2007-12-04: Also Sprach Zarathustra

WARNING: contains Season 3 Material.


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Summary: After everything that Sylar's done in the past, he needs to pay for it. Or that's what Peter hunts him down with every intention of doing. Things don't always go as planned.

Date It Happened: December 4th, 2007

Also Sprach Zarathustra

Abandoned Warehouse

The sun casts a surreal, orange glow over the city of New York as it slowly sets behind the horizon, bringing twilight upon the city. The killer known as Sylar, try as much as he can to not be one, stands on the eight floor of an old, rundown, abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of the city. There's no wall where he stands, just an opening where the wall used to be— he's right up against the edge of the floor, toes just barely jutting out past the edge of the concrete as he watches the sun set, the last glimmer of light fading out as it completely passes behind the horizon.

With the sun no longer there to watch, he turns away, looking into the warehouse. It's not the Hilton, that's for sure. In fact, it's a far stone's throw from it, but it makes do. He moves to a nearby cot that he managed to steal in the dead of night from a camping store. He sits on it, flicking the power switch of a nearby lantern, using the light to read the small stack of papers he's laid on the floor in front of him.

Elsewhere in the city, a table is laid out. Various objects are arranged upon it. "Told me to think…" Peter whispers to himself, alone in the apartment that belongs to him. The doors are locked, the security chain is secure, intending to keep even those with a key from entering. Looking over each of the objects one last time, he picks up a pushpin and goes over to the map of New York City. He's never tried it the way she demonstrated it the first time, but this time, he does, concentrating on the memory of Gabriel Gray, also known as Sylar.

A flash appears in his head. The man standing at the edge of a warehouse, without walls. A second flash, the same man moving away to a lantern— papers.

The pin drops down, sticking into an exact location. As his eyes open, he looks at it, takes in a slow breath, and closes his eyes again. He's not dressed for combat, but that's what he's going for. There's almost no warning as he pops into existence. Only the special hearing will tune him into the subtle changes in air pressure as another body just appears out of nowhere. That may be enough warning before he raises his hand and tries to throw Sylar across the warehouse and against one of the walls.

He knows someone has arrived. Considering the way they just pop out of thin air into existence in the building, that narrows down the suspects quite a bit. Take into account the fact of what he recently did to Claire Bennet, that narrows it down even further. And to round it off, considering Sylar is now being thrown through the air towards a wall, that leaves one suspect in mind: Peter Petrelli.

The man slams into the concrete, the side of his face bouncing off of the hardened material as if it were rubber. Immediately after that, the rest of his body then collides with the wall, a sickening crack echoing through the empty building as Sylar's leg snaps in two across his shin. He slides down the wall, pitifully, remaining still.

The papers are ignored for the moment as Peter starts to move closer, hand still raised in his direction. The crumpling of body isn't enough— not if what his brother said is true. The attack could have killed someone else, but this man, now…

"You might be dying, but I know you won't stay dead," he says, voice thick with anger that boils to the surface. Thinking about how he's going to fight can only rein in so many emotions. The hand reaches out again, though with the man's own power, and tries to draw him up, pinned against the wall. Much as he's done with his victims in the past. "Was it all a ruse? Wanting to die? You attacked her again. Claire." The name carries importance, weight, audible in his voice, in his heartbeat. "And you need to pay for that."

As the man is lifted up from the floor by Peter's hand, the bruises, cuts, and gashes from his face slamming into concrete already begin to heal. Cuts sew themselves up, the darkening bruises fades to the normal color of skin, and the tiny scrapes heal over. His leg, still bent at an odd angle, remains broken until he can set it straight. Held up in the air prevents him from doing that.

He allows himself to be held up against the wall, his eyes locked on Peter's. "She came to me. I couldn't let such an opportunity go wasted, could I? The ability to regenerate. To never die. With so many enemies, I had no choice." Sylar tucks his chin back, eyes still locked on Peter as a look of determination forms on his face. He doesn't even move his hands— the telekinetic slam is strong, the force from it hopefully sending Peter flying into the opposite wall, much the same way Sylar did.

As the wave of mental energy hits him, Peter flies away. Concentration lost, the grip holding the other man against the wall loosens, letting him drop. The impact into the wall actually seems somewhat harder than what happened before, a crunch of bones as ribs shatter and bones break. As he slumps to the floor, he's coughing up blood before everything starts to heal, giving the man plenty of time to set his leg and stand up again.

The former nurse is just a little slower at that.

The pain keeps him from standing fully, voice rasped when he coughs out, "There's always a choice." A crackle of electricity rises up between his fingers, and flies out in an arc of lightning at the other man, powerful enough to buy him a few moments should it land.

With Peter flying across the warehouse, and his grip gone, Sylar falls to the floor, taking care to land on his good leg. This doesn't prevent his other leg from hitting the ground, and pain sears across the broken bone, eliciting a scream from him. As Peter struggles to stand, so does Sylar, propping himself up on one foot as he prepares to set his leg.

Crack. The bone makes a sickening noise as it pops back into place, Sylar's eyes going wide as he grunts from the pain. The pain doesn't last long, however, as the bone begins to mend and heal, the flesh around it sealing its self up as it heals. "Always a choice?" Sylar responds, panting slightly. "Did you have a choice in coming here? No matter what happens, no matter what I do— you always come back, Peter. You always have to be the hero." The electricity strikes Sylar in the chest, forcing him back against the wall. He takes all of it, his flesh scarring and smoldering as the lightning does it's job, his shirt burning away across the chest. "I hate," Sylar says, a certain blonde coming to mind as he leans forward once the lightning is done, "electricity." Scarred and burned flesh begins to heal over, and Sylar is already attacking before it's fully healed. He raises a hand, and with a sudden swiping motion, a nearby slab of concrete rises into the air, soaring towards Peter.

"That's because I promised to protect her," Peter says with a growl, one that comes out just as the arc of electricity cuts off, and he's moving to get to his feet. Slowly. There's some ribs jutting out that he hasn't noticed yet, poking through his shirt. It hurts, but the pain is fairly consistent as he works to get to his feet that he doesn't notice it as out of the ordinary right away. At the sight of the slab of concrete, he closes his eyes— and vanishes. It impacts the floor where he'd been half standing, slamming through floor boards and causing the whole area to creak awkwardly, stability jeopardized. Teleportation has been something he's gotten better at— and he's using it again.

But with the other man's hearing, his shift in position can be located quickly enough, he's closer to the man, to his right, a hand reaching for physical contact this time, risking it, as he grabs for the man and tries to shove him back against the wall— this time in a more personable way. There's extra tension in his forehead, as if he's weakened by the teleportation and the regeneration that's still taking place.

The sociopath doesn't move even as Peter disappears. He watches as the concrete slab slams through the floor, the creaking and stability the last thing he's worried about. When Peter appears to his right, he makes no move— rather, he simply allows Peter to grab him and shove him against the wall, his body slamming up against it as he keeps his eyes trained on Peter.

"Why?" comes the question from Sylar, "why promise to protect her? She's just a cheerleader!" Sylar brings a hand up to Peter's arm, gripping him around the wrist. Radiation begins to pour out from his palm, leaking onto Peter's wrist with the intent to burn him. Badly. "You can't defeat me," he says, hand smoking from the radiation, "so why even bother trying?"

The burning happens, seeping through skin, straight to the bone rather quickly. Peter's eyes grip doesn't break, though, even as his sleeve starts to burn and melt. Right now he would give anything for that 'no-pain' that his brother mentioned. The most he can do is call upon another ability which allows him to ignore it for the moment. His eyes flash, the green in the depths suddenly standing out— and the pain fades, allowing his jaw to set. Too bad his hand starts to die even as he tries to hold it there. The muscles burn, the nerve endings destroyed— he can't keep his hand closed, he can't continue to hold him up.

The man drops and he tries to stagger back, letting the man rip away flesh and muscle as he does if only to get his hand back. It starts to heal over, and the pain comes back, causing him to fall back, clasping the hand against his chest. "Because— she's the first person I saved— because she's the first one to… to say I was a hero." Explaining this to someone he came to kill hadn't been his intention, but the idea that she went after him threw something different into the dynamic. He'd told her she didn't have to become a killer. She didn't want him to become one either.

"When I saved her— it was the first time I knew that I had— purpose." His eyes burn, sting, there's tears in them from the pain. It's a deep wound, and he can't deaden the pain and heal at the same time. There's more reasons, to. "As long as you keep… going after my family… I'll keep coming after you, until I stop you."

As soon as Peter lets go of him, Sylar drops to the floor, taking a step away from the wall as he addresses Peter. "A hero. You can't always be a hero. Eventually, whether it's me, or someone else, someone stronger, is going to kill you. He's going to kill everything." He raises his right hand, the flesh freezing over as ice slithers over his hand, cold air visible as it rises off of his flesh. He strikes out, quickly, intending to grip Peter by the neck, but his hand comes to a sudden stop, about four inches from the other man's skin. "Family?" he says, staring at Peter. "I haven't attacked your family."

"It won't be you," Peter says, even as he sees the hand nearing him, threatening to freeze his skin. He can't bring his hand up right away, so he just concentrates, ready to do something to attack him when his hand connects— planning to use that moment against him, even if it leaves him damaged. "I'm stronger than you. In every way that matters," he says, meaning it. It's the hand stopping that takes him by surprise. He'd not expected that. Family. Of course.

"You have. She's not just a cheerleader," he says, his hand finally letting go of his arm, letting it drop down into his lap. There's no gesture to fling the other man away, instead it his eyes narrow, eyebrows lower. "She's my niece," he admits. Another change in air pressure. This time he isn't teleporting around, but something appears out of thin air in his hand. Something small. And sharp, and he's aiming to shove it into the man's arm. Not a vein or artery like he should aim for, the effects will be take time, but it might be enough.

Niece. The killer's eyes widen, and he stares at Peter for a brief moment, allowing him time to Jack the needle to their location. As soon as Peter goes to stab it into his arm, however, Sylar reacts, taking his already frozen over hand and grabbing the syringe, freezing it over instantly and shattering it. "You're lying," he says, using his other hand to push Peter away— not with just his own strength, but with the strength of telekinesis, as well.

The syringe contents freeze and shatter, and Peter's eyes widen in alarm. The shove away sends him sprawling across the floor, to come to a halt quite a few meters away. Finally his wrist has healed over enough, muscles reknitting and fixing that he can move it. Palm going flat against the floor, he pushes himself to his feet, forcing himself to stand. "Why the hell would I lie about that."

Thing about hearing is that lying is made difficult. Hearts flutter a certain way— and Peter isn't the best liar in the world anyway. All the tension is based on pain, the fight, doubt and desperation. Not not a hint of deception. "Not that it matters. If I don't stop you here— for good— you'll never stop. You'll keep coming after people I care about." He's raising his hand again, though nothing happens right away, because he has a question. "When you told me to kill you. Did you mean that?" That's when he reaches out, trying to find truth.

"I—" Sylar pauses, his mouth still open, which he finally shuts as he stares at Peter. When the other man raises his hand, Sylar does as well, putting one foot a little bit behind the other in preparation for attack, his own hand raising shortly after. He waits, unsure of what Peter is doing.

Sylar's thoughts are a jumble, just like they were before. Peter's question brings those thoughts to the front, questions in Sylar's mind about who he wants to be, what he used to be, and what he can be. If he can no longer be a monster. If he can have purpose without killing. His newfound guilt over what he did to Claire. Family. His family.

"What are you doing?" Sylar says, stepping forward and raising his hand a bit higher. "Why does it matter to you?"

There's a sudden flinch. As if someone smacked him in between the eyes. Peter's hand shakes and wavers and he takes a full step away, eyes closing a little. It takes some time before he focuses again, mind racing. Everything he heard makes what he needs to do more difficult. The guilt. The desire to have a purpose without killing. Family. Claire. Family. The two string together instead of seeming to be separate guilt. He tries to separate the thoughts, say they might not be the same— but they are. That's impossible. Not a lie, because lying with this ability is difficult. But still impossible.

He has to kill him. If he doesn't, this man will kill him. Take his place. Destroy everything that makes him— him. In the future so many hated him, so many looked at him with disgust, and they'd never known, until it was too late, that it wasn't even him they hated. And he'll never know if his brother knew before the man killed him.

"Because I have to kill you. For what you did to me— to Claire— to Mara— what you're going to keep doing…" There's tension, doubt— growing especially now. He's not a killer. This isn't what he ever wanted to be. The hand shifts, grasping at the piece of concrete that'd been thrown at him, dislodging it from the floor boards and flinging it in his direction.

"I'm not going to ask you to forgive me for what I've done to you," Sylar says, his speech quick as he tries to get this out before Peter tries something new. "For what I've done to Mara, to… Claire," he says. Claire's name is hard to get out, with the news he just received— news that might be able to change everything. Something else, besides that, the killer has never done.. he used Mara's name, instead of calling her detective. "I was a killer. I.. am a killer."

His last words cause him to look down, which in turn causes him to completely miss the fact that Peter is throwing the same slab of concrete from before. He only looks up at the last minute, surprise on his features as the concrete slams into him, knocking him into the wall behind him. He slides down, the weight of the concrete crushing his legs, and he does nothing to remove it. "If you want to protect your family so much," Sylar says, coughing as blood dribbles from his mouth and onto his chin, "then why do you want to kill me? You should be trying to protect me… brother."

Forgiveness isn't easy to give in conditions like this— even for someone as generally forgiving as Peter is. The words at first don't stop him, adding momentum to the blow that traps the other man. Hand dropping, he takes a moment to breathe, knowing what he has to do next, and still hearing all the people telling him he's not a killer, not a murderer, that this isn't his responsibility. And then a second voice joins in. Not his own, not that of a friend or a loved one. But from that of someone claiming to be family.


"You're lying," he rasps out, clearing the distance with firm and quick steps, raising his hand. "You're lying. We're nothing alike." Brother in a metaphorical sense? No, that's not how it sounds, that's not why his whole heart is clenching up. Lies are part of his family. But this… "We are not related."

"You don't have to believe me," Sylar says, looking down at the concrete slab covering him. It slowly begins to lift up, telekinesis slowly sliding it over his legs and onto the ground near him. His legs, battered, torn, and broken, begin to mend themselves, and as they do, he continues to speak. "I wouldn't blame you if you didn't. You don't have to believe a word I say. I know what I've done. What I've done to you. To all of them. To everyone. I'm a psychopathic killer, for all that any of you care. If you want to kill me…" His eyes travel up to meet Peter's, staring at the other man. "Then do it. You know how."

"You don't know everything you've done to me," Peter yells, moving closer, but not actually touching the pinned man, or making a move to finish it. "You don't have the slightest idea. You don't know what it feels like. For Claire— for Mara…" A spark of electricity comes to his finger tips. What he intends to use on him? No, it never leaves his hand, "For the woman you killed to get this power." The sparks fade, dissipate, harmlessly going into his own skin. He doesn't even know her name, her face. But he'd been with her for months, while she wore the face of another.

"I've seen what you're capable of…" He says softly. "If I could make you really understand it, I would." But he can't. As far as he knows none of his powers share sensations that heavily. He reaches toward the man's neck, and instead of moving to snap it, grab or, or strangle him, that pop of air happens again, and a second syringe is getting jabbed in his direction, this time aiming right for the carotid artery in his neck— if it works, the tranquilizing effects should be quite fast.

Peter's words seem to have some effect on Sylar. Every time he says another sentence, mentions another name, mentions the woman he killed to take electrokinesis— even goes so far to show him the power— Sylar's face grows angrier and angrier, until he finally snaps. "YOU don't know anything!" he yells, hands suddenly sparking to life, electricity flowing over them rapidly and dangerously as he sits on the ground. As suddenly as they were there, however, they're gone, and Sylar slumps against the wall. "Why did you think I wanted you to kill me?" he says, eyes pointed towards the ground. "I'm a monster. I can't ask for forgiveness. All I can do… is keep killing."

Sylar suddenly leans forward, intending to push himself off of the ground, but his move is a mistake. He puts his neck in perfect position for the syringe, the needle jabbing deep into his artery. Sylar pulls away, immediately, but Peter know's what he's doing. The tranquilizer now coursing through his blood, Sylar attempts to stand up, and he just barely makes it. "I'm…" he says, suddenly falling forward, arms flying upwards to latch onto Peter's shoulders, and the move is just enough to keep him standing. "… a monster."

The tranquilizer works quickly. Sylar slumps forward, then falls to the side, completely letting go of Peter as the effects of the tranquilizer takes over, incapacitating the killer and knocking him out, his body hitting the ground with a dull thud.

The body isn't caught, but Peter lets the syringe fall away to the ground with him, and he's pulled down just a bit further by the fall, the hands on his shoulders dragging him down. Killing him now would be so easy— nothing to stop him. Nothing except the words in his head— the people telling him that this isn't him. And what this man said as well. This… brother?

This place will have to be looked at later— things will need to be gathered, but for now… he reaches down and grabs the man by what's left of his burnt shirt and closes his eyes. The two of them vanish, displaced air taking them to another location, leaving the syringe, a paper trail, and multiple signs of fighting behind.

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