Iron Heart


f_edward_icon.gif f_rickham_icon.gif

Scene Title Iron Heart
Synopsis A man who has lost absolutely everything has nothing to fear, and a man made of living iron has even less so. This very principal makes Edward Ray — the proverbial man behind the curtain — tread carefully when handling the tin man.
Date April 7, 2009

Textile Factory 17

Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in the Red Hook neighborhood, Textile Factory 17 was once a part of a greater industrial complex in New York in the late 1800's. The building itself has that distinctive architectural look of an industrial revolution factory; constructed primarily from aged red brick, Textile Factory 17 however has one defining trait that sets it apart from the other factories in the area, an outer wall that surrounds the factory that closely resembles the bailey of a castle more so than an industrial complex.

The Factory complex is made up of seven distinct buildings, all having been abandoned since the company that owned the mill went bankrupt thirty-six years ago. The factory, warehouse, commons and shipping buildings all sit in derelict condition, having been cut off from the majority of New York's homeless due to the heavy gate that cordons off the facility from the nearby roads.

While it rests clearly in public view and is considered a historic landmark to the Red Hook neighborhood, time and circumstance has not allowed the factory to be refurbished for other purposes.

Sunset over the Hudson river is both a sobering and humbling experience. When the golden rays of spring’s light crash off of gleaming towers of glass and steel, it only highlights the broken heart of midtown, where nothing but gay and black rubble is strewn out across so much devastation.

On the bailey surrounding the textile factory, one man who had so much hope invested in that city stands much like the city’s other metallic sentinel – the Statue of Liberty. Visible from here with a clear view of her face, the statue serves as the best and most whole reminder of what New York once was, and what it can still be.

“You’ll get your chance yet, Allen.” The voice interrupts his silent observation of the city across the bay, and a creaking squeal of grinding metal and a low, hollow growl like a wolf snarling into an aluminum can is the only response Edward Ray receives on his approach.

He’s as orange as the sunset, still not having changed out of his prison garb. Though Edward’s posture is just as relaxed as it was the day Allen first met him, the day the former physicist helped save his life from Sylar.

Why is Nathan Petrelli with us?” Rickham’s hollow, metallic voice is a deep grumbling reverberating up through what sounds like miles of old iron piping. Edward lowers his gaze, stepping around the iron-clad sentinel to move to his side, letting his hands come to rest on the crenelated battlements in front of him.

“Nathan is a different man from the one you competed against, Allen.” It’s hard to explain just how different, “He was a puppet dancing on marionette strings – and I mean no offense to Eric when I say this.” There’s a hesitant smile, but it is quick to fade as he sees Allen returning nothing but his usual stoic glare.

He ruined my life. He turned me into this monster. He—

“No, Allen, you ruined your life.” Edward’s eyes flick up from the distance, blue peering with remarkably confidence into unblinking orbs of hematite. “Nathan had the civility to offer you a chance to start over once he defeated you – and just because he used deceptive arts to do it doesn’t make it any less real of a defeat.”

Allen is dumbstruck by Edward’s brazen declaration, “You’re the one who left your wife and son in Anchorage and carved a path of destruction down through Washington and Oregon, aren’t you?” His head tilts to the side, “for what?”

It’s a good question, and one that Allen can’t quite find the words for. The iron giant takes a step back, head canted to one side as he looks back to the sun setting through the broken ribcage of midtown’s remains.

Exactly. You’re a man of patience, Allen. When I first met you I marveled at your strength of character and strength of being, but the thing you became,” Edward’s eyes move to the deep cuts and gouges that slice up the man’s iron torso, to holes drilled through his iron body that pass from his front all the way through to his back. “That wasn’t you, Allen.”

Metallic brows furrow, and Rickham slowly turns, looking down at Edward with another hollow, metallic rasp being his response. “Yes it was. I—I lost control. All of those people…”

“Allen.” Edward turns slowly, taking a step up to the metallic figure, still half-dressed in his tattered orange jumpsuit, most of the upper half having been blown away by gunfire during their escape. “Did you ever stop and wonder, why?”

Silence hangs on both men for a time, as Allen’s hematite eyes peer down to Edward’s icy blue irises, considering the why again. He finds nothing but range, anger and frustration to reward him for this soul searching, and one metallic hand moves out, winding around Edward’s collar as smooth iron lips draw back to reveal flawless metallic teeth. “Every. Day.

Barely supporting his weight on his toes, Edward brings one hand up to wrap around Allen’s icy cold wrist, beathing in a hitched breath, “That—is what they want you to think, Allen.” That much spares Edward a few moments, “I know you, Allen. I had faith in you, I believed in you,” it’s hard to tell if the panic of being threatened by a man made of several tons of metal is real, or all a part of this charade.

“You were the one person I thought could change this world!” Breathing rapidly, Edward squeezes the metal wrist to no avail, “Someone did this to you, Allen. You were made a martyr!”

Metallic fingers unwind from Edward’s orange collar, dropping the bespectacled man down to his feet. Tension comes almost impossible over Rickham’s features, and he watches Edward with wild scrutiny, as if waiting for an excuse to lay into the mathematician with one metal fist. “Prove it.

One hand comes up, and Edward chokes out a few breaths as he hunches over, waving a pleading gesture of stop to Allen. “I—“ another hacking beath, “I can—just—I need time. All things—all in due time.”

One hand rubs down over Edward’s face as he straightens up and looks back to Allen, “I’ll prove it to you, but right now—right now you have to trust me. You know what I can do, Allen, you know more than anyone here, and you know if I wanted to ever do anything to hurt you, I had my chance.”

That much he did, and Allen’s slow lowering of his fist makes it all the more obvious that Edward’s words are reaching him inside of his iron shell. “What do you want me to do here? I can’t just walk the streets.

Edward hesitates for a moment, and then looks out to where the sun dips down behind the ruins of midtown. “No, not yet, you can’t.” Blue eyes train back on Allen, “But I promise you a time will come when you can, when all of us will be able to. I promised you all a better future, and I meant it.

”You just have to trust me, give me time to formulate the next step of this,” his hand sweeps around to motion to the Factory, “give me enough time, and everything you’ve ever wanted will come back. Just—for now—it might be wise If you didn’t go making any public appearances.” A feigned smile doesn’t quite reach Edward’s eyes, and at least this time Allen knows why; He’s scared.

You have your time.” Allen growls out in his hollow voice. “But I need you to do something for me,” dark eyes turn to focus on Edward who doesn’t outright say no, he just watches Allen with a puzzled expression. “I need you to find someone for me.

“Who?” In his mind, Edward beings to see the possibilities narrowing, and the branching paths formulating from this possible outcome. Edward’s eyes narrow slightly, trying to hide the growing smile creeping across his lips as he thinks the name to himself before Allen speaks it.

Stephanie Caiati.

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Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…
Robin Hood

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