When Lightning Strikes, Part II

Participants:

alexander_icon.gif brooke_icon.gif elle_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif helena_icon.gif hiro_icon.gif isabelle_icon.gif peter_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif teo_icon.gif verse_icon.gif

Also Featuring

lucrezia_icon.gif

Scene Title When Lightning Strikes, Part II
Synopsis The venture into Red Level is practically a trip into the past — familiar faces come left and right out of the woodwork, some to help, some to hinder.
Date April 7, 2009

Moab Federal Penitentiary: Red Level


Red Level.

In ways, it has the same cold charms of Primatech's Level-5, enough so that the prospect of breaking in to these thick steel doors that block out each cell from the concrete halls rings more familiar than mere Deja-Vu to Gabriel Gray.

Each of these hydraulic-locked eight inch thick steel doors reminds him of another time, another place. How could this not, given the memory he has been both cursed and blessed with in his once never-ending search for power. Now the tables are turned, and yet at the same time the irony that he has come here to rescue Peter Petrelli still stings, still tastes bitter in his mouth after all these months.

With Hiro having deposited Gabriel and Gillian off on Red Level, he was already gone to look for Peter, able to scan the cells faster than most. For the time being, his power still seemed to function within the walls, and for now, Hiro was willing to take full advantage of that.

A security camera swivels towards Gabriel, lens rotating and twisting as it focuses down on him with mechanical scrutiny. But it's not just the cameras spotting him that garner his attention, it's one of the doors beginning to shriek and groan as it slides open, recessing into the walls while a second security door slides down into the floor.

"…no, I've done it. I have the location of Phoenix's safehouses and their members." A smooth, calm voice comes from one of the doors, followed by a tall man in a long, dark coat buttoned up to the collar. "Yes, all of them. Police officers, civilians, you won't believe the list. They're hiding out right under our noses too, the Library was just the beginning."

With his cell phone pressed to his ear, Agent Verse is followed out of a cell by a pair of Moab Security officials, a pair of men in simple gray jumpsuits with pistols holstered at their hips — looking almost something like a trio of cowboys out of the wild west with their posture and swagger.

"No, Sir, I broke him. There's no doubt that — " Finally, Verse's eyes catch up to his mouth as he spots the dark silhouette at the end of the hall. It's like turning a corner to see the boogeyman crawling out of a closet, and the chill this figure sends up Verse's spine causes him to reflexively drop the cell phone in mid conversation, lips mouthing a name he never thought he would say again.

"Sylar."

Dark eyes look up to the equally black depths of the camera swiveling towards both he and Gillian, standing side by side where the time traveler teleported them into the hallway of metal doors. Own heart hammering at a bizarrely calm rate, there's a moment of contemplation as to what door to try first, when someone makes the decision of how and when to act for them.

"Agent Verse." Names traded, introductions made, and Gabriel's lip curls back in a sneer at the sight of the familiar man flanked by guards. A hand goes up, two fingers hooking as if to simulate the feeling of the telekinetic hooks within the torsos of the two men, hand flicking and sending both slamming into the wall, one clipping Verse with his shoulder.

Gabriel's hand goes out to Gillian - protective, in a way, or practical. Shared energy is best when contact is involved, after all, and his other hand remains outstretched in warning towards the telepath. "We had a deal," he reminds him, voice casual, as if they had all the time in the world.

Contact always has been the best way to share energy from her. While one man might act, lashing out with power, Gillian moves a step back, as if she might hide behind him. Protection would be important in most any situation she gets involved in. The poor woman's only protection is other people, this one in particular. And the gun that's tucked away in her pants. Not to be pulled out yet. She might need both hands. She certainly needs one. The knot in the back of her head breaks apart as soon as contact is made, a purple glow lighting up behind hazel eyes, changing the color. Everything will become sharper for the man with him, sounds louder. But what he says makes her blink. "Deal?" What deal, she hasn't heard anything about a… Agent Verse? Deal?

There's one too many heartbeats here, in Sylar's ears — and the last one is the odd one out. Not his own, not Gillian's, and not that of either Agent Verse or the guards so easily smashed aside. The voice that accompanies it is a familiar one — but different from when he last heard it. For one, there are fewer riddles this time around. "If I were you," the teenage girl says, as she steps out from behind Verse; she smiles warmly at Gabriel and Gillian, but briefly. Tamara's eyes are dark on the agent. "I'd remember that and get out of the way." Her gaze flicks back to the intruders, and the seeress tips her head towards the camera. "You shouldn't let them watch, you know."

Tensing in the hallway, Verse watches Gabriel with wide eyes, shoulders squaring as he gives a curt nod to the man that spared his life. "We do," he waves one hand towards the cells, "Take— " his dark eyes settle on Gillian for a moment, puzzled, "take whatever ones you want, and get out of here. I— I have what I— "

Tamara's words cause Verse's to catch in his throat, and he practically jumps back and away from her, sucking in a shuddering breath as he watches the small girl with remarkable confusion. The agent tenses up, moving to press his back to one of the concrete walls marked with a red stripe, then focuses on Gabriel, "One, Six, Seven, Seven, Three. That code will unlock any of the doors in the facility today— " Verse looks to the two guards crumpled at the base of the other wall, then back again as the entire prison suddenly shakes violently.

The lights go out for a moment, popping loudly as they do, and when they come back on everything is flooded with a red glow of emergency lightning and flashing white beacons. Dust settles from the ceiling, followed by a second series of loud rumbles this far down below the ground. Verse's chest rises and falls rapidly, and he turns to Gabriel again with a puzzled expression, mouth open to speak words that he can't find, because once he does, the hallway shakes for a third and final time, another loud explosion echoing on the upper floors.

It's started.

"What's going on?" Asked by Helena, it's a question Peter can't answer, but it's enough to make her push herself, using the wall for support, to her feet. She swallows hard, looking up and around at the corners of the Red Level cell as if they can provide answers. And of course, none are to be had.

"Hey." she says in a normal tone, but she all but runs to the door, and begins to bang her fist on it. "Hey! HEY! What's going on out there?! Someone let me out! LET ME OUT!" Can they even hear her? What's going on?

The sounds of people being thrown around and talking in the hall, don't really distract Isabelle from her.. well she isn't really doing anything, but sitting against the wall. Her head down, hair hanging in her face.

Then the lights are going out and everything is red in her cell, that's when she begins doing something. Standing with her back against the wall. Izzy folds her arms and waits. "Bout fucking time things got exciting around here." She mutters and shakes her head. The pyro has been a very bored girl in the last weeks.

Bound to it is Al, apparently utterly unconscious. Verse's talents generally obviate the need for actual physical violence, so he doesn't really appear to be injured — no bruises. There's just a faint trickle of blood from nose and eyes, as if his blood pressure had been doing some truly bizarre things.

Somewhere farther down the level, the fleshy thud of two bodies hitting a wall had long since caught Elle's attention. All the voices, too. The agent had been observantly strolling, fingertips trailing the last metallic curves of a door before idly dropping away, but now that's forgotten. All her speed, now, is redirected into moving as quickly and silently as she can down the corridor. A tiny, fierce core of electric-blue light has erupted in the seat of her palm, which she tries to conceal as best she can against the crook of her other arm. Caution is the watchword as she breezes past several consecutive, darkened cells.

And then the explosions, light, and tremors come flooding in— with the effect that Elle, jarred off-balance at first, re-speeds up into something approaching a jog once she finds it again. Blonde hair bobs on both shoulders as she hurries along, and her expression is both flat and hostile, belying the indignant deja-vu building in her chest.

Really? …Again? Really?

The electricity grows in radius within her hand, and as it sputters angrily at its new, hungry volume, she rounds the corner to where the confrontation is taking place. The word "stop" has already begun to form harshly on her lips, but it's lost when she sees those specifically assembled before her. All in one second, her eyes narrow wildly. "Hey—"

All work and no play makes Brooke a dull girl. Morphine addiction just makes things a little more interesting. Her caretaker hasn't been around lately to alternate between entertaining and tormenting her, leaving her in her lonely watchtower. Pictures move on a multitude of screens, watched behind a medicated haze.

Then, things get interesting. The woman jerks toward the wall of screens, the chains wrapped about her body jangling furiously as she strains, pulling taut at the D ring in the ceiling keeping her trapped in this prison.

Furiously, fingers stretch, opening and closing as though expelling energy toward a particular screen. Dark hair is shaken and strewn about her face as Brooke lets loose a cry of frustration. Neither figure on the screen stops moving. For a moment, she thinks it's her. And then years of knowledge coming flooding back to her suddenly. She hadn't truly expected Peter Petrelli to halt in his path. But the Asian man with the sword? That one took a moment for the realisation.

"Hiro, you're a son of a bitch."

The room erupts around her, lights and monitors alike flickering. For several agonising moments, Brooke's connection to the outside world is completely cut off. "No! No no no! NO!" Hysterical screaming accompanies the loss of connection, subdued only when the backup generators kick in once more and reconnect the security to the system.

Gabriel stares across at Tamara, a perfect memory bringing to mind a face he'd met months ago, by random chance, of a woman who talked in riddles. There's a pause which serves the purpose of reminding him there isn't actually time to ponder such things, before the hand outstretched towards Verse shifts long enough to point two fingers up towards the camera. Bright blue lasers lance out from his fingertips, making glass and plastic crack, explode, melt into uselessness.

Trust me, flits through Gillian's mind, a familiar projected voice that eases silkily through her thoughts. He'd caught that slgiht hitch of breath and heartbeat when he'd spoken of a deal. Perhaps something Gabriel should have mentioned?

Whoopsadaisy. And that's about when the world threatens to go to hell. And everyone wants to join in on the party.

Gabriel's hand towards Verse clenches, as if gripping strings tied to Verse like a marionette's, rendering him immobile; he needs him later. Gabriel swiftly moves towards the one open door, glancing towards Tamara as he peers inside. A pause, before he's muttering something into his radio, and looking back at Gillian. He'd heard someone's voice, and he suggests to the augmentor, "One, Six, Seven, Seven, Three. Helena's— " and he points, "— in that one."

He steps back from Alexander's door, conflicted as he looks over the unconscious telekinetic. He should save him. He's meant to find Peter, and then— the sound of someone approaching, Gabriel turning on his heel to let lasers suddenly burn down the hallway, searing metal and flashing bright blue until he sees exactly who he's firing at— and stops, blinking when the familiar electrokinetic appears.

There's a glowing purple glare at Gabriel. "We'll talk later." Just so he knows she's not forgetting this, even if she's going to trust him on it for the moment. Gillian looks around, trying to remember the number, moving with Gabriel for a moment as he goes. Black hair stays out of her face thanks to a ponytail, and even as alarms go off, even as the building shakes, she doesn't reach for the gun. Not yet. It won't do any good.

The suggestion to split up, though… "Fine. I'll get Windy." The flickering of electricity, the burning of lasers, is only vaguely seen out of the corner of her eyes as she starts to move down the hallway to the door he was indicating. She has no idea why he stops firing the lasers off, trusting, somehow, that it might mean the target has already gone down.

The door holding back the wind. The glow in her eyes has died down. Her hand no longer glows. The connection to Gabriel has been broken. But there are numbers. 16773. Thank god for being a librarian with a mind for numbers. She had to type them in every single god damn day.

There. Unleash the wind. She's trusting that Gabriel had good reasons for making some kind of deal, and she's trusting him to watch her back, too.

Canting her head, Tamara watches Gabriel deliberate. The young woman smiles softly. "I can't bring him," she points out to the power thief. "And there's two others we had to get. Peter found us." So don't worry about him.

Elle is a slightly different matter, and the precog turns to face the Company agent as she arrives in the hall. Her eyes are dark, all traces of blue swallowed by dilated pupil; her gaze is level. And Tamara sighs. Sometimes there just aren't many options. "We need to go that way," she informs her companions, continuing to regard Elle.

Choking back words of shock as his body goes rigid and is pressed up against the wall, Verse's eyes scan the hall. What he wouldn't give for someone, anyone in arms reach to be asleep, that would make this so much more likely to end in his survival, not his brutal demise at the hands of Sylar and whoever these people are.

The explosions have stopped overhead, every last thundering rupture having come and gone, and whatever fortunes find the man of a thousand faces who was piloting that attack are unknown to those deep within the earth. But it's an explosion of another kind that comes from down the hall, an explosion of words, frustration, anger and distrust.

"Sylar!" The voice comes not from a cell adjacent to Helena's where it should, but rather down the hall from the direction Elle had come from. There, draped in the same hunter-orange threads as every other prisoner here, is the one man who should be most thankful for Gabriel's presence, and is — of course — the least thankful.

"Elle, are you alright?" Dark brows furrow together, creasing the scar across his face as he moves to step up behind the blonde electrokinetic. The question, the why and the how of Peter being out of his cell is answered in the form of a shorter man dressed in black approaching behind Peter, his hair drawn back into a ponytail, sword held out at his side.

"He…" Hiro Nakamura can hardly believe the words that spill from his mouth, "is with us, Peter." The samurai's dark eyes lift up towards Gabriel, then focus on Elle's small frame before settling on Peter once more. "Whoever the security force is here, they've locked me down. It— " he winces, "it's like I'm tethered to something, I can't stop time, slow it… we need to find the elevator and get— "

"Open the doors." Peter stains the words out through his teeth, looking to Hiro with narrowed eyes after noticing Helena's cell door opened by Gillian of all people. "All of them, I want everyone out, I don't care if they come with us, I don't care who they are. Let everyone out." Peter looks up to Gabriel, jaw tensing.

No matter how many times Hiro explains it, none of this makes any sense. Espescially not the wide-pupiled sybil standing between the groups, the same one from the Deveaux building so many months ago. Why her, why him, why here?

And like magic, the door slides open under Helena's pounding fist. She stumbles back a few steps from the sheer shock of it, only to see waiting for he on the other side…

"Gillian?"

Underfed, almost terrified, and looking like someone beat her with a two-by-four, Helena advances slowly out of the cell. Oh god, please don't let this be one of Verse's tricks. Please don't let it be a dream. When she crosses the threshhold, she looks around, sees Hiro, sees Peter, lets out a breath and quells her urge to all but tackle the man, sees Sylar. "Oh, god," she says. "This can't be a dream, even Verse doesn't have that much of a twisted sense of humor." Her look darts back to Gillian. "Gillian, the others…we have to find them, too. I think they're all on Green."

More commotion has Isabelle tilting her head, she can't do anything but wait. But knowing Isabelle that isn't good enough. She strides up to her cell door and kicks at it hard. "SHIT!" she yells as the metal makes her foot ache, she leans against the wall as she rubs it. "At least get me out as well." She says just a bit under shouting.

The young woman hears voices on the other side. "This does not sound like a normal night on Level Red," she says to herself. The bartender is shaking her head and looking at the door, waiting and hoping that someone opens it. "If I don't get out of here… I'll fucking burn the hair off every guard here," she mutters.

Pity that the reunion between Sylar and Elle is short-lived, and not particularly intended to be friendly on Elle's part. There's too much of a chance here for her to prove herself to the Company.

She stumbles, hands covering her head. It's luck, mainly, and her already-taut sense of wariness that save her from being burned into slices by Gabriel's lasers. When the last beam wails off past her hair, she looks up again quickly, her own electricity now blossoming like a dying star. It BLASTS outwards in a white, blinding arc magnified by Gillian's augmenting, aimed towards where Gabriel and Gillian are collectively standing— and in the conclusion of that movement, her attention is distracted, whipping sidelong at Peter.

"What? I'm fine." She boggles for a moment, recollecting herself to reply defensively at the scarred empath. "But you." The electricity begins again, this time twin-fold: one ball of blue sprouting in each hand. Emphasizing what Peter knows, but might have to painfully relearn. They're on different sides.

Wild eyes roam the screens as they flicker, her lifeline falling apart. Oh, so briefly, she sees him. "Sylar!" Brooke screams at the monitor, reaching out toward it as if she could reach through the glass and alert the man on the other side. For a moment, she thinks he sees her too.

Blue light, familiar and harsh, cuts off her vision. "No! No! Sylar!" One red eye watches Brooke's dismay unblinkingly. Furiously, cobalt turns on crimson. "You simpletons have me too medicated! I can't stop them without a clear line of sight!" The truth of this hits home harder than she'd like it to. Morphine proving too much even for adrenaline, the fight drains from Brooke quickly. She slinks to the floor in a clink of chains, watching the images of Peter Petrelli and Hiro Nakamura in the corner of one monitor, while Gabriel Gray remains just out of reach. Ill-manicured nails scratch at concrete flooring as twitching fingers maintain control of an ability with no visible effect.

The whole place goes white with light, in Gabriel's eyes, when Elle's electricity comes rocketing down the hallway. That's what he gets for being domesticated — pulling the punches when perhaps a bit of lasering might have done the blonde some good. There's another crackle of something like electricity, a membrane-like forcefield flowing over Gabriel around the time he ducks where he has nearest cover — Alex's room. Incidentally, it's enough to cut the strings on Verse's entrapment, but Gabriel has bigger things to worry about.

Two things happen to cause Gabriel to retrieve the unconscious telekinetic. First, Tamara's gentle urging. Then, Peter. That leaves Alexander. With a scowl, Gabriel gets to his feet and hastily undoing Alex's bindings with a mix of telekinesis and his own hands, not particularly gentle, just economical, before one hand grips the front of Alexander's shirt. "Fido's been a bad boy," he mutters.

Outside, Gabriel's lanky, black-clad figure comes stalking out of the cell and into the crowded hallway, somewhat casually dragging Alex limply behind him like so much dead meat, the redhead's head lolling back and legs dragging along. Thud! Gabriel releases his grip for the moment, letting the telekinetic go slump against the ground. He nudges him once with his boot. Come on come on wake up.

This is so much more annoying than he imagined it would be.

Only Elle will feel it — a sudden pulse of a headache, more than a headache, a tingling, telepathic attack that lasts a moment; that makes her limps go numb, makes her vision go into double. She won't immediately collapse, she won't even be paralysed, but it's something. "We have to go," Gabriel growls out at those saying they have to rescue everyone. "Teo and the rest are taking care of the Green level and I have what I came for." Not that he really has Peter, Helena, Alexander, but the objective is achieved. Little does he know who's watching him on her screens.

There's a tug in the back of her head, a pull of power that Gillian hadn't expected. It amplifies the bolts that shoot in her direction, in Gabriel's. They miss. Only barely, the floor getting scortched near her feet as she jumps to the side, shocked. There's so much activity, so much going on. Peter's right there too. She glances at him, the knot pulling back together for the moment. What's holding them in place? What's wrong? And Windy's worried about it. "Yeah, we're taking care of it!" She yells, over the crackle of energy, and Peter who isn't supposed to be able to use his abilities. And… "One, Six, Seven, Seven, Three. Those are the codes of the door," she says to Helena first, before she looks at Peter.

So much is going on. Here and elsewhere. She does know this… She was sent to save Peter. She was the only one who could do it, apparently. So the knot unravells in the back of her head completely, her eyes glow again as she tosses energy in his direction. He's close enough he'll get a lot more than Elle did. If this works how it's supposed to…

Tamara isn't in the path of Elle's shockwave, so she doesn't have to dodge it. This is good. The fact that Gabriel is just about to sever his hold on Verse — not acceptable, in the seer's perspective. The agent has no time to savor the sudden severance of marionette's strings — just enough to feel the small hand that grabs his shoulder, the sharp jab of a needle in the opposite side of his neck. Targeted, with the precision of a precog, upon a carotid artery. Delivering nothing but air.

Telepath? What telepath?

The girl lets both agent and syringe fall to the floor, stepping past them to face Peter and Hiro. A hint of red beads at the edge of one nostril, but there's no strain visible in her expression yet. "There's one more key," she tells them. Dark eyes focus on Hiro. "One more corner piece, one more hinge. Then you can go." Tamara looks back at Peter. "But she's past you and I can't go there." Certainly not while he's being amplified, at any rate!

A tug on his sleeve, and Verse turns to look down at the young girl standing beside him, "You— What do you— hrkk" The needle slips into Verse's neck, and as Tamara's finger presses down the plunger full of nothing but air he violently tries to pull himself away from her, staggering to one side as he brings a hand to the side of his head. It only takes a moment for the air in his artery to do its work and reach his brain, and the choked scream Steven Verse manages to get off is an aborted cry of frustration.

He had them. He had them all.

Phoenix.

Nathan.

Everyone.

Now all Steven Verse has, is death at the hands of an innocent young girl, and concrete at his back as he lays twitching on the floor, vision fading into dull and lifeless darkness.

Across the hall, across the divide of chaos a violet glow flashes across Peter's pupils for a moment as Gillian begins amplifying his suppressed abilities. It is an amplification that draws at the latent mimicry of Gillian's own powers locked away in the back of his mind. More importantly, it brings to the forefront the regenerative properties that his body received from Claire Bennet. Peter's chest rises and falls as his heart-rate accelerates, as electricity wracks his body and sends him staggering back into one of the walls, howling with pain.

Skin blackening under the electrical assault from Elle, Peter's arms swing down to his sides, back arching and mouth opening in a choked back scream of agony… agony that slowly fades away to laughter as the pain begins to numb.

The transition from howling agony to howling laughter draws an arched brow from Hiro, even as he ducks around the corner with elegent grace to avoid an incoming bolt of lightning. His sword sparks and splutters as a few tiny jolts run up and down the length of steel, tingling his hands. "Peter…" he murmurs, only to watch as the scarred young man pushes himself off of the wall, lifting one hand to draw the focus of Elle's electricity. His fingers spread, acting like tiny conductor rods as her bolts are drawn towards them, and the blackness on his skin begins to fade away, rapidly healing as his body is pushed beyond the limitations of the drug.

He trusted her once.

But that was then.

One hand moves two fingers to the side, a gesture emulated from the motions of the man across the hall, and Elle is whipped up off of her feet and slammed into the hall by her shoulder. Peter moves his hand back again, and swings it to the side, slamming her once more into the concrete with her back, footfalls slowly making headway down the hall. "I said I want these doors open!"

Hiro tenses as he watches Peter handle Elle so roughly, though the surprise that he only battered her around and didn't knock her out casts doubt over his steely features. "Peter, we need to go, there's— " A sudden shuddering rumble, more powerful than the last, shakes the subterranean hallway as the rigged explosives drop the outer wall on the ground level up above, and the exterior defenses of Moab are laid to ruin. Hiro steps to Peter's side, laying a hand on his shoulder, but for all he wants to draw the man out and away from here, he feels as though his power is blunted by something, his vision of destination obscured by some filmy veil.

Peter's focus on Elle beaks, and the tiny blonde is deposited from where she was pressed against the wall, slouching over to land on her backside, battered, but awake. Scowling, Peter turns towards Helena, his expression softening some. "Go. I'll be right behind you," dark eyes move from Helena to Verse's prone form, and the young girl that delivered the fatal blow. "Who else is here?"

By now, Peter knows better than to question Tamara's judgement when she appears. But as he takes a few steps towards her, he forgets the one lesson from their first meeting.

Don't get close.

She hopes Gillian will forgive her. Helena longs for her power, the way the desert longs for rain to bring life back to its cracked, dry surface. Helena knows what proximity to Gillian can give her — what contact can give her, and there's no way she can resist it. She reaches out, puts her hand on Gillian's shoulder, and suddenly, the world shifts. Everything that was off-kilter becomes right again, and she feels like, for the first time in months, she can breathe. The sudden reassertion of her power is akin to ecstasy, and for a moment Helena can only stand there, full with it like a spring bubbling up, overwhelming her. And her power begins to respond.

Even as Helena takes her hand away, murmuring a ragged thank you to the brunette, the clear Utah skies are starting to turn dark and form clouds. Her attention draws to Alex, and she looks torn between staying to help him and — Peter, suddenly charred, and then recovered and laughing, Verse dropping from the needle brought to his neck, so much going on, too much to take in. But then Peter says, I'll be right behind you, and oh, fool, poor foolish Helena, she believes. She nods, turns, and runs to where she remembers the stairs to be from when they first dragged her down here.

Elle had been expecting something like more lasers to come shooting at her, and so she's unprepared for the mental hammer that puts a sudden dent in her consciousness. She falters, the spheres suspended from both palms fizzing out with her. She barely has time to refocus her vision upwards, impending realization in her dazed blue eyes, before she is whisked off her feet again, this time by Peter. Double whammy.

She lies half-slumped in the position the telekinetic throw had left her in, one hand groping feebly while the rest of her remains too stunned to get up. Fft. If someone happened to shoot her right now, that'd be perfect.

In the sequence of monitors, Brooke watches flashes of light. Visual echoes of conflict. "I'm here," she begs the unseen.

"I'm here."

A woman's figure goes streaking into view, running past camera after camera. Red to Green. Chaos to Mayhem. A glance to the monitors showing the outside world — the familiar sight of freedom so close and yet so far out of reach — reveals the destruction brought on by the assault pouring from beyond the Moab perimeter and spilling inward like flood walls breached. Elation and trepidation is brought on in equal parts. It's too much to control. The shifting of sands in the glass — grains attempting to flow at different speeds…

"AAAHHH!"

Brooke Lynwood's shriek pierces the air around her as she turns her fingers away from the floor to instead claw at the bare skin of her arms, gathering fistfuls of the fabric of her dingy tank top before stopping short at her throat. The skin there has already been broken once before and a ragged, healed scar is traced with some reverence.

"Find me. Save me."

There's something coming. It crackles ominously on the radios in the form of Teo's voice sending warnings of something Gabriel is starting to hear coming, footsteps— inhuman footsteps coming down the stairwell, the elevator shafts. As much as he might want to throttle Peter as the newly freed man looks towards Tamara, asking her for instruction, Gabriel finds himself turning towards the source of the noise, the fact that he is on a mission managing to hone in his concentration.

Poor Alex is shoved carelessly aside for now by a force he'd be familiar with if he were awake, but safely so, getting out the way of what might very well be the coming storm. "You can open the doors," he says over his shoulder to Peter, voice echoing down the hallway, "but I'm getting out of here alive. They're sending… someone." And that's all the warning he feels is needed.

He did tell Teo that someone sounded fun, did he not?

The tug of energy is enough that Gillian has to lean forward and touch her knees. Helena's touch on the shoulder didn't help too much. Aaah. Windy… She doesn't say anything, but she just nods, understanding. The woman doesn't stop to follow her boyfriend's instructions, and when she straightens up, she doesn't seem inclined to do it either.

"Preferring alive, too. Seen myself die enough times," she rasps out, keeping the connection open to Peter, sending some additional toward Gabriel, as she starts to make her way after him. If he's going to keep her alive, she's going to be with him. And that creepy creepy girl who makes no sense and shoves needles into people who fall over and die emo deaths… (and this was a guy Gabriel had deals with no less?)

"I came here for you," she says to Peter specifically. She's also sort of supposed to make sure he comes with her, too. But she moves after Gabriel instead. If things work how they should, Peter can now take care of himself, and whoever else is down here.

Was he completely not listening? Tamara hops backwards as Peter steps forwards, clearing Verse's body easily without so much as looking down once. She holds out a hand for him to stop — and just in case he misses that, too, adds verbal directive. "Don't!" You idiot, we don't have time for this again. The teen doesn't say it, but the tone is there. And she should know.

Dark eyes flick past Peter, to the hall she still can't get down. The bead of red lengthens, drips; is carelessly caught by a sleeve in its fall. She won't leave any of her own blood behind if she can help it. "Four doors past you. On the left. I'm… running out of time." It's clear in the way she leans her shoulder against the wall, the sudden crash of strain onto the young seer's features as her efforts to hold it off come to an inevitable end. But she held long enough to do what had to be done.

There are other things in Tamara's pockets; a second syringe, a vial filled with clear liquid. She fills the syringe without looking at anything except the man she's speaking to. "Be careful, Peter. Once they were gone…" The girl shakes her head slowly. "I don't know. I don't know." The needle slides easily into her forearm, out again, falls to chime against concrete floor. So does the ampoule, somehow not shattering upon contact. It rolls away.

Tamara's hands knot in the hair on either side of her head; her face twists in a pained grimace, teeth biting through her lower lip as she sinks down towards the floor. She whimpers once; lucidity drains from her expression, and then any awareness at all, leaving a heap of unconscious teenager at the base of the wall.

Gillian was here to save him? It seems illogical, after everything he did to her, after all of the terrible things he had wanted to do in order to get to the man he's staring down now. Helena walked right past Sylar. Gillian still works openly with him, then there's Elle, and — Peter winces, one hand holding the side of his head as he tries to parse all of this, even as the simplest request to stop causes him to abruptly realize just who he was walking towards.

What is wrong with her? "Time? What do you mean— " The syringe is drawn out, and Peter's words hitch in his throat, "Four doors? What— what's four doors from— " And she injects herself. "What are you— " he goes to move towards her, but stops dead in his tracks, breathing in a hasty breath as his hands shake and tremble.

"Jesus— I— " He watches her face contort, watches whatever confusing symptons of the injection pass over her, and he watches her crumple up against the wall, every single word out of her mouth a mystery, just like last time. If he had listened to her more closely then, things would be different now.

But what was it Hiro had said? You don't belong here.

Peter tenses up, looking over to the door he had heard shouting behind earlier. He needs someone to carry her. Blowing out a heavy beath, Peter turns towards the doors, towards the sound where he had heard Isabelle shouting earlier. Her voice, more so than Elle's, is a familiar one brought on by memories of his former association with PARIAH. Familiar, dangerous, she's exactly what he needs. Amplified and having metabolised the drug out of his system, Peter motions towards the door, forgetting about Elle entirely as he focuses on the hinges, plates of thick steel and hydraulic pistons keeping it in place. There is a rumbling shudder, a straining groan of metal, and Peter exhales an exhausted beath, staggering away from the door. They designed this all too well, proof against phasing, reinforced doors that impede profound telekinetic force.

A series of beep and clicks, however, they are not proof against. "I know you've been down here a while, Peter." Hiro notes from where he stands by the keypad, having typed in the sequence of numbers to begin the door's steady opening. "But do try to use your head." As the pistons hiss and the doors receed into the walls, Isabelle is geeted not by the familiar face of Peter Petrelli, but the soul-patch and katana of a stoic looking Japanese man. "Welcome to your first day of freedom," he states with a crooked smile, turning to look back over his shoulder towards Peter.

"Hiro, take care of…" Dark eyes motion towards Tamara's unconscious form, "Get her away from here. I'm… going to see what she was talking about. We can't stay here much— " A sudden crack of fist on flesh cuts off Peter's words, but it isn't from anyone striking the recently escaped prisoner. Instead, it is a cyclonic rush of air down the hall, and an erupting of black and tan hues as a woman just over five feet in height appears out of a blur of speed, using the momentum behind her movement to strike Gabriel square in the center of his chest with both hands. The impact sends the dark-haired man off of his feet, through the air and down to the ground, too quick to have reactively raised his telekinetic shield.

Dark dredlocks fall down around her face, coffee colored skin that barely is touched by cream contrasts well to the matte black of her tactical uniform's kevlar weave and body plating. "Donner, I've got the targets sighted. Breakout in progress— " she vanishes in another blur of motion, bouncing up into the air, nearly clipping her head on the ceiling before she comes crashing down with a knee on Sylar's abdomen in a wild display of agility and speed.

At the other end of the hall, Peter hesitates just a moment as she withdraws a combat knife from her vest and spins it around to hold backhanded, driving down towards Gabriel's throat. One hand flicks to the side, and Agent Sarisa is launched off of her feet and towards a wall. She moves with the gace of a cat and the speed of lightning, tilting her body so her feet impact the wall as she breaks away from the telekinesis in a roar of motion, winding up behind Gillian, one arm around her neck in a headlock, the other bringing a vibrating knife edge up just beneath her chin. "Easy there, Mister Gray." Her head quirks to one side, "Whose reflexes are faster?"

The elevator at the end of the hall begins to chime on descent, followed by a clunk as it lands and the doors slide open, revealing six Moab Security soldiers in gray uniforms with assault rifles, coming to stand behind Sarisa.

Hiro crouches down, sheathing the Kensei sword on his back, scooping one arm up beneath Tamara as he hefts the girl up into his arms. Without his ability to stop time, he's only a liability here, and this girl — whoever she is — is helpless, for reasons he'll understand one day. "Peter. Go." Hiro hisses, nodding down the hall towards where Tamara had directed him. "I'll be right behind you."

"Who the hell are you?" she asks with a raised eyebrow as she walks out of the cell. FREEDOM! Her hair flies in the wind from all the commotion. "Fuckin hell! What did I step into?" she asks aloud and looks, she doesn't know anyone here.. except. "Ya know Peter.. when you say you're going to come over to have a drink. You really should do it." She levels Peter with a cold look before her face breaks open into a smile.

Izzy can't help but feel… naked seeing as she still doesn't have her power. But besides that, she is backing up to side by Peter's side. "What's the plan? We take down superfast bitch?" She rubs her hands together, "I have to say, it would have been easier if I had my ability, but if you hold her. I'll punch her lights out." Isa cracks her knuckles with a wicked grin. The dread head woman is given a look. "Please." she says to the woman. Gabriel is given a look but that's all. Her attention back on the dark skinned woman, waiting on Peter's word.

Peter should probably have finished the job he started. No doubt he should have. Because the spot where Elle had been deposited is already vacant; the woman has just regathered enough energy to be doing an awkward combination of crawling and trying to force herself to her feet at the same time.

But but. What's that on the horizon? Reinforcements! An angry look crosses her face, and she does force herself upright at this sight of the Moab soldiers and the Agents, though she drapes against the wall in the process. Her fingers are already glowing with the seeping, gathering beams of more electricity, though it starts weakly at first, dipping in brightness as she wobbles. Good lord is it damn time.

Too much, too fast, too soon. It eats away at Brooke, even without the help of her nails to try and claw out the blood boiling in her veins beneath crawling skin. "Sylar!" Another desperate cry for help.

And it's almost as if her prayers have been answered. Sylar appears on another monitor, heading for the source of a blur that makes Miss Lynwood cringe. "Not you," she growls derisively at the speedster. "It's a reunion." Any more vitreous and the physical display of her distaste upon the concrete in the form of a wad of saliva spat would eat straight through. "You've lost," she tells the eye upon her. "It's only a matter of time now."

Succumbing to discomfort and the drugs in her system again, Brooke crawls into the corner in a cacophonous symphony of rattling links of cabled steel and manacles.

Breathing in short stops and starts as his body protests against broken ribs and bruised muscles, Gabriel is only just getting to his feet by the time the speedster has Gillian in her grasp. Far too belatedly, his forcefield second-skin goes crackling over his body, dark eyes wide with fury as he takes in this new situation.

Ever have too many powers that finding the best one for a given circumstance and using it in the best possible way takes too much time than what is granted? No? Might just be Gabriel, with his thirty-odd weapons at his disposal. Still, he smiles in a sort of detached way, and Peter will recognise it, the same smile he'd given him that night in Kirby Plaza. It's even blood stained.

A telepathic concussive blast is sent in the speedster's direction, disorienting, less powerful than that of what he'd dealt Elle, but enough, perhaps, to make anything he does meaningful. Gabriel's forcefield drops around the same time he turns into a thick, inky shadow, and as the men flanking the speedster agent promptly open fire, he's already moving. Bullets pass through it, others miss, but it doesn't seem to stop him when he suddenly jets through the air, winds tendrils around both the speedster, and rather abruptly, she too, knife and all, implode into the same mass, the grip on Gillian's throat disintegrating into nothing as Salia is assimilated into the same thing as Gabriel.

In the blink of an eye, the shadow-like substance made larger now plummets down the hall, away from both the shooters and Gillian, and promptly, both Gabriel and Salia come into being, tumbling across the ground as if they'd been thrown.

Time for lasers. Unless she can outrun light.

Hate knives. Hate. Gillian doesn't do her usual struggling this time, as her eyes had widened. There's a sense of deja vu as she's being held, the vibrating knife— the men coming up to flank, bullets, and then something happens to Gabriel. She's all in a momentary panic, because this scene looks familiar. She might have died like this. In one future. What Gabriel does, whatever it is, keeps it from happening. She drops to the floor with a gasp of air, shaking a little. The knot in her head threatens to snap open, but she keeps it tight. Last thing she needs is to augment the speedster in this case.

Energy does still flow. Toward Gabriel. Toward Peter. Some spills out as well. Toward the recently escaped woman. Toward Elle.

"No, not without your ability. We— " The wave of amplification washes over Peter as he watches Sylar dissolve into a black cloud of smoke, eyes growing wider as he witnesses this. Peter's been gone for too long, locked away for too much time, how many other horrible tricks has Sylar learned? But at the same time, why is he using them to help him? "We've got somewhere to go."

Why is she waiting on him, why are people still listening to him after everything that's happened. "Come on, we've got to go, Sy— " maybe she doesn't recognize him, maybe it's best if she doesn't know the man blamed for everything wrong Peter did is down here fighting for his life. "He'll handle it." Laying a hand on Isabelle's shoulder, Peter guides her back, watching the chaos in front of him. Why did he trust that girl so much? It's something that — in the aftermath of all of this chaos — he'll be asking himself repeatedly, and if she survives what's happening, maybe he'll be able to ask her too.

As Peter turns to leave Sylar and Gillian behind, to follow an insane girl's ominous mumblings, Hiro watches with a moment of hesitation, before finally turning and following behind Peter and Gillian, carrying Tamara's unconscious form cradled to his chest with one of her arms looped over his shoulder. Hiro looks over to Isabelle, managing a polite smile despite himself. "Hello," he spares, curt and without conversational tone.

Deviating from Sylar's position, Peter comes to a stop as he sees an elevator door closing, briefly catching the silhouette of a large, round-framed bald man disappearing behind closing doors, waggling his fingers in a taunting wave as it slams shut. An escaped prisoner?

"She said four doors." Hiro notes, moving deeper down the hall past Peter, still carrying Tamara close as he shoulders up to a security door. "Enter the code." This door, unlike all of the others, is marked with a red and white striped line on the bottom, and when Peter goes to enter the code, the doors begin to grind open slowly, casting deep red light in a bright shaft into the circular concrete room. Flickering monitors and terminals spark and splutter on the opposite wall, some showing nothing but static, others showing views of the prison, but the tiny brunette curled up in the corner with her arms wrapped around herself is what has his attention. This is what the girl was talking about, this is why he was sent down here?

"Who…" Hiro peers at the brunette, edging to the doorway as he carries Tamara, looking up to Peter with a crooked brow. Peter knows the answer to the question, and it shows in the tension in his face and the tightness in his voice. Another ghost of his duplicate's past.

"Her name's… Odessa."

"I know I need my ability." Flame on! Fire flows down her arms and as it does it burns the sleeves of her prison outfit off. While not as hot as they usually are at the moment, it's fire and fire.. is good. "Baby is back," she sings softly and chuckles.

Izzy looks up at Peter as he places a hand on her shoulder, she watches Gabriel and the agent. "You alright?" she calls to Gillian as she follows Hiro and Peter. Hiro is given a wink, "Nice sword." Nothing ever stops Isabelle from a little flirting. When the door to the room that Odessa is in is opened, "Oh wow, whose into bondage much?" An eyebrow raised. She stands behind Peter looking in. "Like the city in Texas." She comments and looks down at the brunette. Her flames burn light, but bright. Not to full power, still gotta get through the drugs it would seem.

The energy that streams out like a river from Gillian, some of it absorbed by Elle, is double-edged. It immediately strengthens the core of power deep within her, the lightning emitting from her hand, but it also makes controlling it somewhat harder. Irritated at herself for the perceived physical weakness — she should have gotten up sooner; c'mon, Elle! — she raises her palm and lets a bolt ZZZZZZT towards Gabriel the instant she sees him reappear with Salia, even though he's farther away from her than his original position when he does.

She keeps moving during and after the flight of lightning, clenching her fingers in an upturned position by her chin as she "reloads", trying to focus on the massive amount of visual information to intake.

Dark blue eyes widen at first with hope as the doors slide open, and then further in unmistakaable terror. "No!" cries the woman on the floor, curling further into the corner as though she might melt through the wall and escape the figure looming in the door.

Odessa Knutson - named for the town she was born in. Brooke Lynwood - named for the city she grew to love and call home. When the escaped, and presumed dead, temporal manipulator needed an alias to provide the Homeland Security agents that apprehended her after tranquilising her through a window with a sniper gun across the street from one of her bank heists, a variation of Brooklyn was the obvious choice. She didn't exist in any system known to HomeSec, and she didn't want to raise any red flags with the Company. Foolish her, to believe Moab prison would somehow be better than a return to her duties on Level Five.

At least there, she was able to move around. She had no idea her abilities would be used to maintain the security of the prison. Freezing small skirmishes in the prison yard so the guards could react. Holding prisoners fast so that the meals seemed to simply appear in front of some of the most dangerous detainees on the Red Level. Little things she could do by watching a monitor while swimming through a sea of addictive morphine.

One day, she said No More. She laid on the floor and stared at the wall. They tried starving her. They tried threatening her. Nothing could have prepared her for the moment when Eric Doyle entered her cell. Their eyes met and the recognition was there. And yet… He never revealed her. All part of his little play with his new marionette.

"Stay away from me, Petrelli," Odessa demands fearfully. She shivers and wraps her arms about herself, chains rattling in protest of the motion.

Where is her puppeteer friend now? Surely he's been released from his cell. He must be coming for her. He wouldn't let anything happen to her. He won't let Peter Petrelli hurt her… right?

BZZTDSfsadfgdkjg. Lasers short out the moment they appear as the stream of lightning goes rocketing down the hallway. Gabriel is on his feet by the time the bolt hits before he can comprehend it. It lifts him off his feet in a mess of sparks and the scent of burned flesh. Gabriel hitting the wall, then, inevitably, the ground.

O-ow.

In the next moment, the speedster is getting to her feet, and batted aside with a wave of his hand, telekinesis slamming her into the opposite wall as Gabriel is getting to his feet. Not in a particularly good way, pale and holding an arm protectively over where Elle had zapped him. There's a moment of blurriness, but not from Salia, from Gabriel, his own more rudimentary superspeed ability put into play as he lets that free hand balling into a fist and swinging around in a vicious blow that goes too fast for the human eye to catch. It connects, sending Salia staggering one second, before becoming a blur.

There's a fleshy thud as Gabriel is sent sprawling against the wall, the smaller woman using her momentum to pin him there long enough for her knife to bury into his stomach. The scream of pain sounds angry, and his hand comes up to grip her arm— where the skin starts to pale into an ashy grey, until he can sink his fingers through it, skin and muscle and bone become nothing more than an ugly, tarry substance as he drains the life from her and into himself. With a shove of telekinesis, Salia is sent slamming back into the opposite wall, her arm withered and Gabriel— feeling a little better.

Still, he's pale and swaying somewhat when he turns his gaze towards the rest of the hallway, as alert as a cornered dog to see where Gillian is, where Elle is, one hand extending and emitting lasers already towards the ground, which burns cement.

Despite the cacophony of searing lasers, human agony, retreat — despite even the direction Gabriel chooses to angle his attention in, it's another, distinct pattern of noise that separates itself from the others by simple priority of proximity. People are coming. Two of them.

And when they arrive, veering out of the stairwell and into the hallway, he recognizes both. He remembers the ones, even if they're armed and dressed differently, in an absurd combination of Halloween colors, divided neatly between the standards of Penitentiary prisoners and terrorist standards. Whatever it is, it's apparently in the family.

Lucrezia and Teodoro.

Neither of whom are exceptionally surprised to see him having completed the final stages of making desiccated dogmeat of the speedster. "Where the fuck is everybody?" Teo asks, straightforwardly, without actually stopping his rapid jog toward the inner recesses of the prison.

While Gabriel is attacked, few people may hear a yell. "Gabriel!" It's yelled in a raspy voice, desperate, horrified. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. That wasn't how the vision went. Or the other vision. Or the one after that. Gillian is terrified for the moment, yelling, moving to the wall away from some of the danger, as she watches Gabriel do something to fix himself. Tavisha mentioned it, sort of. Now she's seeing it first hand. Lasers cut through cement.

A shaking hand pulls a gun out from the back of her pants. Power leaks out in panic, flowing from her in waves in the direction of the man, trying to help him. Others pick up on it too. The closer, the more they get. She's starting to feel the weakness again. The speedster's withered arm. The arm that very nearly killed her. Slashed her throat in an extremely messy fashion. There was no way she could have stopped it. The gun shakes in her hands.

The speedster isn't dead and she's starting to get back up. Knowing full well how dangerous speedsters are, she still sees if the woman can outrun a bullet. She won't have a knife against her neck again. She's been the victim long enough. This is why she brought the gun.

Peter's nose rankles up into a confused expression, "Fine," he spits out, about to turn until Hiro slaps a hand onto his shoulder. The two exchange a long, drawn stare between one another, and Peter turns slowly, looking back over his shoulder to Odessa. "We're getting out of here," his eyes follow the length of the chains, two fingers extend out, followed by a crackling pop-hiss of blue-green lasers lancing across the room, slicing the chains free from around her wrists, letting them fall limp to the floor.

"You can come with us, or you can find your own way out," there's still that cold, hard edge that Odessa knows from this Peter, but it's tempered behind something seeming more human than the last time she ran into him. Perhaps there's something to be said for the dichotomy of Gabriel and Peter, the more one travels away from their dark path, the more the other begins to delve into it.

It all makes sense now, though, why Hiro couldn't move through time. Peter looks over to Hiro, arching a brow slowly, then turns to Odessa. "You're not going to try and stop us, right?" Hiro's eyes scan to Peter, then back to Odessa, beginning to understand what's going on here as well.

"This girl," Hiro glances down to Tamara in his arms, "needs medical attention." It's not so much Hiro's words that make Peter look behind himself, but the three quick pops of gunfire down the hall that do. Three shots, all to the chest of the struggling body of Salia.

All it takes for Gillian to finally claim a life.

A look is given to Tamara in Hiro's arms and then Odessa on the floor. Her eyes alight with fire. "Don't waste too much time deciding hun, or you'll go down with this place." She warns and looks between Hiro and Peter.

Odessa is given a appraising stare. If it indeed turns out that Odessa is trying to stop them… then Isabelle will have to have a talk with the other woman. The gunshots make Izzy turn as well, hmm somebody was finally shot in this raid? It was only a matter of time…

It is maybe unwise of her, as there is little to protect Elle's back, or sides, or front but the chaos itself as she moves swiftly along, but she is currently clipping down the hallway straight towards the epicenter of the mayhem. This means that she is also heading deeper and deeper into Gillian's range as she approaches, the core of light at her fingertips pulsating like some sick, blue bomb about to blow as she also feeds energy into it.

By the time she is within distance to spot the opened door, able to just barely hear Brooke, the electricity is no longer blue but a pure, hard, flowing white. On the verge of sending this stream of light right at someone, she stops short— unable to contain herself. That voice.

"What the hell. Odessa?"

But then she does. She's not that dumb, or struck dumb. Though controlling all of it feels like trying to juggle balls with teeth, the electricity flows out of her in another blast, her target the unfortunate person who happens to be standing most directly in her line of sight.

"Cheeky brat," Odessa mumurs, recognising the prone form in Hiro's arms. Gingerly, she rubs her wrists and slides free of the chains that once bound her. On unsteady legs, she rises, wobbling for a moment or two. "I'm coming," she confirms, "but they took my things. I need them back." Her voice lowers to a dangerous whisper, anger flickering in her dark eyes. "Wh—" Recognition is a slap in the face as Odessa's eyes widen once again when she, too, hears a familiar voice. "Ellie?"

The flash out in the hallway is enough to discourage Odessa from running headlong out the door of her cell, but only for a moment. Soon, she's squeezing past the men and dashing in bare feet to see the commotion for herself. "Sylar!" she cries. "Sylar!" There's so much light from Elle's overcharged ability, the doctor can't make out where anyone is.

"Fido— " Yeah he's in pain, it's a mess down here, and people are dying and getting hurt, but Fido is shorter to say than Alexander, okay? "Fido's in there." Gabriel points towards the open room just a few feet away where he'd shoved the unconscious redheaded man, barely even flinching when a gunshot rings out and the speedster is put down. He glances between Luzrezia, Teo, settles on the latter. "Helena went to the Green level. We //have to— //"

And there's a voice, familiar like many voices might be, and Gabriel's head snaps around despite the threat as someone screams that name. And it's impossible, recognising the woman beneath the mop of brown hair is impossible because—

Electricity burns the air, burns flesh. He can see it, arcing towards Gillian, and in the next moment, he's gone. A blur much like the speedster had been, a blunt instrument that demands more energy than his body can really cash as he quite literally rams into the electrified blonde, to cut off the charge of electricity before it can do more damage than any of them can fix. There's no war cry, no scream of rage, just a silent execution of superspeed that makes Lucrezia's hair blow in its wake.

Hel went up. Al is still here. Fido— Teo's head clicks over like a marionette's parts guided by a stern yank of string, the pallid glass of his eyes shifting indifferently over the speedster's dead heap of blood and dust, startling into a brief blink when the Company agent winks into view, chain lightning flying from her hands. Sylar's there before that synapse can even complete its circuit through his brain.

He continues walking. Breathe in, breathe out, each bucket of air plumbing his lungs with the belabored effort of dragging them through a pulley system.

He hears the radio, of course. Stricken by static but loud and clear, the pandemonium above. He doesn't answer immediately, oblivious from shock or merely blinkered by intent; weird serenity characterizes the swift feet that pick their way over electrically fried guards.

Slings his rifle back instead, he reaches instead to haul Alexander up by the loose ends of his limbs, flipping the upper half of his friend's body over his shoulder, seizing the fabric of his garb to haul him up. Sack of potatoes, sack of bones. Al looks like it right now, more a fabrication of scrimshaw parts and luridly dyed thread than a person.

"Hiro," he shouts out, his voice racing ahead of the path his feet beat into the concrete. Gloved fingers close on the radio unit at his chest the next instant. Lucrezia's eyes flit over his shoulder, past Alexander, that fresh clip clicking into the grip of her pistol. «Helena should be coming up from Green Level. We're evacing out of here now

And this was another way that she died… Gillian's watching the bleeding woman, hand still shaking, when the arc of electricity hits her. It doesn't hit her directly, but electricity doesn't need to be direct. It only needs one entrance. One place to strike. In this case her left hand. The gun is blown out, her skin burns, the electricty coarses up her body, threatening to burn her from the inside out.

The electricity gets cut off, hopefully fast enough, but not before she's damaged enough she falls to the concrete.

Augmentation finally damages her more than anyone else. It wouldn't have been anywhere near that bad without her ability thrown in… as she hits the cold floor, she still breathes. She's still conscious. And in far, far too much pain to control her ability. Before she could at least choose directions, partially. Now… If the damage is as bad as it looks like it could be, it may not be an issue long. The worst part of it for her… she's aware of every single electrical burn, and. Everything is a mess. She could well be dying. And they need to evacuate? Well… okay… Her body recalls how to push itself back up. But it may take help to walk. And immediate medical attention.

Peter's about to turn away, until his focus is caught by something on one of the security cameras. His brow knits up into a look of confusion as he watches a helicopter come into view, firing down into the crowd of prisoners. Peter's breath hitches in the back of his throat, his back straightens and his eyes narrow, quickly he turns for the door, "We have to get out of here— now!" Peter reaches across Hiro, grabbing the girl he carries to switch off the burden. Slinging Tamara's limp form over his shoulder, Peter's brow tenses — nothing changes, nothing awakens — maybe she lied about her ability, maybe she injected herself with the suppressant, maybe she's just crazy and finding Odessa Knutson amid all of this mess was just a gigantic coincidence. There really isn't enough time for maybe's right now.

"Hiro, how many people can you teleport out of here at once?" Peter's brow tenses as he turns to focus on the crackling flash of electricity down the hall, looking back to Hiro with a marked concern.

"If I stop time, move around and get everyone, not too long." Peter nods, slowly, then motions to the ceiling.

"Get everyone together, I'll— I don't know— I'll handle Elle. Round everyone up and get them to cover, okay?" Hiro watches Peter for a moment, then nods slowly, looking towards where Odessa begins to walk before shifting his focus back to Peter.

"It's good to have you back," Hiro notes in a quiet tone of voice, before vanishing from in front of Peter's eyes with a rush of air. The sigh Peter lets slip out of his nose is indicative that maybe he isn't so sure he's back yet. But the voice he hears calling for Hiro isn't a familiar one, regardless of that fact, Peter moves towards it, to the sound of someone who knows his allies. When he rounds the corner, cradling Tamara's unconscious form in his arms, Peter looks towards Teo, then to Lucrezia with marked confusion. Beyond them, the flash of electricity again sends Gillian sprawling to the floor, and Sylar crashing into Elle, slamming the blonde into the wall, even as gunfire pings and rattles from retreating guards seeking shelter from Sylar's abilities in a stairwell.

There's no safe exit, and carrying a collapsed girl does him no good. While he doesn't recognize Lucrezia, he does recognize the jumpsuit she wears, and that the man calling out for Hiro seems to be working with her. "Hiro left, he's going to try and round up as many people as he— " Waves of augmentation surge over Peter, causing him to recoil as the unexpected power surge sends his skin alight with a flickering orange glow. "No!" He's quick to let Tamara go, sending her prone form collapsing to the ground like a ragdoll with her strings broken. Peter struggles to remain in control, and as he struggles to regain control, he staggers back towards where he had come from, back towards the bank of television monitors and flickering screens that was Odessa's prison. Every ability Peter has gained and has not yet reigned in control of begins to go wild, and the first that does, is Gillian's amplification.

Which then spreads out to Lucrezia, allowing her to feel and sense the insects of the desert for miles beyond the walls of Moab, then out to Sylar and into his mind, then outwards beyond that and into Gillian, amplifying her own amplification.

From here, it only gets worse. Peter's body tenses and wracks as he stumbles into Odessa's room, his body surges and seethes, threatening to spawn duplicates across the facility as his skin undulates under the pressure of the building wave of amplification. Peter's form blurs and distorts on the edges, moving in blinks of super speed acquired from Felix Ivanov, his hands trembling and shaking as he looks up to the screens in front of him, spotting Helena coming out of one of the prison doors. "He— len— a— "

There's another voice that Isabelle recognizes. "Teo?" she whispers and smiles softly as she sees the man but then Odessa is calling out another name.. one that she only heard of, a few times from Abby. "Sylar.." she breathes and looks at the man Odessa is. Thought he would be taller. She thinks to herself and tilts her head.

Ok cue to leave, as they all make their way away from the room Odessa was in, the augmenting circle begins, and boy does it hit Isabelle. The flames burn brighter, stronger and the flames burst all over her body. Her orange prison outfit is no more as she is hit with the supercharges. Her hair whips around her face and her eyes are alight with an strong inner flame. "Come on!" She bellows and gestures with a fire covered hand for Peter to follow. Elle and the rest on the floor are given a look, she can't help them.. she'd burn them all to death. Her bare feet leave red hot marks on the ground where she walks.

She continues to move forward, but looks back to Peter. "Shit." She doubts this was in the plan for tonight.

Nobody has called Elle by that nickname in a very long time. "Dessie, what's going on? You're supposed to be deaaaaaaa—" The last word lurches into a silent oomph as Gabriel sends her into the equivalent of a flytackle, driving all the breath from her lungs as both of them go hurtling. Any remaining electricity, at least, zaps into nonexistence as soon as he's on top of her. Probably a good thing for everyone around, because it is unlikely that Elle would've been able to maintain control of it for much longer.

…and then a wall, tilting closer and closer to them like some kind of vertical runway. Hi, wall!

~WHUMPH.~

The surge of power from Gillian is re-energising, to say the very least. With the flexing of her fingers, Odessa tests out the renewed boundaries of her ability. Nothing seems to change, until one notes the added inches to the woman's height in the form of bubble gum pink heels, the glittering blue necklace over the ugly scar on her throat, and the watch around her wrist. She scrutinises Elle for a moment, watching the woman topple backward with Sylar on top of her. She should probably pull him off or something.

But if Doctor Odessa Knutson has one fatal weakness, it's an insatiable curiosity when it comes to abilities. And Peter Petrelli is nearly as fascinating as Sylar. Cautiously, Odessa creeps forward back into her cell and slowly, as Peter watches the monitors, she reaches out to touch the haywire man, wide-eyed as a child who's just spotted the tree and all the goodies beneath it on Christmas morning.

Unfortunately that maybe hurt Gabriel as much as Elle, although he did have her smaller frame as a nice guard between himself and the wall. Sorry, electroblonde. Gabriel staggers back, extending one hand to pin her there against the wall as, with a swaying gait, he moves back and back and back until he simply releases her, turning to move back towards Gillian.

Everything hurts. And it's everything Gabriel can do to not grip onto that augmentation flowing tenfold into him and turn the rest of everyone to ash and heal himself, heal her. Instead, he pushes his arms beneath Gillian even as she's struggling to get to her feet— and winces at the continued onslaught of augmentation.

Cradling the half-burned woman to him, Gabriel smooths loose tendrils of hair back to her face, takes a breath, and instead of carbon dioxide, the stinging scent of chlorine is breathed out in a gentle, but powerful stream of chemical until Gillian goes limp, unconscious, in his arms, killing off one half of the augmentation loop.

Maybe not soon enough. But at least we don't get blown sky high. With a grunt, Gabriel struggles to his feet, holding Gillian and barely even glancing anyone's way as he makes for the nearest out.

Hell has broken loose upstairs, and the Midtown Man is self-evidently going off on a fried loop of augmentation that not even breaking the circuit seems to have immediate hope of aborting. There's no way Teodoro can take things one at a time. There are too many things; not enough time. He should run. Decides to. Starts to, moving in tandem with his aunt and on Gabriel's boot-clad heels, Isabelle a guiding flame ahead, Alexander a lifeless, jouncing weight on his shoulder.

Never enough time.

His hand claps over Lucrezia's abrupt, flat, gloved fingers yanking the pistol out of her hand with a violent backward jolt of his elbow.

Abrupt as a weathervane, he spins. Brakes to a halt, takes an instant to sight along the sharp black line of the gun's horizon. Peter slides into focus yards down the hallway, gaunt-faced, glowing now and blurring then, screaming out of his gullet and crackling in eddies of preternatural power, the impending threat and physical force turned tangible enough to make Teo's pores seize behind his sweat.

Teo waits — which is a kinder way of saying Teo hesitates. Too long, probably, giving the Evolved man a chance, the opportunity to try, to stop, to find his control, to center himself. Teo always would.

Two-tone: Lucrezia screams and the muzzle flashes.

Getting up isn't as easy as she might have hoped. Gillian can't move well, her muscles spasm uncontrollably, she's partially paralyzed. And the augmentation loop she gets caught in doesn't help matters at all for her. There's no way she can stop it. No way she can end it… until breath hits her face and the light in her eyes, a almost violet glow, fades out. Her eyes close. The loop has ended. And she's very much unconscious. Still badly injured. But her part of the mission is done.

The touch to Peter's shoulder from Odessa seems to only change what is happening. The glowing orange light radiating out from within Peter's bones seems to level off, and as the crashing waves of Gillian's amplification continues to build into a crescendo, more latent abilities Peter did not yet understand begin to bubble to the surface. Through the monitors, he can see so much chaos, death and destruction, through the monitors Peter can watch as helicopters mow down prisoners, as inmates who deserve freedom and inmates who deserve death struggle to escape the kill-zone of the federal agents.

But he can't control the flood of memories coming back to him as Cat's pamnesiac power swirls and churns in his mind, assailed by memories not only his own, but ones buried deep in the memory of his duplicate that worked for Primatech. He barely feels Odessa's hand, yet he remembers the tone of her voice, the fear in her eyes, the feeling of her stiletto heel pressing into his throat.

He remembers all of this, and so much more. But even as he fixates on the only thing that grounds him, that keeps him from turning Moab into a glowing hole in the ground, something clicks in his mind. Staring at Helena's face in the staticky monitor as she calls out for Cat, under the assault of the redoubling amplification, Peter's fingers curl into his palms, and a gift he was unaware of surfaces.

Long ago, he wondered if Kaito Nakamura had a power, if he was like Hiro — special. But the sudden clarity that comes over Peter, his understanding of predetermined and chaotic events all rolling into one comes into sharp, crystal clear focus. So lost now in the minutae of future events happening before his eyes, Peter fails to hear the sounds of Teodoro's footsteps approaching from the hall.

"Odessa…" Peter murmurs, feeling the welling surge of abilities rising up in him, "I— I think— " his voice is barely a whisper, shared with the brunette alone. But all Teo can see is Peter's struggle, and even as Peter begins to raise his voice again, as the fluctuating waves of temporal distortion and amplification rise up from him, adding to both his own power and that of Odessa's temporal manipulation—

—a bullet finds its way into him.

And time comes grinding to a halt. It's hard to say just how long time was frozen for, how long Tamara lay cold and alone on the concrete floor, how long Odessa's hand lingered on Peter's shoulder, how long Lucrezia's scream rang out in that silent infinity.

But when that bubble breaks, when the torrent of wound up temporal energy rockets outwards like a snapped elastic, the last thing Teodoro, Lucrezia and Odessa see, is the room around them coming to a bright and radiant blur of motion.

And then everything changes.


Cold. Bitter and unrelenting, the cold is a sharp pain, like a thousand icy knives driven into every nerve on his sweat-slicked skin. Breathing out a wheezing, hacking cough, Peter rolls onto his back, staring up at dark skies filled with stars and sweeping clouds of ice crystallizing in the wind as they are blown off of snow drifts.

A ragged, tired sigh slips from Peter as he pushes shaky and numbing hands up, the cold biting at his skin, but the damage done by the crystallization of ice on his exterior not as fatal as it could be for others. But when he spots a dark form curled up in the snow, black hair wound over pale features, lips blue and body trembling, Peter's aching and tired muscles carry him over to her. One shaking hand brushes dark hair back from her face, thin locks pulling back across closed eyes.

Peter's breath hitches in his throat, turning to look across the frozen wastes spread out before him, and down to the glow of lights in the distance, then up to an ice crusted sign that rests skewed, half buried in the snow, bordered by black and white hatch marks.

Amundsen-Scott

South Pole Station

Antarctica.


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Previously in this storyline…
When Lightning Strikes, Part I

This scene runs concurrently with
When Lightning Strikes, Part I
and
When Lightning Strikes, Part III

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