The Meaning of Peter, The Bomb, and Everything


peter_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title The Meaning of Peter, The Bomb, and Everything
Synopsis Magnes spots a suspicious person spying on Cat's building, confronts him, and gets his mind blown.
Date August 31 2009

Greenwich Village

In a time that seems long ago, Greenwich Village was known for its bohemian vibe and culture, the supposed origin of the Beat movement, filled with apartment buildings, corner stores, pathways and even trees. There was a mix of upper class and lower, commercialism meeting a rich culture, and practically speaking, it was largely residential.

Now, it's a pale imitation of what it used to be. There is a sense of territory and foreboding, as if the streets aren't entirely safe to walk. It isn't taken care of, trash from past times and present littering the streets, cars that had been caught in the explosion lie like broken shells on the streets nearest the ground zero. Similarly, the buildings that took the brunt of the explosion are left in varying degrees of disarray. Some are entirely unusable, some have missing walls and partial roofs, and all of the abandoned complexes have been looted, home to squatters and poorer refugees.

As one walks through the Village, the damage becomes less and less obvious. There are stores and bars in service, and apartment buildings legitimately owned and run by landlords. People walk the streets a little freer, but like many places in this scarred city… anything can happen. Some of the damage done to buildings aren't all caused by the explosion from the past - bullet holes and bomb debris can be seen in some surfaces, and there is the distinct impression that Greenwich Village runs itself… whether people like it that way or not.

Fall is coming.

It can be felt in the air, the way the humidity of August has faded away, leaving the cool and dry air if September to fill its place. What also comes with summer's withering demise is the earlier and earlier encroachment of night. By seven in the evening the sun has set, leaving nothing more than pastel blue light to shadow the city of New York and contrast sharply to the yellow glow of street lights and skyscraper windows. Here in Greenwich Village's 4th street, the long and dark shadows of adjacent buildings are cut with the sharp lines of contrast from two particularly well-lit structures; the Village Renaissance Building — nicknamed the "Verb" by the locals — and the 4th Street Parking Garage.

Between these two adjacent buildings, a narrow alleyway runs in total darkness, save for the jaundiced light filtering out through the spacious openings between levels of the five floor parking garage. From the upper-most level, the roof of the Village Renaissance building can be clearly seen, and it's from this vantage point on the parking garage where someone is watching.

Peter Petrelli isn't the most inconspicuous man; between the ink black suit he wears and the greivous scar cutting diagonally across his face, he stands out amidst the Village's populace. This is doubly true when situated in a corner of the parking garage, binoculars out and watching the buildings across the street, notably a bus-stop.

Nights like this, chilly ones in the vicinity of summer's cooling carcass, are a sure sign that colder days are coming.

Having met Claire for the first time on the roof not long ago, Magnes' reasons for landing there first are purely sentimental. Standing on the edge, taking deep breathes as he looks out over the skyscape. Eventually he'll make his way inside to look for either Helena or Cat, failing that, call Gillian about Else, but for now he's just enjoying the view.

Well, he was enjoying the view, until he started to spot the reflection of something out of the corner of his eyes. Using his experience from the movie Disturbia, he squints, then takes a discreet leap to the roof across from his. He runs in the direction he saw the flash on a new roof, then just drops down the side of the building, floating slowly as he tries to find the reflection of that flash again… then, there, right in the corner! He starts flying right for the scarred man. "Hey! What are you doing?!"

Tonight he's wearing the faded black Batman t-shirt Claire bought him, with a blue suit jacket, a pair of comfortably fitting blue jeans, and his red inline skates with the magnet designs painted on them.

Leaning casually with one elbow against the concrete railing on the roof's edge, Peter lowers his binoculars and shifts his eyes to look sidelong as Magnes approaches. There's no recognition in his eyes, just one dark brow raised and a drift of pale blue up and down as he looks at his attire. "I'm watching the street," he nods his head towards 4th street, "with a pair of binoculars." His brow slowly lowers, one hand waving the pair of binoculars around as he glances back towards the street. "I was keeping an eye on a man who was watching the building you just came from…."

There's a pause, too long to be conversational, waiting to see if Magnes can figure it out. "Until you gave me away." The smile spread across Peter's face is a very thanks so much look. He stands up straighter, turning to fully regard Magnes with a souring of his expression. "So, aside from wasting my night, what're you doing?"

"I'm asking the questions right now." Magnes says in his best attempt to be intimidating, landing about ten feet in front of Peter, watching him suspiciously. "Who are you watching? Who are you? What concern do you have for that building? Are you a cop?" He quickly asks all his questions as if the answers were the difference between life and death, opening and closing his fists, quite high-strung at the moment. Considering the snipers, and Humanis First, well…

"If I was a cop," Peter entertains the notion with a tilt of his head, "I'd have a badge," he wiggles the fingers of his empty hand, "a gun," he pulls open his jacket to reveal a lack of concealed holster, "and I'd probably ask if you're Registered." But instead of stopping there, Peter continues to talk as he folds the binoculars closed. "If I was a member of Humanis First, you're probably already be bleeding out of a hole in your head," the binoculars are stuffed into his breast pocket, "and if I were a part of the Triad I might be a little shorter, and have squintier eyes."

Holding his open hands out to either side in a shrugging motion, Peter looks at Magnes intently, stopping just shy of arm's reach. "Now, like a wise woman once said; information is a two-way street." He points with one finger towards Magnes. "Who're you?"

"Magnes J. Varlane, former Delivery Boy, current newbie NYPD officer, boyfriend to an ex-cheerleader, and I flashed the President. That enough information?" Magnes holds a hand up as if stopping Peter where he is, appearing rather high-strung and uneasy with this mysterious stranger in his presence. "Now who are you? Considering you were watching that building and some "guy", your answer might be the difference between falling to Alaska or being stuck in this spot until someone who knows what they're doing can handle you."

"Lived in Anchorage for a while, it's nice there." Peter's eyes narrow, taking a half-step forward in some stubborn show of dominance. He misses the entire cheerleader reference. "So you're either fresh off of police academy, or you fell on your head. You're a pretty bad cop, from the sounds of it." His blue eyes wander away from Magnes, out to the Village Renaissance building, then back to Magnes.

"I'm…" once more Peter hesitates, an uncertain look in his eyes for just a moment, "My name's Peter. Peter Petrelli, like the president." His brows lower, furrowing in a way that creases the scar on his forehead further. But he doesn't embelish the name any further, his reaction is expectant, waiting to see what Magnes does with that information.

Magnes is silent for a few moments, taking deep breaths, his mind racing a mile a minute. Gillian's opinions and requests are forgotten, he's not even gotten far enough in 9th Wonders to know that Claire and Peter are related, no, all the mixed opinions he's heard in the past few months are pushed aside for his own. All he's thinking about is Manhattan, and before he even knows what his own hands are doing, a gun is pulled from his jacket and aimed directly at Peter's face. "Why the fuck did you blow up Manhattan?!"

He'll feel silly if this is some other Peter Petrelli…

"Go ahead." Peter arches one brow, stepping towards the gun until it presses firmly against his black necktie. "Shoot." There's a narrowing of Peter's eyes, "Do me the favor, or maybe blow us all to Kingdom Come. You're a terrible cop, and an idiot on top of it, so why don't you put your gun in your holster, fly back on over to the roof you were wasting your own time on," his voice takes an edge, a very faint graveley tone to it in the way a person who's smoked for several years can sound, "before you hurt yourself."

Peter's dark brows furrow, eyes narrowed to turn those blue irises into tiny sapphire crescent moons. There's something familiar to Magnes in those eyes; they look considerably like Deckard's, or maybe Abby's, though hers have seemed to lose a little bit of their luster lately, lose some of their intensity.

"Tell me, damnit! If you don't tell me why you did it, I really will shoot! I don't care what Gillian says, I don't care what anyone says, I want to know why!" Magnes continues to demand, the gun starting to shake in his hand as emotions practically boil, no idea how to react to the situation. The man blew up Manhattan!

"I didn't. Sylar did, don't you read the news?" Peter's just playing with him now, a crooked smile on his lips as he brings two fingers up to rest on the side of the gun, both of his brows raised. SOmething keeps changing in his personality, a shift from one extreme to another as his fingers move under the barrel of the gun and he starts to angle it up, guiding it towards his head.

"So you think, because you're curious, that aiming a firearm at a man who might suddenly develop an atomic reaction at a moment's notice is a good, well-planned idea. You don't mind the idea of turning," he looks out and around, eyes narrowing, "several blocks of Manhattan real-estate into a glass crater if you don't find out why? Kill yourself, everyone in this building, everyone in this neighborhood" his smile grows some, " — except me of course. — Just because you want to know." The bitterness in Peter's voice grows some.

"Which one of us is the bad guy again? I think I lost track."

"I wasn't thinking, fine, but I'm not stupid either. Gabriel didn't do it, Gabriel doesn't lie about the people he kills." Magnes violently yanks the gun away, returning it to the holster under his jacket as he opens and closes his hand, considering. "Don't mess with me damnit! I have a hard enough time trying to figure out if I'm letting people die by letting him live, but you've killed so many more people, the world would be so much better off if I just threw you into the atmosphere… I wanna know why I shouldn't, I wanna know if there's more to the story than "Peter blows up Manhattan and his brother blames it on someone else"."

"You're right, I've killed a lot of people. More than you know," Peter looks to the gun put back into the holster, then back up to Magnes. "If you honestly think that killing one man, stopping one person makes any difference in the grand scheme of things, than you're more naive than you sound. Why things happened, why the explosionw ent down, why I exploded— none of that matters. None of it."

Turning his back to Magnes, Peter starts to take a few steps away. "You want to ruin your life, you want to try and be a hero and fix things? Fine, you fit right in with the rest of the bleeding heart terrorists in the other building. But you should ask yourself this question, and once you figure out the answer for yourself, I'll answer whatever you want me to afterwards…" Turning to look over his shoulder, Peter regards Magnes curiously. "Which would you rather know. Why I blew up Midtown, or who wanted me to?"

"What?" Magnes is caught off guard by the question, eyes wide with confusion as he begins to approach, but stops after two steps. It takes him a while to really process the question to even know how to answer it, but… "I wanna know who wanted you to." he answers softly, calming considerably to try and listen.

"My mother, my brother, and Daniel Linderman." Now there's a trinity of people Magnes has a new perspective on. "They purposefully arranged for that to happen, so that they could out the Evolved to the world and— I honestly don't know, and don't care. But those three, they're the ones ultimately responsible for everything. They're why the Company secretly runs the show behind the Department of Homeland Security, why people are bagged and tagged, why generations of secrecy about people like us came to an abrupt end."

Turning around, Peter tucks his hands into the pockets of his slacks, rolling his shoulders. "You tell the wrong people you know that, you die. You try and go public, you die. You try and confront anyone involved, you die. Have fun knowing what I've known, and never been able to do anything about."

"I…" Magnes is speechless, looking around them as he searches for a response. There really isn't one, at least not a response that would make any difference in the grand scheme of things. So much makes sense now, but the truth is like one bigger question…

Not knowing what else to ask, while he has someone who's telling the truth and knows so much about what happened back then, he does what any boyfriend would do, get curious about his girlfriend. "I don't know what else to say, but, I have a question, about my girlfriend. I trust her so much, and she means a lot to me, but I know she keeps things from me because she thinks I'll hate her or something. I just need to ask, is there anything I need to know about her? Nothing's gonna change my opinion, but…" But if his girlfriend is a terrorist who has killed people, maybe it doesn't hurt to ask if there's anything else.

"If I'm not mistaken, we just met." Peter says with a sneer, "and even if I did give a damn about you or whoever your girlfriend is, I think you might not want to talk to me about relationship advice." In other words, from the scowling expression he wears and the aggrivated tone of his voice, he's done with the conversation. There's a few clicking footsteps taking Peter past where Magnes stands and towards the roof access stairwell. He doesn't quite make it all the way though, pausing at the midway point between here and there.

"Officer Varlane," it's an awful formal way to address someone, "you should start trying to act more like a police officer, and less like an awkward teenager. Because if you do the latter more than the former, you're going to get yourself, or someone you care about, killed."

Peter's not going to talk, not interested in talking about Claire, and Magnes isn't going to push. When told gigantic truths about the world, well, one probably owes your eye opener the benefit of a dramatic exit. "I'll keep that in mind." he calmly responds, then just goes flying off the roof, and into the sky. He does not fly like Nathan, smoke does not come from his ass, but he is gone within seconds.

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