2010-04-15: Convergence: Governor's Island

Starring:

Elisabetha_V4icon.pngNovak_V4icon.pngPeter_V4icon.png

Date: April 15, 2010

Summary:

Death visits Governor's Island as ETA Protocol is activated.


"Convergence: Governor's Island"

Castle Williams

In any other year, this building would be a tourist attraction. Large green space, old buildings, castles and forts— Governor's Island has many features that make it a tourist attraction, but people aren't taking boats to it for day trips, or parties, or picnics. Instead— there's things that probably never should have happened happening within the old Coast Guard barracks.

The southern half of the island still has movement. A jeep being loaded with a young woman-shaped figure, a black bag stuffed over her head, with a tude of liquid up her nose. The jeep moves north, two armed guards, and a doctor sitting next to her, checking her pulse every few minutes.

"The boss said to take her to the middle of Castle Williams and then inject her with the medicine they gave you," one of the guards explains to the doctor, who looks down at her package, a metal box with a lock and a few symbols on it. "I'm not sure I like the idea, but— they said it would fix things, when I asked."

"Fix things? Like make her not— dangerous anymore? Permenantly?" the doctor asks, curious, looking down at the young woman's hand. "I wondered why they only kept a few of them here— a bunch got sick and died. That wasn't what we signed on for. I signed on to help people, not kill them."

"Yeah, I know, I protested moving them all like that, too. The higher ups aren't really listening sometimes. I'm half thinking of quitting. Maybe tomorrow."

"Will you two shut up? We're almost there." the guard behind the wheel says, shaking his head, before he pulls over and out, helping them carry her along. The drugs make awareness difficult, movement hard, it isn't until they're through the hallways and into the interior courtyard of the castle that the hood is removed.

"Hey, kid, stay calm. We're just going to give you a shot to help you," one of the guards says, trying to smile at her, even as she stands with handcuffs behind her back, a orange jump suit, and still has those tubes up her nose, dulling her senses and reactions.

"We should be doing this in a hospital, not outside in the sunlight." The sun is low in the sky, casting a long shadow across the concrete courtyard, though even as the doctor woman complains, she sets down the package, and opens it. A prepared syringe with a pink fluid can be seen. "Intravaneous— sit her down," she explains, the guards moving to help the girl down onto the concrete, holding her arms on either side, while the doctor rolls her sleeve up, tying a tie on her upper arm, and then…

The needle stings skin, the pink liquid goes deep into her veins…

And suddenly, everything changes.

She may be a 'girl' in the eyes of the more mature individuals present, but Elisabetha is definitely full-grown. She has not been in captivity long enough to lose any body mass to atrophy as she might have the first time she was captured. But that doesn't mean she is any more physically capable of doing anything at the moment.

Her crimson eyes are open half-way, the power-suppression drug and sedatives being pumped into her keeping her rather unaware. Still, as if from a distance she can hear voices. Are they talking to her? Or are they just babbling? Meaningless noises… Even the sunlight is muted somehow. She can tell there is pain in an arm. It's just… It's felt from afar. Like she is somehow feeling someone else's arm being stung by a needle.

'Pain? What is that? Is that… Suffering? I can feel suffering… I should make it go away. Whoever it is, they shouldn't… Whoever? Who else is there? I'm… I? What am I? Who am I? Am I a person…? Am I… A memory?' The numb, distracted, disoriented state is familiar, but somehow just as disturbing in its familiarity as it is comforting. Elisabetha has been in such a state for years. It was only the past few years that she has regained her sense of self, her awareness of others. She doesn't know if she wants to fight it or embrace it. A flicker of recollection passes through her mind. The neighborhood where Elisabetha and her mother had moved in. Standing on the sidewalk. A van some distance away from her. Everything… DYING!

Crimson eyes snap wide open as everything comes rushing back to her. Not just memories, but her senses, her awareness. The shock is enough to keep her from reacting immediately when the blackness begins to boil up inside her mind. Once upon a time she kept it locked up behind mental walls. She called it Thanatos. Then a man tried to heal her, and help her. But he didn't finish the job. What was left dragged itself out of the darkness, and in its hunger for more and more and more, it tried to subsume Elisabetha in the Red and the Black. Blood and decay. But it lacked the strength to do that anymore. So instead… It merged with Elisabetha. Now she is equal parts dark and light. Hate and love. So as the drug starts to work on her, the blackness that makes up part of her very being tries to surge and grow stronger, to eat the other half, but it is now part of the other half, and so it begins to eat itself as well.

The concrete around her cracks slightly. Almost imperceptibly. Elisabetha wants to scream as her own mind is at war with itself, dredging up memories of the bad things and the good things in equal measure. She is torn between the pain and guilt of her own actions and impulses, and the pleasure and joy of trying to make up for the past and undo the pain that others have suffered. Her hair seems to rise up, coasting on invisible air currents… But it's not air. It's the energy being released from the concrete as its atomic bonds decay… That's turning into heat waves. Heat waves so intense that Elisabetha should be sweating. But instead, the air around her is as cold as death, as it is sapped of energy as well.

Blonde hair wafting about her, writhing as though it were made up of serpents, Elisabetha throws back her head, teeth clenched, and her ability lashes out without her consent. Just like the first time. Slashes of some utter blackness swirl outwards from Elisabetha, seeming to ERASE anything they touch. What is it? It's not some void. It's not even true blackness. It's just… Nothing. The total absence of everything. The people near Elisabetha die relatively quickly. It wouldn't even hurt that much when their bodies disintegrate before their very eyes, turning into less than dust, less than free-floating atoms… It's over in seconds.

But for anyone else on the island, the End is just beginning.

But the beginning is brutal. The three people with her barely have a chance to scream, before their lungs turn to dust, and their body breaks down. The sun continues to move, the clock ticks by, but everything just breaks around her. The softer things break apart first, a bird crashes towards the ground, caught a wisp that reaches up toward the sky, turning to dust before it falls all the way. The walls of the hundreds year old castle are next. A castle is only half of what it had been, it had been a fort, more than anything. And a prison.

Now it starts to age, break apart. The tendrils expand around. There are still soldiers on the island, one who gets close enough to raise his weapon— but the bullet never makes it to her, breaking down as it flies closer and closer.

Nothing can survive the death centered around her, not even things that aren't living.

Nothing, except perhaps, someone who speeds in, through the doors, trying to get close. The first wisps hit him, breaking up parts of his clothing, lashing at his face.

Peter's never experienced this ability, but part of him retains the memory. A memory that wasn't really his own. "You have to stop!" he yells at her, as his lip breaks open, the soft tissue dissolving, only to slowly try to rebuild. There's pain, but only cause his body happens to be trying desperately to keep up with the damage being done to it.

If he hadn't absorbed her ability himself, he may not be able to get this close.

Elisabetha manages to take control of her mind (more or less) but she can't take control of her ability. It's beyond her control. She tries to do all of what she has been told to do by her Teacher in the past. Maintain a calm, emotionless state. Breath slowly, ignore distractions. Focus solely on the desired result. She tries. But with fire seemingly singing through her veins, her mind in turmoil, and the horror of watching everything around her falling apart no matter how much she concentrates… Well, it is hard to follow a logical series of steps.

Even more so when logic doesn't seem to be working.

At first the prisoner's garments on her seem to be untouched by the swirling nothingness. The outer edges of it are certainly doing a number on the stone walls, the ground, and everything else, but somehow, right at the center the oblivion seems to be sparing Elisabetha. As the hurricane of raw death begins to pick up fragments of things, carrying them through the frigid air and dissolving them, Elisabetha finds that she is not quite immune to her own ability. She tries to get up and MOVE, even with her hands bound. Maybe she can move out to sea or something, away from the people! But this storm has almost become an independent entity. Moving away from her spot at the center, she encounters the walls of decay that destroy first garments, and then begin to scar the flesh beneath. Oddly, though there are now black abrasions on Elisabetha's body, she is not falling apart as quickly as the others. Instead she is hurled backwards as though struck, sent to the ground. Well, at least her cuffs have fallen apart.

Then a voice can be heard over the loud noises of things breaking and falling apart. It takes precious seconds to connect it with a face and a memory under these circumstances. Then she sees him, blurring into the area. "PETER!" she screams out. "HELP ME!" She doesn't know how he can move so quickly, why he isn't already dead, or anything else. Like a dream where nothing makes sense, she merely accepts for the moment that Peter can do more than turn invisible. She never even questions it. She just reaches out for this man she barely knows, pleading for him to somehow end this nightmare.

'It's like I'm a freak at a carnival, or a clown stuck on a clown's bicycle. I keep going in circles and circles, and everyone is laughing, but I don't want to be here. I want to get off. Oh god, why can't I get off?' The thoughts shoot through her mind, disjointed and independent of any sort of conscious logic. The drug is doing more than just amping up her ability. It's driving her insane. Elisabetha reaches out for Peter. If she can't stop her 'gift' maybe she can at least control where it goes. An opening begins to appear… A gap in the increasingly dark walls of destruction.

But the concrete has been weathered down several feet, and is now breaking into chunks. The ground shatters and tilts, threatening to tip Elisabetha down into a hole. She screams again, scrabbling for a handhold, some way to avoid falling down into the darkness. 'No, not the darkness, not again, I can't, I can't, I have to' she doesn't finish that line of thought, as every time her hand touches something, it dissolves into gray dust and then even that is gone, eaten up by the storm.

She is falling. But she can't fall yet. "Not yet!" she cries out as she manages to get to her feet, and run up a rapidly disintegrating slope. It's like running in a sand pit that keeps on trying to drag her down. But she manages to leap up onto some of the more stable terrain, trying to reach something, someone, anyone!

The something, someone, anyone that reaches out to her would happen to be Peter, though he may regret it the moment their hands connect, because the flesh starts melting away, leaving a bloody hand grasping hers, then a skeletal hand, which pulls her up a bit to help her out, but as soon as she connects with the ground again— it keeps falling away. They're not going to get very far. Luckily her power isn't being used by him, cause her own flesh doesn't start disappearing quite as fast as his does. The skin tries to regrow, the muscles and the veins returning, attempting to repair the damage that she's done. The regeneration is slow, dulled, and painful, as he clenches his teeth.

The waves of dark energy stretch out around them, making the walls of the castle collapse, hitting the follage that had grown up around it. It stretches out toward the river and the bay, hitting the water with bubbles of energy. Fish die and float toward the surface, only to be destroyed by a second wave.

A soldier on patrol gets caught in it as well, dying much more slowly due to the distance than the ones around him. He dies screaming.

All her life she'd wanted to get rid of suffering, and while it does find a definite end, the suffering is there while she causes it. And Peter's suffering worst as all. "You have to stop!" he tries to yell at her, as a flick of enthropy hits him in the face, knocking him back a few yards. It slammed his cheek, if he'd not have flinched away at the last second, it would have gone between his eyes— much like the scar his future self had had. This cut doesn't heal. He blinks into the distance, catching sight of a ferry boat heading from the statue of Liberty, back to the island where people still remain… How far will her ability travel— how many people will be killed?

Novak Garbaldi was told to leave the island. Eta had been enacted. But though his 'security clearance' did not allow for him to be told what was going on exactly, he could tell enough by the way everyone was acting, the way he was spoken to, and the accumulation of facts in such a situation, that this island was going to disappear. And Elisabetha was still on it.

Once upon a time, emotions and thoughts dulled by his daughter's ability, he had thought only of the immense suffering in the world, and how to end it. It seemed simple enough — get the serial killer named Sylar to take his daughter's ability, and then, using his superior control over the 'gifts' he steals, Sylar would be able to wipe out all life on planet Earth via a super-amplification drug that Novak was developing. Something called 'Thanatos'.

He had been snapped out of such thinking, thankfully. He had been given time to recover from the emotion-deadening effects of Elisabetha's ability. And he was glad that he had given up all pursuit of such a twisted goal. It went completely in the face of all he had spent his entire life trying to do — to end suffering, one person at a time, through understanding, aiding, and educating those who could not help themselves. He tried to return to this objective. But while looking for students in New Orleans, amongst the wreckage and the recovering survivors of Hurricane Katrina, he was betrayed by one of his own kind. A parasitic individual who lived by draining the YEARS from others. It was a wake-up call to Novak. Not only were abilities very dangerous in the wrong hands, but people in general were not ready for them. So he took his accumulated information and went to the United States government — Senator Wynn in particular.

That was how Novak got involved in Alpha Protocol, and later on, Delta Protocol. He knew that things were spinning out of control. He knew the Protocols could not last — especially when he was prepared to undermine the efforts of these 'hunters' as best he could — but he had a new objective. This objective wasn't 'containing', 'controlling', or 'weaponizing' his own kind. It was finding a CURE for abilities themselves. Some new formula, the opposite of Thanatos, that he could use to purge the mutations from those who suffered from them. He would have loved to experiment on Sylar, but that one could not be captured. So he had to make do with simulations and tests performed on samples taken from his own body. He had been so close to completing them. TWO formulas. One was called Gaea, and was discovered accidentally. Useless at this point in time, Novak went no further with it after discovering that it did little or nothing noticeable. The other he called Absolution. It was not fully tested, and there was only one syringe of it. He was saving it for one specific person.

And now the day has come to test Absolution at last. But when Novak slips away from those boarding the ferry, he finds that the place Elisabetha is supposed to be is not where she is now. She was moved. No time to check the computer manifests for orders. This island was going to be uninhabited shortly. So Novak has been driving all around the island, asking everyone he meets, regardless of what suspicion this casts upon him. And then he hears the sounds. The sounds of screams cut short, the sound of a gunshot, the sound of large amounts of stone crumbling, falling apart… And… An odd staticky noise, like sand flowing through an hourglass. He begins to head in the direction of the noises, already fearing what he will find.

The dome of blackness becomes obvious long before Novak reaches it. It's not pure black. Not yet. But it doesn't matter because he knows what's happening. "It's too late," he states simply, before getting out of the borrowed jeep, grabbing a black medical bag, and walking in the direction of the Death Storm. He doesn't know if he can do anything. He might be walking to his own demise. But he'll find out when he gets there.

Elisabetha can hear the sounds of things breaking and people dying and she can see the pain she is causing Peter. She screams in shock as she sees the state of him, and tries to pull away reflexively, to avoid hurting him. Because it's not just the sights and sounds, nor the frigid air and the stench of death that is quickly erased as even the molecules that produce the scent are destroyed, nor is it the pain she can feel of her own ability trying to eat her even as it uses her as a vessel. She can feel the Suffering in everyone in the area. Whatever it is that plagues them, either physically or emotionally, she can feel the pain in its entirety.

She wants to end the pain.

But not like this. The world is sick. It needs to be cured. It is broken and needs to be fixed. But it can't be fixed with a weapon. It can't and she won't let it. But what can she do? Then she feels a familiar presence. Her Teacher. She can tell it's him because of the way in which he is suffering. Though he is internally horrified by what is happening, he is not truly distressed. He regards the situation the same way he does everything else, with calm and methodical progression… Even as he does something very illogical. Like walking towards Elisabetha.

The Death Storm has yet to re-center on her. It is being emitted form her body, but it has gained momentum and is swirling around a now-empty spot at the center. Maybe if she forces her way through the storm, she can get close enough to warn Novak. Maybe she can tell him to take Peter and run! Maybe she can stop the storm if there's no more people suffering!

But a new horror has arisen. One that prevents Elisabetha from taking action. It begins with pain. Intense, hideous pain. This ability of hers took her right arm when she was younger. She was given an experimental robotic prosthetic. Now the inanimate materials of the right arm are decaying and breaking down, not bearing the same resistance to Entropy that Elisabetha's true flesh possesses. That's not the part that hurts. The part that hurts is where the socket in her shoulder is coming out of her body, seeming to be melting and then falling out suddenly, leaving a blood-gushing wound and exposed bone in its wake. Elisabetha screams. The arm never hits the dissolving ground. It's already gone.

But through the pain, she manages to yell out to Peter over everything else, "FIND THEIR DRUG AND USE IT ON ME! MAKE IT… STOP!" She pauses on the last word, as she begins coughing. The air is being destroyed. She's starting to run out of oxygen to breathe. What drug is she referring to? Whichever one they used on her when they captured her! Hell if she knows the name! She's too busy trying not to suffocate herself or bleed to death!

"Just hold on a minute," Peter says, flinching back from the bleeding slash across his face, bleeding cause his body is desperately trying to knit the flesh and rebuild the skin there, but it's having a difficult time doing much of anything inside this cloud of death. A flicker, and suddenly he's not there anymore. Everything is crumbling around them, but even that freezes in place— at least for him. Moving away as quickly as he can, he hopes to find one of those guns, something that he might be able to get close enough to her with, but instead—

He spots a man moving toward the torrents of destruction, rather than away like so many.

Buildings are crumbling, the island, half created with landfill, breaks apart. A tunnel with cars lies not too far north of the island itself, going under the bay. What will happen to all those people in their cars, driving under the city? The Red Hook area of Brooklyn is close— people live and work there— what will happen to them if the storm increases in size?

How many will die?

A hand suddenly lands on Novak's shoulder, where he moves toward his daughter, and the malestrom that she's creating, and he's pulled outside of time. "Do you have any of the negation formula? I might be able to get close enough to stop it, but I need some of this— everyone close to that cloud is going to die."

It is only now that he notices the hand not holding the man's shoulder hasn't fully regrown. It's flesh and bone and muscles, with the veins visibly growing back on. He's stuck looking at it for that frozen moment, as the flesh slowly— too slowly— reforms.

Novak pauses mid-step when a hand is placed on his shoulder. It is not so much that which startles him, as the sudden lack of sensory input. Imagine going from somewhere with nearly deafening sounds, with an overpowering stench, and below-freezing temperatures to somewhere effectively silent, with the air too stagnant to carry scents, and… Well, it is still rather cold. But the point remains that Novak is thrown off-balance by this. "…Nakamura?" he asks as he turns his head.

He should have realized it was not Hiro. Different voice, for one thing. No accent. The weight and size of the hand in question. Etcetera. But he's not at his most lucid at the moment.

"…Ah," he says simply when he sees Peter. He'd like to ask questions, since it seems like they have a bit of room to breathe, but he quickly snaps back to the situation at hand. His cognitive faculties may be slightly stunned but they are also good at recovering in an emergency. And when his daughter is in danger, well, scholarly interest in temporal anomalies can wait.

"I have something. I was hoping it would be able to cancel her ability on a permanent basis. It has not been tested on anyone yet — just some of my own blood and tissue samples." He reaches for the black bag he carries in one hand, undoes the flap and removes a syringe of some pure white liquid from a holster. He considers mentioning the name of it, but does not see how, in this situation, it is relevant. "I only have one of these. There was no time to make more. Please make it count, and…" He pauses for a moment, looking down at the ground. He is not one for emotional speeches or impassioned pleas. So he keeps it simple.

He looks Peter in the eye and says, "I do not care if I live or die at this point. But my only child still has much to live for. Please, do what you have to in order to stop this madness… But Eli needs to live through this somehow. I'm counting on you to save the day AND her." Then he holds out the safety-capped syringe to Peter. And a whim strikes him. Nodding to Peter's hand, the one that is not yet regenerated, he remarks, "Might want to have that looked at when this is all over." Great. Because humor is exactly what this situation needs.

"You're Garibaldi," Peter seems to realize quickly enough, as his still regrowing hand takes the syringe. How he'll get it close enough, he doesn't know— maybe he can inject it outside of time. Maybe that will do the trick. But he has something, and he doesn't think he has time to go looking for something else…

Even with time slowed or stopped the cloud seems to be expanding, little whisps of black threatening to get closer. "I'll do my best, I promise. I'll save her," he says, a determined look in his dark eyes, before he suddenly turns around, letting go of the man. The instant he does, he disappears, running at high speeds back into the destruction. Much of his clothes are the first victims, his skin gets torn away in a few places as well, but he doesn't hesitate to reach for her, and stick the syringe in, trying to inject her, as the clock slowly ticks.

But as the needle gets close, the small bit of metal warps, it doesn't make it into her skin, and the white formula shatters and spreads onto her skin.

As time catches back up, she'll feel pain in her remaining arm, a cold sensation of liquid that doesn't melt away very fast, and the roar of pain, as Peter flies back away from her again, landing on his back, a desolving line of death eating into his chest.

Elisabetha sees Peter suddenly being flung backwards. Wasn't he already away from her? Is she losing her vision along with everything else? She doesn't know, but there's some white something on her left arm, and it seems to be… Resisting the Entropy. Somehow. It will disintegrate eventually, but right then, when Elisabetha's crimson eyes see Novak standing at a distance, looking older than last they met… Well, she realizes something. She can stop this. Drug or no, her ability is still hers to control. Maybe she can shut it off… Maybe she can't. But there's no time to learn how or wait it out. This has gone on for too long already. If that white stuff is supposed to help or not, she knows now what she has to do.

She takes in a deep breath, trying to avoid passing out as she feels a sudden wave of dizziness from the blood loss. Then she tries to end the Suffering in the best way she knows how. A chunk of rock — one of the few remaining pieces of the mostly-demolished castle — falls towards Peter, potentially clocking him good on the head, but the storm begins to slow. Then it stops. Everything around seems to just… Hang for a moment. Suspended. Then the blackness begins to swirl in the opposite direction. It begins to spiral inwards, rather than outwards. And the black begins to turn to grey, as things that were falling apart previously not only stop doing so, but almost seem to repair themselves. This is not a magical 'fix everything' button Elisabetha has pushed. But somehow, despite all the death and destruction that has taken place, things seem to be getting… 'Better'. The darkness lifts, fresh air rushes in, and the dissolved, fractured earth begins to fuse back together. And the living? Those who remain, scarred by the Entropy, but not yet beyond saving, the pain just FLOWS out of them. The damage begins to heal, even in places and parts of the body that should be unable to recover. A limb lost will remain that way. But the rot is receding, the dust is swirling back into place and turning into flesh, blood, and bone…

What was broken is being remade. What was lost is being found. The newly dead and the dying are coming back to the world of the living. Elisabetha can't save them all. But for one moment, in this part of the vast and infinite universe, something of cosmic significance occurs. The balance of life and death shifts. Elisabetha is absorbing all the entropy in the environment, and in those nearby, taking it into her own being. The pain is beyond anything she has ever felt. Beyond anything ANYONE has ever felt. Because it's not just her own pain she is feeling. She is feeling the pain of all of those she has hurt this day, as the suffering leaks out of them and moves into her. But as much as the pain is great, greater is the pleasure. The pleasure of knowing she is finally fulfilling her purpose. She is finally doing what she was born to do. She is helping people. She is ending suffering without causing it. Warm liquid wells up in her eyes and spills down her cheeks. It's not tears. It's blood. The grey cloud surrounds Elisabetha as she stands with one arm out-stretched to the sky. And then the darkness turns to blinding light.

There's a blinding moment when it seems impossible to tell what happened. The inside of the Castle starts to settle, but the walls that fell do not fully rebuild, the dust does not fix, though what hadn't fallen is stronger and newer than it had been, like the bricks had just been placed. It looks like a meteor has smashed into the island, as birds that had been twitching get up off of the ground and flap the dust off their wings to fly away.

In the center, a naked blonde woman lies, two arms instead of one, hair strategicly laying to cover her clean body, eyes fluttering in the dust.

Where Peter Petrelli went, though— that is a mystery. The space he had occupied has emptied, some blood left behind on the ground in a smear, as if he bled heavily upon the broken concrete of the castle. The syringe is no where to be seen, either.

The cloud of death is gone.

Novak has to stand at a distance, watching and waiting. Hoping that Peter can get to Elisabetha and somehow make things right again. He agonizes over all the things he has done wrong in his life, all the things he tried to do right but failed at, and torments himself with questions of whether he made the formula correctly, if enough tests were performed, if he took all factors into account… If this does not work, he will probably blame himself. But he will probably also die rather quickly when the Death Storm reaches him. He has no intention of fleeing.

But… The Storm stops. It begins to move in reverse. It changes from nothingness, the utter absence of matter, energy, time, space, and anything else… Into brilliant white light. Novak wishes he had the strength to look. His heart is swelling with hope that the Cure has fixed his daughter. But his own ability is too great. Against his will, he has to close his eyes and turn away. 'The light is too wholesome and pure for a tainted soul like me,' he thinks for a moment. But when the sounds of crumbling finally stop, and the feeling of warmth rushes back into the area after being far below freezing, Novak gasps and opens his eyes. He looks and does not see Elisabetha. He thought he heard a heartbeat stop. But as his numb legs are forced to carry him, slowly at first and then at a run, into the ruins he sees that Peter is nowhere to be found. 'Perhaps it was the boy departing that made it seem as though a heart had stopped.' The thought flickers through his head along with a million others, but he doesn't really CARE. At this point he is just trying to find Elisabetha.

He scrambles over jutting spikes of concrete and earth, somehow fused together into spires. And then he sees her. Letting out a ragged breath he hadn't realized he was holding, Novak moves to Elisabetha's side. She's alive. He can tell just from the fact she is breathing. But he checks vital signs anyway. The new right arm is noticed, of course, and taken into account, but it's those bright blue eyes that surprise him.

She is unlikely to remain conscious for long after something like this. He still doesn't know how she survived. Perhaps… Did Peter heal her? He thought the arm was beyond healing, but this level of restoration… Now he is worried about Peter. The man who saved his only child may be in dire straits at the moment. Always thinking ahead. Always thinking too much. First he needs to get Elisabetha out of here. Once she is safe, then he can try to find Peter and help him. And thank him.

He pulls out a cellphone. He dials a number he has memorized despite only seeing it once before. He is calling Sarissa Belmont. When he only gets a machine, he sighs and says, "Sarissa it's me. I've found your daughter. I'm bringing her home." Then Novak hangs up. He gazes out at the sea. He's so tired. The adrenaline is fading. But there's not yet time to rest. He'll have to call in some favors… Have an ER helicopter come to pick up the wounded… Call the press so they can see what happened here before it can be covered up… But most of all, he has to tell Eli when she wakes up. He has to tell her his real relationship with her. And something else.

He thinks the words he plans to say when she awakens.

'The world is a sick place. It needs to be cured. But it's a better place with you in it.'

TO BE CONTINUED… Convergence: Ward's Island

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