Living Legacy


jenny_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Living Legacy
Synopsis Someone's testing a theory, while the victim just wants to go home.
Confusion that never stops. The closing walls and ticking clocks. Gonna come back and take you home. I could not stop, that you now know
Date November 20, 2008

Waterfront Holding Facility for Vanguard

Security cameras record stillness, and then, they record nothing at all as the feed is shut down. The holding facility at the waterfront is, for once, empty of the usual people - the Vanguard members who come and go on shifts, bringing food or sometimes just an extra set of eyes to make sure no one is going anywhere, have all been given an indefinite night off. No need for that tonight.

From inside the freight container, Jennifer Childs will have little idea as to what is going on outside, separated from the world with walls of rusted metal. Suddenly, a scrape of metal will sound out within her dark prison, and light will pierce through the darkness. It's nighttime, but even the dim, shadowed interior of the waterfront warehouse will give more light than inside her box-like cell. One side creaks as it swings open, up, only to rest with a bang on itself. Apparent freedom, for only a few moments, until the shape of a man wanders into view, dressed darkly, and too tall to be seen properly.

Sylar rests a hand against the edge of the container, ducking enough to peer inside, although it's hard to make out detail, the shadows obscuring everything but his shape. Likewise, all he sees are shadows. "Jennifer," he says, in a voice the girl might recognise. "Why don't you come out where I can see you?"

There's bruises on her face, shoulders and legs from the initial beating when she fought back, but in all, Jenny could be looking a lot worse than she does. Models are rarely well-fed, so the gauntness added on isn't too far out of place to how skinny she'd been when they brought her here. Reddish hair lays stringily in her face as she looks up at the scraping, the door opening. The sound carries a different ambience to it than the usual feedings, the visits, and she winces away from the light. After so long in the dark, the little light is blinding.

Her name. And that voice. One of the ones who took her. She lets out a whimpering sound, almost a whine. The wall of the packing container gets a hand pressed against it, her own— and she pushes herself to her feet.

Despite the accelerated heartrate, the shaky breath, she seems to be trying to fight against her emotions. The steps are unsteady— she hasn't had much room to walk or much light to walk by— but she takes steps in the direction of the door. Much taller than her older sister, she's more on a height to look closer at his face— even if he's still a few inches taller. Each step makes her heartbeat more terrified, the sound of someone who wants to flee, "What— what do you want?"

As Jennifer approaches, Sylar almost obligingly backs up to give her room, walking away from the container. Apparently trusting she won't escape. Either because she won't try, or because the doors are locked and the windows are too high. Once she steps out onto concrete - which will feel dusty and gritty beneath bare feet - of the warehouse, the container will close again, seemingly on its own accord, with a loud, metallic clatter. In this light, more details come into focus for both of them. His eyes trail over her bruises, then towards her face. He's wearing a leather jacket, unzipped, more dark fabric beneath it, jeans, boots. Not, for instance, the snappy suit and tie from before, but his hair is still nicely combed. "That's a dangerous question to ask," Sylar says, coming to stand a few feet away, hands clasped behind his back in a gentlemanly posture. "What does a person in your position have to give, save for blood and flesh?"

"I don't know," Jenny exclaims, nearly whines. It's a helpless sound, the sound of someone who doesn't know what they could possibly have to offer— the sound of someone who's frightened, terrified, someone who has no idea what the future holds. That accelerated heartbeat is back in place again, unsteady breaths. She keeps a hand against the container that held her, possibly needing the physical support. "I don't even know what you wanted me for," she says in the same tone, now with tearstreaks visible on her cheeks. She's been crying recently, though isn't there yet. "No one's told me. I registered— just like we're supposed to— I did the right thing— why am I being treated like this?"

"You did the good thing," Sylar corrects, eyes trained on her. The look of a dog told to 'stay' when he really doesn't want to, his posture entirely relaxed but a whole other level of anticipation beneath the surface. "Just like you were supposed to. But 'good' and 'right' rarely coincide." His hand lifts, and the interior door just to the left of them is wrenched open, locks breaking. It leads to a small, rundown but functional bathroom. "There's water in the pipes."

"Right according to the government," Jenny says in the same shaky voice, but quite as defiant as she could be, but it's still there— just like her sister, she doesn't like being told she's wrong about something. The tears start to form as he gestures, flinching away as if it might be meant to have someone shoot at her. When the door wrenches open, though, her eyes go from it to him, blinking. "You're— you're like me?" The surprise is genuine, and she looks back to the bathroom. "I know— I could feel it. Even in there…" she says, stepping out further, so she's closer. "It doesn't do me any good— too much is needed to rip it out of the pipes— Unless they're leaking. Only ever done it once." Just once.

Sylar keeps that hand outstretched, but his eyes remain on Jenny, as if studying her from a distance rather than several feet away, engaged in… something like conversation. "I see," he says. "Then allow me." His hand clenches, and pulls the air - the sink is twisted from the wall in a violent, breaking sound of porcelain and metal. Water gushes readily, overflowing onto old bathroom tiles, arcing hisses towards the door. And his eyes remain judging, studious.

A surprised sound escapes her mouth, and even the sight of all that water seems to be making a change in her heartbeat. Still fast, still pumping adrenaline, but there's a hint of hope— followed by distrust. The water that squirts out toward the door starts to gather, like his ability might pull together glass fragments off the floor. It begins to pull together in streams, like solid ropes of water, until they form into a sphere, growing larger and larger. A shimmering, fluctuating ball of self-containing water. As more water flows from the pipes, more gets added in, making the bubble of water grow, much as a bubble of air would grow in the ocean— reversed.

"What is this?" she asks, looking over at him shakily. The bubble of water quivers, losing beginning to lose the illusion of solidity near the bottom as water leaks out and drips toward the floor. Part of her might wish to believe this is an assisted escape— where is everyone, after all?

And he's drawn to watching this display of power, hand lowering now that his part is done. A mix of awe, despite all the powers he's seen, and envy, despite all the powers he has. "This is me trying to understand it," Sylar says, an answer that isn't for her benefit, and his footsteps echo softly as he walks forward. "You deserve honesty. You're not going to live through this, Jenny, but you might live for longer if I do." A hand reaches out to touch her.

Honestly may not always be the best policy. The reverse bubble quivers and breaks, about half of the water splashing to the floor rather loudly all at once, much like an eye that suddenly decided to start crying— which matches what Jenny's doing now, as the tears that had formed start to flow. She wants to move away— but like a deer trapped in headlights, she can't even do that. His hand wraps around her and the ball of water starts to grow arms, lashes of water that swing outward. Not much that they can really do— they're not long enough to hit him, or come between them, but it seems to be acting on instinct. She doesn't want to die— she doesn't want to die. God he's going to kill her. He can rip a sink out of the wall— what could water possibly do to him?

Not much, it seems… especially as ice starts to form on the ground beneath their feet, his boots needlessly protecting his but stinging her bare skin, but it doesn't seem intended to harm her. It extends out towards the the bathroom, frost seeping, growing across the floor, freezing solid the larger puddles, the pipes - no more water comes from the torn metal, and slowly, whatever water loosens from her psychic fountain is frosted, fixed in place too, and it's suddenly rather cold in here. "Don't cry," Sylar says, hand coming to grip her other arm. "It'll make it easier for both of us."

He doesn't want to do it, but he has to find out, has to know. He could kill her, that would be easy - but what if truly does mean he can replicate ability? Jenny will feel a gentle pull in her mind, like the twinge of a headache, as Sylar throws open doors to her thoughts and takes them in.

Telling someone not to cry after telling them they are going to die isn't quite as effective as it would be without the dying part. She doesn't want to die. Jenny's afraid of dying— she doesn't understand why this is happening to her when she did everything that an Evolved was supposed to do. She never used her abilities to hurt anyone— she caused very little damage to any buildings. She didn't do anything to make her dangerous— all she did was get born with an ability that made her different. Why is that wrong? Who do these people think they are? That would be the anger. It's a childish flailing kind of anger, without direction of furiousity, and it flows very quickly back into fear and confusion. And desperation. One very clear thought, most powerful of all.

I want to go home.

The reverse bubble pops, water splashing on the floor in all directions. It's fairly obvious she's not concsiously controlling it anymore— but it's running across the floor to get to her, small rivelets of water flowing in their direction.

The flood of emotion, thought, idea hits him like, well, a wave, and his hands grip a little stronger this time - as opposed to when he'd jerked back from Munin. A peaceful mind versus something more frantic, panicked, loud. The ice instantly starts to thaw as his concentration gets shot to hell, much like how he couldn't walk straight when Munin, and finally, Sylar wrenches his hands off her, almost pushing her away, and takes a few clumsy steps back, almost slipping in the melting ice. This… this had better work, because right now, even her ability, as amazing as it is, is not worth the thunderous amounts of fear and anger, more feeling over thought, aimless, chaotic - save for that one, central idea, like a pillar of rock on a turbulent ocean - the want to go home.

But these thoughts are alien, and invasive - give it half an hour and they'll melt right into his psyche as if they'd always been there, but for now, he more resents them than understands them. Ignoring her, focused on bigger and better things, Sylar looks towards the rivulets of water climbing their way, and lifts a hand in an effort to manipulate them. But it's like trying to move a limb that doesn't exist, and his jaw clenches both in frustration, and in an effort to ignore the unraveling mind within his own.

The cold, the melting frost, makes her shiver, but not only that— the fear, the confusion, everything else makes her shake. When he lets go of her, Jenny falls to the floor, curling up with her arms going over her head, eyes closing as if that will make all of it go away. The water surges faster toward her, as if rolling up her legs, soaking through clothes and sheathing her despite the chill left behind by the ice he'd made in the room. It's not as comforting as it might have been without that. The water quivers like a living thing, a second skin made of liquid.

In a hesitant, stiff movement, Sylar's hand drops when he fails to manipulate the liquid, face written with confusion and traces of indirect fear. And he twitches, bodily, a hand coming up to his forehead as memories start to bloom and sprout like unwanted weeds in his mind. She'd been so cold, tired, pained inside the freight container, scared for her life and of the unknown, wanting only to go home, god, to have a shower, basic human needs, why would they do this to her? He can see himself in her mind's eye, looming over her, speaking of her death— stupid thing to do— and unlocking even more despair and fear, and of course, that anger. A familiar burn. Sylar can relate to that.

"You're scared?" he asks, in a soft, wavering voice, looking down at her, watching more the water that pools across her as if to protect her. "Not surprised." She's thrown up off the ground with a flick of his hand, her back coming to hit the container hard enough for it to shudder back a few inches, scraping against concrete. What do these people WANT from me? drifts through his own mind, like nails on a chalkboard.

Fragile would be a good word for her. As she's lifted up, there's nothing Jenny can do about it. The water crashes off of her body, splashing onto the floor as she's slammed into the container, a yell of pain escaping as bones crack in multiple places. She's tall and lanky, built unlike her sister in many ways, but that's a bad thing in this situation, she breaks so much more easily. The water on the ground quivers, this time moving toward him, trying to climb up his feet. Blood drips down her cheek as she looks up at him, through a veil of red hair, that anger in her eyes— that fear. And now a new emotion. Pain. Though he can't feel that, he can probably recognize the look.

Sylar keeps her in place, save for the tiniest of movements afforded her, and he steps forward. He glances down, stepping rather deliberately into the puddle gathered, uncaring about the way it gathers to reach him, soaking straight through his boots, his jeans, frostily cold. "You don't even know what you're capable of," he sneers, the same song and dance, now fueled by her anger. "I hear it, your doubt in your own power. I'm going to take it," and his other hand comes up, two fingers pointed, "and do it some justice." But more than that, he wants to silence the thoughts in his head, as if she'd taken her emotions and started using them to batter at him from the inside out. Here's to hoping it stops. A blue and green flash of light emits from his fingertips, and smoother than he could have ever anticipated, the lasers cut through her skull.

In an oddity for him, there's no screaming as the lasers slice through her skull. The motion is so quick, the very nerves don't even have a chance to register what happened right away. The water seems to know what's happened faster than her mouth does. It quivers, rising up, lashing out in ropes of liquid— and then crashes down once again, splashing, spreading, the life that held them flowing out. And then she starts to yell. Jenny's yell is whimpered, pained, as her body registers the pain. Blood drips down her face, her hair, clumping together as it flows. Her body shakes, arms shivering. The yelling turns to whimpering rather quickly, as the life begins to flow out of her in a liquid that she can't readily manipulate, but one far more vital to her than the water splayed on the floor around her.

Jenny's corpse comes tumbling down with a doll-like awkwardness as Sylar's telekinesis releases her. He's soaking wet, now, and cold, from where the ropes of water had attempted to attack, their aborted mission seen in the puddles on the ground.

And the battle in his head doesn't end.

With a furious, echoing yell, Sylar's hands come up to grip his head as a dead woman's thoughts continue to unravel in his mind. The first beating she had received upon an attempted escape, the rabbity panic of waking up in the dark with a partially dislocated knee, the growing despair at the realisation that no one was gonna come for her, they'd have found her by now, what did they even want from her, I want to go home

Minutes pass, and Sylar finds himself kneeling in the shallow pool of water, shaking from a fear of death that would never come for him, that came to her. It's quiet now. Dead bodies don't really make sounds save for the steady drip of blood. Before he can lose himself completely, he moves to kneel beside her body, and starts to study. Anything to take his mind off her's, fingers exploring the literal gray matter while his mind unwillingly plundered the last living legacy of Jennifer Childs.

She just wanted to go home.

November 20th: Go Diego Go

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 20th: A Walk In The Park
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