The Nothing Is Coming To Swallow The World


conrad_icon.gif helena_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title The Nothing Is Coming To Swallow The World
Synopsis Helena issues warnings in the aftermath of Sylar's attack.
Date November 26, 2008

Subway - Derelict Station

Once a bustling station vibrant with life and people, this terminal has been abandoned. Not difficult to see why, as it's close to the radiation zone, and the only easy entrance to it connects to a tunnel still registering as black on radiation detectors. The area itself sits in a marginal zone of radiation, but the ceiling has collapsed in enough areas to block easy access from the safer zones. An out-of-use subway train lays dead on the tracks. The front car rests on its side off the tracks, while the second, third and fourth car are upright. The fifth has been crushed under fallen debris, either from the initial shock wave, or from later deterioration of the roof above. Any other cars in the train are buried under the rubble.

Windows have been busted open in a few places, and the side door of the middle upright car is opened. The only light in the tunnel comes from this car, a sign of electricity, as the fluorescent lights in this car have been turned on. The hum of a generator can be heard. In the terminal itself, there are doors leading to maintenance rooms and personal offices. One of the doors has a large boulder resting in front of it - a boulder that has been placed there deliberately.

The other end of the tunnel disappears into the darkness.

Click. There's no fatigue in the voice that replies. "Buona notte."

"Teo - " Helena's voice sounds full of pain, and shaky from terror. "Teo, can you please come get me? Or send someone to get me?"'

A quaver-beat's silence, which would be the sound of a half a hundred questions forcibly repressed. "Yes. Where are you? Do you need immediate medical?"

"I think my wrist is broken." comes the reply. She sounds drained. Shock, maybe? "I'm in the entrance of the old subway station, I didn't want to go just right back to HQ."

"All right, bella. I'll send someone and meet you there as soon as I can. Don't worry: we have your back." At length, and a brief hold later, Teo mentions Conrad. And offers a quieter query. "Do you want me to stay on the line?"

Helena considers a moment. "No." she says. "I need to pay attention to what's going on around me. Make sure he knows this week's password." Her voice trembles, "If he doesn't give it to me, I'll assume he's Sylar and I'll kill him." There's an echo of sound and then, "I'll see you soon." With that, she abruptly clicks off.

A phone call from Teo to Conrad go the Con-Man to literally leave an empty beer on the counter of a local bar. He ran outside in the night and saw a passing taxi.

"TAXI!!" came the call out of Con's mouth, literally shaking windows and causing car alarms to go into screaming frenzies up and down the block. The cab doesn't just stop, it skids to a halt and backs up. Con dumps into the back of it and says, "Drive me to midtown. Right Now." He throws a hundred dollar bill in the front seat.

Very soon after, Con gets out of the taxi and says, "Don't wait up." The cab is too happy to oblige, departing quickly because his passenger has been seething the entire way here.

It takes a little time, but Conrad has his senses open to heartbeats and scuffling noises that reveal the presence of hordes of ubiquitous rats, stray cats and dogs, and even a few homeless derelicts here and there. By the time he makes his way to the subway, he's calling, "Helena!" His voice carries, and there's a palpable thrumming around him, sort of a pulse of held-back destructive potential. It's his power equivalent to keeping a balled-up fist ready to throw in a punch just in case he needs to.

She is not visible, not right away. But her voice comes from one of the recessed walls, where the men's bathroom would have been. All she does is give the initial contact password for the week, and it's obvious she won't make an appearance unless he gives the counter-password. She wants to make sure it's not Sylar.

"Password, password…" mutters Con to himself softly, trying to recall which one it was this week. "Klaatu Barata Nikto dammit!" He can hear her though, and listens in her direction. "Stay in there! Is he around still? Tell me he's still here!" Conrad goes marching up and down the tunnel, looking for any signs of Sylar.

"He's not here." Helena appears now, stepping out from the tiled wall right where the men's bathroom would be. Her hair looks like birds attacked her - they didn't, but she did get tossed around, her eyes red rimmed and face streaked with tracks and dirt. She's clutching her right forearm close to her chest, and she's shivering. Helena is never cold unless she wants to be, so it's not the temperature.

Whirling to look at Helena, Con looks her up and down and stands there for a few more moments, listening. And then the thrumming ramps down and vanishes. He looks pissed and walks toward Helena, frowning in concern. Jerks his head at her arm. "How bad?" he asks. Apparently it hasn't occurred to him that this might be Sylar instead. Or maybe if it has, he doesn't care.

Helena unbends her arm, wincing and fighting back tears of pain. "Don't know. I guess if it were broken it'd hurt more, but it hurts pretty fucking bad. Sprained, maybe." She grimaces. She's not going to bawl, dammit. "Can you get me someplace safe?" It comes out small and girlish, and it makes her oddly ashamed.

"Yeah. Yeah, kid. Let's go." Conrad says quietly, offering an arm to put around Helena's shoulders in a gesture intended to be both comforting and to help guide her out of here with him. He proceeds to walk them both out, flipping open his phone to call Teo and have him meet them at the library.

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

There's a blur of activity when Conrad brings Helena in. To her credit, she did not cry en route to the library, and got the shivering under control. She walks in on her own power, but with the older man at her side, and lets herself be escorted to the infirmary. The suggestion that they might have to cut away the sleeve of her beloved leather jacket is met with a verbally violent negative from Helena, who endures the assistance of others in getting the jacket off without putting scissors to it. The length of her arm is black and blue, and her wrist is indeed sprained, as best as anyone can tell without an x-ray.

"Where the fuck is Abby?" asks Conrad, as if this is all her fault. Or as if she did something wrong. Yeah, he's not in a good mood. But he stands to the side, present but not getting in the way of patching Helena up. "What exactly happened, Hel?" he asks, changing the subject a little.

These days, Teo is either asleep or awake, and going between either state is not a gradual process. He keep strange hours and unpredictable company. Flint Deckard the night preceding, Abigail Beauchamp tonight. Unfortunately, at the time he's rallied to the library, he bears none of the vodka owned by the former and saw the other back off to the Garden. He arrives alone, then, a password to the sentry without salutation and fast tracks to medbay, his figure a familiar shape, now, jacket over hoodie over sweater over shirt, face left exposed and concern raw there. "Helena. Conrad." The stress is on the first syllable of the first word. His eyes go to her arm; he restrains himself, somehow, from touching. "What the fuck?"

Helena looks down and away. Like she's ashamed. "Sylar." she says. "I wasn't looking for him, he just…found me." She looks up at them. "He's after Peter, he knows Peter's split in two. He's working for someone now, I don't know. He can make people move now, it's not the telekinesis, it's something else." She swallows. She's babbling.

"Did you beat him?" Con's eager to know the blow-by-blow, but also figures the short simple questions might help get Helena out of her shock. He glances to Teo and gestures girl-ward. "Found her down there alone. Sylar already beat feet by the time I got there." He crosses his arms and just manages to look all peeved. Or maybe disappointed.

Despite that Con's expressions tend to be exaggerated by the size of their canvas, Teo can't tell whether that's peeved or disappointed, himself. He looks at Helena's face instead of her arm, trying for a brief moment, to anchor her with the weight of his stare, before that inevitably becomes uncomfortable. She's babbling, but that's all right. Sylar just fucked her arm up.

"Deckard gave us some intel on that," he starts. He'll talk a lot, too, but it's quiet as well as quick: information without digression. "We have names. They use cellphones: Wireless could probably even tag a location at some point, cross-referencing. We can do something later.

"Later," he repeats, for no special reason other than that he isn't sure if he had already said it. "I can get Abigail in here, but she's probably off the island by now. Can you move your fingers?" His own arrive on her shoulder, clasping a tangle of spun-gold hair. He listens for the answer to Conrad's question because he'd like one of those answers, but his eyes are on her hand.

"He had me." she says, looking down at her hand. She moves her fingers, but winces while making the effort. It's the wrist she has trouble bending, and otherwise, it's just pink skin gone dark colors, blue on black. "He had me and he was going to kill me, and it was like he was just waiting for something. So made thunder when he wasn't suspecting it and ran away." It comes out in a rush, and may require a more detailed going over later. She looks up. "He was talking about the Flood. Wiping everything clean." Then, "You don't have to make Abby come here for this." The damage is more then what's been done to her body; Helena's never been assaulted like this before. Her lips purse tight, she abjectly refuses to fall apart. "He can take over your body and control it like a puppet. Did you know that?"

That gets Conrad to snort. "Flood? What, like the biblical flood? Fuckin' psycho." He glances at Teo as if to guage his reaction to that and then asks Helena, "Is that what he did to you? It sounds like he let you go for some reason, not that I'm complainin…" Though he does protest one point. "Abby oughta get here. Your arm's likely to get worse before it gets better unless we get her to straighten it out for you."

Teo's face goes all angles and straight lines. "No," he admits, shortly. "I didn't know that."

Not about the Flood, nor about the puppetry, or that they had come so nauseatingly close to losing Helena to him. The Sicilian glances up, satisfied as to the limit of the damage to her wrist if not to the extent, looks at Conrad when Conrad looks at him. Teo looks angry. A little ugly with it. He tightens the grip on Helena's shoulder to remind himself he ought to be doing something, and turns away, stoops before the small fridge they have in here.

It opens with a sigh of depressurization, and he takes out a cooling pack, tosses it underhand at Conrad even as he moves to the drawer full of linens. "Con isn't wrong. Your arm's going to get worse unless you take it easy." There's a wry note to his voice, blurring the otherwise seething edge to it, underneath the rasp of sterile fabric unspooling in his hands, the sharp rip that comes afterward. She isn't going to take it easy.

Helena shakes her head vehemently. "He didn't let me go. I made him. Con, you know sound. Ever see what thunder can do if you're really close to the source? I pretty much made thunder go off right next to us. I knew it was coming, but my ears were ringing. He was in pain. He lost his grip on me, and I ran." She blinks at the two of them a bit, processing what they're saying. "He said Peter is going after people he thinks are close to him. Peter's hurting people. One of them is. The one with PARIAH. They're going to die if they don't merge. And whoever Sylar's working with, we need to stop them, too."

That makes Con grin. "Good girl. Sonic boom up close. Lil hint for next time: If you make it go off in his chest cavity…I mean, that's a pretty dirty trick but he's really dangerous. I wouldn't hold it against you." That's the thing about Conrad. He's no killer but everybody's got a limit. He sighs about the Peter-talk. Con's never gotten on board with the Peter story. As if he uncharacteristically has nothing to say on that matter.

Girls like boys. Teo has always cheered discreetly for those two crazy kids, which— probably doesn't do much good, cheering discreetly, but with this kind of shit it's the thought that counts and he donated them some good ones. Anyway, the poor bipolar bastard doesn't deserve to die, surely. Surely. Teo takes the cold pack from Conrad and inquires if Hel's ready with a flick of eyes, before pressing it down, gently, mapping the flat of its surface against a breadth of linen.

Swelling wouldn't be the most comfortable activity to pass the time it takes to decide whether or not Abigail should come. "Does merging dupes take the cooperation of both?" he asks, finally. Sylar and his little troupe of queers goes unremarked on, for now. Thing at a time.

Helena grins faintly at Conrad, but shakes her head at Teo, blanching at the assault of cold on her skin. "That's a problem." she admits. "The split didn't go quite right. According to Brian, they should be the same person, just two of them. But they're not. And the Peter with PARIAH wants to kill the other. But I know that one is getting weaker, and I bet the other is too. I don't know if they both need to cooperate or not. And Sylar's after them both."

"Yeah well, at least they outnumber him two to one." mutters Conrad, like that's meaningful. It wasn't meant to be, but whatever. He steps back again after doing what little Teo needed him to and looks all antsy, like there's something he'd rather be doing. "I need to check up with Kain about that merchandise he's supposed to get me prices on."

Teo gives Conrad a flare of fingers that passes for an enthusiastic wave of salutation at this hour. "Buona notte, Conrad. Thanks for this. See you soon, brother." His hand drops back down the next moment, brisk, closing the linen around Helena's wrist with a piece of hastily-procured tape. Nothing close to confining, but enough perhaps to secure the thing while she sleeps. If she can. "Cooperation would be nice, I guess," he mutters, squinting up at her bit of brightness, distracting himself from the compulsion to glare at everything until it melts. "Maybe if they hear about Sylar, they'll go with the-enemy-of-my-enemy. We should ask Brian."

Helena calls after, "Thank you, Conrad." She manages a smile for the man, and even though it reaches her eyes, it doesn't last long. She starts to slump a little, and now it's time for the exhaustion portion of being in shock. She leans against Teo, mindful of her wrist. "We can call Abby tomorrow." she says at last.

Turning to go and waving over his shoulder, Conrad says brusquely, "Don't fuckin' die, Hel. I don't wanna have to explain it to Claire because she'll give me that weepy cheerleader face and that totally kills my urge to do her in the butt." He somehow manages to say this without a hint of sarcasm or tone that he's kidding. Which is probably the joke.

Disturbing humor. Sicily can dig it. Cracks a grin over his shoulder at the older man as Conrad departs, agreeable if not entirely in, uh, agreement. And then there's blonde catching on Teo's arm like a lamb's fleece bolting through a rose bush, and like a thing wary of its own spines, Teo goes still.

Takes a breath, and puts five long digits through Hel's hair, pulling it away from her face momentarily, only for the captured locks to fold back in, soft, and pillow her cheek when he clasps the side of her head gently, a sideways hug of diligently constrained proportions, his head momentarily squeezed against the top of hers. "You're a fucking Amazon, bella," he says, releasing his hold without letting her go. "Come on, let's get you a cot."

Helena sputters at Conrad's crack, her laughter like a pressure valve release. Teo is given a grateful look. "I think I could sleep right now." she admits. Right now warmth and safety are overriding everything else. Let her brain process things as she sleeps. "Thank you too, Teo." she says softly, and allows herself to be led.

Any additional notes fall to the bottom.

November 26th: Ditcher

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 27th: Return To Sender
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