Time Is Running Out


abby_icon.gif alexander_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif helena_icon.gif mallory_icon.gif peter2_icon.gif

Scene Title Time Is Running Out
Synopsis Bury it. I won't let you bury it. I won't let you smother it. I won't let you murder it. Our time is running out.
Date November 21, 2008

New York City

For a great distance, the glow of fires amidst late afternoon skies shrouded by heavy clouds are a beacon of color in an otherwise monochromatic landscape. Those spot of far-off orange, they're the anchoring point to the idea that there was color, some time ago, a reminder that things used to be brighter.

Large flakes fall from the sky, slowly settling down on a polished coil of steel barbed with razor thin blades. It balances, precariously, on that sharp edge, before catching the wind and fluttering onwards, blowing down along the height of a tall chain-link fence. The ashen gray snowflake eventually clings to a piece of paperwork. Quickly, it's blown off, leaving a gray streak across the otherwise white paper. At the top of the document, stamped with a ring of stars, an eagle, and a shield is the name PETRELLI, PETER - 0000001.

The constant moaning of some industrial cry muffles and deadens all other sound. It emanates from the top of a tall and knotted wooden post, where three bull-horn speakers emit that rising and falling wail. Beneath it, three men in uniform stand with assault rifles, watching a line of young men carrying simple white slippers in their hands, the undersides of which are stained black. The sound of chains rattling is almost entirely drowned out by the cry of the siren, legs shackled together amidst a sea of slate-gray jumpsuits with numbers and names printed across the back and on a small tag at the front.

The man holding the documents motions to the next man in line. His head is shaved almost entirely bald, but the deep and rough scar that travels across the middle of his face clearly identifies who he is. He's Peter Petrelli, and he's in chains, where he belongs. The man speaks to him, but the words come out only as the howl of a siren. Two men step into the line, men in uniforms with white surgical masks covering their mouths. They take him arm in arm, and begin escorting him away from the front of the line.

The concrete building he is led towards, with compliance, moves past that chain link fence. On the other side, young women sit quietly amidst tattered green and brown tents held up by weak aluminum framing. One of them catches Peter's eyes, a girl with dirty brown hair trimmed short to her head, a smudge of ash on her cheek. She approaches the fence, her brows lowered with a scowl on her face. From one hand, a broken cell phone falls and strikes the ground. Pale eyes assess Peter for a moment, and her stare becomes a glower. Alistair, Mallory - 0000467.

One of the guards escorting Peter steps over to the fence, shouting through it towards the girl. She doesn't move, raising one small hand to twine her fingers thorugh the holes in the chain links, pale eyes staring — icily — up at the soldier. He withdraws a pistol from his side, held in both hands, he's still shouting amidst the roar of the siren. She doesn't even so much as flinch. Behind her, another young woman rises up and steps over, curly ringlets of blonde hair cropped short to her head, barely an inch long. She matches that glaring look in her eyes. Beauchamp, Abigail - 0000012

The soldier keeps shouting, and Peter is dragged away by the one still holding his other restrained arm. The guard drags him into the open door, past a few children seated on bunk beds, their legs pulled up to their chests, dangerously-thin arms pulled around their knees. Their cold eyes stare at Peter as he's escorted through the room, and down a concrete hall past several steel doors.

One of them, up ahead, opens slowly. Three guards drag a body out of one of the cells, a man with a head shaved almost down to the scalp, face weathered and wrinkled, easily a man in his late forties. Deckard, Flint - 0000221 A dark red gouge tracks with jagged lack of precision across his throat. One of the soldiers examines a broken plastic spoon covered in blood, the same blood as the smears on both of Deckards' hands and the cut on his throat.

The wail of the siren pounds at the back of Peter's head.

Down the hall, large glass windows view into sterile and steel-filled examination rooms. A young man stands with his back to the window, while a doctor dressed in white leans in to inject a long and thin syringe just below the right side of his jaw and up into his neck. His shaved head tilts to the side, and he winces slightly. The doctor pulls the long needle slowly out, and the man steps away, turning to look out the plate glass window towards Peter. The silvery scarring that can be seen up his neck — burns from electricity — identify him to Peter before his nametag does. Knight, Jesse Alexander - 0000117

He glares, coldly, at Peter as his escort continues to take him past the medical examination chambers. The stare is damning, one of bitter contemmpt, but there's no fire behind it. It's a stare of impotent rage, of fury without strength behind it, one of abandoned hope and dissolved ideals. But it is accusing, and the glare cuts just as sharp.

Dragged through a series of doors, Peter passes from the building out into another fenced in yard filled with tents. Soldiers in black uniforms with body armor and cloth masks walk at a brisk pace past the one escorting Peter, each speaking into walkie-talkies while they move. There's a sound, a steady and constant sound of gunfire that pierces the sound of the siren. The fences shake and rattle, and soldiers scramble in different directions.

Another blonde woman comes running up to a nearby fence, her short hair cropped close to the sides and slightly longer on top. Blue eyes gaze out full of tears, fingers curled through the links in the fence, shaking it wildly as she screams for Peter. Beyond the fence she shakes, soldiers run forward, grabbing her from behind by both arms. A brunette with a matching buzzcut comes rushing over, hands balled into fists as she takes a swing at one of the guards. She strikes him square in the mouth, knocking him over as she tries to pry one hand free from the blonde's shoulder.

One of the other guards turns, raising an assault rifle, his shouted order drowned out by the scream of the siren. She doesn't relent, not until three red circles begin blossoming through the gray fabric of her jumpsuit, spraying out of the back in larger volume. Her shouting desists, a spout of blood gurgled up from her mouth as her nametag is stained with the expelled blood. Childs, Gillian - 0000042

The restrained blonde screams, tears streaming down her cheek as droplets of blood spatter against her cheek, Gillian's blood. Peter watches, sedately, as the two guards drag her away. Standing there, amidst the falling ash-gray snow, Peter can't feel the cold of the air around him, he can't feel anything except a dulled numbness, drowning out the sense of touch as much as the scream of the sirens drown out sound.

Gillian's blood seeps into the loose dirt beneath her body, trickling out of her mouth and nose in equal parts. Her fingers gently open, revealing a small pocket-watch that had been clutched in the hand she struck the guard with. The faceplate now cracked, the clock stopped at 11:55.

Peter turns, hearing the sound of gunfire again, and watches as the blonde slumps down from a shot to the back of her head delivered by one of the guards. Her body strikes the chain link fence, and for just a moment Peter can see the name displayed on her gray jumpsuit as well. The moment he sees the name, his eyes widen, the feeling of cold pricks at his skin, the sound of the siren is drowned out by something far worse, far louder; the sound of his own scream.

Dean, Helena - 0000002

By the time Peter's screaming stops, he's fallen clear out of his bed, knocked over his nightstand, and magnetized all of the furniture in his bedroom. A wristwatch is affixed to the metal post of his tall lamp near the bed, just barely in focus from his now blurred vision. His breath heaves and sucks in and out as one shaky hand slowly rises to rest upon Peter's forehead, feeling the way sweat runs down the scar on his brow and mixes with the tears streaming down his cheeks.

His eyes fall to the wristwatch, finding focus there.

Five minutes to midnight.

November 21st: Cheap Shot

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 21st: Last Kiss
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