Where The Trains Run On Time


bf_colette_icon.gif vf_elaine_icon.gif vf_elisabeth_icon.gif vf_elspeth_icon.gif bf_goodman_icon.gif vf_isabelle_icon.gif vf_kain_icon.gif bf_kathleen_icon.gif vf_kaylee_icon.gif vf_ling_icon.gif vf_magnes_icon.gif vf_mala_icon.gif vf_ruiz_icon.gif vf_shaw_icon.gif bf_tamara_icon.gif vf_ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Where the Trains Run on Time
Synopsis Wayward wanderers find themselves in a world they did not expect, but a world that expected them in return.
Date January 16, 2012

Now departing, Amtrak 9:15 to Chicago, Illinois.

To my father what of your sons?

Standing on a railway platform, Dean Carver looks down at the ticket stub held in one hand. The Amtrak logo printed along the side indicates what was just called above. The 9:15 am departure to Chicago, Illinois. He grips the ticket in hand so hard that the paper crinkles, and as he looks up past the escalator that leads down to the departing lines, his attention moves to the cathedralesque ceiling of vaulted steel and glass overhead and to the bright sky and fluffy white clouds viewed beyond it.

All of your children

Staring up at the sky, Dean’s attention drifts to the adjacent skyscraper. The digital billboard there shifts from an advertisement for Morley brand cigarettes, to the depicting of a well-dressed man in a blue suit with a crisp gold tie. He holds a glass of whiskey in one hand, smiling roguishly toward the camera. The text scrolling at the bottom of the billboard reads: Johnny Walker: Blue Label and is endorsed by the smiling, smoldering looks of Kain Zarek. Dean looks down to the ticket in his hand again, swallowing tensely.

Even the ones

Turning toward the stairs, Dean clutches his small suitcase in one hand, hurrying down the already descending escalator. He pushes past a few people, checking the large digital clock as it comes into view: 9:15 am. Hard-soled shoes click across concrete in the subterranean expanse, where the hiss of hydraulic brakes and the noise of thousands of people going about their day floods in and out. As he reaches the train, Dean pauses at the open doors and looks down at the ticket again.

Sent out to martyr

The doors slide shut, the train departs, but Dean Carver is still there. Breathing in deeply, he looks one last time at the ticket and discards it to the ground. There’s a deep breath, tired and strained, and Dean reaches up to touch the butterfly bandage at his brow, then runs a hand through his shaggy, blonde hair. “Ah’ ain’t some sales agent, whilin’ his days in Chicago…” Dean says to himself, looking up to a sign that hangs on one of the support columns: Penn Station Remodel — Sponsored by the Pinehearst Corporation. “Ah’m Kain Zarek.”

To face the gun

A floor above, there are thirty some-odd survivors of a viral apocalypse standing in the same situations. The light of a new day is dawning on them, surrounded in a world that is both similar to and wholly alien to the one they’d just left. Bright sunlight, a pristine world seemingly devoid of the strife they’d left, it was like walking through a door and winding up in paradise. Though as idyllic as it is on the surface, Elisabeth Harrison knows better how deep the cracks of corruption run through the otherwise perfect surface of this world.

Precious bodies opposed to bombs

"They got your good side." The words are strained, quiet - a poor attempt at a joke from Song Xiaoran. A change of clothes hides the bandages and gauze over her several wounds, long sleeves hiding split skin up and down arms. Only a thin cut across her left cheek remains visible. She looks dour, unamused despite her commentary on the billboard. Moving from where she had been followingly silently behind "Dean", she steps up beside him.

Led on led on

A few hours ago, she had been Ling Chao, disgraced business woman, criminal, right hand with a knife, and murderess in a dead world. Now, it was like she was staring a bright, blank slate head on, with the only reminders of the life she was leaving behind being the man beside her, and Peyton Whitney's necklace worn like it was always hers. A chance to be who she always wanted to be - a powerful, elegant, ruthless woman of business and finance. Even if it means starting again from the bottom.

To take the path

Questions of "was it worth it" or "is this what she wants" mean nothing in the face of that chance. For now, she looks around, feeling a bit lost. Everything she had known for the last few years is gone, replaced with something so familiar yet so alien. But for the first time in years it feels like her fate is back in her own hands - and that's a feeling she won't let go any time soon. She just needs to figure out how to take her first steps, where to start… how not to hesitate, all over again.

Where our bright future

Elspeth Graves is quiet. She has been ever since they arrived in the station. The cut across her face - a memento of home, the face of John Logan burned into her memory as a result - has been bandaged and the bleeding stopped, but she knows she's going to have a scar from the ordeal. She knows it won't be the only scar she holds, a hand held close to her heart as the other keeps a hold on the bag and information she's been given. It's just the scar that'll be visible on the surface.

Is in our past

"Dawn Carrington", according to the new identity she'd been given. She's only partially read over what she was given. At first she'd been pretty sure that someone was playing a trick on her, with that name. But no, it was for real. It all was. They had made it, with the ticket clutched tightly in her hand as evidence to that fact. But that fact doesn't bring her as much as peace as she wanted. As much as she hoped. As much as she needed.

To our father what of reason?

Vor's knife - now wiped clean - sits in her bag, wrapped in a cloth to keep it out of view. Her other keepsake of the life she had left behind. None of them are the thing she wants though, a glance offered back towards other survivors, once infected - now saved. Water wells up in the corner of her eyes as she turns back to the window, barely able to keep from breaking down into sobs in public. From here on out, she would be living her life for both herself, and for Aislinn.

Say what you will

Eila Parker knew that when they got here there’d be different identities. There was another here somewhere with her name, not that she’d likely ever get to meet her, but she had to be someone new now. She hadn’t stopped trembling since they arrived, not really, but it was finally starting to lessen. Somehow things would be okay, wouldn’t they?

Believe what you want

They had to be okay. Things had gotten so complicated so quickly and while things were supposed to be better, there was just so much to process. She couldn’t just let it go. There was such a drastic change from being confined to the hub—a place she knew from top to bottom practically by the time they left, to this.

The record shows what we are not

But Elaine had no time to process. She needed to move forward, quickly, because she needed to settle into a new life. She had to. Because her life wasn’t just her own anymore. She would soon have a child that she needed things to be okay for. A child that was her very own beacon of hope.

Our true desires

On paper, Morris Morrison is a city courier, living life with a fast paced, dynamically pointed, wandering style. But for the moment, Shahid Khan stands still and takes in the unfamiliar world, the hustle and bustle unlike anything he’s experienced in recent memory. He didn’t imagine Paradise would be like this. He could never have imagined so much energy.

Not our good thoughts

The warm grip in his hand turns his attention to the woman beside him, his familiar point in all the seeming organized chaos. His smile, that he doesn’t realize he is wearing, tempers with a thought that there should be one more with them. Brenda never made it through the portal. So many others didn’t get the chance to see this. Still he dares to hope that the ones already gone have reached their Heaven. For a few, he also hopes, they’re left weeping in their Hell.

Led on led on

And despite having lost so much of what he had worked for, all those material gains he’d risked life and limb to gather, Shaw has found a good chunk of what he’s looked for. He muses on where he is. Someplace warm. Someplace safe. Being beside the ones he… yes. Loved. After all that was lost and gone, after all they had done to survive, all the horrible things they had to do, and for some who had lost it all, there’s a singular fact in Shaw’s mind: he would do it again if he had to. Hit that switch. If he had the choice. But for now? That he even has a choice, instead of resigning himself to a dire fate, is something he’s more than happy to live with.

To take the path

An exhale. Isa felt as if she had held that breath since they stormed the Vanguard’s stronghold, becoming aware that she had contracted the Virus, maybe even before that. She hasn't said much but the beauty of this world is not lost on her, there's a fresh welling of tears in her eyes as she tries to hold back a sob and tightens her grip on Shaw’s hand. Brenda should be here. She deserved to be here. The sun was so bright, her fallen best friend would never feel the rays on her face.

Where our bright future

Her skin is awfully warm but her body still trembles and shakes, the trauma just hitting her and it's hitting hard. A broken sob escapes Izzy because they had sacrificed so much. Just to get here, it didn't seem like this was the place Magnes and Liz were talking about but it seemed better.

Is in our past

Clenching her hand into a fist, hazel eyes snap open to look up the window still in awe. The nagging of wanting a drink is at the back of her head, she had made a promise to Brenda.. to make the most tasty moonshine ever once they got to a place that could facilitate that. It was her mission. The other was.. to live?

To my father what have you done?

Ness Parker has a lot to think about, with his arms around Eila Parker as she holds Kal El's cat carrier, trying to keep her comforted after such a traumatic experience, a traumatic experience that he himself is still trying to deal with. He's dealt with loss before, personal losses even, but not so many, not so close together, and not so completely and utterly personal, not since Claire lost her memory of him, and even that… Claire was still alive, he appreciates that more now.

To the children

Ness Parker will be a good alias for Magnes J. Varlane, but this isn't his world, this isn't a place he'll stay forever. He'll find a way out, even if it means having to build a life here for the time being. He places a gentle hand onto Elaine's stomach, his body pressed against her from behind as he watches Isabelle. Then he reaches out for Elisabeth, not wanting her to feel alone either. They'll get home…

Born innocent

He considers the future though, what he'll have to do in this world, who he'll have to meet, what he'll have to learn, the kind of person he'll have to become. Would it even be a good idea to make attachments here, if it might mean losing those people again? Should he truly invest himself into this world? Can he become the kind of person who can truly carry so much on his shoulders? It's not until he looks down at Elaine's stomach, again, that he considers, he has no choice, he has to become strong. He has to become stronger than he is right now, stronger than he was yesterday…

But come to harm

Looking out the window, the man now known as Javier Ayala De Santos toys with the ring that hangs around his neck. A piece of paper, a page ripped from a book with charcoal applied over it sits on his lap. A house with two people holding hands before it, people, who, if one knew the artist style, look like him— and her. Finding a single, specific house in all the world might be an impossible mission. But one he would willingly take up.

For dreams of glory

His chest throbbed. Like a fist tightened inside him, crushing him, pushing against something. Sweat beads on his forehead, slicking his hair. A hospital might be the first stop, the same hospital that he apparently had a job at, according to the packet that sat against his leg. As an orderly. Perhaps it had been the one who made the packet’s way of saying he needed to go a hospital. His eyes passed across a few of those still nearby, most who had entirely new names.

And just a line in history

We die. Love does not. The scribbled hand had written on the charcoal drawing, preserved and kept safe in the bag that had made its way all the way to the rooftop. A bag that held something of far more value than the negation injections. He closed his eyes, listening to that sound in his head, a sound that seemed subtly different by the minute. A subway car instead of a storm, the sound of the electric rails. The sound of his blood pumping through a tightened chest. Part of him wanted to tell Lynette that he made it, that they were here. But he wondered if she would no longer be able to hear him. Was whatever came after spread across all worlds, or had he left her behind in theirs?

Led on led on

“Wow, whoever thought you could clean up so nice like, K.” Another body steps up alongside Kain’s otherside, face tilted upward to consider the figure on the billboard. Arms crossed, Leanne Edwards glances at their Kain out of the corner of her eye with a rather mischievous smile. She had seen him leave and had left Ruiz’s side to try and catch up. So she doesn’t hide that she’s pleased he didn’t get on the train. “You ain’t Dean anymore then I am Leanne,” she agrees. “Course, I ain’t anything like the Kaylee Thatcher here, either. I mean.. a cop? Really?” She didn’t see things like Ruiz did, she couldn’t see that in herself, not after everything she had been through…. Or done.

To take the path

Something had bothered Kaylee since she stepped into this world. It was almost a total opposite of what their own world was. She felt herself chafing a bit at it already and a little angry. Maybe a little jealous that none of these people ever had to experience what they had. All the loss and pain. Losing her father after finally getting past that damn wall between them, only to have him disappear in the rush for their lives. She’ll never know what would have happened now.

Where our bright future

“It bother either of you that they are trying to scatter us?” Kaylee gets it, to a point. The less they travel together, the less they risk getting found out. However, they had spent so much time as a community and as a sort of fucked up family, it just didn’t sit well with her. “Kinda makes me wonder what Daddy would do. Do we let them pull us all apart or do we say fuck’m and stick together?” She turns an arched brow to the other two.

Is in our past

Breathing hurts. It also takes a conscious effort: in. And out. In again. And out again. Every motion pushing at the patched-up hole in her back and the deeper damage left in the wake of the blade. But there’s more of her in motion, too. Going where directed when given instructions; tagging along beside or behind Elisabeth when left to her own devices.

To our father what good may come?

A little earlier, she had found her own way for a time - moving to check on each of the children to have made it through. Spending longest with her erstwhile backpack, Mala. Mutely checking the adults, and offering a one-armed hug to Elspeth in sympathy for the friend and sister they wish could have made it. But now… now the bright and shiny difference of the world has overwhelmed her. Left her wide-eyed and small and dazed. Following in the wake of someone she trusts, while hoping it’s the right path, seems about all she can do.

To let the children

The packet containing her new identity - her new life - is clutched tightly, held firm against her body to both keep it safe and provide constant reassurance of its presence and tangible reality. She looked inside, but can barely even remember what it contained. Instead, her gaze is quite literally on higher things. Her head keeps tilting back, to let her stare up at the gleaming glass and metal arcing up towards the sky. The places she could walk. The vantage-points she could reach. The bright sky stretching into forever.

Walk alone

She's bone weary, dealing with the aftermath of everything they've faced in the past hours, just like everyone else. Elisabeth stands on the platform feeling lost. The world is … at least on its face, beautiful. But it's not home. And they don't know if they'll ever get home. And there's the rub — how do you not give up hope on getting home and still allow yourself to build a life? It's really too much to comprehend in one day. So… how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Practicalities first.

To fear to fail

Looking over the assembled people, her eyes skim the survivors. For many, this is where they will probably part ways for good. Liz is not even sure she feels anything about that. She's not entirely sure she can feel anything right now. She pulls in a breath, closing her eyes as she turns her face toward the glass ceiling, allowing the light and warmth of the place to bathe her face. It feels so good after just 2 months… she can't imagine how the survivors of the Virus hellhole are feeling about it.

And need no savior

Is there a place for them in this world? They're going to have to build one. The thought brings another rush of tears to the fore that Elisabeth refuses to allow to fall. She won't give up on going home. But… maybe she can rest. Just for a little while? Just… for now.

To be at peace in our true nature

But the trains come and go here, in a place beyond the end of the world. Neon signs burn bright within the unrecognizably renovated Penn Station, advertising the miracle drug Negoxan, showing pictures of happy families standing in pastoral fields arm-in-arm, looking at a rising sun. The slogan, Negoxan: So you can live your life, your way.

Lead on lead on

Outside the station, a digital billboard displays a sprawling advertisement showing a lush college campus with red brick buildings and smiling students. Some of them are flying, others holding shimmering and luminous shapes in their hands. All of them are Evolved. A logo scrolls across the bottom: Brooklyn College, an Evo-Co for your bright future.

Clear the path

The Pinehearst Tower looms large on the Manhattan skyline, the tallest building still standing on the island of Manhattan. It is a gleaming sword of green glass, reflecting the brilliant light of the sun in shades of emerald green, as though this were the Wizard of Oz, and now at the end of the yellow brick road, they’d found the emerald city.

So our bright future

Police cars whip past, red and blue lights on, headed north. A military convoy follows after. No one bats an eyelash, children cross the street, traffic resumes as normal. A young man on the sidewalk checks his cell phone and then bursts into the air in flight, disappearing after pushing away a ring of vapor contrails from around his body.

May come to pass

Further away, a helicopter passes over Penn Station, moving low over the city. Its wedge-shaped black silhouette soars northward, moving over the monuments of Unity Park, its shadow rippling over rolling hills. Gradually it continues its descent, finally coming down among the ruined buildings, circling over the rooftop of the Deveaux Building. A moment later, a rippling haze of purple light explodes across the rooftop, and a tall man with high cheekbones in a sleek black suit manifests from nothing.

May come to pass

“Negative,” Roger Goodman states into his earpiece over the chop of the waiting helicopter’s rotors. “I’m not picking up any signs of activity. There’s a chance the machine isn’t properly calibrated, but we’re going to have to be sure. We can’t risk another incursion.” Roger walks over to the stone sculpture of the cherubs flanking an empty ring. His dark eyes sweep from one angel to the next, then to the silhouette of Pinehearst tower visible through the ring in perfect alignment. He taps his ear piece, eyes narrowing. “This is Goodman,” Roger calls into the ear-pierce. “I just spoke with Mr. Petrelli, we’re good for full deployment.”

May come to pass

“Get me Baumann. I want to know exactly what happened here.”

Some Time Earlier

West 59th Street

Unity Park Outskirts

New York City

Kathleen Brooks looks incredibly small, situated in the driver’s seat of an old school bus. Hands at ten and two, she looks up into the wide mirror at the filled seats, and the hectic display at hand. Thirty some-odd people are collected into the bus, hastily retrieved from the rooftop of the Deveaux Building as though they had been expected.

In truth, they had.

Tamara Brooks, Kathleen’s sister and seer, stands in the aisle between the front seats, swaying in perfect synchronization with the movement of the bus without need for her hands to balance herself. It was less than ten minutes ago that this group of terrified strangers were pulled from a dying world. The most wounded were treated on the rooftop with basic triage, enough so that they could be expeditiously moved down to the street where this repurposed old bus was waiting.

The first thing that was handed out, the moment they were settled on the bus, was a round of injections administered one at a time to select survivors at Tamara’s direction. These injections, something as simple as a single needle, are the cure for the Shanti-Rage virus, engineered by the Pinehurst Corporation as a safeguard against the Vanguard attempting to use the virus ever again. Each and every infected survivor, saved by a single syringe. In turn, it made each and every sacrifice of those exiled to die in the ruins pointless. The weight of that syringe is more than its physical mass affords, it is the weight of billions of lives.

“Ok, nobody lose their bag.” Colette Demsky-Brooks, as she introduced herself, is a familiar face to Magnes and Elisabeth, but a cipher to the remainder of the survivors as much as Tamara and Kathleen are. Colette’s rust brown denim jacket hides blood stains well, like the ones from tending to the injured. But right now her purpose is twofold. With the worst of the injuries tended to and mild painkillers administered to those who need them, she’s been handing out zippered pouches to each survivor.

One such group is an entire family unit that made it out. A mother and father in their forties, and their teenage boy. Colette smiles, reaching in to her backpack and removing one such bundle. Unzipping the pouch and taking out a handful of identification cards, Colette looks at the father and mother pointedly. “From now on you’ll be the Cranes from Boise, Idaho.” Colette hands over the identification cards first, then the pouch. “We've enclosed back stories, references, and money, okay?”

They have them for everyone.

That syringe is eyed as Tamara holds it out to her. Fucking serious? Isa blinks and allows the injection of the cure into her veins. There's another sigh of relief and the pyrokinetic closes her eyes and leans her head against the window, “You guys are doing well here.” She comments softly to the sibyl as she passes by them. A girl that can see the future?

She wants to shudder but she already has been from the sickness that has been slowly ebbing away after taking the medicine. Precognitives and telepaths made her nervous, a nosy bunch whether they meant to be or not. Izzy can't help but think if this woman was with them in Virus how much different things might have been..

Edward was scientific calculations but.. this Tamara.. she just seemed to know. Maybe Izzy’s views of precognitives could be changed? Tamara’s frequent knowing smiles and looks were warming the woman’s spirit. Brenda would have loved her.

Taking the pouch from Colette with a nod, Isa looks over at Shaw with a half empty smile, “Wonder who we are?” Digging through the pouch she finds an ID with the name Isa Parker.

“I'm from the fucking Bay Area? Westsideee.” She says softly and despite the tragedy they just lived through.. her focus turns to Colette, “You have to know the best bar around these parts..”

She needed fifty drinks.

It had taken those few minutes on the rooftop after Magnes stepped through the portal literally carrying her, for Elisabeth to look around. Though dazed, she managed to register that 1) they were no longer in Virus world; 2) this was definitely not home; and 3) that at least some of the people they were trying to save had survived. Not all. Not by a long shot. But… it had been the longest long shot in history to even get here. She'd held tightly to Magnes for just a moment, a hard hug, and then she'd stepped away from him. When Ygraine slid her hand into Liz's, the blonde gripped it so tight that she might have cut off a little blood supply there. ANd she held on all through her leg being quickly bandaged tight. Silent tears trickled down her face, making trails through the blood and dirt, and she didn't say anything. Not even when Tam stopped in front of her for a moment — shock was still rendering her speechless.

It took until they were on the bus for her to realize how many of us are not here. There is no Gillian, no Lynette, no Steve and Rickham to reassure everyone. No Peyton, no Cardinal… they wouldn't have their happily ever after. It made her heart ache for both of them.

The packet placed into her free hand made Elisabeth finally release Ygraine's hand. She's still perhaps far too calm — maybe because she can't afford for it to hit yet. Opening the packet, though, forces a small laugh from her. "Really, Tam?" she rasps out, looking up and really focusing on their rescuers. "Elizabeth Cranston, huh?" What starts as a rueful chuckle turns into somewhat hysterical giggles that she can't seem to stop. The tears are still flowing one at a time down her face as she laughs and laughs. Although too be fair, it's not really laughter — it's what happens when you're too far gone to cry.

Ygraine had been among those requiring urgent medical attention - in her case, to deal with the pulse of bubble-filled blood expelled from her back each time she dragged air into her knife-pierced lung. Having passed beyond merely troglodytic pallor and into the blue-tinged realms of ‘death warmed up’, she was initially capable of doing little more than provide speechless cooperation with the efforts to plug her different kinds of leak.

But of their three rescuers, Tamara and Colette she clearly recognised - and was astonished and heart-touched to do so. By no means all of the tears shed during her triage treatment were a result of pain; much of her time was spent staring at the shimmeringly shattered view of Tamara (and the woman who looked as if she might be a sister to the seer) that her bleary eyes provided. Indeed, seeing, double-taking, and persuading herself that she truly had been found by some version of her former neighbour (and her girlfriend, and her girlfriend’s sister) occupied far more of her oxygen-deprived attention than was granted to the rest of the bright world - their presence seemingly doing much more than anything else to assure her that this could truly be a better place.

Elisabeth, however, she was keen to locate and then hang onto as early and for as long as allowed: at first for support against the pain and swirling dizziness that threatened to overwhelm her; then as more conscious confirmation that the woman she’d been swept away from at the end - the person she had wanted to save above all others - truly had made it through after her.

Now on the bus, she’s hunched over at an odd angle, trying to find some way to simultaneously ease the tension of stabbed muscles and the recurring discomfort of using her damaged lung - but still, a good portion of her dazed awareness has been spent on blinking at the familiar faces worn by people she’s never seen before. It takes her a few moments to register that Elisabeth wants to reclaim her hand; then she finds herself being presented with a package as well. For the time being, it’s simply hugged awkwardly to her chest.

“Thank you. And congratulations. I’m glad for you both,” she hoarsely directs to Demsky-Brooks, finding her first smile in the new world.

With a brief look over to Ygraine, Colette awkwardly smiles and threads a lock of hair behind one ear. “You said the same thing to me… here.” Mismatched eyes look away, sheepishly smiling, and Colette makes a noise in the back of her throat before moving on down the line. To Isabelle, she offers a more thoughtful and apologetic smile. “Sorry uh, I don’t really drink or do bar stuff.”

Stepping out of the portal had been shocking, when you live in a dying world for long, the sudden assault of sounds from a busy and alive world is distracting. Her fingers are still a vice around Kain’s when she looks out over the lush ruins of Midtown. They made it…

That thought had her breath catching, tears pricked in her eyes and she looked over at Kain. Though the look in her blue eyes is a numb one, they had started with so many. He might not like it, but Kain find himself with her arms around in him a hug. Kaylee is not a hugger, they both know this, but in that brief moment, she’s just so damn glad he is okay. That they are okay. Even as grief over the losses threatened to leave her breathless, she just hugged the man.

Of course, once she realized she hasn’t seen Mateo, she’ll pull away and turn toward the portal with a worried expression. Hands curl into firsts as she waits. She had told him she would, waving off anyone that tried to direct her away or care for that nasty gash. She had told him she’d be waiting there… and she would be.

And she is.

As Mateo falls out of the portal backwards, Kaylee is right there to catch her friend, hardly aware of the portal closing. Arms manage to hook through his and she lowers him to the ground. “Ruiz… Mateo!” At least, he is breathing… she will have to take some comfort in that. Though she does relinquish him into the care of others, it’s not without a warning look. It was a simple message….

Hurt him, she’d hurt them.

When she is finally standing before Colette, injuries minimally patched and injection given, blue-eyes do not register the dark-haired woman as familiar. Overwhelmed and numb. Little does Kaylee know, this woman means something to her in this timeline. Taking the pouch with an thank you that lacks any emotions. Every moment there, is a reminder of what it took for her to be standing her and what her father had to do to achieve that.

Curious, Kaylee opens the pouch, what she sees shakes her and whatever composure she managed starts to crumble. Stepping up into the bus, Leanne Edwards holds her new ID and new life in her hands. In her seat, she slumps down and tries to make herself small. Teeth clench as she fights against the desire to start sobbing uncontrollably there in front of the others. They had all gone through the same experience, but still she felt alone in that moment.

Near of the back of the bus, Elspeth watches in disbelief as the others receive shots. Magic injections to banish away the infection that had literally plagued them for years. The infection borne of a virus that had claimed her sister. She had wondered where Aislinn was, when Isabelle and Shaw had emerged to help them. Had she already been found by Vanguard? Had the rage zombies already gotten to her? Or had she done what she'd always said she would if she got infected, and taken her own life so she didn't have to live through those horrors?

The answer doesn't matter. Elspeth would never know. Aislinn was still there, trapped in a dying world, and she was here with the cure that would save her - separated by an infinite, immeasurable distance that they had crossed in just seconds. She watches as Isabelle receives an injection that would have saved her sister, and she trembles. Her grip tightens on the knife she still holds, placed on top of the bag she was given and the information packet she hasn't bothered to read.

"What is this bullshit?"

It's whispered, only one kid noticing enough to look in her direction. She lowers her eyes to the floor. The sun hangs overhead. People line streets. Life exists again. She should be happy.

As tears slip down her cheeks. she knows she won't be for a long time.

Sentimental is not a word commonly used to describe Ling Chao. But quiet in her seat on the bus, she looks down at the two items she lifted from others during their escape - Peyton's necklace, and Cardinal's medallion. Her lips thin, a soft sigh escaping before she leans back in her seat. Careful not to lean too hard against her injured shoulder, she turns her neck to look out the window - at the reflection of herself in the glass, dirty, cut, her hair short and cropped.

Her bag sits next to her, her packet open in her lap - Song Xiaoran she was now known as, a struggling accounting major who had recently moved to America in search of new opportunity - it sounded almost like it could be a page out of the what if of her life. It wasn't what she wanted. It wasn't even close to what she could hope. But it was something, and it was believable.

Her thoughts don't linger too much on what they left, but it wouldn't be something she forgets overnight.

Mateo Ruiz had fallen through the portal unconscious. It had closed a second later, just after he had cleared it. Nothing else had come after. At least one person had been left behind on that rooftop, but there’d been many who had never left, either. Those had died. Over a dozen adults, less in the form of children, and others. Not all the children had survived, either. They’d only made it through with nine of them.

Mala sat with Kal El in her lap, holding the first one who had made it through the portal. William De Luca sat rubbing a bleeding arm, looking grateful at the woman who had saved him from certain death at near cost of her own life.

The rest of the kids seem to have attached themselves to one of the other adult survivors, holding their hand, being comforted. They had papers too, packets. Ones that were handed off to adults. A new parent. A new guardian.

And now they had a chance to live a life, forget what they had seen all around them. The noise, the brightness. All of it seemed to have stunned the surviving children, some with tears drying on cheeks, some who had needed injections.

“I wonder if he knew,” Ruiz whispers quietly as he holds the packet in his hands, looking toward Kaylee. She will know what he means if no one else does. Had her father known the world they would come to would have a cure?

Magnes doesn't stray far from Elaine, knowing how traumatic everything was barely minutes ago, he just keeps an arm protectively around her while watching Tamara and Colette from his seat. "Colette… I'm sorry, I mean, I guess you wouldn't remember, nevermind." His mind is still reeling a bit, he's trying to adjust to the normalcy, how narrow his consciousness has become again.

The losses, those still buzz around in his head, the things he's witnessed, but… it's still too much to process, it'll take a long time to truly process everything he's witnessed, everything he's learned, and the existential implications of so much of it. "Tamara? I know you… you were kidnapped, I never got updated on what happened after that, but that was a year ago. We didn't talk much, I mostly remember when I was a pizza boy, before everything got crazy, when you made me hold the pizza box for a tip."

There's a short pause, as he remembers how long ago that was. "I wonder if that was before this world branched, that was a long time ago…" he considers, his hand protectively resting on Elaine's stomach. "I guess we're here, we made it… I wanted to save everyone, I really did, but… it wasn't like a comic book. I really tried, but…" but he sounds sorry, apologetic, guilty. He doesn't finish his thought, he instead lowers his head.

Standing in the aisle, Tamara looks on as Colette hands out the packets that had been so frantically prepared, labor that had run into the small hours of several nights — some of it ultimately to no effect, as people who could have been… were not, in the end. But those might-have-beens do not now trouble the seer, and they are not shared with the present beneficiaries of that effort.

Instead, Tamara simply takes in Isabelle's scrutiny, offers her a faintly mischievous smile. "You had time to figure it out. But you could start here," she says, a hand ducking into the purse at her side. She then drops on top of Isa's goody bag a flask, black mottled with gold as if it were marble. Close inspection reveals a sticker on the bottom — and an address.

Two steps forward bring her to Liz, and — feet braced against the motion of the bus — Tamara leans in to hug the hysterical woman. As she straightens, her fingers rest lightly on Liz's cheek. "Something should carry forward, didn't you think? And that was the closest to quiet," the seer adds with rueful smile.

Ygraine, beside her, is given both a brighter smile and a moment's critical scrutiny before the seer nods once, definitively — you'll do fine — and continues on. Passing Ling and Kaylee, not disrupting their respective self-imposed isolations, she gives Ruiz his own moment of intent regard, a sympathetic touch to his shoulder.

It's at Magnes that the seer pauses again, head tipping as she considers his words. A shadow of good-natured bemusement threads through her amiable demeanor, having been figuratively handed something that makes no sense in any context available to her. Leaning against the side of the seat in front of him, Tamara shakes her head slightly. "I couldn't tell you," she replies, sympathetic, regretful.

After his next words, she rests two fingers under the edge of Magnes' jaw, exerting gentle pressure up. Mere suggestion in that touch, easily disregarded if he chooses. "You won't save them all," she says quietly. "That was always a hard thing. No choice is alone; you were not the only writer of the story." She pauses for the span of a quiet, brief breath. "We try. We grieve when we miss that mark. And we decide what was done about the hole they leave behind." Letting her hand fall, Tamara pats his knee briefly, her smile shadowed and wistful. "You had time for that later, though," she finishes.

It was good that Magnes stayed close to Elaine because at this point in time she wasn’t handling things well. For one, she discovered mere moments ago that she had a mild fear of heights. So being on the roof in the first place made her nervous. Being on a bus now she felt more grounded but she couldn’t really stop shaking. Everything was different now and all she wanted was something that felt like home.

For now, that was Magnes, so Elaine leaned against him and just listened to everything that was going on. She’d look at her packet soon enough, right now she just couldn’t think about anything but how terrifying it was being on that roof and watching people die and sacrifice themselves just so they could get here. She felt guilty for getting through when they couldn’t, and that was something that she knew would weigh on her for a long time.

Shaw had no idea what to expect, stepping through the slick, inky black portal, only to be met with blinding light, a rush of noise, the feeling of warmth coupled with the fire in his lungs, a coppery metallic taste of blood in his dry mouth, the scent of… life. He half thought, maybe he really did die. But there was still pain, still coughing blood, an ache all over and disoriented fever feeling in his mind as well that told him no, he was not dead, not yet. And it’s with that thought that he looked around him, and his first reaction was a flinch and a raise of the AK-47 rifle slung around his shoulder as if he were simply entering a new scavenging area, threats unknown. But that changed, quickly, with the sight of others: Isabelle, Elspeth being the closest, and finally Ruiz’s entry, caught up by Kaylee, into the same, strange world.

The cure in a neat syringe, in his hand, got a long and solemn stare. Shaw understood what the helpful women from this world had meant, but uncertainty still filled him. Not until others started injecting themselves did he relax enough to do the same. A practiced motion, a familiar, scarred injection site. A far less familiar feeling — relief. It would no doubt be a rather addictive experience.

Isabelle’s prompting query shifts Shaw’s attention to the flat packet on the bus seat beside him. He cuts a quick glance up to her and, seeing curiosity in her, draws the bag closer to open it and peer into its contents. “Morris,” he answers, blinking twice and trying out the name. “Morrison. Morrison, Morris.” Then he slips the ID back in, rifles through the rest of the packet. “Courier.” He looks back up at Isabelle, then shrugs haplessly, the idea of the alias not yet having sunken in.

There’s an unfamiliar look on Colette’s face as she goes down the line of people, trying to rein in any too-recognizable expressions. Magnes, and his apology, warrant just a faint smile that doesn’t quite reach her mismatched eyes. Handing off a zippered packet to Kain, she eyes the blonde cajun for a moment with worry in her eyes. “Thanks, Punky,” Kain murmurs as he unzips the pouch and starts rifling through the documents.

But Colette doesn’t move away. She looks to the woman who occupies the seat next to Kain, at the angry and red cut down the side of her face that will need stitches and more than the hastily taped on gauze bandages. To the blood in her blonde hair. Colette looks over at Tamara for a moment, then leans in past Kain to lay a hand on Kaylee’s shoulder. “F’you need anything,” she says softly, “just say something.”

“So…” Colette briefly looks at Elisabeth, then clears her throat and talks just a touch louder to address the bus full of traumatized survivors. “So— I know this is a little weird.” It’s a monumental understatement. “I know a lot of you are hurting, and… and confused. I know none of this is good.” Mismatched eyes flick out the window as the bus continues to just drive around Manhattan, whiling away the time in traffic. There was an urgency on the roof, a need to get to the bus swiftly. Now that they’re moving, not staying in one spot, that urgency feels more like nervous pacing.

“I know, uh, we know that you’re from another place. Lost, in a way.” Colette smiles weakly at the sentiment. “Tamara — uh, for those of you who don’t know her from somewhere else? She has a gift to see things, the…” her hands move in the air, as if gesturing to an abstract point. “She can see the future,” is how she chooses to grossly simplify things with an apologetic grimace to Tamara. “She knew you were coming, and she knew that you were in… danger isn’t the word she used, or I’d use. But…”

Making a noise in the back of her throat, Colette scrubs one hand at her neck. “The uh— there’s people? Your arrival here isn’t something that went unnoticed. But this isn’t your home, doesn’t work like it. In your packets, I printed out some helpful stuff from Wikipedia, some news articles. Basically, I think that this is going to be a lot of shock. The state of the world, of everything. But… but Tamara wanted to help you. Needed? I— I’m not sure.” There’s a wave of her hand in the air, dismissively to her own indecisiveness.

“Tamara can… maybe explain what she saw… sees? Better? But— the way I see it, it’s like… if we stayed on that roof? People would’ve found you, people who’d have a lot of questions. People who’d want to keep you for questioning, maybe even lock you up because you’re dangerous. But… I don’t really…” Colette grimaces, “I just know you need to follow a couple of rules if you want to stay here safely.”

Biting down on her bottom lip, Colette looks down at a packet in her hand that isn’t going out to anyone. Her brows furrow, and she keeps it in her hands. It’s like someone is missing, someone that could have made it, but didn’t. “Most of you have, uh… counterparts here. If you do, we included information on them in your packets, to ease your curiosities. But like, you need to stay away from yourselves. If you start getting tangled up in your lives here, it could wind up with you in trouble, or worse. I… I don’t know why you’re here, except that…” Colette hesitates, uncertain of how much to say. She looks to Tamara, then smiles sheepishly.

“I trust Tamara, and I know… whatever, however this happened.” Colette’s tone of voice has a hint of wonder in it. “We want to help you. If you trust us — trust Tamara — you’ll be ok, and get where you need to be. Um, w-wherever that is…” Then, regretting needing to ask this she poses the obvious: “Um, a-any questions?”

Tamara's hug breaks the giggles, and Elisabeth wraps both arms tightly around the seer. Sobs are stifled against her shoulder for a long moment and when they part, the dimension-hopping audiokinetic offers a shaky smile up at the woman who is saving their asses. Which, given where she suspects they've landed, is an accurate assessment, she's pretty sure. The words Tamara offers… they make her give a watery laugh. "I honestly hadn't really thought at all about it — I was afraid to hope we'd survive that long," Elisabeth admits.

Reaching up to wipe some of the tears off her damp face, Liz smiles to Colette and catches sight of Ygraine's puzzled look. "Uhm…." She bites her lip and looks toward Magnes, waiting while Tamara speaks with him. Her glance at Ygraine asks for a moment of patience. Then she looks at Isabelle, where her blue eyes remain. Of all the people on this bus, Isabelle is the one to whom her words will probably be important.

Given that they can't pull on the strings of this world too hard — Elisabeth well knows Pinehearst could be deadly, and who knows if the Institute is up and running here — they're all going to be really alone here. She shrugs a little, her expression uncertain — they all have so much to deal with, maybe she shouldn't say anything yet. But having helped Harmony be a single parent, it's damn hard without some help. "So…. I think I'm going to need a few extra hands over the summertime, if you'll be nearby. Elaine's not the only one with a passenger." Hers has just traveled more dimensions.

Tamara’s hug for Liz and assessment of the Briton herself prompt a grateful smile from Ygraine, before Colette’s response to her congratulations draws a startled little huff from her - probably as close as she presently dares come to the freedom of laughter.

When Colette delivers her briefing Ygraine does her best to focus, though she sways woozily with each jolt of the bus. Still, she listens intently, nodding thoughtfully a couple of times. Then Liz makes her little announcement, earning a puzzled look… followed by a wide-eyed blink. After that, Ygraine releases one grip on her precious packet, and reaches over to to provide Elisabeth with one extra hand there and there. “Whatever you need.”

Swallowing against her emotions, Ruiz’ query gets a red eyes glance and Kaylee shakes her head a little. “He had hoped. Called it a hail mary, ” she manages just loud enough for him and anyone within that range. More tears gather at the corners of her eyes as she remembers that last conversation with her father.

“We got luck-” Kaylee starts and then shuts up when their saviors start down the bus. A curious look goes to the packet that Kain is handed, but even more startling is when Colette leans over as rests a hand on her shoulder. There is a familiarity to the woman’s gesture that confuses the telepath. It leaves her a little speechless and wishing that her ability wasn’t still negated, when the strange woman moves away.

The mention of counterparts has she giving Kain a curious glance, before digging out the information mentioned. Blonde brows shoot up high on her head. “Holy shit,” she whispers softly, giving Kain a sharp nudge with an elbow since he was the closest and shows him the papers, pointing at a part in particular. “A cop,” she murmurs with a slow shake of her head. Well, it actually, says NYPD detective. But a cop is a cop in her mind, she dealt with enough of them when she was younger. She doesn’t hide the full blown amusement, though it looks odd with the red eyes and tear stained cheeks.

“How the hell that happen?” It is enough to get her to read the information. It is a trait that seems to carry across worlds, curiosity.

Magnes tries to distract himself by taking a look at the packet, squinting, holding it with both hands even though one arm remains around Elaine. "Um, I'm an alcoholic couch hobo here? Those weren't the exact words, but…" he says, and then thinks back, giving that a bit of extra thought. "Wait a minute, is this the universe where me, Gabriel and Eileen are best friends and then become cops in the future? The universe where everything is futuristic?"

He looks back down into the packet, still squinting. "Arthur Petrelli is the—- I mean, okay, I guess I should shut up." He looks to Elisabeth, as if searching for confirmation that he should shut up. "So, avoid our counterparts, and I guess try not to ruin the entire future that we know about, that is technically already ruined by virtue of us being here."

"Well, screw it… we've all been through a lot, the last thing we need to worry about is complicated existential crap." He lays his head back, closing his eyes, trying to gain a moment of psychological peace. "We're here now. Everyone didn't make it, but we're here, even if this isn't home, this isn't… that place. It's up to us all, every single one of us, to live the best lives that we can. I don't plan to stay in this universe forever, but those of you who will, it's up to you to live your best lives, to enjoy yourselves, to build a future, for all the people we had to leave behind, for all the people we lost."

He opens his eyes, and looks around at everyone, trying to smile, but he just looks exhausted. "I've never asked for anything, you know, I never wanted anything from any of you, all I wanted was to find a way to get you out. But if I could ask you for one thing… it would truly be to just live, go out there and live, for them, for yourselves. I think that's all we all want, that's all our friends back there would want."

Reaching over, he places a hand against Elaine's cheek, but doesn't move it. "And I still have to show you the stars."

Then, something seems to occur to him. There's so much shock from the last few hours, something went in one ear and out the other. "Wait, Elisabeth, how are you having a baby? Where did you get a baby?"

Colette stares vacantly at Magnes’ question to Liz. She opens her mouth, then closes her mouth. Nope.

“That's.. sexy.” Is said to ‘Morris Morrison’ and Isa laughs …brightly? The glistening of tears is wiped away though they have practically dried to a thin line of crust as she lifts her hand finally. The heat around her is comfortable and she sighs in relief, “Courier? Well you are the fastest thing I know around.” She whispers to Shaw with a small smile, the shock of everything settling over her.

As Tamara places the flask on the top of her bag she grins with uncertainty and then finds the address underneath. Huh.. looks like she knows a place to go. Izzy’s eyes are wide as she peers through the window at the cityscape as Colette speaks. “They know we’re here then.” She imagines in a world that tech is advanced more than her worlds that they would maybe? Have things like that? Is this a sci fi movie?

The news of Liz being pregnant and Magnes’ question makes her cover her face. “Mags.. remember how you and Elaine did i- wait..” She looks at Liz hard. “Cardinal?” That bit of Information rocks her and she shakes her head with a laugh. “You’ll need all the help you can get with that little fucker in your belly.” She remembers how Card was as a kid, they were so much trouble.

All this talk of futures and new identities has her digging further through her packet. “Art.. ceramics.. glass… well Brenda did always say I needed to express myself..” there's a sad smile at the thought of her friend, she wasn't sure she would ever get her off her mind. Further digging procures.. nothing on her other self. “Hey hey hey, you couldn't find the other me or something?” She looks just a little alarmed.

“It worked, then,” Ruiz responds to the blonde woman with a new cut across her face in the same quiet tone. A Hail Mary that had worked. In fact, he would venture that this whole thing had been one of those. They had no idea where they would end up, no idea if it would even work. But it had. For some of them. He could still see that man’s eyes before he slammed the metal slide shut on the door to the incinerator.

They were being told to stay away from themselves. He wanted to ask a question, but instead, he looked toward Elisabeth as she announces her passenger. Why hadn’t she said anything earlier? Maybe she’d not wanted to say it out loud. The mention of Cardinal causes him to flinch and he looks away. Her Cardinal, he’s sure. Not the one they’d left on the roof. He’d been with Peyton, as everyone in the Hub had known. More who they’d failed to help.

And one who lost worse than his life, in Ruiz’s mind.

Finally, with a sigh, he opens the packet.

Javier Ayala De Santos.

She had called him Javi. She had been the only one who did. And Ayala earns a long look as well. An interview had been made for him for a hospital position, too. And the pain in his chest told him that that might be for more than a job. “I could see you as a cop, Lee,” he adds to the blonde, though he doesn’t look into the packet more.

A small smile sent back to Isabelle covers an otherwise blanketing confusion that settles around Shaw. He's trying his best to keep up, watching Tamara move up and down the aisle to address others with some degree of familiarity; the seer is to be trusted, he files away mentally. He even listens as attentively as he can manage as Colette speaks, but so many things that the woman talks about - Wikipedia? - are baffling. The world that they're driving around in is overwhelmingly active, and his darting eyes try to take it all in.

Shaw balks with the warnings of strangers who would want to take them away and lock them up. He frowns, reaching for the assault rifle leaned against his seat, stock against the floor, barrel pointed up. Nobody thus far could pry the weapon away. But at least the safety's on.

Elisabeth's mention of a second passenger gets a lifted brow from the man. Like the others, he outwardly looks happy enough to have heard the news. "You could name the baby Dirk," he blurts helpfully to the woman, "because you did your civic duty." Yes, no, wait. He recalls belatedly this civic duty thing was a bad thing. And so he, like Magnes, decides for now to shut up.

Shaw looks around again and chews on his lower lip while the others all seem to be going through the packets they've been given. Like the one kid in class who isn't sure what's the lesson number, he tries to spy around to catch a hint off someone else. At the prompting of questions, though, he finally pipes up to ask Colette, voice slightly squeaking with dryness of his throat, "Could I get something to eat?"

“Oh, uh, y-yeah of course.” Colette smiles sheepishly to Shaw and unshoulders her backpack, fishing through one of the pockets and retrieving a wrapped protein bar with the Pinehearst Foods logo on it. Visibly similar to the double helix Pinehearst logo, divided by a length of golden wheat. She hands the chicken and waffles flavored bar over to Shaw and manages an awkward smile.

“There’ll be food at Penn station, which is where we’re headed next. You don’t all have to leave immediately, especially since some of you are hurt. But we wanted to make sure you were somewhere central.” Shifting her weight to one foot, Colette draws her teeth over her bottom lip. “The, um, there’s hotels all around the place. Some of you might appreciate a little bit of bed rest. A shower, you know…” grimacing, Colette backpedals a bit from the hard push about showers, given what they’ve all been through.

Looking over her shoulder to Kathleen, Colette is momentarily silent, then squares her focus back on the others. “I know this seems like… like we’re just— like nothing here is surprising for us. But I… this isn’t exactly standard uh, stuff for me? But your secret? Everything you’ve been through? It’s safe with me. With us.”

Scratching at the back of her neck, Colette looks around. “Those of you who’re interested in keeping in touch, Kathleen is sort of, um… she’s able to help with that. With your permission, she’s volunteered to do check-ins. In your, uh, dreams?” Smiling awkwardly, Colette fiddles with the strap of her backpack. “Everyone deserves a fresh start. Though, uh… honestly, I might have some questions for you. Um, all things considered? Because— because you’re literally from another world.”

Elisabeth blinks at Magnes blankly for just a moment while a plethora of acerbic comebacks surge to mind. The one that pops out of her mouth is a deadpan, "K-Mart. Half off, for the end of the world."

In the moment of shocked silence from a couple of people, Elisabeth merely shakes her head and rolls her eyes. "Yes, Izzy… my world's Cardinal," she tells the other woman with a rueful smile at Isabelle's snark. She'll tease later his other kids are nice enough! but it's neither here nor there at the moment. Shaw gets a quirked eyebrow for his civic duty comment. But we all are dealing with the shock of all of this as best we can, and she sighs heavily.

"Colette… yes, please. Come and ask whatever questions you like — I'm sure there will be some we'd like to ask too. And someone checking in on us," she sends a weary smile toward Tam's sister, "would be most welcome, at least on my end." When the Moab time travelers came back, their stories of this world were lacking in a few 'how to survive' details aside from laying low. "For now… a shower, a safe place to rest, and food are … probably the closest thing I can think of to heaven."

An amused glance goes to Kain sitting beside her, before Kaylee shifts to tuck a leg under her and sit sideways on the bus seat. Resting an arm against the back of the seat, she looks back at Mateo with an amused look. “If you knew half of what I was into before the virus, you might wonder, too.” It is amazing how people in situations like this will grab onto something that takes the pain away for a moment.

Holding up the paper with the information about the Kaylee in this world, brows lift a little. “I just dunno what happened to make me into this. I mean. Kinda a lot to think about.” Looking at the paper, the smile she had slowly slides away. “Wonder if dad could look at all that data and predict things like this.”

With a sudden sigh, Kaylee’s eyes go distant, “Wish he was here to see all of this.” Glancing out the window, she muses, “I almost forgot what a civilized world looks like.”

"This world is even more civilized than ours, believe it or not. So I guess you guys kind of hit the lottery with this." Magnes says 'you guys', suggesting again that he himself has no intention of staying, but that's to be expected. "You can ask me any questions you need to, but I might not answer anything that I think would cause some kind of damage to this world."

He continues to stare down at his packet. "You gave me science credentials. So… I guess you know exactly what I was thinking about doing. This is kind of weird, I've never seen this kind of precognition before. I knew of you, but I never really knew you, even though we met a few times." he notes, to Tamara.

"Colette, you know, you don't really change a whole lot between worlds, I guess. But you seem like you're doing much better here." He smiles, still looking exhausted. "We still have a lot to talk about, well, anyone who plans to stay with me. But one thing I know for sure is that I'm not opening another portal without a way to know for sure what's on the other side. We can't risk letting Kazimir out, and we have no guarantee that we won't open up a portal back to that world, because we didn't know what we were doing to begin with."


Staring at his packet, and the credentials. "I'll learn, I don't care how hard it is, or how long it takes, I'll learn. This isn't over for me, yet." He looks to Elisabeth, because, well, he can't be sure if she agrees with his sentiment.

“Thanks for not telling him I was responsible,” Ygraine stage-whispers to Elisabeth. Then she self-consciously clears her throat, shooting a sheepishly apologetic look towards Colette.

“I’ll gladly be checked in on. And I’ll answer whatever questions I can. Though… many topics will be painful, for various people here. Just… be patient.” Her voice is weak and reedy, but she tries to make it audible over the background noises of the bus and its passengers. “I know that I, for one, am going to spend a lot of time just… gawping at the world. And the people in it.”

Then she narrows her eyes a little, looking to and fro between Magnes and Elisabeth. “If we hit the jackpot by winding up in a world where we immediately need to be rushed away and hidden…” She lets her voice and her thoughts trail away, moving her hand to her friend’s arm. “But you’re right, Liz - and Colette. We should focus on getting things like food and showers and sleep right now. We’re infinitely safer than we have been for years.”

With a heavy sigh Elspeth finally steels herself enough to flip open her packet. She scoffs at the name that's been assigned to her - "Dawn Carrington". Taking a moment set the knife she has - cleaned off before they got on the bus - into her bag, she begins to skim through it. At first it seems rote, uninteresting. She's lined up with an interview at a local private school, with only difference from her pre-Virus life being the locale, and she seems to be in good standing by all means presented to her.

It's not until she gets to the part about her counterpart in this world that she visibly stiffens, her hand suddenly clasping over her mouth as she trembles. She looks up from the page and at their mysterious benefactors. "Is this a joke?" she chokes out, her voice strained. She tries to steady her breath, looking down at the page in front of her.

In this world, whatever this world is, whatever it holds for them, it isn't Aislinn Graves that has passed from the mortal coil - in fact, it tells her, she's studying to be some sort of scientist. Here, Elspeth Graves died just over a year ago, though the reasons are undisclosed in her packet. Her hand reaches up, running down her face as she tries to resist the urge to throw her packet away.

“N-uh. Let's leave the civic duty.. back there.” Because well.. Isa is was not about those flyers. Shaw catching himself gets a sympathetic smile and she squeezes his hand with a short nod. “Gimmie a bite,” She says to Shaw softly, she's curious and the wrapper says.. chicken and waffles. Yes please.

The holder of that sister blade to Elspeth’s knife turns her head as Liz and the others speak. “Well, then they’ll be some good news for him when you get home.” She's confident they’re get there.. or well that Liz and Magnes will, it's their home. But them? She wasn't as sure, the same doubts that she had about jumping to another timeline blooming fresh in her mind. Maybe this place would be somewhere they could stay..? Looking to Magnes, there’s a tight line on her face. Being separated from him again didn't sit right with Izzy.

That was a bridge they could cross when they needed too.. “Don't worry Mags, you’ll be more careful with the next one.” She offers him, also holding him to that. Elspeth’s outburst gets Isa’s attention and she frowns a little. She didn't see Elspeth’s sister, the pyro could guess what had the other woman in such a mood. Those thoughts bring her back to Brenda and she pushes herself further back into her seat, still holding Shaw’s hand while staring down at the new flask in her possession.

There are more than enough tired faces, more than enough frightened children, and more than enough sadness yet to be expressed. But as the bus turns southward, putting the lush greenery of Unity Park to its left side, where the majority of the Ruins of Midtown once stood, it is clear that there may not be as much sadness to come. Colette’s spared a long look at Magnes, that familiarity he expressed has her toying her teeth over her bottom lip again. A sidelong look is given to Tamara, too. But she lets it go without question, perhaps because she doesn’t need to know what another world is like for her, because this one is just right from her perspective.

Seated beside Kaylee, Kain continues to stare down at the information held in his ID packet. He pages through documentation, seeing the trajectory his life would have taken had he made different choices. Had he stayed the course, had the world not ended around him. “You’n I are gonna talk, later…” Kain offers to Kaylee, folding up most of the paperwork and tucking it back into the pouch. There’s an exhausted resignation in his eyes, a fatigue both physical and emotional. Survive for now, plan for later.

“We’re almost at Penn Station,” Kathleen calls from the driver’s seat, briefly glancing up into the wide rear-view mirror to look at the passengers. “When we get there, everyone please just try and act normal until we’ve gotten everyone off the bus. Once we’re there… we’ll have done everything we can for you.” She looks to Tamara, brief uncertainty about the future flashing across her expression.

Elisabeth pulls in a long, slow breath, looking at all the survivors on the bus. She hasn't been able to really take it in, it's all too much at once… but we did it. Even if we couldn't save everyone — something Liz was never sure in the back of her own mind was actually any kind of possibility — there are at least some people that they did save. Clutching the packet of information to her chest, she leans back in her seat and studies each of these people. They are the talisman she holds to her heart that it is possible that someday she and Magnes will make it home again. She glances at him when he says he won't quit and she nods slowly, her expression telling him that she won't either. But given the fact that Tamara has given them all a way to literally start over… she has a notion that it won't be soon. Instead of pursuing that train of thought, though, she turns her blue eyes to the world that Could Have Been… had they not killed Arthur Petrelli.

A shower and a change of clothes sound like a great idea for all of them. Even the ones who didn’t go traipsing through a sewer had been in their clothes for days and days in a dying city without access to good water. As he’s sitting very close to Kaylee, he hears enough of what Kain says to look at him for a moment with dark and infinitely tired eyes before nodding. If the man needs to unburden his conscious, so be it— he’d understand he can’t hide it from the telepath once her ability came back, anyway.

He deserved whatever might happen.

After a long sigh, he reaches into the packet and pulls out the newspaper clipping….

One that says that Mateo Javier Rowan Ruiz had been murdered in the home he shared with his wife, barely days before. Counting the days in his head, he lets out a soft sound that sounds like it might be a laugh at first, but then people who knew him better would know it’s definitely not. He pushes the article back inside and leans his head against the window, staring off into the street.

She should have been here.

She should have been here.

Ygraine finds the energy required to gently bump shoulders with Liz, offering her a sidelong encouraging smile. Then she delves into her own packet, skimming over the main details. “Huhn. Other-me is married,” she mutters, sounding both impressed and surprised. “Oh. And on another continent. That should make crossing paths easier to avoid.” A shake of her head, then she looks back to Elisabeth once more. “You’re stuck with me for a while longer, it seems.”

"It says my parents are legally dead. So I guess my father is still big on lies. Just like when they supposedly disappeared in our world." Magnes is continuing to read his packet, curious about his life. "It's okay, though. I'll figure this stuff out eventually. But for now I'm looking forward to a bath, to try to clear my head, and I guess process some things…" He gently rests his head against Elaine's, and raises his hand to press it against her cheek after closing his packet. "It'll be nice having my ability back, all the time…"

But his attention is back to Collette, and he asks, "Do you mind if I contact you some time?" he asks her, apparently more focused on her than Tamara and Kathleen, clearly more familiar with her than the others. "And I guess everyone can trade contact information if they want to keep in touch. We've all been through a lot, and there's not a lot of people who will understand."

Kaylee looks like she might want to respond to the need to talk, but something has her deciding to hold off. Head tilting a little to consider the blonde man next to her. Finally, she does offer up, “Sure… we got all the time now.” No more running and hiding. No more looming death. Fingers pluck at the blood matted locks of hair, “I know I could really use a shower.” She brightens a little, reaching over to grip Kain’s arm as she smirks. “Hot shower, no restrictions.” Sounds like heaven to her right now.

The laugh from Mateo catches her attention and she looks over the back of the bus seat again. Whatever she sees in that man, has her reaching over the seating and resting a hand on whatever part of his arm she can reach from there. If he looks her way, she’ll give him a reassuring smile. One completely devoid of any knowledge of what he had done. She doesn’t say anything however, it feels like any words would be hollow. Kaylee can only offer him reassurance with a gesture.

With them soon reaching the station she settles back into her seat and tucks away the pouch into the pack her and Ruiz had belongings in. The packed away needles of negation medication catches her attention. It dawns on her… she’ll never have to live without her ability again. That is enough to keep a smile on her face. No more silence. Ever if she can help it.

Ling finally turns back from the window, looking ahead of her at where Kaylee and Kain sit. Smoke swirls around her hand, drifting unnaturally around her hand for a moment before it begins to colesque and solidify into Richard Cardinal's St. Jude's Medallion. Holding it up, she shakes her head as it dangles in front of her. Pulling it up into her hand, she reaches over the back of the seat and drop it down between the two in front of her.

It is replaced in her hand by more swirling smoke, this time becoming the necklace she had taken from Peyton. "A crew sticks together,” is her only real thought on what to do next, offered just loud enough for Kain and Kaylee to hear, moving to clasp the necklace around her own neck as she speaks. She may not have thought so even a few months ago, but, well… the last two had been anything but normal for her. She leans back, settling into her seat. Thinking. Planning. Considering. Her next move, and other's.

Hands fold nervously into Elspeth’s lap as she rocks back and forth in her seat. She hasn’t said a thing since she set her packet aside; instead she stares at the floor in front of her, occasionally looking up to scowl in the general directions of Magnes and Elisabeth. Hands wring over each other as she listens to Colette, but she doesn’t respond.

She’s happy for everyone here, that they were able to escape that horrible world together. But their happiness doesn’t leave her feeling any less hollow, and when it's offered for Kathleen to keep them in contact, she squeezes her eyes shut and shakes her head. At first she’s not sure why, it almost feels instinctual, driven by a feeling she can’t place her finger on. Someone who works with dreams… no.

No, she’s good.

Quick to thank Colette with a bird-like bob of his head, Shaw closes his fingers around the protein bar and peers curiously at the packaging. After Isabelle’s prompting, he concedes, unwrapping the food and breaking off a good portion to her. After a second, he breaks another piece off and offers it to the closest other, Kaylee, and so on until there’s one nibble left. Old habits.

“Maybe, okay,” he pipes up with the question to whether it’s ok to get checked up on, although it may not be clear to him at the moment what this may imply. Shaw doesn’t seem worried though, sitting on the bus with all - well, most - of the people he knows.

And as for Colette’s comment about them being from another world, he simply smiles and offers back, “Okay, but, so are you.”

Colette’s raised brows imply a touche to Shaw, if only in slight uncertainty. She offers a look back at Tamara, noticing the seer’s distant expression in her long and silent look out the side windows. She sidles up beside her, rests a hand on her shoulder, and looks back to the others. The nervousness in Colette’s expression is only briefly visible, implying the uncertainty of the future that comes past this point.

A few seats down from her, Kain looks up over his shoulder to Ling. He too is silent, brows furrowed together and dried blood still thick in parts of his hair. He reaches over to rests a hand on Kaylee’s arm, giving it a squeeze, then looks out the windows as the circular walls of Penn Station become to come into view. Kain’s brows slowly rise, lips part, and he sees the hurried flood of traffic rushing in and out of the station.

As the bus comes to a stop, Kathleen parks the bus on the curb and rises up from her seat. “We’re all here,” she says with trepidation, as though uncertain what opening the doors of this bus actually means. “Everybody make sure to grab your things. Leave any weapons behind, you don’t want to get stopped by police or UEO. We’ll find a way to get rid of them.”

Kain looks up at the young blonde as she speaks, then unshoulders his pink backpack and sets it down on an empty seat beside him. No guns, no knives, no virus, no Vanguard. It’s almost too good to be true.

As the shocked and exhausted survivors begin to rise from their seats and gather their belongings, there’s differences in reactions to this world among each and every one of them. But there’s a numbness that is shared, a numbness to the impossibilities on display here. Another world, like a dream, rising up from the ashes of the life they had come from. Far from the bus and the survivors, a lone figure observes the yellow schoolbus and its obscured passengers from a rooftop overlooking West 33rd street, in the shadow of a water tower.

Concealed by the shadow of the tower, he is struck with disbelief. Raising a phone to his ear, Hiro Nakamura steps out from the shadow of the water tower and into the light. Through one of the windows he can see Tamara Brooks, noticing that she is impossibly making eye contact with him from such a great distance.


"Cyrus, the guests have arrived. I'll talk to you tomorrow." Short and to the point, since most of the talking was done before this trip.

He ends the call, then sweeps his thumb around on the number pad and dials another number. This call is shorter yet.

"They're here."

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