Spoilers for season 2 of Heroes and up to episode 4.10 'Revelations' of Battlestar Galactica.
If you've not seen them, you might want to give this a miss.
As ever, they all belong to someone else, someone not me.
rapping the thick coat around her shoulders, she stepped out onto the observation deck and looked out over the wasteland. It had been so long since the Shanti Virus had started to kill off the human race, and the frightened survivors had finally given into their paranoia and hastened the holocaust with a war that had finished what the virus had started. They had never found Hiro's body, and Peter still held out hope that he had somehow succeeded in his plan. But the fear that the former office-drone had failed kept him from trying to follow him, and that just left the three of them: three people out of six-billion.
"You shouldn't be out here; it's not safe." Peter stood in the doorway watching her, his eyes still haunted after all these years, "This entire building could give way any second, and I'll be damned if I'm going to dig you out again."
"You and I both know that this place was built to last." Claire glanced over her shoulder, "A bit like us."
"You, maybe, but not me." Peter walked over to the parapet and looked out over what had once been New York, "I wasn't born for this, remember? I'm just borrowing your gift."
"Immortality isn't a gift; it's a curse." Claire's eyes flashed darkly, "Any sign of Adam?"
"He raided one of our supply caches, but not recently." Peter shook his head, "He's getting better at covering his tracks. We almost had him in Helsinki."
"It wasn't Helsinki; it was Oslo." Claire rolled her eyes, "And that was over a hundred years ago."
"That long?" Peter blinked, "Could have sworn it was only a couple of decades."
"You're losing it, Old Man." Claire managed a faint smile, probably the first all year, "So, what brings you to my part of the world; it can't be time for our monthly poker game already."
"No; that's next Tuesday." Her uncle looked up at the cloudless sky; the sun was just starting to rise behind them, casting long shadows across the ice and rubble, "Remember what Hiro said, that last time?"
"How can I forget? It was the last time I spoke to someone other than you or myself." Claire closed her eyes, "'From Thirteen to Twelve to One; they shall come looking for their salvation'. I know you liked the guy, but he was beginning to go a little crazy by then; too much jumping back and forth through time."
"I painted a picture today." Peter jumped up onto the parapet; an easy task for someone who could fly round the world. He stood, looking down at the snow-filled street so far below, "I haven't painted in so long it took me ages to find some paints that weren't frozen solid: I painted a dove coming down from the sky, holding an olive branch." He looked up at the sky and smiled for the first time since Adam's betrayal, "I think Hiro was right; someone's coming."
"They are already here." A new voice came from behind them, the shock almost sending Peter over the edge but he managed to regain his footing in time to save himself the embarrassment.
"Hiro?" He looked round, hardly believing his ears, "Is that you?"
"Hello my friends." The time-traveller stepped out from the shadows, his sword strapped to the back of a thick ski-jacket, the hood drawn up and almost hiding his face, "I am pleased to see that you have survived."
"It wasn't easy." Claire walked over to the newcomer and hugged him, "Peter's still a lousy cook, even after all these years."
"Hey, I'm not that bad." Peter protested as he walked over and likewise welcomed his friend, "You telling me that there are others out there?" He gestured back out across the deserted city.
"Not out there: up there" Hiro's eyes looked up into the sky, "They will be landing soon. One of us should go greet them; they have come a long, long way."
"I'll go!" Claire took off, heading for the stairs so fast the other two couldn't stop her.
"CLAIRE!" Peter called out after her, "It might not be safe..."
"No need to worry." Hiro held his friend back, a huge smile on his face that seemed to light up everything around them, "Every thing is going to be okay again, you will see."
After all this time; years spent trapped inside a airtight can floating in space, it felt odd to look up at a sky again. True, they'd had that chance on New Caprica, but that brought back memories best left at the back of the mind, where they could do no damage. Earth was supposed to have been the light at the end of the tunnel; the proverbial Promised Land. But it had turned out to be a desolate, radioactive ball of ice and rock, with no signs of life.
So much for the legend of the Thirteenth Tribe.
The wind changed direction, blowing towards them from the ruined city that could just be seen in the distance.
"Frack me!" Starbuck span round, drawing her side-arm, "Does anyone else hear that?"
"I do." D'Anna looked up from the soil sample she'd been holding.
The other's strained their ears, trying to pick out anything against the howling wind. Finally, they started to make out the sound of approaching footsteps crunching in the snow. The Marines and Centurions readied their weapons, on guard against anything hostile that might have survived whatever cataclysm had struck the Earth and the devastation that followed. A shadowy shape appeared in the distance, growing larger and closer, until the unmistakable outline of a person in a heavy coat could be made out. It walked up to them without fear, passing both human and Cylons until it stopped in front of Adama and Roslin. They looked at it, but it's face was hidden behind a pair of thick goggles and a sky-mask.
The mask came off first, revealing a main of unruly golden hair, then the goggle came off, and a pair of happy, hazel coloured eyes greeted them as they realised the stranger was a young woman, seemingly just out of her teens if not a little younger.
"Hello, my name is Claire Bennet." She looked at the newcomers and smiled, "I guess you have a lot of questions. Come; the others are waiting, and they'll help explain everything."