Into the Dark


daniel_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Into the Dark
Synopsis Daniel and Helena return to the tenement to collect pictures of Peter's mural and other items of interest.
Date September 23rd, 2008

Condemned Tenement

Once home to dozens of working-class families, this building has long ago been officially evacuated and condemned after it was partially gutted by a fire. The brick exterior is covered with layer upon layer of graffiti, the windows are boarded, and some sections of the roof are less than sound. The fire took hold on the fourth floor and expanded upward. Below that, many of the apartments are still intact.

Daniel approaches with Helena through a route no one is watching, because, well, there is no entrance there. Instead, there is a four foot thick wall of collapsed brickwork and dried-out pipes and ducts. He carries a tiny flashlight, but is clearly familiar with this pathway. He stops carefully, right at the end. He speaks quietly, though nobody could possibly hear them, "We're going two feet in and then up and to the right. That'll bring us up into the internal hall, easy to see if anyone's in the whole place from there." He offers her his air mask - although he is carrying only a single air canister, a splitter provides hoses for the both of them. The air mask he has selected for himself is older, smaller, cheaper, not fully enclosed like the one he gives Helena. "Breathe normally." he advises. "Since we're both on the same canister, we probably only have ten minutes total, but it only takes a few seconds to get in, and not much more to get away if something goes wrong."

Helena looks a little nervous. "The mural is in the basement." she says. "I didn't see any cars parked in front and from what I could tell there's no one watching from the adjacent buildings, but you just never know. Thanks for this, Daniel." She reaches out and squeezes his arm. "It won't have an effect on the camera or anything, will it?"

Daniel says, "I haven't ever tried." He actually takes her arm, perhaps mistaking her thankful gesture for the start. "Is it a computer camera or a film camera? If it's computer, maybe we can try it here before we go in. If we go left instead of right we should end up on the basement stairs."

"It's a digital," Helena admits, "But I think there may be some photos Peter took in his room, which is one of the places we're headed anyway." She looks at Daniel with a nervous smile, then hangs onto his arm. "I'm ready when you are."

Daniel says, "All right. Mask on." He pulls his own on, adjusts the canister, and puts his arm around her, all the way around her waist, fingers on her stomach. It's a weird feeling, like the floor is made of styrofoam, barely supporting their weight. It's pitch blackness inside solid matter. A step in wards, another, then he is turning her in the direction he promised, confident, practiced, he's done this many times. He brings her out of the total blackness into the basement stairwell, before removing his own mask.

Helena can't help it, this is a bit thicker than they've been through before, so she hyperventilates a little until they're solidly on the inside of the building. Apparently if HomeSec's been here, they've been and gone…and as nothing's been disturbed, they haven't been at all. Helena looks around. "Huh." she says.

Daniel says softly, "I'll keep watch. You get the pictures. If they've been down here." He eyes the pictures somewhat sourly. "I never believed they were the future anyway." he murmurs. "The future's going to be good."

Helena gives a little shrug. "Well, okay." With that, she disappears briefly to go take care of getting shots of the mural.

Helena returns a few minutes later. She's clutching an envelope, the camera, and is wearing a dark jacket that is a few sizes too big for her. She shoves her prizes in her pockets. "Okay." she says. "It looks like no one's been here at all. If we check on it another week or so, give it a good going over, I think we might be able to come back."

Daniel nods to her. "All right…" He looks over the picture carefully. "I don't know either of these people, do you?"

Helena swallows a moment. "The woman is someone I saw escape Level 5." she says. "I'm bringing the picture to Noah Bennett to see if he can identify her."

Daniel puts his hand on her shoulder, in the dark, and there's no mistaking it for preparing to phase. "I was really glad when I found out you got away all right." he murmurs.

Helena smiles up at him, even though he can't see it. "Thank you, Daniel. I wish Alex was as lucky." Or Peter, but she finds it awkward to mention him right at this moment.

Daniel says, "Or Claire or Peter." for her, and it's a little easier when he says it, but then he ruins his ease by adding: "You know, uh. You and Peter, I mean. I saw him kiss you. On the cheek, but still. It didn't look brotherly. So I was wondering."

Helena lifts her eyes to Daniel in the dark. "Before he and Sylar disappeared, Peter said he loved me." Her tone sounds tense, almost a bit defensive.

Daniel says, "Why wouldn't he?" with a wry smile. "Anyway. I was just asking. You ready to go?"

Helena curls her arms around one of Daniel's thicker ones. "Yes." she says quietly, and then notes, "I realize we can't come back here after all. Sylar knows about it." With that, she seems prepared to let him sink her down into the dark again.

Daniel doesn't make any reply. He just goes. There is nothing but blackness, then darkness again, and he leads her back to where there is air.

The picture that is revealed is a particularly gruesome one, painted only in three colors; black, white, and red. The image depicts a man on his back, dressed in a business suit and long jacket, with blood pooled out beneath his body. One arm has its sleeve ripped off, revealing bare flesh. This, however, is only where the image begins to become more disconcerting. The form of a woman is hunched over the man's body, painted entirely in jet black with white highlights to show reflection. Her mouth is pulling away a piece of red flesh from the man's arm in grisly detail, smears of red painted around her mouth. The woman's horrible, chalk white eyes peer out blankly towards the viewer. At the bottom of the painting, swirled in the pool of blood beneath the man's body is a number, "8954."

September 23rd: Do More Than Hope

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

September 23rd: The Right Fit
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