2007-02-23: Answers

Starring:

Hiro_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif Eliana_icon.gif

Jack takes Eliana to see Hiro to answer the journalist's questions. The meeting goes smoothly, but Eliana doesn't leave feeling any better than when she arrived.

Date It Happened: February 23rd, 2007

Answers


Downtown, New York City, Sydney's Loft

Hiro Nakamura has been very busy. There's a great deal of work to do, in the process of saving the world, after all. But he's managed to seize a few spare moments, and he's using it to practice. When you've got an ability like Hiro's, it takes a great deal of practice and concentration.
So he's pulled on his blue hakama, the clothing he brought with him from the past, and he's sitting, cross-legged, on the floor of Sydney's Loft. Kaito Nakamura taught him this, anyways. He's trying to meditate. The fact that he keeps squirming and humming indicates that he is not good at it.

Phew. Long day. Very long day. All the same, it's time to sort a few things out and perform an introduction or two. Jack is leading Eliana to Sydney's apartment, the only place he knows of where Hiro might be found. "You'll like him," he murmurs over his shoulder. "He's too jolly for words." Reaching up, he raps sharply on the door.

Sydney happens to not live far from Eliana's own apartment, so the walk has been short enough not to dampen Eliana's mood. When they reach the door, Eliana lifts a hand to place lightly on Jack's shoulder, giving it a small squeeze. "You'd think a man bent on saving the world would be a bit…I don't know, dour? Serious?" Her response is a low whisper, and her face is wrinkled with that mix of nerves and curiosity. "I mean, what sort of savior is described as 'jolly'?"

Okay. He has achieved what he feels is a state of calm meditation. His breathing is steady. His mind is clear. The Kensei Sword lays across his lap. Hiro closes his eyes, gently, just as the a knock comes at the door. Before the last knock has passed, Hiro opens the door. "Mr. Jack!" Hiro says, brightly, still dressed like a samurai, his sword strapped to his back. It is not a normal sight. "Hello! Come in."
Sydney's apartment is filled with paper cranes. If someone were to count, they'd probably produce a number at about 1,000. They are mostly scattered on the floor and other flat surfaces, since Hiro did not feel comfortable hanging stuff from Sydney's walls.

Jack steps gingerly into the loft aparment, trying very hard to to tread on any equisitely folded paper birds. "Hey, Hiro. Err. I like what you've done with the place." He gestures to the mass of origami. "This is my ladyfriend, Eliana. Eliana, Hiro. This is the guy I've been telling you about."

Eliana isn't quite sure if that's just an Irish way of describing a female friend or a more meaningful title, but Eliana's cheeks pinken a bit when she smiles over Jack's shoulder to Hiro. There's a bit of mirth in her eyes as she looks him up and down, then looks down at the origami. Her eyes widen then, and Eliana actually chuckles lightly as she follows Jack into the loft, closing the door behind them. "A pleasure," she says, somewhat bemused by the decor. "Is that how you're going to do it then?" she asks a beat later. "With a wish?" Bushes aren't something Eli likes to beat around, apparently. Not when the world apparently needs saving.

Hiro crouches to brush some cranes out of the way. "I was training," he says. "My father always taught me that no matter who you are, you must always train." Kaito's words were likely more elaborate, and his voice is much deeper. "But I also believe in wishes!" he says, cheerfully. He can't tell you what the wish is, obviously. "Um. Watch your step. Sorry. I didn't think I'd have visitors, and Kellie is taking a nap. I don't know if Miss Sydney is home or not."

"That's ok, friend. We're here to see you, actually." Jack slips his hand into Eliana's and gives it a quick squeeze and tug. "See, I'm thinking that Eli here can help us. She's already helped me by giving me a place to stay off of the Company's radar."

That tug brings Eliana to stand a bit closer to Jack, but his words bring about something else. "Company?" she asks, turning her narrowed eyes on the Irishman before looking once more to Hiro, since he clearly must have been the source of this new name. "You mean that Linderman's Group?" That must be it, unless it's some moniker for the Mendez Fanatics. As her mind starts to race with what Jack could possibly mean, her heart starts to beat the slightest bit faster. But even with just a t-shirt and jeans on, her peacoat blocks most of the gas that starts to accumulate a few inches from her skin before it dissipates, diluted in the air.
GAME: Save complete.

"You know of Mr. Linderman?" Hiro says, sounding somewhat surprised. He picks a path through the little origami cranes, perhaps a little embarassed that he is dressed like a cartoon character when company is over. It's not like he has a superhero costume, or anything. "They are connected. I think? The Company is very confusing. But they are very bad news." His accent is very thick, but understandable, at the very least.

Jack lets out a snort. "Bad? That's putting it lightly." Carefully, he scoots a few cranes out of the way with his feet so that he can find a place near the wall and lean back comfortably. "Hiro, I trust her, or I wouldn't have brought her over. I think it's safe to answer any questions she has."

Eliana watches Jack move away, mirroring that same trust with a smile, then stoops to pick up one of the cranes. Rather than look at Hiro again, she turns it over in her hands, careful not to bend the carefully made and delicate paper creature. "The internet is a powerful tool, Mr. Hiro," she says idly. "When you have access to the right databases and know how to find what you're looking for. We…I know that Linderman liked Mendez' paintings. What I /don't/ know is what this Company is, why it's so terrible, and how they're connected to a guy who could paint the future." Because if she can make people high, Jack can make things appear in his hands, and Hiro can bend time and space, well…why not? "And how /that/ is all connected to the world need saving." She exhales a soft chuckle then looks up at Hiro. "Jack and I trust each other, and he trusts you…but I can understand if you don't want or can't trust me."

"On that lovely-yet-ominous note, I'll leave you two to talk things over. I'm going to peek in at Enlightenment. Something about the new Mendez had got me worried." Jack pauses and flicks a glance over toward Eliana. "Err. And tell her about the new Mendez, if you would?" He shoves away from the wall and brushes a quick peck against Eliana's cheek, then slips out the door.

"Mr. Jack does not trust anybody," Hiro says. "So if he trusts you, then you must be trust…" Wait, how does this work in English? "Trustable," he concludes, hoping it's not too clumsy sounding. "Um. The Company is a group of people who want to control not only people with abilities but the whole world," he says. "I think. I do not know that much about them. I think Mr. Linderman was a member, or maybe even one of the people who created it. At that moment, Hiro's phone rings. He pauses, and reaches for his cellphone. "Ah! Sorry. I think this could be important." He picks up his phone. "Moshimoshi?"
Hiro keeps talking into his phone. "Ms. Jane! Hello! Er, is everything okay?"
Hiro talks some more. "Mr. Jack found another Mendez! That is fourteen, total. I think that has to be all of them, but who knows many more there could be. We still do not know what they mean, or who some of the people are. I think I recognize some of them. … maybe I saw Mr. Suresh in the new one, but I'm not sure."

Eliana turns her head in time to return the peck before Jack disappears, but the rest of the time her attention is on Hiro. Still, being left alone in a loft filled with paper cranes with a man dressed in…well, whatever that is, and who is carrying a sword isn't as easy to deal with when Jack is gone. As the phone conversation progresses, Eliana starts to figit and grow more and more nervous. Her heart rate increases enough to push the gas' radius to two feet, but Eliana struggles to stay calm. Hiro /is/ jolly, despite the circumstances, and the phone conversation is starting to get interesting. She narrows her eyes as she pays more attention, her gentle grip on the crane tightening slightly.

Hiro pulls the phone away from his face and puts his hand over the receiver for a second. "It is a friend. She is helping us," Hiro clarifies, unbuckling the sword from his back. He sets it down flat on a table. It looks very old. He returns to his phone call. "Mr. Jack is helping us, too. He is a hero like Mr. Clint. Yes! I found out Sylar's name today, too. That sounds like him. Does she know where he—er. Bennett? Daughter?"
Hiro says, "Johannsen Foundation… Mr. Bennet. Yes. I will do what I can. Er, what is the Johannsen Foundation?"

And just as suddenly as it seemed to start to make sense, Hiro's conversation only serves to confuse Eliana more. She sighs and bends down again, brushing away a few cranes so that she can sit on the hardwood floor with her legs folded in front of her. She still holds the singular crane in her hands, and Eli stares at it now, trying to keep calm. So many people are involved, it seems. Is the world really in that much danger? The whole world? As fear's icy fingers curl around something deep inside, Eliana's heart pumps faster and faster. Answers aren't coming soon enough, which never bodes well for those with overactive imaginations. Slowly yet surely, the gas pushes further and further out from Eliana to fill the space and then grow denser yet invisible and odorless.

Hiro just keeps talking, pacing around the room. "Oh. Um. Okay. I… will talk to her. 'The Evolved'?" He delivers that last word with a bit of incredulity. In the process, he steps behind the bathroom door for a second, disappearing from sight. He emerges, a second later, dressed like a normal human being, with pants and everything. A whole… second. He's still holding his phone, but he covers the receiver with his hand. "Miss EriEli" Gr. "Can I get you anything?

It takes Eliana a second to realize she's being talked to. She blinks as she looks up, and the weak smile on her face is like that of an apology for imposing. Hiro is obviously a very busy man. "Water, please," Eli answers softly, as if the person on the other end might hear her, this outsider, and the whole thing might be ruined. Irrational fears, go!

Hiro clutches the phone between his ear and shoulder and begins pouring out a glass of water. "Oh. Yes. I will speak to her. Times Square? But I have a visitor right now. I will call you later, okay?" He seems strangely perplexed. "Thank you so much for calling~" he adds, in an almost singsongy voice, which is odd, before he hangs up. "Here you go! A glass of water. Tall and delicious!" he says, happily.

The end of the phone conversation means that answers might come faster and alleviate those fears. But even though Eliana's heart rate starts to decrease one again as she stands and accepts the water, leaving the crane she was previously holding on the floor, it will take time for the blood vessels closest to Eliana's skin to stop expelling the gas, and for the gas in the sphere around her to dissipate. "I'm sure it is," she says with a smile when she takes the water, smiling softly before she takes a sip. "There are a lot of people involved in this," she then remarks. "I'm…well, I'm not sure what I could do to help."

Hiro sits down. "There are many people," Hiro says, dreamily. "They are my best friends. You are my best friend, too. I am making a big web of best friends. Supaida-Man team-up!" Hiro giggles. "There is a lot you can do! But you do not have to. Being happy is enough. It makes me happy, too. If you do not want to put yourself in danger then that is okay. Not everyone walks the same path," he adds. "That is very tao," he observes, helpfully.

Eliana narrows her eyes somewhat, then takes a step away from Hiro, watching him carefully. "It doesn't make me happy," she says plainly, pressing tightly against the glass in her hands. "And too much of anything, even if it makes you happy…" but her voice trails off, and Eliana shakes her head.

Eliana takes a step away, and Hiro sort of rubs his eyes. "Er. Well…" He scratches the back of his head awkwardly. "Where was I? Oh. Not everyone walks the same path as a hero," he says. That's what he was about to say, right? "My father always tried to teach me how to be a good businessman. I never was, but he always said the best skill to have was the ability to know who was good at what, and where to put those people so that they did it. But I am not the CEO," he says. He doesn't seem to view himself as the leader of much of anything. "What is most important is that you are safe. Has Mr. Jack told you about Sylar?"

"No," Eliana says, her face relaxing into simple interest and puzzlement. "He only told me that you knew more about the paintings than we did, and that the world needed saving…and that he was going to help you do it."

"There are two things you have to know," Hiro says. "The first is that the Company is out there, and they are out to get people with abilities. People like us. The second is that there is a bad man. A villain. He uses his ability for evil. He kills people and steals their abilities. His name is Sylar. If you see him, run. No one can fight Sylar alone." Hiro scurries over to a covered tarp, and pulls it off. The painting depicts three people — a man, sitting, a woman, flanking him, and a man on his other side. Hiro points at the man. "This is Sylar."

The antagonists are unveiled, literally. Eliana tilts her head to one side as she looks at the painting, processing the new information and memorizing the representation of Sylar's face. "Alright," she says after a moment. "But…well, we aren't everyone. So how is the entire world at risk? Or is it just our world?" Eliana pauses and shakes her head, smiling apologetically. "Sorry. I don't mean to say survival isn't important and that saving our own skins isn't without merit, but…well, Jack made it sound more…universal."

Hiro looks at the painting of Sylar and the two other unknown antagonists. "Yes," he says. "You are right. This is what we are fighting," he says, and he pulls a tarp off of another painting.

New York City. A very large tornado. Meeting in the middle. For disaster.

"We must stop the tornado. And there's more."

"A biotoxin," Eliana offers, her eyes narrowing as she looks at the newly unveiled painting. "And a lobotomist." With a weak smile, she glances at Hiro again. "Jack," she gives as an explanation as to why she knows the other two disasters. "Do they have paintings too?"

"Lobotomy?" Hiro says, kind of confused. He thinks about it for a second or two before he opens up the picture of a bloody head. "This is what Sylar does to you," he says, and pulls off the painting of the shattering biohazard.

Eliana shrinks back at the painting of the head, gulping. "Yeah, that's a lobotomy," she whispers, taking another step back so that the fear-induced gas doesn't interrupt Hiro again. "So you know what's going to happen." But the tornado and the the toxin seem the most important right now, even if the owner of the depicted head can be saved. "How do you stop it?

"I do not know," Hiro says. "But I have to try," he concludes. "We have to find a way. If we use the paintings as a guide, last time we were able to save the world. "There may be others, out there, too. For now we must just do our best."

"So," Eliana starts as she looks across all of the paintings again. "What are you having Jack do?" What sort of danger is /he/ going to be in? Not everyone can be entirely selfless, after all. It's clear Eliana has a lot on her mind that is only somewhat connected to the threats New York City's inhabitants, both Evolved and Unevolved, are faced with.

Hiro seems perplexed. "I do not know? I asked Jack if I could see the painting he had, and he let me. I told him to watch out for Sylar and the Company. We are keeping connected. Last time, it was only because we were all together at the end that we succeeded. This time, I do not intend to wait until the end."

Eliana 's face starts to pinken, and she takes another slow step back, careful not to step on any of Hiro's cranes. "Right," she says, part of her chiding herself for believing all of this so easily. What happened to the scrutinizing journalist? "You'll let me know," Eliana starts again, her eyebrows knitted, "you'll let me know what I need to do to keep him safe?" It's as much a question as it is a statement of fact. "I don't know if I can help you, or anyone else. I don't know if I want to take that risk. But I do know I want Jack to be safe."

"I think if you want to keep him safe, you should work with him?" Hiro says, sounding more curious than anything else. "Everyone needs help. The best way to keep an eye on him is to keep an eye on him, right?"

Looking back to the painting of Sylar, and then Sylar's handiwork, Eliana frowns. What sort of help could she be in such a situation? What if the gas only spurred this villain on in some sort of blood lust? "Maybe," she chokes out. "Thank you, Hiro," she adds, remembering her manners. With one last look at the paintings, Eliana turns and heads for the door.

Hiro looks at the mess he's made, and waves to Eliana. "Goodbye. Be careful," he says, as she heads out the door. If she were to look back, she would look back and see — an apartment with no cranes, and Hiro, holding a broom and wiping his brow.

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