What You Become


arthur_icon.gif f_edward_icon.gif

Scene Title What You Become
Synopsis Angela Petrelli locked Edward Ray in Level 5 because she claimed to know "what he becomes." If only she knew that she would be the engineer of his descent.
Date September 20, 2009

Dorchester Towers, Edward Ray's Apartment

There's something comforting about handwritten notes in a digital age, something endearing about the technological anachronisms of having a leather-bound journal resting on the virtual touch surface of a desk. But it's this juxtaposition of old and new that has always found a home in Doctor Edward Ray.

The glow of the desk lamp reflects in the circular lenses of his glasses, one hand working quietly to scratch away notes on the blank pages near the end of the journal, but something in the writing makes him pause. Eyes close, and a deep breath taken in precedes an even deeper and slower sigh, causing Edward to deflate as he leans back into his chair with a creak of wood.

Idly tapping the tip of his pen on the desk, Edward stares down at the journal and reaches out to turn the pages, flipping through the earlier entries. So many unique entries of his planning stages for the defeat of the Vanguard, a battle that feels so distant now, in the decade that has passed since it happened. However it's not the notes detailing the sacrifices that needed to be made, not the worried scribbling on which member to send where, not the troubled idea that no matter who he sent to Consolidated Edison they would die to prevent the release of the virus, it's none of these things that in the end gives Edward pause.

Instead, it is a note hastily scrawled in the margin of the journal in red pen, "If anything goes wrong, find Hiro Nakamura." Folded between these pages, a single photograph of a group of people seated at a poker table is taken out by a shaky hand, a photograph depicting Edward smoking a cigar, with Peter Petrelli sitting at his side, and Eileen Ruskin standing behind Peter, with an AK-47 slung over her shoulder.

It's like seeing a photograph of a family reunion you were too young to remember, seeing himself at the same age he is now but in such drastically divergent histories. Edward's eyes drift towards Peter's depiction in the photograph, noticing the subtle differences in his build and appearance, but in the consistency that he has shed the scar that once divided his face. Then, his eyes move to Eileen's hands where they rest on Peter's shoulders, wondering just how different this future had to be, for those two different souls to wind up together.

The journal is closed, trapped the photograph back between the pages of what once was. Exhaling another sigh, Edward rises up from his desk, legs pushing out his chair as he moves to make way out of the small, dimly lit office into the more spacious confines of his apartment. Floor to ceiling glass walls overlook the panoramic view of crumbling skyscrapers strangled by vines and leaves, of trees growing out of the walls of old tenement buildings, of the serenity of a starlit night's sky shining overhead.

"You look tired, Edward." The voice is unexpected, a deep and resonant tone that causes the statistician to jerk around and back from the doorway. There are some things Edward can see, some things Edward can predict, but for a long time Arthur Petrelli has not been one of them. Tensing up, Edward looks to the door to his apartment, still chained closed and then focuses back on Arthur. "I'm sorry, should I have knocked?"

"Arthur." Edward spits out in a spluttering amount of surprise, the hairs on the back of his neck rising as he watches the darkly dressed man move away from where he stood against the wall, so casually pacing steps with his hands in his pockets. "I—" Large blue eyes scan around the apartment, "What are you doing here?"

Arthur affords Edward a smile, moving into the kitchen and towards the sideboard where Edward keeps his alcohol. A glass is withdraw, then another, followed by one of the bottles of scotch. "I thought I'd come by, see how you were doing…" a soft plunk is heard as the stopper is twisted from the bottle by strong, old hands. "You seemed so upset earlier today, I just wanted to be certain that everything was alright."

Swallowing awkwardly, Edward circles around the island dividing the living room from the kitchen, the much shorter man's posture the same as a cornered animal, eyes wide and unmoving from Arthur's darkly dressed silhouette. "Well I think I should be allowed a little discomfort, Arthur, given that you didn't tell me the team I was working with would be executing the people we apprehended."

"Oh, did that detail slip my mind?" Arthur smiles behind the words, back still turned to Edward as he pours a few swallows of scotch into each glass. "I'm surprised you didn't see that coming, Edward." As he turns, there's a scrutinizing look on Arthur's face, "Or did you?"

Tensing as the glass if offered towards him, Edward sets his jaw squarely and looks down at the scotch, then back up to Arthur. "I had an inclination, but you know nothing I see is in absolutes. I thought we were sending these people to the authorities, Arthur. I was never told this would be private executions – I wouldn't have – "

"You never thought what?" Arthur scowls, setting Edward's glass down on the countertop while taking s swig of his own. "Don't stand here and try to climb up on your moral high horse to me, Edward. You of all people should understand the necessity of sacrifices being made for the greater good, and that sometimes the people being sacrificed don't need to know up front about how finite their lives are."

"You murdered members of my own team!" Two hands rise up into the air as Edward takes a defiant step forward, "Grant and Lee were going to be instrumental when we go after Bishop, you—you should have told me what was going on, Arthur."

There's a slow rise of Arthur's dark brows, rolling his glass of scotch around in one hand before taking another slow and lazy sip. "Mnhmm," he murmurs, in the same way someone might try and tune out their wife during an argument. "You were aware that both Grant and Lee were feeding information to Angela Petrelli, weren't you?" One dark brow rises as Arthur begins moving around the island towards where Edward stands.

Furrowing his brows, Edward seems a bit surprised that Arthur was aware. "I—had suspicions, but I was willing to give them a chance, Arthur." Not to be intimidated, or perhaps to try and show that he's confident that he's still useful, Edward approaches the island and Arthur, then reaches out towards the glass of scotch. "I could've convinced them to defect, permanently. I—there was a high enough chance—"

"And what if your high enough chance was wrong Edward?" The tone of disappointment in Arthur's voice is palpable, "What if they continued to leak information to our single greatest enemy? What then?" Licking his lips, Arthur takes a few more steps forward, now barely a hand's width away from the shorter man, staring down at him like a reproachful parent ready to admonish a misbehaving child.

"I was willing to take that risk, they were good people." Edward's large, blue eyes stare up towards Arthur's unblinkingly, the two men at such an impasse. Arthur slowly takes a sip of his scotch, brows raised and head nodding in a manner that seems all too patronizing.

"I'm sure you thought they were, but—I'm not as big of a risk taker as you are, Edward." Finishing the scotch, Arthur continues to peer down at the shorter man, "which brings me to the reason I'm here."

For all Edward's worth, he wishes he could have prevented Arthur from taking the Haitian's ability, because ever since that day, Arthur Petrelli has been that unbreakable blind spot in his probabilities, the unpredictable variable that refuses to be constrained to one value. It's the sudden application of unseen force conjured at Arthur's will that sends Edward's mind back to the present, takes him off of his feet and sends him crashing into the wall adjacent to him.

All of the wind is knocked from Edward's lungs, and Arthur merely raises two fingers, slowly approaching Edward as he keeps him pinned. "You know, Edward, I had very high hopes for you. But you see, I'm beginning to feel like our mutual relationship isn't becoming so mutual anymore. Did you know… what other power I obtained, aside from the Haitian's?"

A crooked smile begins to spread over Arthur's lips, slowly, "I met a man who could write songs that predicted the future, and after taking something away that he had no practical use for, I wrote a rather fetching melody about you." The intense pressure on Edward's chest grows, and Arthur's dark brows lower into a furrowed glare. "One of the lines went something like, with all odds there comes a change, with all chances there comes a toss, to topple the king from his tower, to break the helix apart."

"Pretty, isn't it?" His fingers move to the side in a flick, and Edward is hurled across the room, smashed into a glass table that shatters on impact and sends him rolling over the wooden floor. Still holding the empty glass of scotch, Arthur begins pacing across the floor with heavy, thumping footfalls, the glass underfoot crunching and cracking as he walks.

"Arthur—" Edward gasps out, turning to look back at him over his shoulder as he tries to get to his feet, small cuts and scratches all over his face and neck bleeding down his skin. "Arthur—You can't do this, I—I'm still useful!" Edward's words come out as choked gasps, "You—You know you can't control my ability—it—it would drive you mad!"

Arthur hesitates, if only for a moment, dark brows rising slowly. "Oh, I know, Edward." There's a slow nod of his head, and Arthur brings his two fingers up, lifting Edward off of his feet with a telekinetic hoist around his shoulders. "I don't have any intention of taking your little power from you… no, and you're right—" He draws Edward closer with a curl of his fingers, "you do still have a use to me."

A slow, amused smile creeps up over Arthur's lips, "But you'll live out that usefulness somewhere that I know you won't ever be able to hurt me from." Edward's eyes wide, one lens of his glasses shattered, some pieces of it stuck into his cheek. "Let me know how the food is at the Moab penitentiary," he adds with a grin, "oh, and say hello to Nathan for me while you're there."

"Arthur! No—" The protest is cut off by a sudden wave of unconsciousness as Arthur reaches out to plant a hand on Edward's forehead, jumbling his memories and scrambling his mind like a cook would scramble an egg. The Haitian's power was so misused in other hands, but here, now, with Arthur, he's found the perfect use for them.

Edward was right, he could still be useful under persuasion or coercion.

But for right now, he needs to prevent that future from coming to pass.

At any cost.

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