2011-02-11: What A Wonderful World



Date: February 11th, 2011


And I think to myself: what a wonderful world…

"What a Wonderful World"

Petrelli Mansion

New York City

The clean surface of a polished wood desk gleams in the sunlight coming in through the gently parted drapery. A golden hue is lent to this office in the mid-afternoon; what's untouched by the sun is rich darkness, shadows. It used to belong to one of the Petrelli men, this office; evidence still hearkens back to earlier times. Books on the shelf, Arthur's; a horse statue on the desk, Nathan's. All achievements and names have been boxed. A glass bowl vase of white roses sits on the desk by a computer and a telephone. Upon the screen are names.


The screen is dismissed for a new one; Carter, Roman: PROJECTS

Angela sits at the desk as though it's her throne, and its contents representations of her kingdom. Not far from the truth. She pauses her consideration of the technology to address a much more old-fashioned device, turning her wrist toward her and glance at the time set on the elegant wristwatch there. Seconds tick lethargically by into the afternoon, no hustle or bustle around her. The house is as quiet as a crypt. Seven past two. She folds her hands on the desk, a bracelet of many pearls settling upon the dark wood.

A breach into this silent realm, the noise as intruding in its opposition to the quiet as the meaning of its existence: a knock. Swift, business-like, but knuckles warm against the wood, as familiar in friendliness as the face that appears afterward when the door gives way only by this knock, and not by instruction from inside. "Angela Petrelli," Carter comma Roman greets significantly, smiling. The corner of his personally tailored suit brushes the edge of the door, and he lifts the back of a hand to brush away its taint, in turn, giving a shake to something he has clutched leisurely but, in shallow secret, possessively, in both hands.

"Thought I might find you here," he accuses good-naturedly, colleague to colleague — friend to friend. One foot in front of the other, as if it were no trouble at all, he invades her kingdom. "Burrowed away." He drifts right up to the edges of that palace made of her desk. "Denying everyone the pleasure of your appearance." He cannot breach; his hands are full.

"Roman." A strict voice, warmed to friendliness around the edges. Angela's eyes are on the man from the get-go, bearing no surprise, no wonder, not even for that which he has in his hands, no displeasure at his invasion. The cool expectancy of her dark eyes is tempered by a hint of curve at her aging lips. "You can't always give them what they want," she instructs, only the most vague undercurrent of joking beneath. "Then they'll forget what it is they were missing too soon." The matriarch sits back more pin-straight in her tall chair, the shoulders of her cream-colored ladies' blazer squaring regally. She sits straight back into a beam of light; her dark eyes pierce the glow, forever exacting upon Roman. "I'm working to keep this company running without another stumble. I hope you've come here to tell me you've been doing the same."

"People rarely know what they want. You give it to them, and they've moved onto something else. Specks of dust…" not a one to show on his suit, though he passingly inspects the material for impossible flaws. Drifting, and unhurried, the frame of his focus wraps each inventoried item on Angela's desk before gracing the matriarch herself, matching her stare to stare, wit to wit. "That's why you have to tell them." Only the very edge of his mouth tweaks upward, delighting his pleasant face in a touch of hubris, secure and undaunted by this piercing examination by the imposing woman across from him; in fact, agreeing. They're a pair. "What they want." His palm, so fitted to the prize it's entrusted with, smoothes around the frame. "I have it all in hand," is assured to her, "I came to give you a present. As a sign of our mutual work."

It's barely perceptible, the approving nod Angela allows Roman; barely perceptible, that is, save by the perceptive themselves, and through the intense study she keeps up. Simple as that, the subtle commendation and show of faith passes, moves on; nothing more is necessary. "You shouldn't have," she replies, flat of tone: no, really, you shouldn't have, and yet one hand unfolds from the other to gesture: let's have it, then. "Unless of course it's all of your projects, tied up with a bow. Or," she reconsiders, "something that at least matches my office."

That speck of smirk flattens slightly: cute, Angela. It's not, then, his projects in that globular place-setting he's warming with his fingers, but: "In my humble opinion…" With a brush of reluctance, his grip curls away from mastering the shape, letting its squared base plunk heavily onto the authoritative desk, becoming yet another symbol in the opulent looming. "… it goes just right." Focus is off of his sharp eyes, the wry curve of his lips as he says, "Put on a happy face," and even the creaseless skin of fingers as they slip away from what is in perfect clarity: that present. Soon enough, he's even strolling to the door with only a rustle of soft fabrics, expensive shoes that are paid not to squeak.

He's left her the world. In a tight glass ball alternatively secure or smoothing, depending on how you tilt your head to view the roundness of green and blue. Sharp, dark claws like the very shadows of the room it both sits in and vastly represents clutch the circle into its heavy stand — what better to bear its weight.

Her kingdom, the world.

She's alone with her gift and it begs to be explored. Even Angela Petrelli can't help but draw the globe near and examine its expanses. She may lack the childlike wonder of the girl she was once a very long time ago, but she does put on a happy face as, alone, she turns the representation of the earth this way and that, letting her hands run over the smooth glass continents and oceans apppreciatively. She hones in on North America, the United States, every perfect alternating surface; but gradually, furrows darken her brow, smile gone as she focuses scrupulously on passing her fingers over the globe's New York.

Roman is spotless; not a smudge or crack in his perfect image.

The globe, on the other hand, has an uncharacteristic imperfection. The tiniest of bewildering cracks.

It seems harmless at first. Just a crack. A mar. Bit of a distraction in an otherwise unsullied whole, not much, but always able to attract the eye… draw attention away from the immaculate and more pleasing… until distraction has become irritation.

Mar is condition.

Nick is a line: lines of streets, city lines, state lines, country borders, the equator. Now new lines, heedless of the plan of the earth, cutting angles, wicked shapes from old formations in the ground. Fault lines, mountain ranges, ravines: natural structures showing the wear and make of time rend sudden and violent. One side of a continent wrested from the other.

Strange, irregular and indiscriminate shapes are cut forcefully out of the familiar patterning of the Earth, until whole pieces break completely from the mold, tearing off to smack against — nothing —

There's no more glass.

There's only space, and the Earth, as the entire planet is abruptly two separate, irredeemable halves.

Ladies' dress shoes to the edge of a crumpling precipice, Angela stands, blazer and hair battered by disturbed earth choking the air, as the anomalous cliff-faces drive apart — her side, unable to stay together, stumbles, crumples, beneath her toes — while on the other, a shadow's silhouette is cast—

A sharp, sudden intake of air provides the kick-start for Angela to spring her head up from her folded hands; she'd fallen asleep at her desk.

Sunlight strikes her eyes as soon as they open to the quiet office, blearily at first and then with intense realization, complete, jarring, real wakefulness. Instinct brings a hand to her chest and one to the side of her face; her lungs are free to breathe and her skin is clean. Her jarring start has sent the water in the vase of roses rippling. Her hands flatten on the empty surface in front of her as she sits up straighter. No globe. No split earth. Everything is quiet as a crypt.

Slowly regaining composure, Angela smoothes down her cream-colored suit, adjusts the pearls at her wrist, and checks her watch. Three past two.

Her chair spins ever-so-slightly to her right so she may look at the computer screen. Movement brings it from blackness to light, where atop the screen is a familiar header.

Carter, Roman: PROJECTS

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