Cap 1: In his Own Image
High atop a New York office building, Peter Petrelli spreads his arms, wind fluttering his jacket, preparing to fly. With a final breath and a prayer, he makes the leap. The ground rushes up to meet him, but then another face appears, and then…
The sound of a woman’s voice wakes Peter from his dream. Simone Deveaux wonders how long her father has for this world. Peter, the dying man’s nurse, gives the old man two more days of life. Simone is grateful for Peter’s dedication; to her father, Peter is more like a son than a nurse.
Across the world in Bombay, India, Dr. Mohinder Suresh concludes his lecture on the human genome project. With wonder in his voice, he explains that the project has discovered tiny mutations in the human species’ genetic code, changes that are taking place at shockingly rapid rates.
The class is cut short when a colleague brings Suresh some terrible news: His father was killed while driving a taxi in New York City. Suresh doesn’t believe that his father’s death was an accident; he believes his dad was murdered because of his theories on human evolution. Arriving at his dad’s apartment, Suresh begins looking through his father’s research when he hears a man’s voice in another room. Suresh grabs what he can and flees the apartment before being discovered.
In Las Vegas, Niki Sanders is hard at work, stripping in front of her webcam for a not-so-satisfied customer. When the stranger on the other side of the ether runs out of credit, Niki dons a robe and checks on Micah, her gifted son, to see if he’s ready for school. Their morning ritual is interrupted, however, when she spies two goons at the front door. Grabbing Micah, Niki races out the back, burning rubber before they can be detected.
Odessa, Texas is not the type of place where miracles happen, but something out of the ordinary has occurred nonetheless. Sixteen-year-old Claire Bennet videotapes her 80-foot free fall from the top of an industrial tower. Though all her bones are shattered and knocked out of socket, she simply pops them back into place and walks away without a scratch – it was the sixth time she’d tried this.
Nathan Petrelli is a busy man, a man on the make, a man in the middle of a fierce political campaign, a man who doesn’t have time for brother Peter’s dreams about flying. Nathan fears that Peter’s delusions will lose him the election. A call from their mom interrupts their conversation… she’s been arrested for shoplifting.
The second hand of his clock ticks by the contemplative eyes of Hiro Nakamura in his workaday cubicle. He closes his eyes and concentrates, his brow crinkling into a wrinkled mass. The second hand stops, ticks backwards, and continues on its circular way. With a shout, Hiro runs to his friend to tell him the news: He has successfully manipulated time and soon he will learn to manipulate space.
A private school is no place for the poor, or so it would seem when Micah’s principal tells Niki that her son is being shown the door, no matter that Niki wrote a check for $25,000 to get him in. With Micah out of school, tuition past due, and loan sharks coming after them, it would seem that Niki has run out of options, that there is no one looking after her to protect her in this dangerous time.
Mrs. Petrilli thinks it’s “no big deal” that she was arrested. After all, the police dropped all the charges. Still, Nathan is furious at her for stealing a pair of socks when their dead father left her a fortune. Nathan takes off, but Peter stays behind to find out what’s going on inside his mom’s head. The answer is simple in its honesty, “I just wanted to feel alive again.”
A fire rages at an Odessa cotton mill. With camera running, Claire races into the flames and rescues a man trapped inside. Even though fire hungrily eats through her clothes, she remains unharmed. As firemen descend to check on her, she turns and runs from the scene.
Nathan offers Peter a job coordinating volunteers for his campaign, but instead of responding to this offer Peter brings up their earlier conversation about flight. Nathan doesn’t want to hear anything more about that and tells his brother, “It’s time for you to grow up.”
Outside the campaign office, Peter climbs into a taxi commanded by Suresh, wondering aloud about the solar eclipse that is about to blanket the world in darkness. Suresh drops Peter off and picks up another fare, a man who reads Suresh’s name from his taxi license and begins talking about the “retired” professor from India. Realizing that this mysterious man may have had something to do with his dad’s death, Suresh runs from the cab, fleeing into the anonymity of the New York City streets.