Like Icarus


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title Like Icarus
Synopsis Hiro Nakamura and Kimiko Nakamura discover more of the secrets of their family, intertwined with the tragic birth of the Company.
Date May 1961

Coyote Sands Relocation Center

It's strange, how even the most foreign and alien of places begin to feel like home after a long enough period of time.

A week and a half in 1961 can make a disorienting transposition in history feel entirely natural.

In the time that Kimiko and Hiro Nakamura have spent in the Coyote Sands Relocation Center, it has become obvious the intention of this facility. But at the same time, so many unanswered questions pertaining to their own time have been raised by their presence here. All indication points to the United States Government being aware of the Evolved generations prior to the destruction of Midtown in 2006, but all outward reactions to that event in the present seems to carefully directed towards the shock of the revelation.

The answer, it seems, lies at the end of whatever journey their father had sent them on. To that end, the Nakamuras have endeavored to find any leads that could be traced back to the Nakamura family here at Coyote Sands. No reservations have been brought in indicating anyone from the Nakamura family has been relocated here, nor has there been any indication they had been here at all. The only wild card lies in the research records of the two head researchers stationed here.

Doctor Chandra Suresh and Doctor Lewis Zimmerman conduct the lion's share of their research in a secure bunker just outside of the Coyote Sands facility, one closed off to the majority of the center's staff. There, behind watch of armed guards and concrete walls is the only stone left unturned, and potentially the only place where the tenuous tie of the Nakamura family to this place could be.

On the outside, the bunker is nondescript looking, a bland concrete facade stuffed into the craggy pueblo-colored mesa rock, secured with an iron door and given all the charm of a fallout shelter. Given the era, that utility may not be entirely far from the truth. Roughly eight hundred feet away, the cabins and lodges of Coyote Sands are backlit by the floodlights that keep the grounds wet-lit at night, and cast long, dark shadows out in the direction of the bunker.

If there are answers to be had, they won't be found left out in the open.

Hiro has a hard time deciding whether he ought to freeze time and go in with Kimi or let time progress normally. There are advantages and drawbacks to both. For now he's going with the time as normal approach. In tight-fitting black, he tries hard to keep out of the floodlights. That's hard to do, but the nice thing about floods is they make the shadows blacker in the night. Each shadow is a good hiding place. It's enough to let the sibs approach near the guards before deciding how they want to get past.

Kimiko stays close to Hiro. She's also opted for form fitted and black, hair tied back out of her face. She is silent as she follows her brother, him knowing a bit more about the practical end of corporate espionage than she does.

Little, though, looks corporate about the bunker entrance. A single latch-locked steel door watched by two stationary sentries that — while both looks distracted and tired of their position, seem unwavering in their assignment out front. Whenever a shift change is supposed to come, is most certainly isn't right now. The guard schedules, regrettably, weren't posted anywhere to be seen.

The only glimmer of insight into the bunker's operations comes when the door creaks open and swings to one side, revealing the intermediary chamber within where another pair of soldiers stand on the inside, shering a tall and broad-shouldered man with a wide face and broad smile out the front door. Heard of in name alone but never seen in their nearly two-week time at Coyote Sands, Lewis Zimmerman is the second in the pairing of chief researchers here.

"Good evening Chuck," Lewis inclines his head, accent thickly steeped in something clearly eastern European, "I'll be back shortly, I just need to pick up the samples." There's a motion of his hand in the direction of the compound, "Doctor Suresh forgot them earlier."

The soldier Zimmerman speaks to just inclines his head tiredly, waving him on towards the camp while the bunker door lingers open, soldiers on the inside reaching towards the valve-wheel on the inside of the door to begin to pull it closed.

Pausing with his back to the wall, Hiro takes a moment to look Kimiko over. He eye-narrows. "Can you pick locks?" Somehow he doesn't think she can, but wonders anyway. He pauses before saying more to glance around. And hey, lock-picking becomes unnecessary. Idly Hiro lays a hand on Kimi's hand and pulls them outside of the flow of time. The stop-motion of the guards and the world around them ought to become obvious as things just cease. "Come on." he bids quietly, as if the guards could hear them in a timestopped state.

"Pick locks? What do I look like, one of your super heroines?" As a matter of fact…nevermind. She follows along easily enough. "Samples of what, do you think?" she murmurs quietly.

There's always something haunting about the world devoid of time; the way the guards' mouths are frozen in half-formed moments of speech, the way Zimmerman's white labcoat is caught in the wind and yet frozen in the windless void, the way the people in the way of the door are so easily nudged aside as if they were floating baloons dancing in front of Hiro. Just a gentle nudge, a push, and a resetting of their position.

Just beyond the entrance hatch, the bunker of Coyote Sands is accessed via a secondary door matching the external one. All it takes is a twisting of the valve lock on the front, and a pull of the pressurized steel to pop back without so much more than the creak of new metal. The bunker looks recently constructed from the vangage point on the inside — clean and fresh concrete without so much as dust in the corners.

When Hiro wrenches open the second security door, a metal staircase leads down ten feet into tall concrete corridors lined with recessed fluorescent lamps in the ceiling, not entirely unlike the hallways of the Moab Federal Penitentiary. Unfortunately, it seems, some architectural fashions never go out of style.

The subterranean facility isn't nearly as large as it was presumed to be. A single door almost immediately adjacent to the stairs is marked as emergency food storage in stenciled black lettering, while a row of five more doors in the hall seem to amount of everything here. One room designated for the generators that power the facility, two bathrooms, and two offices. With all of the labs on the surface of Coyote Sands, it would make sense that the majority of research done here would be the paper kind.

One door is clearly marked L. Zimmerman while the other office C. Suresh, the lights in the latter office are on — just the dull yellow glow of a desk lamp from beneath the door.

Even as they explore Hiro can't shake the feeling that something is amiss. "I don't know" he answers to his sister's question. Samples? He has no idea. "We're missing something. Maybe there's a hidden entrance to something deeper." he guesses, content for now to leave time frozen. The problems with it are that you can't overhear anyone speaking in a timestop and also there are some devices that just will not work without time to allow them to. Almost immediately after realizing all this though, he looks at the door for Emergency Food Storage. "Why would there be food storage here?" he observes.

"This is New Mexico. Don't they do all kinds of testing here? More than just these people, but even then, some of what they're capable of…" She leaves it at that. "We could try each of their offices…how long can you keep things timestopped?"

"Forever." answers Hiro simply.

Ventillation ducts overhead are revealed with a quick glance, along with a short row of lockers opposite the office doors — two lockers only — marked with biohazard symbols. It's too small to be a fallout shelter, but the analogy is there none the less. Nothing here in this point of existance frozen in time holds any change, it's as though the world could go on indefinitely without them. It's a harrowing thought — imagine being lost in frozen time?

Hiro explores. Well, one can do only so much of that, really. Although the advantage is that they literally have all the time in the world. Something tells him they need to chance perspective though. He turns to Kimiko and says, "Let's get back in the timestream and see what we can figure out. Sounds. Things moving around. They might give us a clue." That's the warning he gives before touching her to help his focus and bringing them back into real-time.

"Shouldn't we wait until we're in a better position to - " and then Kimiko flattens herself against a wall, concerned about being caught. She gives Hiro a look, a little warning next time, please!

" — going to have to make the best of a bad situation. No, no I don't know when I'll be back. Look, this research… it's important — I understand. But Project Icarus comes before all of that. I promise you, in a few months I'll be back in Madras and all of this will be behind us, but right now…" The voice behind the lit office door is clearly that of Doctor Suresh, a voice that both Hiro and Kimiko have come to recognize over the days they have been here. "…You know I love you, don't ever question that."

In another direction, the clunk of the exterior bulkhead closing gives a good indication of how easily it is to hear when someone is coming or going from the bunker. Right now, there's no sign of the soldiers from the interior door coming in, which leaves Hiro and Kimiko stranded out in the hall, given the option of an unlit and untended office, or Doctor Suresh's more occupied confines. "I love you too, I'll call you tomorrow when I'm not so busy. Yes… yes, you too." A click comes from the lit office of Doctor Suresh, then a creak of his chair and a heavy, tired sigh.

Of course Hiro immediately lifts a finger to his lips, the signal being basically unnecessary. His decision is made easy. He goes for the unlit office to open it as quietly as he can.

Kimiko simply nods her head to this, and moves to start following Hiro. It pretty much is his show, and she's following along according to his instructions.

Zimmerman's office is something of a mess, documents strewn out over his desk and one drawer of a filing cabinet left hanging open. Everything seems to be in a state of haphazard arrangement, with stacks of folders lying out on the tables next to medical charts and aluminum film reel tins. Each of the film reels are marked with a pair of wings and an identification designator that reads Operation Icarus.

The folders lying out on the table seem to be patient files for some of the residents, the names look familiar, though those stacked up in the filing cabinets are an even fuller index of individuals, too many listed here to just be residents at Coyote sands. The obvious glancing through the directories comes up with an easily identifiable result: Nakamura, Ishi (cellular manipulation)

Whether or not this is what Kaito had intended on Hiro and Kimiko finding, they've stumbled upon that very treasure trove of information unwitingly.

Holy crap! Hiro shares a significant look with Kimiko even as he asks in a whisper, "I don't believe this…did Dad let them experiment on Mom?" As for the file? He's holding a hand over the file as if ready to take it, but something stops him. Like he almost doesn't want to know the answer to his question.

Kimiko stares at the file, reaching to open it up. The look on her face is indescribable. She'd always believed Ishi was not like father and son. That she'd been like her daughter. It had been a reassurance of sorts, to know her mother wasn't different in the way that Kaito and Hiro were. But here is the truth in print, and Kimiko takes the file, opening it up to read further of the details, quelling the surge of sudden alienation and inadequacy. They're not feelings that will do her any good at all.

Where brother falters and sister continues, the file opens to reveal a photograph of a young woman in her early twenties, nearly the spitting image of Kimiko. So traditional is this black and white photograph, the stiff rigidity of the young woman in her kimono almost seems unlike the memory of the mother that they shared. The folder is thin and the details scarce, listing her as a native of Okinawa, Japan with a date of marraige at November 9, 1960 to a Kaito Nakamura. Her original surname and details of the wedding arrangement aren't listed either, only vague observational data followed by a page with nothing but numbers and recent dates on it, with Linderman, Daniel listed at the top, and a hand-scrawled note at the top reading: "Compare to Nakamura results for speed of celular recovery."

Though Kimi has the file in hand, Hiro can't help but read over her shoulder. "Mom could…heal." he realizes. And quite unlike Kimiko, he's kind of thrilled at the prospect. It's like he makes more sense now. Alas for the empathy that siblings sometimes do not share. "Does it say where she is?" he asks before going to the office door to keep a lookout.

"Like Daniel." Kimiko murmurs. She'd started to flip through the file, but returns to the beginning again. After all, they now have all the time in the world. She has a knack for going through this sort of paperwork at a fair clip, hooray for high level executive office skills. "I'm not sure how they got to him - he's British, but she's from Japan and I don't know that she's ever even been on American soil. They'd not want to try extracting her, I would think.".

The door in the hall swings open after a flush, and footsteps lead Chandra towards the interior security door, and a series of clunks and creaks later it's clear he went out of the bunker following in Zimmerman's wake. For several long minutes, the Nakamura siblings read over the documents and consider exactly what is written about their mother, about the nature of herself as something more than just a normal human — that she too was special, and yet Kimiko…

The folder sags a bit as Kimiko holds it up and leafs through it, allowing something tucked between the pages to flutter out, a single scrap of paper with a hastily drawn symbol on it in marker, one that both Hiro and Kimiko recognize immediately — the symbol of Takezo Kensei.

When the scrap of paper hits the floor, there is an accompanying sound that is entirely unlike the sound of paper touching concrete, the crack of a thunderbolt. A few moments of silence and another crash of lightning abruptly outside comes before the sounds of shouting just beyond the first security door can barely be heard at the muffled distance.

What comes next sounds less like thunder, and more like gunfire.

It doesn't take Hiro long at all to piece together what's happening. The portent of watching the symbol of Kensei fall to the floor almost had him expecting all hell to break loose. If anything it disturbs him. "Somebody is attacking. The guards are shooting at somebody. Let's take the file!" Still, he's not leaving until Kimiko moves. It might be that they have to teleport out.

More sounds of distant gunshots fill the air as muted pops through so much concrete. They have to be close though, to even be heard as they are. But the sheer volume of them is horrifying, followed up with strange, unearthly screams and subsonic vibrations that shake the concrete bunker down to its foundations. Unabated, the gunshots continue to pop and crack through the facility, and the lights down in the bunker proceed to flicker and sputter.

Hiro takes a step toward Kimiko and puts a hand on her shoulder, closing his eyes simply and willing them away. This time he does nothing with time, but simply bends space, taking them to a place far outside and away from the bunker. Where they end up is a place not so far away that they're gone from the area, but it ought to be more or less outside the threat area. Call him curious, but Hiro does kind of want to know who it is raising hell here. Perhaps they'll get to see the attackers before this is over with.

It is our nature to protect our children.

Perhaps, in another time and in another place, Hiro would have made the decision to leave this time entirely. From the mesa that the bunker is built into, Hiro and Kimiko are made witness to one of the unspoken atrocities of the American nation. Some twenty feet above the bunket entrance, nestled between two columns of natural rock, they can clearly see the muzzle flashes of US Military storming barrack to barrack in the cabins, kicking in doors and opening fire on terrified and panicked residents of Coyote Sands.

For each generation to pass on their cautionary tales to the next. So it is with the myth of Icarus, the legend of a boy who fashioned wings from feathers and wax, daring to fly into the heavens.

Soldiers, docots, scientists and residents all lay dead, scattered in the dirt-paved streets, while a windstorm kicks up overhead. What could be called a systematic execution is clearly taking place, with door to door movements of the soldiers going into houses of families they have come to know over the week and a half spent here. The screams — screams of horror and screams of loss all couple together and rise up into the turbulent, lightning illuminated skies.

His father was fearful and warned Icarus to be careful. Begging him not to tempt fate by flying too close to the sun.

In the distance, the pair can see other voyeurs on the edge of Coyote Sands, a group of children perched at the edge of the chianlink fence on the compound's periphery — Angela Shaw, Charles Deveaux, Bobby Bishop, and Daniel Linderman, staring wide-eyed and horrified from outside of the compound looking in, only long enough that it takes before the heavy rains begin to fall, cold and bitter, as they make their retreat from the camp into the dead Arizona desert.

But in the end, the boy couldn't resist. His waxen wings melted from the sun's rays.

Sometimes, there is curiosity worth rewarding. Other times, there are answers best left unfound. But perhaps this is part and parcel of what Kaito Nakamura intended for his family to see and understand.

And he plunged to his death.

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