2007-08-20: DF: A Tenuous Grip On Faith


DFElena_icon.gif DFTrina_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif DFMcAlister_icon.gif Gene_icon.gif

Summary: After hollowing out, and shutting down the Weischel House, Elena goes back to the Saints headquarters to break the news to the rest of her team as she slowly grips the reins of leadership left behind.

Dark Future Date: August 20th, 2009

A Tenuous Grip On Faith

Basement Levels, Phoenix Rising Penthouses

She could make it an Olympic event. There is no one in the world that, once she sets her mind to it, can beat the Saints' mechanic at marathon sleeping. But now Trina stretches. It's a languid, lazy stretch of the sort created specifically for large, open beds. The bed, one might note, only has her in it.

Damn Nathan and his stupid cage. When Jack left early in the morning to babysit until Ramon came to take over his care for the day, Trina wasn't particularly keen on letting him go. Wedding night and all. But discussions of evil futons and blood smelled floors? Yeah. Not the sort of thing of which honeymoons are made.

And so it was that Trina was begrudgingly convinced to remain here. It wouldn't be long, he promised. Her assured her that if she would just sleep in, he would be back before she even woke up. It would be like Jack was there all night with her. So she stayed. He stayed until she fell asleep and then left.

A blue eye cracks open, and… yup. Not back yet. Which means he can't argue when a slender, bare arm snakes out from underneath the covers as she steals his pillow to pull it over her head. Her lips curl up in a tired, mischievous line before smoothing once more as she she fades back into unconsciousness. Just a little more sleep.

For once, when Elena drives and arrives in the Battle Shell, it is …..intact, unmolested, and wholly undented. CLEARLY an indication that something was seriously wrong. The armored truck is docked in the hidden vehicle bay of the basement levels of the Penthouses, and then, Elena moves out of the truck, the paper wrapped leg with her. This is set on the floor gently, and then she closes the door. She presses her fingertips on the dark paint job of the so-called Immovable Object of the Saints Fleet.

Little drops spatter on the concrete.

Her hand comes up, bracing her arm there and she lowers her head further, choking back her sobs. She almost made it. She almost made it to Trina's suite before she could go to her own and let loose. Her knees lock together, and her other hand comes up to brace her body against the side of the armor. The sounds are choked. It almost sounds like she's dying, the way her spine is tightening up and the veins standing out of her neck. She feels so sick. She wants to throw up. They just got married. They just got married.


Her fist pounds repeatedly against the metal plating. The hurt and the pain of broken shards of bone splitting off to embed into her muscles bring her out of it. She turns back around to lean against the truck, taking deep, heavy breaths. Ragged. Like how she loses her temper sometimes only now it was more than that. She scrubs her eyes with the heel of her hand, and reaches out to pick up the leg. She's not heartless enough to deliver it to the bride. She'll put it on a table in medbay.

She takes a deep breath, and exhales slowly. Then, she'll start walking again.

Trina slumbers on for another ten minutes or so before she finally opens her eyes again. "Gawdammit," she curses, greeting the day with a smile as always. Then there's a look of confusion that momentarily crosses her features. She… she feels remarkably well rested. Pulling the pillow off of her face, Trina squints and bangs around on the bedside stand until finally her hand finds the button of her alarm clock. From underneath the lip of the pillow cave, the woman with her fearfully tousled hair peers out.

Its numbers scream a startling reality into the room in shades of neon green.

It's the middle of the afternoon.

"Wha?" Jack must have gotten caught up in something. She knew she should have trusted him when he promised he'd be right back. That's her baby. He's become such a workaholic over the past two and a half years. A good cause, one would guess, might do that.

Well, she resolves, she'll just find him then. Surprise him! Because she can do that. She's his wife. The thought alone banishes the scowl from her lips and replaces it with a small smile as she throws the blankets off and puts her feet down to the floor. Wife. She could seriously get used to the sound of that. Now. What did she do with her pants?

It takes her a few moments to find her way out of the vehicle bay, and towards medbay. Elena sets the wrapped paper thing down, and unwraps it. It was already starting to smell. She discards the paper, and tosses a sheet over it. There weren't even any eyes to close, any hand to touch or any forehead to kiss before setting him wholly and truly free. But now her composure is back, tapping into that nearly unexhaustable reservoir of strength within her. It was easier than she thought. All she remembers is that people need her to hold together. All she has to remember is that she had people to take care of.

She turns around to start walking out. She closes the door behind her, and seals it. No one's going in there but her. Not until she shows Jack's wife. And then she'll tell everyone else. So she keeps moving. To the elevators. She…her 'aunt' was probably still sleeping. Trina loved to sleep.

It doesn't take her long to reach the suite. By then Trina was already probably dressed. She'll hear a knock on her door, and when she opens it, it's Elena's face. It's not quite impassive, but she's exhausted, and there's a certain way she looks at Trina. Something was wrong. She didn't need to have her father's psychic abilities to let her know that. Her face is enough.

Sure enough, Trina's dressed and running a brush through her hair when that knock hits the bedroom door. She's still brushing when she opens the door and props it open with a denim-clad hip. It doesn't immediately process that Something Is Wrong, and the younger girl gets a brilliant smile. It's a beautiful day! She doesn't need to look outside or have above-ground windows. How could it be anything but a beautiful day? Usually, she isn't this chipper. She hasn't glowed like this for two years, and it feels like it. The corners of her being are energized with an indescribable contentedness. "Laney! Hey, sugar! What's—-" Oh, hey. There's the flicker of realization. The smile falters and the brushing halts, but the hands don't drop immediately. The glow wears a little less brightly on her. Blue eyes peer at Elena as the ebony-crowned head tilts, concern already starting to perk in her blue eyes. "What's the matter?"

Time to pay the Piper.

She had told Cass a few days ago that they were paying for it. For kidnapping the President. Little by little they were paying for what they did. And she can't even say what Jack did, because that's not how the Saints roll. Elena wordlessly steps inside of the suite, closing the door behind her, and looks over at Trina. There's no delaying the inevitable. She steels herself and looks at Trina steadily. But it's not a hard gaze. At the same time, as far as looks go, Elena was strong and stable. She can do this. Even when looking at her in the face, she can do this.

"Trina….something happened. At the Weischel House. The President's gone."

She doesn't get to Jack yet, but the implications are there. She was hoping she would be spared having to say it out loud, because Trina knew Jack handled Nathan's security personally. She knew. But she knows it's not going to be that easy. Not for her. They've done too much for God to be merciful in this instance. But she'll take it all. She can handle it. Hit me.

For a very long time, Trina just watches what Elena does. The fact that she's not immediately answering the question lingering in the air is not helping matters. As Elena moves around her, Trina stretches to the side to set down her brush on the vanity and turns to face her better, but she never stops watching the lieutenant.

And then the lieutenant starts talking.

The President's gone. "Oh, fuck." That must be why Jack's not back yet. He's probably beside himself. Turning on her heel, the mechanic starts making her way towards the door. "Where's Jack? We got marchin' orders? With Weischel down, we'll need to get everythin' out. We'll take the movin' truck. I'll drive."

"Trina…. Jack was there."

Elena keeps her eyes steadily on Trina. She doesn't move from where she had entered through the door. There is a reason for this. In case Trina realizes what happened, or she tells her, the last thing she needs is for the mechanic to start running out the door. She'll have to be in a position to sedate her if necessary. She can't, doesn't want to do it to her. But everything, EVERYTHING, was so sensitive right now she can't…

"I don't know….I don't know who found them, but I swear to you. They'll pay. They're all going to pay."

Step. Step. Step.

The footsteps echo down the hallways as a figure, approaches the bend in the corner leading to Jack and Trina's suite of rooms. Its a slow and heavy step, one that just sounds heavy. Almost defeated. The steps come from the tall form of Eric Walker, his hands shoved deep into the pockets of his jeans, his head bowed his eyes closed.

He pauses though as he notes voices, his head coming up slowly to look at the pair of them. The look on his face is a mix of emotions, but the grief there does indeed show up. He does note the pair of women there, looking somewhat surprised, and then…just speechless. He doesn't even know what to say.

It's no little thing, the death of hope. It falters on occasion. It fades in the darkness but perseveres. It fights to survive. However, when it dies, it is terribly quiet.

It dies in silence. It dies, and, in the void it leaves behind, Trina wishes she could die with it. It feels like she could be.

Trina's face is a blank slate in that silence, eyes unfocusing and jaw setting. And then she's back again, eyes growing sharp once more as she tries to paste a lying smile on her lips. "He's… he's alright, Elena. You… You don't gotta worry. He's fine, somewhere." Then, her voice starts to speed up to a normal pace, her hand stretching out to open the door. "I mean, yeah, okay. He was there. He was at the Den, too, and he survived that. He's fine. We just gotta find him." Time to leave. She's got a husband to track down.

Because she can't be without him. She can't do this without him.

Elena. She means it. She's serious. Trina always called her Laney unless the situation was dire. And this…. she can't even begin to describe it. When the mechanic tries to move around her to the door, Elena doesn't move. Her body continues to block her way. Oh Lord, my God, give me strength. She keeps her steady eyes on Trina. And then she closes them. She shakes her head slowly. "Trina," she says softly. "They didn't….leave much of him behind. I could only…" Oh god. Oh god. Oh god. The pain was almost unbearable.

Her nuncle.

Her nuncle.

"We have….his leg. It's…in medbay. That's all they left for us. They clipped the artery, Trina."

Its Eric that now steps forwards. He's trying to hold himself together, he reaches out though, one hand just gently touching Elena's shoulder. Trying this best to let her feel that there is someone else here. Someone else to gather a little bit of strength from. His fingertips just gently brushing the curve of her shoulder. Almost willing some of his own strength to flow from him into her.

"…we don't even know who did it yet, Trina," He murmurs softly towards her. "We don't even know what exactly happened." He adds after a moment. "…we are trying to find out." He's still working on everything. Trying to figure it all out.

He could still be alive.

…but he doesn't say it.

They left his leg. They left his leg. There's a wave of nausea, followed by an inward quip of 'he never really liked that leg much anymore anyway'. But it's one she can't even bring herself to say. No, she needs to hope.

But hope is dead. In it's place, there's something else: cold and hard, small and sharp. It cuts deeply into her heart and head. It sounds distinctly like denial as it echoes in the hollows of reason.

"It don't mean he's dead, Elena. Now get out of my way. He might be needin' that leg, so I'm gonna go find the rest of him." And, since Elena is being so difficult about it, Trina is going to help.

Her forcefield comes up, moving to gently, but forcibly and most assuredly, remove her closer-to-but-still-not niece from her path with an invisible moving wall. She doesn't want to be touched, and she's afraid to touch Elena. She's afraid her shaking hands will betray this facade that she is desperately fighting to maintain.

The important thing is that Trina is going to go through that door.

The wedding was wild, bizarre, and made him feel dirty inside. It was the Saints at their best. Or the way Jack would have wanted them to be. While Gene avoided the party in order to have his own special time out, he didn't expect to see anyone on the way in.

Dressed in slightly dusty and ripped powder blue dress shirt and a pair of cargo pants, Gene whistles a sweet little tune. Gene never whistles. That's mostly because he CAN'T, but he's so happy, he's trying to teach himself. After all, he went on a date with a girl, even if it didn't work out as well as planned… Trina and Jack are getting married, the president can be saved, the world changed, the force of good are moving up AND finding happiness. Remember Gene, he reminds himself, evil can strike at any moment, so don't let your guard down. You're the guy that has to keep them from killing everyone and keep them safe. The Saints are almost there though. Just a little more.

A ragged book bag is set on a table in the kitchen. No breakfast? No one's there to ask Gene where was he or what he did? Frowning faintly, he calls out, "Eric? Trina? Jack? Elena?"

There is a long pause before he asks the names of people he's worked with. "Candy?" Long awkward pause as Gene still doesn't get an answer. "Desmond?"

She can't force Trina to stay, but it's suicidal to go out there and find someone who might be dead. "Trina." Elena's hand is out on her side, sliding from her pockets, she could feel Eric's hand touch her shoulder. The door was closed - maybe he Dark-Phased through it. His support is welcome, but her focus is on the other woman. The forcefield does its work, but Elena isn't far behind. She'll give her space for now but if she tries to leave Headquarters, she will have to drop Trina Mah.

God, please don't let it come to that.

Gene would hear the conflict on the hallway stretching out from the kitchen. Elena takes a step out. Eric seems to be with her, and Trina is moving down the hall.

"Trina, whatever the hell happened, we were compromised. This might be the only safe haven we have left." Damn Jack for not telling them about Molly. The Person-Scryer was well aways out of her mind. "We won't be able to find anything out if we're all dead. He wouldn't want you to be going out looking for him. If….the rest of him is still alive as you say he'll find a way to come back to us, but what we need is information and we already know HOW to get it, so please just….just don't go. We will go, eventually. Just not yet. Please."

Don't make her do this.

"Please, Trina," Eric says quietly, his hand remaining on Elena's shoulder. "…we will find him, we can find him…" If he is still alive. He doesn't add that, but he thinks it at least. The field will push him back as well. "…please stay. We need everyone together," He murmurs. His hand not on Elena's shoulder shakes slightly. Just saying it makes it hurt all the more.

"If you go alone, you might get hurt. He wouldn't want that," He says, his eyes fixing on the slightly older driver. "…please. We will look, we will do what we do best…but stay with us. Don't go."

The shield is shoving him back though, and he's not about to attack Trina. He can't bring himself to do that.

She gets her hand on the door knob and steps into the hallway. Progress. She'll take slow progress over none at all. But then they have to go and keep talking.

"Eric. LANEY. I know ain't been married long, and I may not deserve it at all, but gawd dammit he's MY HUSBAND." Tears, despite Trina's best effort to quell them with a frantic alto's scream, begin pouring down her face, dripping down her jaw and hitting the floor. But she can't wipe them away. To wipe them away would be to admit that they exist. She's yelling at her niece. She'd be horrified at herself if she realized what she was doing. Elena needed her protection, not this. She needed anything but this.

Unfortunately, she doesn't realize. Does. Not. Compute. Nor does she realize that her powers are starting to roll off of her in heavy-handed waves, pressing against the ceiling and walls and forming spidery cracks into the drywall as it crushes beneath the force. Her fists are quivering balls at her sides, and her face is turning a fearful red. "He stopped havin' a right to care about whether or not I go lookin' for him the minute he left A BODY PART and made you come in here and try to tell me that he's DEAD. ARE YOU LISTENIN' TO ME? I AM GOING TO FIND HIM BECAUSE HE CAN'T BE DEAD. HE CAN'T. NOW GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY."

Moving through the hallways, Gene hears distant voices. Things like '…all dead…'and '…we need everyone together'. He moves toward the source of the conflict, though he doesn't say anything. He looks to Trina who seems to be first, then to Elena and Eric. He is clearly confused and bewildered. Martial spats already or was this the aftermath of some freaky foursome? Gene has no idea.

It would seem Trina's emotional, loud, and rather faulty reasoning makes it entirely clear what is going on, the young geek taking a few steps back as Trina's power goes haywire. Unsurprisingly, he's silent for the time being, wide eyed as he tries to make sense out of all of this, a flood of questions entering his mind… A hidden blessing as they flood out emotional response for the time being.

She can't rely on anybody right now. That's how Elena deals with her own grief, she tucks it away and locks it in favor of the big picture. She keeps her hand out. Trina knows what it means, and her face is determined. The tears… don't seem to move her, though her own heart is crumbling at the sight of it. Her abilities were given to her for a reason, to take away pain as much as give it. She can blunt it from her end, it was the only way to function, to lead what Jack left behind. She might not need this, but they're not robots. They're human and Trina just lost her husband.

"Katrina," Her full first name. "You're not listening to me," her voice is calm, to her credit. She doesn't move from her spot, but she doesn't have to. If a quick-draw is necessary between the two women, to drop the other before Trina blasts her into the wall to knock her out, so be it. But she's trying to make it so she won't have to. "If he's alive, he will find a way back to us, and if he can't do that, we'll find him." The rest of him. Dead or alive. "No matter what. But you have to stay so you can be around to find out the information as it goes down the wire. I'm not trying to be cold, but if you go out there, right now, without any direction, the people who did this will drop you on the spot. Nathan knows your face. You know what he's capable of when he's not in…his right mind."

She continues, still with that calm voice. It's soft. She doesn't have Ali's persuasion power. God she wished she was here right now. "I know you want to find him. But it won't help you or either of us if you don't do it right. We want you to stay so we can help you do that. Understand?" Dead or alive. She'll find Jack dead or alive. No matter what.

Elena's eyes move to Gene, she glances over at Eric. "Eric, could you update Gene?" she tells him quietly.

Watching Elena for a moment he just nods once. She is the most…hardheaded woman in the history of hardheaded women. Of course…so is Trina. This battle won't be nice or pleasant. They both are strung out, they both are full of way too much emotion right now. They can't handle this. He did just get his orders though…and he is the closest thing they have to a second right now.

A sharp nod towards her, and one more sorrow filled glance towards Trina, and then he turns away to walk towards Gene. "…come on…" He says quietly. "…I'll…tell you what we found. Not here though, in the kitchen." And with that he starts to walk off, hoping Gene will follow.

Her hands are shaking. As Trina forcibly reins in her powers, it starts to seem like her entire body is quivering. That doesn't matter. What matters is that she makes Elena understand. To make her comprehend what Trina can't even process enough to form into words. And that's why she moves to tentatively reach out, fingers stretching for Elena's shoulders. "Sugar, I'm… I'm sorry." And with that, she closes her eyes. Why? Because Trina has one more trick up her sleeve.

A forcefield lifts her straight up, just enough to get her to clear Elena's head in Eric's vaulted-ceiling halls and give her space to vault forward and start running.

She doesn't have to hurt Elena; she just can't sit here anymore. If she'd insisted to go last night, Jack might be here. She may have lost the only man to ever even think she was worthy of being a wife… because she didn't want to sleep on that fucking futon. Maybe Kate was right. Maybe she was the undeserving undoing of Jack Derex.

But staying here and hiding is not an option. It's like saying that somehow this is okay.

And it's not okay.

She doesn't say anything when Trina touches her shoulder. Elena meets her eyes and lowers her head a little bit. She doesn't say anything. She doesn't even move. But then, the mechanic moves, and for a minute it looks like that she won't even bother stopping the mechanic. The forcefield vault launches Trina over her head, and somewhere behind her. She could hear her footsteps running to the elevator. For a moment, at least, it looks like the headstrong, displaced Southerner will get her way after all.

But then her Ping homes in on Trina. She doesn't have to see her to know where she's going. She's the only female in the room. She's within range.

And then, it happens. Trina would feel herself getting heavier, and heavier until she can no longer move. It's hard to focus, the lull of drowsiness is like a siren's song softly swirling into her mind that will keep singing until all is dark. Everything looks brighter, before they get darker, and it feels like sinking into a warm bath with Mozart playing in the background and nothing left but to stare at bubbles with half-lidded eyes. But this isn't a gradual thing. Elena isn't one to draw out anything she does unless it's absolutely necessary. As if someone reached into her internal settings and just turned down the knob with a light touch. Trina wouldn't hurt her. She wouldn't hurt Trina either and while she could dispense the most excruciating of ills imaginable, this was her aunt. And she's not going anywhere and getting herself killed. And she's not going out there without proper eyes.

"I'm sorry, too," is all she says, her eyes still looking at Gene and Eric as they slowly move to the kitchen.

Elena gets a small frown as he gets the 'Eric will explain it to you'. Maybe she wants to talk to Trina one on one, but Gene is unsure about leaving two women known for being volatile in a situation that would seem to make the world 'stressful' seem like an understatement of the year.

Of course, Trina makes her escape and Gene grits his teeth. Not sure exactly what to do, Gene has a simple way to handle this. "If you stay here, I can find him. Within twenty minutes!" He figures that there is a good chance he COULD find out what happened to Jack within that time with his hacking abilities. If not, that would be more than enough time for Elena to set up something. He glances toward Eric. "If you could do one IMPORTANT favor for me and get me everything I've salvaged into my lab That would be great. I've kept it in my room."

Should Eric go as Gene asks, he will find a ton of knick knacks that are seemingly random and junk. If Gene is pulled away by Eric, he will be beyond pissed off. It's another blessing, since it would keep Gene from breaking down. Gene will frown as he hears what Eric has to say, but merely nods and merely states "I have work to do" and then he'll leave. Considering he'll be dragged away or watching Trina, Gene really doesn't have much of a response for Elena.

*ding* goes that elevator. Doors slide open - and Elena would certainly feel another female presence. A familiar one. Ali moves out of the steel box and into the hallway, a frown deepening as what she sees is Trina fleeing, the rest moving as they will -

The broadcaster is many things, not all of them good. But she only rarely exerts her will - especially among the Saints. You don't /make/ family do anything. Yet in this moment, her decision is a quick one - her will infusing her voice in a way that does more than fill the room… it commands, requires attention, in one simple word. "Trina?"

Just one more obstacle in the path.

"….sure," Eric replies after a long moment of staring at Gene. Something to do. Something to do. Something to do to take his mind off of all this. "Trina! You hear that, Gene can find him…just…just…" And then Elena is staring at Trina. Uh oh. He knows what that means…but wait! The Elevator!

"Ali! Catch her!" Its all Eric can think to say.

…god. He would be laughing if he didn't feel like crying.

However he shakes his head to clear it of that thought. No, he doesn't drag Gene away. The kid is brilliant. He can figure out what happened. Elena can explain. So, off he walks…with a purpose again. A hope.

Even if its a false one. It's better than nothing.

She's nearly free and clear. She's there. She'll get through the door, and then she'll find Jack, and she'll get one of those hugs that smells like gross man sweat and love, and the world will again make sense. Because she's already pushed it out of her brain that Elena has said there's a leg. And arterial damage.

It's little things that push her forward. Things she never got to do compel her to just get to the door. To just find him.

Little things like how she never even got to introduce a stranger to her husband.

She'll never get to see the look on Mara's face when she rubs it in that Jack married her, while Kate got Commander Cocksucker. She was really looking forward to that one.

She is getting to that fucking door.

Except… that's she's not. About partway down the hall, Trina abruptly stops. Her blue eyes blink, and there's a staggering step as though she drank too much. "I…" Another staggering step turns Trina around to face Elena's back. There's a look of bewilderment and horror there, as though somehow betrayed. "You…" You did this. In a moment, her gaze goes from confused to furious and accusatory. Her jaw sets again as she stumbles and turns around.

NO. MUST. GET. TO. …Door? There's someone there in it, standing in the way. With her vision getting blurry from the sudden and overwhelming need to sleep, it makes identification difficult. Eric makes it easier. McAlister.

Then Trina falls over right into Ali with a half-formed curse to Elena on her lips. And then, her eyes close, and she falls into that dangerously quiet and serene sleep. Hi, Floor. Long time no see.

… Trina crumples. And Ali? Ali reacts predictably, of course. She reaches out to catch the woman.

Now.. let's be honest. Ali is no fighter. No perfectly toned specimen of Sainthood. She's a small woman - and while Trina is not exactly HAYUGE… the sudden burden precipitates what can only be called a slow, blinking, startled, collapse. "Er. Oh. Uh. Trina?" WHud.

Which leaves basically a pile of broadcaster and sleeping mechanic.. but nobody's head cracked open. This is a Good Thing, Right?

With Eric leaving to go grab Gene's equipment, Elena closes her eyes once and takes a deep breath. She's struggling, but she manages to school herself, again, into the picture of calm and composure. She uses her power on herself this time, her dark eyes shifting gold. She walks over to the fallen mechanic, and she leans over, hooking one arm underneath Trina's legs and one under her shoulders to lift her up bodily. Trina's head lolls back, so she shifts a bit so it rolls the other way to drop against her shoulder. Part of her ached. Jack should be doing this. Jack should be the one carrying her to safety.

Instead, she looks at Ali, and then at Gene. "While we're waiting for Eric to come back to get your stuff will you both follow me to the living room?" And with that, she turns to head there, to the spacious living area. She barely registers a NEW plasma TV mounted on the wall, and the smashed bookshelves replaced.

She sets Trina gently down on the couch, and takes a seat by the side. She waves a hand for Gene and Ali to take up the remaining chairs…and then she'll tell them. Weischel House was compromised. Judging by the shell casings, and the damage, and the blood, a team had arrived to grab President Petrelli. There's no sign of him. Jack had been alone guarding him, like usual. There was nothing left but cards, a cup, blood, and a broken cage. All they have of Jack, at present, is his leg, from the knee down, in medbay. She'll proceed to let them know that they've secured items from the house and hollowed it out of anything that might lead to other Saints strongholds, and that when he's ready, Peter will use the items collected to figure out just what the hell happened. That is, she admits, the information that they're waiting for, because if there's any chance Jack is alive, no matter how slim, or if there was a chance to find his body and take it back by force if necessary, they have to know who to come after.

Trina and Jack just got married. She hesitates after the explanation. "…I need you guys now, more than ever," she tells the two softly. "I can carry the weight, for now, while everyone else grieves or takes a time out. But I'm….Jack's successor. My first priority is to keep who's left safe and in the down-low until we figure out the best course of action, and now's really not the best time to think. What…this could cloud our judgments. We need time. But it doesn't change the fact that I need you, all of you, to stick around and do what needs to be done when it's time."

"He's taking it to my lab. As I said, I have work to do," Gene states as he follows after Elena. His tone is rather devoid of emotion, the more pronounced softening of his voice the only sign that he's still human and saddened by current events. "What happened to Jack is first priority. I know it's hard for Pete, but he needs to do his mojo as of yesterday," Gene states calmly as he takes a seat. He pauses for a moment. He takes a few calming breaths, doing his best to control the fight or flight reflex that Trina appeared to be struggling with. Once he has it under control, he leans against the wall, unbuttoning his cuffs as he does.

"We don't even know if it's Nate's men that currently have him. If it is, there is a good chance Jack could be alive. They would want him around to tell them what they could about us, as well as his connections to the other cells in the area. If it's another resistance cell, they would likely want him alive because they wouldn't want to get us that pissed off." Gene's human hand runs through his hand, sighing. "If it's Nathan's men, they likely have access to a healer. If they can keep Jack stable long enough, we can assume he'll be fine. If it was the Resistance, I have no idea." Gene glances about, deciding he doesn't want to be idle. "Anyone want anything to drink? Coffee, water?"

Ali listens, calm and quiet. Her eyes close, at the discussion of what happened with Jack, opening in a worried look to the sleeping Trina before coming back to Elena as she goes on, talking about Peter, about plans. And, in the end, she nods. No tears, no yelling, no recriminations, no anger - just a certain acceptance. "You know I'm here, Elena. I'm not goin' anywhere." Simple, certain words. "And if you trust me, I can carry more than you might expect." Ever the pragmatist.

"Water, Gene? If you don't mind." It's a faint distraction - but the Voice's eyes go back to, and remain on, Trina. Worried, abruptly. "I can keep her here, if I have to. You know that - and I don't care if she hates me for it if it keeps her alive. I'd rather she, you know, hated me over you, if it comes down to it." It's an offer, and it costs her - but she makes it nonetheless.

"All I know is that it was a team. Jack was the best of us when it came to a fight," Elena reminds Gene. "It would take more than just one person to take him down. And I don't know who, but we're going to find out." When Gene says that Peter needs to get his mojo on, she nods. "He will. He tried on site, but it took a lot out of him and he didn't see what we needed to see. The room was….full of gore. His precognitive abilities makes him siphon both the vision and the emotion from a certain event. If someone's in excrutiating pain, and if…someone… died in the room. He'd feel it all, and while I'm not an empath, I'm not discounting the possibility that it might incapacitate him. I'm hoping he's stronger than that." Because that had been her single-minded thought most days whenever she looks at him. "But we will figure out who did this. No matter what. And we're getting him back. No matter the state he's in." Dead or alive. She's not burying her nuncle in this cursed earth.

Gene makes sense. If anything, while hopes are slim, it took Trina's yelling to force her to acknowledge the possibility that Jack was still alive. She might have been deluded. She might have been hysterical. But she was listening to Trina the entire time. And she gets to thinking. If he was dead, why bring the rest of the body, but leave the leg? And if they bothered with the body in the first place, why leave the leg behind? SOME of the film of grief has passed from her brain, allowing her to look at the angles again. "Water. Thanks, Gene."

To Ali, she nods. "I trust you," she says softly. "And whenever I get mad at you, it's only because I worry. I'd like you to stay here for a while. Broadcast from here if you have to, but….your nightly excursions have to end for a bit. Like I said, I need you guys more than ever, and I need to know where you all are at all times. We're dead if we separate." She exhales a breath. "And that's — yeah, what I wanted to ask you, Ali. It pains me more than I can show but….I need you to cheat for me and keep Trina here. Tell her she needs to stay and she can't leave here on her own. The moment she wakes up. Don't give her a chance to plug her ears. Trina's been looking after me since this started. She knows how I work."

"Pete needs to learn how to deal with it like you said. I know I'm being harsh and I know he's harsh on himself, but we need to know what were dealing with. We could be all at risk this second and not know it." Gene's words are swift and almost harsh. When he feels there is something that can be done where lives are on the line, he doesn't delay for sleep or anything like that. He expects the same out of Peter as well, figuring it a matter of time before whoever does this act strikes again. Whoever started with Jack likely wouldn't rest until they completed the set. Gene doesn't offer anything else for the time being though, just getting bottle waters upon rest. Once he gets them, he hands one to each of the ladies before going back in and getting himself a coffee. In the biggest mug he can get too. He doesn't plan on sleeping tonight himself.

"I'll take care of it." Soft and certain - Ali shifting in that chair to find something of a more comfortable position. "Do I need to tell you to get some sleep tonight? Real sleep. Because - I'm all for you holding things together. We need you - but you could use it. It's going to be a really, really long week." Trust that she'll look after those here, first - Mama Candy she may not be, but.. she's still got the instinct.

"I don't have a lot of faith in me, Elena - but there's an old movie line: don't believe they're dead until you see the body. Assume he's alive until we don't know any better."

Ali pauses, then looks to Gene. "We're at least defended here. That's something - and it's where we start. Peter is useful - and yeah, I hope he gets something, and he's the best chance - but he's also got another op he's on." More seriously, she offers to both - "I can get in touch with.. the other one. I've got a drop, if he's still checking it. If I ask, he'll help." It's out there as an option, anyway.

"I'll force it on him if I have to, through Ali," Elena tells Gene, closing her eyes. "But I'm sure there won't be any need for that." The difficult decisions are rolling faster than she could breathe. But she's capable of making them. She has to be. She's not above using the talents of her team to do what needs to be done. Her father's safety was also a pressing concern. She'll have to go see him next. "If we need to leave base, no one leaves without a buddy. Eric already shadows me most times when I leave here, but….should you guys need to go anywhere, don't go anywhere alone. Two Saints can wipe out a whole crew of HS agents easy. No one leaves anyone alone here either. If we ride, we ride together."

She looks at Ali, and she nods. "I am. I'm trying not to hope either way but if they left a part of him behind, it could mean he could still be alive, or they're baiting us for the rest of him. Either way, we have to assume the worst, not the best, in this case. The only way to figure out what they're after leaving us a part of Jack is to trigger the trap….without actually doing so. I'll work strategy with Gene later. And that's okay, Ali. Even if you don't, I have enough faith in you for the both of us."

But when she tells her about Petrelli, she shakes her head. "We already have the other one who's receptive to what I say. We don't need the other one who isn't. Especially tied to that woman who's still obviously slavering over his brother." The last is said with no small measure of disgust. "We'll exhaust our avenues first, before contemplating that route."

She nods. "Yeah Ali, tell me to get some sleep tonight," she says. "I'll need it. I know I will. I need my brain to be clear. But before that I have to see my father, but force me to bed at midnight and tell me to wake up at six."

"Prick Peter?" There is a snort from the geek before he continues. "You are kidding me. Elena's right, I trust Pussy Peter over him any day of the week. Our Peter is a selfish self-righteous asshole, the new-old-whatever Pete's better. I'm surprised Prick Pete hasn't come down here to demand that we hand his brother over so they can have a fishing trip where they end up coming to blows at the end," Gene announces firmly before drinking fully from his cup o' joe. Looks like someone has issue with how 'Dark Future' Peter acts and runs shop. "As for defenses, we should be able to know if we have visitors and throw them some surprises, but that's not exactly holding down the fort. We should be ready to move out either way. If we have to leave, we just take what is necessary and go. If we can stay… Then we are ready for the missions that will be to come. Anything else we need to worry about,"

Gene doesn't really comment on the sleep or the 'always with a buddy' stuff, meaning that he likely has some dislike or disagreement with both.

"Just know it's there. He's there - he's dangerous. He's not controlled - but he'll play, if we need him." All business - and there is a certain quiet will in her tone; oh, the Saints know it well enough, but it remains subtle. "Midnight to six - you should sleep, Elena. If you have a safe bed at midnight - that's a good start. You should find one by then, and if you insist on getting up at six, you may - but you should sleep, without nightmares. You will, tonight."

Oddly enough, Ali reaches out to touch Elena's arm, offering a faint smile. "You will wake if there is an alarm." A pause - and she actually realigns herself a moment, ensuring that the rest is as normal as it ever is, coming from her. "I know how you feel about him, Gene - believe me. But there's a lot that's the same between the Peter I know and this one - and this one we can't risk too far. God only knows what happens if we screw up and he gets killed." It's pointed, and she leans back. And then, oddly enough, she cracks a grin. "What. You don't like going shopping with me? I thought you liked looking at my rear end. You'd have excuses, then."

And Gene by now knows that if he doesn't comply, Elena will have Ali program him to always take a buddy. RIGHT NOW. So she gives Gene a look and says nothing. "These measures are just temporary. We need to regroup. And we can't regroup if we all go our separate ways doing our own damned things," is what she says. When Ali touches her arm, she reaches out to squeeze hers. "Thanks…." she says softly. "I needed that." When Ali says that they can't risk their Peter, she nods.

"He's not going to die," is what she says, firmly. "We need him to go back and end this. Besides, there's only one way a person can kill him, and even then it's theoretical. There was a year where he died every fifth of the month, back in 2007, and he always came back. So far, no one knows what can really kill him, because no one's been able to."

After one last pat at Ali's hand, and one last swig of the bottle, she stands up. "I'm going to look for Eric, and I'm gonna have us see my father. I haven't talked to Prime and Candy yet either, but I have to go looking for them." But Ramon is first, not just because he's her father, but because if Logan's controlling Nathan's body now? He's going to eliminate any threats to his control - and right now, with Jack gone or incapacitated, that's her father. "Ali, I'll leave Trina to you. Gene, I'll stop by your lab before I sleep."

"I just need time in my lab, that's all," Gene states to McAlister and Elena. Sadly, while Gene is a stalwart guy normally, he is rarely charismatic, explaining why he gives a rather grim reply back to Ali's lighthearted humor. Besides, when life is good, Gene celebrates in his lab. When life is bad, Gene copes in his lab. In the better and worse times of his life, there is always something useful Gene can do. Tonight is no exception.

"I'm heading down to the lab… If you want to wait right outside, that's fine. But no one comes in but me until tomo-" Gene stops as Elena says she'll come by at midnight. "…That works." Downing his coffee like it was a shot, Gene rests the cup on the first flat surface he finds. "Well, time for me to get to work. Talk to you ladies later… I know I'm not really in the mood to chat right now, but if you need anything by tomorrow, I'll be fine again."

"I'll check on you later - " Ali promises that, softly, standing to cross to Trina. "Tomorrow morning, we'll sort out whatever needs sorting over breakfast."

"Thanks, crew," Elena says, and she stands up. "I'm gearing up, I'll be back in time for dinner. Thanks again, Ali, for looking after her. She's going to deck me when she wakes up." But she can take the pain. She was made for it. She wiggles her fingers, and finds it in her to smile, and she turns to head out of the room.

Gene moves down to his lab, opening the thick metal doors only to slam them behind him a moment later. There is no one here save the one he knows is always there and always watching. You know: The One. God has seen him cry before, one more time won't affect their relationship in the least. Falling knees pave the way for palms, a slap and a thud coming from skin and steel slapping tile in harmony. In this humble position, Gene states calmly, "Ten seconds." He begins to weep the words almost hard to understand at first but in time they become clearer and clearer. "S-six… f-five… four… three… two… ONE." That said, Gene pushes upward, the puddle of tears beginning to mix with the smaller puddle of mucus. The geek gets some fast food napkins from the desk, throwing them over the signs of his weakness. Wiping them up and using another couple to wipe his face, Gene takes the evidence of his sorrow and throws it in a trash can. That's that. If they all survive the next couple of months, the young genius is sure he'll find the time to mourn for Jack properly.

The past temporarily behind him, Gene looks up to the workspace in front of him. Like his former lab, it is shiny and clean. Sterile and perfect for running tests… While it lacked much of his former materials, Gene has learned that where there is a will there is a way. Pulling out a tattered book from the desk, Gene begins to look through it and mentally note the stuff he needs to get.

A metal pantry is opened, a few packs of Styrofoam are pulled out. They are set down in one messy pile by the desk.

A large bag of fertilizer is placed down in a separate area, soon to have a couple more placed on top of it: Chemo-Gro's Best. A few moments later, a pile of newpapers are piled on it.

Finally, Gene gets a dolly to lift the final part of the equation: a large barrel of diesel fuel. There are some of the materials, but he needs vessels to serve him.

A large pile of circuits mix with model planes, helicopters, RC cars and boat are taken from their pile by the door. Gene fights off the urge to sob as he continues to lug the stuff Eric brought to his lab in neat piles.

Soon, Gene has it all organized. And that done, he begins to build. And build. AND BUILD. Who ever crossed those under his protection are going to pay and pay quickly. If Hell refused to claim its Damned in a timely fashion, Gene would merely have to bring HELL TO EARTH.

In Gene's mind, the ones responsible for Jack's death have a worse chance of survival than a Jar-Jar Binks cosplayer at an anime convention.

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