2008-07-13: Fragmented Clarity


Cam_icon.gif Elisabetha_icon.gif Gabriel_icon.gif Ian_icon.gif

Kory_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif Novak_icon.gif Quinn_icon.gif Rochelle_icon.gif

Guest Starring:


Summary: The aftermath of the attack on the Deveaux Building; the Listies and Kory try to regroup and prepare, through their shock and horror, for the FBI's inevitable arrival.

Date It Happened: July 13, 2008

Fragmented Clarity

The Deveaux Building - "The Batcave"

Arthur Petrelli, on the floor, dead. Gabriel Gray, gun in hand, staring down at the body. Done. Finished. The gun falls from his hand onto the carpet of Kory's apartment, landing with a soft thud. He takes a look around at everyone in the apartment, but for the most part, he ignores them all. He's searching for one person in particular, and he finally spots her— Kory. He moves to her, feet crossing the carpet quickly, and he kneels down beside her, both knees hitting the floor. "Kory?" he says, reaching a hand out and placing it on her shoulder to shake her gently. "Kory."

Breathing, Kory is. In an even, shallow manner, but not rousing even with the gentle shake. Limp like a rag doll. Being unconscious is not the same as being asleep, and Kory generally doesn't sleep. This may be a bad sign. Or it just may be her body going um what the hell just happened and being unwilling to make her a target.

The electrokine is a ragdoll slumped by the wall. But as Ian comes back to something like coherence, he rolls over, props his weight on his hands, peers around blearily. And then he's squirming over to Kory, half-crawling, half-creeping, too dizzy even to fully regain his feet, but in a hurry to see what's happened.

Cam is lying on the floor as well, slumped where Arthur caused him to fall asleep. With no Arthur around anymore, that sleep doesn't last long. The boy sits up, blinking sleepily as he looks around, "Huh? What hap…" Then he sees Arthur's body, just staring a moment.

Balance found in the midst of the gunshot and after the awkward quiet afterwards, Rochelle kicks the wreckage of Kory's front door out of her way, eyes across the room on the now dead Petrelli patriarch. Her field is still up, wavering in decision- she waffles between taking it down or keeping it up. Default wins, and it remains. Now she takes stock of the room, eyes coasting over Cam, blearily waking, and then the others for a moment. And a pause, before Rochelle wanders closer to where Arthur lies, the narrow hole in his head pooling as bulletwounds do. Perhaps making sure that he says that way, though it is really unnecessary.

Lee clings to the wall outside, a ways down, although he doesn't really need to cling. He didn't quite hear the gunshot, or if he did, he thought it was another flashbang, or maybe it was from below. Torn up and a bit confused, he pauses. Then he notices he is bleeding. Going through a window will do that to you. In shock and fear, he tries to get a hold of his breathing.

His cellphone rings. The ringtone is from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. With a groan: "Hello? Oh…yeah. I meant to call you. No, this thing came up. How about next Wednesday? Sorry, I'm not feeling so good. I'll…yeah…I'll text you." Lee decides the most important thing is getting off this wall. He calls out, "Look, I…I think I'm really hurt! I'm gonna….gonna go get…a bandage or something…" The pain is catching up to him. There's a fire escape around the side of the building. He heads for that, hands-and-knees, like he's crawling along the sidewalk rather than along a wall. A bruised and cut-up civics teacher might attract some attention when he descends to the federales, of course.

Quinn was stuck downstairs during 'questioning'. Then the Feds told her she was allowed to go, and she darts immediately up the stairs. The systematic sound of doors opening and closing might indicate that they are doing an apartment by apartment search, so she has to check on her friends.

A gunshot. It should be deafening to Novak. And it is, but not to the degree he's used to. More startling than anything. What's going on? He heard the door crash open, and Arthur face down some unseen woman, but with his back turned… Everything feels numb. Everything sounds muffled. When he opens his eyes, everything is blurry. He didn't really notice that his perceptions were off until after he tried to sense things. 'A Negator' Arthur had said. Novak turns his head slowly to see what's going on, while keeping his arms around his daughter. Arthur dead on the floor. Gabriel standing there with a gun, and then dropping the weapon and moving in to kneel beside Kory, who is unconscious.

Gabriel and Kory. Right there. Both of the people he came here to find. He releases Elisabetha with one arm, reaching slowly into his jacket. A Negator is standing right over there. That means Gabriel is nearly helpless. Even dropped his gun. What a shame. Novak withdraws a revolver from a chest holster, and points it slowly at Gabriel's head. A chance too good to pass up.

Gabriel seems to have reverted to his old ways, meaning Novak's fears are justified. He could come after Elisabetha at some point. He has to be stopped now. "My apologies, Sylar. You are too dangerous to live." Then he pulls the trigger. BLAM.

Elisabetha is still struggling to win her inner war with her anger and confusion and something else, something darker. When the door crashes open, she jumps, the distraction sufficient to drive everything else away. She blinks and leans around Novak, watching as Rochelle appears and Arthur fails to attack her with his gifts.

She watches as someone else walks up behind Rochelle. Gabriel, though she doesn't know his name. He has a gun. She gasps, but can't warn anyone in time. Arthur falls to the floor, dead. This isn't the first time she has witnessed someone die by being shot in the head. Once before, it was Novak who did the deed. Elisabetha, feeling fear of something other than her own inner demons, worries that the man with the gun will go after her Teacher next. Maybe everyone here! She tries to focus, to try to do something. Maybe she can make the gun rust so it won't work. Something! But nothing happens.

She doesn't know why. Sometimes she can't focus properly, but usually she can still feel the entropic energies present in her body, ready to be commanded if she can just concentrate. But not now. When Gabriel drops the gun and runs over to Kory, the blonde breathes out in relief. It seems he's on their side. She looks up at Novak, and smiles. Seems everything is okay now. The bad man is taken care of, and they can go home, and get her Teacher bandaged up, and then everything will be okay.

She hears Lee outside the window and turns her head briefly to see if he's okay. And that's when Novak pulls his gun. When he speaks, Elisabetha turns her attention back on him, and notices he has a gun. And he's pointing it at the other man, and calling him 'Sylar'. Like the word in his room, under the map. She doesn't have time to process the words themselves, or rationalize that maybe Novak is right, and Gabriel needs to die to make everyone safe. Instead she reacts by impulse, her body moving before her minds knows what she's doing, she lunges and yells, "NO!" as she slams herself into Novak's arm, causing him to shoot the wall across the room instead. From the size of the hole, it seems that it would have definitely been fatal if it had hit.

Elisabetha then just lies on her stomach the floor, not having the ability to catch herself, and not having time to react or think about anything else. She's too shocked to do anything more.

There's another jolt from Ian, though it's feeble and diffuse, aimed at Novak - trying to keep him from firing. And of course, Elisabetha jumps him right as he fires it off, so both she and Novak are enveloped in a net of electricity……though at the moment, it's about as powerful as the static shock you get from scuffling over a carpet. Ian looks chagrined, and dizzy, and settles back on to his knees.

Cam blinks, looking up as he hears that voice from the window. Smashing the (now melting) ice still covering his hands on the floor, he stands and runs over to the window, looking out, and says, "Mr. Jones? Wow, cool. Um.. c'mon back up here, bet there's a first aid kit in here." He looks around again… and notices Kory unconscious. He bites his lip, stepping over closer, only to pull up short as Novak pulls the gun. He watches, frozen, as the shot is attempted and deflected.

"Kory? Come on, we need you to wake up so we can get you to a" He turns his head, just before Novak shoots, at the mention of a name he longer uses. "I'll deal with you when" BAM. Novak shoots. Gabriel instinctively throws his body over Kory's to protect her from the bullet, in case the man misses, but the most he gets is a shower of drywall and wood paneling over his head and back from the bullet gone astray. Head snapping back in Novak's direction, Gabriel stands, turning to face him, the expression on his face unreadable. He got what he wanted. Sylar.

Dashing across the room, hand held out in front of him in an attempt to grab the other man by the throat, and should he succeed, slam him up against the wall, he yells in Rochelle's direction. "Drop it! Whatever you're doing that stops powers, drop it now!"

Lee is confused, pauses, "Cam?" he calls, then says, under his breath: "Oh crap, Cam is still up there." The fear on behalf of his student gives him a charge of adrenaline and he begins to climb, fast, more scrambling than climbing really…at least until he gets close to the window, when the wall no longer holds him. He falls again. "Ahhh! Aaagghhh!" As he plummets, gravity whips around again to save him, but smashes him into the wall again, dragging him back down in a long brick-dust-stained scrape. "I can't make it up there!" he yells, clinging to the wall. "Get out of there, Cam, I heard gunshots!" This time he decidedly starts heading for the fire escape. Fool him once…

If anything, Rochelle makes sure that it stays up, bigger than the default, but the fringes of people may be outside of it. Gabriel isn't. She even takes a wandering step closer, lifting her hand to her shoulder and peering silently at her arm before yanking out an absurdly large splinter of wood.

"No." The big woman's answer is curt, though soft, and she looks back to Gabriel with an expression torn between defiance and calm exasperation.

Quinn doesn't have too hard a time, once up the stairs, finding the apartment. She darts in, saying, "Kory, the feds are here.." then stops dead as the scene strikes her, "Oh, crap, body.." she looks around, just in time to see one guy pull a gun at another, and get tackled by some blonde, as she dives, automatically, to duck and cover, "FEDS." she calls out, "Maybe you guys can pick another time to be shooting at each other?"

Kory groans softly, hand going to her head as her eyes flutter open. "…ow…" she whimpers, then things come back to her in the jumbled order often common in the recently traumatized. "PETER! NO! WHAT —" And her eyes fly open, as she lurches upright to a sitting position. Wild-eyed, her gaze tracks quickly over the room, and she's struggling to stand, not yet aware of what Novak attempted. Her eyes are only for her friend, who wears an expression she knows means trouble. "Gabriel," she says, loudly, clearly and calmly, attempting to draw his attention while there's still some of the man by that name left in him.

His shooting, while far from perfect, at the range he had been at, might have done the job. But not now. Not when his own daughter knocks his arm aside, resulting in a hole in the wall, and nothing further. He stumbles back a bit and looks down at Elisabetha in shock. Then he takes aim again when Gabriel thrusts his hand at him. He doesn't fire, though. When Rochelle refuses to drop her Negation field, he even takes a moment from his pained breathing to smile. It's not a happy smile. Then he hears Quinn outside the apartment yelling about Feds, and grits his teeth. For the first time in a long time, his frustration and anger are showing themselves outwardly.

He'll realize later the reasons for it. He has spent so much time around Elisabetha, that her ability has been suppressing his emotions as well as hers. With his long work hours, and now the negation field, he has spent enough time outside of her ability's effects that he is returning to a normal, emotional person. It's possible that his whole plan with Pinehearst was the result of being too numbed emotionally to realize how wrong it was. Not that that's an excuse. Things to think about later.

Right now, he bends down to grab Elisabetha by her left arm and try to drag her to her feet. He continues to point the gun at Gabriel, wordlessly backing up, and if he is successful in getting Elisabetha up, he tries to haul her towards the doorway, with its missing door, and ATTEMPTS to exit. Maybe he and Elisabetha can get out of there before the FBI finish securing the building.

Elisabetha is dragged to her feet by her weak arm, crying out in pain a bit, but unable to struggle effectively. She doesn't know what's going on. Her Teacher has never acted like this before. It's like he's a different person! "Teacher, please! That hurts!" She frowns as she finally manages to stagger after Novak towards the door, still held by the standard female hostage spot. "Why did you try to… Shoot him…? He stopped the bad guy…!" she protests, even as they try to make their exit.

Ian's left crouching by Kory, trying to wake her, looking miserable. It's all literally over his head, and he wasn't sure what that violence was about. And then she's awake, and he's left staring owlishly, not at all certain what to do.

Lee is clambering onto the fire escape just as Novak and Elisabetha emerge onto it above him. He limps, hanging onto the railing, downwards, relieved that gravity is pulling him the same way it does everyone else now. He is about to yell for help to the police car way up at one end of the alley when he sees the two, gun in Novak's hand, making their escape. "This isn't the way." he tells Novak, in a voice that has been torn ragged with screaming - scratchy, throaty. Nevertheless he doesn't attempt to impede them. Just says: "…are you all right?" to Elisabetha as he leans back to let them pass.

Kory's voice breaks through the haze of Sylar at the last moment, causing Gabriel to halt for a split second, just long enough for Novak to get the gun up. With the gun suddenly pointed at him, Gabriel halts his advance on Novak. He backs away, hands held out in front of him. His powers aren't working, and if he takes a shot to the head, it's the end for him. There's nothing he can do as Novak attempts to make his way towards the exit, and he shifts his gaze at Kory for just a moment. Everything is happening so fast. He's killed again, the feds are coming, and he very nearly killed a second time tonight. Nodding at the gun near Kory's hand, giving her a significant look, he mouths something that only she'll be able to see, before turning towards the window and making his way through it, quickly, to a fire escape.

Cam stays standing there, totally frozen, for a few moments. Then Novak's making his escape and Gabriel does too. He walks over to Kory again finally and says, "That was… crazy. Um… should we get outta here now too?" He glances again at the body.

Though tempted to voice her thoughts aloud, Rochelle somehow manages not to, even as the stranger and the one armed girl sidle out, and Gabriel makes for the next exit himself. Her attention is torn away by Cam, but her eyes turn to the prone figure of Arthur Petrelli, and she breaks the pause after Cam. "Or do something with him." Obviously! "And- I- Sorry about the door." Rochelle hazards breaking the tenseness, but the last thing anyone cares about is the mangled entrance, so it isn't that …effective.

Quinn takes a breath as the shooters decide to skedaddle. She is brushing the wrinkles from her pants and she glances at the body, again. She looks around, "Bad guy? I mean, you guys look upset about there being a body here, but not so much about who it is.. Umm.." she glances toward the door, "Crap, that's going to look suspicious."

Kory lets out a sigh, a breath she was holding, lips moving, desperately, until Gabriel turned around to look at her. A taut instant, Sylar giving way as Gabriel shoves back to the surface. She fixes eyes with the dark-haired man, and nods. The gun will have to be disposed of. But her first priority is getting Gabriel out of the line of apprehension with the feds on the way. He mouths something at her, and she gives him a tense smile, jerking her head at him in response, before turning wearily. Novak and Elisabetha are gone too. Good. For the moment, anyway. They will be dealt with. Tonight, even.

Rochelle? When did She-Hulk get here? Au contraire. Someone cares about the door. The owner of it. Because she's got to care about mundane things, because the strange is going to sweep her away if she doesn't. "You broke my door," Kory sighs, shaking her head before deciding it's a bad idea. "Again."

She glances from Rochelle, eyes pausing worriedly on Sophie before turning to Cam. "No, Cam, I…don't think so." She turns to stagger unevenly toward the kitchen for lemon juice and her rubber gloves. "I …milk. Cam, come get the milk." What? "Everybody get comfortable. Things are probably going to get really…really…" She pauses to wobblesway at the kitchen doorway on the way back, her apartment swimming woozily in her vision. "Nnnngh. Ian…Quinn…d'you think you could…?" Trying to shout telepathically for Peter after falling unconscious from Arthur's attack? Probably a bad idea, but the assortment of gifted here is not really conducive to keeping the Batcave and its secrets safe. "…anybody see where I dropped my cellphone?" Calling The Mama is warranted. And getting Sophie some help. That's warranted too. Soonest. The Muse is stretched thin enough that one could almost see through her.

Lee calls out after Elisabetha and Novak, "There'll probably be a substitute tomorrow…" sort of pathetically. He continues his limp downwards, and heads towards the police line. He quickly is met by federal types, and EMT types. "Some guy tried to throw me through a window. No, I never saw him before. No, I didn't see where he went…" he murmurs in response to questions, clearly too shocked to give much information. He dials his cellphone and Kory will quickly find it much easier to find hers, because it rings, with Lee's own very special ringtone, "Talk Talk", by, er, Talk Talk.

Cam blinks in confusion at Kory's words, "Milk? I…" He bites his lip again and nods a little, glancing to the dead body for just a moment again as he steps into the kitchen to help Kory. He quickly moves to be there to support her when she wobbles, though. "Sure you're ok?"

It's all too much for Ian. Despite his attempts to drag himself into full cognizance and make some sort of contribution, the dark eyes flutter closed, and he collapses full length onto the carpet.

That would be quite correct. The Mundane keeps everyone grounded, right? "You're right." Rochelle answers Quinn directly, turning hesitantly away from Arthur and shouldering over to peer out the hole of a door and up and down the hall, checking the space. "I'd shoot him again if he sat up right now." Thank goodness she does not have to. "Some guy ran into my fist on the st-" Thump, Ian goes down, and Rochelle peers over to see what the noise was. "This is going to look very bad once people get to this floor." Door missing, people passed out, the smell of burning, and a dead man. Et Cetera.

Quinn shakes her head, glancing to Kory. "How much do you want to explain? We can go from he was never hear, never heard of the guy to, well, he jumped out that window over there." glancing that very busy window. "But we gotta pick fast and.." she glances to Rochelle, "That's assuming I can do what I do."

Oh. There it is. Kory finds it shoved between a couple books that were knocked off the bookcase in the scuffle. "Lee. What. Not a good time." Did she forget he got tossed out a window? Probably. She'll feel bad later; she's still a bit taxed. "Oh. Sorry. You're okay. Good. What's up?"

"To get the blood out," Kory points out in that sort of enforced, vibrating, violin-string tense calm that probably doesn't have a lot of time left on it before she collapses into a sobbing heap. But not yet. "Head hurts. I'll live. Been through worse." Yep. Been through worse. Nearly dying of being poisoned, that's worse. Right?

And there goes Ian. "Roche." Nothing like a huge traumatic situation to get Kory past an irrational wariness of the Amazon wrestler woman. "Think you can pick up Sizzle-Sith and put him on the bed in the first guest room on the right down the hall?"

Lee's indignant voice comes tinnily out of her phone. "Yeah. I'm still here. Sorry…"

Cam steps back a bit from Kory again and says, "Ok." He goes to the fridge to get the milk as she'd asked as she answers the phone. He looks to Quinn curiously at her words, but stays quiet for now, doing as he was asked, and watching to see what happens.

Rochelle looks wary of the idea coming out of Quinn, but judging that to be leftovers from Gabriel- she lowers the field within the room, and those that are actually self-aware will notice their abilities flickering back on like tired old lamps. "Yeah, yeah, I got'im." Though when she does go to Ian to pick him up, there is a small arc of static, an irritated waggling of her fingers in the air, and a second attempt that succeeds in hoisting Ian up in her arms, before carrying him off quietly to where Kory specified.

Quinn murmurs, "The blood I can do. I can make the door look untouched, but it's just visuals, so we'll need an explanation for that. And the body, and window?"

Lee says, "I'm just checking in to see if everything's all right, I'm down here with the cops, do you all need help?" He actually wasn't there for the murder. He doesn't know that's the worst idea in the world.

Kory glances around, shell-shock beginning to show. "Um, yeah, please. You've seen what this place looks like normal — can you manage that without too much trouble? I've got somebody to call to sort out the man Gabriel saved me from." Who's dead on the floor in a puddle of blood Cam's about to clean up with milk. Don't think about it. You don't have time to think about it yet. You've been through worse. Dear friend dying in your arms? Yeah. That's worse.

"Oh, god, Lee, no. Keep them out. Tell them you …you chased him off or something. Anything. But do not let them come up here. " Please. For once. Without the arguing and the egotistical soliloquizing.

Quinn takes a moment, then she concentrates, feeling her abilities return. She tells Cam, "The stain will still be there, if you want to help get it out of the carpet. If they ask, you can say you were cleaning up some milk. Can you move the body somewhere nobody will trip over it? Going to be hard to explain why they're tripping over nothing there." Then, without fanfare, shimmers or any sort of display, the room suddenly looks… normal. No blood, no body, and even the usual sort of casual clutter of normal people living there. A cup on the table, a sweater tossed over a chair. She keeps the door like it is, and she murmurs, 'They'd notice when they tried to knock. You can tell them he broke in, say, then jumped out the window probably trying to get away? Too quick, you couldn't really do a good description. Does that sound reasonable?"

Lee pauses, then says with exquisite timing and precise words: "Well, I don't think I can do that, they're pretty much going through the whole building from what I can see, but I'm glad everything's okay up there, call me if anything changes, all right?" Who says being a literature major is worthless? You can get the idea across on many levels at once.

Cam, once he has the milk from the fridge and over to the body, now hesitates. "Um… do I just pour it on the blood or what?" He shakes his head quickly to Quinn's question about moving the body, "He's big. No way I could move him." An excuse, mainly, though it probably would be difficult for him. But cleaning up blood around a dead body is one thing, touching the body and even moving it? He can't quite manage to do that. He pours the milk out and then starts working on cleaning the now invisible blood, though.

Kory is not exactly Ms. Universe, but as Rochelle's taken care of Ian and Sophie — when did she do that? Size does not indicate slowness, clearly! — that leaves Kory the grisly and unpleasant task of dragging the corpse of Arthur Petrelli over to near the broken window. "Yeah," she says to Cam. "Let it soak in, then sponge it up in a few. And get my shower curtain out of the bathroom so the cleanup crew can take care of this." Arthur planned to kill them all, and they acted in self defense. That's what she's telling herself currently to help hold it together. "Nnnngh." She groans audibly, using her bodyweight as leverage to move the deadweight that easily outweighs her. "Glad Randall's not here…he'd feel terrible." Seeing powers isn't really useful in situations like this.

"Glad you're not dead. Again. Deflecto boy. I gotta go. I need to call the cleaning crew. 'Bye." She rings off from Lee, struggles some more with the body, and dials another number. It rings. She leaves a quick message: "Yes, hello. Um. It's me. It's happened again. Um. In my apartment this time. Could use your help again."

Cam, once the milk is soaking, nods to Kory and hops to his feet, running to get the shower curtain as she asked. When he comes back out with it, he says to Kory, "Can you call Niki too, once you're done those other calls?"
Quinn glances, "Whoever can help. Hope you're ready." those banging sounds are starting to close in.

"Go ahead and call her," Kory says, setting the cellphone down on the arm of one of the chairs. Her hands and voice are starting to shake. Her faux-calm is beginning to become damaged. "Go for it, Q." She settles into one of the chairs herself, by the window, the shaken expression unfeigned. It's going to be a long night.

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