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Heroes: The Corrupted
Episode 4: Entangled

Molly Walker & Claire Bennet
Odessa, Texas

Molly was folding small shoulder cupped shirts and stacking them by color and size for the display rack in the middle of the store. A headless, legless and armless manikin was dressed with a yellow version of the shoulder cup sleeve shirts with the front buttons half undone to show the fake cleavage; the shorts hiked up so that even though the manikin's legged mid thigh, there was around four inches uncovered by cloth at the base. Molly's small hands continued to fold the shirts and tuck them into the display. Claire walked behind the younger girl and lightly pulled her hair back. Molly winced and turned around to look up at her older friend.

"You bitch!" laughed the little brunette as flipped the back of her hair trying to get it to look bouncy and full.

"You say that to the girl who gets you a summer job?" huffed Claire in a mocked hurt feelings as she started to fold the shirts alongside Molly, "under the table I might add, so you don't have to waste all that excess money on taxes."

"I get to waste it on clothes instead," joked Molly as Claire throw a shirt her head and messed up her hair once again.

"Did your mother ever tell not to mess with a woman's hair?" scolded Molly as she looked into the mirror next to the display trying to fix her hair.

Claire was behind her, folding the shirt still and smiling, "calling your self a woman now?"

"You can stay a girl if you want, Claire," said the younger.

"I guess you don't need the real surprise I have for you," goaded the older one as she started to walk away after placing the shirt down.

"Wait," called out Molly, intrigued with this new prospect.

"Yes," said Claire slowly.

"What is it," asked Molly, her hands crossed over her chest as she chewed on her bottom lip.

"If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise," stated Claire jovially.

"You can't just mention it and hold it front of me like a carrot to a rabbit," said Molly impatiently.

"Or like a shot of whiskey in front of a fourteen year old?" replied Claire dismissively.

"That is unfair," said Molly, "I guess dad told you."

"No, Mohinder didn't tell me," Claire looked into they younger girls brown eyes, "my father told me."

"Jesus," seethed Molly, "those two can't keep secrets from each other."

"It's more Mohinder can't keep secrets from my dad," said Claire, "I don't know if that man ever has opened up more then the little side of humanity he shows on occasion," referring to her father.

"Lets hope his daughter doesn't take after him," replied a pouting Molly.

"What do you mean by that," continued Claire as they walked and talked to the front desk.

"Tell me about the surprise!" pleaded Molly.

"I will when I know the manager isn't coming back soon," answered Claire.

Molly's face went blank for a second. Her bottom lip quivered causing Claire to worry having studied symptoms of mental and nerve disorders for her pre-med courses. She rushed to the girl and started to shake her shoulders, her hand on her forehead. Molly started to burst out laughing, catching Claire by surprise.

"What is it," Claire said forcibly.

"You do not want to know," replied Molly as she pushed Claire off of her and went behind the counter resting her face in her hands and her elbows on the flat surface.

"Tell me, Molly," demanded Claire, "is it about Susan our manager?"

"And Zach, your friend," she continued with a laugh.

"And Zach…" realization dawned on her, "but I thought he was gay."

"Not that gay for the two of them to be knocking books," said Molly with a laugh.

"But, she's so much older too," continued Claire dry gagging at the idea of her friend and manager having sex.

"She does look like a man though, especially with those thin lips and strong jaw line," said Molly, "still doesn't make seeing it any better."

"Don't give me any ideas," begged Claire as she rubbed her closed eyes wishing to dispel any image from their view.

"So…," drawled the younger girl, "can you tell me what the surprise is now?"

"Fine, anything to change the subject," Claire reached over the counter and pulled out her pocketbook; she opened it to her wallet and threw a plastic card to Molly.

Molly looked at a slightly old picture of her self next to a hologram of two women adjourning a shield of some sort that listed her name and an address. The address was obviously not hers, nor the listed birthday which made her twenty one years old.

"You got me a fake ID," Molly all but screamed out causing Claire to blush and try to hush her.

"Shush your mouth," Claire's eyes shifted around the store to see if anyone had heard, "I got this for you only for the summer, when I go back to New York for college, I'm taking it with me."

"But why?" said Molly trying to pull off a puppy dog face.

"You don't need to get in anymore trouble," said Claire seriously, "when dad told me what you and your friends had done, I thought you need some responsibility and trust in someone. So I am taking you clubbing with Zach and some other friends only to show you good, responsible, mature behavior and not uncontrollable drinking habits which your friends are giving you."

"Thanks mom," sighed Molly as she flipped the card in her hands.

"I'm serious," said Claire, "if you want to be mature, you should know losing control of yourself can lead to horrible things. What do they teach you guys in health class anyway?"

"Not much," replied Molly, "and thanks for your concern, but I can make my own right and wrong choices."

"Just let me help you along the way," Claire put a hand on Molly's shoulder.

"Thank you," said Molly as a customer approached her holding up two shirts, "Just make sure Zach doesn't take Susan."

"Done deal," said Claire as she walked back to the display to finish putting it up.

D.L. Hawkins & Niki Sanders
Las Vegas, Nevada

"We got to…keep on…running," panted Niki as she lifted D.L. onto her shoulder as they ran through the open back yards of houses.

"Where…are we?" panted her husband, a large gash in his head was still bleeding freely.

"I think…some where near…St. Rose Parkway," said Niki as she briefly glanced at the newly built suburban developments.

"Interstate fifteen," said D.L. as he whipped away some blood that had gathered on his eyelid, "takes us…to Los Angels."

Niki stopped in the next back yard and turned round to see a grilling unit from one of the previous backyards they had passed fly unnaturally in the air. Shit, she thought to her self as she gathered D.L. and walked to the back door and kicked it in. The family that owned the house was sitting down in the living room. The father got up immediately and reached for a nightstand cabinet as the mother and children screamed in unison ducking and covering their heads.

"Wait…" said D.L. as the man grabbed a gun.

"Help us," pleaded Niki.

"GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!" bellowed the man as he placed himself in front of his family, "Susan, go out the front door, get help."

"Mark, maybe…" pleaded the blonde woman as she gathered up the kids from the front of the couch.

"Susan, damn it," pleaded the husband holding the gun in D.L.'s direction, "listen to me."

"Sir…Mark," said Niki slowly, "please, we need help."

"Shut up you!" the husband waved the gun to Niki's direction, D.L. moved in front of her instinctively.

"Listen, man," began D.L., "help us, don't help us, it's your call. But there is…someone after us."

"The cops no doubt," said Mark as he cocked the hammer of the gun, "I give you to the count of five to get out, or I start shooting."

"Listen to us," pleaded Niki from behind her husband, "we don't want to harm you."

"One," said Mark as he checked the door to see his wife and kids were safely out of harms way.

"Man, all we need…is you car," said D.L. as he whipped his forehead again.

"Two," said Mark as his wife and kids walked through the door with another figure dressed in a black cloak and hood with a melted looking cross on his chest.

"Susan, I told you to get help," said Mark as he kept the gun on Niki and D.L.

"Mark, I did this is Father Gray," she introduced the man as he removed his hood to reveal a pale face that was clean shaven with short hair parted to the side and a deep scratch on his left check that was not bleeding.

"Mark," drawled Sylar in a falsely serene voice, "there is no need for weapons…I will just take these mentally ill wards of mine off your hands."

"Bullshit," said D.L. as he whipped his head, "Shoot him."

"What," said Mark and Susan at the same time as the kids edged closer to their dad, both then reprimanded "Anthony, Sandra, outside…now!"

"But mom, dad," pleaded the kids, "we ant to be here to see dad shoot the bad people."

"Great thing to teach your kids," quipped D.L. as Niki rubbed his shoulder and slowly backed forced him to back up.

"Don't move," screamed Mark as Sylar moved closer as well, Mark turned to him pointing the gun, "you too!"

"Mark," screamed his wife, "he's a father…don't wave a gun in his FACE!"

"Susan, for the love of god, get your self and the kids out of here," said Mark as he walked closer to the false father.

"Susan," said Sylar, "listen to your husband…this might get messy."

"What…what do you mean?" she faltered for the first time.

Using his stolen telekinetic power, Sylar forced Susan to fly to him with her neck in his strangling hand. She spluttered and gagged as Sylar closed his fist more. Mark stood in shock seeing the unbelievable happen before his eyes. D.L. ran forward trying to help the woman as Sylar flicked the fingers of his free hand sending him across the room mid air. D.L. phased on instinct and disappeared through the wall of the living room.

Niki ran to get her husband as Sylar flicked his finger again and sent her through the wall connecting the kitchen. Tile and ceramic fill around her as broken dished crunched under her mixing with water from broken pipes. Niki slowly got up, coughing out dust as she looked through the gaping hole to see Mark shoot twice at Sylar's head. The false father stopped the bullets mid air and stared at them with a sinister smile before he twitched his fingers again and sent them into the skull of the woman. He let go of her neck letting her crumple to the floor as her kids gathered at the body crying hysterically.

Mark shot four more times at Sylar, whom stopped all the bullets and stared at them with another smile. The widower grew fearful in a short period of time as he through his body on top of his children in time to take all four bullets in the back. He coughed up blood one last time and then remained still, the weight of his lifeless corpse now capturing his kids in a trap. Sylar smiled and picked up the little girl with his telekinesis.

"Come out now or I will rend her limb from limb," his sinister smiled deepened, "slowly…"

Niki stood up and went through the gigantic hole, "leave her alone, it's me you want, not them, you monster."

"You brought them into this," said Sylar as he tore the girl's foot off with his mind and sent it flying at Niki. The girl let out a tortuous scream that sent a shiver down Niki's back and caused bile to rise in her stomach.

"You sick son of a…" said Niki as she batted the shoe filled with foot away like an oddly shaped tennis ball.

"Now watch your language, Mrs. Sanders," said Sylar as he ripped the girls other foot off, "there are children present."

Luckily the girl had passed out with pain, but it would be soon that she woke up as another piece was pulled off. Niki threw up in her mouth a little as she looked at Sylar in the eyes.

"What do you want," she asked, negotiating in hopes to keep the little girl alive and for the cops will arrive soon, please let a neighbor have called.

"Accept being damned and join us, for once and all obtain salvation," finished Sylar as he ripped the girls arm out of it's socket, she awoke and screamed in pain as she hovered in the air still; blood being reverted from the severed limbs with his telekinesis.

Niki started cry, he is going to kill her…no matter what, she thought as she heard a rustle from the other wall; it was D.L. holding a long metal gun with rubber tubing on it, "obtain this!" He said as he pulled the trigger to shoot the spear.

Sylar noticed all too slowly that D.L. had reappeared and was punished with a spear lodged in his upper shoulder blade. Sylar lost concentration, dropping the girl as he started to radiate heat causing his surroundings to burst in flames. Niki Ran forward and picked up the girl, blood flowing freely from he stumps covering Niki's shirt in a deep rich scarlet. D.L. rushed forward and hit Sylar in the head with the spear gun and rolled the corpse of the father off his son to get the shocked and scared boy and his father's gun.

D.L. spotted the flashing red and blue lights coming down the street from the open road and motioned for Niki who was sobbing over the now dead girl's body; "Niki, we have to go," he said, "she's gone but we can still save him," he bounced the boy in his arm.

Niki looked up, "I…d-did…nothing."

"Niki," said D.L. as he grabbed her hand and forced her up, "not the time, we got to move," with that they walked through the wall to the garage where D.L. had been thrown into. He put the boy in the back seat and phased into the drivers seat looking for the keys and then slipped his hand into the dash break it open from the inside and started to hotwire the vehicle.

Niki walked to the passenger side door got into the station wagon. She looked back at the pale face of the kid as the car started to back up through the garage into the drive way and onto the street. D.L. drove slowly as the cops passed by, so as not to draw attention to the car. As luck would have it the biggest distraction was given as the house they had just left burst into flames, the front door flying off its hinges and hitting the first squad car as the roof collapsed. D.L. swerved in shocked causing the kid to roll over sideways on the seat.

Niki shook his arm gently as she watch people get out of their houses and go see the sight that illuminated the evening sky. The boy's eyes were glassy and unfocussed but he was still breathing lightly, though unevenly. The stopped at the last house as they saw the owners walk to the major scene and sat the boy on the porch hoping he would some day understand what happened.

They got back in the car after removing the car tags and stated to merge onto US Interstate 15 to get to LA. Niki turned to her husband as she unbuttoned her shirt and threw it out the window and took the gun D.L. had place on the dashboard and undid the clip to see how many rounds were left before reloaded the gun, her chest heaving back and forth with only a light tank top covering her torso now. She looked at D.L. whose jaw was set, unmoving.

"I'm sorry," she said to D.L. and no one in particular.

"Nothing to be sorry about," said D.L. as he white knuckled the steering column, "does this car have a cell phone?"

Niki looked in the glove compartment and the arm rest but found none, "no."

"Next gas stop, we need to call Micah," said D.L. seriously, "warn him."

"You don't think he will…" began Niki.

"After what he just did," began D.L. with a grimace, "I think we need to warn Micah."

"We need to get to Micah," said Niki.

"We need to get to LA," D.L. said earnest, "then Micah."

"He is our son," Niki pleaded, "there is nothing in LA more important than Micah."

"We need help," D.L. continued, "I remember that cop…five years ago…you said he was LAPD."

"Former LAPD," corrected Niki, "so?"

"He can help us," said D.L.

"I don't think…" began Niki.

"He's a cop, he can get SWAT or FBI or someone to help us," D.L. was staring at the road, not looking at his wife directly, "than we get Micah…and…hide."

"He might not even live LA anymore," said Niki, "he could have moved…or died…or something."

"He survived five bullets to the chest," he said; "If he's not there, we can get him."


"Niki, we need help," he continued, "you saw what happened back there. We can trust him."

"Can we?" she asked as she tucked the gun in her jeans.

"I'm banking on it," he finished as they continued into the darkness of US Interstate 15.

Matt Parkman, Audrey Hanson & Cormac McCullen.
Washington, D.C.

The flat screen TV on the mantle showed the nightly report from Las Vegas and a split screen picture of the CNN report of two houses burning continuously as hazmat workers with Geiger counters in hand. The sound had been muted to give the silence in the room a devastating and eerie feel to it. Cormac clicked off the TV and with a growl threw a manila folder on his desk.

"Do you know how much Homeland Security wants to blame this on terrorist?" he asked rhetorically, no sign of his usual playfulness in his voice, "God knows I should let them too. Explain!"

"Well, sir," said Matt as he looked at Audrey who handed him a file, "our contact with Wireless informed us of a man named Abu Aswan with a power similar to one we've seen before."

He opened the file on the desk to show the bearded face of Ted Sprague that had a red stamp over his visage that read: DECEASED. He flipped to several pages including the aftermath of the explosion in the Bennet house in Odessa, TX. He also flipped to the picture of the oncologist that was radiated and burned to 1800 kuris.

"Do we know who owned or was in these houses?" asked Audrey as she looked over the file from the Director of Operations.

"I believe it was Johanns, the boy was found in shock at the end of the block by some neighbors," said McCullen, "and a house owned by one Niki Sanders."

"Niki Sanders is a person of interest," said Matt, "so is her husband, D.L. Hawkins. Both were at Kirby Plaza five years ago. Has there been any word of the two of them."

"Nothing, but hazmat is still unsure if they can enter the scene, so there has not been a body count as of yet," McCullen replied remorseful, "but they should be able to enter in a day. Any ideas about what happened?"

"It is my belief that Abu Aswan perpetrated these events," said Audrey taking the lead from Parkman, "seeing as he is a listed known terrorist for the Mossad and CIA."

"May I make a comment, sir," added Matt as McCullen nodded, "In light of names you just gave, I do not believe Aswan was behind these events, to my knowledge he did not know Niki Sanders or D.L. Hawkins. I had spent time with Sprague and another that picked up this ability due to his own. This lead to the events of Kirby Plaza five years ago because of being unable to control this induced radiation."

"Where is the threat?" asked McCullen, "and whom."

"While this may be the work of Aswan," said Matt with a nod to Audrey, "I think we need to keep a tab on Peter Petrelli."

"The dead congressman's brother," questioned McCullen with a flash of remembrance in his eyes as Parkman nodded, "I can have someone from the New York branch tail him."

"That might not work," said Parkman seriously, "he has a multitude of powers and can easily detect people or evade them."

"Are you requesting this, or demanding the assignment," said McCullen.

"That was the second part of Wireless' conversation," said Audrey as she threw a transcript on the table, McCullen read it over quickly and frowned.

"I do not see it as being possible, for you two to contact Mr. Bennet or Dr. Suresh," said McCullen, "but Primatech is under surveillance."

"I do not have a good history with Petrelli," gave away Matt, "he turned down joining Project Metal Jacket…rather aggressively."

"I see," McCullen sat back in his chair pondering for a moment, "I want you, Parkman, to tail Petrelli, and you Hanson to go to Las Vegas and question the boy and try and find D.L. Hawkins and Niki Sanders. I will send Thayer to Bennet and Suresh in hope that she will make one of them talk to us. Hopefully they will say Aswan in Primatech's holding."

"And if he isn't," questioned Matt, "what then?"

Then we are shit out of luck, thought McCullen as he gleaned a look at Matt, "then we flush him out as being the cause of this Las Vegas disaster and hope someone from the other departments can bag and tag him."

That is asking for trouble, thought Matt ruefully as he remembered Ted's unstable emotional state leading to uncontrolled bursts of radiation.

Noah Bennet & Harry Fletcher
Acoma Village, New Mexico

A car would have stuck out like a sore thumb on the plan rolling landscape near the old Acoma Pueblo and the new Acoma Village where younger residence now stayed. The next best thing for Bennet and Fletcher was camouflage to match the surround sand and brush. Bennet was on his stomach using a tripod mounted scope to get a closer look at the targets house while Fletcher looked in the same direction with no scope. He turned to Bennet.

"Her family is in tonight," he said with a tight jaw, "no chance of pick up."

"Here comes the target now," said Bennet, "and we cause still say hello."

"Pick up is essential," said Fletcher firmly.

"We give her the choice," said Bennet, "let the family choose with her."

"She's over eighteen," continued Fletcher, "parents mean nothing."

"Become a parent first," replied Bennet flatly, "they'd want to know."

"I would not mind having a kid with this one," whistled Fletcher softly.

"If you ever used your enhanced vision on my daughter," said Bennet, "consider it the last thing you see."

"I'd die a happy man," quipped Fletcher cheekily, "by the by, when will I get to meet you family partner?"

"Hopefully never," replied Bennet s he looked intently as a tanned skinned lithe girl stepped out of an old pick up truck with a plait of black hair behind her back and down to her waist. She turned around for a moment looking in the direction of Bennet and Fletcher and then around before heading into her house.

"Do you think she made us," asked Fletcher as he reached for a silencer.

"Put that away kid," said Bennet harshly, "did you get trained in anything?"

"I jump the gun a little bit," Fletcher put the silencer back in his side pocket.

"That'll shoot you in the back," said Bennet as he turned away from the scene and opened a durable military laptop, "or me."

"Possible ability," questioned Fletcher ignoring the last part.

"Intuitive memorization," said Bennet as he typed in a log for the Company, "can copy motion, remember movies, books…pretty much everything seen can be used."

"Photographic memory to the max," replied Fletcher, "would have been useful in college."

"Think of it this way," said Bennet, "if she watched the surgery channel for a day, she'd be able to do all of the operations blindfolded."

"If I could trade in my ability for that," Fletcher joked, "I'd gladly do it."

"Evolution, not supermarket, kid," Bennet looked over his shoulder, "target location?"

"Shower," answered Fletcher with a smile.

Bennet sighed and put his hand in front of Fletcher's eyes, "have some decorum."

"You know I can see though your hand right?" replied Fletcher, "powerful eyes and all."

"Don't strain too much," sighed Bennet as he sat back, "I'm resting my eyes, do not apprehend target till company gives command."

"Sure thing, old man," replied Fletcher as he looked at in the general direction of the house.

Two hours later Bennet heard a ruffling of sand near him. He opened his eyes to see Fletcher reloading his service hand gun and placing it in his shoulder holster as he looked at Bennet's form rising. He did up his shoes as he started to talk out his pressed suit jacket.

"Text from the company," said Fletcher, "bag and tag time."

"Thought it was meet, and greet," said Bennet sarcastically as they both placed on their suits and abandoned their scouting post. They walked down to the small house where their target lived with her family. The bulge under Harry Fletcher's jacket made Bennet nervous that they would be treated hostilely. After all, white men on a Native American Reserve dressed like government representatives were hardly welcomed with open arms. Bennet took Fletcher aside, and took his gun from his holster and tucked it in the small of the other man's back and flipped the suit tail over it.

"If you are going hide a weapon, hide it," he seethed, "we do not need to provoke anything."

"Yes, sir," said Fletcher with clear vehemence, "can I ask you something?"

"No," said Bennet and turned to continue walking to the house.

Fletcher ran up to him and grabbed his elbow, "what is your issue, old man? What have I done wrong?"

Bennet turned to face Fletcher, "we are on a mission that comes first."

"I know all of that, but you are preventing me to finish it," said Fletcher.

"I'm protecting my own ass from your foolhardy mistakes," answered Bennet as he edged forward with a finger at Fletcher's chest, "this is your first mission and you have been unprofessional, you have been lacking any street smarts, gung ho, all-American bullshit of shoot first ask questions later. How you got out of Iraq or served in the Police Force I do not know, but when it comes to a job like this," Bennet gestured around them, "you can't afford any mistakes because either you kill the target or the target kills you. Both ways you'll end up the same, forgotten, lost forever to the hollows of time with no name, no meaning and a vain death."

"Look at yourself, old man," seethed Fletcher, "you have want what you can't have, you are jealous of people like me. Someone will remember my name, my life does have meaning, and my death will never be in vain to me. You have already given up…a has been top agent turned old man with nothing but a golden retirement watch in the future. A nothing, you succeeded at nothing. You will not get that youth back you lost for a nameless cause that has been recreated outside of your image. You have nothing to offer. Worthless."

Fletcher started to walk to the door again as Bennet clenched his fist trying to control his anger. He couldn't and wound up running after Fletcher and tackling him to the ground a cloud of dust where they land. Bennet punched him in the face as Fletcher pushed him away with both hands on his face. Both were swearing and throwing punches and kicks wildly as they grappled. The click of a shotgun being cocked for a shot rang in the night air.

Bennet and Fletcher looked up and both mouthed, "Oh shit." A shotgun was pointed directly at them by an older man with pock marks and high cheek bones. There was an older woman behind him and the younger one they had seen enter the house early. Fletcher got up to his knees just as Bennet did the same, whipping his bloody lip.

"What are you doing on my property," questioned the older man.

Fletcher looked at Bennet in hopes of getting out of the situation, Bennet sighed, "Mr. Redhouse, my name is Mr. Bennet and this my colleague Mr. Fletcher, we represent a group that is interested in your daughter, Sparrow Redhouse, and what she can do."

"What can I do," spoke up the high cheekbone girl they had watch enter the house.

Fletcher looked at Bennet, then at Sparrow Redhouse and said, "You can do everything."

A/N: Thank you for reading once again. I hope you enjoyed this episode, if so please review and tell me! There is an Acoma Village and Acoma Pueblo that are part of a Native American reserve for the Navajo.