The Eightfold Path, Part II


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Scene Title The Eightfold Path, Part II
Synopsis The Company covers up a mysterious discovery.
Date December 12, 1981

The Kuril Islands spill out across the Pacific Ocean, spread out northeast from the Japanese mainland like a string of pearls. The rocky, pine-forested islands have little habitation, and one of the largest of these islands has but one port town nestled in a deep cove on its west coast. Decades ago, Russia took these islands from Japan at the end of World War II, and later returned the islands back to their last inhabitants. Today, though, the past that matters most to them is far older.

The dark shadow of a helicopter cuts across the ocean, dropping from a cruising height to the eastern face of the island where it circles an open field surrounded by forests and rocky hills. As the Below The field of green grass fans out in concentric circles from the downdraft of the descending helicopter, and as the landing gears touch down, a blonde man in a sleek black suit practically leaps out of the vehicle, hunched down and hustling away from the vehicle to a pair of men in matching suits covered by winter parkas coming out of the edge of the forest.

"Where is it!?" Adam Monroe's eyes are wild, sprinting across the field from the helicopter. Kaito Nakamura takes a step forward, hands folded behind his back and shoulders squared at Adam's hectic approach. Behind him, Arthur Petrelli offers a wary look back into the forest.

"Adam, you need to calm down." Kaito slowly raises one hand. "Please. The last thing any of us need is for you to frighten her." Nearly running straight into Kaito, Adam closes the distance between them and gets squarely in Kaito's face.

"If Ishi was in that cave," Adam says through clenched teeth, "you damn well know you'd already be in there." Kaito glances back at Arthur, who shrugs helplessly and motions for Adam to move on ahead.

"There's a flagged trail the archaeologists were on, just follow it up." Arthur says with the tired resignation of someone dealing with an over-excited hound. Kaito levels a flat look at Arthur, and when Adam rushes past them both into the forest, they both share a concerned look with one another. Before Arthur can step away to follow Adam, Kaito moves over and rests a hand against his arm, holding him back.

Arthur looks down at the hand, then up to Kaito. "This is a mistake," Kaito insists, and Arthur looks worriedly at Kaito. "We should have learned more before calling him, we should have…" Arthur steps away from Kaito and offers a side-long look at him.

"Look," he says with a motion into the forest, "none of us were prepared to respond to this. Charles is busy cleaning up the workers, no one else was here to make a judgment call. She asked for him by name, Kaito. We don't know who locked her in that cave or why, but she's one of us." Then, brows raised Arthur adds, "and if she's a problem we'll handle it."

"I'm not worried about her," Kaito says with a look to the trail and the small, blue flags marking its perimeter through the underbrush, "I'm worried about what Adam has been keeping from us."

Shikotan Island


December 12


A boulder draped in thick, braided shimenawa once blocked the entrance to this cave. Moved aside, the cave mouth is now home to a delicate grid of small wire pins and bright blue string forming a grid pattern. Portions of the earthen floor have been scraped away layer by layer, plastic cases hold scraps of leather and wood from the careful excavation. The cave walls are marked with rich red pictograms in Ainu and Jomon styles. Tall clay pots and urns are stacked up nar the entrance, flat rocks set atop the mouths of each piece of ancient pottery.

Panting, Adam Monroe bursts into the cave, skidding to a stop as he tears through some of the archaeological grids. Electric lamps light the cave interior, flickering light casting stark shadows on the walls. His haste has lessened as he creeps ahead, eyes wide and back straight. The cave turns, sloping upward toward a rounded bulb of a chamber where a decaying wooden slab is surrounded by interlocked timbers once painted vibrant red. A steeply-angled log with steps and handholds cut into it ascends up to the wooden platform, but Adam has no need to ascend.

Sitting inside the cave, Charles Deveaux is dressed not in a suit, but a heavy winter jacket and gloves. Beside him a pair of agents watch over a thin, dark-haired woman sitting on a square, flat stone near the wooden ladder. The moment Adam sees her, Charles looks up with one raised brow and a tenseness at the corners of his eyes. "Adam," Charles says warningly, "she's very— "

Heedless to the warning, Adam pushes past one of the agents and takes a knee in front of the dark-haired woman, looking up at her with wide, haunted eyes. He breathes in deeply, blue eyes searching her vacant-seeming, darker ones. "Saiai," Adam exhales breathlessly, wanting to reach out to her and see if she is real, but hesitant to make too quick of a move. She says nothing, merely stares down at him with those hollow and unblinking eyes. Realizing that she is saying nothing, Adam looks accusingly at Charles. "What did you do to her!?" He snaps in a hiss, and the other observing agent takes a stumbling step away from the pair.

"First of all," Charles says as he steps closer to Adam, looming over him, "this is how we found her." Charles looks at the winter coat draped over her shoulders, fur trim brushing against her pale cheeks. "Secondly," Charles looks back to Adam, "if you ever take that tone with me again…" Fire of arguments past fuels Charles' reaction, but he reigns the anger in and closes his eyes.

"She hasn't said a word." Charles explains, and when Adam looks like he's about to ask a question as he stands, Charles cuts him off. "I could hear her thoughts. She's in there, she's just… she's traumatized. I saw you, Adam. I saw you in her mind. When I told Arthur, he made the call to get you down here." Adam scrubs a hand over his mouth, staring vacantly at her and shaking his head.

"What else did you see?" Adam asks in a hushed tone of voice, looking from the woman to Charles. The flat looks Charles fires back says that he isn't telling. "Charles," Adam implores.

"Who is she?" Charles asks with a motion to her. "The archaeologists say they found her in here behind a three ton stone. This cave was supposed to be sealed for over three hundred years. So how did she get in here?" His brows raise, expectantly.

Adam glances over at her, and then suddenly snaps a look back at Charles. "Get out of my head." Charles backpedals a few steps, watching Adam with the wariness someone would a stray dog.

"She was my wife," Adam insists, moving to kneel by her side again and take one of her hands. "She was…" Worry twists Adam's features up, and as he looks around at the occupants of the room, he seems less forthcoming. "I've had a lot of enemies, mundane and otherwise. I thought she was dead, they must have…"

"Her clothes are dry-rotted." Charles motions to the threadbare kimono under the jacket he'd given her. "When was the last time you saw her?" There's a look fired over to the woman, and Charles still seems ready to leap at Adam at a moment's notice, wound up with a tight and anticipatory tension. Adam, however, is the inverse. Holding this woman's hand, he seems lost in her empty eyes.

"Her name is— " Adam looks away from her eyes, down to the cave floor and then back up to Charles.


"Joy. It was the Axis," he says easily, "the Nazis. They held her as leverage, and when…" He shakes his head, eyes closing. "I thought she was dead." He looks back to her, squeezing her hand. "Watashi wa anata ga… shinda to omotte imashita."

Charles looks back and forth between the two, brows furrowed. "Nazis." The flat look he hits Adam with comes before a slow up and down examination of the blonde man. "Exactly how old are you, Adam?"

"Not much more than that," Adam says distractedly, "I swear. She's like us, Charles." Adam's insistance there is rather obvious given her miraculous survival in a cave since the 1940s. "Like me." Adam's thumb rolls across Joy's knuckles, and Charles watches the two with a growing uncertainty in his eyes. But after a few more moments, his posture relaxes and he exhales a deep and exhausted sigh. Brushing sweat from his brow, Charles takes a few thoughtful steps away.

"We'll take her back to New York, check her out. I think she's… in some sort of coma. It might be from being in here for so long. Mental stimuli, that might…" Charles slides his tongue across his teeth and shakes his head. "I promise you we'll take care of her. But when we get back State-side, we're all going to need to have a larger conversation about your past."

Adam manages a hesitant smile, not looking away from Joy. "Of course," Adam whispers, "of course." When he looks back to Charles, the corner of his mouth is crept up into an irrepressable smile in the face of this impossibility. "I swear, I'll tell you everything."

Charles just nods in response, motioning for the other two agents to leave. As they do, Charles watches Joy's distant and vacant expression, then looks away and closes his eyes. "Okay, Adam," has a tone that says perhaps it isn't okay, but Charles knows when to fight his battles.

"I'll hold you to that."

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