The Spiral's Completion, Part II


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Scene Title The Spiral's Completion, Part II
Synopsis But spirals never do. The Monster attacks the Lighthouse while others distract the protectors downstairs. Unlike them, he doesn't come for money or guns… he's after the children.
Date March 26, 2009

The Lighthouse: Upstairs

Zuleyka mostly doesn't sleep here. She bunks down with Jake, more or less. Well, not -with him-, but where he is. Tonight, however, she's come by to visit with her orphans, and seen them safely off to bed. But she's too used to the nightlife, and hasn't yet sought out the guest cot she's been allotted. Rather, she's reading by the light of a lantern - she's a grown up, she can sleep when she wants. Right? It is, funnily enough, Little House on the Prairie.

It's Simon's second night in the Lighthouse, and he hasn't really gotten to know any of the other kids. Well, except for Rocket. He's either been out exploring the "safer" parts of the island, learning the ropes from Brian, or avoiding Deckard (a full time job, apparently!). Right now, though, he's making a bed for himself and wishing he had a change of clothes with him. His bed is near Rocket's, chosen so that he wouldn't feel weird around the younger kids.

The sheets are tucked in, his pillow is fluffed, and sleep weighs heavily on the teen's eyes. Simon lowers himself into bed, bounces a moment to test the mattress out, and then starts to untie his shoes, pushing them neatly under his bed once they're off.

There is a box of animal crackers between Rocket's feet and a gallon bucket of rocky road ice cream next to him, where he's seated cross-legged on the floor. Sticky-fingered, his curls clean on top of his head. Around him, desks stand silent, empty of books or pencils, the chalkboard swept and nothing of the Lighthouse's well-meaning adult presence except for these inert objects witness to his greed.

He isn't trying to be an asshole or anything, just— luxury food items occur rarely, and in boom-and-bust cycles: he seizes the opportunity when the window blinks by. "Hey." It's an experimental whisper at the room full of sleepers across the hallway. "Guys. Guys, anyone awake?"

There's an empty bed, in the dorms for boys. Bai-Chan is kind of an immovable force and insisted on following the strange bird girl up into the tower to maybe partake in staring contests, stilted conversation, or maybe show her that he can stand on his head. He hasn't been back, yet, but the small Chinese boy is akin to a boomerang - throw him as far as you like, and he'll inevitably return. Figuritively. Literally, he'll tend to stick. He's pushing it now, though, the hour stretching later and later.

While he can get away with sneaking up into the tower to talk to bird girls, being outside is not okay. Regardless of this, the small figure of the boy suddenly flashes by a window, a hand planting against the glass with a squeak before he moves on. Not an unfamiliar sight for the regulars, it appears as though Bai-Chan is scaling the walls outside.

A new window, the one closest to Zuleyka and inevitably, her lamp. The boy peers inside, his expression contorted into worry and concentration, and he beats a fist against the glass. Let me in.

She's startled, dropping her book and swearing in Farsi. But once she's realized that it's a local urchin, she laughs, sheepishly, and reaches out to thumb the latch. "You should be in bed," she admonishes, tone soft. "You're too young to be out pretending to be Spiderman, at this hour."

Simon stands when he hears Rocket, who he made sure his bed was near, whisper. Barefoot now, he moves silently across the room towards the other boy. "Hey," he whispers, eyeing the treats as he starts to sit on the floor as well. That's when he hears the banging. Startled, he falls the rest of the way to the floor (not a far distance) and lands with a thud. "What the hell," he whispers, staring over at the window and the boy in question. He assumes all is well, though, since nobody else is freaking out

"Hey," Rocket whispers back, holding out an animal cracker. It is a monkey, with a little hat and little pants. "Eat some, or I'm gonna puke. Or have to go all the way downstairs and put it back without getting caught or crap." That's either the finesse of pirate paranoia or the fact that he's a sixteen-year-old and Brian kind of sort of passes for an adult around here.

Grown-ups. His head jerks on its stem when he hears the rattle of pane and frame. Brow furrowing, he cranes his head around the doorway; barely makes out the small figure from the distance of hallway and room. "I dunno but if you try to ask he'll just start yelling in Japanese."



These are the sounds that Joe makes when he sits up way too fast in the bottom bunk. After hitting his head, the young boy simply falls out of his bed. Luckily he's very resistant to damage or he'd probably be brain damaged by now. If he isn't, already. "Hey" The boy repeats in a little overly loud whisper. Trying to copy the older boys. The older boys are nicer than Eric at least, the kid in the top bunk who can change colors of stuff and is a bully. Especially when he made Joe think he had chicken pox like three times.

The animal crackers are viewed by the boy in his pajamas with intense scrutiny, something of great value in these parts. Sweets. Slowly pushing himself to his feet, Joe starts to crawl across the ground towards Rocket. After all icecream outweighs loud noises. Obviously.

A few clunks and squeaks come down the hall dividing the boys' and girls' dorms. Shuffling footsteps and rustling denim, and the door to the girl's dorm pushes open with the thump of a shoulder against it. It's the first time that Colette Nichols has ever really been at the Lighthouse when the other children are awake. For all of the dangers of Staten Island, she seems to be possessed of some strong curiosity or a clearly deranged sense of self-preservation — odds are a smooth blend of both. But when you feel that there's not one, but two guardian angels looking out for you on the island, fear fades.

Dragging a pair of old and ratty wheeled suitcases behind her, Colette passes by the bunks she shares with girls ten years or more her junior. It's strange to be the old one, for once. Wheeling the empty suitcases past the bunks, Colette's mismatched eyes linger on one of the girls she shares this living space with — Lillian Adams. She hesitates before passing by, no real goodbyes said, just the suitcases wheeled over to her own bunk where stacks of clothing are laid out, and her laptop is left open.

Leaning the suitcases up against the side of the bunk, Colette slips down to sit on the bottom one, rummaging thorugh the piles of unfolded laundry until she slides out a half-burned old picture out from beneath them. Her smile on seeing it is mixed — partly honest in the happiness displayed, partly conflicted by the notion of having to uproot from yet another home. When she finally lays the picture down on the bed, her eyes wander to one of the narrow windows in the girls' dorm, staring vacantly out of it as her mind wanders.

Tonight is a night for goodbyes, but she hardly knows what to say to half of the people here.

Espescially to Brian and Kameron.

Four long limbs, monkey-like, Bai-Chan manouvres himself with eager awkwardness into the room, knee connecting with the ground when he near falls in, but is on his feet a moment later. "Gou," he whispers to Zuleyka, now, his eyes wide. His hands go out to grip her arm, and tugs in a directionless, needy kind of gesture, and distractedly, his gaze dances over towards Rocket is looking out the door.


Some of the regulars might come to know what that stands for. It's a very adament no, and shouted loud enough to pierce through the walls, perhaps even downstairs. He grasps on to Zuleyka's wrist, casts one worried glance out the window, and uses all the wiry strength his little body has in dragging her towards the dorm room doors with a litany of sharp sounding, frantic Mandarin.

"Honey, I don't speak that language," Zu says, but she lets herself be dragged. He's clearly upset, and there's no harm in letting him show her what's wrong. "What is it?" Like this is an episode of 'Lassie'.

Simon reaches out to grab the animal cracker and looks it over thoughtfully. He hasn't had one of these guys since he was really young, when Mallory would make him cry by eating all the animal heads and leaving Simon the bodies to dispose of. She could be a real bitch sometimes. "Thanks," he tells Rocket before popping the treat in his mouth and finishing it off in a few bites. The creepy Japanese is not given another thought as JoeJoe makes his way over to them.

"What's up, Joe?" Simon whispers when the younger kid gets closer. He scoots to make room for him and rests his head against the side of Rocket's bed. That's when Bai-Chan yells, and Simon's head snaps in that direction. "What's that kid's deal?"

"Japanese," Rocket says, nodding wisely, before the motion of his aborts into an uneasy sort of stillness. He has a honed pirate-sense for the wrongness of situations. Kind of. No, not really. But Bai-Chan rarely seems perturbed by anything, and that in and of itself is worrisome to the more easily perturbed older boy. "No problem.

"Hey Joe. Animal cracker?" The multitude of tiny cracker bodies rustles inside the box when he shakes it at him. A bare toe bumps into the gallon tub of ice cream he has next to him, sliding it closer to the other boys. "They go together really good.

"M-maybe you can share some with Chan," he suggests, furtively, glancing up and into the girls' dorm again. Momentary paranoia assuaged, really, his primary concern is that the littlest Chinaman is going to get them all in trouble with Brian, and then the sweets will be discovered, and they'll all be flung out into the streets or told off.

"Okay." Joe says happily with a big smile as he folds himself up near Simon and the cookies, and the icecream, and the Rocket. :D. But then all his happiness melts instantly when he hears Bai-Chan's yell. That's not a 'someone's taking my glassy-stick' yell, nor is it a 'I just stole something and I'm never giving it back' yell. That yell means serious business. So Joe does something that Joe would rarely do. He declines cookies and is instantly on his feet, shooting off at the door. Which is quickly opened as Joe beelines for Bai-Chan. Something's wrong…

"What's wrong?" Eric snaps as he is forced into consciousness by the loud japanese child and the overly loud whisperings of the other boys. The lanky pubescent lets his legs dangle off the edge of the bunk before slinking down to the ground, letting out a sleepy yawn.

Across the hall, Lily and her bunkmate Miranda are suddenly awake. The younger of the pair awakes into a state of fear. As is her MO. A fearful cry is let out as the girl burrows deeper into her covers and into the wall. Miranda is already trying to soothe her, but the fear is already taking over, and a trance is forthcoming…

The scream makes Colette sit straighter, too much so as she whacks the top of her head against the bottom bunk. Crouching as her hands move up to hold the top of her head, she winces and groans, sliding out from the bottom bunk with an awkward gait, shuffling past her suitcases towards Lily's bunk again, only her good eye squinted open in her pained expression.

"Hey I— " The crown of her head throbs, causing her to wince again, fingers sliding through ink-black hair as she makes her way to rest one knee on Lily's bed, leaning over to look towards where the girl has curled up and hidden herself away. A wary, uncertain look is afforded to Miranda, even though Colette's focus is divided from the pain of her clumbsy nature than anything.

"Lily?" She swallows awkwardly, "Hey, it— it's alright Lil'. I— " Mismatched eyes flick in Miranda's direction again, wordlessly questioning her own words. "Come on, it's okay, it's just us…" It's moments like this that makes Colette wish she was staying, but there's simply so much going on, too much.

Kind of like Lassie, except instead of Timmy's fallen down the well, it's the wolf is at the door. Zulekya's letting herself get dragged and so Bai-Chan stomps his way towards the appropriate dorm door, trying to urge her inside.

He stops, takes a breath, and expels the air with a rush of exactly three English words he knows well: "Hide and seek!" He's not sure which is the one that is relevant for this situation, so he says both - the game where you hide and hope no one catches you. Push, push Zuleyka for the door. It's for her own good, seems to be communicated in lines and angles that defines the little boy's expression.

There are footsteps, though, coming up the stairs. Maybe Brian coming to yell at them to get some sleep, it's past their bedtimes, where did you get those crackers and that ice cream. But were his footsteps so heavy, so purposeful before?

He certainly didn't open the door leading up from the stairwell in such a way to make it bang on its hinges, connect with the wall with a deep crack. There's a man at the entrance of the wider room, the trailing darkness behind him as he tips his head enough for the lamp light near the far window to show him. An old man, with deep lines of age and damage in his face, pale blue eyes without the glow of Deckard's. Just a kind of swimming glassiness. His figure is cut with a bulky coat, stained and old and as weathered as he is, his silver hair cut haphazardly, face grimy.

Crooked teeth show themselves barely when his mouth opens. As indecipherable as Bai-Chan's jabbering, a soft murmur of something English, maybe not even a language, is murmured in an old man's voice, filling the room. He gently shuts the door behind him, eyes landing on Zuleyka, and takes a swaying step forward. Bai-Chan, for all his attitude, steps behind Zuleyka.

And all her senses come alert. "Mister, I don't know who you are," she says, accent gone pure Queens and all attitude, "But you can't be up here without Brian's okay. You go back downstairs, I'll get him," she orders, keeping herself interposed between Bai and this newcomer. Zuleyka's hands curl into fists. God, she was so foolish, to leave her gun at home with Jake.

Simon mutters a curse under his breath as Joe runs off and bolts to his feet. With all the other boys starting to wake up, he figures this is as good a time as ever to start playing the role of big brother. "Guys, just sit tight for a sec, alright?" He glances down at Rocket for a moment, then turns away and pads across the room to the now open door.

"Hey, what's going on?" he asks as he slides up next to Joe. Even though Bai-Chan is clearly having communication issues, the look on Simon's face expects an answer.

Then the strange old man walks in and a chill crawls all over Simon's skin, leaving goosebumps in its wake. A hand instinctively moves to land on JoeJoe's shoulder as his gaze stabs at the stranger. "Joe, go back inside," he says, gently nudging the kid towards the dorm. He glances sidelong at Zuleyka and then turns back to see the old man's reaction.

Greasy old men with dubious motivations aren't allowed up here, or so thinks Rocket, who glibely missed the fact that Flint Deckard had found a place to sleep in this room only a few days ago. Ignorance isn't bliss. The littlest pirate clutches at ice cream and crackers, glaring suspiciously at the old man. "Hey, man," he pipes up, after everybody else has done their share confronting, fleeing, and ordering each other around, "th-this isn't cool."

By the time Colette reaches Lily, the tell tale signs of the trance are already in place. Her eyes, glazed over are pupil-less, just a stark white remains. Her lips tremble heavily as her hands shake uncontrollably. The trance somewhat resembles a seizure, accompanied by the incessant whimpering from the girl, it makes for a sour sight altogether. Miranda is swiftly on her feet, making her way out of the dorm. To go and retrieve Lily's favorite doll left in the classroom, it's what they always give her during these types of trances…

Joe shoots out of the boy's dorm, all determined and heroism until he sees the large person that is not Brian. He stops dead in his tracks behind Zuleyka and beside Bai-Chan. When Simon's hand lands on his shoulder it doesn't take long for JoeJoe to do as he's told, his hand leaps out to take Bai-Chan's hand and pullpullpull the other boy back to their room.

It's about this time that Miranda emerges from the girl's dorm. And upon seeing the old man… If anyone in the Lighthouse was still sleeping, they're not anymore. The scream she lets out is blood curdling.

"Lily, hey…" Moving closer, Colette lightly brushes a hand over the girl's brow, moving locks of hair from her face with a weak expression of concern. She'd always thought there would be a way to help get a hand on her ability, but this is so much different from Tamara's, and so much different from anything she could have hoped to help.

A scream not Lillian's rouses Colette from these thoughts, Miranda's scream that pierces the large building. Colette looks down to Lily, then arond the otherwise empty dorm room. She tenses, her hand trembling on Lily's forehead, "Mira!?" Stupid, stupid, she chides herself. Crawling across the bed and out the other side of the bunk, moving up just a few feet before hesitating and looking back to Lily. She can't just leave her.

Rushing back over to the bunk, Colette slips an arm around the shaking young girl's back, slipping one of Lily's small arms up over her shoulder, and then hefts her up. Carrying Lily with the young girl's head on her shoulder, Colette moves as quick as she can with the seven year old's extra weight, only to the doorway until she sees the silhouette framed by the entrance that Miranda had screamed about.

Too tall, too lanky, those eyes and that broad forehead. Colette's breath hitches in her throat, as everything in the room begins to seep with color. The walls, floor and people become overly saturated in hues of red, as if a color-filter were being applied to the world.

Shakily moving her hand away from Lily's back, just keeping the one arm below her legs, Colette reaches out to grab Miranda by the back of her collar, to drag her back into the room. "Brian! Brian!" Every part of her wants to be yelling for Tavisha, but as far as she's been able to find, he's just disappeared from the island.

The screams are already beginning. The monster's eyes widen a little in a disconnected kind of expression, eyes rolling within their sockets. Heart pumping blood and warming cold limbs, breath coming faster. Another step forward is taken, gaze sweeping drunkenly across the children that have emerged. None of their words seem to mean anything to him, from screams to cries of names through to shaky instruction and order.

Another step. Another. The world goes red at Colette's scattered will, but he doesn't seem to notice. For him, the world's already gone red.

Suddenly, a gunshot cracks from downstairs, and almost as if it were a signal like a referee at the start of a running race, the sound triggers the old man to start moving with far more speed than his swaying gate and his age should allow for. His feet beat against the ground as he launches himself at Zuleyka, hands in fists and claws.

Bai-Chan let's out a terrified scream, yanking free of Joe's grip and running for the window. Not a route every child can take but he's forgotten all the stories of warriorhood Eileen's told him about his father. Or perhaps Zhang Wu-Long would approve. Who knows. Either way, he's running from the wild gou that's gotten inside.

Lucky that it's the mercenary's daughter who got jumped. Zu doesn't panic. She sidesteps, and does her best to turn that into a throw, using the force of his lunge against him. And then follows it, punching back and head and she shrieks. It's not a scream of fear, but that harpy's yell of fury. Too bad she doesn't have her steel-toes on.

If there's one thing Simon didn't expect when he decided to stay at the Lighthouse it's this. All the screaming and the madman that's now in full fury mode is a lot for him to handle. Still, he manages to react, if not after a moments pause. "Close the door!" he yells back to the kids in the dorm he's staying in. As if that would protect them if the lunatic decided to head that way.

He then steps forward and joins in the attempted ass-kicking with Zuleyka. He doesn't have the same finesse or any at all, really. Still, he knows where people get hurt most when hit, mostly thanks to public school bullies. And he doesn't miss. As fast as he can, his leg is lifted and swung, aiming for the man's shin and ankle area, where he hopes to trip him up.

"Holy crap!" Rocket exclaims, his voice pitching so high in his throat it threatens to crack around the bulge of hot air in his own throat. What kind of pedophile hobo ugly dude conducts himself after the fashion of a zombie when seeking prey? Not that he's had personal experience, of course, but this seems somewhat inappropriately theatrical. As is the fact that Simon and Zuleyka are now going all karate kid on him.

The edge of his ice cream container bends, crushed, leaves rocky road ice cream smeared across his shirt. Armload of dessert, he scuttles crabwise, half on his ass and half on his knees, to the corner of the room. Hard to tell what's more hapless: the fact that he isn't simply retreating or his obvious desire to. He's helping. Goinnng to help. Yep. From over here. Moral support, at the very least.

"K-kick his ass, guys! Harder! The eyes!"

Lily is like a sack of potatoes, a jittery, trembling, whining sack of potatoes. She remains completely oblivious to what's happening. It's because she's swimming in the past acts of this man. This monster. His past victims flash in floods in front of her eyes, blood gore and screams. Only one of which has happened here as of yet. Her whining continues as she trembles against Colette's body.

Miranda however is in a panic, as Simon and Zuleyka decide to engage, the fourteen year old girl decides to run as fast as she can. Not back into her room but past the monster towards the stairs, towards the gunshots.

Joe obeys quickly, ducking into the boys room and quickly shutting the door. A verbal scuffle is engaged as Eric tries to assure the younger boy that it's all just a game and that they should be able to go out there.

"Sh— shit!" Colette staggers back into the girl's dorm when the deranged lunatic is thrown to the ground and Miranda slips out of her grip and bolts away. Her eyes grow wider, one arm protectively clutching Lily to herself as she curses to herself. For all of the zero words Colette and Zuleyka have shared together, there's a marked level of respect and appreciation that she might feel when all this is over for the girl's rather selfless act of throwing herself at the intruder. "Brian! Brian!" The gunshot, the screaming, it all makes Colette slam the door to the girl's dorm shut, rushing towards the far side from the entrance with Lily in her arms. "Come on— come on— " Her heart pounds in her chest, pulse racing as she comes to a skidding halt, her shoulder thumping up against the wall.

Colette tightly wraps both arms around the small, helpless girl she holds. Wrenching her eyes shut for a moment, the colors on the upper floor shift violently, turning from the fury of blood red, to a slow desaturation. All of the colors begin to fade away, like a watercolor painting left out in the sun, everything bleached and dead, and then lifeless and gray.

Up against the far wall, Colette's breathing is a panicked huff and wheeze, her eyes wide and limbs trembling from adrenaline and fear. She tightly holds on to the girl, trying to be strong for her, to not panic. It's the first time, since she and Tavisha worked together in that old, run-down school, that Colette was able to control her ability to this degree.

The air ripples around her, wavering and bending like a heat mirage. For a moment she and Lily look as if distorted through a funhouse mirror, and then when all light is snuffed out to the two frightened girls, they simply fade away from the perception of others. All that is there, are the sounds of phastened breaths and whimpering. "Y-you've got to be quiet— " Colette whispers in the pitch blackness of invisibility, "please be quiet… please…" her arm around Lily pulls the small girl to her shoulder, fingers raking through her hair as she tries to keep her still and silent. "Please be quiet…"

They fight back. The struggle is familiar. The lithe capability of the girl he launched himself at is unexpected, and his hip connects the table's edge as Zuleyka shoves him past her. The girl is easily all over him again, as is Simon, the kid's kick landing, forcing all three to tip when the monster only reaches out and bunches fabric of Zuleyka's shirt in an alarmingly strong fist, nails torn and yellow and fists white with effort. With a strangled cry, far less powerful than that of the young girl's shriek, the monster rather suddenly drives them both into the wall.

Thud, it reverberates into the girl's dormitory, where Colette attempts to cloak herself in power, to hide.

Zuleyka's head smacks in the wall, but the monster is already turning to swipe a fist around at Simon's attack, snarling at the teenager, all crooked teeth and spittle when the bony knuckles connect with the slow of his jaw, hard enough to do damage to both Simon's jaw and to his own hand. The difference being, the monster genuinely doesn't care, it seems.

Meanwhile, downstairs? The sound of gunshots goes something like: blam-blam. Blam-blam-blam.

And then right outside their door as more footsteps come thundering upstairs: **BLAM*.

With an adrenaline filled growl, he shoulders past Simon, a foot planting on the surface of the table that divides himself and Miranda's trajectory for the door. With a shudder from the furniture, the monster goes leaping, flying through the air to send himself and the girl crashing to the ground.

She gives a shriek when teeth find purchase in her shoulder in a savage bite.

Brand new running shoes racing up the stairs sound precisely like the herd of elephants every mother with a two story house and children has ever complained about, but Deckard can only hear the shrill ring of a near miss screaming in his ears. The same mother probably told him not to run with knives, too. Up ahead, skeletal children are flung into a wall, little bones bouncing and jarred ahead of snarled teeth and knotted knuckles. Even in x-ray vision, the guy looks wild.

Unfortunately, with a gun firing at his heels, there isn't a tremendous amount of time to reflect on this. He explodes in through the door, differentiated from the crazy old man who's already here only by the fact that he smells of manly shampoo as opposed to the gutter grime and blood that his counterpart wears like perfume. Well, that and the fact that his eyes glow, manic blue little more than a spectral blur when he whips himself through the door with every intent to slam it on the son of a bitch charging up the stairs after him. Apparently this is a trick he learned somewhere along the line prior to his last encounter with Felix.

Ooh. Cue the cartoon stars and the chirping birds. Zu is dizzied. But she's not content to see the thing, whatever it is, savage the other girl. She looks around for a weapon, finds a convenient chair. SMall, wooden, really sized for a seven year old's teaparty. But shattered it makes a couple of convenient bludgeons….and one of them is sharp ended enough that the stab she tries on the zombie's back isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility.

In the back of Rocket's mind, he's talking to himself. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to anybody else, the countdown he's going through over and over again, seven, six, five— seven, six, five four— seven— seven— but then again, the words that he's gibbering out aloud aren't a lot better off. Guns. Running.

Barricaded doors, girls disappearing, reality in all its depth and dimensions grayscaling, bodies hitting the walls and oh God it bit her. Should've been more guns. Rocket wishes he hadn't stashed his. Ice cream and biscuits tumble out of his grasp, bump-a-thump across the floor, scudding sticky, milky, chocolate sugar-trails across the floor.

Aloud, he's giving a running commentary of it all, culminating in a sharp twist of his curly head to stare at Deckard. "Aaaah!" He seizes a nearby table leg for emphasis, flinches as the door bites down at the man in hot pursuit of the crook like some huge geometric maw. "Two!"

Miranda's shrieks are crazy loud as the man actually sinks his teeth into her shoulder. Her head crashes agains the ground as she wildly flails against the man in any desperate attempt to free herself, to get out, to run away. But that is not a reality, she is at the creature's mercy, when he has none. Her screams are a terrible thing to listen to, struggling vainly against the far more powerful 'person' she has little as far as luck goes right now.

Meanwhile, Eric and Joe have decided the best thing to do is to stay inside the room and definitely NOT go out into the hall.

Lily however is still mid trance, her vision a blur as it races across the many atrocious acts the man has committed. Until finally her mind wanders further and further back, into jungles, into places Lily has never seen before. Things she's never seen before. Her soft murmuring starts to die down, though her eyes remain in their strange state.

The screams are where the breaking point comes. Miranda's screams, not the kind of fear, but the kind of pain. There's such a clear distinction between the two that someone who has experienced both can define. Hands trembling, Colette rolls her shoulder forward, shifting her weight as the screams continue, laying Lily down on the floor beside one of the beds, "Shh." she hisses out hoarsely, and with all of her focus, she moves.

"All right. First off. You're powerful. You're damn powerful. I'm glad we started down here." Conrad gestures around at the gloom, noting the lack of light. "I have a feeling the more you learn how to use this shit, the more potentially dangerous you'll be."

She can't see anything around her, all she can hear are Miranda's screams echoing off of the walls. But she can feel something so profoundly more substantial than what her eyes could show her. Everything Tavisha had taught her about herself, everything Conrad had told her she could do — she feels the waves of light, feels the shapes of color in the absence of sight. In the room, rippling waves of distortion flow off of Colette as she moves away from Lily, keeping the girl and herself shrouded in the coccoon of invisibility as she bends light around herself and an increasingly distant target.

"So be ready for that. You're gonna have to come to terms with the fact that compared to most people you have a lot of power at your fingertips. Now, there's no not learning this shit. If you don't learn how to control it, you're just gonna fuck things up by accident. The only way you'll be able to have some kind of normal existence is if you put a handle on it. Okay?"

Pressure builds behind her eyes as she walks, a sensation of pain blossoming the further she moves and the greater she has to exert her ability. By the time she finds the door, fumbles with the handle and flings it open, she isn't even as invisible as she thinks she is. There are just waves of color radiating outwards from a distortion like a heat-mirage shaped like a girl. The tendrils of rainbow-hued light slither back into the girl's dorm, whorling in all the spectrum of visible light and radiation.

A ponderous glance around the place, before Tavisha focuses on the expanse of cement wall towards his left. It's clearly been dealt quite a lot of abuse - cracks spider-web through the rock from various blasts of any kind, a deep gouging fist-shaped mark, and someone had rather mockingly taped up a strip of paper with the shape of a person outlined onto it. It hangs mostly in tatters, now, unrecognisable. It's towards this wall that he holds out an arm, palm facing the ground and fingers spread. Without a sound, three thin beams of light leap out from his fingertips, continuous streaks that hit the wall with literal light speed, tracking deep black sears in the rock as he moves them, just a little, aware of the danger. "Light. Heat, too," Tavisha says, with a glance over his shoulder at her.

"Light, heat…" A voice from the whorling motes of color and light, and then all of that begins to fade. The young girl of ink black hair slips into visibility like some sort of rainbow-dappled ghost, one hand raised in mimic of Tavisha's very own gesture, her fingers spread and palm facing the floor. "Light and heat," she reiterates, and the room around her begins to grow dark as the visible light is concentrated in front of her fingertips.

Colette takes a few shaky footsteps away from the entrance of the girl's dorm, buds of green-blue light swirling over her fingertips, even as she fails to feel the wet warmth running down from her eyes as blood vessels rupture in them from the over-exertion of her ability. "Light," she strains the words in pain, "and heat."

There is an audible crackling sound as three blue-green beams of laser energy spark to life in wavering streams from her outstretched fingers. The lasers lash out like knives away from her hand, whizzing past Deckard close enough to slice across his right sleeve, leaving a thin cut in fabric. The beams cut across the monster's back, without the sheer cutting power of Tavisha's lasers, but more like a whip of scalding hot light that sears flesh and splits open skin.

The lasers bend and flex in unnatural ways, swirling like lashing coils of luminescent energy that arc safely around Zuleyka and slash across the monster's back, slice across his arms and leave cauterized gouges in his skin. But when the beams disperse and fade, Colette staggers back, slouching against a wall with blood running down her cheeks from eyes that only have red in them — no whites. Her whimpering now matches Lily's.

The door from Deckard's hand ricochets right back into the face of the man chasing him. A crack of bone, a muffled cry and a faint curse word. Then— footsteps in the other direction. Fuck this shit, they seem to communicate.

There's a growling whine from the monster when the sharp slice of wood imbeds itself somewhere beneath his shoulder blades. His hands clench harder on where the monster is gripping Miranda, head tilting up just as Deckard bursts through the room and slams the door shut on his pursuer. The monster's own blazingly blue eyes rest on this new threat - older, damaged, less pure than the children as all adults are - and his lips curl back in distaste. Monstrous amounts of dark red blood coat the bottom half of his face shinily, dripping in a horror movie's theatrics, before he's moving to get up.

There's blood on his back, from the stab wound. But he's no longer bleeding.

As he turns to whip his gaze around at Zuleyka, she'll feel it. A sudden stab in her back, and although blood doesn't blossom up from the point, her nerves scream as if there really was a piece of broken wood sticking her like she stuck him.

Irregardless of the threat of Deckard just behind him, the monster's muscles tense, readying himself to leap towards the girl and finish the job— but it never happens. He gives a howl as light— as heat slashes his clothing and his skin, no blood but all pain a split second delayed thanks to the nature of lasers. He bows forward, staggers towards the side and topples with a chainsaw groan, and even then— even then— his mouth pulls into a grimacing smile of dry lips and yellowed teeth.

Time to fix himself. He gets to his feet, takes one look around the room. Glass-blue eyes land on Rocket and his half flee towards the door, the weapon in his hands. With a gutteral yell, the monster leaps.

Colorful lasers burn the air inches away from Deckard's vitals, slit the sleeve across his bicep, and don't get so much as a blink. He remains utterly oblivious. The rebound from the door slamming into the skull in pursuit catches him in the opposite shoulder and he staggers back, teeth bared white to the monster's yellow and red. He uses Crest.

The blue kind with sparklies in it.

Much like the lasers, blood is off his radar. There's only howling, screaming, shouting, scrabbling. Kids everywhere. Most of them look to be in various states of terror and/or pain, but there's only so much time for staring. Ribs rising and falling fast around the pump of adrenaline through his tar-encrusted heart, knife still in hand, the wiry grave robber leaps over Simon on his way to plowing himself hard into the monster's ravenous pursuit of Rocket, all knuckle and bone and a really, really bad temper.

Wow, welcome to Tomorrowland, and the laser light show. Zu howls in pain and shock, as somehow the injury she dealt becomes hers to deal with. And then suddenly, Colette is Dazzler with the Power of Disco, and things are a good bit better off. But then he's after Rocket, and she's hurling herself forward, trying to interpose herself again. Her movements are made clumsy by pain, but the rage in her eyes makes up for a lot. She's yelling in three different languages - threats, prayers, commands. Welcome to the Lighthouse, monster, I'll be your personal jihad today.

There's so much pain and screaming and general mayhem going on, Simon can't even focus on his own busted face. He tries to say something, but a mouth full of blood and a possibly broken jaw only lead to gurgles and gore. A quick glance to everyone in the room, and Simon is ready to move. Deckard and the laser light show are only given a slight thought, because now it looks like Rocket is in danger. He felt something like a friendship brewing between them earlier today and would really hate it if the kid was eaten.

"Damn it, Rocket, get out of the way!" he yells. Only he might as well be speaking in tongues because of his mouth. "Blargh blah-blah gurgle a glok" is basically all that comes out.

Instead of running foolishly into the fray like before, he decides to give Deckard and Zu some room, turning his attention instead on the wounded Miranda. He runs over and bends down, examining her wound as if he actually knows something about first aid.

Despite the monochrome and special effects and gore-colored contact lenses and holy crap but that was real blood and Simon's voice couldn't possibly have emerged in that swamp thing register without a modulation device, the movie reel that is 'this situation' refuses to slow down or cut frame out of this macabre science-fiction horror genre thing thing and Rocket's trying to move, okay?

He's scuttling more. Over there. Seeking cover, crabwise, his eyes bulging and lips pulled back into a comical rictus of terror. There's no cover to be sought that doesn't have little girls already cowering there. He looks up, sees Zuleyka. Sees Simon, then Deckard closest of all. Sees the monster pull a knife out. A steak knife. The stab very quick, wrenched in and out, through the spars of the lean gray man's lean, gray ribcage, cunning-quick, like one of those gnarly-handed sailors out on the pier unloading the slippery, membraneous air bladder and bowels out of a fish.

Rocket closes and opens his eyes. Seven, four—

Oh, fuck it.

He squeezes his eyes shut and time halts. Red knife, contorted grave robber, Zuleyka's Amazonian bounds and the red discharge from Colette's eyes. The fabric of the fourth dimension ripples, groans, frays around Rocket Tucker. He feels his legs walk backward and the sensitive hairs inside his nose move back out of recoil from repugnance at the approaching miasma of the monster's breath and sweat-stink. Four seconds.

Could've been seven, but he didn't want to mess anything up, you know?

And then Rocket pushes Play, and the world is suddenly moving again, a whirlwind that he throws himself into, bodily. As Flint Deckard's body crashes into the madman's, the kid's hand is flitting in, all acute angles and skinny monofilament lines, a grasshoper, snagging the serrated blade out of the creature's body seconds before its own stench-stained fingers go for it. He drops into a crouch, as if to bolt, retroactively, to cover his head, but he isn't doing that.

No, he's bringing the knife down, perpendicular to the floor, the point of the blade aimed down into the roof of the monster's foot and the wooden boards below it. Timber

Miranda recoils as the monster leaves her, crawling rapidly into Simon's care. Her screams have devolved into a body shaking weepfest that has tears dumping like rain into the bloodied shoulder. She does her best to crawl into him as much as she can practically clinging at his leg, anything that will get her away from that thing and give her some semblance of security.

And then the feet come pounding up the stairs once again, the door flinging open as a third man emits. Holding a gun, the man is younger, but much more scruffy looking. The gun is held out at Deckard as the thug races up at him, and just about when it seems like he is about to end the old man's life…

Bang Bang Bang

One last volley of gunshots rings out, but it's not from the thugs gun, but from the man behind him. The caretaker of the Lighthouse has finally arrived, and he brought a gun. Brian walks up the rest of the stairs, holding the gun solidly at his side as he steps over the body, glaring daggers at no one in particular. Time to kill the beast.

Sliding down the wall, Colette's chest rises and falls quickly, colors blotting in and out of existence around her. The wall shifts and changes hues, fading to a weakly saturated blue around her, tinting the tiles as well. She swallows hoarsely, rolling onto her side as a few droplets of crimson spatter in sharp contrast on the blue. One hand moves up to her face, feeling the ache behind her eyes, feeling the warmth of blood flowing down her cheeks and onto the floor in large droplets.

Colette rolls onto her side, wheezing a wet breath as her cheek slides in the warm fluid now pooling on the floor. Her body trembles, pain still racing in her mind as she keeps Lily concealed across the room. Pushing herself up on to her hands and knees, Colette's eyes blink open, the wetness pooling out from around them causing her to blink more, erratically. She raises one hand, the pain of a headache winding up in the back of her neck as she holds out just one finger. All of the lights in the room flicker and splutter, everything grows dim like a dark sunset as a spot of illumination forms over her outstretched fingertip.

She can hear the savage snarling of that horrible thing, that monster incarnate. She can feel her hand trembling, but she can still feel the way light bounces off of the monster's body.

And she can feel one, singular and focused point of light on her hand before all of it splutters out entirely, and the overwhelming pain and focus stretched wafer thin finally breaks. Colette lets out a whimpering cry and slouches forward, crumpling to the floor unmoving as the balance of color and light begins to more evenly distribute itself.

She's done everything she can, and it wasn't enough.

Pain. Desperation. They're coming at all sides. The monster howls again, in anger when his steak knife is wrenched from him and the point buries itself into his foot. It hurts, at first, everything does. He screams and it's a strangled, weary sound, more flashing teeth and blood flecks than a real noise.

There's a moment of thrashing, wild animal limbs flailing and blood trailing as he gets out from under Deckard, shoving him away, similarly thrashing a fist out towards Zuleyka as he escapes their attacks, breathing coming hard and rasping. The door is blocked by Brian and is gun, the dead body of the thug he'd recruited now bleeding on the ground.

No where to go but away. Like any rabid beast, he also knows how to flee.

The rain is coming down outside, as seen through the open window Bai-Chan fled through. At a forced limp from the broken bones in his foot and the deeper gouges of the lasers, but not the pain of either, the monster runs for the window. And doesn't stop. His good foot finds purchase on the edge, before he simply leaps out into the rain, and disappears as he falls down, down, down.

The thud is only just audible when he lands. Broken bones, split mouth, concussion. It's all the same.

Atop the fallen monster in a position that might be kind of kinky if it occurred under completely different circumstances and with completely different people, Deckard isn't really sure how they wound up horizontal — just that they did, and now are. He's not the only one fighting. That much he knows, even if he's blindly unaware of yet another near death experience and Rocket's deft hand in preventing it.

The third one is a little harder to ignore in that it's in the form of a gun being pointed at him. His scruffy head whips around, and bang bang bang, blood spatters warm across his face at approximately the same time as the beast beneath him finds enough purchase to heave him bodily aside, inconveniently into the black puddle Colette's in the process of creating. It even splashes a little.

Oh, right in the jaw, and it bounces her off the wall again. Zu isn't unconscious,but she's close, slumping down the wall and sagging like one of those discarded toys. Her lips and nose are bleeding, and she's sniffling it back. Just like the aftermath of a playground fight. "It went out the window," she explains, in a slur, perhaps unnecessarily.

Simon holds Miranda close as Brian murders someone who comes barging in and the monster jumps out of the window. What the hell? The pain in his jaw is catching up with him, and even though he wants to say so much, he smartly keeps his mouth shut. Instead, he just looks wide-eyed from Brian, to Deckard, to Rocket, to Zu, to Colette, to *everyone*. Maybe he's waiting for an explanation. Maybe he's waiting for someone to pinch him and wake him up. He just wants someone to do *something* other than bleed all over the place.

Fingers sticky from a mixture of ice cream and blood, Rocket remains in his little ball-shaped squat at the center of the floor. Deckard nearby, broken glass scattered further beyond that, a tangled ring of people in various states of injury or death all around. It's either very quiet, or he's half-deaf from gunfire. Both, maybe. He pushes his curls back with shaking fingers. Blinks once, twice. Breathes, slowly.

When he speaks, he is over-loud. Fucking guns. "Do we got a doctor?"

Lamplight casts strange shadows through the room. Rain cleanses, blows in through the open windows and a cool breeze in contrast to the white-hot of panic and fear starts to spiral through the room. A dead man lies on the ground, Brian's chest heaving, because what wouldn't you do to protect the ones you care for?

It takes a long time for things to be cleaned. There are bodies to be put away, and wounds to tend to, the children ushered quick-smart into their respective rooms.

It takes even longer for Brian to finally move towards the open window, hand going to to close it before something makes him stop, peering out into the darkness where the monster had fallen. The impact is visible in the puddle accumulating in the groove in the dirt, and he can't see the staggering footprints leading away into rural Staten Island.

The window shuts with a click against the wolves at the door.

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