Date: April 14th, 2010
"If you chase two rabbits you will lose them both." Amrit learns the lesson spoken of in the Native American saying when he tries to help two different unhappy women he encounters on the street.
"If You Chase Two Rabbits"
New York City
Amrit has been keeping himself busy. While others have been rounded up and imprisoned, or hunted like animals, or insinuated themselves into the secret ranks of those with no mercy for their fellow human beings — even if said humans are different in some way — Amrit has been occupied. After Anais stopped answering her phone or door, after Amrit failed to contact Nathan Petrelli, he assumed that the worst had happened. He hunted feverishly for some hint as to their fate, searching for those who had previously watched from seemingly-innocent utility vans, or other disguises. He searched all throughout the city. But there are many minds in the city. Many false paths.
Amrit is not as strong with his ability as he would like to be. There has been some information he has come across… Some very VALUABLE information. But he has not had the opportunity to question the enemy in person. They travel in groups, and are paranoid in the extreme. If he made a move, he would be taken down. So though he has waited for his chance, it has not come.
It is early evening on a cloudy, rainy, miserable day. It mimics Amrit's mood and frustration, in a way. Though 'twould be more so if there were the growl of thunder. Instead, there is only the chattering of millions of minds, an undercurrent to his own thoughts on the futility of this search. He is dressed in a gray trenchcoat and fedora. The others that walk the streets in the rain may have umbrellas, but Amrit could care less about the cold droplets that hit his face on occasion, as they run along the rim of his hat, and patter on his garments. The cold wetness almost soothes him in a way. It reminds him of how he helped Anais out of that coma. That was a good day. That was a day full of meaning. But then he remembers that he has accomplished next to nothing since then, and his mood darkens once more. Hands stuffed in his pockets, he moves away from a wall and starts walking again.
Rain. How appropriate. The dreary, dismal grey of the sky; the way that what little light gets through seems to be subdued somehow; the generally negative emotional atmosphere produced by most of New York City's denizens when forced into such an environment — these are things that Sarissa can lose herself in. It's like a private hell. She ordinarily opens herself to the emotions of those around her, drinking them in, living through other people. But doing that now would make her feel even more unpleasant than she already does. Having one's daughter vanish does that to a person. So she has to starve her addiction, focus solely on how she feels without other people being a factor. This, in a word, sucks.
She has a car now. A rather expensive luxury car, infact. It even has a chauffeur to drive her places. Well, that car is parked on a different street. Sarissa decided to go for a walk, dressed in a black longcoat with black faux-fur trim, and a black dress underneath. A black umbrella is used to keep her attire dry. She would ordinarily not wear so much black, but it seems very appropriate. She feels almost like she's on her way to Elisabetha's funeral. She doesn't know if her daughter is alive or dead, and Novak has not answered his phone since she called originally. She wants to strangle someone.
Rain, rain, here to stay, able to dampen anyone's day. That's how KeLyssa would feel, had she not already had feelings of dreary unpleasantness and unhappiness and ire that gnawed away at her day in and day out since her her rescue/escape from her would be captors. No, today the rain does not phase her at all. As for how cold it is today…well, she has never quite been affected by the cold like others are; as such she does not even notice if it is cold or not. And she doesn't really care one way or another, if she were to be completely honest.
Today, KeLyssa where's a dark purple hoody that looks as if it wouldn't keep even the most think skinned of people warm for long. Underneath, she wears a blood red t-shirt. As well, she wears matching red skirt that goes down to her knees. While she has an umbrella, it looks as if she started off in this rain without one, as he clothes look quite wet.
So many people, so many thoughts. Not everyone is thinking angry or depressed or unpleasant thoughts. There are some people who are more or less oblivious to the weather and are focused on other things. Remembering a grocery list, thinking about what pretty dresses are in a display window of a store, rather risque‘ thoughts about a girlfriend from the mind of a young man… And silent appreciation of the beauty of one particular woman from quite a few other men.
Amrit is not one to let eyes roam, but that more than one person would be admiring a single individual draws his divided attention like a magnet. He glances over in Sarissa’s direction, and spots her. She is, indeed, good-looking. She is not dressed inappropriately for the weather, or wearing anything revealing… She just has almost artistically sculpted features, and an elegance to how she moves and presents herself. Amrit admits this, but he is not a gawker. He banishes the image of her from his mind — just as a stray thought passes through him. <…daughter kidnapped…>'. Amrit frowns and starts searching for where that came from, but there's so much babble, so many random thoughts, that it's hard to focus.
Still, he focuses, eliminating one mental voice after another, until he finds it again. <…alive or dead! And Novak won't even answer his phone. I want to strangle someone.> The same woman he had just noticed a moment before is the source. Amrit has spent much of the time since discovering his ability hurting bad people. He wants to help, not hurt. But it seems like hurting is necessary to make the evil ones stop doing evil. Still… Finding a kidnapped daughter would serve two purposes. It would help the mother, and allow him to punish the kidnappers. So he decides to try.
He starts to head to the corner to cross the street, when he notices a woman in purple and red ahead of him. Just walking up to the mother without preamble would cause suspicion at the very least. So he decides to follow for a little while, and listen in for more details. In the meantime, he chooses to help someone closer. He has not scanned for thoughts, because he can't focus on two people at once. But he can tell this woman is nearly hollowed out by how miserable she feels. It's on her face, in the way she holds herself. It reminds him of how he felt a few years ago. 'Should I?' he ponders. Help two people or help one? Is there really a choice here?
Amrit walks behind KeLyssa, picking up his pace so that he can move to walk alongside of her. "Excuse me, miss." he begins, his English accented by his Indian heritage. "My apologies for bothering you, but you don't seem to be enjoying this wonderful weather we're having. Might I ask what troubles you?" A joke. Maybe not appreciated in KeLyssa's present emotional state, but it's an attempt at least.
Sarissa is unaware of the attention focused on her from a psychic standpoint. But she is aware of glances or looks. She just pays them no mind. She has received such throughout her adult life, and she no longer heeds them. Her thoughts and feelings are still focused inwards. 'Coming here was a mistake. If Elisabetha is returned to me, I swear I will return >her< to Italy and make sure she never sets foot outside again!' Then she switches to Italian. Of course, rarely do thoughts actually occur in the manner of a conversation. Talking to oneself is a sign of insanity. So though words may not be part of all that she thinks, there is definitely intent behind them.
Some drunk hobo comes staggering out of an alleyway at her, hands outstretched, making noises as though he had forgotten how to use his tongue properly. Sarissa is immediately repulsed and distressed, and tries to undo her empathic block. But it's hard to do such a thing instantly when one is still recovering from surprise. She yells out, "No!" and starts swinging her free hand at the man as though swatting at an insect that one doesn't really want to touch. She eventually switches to using her umbrella to beat him away, and continues moving down the street the whole time.
Luckily, the drunk man, whatever he wanted, does not pursue. Sarissa, flustered and embarassed both by her reaction and being caught off-guard like that, finally undoes her mental defense, and is flooded with all sorts of emotions. None of them her own. She lets out a shuddering breath of pleasure at the 'fix', composes herself, and resumes on her walk. New York City is a dangerous place to be walking unawares, it seems.
While no one may be listening in to her thoughts, or if they are, KeLyssa's mind starts to think about the Alpha Protocol. 'I hate the Protocol. I hate 'em; I hate 'em; I hate 'em! They're gonna pay fer what they done ta me, an' what they're doin' ta others! I'm gonna get 'em!' The Indian accent, and the person seemingly speaking to her directly, catches her attention. She turns her head to see the man who appears at her side. "Ha. 'Nice weather'. Tha's a laugh an' a half." Her Southern American accent is prevalent. "But it ain't nothin' that you'd b'lieve, even ifin I told ya somethin' 'bout it." She rolls her eyes. "So m'sorry fer wastin' yer concern, bu' I don' think m'gonna tell ya what 'troubles' me."
Amrit has to listen carefully, a look of concentration on his face, in order to understand KeLyssa. Southern accents are not part of his experience with the English language. Still, he manages to get the gist of it. "Ah. My apologies. I did not intend to pry into personal affairs…" He considers leaving it at that and depart, but… The thoughts from Sarissa are noted, along with the name and country of origin. He turns his head to peer in her direction when the Italian is used, but can't understand a word of it. He decides to just keep mental track of where she is, and focuses on the matter more immediately at hand.
"…However, if it is not too forward, I think I already know a bit about you." he says mysteriously. After a moment, he clarifies, "You feel like you are alone." A pause, and then he says, "Alone in a city of millions. You feel that you've been wronged. Perhaps that there is someone or something out to get you. And yet is there any hope of undoing the damage and pain? Of taking back your life and your happiness? It may seem not. But even if you only do it one step at a time, one person at a time… It can happen. I know it's hard to imagine, when you are so tired of the same thing every day… But perseverence can be the factor that seperates us, as a people. Some would give up before the end, and be crushed underfoot by the wicked. Others would last forever if needs be, and they would be the victorious ones." He glances towards KeLyssa as he finally reaches the street corner.
"What is important is not to lose hope, and not to spend so much time lashing out at the evil ones that one forgets the joy that can be felt from helping someone in need. Find someone who needs help, and help that person to be free and happy. That can ease the burden immensely."
Sarissa was right about feeling miserable. But not everyone is feeling bad. A surprising number of people feel… Pretty good, actually. And someone across the street is feeling some sort of… Tension. A sort of mounting readiness for something. Excitement? Hope? Can there be such a thing in such a horrendous world? She doesn't care. Or so she tells herself. Her own problems seem to be overwhelming in the face of such a foolishly optimistic viewpoint. Her daughter is missing! Vanished! Still… If she gives up now, what good will that do Elisabetha? She has to have hope she will be returned to her.
Sarissa sighs, shaking some water from her dark hair that had landed upon her when she used her umbrella as a defensive tool. Well, that man with the hope is addressing someone very unhappy. She may or may not believe whatever he's telling her. But at least one person has been affected just by how he feels about what he's saying.
Sarissa decides now would be a good time to return to the car. She is no longer in the mood to be unhappy.
Not being a telepath nor an empath, KeLyssa can only help but focus on one person at a time. Glancing at the Indian man again, she shakes her head. "Maybe that's so. Maybe it ain't. An' I hear all of what yer sayin' an' everything, but how'm I supposed ta help others if I can't even seem ta help m'self?" She gives him a little smile. "I appreciate ya'll tryin' ta help me with this here dilemma o' mine, an' I will say this…yer pretty close ta the mark fer what's botherin' me. But…it's hard ta do stuff, ta help people."
Amrit hmmms. "It is hard, yes. But that makes it all the more rewarding. Still, one must consider one's own well-being when one is in dire circumstances… In the end, all I can advise, if you care to accept the advice of a concerned stranger, is that you keep hoping that there will be a better future. A brighter one, with YOU in it. If you continue to try, then, even if it is only at certain moments, you WILL find happiness."
He then considers his own words. He did not believe as he is now speaking. He used to be hurting and angry and wanting vengeance. Then he obtained it and was hollow inside. He tried to fill up the hole with the pain he caused those who reminded him of the evil ones. But nothing had helped. Not until he helped someone else. "The world is full of bad people. But they weren't always bad. If more people held out a hand to help, or listened with an ear of understanding, or spoke words of love instead of hate… Well, who is to say that today's enemy could not have been a friend instead? Who is to say they could not be in the future?" Then he looks up at the sky. The rain has stopped. "It's a realization even I have only recently come to terms with. We are all connected. Even if we can't see the connections at first, they are there." He has avoided doing any thought-tapping during all this. His concentration on the conversation has precluded such. But now he looks for one single thing. He smiles and tips his wet hat to KeLyssa. "Lead a good life, Miss Gallagher, and I'll try to do the same. That will make at least two good people, would it not?" Then he turns around to cross the street, as the 'walk' light turns green.
KeLyssa raises an eyebrow at the man, shaking her head. "Oh, I'm plannin' on bein' in the future, alright. I just ain't planning on some other people on bein' 'round in the future." She says simply. Does she mean she plans on killing people? Not exactly. Crippling definitely. "I ain't never allowin' people who're my 'enemies' ta be no friend to me. Can't see that ever happenin'. If people hurt me or wanna hurt me, they ain't never gonna ever be my friend. An' that's all." She is stopped dead when he calls her by her last name, backing up slowly. "How the hell'd ya know m'name?" She asks slowly and cautiously.
Amrit shrugs, looking over his shoulder at KeLyssa with his green eyes. He does not answer how he knows her name, just says, "Sometimes people are too far gone. Sometimes they must be punished for their crimes. We all make conscious decisions, regardless of what has shaped our past. I only hope that some villains can be reformed… That there is some hope for anyone who gives up their evil ways… I have to believe that. I have to believe that Redemption is possible. Otherwise, what is my future?" Then he turns around to face forward. "I'd just be a ghost of the past." Then he starts walking across the cross-walk. When he reaches the other side, he seems to simply vanish into thin-air… As though God took an eraser to him.
He's still there, trying to figure out where Sarissa went to. But the minds of those who look upon him are told they do not see him. And, ironically, the same is true for Amrit. He can find no trace of Sarissa. She must have gone out of range. He tried to help KeLyssa, but he doesn't know if she'll take his words to heart or not. And now he has lost track of the mother with the kidnapped daughter. He had such high expectations… High hopes. But perhaps he has failed to help even one person, let alone two. He'll just have to trust in the goodness inherent to human beings. That even the most wicked of all can be redeemed.
KeLyssa starts walking away, and when the man vanishes from her sight, she nearly runs in the opposite direction, afraid that someone might come after her.