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The Sixth Extinction

Character(s): Gabriel "Sylar" Gray and Claire Bennet
Summary: Building 26 is never shut down. No one convinces the president that it's best to just drop the matter of evolved humans, and Danko is given cart blanche to deal with the super-powered threat as he sees fit. In the next century the Evolved are hunted to the brink of extinction, either out-right exterminated, or imprisoned and exploited for their ability. The number of specials used in this way grows fewer and fewer as time and mishaps progress, but one type is still coveted above all. Exterminating a regenerator is exceedingly difficult, anyway...
Status: In progress/PRIVATE


Shenoy Biotech Industries, the world leader in medical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic biotechnologies. Branches across the globe in at least one major city in every first-world country and several within the United States: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington D.C. Advances by the company have cured the terminally ill, made the blind to see and the lame to walk and have prolonged human life beyond the twenty-first century's limited reach. ...for those who can afford it.

The price of the best services are astronomical, for though the fountain of health, youth, and beauty never runs dry, the resource is rare indeed and output difficult to optimize. Which makes the D.C. branch's most recent acquisition seem well-worth the long search and countless lives it has cost to obtain it.

Seemingly innocuous on the slab, a man of just-above average height, lean build and slender frame. His pale skin has a bluish cast to it and his brunette hair is matted with his own blood, for all appearances nothing more than a cadaver ready for organ harvesting, but that would be pointless in his current state. The organs could be removed, yes, but the body cavity would remain as empty as any other autopsied corpse with the 6-inch metal spike that's currently lodge in the back of his head.

First, precautions must be taken.

Clothing is cut away, revealing more lavender-cream skin, more dark, soft hair, and more lean, strong, but limp flesh. Tubing and needles are rudely thrust into the uncooperative, seemingly dead flesh, holes bored into bone, restraints applied and tightly locked down. They have him, they are sure, this mythical beast, this Unicorn in human form that has impaled and gored so many hunters, at last taken down and chained in the name of healing (in the name of profit.)

A nod of a head. They try to time it right. To dump their chemicals into his system just as it begins uptake, the spike sliding out of his brain matter with a sickening sound, like a child rudely sucking a too-thick milkshake through a narrow straw.

Machines whir and buzz and beep to life, charts on screens beginning to run, the signs of life returned. His flesh looses its oxygen-starved look, blushes healthy golden-cream.

All is still.

They hold their breaths as machines breathe for him.

Their eyes stare wide as his threatening amber glare remains sealed behind the dark fringe of his eyelashes.

--'---,,--

Sylar stood bare and blood spattered in the center of the processing room. The redness of it fascinated him, pooling around and between his toes from the severed bodies of the doctors and nurses littered across the cool linoleum floor. Cold, smooth floor. Hot, sticky blood. The contrast of sensations gave him a cold pleasure, but did nothing to take the edge off the rage boiling inside him. He had been taken. Violated. After all this time evading them and he had found himself back on a cutting table, prepped and drugged, though once again insufficiently, even more so than the last few times so long ago.

Irritated by the whine of the machinery he waved a hand and smashed it all, bits of glass and sparks falling down into the puddle, further empty attempts at catharsis. He picked among the doctors to find clothing suitable to wear on his way out, managing a complete set with only a couple minor stains. Thankfully he'd felt the need to snap one man's neck instead of eviscerating him like the others, and a pair of shoes his size just needed a bit of polishing off.

He left the white, sterile room with that bloodbath concealed behind the tight steel door, the security locked portal swinging shut just before a nurse exiting opposite him could see inside. She didn't even blink at him as she clipped away, nose down toward a chart screen. Her door had just opened as his closed and still remained so for a moment, long enough to see beyond into a room not unlike that he'd just left.

Too bright-white, bleach-clean and bright, brushed steel, unsettlingly chatty machines. Shenoy had never managed to improve on that.

And in the 'bed' in the middle, a form disfigured almost beyond recognition.

Almost, but not quite.

"Claire...?"

The Intuitive strode forward quickly, slipping through the last crack of the metal door before it swished closed, sealing them inside. Sylar had never been a creature of moderate emotion. Either blazing with hate and anger or numb with cold indifference, this time he felt ice in his blood for a wholly different reason.

This... they'd done this to her, and it was what they'd meant to do to him.

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invincibleblond
Nov. 29th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
It was Claire... what was left of her. Nude and pinned to the slab like a modern day Jesus, the young-looking blond that was once the beautiful Claire Bennet laid out on display like a broken car chassis that had been used for part.

There was no healthy blush to this girl's skin. Instead, a sick yellow color painted her flesh that reminded a few of her nurses of the liver failure patients they'd seen on other floors. Her skin was practically hanging off her bones, a woman who was once a healthy one-hundred and twenty pounds now wasted away to an emaciated seventy. The company found out years ago how much they could save in their budget just by not feeding the immortals.

Claire hadn't seen food or water in nearly two years.


Her unconscious body lay limp and slightly dangling on the medical table. The drugs that were pumped into her system kept only her strength and mind under control, her healing ability still functioning, but only on the lowest level. The last thing Shenoy needed was a healthy screamer to make the floor loud and miserable. She was controlled. Period.

Different types of tubes and needles perforated her paper-ish flesh and a choir of buzzing and beeping could be heard as blood filtered out over her for those who could afford the life giving fluid. A fresh slit up middle that was slowly and surely healing inferred a recent harvest of some vital organ for some wealthy ill.

The fire that had once burned in those bright hazel eyes were gone. No life spark left in them as they remained hidden behind cold, nearly dead lashes.
i_can_fix_it
Nov. 29th, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
There was probably no one else left who would have known Claire in this state. Sylar was certain the moment he stepped through the doorway, before he even approached the slab. The ice in his blood melted quickly and began to boil furiously as he looked at her, reached out a hand and touched her matted, greasy hair. His own brunette locks had been shorn away completely to barely military fuzz, but Claire had obviously been here for som time, and no one gave a damn.

He had never seen such monstrosity. It rivaled even what had been done to him in Primatech, and though he knew immortals were used like this he had never seen it. Now he saw, and to Claire of all of them, his prey and his nemesis for so long. He hadn't seen her in what may now be decades, but that doesn't change the depth of their bloody and violent history.

Sylar paced away to the door again, popping his head out into the hall. In a few moments a man in a pristine white labcoat approached, and the taller man caugt his attention with a quiet, "Excuse me, sir, there's something..."

The man rolled his eyes, thinking he migt be dealig with a new orderlie and walked in readily, unsuspecting. His neck snapped as soon as the door shut, dropping the doctor to the floor. Sylar left him, for the moment, little more than an icy glare at his corpse before he set about his work. "I think it will be better this way," he murmured quietly as he used a broken shard of one of the machines as a blade, sliding it neatly into the back of her head. Life signs ceased immediately, but he was unconcerned. It gave him the chance to remove all of the needles and tubing and left her limp and accomodating as he gathered her up, bundled like little more than twigs in the dead doctor's coat.

They'd captured him on a fluke and with massive ammounts of men and firepower. There was no way they could be prepared to contain him, not knowing that he was awake and out. With the girl cradled in his arm he walked out with a trail of bodies and destruction behind him. He had to sneak them out into a vehicle to get them away, but he'd never had a problem running. Somehow though, in spite of all the lives taken to pay for hers, an empty pit still sank in his stomach whenever he looked at her or felt how thin shed grown.

He had a safehouse under another name, another form, an he took her there before he dared revive her. With her skeleton form laid in an antique clawfoot tub full of warm and bubbly water he finally grasped the shard and drew it out.
invincibleblond
Nov. 29th, 2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
She had not been truly awake in a long time. It had been years since she'd felt true weakness and real pain. So once that shard was slipped from her skull and her ability began running it's course through her blood, Claire moaned air soft, her voice as dry as kindling paper. The ache in both her stomach and bones reverberated through her body as her eyes cracked open only in the slightest.

Her skin was still yellow, this was began her liver was gone, taken just before Sylar had appeared, the organ now slowly regenerating itself. The texture of her flesh was better though, her skin soaking in the water from the bath the brunette had her in.

Searching through bleary, red eyes, Claire eventually looked up at the man who'd saved her from hell. She said nothing, only stared before her eyes began rolling back, her head lolling from side to side. Sylar couldn't possibly have saved her... she must still be asleep.

She was having a nightmare.
i_can_fix_it
Nov. 30th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
He didn't even have to worry about her slipping in and drowning, but he kept an eye on her as he turned aside and drew a cool glass of water from the tap. He brought it and crouched beside her, reaching one deadly hand out to craddle he back of her head and steady it as he touched the cup to her lips. "Drink. It'll help." ever the dark and velvety purr, no malice in it, just quiet awe and pity. It had been a long time sInce he'd seen another. This was not the meeting he imagined.
invincibleblond
Nov. 30th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
Claire did not need to be told again. Her body screamed for hydration so once her lips knew what was touching them, she gulped the water slowly, but only because of her weakness. She was greedy for it and within moments, the glass was empty and that papery unused voice came again, this time bearing a word.

"More..."
i_can_fix_it
Nov. 30th, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
"Hm," he smiled softly, gratified by her fighting spirit. It was held there in that one word and he let her head down gently and brought more water, as much as she wanted no matter how many trips he had to make. He knew he'd be taking on at least this much responsibility when he'd stolen her. "Next?" When she was done with the water he asked of her needs.
invincibleblond
Nov. 30th, 2009 12:31 am (UTC)
Sylar didn't get a response. Instead, Claire's head lolled a final time and her eyes closed, the woman drifting off into the realm of much needed sleep. Her body need time and all of it's energies to just build itself back up again. The water was perfect as it was bringing the healthy texture back into her flesh, but she was still terribly thin and no healing power could make her gain weight. That would take time, but for now, Claire Bennet needed to rest and rebuild. So, shifting only in the slightest, she made herself comfortable in the warm water, sleeping away the ache for just a little while longer.
i_can_fix_it
Nov. 30th, 2009 02:28 am (UTC)
"Good idea," Sylar told her softly letting her be with her head pillowed on the handtowel he'd put beneath her. He stayed a moment longer, tidying up the hack job on his hair at the sink. It was far too short. He looked like a military man indeed, but he would just have to live with it for now.

While Claire rested he went and changed into his own clothes, a soft boatneck thermal shirt and a beat up old pair of black-now-grey jeans. Once he was comfortable he went to the kitchen to begin cooking. Claire needed to eat, that was obvious. Something soft and light to start, a chicken and vegetable porridge and once she was healthier, heavier, fattening foods. The cheerleader should not look like a heroin addicted supermodel.
invincibleblond
Nov. 30th, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
Claire was out for a long time, her body needing to regenerate. When Sylar finished cooking and probably eating his meal, the young blond made her way into wakening, her skin pruning.

The yellow tint to her flesh has lessened, her liver rebuilding itself enough for her to be awake now. She blinked a few times to take in her surroundings. One thing was certain, she was free from hell... how? She was not sure...
i_can_fix_it
Nov. 30th, 2009 05:39 am (UTC)
The bathroom was clean, homey, various shades of cream with polished brass accents, vaguely Victorian. A far cry from a hospital for one thing, and fairly gender-neutral, not saying much about the home's occupant. He had indeed eaten his portion and set the rest aside, looking in on Claire now and then to see if he was needed, but she slept a long time.

At last though he came in again, a few minutes after she'd woke, folded clothing in his hands. "Claire," he greeted her with her name, quietly. If there was any doubt about who had rescued her it was likely erased now with her head clearer and his recognition.
invincibleblond
Nov. 30th, 2009 05:45 am (UTC)
The girl blinked again, slowly, almost drunkenly. Sylar stood as tall as ever in her line of sight and all she could think of was how he looked when he left her alone on that table in California. They had met a few times after that, decades or so later, but no matter how much time had passed, she would still see him as a evil monster who stole her innocents from her in the second most violent way she could imagine.

Claire took in a long, slightly labored breath through her gaping mouth, the satisfyingly full feeling of fresh air in her lungs twitching a corner of her mouth in the slightest, almost like she was going to smile but thought better of it.

Why had he saved her? She thought to herself in the moment of silence between them. Why did he go out of his way? He was a monster...
i_can_fix_it
Nov. 30th, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
"I don't have any women's clothes," he held up the bundle slightly, "But the pants are drawstring, they should fit, after a fashion."

He reached to the counter and laid them down. "Do you need any help washing out your hair, or..." he shrugged slightly, the situation kind of awkward with her silence.

He didn't know what he was doing, didn't have a plan. His plans didn't usually reach very far, even after this much time. He'd tried the path of grand, sweeping design once or twice and it had always failed. He was much more successful when he kept his goals smaller, short term.

All he knew at the moment was that he couldn't leave her in that hospital, which he would have ended up wreaking havock on anyway, so he'd taken her. Now she had needs and he had the means to provide for them without endangering himself. Why not? Even if she stormed out on him as soon as she could keep her feet under her, there was something gratifying in just being recognized.
invincibleblond
Nov. 30th, 2009 06:09 am (UTC)
Claire breathed in a little while longer before she closed her mouth, pulling her knobbed skinny legs in towards herself to protect her nakedness. She started to shake her head in dismissal, but the moment she had moved she knew that she had no more strength left in her to do much else. Eventually, a small nod told the brunette that she was indeed still in need of his help.

Why was he helping her?
i_can_fix_it
Nov. 30th, 2009 06:25 am (UTC)
"Okay," he walked over and tested the heat of the water with one hand, and finding it chilly he changed that. It only took a moment and the water molecules became excited enough that a couple whisps of steam rose off the top again. He used the plastic drinking glass to scoop some of the water as he knelt just off to her side at her shoulder. "I'll help you sit up, then tilt your head forward."

His touch was chaste, guiding her by the nape of her neck and shoulders with a flat, open palm. He didn't have to grab her to be the one in control here, and there was definitely an element of that which he enjoyed. She was weak and powerless. He could see in her eyes and feel in the shiver of her skin that she hated every moment of this, but she needed him, had little choice but to give him control.

In this world where his usual reasons and methods for taking and exploiting control had been hunted to the brink of extinction along with their species, this was a gratifying second.

When she'd bowed her head toward those knees he poured the cup over her hair, wetting it to be washed. His eyes raked over her bird-thin shoulders, the protrusion of her spine. It wasn't attractive, but her frailty held something he found appealing.
invincibleblond
Nov. 30th, 2009 06:32 am (UTC)
The former cheerleader did not know how grotesquely thin she'd become in the care of Shenoy. All she knew was that she was broken and needed a great deal of repairs before she could get away for good. She kept her eyes closed and every time his hand would touch her, a violent shiver of revulsion was sent through her body.

Claire hated Sylar.

His touch remained gentle the whole time and as he washed her, silent and shameful tears spilled over her cheeks buried against her knees. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction to know she was this weak, crying in the bath. No, she was prouder than that.
i_can_fix_it
Nov. 30th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
He had the satisfaction without seeing the tears. He could feel them in the way her body shook, colouring that revulsion. He washed her hair and conditioned it, then ran a cloth over the skin that hadn't managed to soak the sweat and dust away, which wasn't much. She was fairly clean in only a few moments and once done Sylar brought a large, plush towel out of the cabinet to wrap her in.

With a thought the drain opened and the water level dropped away. A second thought and Claire would find herself lifted upright as the brunette opened the towel and folded her in it. His long arms crossed around her body to conceal it beneath soft, creamy cotton, but not before she could have gotten a look at herself in the mirror across from them, gaunt, waterlogged, and faintly sallow.
invincibleblond
Nov. 30th, 2009 06:56 am (UTC)
She was reluctant to move, but once she'd caught her reflection in the mirror, she was mesmerized. Claire was always one who prided herself in her appearance, maintaining her hair and her health, not being too thin or heavy, never leaving the house without makeup. Now... she looked like a zombie... undead... disgusting. A small sob was all the warning Sylar got before the blond's knees buckled beneath her, shock and exhaustion taking their tole as the girl's eyes rolled into the back of her head for a second time, her frail body collapsing against the brunette's own.
i_can_fix_it
Nov. 30th, 2009 07:17 am (UTC)
His reflexes were plenty sharp enough to catch her, enfolding her in the towel fully. He just held her for a moment, looking at her slack, sunken features. The anger flared again, at those people, at what they had made of her, tried to make of him. His opinions on her frailty moved back and forth like the tide, one moment intriguing, enticing, the next enraging.

He remembered her for what she was. Strong and defiant, bright and vibrant. Remembering that his utter power over her now came from the arrogance of weak, human men incited his mind to dark and violent thoughts against them. All of them. Any one.

He put her flat on her feet and held her aloft like a marionette on strings. It gave him the freedom to towel her off and then to dress her. He was sure her modesty would be offended when she woke, but he had already seen it all on that slab. There was nothing here to lust after, not in this state.

Dry and dressed he took her to the bedroom and laid her down in the soft queen. She obviously wasn't going to do well trying to use her limbs at this point. Her atrophied muscles were still trying to catch up along with the rest of her body.

While she was unconscious he sat by, a tablet in his lap, eyes downcast at the pages of a new novel from an author he'd been following.
invincibleblond
Nov. 30th, 2009 07:25 am (UTC)
Why did everything still hurt? When Claire woke, the ache still hadn't died. It had been so long since she'd felt such pain. There was a time where pain didn't effect her, but those people had driven her body to it's breaking point, making her feel things that she'd thought she would never have to feel again.

Her eyes blinked slowly, her skin flushing a light pink with anger as she realized that Sylar must have dried and dressed her before laying her in his bed. What the hell was he playing at? Why was he doing this? SHe looked up and saw him sitting there, reading. Something so innocuous. Bastard. He had no right to be normal.

"Why?" Came a broken and scratchy voice from beside him, Claire Bennet finally finding the strength to ask why he chose to be her would-be hero.
i_can_fix_it
Nov. 30th, 2009 07:31 am (UTC)
He looked up, marking his place and putting the tablet aside as he answered. "It's not as though it's unprecedented," he reminded her, rather than give a reason. After all, he'd saved her once before, once upon a time when her father's fear, determination and arrogance had nearly gotten his daughter killed by an innocent but overly powerful man.
invincibleblond
Nov. 30th, 2009 07:34 am (UTC)
She gave him a disbelieving and angry glare. That was a bullshit answer and he knew it. He'd saved her over half a century ago...

"Why?" This time her voice was louder, but still papery and still without any true color.
i_can_fix_it
Nov. 30th, 2009 07:44 am (UTC)
He frowned softly, sitting back in the padded white armchair that was part of the clean, modern master bedroom. "Don't worry, it wasn't something I planned. You were there, and so was I, briefly. I couldn't leave you, could I?" He leaned one elbow on the arm of the chair and rested his head against the backs of his fingers, watching her reaction. It had been so long since he'd talked with some one, anyone, like this.
invincibleblond
Nov. 30th, 2009 07:52 am (UTC)
Claire frowned as well, her own thoughts on the matter completely different. If their places had been switched, she would be alone and Sylar would still be in that medical ward.

"Thanks, but no thanks..." She hissed hoarsely, shifting her weight and forcing herself to sit up on the bed. "I don't need your help."

Of course, her words were horribly cliche and quickly followed by the evidence that she needed help, if not his, somebody's, because the moment Claire pushed off the bed, her muscles gave way beneath the weight of her tiny body, causing her to collapse at Sylar's feet.

She nearly screamed in frustration, sending herself into a coughing fit. How embarrassing to say the least.
i_can_fix_it
Nov. 30th, 2009 07:56 am (UTC)
"If not mine, whose? Who do you have left, Claire?" The question was not asked gently, and he did not rush to help her stand this time. He left her fallen before him. This weakness wasn't bound to last, he would exploit it while he could before he had to actively apply force. He didn't think on the fact that she would have left him and it was good she'd said nothing about it. It wouldn't sit well with the brunette to dwell on such things.
invincibleblond
Nov. 30th, 2009 08:02 am (UTC)
Once she got her lungs under control, she glared up at him, tears of anger glinting in her eyes, a sadness there that she didn't want to reveal. She had no one. He knew that. There was only one person left on the planet that knew her for who she was and he was the last person she ever wanted to see.

"I don't need you." She said heatedly, her voice finding more fuel since the coughing. "I'll find someone else."

It wasn't that she wasn't thankful, she was. She said her small thanks and now she wanted to leave. She didn't want to owe Sylar any more than she already did. He was a demon and the longer she remained near him, the more fun he would have with her. Torment was a game that he liked to play and she never enjoyed being one of his game pieces.
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