sf_brynn_icon.gif sf_faulkner_icon.gif sf_nova_icon.gif

Scene Title Unforgotten
Synopsis After finding themselves with an unforgettable memory of a person who no longer seems to exist, Brynn and Nova turn to Isaac for help.
Date January 15, 2021

Isaac Faulkner's Apartment, Manhattan, New York

Shit. This one too. It’s just like she never existed,” murmurs Nova to Brynn as they wait for Isaac to join them. The two young women have been shown into his living room to wait for the state senator, having headed there together after the strange experiences they’d had at Prospect Park.

Nova’s emotions have been a roller coaster, from hysterics to calm and reasonable, insisting there was some explanation for what they saw and what wasn’t seen. But she’s starting to grow upset again, as website after website that she looks at on her phone seems to deny the very existence of Robin Justice Quinn.

The blonde cellist certainly isn’t dressed for what she expected this day to be. For one, she wasn’t planning to see Isaac for a couple more hours for her birthday dinner — one where she would have ordered champagne legally for the first time. Instead, she sits in her grass-stained jeans with a face streaked by mascara-muddied tears.

“You’re sure you don’t want to call your mom? You think Jac is okay?” Nova asks, not for the first time since they ran from the park, Jac too far ahead of them to catch up with.

"Jac…" Brynn wants to say her little sister will be fine. But she is honestly not entirely sure. "I'm scared to call Mom on this," she confesses. "She might think we've been doing drugs or something." She's not honestly worried that he mom will think that, but she is afraid to tell her about something that makes no sense.

She is still shaking from their encounter in the park, pacing while Nova is looking up information. Brynn asks again, "And you saw a body burning before she got ripped apart?" She pauses and uncertainly wrings her hands together as she paces. "Do you really think the senator will believe us?" She is really not sure about being here.

It could reflect badly on her mother.

The sound of footsteps on hard floor warns of Faulkner's approach a few seconds before he enters the room proper; his gaze sweeps quickly over Nova and her guest, but even that quick look is enough to ascertain that Nova is in a state at the moment.

"Nova," he says quietly, striding towards her, arms opening for a hug.

“He’ll believe us,” is said with certainty, but Nova bites her lip after, less certain than she sounds. After all, it sounds insane, and the jogger saw Justice and didn’t believe them.

She jumps up to her feet when she hears his approach, and any worry about her appearance falls away as he moves in her direction. She all but flings herself into those open arms, her own wrapping tight around him, fingers curling into the fabric of his shirt. She holds him a long moment, breathing in deeply with her eyes closed. Finally, she steps back, her wide blue eyes full of apology for interrupting his schedule, for the abrupt change of plans.

“Thank you for letting us come here,” she says softly. “You know Brynn Petrelli,” she says, turning to Brynn with a small smile. It’s not a question — everyone knows the Petrelli, but she knows they had at least been in the same places once or twice and that Kaylee is one of his supporters. “I didn’t want to leave her alone after what we saw.”

What they saw — she hasn’t explained all of that yet — just that something awful happened, could she come over, could she bring a friend. She looks to Brynn, then back to Isaac.

“You know Justice Quinn?” she whispers, like she’s afraid to say the name aloud.

In her own state of agitation, Brynn is still her mother's child — as soon as he comes into the room, her expression smooths out and the public face falls into place. Crossing her arms across her stomach, she holds onto her elbows. "Good afternoon, sir," she says carefully.

Faulkner holds Nova for a moment, comforting her as best he can… and then she steps back, and he slips back into his own public face again.

"Brynn," he acknowledges with a polite nod. He studies her curiously for a moment — he's met Brynn Petrelli, sure, and knows a few things about her from Kaylee's occasional talk, but they've never really interacted all that much.

Nova's mention of what we saw sees Faulkner's concern ratcheting up yet another level. But her question draws a look of confusion. Justice Quinn?

"Nnnooo…?" Faulkner says, drawing the word out in puzzlement. He frowns. "I mean… she's more judicial branch, I'm legislative. We've met a few times, but I'd not say I really knew her all that well, no."

His eyes narrow. "Is this about what happened this afternoon? Did she try to question you?" he asks carefully, making an effort to keep calm; now is not the time to be angry.


If someone from the D.A. is already grilling Nova about the mess with Asami, then he is going to have to set some time aside later to be very angry.

Brynn calling Isaac ‘sir’ draws a soft laugh from Nova who turns to look at the other woman. “You can call him Isaac,” she says softly, but then her eyes return to Isaac as he says ‘No.’

Her own widen, and that moment seems to slow down. If he doesn’t know Justice Quinn — her heart hammers in her chest and the world spins a moment before he continues to speak.

He knows her. He remembers her.

Nova’s breath comes out in a shaky sigh of relief. “Okay. Nothing like that.” She shakes her head at his question, frowning as she tries to consider how to explain what happened. “Let’s sit, because this is weird, and we don’t know what’s going on. And I swear we’re not on drugs or imagining things.” She tugs him by the hand to the sofa and chairs and takes a seat next to Brynn. She glances at her, then back to Isaac.

“Can you try to look her up or call her office?” she asks, deciding to start at the end rather than the beginning.

Turning to Brynn, she studies the other woman’s gray eyes. “You’re sure you didn’t see anyone else there but Justice and the jogger before Justice disappeared?” she asks softly. “Justice saw it before she…” her lips press together and she shakes her head. “I saw it, too. Am I next?”

Allowing herself to be led to the couch, Brynn sits down slowly. She is uneasy about what she saw, but also what else it could mean. Those gray eyes flicker to Nova and she shakes her head. "No… there was no one but the three of us and Ms. Quinn and the jogger. You saw… what you saw, but Ms. Quinn seemed to see it as she went that direction."

The brunette is at a total loss in attempting to explain what happened. She is having to sit on her hands to keep herself from resorting to frantic gibberish signing, too, in her agitation.

Isaac regards Nova evenly for a moment, but then follows her over to a chair. He reaches into his pocket, pulls out his phone and sits down; he's starting to type even before he's fully seated.

His first search… finds no results. As does his second, and his third. The New York District Attorney's office has no listing for her, there's nothing on Facebook or Twitter or *even goddamn MySpace*.

Slowly, he looks up. Very deliberately, he puts his phone away, regarding Brynn and Nova with a dark and piercing gaze. "Why don't you tell me exactly what you saw," he invites them, in the calm, even tone of voice that his father might have used in a mess like this.

Brynn’s reassurance — or lack thereof — that whatever Nova saw was still invisible draws a nod from the other woman. She doesn’t know what to make of that, of seeing herself burning like she’d been firebombed. Her eyes turn to Isaac as he looks up from his phone, and she can see he’s now as confused as they are.

“Hold on. She gave me her card at the park last month,” she murmurs, turning slightly to reach into the pocket of her coat for her wallet. Opening it, she digs her fingers into one of the compartments for credit cards, tugging out the handful of cards there: a debit card, a library card, a student ID card, Isabella Shaw’s business card, and…

Her hands tremble as she holds out a card stamped with little green coffee cups, halfway to a free cup of coffee. “This was where I put her card,” she whispers. “This is not mine. I slid her card there that day with Detective Shaw’s and I haven’t pulled it out since. I swear.”

Turning to look back up at Isaac, Nova’s lips tremble, and she struggles to speak. “I’d say I think I’m going insane but Brynn saw it, too. She just… she got stretched and warped and disappeared into nothing, and no one remembers her now but us.

Swallowing hard as Nova tries to explain, Brynn figures the best way to lay this out would be chronologically. She absently reaches up to push a lock of dark hair back off her shoulder, definitely a nervous gesture. And she tries to summarize.

"We ran into each other crossing the park," she begins, her words holding a slightly off cadence. He may or may not remember the society pages blurbs that she was, at least at one time, deaf. "While we were talking, Ms. Quinn also happened upon us."

Her hands come up and she starts uneasily signing as she talks, perhaps to emphasize or perhaps just because it's a habit she hasn't fully broken. "Then Nova screamed really loud and she was talking about seeing someone burning but none of us saw it. So Ms. Quinn stepped in that direction to take a closer look, and she screamed. I still didn't see anything …"

Brynn swallows, her hands moving faster even as her words do. "And then she took a couple more steps and it was like she got …. grabbed! Like a hand came from the sky and she was made of taffy and she was getting pulled through one of those taffy-pulling machines you see on Coney Island!"

The terror and the panic are altogether too clear when she gets to that point. She's not shouting — pointedly so — but she's definitely still scared shitless. "And then she was just gone and the jogger in the park — who looked right at her a second before didn't even know she existed after she was gone!"

Faulkner listens in absolute silence as the girls each tell their tale, his hands clasped in his lap, his dark eyes intent. That dark, piercing gaze settles first on Nova, then on Brynn.

Finally, he nods. "That sounds… terrifying, yes," he says slowly. He thinks for a moment. "Okay. Two questions, then," he says, turning his most focused gaze on the two. "First. In the interest of confirmation — the only people present during this encounter were you two, Ms. Quinn, and a jogger neither of you recognized, correct? There was no one else nearby who might have seen — or, just as importantly, not seen — this?"

"Secondly…" he begins. His gaze focuses on Nova, but his tone softens. "Brynn said you were talking about someone… burning. Did you recognize them? Were they a man? A woman? Were there any features you could recognize?"

Nova stares downward, brow furrowed and jaw set to keep from sobbing, as Brynn tells the story. When the other woman grows louder, more animated and frightened, she reaches out to touch her shoulder.

Sensing Isaac’s gaze on her, she looks that way, her blue eyes hinging on his. The first question he asked is easier to answer than the second, and the first has corroboration via Brynn, and Jac if Isaac asks her.

“I think maybe farther away in the park, but it’s a big place. Where we were, I only saw us. Brynn and Jac, Ms. Quinn and the jogger.” No, that’s not right. “And the other person no one else saw,” she adds. She doesn’t look away from his gaze, needing it, maybe, for strength, and also not wanting him to doubt the truth of what she says next.

“She looked like me. Her hair was dark and longer. She looked right at me. And I know Justice saw her, too. She went over there — it was by the Picnic House — right toward where she had been, where her…”

Nova stops to cover her face with her hands, taking a deep breath and letting it out in a shuddering sigh. But these drop to her lap and curl into the cuffs of her sweater. “Where her remains were.”

Her gaze flickers over to Brynn, then back to Isaac. “I was the only one who saw her besides Justice. Jac and Brynn didn’t, but I swear she was there.” Her brows draw together and she whispers, “Do you believe me?”

Although she can't corroborate the burned person who Nova thinks looked like her, Brynn right now? She'll believe anything. Look at what they just saw!! "I believe you, Nova. I thought you were imagining things til…" Until Justice got pulled apart in front of her face. She looks at Isaac, though, and asks, "Why do you remember her?" The other person standing there didn't, and based on what she's seen here, there's no record of the woman having existed. So… why does he know who they're talking about?

"I believe you," Faulkner answers, holding Nova's gaze for a moment, nodding once. The truth is only slightly different — he believes that Nova saw it. Whether it was actually there… that he is less sure of. What he is certain of, though, is that Nova very much needs his support, and be damned if he's not going to be there for her.

Brynn's question prompts a look of honest surprise, though… followed by a slow, but equally honest, smile. "Five points to House Petrelli; Brynn, that is an excellent question."

His expression sobers again as he considers the answer. "The first answer that occurs to me is that it's because we've interacted with her… except if that were the case, there would undoubtedly be a great many people remarking upon the disappearance of any sign of Ms. Quinn's digital footprint. That does not seem to be the case."

"My answer, then, is that I simply don't know… but I do believe that answering that question will shed some light on this mystery," he says. Faulkner falls silent after that, a pensive expression crossing his face as he thinks.

“Nerd,” Nova calls Isaac fondly in an attempt to latch on to that bit of levity at his Harry Potter allusion, but she also looks over at Brynn with appreciation for the logical question. The small smile slipping off her face again as she considers the question and how to go about solving it.

“How?” is a simple question, but one with a complicated answer that she certainly doesn’t know. “On the way here, I called the number I think was the right one, even though her name’s not there anymore, and no one there knew her name. The police didn’t know her name, when I tried to talk to them. Like she just doesn’t exist.”

Nova’s eyes close and she leans forward, head in hands and hands on knees. “I don’t believe in alien abductions, for the record,” she murmurs. “But I swear to God that’s what it looked like. The other things — I don’t know. I can’t explain that, but Justice saw it, too.” The implications of that worry her, clearly.

She drops her hands and looks over to Brynn. “I guess see if your mom remembers her? I know you don’t want to tell her what happened, but… if she remembers her, then what the heck, and if she doesn’t, why not? Or anyone we know for that matter. Most of the people I know, though, aren’t, you know. Lawyers or important people.”

Brynn's hands are twisting together again but she nods slightly. "I'll call her — if Jac's made it home though, she's going to demand I come home too." And clearly the young woman isn't going to oppose that demand. She does offer hesitantly, "Maybe we should all just go there? So we can check on Jac anyway?"

Faulkner nods at Brynn's suggestion of checking with Kaylee; he's not sure anything will come of it, but no harm in trying. "I would advocate checking with… Detective Shaw, was it?" Faulkner asks, looking to Nova. "Detective Shaw, as well. You have an excellent cover story as to why you might check up with her — the missing cello — but that should also give you an opportunity to slip mention of Ms. Quinn into the conversation, as well. I'm… skeptical as to that day at the marathon having any actual connection to remembering Ms. Quinn, but right now it is… just about the only thread we have to pull on."

Faulkner raises one hand to his face, pinching at the bridge of his nose. "The way I see it, there are two problems here. Or two approaches, at least. The first being the physical, the second being the digital. I've no clue what to do about the first one, unfortunately… but as to the second."

"The deletion of those records, as I understand it, must have left traces." He grimaces, looking pained. "And just yesterday, I might have had someone who'd have been able to look into that. Today… notsomuch."

After a nod of agreement in Brynn’s direction, Nova turns back to Isaac. Her eyes narrow at the ‘notsomuch’ and the look of discomfort on his face; brows draw together with worry, and she seems almost eager to latch on to someone else’s problem, rather than wallow in her own fear and horror. She’s had enough of that for the last hour, thanks.

“What happened?” Nova asks, reaching across the space between sofa and chair to touch his arm. “Did someone else go missing?” Logic tells her it’s something more mundane than that, not a connection to whatever happened to Justice, but still, it’s the leap she makes. She follows with the more logical explanation. “Or just… lost someone — an employee or friend?”

Just is the wrong word. On any other day, that would be a bad enough loss to face, but today isn’t any other day anymore.

Brynn is watching carefully, unsure of the reasons for his phrasing. The way he said not so much has her on guard. She still is uncertain why he remembers or why he even believes them, and that's a tough thing to overcome for her. She's been raised in a spotlight enough to know the dangers of trusting too many people.

"Do you think there was something about her — like maybe the same reason she and Nova could both see what Nova saw?"

Nova's comfort means a lot — more than even Isaac had expected it would, to be honest. He reaches over to lay a hand on hers for a moment, giving a small smile.

It's brief, though; his expression grows grimmer as he starts to speak. "An employee. And… a friend too, I guess. Someone I trusted, at least," he says quietly. "My chief cybersecurity officer apparently did something to get herself in a lot of trouble. Enough so that Federal agents came to the building to arrest her. She… apparently opened fire on them and escaped." Faulkner's expression twists even as he's saying it; he'd never pegged Asami as the type for a gunfight.

And, come to think of it, how the hell had she gotten away? Even Faulkner's contingencies — which had first been Linderman's contingencies — had been more focused on stalling and securing anything damaging than outright escape, for the simple reason that there's not really anywhere to go. It's not like she can goddamn fly. So how had she gotten away?

But none of this is Nova's problem. Faulkner lets out a slow breath. "She's currently at large, and the Feds are doing paperclip audits trying to figure out what else Asami might have been getting into. Besides hacking the Pentagon."

His expression twists a bit at Brynn's question. "I… don't know. I'm struggling to make sense of any of this, to be honest. She was there at the marathon, so it's possible. It seems an absurd basis for a pattern, but… it is literally the only common factor I can think of," he says, shrugging helplessly.

“She was? Which one was she?” Nova’s brows draw together as she tries to remember who was there, but her emotional state was a bit shaky that day, having been robbed of her most prized possession. “That’s strange. A very weird pattern. I remember Ms. Quinn being there, you, Brynn and Jac,” her eyes turn to Brynn, “your mom, the detective… the thieves, of course… Oh! Right. I met her at my concert, I think.”

Nova can’t quite put her finger on Asami’s name, but she continues her think-aloud process. “She hacked into the Pentagon. Ms. Quinn and I see something no one else can see. Ms. Quinn goes closer to investigate it and disappears, but only we three could see it… I don’t know. If there’s anything there, any connection, it’s in serious tinfoil-hat jurisdiction, and I don’t know what it could possibly be.”

Her eyes widen and she looks from Brynn to Isaac. Picking up on the way something doesn’t sit well with him about Asi’s escape, she studies him. “What if your employee didn’t escape but got disappeared?” she whispers.

"She hacked the Pentagon?" Brynn asks with wide eyes. "Good grief, you're going to be looking at a long investigation from the Feds." The observation is not given in a way that indicates that she thinks Isaac had anything to do with it, just that he's going to be guilty by association for a while.

She does quirk a brow at Nova, a bit skeptical. "Disappeared? Like as in the government came and snatched her and you'll never see her again?" She doesn't mean to sound like she's scoffing. But that's definitely tinfoil hat territory.

Clearing her throat uncomfortably, she says, "Look… I'm sorry about your friend, senator. But I need to get home and check on my sister." She moves to stand, looking at Nova apologetically. "I'll talk to my mom about what we saw too…" She clearly has no idea what else to do and admits, "I'm scared to really go too far with this. What if people think we're really crazy? I don't want to get thrown into a psych ward."

Isaac starts to open his mouth, to say that no, Asami having been 'disappeared' is impossible… then he pauses. For a long moment, he considers it. He glances over to Brynn, who offers another meaning of the phrase disappeared.

"No," he says slowly, finally. "I don't think she 'got disappeared'. Not in the sense of what happened to Ms. Quinn," he says, looking to Nova, "and not in the 1984 sense, either," he says, his gaze shifting to Brynn. He shakes his head. "The same basic piece of evidence refutes both of those possibilities — the very investigation that Brynn mentioned."

Now he gives a sour grin. "Because yes, you're quite correct, Brynn. The agents I've spoken to have made it clear that they're going to be hanging around poking and prodding until they find Asami. And…" he trails off, a thoughtful expression coming over his face… along with a visible sense of unease.

Brynn's throat-clearing draws him out of his reverie; he swallows whatever he'd been about to say, but a sense of unease remains visible on his face. "Yes. Yes, you probably should get home." He takes a deep breath, working to compose himself. "Yes. I think you're right to be cautious; I would definitely advise you be very careful who you speak to of this," he says, coming to his feet. "Would you like me to have my driver take you home?"

“That’s less crazy than what we saw. Than what I saw,” Nova says softly to Brynn, but she quiets, reaching for a throw pillow to hold on her lap, fingers tracing the pattern on it while Isaac speaks.

When he points out the fact that Asami’s a wanted person, not forgotten, she nods, then shakes her head. “Right, right. I wasn’t thinking,” she murmurs, starting to withdraw, making herself a small thing in the corner of the sofa.

“Text me when you talk to her,” she says, glancing up at Brynn and offering her a shaky smile that’s probably meant to be reassuring, but certainly lacks any sort of confidence. Her blue-eyed gaze shifts to Isaac. “Can I stay here tonight?” she asks, not rising to join Brynn on her way out.

Brynn herself is holding on by a thread. What they saw today is unreal in the most literal sense of that word. And as scared as she is, she's not sure if they didn't somehow imagine it. Maybe they were all drugged…

Pulling in a shaky breath, Sage rubs her hands up and down her thighs and forgets not to sign, even as she replies verbally. "Thank you, I would really appreciate that. I will text you as soon as I get back and know she's safe, Nova. Promise. And if you learn anything…" Please don't leave her hanging.

Isaac nods to Brynn. "Alright," he says, standing up, starting to lead the way; it's his obligation as a host to see Brynn to the car, at least. Plus he's going to have to inform the driver about this, of course.

At Nova's question, he pauses, glancing back… then his lips curl up in a soft smile. "Of course," he says quietly. Faulkner mentally adjusts his plans; looks like he's done for the day at work. Not that much was going to get done today anyway, what with the feds crawling all over the place. "I'll be right back."

“Yeah, I’ll text as soon as I hear from anyone. I’ll try Detective Shaw soon,” Nova says from her place on the sofa. Suddenly, though, she hops up and hurries over to Brynn to hug her, a sudden fierceness there for the other woman.

Their friendship is a new one, but after today, it’ll either be stronger for what they’ve gone through, or something strange and frail, easily broken.

“Be safe,” she says, words firm and quiet, before she retreats back to the sofa to try to understand the impossible.

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