2007-08-16: DF: Operation: Anchorman


DFElena_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif DFPeter_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif DFCass_icon.gif DFLachlan_icon.gif DFBenjamin_icon.gif DFTrina_icon.gif

Summary: As ordered, Benjamin delivers Cass to the Saints. Homeland Security is in hot pursuit. Once it is all over, however, another complication threatens the group.

Dark Future Date: August 16th, 2009

Operation: Anchorman

Highway 495, Outskirts of Riverhead, New York

Highway 495. En route towards the rendezvous point. Elena will let Trina drive. Meanwhile she's at the back, armed to the teeth and looking ready for business. Elena's got no one but Ramon and Lachlan for firepower support, though Peter doesn't need guns. She mostly brought him for healing duty however. Still, she's using Gene's equipment at the back to determine whether their stork is ready to drop their baby. The wireless communicator winks a little bit against her ear, flashing a blue light as she monitors the screen in front of her. Nothing yet. She checks her watch…and she frowns. They're a little late. Benji was a professional. And he was an accountant. He'd be on time unless… "Expect trouble," she murmurs, turning to the rest of her team and tossing her father a bluetooth communicator as she gets up and starts walking to the back. She might need something bigger than her Eagles.

Ramon checks his ammunition. He checks his weapons. When he can't have Kitten he just likes simple handguns, nothing automatic about them. Maybe that's a bad thing, but there he has it. He's put on a Kevlar jacket and a pair of jeans, and a white shirt. "There's always trouble," he grunts.
He also catches the communicator that it took his player three read tries to spot. Dur.

Trouble is in fact coming for the Saints at the meetup. Soon enough a Nissan Armada, missing a passenger side mirror and driver's side window speeds into view. Behind it are two government SUV's. A second one joined in after the first one found the pair. Nothing else seems to be in pursuit which could be a small favor. Bullets were run out of awhile back, since the occupants of the Armada were working with guns stolen off of guards. The tank is starting to get low, and that seems to be the strategy that the government vehicles are banking on. Run them out of gas. Fortunately for the Nissan, they're almost to their help. Benjamin's control of the vehicle is slipping as the man's having trouble keeping Cass unconscious and himself alert.

In the back of the Black Pearl, Peter has no weaponry— he wouldn't need it anyway. He's got more than enough firepower to go around— more than all the Saints combined if he really let himself just go. That's not much of an option, though. Instead… he keeps his eyes on Elena, watching her carefully, with the communicator they'd given him hooked into his ear. She knows what he's capable of, and he trusts her to give him watcher orders she wants— but he expects to be told to stay put and heal when the time comes.

Also armed and armored to the teeth, Lachlan doesn't say anything. He hasn't really been saying much at all the past few days. Were it not for the news that Cass was being brought to a rendezvous point and that Nathan was already in holding, it's more than likely that the Scotsman would be in D.C. right now feeding rats entrails from the President's still-warm corpse. After giving another check of his weapons, he glances up when he hears something outside. It only takes him a few moments to realize what it might be. "Fucker," is all he growls as he moves for a door or a window — with the intent to open them and assess the situation.

"It'd be fuckin' awesome if was easy for once. We deserve it by now, don't we?" Trina leans her head against the large cabin chair that is currently hers before sitting back upright and them moving some of her dark hair into a plastic grip-comb in order to pull it back from her face. Her stomach was mostly settled from her activities of the wee hours of the morning, but that didn't stop it from sitting in a tight twist. Right next to the gas pedal, her leg taps a frantic rhythm, sending tremors up the entirety of her whole body. Just because she's a good bus driver doesn't mean that she isn't allowed to be nervous. This was not an ideal pickup. C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, already.

Unfortunately for Benjamin, the reason that he needs to keep Cass unconscious is so that she doesn't /shoot/ him when the car runs out of gas. They're nearing their meeting point - the one she under no circumstances wanted to be taken to. The moment that she wakes up and realizes this, if that car is going anywhere under 40 MPH, she's opening the door and rolling to what will hopefully be safety. So, yes, his continued use of power is definitely necessary. That is, until he passes out himself or she's safely in the hands of the Saints.

"Oh it looks easy," Elena says, even as Lachlan growls and her eyes are on Gene's monitoring console. "There're only two SUVs this time." She looks over at Lachlan, Ramon, and Peter. "Hate to be cliche, but let's lock and load. Peter, protect the…" She squints, and between the SUVs and the Armada, she KNOWS what Benji is driving. Because it's Benji. "…..Nissan Armada. Lachlan, Papa, and I will take care of the rest. Trina, open the back and let the stork make its delivery." When the boys are preparing to shoot things, she reaches out and grabs one of the bazookas, and turns to start climbing up towards the top hatch of the Pearl. To Cass and Benji, slowly, but surely, over the crest of the highway, they'll see a large, black big rig. TOTALLY inconspicuous right?

Ramon had a strange, focused look on his face while they'd been talking, but then he shakes it off. "No bombs on the Nissan," he reports. "That anyone knows of." He does not say what he's thinking. That if it looks easy, there is a bad, bad trap here. He grabs Kitten and climbs up after his daughter…but he still has that odd look on his face. He's trying to read what that trap is, because he could scarcely believe that this is /it/.

Big black rig. Check. That must be the welcoming committee. Just in time too. The fuel like kicks on and riding on fumes, Benjamin aims the Armada for the downed ramp, even as he's applying the brakes to keep from going in .. and then out the other side. There's a squeal of tires and burnt rubber on the road before the ramp. The SUV's behind him? They slow down, with a healthy respect for what they're facing.

The two SUVs slow down, but the bullets don't stop flying. Whenever those doors open and Lachlan starts shooting, a bullet pings dangerous close to his arm. An automatic makes a burst of fire towards the back of the Armada, tearing at the back fender and punching a line through the trunk. At least Benji sees them and he knows he ought to hurry. And they're slowing down, meaning the distance is going to increase between their prize and their targets. This, to the Saints, may or may not be a Good Thing.

Lachlan reflexively ducks back a little when the bullet zings the rig nearby. Not a good thing to do. He's got a minor burn from the proximity and now he's just plain pissed. With a barrage of foul curses followed by a guttural bellow, he starts returning fire with the assault rifle held firmly to his shoulder.

Trina gives the betraying sniff that her attention is coming up to the required level, and then leans forward that much more. Her fingers start flicking switches and pushing buttons, setting the back bay door on the rig into motion. While it's happening, the driver doesn't waste any time. There's a turn of a key, the protest of an engine, and then the gigantic, powerful motor roars to life. "There's my baby," Trina purrs reassuringly, giving a gentle few strokes to the steering wheel. "Be good for Mama tonight." And then she hears the sound of rubber on the ramp. Before Benji's all the way inside, she's already starting to pull away. No matter how many ways you slice it, the Pearl needs time to find her wings. And time is something they don't have very much of.

When the resident telepath mentions 'no bombs' on the car that anyone knows of, Peter glances at him a little… worried. Not that he's worried about bombs or anything, but… they're all climbing up to the roof!? What the— it's rather weird, but he follows after them closer to the edge, but doesn't quite climb up. This gives him a better vantage point out the back, without going up to the roof itself. Even if he'd like to be able to keep an eye on them, and protect them. Instead— his mission is to protect the Armada. And the Black Pearl and the people stupidly standing on top of it with bazookas (hello, it can has recoil, don't fall off, please) at the same time, too. But he added that last bit in on his own. There's a determined set to his jaw as the car drives up the ramp. Good thing he kept to the edge. He doesn't care if he gets shot, but he needs to be able to see. His eyes start to turn green, drawing on all the practice with Elena for help in seeing better, he looks for what he needs. The guns. If he can disarm the guys firing, that'll protect a lot of people. Look, then switch to disarm. That's the plan.

The hatch clangs upwards, Elena climbing up on the roof followed by her father, support belts on her shoulder as she walks up the ladder and gets in the roof. When her father is on it, she slams down the hatch, and locks it. She hooks up one end of the strap to her belt, and the other to the hatch. No flying off. She'll do the same to her father, while he's casing his new vantage point. The Armada's squealing towards the ramp, the SUVs are there at the back following it. While she's doing this and making sure her father doesn't fly off either, he can start off the festivities.

Lachlan's burst of automatic fire sprays across the windshield of one SUV. It swerves to the side to try and avoid it, but a few bullets punch into the radiator, sending a gout of steam upwards from the hood. It might not have taken out the souped-up government car completely….but it did wonders for affecting their visibility. Through Peter's efforts, as more guns turn to the Armada, Peter's efforts send the rifles flying, skittering across the road uselessly.

As soon as he's strapped, he targets one of those evil SUVs. He smiles, but this time he refrains from disturbing dialogue, if only because he's trying to keep his mental 'ear' out for trouble and blow up bad guys at the same time. He targets with careful intensity, and then squeezes the trigger.
No sooner than he's got the Armada stopped and put into park, Benjamin's letting go of his hold on Cass. The driver's side door opens and Benjamin falls out without ceremony, landing on the rig's flooring. Pasty faced from exhertion and blood loss, Benjamin's eyes roll slightly back in his head as he tries to call out, "Stop… Cass.. she's gonna.. run." The man's in poor shape from overextending his ability and there is some glass shrapnel to his left side from when Cass shot out his window.

One of the SUV windows roll down, and an agent slides out partway from it, loading the grenade launcher up on his shoulder. Two projectiles are sent flying, and both are aimed for the back of the Pearl. Before he can launch another one, Ramon's Kitten meows and tags one of the SUVs, the one at the further back. A fireball erupts in the highway, tires bouncing around the road and the remains of the chassis bouncing and rolling around the concrete.

As soon as Benji's got the Armada in the rig, Lachlan disappears inside again and makes a dash for the car. He hops over the hood, half-sliding, half-scrambling around to the passenger's side. It's very, very graceless, considering his limp, and he nearly winds up on his face. After some scrabbling at the passenger-side door handle, he yanks it open. "Cassie?" Benji? Benji does not exist. Sorry, Benji. :<

Where has Eric been in all this mess? He's been watching of course. Watching from the inside of the ramp as everything unfolded. He dosn't even have a gun. He just smirks slightly towards Benji, waves towards Cass and then turns his attention and his mind onto the undamaged one of those SUVs. He starts to bend his will against it, and the driver and gunners might find it just a bit hard to see with a sudden lack of sight. Of course then he just curses and the driver at least can see again. He notes the grenade, and kneels down to place a little patch of darkness where he think its going to land…and then let the weapon just pass right though the dark, dropping to the roadway some distance behind them.

INCOMING. Good thing they have Peter Petrelli looking out the back. He'd love to go and check on the two in the car, but there's someone very important up on the roof of the truck firing off bazookas and other such things. Raising his hand, he reaches for the grenade— but he can only catch one of them— hoping to dispose of it in time to get the second one (though he won't need to thanks to Eric). He aims to push it away towards the road. Sorry road. Better than the Black Pearl, where there's people he cares about. If he were more 'Saint'ly… (Or Ramonly and Lachly) he might have sent the projectiles right back at them… even if they just got fireballed by other means.

Life is so simple up here. The wind in his face, the smell of destruction in the air. It really boils everything down to a set of easy things. Ramon targets the second SUV, a hard smile curving his features. Maybe they really are as dumb as they look. He fires, his smirk growing.

While Benjamin is slipping off into unconsciousness, Cass is slowly waking up out her forced state of slumber. She's Sleeping Beauty, but still clutching the gun she was holding as a threat against the former government agent. When Lachlan tugs open the door, the woman tumbles sideways toward the Scot. Long hair tangled and a mess, she's definitely been through quite an ordeal while in holding. Dark purple bruises cross her neck as well as dark, angry coloring across the left side of her face. As she starts to drift back into consciousness to the sound of explosions and other people, she starts to panic and scramble away. Benjamin was right, she is going to try and run.

"Sonuva…" Trina growls darkly, lips pursing up into an unhappy grimace. She doesn't have enough speed to dodge everything. Maybe that's why, just in case she can't get clear, there's a shimmer on the air between the road behind them and the back left corner of the rig. Just large enough to cover a potential impact. She'd… honestly rather it not come to that. However, she gratefully never feels the impact of a full blown explosion, there are bits of asphalt that find a way to bounce off of her handiwork before she can get it down. A few flicks of switches, clickety click click clack, and now the back of the rig is starting to close back up. "Buckle everything down," she warns, "I'm gonna open her up. Lolly gaggin' ain't gonna do anyone any favors."

Lachlan was half-expecting a falling-out-of-the-car problem, so he's more than prepared to catch Cass when she starts flopping. The state of her face and neck is only a minor priority right now. She's alive … and trying to run. "Nah, nah, nah, Cassie, s'a'righ'!" he protests, wrapping an arm tighter around her. "C'mon, ye gotta get away from the car." He and Eric need to get it strapped down if they don't want it sliding all over the place and squishing people.

Beeeg badaboom. One grenade is tossed back thanks to Telekinesis. The other grenade falls through the Pearl thanks to Umbrakinesis. Both explode harmlessly on the road. And as Lachlan moves for the Armada, he'll find Cassie there, and Benji keeling over at the driver's seat of the car. There are also four other people at the back of the car, human scientists huddling together and starting to panic a little bit at the sight of the frantic Scotsman at the passenger side. And Ramon finishes the job, the last SUV blowing up thanks to Kitten, and debris launching upwards from the ground, before flipping over and slamming back down on the road. His daughter doesn't even have to do anything. Three Saints can easily take out a small platoon, after all. Two SUVs were nothing.

When Trina calls out her warning, Elena nods. "Got it, Trina. It's over, keep driving in case there're any complications down below. We'll check on the goods now, we'll let you know if we need to change course." She unbuckles herself from the hatch, and her father. She swings herself back in, sliding down the ladder like a firefighter. She'll leave her father to close the hatch this time, but she's moving towards the Armada, stowing away the unused bazooka. Grabbing a harness, she swings it over the front of the Armada, jerking it secure, and tightly hooks it on one of the bracing rings at the floor of the Pearl. Someone else will have to do the back. Seeing Benji half-fallen off the driver's side, she moves quickly, crouching next to the man and examining his wounds. The biggest one she could find, she'll apply pressure on.

"Nice shot," Eric congradulates Ramon as the second SUV erupts in the fireball. A slightly feral grin on his face before he turns back towards the drama unfolding inside the Pearl. Oh all he can think of is that Cass really better be arlight, and no one who is responsible for this better be in Lach's arm reach until…like…um…ever.

"Thanks," Ramon says, but he's distracted. He stays up there, kitten searching for more targets. He's feeling very suspicious, very paranoid right about now. There is something about this that worries the hell out of him, that he just doesn't like.

Maybe cause it /was/ easy, for all Trina saying it wasn't.

Benjamin is fine with being ignored or not existing to people. Considering he unceremoniously passes out there on the rig's floor. There aren't any obvious glaring wounds. Just the nosebleed from doing more than he's capable of, and the glass in his left side. Nothing life threatening to be sure, but he is burning up with a fever setting in. The other passengers of the Armada, three doctors, are still bewildered and mostly in shock from the wild ride and unexpected rescue. They're unsure about getting out.

Once Peter's sure no more grenades will be heading their way, Peter moves away from the back and starts to get towards the car, moving first towards the woman who shot him the first time they remet. She's panicked, but Lachlan has her. They need to get the car strapped down. "I can take her," he offers, since he needs to check her for healing anyway. "I'll— I'll heal her…" As much as he can. He needs the physical contact, so taking her away from the car can easily fall in his hands. If Lachlan refuses… he'll still stay close and put his hands on her arm anyway to start attempting to heal away the visible damage.

"Eric!" Elena calls from the other side of the rig. "Grab one of the harnesses and brace the Armada down the ground, will you?" She doesn't want Lachlan and Cass getting squished in case Trina swerves on one side and tosses the unsecured car around the back. She looks down at Benji, and her fingers fold over his forehead. He's in shock, he's bleeding, and he's in pain. She takes away the shock and the pain both. Laying Benji lightly on the ground, she straddles him without putting her weight on him, on her knees. And she rips his shirt down the middle so she could look at his injuries better. RAPE RAPE. …but not really.

Even if this is Lachlan and she knows that these are friends, that's exactly her problem. "No! Lach! /Let me go/!" Her voice is raspy and doesn't really get the volume that it sounds like she /wants/ to get, but the idea is there. The more that Lachlan tries to keep a hold on her, the harder she struggles. The gun that she was holding before drops to the ground with a clunk. She's weak and just woken up, so it's not going to take much to keep her subdued, but that doesn't mean that she gives up. "You don't understand, you've got to let me out. They tagged me. I'm going to lead everyone right to you." A pleading look is given to Peter. She can't deal with the guilt of possibly leading the entire Homeland Security team right to the Saints.

"Roger that." Trina's jaw set firmly in concentration. With a grim anticipation, she watches the red RPM needle rise and then fall again, only to keep repeating it as the big rig picks up speed. So far, it is smooth sailing, and it is making her terribly uncomfortable. In fact, it's quite the opposite. That means it's time to hit up the extra sensor that they've got going on this operation. "You gettin' anythin' not on my screen, Sarge?"

"Citizens of Free America," The strange man begins. His voice is a terrible, rasping rattle, like smoker's lungs intesified a thousand times over. "By now you all know that the President of the United States has been kidnapped. My name is Jack Derex, and I am the man who is responsible. I come to you live from the Oval Office with a message for every government official who's watching or listening. I have your President. If you want him back, I would listen very closely."

"On it!" Eric calls as he leaps into action. Grabbing one end of the harness closest to him as he sets to the task of trying to get the Armada locked down so it does no squishing of anyone terribily important. Wouldn't want that now would we? He'll be on that for a long long moment.

No, Lachlan is not going to give up Cass any time soon, so Peter will have to settle for arm-touching. Nothing against Peter or anything, he's just a bit clingy due to circumstances. She can struggle all she wants, too, but he's not releasing her, even when she explains why she's wanting to run. "Wha'?!" Goddamn it. Goddamn it. Goddamn it. Still holding to Cass, he bellows, "Trina! Dunna take us back ta the hideout!"

"'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.'"

A cold, cynical smirk creeps across the terrorist's face. "For the rest of you who didn't go to high school, that's from the Declaration of Independence. I'm not speaking of our rights. These are our responsibilities as American citizens. I urge you all, stop acting like children and start fulfilling your obligations. You are the new Guards. Only when you are ready to fight will you truly be free."

Once again, the video and audio feeds across the country fade to static.

"Not a thing, Trina," Ramon rasps into the bluetooth. He sounds tense. As. Hell. "It's empty out here. There's nothing." He wipes sweat from his brow. It's not attacks he fears. When there's nothing…when there's too little…that's when he starts to really worry. Ramon acts on the assumption that his enemies are as competent as he is.

She smiles faintly at Eric, and then she blinks a little bit at what she hears from Cass, and Lachlan. "Trina, keep driving. Papa, get down here and help Lachlan calm Cass down. She could be tagged, we can't land just yet. I'll have Gene's sensors pick anything up if something tries to chase us but we are NOT dumping Cass anywhere." They JUST got her back. She grits her teeth - this might be a little snag on their part. She sees the glass embedded on Benji's side, and she yanks them out in swift movements. Then she'll ball up a piece of cloth and secure it on his side securely to stem the bloodflow. "Cass how did they tag you? Device?" Oh god. Did they CUT HER OPEN?

Trina is dangerously calm as she speaks into the radio. It's not her fault. She just has a fuel issue where never being able to return to base could pose a major problem. Her blue eyes are wide, but she is doing a rather admirable job of not panicking. Right. Keep driving. She can do that.

Arm touching will have to do, because the man isn't going to let her go. Even then, he hears the thing about the tags and Peter frowns visibly. "The government tags people now?" That— what the hell is going on with that. Instead, he moves to help Eric. They have to make the decisions about this.

Ramon gets down as ordered. Sarge or not, he respects the chain of command, and at the moment his daughter outranks him. He drops beside Cass and puts kitten aside. He looks up at Lachlan and then looks into her eyes. *Cassandra,* he growls softly into her mind. *You will not be sacrificing yourself for us on our watch. You are just going to have to trust that Lachlan, and I, and all of your friends will murder anyone who comes near you. We love you, and that is that. Now calm down, hermana pequena. You are scaring your man.*

Nodding to Peter in thanks, he just seems to try not to think about Cass being somehow tagged. Trina can just drive them all around if she has to till they figure out how to get it out of her. Whatever it is. He viciously snarls to himself as he starts to tighten the straps that will be holding the car down. "Get the front tires would you Peter?" He asks, seemingly perfectly calm on the outside, and worried as hell on the inside.

What with all the action and noise and craziness, it's no wonder that Cass is kind of freaked out at the moment. All she did was pass out and now she's being asked all these questions and all these people she would gladly die for are putting themselves in danger for her…it's all just too much to handle right now. "I-it was Donovan. One of the old Company guns. My shoulder." Everything comes out in gasps. The struggling is slowly stopping, but doesn't quite cease. However, there's suddenly the calming effect of Ramon's speech cutting through everything. There's a lot of panic and pain and betrayal that gets flung at Ramon if he doesn't manage to block it somehow when he tries the whole mental talking thing. "No. I-I can't. This is…" The woman's a little overloaded right now. Please reboot.

"Got it," Peter says, strapping down the tires, looking at what the other man has done and trying to do the same thing. If he fails, he can hold the whole car down if it starts swinging around, but he is going to do his best to lock it down as asked. Donovan. There's a wince. He met that man. That man offered to let him kill him, in fact. Not that he would have, he's not a killer, but if he really did tag Cass… if the government has access to whatever system the Company used to track people— there's a lot of people in danger.

With Benji seen to, Elena turns to Peter. "See to Benji after the two of you strap the car down, okay?" she asks quietly. And hearing Cass's explanation, she stands up, moving towards the female Aldric and crouching down next to her father. She doesn't know what he's doing to calm her down, but seeing how beat up she was is….well. A flash of that Gomez anger ripples across her eyes. This is followed by the overwhelming sense of relief that they got her back. Cass was like an older sister to her, she went through great lengths to protect her when she was younger. All she wanted to do at the moment was hold her and cry on her like she used to. But she had no use for crying these days. Instead, her hands come out, one to gently rest on her shoulder should she be allowed, and the other to sweep the woman's dark, now-much-longer hair out of her shoulder so she could look at the mark. "Let me see," she tells her softly. Reunions can wait. Hell, a KEG can wait. But right now her mind is working on overdrive to try and fix this.

The big Hispanic man flinches at all that pain and panic and betrayal, but he bears it. There's a moment of silence where he is forced to wrestle all his own rough emotions back under control. The raw /pain/ that lives inside of him is not something he wants Cass to feel. That will not calm her. "She's in shock. She's getting overwhelmed. Everybody needs to stop talking to her a minute," he says, just casually. He keeps looking into her eyes. *Shhh. Breathe. In and out. That's it. Just breathe. Don't think about them. I will help you block them out if you ask, but only if you ask, until you are ready. In and out, hermana. There's nothing but you, me, and breathing right now. It's going to be okay.*

Okay, everyone else can handle the … everything else. Lachlan is going to handle Cass. His grip becomes less about restraining and more about comforting, but it's still firm. He presses his lips to the top of her head and murmurs soothingly and quietly to her. Everyone surrounding them and talking and offering help make him bristle a little. Yes, he's even protective when in the company of friends who want to help. However, he doesn't make any attempts to push anyone away. He just remains there and holds Cass and eyes everyone rather warily.

Trina gets left out. She *always* gets left out. This is the real reason that she never has to fight anyone else to drive. It has nothing to do with the fact that she's the best bus driver ever. Jack has just been telling her that for two years so that SHE WON'T ARGUE WITH ANYBODY TO BE PART OF THE ACTION THAT HAPPENS IN THE BACK OF THE ING PEARL. Grumble.

Also? Trina keeps driving.

Eric is…not needed. So well he just stays quiet, watches, and makes sure the car dosn't smish anyone, because then Trina would make him clean it up.

Peter is needed, so he lets Eric check on the car and moves over towards Benjamin as request. "Are you okay?" he has to ask Elena as he passes by her. He's holding it together as much as he can, but there's obvious tension around his eyes. Once he's next to the accountant, he kneels down and touches him, attempting to heal. But something else gets in the way. He can feel it. "…Elena…" he suddenly says, looking towards the man with a sudden burst of panic. He— she told him he caused a bus crash that hurt a lot of people the first time she met him. There's so many people here— they might start feeling a little woozy, until he closes his eyes and grips the man's arm and focuses on healing. Heal, heal. Don't put people to sleep. One ability at a time. Focus. Focus. Don't fall asleep, Trina. Keep driving.

There's not really a lot of action in the back of the Pearl at the moment. Just the attempt to heal a passed out former accountant and a freaking out lab head. There's just so much going on and it's all too much to have been trapped in that cell and place for so long only to wake up surrounded by friends and loved ones. As per instructions, she breathes in and out and tries to just calm down. It's hard, it doesn't happen immediately, either. There's flinching and an automatic attempt to get away when Elena puts a hand on her shoulder, but then, she relaxes again. It takes her awhile and she's still not calmed down, but that's not the issue at hand. *Take it out. Ramon, someone's going to have to dig it out of my shoulder.* It's a lot easier to just think rather than try to speak. *Now. Before we get any closer to the base.*

"I'm fine," Elena says, her eyes fixed on Cass as she waits for her to calm down. But when she detects the hint of panic in his voice, and the sudden hit of SLEEPY in her mind, she shakes her head hard and tries to resist. She neutralized Benji's power once, when he was unconscious. She'll do it for everyone else if she has to. She glances over at him. "Keep an ability active, you already know how to prevent a newly absorbed power from lashing out. If it doesn't work, I'll put you down but you have to keep it together." She'll do whatever's necessary to, even if she has to hurt him right in the brain. Too much was at risk to be gentle. "The old Company way is a radioisotope," she says softly to Ramon. "It's in the blood. I can either force her body to break it down, or we find some place where we can find an injection to fuck it up enough that the tag will be useless to them. If I do the former, it's going to hurt like a bitch." And she does NOT want to do that to Cass.

She gets back on the wire to Trina, lifting her fingertips to tap into the communicator. "How are we doing on fuel, Trina?"

Trina blinks. Hard. Why? Because, for a second, her stomach grows queasy and she's inexplicably exhausted. Or… maybe not so unexpicable, considering the events of this morning. That must be it. Just never mind the tiny little swerve of the Pearl before she regains her senses. Right. Okay. Focus. Focus. DRIVE. People counting on you. Must just be a passing thing. Right? Right. A hand lifts up to drag back down her face. Right. Responding to Elena, the driver refocuses. "We got enough to keep goin', but I wasn't counting on a big excursion, babe. With it being so hard to get our hands on it…" Pause. Start again. "I'm headin' for home. Better than stranded. FIGURE IT OUT BACK THERE."

Nobody is going to hurt Cass. She's been hurt enough already. If looks could kill, Elena would be in a pile of ashes right now, but Lachlan does not let up on the soothing murmuring. Maybe it's as much for Cass as it is himself.

"I know— I know," Peter says to Elena, clenching his eyes shut as he does his best to heal the other man— who's making him a sleep-bomb for everyone else. That would put them in danger. He trusts that Elena will knock him out before it happens like that, but there's so much going on tonight that holding it together might prove difficult. Which is why— after he's sure that he's healed the man at least some, he opens his eyes— now green and focuses on the one ability he's used more than any other since he started training in it. To help keep it working, he looks at her. No sleeping for you guys. No sleeping until we're all safe at home. "She could get taken somewhere else— while we figure it out," he suggests. Don't they have a lot of places they can choose from? Though he's not sure how many could house the Black Pearl besides the Towers and the meat packing plant. Which also happen to be the only two he knows about.

Ramon considers that for a moment. He speaks to Elena, mind to mind now. His powers have grown so much in two years. *No, it won't. I'll feel it for her. I'll mindlink her so I feel it and she doesn't. Just do it. I'll give you a signal when I'm ready.* He looks over at Lachlan. "Don't worry," he says aloud. And then to Cass, *We will fix it.* He sinks himself deeper into her mind. *Just look into my eyes. Don't think of anything else but my eyes right now.*

Eric? Eric's murmuring into his com system. Med team will be on standby when they get back home. Of course weather its for Cass…Lach…or whoever tries to do anything to Cass is still up in the air.

'Don't worry?' Talk of hurting Cass and he's not supposed to worry? Nnnnnooo. Lachlan tightens his grip around Cass and withdraws a step, curling his lip back defensively. "Piss off," he growls. "She's a'ready been through enough. Just drop us off an' I'll carry 'er somewhere safe."

"Copy, Trina. If all else fails, they can fight on our turf and see how they like it," Elena says grimly. There's NO WAY she's ferrying Cass and Lachlan to the meatpacking plant. Especially not who's there, and if they tagged Cass? They'll find THE THING in the meatpacking plant and that was unacceptable. The image of the Governator plowing in an unstoppable manner through an army of the president's men tickles her to pieces somewhere inside, but she shoves that idea aside in lieu of what her father is saying. She stares at Ramon. Feel it -for- her? "Papa…." she whispers hoarsely. When Lachlan glares at her, she gives him a level look. But she'll wait for Cass's permission. "Papa's going to take it for her," the Saint tells the Dogmaster. "She's not going to feel anything and neither of you are going to be safe if they can find you anywhere." She lifts her hand up to Cass's face, to start detecting the best area to start from and do this, and once her control seeps in, she pauses.

"….wait." She frowns, and drops her hand. "She's….there's no alteration. She's banged up, she's got a lot of lactic acid in her muscles from all the physical trauma, but nothing that's actually internal."

There's an offer that Peter is about to make, but he hesitates a moment in saying it outloud, in case he can't manage it— and then she speaks up that there's no change, just lactic acid from the physical trauma. It relieves him some, that the government isn't tagging people now too, or that they don't have the power to do so. That would truly be scary. They'd never be able to rescue people if they started tagging all of them. That means they won't have to hurt anyone that's their friend over this. His eyes are still green, to keep control of another ability he's just absorbed— that's three in three days… He's got to stop meeting people.

Clinging tightly onto Lachlan, Cass tries to stop him from withdrawing further. "Do it," she rasps to Elena. Because there's no way she wants to be tagged and lead operatives right to her baby. Or to her friends, or to the Alliance. She's been through enough that some more pain isn't going to be bad. "I'll be fine," she says softly to Lachlan. That's before she allows Ramon to sink deeper in order to make that mental link. In a less tense situation, she wouldn't allow such a thing - a friend taking pain for her - but it's the only solution that seems to allow Lachlan to not freak out more and to get the tagging system debunked. However, even as deep as he may go, there are certain things she certainly tries to mentally hide from him, making it hard to link completely. Which is, really, a good thing since it seems like there's no reason to go through with the entire thing. "What?" That's all she can manage to ask. "I'm…not…?" She sags against Lachlan, finally, some of that tension of the possibility of leading HS right to her doorstep seeping away.

It takes Ramon a moment to hear. Then he blinks and slowly withdraws from the mind link, his eyes unfocused. That's as deep as he'd ever been, and he'd been holding himself ready. He looks a little out of it for a second, but otherwise a-ok.

"Will ye just leave 'er the fuck alone?!" snaps Lachlan, totally and completely ignoring Cass' protests. She's obviously not in her right mind at this moment, so she can't make such important decisions. He withdraws another step when Elena reaches out, looking as though he's about ready to take that arm right off, but then she talks. He doesn't relax, though. His expression remains rather cold. "There, ye bloody happy now?" His arms tighten around Cass when she sags, easily giving her support.

"I'm not sure," Elena tells Cass, quietly, trying to call up as much scientific knowledge as she can. She didn't go to MIT and broke her brain over biology and biochemistry for nothing. She's heard about the Company radioisotopes before she even left New York to pursue her degrees in the Cambridge think tank. "All I know is that I should be detecting some alteration in her body if she was injected by something foreign, but I'm not. And I'm not going to hurt you more than you already have." She watches Cass, and the way Lachlan grips her tight. She can't help but feel that same affection for both of them, especially when she sees them together. She lived vicariously through them many times when she was a teenager. But she makes a decision. She'll play the card. She stands up from the floor. "Trina, head back to base. I'm going to have Gene use an X-ray scan. If she's radioactive in any way, it'll show up on the imaging. If that's the case, we'll figure out our options. If not, we're safe."

"I was already heading back to base," Trina reminds, mostly nice but eyes narrowing with a mild irritation. She said that already. Nobody ever listens to her. WHY? Because she's just the driver. That's why. The driver isn't part of the ACTION IN THE BACK OF THE PEARL AND THUS IGNORABLE. Oh, she is so having a discussion about this with Jack when he gets back.

Hopefully that crisis has been averted. Peter moves away from Benjamin's unconscious body and tries to move towards Cass and Lachlan. Not easy with Trina's driving skills, but at least they aren't crashing or anything. "Lachlan— can I try to heal her again? I might be able to get a little more… I'm not sure…" He's not sure completely how much he got on Benjamin, or on her the first time, but he had a longer time to consentrate on the sleepy-maker man. "Cass… hi," he says, a hint of a lopsided smile. It'll be okay— she's still alive… and maybe he can fix a little more on that damage. He's healed more on a few people in the past afterwards.

Ramon, for his part, has this one moment where he just sort of…closes his eyes against his own sensory overload, because coming back out of her mind after he went in so deep, and all the strain and stress and worry, has now done it's number on him. The older man sort of rests his head against the back of the truck and, now pretty convinced Cass is going to make it and they're all going to live, is letting out a loud, rip roaring, old man snore in seconds.

"…well I'm glad one of us will be sleeping well tonight," Eric says with an amused glance towards Ramon and then a smile towards Elena and a nod. He seems rather content to remain quiet and watch. He isn't a medic, he isn't a mindhealer. He is just Mr Moneybags. Thats the best he can do, and thats what he has to give. So thats what he will indeed be doing.

Even with all the forced sleep and such, Cass is already feeling exhausted herself. All the excitement and craziness has drained her again. Everything is crazy. "Okay," she just says to Elena. If the other woman tells her that she's not tagged and won't lead others back to the base, she's going to believe her. Right now, she doesn't have enough energy to fight much, anyway. "Hi Peter," she says quietly, "Thanks for coming to pick me up." Then, she tilts her head so she can look right up to Lachlan. The one question she /really/ wants to ask finally able to be voiced. "How's Abby?"

She'll let Peter handle Cass, now that Benji is okay. Eric is radioing for medbay to be prepped back in Headquarters. Eric's quip gets an appreciative smile - it's a small one since she's so tense. A hand reaches out to touch his shoulder gently, and she shrugs off her jacket so she could drape it over Ramon. "He's been tired lately," is all she says. "After we check out the scientists in the car, we should ship 'em out ASAP. Daphne'll give them room, but they can't stay in the base." They're at the back of the rig, it's got no windows there, so they won't know where they're going in case they're recaptured. She glances at the other people in the Armada. She drops them all gently - they'll wake up in the base later for check-ups before they're shipped off to the Zoo. Meanwhile, she'll join Trina right in the front and leave Lachlan to his woman.

Peter is cast another wary glare, but since the excitement seems to be winding down around Cass and the other man is trying to take away the pain rather than cause more of it, the Scot relents with a soft grunt. Then, Peter doesn't exist anymore, and neither does anyone else. It's just Cass. Poor broken and exhausted Cass. "She's a'righ'. She's fine. 'Re ye a'righ'?" No, she isn't.

"Thank Elena. She let me join in this time," Peter says, trying to keep his fond smile on his face— even if the green eyes might be unsettling. Glancing back towards the young Hispanic woman, the smile grows a touch more— and a little more as he sees her father falling asleep. Old man snoring. "You're welcome, though. You worried me a lot." And everyone else too. Putting his hands on the older woman's face, a gesture he has no idea has recently been done by his brother, the green fades away as he consentrates on another ability— healing. Second try— trying to get a little more of the damage squared away.

As Trina finally gets company, she flicks her cerulean gaze in the other Saint's direction. Part statement, part question, it's abundantly clear that Mah is very ready to be home. "We good?"

No, Cass is not really alright, but she's back with her people. Her family, her friends. The moment that she hears that Abigail is fine, and she knows that Lachlan is, she finally smiles. The first real smile that she's given ever since being nabbed back at Bat Country. "Good." As far as how she's doing? Well, she'll not answer that right now, she'll just allow Peter to heal her. The gesture of putting his hand on her face doesn't go unnoticed, the smile quickly fading into something more neutral. This is Peter, not Nathan, and the meaning behind that touch is very different. Logan's had been to cross boundaries, to unsettle her. This is to help her, heal her. However, it still makes her uncomfortable. "I'm so glad to see you." You as in generally everyone. Friendly faces.

As she moves towards the front, a hand touches Peter's shoulder gently. "Take care of them, okay?" Elena tells him. "There are people in the car, I knocked them out - they look okay but there might be injuries I'm not seeing." To Cass, she flashes her a tired, but relieved smile. "It's great to see you too, Cass," she murmurs. Considering she hasn't seen Cass in forever. She hasn't seen her since before she left on that 10 day assignment. But she'll leave Cass and Lachlan in Peter's capable hands. They'll probably need him in headquarters, so she'll have to handle the transport of the other scientists to Daphne's zoo. So she's in front, sitting down on the seat there, and looks at Trina. She gives her a smile. "Yeah. We're good, for now. Thanks for the wheels as always, babe."

That smile brings a big relieved grin to Lachlan's face. It's over. He's got Cass back and Abby is safe. He can finally relax just a little. "Yeah, well, s'no' so good ta see ye," he mutters roughly. "Ye look like hell, baby." But she's alive and there. He can't complain.

"My pleasure, sweetness. Looks like we got off pretty easy." Despite her words, however, Trina's eyes are still flitting around the console. There are cameras there. A simple radar. Things that Gene gave her to make it easier to monitor conditions solo. "I'll definitely take it, though. We need more easy."

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