This takes place right before the Heroes episode "Parasite" and a week or so after the Psych season 1 finale "Scary Sherry." The relationships in both series reflect on that time frame so Carlton is still pretty grumpy towards Shawn, and everyone in general and Shawn still has his own snarky streak and he's still trying to cover his butt when it comes to cases, rather than solving them for more altruistic reasons. :)
The mid-day sun beamed down brightly on the rented tan Prius as it pulled into its destination. The passenger stepped out and stretched; even though the drive wasn't all that long, he'd been on a plane recently and the stiffness hadn't completely gone away yet.
The passenger was a tall man with pale skin and jet black hair. He went by many names... Gabriel Gray, the good son; Sylar, the murderer... but right now he was going by Zane Taylor. He'd taken the moniker of a dead man to gain his companion's trust, his companion being a geneticist named Mohinder Suresh.
The ruse had worked well for him so far, and he planned to keep it that way. As long as the scientist was kept in the dark, he would be led one after the other to more unsuspecting victims. A win / win.
Mohinder stepped out of the driver's door and shielded his eyes as he exited the rental car. The East Coast had been experiencing a lot of rain and clouds recently and he didn't seem used to the hot California sun just yet, despite his skin tone which showed his Indian heritage. "This is the place."
"Mohinder, there were names a lot closer than this on the list. Why are we here?" Sylar scowled up at the building they were parked in front of; the Santa Barbara police station in Santa Barbara, California. It wasn't the most inconspicuous place for him to be and didn't know if his picture and "most wanted" profile had gotten this far west yet.
Luckily, Mohinder remained oblivious to all this as well.
"I told you Zane, Mr. Spencer is a public figure and he might be high on Sylar's list. After what happened in Montana, I'm taking no chances." Mohinder didn't see the slight smirk on Sylar's face at the statement. "Besides, if he works with the police and we might be able to consider them credible witnesses wouldn't you say?"
He nodded, feigning agreement. He'd looked over Mohinder's shoulder on the short plane ride and it looked like Shawn helped the police solve a dozen or so murders in the past year, but it still didn't look promising. It was part of the reason he was so annoyed to be taken so far away, with little chance of obtaining another useful power. "Didn't your father mark him as a fraud anyway?"
"My father marked him as a maybe I think. He fits the formula, and is claiming to be psychic. I'd say there is a good chance he has a genuine ability." The excitement on Mohinder's face wasn't hidden. He was willing to do almost anything to legitimize his father's work, and Sylar knew this was a good way to do it.
"Alright." Sylar shrugged, "I hope we can get all this done before our flight leaves. We only have a few hours." They'd unfortunately decided to take the early afternoon flight rather than the red eye, so it left them with little time to find Shawn Spencer. He looked at his watch with his namesake Sylar on the face, just for show. If he played his cards right, Mohinder would they should split up, leaving him to hunt his prey alone.
Just how he liked it.
Mohinder contemplated for a moment before his features turned resolute and he headed towards the stairs. "We at least have to talk to the officers he works with before we go searching the town. They might know where he is and I want to be able interview the officers too. I need some hard evidence, and this is like a gold mine."
His inner monster was unhappy at the delay, but Sylar put his best face forward and smiled, "Good idea. Let's go."
Inside the station, the lunch rush was just winding down, and a crew of officers and detectives were slowly and reluctantly making their way to the bullpen and their desks to finish out the afternoon. Head Detective Carlton Lassiter was not one of them. He was still stuck at his desk, doing paperwork that his partner, Junior Detective Juliet O'Hara, should be doing. She was still on her week leave after the axe murder case, and wouldn't be back for at least a couple more days.
To her credit, she insisted she was fine, but after Interim Chief Vick insisted that after a minor psychotic break, and almost being hacked into small pieces by a maniac, she deserved a break, his partner relented.
Carlton sighed, putting down the last bit of his paperwork and rubbed the back of his neck wearily. Without Juliet it had been a long week, but things inside the station were finally starting to quiet down.
"I'm having a vision!"
Well... it was almost quiet. Carlton groaned at the after lunch ritual of psychic readings by their resident 'Head Pain in the Ass' Shawn Spencer.
"I'm sensing that youw22;" Shawn pointed to one of the bald cops in the bullpen, "w22;have been recently looking into hair transplants."
"Yeah! I have!" The officer said excitedly.
"Oh c'mon..." Carlton grumbled through gritted teeth. Half the station knew that fact but everyone looked at Shawn like he was the second coming for throwing out that useless bit of information.
Shawn's face got serious, "I'm sensing that might not be the way to go right now with a baby on the way."
Now that one got some gasps, and Carlton finally looked over at the shocked expressions of the other officers.
The officer spoke quietly. "I haven't told anyone about that. She's due next month."
"Trust me. Your wife loves your look, and you can spend the money on more important things. Like that cradle she's been looking at?" Shawn smiled and patted the officer on the back. "Okay! Show's over for today!" Groans and boos floated up from the crowd, and the group slowly dissipated.
Carlton had no idea how Shawn did half the things he did, but it was not psychic abilities, that he was sure of. Now that the production was done though, he knew he only had seconds before the psychic hunted him down to beg for cases. If he wanted to get a lunch in, he'd have to go now because the last person he wanted to spend the afternoon talking with wasw22;
Looking up, Carlton saw a pair of men. The one who'd spoken was Indian man with a British accent, the other was a tall, dark haired man who seemed awfully familiar.
"Is that Shawn Spencer? The psychic?" The man asked again, pointing at Shawn, who was already heading their way.
"Did I hear my name?" Shawn came up and put his arm around Carlton's shoulder.
Smacking it none too gently so he'd remove the offending appendage, he spun around accusingly, "Spencer, this isn't your office. If I catch you bringing your clients here without just cause one more timew22;"
"Actually, we're here to see you about Mr. Spencer." The Indian man stepped forward. "My name is Dr. Mohinder Suresh." He indicated the other man.
"Uh, Zane. Zane Taylor. Pleasure to meet you officer." He gave a small, almost shy wave.
This Zane person seemed respectful enough, and Carlton tried to shake the eerie feeling he got from him. "You want to talk to me about him?" He asked incredulously.
Mohinder explained, "I'm a geneticist and I've come to talk to you about his ability. I actually wasn't expecting to find Mr. Spencer here himself. I don't know if I'm quite prepared yetw22;" He trailed off and started searching his pockets for something.
Surprisingly, Shawn wasn't basking in the lime light of some scientist coming to see him. To Carlton, he almost seemed, dare he say, nervous. "Yeah, uh. I'm not quite prepared either. I have some places to be so, do you mind if we hook up later? Lots of psychic stuff to take care of right now." Shawn started backing up towards the exit.
"Wait, I know you're feeling overwhelmed but I can help."
The scientist tried to reassure him, but Shawn seemed to be having none of it. "Yeah, like I said... stuff to do. I'll catch you later Lassie."
"Spencer whatw22;?" Carlton started but the psychic was already out the door and gone. "Weird." He turned back to the pair.
Mohinder looked taken aback and genuinely concerned at Shawn's actions. "Do you have a number we can contact him at? I didn't mean to upset him. I've found some people with abilities can be sensitive about them."
"If he has business, he'll probably be at his poor excuse for an office. It's right on the pier at Stern's Wharf, you can't miss it." Carlton then remembered something. "Why did you need to talk to me about Spencer anyway? I'm prohibited from sharing information about the cases he's worked on." Maybe that will get them off my case.
"No, I just need some ideas about his abilities. What he can do, how he can use them." Mohinder must have seen he was losing him so he added. "We'll discuss it over lunch. My treat?"
At that his stomach growled and Carlton was sold. "Fine, but don't expect much."
His companion Zane stepped up. "Mohinder, our flight leaves in a couple hours. I'll see what I can do. It won't be more than an hour or so okay?"
Mohinder seemed to reluctantly agree. "If you can convince him to talk to me, that would be great. I'll meet up with you after."
"Alright." He turned to Carlton. "Nice meeting you detective." Zane reached out his hand to shake his own.
A chill went up Carlton's spine at the contact. Without saying anything, he shook the man's hand and followed the scientist to the door. The detective still couldn't pinpoint it, but his instincts were saying that he knew this guy from somewhere...
Shawn ran down the steps as fast as he could out to his bike. He'd expected some publicity from his year of psychic crime fighting, but a scientist looking to study him? It meant bad news for him if the man found out he was a fraud. It was one thing to spout 'psychic' information after talking to a cop's wife who came to see him on his lunch break, but it was another to have to have someone who knew what they were doing judging his every move.
Man! I can't believe Gus was right. His dad was also right, but he wasn't ready to admit that yet, even to himself. He whipped out his cell phone and called Gus. He had to lay low just until they left, and he needed Gus to cover for him.
It rung two times before Gus answered with his 'annoyed at Shawn voice.' "Shawn, I am in the middle of a presentation right now. Our company president Haversham is giving us a rundown of next year's productw22;"
"Gus, I don't care." Shawn interrupted rolling his eyes at his friend's lame side job. "I'm in a crisis situation right now. A genetic dude showed up at the station wanting to study me. They want to know how I got my psychic abilities and stuff."
"I knew it! I KNEW it!" Gus' panic stricken breaths came through the line loud and clear. "I don't want to go to jail Shawn... This is all your fault!"
"Would you relax! I just need to lay low for a day or two until they leave. No biggie." Shawn tried to play it off, despite his own worry. "I'll just hang out at Psych."
"Oh really? Why would people looking for you ever go to your place of business. That would just be crazy."
Shawn sighed at the heavy sarcasm. "Alright point taken. I'll have to go deep underground."
"You don't mean..."
Nodding, despite being on the phone, he confirmed, "My dad's." It wouldn't be so bad, until Henry wheedled the reason he wanted to stay over out of him. Gus knew the lecture he'd be getting over this, even if it wasn't his fault they were here.
"I'll meet you there later. Make sure he has food."
Shawn opened his mouth to reply, but he noticed one of the men had come out of the station and was heading towards him. "I gotta go." He quickly shoved the phone in his pocket, started his bike, and slammed his helmet on his head. Then he squealed his tires and took off out of the parking lot.
He figured he was home free once he started to turn the corner onto the street, but there must have been a slippery spot because his back tire seemed to slide out from under him and it toppled both him and the bike into the pavement. Worse yet, the car he'd been trying to beat on the road was barreling down on him at forty-five miles per hour and was going to hit him for sure. Shawn covered his head and braced for impact... but with a screech of tires the car stopped two inches before hitting him.
He didn't want to open his eyes at first. There was absolutely no way that car could have stopped on its own. Oh my God, what stopped it? Slowly, he opened one eye, then the other and saw Zane, the man with the scientist, standing in front of him.
"Hey, are you okay?"
The driver of the car jumped out quickly, probably expecting to see a corpse rather than just a scraped up biker. He ran up to him with a relieved look. "Oh my God! I thought I hit you! There was no way I could stop and the car justw22;"
"Yeah, I'm fine." Shawn looked around; people were starting to stare, and the last thing he needed was to make a scene right outside the SBPD, so he quickly got up, brushed himself off, and moved his bike out of the road.
The driver got back into his car but Zane followed him. "Sorry about back at the station there. Mohinder isn't the best at subtlety."
"I gathered." Shawn deadpanned, and winced slightly when he went to take a step. His knee would be acting up again for a while. Great. "Anyway, thanks for the help but I have somewhere to be sow22;"
"Listen, uh... Shawn. I know what you're going through, and I'd like to talk to you." Shawn narrowed his eyes, trying to find out what this man's game was. "I'll buy you lunch. Please."
Everyone who knew him knew the way to his heart was through his stomach. He could hardly pass up a free meal, and the guy didn't seem so bad. He doesn't look like a scientist, what harm could it do? "Sure. I'll bite."
"Great! I'm new around here so any place you want."
Shawn put a finger to his lips in contemplation. "Hmmm..."
Sylar was skeptical when Shawn picked a chain restaurant like Red Robin, but once he tried their shakes, he was sold. At least the psychic had good taste. He'd figured if Mohinder's trick worked on the detective, it might make him seem more personable if he asked Shawn too. All he needed to do now was get him in a quiet place, away from people.
He smiled politely as Shawn babbled on about something or other, glad his 'heroics' were well received. Sylar almost wasn't sure he'd be able to stop the car in time, after almost ripping the bike out from underneath the psychic, but with a little more effort than usual he did it. His power was growing, but he still needed more.
The conversation Shawn had on the phone with his friend had him puzzled though. With his new hearing ability he'd overheard what could have been an admission of fraud, or fear of being locked up for an ability. He wasn't sure what it was yet, but he'd soon get to the bottom of it. Shawn was still eyeing him warily though, and Sylar knew he'd have to put his best face forward if he was going to nab this one.
"How long have you had your powers?" Sylar hadn't meant to blurt it out like that, but he was getting impatient. He didn't usually have to wine and dine his victims, but this one seemed different.
Shawn shrugged. "I was born with it. I've had visions since I was a kid. The spirits speak to me."
"Okay." Sylar was trying to stay calm, sociable, and above all: ignoring the urge to take this guy's skull right here, right now. Even with his new special ability, he couldn't hear any falter in the psychic's heart, or breathing. "So it's just spirits then that tell you the future?" He wasn't so sure if he'd be interested in a power that gave him hallucinations.
"Not always. Sometimes I see things, or hear things that are going on in the present. I feel things about people too. You for example." Sylar stopped chewing his food and stared, waiting for the psychic to out him as a monster. "I can see that you have mommy and daddy issues from a mile away."
Internally breathing a sigh of relief, he chuckled. "Don't we all have some kind of issue with our parents?"
"I can't argue with that." Shawn smirked back. "So, how is it a guy like you ended up traveling around with a genealogist?"
"You mean geneticist?" Sylar helped out.
"I've heard it both ways."
"Well..." Sylar took a big bite of his burger, "he's trying find people with abilities and help them. He found me using a formula his father made. It can tell from our blood if we have a specific gene."
Shawn smirked, almost skeptically. "Okay, so what can you do?"
"I can melt things."
"Riiiight." Shawn rolled his eyes.
Taking the skepticism as a challenge, Sylar started to reach for the salt shaker, but the waitress had come with their check and he decided against making a scene. "Can I get you boys anything else?" He noticed that she winked at Shawn, and set two pieces of paper down on the table. One had a phone number on it and she pushed it closer to him.
Shawn looked at the number and smiled, but left it where it was. "No thanks Jean. I think I'm good. How about you Zane?"
"I'm okay. The shakes were delicious by the way." He handed her a twenty he'd found in Zane's wallet. For a struggling musician, the man had a nice wad of cash.
"Alright. Thank you guys." She eyed Shawn again. "See you later."
As soon as the waitress was gone, Sylar's curiosity got the best of him and he had to ask, "Does that happen to you often?" He tapped the number, still on the table.
Shawn gave a nonchalant shrug, "More often than not and less often than I want." He gave a sly smile and stood up, stretching. "Well, thanks for the meal Zane. Don't forget to tip your waitress, because she's going to be paying for the movie tonight."
"Wait!" Sylar had to think fast. "Um, you said you had an office didn't you?" He'd remembered the detective saying something about it. That would be the perfect place for him to see just what made the man tick.
"Did I?" Shawn asked puzzled.
"Yeah. I'm kind of shy about my power too. I'd like somewhere private to show you. It's really cool, I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it." His smile was genuine, there was nothing more than he wanted than to show Shawn his power.
Shawn's shoulders slumped in defeat and Sylar's inner murderer grinned. "Alright fine. Just don't invite your friend along. I don't think he'll have much of a sense of humor left after he's done talking to Lassiter."
"Oh, I wouldn't dream of it Shawn... Just us." The curiosity was almost killing him, ironically enough, but he only had to catch a cab and meet Shawn at his office. It shouldn't take long, and he and Mohinder would be on the plane out of here before anyone was the wiser.
As they were leaving, Shawn was still looking at him, and talking and didn't notice that he'd almost run into a petite blond haired woman. "Oh, sorry I... Shawn?"
"Jules! How are you doing?"
Sylar's eyes narrowed. He saw a spark there, something he hadn't seen between Shawn and the waitress and suddenly knew it would be a lot harder and a lot longer before he'd have Shawn to himself. Looking at his clock he saw he had an hour left before he had to meet with Mohinder.
This guy is really starting to become a problem.
"So there I was... staring down a killer that had one of our own hostage." Carlton pointed down the 'sight' of his finger, pantomiming his heroic actions.
Mohinder, however, was tuning out again. Most of their lunch had been nothing but the detective talking about himself and the heroic acts of the SBPD. He'd only mentioned Shawn once in passing, stating he had been there while the arrest was made.
"I'm sorry detective, I'm in a bit of a rush today so I need to get on point about Shawn Spencer and his abilities."
"Oh." Carlton's face fell and he let out a long suffering sigh.
Grabbing the recorder he had put to the side earlier, Mohinder clicked the record button and set it between them on the table. "Okay Detective Lassiter. How do you think Mr. Spencer helps solve cases?"
Carlton looked like he was going to answer and opened his mouth for a moment, closing it a second later. It was almost as if he couldn't say what he wanted to. After almost a minute he replied, "I don't know."
"What do you mean 'You don't know.' Detective?"
"I know it isn't because he is psychic." He almost spat out the last word. "I've thought of every angle, believe me. The fact that someone like that can just waltz in and nine times out of ten be right on something he couldn't possibly know about... I just don't know."
Mohinder smiled slightly. That was the usual reaction people had when dealing with superhuman abilities. "How many murders would you say Mr. Spencer has solved for the SBPD?"
Carlton's lip curled. "He worked in conjunction with the SBPD as a hired consultant. It was through combined efforts that these cases were solved, not just because of one circus clown and his sidekick."
That seemed to be a sore spot with the detective. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean tow22;"
"You know, that's the thing that bugs me." Carlton leaned forward in his booth, raising his voice and catching the attention of most of the people at the diner. "Everyone just ignores the hard police work that goes into cases and focuses on the guy who just walks in and points at the killer two minutes before real police work comes through."
"So in your professional opinion, Shawn Spencer has no special abilities?" Mohinder questioned outright.
Carlton must have noticed he was starting to make a scene, so he lowered his voice and leaned forward. "I'll give my right arm if that goof is actually psychic. Useful? Occasionally. Psychic? Not a chance." He tapped the recorder. "And you can quote me on that."
The scientist's hopes started to deflate. He'd really hoped to get some official back up for his father's research. This was a real setback. "Alright detective. Thank you, and sorry to have taken up your time."
"Yeah, thanks for the lunch."
Mohinder stood and put down enough to cover the meal and headed out. Looking at the time, Zane had over a half hour before he'd be back, meeting him at the police station. He hoped Zane was having an easier time getting information from Shawn himself.
"So, this is it." Shawn gestured at the small office. "It's not much, but the view is nice." He set down his helmet quickly sat in his chair, getting comfy just as Zane's phone rang. The display said 'Mohinder' so Carlton was probably done with his own lunch.
"Hello? Mohinder, yeah I'm just finishing up with Shawn." His eyes flicked to where Shawn was sitting. "I'll only be a few more minutes... I've got plenty to tell you when I get back. Great. Talk to you in a few."
"Did your friend already give up on Lassie?" He hadn't expected Carlton to really give the scientist anything useful. He thought that Shawn was a fraud anyway, and it might just get them off his back quicker.
"Yeah, our plane leaves soon." Zane explained with a somber tone. "So I don't have much time."
"Well, you came all this way right? Didn't you say you were going to show me your power?" Shawn was actually curious as to what Zane was planning on doing. The other man seemed pretty adamant to get him alone so he could show off his own 'power.'
Get me alone... The thought slinked its way into Shawn's brain, and he suddenly started to feel uneasy... Did I tell him I had an office? He looked back and sure enough, he hadn't. How did he know?
A dark glint and a smirk from Zane didn't make him feel any better. "You want to see my power Shawn?" The other man took a step forward and Shawn stood quickly, not wanting to be caught sitting down.
"You know, when I said 'show me' I really meant let's get some snacks first. I know this really good peanut place down the way." It was only about twenty feet to the back door. If he ran, he could make it. There was definitely something wrong with this guy, as if everything up to now had all been an act. Shawn definitely felt like he'd been played.
He barely even made it a step before his body was flying through the air and all the wind in his lungs was pushed out forcefully as he hit the opposite wall. Pictures shattered and fell to the ground with the impact and their frames shattered.
Once he was able to breathe again, Shawn opened his eyes and saw that Zane had not even moved. He was still standing across the room, with his arm extended towards him. "What. The. Hell...
Zane let out a small chuckle. "I don't know whether you're worth my time or not. If you were really psychic you should have seen that coming."
How is he doing this!? It's impossible! Shawn's labored breaths gave away his terror, but he tried to ignore the screaming in his brain long enough to try to figure a way out. People know he's with me. He can't be stupid enough to think he'll get away with it will he?
Maybe all he needed to do was stall, and that was something he was very good at. "Listen man, whatever this is about we can talk it through!" Shawn struggled but the weight on his chest kept him firmly in place.
Stepping around the desks to get closer to him, Zane's smile disappeared. "You have something I want, but I'm still not sure what it is." He raised a pointed finger. "If you tell me, I'll make this quick."
The other man almost seemed like a cat, playing with a mouse. Hungry and vicious, but mildly curious as to what Shawn was going to do. The psychic realized it wasn't just enough to stall, he had to throw him off his game completely. So, he went for the proverbial throat.
"What I said at the diner about your family, it's true isn't it? I know how you feel."
Zane curled his lip in disgust, but dropping his finger slightly. "How could you possibly know what I've been through?"
"Oh, come on!" Shawn grumped, "I can see it a mile away! A demanding father, one who you wanted to please so badly until you realized that there is nothing you can do to earn is approval. He just wants more and more until you can't take it."
Zane's face fell and he looked down, but still kept Shawn tight against the wall. "That isn't true." It was almost a growl.
Shawn pressed the issue, knowing it was getting to him. "Mine was the same way. He used me and my abilities and I left before I went crazy." Unfortunately for both of them, it looked like the other man had just gone crazy instead. "Zane, buddyw22;"
"It's SYLAR!" The man roared. "And I'm done being patient!" Pain. Searing and horror movie worthy split through Shawn's head. He screamed in absolute agony as his skull was sliced open little by little. "What can you do? Tell me or I'll dig it out of you!"
The pain momentarily stopped as Sylar's hand stilled, but Shawn's tongue felt like it was made of lead at the admission of his real name. "Sylar? You're Sylar?" Shawn usually memorized each state's most wanted pictures. It got him easy cash when he was able to spot them. But Sylar wasn't just on the state lists, he was on the FBI's most wanted list. Number eight last time he looked. "I gotta tell you..." He panted out, "You look nothing like your picture. It doesn't do the psychopathic stare justice."
Oh God, he's going to kill me...
"What a waste of time." Carlton grumbled and sat down at his desk. The pile of papers had only gotten bigger on his break, and he almost wished he'd have ignored the scientist's offer of a meal.
There was one thing that kept bugging him though, the man he was with, Shane something or other, looked so familiar. He knew his mind wouldn't let it rest until he at least checked to see why.
Carlton immediately ruled out acquaintances, he never made enough friends to really hang out with people. He also ruled out someone from his board of convicts at his house, he'd looked at it enough to know he wasn't on there.
Maybe the state, or FBI?
Hitting his bookmark for the FBI's Most Wanted site, he quickly found what he was looking for. It was a shadowy surveillance camera picture of a man in a cap. The man had dark hair, and a pointy nose. Carlton almost had his own nose at the screen, searching for the resemblance. He was almost 80% sure it was the same man who had been in the station only an hour or so before.
"I'll be damned. Sylar." The man had on his record at least ten official murders, and countless other's they weren't sure about. The list seemed to be growing by the month. He grinned, just thinking about the kudos he'd get from the Chief for this big of a collar. Maybe even the FBI will start to pay attention to me.
His dreams of grandeur came crashing down when a thought hit him. Sylar had gone after Shawn to convince him to talk to them. They hadn’t been back yet, and Mohinder had received no calls. It didn't look good.
Carlton bolted out of his chair to see if the scientist’s car was still outside. It wasn’t. So, Carlton ran back inside and grabbed his cell phone, quick dialing Gus’ phone. The two were practically attached at the hip. Maybe he’ll know where he went.
The phone rang four times and still the pharmaceutical salesman hadn’t answered. "C’mon! Guster answer the phone!"
Finally, after six rings he picked up. "Shawn, if this is you using Lassiter’s phone again just to make me answer, I’m going to kill you."
Immediacy of the situation temporarily forgotten, Carlton fumed, "Spencer uses my phone?!"
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Carlton let it go and got to the point. "I take it you’ve heard from Spencer recently. Where is he?"
"Why? Is there something wrong?"
"Spencer left here with someone, I think he could be dangerous and I need to find him."
"Try his dad’s house. He said he was going to head over there." He heard some rustling in the background and a door closing. "I'm leaving work.. I'll be right behind you."
"No! Call Henry. If he isn't there, call me and I'll meet you at your office, but hold back! This man is dangerous Guster and I will not have any more civilians caught in the crossfire.”
"So you're going to head out and find him all by yourself?" Gus sounded indignant and Carlton didn't blame him, but this time he wasn't going in alone, guns blazing.
"Not quite." Carlton looked at the empty desk beside him, "I'm going to call my partner."
Back at Psych, Sylar stared at Shawn for a moment, puzzled. The psychic had seen his most wanted picture? It wasn't a stretch, he did work with the police after all, but something about Shawn's admission struck Sylar as odd and out of place.
He suddenly felt like he needed to step back, and look at the situation logically. If Shawn had his ability his whole life, he'd be using it every day without thinking about it. So, he tried to think what about Shawn struck him as odd so far?
The waitress’ number. He reasoned, He didn't take it, but said he was going on a date with her. Then there was the 'psychic' reading. Shawn had known all about his father and how he grew up under his father's boot. For as long as the man was around anyways. Still, it was something he could have seen. Then the picture. Unless he was some kind of obsessed crime solver checking the FBI pages every day, which didn't seem like the case, he had to have a really good memory to put his name and picture together.
Then, suddenly he had it.
"Photographic memory." Sylar looked up at his victim. The expression on Shawn's face at the revelation confirmed it. "Interesting, I missed getting something like that once." It was remarkable really that no one had found out about Shawn being a fraud yet. He must be really good at what he does. "So the whole psychic thing is a lie. Why?"
"I wanted to help." Shawn choked out.
Sylar didn't even have to try to see that was a lie, at least partially. "No. Why did you lie?" He moved his finger a centimeter. "Acceptance?" Another centimeter, "Money?" Screams and heavy breaths followed. Sylar gave him a moment to recover so he could answer.
"Iw22;I just wanted prove... I was better than..."
"Better than those you caught?" Sylar finished for him.
Shawn nodded, and groaned in pain as more blood got in his eyes.
Finally getting the answers he wanted, Sylar's curiosity was sated and he had just one more thing to do. "Alright Shawn, a promise is a promise." For what it was worth, Shawn had put up a lot more fight than most of his victims, but it was time to end it.
Sylar raised his hand and began to cut.
Shawn's agonized yells of pain were interrupted by the door being smashed in. Sylar's head whipped in the direction of the noise, cursing himself for not hearing anyone's approach over Shawn's screams.
The detective from the precinct was the first in. "SBPD! FREEZE!"
You've got to be kidding me. Sylar cursed his luck because he'd waited too long. Maybe there's still a way out of this.
"No detective, you freeze." Sylar raised his other hand and broke the pipe on the sink sending sharp frozen shards straight at Carlton.
A millisecond before they hit, the woman from the diner, Juliet, tackled him to the ground and out of the way as the shards shattered against the wall. Two other men followed her in; One well dressed and black, the other older and balding with a bright Hawaiian shirt on.
While Sylar was busy with the detective and Shawn, the black man gave a war cry and jumped on his back, putting a hand on his eyes so he couldn't see. He roared and tried to shake him off, in the process dropping Shawn hard to the floor. The bald man ran straight for Shawn, and stood over him protectively. There were just too many people to keep track of and too much noise for his newest power to focus on anything.
Outnumbered, out of options, and out of time, Sylar decided the only thing he could do now was to cut and run, and hope that he could get out of town with Mohninder and his fake identity intact. There was no telling how much back up was on its way, but if he didn't leave now, there would be no escape. He managed to get Gus off of him long enough to bolt out of the back door and down the boardwalk. The detectives made it to the door but he was able to redirect a few of the shots that were too close for comfort, before disappearing around a couple of the buildings.
Five blocks and a lot of hard running later, he managed to make it to a crowded space that would make it more difficult for them to find him. Pulling out his phone, he steadied his breathing and called Mohinder. "Hey, it's me. Sorry I'm late I got hung up."
"Did you find anything out? Does he have an ability?"
Of course that would be the first thing he asked about. Sylar hesitated to answer though. If he did confirm that Shawn had an ability, the scientist might want to hang around longer, which was not an option. "No, it was a false alarm. He's definitely a fraud."
"The detective said as much. I'm sorry for dragging out along on this one Zane, but I appreciate you coming."
"Any time." Sylar's keen hearing was starting to pick up sirens coming closer, they'd have to get out of town, fast. "Can you come pick me up? I'm by a store called "Jamba Juice."
"Great, I passed that earlier. I'll be there in a few minutes."
Hanging up, Sylar thought more about what happened at the Psych office. Shawn was actually kinda right at how similar they were; Controlling father, independent streak a mile long, and the same aptitude for reading situations and people. Shawn could have easily gone down the same road he did.
Most of all though, Sylar saw the spark in his eyes. The same need to know, at any cost. Shawn wasn't putting away criminals because they were bad per se, he was doing it because wanted to prove he was better than they were and more clever than they were.
Sylar could respect that.
The main difference was that he had friends, people who cared about him. That couldn't be it, could it? Can that one little factor make a difference? Sylar mulled it over as Mohinder pulled up in the car. As they made eye contact, he got a sad smile, almost an apologetic one for taking him on a wild goose chase.
Maybe he really could be my friend. Sylar pondered as they drove to the airport. It wasn't that much of a stretch. He actually felt a kind of kinship with the scientist. Mohinder's hunger for knowledge and his own... well, hunger in general, seemed to mesh well. Who knows, having a friend might help him stopw22; whatever he had inside him. It was a possibility he'd have to explore further, once they'd landed and gotten some sleep.
The aftermath at Psych was almost out of a horror movie scene. Blood was splattered all around Shawn's desk, glass littered the floor and water sprayed everywhere as paramedics tried to stop the bleeding in his head. Henry was there, along with Gus and Juliet until the latter had to leave and assist in the investigation.
Shawn was almost too out of it to know what was going on, until he was loaded into the ambulance and taken to the hospital with broken ribs and a fractured skull.
An hour and a half later, he was sitting up in bed trying to fall asleep. Gus, his father and Officer Buzz McNab were guarding the door in case Sylar decided to come back and finish the job, when Carlton and Juliet came in the room, along with Interim Chief Karen Vick.
"Hey, welcome to the party."
"Spencer are you ever serious?" Carlton grumbled, which made Shawn grin wider, just to annoy him. It looked like Carlton had gotten some stitches on his hands too, most likely from landing in broken glass.
The Chief shook her head and approached the bed. "Mr. Spencer, we weren't able to figure out what plane they were on, or even if they left by car and they were able to get away. I'll keep McNab on watch until we know more, but do you have anything you can give us to help track them down? Did Sylar say anything?"
Shawn was tired, and it was getting hard to think with all the pain medication he was on, but this was important so he tried to focus. "The scientist... he doesn't know about Sylar." He admitted. "I'm getting strong vibes that he's being played like a strataw22; um..."
"Stradivarius?" Gus finished for him.
"Don't make up words." Shawn mumbled, still trying to keep his eyes open. "Sylar is following the doctor around so he can kill people. It's not his fault."
"We don't even have a contact number for either of them." Juliet admitted, putting her hand on Shawn's. He turned it around so he could grip it.
They actually saved me. Shawn was so sure he was a goner, and he still didn't know what had happened, or why Sylar was so interested in his ability. It was driving him crazy, and he made a note to look into all of this once he was out of the hospital. Photographic memory is one thing, but being able to throw people around like ragdolls with a wave of your hand was something so out there Shawn couldn't believe it was possible.
"I'll see if any of my pharmaceutical contacts know of a Dr. Suresh. Maybe we can track him down that way." Gus offered.
Karen nodded, "We'll look on our end too and we'll have to contact the FBI and tell them what happened. They may want to talk to you too Mr. Spencer."
"I'll make sure he doesn't go anywhere." Henry offered and patted him on the leg.
"Alright then." Karen seemed satisfied, "Let us know when you are feeling better." Shawn nodded that he would. "Detectives, let's go and let him rest."
Carlton went without complaint, but his backward glance let Shawn know that he'd have to do some explaining later. As if he actually could explain anything. Juliet promised she'd stop in and visit later. "I'd like that." Shawn smiled and watched them go.
With the activity dying down, his father went back to reading his magazine, but Gus stayed by his side. "Are you going to be okay?"
"Yeah." Shawn nodded slightly, not wanting to disturb his bandages. "I just feel bad knowing that Sylar is out there and that Mohinder guy doesn't know it's him."
Suddenly, Shawn remembered seeing Sylar's phone when Mohinder had called it. He scrunched his eyes closed and focused on the blurry numbers. It was there! The scientist's cell number. "Gus! Give me my phone!"
Gus handed it over and watched what Shawn was doing. "Are you seriously telling him in a text that he's sitting next to a murderer right now? Why don't you tell the police?"
"If we call, he might overhear and put him in danger. This way, he might have a chance at getting out of there and contacting us without Sylar knowing. Then I'll go to the police."
It was the only way in his opinion. Shawn just really hoped that Mohinder would understand what his text meant, and that Sylar didn't get wind of it before he found out. Here goes nothing...
As Mohinder settled down in his seat, getting comfortable for the long flight, he looked over at Zane who seemed very contemplative. He could relate. Coming all that way just to see a fraud was very disheartening, but it saved him from having to worry about Sylar coming after someone else's abilities, for now at least.
Just as he was dozing off, his phone bleeped with a message. With a groan, he reached into his pocket and looked at the screen. The small electronic device showed an opening envelope, with the name Shawn Spencer on it. Why on Earth would he be texting me?
He opened the message and sweat immediately beaded on his forehead. His stomach dropped to his shoes and the world started to spin. No. It's impossible.
"Are you alright?" Zane looked at him concerned.
Mohinder did his best to remain casual and chuckled. "Yes. I'm just getting a little air sick. Can I get by to use the bathroom?"
Zane immediately moved out of the way. "Sure."
With a short "Thanks." Mohinder hurriedly pushed himself to the bathroom and threw up. The short message he'd gotten had been too much, but he had to look at it again to be completely sure.
Zane Taylor is Sylar.
It was too horrible to be true, but there could be no other explanation. There was no way Shawn Spencer could know that name, unless he was actually psychic or had found that out during "Zane's" afternoon with him. Then there was the way that woman in Montana had been murdered the night after they saw her, and how weird his companion had been acting around loud noises since. It was because he'd taken her super hearing. The awful truth was he'd been carting his father's killer around beside him for almost three days.
"What am I going to do?" Sylar obviously didn't know, or he and everyone else on the plane would probably be dead.
As he splashed water on his face to calm down, a plan started to formulate in his head. The only way he was going to be able to take Sylar down was to keep up the facade. Keep the killer's trust until he could take him out. Sylar wouldn't leave on his own, the research and access to names of victims would keep him close until Mohinder could strike.
It was his only chance.
When he got back to his seat, he'd made sure he still looked sick, but kept a smile on his face. "After coming all the way across the Atlantic, I'm still not used to flying."
Sylar smirked and turned to face him. "When we get back, are we going to try to find more people? They can't all be frauds, and they still need our help."
Mohinder's stomach started to bunch again at the phrase 'our help', but he held it down. "I'm going to see what I can do to perfect my father's formula. It may even lead to more names, more people we can contact."
"I can't wait." The scientist could see Sylar's smile was genuine and it made him cringe inside at how excited the prospect of murder made the man.
"Neither can I, Zane." Mohinder gave him his best smile. "Neither can I."