The World Entire, Chapter 22
by Creedog VanDrey
Summery: Peter hopes to undo the damage caused by the Antidote.
Spoilers: Up to 3x05, especially the "I Am Become Death" future, and my fic "My Firefly." I'll pick and choose ideas from Volumes 3 and 4 as they occur, but won't include information from future episodes.
A/N: Whoa. This is the finale. Which means that I finished what is my largest fic series ever (81861 words).
So, anyway, I have this really strange desire to recap the entire series. If you've been paying attention, I would advise you to skip this and just start reading the finale, but for those of you who would like to know what has happened in the past 95% of the series, here's your monologue:
The year is 2011; almost half the world's population has taken "Evolution shots", which bestows on normal humans extrahuman abilities; these Specials humans are called Synthetics. Their abilities are a double-edged sword: some use their abilities to help mankind; others to cause it harm, sometimes deliberately, sometimes by accident. Shortly after the Costa Verde Disaster, Company agents Meredith Gordon and Victor Abano discover a survivor of the blast: Noah Gray, the young son of Gabriel Gray, the reformed serial killer Sylar, and his wife, Elle Bishop, a reinstated Company agent who is slightly off-balance. Noah is the product of their strange but touching romance, which is still burning bright today. It is soon revealed that Noah is the product of Company Director Angela Petrelli's planning, inspired by a prophetic dream of a powerful grandson. She was correct; Noah has the ability of adaptive resurrection, allowing him to rise from the dead with protection from whatever last killed him. His home destroyed, Gabriel rejoins the Company, becoming partnered with Ryan Covington, the Company's newest recruit, a normal human. Elle's partner is the no-nonsense Russian-born Bess Detskij.
The Company is in competition with the Pinehearst Company, the provider of the now-scarce Evolution shots. The head of the Pinehearst Company is Arthur Petrelli, Angela's wife and the father of Gabriel, Nathan, and Peter. Peter, a wanted terrorist, is responsible for the bombing of Pinehearst's main distribution center, and Arthur has sent his best team to capture him, led by none other than Claire Bennet, Arthur's granddaughter and Peter's niece. Though successfully in killing him, their pursuit of Peter's past self caused the Costa Verde Disaster, as well as the death of Benjamin "Knox" Washington and the near-death of Daphne Parkman, who saved by her husband Matt with a packet of Claire's regenerative blood; however, this leaves her in a coma. Claire soon recruits a new team, including Matt, who swiftly betrays her to get to the current Peter's body, which revives in Claire's presence. Using his telepathic powers, he escapes, but without his adopted daughter Molly, who has fled on her own. After discovering the truth behind the Costa Verde Disaster, Matt accepts Peter's offer to join forces with him to discover a way to stop an imminent disaster: the possibility that the Earth may soon crack into pieces. This cataclysm of apocalyptic proportions is given validity by the U.S. Geological Society's to President Nathan Petrelli. Nathan was elected to serve the nation in the face of the exposure of Special humans. He married to former lobbyist and political aide Tracy Strauss and the two of them have a son named Andrew with aquatic abilities.
Peter and Matt, hoping to remove the abilities out of the Synthetics and prevent the Broken Earth Cataclysm, recruit the reclusive Mohinder Suresh, scarred from taking a homemade but imperfect version of the Formula compound found in Evolution shots. They find him already in the company of Molly. Together, they formulate a plan to make an Antidote. Peter enlists the help of the similarly reclusive Hiro Nakamura, another declared terrorist, who lives on a remote Japanese island and uses his time-traveling ability to try to avert the Cataclysm, though without success. Hiro gives Peter his half of the Formula diagram, which he previously stole from Pinehearst. The other half is tucked safely away in the Yamagato vault. Hiro promises to retrieve it so that Mohinder can use it to create the Antidote. Unbeknownst to him, Pinehearst has sent Ando Masahashi, Hiro's former best friend, to retrieve the Formula from Yamagato. Hiro's sister Kimiko and Ando have a brief romantic encounter, partially aided by Kimiko's Synthetic pheromone ability. In a late-night standoff, Hiro acquires the other half of the Formula, but it falls into Ando's possession when Ando inadvertently injures Hiro, who dies when a Synthetic-caused earthquake results in the collapse of Yamagato Square. Ando gives Arthur the half of the Formula, but refuses to seek the other half after the death of his friend. Arthur enacts his notorious severance package.
Matt, meanwhile, attempts to retrieve his wife and infant daughter from Pinehearst's clutches, only to find both missing, and Pinehearst claiming ignorance. He escapes unscathed due to a bit of quick thinking, and Arthur sends out Claire to track down Matt, and through him, Peter. She makes her way to Matt's ex-wife Janice, but arrives at a dead end. Arthur also sends out Barbara Zimmerman, Tracy's twin sister, to finish Ando's assignment. She gets her first lead by force from Usutu, a government employee who uses his precognitive ability to foresee potential problems. Usutu's paintings lead her to Mohinder's lab, where she efficiently disables both Peter and Mohinder, but a brief interruption by Micah Sanders allows Peter to overpower her. After a brief misunderstanding, Micah, too, joins the rogue group, offering his technopathic abilities.
In New Orleans, Company agents and partners Monica Dawson and Lyle Bennet track down delinquent Specials. One such assignment gets Lyle thrown in the hospital, but a visit from his sister and her healing blood puts him back into commission. Back at the Company, Angela hires ex-FBI agent Audrey Hanson, who she pairs with green agent Sparrow Redhouse. Sparrow is injured during their first mission, but survives thanks to Audrey's quick thinking.
Back in D.C., Nathan is introduced to the first squadron of the Powered Legion, a new branch of the military exclusively employing Specials, and sends them on their first mission to San Diego. What has happened there is that an entire prison has been injected with Evolution shots. The Company sends its best agents, including the newly partnered Meredith and Audrey, to clean up the mess. They arrive at the jail to find that Pinehearst has sent its elite team, too. The teams reluctantly join up to combat the common opponent. However, even the combined teams are no match for the large, violent prison population. The day is saved by the Powered Legion's new squadron. Their victory is short-lived, however, when Matt kidnaps Gabriel, hoping to punish him for his wife's fatal injuries by trapping him in his own mind. The trap backfires, and Sylar resurfaces, and he makes Matt witness his murderous streak. Matt only breaks out when witnessing Sylar's attempts to kill Molly, but he is too late to stop Sylar from brutally massacring the entire prison yard and Legion squadron. One Legionnaire, Dalton Henry, escapes and reports to Nathan.
Hoping to add to his collection of abilities, Sylar makes his way back to Primatech. He is confronted by his wife, who shrewdly leads him to their son, Noah; upon attempting to take his son's immortality, the cries of the young boy cause an emotional breakdown, allowing the murderous Sylar to become loving father Gabriel once again. Gabriel discovers that the time inside Matt's mind has given him telepathy, which he discovers when he inadvertently takes his wife's electrical abilities.
Nathan is disturbed by his father's actions, wrenching control of the Powered Legion from his hands, using the rest of Pinehearst's Evolution shot reserves to create a large army. He sequesters Titanhold, a prison designed to house Specials, which Nathan believes he is only using to gain new abilities. Though praised as heroes, the Legion under Arthur's control causes more harm than good.
As all the pieces of Peter and Matt's plan come together, Micah suggests using his self-replicating robots to distribute the Antidote around the world. Daphne reappears at Mohinder's lab with daughter Daniella, solving the mystery of her disappearance: she healed on her own and simply escaped using her ability. Peter returns Barbara to Pinehearst, sans her vertigo ability, and she is swiftly fired and defenestrated by Arthur. He leads all his agents to the Hartsdale Primatech facility, where they find a fully battle-ready force of Company agents awaiting them, forewarned by Angela's precognition. Though the battle results in no deaths, Arthur is mind-wiped by the Haitian, Angela's loyal sleeper agent, and Claire's analgesia is "cured" by Gabriel. Feeling pain for the first time in years, Claire is repentant of her mistakes and escapes with Peter, who she reaffirms her relationship with. Now greatly outnumbered and without a leader, the Pinehearst agents flee, only to find that Barbara, saved by good fortune and Primatech, has betrayed them and destroyed the headquarters. Echo deserts his fellow agents, leaving only Edward, Piper, and Flint to plan their next move.
Nathan, with Arthur in a vegetative state, takes back the Legion from Arthur's loyal stooge, General Jacob Pradasa. But by the next day, a tragedy has befallen the world. Mohinder's Antidote, expected to slowly negate the powers of Synthetics, has instead briskly removed the abilities of all Specials, resulting in many deaths and the sudden inability of Specials to counteract the effects of the cracking Earth. Peter and Claire realize the implications of the Antidote, and Peter teleports away, proclaiming that he is going to "fix" the problem… if it's not too late.
: : :
Chapter 22: The Moments to Come
According to the Mayan calendar, the thirteen bak'tun cycle will end somewhere between December 21 and 23 of the year 2012 C.E. Many religions and pseudo-religions have taken this date to be the moment of the end of the world. However, it should be noted that even the ancient Mesoamerican cultures did not consider this date to be the point of any apocalypse, merely a resetting of the cycle, and possibly a great cultural shift. They believe that life would go on. This harkens to the fact that even the Judeo-Christian End of Days is a misnomer. They believe that the Earth will survive another thousand years in Paradise. Every change in our life, every graduation, every job change, every marriage, every birth, it all signals not an end to things, but a continuation of them; a landmark on a journey with no final destination. What are we trying to escape from? And when will we learn to appreciate the moments to come?
: : :
"This is a GNN Special Report with Ngozi Badu and Alistair Coles."
Badu began the report, "Welcome, ladies and gentlemen. Earlier today, in what some are calling an epidemic, the world's entire Special population suddenly and inexplicably lost their extrahuman abilities. While reports are still coming in, this is almost certainly not a natural occurrence."
Coles continued, "The sudden plague of ability lost began in New York City sometime before dawn today and quickly spread in all directions. The Chinese government claimed that another outbreak, apparently independent of the first, began in Hong Kong only a few hours later, at 17:30 local time. Other major cities, including Tokyo, Japan; Lisboa, Portugal; Cape Town, South Africa; St. Petersburg, Russia; Caracas, Venezuela; Los Angeles, California; and Mumbai, India have all made similar claims, leading some to conclude that this was a deliberate action on a global scale."
A map showing the coastal cities appeared beside Coles.
Badu continued, "There were thousands of reports of sparrow-sized mechanical insects at the sites, and it is believed that they are somehow responsible for the epidemic. No government or group is taking credit for the robots."
His tone sympathetic, Coles added, "While the casualties are still being counted, this outbreak has caused deaths numbering in at least the tens of thousands, mostly from fliers and runners, the two largest Special populations. Estimates of injuries have been quoted in the millions."
Badu reported, "There was a particular outpouring of grief for the hundreds of Specials who lost their lives after using their abilities to try to repair the Earth's crust. We would like to now show a video that was made by American film students Zachary Kline and Archie Kang in San Francisco, California, which shows a group of Specials who, for the past two days, have attempted to repair the San Andreas Fault in California."
The film was cued up to the last word Zach said before a flying man plummeted to the ground in the background. "Archie, get this," Zach proclaimed on screen. "I don't know what's happening here but it appears as if all the Special fliers are suddenly losing control of their abilities." There was a distant buzzing and Zach pointed toward the noise. The camera jerked up just in time to see a speck in the distance. It zoomed toward the object, a steel-gray insect that could barely be made out. It flew inconsistently, jerking and gliding in an unpredictable manner. After losing some altitude, it suddenly zipped away quickly, out of the frame. The camera returned to Zach, who coughed before continuing, "I do not know what we just saw, but it appeared to be made out of metal, shaped like an insect or a small plane, about the size of a model airplane by my estimation. And cut." Zach made a cutting motion toward the camera and the feed ended as he raced out toward the shore.
"In related news, the U.S. Geological Society today released its findings that had, up until now, only been shown to American President Nathan Petrelli. It explains that the damage to Earth's crust is more extensive than previously thought. What we are about to show you contains frightening images…"
: : :
Lower Manhattan, New York
September 11, 2011
Mohinder examined his arm. For the first time in three years, he could see his skin. His eyes, too, had reverted back to his normal brown. The only trait remaining that recalled his previous form was his still-bald head.
Peter teleported into the lab, his demeanor harried.
Unable to contain his excitement, Mohinder cried out, "Peter! It worked! Look at me!"
"It worked too well, Mohinder." Peter turned on Mohinder's television. It opened to a GNN news report talking about the recent epidemic of ability loss.
After watching a few moments, Mohinder noted, "Oh, God, the hormone… it was very dilute; it should have taken hours if not days to build up enough concentration to counteract the effects of the compound. But how do you still have your abilities?"
Peter stood away from Mohinder, "I teleported away before I could breathe in the Antidote. I won't have them for long. Do you still have the Formula and the compound?"
Mohinder indicated the sheet of taped-together paper and the large glass jar with clear liquid. "Right here. But, I have to warn you, I discovered something else."
"I've been doing some tests. The Antidote clears the body of the compound that induces abilities. However, now that the Antidote is our systems, I don't think we can reintroduce the modification compound without causing an adverse reaction. The two compounds neutralize one another, and because the body will continue producing both, the byproducts build up to toxic levels."
"So, we can't take the Formula compound?" Peter brushed back his hair.
"You can, actually. Your body is genetically predisposed to it. It occurs naturally in your body, so a shot of it will overpower the Antidote and your abilities will return."
"Let's do it." Peter slipped off his jacket and pulled up the sleeve of his shirt.
As Mohinder carefully injected Peter with the compound, the latter questioned, "What about Nathan? He's not a Natural."
"Nathan's an exception. He is genetically predisposed since the mutation runs in your family."
"Interesting." Peter looked up. "This is really bothering me." He laid a hand on Mohinder's head and hair quickly grew from the scalp.
Grinning, Mohinder said, "Oh, thank you." He felt it; it was long and flowed down to his shoulder. "A little long, though?"
"Get a haircut," Peter joked. He got up as Mohinder pulled out a bandage, only to find no wound.
"Well, it appears you've retained your regeneration."
"I've got one more errand to do."
Peter teleported out of the lab and returned a few seconds later with a silver pistol, which he shot Mohinder with. A small dart imbedded itself in his shoulder. Mohinder collapsed to the ground and Peter took the Formula and stuck it in his pocket.
: : :
Col. Donald Kendrick
Fort Irwin Military Base
Fort Irwin, California
In a small office, Kendrick surveyed the map of the West Coast of the United States on a bulletin board. On the adjacent wall were half a dozen blue prints for a strange structure. Kendrick's phone rang and he answered it, "Let him in." General Jacob Pradasa of the Special Legion entered with two soldiers behind him. One was Edward Pall and the other Piper Johanssen, both in red-and-khaki uniforms.
Kendrick greeted the man coolly, "General Pradasa, I'm very busy. What can I do for you?"
"I know the military is performing some group project that has to do with the Cataclysm. My men, the soldiers of the Special Legion, would like to offer their assistance."
"Their abilities are gone."
"They're still trained. They want to serve their country."
Kendrick nodded, "Very well. You'll have to hear the short version. You see this?" He pointed to the blueprints on the wall.
"What is it?" Pall asked, looking over them.
"We're calling it the Vice. The U.S. military employs… or 'employed', I should say… Specials with intelligence abilities. Because we feared the danger that earthquake generators could cause, we looked into ways to repair the damage. One of our smarties designed these. They are concrete-and-steel structures built over fault lines, bored deep into the crust. They dramatically slow the spread of the plates by counteracting the pressure beneath the earth and rerouting it sideways. Three designs: one for land, one for undersea, and one special one that attaches to levees. Think of them like little buckles."
"Which one are we using?" Pradasa asked.
"All them, and many of each. We'll start building twelve of them across the San Andreas Fault tomorrow. We've got posts set up at every major military base across the West Coast."
"Have they ever been tested?" Pradasa asked.
"No. But, if one breaks down, we'll just build two more to replace it."
"Sounds expensive," Piper commented.
"Very. But it's decreed by the President of the United States. The American taxpayers will thank us when Australia doesn't smash into the moon and cause little bits of it the size of ocean liners to turn the Midwest into Gomorrah."
: : :
Manhattan, New York
Claire looked down at her arm, where a small trickle of blood still flowed from the arm she had stabbed, and a red stain began to grow on her polo. Huffing, she tore her left pant leg against the seam, groaning at the unfamiliar ache in her arm. Tearing off the pant leg at her thigh, she wrapped the strip of cloth around the wound. Her destination was several miles away, and she was in a hurry.
Moments later, Peter teleported behind her, grabbed her before she could sense his arrival, and transported her to Mohinder's lab. Once there, she noticed Mohinder Suresh's body sprawled on the floor, no longer covered in scales like Pinehearst's reports had reported.
"What's wrong with him?"
"I injected him with the Formula. Non-Naturals are intolerant of it, so maybe it hit him harder."
"What's going to happen to him?" she asked suspiciously.
"Don't worry. He's predisposed; his sister had abilities. He should be fine… Sorry, I'm still getting used to this 'thinking ahead' thing."
"Tell me about it."
"Ready for me to reinject you?" He pointed the gun at her. She immediately spin-kicked it out of his hand and grabbed a scrap of metal off the ground and swung it at him. A moment later, she relaxed her attack pose and noted sheepishly, "Sorry, training. Can we use a syringe instead?"
"Works for me," he replied. Peter proceeded to carefully fill a syringe with a full dosage of the compound and injected into Claire's non-damaged arm. Seeing her impromptu bandage, he asked, "That looks like one of your pant legs. What happened to the other?" He indicated her two bare legs.
"I wasn't going to walk down Church Street with only one pant leg. I've got a little more pride than that."
"I've got to get going."
"Where are you off to?"
"I'm going to reinject Naturals and Predisposeds. Too many Specials may have doomed the world, but without any, we may not be able to save it. I've got the List."
"Do you need me?"
He indicated four more syringes that he'd filled up, on the table beside where Mohinder was lying, groaning as he slowly became more awake. "I need you to give those to Matt, Daphne, Molly, and Micah when they return. I assume you know how to find a vein."
Confidently, she noted, "I've given away about nineteen gallons of my blood in the last year. I think I'll manage."
: : :
Zach and Archie
Full Moon Bay Beach
San Francisco, California
Zach and Archie pulled the tall, black-haired youth out of the water. He spat out water on shore and slowly regained his breath.
"Hey, buddy," Zach asked, "how are you?"
"I'll be fine," Alex replied, still coughing up water, "I had to swim about a mile to get back here."
Zach looked impressed. Archie asked, "What happened?"
Sitting up, Alex responded, "I can breathe underwater. Or I at least used to be able to. I heard people crashing onto the surface when I was under, and when I went to check… I lost my abilities. Any idea what's going on?"
Zach explained, "Someone sent out these robots bugs that take away people's powers."
Alex let out a chuckle. "I work at a comic book shop and I find that weird." He shook out his hair.
: : :
Nathan and Tracy
The White House
Nathan strode down the hall with his wife by his side, their son wrapped in a towel in her arms. Nathan's Secret Service escorts: Braham, Renfrass, Henry, and Sanders, surrounded him. His chief of staff, Marty Ceppo, too, stood by, taking instruction from the President.
"Marty, get my speechwriters on my speech for tonight. We just had the Epidemic and the Cataclysm report released. We're going to have a lot of anxious citizens. I don't want it at the Freedom Towers anymore. Put it out back. And make sure they include… you know what, Marty? You went to Harvard. You know what needs to be in my speech. Go!"
Marty ran off, still making notes in a notepad.
Nathan turned to his wife, "How's Andrew?"
"Still a little shaken. He was in the pool when those darn things flew over."
"Mommy," Andrew said, poking his head out, "'Darn' bad word."
"Yes!" she replied, pushing his head back against her shoulder. She turned to her husband and noted, "Your Inauguration Present is too perceptive."
Peter teleported in, facing the entourage. Nathan's agents, practically in unison, drew their guns and aimed at Peter.
Laying a hand on Braham's shoulder, Nathan calmed, "Hold fire." He asked, "Hey, Pete, you're gonna get yourself shot doing that. How do you still have your abilities by the way?"
Without saying a word, Peter froze time. He pulled out his dart pistol and fired at Nathan. The dart sailed a few feet before getting caught in the time stasis. He examined it for a moment, and fired twice more, at Tracy and Andrew. He read through the list and moved around, looking at the agents' badges. He fired only at the female Agent Landers.
Peter returned to his spot and unfroze time. The darts sailed to their intended targets, causing Nathan and Tracy to faint. Flustered, the three other Secret Service Agents shot at Peter. The first round of bullets struck Peter, but he let the rest phase through him while his body healed.
Once their magazines were emptied, and Nathan and Tracy had regained consciousness, Peter noted, "You're welcome. Now, finally to that errand." He teleported away.
"Sir," Henry mentioned to Nathan, "you're floating."
Nathan indeed was floating several inches off the ground. He descended and exchanged glances with his wife, who laid her hand against the wall; a patch of ice appeared.
"Someone lie to me," Landers requested, yanking out the dart.
"I'm a convicted felon," Braham stated.
"I played football in high school," Henry added.
"I believe in vampires," Renfrass thought up.
"Stop!" Lander screamed, holding up her hand, "I'm getting a headache."
Nathan noted, "Miss Landers, I can understand why my brother would inject my wife and my son and I, but why you?"
"I don't know, sir," she replied, "that's the first time I met him." She didn't shutter.
"She's a Natural," Tracy pointed out; "Renfrass, Henry, and Braham were Synthetics. Peter was holding a sheet of paper. It was the List."
Nathan smiled, "Good thinking, Sweetheart."
"I was a lobbyist for seven years. It takes a bit of brains for that."
: : :
Matt, Daphne, Micah, and Molly
Lower Manhattan, New York
Matt raced in with Daphne in his arms. Micah and Molly followed him. They found Claire Bennet holding Daniella and Mohinder sitting on a stood beside her.
"Claire," Matt said, apprehensively, noting his daughter in Claire's arms. His tightened his grip on his wife, who also eyed their daughter. Micah took a step in front of Molly, as did Matt. Molly moved away from the wall of protective male so she could watch the action.
"She's with us," Mohinder stated blandly.
Everyone, except the non-anxious Molly, relaxed. Molly noticed and complimented Mohinder's new head of hair.
"Peter recruited you?" Matt questioned, still a bit wary.
"Yeah, Sylar sliced my head open and now things hurt. Including my past actions, if that's not a total cliché," she stated, sounding like the 21-year-old she was. She saw Matt's wife. "Daphne, you're awake. Your legs, is that from the explosion?"
"No, I was paraplegic before I got my powers. I healed fine because of your blood. I bet genetically we're first cousins now."
Claire smirked before asking, "Where did Arthur move you?"
"I don't know; I woke up in the Pinehearst Hospital last Saturday."
"Arthur lied," Claire reasoned, rolling her eyes at her naïveté.
"I'd love to kick his ass," Daphne seethed.
"Not a whole lotta point in it," Claire explained, "Haitian wiped him."
Matt commented, "Now that you're not with Pinehearst, I guess you should know he's Angela's double agent."
"He let me read him in the hospital room. He was just trying to get close to Arthur. He let me escape."
"He could have at least let you use the door."
"I did use the door. You really think I'd jump out a window with a bag of regenerator blood? No, I put the whole show in your brains from outside Arthur's office."
"My former employer was a den of liars!" Claire exclaimed. She mentioned to Matt, with a tone of malice, "By the way, I hear you're the one who brought Sylar back."
"Sorry, but in my defense, he did blow up Costa Verde."
"Well, thanks to you, he slaughtered thirty-three more people."
"Everyone is so hard on me about this. I said I was sorry," Matt whined to his wife.
Daphne, cradled in his arms, and lovingly patted him on the face, "Well, you have to admit, it wasn't your brightest moment. Really, I'm supposed to be the impulsive one in this family."
Matt, tiring of the abuse, asked, "Where's Peter?"
"He's going to inject some people with the Formula to return their abilities."
Daphne twisted her head, "Isn't that the problem we just solved, except for a few… missteps?" She indicated her limp legs.
"Not everyone," Mohinder explained, "Just Naturals. They're the only ones who can handle abilities. And those who are predisposed to them. Which Peter is very lucky includes me. Speaking of impulsive," he tacked on.
"Are your powers back?" Molly asked.
"Strength, speed, agility, endurance, sight, hearing… all above average."
"But no webbing?" Molly asked.
"Thankfully not. I was never partial to that one."
"Me neither. I still haven't gotten that jacket."
"Molly," Daphne chastised.
Sarcastically, Molly recited, "You're not my real mom… Blah blah blah. We all watch enough TV to know how this conversation goes. I'll be nice."
Daphne mentioned, "I'm Natural. Any chance I can get in on that Formula injection thing? I like walking."
: : :
Burnt Toast Diner
October 9, 2006
Illusioning his scar away, Peter walked into the diner. He watched for a moment, noting the portion of the restaurant where the young redheaded waitress was serving and sat himself down in an empty booth in the middle of her section.
"Hiya," she noted in a Texas drawl, holding an order pad and pen, "what can I get for ya?"
"An order of waffles and coffee, please."
Not bothering to write it down, she replied, "Coming right up." She slipped the empty pad into her apron.
Peter took out the Formula over and glanced at it. He then crumbled it up, and beneath the table, he used a ball of radioactive energy to reduce it to dust. He pulled a pen out of his pocket and started to doodle on the place mat.
Charlie returned with his breakfast, asking, "What'cha drawin'? Ooh, looks all science-y."
Peter nodded, "Yeah, it is. Thank you, Charlie." She seemed perplexed that he knew her name until she realized she was wearing a name tag.
"Just let me know when you're ready to pay," she replied, turning away to get out her bill pad out of the apron. When she turned around to give him the bill, he was gone. His placemat was a small pile of charred scraps of paper, his pancakes reduced to a puddle of maple syrup, his coffee cup empty, and a ten-dollar bill was sitting on the edge of the table.
Lynette walked up to her. "Charlie, you're daydreaming again. What's up?"
"You're right about city folk. They do need to slow down." She picked up the money note and handled it to her boss. "This look counterfeit to you?"
Lynette surveyed it. "Nah. Just one of those newfangled tens the government's sending out that won't get to our banks for another six months."
Snatching the bill back, Charlie pointed to the face of Nathan Petrelli on the back, next to the U.S. Treasury Building. "You recognize this guy?"
"No, but I can't keep up with all them politicians. Probably the Secretary of the Treasury. Some guy who won't matter in five years. And, you got a couple of Japanese guys in your section."
Charlie grinned and headed to the table.
Outside the diner, Peter glanced back inside once more. At a table near the window was a man dressed all in black with a trucker's hat concealing his face and a broken analog watch on his wrist. After a moment of deliberation, Peter teleported away.
: : :
White House South Lawn
September 11, 2011
Though it was only six o'clock in the evening, the sky was dark as night, as the nearer moon completely covered the sun, leaving no corona.
Nathan spoke majestically, "My fellow Americans, it is the ten year anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. On that day, early in the morning, thousands died, some helping others. Just like today. We were planning on a somber remembrance of those lost a decade ago, but we live in turbulent times and we have a new tragedy to mourn.
"Once again, it feels like the world is ending. We feel helpless. Powerless. But I'm calling you, not just my fellow Americans, but my fellow citizens of the world, to persevere. We survived a time before our abilities and we can do it again."
"Many are fearful for the state of the world. The Earth is cracked and could potentially be rent apart. But I am here to tell you that we can stop it. Us normal human beings. General Donald Kendrick has undertaken a massive project with all the branches of military to create structures that will stop the Earth from reaching a point when it can be broken apart. It won't be cheap. It won't be easy. But we can save our world.
"As for our abilities, we may never get them back. As you probably have heard, the Pinehearst Company was destroyed yesterday, and the plans for the Evolution compound with it. All supplies and backups we can assume are lost.
"But we do not need our abilities. We have grown too used to them. It's time we learned to use our minds and our hearts again. It's time we remembered that there is no 'next stage in evolution,' just adapting to change. The world is in trouble; let us resolve within ourselves to evolve to that challenge. God bless."
: : :
Flint and Meredith
Primatech Incarceration Facility
Hartsdale, New York
September 19, 2011
Flint bounced his one-and-a-half-year-old niece in his arms, eliciting squeaks of joy. "Purdy little thing. She takes after you," he told his sister.
"Thanks, Flint," Meredith noted flatly.
"Hey, Howie," he addressed his brother-in-law, Howard Lemay, "how's it hangin' with you?"
"Quite well," Howard replied, "I've got a daughter to keep me busy and a wife to keep me busy when Savannah's asleep. And a part-time online consulting job when I realize that free time is an illusion."
Flint slipped off the tiny mittens on his niece's tiny hands, telling her, "Show Uncle Flint what you can do."
Savannah Rose shook her hands, creating small firework-like sparkles.
Howard snatched his daughter back and replaced her mittens.
Undaunted, Flint noted, "They fed us grilled chicken sandwiches the other night."
"And?" Meredith baited.
"Darn good," he replied, smiling.
Meredith let out a sigh of relief. "And your ability?"
"Eh, they ain't gonna give it back to me until they figger I'm rehabilitated," he pronounced the last word, adding, "And when the do," he crossed his fingers, "I work for the Company for the rest of my life."
"That's good news, Flint," Meredith pronounced. She checked her watch, "Hey, guys, I gotta go meet Angela. Some important conversation." She leaned over to give her husband and daughter a kiss, "I'll see you at the hotel. Flint, you behave yourself."
Meredith made her way to the medical facility, where she found Angela with her family. She held back, letting the family have a moment.
The Petrelli clan was huddled outside Arthur Petrelli's hospital room. Matriarch Angela stood before the door with her family surrounding her in three groups. Nathan and Tracy stood together, Andrew napping on his mother's shoulder with a thumb in his mouth. Gabriel, with Noah perched on his shoulder, stood hand-in-hand with Elle. Peter and Claire stood close together, watching patiently.
"How's Dad?" Nathan asked.
"Somewhere between a cucumber and a goldfish," Angela noted callously.
"Ma," Nathan chastised.
"I loved your father. I still do, but that doesn't change the fact that he was dangerous. I don't regret what I did. But that's not why I called you together." All ears perked up. "I will be stepping down from the Company effective immediately. Exposure to the Antidote has left me weakened."
Peter took a step forward, "Ma, I…"
Angela shushed her son immediately, laying a hand on his face. "Peter, no, I'm an old woman and honestly I've grown weary after four years at the helm. I'm passing the reins to Nathan."
"Are you a little busy, you know, being President?" Gabriel quipped.
"I'm annexing the Company under government control. Since I'll be publicly abolishing the Department of Special Human Affairs, I'll reroute funding to Primatech."
"The Hartsdale Regional Director will be the Acting Head Director," Angela added.
"I thought we didn't have a Hartsdale Regional Director. You ran New York," Elle pointed out.
"True," Angela replied, turning down the hall where Meredith waited, "That's why I asked you here, Miss Gordon." Meredith emerged from the hallway. "You're being promoted to Hartsdale Director."
"Thank you, ma'am," Meredith replied, taken aback at her new responsibilities, "Um, Howard will be thrilled; he'd love to move back closer to his family."
"I'll still be involved in the Company, but mostly hands-off," Nathan noted.
"I like hands-off," Tracy admitted, eyeing Meredith. "Nathan should probably appoint a liaison," she declared, as if she'd already thought her words through. She turned to her husband, "And now that Andrew's walking, I could use a diversion."
Nathan, blindsided, replied, "Sounds like a plan, Sweetie."
Tracy and Meredith exchanged fake smiles.
"What about Barstow?" Meredith asked.
"Bess has been angling for a promotion for going on a year," Angela noted as way of explanation.
"One more item of business," Nathan interjected, "It concerns the Epidemic. The American people, and the rest of the world, are going to want answers soon."
"Nathan, if you need to expose me…" Peter began.
"No, consider you and your team pardoned. Luckily, the Special Legion did retrieve the bodies of several of your former… comrades. We'll be pinning the blame on them."
Peter protested, "I'm not sure I feel right about that. I mean, I hurt a lot of people."
"It was an accident, Pete, though… you're not getting off scot-free. Consider yourself a permanent employee of the Company. You returned the abilities of people on the List, and should any of them want—or need—their abilities removed, you're the only one with the power to do so now that Dad's incapacitated. Plus, there's no telling how long the Antidote will be effective." He added, "Plus your medical background could be of use."
"I want to work with Peter," Claire declared.
Nathan replied, "Claire, you weren't involved."
"Yeah, but I joined up all the same. Plus, I hurt a lot of people too while working with Pinehearst, and I'll like to do some good for once. I'm the only regenerator we know of, and you'll need my blood to heal people. Plus, I've had some time to think. You know how good my G.E.D. scores were. I'm thinking of going into medicine. That kind of thing usually makes parents proud."
"True," Nathan replied, giving his daughter a kiss on the head, "And I know your folks would have been proud of you, too."
He back up to let Meredith embrace Claire.
"What about Matt and Mohinder?" Peter asked.
"I've already spoken with them, and they agreed to their terms of service," Nathan replied.
* * *
The Parkman Residence
Brooklyn, New York
The Parkmans arrived at their apartment with Micah in tow. As they entered, Micah told Matt, "Thanks, Mr. Parkman, for letting me crash on your couch."
As Micah wandered into the living room, Daphne pulled her husband aside. "I'm a little uncomfortable with him."
"Daphne, I swear, he's a standup kid."
Her face twisted, she replied, "I think that's why. I've never been crazy about standup guys."
Huffing, Daphne admitted, "Well, we're married and share a bed and have a kid and are raising a teen, so I had to get over it." She grabbed the lapels of Matt's jacket and pulled him down for a kiss.
From across the room, Molly rolled her eyes and covered Daniella's, whispering to her little sister, "Yeah, you'll never get used that, Dani." Molly then lurched away, groaning.
Matt, concerned, asked, "Molly?"
Rubbing her forehead, Molly explained, "Daniella's manifesting. It's mental, like yours, Dad. More emotional, though, I think."
Micah returned to the room, noting, "My flight to New Orleans is tomorrow morning. Uncle Nathan's sending a car."
"Must be nice being related to the President."
"Sometimes," Micah admitted.
: : :
St. Barbara Cemetery
New Orleans, Louisiana
Monica, with two bouquets of flowers in her hand, knelt before two headstones. The first was for "Deborah Ashford Dawson; Loving Mother and Child of God; May 28, 1959-August 30, 2005" and the other for "Pauline Gramble Dawson; A Beacon of Freedom and Love; December 28, 1932-September 15, 2009". With tears in her eyes, Monica mouthed a prayer for her mother and grandmother.
Meanwhile, in the Company sedan, Lyle sat in the passenger seat, looking at a family portrait in his wallet. He pulled out his cell and made a call. "Hey, Scrappy, I hear you've joined the family business. Yeah? How's New York? No, Monica and I are still working together…"
: : :
Primatech Research Facility
Hartsdale, New York
Claire said into her phone, "Look, Runt-boy, I gotta go. Duty calls. Love you, too, Lyle." She hung up.
"Hey, Peter, what's on the schedule for today?"
"Just settling in," Peter replied. Gravely, he said, "Hey, Claire, I need to talk to you about something." He handed her a key. "That is a key to a safety deposit box at King's National Bank on 49th and Rockefeller. Harrison Campbell, our family lawyer, is in possession of the other key, and is instructed, in the event of my death, to provide you with it. Inside the box is the Formula diagram. The box is rigged to explode if it's forcibly removed."
"I thought you destroyed the Formula."
"I memorized it and drew a copy. We have it should we ever need it, but now it can't fall into the wrong hands."
"I got it," Claire slipped the key into her pocket.
There was a knock at the door and Echo DeMille walked in.
"Echo," Claire greeted, surprised. She turned to Peter and directed, "DeMille, D-E-M-I-L-L-E." Peter went to fetch a folder from the file cabinet
"Claire," Echo replied apprehensively, "Um, Primatech promised me safety should I disappear. My ability has returned and I'd like it removed. I understand you can do that?"
Peter finished making a note in the folder. "Yes, we can."
Meanwhile, down the hall, in the Biological Research Division office, Mohinder Suresh laid framed photographs of his parents and Shanti on his new desk. A beautiful Hispanic woman entered.
"Maya," Mohinder greeted, flustered.
"Mohinder," Maya replied, smiling, "they said that I should come by for a blood test?"
"Yes, I'm researching the effect of the Antidote. Did you powers disappear?"
"Temporarily, but unfortunately, they returned. I was yelling at Mila and… They said they have some way of taking them away, but they insisted I have tests first…"
"Before and after the procedure. To compare, yes," Mohinder explained, as he pulled out a syringe kit. "Who's Mila?"
"Congratulations," Mohinder replied warmly.
Maya looked like she wanted to talk more about her daughter, but noting Mohinder's clinical detachment, she let the matter drop.
Two floors down, Matt Parkman stood in front of a class of a dozen agents, including Daphne, Ryan Covington, Audrey Hanson and Sparrow Redhouse. He began his lesson on gun handling to an attentive class.
In the main hallway, there was a line of framed photographs. The first, labeled "1961", feature four teenagers. The second was from 1975, featuring a group of thirteen adults in their thirties and forties. The third, from 1977, cut the number down to twelve. The next three, from 1989, 1995, and 2001, showed the aging group of twelve. The last photograph, labeled 2011, featured an entirely new set of people: Nathan Petrelli and his wife Tracy in the center; her twin Barbara, in a wheelchair, below them; on the right side were Gabriel and Elle Gray, and Matt Parkman on the end; and on the left, Peter Petrelli, Claire Bennet, and Mohinder Suresh.
: : :
December 22, 2012
Dr. Adrianna Fillman handed Peter Petrelli his newborn daughter. Noticing she was emitting light, she commented, "Looks like she's got bioluminescence."
Peter's face was that of intense trepidation, knowing that glow to be the same glow that overtook him in Kirby Square six years before. Clearing his mind, he froze time and began to formulate a plan. Another chill descended his spine as he felt the bundle wiggle in his arms. "You're a copycat like your Daddy, aren't you? Well, let's get you somewhere safe then. On three: one… two…"
The Primatech Hospital exploded outward in a roaring explosion that drowned out all sound and light, taking out buildings and homes alike for almost a mile around the epicenter of the nuclear blast.
VOLUME TWO: "PROGENY"
: : :
A/N: Michelle Obama got put on Maxim's Hottest Ladies list, just like Tracy. This series truly is prophetic. Also, a male character who can breathe underwater whose name starts with "A"? Look for my ads on late-night TV and call in for your futures. It's only $1.99 a minute.
The eco-green message was completely unintentionally. If this were a real series, I could blame it on NBC's promo chimps.
I ramble a lot below, but think of it as Director's Commentary.
And, just because I'm a horrible bastard, I thought I'd preview the second volume to this series right before I take a break to work in other fandoms and start focusing more on beta-reading.
Now, I never wanted to be one of those authors who asked for reviews, but since this is the finale, I would like to invite you, my readers, to give your feedback. I recently reread all 105 of your reviews and every one made me smile and think.
I am aware that the series didn't end on a bang. It was never meant to. In fact, I originally had a little bit darker of an ending planned, with a few more character dying, the world a little less safe (but still not destroyed), and really no one rising as a true hero. However, one of my favorite parts of writing fiction is that I let my characters grow on their own. Arthur became a real bastard. Angela became fairly neutral, if manipulative. Nathan bucked Arthur's reins. Tracy, pardon the pun, warmed up considerably. I came to favor Peter's rogue team. Claire was more cynical than dark.
Some characters never took off as much as I would have liked, almost all for the same reason: they were a lot of fun to introduce, but unless I could hook them into the main plot, they kind of just flittered off until I threw them back in. For example: Monica and Lyle spent most of the series in their own little mini-adventures, which makes me wish I had the time and inspiration to give them their own CSI-type spin-off. And the Powered Legion premise had a lot of untapped potential that it really deserves its own AU spin-off. Not to mention a series about Nathan's entourage a la West Wing or Claire's Pinehearst team of bounty hunters. I've mentioned before that both Lil Heroes and The Company: Origins are both series that ought to be written. And frankly, I'm dying to know how this story would turn out if I didn't have to kill Hiro per canon; Ando would have stayed alive and I could have explored him further at Pinehearst. It seems I've done a good job world-building.
You know, if only I were a real writer producing webisodes, then the fanfiction writers of the world could do these series. In fact, if any of you would like to take one on, just ask me for permission. Not Progeny; there's a good chance I'll write that one.
Started 3/2/2009. Finished 5/18/2009.