The Heroes Experiment

I did something weird last week.

Thanks to a mixture of too much time on my hands, an out-of-control self-amusing streak, and lingering crankiness about the third season of Heroes, I wrote a full-length speculative script for the fourth-season premiere.

No real reason for doing this, other than that I just finished writing an original spec feature and was feeling antsy and aimless. It was an interesting exercise. I tried to incorporate all the elements I’ve been crabbing about here over the past season. I established some ground rules and followed them to the best of my ability:

1. Nothing established in earlier episodes would be inexplicably altered or negated.
2. Characterizations would be consistent. Characters would interact with each other in a wholly plausible manner.
3. Every scene would propel the plot forward and lay groundwork for future scenes.
4. The end result had to resemble a genuine Heroes episode, in structure and content, as much as possible.

The script turned out pretty well, and I’m still bankrupt for ideas for fresh blog content, so I’m posting it here. I have no idea if there will be any interest in this -- I can’t imagine I’d be terribly enthusiastic about reading a full-length spec script on someone’s blog -- but it’s here anyway.


HEROES VOLUME FIVE: “REDEMPTION”


CHAPTER ONE: “FROM ASHES”


TEASER

FADE IN:

INT. RESTAURANT - MANHATTAN - DAY

CHYRON: "SIX MONTHS LATER"

It's a demure restaurant on the Upper East Side: white linen tablecloths, heavy silver cutlery, thick water goblets. ANGELA PETRELLI, tense and haggard, sits across from NOAH BENNET. She twirls the stem of her martini glass on the table, distracted.

NOAH
It was done for the best.

ANGELA
I know. I've never doubted that. It was the only way we could reclaim our lives.

NOAH
Have there been any problems?

ANGELA
None.

It comes out with a little too much force, as though she's trying to convince herself. Noah looks at her, skeptical. Angela forces a smile.

ANGELA (CONT'D)
That monster is gone for good. There's only Nathan now.
(clears her throat)
You're to be congratulated. Nathan tells me the new Company is fully operational.

NOAH
There's always room for you.

ANGELA
I'm retired. I trust everything is working out well with your new partner?

NOAH
(smiles)
You know what rookies are like.

ANGELA
"One of us, one of them."

NOAH
Why mess with a classic?

He looks up as CLAIRE BENNET and NATHAN PETRELLI approach the table. Claire wears street clothes; Nathan's in an expensive suit.

CLAIRE
Hi, daddy.

She hugs Noah, then leans over and gives her grandmother a kiss on the cheek. Noah stands to shake hands with Nathan. Nathan sinks into a seat across from Angela.

Noah drapes an arm around Claire's shoulders and squeezes her against him. She smiles up at him.

NOAH
Ready for action, kiddo?

CLAIRE
If you can keep up with me.

NATHAN
Have fun, you two.

Claire and Noah head for the door. A WAITER approaches the table and sets a water glass near Nathan's elbow.

WAITER
Something to drink, Senator Petrelli?

NATHAN
I'll stick to water, thanks.

He smiles at Angela. Angela smiles back, tight and strained.

He glances at her martini glass.

NATHAN (CONT'D)
Martinis before noon, Ma?

ANGELA
It's celebratory. We're finally putting all that unpleasantness behind us.

NATHAN
I'll drink to that.

He grins. Angela's gaze drops to the table.

Nathan's water glass scoots two inches across the tablecloth of its own volition and settles in his hand. Nathan doesn't appear to notice. Without ever looking at it, he raises it in a toast.

Angela looks at Nathan. With visible effort, she smiles. She picks up her martini glass and clinks it against his.

Her hand trembles.

CUT TO:

EXT. SIDEWALK - MIDTOWN MANHATTAN - DAY

Claire and Noah stride down the bustling sidewalk. Noah flips through papers in a file.

NOAH
Sadie Sullivan. Liverpool native, twenty-two years old, here attending Juilliard on a flute scholarship.

CLAIRE
Juilliard, huh? She must be pretty good.

Noah glances down at his daughter.

NOAH
Any regrets about not going to college?

CLAIRE
This seems like what I should be doing. I was never going to have anything resembling a normal life anyway.

NOAH
You're going into the family business. What could be more normal than that?

Claire grins.

CLAIRE
So what's Sadie's ability?

NOAH
That we don't know. In fact, we're not even sure she has one. Customs and Immigration brought her name to our attention.

CLAIRE
We're working with Customs?

NOAH
One of the perks of being legitimate. They've noted some interesting discrepancies. She does a lot of traveling between here and the UK.

CLAIRE
And?

NOAH
Let's just say her passport doesn't always get stamped. Last week she attended classes here in the afternoon and gave a recital in London in the evening. Factor in the time zones, and that seems... improbable.

CLAIRE
So... she can be in two places at once?

NOAH
Or she can teleport, or bend time, or create a doppelganger of herself. Here.

He rummages around in his jacket pocket and hands Claire a high-voltage stun gun.

Claire looks at it in distaste.

CLAIRE
I thought the new Company wasn't going to do things like that. No bagging, no tagging, no unauthorized medical experiments, no killing.

NOAH
None of that, I promise. But it's always a good idea to be cautious.

They stop outside Trax, an old-school record store with storefront windows plastered over with a display of vinyl albums.

NOAH (CONT'D)
This is where she works. She's all yours.

INT. TRAX RECORD STORE

It's tiny and cluttered and hip. Tarpaper-covered walls emblazoned with posters and music memorabilia, racks crammed with CDs, tables groaning under the weight of bins of used LPs.

Noah loiters near the front. He flips through albums and tries to look inconspicuous. He gives a discreet nod to Claire.

Claire looks around the shop. SADIE SULLIVAN is applying price tags to a bin of used LPs. Sadie is dark-skinned and lithe. She's clad in an old sweater, battered cargo pants, and well-worn Doc Martens.

Claire sidles up next to her and starts pawing through the bin.

Sadie glances at her and smiles. She speaks with a prominent Liverpool accent.

SADIE
Something I can help you find?

CLAIRE
I'm just browsing, thanks.
(clears her throat)
It seems kind of weird doing this, you know?

Sadie cocks her head to the side, questioning.

CLAIRE (CONT'D)
Looking for records. I could go online and download everything in, like, a fraction of the time.

SADIE
No, you got it all twisted. It's not the same at all. This way, when you find something you like, you've earned it. Am I right?

CLAIRE
I guess. Hey, I like your accent. You're from England?

SADIE
Liverpool, yeah.

CLAIRE
Cool. Like the Beatles. I'm from California. I'm just visiting colleges with my dad.

She gestures toward Noah at the front of the store. Noah doesn't notice. He's distracted by another young CLERK, who addresses him with maximum condescension.

CLERK
Maybe I can interest you in something by Pat Boone?

Noah gives him a withering look.

CLAIRE
I'm Claire Bennet.

SADIE
Sadie.

Claire sticks out a hand to shake. The stun gun falls out of her jacket pocket and topples to the floor. Sadie kneels down to pick it up, then freezes when she sees what it is.

SADIE (CONT'D)
Hey, what..?

Claire crouches beside her. She scoops up the stun gun and stuffs it in her pocket. She gives a nervous laugh.

CLAIRE
I've heard the city's really dangerous.

Still crouching, hidden from view of the store patrons by the bins, Sadie examines Claire. Her eyes narrow in suspicion.

There's a loud BANG, like a car backfiring. Sadie EXPLODES into a big burst of thousands of colorful particles, confetti-like.

The particles swirl together into a spiral, which straightens out and streaks like a comet toward the back of the store, keeping close to the ground.

Noah jumps at the noise. He looks around for Claire.

NOAH
Claire?

Claire stands and points in the direction of the streaking particles.

CLAIRE
She's going out the back!

Noah and Claire hightail it through the store in pursuit of the particles, leaving toppled displays of new releases in their wake.

The particles stream under the emergency exit door.

NOAH
Is that her?

CLAIRE
That's her!

Noah looks suitably impressed.

NOAH
Cool.

Noah throws his shoulder against the door. It FLIES open. An ALARM goes off.

EXT. ALLEY

Claire and Noah burst into an alley. The particles are nowhere in sight.

CLAIRE
Where'd she go?

At the far end of the alley, the particles swirl together into a fast-moving spiral, and all of a sudden Sadie re-materializes. She looks around in agitation. When she spots Claire and Noah, she bolts in the opposite direction.

CLAIRE (CONT'D)
Wait! We just want to talk to you!

Claire runs down the alley after her.

CLAIRE (CONT'D)
Don't... explode yourself again.

Sadie picks up her pace. Claire follows her.

EXT. STREET

At the mouth of the alley, a delivery truck ROARS down the street at an unsafe speed.

Claire collides with it, as only Claire can. Momentum propels her across the hood, where she SMASHES head-first into the windshield.

The truck stops. Claire rolls off and tumbles onto the street, her torso mangled, her neck at a funny angle, blood everywhere.

The DRIVER jumps out.

DRIVER
Oh my God. The kid came out of nowhere! I didn't even see her!

He starts to crouch beside Claire's corpse. Noah takes him by the arm and pulls him a short distance away. He shifts into full-on bureaucrat mode, his manner brusque yet reassuring.

NOAH
It's not as bad as it looks. Trust me.

Sadie stops running. She hurries over to Claire and drops to her knees. Claire stares up at her with sightless eyes, her face smeared with bright splotches of blood.

SADIE
Oh, no. I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean...
(looks up)
Somebody call an ambulance!

She reaches out a tentative hand to Claire's face, as though desperate to help even though Claire is clearly beyond saving.

Claire BLINKS.

Sadie JUMPS. She yanks her hand back.

Claire sits upright.

Her neck wobbles at a scary angle. Claire raises her arms, grabs her head, and adjusts its position. She winces and straightens out her torso.

She looks at Sadie, who stares at her with huge eyes. Claire gives her a half-smile.

CLAIRE
Don't worry about it. It kinda happens a lot.

Sadie gapes at her.

FADE OUT.
END OF TEASER


ACT ONE

FADE IN:

INT. RECEPTION AREA - YAMAGATO INDUSTRIES - TOKYO - DAY

ANDO MASAHASHI hovers outside the closed double doors to the boardroom. The reception area is relentlessly tasteful, with leather chairs, subdued lighting, and framed Japanese calligraphy prints on the dark walls.

The doors open. Ando looks up. KIMIKO NAKAMURA, in a dark skirted suit, escorts out a cluster of Japanese men and women in expensive suits. Much bowing and smiling and hand-shaking ensues. Kimiko ushers them over to the elevator, then falls back.

The smile fades from her face. She draws her brows together and looks stormy. Ando approaches her. He waves tentatively.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
Hi, Kimiko.
(looks around, confused)
I thought Hiro was in the meeting, too?

KIMIKO
(in Japanese)
He's still in there. He fell asleep! Second time this week! I know the board meetings are not always interesting, but if I have to stay awake, so does he.

She stalks down the hall. Ando enters the boardroom.

INT. BOARDROOM

HIRO NAKAMURA lies facedown on the polished conference table. He has accidentally knocked over his water glass; the folder in front of him is soaked.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
Hiro?

He shakes Hiro's shoulder. No response. Ando frowns and shakes him harder.

ANDO (CONT'D)
(in Japanese)
Wake up, Hiro!

Hiro, his hair messy and his face scrunched up from lying on the table, raises his head and blinks in confusion. He adjusts his glasses. He spots Ando and smiles.

HIRO
(in Japanese)
Ando!
(looks around)
Is the meeting over?

Ando notices the trickle of blood leaking from Hiro's ear. He sinks into the chair beside him and grabs his shoulder to examine him.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
Hiro! What happened? Did you use your power again? You know Dr. Suresh said that would be dangerous.

HIRO
(in Japanese)
I didn't use my power.
(gives Ando a weak grin)
The meeting was long enough already. Why would I want to stop time?

ANDO
(in Japanese)
Has this happened before when you haven't been using your powers?

HIRO
(in Japanese)
Once or twice. It's nothing to be concerned about.

He pushes his chair back and stands. Ando hovers, ready to help him, but Hiro brushes him aside. He sways, unsteady. He grabs the table for balance. Ando takes his arm.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
"Nothing to be concerned about," huh? I'm taking you to a doctor.

HIRO
(in Japanese)
You worry too much about me, Ando.

He lets Ando help him walk toward the door.

CUT TO:

ESTABLISHING SHOT - NEW COMPANY - BROOKLYN - DAY

It's an inconspicuous warehouse, five stories tall, with no identifying signs or markers, nestled among other similarly inconspicuous buildings.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - NEW COMPANY - DAY

Sadie Sullivan sits at the head of the table in a small, nicely appointed conference room. Her arms are crossed in front of her chest. She looks uneasy and perturbed.

Everything in the room looks shiny and new: clean carpets, ergonomically-correct chairs, a potted plant in the corner, windows that look out onto a decent view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline beyond it.

Claire, sitting next to her, smiles in reassurance. At the other end of the small table, Noah Bennet takes off his glasses, polishes them on his coat sleeve, and replaces them. He folds his hands together and smiles at Sadie.

NOAH
Can we get you anything? Coffee, a soft drink?

SADIE
Yeah, you can get me something. You can get to the point.

NOAH
I'd like to reiterate that you're free to go any time.
(shrugs)
In fact, we couldn't stop you if we wanted to. Not with your... ability.

He leans across the table and looks at Sadie, his expression revealing nothing more than mild curiosity.

NOAH (CONT'D)
What's your range, anyway? How far can you travel before reassembling?

SADIE
As far as I like. It takes a bit of time if I want to go, say, across the ocean. An hour from here to London, maybe.

CLAIRE
Beats flying coach.

SADIE
You're not fooling.
(shrugs)
I was scared at first. I'd just do short little hops. Afraid I'd leave pieces of myself behind, you know? End up at my destination missing an ear or something. Doesn't seem to work that way, though.

NOAH
We're very interested in helping you learn more about your ability.

SADIE
Altruistic of you, I'm sure.

She looks from Noah to Claire.

SADIE (CONT'D)
What's the sales pitch, anyway? What are you looking to get from me?

NOAH
We're an organization dedicated to helping people like you. We're still at the grass-roots level right now. We're kind of...
(thinks about it)
...feeling our way through the process. We'd like you to be part of it.

SADIE
Yeah? What do I get out of this?

CLAIRE
Our help. Whatever you need: training, support. If you just want to hide your ability from the world, we can help with that, too.

SADIE
Why would I want to hide it? I think it's bloody cool.

NOAH
Because there are people out there who might be a danger to you.

Sadie uncrosses her arms and leans forward.

SADIE
Let's say I was one of those dangerous people. People with dangerous abilities. I've heard of them, right? That guy who almost blew up the Capitol a few months ago -- I heard he was a super-powered terrorist.

NOAH
The situation was a little more complicated than that.

SADIE
So if I was dangerous, or if you decided I could be dangerous, what would you do with me? Would you still be offering to train me? Or would I just... disappear?

Claire and Noah exchange glances. Noah smiles at Sadie.

NOAH
We're investigating ways to remove abilities. In a worst-case scenario, that might be the best way to neutralize a situation peacefully.

SADIE
Yeah. Not interested, mate.

She gets to her feet. Noah rises as well.

NOAH
Well. We appreciate your time.

He extends a hand. Sadie hesitates, then shakes it.

Noah looks at her wrist. She's got a small, curious tattoo, a blue infinity symbol with broken links.

NOAH (CONT'D)
I like your... watch.

He smiles, benign. Sadie frowns at him.

CLAIRE
If you change your mind--

BANG. Claire and Noah flinch back. Sadie disappears into a particle swirl. The swirl streaks through the open window.

CLAIRE (CONT'D)
--you can call us.

She looks at her father and shrugs.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE SURESH'S APARTMENT - DAY

MOHINDER SURESH, carrying a mesh bag of groceries, approaches his apartment door. He stops in his tracks.

MATT PARKMAN is seated on two gigantic suitcases stacked in front of the door. He looks up at Mohinder.

MATT
You changed your locks.

MOHINDER
It seemed like a necessary precaution, everything considered.

Matt gets to his feet and moves to the side to let Mohinder unlock the door.

INT. SURESH'S APARTMENT

Mohinder holds the door open for Matt, who struggles to get his suitcases inside. The apartment looks much the same as before. Matt looks around.

MATT
You got your stuff back from Homeland Security.

MOHINDER
At long last. Nathan Petrelli assured me your belongings would be sent to Janice's condominium.

MATT
Yeah. Got 'em. See much of Nathan these days?

MOHINDER
I try not to. Is it a bad sign that you're back from Los Angeles already?

Matt shrugs.

MATT
Jan wanted a little space to sort out her feelings. Fair enough. I had a chance to pick up a little freelance work here, so I thought I'd give her some breathing room. I was going to get a hotel, but...

He looks at Mohinder, expectant.

MOHINDER
My couch is your couch.

MATT
Thanks, Mohinder.

INT. KITCHEN

Mohinder moves to the attached kitchen area and lights a burner under the kettle.

MOHINDER
Drink?

MATT
If you have anything that's not tea.

MOHINDER
(smiles)
In the refrigerator.

Matt rummages in the fridge and comes up with a bottle of beer. He struggles to twist off the cap.

MOHINDER (CONT'D)
Do you think things will work out with Janice?

MATT
I don't know what to do if they don't. My son needs a father.

MOHINDER
He'll always have that. Does Janice need a husband?

MATT
Jan and I have had our problems, but we still love each other.

MOHINDER
Don't take this the wrong way, but do you remember what Daphne told you about being in love with the concept of being in love?

Matt looks at him and doesn't answer. He struggles with the bottle some more.

MATT
Damn it. Thought it was a twist-off. Where's your opener?

Mohinder takes the bottle from him and twists off the cap with the merest flick of his fingers. He hands it back.

MATT (CONT'D)
Still have the super-strength, I see.

MOHINDER
Yes. I've yet to meet a pickle jar that could defeat me. Makes me quite the hit at parties.

Mohinder sets about fixing himself a cup of tea: getting a cup out of the cupboard, pouring hot water over a tea bag. Matt swills his beer and watches him.

MATT
Yeah? Gone to many parties lately? Or are you still hiding from the world?

MOHINDER
I thought we were talking about you and Janice.

MATT
That subject was getting a little irritating. Let me guess: still driving a cab?

MOHINDER
It's an honest living.

MATT
There's more out there for you.

Mohinder steeps his tea. He pauses and looks back at Matt.

MOHINDER
Sometimes I think about going back to Chennai. Getting my job back at the university. Molly could live with me.

MATT
Molly's doing fine with your mother. She's safer without us. We just bring danger into her life.

MOHINDER
Even now? We're no longer fugitives, and Sylar is nothing but ashes and bad memories.

A peculiar expression crosses Matt's face.

MOHINDER (CONT'D)
Matt?

Matt recovers. He shakes his head.

MATT
There are always going to be dangers.

MOHINDER
I know. For a while, I was one of those dangers. And that, my friend, is why I'm driving a cab.

He raises his mug in an ironic toast and clinks it against Matt's beer bottle.

CUT TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM - ABBY COLLINS'S APARTMENT - DC - NIGHT

Homeland Security Agent ABBY COLLINS opens the door to her apartment and walks into her living room. She tosses her keys onto an end table and kicks off her heels. She pads in her stockinged feet across the room while flipping through her mail.

She pauses, aware for the first time that she's not alone in her apartment.

TRACY STRAUSS sits on the couch, long legs and bare feet on Abby's coffee table, reading a magazine. She's dressed in a simple wrap dress and looks like a million bucks. She tosses the magazine aside and grins.

TRACY
Hi, Abby.
(motions to an armchair)
Have a seat.

Abby remains standing. She looks both incredulous and alarmed.

ABBY
Tracy. I'd heard you were dead.
(takes a step closer)
Is that my dress?

Tracy looks down at what she's wearing.

TRACY
Yeah, sorry. I came in through your shower drain. I didn't think I knew you well enough to surprise you naked.

ABBY
Shower... drain?
(shakes her head)
You're wanted for murder. You can't be here.

TRACY
Just a couple of questions and I'll be out of your hair. Have a seat.

Abby remains standing, indecisive. Tracy smiles.

TRACY (CONT'D)
Come on, Abby. Be nice and answer my questions, and I'll forget about how you lobbied the President for increased funds to keep people like me in the custody of people like Emile Danko.

Abby sits down across from Tracy. She perches on the edge of an armchair, ill at ease.

ABBY
You murdered an innocent man right in front of me using some kind of super-freezing power. What was I supposed to do?

Tracy narrows her eyes. She swings her legs off the table and sits upright.

TRACY
You were supposed to help me. When you saw me chained up and tortured, you were supposed to get me the hell out of there. People died in Building 26, Abby. Innocent people, and that's on you.

ABBY
Building 26 doesn't exist anymore. The entire project has been disbanded.

TRACY
But Nathan Petrelli is still up to his old tricks, isn't he?
(winks)
People talk.

ABBY
No one should be talking to you, least of all me. I think you should leave.

Tracy considers, then exhales.

TRACY
Fine. Mind if I keep the dress?
(stands)
Don't get up. I'll show myself out.

She crosses behind Abby and pats her on the shoulder.

Ice crystals spread from her hand at her touch and anchor Abby by her shoulder and upper arm to the upholstery of the armchair.

Abby gives a little SQUAWK of pain and surprise. She tries to get to her feet, but she's stuck. She tugs at her arm in a sudden panic.

ABBY
What did you..?

TRACY
You've got a few minutes before frostbite sets in. That's plenty of time to tell me all about Nathan.

ABBY
I don't know much. It's an entirely new organization. I don't think it even has a name, but it's got the President's full backing and support.

TRACY
Where?

ABBY
A converted warehouse in Brooklyn. That's all I know.

Tracy considers.

TRACY
That's probably enough.

ABBY
Now unfreeze me!

Tracy extends one manicured nail and touches Abby's throat, feather-light. Frost forms.

Abby's throat freezes. She tries to speak, but can't. She clutches at her neck.
She starts to gasp and strangle.

Tracy turns and walks toward the door.

TRACY
Goodbye, Abby.

Tracy leaves. Abby continues to suffocate.

FADE OUT.
END OF ACT ONE


ACT TWO

FADE IN:

INT. HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM - TOKYO - DAY

Antiseptic white walls, First Aid placards in Japanese on the walls, clean tile floors, stiff plastic chairs. Ando gets up from his chair, paces a bit. Sits back down. Stares at the clock on the wall.

Hiro emerges from the corridor behind the reception desk. He looks wan and
unsteady. He raises his hand, fingers arranged in a Vulcan greeting. He looks at his hand, frowns, and changes the gesture to a victory sign.

Ando rises.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
Good news?

HIRO
(in Japanese)
The doctor said it was nothing to worry about.

Ando grins, wide and genuine. His whole body appears to uncoil in relief.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
I'm very glad to hear that.

Hiro glances back down the hall, then returns his attention to Ando.

HIRO
(in Japanese)
Let's get out of here. We need lunch to celebrate!

He takes Ando by the arm and steers him toward the door. A white-smocked DOCTOR hurries into the waiting room.

DOCTOR
(in Japanese)
Mr. Nakamura! Mr. Nakamura! Where are you going?

Hiro pretends not to hear her. He walks faster. Ando pauses and looks behind in confusion; Hiro jerks his arm to get him to keep moving.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
Hiro, your doctor wants you.

HIRO
(in Japanese)
She wants to run more tests. I hate tests.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
If it's nothing to worry about, why does she want more tests?

Hiro doesn't answer. He keeps walking. Ando reaches out and yanks him to a stop. He turns Hiro around to face him.

ANDO (CONT'D)
(in Japanese)
Hiro! Did she really say it was nothing to worry about?

Hiro scowls. He shifts from foot to foot, like a small child trying to think his way out of a blatant lie.

HIRO
(in Japanese)
She said there was nothing that could be done about it. That's almost the same
thing.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
Hiro!

HIRO
(in Japanese)
I feel fine, Ando. Let's just go.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
What's the matter with you?

HIRO
(in Japanese)
She said something about massive cellular damage... risk of organ failure. You remember what Dr. Suresh said. My body is rejecting my powers. She cannot help me here.

Ando considers, then nods, resolved.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
Then we'll find someone who can.

CUT TO:

EXT. INDIAN FOOD STAND - DAY

Mohinder stands with PETER PETRELLI at the teensy counter of an outdoor food stand on a bustling Lower Manhattan street. They dig into cardboard trays of rice and curry.

MOHINDER
So what's the occasion, Peter?

Peter smiles. He seems relaxed and carefree.

PETER
No occasion. Can't a friend buy a friend a plate of...

He stares at his food in confusion.

MOHINDER
Channa masala.

PETER
...channa masala without having an ulterior motive?
(on Mohinder's skeptical look)
I told Nathan I'd talk to you.

MOHINDER
Ah.

PETER
Yeah. Sorry.

MOHINDER
No such thing as a free lunch, I suppose. You can tell Nathan my answer is still no.

PETER
I know you have every reason to distrust him--

MOHINDER
As do you.

PETER
--but he's changed.

MOHINDER
Maybe he has. Maybe he hasn't. It doesn't really matter. This is a dangerous path. You saw what happened with the original Company.

PETER
So that's why we need you. You can keep us on the straight and narrow.

MOHINDER
Anyone looking for me to be their moral compass is singularly ill-informed. You know everything I've done.

PETER
Yeah, I do. I also know you've learned from your mistakes. Maybe this is your chance to help others benefit as well.

They eat in silence for a moment.

PETER (CONT'D)
Just meet with him. See what he has to say. As a favor to me. Please.

Mohinder stares at him, considering.

PETER (CONT'D)
He has a surprise for you.

Mohinder raises his eyebrows.

MOHINDER
Do I even want to know?

CUT TO:

INT. SURESH'S LABORATORY - DAY

Mohinder's laboratory, the former site of Isaac Mendez's loft, has been completely remodeled. Everything's sleek and shiny and high-tech. No more post-apocalyptic vistas painted on the floor.

Nathan holds the door open for Mohinder. Mohinder pauses at the top of the stairs and looks down into the lab, stunned.

NATHAN
I took the liberty of making a few upgrades. Everything you can possibly need. I've got a checkbook to wield at your disposal, Suresh. Government dough.

MOHINDER
And in exchange?

NATHAN
The Company needs you. Nobody alive knows more about these abilities than you. Nobody can help us more than you.

MOHINDER
(nods to himself)
Yes, this is all very familiar.

He heads down the stairs. Nathan follows.

MOHINDER (CONT'D)
Primatech, Pinehearst, it's always the same pattern. They start by offering me a new laboratory, new equipment. Shiny things. Then they flatter my ego. They tell me how brilliant I am, how insightful, how many people I can help.

He pokes around the new equipment, picking things up, looking about.

MOHINDER (CONT'D)
You should have gotten to me earlier, Nathan. I used to be a pretty cheap date. You wouldn't have needed to buy me a... is that a scanning tunneling microscope?

Nathan pauses at the base of the stairs to stare at him.

NATHAN
Have you always been this sarcastic, or are you trying something new?

MOHINDER
As far as wining and dining goes, I applaud your effort. But I'm no longer for sale.

NATHAN
There won't be anything unethical going on. You'll be working with willing volunteers. And if you ever start acting buggy again, Pete will be there to slap you back to reality.

MOHINDER
That might be difficult for him. I slap back pretty hard these days.

NATHAN
You don't like having powers, do you?

Mohinder turns to face him, deadly serious.

MOHINDER
My ability is an albatross. Every time I use it, I'm ashamed of what I've become.

NATHAN
Then maybe you should find a way to get rid of it.

MOHINDER
It's not as easy as that.

He starts to climb the stairs toward the exit.

NATHAN
I got rid of my power.

Mohinder pauses and turns around.

MOHINDER
What?

NATHAN
I can't fly anymore. It happened when I was battling with Sylar. I got knocked out and...
(spreads his hands)
No more flying.

MOHINDER
(frowns)
That shouldn't happen.

NATHAN
It did. Want to study me and find out why? Might help a lot of people. Might even help yourself.

The front door swings open. Nathan and Mohinder swivel around. Ando, one arm around Hiro, stands in the doorway.

MOHINDER
Ando? And... Hiro?

ANDO
I'm sorry, Dr. Suresh. Matt Parkman told us you'd be here.

He helps Hiro inside. Mohinder hurries up the stairs. He leans over and examines Hiro. Hiro's eyes are unfocused. He seems barely conscious.

MOHINDER
Hiro? Look at me.
(to Ando)
What's wrong with him?

ANDO
It is what happened before when he used his powers. Only now it happens when he doesn't use his powers, too.

MOHINDER
We should get him to a doctor.

ANDO
That is why we are here.

MOHINDER
I'm not that kind of doctor.

Hiro raises his head. He and Ando exchange puzzled looks.

ANDO
Not a doctor?

MOHINDER
I'm a geneticist. I'm not a medical doctor. It's a completely different thing. Why does everyone...?
(shakes his head)
Never mind. Let's get you to a hospital.

HIRO
They won't be able to help me. They won't know about my abilities. That is why we came to you.

Mohinder pauses, torn. Nathan joins their group.

NATHAN
We'll take him to the Company. We've got a fully equipped medical facility there.

Hiro looks up at him, his face openly skeptical. Ando maneuvers himself between Nathan and Hiro.

ANDO
You have caused him much harm before, Senator Petrelli. You have been a very bad person. We do not trust you. No offense.

MOHINDER
As much as I hate to say it, Nathan's right. It's the best place for you.

Hiro and Ando exchange concerned glances.

HIRO
Will you come with us?

MOHINDER
Of course I will. Nothing bad will happen to you there.

Mohinder gives Nathan an ominous glare.

MOHINDER (CONT'D)
I promise you that.

CUT TO:

EXT. CAFE - BRUSSELS - NIGHT

An elegant young man in his early thirties sits at an equally elegant outdoor cafe on the banks of the Senne. This is CHRISTIAN BATARD. He sips from a small china cup of espresso while looking through the glossy folder in front of him. On the front, embossed in gold, is the broken infinity symbol that was tattooed on Sadie's wrist, plus the words, "Institut de Génétique, Bruxelles."

There's a BANG right in front of him. He doesn't even look up. He speaks with a pronounced French accent.

CHRISTIAN
My dear, this is a public spot. Please exercise some caution.

Sadie Sullivan stands in front of him, having successfully re-materialized.

SADIE
Sorry, boss.

She flops down in the chair across from him. He looks up at her for the first time and sets the folder aside with neat, precise moments. He's handsome and impeccable, with styled blond hair worn slightly long and all the standard accoutrements of a successful European businessman: a tailored dark suit, a silk necktie, a formidable gold wristwatch. When he sets down his espresso cup, the French cuffs of his crisp white shirt ride up enough to expose the small broken infinity symbol tattooed on his wrist.

CHRISTIAN
Do you have news for me?

SADIE
I saw the new digs. Met their representatives.

CHRISTIAN
And?

SADIE
It's a clown college.

CHRISTIAN
I do not know this idiom.

SADIE
They're amateurs. I met with some little blonde kid and a stuffed suit with these brilliant outmoded glasses. Horned rims. I thought we were in 1953 for a moment.

Christian arches his brows, but doesn't reply.

SADIE (CONT'D)
They've got a shiny new facility and plenty of government dosh to back them up, but what they don't have is a clue.

CHRISTIAN
Their objectives?

SADIE
They said they only want to help people, and all that happy crappy. Might have been telling the truth.
(shrugs)
They said they've been looking into the elimination of abilities.

CHRISTIAN
Ah. That's interesting.

SADIE
Sounded kind of theoretical at this point. Like they thought removing abilities might be a good idea, but they hadn't the foggiest idea how to go about doing it.

She stands up.

SADIE (CONT'D)
Right. Well, that's the scoop. I have to be at work in an hour, so if that's all?

Christian gestures with his hand, indicating she should go ahead. Another BANG, another swirl of particles, and in seconds, Christian is once again sitting by himself.

CUT TO:

EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY

It's a gorgeous day. Nathan Petrelli accepts a gigantic hotdog, weighted down with a grotesque yet tantalizing array of toppings, from a vendor's cart parked near the entrance. He chomps down on it with supreme satisfaction.

INT. TOWNCAR

Matt Parkman sits in the back of Angela Petrelli's towncar. Angela leans across Matt's seat to peek out his window. They observe Nathan chowing down.

MATT
This'll be hard to explain if he sees us.

ANGELA
Not at all. I'll tell him you and I have been having an affair.

Matt glances at her. She's not kidding. He grins.

He squints at Nathan and tilts his head down, using his mental abilities to read Nathan's mind. He sweats from the exertion. After a moment, he relaxes and shakes his head.

MATT
As far as he knows, he's Nathan Petrelli. No less, no more.

ANGELA
No trace of... what he used to be?

MATT
He's not planning anything more diabolical than going for a second hotdog.

ANGELA
He moved his glass with his mind, Mr. Parkman. I saw it. That's Sylar's power, not Nathan's.

MATT
Yeah, but he doesn't know he did it. Chances are, even if you pointed it out to him, he wouldn't believe you. That's how deeply he thinks he's Nathan.

ANGELA
Then why did the glass move?

Matt shrugs.

MATT
Involuntary reflex? Look, Sylar has Claire's healing power, right? If Nathan cuts himself shaving, that cut is going to heal itself right up, whether he wants it to or not. Maybe his other powers work the same way.

Angela looks perturbed.

MATT (CONT'D)
Are we going to keep this up for the rest of our lives? Me flying out to New York every few months just to make sure our little charade is still intact?

ANGELA
If that's how it has to be.

MATT
It's not.

He looks at her, his expression grim.

MATT (CONT'D)
You know the only way we'll ever really be safe.

ANGELA
No.

MATT
Sylar has to die for real.

ANGELA
That's not an option.

MATT
Look, Mrs. Petrelli, believe me, I understand why you felt we had to do this. We were able to fix a lot of damage as long as everyone believed Nathan was still alive. Okay. It worked. But now that we're past that, the dangers outweigh the benefits.

ANGELA
You're talking about murdering my eldest son.

MATT
Nathan's dead. All that's left is a monster wearing his skin. When you look at him, who do you see: the child you gave birth to, or the creature who slit his throat and watched him bleed out?

ANGELA
What you're suggesting is unthinkable.

Matt exhales.

MATT
Yeah. Fine. But you and me and Noah Bennet, we've let a mass murderer walk free in the city. If Sylar ever kills again, that's on our heads.
(nods)
Have a nice day.

Matt slides out of the car and SLAMS the door behind him, then heads down the sidewalk. Angela continues to observe Nathan.

FADE OUT.
END OF ACT TWO


ACT THREE

FADE IN:

INT. HIRO'S ROOM - NEW COMPANY INFIRMARY - DAY

Hiro lies in a hospital bed, hooked up to various tubes. Equipment beeps. Ando slumps in a chair at his bedside, sound asleep.

Mohinder observes a monitor, his mouth drawn into a frown.

HIRO
What is the verdict, Doctor?

MOHINDER
Nothing your doctor in Tokyo didn't tell you. You've become allergic to your own abilities. I'm seeing unchecked cellular decay. It's not dissimilar to radiation poisoning.

HIRO
Can you make me not allergic?

MOHINDER
I don't know where to start, Hiro.

HIRO
Maybe you could remove my abilities.

MOHINDER
That's the same problem. I don't know how to do that.

Hiro smiles. He nods once, resolute.

HIRO
You can do it. I have faith in you.

Mohinder looks at him. He sits down by his bedside and scribbles some notation on a clipboard.

MOHINDER
I'm not sure why you would. I haven't proven myself worthy of your confidence.

HIRO
But you have. You just don't know it.

Mohinder looks at him, confused and curious. Hiro struggles to find a way to explain.

HIRO (CONT'D)
Ando and I traveled once to a future. A very bad future. Many people died.

MOHINDER
I'm... sorry?

HIRO
It is okay. It will not come to pass. It has been prevented.
(thinks)
You were there. In this bad future. You were working for President Petrelli. Only it wasn't really Nathan Petrelli. It was Sylar.

Mohinder stares at him. He blinks in surprise.

MOHINDER
Like the way Sylar shape-shifted into Nathan before?

Hiro nods. Mohinder looks thoughtful.

MOHINDER (CONT'D)
So even in the future, I have an uncanny knack for picking the wrong side.

HIRO
But you didn't. You saved my life. You were very heroic.
(shrugs)
You can save my life this time, too.

Mohinder looks both touched and embarrassed.

MOHINDER
Thank you for telling me this, Hiro.

Nathan, standing in the doorway unnoticed, clears his throat. Mohinder looks up and meets his eye. He pats Hiro on the shoulder and follows Nathan out of the room.

INT. HALLWAY

NATHAN
How is he?

MOHINDER
His body is rejecting his powers. It's quite serious, if I can't find a way to stop it. What I'm seeing is a full-scale rebellion from his DNA.

NATHAN
Have you ever seen anything like it?

MOHINDER
No, but...
(exhales)
If it can happen to Hiro, it stands to reason it could happen to any of us as well. Maybe it'll happen to all of us eventually. Maybe humans weren't meant to have these abilities.

NATHAN
Come on, Suresh. Doesn't that run counter to everything you've ever said about the next rung of evolution? Survival of the fittest? Any of this ring any bells?

MOHINDER
That's natural evolution. How natural are your abilities, Nathan? Weren't yours created in a laboratory, just like mine?

NATHAN
Hiro's weren't.

MOHINDER
As far as we know.

NATHAN
So get rid of them. Find some way to remove these abilities, and it no longer becomes an issue.

Mohinder snorts.

MOHINDER
I'm having fond memories of the last time you asked me to remove abilities. I was chained up at the time, if I recall. Soaking wet, too. Highlight of my year.

NATHAN
Sometimes I get the impression you don't like me, Suresh.

MOHINDER
I can't imagine why.

NATHAN
I'm not saying you don't have just cause. But are you going to let Hiro die to spite me, or are you going to shut up and find a way to save his life?

Mohinder glowers at him.

CUT TO:

INT. CONVENTION CENTER LOBBY - DAY

A placard on an easel announces "Genomics & Proteomics Conference." Christian Batard stands beside the easel, deep in conversation with a cluster of well-dressed men and women.

Matt, slick and professional in a dark suit and mirrored sunglasses, strides through a crowd of people sipping wine out of plastic glasses and approaches Christian.

MATT
Dr. Batard? Excuse me. Matt Parkman. I'm the guy the agency sent over.

CHRISTIAN
Of course.
(gives Matt the once-over)
You can prove your identity, of course?

Matt fishes in his jacket for his wallet. When his jacket opens, it's clear he's wearing his shoulder holster.

MATT
Drivers license along with my credentials from Apple Security. You want further proof, we can give them a call right now and they can back me up.

CHRISTIAN
That is not necessary. They described you most accurately.
(to his companions)
Excuse me.

He draws Matt a few paces away.

CHRISTIAN (CONT'D)
The agency told you of the nature of the work, yes?

MATT
Just the basics. Standard armed security detail. Make sure you get to and from your conference in one piece.

CHRISTIAN
Yes.
(smiles)
I suppose you are wondering why a geneticist needs armed protection.

MATT
Not really. I have this geneticist friend, and you wouldn't believe the kind of crap he gets himself into.

CHRISTIAN
I am a brilliant man, Mr. Parkman, and brilliant men have enemies.

MATT
So do average shmoes. It's a rough world out there.

CHRISTIAN
We go back to my hotel now, yes?

MATT
Sure. You're French, huh?

CHRISTIAN
Belgique. You know the difference?

MATT
Belgium, sure. Love their waffles.

Christian throws him a skeptical glance. Matt ushers him toward the door.

MATT (CONT'D)
This way, Doc.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Matt peeks his head inside the room. Four-star opulence. Rococo furnishings, dainty gilt end tables and chairs, a four-poster bed swathed in extravagant yards of gauzy canopy. He motions for Christian to stay in the hall.

MATT
Let me check your room first.

He eases his gun out of his holster and snoops around the room. He peeks under the bed, peers into the closet. Checks behind the heavy jacquard drapes.

INT. BATHROOM

Gun out, Matt checks the shower. Empty.

INT. HOTEL ROOM

He gestures for Christian to enter the room.

MATT
You're clear.

Unseen by Matt or Christian, a young woman, Southeast Asian in appearance, dressed in tight-fitting dark clothing and heavy black boots, crouches upside-down on the ceiling, as though her feet were stuck in place. This is LOLA.

Lola FLIPS around into a perfect backward somersault. She lands behind Matt.

Matt SWIRLS at the noise, gun raised.

She leaps into the air and KICKS the gun out of his hand. In a move that defies all laws of physics, Lola does a back handspring that propels herself all the way back up to the ceiling. She plants her feet and pushes off. She flips around in the air and sails in Matt's direction, boots first.

She crashes into his chest. She's a small woman, but by sheer force she knocks him on his back onto the plush carpet.

She stands astride Matt and prepares to kick him in the face. Matt raises a hand to protect himself.

She freezes. A strange look crosses her face.

Matt stares at her, concentrating hard. Looking like she's not sure what she's doing, she lowers her foot and backs up.

MATT (CONT'D)
Who are you?

She looks like she's using all her willpower not to answer him. Matt gets to his feet and advances on her.

MATT (CONT'D)
Tell me your name.

She shakes her head. He places his hands on her shoulder and gets his face right up in hers.

MATT (CONT'D)
Tell me!

LOLA
Lo... Lola.

MATT
Who do you work for, Lola?

LOLA
(gasping)
Him.

She points at Christian. Matt releases her and turns to stare at his new employer. Christian looks unconcerned by this turn of events.

CHRISTIAN
Thank you, Lola. That's fine.

Lola nods once and leaves the room. Matt stares after her.

CHRISTIAN (CONT'D)
Lola has a remarkable control over gravity. An impressive skill, though somewhat less practical than your own.

MATT
You were just testing me?

CHRISTIAN
You will forgive me for being cautious. The threats to my life are most real. I require a special kind of individual to protect me. You, Mr. Parkman, are one such individual.

Matt glares at Christian.

MATT
Maybe it's time you told me the full story.

He concentrates hard, trying to read Christian's thoughts.

There's a cacophony, a rush of overlapping voices and sounds. Matt gasps and reels back. He shakes his head, as though trying to clear his brain of the noise.

CHRISTIAN
You'll find it's difficult to read my mind. There's simply too much going on.

MATT
You're saying I can't read your thoughts because you're too smart? Ego much?

CHRISTIAN
It is no less than the truth.

MATT
What do you know about me?

CHRISTIAN
Telepathy and mind-control. Possibly some precognition too, no?

MATT
Who told you all that?

CHRISTIAN
No one. I'm very good at guessing.

MATT
No one's that good.

CHRISTIAN
I am.

He settles into one of the delicate gilt chairs. He gestures for Matt to sit down as well. Matt remains where he is. Christian shrugs, unperturbed, and continues.

CHRISTIAN (CONT'D)
A million thoughts in my head at any moment, a million possible courses of action, a million pathways branching off into millions more. I've become adept at selecting the best possible course. It takes on the outward appearance of precognition, but I assure you, I have not been blessed in that area. Unlike yourself.
(smiles)
As I said, I'm good at guessing.

MATT
Yeah? Then guess what I'm going to do now.

CHRISTIAN
There are unlimited possibilities, of course. You could punch me in the nose, or dial room service for a cheeseburger, or sing me a rousing chorus of "The Star-Spangled Banner" while hopping on one leg. But what you are far and away most likely to do is listen to what I have to offer you.

Matt hesitates. Christian motions again for him to take a seat.

CUT TO:

INT. HIRO'S ROOM - NEW COMPANY INFIRMARY - DAY

Hiro sits upright in his hospital bed, a plastic breakfast tray on his lap. It contains a shallow bowl of lumpy gray gunk that may or may not be overcooked oatmeal and a plastic cup of applesauce. Hiro stirs the gray stuff without enthusiasm.

Ando sits in a chair at his bedside, sipping from a paper coffee cup.

HIRO
(in Japanese)
It seems impolite to eat in front of you.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
It shouldn't. That looks awful.

Hiro looks at the tray and frowns.

HIRO
(in Japanese)
Do you want my applesauce? Or my... I don't know what this is.

Ando inspects the contents of the shallow bowl.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
I think it's gruel.

HIRO
(in Japanese)
Gruel. They're feeding me gruel.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
I ate before I came over.

HIRO
(in Japanese)
I wish I didn't have to stay here.

His shoulders slump. He looks miserable and forlorn. Ando observes him for a moment, brow wrinkled, then settles back in his chair.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
I had waffles.

Hiro looks up.

ANDO (CONT'D)
(in Japanese)
Crispy and golden. With real maple syrup and a big pat of butter that melted into every ridge.

Hiro begins to look outraged. Ando continues, warming to his narrative.

ANDO (CONT'D)
(in Japanese)
Hickory-smoked bacon, too. Four thick slices. Two sausage links.

HIRO
(in Japanese)
You are a very bad friend.

Ando can't hide his emerging grin.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
And a tall, frosty glass of orange juice. Freshly squeezed.

Hiro seizes his spoon, scoops up some applesauce, and prepares to catapult it at Ando. He grins.

HIRO
(in Japanese)
Are you sure you don't want any applesauce?

He flicks it in Ando's direction. Ando laughs and ducks.

Time FREEZES.

The spoonful of applesauce is poised in midair, inches from Ando's head. Ando is frozen in place.

Hiro looks confused for a moment. He frowns.

HIRO (CONT'D)
(in Japanese)
That's not supposed to happen!

He squints his eyes shut and scrunches up his face. He opens his eyes and looks at Ando. Still frozen. He tries it again. No luck.

He kicks his legs out from under the covers and gets out of the bed. Barefoot in his pajama bottoms and hospital gown, he pads around the room. He examines frozen Ando from all angles. He huffs in frustration.

As he walks around Ando, however, something changes. Ando starts to look flat and two-dimensional, like a cardboard cutout. Everything in the room -- the bed, the applesauce, the chairs, the monitors -- has the same flat look.

Hiro frowns.

He switches directions and makes another circle around Ando. When he reaches the other side of the cardboard cutout, things change.

EXT. FORBIDDING LANDSCAPE - NIGHT

From this angle, there's no more Ando and no more hospital room. Hiro stands in his pajamas under a black starless, moonless sky, in the middle of an unending vista of gray sand and rocks. In the far horizon, there's a ridge of rocky hills. The landscape looks remote and unearthly, like the surface of the moon.

Hiro turns in a circle and looks around from all angles. He stops.

HIRO
Uh-oh.

FADE OUT.
END OF ACT THREE


ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

INT. STORAGE ROOM - NEW COMPANY - DAY

Claire and Noah sit on the floor of a windowless concrete room lined with shelf upon shelf of file storage boxes. Claire has a box in front of her, lid off, which she paws through haphazardly; Noah digs through another box in a more systematic manner.

CLAIRE
If you put all this stuff into some kind of computer program, this'd be a lot easier.

NOAH
Mmm.

CLAIRE
I mean, you could scan most of this, and then it'd be right at your fingertips.

NOAH
Yes, dear.

CLAIRE
All you'd have to do is type, I dunno, "weird broken infinity symbol tattoo," and it'd immediately spit back what you're looking for.

NOAH
That's not really the way I operate, Claire.

CLAIRE
Yeah, I noticed. Which is why we've been here since breakfast.

She sits back and pushes a shock of hair out of her eyes.

CLAIRE (CONT'D)
What's so special about this tattoo, anyway?

NOAH
I've seen it before on another person with special abilities. It was years ago. Might be a coincidence, might not.

CLAIRE
Are these all the boxes Mom mailed to you from your storage locker?

NOAH
Uh-huh.

CLAIRE
So that means she's talking to you, right?

NOAH
We're adults, Claire. Of course we're talking to each other.

CLAIRE
She'll get over it. She'll forgive you. She always does.

NOAH
This isn't like the time I forgot to pick up Mr. Muggles from the groomers. Your mother is right to be upset with me. She might be right to want me out of her life.

Claire looks unhappy at this.

CLAIRE
Yeah, but...

NOAH
Claire. Whatever happens, it will be for the best. Okay?
(pauses)
Aha!

He holds up a file. Clipped to the front is an old photo of a younger but still recognizable Christian Batard. Noah flips through the file's contents.

NOAH (CONT'D)
Christian Batard. Belgian national. I encountered him about fifteen years ago when he was getting his doctorate at Stanford.

Claire leans over and peeks at the file.

CLAIRE
He's kind of cute. Did you bag and tag him?

NOAH
We did indeed. Then we wiped his memory and released him. We kept an eye on him for a while, but we lost track of him when he returned to Europe.

While he talks, Claire pulls out her phone and starts typing away.

NOAH (CONT'D)
Claire, don't text your friends while we're working.

CLAIRE
I'm not. Here.

She passes him the phone. She's gone online and looked up Christian Batard.

CLAIRE (CONT'D)
Head of something called, lemme see, the Institut de Génétique. Sounds like something someone super-powered would be into, right? Here's their website.
(reads over Noah's shoulder)
Stanford and Cambridge, huh? Must be pretty smart.

NOAH
It's his ability.
(at Claire's look)
Supercharged intellect. It makes him uncanny at guessing.

CLAIRE
He'd clean up in Vegas. There's a bunch of photos of him. Here's one from Cambridge.
(points)
Isn't that Dr. Suresh?

Noah leans closer and scrutinizes the photo on the tiny screen. Christian is standing on the steps in front of an august building, shaking hands with a group of robed professors. Standing next to him, holding some kind of certificate, is Mohinder.

NOAH
Now, that's interesting.

He stares at the phone, pursing his lips, then looks at Claire.

NOAH (CONT'D)
Claire, my dear, I think we're going to take a trip.

CLAIRE
Where to?

NOAH
How do you feel about Brussels?

Claire looks up at him, surprised, then breaks into a wide, sunny grin.

CUT TO:

EXT. FORBIDDING LANDSCAPE - NIGHT

Hiro looks around, bewildered.

HIRO
Ando?
(shouting)
Ando!

Silence. Hiro starts walking. He goes a few yards, then stops.

He's standing on the edge of a jagged chasm, wide and deep. He looks down.

At the bottom of the chasm is a monstrous structure of metal and concrete. It looks unfinished, though it's impossible to tell what the final result is supposed to look like. It looks like a Frankenstein hybrid of several kinds of industrial complexes, several stories tall and terrifying, as though the most intimidating elements of nuclear reactors and waste treatment plants and electrical power plants have been cobbled together into a burgeoning monstrosity. Gigantic twin gray reactor towers rise up behind it. On the towers is painted the broken infinity symbol.

Hiro stares at it. His expression is grim yet almost blank, as though he's looking at something just beyond his ability to comprehend.

There's a low GROWL behind him.

Hiro turns and SHOUTS in fear. Something KNOCKS him back.

CUT TO:

INT. HIRO'S ROOM - NEW COMPANY INFIRMARY - DAY

Time unfreezes. Ando gets a spoonful of applesauce to the temple. He wipes his face and laughs.

ANDO
(in Japanese)
Hiro, I'm going to--

He stops. Hiro's not in his bed anymore. Instead, he's lying on the floor, arms protectively around his head, bloody claw marks on his cheek.

ANDO (CONT'D)
Hiro!

He jumps out of his chair and crouches beside Hiro.

ANDO (CONT'D)
(in Japanese)
You're bleeding! What happened?

Hiro looks at him, his expression wild, then relaxes. He sits up.

HIRO
(quoting in English)
"Something wicked this way comes."

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NEW COMPANY - NIGHT

Peter stands on the edge of the roof. He looks across the water at the Manhattan skyline, dazzling at night.

He turns at the sound of a door closing. Nathan joins him.

NATHAN
It always makes me a little nervous seeing you on a rooftop, Pete.
(grins)
Your track record isn't great.

PETER
If I fall, you'll always be there to catch me, right?

NATHAN
What are you thinking about?

PETER
Just how it all sometimes seems a little too good to be true. Sylar's death and the full pardon for all of us...
(shrugs)
You and me on the same side.

NATHAN
It's all real.

PETER
You ever get worried, though? Ma had the best intentions when she founded the original Company.

NATHAN
But the execution got all kinds of messed up. I know. We're not going to be like that. We're going to do it right.

PETER
But how can we be sure? How do we know this isn't going to all go horribly wrong again?

NATHAN
You've been spending way too much time with Suresh.

PETER
He might not be wrong.

NATHAN
You know why I'm so sure it won't go bad this time? You. It's because I have you at my side.

Peter smiles.

PETER
You can't get rid of me.

Nathan leans in and ruffles Peter's hair. Peter grins up at him.

CUT TO:

INT. HIRO'S ROOM - NIGHT

Mohinder, head down over his clipboard, enters the room.

MOHINDER
Hiro, if you don't mind, I'd like to take another sample...

He trails off, realizing he's speaking to an empty room. Hiro's bed is made, the sheets pulled up and tucked in.

Mohinder stops and looks around. He pulls open the door to the small closet. Nothing but empty hangers.

He takes out his phone and punches in a number.

EXT. ROOFTOP

Nathan's phone rings. He glances down at it. He rolls his eyes at Peter and answers the call.

NATHAN
What's up, Suresh?

INT. HIRO'S ROOM

MOHINDER
(on phone)
Hiro's gone. He took all his things. It doesn't look like he's coming back.

INTERCUT - TELEPHONE CONVERSATION

NATHAN
There's nothing we can do about it. He's here voluntarily.

MOHINDER
If he doesn't get treatment, he'll die. Can't you check with security? Maybe he
hasn't left the building.

A drop of water falls from the air conditioning vent on the ceiling and lands on his head. Mohinder touches his hair, frowns, and looks up at the vent.

The dripping turns into a steady drizzle.

Water GUSHES through the vent to the floor. Mohinder jumps out of the way.

The puddle of water shifts and congeals. It rises up into a ever-changing transparent pillar.

NATHAN (O.S.)
Suresh? You there?

Transfixed, Mohinder doesn't answer

The pillar of water begins to take the shape of a voluptuous female form.

NATHAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Suresh?

MOHINDER
I think you'd better come here, Nathan.

He disconnects the call. He takes a cautious step back.

The female shape becomes more detailed and solid, until Tracy, naked as a jaybird, stands in front of him. She frowns at Mohinder.

TRACY
Dr. Suresh?

MOHINDER
Tracy? How did you do that?

He looks up at the air conditioning vent.

MOHINDER (CONT'D)
You can turn yourself into a liquid state?

TRACY
It's something new. Ah, do you have..?

She gestures towards her naked state. Mohinder blushes.

MOHINDER
Of course. Here.

He whips off his white lab smock and wraps it around her bare shoulders.

TRACY
Thanks. What are you doing here? Are they holding you captive?

MOHINDER
What? No. They're not doing that sort of thing anymore.

TRACY
There's no way you'd help Nathan Petrelli voluntarily. Not after what he did to you.

MOHINDER
He says he's changed.

TRACY
You can't trust Nathan.

MOHINDER
I don't trust him. Of course I don't. I'm helping a friend.

TRACY
I'm going to stop Nathan before he can hurt anyone else.

MOHINDER
He's not going to hurt anyone. I promise. Look, we'll go talk to him together. You'll see.

He turns toward the door. Tracy picks up a lamp from the bedside table and SMASHES it across the back of his head.

The lamp breaks into pieces. Mohinder crumples to the floor.

TRACY
Sorry, Doctor.

She heads for the door.

INT. HALLWAY

Tracy strides down the hall. The elevator at the end of the corridor DINGS as it arrives on the floor. Tracy glances at it, then ducks into the closest room and shuts the door.

Peter and Nathan get off the elevator and head for Hiro's room.

INT. HIRO'S ROOM

Peter and Nathan burst in. Mohinder lies unconscious on the floor amongst the shards of the broken lamp. Peter kneels beside him and lifts his head.

PETER
Mohinder?

His hand comes away wet with blood.

NATHAN
He's been attacked.

He takes out his phone and stabs a few buttons.

NATHAN (CONT'D)
(on phone)
It's Senator Petrelli. There's an intruder in the infirmary.

PETER
I'll stay with Mohinder.

Nathan nods and hurries out the door.

INT. HALLWAY

Nathan strides down the hall. An ALARM sounds. Red lights flash. A SECURITY GUARD, hand on his holstered gun, comes off the elevator. Nathan beckons to him.

NATHAN
Come with me!

He moves down the corridor at a fast clip. The guard follows.

CUT TO:

INT. PHYSICAL THERAPY ROOM

Tracy stands in the center of an enormous space with sterile white walls and a white tile floor. She looks around. There's a huge medical hot tub by the far wall.

She examines the tub. It's attached to the wall via a metal pipe.

She places a hand on the pipe where it connects with the wall. Frost and ice crystals form. She continues touching it until the metal cracks.

She seizes an aluminum crutch and swings it down. The pipe SMASHES apart.
Water GUSHES out from the wall in a torrential flow. The room floods.

CUT TO:

INT. HIRO'S ROOM

Peter checks Mohinder's pulse. Mohinder's eyelids flutter. He sits up and looks around in confusion.

PETER
Take it easy. You might have a concussion.

Mohinder looks baffled for a moment, then blinks. He gets to his feet. Peter grabs his elbow and helps him up.

MOHINDER
It's Tracy Strauss. She's going to kill Nathan.

PETER
Tracy's dead.

MOHINDER
Tell that to her.

He starts toward the door. Peter follows.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY

Water spills beneath the closed doorway of the physical therapy room. Nathan and the security guard come to a halt.

NATHAN
Someone's in there.

SECURITY GUARD
Let me go first, sir.

The guard draws his gun. He puts one hand on the doorknob, then eases it open. Water pours into the hall.

INT. PHYSICAL THERAPY ROOM

The guard looks around. Nathan hovers just behind him. The room appears to be empty.

SECURITY GUARD
You'd better stay back, Senator.

Nathan ignores him and wades into the room behind him. The water reaches the top of Nathan's expensive shoes.

Unseen by Nathan or the security guard, a shape rises up out of the water near the doorway. Transparent, female, naked. Tracy.

She stands behind the security guard and touches him on the shoulder. He starts to turn around, then freezes. Literally. Ice crystals spread across his body and turn him into a statue. Sightless frosted-over eyes stare at Tracy.

When the crystals reach the ground, the water freezes. Before Nathan realizes what's happening, his feet and ankles are frozen to the floor.

He turns his head and sees Tracy. Tracy picks up Mohinder's lab smock from where she left it on the rim of the tub and wraps it around her. She winks at Nathan.

TRACY
You seem to be in a bit of trouble, Senator.

NATHAN
Tracy Strauss. I didn't expect to see you again.

He tries to free himself. Tracy smiles.

TRACY
I wouldn't wiggle around too much. Your ankles could break, and you'd be left with bloody stumps.
(shrugs)
Though I suppose it's a moot point. They'll have to amputate your feet at this point anyway.

She walks closer to him. Nathan looks down at his frozen feet and winces in pain.

TRACY (CONT'D)
Frostbite's kind of a bitch, isn't it?

NATHAN
What do you want?

TRACY
What do you think? You chained me up like an animal. You tortured me.

Nathan holds up his hands.

NATHAN
Whatever you feel about me, I can do you a lot more good alive than dead. You know that's true.

Tracy stops. She cocks her head to the side and appears to consider.

NATHAN (CONT'D)
You can be smart or stupid about this. Your choice.

TRACY
Goodbye, Nathan.

She places her hands on his shoulders, then leans in and kisses him.

There's a crackling noise. Frost forms over Nathan's body, starting from his lips and spreading out. Nathan only has enough time to draw back in shock before he freezes solid.

Tracy steps back. She observes Nathan, her expression unreadable.

She takes the gun out of the security guard's frozen grip. She raises it to Nathan's forehead.

She squares her shoulders and pulls the trigger. Muzzle flash and a BANG.

The bullet STOPS.

It hovers in midair an inch from Nathan's forehead.

Tracy mouth falls open. She lowers the gun.

The bullet DROPS to the frozen ground.

There's a CRACK. Blue electric lightning travels down the length of Nathan's body. When the electricity hits the ground, it moves across the ice and ZAPS Tracy. She FLIES back. She lands on her ass on the ice and skids back until she collides with the wall. She looks up at Nathan, stunned.

Nathan defrosts. He tilts his head back and BELLOWS at the top of his lungs, an animalistic sound of barely-contained rage.

The ice on the floor melts into a mixture of water, slush, and floating ice chunks.

Nathan shifts and bulges. As Tracy watches in fascinated horror, Nathan shape-shifts into SYLAR.

Sylar looks around, astonished and confused.

He looks down at Tracy. Tracy looks up at Sylar.

Tracy shakes her head. It takes her a couple of attempts before she can speak.

TRACY (CONT'D)
You're not Nathan.

Sylar smiles, wide and cruel. He tilts his head to the side.

SYLAR
Believe me, it surprises me, too.

He looks around the room, then down at himself. He's dressed in Nathan's clothes.

SYLAR (CONT'D)
Someone has been playing games with me.

He flicks a hand in Tracy's direction. An invisible force picks her up and TOSSES her across the room. She CRASHES into the wall and slumps to the ground.

She lifts up her head. Sylar smiles again. He raises a hand and extends a finger toward her forehead.

Tracy's eyes widen. In a flash, she turns herself into water and disappears.

Sylar blinks. He looks down at the slush and ice chunks. No sign of Tracy. He raises an eyebrow.

Water trickles down the drain on the tile floor.

INT. HALLWAY

Peter and Mohinder examine the closed door to the physical therapy room. It's covered with a thick slab of solid ice. Peter pounds on the ice.

PETER
Nathan! Nathan, are you in there?

Mohinder nudges him aside.

MOHINDER
Let me.

He throws himself against the door. The ice SMASHES apart.

INT. PHYSICAL THERAPY ROOM

Sylar looks at the closed door.

PETER (O.S.)
Nathan!

MOHINDER (O.S.)
Nathan! Are you all right?

Sylar smirks, delighted. He spreads his hands. Crackling balls of blue electricity appear in each palm.

SYLAR
(to himself)
Come on in, boys.

His expression changes. He goes blank. His eyeballs roll up in his head, then focus again. He shakes his head as though trying to clear it.

SYLAR (CONT'D)
No!

The outline of his body grows fuzzy. He's changing, but he's fighting it every step of the way.

SYLAR (CONT'D)
I won't... I'm not...

A solo struggle takes place, then Sylar shifts back into Nathan's form.

Nathan topples forward and falls into the slush, out cold.

The door FLIES off its hinges from Mohinder's enhanced strength. Mohinder and Peter burst into the room.

Peter drops to his knees next to Nathan. He cradles his brother's head.

PETER
Nathan? Nathan, you all right?

He shakes him. Nathan murmurs something inaudible. Mohinder crouches beside Peter.

Nathan's eyes snap open. He looks around, disoriented. His eyes focus on Peter.

NATHAN
Pete?

PETER
Hey. Yeah. You okay?

Nathan struggles to sit upright. Peter and Mohinder grab his arms and ease him up.

NATHAN
What happened?

MOHINDER
Did you see where Tracy went?

NATHAN
(shakes his head)
She froze me. I thought she killed me. I don't remember anything after that.

PETER
I'm just glad you're okay.

He grabs Nathan around his shoulders and hugs him.

NATHAN
Yeah, me too.

Nathan pats Peter on the back, reassuring him, and closes his eyes.

FADE OUT.
THE END

Comments

Jason Gilman said…
Awesome job Morgan! The Claire - Noah partnership and interplay was particularly good I thought. All of the dialogue and characterizations seemed spot on. I had no problems visualizing all our favorite actors in the scenes you created. I'm definitely liking where everything is going and the mysterious blue infinity organization looks pretty promising.
Morgan Richter said…
Thanks, Jason. I just sort of liked the idea of having a sexy, darker European version of the Company running amuck. And I've always vastly preferred Claire and HRG when they're not squabbling with each other over keeping secrets...
Lou said…
Just read the beginning of this post and Im intrigued. I will read the script tomorrow when Im not so sleepy and can actually pay attention. Naturellement Im hoping for Mo's shirt to fall off gratuitously at least once...
Morgan Richter said…
Yeah, see, originally Act Three was going to be occupied in total by Mohinder taking a long, hot, extra-soapy shower. But then I decided there was something to be said for, I dunno, plot. As it stands, there are a bunch of scenes where people reassure Mohinder that he's awesome and smart. I thought after last season the poor fellow could use a self-esteem boost.
Patrick said…
I am impressed!

An excellent episode and, sadly, of a much higher quality than we can expect in the autumn.

What I Loved:

1. Reminding Matt of Daphne.
2. Acknowledging the existence of Molly.
3. Mohinder acknowledging that he is not a medical doctor.
4. Nathan not being able to fly. Very clever. Hadn't thought of that, but makes perfect sense. Unless we remember that Sylar could fly.
5. Mohinder saying that being wet and chained up was the highlight of his year! The best line of all, and a great in-joke for the Preppies crew!
6. The new Company was excellent - delighted they are looking for new people, not just following the same old plotlines.
7. Sadie is a great character, although in proper Heroes fashion she should be played by an American who cannot do a Liverpool accent.
8. Her name and the Beatles reference.
9. Angela in the episode.
10. The ending.

The only flaw is at the end when Peter claims to have all of Sylar's powers, including regeneration. That's a misreading of the last episode. He only took one power from Sylar - the shapeshifting. There is some line where he says something like 'Guess which one I took?' I'm going to go back on that, but pretty certain he only took one and can only ever have one at a time.
Patrick said…
Just rewatched the end of 'An Invisible Thread'. When Peter injects Sylar at the end he says: 'Bet you didn't think I took that one from you'. The implication, I think, is that Peter was only able to take one power from Sylar when they fought and he was clever enough to pick that one, not one of the more obvious ones.

I only say this because this is the episode that should be the season opener, and I wouldn't want to have to go on this blog and complain afterwards about a mistake!

Mr. Fuller needs to hire a certain Ms. Richter stat.
Morgan Richter said…
Aha! Good catch, Patrick. I will alter Peter's dialogue accordingly. I will also not waste any time trying to figure out how in the world Peter was able to pick and choose which of Sylar's powers he swiped. I'm just going to accept it and move on...

I liked how, after Mohinder's line about not being a medical doctor, he proceeds to once again act exactly like a medical doctor for the rest of the episode. My self-amusement knows no bounds.
Ingrid Richter said…
I love your Heroes spec script, Morgan!

Heh. I shot the first scene with Matt & Angela over at Xtranormal, just for fun.

(disclaimer: characters don't look, sound or act like any of the Heroes characters; parody only)
Morgan Richter said…
Ingrid, that Xtranormal clip is just about the creepiest damn thing I've ever seen. It's equal parts cheerful and soulless. (Actually, that clip Lou made at Christmas of Sylar and Mohinder as dancing elves was probably creepier, but this was way up there.)
Ingrid Richter said…
No need to thank me :-)

I've been addicted to Xtranormal (make films online! no talent necessary!) ever since one of the local bands used it to promote their upcoming show. Creepily cheerful and soulless sums it up in a nutshell...
Jason Gilman said…
Ingrid, I hadn't heard about Xtranormal so that was a pretty nifty intro. I'm going to have to try that out myself now.
Ingrid Richter said…
I'm trying to convince Morgan to shoot the entire spec script in Xtranormal (there's even an "Indian Male Voice" option for Mohinder).

I think you'll get a kick out of the program, Jason :-)
Dan said…
No Skulky?

Despite that shameful oversight, tres cool. Spot on, really.

So... what happens in the second episode?
Morgan Richter said…
Sorry for the lack of Skulky, Dan, but I figure he's off on his own adventures -- adventures so awesome and exciting that they would have overshadowed anything else that happened. Episode two focuses around a character named, let's see, "Morgana", who is prettier and smarter and more powerful than all the other heroes combined. And Mohinder and Sylar and Peter fight comically for her affections. It'll be awesome.

Since we've got a long, lonely summer ahead of us (well, not you, Dan, but those of us in the northern hemisphere), I'm mulling over the pros and cons of turning this into a multi-episode arc. On the one hand, this seems a little too self-amusing even for me. On the other hand, it's not like I've got anything better to do right now.
Patrick said…
I love the idea of turning this into a multi-episode arc. The rule I think is that the rest of us should comment on it as if it was the real episode. Make predictions about future events, speculate about motives, criticise the acting....

In fact, someone should also write a recap of each episode... If I have time tomorrow I will take on that challenge, unless someone gets there first.
Ingrid Richter said…
Heh. No Heroes for the summer + self-amusing crowd = very interesting experiments.

Great script, but *completely* wooden acting of CGI Matt and Angela over at Xtranormal. I'd almost say they were learning their lines phonetically...
Morgan Richter said…
Heh. Okay, I guess it's on me to actually write more episodes. Should be doable, as long as people aren't expecting me to post them on any sort of regular schedule. In any case, it's good practice.

I promise that the 1961 versions of the Company founders will not be featured in any way. Nor will Sylar be shyly romancing Claire. Apart from that, it's wide open.
levitatethis said…
The problem with this is that now I'm going to be expecting something of this caliber for the next volume...and I'm not sure how much faith I have in the writers.

This is really well done and raises even more storyline possiblities than I had previously imagined -- like another (European)version of the Company. Your dialogue and characterizations feel spot on and the various character interactions make so much sense! I can't stress that enough. You manage to convey motivations with actions and dialogue that are precise but not awkward or forced.

And a big plus for me is that I can totally see Mohinder this way. He wants to do the right thing but kind of gets dragged back into questionable circumstances. And he's trying to keep a clear head but he also has to think fast. I love that Hiro tells him about the future where he saved him. I've been wanting that scene since we saw the "Five Years Gone" episode in Volume 1. I think it's something that would go a long way for someone like Mohinder to hear.

I also like that from the first episode we'd see the beginning of the conflict between Sylar/Nathan.

I'd love to see you continue this actually. I can already tell you I'd rather watch this show :-)
Morgan Richter said…
Thank you! I'm so glad it worked for you. I'm a stickler for consistent characterization and believable character interaction -- I'm willing to put up with a dull or improbable plot if I like the characters, but if they start becoming unrecognizeable as the characters that made me start watching the show in the first place, I get cranky. The vast bulk of my complaints about the last season of Heroes can be lumped into this category.

I'll try to keep up the momentum. We'll see where it goes.
Ingrid Richter said…
Hooray! New ersatz Heroes episodes this summer!
Morgan Richter said…
Apologies for the silence and delay, folks -- I'm coming off a week or so of disappointments and self-pity (of the "even the temp agencies don't want to hire me!" variety), which has sorta derailed things a bit. After a sisterly pep talk from Ingrid last night, I seem to be back on track. I'm aiming to post the next installment on Monday, which is optimistic yet attainable. Thanks for your patience.
Ingrid Richter said…
My sisterly pep talk consisted mostly of playing Joe Esposito's You're The Best Around from Karate Kid over the phone.

Good to have you back, Morgan!
Dan said…
Ingrid, I don't think I've ever heard of such a truer example of sisterly love.

(wipes small tear from his eye, adopts crane stance, hopes nobody sweeps his leg)

Glad you're feeling pluckier, Morgan.
Dan said…
It's possible that the Heroes writing team are going to steal your idea:

Heroes: Season 4 Will Have a New Mystery Group

They could do a lot worse...
Morgan Richter said…
Not bad, Dan. I still haven't come across any hints about the new season that actually make me excited about the show. I guess we'll have to see how the execution of these ideas is handled. And Ray Park! That's surely a good thing, right?

Popular posts from this blog

The Strange, Sick, Sad Career of Thomas Gibson

Friday Roundup

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: “The Moonglow Affair”