Why the Company didn't kill Adam, a musing in 26 acts.
Large office with long conference desk and many chairs. Members of the Company all seated. People seem unsettled.
Bob: Alright everyone, settle down. As you have probably head by now, Adam Monroe attempted to steal vial 138 of the Shanti virus. That strain, if released, would have killed us all. We have Adam in custody and now we have to decide what to do with him. Any suggestions?
Kaito Nakamura: Kill that bastard and do it now, I'll get my shotgun.
Charles Deveaux: I'm with Kaito, let's kill him.
Angela Petrelli: I think Kaito and myself need to discuss this further, in my room.
All the other founders that never get mentioned: Yes, let's kill Adam.
Arthur Petrelli: No, you fools, we can't kill Adam.
Kaito: Yes we can, a shotgun to the face will kill him instantly, there's no coming back from that one.
Arthur: No Kaito, I mean.. Kaito pay attention, stop looking at MY wife. I know we "can" kill Adam. But we can't kill him because he is too integral to the plot.
Bob: What plot?
Arthur: The plot of the Television series we are all in.
Charles Deveaux: Arthur, have you gone mad? We are real people, in the real world. We just happen to have abilities akin to characters in a comic book, or a TV show based on comic books, or a miniseries idea that's dragged on to long and now has no idea where it's going. But we are REAL dammit.
Arthur: No we are not real, we are fictional characters.
Angela: Arthur dear, how can you know this?
Arthur: Because, my ability is to break the fourth wall.
Arthur: Yes, it's true. I can communicate directly with the audience that is watching us right now. All I do is turn this way. Arthur turns towards camera. And now I can talk to them and tell them things.
Kaito: Fine Arthur, you can talk to your "audience" but what does it have to do with us not killing Adam Monroe?
Arthur: If we kill Adam, then we would not have a story line that shows the consequences of time travel. And the future wouldn't have any ambiguity about who is good and who is bad. Don't you see, if we kill Adam, then everything will be far too clear for the "audience."
Bob: But the "audience", as you call them, they must be rational thinking people, right? Wouldn't they enjoy a straightforward romp through a set of predetermined challenges that slowly leads up to a climatic battle of good versus evil?
Arthur: No, they may think they want that, but my power shows me that moral ambiguity makes characters such as ourselves seem more human. And people need to identify with characters, otherwise they would realize that their emotions are being fucked with so that their brains don't think about the inconsistencies in our story.
Kaito: So what do you propose we do with Adam?
Arthur: Keep him locked up for the rest of eternity.
Bob: Won't that just give him a very long time to plan revenge and prepare for his eventual escape?
Arthur: Yes, but if we want the moral ambiguity we must realize that eventually he has to escape. For the good of the plot.
Kaito: But don't you think he will want to kill us all when he escapes?
Arthur: Well... probably. But if we die, it will make the struggles of our children seem far more important.
Angela: Fuck that. I'm out of here. Kaito come on, let's go "discuss" this further, in the backseat of your car.
Kaito: No Angela, we must be resigned to our fates. We are mere characters. We cannot think rationally like our audience. We must obey the will of Kring.
Harry Fletcher: Isn't this just fucking with the minds of the audience? Really, they will eventually realize that the will of Kring is shit. They will all ask why we didn't blow Adam's fucking head right off at this very moment. It's bullshit. Total bullshit. And if the people ever realize it, there will be anarchy.
Arthur: Harry, one more word out of you and you will die without anyone knowing who you are, what your power is, how you die or what you look like.
Harry: So what, I bet no one even knows what YOU look like Arthur.
Arthur stands up, removes gun from hidden holster and points it towards Harry.
Arthur: They don't know what I look like because it adds mystery and saves the budget for more important things. Like writing plots with moral ambiguity.
Arthur shoots Harry in the head.
Arthur: Adam lives. Got it?
Everyone: Got it!
Arthur stares over the warm corpse of Harry Fletcher
Arthur: Well Harry, at least they know how you died.