Sylar - 1

The shadows beckoned the stranger, enticing him to become one of them. Blend, they seemed to whisper. We will embrace you, cloak you, shield you from the eyes of your victims and your enemies. The man joined them, head tilted toward the ground as if watching for loose change or a sudden rip in the concrete.

Staying close to the buildings, well into the shadows, he strode purposefully up the deserted street and turned east, facing the tiny sliver of rising sun just over the horizon. He'd thought any town in California would be busier at this time of day, just before dawn when the most menial workers would be getting off work and the most dedicated workaholics would be arriving at the offices, but this was the sixth deserted block he'd traveled this morning, and he was starting to wonder where all the people were.

Not that he minded, of course. Most people were a disappointment, a waste of time, or dangerous. At least, he used to think they were dangerous. Not much fazed him anymore. The only problem with being basically invincible was that there wasn't much thrill left to life. Without the dangers and the deprivations, life wasn't very challenging.

Of course, every now and then, life still had a curve ball to throw his way, such as the fun little adventure he was on now: being captured, both his "mother" and his "father" lying to him and using him, falling in "love," finding out his real family was God knows where, and then that whole nasty business on the beach. If he'd thought she would have just left, he wouldn't have had to take those measures. He already had her power, after all. He might have never needed to kill again.

But she had lied, just like everyone else. God, he hated liars. So now he was the "monster" again, apparently his true calling. He was tired of it all at this point; he just wanted someone to tell him the truth. Where was he from? Did he have real parents, or was he just spawned from a pod, like some hideous horror movie creature? A smirk crossed his shadowed features; some people certainly sided with the latter option. He turned north and headed toward a certain nearby home. He needed information: time to pay a visit to an old acquaintance.

I am coming back for you. Even if I won't admit it to myself, we really should both know this was inevitable.

We would be foolish to think anything else.

One experience inside you would never be enough for any "normal" person, the idiots who walk around every day with brains like sieves, memories leaking out and losing coherency within moments of events. But I can't stop thinking of you; you know how I focus on things. What was it Chandra Suresh called it?

Obsession. You are my obsession.

I remember every second of our last meeting; perfect memory, you see. Your terror was intoxicating. Every tiny gasp, every little flutter of your horror-stricken eyes, all those pitiful pleas and brave words from your trembling mouth.

And your ridiculous question. Do you think I'm a zombie, or something?

How can you take yourself seriously? Trying to be so brave and tough, but inside you are still the perfect, innocent, frightened little cheerleader I chased through the locker room. I'm glad I missed you that first time, Claire. When I finally caught you this time, it was absolute perfection; I don't think it would have been as good had I actually killed you like I originally planned (not that I could have, of course), though I honestly have to admit (you do remember that I hate liars, right?) that you were delicious.

In the non-culinary sense, of course.

I'll see you soon, Claire. My "mommy" and "daddy" lied to me and used me (did you know I was your uncle for a few days? How bizarre), so I need to move on and find my family elsewhere.

I'm starting with yours. One of your daddies has some information in which I'm interested, so I'll be paying the Bennet household a visit soon.

I have another confession for you Claire. I'm not just coming to pick Noah's brain. I have some interesting plans for you once my interrogation is over. I want to hear those little gasps and whimpers of fear again. I want to see you trying so hard to break my unbreakable hold. I want to look in your head (without cutting it open this time) to see if you've thought of me even a fraction of how much I think of you. I want to see your brave little charade trying to convince me you're stronger than me, and I want to be inside you, Claire. Completely inside you.

I want to see if you stand up to the memories.