2007-12-02: The Shape of Things


Erin_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif Tyson_icon.gif Meryl_icon.gif Niki_icon.gif Mohinder_icon.gif Jane_icon.gif Fenton_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif KeLyssa_icon.gif Mikhail_icon.gif AJ_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif Elena_icon.gif Cam_icon.gif DL_icon.gif Elle_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif Sylar_icon.gif Linderman_icon.gif Rochelle_icon.gif Liam_icon.gif Edward_icon.gif

With Guest Stars:

Sasha and ???

Summary: Friends and strangers are tied together in glimpses of a December morning.

Date It Happened: December 2nd, 2007

The Shape of Things

open link for theme music

New York, Cairns, and Michigan


Willpower. An unwavering firmness of character, action, or will…

Erin's seated on a crowded subway train, an armful of rolled paper and a bag full of supplies tucked in her arms. Sitting next to her is a woman holding a crying, obviously sick child, whose coughing, sneezing, and wailing hasn't stopped since she sat down. The actress is clearly annoyed. Even so, as someone else sits in the vacated seat next to her, she leans over until her shoulder is touching the child's back. At the next stop, Erin gets up to leave; the child's symptoms are much better, and he's no longer crying.

That which defines our ability to go forward…

The subway car rattles beneath his feet, and if he glances ahead, he can see that they're approaching another gradual turn as by the shifting view of the passengers in the next car. Despite the fact that there are plenty of seats open, Fenton chooses to remain standing, subtly adjusting his balance, keeping an eye on the guitar case set across several seats in front of him. His hands are in his pockets, and he rolls his shoulders to try relieving the one from the weight of the backpack slung over them. Only a half day of classes today, so he's debating on what to do with the rest of it. Fenton pulls out his cellphone from his pocket, scrolls through his short list of contacts and pauses on Portia's number. He feels another lurch from the car and leans to the side a bit to stay on his feet, nodding to himself as a little smile crawls across his lips. Worth a try, he decides. He pockets the phone again. Maybe he'll give a ring later.

To make decisions that could have amazing results…

There is a returned glow to Trina's countenance as she stands in front of Jack's heavy bag in their apartment — a glow that has been missing since the fateful accident all those months ago. She stands there for a very long time in her starting stance, breathing slowly and staring at the thing from behind her balled up fists. After several minutes of just standing there, she lets out a light punch. When it hits soundly, she lets the bag stop before she punches it again. Again, it is a punch squarely to the center of the bag. She licks her teeth inside her mouth, sets her jaw, and then punches a third time. "Okay," she lets escape her lips in a rush of breath. "So I do something." She steps back and then holds out her hands toward the bag, as if reaching for it. "So… um. DO SOMETHING." An emphatic gesture to the bag as she leans into it and stares at the bag with comedically wide eyes. "Come on! Do it!" This continues for some time before finally she just grunts in frustration, kicks the bag with the flat of her foot and walks away.

…or devastating consequences.

A syringe is the definition of utilitarian art. Smooth lines and sharp protrusions meld together into a medical masterpiece. With a prick and a plunger push, any number of chemicals can be introduced to the bloodstream, fat cells, or muscle tissue. Jack rolls the loaded syringe between his fingertips. He can't stop staring at it. An empty vial with traces of purple fluid puddling in the bottom is sitting on the counter next to his elbow. With a now-or-never sort of swiftness, he stabs himself in the thigh muscle. He doesn't depress the plunger, though. Not yet.

It’s the determination that resides within each of us—

Laying in his hospital bed in a room with now two other sick people, one of whom had died just the other day, there was Tyson stuck between fatigued and insomnia as he battled off the sickness that had come over him. His physical damages because of the fight with that Ace Leader were fading and to be honest, he preferred them over the coughing and nausea that he was now experiencing. Then again, that was not the only torture and in this room, he found the most painful thing was the repeated crap being spewed on the television. Never a big fan of television before, this was unbearable and in his culminating frustration, Tyson did something. Now, that something is vague even to Tyson, but all he knows is that he is getting a really good still shot of an new Brawler's HQ ad. The other patients… to say the least, are quite confused.

To push forward through whatever obstacles the world presents us with on our journey to find purpose.

Outside what looks to be a ship yard, Meryl stands with a pair of binoculars, the strap wrapped loosely around her wrist and allowed to dangle near the ground. The severe expression on her face as she watches Dorsey enter one of the storehouses manages to indicate the long month and a half of work everyone's put into this project already… And it's finally coming to a close. With a sigh, she turns to lean against the nearest wall, and fishes her radio out of her bag. "Hey, guys," she says. "It's Meryl. I found him."

Mind over matter.

Edward is in the gym. He is working out on the mat doing a number of flips, cartwheels, back handed tucks and more. He then is in the shower washing and he opens his hand and his towel floats to him when he is alone.

If God created the heavens and the earth by merely wishing them into existence…

Early in the morning, the halls of Brubaker Secondary are empty and shadowy. A street-flash-dressed kid saunters through the hallways flipping the locks on the lockers with his fingers, bored, sneering, the very picture of delinquency and apathy. One door ahead of him has light pouring out of it. We follow over his shoulder as he sees Lee in his classroom, asleep, passed out awkwardly in his chair. On the board behind him is written 'FINAL SEMESTER PROJECTS DUE'. Stacks of papers diligently scribbled on in red pencil are scattered on Lee's desk, his two-toned hipster shoes up on them, his coat as a blanket half slipping off his slender elbows, his expression, deep in slumber, is troubled. The young man's hard expression seems almost puzzled, uncertain by what he is seeing. The thuggish youth steps inside quietly and pulls Lee's coat back up over his chest and arms. The student's face is unreadable. Lee does not wake. The young man withdraws silently, closing the door behind him and turning off the light, leaving the schoolroom illuminated only by the pale light of the early morning streaming in from the windows. Lee's expression seems softer, comforted. He continues to sleep, alone in the classroom. Behind him, tacked to a bulletin board, a tattered poster reads: "Small natures require despotism to exercise their sinews, as great souls thirst for equality to give play to their heart. — Honore De Balzac"

Is that not willpower?

Playing the fiddle, KeLyssa Gallagher relaxes into her morning. She'd had a hard time sleeping that night. She missed her family back home. Music helps her relax though. So for the last hour she has played. After a while, her thoughts consume her. After a couple days in New York City, she's homesick. She'd rather be in Louisiana right now. She knows that if she gives it time, the feeling will pass and she will feel comfortable in the big city, but she just can't help but feel like it's closing in on her at times. What she wouldn't give to have her twin brother here right now…he'd know how what to say to make her feel better.

Whole species change on the basis that they must, lest they perish.

Sunlight floods the old, decrepit building. A collection mattresses litter the room and homeless forgotten. They all sleep, all except for Liam. He sits far from the others, far from the mattresses in this makeshift shelter. The hood of his faded black sweater over his head, and his eyes are cast down to his hand, or rather, the item within it. He holds an iconic Starbucks paper cup, the mermaid logo pointed towards him. He reaches out with his opposite hand and manipulates the lid, until symmetric with the cup itself, as perfect as one can make it in detail. He smiles, beaming with the corners of his lips reaching for either ear; blatantly happy even if he doesn't voice it to his sleeping fellows. He places the cup down, exactly proportioned in the corner before curling up beside it and preparing for sleep with whispered words unheard. It was a new day for most, but the end of one for him.

Can we, as a species, will ourselves to evolve?

"Because I'm trying not to be that anymore," Sylar says, annoyance and rage flitting across his facial features. "That's why I warned him. If you have a job, do it yourself."

"You realize this is a man who was involved, of course, in trying to cage you like an animal," a wholly unflustered voice replies in a calm English lilt. Linderman stands in front of Sylar in his immaculate black suit, arms crossed. "You can't fight what you are, Gabriel, but in time you can learn to understand your nature."

"They tried to cage me because of what I am.. what I… was," Sylar responds, eyes narrowing as he stares at Linderman. "Because of what you want me to continue to be." He turns away from the other man, staring out a nearby window, before finally turning back with resolve in his eyes. "Not anymore. I'm not going to do it, no matter what my "father" wants. I'll tell him myself."

We think new things into existence every day.

A light snow falls on the quaint cabin overlooking Lake Michigan, whimsical in the morning sun. Sasha, bundled up in a dark purple coat with a cream-coloured scarf tucked under her chin, and a smart little black wool hat with long earflaps and tasselled strings, pats a snowman’s belly into shape. “But I don’t … I don’t understand,” the well-spoken six-year-old says – seemingly to the smiling snow creation with pebbles for a mouth and a carrot for a nose. “They said I wasn’t allowed meet her again for—for a long time.”

“Don’t worry!” a lyrical voice pipes up, and another girl, older by five years or so, steps around the snowman. Cute as a button, she beams and holds up her red mitten-clad hands, then plants them on her hips. “It’s not fair! You gotta be with your mom, Sasha. I got a plan. I’m gonna tell you all about it! But first—Frosty needs a scarf!” she giggles.

New art…

Cascades of sparks bounce and fly off of the heated pieces of metal, the seams melding smoothly under the torch's flame. As soon as the fire putters out the glowing piece is moved to the bowl of water, sizzling as it hits. Mikhail removes his goggles to inspect the cooled metal between the pair of tongs. It appears to look like…teeth. In a jaw. The artist's eyes show his delight.

New ways of movement…

This time, things are different. His body has healed. He's sure of himself. Standing on the stage, the music plays around him. AJ puts on his best show-face and begins his performance. He doesn't miss a single movement. It's perfection itself, in his eyes. All he can do now… is wait. Hopefully, this audition will be his.

New plans…

The camera pans in on the High Rise Apartment building in Greenwich Village, then shifts to the first floor, moving up to a door marked with the number 108. Then it's inside that dwelling, where a woman of twenty-five walks down a hallway past a closed door. She stops there and looks at it briefly, sadness coming to her features before she moves on. With a copy of the New York Times in her hand, the item about the Gemini virus visible on it, she moves into the main room where many musical instruments are kept and switches on the large screen HD set. It shows the television news report of the same things as in the article.

Jane picks up a pad of paper and takes notes from the broadcast.

Gemini virus. Pharmaceutical company? What's it called? The Company? Seville Medical break-in. Mount Sinai. Cure?

Her iPhone is brought out when the broadcast ends, she pulls up Peter Petrelli in the Contacts list and has his number ready to dial while also moving to the computer. An email is begun, to Elena Gomez.

And the camera shifts to wherever it goes next.

New chemical compounds…

“It’s already working.” Gratitude and relief shines brightly from the blue eyes of one Niki Sanders, directed at none other than Dr. Suresh. As she sits on the edge of a treatment table in his lab on Reed Street. They’re ready, this time, for any sudden side-effects; if she falls, there are pillows to catch her. She reaches out and grips Mohinder’s forearm before he’s out of sight entirely. She smiles, strong and confident. ”Thank you.”

New cures to disease…

With Peter resting on the couch in the Petrelli sitting room, Elena emerges from the doorway leading to the kitchen, carrying a glass of water and a bottle of aspirin. She sets both items down on the coffee table, sitting down by the edge of the cushions. She hesitates clearly, then her hand moves to touch his cheek to give him a reassuring smile. The television seems to be on, and something about what is being broadcasted causes her to suddenly look towards the screen, gaping at it incredulously.

Face and eyes reddened from the exertion of the day before, Peter has a cold cloth compress in hand that he's just removed from his forehead when she re-enters. The smile looks forced, lopsided, and exhausted, but as her hand stops, he glances to the television as well, blinking at something broadcasting. He starts to sit up, letting the cold compress rest on his leg, even leaning forward.

The television shows a scrolling message under the news reporters giving detailed information on treatment sites for the Gemini Virus. In large letters: Treatment Found.

We will the future to change—

Early morning. The staircase leading to Bat Country Labs is dark, the only light provided by a streetlamp on the sidewalk - until a flash of blue fills the alcove. Elle Bishop stumbles down the steps, crying out in pain as the surge laces around her wrists, winding up her arms, her face twisted in agony and desperation. The streetlamp flickers wildly, threatening to leave her in darkness. She mashes her hand against the buzzer once, twice, a third time, slumping against the wall beside the door. As she slides down the wall, her head tipped forward, blonde hair obscuring her face from the security camera, a wicked smirk flashes across her face.

And the fabric of the universe ripples underfoot.

Bars. The only thing that truly seems to be worth looking at in this particular place of residence. Daniel Lawerence Hawkins lies on the dirty cot of his partially decorated cell. A cell that he's managed to have to himself by some strange twist of fate. Laying across his chest are a couple of pictures: Micah, Niki. Only things that matter at this moment. His hands are propped underneath his head and his eyes are closed as he breathes softly. Discontent, but surviving.

At the entrance to D.L.’s cellblock, a figure begins to shuffle down the hall toward his cell. The shadows distort him, as he sticks to them, hiding away; the way shadows and light fall on him suggest not the regulated garb of a prison guard, but normal streetwear. He walks far enough to glimpse D.L. behind bars, turns, and walks out.

No one seems to notice his presence.

Our will reflects the divine.

Oblivious to Elle's approach to Bat Country, Cass finally seems to have found some sort of calm, some sort of center. After the test on Namir, she looks as if she's actually gotten some sleep and found some answers. Quietly reassuring the young Cam with encouragements, she gives him an injection of the cure and then puts a band-aid over the injection spot. While she's giving him orange juice when something catches her attention. It's the buzzer indicating that someone is at the door to Bat Country. Warily, the woman stands up and starts toward surveillance to see who it is.

The fundamental power of the universe is willpower. Every thought, every idea, every hope…

Absently rubbing at his arm, where he recently got his shot of 'cure', Cam still sits in the bed he's had since he was brought to Bat Country. He's started to push the ice packs that have been constantly surrounding him away, though. He glances to his small pile of homework that he probably should be doing, but instead picks up a comic he'd asked Niki to pick up for him, too excited at the prospect of soon going home to concentrate on the homework.

Every instant a pen is put to paper…

Getting lost in fantasy is by nature a Human element; this is why fiction exists, and the imagination can run wild outside the known limits of the real world. Daydreaming, novels, video games, comic books- they are all related in that they offer a break from reality. Most of the time.

Having a monotonous life can be hellish for some, but for Rochelle Knight, it is just a fact of life that her own be relatively unspecial and uneventful through her own eyes. Sometimes one may call this burn-out. Rochelle has never, but that does not mean it is not true.

In the boring days past and the long, routine hours of an uninteresting present, she does see escape in fiction, like many others; in the case of the second day of December, the agenda of the day has given her spare time during mid-morning, and Rochelle has found herself with a back-issue of a comic book in one hand and a steaming coffee mug in the other. The drizzle pitters against the side of a skeletal home, whose inside has long been victim of a gutting fire. As such, the cold drizzle does sweep in the side of the house and onto her, but other than being damp and having a few rogue droplets running down her arms, it does not seem to bother the woman, who is nose-deep in that comic book for as long as she can be allowed.

The cover is ominous, plastered with a few hazard symbols, a backdrop of menacing, hanging hooks, and the nameless face of a young, brunette woman, a look of fright on her features. The top of the cover carries the yellow title- 9th Wonders.

Oh, yes. It is a body. The body of a security guard, he's still alive at the moment, sightless eyes glancing up with surprise on his face as he sucks in quick breaths. A pool of blood spreads out from under him, and obvious gunshot wound visible low in his chest as the source of the blood …

… Or anything else involving local meats, hopefully. At the noise at the door, Cass quickly goes to answer the door. "Niki! Good! Cam! Come on in!"

She's been following events already occurred, the raid on Bat Country through the air behind Niki and Cam. Though of course, there is nothing that catches her eye up until his name is actually written on the page. At first, it is really just a moment of interest.

Lee looks up puzzledly. "Wh— Cam? Ms. Sanders? What the?" he says, a shock of recognition coming to his face. "What's going on?"

Cam steps in with Cass. He gives her the friendliest smile he can manage and says, "Hi." Then he adds as Niki races off, "There's a guy lying with his hand out the door down the hall." Then Lee's greeting, and he blinks, just as surprised to see Lee as he is to be seen, "Mr. Jones?"

Then, in the same panel, both names. Even in the cool air, there's an odd warmth that floods into Rochelle's brain. It is courtesy of her heart, which has gone into a wary, nervous flutter. What is this? Her eyes don't come free of the pages, even as they turn beneath a rough hand.

How does everyone know each other? Maybe Cass shouldn't be so surprised about everyone knowing everyone else. Everyone seems to be connected, but it still takes her aback sometimes.

Even the little square box of this woman's thoughts seems to echo in reality.

The rant pauses as the disk comes sliding out - Lee recognizes the danger, his eyes widen - and suddenly forward is backwards. Left stays left, right stays right, up stays up and down stays down, but the disk slides right back across the floor - the same speed, the same inertia, the same disk, just a different direction. It comes to a halt /exactly/ beneath the hand of the person who slid it - because that is the law of inertia and friction. Lee yells, "DAMMIT!" This exclamation, loud as it is, may not actually be audible, for reasons that may shortly become clear.

The strangeness that continues seems to draw Rochelle to it; there are names and faces in here that she knows, the situation with the virus was even in the news- but apparently semi-resolved now. This book was made months and months ago, wasn't it? The large woman perched literally on the edge of her seat pauses to glimpse at the cover date.

"Plan B!" Calls the second man as he winces himself, delivering a second burst of overly loud fire though the door and wall towards the occupied room. Then he ducks behind a table. "Clear!" …

… They are already up and running before the dust clears. Now they know every damn security group in the city will be after them soon enough. They have to get out soon.

The end of the panels has left Rochelle with even more creases than are usual in her face, which has long been contorted much like the house she is sitting inside of. Confusion, curiosity, confusion. Mostly confusion. Seeing at least two pages left, she turns the page again.

Sitting in a burnt house, on a familiar stool, inside of a familiar, charred kitchen- it's a mirror image of the instant that Rochelle turns the page.

There is such a sharp intake of breath through the woman's nose that one of her coworkers glances over at her from picking up stray panels of dusty, broken ceiling from the side of the kitchen. That same glance plays out on the next panel.

That glance from her co-worker is followed by the woman rising from her seat, the coffee on her knee smashing onto the floor in the few seconds it takes her to stride quickly outside and into the cold air. As if convinced it can't be doing what it is doing, Rochelle takes a hopeful look back down onto the comic page. There she is again, clear as day; every line of her face, every angle of her musculature, every curve of her clothing. Except for the fact she is looking upwards, past the rim of that yellow hard-hat. There's nothing to do but look that same direction, as if there would be something up in the dark, gray, morning clouds. There is nothing up there.

And nothing on the last page. The last page of the book is centered brilliant white, a muggy color only tinting the very edges as if it were wet. Actually, it is. The winter rain has started again, dutifully drenching the mostly white page and turning it the same groggy tone as the sky above.

Everything action we take, every thought that travels our neural pathways … influences the shape of things to come. And yet we’re tumbled by the ride, surprised by what lies ahead, as if we have no say in our fates, when really — we hold all the answers to life's mysteries, if only we knew how to unlock them.

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