peter_icon.gif samson_icon.gif

Scene Title Iconoclastic
Synopsis i·con·o·clas·tic īˌkänəˈklastik — adj. characterized by attack on cherished beliefs or institutions.
Date December 26, 2019

Lincoln National Forest

Just Outside Sunspot, New Mexico

January 14th

Pale rays of sunlight filter through the boards covering a lone, broken window.

"Listen to the wind blow…"

The door to this cabin was busted open a few days ago, the lock in pieces on the floor along with the doorknob. A weathered dresser pushed in front of the door keeps it shut, save for a thin sliver of sunlight creeping through and tracking time across the hardwood floor. Other furniture is broken, pieces of it scattered around the single room cabin with its solitary, metal-framed bed. A round table made from an old spool is pushed into a corner, old and ratty pillows that were once sat around it heaped up beside it. Scrape marks in the wood floor show the direction the spool was pushed in. A few cans, split open along their sides like an animal had gotten to them lay empty on the floor; carrots, green beans, spinach.

"…down comes the night."

A soft click accompanies the wheezing breaths between each lyric of an old Fleetwood Mac song. The sound of a rifle's chamber opening. Bullets are scattered across the floor, rifle shells that glitter coppery in the narrow shafts of sunlight breaking up the dark. A cardboard box with a picture of a deer in crosshairs is split open nearby, more bullets strewn about the floor beside it. Slouched up against the cold brick of an old fireplace, Samson Gray cradles an old hunting rifle in his lap, quietly sliding the bolt back into place after chambering a round.

"Running in the shadows…"

Using the heel of one foot, Samson kicks off one of his mostly unlaced boots, then repeats the same for his other shoe. Tired eyes angle up from the gun to the ceiling of the cabin, to the way even the boards covering the roof have split and cracked over time, allowing in rain when it does deign to do so out here in the desert, but also thin rays of light that threaten to break up the gloom of this place's isolation. There's trophies on the walls here, but there always were. They came with the cabin. The real trophies are more innocuous things, a set of car keys on the mantle, a cheap pewter ring on a window sill, a hunting knife hanging on the wall. Trophies from people, not animals. The real quarry that was hunted from this cabin for decades.

"…damn your love…"

The single raven feather tucked behind the ear of a taxidermied stag's head on the wall isn't a trophy, even if it was a kill. Samson's wandering stare comes to settle on that, and a weight settles in to his chest that tightens like a fist around his heart. Swallowing down the lump in his throat, he closes his eyes and tilts his head back, biting down on the inside of his lips to keep his jaw from trembling. He holds in a hiccuped breath, but it leads to a wet and wheezing coughing fit, one hand clapped over his mouth and blood coming away on his palm. He exhales a shaky breath, remembering where he was in the song.

"…damn your lies."

It feels like so long ago that he last heard that song, in his car, the car he left behind at the Sunspot observatory. The car that had taken him hunting all these years, his one constant companion among a lifetime of horrific choices and constant succumbing to addiction. But it's all over now, and Samson knows it. He survived cancer once, wasted the opportunity for a second lease on life by becoming an even bigger monster than he had been the first time. He wasted the possibility of salvaging a life with his son and the woman he cared about to pursue a lie. Now, realizing how fruitless any of this had been, there was only one more hunt to have. Samson catches the elastic of his right sock with one foot, then yanks it off.

"Break the silence…"

Sliding the rifle down his lap, Samson tilts his head back and places the barrel under his chin just above his Adam's apple, then bends his right leg and finds the rifle's trigger guard with his big toe.

"…damn the dark…"

He breathes in deeply, sliding his tongue over his lips, and closes his eyes.

"…damn the

Twelve Months Later

The Deveaux Building
The Manhattan Exclusion Zone
December 26th
4:14 am


Stepping through the demolished remains of a greenhouse, little more than a twisted frame of rusted metal and small shards of broken glass, Peter Petrelli's voice belies his anxiety in this moment. His dark eyes wander where the pigeon coop once was, even the debris of it had been cleared away. The roof looked surprisingly clean and sparse, save for a huge section of the east railing that had collapsed down to the street. "What're we doing here?" Looking up from the ground as he steps out onto the rooftop patio, Peter finds Samson standing at the sculpture at the roof's edge, a ring of stone flanked by a pair of cherubs. His chest tightens when he sees the bullet pock mark on one of them, a ghost of a memory echoing in the back of his mind.

Samson is hunched forward, one hand up on the arc of the stone ring, as he stares out the space in the middle of it. "Something's wrong, Petrelli," is Samson's answer as he looks over his shoulder to Peter. The incredulous look on Peter's face is about the response he expected. "Don't tell me you don't feel it in your stupid bones." Wrinkling his nose, Peter walks over to Samson and comes to stand beside him at the sculpture, briefly glancing out over the skeletal remains of what was once Manhattan, burned nearly beyond recognition by the ravages of time and war.

"What's wrong is that we came all the way out here to stand on a rooftop and… what?" Peter spreads his hands, gesturing to his barren fields of answers. "Think? You didn't drag me all this way, to this building, for no reason. Do you even know who owned this place?"

Samson fires a look up to Peter with a sneer. "Of course I know who owned this place!" His shout makes him break down into a fit of coughing, one hand clapped over his mouth and a shoulder against the masonry. Peter, reflexively, steps in and rests a hand on Samson's shoulder and brings another hand to the side of his neck to feel his pulse. Samson swats Peter's hand away and looks at him like he just told him to turn his head and cough. "Keep your mitts off me, Petrelli. I don't know where you've been."

"You're sick, Samson," Peter emphasizes.

"Brilliant observation, how many years of medical school did that cost you?" Is Samson's sharp retort, but he grimaces and waves a dismissive hand at Peter. "Shut up," he tells him, even though Peter hadn't been the one talking. "I knew your bastard of a father, Petrelli. Of course I know this rooftop. Everyone in the Company did." That assertion has Peter's back straightening and brows creasing together as he looks at Samson with new eyes.

"What?" It's about all Peter can manage to say.

Samson rolls his eyes and rests his back fully against the stone ring, scrubbing a hand over his beard as he blinks a look from Peter out to the ruined horizon. "Your father send some people after me in the early eighties, when people got wise to what I was doing." He doesn't elaborate on what that might be, but knowing what he does about the similarities between father and son it doesn't take much of a leap of logic. "I sent them back to him in pieces, so he decided to play a different tune the next time he sent someone for me. He had an offer…" Samson leans away from the sculpture, running a hand through his messy hair. "He'd conveniently remove my name from the Company's records, if I… did what I did best, but on his dime." Samson shrugs, then motions over to the greenhouse. "I was here… once. Agent Black," he says with a rasping voice. "Can you fucking imagine it?"

Peter shakes his head and waves a hand in Samson's direction. "Why're you telling me this? What does any of this have to do with anything?" Samson flicks a look back at Peter, impatient, then turns his back on him and meanders over to another edge of the roof, looking down to the street below.

"Back in 82, the Company found some scary technology made by someone like us," Samson says as he surveys the lightless streets below. "They turned in on in New Mexico, tore open a hole in the world, and in doing so turned a bunch of agents to ashes and dust. A lot of smart people tried to explain what happened then, but they say it broke the world. Broke time." Slowly, Samson turns to look back at Peter. "I helped a smug asshole find that place again, back at the start of this year, in exchange for something." He turns his back to the roof, resting the heels of his palms on the railing. "I think they broke the world too. Like someone with a chisel, hammering away at the same crack in a wall."

Peter has grown silent, slowly moving closer to Samson. "A door," Peter whispers, but he looks confused even as the words spill out of his mouth. "Or— "

"A Looking Glass," Samson says with a rise of his brows. Peter freezes when he hears the term, bringing a hand up to the side of his head, brows knit together in momentary discomfort. "Pete, you know what my ability is. How it is that I do what I do… I can tell how things work, I can tell when they're broken." His eyes narrow, chin tilted up. "A couple days after those idiots tore open a hole in the sky, I crawled down to a cabin I used to hunt out of, loaded up an old rifle, and I put it right here." He taps the underside of his chin. Peter's dark eyes stay transfixed on Samson. "I remember pulling the trigger, Peter."

Sucking in a sharp breath, Peter paces away from Samson and places a hand to the side of his head. "That's— " his heart races a little. "Why're you telling me this?" Peter asks, wheeling around to fix a look on Samson again.

"Because you don't remember me," Samson hisses, stalking back toward Peter. "Because right there," he points to an eviscerated skyscraper a few blocks away, "I killed your little Molly Walker right in front of your eyes and you don't remember!" Peter's attention snaps to Samson, and suddenly it all makes sense. The way he tracks people, the way he's able to find anyone. His ability. Like Gabriel.

"You son of a bitch!" Peter screams, throwing one hand out and lifting Samson off of his feet, hurling him over the edge of the building. There is no scream, no shout, just a rasping laughter as a cloud of smoke rolls back up over the edge and takes the form of a man again.

"That's the boy I remember," Samson says with a crease in his brows, and as Peter steps forward and clenches his fists, Samson holds up one hand. "Stop and think for one second in your whole stupid life." Peter's jaws clench and rippling waves of microwave energy begin to radiate outward and upward from his body, splitting the leather of his jacket as it cooks. Samson's bushy brows come together as he takes a slow step toward Peter. "Do you remember the last time you were here? When you flew up into that sky?"

«Save The Cheerleader»

Smoke billows through demolished halls, flames crackle and snap as they climb up what little furniture remains. Ashes churn in thick clouds that snake through vertical steel beams that sit askew like broken teeth in a clenched jaw. Bodies lay everywhere.

«Save The World.»

The tile flooring has been torn to pieces, fragments of it are scattered with the drywall and twisted wiring. As the smoke clears, the ashen silhouette of a man emerges from the debris cloud. Peter Petrelli is caked in dust, covering his now tattered leather jacket, clotting in the blood at the side of his head where wounds slowly stitch shut. Clinging to the disheveled tresses of dark hair. He's alive. And that is horrifying.

«Thats what Hiro imagined, but it wasn't that simple.»

Sucking in gasping breaths, Peter lowers his glowing hands; bones lit by atomic fire, and stares in wide-eyes horror in the realization that nothing changed. Hiro Nakamura was gone, vanished to another time, and yet the world still stood. The bomb still happened. Peter’s expression is one of overwrought grief for those who died at his side. Who died thinking that this was impermanent, a temporary thing.

«There would never be an easy fix.»

Something crunches in the smoke, shattering glass under a heavy weight. Peter stops dead in his tracks, brows furrowed in such a way that his scar seems twisted and crooked. He turns toward the black smoke, watching embers rose up from within, watching flames part, watching something move.

«And the world would always need saving…»

As a figure emerges from the smoke, dust and debris clinging to their heavy wool coat, Peter sucks in a sharp breath and slowly shakes his head. With one hesitant step backward, Peter watches the figure’s emergence and a mirror of that regeneration taking effect. “No,” his fingers curl against his palm, knuckles white hot with rage. “No!

«…from monsters.»

Sylar survived. The future refused to change.

"No" Peter whispers, clutching at the side of his head. The microwave energy fades, his shoulders slack, eyes track from side to side in confusion.

"Pete, you flew up into that sky," Samson says with a motion to a point in the distance to the north, "and you exploded with the fury of a thousand suns over this city. There was no body to recover. You were atomized, turned to dust." Samson keeps trying to drive the fact home, each comment chiseling a little bit more through the shell of denial Peter has tried to erect. When the younger man looks up to Samson, there is confusion in his eyes.

"We died," Samson says flatly, certainly.

All the color drains from Peter's face as he backs up and looks around the rooftop, one hand covering his mouth and brows knit together. Samson doesn't give him time to regain his footing. "I've been trying to remember what happened for a while now. Trying to remember what the first thing I recall was. I hadn't even questioned all of it until we found the girl crying up in that attic. It reminded me of… when I was a father. Reminded me of why I went and got that rifle. It all came flooding back." Samson presses the advance, walking closer to Peter. "I remember waking up with that girl kneeling over me, telling me to wake up. But I wasn't in the cabin, I was in the woods. I felt drunk, hungover. What do you remember Peter?"

"I don't know!" Peter shouts, swatting Samson's hands away from him as he staggers back and looks wildly around the rooftop. "I— I don't— I don't remember. I… I remember I— I woke up." Peter's breathing is fast and erratic. Samson stops pushing, but doesn't stop advancing on Peter. "I was— I was staring up at the sky. There were these lights, this— an aurora. I was in Alaska." Samson's brows knit together when Peter says that. "It was night, and I was in Alaska. Where I'd ran to after I'd blown up New York." He makes a face. "The first time." Samson doesn't make a glib comment, even though he wants to. This close, Peter can smell the stink of cigarettes on Samson's breath.

"I… I remember walking down into town, stopping at a general store," Peter says, his eyes unfocused and distant. "I remember listening to the news, about what happened in New York." He motions out to the city. "This time. I… I remember…" he shakes his head, one hand pressed to his temple. "I felt guilty. I— I traveled. Lived out in the Midwest for a bit. Changed my name. I— I tried to start over."

"When?" Samson asks, intently.

"I don't know I— it— I think it was… I don't know." Peter shakes his head. "Before the war?" He looks up to Samson, and the old man narrows his eyes and nods slowly. "I had a cabin, out in the woods. Eventually I… I headed west. I couldn't stay put. I felt like I— I had to fix something. I found Candace Wilmer," and Samson doesn't look like he knows who that is. "She has illusions. Used to work for the Company. I asked her not to tell anyone I was still alive, she understood. I… I borrowed her ability, she told me her people were having trouble with Adam Monroe."

That name again.

Samson's shoulders square and his chin alights. "Why the fuck does everyone keep mentioning that name?" Peter looks puzzled, watches Samson for a moment, but when the old man dismisses it with a wave of his hand, Peter continues.

"Adam was my fault. He escaped the Company because of me. I… I wanted to stop him. It was the first thing that made sense." Peter says with a shaky voice. Samson has withdrawn now, introspective in his consideration of events. He takes a few steps away from Peter, breathing in deeply and then exhaling a sigh. "I've been tracking him down ever since."

"How did you meet the girl?" Samson asks, looking back over his shoulder to Peter. "If she wasn't there when you woke up?"

Peter looks down to the ground, then to a window, then back to Samson. "I was pretending to be someone, an agent. She— was just in my apartment. I thought she was lost. She said she was in danger, that she needed my help."

"Did she tell you anything?" Samson asks, curiously. "Promise you anything?"

Peter shakes his head, looking down to the ground again. "No, she… she seemed surprised to see me. She asked if I could help protect her, and that she needed to find Eileen Ruskin." Samson's eyes widen and then narrow at mention of Eileen's name, and Peter imagines if he were just a little more hairy the hackles on the back of his neck might rise like an angry dog. "We spent a long time… looking for her. I don't know why if she had you. She didn't even tell me about you until the day before we moved on Providence. I thought she— I thought she was trying to protect Eileen from Adam."

"What do you think now?" Samson asks, as if he has his own interpretation of events.

"I think she's not telling us everything," Peter says with a slow shake of his head. "I… I think something's wrong, Samson."

"I think something's terribly wrong."

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