2007-08-28: DF: Requiem for a Patriot


DFCyprus_icon.gif DFJack_icon.gif

Guest Starring:


Summary: The conspirators meet over the President's dead body. Revolution is afoot.

Dark Future Date: August 28th, 2009

Requiem for a Patriot

A Safehouse in Washington, DC

The safehouse is exactly what Jack requested from his newest ally, Cyprus. It's secluded. Inconspicuous. Spartan. There are no distractions. After slipping out of custody with the help of Cyprus, Nathan, Trina, and Prime, and subsequently being forced to watch a great deal of grisly murders, he appreciates the quiet.

The body of Nathan Petrelli has been laid out on the room's only bed. Though Jack has done his best to force limbs and features into a restful pose, there's only so much he could do. Physically, there is no energy left in him after the drive from the White House to his haven in D.C. A sheet has been drawn up over the body, and both the mattress and bedclothes are stained and smudged with blood. No matter. It will be a long, long while before Jack will have time to rest again.

Presently, he's seated in his wheelchair, rolled up close to the desk that's the only other meaningful bit of furniture in the room. A tiny, antiquated TV set balanced on one corner rolls looped footage of reports on the assassination, much of them bold speculation. Next to it, a radio hand unit occasionally crackles to life, emitting both voices and bits of Morse code.

The Irishman's hands are busy, anyway. One side of the desk is heavily laden with diagrams, blueprints, and schematics. The other is littered with bits and pieces of wiring, circuitry, and small, rectangular blocks of a greyish, claylike substance.

It has been hours since the attack on the White House, and things have just begun to degenerate. CNN has officially withdrawn its reporters from their domestic studios to places outside the country, and radio stations seem have begun broadcasting freely. The story they all tell is the same: has the President actually stepped down? Was it an elaborate prank? Where is the vice President? In some camp somewhere? What do we do now? And for the first time in two years… no one is answering that question. People with a heightened survival instinct have already headed for the hills, while most seem to be stuck in simple disbelief. There is no one at the helm of this ship, and it entered stormy seas near rocks months ago.

And rather than be the man for the challenge, Cyprus Donovan is letting himself into the safehouse. It's a locked door that requires the most precisely cut keys to get through, and anything but causes it to seize shut, and triggers a silent alarm throughout the building. Today, he is absent his suit and briefcase. He is wearing simple, practical clothes with a light jacket. It's almost hard to believe this is the same man. He moves through the safehouse quickly, lifting his voice to call out "Mr. Derex, it's Donovan."

Jack sets down one of the clay blocks, pausing halfway through crimping wires around the electrodes thrust into it and swiveling his chair to face Cyprus. He doesn't smile. He doesn't frown. Rather than windows, his eyes have become flat, emotionless mirrors that show nothing and reflect everything. "Don." There's a brief inclination of his head by way of greeting. "Step into our office. You and I have a lot to talk about."

Cyprus opens the door, and steps in. And stops. His eyes clearly see the form on the bed, and he pauses. He just stares at the bed for a long moment, before he turns his gaze to Jack. His eyes are anything but emotionless, but sorting them out would take far too much time and effort. "Call me Cyprus," he says simply. "The… other one always called me Donovan." He closes the door behind him, and glances at the desk before returning his gaze to the bed. He enters the room steadily, stride unhesitant. "How did it happen?"

There is a moment's pause where Jack's carefully composed mask wavers. It's perceptible, but brief. There's a quick headshake, then it's back in place. "Cyprus it is," he agrees. He picks the camera up from his lap, flips open the viewing window on the side, and passes it to Cyprus. "I was there when it happened, but there was little I could do but film." Insert baleful, self-hating glare here. "Better that I show than tell. Just press play." Under his breath he mutters, "Gene-o, wherever you are, thank God for you and your EMP shielding."

He takes the camera, and presses play. And whatever anyone else can say about Cyprus, this one moment proves that the man does indeed have emotions. He watches the entire video in silence, his eyes and face showing rage, pain, and resignation. There is a surprising lack of surprise, even at the crowning moment of the ending. He simply snaps it shut, and sets the camera shakily down. He strides over to the bed, and stops. "I have to see," he says simply, reaching over an pulling back the sheet. He doesn't flinch as he looks upon Nathan's dead body, but the effect is still there. He lets the sheet drop back down, and takes a long, slow breath. He lowers his head, and quietly says "He was not the best of us… but he didn't deserve this. Not this. He deserves to lay in state, as our leader. Not the best of us… but unquestionably the greatest." It's a cold eulogy. When Cyprus turns back to Jack, his eyes are steel, and his face is a mask of control. "He'd want to be buried alongside Monty. I can arrange that, quietly, but it would have to be soon. We only have a matter of days before everything falls apart."

"You're wrong."

Jack's voice bears no coldness, no accusation. Just a statement of fact as he sees it. "Trust in this, my friend. He was the best among us. He found the strength to do things that lesser men couldn't bear to even imagine. Every man has his faults, but Nathan Petrelli righted his before he died. My friend died a hero. Now it's up to us to make that death count for something."

The patriot wheels his chair back around to face his desk again. Having given up concealing his scars, his gloves have been stripped away to reveal a right hand that is a twisted claw of healed burned and hopelessly splintered bones. He taps a long talon against one of the structural drawings, which prominently reads 'U.S. SUPREME COURT' across the top. "Come closer, Cyprus," he rasps. "It's time for you and I to save the world."

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