Special Guest Star:
and Guest Starring:
Date: April 15th, 2010
Heroes gather to try to stop the Protocol from using Lilian to create an international crisis.
"Convergence: Ward's Island"
Lightning and black hang to the south, high in the sky like a storm looming. Blocked from partial view by the skyline of the city, and the many tall bridges that span the islands, it's difficult to tell exactly where in the city it's coming from. Just south. Ward's Island sits in the mid-portion of Manhattan, a small island, rich with forest and green space, kept as a park, and the home of the Manhattan Psychiatric Institute. A few buildings lay abandoned, like the one where everyone has been brought together. A flock of birds beat their wings and create a lot of sound, until something even louder can be heard. The ground gets thrown up into the air as the birds scatter and fall, many of the twitching and dying as they're hit by something that can't really be seen— but it can be heard. It shakes the ground of the island with an unnatural force, making the building shake.
"You have to stop!" a male voice tries to scream over the piercing noise, that sounds very much like something breaking the sound barrier.
This time it hits a person, sending him flying back against the wall of the already shaken abandoned building. The trees rustle as the unnatural tremors expand around, difficult to hold in check. If it continues to expand, the bridges that go over the island could collapse…
Immediately after learning of the Alpha Protocol's plan, Micah had left the apartment with his laptop and cellphone in tow. Enroute to Ward's Island (via foot from the Manhattan side bridge), he reaches into his pocket and focuses his ability; he's aware of the danger and the amount of help needed if the UN is to be rescued. Reaching out with his ability he texts his comrades — people he's hero'd with before; people he trusts, particularly when the fate of the world rests in the balance.
«REBEL: 9-1-1. EMERGENCY ON WARD'S ISLAND. RESCUE NEEDED TO PREVENT AN INTERNATIONAL CRISIS; MUST HAPPEN TODAY! MEET THERE ASAP. I WILL BE ON FOOT ON THE MANHATTAN SIDE BRIDGE. WHEN YOU REACH THE ISLAND, CONTACT ME.»
Cam, of course, left Kitty's safehouse the instant he got his text, with carrying the tazer Micah made for him during the Monica rescue attempt, his cellphone, and some money. Most of the latter he uses to get a taxi ride to the Manhattan side of the footbridge, and soon he's across and entering the general area Micah said he was. Pulling his phone from his pocket, he sends off a quick text, «I'm here.»
can ask Claire if she'd call him?
Cody and Alexandra were sharing the same route on the way home from a long day's work. Of course as soon as they have stepped off the plane, Cody's cell phone was turned on and placed in her pocket. Knowing that something was going to happen helped the agent beg off work early. Whether 'Libby' wanted to be in on it or not… she was dragged along.
"Did you take that extra suit from Lane like I told you to? You might need it." Hopefully Lambert was able to abscond one full suit of body armor, otherwise she's out of luck because Cody already has hers waiting for her in a locker. "Grab a cab, we just got the call."
"I have…some of it? The parts that fit well enough to warrant taking. The rest would just get in the way, I think." To show that she has the suit, Alex pats the backpack slung over one of her shoulders, rather than the traditional shoulder bag purse. Heeding Cody's prior hints that something may go down today, Alex made it a semi-casual day; sturdy semi-casual boots substitute for heels, jeans for a skirt, turtleneck sweater for button-down blouse.
Stepping out to the curb, Alex holds out a hand and waggles it for a cab. "Ward Island…" she starts to say while leaning in…before leaning back out of the cab to finish her statement. "…right?" she asks Cody. "That's what it said, right?"
There's four little letters from that text that are quite easy to excel at for a speedster: ASAP. For Daphne, watching as Peter goes to do what he has to do, there was only a flash of determination before the flash of speed. With a quick pit-stop only to zip to Claire's side, taking the regen's hand and ensuring that they both arrived in a timely fashion. There's no concern for bridges or foot-paths; Daphne blazes her own course straight across the waters separating land from smaller land — an experience her guest-runner may find vaguely disconcerting.
It isn't to last long, though. With the blur of colors and the rush of the air hurrying to claim the spaces they vacated, two young women basically appear at the end of the bridge. Daphne immediately separates from Claire, taking a few normal-timed steps forward to glance all around them. Over her shoulder to the younger girl, "Alright, why don't you contact us up a Text-Face."
EDIT A little damp from the run across the water and more than a little disoriented from the blur of sight and the rush of sound, Claire is threading her now messy and tangled long hair through a ponytail band to get it out of her face. "Got it," the petite regenerator says, after catching her breath. She pulls out her cell phone and types in the pertinent information, before looking around for the rest of the group that Micah has been assembling. Her thumbs start pushing in a second message to Peter, asking why he's not coming and if he's all right — not that she really expects him to answer if things aren't. She only finds out after the fact, when that's the case. "What's he doing, do you know?" she mutters in her low voice, meaning Peter of course.
The abandoned building that Micah has a map to isn't far from the pedestrian bridge that he chooses to cross, but a good distance from the nearest public parking for those on cars, but it also has a small side road leading up to it. For the white marked van that's sitting next to it. A van for a plumbing service. Not the Mario brothers, but something similar. A few people impatiently wander around outside it, in simple gray jump suits. They look like they could be plumbers, as one of them glances at his watch.
"Not too much longer now. Why don't you go get her out here and load her in the truck."
The darker skinned of the two nods, saying something in another language, before moving to head into the building.
Not too much longer now.
The city seems to be going about normal business, cars rolling down streets and bridges, subways running. There's even some boats going down the East River that can be seen from the pedestrian bridge. No one knows what is about to happen, and what they're trying to prevent.
Micah strolls up to his foster brother and takes a deep breath, forcing a weak smile before reaching over to squeeze Cam's shoulder. "Hey." He's nervous in a way, Kitty had seen through him, and he knows it, but he manages the smile, even if it is unusually weak. "There's not a lot of time. We need to — " but Micah's interrupted by a text, diverting his attention away. Closing his eyes again, he grasps the phone as his lips curl into a smile. The text from Claire is reassuring in a way. He zips a text back to the regenerator.
«REBEL: SPEEDSTER. WE NEED A CAR — WE HAVE TO BLOCK THE BRIDGE. IF THEY CAN'T LEAVE THE ISLAND, THERE'S NO DANGER TO THE UN.»
Not that anyone knew there was danger to the UN. And then, as if he'd never been interrupted by the text he continues his thought to Cam " — enter that building." His gaze turns towards it as he takes a few steps forward and then stops, it's a moment's hesitation, particularly at the white van. "The email I intercepted said they'd be moving the woman we need to rescue at 4:30. But Cam, she's being moved by one of us. They don't use names they — use tags. KAPPA 13. I don't know who that is or what they can do… and the woman we're rescuing… she's really powerful too." Swallowing hard his eyebrows furrow anxiously.
Cam smiles back to Micah and says, "Hey." He then nods seriously, looking up to the building. "Getting in should be easy. Whoever they're using's going to be trickier." He looks around for a newspaper box, and indicates it, "Think we should armour up, like last time?"
One of the phones that receives Micah's emergency message is unattended at the time, and remains so for a good two or three minutes afterward, its buzzing drowned out by the repeated thud of flesh against vinyl. It's an extortionist! It's a dominatrix! No, wait, it's just Matt getting in some practice with a punching bag down on the warehouse level— hey, his upper body strength isn't going to maintain itself, especially given how long he's been forced to stay cooped up inside one building or another.
After rinsing some cold water through his hair, he finally notices the message and does his best to wade through it. Dammit, doesn't anyone ever use voicemail any more? Half an hour later, he's on the road, sporting fresh clothes and two metal camera cases. Tranquilizer darts, check. Solid slugs, check. Delta Solution, check - what little of it is still left - plus a couple of guns matching each type of round. Now he just needs to make it to the rendezvous site in time.
When the car pulls up to the meeting point, Cody hops out sporting full body armor and an empty holster on her thigh. Much to the cab driver's delight, the agent wasn't self conscious at all while changing in the car, much to 'Libby's' embarrassment. "Hey Squirt, I brought along a friend. Another one should be coming soon." She moves away from the door to allow Alexandra to get out of the same door. Hoping the petite bulldozer paid the cab fare.
Ah…the packmule AND the ATM? Alex isn't huffy about it though, since there are, afterall, bigger things going down. Out the door she goes, wearing little more than a vest; even that is a little too big on her small frame. "I wonder if they're going to paint me as a mass-murdered if shit hits the fan this time," Alex muses to herself while pulling her hair back. Seems to be a common thread for the long-haired and less hairkinetic women of those assembled.
When Daphne mutters something about Peter saving the world and that they can kick his ass later together, Claire just laughs with a shake of her head, then glances down at the vibration of Daphne's cell phone as Micah's message pulls through. "What's the plan?" Claire asks, glancing at the other's cell phone, wondering what directions it might entail — she's new at this saving the world business, and has no real clue what she's here to do. "What's going down?" Information is useful.
"Hey Medusa," Micah says managing another weak smile before nodding at Cam, "Yeah. Same deal as last time." He glances at Alexandra and issues her a small nod followed by yet another smile. Quickly he explains, "Alright, we need to rescue a woman named Lilian." Knowing and saying her name keeps her human in his own mind, something he needs to do. "They're going to use her to destroy the UN building. We need to block them in — keep them here, and rescue her."
Biting his bottom lip he adds, "I told Cam this, but they have at least one person like us responsible for transferring her. And I'm guessing they're going to use the van to move her."
Claire receives a text from Rebel explaining the same situation. They need to stop the baddies and keep them here. As far as an action plan is concerned, Micah only has one: take out the baddies and use the remote. "We need to take him out," he glances at the guard by the van. "And ideally, we take out the van." Essentially leaving them stranded on the island, particularly if Daphne can block the roadway in. He clutches his cellphone and attempts to kill cellphone and radio waves to cease communication between the guards before putting on the icy-armor Cam has created for the two of them.
"You two," he glances between Matt and Alex. "Take care of the guard and the van — you can do it quietly without them noticing. After that, go through the front entrance, and try to go unnoticed. Our real strength here is surprise."
"Cody… you're with us. We're going to take one of the entrances towards the back. If it's locked, Cam can freeze the lock and we can bust it from there." At this Micah nods, leading the way towards an entrance towards the rear.
As he does so, he shoots Claire another text, instructing her to head to the front entrance for some ace-level van-sabotage and to join the duo that is Alex and Matt.
Cam nods quickly to Micah's instructions, and while he's briefing everybody, Cam's building pykrete armour for the two. When that's done, he's pulling on his own, nodding again to Micah's plan of them getting in the back. "Yeah, no problem. Might set off an alarm, but guess you can handle that," he adds with a grin. The fifteen-year-old is, at least, fully confident even if Micah isn't. He's soon following after his foster brother towards the back of the building.
It's good to be back! Matt's excitement is quiet, focused - there's a job to be done - but no less real for it. Nodding to Micah and Alexandra in turn, he readies a tranquilizer gun, with a pistol held in reserve. Hopefully he won't need to use either, at least at first, but his invisible weapon will be less reliable if they run into enough people at once.
Nodding to Micah, Cody busies herself by twisting a silencer in position and holstering it at her hip. "How do you want to do this, Short Stuff? I suggest shoot to kill… but…" Then she simply shrugs and glances at him. Who knows what heroes do, agents just do what they need to in order to get the job done. "It'll be easier in the long run if we don't have to watch behind our backs. There's too much at sake."
Without another word, Cody moves off, leaving the two teens behind. She sneaks around to the front of the building where there seems to be only one guard. Squinting, she levels her gun at the man's head and fwip fwip two bullets in the noggin. As he's slumping to the ground, she's already on the move to catch him. Then the cell phone is pulled from her pocket and with one thumb she types out a very slow text.
«Medusa: gud 2 go»
"Okay Matt…I, uh…you're going to be the one shooting, ok? Giving me a gun is probably not a good idea, since I've never used one before in my life. I mean, if you want me to have one, I'll take one, but, there's other things I can do…and you know it." Putting a hand on Matt's back to give him the 'go-ahead' signal, Alex follows behind the trained cop, hoping he knows what he's doing. Boots crunch reassuringly on rock underfoot as she sneaks around with him towards the back of the building to take care of the van and crew.
By the time Claire glances down at her own cell phone, Daphne's already whooshed away to find a car and block the road. Vehicular sabotage she can do. Pulling the knife from the harness she wears under a black hoodie, she heads off in the direction of the van, breaking into a run. She's not as fast as Daphne, but she's there as fast as her short but athletic legs can get her there. Kneeling quickly at each tire, her knife makes quick work of the rubber. She doesn't worry about the guard — if he sees her, he can try and kill her.
Next, she runs to the front seat, jerking the door open and peering under the steering wheel. "They show this in the movies… come on…" she murmurs to herself, reaching around beneath the wheel until — yes! — there's the gaggle of wires that she jerks down, then slashes through with the blade. That should do it. Claire exits the vehicle, looking for Alex and Matt — not that she knows who they are — or the guard — knife out in and ready to fight should any of the "baddies" come her way.
Speedster has her orders. Turning from the capitalized commands, Daphne finds Claire, shooting the girl a quick brave look. "Hey. Looks like I got me a role. Don't wait up." There's no warning other than that before her standing figure becomes a moving blur, streaking towards some other building or another and — more importantly — its unguarded parking lot. She looks for something big and clunky: something you wouldn't want to run into. It takes less than a second to search the entire vehicle for the hidden spare key and then another less than to get in and sitting.
Behind the wheel, Daphne does pause. Briefly. To acknowledge the fact that she's never operated a vehicle before because, well — why the hell would she. But concerns are dashed aside as she reaches short legs to slam what she is glad to find is the gas pedal. The car is slow as molasses, but with split-second reaction time, it cuts down a bit on the way to sticking the thing sideways across the lone road out.
She takes the keys with her as she runs back, never hesitating because she notices mid-stride that no one else seems to be around. So it's straight into the building. Safe to say, first person she sees is getting a powerful right-hook.
There's only a handful of guards around the building. One pacing near the van, and one getting shot in the head by Cody. As he falls, no one hears him make a sound, but that doesn't mean they won't hear what happens out by the van. The guard did notice the approach of Claire, and pulls out his weapon and begins shooting as soon as she exits out the side of the now damaged van. And his weapon doesn't have a silencer, nor is it using darts or power-negation this time around. Plain old bullets. The darts probably would have worked better.
"Someone's here!" he yells into his radio as he begins to reload, not expecting the girl with the knife to still be able to move.
As soon as the first guy inside gets the message, he finds a fist connecting with his face and knocking him back against the wall, as his hair ruffles with speed.
So much for stealth.
"We're under attack!" Another man yells over the radio, moving to grab onto a transmitter, to send a message out for back up. But someone else has the ability to stop such messages from getting anywhere fast.
"Heroes don't — " Micah begins before shaking his head, "We'll do what needs to be done." He's uneasy with his own answer, but it's the truth. At Cody's signal, Micah traipses after her — it's safe to come alongside the building. But at the sound of gunshots, his eyes widen, and then array of radio messages and transmissions enter his own radar. Clutching his phone tightly, he clamps his eyes shut, and kills the signal to the fullest of his ability, making this building essentially radio-silenced and himself focused on his phone.
The trio enters the building now that the side is cleared out — Cody in the lead. Rebel reaches into his back pocket and takes out the remote, poised for action for when it's needed.
Cam, while Micah pulls out the remote, pulls out his own tazer. He frowns at the talk of (and action of) killing, but he doesn't offer a word of complaint, but he himself seems satisfied with his tazer. (Assuming it even works, after all this time.) In any case, he sticks close to Micah, staying back from Cody as they make their way into the building.
Rounding a corner, Matt finds himself face to face with another guard not five feet away. He's only a little surprised - he knew they'd have someone posted somewhere along this wall, and this isn't a bad place to put them - certainly less so than the guard is to see him.
« You're in danger. Don't move, don't talk. »
Not two seconds later, another guard shows up, heading the other direction at a dead run. Yes, the bad guys are trying for strength in numbers, too. Here, have a tranq dart to the gut for your trouble…
There's noise, chaos the yells of people as the trio enter the building and Cody grunts. Motioning the two teens to the wall she crouches and strafes along the side. "Tazer kid, you watch our backs.." She whispers as she jogs along at a comfortable pace. "Stay down, stay quiet. Noise is bad." Whatever Micah is doing, she's hoping it's working.
Warehouses are great for one thing, that's cover. Running from pallet of stuff to box to barrel, the agent works her way across one wall while counting off the number of guards on the inside. "Five guards… I don't see much more than that. Let me get a little closer."
When the guard comes running out, Alex lets Matt know that she's got this one. Either he shoots the guard and he goes down on his own, or Matt shoots the guard and he goes down with some help. Regardless, Alex holds out a hand and gives it a little side-to-side waggle. The earth beneath the running guard gives a little tremble, hopefully enough to see a nice stumble, maybe a fall, to make an easier target for the tranq. To ensure he's down for the count, she turns her hand palm up, then turns it over, making a pretty good slug of dirt roll over the body, keeping the head free, but enough to make escape or movement difficult without help.
"Come on, the others are probably inside by now," she whispers to him. She moves in a crouch around the side of the building, toward the front door, as instructed by Micah's coordination and planning.
While they can't kill her without a really lucky — or unlucky in her case — shot, the bullets still throw Claire back with their impact. One hits her shoulder and one hits her chest before she manages to launch herself at the guard, tackling him as he shoots yet another bullet — though this one goes wide, hitting the van instead as he ends up on his back with her on top of him. She uses the element of surprise (and the horror in his face as he looks at her bleeding and oozing body even as it heals itself) to grab his gun. She pistolwhips him so that he slumps over, not wanting to kill him if she can help it.
"Psst. Is this good enough or … you got a tranq, buddy?" she hisses at Matt and Alex a little ahead of her, as she gets to her feet and hurries to catch up, a bloody mess but very much alive.
Stealth has got nothing against speed. Oblivious to the machinery manipulation going on, and generally uncaring anyway, Daphne also has a high-powered shove for the man operating the radio. His body's barely acknowledged the impact before there isn't even a blonde flicker of her left in the room, her goal to hook up again with Team Leader.
The warehouse provides a veritable funhouse of twists and turns, all catering to Daphne's maneuverability so that, coming to the stretch with the guards, she creates an almost figure-eight of running paths, zipping by each one. For one she puts out an arm and delivers the world's most damaging clothes-line. Another is taken out at the knees and then returned to after a circuit for the felling blow. Third and fourth are tossed together. The fifth she just good ol' punches.
Then, having trekked most of the warehouse floor by then, she makes her way to where the others are creeping along the wall; as she comes to a halt, her head is tilted, her fists planted on her waist. "So, we doing this thing tonight, or what?"
Speedsters a big cheaters. As the last of them finally drop to the ground, almost in slow motion compared to how they were taken out, it seems she missed one room… cause there's the sudden sound of something knocking along the floor of the warehouse section of the building, a bouncing metal object, that suddenly hisses and begins releasing a gas into the air. A familiar scent that hits those inside first, draining them of their abilities and bringing things to a bit more of a stand still. At the same time, those outside hear a loud FERWHAP sound, like something one would expect to hear in a movie, as a ray gun goes off. Daphne's more familiar with it, as the sound she sometimes makes when she runs faster than the speed of sound.
The ground starts to shake, the sound resonates off the building, and the wall on one of the sides rips apart, sending brick and masonry exploding outwards, lifting those outside off their feet and throwing them a bit. Even the van gets pelted with debris from the outward explosion.
There are two guards, moving out of the rubble, with a woman, arms held behind her back, and— a gas mask held against her nose and mouth. That doesn't stop the sonic vibrations that emanate around her, though, as she stumbles outside. It shakes the ground, digging into the soft rock of the island, disturbing it, and threatening to activate inactive fault lines around Manhattan. Only one person there can feel this, though, and only one person can stop it from happening.
At the same time, to the south, a black cloud appears in the sky, like a huge explosion occured to the south. Bright flashes of light illuminate the cloud in places, like lightning— only it looks like no storm cloud they've ever seen.
Daphne is issued a quick smile, "Yeah, we just need to — " the sound of metal is barely acknowledged, but the sudden quiet in Micah's head as the gas is released in the air is disconcerting, although not nearly as disconcerting as the vibrations against the building. The trembling, earthquake-feel causes the technopath to stagger, losing his balance. Staggering to the ground, this feels familiar. "We need to get out of here," he says incredulously.
When the gas is released, Cam suddenly feels *cold*. Ice armour isn't so pleasant when one isn't adapting to the temperature. "Oh no." Before he can say any more, the so-familiar vibrations start, and it's all he can do for a moment to stay on his feet. He nods quickly in agreement with Micah, "Way we came in?"
Pausing briefly to arch a brow at Alexandra's handiwork, Matt decides to split the difference, handing the tranq gun to her while keeping the revolver as an emergency fallback for himself—
—then, before he has time to brace himself or even shout a curse, the shockwave from the explosion slams him backward and throws a cloud of dust into his face. One of the guards, knowing a good opportunity when he sees it, draws his own gun in anticipation of a clear shot.
Heading toward the building, Alexandra is lifted into the air and thrown down to her butt in the dirt. The heaving motions in the ground was unexpected, to say the least, and it takes a moment before her reflexive calming sets in. In a small radius about her, the earth is silent and still, as she fights back to her hands and knees on the ground, debris showering down. "Matt!" Alex yelps, hurriedly crawling toward him. There's no time though, and rather than try and use the gun, she uses the churned earth and debris; a little upward flick of her wrist sends a shower of small pebbles and rocks heading at the guard like a shotgun blast.
The destructive vibrations, the ones shearing the building apart, are the ones that the heroes are fleeing from. The others, the ones deeper in the earth, are the ones that bring the human seismograph to a stop. "Oh no…" she mumbles. "No…no, that's not good." Whatever the cause, seismic, sonic, whatever, the vibrations are digging into something very bad, deep deep underground. One fault line leads to another leads to another, and it only takes one to set a terrible chain reaction into motion by bringing an otherwise seismically-stable area into life. "Matt…there's…something bad is brewing…I can't go in there. I won't be able to do anything about it!" As she talks, she sinks her hands into the dirt and tries to focus. Closing her eyes, she breathes deep and attempts to quiet the heaving earth in a larger, growing radius.
Not too long after the gas starts going off, Cody's hair begins to fall in large clumps from her scalp. "Go, go, go, go.." she orders the trio behind her. It's quite possible that Daphne will recognize Powder from Governor's Island. She looks the woman over as she tries to keep her own balance, "You good to make it, Millbrook? I'll carry you if I need to." It's not meant as an insult, really, but speed is of the essence here since there's exploding walls and a whole bucket full of sonic boom in the middle of the room. With the vibrations, the agent doesn't even feel comfortable taking aim at either of the woman's two guards. It's quite possible that she could be shaken even further and hit Lilian instead of them.
As Claire runs to catch up with Matt and Alex, she gets thrown back against the van, her head contacting with enough force to jar her a bit, to send her reeling down to her hands and knees. It just takes a couple of shakes of her head before her body heals itself, and her green eyes focus once more. She runs to Matt and Alex, coming to a skid on her knees beside them as she catches what the other's saying. "What do you mean, something's wrong?" she asks, eyes wide. "Aside from, you know, the earthquakes and all that?"
There have been slight disturbances all over Manhattan, ever since Micah's text message went out. Perhaps 'disturbance' isn't really the right word. Animals seem to become agitated. Maybe they sense the pending earthquake; it's certainly possible. Animals have a way of sensing things long before people do.
But the agitation turns into something else… Organisation.
Dee figured that if ever there's a time to use her power and risk being caught, it's now. Granted, no one will really realise that it's one person causing all this, which makes things work out a whole lot better than if she had to, say, give the animals verbal commands. Someone will come up with a plausible explanation as to why a large number of stray dogs are heading across the various bridges onto Ward's Island, and it'll probably have something to do with the deep earth seismic activity.
And what's more, the animals that already live there - deer, foxes, racoons, cats, hawks, a couple bobcats, a whole massive flock of birds - starts gathering as time goes on. It almost seems like word is passing from one creature to the next.
Dee sends a test to Micah once she and Graham reach the island: «sry i'm late. brought an army.» It's typed quickly, mostly because the concentration needed to keep natural adversaries from tearing each other apart is immense. Once they all have a purpose, they'll be thinking less about food and more about getting done what needs to be done.
The uptake from Daphne isn't immediate, uncharacteristically; she spreads her legs to help keep upright and only glares at the midget-sized heroes. "You're kidding! You just got in — fine, let's go." Somewhat obliviously, she puts out her hands to get a hold of Micah and Cam and… stumbles forward an awkward and embarrassingly slow step. Oh. Oh it was that gas smell. "Oh — no, no, no, no — don't even think about it," shot off to Cody of the migrating hair, "I'm still not even — you know what, not right now." A sentiment clearly punctuated by things falling and exploding (OH NO), which is quite enough motivation for her to resume her grip on the boys, if only to give them a hearty shove. "So then go." Everything's going slow, oddly slow, but then again, so is she: and slow debris falling from the sky can still crush you. Taking up the paces with everyone else, Daphne only hesitates strides to make sure that the two young boys are always ahead of her — and on their feet.
The dogs probably don't like the sound that follows the shotgun-like blast of earth and rocks that hits the two remaining guards at the woman between them. The sound doesn't immediately follow, though, as they all go down. Still moving, still alive, but definitely wounded. The gas inside can be seen, leaking out of cracked windows, but most of it got shot into the warehouse portion of the building, not the area that the two guards are exiting from. The two guards with the woman that Micah wanted them to save—
The woman who now has shrapnel of earth sticking out of her arms and chest—
The woman who starts to scream moments later, the gas mask she'd had against her mouth falling away. Those vibrations that Alexandra was trying to get under control goes wildly against her favor. Around Lilian's body, subsonic waves ripple outwards, so low they can't be heard over the screams, but with major effect on the earth below. That earthquake she's trying to stop is threatening to start again, as the fault lines are shifting. This is exactly what killed Micah's parents— a sonic induced earthquake. It's true they might be able to save the UN by causing it here, but there's bridges that go over Ward's Island, a psychicatic center not too far away— And a park, where children play.
The dogs that run across the bridges whine, warn of danger in their barks and in their mental voices, but they keep going, compelled by the woman who led them there. All those are side effects of her ability, but the unnatural tremors have a worse effect on the building she's laying next to. A sink hole begins to form, pulling against the foundation, and taking part of the warehouse with it. A wall falls, allowing in some fresh air, but at the same time— the ceiling threatens to crash down on those still inside.
Save the world, but at what cost?
Dee's text message grabs Micah's attention, as he's pushed forward by Daphne, he reaches into his pocket with his right hand and grasps his phone and attempts to text. Except he can't. Not that way and considering he isn't used to texting the old fashioned way, he's not about to stop moving and pull out his phone to text conventionally. He continues to stagger some as the ground shakes beneath him, his centre of gravity completely thrown off. Daphne's shove only causes another stagger, but it gets Micah moving forward again.
The vibrations were enough of a distraction for Micah so that he nearly forgot the remote control in his hand. Heeding Cody's orders, he begins to move back towards the door. Also, entirely unsure of the range on the remote (and with no way to gauge it ability-wise), he pushes the button to deactivate a nearby collar.
Cam starts to run immediately after Daphne's shove, dropping his tazer to free his hands to catch Micah as they end up stumbling together at one point. More agile than his foster brother (if only by a little), he has a slightly easier time keeping his feet so he moves a bit faster as they make their way back outside, towards what he hopes will be safety.
For a cop, getting shot at is a familiar risk. Having buildings threatened with massive damage is another thing entirely - not unheard of, either, but more the fire department's bailiwick. The shaking is bad enough that Matt has trouble just keeping his feet, much less aiming a thought toward the epicenter, but he gives it a try at least. « Pass out! »
Hands buried to the wrists in the dirt, Alexandra tries mightily to keep the earth from shifting too much under them. It's an ordeal, to say the least, and it shows on her face. Her eyes are shut tight, oblivious to what's happening around her; cords stand out on the sides of her neck as she grits her teeth in an attempt to keep those vibrations from shaking the island apart. Should that fault go active, it's likely a lot more than this single warehouse will crumble, so she focuses her attempts to quiet the earth as far and as deep down as she can, passing on trying to save this building, in order to keep the overpasses, the hospital, and the park standing.
The now bald agent is still yelling at the kids, as Micah pauses to deactivate the collar, she stops just behind him. Though she doesn't quite recognize the small device, it's not hard to figure out what he's trying to do. The rubble tumbling all around them is a little threatening, so she shields him as much as she can with her own body. "I'll take care of Micah, just go!" she shouts to the other two. The wall behind them is already starting to crumble and bricks are shaking loose from the wall. In an attempt to keep the from falling on Rebel she wraps her arms around him from behind and hunches, taking some of the falling debris on her back.
Claire looks between the people she's supposed to meet up with and the people exiting the building. She glances at Matt. Pass out? What? She doesn't understand, and she gives a shake of her head of confusion, then looks at Alex, who looks like she's trying to hold the ground together with her bare hands. Okay then.
The tiny regenerator takes a deep breath. "Here goes nothing," she says, getting to her feet. She looks like, by all accounts, she should be dead, with bullet holes in three places of her clothing and more blood than should be outside of her body staining the fabric red. With another deep breath, Claire takes off in a run toward the guards and the woman they're carrying, hoping to distract them. She lifts a gun, aiming to disarm and down, not to kill. "Let her go!" she adds — just in case the guards haven't figured out why they are there.
Dee doesn't feel the quake at first, but the dogs - and many of the other animals she's got gathered - tell her quite early on that something's happening.
Those outside the building will notice the animals - against all odds - coming closer to the building and the growing tremors. Several seem to be intently searching, ears pinned back against their heads. Two deer, which shouldn't be out in the daylight, let alone around any people, timidly approach, and then turn tail and flee as soon as their eyes fall upon Lilian. Dee has released them; they've done all she's asked them to do. Their white tails are like flags as they flee toward safety.
Other animals wait warily by, while the two bobcats find their way into the building. Why? The reason becomes quickly apparent. They're dragging people out, somehow - inexplicably hefting unconscious souls onto their backs and running them from the building.
Out of all the animals who are here, one seems somewhat out of place. It's a meerkat, in New York City, who desperately needs— A lookout post. Claire, with her blonde hair and somewhat lookout-postyness is the perfect place to keep watch, and so that is where he goes, up on the cheerleader's head.
«THE BIG MAN-THING IS FALLING WITH THE BRICKS AND PEOPLE AND THERE'S a puffy cloud that looks like a pomegranite LOUD NOISES I THINK THE EARTH IS SHAKING THIS LOOKOUT POST SMELLS LIKE HAIR OH HEY IT IS HAIR— »
Claire will suddenly find Yossarian nose-to-nose with her. "Tk-chk," he says, which is Meerkat for 'ohai.'
And then, Yossarian shrieks, because suddenly Claire is running and yelling and— «SHE HAS ONE OF THOSE SMALL BOOMSTICKS!!» the meerkat alerts Dee, before attempting to burrow down the back of Claire's shirt for safety.
Daphne's used to running on all sorts of terrains, but the extended time with all the shaking takes its toll even so. Keeping the two ahead of her, she notes Micah's actions, but more so Cody's. She twists sideways, almost skipping for several paces to look back at the agent, for whom she cares little, and the springy-haired boy, for whom she cares slightly more. "Well, don't stop!" But what can she do but heed her own advice; after a second's hesitation, a crease of concern and indecision on her face, she turns around again and bolts full-force, once again getting an arm towards Cam to get him as quickly back on his feet should he stumble.
When the door's in sight, it's all she can do to not literally kick the younger kid out. "Keep going!" She instructs, but herself pauses, glancing into the warehouse — for those stupid stragglers.
Dee isn't alone, as a tall and scrawny man comes up behind her, not flanked by various animals, only the one, a monkey who is trying to ride in the downed hood of his hoodie. It's tiny face peeks out over his shoulder, anxious and not liking the sounds she hears at all. Lil may be about to meet her namesake again, but with all the yelling and the tremors and— she doesn't like it!
Lightning and black hang to the south, high in the sky like a storm looming. Blocked partially from view by trees, the city skyline, and various tall bridges that span the islands, it's difficult to tell exactly where it's coming from. The black cloud seems to crackle, with something akin to lightning, and the rumbling of the ground could be thunder— but it's not. The flock of birds comes closer to the building, wanting to flee, but staying, until a cone of sound rips through the air towards them.
Lilian heard the mental command, the collar around her neck clicks open, but between pain and panic, it doesn't seem to have changed things too much. The flock breaks apart, birds taking wing away from the blast, some falling to die twitching. They were hit by something that can't be seen, but it can be heard.
The ground and the buildings fluctuate between shaking and not shaking, just as Alexandra thinks she has it under control, another wave eminates. But— without her, the whole island would be sinking. And worst, the city would be hit by the biggest earthquake in the history of the city.
"You have to stop!" a male voice tries to scream over the piercing noise, that sounds very much like something breaking the sound barrier.
This time it hits him, Graham, who came with Dee, sending him flying back against the wall of the already shaken abandoned building. More things inside fall down, the ceiling caves in in places, but a wall also falls down, giving those still inside an exit.
The monkey climbs out of the hoodie as the former GAMMA Protocol scientist slumps, head bleeding, and scurries off to fetch something in her tiny hands. A nearby dart gun, that fell out. Not something the monkey, even the very smart monkey that she is, can use— but maybe someone else can.
Cody is sent an appreciative glance, particularly as the remote control is activated. Micah shoves it back into his back pocket. With the ceiling falling all around him, his own instinct is to freeze — that's basically what happened last time before D.L. moved Micah and Cam into the safe. And then the wall falls: an easy out!! Micah manages to move now — out the hole-that-was-once-a-wall and into safety!
Cam does hesitate slightly when they reach the newly-formed exit to look back for Micah, but at Daphne's urging he's quickly outside and running as fast as he can manage to get a safe distance from the building. Only after getting far enough he thinks the building won't fall again does he slow and look back, grinning in relief as he sees Micah making it outside. That's when he finally looks around, taking in everything else going on.
Keeping low to the ground, stalking forward a couple paces at a time as the rumbling of the ground waxes and wanes, Matt keeps his focus on Lilian, once again attempting to push into her thoughts as strongly as possible - without, as he briefly returns Claire's gaze, hitting anyone else with it by mistake. One hand reaches down toward where his supply of Delta Solution is stored - he might need it to finish the job, but it'll also do no good if the shot goes wide…
Kneeling down in the dirt, Alexandra is doing her best to keep the whole island from coming apart, but it's a struggle, especially with debris falling around her. She's only barely aware of her surroundings, as chunks of broken brick and shattered glass whump her on the broad of her back. Each hit causes her to gasp and yelp out, each hit causing a slight intensification of the tremors until she can refocus. In a moment of clarity, peeking through squinted eyes, she catches sight of Matt and Claire and the others pushing forward, reaching for their guns. Fat lot of good they're going to be if they're shaking too much to get a shot. The best she can do to help them? Beneath their feet, a small little plateau of more stable earth, soft, that dampens some of the temors; hopefully they realize it's there.
The hole in the wall is as much of a godsend as it was a pain to get. If they survive, Cody's going to really feel it in the morning. She stumbles through the hole in the wall just as another load of bricks fall, causing her to dodge to the side to avoid getting hit in the head. "My kingdom for a helmet.." she mutters to herself, it's likely that she might be getting on if one of the bricks hits her in the head. That would happen just before they put her on a short bus to someplace with nice white coats and lots of drugs to keep the damaged people mellow.
When she finally makes it out of the building, she manages to muddle her way a safe distance from the debris. The kaboom happens and she flattens to the ground, almost instinctively, and covers her head with her arms. Shell shock? Not as much as self preservation at this point.
Meerkat? Claire is interrupted in her run by the tickling feet and that little chatter that has her heart leap into her stomach. What. The. Hell. She's startled, but luckily for her the shaking and thundering has not only Claire stumbling to the ground, but the guards. Once down, she gets to her knees, peering down her shirt with disbelief, but then she notices other animals around and … helping?
"Can I have that?" the human asks the monkey, reaching for the dart gun and taking it out of the tiny humanlike paw. "Thank you so much." Is she really talking to a monkey? Could this day get any weirder?
Kneeling, she aims for the woman who is making the world fall to pieces. She takes a moment, steadies her aim, and shoots.
It's never a pleasant thing to hear the dying screams of animals inside her head, and this is no exception. It hurts her more than the sonic boom, but it does have one advantage - namely the fact that she falls to her knees long before the wave hits her, so she's thrown a lot shorter of a distance when it does catch her. Skidding along the ground, she comes to rest a few feet from Graham, pushing herself up on one elbow.
Crap. Lil has a weapon. "No— no…" she says, before remembering that she can just ask the monkey to give it to someone who can use it. Claire is nearby. «Give it to her,» Dee instructs, holding out her hand to point. Reaching is painful; she must have scraped her shoulder in the fall. As well, some of the brave animals she brought with her aren't so brave anymore. Many of the dogs have dissolved into barking, one of the bobcats has fled, while the other pulls another person from the rapidly crumbling building. She issues a request to the dogs: «Herd the people away from the building.» Who knows what way it'll collapse when it does? Or if the sink hole that's forming under it will claim the lives of anyone standing in a close radius.
A huge buck, seemingly unconcerned with the shaking of the ground, suddenly appears next to Alexandra, taking the brunt of the objects that are flying at her, protecting her. Though it's still early in the spring and his antlers have just started to grow, it's easy to tell that he's old, past his prime, and yet still as majestic and powerful as he always was. It's without Dee's urging that the creature protects the earth-bender; perhaps it's out of purpose. Maybe it realises that she intends to save the island. Or maybe it's a baser instinct that keeps him there - like the fact that the ground seems a little bit less hostile near her.
The pushing of thoughts in Lilian's mind seem to finally calm some of the waves of sonic energy emanating from her. Still half laying down, she looks around, seeming to see what she has caused, and shaking with pain from the pieces of rock embedded in her.
To the south, that black cloud suddenly changes, turning white. A flash erupts across the sky, like something just exploded, but no sound, no smoke follows. In fact, when it clears, the sky looks fresh. With less shaking, and no more screams, the dart sales freely through the air, hitting her in the chest, and lulling her into sleep. The tremors can now be stopped, pulled into control, and Alexandra can finally feel some of what happened to the south— something different, but similarly destructive.
Pieces of the building continue to fall, as gravity takes over most of it—
But the immediate threat is ended, as one of the guards finally seems to be unconscious, and the other just looks around like he's not sure what's going on. And his hand starts to reach toward the weapon at his belt…
Walls breaking away, while not normally a welcome sight, at least brings the grim satisfaction to Daphne that the other two aren't about to be warehouse-crushed. She hangs a moment too long, however, and the next earth-shaking knocks her backwards. Both blessing and curse, the doorway she was braced in stops her from going very far — with its hard concrete presence. Momentarily winded, and definitely bruised, she scrambles to her feet as now even that part of the building threatens to surrender to the tremors.
Whether things are stopping or not, it's still chaotic outside and a quick glance is not enough to find Cam's refuge; the less speedy speedster only discovers she's brought herself to standing near what must be the one guard too stubborn to just be knocked out like everyone else.
Playing out to her like a slow-motion scene in a movie, Daphne ducks down to retrieve a happenstance piece of debris and then goes running up to the guard's back, swinging for the fences — or, his head. "That's enough of that!"
Once he'd exited the building, Micah had continued to move away from it, certain of its imminent collapse, but as he regains his bearings his attention is drawn to the chaos on the horizon. Eyebrows furrowed, he stares at the black smoke that turns white followed by the flash. But there's something reassuring about the sky clearing. In fact, the fresh looking sky, causes Micah to smile broadly. Once again the future seems bright.
Cam steps over by Micah then, following his look to the sky and then glancing around again, looking to Daphne knocking out the guard, to the animals, to the falling building… and just taking a moment to take it all in. He looks back to Micah then, "That didn't go as planned, but looks like we're all ok."
As soon as Lilian goes down, Matt breathes a sigh of relief - figuring he would have missed his own shot unless he'd put her completely under first, it was mostly just a fallback idea in case her ability somehow kept going even while she was unconscious. Belatedly spotting the steadier patch of ground in front of him, he leaps toward it, then shades his eyes with one hand as he spots some of the animals running by. Another ability in play, or were they just abandoning a sinking ship? Whichever, at least they didn't get in the way.
The island is finally, thankfully, brought back to a more normal state of solid ground. The overpasses and trees that had been shaking and swaying, the buildings that had been rattling and shaking, causing dust to fall from the ceilings and things to rattle off tables all settle down, as the cessation of Lilian's ability allows Alexandra to finally, bring the island back under control. It takes time and effort though, and by the time she's pulling her hands out of the dirt, the buck that had been working as a shield for her has wandered off, no longer finding this place the safest due to the proximity to humans. Dragging herself to her feet, she's shaking all over, flushed, and beaded with sweat from the effort. "I…don't know what just happened…it's not just here though. Something bad…" she says, pointing a shaking, dirty hand in the southerly direction.
The shaking is over and, very tentatively, Cody peeks up from the safety of her arms. Slowly, she scrambles to a stand and brushes herself off. She's posturing, like a man who's just been shut down by a pretty girl. It never happened. She was not just flat on the ground. Shading her eyes with one hand, she peers up at the now clear sky and lets out a huff of breath. "Mission accomplished then?" The hand goes down to reach into her pocket where she pulls out a pair of broken sunglasses and attempts to fit them over her face. She's going to look cool, darnit, but she falls just shy as the glasses fall apart while on her face and hit the dirt at her feet.
Once the woman goes down and the world stops shaking, rattling and rolling, Claire glances down at the dart gun in her hand, seemingly surprised. She then glances back at the monkey, one brow arching with amusement.
"Thanks again, Rafiki," she says with a grin before peering down her shirt where the meerkat is still nestled. "It's safe, Timon." The only names she can come up with are Disney ones at the moment, but she's a child of the '90s. Holding the dart gun down by her hip, Claire makes the rest of the distance toward the woman on the ground.
Dee pushes herself to her feet along with everyone else who's doing so, eyes glancing briefly to the sky as it clears. Shuffling over toward Graham, she checks to make sure he's alive. Poor guy. Of course, she never quite completely dismissed the fact that he had a hand in all of this, but she doesn't want to see him dead.
«Yossarian,» Dee calls, reaching out for him to assure he's okay. Appearing from Claire's shirt, he first sticks his nose into her ear before sliding down her back and to the ground, where he runs back over toward Dee. Yes, mission accomplished! Yossarian did all the hard work!
Most of the wildlife is gone now, with a few of the tamer species, like pigeons, hanging around just because they have nowhere better to be. "Y'all right, Mate?" she asks Graham, giving his shoulders a shake. "Fun's over. Time t'go introduce ourselves to the other kids."
"Feel like I just got thrown into a god damn building," Graham says with a hand to his bleeding head, before he tries to push himself to his feet. Lil hurries over to him and crawls up his clothes, to touch at his broken head like she could fix it. "I'm fine, Lil, just— ow, don't poke that," he adds, picking her up off her shoulder and holding her against his chest, as he walks over to the guards. One with a matching head wound courtesy of Daphne Millbrook and a piece of debris.
"Lilian?" he asks, but the woman doesn't respond. "She's going to need a doctor— did everyone get out of the building?"
There's so many people who may not have made it, so much that could have gone wrong—
"Thanks," he adds, hand reaching to touch the hand of the woman he'd been betraying the Protocols for for months now. all because a year ago he helped capture her…
Unconscious guard at her feet, Daphne tosses her make-shift weapon aside to take stock of the others picking themselves up. Face after face flickers vaguely familiar; it's a regular train-day reunion… Her eyes, and thoughts, soon leave the ground-level, though, to find where that cloud used to be. Squinting against the changing lights, she presses a hand to her forehead first, then uses it to guide her gaze back down again, spotting Claire.
Trotting to where others have begun gathering about Lillian or whoever that is, she settles herself next to the known regen and this unknown who's-his-face, looks like a big geek. Speaking of looking, Lilian is examined. The verdict is, "You know, she doesn't look quite as crazy like this. Almost a let-down, really." Which is secret Millbrook code for how close that all was. "Well, we did…" Get out. With a vague gesture towards the Cody, Cam, and Micah side of things. Then, glancing over at Claire, she gestures at her own chest in demonstration. "You've got a little red on you, indestructo."
"We did it," Micah's lips twitch into a broad grin as he agrees with Cam and begins to survey the damage. He shoots each of the heroes the same smile in turn. Pushing the hair out of his eyes, he looks up at the sky in wonder. "We really did it!" His grin turns toothy as he takes a step towards his comrades, a distinct sense of something building within his consciousness; something familiar, warm, and exciting. Hope. The sky is full of it. The earth is tamed by it. And the heroes clung to it. Quietly, wide-eyed and full of wonder, he looks up at the almost-new sky and whispers, "We saved Lilian." Glancing again at each of the heroes he takes a single step forward, "Today, we saved the world."
TO BE CONTINUED… Convergence: The Conference