Waste Not


sylar_icon.gif zachery_icon.gif

Scene Title Waste Not
Synopsis Sylar visits Zachery for a chat and information over coffee.
Date October 22, 2007

Harlem Morgue

The cold air and the strong odor of antiseptics carries all the way though into the entrance hall, going together perfectly with the strong lights, sterile whites and smooth metal surfaces. The cleaning products do a pretty good job at masking the lingering smell of death, but those who already know it will surely come to recognize it. As morgues go, this one isn't terribly special. The entrance hall has little else to look at but a sign that reads" Taceant colloquia. Effugiat risus. Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae." Or: Let conversations cease. Let laughter depart. This is the place where death delights to help the living.

For those who have the authority to wander, the hall connects to four small offices, a large autopsy room, and a cold chamber. The latter's temperature dips well below freezing point and is only accessible to the morgue's employees.

The past few days have been nothing but trouble for Dr. Zachery Miller, what with the added stress of recent events and the reluctance to let himself acknowledge it. There's nothing going on. Everything is okay. He's just a bit under the weather, that's all. That's all. Nothing to worry about. Not thinking about those things that aren't even really there because— nothing at all. Yes. Under the weather.

Still, what's left of his conscience is telling him he probably shouldn't be doing any kind of finicky work with so much on his mind — much less very important work — and so he's been hiding out in his office, doing the paperwork he would otherwise have someone else see to. His head hanging low and his eyes tired, he reaches for a cup of coffee at the edge of his desk. Caffeine good.

It's amazing what people miss when they aren't looking. But then again, it's hard to notice what you aren't supposed to see in the first place. But it comes down to one simple fact — Zachery isn't alone in his office, and hasn't been since he last opened the door, perhaps to retrieve that cup of coffee or check on the paperwork he's reviewing. But even the most patient of stalkers can get bored simply watching all the time.

Good afternoon, doctor, comes the likely very familiar voice — not from anywhere but inside Zachery's own head. Should he look closer, there's a shape in the air in the far corner, like the faintest of glass statues — a vague lens effect that takes the outline of a man.

The coffee is returned to Zachery's desk. Not gently, but ecause it is simply let go of when the voice sounds. He doesn't even look up, contemplating something for a moment. Madness? Shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Still, he can't help but give a quick look around his office, his eyes passing by the glassy shape before he does a double take. "… I knew that one was a mistake. I knew I should have given you two. Three. But four? What was I thinking?" He keeps his voice low, narrowing his eyes and looking all together kind of helpless.

The effect of transformation is like ink dropped into water — the colours pool back over Sylar's form, pushing away the colours of the background behind him. It doesn't take a lot of work, as he's dressed, once more, all in black, becoming a startling, solid shape, leaning casually against the wall. "To be fair on you," he says, out loud this time, "I didn't give you much of a choice. Of course, now I have to wonder, if you're holding out on me." As he says this, he meanders over towards the desk with the intention to sit down opposite the coroner.

Strangely enough, Sylar gets a slightly twitchy little handmotion in his direction. Or more specifically, into the direction of the chair that's standing there. Do take a seat. May your creepiness disappear with your height. "H-holding out on you? This may be Harlem, but we're not Evolved-R-Us. The stock is limited, Mister…" He tilts his head slightly, shooting Sylar an expectant look. Any real name?

The chair is drawn out and Sylar sits down, relaxed as he casts a look about the place, seeing it now in moderate daylight. The expectant look is met with a sharper one of his own, an eyebrow twitching up. "Sylar," he says, simply. "It's the most valuable name to attribute to me, Dr. Miller, I wouldn't take it for granted. But you said you could have given me two out of four — what if there were five?"

"You'd do well to remember that patience is a virtue." Zachery blurts out, looking a little unhappy about it afterwards. Whoops. He's soon to add to that though, "There were four. As said, you give me no choice." It may be hard to tell, at this point, whether he's lying or not. He's really quite versed at it, and despite his lack of visibly freaking out, Sylar is doing nothing to calm the coroner's nerves.

Sylar smirks across at Zachery from where he sits, very still, in the chair opposite. "Patience is one of my virtues," he argues, lightly, head canting to one side. "You don't know how long I've been in this office. I've been very impressed that you've been keeping your word, or— " A slightly wider smile. "Or simply doing the smart thing and kept our meeting to yourself. As for four versus five, I'm not complaining." He leans forward and places a hand in the center of Zachery's desk, over paperwork, allowing him to observe, much closer, the way his hand simply blends in with it's surroundings. "These are wonderful gifts, doctor."

Zachery does look at the hand. Though… much less like he's observing the way Sylar has managed to master this new ability, and much more like he's expecting the hand to fly up and strangle him at some point in the very near future. "… Yes." He finally mumbles, after realizing he wasn't saying anything. "Y-yes they are. It was a waste their owners had to die because of them. Although, I suppose," He pauses, brow creasing slightly, "not that much of a waste now that they've been put back to use."

Sylar's smile turns practically wolfish, and he withdraws his hand. The effect is a little eerie, as the colours that stain is skin and sleeve are delayed for a moment before shifting with the movement, but he soon restores it back to their natural tones. "Yes," he agrees, his tone shifting from its usual calm to something more earnest. "That's right." He sits slightly slouched, now, elbows on his knees and watching Zachery. "You see, there had been so many deaths of people like me," and Zachery can breathe a sigh of relief that that word wasn't 'us', "that I couldn't ignore the idea of all those abilities just being thrown into crematory fires or buried to rot in the ground. No one has the power to do what I can do."

There is a sigh of relief, even if it's held back. But then, there is a look Zachery hasn't given Sylar before. Genuine interest. curiosity, maybe. "Is that why you do it?" He reaches for his coffee, but slowly, like a man wary of making sudden movements near a wild animal. "Because… you don't want abilities to be lost forever?"

Sylar's gaze twitches distractedly towards Zachery's hand - but then back to his face at that question. He chuckles, a surprisingly pleasant sound, and shakes his head. "No, it's… it's taking back something that was wasted in the first place." A considering pause, and he adds, "That's not unlike how I feel about the alive ones but the point is that they were undeserving. At least now what they can do can be put to good use."

At last, something they can both agree upon. Zachery draws his coffee close to his mouth, "After all, what's an opportunity if it isn't grabbed? Why would someone get to keep their gift if they don't appreciate it?" He sips his coffee, still watching his visitor closely behind cracked glasses.

Sylar blinks across at Zachery, still with that smile. "Exactly," he says, and then finally leans back into his chair. "I get a lot of people making deals with me, doctor, it just happens in my line of work. Like the last chess game with Death. I knew you were different and I'm so glad we see eye to eye. I wanted to ask you about the murders, the ones turned to dust. I wanted to know if you knew anything beyond their remains. Where they were found, who is investigating."

"I'm… sure I can find out." Zachery answers, both hands wrapping around his cup. He still remains in the same position, alert, and keeping his guard up. "But why would you, of all people, want to know? Is it the competition?" Again, a wild guess. He still seems genuinely interested, but at the same time in a way conflicted. He knows it isn't right but… the damage has already been done, right? No harm in a chat.

"I want to know why," Sylar says, gaze now dropping. For a moment, he seems almost normal this way — slightly slouched in his chair, voice quiet, no intense gaze putting anyone off. Despite the subject being far from normal. "It doesn't make sense to me, to kill without imperative. Not that it isn't fun, but this doesn't seem like a game. I want to find out who they are." He lifts his gaze again. "Then I'll either help them or kill them myself."

"That certainly puts my mind at ease." Zachery breathes out, with more than a healthy dose of sarcasm. "Because helping one killer wouldn't be, ah, incriminating enough already, I might be helping you to help another." Heh. Grinning hopelessly, he takes off his glasses and rubs at one of his temples. "Can you promise me to kill me when I've finally been caught? I don't think I'd be any good in prison."

"If they're killing people because they have power, Dr. Miller, it's very unlikely they will want to team up with me," Sylar says, with a twist of a smirk, and as if to demonstrate, he reaches out a hand on the end of one long arm, places the tip of his finger against the rim of the coffee mug the coroner is holding, and lets it ice over in a matter of moments. "And besides, I don't play well with others. Most of the time."

The mug is set down all too hastily once the frost shows, and Zachery looks over his hands once just to make sure the effect didn't travel beyond his drink. He might still be on his toes but he does sound a bit annoyed now, looking back up to Sylar. "Right, just enabling one killer, then. That's only barely a crime, is it?" Then, frowning down at his now iced coffee, he mumbles, "I need my buzz."

Sylar's eyes widen for a moment, and he says, "Well you didn't offer me any coffee." Rather suddenly, the frozen mug of coffee flips off Zachery's desk, colliding with the wall, shattering into chips of porcelain and smatterings of dark ice. "Don't start complaining now, doctor, we were just starting to get along. You knew who I was the moment I said my name," he says, voice still soft, but showing teeth between words. "And I wasn't the one who proposed a deal."

And that's enough to send Zachery back to worrying and being very much a hundred percent alert, a twitch of a grin remaining on his face. "O-of course. I'm just, I'm, I'm bitter about other things. Things are starting to pile up and— I'm stressed. It's stress. Did you— did you want anything?" This is all said in one and the same breath, and his eyes stay locked on Sylar's face. Something about his look indicates that, really, the perfect answer to this would be a negative one.

"Just count your lucky stars, Dr. Miller," Sylar says, that smile vanished, "that I took you up on what you had to offer. You'd do well to keep a positive attitude." He leans back in his chair, keeping his gaze locked on Zachery. His tone reverts to something less severe, but the smile is gone, the earnestness gone. "When can you get me information about the murders?"

"Within a few days." Zachery puts his glasses back on, after a short pinch of the bridge of his nose. Agh. He'd have a more positive attitude if he didn't have a career to worry about. And a life, for that matter. "I'll take the day off, call some people. It might take a while, but I can contact you when I've got it."

The smile is back, very bright, and Sylar takes something out from his pocket — the pager he'd been 'given'. "Well you know where to find me," he says, and then abruptly gets to his feet, pocketing the device once more. "It was good talking to you again. I enjoy our meetings." He pauses, something occurring to him. "Is there anything I can do for you, doctor?"

Zachery hesitates, one eyebrow raising just slightly in confusion. Did he hear that right? "I… I'm sure you've got plenty on your mind already." He finally answers, flatly.

"As you wish," Sylar says, then tilts his head towards the icy coffee stain on the wall, now more on the carpet. "You might wanna get someone to clean that up. Could be suspicious." And with that, he vanishes — relatively speaking, his outline just visible, the air distorting as he moves. Out of nowhere, Zachery receives a friendly clap on the shoulder before the sound of footsteps is heard, the door swinging open.

Zachery gives a wince at the hand on his shoulder, but stays perfectly still until he's sure he's alone in the office. Or hopes he is, anyway. Only then does he get up, picks up the shards to drop them in a trash bin, and walks out of the office to declare he's taking the day off. Sylar may eventually change his mind and kill him, but the still rapidly beating heart in his own ribcage might beat him to the punch at this point.

October 21st: Failure to Share
October 22nd: Where the Wild Things Are
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