In Somnis Veritas


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Scene Title In Somns Veritas
Synopsis In dreams, there is truth
Date December 6, 2008

Primatech Research, Level 5

The analogue clock on the wall reads 11:55, and this deep down beneath the streets of New York, it's hard to be certain whether that means AM or PM. The halls of Level-5 are silent at this hour; most of the cells vacant, their lights turned off and windows darkened. Wall sconces shed pale white light up and down the bare concrete, and it is only the grinding sound of the freight elevator that breaks the stillness in the air.

Coming to a lurching stop, the double-layered doors slide open. First the steel-plated security doors that receed into the wall, then the cage mesh door that rolls up into the ceiling. From the elevator, a single man steps out, hands tucked into the pockets of his slacks, head skewed down and eyes focused on his polished dress shoes. The sound of those heavy footfalls echoes in the otherwise quiet hall.

He stops at one of the cells, pausing abruptly as he turns to look at his muted reflection in the reinforced glass. There's always something about the scar that cuts across Peter's face that draws his attention to it when he sees it, a reminder of a part of his past he refuses to talk about — To Cat, to Helena, to anyone. That scar across his face is a reminder of something secret, and something that, at the end of the day, is a permanent reminder to Peter about who he is, and where he's been.

"Does it make you feel guilty?" The voice causes Peter's breath to hitch in his throat, turning towards the sound only to find himself soaring backwards through the air with a violent thrust. Thrown off of his feet, Peter collides with the concrete wall, suspended some six feet off of the ground, hands reaching towards his throat as his legs kick in the air. "When you see that scar, does it make you feel guilty?"

Peter's head tilts back, struggling as his eyes peer at the ceiling. He tries to speak, but his voice only comes out in a hoarse and choking croak. Then, as abruptly as it began, he's released, crashing to the ground to land on his side. One hand presses flat against the floor, vision blurring for but a moment before he tries to right himself, looking up with a furrowed brow and a snarl to the figure standing down at the far end of the hall.

There, in the pale light of the sconce lamps, stands a man in a long black jacket made of smooth leather, the collar lifted up behind his neck, hair combed back tight to his head. As he walks, hard-soled boots thump loudly on the concrete, the long tail of the jacket swishing from side to side with the sway of his shoulders. "How can you work with them, after everything they've done?" Peter's expression shifts to disbelief as the figure storming towards him continues to speak. The look in his eyes, the same scar across his brow.

"How can you work with the Company!" His hand bursts into a wreath of orange flames, flickering and crackling as his palm spreads open, leaving a wake of rippling heat and smoke behind his arm. Climbing to his feet, Agent Petrelli stares at his doppleganger, backing up until his heel bumps into the wall behind him. He raises one hand, slowly, arcing bolts of electricity crackling between his fingers.

"Because I can make a difference here." He says with firm resolve, "Because even if they're put into difficult situations, what they do in the end is for the greater good. Take a look around you, at the world we're living in, at all of the chaos. There has to be order put in place, and we can't wait for Democracy to take a slow effect, or the world we know won't be here anymore!" Peter steels himself, keeping that hand outstretched, "So this is really how it ends?"

Flames roll up one shoulder and down the other, and Peter's opposite hand bursts into flames, "You've known this day was coming since before we split apart." A crooked smile creeps across his mouth, tugging at the corners of his beard, "This is destiny." There's a rush of air, and suddenly he's right in Peter's face, an arm's length away. Immediately a blast of flame sends the Peter in slacks and a suit jacket reeling away, raising his hand to launch a bolt of lightning towards his imposter. It misses the mark, he's already gone.

"Who are you!?" Peter calls out, backing up towards the wall, lightning arcing down both arms as his eyes scan the hallways. "I'm me, I know I would never do the things you've done, I'd never hurt the people you've hurt!" Peter scowls, clutching his hands tightly into fists as he takes a step back, only to feel hands grabbing his shoulders, yanking him through the wall he leans up against as if it were thin air.

Peter slides across the floor on his back, knocking over a chair until he collides with a desk, sending pens scattering to the floor and papers into the air in the dimly-lit office. Flames crackle and burn, illuminating the black-clad man who yanked him through a foot of solid stone, "I'm everything you aren't." He intones, an angry and frustrated expression on his face, turning towards his prone counterpart, "And you're everything I'm not. You're weakness, you're pathetic." He flicks his fingers, gesturing subtly as the desk flies across the room, smashing into the wall and shattering in an explosion of stationary and wood.

"No." Scrambling to his feet, Peter circles around his fiery mirror self, looking into his dark eyes, into the dancing reflection of orange flames that seem to represent the passionate anger welling up inside of him. "I'm not weak. How can you say you're not me, don't you feel the same way about Helena that I do? Is that why you asked her to join you?" He swallows, dryly, keeping that lightning wielding hand held aloft. His mirror snorts derisively at the question.

"Helena made her choice." He spits the venomous answer back, "Helena's the past, just like you." A burning finger wags back and forth in a chiding gesture, "Eventually your Company buddies are going to turn you on everyone, turn you against Helena." The flames rise and burn brighter to punctuate his words.

"No! I'd never hurt her!" Electricity snaps and crackles as Peter throws one arm to the side in a defiant gesture, "I'm not like you!" His counterpart isn't nearly as convinced, rolling his eyes with a click of his tongue as he steps closer across the office floor, eyes narrowed in a dustrusting and displeased expression.

"Remember Simone?" Those words cut through Agent Petrelli like a knife, "Remember what the Company did to Isaac? What that did to Simone? Remember when he killed her!?" Anger grows, turning into a curtain of flame that rises up off of the leather-clad Peter's outstretched arms and his shoulders, like a mantle of fire that backlights his body. "What good have you truly done? Who have you really saved? How has anything you've done saved anyone!"

"I…" Peter thinks back to Niki, how he thought he saved her, only to have Jessica take over and ruin the life she was starting. "I — I…" Saved Elle? Hardly, for all his struggle he'd never been able to do anything for her, she saved herself. He couldn't save anyone, he's never been able to. All Peter has ever done, is destroy people's lives.

Burning eyes narrow as he sees his counterpart's indecision, and the fiery Peter shakes his head from side to side, quenching the flames entirely, snuffing them out in an instant. Now he is lit only by the pale blue glow of the arcing bolts of lighting running down his counterpart's arms. "You really are pathetic, aren't you?" He asks, knowingly, "It's over." His upper lip rises into a snarl, "Give up now, and just maybe you'll finally do some good."

He has no response, backed into a corner both physically and metaphorically, so much so that the electricity crackling around his hand fades entirely, casting the room into pitch blackness. There, in the suffocating seclusion of the darkness, the voice of Peter Petrelli calls out in grim question, "When have you ever done any good?"

A series of loud gunshots ring out down the hall, and the more sinister and agressive Peter's chest erupts with a spray of blood and bullets. He staggers forward, choking out a breath before starting to turn around, another gunshot phasing thorugh him and blasting a hole in in the wall beside Agent Petrelli. "You are one stupid bloody son of a bitch comin' 'ere, you know that?" One arm in a slign and the other holding a Company issue pistol aloft, Agent Woods stalks down the hallway with a sneer on his lips. "Security'll be 'ere any minute, Slick."

"Woods!" Agent Petrelli croaks out the words, watching as his doppleganger pheases sideways through a wall with a rippling distortion in the air. "Woods, get the hell out of here! Now!" Peter moves towards the wall, balling his right hand up into a fist, and Woods tilts his head to the side, scratching his temple with the barrel of his pistol.

"Pete, kindly go fuck yerself man." He starts walking down the hall, motioning with the pistol. "I put in a bloody call for the Haitian the minute I 'eard you two sissy slap-fighting." Blue eyes scan the cells nearby, "Agent Montag and Agent Hollingwood are on their way. We ain't gonna 'andle whatever the fuck is goin' on alone."

"Woods…" Peter's brow furrows as he eyes the wall, "I need you to call for Grant and Lee, see if they're around. We'll need everyone we can get." Reeling back like he's about to punch a hole through the wall where his counterpart fled, a sudden shout from Woods halds him in his place.

"Wait!" Peter halts as the voice calls out, and Woods motions to the door nearby, "Fuckin' Christ Petrelli, keep your eyes open eh? I'll go play Buckey to your Cap'n America. Calvary will be on the way." Peter cracks a smile, watching Woods with an appreciative expression before hustling to the door and swinging it open. Dark eyes peer up to the spiraling emergency staircases that lead up to the street level.

"Thanks Woods," There's a bit of a crooked smile there, "I owe you one." There's a flickering flash, and Peter teleports up to the next visible landing on the stairwell, disappearing with a rush of air from Woods' line of sight. The agent shakes his head and sighs, scratching his temple with the barrel of his gun again.

"Right, one."

December 6th: Not One of Us, Not One of Them

Previously in this storyline…
Pull The Trigger

Next in this storyline…
Five Minutes to Midnight

December 6th: Five Minutes to Midnight
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