To Peter, From Sylar, With Love



Scene Title To Peter, From Sylar, With Love
Synopsis Sylar leaves Peter a message that won't be misinterpreted.
Date November 21, 2008

Thomas Cain's Apartment, Brooklyn

The apartment is exactly how Thomas Cain left it.

The lights are out when he gets home, the curtains drawn over a window kept partially open. The radio kept playing to ward off burglars is rattling off the evening news, headlines he and his organisation might have made themselves, interspersed with commercial jingles. The refrigerator hums incessantly, and the microwave clock indicates, in bright green light, that it's nearing eleven o'clock in the evening.

But perhaps it isn't exactly how he left it. Cutting through the darkness of the apartment, a slice of light beams from the seams of a closed bathroom door, and underneath the silence, the sound of running water.

Some things are not out of place in Cain's mind as he shuts the door behind him — the radio and drawn curtains are among those — but then, some things are out of place. He isn't in the habit of leaving the bathroom light on when he's not home. He certainly isn't in the habit of leaving the water running when he's out, or at all. The sound of his footsteps on the apartment's outdated carpet are muffled by the low hum of the refrigerator and the buzz of the radio as he slowly, cautiously, crosses toward the bathroom. One hand reaches back behind him, feeling around beneath his leather jacket for the handgun he keeps tucked into the belt of his pants.

Let it never be said that PARIAH operatives walk around unprepared.

As still as a gargoyle and in these shadows, almost the same colour, the same contemplative crouching posture, Sylar waits silently, watching. He blends deeply into the colours of the shadowed corner, a wraith, the outline of a glass statue, practically invisible, and watches as the operative moves towards the source of light. He takes stock of the gun in the man's hand, but doesn't yank it free of his grip either physically or with his mind. Doesn't need to until he's seen, if he's seen.

Sylar waits, waits for the terrorist to move closer, listening to his heart beat - and with a slowly raised hand, he makes a fist. With the movement, the bathroom door suddenly slams open, rattling on its hinges, to show an empty but near flooded bathroom, the bathtub overflowing with cold water and the faucet running at full throttle. The light is bright and revealing, as if mocking the PARIAH operative of the room's emptiness, and with a sudden wave, the water leaps with the sound of an ocean wave, coming apart in unnatural ropes of liquid, reaching for Cain. It doesn't push, or even attack in any natural way, seeming to just dissolve into his clothes with all the ferocity of someone dashing a bucket of ice cold water onto another.

Cain's left arm, his hand clutching to gun so tightly that his knuckles crackle under the strain, flies up to shield his face from the sudden onslaught. Unsurprisingly, this gesture doesn't do much to protect him, and a moment later the man is stumbling backwaters, sputtering curses under his breath and shaking his head from side to side like a dog that's just been shot between the eyes with a spurt from a garden hose.

"Fuck," he hisses through his teeth, "son of a bitch." Cain's other hand smears the water away from his eyes and wipes the excess moisture off on the already-soiled fabric of his shirt. It takes a few seconds of blinking for his vision to clear, but when it does he darts a quick glance back over his shoulder, towards the door, and does not hesitate lunging for it. Time to go.

Wise move. Unfortunately, it's a matter of being outgunned. As if an invisible hook had sunk into his chest, Cain is promptly tugged back towards the center of the room, enough to unbalance him and send him sprawling against the carpet. It might be then that he'll be able to take stock of the way the water clings to him, not shedding a drop - not keeping him still but layering on like a second skin. The excess water that had soaked into the carpet crawls towards him too, a constant stream from the bathroom, onto his body, soaking his clothes, hair, skin - and reaching for his face.

Sylar lets colour flood back over his form, and switches the light on with a minute gesture. Despite the handgun still in Cain's hand, the killer lets himself be seen, standing up and moving forward, gaze fixed on the terrorist. "You have two options." He lifts a hand in preparation to ward of bullets, or telekinetically shove Cain back down should he attempt to get up - not that it'd do much good. "You can either drown, or suffocate trying not to."

When rivulets of water are snaking their way into your nose, forcing themselves into your mouth and windpipe, squeezing off shots at an unseen enemy isn't the first thing that springs to mind. The gun hits the floor with a wet thump, and Cain's hands start wildly clawing at his face, his nails leaving angry red welts and gouges in his skin as he tries, without avail, to dislodge the suffocating force Sylar has bearing down on him. He sputters and spits, his blood mingling with the water and staining the carpet around him a very faint shade of pink, though it isn't likely to be seen until Sylar flicks the light on and banishes the nighttime shadows into the four corners of the living room.

Maybe he hears what the other man is saying, and maybe he doesn't — there's no way for Sylar to know for sure, not when the gurgling screams are so loud that the radio no longer muffles what's happening behind closed doors. Upstairs, someone bangs loudly on the floor, a broom handle meeting linoleum with such force it dislodges several pieces of plaster from the apartment ceiling.

The water gets more and more aggressive, streaming into his nose, mouth - over his eyes, in his ears, an unnatural amount of water focusing around his head as if in an attempt to muffle the screams. Sylar glances up when someone shows their displeasure of the noise, and he purses his lips contemplatively. He lifts his hand, and makes a pinching motion with his fingers - Cain's mouth promptly shuts, making quieter his choking screams. Seals off the water, but there's other openings to plunder. "Sorry, I'll turn it down!" Sylar calls up, pleasantly, TKing the dropped gun into his own hand and moves for the radio, fingers moving towards the off switch— then contemplatively moving towards the tuning dial. Motown starts to fill the apartment as the terrorist struggles and chokes just behind Sylar. "You don't get music like this anymore," he says, conversationally.

Please Mister Postman, look and see
(Oh yeah)
If there's a letter in your bag for me
(Please, Please Mister Postman)
Why's it takin' such a long time
(Oh yeah)
For me to hear from that boy of mine

A rather dark chuckle from the killer sounds beneath the music, and he switches off the radio. "Dear Peter," Sylar muses, then turns to see if the man is dead yet.

At a glance, if Cain isn't dead, then he must be unconscious. Face down on the floor, his body lays immobile and still but for sporadic, subtle muscle spasms in his fingers. To Sylar's sensitive ears, Cain's stillness is not interrupted by the sound of breathing or the beating of his heart. Although faint, the smell of vomit begins to permeate the air — it's probably a good thing all Sylar can see is the back of the dead man's head. With his mouth sealed shut, there's only one other way his stomach could have reflexively expelled its contents, and it probably hastened the drowning process.

Not an easy death. Sylar isn't one for lingering, but even he has to step forward and observe the drowned man, though not rounding around him. A silence lingers, and now, the water is still, no longer attempting to fill Cain's lungs and stomach - steadily dribbling out of a now unsealed mouth as the psychic voodoo lessens, unable to control a dead man's body. The wind ripples through the partially opened window, ruffling curtains.

It ruffles feathers, too.

A large black bird, one that Sylar will undoubtedly recognize, swoops down into the window frame with its wings outstretched to slow its descent. Apart from the sudden bump of its feet coming into contact with the sill, the raven makes almost no noise when it lands — but just in case the man inside the apartment doesn't hear its claws scratching against the ledge, it lets out a low croak of greeting and taps its beak against the glass to get Sylar's attention.

Sylar's head whips around towards the raven, suddenly tense, birds not really heralding anything good these days— but he relaxes as quickly as he startled, easily recognising the bird despite the fact it probably looks like every other of its kind. Getting up from his crouch by the dead body, the darkly dressed man moves towards the window, pushing the curtains back enough to open up the window. He doesn't attempt to greet the bird or anything, even with his mysteriously replicated ability, but perhaps a mental, curious nudge of what is it? occurs.

The raven clicks its beak a few times in a response, though what this might mean isn't nearly as clear as the mental images it sends him. Each picture flashes by one after another in rapid succession, producing an effect similar to someone thumbing through a flipbook.

Gillian Childs, her face obscured by a black scarf, clipping towards Kingpin's Bowling Alley.

Peter Petrelli, one hand outstretched, his mouth twisted into a terrible grimace.

A blonde woman sprinting across the street as a dark car barrels around the corner and slams into Petrelli, launching him into the air.

Gillian's face in the window of the car, pressed up against the glass, dark eyes wide, only to disappear again a moment later.

Screams and screeching tires fill Sylar's ears, though it's the telltale sound of a sonic boom that punctuates the final frames of the sequence: Peter Petrelli, Gillian slung over his shoulder, blasts off into the night, leaving a battered car and the blonde woman staring after him in his wake.

This is one of those 'sorry for asking' moments. Sylar grimaces as the images invade his head, the sounds, but that's all. His hand grips the frame of the window once the initial shock wears off, and he observes what's shown, and upon opening his eyes again, he's silent in his anger, glancing back at the corpse of Thomas Cain. A perfectly good evening, ruined. He looks down at Bran again - he doesn't want to send Munin's best bird to Peter, but all the same… A hopeful suggestion, another nudge.

Find the girl. The dark haired girl. Gillian. Find her for me.

Either the bird will listen, or he won't. There are other birds if need be but at least Bran knows who to look for. Sylar turns from the window, leaving it open, and looks down at the body with a sneer.

With a flick of his hand, the corpse is suddenly pulled up as if by strings, up and up until it's pressed against the corner of the ceiling and the wall. Another hand flings out, makes a swiping motion, and a wooden chair skitters up off the ground, tumbles through the air, and impales Cain in place with all four legs.

The stench of blood and sick only thickens, but it doesn't seem to bother the serial killer as he makes for the door at a run, face changing into that of someone else's, and he leaves Peter's messages for one of his own to find.

November 21st: Modes of Operation

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…
He's a Liar

November 21st: He's A Liar
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