2007-02-13: Chapter One: Combustion - The Escape

Starring:

Niki_icon.gif Benjamin_icon.gif Angie_icon.gif Adam_icon.gif Orion_icon.gif Michael_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Dr. Eames, Rainer, assorted Primatech personnel, and a Special Guest Star

Summary: Two patients share their sentiments and talk about how they'll be better off and safe for being at the Company's hospital… but everyone in Primatech is about to find out how wrong they are.

Date It Happened: February 13th, 2007

Chapter One: Combustion

The Escape


Primatech Research, Hartsdale, New York

All day, the halls of the Company hospital have been filled with the type of quiet that is, in actuality, made up of the soft din of activity. Background noise. People coming and going, things going on just out of sight in other areas of the facility. Evening fell and nothing has changed except for the dimming of light. In the corridor outside of Benjamin Winters's room, voices approach, but neither of them are meant for him. A man and a woman, their conversation sounds pleasant enough - one might be familiar as the psychologist Dr. Eames, and, well, the other…

"…thank you so much doctor… you have no idea what this means to me."

As with the day before, Benjamin has passed the time with a lot of sleeping. It hasn't been hard to do really, not with the stress of the past week or so. There's still a lot of uncertainty for him, but some things are sinking in, and he's adjusting. The sleep has been welcome, as is the book loaned to him by Angie. It definitely has helped to keep his mind distracted, and he's found himself liking the book's story. Another chapter is finished and he marks the page before closing the book. It's set aside as he debates. Pace the room or take another nap. Or maybe brave asking for a TV.. He peels back the sheets and gets up from the bed, moving slowly. The nausea has gone away, but no need to chance it right? He looks down at himself, the undershirt and pajama pants and can't help but feel exposed. At least it's not an open backed gown, so small favor there. He approaches the door, tests the knob, and opens it slowly, just in time to hear the voices. "Dr. Eames?" Then, blink, surprised confusion at the other voice, "Niki?"

"Of course, Ms. Sanders. I'll be in to visit you bright and early tomorrow morning and we can get started." Dr. Eames is in the middle of saying when Benjamin cracks the door. Seeing his other patient, he nods to Benjamin and walks down the hall, disappearing around a corner.

It is, indeed, Niki - wearing similar garb as Benjamin, comfortable bottoms and a white tanktop. She finds herself alone in the corridor when Dr. Eames departs; that is, almost alone. She has a soft smile on her face as she watches the psychologist go; hearing her name spoken, she turns her head toward Benjamin's room, only a few feet away. Although her smile doesn't disappear, it falters as surprise and confusion over. When she realizes it /is/ Benjamin, her head tilts to the side and her smile solidifies despite her bewilderment. "…Benjamin. I didn't expect to see /you/ here. I mean - what are the chances?"

Benjamin opens his mouth to talk to Dr. Eames, only the man continues on down the hall. His brow furrows in frustration as he wanted to talk to him, but that emotion fades fast. There's relief at finding another familiar face. Even if he doesn't know the woman, he's at least run into her before. "I didn't expect to be here, much less see anyone else that I know … sort of. I don't know about the chances, I don't know about much any more."

The steady look Niki is giving the other patient is one of good-natured concern. For her part, she looks well-rested - things are looking up, after all. Confidence is on its way. Nonetheless, she seems a little on-edge - and who isn't, in this place? She regards Benjamin for a long moment, studying him, before replying. "Benjamin, are you okay?" She gives her head a small shake, furrows creasing her brow. "It's not my business why you're here," she begins, not probing in the least. "But if you want to talk…"

"Not really," Benjamin starts as he retreats back into the room, gesturing for Niki to follow if she likes. "But I'm adjusting. I think." He shakes his head, albeit slowly. "I don't think I mind you asking. You're at least a friendly face." He definitely echoes that on edge sentiment. No one's really done anything to make him fear for his life. (Other than Anders.) Yet, it's just really unsettling, even if the tests he's undergone thus far would be normal in any old hospital.

Niki looks into the room and down the hall, folding her arms; her fingers trace near her elbow as she seems to suffer some uncertainty. Her eyes linger on her own room, a few doors down, but she does eventually step into Benjamin's. "This is where I was going… that night when you stopped on the highway, I was coming here. Trying to, anyway." Obviously, she had some trouble following through on her plans. "They can help us. Make us… better."

Benjamin looks a little surprised by that, "Then.. why did I find you outside that club? Drugs and alcohol don't solve problems, they can just make them worse." Aha. Poor naive Benji. He thinks 'Gina' was a figment of a binge. "I hope you're right, about the helping part. Another woman here, Angie, and Dr. Eames said they'd help me learn control." He reaches up a hand to gingerly touch the bandage around his head, "I still wish they hadn't of forced me here."

Niki stays just inside the room, to the side of the door, leaning lightly against the frame. She doesn't go any further. She gives Benjamin a small smile, but it's on the wry side; her face is turns downcast before she speaks again. "Yeah… that's why I'm here. I'm… sick." She keeps it simple. When she looks up, Niki pays special attention to the bandage on the man's head. "I'm glad they forced me. I don't know where I'd be if they hadn't found me. They were… well… they were violent, but they didn't really have a choice." The only evidence of such violence is a small dressing on her hand and wrist. There's a pause. "Still, did you see that guy— I think his name starts with A? Heee's creepy."

Benjamin stands wordlessly listening to Niki's explanation of how she was forced here. "That's the .. gorilla who hit me over the head." So Angie put it as Ben pulling his weapon first, still. The pistol whipping was overkill! His brows do raise though over Niki's statements, "You seemed fine on the highway, but at the club? You really weren't well, but I just thought you had partied too much. Rose probably.. who am I kidding? She thinks I'm insane. I told her I was going to come here, and.. she didn't think I needed to come to 'crazy camp' as she put it."

A quiet chuckle escapes Niki at the phrase 'crazy camp', although the humour is overridden by another small dose of that wryness. Crazy. Yeah, this is a good place for the crazies, alright. "Your daughter sounds like quite the girl," she comments. There's a certain understanding to her tone, the knowing of one parent to another, even though Benjamin is new at the whole shebang. "My son didn't want me to go, either. He says that every time I tell him I /have/ to do something, something bad happens." A fond smile takes over her face before it darkens; she takes a slow step forward, but stays near the door. "I /wasn't/ well. Sometimes… I do things that…" she trails off, looking to the drab wall. "…I'm not always myself. But the Company, they're going to make sure I get better."

"Her words, not mine," Benjamin says with a small smile. He doesn't volunteer information about Rose's abilities. "She wanted me to practice on crickets, mainly because she thought this was stupid. I already decided I wanted to do this, but, they came and got me anyway. I just feel like everything hit at once, I've only known my own daughter for less than two weeks." He looks to Niki and studies her momentarily, "How old is your son?" Then he just quiets some as Niki speaks further on herself.

"He's eleven," Niki answers readily. "Brightest little guy I know. I can't imagine only just meeting him now. Rose seems like a smart kid too," And rude, but she leaves that part out. Besides, it was kind of warranted at the time, and well, teenagers being teenagers… "And… from what I vaguely remember, beyond the headache part, she can really play the— whatever… that was. Micah plays the piano." She moves on from the kid-talk and gives Benjamin a smile that aims to be encouraging. "Hopefully you'll be well soon and you can get back to your life."

"Wow," Benjamin murmurs. "Must have been really hard to leave him. I.. I think she is, she has to be. I don't even know what she's studying in college, or what she likes aside from music. Uh, she was playing the cello." He's relieved that the kid talk is progressed from, as he has so much to learn about his own child. "I hope so. I don't want to cause anymore accidents.. I sound like a broken record. I think I've told everyone that."

Niki doesn't investigate the whys and hows of Rose; she only keeps up that vaguely encouraging smile. "I understand," she says - and there goes the smile immediately. "I can't sleep at night thinking about all the things…" But again the woman trails off; she presses her lips together dryly and looks at the floor. "Just— I don't know what your situation is, but you're not alone." On that note, the blonde looks over her shoulder into the hall. "I know they said these pills they were giving me would keep everyone safe, but they didn't sound so sure. I'm going to go back to my room. Take care, okay?"

"I.. alright.. hey.. what are those pills for anyway?" Benjamin's curious. "If they weren't sure, why would they give them to people? They gave me some to take, but wouldn't tell me what they were - okay. You too Niki." He turns to head back for his bed, feeling just a little lonely. He likes his personal space and time, but the familiar face, and just having someone to talk to was a comfort.

Punctuating this very touching moment is the unmistakable sound of an explosion, muffled, but clearly originating from a level beneath the hospital wing. Instantly, the hospital wing is plunged into darkness, with a delay of half a minute before yellow emergency lights kick in. At the same time, the building shakes with enough force that monitors topple and people lose their footing, some crashing into walls, others falling straight to the floor. Though a loud siren pierces through the building, there is no immediate indication what caused the explosion.

Below the hospital, in a wing lined with jail-like cells, the explosion is much closer to home. It originates in a large cell at the end of the hallway, sending the metal door flying - and a man with it. Half a second later, a dark-haired woman leaves the cell, turning down the hall. She spares no glance for the man thrown by the blast; as she walks the length of the hallway at an almost leisurely pace, she trails a hand along the wall, fire springing up behind each touch.

"They called them suppressants. I guess they weren't sure if they'd work on me like they do on other people." Niki shrugs - so not her area of expertise. So, erring on the side of caution, she smiles again at Benjamin and starts down the hallway to lock herself in her room - but she only gets a few steps before the floor beneath her rocks. Lashing out to stabilize herself with the wall beside her, she nevertheless falls hard to her knees. Instantly, she fights to clamber back up, her eyes wide in the unexpected yellow light.

"Alright," Benjamin says, but it's not all right. He's still puzzled about the medication. Turning to head back to bed, he surely did not expect for there to be an explosion. So it's no surprise that he's one of those to lose their footing. He crashes to the floor with a yelp and muttered, "sugar pops." Stay calm, he tells himself. Surely this is.. oh screw it. This isn't normal, and why should he stay calm? He gets back up on his feet, and heads for the door. The sirens are definitely an assault on his damaged head. He peers out the door, through the emergency lights.

The blast rocks Adam's cell with quite a bit of force. Enough that his bed is bounced, and deposits the man on the floor. "Ooof." he grunts, sitting up and glancing around in the yellow emergency lighting. All around him, dust and debris float through the air, but not enough to reveal a surprise. "Well I'll be…" Adam says, blinking through the dust to see enough of a gap in the wall joints around the door that it might not be as secure as it used to be. "Here goes nothing." Adam grins, taking a step to the back wall and running full speed at the door. There's a thud as his body impacts, but the gaps around the door start to increase.

The metal door that was thrown with such potent force groans, as does the man crushed beneath it. A blackened hand reaches out, clawing the cement. "Exactly what I was afraid of…" he mumbles, pained, and choking on dust as the last of his words are spoken to himself. Exactly what he wanted to prevent, but he never actually thought it would go this way. Rainer manages to push the metal door off of him just enough to allow himself to climb out from under its weight, pushing aside rubble. The thud-thud-thud coming from Adam's cell is, unfortunately, an afterthought: it's the dark-haired woman he goes after laboriously. Heat presses in from every angle, it seems like. "STOP! You don't have to go this route. We've given you everything you have, haven't we? Everything you know! We can sit down, we can talk about changes like grown adults—"

For Angie's part, she's in the bathroom when the explosion hits. That's right, someone interrupted her evening constitutional, dammit. Brow furrowing as she struggles to stay on the toilet, she drops the copy of DISCOVER she was shamefully reading. When the ground stops rocking, she goes about pulling her underpants and pants up before she says, dramatically: "Someone's going to pay for that." She kicks open the stall door un-necessarily then and rushes out of the bathroom… only to return a few seconds later to wash her hands. Then she leaves again, sidearm out and safety off as she heads down the hospital hallway.

It was just another normal day at The Company (well, as normal as it gets around here), and it was nearly time for Michael's shift to end. Just one last piece of paper to sign, and it was time to clock out and head home for some much needed rest and relaxation. But, it doesn't seem that's going to happen, because right as he's signing off on that final form, an explosion rocks the building. "What the he—" he says, before cutting himself off and standing from his desk. Opening the top left drawer, he withdraws his standard issue pistol from the Company, releases the safety, and begins heading towards the hospital.

Adam steps back and makes his fifth run at the door. By now, the mortar and joists around the door are pretty much destroyed. Groaning, Adam impacts the door one more time, letting out a subsequent yell as his shoulder dislocates. But it's worth it as the door breaks free and falls into the hallway. "Blimey." he sputters, using the outside wall to relocate his shoulder back into the socket. Doesn't take long for it to heal either. His green eyes scan the corridor, looking for what might have been the cause of his fortunate upturn in luck but not finding it. "Right, Adam." he grins, "Don't linger." He turns and starts down the corridor heading for the nearest exit. If he can find it.

To its credit, the sprinkler system turns on quickly, doing what it can to douse the flames before they can spread. Unfortunately, the explosion created such a fire that they make no difference. It spreads, and it spreads fast, thanks to the wake of fire created by the escapee. The voice calling after her brings her to a slow stop, and she slants her head, turning it just enough that he can see the wicked smirk that breaks across her face. "It's not enough," she replies, her voice strangely calm. One hand lifts in front of her, fire glowing above her palm, the flames twisting around each other as the ball grows. She turns to face Rainer, and there is no hesitation as she throws her palm forward, the ball of flame leaping from her hand. She doesn't wait to see where it hits; she's headed for the door leading to the stairs.

Niki is conflicted. And until she gathers her thoughts? She flattens herself against the white-and-cyan wall of the hospital corridor, restless and ready to move at any second, her gaze dancing between one end of the hall and the other, where she knows the main exit to be. "What happened?!" she demands edgily the moment she spots Angie coming into the wing. "What the hell is going on?" She can't leave! Not now, not when she just got here.

Benjamin remains standing in the doorway of his hospital cell (room), hands braced against the framing. It's safe to say that he's nervous as hell about this change in events. "Angie!" he calls out from where he's staying put. For now. His eyes widen some at the sight of the gun in the woman's hands.

"Ms. Sanders… I don't know, but I don't like it," Angie answers Niki as she enters the hospital wing proper. She's kind of acutely aware how exposed this whole section is at the moment. "Alright, Niki…" And now Benjamin, "Okay, I need you two to help me. We need to get everyone in this wing together and secured until I get further instructions on the situation, understand? We have to keep everyone safe. This isn't a drill." Then she adds, "Please?" She indicates the other doors down the hall with a bob of her head, before doing a quick visual sweep of the wing.

Quickly, Michael makes his way through the Company's compound, finally arriving at the hospital ward just a minute or so after Angie does. Pausing at the main door, he takes a deep breath and counts to three before turning and pushing the door open, gun held out in front of him, finger on the trigger. He does a quick, wide sweep of the room, and when he spots Angie, he lowers his gun a few inches. "Hey! Do you have any idea what's going on here?"

The flames that fly from the woman sail past Rainer, singing his already burned, rumpled and dirty suit, which was quite handsome only minutes ago, and crash into the wall behind him, causing a spray of debris that makes him fall forward onto his knees. "Kellie. KELLIE." He shouts after her; yes, yell at the raging pyrokinetic some more. Standing, he hurries to find his cell phone from an inner pocket of his coat. "This is Madson, we need an evacuation order, get everyone moving. I'm in the cells, sprinklers aren't--" The flames crackle, sending sparks at his face. "Emergency protocol five, it's K-11E, I repeat, K-11E. Put on the interc--" It's then that the man spies another escapee amidst the flames. "We have another problem." The phone is flipped shut; soon after, an evacuation order sounds throughout the facility in a tinny, calm female voice. 'Evacuate, evacuate, this is not a drill', mimicking Angie.

"Great." Adam mutters, as the sprinkler system activates and drenches him in the downpour of water. It makes the floor a little slippery too, when you're not wearing anything other than Company-issued slippers. And not the pink fuzzy bunny kind either. No. The kind that say 'Hi, I recently escaped from a mental hospital.' to the right person. Regardless, he is starting to feel the heat, and as he rounds the next corner his eyes fall dead upon a ball of flame heading straight for him. His face adopts a 'not again' look, the one with the small frown tugging at his lips, and he leans to the left as the fireball passes by him and impacts the wall. The heat from the flame does a bit of damage, charred skin mostly, but anyone watching would see that heal up in a matter of seconds. "Seems I'm not the only one trying to escape." he grins, spotting Rainer who also seems to have spotted him. "I would recommend staying out of my way, if you know what's good for you." Adam growls, moving in the same direction of the stairs as the mysterious woman.

Kellie doesn't stop. It's questionable whether she even heard Rainer calling her a second time. The door is thrown open, and she stalks up the stairs, the banister alighting behind her. She exits onto the hospital floor, though she's some distance away - and around the corner from - the growing group of agents and patients. Smoke from the fire precedes her, thick and black, as it billows down the hallway. Kellie is only partially visible behind the smoke as she rounds the corner, heaving a flaming stretcher down the hallway ahead of her.

Niki nods succinctly to Angie. The evacuation order sounds, prompting her to glance up instinctively. She swallows dryly, a look of determination hardening her features before her feet pound into action. She tries the door adjacent to hers, looking in through the window to see the terrified man inside. When she finds the door open, she ushers him out and guides him toward Benjamin, pointing to the large nook that precedes the entrance area of the facility. "There! Go!" She tries the next door, and the next, freeing as many as she can, telling them to move it. She's soon distracted by the billowing smoke and careening stretcher, but not for long.

Benjamin looks back and forth between Niki and Angie before nodding. Help. He can do that. It's about the only thing he's capable of doing right about now. A glance is made in Michael's direction as he heads to start gathering people. Jeezus. Everyone's got a gun here. What kind of hospital is this!? "Okay, that's not comforting," he says aloud and to no one in particular as the evacuate order sounds. It's not like someone told him the fire drill routine. Yet, there's an urgency about that has him rousing other patients and not stopping to ask where the rallying point is. It has to be anywhere but here. Right now? That point is far from the … holy smokes … He tears his eyes away from the incoming and urges the newly freed patients to that hopefully safer area by the entrance.

"I have no idea what the hell is going on," Angie tells Michael, "But it sure isn't GOOD. C'mon. We need to secure the exit for the evacuation." She looks over her shoulder, Benji and Niki seem to have the right idea, but she needs to clarify, seeing as how there's smoke billowing into the hall. "Do what you can, then get out. Whatever you do, don't stop til you're out of the building and safely away. Head for the road." Then, weapon checked one last time, she nods to Michael and moves to the hospital entrance, checking her corners before she moves into the main hallway… and spots the pyro. She sighs and notes, "At least you aren't a midget." The gun is aimed at the woman and fired.

Rainer, perspiration coating his very, VERY STERN face, follows Adam toward the stairs in pursuit of the woman. Or… is he only in pursuit of Kellie? On his way to the stairs, lurching left and right away from licking flames, he grabs a pistol from inside his jacket, unlatches the safety, and wastes no time in firing at Adam's back. One shot, two shots. He may not have the best of aim, given the circumstances and the fact that he's on the move, up stairs, and sure, the freakin' guy can regenerate like nobody's business… but there's no way in hell Rainer is letting the man they've held for thirty years walk free without a fight because of Kellie.

"Just another day at work," Michael murmurs to no one in particular, before glancing over at Benjamin and Niki. As Angie clarifies what to do, he gives them a small nod, before moving a bit closer to the hallway and billowing smoke. Looking over at Angie and nodding at her, as well, he points his gun down the hallway, dropping to one knee (conveniently avoiding the stretcher, even if it does singe his hair as it flies overhead) as Kellie comes into view. He keeps a tight grip on the butt of his gun, but he doesn't pull the trigger; instead, he yells down the hallway. "Stop! Stop right there!" Just in case Angie's bullet doesn't do the job. Besides, he can always shoot later.

"Ow. Damn." Adam says, falling forward at the shots. He catches himself on the railing of the stairs, which is still hot to the touch from the flames. The smell of seared flesh permeates the hallway, but it's a smell Adam is used to. Pushing himself to his feet again he turns to face Rainer. "Do you really think…" he start, holding up his hands towards Rainer as they regenerate, "…that shooting me in the back was going to stop me?" His dirty blonde hair shimmers a bit in the emergency lighting as he laughs. "Bob truly hasn't taught you enough." he adds, sucking in a deep breath and making a quick charge at Rainer in the hopes of knocking the man off his feet and against the wall.

Angie's bullet tears through Kellie's upper arm, stopping her for… about half a second. She stumbles back, then regains her footing, steeling her features against the pain. "Get out of my way," she commands, though she doesn't allow Angie or Michael time to obey her order. The next instant, another ball of flame sails from her hands, arcing towards the two shooters. The fray behind her doesn't seem to concern her, either; as Adam faces off against Rainer, Kellie heads for the entrance.

Meanwhile, the fire continues to spread. The smoke is thick, impairing vision and making breathing difficult, for those nearby.

Niki frantically takes stock of who's in and who's out, although she's sure there are others, trapped, that she can't see. Despite the woman's urgent rushing about and that franticness dancing in her eyes as the smoke billows on, she's doggedly determined to do what she can, and do it well. "Benjamin, go!" Faster, that is. "Get them out of here. I'm right behind you!" She covers her mouth and nose with the crook of her elbow as the smoke advances. Shooting a glance over her shoulder through burning eyes at the armed Company people and the fiery woman, she follows through on her word, running fast toward the exit.

Benjamin gets Angie's jest, but really doesn't see the humor in it at this point in time. Maybe later he can laugh about it, but maybe not so much. He hears Angie's instructions, as well as Niki's, and mutters to himself. You've just got to be kidding. Bullets are now flying, there's smoke pouring out, all in the direction they're supposed to run. He closes his eyes, and steels himself, before starting to nudge people for the door. Sure, once they get outside, anyone passing them by will mistake it for a re-enactment of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', but at least they'll be away from the flaming building. He brings a hand up to his mouth as he coughs, urging people to move faster and stay low, which is a good idea. Incoming fireballs!

Rainer crashes hard into the wall - so hard, in fact, that it sounds like something cracks. "I'm not just gonna let you walk, you son of a bitch." To make matters worse, if the people in the hospital wing thought the smoke was bad try down here, where the fire is rampaging toward the stairs. That thick, black smoke has filled the corridor and stairwell completely now, permeating everything. The man coughs and chokes in Adam's face, fighting to breathe. "Company's not gonna let you walk either. We'll hunt you /down/, boy."

Some days it is very good to have special powers. Unfortunately, that necessitates that other people have special powers too. This would be one of those days, as far as Orion Granger is concerned. The tall man was in Research, waiting on the results of a routine blood test regarding Company screening of his power when the fire broke out. He lingered in Research only long enough to make sure that the staff there got out before he started charging into the heart of the growing inferno, metal bubbling and oozing out of the pores of skin on his face, creating a bandanna-like effect that slowly conceals his nose and mouth in a pocket of fresh air. It'll take him a little while to get into Medical yet.

"Your /Company/ has held me hostage for long enough." Adam shouts, in between coughing from the heat generated by the fire. The cracking sound isn't enough to stop Adam, though. This time he is going to make sure nothing stands in his way of getting out. With sweat pouring down his face, and the fire advancing, Adam struggles with Rainer in an attempt to gain control of the man's firearm. "Now, why don't you be a good little lapdog and go back to your dog house. I don't really want to have to hurt you and more than I have to." At least Adam knows mercy. Somewhat.

Bullet in the pyro. Check. Fireball coming towards face. Check. "Ohsh-" is about what Angie gets out before she dives back into the hospital wing, hitting the floor hard. Her outfit, to say nothing of her hair, now have a singed look and smell. "Crap…" Coughing in the smoke, she pulls to her feet. It's around then she notices she lost her gun when she dived for cover. "Frick!" Only one thing left to do in this situation. "Benji, Niki, time to GO. C'mon!" And she's back into the hallway, stumbling after Dark Beautiful Crazy Pyro chick.

"Stop means DON'T MOVE!" Michael calls out over the chaos, his gun still trained on Kellie. "If you move any further, we'll be for—" Aw, hell. Fireball incoming. Rather than taking more time to yell at Kellie, or fire, he does the same thing as Angie does, and dives away from the hallway to hide behind a wall.. but not before part of the fireball makes contact with his leg. His pants immediately catch fire, and he spends a few moments slapping his leg with his hands to put the flame out. Once the flames are gone, he scoops up his gun, and leans around the corner, aiming his gun down the hallway. There's too much smoke to really see anything now, and with Benjamin and Niki still in there somewhere, he can't risk shooting one of them. So, he pulls back, a few feet from the hallway, and aims his gun, waiting for Kellie to show up.

Granger continues to run down the halls, darting and dodging around. Every so often he bumps into evacuees and directs them on their way out of the building. For the most part, Orion continues moving deeper into the facility, heading for the Hospital wing as quickly as he can. He's getting awfully close to that main hallway now though.

Dark Beautiful Crazy Pyro Chick, also known as Kellie, wastes no time now that her assailants are down and preoccupied. She's already set the building aflame, and her focus now shifts to racing for the door. Her leisurely pace is a thing of the past; now, she's flat-out running down the hallway. She's long since left her own slippers behind, running through the pools of sprinkler-water in bare feet. There's blood dripping from her injured arm, and her clothing is drenched from the sprinklers, but nothing is slowing her down as she throws the door open, setting it aflame, and heads out into the cold winter air.

Niki needs no more encouraging; she's doing some encouraging of her own, urging patients out ahead of her. Angie's shouts are distant, chaotic background noise as the blonde charges toward the exit too. She's surprised to see the dark-haired woman careening past her; she practically whirls around in the escapees wake. "Damnit," she hisses under her breath as the door is outlined in flames. Run after the psychopath through the fire, or… okay, seeing as everything else just looks like black smoke, run after the psychopath it is. Her only protection being the thin layers of sprinkler-soaked clothing on her body, she makes a mad dash for it, grabbing onto Benjamin on her way while the flames are still new.

Down near the stairwell, Rainer puts up a struggle when it comes to his firearm being liberated, but he's not stupid: it's not a fair fight. And oh, one other thing: he can't breathe. "We'll be—" He reaches out to grab the banister, searing the flesh of his palm in his efforts to grab onto something; shouting, he grabs for Adam with his other hand. Whatever he was going to say never gets broadcast, however, as the man goes into a fit of choking and slumps from lack of oxygen.

"You don't have to tell me twice," is Benjamin's subdued retort. He's not among the first out the door. Nope, he's to the back of the line, urging folks faster. (The lemme out first mentality just isn't him.) They're going as fast as they can due to the smoke, and gee, TERROR. If there ever was an opportunity to voluntarily use his ability, now would be it. Unfortunately for all, it's been hampered. When it's closing in on his turn to get out that door, incoming. Blue eyes wide, the first thought is to hit the floor, duck and cover. That's exactly what he intended to do, that is until Niki grabs onto him. There's no resistance whatsoever as he races along with her out the door.

"There must be some way out of here. There's too much confusion and Angie can't get no relief. The fire eating the Company building is literally turning her life into ash. She stumbles out into the cold. Sure she sees Kellie making her escape, but she doesn't make a move to go after her. No, she's gotta fill her lungs with that nice cool air and then turn to watch with no small measure of horror as the building burns. A step is taken back towards it. "Benjamin!?" Then. "Ms. Sanders?!" More horror now. And guilt.

Adam works to try and counter Rainer's movements, and is just about to try to get in another witty response when the man's body slumps. "See? Now you had to go and hurt yourself more." he frowns, reaching over for the firearm. Standing, Adam holds the weapon in one hand, wiping the sweat from his brow with the other. The heat of the fire is getting intense and as he looks towards the way out, he can see the fire blazing full force. This could get very nasty. A quick glance back at Rainer, then at the door. If anyone could see inside his head, there would be millions of images flashing before his visual cortex. It a harsh decision. Run, and leave Rainer here in the fire that might kill him or…..Adam reaches down and hauls the man over his shoulder. "Bob better take this into account." he grunts, as he starts to sprint for the exit. Rainer over one shoulder, firearm in the other hand.

By the time Benjamin and Niki make it outside, the only indication of Kellie's escape is the trail of red blood leading away from the burning doors. The woman herself is no longer in sight. The building, however, has seen better days. Sirens down the road suggest incoming fire trucks, though by now it seems a lost cause.

In the chaos of people trying to escape, the billowing black smoke, and the fact the building is on fire, Michael is way too lost and confused at this point to do anything functional. He doesn't even see Kellie run out of the building. As the smoke is getting to a point where it's too much to handle, he has to bail. Coughing and choking, he stumbles through the front door of the building, emerging into the cool winter air and taking huge, deep breaths. He reaches a hand up to his tie, loosening it as he falls to one knee and looks up at the burning building.

The blonde patient charges into the night air, coughing. With a hand on Benjamin's shoulder in the midst of making sure he got out okay, she takes a moment to stop and catch her breath. Niki gapes intently behind her at the building. It occurs to her that's it's the first time she's seen it from the outside - and that she has no idea where she is, other than 'Hartsdale'. "Who /was/ that?" she asks to anyone who might know, among the employees of the facility that escaped, but her eyes fall inevitably on one she recognizes (Angie).

If Benjamin were anyone else, he would take this opportunity to run for it and escape this madhouse. But he doesn't. He doesn't even know where he is, and at the moment? He just wants to take in gulps of fresh air, and collapse on the ground. Which.. is what he does. There's a blood trail on the ground? He's not concerned with that right this minute. "Safe .. huh? You call that safe?!" The tone is sarcastic, wheezing and from his spot on the ground, he gestures wildly at the flaming building. He would sound far more hysterical if he weren't enjoying being able to breathe.

Granger skids across the floor into the main hallway just as Michael stumbles out the flaming front door. The metal-bandanna'd man looks around quickly, squinting in a vain attempt to see through smoke and his own pouring sweat. He spins around a few times in the smokey darkness and roaring flames, drawing quick, short breaths into his lungs from the pocket of air held in the metal membrane over his mouth and nose. Orion brings his hands to his mouth, out of habit, and starts yelling. "ANYONE STILL IN HERE?! ANYONE?! YELL! MAKE NOISE! LET ME FIND YOU!" In the back of his mind though, the tall man is ticking down his mental clock of how much air he could possibly have left in that metal mask. He doesn't have long. Not long at all.

"Holy shit." Angie says as Niki and Benjamin pop out of the building after Michael. "I thought I'd lost you guys back there," she notes, taking a quick visual inspection of them. A look is leveled on Benji at his outburst, "It usually is. Remember what we talked about? One of the monsters broke free." She reaches into her pocket and tugs out her cell, flipping it open to dial a number. "I'm calling to report a fire. Primatech Research. We need several ambulances… we have injured."

Through the flame and smoke, Adam rushes. Carrying the dead weight of Rainer over his shoulder, he emerges outside into the winter's chill. His own skin is pretty charred, but healing rapidly as most who know his power would expect. "Cold." he states, shivering just a bit as he drops Rainer's body out in the open. "Now, get better. I suspect there are some folks higher up that might want to talk to you later." Adam grin, looking down at Rainer's form. Sure, save the guy's life and then heckle him again. Good ol' Adam. A quick glance around, and he starts off towards the city to disappear.

Niki presses her hand to her forehead, just standing and watching the blaze. Her eyes narrow as she thinks she sees a man growing back his flesh… but it's not surprising, given where she is. She just assumes he's another patient, rescuing someone, and thinks nothing of his running off. The full weight of the situation is creeping up on her; she takes blind steps away from Primatech, backwards, the fire flickering in her eyes. Where are they going to go now?

Benjamin stays put on the ground and looks up at Angie. There's quiet acceptance of her explanation. The emergence of Adam carrying Rainer catches his attention. Maybe watching someone regenerate has something to do with it. Pardon the staring, this is still far too new to him. "Does this mean we can go home now?" he deadpans, watching Adam as he takes off.

Michael slowly stands up once he catches his breath, his tie hanging loosely from his neck as he runs his hands through his hair. "What happened?" he says, turning to Angie, Niki, and Benjamin. "Do any of us kn—" That's when Adam emerges from the building carrying Rainer, and Michael rushes forward when the older man is put down. "Hey! Is he alright?" he says, turning his attention to Rainer. As Angie calls 911, Michael keeps a watchful eye on the older man. Adam moving off towards the city goes unnoticed.

After nearly half-a-minute of fruitless charging about in the flames and smoke, Orion skids to a halt. His dress shoes slide easily on the flame-polished floor though and he drops toward the ground. After he hits the ground, Granger starts rapidly crawling back toward the main doors; his metal mask retreats down his face to his neck as he fills his aching, burning lungs with what little fresh air there is to be had beneath the flames and smoke. Thus refreshed, the metal rapidly starts creeping up his face to cover his mouth and nose once more. He'll deal with scrambling once the mask has returned to protect him from excessive smoke inhalation.

Groups of employees are beginning to amass outside the burning building, huddled together for warmth, some with blankets draped over their shoulders. The fire trucks have arrived and begun their work, and the paramedics are on-hand to check on anyone who might need medical assistance. But the fire is raging, with many windows blown out, and it doesn't look as if much will be salvaged.

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