Disclaimer: Tim Kring and his cohorts own Heroes, the TV series. I claim no Heroes characters or themes you may recall. No one is paying me for this. My only reward is the occasional review, and the fun I derive from exploring this universe via fanfiction.
=Chapter 1: Initiation=
For the first time since the Northeast blackout of 2003, Manhattan failed to cancel out the starlight.
The EMP from Peter Petrelli's nuclear pulse had wiped out the electric, streetlights, and backup generators for miles. Ergo, the sky was clear, and the stars shone cold. There was no visible fallout, but standing around Kirby Plaza was now as risky as picnicking at the Exclusion Zone at Chernobl.
"You and I are going to have to disappear for a while, alright Molly?" Mohinder whispered over the shoulder of the ten-year old, as the wail of ambulances faded into the distance.
He felt her nodding tightly, clutching him around the chest like he was her only lifeline in this storm of chaos.
Pulling out of the brief, kneeling hug, Mohinder stood, grasped Molly's small hand, and started leading her around the side of Linderman's skyscraper, towards his taxi.
Mohinder twisted the key in the lock, and clicked open the back passenger door, letting Molly in first. "No- no seatbelts," he told her, as she automatically started to buckle up. "Lie flat on the floor, below the seats. Keep out of sight."
"Okay," Molly whispered back, sliding off the seat, and getting down on her stomach amid the crumbs of dirt and dusty gum wrappers.
Mohinder shut the door, circled around the hood, and got in on the driver's side. He fit the key into the ignition, turned it. Nothing. Startled, Mohinder tried again, and again- no use. The car was dead. Well this can't be right, Mohinder thought. An old diesel car like this should work as sort of a Faraday cage, trapping out and redirecting EMPs, and thus protecting the electrical system inside. They've done experiments- at least I think that's what it said in that 'Popular Science' article. And other cars obviously survived the nuclear pulse, Mohinder mentally added, as a shark-gray sedan drove into the parking lot... and parked right behind his taxi.
As soon as Mohinder saw the ominous glint of horn-rimmed glasses in the rearview, his hand shot to the pocket of his light jacket, clutching the grip of his gun.
"Don't bother," Bennet began conversationally, as he ambled alongside the taxi. "I took out the spark plugs while you were chatting up the paramedics. You know, just on the off chance that you might try rushing off and absconding into the night without saying goodbye."
Pocketing the car keys, yanking his door open, then pressing lock, Mohinder stepped out onto the blacktop. "Goodbye," he retorted, smacking the car door back shut, and leveling his gun squarely at Bennet's chest, just above his blue sling and broken arm. "You can leave now."
Bennet was still smiling, eternally unfazed as ever.
"Dad!" an alarmed teenage voice whined from Bennet's car.
"In a minute, Claire," Bennet called back over his shoulder. Glancing back at Mohinder, he added in flatline seriousness, "Let me be clear, Dr. Suresh. I'm on a tight schedule. I have a plane to catch. And Molly Walker's coming with me."
"Like hell she is!" Mohinder snapped, guardedly maneuvering between Bennet and the N.Y.C. TAXI decals on the yellow cab. "Absolutely not! Molly stays with me!"
"It's non-negotiable," Bennet replied coolly, stepping in closer, totally ignoring the gun.
Mohinder's knuckles paled as he gripped the gun tighter, and strove, probably unsuccessfully, to look intimidating. "Not even a half-hour ago, you were going to shoot her-" he reminded Bennet acidly, "-and now you expect I'll let you just take her, just like that?"
Bennet was too close now- Mohinder took a jerky step backwards, but his elbow collided with the 'OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR' sticker on the taxi's driver-side mirror, distracting him just for an instant-
-With one aggressive motion, Bennet performed a one-handed gun-snatch with his unbroken arm, flipped the stolen weapon around, and aimed it square in Mohinder's face, right between the eyes.
"Do I have to explain again to you the meaning of 'non-negotiable', Dr. Suresh?" Bennet inquired tersely, as Mohinder back-stepped horizontally along the yellow parking space lines, with no convenient plan in mind, trying to lead Bennet away from Molly and the taxi.
Cautiously, angrily, but trying not to simmer over, Mohinder replied, "Bennet, she's still ill. She needs me."
"Oh, I need you too, Suresh- I need you to stay with the Company, on the inside, but on our side."
"You want me to be a double agent?" Mohinder replied, taken aback.
"When the Company agents find you here, you're going to tell them that I knocked you out and took Molly by force, and there was nothing you could do about it."
"But what if they find out I'm lying?" Mohinder pointed out sensibly.
"You won't be."
Unexpectedly, Bennet backhanded Mohinder with the gun.
Mohinder reflexively tried to throw a punch in the direction of those horn-rimmed glasses- but mid-motion, the gun's grip hit him twice more. The geneticist recoiled dizzily, shadows clouded his vision, his head rang like reverberating sheet metal, his knees buckled out from under him, and he slumped limply to the pavement. The last thing he heard was Molly's panicked yelps, humming away into vague white noise.