Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned entirely by other people. It also employs quotes from sources own entirely by other people. I am not making any money off of anything in this story.
Author's Note: If you have not seen the episode "Five Years Gone," go watch it. This will still be here when you get back. It's not so important for this prologue, but there will be spoilers, and I warned you. The events of that alternate timeline are open to interpretation in a lot of places, and I will be interpreting them fairly broadly. That's another warning. (And if you're wondering, I did omit one of the definitions below because it didn't really fit.)
Summary: When President Petrelli got the call from Agent Parkman of Homeland Security telling him that Elle Bishop had been captured, he had an unexpected reaction. "I want you to bring her to me." (Five Years Gone universe.)
Spoilers Through: 03x08-Villains, especially 01x20-Five Years Gone.
(kŏn'sĭ-kwěns', -kwəns) n.
1. Something that logically or naturally follows from an action or condition.
2. The relation of a result to its cause.
3. A logical conclusion or inference.
4. Importance in rank or position: man of consequence.
I've been a bad, bad girl. I've been careless with a delicate man.-Fiona Apple
Prologue—November 8, 2006
Elle Bishop walked out the door of the research facility she had called home for almost as long as she could remember. Something was happening that evening. Something big. Something her father did not want her to know about.
She tried sidling up to a couple of the younger male agents who had always been so willing to fill her in on the scuttlebutt around the Company, but even they would not talk to her. It probably was not even anything that exciting. The last big Company project had been getting Nathan Petrelli elected to Congress. Next, the goal was to make him President in as little time as possible. From what she could tell, whatever was happening was the next step in that plan. So she could just wait, and all would be revealed.
The trouble was that Elle was not good at waiting. All afternoon, people had rushed by her, busy, minds full of important information. She could have been imagining that last part. Either way, she needed to get some fresh air.
She was outside for all of ten minutes when her father called, frantic. "Where are you? Why aren't you in your room?"
God, he was treating her like a teenager who missed curfew. "I just went outside."
"But you're here? At the facility? In Hartsdale?"
Elle rolled her eyes. She was technically off Primatech grounds, but she was not going to tell him that. "Yes."
"You need to get back inside. I want to see you immediately."
That made it sound like maybe he had a reason. Maybe he wasn't just being overbearing and overprotective. Maybe she was finally going to be let in on this big mystery assignment. She was turning around to go back when the sky to the south of her exploded.
There was one other person on the sidewalk, woman walking her large dog. When the explosion happened, she ducked to the ground covering her dog's head. It did not occur to Elle to duck. Instead, she took a couple steps toward the explosion. It was too far away for her to be worried about debris. She had not really expected to see anything except maybe a little smoke, but there was much more than that. It looked like a mushroom cloud was rising over—she checked the street to make sure she had her directions right—New York City.
She forgot that she was holding a cell phone pressed to her ear until her father's voice came out of the speaker. "Well, there goes Sylar."
She nodded absently, not understanding what that meant. Then it registered. "You mean-"
"Yep. Your little mistake with Bennet has finally been cleaned up."
That was not what she was going to ask. The first thing that came to mind was that meant he knew about it. They all knew about it. That woman was still there with her stupid dog, and Elle knew that she could not say anything about that. That was replaced in her mind by the Sylar portion of it anyway. She kept walking toward the mushroom cloud, away from the Company. "I didn't make a mistake, Daddy," she said in a shaky voice. "I did exactly what I was told. Exactly what I was told."
She was so sick of him making it her fault. When the Company could not catch Sylar, it became a mistake, and not one for which the Company was willing to take responsibility. She had accepted her father's blame and disappointment without a word of contradiction, but this-
She sank to her knees right there on the sidewalk, which really hurt, and threw up in the grass beside her. She dropped the phone without hanging it up, not caring anymore.
In the days and weeks that followed, Elle saw the newspaper articles and the television reports. It was much worse that she had expected. Half of New York City gone. Four million people dead. She saw Sylar's face more times than she could count, in pictures and a grainy surveillance video. He was the bomb. He was dead. Elle did not know what she was supposed to feel about either of those things. This was the Company's plan, and she was a Company girl. And that was all she allowed herself to feel.
Six months after the bomb, the sky came crashing down again, this time in a much less literal way.