What Year Is It?


past-arthur_icon.gif past-caspar_icon.gif

Scene Title What Year is It?
Synopsis Arthur confides in a trusted colleague.
Date December 22, 1984

Well, like a bad penny you have turned up again,

Rory Gallagher's voice croons from the speakers of a record player. The album spins on the turntable, and the gentleman who just engaged the song steps away happily from the entertainment center. White Russian in a lowball glass held in one hand, the other moving into his tweed jacket's pocket, he moves with a casual grace over to the lounge furniture in the posh study. A fire is crackling in the hearth, photos of dark-haired children up on the mantle. Seated in one of the high backed armchairs, a man who looks very much as his children do — dark eyed and vaguely sad — holds a fifth of Whiskey in on ehand, ice cubes melting in the fireside heat.

You're in my sights, there's a mist on my lens.

Snow is falling outside, dappling Manhattan in a coat of white, and Arthur Petrelli can't look away from the fire. "If you were in my shoes…" he asks with an indirect voice, as if letting anyone or anything that might be listening the opportunity to chime in. Maybe the ghosts of his past choices would like to shriek their opinion. "What would you do?" Coming to stand between the two armchairs facing the fire, Caspar Abraham levels a toubled look down into the flames, sipping his drink. He doesn't have a good answer for Arthur. Judging from the silence, neither do the ghosts.

I think you know how it was when I tripped and fell,

"Knowledge is power," is the platitude that Caspar affords, "but the wisdom to know what to do with that knowledge is…" he looks over at Arthur, "that wisdom is a lot harder to come by. The fact that you're here, with me, discussing our options is good. It shows you appreciate the gravity of the situation." Coming to sit beside Arthur in the opposite chair, Caspar takes another sip of his drink, then sets it down on the small table at his side

Well, you double-dealed me, baby and I broke like a shell.

Arthur continues to stare into the fire, head bowed and one hand at his brow. "Caspar, how do you put the genie back in the bottle?" He wonders aloud. "Charles is going to work himself into an early grave trying to make people forget what they saw. But we have to remember." Arthur's brows furrow, lips creasing his face into a countenance that looks decades older than he is. "How do you go on, knowing that something like this exists out there? What do you do when you have a piece of knowledge so unfathomable that it changes the way you see everything?" The troubled look Arthur has only grows. "If anyone picked this up where it ended… if Adam ever gets free and remembers— Christ, Caspar, it'd be the end of the fucking world. What does somebody even do about that?"

Like a bad penny you've sure lost the glow

"Failsafes were made for a reason," Caspar says thoughtfully, "and you didn't invite me here for drinks." He pulls something out of his pocket, held fast in his hand against his palm, watching Arthur with a thoughtful expression. "This isn't the first time we've had this conversation, Arthur. It probably won't be the last." Caspar's admission has Arthur's eyes on him, a haunted look settling in. Caspar looks down to the table between them, setting a penny down on it and sliding it with two fingers over to Arthur. Caspar frowns, lightly, and moves his hand away from the penny.

But I'm out of reach, your smile's sure gone cold.

Arthur stares at the penny like it were a loaded gun. "How many times?" Arthur asks looking up from the penny, locked on Caspar's far calmer eyes. Caspar just smiles at the answer, and Arthur understands what it means. Enough times.

Well, it can't ever be like it was then,

"If you give me authorization," Caspar begins, picking up his drink and taking another sip, "I can start a full compartmentalization order. Bankrupt protocol. Myself, the rest of the Magi." The mention of bankrupt brings Arthur's attention back down to the collection of pennies, a slow and steady breath drawn in through his nose. "If this knowledge is that dangerous, in any hands? Isn't that the right choice?"

Well, don't you fool with me, baby,

"It's… a lot to lose. The last two years." Arthur considers, and Caspar closes his eyes and affords Arthur a steady nod. Slowly, Arthur stands up and walks over to the mantle. He sets his drink down beside a photograph of Nathan, picking it up and brushing his fingers over the frame. He smiles, sadly, then looks over to Caspar with the photograph in hand. "It's a lot for Charles to have to fabricate. It's…"

Don't you mess with my plans.

"Is forgetting worth forgetting?" Caspar asks, one brow raised, and Arthur looks down at the photograph, then sets it back on the mantle beside Peter's. "I can't make that decision alone. I can't make that decision for you. I certainly can't make that decision for the other Founders." The implication in Caspar's tone is clear, though. You can.

Some stormy nights, your memory haunts me,

With reluctance, Arthur reaches inside of his jacket, producing a ball-point pen and a business card. He scrawls a phrase down on the back of the card, along with a string of alpha-numerics: BANKRUPT DELTA-THREE-KAPPA-NINER. An authorization code, known only to the Founder, protected behind Arthur's psychic defenses and safe from prying eyes. He hands the card off to Caspar as proof of consent and his unilateral decision made for the remainder of the Founders.

You won't go away.

Breathing in deeply, Arthur stares at the Penny and his lips slowly downturn into a frown. As he moves over to it, there's a hesitance and nervousness prickling at the back of his mind. Arthur pauses, staring down at the penny, then looks up to Caspar. "We have to contain this, but…" he admits with a slow shake of his head, then looks down to the penny again. "I don't know. I— No, someone has to remember, to be able to watch for the warning signs in case this doesn't go properly. We…" Arthur takes a step back and shakes his head, then turns around to see Caspar standing mere inches away. "Casp— "

Well, like a bad penny you have turned up in the change,

Arthur doesn't get to finish the sentence as Caspar presses a penny against his forehead. Arthur's brows furrow, eyes roll back in his head, and jaw goes slack as his hands begin to tremble. "Your victory is only a temporary one," Caspar whispers as his ability rapidly filters through Arthur's mind. "You can't prepare…" Caspar exhales a slow sigh, eyes rapidly flicking from side to side as if he's reading text. "…for what you can't remember." After several moments of physical contact, Caspar steps back and plucks the penny from Arthur's brow, watching as the founder stumbles back holding his head.

Try to fit into the picture, you can't get inside the frame.

Exhaling exasperatedly, Arthur looks up and sees Caspar standing with a penny pinched between two fingers. He curls it into his palm, then makes an apologetic face. "Caspar?" Arthur asks with a hand at the side of his head. Caspar looks down to the penny, then tucks it into his right breast pocket behind a red carnation and smiles sadly, patting his pocket with a gentle tap.

I think you know I'm still sore, but I'm on the mend,

"You gave me this," Caspar says as he approaches, holding out the business card for Primatech Paper with the Bankrupt order authorization code on the back in Arthur's handwriting. There's a wide-eyed look of great weight on Arthur's face, a hand smoothing down over his mouth. He looks around, bewildered at his surroundings, then at the lines on his hand. "A memetic Special, you said. More powerful the more you remember it." Caspar's brows raise, then lower slowly as he comes to rest a reassuring hand on Arthur's shoulder.

Times sure have changed, it won't happen again.

"I have to go," Caspar instructs with a squeeze of that hand at Arthur's shoulder. "Charles should be next. Per protocol I'll inform him that he is to develop a script to follow for the lost years. Some misdirection, obfuscations. Trust me, Arthur, I've got this." Then, with a gentle pat to Arthur's shoulder Caspar says, "You might want to rest, though. I had to take a lot this time."

Well, like a bad penny spins around and around,

"Wait, what— " He looks up to Caspar, brows knit together into an expression of confusion and fear. Then, as he looks around his home he sees the photos of Nathan and Peter on the mantle, brows furrowed and jaw working open and closed as if he's trying to form words, but can't quite find the right ones.

Well, you won't know what's gone wrong…

"What year is it?"

When it all falls down.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License