Honor Thy Father


arthur_icon.gif mason_icon.gif maury_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Honor Thy Father
Synopsis A reunion a long time coming finally takes place.
Date April 22, 2009

Family is one of the most important bonds we develop in our lives…

A warm wind blows through the coniferous trees surrounding the green-glassed façade of Pinehearst Company’s New Jersey office. Recessed lighting surrounding flagstone walkways shine up into the deep green boughs of the trees, casting diffuse shadow up towards overcast skies.

The connection between parents and children forms the basis of who we become, it is the foundation upon which all of our morality is built.

While the sun has not yet fully set, the clouds overhead have done their best to make the gloom of dusk all the more deep. Slowly making his way around the front of the building, a man in a brown janitorial jumpsuit sweeps dried pine needles off of the concrete front walkway under tinted awnings. He pauses in his cleaning, stretching his back while looking to the double-helix sculpture that dominates the space by the front doors.

What then happens, when the child is divorced from the parent? How do they cope with this broken moral foundation? How do they reconcile the differences in their ideals when finally confronted with them again?

Curiously, the wet footsteps appearing on mostly dry concrete under the front awning go unnoticed by him. Old hands move into the pockets of his jumpsuit, pulling out a cigarette and lighter, leaning up against the green-tinted glass wall to take a smoke break. When the door beside him swings open, nearly smashing into him, he jerks away, cigarette tumbling from his lips to fall unlit to the concrete underfoot.

Honor thy Father and Mother, the bible says…

The door swings back closed with a hiss of hydraulics, “Must’ve… been the wind,” he muses to himself, not seeing anyone having entered through the front doors. His eyes scan inside, towards the secretaries at the front desk, then to the elevators.

Sometimes that can prove to be a very daunting task.

Pinehearst Headquarters

“So what I’ve been told, is that there has been a sixteen percent reduction in cellular integrity with each revision of the injection.” Amidst the pale yellow light shining down inside of the elevator, Mason Chesterfield looks more weary than he really is, all of that overhead illumination making the bags under his eyes and wrinkles in his face seem so much more pronounced.

“Have you talked to Doctor Meir about it yet?” Another man, dressed in a matching white lab-coat with the blue and green double helix of Pinehearst Company on its breast turns to look at his own reflection in the metal doors. “She’s—Well, Meir’s upset about Mister Petrelli having stepped away from her original design. I think her pride’s been injured.”

Mason’s lips press together into a look of restrained disapproval, “Doctor Meir’s pride is far from my concern, Lee.” Mason’s eyes downturn to the floor, arms still hugging a clipboard to his chest as he does. “Her previous experiments involving this formula were gruesome affairs, absolutely monstrous things done in the name of science.”

“You’re growing a conscience?” Lee asks with a crooked smile, his head canted to one side as he turns dark eyes towards Mason. Mason’s lack of response, save for a tensing of his brows and a growing frown causes Lee to recant, one hand raising defensively in a wave, as if to dismiss the entire notion. “Hey, hey look—I didn’t mean anything by that. I just—I overheard Meir talking about you a few days ago, who you worked for and what you did. You’re a pretty—“

“That was a long time ago.” Mason notes with a firm tone of voice, “and I won’t ever partner myself with Zimmerman again, especially not after finding out what he did to those poor children.” That comment from Mason draws Lee’s brows into a tensed look of confusion, lips parting as he presumes to ask exactly what mason was hinting at – but in the end decides against it.

The ding of the elevator doors opening breaks the awkward tension of their conversation. When the doors rush open, Mason quickly steps out, but pauses in the hall for Lee to catch up. “I want to run some analyses on the blood of our two guests, then I’ll need you to…”

As they progress further down the hall, the conversation of Lee and Mason is lost to the other person who was in the elevator. One not even the two doctor’s noticed, as he slips out into the hall, droplets of water from the rain outside rolling off of his unseen form, pooling on the tile floor. Each squeaking footstep he takes carries him past examination rooms and laboratories, past rooms with blinds drawn and lights darkened.

If only he knew the people who were imprisoned here against their will, how much that would change things.

“…tell you again, Arthur, I’m worried about him. I need to know that you’re going to uphold your end of the bargain.” A voice is heard through a pair of double doors, and creeping up to it, he’s rewarded with the sound of a voice he never thought he’d ever hear again.

Maury,” Arthur’s tone is both reassuring and somehow condescending, “I told you, we’re going to make sure our families are well taken care of. Matt’s not going to have to worry about a thing; in fact, if you’re that worried about him, maybe we can talk to him, show him what we’re doing and perhaps alleviate all of our concern—“

Arthur’s words are cut off as the door to the laboratory is knocked open. Fluorescent lights flicker and sputter overhead as a crackling wave of lightning erupts from the doorway the moment they’re pushed out into the room. Waves of rippling distortion peel away from the darkly dressed man striding into the lab, both hands held out with crackling waves of electricity sparking and sputtering over them.

Standing near a bank of computers, Maury Parkman and Arthur Petrelli both turn their focus to the scarred man bursting into the room. Peter’s expression is one mixed between disbelief and horror, the scar that travels across his face carved deep with the defiant look he bears. As Maury starts to move forward towards Peter, Arthur lays one weathered hand on his shoulder, giving it a firm squeeze.

“Peter,” Arthur says in a firm tone, like a father disapproving of a misbehaving son, “it’s okay just calm down and – “

Who are you!?” One hand filled with throbbing electricity is raised outward, fingers spread with tiny bolts of lightning arcing between them. The computer screens near Peter begin to flicker and fritz, the images distorting and pixelating from the electrical charge.

Maury grows silent, hearing the static from Peter’s mind when he tries to reach out towards it, taking a step back behind Arthur. “I’m your father, Peter, and I’d really appreciate it if you’d just calm down, and let me explain.”

“My father’s dead,” Peter blurts out, taking another step into the room, a bolt of electricity arcing off of his arm to a metal table with a sparkling crack, “I was at the funeral I saw your urn, I—“

“Peter,” both hands go up slowly, a peaceful gesture, “it’s me.” Arthur’s dark brows lower, eyes focused so squarely on Peter’s. “Search yourself if you have to, but you know it’s true.” One hand moves out, as if offering it up to his son, “I can explain everything… but I’m just glad to see you’re safe, I’m glad Gillian was able to save you.”

That name, that truth, causes Peter’s electricity to sputter and fade. His brows contort into an expression of disbelief, both at the tone of voice and after prolonged confrontation with a man who so closely resembles his long dead father. “I—“ he wants to believe, but at the same time he doesn’t.

His father, Linderman, the Company – too many connections that have burned him. But then he’s asked such a difficult thing, “Come give your father a hug,” and Arthur’s arms outspread, a smile crossing his face as he watches his son with expectant eyes.

Peter swallows, tensely, his arm lowering while his gaze flicks to Maury, then back to Arthur. The two share a long, silent stare, and much in the way Maury didn’t find what he was looking for in Peter’s mind, Peter finds nothing but an echo and hiss of psychic static in his father’s mind.

His hand lowers to his side, even as Arthur takes a few steps forward towards Peter, “Everything’s going to be okay now, son, I promise you.” He’s here, he’s his father, and he’s alive. Everything Gillian had said, about Arthur being the one to orchestrate Peter’s escape, about her being the only one who could do it, and now seeing the man in the flesh – what harm could one hug do?

Stepping forward, Peter’s arms come out, and Arthur is quick to wrap his own around Peter, drawing him into a tight embrace, resting his head against his own flesh and blood’s, “I’m sorry it had to come to this, Peter.” Arthur murmurs against his son’s ear, “But I’m glad you’re safe.”

No fireworks, no tricks, nothing but the paternal embrace of a father-figure so many years removed. Every muscle in Peter’s body tenses as he embraces Arthur, and his words fail him for the first time in a long time.

“I’ll—“ Maury sidesteps around the two, “give you two a little time to catch up.” He looks back and forth between the reunited father and son with marked suspicion, “We’ll—we can talk later, Arthur.” Maury’s afforded no real answer as he slips out the door, leaving Peter and Arthur alone in the lab.

Why?” Peter finally rasps out, leaning away from his father as his arms come down from his shoulders. Arthur relaxes the hug, stepping back to look at just how much the youth of his son has remained – and how much of his innocence has been claimed by the last few years. “Why’d you lie to me and Nathan? Why’d you lie to mom?” Even as the word’s slip out of his mouth, Peter begins to suspect the truth.

“Your mother lied to you, but she’s not solely to blame.” Arthur moves a step away from Peter, eyes scanning the room, “I had no choice but to do what I did, Peter. Your mother and Daniel Linderman were planning on destroying the city, using you and Nathan as pawns in their sick game.” It’s not the whole truth, or even a fraction of it, but there is some truth in the lies.

“Why didn’t you try to stop them?” Peter’s brows lower, creasing the scar on his brow as he moves to follow his father deeper into the lab, the long trail of his leather coat flaring out behind him as he walks, swaying side to side as well with each step.

Arthur turns to look over his shoulder, then shakes his head, “Why do you think I had to trick everyone into thinking I was dead?” The notion makes Peter’s stomach sink, “Your mother nearly killed me, and if it weren’t for a luck break, I would’ve been dead. I tried to stop this future from happening, Peter.” He turns, motioning around the room with a broad sweep of one large hand, “This isn’t the future the Company wanted when we started doing what we did. This isn’t what we dreamed of. This isn’t the bright future we wanted for our children.”

That much, at least, is true.

“Then why wait? Why did you take—why didn’t you tell any of—“ Peter’s fists clench tightly, his head turning to the side, eyes wrenched shut. Seeing the look on Peter’s face, Arthur takes a few steps forward, coming to lay a hand on his son’s shoulder, giving it a firm squeeze.

“You never did have my patience, Peter.” The words come as a mixture of paternal love and chiding, a laugh following them as some sort of light-hearted punctuation. “I had to wait, to prepare. Your mother commands a vast and powerful group of people, and with the heads of the Company still in place, I had to be careful of absolutely everything I did.”

There’s some recognition in Peter’s eyes, a downturning of his head like a scolded child that knows he did something wrong. “But I watched you and Nathan, as best as I could. Maury,” he motions to the door, “stood by my side during all of this. I saw what you were doing, and he kept a distant eye on you… I always knew you’d become a leader, Peter.”

That makes Peter’s skin crawl, his eyes flicking over to Arthur with a distrustful look on them again. “You turned a group of terrorists into a freedom-fighting machine that actually had the tenacity to stand up to the Company. You took Cameron Spaulding’s vision and refined it, you were a leader to these people, Peter.”

“I screwed up—“ He backs away from Arthur, turning to face away from him, arms folding. “We—if you were watching, then you saw what happened at Primatech, you saw what we did. We let monsters like Adam Monroe just slip through our fingers, we—“

Peter.” The tone is firm and scolding, “Everyone makes mistakes, look at the Company.” Another laugh punctuates the statement as Arthur walks up behind Peter, “We tried and failed countless times before we got it right, and our enemies weren’t nearly as well-funded or well-organized as what you faced. Sure, you made mistakes,” his eyes narrow, “but did you learn from them?”

There’s no real answer to that. Peter just bites down on his lower lip and hangs his head, and after a moment slowly turns around to look Arthur in the eyes, jaw tense. “It—it’s really you isn’t it?” All of this reminds him so much of his youth, of conversations with his father from so long ago.

“It really is me,” he echoes, letting his hand once more reach out for Peter, laying on his shoulder. “We can talk about all of this later. But right now, I want to talk to you about the future, what we can do for it, and what we’re going to do to fix all of the damage your mother and brother have done. I want to talk to you about so many things…”

Peter swallows, tensely, then draws in a slow and weary breath. His nod is a reluctant one, but one tinted by all of the words he’s heard his father say. Peter has so many more questions for him, but it would seem there’s more than enough time for that, more than enough time for change to come – he just has to learn how to be patient.

“But first, I want to talk to you about Phoenix.

He has to learn to be like his father.

<date>: previous log

Previously in this storyline…
Splashdown in Tokyo

Next in this storyline…

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