Title: A Truckload of Ice
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Era: Post season 4
Rating: K+ / FRC
Characters: Edgar, Ando Masahashi, Hiro Nakamura, Matt Parkman, Peter Petrelli, Tracy Strauss, Sylar (, Micah Sanders)
Summary: A new age of heroics… isn’t as glamorous as one might think.
Written for: Heroes_Contest’s (heroes_contest) One-shot Challenge 27: In Hindsight
Warnings: A few words of bad language and implied murder (plus some general talk of a corpse). Some spoilers for the whole series.
Disclaimer: The show, its characters, its places, and everything else, belong to Tim Kring and the other respective creators and owners of ‘Heroes’. I have made no profit by writing this story, and make no claim over the show.
Beta: Mythra mythras_fire
Feedback: The good and the bad… as long as it’s fair ;)
About A Truckload of Ice: A short fic that just came to life from the first sentence, pretty much. I’m not sure if it’s funny or not, but I hope people enjoy it on some level.
The end of Heroes offers me a lot of inspiration, I’m aware, and this is just one of those little random ideas, running around…
Story and status: Below you see the writing process of the story. If there is no text after the title, then it is finished and checked. Possible updates shall be marked after the title.
A Truckload of Ice
Written for Heroes_Contest’s One-shot Challenge 27 (In Hindsight).
In hindsight, there had been a few mistakes. No denying that. That was, perhaps, why none of them wanted to talk about it afterwards.
For the first minute, anyway.
“That went well,” Sylar finally said. He sounded sickeningly cheerful.
Hiro glanced at him. Even the small Japanese who usually had sincere optimism on his side didn’t seem able to find anything so good about their current situation.
“Shut up,” Matt Parkman snapped. He hadn’t wanted to come along in the first place. He had a good life at home with Janice and little Mattie… But he had agreed, somehow.
Peter suspected that perhaps someone had used his own power against him and pushed his thoughts.
“It could have been worse,” Sylar decided.
“Oh, yes!” Hiro finally agreed and pushed himself up from the mud. They were all sitting at the bottom of a very steep, rocky slope. It was so long, in fact, that they couldn’t see the street lights from the road above. It was like it wasn’t even there and they had dropped into a whole other world.
Some distance from them, crashed in the trees and bushes, lay a tandem trailer truck. Well, it was more like a frozen cube that resembled a truck and a couple trailers; since it had been loaded with dangerous chemicals that some lunatic had attempted to crash into the police station some miles away, they had been forced to stop it.
It had been Sylar’s idea to freeze it. Where he got the power, Peter didn’t know; he had had it once, when he was still a villain, but he had lost it… Or so he said. Well, he got around other specials plenty enough these days, and if his empathy was starting to work again these days, as it seemed, then it was no wonder he had acquired several abilities Peter hadn’t seen before.
Sometimes Peter felt a slight wave of jealousy since he was still able to hold only one ability at a time. Well, it was better than none…
Hiro was gazing towards the slowly melting pile of ice. “I wonder if the driver is okay?” he mused.
“After he almost killed us all, I don’t really care,” Edgar noted. When it had become apparent that the driver wasn’t going to stop, and his mind was such a mess that even Matt hadn’t been able to make any sense of his thoughts at a gas station ten miles back – Matt said the guy was probably high on drugs, plus mentally disturbed, which wasn’t hard to believe… After all that, Edgar had been very fond of the idea of just slashing one of his knives through the guy and be done with it.
And sure enough, when they had told the man that he couldn’t just drive his truckload into the police station that had somehow wronged him in the past, he hadn’t taken to it very kindly and had almost run them over at said gas station. Peter didn’t have a whole lot of sympathy for him now, either, especially after the fall down the slope. It was raining lightly, the ground was muddy, and he was covered in bruises from rolling down the hill. His companions didn’t look much better.
Sylar got up and walked past Hiro to the truck. He disappeared in the darkness as he went around it, and Hiro joined him soon after.
Edgar snorted. “Maybe you should join them, Peter. You’re the nurse, right? Try and give him some CPR, see if he can try and kill us all over again.”
Ando, who was still sitting on the muddy ground, looked up worriedly. Matt just grunted and muttered as he struggled to get to his feet.
Peter didn’t see how anyone could survive both the flash-freeze and the fall alive – unless they were related to his niece Claire. Nonetheless, he approached the truck, feeling somewhat responsible for all this since Sylar still hung around his apartment because he had no other place to go, really. Rounding the truck, stumbling over uprooted trees and rocks, he eventually bumped into Sylar who was leaning against the ice cube, listening. Hiro was on his other side, waiting eagerly.
“So?” Peter asked impatiently.
“He’s dead,” Sylar finally decided, pulling back.
“Great. Can we go now?” Peter asked.
“Shouldn’t we do something about him?” Sylar asked.
“Can we just leave him here?” Hiro agreed, his tone worried. Apparently he didn’t quite grasp the level of destruction this man had almost caused in the small town ahead.
“Yes, we can!” Matt hollered at them from where the rest of their group was waiting.
“Oh,” Hiro said, subdued.
Peter started to walk back, and he hoped the other two men were following. They had just joined the others, Hiro still looking back towards the truck, when suddenly the puddles on the ground began to ripple, and a figure of water rose in the middle of them, solidifying into Tracy Strauss.
“You’re late, Ms. Strauss,” Edgar noted.
“I didn’t promise I would join this little mission of yours,” she said, then turned around. “Nice work, boys,” she commented, looking at the truck. “Are you going to enter an ice sculpting contest?”
Hiro opened his mouth, no doubt not understanding the bad joke as such, but Peter clapped his shoulder to silence him. “An unfortunate change in the plan of action. But it’s done. We stopped him. And the cargo hasn’t exploded.”
“So, what?” Tracy asked. “You’re just going to leave it melting there?”
Everyone looked towards the truck.
“Err, well…” Edgar hesitated.
“Well, it might be a bit of a biohazard…” Matt admitted.
It felt like a job incomplete if they just left it lying here, Peter had to admit. He looked at Hiro. “Can you move it?”
The small Japanese blinked, then smiled in the faint light. “Have faith in me, Peter Petrelli!” he informed him and stepped towards the truck.
It wasn’t necessarily better, but at least someone could find the body, and store the hazardous materials that were inside the trailers. After all, it was likely the man had stolen both the truck and its contents from somewhere.
Hiro teleported the truck into the middle of the police station’s front yard. In a way, they had completed the madman’s journey – only not quite in the way he had planned. They were swift to disappear from the scene, of course, and pretty soon officers and people began to gather up around the frozen mass of metal. Clearly they weren’t quite in the loop with all this.
“Should I give them a hint?” Matt pondered. He seemed satisfied this was over, and the sooner they could all go home, the happier he would be. Peter could understand that; he was going to take a long, hot shower once they got back home.
“I’m sure they’ll come to the right conclusion themselves. As soon as everything melts, that is.”
“I guess we’re done here, then,” Edgar said, and after a nod at everyone collectively, he vanished in a brief blur of colors.
“It’s nice he can just run home…” Matt said to no one in particular.
“I shall take you home, Mr. Parkman,” Hiro offered at once, stepping up. Even while still covered in mud and a few twigs and leaves in his messy black hair, his smile was as friendly as ever.
With a slight expression of hesitation, Matt clasped his hand and then they were off.
“Shall we?” Sylar looked at Peter, offering his hand. Peter looked at him, then took his hand, selecting flight from the collection of abilities.
“Hiro will be right back,” Ando said. “We can take you home.”
“That’s alright,” Peter told him. “Hiro seemed exhausted after teleporting the weight of the truck all the way here. We’ll fly back. It’s good exercise…” He needed to unwind himself somehow after last night, and the flight home would do just that. Although it would be cold up there… The thought made him shiver.
Hiro re-appeared just then. The mud on his skin was mostly dry now, but none of that seemed to darken his mood. “Well, Ando-kun,” he said, “shall we go home?”
Ando nodded. He looked ready for a long shower of his own – and a nap. It had been a long night for all of them. After a bow they disappeared, and Peter decided it was time for them to go too. Flying around in daylight was always a bit risky, although most people would not believe their eyes if they saw a man in the sky. It wasn’t worth taking a risk, though, if it could be avoided. The sun was already rising above the horizon, so they had better get going, or landing was going to be very tricky in the morning rush-hour of New York.
Peter turned to look at Tracy, who was still standing there, looking like an angel in the midst of the dirty men. Only her shoes showed any sign of the muddy slope where they had been standing earlier.
“Say hi to Micah for me,” Peter told her. He knew Micah was behind the information that had gotten them here tonight, saving hundreds of lives. The information had come through Tracy who alerted them even when she was still unwilling to actually take part in the action.
She simply nodded. A quiet life was what she wanted after being hunted like an animal for a while, and that did not include performing heroics across the world. But sometimes… perhaps even she was tempted to be with her ‘own kind’ and stand above a normal man, doing something others could not.
To be a hero.