The World That Never Was


past-angela_icon.gif past-arthur_icon.gif past-bob_icon.gif past-charles_icon.gif past-kaito_icon.gif past-linderman_icon.gif past-maury_icon.gif past-mendez_icon.gif past-quill_icon.gif

Scene Title The World That Never Was
Synopsis The Company grapples with an impossibility.
Date June 28, 1982

"I didn't see anything about this."

Angela Petrelli's voice is haunted, repeating the same perceived failure again. "I have dreamt a thousand impossibilities, and not once did anything like this feature in them. I would have said something."

There is a palpable tension in the air. Eight of the twelve founders of the Company sit in a dimly lit, windowless conference room. The wood paneling on the walls helps mute the light that the ceiling-mounted track lights offer. It makes the conference room feel more like a lounge than a nerve center of a global conspiracy.

"Angela, I haven't seen anything either." Carlos Mendez offers a hand to Angela who sits at his right side. She takes it and he gives her hand a gentle squeeze. "My gallery is full of work from all around the world, but no little green spirals. No woman hit by a car. This blindsided us." Carlos looks around the table. "This is going to happen. We have blind spots in our abilities, we can't be everywhere and see everywhere at once."

Though the answer seems to only further stress Angela's husband Arthur, he says nothing. With one hand covering his face and posture slouched forward at the table, he instead looks over at Kaito Nakamura who has been silent all this time. "I take it you didn't pull up a fortune cookie answer either?"

Kaito fixes Arthur with a tense stare, sliding his tongue across the back of his teeth before answering. "No," is his diplomatic response. "There was no probable precedent for the disaster in Kansas based on the data we had at our disposal. Though we had a close eye on Ms. LeRoux, we had no reason to suspect her experiment would have such…" he shakes his head and seems at a loss for words. "Unfathomable consequences."

"And can we talk about that elephant in the room for a moment?" Bob Bishop asks, lifting one hand to straighten his glasses. "Charles?" Bob asks, looking over to where Charles Deveaux sits at the head of the conference table. "What's out final count?"

Charles is slouched to one side in his chair, hand over his mouth, both listening and not listening at once. He blinks a look over to Bob, then glances around the table. "Sixteen," he says, and then hesitates, looking to someone further down the table. "It's sixteen, right?"

Maury Parkman shuffles some papers out of a folder and scans down a page, then nods. "Sixteen," he confirms. "Sixteen people who claim to be from another dimension."

Primatech Paper
The Bronx
New York City

June 28th


"Are we taking these assertions at face value?" Comes a question from Daniel Linderman, sitting at Angela's other side. "Another dimension? Another, what, parallel world? Should I pop open a Jules Verne book so we can begin dictating policy based on the hearsay of people who may have significant mental trauma from an event they can neither describe accurately nor explain?"

"Danny, I've looked in their heads." Maury says with a shake of his head and a shrug. "I don't know what else to tell you. I cross-examined them with Charles. Everything lines up, but nothing lines up. Fully-fledged memories, full lives in stark contrast to the world we inhabit."

Linderman looks at Charles, as if to confirm what Maury said is true. Charles glances at Linderman, feeling his eyes on him, and tiredly nods. "One girl, the toddler? She has memories of Kaito calling her Kimiko. She's three. I was able to pull out enough recollected experiences to see Ishi's face too. Little Hiro's. Daniel, it's real. Whatever this is, it's very real."

Linderman sits back in his chair, steepling his hands in front of his mouth as he stares into the middle distance. "But it… it can't be real," he says in hushed confusion. "How can it be real?"

"Our friend from London may be able to help answer some of that," Bob says with a motion to a man who has otherwise sat silent on the far end of the table, a wiry hook-nosed old man with wispy gray hair and a knit hat. He adjusts his glasses and offers the table a mild smile.

"James Quill," he introduces himself with a small wave.

"James here is a former OSI consultant dating back to the second world war, one of our converted assets from the sweep through the UK." Bob explains, giving Quill a reassuring smile. "Mr. Quill has some interesting theories about the electromagnetic device that Ms. LeRoux was constructing and what it could mean for these, uh, visitors we've taken in."

"Visitors?" Arthur asks across the table. "No. They're more like… alternates." He says with a glance around the table. "That one kid, the one we fished out of the river upstate? We found a positive match for her, right?"

"Elisabeth Harrison." Charles says with an affirming nod to Arthur. "There does seem to be some overlap, but it's not consistent."

"If I might," Quill says, raising a hand as he interjects. Charles looks across the table, the motions to Quill that he may proceed. "These inconsistencies may be the result of something known as the relative state formulation or the Everett interpretation, a model of quantum mechanics first proposed in 1957, postulating that our world may in fact be one of an infinite number of possibilities spread out across an infinite number of universes. Coincidentally, according to your own research, one of the more contemporary pioneers of the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics—Professor Bryce DeWitt—lectured at the University of Kansas where Ms. LeRoux attended college."

The room goes quiet as Quill talks, though it's clear that most everyone in the room isn't following the narrative. Quill can see it too, and he rises from his seat to approach a chalkboard on wheels. He flips it over from sketches of compound molecules to a blank side where he writes the phrase MANY WORLDS INTERPRETATION. "Professor DeWitt lectured at length regarding a hypothesis of multiple, parallel worlds existing side by side and invisibly to our own. We know that Ms. LeRoux was attempting to build a device designed to look into the past, a lens by which to measure history. I posit the alternative, that Ms. LeRoux's device did not in fact successfully view into the past, but through its construction and configuration may have opened—not a window—but a door into a parallel Earth."

Arthur sighs sharply and looks at Charles with a are you hearing this face. Charles gives Arthur a pointed look and turns his attention back to Quill. "Let's say I buy this," Charles says, sitting forward and folding his hands in front of himself. "What does that mean for them? For us?"

Quill frowns softly, setting the chalk down in the small tray at the bottom of the board. "Unfortunately, there is no answer for that. Ms. LeRoux may have jump-started the next millennia of quantum physics, but there is an equally high likelihood that she is the Robert J. Oppenheimer of this generation. I can't even begin to fathom the level of power that something of this nature could represent, especially given the incidents that arose because of its activation."

"What I'm hearing is that it's dangerous." Angela chimes in. "What happened to the device?"

"Disassembled." Arthur says swiftly. "We moved it to a holding facility in Sunspot, New Mexico."

"And we have sixteen very frightened people who are extremely far from home," Carlos adds, scrubbing his face with his hands. "We can't just reintegrate them into society like we would a catch-and-release Special. We can't give them some pointers on how to lay low and be smart with their power. Hell, we don't even know if any of them have powers."

"We have to consider the possibility that we may never be able to get them back home," Bob says with a glance to Carlos, then a look to Quill. "You were telling me earlier that there's a possibility, though, yes?"

Quill nods, making his way back to his seat. "Potentially. If we can reassemble the Ms. LeRoux's device and study it, study her notes, we may be able to better understand how it works in the hopes of getting these people home."

Charles nods in agreement. "Arthur, I want you and Kaito to take lead on this. Who is the resident agent at Sunspot?"

"Charlotte Roux," Arthur answers with a glance across the table to Quill, then back to Charles. "She's smart. Not LeRoux smart, but she's good. I trust her."

"Alright then. You two work with Professor Quill and Doctor Roux to understand this machine." Charles instructs, earning a nod from all of the occupied seats at the table. "Maury and I will go through our visitors—alternates memories again with a fine-tooth comb, make sure we didn't miss any clues. If we can get them home, all the better. If not…" Charles looks around the table. "I'm open to suggestions."

"Nobody's going to like this," Linderman says with a spread of his hands, "but I think we should do to them what we did to the OSI people we didn't convert. Full telepathic reconstruction." And he's right, the notion elicits a murmur of voices across the table. Charles has to raise his voice to call everyone back to order.

"No one is saying that's our first choice," Charles assures. "But Daniel may have a point. These people cannot successfully reintegrate as-is, except for perhaps the youngest. But even then, the repressed trauma they have…"

"Lasting psychological damage." Maury finishes Charles' thought. "I'm no fan of the brain-scramble plan either, but sometimes there is no good plan."

Arthur nods in agreement with Maury, then claps his hands together and rises from his seat. "Alright then, let's get to—"

"Sit down." Charles says, pointing two fingers to Arthur's seat. Arthur may be among the most powerful Special the Company has ever known, but Charles Deveaux is the organization's leader, and no one calls a meeting to an end save for the head of the Company. "Doctor Quill," Charles redirects the room's attention. "If this… many worlds interpretation is true, how do we know if this hasn't all happened before?"

Quill raises one brow, even as the others seem discomforted by Charles' question. "You mean a… an overlay? I don't… I can't say. It's an equally interesting and terrifying possibility, that we may have been visited before from somewhere we do not even know how to name." Quill says with a look to his writing on the chalkboard. Imagine that, though? A world inhabited by the descendants of wayfarers from another time and place. "Visitors from, in our perspective, a world that never was."

"I think that's enough for now," Charles says with a shake of his head.

"Meeting adjourned."

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