Scene Title Jigsaw
Synopsis Edward Ray plots out his private string web, and pieces of his own puzzle start coming together.
Date January 14, 2009

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

Long after the sun has set, it is only by the flickering glow of a laptop screen that the Stacks find illumination. The muffled click and clack of keystrokes breaks the monotonous crinkling of plastic covered windows flexing in and out like ghastly lungs. Lit by this pale glow, the hunched for of Doctor Edward Ray looms over the computer, diligently working on information for Phoenix to ensure the world is still standing by the end of the month.

But this information isn't entirely for Phoenix.

Filing through news reports online, Edward has managed to compile a growing list of information on the Presidential campaign in 2008, focusing on the campaigns of Nathan Petrelli and Andrew Mitchell. Clips of debates, blog links, digital newspaper articles; all sifted through for some sort of miracle clue that will make the corners of this puzzle come together. Squinting at a photograph of Senator Petrelli on the campaign trail, Edward leans in towards the screen, letting his head tilt slowly to the side.

His eyes focus on the woman in the crowd behind him, a dark-haired matriarchial figure. Eyes narrow, thoughtfully, and Edward slowly rises from his chair, pushing it aside after pressing a single key on the keyboard. "So that's her…" He circles around from the desk, as distant from the laptop a printer begins spitting out a copy of the image. Moving towards the noise, Edward steps between two of his rolling blackboards, towards a hanging partition in the middle of the room made from a length of thin rope and some sheets.

Parting the curtain, the man slips inside of the more private area, turning towards a short desk with a laser printer seated atop it. He hastily removes the printed photo, tearing off the white-space from around the edges, letting it fall to the floor as he walks past the cot he sleeps in night after night. Beyond the bed, beyond the duffle bag that contains most of his worldly possessions, a single red length of twine stretches out from a nail in the corner of one bookcase, "It starts to put the puzzle together." He murmurs, reaching up to tug on the cord lightly, following it from the nail in the wall to where it droops between two tall and empty oak book cases.

Other lengths of string, yarn, rope and twine converge here from throughout the library, hung with photographs and news articles printed all on the same paper. Edward ducks under a blue length of string, his head brushing against a paperclipped notice that reads, "Petrelli Family Purchases Orchid Lounge." His eyes remain upturned, focused on the network of strings as he passes by a wedding photo of Nathan and Heidi Petrelli from the local newspapers.

Edward stops, peering at a chalk white string that zig-zags through the different connecting threads, ending at the middle. He stops there, pinning up the photograph he printed of Nathan on the campaign trail with Angela, then turns to see the article adjacent to it. There, hanging in the middle of the web of strings, is an article that shows a photograph of a grandfatherly looking old man, smiling, his dark brows in sharp contrast to his graying hair. Edward's focus settles on the text of the obituary article, narrowing his eyes slowly as the corners of his mouth downturn into a frown.

"So this is how it starts," His tongue rolls across the inside of his cheek, and Edward turns to look towards the eerie glow of the laptop through the thin white sheet beyond the bookcases. "We'll see about that."

January 14th: Breaking Point
January 14th: Stolen Moments
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