The 22nd Psalm


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Scene Title The 22nd Psalm
Synopsis My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Date ???? and May, 1961

«What you are seeing is happening live

An emergency alarm is sounding in the stairwell, the ear-splitting scream of a hammer and bell alarm like that found in a fire station. The sound carries down the open shaft of the stairwell, and the darkly dressed man hurrying up the stairs looks wide-eyes in worry. There are fire extinguishers every landing, red valves connected to rolled up hoses. The alarm isn't for a fire.

«It is… it's total devastation. In my entire career of news broadcasting I have never seen anything so horrific.»

The noise of the alarm is so persistent that it's faded into a piercing hum in the back of his mind. Hurrying up the stairs, he skips two steps at a stride, taking the time of the ascent to clear his thoughts. He could get there faster — to the penthouse — but he needs to be certain this is what he wants to do. Pausing at the 75th floor landing, he looks up to the remaining dozen or so floors, swallowing tensely. Dark eyes narrow, purpose found. It's not about what he wants. It's about destiny.

«Authorities are estimating the death toll to be incalculable at present. Conservative estimates from independent sources cite possible fatalities at more than one million.»

Dark denim pants and a zippered pullover are seasonal attire, and perhaps appropriately somber given the date. Floor after floor, legs aching, chest burning from exertion, he finds the resolve to do what must be done. When he reaches the 84th floor he grabs the door handle with an adamant grasp, wrenching it open and stepping into evacuated office halls. An enormous logo of a stylized mountain and its reflection on a river greets him, along with the words YAMAGATO INDUSTRIES in gold.

«Emergency rescue services are paralyzed due to the unparalleled severity of the catastrophe. We go now live to President Nathan Petrelli on board Air Force One.»

Executive conference rooms are empty, and up here every television mounted on conference room walls shows news broadcasts from around the world, with terrified-looking newscasters all reporting on scenes of coastal devastation. One by one, each of them begins to cut away to footage of a clean cut man in crisp suit with a red tie up against a blue backdrop. Briefly, Hiro Nakamura catches a glimpse of his own reflection in the television, and sees how haunted his eyes are.

«Today, America and the world face an unparalleled disaster not seen in human history. Today, we stare into the face of Armageddon.»

Moving further down the hall, Hiro passes by an empty desk with its chair pushed out, phone left off the hood, headset still swinging where its tethered to a computer, caught on the arm of the office chair. He barges in through the gold-leafed wooden doors to the executive office, there a darkly dressed and severe looking man has his back to a television, watching the skyline of Tokyo ahead.

«I have been told millions may have died today on the east coast of America alone. South America, Europe, and Africa are all likewise facing equally devastating tragedies. Equally unparalleled loss of life. But the worst is not yet behind us.»

Over the howl of the alarm Hiro comes up behind the haunted silhouette of his father, Kaito, and locks eyes with him. “Otosan. Osoku natte gomen’nasai.” Kaito’s severe expression softens, and he approaches his son with weary eyes, resting an affirming hand on his shoulder. Hiro looks away, briefly to the television, then back to Kaito.

«A second tsunami is bearing down on America’s west coast as we speak. Though early warning systems were able to provide some advance notice, it will not be enough. Japan, China, Australia, and other pacific nations stand with us in preparation for the inevitable.»

“Mattaku sode wa arimasen.” Kaito responds to his son, squeezing his shoulder and then relinquishing the grasp. Kaito reaches inside his suit jacket and pulls out a Yamagato Industries business card, “Anata wa jiken-doridesu.” He flips the card around and offers it out to Hiro. On the back is a series of numbers: 051061

«The disaster that is changing our world as we speak is just the beginning. We must accept that there are events outside of our control — acts of god so unfathomable in their cruelty they make us question our own faith.»

Honkeidesu ka?” Hiro asks his father, and Kaito merely nods once in certainty. Looking at the card one last time, Hiro breathes in deeply and closes his eyes, nodding his head. “Watashi ga owattara mochido o ai shimashou.” There is no reassurance from Kaito at that, just the cup of his palm against Hiro’s cheek and a nod to acknowledge Hiro’s promise.

«We must cast aside the shadow of those fears. We must bring ourselves together, not just as a nation but as a world, and square our shoulders to the task ahead…»

Behind Kaito, our the tall window that overlook Tokyo, Hiro can see the growing shadow of a tsunami roaring toward the coast. The skies have darkened in its approach, crowds of people flee at street level, moving like brightly colored ants between lines of gridlocked cars. The wave begins to collide with buildings, crash down streets and sweep rows of cars with it. Tears well up in Hiro’s eyes, and he sucks in a sharp breath. And disappears.

«…humanity will once again survive the Flood.»

"Sayonara, Hiro."

Coyote Sands Relocation Center

May, 1961

A sound of thunder rolls in the starless skies.

Gunfire is a terrible sound, it carries across the open expanse of dusty desert that spills out from the foot of the mountains. Between elevated wooden lodges, screams erupt between the noise of gunfire. Blood soaks into the sand where a man in a plaid shirt lays on his back, bullet holes torn through his chest, glasses crooked on his blood-spattered face, eyes open and glassy as they peer upwards at the lightning flashing through the clouds.

Beneath one of those elevated lodges, a tiny young girl lays on her stomach in the dirt. Blood from her father is still tacky and warm across the right side of her face, some droplets smudges where tears have made them run. Dark, chocolate brown eyes watch her father's lifeless body where he lays, and not much further away where a man in a soldier's uniform lays dead as well, a burning hole in the middle of his chest from a direct lightning strike, clothing blown apart on his body in charred strips.

Wind picks up, wind and sudden snow flurries, a pop of electricity as lights on the cabins blow when a stroke of lightning hits a nearby power line. All Alice Shaw can see are booted feet running along the packed earth walkways. Trembling hands cover her ears, eyes wrenching shut and lips pressed together tightly. "Say goodnight, Alice. Say goodnight, Alice. Say goodnight, Alice." The mantra is whispered as she struggles to block out the terrible sounds. As if hearing her wishes, thunder rolls like a beat of war drums above, drowning out the pop of gunfire.

The sudden, terrifying sensation of a hand wound around one of her ankles has Alice shrieking as she's dragged out from beneath the building. Her fingers curl into the dirt, eyes grow wide and a shriek spills from her lips. The young girl turns, writhes, kicks and claws at the ground to try and save herself as a pair of soldiers haul her out from beneath the building.

One of them lets go of her leg, unholstering his sidearm from his belt, cocking it back and aiming the revolver down towards Alice. Fear fills her eyes and the sky flashes bright with a peal of thunder and lightning, followed by a stroke of white-hot light lancing down from the heavens, striking the gun-toting soldier in the top of the head, flash-frying his eyes and burning a hole through his helmet and hair. His skin boils on the inside, smoke expels out his mouth and he flies backwards onto the ground, legs and arms convulsing involuntarily.

The soldier not hit is recoiling, even as Alice draws her legs up beneath herself. He swings his rifle from over his shoulder, pulls the bolt back and chambers a round with a snap-clack. As he levels the rifle up and trains it on Alice, another soldier tackles her from out of nowhere, and the rifle goes off, followed by a puff of red from the middle of his back before he crumples to the ground with his arms around the girl.

Blood spills from the blonde soldier's mouth, and Alice continues to wail like a banshee with his dead weight atop her. Blood soaks into her clothes as she tries to push him off, but his body pins her to the dirt. The rifle-armed soldier chambers another round, ejecting a smoking shell out of the side of his bolt-action rifle as he stalks forward. Closing in on Alice, his lips curl back into a snarl and he levels the rifle down towards her.

Only to have the soldier he'd shot stand up again.

Confusion gives way to hesitation, and hesitation gives way to death. A broken piece of glass from a blown out window finds its way into the rifleman's throat, torn across the front of his neck in a jagged line by the soldier he thought he'd gunned down. Blue eyes stare piercingly from the attacker, from Alice's liberator.

When the rifleman falls down to the ground, grasping at his cut throat, gapsing wetly for air and choking on his own blood, the soldier turns slowly to look back at Alice. He pulls open the front of his button down uniform, checking his chest where a bullet hole goes straight through him. One thumb wipes over the exit hole, smearing blood over perfectly smooth and undamaged skin. Alice's wide eyes stare up vacantly at the soldier, at his nametag: MONROE, A.

"You and I," the blonde soldier states as he offers a hand out to Alice, "we should be getting out of— " Alice lets out a sudden scream, scrambling back on her hands and heels, twisting until she can get up onto her feet and start to run again. "Wait!" He cries, holding out a hand after her. "Bugger, why isn't this ever easy?" Ducking down to grab the dead soldier's rifle, Adam Monroe stares into his dying eyes, even as fingers wind into Adam's sleeve, begging for help with gurgling breaths.

"Sorry chap," Adam murmurs, tugging the gun away, "that's how it works." Rising to his feet, leaving the soldier bleeding to death on the ground and drowning in his own blood, Adam charges after Alice's scrambling form. The young girl dives beneath another one of the barracks, even as another stroke of lightning hits the chain link fence on the outside of the camp.

As Adam departs to chase the girl, an onlooker to the chaos emerges from the shadows between the lodges. Hiro Nakamura stares wide-eyed at the exchange, then looks up to the growing storm in the sky. Sucking in a sharp breath, Hiro closes his eyes at the next flash of lightning and roar of thunder as lightning strikes nearby. When he opens his eyes, he has found himself further outside of the relocation camp, looking beyond the tall barbed-wire fence where the desert spreads or as far as the eye can see.

Distant screams, pops of gunfire, and echoing claps of thunder swarm over the camp. But there, at the fence, a handful of children stand by a hole cut in the barbed wire. A dark-haired young woman with one hand clapped over her mouth, shuddering back sobs. A brunetteboy with a hand on her shoulder, staring through the fence with wide, blue eyes thick with tears. There's a blonde boy, standing somewhat by himself, arms crossed and head down, and a taller boy a few years older than the rest, his dark skin smudged with pale dust from the desert.

“We need to go,” the blonde boy says resolutely. “We said we were going to leave. We can't go back inside. Bobby, come on. You're not…” the blonde boy stares at the blonde one expectantly.

“We've gotta go back,” the sobbing girl says fitfully.

“Angela…” the brunette boy shakes his head, wrapping an arm around the girl. “Danny, Angela’s right. Her sister’s still in there.” He turns his teary eyes over to the oldest of the trio, who watches them with conflicted uncertainty. But as he considers their plight, he notices that Angela has stopped crying and Bobby hasn't said anything else. He notices there's no sound. There's no storm. There's just stillness, and silence.

Charles,” Hiro Nakamura says as he steps into the dim light cast by the camp’s distant floodlights. The boy, Charles Deveaux, turns toward Hiro with wide eyes. He recognizes the man for what he is, but also for what he isn't.

“You stopped time.” Charles says breathlessly. Hiro nods, walking past Angela, Danny, and Bobby. Coming up to Charles, Hiro creases his brows and looks sternly into the young telepath’s eyes. Reaching inside of his jacket, Hiro removes an old brass necklace that looks like it's in the shape of a fish hook, a maori hei matau symbolizing safe travel across water.

“I have something to show you.”

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