Within, Without


bella_icon.gif colette_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif raith_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

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Scene Title Within, Without
Synopsis Colette and Kaylee recruit the help of the Remnant to gather intel on Bella's Refrain research operations. This goes mostly according to plan, until they're forced to leave someone behind.
Date February 3, 2009

Ruins of Midtown: Secret Research Facility

Under the mottled shadows of patchwork clouds and pale blue moonlight, the ruins of Midtown look otherworldly in their skeletal appearance. Beyond the floodlights and concrete barricades that rise some twenty feet up from the broken streets, those blasted and irradiated ruins resemble something out of a nightmare, nothing but gutted steel girders sloughing off their glass and concrete flesh to the ground below. Outside of those barricades, beyond the scrutiny of Homeland Security checkpoints and NYPD blockades, the ruins don't stop they just change and adapt.

East 56th street has changed considerably since the bomb, its streets — while not officially a part of the ruins — have grown to become just like them. It was not the explosion, but the rampant fires that destroyed whole neighborhoods and city blocks that ravaged this area. Businesses that weren't destroyed, like Big City Distributors, were abandoned and boarded up in the hopes of one day being salvaged when society crept back in to this charred edge.

That very warehouse, with its plastic covered and board-shuttered windows and doors looks wholly abandoned, like every other smashed storefront and abandoned tenement building on this street. No one was forced out of here by the government like the internal regions of the bomb were, but they fled none the less, and like rats from a sinking ship never returned. Only the cockroaches remain.

Perched atop the third story roof of an old tenement building adjacent to the warehouse, a handful of these cockroaches persist in their scuttling; more proverbial than literal in their insectile ways. Leaning over the concrete railing of the roof's edge, the darkly dressed form of Colette Nichols looks more suited for an evening of spraypainting graffiti than any form of covert operations. Dark jeans and a black hooded sweatshirt, scarf pulled up over her mouth tightly, dark hair hanging down over one eye with choppy bangs. She's observing the warehouse from afar, watching something flitting back from it, a tiny little black bird with blood red markings on the front of its wings.

She reaches out a gloved hand, letting the tiny bird perch on her wrist, and looks back to the others gathered nearby. There's canvas duffelbags laid out, a pair of thermal immaging goggles stuffed inside one, along with a pair of flare guns and one extremely bulky and outdated set of night vision goggles, gifts from the Ferrymen.

"Eileen's checked it out…" Colette offers over her shoulder, and with a nudge of her wrist sends the bird alight again, "So— Um, wh— what do we do now?" She's a little new to this whole thing.

Just about matching Colette in clothing, Kaylee only added the addition of a black beanie that her light-colored blonde hair is braided and stuffed under. At the moment the scarf is hanging loosly around her throat. She stands back from the edge a bit, trying not to pace her nerves out, blue eyes somewhat unfocused as she 'listens' around. But she's also listening with her ears to what people are saying. Not really speaking, the telepath chews the inside of her lip anxiously, her arms folded across her chest. She's pretty damn new to all this stuff as well.

At the question, Kaylee glances between the two men with them.

As Colette observes the warehouse from afar, Jensen Raith observes it more closely through a pair of binoculars, crouched on the rooftop next to her. The city out here is different than the rest of it. For starters, it's dark, and that complicates things. A lot. "Now," he begins, "You tell us what Eileen saw, if anything. Because I can't see much of anything from here." Like Colette, Raith is dressed in dark street clothes, black jeans and a matching long-sleeved shirt, although unlike her, the jacket he's wearing is made from lightweight ceramics and kevlar: Dragon Skin body armor. Also unlike her, he's armed, his Glock at his right hip, his M-4 (outfitted with an underbarrel shotgun and a red dot sight on the top rail) slung across his back, and strapped to his left thigh, good ol' Wilby. Just in case.

While he waits for Colette to report what Eileen apparently told her, he begins looking through the duffels. "Where's the thermal?"

There are walls within walls in that old warehouse. Within the confines of the outward shell lies the oddly fabricated facility, a uniform jumble of concrete slabs and metal joiners, resembling nothing so much as a very simple rat maze, though with a ceiling installed. Within is the whole of the world Joseph and his rarely-seen fellow subjects are bounded. Better than the shell of a nut, but a heck of a lot more confining than infinite space, and the pastor cannot count himself even as king.

Joseph might have thought he had the day off, as he was left to his small pile of books and the momentary food-laden company of the massive Dema. But then, out of schedule, he hears a knock on his cell door, which then swings open. The huge Russian is here, and not with food. "Joseph," he says, frowning very slightly, in either thought or concern, on him its hard to tell, "I need to ask, are you tired? Could you, perhaps, sleep soon?" Apropos of what is unclear, but Dema isn't in the habit of asking pointless questions, or speaking at all unless he has a reason.

A day like any other day, if selectively quiet, highlighted by chills, nausea, and notably, sleeplessness. It's the last point that has Joseph casting a resentful look Dema's way — the cot is empty of pastor, choosing instead to sit with his back penned into the corner, arms curled around his knees and shadows of exhaustion under his eyes. Mistreated isn't the right word for him, inaccurate, but drugs and doseages and then a lack of them will take their toll.

"Not so keen on sleepin'," he states, but he's getting up, at least, unfolding himself and using the wall to get to his feet. "Even if it were easy. This a test?" Of course it's a test, but the question is more for prompt than confirmation.

"If we aren't going in on swinglines tonight, we should set up surveillance out here." Teo is almost fidgeting as he says this, from the back of the crew. He has one of the various available duffel bag hanging creaky over his shoulder, a quarter of the way unzipped to divulge wires like entrails and twinkling piecemeal of fiberoptics. Of course, there's no reason to be ashamed of some reliance on or use of technology. It's just— odd.

He hasn't used his astral projection. Mentioned headaches, but his brain feels painless enough as he stares down at the innocuous wreck of masonry that is their target. "See who leaves above-ground over the course of the next forty-eight hours or so, see if we can't pick someone up or bug them on their way out. Eileen might be willing to go all the way in on-wing— most people wouldn't freak the fuck out about a bird being caught inside the ground floor of a building.

"Even if they are—" This feels like a euphemism, somehow. "Studying the Evolved. Hear anything, Kaylee?" For all he's talking about intel and analysis, however, Teodoro is like his ex-CIA counterpart thoroughly armed for the exercise. One pistol under his arm, at least one other weighting his person, and the brute black shape of an LMG in one profoundly illegal configuration hanging across his back perpendicular to the bag.

Of course, if their priority is swinglines—

Raith's question elicits a look of puzzlement from Colette for a moment. "The big uh, well— smaller, I guess, uh…" she distractedly waves a hand towards the duffelbag. "The smaller goggles, there's a pair of 'em. If we decide to go in for a closer look, I can take two people with me invisible, but the only way they'll be able to see is with the thermal goggles on. I can only bend visible spectrum light, soa lot of regular heat stuff shows up still." Standing up from the railing edge, Colette tucks her gloved hands into the pouch at the front of her sweatshirt, walking along the rooftop with green eyes downcast to her feet, then up to the movements of the flying bird.

"Eileen thinks she might've heard people talking. I dunno, it's pretty dark in there, I'm not feeling any difference in the light from this far away." Rolling her tongue over the inside of her cheek, Colette drops down into a crouch near the duffelbags, rummaging through them to take one of the flare guns and tuck it into the poch of her hoodie, then retrieve one of the thermal goggle pairs, offering it up to Raith.

"We can get down to ground from the fire escape," she notes with a nod of her head over to the black ironwork frame. "Kaylee can probably start picking up thoughts and minds if she gets close enough. Doesn't look like there's exterior security stuff…" Brows furrowed, Colette turns to look over at Kaylee with a silent consideration, then over to Teo with something more closely resembling a smile. "Ygraine and I did a few nights camped out on the rooftop here watching for anyone coming in or out, but we didn't see shit. Probably means whoever's in there's got some other kind've way in, probably under the street?" Her brows lift up in hopeful expression. "Eileen's been skimming the place with birds when she can too, and got the same whole lotta' nothin' on that end. So— I'm— I dunno."

Within the facility: "The Madame is ready for her second stage," Dema says, nodding in a confirmation of Joseph's prompt. Of course it's a test, that's all that ever happens here. Test after test to what possible end. Opacity remains the name of the game. "No scan today, but we will use the drug while you are sleeping. We are studying-" he pauses, recalling the description, "Inter-ability augmentation. I can explain more, but if you are not tired enough to sleep, then we will to render you unconscious. Not ideal, not the same as sleep, but this is a preliminary test."

Outside the facility: No exterior security to speak of, none that is visible, and the frequency of invisible Evolved doesn't make a crack squad of non-visible guards very likely. The streets are dead, and were it not for what is likely /peerless/ intel, one might doubt anything at all was happening at this warehouse.

Then headlights appear from around a corner, and a featureless, unmarked, dingy white van rolls into view, skirting around the warehouse, then pulling up in front of its loading dock.

Eyes refocus and her eyes on the building, there is a small shake of her head. "I need to get closer." There is something hollow about her tone, she's nervous about what she needs to do. Kaylee's eyes still on the building she nods Colette's way. "I need to get down there.. right up close." taking a deep breath she turns her back on the building to glance at the others. "I figure I can go along the outside of the building.. see what I pick up.. Report what I get… maybe.." She sighs softly… "Maybe see if I can find about where Joseph is.. see….. " She gives a wave of her hand. "What his condition is. See if I can find out more of this woman.."

There is a small huff and she turns back to the building, leaning over the edge some. "I just need you all to watch my back when I do.. I'll be… out of it some, especially if I find him." She pushes away from the edge a bit, boots crunching slightly on the roof top, unable to really stand still, she's anxious to get down there.

Within the facility, Joseph is standing, listening dimly to Dema's words before raising a hand to rub at his brow, a slight tremor in the gesture that has him dropping it again quickly. The winter chill outside that people he's not yet aware of are subjected to only kind of penetrates the warehouse, though he still wraps his arms back around himself as if cold, a T-shirt and linen pants not doing a hell of a lot to stave off chills, either from the inside or out. "I can try," he says, tone a little baleful, wary of the concept of the drug being administered during sleep, too. "Look— I'm not exactly keen to get knocked out, not after last time. There ain't another subject she can use? I wasn't minding the day off."

"Great." But it's not Eileen's report, or Kaylee's comment that catches Raith's attention quite like the white van that pulls up. The headlights are extremely noticeable: They have virtually nothing to compete with. "What's this?" he mumbles to himself more than anybody else, raising the binoculars up to his eyes again. "Teo, the passengers. What do you see? Colette, you getting anything new from this?" Hey, he's not clear on how the youngster's ability works: Maybe she can now see everything.

There's an irritable gesture of one hand from the Sicilian: "Nothing.

"I'm blind as you are, tonight." It's only a little excess, though. The motion and the complaint are trivial excesses, however. Most of Teo's attention is on the van, like most of everybody else's attention must be on the van, by now, though he does peel a brief glance sidelong at Colette, acknowledging the rest of the debrief with a nod. Great. Means nobody is going to have any idea who's in the van until they're out. Means waiting. "Colette should walk Kaylee down.

"Do you want me to go with them?" There's no point in trying to make eye-contact with a man who is sinking binoculars into his eyesockets in an effort to see in the dark, so Teodoro doesn't. Turns instead to squint at Eileen's bird, a little wondering, waiting for Raith's response.

Within the facility: Dema frowns again, though with a depth that suggests actual concern. "I cannot comment on the details. But the Madame is eager to start the next stage and she thinks you are the ideal candidate. This is not my decision. Perhaps you can ask her?" He motions to the door, "This way, please. Different room. No scans today."

Outside the facility: The back of the van swings open, and in the dark that figure that emerges appears only as a darker shadow. A slight figure, dressed in black from head to toe. A magnified view suggest the figure is female, though no features are clear because of a black suit and a black veil covering the figure's entire head. This is the outfit of someone who does not want to be ID'd, so much so that they go about wearing something as absurd and eye-catching as this. Whoever it is, they don't want to be known. The figure moves up over to the door by the docking area, extracts a card using a gloved hand, and swipes a mag-lock.

"Right. No, I know, you— " Vague gesture at Dema, a dismissal of any perceived authority the orderly doesn't have, hand returning to his face to rub his fingertips around eyesockets. Joseph wants to say more, but eventually, he heeds Dema's advice and reserves the words for someone who can do something about him, as much as the idea of talking to her makes his tongue into ash. He nods once, jerkily, glancing around the room as if he had something to bring with him— and of course doesn't, so just follows the man out.

"I won't hear nothing this far back." Kaylee murmurs moving to the ege where she can see the black figure. Her head turning slightly, as she tosses Adam's training out the window for convenience as she tries to reach out to listen, pushing at her limit, but there is too much distance from this high point. With a heavy sigh her head drops forward and she shakes her head. "I need to get closer." Staying on the roof is not an option for her.. She will go down there.

She pulls the scarf around her face, preparing to go down, but Kaylee also watches the woman's movements. Moving to gt a pair of binoculars either from some one else or her own. "If… that is how they get in.. I might be able to make some one with a card like that open the door for us." And she would have no qualms forcing it either if need be.

For a moment, Raith scratches his chin in thought, and then raises the binoculars to his eyes again, not interested in the van, but in the warehouse. Seeing inside is plainly not happening. But the buildings around the warehouse….

"Yeah," he finally says, lowering the binoculars, "We'll need to get closer. Split into three teams. Colette and Kaylee, you get up close, see what you can find out. Check the van too, signal if anyone else is inside it. Teo, you hang back a bit, so you can give them immediate support if they need it. There's a closer building with a fire escape. I'll get up there and provide sniper cover. Don't get into a firefight if you can help it." As he finishes up the plan, Raith rummages inside another of the duffels, bringing out a piece of equipment that could prove essential in the coming moments: A two-way radio, courtesy of, well, Jensen Raith. "I hope you all know how to use one of these."

Within: Dema leads Joseph down the hallway in the opposite direction than usual, the direction Joseph dashed in during his brave by ill-fated escape attempt. There have been additions to the facility, it would appear, with extended passage to the left, away from the storage room he discovered. The door down this way is, in its exterior appearance, no different than all the other doors in this place - it's featureless, kept stock of by the memories of the wardens here. Dema opens the door and gestures for Joseph to enter. A change of scenery, for whatever it's worth in a place like this.

A change of scenery is met with some caution as well as curiousity. Arms still folded, Joseph glances at Dema before moving into the room, bare feet scuffing along at the pace of someone who has all the time in the world. Lost, a little, he only vaguely remembers the route he'd taken upon his attempted escape, snagging at the edges of his consciousness before he stops trying for a sense of geography, and just steps into the room he's directed into, as obedient as he's been since he and the Madame had come to see eye to eye those weeks ago. Relatively.

"What's the radius on your invisibility?" Teo asks the light manipulator, pulling rifle against strap. He curls his finger into the trigger, behind the narrow metal of the guard, starts to trample toward the fire escape. He glances up at few-second intervals, checking the progress of the warehouse's absurdly disguised entrant, brow furrowed in annoyance. The principle applies to identities as much as it does to gems or, indeed, locations like these. Anything anybody went through that much trouble to hide is going to be worth getting one's hands on. Or eyes.

He has no idea.

Teo does know how to use a two-way radio, though. He gives a thumbs-up and swings a foot down onto corrugated iron.

Outside: The veiled figure pulls open the door and disappears inside, the door closing behind her. The van's back doors are pulled shut by a pair of arms belonging to no one they can easily see. The arms are also in black, and gloved. It's like a low budget spy film. 'Okay, so their bad guys, how can we show that?' 'Uh… dress them in black?' 'Bingo!' But for all this, the figure is gone, the door locked, and the van is pulling away, likely about to disappear into the city from whence it emerged.

"Got it." Colette notes with a nod of her head, taking the two-way radio and turning to look at Kaylee. She reaches down into the duffelbag and removes the other set of thermal goggles, offering the srappy headset out to the blonde. Clipping the radio onto her belt, Colette turns the volume down to halfway, then rummages around in her pockets, pulling out a pair of earbud headphones for her mp3 player, then plugs those into the two-way radio, setting the earbuds into her ears. She won't be able to respond that way, but now she can at least silently listen. Pinehearst taught her one thing, and that's how to utilize communications equipment. It also taught her elevators are dangerous, but that's less to the point.

Teo's question makes Colette pause, brows furrowed and eyes downcast to the side in thought. "I— I dunno, everyone stayed close at Pinehearst. I— I wouldn't say more than like, twenty feet away from me. I tried to do something bigger'n that once and I hurt myself pretty bad. To be honest I'd be worried about not being able to cover everything if people were more than like, twice my arm's reach away. I— I never really practiced doing anything longer. But if I don't have line of sight I fuck things up anyway, so— close."

She's a little disappointed in that assessment of things, shoulders hunching forward and posture somewhat slouched. Turning her attention back to Kaylee, Colette motions to the goggles she'd handed her. "There's a switch on the left side, turns 'em on. Batteries are fully charged so they'll last all night. They lift up too, like, on that little hinge? So you can flip them up without having to take the whole strappy headset thing off." Wrinkling her nose, Colette looks towards the fire escape, and then works her shoulders up and down, head from side to side, and begins peeling away like paint being washed off of a canvas. Colors fade from the higihest end of the spectrum to invisibility slowly down to blues and violets, until she's completely unseen.

"Lemme' know when you're ready." Her disembodied voice calls out to Kaylee beside her. "Just make sure you have the goggles turned on, or you'll be totally in the dark." The sounds of Colette's feet scuffing on the concrete of the rooftop denote her approach towards the fire escape.

"Sounds like a plan." Kaylee comments with a short nod and a pat to Raith's shoulder in passing. "I bow to the master here." taking the goggled handed to her, she tries to ignore the twist in her stomach that intensifies threatening nausea, with her nerves. She might really be in trouble if she hadn't spent a month dealing with something similar. She can only pray her ability doesn't fail her here, in the past it has.

She listens to the hum of mental voices of their small team, she doesn't look she's polite enough for that… well at least as long as Colette isn't shouting at her…. She just knows they are there, always comforting. The goggled are shoved on her head and flipped down, plunging her into that weird view. It's disorienting, but then she's moving after Colette. "Okay.. Let's go." And she's move as quickly as she can without a ton of noise.

"I just.. can't shake this feeling. I'll feel better when I can actually feel people inside. Walk the wall.. and listen." It'll take a delicate touch, but one she's had a lot of practice with in college. A kind of skim over surface thoughts. It's undetectable… Like just listening to a sound, but not touching it… gets you a hint of answers at least. Kaylee only hopes that there will be something she can take to the bank.

Inside: The room is larger than the one that houses the MRI, and it contains something like a childish obstacle course. Bike tires instead of real ones, tiny hurdles, no higher than a foot off the ground, a step ladder that is bolted to the floor. And there is a bed resting in one corner, next to which is the familiar tray, with its glowing blue gift, and the radio from which voice of the Director emanates. It's silent at the moment, not even buzzing with the soft sound of an open channel. Set in the corner of the room is one of the black cameras the Director uses to keep track of the proceedings. It doesn't move. Maybe nobody's home. Dema motions to the cot. "Please, try to sleep," he says, a fairly ridiculous order. The large man locks the door behind them, then moves to the tray at the bedside.

The departing van, all things considered, is good news. Not only does it answer the question of whether or not anyone else was inside it, it is removed from the equation entirely: No surprises. "Van's leaving," Raith says to his team, fishing out two more radios that he clips to his belt before attaching a headset to each one of them, one of which he pulls over his head. Before joining everyone else, he takes a moment to move the remaining duffels out of sight, hiding them behind the grating of an air duct that he had removed earlier. They'll be safe enough until someone can come back for them. Finally, he pads down the fire escape after everyone else. "That door is probably alarmed," so don't mess with it."

Nobody being home makes it difficult to complain to the higher ups, but Joseph's mind skims past this as the presence of the Refrain needle has him glancing towards it. Not quite unconsciously, he obeys Dema's order in that he approaches the bed, eyeing the tray, before blinking once and sending a look towards the orderly. "And how long're you and Her Highness gonna wait for me to pass out before you use— whatever the hell you use to do it for me?" he asks once he's come to a halt at the end of the bed, hands resting in his hips as he glances up towards the still camera in its corner. The obstacles within the room go ignored — it's been a long time since he's asked questions that don't have a direct relation to whatever is happening to him.

"That is up to the Madame," Dema informs Joseph, maddeningly passing the buck, something that should not be a surprise, likely comes as no surprise, but never loses its edge or, rather, its bluntness - its awful bureaucratic bluntness, the weighty thud of a committee gavel.

Speak of the devil, and she will appear. The radio crackles, and the camera makes a slow pan of the room before settling on Joseph and Dema in their corner. The big man is preparing a pair of needles, one full of Refrain, the other's contents clear, likely filled with the 'whatever the hell' Joseph mentioned. The distorted voice of the project director growls out of the speaker. "Good evening, Joseph. I apologize for the change in schedule, but I hoped to get you when you were feeling tired. This test will be more conclusive in a natural sleep state."

'Hanging back' is going to require a considerable distance back, then, by Teo's assessment of things, but that's okay! He offers the Demsky-Nichols girl a solid clap on the shoulder for reassurance: he still thinks her ability is pretty cool, and God knows it's saved his ass and those of his friends more than once and is probably about to do so again. However shrunken she feels its parameters are.

"Can I get the other pair?" The goggles, he means. When providing immediate backup, it tends to be important to know where your— backupees are at. In a few seconds, the Sicilian gets to look that much more like a frog.

Down on street level, there's an uncomfortable sense of exposure that the darkness doesn't do much to mitigate: Teo's used to having eyes on the back of his head, or better yet, eyes in everybody else's head. Not even common sense, tactical awareness, and a solid plan do much to offset the recent absence of his ability. His eyes flick over to the girls' blobby shapes through the goggles, and he motions at them to Go even as he pulls back into the alley, shoulder squeezed up against brick and plumbing and rifle up. Watching.

Teo and Kaylee don't feel much different when the rest of the world fails to notice them, an imperceptible change of temperature on this bloody cold night, and with the goggles on no change in their vision at all. To Raith, he loses track of the girls and Teo entirely, seeing nothing but their shaped bleeding away colors as they head down the fire escape three floors to the ground level. Crossing the alley between the warehouse and the tenement building is made with the hurried scuff of boots and the clatter of discarded beer cans and a few empty bottles from whatever transients may have at one time called the alley home. It's this tell-tale disturbance of their environment that Raith can use to track them.

They creep up to the loading docks, with Colette taking the fore of the team, heading up the concrete steps to the platform by the bay doors, then across to the mag lock by the door the recent intruder used. Colette turns her head, looking askance in Teo's direction, and it's only by merit of her not having a big gaudy headset on that Teo recognizes her shape from Kaylee's.

"Okay, see what you can feel through the doors, first Kaylee." Colette keeps her voice down, just a whisper, and nothing over the radio— that's for emergencies for now. "If you don't get anything, we'll do a sweep around the outside of the building." She turns to where she can feel light bending around Teo, almost like a tingle on her skin in his direction. "What're you gonna do, stick with us or wait here to see if anyone comes out, and like— judo chop them or something?" Honestly where does she get this from?

A nervous smile goes to Teo, as Kaylee makes straight for the building with Colette. Hands, shaking slightly from nerves, reach out to touch the door and Kaylee brings her head close to it. "I'll try to listen to each mind I find." She does this so Colette at least knows what the telepath has planned. Her companion can't see the fear in Kaylee's eyes thanks to the goggles, but she can hear it in her voice. "Wish me luck." She's scared to fail the pastor.

And with that, Kaylee relaxes her mind, her ability spreading out before her into the building, feeling for those distinct mental hums of human thought, like bumps on a perfect surface, looking for one mind for sure…. Joseph. Pushing it out to it's extreme limit, a foot slides to the side as she starts moving, small pebbles rolling under her soles, hands guiding her as she closes her eyes to concentrate.

There is a shake of her head at the door, Kaylee then starts moving around the walls of the place. She pushes to find even a glimmer of something… anything. But there is a sinking pit in her stomach as they continue around the places… Finally, she gives a pained whisper. "Empty." She has to blink rapidly to stop the tears threatening to spill down her cheeks. Hands press against the wall her head thumping against the hard cold surface."It's all empty space.. so much of it… not one hit. Where ever they are the whole thing is further into then my ability can reach."

Kaylee had hoped so much to find something.. anything, it's crushing for the young woman.

"A natural sleep state?"

This, from Joseph, barricaded from telepathic prying with sheer empty space, and too oblivious to do anything about it whatsoever. His voice rises cynical, helplessly exasperated, as he stares up at the camera. "I'm gettin' the worst kinds of dreams every other night and a hangover to will away every time you complete your damn testing and you figure, what, dinner rolls around and I'll be fine to go sleep on command? Use someone else, ma'am."

And yes, he can recognise the lack of good ol' Christianity in shoving off this procedure onto someone in an equally shitty position, but what can you do? He glances at Dema, like, you said to say something. "Just gimme a break," he adds, hollowly.

Movement on the street is quick and direct. By the time Kaylee and Colette are approaching the door, Raith is already pulling himself up to the second level of the closer fire escape, and beginning to move up to the third. On the fourth, he finally stops, unslinging his rifle and resting it on the metal rail, aimed downward. Twenty yards in the air is enough to make him in the darkness, but close enough that he can still make out vague outlines on the street below. Close enough, also, to quickly get down to street level in case they need fire support once they've moved inside, if they move inside. «In position,» he reports over the radio before sending a glance around, watching for headlights and for Teo. Everything should go smoothly from here on out.

"I appreciate your need for rest, Joseph," the director replies, voice even, mild, "And ideally this test will be restive. But it has to be you. You are the subject with the longest established history of Refrain use, and it is long term effects that we are studying. Much as I would like to accommodate you, these are the demands of the project."

And that, as far as the director is concerned, is that. The buck is passed yet again, but not to any person or persons - instead it is the abstract 'project' that is to blame for this. Good luck complaining to a concept.

"Assistant, please administer the sedative," the director says, in a voice that would be crisp were it not for the voice transformation software. Dema sterilizes a patch on Joseph's needle-mark ridden arm, lifts the hypo filled with clear liquid, and makes to force Joseph's unconsciousness.

"I don't think that there are any chops in judo," Teo whispers, despite that this is hardly the time to be discussing the vagaries of various martial arts. "Wait out here. I'll follow you in in increments, watch the street. Let me know if you need me to move in sooner." A gloved forefinger taps the radio peeking out from between Colette's reed-slim thumb and forefinger, before the girls are off.

The Sicilian left behind somewhere in the dark, perhaps at the furtheset trembling edge of the photokinetic's invisibility field, but sufficiently capable of hiding himself no matter how squeamish he privately feels about doing this negated. He huddles, mutters into the radio. «Nothing from the women,» he reports back. «I think Kaylee might still not be close enough. Can you cover them if they start walking the perimeter, all the way around?»

Making a disconcerted noise in the back of her throat, Colette shakes her head disappointedly once she and Kaylee have taken the time out to make their ten minute circuit around the building and wind up back at the loading dock. Reaching out to take a hold of Kaylee's hand, Colette guides her to stop, and then lets to go she can grab the radio off of her belt. Bringing it up to talk into, she depresses the button on the side and keeps her eyes closed feeling the shift of light and color around her. "Raith, Kaylee didn't get anything. Wherever they are it's out've her range. I dunno how far that is, but we don't have anythin' t'go on."

Breathing in deeply, Colette shakes her head. "If it were brighter out and Gillian were here I could cut through the door, but that's totally not gonna' happen right now." Chewing on the inside of her cheek, Colette exhales a sharp sight, uncertain of Teo's positioning when she moved, having had to let go of his concealment when she left. "What do we do?"

Clamp, goes Joseph's hand around Dema's wrist before the needle can prick skin. His heart hitches with the motion, as if dreading it, but does it anyway and there's sharp attention now in the black circles of his eyes as he lifts them up to look at the man. "Kinda tired of makin' this easy for you," he explains, a little harshly. He keeps his voice low, as if to conceal it from whatever microphones Bella listens through, although he has no clear idea as to whether that would work. Still, his voice is quick and intimate and obviously intended for Dema, even if privacy doesn't work in practice. "You walk around this place with a scowl like you don't wanna be here and act like this is your only option when it ain't, tell me to complain to your boss when that don't do a thing for me. Try it my way now, and don't."

«Not all the way, they'll be fine.» But it soon becomes apparent that there's nothing to be found, and that Raith has nothing to provide sniper cover for. At Colette's question, Raith pauses to consider their options, which essentially boil down to breach the door the old-fashioned way, or come back later with thermite. «Stay put,» he finally decides, «I'm coming down. We'll kick down the door and shoot our way in and back out if we have to. No more waiting.» If Kaylee's report is reliable, and Raith suspects it is, then there's probably nobody inside anyway. Unaware of what is happening on the ground, he lifts his rifle up from its resting point and slings it over his shoulder before turning back towards the ladders down.

"Joseph, what are you doing?" The director's voice warns from the radio, "Assistant, what is the subject saying to you? Do you need assistance? Remember our agreement, Joseph…" The rapid fire questions, the edgy tone… the director is obviously not a fan of things falling out of synch with the plan. Dema's needle hovers, halted by Joseph's grip. The large man stares down at the subject, the look in his deep set eyes tinged with a regret that doesn't show on his impassive face. He speaks clearly, so that the director can hear. "The subject seems to be panicked. His pupils are contracting. His mental state appears disturbed." The radio goes silent for a moment, switched off on the director's end. This absence is momentary; it snaps back on. "Very well. We need a normal neurological state to proceed. Escort him back to his room." Dema gives Joseph the slightest of nods, and then sets the hypodermic back on the tray before offering a hand to help Joseph up.

The telepath's warning is enough to jolt the Sicilian out of his position, hanging back as instructed. No one else came, not from any vantage point he could benefit. Instead, Kaylee's talking about the door. Teo appears at near corner of the building so abruptly he might not have bothered at all with the physical space between them. He hunkers down, against the wall, fanning a haphazard gesture with one glove. Stand down, stand down.

«Negative, negative. These fuckers are heavily armed.» He cranes his head around masonry, squints past twisted vents and scarred concrete. «One has an assault rifle, the other's carrying a shotgun with a taser attachment. Both have handguns and are—» A beat's pause as Teodoro tries to tell in the dark. «Armored. New stuff, 'f not as good as yours. They are equipped to take lethal or nonlethal action.

«I don't think we can do this tonight.» Teo isn't yelling of course but there's a certain amount of urgency breathing down the receiver as he squats and goggles like a deranged homeless person on the pavement, his own rifle pointed paranoidly downward.

The pair of guards, well armed to say the least, with serious hardware hanging from straps and holsters, all attached to vests that just have to have that new-kevlar scent all the best mercs enjoy so much, close the door behind them, before one extracts a pack of cigarettes and a zippo lighter from one of his various pouches. Cancer sticks are handed out, and lit, and the pair loiter and shoot the shit. Which is much better than if they were shooting shit, because that would be bad.

"We need a goddamn pool table," one of them comments, "I'm getting tired of playing poker."

"You're getting tired of being reamed," the other says. They smoke slowly, dragging out their break.

"Fuck you," comes the reply, "But I think I'm just gonna ask her about it. Shit, I think the guys would all pitch in for a table. Split between us it'd be, like, nothing."

"Be my guest. I'm not gonna. I don't like the way she talks you. Half the time, it's like you're supposed to… shit, I don't know. Share your thoughts and feelings. Like she's trying to be a nice mom on TV. And then the other half it's like we're just in the way, like she'd like to ignore us if we could."

"Whatever. She's cute when she's not wearing the black bag on her head."

"Shit, don't get me started on that…"

Closer inspection reveals that half the weapons these men carry are non lethal. The other half are extremely lethal. Everything that needs suppressing has a suppressor. There are no organizational marks on their clothes, but they're wearing the same outfits, effectively a uniform. However these guys got into the warehouse, it wasn't from normal channels. Unless they're camping out in there, there must be a hidden, alternate route into the facility.

The moment Colette sees the door open and the men start coming out onto the loading dock, she's fast to grab Kaylee's hand by the wrist and start moving with her back pressed up against the wall. The dark-haired teen practically drags Kaylee behind her, doing what probably is the most foolish thing she possibly could at this moment— going inside. With the door slowly closing behind the pair of conversing guards, they fail to hear the subtle scuff of boots on concrete, fail to note the presence of what their eyes can't. Colette moves thorugh first, tugging Kaylee with her just quick enough to beat the slow close of the door naturally behind them, ending with the firm click of the mag lock going back into place.

Breathing shallowly and shuddering with each exhalation, Colette can feel her heart racing in her chest once on the other side of that locked door. She still has the radio in hand, depressing the call button on the side as she whispers into the receiver. "We're inside." That is quite possibly the worst thing that she could have said, because now they're in the building alone.

"We're going to look for Joseph," is relayed into the radio, green eyes cast to the side and invisibility maintained for Colette and Kaylee. When she clips the radio back on her belt, Colette's hand doesn't come away empty. Instead, she's producing that flare gun from inside the front pouch of her sweatshirt, beginning to awkwardly creep down the hall from the door. Teo and Raith can handle two armed men, she figures. After all, they took out a giant metallic man, didn't they? She remembers it a lot less terrifying than it was.

It becomes instantly very clear why Kaylee wasn't able to access any minds. This place is built in the strangest way. The interior of the warehouse gapes before them, dominated by empty space. In the very center of this space is hunched a solid concrete structure, held together by metal joiners, rising as tall as a single story and a bit higher in a few places. There is a single door into this structure, dimly lit by fluorescents and guarded.

Heavily guarded. Arranged around this door are some fold-out chairs and a couple tables, stocked with over fifteen men, all armed and dressed like the ones outside on their smoke break. They're not on alert by any means, and overhead lamps light the games of poker they are currently engaged in. Two other guards man the stairs leading up to the foreman's perch, the metal room that hangs overhead. Lights glow inside of it, and wires trail along the stairway, around onto the floor, and over to the concrete structure where they slip into the wall, just below a chrome ventilation fan that is thrumming way.

No.. nononono. Kaylee's mental whisper, tickles at the back of Colette's mind at Teo's news. The telepath feels like she's on the edge of breaking as they are so very close. The teen's hand is in a death grip and the knuckles of the other white as she clenches her fist tight enough to feel the sharp pain of her nails in her own palm. The young blonde fights not to lash out at those men in frustration, the desire to turn one on the other about overwhelms her senses. It would be so easy…. So very very easy. Teeth clenched against that crushing feeling of failure.

Then something on the guard mind grabs her attention. BINGO. Kaylee's ability slips in to pluck an image from the minds of the guards. Who is their mysterious woman? Who is the telepath's target for her anger. This mollifies the young blonde quite a bit as she's pulled inside the building. As the door clicks behind them it sinks in….

WAIT! Inside?! So busy she's been plucking the image of a redhead in all black, out of the guards mind, she didn't realize what they just did.. Oh shit.. Colette… This… Oh god. Slipping into the the silent telepathic talk, she stares wides eyed at the door, as they move deeper into the place. As minds start touching her range she turns towards them. Okay.. now the telepath is /really scared.

I… think we're over our heads here. Comes Kaylee's small mental voice, but now she has intel… I have to tell…. She drags Collette back some as she searches for Teo's mind remembering where he was.. Placing what she sees in his mind. The snapshot of the interior and an image of a red headed woman in black with a cane. Then, only then does she lets Colette drag her further in, her eyes wide.

They are so dead.

All of those words sound legitimate and workable, and so Joseph's hand releases Dema's wrist only to take the other one and get dragged up to stand. It's a short term solution, one that cures nothing at all, but he can't help but nod at the man in some gratitude, even if misery sets back in and he has to bring up his hands to rub at his eyes out from their blur.

By the time he's back in his cell, he's mostly preoccupied with mourning the blue syringe they'd both left behind, but he has enough pride not to inquire about that.

Dema doesn't say anything further to Joseph, no further explanation. The subject wanted rest, so rest is what he's getting. Once the pastor is safely locked up, the huge man make his way to the facility module's only exit.

Which means that, shortly after their stealthy and risky infiltration, the door to the concrete structure opens, and a very large, very powerfully built man emerges. This one is unarmed, and dressed in crisp medical whites, but is built more like a heavy weight wrestler than a doctor or nurse. The guards greet him with nods, but don't pay him any special mind; they obviously move in different circles. The newcomer makes his way across the empty space towards the stairs. The guards step aside for him.

«Copy.» Raith stays still on the fire escape. All they have to do is wait for those two to go back inside. They can come back later with better weapons, because it looks very much like they will have to shoot their way in and back out. And then, Colette happily informs them that they are going to look for Joseph, and before Raith can prepare a response, his Predictability Sense is on fire, and he realizes if they are going to look for Joseph, it's because they are both inside the warehouse already.

«Dammit, Colette, no,» he hisses lowly into his headset, knowing that it's already too late. He got a good look at the men outside. These aren't 'security guards': These are private military contractors, and where there are two, there's at least ten more nearby. «Colette, take Kaylee and wait by the door,» Raith orders, «When these assholes go back inside, you two come back outside. We do not have the manpower or the equipment for an extraction. You will/ go to the door and you //will leave the warehouse the instant the opportunity presents itself. Tap the receiver three times to indicate that you have received your orders and will comply with them.»

Unfortunately, being on the wrong side of the door and the other corner on the outside of a highly-guarded supervillain lair means that Teodoro can't just take a flying leap out shouting No, no no and tackle them to the ground. In what seems like a disturbingly brief amount of time, the door has swiveled near to shut behind the two women, leaving Teo without the protection of photokinetic invisibility and straining his goggles on the wall to little avail.

Heat dissipating off of footprints, the sheared fragment of someone's scalp through the boarded window, but he doesn't dare stand up to check lest he get smashed like some arcade game gopher by the guards. He can't even hiss curses into his radio, lest the burp of static and noise in Colette's radio catch the attention of those inside. He presses his lips together so hard they go anemic white and his cheeks smudge ketsup ruddy.

Two seconds before his skull threatens to pop, steam shooting out sideways like an overheated kettle, Kaylee's snapshots blink into his mind's eye. He stiffens slightly, squints up at the night sky and the rooftop he can almost see Raith crouched at. The redhead is instantly suspicious rather than instantly recognizable, the easiest and most dramatic assumption quelled despite that, by now, Teodoro should probably have learned to trust his easy, melodramatic assumptions. Somehow, the worst parts of his nature tend to get things right.

Raith has the whole telling little girls what to do thing down, for the moment, leaving the Sicilian to stare unkindly at the backs of the two goons' heads and input, eventually, «There's at least another two dozen guys inside. Via Kay.»

There is only so much time you can spend smoking a single cigarette. The guards outside flick their butts out into the street, then turn around, one of them taking out his magcard and swiping it through the scanner. The door comes unlocked with a click, and is pulled open by the guard, held there. "Ladies first," he says, smirking as his companion, who takes a moment to flip him off. A perfect window for escape.

At least for one of the infiltrators. Colette is now on the stairway, the one leading up to the foreman's perch, that vaulted nerve center where the lumbering giant in white is headed, step by steady step, moving like a man who is not eager to get where he is going.

WHAT?! Is Kaylee's simple response to Colette's mental command. But there isn't enough time to make any real decision before the door opens and Kaylee has to act. As soon as she can, she slips outside, reappearing as soon as she's outside the door and out of line of sight of Colette. It's up to her now… of course.. Kaylee feels like a damn coward.

Raith was prepared to be relieved, or at least slightly less angry with the confirmation that they'd be coming back out. But when the private soldiers vanish and only Kaylee appears in the street, the emotion he feels has some flecks of distress, but it's mostly rage. Sure, it's possible that Colette is outside with Kaylee and just invisible, but what kind of sense does that make? She snuck inside, she's most likely still in there, in defiance of a direct order that was issued for everybody's safety. And for Raith, that means, quite simply, only one thing. «Teo, go get Kaylee,» isn't a potentially problematic statement. What is potentially problematic, however, is the follow-up of, «RTB.» Return to Base.

Colette is on her own.

Teo doesn't have to be told twice, if he'd had to be told at all. He scurries forward in a rigid hunch, keeping himself low despite that there's no one out here now except for the telepath herself. He snares her by the waist with one arm, closes his other hand across her mouth, snatches her up like a dogbite or an unfortunately talented kidnapper. Hoists her clean off the ground with an easy jerk of muscle pressure.

He falls back, rapidly, walking for both of them despite that the telepath is uninjured and perfectly capable of moving herself. At six foot and with however many years of athleticism and secondhand assassin training in him, he carries Kaylee as easily as a dog does a chewtoy, withdrawing into the alley that had kept him mere minutes ago. His LMG hangs inert across his back, without having been fired even once since go-time.

Squinting as she looks down at Dema's approaching form, Colette starts to move more quickly up the stairs, coming to a stop near the doorway to the raised metal room. She hunches back against a wall, making her profile as slim as possible, hands pressed flat against the wall to allow Dema to slip past her and move into the room ahead of her. Gripping her flaregun in that free hand, she turns the volume on the radio down a few notches with the other.

Breathing in deeply, Colette holds her breath as she stays flush up against the wall, the tiny girl's body as squished into the corner of the warehouse wall and the edge of the door as she can, to minimize the surface area of her body that Dema has to pass by. She's so close to something, and so goddamned stubborn that she's more than willing to take the risk to find out just what that is.

Dema opens the door to the foreman's perch, his considerable frame coming much too close to making contact with Colette for comfort. It's a near thing, but he lumbers by, and pulls open the door. From within comes the hum of many computers and monitors, whose glow provide the most of the light. There is also the whiff of an acrid smell, a scent on the air that those in the know would identify as that of Cannabis sativa. A very professional operation, apparently.

Colette is close enough to hear the voices from within. One is a woman's voice, likely the individual about whom the guards spoke with ambivalence. She doesn't sound like she's in the best mood. The large man's voice is inflected by a strong Russian accent, but his English is quite good, though handled with the care and precision of someone who is very dedicated to speaking English well. His voice is low and has a certain gentleness to it.

"I don't like delays, Dema. Particularly when it's about something…" a pause, "/Vital/."

"I'm sorry, madame."

"You understand that this is /not/ just a vanity project, don't you? I admit some of the goals we have are not exactly…" another pause, a search for a word - courtesy of the acrid smell's source, "Altruistic. But this is the noblest damn objective we're likely to set for ourselves, and /this/ is when our cooperative pastor decides to panic? That he needs a rest? God /damn/ it, Dema!"

"I'm sorry, madame."

"My friends and /clients/ are at risk here. And god knows how many other honest drug users out there…"

There are so many emotions going through the telepath right now, when Kaylee rips off those goggles with a growl. The minute she's bodily lifted and carried, Teo get mentally slapped with a DON'T FUCKIN' TOUCH ME! screamed through his head. An attempt is made to twist out of his grip, as she is just that pissed at…well… the whole damn thing. It's all in vain, of course, so she just.. slumps into his grip as she drug back, her thoughts turning dangerously dark memories of what she did to the guards at Pinehearst play between them, before she thinks to slam shut the link between her and Teo. As she is pulled away from the building and one of her best friends, her vision swims with tears. "Damn her…" The words hiss between her teeth, her breath hitching at the end.

As soon as Teo begins moving to pick up Kaylee, Raith begins his climb back down to the street in silence. Once there, he doesn't scramble over to the other two, but remains crouched where he lands, hidden in the darkness. <Colette, if you're still listening to this, you're on your own to get out of there.» The good news is that Raith's climb seems to have calmed him down a bit, or at least given him time to work this out so he doesn't sound so angry. «We have no way of extracting you. If you get caught, you're dead. If they figure out you're there, and you still get out, they will likely move their operation, and you'll be back at square one. You need to go to the door you came in through right now, and wait there while I work out a plan. Listen to me very carefully. If you do not do exactly that, you run the virtual guarantee that you will never see your friend again. If you go back to the door and wait for me to come up with a plan, then you will see him again. Do you understand? You need to go back to the door, right now, and wait.»

Not getting their target out is one thing, but on further reflection, leaving Colette behind is probably the worst mistake he could make after getting killed. The last thing he needs is to be blackballed by the Ferrymen, one of the few organizations in the city with resources that they might actually consider sharing with the Remnant. Still seething, he departs his hiding place to join Teo and Kaylee. If he at least tries to get Colette out, that should be good enough.

On the upside, Kaylee probably would've heard torture with her superpowers from all the way out here if they were doing anything like that, so Teo— isn't too worried. They were bringing the cavalry in soon. He just has his teeth gritted because he's currently cultivating the mother of all migraines raging through his skull, thanks to the kneejerk blast of Kaylee's telepathy. He doesn't squirt blood out of his nose or his ears or anything psychically morbid like that, wonderfully. Gives a little grunt, is all.

Manly grunt. Keeps his fingers laced tight over the keen of Kaylee's grief, muffling her, while he scuttles back over pavement like a larva making fast-tracks through a carcass to meet Raith. He doesn't let go until he's at the older man's shoulder, and even then, his arm's folded around her head in rough embrace instead of liberty granted. Shhh. "We came here for intel," he whispers. "You got it to us."

Booted feet scuff across metal as Colette slinks her way inside the control room. She doesn't move her eyes, not anything more than vestigial twitches behind her eyelids as she feels the presence of light and dark around the room, the way different colors bounce off of her body in subtly textured ways. Banks of surveillance monitors watch the various test subjects thorugh flat LCD displays connected by bundled cords of fiber optics. Keyboards and control systems make this some sort of nerve center for the operation. It's just like the basement of Pinehearst.

Once inside the doorway, Colette starts moving towards the screens that watch over the different patient quarters, concentrating her attention of the radiated glow of each screen, discerning shape and form not clearly enough to make out who's in what room, the level of detail she can see like this isn't fine enough. Turning her attention back to Bella and Dema, Colette slowly crouches again, feeling the metal and plastic of the flare gun in her hand, thumb running along the side. She looks up at the burly Russian, then over to the redheaded woman. This has to be the person Logan was talking about.

Hearing Raith's words quietly in her headphones, Colette grimaces and presses teeth into her lower lip. She swallows awkwardly, a shuddering breath slipping past her nose and into her scarf as she reaches down to her hip with her free hand and turns the radio volume completely down. The teen scrunches her eyes shut, trying to shut out Raith's rational argument with something more preposterous— What would Gabriel do?

He'd do things his way.

Pity, if she knew that attitude got him killed, she might have reconsidered.

Reaching down into the back right pocket of her pants, Colette pulls out her cell phone, turning down the volume with a few presses of the side, before carefully tabbing thorugh the menu by tactile memory rather than sight. Kids these days and their texting. She finds Kaylee's number, and starts tapping in a quick message to send.

found ldy in chrg
gtg jo
pls get hlp
not waitng

Carefully folding her phone closed, Colette sweeps her light senses up around the room, looking for security cameras on the inside here, then setling her attention back on Bella and Dema again, waiting for the opportunity of that hulking lug to get the hell out of the control room so she can do this. Whatever this turns out to be, though the weight of that flare gun in her hand makes her consider heavily what this could be.

Whatever it is, she's not waiting to do it. Hesitation allowed Emile Danko to get away. This time, if she has to pull that trigger, she's going to. No more Emile Dankos.

"I'm sorry, madame," Dema repeats, in a strange mantra, his head set low in taciturn obedience.

"Damnit Dema, don't just stand there like I'm some sort of…" another pause, this is getting to be a vocal tic, "Darth Vader! I've called for our ride. I want to get home and get some rest. I hope those dopes in the lab find out something interesting soon." The woman is on a rambling rant at this point, and she sounds more irritated than actually mad. "My cocktail, brilliant though it is, is basically a brute force approach. I want something more elegant. And something only we know how to make," a small grunt of pain, "My leg's bugging me again. Bad mood. Psychosomatic, I think. Grab that cane?"

Colette, through the perch's windows, sees Dema move to the side, bend over to pick something up, bear it back to his interlocutor.

Without the burden of having to keep Kaylee invisible, Colette can focus on smaller-scale applications of her ability. Keeping herself invisible is an easy enough task, especially when she's only focusing on herself. Now, though, she can apply the ability in more creative ways. Holding out the closed phone, Colette slinks in the doorway and concentrates on the plastic chassis of the phone itself. Invisibility peels away from a quarter-sized area of the handheld, revealing the blue-gray plastic and more importantly, a circular black lens. All she need to then, is snap a button on the side, capturing a digital image of Dema and Bella.

Creeping back towards the stairs, Colette leans over the edge of the railing, angling her camera down towards the floor. Two more snapshots of the concrete building, its entrance, and the assortment of guards are made next. She peels the invisibility back over the lens, crouching on the stairs as she brings back Kaylee's address with the phone, sending those images to her. Not waiting to pay attention to the transmission, Colette steps back up into the observation room and ducks inside the doorway, crouching down again as she looks from Bella to her bodyguard. She wants to sigh, but she's terrified to breathe too loud.

Slinking along the edge of the room, Colette maneuvers herself past Dema and towards the redheaded doctor. The green-eyed brunette considers something, only now, that she said. Behind Bella now, Colette moves back to the edges of the room, on the complete opposite side from the doorway, crouching in the corner and opening her phone again.

boss ldy leaves
called car
redhead w bdygd
cant get alone
wtng insd
txt when on wy. wll try hide.

She's trapped inside the building, trapped behind Bella and Dema, trapped just far enough away from Joseph to not be able to do anything. All Colette wants is that gigantic, scary Russian to leave the little redhead alone for five seconds. Regrettably, she's not getting that much.

Dema looms in the window and then the door swings open, held agape for a pretty woman with red hair, slightly bloodshot eyes, and a grim looking metal cane with a wolf's head on it, limp out of the perch. She looks like she's in a bit of a snit, though she doesn't emanate the sort of real, palpable heat style rage of a A-list villain. She pauses to tug a veil over her face, taking a moment to carefully tuck it into her collar in a fastidious way one might put up their hair or put on their face. Dema follows after her as she begins to limp down the stairs, her footfalls clanging rather loudly, and the cane clattering. Making a fair bit of noise, which draws the momentary attention of the guards.

The telepath is still seething, making no move to acknowledge Teo's words, her whole body just trembles with pent up emotions… Thank god she's not an empath! She can't speak… if she does she might just break down.. not something she wants to do in front of Raith. No later she'll find a place to shut herself away and just…. cry. Til then she swallows that lump in her throat, her hands stay clenched at her side, nails biting painfully into her skin.

Yeah.. at what cost? The mental words are dry, but at least she's not screaming. Always a plus. The vibration in her pocket makes her jump and she pushes away from Teo to fish out her cellphone. Thumb slides across the screen so she can read the message. Reading the words she goes pale. "I'm… I'm going to kill her."

The guys are probably close enough to see the text on her screen, in fact she makes sure they can by standing between them, though the screen shakes. Kaylee has to concentrate on not breaking her phone as she types out her simple reply…


And after a moment after the second set of texts, she adds.

Getting hlp. Thx for pics. ilu. Stay Safe!

"Fuck.. she's not giving us time…" Kaylee's voice strained, she glances up at Teo and then Raith. "And this woman is getting ready to leave." She taps at screen to bring up Bella and Dema's pictures so they can see it. "Also pictures of the layout."

Without so much as a 'please,' Raith snatches the phone away from Kaylee and tap-taps through the photos that Colette took, not bothering to give them a real thorough look-over, yet. "She's batshit," he says, "But damn if these won't be useful." And they will.

"We'll have to come back later," he adds as he returns the phone to its owner, "We need more people and more guns. Explosives. Get Colette, get Joseph, torch whatever they're doing in there. Or steal, whichever is most immediately practical. But right now, we need to get gone. Nothing else we can do."

It is barely within Teo's ken not to seize the phone in Kaylee's grasp and fling it through the half-dozen walls that separate them from Colette with the primordial strength of consternation. Fortunately, Raith exploits the time which the Sicilian spends otherwise staring blankly at the phone's tiny screen to snatch the device away and out of range, leaving Teo to exhale with such force that it might actually qualify as a sigh.

"I know who the bitch is," he says, gesturing at Kaylee that she needs to get typing, and quick. Type while she walks: at the same time, he is closing his other hand on her elbow, tugging her into tactical retreat. "Isabella Sheridan. She's Company." It's probably Wireless' influence, that he doesn't deign to differentiate between full-fledged Agents and those— outsources. "They'd go through a little bit of trouble to get her back intact, and fuck with whomever did it. Let her know.

"We're getting out." Teo is fully-equipped to operate as Kaylee's eyes in the interim, navigating the way. Possibly her feet as well, if she needs to be carried.

"Yes…. yes she is." Bland as her tone is, Kaylee sighs, rubbing at her eyes with thumb and fingers, feeling suddenly tired. "Blowing the place sky high sounds rather appealing to me." Her voice going rather cold. "Big fireball…BOOSH!" Her finger taps the screen to starts typing the info as directed. "…and her.. dead… Has a REALLY lovely ring to it… then there would be no need for them to get her back intact." The telepath is at this point trying to blow off steam without breaking down.. so she's is voicing those thoughts. So much for trying to prove to Joseph she could be the good person he seems to think she is.

Sliding her back down the wall of the observation room inside the warehouse, head hunched down and shoulders risen, Colette Nichols stares at Isabella Sheridan's retreating form, and that of her Cromagnon bodyguard. In a way he's reminiscent of Nicole's somewhat effeminate gorilla of a friend named Manny, and that likeness is about all the comfort she gets here in this room. But once she's alone, once the red-haired doctor, her infernal cane, and everything has faded away, Colette is left alone in the mottled color-blotched haze of her ability, unable to bring herself to come visible and check the monitors for signs of Joseph.

She'd never admit it, but right now, Colette is terrified.

More than she's been in a long time.

All she can do now is wait, using up what little battery her phone has left to try and send out a few more warning messages as to what is going on.

She'll have plenty of time to contemplate her mistakes in the meanwhile.

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