The Journal, Part I


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Scene Title The Journal, Part I
Synopsis The legacy of a journal retrieved by Pinehearst comes once more into the light.
Date April 4, 2010


"So, which is it?"

The question is innocent enough, and it's the second time Doctor Jean-Martin Luis has asked it of his company this morning, though admittedly the first time the Frenchman had been interrupted by the phone. Turning from the percolating coffee pot, empty ceramic mug cradled between both hands that reads World's Best Mom on the front, Doctor Luis offers a quizzical raise of one grayed brow towards the equally senior gentleman seated at the long cafeteria table nearby.

At the question, the tired stare of Doctor Zimmerman lifts up over the lowered frames of his reading glasses, folding the battered leather-bound journal he was reading closed around his thumb slowly. "Which is what?" The German scientist asks with a mirror of the lifted brow, tilting his chin up as he considers the subtle roll of Doctor Luis' eyes at the question.

"Is it Jonas or is it Lewis?" queries the scientist a decade Zimmerman's junior. "It is a remarkable thing, your file," Luis remarks, motioning towards Zimmerman with his mug of coffee, "for all the combined knowledge we have here, your birth records are not anywhere we can find. Given your pedigree that does not wholly surprise me, but I am left to wonder why the records are so evenly divided between Lewis and Jonas."

Zimmerman's tongue slowly slides over his lips at the question, journal folded all the way closed as his thumb slides out from the marked page he had been reading. The book is laid down on the table, and Zimmerman's hands fold on the top as he leans forward, nodding his head slowly a few times while listening to the quiet percolating noise of the coffee pot. "Jonas," though the name comes with a weight that Luis can almost feel in the utterance. "

"I was born Jonas Zimmerman, my father Rudolph was a member of the Nazi party— a scientist." Looking down at the table, Doctor Zimmerman's brows furrow and tongue flicks out to wet his lips again, fingertips idly brushing over the cover of the battered journal before he looks back up to Luis. "His research was inhumane," Zimmerman affirms, as if trying to make a point, "he was a brilliant man that allowed his intelligence to blind his morality. He failed to see the damage he was causing and— "

"I did not ask for Nietzschian philosophical commentary, Doctor Zimmerman." There's a chiding quality in Luis' voice there, his attention briefly flicking back to the coffee pot when he hears the percolating stop, watching a gout of steam rising up from the vent at the top. "So do you prefer Jonas, or Lewis?"

"I don't know," Zimmerman answers humbly. "Though it wasn't just philosophical rambling, Jean. It had a point to it." Brows furrowed and a scowl playing on his lips, Zimmerman rises up from his seat the the table, leaving the journal behind while Luis focuses his attention on the coffee pot, quietly pouring himself a full black cup, the delicate and careful delivery of two measured spoon fulls of sugar the only things the old man adds.

Zimmerman circles behind Luis, peering over his shoulder before reaching out to take a hanging mug from beneath the cabinets over the coffee pot, his less garish in its declaration that Luis', though still declaring boldly 'I Hate Mondays' along with the discontent image of an overweight cat lounging on its stomach. "When my family fled Germany at the end of the war, my father was missing— dead probably, killed during the raid on Berlin. My mother changed our name, actually, to Simmons when we came to the states; Jonas to Lewis, Zimmerman to Simmons…"

"Ah," Luis expresses with a smile of enlightenment, "that explains the sparse records until your time with the Company, yes?" The French scientist lifts his mug of coffee up, blowing the steam across the top with a quiet breath. "So why did you change your name back, Simmons to Zimmerman? It seems strange, to head back to the name you had before."

Zimmerman steps in when Luis moves out of the way of the coffee put, and the elder scientist quietly fills his cup with the steaming, dark coffee. "The government knew who I really was… eventually. In 1961 I was recruited from Columbia University by Doctor Chandra Suresh and presented with the opportunity to continue my father's research, but with— what they said at the time— would be oversight and compassion." Zimmerman's lips downturn into a from as he stops pouring the cup of coffee, looking up over the frame of his glasses to Luis. "I take it you read about what happened at Coyote Sands?"

Luis' brows furrow, and the researcher only dips his head into a nod, hiding his expression behind the coffee mug he quietly sips at. "They filed all my paperwork under Zimmerman, but still they called me Lewis." There's a quirk of the old man's head to the side, and Zimmerman offers a mild smile. "I was more used to Lewis, after so many years. Jonas was that little German boy I had all but forgotten, it did not even feel like me any more."

No cream, no sugar, just black coffee. It's what Zimmerman carries with him as he turns back for the cafeteria table with Luis at his side, taking up that space by the journal again. "So it was with the Company that you were known as Jonas?" There's an arch of Luis' brow at the assumption, and the subtle nod from Zimmerman seems confirmation enough, as well as the German scientist's lacking elaboration on that point seems much a cue to end that line of conversation as any.

"So, you never did answer my question." Luis isn't one to easily let a thread lie, however. "Do you prefer Lewis or Jonas?" The Frenchman's coffee is settled down with a clunk on the table, though his eyes are more settled on the journal in front of Zimmerman. "Perhaps I can make up a fanciful nickname for you? Zimmy? Zimmothy?" There's a crack of a smile from Luis' lips, even if it doesn't reach his eyes, the tired strain and nervousness there looking to add decades onto his age.

"Doctor Zimmerman," he states in answer finally, "will suffice. I do not think either of us are on a first-name basis." There's a hint of tension in that tone, and Zimmerman reaches for the journal, flipping it open slowly before offering a shake of his head. "More on the top of why you came here originally, I've been meaning to ask you something," Zimmerman lifts the journal up as he poses the notion to Luis, waggling it back and forth in one hand. "Where did you get this book?"

"The New York Public Library," Luis says with a smirk, followed by a laugh and a shake of his head. "No, no I don't kid. There was a man, the journal's author? He lived there for a time, and this information was taken by Pinehearst. I am surprised, Le— Doctor Zimmerman— that you did not read it when you were there."

Zimmerman's frown could be sharp enough to cut glass were it more prolonged than it is. Instead, the brief flash of disapproval from the scientist earns a sigh to punctuate it. "My circumstances then were not much different than they are now Jean." Zimmerman pages ahead in the journal, arching one brow slowly. "So this book is what you have been using, all this time?" There's a quirk of Zimmerman's brow at the notion, head canted to the side.

"That and the algorithm that Doctor Suresh devised." Luis explains in a quiet tone of voice, breathing in deeply the scent of his coffee as he cradles it in both hands just below his nose. "That is why the patient we are working on is so important. Can you imagine what we could do if we could control that sort of foresight? What disasters we could avert before they even happen?"

Zimmerman's answer is a non-committal sigh as he nods his head subtly. Luis, seeing the frustration in Zimmerman's expression slowly rises up from the cafeteria seat and offers an askance look to the doctor. "I'll leave you to your reading then, Doctor Zimmerman. I'll be by to pick up the journal tonight, there's a few passages I want to go over again at any rate, I think we may have designed the map incorrectly and I wish to go over the numbers again."

As Luis turns and heads towards the cafeteria door, Zimmerman looks down at the journal, brows furrowed as the leather-bound book is laid out on the cafeteria table next to his black coffee. Flipping to one page, Zimmerman settles on a large bright red scrawling across one of the pages, one he's read several times before: If all else fails, find Hiro Nakamura. There's a shake of his head, and Zimmerman flips to the next page in the journal, breathing in deeply as he recalls the ominous lines written across both pages.

Under no circumstances should Abigail Beauchamp take the formula.

She'll ruin everything.

Zimmerman breathes in deeply, then exhales a tired, frustrated sigh. At least, he imagines, that threat can't possibly come to pass since the Formula was never created. But it leaves a seed of curiosity in Zimmerman's mind that continues to grow and pick away at his attention.

Who is Abigail Beauchamp?

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