2007-09-24: Propositions

Sylar_icon.gif Kellie_icon.gif

Sylar receives a note from an old friend asking him for a meeting.

September 24th, 2007

Volume Two: Shadows

Chapter Two: Truce


Hartsdale, NY

24 Hours Ago

Tacked to the door of a shady room in a run-down building is a Polaroid photograph. Scrawled in feminine handwriting on the white frame are the following words:

Tomorrow, 11:00.
I have a proposition.

The photograph shows a construction site, a building halfway completed, surrounded by a chain-link fence. Street signs in the photograph give an address in Manhattan. Metal signs hang from the fence, warning trespassers that they will be prosecuted.

In the foreground of the photo, looking entirely too childish and innocent, is a woman Sylar should instantly recognize. Her blue eyes are fixed on the camera, and there's a mischievous smile on her face, as if she were in the middle of some joke.

Manhattan, 11:00

Polaroid in hand, the killer stands just outside the chainlink fence, eyes on the building that is slowly being constructed in front of him. He has no idea what this is about, why he's here, or why she would even have a proposition for him, or even if it's worth hearing— but, at the very least, he can get a new power out of her, can't he? He raises one hand, placing it on the chainlink fence and leaning forward slightly. He has bigger, better, more important things to do than meet with her. Hopefully, this won't take long.

The construction site is the perfect stage for a horror film. There are sheets of plastic, loosely attached to empty door frames with staples, billowing in the cold breeze. A warm glow emanates from somewhere within the structure, flickering in an odd sort of way. Thought the light was distant before, it's growing stronger with each passing second.

When Kellie appears, it's with a lazy pace that she steps through the plastic sheeting. She slides to the side of the door, moving no closer to the fence. Held by a metal handle, there's an old-fashioned lantern in her hand, the oil-and-wick kind, with a lively flame dancing inside the glass case. "Hello, Gabriel," she chirps, the firelight casting shadows which make her bright smile somewhat more devious. "Why don't you come inside?"

As soon as the light is close enough for Sylar to realize it's more than just a trick of the yes, his eyes flick towards it, gazing upon it intently. He waits patiently, as surely this is none other than Kellie herself, and his fingers slip through the links in the fence, his grip tightening as the light moves ever closer. The moment she reveals herself, the fence in front of Sylar begins to drip— then suddenly falls to the ground in a wide pool of liquefied metal, the light from the lantern reflecting and dancing off the pool in an eerie way.

"Hello, Kellie," Sylar says, a smile spreading across his lips… which quickly turns into an expression of determination as he moves his hand out in front of him. The motion is quick, but it's enough— Kellie would find herself suddenly lifted off of the gruond, and slammed up against the wall behind her. "I've told you before, and I hate having to repeat myself so often. My name is /Sylar./"

Prepared for an affront such as this, Kellie makes no visible sign of pain even when she's thrown against the wall. Her hand maintains a tight grip on the lantern, though it strikes the wall with a slosh and a sudden withering of the flame inside. A tiny fire remains, struggling back to life.

"No, it isn't." The corner of her mouth turns up in a smirk, her piercing stare transfixed on the man before her. "Sylar is a killer. Someone to be afraid of." Her eyes travel down to his toes, then back up again, a dismissive glance. "You're just a memory." In her free hand, a tiny spark dances over her palm, crackling like electricity. "I have a proposition. A way for you to stop playing games and be Sylar again."

The killer's eyes narrow dangerously, his chin tucking back as anger flits across his face. "A memory? I've—" the killer stops suddenly, and his fingers tighten. the pressure on Kellie's throat will increase, cutting off circulation. Then, suddenly, it stops just as quick as it began, and the woman is released. "You better hope you're convincing enough," Sylar says, crossing his arms and walking past her into the building, ears listening intently for the sound of an impending attack from behind.

The sudden drop catches Kellie off-guard, and her knees buckle, leaving her hunched against the wall for a few seconds before she gets back to her feet. Still, the lantern survives, the flame growing. Her free hand, the spark leaping into the air and dissipating, rubs her neck for comfort as she watches him walk into the building. "I don't think I need to worry about that," she murmurs to herself, coughing once as if it might help the lingering pain in her throat.

Inside the building, there are mugshot-style photographs tacked to the newly-constructed walls, leading down to a large room at the end of the hallway. Inside the room, a workbench has become home to a collection of papers. Each one is a profile of a different person, beginning with a name, if one was available, followed by a description of the person. Every one is Evolved, and every one possesses a power likely to catch Sylar's attention. From behind him, trailing near enough that the light still allows him to navigate, her free hand tracing an invisible line along the walls, Kellie asks, "Do you know what those are?"

Stepping through the building, the papers do indeed catch Sylar's attention, and he takes a few steps in that direction for a closer look. He stops just in front of the nearest profile, eyes on the paper as he allows Kellie close enough so he can see from the light of the lantern. Studying each one with great intent, he moves down the line, using another stolen power he has to store each and every one in his memory. There will be no need to read them again.

Once he's read them all, he turns on the spot, facing the woman. "My guess is they're part of your… 'proposition'," he states flatly, arms uncrossing slightly, though his hands still remain tucked in. "Would you care to explain how they are, exactly?"

"They're all dangerous criminals being held captive by the same organization I helped you blackmail," Kellie explains, opting to follow Sylar only as far necessary; once the papers are visible in the light from the lantern, she halts. "Every one of them can do something like what you or I can do." Canting her head to one side, she watches him closely as he reads the papers, her features betraying no sense of fear. Either she's an excellent actress or Sylar does not frighten her. "You want power, and any of these prisoners can give that to you, if you can get in. And I— " She smirks again, her voice taking on a wistful tone. " —I want to tear the organization apart." This time, the flame that leaps from one side of her hand to the other is larger, more menacing. "I think you and I worked well together before, didn't we? And we could do it again. We can get to these prisoners."

Stepping through the building, the papers do indeed catch Sylar's attention, and he takes a few steps in that direction for a closer look. He stops just in front of the nearest profile, eyes on the paper as he allows Kellie close enough so he can see from the light of the lantern. Studying each one with great intent, he moves down the line, using another stolen power he has to store each and every one in his memory. There will be no need to read them again.

"You're right about that," Sylar says, stepping away from the bench and slowly making his way towards Kellie. "All very interesting powers… shiny new toys… but there's one thing I'm wondering." He tilts his head to the side, a smile spreading across his face as he gets closer, ever closer, to the woman. "After I help you take this organization down… after I steal these powers for myself… there's just one part of the equation left out, after it's all said and done. You." The smile widens, and Sylar holds his hands out to his sides, stopping just a few feet from Kellie. "What about you, Kellie? After all, you have such an /amazing/ power."

Refusing to be intimidated by Sylar's proximity, Kellie keeps a careful eye on him with every movement he makes but stands tall. If he were to listen to her heart, he would find it beating no more rapidly than usual. "That day will be very interesting when it comes." There's a certainty in her voice, as if she never once doubted that she would have to face Sylar one day in the future, yet she doesn't seem frightened or resigned. "How about we cross that bridge when we come to it?" With a playful smirk creeping onto her face, she adds: "You'll get your chance. I'll promise you that much."

The killer smirks at her last words, shrugging his shoulders lightly as he bows his head. "Fair enough," he responds, stepping past Kellie and through the door, heading back to the hole he made in the fence. He stops just short of it, turning around so he can face Kellie once again. "I'm assuming you have a plan."

"Not just a plan," Kellie replies, following close behind Sylar now, a steady gaze fixed on his back. A wicked smile breaks across her face now, and she lingers in the doorway, the lantern thudding against the frame with a dull sound. "A foolproof one." Tipping her chin down, her dark bangs tumbling into her eyes and casting strange shadows over her face, she says, "You would be surprised who I'm friends with."

72 Hours Ago

The man waits, cloaked in the shadows of the building he stands in front of. The alleyway is dark, and in a secluded area in this part of town— the perfect place for a clandestine meeting. He had sent the message out, telling her to meet at this spot, at this time, and the man hopes that it found it's recipient. After all, so much of his plan relies on her. Pulling his long coat a bit tighter around his face to shield from the wind cutting through the back alley, he waits, patiently.

Heralding her approach long before her face is visible, a tiny flicker of orange light glows distantly at the end of the alley. Each step makes an audible sound as she winds down the alley, walking deliberately. As she nears the man standing before the building, the orange glow disappears, as if it were a lighter suddenly being extinguished. "I like it better when you choose a meeting place with meaning," the woman calls, her voice fraught with feigned disappointment.

"You would," mutters the man, stepping into the light from a nearby street lamp and revealing his face. "The smaller, the shadier, the less known, the better for me," Jacob says, reaching a hand into his coat, and pulling out a thick folder. "I take it you read my proposition, or you wouldn't be here," he says, stretching the folder out in the woman's direction. "Everything you need to know is in there. Entrances, exits, who will be inside. Patrols, guards, camera locations. I can get you more if you need it… but I highly doubt that you will." Taking one final look at the woman, and then the folder in her hand, Jacob begins to walk away, pulling his coat tightly around him once again. "Good luck."

The minute his face is revealed, there's a light in Kellie's eyes, something between amusement and bewilderment. "I wondered if it was you," she muses, accepting the folder with a hint of a smirk appearing on her face. Without opening the folder, she cradles it against her side with one arm, the other hand tucked into the pocket of her coat. As he turns away, she calls after him, "I'd take a vacation, if I were you. You don't want to be there when it happens, and I won't warn you." There is no sense of loyalty in her words, no vested interest in protecting the man with whom she is meeting in this dark alley. She speaks with nonchalance. "Goodbye, Mr. Kane." As she turns in the opposite direction, the sound of her receding steps trails after her as she walks away.

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