Over There


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Scene Title Over There
Synopsis Arthur Petrelli forms a special task force to investigate the disappearance of the Natazhat Facility and the threat of an incursion from another world.
Date December 17, 2011

"On November 8th, 2011 there was an incident at the Mount Natazhat research center."

There's nothing to see. Just wind-driven snow and rocks. Multiple static images of the same barren mountaintop scroll by, followed by side-by-side satellite comparisons. In one image, there is a snowy mountain dotted with buildings, helicopter pads, and satellite dishes. In the parallel image, nothing but snow and rocks.

"Towns twenty miles away reported a localized aurora borealis over the mountain."

What should be a sprawling complex of multiple concrete-walled facilities nestled in a valley atop Mount Natazhat is a barren landscape devoid of man-made features. Standing in front of the screen, Arthur Petrelli turns to face the conference room, where a long black table embossed with a green and blue double-helix design is empty for all but two seats.

"NOAA and NASA both confirmed the presence of an electromagnetic storm over Mount Natazhat."

The slide changes to show a satellite view of the Earth, a swirl of blue and white with a spiral of jade green and turquoise shimmering atop it. Another slide shows the auaora from an angle, a Fibonacci spiral extending out from a central point of Mount Natazhat for nearly twenty miles.

"The aurora coincided with ionized particle bombardment from an X-class solar flare."

Another slide, this time showing a colorized image of the sun with a massive arc of plasma curling off it like a finger. Two more images show a heat map colored in blues, greens, reds, and purples showing electromagnetic disturbances from the solar storm across the northern hemisphere, with the greatest concentrations being precisely over the mountain.

"The final calculation is that we lost two thousand, four-hundred and fifty-seven Pinehearst employees in this event."

As the lights come on, Arthur sets the slide remote aside, and tucks his hands into his pockets. He gestures to the static image on the screen with one hand. "Two billion dollars worth of equipment and facilities. All in the blink of an eye." His hand comes up to gently scratch at one dark brow, tension visible in his posture and voice.

Pinehearst Tower

New York City, NY

One of the two men seated at the table is Roger Goodman, Pinehearst's director of special operations. Hands steepled, Goodman offers a look at Arthur that challenges credulity. "You're suggesting that these people just… vanished, without a trace?"

"It's not a suggestion." Comes from across the table, where Pinehearst's director of security leans forward and levels a look at Goodman over the frames of his glasses. "I went up there with Agent Woods, from your department. It's gone. Not destroyed, not blown up, just gone. It's like the facility never even existed. Now…" Canfield leans back in his chair, running a hand over his chin. "The last pieces of data we have from Natazhat indicate that they experienced an energy spike in the particle accelerator, but all data shows the accelerator was offline."

Goodman raises one brow slowly, then looks over at Arthur. "Does this have anything to do with Kara Price's ability? I seem to recall a similar event in — "

"Kara's ability, yes, likely is at some fault here." Arthur inclines his head and starts walking around the table. "But we still don't fully understand what that ability is." Not was, that much Arthur makes abundantly clear. She and the other staff haven't been written off yet. "Whether this is an anticausal event or not isn't clear. What we know is that the events are not well understood. That said…"

Arthur motions to a bright red folder in front of Goodman. "Roger, why don't you fill Stephen in on what your team found." Canfield looks up at Arthur as he passes behind his chair, then turns a steady look at Goodman as he opens the file and slides photographs of a bus — shorn in half as though it were a piece of paper — across the table.

"MBTA Bus T51, in circulation in Cambridge Massachusetts. It appeared out of thin air on November 8, 2011." Goodman closes the folder and leans back in his chair, lacing his fingers together in his lap. "We have reason to believe the bus and its deceased passengers came from a parallel dimension to that of our own, one where historic events played out differently from here."

Canfield picks up the photos, flipping through them one at a time. "You're shitting me," he look sup to Arthur. "You don't actually believe this, do you?" Arthur's dark brows raise and he continues his circling of the table, hands in his pockets and posture slack. Canfield fires a look to Goodman and lays the photos down on the table. "What kind of evidence are we backing this up with?"

Goodman reaches into his jacket, retrieving three scorched plastic cards, sliding them over to Canfield. Stephen picks one up, turning it over in the fluorescent light. Linderman Act Registration ID is written at the top. Canfield nearly contests that this proves nothing, until he sees the Registry of the Non-Evolved sub-header and the date of October 12, 2011. His dark eyes narrow, and he look sat Arthur for an explanation.

"We believe that the events in Alaska and the ones in Cambridge are connected. These… inexplicable events part of some sort of shift between the boundaries of two parallel timelines or worlds." As Arthur speaks, Canfield slouches back into his seat and scrubs a hand over his mouth slowly. "The evidence to this point is staggering, and our lab techs are looking for a way to identify with one-hundred percent accuracy that these objects and remains came from a different world than our own. I imagine you can start to see the implications of such a revelation, should it come to light."

Canfield is silent in the face of these revelations, taking his glasses so he can massage the bridge of his nose with two fingers. Goodman, meanwhile, fills the silence with further information. "The Company experimented with research regarding quantum states and the possibility of parallel worlds in the late 1980s, to little success. The facility where Kara Price was actively working was researching this very science. The combination of that technology and Kara's ability leads us to believe the site may have played a hand in the events of November 11th. But that's conjecture at this point. The only hard evidence we have is MBTA Bus T51."

"Ok," Canfield slides his glasses back on. "Let me… get this straight." He motions with one hand to his right. "There's another world, like ours but… different." Then he places his other hand adjacent to it. "Some things from our world went missing, and at the same time something from another world appears here. So, it's possible Price ended up somewhere else, another world." Arthur and Goodman exchange a look, and then return their attention to Canfield. "Do we know if anyone came here alive?"

Goodman draws in a deep breath and slowly exhales a sigh. "We initially presumed the transference to our world — however it was accomplished — was responsible for the death of the bus passengers. But… that doesn't seem to be the case. Forensics picked up fuel accelerant in the remains and metal fragments corresponding to an incendiary grenade. We believe the passengers were already dead when they arrived, perhaps caught in some sort of conflict." Goodman leans forward, hands folded atop the table. "Which means, no. We don't know for sure if there's people from another world here, or if that's even possible."

"What we do know," Arthur finally chimes back in, "is that this sort of inter-dimensional travel appears to be possible. Now what we don't know is if what happened in Cambridge and Alaska is the precursor to some sort of attack — an offense by unknown hostiles — or a coincidence. Unfortunately, that means we have to assume the worst, so as to not be caught unaware. We have to remain vigilant."

Canfield nods in firm agreement. "Even if travelers from another world aren't hostile, there's no telling what their world is like. What diseases they might carry, if they're even… I don't— I don't know, I really don't." Head in his hand, Canfield runs a hand over the top of his head and slouches back in his chair again. "You want me on this. You want FRONTLINE on this?"

Nodding slowly, Arthur folds his hands behind his back. "I don't want this to be a military responsibility, and I think the longer we keep the governments of the world in the dark about this the better it will be for us all. There's no telling if visitors from another dimension will be hostile, or have knowledge they could share with us. Literature is full of cautionary tales about these sorts of science fiction ideas. I'd rather we base our policies around facts. Control the narrative."

Canfield nods in agreement again. "I can put together a team of specialists for this. Cover our bases. I've already got a few people in mind I can pull up from the national units."

"I'd like to be involved in this, directly." Goodman chimes in, and Canfield makes a motion across the table to him, a briefly outstretched hand.

"You got it. Some of the people I want are SpecOps anyway, so all the better." Canfield slides a look over to Arthur. "Are the lab folks working on a way to identify more incursions? If the situations are the same, I mean." Canfield gestures to the still image of the solar storm that's still up. "Solar radiation, electromagnetic disturbances. We've gotta have a satellite that can track that."

"We're working on it." Arthur assures. "This is the first meeting of many, I believe. But I wanted you both on the ground level of this task force. We need to understand what it is we're dealing with, what kind of threat it may represent, and how best to leverage it for the betterment of our society." Arthur shares a look between Canfield and Goodman, both of whom nod firmly in agreement, though Canfield still has something of a shell-shocked look on his face.

Arthur walks around the table again, completing the second half of a full circuit. As he passes behind Goodman's chair, he places a hand on its back. "Roger, make sure Peter stays looped in on this. But… keep an eye on him? You know how he can get distracted." Goodman's expression tightens at the corners of his eyes for a moment, followed by a slow and knowing nod.

"Might I make one recommendation, Arthur?" Canfield says as he watches the older man finish his circuit to the head of the table. Arthur raises one brow and gestures to Canfield, giving him the floor.

"We should consult your former accountant." Canfield offers a sly look to Goodman, who glowers in response to the suggestion. "Carefully, but… if anyone could predict when this would happen next, it'd be him."

"I doubt he'll will be receptive to any inquisitions into the use of his power from his cell." Roger rebukes the idea, though Arthur seems intrigued by the notion. He looks down to the floor for a moment, considering the possibility. Then looks back up to Goodman.

"Actually," Arthur opines, "I rather like the idea. I know just the agent to visit him as well." Both Goodman and Canfield offer an askance look to Arthur, neither seeming to have suspected he'd go along with the plan.

"Get Stephen Verse from whatever he's been assigned to." Arthur levels that directive at Goodman.

"Tell him he's going to Utah."

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