Promises Kept



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Scene Title Promises Kept
Synopsis In another world, another time, sometimes things can be better.
Date November 21, 2014

It feels more and more like the death mask is slipping off this world, revealing the decaying face hiding behind it.

Helicopters don't yet circle in the skies, but soon enough this suburban New York neighborhood, located some ten miles east of New York in Long Island, will be flooded with law enforcement. It's here that Elisabeth Harrison has come to a point of no return, where she either chooses to either take a stand against injustice and make a change, or stay in the shadows and be safe. All she was given to get her here was a warning, a heads-up from Felix that the FBI was moving on the home of one Taylor Reed and his family. The boy had finally gone too far, and Unity Enforcement Officers working in concert with the FBI were on the way.

Glen Cove, Long Island

New York

November 21, 2014

10:07 am

Elisabeth had been given enough of a head start to be at the front of the oncoming storm, literally and figuratively. She'd driven through and out of a storm that had settled over New York, sending cold autumnal rain down on the Big Apple. Now those dark gray clouds are at her back, growing ever closer as she winds through the suburban streets of Glen Cove, following an address and a promise to a young man from another time.

The voice of her father is stronger in her ears today more so than ever:

Harrisons keep their promises.

The house is nothing overly fancy. And Elisabeth has been working the whole way up here on what to say to this family. She is worried about how much lead time she has and suspects it's not going to be much. She pulls her car into the neighboring street, parking it in front of the house just behind the Reeds' place, and then walks around the block. Her blue eyes on the neighborhood are cautious, and for this expedition, she actually pulled one of the props from the club she sings at, tucking her currently dyed auburn-brown hair beneath a blonde wig.

Pulling in a deep breath, she walks directly up to the Reed front door and knocks without hesitance. Just a visitor on the street, right?

When the door opens, she's still mentally preparing for how the hell she's going to do this, depending on who is actually the person opening it.

It takes a moment for anything other than a barking dog to respond to the knock. There’s one car in the driveway, a late 90s sedan, matching the struggling middle-class aesthetic of the home. As the door unlocks and opens, there’s a redheaded woman in her early thirties who looks only subtly different from file photographs of Reed’s family. Though her hair is shorter, Elisabeth recognizes her as Sarah Reed, Taylor’s mother. Behind her, the loudly barking chow mix was not included in dossiers on the Reed family.

“Hi,” Sarah says with a look away from Elisabeth and up both sides of the street and back again, keeping the door halfway closed and her body part way occluded by it. “Can I help you?” Nothing seems amiss, and the Reed family has no idea what this Friday morning will entail.

"I hope so, Mrs. Reed," Elisabeth says quietly. "Or more accurately, I'm hoping I can help you. Your son's managed to draw some bad kinds of attention. I used to teach him for a time… and I'd really like to keep him out of jail. Can we talk? We don't have much time." It's not something she is proud of, but she's also working with a very limited timetable, so all the words she uses on Tyler's mother are laced with that subsonic calming technique that she's used over the years to get people to at least listen to her.

Oh my fucking god,” Sarah whispers sharply under her breath, nudging the dog back with her heel and opening the door the entire way and turning back into the house. “Taylor Lucious Reed! Get out here right now!” There’s a penetrating sharpness to Sarah’s voice, that indescribably distinct angry mother tone that cuts through stone. She fires an apologetic look to Elisabeth after that, shaking her head repeatedly.

Sarah makes way for Elisabeth to enter, bending down in time to pick up her small dog before it bolts for the door. Its little legs keep kicking while held, as if it really is trying to. “I’m so sorry, he promised he would be on good behavior after the last incident. What did he do? If he stole anything— ” Sarah cuts herself off. “I’m sorry, I— I’m Sarah? You— what was your name?” There’s no sign of Markus, but it’s Friday morning and he works in construction. He’s likely at work.

Stepping quickly inside, Elisabeth can't help the faint smile. That tone, she's altogether too familiar with from the year of having Devon under her care and now with a toddler running loose. She closes the door quickly behind her, casting a glance around the street outside before she does. When she turns to face Sarah, she sidesteps the query for her own name and replies, "He didn't exactly steal anything… it's kind of worse." Pulling in a slow breath, "I'm glad that his abilities are not a secret… some kids are still a little leery. In this case, however, it's helpful." She glances toward the hallway and pitches her voice low but to carry, "Robin… I made you a promise, but I can't keep it to you if we don't move fast."

Hopefully the use of the moniker itself will draw him out instead of making him bolt…. Although to be frank, in this instance, having him on the run isn't necessarily a bad thing either. Gets him the hell out of this house and away from the SWAT team heading this way.

There’s an excuse me, what expression painted across Sarah’s face, and she misses the monicker Robin entirely as she takes a step toward Elisabeth with brows raised. “What do you mean worse? If he didn’t steal something did— did he hurt som— ” Suddenly, Sarah recalls something that had been said and didn’t click, until paranoia started filling in the blanks. “Wait, what do you mean ability!?” Apparently Reed’s troubles had been more mundane.

Sarah’s eyes go wide, and she’s about to launch into an angry — and misplaced — tirade when the sound of distant helicopters can be heard. Around the same time, there’s a yelp and a crash from a nearby room that sounds like someone falling out of a chair.

Shit. We're out of time. "Sarah…. Taylor's a good kid with a hellacious skill at programming computers. You don't know anything else. Stick to that story, as hard as humanly possible. You know nothing else, then you can tell them nothing else." She laces those sonics into the words, HARD. She has no idea if it'll work, but she has to hope that Sarah feels the same way about her son that Liz feels about Aurora and that she'll protect her son at all costs. She heads down the hall quickly, toward the yelp.

"~TAYLOR. We've got to go. They've traced the hack, and we are out of time. If we don't leave now, your parents are going to get sucked into this too.~" She hits the doorway of the room she's pretty sure he's in and looks dead at the kid. "They know you know about Moab. They will disappear you if we don't go now." She offers the kid her hand. "Trust me… I've been sent here to help you. I know about Petrelli. Come with me?"

It’s a lot to happen all at once, especially for Reed to process from the floor, flat on his back. The child looking back with a wide-eyed stare at Elisabeth is but twelve years old, with a bushy mop of hair and a startled look on his face. He sucks in a sharp breath, hearing the sounds of helicopters and is beyond confused at who Elisabeth is and how she knows what she does. “Did— did Hiro send you?” He’s shakily getting to his feet, one hand held at his head.

What the hell is going on!?” Sarah shouts from the other room, following Elisabeth with dog under one arm. She’s behind her in the hallway, staring into Taylor’s room. “Taylor what did you do!?” Sarah hadn’t heard Elisabeth’s explanation, not through the spike of adrenaline combined with the subtle suggestion made via Elisabeth’s harmonics. “Oh my God, Taylor, what did you do?

Mom,” Taylor snaps back, “it’s— ” he’s starting to cry. “It’s gonna be okay, she’s a friend. She’s— ” the young boy looks up to Liz, entrusting her with both his protection and life. “She’s a friend. But you gotta let us go, please.”

Absolutely not!” The panic in Sarah’s eyes is real, as a stranger just came into her home and is trying to take her child away. Whatever logic might be there is having a hard time taking root in the protective mind of a frightened mother. “Wherever you’re going I’m going with you!” And apparently the dog too, because it’s not voiced an opinion on the matter other than panting excitedly.

Right about now, Elisabeth would kill for a time-stopping power. Just enough time to reassure Sarah. "Shoes. Now," she tells Taylor. "Hiro can't get here." She turns to Sarah and takes her by the shoulders, getting the terrified woman to meet her eyes. "Sarah, focus. He found something classified. Something they don't want the public to know. It's dangerous knowledge. All I'm going to do is get him somewhere safe. You will see him again, as quickly as possible. But the more you convince them that all he is is just a kid with a computer, the safer you'll all be." When the other mother's gaze flits from Liz back to Taylor, Liz gently shakes her. "I swear to you on the life of my own child, he will be safe with me. Buy us as much time as you can to get out of the neighborhood."

God knows, Liz herself would be screaming a blue fucking fit about this situation. But… most people are not exactly like Liz, either. She has no idea how Sarah will react, but she also has no time to do more to reassure the woman. The helos are getting too close. "Go! Out the back, over the fence. There's a car on parked at the neighbor's curb, it's unlocked." She releases Sarah and can only hope that even if the woman doesn't comprehend it… hell, all we've got now is a kidnapped kid!

She grabs Taylor by the shoulder of his shirt, hauls him up, and beats feet toward the back kitchen door. If he's got his shoes, great. If he doesn't, sucks to be him right now.

Fortunately, he has two. Unfortunately, they’re not laced. It will do.

As Elisabeth hauls Taylor ahead, the young man struggles to catch up to her pace. Sarah, behind them, screams an inconsolably confused sound and rakes her fingers through her hair as the sound of helicopters grow louder. Elisabeth can tell by the absence of fine vibrations that they’re not within visual range yet, especially not with the cloud cover and drizzling rain. Sarah follows as they move to the back sliding door, stammering unintelligible sounds, clutching on to her dog like a shield.

By the time she manages to scream, “I love you!” to her son, he and Elisabeth are already thirty feet out the back door and sprinting through the back yard. The ragged cries of confusion and fear diminish at Elisabeth’s back as they reach the chain link fence at the back of the yard and Reed hurls himself up and over it like it isn’t the first time he’s had to do that. He lands gracelessly on his back on the other side, though.

“I need a phone! Something! I can scramble the communications!” Taylor cries as he struggles to get up to his feet in the wet grass.

"Cell phone work for you or you need a landline?" Liz barks back as she braces both hands on the fence and is up and over in true city cop style — she's chased a few perps in her day. She pauses long enough to haul the gangly boy off the ground again and shove him into motion with one hand, fumbling in her jacket pocket for the cell phone there. She jams it into his hands (and against his chest) as they round the neighbor's side yard and she pulls him to a stop to survey the next street over to see if their path to the vehicle is clear.

“Yeah, yeah,” Reed pants, “this’ll work.” He’s not so much as dialing the phone as he slams into the side of the car and fumbles with the latch, swinging open the passenger side door and climbing in. “Okay we— there’s three police helicopters en-route, I can see them on GPS, they’re all coming from…” Reed’s brows furrow. “Southwest. If we head back to the city they might see us.”

He opens his eyes and turns to look at Elisabeth, clearly both shaken and in a panic. “W-what do we do?” Thankfully for Reed, Elisabeth knows Long Island, and that there’s miles of land to the east, multiple ferries to get to the mainland again, and plenty of escape routes so long as they avoid the immediate noose closing in on them. “What should I do?”

As she starts the car, Elisabeth instructs, "Get low, and stay low. We can't have you be seen by the ones in cars." She pulls away from the curb of the neighbor's house, driving as if she lives here — not too fast but not slow. "See if you can find us a clear path east." Fly casual, right?

"Can you hear the police band chatter? If they are actually talking about the target — you — we might be able to scramble them with a report from "dispatch" that you're on the move heading toward those helos."

Her blue eyes are watchful of the road and her mirrors… Christ, if you'd told her a few years ago that all her cop training and even her Fed training would turn her into an urban escape artist, she'd have laughed in your face.

“O— okay. Okay I got it. Yeah.” Reed stammers, clutching the phone to his chest as he slinks down into his seat as low as he can. “They're uh— they're just chattering. I don't think they suspect anything yet. I'm not hearing anything about checkpoints or roadblocks.”

Slowly, Reed glances over to Elisabeth. “Is— that a wig?” He does a double-take. “Are you a spy?” It's not that he's worried, it's that it's cool.

It makes Elisabeth laughs, breaking the tension somewhat. "Nope," she replies, reaching up to strip off the blonde wig and pull the two Bobby pins holding her dark hair in a knot. "Just wasn't sure what your mother's reaction was going to be and figured the more false trails I could leave just in case she reported you kidnapped or something, the better." She slants a look at the pre-teen and grins a wicked smile.

"Young man, you have a talent that is incredibly useful… but wow, we gotta get you some good training in covering your ass." She remains carefully watchful as she maneuvers the car through the streets, her amusement easing. "I'm sorry that I couldn't get there a hell of a lot earlier. Your folks are definitely going to be in a bit of trouble, but I think with the fact they just don't know anything, they won't be held long. We'll figure out a way to get all of you underground as soon as we can." Elisabeth's contacts here are not exactly the ones she had back home, but there are still a few. Tam and Colette should be able to help some.

Reed grimaces, looking away from Elisabeth and to the phone held against his chest. “I used to have a mentor,” he admits quietly, “mentors.” Brows furrowed, Reed offers a sidelong look to the sky out the passenger side window, watching treetops go by since he can't see other scenery.

“They had badass code names, like T. Monk and R. Ajas. But they just disappeared one day a couple years ago.” Reed looks back to Elisabeth. “They were like me, could do what I do. They found me, it made me feel… I dunno, special.”

Looking away again, Reed’s voice is quieter. “I'm sorry about making you have to do all this. Uh,” his brows furrow, “they're at my house. I sent a fake dispatch about a kid running west through backyards. They diverted the squad cars.”

Micah. Taylor's words bring to mind her friend's son… but Liz is uncertain of the state of things with Niki at this moment — Liz's death may have sent the other woman into a serious Jessica spin, for all Liz can remember about what went on in Bright. Her knowledge of Bright Liz's circle of people is not exactly up to date — and it was piecemeal from 2019 knowledge anyway.

"Don't be sorry," she tells Taylor quietly. "You didn't make me do this." Shooting him a small smile, Liz says, "In another time and place, Taylor… I made you a promise to look out for your family and try to make sure you didn't get sucked into Moab. To have the chance to fulfill that promise… helps me a lot."

Elisabeth is quiet a long moment. "Perhaps somewhere along the way, we can find them too. You are special, you know," she tells him. "You have a power that in a digital world gives you a hell of a lot of influence. I'd really rather see you use those abilities to help people — like you did with this Moab thing, but… it doesn't always need to be quite that large a scale." She grins. "Your mom seems like a nice lady… seems like she's trying to raise you to be a good man. When you think about pulling something using those superpowers of yours… ask yourself if what you're doing will make her proud. It helps, when you're trying to choose what kind of badass you wanna be."

Grimacing awkwardly, Reed furrows his brows and nods slowly. “That's— that's why I got in with Hiro and the Guardians. I… I saw what was happening in secret, saw what they were doing to stop it and… and I thought: how can I help?”

By now their car is a three miles away from the Reed residence, following the Long Island coastline north-eastward. “Head all the way up to Montauk, there's a ferry that can take us off Long Island. I already bought us tickets.”


At least he's living up to the Robin Hood monicker.

Elisabeth rolls her eyes. "Hey Robin? Stealing from people, even with the best of intentions, is still stealing," she points out drily. "Not that I'm complaining at this moment, but… keep it in mind?" She grins at him.

She steers the car toward Montauk, trusting his direction. "Yeah… that's pretty much how I got into this mess too." Liz can't exactly give him too much what-for… hypocrite much?

"Okay… when we make it across, I'm going to call on some friends and get you a place to hole up. It might be with me for a little while, and I've got some contacts who will hopefully be able to expedite your parents' situation too. Try not to panic too much?" Cuz the kid has to be worrying about what'll happen to them with the Feds bearing down.

The weight of what's happening hasn't hit the young Taylor Reed yet, not in the way it's hit his mother, the way it will hit his father when authorities arrive at his work site in an hour. But the winds of change aren't always subtle, and the things done here are like pebbles cast into distant ponds, with ripples spreading across shores so remote they cannot even be seen.

Once upon a time, a boy lost his chance at a normal life when he was locked away in a dark prison. Once upon a time, Elisabeth Harrison promised that she would help Reed however she could. Now, here, in another place and another time, there's room for second chances.

Because like her father said:

Harrisons keep their promises.

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