2010-01-01: Live Free Or Die Hard



Date: January 1st, 2010


In every daring rescue, there is only one important question: who gets to be Bruce Willis?

"Life Free or Die Hard"

New York City: In Transit

Evening. AP Holding facility, NY.

There is a general hustle and bustle in the halls of the building tonight. The familiar faces of guards march into the holding cells of Lena and Tiago, individually; though they cannot see each other to know it to be true, the guards' timing is synchronized. One approaches the young woman; the other the young man, separated by cold walls. They carry a kits, metal boxes. And handcuffs. They have backup, also: extra manpower lingering behind, in case something goes wrong.

But all the necessary precautions have been taken. Nothing should go wrong.

"Go time. Face the wall," Lena's guard says as he wastes no time in unlocking the door to enter and approaching, handcuffs ready to cinch around her wrists.

"You're being booked into transport. Stand up," Tiago's guard says and does the same.

It figures she'd pull the less communicative guard. Lena slowly slides off of her bunk and turns towards the wall but her chin tucks to shoulder to keep him in line of sight. "Go where?" she asks hoarsely. As if to balance this small break in procedure, she's careful to to keep her hands relaxed, chafed wrists turned to accept the shackles. The fight's gone from the teen; Lena's not looking to be knocked around for failing to cooperate. But she has energy enough to feel a flutter of anxiety.

Tiago is lying down upon his bed, hands pillowed beneath an exceptionally scruffy head of hair as he stares, solemnly, to the cold ceiling of what has become his home. But once he catches sight of the guards heading towards himself, the man wastes no time. With quiet, almost aggressive determination written across his features, the man swings his feet off of the bed and sits up straight, subtly lifting his hands to his mouth to pop the two, tiny fork prongs into his mouth. If this is what he thinks it is…is he is to be executed, or tortured once again, then he will have it be know that he will not go down without a fight.

Silent, with his hidden tools in place, the man accepts the shackles and proceeds to follow the guards almost passively, his head held high with pride. It's a contradictory image, for although he obeys and abides by their laws, his eyes are hard and not listless, as they usually are. It is the look of a man prepared to do whatever is necessary.

"Transport. Somewhere better for holdin' people like you," Lena's guard answers.

Tiago's doesn't notice anything out of the ordinary, or if he does, he doesn't care. He just gets the job done.

Both heavily-garbed guards turn each young prisoner around. They each have the same protocol to follow and thus, their movements continue to be synchronized. Once the handcuffs are fastened, the backup guards pin them to the wall to attach heavy, jangling ankle shackles that they pull out of the metal kits. Restraints aren't the only thing that will be weighing down the captives this evening, however: digitized boxes with plastic tubing are strapped to their chests atop the inmate orange jumpsuits. Tubes that are shoved into their nose. A med pack of haze-inducing, double-vision inducing drugs; ability-dampening, blurring, in the case of Lena's.

The first dose as the packs are activated is the strongest. A rush of fog straight to the brain.

"Stay still." "Don't move, now." Not that they're expected to. It's during the first moments of this dulled state that the guards press some small syringe or needle-like device against the sides of their necks, inject them with something that seems to have no further effects. Black hoods come next.

Then the march out begins. Unseen hallways. Heavy doors. Finally, the cold night air seeping into some kind of large, dark garage — if the hollow echos and rumbles of vehicles are any indication — where more guards and an armoured van is waiting.

"Transport? Not…?" But Lena's questioning is cut off, deliberately. She catches her lower lip between her teeth and frowns through the process of being restrained. Being moved was not an expected option and it only heightens her anxiety. Now how are the good guys supposed to find them? But there's precious little time to think about it, when the guard introduces new items to the usual restraint kit. She doesn't resist, not at first, not anticipating that whatever they might give her would work. But when that first mild and disorienting wave of drug hits, Lena's startled enough to try to jerk away from the guards.

Of course, it doesn't take much to pull her back into line. The injection is given, the hood goes on, and soon she finds herself stumbling into the first fresh air she's felt in over a week. The black cloth over her nose and mouth flutter rapidly as she's quick-stepped to the van.

The handcuffs are everyday, normal procedure for him by now. But the ankle shackles? These prove more alarming than one might think. For a brief moment, Tiago stumbles backwards. "It's…" He garbles out in a slur, before silencing himself and taking in a deep breath. With his eyes closed, he allows the remainder of the procedure to occur. Even the nose-shoving, as offensive as it is. There's near no difference in Tiago after the first dose hits him, except for the way his head droops and his feet drag pathetically and he is forced to march forward, even with the scratchiness of his neck.

The prisoners are herded together now, single file in the garage, whether they know it or not. Tiago is prisoner one, guided up a ramp into the back of the waiting van first, followed by Lena, prisoner two, who is in turn followed … by prisoner three.

A slew of guards move into the boxy back of the van, gunmetal grey walls and too many bodies making it claustrophobic even for those who don't have hoods over their heads. However, the guards are neutral-faced as they make sure the prisoners sit on the benches provided along the walls. Tiago is pushed into place on the right. Lena and the other prisoner are sat side-by-side opposite him: like Tiago, the form of prisoner three, crowdedly snug beside Lena, is a muscled one, hard, tall.

The last thing one of the guards does before they all leave the back of the van is carefully lean in with gloved hands to strap a Plexiglas faceplate to Lena's face. Clever girl.

The van rolls out into an industrial part of the city, taking a trek through the cold New York City streets in the general direction of New York Harbor.

Lena doesn't dare say anything while the guards can be heard moving about although she does give voice to a soft whimper when additional straps are applied to her head, making the hood just that much more claustrophobic. Once the doors have slammed shut and the van is in motion, she rocks on the bench and ends bumping against the body beside her. Her head swivels in that direction, bobbing with the influence of the massive dose of drugs in her system. Is it a guard? Or…

"Chi?" Lena hisses. "Chi, is that you?"

It's especially disorienting to be drugged up and blinded, to try and take in as much sensory information a man can. It's an overwhelming, seemingly fruitless task.

But they underestimate Tiago. For if there has ever been a man capable of functioning while doped up, it is him. He has had twelve years of extensive experience in the matter, and his resume is impressive enough to get him to multiple Fill-In-The-Blank Anonymous meetings.

Therefore, once he is put in his place physically, he has the presence of hazy-mind to wait until the door slams shut. And it's only then that he tries his hand at standing, forcing his weakened limbs to hold his weight as he tests his mobility. And then, he hears her voice. "Lena! Lena, baby, is that you?" But, it's not coming from the side of her, rather, directly in front of her. "Where're you? Are you in a…a chair or somethin'? You okay?" With these unintelligent slurs vocalized, the man blindly propels himself forward at an unintelligent speed. It's a good thing there aren't bars separating the two, because he'd run right into them.

The person next to Lena doesn't move nor speak. Instead, he (presumably he?) acts as nothing but a silent human wall.

A guard riding along up front turns to eye the back — there is a solid divider separating them from the prisoners — but the rumble of the engine overtakes what he thought he heard.

The van rolls on along smooth pave, most outside noise masked by the armoured walls.

When Tiago's voice is heard coming from the opposite bench, Lena cringes away from the person beside her. She's expecting a shout, perhaps a hand upside the head. Instead, she ends up being all but crushed beneath the Brazilian's weight as he slings himself towards her. Unintelligent speed plus blind girl means that she isn't braced for impact. Her head connects with the wall of the van, and her teeth do their best to connect through her tongue. What follows is an indecipherable (and thankfully muffled) stream of obscenity mixed with moaning, as she struggles to push Tiago off of her. "Ge'off! Ge'off, you're…I can' brea'e!" It's going to be messy when that hood comes off.

And what a heartwarming reunion it is. The stuff of romantic comedies, it is.

"Hey - hey!" Tiago protests as he is pushed upon his ass, dazed and confused. "I - oh. I thought you were farther an'…I can't see shit. They gotta hood on my head. Baby, can you move? Can you take it off for me? I wasn't tied down none, I can move an' shit." This is quite obvious, seeing as he barreled into the poor girl. Throughout this all, his voice is thick, like there's something to be found in mouth. "I dun think there are guards here - I aint been kicked yet…keep talkin', I need ta find ya." And, gingerly, he tries to inch forward, squirming while still seated upon the floor, towards Lena, until finally, his shoulder makes contact with her leg and he kneels up unsteadily in the moving vehicle.

The van takes this touching moment to veer into a sharp turn. This vehicle clearly fails Safety First 101 with its lack of seatbelts.

"Mine's strapped on." Which makes getting the blood out of her mouth a dicey prospect. Lena winces and swallows instead, pushing off of the silent stranger beside her in order to straighten up. "Nngh, my head…I dunno wha' they gave me but it's…s'strong. There's someone here, Chi…guy? Hey, man?"

When no answer is immediately forthcoming, Lena squirms around to the side, shackled hands lifting awkwardly. "Bend down, Chi, I'll try to pull it…"

It's right about then that the van performs its turn, and the brunette goes sliding right off of the bench and into Tiago. "Ooof!" The hits keep on coming.

From the stranger shackled with the rest of them: nothing. No; scratch that. Something like a low growl emanates from the sturdy person on the bench next to Lena.

"How can one be so tired yet still filled with such hope?" the elder priest says, looking down at the kneeling young man, a wooden rail at the front of the church dividing the two.

The young man looks up toward the clergyman with a small smile that struggles to stay on. "I see the world as it is But I know that there is always a chance to change it. No matter how small that chance is, I have to try Because He calls us to do our best and I'll give nothing less."

* * * *

Gene wakes up start at the beeping. The automated alert almost causes him to hit his head against the steering well, but he catches himself and looks around as he reorients himself. Yeah, he still in his beat up muscle car with the missing door. He pulls out his laptop, checking out what information is coming up. They are coming. Just one van. It would appear that this is not either a large escort or merely they are trying to keep a low profile. Sighing, Gene puts the plan into effect. As the Van passes by a certain point from his camera on the side of the road, Gene pushes a button. A small explosion goes off that takes out the camera But it does something else too. Suddenly, the van, cell phones, and everything of electronic decent within the radius of a football field totally dead. Then black van much further down the road turns on and crawls onto the road. It will likely not be able to drive too long until the AI accidentally drives off the road, but it gives off a GPS signal near identical to the one that is likely in the van that has been stopped.

Those with excellent hearing or those getting out of the car will hear the sound of small engines as well as something that sounds like a truck engine. In the distance, RC cars skip along the cool ground, seeming with large devices strapped their tops. Meanwhile a large F350 Ford moves toward the (hopefully) stopped van IN REVERSE. Why in reverse? Because someone is riding in the truck bed seemingly waiting to act. He's big, he's dressed in all black and he's wielding a car door like a shield. His weapon? A long bat of sorts… except the handle looks like a lightsaber, and the front is painted blue. And seems to have arcs of electricity coming from them. The person's face is hidden by a hockey mask, but they are seemingly big and well-built; he/she/it is likely over six feet in height. As the truck begins to close in on the van, the little RC cars will give off powerful strobes as music blares. Seems like someone is trying some unconventional shock and awe.

If Tiago hadn't just been in Hell for the past couple of weeks, the man would have probably exploded in a series of emphatic swears at being crushed beneath his girlfriend. But how can he complain now? He knows she's alive, and at least well. He's touching her, which is a luxury he hasn't been able to have in ages. And beyond that, things are changing. Whether for better of for worse - they're shifting, and he will no longer be in limbo.

"Ow!" Okay…so maybe Tiago can still complain a /little/. But, it's not his fault, his head just bounced off the side of the car! "Fuck - ah, hey…Babe is that…you're real light. C'mon, hurry it up. Forget about whoever's there, they aint stoppin' us or we woulda gotten hit by now." He is unaware and perhaps indifferent to the happenings outside of the van.

Lena is light because Lena has been trying to starve herself but now is not the time to share such details. She settles instead for grunting while flopping to her knees, balance nearly impossible to manage without bracing against something. It's been awhile since she was even slightly high, okay? And that last time didn't count, those didn't affect equilibrium. Much.

It does not help matters that the van chooses that moment to coast towards a halt. With the world muffled by (fading) drugs and hood as it is, Lena can only surmise that the guards have heard the ruckus. So she heaves her arms up and grabs wildly for anything resembling the hood pulled over Tiago's head. And if it means he loses a little hear when she tears it off, well…he'll live.

"Hurry! Ow, jesus…we're stopping, do you feel that? They're gonna beat us again…" Suddenly it doesn't strike Lena as quite a good idea, to have helped Tiago remove the hood.

The stopping of the van and the sudden and unexpected explosion of strobes and unusual attackers does not have the guards in a good mood.

When it becomes clear that their vehicle will not restart, one of the guards acts. Of four crammed in, it's the one on the far end by the passenger door who shoves outside, a weapon which hefts more firepower than a taser at the ready, pointed at the oncoming truck and its rider. "STAND DOWN AND IDENTIFY YOURSELF!" he yells over the blaring noise. Another guard barrels out and notices the RC cars. "What the hell…?"

In the back of the van, the third prisoner slowly rises now that the wheels no longer turn, squaring back broad, sloped shoulders as if working out kinks. His neck cracks to one side. Whoever he is, he's ready for whatever is upon them.

The man in the truck doesn't say a word. He merely stands up and just walks out of the truck. He has the car door strapped to his arm like a shield a testiment to the weight of the man and the strengh that he wield… But clearly not human. "Try and kill me if you dare… I will spare you either way," comes the voice, which sounds like Darth Vader. The car door is held out in front of the man in the black jumpsuit, clearly preparing to recieve fire from the man.

The six RC trucks (three on either side of the road) continue to do their bright sound and light display. If they can't blind people, perhaps they can at least make it hard to see.

Suddenly, Tiago finds it easier to think and not entirely due to the EMP, either. Because if there's anything that can sober you up in a jiffy, it's pain - and having follicles of your hair being ripped out of your skull… "Ow!" He whines, his eyes blink widely and frantically to acclimate with their current surroundings. It's pure luck that Lena's jerking manages to knock out the tubes from his nose, too. But with eyesight comes the realization that the car is slowing, and with that, a certain sense of dazed urgency. He swears beneath his breath, glancing around to confirm the fact that the third prisoner is not a guard, before glancing down to Lena.

"Yo. Lena. Shut up - okay? Here's what's goin' ta happen - 'cause this is our last chance…we're goin' ta go down fightin', okay? If we don't get out now…we're not gettin' out alive period anyway. I thought Gene knew - I, I had a dream that…nevermind. Here." And by pushing himself to his feet with a groan, he proceeds to try and jerk both the hood and the face mask off of her before plopping himself back down to the floor. "Ima pick the lock of your handcuffs, 'kay? I need you - I need you ta be strong, ta knock out whoever you see, if you can. This is it, baby. This is our chance. It's now or never."

The sound-proofing of the van makes the commotion occurring outside difficult to hear but Lena strains to listen for the doors, at least. If they open…and they do. They're so about to get a beating, and that knowledge leaves her hunkering down close to the floor, trying not to cry like the weakened baby she is. Even when the hood and straps are wrangled from her head, leaving her finally able to spit out a mouthful of blood-tinged saliva, she is not filled with the fire of purpose. No, that she leaves for Tiago. Lena is scared.

"I…I dunno, I haven't been…okay." She gulps, wild eyes rolling up towards the silent figure of the man locked in with them before fixing on Tiago's face. "Okay, okay. I can…hurry, I heard them get out and…" She pauses, gaze cutting towards the front of the van where a door has been left ajar. Is that…music?

"Chi? Chi, somethin's happening…"

Outside, the man does open fire on the Vader figure. the rounds battling the cars' noise in raucous level. While the firing guard seems focused, his shots mostly hit the car door. The other man is having more trouble seeing as he fires his own weapon half-blindly at the miniature vehicles and their lights.

Another man sneaks out of the front of the van, once the driver, and ducks low, trying to skirt along past the offending truck to get to the cab… but he's going in slightly blind.

The third prisoner in the back with Lena and Tiago undoubtedly hears their conversation. Despite not being able to see, he shuffles sideways and drops to his knees with a heavy thud and clamour of shackles. Methodically, he begins to slam his handcuffs against the sharp edge of the bench he left with a heavy force that must hurt with every vicious strike, enough to spark. Eventually he speaks. His voice is deep, and though it is slurred from drugs and muffled by fabric, it noticeably bears a thick accent. French maybe. "I have heard soldiers say, leave no man behind."

The bullet rounds nail the door, but a couple of them hit the mask, shattering it and revealing the face of… THE TERMINATOR. The famous protector of John Conner continues to move toward the man firing upon him, his odd melee weapon raised to strike. If the agent doesn't back away from the back of the van, he might find himself being swung at with a powerful swat of the bat.

Meanwhile, the man coming up to the truck will find something truely odd. There is no one there. Instead, there seems to be a box set upon the truck, along with some sort of weights and machinary around the pedals and steering wheel. There are small cameras that seem tactically installed around the cab. But that raises one important question….

"Lena," Tiago hisses beneath his breath, sacrifices a few, precious seconds to shoot her a look. But unlike usual, there is nothing soft, and warm, and compassionate or coddling in this expression. It is hard and grizzled - determined. He is a man with a purpose, and he uses this purpose as his strength, hoping that his resolve will rub off on her. A bit of tough love can't possibly go wrong. "It's now or /never/, Lena. I need you to do this. Stop worryin' about what's goin' ta happen and jus' /do/." It's difficult, ignoring all the chaos of the world outside the van, but somehow he manages. "We don't have /time/ for failure. I know you can do it. I know you can. Now…" The metal pins are spit out of his mouth and Tiago proceeds to scramble to find them once again. Before hankering down to work. This is the Brazilian at his very best.

"Prepare yourself…it's battle." He murmurs under his breath to his girlfriend before beginning the difficult task that is picking a lock behind his back. Sure, he can pick them in pitch black darkness, but the mechanics are a bit different with his hands restrained behind himself. What ought to be a job that lasts half a minute at most drags on an additional minute, spurred be Tiago's fevered determination to do right before he finally, finally lucks out. The woman ought to feel the grip on her left wrist loosen up. "Now, for me…ha. An' my friends said this was a useless trick."

Before he has the opportunity to celebrate, or even begin working on the time-consuming task of freeing himself, the strange voice breaks through. Suddenly, his attention whips over in the direction of the third individual, eyes wide, before he sobers a little. "Yeah…no man left behind is righ'. Listen, dude, we're goin' ta put up one final stand. Lena, go undo his hood. I'll get ta - Jesus Christ, man! If you wait a bit, I can pick the handcuffs! No need ta break your damn hands off!"

"I think the b-big dude wants to co-come too." Lena pulls her attention away from whatever is happening outside (were those gunshots? Those were gunshots!) long enough to state the obvious. She can't keep her voice any steadier than she can her body, but a ghost of a smile flashes over her blood-smeared lips. "The more the m-merrier, right? Yeah…yeah, I'm good. I'm good, really. Just…just hurry, shit's going down. You think it's the good guys?"

Those reassurances would be far more effective if she weren't shaking enough to nearly rattle the loosening cuff right off of her wrist. It may be a help, may be a hinderance, that the fear and adrenaline coursing through the brunette's body is affecting the drugs being pumped out of her system. As his fingers scrabble at her wrist, Tiago's getting an altered dose of PCP that ends only when the cuff springs free.

Lena stands, unaware of the effect, and goes to do as she's told. At least this time she's careful about not grabbing hair along with hood.


There's not much hair to grab. Tight curls, black scruff. The man Lena unhooks is dark of skin and darker of demeanour, his eyes hooded and immediately full of vindictiveness. But who wouldn't be. After what they've been through. Thick lips scowl in the midst of a growing beard. "Merci, petite fille," he slurs, deep, gruff, before rising.

One of the agents is struck by the bat, whirls, and goes down. His comrade-in-arms moves his attention to the … Terminator? … instead of the RCs. If only they could radio this in. He opens fire also.

By the truck, the other agent can only stare. He tries his radio to no avail before jogging back to the armoured van, around to the back doors to join the efforts.

One of the RC Cars does get hit… And oddly enough EXPLODES. Not much though… Just enough to take out the car and send some plastic flying. Looks like someone didn't want that tech being misused. The rounds pound into the side of the terminator, causing a few sparks to fly here and there, but the terminator is able to bring up the door and begin the similar pattern used on the other guy. As the creepy music ends another song blares from the remaining RC cars.

"o/~ Raindrops keep fallin' on my head!
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed…
Nothin' seems to fit!

It's like being injected with pure adrenaline, and Tiago doesn't even know it. As his heart rate increases, so does his focus, his energy. His very breathing becomes more hurried as weathered fingers strive to maneuver those two metal pins into place, trying to do the necessary to hear that single sound that is honey to his ears. The 'click' that immediately precedes the beauty of freedom. Eventually, bolstered by the boost given by his significant other, he finds success. "Aha!"

Pushing himself to his feet, he finds it necessary to stride ahead on shackled feet to the tall stranger, for the moment ignoring the suspect behavior of the small brunette. "Turn 'round. I dunno how much time we've got - how long that bullshit that's happenin' outside will last. But - here's the plan, okay? They aint goin' ta play 'round - they're goin' ta shoot, so…Lena, Ima undo your feet first. I want you ta run as fast as you fuckin' can away from here, alrigh'?" He gruffs, wielding his instruments expertly and with precision now that he's afforded the luxury of seeing what he's doing. As a result, the handcuffs of the stranger are quickly undone, before he turns to the woman. "No protests. No stickin' 'round to try an' play the hero or save us. Deal? I'm fuckin' serious right now - an' if you don't listen ta me, I'm goin' ta be so fuckin' pissed off at you." Somehow, he's still operating under the misconception that his ire means anything in this life or death situation. He is a simple man, and with that, he moves to unlock one of the shackles at her ankles, to give her more mobility, before following suit with his own and the Stranger's as well.

Again that pale not-quite-smile from Lena, as she tosses the hood away. She seems to be going for wilting rather than vindictive. "Don't mention it, man. All for one and one for all, yeah?" That was a French book, wasn't it? Sure, ninth grade English class. It's funny what comes back to a person in times of stress. Then she's distracted, once again, by Tiago's sudden stream of consciousness bossiness. "Chi, I…" There's a pause, filled her frowning down at him as the last of their restraints are undone. "I dunno if I can run very far, I was…kinda stupid, and…"

And? And nothing, because yet another distraction rears its amusing head. As she kicks away the leg-irons, Lena's head comes up and turns towards the open doors. There's only one group, one person, weird enough to get into a gun fight with that kind of soundtrack.

She seizes Tiago's shoulder, gives it a weak shake. "That's Gene out there!" Kind of.

Another agent is brought down by a swing from Gene's creation. The remaining man is at a bit of a loss, all things considered, but he holds his ground.

The stranger turns when told, turns back once it's all said and done; he's free, and spends a moment flexing his hands — worn from a life of work and strife — before moving through the confined space to the door at the back. He tries the handle, shoves. "Locked, from the outside," he speaks in his unemotional voice and heavy accent. Creole? He glances to the divider between the back of the transport van and the front cab, calculating. Between glances at the doors, the man's eyeing of the other would-be prisoners is just as calculating. "It could fit the girl."

The car door is now riddled with bullets… and it's questionable if it provides decent cover or not. That being the case, the terminator lowers his 'shield' arm, letting the modifed protection fall to the ground with a thunk. The electrified tazer/lightsaber/bat device still rests in one hand, raised for yet another swing, still to the tunes of B.J. Thomas. It would seem that the actions within the van are outside of the robot's notice, the operator likely more concerned with outside threats before deealing with those inside.

It's not bossing! It's directing, and it is this firm sense of direction that is keeping Tiago sane. It is what is keeping the man from breaking down and it is the same sense of purpose that he hopes to instill in the shivering brunette. The same sense of duty that will make her strong. Once he has released everyone from their literal shackles, the man casts aside the pins that have done him so well and proceeds to shed the weight of the mechanism found at his chest, before preoccupying himself with doing the same for Lena. "You were kinda stupid an' what?" He inquires now that he has a moment to think, although he is decidedly distracted, judging by tone.

But then, he's being shaken. Almost violently. With his brows furrowed, he glances towards the door, straining his ears to hear the music and, more specifically, Lena's declaration. "You…y'think? You think it's really…Then that means, my dreams were…" For a brief second, he allows himself the luxury of imagining salvation. He allows himself to hope, to even consider getting out of the situation alive - only to squash down on this impulse immediately afterwards. No, it's best to assume the worst at all times. "Yeah - yeah maybe…"

But then, the Stranger is eyeing Lena. And then eyeing the divider. And immediately, the Brazilian is thrown into one of his defensive fits, characteristic of him as he flails at the frenchman. "Are you shittin' me! No - she can't go out there! That's fuckin' gunshots out there, she's goin' ta get killed! I wont fuckin' let it - I wont let 'er go, I didn't go think fuckin' far for her ta…" Beat. Wait - but who said anything about leaving the car? "…Oh god! Baby - baby, go through, see if the keys are still in the ignition! See if you can drive us away or run over a motherfucker or somethin'! We can do this! We can escape, we can get out!" Alive, even! He, wisely, does not vocalize this last bit.

It would appear that between Tiago and the stranger, everything is figured out. Lena's eyes flash from one to the other, looking far less certain. But she tries. She tries. Answers, and talk of dreams, will have to wait. "I guess it's good I lost some weight, huh? Okay…" She scrubs her hands along her sides once Tiago has removed the drug pack, pushing down the baggy folds of the convict's jumpsuit to keep them out of the way.

"Boost me up, hurry," she instructs, grabbing the inner edge of the barrier's window and hopping awkwardly. One arm through, a shoulder, and then she has to tuck her head at an odd angle, foot lifted for the requested support of cupped hands. Her eyes are already on the keys dangling from the ignition, focus shifting to the prospect of escape rather than what's happening outside of the van.

The remaining black-clad government man outside saw what became of his comrades — at least one of which is unconscious — and ducks the swing of the bizarre attacker and manages to "guard" the door of the van a moment longer, firing on the thing as he does. Some bullets ricochet, hitting the van — harmless but loud.

As the older of the prisoners rips his own contraption from his chest, the plastic tubing tearing from his nose, he eyes Tiago long and hard, with a stare that expresses how devoid of caring he is about the young man's defensive rant. Probing eyes watch as Lena makes her way to the front.

The bullets tear into the upper body and head of the robot, one of the shot goes right into the artifical eyes and shattering it. There is a second pause as the robot regains its baring before it lifts the weapon up to give a powerful prod toward the guard. With the final attacker prone on the ground, 'Arnie' moves to the van, trying to look inside. The mouth opens, but it does not move as words come out. "Come with me if you want to live" comes the familiar audio clip. For now, the robot doesn't seem to discern who it came to save… But as Lena had shown, inferences could be made. Regardless of the result, the wounded metal man slowly lumbers back toward the truck.

The sound and light display from the RC cars suddenly stops, the distraction now a bane instead of a boon.

Tiago is uncertain about the future. He dislikes the prospect of throwing someone other than himself into a possible line of fire - but at the same time, the prospect of escape is too enticing to ignore. "Be careful, baby," Tiago murmurs softly, his inflection wavering in the first show is possible weakness of the afternoon, but after this particular demand is given he proceeds to grunt and hoist her upwards, to facilitate the pushing her through the divider. Luckily, or perhaps not, the process isn't completely finished when Arnie The Destroyer appears from behind, automatically sending the large Brazilian into semi-hysterical cries and ducking. Except…he's not a guard. And he's not shooting at them. "Come if…baby, hold up! Come back 'ere, Lena. I think he's got us free. Where are the guards, guy? Let's…let's follow him. He saved us." And with that notion in hand, he proceeds to fallow after the lumbering robot.

Lena too freezes when the robot's head swings into view, her eyes meeting the artificial ones, just for an instant. Then Arnie is moving on, and the brunette finishes wriggling through the window. It would take too long to go through again, to return to the men, but she wastes little time in yanking the keys from the ignition and clambering out of the van on the driver's side. "I'm here, I'm okay!" she calls back in answer to Tiago's shout, the keys shivering in her hands as she finds the right one and jabs it into the lock. "They're all down!"

And with the doors of the van quickly unlocked, the prisoners' egress assured, she too dashes after their saviour. That's a big truck, surely it'll fit the three of them. So long as Arnie rides in the back.

With all the guards down — for now — it's quiet outside.

Lena and Tiago's chance companion, the third prisoner, does not so much as acknowledge the others as he marches out of the van, jumping solidly onto the road. The first thing he does is crouch down to swipe the weapon of the man who lies closest, making no move to follow their odd rescuer.

A glance back from the robot shows that only some of the people are following. "Tiago, remove the devices that are in the cab in the car. On the box resting on the seat, there is step-by-step instructions for how to remove the autodrive. Lena, please gather the five remaining RC cars and place them within the truckbed," the killbot states in a Vader-eqsue voice before he just starts walking toward the prisoner who has taken a gun. His question is free of emotion, an easy task considering the digitical altercation. "Who are you?"

Tiago is all too eager to run away, escape into the arms of freedom that the robo-man seems to be offering. Apparently, not even a stint in prison can get the trusting individual completely cynical, though once he bursts from the back of the van and catches sight of the Stranger's activities, his brows furrow thoughtfully and he grows almost sheepish. "Oh…yeah." He leans forward, following the stranger's example to pickup a firearm off of one of the downed guard. And to kick him in the face once or twice. "Fuckin' bastards…huh? Alrigh'…Gene? S'that…?"

With his eyes narrowed in the direction of the robot speculatively, he tosses Lena a quick look before getting to his appointed task, holding the gun close to his chest. He'll trust the other survivors for now, as he tinkers with the autopilot and removes said devices with precision.

"But…" Lena's protest is short-lived. She casts a yearning look towards the truck's cab, where Tiago has disappeared, but turns and shuffles as quickly as she can in her prisoner's slippers. It is a blessing that the little cars aren't blaring music anymore; she'd be tempted to be a lot rougher in her handling of them. Each is plucked from the ground, ferried to the bed of the truck and set inside before she goes to fetch the next. On one circuit, which leads her nearer the big silent type who'd been in the van with them, she tips a look past Arnie's arm. "He was locked up too…I guess. Maybe. They had him in the same get up as us." But whether he's invited along or not, well…Lena leaves that up to the robot and its handler.

For her part, she's going to shuttle the last of the RC cars back to the truck, tipping it into the bed to be with its brethren.

"I am many names." The man is stone-faced underneath the mechanical gaze of the robot. "You are nothing. I am no concern to someone who uses a tool to do their bidding," he rumbles in his deeply inflected voice. The gun in his hands is examined before dark eyes stare up. It's risen, pointed at the metal creation's face. There is a profound maliciousness about this man now that he's no longer imprisoned. Some people were imprisoned unjustly in this mess; unfortunately, he is not one of the innocents. Or even one of the blurry grey areas. His head tips toward Lena and Tiago. "Go take care of your flock."

Without looking toward the woman he fought to save, the robot speaks once more. "Lena, leave this place with Tiago. There is a map in the glove compartment. Head to the area marked 35J, should be able to drive the truck once the device is removed."

If the stranger is a 'hero', Gene can pick him up himself. If not, well, best to have it be non-living things in the area. After all, Gene has no idea what the man's ability it. Telepathy, teleportation, mind control, atomic breath…. Who knows?

That in mind, 'Arnie' attempts to slowly redirect the weapon away from his face with the free hand. Small arcs of electicity still arc from time to time around the metal lightsaber. "This 'tool' is more than enough to handle you, I assure you. Considering I freed you, I would think I could at least get some answers from you."

Tiago has just finished with the setting up of the truck, and with a grunt, the man sits up in the driver's seat, quickly adjusting certain key aspects related to driving, the mirrors and such. It's only once this task is completed that he proceeds to squint outside of the door, to the altercation being held between the two man-like giants made out of steel, practically. "Right now? Without…alrigh'." He has no reason not to trust Gene. The Geek God will be able to transport the robot. He also has no reason to desire the dark man's accompiament. No man has been left behind, after all. He has been freed to do whatever he may want. "Oy! Man! You sure? We've got…well. Go with God, then. Lena! Lena, c'mon, let's get out of here. /Finally/, let's go home."

A chance look over her shoulder spies the stranger pointing his weapon at the robot. At Gene. Lena freezes, jaw sagging, at the sheer lack of gratitude. But then, what was it Tammy had said about them scooping up the threats to others, so normal people could be safe? Maybe the woman wasn't a total liar. Two weeks ago she might have spat a curse at the dark man before running away; today she is more inclined to run first, and save curses for later. "Be careful!" she calls out to Arnie. It's a senseless caution, all things considered, but she's not exactly firing on all cylinders right now. The girl skirts around the truck, hops into the passenger's side, and pops the glove compartment to find the map in order to pass it off to Tiago.

The man is unflinching. Not intimidated. "You see I am like the others. I was imprisoned. In other ways you see I am not like them. Now I have freedom. I make my way back to my people on my own." He pauses, shifting the gun to the opposite hand. "And I have no time for machines." As the younger prisoners seem ready to make their escape, this escapee jams his borrowed rifle hard against the robot's 'throat', fires, and swings a punch at its metal face. There is no super strength behind it, but there is no inhibition. His knuckles might as well be metal as well.

The thankful thing about Gene being behind a robot is that he doesn't have to worry about his fear either. After all, it's like playing some sort of high stakes video game or something. The shots lodge themselves about the robot's neck, causing some various fluids that certainly are not blood to leak out. The punch actually tears off the nose, revealing the metal skeleton underneth. He doesn't stumble back though.

"I have no time for thugs either." Gene raises his 'lightsaber' trying to give a smack to the side of the face. Like before, it isn't at full power, not waiting to kill the man… unaware that that maybe that should not be Gene's first concern when confronting this odd prisoner. "But I will not let your kind push around mine."

Gunshots. Always gunshots. It's like living in the ghettos of Miami all over again. Tiago does not even look back at the scuffle between the men - the moment Lena settles herself down beside him, he shifts the car into drive and steps on the gas, fueled by his desire to get out of there and avoid any mortal wounds. It's only after he's already leaving the other two figures behind that he even glances in Lena's direction, looking to the map. "Alrigh'. I - I think I know where we're goin'. Lena, take my hand…" For once, however, this isn't a command. His voice has lost it's authority and its decisiveness, and he offers this final bit as more of a plea to the brunette, a plea for assurance as he holds his right hand out towards her.

Lena is pressed into the seat when the truck surges forward, having to give her her effort to crane around and watch the combatants. It's only a robot, right? So she sinks down into the seat and presses the heels of her hands against her eyes while Tiago takes charge. At the man's request, there's only a brief hesitation (dialing down the go-juice) before she slips her left hand into his. The squeeze Chi's fingers are given comes with a small, shaky smile. "Just…just don't crash, okay? We kinda stand out. In these clothes."

Back by the van, the remaining escapee has to disagree with Gene. This is a man who is all about pushing others around. His head whips to the side when he's hit. He otherwise does not move, and stares straight back at his attacker unscathed, as if nothing happened. This time he has nothing to depart, only firing his weapon squarely at the thing's "eyes" before using it as a blunt force weapon against the thing.

The rounds go off at this range, there is little that can be done to avoid it. Agility is not a killbot speciality after all. The rifle rounds tear into the final eye and the head is smacked around yet again. The head doesn't even turn back, likely due to the damaged neck.

"…Even if you beat me here, I will remember you. I will discover you. And if your motives are impure… I will stop you." With that the robot attempts to bearhug the bearded man. Should he get him or not, the result is still the same. Electricity will arc about the body of Arnie and perhaps the man he has grabbed, before the robot falls to the ground. While the primary purpose is to ensure that the robot is not captured by the government or the powerful man in front of him, if the recently freed man is trapped in the arms of the shell of the robot… well, the government might be able to pick up a recent escapee.

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