2008-03-18: Time For The Twilight Zone

Starring:

Kory_icon.gif FuturePeter_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif Sophie_icon.gif

Summary: Sometimes strange things show up in comic book stores. Strange and cryptic things.

Date It Happened: March 18, 2008

Time For The Twilight Zone


The Secret Lair

Kory is sitting behind the counter today, much to the dismay of KeLyssa and Tito. Because staying home alone in the apartment is disturbing. And she's already wandered the city on the train. And Randall's at work. So she's working. Even though everybody else is giving her the politely averted eyes when she's looking up and gazing worriedly at her when she's not. Chewbacca is sitting at the mouth of the counter, dozing, protectively. Even Panthro, who rarely comes out of the warm window display, seems to be concerned. He headbutts Kory's fingers while she reads something off the laptop screen.

Sophie pushes open the door, dressed casually for a shift. She looks surprised, while entering, to see Kory sitting at the desk. She waves, yes, gloves on, and she smiles, "Hey there. Wow, did the doctor clear you to work?"

Kory looks up, guiltily. "Dr. Volleyball said that if I felt up to it, I could come back. And if I got tired, I should stop." Though she's telling the truth, she doesn't expect to be believed, given her sidelong glance at Tito, who whistles and starts rifling through the discount action figures.

Sophie looks a little skeptical, herself. But she says, "Well, its still good to see you, anyway." with a cheery smile. "But.." playing 'momma' a bit, "You can always at least sit down if you start getting a little tired, ok?"

The door that Sophie pushed open stays open for a moment longer than it should. It closes behind her. A few moments later, all of the usual comic book geeks suddenly start to put down their comic books, their roleplaying guides and other geek-things and start to leave, stepping out the door. A moment later, something, or someone, turns the closed sign around. A click locks the door.

"I am sitting down," Kory assures Sophie, standing up to prove she was sitting, then sitting back down again. "I'm fine, Sophie, honestly. I'm not made of glass, and I can manage one shift in the weeks since I got released." She blinks as the guys start filing out all orderly. "…Guys? Something I said?" She makes the geek body language for 'do I offend?' sniffing self-consciously at an armpit.

Sophie turns at Kory's comment, blinking as she notices the shop seems pretty empty. "What on earth?" she looks at Kory, "Is there a new Star Trek movie out or something?"

"It wasn't you," a voice rasps, though there's no one visibly there for a moment. Once the door is securely locked, someone does fade into sight. If it wasn't for the fact they would both recognize him, this man might be a suspected cosplayer, who happens to turn invisible. The long black coat looks like something out of the Matrix, and the scar across his face looks much like one of many video game characters. Except for the scar, the sudden growth of stubble, and the slicked back hair, Peter looks much the same as they'd remember him last. "I told them to come back in an hour."

Kory shakes her head. "No. The next Star Trek movie isn't until next year. After Watchmen, even. Nothing geeky is due out until Memorial Day. Maybe a 'Lost' special is on tonight?" she muses. She falls silent, though, as a voice speaks out of nowhere, and stiffens, white-knuckling. Until she can see him. "Peter! You're safe!" Forget sitting. Forget taking it easy. Kory vaults the counter to fling herself bodily at him, intending to hug him. "They said you were — but you're here! You're okay…"

Sophie takes a moment to recognize, but.. well, the time she met him was pretty memorable, even if he doesn't look quite the same. She breaks into a smile, though, at Kory's reaction. "Oh, thank goodness!" she gasps, "We were all so WORRIED about you."

There's a pause. Peter tilts his head a bit, looking from one of the women to the other, before he settles on Kory. "I wouldn't say I'm safe, but I'm in one piece," he says with a mild shake of his head. "I'm not the Peter you know. I'm from four years in the future."

Kory fetches up, short, as she gets a better look at Peter. No. It's not Peter. Not the Peter she knows. Her Peter has no scar. He could heal before anything would scar. This isn't …and then he explains. "The future is not so bright you gotta wear shades," she says. The phrasing is jokey, but her expression indicates she can see clearly there's no humor to be had here. "Okay, future boy," she says, taking a step back and another until she's got her back against the counter. "What's going on?"

Chewbacca pads forward and sits beside Kory, scenting the air. He can't seem to decide if he should wag his tail or growl.

Sophie just stops still, and stares, "You are /what/?" then she rubs her head, "This town is giving me a headache." she says with humor. "Time travel now?"

"No, it's not too bright," Peter says, then nods his head toward the door. "If it gives you too much a headache, you can leave. You don't need to be involved in this." He moves a little closer to the girl in the comic book shop. "I need your help. Have you regained your ability yet?"

Kory smiles tightly at Sophie. "You'll get used to it eventually," she tells her friend. Then her attention returns to Peter. "I …haven't tried again since I exhausted myself trying to find you a few days ago. But it doesn't feel like I have it back. I'm still sleeping six or eight hours a day…" she stops herself, since she knows Peter knows she doesn't need sleep when her power's up.

Sophie shakes her head, "Its ok, well, unless I'm in the way." she looks at Kory, then ohhhs, "That's how you couldn't get in touch…"

The rather stern version of Peter glances back at Sophie and shakes his head, "You're not in the way, but it has to be your choice to stay or not." There's a raspy sound to his voice, before he looks back at the former dreamwalker. "You'll get it back. But even without that, you're still good with people. If you can organize an attempt to rescue me, you can organize something more worthwhile."

Kory blushes. "I didn't organize that. It was mostly Sophie's idea. I…" she ducks her head, shamed, but honest. "When Niki said it'd take an army…I didn't know what to do." She gestures with a hand at Sophie. "Sophie's the one who encouraged me to try." She shrugs. "But …what do you need until it comes back?" If a Peter from the future assures her it will return, she at least takes comfort in that knowledge.

Sophie blushes a bit at that. "I.. well, we both really did it." she says, firmly, "Both of us. And if I can help, I want to try." she says, decisively. "I just don't want to do more harm than good."

"I wasn't sure who organized it," Peter says, glancing toward Sophie for a moment as if watching her a little more carefully. "Continuing to try and rescue me won't help anything. It's a distraction that takes you away from the bigger threat." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a card. One that looks just like a certain card that got handed to them recently. Only it's for the company itself, and not an individual employee. "Pinehearst. What they're working on will make a future where you won't need shades."

Kory listens, and takes a card. "Pinhearst?" She exchanges a look with Sophie. "Okay. What do you need from me, Peter?" It's that simple in the Kory lexicon it'd appear. This is Peter. Who doesn't want to be from a dark future, for want of a better phrase. She trusts Peter. "Whatever you need, I'm in."

While tensions mount inside the store, an unaware Randall walks up outside, looking an inch shorter than usual thanks a VCU Rams hat— the job of the month involves hawking clothes to sports fans. He tries the door, to no effect except a metallic rattle, then knocks a couple times and squints to see what's going on.

Sophie pauses and she says, "That.. I've heard of that before." she frowns, it was so long ago. She digs in her purse, finding her wallet, then she produces a rather ragged business card. "Here! It was some guy.. I met him in the park. He said he knew about special abilities, wanted to help me find out about mine." as she offers Mohinder's card to Kory and Peter.

Kory blinks, as the knock sounds. It can't have been an hour already. She goes to the door, apology forming on her lips, "Sorry we're—" but it stops, and she opens the door to let Randall in. "You've met Peter," she says, by way of quick getting-everybody-up-to-speed. "This is him from …well, four years in the future." She's already closed and latched the door again, and this time pulled the windowshades down so nobody can peer in on them.

"That's the same company," Peter says with a thick voice, looking at the card, hearing the story of someone who handed it over. It isn't immediately assumed he recognizes the person who gave the card, and he passes it on to Kory. Only to see the door open and… his eyes narrow. The Peter from the present day isn't this unfriendly, but he doesn't seem particularly pleased that Randall's been brought in for the moment. "I can't tell you too much. I don't know when things happen, or how they happen yet. But focusing on them and not me is important."

The current day Peter knows how important Randall is to Kory, so Kory will expect this one to at least accept that after recent events she wants him here. And that if she's let him in, she trusts him implicitly. "I know someone who gave me a card like this too. She helped save my life."

Randall reaches out to rest fingertips against Kory's arm for a moment, then turns to regard Peter, his eyes narrowing in curiosity rather than annoyance. "I thought things looked a little greener than usual," he murmurs, promptly opening up a new category in the back of his mind. But, since all time travelers are presumably on Important Missions: "Which company is this?" He leans over and squints at the logo, offering a shrug. "And is this a good them or a bad them?"

Sophie gets to brass tacks, if she can. "What do you need us to do about Pinehearst?"

"Pinehearst. They're a biotech firm," Peter explains, looking back at Kory as she praises a woman who would give the same card. "Not everyone who works for them is bad. A lot of them don't know what their company is really doing." There's a pause at Sophie's question, as if he's thinking of the right way to answer it. "I don't know yet. At this point, I don't have the information to give you to do anything that isn't going to get all of you killed, and I don't want that. The most important thing you can do… is not trust them. Don't fall for their pitch." There's a moment, where he settles his jaw. "And you can not try to rescue me."

Kory nods thoughtfully. "I …had that feeling, really. You…the other you…you told me to be careful of anybody trying to get me to join up with them." She bites her lower lip, looking deeply chagrined at being told not to rescue Peter. "But we have a plan. To get ahold of one of the Company and get him to tell us all about it…" she trails off, helplessly.

Sophie nods, saying, "I can't.." she closes her eyes, tightly as she takes a deep breath, "We had a plan, but.. we are supposed to avoid some company, and know they are bad, and not try to rescue you. Is there any sort of.." her eyes open, perhaps a little shinier than usual, but she is calm for now, "active thing we can do to help?"

Randall makes a sour face. "I heard a capital C in there… that never spells good things." He's still trying to place the first name given out, without much luck; Charlotte mentioned it once, but only in passing, and she was talking to someone else at the time. "So trying to rescue you now would— what, cause a paradox? Get us hurt?" He looks to Sophie, now. "No offense, Peter, but do we know it's really you? The kind of people we run into sometimes, they could try to impersonate you or something."

"You don't know it's me," Peter says, shaking his head, but not seeming to mind that they don't know. "I can't tell you what to do. Not yet. I mostly came here to keep you from trying to rescue me. If you want to continue to do it, I can't stop you." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a card. Nondescript. It just has a phone number on it. It's different from Peter's current number. Or what should have been his current number. No name, no symbols. "I'll contact you when I can tell you more."

Kory steps forward. "We'll give it some thought. We'll take what you said to heart." She regards him with solemn, overbright eyes. "I know you will, Peter. Be safe until we get this sorted out, okay? I'm not letting you out of your promise." She gives him a quick, tight hug before stepping back, a hand over her eyes.

Sophie takes a breath, and she says, "I want to make sure. If we decide to not help you, and we avoid these Pinehearst people, or don't believe them if they tell us something, is there /anything/ else.. active, or positive we can do to help?"

Randall inclines his head to Peter. Since Sophie covered the one other question in the front of his mind, he wanders over toward the door instead, making sure that no one's trying to eavesdrop. Never hurts to check these things, right?

The hug actually seems to take Peter aback for a moment. He straightens and doesn't return it, looking at the woman when he finally steps back as if she did something rather odd for him. Maybe he's not getting many hugs in the future. "I'm not the Peter you know," he adds again, addressing a promise that he might have already broken. "I can't tell you what I don't know. I don't know what you can do at this point. I don't know when things will happen. But I can tell you what they're trying to do."

He pauses a moment, looking at each of them, then at the comics. "Pinehearst is creating a formula that will give anyone abilities." And with that said, he disappears, vanishing from the store.

"That future is not one I want to live in," Kory says, decisively, watching the door close behind him. "If it could do that to him. Peter Petrelli's heart is as big as all outdoors. That man's heart was all walled up."

Sophie shakes her head, "Maybe the idea is to change him, by changing what happened to him." she looks at you two. "He seemed pretty sure about not rescuing him."

Randall rubs his chin. "Certain. Not pushy… maybe he figured that pushing us too hard would seem more suspicious. I guess the next question is, do we tell Charlotte about this or not? I've got to believe we can trust her, at least." Of course he trusts her, she saved his girlfriend just last month!

"I'm thinking she can be trusted too," Kory muses, "But the problem is she could be doing all this stuff specifically so we will trust her. Circles inside circles." She shrugs. "This is giving me a headache. We are no better off now than we were before he showed." She stalks to the counter to get her coat.

Sophie shakes her head, muttering, 'Think I should talk to Hiro? Maybe he knows more.'

Randall shakes his head. "We should keep an eye out for that, but unless some specific evidence turns up, I wouldn't worry about it any more than that. I mean, we could come up with any number of layers of conspiracy if we wanted."

"Yeah, but…!" Kory makes a frustrated little noise. "Do we rescue Peter or do we listen to this guy and not rescue Peter?"

Sophie mutters, "DAMN. I don't know. I mean, I don't know if I can just stand here and NOT try, at least try." she sighs. "And the only other thing is just avoid this Pinehearst?" she looks over, thinking, "Which is reminding me of that guy from that superhero movie. You know, who said 'When everyone is special…'"

"'…no one will be.'" Randall shrugs. "The reality would be way more complicated… but back to the point, he didn't tell us not to ask someone else to rescue him. Unless he did before I came in?"

Kory shivers. "Syndrome. Because he was jealous of the powers. 'When everyone is special, no one will be'." She shakes her head. "He was crazy. This Peter looked and sounded like Peter, but one who'd also been through hell. But I don't think he was crazy." She squeezes her eyes shut; clearly the idea of him lost to insanity is something she doesn't want to consider too closely. She glances at Randall. "No. But Charlotte was already gonna give it a go anyway…once we got a little more information from the Company."

Sophie shakes her head, "No, I don't think this Peter is Syndrome.. but Pinehearst seems to be acting that way." she shakes her head, "I don't know… I can understand why some might feel its a good idea. We may not seem like freaks if everyone can, and less jealousy, from those who want it. But some would want power for bad reasons." she sighs, "Maybe.. I guess it might be bad to look for information if we aren't going through with it. I mean.. the way we would get it, it seems like it'd be a 'no turning back now' point."

Randall wanders the aisles, a form of pacing. "Just knowing something probably won't force our hand." His gaze flickers across one row of titles after another, looking for anything that will offer ideas, however remote. "Our choices could be limited, but we could still pick between acting ourselves or having someone else do so. Unless maybe they're just about to kill him… but it'd be at least as likely to find out they already had, wouldn't it?" A much worse paradox, if so.

This conversation is doing nothing for Kory's peace of mind. She shrugs into her coat. "How about you too mull it over and tell me whatever you decide on. I think I'm going to go get a really big cup of hot chocolate, hide under the covers, and maybe see if I can reach this Peter again." She favors Randall with a kiss, unmindful of the PDA, since Future Peter emptied the store save the four of them. "You'll come by tonight to tuck me in?"

Sophie pauses, then slaps her head. She says, "We COULD have known who he is." she sighs, "If we talk to him again.. umm.. I could see if he lets me find out." as she remembers what she can do.

Randall leans over, wrapping his arms around Kory for a couple of precious seconds. Leave us alone, world, we got important business here. "Sure. Call me if you think of anything I should bring over?" Then he returns his attention to Sophie, mulling over what he knows of her ability. "Maybe… but that could be dangerous on its own. If you learned too much about the future, even if it's just a possible future…"

Sophie nods and she sighs, "I guess. I mean, I've watched the Twilight Zone.. I suppose that could be bad. I can be selective, just look for if he is who he says he is."

"Or if he remembers something that happened in our past." Randall finally gives up on perusing the shelves, making for the exit instead. "Well, you've got my number if anything new comes up, right? I think I've got yours." And they've probably both got Kory's, too, just in case something got entered wrong again.

Sophie nods as she says, "Ok." she sighs, "This was complicated enough before. Well, I suppose it isn't my decision to make, though. I'll just find out what I can, and come back to you guys, ok?"

Randall turns, leaning against the side of the door frame, slipping his hands into his pockets. "Sounds good. I'm gonna head out myself, I'm out of ideas for now." And he's got a Kory to go attend to, before she goes exploring again.

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