with fur trim stands like a silent sentinel. In many ways, he is reminiscent of Tau Bah, and while the spectators of this echo of the past may not be aware, Abdul-Aziz Nwabueze shares the same bloodline as the far more benevolent Tau. Opposite of the man who calls himself "King" is a thin and tanned man with short-cropped black hair, his urban camouflage military fatigues spattered with blood, a smoking pistol held in one hand.

"Oracle," Claire recalls the name of this old man, recognizes his voice, "I was told you can show the future. Show me." He is where all of this began, he is the living shadow of death that descended long ago on this land, he is Kazimir Volken. At his right is General Edmond Rasoul, though at least five years younger than Claire and Candace had seen him. The other, taller, darker man is unknown to them both, but still seems to be a part of this clandestine organization.

"Y'wish t'see your future?" The old woman whispers up to Kazimir from where she kneels, dark eyes narrowed. "A'will show you th' future… but y'may no' wish t'know it."

Something is desperately wrong with this, and it's something Candy and Claire are becoming more and more aware of as they realize they are somehow observing these events happening. Standing at the mouth of an alley leading to this mud-ground lot, they are like ghosts in these events. Waking up to the Mandritsara of years ago, somehow trapped within an image of the past— a shared hallucination— or a dream of things that once were.

"I'll be the judge of that, Oracle." Kazimir intones, his blue eyes focused down on the old woman intently. Claire recognizes her, recognizes Etana from Doctor Gregor's lab.

This isn't going to end well.

She knows.

Candy looks around, the hydrokinetic as no clue at all what she is doing here, or how the hell she got out of her cell, or anything else for that matter. Her eyes are wide while she looks, before they settle on Claire and she hisses to the Cheerleader, "What the hell is going on here." She looks towards the vision in front of her with some interest as the words float to her, but she has no clue who the people in front of her are.

"I know them." Comes the soft words from Claire, her eyes on the scene before them. "I… think we're looking at the past." She makes to move towards the scene at hand, wanting to get closer. To get a good look at the Oracle and the man who once sucked the life out of her friends. "I met him once." Her head nods to the group. "Kazimir. He's the reason we're here. Why all of use are scattered across the globe." She states bitterly. "And she…." Her eyes drop to the older lady. "… I met her today. Etana." There is respect and awe in that name. "This is important I think…"

"Y'need t'remove y'glove…" Etana says in a hushed voice, looking up defiantly towards Kazimir, straining her chin against the cold metal head of the wolf-cane. Kazimir's reaction to that is part amusement, part horror. He turns to look at Rasoul, then over to the enormous man beside him. A motion is made towards the old woman, and that monster of a man steps around her, gripping her by the shoulders and lifting her up to her feet.

"You will not survive the touch," Kazimir intones, tucking his cane under his arm and beginning to slowly tug off one of his gloves, "but with your apprehension I fear you must already understand that, don't you?" One gray brow rises, and Etana's reaction is only reflected stoicism. The two might pass for the same age, in the eyes of an uneducated observer, but Claire knows just how many decades Volken has on the oracle.

With a hand bare, Kazimir reaches out to offer it towards Etana, his brows furrowed and lips pursed into a frown. Etana looks down at the hand, then reaches out with her own to grasp his weathered palm. The moment their hands touch, there is a sharp noise of pain from the old woman, but not quite a scream. Her skin turns grey around where her fingers reach Kazimir's, blackening at the direct point of contact, and her eyes wrench shut. In that same motion, Kazimir lurches back and winces, his eyes forcing shut as he seems to be experiencing something similar to the pain she herself is feeling.

Strangely, no one present seems to notice Claire and Candy at all, not even when they speak to one another. Just Rasoul and King standing silently in quiet and puzzled observation of Kazimir and the Oracle at work.

Candy looks over at Claire and nods her head a little to her words, before her attention turns back to Kazimir and the woman. Claire can hear the soft intact of breath from Candy while she watches the goings on in front of her, the Hyrdokinetic honestly perplexed and wondering at the image that she is seeing, which has no context for her to put it in.

"She's alive. Not that I'd call it living. She spoke to me in my mind." Claire states with a definite lack of emotion, her eyes not leaving the woman as she whithers away. "Gregor is reviving her slowly with my blood. It's reversing the effects." But then she goes quiet, eyes lifting to Kazimir, blue eyes shifting over his form. A hand lifts to rub over her mouth. "So he didn't do it cause he didn't like what he saw, she has to touch skin." The regenerator moves where she can see those pale blue eyes clearly. "What did she tell you, old man?" She asks, even if he can't hear her.

"A'showed him what a'saw." The voice comes from behind Candy and Claire, the same voice of the old woman they are watching. There, dressed in a hospital gown, looking several years older than she does at Kazimir's side, Etana shuffles forward with a tired look in her eyes. "What y'are seeing here is what has come b'fore, you are seein' th' past as'a felt it, as'a delivered it…" Etana comes to stand between Claire and Candy, the old woman offering Claire a weary smile.

"Kazimir Volken pr'sumed me an oracle, a soothsayer. But tha'was only because of local legends. I was'no the one he was looking for, but th' things a'showed him were truly visions of th' future, but ones gifted t'me by a man you know… a man named Usutu." Etana's dark eyes drift towards Claire from Candy. "A'showed him wha'Usutu showed me years ago. An' now a'will show you wha' Usutu showed me, an' wha a'showed him with th' power a'have been gifted w'."

As the scene before them plays out, Etana rests a hand on Candy and Claire's shoulders, her eyes falling shut and the world washing away in shades of gray and white. When the world fades back in to view, there is a change of surroundings, a host of different sights and senses. Light fades away to reveal a darkened place, a distant and cold place.

The world that comes into view is indistinct, blurred on its edges and ethereal like a half-formed dream or a memory recalled by a damaged mind. In the vision, Kazimir Volken lays on his back on a cold concrete floor, blood pooling out around beneath him. A dark-haired woman of thin frame stands on the edge of the vision, her form blurry, a gun held out in her hands; it sounds as though she is crying. At Kazimir's side, a blonde woman with a blurred and distorted face clutches his hand, she too is letting out a keening sound of a cry. It is far more surreal than what Etana was showing them earlier.

Candy blinks as she turns around to regard the woman, and listens to what she says. She's about ready to say something, it appears, before one again, Claire and her are taken into the nether-realm to witness yet another vision. Really, she feels a little creeped out with someone messing with her perceptions. Isn't it bad enough she has a mind controlling worm in her head.

Turning to regard the scene in front of her, her eyebrows knit together, and she finally says, "But how does any of this have bearing on what is happening now? Claire said that man was deceased…"

Jumping at the new voice, Claire turns to look at the old woman. "Etana.." She offers as a greeting to the woman, something about her makes the cheerleader feel like respect should be given. The name of Usutu makes her eyes narrow some as she considers her carefully…. then the world shifts around them.

Blink a few times in an attempt to clear her vision, she turns her attention to the scene being shown them. "A part of him live on." Claire states softly as she looks at Kazimir laying on the floor. A part of that man lives on in her Uncle. Peter.

"What did you mean when you said that I had to get to the Land of Eternal Ice or Peter would die?" Claire turns to the woman suddenly, hands reaching out with a pleading look. "How am I even going to get there? They can control us.. if we try to escape… we end up puppets on strings."

"All'a know is what Usutu told me…" Etana says in a hushed voice, "wha'he showed me." She motions to Kazimir laying on his back, and the reality begins to warp and bend and distort. "Bu'this is wha' Usutu showed me, jus' a few days a'go." How did Usutu show her anything is she was in a vegetative state just days ago? Regardless, what Etana clarifies on also seems to clarify the vision. The weathered old man laying in a pool of blood changes shape and distorts, becoming a dark-haired and younger man with a vicious scar across his face, dark brown eyes staring up at the blonde in a military uniform kneeling at his side.


She's holding his hand, and he's not blistering her flesh away, and no glove separates their contact. As the reality begins to clear and sharpen in focus, other people start to come into view, just the suggestion of their presence in a large room full of computers and large flat-screen monitors mounted on walls. Close enough to have her face revealed, Eileen Ruskin stands with a pistol held out in both hands, fingers wound around the grip, a large cut across the side of her head traveling down to her jaw, dripping with blood. Tears stream down her cheeks, smoke issues from the gun. It is clear that this is the moment that Etana spoke of.

This is where Peter Petrelli dies.

Candy looks and her eyes narrow at what she is showing to herself, the hydrokinetic still not quite understanding why she has anything to do with this, other than that the government that it was a smart idea to send her packing along to Madagascar to endure malaria, mad doctors who put someone else's flesh on her, and mind worms. She expresses the sentiment as she says, "Really… why do I care if this man dies?" She honestly doesn't, but hey, maybe the old woman can magic up a reason why she should be up in arms and trying to prevent this.

"All I am here for is to make sure that a nuke doesn't go off. Why do I feel like I'm being side-tracked into something that I don't give two shits about? All I care about is the fact that after this Angel and I can live free for once, and be fairly supported for a good while? Is this gonna end the world if it happens?" Candy shakes her head and asks of the woman, "I don't suppose you've got anything in that head of yours that actually pertains to me, do you? If not… it'd be nice for you to get out of my head, its rather crowded up there what with the worm and all."

"Peter!" The name clears Claire's throat before she can stop it, she crouches down and crawls over to where Peter is a hand reaching out to the bleeding shape on the ground. Even if she can't touch him she tries. "This.. I can't let this happen to him." Her eyes move to Eileen, she looks like she can't believe she would do such a thing.

The words that Candy utters, snaps something in Claire and anger surges through her. Rising to her feet, the blonde's hands snap out to snag the asian's clothing and drag her close as she hisses, "You have your loved ones." She lets go with one hand and points at the image. "That is my uncle laying there. So you better damn well care… cause our future, the life of your Bella, may very well depend on him living." She shoves the other girl away from her. "So stop with the this me me me shit. Not everything in this god forsaken world is about you."

"Not just that.. do you know what that means?" Claire gives her a grin, "We are getting out of here." That in the blonde's mind should be enough for her to care.

"A'least one'a you is payin' attention…" Etana sats with a crooked smile, taking a step around the dying Petrelli. "This is a vision of wha'the future could be, one'a the possible ways things could go. But as Usutu woul' say, tha'future is no'written in stone, it can be changed." Etana turns to look back at Claire and Candy from where she now stands beside Eileen Ruskin, frozen in that moment of time with her gun out, blood dripping off her chin, an unhinged look of grief lost in her eyes.

"Wha'appens here affects everything. It is'no so much about a person, but about a moment in time. An important moment, decisions made all'a round." Etana motions around the room slowly, to the indistinct faces of people on the periphery of this strange scenario. "But it does, most importantly mean, tha'you escape… an it is m'job t'show you how to. You an' your two friends mus' get outt'a here. A'can help you both, an' all'a ask in return is a favor…"

Candy backs a few steps up, and brushes herself off after Claire has her spout of anger, the asian still calm. "Sugar, only thinking about myself is what has kept me alive this long. I don't see any reason not to stop. From where I'm setting, everything in the world is about me. If it doesn't affect me, then I don't need to be bothered with it," the hydrokinetic responds, she doesn't even flinch at the mention of Bella, having tossed that connection into the flames after she was denied a phone call by Rasoul.

"And what exactly is it that you want us to do for you as a favour, hmm? I don't exactly think that we are quite in the position to do anything for you," Candy replies to the old woman after dropping her little disagreement with Claire. Though, she does add one final little quip for the blonde, "And since we do seem to be finding a way out, I'll note that as soon as I'm off the island, and I know my mission has been accomplished I am heading right for home to collect the reward, and live my life in peace. Though, considering that I know you people now, I find that a rather hard thing to believe."

"Just for showing me this, I owe you… So please… Ask the favor." Claire answers truthfully, Candy ignored for the moment. "If this is the moment… then we need to get there." The regenerator having seen Usutu's painting of her and Candy come true, she knows this could very well happen. Eyes drifting back down to Peter laying there, her expression falling into one of worry and fear. "If I can keep this from happening….."

Finally, she glances over at Candy with a cold look, "That is still part of the mission." She feels confident of this. "None of us go home til it's done.. Or there won't be a home to go to.. It'll all be flooded." She remembers Else's song even now.

Etana fixes Candy with a level stare. "You'd do well t'learn some humility, girl. Y'keep pretendin' tha'nothin' else matters b'you in th'world, an' soon you will be all y'have left. Then when y'finally do pass 'way, who will b'left t'mourn you? No'on." The old woman tilts her head back, chin up, brows furrowed. "Everythin' in this world is connected, you an' I, m'gran'daughter an' grea'gran'son…" Dark eyes level towards Claire, and Etana offers a weary expression to her.

"A'can disrupt th' psychic link tha' the worm man 'as t'the creatures inside'a you." A wave is made with one of her hands towards Candy, then to Claire. "But doin' so will be difficult f'me. He is'a pow'ful man, an' dangerous. But a'can keep him from you, as long as it takes f'you t'find him an' stop him. Once he has been killed, then you will b'free." Etana turns, looking towards the still image of Claire kneeling by Peter's body.

"All'a ask in return, is tha' y'tell m'gran'daughter tha' a'm proud o'her returnin' home, t'save her people, t'protect her son." Dark brows furrow, and Etana looks up from the image ot Claire to the real Claire. "You know her as Huruma. Jus' tell 'er a'm proud of her, tha' is all a'ask, an' a'will help you escape this place."

"Nobody will mourn me anyway, old lady, I've come to grips with that," Candy replies to Etana as she talks to her, a shrug of her shoulders given at the talk before she says, "I'm not connected to any of these people. Hell, I didn't even know them til I got kidnapped by my own government, not for the goddamn first time, I might add. I want to be done with this, and then leave and go back to just living. Where I don't have to worry about if the next day is truly going to be my last, and if I'll be put down by some deadly animal that stalks this godforsaken island, or a sickness, or a bullet, or," she pauses for a couple of moments and then throws her hands in the air, "Fuck it, there are just too many things to list on this island that I could die from." She shakes her head, before she catches sight of Claire, and remembers her last line.

"A flood," Candy asks, eyes sparkling with glee, "Like… more water everywhere? Oh… that could be very fun." A slow smile spreading over her lips as she rubs her hands together, "Now you done and got me kinda hoping you /don't/ manage to stop that. In a world of water, a hydrokinetic can very well be Queen." Finally, she looks back at Etana and nods her head, "Right… so tell the creepy tall black lady that you're proud of here. Can we get with getting this worm out of my head? If you keep making me talk about it, I'm going to end up emptying what little I have in my stomach on the ground. It won't be a pretty sight."

"Oh god… worms? Ug." Claire's whole body gives a shutter. "But what you ask is easy enough if we get out of here, but you act like you don't think your getting out?" The tiny blonde move along side the old woman and looks up at her, the scene forgotten. "What Dr. Gregor's doing is making you better. I saw it, maybe by then you will be able to escape with us." She has to find a bit of hope in the whole thing.

A sharp look goes to Candy. "She didn't say she could get it out, only that she can stop the link between the guy that controls them.. but we have to kill him to be free." Claire takes a deep breath and crouches next to the dying Peter again. "When is the best time to try to kill him… and where do we find this worm man?" Her head tilts back to look at the woman with the answers.

Candy's words draw a quiet stare from Etana, the old woman's head tilting to the side slowly, one brow raising. "You will learn t'regret th' way you so carelessly disregard others, girl. You do'no understan' y'self anymore than y'understan' others. Y'say y'fine w'no one mornin' you. An' then y'say you jus' wan'ta get back t'living. Y'jus' a child… y'jus afraid… an' tryin' t'pretend y'no." Etana shakes her head slowly, looking from Claire to Candy and then down to the ground.

"But y'will learn humility here on this islan'. No one leaves here w'out th' islan' takin' a piece o'them tha' they can never get back. Believe wha' you will, girl, when th' truth finally does come f'you… " Etana's words fall flat, her brow furrows and one hand comes up to rest at the side of her head.

"Do'no worry about me, child. You are young, and you are the future, this old woman is just a part o'the past that has come to fill out her purpose. Th' worm man comes and goes, he maintains many of his spies around the country, but he is never alone. I can track him, follow him, find him f'you… but you must b'ready t'act at a moment's notice. You will only have th' one chance t'stop him, an' he will no'be alone."

Looking up to Candy, Etana narrows her eyes, then focuses on Claire. "Y'two mus b'ready when I call. It will'no be today, b'soon. You both, an' the two other soldiers, a'will get you all out of your cells an' lead you to th' worm man. But y'must… must b'ready t'fight."

Candy looks at the old woman before she says, "Well, I don't suppose you could also make them skip injecting me, eh? I'm no good with nothing without my power, but running and hiding behind meatshield over here," a thumb is jerked at Claire while she stands there. She shakes her head a little before saying, "I am perfectly fine with nobody mourning me. That does not eliminate the fact that I want to keep on living. The two aren't mutually exclusive. Now, if I were to say I want to die, and then add the living bit, then you could raise issue." Though, at the woman's talk of being afraid, Candy says, "I don't /feel/ afraid, old woman. I don't /feel/ anything. Compassion, hatred, /love/, I don't feel a thing about that. At any moment I could kill someone and not bat an eye no matter who they are. Used to be I'd think twice about killing an evolved, but that was before I went undercover. They managed to open a box within me that was better off closed." A roll of her shoulders is given before she turns around, not saying a word and waiting for the old woman to finish talking.

Slowly Claire rises to her feet, giving the old woman a concerned look, "I'll be ready. I have to be." Her words firm, "And if I can I'll try to get you out of there. No one deserves to be left to these maniacs. Dajan, your grandson, asked us to try and help the people stuck here.. I want to try if I can." Her words are quiet, yet full of purpose.

After a moment, Claire offers her hand to the woman, not sure if she can take it, but the meaning is still there, "Thank you, Etana. For showing ups this.. for taking the risks to do so. I promise… I'll make sure Huruma knows what you did for us and your feelings, but I hope you are able to do so yourself."

The old woman nods her head, and like the lights being turned off on a stage, the vision of the future is drowned in darkness. The world seems to be swallowed up by this black, and only old woman Etana's voice can be heard in the dark. "Y'will learn t'feel again, Noriko…" Etana's voice is a rasping murmur in the gloom, hollow and echoing, "an' for tha' a'pity you."

A shrap breath drawn in by Claire rouses the blonde from her sleep, back in the concrete cell in the subterranean bunker. She can see Candy stirring from her sleep, and the cloying cobwebs of whatever strange dream that was still cling to her mind.

But a promise was made, and if Etana is a woman of her word…

…they'll soon be free.

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