The Monster's Heart


abby_icon.gif darren_icon.gif melissa2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Monster's Heart
Synopsis After unintentionally letting loose with his ability, Doctor Darren Stevens flees the Ferry, only to be hunted down by two of its own.
Date April 8, 2010

Ruined Tunnel Networks

Some people see with flashlights, like Abigail. Who was stopping to get some fresh - in as fresh as one can get thanks to the snow - and was so far down already that Mel's text message was reaching her about the time that she's hearing the crunch crunch of feet. Up goes the light, sweeping back and forth for whomever's making the noise even as her phone bleats that it's a text.

The little device flares to life, bathing her face in artificial glow even as her feet are visible in the flashlights glow. "Lord on high, really, this is crazy. Okay, who's there?" Calling out to the noise makers.

"I'm here! We've got a problem," Melissa says, sounding irritated. She's just irritated at herself now rather than with Darren. "He took off. He pissed me off, I lost control, he lost control, and he took off!" she calls to the former-healer turned potential bug lady. "You're right, he's seriously scary. Thinks he's a monster. He's scary, but not a monster." She gives Abby a look that's upset. "We've got to find him before he does something stupid."

"Well, he won't hang himself" Bright side! "He told me that much" Abigail murmurs. So Darren was still sulking and… he's run off. Abigail squeezes her eyes shut thinking hard. So many tunnels down here, some occupied with camera's and the like. Others occupied by ferry. "He went off? Used his ability?" Abigail is digging in her pocket now, thin gloves meant to ward off initial cold down here and produces her keychain and flicks on what Melissa had seen before. The UV penlight. She flicks it over Melissa, looking the other woman over to see if Darren offgassed on her.

"He seriously used his ability. Popped the lights, turned all X-ray looking and green. So yeah, he used his ability," Melissa says, then she looks down at herself as the UV light shines on her. Seeing all the speckles she pales a little. Not that it's really easy to see in this light, but she does! "Shit. How many times can I come close to death in one month?" she mutters, shaking her head.

"He might not have hanged himself before, but…Abby, I'm seriously scared he's gonna do something stupid."

"Hey, you're speckled…" The blonde muses, quietly, frowning at Melissa's words as she nods her head in the dark. "Then we'll find him Mel. Okay. We'll find him, Can't be that hard" She points with the small flashlight to Melissa. "Follow the speckles. If he did it enough that you are lighting up, then…." She lets Melissa follow that train of though and passes over the normal flashlight to the older woman. "Start from wherever he exploded?"

Melissa's brow furrows, then she nods. "It started at the ticked booth that he was hiding himself in," she says, leading Abby back that way, using the flashlight so they don't trip, but trying to keep it more towards their feet so there's more dark space for Abby to shine her special little light.

Back they go, Abigail remaining quiet, working at flashing the little light back and forth, back and forth as they go in case he'd come this way, till they get back towards the ticket booth. What's there, leading away from it is enough to make Abigail stop and look over at her spelunking partner. "Mel, I think we can track him" Because Darren, probably unknown to the poor guy, is leaving glow in the dark footprints when the light is flashed over it.

Melissa stares at the tracks, before a bit of relief relaxes her shoulders a minute amount. "Good. That's good. Lead the way," she says, motioning for Abby to take point. She'd rather go first, but it's Abby's light, and she won't steal it. Yet.

It's like Selma and Daphne, separated from Fred and the others. If Jerry were here he might substitute for Scooby. But through the tunnels the two of them go creeping, flashlights of different colors turned on and focused on the things that they need to see. Glowing footprints, rats, debris, trash, no humans so far. Abigail's remaining quiet, pondering the footprints.

"I lost my temper, Abby. I regret it, but if I hadn't lost it and accidentally hurt him, he'd still be hiding in that booth," Melissa says softly, guilt plain in her voice.

"Mel, we all loose our temper. I lost my temper with him too. He says hurtful things because he's scared. He's scared, thinks he's a monster and… doesn't know what to do with himself. Probably feels guilty too because here's people wanting him to heal, but he knows what the side effect is" All around the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel. Chased the footprints in the hope they'll lead them right to Mr. Glow himself. "What happened, happened and maybe.. he'll have calmed down and you will have and you can say you're sorry and I can say I'm sorry and maybe… maybe that will help" She really does feel sorry that she badgered him to the point where they both smacked each other.

"Maybe…" But Melissa should probably warn Abby… "He said if I came after him he'd kill me. I don't know if he meant intentionally or accidentally. But I seriously hope you're right. If he hurts himself because I was a bitch, I'll never forgive myself."

"Maybe it was just words" But Abigails got her taser, caliban did tell her he wanted her to carry one. Who knows when Kozlow might attack. "By the way. Peter? Maybe you better seriously think about whether you want to pursue him or not. He and Kaylee… they're pretty thick I guess. But, Maybe you two do need to talk" After all the text messages last night.

Melissa glances to Abby with a frown at the change in subject. "They can't be that thick." Not with a kiss like the one she got. "And I said I didn't love him, at least not yet, but you ever heard the saying about the difference between infatuation and love? Love is nothing more than infatuation, until it's given a chance to grow. And I want to talk to him. Have since he walked out of Tartarus."

Melissa sighs and shrugs. "He feels guilty, I think. He apologized after…the last time we really talked. I sure didn't mind what was said, and that was clear, so there's guilt. I want him, Abby. Badly. I wanna see what could happen between us. But if he can't look past the nice guy guilt, I don't think I'll get the chance."

There's a moment where she walks in silence, and when she continues, her voice is quieter. "Remember all the stuff I said I wanted, Abby? Last night? The curling up watching movies, and waking up with my arms around someone and all that? Even though I don't know Peter well, it'd be all too easy to picture those things with him and not some faceless guy," she admits.

Was it sad that she couldn't picture doing that with Flint? But maybe, just maybe, she could do that with Robert? following footprints they go, Abigail listens to Melissa, reaching out to touch the other womans arms and squeeze. "Then you try. I don't think they're exclusive but.. Then I guess you try and hope that he chooses you and if not, well.. there's other fish in the sea and maybe Robert will have some friend that will be interested in you"

Vrrrrrr— click

A security camera pivots to focus down on Melissa where she walks, its lens irising to focus down on her, followed by another whirring rattle of one more old and battered looking security camera. Somewhere down here, perhaps beyond the demolished concrete wall covered in spray-paint with twisted rebar sticking out from it, there's that mysterious vault the Ferry had heard about, an underground bunker of reclusive neighbors to the Grand Central Terminal.


The noise of that security camera tracking Melissa's movement and the other tracking Abby is a sure sign they must be getting close. Silent mechanical observers perched high on the concrete wall don't look like they belong there, but rather are a part of something that was installed. Aluminum insulated cabling is bolted to the ceiling, snaking through that opening in the demolished wall, and flashlights track the outline of an enormous bank vault door beyond the crumbling and old corridor, more security cameras beyond.

Darren's footprints don't glow anywhere near that entrance or the vault door, perhaps he simply knew better. But the footprints are fading, whatever charge Darren is emitting that makes him easy to track under UV light, it's dying out rapidly.

Melissa gives the camera a glance, but nothing more. The footprints are important now. "We should hurry," she murmurs, quickening her pace. "And trust me, I'm too stubborn to give up just because there's an obstacle. I'm sure Kaylee is nice and all, but I'm not selfless enough to want to give up a chance for my happiness so someone I don't know can be happy. I mean, if it was a kid, yeah. I'd do whatever. But a grown woman?" Her head shakes. She starts to say something more, then stops and just shakes her head again.

"Tell you what, i'll give you a chance with him at least. You'll have to come with me to work one day, and you guys can talk in the back of the ambulance" She offers. "I did try to threaten him with setting you two up on a date when we were stuck in the snowdrift together" But the footsteps are fading and this isn't good.

The camera's don't make her happy, what are they and why are they here. Away from the vault, picking up pace and trying to strain to see the footprints as they get weaker and weaker. "Steve? It's Abby" She calls out, hoping it means that he might be nearby.

"I thought I told you to go away." Darren's response from the dark up ahead is abrupt, he's closer than either of the young women expected. Seated on a piece of broken concrete, Darren has one leg tucked under himself, shoulders slouched forward and head bowed, eyes closed and lips downturned into a frown. He isn't glowing anymore, at least, not even under the UV light. Behind him, metal rungs lead up to what should be a manhole, but what Darren lightly didn't count on is the close to ten feet of heavy snow on top of the manhole cover. There's on way out here.

"Guess I started talkin' something other'n English back there then…" The doctor's tone of voice is dejected, hushed and mumbling. He sounds absolutely exhausted, and from the sound of his labored breathing and the way he's hunched forward in his seat, he probably doesn't even have the energy to run any longer.

Melissa brightens a little. "Really? What'd he say?" she asks, before she's looking out into the dark and listening carefully for any sound that could be Darren. And she stops when she spots Darren, and her expression softens. "I'm really sorry, Steve. More sorry than I can say that I made you lose control," she says, her tone sincere. Because, well, she's sincere. "But you're not a monster. Abilities don't make people monsters. What they choose to do with them does. And you choose to get away rather than hurt anyone."

Abby's going to tell her, but Darrens talking and he's close. "Sometimes, girls don't understand english. We have a whole other language that adjusts for the situation. No mean yes, i'm not angry means, you son of a bitch and nothings wrong can mean anything from I have menstrual cramps to you cheated on you son of a bitch" Abigail quietly points out, advancing towards the other guy. "Come on. It's cold here, you blew the fuses but they were getting stuff back up, I need someone to give me an exam and make sure that I'm okay and the only other doctor I know, i'm not really talking to right now and doing something normal will at least probably make you feel somewhat better. I promise we'll stop preaching on you and at you, okay?"

Furrowing his brows, Darren shakes his head slowly and closes his eyss. "S'not safe to be around me, I— she's right," there's a look of blue eyes over to Melissa, "I can't control this power. If— something went wrong, I could kill you. Like…" Darren snaps his fingers, "like that, like turning off a light switch, just— bam dead." Swallowing noisily, Darren's head tilts to the side, jaw squaring before working left and right slowly.

"I think I should… turn myself in to the authorities." Slowly shaking his head, Darren rolls his tongue over the inside of his cheek. "Eventually they're goin' t'figure out what happened, then they'll go after Doctor Benson and I just… he's not the one that caused this." Narrowing his eyes, Darren lifts a hand up to the side of his head, fingers splaying agains this cheek as he breathes in deeply and then exhales a sigh.

Melissa cocks her head, then she moves forward. Not just closer to Darren, but close enough that she can reach out and touch his shoulder, which she does. Yay for calculated risks! "We all start off not being able to control it. I can help you. Abby can help you. We'll teach you how to control it if you want to. But for now, why don't you just come with us, hmm? I'll get you a cup of coffee, and you can give Abby a quick checkup if you feel up to it."

"Why on earth Darren would they go after Dr. Benson. He's like.. He's a big bear" ABigail remembers the oncologist since she'd healed more than a few cancer patients. "If you really want to Darren" There's a soft sigh. "I'll take you in. I know the cops, I know more than a few and turning yourself in will likely make them go much easier on you"

"It was Benson's idea to do all this," Darren states with a squint of his eyes and a wave of one hand through the air. "Tom— Tom found out what I could do, and he came to me with an idea. We…" Breathing in deeply, Darren exhales a sigh and slowly shakes his head, bringing up a hand to rake fingers through his blonde hair. "I'm the one who actually murdered all those people, Abigail, but it was for a good reason…" He isn't fighting the hand on his shoulder, Melissa's touch on Darren's white jacket just seems forgotten in his state of shock.

"You said there were… federal agents looking for me?" Darren runs his tongue over his lower lip, one hand scrubbing up against his cheek as he considers that memory. "I— I should probably just turn myself in. I can't— I'm not supposed to hurt people. I'm a doctor it— it goes against everything I was trained to do."

Melissa sits down next to Darren. "It's your choice if you want to turn yourself in, Darren. I told you I'm all about choice. Even if I didn't exactly prove it earlier. But before you decide anything, why don't you just come with us. We'll sit down, get more comfortable, and we can talk. Abby can tell you how she learned to control her power. If you don't want to stay here, we can find you someplace else."

"How do you get healing one person, and then harm another Darren?" Abigail asks quietly. Were they that desperate for a healer again at the hospital? That they'd push another doctor who's ability had some form of healing but at a cost? Surely they wouldn't. Abigail couldn't imagine that they would. "You saved the lives of others, at the cost of others. It's why the people who died, they were people who were part of gangs and not nice individual's, was't it?"

Nervously, Darren fidgets away from Melissa, raking his hand through his hair slowly. He looks over at her, silently, but it's Abby's detective work that has Darren looking up with those pale blue eyes, fear in them; truth is a scary thing sometimes. At first all he does is wipe his hands at his eyes, then lower his head and look down to the floor. "A couple of months ago…" Darren starts with a hushed tone of voice, "I was visiting Tom— Doctor Benson— over his house. He keeps rats, the white kind… you know, with the red eyes? Pets of his… I— I was helping him clean out one of the cages, one of his rats just— up and died. He wanted to figure out what killed it, so we were going to take it down to the lab and…"

Exhaling out a sigh, Darren practically deflates as he hangs his head. "I was holding one of the live mice in one hand to keep him out of the way while I took out the dead one. It just— it just happened. I didn't have any control over it, there was just…" Licking at his lips, Darren looks up to Abby and shakes his head slowly.

"One second the rat was dead, the next it was biting me on the finger and the other one I was holding had died. Same… same light show and everything." Brows working together, Darren stares at his feet.

"Christ, I drank myself unconscious that night. Tom and I both did. We figured I must've healed one rat by— I dunno, killing the other. We both promised never to really talk about it… never…" Darren shakes his head slowly. "That girl, the cancer patient? She was one of Tom's worst off. Poor kid lost everything after the bomb, got so much radiation poisoning she'd developed inoperable tumors and— " Scowling, Darren looks up at Abby.

"What were we supposed to do? Let her die? We— Darren knew this guy, a drug dealer down in Chinatown, real piece of shit. Tom set up a meeting with him to score some Refrain, I jumped out and grabbed him with a chloroform rag. We brought him back to the hospital… zap. Her cancer was gone, and we…" Darren just trails off, looking back down at the ground.

Melissa's voice is soft and sympathetic. "It wasn't a bad thing that you did for that girl, Steve. You saved a little girl, an innocent. You shouldn't feel bad about that. Yours is just an ability of balance, that's all. And if you like the healing part of it, maybe we can figure out some way for you to manage that without such a great cost."

She looks to Abby, chews on her lip for a moment, then rises. "I'm going to go make a few calls. See if I can figure out something better for you than this place. Steve? I'd consider it a favor if you'd talk to Abby. Let her help you." A soft smile to him, a nod to Abby, then she starts back up the tunnel. "If either of you need me…call."


Benson had been such a nice guy. How many times had she walked the ward with him? " I'll stay with him Mel." She assures the other woman, taking up a spot near Darren. "We tracked you by your footprints. You were leaving UV trails." There's a flash of the UV light "If you really want to turn yourself in, then we can do it. If you want Benson to make it scott free, then.. we won't tell anyone Darren. I'm sorry, for what it's worth. I guess I spoiled them with the healing, when I was there and sometimes.. death gets to people and seeing a way to save their patient, without a monetary price tag attached to it…"

She knows the whole, price for healing. "Guy I ended up killing? Could do the same thing, Didn't kill a person, could kill a person. Sucked away life from others and transferred it into healing another. you don't have to use it Darren. Tempting as it might be, but you don't. If you really want to get to Canada or some place where they won't know your name, we can do it. Just say the word and I'll talk to Grace or Scott and get you set up"

"That's all I wanted…" Darren breathes out, leaning forward and covering his face with his hands, voice tightening as he croaks out his words. "They already said they'd get me out once the weather cleared up. I— I was just waiting trying not to hurt anyone. God I— I don't know what this power is, I don't… I don't think I can control it, not enough to be around ordinary people. I don't even know what the hell it is. Is it healing? If it's just healing why— why do I magnetize things?"

Running his tongue over his lower lip, Darren shakes his head from side to side and looks down forlornly towards the concrete floor between his feet. "I've murdered three people, Abby. The government forced me to do another healing, on one of their FRONTLINE agents who got hurt in a car wreck. I— I had no choice. Then… then a call from the President to heal his little brother. Abby, Christ, I don't even know if this power has any side effects."

Licking his lips, there's a slow and fearful shake of Darren's head. "He was dead Abby. He was stone cold dead. His heart stopped, he— he was pronounced dead for almost thirty minutes before Tom and I brought him back. Peter Petrelli died, and I— I don't know what that did to him."

Hello. Darren can ressurect? "You mean my partner, goofy peter petrelli baby brother to.." Well, that's interesting. "I'm not a scientist Darren, I don't know why, but maybe.. maybe I know an encyclopedia that does" She points out. "I know a woman with PHD's coming out her butt, I think. Pamnesia, knows everything once she's seen it. Want me to talk to her? See if she knows something? I mean, I know that electricity can shock a heart back to life, that we've all some some amount of energy inside us. And if you want Matrix, it says the same thing. Human batteries…"

Laughing awkwardly, Darren looks up at Abby and shakes his head with a smile. "You're awfully helpful, for a person who's talking to what ammounts to a serial killer." Oh if only he knew Abby a little better. "I'm— I'm honestly worried, Abby, that if I don't come forth, the feds are eventually going to find their way back to Tom, and the only reason he got me started on this was because of that poor girl, and it was still my choice. I— I don't want the wrong man going to prison for this."

Licking his lips, Darren looks down the corridor that Melissa had left down, then back to Abby. "You… you said you knew some cops or something? You could— you could help me turn myself in peacefully? I don't— I don't want to just get shot or something. I— I know how people get scared of people like us…"

"I Know some cops, I know people in Frontline. I'm on first name basis with the deputy something of Homeland Security, I got a woman from the CIA that I know and if I vouched for you, i'm pretty sure that would count for something. I don't want to hand you over to the company, because they'll just happily use you. They'll know what you do, because that's their job, studying abilities. But I know a few people." Elbows drag over her knees and she sits regarding the other guy. 'You're not a monster. I hope you relize it. You're just a guy, stuck in a bad position that he didn't really want to. i'm sorry that I hit you, you just, i'm going through hard times and I really want my anti-depressants to kick in, and I lost my temper when you said that I was taking good jobs away. I pushed too hard"

She looks up at the manhole, the oppressive weight of the snow above likely waiting. "You didn't ask to be evolved, you won, or lost I guess is how you look at it, the genetic roulette. And the good, outweighed the bad. There will always be people who will want you to use it, who will try to make you use it and threaten people you know. Lord above, I know that Darren. I have lived through all that and more. But there is a silver lining. You can heal. Maybe, you don't need a living being or a creature. Maybe you can take it from .. a tree, or a colony of ants or some other form of life that isn't sentient and oh I don't know. But the thing is, you never have to use it again, if you don't want to"

Staring outward at Abby, Darren's expression is one of disbelief, his lips play in an expression that seems to be uncertain whether it should form a smile or not, like he can't tell if she's joking or not. "How does one southern belle know so many powerful and important people, and wind up trodding around in a dirty sewer trying to help out some… misguided murderer?" There's an emotional hitch in Darren's throat as he admits that, fingers curling against his palms.

"Do… do you have somewhere else I could stay for the night?" Doctor Stevens finally asks, running his tongue over his lips nervously. "I— I'm afraid they're going to ask me to leave anyway after what I did down here."

'This southern bell has been kidnapped too many times to even start recounting. She's also healed more than just people in a hospital. Hospital? That was out of christian guilt. Oh the stories I could tell you Darren. Like, I had my hand wrist deep in President -elect Allen Rickham's chest and was touching his heart?" She crosses a finger across her chest. "Swear on a stack of bibles. I keeled right over and just fell asleep. Craziest thing. Heavens, we were stuffing his innards back in him." She offers him a hand to pull him up once she's up. "Come on. I'll bring you to my place. It's pretty crappy, but my usual place, it's sorta being staked out by crazy Russians."

Now Darren laughs, all charming smiles and shaking head, eyes closed and sa slow, creaking rise up to his feet coming with that story. "Russians?" Darren notes with a chuckling laugh, eyes rolling amusedly before he rests his hands on his hips, tilting his head to the side and watching Abby thoughtfully. "You know, you had me going for a while there but— honestly— Russians?" Darren lifts a hand and wipes under one of his eyes, snorting back something that might have been emotion.

"I don't know why you owe me all this hospitality, Abby, but I appreciate it." There's a meager smile on the Doctor's lips as he lowers his hands, tucking them into the pockets of his slacks. "For… what it's worth, I'm sorry I blew up on you— on Melissa. I just… I was scared."

"Russians. Swear on a stack of bibles. The one? He heals, but his healing, comes out in twisted painful scar tissue. He got a couple of my friends. But, someday, we'll figure it out, how to fix them so it doesn't hurt. Here's something you'll learn. I'm a bad lier. I can't lie to normally save my life. Call it being raised the way I was and it's okay, to be scared. You have every right to be. Almost everyone who comes to the ferry? Same position as you. I wasn't kidding either when I said I knew a temporal manipulator. I know two of them, but the second, can't to a lick to help you and the first.. I don't think he could either. He's pretty strange that way."

She turns to face him instead of picking her way forward. "And if he could help you, Darren, I don't really think you'd want him to change it. As much as I wish he could have changed what happened to me on Staten Island, I wouldn't want him to in the end. Without going through the hell I did, I wouldn't be here doing what I do now. The ambulance, the saving people, the healing at the hospital or even being able to commiserate with you on the pressures of being a healer. It's all a lesson. Crappy lesson that cost some people their lives but… it's a lesson. Like you taught me one too"

All of it still seems so fantastical, so hard to swallow. Even in an age where people can fly and heal and produce lightning from their hands, Darren Stevens finds some impossiblity in Abigail's charmed life. But what seems most impossible of all, and what hits Darren the hardest, were those last few words to come out of the blonde's mouth. With no small amount of huimility, he turns from the concrete hallway and looks at Abby, one brow lifted and lips parted ever so slightly.

"I…" His words hitch in the back of his throat, "I taught you a lesson?"

"Yeah" Abigail murmurs. "You'll just have to figure out what that lesson was, on your own. Lets get you back to the main station, you can make your apologies and we'll see if anyone has a sled to get you out of here, cause I only had enough snowshoes for me. But, even cardboard will do" There's a gesture to whence they came from, back past the creepy vault and camera's

Darren watches Abby for a moment, tongue running across his lips, and then just nods his head in quiet acceptance. It's not the first time a woman has left him speechless and curious about what her intentions are. It's the first time that's happened and he didn't lose his wallet in the process. There's a first time for everything.

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