Scene Title Non-Compliant
Synopsis Asami discovers a terrible secret.
Date January 15, 2021

The thirtieth floor of the Linderman Building is a relatively quiet space.

Rows of low-walled cubicles in four-square clusters where each occupant sits facing one another forms the geometric heart of this open-office farm cluster. A glass wall partitions off the building’s server room where racks and their neat array of elegantly managed cables are always visible. Dozens upon dozens of employees work tirelessly at their desks, with a wrap-around view of the Manhattan skyline from the Financial District.

Asami Tetsuzan has her own corner office here, apart from the farm floor. Out her window she can clearly see the World Trade Center standing stark and gray against the horizon. There’s something about it today that feels ill-fitting to her though, on a day where there’s not a single cloud in the sky and the sun is setting early on a winter afternoon.

Situated at her desk, Asami returned to twenty-seven new emails since last night, the majority of them meeting maker requests from other departments. In fact the majority of her day at work is spent in and out of meetings, or meetings to discuss other meetings. There’s a rote mundanity to it that feels at once predictable and suffocating. One of Asami’s browser tabs has the company’s HR portal open showing her banked days of vacation time, another her Outlook calendar, packed with “critical” meetings.

No matter how many days off she accrues, it feels like there’s never enough time to actually spend it on anything meaningful. A day here, a four-day weekend there; never enough to truly decompress.

A prison made of glass walls is still a prison.

Asami’s Office
The Linderman Building
Manhattan Financial District

January 15th
4:04 pm

Elbow on her desk, Asami takes a moment to slouch behind her screens with her face in her hand to try and claim a moment of privacy in her fishbowl of an office. Plastic containers for her lunch are still strewn near her keyboard, the first 30 minute break of her day straddling an hour at what should be very close to its end.

She got here at 7 this morning. Tonight, she imagines she'll be lucky to leave by 6.

Unless she were to just… postpone the rest of her work until tomorrow. She lets out a scoff of a laugh at the thought, sitting upright and spooning another bite of the cold curry-rice she'd made for herself last night. It, too, brings a sting of emotion with it. A longing— a saudade she can't shake. She should stick to making something less nostalgic, maybe.

With a frustrated sigh, she pushes the plastic bowl away, and it shoves her keyboard out of reach as well. Asami leans back in her chair and rolls back slightly from the desk, arms folding tightly over her chest and her eyes closing as she tilts her head back toward the ceiling.

The three-beat knock that comes on Asami’s door is frustratingly familiar. It’s followed by an immediate privacy-invading turn of the door handle and the poke of Stephen fucking Lowman’s head through the door. “Hope I’m not interrupting anything!” He always says when he pulls this shit.

Lowman invites himself in whether he’s interrupting or not, and the finance executive looks precisely as smug as he always does. “I was wondering if I could hit you up for a meeting before you leave for the day? I’ve got a 6:00 but would you be able to take a 6:30? Quick like, thirty-minute chat to talk about 2021 staffing budget.”

"It's twenty-fucking-twenty-one already," Asami snaps with her eyes still closed. "Everyone else around here is doing their job on time, why the fuck can't you do yours already?" She lets the chair finally push her back upright, eyes flashing dark as she looks to him.

She'd love to lecture him about how her numbers and requests were submitted before the break for Christmas vacations, but like that will get her far. And in the end, she'd rather him work with her on her proposed staffing model than against her.

So she lets out a sigh that serves as an apology, her expression softening. Much more resignedly, she asks, "Is it actually only 30 minutes? Or should I block time for us in the morning, Stephen?"

The look on Stephen’s face is priceless if it weren’t immediately clear this was going to result in a meeting in the morning regardless, possibly with HR. “It— can wait till morning,” Stephen says with a lopsided smile, taking a step back and spreading his hands. “Actually— yeah it— I’ll send you a… meeting maker?”

Stephen begins to retreat back through the doorway like a gif of Homer Simpson retreating into shrubbery to avoid Ned Flanders. His smile is a grimace, a corpse-like rictus of a man who was just murdered by a coworker who had quite enough of his shit. But Stephen is a coward as well as a complainer. This will come back around.

Asami can feel that as well as see that, her lips curling back over her teeth in a failed attempt at a conciliatory smile. She looks to one side instead and it becomes a sneer. Because fuck this, and fuck him.

She places both hands down on the desk as she comes to her feet. "No, you know what, Stephen? If you've got time now, let's chat now." Her wrist flicks one of her screens out his direction. "We can pull up your station from here. That shouldn't be a problem, should it?"

That IT can remote into other machines is a known facet of support, but it's not normally used this aggressively.

"Because, really, can it wait until tomorrow? It's the…" Asami pauses long enough to let her head snap to the date in the corner of her screen, and then back to the shrinking man. "Fifteenth of January, and my January financials are due—" Something else catches her eye on the calendar that stops her from finishing that thought. The day that goes along with this date.


The fucking nerve of him.

Passive-aggression swivels right back around to proper aggression again. "Are you kidding me? You waited until 4 pm on a Friday to bring this to my attention?"

“Yeah, uh, look— things aren’t— I can tell you’re overworked right now and…” Stephen’s choice of words only further exacerbates the vitriolic anger welling up inside of


A soft chime from Asami’s computer briefly draws her attention. An inter-office message.

V.IRIS (nope@localhost)
1/15/20 4:08pm
He’s stalling you. Federal agents are in the elevator on their way up. You need to get rid of him. Now.

Asami doesn't need to feign her anger as she waves a hand at him flippantly. "Fine, then just fucking go," she bids him, turning her screen back to herself. Her anger abates enough a different look of consternation begins to take hold in her. She blinks rapidly.


"I need a fucking break," she says just as loudly as she dismissed Lowman. She means to be heard. Her fingers slip across the keyboard to lock it, phone and keys grabbed. She leaves her coat, her bag, her other belongings. Make others think she was still nearby. Fuck, she thinks to herself as she begins to stride from her office, taking a turn for the break room at the end of the floor, away from the elevators. Fuck.

Her phone is unlocked by fingerprint while she walks, bringing up the chat application again on her phone. Asami struggles to even know what to say. Where the fuck had he been? And why was he chiming in only now?

1/15/20 4:09pm
any in the lobby?

She makes it to the break room and shoulders open the stairwell door after checking it open with her hip, not breaking stride as she keys the message. The stairs she takes quickly, jumping the last two to the next landing.

V.IRIS (nope@localhost)
1/15/20 4:10pm
Three in the lobby, two in the stairwell you just entered. There’s an SUV full of them waiting outside.

You need to go to the roof. Please. Trust me.

There aren't many people ON1 would afford her trust to, but v.iris makes that very short list. When he says to keep going up, she trusts that.

"You know I hate heights," she mutters to herself as she grabs hold of the railing to propel herself around the next turn more quickly.

V.IRIS (nope@localhost)
1/15/20 4:11pm
Yeah well you’re gonna hate this next part even more.

V.iris replies to her spoken words via a text message.

What the fuck? Asi would spend time wondering just how he's hacked her phone if she had the time to. She simply braces herself for something unpleasant above.

Whatever it is, it absolutely could not compare to being cornered by federal agents. She doesn't even know what it's over. Does it matter? If it's related to Linderman or related to her life before is irrelevant. She never wants to see the inside of a cell or an interrogation room again.

"Talk to me," she says quietly as she pauses briefly several floors up to gather her breath. It's a good thing she's in shape, but this is still a hike. "What do I do when I reach the roof?"

After all, she's nearly there now. Asami jumps the next flight of steps two by two.

V.IRIS (nope@localhost)
1/15/20 4:16pm
You remember this part in the Matrix?

Don’t do what Neo did.

Oh, that inspires such confidence, v.iris.

"Are they up there, too?" Asami asks the air, and pauses by a sign that warns the next floor up is roof access only. She straddles two stairs at once, looking down at her phone. Her American movie references are sometimes dodgy, but she's pretty sure this one involved a gunfight.

V.IRIS (nope@localhost)
1/15/20 4:17pm
No. They’re in your office right now but they’re going to head up.
You need to hurry.

The Linderman Building is a fifty one story structure. That Asami can sprint its height from her office is a testament to her physical condition, to the way in which she keeps herself honed like the edge of a sword. By the time she reaches the roof access her lungs are burning and legs are screaming. Breaths come in gasping report. Her ID badge still works, able to bypass the lock on the roof door that leads out to the helipad.

There isn’t a helicopter waiting. Nothing quite so dramatic. Just the bitterly cold wind of January, fifty-two stories up from the street. The sky is a dappled shade of pink and orange in approach of sunset, some clouds have moved in to the north; fluffy and picturesque.

V.IRIS (nope@localhost)
1/15/20 4:21pm
They are right behind you, I stalled the elevator but they’re taking the stairs.
Turn to your right, walk to the edge of the roof.

Asami manages to turn, phone still in hand. That's as far as she gets in the moment. "v.iris…" she whispers to the air, brow drawing into a knit. Her grasp tightens around her phone.

She's not sure about this, suddenly. Or at least, her hardwired survival instincts aren't.

V.IRIS (nope@localhost)
1/15/20 4:22pm
There’s a building across the way. You need to jump.
Please trust me.

Asami knows the building. It’s the Equitable Life Building on Broadway. It’s probably fifty or sixty feet away from the Linderman Building across a street and twenty stories down to the roof.

V.IRIS (nope@localhost)
1/15/20 4:22pm
Less than a minute. Asami you have to do this. You have to trust me.

Does she want to escape so badly she'd court death?

People say things like they'd rather die than face something terrible a second time.

Those people don't find themselves standing on the roof of a building over fifty stories from the ground, buffeted by ice cold winds, with their life in their own hands rather than a gun in someone else's.

It's a silly thing to think at a time like this, but he started it. Him and his goddamned movie references. Him and his goddamned hope of escape from this near-hell-come-certain hell.

Asami slides back one step. And then another. "I'm going to need an ambulance if I survive," she notes to the air. Twenty stories was such a long way to fall. "Don't leave me. Do you hear me? Don't…"

Is she really doing this?

"Don't you dare."

The wind changes, at her back instead of her side. Phone still clutched in her hand, Asami sprints across the roof in her winter boots, feet pounding the surface of it as she gains as much velocity as she possibly can before reaching the edge.

All told, Asami makes it about eight feet from the roof’s edge before she begins to plummet. The dread realization that she isn’t going to make it even halfway to the other building comes by the time she’s fallen three stories. She can hear shouting at her back as she falls, arms out to her side, jacket fluttering, hair in the wind.

The street below rapidly approaches, but a 51-story fall provides a remarkable amount of time for reflection on a number of questions. Why were federal agents storming the Linderman Building? What had she done to warrant that reaction? Why jump? Why trust someone she hadn’t had contact with in years? Someone she’s never met face-to-face.

Asami Tetsuzan’s life flashes before her eyes. Her mother and father, her sister. Friends and acquaintances, the last things she said to people she’ll never see again.

Panic gives way to a moment of serenity. Maybe there was some small part of her that always wanted to jump?

It’s in that moment

she soars.

It feels like hitting the edge of a rollercoaster. That sudden gravity shift that comes with upwards momentum. Asami feels as though she were a leaf on the wind, buffed up into the air. Now is the only time she screams, an involuntary and fluttering thing as she is thrown aloft at a speed twice as fast as she was falling. It’s uncontrolled, graceless, and she skids against the window of the Equitable Life Building somewhere around the 33rd floor, sneakered feet squeaking on glass as she makes her ascent.

Asami’s head swims, her heart races, and pulse pounds. By the time she’s swept up to the roof and lands right on the edge, she can feel her extremities trembling. Reality catches up to her as does the sensation of gravity and she vomits on the spot.

“Gross,” she hears directly ahead of her, where a dark-haired woman in a hoodie and leather jacket is waiting for her. “Better than a splat on the street, I guess.”


Asami scrambles back from the roof's ledge, palms gritting into the surface while her head swims. She looks back at the spot she had no business making it completely to, then up at the building she just jumped from.


This can't be possible.

"I flew," she breathlessly bewilders as she comes to her feet, eyes wide. She drags the back of her hand across her mouth, looking to the other woman. "I—"

Stunned, she has no further words to describe what just happened. Instead, she asks, "v.iris?" But rather than wait for a reply from anyone physically present, she looks down at the screen of her phone.

“Yeah, you flew. You’re gonna hear a lot of crazy shit in the next fifteen seconds so—” v.iris snaps her fingers in the air to get Asami’s eyes up from the screen. “Yoo-hoo, Asami, up here.” She says making a swift approach. “Violette Iris, pleasure to meet you.”

It’s her fucking initials?

“There’s a lot I need to unload on you in a really short amount of time.” Violette says with her hands on Asami’s shoulders. “Yes, you can fly. You can probably do a fuck-all lot more than that too. It’s called Intuitive Mimicry, you can replicate— no, not enough time.” Violette exhales a sharp breath through her nose. “You are smack dab in the middle of the biggest conspiracy in the whole fucking world, Asami.”

Violette dips her chin down, leaning in, making sure Asami is making eye contact with her. “Superpowers? Real. Government conspiracies to hide the truth? Real. The world’s a lot weirder than you ever realized, and if I told you the truth all at once your fucking mind would implode.” Winding her fingers into the collar of Asami’s jacket, Violette starts to pull her away from the edge of the roof while looking up to the remote rooftop of the Linderman Building.

“Questions, go. Before I have to say my parting piece.” Violette looks back down to Asami, impatiently.

It takes effort to make the mental shift, from trusting text to trusting a person. Asami blinks and under Violette's dragging hands manages to stay afoot, but it's a near thing.

She's fortunately never been the type to blank when asked if there were any questions, else she'd flounder helplessly now. It takes her only a moment to execute a walkback of everything that just happened, to find the pieces that might be important rather than struggle with something existential like 'what the hell is intuitive mimicry'.

"Why did they come for me? How did you know?" Asami glances back up to the Linderman building for just a moment. "Where is safe going forward?"

The last one isn't a question.

"I'm coming with you," she decides firmly, sharpness entering her eyes, sureness finding its way into her posture again. She's exhilarated from that pivotal moment in her upward buoy of flight, and rides that confidence and certainty. Before argument can be brokered against it, she lets that sharpness enter her voice again. "I didn't jump off of a fucking skyscraper to just— be left on top of another one. I trusted you— I…" Asami's look hardens.

"I trust you. And whatever is going on here…" Her hands come away from her sides with a scoff of a breath. "It's going to take a lot longer than ten seconds to explain."

“Answer one: The feds were going to kill you,” Violette says, extending her index finger. “A criminal charge was filed indicating that you hacked the fucking Pentagon. You were going to ‘resist arrest’ and they were going to kill you in self-defense.”

Violette starts walking briskly toward a rooftop door that’s propped open as she talks. “Answer two: They knew because you broke free of the control system that keeps people like you negated — powerless. It’d take a lot longer to explain what that means and honestly it wouldn’t mean much to you right now. But now that you’re free they can’t get you back in without more effort than it’s worth not just putting a bullet in your head.”

“Answer three:,” Violette says with her hand on the door, holding up a third finger, “nowhere is safe. But you need to go to ground off grid. Find someone else you trust and whatever you do don’t try to leave the city. Trust me when I say they’ll find you easier that way and you’ll just wind up in the fucking ground.”

“And I’m not leaving you on the skyscraper,” Violette adds, fishing keys out of her pocket. “I’m giving you my bike. It’s parked on Broadway. Cherry red Aprilia RS. You’ll love it.” She pushes the door open, sliding the brick holding it ajar further with her foot. “You can’t come where I’m going, because I’m going back into the fucking Lion’s Den where I work so that I can stay on the inside. But if anybody notices I’m gone, I’m fucked.”

Violette presses the keys into Asami’s hand. “Stay with a friend, stay off grid, don’t go back to your apartment. I’ll be in touch.”

Someone else she trusts.

Asami folds the keys into her palm, her eyes widening with the realization where Violette is heading to. She hesitates in the doorway, pausing. Her head turns and suddenly she throws both arms around v.iris's shoulders.

"It's good to see you," she manages. For real, finally.

She lets go quickly enough, the sentiment out of her system fully as she mutters, "Thank you. For coming for me." Then Asami's inside, beginning the descent down an entirely new set of stairs, at least until she finds an unlocked door so she can then find an elevator. "What's the cross-street on Broadway?" she asks over her shoulder.

As for the rest, it'll be difficult to find a safe place to lay low for long, but she imagines she can manage the rest. How hard could it be to disappear into the crowds of New York City at rush hour on a Friday afternoon?

“Pine.” Violette says. That’s about a block downtown, smartly using this building to block view from the Linderman Building. “And don’t thank me yet. You might want to reserve some fucking curse words,” she says with a smile and a toussle of Asami’s hair.

“Get going, they saw you jump. They’re gonna figure out you aren’t road-pizza any second.” Violette says as she steps away from the door. “Oh, and if you need someone to crash with. Look up Gillian Childs. She’s a cop, but you two have way more in common than you think.”

Before Asami can ask her another question, Violette snaps her fingers and simply vanishes into a rippling haze of refracted light.

Asami’s hands shake at the sudden unreality of the situation, her heart flutters in her chest.

The world’s a lot weirder than you ever realized…

As Asami turns toward the stairwell, that axiom repeats in her mind like a mantra.

And it’s only going to get weirder.



A room of black paint is hung with gold-framed art.

Standing in front of a tall painting, a gray-haired man in a pin-striped suit quietly smokes a cigar, staring at the shades of goldenrod and pink brushed across canvas. “Did you get her?” The old man asks to the air, plucking his cigar from his mouth. There is a moment of silence before a voice in the darkness replies back.

“She got away.”

“How?” The old man asks, slowly turning to face the voice.

“You’re… you’re not going to believe this,” the unseen figure says. “But we think she— She jumped off the roof, but we couldn’t find a body.”

“Leave me.” The old man says, slowly turning back to the painting.


I said, leave.” The old man snaps back, and his guest steps further away.

“Yes, Mr. Petrelli.” The other voice replies, followed by the sound of shuffling footsteps and the click of a door to the gallery shutting.


Bringing his cigar back to his lips, Arthur Petrelli stares at the painting with furrowed brows and a tired smile. With a slow shake of his head, he admires the handiwork laid out before him. “She didn’t jump…” Arthur says in a low voice to himself, knocking ash from the tip of his cigar to the floor.

“…she flew.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License