The Terror Of Miracles


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Scene Title The Terror of Miracles
Synopsis “We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.” ― Ray Bradbury
Date December 25, 2019

Dim, ground-level lighting is all that illuminates a sleek and cold place of impassive, harsh lines. Strips of this colorless light shine pale along the seams where walls meet floor, intended to serve as a guide to the exits more so than to illuminate the greater space and its brushed steel cabinets and immaculate tile floor. Motion sensors in the ceiling determine when the lights above are to come on, domed security cameras squared into the corners of the room only activate when the lights do. When someone is present.

A single booted foot touches down on the tile floor, followed by another. Peter Petrelli's tense expression is one of intense concentration, emphasized by the way his hands are raised and fingers slightly curled as though he were holding up a large blanket over his head, pretending to be a ghost. His shroud is nothing so childish, though. Another pair of booted feet follow his, wheezing and wet breaths fill the dark space of this dimly lit morgue, and Samson Grey turns a sallow and sunken countenance toward the security cameras with one bushy brow raised. He angles a look to Peter, and their eye contact is fleeting but meaningful. Silence is essential here. Peter can mask visual cues with his illusions, he can create noise where there was silence, but he cannot make that which is loud quiet. A pair of bare feet step into the room next, smudged with mud and dirt. The face that once belonged to Sibyl black focuses ahead on the square doors in the far wall. Black block numbers are painted above handles sticking out from the cubes, and small panels on their faces display the current temperatures of whatever is inside them. Not all are the same.

"There," she says, pointing to one of the lockers. Samson offers her an unsure look, then glances over to Peter who kicks one brow up at the gold-eyed girl. "Open it," she requests, as if with all her power this were somehow a meaningful task beyond her ability. Samson's eyes narrow for a moment, and Peter catches that look as well.

"Whatever you say," Peter whispers, turning one of his hands toward the door.

They'd come this far.

Two Months Earlier

NYC Safe Zone

Sheepshead Bay

October 14th

8:12 pm

The electricity had come back on three hours ago, but an outside observer would be hard-pressed to tell by how dark this city block is. No one lives in these rows of unfinished condos, stacked side by side as they are. They weren't finished before the war began and the contracting company that would have completed the work dissolved long before the war ended. Bright orange spray paint marks the doors of the rows of condos, all of which are indicated for refurbishing in the next wave of civilian expansion done in Sheepshead Bay by Yamagato Industries. No one lives here, at least not legally. There have been squatters from time to time, the occasional independent buyer who purchased an unfinished condo and renovated it or started to and abandoned the project halfway in. The latter was what Avi Epstein did when he bought a skinny brick-faced condo in cash years ago. It was to be a safehouse, the last safehouse. The Ferrymen's memory left to rest, and the memory of the Ferrymen left to rest in it. Crime scene tape now adorns the front door from when federal agents investigated the house following the death of SESA agent Michael Lowell. It had gone uninhabited since.

Today, a truck is parked outside.

It wasn't hard to get into the house unseen, for a small current of smoke to slip in through a window. For an unseen hand on the other side of the glass to unlock it from the inside to allow more corporeal forms through. The ground floor of the condo, through a shroud of dust, keeps up the appearances of a fixer-upper project left to be abandoned. Without the context for what this place was, neither Peter Petrelli nor Samson Grey seem to suspect it was ever anything but. Stopping at the base of the stairs to the second floor, Peter offers a look over to Samson. "She's here?"

"Mmnh," is Samson's non-committal response. "Last I checked. But I get the feeling if she didn't want to be found, she wouldn't be." Samson starts up the stairs, but Peter rests a hand on his shoulder. There's something in his eyes, something that makes Samson's back straighten. "What?" He asks Peter, as if impatient.

"How can you… do that? Find her?" Peter asks, his hand fast on Samson's shoulder. The old man looks down at it, then up to Peter in wordless uncertainty, brows pinched together in a questioning stare. "I've never heard of anyone who has that kind of ability." That much has Samson narrowing his eyes.

"You sure?" Samson asks Peter, incredulous, then looks at the hand again to wordlessly request it move. Peter doesn't even seem to realize how hard he'd been grabbing Samson and pulls his hand away apologetically.

"I'd know if I'd seen that trick before," Peter insists, advancing up the stairs behind Samson. The old man stares daggers into Peter's back, but then looks down at the stairs with a crease of worry replacing incredulity.

"I suppose you would," Samson wheezes, following Peter up the stairs.

Present Day

Yamagato Medical Center

Yamagato Park

11:13 pm

With a curl of his fingers, Peter slowly twists the mechanical latch on the locker, snapping it off with a delicate precision and a minimal amount of noise. The door swings open of its own accord afterward, gingerly stopped before the twisted handle bumps into the adjacent cabinet. Samson steps ahead of Peter, extending a hand forward and then drawing it back, pulling a rolling tray containing the partial remains of a cadaver from within. The tray the partial body rests on slides off the rollers, floats freely in the air and comes to rest hovering between Samson and Peter.

The body of Kam Nisatta has been reduced to a grotesque remainder, and barely half of one. Her left arm is a mess, flesh rendered from jagged bone missing everything from the elbow down. The stump of it that remains is missing more muscle on one side than the other — cut away cleanly where the other other side speaks to an uneven injury. Her other arm has had skin drawn on in various colors, portions peeled away, a finger surgically removed. Cause of death is easy enough to guess at. Shriveled skin has sunk into a once-handsome face marred by what’s inescapably a gunshot wound to the center of her forehead. Gouges in her face from shrapnel long-since removed additionally pockmark her visage. Her eyelids no longer fully cover her eyes over— which appear to be an incomplete set, anyway; a sunken red gap where color might otherwise be expected on the right side of her face. The body steams as it meets warmed air, accompanied by a hiss from within the cooler as the substance it was being misted with cuts off now that the door is opened. What remains of the heavy substance curls into fog and tumbles onto the floor, pooling on the ground like an ephemeral carpet.

"Who is this?" Peter asks in a whisper to the gold-eyed girl, who looks up to Peter and shakes her head as if it doesn't matter. Samson looks down at Kam's mangled face with a furrow of his brows and a look of dawning familiarity. Catching the expression, Peter quietly asks of the older man, "Do you recognize her?" Samson just nods, leveling an anxious stare up at Peter, then a look across the frozen corpse to the face of a child he once swore he would protect.

"What now?" Samson asks of her, and the gold-eyed girl reaches up to cup Kam's face with her palm. Peter's expression twists into one of momentary revulsion, watching as the young girl leans in and presses her forehead to Kam's temple, closing those burning gold eyes as she does. Her answer is a single breath, exhales slowly against Kam's cheek, an exhalation of inky black vapor. Peter's eyes widen as he sees that darkness leave the girl's mouth, and while Peter shows familiarity, Samson shows curiosity. The darkness slithers inside of Kam's ear, black veins begin to spread beneath her bruise-mottled flesh.

Peter takes a step back from the mortuary tray, from the frozen body, watching as the blackness rolls down through the corpse's abdomen and reaches the point where her spine is exposed below what remains of her torso. The ashen darkness spills out of her, forming an illusory silhouette as though someone sprinkled powder over the invisible lower half of this corpse. The suffocating blackness darkens the room and Peter's hands tremble with a memory of a memory, of a promise and a prediction. Sucking in a shuddering breath, Peter claps a hand over his mouth to prevent a scream from erupting from himself as Kam Nisatta's jaw works open and closed and a ragged, wet breath escapes her frozen lungs.

"Rise," the gold-eyed girl says in a sharp exhalation. It is not a request.

It is a demand.

Two Months Earlier

NYC Safe Zone

Sheepshead Bay

October 14th

8:15 pm

The second floor of the condo is even less finished than the first. The walls are little more than wood studs making a skeleton partially hung with pink fiberglass insulation. Ragged wind-tattered blue tarps partially obstruct views of rooms exposed to the elements for lack of having any windows. Dusty construction equipment, buckets of plaster, slabs of moldering unhung drywall lay about to complete the illusion of abandon. "This doesn't look right," Samson admits as he reaches the landing to the second floor behind Peter.

"What?" Peter turns and looks back at Samson, who inspects the unfinished floor through narrowed eyes.

"I saw her somewhere finished. There was furniture, a bed. It was here," Samson insists, pointing down at the floor.

"An illusion?" Peter is quick to ask. But Samson shakes his head, waving a hand flippantly in Peter's direction.

"Shut up," Samson grouses, walking past Peter to peer into one of the unfinished rooms behind the tarps, much to Peter's frustration. Grunting, Samson circles back, walking past Peter again to check another one of the tarp-covered rooms. This time he doesn't say anything, just disappears through a slit in the tarp. Peter doesn't follow, waiting in the hall and bringing his hands up to his mouth to blow a warm breath over cold fingers. A moment later he hears the sound of creaking hinges, deciding now to follow Samson. Inside the unfinished room, Samson has opened a closet door, revealing a hidden staircase that was at one time hidden behind a free-standing piece of drywall. Samson points with two fingers up the stairs, then with more urgency than before makes the ascent up ahead of Peter. But Peter lingers in the room, looking away from Samson and down to the floor, brows creased in uncertainty. There was something in the back of his mind, something he couldn't quite piece together. Something missing. A memory out of place like so many others.

One frustrated moment later, Peter hurries to catch up with Samson.

Present Day

Yamagato Medical Center

Yamagato Park

11:16 pm

Bones grow back from where there were once none, sinew and muscle stretches over those bones and skin soon comes with it. Even the normally implacable Samson steps back in the presence of this display, knowing full-well that darkness growing inside of Kam Nisatta's now living lungs. But as Samson checks his own body, watches and feels for signs of his life being sapped from him, he finds nothing. Instead, he watches as that child's gold eyes flicker and gutter like a candle about to be snuffed out in a strong wind. Tears stream down her pale cheeks, matching tears of agony and betrayal rolling down Kam's. Back arching, Kam scrapes skeletal feet against the mortuary tray, exhales a ragged and breathless scream as her fleshless fingers curl into the air. The gold-eyed child stays slouched beside the hovering tray, eyes halfway closed. Both Peter and Samson recognize this moment of vulnerability in her, this fragility. Why she needed two protectors by her side. But now as their eyes meet, doubt pushes back what was once certainty.

As new flesh covers Kam's skeletal hands and feet the last of her extremities have come blossoming back like new growth on a lightning-struck tree. The bullet wound in her skull seals shut, and as Kam's eyes fly open to greet the darkened room what were once night black eyes shift and flood with color. Her cornea bleaches, soon flooding with a swirl of liquid blue that for a moment has a brief internal light behind it, then cools to a pale sky blue that makes her once dark eyes pop against her black hair. Peter swallows down a lump of incomprehensible and unknowable fear, hands clenched into tight fists at his side as his stomach flips. There is something both horrifyingly familiar and dreadfully alien about this moment, and he cannot find where the seams on those two incongruent thoughts lie.

Kam is left heaving breaths of hot steam into the air, whole and bare as though reborn on this hovering slab of cold steel. Those panicked breaths turn to shaky exhalations and fearful, shuddering gasps as she slowly turns to look at the child standing beside her. She shivers, not from the cold, but from a memory of a memory lingering in the back of her mind. As the child opens her brilliant gold eyes, Kam nearly screams but finds her mouth forced shut by a pinch of Samson Gray's fingers. The gold-eyed child rests a hand on Kam's forehead, exhaling a whisper of "Shh," to the new host of the black conduit.

"Everything will be okay," the girl whispers, as if that were assurance enough.


Two Months Earlier

NYC Safe Zone

Sheepshead Bay

October 14th

8:21 pm

The hidden attic is unlit, save for what starlight spills through a single window from outside. A lone bed furnishes this attic, a white comforter laid across it and a hand-woven wool quilt atop that. But it is in the silhouette of the single window that Samson finds the girl he was searching for. It is a moonless light and all Samson can see the girl by is the glow of her fiery orange eyes in the darkness. That glow illuminates tracks of tears on her cheeks and little else. Frozen by this look of emotion, Samson makes a discomforted noise in the back of his throat, but is soon met from behind by Peter's emergence into the room. He angles a wordless look to Samson who averts his eyes to the floor and steps away from the door, moving to stand beside a long-cold kerosene space heater covered in a fine layer of dust.

"Hey," Peter offers quietly, coming to sit on the corner of that small bench by the window the girl rests on. She looks away, shamefully wiping at the tears on her cheek with one hand. But Peter's attention moves down to her other hand in her lap, cradling a small pair of black flats. He doesn't remark on the shoes, instead laying a reassuring hand on her shoulder. Of all the things he's seen this girl do, sobbing is not one of them. He looks over to Samson almost immediately, but all Samson can do is take another step back and raise his hands as if trying to indicate he didn't do anything. "Hey, it's okay, we're here…" Peter quietly offers, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and pulling the girl to his chest. She doesn't fight the gesture, burying her face into his shoulder and curling the fingers of her free hand into the soft flannel of his sleeve.

They sit like that for a while, until the last sobs have left her. Samson circles the room like a wary animal, both uncertain of what to do with himself and uncertain of what to make of her emotional state. Peter, on the other hand, understand that better than most. "We thought you were hurt," he says quietly, "after you disappeared. I thought… I didn't know what to think. But we're here now, and you're going to be okay." She swallows dryly against the tension in her throat, looking up to Peter and illuminating his face in the candlelight of her vibrant eyes. He smiles down at her, brushing away the tears one one cheek with a calloused thumb. She lifts her hands off of the shoes, taking his hand in hers and pressing his palm more fully to her cheek.

"I'm scared," she says in a whisper. Most people would find it incomprehensible for someone with so much power to feel something like fear. But a pair of mosaics, each of whom have stared death in the face countless times and commanded miraculous powers, are perhaps the best suited to understand this dichotomy. Peter nods, wordless in his reassurance but maintaining that touch on her cheek. He lets her talk on her time, while Samson watches and tries to understand whatever dance these sorts of emotional exchanges are like it were a simple machine or biological system to be understood on a clinical level. It isn't, and that has always been his failing.

"My heart hurts," she says with fear in her voice. "I miss him, but I don't know who he is. He's a stranger. These feelings— these feelings, they aren't— they're not mine." The girl struggles to explain what she's feeling, trembling in that embrace. "I can't be like this, I can't… it hurts so much." Helpless to understand, Peter just reassures her with a chaste kiss to the forehead and a brush of his palm over her hair.

"We'll figure it out. Whatever you're going through, we'll figure out a way to make it better," Peter promises, which makes Samson wince at the thought. "Everything will be okay," Peter adds. To which the girl simply asks back, as a child would:


Peter nods once, squeezing the small hand that holds his.


Present Day

Yamagato Medical Center

Yamagato Park

11:18 pm

It is with abject confusion and terror that Kam Nisatta meets those gold eyes, a terror that Peter and Samson neither understand nor appreciate for its layers. "We need to go," Samson says in a sharp whisper, drawing those gold eyes to him. But there is no disagreement in her, just agreement. Samson looks past her to Peter, and once again when their eyes meet there is an understanding between the two. But also an undercurrent of fear. What had Peter promised? What had they sworn themselves to?

And as they all vanish into nothing more than thin air with this newly resurrected woman they were left to wonder

were all miracles so terrible?

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