2007-11-19: The Patriarch and The Pariah

Warning: contains Heroes Season 3 Material


Linderman_icon.gif Sylar_icon.gif

And Introducing Special Guest Star:


Summary: Sylar is given a new path. The question is, does it lead to redemption or further into hell?

Date It Happened: November 19th, 2007

The Patriarch and the Pariah


"My name is Mr. Linderman."

What Sylar doesn't know, of course, is that Mr. Linderman is supposedly dead. And yet he strolls confidently down a tidy corridor alongside the battered serial killer known as Sylar; not once since he's arrived at this massive building has he been called anything but Gabriel, however. Gabriel has been given clean clothes, medical care, even a comb; all to match the clinical setting he's found himself in. "You could say I have a vested interest in your future. Or should I say we."

Figures lurk in the background, at the end of the hall, ever-present bodyguards just out of sight. "I'm taking you to see someone who will make you feel aaall better after your unfortunate entanglement with Peter Petrelli." He's leading the way to a healer, one could presume; he says it the way one might when telling a child he's getting a new toy, and the white-bearded gentleman could, in fact, be Santa Clause leading him to the toy room — and yet the firm, knowledgeable, and assured manner in which he regards the killer is respectful. He's not talking down to the man. He pauses in just past a door on the right, turns, and clasps his hands neatly behind his back. "Go ahead. See what's in store for you next, Gabriel."

The killer, battered, bruised, and still somewhat broken from his fight with Peter Petrelli, follows behind Linderman, his eyes kept on the ground. He's been cleaned up from his fight, but the bruises remain. Every single time the man calls him Gabriel there's a tiny twitch from Sylar, but the killer remains silent, choosing not to correct him. After all, it wouldn't be smart to start a fight here. He's fairly certain he could take the bodyguards and make his way out, but if he's being led to a healer…

Well, there's no reason for him to fight broken. He may as well wait until he's healed first.

Stepping past Linderman and into the room, the killer pauses before fully entering and taking a look around. "I don't know who you are," he says, eyes finally lifting from the ground to look at Linderman. "I just hope for your sake that this is worth it." Finally moving fully into the room, Sylar takes a look around, his eyes moving about the room, ready to see what's in store for him.

"And I hope for your sake that you make the right decisions." Linderman smiles a small smile that, for its scarcity, is brimming with knowing … so much as to be slightly devious. The man steps out of sight, leaving Sylar … not quite alone in the room.

Atrophy is an incredible thing. Fiber by fiber, strand by strand, the body just gives up. Muscles wither. Tissues shrink in on themselves. Bone and cartilage weakens. These are the thoughts that consume Arthur Petrelli. Day after day he sits in his hospital bed, tethered by his own mortality. Machines arrayed around him. Needles in his arms. A tube in his throat. Necessary evils, but evils all the same. The only part of him that's active is his eyes. They're still bright and alert, constantly roaming the room and filing away every single detail of his surroundings for the thousandth time.

When Sylar steps in, those surroundings change for the first time in hours. Arthur doesn't move, and obviously he doesn't speak, but his eyes take on a critically curious cast.

Arthur's identically dressed bodyguards don't move either. This is an arrival they have been expecting. Lined along one wall in suits and sunglasses, they only swivel their heads to keep the killer in view.

"Step into my office."

The voice isn't audible. It's inserted directly into Sylar's brain.

The killer steps forward, his eyes falling on the bed in something that could be considered amazement. While he thought he was batter and broken, his injuries pale in comparison to what this man must be going through. Needles, machines, the tube down his throat… Sylar is confused as to why he is here. Quite obviously this isn't a healer— if it were, he wouldn't be in this condition, would he?

He takes a step forward, cautiously— almost as if he's afraid to get too close to the man. Then— a voice. Sylar looks around, but it isn't long before he realizes that he's hearing the voice directly in his head. It must be coming from the man lying on the bed… which means he has a power. Sylar's eyes widen the tiniest bit, but he follows the man's order. He steps forward, coming to rest just at the foot of the bed, his eyes resting on Arthur's. He has one question, above all, and it's the first he asks. "Who are you?"

"Someone with a vested interest in you. I've had my eye on you for a very long time, my boy.

Arthur's lips twitch, but they don't quite form a smile. He flicks his eyes toward one of the bodyguards. In response to some unheard mental command, the man steps forward and adjusts the settings on one of the many machines.

"That's better. Now, I want to see you make the most of your potential. You squander your gift on petty revenge and basic survival when you're capable of so much more."

At the words from Arthur, Sylar remains silent, standing at the foot of the bed, his eyes on the other man's. He doesn't move, seemingly rooted to the spot. His eyes flick towards the bodyguards when one of them moves to a nearby machine; Sylar looks at the machine as well, pondering it's purpose. His eyes eventually make their way back to Arthur, and he finally speaks when the other man is finished.

"You don't know who I am. What I'm capable of. If you have such a vested interested in me— why now?"

"Because there's no more time for you to be self-indulgent."

When Arthur finally does smile, it's bare and sardonic. He shoots another expectant glance at a second bodyguard. This one scurries up with a heavy file folder in hand. The man unwinds the cord that binds it shut and starts to spread out a series of crisp, enlarged photographs. Each is a crime scene snapshot from one of Sylar's victims. Some with reasons, some for sheer hunger or power, all lacking the tops of their heads.

"You have an impressive resume," Arthur continues. "But I think it's time you found a little focus, don't you?"
The killer twitches at the sight of photographs, each one in turn causing the hunger in his eyes to shine a little brighter. He shakes slightly, Arthur's falling heavy on his mind. "I have focus," he says, his right hand twitching as he raises it ever so slightly, his eyes darting to the bodyguards and back. "Mine. They're all mine." The movement is sudden and quick. He moves his right hand in a sweeping, arcing motion, causing the two bodyguards to slam into the wall behind them. "I'll take them all. Then I'll kill him. Peter Petrelli. The only one who has ever stood in my way. After that… then she'll die, too. Then I can never die."

He points his hand at Arthur, palm side down and fingers spread, and he slowly begins to lift the man out of the bed, the needles and tubes floating with him. "Starting with you."

For a man who has had his bodyguards casually murdered and is now being assaulted, Arthur appears very calm and collected. His eyes shift over toward the fallen forms of his men, and there's a hint of reproach in his gaze when he shifts is back to Sylar.

"I think you'll find that was very ill-advised. I'm only going to warn you once. Don't ever touch me. Besides, patricide is unbecoming."

The killer once known as Gabriel Gray smiles, his ring and pinky fingers curling in towards his palm as he prepares to slice open Arthur Petrelli's head. "I'll end your suffering," he says, moving his hand slightly to the right— only to suddenly stop at the words of Arthur. He stares at the man, the words he just said ringing in his mind. "… You're not my father," he says, eyes narrowing as he prepares for the kill again. "My father is dead."

"Do I look dead to you?"

Acting at Arthur's direction, several guards step in from the hall and wordlessly remove the bodies of their fallen comrades. There are no glares and no mutterings; these men are well trained.

You didn't really think you were the son of a watchmaker and a crazy woman, did you?" This smile from Arthur is the most genuine one yet. "You're the son of a powerful, prestigious man and a crazy woman."

"No," Sylar says, still not releasing his grip on the man. "You're not." Despite the denial, the killer drops the man to the bed, his hand lowering to his side. He doesn't want to believe it, but yet.. somewhere in the back of his mind, he does. He always knew. He always wanted someone to come and take him away, tell him that his parents weren't his real family… and now.. is that dream finally coming true? How could this man possibly know that's what he wanted, if he's not telling the truth? He stares at Arthur, ignoring the guards who come and remove their comrades. "Who are you? What is your name?"

Arthur lands as gracefully as a man in his condition is able to. He doesn't seem bothered by his mussed condition. In his time he's seen far worse and still maintained his effortlessly regal bearing.

"My name is Arthur Petrelli, and I brought you here because it's time to start your new life." My, my. It's almost as if he can read his son's mind. "There's nothing inherently evil about killing. It's why a life is taken that defines the act. You kill for hunger, and for pleasure. How would like to kill for a purpose? To know that each life you takes brings us closer to a common whole?

Yes. Us.

No. … No. Sylar literally reels back, taking two steps away from Arthur, a hand traveling to his forward as the words sink in. Arthur Petrelli. Sylar is…

The killer's eyes snap up to Arthur's disbelief and confusion filling them. "You're a— then you're my— Peter—" It's quite a bit to take for the serial killer, and he takes another step back, running into the doors of the room. He leans against them, arms hanging at his sides, and he slowly slides down the door. Isn't this what he wanted? A family? Someone who knew he was special? The watchmaker's son became a watchmaker, but it was never what he wanted. He only wanted to be special. Truly loved. Accepted for what he is… and now this man, his.. father? Arthur Petrelli is telling he can be. That he can do what he's done.. but for a purpose. "If you're… him. Peter. What is…?"

"Yes, Peter is your brother. So is Nathan. I want you to listen to me very carefully. I forbid you to harm any of the Petrellis. Except your mother, you can kill her if you want."

Arthur isn't smiling anymore.

"I'm giving you a choice, son. That's more than most people can say."

His brother. Peter Petrelli. The yin to his yang, his opposite, the one that's always there to stop him… his own flesh and blood. Does Peter know? No. There's no way he could. Right?

Sylar remains on the floor, leaning against the door to the room, thoughts racing through his mind about the bombshell of information that was just dropped on him. He doesn't speak, staring at the cold, hard tile on the floor, and it's a long time before he finally stands, slowly raising himself off of the floor and stepping forward. He stops at the foot of Arthur's bed, eyes slowly traveling up to meet the older man's. "What do you want me to do first?"

"I have a very special task for you, my boy. One that is it's own reward. When you're finished, I'll teach you to be the master of your power instead of it's servant. Together we can focus your hunger and channel it."

Though Arthur is unable to move his head, he peers over his lids until he can make eye contact with his son. "Take my hand, Gabe. I've missed you. We'll spend some time together as father and son, and then I'll tell you about the man I want you to kill."

To Be Continued…

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