“He’s so beautiful.” Elle whispers, her weary face staring in awe at her child.
“He really is.” Gabriel agrees quietly. “Eleanor, I know we discussed names for boys and girls, do you know what you want to call him?” He wonders.
“I liked the name you suggested. It’s an important name too.” Eleanor smiles.
“So is that what we’ll call him?” Gabriel caresses Eleanor’s cheek, smiling towards the baby.
“Noah. Noah Gray.” Elle’s lips quiver with happiness. “I love you, Gabriel.” She stares lovingly into Noah’s innocent eyes.
“I love you too, Elle.” Gabriel gently strokes Elle’s hair and stares at Noah. “Who are you?” He looks up at the hospital room door and speaks firmly.
“I’m nobody yet. But I will be, all thanks to that son of yours.” The Nomad answers.
“Listen to me, get out. You will regret this.” Gabriel speaks sharply as he approaches The Nomad, who recalls the events from which he stole Noah Gray from his parents.
“You took the boy away from his parents?” Valeria Stenson mutters. She nervously fiddles with her short hair whilst The Nomad strokes her soft, pigmentless skin.
“I had to, Valeria. Noah is necessary for the Godsend Device to work. You remember when I brought him here, don’t you?” The Nomad asks.
“You came in with the child, said you’d rescued him from some kind of accident where his parents had died. I always wondered why there were never any adoption proceedings, you just stole him.” Valeria shudders.
“I promise you Valeria, I want to be completely open and honest with you now, that’s why I’m sharing this with you. Do you remember Michael?” The Nomad responds with a question.
“The one who could teleport and travel through time?” Valeria answers.
“Yes, he could jump through time, but also into parallel universes. Without him, none of this would have been possible, God rest his soul. Noah wasn’t born here, Valeria. He came from somewhere else. I remember the very day, it was Sunday, November the 13th, 1994, the day I brought him home. Michael and I had visited many different timelines and universes. None were similar enough that resulted in Noah Gray being born by Gabriel and Elle. After a long time searching, Michael did it. He found him. We both jumped into the other universe and into 2009, and that’s where I saw them. That’s where I saw him. We’d teleported into a hospital not too far from Costa Verde.” The Nomad continues to remember.
“Gabriel, let him go.” Elle insists, as The Nomad walks in with a smile.
“What a beautiful boy. You have no idea what your son is capable of.” The Nomad enlightens the new parents.
“What do you want?” Elle groans, shielding Noah’s delicate head with her hand.
“I want your boy. We can do this the easy way, or… the other easy way.” The Nomad mutters. Gabriel advances towards The Nomad forcefully and raises his right hand, his two fingers extended as he slices them through the air whilst he aims towards The Nomad’s head. Gabriel grunts in pain as blood begins to pour from his own forehead. The Nomad reflected his attack effortlessly, causing the upper region of his head to slowly slide off as Gabriel falls dead to the ground. Elle screams out in terror, and charges her power by electrifying her left hand.
“Now, now. You saw what I did to your beloved. If I were to reflect your power, you would potentially be sacrificing your dear child.” The Nomad explains bluntly.
“Leave my baby alone.” Elle whimpers fearfully as Gabriel’s blood spills onto the hospital floor.
“If you hand the baby over to me, I’ll let you live. You have my word. I would have let Gabriel live too, but he attacked me. I’m sorry.” The Nomad promises.
“Without Noah, without Gabriel, what would I even have to live for?” Elle argues.
“You should be grateful to have walked among the footsteps of those who came before you. You should be grateful to share your footsteps with the greats among us today, including your son. You would live knowing that he will one day save the world and bring it a far better future, just not in this universe.” The Nomad speaks confidently, as Elle slowly, yet reluctantly hands Noah over to him.
“Please don’t hurt him. Please don’t.” Elle whimpers.
“I won’t. But I’m sorry, I cannot afford to let you remember any of this. I can’t risk having you come back one day to take Noah from me.” The Nomad shakes his head regretfully.
“No, no, no. Please. I promise you I won’t ever come for you. Don’t make me forget my son.” Elle’s lips quiver as she fights to prevent herself from crying.
The Nomad continues to shake his head, as he makes a waving gesture with his hand, gently erasing the ever so delicate memories of Noah from Elle’s mind. He leaves the room with Noah.
“Gabriel? Gabriel?!” Elle shouts.
“Time to go?” Michael asks, as The Nomad nods towards him, and Michael teleports them both home, back into November the 13th, 1994.
“Did you have to kill Noah’s father?” Valeria whimpers.
“Don’t be afraid of me, my love. You know I would never hurt you. I’m not in control of my reflection power, you know that. It just happens. Besides, Noah’s father is still alive in this universe.” The Nomad states.
“But his real father isn’t.” Valeria argues.
“Well, no. But biologically, Gabriel Gray in this universe is still his father.” The Nomad counter-argues.
“You never let me see him and you never let me play a part in his upbringing, he barely even knows I exist. I’m so surprised at how you’ve managed that considering you never let him go to the surface. He doesn’t even know what the real world is like, you’ve convinced him it’s a wasteland. How could you?” Valeria whimpers.
“I have planned this for many years, my dear. The plan is flawless. It cannot fail. I can’t allow for any outside contamination to affect Noah negatively and cause a relentless butterfly effect to spiral so many ways, ways that I couldn’t possibly prepare enough contingencies for.” The Nomad speaks sharply as he defends his critical plan.
“You think I don’t remember, don’t you? You think I don’t remember why you want to enforce your brave new world?” Valeria mutters, refusing to make eye contact.
“What?” The Nomad gasps quietly as he reaches for Valeria’s chin and turns her head to look towards him again.
“I remember death. I remember the day it all went wrong. We were at the expo and there was a mass shooting. I was taken. I tried to convince them I didn’t have any abilities but they didn’t believe me. They shot me in the legs and in the arms. They let me suffer and bleed before they finally shot me in the head. They were a group of psychopaths who were adamant to kill everybody with abilities, even without proof of the person having them. I remember still being able to see after I died. It was like a still frame that slowly blurred out and faded to black over the course of what felt like ten minutes. The next thing I remember is waking up in The Machine. You told me I’d had an accident, and I know you tried to erase my memory. I’m telling you it didn’t work.” Valeria reveals whilst The Nomad stares in confusion. “I’m glad it showed me that you trust me though. Because clearly you’ve never tried to read my mind otherwise you would have learnt this a long time ago.” She states quietly.
“I have tried to read your mind, Valeria. I try every day. I was worried it was just a sign of trauma. Never did I realise that my abilities no longer affect you.” The Nomad admits.
“I’m frightened of you. I always have been. You used to be so gentle and loving. I tried to convince myself that you were going through a temporary stage of grief, but you were truly reborn from my death. You learnt who you truly are. A psychopath who enjoys killing.” Valeria’s teeth chatter as she verbally attacks the Nomad.
“Don’t be so ridiculous. I’m doing what I must! This has to happen today, because if anything goes wrong, I have a contingency in place for it. There’s an eclipse tomorrow.” The Nomad shouts whilst Valeria blinks rapidly, recoiling in terror.
“I’m not your wife.” Valeria huffs through her teeth. “Your wife died. She’s gone. Eternal blackness. I’m just a continuation of her, a copy that isn’t under her influence at all. She was born, she died. I fight every day with myself trying to learn who I am, what I am, and I never find answers.” She mutters.
“You are my wife. You are eternal. I love you.” The Nomad reassures Valeria as he places his hands on her shoulders.
“Dad?” Riley calls out as he enters The Nomad’s office.
“Yes, Riley? What is it?” The Nomad responds agitatedly.
“Noah tried to go outside.” Riley answers rapidly.
“What? I’ll have to have a word with him.” The Nomad sighs and leaves the room with Riley.
“Noah?” He calls out as he walks down a dim hallway outside of his office.
“Riley, I asked you to keep this between us.” Noah huffs.
“Look, I’ve already told you why you can’t go onto the surface, it’s too dangerous. There are lots of people out there who would want to get their hands on you and use your powers for their own agendas. You’re not strong enough to survive on the surface, unlike the others.” The Nomad explains.
“I know, but I just wanted to see what the surface is like. I’m seventeen, Dad. I don’t understand why everybody else can go the surface if I’m supposed to be the most powerful out of us all?” Noah replies with confusion.
“You know very well why you can’t step onto the surface, Noah. The combination of your hyper photosensitivity and surfaced-based respiratory issues would cause you to burn out and suffocate within minutes. Once your powers have fully manifested and we’ve completed your training and our objective with the Godsend Device, only then can we safely introduce you to the surface.” The Nomad firmly reminds Noah, attempting to wade his way through the rebellious cracks of his ever-changing persona. He places his hand gently onto Noah’s shoulder and guides him away from Riley in order to carry on their conversation in private. “You know I’ve told you about the people on the surface, they’re all monsters. They act nice on the surface, but deep down, they’re all treacherous entities. It’s either kill or be killed up there, Noah. You know that, we’ve been through it.” He mutters exasperatedly.
“But Riley’s always told me stories about the surface. He tells me about how nice it is. How much he can’t wait for me to be able to see it.” Noah responds, perplexed.
“Your brother is telling tales, he is as gullible as he is foolish. Riley will be lucky to survive for much longer if he continues taking these reckless and unauthorised trips to the surface. Trust me, Noah. You trust me, don’t you?” The Nomad remarks.
“I trust you. I’m just looking forward to being able to work with all those volunteers we have from your company, the ones that can restore the world to its former glory. I want to meet other people, I want to see other abilities and get to know everybody. Not that I even know what it used to look like, or what it looks like now for that matter.” Noah exclaims.
“Together, you and I will clean the world of its atrocities and rise alongside a new one. It’s been a long time, Noah, and you’ll be ready very soon. I have another task for you.” The Nomad smiles.
“What is it?” Noah asks curiously.
“Follow me.” The Nomad instructs Noah, as he follows him into his office. The Nomad reveals a hidden room behind his office that contains a small prison that contains three individual jail cells.
“What is this?” Noah’s eyes lit up with concern.
“This is where I keep any troublesome people, Noah. At the moment, I only have one. I need you to kill him. You’ll need to learn how it feels to take a life, to defend yourself against evil.” The Nomad grinned.
“But he’s behind bars, how is it self-defence?” Noah frowned.
“Everybody on the surface has the capability of being a cold-blooded killer. Bars or no, he is capable of killing. In fact, he has killed many. Would you like to know what this man here does? He eats the living to fuel his own abilities. What’s his ability, you might ask? He can inflict paralysis upon his victims so that they can lie idly as they are eaten by this disgusting predator.” The Nomad explained whilst gnashing his teeth. “Now, I know you’ve used a great deal of your powers in the past, but you’ve never used one on a person. Until today. You’re ready, my son.” He smiles twitchingly.
“What do you want me to do?” Noah mutters confidently.
“Do whatever you must. Make it quick, make it slow. Make it painless, make it painful. The choice is yours. Alex is here to help too. She’ll dispose of him when you’re done.” The Nomad answers. Alex, a young-adult with dyed purple hair and colourful floral sleeve tattoos, awaits further instructions.
“Hey Noah.” Alex smiles.
“Hi Alex.” Noah nods. Alex grew up alongside Noah and Riley as their older step-sister, rescued by The Nomad from a young age.
“What are you going to do with him when I’m done? Burn him, or teleport his body somewhere else?” Noah questions, revealing Alex’s powers of teleportation and fire-wielding.
“I don’t know yet. That depends entirely on what you do to him. You don’t have to kill him, you know?” Alex suggests.
“Of course he does. Didn’t you hear what I said about him, Alex? Noah needs to get his first kill out of the way. It’s necessary.” The Nomad sneers.
“Once we use the Godsend Device, there’ll be no need to kill anymore, right?” Noah asks patiently.
“That’s correct, Noah, but for the time being you must understand that some people are just too far gone. Even though we will fix human nature, there will be the lingering psychopathy in the back of some of the most broken human minds. You must be prepared for the rebels of the future, some, like him, may be able to resist the change.” The Nomad explains steadily.
“Okay.” Noah responds as he stares into the prisoner’s emotionless eyes, assessing the faint presence of any left over human feelings. He stares endlessly into the prisoner’s eyes, struggling to bring himself to killing somebody at all.
“It’s okay, sweetie. You don’t have to do this.” Alex reassures Noah and gently places her hand onto his shoulder.
“If you’re going to carry on behaving like this, you can get out.” The Nomad snipes. “Noah, what are you waiting for?” He clamours.
“I won’t do it. I believe we can reason with those who are broken, those who are lost.” Noah argues.
“Oh, for goodness’ sake. Must I do everything for you?” The Nomad controls Noah’s powers, making him disintegrate The Consumer from the inside out, killing him on the spot. “A fitting death, if I say so myself.” He smiles and nods, before leaving the room to return to his office.
“Are you okay, Noah?” Alex murmurs softly.
“I don’t know.” Noah shudders.
“We can leave, together.” Alex suggests quietly. “I’ve spoken with Riley, we can all leave together.” She whispers.
In the distance, Riley turns a corner and steadily proceeds to leave the building, slowly walking towards the exit and gradually moving faster whilst checking behind him to make sure nobody can witness him leaving. He quietly opens a reinforced door and runs up the dimly lit stairs towards the surface. Riley bursts through the door and gasps deeply whilst catching his breath at the same time.
“Riley?” A female voice calls out.
“Hey, Lily.” Riley responds raggedly.
“Ri, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” Lily mumbles and reaches her hand out to Riley whilst quickly walking towards him.
“I think something is wrong. Whatever I’ve been sensing, it’s going to happen today.” Riley answers and holds onto Lily’s hand.
“Is it your powers?” Lily asks hurriedly.
“I don’t know. You know I’ve had suspicions for a while now, right? I can just feel this ever building energy inside there and I had to get out. Like I said, something is going to happen, I can feel it.” Riley explains hastily.
“Come with me. We can leave together. We can just run?” Lily suggests.
“I can’t, Lil. I have to stay with Noah, I have to help him. I spoke with Alex and she’s going to try to persuade Noah to leave. Then we can go together. You know I told you about the Godsend Device and how my Dad wants Noah to use it? I feel like he has a hidden agenda.” Riley responds quietly.
“You told me you thought he would do something else with the Godsend Device, but what’s so different now? Why now? He’s your Dad, Ri, surely you know him better than most.” Lily attempts to reassure Riley.
“Do I?” Riley grunts sadly. “It’s a mirage. His entire personality is an illusion. Think about it, I thought my life was normal until I met you. I thought everybody was raised in their own homes, taught in their own homes, Noah has spent his entire life inside there, he’s never ever stepped foot on the surface. I’m so scared that he will kill everybody if he does.” He shudders as his worrisome behaviour begins to startle Lily.
“Why? Why would Noah kill everybody?” Lily shakes fearfully.
“Dad brainwashed him, I could hear him telling Noah lies about the surface, that it’s full of killers and psychopaths. If Noah ever found his way to the surface, he would kill relentlessly in order to defend himself because he thinks Dad is right, and why wouldn’t he? He idolises Dad, he believes every word he says.” Riley huffs.
“Then we can leave with him? Let’s go together.” Lily insists.
“Lily I can’t, we have to wait until Alex speaks to him. Trust me. If my suspicions about Dad are right, I need to stay here for now. Please. Carry on staying at the Manor and wait for me.” Riley instructs.
“I can’t, I hate those places. You know me, Riley, you can’t ask that of me.” Lily whimpers.
“I’m sorry that your parents pushed you into one of those places, I am. But please, you need to help us. It won’t be for much longer.” Riley pleads whilst Lily nods reluctantly.
“Here, take these.” He hands over two photographs to Lily. One of them two together and the other of Riley and Noah together.
“Is that Noah?” Lily wonders.
“Yeah, that’s Noah. We’re a bit younger there, that was taken a couple of years ago. Dad doesn’t normally approve of photographs, but this was on a good day. It was the last day I remember Dad being… well, Dad.” Riley whispers bitterly.
Lily strokes Riley’s hand and smiles at the photograph of them together, admiring the beautiful smile on Riley’s face.
“That was the first time you’d ever seen the night sky. The first time you saw stars glisten in the black abyss above us. You were in awe, you couldn’t fathom it.” Lily reflects.
“I just love the way you’re staring at me and smiling in that photograph. You’re beautiful, Lily. I love you.” Riley expresses fondly.
“I love you too.” Lily smiles and tilts her head to the side, gazing into Riley’s green eyes.
“I don’t know what you can expect, Lily. Anything can happen. I just know that my Dad sends people to the manor here so he can keep a close eye on them himself. Should anything happen, it will happen at this manor.” Riley explains.
“Riley, I don’t understand. How are you so sure something is going to happen? I asked earlier, is it because of your powers? Sometimes when you’re agitated, they don’t function properly, you might be panicking.” Lily attempts to explain.
“No. I’m not panicking, Lily. I have to let this play its course, right now, dominoes are falling and you’ll be the one to stop them.” Riley tries to restrain himself from panicking.
“Okay, okay. I trust you, Ri. You should go back inside, you don’t want your Dad to think you’ve disappeared again.” Lily insists calmly.
“Okay. Next time we see each other, we’ll go stargazing again?” Riley suggests.
“I’d love to.” Lily chuckles sweetly as she cuddles Riley tightly.
“I’ll see you very soon.” Riley smiles. “One last thing. When you see Noah, remind him of the most important thing. Hope Never Dies.” He strokes Lily’s cheek and says goodbye. Riley re-enters the building and rapidly sprints down the stairs and back into the complex, slowly opening the reinforced door and closing it behind him. Meanwhile, Lily quickly departs from the premises and reaches for her mobile phone and begins to call a person from her contacts list.
“I need your help, please. Are you two still around?” Lily pleads.
“Whereabouts are you, Lily?” A female voice replies.
“I’m still in the area before I left you guys. I’m at Glasshearst, not too far from the Petrelli Manor here.” Lily answers.
“We just dropped off the guys that we rescued with you earlier, Emmett and his mum. Can you see the radio tower from where you are?” The female voice asks politely.
“I can, should we meet there?” Lily asks.
“Yes, we’ll see you in a few moments, Lily. Are you okay?” The female voice wonders.
“I hope so. I’ll explain when I see you.” Lily hangs up, and proceeds to jog towards the nearby radio tower. Her mind is a garbled mess of paranoid, pessimistic thoughts and ideas, all of which she hopes aren’t true. As she steadily approaches the tower, Lily spots two female figures approaching.
“Hey, Lily.” A female figure greets Lily.
“Hey Jennifer, Jessica. I know we were supposed to part ways after rescuing the woman and her kid, but I really need your help.” Lily pleads mournfully.
“What is it, Lily? Are you… are you alright?” Jennifer places her hands on Lily’s arms, struggling to comfort her.
“It’s Riley, my boyfriend. He’s in danger. Riley’s been telling me to stay at Petrelli Manor and to wait for him, but I don’t like not knowing what might happen and you guys know that. He can sense something is about to happen but he can’t tell what it is. I was hoping you guys could help me.” Lily wonders, shuddering.
“Of course we can.” Jessica nods enthusiastically towards Jennifer.
“Do you have something of Riley’s that can help?” Jennifer asks quietly as Lily hands over the photograph of her and Riley, dropping it by accident.
“This is a beautiful photo, Lil. It’s beautiful.” Jennifer picks up the photo of Riley and Lily, admiring the emotions that have been captured in the photograph. Jessica and Jennifer both hold the photo with one hand each and focus deeply as they try to envision the future. With two individuals both seeing the future, certain discrepancies can arise. One may see a sunny day, the other may see a stormy night. The future is always changing, little details can be vitally important or extremely irrelevant. If both Jessica and Jennifer see the same thing, it is likely that what they share in their visions will become true, very rarely have their visions ever been wrong. They gasp in unison as their vision of the past, present and future reveals a desolate outcome, one with humanity nearing its extinction.
“Lily.” Jennifer murmurs.
“You said your boyfriend could sense something was going to happen?” Jessica asks impatiently.
“Yes, one of his abilities allows him to sense danger, but he never knows what it is. It’s always when something really bad is about to happen though. The last time he had this feeling, that comet fell towards Earth.” Lily explains.
“Listen to me, Lil. This is bigger than anything I’ve ever seen before, bigger than anything we’ve seen before. We saw multiple outcomes, and none are good. You have to listen to what Riley told you earlier, stay at Petrelli Manor and wait.” Jessica explains rapidly.
“What did you see? Please?” Lily begs for answers.
“We saw their father, The Nomad. We saw his intentions. He’s raised Noah to be his own personal weapon. Something will go wrong, he’ll be slathered across international newspapers as a terrorist hell-bent on destroying humanity.” Jessica struggles to answer.
“I don’t understand.” Lily’s lips shake as she struggles to talk.
“From what I could see, the man who raised Noah has brainwashed Noah into believing that everybody on the surface is a villain, a killer. Noah’s powers are controlled by his own survival instincts and his strongest needs. Should he ever be unleashed onto the surface without any proper instructions, his own instincts will turn himself against all of humanity. All I could see is that Riley ends up being the victim in all of this.” Jennifer mutters as her face pales with fear. Lily stares in shock and disbelief, she looks in the direction where Riley lives, shuddering in panic.
“It’s too late, sweetie.” Jessica reaches out to cuddle Lily, who bursts into tears. She looks into the distance and contemplates the endless number of choices, none of which she can make. Her body shudders in terror as she comes face to face with the harsh reality of The Nomad’s actions.
“What happens to Riley?” Lily whimpers, as Jessica and Jennifer both take turns to explain the delicate details behind the future they saw, instructing Lily on what she should do.
“I need to… I need to go to Petrelli Manor and wait for him. That’s all I can do, right?” Lily clears her throat.
“Yes. We need to go home, we’ll find people to help us if things get worse. If only the others were still alive to help.” Jessica mumbles.
“Just remember, it’ll be Riley, it just won’t look like him. Guide him and protect him. Only then will you have a chance at saving his life.” She concludes.
“Noah.” Valeria calls out quietly.
“Mum?” Noah responds and walks slowly towards Valeria.
“Trust me when I say this hurts me more than it’s going to hurt you, darling.” Valeria mutters through her teeth.
“What? What do you mean? Is something wrong?” Noah stammers with concern.
“You need to come with me, sweetheart.” Valeria instructs, as she takes Noah’s hand and walks down a corridor with him, leading him towards the exit door.
“Wait, what are you doing?” Noah questions worriedly as Valeria panics and turns a corner, walking towards Noah’s bedroom instead. She walks up to the mirror on his wall and places him in front of her.
“Take a look at yourself. Your eyes are beautiful, Noah. The reason your father doesn’t want you to go to the surface is because you’d stand out. We’ve rarely ever met anybody else with powers that affect the physical appearance of a person before. Your powers give you these vibrant orange eyes. The remarkable orange that glows with such intensity when you use your abilities.” Valeria explains calmly as she holds onto Noah’s arms.
“But… I thought orange was a normal colour for eyes?” Noah mutters.
“No, sweetheart. It’s not. That’s what makes you all the more beautiful, it makes you who you are, my darling.” Valeria comforts Noah. “Do you trust me?” She asks Noah abruptly, grabbing his hand again and quickly picking up the pace whilst Noah reluctantly follows her. Valeria rushes towards the exit and opens the reinforced door that leads to the stairway. She walks up the stairs with Noah as he struggles to follow her, refusing to walk up the stairs.
“I can’t! I can’t go outside. Why are you doing this?” Noah trembles in fear.
“Noah, I asked you earlier, do you trust me?” Valeria reminds Noah, requesting an answer to her yet unanswered question.
“I do. But—” Noah answers and is interrupted by Valeria.
“That’s all that matters. Know that I would never purposely bring you any harm.” Valeria explains hastily and carries on walking up the stairs with Noah. As they reach the top of the stairs and stand before the exit, Noah begins to panic. His own instincts are telling him to back off, to leave and go downstairs. Everything The Nomad has told him has led him to believe that he would die if he stepped outside, or worse, be subjected to the carnage of these so called scavengers on the surface that The Nomad warned him of.
“Please, I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this. Why are you doing this to me?” Noah shakes.
“I love you.” Valeria whispers as she wipes a tear from her eye with one hand and opens the door with the other, allowing the sunlight to pour into the stairwell and shine against Noah’s skin. Having never felt the welcoming warmth of the sun on his skin before, he screams in panic. Noah blocks his face with his hands and blinks as he tries to flee whilst Valeria holds him in place. He quickly realises the warmth is doing him no harm, the soft touch calms Noah down. He lowers his shaking hands, squinting towards the cloudy midday sky as birds fly from the trees into the distance azure skyline. Branches creak and leaves crackle against the wind, Noah gasps as the clouds wander by, revealing the powerful yellow sun in the backdrop. The sun glares against his own orange eyes, clarifying the immaculate details in his irises. Noah remains silent and in awe as he witnesses a tiny fragment of the beauty of the planet we live on.
“Your father is a liar.” Valeria whispers, as Noah turns his head delicately to look at Valeria.
“Why?” Noah grunts.
“Sweetheart, there’s no easy way to put this. I should’ve told you earlier, but I don’t have much of a choice.” Valeria mutters whilst staring into Noah’s eyes. She struggles to speak, unable to find the nicest string of words to compile together. “We’re not your parents, darling, but I love you all the same. To me, you are my son, not by blood, but by soul.” She reveals. Noah shudders as he struggles to absorb all of this newfound information. Valeria attempts to place her hand on Noah’s shoulder, but he recoils in denial and disbelief.
“Why? Tell me why?” Noah implores.
“Sweetheart, I…” Valeria mumbles whilst Noah storms down the stairwell and back into the facility.
“Noah, wait! Please, wait!” Valeria panics, begging Noah breathlessly. He sprints down the corridor until he sees the man who raised him as his own.
"What have you done to my parents?!" Noah yells as his powers begin to surge. Valeria stands behind Noah, alarmed by his powers.
“Noah!” The Nomad reacts in surprise as he raises his hands, imploring Noah to lessen his anger, for his powers can overload at any given moment. He stares at Valeria in disbelief and anger.
“My parents?!” Noah screams.
“They’re dead, Noah! They’re dead! They’re not from here! You’re not from here!” The Nomad shouts.
“What do you mean? What the hell do you mean I’m not from here?!” Noah mutters loudly.
“You’re from a parallel universe! You weren’t born here and I needed you to be this old this year for the Godsend Device to work properly! I took you as a baby in 2009, and brought you back here in 1994!” The Nomad explains hastily, hoping that his honesty instead of withholding answers will allow Noah to understand. “Noah!” He shouts as his voice grows ever louder, the energy surging from Noah almost reaches a calamitous level.
“You took my life from me.” Noah groans as his eyes begin to glow ever so bright. The Nomad reacts in shock, as he looks towards Riley.
“What did you do to his parents, Dad?” Riley stammers as the Nomad stares mournfully into both of Riley’s eyes, taking turns at looking from his left and right eyes.
“I’m so sorry, my boy.” The Nomad chokes up and grabs Riley, dragging him towards Noah.
“Dad!” Riley cries whilst Noah’s eyes turn to pure white, he is no longer in control of himself or his powers.
“You give me no choice! No choice at all!” He screams agonisingly, placing one hand on Riley’s head and the other on Noah’s, transferring Riley’s very conscience into Noah’s body. Riley screams in devastating agony as he attempts to endure the process. Valeria covers her cheeks with her hands and screams in fear, she runs up to The Nomad and attempts to stop him. He smacks Valeria across the face and she sobs uncontrollably, unable to defend her dying son. Riley’s body shuts down as The Nomad spares him from any further pain. As the transfer completes, Noah passes out. His abilities to come to an abrupt halt, letting out a disastrous force on the surroundings, cracking the wooden walls and shredding the carpeted floor. Valeria is violently knocked out by the vigorous blast. Lights flicker from the ceiling as Riley’s body collapses to the ground.
“I’m so sorry, Riley. I’m so sorry. I couldn’t do anything else.” The Nomad cradles Riley’s body, shaking. As a bystander, Alex shudders at the end of the corridor and freezes in place, shaking involuntarily.
“Alex?” The Nomad struggles to speak as she slowly emerges from the shadows. With extreme difficulty, she holds back her sadness upon discovering that Riley is dead.
“I need you to get a hold of Petrelli Manor. Get me Frank. There’s going to be a bit of a delay in the plan.” The Nomad explains quietly as he mourns for his only son.
Alex walks away from the calamitous scene. As she turns a corner, she leans against the wall and begins to shake emotionally. She quickly composes herself and enters the main communications room and presses various buttons on the console in front of her.
“Frank?” Alex calls out.
“Yes, Alex, what is it?” Frank answers.
“We’ve had an incident.” Alex answers as The Nomad enters the room.
“The Event has happened, as I feared it may. I’ll keep Riley’s body intact in case we can ever achieve a restoration. I’ll be sending Noah outside of Petrelli Manor. I trust you’ll make him feel welcome until he is strong enough to use the Godsend Device. I’ve wiped their memories to help prevent the overload from ever happening.” The Nomad explains.
“I see, I’ll await his arrival. Can you anticipate what will happen?” Frank asks quietly.
“I saw many things happening, but I didn’t see anything happen this way. I wanted today to be the day we finally began our future, but sadly that will have to wait just a little while longer. I always knew that if something went wrong, if Noah used his powers too soon, that I could force Noah to repress his abilities by trapping another conscience inside of him and restore his abilities with the eclipse. For their whole lives, I had hoped it wouldn’t come to this. I’ve interrupted his process, the time it takes before Noah becomes active again should be long enough so that the energy isn’t fatal. Noah has never seen the outside world. He’ll be dangerous, he’ll kill. I do expect that he will wreak havoc upon the manor and that you may perish. Should that happen, I’ll have the Preservation of Eden send out a crew of Preservers to recover him and resume the process. When he wakes up, it should be Riley in control. I’ve taken a sample of his blood to ensure that there are no complications with his system, I’d like you to take another sample once you recover him so I can check again and make sure everything is in order. You must make him believe he is Riley Stenson. We can’t afford to bring Noah out so soon.” The Nomad instructs.
“I understand. I’ll do what I must for our plan to come to fruition. I’ll keep an eye out for Noah.” Frank obeys.
“I’ll have him there in ten minutes. I’ll speak to you tomorrow.” The Nomad responds.
“There’s something you might want to know. A girl arrived at the manor last week. Her name is Lily. She says she’s been on the run for a long time and wants somewhere safe to stay, so we let her in.” Frank informs the Nomad.
“And? We let people in all the time.” The Nomad responds with a puzzled expression.
“I read her mind. Riley asked her to come here. Not just any Riley, your Riley. He must have known somehow.” Frank explained.
“Bloody hell. I’ll have her retrieved. Please can you get a sample of her blood for me right away? I have another contingency prepared already. Say it’s for an urgent medical check. Just in case.” The Nomad huffs as he contemplates every possible scenario that could happen. Frank nods in understanding.
“There’s another thing you should know, I saw the JJ Twins nearby. They’ve been rescuing strays and dropping them off at the nearest Petrelli Manor. Should we let them carry on? It might help further our research.” Frank wonders.
“No. Thank you for letting me know. I’ll send out a group to retrieve them too, I can’t risk them finding out that we’ve infiltrated the Manors.” The Nomad nods and signs off, shutting the feed down.
“Alex, I know this is hard, I did let you know that this could happen. You’re strong, that’s why you’re my right hand girl. You’re the daughter I never had.” The Nomad comforts Alex.
The two apprehensively return into the room where Riley and Noah are. Alex tries to control her breathing as she remembers warning Riley that something like this may happen. The two silently mourn for Riley together and take a moment to think about the drastic tragedy that occurred moments ago.
“Would you send Noah outside of Petrelli Manor please?” He requests. Alex crouches down next to Noah, and places her hand over his chest, teleporting him to the outside of Petrelli Manor as he falls into the meadow, his watch stuck at 1:13.
“Could you get Lily as well? Bring her here. There can’t be any complications, things are unstable enough right now.” The Nomad asks as he places his hand on her shoulder.
“Okay. I will.” Alex agrees quietly, placing her hand on her own chest and teleporting herself into Lily’s room in Petrelli Manor. Lily covers a plaster over her arm where blood was just retrieved moments ago.
“Lily.” Alex speaks abruptly.
“Alex? What are you doing here?” Lily gasps.
“You have to come with me.” Alex instructs.
“I’m… I’m not going anywhere. What is this?” Lily stammers.
“Riley’s dead, okay? He’s dead. The very thing he told you might happen, happened, only worse than either of us ever imagined.” Alex answers, causing Lily to burst into tears. Alex holds back her own tears as her lips quiver. She reaches out to her as the two hold each other’s hands for emotional support. A hardened soldier and an emotionally vulnerable girl both suffering heavily from the same loss of a person they both had equally strong feelings for.
“Listen to me. Riley’s dad isn’t a nice person. His agenda is logical, but flawed. I was raised to believe it was the right thing to do, and I so strongly believed it was until very recently. He wants to force utopia upon the world, to change humans themselves to no longer harbour an aggressive nature. To do that, he needs Noah. There’s something called the Godsend Device, it was built in a parallel universe just for Noah. It can grant a person omnipotence, total and unlimited powers. The Nomad only wants one, the power to alter the entire human genome.” Alex explains, whilst Lily appears unresponsive as she carries on crying.
“Please, Lily, listen to what I have to say. I have to take you to him. I’m going to do my best to make sure he lets you go, to make sure he lets me bring you back here so you can try and help Noah.” She explains further.
“Okay… Okay.” Lily nods shakily, as Alex teleports them both back to the communications room in The Nomad’s bunker.
“So you’re the one responsible for softening my son, hmm? Turned him from the hardened man he was into a weak and emotional waste of a life? Huh?” The Nomad growls sharply.
“Riley was always soft, it was in his nature.” Alex answers hastily.
“He made you soft too? I’m genuinely surprised. Get out of here. Get out of here now!” The Nomad yells violently towards Alex, she looks worriedly towards Lily and reluctantly leaves.
“You see, I used to be a very, very nice man, I did simple things like holding the door open for people, donating to charities, I did what a lot of people out there do, normal and boring actions that make you believe you’re somehow a good person that does right by the world. Then I saw the wars of the future for myself and I knew I had to stop them. When I first killed… I felt remorse for a split second, then euphoria followed. It helped me. I just have a little bit of steam I need to blow off, and you just happen to be an obstacle in the way of my plan. But I have plans for you, my dear. You will be the final contingency.” The Nomad speaks rapidly whilst he raises his hand towards Lily. Immediately, Alex bursts into the room and jumps towards The Nomad and places her hand his shoulder, with the intention to teleport him to a fatal location.
“Disappointing.” The Nomad turns towards Alex and shakes his head in frustration as he reflects her own power back onto her, causing Alex to teleport herself to the very same location she intended to send The Nomad to. Alex ends up high in the air above a rapid river. She falls and hits a tree branch, crashing into the terrifyingly fast waters below. Alex desperately attempts to teleport herself away, but the extreme currents whack her body into a mangled state, preventing her from being able to place her hands on any part of her body. The horrific water bashes her into sharp rocks and splintered wood. Alex is pushed underwater by a forceful wave as a large log crushes her chest, holding her arms down. With what little breath she has left, Alex struggles to reach her hands to either of her legs whilst the log pushes down further with dreadful force every second. She holds onto her breath for as long as she can whilst the gashing wounds cause her to bleed out. With the dark water and natural debris forcing their way around her body, Alex closes her eyes tightly. As she struggles to hold her breath for any longer, she slowly succumbs to the water and perishes.
“My plan has been twenty five years in the making, and I sure as hell am not about to let it fail now.” The Nomad mutters, as he slowly begins to feel happy and calm. “Is this your doing? Are you trying to make me feel good so I will spare you? Trust me when I say you are absolutely wrong.” The Nomad growls through his teeth, as he raises his right hand and clenches it into a fist. He suddenly shuts Lily’s mind down, killing her instantaneously.
“I could do this all day.” The Nomad mutters to himself and clicks his neck, nodding as he relieves himself of heavy stress.
“Jorah? Are you there?” The Nomad speaks firmly into a microphone on the desk.
“I’m here, sir.” Jorah responds.
“Could you please retrieve Lily Bowman’s blood from Frank at Petrelli Manor? Meet me by The Machine as soon as possible.” The Nomad instructs.
He leaves the communications room and heads towards an elevator that ascends into a private room inside the Preservation of Eden headquarters. The Nomad passes by his employees and gazes towards the holding rooms, staring towards the ill-fated captives. He proceeds slowly into the back room where Dillon and Quinton are connected to The Machine. Jorah is patiently waiting with a package in his hands.
“Sir.” Jorah gently hands over the package to The Nomad.
“Thank you, Jorah.” The Nomad places the vial of Lily’s blood into a container that connects to the middle vat and waits for the clone to generate, expecting it to also have albinism.
“Abilities have zero effect on the clones. Valeria remembers everything that happened to her, she remembers dying. I couldn’t wipe her memory. This is a slightly unexpected surprise, and also a fatal flaw in the design. Nevertheless, we shall continue, there’s no time to make changes to The Machine. If Lily comes out with albinism, I will make sure Riley remembers her that way. I had Frank take a sample of her blood back when she was in Petrelli Manor, so ideally she shouldn’t remember anything that Alex might have told her. More importantly, she shouldn’t remember me shutting her down. I’m surprised the clones have their memories intact at all, DNA shouldn’t contain memories whatsoever. I just have to keep cloning her until one comes out without albinism. We could be waiting a long time.” The Nomad explains as he gazes in awe. The clone has formed ever so perfectly, resulting in no albinism whatsoever.
“You’re beautiful.” The Nomad whispers whilst he admires Lily’s ever so perfect skin and her untarnished body. The chances of a clone not resulting in albinism in his machine are ever so rare. The Nomad opens the machine as Lily remains unconscious. He strokes her soft skin, admiring his successful creation.
“Jorah, could you do me a favour? Make sure Lily is back in her room where she belongs in Petrelli Manor, I’d do it myself, but people would get rather confused if they saw Frank and myself in the same place.” The Nomad requests.
“Of course, I will.” Jorah obliges.
“Could I ask why you killed this girl if you intended to bring her back anyway?” Jorah asks.
“You know my ability allows me to see almost every single trail, almost every single path that can possibly ever happen. I know that Lily is going to try and save Riley and she knows he’s inside Noah. Lily will probably try and restore Riley’s memories of them two, which will in turn also make Noah adore her. We need to kill Lily’s clone to snap Noah out of it when the time is right, that way, he won’t be able to bring her back, no matter how hard he tries. I need to keep Lily’s actual body safe in case I need to persuade Noah further down the line with the Godsend Device. Like I said, when Noah is captured, make sure you keep Lily’s clone alive too. Killing her at the most opportune time is most likely just what we need to make Noah snap back into himself permanently so that we may continue with the plan.” The Nomad shrugs, as Jorah nods. “Do you still have Simon in your employ?” He wonders with curiosity.
“I do. You don’t approve?” Jorah responds.
“He’s psychopathic in his nature, it’s dangerous to have him on our team.” The Nomad explains quickly.
“He may be violent, but he’s the best at his job. Since he came on board, we’ve been able to categorise abilities twice as fast. He’s efficient.” Jorah defends Simon.
“If only I could alter personalities, that’d be wonderful.” The Nomad grunts and Jorah chuckles.
“I’ll make sure she gets back to her room safe and sound. It’ll be like nothing ever happened.” Jorah reassures The Nomad.
“Onwards and upwards.” The Nomad nods. He leaves to return to his bunker, a place no child should ever have called home. The Nomad carefully takes Riley and Lily’s bodies through his office and into the hidden and empty prison cell where he places them side by side. “I’ll see you both very soon.” He whispers, caressing Riley’s cold cheek.