Through the Eyes of Others


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Scene Title Through the Eyes of Others
Synopsis Following an attack by Arthur Petrelli on the Lighthouse, three survivors arrive on the Garden's verdant doorstep.
Date July 3, 2009

The Garden

Situated in a copse several miles away from the nearest stretch of asphalt, the Garden is accessible via an old dirt road that winds snakelike through the woods and dead-ends at the property's perimeter, which is surrounded by stone wall plastered with wicked coils of rusty barbed wire to keep would-be intruders from attempting to scale it. Those with a key can gain entry via the front gate.

The safehouse itself is a three-story brickwork cottage over a century old and covered in moss and ivy. It slants to one side, suggesting that the foundation has been steadily sinking into the wet earth; incidentally, this may be one of the reasons why its prior occupants never returned to the island to reclaim their property when government officials lifted evacuation orders and re-opened the Verrazano-Narrows shortly before its eventual destruction.

Inside, the cottage is decorated in mismatched antique furniture including a couch in the living room and an armchair nestled in the corner closest to the fireplace that go well with the safehouse's hardwood floors and the wood-burning stoves in some of the spare bedrooms. A heavy wooden table designed to seat eight separates the dining area from the rest of the kitchen, which is defined by its aged oak cabinetry and the dried wildflowers hanging above them.

Rain has been a common occurance in New York City the last month, so much so that when the fog rises up and lightning strikes and rain comes down in sheets, it isn't that unnatural seeming. Some of it is— especially the fog. The fog shifts as something moves through it quickly, speeding down the road at high speeds, like a fast car. A small, pale fast car.

There's such a thing as streaking, and this qualifies. It creates another wake as the form leaps over the barbed wire fence, clearing it. Helps to have speed on her side, through there's a crunch when she lands that hints her ankle might not have liked it very much. Even then, she doesn't stop, slowed a few miles per hour, but still moving fast, onto stopping when she pads up to the cottage.

Pale, naked, there's bruising on her ankles from the landings, cuts and scrapes on her feet— and the worst of all small lacerations all over, like she'd ran through rain of tiny glass particles for a short time. And she's not alone. Held against her upper body are two of the kids from the lighthouse, the two smallest of the girls. Crying and shaking and soaked through, they at least have clothes, even if she doesn't. "I need some help here!" she yells, going up to the door and knocking with her foot. Something that makes her swear. This clone might have been fortunate enough to get super speed, but the rest of her multitude of abilities seem to be denied.

It's late, usually too late for visitors. Especially naked ones.

The sound of footsteps thunder down the cottage stairs, audible from the outside even if Gillian and the two little girls bundled in her arms aren't listening for it. Just as rain is a common occurrence, so are people seeking sanctuary at the Garden, and while there is probably some sort of security protocol in place for situations just like this one — there are also exceptions to every rule. When the door opens, a head of tousled black hair and a pair of cool green eyes appear on the other side. Dressed in a night shirt and a bathrobe fastened at the waist by hastily-knotted sash, Eileen is looking past the other woman rather than directly at her, searching the thick coils of fog for signs of whatever is that has her on the run.

No Hounds of Tindalos. No Black Shuck. No Arthur Petrelli either, incidentally, but she takes no chances as she moves out of the doorframe and makes room for Gillian and the children. "Get inside."

The order is punctuated by the muted click of pistol's safety flicking into the off position. "Hurry, please."

No argument about the pistol being brought out. Not in the least. Gillian glances back once, the fog's pretty thick and wide spread by this point— though this version of her isn't the one fueling it. Now that she's slowed, she stumbles inside, quickly saying a few codewords and adding, "Feel free to point it at me if you think you have to. After what the fuck happened tonight, I wouldn't be trusting me either."

Not healing, but not looking winded, super speed has a few advantages. Kneeling down, she lets the two girls get to their feet, and she takes in a slow breath. The rain starts to have an affect, the cold dripping off of her. The tattoos, so many of them, are all standing out cause her skin's so pale right now.

"Arthur attacked the Lighthouse. Brian told me to get the kids out… So I used his power to do it…" She focuses, as if looking off into nothing for a moment.

Eileen locks the door behind Gillian, making sure that both the deadbolt and chain are securely in place before she turns around to face Gillian with the muzzle of her weapon aimed at the floor. There aren't a lot of things she would put past Arthur Petrelli, but she suspects that trundling around Staten Island as a naked woman toting two small children is a ruse too elaborate for even him. If he wanted to eliminate the Garden and the Ferrypeople taking shelter inside it, then his approach would be more— direct.

She's working the sash loose with her free hand one moment and shrugging off her robe the next. There are a lot of questions. None of them, however, seem so pertinent as the most obvious. "How many?" she asks. "Just these two?"

"I'm the fastest— it's…" Gillian says with a grimace, looking off into nothing for a long moment. "Another me bailed out of the boy's dorm— I think she's going another direction, somewhere else." Think. That one, the one with clothes, also happens to be the one she's not connected to like she is the ones that were naked. No automatic link— just the advantage of not being naked. There's a pause— "The rest— I think I got all of them out. But I think we're splitting up." The fastest one arrived much more quickly than the others— the battle's barely over for them, but at least it's over now.

"Arthur has Replication— there was a shadowy version of him that came after me, and I know he was still downstairs too. He— " She hesitates and looks at the kids, touching the tops of their heads. Maybe she doesn't need to finish that in front of them. She doesn't want to. "They need to get bandaged up— he made the rain hard."

Already, the cottage's other occupants are beginning to poke their heads out from their rooms, roused by the sound of voices downstairs. Among their number is the safehouse's proprietor, Mage, who takes one look at Gillian standing stark naked in the foyer and snarls a curse under her breath before disappearing down one of the adjacent hallways in search of clean linens and some dry clothes that might fit the children.

Eileen, meanwhile, offers Gillian her robe. Although it's early July and the weather outside is muggier than it has been in some months, the temperature indoors is considerably cooler thanks to the rain and a breeze blowing in from the ocean, but not so cool that gooseflesh spreads down the younger woman's arms and legs when she gives up the garment. She is, after all, not the one who's sopping wet. "Do you know why he did it?"

"Thanks," Gillian murmurs as she sees Mage, knowing that the children will get seen to shortly. She's not sure how to deal with children— never had the mother hen thing that so many young woman picked up. Cash via babysitting had never been an option for her in her teens. "There's a couple reasons, I guess… wanted his ability… He… Brian and I are related," she finally says, looking down as she pulls the robe around her wet and cut up body. She's shivering and goosefleshy, but that has everything to do with being wet. At least now she's boardering on decent.

"He's my brother— but I didn't know until just… a little while ago. We were both adopted. We're both… guess you could say experiments. Never supposed to have abilities, but got them anyway."

Took Gabriel. Took Peter. Took Brian… "He might be okay." Seems a bit like wishful thinking, along the same lines as hoping Gabriel's alive…

Mage returns a few moments later with an armful of towels and a first-aid kit wedged precariously beneath her chin. It's a lot of information for Eileen to take in all at once, even as she stoops down to scoop up the smaller of the two girls and cradle her against her chest, twiggy legs dangling limp in the open air. Triage is a concept with which she is well-versed; her priority rests not with the dead but the living. There is nothing neither she nor Gillian can do for Brian if he falls into the former of the two categories.

She follows Mage into the nearest bathroom and sits the girl down on the toilet, her two small hands resting on the child's much smaller shoulders as she assesses the extent of her injuries and wipes a smear of blood from her cheek with the corner of her sleeve. "Too dangerous to send a search party now," she tells Gillian. "As soon as we have daylight, I'll take some of the others and go. If Brian is still there, we'll find him."

"I know," Gillian says, rubbing her hands over her face as she watches the woman attend to the children. Medical knowledge isn't her forte, but she can at least watch, hover. It'd been the man who could be her brother's final wish. To make sure the children got away safe— but part of her knows there's another wish there. "There's a few more mes out there— I'll go looking for him." One of her already died by the man's hand, but it doesn't seem that's slowing her down too much. Not when she needs to know someone is alive. Her brother.

Who she might still be able to help. Maybe.

"They're going to be okay, right?" She has to ask. Cold, bleeding and highly upset children may not be something she's normally wanting to care for, but… She's more damaged than them, just from running barefoot and super speeds and jumping out of windows and over fences…

"They'll be fine," Eileen assures Gillian, smoothing the little girl's hair behind one of her ears with the tips of her fingers. Finally, she places the gun down on the floor. "Thank you — for this." She's spent enough time volunteering at the Lighthouse to know all the children by face if not by name; even with her attention split between her patient and Gillian lingering in the doorway, it's something of a struggle not to focus on the ones who might not have gotten away. The next time she sees Gabriel, she'll need to reiterate her thanks for helping her remove Bai-Chan from Brian's care when they did.

Mage, having paused from tending to the elder of the two girls, reaches up and places her hand on Gillian's shoulder. "You've done everything you can," she murmurs into her ear, breath warm against her neck and smelling faintly of nettles. "Why don't you go upstairs and take a hot shower? They'll still be here when you get out."

"Couldn't just… leave them there…" Gillian says quietly, looking at the two faces for a long moment, before looking back at Mage, the hand on her shoulder. Wet, cold, wounded in many ways herself, she really could use the comfort, the shower. Cleaning up and getting warm again are all on important. "I'll— I'll go do that. Thanks." There's nothing cheerful about her expression, but she does try to give a smile to the two young children before she turns and go upstairs. All the way up, she starts counting them in her head. She had to have gotten all of them, but… she's sure they'll know if she did soon.

Nothing she can do now except take care of herself. And look through the eyes of the others.

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