2007-08-04: DF: The Albatross

Starring:

DFElena_icon.gif DFEric_icon.gif DFJack_icon.gif DFUnknown_icon.gif DFPeter_icon.gif DFRamon_icon.gif DFTrina_icon.gif

Summary: Continued from Operation: Angel Dust, the group meets up in the Black Pearl and someone isn't too happy to see someone else.

Dark Future Date: August 4th, 2009

The Albatross


The Black Pearl

With his deadly work done and the path behind sealed, Jack guns Julia's engine and drives her back up into The Black Pearl's loading bay. En route, he glances over at Peter to assure himself that the boy is unharmed. "You did good, boy-o. Nice save on the grenades." When the vehicle is situated, he unbelts himself and leaps out. His eyes narrow as he limps toward the Pearl's passengers. There are injuries, but none of them seem to be fatal. "Peter!" He barks, already halfway up the ladder to the hatch in the roof. "You're on medical detail! Clean 'em up an' patch 'em up!"

The hatch clangs open and Jack's weathered face pops into Elena's view. "Heya Sucklips," he greets her, his voice grating and cheerful at the same time. "Did I look as good doing that as I thought I did? Shirtless. Imagine me doing it shirtless and tell me what it looks like." Grinning, he offers her a leather-gloved hand.

—-

As he watches his handywork explode in blood and death inside of the cars, Ramon starts…to roughly cackle. His daughter is up there, riding under the tunnel like some sort of demented spider, but god damn it, she's alive.

And they aren't.

He hangs on to the oh shit bar with both hands now, laughing, white knuckled, unable to stop himself. Has he cracked? Is he mad? Probably. Possibly. Likely.

It's the not-mad part of him, still in there somewhere, that reaches out to Peter's mind. In his low, rasping, fatherly tones, the mind voice comes. The man he was, not the man he is. A voice twisted with pain and a hint of soft self-loathing. *Boy,* it whispers. ~Boy. You want to change the future? Change me. Go back. Tell me…tell me not to break the promises I made myself. Tell me there's some hope. Tell me there's something worth holding onto in all this. Tell me before I can't listen anymore. Please. Please.~

—-

Beads of sweat have begun to trickle down Trina's face, black hair stuck to her forehead as testament to little more than her intense concentration. It's not just her life, after all, that's at risk if she screws this up. The tunnel's coming up fast, and she's only got part of the entourage. "Ramp's comin' back up, kiddies. Hurry up and getcher asses on board, or there's gonna be a hell of a spankin'." A pause, and then Katrina's drawl cuts back in. The Kermit Face is almost audible. "And Jack? Not. One. Word."

—-

"She always knew how to make an entrance," Eric murmurs, his mic off as he watches Elena fold herself down to nothing on the top of the truck. The launcher is bounced on his shoulder a moment before he straps it behind him. Thumbing a button on the side, blue LED lights brighten up the sides of the sleak looking bike before spinning it into gear again, sweeping it around like some gamer with a lightcycle. The blue lights just add to the effect as he goes racing off after the rig, leaving the afterglow of the image of the lights behind him.

Speeding up the ramp and back into the interior of the trailer, past the cackling Ramon, the young man swings the 'lightcycle' to a stop before pulling off his helment and killing the engine. Blood drips down one sleeve, but he hardly notices as he shakes his head. Ah. Tonight was a good night.

Some part of him regrets it, but right now its a very small a quiet part.

Glancing up towards the roof where Elena landed. Then he laughs at Trina's comments as he shakes his head. "Old home or new digs Jack? Where should we head?" He asks before handing the helment on the bike. "…and Trina, when did you ever know Jack to make just one word. He has several comments to that I'm sure."

After that little quip he makes his way to the ladder and glances up. "…you gonna let her down bossman?"

—-

"Right… of course. Healing I can do…" Peter responds with his eyes still closed. He slowly unbuckles the seatbelt and starts to unstrap himself from the safety of his chair. With his handle on the door, his mind receives a message, one that makes his face pale even more than before. ~I'll change it… I will.~ It just may… take a lot of work. With a deep breath, he opens the door and steps outside of Julia, looking around to locate the wounded. He's still visibly shaky, but at least he's standing. Even if he's pale. Even if he's supposed to be healing, though, a lot of his attention goes towards the above hatch that Jack went up to, an unsteady breath or two.

—-

The tunnel clears. Elena straightens up on her knees as she watches the dangerous curve get sailed on expertly by Katrina Mah. She exhales a breath, and is about to go to the back, when the hatch on the top of the Pearl clangs open, and Jack's scarred face comes to view. She was home. Home. Seeing his face meant home. A small, exhausted grin tugs on the edges of her mouth, and she's actually about to tackle-hug the Irishman…..until he says what he does. Instead of hugging him, she -GLARES- at him. "You…you….ARGGGHHHHH!" But she does reach out to grasp the hand, the aggravated expression melting away into an amused smirk.

"At least -some- things never change. Yeah, nuncle?" she murmurs softly, and then, with him, drops down from the hatch with his help. The slender body slams down onto the back of the rig, one fist brought down to bear and the metallic ringing from the tiny joint-protectors filling the back.

The golden eyes fade. Upon landing, she can't help but list a bit to the right, and lean her fingers against the wall, blood streaking from her fingers and onto the metal.

Rivulets run down the black outfit. On her leg, down one arm. But she stands, even now, straight and proud - because she cheats, and because it was just the way she was. Older, her hair is longer, long bangs framing the delicate face and the tresses swinging in tangled waves down the small of her back. The only thing marring her face at the moment was the black, Angelic script that invoked the archangel Michael in a swirling, decorative fake tattoo along the right curve of her right eye. She started doing it when she found out that Trina tended to break out all sorts of relics and charms whenever the Saints come out to play. She started wearing temporary tattoos or inscribed them herself on her person to make the resident greaseball feel better, and to show that her faith still remains.

Two thigh-holsters could be seen on her person, both laden with two Desert Eagles. There's a knife stashed in one of the other loops, and her torn pants, much like her gloves, have black, metallic plates protecting her main joints - these on the knees.

"Hey guys. I'm home."

There is a pause, and then…

"…..someone please tell me we have access to a cheeseburger. Because I'm STARVING. I want a cheeseburger. And some of J-Stop's nachos, he makes the best ones. And a big pail full of Diet Pepsi. …oh, and a corndog. I want a corndog in me, damn it! With lots of barbecue sau— "

There is another pause, realizing what she just said. She WHIRLS on Jack and points at him.

"Don't. You. DARE. START."

—-

Ramon lets go of the handlebar and gets his mad laughter under control at the sight of his daughter. "You are bleeding, chiquita," he rasps. He gives no sign he heard Peter, or even knows he stretched out his mind to him. He staggers over to his daughter to gather her in a tight, hard hug.

—-

Eric? Isn't sure weather to loose his mind laughing, or be concerned that she's bleeding. He'll settle for helping her steady herself so she dosn't fall over, at least until Ramon gets here, and reaching into a storage bin to hold up a can of Diet Pepsi, eyes dancing with laughter as he waggles it at her behind Ramon's back.

—-

Once the bay door is sealed, and it's clear they're not being watched, Trina slows down the pace of the 'Pearl's progress to something a little more safe. The party's in the back and, for the moment, she's left uninvited. Fine. FINE. She sees how it is! Since Gene presumably still has his surveillance gear running, she can afford to take her time. To burn the expensive fuel a little more efficiently. To roll the friggin' window down and get some air. The cool air of the still dark morning is refreshing and may very well help to alleviate the stink of sweat and burnt rubber and spent munitions in the vehicle, but more importantly Trina tries to quietly lose herself in the breeze instead of dwelling on the burning chaos that they're leaving behind them.

—-

Jack chuckles and shrugs his broad shoulders, an exaggeratedly angelic expression on his face. "I didn't say a word," he replies. And he doesn't have to. He just snickers as he yanks a medkit off the wall and cracks it open. He pulls out a pneumatic injector, dials in a dose of antibiotics and painkillers, and presses it to side of Elena's neck. There's a gentle hissing sound as the drugs are painlessly pushed into her system. He lingers for a moment, laying his hand on her shoulder and giving it a firm, fond squeeze. "S'good to have you back. Um. Got someone here for you to meet when you're ready. Meet again. See." He flaps his hands helplessly in Peter's direction. The complexities of time travel are confusing and elusive for him. He tosses the injector to Eric. "Have a hit o' that. An' make sure anybody else wot got hurt has some, too. I gotta go tell my lady that she's the best bus driver in the whole wide world."

—-

And the resident healer… Peter's too stunned at seeing her to really know what to do. Don't mind him if he freezes in place like he just fell out of the truck and there's something speeding right for him. But the worst part is…? He's just standing there, staring, when he should be stepping forward and offering to heal her, or walking over to Eric, or checking on the others injuries, but— hey— there's just something different about this situation that doesn't process quickly. Hands still on the passanger door, he clenches his fingers down on it and takes a slow breath, opening his mouth a little as if to try and speak… Words don't come out. At least she still sounds… she doesn't sound broken. And then when Jack gestures towards him? Someone she needs to meet again? He actually panics. It's probably a funny sight. Anyone looking directly at him will see it happen. He vanishes, from feet to head, turning completely transparent. Reflex? Possibly so.

—-

"…Papa?" For the moment, Elena is 19 again, staring at her craggy-faced father as he stumbles to engulf her in a hug. As if caught in the act of something she shouldn't be doing. This is when she's squeezed by Jack, giving him a quick hug. "Tell Trina I think so too," she says with a smile. When Eric shakes the Pepsi at her, she smirks, plucking it from his fingers. "You're a sight for sore eyes," she tells him, having not seen him for 2 years. She exhales a breath, and reaches out to hug him too. Sinking there for a moment, she pulls away. "Where's Prime?" she asks, looking around…

Jack waves a hand, and babbles something about meeting someone. Elena looks at him confusedly and when she turns to the space he gestured at, there's no one there. "Who…?"

She freezes.

He might be able to fool others, but he can't fool her. The mastery of her gifts had turned her into a frighteningly versatile creature. Humans had unique neurotransmitters - those that set them apart from other animals. Her 'Ping' ability alerts her to the fact that there's SOMEONE there that she can't see. And that this person has too much testosterone in him for it to be Portia, the only other person she knows who can turn invisible.

The Desert Eagle is out. The cartridge is spent, but she doesn't care, and he doesn't know that. She undoes the safety, and moves away from Eric's arms to….

Kill someone?

Oh yes. Perhaps. Her dark eyes flash with barely restrained temper. She points the gun RIGHT at Peter, despite him being invisible. She can't see him, but she knows EXACTLY where he is. And she knows his height. There was a point in her life that she knew this man better than most people. So the muzzle points right towards the middle of his eyes.

"Wh…who…" comes the breathless growl (she IS Ramon's daughter, after all). "…brought the albatross in here?!"

—-

"…I gues its to the new place then," Eric says with a laugh and a shake of his head towards Jack as he dissipears. One track mind that Jack. Just like other people he knows. Really though, even though he offers Elena a smile and the offered Diet Coke…he isn't quite sure what to say towards her. After all its been 2 years. However, she takes the problem away from him. When she steps forwards to hug him he looks mildly suprised at it, and then wraps his arms around her in a fierce hug. He holds her there a moment, breathing out a sigh himself. Turning slightly he murmurs softly into her ear. "…I missed you. Very much." Then as the hug breaks he smirks towards her. "…and I'll tell you what happened sometime." He adds before he blinks slightly. "…where /is/ my partner in crime…" He asks curiously.

Of course /then/ she notes Peter. Or. The lack of Peter.

…well that was unexpected.

Then the gun flashes out from her holster. Even if its empty that thing can still be used to club something half to death. Its just that heavy. However that was more…expected actually. Future Peter /is/ a bit of an ass.

"Elena!" He calls before she can do something silly like splatter the man that might help them. "Wait…before you go painting Julia like that…let us explain." He pauses. "…alright. No time to explain. Let me sum up. Thats /is/ Peter, but thats not Peter from /our/ time. Thats Peter from the past…and he's here to try to save the future." He pauses, then smirks. "…damn. When I say it I hardly believe myself. Pete, you want to try explaining?"

At the sound of ruckus in the back, Trina is stirred out of her silent reverie and her voice can be heard calling from the driver's seat. There's a stern chastisement in there; she doesn't like being trapped driving and oblivious. "Hey! What's goin' on back there?"

—-

Jack steps up behind Trina's chair and rests his hands on her shoulders. "You did good, baby," he assures her. "We've got her back and everybody made it. Take us to Eric's new place We all deserve a drink and a steak." He leans down and presses a kiss against her cheek.

Then there was a clatter. A ruckus, if you will. He perks up, his frown mirroring Trina's displeased shout. He clomps back into the cargo area and quirks an eyebrow. "Eric's right. We're dealin' with two Peter Petrellis now. This is the one wot hasn't done anything wrong yet. I'd appreciate if you didn't kill 'im, love."

—-

This— yeah. This is why Peter dislikes this world and what it has turned the people he cares about into. Cass shot him, now Elena's pointing a gun at him too.

An albatross. He's versed enough in books to get the metaphor, and it's not a good one. A burden, an encumbrence— bad luck as well. It's not something anyone would want when they go out into the vast sea of the world— especially not in a truck called the Black Pearl. With the gun pointed at him, he loses hold of the ability, stumbling back away from Julia's passanger door, and fading back into existance. Younger, hair shorter and more ruffled, expressions far more genuine… and he looks as if he may very well be sick.

"I'm here… from two years ago," he finally explains weakly, after Eric and Jack throw in some assistance to the situation. "I— I only got here… a week ago. Jack was nice enough to let me stay for— I… I'm sorry, I just wanted to… to help." His voice is actually shaking a little, definitely a different sound from the one currently walking around in this timeline. He's harder, crankier, and generally raspier in tone. The one standing right in front of her— is pale and wide-eyed. And definitely stunned. Yeah— he'd appreciate not being killed too.

—-

The kiss on her cheek is all Trina needs, really. The hands on her shoulder are just an added bonus, and for a moment she has that quiet, contented smile back. And then people have to just keep on yelling. Suddenly, she's back to being remarkably irritable, and she glances back and bellows, and there's the faint shimmer as she erects a forcefield directly between the Gomez Girl and the Petrelli from the Past. "ELENA GOMEZ, DO *NOT* MAKE ME PULL THIS THING OVER."

—-

"Trina," Eric says with a grin in his voice. "Remember. You get a real bed tonight. I'm sure Jack will give you a massage too, you better hurry and get there."

—-

She can hear Eric trying to explain. Jack. Maybe even Peter, but the gun doesn't drop and neither does her grip. Dark eyes flash gold repeatedly, as if attempting to call up more strength to hold up the heavy gun. Elena's grip starts to shake, the painkillers Jack injected her with were starting to make her woozy, and she was already weak with blood loss. But she's stubborn. So very stubborn. "Get out. You can't be here! These…they're all I have left! Everyone you drag into a hot zone -dies- and I'm sure as hell NOT allowing my family to be next in line to your bloody goddamned draft so you can just fuck off! Don't curse me more than you've already have!"

Jack's voice and Eric's voice manage to make it into her addled brain eventually. Then, Trina's yelling just SLAMS IT HOME. She can't feel anything thanks to the painkillers and she won't be infected thanks to the antibiotics, but the panic rising from her chest at the thought of the albatross swooping in to claim the members of her family next causes her terror to rise. Her eyes are wide, and her breathing is ragged and clipped. She had also been using Boost for the past…god knows how long, and she hasn't eaten. Boost came with a price. Even back then, it always came with a price.

"Wh…what….what….how is that…? Who did you get it from…? I don't— you've never— ?" TIME TRAVEL? And they BELIEVE HIM? WHAT? Delirium washes over her in a colorful haze. For some reason Gene is sporting Doc Brown hair and Peter was wearing Marty McFly's jacket. And when the hell did Eric start wearing plaid? He never wore plaid!

She can't hold it anymore. The Desert Eagle clatters to the ground and her knees buckle. Her color drains from her face as she starts to sag. She was so tired. She was exhausted. Her eyes roll to the back of her head as she just drops.

—-

"Whoa. Steady-on, lass," Jack murmurs. He steps up to catch Elena before she falls, but after a moment's hesitation he passes her off to Peter. "Take care of her," he urges the petrellitross. "I'll explain all of this to her when she wakes up."

—-

"That's more like it," Trina replies curtly at the sudden silence out of Miss Gomez. There's a decisive nod, accompanied by a quiet yet indignant snort, and then the forcefield barrier drops. Elena may be hurt, but she isn't dead or dying. A little quiet won't do anyone any harm.

—-

Eric closes his eyes slightly at the sudden outburst from Elena. He warned Peter. He tried to warn him at least. However apparently the message just didn't get through too well. His hand reaches out to touch Elena's arm gently. "…Elena…its not him. Really. Its not him…" He murmurs softly towards her, trying to break through the fog in her brain. Its not seeming to work too well its not. He's not worried though, at least not until she starts to get a bit woozy.

Then he starts to get worried. His own pain fogged senses, no he didn't take the hypospray goodness that Jack gave him, blurs his own vision a moment but he shakes it away savagely as he reaches out with both arms to steady her…but Jack's already got her. He lets his arms drop slightly before he swallows down whatever he was going to say. "…here…" He hands a remote to Jack. "…this will get you into the garage. I can take her directly there, though. It might be best to get her there quickly as possible, to the medbay." He smirks slightly. "…since both her and I need it."

—-

See— it was one thing to be told by people that the person you became was hated by people you— care about. It's another to actually see it. Peter takes in a slow breath and lays a hand on Julia, leaning for a moment, unable to say anything about something he knows so little about. He doesn't know who he is now, what he became, how much he… cursed her. At least he's still standing when it finally sets in what's going on, when everyone jumps to defend him.

"…Hiro Nakamura…" he says softly, licking his lips a little as he tries his best to remain totally upright even when he feels rather sick himself. Not from exhausting his abilities even. Not this time. This time it's an emotional sickness. "I'm sorry, I didn't…" his voice trails off as she starts to go down. He's nowhere near close enough to catch her, and he trusts that those who are close enough could do it— and there's a forcefield between them anyway. Once that disappears, he steps over helplessly, until he takes her with Jack's urging, holding onto her unconscious body. It's not him— but… "I didn't mean…" he says softly, voice quiet, tinges of… well… heartbreak. How could he become someone that would make her feel like this?

Eric's words draw his eyes and he just helplessly nods. There's really not much else he can do, because he's too busy holding onto her. "…okay." Of course that kind of means he assumes he's going to.

—-

"We'll be there soon enough," Trina offers in response to Eric, not even *touching* the topic of what she and Jack might be inclined to do with an honest-to-goodness real bed. It's… probably best for everyone that way.

Instead, Katrina's blue eyes going wide as she multitasks, driving and simultaneously punching something into the GPS navigation system in order to bring up a new set of directions and maps. This set leads to the Phoenix Towers. Towards a more capable medbay. Towards a larger base of operations with REAL BEDS AND SHOWERS :). And, more importantly, towards a new home.

—-

See, thats the problem with assumptions. They can be wrong.

Stepping forwards past Jack he leans down next to Elena and Peter. There is a pause before he shakes his head slightly. "…the last thing she needs to see when she wakes up is your face, Peter." The words aren't in a cruel tone, in fact the tone is more emotionless. Quiet even. His eyes close. He's not trying to be mean. He's just being truthful. "Your an unknown, in the future you hurt her. She saw friends die because of what your future self did. She doesn't need that when she opens her eyes again. She needs rest, and friends. She boosted herself out. Jack, I'll see you there."

He pauses again, glancing down towards Elena before he shakes his head slightly and reaches down to brush an errant strand of hair away from her face.

"…I'm sorry," He murmurs before he pauses and glances up at Jack. "…see you at home." The darkness of the interior of the trailer suddenly thickens, growing pitch black in an eyeblink and then returning to normal.

When it does, Eric and Elena are gone.

—-

Somewhere, off to the side of the road, Prime is standing next to KITT. He's on his cell phone.

"Hello? Yeah, guys? Um… you're not gonna' believe this…"

He looks down and at the car's back wheel. Curses.

"… I got a flat."

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