2007-02-21: Visions Of Yet To Come


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A young man with hidden potential comes to the Foundation looking for scholarship money and is unknowingly present for Rianna's revelation of Isaac Mendez's paintings through Jane's thoughts. Note: As per usual, Rianna's telepathy is captured in parantheses.

Date It Happened: February 21st, 2007

Visions Of Yet To Come

Midtown, NYC - Rianna's Office - Foundation Building

Arianna Rockford-Johannsen is sitting behind her desk on a cell phone with a pair of reading glasses perched on the end of her nose when her assistant shows T.C. in. Not acknowledging him vocally for the moment, she gestures to one of the seats. "That will be fine. It's very important that we get into contact with him before Bob does. We can't afford to let them find out about that…", she says, looking up at T.C. "…that asset. I trust you'll handle this one discreetly. Call me later.", she says, finishing and closing the cellphone. Then she smiles and stands up from her desk. "You must be Mr. Davis.", she says cordially, extending a hand to him from across the desk. "Arianna Johannsen. I understand that you applied for one of our Foundation Scholarships."

"Yes'm." T.C. looks somewhat nervous as he stands to shake Arianna's hand; the teenager's smile is shaky as well. School, he has no problems with. Interviews are cause for jangling nerves. He rubs slightly clammy palms against the fabric of his khaki pants as he sits back down. "Thank you for meeting with me, Ms. Johannsen." Fidget. Fidget. His mind pages through mental notes of how to behave in an interview — he googled tips beforehand! Somehow, though, they are hard to remember just now. And so he just smiles. Nervously.

"It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, young man.", Rianna says, leaning back in her chair. She gives T.C. a once-over before taking the reading glasses from her nose and setting them down on the desk. "So, my people tell me that you have applied for money to supplement your current loans. I took a moment to look over the student record you submitted. Impressive. Very impressive.", she says, leaning back in her chair. "Columbia University is a very prestigious school. Pricey.", she says, focusing her eyes on him. "How much money are you looking for?"

A female figure appears in the office doorway. Clad in a charcoal grey woman's business suit with skirt and complementary pumps, Jane stands there and quietly waits to be acknowledged before entering. She, it seems, paused at the sight of a person with her and decided not to interrupt for the moment. A pensive expression rests upon her face.

T.C.'s hands fall to his lap. One leg bounces up and down with rapid, restless motion. "My family's sort've all " (Geeks), supplies his mind, although aloud he finishes, " academics. It was — in the genes. And I — well, financial aid from the university covers about half my tuition with loans and all, but —" There is hesitation, the awkward discomfort that often accompanies discussing finances, in those who are unaccustomed to doing so. "I mean, I'm just trying to take some of the load off my parents with the other half of it." The newcomer at the door prompts a fresh wave of nervousness from the shy teenager; T.C. half-turns in his chair to look at her, quizzical.

Rianna smiles as T.C. talks, turning towards Jane and nodding slightly as she enters. "That's very admirable, Mr. Davis. Just a moment.", she says, focusing her attention on Jane. "An unexpected pleasure, Doctor Forrest. Something on your mind?", she inquires lightly.

"You could say that," Jane replies with a chuckle as she takes a few steps forward to enter properly. "It's good to see you, Rianna, but don't let me interrupt your in progress meeting. I'd not want to detract from Mr. Davis and his time with you." She flashes a quiet smile, and returns to silence. In her mind, things aren't at all silent. There are flashes of several paintings, an asian man with glasses and a sword, a dark haired young woman, and a name. Sylar.

"Oh, I —" T.C.'s lip catches briefly between his teeth, and he shrugs one shoulder. "I'm sure if you need to — I can wait." He lapses into silence. One hand slips into his pocket, fingers curling around a twenty-sided die that the rolls absently in his palm. Some people have security blankets.

Rianna smiles. "Oh, I'm sure that it's no tr…", she says, pausing as Sylar's name goes through Jane's mind. Her eyes widen for just a fraction of a second before she assumes a more pleasant exterior in front of mixed company, feigning a cough. "My apologies.", she says. "Laura, cancel my appointments for the rest of the day.", she calls out to her assistant. "Please have a seat, Doctor. I'll be with you shortly.", she says, turning back to T.C. "My apologies. No need to wait, you're already here.", she says. "Your files indicate that you're headed towards medical school. What manner of medicine are you going to study?", she says.

In Jane's mind, (How did you come across the name Sylar?)

She takes a seat before the desk and crosses her legs at the ankle, palms coming to rest in her lap while her eyes focus on a part of the office decor. Without speaking, she proceeds to relate information she's come across recently. ("It was a few days ago. I was staying at a… friend's place and he was out to 'help a friend', as he put it. Some time later, an asian man with a sword suddenly appeared and dropped seven paintings in tubes on the couch. On me. I spread them out and started to study them. Not long after that the asian reappeared with a young dark haired woman I think was involved in seizing a woman at Central Park and attacking a man's family with fire. My friend returned soon after he appeared. The asian man calls himself Hiro Nakamura. He looked at a painting with an older woman in it, a cut in her forehead from some unknown source, and spoke the name Sylar. Mr. Nakamura said he believed he'd killed Sylar, but if he's in paintings he must be alive. The art allegedly predicts the future.")

T.C., meanwhile, just continues to roll the die in his palm, nervousness slightly dampened by the familiar shape in his hand. "Neuroscience," he replies, blissfully unaware of the mental conversation going on between the other two. "The — the brain sort of fascinates me." He looks down at his lap as he speaks, rather than up at Rianna, his voice quiet although he does his best not to mumble. "Just so much — potential."

Rianna takes a curious stare at T.C. as he mentions the potential in the brain. "Indeed, T.C. The fact that the average human being doesn't utilize more than a tenth of it in their lifetime, we need more bright individuals like yourself to help explore the depth of our potential.", she says, the expression on her face forced at this moment as Jane's unspoken news dominates her thoughts. "Well, Mr. Davis. I have to tell you that when we received your application, our committee that oversees financial disbursements brought your file directly to my attention. Columbia is an expensive university, but you aren't the only Foundation beneficiary that is attending Columbia right now. It would probably also be nice if you didn't graduate from medical school with a lifetime's worth of loan debt. I know this hasn't been the interview that you thought it would be, but you might say that I'm quite adept at seeing the potential in people. I think that, for the first year, our Foundation will offer you full tuition along with costs, and a small paid internship." To Jane… (Just a few moments, Jane. Your situation is more complicated than you can imagine.)

Jane continues to display the neutral expression, letting her eyes wander over the decor as T. C.'s interview is conducted, glancing at him and Rianna only briefly from time to time. It's only when he's informed of the Foundation's generosity that she speaks, a smile coming to her face. "Congratulations, Mr. Davis. Best of success in the Ivy League!" Internally, however, it's a different story. ("Oh, I know this quite complex. Sorry to disturb, I… I'll try not to think so much.") And she does just that.

"It — I — you —" T.C. stammers, his eyes wiiide with surprise. Grateful surprise. His mental scape is not much more eloquent, thoughts a mass of shock and amazement. "The whole — I don't — don't even know what to say, ma'am, I — thank you." His fingers close tightly around the die in his hands, but this does not stop a brief, brief flickering of the lights in the room, in time with the teenager's surprise. His accompanying wince is inward, showing in his mind but not his expression. "That's — really generous. I'm — thank you. /Thank you/." Internally his thoughts race from reaction to reaction — (Have to tell my folks, they'll be thrilled. — Won't they? — They'll be ecstatic. They'll be /suspicious/. They're always — /Potential/, she said. — I'm getting as paranoid as they are. She means academic. /Academic/ potential. That's all. My grades have always been great. I finished high school two years early. That's /all/.)

Rianna's eyes widen once again as the lights flicker and T.C.'s thoughts come forward, then her expression blanks once again. "You're welcome, Mr. Davis. Of course, I will indeed be expecting a substantial return in the Foundation's investment into your future, young man. Without the stress of finding funding, I expect you to devote that extra time to your studies, and then we will meet after your next academic year to look over your progress and discuss future funding.", she says, a smile crossing her features as she finishes. "It is a moment like this that makes my day worthwhile. Don't you think, Doctor Forrest?"

"I do indeed," Jane agrees with enthusiasm. "I was very grateful I didn't need to worry about how my own Ivy League education would be paid for, it can only be exhilarating to provide that for someone else." She moves her gaze between one and the other, a broad smile showing on her features, the woman not seeming to have noticed any change in the lighting.

"Of — of course. I mean, I — yes. I mean —" Stray thoughts acknowledge that the awkward young teenager has no social life to speak of — (What else would I do /but/ study?) — perhaps a large portion of the explanation for his impeccable grades. T.C. smiles brightly, the expression softening his serious features. "If it makes /your/ day worthwhile, ma'am, I — I think it's made my whole year. I think it's made my whole /future/."

"That's why we're here, Mr. Davis.", Rianna says, standing up from her chair. "We'll be keeping in touch, young man. About the internship and all. My assistant will be keeping in touch with you to coordinate your financial situation. Congratulations.", she says.

T.C. gets up from his chair, all bright smile and bright energy at this unexpected generosity. "Thank you," he says again, shaking Jane's hand, and is starting for the door before he turns, flustered, to extend his hand towards Rianna as well in belated remembrance of his manners. "Sorry, I — thank you." Focused when it comes to his studies, maybe, but somewhat scatterbrained outside the classroom.

T.C.'s smile is infectious, and Rianna reaches out to shake his hand. "Just remember how happy you are now when you're buried neck deep in course work, papers, and lab work.", she says.

Not seeming to have anything to add, Jane returns to silence, still smiling her encouragement to the recently funded student.

T.C. laughs at this. "I'll put this feeling in a box," he says, cheerfully, "and save it for exam periods." And then he is gone! — albeit not quite that quickly. He stumbles on his way out the door, over nothing more than his own feet, but catches himself with a sheepish smile and a furious blush. "Sorry. I — thanks! Bye." Okay. /Now/ he is gone. For real.

<Exit T.C.>

Rianna smiles to T.C. as she goes over to shut the double doors leading out into the floor proper. "Now. Jane.", she says, her expression souring a bit as she goes back over to the desk and sits down in her chair. "I don't know what Nakamura-san was thinking by dragging you into this, but unfortunately, if I told you before that your life as you knew it was not going to be the same, I may have gravely underestimated.", she says, leaning back into her chair and putting her reading glasses back on and steeping her fingers together.

"If I gave you any indication that you should fear the Haitian and the Company, Jane, they are nothing when it comes to the man who calls himself Sylar. I do not know what his true power is, but I know that he hunts the Evolved, kills them, and is able to assume their individual power.", she says.

"I don't believe he had any idea I was present," Jane begins. "He and another had gone to carry out a raid, without telling me exactly what they were doing. In fact, I knew nothing of Mr. Nakamura until he materialized and dropped paintings in tubes on me, as I was seated on the couch. My…" she trails off, and in her mind there's a ponderance of what to call him. It's clear she cares for this man, there's the budding of things and the worry this may all come to hurt him badly. "… he had asked me to stay there for a day or two, since we're both exposed. He was seen using abilities by possible associates of Primatech at a coffee shop which burned to the ground, teleporting to help people escape and involvement with these paintings." A pause is taken, after which she returns to the topic of Sylar. "It's a painting, which allegedly predicts the future, a woman is being cut across the forehead by something unseen. Seeing this froze Mr. Nakamura, and he stated believing Sylar was dead, killed by him. So… he may be alive, or he may not. If the painting does indeed predict things, it still might've been made before he was killed, the woman could be someone he got to before then." Her mind largely reflects what she's stated verbally, though the information on Sylar's activity makes her pale and fearful, just that he could be out there is enough.

Rianna seems pensive as Jane continues speaking, not really acknowledging either way when Jane hesitates at the mention of the third person, only thinking that they were probably evolved, too. Once Jane is finished talking, Rianna remains silent for a moment with her own eyes shut. On the inside, she was fuming. A man like Sylar only validated the existence of the Company and everything that they were trying to achieve. A ruthless psychopath who would stop at nothing to kill and increase his own power. And those fools let him escape from Kirby Plaza…

"Jane.", she says quietly after a few tensely silent moments. "Let me make this absolutely clear to you. Sylar is one of the most dangerous individuals alive, if not the most. There is no telling how many other Evolved he has killed for their power. The painting is an image of Sylar using telekinetic ability to open his victim's skull, which is how he leaves all of his victims. That is just one of countless powers that Sylar likely has at his disposal. If Nakamura-san did not recognize the woman in the painting, then I will assume that Sylar is not dead and whoever she is… she's got a dark fate in store for her. I beg you, do not expose your power at all if you can help it. If you can, a small two-week vacation might not be a bad idea for you and for whomever this man is that you are seeing."

Rianna stands up and turns to look out the window. "I'll have to contact Bennet. He has to know that Sylar is alive and to continue protecting his daughter. You should go. Tell my assistant to have one of our drivers bring you home."

Her face is pale as she listens to the words spoken, the fear she feels reflected in the thoughts perceptible from her mind. Jane stands slowly, taking some long moments to focus herself again. Images of other paintings enter those thoughts, one is of a tornado raging down a New York street causing damage. Another features a vial with a biohazard symbol shattering on a floor. And some other images, a woman seen distantly in Central Park holding a hostage and throwing fire at people, later a woman who might well be her from closer up with Hiro. The idea that perhaps Rianna could help recover stolen memories and/or have a safe place to stash the former Primatech captive. Her surprise that those two raided Primatech in the first place and didn't hide their faces. There's anger attached to that one, and the remembrance of how it nearly made her scream ultrasonically. She hadn't meant, when she suggested talking with Company associates that he should raid and steal from them, possibly putting Primatech on their tails. And… the realization that Hiro was right. Those paintings do indicate the future.

"I'll be in touch, if I may, Rianna," Jane softly offers. "Thank you so kindly for your time."

Rianna turns and stares at Jane as the images of the subsequent painting go through her mind. "The world around us is so much larger than any of us could realize…", she whispers, slightly to herself. "Everything that revolves around Sylar is dark and will spell the destruction of all of us.", and in that moment, Rianna's face changes. Not physically. It's almost as if the sunlight coming in from the windows dims and casts a somewhat malevolent shadow across her face. "The Company will try to capture him and run tests on him. I will not let that happen. I haven't spent 15 years to let Gabriel Gray cause the public to rise against us in a bid for ultimate power.", she says, and in that moment, it's almost as if she remembers that Jane is in the room. "You've done well, Jane. You have no idea how invaluable your assistance is and will continue to be. You're doing the right thing. For yourself. For all of us.",

There's just one thing, though. Off to Jane's left, there was something that she might have perceived visually. Easily explained away, like a flash of light off of a window across the street or something like that, but for one moment. If was almost as though Jane could have seen a shadowy image of Rianna Rockford with her fingertips across Sylar's forehead, and Sylar's mouth open in a soundless scream of terror. Most likely just a figment of one's imagination, though.

"I'm not into killing, Rianna," Jane states slowly, "nor into holding people captive, but… I can see just the same it isn't always wrong. People like us, when we commit crimes, might often not be containable in any prison society has, and we can't go public, so we do what we must. Primatech, though, seems to take in those guilty of nothing. Sylar… Hiro said he killed him, but was wrong. Either Sylar can heal himself, or… Hiro didn't make sure he was dead at the time, wasn't thorough enough. Someone has to end him, and make sure he really is gone." The image in her mind there is of cutting off the man's head, burning the body, and spreading the ashes in several distant places like one might with a mythical vampire, because that's what it seems to her they could be dealing with. "I'll be in touch. Thank you again, Rianna." Sounds follow, those of her heels on the floor as she exits the office.

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