32 Feet Per Second


candy_icon.gif claire3_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif sanderson_icon.gif

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Scene Title 32 Feet Per Second
Synopsis Team Bravo makes a daring landing in Madagascar and finds the country most hostile than the one they left behind.
Date November 25, 2009

The skies above Analalava, Madagascar

Some say the world will end in fire…

A peal of thunder rolls hard thorugh the clouded skies, flashes of lightning visible out the windows that streak with rivulets of rainwater. It is in the back hold of the C-130 that departed from the USS George Washington two and a half hours ago off the east coast of Madagascar that one small, hand-picked group of specialists both Evolved and Non-Evolved steel themselves for a mission that may well carry the weight of the world on its shoulders.

…Some say in ice.

The door to the cockpit opens with a protesting creak of metal, followed by the clomping bootfalls of Lieutenant Adelle Sanderson, Bravo Team's commanding officer. "Eyes up ladies and gentlemen!" She proclaims upon her entrance to the hold, "We're 1.1 clicks away from our insertion point at Analalava. The thunder storm is aiding in masking our approach, but we're not going to be able to make a landing at the Analalava airport!" Shouting to make her voice heard over the roar of the prop engines, Lieutenant Sanderson begins pacing thorugh the hold.

From what I've tasted of desire…

"Satellite imagery from a break in the storm indicates movement of Madagascar national forces towards the Analalava airport, which means that General Rasoul's men may know we're coming!" Marching past the seatbelted benches where Bravo Team is strapped in and waiting for landing, Sanderson makes her way to the back of the plane. "Everyone unbuckle and eyes on me!" Opening a metal cabinet door, Sanderson reveals a large rack of backpacks set on hangars. "We've only got one shot at this!"

I hold with those who favor fire.

- Robert Frost; Fire and Ice

Candy has been bouncing along in the cargo plane for the past two and a half hours, gripping her seat tightly. "This is sooo much more like a flight into hell then the one to Moab was," she mutters to herself, her eyes looking out one of the windows and to the lightning streaked sky, watching the rain outside of it. If anything, that helps to improve her mood somewhat.

With the creak of the door opening, and the sound of bootstomps, Candy's eyes snap over to look at their commanding officer. As she outlines what is happening, Candy's jaw drops slightly. They're going to parachute… from a plane… in this weather?! "Oh sweet Mary, Mother of God," she says softly, fear edging into her voice. She does not want to be struck by lightning as they fall down. Doesn't it strike the highest object?

"We're jumping into that?" Claire's voice lifts above the roar of the cargo plane's huge engines, worried and surprised. She glances out the tiny window in time to see a flash of lightening. "Holy hell…" Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, trying to calm her stomach.. She's might be able to survive a lot of things.. but if something goes wrong this high up? Would she survive going SPLAT?

Situated as far from Gabriel as she could manage, clutching her backpack to her chest, she turns in her seat to check the others to see if they think this is insane.

To be frank, Huruma is more excited about seeing some action and going back to the most familiar of areas; the woman observes past the windows of the plane in relative quiet until Sanderson creates a reason to look back. Huruma appears to be getting more tightly wound the closer that they get to where they are intended to go. It is not a bad thing, technically, but it gives her a highstrung air for the time being. When Sanderson calls them all to attention, her eyes follow suit and provide a moment wherein she gives the Lieutenant a sparse glare.

"Lovely." She might mean it. The dark woman unbuckles herself from the bench, waiting for directions that she knows are coming.

What Gabriel wouldn't give to be able to fly. He's never cultivated a fear of planes, but jumping out of one seems generally counterintuitive. Still, out of a group of women, who is he to be hesitant? Taking a breath, the straps that lock him against the benches lining along the curving sides of the place are released, gaze ticking from Claire— who has nothing to worry about— as far as he is concerned, and then over towards Eileen, rather predictably. "This whole saving the world thing is going to be a little hindered if you kill an entire team straight off the bat, don't you think?" is offered generally, beneath the sound of engines and roaring storm.

Human bodies are nothing like bird bodies. Their bones are dense and filled with thick, glutinous matter, legs comparatively like tree trunks, arms long, loose and gangly when they aren't akimbo. It's not that Eileen has a fear of heights — she doesn't — but being trapped in the shape she was born with feels strange and alien at such high altitudes, and she isn't looking forward to taking the plunge without a set of wings or the intrinsic ability to use them.

Somewhat predictably, Gabriel's attention goes ignored; right now, her sole focus is the steady regulation of her breathing as she struggles to scale her heart rate back to something that doesn't resemble the hummingbird's 23.3 times per second.

Despite what you may think, acrophobia and fear of diving headfirst out of a plane are two very different things and in the end only tangentially related. The absence of one does not preclude the other.

As the the soldiers under Sanderson from Bravo team unbuckle themselves from their seats, a skittish and rail-thin man rises up along with them. Sargent William Donner is a United States Military nuclear weapons specialist, and the black Haliburton briefcase handcuffed to his wrist contains unknown documentation and devices that — according to Sanderson's earlier debriefing — are essential to the deactivation of the Munin warhead.

"Provided you pay attention, you'll be fine." Sanderson admits to Gabriel with a confident smile. The short brunette turns towards the back of the plane, then looks back to the others again. "We're going to proceed with a low-open jump from the back of this aircraft into hostile territory! I know none of you were given prior training with this procedure, but don't worry, that's why I'm here! I'm designated under the Registry of the Evolved with the ability of projective muscle memory. It's a short duration, but if you observe me operating the chute it'll be like second nature to you for a few hours! Pay attention to the sound of my voice and watch what I am about to show you!" Grabbing one of the packs, Sanderson slings it over her shoulders, buckling it tight across her chest. "This is your altitude meter!" Her gloved finger points to a dial on one shoulder, "This is your primary chute, when you see the needle in your altitude meter reach this point— " she taps a spot on the dial, " —pull your chute!"

The other marines begin taking parachutes, strapping them on and then getting ready to help hand them out to the rest of the team. "If your primary chute does not open…" she motions to another cord, "this is your reserve chute. You're going to be freefalling at roughly 32 feet per second once we jump out of the back of this aircraft after we drop to proper altitude! You will have approximately nine seconds before you need to pull your chute. Any longer and it will not open fast enough to save your— "

A deafening explosion rocks the aircraft accompanied by a brilliant white flash of light, choking black smoke and the crackling heat of flames. Sound is reduced to a high-pitched whine of tinnitus and those on the right side of the aircraft were thrown to the left and down to the ground. Rapid depressurization and high winds outside follows immediately afterwards, sucking smoke and flames out of the hold, along with Sargent Donner and the briefcase attached to his wrist. Corporal Anders is also unfortunate enough to be sucked squarely off of his feet and through the gaping hole in the vessel where once the side of the aircraft's hold once was.

Lieutenant Sanderson is laid out on the ground, blood flowing freely from a gash in her shoulder where a jagged piece of metal is inserted. A split on her brow bleeds openly, looking far worse than it truly is. As sound begins to come back, it is greeted by the metallic pinging of bullets punching through the hull of the aircraft and the high-pitched whirr of their close proximity.

Candy had managed to be fairly clam, up until the point where she got thrown from her seat on the right side of the plan, a shocked scream ripping out of her throat before she hits the other side of the plane and its bumped out of her. Laying there stunned for a couple of moments as she watches the others get sucked from the plane. The high-pitched noise that has replaced sound making everything seem almost surreal. Finally, as hearing returns to her, and she can make note of the bullets pinging along the plane, she looks around wildly wanting someone to tell her what to do. Though, she has the sinking feeling that the only thing left to do is hope that the trees break their fall before they hit with the unforgiving dirt.

As Sanderson starts to give instructions, Claire finally remembers to unhook her seatbelt, moving the backpack only enough to get herself released from the seat. Climbing to her feet, thought it takes some doing as she's not use to being on a plane being tossed about with wind. Gripping the back of the seats, she moves to retrieve a backpack from one of the marine.

As her fingers reach to snag a strap with her free hand, her world goes tumbling as she's thrown across the plane and ending up on her back blinking up dazed. What the hell? She rolls to her side in time to watch some of the soldiers get sucked out of the plane, her blue eyes wide. Gripping the base of the seat with both hands she realizes her back isn't there. Not good. Her head whip about to search for it, spotting it not far from her. She lets go of the seat with one hand and stretches her arm out, fingers crawling across the hard surface of the walkway till she can grip a strap and pull it to her, tucking it over her shoulder.

Then starts Claire's search for a parachute, as she looks about for condition of the others.

Huruma is one of the first non-marines to hoist a pack onto her back; she doesn't seem to need direction on hooking it onto herself, thankfully. Her eyes are on Sanderson when the explosion sends most everything into a chaotic pinball game. Ping, ping, ping- nearly everyone gets thrown about like various shaped dolls for the initial impact, and Huruma is one of them. Perhaps she catches more wind? Either way, she lands on her side before latching onto the nearest metal object. It happens to be the side of the bench they were on, and being bolted in provides a reasonable handle to pull herself up with.

A stream of angry words comes spewing out of Huruma's mouth, though little is discernible- just because it isn't English. They already lost the nerd and one of the baby marines, and they haven't even landed yet. Despite the situation, the African woman's lips curl into a half-smile. Her first destination once she is able to claw her way over things is Sanderson- grabbing onto the smaller woman's straps as she maneuvers towards the part of the plane that is decidedly not missing at the moment.

"Grab a chute, kids." Huruma's voice rattles throughout the windy hollow of the plane still in the air, and the metallic pinging of bullets over the side. If all else fails, make sure that you don't actually lose your 'comrades'. They could be useful.

That Gabriel is knocked sharply off his feet when things go to hell is less than dignified, but he has the sense to keep a white-knuckled grip on his recently grabbed 'chute back by the time he's put on his knees, one hand gripping onto the bench he'd been seated at as he whips a look towards the gaping side of the plane. Unwilling to stand, he remains half-crouched, half simply on hands and knees as wind steals their breaths away, whips hair and clothes and roars in ears. For a moment, his form ripples with a pitch blackness as he partially attenuates his body into a phased form, but ultimately, decides against it.

A fall is a fall, no matter what shape you're in. Turning his head towards where Huruma calls for their attention, his teeth bare is a scowl but he listens, slinging the pack over his shoulder and clawing his way over, sharply away of the vacuum tugging at them all.

They teach this sort of thing in Lamaze classes, Eileen thinks — the breathing. There's a part of her that desperately wishes she was a mother right now, if only so she had the benefit of the technique. Yoga might have helped, too, if in an entirely different way. It's coming very fast now, short gasps of air sucked in through her nostrils to allow more oxygen into her blood like a swimmer hyperventilating in preparation for a race.

Another part of her is wondering about the wisdom of strapping on a parachute while bullets are perforating the plane's aluminum alloy exterior, which is probably why her hands are clutching her belt buckle but have yet to complete the motions required to unhook it. Does she want to get shot out of the sky, or does she want to implode in a fireball with the rest of the aircraft when it nosedives into the jungle below?

Click goes the buckle, flashing silver where a distant arc of lightning crackles against the clouds and illuminates the interior of the plane and everything in it. The next step is securing a parachute, which may or may not be considerably more difficult if she can will her legs into standing. So far, it's not happening.

"SAM site on the ground! I repeat SAM site on the ground! We took an indirect hit! Missiles won't be so forgiving next time!" The scream comes from the pilot as he bolts up out of his chair, the copilot next to him laying limp in his seat with shattered glass peppering the side of his face. "We're Oscar-Mike! Go, go, go!" Slamming a gloved hand on a large switch by the door, another groan of metal comes as the rear doors of the C-130 begin to open like the yawning jaws of some great beast, revealing only the trail of rain, patchwork clouds, and the intermittent view of a forested coastline below.

"Turn on your comms! Turn on your comms!" Corporal Benfield screams as he hooks an earpiece around one ear and slides on a dial. "They're equipped with GPS trackers that Sanderson's mobile can— " a sudden eruption of blood from the Corporal comes after a high-caliber anti-aircraft gun rips through the side of the plane, causing it to bank out of control and send the Corporal's body stumbling down to the metal floor with a wet slap and a clang.

Still unconscious, Sanderson is so much dead weight in Huruma's arms, but it is at least a manageable weight thanks to her sleight frame. With all of the chaos, the marines — that haven't been forcibly evacuated — aren't wasting any time getting out of the plane. Corporal Dixon rushes to the back of the plane and springs off the open hatch, arms and legs outspread as he's sucked away from the plane and into the air, disappearing into the pea-soup thick clouds.

Corporal Copeland runs towards the lowered ramp, and just as he springs off the back of the plane there is a flash of a tracer round that tears through the clouds, and his back erupts in a vapor of red mist as his lifeless body goes tumbling into the cloudy abyss, blood sucked along with it. The plane tilts and pitches, shuddering violently, and through the clouds a pair of bright yellow flashes can be seen from the ground far away — two more surface to air missiles launched.

Everything still feels a little surreal to Candy as she waits blood start to explode from those few unlucky marines. Her head tilting to the side as the play of blood in the air fascinates her. Then reality catches up to her as she notices the marine's starting to abandon the plan. She fishes around for a parachute, finding it and buckling it on after a couple of moments. "Can I please go back to Humanis First," she asks to herself, though undoubtedly a couple of folks around her hear it. Regardless, she begins running for the open cargo hatch, hopefully not getting shot in the process.

Huddled at the bottom of the plane griping her back pack, Claire manages to find a parachute. Oh thank god. Though it's rough going, pulling it on and not loosing her pack. "Come on… come on…" There is an edge of panic to her voice, she maybe can survive the impact, but that doesn't mean she WANTS to do it. Letting go of her pack only long enough to click the chute to her back, Claire gives a small sight of relief when she hears the soft snick.

Her eyes focus on the back of the plane and she forces herself to concentrate on nothing but that as she pushes to her feet, chute on her back, she hooks the com of her ear as fast as she can with a shakey hand. Then with one strap of her backpack is slowly wrapped around her wrist, she starts to head for the back of the plane as fast as she can opting for the hail of death beyond the twisted brick of a plane falling.

The only concern that Huruma has once she has Sanderson by the waist is making sure that her parachute is secure and the rest have those drab mounds on their backs. And then, it is onto Claire's figure booking it towards the back of the plane where Dixon and Copeland have already dove into the murky fog and cloudscape rolling along Madagascar's western side. All or nothing, right? Either burn when the plane hits the ground or provide a much smaller target by hop-skipping it out the ass of the cargo bay.

With Sanderson in tow, Huruma opts for the latter as well; she gives the marine a hoist to ascertain her grip before moving off after Claire to the back of the plane and the doors giving the view of the plummet below.

With Team Bravo making their caution and likely somewhat reluctant way towards the open doors and the blurring sight of the land beneath them and the slightly more constant, more awe inspiring level of the above sky doming over and storming still. Gabriel doesn't imagine he even feels rain when he gets there, not as hard as he feels the wind. Parachute in place, as well as the comms device, he finds himself holding his breath when, quite abruptly, he leaps out into the air in as skilled away as possible. Momentum, gravity, the plane itself all contribute to making him vanish out of their sight as he plummets. He manages not to go 'AAAAAAAAH', but only just.

Gabriel doesn't combust into a fine spray of blood trailing thin confetti strings that were once his internal organs. That's— reassuring. Maybe not enough. Eileen has managed to progress from her seat on the bench to the floor of the plane on her belly, fingers hooked around a parachute that she draws into her chest and clutches with the ferocity of a mama gorilla shielding her baby. Although her arms are too stiff and her hands too rickety and trembling to pull it on, it remains her one lifeline should she decide to brave the open doors and surrender herself to the storm.

She doesn't. Instead, she curls around the parachute and adopts the fetal position, face buried in the pack's rigid fabric. Her lips are moving, mumbling something under breath made ragged, but whatever that something is — prayer or otherwise — the rush of wind shredding through the plane renders it completely inaudible.

Out of the plane and descending fast enough to blur his vision with wind and rain, Gabriel can see a brilliant orange-yellow glow burning hot through the cloudcover as rain stings his face. The roar of a missile streaking up from the ground far below draws close and passes by in the blink of an eye, headed towards the direction of the C-130 the remainder of Team Bravo is positioned on.

At the back of the plane, the glow of the approaching missile's exhaust grows brighter in the passing cloudcover, while the noise of anti-aircraft fire continues to ricochet around inside of the plane. It's only when one of the engines is finally hit that the plane breaks into a corkscrew spin, flinging Huruma, Candy and Claire out of the back like ragdolls. Lieutenant Sanderson, held fast by Huruma, only groggily begins to come to once she's freefalling. A panicked yelp comes from her, half fear and half pain, as her fingers wind around the straps of Huruma's chute. Bullets rip up from the ground, whizzing past parachutes with the bright streak of tracer rounds before hitting the plane again.

Black smoke and flames is the last thing the parachuters see in the clouds from the C-130 as it vanishes out of sight, the roaring protest of its one working engine accompanied by the telltale whirr of an aircraft spiraling out of control.

Strong winds, flashes of lightning and the roll of thunder is all that they can see as they fall, unable to make out anything but intermittent flickering lights in the clouds, not even each other. The wind is intense, catching at them as they fall before chutes have been opened. When gravity is pulling all its might at you, nine seconds seems to take nine hours to pass.

Gabriel is the first to punch through the bottom of the cloud cover, and it isn't a distant horizon that he is greeted with, but rather a far closer than imagined coastline, metal-roofed shanties, and a distant jungle bordered by the crashing waves of the ocean. Now with the horizon line as a guide, he can actually feel how fast he's falling.

Huruma and Claire come through the clouds not long after, followed by Candy. The latter of the trio spotting an open chute some half a mile away descending down into the jungle treeline — likely Corporal Dixon. From this rapidly descending vantage point, the team can see an inlet and estuaries that open out to the sea, mountains beyond the inlet where streaks of smoke trail from a forested mountain top where the missiles must have been fired from.

But right now, on their bullet-quick descent through the air towards the demolished shanty commune of Analalava, they can see the fiery streak of the C-130 spiraling like a javelin through the clouds towards the jungle beyond…

…with Eileen still aboard.

Candy is one step away from screaming like a little girl as she rips through the cloud cover and is exposed to… LAND COMING VERY FAST! Now, Candy is screaming as she claws at her parachute, "Open… open… open!" The little Asian wasn't meant to be screaming down into the ground like this, she was supposed to be a calm plane ride into a war zone. Not hearing bullets zinging by her. Her hand finally finds the right chord, and there's a thump as the parachute opens above her and she starts going down at a speed that isn't quite so splatterifying. Trying calm herself down, Candy does the only thing she can think of. She uses her power to get all the water from her clothes, and to keep herself dry. At least she'll won't be cold and wet. Just cold.

By the time Candy lands amid the jungle, her heart rate has at least calmed down a little. No more bullets being zinged at her, and, she made the landing without dieing. That's two major obstacles out of the way. Next objective is to leave alive. Her eyes look around to see what can be found of the scenary she is in, and more importantly who is around her.

Flung from the plane, Claire tumbles through the air her mind for the moment is blinded by panic. She manages not to scream out loud, her jaw clenched so tight, that it's a miracle her teeth don't crack from the pressure. She manages to, by some miracle keep a grip on that backpack, even as her world for a moment is surrounded by the mist of clouds.

Her tumbling smooths out as she comes through the clouds and she's left staring at roofs as they come at her quickly. "Oh shit!" She quickly fumbles for the chute latch. She gives it a hard tug, but she realizes after a few moments that nothing it happening. A few more tugs and and she's panicking… Those houses are closing fast. Taking a deep breath, she gives the chute one more tug… something lets go and the chute comes shooting out with a loud pop.

Even though she got the chute out her surge of relief doesn't last long as a roof comes into full view. There is a loud clang of her body hitting, denting that thin material and the clatter of metal as she tumbles off the other side. Lucky her, the chute catches on the edge reversing her momentum and sending her body to slam into the side of a house. As she hits, her arm snaps against the weight of the back pack on her arm, sending a flash of pain and causing her grip to slip and the pack falls to the ground. It's not too far from the ground.. but Claire is short… So she's left swinging there, left arm hanging funny, realizing that this must be what a pinata feels like.

When the group hits the air, Huruma's senses are assaulted with the sting of rain on her face and the smell of the air. It's familiar- the smell of trodden earth, of rain, of hot air, of blood and of smoke dusting overtop of them all. The sounds of Sanderson, fitful in her grip, come as secondary. As do the tiny wails of bullets, and the distant howl of missiles in the sky, rioting out of the Malagasy jungle. As Huruma cranes her neck to pull the line to her chute, her eyes meet the horizon under the smog of clouds; the sun seems far away, though she can feel its heat already- the ocean laps up against an empty little town that looks like every other little town along the coastline. The trees are beyond- and beyond even that, the sights of impending highlands, now shadows against the murky blur of skyline.

Maybe she has luck on her side, or maybe she has the nerve to grab something to try and steer herself- Huruma's chute pops open, ballooning out and bringing her closer to the runway that is now the second largest dirt road through Analalava. When her boots clamp onto the ground, her grip on Sanderson disappears and the two go rolling and tumbling along the muddied street, leaving behind a dragging wet parachute and a thin trail of blood from the marine.

The slamming realisation of exactly how quick Gabriel is slicing through the air is enough to make his heart skip a beat even as he stares down towards what he can see of the town below, his limbs spread akimbo, even his fingers spread from his hands as wind batters at him, chokes him. Careful not to lose count of the seconds at which he drops, it seems like an eternity before he's yanking the appropriate chord, and the three women above him can see the canvas blossom out accordingly, yanking him into a position more upright and putting bruises in uncomfortable places with the sudden jerk of tension.

He couldn't look up and identify Eileen even if he wanted to. Instead, Gabriel watches the rapid approach of the ground between his feet, heart beat slowing down to a mild canter rather than the heavy, panicky gallop previously. Narrowly missing the tin and wooden rooftops of the rundown buildings, his feet hit dirt road, running to catch up with the momentum to little avail as he tips over anyway with the drag of his 'chute, which crumples over him in a mass of useless fabric with the sound of rain pattering against it.

Two, three kicks and bats of impatient hands has Gabriel climbing free of it, irritatedly flinging the backpack aside as he gets to his feet. There's mud on his face and his hands, streaks of wet dirt clinging to black fabric, but he could be worse. He could be injured, more so than the slight hurt in an ankle that puts a mild limp in his step, and the slight stream of blood smeared on one palm.

Or dangling from a felled parachute. Claire is treated to the sight of Gabriel's approach, eyes roaming over her as rain water makes rivulets through his hair, down his face. "Another time and place, right, cheerleader?" Blood draws all the faster from the wound in his hand, gathering between his fingers before shaping into something of a cutting tool, growing near black when it hardens.

Struggling up to her hands and knees in the muddy street, Sanderson lets out a keening whine as one arm gives way from her weight, a piece of jagged shrapnel buried bone deep in her bicep and another in her shoulder. The brunette lands on her good shoulder, rolling onto her back before her uninjured arm starts to move, unsheathing the combat knife from her vest, then up as she bites down on the flat of the blade to keep it in her mouth. Her now freed hand grasps a hold of Huruma, pulls herself up, and then withdraws the knife from her mouth and cuts the straps on her chute.

Caught on the wind, the now loosened parachute moves like a jellyfish through the air on the driving rain. "We have to get off the street!" Sanderson howls, dark hair matted down to her forehead as rain runs in coppery rivulets from her forehead where that gash is still bleeding.

Having landed the furthest away from the others, a good thousand feet from Gabriel and Claire and just a bit further from Sanderson and Huruma, Candy is able to hear the roar of vehicles before anyone else. Plowing out of the jungle along one of the dirt road, two pickup trucks with mounted machine guns set on black roll-cages on the vehicles backs come tearing down the roads through the rain. Soldiers in fatigues, some wearing blood red cloths wrapped around their heads or as scarves are laden in the two vehicles.

Both trucks roar past where Candy is, unknowing of where she landed in the treeline. But the moment they come into view to Huruma and Sanderson, there's a loud rattling of belt-fed machine guns peppering the road. Plumes of mud shoot up into the air as Sanderson dives aside, dropping her knife in favor of the holstered nine millimeter pistol. She scrambles in the mud, one arm clung to her side like a broken wind as she moves for shelter in a blown out mud-brick building. "Cover! Cover!"

Bullets rip through the aluminum buildings near Gabriel and Claire, followed by shouts from the soldiers as the first truck comes rolling to a stop, letting two more men come stomping out onto the rainy street with AK-47s in hand. The driver and the soldier manning the mounted gun remain inside, while the second vehicle starts driving around the perimeter of the town.

Candy ducks behind a tree as the two trucks go careening past her. She shakes her head, as she stands there totally dry. "Candy to the rescue… now, if I only had a bugle," she mutters as she begins to trump through the trees. As she sees the truck and its machine gun unloading into the town, she mutters, "Don't use your power… keep undercover." Oh yes… Candy is having fun.

However, her mouth twitches into a feral grin as she mutters to herself, "Didn't you all learn that playing in the rain is bad for your health." Running further towards the trucks and sneaking up behind a blown-up car, Candy's eyes beginning moving by the machinegun, as her attention is focused on collecting the rain that is right there. Once she feels like she has enough to pretty well approximate the size and weight of a baseball bat, the Asian swings it as hard as she can right at the soldier, KER-THUD (is the hopeful sound).

Head coming up slowly, Claire watches Gabriel free himself from his parachute through ropes of rain drenched blonde hair. It clings to her face and neck, obscuring some of her view as he starts towards her. She doesn't bother to push it aside, instead, her good arm reaches around to give her broken arm a sick twist, ignoring the crunch of bones being slid across each other as they are put back into place again. "I'm sure your just enjoying this." Claire hisses out words sharply, unable to keep the malice from them. The fingers of her left hand flex slowly as the arm repairs itself internally, bones knitting back together.

"Finally got me where you've always wanted me." Her blue eyes narrow as he gets closer, her gut twisting with fear, even if she doesn't show it. "Helpless. The question is.. you gonna do as you always wanted? Or are you going to help me down?" By the sound of it, she's fully expecting him to do the first. Her jaw clenches waiting for him to do his worse.

Though concern for Sylar's approach are dwarfed by the roar of trucks and bullets ripping apart a shed to the side of her.. "Son of a…..!" Claire reaching up with now two good arms and tugs on the chute stuck on the roof. Bullets like that hurt like a mother, not matter her ability and she'd like to avoid it if possible.

Sanderson's grabbing onto Huruma is largely unnecessary unless she hopes to use her for a shield; Huruma is on her feet after a moment wherein bearings are taken and she puts herself upside right again, wriggling and cutting out of the tentacles of the parachute. Huruma at first seems entirely cooperative- until the vehicles roll down the muddy road towards them, of course. Even as they begin to pepper the streets of Analalava, Huruma's attention peels away to center the red blotches into her vision. She snarls both visibly and audibly, peppering the men back with a shot of emotional uncertainty- of sudden doubt. If she can at least get them to stall shooting for a moment- it will help.

Turning to move for cover is all a part of Huruma's movement to try and give the gunmen pause; she keeps turning and vaults herself after Sanderson towards the ragged brick house. On her own person she has what small firearms she could fit onto herself, a knife- little more than what the marine has, essentially. "So much for surprise, mmm?" Huruma's voice almost in the Lietenant's ear is a new sound amidst the pops of bullets into stone, mud, and metal.

"Stop squirming like a— " Fish on a line was going to be the rest of that sentence, but a bullet wasps past his ear, making Gabriel impulsively duck and push towards the building. Claire never did get her answer, about what Gabriel was or wasn't going to do. A hand comes up, grasping onto the lines that she dangles form, bracing a boot against the brick of the wall behind her to lever himself up enough and bring the shining black-red tool up to saw through rope.

Or rather, that's likely what was expected. Instead, he sets it against the rope, it passes through as if it were thin air. A moment later, the steel-like implement solidifies, phasing back into solidity and separating the rope on either side. The process is repeated, until the last one is cut, and both serial killer and cheerleader are sent tumbling down onto the muddy road.

It's a heroic act, truly. Gabriel could have run for cover. Or at least, it's a heroic act until he's gripping her arm once she's untangled from the parachute pack, and dragging her along at a run towards cover with perhaps the hope the regenerator will catch any bullets headed for them. As soon as they're near a building, he releases her— only to disappear through the wall and into the building, leaving Claire to stagger into brick where she may.

The machinegun fire from the halted truck stops the moment the gunner is struck by the force of several pounds of animated water hitting him in the middle of his back. The snap and crack of his ribs sends him collapsing into the fetal position in the vehicle, clutching his sides and letting out a pained wail. The two gunmen approaching Huruma from the truck wheel about at the cracking snap, guns aimed up at the petite Asian woman approaching from the slope of the road that leaves the town. "Devoly! Devoly!" One of the men shouts, and Huruma has to wonder exactly how many Devils these two men have faced down before.

One of them raises his gun to fire, only to find the skin flayed from his face in a flash of blood as the rain suddenly drives in a violent, slashing burst towards him. He lets out a howling scream, collapsing to the ground as razor-thin needles of rain continue to slash at him, turning the yellow-brown mud around him more coppery.

Shots are fired by the other gunman, one going too wide due to the blinding rain in his vision, the other hitting Candy square in the center of her chest and knocking the young woman off of her feet. An unrecognizable shout comes from the soldier as he retreats back to the truck which is already turning around. Climbing up into the back he sprays covering fire in Candy's direction, though the rounds just pepper the dirt road.

On her back, Candy can feel the wind knocked out of her and a sharp pain in her ribs. However, the olive-drab canvas vest she's wearing and its layered armor plates woven into the fabric have flattened the bullet, rather than allowing the round to kill her. But getting up — that feels like so much effort at the moment, when hacking, choking and wheezing for breath is so much more promising. This is the second time she's taken a shot to a vest, and it doesn't get any easier.

Huruma's effect seems to have been exactly as intended for the truck attacking she and Sanderson, as the driver slams the vehicle into reverse and starts to peel out, leaving one of the men to his own fate as he bleeds out from Candy's slashing rain. But Sanderson doesn't let it end with that as she pops out from around the corner of the building Huruma just ducked behind. Pistol leveled out in one hand she repeatedly fires into the back of the truck, unloading a whole fifteen rounds of her clip and managing to have only two bullets hit anything that wasn't metal. But the shot counts, sending the soldier who fled into the back of the truck collapsing down atop the gunner that Candy broke the ribs of. Ejecting the clip, Sanderson ducks back behind the building. Strangely, after she does so, Huruma feels the ebb and flow of ghost-like motions in her extremities, as if she were the one who just fired the gun, and how Sanderson's off-handed shooting worked, how her arm felt while doing it, laying that muscle memory — unintentionally — over Huruma's own skills.

Gunfire follows Gabriel and Claire's escape after she's freed, the thundering sound of the mounted gun on the back of the white pickup truck popping and shattering stone and punching through the corrugated metal sheets that make up some of the walls. It makes sense, now, when several rounds punch into Claire's midsection and chest, why Sanderson insist that she wear a vest as well — it wasn't for Claire's protection at all — it's so she'd work as hard cover against gunfire.

Which is exactly how it works out for Gabriel, using a young girl as a human shield. An effective one.

Candy sprawls in the mud as she spits and spitters, getting soaked as the shot drive all concentration of keeping her rain shield in check. Damnit, she thinks, that's twice now. I gotta think whoever the hell invented these goddamn things. Slowly as she sits back up from the mud with the squealch of suction, she clutches at her chest. It takes another couple of moments before the young hydrokinesis is back on her feet. At the sound of more gunfire, she begins staggering in the general direction of where she hears it. Intent on making some more people hurt very badly with the rain. Shoot her will they.

Holy crap! Sylar just saved her? This is the thought running threw Claire's head as they tumble to the ground. Quick to start to get to her feet, about the time he grabs her arm. There is only enough time for her to grab the backpack that's laying at the base of the building and pulls into her arms, holding it to her chest as she let's Gabriel guide her…. Is she insane?!

Still in shock over the rescue, she actually is starting to wonder if all those years had….. Annnd he goes through the wall leaving her to run right into it the rough bricks with an oof!

No… No he hasn't changed… not one little bit, she thinks bitterly right before the bullets rip through her leaving her back in red ruin and she slumps like a lifeless doll to the ground. Though even as she hits the ground, her body starts to work at repairing the damage done.

Huruma's eyes unfocus for the few seconds of phantom limbs over her own, and the next instant where she looks at Sanderson it is with a knit in her brow and dilating pupils. Maybe that is the shade of the brick on her face-

-but regardless, the taller woman crouches and then slinks out from behind the cover of the wall, hand finding her own pistol strapped onto her belt. She lifts it with both hands, one cupping the other as she moves out of the cover. Devoly, devoly- no, no, that's not right- "Zanahary! ZANAHARY!" Her voice screeches hellishly over the sounds of rain and tires, both angry and somehow, feels prideful. There is one bullet fired out of her pistol with a short crack, into the head of the red-draped man lying in the street as Huruma stalks closer towards the end of tire tracks.

Gabriel doesn't hide out for very long. A few moments after he's disappeared, collecting and gathering his own thoughts in assessment, his phase form— a black, amorphous cloud of darkness— comes pouring out through a window nailed over with wooden slats, each smoky tendril dragging itself through and slithering across the muddied streets. It stays low, an agile puddle that zooms past Claire before it rolls up and into the shape of a man taking crouching cover behind a broken wall not too far from the truck that had been firing at he and the cheerleader. He stands enough to extend a hand out, before a cone shape ripple tears through the air with a sound like an echoing gunshot.

It hits the vehicle, rocking it hard enough to expose its silver and black belly, wheels spinning in midair when it goes over like a beached whale. He's moving a moment later, through the wall, keeping the more critical areas of his body intangible as he gets his gun in his hand, moving at a hard and brisk stride through the rain to catch the survivors.

Claire can see Gabriel stalking over to the tipped over truck, one of its wheels still spinning. She can hear the cries of pain and confusion coming from the men inside the vehicle, but then when Gabriel disappears out of sight behind the truck's twisted wreckage, all she can hear is the pop-pop-pop-pop of his handgun exterminating the first of the resistance on this island.

Then, hauntingly, silence.

The one truck that managed to get away has disappeared back into the rainy jungle, fear and uncertainty still nibbling away at the back of the driver's mind. The remaining men lay dead around the ghostly village where wind blows through the perforated remnants of shanties and brick. No one is here, no life is here, this is a ghost of the memory that was once Analalava. But at least for the moment, the fighting has stopped.

"Dropping to one knee, Sanderson lets out a grunt of pain as she finally spies the shrapnel in her right arm, a wheezing breath coming afterwards. "We have to find the plane…" she murmurs, swallowing dryly as she holsters her gun and reaches inside of her vest for her SatCom device. Paging through the touch screen, she pulls up a satellite map of the area. "The plane's beacon…" The soldier's eyes scan the foggy horizon, looking for that plume of black smoke, but unable to find it. "Christ, this weather…"

Settling down on her backside at the building she used for cover, Sanderson seems content for the moment to catch her breath. Then, with a touch to the side of her head, she turns on her Comm device earpiece and communicates with the rest of the team.

«Sanderson checking in. Dixon, Ruskin, Gray, Bennet do you copy?» Names of those she can't see directly.

A long silence comes. Neither Dixon nor Ruskin respond.

As bullets stop flying, Candy slows down. She massages the place in her chest that the bullet hit as she walks over towards the man whose face she clawed off with the rain. Spying what remains of his head, she gives it a vicious kick. "Fuckers," she mutters as she moves off to go back towards Sanderson, taking a claming breath and using her powers to dry herself and get the mud from her clothes. Putting her 'umbrella' back up so that she isn't getting rained upon, she comes to a stop close to the Commanding Officer of Bravo Team.

The soft sound of metals as it drops to the ground, even as Claire groans. She rolls onto her knees and slowly gets to her feet as she eyes Gabriel and the truck, the man getting a glare. "I take back any positive thought I almost had." The words are mumbled as she reaches up to fumble at the straps on her shoulder. The click of the plastic clasps, followed by the tear of velcro before she drops the ruined body armor on the ground with a look of disgust.

Relieved of that, Claire reaches down to pick up her backpack and sling it onto her back and settling it. A glint of metal on the ground, has she reaching down to pick up a blood covered bullet, it's eyes with mild disgust, before being clutched in her hand. Using a finger of that hand she touches the ear piece to radio back. There isn't even an effort made to cover her bland sarcasm. «Bennet here.. I'm just hunky dory..»

Huruma returns to Sanderson in time to hear her speaking and then send out a comm call for the others. Huruma knows that the ones who do not answer went down somewhere- the marine she can pass over, but the plane was still holding supplies and Eileen. She gives Candy a second's nod, crouching down near the female marine with her gun lowered.

"We are on th'coast- there are no'many places fo'a plane t'disappear off to. This weather-" Huruma pauses, taking Sanderson by her untouched arm to examine the other and the wounds on the marine that are most obvious. Her brusqueness and that businesslike motion is refreshing, somewhat. "-is a season. Which does no'end until come our Spring. The plane went down in th'southeast. We'ave compasses. What we need is anything tha'survived th'crash…" Provided that their enemy ignores the crash and does not want to rifle through themselves. "Or a village. Considering this place is empty- we may no'find any near."

«Gray… reporting in.» Comes Sylar's voice over the communications link from where he hunches behind the truck. «Everything's clear over on this side of town.»

Offering a weary smile to Candace, Sanderson looks down to her SatCom handheld, scrolling around on the map to where a red pinpoint is. «I've got the plane's beacon on my map. All of our ammunition, weapons and supplies we need are there, so Huruma's right— we need to recover what we can from the plane. I've got dots for the men that got jettisoned from the plane too, they're all scattered along the way.» Blinking away fatigue, Sanderson looks up to Candace again and then out to the village. "Allard, go round up the supplies those soldiers had. Bring them back here, let's see what we've got to work with…" An anxious look is given down to the screen. «We've got about a day's hike out to where the plane crashed. Looks like it's down on the edge of that body of water near Ambendrana. Christ. Dixon, Ruskin— do you copy?» Another long pause, and Sanderson shakes her head. «They might be out of range. These headsets have a maximum distance of about one mile from my handset.»

There's a nod from Sanderson to Huruma at the native's thoughts. «Alright, Allard is on salvage duty from the soldiers' supplies. Bennet help her out. Huruma, Gray, I need you two to do a sweep of the village, see if you can find any first aid kits or anything we can use for makeshift bandages. I've gotta get this shrapnel out of my arm before it gets infected…» And she isn't liking the sound of that without first-aid supplies. «We've got twenty minutes, then we're Oscar Mike for the plane crash site.» Military lingo is strange at times.

Candy simply nods her head before she starts over to the man she kicked, and gleefully starts to go through his pockets for any thing that they can use… or any money that she might be able to pocket. Watches… valuables, they all get tucked into Candy's pockets. Moving on to the next one, she remains oddly silent while she works, leaving little dry prints on the clothes that she touch, where the water recedes away from her body, only to disappear when it rains once more on them.

«Yeah..» Is all the answer she gets from Claire, she's not a solider. The ex-cheerleader closes the distance between her and the truck that Gabriel took out, only giving him a cautious glance as she move past him. The bullet in her hand is tossed aside as she starts going though the truck itself, tossing weapons and ammo she can find next to her as she looks for first aid supplies, as her shotgun she was issued is either still in the plane or in the jungle somewhere. The bodies are also rifled through, though done with a wrinkled nose. Money, weapons, useful things are collected.

Once that grim duty is preformed, Claire moves to gather things up to take to Sanderson's position.

It is likely that the 'soldiers' that came to intercept them have little else besides the clothes on their backs and the guns they shot up the shacks with. Such is how it is for soldiers of that particular caliber. Huruma is not concerned with them, it appears. They will have more luck searching through the abandoned buildings used as community hubs. "If push comes to shove, I can use my teeth and that knife." Huruma comments offhandedly about Sanderson's shrapnel, lifting up again to reassert her grip on the pistol and proceed out into what Analalava now is.

With Claire and Candy working on gathering the soldiers supplies and Gabriel and Huruma out sweeping the town, Lieutenant Sanderson slouches her back up against the brickwork of the abandoned building she's situated herself in. Ultimately, the usable supplies stripped from the soldiers include three handguns and five AK-47s and enough ammo between them for about one major firefight each. Strangely, none of the soldiers carry money, but most of them have liquor in flasks on their person, potent privately distilled mouthwash of alcohol, but for Sanderson it will at least serve to help clean her wounds.

But the town has long since been pillaged for supplies. Save for a few sheets that Gabriel returns with that can be used for the task of bandaging injuries until proper supplies can be found. No food, thankfully plenty of water, but little in the way of usable supplies means that unless the plane is fully stocked with the supplies that were supposed to be airdropped with them — this is going to be a long journey.

Day 1… Sanderson types with one thumb on the touch screen of her SatCom mobile, Plane lost, supplies lost. No sign of Cpl.Dixon or Ruskin. Need to find plane.

Staring at the screen, her blue eyes fall shut as a wince crosses her face, feeling now shock wearing off and the sharp heat of pain throbbing in her arm. With that onset of injury as a reminder, she amends one last line to her travel log.

The only easy day… was yesterday.

Sanderson's Travel Log

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