2008-02-18: Key to Destiny

Warning: contains Season Three material!

Starring:

Hiro_icon.gif Angela_icon.gif DaphneM_icon.gif

Summary: Hiro gets a mission from a friend of his father, but he's not the only one following orders.

Date It Happened: February 18th, 2008

Key to Destiny


New York City

A call was sent, summoning one Hiro Nakamura. A message in text, in fact: YAMAGATO NYC. PARKING GARAGE SECTION C-57. 4:30.

The multi-level parking garage serves not on Yamagato Industries, but a host of other offices. A giant 'C' is painted onto a pillar lit by a utilitarian light in this low level of the garage. It's chilly, it's dim, it's everything a parking garage usually is. In the space designated as 57 is … nothing. It's empty.


Not all that far away from the designated place, in the middle of the road, appears Hiro Nakamura. Over his shoulder, he carries (as always) an odd, black courier's tube that most know to contain the Kensei sword. He checks his watch after taking a quick glance around the place, tapping the face to make sure that it is working precisely. A futile gesture, maybe, considering that it is digital.

Satisfied that he is in the right place and at close to the right time, he steps towards the empty parking spot and stands in the middle of it. He looks at the pillar? Should he lean against it and try to look non-chalant? Maybe just standing here will be bad ass. Maybe he should have bought a trench coat to wear …


Before long, a black SUV rumbles along, turning into the section from a deeper area of the parking garage. Steeped in clich out of necessity, it pulls up alongside C-57 and the side door closest to Hiro slides open. "Mr. Nakamura? Get in." It's … polite as it can be, all things considered. The voice belongs to a middle-aged man with an average and forgettable face, dressed in a grey business suit. His colleagues — one in the back, one driving — are dressed similarly. "You're amenable to a meeting, we understand. Someone in the Company would like to speak with you. Get in," he repeats.


Hiro pauses for a second to crane his neck, trying to see who exactly might be in the van. Unknown criteria satisfied, he nods his head and attempts to look as stern as possible as he climbs up into the van and takes a seat. As he sits, both hands creep up to clasp the black strap that bisects his chest - attached to the sword-tube he wears. Not going for the weapon so much as he's making sure the weapon doesn't go.


The man who spoke leans over to slide the door shut, and the van starts to move. "The boss," he says, calmly extracting what looks like a white handkerchief from his coat, "Sends her apologies ahead of time." A secret organization has to keep their secrets, even from teleporters who can appear anywhere, including inside their secret organization. He reaches for Hiro's face with the cloth. Does it suddenly smell like chloroform in here…?


It does smell like chloroform, yes. Hiro, unfortunately, doesn't quite figure that out until it's too late. As far as he's concerned, the white handkerchief is either meant to be a flag of 'we aren't going to hurt you' or an effort to blindfold him like Batman does when he brings new people to the Batcave.

"<Wait a minute,>" he begins in slurred Japanese, "<That isn't a blindfollll—>"

He doesn't get a chance to finish, however, as the trichloromethane does it's thing and he slumps back into unconsciousness. A typical (but out of place, given the situation), pleasant smile on his face.

* * *

Angela Petrelli's Office

Company Headquarters, New York City

Sight, sound — it all goes by unnoticed to Hiro Nakamura on his trek deep into the Company headquarters. Angela Petrelli,, hands folded in front of her, fingers intertwined, waits patiently for the seemingly slumbering man across from her, propped up in a chair, to wake up. He even got to keep his sword.

The office around them is large and full of many things, from worldly antiques to security cameras, wood furniture to maps; the large desk features prominently, also crowded with both things of importance and things of aesthetic. The Company Founder who sits at it is both, dressed in black, her hair back in pins, an air of power emanating from her demeanour.


"<I didn't know it was a date!>"

Hiro wakes up with something of a start, looking from side to side to try and reason where he is. He blinks once, twice and cannot help but yawn - the fatigue-causing effects of the chloroform still with him, it seems. He adjusts his slightly-askew glasses and sits up in the chair, clearing his throat.


"Have some tea." A dainty teacup — pink with real gold flowers — on a saucer is plucked from the desk and set at the edge in front of Hiro by Angela's hands. A special blend, apparently; certainly not orange pekoe. "It should help with the migraine you'll have in about two minutes. I am sorry about that, by the way. You can never be too careful." The woman smiles, almost warmly, almost motherly; there's an underlying seriousness, a dire sense of importance. "Hello, Hiro."


"Hello," Hiro says in return, looking warily at the teacup for a moment. After all, he was effectively drugged a few minutes ago (by his reckoning, at least) and he'd like it to not happen again. But the woman seems trustworthy enough, so he reaches out to take the cup and sip it's contents. Mmm, tea. He hasn't had tea in a while.


"My name is Angela Petrelli. You may not remember me; I was a friend of your father's." And Hiro was dead in her mansion at one juncture, but let's not dwell on that flashback. The woman folds her hands once more, clasping them together. "And I have a very important mission for you."


"Petrelli," Hiro says quietly, mostly to himself, as he sets the teacup back down on the saucer. The mention of a mission definitely gets his attention, causing him to sit even straighter in the chair, "What kind of mission?"


"Your father left behind a legacy; not only his legacy, but that of his generation. Founders of this Company like myself. Something to protect. To keep out of the wrong hands." Angela quietly pushes her chair back and stands, slowly circling the desk to stand at its front corner, looking down upon Hiro. "And now that Kaito is dead, his secret is vulnerable."


"What secret is that?" Hiro asks, tilting his head slightly. He doesn't at all appear standoffish or as though he does not trust the Company. In truth, he doesn't, but he is masking it for the moment. He takes another sip of his tea as the throbbing in his head begins to grow more obvious, wincing slightly.


Angela leans lightly against the corner of the desk; she remains poised, folding her arms. "A long time ago, a formula was created." The woman's matter-of-fact, weighty tone suggests that this is the beginning of a very dire story. "A formula that could give people abilities. It was split into two parts; your father kept his safe for many years. There are those who would go to great lengths and cause a good deal of grief to get to that formula."


Hiro looks rather surprised by the revelation. A formula that gave people powers? He always assumed that powers were given to people for a reason and now he's found out that they can just be given on a whim? He looks down for a moment, processing this new information before he renews eye contact to ask, "Where is his half?"


The eye contact is there immediately, Angela Petrelli's dark, perceptive eyes never leaving the young Japanese man in her office. She removes a small piece of folded paper from the pocket of her blazer, holding it up as if one would tempt a dog with a biscuit. "It's very important that you bring it back safely," she says, accentuating every word to get her point across. "To me. I'm asking you to do this because you hold the key, do you understand? Only Hiro Nakamura can open that safe." A hint of bitterness escapes into her tone, just barely. "Your father was very specific on that point."


"I don't have a key," Hiro says, seeming more than a little confused by this information, "My father didn't give me anything … he did not tell me anything about a formula." He told him a great many other things, none of which he is going to repeat to this person he just met. Especially now that she is seeming scarier than she initially did.


"Let me rephrase," Angela says, leaning ahead slightly, hands — the tempting bit of paper included — curling around the edge of the heavy desk behind her. "You are the key." The woman rises once more. Her voice takes on a tone that would be casual, if it weren't for the significant threat of or else behind it. "Can I trust you to do this, Hiro?"


"I will get the formula," Hiro promises, nodding his head as he reaches out for the bit of paper Angela has in hand, "You can trust me."


Angela eyes Hiro for a good ten seconds straight, gauging the well-meaning little man, her face a stern mask. She doesn't smile, she doesn't nod, she does nothing to acknowledge Hiro's declaration of trustworthiness in any way except one: she hands him the paper. "It's locked away in a vault belonging to your family's company. This is the address."


The paper in his hands, Hiro immediately opens it and looks carefully at the address. He narrows his eyes as he reads, memorizing the place and trying to visualize just where it is located. He exhales slowly, concentrating on the point.


This sounds about right to Daphne. Immediately after leaving Arthur's office, she had opened the the file again and memorized the layout of the map given to her. Then all it took was a quick run over, finding the darkest spots to sit away from cameras whenever an access code was needed. She didn't like waiting around for employees, but she also couldn't pickpocket every person in the building hoping for the right card, either. Well, technically, she could…

Point being- that is how the speedster ends up crouched against the outside of Angela's office, her ear pressed to the wood as an address changes hands. And it's about to one more time if Daphne has anything to say about it. She pushes into the room, passing right between Angela and Hiro as she grabs for the paper and aims to go right around the guy and back out.


Address. Good to have an address with which to go and recover a formula and therefore … oh, its gone. Its gone! Hiro is confused but only for a moment - he defaults to his usual reaction which is to freeze time and get a good look at everything. He squeezes his eyes shut in order to do so, quickly spinning this way and that in a frantic search.


The only obvious person in the room might be Angela — her hand still outstretched slightly to Hiro after passing on the directions to him, she is made to be a regal statue, frozen in time.


WHOO oo… o… o. Oh. No whoosh. It is now frozen whoosh. There is a Daphne halfway to the door, her body stuck in perfect sprinter's stride and her whole attitude concentrated forward. It also looks like someone abused the blur tool and left a streak of Daphne behind her. If you watch closely, the blur seems to be shortening. She has the address clenched in her hand.


"Flash!" Hiro says quietly, slightly awestruck by his first encounter with what appears to be a speedster. But he has a mission and chances are if he lets her get away she'll take the address and maybe even, gasp, get to the formula before him! This cannot happen!

He quickly rushes over to where Daphne is stuck in mid-stride, reaching out to try and pluck the address from her hand.


The hand is pretty tight, but it starts to open under Hiro's attempts. Even so, that blur is still advancing towards its origin and, as the two connect, Daphne stirs suddenly from her spot, wrenching her hand away with a quick, "Ah ah! No you don't!" As she back-steps a couple of times, she looks around, noticing how… not moving everything is. "Did you do that? What -did- you do?"


"That paper is mine," Hiro demands, making another lunge for the address, "Give it back right now … " There is something to his tone that threatens 'or else' but, given that it is Hiro, it might as well be 'or else I will write a very discouraging letter about you to the newspaper'.


Daphne might not be superspeed-y anymore, but she can certainly dodge a lunge from this guy. "Oh yeah?" She challenges, taking a couple of steps to the side to keep herself out of his reach. She opens the paper, angling it back and forth and then waving it at him, "How much is it worth to you?"


"A lot," Hiro answers lamely, frowning deeply and keeping his eyes locked on the piece of paper, "The … " Think, Hiro! Think! "The fate of the world! If I don't get to that address … big danger!"


"Big danger to who? To you?" Daphne juts out her lips in dissatisfaction for a second and then, "Oh, right, the world. Yeah, that sounds pretty important. If it means that much to you, I'm sure you'll find another way. On the otheeeer hand… I need this one right now." Half-shoulder shrug.


"Well, so do I," Hiro says, still frowny as he plants his hands on his hips, "You can't get away from me."


"Oh yeah?" Daphne retorts, squaring herself off across from him in a similar pose, "What are you gonna do about it, Japan?"

"You're a Speedster," Hiro states plainly, folding his arms across his chest for a moment before he points at her accusingly, "As long as I keep time frozen, you can't use your power and I can use mine."


Daphne seems to consider this, her lips still out as she stares at his out-stretched finger. "You make a good point," she finally tells him, "I guess I'll just have to do something about that." And she does. With a fist towards his face.


"Whu—"

Whatever Hiro was about to say, it is cut off when the fist strikes him straight between the eyes and causes him to topple back. As he does, time starts back up again. He's not unconscious for long, really. Barely a few seconds. But it is long enough for his grip on time and space to slip and let certain thieves run rampant.


And run she does! And boy does it feel good. But before Daphne makes her glorious and victorious exit, she makes a quick stop by the office desk to grab a sharpie and give just-recovering lady statue a quickie mustache. Come on, she needed it. And even if not, now she has it.

Something to remember a speedster by.


Hiro is, for the moment, sprawled out on the floor of the office. Blinking and trying to understand what just happened. He's sort of glad he got a good look at the address … what was it again? Oh no! Remember, Hiro! Remember!


For Angela, no time has passed at all — imagine her confusion, then, when Hiro is suddenly not where he was a moment ago. The confusion doesn't last long; she knows enough to realize something went awry. The woman's eyes widen (quite unaware of the new addition to her facial features) and she's soon rushing to the doorway to crouch beside the crumpled Hiro. She moves deftly, for her age. "Hiro?" she glances out the door, growing stern. "What happened?"


"Speedster … " Hiro murmurs as he is distracted momentarily by reality's equivalent of multiple, little Daphnes running in circles around his head. He opens his eyes at last, adjusting his glasses to focus on Angela. Oh dear, now would be an inappropriate time to laugh but he did just suffer head trauma. He begins to snicker before he can stop himself.

But then, in a flash of inspiration, he remembers something key - he's pretty sure it might be from the address on the piece of paper too. He quickly scrambles to his feet, head swimming as he does so but managing to maintain his equilibrium. Taking a step away from Angela, he clears his throat and tries to sound serious.

"Someone stole the address. But I will stop her."

Beat.

Hiro gestures to his own upper lip, "You have … "

Oh forget it! He offers her a deep bow, concentrates and TELEPORTS AWAY!

TO BE CONTINUED…

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