"The Rarest Faith" by Karen
We are so much of the time creatures of habit, thought Mohinder Suresh as he gazed around his empty classroom at the University of Madras for the last time. Doing so made me wonder how he had managed to allow his older sister, Shanti, to persuade him into leaving India and traveling with her to New York City, of all places.
In retrospect he had to admit he had been neatly outmaneuvered first by his sister, and then by his mother, who had backed up her plan to continue on with their father's work in genetic research.
It was a bit late to be having these second thoughts on the matter; the decision had already been made.
Still as he put the finishing touches on packing up his teaching, begun tying up all the proverbial loose ends and left his professorship and his classes in the capable hands of his best friend and colleague, he could not help but feel a bit like a spirited race horse being forced into going a direction it had no desire to run, but pulled and prodded into going anyway.
Mohinder Suresh glanced around at the stacked cardboard boxes, the neatly piled manila envelopes and heaved a sigh. He then turned on his heel and left the classroom at the university that had been like a second home since he had been named to the post years ago.
Every new beginning is just another path on the journey, he told himself as he went out through the door and into the corridors., knowing that his sister would be waiting for him at his home, along with their belongings already packed and ready to go.
Once there they would take a cab to the New Dehli airport and then the long flight to the United States and New York.
"You're late," Shanti pointedly remarked upon his arrival at his fourth floor apartment. She had been sitting behind his desk going through some last minute checks on their flight confirmation on the computer and only looked up when she heard him enter the apartment. She stood up, stretched and waved the sheaf of tickets in their bright orange and white envelope in his general direction. "The luggage is ready to go and when have our E-tickets. I just called the cab, it should be hear in the next half-hour."
"Shanti, I am still not entirely certain that this is the best course of action," Mohinder said. "Even if you don't want to join me in continuing our father's research, you still need to come along to collect our father's ashes, and that's a task that you as the only son, cannot shirk as an unwanted duty."
"I never implied that I wished to do so, you know that as well as I do." Mohinder replied, trying not to let his irritation show in either his tone of voice or his demeanor.
Their father's sudden death had been abrupt and it had taken a toll on all of them; it was just a matter that they showed it different way. Shanti did so by burying herself in work, he did so by going through the motions.
On the heels of that thought he wondered if somewhere in his father's published book if there might be some complicated theory that would explain a genetic subset for different individuals and how they coped with loss and grief, if so, Mohinder thought, it would be an interesting theory to be sure.
"Very well, I will come with you," Mohinder said as he walked over and bent down to lift the luggage by the carrying handles, "I'd better carry the luggage down to street level before the cab arrives."
Shanti regarded him, her dark brown eyes intent on his face, "Oh Mohinder, sometimes you worry me, little brother." Then she lifted one hand and finger-combed the long black strands of hair away from her face, "Good idea, I'll be right down in a few minutes. "Oh, I'll bring copies of father's book in the carry-on bag."
"You really believe that our father might have been on to something, that it's possible that certain initials might really have made that proverbial jump in the genetic code?" Mohinder asked, raising one black eyebrow.
"Of course I do," Shanti replied, "Otherwise, and I cannot speak for anyone but myself here but Mohinder, I have to do to this, I have to carry on with our father's life-work."
"We've covered this ground already."
"I realize that, I just need to say out loud again before we leave India," replied Shanti with a tremulous sigh. "I owe it to myself to do this, and I despite all the harsh words and arguments that we've exchanged in the past, I need you to come along, little brother. I can't do this alone. I need you, too."
"Just like when we were kids, growing up together." Mohinder smiled, the first unforced example he had been able to muster up in days since he had made the decision t accompany his older sister to New York. It was a good feeling, and one he hoped to continue for the duration of their travels together.
Manhattan, New York, present day
One of the things that Mohinder could often identify that set him apart from his sister was that he much too pragmatic and his sister was the one with the boundless hope and enthusiam for just any undertaking no matter how daunting or improbable it might be. Faced with the knowledge that Chandra Suresh really had made a breakthrough in the filed of cutting edge genetic research, and had compiled a list of individuals all over the continental United States, well, Mohinder shrugged, a selfish part of his nature could have wished to have simply been proved wrong on that matter, and left alone in his professorship back home in India.
Instead, here he was, in his father's New York City apartment, wondering why it they now had to unravel a stream of scrolling computer data spilling like a waterfall of data down the computer screen.
He had ordered food for them both, and after hours of trying to make sense of the data; he had moved on to the far wall of the room that had served as both his father's bedroom and office space, he wondered if it had been typical of his father to leave all of these tantalizing clues just that they would be forced to work that much harder to decipher all of those clues in order to complete the entire jigsaw puzzle.
"Who are you and how did you get in here," demanded Shanti upon seeing a young white woman, probably in her early twenties come into the apartment.
"I was about to ask you the same question," the other woman replied. "I'm Eden. I live next door."
"Indeed," Shanti nodded as she stood up. "But that still does not answer my question for your presence in this apartment."
"Look, I know you have no reason to trust me," Eden began, her voice a little unsteady at first, but gaining more assurance as she continued. "But I got to know Mr. Suresh pretty well over the years, so you will just have to take my word for it, that I have every right to have a copy of the key to this place."
Shanti shrugged, not entirely taken about by the young white woman's defensive attitude, although by some lights it might have been taken as such, she was more concerned about what might have passed between the young woman, Eden, or whatever her name was, and their father in the past, then what has happening in the present. Shanti turned her attention away for a moment and walked over to the tall bookshelves where a glass-enclosed rectangular rested on a high shelf, and inside of that glass box was a small green lizard, an iguana if her eye for species had not entirely abandoned her.
"That's Mohinder," Eden said walking over to stand next to her.
"Your brother?" asked Eden, "I wasn't aware that you two were related, but I guess there is a certain family resemblance."
Shanti reached into the box and gently clasped the iguana around his midsection and lifted him up and out of the case, and then gently let him slid down onto her forearm where he tensed up for a second and then relaxed into a more comfortable position.
"What does he eat?"
"Crickets, mostly," replied Eden, beginning to fell that she was back to safe and familiar ground. It would be difficult but not impossible to continue her work, even if the sister did seem a bit suspicious for the reason for her presence.
After a few days of making consecutive phone calls to the list of names marked on the map of the United States, along with yellow 3M post-it notes and apparently randomly chosen pushpins.
Mohinder tore his gaze away from where Shanti absent-mindedly forked through the last remaining cartons of fried rice and vegetables she had gone out in a cab to pick up for their dinner earlier that evening, then watched her page through the pages in the book, seeing if there might be some clue that would help them decode the data scrolling down the computer screen, some clue that neither of them had noticed, or had considered too insignificant to be the green light that would enable them to find all of the people on the list.
Both of them had been at it for weeks, in tandem and in shifts, when Mohinder had left to secure a jab with the local cab company, in order that would have a tangible and ready source of income, because there was no way of telling just how long it would take to complete the task set before them.
Shanti had gone out with them when Mohinder had located one of those names, based right there in the same time, and as big as Manhattan was, they would have a good chance of finding one Nathan Petrelli, after all the man, was listed in the phone book and as Mohinder had discovered during his shifts driving his cab, the man was running for elected office.
The only problem with that scenario, as Shanti, had pointed out, was not in convincing him of the danger and the strange truth of his newly emerging abilities, but the danger in getting close enough to the man at all. That man running for office was bound to have a lot of security checks around him. "I still think I should come along with you, Mohinder."
"I would hate if anything happened to you.," he replied as he walked over to the wooden rack by the entryway and reached for his coat hanging on a peg. As he put it on, he heard Shanti's quicksilver laughter floating toward him on the recycled air of the fans. "I should be the one worrying if something happened to you. Have you given much thought to exactly how you will convince this people not only of the strange truth of their abilities, but of the validity of your claims?"
"More or less," he dubiously replied.
"That settles it," Shanti said. "Wait there while I get my shoes and coat."
No sooner had she made this announcement when they were both interrupted by the click and wire of the gears in the antiquated answering machine of their father's desk winding up as the green light blinked and flickered, then remained green. A man's voice came over, soft but quite unmistakably that of a man: The message was brief but quite direct and to the point: "I know you're there, Dr. Suresh, and if you're hearing this, then it's already too late for you. You made what I am, Sir. And to borrow a time-honored cliché, We reap what we sow, do we not?"
"I could be mistaken about this, but the official police report confirmed that our father was murder," Shanti shook with a quick little shiver. "And if so, then that might be his murderer who just called. What do we do about it?"
"I guess that tears it, we do need to warn these people of the danger, " Mohinder sighed.
"Then, let's go,' Shanti nodded.
Just outside the front entry of Nathan Petrelli's campaign headquarters Shanti stepped out of the relative quiet and cool of the street level exit from the subway and into a scene of noise and light. Forcing her eyes to become accustomed to the change she forced back the moisture and grabbed for her younger brother's flapping sleeve as he too adjusted to the change.
At that very moment she heard a noisy crowd g1athered around the building housing the campaign headquarters of the man that they had come in search of, Nathan Petrelli according to their's father's files on the man, he had recently announced his candidacy for public office, and it was to be expected that a man in that kind of position would have an inordinate amount of security around his person; but as far as Shanti was concerned, if her suspicions were correct not only about their father's medical breakthrough in the field of genetics, he had also learned, perhaps, the hard way, about the attendant dangers that those pressing their newly emerging abilities might also face, and even the best conventional security that money could be might not be able to stop those kind of dangers.
Turning to dart a quick glance at her brother, Shanti said without having to say anything, despite the difference of a few years between them, often in times of stress or quiet moments, brother and sister often were able to exchange a great deal of meaning through an exchange of glances or even a handful of gestures.
Both of them left the shelter of the subway entrance and worked their way forward through the crowds of pedestrians, onlookers, and navigated their way through the two-way traffic on the street, to finally reach the open area in front of the building where a black car belonging to Nathan Petrelli had just pulled up. Shanti, wondered as she approached, not for the last time, if this had been such a good idea to start with, but they were already committed to the cause, and nothing could be allowed to get in the way of containing on with the work that their father had begun.