Date: May 27, 2010
An accident on set allows different sides of people to come out into the open.
It was just a little over a half hour ago when all this started.
The set, being full of hot-shot showoffs as it were, has had its share of those who've wanted to do their own stunts instead of letting the studio find a double.
With waivers signed essentially stating that he Would Not Sue if he hurt himself, Jeremy Kline, who plays the werewolf Thaddeus, stands atop a small raised wall, while Morgan stands waiting on the ground below. Neither are in makeup because this is a rehearsal. Jeremy is supposed to hit the mat on the floor and roll at a critical moment to avoid hurting himself.
"All right, just try it first without the lines," the stuntman says, holding up an arm. Jeremy looks down from atop the wall, as if gauging the distance to the mat. It's only five feet, though the cameras will make it look higher. Morgan takes a few steps back, just in case, and crosses her arms. This acting stuff isn't easy; she's sure she's getting cues from Erin. Other than a few distinct feelings, though, and the occasional disconnected words, Morgan and Erin can't actually speak back and forth. It's weird, like they're separate entities.
They are, Morgan reminds herself.
Perhaps he chickened out at the last moment when it was too late to stop the jump, or maybe he just forgot to roll. But when he hits the ground with a thud, it's neither on the mat nor in good form. His leg snaps like a twig.
Morgan works with blood all the time, so she has no problem being the first to his side, even if she can feel a vague sickness from within, and an almost-but-not-quite memory of another compound fracture. She gets the feeling that it's from Erin's life, and suddenly looks down at the huge gash on her arm…
The memory is gone. "Hang on, Jer, you'll be all right. Someone call— "
"Medics are on the way!" someone else shouts. Jeremy, in the meantime, moans in agony.
The minutes it takes the medics to arrive go by in a blur. At first it might seem to take forever, then it seems to happen so quickly. An onset medic gets there first, making sure he doesn't further harm himself, and then the ambulance arrives from one of the local hospitals. Two men in blue and a young woman (a trainee), appear with paramedic and EMS badges, large bags with medical supplies, and something to wheel him back on.
"You didn't jump out and run ahead this time," one of the men says, voice teasing the other paramedic, who actually smiles.
"I wouldn't want you to miss the chance to see the cast of Afterlife that you love so much."
"I told you my wife is the one that watches it!"
Peter seems to find this whole thing to be humorous, as the other paramedic and the trainee takes point on the man with the broken leg, and he moves to talk to the others, to make sure they're all okay too. Too many people around to risk a quick healing… And his eyes fall on Erin McCarty and he freezes for a moment. Of all the people who likely doesn't want to see him, ever… It stops him from asking anyone further, and he ends up just staring at her.
Like a deer in headlights.
Morgan is staying close to Jeremy. Actually, she's been helping the set medic, which has been … well, for lack of a better way to say it, quite helpful. It's hard to calm someone down when their leg is so badly broken, though. Eventually, when the other paramedics do arrive, Morgan stands, taking a step back to let them work.
She just happens to glance at Peter…
Another memory, this one full of pain. It's more like a feeling of dread rising from within her, but Morgan feels nothing. No familiarity. Sometimes she wonders if she's actually sensing Erin there, or if she's just trying to find a woman who no longer exists. Maybe Erin just flipped.
Morgan guiltily finds herself hoping so at times. She likes existing.
After continuing to stare at Peter for a couple seconds - since he's staring at her - she arches her eyebrows. It must be hard for the paramedics, being around stars. Hoping to ease his fear, she smiles, holding up one (slightly bloodied) hand in a wave.
If there'd been any response he would expect, a wave of a slightly bloodied hand wasn't one of them. It answers the question Peter might have asked, if she was hurt— or perhaps not, is it his blood? — but it doesn't answer new questions that pop up— why isn't she glaring at him or throwing things at him? He'd known it was a risk answering this call, another reason he didn't jump out and run ahead. "You handle the broken leg," he says to the fellow paramedic as he breaks away toward her, setting down his bag and pulling out plastic wrapped sterile bandage and asking the token question.
"Are you hurt or is all of that his?"
Oooh, Erin gets it. She's got blood on her. Looking down at her clothes… Yeah, that would explain the staring. "Nah, it's just his. I'm not hurt. Bozo jumped off the wall." She indicates the five-foot stunt wall that Jeremy was supposed to jump-and-roll from. "Wanted to do his own stunts."
Morgan herself feels as if she could do her own stunts. And she's just about to say something to that extent when she notices that she's actually shaking. She raises her hands to look at them. Erin is absolutely terrified for some reason.
Or maybe it's all the blood. Maybe Erin doesn't like blood? "Weird…" she comments. "Usually I don't have any problems with this kind of stuff, you know?" She pauses. "I… Mean, as an actor, you see all sorts of things. Maybe I'm tired." Shoving her hands in her pockets, she tries to ignore the feeling of dread.
"But, yeah, I'm okay."
The way she's talking to him, Peter realizes rather quickly that she doesn't seem to recognize him. Did he wear a disguise and not know it? Sometimes his abilities do things he doesn't mean them to do, but he doesn't think his appearance is that much different…
"Jumping off of high things is pretty dumb," he says from experience, the irony of the comment not at all lost on him, though she may not understand it. Instead of needing to help her with an injury, he hands her something to clean her hands off with, a wet towel that disinfects as well as removes blood. "I think most of the blood you deal with is probably fake, as an actor…"
The more he talks, the more he realizes… Doesn't she recognize him? Curious, he reaches out towards her mind, to see if she's just acting…
Smiling again, Morgan takes the towel. "Thanks. Was gonna go wash up soon anyway… Doubt we'll be rehearsing this again." She wipes her hands and briefly thinks about trying to clean her shirt, but… Well, that's what the laundry is for, right?
"My names Erin, by the w— "
It's not that Morgan stops talking. It's just that when Peter reaches out to her mind, he'll be assaulted by the screaming from within. Panicked, angry. «MORGAN! GET OUT OF THERE! MORGAN! GOD DAMMIT, HEAR ME! MORGAN, HE'S DANGEROUS! GET AWAY FROM HIM! MORGAN, LISTEN TO ME! I KNOW YOU KNOW I'M HERE! PLEASE…>
While she says her name, smiles, and doesn't hear the yelling going on in her own head, Peter seems to stare off into nothing. In fact, he's listening to the screams, and clasping on to the yelling mind in confusion. The only thing he's felt similar to this in the past… Would be with a split personality. Logan. Jessica. Only it doesn't seem like "Morgan" hears nearly as loudly as he does. Or maybe she's ignoring it…
«Erin?» he telepathically sends into the mind, seeking out the voice that screams, and sounds like the woman he might expect to find. And not the one that's smiling at him. «I'm not here to hurt you— what's happened to you?»
Before he tried to kill her, when he was attempting to understand her ability in one of the most brutal ways imaginable, but he'd been out of control, then.
Quite suddenly, the screaming goes silent. Morgan is still talking.
"…just think that— Hey, are you all right?" She waves her hand in front of Peter's eyes.
«You can hear me?» Erin asks. She's trying to decide whether or not it's wise to ask Peter for help. Through Morgan's eyes, she can see that he's a paramedic. Someone who helps people. Supposedly.
"Hey. You." Morgan waves her hand in front of Peter's eyes again. "D'you need to sit down? You look kinda spacy…"
«Look, not that I want to ask you for help or anything, but I think you're about the only chance I've got.»
"…ks like I'm not shaking anym…"
«I haven't gone insane. You're actually talking to Morgan Starr right now. I think someone's power did this. I don't think she can hear me.»
"I'm fine," Peter says quietly, attempting to multitask, with mixed results. Paying attention to both women and the eyes of everyone around him is difficult, but he glances away toward the other paramedics, before looking back. Still spacy. He's talking to Morgan Starr. And she's not insane? Someone's ability did this…
"Morgan, I need you to do me a huge favor," he says, keeping his voice down. "Tell me that you're hurt, but you don't want to show it in public…" It's a favor usually given to people with injuries in private places, like chest or under pants, so they don't have to strip in front of people. "Then lead me to a back room." It's instructions, and even as he says it, he looks toward the other paramedics, to make sure they're able to handle the man. He's already been moved up onto the gurney, and is ready to get rolled to the ambulance. The two alone should be able to handle it.
The man makes a gesture, something that could be taken as a 'GET AN AUTOGRAPH FOR ME— NO MY WIFE— MAN'.
«I don't want to be alone with you,» Erin says quietly. Helplessly. Morgan can't hear her.
Morgan's eyes narrow, just a little. Nothing makes sense. Erin seems to be terrified of this guy, and now he seems to be upset about something. Not privy to the conversation between her alterego and the paramedic, she, too, is weighing her options.
Erin remains silent.
Morgan's hand goes to her thigh, and she winces. "Actually, I think I might have pulled a muscle. Can you take a look at it?"
«That was pathetic acting.>
Morgan adds, "Somewhere not here? I don't think I can, you know, just roll the leg up."
As she limps along toward Erin's dressing room, she looks back over her shoulder with a nod.
«Don't hurt her. Please. She doesn't even know what you can do. She thinks she's a were-porcupine.»
"Go ahead and head back with him. I'll make sure everything's fine here, and hitch a ride back by taxi if needed," Peter says, well aware this isn't standard procedure, but he follows up with a gesture of an invisible pen. He'll get that autograph.
Maybe he won't, though, cause he's not talking to the star of Afterlife. Not really.
Following into the dressing room, he hesitates a moment before saying, checking the door and then looking back. "Thanks for trusting me," he says outloud, before focusing on sending thoughts for a moment. «I'm not going to hurt you, or her— I just didn't want to be standing around sharing a telepathic conversation with someone and people thinking I'm oogling you.» Of course now they might think she's getting busy with a hot paramedic!
"I've watched some of your show— not much. My brother was a huge fan…" Is THAT why he pulled her aside. Pulling out a piece of paper and holding it out. "If you could give me a couple autographs, that would be wonderful." No, this is just the distraction…
«Do you have any idea what happened? Why do you believe you're Morgan Starr? I might be able to help you, but I need to know what happened.»
«I don't believe I'm Morgan Starr. I'm not. It's like some whole other person took over or something. I feel like I'm split in half.»
Erin doesn't like it when she can't see Peter. Morgan's staring at the paper; despite being a character, she's pretty sharp, and she knows there's more to this. He called her Morgan…
Another memory. Maybe because Erin is thinking of it right now. The woman at the theatre. Called her Morgan…
«Me and Taine went to the theatre. Someone touched my arm. It was weird, Petrelli. I kind of felt like I was falling asleep. When I woke up again, I had no control. It was all Morgan. You have to tell her. She already knows I'm in here somewhere. She's pretending to be me 'cuz she doesn't want me to lose my job.» If Morgan knows, she can tell Taine what happened. Then maybe Taine can figure all this out, and get everything back to normal.
Morgan looks up at Peter. She hasn't signed the paper just yet. "Are you okay? You keep staring into space." She actually does look fairly concerned. The fear she felt earlier, this paramedic staring into space, wanting her to sign an autograph privately… Something's not adding up.
If she thinks something doesn't add up, she's right on the money with that. Peter keeps looking at her carefully, trying to think of every ability he knows of that can fracture the mind. One swapped his mind into Niki's body, and vice versa. Perhaps it's something similar to that— but one that creates an entirely fictional personality in the process.
Someone like that could make a person think they're anyone— anyone at all. They could make the president think they're Hitler, then those posters would be accurate.
"I'm talking to Erin," Peter finally answers, rubbing a hand against his forehead. He must be a huge fan!!! No, that's not it. "I'm a telepath. I know that you are actually Morgan Starr, and that Erin is inside you, trying to be heard, but you can't hear her. I don't know if I can fix what happened, but I might be able to…"
There's a pause. "I might be able to make your connection stronger, so you can actually talk to each other, until you figure out how to fix it."
That isn't quite the answer she expected. In fact, she completely forgets her cover and asks, "Like the aliens?"
Immediately after, one hand goes to her mouth. It's not like most people would believe her anyway, but she's supposed to be acting a part, and… Well, she just failed. Erin is right. She's actually a pretty pathetic actor; poor Hallis will probably never speak to her without cringing in fear.
The hand lowers. Telepath. Talking to Erin. "Is she okay?" Morgan asks. They've never actually met, of course. In a weird way, they have, since they're the same person, but in any case, Morgan's still been fairly concerned about her.
For the moment, she ignores Peter's offer, except for a "Yeah…" She'll come back to that. "Erin's afraid of you. Isn't she? If she's in there… I get this sense that she's… I mean I'm… supposed to be afraid of you." Her eyes look at his uniform, then back up at his face. "You don't seem bad."
"I made a mistake a couple years ago, and… I did something bad to her. But you don't have to be afraid of me right now, neither of you," Peter explains softly, reaching forward to touch her head. There's a possibility he could wipe away everything that makes Morgan Morgan, but he would risk destroying her entirely— the mindwipe and heal he'd done with Nathan, and what happened with Niki… It could work. But—
He's not actually skilled at wiping memories. That'd been Future Him. And he's just him.
"I'm going to try to open you up to her, so you two can talk… close your eyes."
Funny that he asks this of her, cause he closes his eyes too. And then begins to push. A combination of a couple abilities, to try and increase the connections. He may just make it worse. He can call Rene for clean up and fixing if he needs to…
But for now, he decides to just try.
Morgan doesn't like the sound of that. But to be able to communicate with Erin… "Something bad…?" she asks.
Erin finds it hard not to scream when Peter touches her. The pain he caused… «I've been through worse now,» she says. She's not sure why, maybe to calm herself - to put the whole thing Peter did to her in perspective. After that attack, she was okay, mostly. But the AP wore away at her until her dreams became nothing but an endless maze of fear.
Morgan closes her eyes. Erin hopes they live through this.
Peter will encounter a wall of sorts that separates the two personalities' thoughts from each other. Of course, Erin can hear Morgan, because anything spoken aloud reaches her ears, but the opposite is unfortunately untrue.
Whoever built this wall is someone with an incredible amount of talent, it seems. It was no accident or fluke. But pieces start to fall from it, figuratively, of course. This thins it out in some places, and creates holes in other places…
Morgan's eyes open suddenly.
«Morgan? Can you hear me?»
"…I can hear her. It's— Faint, like she's talking through a …"
«Stop touching me.»
"…Stop touching me."
Morgan takes a step back. She can more clearly feel Erin's trepidation, but that's where the memories end. They're still their own people - separate, albeit less so than they were before. "What did you do??"
The repeated request gets results, as Peter pulls his hands back and steps away to lean against the wall. It looks as if whatever he did wore him out. "I did what I said I would try to do— open it up so you could talk to each other. And it sounds like it works." And now he can stop listening into her thoughts, before it gives him too much of a headache than it already has.
"I may be able to help more, fix whatever this is, but— I didn't want to experiment too much on your mind. This was a connection that was there, it just needed to get… wider." And it didn't cause too much damage. If it was an ability, it may wear off, but maybe this way it can be more— livable?
"If you want any more help, though, you can call me." He hesitates, as if waiting for a cue to give a number… Or get told to leave. Whichever happens.
Fix it? Fix it?!
She shakes her head when Erin speaks. She knows her life is limited, but she's not so selfless as to just give it up. In fact, the very though of it makes her a little sick. What if Peter had fixed everything? Where would she be now? Unlike Erin, she doesn't yell, though. There's a quick snort of laughter. "What I want is for people to stop trying to make me dead," she says.
Stepping forward, she reaches for Peter's hand. "Look, I dunno what you did to Erin, but to me, you seem all right. Thank you. Maybe I can… Figure this out now." She'll tell Taine about it ASAP, as soon as she has a minute to talk to Erin. To herself, really. Kind of weird. "But I don't want anymore help. Erin does." She'll admit that, at least. "And I know my time's limited, but before I go, I kind of want to live a little, you know? But thank you."
Doesn't want to die. This is something he can understand. Not wanting to die. Peter doesn't want to kill anyone, not even a fictional character from a soap opera who has probably died as many times as he has! Okay, maybe not. "I'm not trying to kill you." And maybe if the two can talk to each other, they will be able to find a happy medium. And if not…
He can try to think of something. There must be a way to save the personality without destroying it, but let Erin have her own body back…
"My name's Peter Petrelli," he adds, reaching out to shake her hand once, before beginning to back out of the door. "If I think of something that might help— I'll contact you." Help without killing her, preferably.