The Aleph, Part III


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Scene Title The Aleph, Part III
Synopsis Elisabeth Harrison invites in an unexpected house guest for tea.
Date January 23, 2012

Every moment in time is an opportunity.

When presented with a fork in the road, turning right can yield a host of unpredictable results just as much as turning left can. But with the right forewarning and a high enough perspective, the road ahead can be seen further out, and the destinations of each branch become clearer.

Data is agnostic and without agenda. The same cannot be said for people.

Elisabeth and Ygraine’s Flat

New York City

4:43 pm

Keys turn in a lock, keychain rattling against the door that slowly opens into a cozy and sparsely furnished apartment. Everything is shades of brown and amber, tinted by the lambent glow of the setting sun spilling in through curtained windows. Chestnut-finished cabinets provide a rig warmth that compliments amber-colored linoleum flooring in the kitchenette.

Shutting the door behind herself, Liz can tell that Ygraine isn't home by the lack of any noise in the apartment or lights on. As keys go down into the beige countertop by the door, an armful of groceries are set down with a crinkle of paper bag beside them. But when she looks back up there are people in the apartment, manifest like ghosts just beyond the doorway from the kitchenette into the small living room.

Hiro Nakamura is a dark and short silhouette, with black hair tied back into a short ponytail, a sword strapped to his back, and a serious expression leveled at Elisabeth. But behind him is a gray-haired Japanese man with a more patriarchal posture, hands folded behind his back and black suit crisp and formal in contrast to Hiro’s zippered jacket.

“Miss Harrison,” Hiro states with a crook of his mouth into a smirk, “I presume.”

You know… Elisabeth would never have classified herself a screamer. As she turns back into the living room and people have just appeared, however, there is a definite sound that comes to bear. An instant ramp-up of a low, bass hum heralds the adrenaline surge through her bloodstream, and it is only by sheer virtue of the fact that the woman had lived the past two years with a shadowmorph that she doesn't launch an ultrasound wave first and ask questions after people's brains are scrambled. In the split second before she hurls her power in that instinctive defense, she recognizes the ponytail and the sword.

"Son of a bitch, Nakamura! Will you PLEASE start wearing a fucking bell??!" A shaking hand comes up to her chest as if she's going to calm her racing heart by virtue of touch. Peering at him as she flips the light switch on, a frown pulls her brows together and she tilts her head. Is he, she wonders. But he said 'I presume,' so he hasn't met her yet.

"Well… your arrival here at least keeps me from having to search you out. Though I expect if you could have helped, you'd have already been standing on the roof when we arrived so as to shunt us the hell out of here before we can screw with your world," she observes. Blue eyes flicker to the older man and she hesitates and bows slowly, keeping her eyes on him. "Mr. Nakamura," she greets far more politely than the tone she gave his son.

Hiro’s only response is a slow raise of his brows and a look back to his father. To his credit, Kaito merely offers a smile where there was much exasperation on their revelation. “Do not mind Hiro, he has spent too much time with comic books to remember his manners.”

Hiro shoots Kaito a look that practically screams daaaaaad. Moving past Hiro, Kaito slowly approaches Liz and offers out a hand to her. “Kaito Nakamura,” may not be a necessary introduction, but it's one that feels polite regardless. “I apologize for the nature of this meeting, but I feel that you understand in a way neither Hiro nor I can.”

What isn't clear, or understood, is why either of them are here.

She takes the proffered hand and replies in the same vein of politeness, "Elisabeth Harrison, though obviously you know that already." The blonde smiles just a little despite the fact that her handshake still resonates with the subtle buzz of of adrenalized sound. She is slowly pulling it back under control, beneath the hearing range, though it's still felt just a bit. Looking back and forth between them, she admits in tone that she wishes were more flippant than quietly resigned, "I'm not sure exactly what I understand in this case… Let me see if I can take a stab at it.”

"You knew something was off last November when two aurorae appeared in the skies over two separate regions here in the U.S. You've been watching for… something. I'm not sure what. But our arrival here this week stirred up a hornet's nest somehow." Elisabeth tilts her head, her tone just a touch rueful. "So… whether via precogs, postcogs, probability manipulators, or some other thing I haven't even been smart enough to consider yet, you followed … something, dimensional signature or resonance frequency or whatever … and found your way to my door? Possibly hoping either to warn me not to muck about in your timeline more than necessary or…" She slants a glance at Hiro and sighs heavily, looking reluctantly accepting about this other possibility, "you want to find out what I know about taking certain people and corporations and dimensional portal machines out of play." Because Hiro has always been about saving the world.

She looks at Kaito with eyes that hold a hint of the weariness she feels in her soul. "How'm I doing so far?" She asks quietly.

Hiro arches a brow, looking to Kaito, then back to Elisabeth and he starts to open his mouth but Kaito lays a gentle hand on his son’s shoulder. He knows what he’s going to say, and nothing about the cancelled FOX television show Sliders will be of any help here. Hiro looks at Kaito again, then makes a noise in the back of his throat before letting his father talk.

“Well, you said enough things that statistically speaking your odds of being right on one of them are relatively high.” Kaito cracks a smile, hand coming away from Hiro’s shoulder. “But you’ve come about it from the wrong side of our perspective. We were unaware of the events that transpired in Alaska and Massachusetts when they occurred, not until the belated news coverage began. But when I saw that spiral shape over Cambridge, I knew what was happening.”

Hiro, unable to really stay quiet chimes in. “History was repeating itself.” Which earns a sidelong look from Kaito, to which Hiro grimaces back.

“This has happened before,” Kaito says to Elisabeth, “in 1982. How that relates to you, however, is a slightly different matter.”

Okay…. that was definitely unexpected. Or … is it? Elisabeth's expression moves from wearily amused to instantly alert, her blue eyes sharp on Kaito Nakamura's face. Whatever she knows or perhaps suspects, she keeps firmly locked behind her teeth at this moment, though her mind is racing through puzzle pieces and fitting them together. "How does it relate to me?" she asks him, moving to put her refrigeratables into the appliance quickly and then coming back to the two of them. "Would you like a cup of tea while you fill me in on this?" Because there will be a question-and-answer period, she hopes.

“Tea would be lovely,” Kaito agrees before getting in to harder issues. He moves to find himself a seat at the small dining room table adjacent to the kitchenette, pulling out a chair and settling down comfortably. Hiro remains standing, anxiously moving over to one of the apartment windows and checking outside. He doesn’t seem all that interested in the tea.

Seated, Kaito folds his hands in front of himself. “As you may be aware, I was one of the founders of the Company in my youth. I wasn’t among the first Founders, however. That dubious honor fell to Angela Petrelli, Robert Bishop, Charles Deveaux, and Daniel Linderman. The survivors of the Coyote Sands relocation center.” Carefully adjusting his wedding band on one hand, Kaito keeps his eyes squared there. “They protected knowledge of our kind from the United States government in 1961. Charles used his prodigious telepathic abilities to infiltrate the highest levels of government office, and eradicate record of our existence from written and mental record, including the events of Coyote Sands.” Curiously, it isn’t clear how any of that relates to the current matter at hand.

Eyes up to Elisabeth, Kaito’s expression is considerably serious. “Without their intercession, the government would have been aware of us decades earlier. You would not have enjoyed the freedoms you do today, such as they are.” Briefly checking in on Hiro, Kaito is thoughtful in his ponderance. When he looks back to Elisabeth, the conversation finally seems to be moving in a direction related to her current state.

“I was what you could call the second generation of the Founders. I joined what would become the Company in the late 1960s, along the same time as Arthur Petrelli and others. My ability and the timing of my arrival afforded me a considerable level of power and influence, much as Arthur and the other Founders had. That, in turn, brings us to where we are today. On February 16th, 1979 I initiated a capture and release,” he doesn’t use the more grim term of bad and tag, “of a brilliant young student at MIT. I found her by way of my ability, and we brought her in to assess her, thoroughly.”

The name Kaito gives for her, is no surprise to Elisabeth. “Her name was Michelle LeRoux, and she may have been one of the most brilliant minds of her generation. When we brought Michelle in and tested her, we were astounded to discover the true depth of her intellect. Her Evolved ability came to be classified as hypercognition, a superhuman ability to ascertain and process information. We believed that, in time, Michelle could go on to join the Company and enact considerable progress for the world. But we did not wish to change the trajectory of her development, and so she was released to finish her education.”

“However, on completion of her studies she was given a sizable research grant by way of Charles Deveaux, to springboard her studies.” Kaito smiles, though it doesn’t ever reach his eyes. “Michelle would go on to research the then fringe fields of quantum mechanics and string theory. Along with a scientist named Richard Schwenkman and a physicist named Edward Ray, she would create a device that she believed was capable of viewing past or future events.”

Kaito raises one brow, slowly. “It did not do this.” He looks down to the table, a shadow of guilt crossing his face. “We had an agent assigned to observe Michelle, to keep her safe. Either from herself or others. What we had no way to realize, was that our memory wipe of Michelle that Charles performed was… not complete. Her heightened intelligence had allowed her to piece together fragmentary recollection of past events, like a post-traumatic stress flashback. When her device activated and created a spiral aurora over Kansas City, our agents sprang into action to control the scene. It… went poorly.”

Taking in a deep breath, Kaito exhales a slow sigh and wrings his hands together. “Michelle fled her lab, into traffic, and was struck by an oncoming automobile and died. Her machine malfunctioned, and the repercussions of which was the arrival of sixteen individuals from… somewhere else into the here and now. It took us weeks to find them all, to contain and… reintroduce them into the wild.”

Sliding his tongue across the inside of his cheek, Kaito rubs his palms together and looks down to the table, then back up to Elisabeth. “We attempted to find a way to bring these visitors back to their own… timelines, wherever they had come from. But it was impossible. By the mid 1980s we deemed it an impossibility. We could not rebuild Michelle’s device, nor could we replicate the effects it caused. Charles worked tirelessly to adjust their memories, to give them identities that matched their current environment and remove all recollection of their shared trauma from their memories. We gave them families, we gave them… backstories…”

Hiro briefly looks over, brows furrowed and visibly perturbed. He then turns his attention back to the window as Kaito continues. “The November 8th, 2011 aurora over Cambridge was a sign that our failure had finally come back to haunt us. But… the Company compartmentalized knowledge of the event, memories were erased — even among the founders — so that only a select handful of individuals knew the full truth. I am the last surviving Founder to know the full history of what happened on June 18th, 1982.”

Kaito closes his eyes, reaching up to rub one hand at his temple, then looks up to Elisabeth. “This… is truly a conversation I never wanted to have. But given that you are once again in this position, there is no other course of action that makes sense. You have to be made fully aware of your role in this, and… the danger you are in.”

Making a steady eye contact, Kaito informs Elisabeth of something that is a surprise. “You and your father are among those who came through the first time around.”

When Kaito starts talking, Elisabeth moves around the kitchen making tea — not the American version but real tea. Once it's set, she brings it to the table, listening intently to the information he's offering. Much of it she knows, but perhaps not the specifics in some of the things he gives her to consider. She sits at the table with him, the tea tray between them, and nods briefly at various points to indicate both that she's listening and that she understands. Her expression is thoughtful throughout.

It's not until he reaches nearly the end that she looks confused. She's once again what? And then he drops his little bombshell and it detonates in the middle of the table. Blue eyes show a long moment of incomprehension, and Elisabeth's brows pull together. "Wait…. What?"

Reaching up to rub the side of her forehead, she goes mentally back through what he's just said and comments, "I'm…. I think somewhere along the way here, you lost me. You're telling me that the version of me that lives in your timeline actually came from another timeline somewhere? Or that the me you're talking to has come from the timeline that I believed to be my own and I was wrong about that because in my world, my father and I both landed there from somewhere else in 1982?"

She wants to be very sure she's understanding properly. "And if it's the latter…. No, wait. Regardless of whether it's her or me… Where the fuck did we all come from?" she demands.

As if this were a casual conversation, Kaito reaches out to pour himself a cup of tea, tone still conversational and smooth. “These are difficult questions to answer accurately, as I do not know precisely where it is you hail from or how you’re here. But, suffice to say, in 1982 you and your father Jared arrived from somewhere else. Presumably this is the truth for both the you that is here, and the you that is native to this place.”

Hiro steps over from the window, finally. “We believe you’re from another timeline, somewhere… parallel to where we are. I… never thought something like that was possible. It changes everything I thought I knew about time travel.” Hiro looks down to the ground, “that we can never truly stop anything by going back in time. We just make…”

“Forking paths.” Kaito interjects after taking a sip of his tea. “So, yes. You and your father came from somewhere else. In our interview, Jared gave us a great amount of detail about where you both came from. Unfortunately, there were only subtle differences we were able to ascertain. Different politicians in power in the US, different television shows.” Kaito furrows his brows. “The Jared Harrison and Elisabeth Harrison on our side died in 1981 in a traffic accident. We… erased that tragedy, insinuated you back into your original families’ lives and removed all evidence of this timeline’s death.”

Kaito looks up, that shadow of guilt still present under his eyes. “I know this is a great deal to take in, but this revelation is not why I am here.”

Jesus, you mean it gets fucking WORSE? Elisabeth thinks.

Blowing out a slow breath, the blonde struggles to assimilate the massive amount of information. "Well… let's start with … yes, I know I'm from somewhere parallel to this world. And based on what we've already figured out, there are … at least four more that I know about. One where a psychotic fuck drops us into World War III, one where we failed to stop the Vanguard from releasing the Shanti-Rage virus, and one where the world is entirely flooded. Plus the one I actually believed to be my own home dimension, which you're telling me may not be?" That part she's not entirely sure of. "Apparently I've survived in at least three of these timelines, or there wouldn't be people to bodyslide sideways through black holes," she points out. "There are probably others, … probably infinitely many of them, all subtly different. Someone better slap that asshole who wrote the sci-fi TV show." Rubbing her forehead with one hand, she absently rests her elbows on the table while she wraps her head around all of this.

"Tell me what it is that actually brings you here, and I'll tell you what I know about how I got here. The information you've just given me makes some things I already suspected make a lot more sense, at least." She looks from Hiro to Kaito. "And believe me when I tell you, there is a way for us to get home. And I promise you that either Pinehearst or the fucking Commonwealth Institute are working on it." Her blue eyes on the older man are hard. "Because I know your son and his attempts in my world to make things better, I'm going out on a limb and trusting you here. I'm going home."
Breathing in deeply, Kaito takes in the aroma of his tea in a calming gesture. “It sounds as though you know considerably more about this topic than I, and to that I am relieved. I’m sorry for the circumstances that have brought you and the others here now, and… as for your desire to find a way home, that may be more challenging and dangerous than it appears. But I will attempt to lend aid to the best of my ability.”

Kaito sips his tea again, and while he’s so occupied Hiro considers Liz for a moment. “Domo,” Hiro murmurs, then looks away as he steps from the table with his arms crossed and head down. Something about this situation, something about the truth of his all has subdued Hiro in a way that makes him seem defeated, or perhaps lost.

“One of the founders of the Company, Arthur Petrelli, has secured himself in a position of great power here. He is actively hunting for myself and my son, to take what we know, and to kill us for the threat we represent to his power. Arthur is a ruthless and relentless tyrant of a man who will stop at nothing to ensure that his dominion over this world is absolute.” Glancing to Hiro, Kaito closes his eyes and blinks his attention back to Elisabeth. “He is also your only way of getting home.”

That revelation is a weighty one, and something that Kaito seems ill-comforted delivering. “We have learned that after November 8th, a facility that Arthur maintained in Alaska disappeared from this world, taking with it many innocent scientists and researchers. At the same time, half of a bus appeared in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Pinehearst discerned that the bus came from another timeline, though Arthur does not have the full knowledge of what happened in 1982, he does have partial records. Which…”

There’s a pause, and Kaito takes another sip of his tea to consider how to best phrase things. “Which leads us to your choice. Arthur is reconstructing a version of Michelle LeRoux’s device — the Looking Glass — in an attempt to tunnel in to the world that bus came from. Statistically I believe it is the destination you are seeking. Whether or not you are involved, Arthur will likely be successful. He will send envoys to your home, and he will spread into another world. Or… “ Kaito shakes his head. “I’m not certain what he would do. But Arthur has one of the scientists who developed Looking Glass with Michelle, Richard Schwenkman, and he has Edward Ray imprisoned in the Moab Federal Penitentiary.”

“I do not believe that Arthur would see you or the others you traveled with as a threat, but rather an asset. If you’re careful, you may be able to approach him to help you find a way home. But the price that may cost… I do not know. Beyond Arthur’s Looking Glass project, I don’t know of another way you might find a path home. My suppositions are only as good as the information I have to study.” Which is all the clues Liz needed to understand what Kaito Nakamura’s ability is. He’s just like Edward.

Leaning back in her chair, Elisabeth shoves both hands through her short blonde mass of hair in distraction. Hiro's demeanor concerns her, but for this moment, her focus is intent on the information that is being offered and what it means to her. "My arrival here probably changes a great many things that would have happened here in a few years. I'm… not the first traveler from my own world who has actually landed here. I'm just landing before them. Probably thereby splitting this world's timelines just by being here," she sighs. "There goes the hope of potentially just grabbing a ride home with the others in 2019."

She looks at the ceiling, considering her options here. "In my world, Arthur never had the chance to become what he is in this world. The trade-off for that was the rise of the Commonwealth Institute, headed up by a man who is also a time-slash-dimension traveler."

A brief glance is shot toward Hiro and Liz holds his eyes when he looks her way. "No… you cannot keep going back to try to fix things. Some things are… for lack of a better word… pivotal moments. Think more like the Terminator movies. And the more you try to go back and change, the more chance that you'll just make things that much worse. Plus splitting the timelines over and over again." Her tone with him is gentle, because she's met Hiro in several incarnations now. "You…. I met a you, not sure which timeline he was from, honestly. He had ancient eyes. And when I knew him, the clearest memory I have of anything with him was the thought how many times has he tried to make things better, only to see that the consequences are worse instead? Please… learn from that mistake."

Sighing heavily, Elisabeth looks back to Kaito. "God only knows what parallels are actually in play here. All of these timelines now sound like they're tangled all to hell, thanks at least in part if not in full to what happened last November. Zeke rebuilt the machine and I and a team of people went to stop him in Natazhat; another team went to rescue people from the facility beneath MIT in Cambridge. When the machine in Alaska was destabilized, it blew open a portal to the flooded world — where we didn't stop the Vanguard from detonating a nuke under the polar ice cap. But that's not how we landed from my world into the Virus world. That trip had to do with an out-of-control gravity ability and a portalling ability that opens between worlds somehow interacting with one another on both sides, and maybe also interacting with both the machine and a solar storm in our atmosphere. At least, that's our theory." And it's all it is — a theory.

"I can't go to Arthur Petrelli for help," she tells Kaito quietly. "We killed him in our world. And he's going to have access to telepaths who can tell him that, and he will view us as a threat. So… I'm going to need help. And if the old la…. If the remnants of the Deveaux Society still exist, I was hoping that might be where I could turn."

Elisabeth’s advice doesn’t elicit a response from Hiro, but the troubled look in his eyes implies that he heard it. He returns to the window, contemplating his own role in these events yet to come. But Kaito seems to take the revelations of the Vanguard’s activities, of the secrets that Elisabeth has to keep, and Arthur’s own death in stride. He takes another leisurely sip of his tea, then sets the cup down on the table.

“I can help you learn to resist telepaths,” Kaito politely explains. “That is a discipline trick. They can only see what you allow them to, and learning how to keep secrets from them was part and parcel of the Company’s agent regimen. With a few months, I could help you make your mind your own.” That said, Kaito looks over to Hiro briefly. Though he’s still talking to Elisabeth. “Charles Deveaux died in 2006 from terminal cancer. Daniel Linderman… refused to heal him. His daughter Simone died not long after. The heir to his estate in the event of his death, Sabra Dalton, was killed by Arthur Petrelli a year and a half ago. Arthur claimed nearly all of Charles’ assets right before he came after my Company.”

Kaito looks back to Elisabeth. “I do not know what this Commonwealth Institute you speak of is. They may not exist here. If they did, they are likely a part of Arthur’s Pinehearst Company. Much is the fate that befell the Yamagato Corporation. Much is the fate that befell many who dared stand against him.”

But there’s something else Kaito is getting at, evident in the furrow of his brows. “There is… another option.” But it doesn’t sound like Kaito much likes it. Hiro must know what it is, because he snaps a look at his father that is nearly warning.

"I … would greatly appreciate that training. At minimum, Mr. Nakamura, we're here for a few months. Aside from waltzing up to Arthur Petrelli, we have few options… but some ideas on how we'll get home." Elisabeth pauses and looks between the men, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms. The woman has done her share of politics and she has a tactical mind. "You're suggesting taking Arthur out here, as well. Nature abhors a vacuum, Mr. Nakamura. In my world, when we did that, the Vanguard and Humanis First rose up and obtained such a foothold in the government that as of the time I was sucked into a black hole, my world was standing at the edge of some pretty serious Evo versus Anti-Evo violence. In another timeline, after taking down both Pinehearst and the Institute the man who thought he could take all those assets and try to make things better succumbed to the old adage that 'power corrupts.' Be very careful what you ask for. Although Arthur is a prick of the highest order, you might be able to take down all the bad and still leave the good that his company has done if you're careful."

Rubbing the back of her neck, Elisabeth's mouth firms to a thin line while she considers her own situation. It's not looking fantastic, no matter which way she looks at it. Kaito is underground, the Witches are dead. Although he didn't mention Alice. "Tell me what you're thinking in terms of the other option," she finally asks, her voice low. "I can't promise you anything right now about anything you ask of me… I would like a little time to think." She looks up at him. "But I also realize that I and some particular others who arrived with me are potentially in a lot of danger here."

She hesitates and reluctantly also asks, "Can you tell me a little more about the 1982 situation?" Elisabeth looks up and meets his eyes, allowing him to see perhaps more than she realizes. "Michelle's machine seems to have started all this. My father and I seem to be caught up in it. How do you know that I'm not from the world I grew up in? Can that be tested?"

Kaito finishes his tea, setting the cup aside. “No test needed. Any telepath should be able to undo what Charles did to you, provided they’re of sufficient strength. There would be… a part of your memory that is locked away, closed off to you and painted over with the memories that were put in their place.”

Turning slowly, the blindfolded woman regards Liz silently, her black hair drifting and flowing in that underwater grace. "But even sanctuaries have secrets, it seems." Her focus isn't on Liz, but past her, towards a closet door wrapped in old, rusted chains with a heavy padlock at the center. The door is molded on the edges, water seeping out from beneath. The dreamer's brows furrow ever so subtly, and her head turns more towards Liz.

"Who did that to you?"

"I … don't know what that is," she tells Hokuto softly. "Dream imagery is not exactly my strong suit… lately mine are pitch black." Her tone is somewhat rueful. She tilts her head. "It's something that was done to me?" The water seeping out… alarms Elisabeth even in her dream state. She steps back from it instinctively.

“If abilities are what got you here, however, there’s someone who may be able to help you intuit a proper use for them all. Someone who could help get you home.” Kaito’s brows furrow, and Hiro is disagreeably staring his father down. But in spite of that, Kaito does not flinch when he asks Elisabeth, “How much do you know about a man named Gabriel Gray?”

When Kaito says that, Elisabeth sits bolt upright in her seat. "Oh God," she breathes. The memory has always been there — any time she's retreated into that dream space, she's eyed that door. And with that revelation comes the understanding too of where she is likely from … the water always leaking around that door tells a story of its own. She wonders if the child that she was will have any kind of helpful memories. Kaito can see that she now believes him.

There is a soft laugh the breaks out at Gabriel's name, though. She knows plenty. "Well, I expected that I'd have to touch base with him eventually," she murmurs. "I guess it will be sooner rather than later." Elisabeth looks at the two men. "I know that he's got a lot of history but that here in this world, he's a man trying to be better than his history." Which is enough for Liz to trust him, at least to a point.

“Everyone can change their ways,” Kaito notes with a look to Hiro, then back to Elisabeth. “What I want you to do, is take your time.” He rises from his seat, slower than she did, but clearly with the implications that this has been enough for one day. “Hiro and I are handling our own business, but he will check in from time to time. When you are ready to train your mind, we will find a place suitable to our mutual comfort and begin the exercises. As far as Gabriel Gray is concerned…” Kaito folds his hands behind his back. “Be patient. He has earned the life he has now, through great suffering, and he would not wish to lose it.”
Clearly of a different mind about Gabriel, Hiro makes his way over to his father and rests a hand on his shoulder. “Leave a paper crane in the window of this apartment if you need to meet. I will come, then.” Hiro looks to his father, then to Elisabeth in the event that there’s more immediate concerns to raise.

Elisabeth looks… relieved. There is time. Absently dropping her hands to her lap, she breathes a little easier. "I don't want to mess up anyone's life. Right now, I'm just working on establishing something of a life here… since we're not entirely sure it's not permanent." She grimaces a little.

"I'll remember about the crane. And if your probabilities of danger change or we have to move the timetable for telepathic training… let me know." Her tone is a little on the resigned side. We'll rest when we're through is not so much accurate right now as we won't *stop* til we're through, but a little rest is okay. It doesn't have the same ring to it, but oh well.

Kaito nods solemnly in response to Liz. “If something changes, if I see a thread of possibility that would put you in danger, I will try to tell you. But note, I came to you and you alone about this. The less anyone knows about me, the better. Arthur will not rest until he finds me, and I would not put others who have already suffered so much in greater danger.”

With that, Kaito nods to Hiro, and the younger Nakamura offers a look out to Elisabeth with a nod of his own. “Ki o tsukete itte rasshai,” he says with an opaque quality of linguistic divide. Then, in the blink of an eye and a rush of displaced air, he’s gone.

And Liz is alone with the truth.

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