Storm Warning


helena_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Storm Warning
Synopsis Peter saves the day, acquires a new power, and has a debate on a rooftop.
Date September 1, 2008


Though it's less than two miles square, Chinatown is home to some quarter of a million residents. Cramped, ancient tenements are the norm, though the fourty-four story Confucious Plaza standing at the corner of Bowery and Division does boast luxurious accommodations by comparison. Mulberry Street, Canal Street, and East Broadway are home to streetside green grocers and fishmongers, and Canal Street also boasts an impressive array of Chinese jewelry shops.

It's late, and it's raining over Chinatown. The rain gives the neon a hazy glow, and there are very few cars or people on the streets at this hour. It's almost surreal, like something out of a William Gibson novel, or even a much updated version of Blade Runner. The effect is made even more cyberpunkish by the sudden turn around the corner of a somewhat out of place gwin lao girl, blonde hair streaming behind her as she runs like her life depended on it, tossing looks over her shoulder as she dodges people on the sidewalk. A few moments after she becomes visible, a souped up car turns the corner, blaring guitar music with several Chinese toughs leaning out of the windows, shouting obscenities in Mandarin.

With the streets as packed as they were tonight, it was hard to catch a specific face in the crowd. It was that level of concealment that certain people counted on, just becoming another face in the crowd and blending in. Half of society was in hiding for who and what they were, and places like Chinatown were havens for them, where anonymity reigned. As the blonde-haired girl charged down the street, weaving in and out between residents and visitors going about their business, there was something she couldn't have counted on — something she couldn't even have seen coming.

"Agh!" Someone's voice cried out as Helena slammed head-on into someone else, someone that wasn't even there. As she felt the texture of leather against her cheek, and the solidity of another body, she also felt it falter and fall forward. The sound of rustling cloth and a disoriented mumble of profanity is soon met by a pained groan as Helena — tangled up in thin air fell forward onto something solid, landing on what seemed like nothing beneath herself, until the air shimmered, rippled, and revealed the back of a man dressed in a leather jacket face first on the ground…

Helena lets out a grunt of her own as she contacts with something and falls on top of it, only for it to shimmer into being a man. But she doesn't have time for introductions, and half lifts herself up to look over her shoulder. They've spotted her, and she scrambles up, making a beeline from one of the alleys. She skids a few feet in front of one of the dumpsters pressed up against the side of one of the buildings, and then skirts behind it into a crouch. Even as she does so, the car pulls up and the five toughs hop out, calling out in thick accents, "Where'd you go, chickee? C'mon baby, we just want to have a good time!" They start stalking into the alley way. Peter? He gets ignored. There's the faintest rustle of wind from the alley, and above, thunder rumbles ominously in echo of Helena's fright. Stuck in the alley, she doesn't have the flight option. So looks like it's gonna be fight, though she still stays hidden. Papers and scraps of garbage start to rustle from the breeze that begins to pick up.

Peter pushes himself up on his hands, looking down at the box of lo-mein crushed beneath himself. He shakes his head, rising up to one knee and glancing around at the crowd, thankfully no one had noticed his disappearing act from being beneath Helena when it happened. As he rises, his eyes follow the men running into the alley and there evident hesitation. He looks around the crowd, no one else was going to do anything. They were just standing there, slack jawed, some even turned away and tried to pretend nothing was happening.

"Someone should call the cops or something…" A man with a cell phone in his hand said.

"Wow, look at that." A few more voices intoned, but the vast majority just kept on going. What they didn't see couldn't haunt them.

Peter shook his head, looking down to his ruined dinner, then the stain on his shirt. With a click of his tongue and another shake of his head, he pushes past one of the onlookers and begins walking towards the alleyway.

The rain, if anything, starts to come down harder, and people are even less inclined to remain. Thunder goes from rumbling to a loud clap up in the sky that sets off a car alarm or two, and in the time it takes for Peter to make closer to the mouth of the alley, he can feel the edges of an icy wind whipping up from it, like someone turned on a fan. Only that fan is apparently powerful enough to send a few of the dumpsters skidding and making creaky noises as they shift their position a few feet and the five gang bangers - yes, all five, go flying out of the alley in a haphazard tumble, slamming up against the side of their car. If Peter was expecting to play Prince Not-So-Charming to the rescue, it would seem the Princess had a few tricks up her dress. The wind starts to die down, and coincidentally, so does the storm. The young woman emerges from the alley, only hesitating a moment to regard her would-be assaulters before she starts to turn away.

When the wind picks up more thn just a gust, Peter hesitates, but as the thugs who had gone chasing after the girl went tumbling head over heels out of the alley, blowing by either side of the black-clad man, he raises a hand to shield his eyes. The presence of the flying bodies doesn't catch him as off guard as the wind itself does. One look over his shoulder, watching the thugs slumping down in the rain against the automobile, and then back to the alley. He breathed out a heavy sigh, squinting to see in the dark as the rain drove down from the growing clouds in the skies above.

"Hey…" He knew he shouldn't be doing this, "You alright?" He looked back over his shoulder again, the crowd was dispersing, but that guy with the cell phone was using it now. Some who hadn't gotten out of the rain yet were hesitantly approaching the people thrown out of the alley. This was going to get complicated, fast. Peter edged into the alley further, the wind playing at the long tail o fhis coat, causing it to flare out behind him as he walked in the gust.

Oh, crap. Helena recognizes the man with the scar. But she's not all 'hey, you're the rude man with the scar!'. She just looks at him at his approach and says, "I have to get out of here. If they're calling the cops…" she trails off. She's not registered. Even though her father hadn't reported her missing, there still might be some mention of her in police databases. And of course, there's that little tea society she belongs to. "If I walk out into the street, they're going to swarm me." The would-be victim, how did she stave off five young men of evident strength with her petite, five foot one self? "Were you just invisible? Can you help me? Please." she looks at him haplessly.

"You're that — " Peter cut himself off, looking back over his shoulder at the sidewalk. His eyes narrowed and he turned to look at her again, holding out one hand to her, "You can trust me and I can get you out of here," He nodded back to the street, "Or you can not, and I can leave you here with them." Peter tilted his head to one side, regarding the blonde curiously, "Your choice." The wind and the rain had done terrible things to his hair, wild black hair mostly unkempt now from its usual slicked back style, much of the hair on the right side of his face falling over one eye.

Hey, she asked him for help, didn't she? She's clearly hoping that's the trick he's going to pull out of his hat as she steps up to him, her expression determined. She'd been prepared to try and scale the fire escapes and risk the rooftops, but while she's pretty tough, she ain't Catwoman. Hell, she's not even Batgirl. "Do what you're gonna do." she tells him, prepared to follow his lead.

Helena sees the hand, and wordlessly puts hers in his.

Peter takes Helena's hand in his, then closes his eyes. His brow tenses, and there is a disorienting feeling of vertigo that accompanies what comes next. In an instant, the world around Helena and Peter begins to bend and flex, as if viewed through a funhouse mirror. Immediately thereafter, there is a rush, feeling of suddenly falling despite solid ground being underfoot. In a blurred flash, everything snaps back to clarity, but there's a distinct dissonance with where Helena just was, and where she is now.

Rooftop of the Deveaux Building

She's high up, much higher than she was a moment ago, and the odd sensation in her ears from the change in air pressure is a good indication of just how high. The skyline of New York can be seen beyond the edge of a rooftop; dusty and damaged from the bomb. But the scenery that is revealed to Helena isn't the thriving, living part of New York — It's Midtown. That cauterized scar in the land is clearly visible amidst toppled scyscrapers and upheaved streets. While live still goes on here, it goes on in the shadow of death. The rooftop itself is cluttered with debris, broken borads and chickenwire fencing that lays scattered on the ground. Broken glass litters the ground by where a small greenhouse's skeletal metal frame stands. Beyond this building, on the opposite site of the roof, she can see the storm she created on the horizon; flashes of lightning in thinning clouds.

"Who are you?" Peter was still there, of course, and he let go of Helena's hand as he asked that question, "You were down in the sewers, you were looking for something, and now those men were chasing you…" It was his turn to be curious now.

Helena spins around, taking in the scenery and the skyline. Bringing her arms up and folding them against her chest, it's not a stance of being stubborn, but due to the fac that she's cold. She's high up, drenched from the rain, and now she's kind of chilly. But in fairness, he asked first, and he did help her out. "My name's Helena." she says. "I was looking for someone and went to a couple of the places I know he goes, and at one of them - well, those guys were there. It got kind of ugly. Thank you for helping me out." She looks him dead on, right in the eye even as she runs her hands up and down her arms on either side. "You're popping up pretty frequently yourself. Who are you?"

Looking out over the skyline, then to the worn and battered stone relief built on the edge of the roof, Peter seems to have grown quiet as he listens to Helena's explanation. He approaches what looks like some elaborate ring of stone, through which the epicenter of the Midtown ruins can be viewed at the right angle. "My name's Peter," He says quietly, looking back to Helena as he rakes one hand thorugh his hair, trying to comb those unruly locks back into place. "I had a pretty good idea you might be gifted," He didn't use the term Evolved like the media did, "Wind, though, that's a first. I haven't seen that before…" Peter looked around, at the rubble on the rooftop and then back to Helena. "Alright, well…" He turned away from her, "The stairs here are safe enough, you should be able to find your way out of here fine." Peter started to walk closer to the edge of the roof, as if he were going to just leave…

"It's not just wind." she calls out after him. "It's weather." She lifts her chin a little. "Why did you bring me here, of all places?" she calls out to him. "Are you…Peter Petrelli? I know about you. From Claire."

Peter halted, immediately. Not at the explanation about the wind, but by the names mentioned. Both of them seemed to strike him, each one in a slightly different place. The scarred man turned, looking over his shoulder, a look of confusion and then distrust shifting into frustration as he began walking back towards Helena. "You're one of those terrorists, one of those people who…" He clenched one fist closed, "What did Claire tell you about me?" His brows furrow together, ad the wind whipped across the rooftop a moment afterwards, carrying with it a chill from the cool nights at the end of summer, and causing Peter's coat to blow about in the breeze.

Helena doesn't back away. "Not much. You're her uncle, and you saved her life when Sylar came after her. You're Evolved. You pick up people's powers - she didn't tell me that, I figured it out. Well if you've picked up mine," her chin stays lifted, "You need to be careful." She cocks her head. "Not all of us approve of everything that's been done, but the only way to affect change within the group is to do something about it from the inside."

First seeing that Helena doesn't back down makes Peter's expression soften a bit, then as he listens to her his anger seems to subside as well. He nods, once, and then looks out over the skyline again, blowing out a sigh as one hand comes up to wipe water that had clung to his brow. "I'm used to dangerous powers…" He shakes his head slowly, mostly at himself, "I don't agree with what that group does at all, and your leader — Cameron? — I don't trust him for a moment." His eyes drift over the rooftop again, he seemed to be battling something in his own mind while he spoke. "Wait," Peter looks back up to Helena, as if finally realizing something, "How do you know about Sylar?"

Helena shakes her head. "I bet you have to understand them before you can control them, though. And Cameron - he's made changes. There are more of us who have a voice about what we do. Civilian targets aren't the way. Not any more." Then, surprised, "He tried to kill her in Odessa. And you saved her. Didn't you?"

Peter listned, partially, to the conversation he was having with Helena. The other part of him, the part that seemed focused elsewhere seemed to finally meet back up to the current conversation as he idly raised one hand and motioned towards the wooden debris nearby. A quick and uncontrolled blast of wind sent some of the debris scattering, but wasn't sustained for long. Peter furrowed his brow, looking down at his hand before turning his focus wholly back to Helena. "I guess she told you a lot…" He didn't seem pleased with that, "Civilian or no, it doesn't make it right to target the government either. You're just proving their case for them — that people like us can't be trusted, that we're destructive." He turns, partially, away from the conversation, sliding both of his hands inside of his coat pockets. "But I'm not going to try and convince you. I already made that mistake once today." He looks back, sidelong, at Helena. "How's it work?" He finally asked.

"Well, let me ask you something." Helena says, with what may seem like surprising calm. "What do you think I should do about the people who stabbed my mother to death because she could make plants grow? Throw a tea party? Destruction's happening on all sides. Violence always accompanies great change." It sounds like rhetoric, but it's clearly rhetoric she believes. The query grants him a grin. "Emotion. When I'm scared, when I'm angry - that's when it gets really bad. I can do things with different types of weather phenomenon and I've been able to do more and more over time. If you feel yourself suddenly unhappy for no reason - or in the opposite direction, it could be the type of weather coming in the next few weeks. But being in control of your emotions, that's important, okay?" She tightens her shiver in a little bit, then concentrates, and gradually relaxes as the few feet of space around them begins to warm as she raises the temperature on just the rooftop.

"Get over it." Peter says bluntly after a few moments of silence, "You get over a death and move on, that's what a friend of mine taught me. If you keep lashing out at everyone because someone hurt you, you just end up hurting someone else, and then it's their grudge that someone else has to suffer from. Did you ever wonder why so many people hate us? Because of what…" He hesitates, just for a moment, "Because of what one of us did. Someone lost someone they loved, someone close to them, and the next person with a gift they find, they take all that rage out on with a steel pipe, or a gun, or whatever they have. Maybe they find out they're gifted too, put a bullet in themselves." He shakes his head, frowning, "Just because you suffered, it doesn't make it right. I used to think like that — about revenge, about getting even, about settling scores." He looks up at the sky as the air temperature begins to rise. "It doesn't get you anywhere." He sighs, looking back to Helena, "I'm not expecting you to agree with me, but at least think about it."

Helena cocks her head. "So you want me to do what you do?" she challenges. "You don't exactly seem to be processing and moving past your losses either. You just seem bitter and angry and how much do you want to bet that someone on the street if asked which of us was more angry at the world, would point at you, not me?" She shakes her head. "I'm not acting out of revenge. I'm acting because if I do nothing, nothing will be done. Look at your history, Peter. All the major changes in the world came about through conflict. If we don't make the stand, then who's going to? I don't see you trying to make it better. You're busy hiding in abandoned subway tunnels." She takes a breath. "Look, I'm not ungrateful. And Claire - she doesn't tell me as much as you might think. She carries a lot of pain." Her expression turns wry. "Somehow I don't think you'd tell her to just get over it." A shrug. "Thank you, Peter. For helping me. If I can return the favor one day, I will."

Peter listens, probably completely for the first time over the whole evening. Once Helena's done, he looks away and takes a few steps towards the edge of the roof, "I told Claire harsher things." He doesn't sound particularly proud of it, "And as for me, there's some things you get over easier than others." There's hesitation, and Peter rolls his shoulders, taking his hands out of his pockets as he shifts his focus back over to where Helena's standing. "We do things differently, I guess. But don't think I'm not doing anything, just because there aren't immediate results…" He frowns slightly, then looks back to the ruins of the city, "I'll make this better again, on my own terms." He looks back to Helena, tilting his head to the side, "I'll hold you to that, Helena." The corner of his lips turned up into the hint of a smile. "Oh, and… if you see Claire." His feet rose up off the ground a few inches, "Tell her I'm sorry." There's a sudden blast of air that accompanies Peter rocketing up into the sky like a bullet, and the darkly dressed man vanishes up into the night's sky, leaving behind a swirling cloud of dust and his parting words behind.

September 1st: Interrogation

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…
Trust Issues

September 2nd: Trust Issues
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