2007-08-28: DF: The Sylar Problem


Gene_icon.gif DFLachlan_icon.gif DFPeter_icon.gif

Summary: It's early morning. People can't sleep. They talk about things, including tornadoes, girls who cause them, and most importantly, the Sylar Problem. And Peter heals Lachlan.

Dark Future Date: August 28th, 2009

The Sylar Problem

Phoenix Rising Towers Kitchen

It's 3:37 AM in the kitchen. The only lights on is a dim nightlight as well as the refrigerator. The only person in the room currently? Gene Kensington, the quietest of the Saints. It's only natural he would come up when there was no one else around, taking a break from his work when he was pretty sure everyone else was sleeping. Pulling out a jar of pickles, a few frozen Peppermint Patties, and a couple of cans of Cheerwine, Gene begins his post-invention snaketime.

The pile of stuff is set on the table, dumped by the arms that struggle to carry everything. Once he is finished, Gene just takes a seat. He seems dressed in simple clothes, wearing socks and grey sweatpants for his bottoms. He's also currently in a sleeveless t-shirt, revealing the full right arm synthetics, which seem to attach around his shoulder area. He removes most of it with a couple of button pushes and twists, letting the remains of arm muscles be. They are protected and hidden by a special plastic lining with special hardports where the nerve impulses are transformed to mechanical power. It's like he really is a machine now. He doesn't seem to mind being one armed for the time being though, just using his legs to hold the jar as he twists off the lid. Taking the opened jar back on the table, Gene begins to quietly eat.

That's not a very healthy choice of snacks. Peter managed to sleep for a couple hours, but then the nightmares woke him up yet again. There's only a few times he's ever slept without them while here, and they seem to be getting worse the last couple of days— and he has no idea why. Probably because of Cass' death, and the visions he'd seen. The small amount of light in the kitchen makes him hesitant to peek into the door, but when he sees who it is, he relaxes a little. Gene may not be one of the ones he knows well (either here, nor back there) but he's not one of the few he's actually avoiding, either. "Can't sleep?" he asks, avoiding staring at the young man's missing limb, and instead looking at his choice of food quietly.

There is a hint of surprise as Gene glances up to see Peter. Recognizing the man, he calms swiftly enough and just goes back to opening his patty after resting the pickle on the table. He uses his teeth to help since he still has one arm. "I don't really sleep much these days. Usually take little naps here and there while I'm waiting for stuff to cool down or files to download. Thanks for healing the wounds a few days ago. Would have thanked you earlier, but you've been busy with… stuff. Didn't want to disturb you and I had work to do anyway."

"Not really the best conditions to sleep under," Peter admits, moving across the room towards the fridge and opening it. There's a quiet glance through the choices, before he picks out bottled water and takes it over to the table, closing the fridge behind him and drowning out some of the light. Now— he can't help but look at the arm, having to shake his head a bit at it. This young man certainly does amaze him the few times they've met. "I'm surprised you haven't built a time machine yet. Then I wouldn't have to worry about if I can get back to where I'm supposed to be on my own."

"I would have thought an older Elena around would have made sleeping a bit easier." Gene really doesn't go into why that would be, looking toward the Cheerwine as he pops the top after his seemingly random reply. Now he is ready to feast. Sipping some of the soda, he puts it down and then eats some of the Patti. Ooooh yeah, this is heaven. After he swallows, he glances back toward Peter.

"A lot of people don't understand me or my powers. I guess it's because I'm not like most people," Gene states. "My powers… Which I'm sure are YOUR powers… It isn't something that lets me build whatever I want. I have to work for it, study something, research it… and then I can make it or make it better." He looks toward the arm, as if proof of his abilities. "If I could make whatever I wanted to, I would have ended this damn war already and likely gotten a really cute girlfriend," he offers with a meek smile.

Good thing there's little in the way of light, because it helps hide the fact that the other young man in the room is blushing quite a bit all of a sudden. Looking away from the technological savant, Peter opens the bottle of water and takes a drink. And another one. When he looks back, he's still not exactly all together. "I— think I have your ability, but it works different— I don't know much about technology. I made something once— no idea what it was or how— guess it's kind of like how I can paint when I use Isaac's ability, but can't even draw stick figures on my own." The longer he talks, the easier it gets.

So, current Pete does have the hots for Elena. His hypothesis was right, not that it was a hard one to test. Having gotten the information he wanted for now, Gene decides to share too. Glancing toward Peter, the young geek gives a tired smile. "You likely won't for awhile. My ability requires you to take in the information… It not one of those abilities where 'boom, it's magic' like flight or lightning. It's like having a car, but not doing the stuff to fuel it. But with all the other abilities you have, I wouldn't waste time on mine. After all, why spend half your life trying to build a robot when you could lift the car, shoot the lightning, and fly in the air yourself?" Gene chases the minty goodness with a bite of pickle.

"Yeah— probably a good idea not to try and figure all that out on my own," Peter admits with a lopsided smile. He's still blushing a little. It will take some time for that to go away. Theory tested and information given that supports said theory. "It's funny— I can actually do all of those things you just said, and couple more, too. But I think I'll leave the building to you. You've done all the work for it— certainly isn't fair to just come along and borrow what you worked so hard for." And it really doesn't work like poof, either. Even if it did seem to just drag him along and help him make something, when he had no idea what he was doing. Just once. Couldn't do it again. Couldn't say how he did it— comparing it to Isaac's painting is about the only thing he can do. "So what happened to… your arm?" he nods towards it. Doesn't hurt to ask. "During the war or in the aftermath?"

"I know a bit of what you can do." Gene swallows the food in his mouth before going on. "At least the stuff you're Future Self has shown on TV and I could gleam from hacked reports Along with reports I heard from other people. In my darker days, you were of interest to me. I moved on," Gene states before glancing to his limb. "Well, that's part of what I lost… The arm and the leg was right when the fighting had started. The Evolved were tearing up the military that was sent in to fight Sylar and his men, so the government put out an emergency call for the best and brightest to make new weapons to fight the new threat. I have no idea how they found out about me, but when they asked for me to go, I agreed. I was taken out on what was supposed to be a secure route. It wasn't. The military got me out, but I was a mess. They saved what they could… I replaced what I lost."

Gene looks a bit distance as he speaks on the story. He rubs empty air, as if feeling the memory that was once flesh and blood. A couple of moments of silence go by before Gene gives a cheerful smile before finishing up. Surprisingly, it's genuine. "I'm alive and help keep these jokers alive, so that's what counts."

There's a wince as he describes how he lost his various body parts. Peter'd never known about half of that, probably. And he still doesn't. Okay— stop the war, stop Sylar, and this won't happen. That's the plan anyway. Though he's not sure how he's going to manage to kill someone he didn't even manage to kill in this timeline. "Yeah— that's what matters. Being alive— and helping keep them alive too. You seem to do a good job with it." And he's also the least outright destructive of the Saints— even if his weapons might be destructive in general.

There was something said that catches his attention, though, and he goes back to it. "I was— of interest to you?"

Sighing, Gene shoves the peppermint patti in his mouth. He can't talk while he's chewing, right? Using the food to buy himself sometime, he glances up toward Peter. "I do… But it's not really as big a deal as Elena makes it out to be. As for my interest in you back in the day, not sure you really want to hear it. It doesn't really reflect well on me."

"Elena hasn't made that big a deal out of it— I've seen it from their operations— the few that she's let me go on," Peter says, finally pulling out a chair and sitting down in it, setting the bottle of water down on the table. "You've done a lot for them— more than the other me has— that's for sure." It's not something he's proud of either. "I've already found out what caused the storms— the torandos, or at least the source of them. That should help find out the cause… But there's a lot about the war I still don't know yet. I'm hoping that if I just— stop the tornados that the war'll never happen. And— that you'll never have to go through what you did." And anything that he thinks doesn't reflect well on him, too. But he gets the picture and drops the subject that he didn't seem to want to go into.

"All I've done is preventative measures. I've always wanted to control things, control the situation. It's likely why God never gave me powers like yours. It'd just assume that I knew what needed to be done, so I'd do it without thinking. Power would become pride and pride really screws you over. My powers let me prepare, but in order to really change the world I'd need to know exactly what was requ-" Gene stops for a moment. His eyes light up with a realization. "You've already fought Sylar once or twice before, correct?"

Control things. With as many abilities as Peter has, he could do quite a bit to make things very different. He could destroy the city with a snap of his finger. But he— honestly doesn't want to just control everything. Nor does he assume he knows what's best for anyone. Often he needs someone else to tell him what to do, which is why he's been relying on them a lot of the time. Elena— Jack— they know better than he does. He just wants to help people. He's quiet, taking a drink, but at the question, he blinks, then nods. "A couple times, yeah?"

"Good. Tell your Gene all the stuff he can do. If Gene knows what Sylar can do, he can research and build countermeasures. That goes for whatever else you want him to build too. Sylar turns invisible; my past self will just build things with IR or mirco-nize goggles for people to have with them. Sylar has the ability to sense heat, I can build a robot that gives off less heat. Even make traps for Sylar if you know what people he goes after… After all, if he went after someone in the future-" Gene's mind revisits past conversation topics, a common curse he has. "Wait… You found the person that causes the storms? It was Sylar though." He states the last part like it was fact.

"I don't know everything that he can do— but I can certainly tell him that much. I'd already told Nathan we needed to buy a bunch of those Thermal Imagering Devices, but if he can build them it'd save a lot of money." They seemed to be pretty expensive. Peter looks at his left hand for a moment. "Not sure how he's going to build something that keeps him from freezing parts of my body and breaking them off— or telekinesis— but invisibility he can stop." The other abilities? He doesn't know of. Besides radiation and painting the future. When he mentions Sylar causing the storms, he shakes his head, "No, it was this girl named Evelyn. She didn't mean to, but she caused them. I just need to find out what caused her to lose control like that."

Gene's food is forgotten for the time being. "Well, of course I could build the Thermal stuff. Could even build it on remote copters so they could trace him through the city if we got him in a position. While I couldn't build stuff that could freeze your hands, I could at least build a suit that could rapidly heat a part of the body if it was being frozen. It would be body suit of sorts, but possible." In the present, Gene will likely not look forward to that one. Suddenly, the young man's cheerful face sours as he mentions Evelyn. His voice changes as it seems Peter has unknowingly landed on a landmine. "I hope that you don't plan to do anything to her, Peter. Because if you do, I promise you, regardless of the timeline, I. Will. End. You."

A body suit. In some ways, that might actually be cool. But at the same time… "This won't be like tights or anything, right?" Peter refuses to wear a cape, and he's certainly not going to wear tights. Underwear staying inside his pants. Forever. But then the mood changes, dramatically, and the other man actually gives a threat. This makes him blink, surprised, both at the hint of the accusation, and the threat that followed. "I— would never hurt her— she's innocent in this." He can barely even bring himself to permenantly take down Sylar, how could he do something like that to an innocent girl who lost control of her abilities? "I— have her address and her phone number— from two years ago. She gave them to me— she wants help. I wouldn't hurt her. I have a good idea what she's going through— losing control like that."

"You better."

Gene calms himself down for a few moments before going back to his usual tone. After he gives a sigh, he gives what he knows. It's likely repeat information when it comes to the girl, but the future is at stake, doesn't hurt to repeat.

"I've known her for awhile now. Before this stupid war started… As for the powers, she wasn't showing them when I knew her before the war," Gene sighs as he rubs his head. "From what I gathered, her powers seem to be tied to her emotions. I met back up with her and actually went out on a date with her right before Jack was taken. Crappy timing, I know, but that's my life," the geek offers before drowning his sorrows in Cheerwine. Setting the can down, he glances back up to Peter. "It seemed that when she was calm and happy, the wind around her died down. When she was upset, it went all crazy. It seems to take effort for her to control it. Regardless of the cause, she's a sweet girl whose been through a lot. I don't want her being hurt anymore, alright?"

Secretly, Peter is relieved he didn't just end up getting slugged by a one armed man. But we'll leave it there. He relaxes a little, but nods. He's not planning to hurt her. Another h-word is the one he's hoping for. "She said her abilities went away for a while— and when they came back suddenly is when the tornado happened. And after that her abilities were hard to control— more hairtriggered. If you already know her back in my time, maybe I can get you to help me contact her— so she's not as afraid." It'll be weird for him to just waltz up to a girl and tell her that she's going to destroy half the city— But if she waltzes up with someone she knows and tells her he wants to help… maybe it'll be different. "I'm hoping— that if this goes right— she'll never have to go through everything that she has here." And hey, dating is nice. She seemed like a sweet girl. Who's to say they can't do that again two years ago?

Thankfully for Pete, Gene has his 'fighting' arm off. Even if he was slugged, it would at least be flesh. Still, the news makes him think. "They went away and then suddenly came back?" Gene frowns. He has no idea what could cause that. Hopefully, the young geek will never be forced to be familiar with the in's and out's of a 'bag and tag'. "Well, in my time, Ramon wanted me to look for traffic footage of a girl that he claimed did some wind stuff. Knowing it's her would mean I could avoid doing another federal crime for a Gomez." Of course, Peter will likely think he means doing something for Elena as a Saint, not that 'Prometheus' was helping 'Pandora'.

Finishing up the Patties and the second Cheerwine, Gene tries to close the jar with one hand. Finding it too hard, he merely passes it to Pete to do. "As I said with Sylar, I'd be more than willing to help you with Evelyn. While I'm not sure if I know her address when you'll go back, I'll be able to find it easily enough and work out a plan. It might be my pride… But I like to think I'm good with plans or helping with them at least."

"I have her address— and her phone number— Unless I leave my wallet behind in the future, that's covered. No need to break federal laws for a Gomez or a Petrelli," Peter's smiling again, maybe understanding some of what the man means. He knows about the hospital hack, though she never said names or said it was him, and there's plenty of illegal activities they've done here— just in the month he's been there. Now he stands up again, closing his bottle of water. "I'll get your help— Already planning to get the help of everyone here on this— as much as I can. As much as you're willing to help." Because he can't do it alone. "Do you got any games? Like— video games, or something? I'm probably not going to get anymore sleep tonight, and there's only so much training I can handle…" And games are fun, right?

Whatever's happening in the kitchen now, it's about to get interrupted by a bottle-wielding Scotsman. The bottle itself is empty with a pale film on the inside to show that it's been recently emptied. He's only here to wash it. Dressed in only boxers and some half-assed bandages on his face, Lachlan squints sleepily with his good eye at the two men in the room, then raises the bottle indicatively and mutters something incomprehensible as he makes for the sink.

Getting up slowly, Gene just begins the work of reattaching his arm. He attacks the hardwired nerves back into the proper sockets, wincing a little as he gets a small shock here and there as the body's nerves are matched with artificial muscles. Focusing on his work, the inventor replies, "I have a ton of emulated games. Almost every game made for Dreamcast, N64, Super NES, and Nintendo. Can make an air hockey table in twenty minutes if you wanted." Testing the fingers of his artifical arm, Gene glances over toward Peter. "As for help? You'll have it if you ask Gene for it. If you could take stuff back though, I might have a flash drive of stuff to hand you. After all, wouldn't want all my research to go to waste, you know?" he offers with a large grin. He pauses for a moment. "Wait, that won't screw up time and space more than usual, rig-?" Gene's question stops as he sees Lachlan. He's silent as he just looks toward Peter, his expression looking a bit concerned. He hasn't talked to Lachlan, but he figures it's smarter that way.

"I don't think it'd be cheating— but it's probably not a good idea." Peter's not sure how much he should take back that's superficial. Though he's already taking back quite a few things anyway. "Maybe we could…" He'd like to continue that, but then Lachlan enters and… he notices the state of his bandages, and then looks back at Gene. "Actually I think I should… stay here a bit longer. Maybe I'll stop by your lab and you can give me something that… you think'll help. As long as it's not too much of a cheat." Just a little cheat. "Hey… Lachlan…" He starts towards the man who he failed, looking guilty and worried. He even reaches out to try and touch his arm. "You feeling okay?"

The water in the sink runs, rinsing out the bottle, and then Lachlan sets it aside on a towel. When he feels a hand on his arm, he pulls it out of reach. Don't touch. "'M fine," he grunts rather neutrally, if not groggily. Once the bottle is finished with, he goes in search of a drink to help him sleep, too. Surely there's alcohol in this joint.

The inventor will likely want to have a talk with Peter about that later, but sadly, fate will likely have him to back in time before he time travels. "Take it easy, Peter. See you if you get down there. Take it easy too, Lachl," Gene offers with a weak smile before walks down to the lab. Been an odd week, but seems like he won't be having to worry about it for long.

"I'll take it easy." Or, as easy as he can, at least. It's a response to the technological savant, but the empathic mimic puts his full attention onto the older man in the room now. The one with hamburger for a face. There's alcohol, yes, but Peter's hoping to do something a little better for him. With his hand on the man's arm, he thinks back to a hospital room, a young woman in a hazmat suit, and a injured woman who had cut her hand. Who they both healed. This time, though, he's trying to heal away the damage left behind by the bomb that killed the man's wife. Or at least the series of bombs that did the job. His hand grows warm, and he knows it's working. And working pretty well, for a change.

"Yeah, take care, Gene," responds Lachlan flatly as he searches for something alcoholic. It helps physical pain as well as emotional — but the former seems to be disappearing already. Huh. That's weird. Soon he finds that he's actually seeing the bandages around his face and blinks once, twice, before he brings up his free hand to pull them down and feel the freshly healed skin there. He frowns at Peter's hand on his arm, then at the man's face. "Thanks," he mutters.

"…That worked," Peter says with a notably tired sigh. Unlke some of his other attempts to heal… this one succeeded. He takes in a slow breath, and lets go of the arm, stepping back a few steps. To lean on the counter. He's not passing out, but that still winded him quite a bit. Not the easiest power. He should find the doctor that he got it from— get to know how she uses it. It might help. "You're welcome. Least I can do…" Since he'd failed with everything else. "There's… whiskey in that cabinet," he points towards the one he knows of.

Lachlan heads to the cabinet pointed out to him, retrieves the bottle, and then goes for some glasses, grunting out another "thanks". Or at least it sounds like it could be a thanks. Hard to tell. He doesn't seem to be bitter, and he isn't. The Scot is mainly just sore and hurt and dealing with his loss now. He sits down and pours himself a drink, then pauses and raises an eyebrow at Peter. "Y'want one?"

"Yeah, a glass won't hurt anything," Peter says, moving to sit back down at the breakfast counter, which could easily double as a bar. He still has his bottle of water. One drink really won't hurt anything, will it? "Sorry I didn't— do that earlier…" He had to have his flip out, and then he got distracted— and then he avoided facing him because of his failure. Which caused his flip out. "Guess I'll be going back soon— fix all of this."

A second glass is poured and nudged over to Peter before Lachlan takes a gulp from his own. He waves off the apology. Honestly, if Peter hadn't done it, he wouldn't have cared. He wasn't going to ask for it. At the mention of going back to fix all of it, the Scot nods a little and peers down at his whiskey. Fix it. That's what he was supposed to do before, but Cass still died. "Figured out wha' ta do, then?"

"Looks like it fixed your eye, too— I was worried it wouldn't," Peter admits, even if the apology had been pretty much ignored. At least it worked. The whiskey only gets a small drink for the moment. "I know a little— the cause of the tornados— and I might try to fight Sylar earlier. Maybe I beat him before things get too bad." It wouldn't hurt to try— even if he's pretty sure he'd fail at it. "Thinking of— maybe I should try and go after the one here— if I can't even find him. Just— maybe getting rid of him'll make this world a little better before I leave." And Elena's not here right now. She's picking up her step-mom. This makes him reckless.

There's a derisive snort from the Scotsman. "Wha' bloody good's tha' gonna do if yer a'ready leavin' anyway?" Seems rather pointless to him. Then again, he hopes that Peter's leaving will make everything cease to exist. And if that's the case, he will cease to exist too. Then it will just be himself and Cass in a happier time. "S'just gonna run the risk o' gettin' yerself killed b'fore ye can go back an' fix ever'thin'."

"I dunno. Might not do anything. But…" Peter looks down at the glass. "In some ways it might be better if everything just… vanished… when I left. Ceased to exist… but then there's… a few things that…" He sighs. He'd been about to enter a good mood, and only one drink of whiskey later and he's already feeling too serious for his own good. He's seen too much here— done too much here— to just want it all to completely disappear when he leaves. "Before I leave I want to… see things get a little better. For the people that— I'm leaving behind." Which probably is mostly including one person, really. Love has a funny way of creating tunnel vision.

Another gulp of whiskey and Lachlan emits another soft grunt. Abby is one thing he wouldn't change about now. There are a few other things he wishes he had done before now as well. Things he'd done earlier that wouldn't have altered the way things happened now, but would have made him feel better. "Best thing ye can do fer the people here is ta fix wha's happenin' back then. Then s'no' gonna matter if Sylar's still alive now. Mebbe ye'll really've killed 'im." He shakes his head some and runs a hand over his face again. "Ye wanna kill 'im now, though, ye'd better take someone along tha'll make sure ye get out o' there alive." No, he's not suggesting himself, either.

"But— what about the people I'm leaving here? Elena…" Peter's voice trails off. Yeah, he's got some tunnel vision. The idea of her just— ceasing to exist really seems to bother him. And the man's daughter to, come to think of it. But he's afraid to mention that. "Well— I can't exactly leave the building unless Elena says so… and as long as she's gone picking up her step-mom— I can't even go looking yet." And he's not sure when she's going to get back. He's pretty worried this fine morning/late late evening. "I'm not going to die— I have to go back. I just thought that… I dunno."

"Though' ye'd get in a bit o' revenge." Lachlan can understand that. He's done it more than enough times in his life. "Ye wanna do it, fine. 'F it'll make ye feel better." Honestly, he doesn't seem to care one way or the other. Deep down, though, the Scot would love to see Sylar dead. Very dead. He hasn't forgotten what the man did to his sister, and with everything else he's lost, there's still that little spark in Lachlan that rages. It's small and almost overwhelmed by a broken heart, but it's still there. "Hey, look. When ye go back, can ye take somethin' fer me?"

"Not revenge, really, just…" It's hard to explain. Peter shakes his head, abandoning his attempts to describe this, as he downs another drink of the whiskey. It's not felt yet, but but will be soon. When the man asks his question, he puts the glass down and nods, "Sure— I'm already going to try to take a few things back as it is. Can't make any promises if it's too big, and— hopefully I won't have to teleport out fast. But I can probably take whatever you need me to. What is it?"

"S'nothin' big— " at least not physically big "— s'just a letter an' a picture." Lachlan downs the rest of his drink and rises from the stool. "Hang on." Without waiting, he limps out of the kitchen and disappears for several minutes. When he finally returns, he carries with him an unsealed and unmarked envelope. Out of this, he withdraws a picture: a delivery room scene featuring an exhausted-looking Cass cradling newborn Abby, and a rather giddy-looking Lachlan hovering over her. "Just wanted ye ta give these ta me 'r Cass when ye get back," he states as he holds them out.

The rest of Peter's drink is disposed of quickly, and he picks up the discarded glasses and rinses them out. Might as well be clean about it. The glasses are already sitting upside down to dry and get more thoroughly cleaned later when… the other man returns. A letter and a picture. He won't even ask what they're on. Or what the letter is about. They're not for him. They're for Cass and Lachlan. When he sees the picture, there's a sudden inhale, and for a moment— his eyes are watering. That doesn't go away, but he blinks and at least nothing comes spilling out. "Okay," is all he can really manage, and even that sounds tense. Deep breath. He can't start crying right here. He reaches up to take the letter and the picture, with no intention to read anything. Not for him. And he'd probably start crying if he did read it anyway.

There's no tearing up on Lachlan's behalf. He's already cried himself dry by now. Instead, he simply smiles faintly and bobs his head. "Thanks." Then he gives Peter a good solid and friendly slap on the shoulder. "'M gonna try ta get some sleep while Abby's down." Try being the key phrase. He hasn't been doing much of that whole 'sleep' thing since Cass died. It's hard to adjust to sleeping alone after spending two years in the same bed with someone else. "Take care o' yerself, Pete."

It's almost scary. Lachlan had been the first person to really greet him happily he came into this timeline. With a hug, even. Peter hesitates a moment, and then actually moves to return the favor, hugging the other man firmly. A guy-hug. And he's certainly not crying. Just almost. He'll cry when he's alone. "Get some sleep. Maybe I can… give you hand with her tomorrow." He likes kids, and at least he can get to hold her finally. That's why he'd been with Cass that day. To hold the baby again. "Take care, Lach," he adds, pulling back to let the other man go. To sleep alone.

Lachlan seems a little taken aback by the hug, but only a little. He returns it without hesitation, adding a pat to Peter's back before pulling away again. "Sure," he states with a much more prominent smile before he turns and heads out of the kitchen again.

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