Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle


pete3_icon.gif samson3_icon.gif

Scene Title Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle
Synopsis Simply put, one can never predict with perfect accuracy the outcome of events based on old information.
Date March 28, 2021

Somewhere on Staten Island

March 28th
3:17 pm

"Can I smoke?" Pete asks, motioning to his breast pocket.

"I'd rather you didn't," is the threateningly silken response from Samson.

It's hard to tell where they've driven, the tinted windows do a good job of muting the surrounding city, and so much of the north end of Staten Island looks the same to Pete. He flashes a nervous smile, smoothing down the front of his suit. For now, he doesn't push the issue. "So is this where you suck out my brain and throw me in a ditch?" Pete asks, one brow raised. Samson exhales a breathly laugh in response and shakes his head.

"I'm not going to suck out your brain," Samson says with a prideful sneer. "I need to ask you some questions."

Pete snorts, looking down at his lap. "You know," he says, considering whether to hold his tongue or not. "I'm really raw from getting fucked today, so if you're just gonna keep jerking off over there I—" Pete's head smashes against the bulletproof glass twice. He lets out a startled yelp, and when his vision straightens he sees Samson discreetly pointing two fingers at him over his crossed arms. He should've kept his mouth shut.

"I'll ask questions, you talk. You talk out of turn, I test the limits of your ability to feel pain. You try and use that disgusting ability on me, I start tearing things off like you're a broiled chicken." Pete feels the pressure on his skull lessen. "And, so you know precisely who is fucking who," Samson says, leaning in a little. "I know what part of your brain I need to tear out to kill you." A little sweat begins to form on Pete's brow, and he says nothing. Does nothing. "You can nod if you understand." Samson adds. Pete does.

Pleased that the balance of power has been restored, Samson sits back comfortably. "You worked for Adam Monroe for several years following the collapse of the Institute," Samson explains, "and during that time, I believe you were in the company of a woman named… Erica Kravid?" He looks at Pete to gauge his reaction. Pete sucks down a sharp breath, expression little more than a scowl. "And during that time, you were experimenting on a young woman. Erica's daughter?"

Pete nods, grimacing as he does.

"What was her name?" Samson asks, picking at one chipped nail.

"Fuck if—" Pete starts, then reconsiders. "She was uh, fucking… uh… Tuh… Ta? Taylor." Pete finally remembers. "Taylor Kravid."

"You're sure?" Samson asks, brows raised. Pete nods a few times, a vein visible in his brow. "And what, precisely, were the nature of the experiments performed on the young Ms. Kravid?"

Pete looks down, brows furrowed, trying to remember. "She was sick. Cellular degenerative disease. Genetic. Been sick basically her whole life." As Pete gets more comfortable talking, Samson relaxes some of the telekinetic pressure on his chest. "Her mom got her a healer when she was little, took care of it for a while, but it didn't resolve the underlying cause. She relapsed before the war, Erica had her hospitalized out in San Fran. Eventually they called me in to look at her."

As Pete talks, Samson folds his hands and listens intently. "The uh, the experiments we did were intended to reverse the genetic damage. I got called in about, fuck, two months before all hell broke loose at the Institute. Asked to do a full biological assessment." He inclines his head to the side. "Never seen a disease like the girl had before, something was fucked down at the mitochondrial level. I couldn't figure it out on my own, so we had to rely on hard science."

"And what was the result of that hard science?"

"We isolated what was causing her cells to break down. Misfolded protein where the Suresh Linkage-Complex would be in one of us," Pete explains, motioning to himself. "Except she didn't have an ability. Wasn't expressive. She was like a one-in-a-billion kind of mutation. Thing is, the only reason we were able to figure out what was wrong with her was because of the other research we were doing at the time."

Samson motions for Pete to continue on that tangent.

"The uh—this is a question but it's important so—don't fucking smash my head." Pete prefaces. "Do you know what Gemini is?"

Samson slides his tongue over his teeth and says, "Pretend I don't."

Pete all but rolls his eyes and takes a deep breath. "Gemini's a biochemical process to run rough and dirty over someone's DNA, get like a—a fucking silly-putty impression of it, right?" Pete tries to explain it in layman's terms. "Process is invasive as fuck, targets the proteins that make us us. In the process of Gemini we basically replicate Arthur Petrelli's ability. We misfold the SLC-related protein of the victim as a byproduct of the copying procedure, then map it onto stem cells in a stable bath. This lets us reintroduce the same patterns to unfolded proteins, effectively copy-pasting the ability into a new person. Evolved or not."

"Synthetic abilities." Samson says, to which Pete nods. "How did this relate to the Kravid girl?"

"Because the people who received the gemini infusions fucking died." Pete says flatly. "They turned to fucking soup from the inside out because, eventually, the folded proteins in the Suresh Linkage-Complex spread. Like a prion disease. Eventually, cell walls break down, and the whole body comes apart like boiled duck." Samson is unimpressed by the comparisons, though they paid a vivid and clear picture. "The disease the kid had? Same thing, except the protein chain she had was different from someone like us. Treatments that failed on the gemini worked on her."

Something slots into place for Samson, and he nods thoughtfully. "Did you ever treat her? Successfully?"

"Yeah," Pete says with a shrug that implies an asterix. "We cured her, and then Wolfhound came down on us like a fucking sack of hammers. She slipped away, and took the cure for Gemini Syndrome with her in her genes."

And therein lies the wolfish smile Samson had been waiting to give. "So she's the cure?" He asks.

"Yeah, but fuck-all lot of good that's going to do you. She's been in the wind for years. Mazdak, Monroe, fuckin' everybody wants her and nobody's gonna get her." Of that, Pete feels confident.

Samson sidesteps the topic of finding her and instead asks, "This cure you gave her, could it be reversed?" Pete isn't sure what to make of that question, and has to think about the answer for a moment.

"Probably." Pete says with a grimace. "Why?"

Pete's head smashes against the window. This time Samson doesn't let up the pressure. The glass starts to crack, and Samson leans in close to Pete. "No questions," he growls, and the pressure intensifies. Pete starts to scream, thrashing in the back seat. "You've been very helpful Mr. Varlane, but I'm afraid—"

"Wait!" Pete howls, glass cracking around his brow. "Wait! The blood—the blood! Robot blood!" For a moment, Samson considers finishing the job. But out of curiosity, he releases the pressure and lets Pete slouch forward, clutching his head in his hands.

Samson gives Pete a little while to recuperate before asking. "Robot blood?"

Pete looks over at Samson, one eye red from a burst blood vessel. He nods, hands trembling. "This—this fucking—Price." Samson's brows slowly start to rise. "Odessa Price." His eyes gleam. "She came to me—t-two months ago. With a sample of blood. It was completely synthetic. Red blood cells with—with little o-organic machines inside. Like—like microscopic bugs but man made. Alive."

Samson's eyes slowly narrow, he tries to follow what dots Pete is connecting. "I'm not seeing anything relevant." He threatens.

"Delivery system!" Pete shouts, trying to put as many valuable ideas out on the table at once. "The blood—the blood's alive. Manipulatable. Immune system interaction is—you could use it as a delivery system." Samson narrows his eyes in thought. "You're—you're talking about a biological weapon, right? Trying to make some—some fucking doomsday virus?"

"No," Samson says flatly, "but do go on. Where did this blood come from?"

"I don't fucking know," Pete hisses, "but Price does. She's got a new face, but I know who she is. Could feel her under her skin. She's—she's sweet on a fella who works for Gideon. Name's Ace. She sings at the local club. There all the fuckin' time. Ask her yourself!"

Samson's eyes halfway lid, a languid and thoughtful stare. "You've been very helpful, Mr. Varlane." Samson unlocks the door beside Pete and throws it open. "You say word one of any of this to anyone, and I'll find you. And we'll finish this conversation."

"Wai—" is as far as Pete gets in his reply before Samson telekinetically shoves him out of the moving car. Pete rolls down the street and into a ditch, and Samson swings the door shut with a curl of two fingers. The privacy partition to the front slowly rolls down, and Candice Wilmer gives Samson a curious look. He shrugs, spreading his hands in a helpless What can you do? gesture. "Take us into the city," Samson says, retrieving a cell phone from his pocket and opening the maps application.

"I need to look someone up."


Route 53

20 miles from the Arizona border

cassi_icon.gif taylor_icon.gif

“It’s supposed to be out here.”

Cassi Hayes stares at the pitch blackness beyond the headlights of her car, to the flat expanse of desert highway receding into the night. “It’s supposed to be here.” She looks to her right, at Taylor Kravid in the passenger seat.

Taylor holds a small flashlight between her teeth, flipping over an old road atlas, scanning the colored lines of highways like an anatomical map of pre-war America’s arteries. She plucks the flashlight out of her mouth. “Route 53, we’re just outside the Arizona border…” Taylor looks up at Cassi, then back to the map. “We went the right way.”

“We’ve been driving for eight fucking miles, we should be right in the middle of the goddamned town.” Cassi says, looking down at the fuel gauge buried below E. “Even if nobody’s there—we—there’d be gas. Something.” She waves her hand frustratedly at the windshield. “Not fucking nothing!

Taylor turns the flashlight off with a click and looks out the passenger side window. “I can’t see sh—” Cassi slams on the brakes, cutting Taylor off with a jerk. When she whips her head around she yelps, “Shit!

In the headlights, a horse stands stark and visible, saddle on its back. Cassi stares in wide-eyed confusion at the animal, throwing the car into park.

“Cass?” Taylor starts to say, but when Cassi climbs out of the car, Taylor is quick to join her. “Is that… a fucking horse?”

Cassi steps around the hood of the car to the animal, shaking her head in disbelief. She looks across both sides of the road, seeing only flat expanses of desert. “How’d you get out here, girl?” Cassi wonders, stepping up to the horse who pays her little heed. She reaches out, nearly touching the horse on the side of her neck.

C-Cass.” Taylor whispers sharply.

Cassi freezes and looks around. On the side of the road, where once there was nothing but desert, she and Taylor are now surrounded by figures too far from the headlights to be seen. Cassi raises both of her hands slowly, turning in the headlights as she notices some of them armed with rifles.

“We’re—we’re unarmed.” Cassi says. It’s a lie, but not an obvious one. “We’re just lost.”

A lone, unarmed woman steps into the glow of the headlights to answer the call.

“Lost?” She asks with an incredulous rise of one brow. Behind her, the highway shimmers like a heat mirage at night, revealing the sudden appearance of a city shrouded in the desert by some sort of massive illusion.

“We’ve been getting that a lot lately.”


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License