The Terror Of Memory


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Scene Title The Terror of Memory
Synopsis Barbara Zimmerman seeks a clandestine meeting with Yamagato executive Kam Nisatta and discovers a terrible secret.
Date August 26, 2018

Adjacent to the jungle sprawl of Park Slope, the Greenwood Cemetery is a historic site of what was once Brooklyn. It once sat on the corner of an affluent, busy neighborhood that is now largely abandoned, bordering the nearly uninhabitable forest-ruins of its neighboring burg. No one tends Greenwood Cemetery anymore, the grass grows nearly thigh-high in places, concealing rows of old headstones and clustering at the bases of lichen-encrusted monuments and mausoleums.

By the northwest edge of the cemetery, rows of cedar and oak trees provide prodigious shade from the late evening sun, which has turned the horizon a fiery shade of orange tinged with deep purple and vibrant pink. Streaks of gold sweep through the sky in thin strokes of clouds, and the lush green of the wooded area is a cool respite from the summer heat. There is a mausoleum here, not as old as the other burial sites, but purchased back in the mid 1980s as part of a family burial plot. The name Deveaux is embossed above the doors, and though the city records have long since been lost, some people know the significance of this place.

The resting place of Charles Deveaux.

Deveaux Mausoleum

Greenwood Cemetery

Bay Ridge

August 17

7:27 pm

Beneath the shadowed boughs of centuries-old oak trees, Kam Nisatta waits far beyond her sphere of influence in Yamagato Park. The rich shades of brown she wears today compliments the greenery around her and the pale gray of the mausoleum she stands near. Her open-toe sandals allow her to feel the damp grass as she paces, bare arms folded tightly, head dipped down.

She is expecting someone here today, and it isn't Charles Deveaux.

Rather, she's there to meet someone else who could be considered a phantom of the past - just not Kam's. Not as far as either of them know. Barbara Zimmerman is running slightly late for reasons best not gone into.

When she had sought to arrange this meeting, she hadn't been sure how it would be received. There's a bit of an irony to Barbara, in that despite her ability she is hesitant to dig into the pasts of others. She wouldn't want it done to her, and she doesn't like doing it to others. But what she saw in that vision…

It wasn't something she could ignore.

Not with everything else she had been told by Gillian and Squeaks.

So, here she is, walking up to Charles Deveaux's grave. She looks down at it, a somber memory playing in the back of her mind - one of a handful of happy ones from her childhood. Charles, watching the Company children as they gathered for during a day looking to entertain themselves.

She gives a small smile, before looking back up and ahead, though not directly at Kam.

"Thank you for agreeing to this."

Kam levels a partly-lidded stare at Barbara and then looks away. “That might be premature.” The thanks, she means. “But if I keep ignoring this it is, ironically, only going to get worse.” Pivoting to face Barbara, Kam adjusts the sheer copper-colored shawl over her shoulders and gives the Zimmerman sister an assessing look.

“I have two stipulations,” Kam begins. “Firstly, talk plainly and ask direct questions. Secondly, if I say I can't answer something that answer is final. In exchange,” she motions with one hand as if revealing a hidden prize, “I promise that everything I tell you will be the truth as I know it, and that I will not intentionally deceive you.”

Then, reaching inside the light jacket she wears, she retrieves an old photograph and hands it out to Barbara. In it, Claudia — who looks barely younger than she is now — is standing in front of a glass nursery for newborn babies, her hand presses flat to the cover. Three identical infants rest inside, swaddled in light blankets. “I have answers about more than what you've come here to discuss,” she says with a raise of one brow, “and so I leave the topic of our conversations open-ended.”

"What…" Barbara stares at te picture for a moment, tentatively reaching to take it. "Did you know my mother, then?" She pauses, and looks up at Kam, an uncertain look on her face. "Your terms are more than I could hope, to be honest. They are appreciated, I don't have much patience for lies anymore."

Another moment is spared looking at the picture, trying to arrange questions, words, thoughts. In another context, she might consider this a distraction tactic. In this moment, though, it seems more benign. With a deep sigh, her eyes flick up to Kam. "Did you work for the Company?" Easy, straightforward, direct. "I- have no judgement if so. But the answer may help temper my expectations," she explains. The idea of having no judgement seems laughable, but Kam has never given her a reason to think poorly of her.

Though the same could've been said once for many members of the Company

"I will try to make all my questions as direct," she adds after a moment. "But forgive me if I can't quite get there. Some of the things I've been told and seen lately, I'm still processing despite knowing how possible they may be.

“I didn't know your mother then, only years later.” Is the first of many answers Kam intends on giving this evening. “We weren't close, but I've become steward to many of Kaito Nakamura’s… relics.” That seems to have more than one meaning.

“But in spite of tag, I didn’t work for the Company,” Kam admits with a look down to the grass, “though I did know numerous people who did. Our relationship wasn't one built on trust or friendship.” She looks up to Barbara, brows furrowed. “We were enemies, for a time.”

There's actually an amused scoff from Barbara at that, shaking her head. "You and everyone else," she states with the same amusement as she offers a momentary grin to Kam. "If you weren't with them, you were against them. At least, until you were with them." That's a story she's heard many, many times over by this point.

But after that, she falls silent, smile flattening into something much more muted as she considers which of her many thoughts to follow up on next. A glance is given down to Charles' grave, and that helps bring her back to the topic at the forefront of her mind. "Recently," she starts, looking off to the side, "I was asked to look at a camcorder. To see what memories could be gleaned with it, what secrets it had seen. I'm no psychometrist, but I find people like to seek me out for similar services."

Teeth rake across her lower lip, eyes flicking back to Kam. "When I did, I saw a memory of some time long ago. I find myself wondering how a camcorder could have even been present, honestly. But I saw you among several members of the Company. Arthur Petrelli, Charles Deveaux, Ishi Nakamura… several other people I didn't recognise. And if I'm not mistaken, it seemed like they were fighting everyone's favourite snake in the grass."

She pauses - not intending to be dramatic, but with how she chooses that moment to look back at Kam, no one would be blamed for thinking it was intentional - before muttering out "Adam Monroe." Also, as she's come to accept, her biological father. But she's going to hold on to that one for the moment.

She full body turns to face Kam, attempting to look her in the eye. "What can you tell me?"

Nothing.” Kam states flatly, though the tension in her neck and shoulders shows that there’s more to her denial that obstinance. Dark eyes flick to the side and Kam’s brows furrow, fingers at her right hand curling tightly closed. When she looks back to Barbara, there’s tension at the corners of her mouth. “What you saw was a trap, intended for… perhaps you, perhaps anyone curious enough to go looking. You’ve been exposed to… a psychic virus.”


“There was… is,” Kam’s brows furrow and her throat tightens in a dry swallow, “a person like us, who had the ability to infect others with a…” her hands move in the air, gesturing to indicate that she’s searching for a concept, “an idea, a meme in the most literal of senses. An element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.” The dictionary recitation aside, Kam seems less concerned for Barbara’s well-being in spite of this.

“It was destroyed in the 1980s, but fragments of its ability still linger today. Recollections, events, verbal accounts. It was able to forge a telepathic bond with individuals who knew of it, even so much as spoke its name. The Company went to great lengths to ensure that every last bit of its existence was expunged from record.” Dark eyes lower to the grass, then to Charles’ tomb, then back to Barbara. “If it were still active, you’d be in some measure of danger. But…” she shrugs, slowly, but Barbara can tell its a feigned confidence.

Slowly shaking her head, Kam folds her hands behind her back. “I can’t, for obvious reasons, go into more detail about that.” Her eyes waver away from Barbara, looking at the scenery behind her and then back again. “Where did you find a camcorder?”

Barbara listens to Kam closely, her expression darkening the more she says. Eyes narrow slightly, hands slip into pockets. Lips thin, and she shakes her head. "That sounds… like something that pushes the boundries of what I know about people with abilities." She rolls her shoulders uuncomfortably, looking upwards. "But that barrier seems to be a moving target these last few years, so… I suppose I shouldn't be surprised."

She looks down to Charles' grave for a moment, as if studying it. "I suppose every now and then, the Company managed to do good, then. If this is like you say it is." She lets out a sigh, clearly unsatisfied with Kam's answer but unwilling to press further. "My friends wanted to… look into what was seen, but with the Company I have an understandable habit of assuming the worst."

But that last question gets Barbara to look back at Kam. "If what I'm told is to be believed? In the sewers… and containing dated video of those who are no longer among the living in our world, and some who are, but… different." She sucks in a deep breath. "Another world was thrown away some." She lets out a chuckle, staring past Kam.

"I suppose if I can wrap my head around time travel, that doesn't seem so strange in the end. It's supposed to have been destroyed now, the camcorder."

Brows furrowed, Kam doesn't seem to know what to make about that information. Her eyes narrow, viewing Barbara with suspicion, but not outright distrust. Ultimately, little of what she said is a follow-up question, and what was posed is more conjecture than anything. Kam straightens, threading dark hair behind one ear, and looks to Charles’ tomb again.

“I take it there's more you wanted to discuss?” Kam asks in a searching tone, looking from the tomb to Barbara again, considering her carefully for all that she's brought here today.

Barbara is silent for a moment, watching Kam carefully. She considers to herself, lips pursed as she lowers her head slightly. "I have a worry, in the back of my mind," she starts, not looking back up at Kam. "You make it sound like what I saw, that it's nothing. At the very least, nothing to worry about. Maybe… even nothing that actually happened?" The corner of her lip twitches at that - the idea of something she's seen being fake or purely memetic is deeply unsettling to her. Her whole ability is based around memory, and if memories are a lie than who is to say what was even real to begin with?

"But the things I saw in that vision, that I was told about by those that found the camcorder… they reminded me of nightmares I used to have, every few weeks for far longer than I care to remember, the same ones over and over. They were in Japanese, a language I do not myself speak, and it's only by the grace of Elaine Darrow that I learned what was contained within." She lets out a little chuckle. "Funny that she found her way to Yamagato after everything."

With that, she raises up a hand, in case Kam seeks to cut her off before she gets to the point. "They were terrible dreams. Death, destruction. A… person… with golden eyes. It just feels too… connected to ignore." She scoffs at that, shaking her head. "Ugh. I sound like a friend of mine, talking about connections and theories. Still… I find myself uncertain things are so simple."

Kam closes her eyes, arms wound around herself and shoulders hunched forward. “Funny that,” she belatedly echoes about Elaine. But as Kam looks up to Barbara, there's a tension in her posture that will not abate, a worry that will not release, and a fear in her eyes that doesn't disappear no matter how many times she shuts her them.

That,” Kam gravely intones, “is the Entity.” Finally, she looks up from the grass to meet Barbara’s gaze. Unable to shake the fear in her eyes, Kam instead embraces it. “If you've seen it's eyes then… then maybe it's too late. That's how it started before,” she says in a hushed whisper, “visions, rumors, people’s curiosity piqued enough to discuss it at length.”

Eyes closing again, Kam slowly shakes her head. “That's how it started for me,” she says softly. “Because it…” she blinks a look up to Barbara. “I was its last host before it was… stopped.”


Barbara mouths the words 'the entity' after Kam speaks them, mostly to make sure she heard them right. Her brow stitches together as Kam togethers, concern spreading across her face. But that last statement causes her breath to hitch, eyes widening in the moment.

But words don't come quiet immediately. If this were someone else - Some of her old Ferry charges, the Lighthouse Kids, maybe even Richard, she'd scoff and shake her head before asking where they came up with it. She might not dismiss it, but it would certainly come off as a thought of fancy.

Kam is a woman she's only ever known to be serious, though, and with the choice to take her promise of truth at face value, well…

"I'm… sorry," she says in a low voice. "I don't… know that I understand. Host? Like-" Barbara's eyes flick off to the side as she tries to think of a way to phrase this that's less insensitive. But she can't. "…forgive me, but parasite is the best word that comes to mind," she whispers. "I've heard of a few Evolved whose abilities were symbiotic, but…"

“I don't remember it,” Kam admits, “because remembering lets it in. Remembering is… terror.” Looking away, Kam crosses her arms over her chest. “I remember more than most, though, because if I didn't I could cause significant damage to myself or others. The— the Entity isn't a parasite. That's not what it feels like when… when I think about it.”

Dark eyes search Barbara’s for understanding. “When it left me, it left my DNA arranged in a pattern of its liking. Because that's what it does. What it is. It's creation and destruction. I have its ability, and have been safeguarding it since. I can…” she closes her eyes, trying to explain it. “Imagine if people like Sylar and Peter Petrelli could rewrite their DNA on the fly. Not a copy, but an inspiration.”

“You were mistaken,” Kam says softly, “she wasn't that injured.” One of Kam’s hands quickly covers Barbara’s mouth to muffle the coming scream as the other hand pulls the piece of broken chair from Barbara’s side. The broken sliver is set aside and that hand claps down over Barbara’s gushing wound.

“It’s just a flesh wound,” Kam says to Elaine as her eyes change from brown to gold. Immediately, Barbara feels a warmth spread in her side and flow through her extremities. It tingles and comforts, acts as anesthetic in ways no drug could. But when Kam’s eyes turn brown again and her hand is moved from Barbara’s side, there is just a deep scratch there rather than a puncture wound.

“Just a flesh wound,” Kam says reassuringly to Elaine, but also pleadingly. Say nothing.

“Imagine having that power,” Kam says softly, “and being told not to use it.”

Barbara's eyes widen as Kam's explanation, as she thinks back to the attack on Yamagato. To how she might not be here had someone not saved her. She had wondered what power had been used to save her life that night. She could remember the chunk of debris through her, and then suddenly not. The night had been hazy, she didn't remember it all. But this made far too much sense.

"I see…thank you. That's…" Barbara replies quietly. "Amazing, but… yes, dangerous." She chews on her lip for a moment, looking down to the tombstone, then back up to Kam. "All of this will stay with me, as promised." She tries to offer a reassuring smile, but it might flater somewhere along the line. "But this, in particular. In truth, I would forget if I could, so maybe make things a little more safe."

At least until her ability saw fit to remind her, which she has never put outside the possibility. "I'm sorry, Kam. I appreciate your candidness. I didn't mean to dredge up the unpleasant." Not like this, at least.

The Entity. The words echo in her mind again, and her eyes narrow. "If this… Entity is coming back, what can be done to prepare?"

“I don't know,” isn't the answer that Barbara wanted to hear. “I don't know who helped stop it last time, and the people I do remember are all dead now… I don't even remember how it happened, just that it did.” Looking to Charles’ mausoleum, Kam shakes her head and settles a look back at Barbara.

“I don't know what it wants, why it was stopped, or… or even truly how powerful it is. But the fact that the Company had all knowledge of it destroyed?” Kam closes her eyes and shakes her head. “It means trouble…”

Drawing her teeth over her bottom lip, Kam straightens her posture just so and shifts her weight to one foot. “I'm sorry, Barbara. I wish there was more. But I feel like… it's too late to erase the things I've told you. Too many people know, and too much time has passed.” She looks aside, to the way the wind plays at the grass.

“There may be nothing we can do…” Kam’s voice is a hushed whisper, next.

“We might be powerless.”

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