2007-03-04: It's Really Not a Tumor

Starring:

Mara_icon.gif Mohinder_icon.gif Sylar_icon.gif

Summary: Sylar stalks his favourite geneticist and terrorizes one of New York's Finest. Unfortunately for Sylar, she terrorizes him right back with the help of Mohinder.

Date It Happened: March 4th, 2007

It's Really Not a Tumor


Outside of Reed Street Laboratories

The door to Reed Street Laboratories opens and a woman with dark hair and dark circles under her eyes slips out. There's an audible click as the lab is locked up behind her. She looks tired and perhaps a tad spooked. Her eyes are slightly bloodshot, suggesting she's been crying. The off-duty detective unbuttons her coat despite the chill and ruffles her hair as she starts to walk toward her car.

Sylar has been doing a bit of spying on the good doctor. After all, he's the only thing the killer has right now that can get him closer to a cure for his problem. He can't fulfill the imperative if he doesn't have his abilities. He needs them. So, the entire time Mara has been with Mohinder, Sylar has been nearby, glancing in on the two from time to time. Fortunately, he wasn't seen.. which works out perfectly when Mara leaves the laboratory. Sylar makes his move immediately. As she heads to her car, he comes up behind her, and in a flash, there's the cold barrel of a gun pressed to her back. "This is usually the part where people start screaming," he says, and it's easy to hear the creepy smile in his voice. Immediately after, he changes to a whisper. "But I wouldn't, if I were you."

Mara knows instantly what's been pressed against her. And it's her honed instincts that keep her from crying out. Just a few hours ago, she wouldn't have recognized the voice of the man behind her, and even now, she's hoping her mind is merely playing tricks on her. All the same, a shudder runs through her body as Mara slowly reaches her arms out on either side of her, splaying her fingers in a non-threatening manner. The tote bag slung over the woman's shoulder slips down to the bend of her arm and she winces at the sudden movement.

"Good," Sylar says, eying the woman from behind. He looks back quickly towards the loft/lab the immediate area, to see if anything looks out of place. Everything looks fine. "Tell me," he begins, eyes snapping down to the tote bag, before glancing back up to the back of Mara's head, "why you were with Dr. Suresh? Is he working on something? …Do you have…" Sylar's voice lowers to where it's almost inaudible, and there's a hunger in it. "… an ability?"

"I-" Mara hesitates as another shudder runs through her. Think, dammit! "I'm investigating the murder of a Japanese man," she says evenly. She isn't sure that it was the best lie to use, but it does possibly make it seem as though she's more in the dark. "I don't know what you mean by… ability."

At the mention of the Japanese man, the force of the gun pressed against Mara's back weakens for a bit. "Japanese man?" Sylar muses, taking another look at the loft where he just happened to have killed the Japanese man in question. Assuming it's the same one. "How's that going for you? If you're still looking for the killer," Sylar says, smiling, "he's right here. With you."

"Put the gun down," Mara requests gently. "We can talk. No need for violence. I'm just an unarmed woman." She's silent for the space of one slow, deep breath. "Reports say he'd been seen with a sword. You were only defending yourself, right? You must be scared. Talk to me. We can sort this out together." Excruciatingly slow, she takes a step forward, with the intent of turning around once she has, equally slow.

"Scared?" Sylar says, and he chuckles deeply. "I wasn't scared. He simply got in my way. I was aiming for the little one, and he decided to be a hero. He paid the price. The only regrettable thing is I didn't get what was mine." When Mara takes a step forward, Sylar doesn't follow; rather, he keeps the gun trained on her, and holds his ground. After all, he needs to see her face up-close. Makes it easier to pick out of a crowd when the killing comes. "Speaking of what belongs to me… what about you? Your ability. Your.. /power/. Suresh wouldn't be testing you if you didn't have one. What is it?"

"I don't have any ability," Mara insists. Despite her brave facade, she flinches when she finally lays eyes on Sylar in the flesh. She goes pale and she can't hide the flicker of terror in her eyes. It has nothing to do with the gun in his hand. "Doctor Suresh tried to feed me some pipe dream. I don't have an ability. I've got a brain tumor. I'm /dying/."

"Dr. Suresh is a geneticist," Sylar snaps, his patience growing thin with the woman. Even if she doesn't have an ability, she's not being the most cooperative. She.. also doesn't seem very pleased to see him, now that she's turned around. Suresh must have told her about him. Perhaps some of his other deeds, aside from murdering Nakamura. "If you have a brain tumor, is that why you kept screaming inside his lab? You're not screaming now."

"You told me not to," Mara responds easily. "It wouldn't do me any good. I'd scream, you'd shoot me, we'd both be unhappy." She tips her head to one side slightly, "I don't think you really want me to explain the nature of what I go through with this tumor, do you? I'd be more than happy, but I think we'd both end up disappointed."

Mohinder has been inside his lab this whole time, oblivious to what has transpired outside. Mara's test results have been incredibly fascinating and now he's running late. He meant to return Jane's message, but he just got too caught up. It's now that he hurries out of the lab door, intent on going to see Jane in person. The moment he's got the door open, he hears the voices in the hall, both familiar. One sending a chill up his spine. Sylar.. Mara. He eases back through the door to set the bag down, as quietly as possible. Then? Suresh reaches into his jacket to withdraw the Company issued gun he has.

"If you were really in that much pain, and you -did- have a brain tumor… telling you not to scream shouldn't stop you," Sylar responds, waving the gun in Mara's face. He grows tired of this. "So either Suresh was poking around in your head, or you're lying. Which is it?" The fact that Mohinder has left the shop goes completely unnoticed by Sylar, whose attention is still focused on Mara. His voice takes on a darker, more menacing tone, and he advances forward a step. "/Tell me./" If only he had the power of persuasion.

The cracks finally start to show and Mara chokes out a sob. "No! Please! I swear!" She steps back again, hands still out at her sides. Fat tears slide down her cheeks. "He was trying to make something happen! But- but there's nothing /to/ happen. I don't have an ability." She spots Mohinder, but she forces her eyes to stay on Sylar. And Sylar's gun. "You've got to believe me. If- If I had an ability, don't you think I'd be using it to save myself?"

Mohinder has no hesitation about what he does next. He slips back out the door and advances. There's an audible click as the safety is switched off on the gun. "Mara! Get down!" he shouts at the same time as he takes aim at Sylar's torso and fires. There's a fiercely determined expression set on the scientist's face. That shot? It was for his father. Let's hope this one hits its mark.

"Then there's no reason for you to delay your inevitable death," Sylar says, and the sudden murderous expression on his face only re-enforces what he's about to do. He pulls the hammer of the gun back, and begins to squeeze the trigger.. but, fortunately, Mohinder is there to save the day. At the sound of the doctor's voice, Sylar whips around in surprise to shoot the doctor instead of Mara, but he's already too late. Mohinder's shot hits home, the bullet embedding into Sylar's upper shoulder, sending the killer's own gun flying, and Sylar backwards a few steps towards the car, which he crashes into. He slides down the side of it, grabbing his arm in pain, and it takes him a moment to realize it's time to leave, which he tries by attempting to stand back up and run.

Go for the gun? No. Mara doesn't need Sylar's gun. She certainly doesn't need to know where it's been or what he's done with it. Instead, she drops her bag to the ground and attempts to wrestle the killer to the ground with a ferocious shout. "Get the weapon!" she orders Mohinder.

Mohinder's steps hurry to close in the gap between himself and Sylar. Heart hammering in his chest, the doctor readies to take another shot if the psycho on the floor makes the wrong move. "Don't.. even.. think.. about it.." Keeping his own weapon aimed at Sylar, he advances towards the dropped gun. Eyes still on the murderer, and the gun, Suresh stoops down to retrieve the fallen weapon.

Sylar almost growls when Mara begins to wrestle with him, and he does his best to fight back. Unfortunately, with only one arm, he's fighting a losing battle— especially when the pain really begins to set in. "Get off of me!" he commands, pushing at Mara with his good arm, while attempting to reach his gun with the other. He can't, though, with Suresh retrieving the weapon, and Sylar falls back onto concrete, still pushing at Mara with his good arm, his legs scrambling wildly like a cockroach's in an attempt to get away.

Once on top, with her knees anchored on either side of Sylar's midsection, Mara starts savagely punching the man in the face over and over again. Not every blow is as effective as she'd like, with all his squirming, but she's not to be swayed here. "Never! Again!"

Mohinder pulls the hammer back on his weapon, ready to fire. "I suggest you cooperate Sylar." Of course, now he's not sure he has a clear shot with Mara in the way. Regardless, the look on Suresh's face means business. Although, he can't really bring himself to getting Mara to stop the assault. It's.. cathartic. For him and her. He holsters his own weapon and reaches for his cell, fully prepared to call this in for Company cleanup.

At this point, all Sylar can do is squirm so more, so when Mara begins to savagely beat him in the face, there's really nothing he can do. He tries to dodge and/or deflect most of the blows heading his way, but eventually it reaches to a point where Sylar isn't even moving. His face is bloodied, his nose broken, and he's a limp form on the ground, coughing and sputtering as Mara continues to pound his face in.

"Suresh," Mara barks, "give me my bag!" She drops her weight on Sylar's torso to ensure that he's not going anywhere. She finally stops her assault, the skin of her own knuckles broken from the blows. "I need my gun!" You don't need to be Matt Parkman to know what she's thinking.

When Sylar stops moving, that's when Mohinder moves to intervene. As much as he'd like to see Sylar crushed like a roach, there's a stopping point. No, it doesn't make much sense really, but there are some things that just may or may not be deserved. "Mara. Officer Damaris," he says evenly, as he hopes to get through. He's not about to reach out with a restraining hand for the woman. "We have to call this in. I have to make sure he's detained." Mohinder doesn't have much intention of turning Sylar over to police custody. The first thing that crosses his mind is one of those underground cells the Company has. "No you don't. He's not going anywhere, other than a cell."

When he's finally given a breather from the beating, Sylar looks up at Mara, and manages to smile. With all the blood on his face, it's not a pretty picture. Not at all. "Yes, yes," Sylar says, still managing to maintain that creepy smile, "do it. Get your gun. Shoot me. Kill me. Become a murderer, just like people you've locked up." He makes one last, desperate attempt to get away, using his last bit of strength to gain some leverage and hopefully throw Mara off of him.

"You've seen what he's capable of!" Mara turns her head to look back to Mohinder. "He has to die! He /has to die/!" The tears start to flow again. "I can't let him hurt anybody else," she pleads in a hoarse whisper. "Please!" She holds out one bloody hand. "Let me end him." When he tries to throw her off, Mara finally screams, just the way Sylar said she would. She balls her fists together and brings them down onto his head, hoping to knock him out.

With Mara's final, double-fisted blow, Sylar is knocked out, his head falling limp to the concrete, his eyes closed.

Mohinder's expression darkens. Mainly because he won't cry into his pillow if Sylar dies, but he knows too in a way, that's what the murdering bastard wants. "No Mara," he says as gently as he possibly can. "That's exactly what he wants.. Mara!" The other gun is pocketed and he rushes forward to try and pull Mara back. "I want him dead too, but this isn't the way! We can see him caged the rest of his living days. There's got to be a way to detain him.. we thought he was dead once.. Mara… Listen to me." He's just as upset as the woman is, but he's had time to deal. He's no less angry than she is, but there are other ways.

Mara struggles as Mohinder pulls her away from Sylar. "He has to die, dammit! He has to- He has to-" She turns around and beats her fists half-heartedly against Mohinder's chest. "Dammit! /Dammit/!" He's right. Wasn't it she that told him just hours earlier that that hesitation is what separated people like Mohinder from people like Sylar? Which does this make her?

Mohinder does his best to restrain Mara and to hold her back. He takes the half-hearted beating quite well. "Mara.. you just told me earlier, the hesitation separates us from him. Remember that." Confident that Sylar's not going anywhere at the moment, he relaxes. "He'll die, when it's his time. It's not our call to make." Otherwise.. Mohinder would have succeeded last year, or Sylar would have stayed dead on Hiro's sword. "Right now? We need to get him treated and locked away."

Mara stills finally and wipes at her eyes, smearing her and Sylar's blood over her cheek. "Y- You're right. I'll call a bus…" She trudges over toward her bag and stops short. "I.. I don't trust myself. Can you get my phone out?"

Mohinder nods to Mara, "It's alright. I don't blame you for what you've done here, especially after what I subjected you to earlier." He steps towards her bag, and rummages for her phone. Pulling it out he hands it to her after a moment's hesitation. He'd rather see Sylar in a Company facility, but he can't exactly mention that to the officer. There might be another way to extract Sylar later. Beaten, powerless, he's not going anywhere fast. "I must apologize. I should have realized after Friday that he was still following me."

Mara shakes her head and takes the phone. "This was for the best. Better that he find me than someone who couldn't handle him." Never mind that she'd be bleeding out on the pavement right now if Mohinder hadn't intervened. "I'm going to need a favour from you, I'm afraid." She looks down at Sylar, not quite ready to hit the speed dial on her phone.

"You have a point," Mohinder says after some consideration. Better Mara than someone weaker and less prepared to vent. "What sort of favor?" he asks, as he moves to stand by Sylar, knowing damn well the man is unconscious, but in a way not trusting it entirely.

"I'm gonna need you to hit me a few times." Mara turns her eyes back up to Mohinder. She's completely serious. "Because if they see that," she nods her head at Sylar's badly beaten form, "and I don't have a scratch on me? I'm goin' into a cell just as quickly as he is."

Mohinder blinks, then stares aghast at Mara. He's horrified at the suggestion, despite seeing the logic. ".. Mara.." he begins, but he really doesn't have a valid counter argument other than he doesn't want to.

"Don't make me piss you off, Suresh," Mara grinds out. "I know how to make people angry, and I /will/ do it to you if you make me." She gives him a minute to think this over as she steps away to call for the ambulance. She's got her voice lowered as she converses with dispatch, making it difficult to hear. Her eyes stay on Sylar. If he /twitches/, she will be right there pounding the life out of him again. Her coiled muscles tell her so.

"Mara.." Mohinder begins again, even /hating/ himself for considering the officer's request. He closes his eyes as he steels himself. He'll wait until she's off the phone with dispatch.. then.. he'll do as asked. Loathing himself for doing so.

Mara finishes her conversation and shoves her phone into her back pocket. She rejoins the reluctant doctor and raises a brow. "C'mon. I know you've got it in ya. Make this look /good/." She grins, egging him on, but it's shaky at best. She's still running high on adrenaline.

"I've never been one for physical tests of strength or brutality," Mohinder says, not buying into Mara's adrenaline rush. When he throws the first punch at the officer, it's clear his heart is not in it. In fact, he's hoping he misses at the last minute. Mara may be egging him on, but he's finding no enthusiasm for this.

Mara grunts as she takes the punch, but she doesn't stagger. This clearly means it wasn't up to her standards. "The hell was that?!" she snaps. "You hit like a girl! Pssh. Not even. /Molly/ could hit me harder than you just did!" She squares her shoulders and demands, "Hit me!"

Mohinder doesn't normally lose his temper over something as superficial as this, but time is a factor here. And it's growing shorter. The taunt doesn't exactly make him angry or work the way it's intended. Again, again, he has his fist connect, trying to hit the woman to her satisfaction, and until she calls enough.

Mara groans from the first couple hits. It's only when he nails her in the nose that she finally cries uncle. "Fuuuu-" She staggers and falls against her car. "Okay! Okay!" She throws her arms up to shield her face quickly. "Enough!"

Mohinder immediately pulls back once Mara calls time. He looks at her, incredibly apologetic before averting his gaze. He then busies himself with handing over Sylar's gun. "Here. You'll want this for evidence.. as well as my gun too. For ballistics to match the bullet with." Seeing as he shot the bastard.

Mara dances back a step as soon as the gun is held out toward you. "Are you friggin' nuts? I can't /touch/ that thing." She points to the tote. "Drop it in there." She wipes at the blood that starts to drip from her nose, somewhat surprised. "Damn, Suresh. I knew you had it in ya."

Mohinder's expression remains grim. He drops the gun into the tote as told. "Sorry," he mumbles. He briefly forgot there as to why she can't handle the evidence. Despite the afternoon spent testing the woman! "You needn't say it like it's a good thing." No, he hit Mara and he's not proud about it. "You'll want to take me into custody, interview me. I shot him. It was to come to your aid. I did not know this man was accosting an officer." There's conviction and he doesn't bat an eye about the excuse as it's not much of a stretch.

"Works for me," Mara walks over to her bag finally, now that she's sure she isn't going to shoot anybody. She picks up the handles and jostles the contents until she's able to fish a pair of handcuffs out without reaching past the other items inside. She dangles the silver bracelets off one finger and looks down at Sylar. "This is going to be fun." She kneels down to roll his unconscious body over and cuff his hands behind his back.

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