The Eight Headed Serpent, Part VI



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past-adam_icon.gif past-arthur_icon.gif past-caspar_icon.gif past-charles_icon.gif past-claudia_icon.gif hiro2_icon.gif past-kaito_icon.gif val_icon.gif vi_icon.gif

Scene Title The Eight Headed Serpent, Part VI
Synopsis Eizen Erizawa travels to the remote Nakamura Vault to investigate a theft.
Date May 5, 2019

A scream erupts from down the hall.

The corridors are painted in half tones, green up to waist height and eggshell white above that. There's signs of a struggle, paperwork on the floor, a dark woman’s shoe discarded a few feet from the documents. Her screams pierce the walls, reverberate in the frosted glass of one office’s door. It isn't shut all the way, and through the gap in the door her struggle is visible.

No!” She screams, kicking her legs as she does. “No, stop!” Arthur Petrelli doesn't need to lay a hand on the woman to restrain her, the low harmonic rumble in the air accompanying his raised hand does that enough. The telekinetic pinning maneuver has the blonde woman held fast to a chair while she struggles and strains.

Do it,” Arthur snaps, looking at the stocky man at his side who cradles his fedora to his chest like a cross. “Caspar.” When Arthur says his name, Caspar Abraham snaps a look up to Arthur, then nods sharply and steps over to the blonde woman, fumbling for a penny in his tweed jacket’s breast pocket. She's older than he is, crying, trying to fight against a restraint she can't break from.

“Arthur this isn't right,” Caspar has enough frame of mine to say, looking back at the founder fearfully. But Arthur says nothing, only levels a dark stare at Caspar. It's enough to get the memory manipulator moving again, rubbing the penny between forefinger and thumb as he walks to stand behind the seated woman.

Caspar holds the penny in one hand, then rests his other hand atop her head. At the first touch she lets out a mournful scream. “Stop! Please! You don't need to do this!” Unfortunately, Arthur disagrees. But there is no comfort in his eyes, no satisfaction in his expression. There is just a hollow sense of hurt and guilt as he uses telekinesis to restrain her.

“I'm sorry,” Arthur finally musters. “Take it all Caspar. Everything. Everything about Adam Monroe. Hollow her out.” Jaw set, Arthur tries not to focus on her screams, but instead on his perceived necessity of such a brutal act. Destroying a woman’s memories, destroying her life, destroying everything she was.

“Charles will build you something better,” Arthur says in a hushed voice. “I'm sorry…”

“I'm sorry Claudia.”

Thirty-Five Years Later

Mamostrong Kangri


May 5th, 2019

7:17pm local time

Snow flutters in through a ten foot by ten foot steel door, open just enough to let a flood of blinding white light on from outside. The snow is sparse, swirling in windswept currents on the floor of this hardened bunker.

Two figures emerge through the opening, each heavily burdened by cold weather gear and breathing masks. As they enter, the taller of the two pushes the six foot thick door open more on its greased hinges. The figure behind him, marveling at the bunker entrance, offers a sharp whistle in response.

Once inside, the pair move through a concrete-walled foyer, to another closed blast door inside. A mechanical combination lock guards the door itself, and there are no signs that it had been opened in decades, judging from the delicate feather ice collected on the hinges. Reaching up to remove his respirator mask, Eizen Erizawa looks back to the darkly-dresses figure behind him. “Not much further now,” he says, moving to the door and inputting the combination after consulting a handwritten note.

The figure behind Eizen takes off his respirator mask as well, looking around with wide eyes. “Fuck you weren't kidding me,” he says, looking back at the doors. “Not to be that guy, but we’re cutting a check on this once we’re back to the base camp, yeah?”

Eizen looks back at the other, younger man and nods slowly. “Yes, Mr. Leighton, after.” To punctuate his sentence, Eizen walks up to the combination lock and begins dialing in a series of numbers. “What I need you to do, Mr. Leighton, is give me an accurate read on anything that happened in here within the last thirty-five years.” Leighton’s brows rise when asked that, and he slowly makes his way over to Eizen’s side, eyeing the door, and then the entrance they’d come through.

A low, sharp whistle escapes Leighton, who wants to ask more questions but knows better than that. “You know, back when I worked for Mr. Linderman…” Leighton says as he looks back to Eizen, “I’ve gotta say— I’ve seen some vaults before, but this is ridiculous. I can do thirty some odd years, though, no worries. Zoe Porter always got the choice gigs, but she’s six feet under and I’m,” Leighton smiles, “right here.”

Eizen does not smile back.

As Eizen aligns the combination lock, he pulls down on a beveled handle and five iron rods can be heard sliding down out of the door and into the floor. “I have you here for one task. Start from the oldest dates first, then work your way forward.” Eizen pulls on the handle, hauling the massive door open with ease.

“And remember, payment at the end.”

Mamostrong Kangri


January 7th


As the vault door opens, the dim overhead light from a pair of fluorescent bulbs casts Kaito Nakamura in silhouette. “I feel it’s important that you know just how significant bringing you here is…” Kaito says as he steps through the threshold into the steel-walled confines of the vault and its hundreds of small square drawers that make up the back wall.

“I appreciate scope,” comes from behind Kaito, where Adam Monroe enters at his back, carrying a flashlight. “Is there a light in here or are we just meant to enjoy your treasures in the dark?” He asks, one brow raised. Kaito offers a mildly amused look over his shoulder, then proceeds deeper in and the ceiling-mounted lights flicker and buzz on one at a time.

“Motion-sensing lights, state of the art,” Kaito says with a raise of one brow, “I had them installed here last week.” Kaito walks over to the wall of drawers, looking at each one of them to find a specific number. “When you first approached me to join the Company, I will admit I was hesitant. I had spent much of my life not understanding what it is I was, how I was different from others, and then subtly learning that I was not unique.”

Pressing a button on the face of the drawer, Kaito causes it to pop out an inch from the wall. He draws the drawer out, then turns back to Adam. “But there was one thing I was certain of when we met. It was that you and I shared a secret. One that I have come to understand you have not told the others, one that I am willing to let remain a secret because I respect your right to privacy… as I hope you will come to respect mine.”

Adam steps forward, brows raised and lips parted. He watches as Kaito withdraws something wrapped in burlap from the drawer, tied in old twine. “I know that life is full of choices. Things we do that have long lasting repercussions, and with a perspective as long as yours, I know you understand that too.” Kaito chooses his words carefully, and the delivery of this moment has Adam in uncharacteristic silence. It’s only when Kaito unties the twine and lets the burlap fall away that he is well and truly stricken by what he sees.

The sword beneath the burlap fabric is an ancient one, with its black lacquered sheathe and copper fixtures. With its gold half-helix symbol set into the wrappings of the grip. Kaito Nakamura slides the sword out of the sheath, and Adam Monroe sees his eyes reflected in it. He looks up from the gleaming blade to Kaito, who spins it around and offers it out pommel-first to Adam. But as Adam reaches for the sword, Kaito uses words as a knife.

“I know you know my son.” Kaito says flatly, causing Adam to freeze in his tracks.

“I hope we come to respect one-another’s privacy.”

Mamostrong Kangri


August 15th


“It’s impressive…”

Charles Deveaux always commanded a measure of understatement. As he walks into the iron walls of Kaito Nakamura’s vault, he can’t help but appreciate his old friend’s paranoia. Kaito approaches the vault, looking back over his shoulder to Charles as the overhead lights come on one at a time. “It is not meant to be,” Kaito replies with an inscrutable tone, “it is meant to be hidden, until such a time as it is not.”

Charles’ brows rise and fall as he shrugs. “So, why’d we come all the way out here, Kaito?” The question elicits the smallest of smiles from Kaito, but only once he has his back to Charles. He doesn’t answer right away, but instead steps forward and depresses one of the buttons on the lockboxes, causing it to pop out from the wall. Withdrawing the box, Kaito gestures for Charles to approach.

Quietly, he does. There’s an awkward silence between the two as Charles comes over to the strongbox and looks down inside the drawer. His brows furrow immediately, and he looks up to Kaito with a whip-crack quickness. “I was given this… in 1961, many years before you and I first met.” Reaching inside of the drawer, Kaito withdraws a weathered piece of paper with a symbol drawn on it in charcoal; a Maori symbol, a hei matau symbolizing safe travel across water. Charles looks confused at first, then reaches up to his neck and loosens his tie, then pulls a chair out from beneath his shirt and holds aloft that same symbol.

“I believe,” Kaito says with a look down to the piece of paper, and then back up to Charles. “You knew my son.”

Mamostrong Kangri


January 3rd


Staring down into an open lockbox, Kaito Nakamura’s expression is one of deep regret. It cuts into his features, wears him down and makes him feel older. He frowns, deeply, and reaches inside of his jacket pocket and produces an inch thick brick of nearly opaque red glass. There’s tension in his neck as he looks down at it, his dark eyes searching his muted reflection in the material.

Mōnidoto,” Kaito intones, carefully laying the glass brick down into the drawer. But he can’t quite bring himself to close it, he finds his attention lingering on this object, on the perceived weight it has, on the enigma that it represents. But there is nothing to do with it. Nothing to do but send it on its way forward.

To another time.

Mamostrong Kangri


June 8th


Darkness becomes light with a rush of displaced air.

For a moment, as the overhead lights flick on one-by-one, Hiro Nakamura takes in the sight of his family’s vault with reverence and anxiety. Kaito had been dead for years, Kimiko was not yet ready to take over the responsibility of safeguarding whatever his father had locked away in here. Hiro knew enough, though.

Gomen'nasai,” Hiro whispers as he strides across the floor toward the lockboxes, scanning the numbers until he finds the one on the twenty-second row, twelfth down. Hiro presses the button on the drawer and it pops out with a soft click. Sliding the drawer out, Hiro looks down inside and draws in a deep and thoughtful breath, then reaches within and pulls out an inch thick square of opaque red glass.

Turning it over in his hands, Hiro squints at the glass brick, then looks up to the overhead lights and holds the curio up to the air. Hiro squints again, “Kore wa Adamu… todo no yōna kankei ga arimasu ka?” He shakes his head, then notices something in the glass. A soft sound escapes the back of Hiro’s throat, and he places the glass back in the drawer and slides it shut. “Tabun kyō wa chigaimasu…” Hiro says, reconsidering as he slides the drawer shut.

It clicks closed, and it is like Hiro was never there at all.

Mamostrong Kangri


April 30th


Rainbow colors lights explode in a haze from the darkness, mere moments before the overhead lights sputter, spark, and fail to come on.

A pink-haired young woman in a rainbow-colored sweater exhales a breathless sob before collapsing down to her knees, clutching her face in her hands. Her twin, brunette hair their only discernible difference, pauses when she sees her sister drop to her knees. Clicking her tongue, Vi takes a knee beside Val, resting a hand on her back. “Hey… hey what’s wrong?”

Val sucks back a hard breath, scrubbing her hands at her reddened eyes. “All those people,” she manages to say in a strangled voice. She doesn’t see Vi roll her eyes, or the way she looks longingly over at the many metal strongboxes set into the far wall. “All those people!

Shh,” Vi hushes her sister, moving her hand at her back in a small circle. “Hey— look at me.” Vi places a finger under her sister’s chin and tilts her face up, cheeks wet with tears, eyes puffy from crying. “You know as well as I do that they would’ve done the same thing to us, if they’d been given half a chance.” Though Vi’s tone is reassuring, Val’s jaw still trembles and new tears well up in her eyes. “Trust me,” Vi says softly, cradling Val’s cheek in her palm. “The Director wouldn’t have us do something if he didn’t believe it had to happen.”

Val closes her eyes and nods, swallowing down the squeak of a sob. “The Director trusts us,” Vi says, tapping Val’s cheek softly, “he believes in us, and he knows what’s right for us.” As Vi slowly stands, walking to the lockboxes, Val looks away and twists her face up. Her hands curl into small, angry fists, and she looks back to Violet with an accusation building in her heart.

But she’s too afraid to mention Alix. Too afraid to mention any of it.

Instead, Val stuffs it all down and watches in silence as Vi pulls out a piece of paper from her pocket and compares the numbers on the drawers to the numbers on the paper. She stops at a drawer marked 2112 and presses the button, causing the drawer to pop out. Vi smiles, triumphantly, and greedily reaches into the drawer and pulls out a brick of semi-opaque red glass.

“What is it?” Val says, sniffling, drying her eyes with one rainbow patterned wool sleeve. Vi turns the block over in one hand, looks up to Val, and then throws it to the ground as hard as she can, causing the glass to shatter and spread out in every direction. Val lets out a small yelp, squinting and turning away from the loud noise.

Vi, thoughtfully, brushes through the glass with the toe of her boot until she finds what she’s looking for.

“Knowledge,” Vi says, retrieving something small from within the glass…

A penny.

One Year Later

Mamostrong Kangri


May 5th, 2019

8:11 pm local time

“That’s everything?”

Eizen is careful as he watches Leighton, sitting cross-legged on the floor in the middle of the vault. Leighton looks up, nodding once. “Everything. This place didn’t see visitors for years at a time.” Slowly, Leighton unfolds his legs and pulls himself up to stand straight, still not reaching Eizen’s height. “But all of this, it’s pretty wild. Kaito Nakamura was the CEO of Yamagato Industries, right? Do you think this had anything to do with his death?”

“No,” Eizen says quietly, turning his back to Leighton. “Yes,” he reconsiders. “I’m not sure.” Leighton is too distracted by everything he saw to consider what Eizen’s wavering answer might mean. He walks away from his employer, over to the vault wall where the lockboxes are in place. Only one drawer, 2112, is open.

“So,” Leighton starts, running a finger down the front of the other cases, “are all of these full? What kind of stuff do you keep in here, anyway? I mean,” he grimaces, turning to look back at Eizen. “Not that I’ll tell anyo— ”

A knife slides up through his throat, at a thirty degree angle from the middle of his neck. It pushes up to his jawline, opening up the side of Leighton’s throat like an envelope. Blood flows freely down his neck and collar, his limbs writhe, but the hand at the back of his head holding his hair keeps him standing. Eizen Erizawa looks into Leighton’s eyes, regretful, if but for a moment. Blood bubbles up in Leighton’s mouth, gurgling, half-choking sounds and the scuff of shoes on concrete are all that there is. Eizen pries the knife to the side, just a little, to open the gap in his neck. To make it quicker.

He feels Leighton become dead weight, and lets him fall to the ground, staring up vacantly at the broken overhead lights. Exhaling a shuddering breath, Eizen unsteadily lowers his hand holding the knife and looks to the vault doors, then down to Leighton’s body as blood pools out beneath him.

Leighton was right.

He wouldn’t tell anyone.

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