gillian_icon.gif gladstone_icon.gif mischa_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Primal
Synopsis Emotion runs high, quite literally, when powers start to go haywire at Rapture.
Date November 8, 2008


The pulsing beat of bass throbs through the walls of Rapture, a high-class nightclub in the heart of Harlem. Rows of expensive cars line up out front of the exclusive club and a crowd of would-be patrons wait outside, cherry-picked by the bouncers to have only the cream of the crop on the interior, while leaving just enough eye-candy outside to entice other patrons. The club serves as a respite for the trendy and the influential from the grind of daily life.

On the inside, Rapture is as much a spectacle as it is a structure. Multiple dance floors in tiered balconies overlooking an enormous central dance floor ringed by plush leather-upholstered booths. Pale blue light shines on the wrap-around bar that curved around the back of the establishment, and the entire building is filled floor-to-floor and shoulder-to-shoulder with the pulsing, flowing sea of people dancing to the rythmic beats of electronic dance music piped through the expansive sound-system.

Now he remembers why he didn't like this place the first time. Sylar rolls his shoulders a little as the pulsing music makes war with his enhanced hearing, moving through the crowded nightclub with Gillian just beside him. There are people dancing, socialising, and otherwise doing what they do in this kind of setting - who would notice either of them, or take any special interest? Which is exactly what he was after. He's dressed in a suit and shirt, all in chic shades of black and gray, and to his credit, doesn't look completely out of place. He can clean up nice when he wants to, after all, and when he meets the bar, he smoothly asks for a couple of drinks for them both as if this is his average Friday night. But that doesn't make the music any more bearable. "I don't think we should do this every weekend," he comments to his companion for the evening.

Not just enhanced hearing, but augmented enhanced hearing. Gillian moves beside the much taller man, having decked up in the nicest clothes she had rescued from her apartment. Heels instead of platforms, she's had plenty of time to heal from all of the various incidents of the past month— the skirt falls to her knees, revealing a couple tattoos on her legs and feet. In fact, the dress seems to like showing off her tattoos, with sleeves danging off her shoulders and revealing the ones on her back, and dipping far enough in the front to reveal part of one on her cleavage. "Sorry to hear that. You look really good in a suit."

Hearing enhanced to a degree beyond superhuman can have its advantages. Sylar can hear everything; there is absolutely no chance for anyone to sneak up on him (and, by consequence, on Gillian either). But there are lows to every high. Sylar can hear everything; including the nearby couple who are less interested in a night out and more interested in exchanging verbal barbs and plainly vitriolic remarks, although the exchange may be a bit one-sided.

Were this a formal exchange of insults, perhaps the man would be winning; Gladstone dishes it out at least as well as he takes it, but it conservative with his remarks, making them with such timing and style as to inflict the greatest amount of damage with the least effort, and he stands in stark contrast with his accompanying nemesis. If Gladstone is an accurrized rifle, delivering his statements sparingly, but with great precision, then Mischa is a sawn-off shotgun, throwing curses wildly (and sometimes only with semi-coherency) in the hopes of hitting something, anything she can. It might seem almost tragic if the content of the argument didn't have some noted significance; he worked security for the Halloween ball where there was an incident involving gunfire and didn't tell her.

The plot thickens.

"It's common fucking courtesy, Allen!" Mischa jabs one outstretched finger at Gladstone's chest. The expression she wears on her face is more suited to a snarling harpy than a real woman, but it's easy to mistake one for the other; she's speaking so loudly and with such conviction that her voice has gone raw, hoarse from shouting for the past five minutes. The circle of people around the pair gives them plenty of room just in case she decides to start flinging fists next. "He's my boss. Who do you think you are, sneaking around and sucking his dick behind my back?"

That's a metaphor, right?

It has to be.

The lowball glass of some sort of vodka mix is handed to Gillian. "Thanks," Sylar says, and he starts to say something in return, perhaps to compliment her dress as well as the lack of dress, when, indeed, the argument going on not so far away from them catches his attention. How could it not? He closes his eyes for a moment as if to try and tune it down the enhanced hearing, but it's just one of those abilities are are sublimely hard to control. Tough luck. He leans against the bar and casts a disturbed glance over his shoulder at the warring duo, but his focus is on Gillian and what they came here to do tonight. In a distracted tone, he asks, "Do you feel any?" A strange question, and to the uninitiated, it might sound incomplete, like maybe 'better?' should end it - but no, that's the question, and likely only makes sense to the woman it's directed to.

"Just you right now," Gillian says, sipping on her vodka mix drink. Not her drink of choice, but she doesn't seem displeased with it. There's a glance around, looking through the crowd. People dance, argue— and there's a few Public Displays of Affection already in the works over near the darker corners and on the dance floor, but it's the argument, and the island forming in the ocean of people that draws most of her attention before she looks back up and says, "Let's walk around a bit. If we go around the place more than once and it's still just you…" They won't need to keep doing this. "No reason to torment your delicate ears." She smiles, actually cheerful enough, dimples visible in her cheeks (though don't tell her that), before she starts to move away, beginning in the direction to skirt the edge of said island.

"To start on that," Gladstone replies with an accent obviously from Great Britain (it's a bit too, 'pomp' to be from another English-speaking country), "I'm fairly certain that's not the expression you're looking for, although it's easy to understand you making that mistake on account of your impaired brain development." Ouch.

"More importantly, I don't see a collar fastened 'round my neck proclaiming me to be 'Property of a Foul-Tempered, Ill-Intention And Remarkably Dim-Witted Underworld Pretender'. Therefore, my responsibility to tell you what I'm doing, is favorably comparable to your reason and reliability. Non-existent."

Those are a lot of big words. Mischa stares at Gladstone, mouth agape and cheeks flushed, dark curls of hair plastered to her forehead with sweat — not only is the club uncomfortably warm, but the amount of energy she's pouring into her argument with Gladstone is taking its toll as well. What she needs to do is step outside for a breath of fresh air so she can clear her head and put things back in perspective. Unfortunately, for all parties involved, Mischa's needs always take a back seat to Mischa's wants — and right now, what Mischa wants more than anything is to slap Gladstone across the face.

The sound of her hand coming into contact with the man's cheek is loud enough, even without Sylar's enhanced hearing. To him, the slap isn't a smack so much as it is a crack of lightning.

"They're not delic— nng," is Sylar's exact response, the word cut in half in favour of a growl of pain when the sudden sound of the slap, at an entirely different pitch to the bass-line of the music, sounds out, making him put up a hand to his ear for a moment. He probably should have counted on this. Shame on him for not. But he's not about to ditch this plan within minutes of arriving because everything is louder than it should be and people aren't make that any easier on him. He's careful, though, not to make skin contact with Gillian as he gestures for her to lead the way, even if that way is towards the argument and those backing away from it.

Oh nice. That slap is the very reason she opted to walk that direction. Gillian's smile turns into a lopsided smirk, before she looks over at her companion. "Maybe next time you should pick a library or a coffe house— those tend to be quieter," she says, pitched toward concern, which seems genuine. Nightclubs happen to be her thing, yes, but she can imagine they aren't making him feel one hundred percent. She's getting a little close to the woman and the man who are fighting, though, moving with interest. For one major reason. Unlike her companion, she can not hear what they're fighting about, and she's interested in it, as she sips on her vodka based drink and tries to avoid running into anyone— and waits for a second pull in the back of her head.

Gladstone recoils from the slap, but only so much; he considerably bulkier than Mischa, who is not exactly a powerhouse to begin with. But despite this, when he opens his eyes and returns his stare to the small woman (not yet noticing that they've attracted more than casual attention, the words he speaks are calm, cool and, above all, uninterested. "Oh, a slap across the face," he says, "How injurious. Being shot with a Kalashnikov just, pales in comparison to the might of your weakling arm." But then, he's serious again. "You are prone to violent outbursts when things don't turn out the way you want them to. Have you ever considered, perhaps, that this is why you're still just a bottom-feeding goon underneath your boss's shoe? Because you really aren't good for anything?"

The air around Mischa and Gladstone grows thick, heavy, roiling with unseen energy. As he speaks, she balls her slapping hand into a tight little fist before flexing her fingers back out again and repeating the motion. Her mouth is drawn out into a thin but quivering line, her brown eyes darker than Gladstone has ever seen them, bosom heaving. This is what a person on the verge of losing control looks like.

"You don't mean that." Mischa's words aren't spoken like a question. When she speaks, she demands, and as her mouth moves the tension surrounding her becomes something that's almost tangible. A surge of unpleasant sensations — anxiety and renorse, fear and contempt, shame and disgust — spills outward, each individual emotion tumbling wildly over the others in the race to consume the people who are closest to her.

"No," Sylar says, in a very patient tone - or rather, an attempt at a patient tone, which doesn't really succeed like it should. "There's a point to this place. I'm fine - just focus." And she's not focusing - she's watching the little spectator sport going on as vicious words are exchanged from man to woman. Gritting his teeth to bear the consequences, he reaches out a hand to touch Gillian's shoulder, to urge her further away from the fight—

But his hand doesn't even get to make contact with her skin when it hits him, and everyone else in the immediate vicinity, a knife-like feeling of stress and anxiety in his stomach. "Gillian?" he bleats in confusion, and around them, the music drives on like nothing is happening. And to the untrained eye, everything's fine.

As the man with her tries to urge her away, Gillian's hand goes out, reaching for his arm and ending up holding onto his jacket instead. Little closer to him than she was before, it seems very much like she's holding on for security, comfort. And also trying to stop him from getting very far. The tingling in the back of her skull hits her just before the anxiety and the stress— the shame— the fear. This would be why she's gribbing his hand and she says into the loud music, "Now— happening now. Someone— not just you." She's shaking a little, the anxiety starting to get the better of her. Two people now— not just one. He'll notice a decrease in his hearing, slightly, as she's splitting her energy augmentation between both of them. He still gets more, for the moment, but he's no longer getting all of it.

This isn't something that's new to Gladstone, what he's feeling right now. He's felt it many times before, and while he's not used to it, he knows how to 'grit his teeth' and ignore it for a time. But never before has it hit him this hard. Something's wrong. "Mischa," his hissed through his teeth, "Get a grip. Everyone, is going to look.

"And they'll know…." It's not an idle warning; already, there is very little that can be done to explain away the sudden killjoy that everyone is feeling. But if Gladstone can get the woman to stop now, maybe they can use the momentary confusion to cover up their involvement in it.

Or maybe not.

"You never take my feelings into account," Mischa snarls, "so why should I care about anyone else's?" As the fervor in her voice builds, so too does the terrible wave expanding outward from her trembling body. Elsewhere in the club, people drop their drinks, glasses shattering as they hit the floor, some doubling over while others tangle their fingers in their hair and dart wild-eyed glances around the room as they try to piece together what's happening to them. "All you ever do is belittle me, walk all over my self-esteem, make me feel like I'm not worth the air I breathe. Now it's your turn."

And hundreds of hearts start to thud all the more louder, a new bass-line, an overwhelming cacophony as Gillian grips his hand, making his hearing expand all the more, which is almost more painful than the surging feelings of fear, shame, disgust. Unfamiliar sensations but not entirely new ones, for the serial killer. But even underneath all that, Sylar understands what Gillian means, understands this is far, far from natural. Just remember. It's going to be worse when the real show down occurs. "Focus it," he directs. His hands reach out to grip her arms, to stop her from running away - because that's all he wants to do, and both of them are brushed by the couple of people who have the same idea, elbowing past them.

To make matters worse, there's a warmth rushing up and down Sylar's arms, a certain glow about his skin. Ted Sprague might have known this well, when he felt something like this, and Peter Petrelli could also attest to it too. It's never, of course, happened to Sylar - he doesn't let his emotions run away from him. Except for now. Gillian will start to feel an uncomfortable prickle of warmth from his palms, into the skin of her arms.

If the fear and anxiety trying to overpower her weren't bad enough.

When Gillian is asked to focus, she keeps clinging to his coat, closing his eyes and trying her best to differentiate between the two people draining her energy. Her second hand joins the first, her vodka mix ending up spilling and shattering on the floor along with many, many more before it. Her shoulders shake. And then she starts to feel the uncomfortable heat prickling at his skin, where he's holding onto her arms. That might not be a good thing, because her intention in this is to push energy at only one vessel. Instead… she starts wishing to cut them both off. "It's mine— mine— I want to keep it," she starts to repeat, quietly remembering his advice. It's her ability and no one else's. She can either let people keep using her, or she can use it herself.

Desperate times, desperate measures. If Gladstone, if *someone* doesn't do something, this is going to spiral even further out of control. Maybe permanent damage will result, and that will just look, and be, bad for everyone. Not wanting to deal with hospitalization or the resulting PR mess (for which he will doubtlessly be assigned a large portion of the blame), he does the only thing he reasonably can; ball his hand into a loose fist and jabs it into Mischa's throat, just hard enough to give her trouble breathing and break her concentration. Hopefully.

But he knows better than to think that she'll just 'chill out' and everything will be happy. No, he has to take advantage of the confusion and take Mischa to the ground where it will be easier to get her into a chokehold; a couple seconds pinching the carotid artery will do the trick.

And he has to do all of this with blurred vision, without attracting attention and, most critically, without passing out. This will be about as easy as adjusting a bow tie. While wearing boxing gloves.

Hrk! The noise Mischa makes when Gladstone's fist connects with her throat is something like a startled cough, abrupt and choking, and as she goes down all she can do is gasp while soundlessly clutching at her neck. Her knees hit the ground first, followed by the rest of her body; before she can even think about putting her hands out to break her fall, Gladstone is on top of her, bearing down on her with enough force to squeeze the consciousness out of her.

Linderman didn't hire him as a body guard because he looked good in a suit.

As she lays prone on the floor of the club, the swell of sensations begins to ebb slowly away without reaching its climax, receding like the memories of a bad dream upon waking. One minute it's there, the next—

—it's simply not.

It is a bit like waking up - like if someone splashed a glass of water on you anyway, in Sylar's case. The emotions are switched off and he can breathe a little easier - he wrenches his hands off Gillian with a slight, uncharacteristic stumble. Marks are left behind - almost like palm-sized, mild sunburns high on Gillian's arms, but the glowing is gone, the anxiety is gone. And he knows she didn't do it, although his hearing amps back up to where it had been, all that shared power now back to him. He just knows how not to let it surge.

With a predator's gaze, Sylar looks around - they're standing only merely feet from where the woman from before has staggered down to the ground, clearly taken down by the man she had struck. Ah ha. He lifts a hand, and as if another much larger, stronger and invisible hand had clasped Gladstone by the nape of his neck, the bodyguard is hurled back off the unconscious woman, just enough so that he might land a few feet away. Somewhere, the music was cut off, and so Sylar cna hear his foot steps much louder when he starts to approach her.

The palm marks on her arm make her whimper, even if it's not as harsh a burn as it could have been. Gillian knows it didn't work. She didn't stomp out what she was giving either of them— the person who was pulling on her with him went down, and isn't awake anymore. As the anxiety fades, she feels a surge in the energy drawing from her, looks up and over— and sees Gabriel hurling someone. "Gabriel!" She yells in surprise, fear in her voice. "It's all right! It's stopped!" Some part of her wants to think he's just trying to protect her— because that's what he's done so far. She moves after him, tripping over spilled drinks, broken glass, gritting her teeth against the burns in her arms.

Flying without an aircraft is not a new experience for Gladstone either. Usually, however, it's not so much flying as it is falling from a very high altitude. Fortunately, it isn't the floor, chairs, stools or tables that break his fall, but the soft bodies of other clubbers. Lucky him.

It's also fortunate that the recent run of adrenaline spikes he's been experiencing is actually helping him stay on the ball. It takes him a few moments to get his wits back, but it's enough time to get off the floor and onto one knee. A quick assessment of the situation only reveals so much, with his vision not fully recovered, but it's enough for him to spot Mischa on the floor. This is completely her fault, of course. However, the identity of this… individual, man or woman, approaching her, Gladstone doesn't know, but doesn't like, either. He finds himself at an impasse, and for the moment, decides to pretend that he's not completely on top of things. Just a long enough hesitation to determine what's going on. If the stranger is friendly, Gladstone will introduce himself. If not, Gladstone will introduce a friend he keeps close to his heart. To the left and a bit below, in fact.

It's like someone's handed him something very shiny on a silver platter - all Sylar has to do is reach out and take it. He knows the nature of this ability - or at least, one face of it - and he knows it's all contained within this woman's head. This woman, lying unconscious on the ground with - seemingly - no one to protect her. Everything is tossed out the window - it's a familiar feeling, from the very first day he let free morals and ethics, untethered his immortal soul with a few bludgeoning blows to Brian Davis' head. In a similar way, he lets free his concerns, worries, obstacles here as he lifts a hand, two fingers pointed as he approaches, and red starts to appear along his victim's hairline—

Gabriel? Sylar's hand jerks back as if burned when Gillian cries out his name, and his head whips around with an expression of waking confusion, resurfacing from a dream. A small rivulet of red courses down from Mischa's temple, into her hair and onto the ground - but nothing more and nothing so deep as to touch bone. Still, he freezes in indecision, caught between an old habit not yet dead and the knowledge that this is spectacularly the wrong time and place. Gladstone's hesitation notwithstanding.

As her vision settles, Gillian starts to see exactly what he's doing. He's cutting into her. With— there's a few things that she's grown used to in recent weeks, since her life got turned upside down, but that isn't one of them. Her protector threatening someone who's now helpless. And he hurt her. Powers displayed in public. Even if everyone in the place is exhaused from the adrenaline as she is, someone's going to get on the wire and call someone. People will be here. In most situations, she takes her own safety above all others, but right now… stumbling in her heels, she reaches for his sleeve, trying to grab the cuff of his suit. Her voice is weaker, unsure, wavering, "We have to go, please."

That settles that. The stranger is a threat, but things seem to be under control. As under control as they can be. And, once more, Gladstone is faced with a dilemma; let them walk away, or open fire. In the end, common sense wins out; the club is filled with people who are already confused, frightened and some of whom are probably panicked. Gunfire, especially gunfire from a Glock 18, will only make things worse. The Brit starts taking mental notes as he rises, somewhat unsteadily, to his feet. What they're dressed in, heights, builds, general features; he won't get a specific description out of it, but better than nothing. As he advances towards the pair, he's careful to keep both his hand away from his sides, palms forward; unarmed, see?

Sylar doesn't move - which has the added bonus of Gillian managing to grab his suit, but not the added bonus of walking away. His gaze swivels back around to man now approaching them with his hands up, and he tenses. Sort of like a deer caught in the headlights, and his hand goes up, as if to throw the man back once more - but with Gillian's grip on his sleeve, and people starting to stare… it's sort of a Mexican stand off. The stranger looks them both over and so Sylar does the same, taking stock of his identity… and slowly his hand draws away. We're leaving, he tells, or assures, the man, a telepathic voice projecting through Gladstone's head, an echoey semblance of his true voice, and he starts to back up in the direction Gillian was urging him, with one last rueful glance towards Mischa. If all goes well, he'll turn, and move faster - almost a run for the door.

Okay. Rewind to when this episode began. Gillian was wearing heels. Nice expensive two inch black heels. She's also wearing a dress, though luckily the skirt of it cuts off at her knees, so there is that added bonus. But the heels, that's the important part. As Gabriel starts to run away, she has to let go of the cuff of his suit because of one very important fact, "I'm wearing heels, you fucker!" He's running on ahead, and she does the best she can to take long strides to keep up. Strides that slow as she gets a few feet, and she glances back at the woman on the floor, with some blood on her forehead. Worry clouds her eyes for a moment, before she starts to move even more quickly toward the door. As fast as she can in two inch heels.

Watching them leave for a moment, Gladstone massages his forehead, and proceeds to communicate with the rest of the club's bouncers (who are never around when he needs them to be, and always around when they can do nothing but get in his way) what happened; some joker slipped something into several drinks, and it went downhill from there. He could tell the truth, albeit a slightly edited version, but the truth of the matter is that that may damage the club's image.

And with Daniel Linderman, image is everything.

November 8th: Unorthodox Rooftop Party
November 8th: Schroedinger
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License