Olivia hated Brock.
She realized that only now, as she stared at Allison's limp form, suspended in ice forever.
She'd protested this once. Just once.
And what had he said?
"This is the best thing. She's a hero. You're not. Unless, of course, you want to be a traitor?"
It was the end of her life as a normal human, and the beginning of her life as a traitor. Allison didn't deserve this; she had never deserved this. Powerful she may be, but she was also a little girl.
Olivia pulled out her phone and dialed the number. She hadn't known why she'd bothered to memorize the number, but she was glad of it now.
After two rings, an irritable voice snapped, "Hello?"
"Who wants to know?"
"My name is Olivia Black. I have some information about Allison."
Despite Allison's hatred towards Brock, even she could not deny the effects his experiment had.
It was strange, the little things that affected abilities. The small things that made them so much better.
Allison had always been an observer of the paths the future could take. She could always watch, and give advice to those who needed it.
Now, the side effects of having an actual form had vanished. Nothing could hurt her anymore; her body was encased in ice and her mind was a part of the time stream itself.
She smiled inwardly as she watched Olivia dial the number.
Now was the time for heroes to rise.
Sylar laughed as Abby pounced on the object that her future self had left in the room.
Abby hugged it for a moment, then shoved her arms through the sleeves. "Oh, that's so much better." She said approvingly.
Sylar raised an eyebrow, looking at the coat as she twirled around, modeling it for him. "What do you think?"
"There's a stain."
"Of course there is! A lab coat is no good without a stain or two!" She stroked the white coat affectionately.
Sylar chuckled. "If that's what you think."
"Oh, I do. I do I do I do." She twirled around again, her excitement lifting her off the ground as gravity released its hold on her.
Sylar gripped her ankle and pulled her back down to the Earth. "Relax, Abbs."
She grinned, unable to do as he'd asked.
Sylar paled suddenly. "I'm sorry."
It caught her off guard. "For what…?"
"I… never mind."
"What?" She demanded.
He looked down, swallowing nervously. "I…I called you… Abbs."
For a moment, neither of them said a word. The world seemed to hold its breath.
Abby tried to be mad at him. She really did. After all, she'd been furious at him for this before.
Despite that, despite what Sylar had done, despite the fact that she'd been convinced she hated him, despite everything Sylar had done to her, Abby couldn't be mad at him for calling her 'Abbs.'
She smiled. "Well, you're just lucky it was at a good time. I'm too happy about this to deal with you." She gestured first to the lab coat, and then to the serial killer as she talked.
Sylar let out the breath that he hadn't realized he was holding.
She looked at him for a moment. "You're really scared of me, aren't you?"
He rolled his eyes. "If you haven't figured that out by now, Abby…"
But she cut him off. "No, you're really scared. Like, I can understand kinda-scared or sorta-scared, but you're terrified."
Sylar paused, then said, "Let's just say that there's only one other person in all of time that scares me as much as you do. And that's Allison."
Abby thought about this for a moment. "Allison scares you. Somehow, that just doesn't add up. She's five."
Sylar smiled ruefully. "That's what I thought when I first met her."
"And… what happened?"
Sylar stared at her for a moment. The intensity of his gaze made Abby fidget uncomfortably.
Finally, he sighed. "It's… it's better if I just show you."
He came towards her slowly, hands outstretched. Warily, Abby allowed him to place them on her face.
He closed his eyes, and suddenly she was somewhere else.
Sylar shoved his hands in his pockets, keeping his head down against the rain, protecting his face from the wind. A fine mist of rain was drizzling down on him, and the clouds kept the world in a soft grey light.
Sylar loved days like these. These cold, grey days, when the wind bit at his face icily and water washed everything from the air. The smell of the city, so close to being absolutely toxic, was being washed away slowly.
He'd always loved these days. They helped him think. Even back in the old days, before he'd discovered his abilities, before he'd found his powers, he would go outside and walk in the rain, not caring about the cold. It was as close as he'd get to being different; most people hid inside on days like these, or were seen dashing around in the rain, trying to get out of its harsh tones. But not him. Never him.
His footsteps made strange noises as he walked. Not loud enough to be the splash that came from puddles, but not soft enough for the squish that came from wet shoes. It wasn't an unpleasant sound.
He briefly remembered the past, remembered his older days. The days of Gabriel Grey, the watchmaker's son who became a watchmaker. Things never changed with him. Everything stayed the same.
But he could only remember the past for so long, before his true nature won out. There would be plenty of time for him to think of Gabriel; he had hundreds and thousands of years. He was immortal, after all.
Now was the time to think of power. Though the rain had cleared the dizzying need for it from his mind, he knew it would return, just like it had countless times. He had to think, to plan. Who else was like him, special, powerful? Who else had an ability out there?
More importantly, how would he find them? How would he get close enough to destroy them and steal the ability from their grasp?
The first thing he saw was the flame. It stood out against the grey of the sky, against the drizzling rain. It was a brilliant, bright, vivid red that burned, screaming its call to the sky.
Sylar watched it curiously. It could not be a flame. Any fire, especially one that small, would be extinguished immediately in the rain and wind.
The fire whipped around in strange patterns, patterns that began to make more sense as Sylar kept walking towards it. It was no flame.
It was a young girl.
Brown eyes stared at him from a pale face, ringed with bright, flame-red hair. The brown eyes were flecked with gold, and recognizable, so very recognizable.
The word escaped his control, forcing its way through his lips in a soft whisper.
But it could not be Katie. The resemblance was incredible, but the person in front of him was nothing more than a child. Three, maybe four years old.
She shook her head. Her brown eyes locked on Sylar's, completely fearless.
"Are you Sylar?" She asked. Her voice had a soft, ethereal quality to it. It floated and danced, a song in a whisper, an echo from a past best forgotten.
He smiled. She seemed intelligent. Perhaps too intelligent, for such a young child. A young human child, at least. "Who wants to know?"
She didn't reply. She simply stared at him, waiting for his response.
He swallowed, somewhat unnerved by the intensity of her gaze. Her eyes held an age to them that was somehow beyond her years. "Yes."
She nodded slowly. "Good. Very good. I've been looking for you for a very long time." Her eyes locked on his. "My name is Allison."
Sylar decided to give the child the benefit of the doubt. She had to be confused. The name 'Sylar' must have appeared in a conversation she'd overheard. Something. "Where are your parents, kid?"
She arched an eyebrow. "Is that really your concern?"
"Well, there are a lot of dangerous people out here." He smiled darkly, hoping to scare the child away. But she remained confident, staring directly into his eyes. "You really shouldn't talk to strangers."
She smiled. "I think I can handle myself."
Sylar looked at her. There it was. She had an ability. No other child her age would speak like this, have this kind of vocabulary, and act so confident.
He raised a hand, and Allison rose in the air, an invisible hand clamped around her throat. "And what makes you say that?"
Allison laughed, seemingly unhurt by the strain on her throat. "Oh, Sylar. You know nothing."
He smiled dangerously. "I know that you have an ability. And whatever it is, it's powerful." He came a step closer. "I think, perhaps, I should relieve you of it."
She laughed again. "And what makes you think I'll let you?"
His telekinetic hold broke, but the child stayed suspended in the air. Her arm curled, then flew out like a whip. A lance of blue light lashed out towards him, arcing into a brilliant, blinding flare.
Ice crackled away from the light, spreading across the ground. The world turned cold around them. The rain froze in mid-air, falling down and shattering against the ground like glass, the shards sparkling like diamonds before fading into the white ice below it.
And Allison laughed.
Sylar stared at her with wide eyes as she slowly came back to the Earth.
"You are a fool, Sylar!" She snapped. "A fool! This person you believe you see is trapped, in a cage far beneath the world you know! I am trapped! Don't you see? Don't you understand? This is only an illusion!"
She came towards him. Sylar's lip curled in a snarl, and he lashed out, a blast of electricity flying from his hand.
The child's hand whipped up and caught it expertly, her tiny fingers closing around it, extinguishing its light. "This is illusion. Oh, the abilities, the power, the ice and the electricity, it's all real. But I'm not here. I never was."
Sylar hadn't known fear in a long time. The emotion was unfamiliar, strange as it clawed at his heart. He stumbled backwards. "You're here! Now!" He gasped out, suspecting that the terror was showing in his eyes.
She laughed again. "Listen to me, Sylar! You have seen what my mere illusion can do! And if there's one thing I know you understand…" Her brown eyes locked on his own. "It's a threat."
"Now understand this!" She snapped. "The future will end, and it is my job, as it always has been, to protect it. Time needs me." Blue light glowed around her as the ice grew thicker beneath her feet. "And it may need you."
"This is why I'm here." She continued. "To protect you. And to protect others from you. This meeting has been delayed for far too long. Already, people will suffer for my mistakes!"
"What are you talking about?" He demanded.
"SILENCE! I am the one speaking here!"
Normally, Sylar wouldn't take orders from anyone, especially not a little girl. But there was something in her words, something that whispered of a horrible darkness, that made him keep his lips sealed.
Her eyes glowed brilliantly. "I am here for one reason only. So that you will know, when the time comes, that it is better to do as I say. Because time will need you, Sylar, as it needs so many, if the future is to be changed."
And with that, Allison vanished. The ice remained, forever to be a reminder of who and what she was.
Abby looked at Sylar, swallowing back the bile rising in her throat. "You were going to kill her."
He flinched, as though her words were backed by physical blows. "It's my nature, Abby."
"It's not. You were going to kill her. A little girl. Just for some ability." Her eyes narrowed, and her arms folded over her chest.
He glowered back at her. "You don't understand. You can't possibly understand."
"Then help me understand!" Abby snapped.
The statement took Sylar off guard. The anger abruptly drained from his features.
"You… you actually want…" His mouth gaped. "Abby…"
He never finished his sentence. The wall beside them exploded, a shower of dust and ash raining down on them.
As the dust began to clear, a man stood in the rubble. His eyes were glittering, anger etched into every line on his face.
Sylar crawled next to Abby, trying to shield her, keep the man from noticing her. He had no doubt that this man had come for her.
His words confirmed Sylar's suspicions. "Where is Abby?" They were dark and dangerous, spoken in a voice that Sylar knew well.
It was his voice, after all.
The Future Sylar glowered down at them. "Where is Abby?"