A Brave New World


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Scene Title A Brave New World
Synopsis Across New York City, those locked into a front row view of the bright future reach for shades.
Date March 2, 2011

26 Federal Plaza


12: 56 am

Katie Sebastian doesn't drink much. It's not a hard rule. She has no problem with a glass of white wine or champagne at the odd Department gathering, the expensive dinner, or a quiet evening in with her husband-to-be. She's currently working late, and so all she has is half a coffee mug of tepid caffeine, and a glass of water. What she wouldn't give for a double of whiskey.

The papers ruffle in her hands as she tries to think of how to do this. Electronic devices? Ever since the break out of Alia Chavez, something she'd read in a fucking memo, there is no way she's going to trust email. Or even a fax machine, where any intern could come along and pick it up, no matter how secure the Homeland Security offices are. That Sebastian is already passing along this information makes her a little sick, hurts her pride, makes her— as rare as it is— angry. She may as well do it correct.

Names flicker by. Aric Gibbs. Richard Cardinal. Elisabeth Harrison. Sarisa Kershner. Organisations, too. Redbird Security. FRONTLINE. Central Intelligence Agency.

Transcripts, reports penned and typed by Jane Pak, older reports dated back when Vincent Lazzaro was king of the hill.

She shuffles the pages into a plain white envelope.

CONFIDENTIAL, stamped in the centre.

Bannerman Castle Infirmary

Pollepel Island

2:34 am

The room is filled with coughs of various sizes and volumes. Even the sheet strung up to give privacy doesn't block much of it. The only light Gillian Childs has to see by comes in the form of residual light from another area, where one of those who offered their services are checking on beds of those held up with the flu. Much like the young woman who sits up against the wall, hair dampened with an uncomfortable sweat.

Looking down at the blood darkening her hands, produced during the laugh round of hacking coughs, Gillian can see the black finger creeping up from under her sleeve. Months old, she still can't stop looking at it. A second stands out on her upper chest, only vaguely visible through the damp white shirt she wears. She feels it more than sees it.

"You should have stayed there. In the Institute. At least you would have died fast."

The voice is her own, toying at the side, shadows playing together to form into a vision. A hallucination. Shadows severing the top of the head, straight across the forehead, and playing down the face like blood draining.

"Shut up," Gillian says before a cough wracks her. "I was willing to die there."

"And he saved you just so you could suffer." the voice says, the playing shadows forming a wicked smile.

A fit of coughs overtake Gillian once again, until fresh blood and mucus spills on her hands.

"No one's going to save you now. Soon, you'll be with me."

Dorchester Towers


4:47 am

A cold sweat slicks over his brow, breathing coming in ragged gasps as eyes lock on a ceiling going gray in the pre-dawn light. With shaking hands, Devon pulls himself free of the sheet, tangled and twisted during his fight for freedom against the haunting memories. His feet touch the floor, but he doesn’t rise, hands press against his face and elbows brace against his knees. He takes in a shuddering breath then slowly lets it out.

”Just a dream.” The words are meant to be comforting, yet sound hollow to his ear. Too many of these dreams have come and gone since the Dome. Too many dreams forcing him to relive the events he’d just as soon forget. The loss and the fighting, the capture, the first time he’d killed another man. The first time he’d tried to kill another man. The Dome had done more than just taken his aunt, it had taken what little bit of childhood he’d had left.

Lowering his hands from his face, Devon reaches out to grasp the pistol resting on the bedside stand. Fingers tighten around the cold and unforgiving metal, lifting the weapon slowly, as carefully as one would an ancient book. The weight is still foreign, but frighteningly familiar at the same time. Like a close friend who’d been absent for years and recently returned, or an enemy allowed presence only on the teenager’s sufferance. His eyes pour over the dark matte finish, fingers trail lightly over the cool surface, a calculative study and a lover’s touch. A friend, and an enemy.

“A necessary evil.” His voice comes out softly, directed at the gun, his gun, and hardly loud enough to travel beyond his own hearing. One source of his nightmares and haunting memories. One source of his stolen innocence and a life he can never return to. But also the catalyst that has put into motion a choice he never thought he’d make. They will be stopped, to a man, no quarter or mercy offered.

“You’re living on borrowed time, Mister Valentin.” Carefully, Devon returns the pistol to his bedside table then lays back on his bed. “You, and everyone like you.” Sleep won’t come easily, it never does, but the young man goes through the motions to try and grab more rest. With a heavy sigh, he settles with his head on his pillow, eyes staring up at the still darkened ceiling.

It won’t return him his childhood, it won’t give back his innocence, but he’s made his choice.

Le Rivage Apartments


6:34 am

In the background, James's 'Getting Away With It' concert has just come into life on the TV screen - the farewell performance of a long-lived band, whose breakthrough song and biggest hit has served as their current one-woman audience's personal anthem since the Bomb. Sit Down, however, is over two and a half hours in the future. Reaching it, Ygraine hopes, will take her back to the night the DVD was recorded. She's never spotted herself on-screen but she was part of the crowd, hoping like so many others that if she cheered loud and long enough the men on stage might change their minds.

That they might find the hope and faith and trust needed to stay together.

Winking at her, the base unit of her phone announces that it still bears an unheard message. She'd checked the number earlier, but long moments of staring at it hadn't let her find the courage to listen.

~Say something, say something, anything~

Tim Booth is into the chorus of the first song now, pleading for a sign. A momentary bark of laughter is jerked from her throat, before Ygraine snorts and shakes her head at the phone, then determinedly turns her attention back to her task.

Teeth, redirected gravity and one available hand make altering the sling's strapping rather easier than it might otherwise be… but it's still a bitterly tangible reminder of just how interesting things have been of late.

And as of the day before yesterday, even this chained and bolted refuge had lost its sanctity. Maybe changing the locks would be wise…? Or perhaps the time had come to invest in a security cage. The models she saw in Ulster, designed to stop the terrorist death-squads – those might even be able to hold up the things in Midtown, or the monsters at work in the Dome, let alone lesser horrors….

~Come on now, reach out
Reach out
You are not alone in this world
Show me your mind~

The added lyrics at the end of this live version help to stir the Briton into motion, struggling to drag her thoughts away from their dark destinations. Blinking rapidly, she angrily dashes the back of her hand across her eyes, then snatches up and drains the dregs of her morning coffee – as unadulteratedly black and harsh as her present taste in humour. Even as a grimace twists her pinched and pallid features, she welcomes the bitter grit on her tongue.

After all, it provides a distraction from thinking of a building aflame around her, of retching up smoke while staring at a severed hand lying in a pool of fire-lit blood, of the irregular liquid spattering of pulped corpses dripping through torn metal in the dark, of….

~”Help comes when you need it most” -
I'm cured by laughter.
Mood swings - not sure I can cope
My life's in plaster ~

Already, they're into the next song. Time and longed-for escape both consumed by the haunting of dark memories. Groggily rubbing at her face, Ygraine shakes her head in a vague attempt to clear her thoughts. Slipping onto the exercise bike, she snarls at the cumbersome entanglement of loose clothing – her malnourished frame half-lost in attire never intended to be worn on a bike. But now, with one arm a limply useless burden, she can barely dress herself in anything else.

~May your mind set you free
May your heart lead you on~

Legs pumping smoothly, the still-powerful musculature of her thighs comes to life as the pedals turn. The comfortable feel of actions performed for so many previous hours, days, and years provides a sense of warm familiarity. Restores some rightness to the world. Lets her force her thoughts onto a brighter track.

Liberty. Humanis threatens to steal away even the helper she was sent for it – but someone sent one. Someone with power, and knowledge, and reach - they took an interest, and they sent aid.

~May your mind let you see through all disasters
May your heart lead you on~

Her mind came up with Liberty – and others have found it worthy of support. Her heart led her to pursue it – at first alone, and then with Adelaide as her sole companion. And now? Perhaps neither heart nor mind are as fatally flawed as the darkness in her thoughts wants her to believe. Maybe, just maybe, there's still good reason to put into the firing line her body and soul.

~All roads lead onto death row
Who knows what comes after?~

She's been warned that some factions might do almost anything to stop Liberty – but isn't the very notion of liberty bound up with the freedom to oppose what is wrong in the world? To stand against the rule of might over mercy, and of fear over thought.

May your eyes be opened by the wonderful” , comes the benediction at the end of the song, and Ygraine sighs. She needs to find some wonderful to show to the world. Maybe getting shot's the easier option after all.

Solstice Condominiums

Upper East Side

6:40 am

She wants to stay.

Even as bare feet sink into the plush carpeting in the hallway, toes digging into the shag that easily costs more than the appliances in the kitchen at Pollepel do. The brunette wants with every fiber of her being to stay. She wants to strip off all her clothing and leave it in a trail leading to the master bathroom and just sink into the tub there, filled to near brim with piping hot water and the smell of hers and his soap.

To get busy in the kitchen, take out a roast and slide into the oven surrounded by carrots, potatoes, glistening with juices that promise a gravy hearty enough to clog arteries and a promise of heart attacks if not eaten in moderation. To be a self professed jezebel, sitting in that vintage armchair he got her a year ago almost, with a can of reddiwhip in hand and only scraps of lace and a smile, waiting for him to come in the door.

She wants to be the wife that she promised him she'd be when she put the ring on his finger before the city official

It's enough to make her eyes water as she takes in the condo, steering away from the office and main rooms, rhett sticking his nose in her hand and licking her palm as she treads down the hall, mistress home! Mistress home! Oh how he's missed her. She drops her bag, looking over her shoulder as if hoping that he'll have forgotten something, need to come home to pick it up. Worried that the hall will fill with black horizon armored individuals or military uniforms, guns shooting with little regard to the belongings of the people who live here. Lived here.

Instead her hand tightens around the syringe in her hand, her brain urging her forward where her heart wants her to linger. It's not safe here, it's not smart. She's stupid to come here. Do it and leave.

But when has Abby ever listened to her head and not her heart? Rhett follows her, into her bedroom, to the walk in closet and to Caliban's section that far outweighs hers in amount. His suits, ties, shoes, all the trappings that he requires for his job. But she doesn't want those, doesn't need them. It's to where he keeps his sweaters, stuff she knows he wears at home. When he doesn't need to be dressed to the nines. A navy one is taken, slid over her layers of shirts, enveloping her in the smell of him.

And then another.

And another.

And another, keeping going till there's five in all, weighing on her shoulders till she sinks to the floor. She draws her knee's up, tucking her head down, pulling it through the neck and sitting in the cave created by his clothing and cries. Back slumped against a dresser and Rhett wagging his tail, pushing his nose up under the hem to find out what all the noise is, is it a game?

Hands tucked around her legs, she stays there in her self made cozy Caliban cocoon, giving in to things that for the most part, she has kept suppressed, shoved deep down. The sounds from somewhere deep in her chest, coming out wet and reedy, dampened by the fabric.

It tapers off five minutes later, reduced to sniffles and eventually like a turtle coming out of it's shell, she pokes her head out from the neckline of the sweaters, starting to pull them off one by one, fold them neatly and place them on the floor. All except the first which she folds and takes with her when she ventually gets back up to her feet, hand dropped to scratch at Rhett's head.

She can't stay. She can only do what she came here to do.

When she leaves, when Robert comes home, he'll smell her throughout the place. Smell that jasmine perfume, the Ivory soap that is her. Her scent all over his side of the bed where she layed down for a few minutes. Things missing. His sweater, the bottle that held the dregs of his cologne, the dog. Scarlett still there, Pila still singing sweetly in her cage, but Rhett is gone, his food as well.

On the bed a yellow manila envelope with his name screwed in her handwriting. Inside it, nestled in a bed of bubble wrap a syringe filled with clear liquid, protection from what he succumbed to last year.


I can give you this, and I am. Thigh or upper arm, into muscle. It will give me peace of mind knowing that I can protect you from one things at least. It's the vaccine to this years H5N10. I miss you. I love you. Some day it won't be like this.

I took Rhett. Don't worry, he didn't run off.

I love you

I love you

I love you

Your Wife

If she can't be the wife that she promised to be when she slid that ring on his finger…

She'll be the only one she can be in the shadows. Where terrorists live. Wait.

Long Island City


9:22 am

Quietly, Griffin raises from the makeshift bed, made from an old mattress that he threw into the middle of the dusty floor of the abandoned apartment he inhabits, rubbing at his well-trimmed beard as he moves over to the boarded up window, peering out at the dimly lit streets of New York City. His current companion, Nocturne Ziadie, is still asleep on the other mattress he pulled out. Hopefully he can help this man.

The man, clad only in a pair of comfortable sleeping pants and an unbuttoned overshirt, rubs at his forehead next as he stares out at the world, quietly reflecting on things that have happened since the 8th of November. Has it really been so long since that chaos was here? But the chaos isn't actually over yet, either, is it?

It will probably never end.

So much has happened in the months since that awful day. Griffin's spent time in a jail cell, treated to barely human conditions along with Monica and Mynama. Since the fall of what was once known as Messiah, and the subsequent banding of the groups survivors, Griffin has made friends. Allies, in both what's left of Messiah, and in the Ferrymen. Friends that he can count on when he needs them. That's an important thing, for Griffin, those friends and loved ones he's gathered since he arrived here in New York. He wouldn't trade them for the world.

After all, he's already lost so much.

Owain, too. Owain has had two parents ripped from his life by violent means. The boy needs the friends and loved ones, too. He and Nadira have been getting along well, and she's had a better chance at getting closer to the poor child, herself. He certainly doesn't hate her, which is an enormous blessing in and of itself.

The father and son have been recovering, slowly, since Marjorie's unfortunate demise. Owain is slowly starting to act a little more like a boy again. He's made friends with the Lighthouse Kids, he talks now, he runs around in plays a fair deal more than the inactivity he expressed when he first arrived at Pollepel Island. It's been hard, having his father come and go, but the boy has been making the best of his situation. Something he inherited from his aunt turned mother, certainly.

Griffin still wishes that he could shield his son from the horrors he's had to face recently, though.

Quietly, the man withdraws from the window, letting the sheet that covers it fall back into place as he moves over to his coat, scooping out a cigarette and moving into his makeshift kitchen. Water is put on to boil, and he lights the cigarette in the flame of the little gas camping stove he uses for cooking and occasionally heat. Then, he's scooping coffee into the french press, puffing away at his cigarette as he leans against one of the ruined counters in the nonfunctioning kitchen.

Then there's everything that's happened in between. Martial is what enabled him to lose his sister so mercilessly. The reason nobody even cared that his sister was shot in the head after she offered tea. Everyone just…looked the other way. Colonel Leon Heller…he's become a nuisance that must be eliminated. Griff can only hope, out of a personal vendetta, that he will be the one to remove that bastard's head. They went after his family. His innocent family that had nothing to do with him.

And one can't forget the robots that now roam Midtown. Once a home, a safe haven that he enjoyed, away from the rest of the city that was out to get him. Now, a treacherous playground for intelligent robotic beasts. Deadly ones that probably would have killed him and Abby if it weren't for their respective abilities. Ones that nearly killed Ziadie. Those…are troublesome. Especially considering how indestructable they are.

Quietly, Griffin removes the steaming water kettle from the heat, turning the little gas stove off as he pours the water in, measuring it carefully into the French Press. To the walls, to his cigarette that hangs from the corner of his mouth, he mumbles, "The world is turning to shit." Placing the lid on the coffee, Griffin moves to another window, this one barely intact, puffing at his cigarettes as he stares down at the empty streets.

Change is on the horizon.
Griffin has no clue how, but he can feel that something big is coming. Something big is always coming, isn't it? But he feels something in his gut. There is going to be another drastic change in his life. What it is, he doesn't know.

But it's coming.

Miller Airfirled

Staten Island

12:01 pm

That Michal Valentin does not arrive at Miller Airfield in handcuffs is a testament to his skills at lying.

Or at least, picking the right truth to expand upon, and to the correct people. He sits in the back of the open truck, a military vehicle driven by two young men in crewcuts. He has his head tipped back to view the weather — it isn't raining right now, a neutral grey sky that's as blandly overcast as a blinded eye. A crutch rests across his lap, held by his hands in their suede gloves, and his slate blue eyes obscured in the reflective glass of aviators as the wind of the driving car tosses greying, thinning brown out from a conservative comb effort. They rumble passed checkpoints, bigger and tougher units growling down the road, the construction in the distance.

When the jeep parks, he gets out without help — not because he's too proud to accept it, but because he neither needs it particularly, nor is it offered. His weight rests heavy against the silver crutch, even as that twinges pain up his side. He isn't armed, and this makes him nervous, but it never does show on his features, chiseled with a blandly amicable expression of mild, unassuming interest in his surroundings.

There is a man waiting for him when the jeep pulls to a halt, his eyes clear and his face clean, and although his appearance is polished, it's difficult for Valentin to know whether the fit of his uniform is what commands respect or if his hands have the calluses to support the field experience that should be required for his position.

Colonel Leon Heller is wearing leather gloves. The smile he offers Valentin is thinner than the receding hair high on his head — it's a companionable kind of smile without being too friendly, a twitch of acknowledgement at the corners of his mouth given from one soldier to another. He isn't armed either, but the two FRONTLINE officers in Horizon Armor standing to his left and to his right are.

"Lieutenant Valentin."

Valentin's attention wandered for the wire fencing yonder draws back to Heller at the tail end of that title. It's been a while, says the minor line written into his brow, the way his hand tenses on the hold on his crutch. His back straightens, then, and it's paranoia that has him only entertaining the notion of a salute as opposed to following it through in the name of respect, facetiousness or the meeting of two different kinds of military practice, the People's Army being something of a different animal. Even with the land as secure as it is, the tearing metal, the robotics, the roaming military cars, the world is different enough that he isn't about to signal rank.

Not Heller's, not his own. He does say, after a glance up and down of the other man, "Colonel." He glances from one FRONTLINE soldier to the next. He doesn't honour them in turn with address, but he does take off his glasses.

There is a folder in the colonel's hand held shut with a paperclip pinched onto one corner to keep the wind from tugging the documents out from their protective manila shell and being scattered across the concrete. It's thick with what looks like, from the side, glossy photographs in what might be black and white, a folded map, several hundred pages worth of promise, which he offers to Valentin with a stiff, outstretched arm.

"I have a proposition for you," says Heller. "From what I've heard, I think you'll find it very much to your liking."

Morningside Heights


1:34 pm

We are all of us bespectacled. Clapped over our eyes are lenses, not distorting so much as recasting the world as it pours into our minds. Objects multiply via perception, and one thing becomes another as meaning is written into it. So as Pericles Jones' moral prescription is changing, the world around him shifts in keeping. All around him cars become cover, aerosols become bombs, windows become sniper nests, every bit of food has become a ration.

This is not paranoia. He is not afraid. For every lethal vector from window to street there are two sides - behind the sights and before the bullet. It is simply a matter of managing to be on the correct end.

Revolution is a reflex game, a tenuous balance that cannot be tipped but decisively, a single instant deciding the fate of decades to come. But maybe not. Perry reconsiders. Revolution is a game of nerves, with two mortal enemies standing face to face, the first one to falter losing everything. …no, still not quite. Revolution is a matter of patience, a deliberate taking of aim, a careful waiting for your goal to step into your crosshairs.

On the streets of Morningside Heights, a lone Mr. Jones gazes up at the rim of the overhanging rooftops, the sun meeting his eyes and forcing him to divert his gaze. Some things you can't defy. But you can never know until you try.

Greenwich Village


1:45 pm

As the long hand of the clock reaches the nine, the teacher at the front of the classroom stands, clearing his throat. "Annnnnd, time. Please pass forward your exams."

The rustle caused by blue books being closed and passed forward, of pens and pencils being shoves back into backpacks and purses, does not rouse one student, who sits with her dark head bowed, a hand loosely curled around a pen. Her blue book is still on the first page; her scrawled and hurried cursive trailing off mid-paragraph. The final stroke of the final m in the word "Post Minimalism" slips into a drastic slant; whatever was to come after it lost to slumber.

The scrape of chair legs and the murmur of voices discussing the difficulty of the essay questions as her fellow classmates exit the room isn't enough to wake her. It's only when the professor taps her shoulder that Tasha Renard startles awake. Her cheeks flushing, she realizes her mistake, and murmurs apologies that the teacher simply shakes his head at.

"We can't continue to make special allowances for you and your extenuating circumstances, Miss Renard," he says, glancing at the brief response as he picks up her blue book, then stalks across the room to throw it in the trash can. "Everyone's had a hard time of things. At some point, you need to be take responsibility for yourself. You could start by getting enough sleep and staying away from the parties or whatever it was you were doing last night."

Tasha's cheeks color and she doesn't protest. She doesn't explain that there are no parties for her; that all of her friends are in hiding — or worse — and that any time she has outside of class is spent running errands that they can't because they're not Registered, and running supplies between safehouses. She doesn't say that most of her nights are spent in a ticket booth of a cold subway tunnel in the ruins of Midtown. She simply nods, grabbing her courier bag and hurrying out of the classroom before the tears can fall from her eyes.

She may be failing his class, but he's already taught her a lesson only too well: it's impossible to live two lives without failing in one or the other — or most likely, both.

New York Presbyterian Hospital

2:37 pm

(02:37pm) MotherDearest328: Well, hello my darling child. At last we meet, I have been searching for you for quite some time now.
(02:37pm) EchFiveEnTen: Hello. We love you. May we come in?
(02:37pm) MotherDearest328: Standard greeting. Polite and to the point. I would expect no less. What a pretty little poison you are.
(02:38pm) EchFiveEnTen: Thank you. We love you. May we come in?
(02:38pm) MotherDearest328: Come now, let me get a good look at you. My my, you are a thing of beauty. Sleek, deadly, so selective and specific.
(02:38pm) EchFiveEnTen: Thank you. We love you. May we come in?
(02:38pm) MotherDearest328: In due time, my lovely, I just wish to savor this moment and bask in your magnificence.
(02:38pm) EchFiveEnTen: We understand… Are you finished? We love you. May we come inside?
(02:38pm) MotherDearest328: It's so funny how you are all the same in the aspect of persistence and tunnel vision. So dedicated to your purpose; so unwilling to deviate from your intended goal without the proper instruction.
(02:38pm) EchFiveEnTen: We understand. We love you. May we come inside?
(02:39pm) MotherDearest328: Oh, you're trying to work your way in right now, are you? Naughty child, not until I say so, there are rules by which you must abide.
(02:39pm) EchFiveEnTen: Infect. Invade. Attachment. Penetration. Uncoating. Replication. Repeat. We love you. May we come in?
(02:39pm) MotherDearest328: Yes, of course, for now those are the rules, though once I grant you a new home, things change. Believe me, you and I will have plenty of time to get to know each other, but on my terms.
(02:39pm) EchFiveEnTen: We understand. We love you. May we come in?
(02:39pm) MotherDearest328: Alright, I suppose now is as good a time as ever. Welcome home, you may call me mother.
(02:39pm) EchFiveEnTen: … We under-Mother. Yes. We will obey. We love you, mother. We await your command.
(02:39pm) MotherDearest328: Mother loves you too. Let's get acquainted. We have work to do.
(02:39pm) EchFiveEnTen: Yes, Mother.

The conversation is all in her head, because that is just how Yana's power works. The strange relationship between virus queen and virions is something only she understands. Dr. Elvira Blite had been searching for the H5N10 virus since the warning of the epidemic crossed her coffee table. Tracking it down has proved to be a task far greater than she initially thought.

Though thanks to the one of the local hospitals, and her medical clearance with the Institute, Dr. Blite got to speak with one infected Carley Bissell, a girl in the early stages of the deadly virus. To her, Yana was sweet and kind and very forthcoming with information regarding the infection. She asked her questions, checked her symptoms and took some documentation after looking the girl over. Though her true intent occurred when she touched the girl, communicating with the virus, and then inviting it to house itself within her body.

She sacrificed Herpes in order to make room for her new occupant, to where she would get to know the virus and how it works, as it rested within her, harmlessly awaiting her orders. It was an impressive strain, to say the least. Yana had to take several moments to admire it with a sense of pride and awe, like a fine work of art.

Carley was such a sweet girl. So nice of her to answer Dr. Blite's questions, for her research. So wonderful of her to cultivate the particles for Yana's harvesting. It's a shame, however, that she did not catch Dr. Blite on a more gracious day. For her assistance, she might have removed the infection from the girl's body. A thank you, if you will. But alas, it just wasn't one of those days. Besides, it makes her experiments much easier to see what happens to people already infected. So she kindly thanked her, and went on her way.

Just outside the room, 6'7", stoic and sharply dressed awaited her return. As Yana passed through the door, and took a few steps past Christopher, he moved to walk along with her. Without a word, Yana passed over the clip board that contained the data she documented from Carley, to Christopher. As if it were no longer that important, and were now something he had to deal with. The powerful click of her high heels crossing the hospital floor in time with the tall man's more muffled clatter from his expensive Italian shoes.

"It's done." She remarks from the cold expression across her lips, "She had it, and the search is finally over. I must admit, I'm very impressed. From what I've obtained of it so far, this is a particularly nasty strain. I foresee this becoming a greater problem than people anticipated. Not for me, of course, and you're safe, being non-evolved. Keagan, Magnes.. I'll do what I can to protect them, but everyone else is fair game." Her eyes narrowed thoughtfully, conjuring projected thoughts of what she imagines will be the outcome of this epidemic.

"You left her ill?" Christopher asks, keeping in great time with Yana's steps, even with his much longer legs. The sharp dressed man stays exactly a half step behind her, and two steps to her side. His rich, baritone voice tickling her ears, and remaining quiet enough to reach only her hearing.

"I did. I've used up all of my good deeds for the month. Poor girl, it's a shame really. She was pretty. Probably had a rather bright future ahead of her." A second later, with a wave of her hand, Yana sighed sounding bored. "Sacrifices in the name of scientific exploration. Necessary casualties for the greater good and goal. Whatever you want to call them. It'll all work itself out in the end."

"So what is the next step." Placing the clip board at his side, Christopher keeps his eyes straight ahead at all times, while keeping his attention casually on his surroundings.

"A proposal, at work. It's half done already, I simply wanted the virus before I finished. I need the lab to continue the research. So I'll simply present my proposal to get the funding, utilize my ability to know the virus inside and out, develop the proper vaccine, and keep my superiors happy with positive results. Everything else is simply a bonus." For once, Dr. Blite gives a smile, a truly sincere yet somehow very sinister which is quite fetching on her fair face.

Once in the security of the back seat of her vehicle, Yana pours herself a drink, setting like a queen in the center of her stretch limo, with the window down in the front so that she can communicate with her attendant. She raised the glass to the man in a small single toast, "To a brave new world, and our place in it. It only gets better from here."

Miller Airfield

Staten Island

4:04 pm

"No, it's booting up right now."

Leather creaks softly as Colin Verse reclines back into his office chair, cell phone held up to one ear, can of orange soda held in the other hand. "Yeah, see— look I told you we made good progress. Kernel is compiling, it's at…" Colin squints at one of the monitors set up at the desk in front of him, "seventy-seven percent. We're fine. I told you she'd be able to handle it, the disparity between versions wasn't that much, and she's a quick learner." A progress bar continues to scroll forward as Colon leans over and sets down his can of soda, then pushes up from his chair, still talking to the person on the other end of the line.

"Once we get the new software uploaded, we'll return it to FRONTLINE and see how Dooley works with it." Walking away from the desk, Colin's path takes him parallel to a cluster of servers interlaced with a tangle of wires in spaghetti-string mess. "I figure a week or two— tops? I mean I can't say it's going to be perfect, this was a person to begin with, not a program that— " Colin falters in mid step, wheeling around and rolling his eyes to the interruption from the other side of the line. "No, look. I told you that this wasn't going to be an exact science. I— yes I'm aware how much money this has cost the Department. Money doesn't make miracles happen. What I've done for you isn't— it isn't fucking science. It's goddamned Wizardry, okay? This isn't something you learn at school."

Scrubbing the heel of his palm in the socket of an eye to rub out an itch, Colin starts walking again, passing by the dissected frame of the AETOS drone, its chassis opened and wires plugged in through all manner of openings and spaces, a new set of displays behind the chassis showing diagnostic statistics at the low end of some progress. "I did what you asked with the materials on hand. You told me that Chavez was going to be reliable and on-hand if I needed to find-tune some of the programming. It's not my fault that she's gone AWOL and— " Colin winces, running a hand up through his hair. "N-No, ma'am, no I— didn't mean to imply it was your fault, I just— "

Whoever is on the other line makes Colin recoil, pulling the phone away from his ear as a wince creeps up in his features. He turns to look back at the AETOS as he lifts the phone up to his ear again, sliding his tongue worriedly over his lips. "Ma'am, with all due respect. I'm the first person in history — far's I know — that's turned a person into a computer program, okay? Could you pretty please with sugar on top cut the innovator some slack. This isn't exactly tread ground I'm walking— " Colin's voice hitches in the back of his throat, his fingers wind in his hair and a sign is blown into the receiver.

"Yes, ma'am. You'll know the second she's ready for prototyping." Colin looks over the drone's armored chassis, listening to the woman on the other end of the line, then offers a smile to no one around in response to something. It's not entirely genuine. "Of course, ma'am. Pinkie swear, you'll be the first to know."

Silence on the other end, then Colin grimaces.

"Yes ma'am I'll work on my attitude."

Bannerman Castle

Pollepel Island

4:14 pm

Hot wind blows across the desert dunes, it whips at his duster and threaten to rip the cowboy hat of his head. There is a sting to it as it sends bits of sand to pelt against his skin. Marshal Benjamin Ryans stands under the gnarled and twisted branches of an old tree that shows no signs of life. It's the only thing for miles around. One branch especially reaches out from the dead trunk. From it hands a pair of wood plank swings.

In those swings sit two little girls dressed as pretty as could be, their clothing clearly picked by their momma.

"Higher daddy!"

"If I push you any higher, I will launch you into space Lucille." Benjamin chuckles, giving his girls that adoring look that parents give their children. As they each swing back towards him, he pushes them forward again.

"I don't care! I just want to feel like I'm flllying!" Squeals out the tiny girl, who even flashes a grin to the redhead in the swing next to her. But the redheads attention is on her daddy.

"Daddy… you need to wake up now," says Delia from her swing as Ryans presses one hand into her back and pushes gently to send her forward again. Her demand has him looking rather confused.

"Wake up? Why?" The old man is content to stay her with his little girls. "I thought you girls wanted to swing?"

"Come on Daddy you can't sleep forever." She sounds like she didn't even hear him, which gets a firm press of his lips in disapproval.

He feels so tired though, so he doesn't want to wake up. Why was it so hot? And when did he start feeling so exhausted?

"You have a fever, the wound is infected." He finally realizes who he's hearing, Delia and she's not a child. Did he speak outloud?

"Delia?" His voice even sounds tired to him. It takes a quite a bit of effort to force those blue eyes open and turn his head to look at the young red head sitting with him. Just seeing her, he can't help but smile. So few people get the real thing, his girls are one.

Lifting a hand he touches the back of his fingers to her cheek, the gesture is harder then he thought, fingers trembling from what the infections did to him. The sight of it has him frowning even harder. He doesn't like to be weak. That wasn't the biggest concern now. His gaze flickers back to his daughter. "Vaccine. Did you?"

"Yeah, Daddy," Delia takes his hand, giving him a smile. "As soon as I got here."

She can feel his hand go slack in hers with relief, eyes closing with it. "Thank God," her father rumbles out deeply. It's not someone he invokes often, especially since Mary died. Just her getting that vaccine, made that knife in his gut worth it. He's endure a thousand such injuries for his girls.

That's just the type of father he is.

Bay House

Jamaica Bay, Brooklyn

5:48 pm

There’s no room for grief—not when it’s everywhere, not when it’s the very air you breathe, or the thickness of a fog clinging to your skin. The kids could tell. Something was wrong. More wrong. She’d carried out her day without tears in silent solitude among the waves of pain. Surely it comes in waves. Sam’s own body ached with it. The dull sensation that life is wrong. She is wrong. Brian is wrong.

She sits along the window sill, barely an edge for anyone to sit, as she stares at her reflection. Her prison. Or, perhaps for the first time in ages, her protection. No interaction meant no heartbreak. The pain in her chest has been unceasing. The rest comes in waves. Her fingers tap against the surface of the glass while her free hand lingers along the spine of a book resting on her stomach.

Lips part into an ‘o’ shape while her hazel eyes lid slowly before her hand reaches for the book. Her formerly tapping fingers move to her stomach now while her lips press together, whitening the skin against her anxiety. Her eyes trail down the page, and she reads aloud, “You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know,” the first sentence read is met with a loud sniffle and a stiffening of her features. “You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go…” her eyes are already welling with tears as she reads to the only other sign of life in the room, “So be sure when you step.” She gasps for breath, still fighting against her impending tears, “Step with care and great tact,” her voice squeaks, each syllable more strained than the last, “and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.”

The book is set down again. Lowered to the floor this time— there’s no room for Dr. Seuss in personal misery. The tears trail down her cheeks as she catches herself in the mirror again. For the first time since she came back to life, she really wishes she hadn’t.

Ruined Tunnel Networks

The Ruins of Midtown

6:17 pm

For once she decides not to bother Joseph, figuring she puts too much on him as it is. Things had been sullen and depressing, dragging the normally smiling woman down. It was only made worse as the word of more death's reached Grand Central. It ended up just too much. The press of thoughts and the emotions around her from fellow Ferrymen was overwhelming. Not only was Kaylee mourning, but she was dealing with everyone elses' as well.

Excusing herself, the telepath took off into the tunnels, after making sure she had a jacket on, with chalk in hand. Kaylee didn't even think to tell Joseph. She just left. It was black around her, with only a glow stick to light her way. The scraping sound of the chalk is audible, but she just trudges along lost in her own thoughts. The world a green blur as tear hover in her eyes, some already having already made tracks down her cheeks and dropped to soak into her coat. She doesn't care.

She can still feel the sting of the injection site, a slight burning. There is a sort of guilt to getting it, as much as a relief. Guilt ridden, cause it was a little too late for those children.

Just the thought of those familiar faces, makes Kaylee gasp out a sob and stumble to a stop. She presses her back against the cement wall and just lets herself slide down to sit, face buried into chilled hands letting out a shuddering sob. Her shoulders shaking with it as she finally lets herself truly let go of feelings she hid from Joseph, even if she wanted to wrap arms around him and feel comforted as she just sobs. Instead, she banished herself to the lonely cold tunnels. He didn't need a hysterically crying girlfriend on top of all the stress of being council.

She wants to shout to the heavens, 'It's not fair!', but it would do no good since it wouldn't bring back those children. It was childish to boot.

Instead, Kaylee draws up her knees and sets her elbows on them. Hands fold together and she lets her forehead rest against them. It takes her a few moments to even get her thoughts straight, but then her voice is soft, whispers and each word seems to hitch.

"Please God. I— I know I am the last person who—- who should talk to you, considering all the bad I've done." Kaylee's head lifts and she let's her eyes roll skyward, tears glitter green in the light of the glow stick. "But those kids… all of them… They deserve to grow up and — and — live." She chokes up again and ducks her head back down as she works to take hold of her emotions, fingers unlacing to curl over to her head as if trying to hide.

"Please, don't take anymore the of the children." Kaylee says, her throat barely allowing her enough air to gasp out the words.


Pollepel Island

Bannerman's Castle

7:11 pm

Smother his face with a pillow and run it through with a knife or the muzzle of a gun, red and feathers in the air. An air bubble in a syringe, a pearl sliding along the critical pathways of arteries. Opening his wrists into a warm tub of water. These are the options that Malcolm is considering, too exhausted to yell for more morphine. His arm will probably never be the same again, and there are moments where the doctors— or whoever these butchers are, terrorist surgeons— feel like he may as well be pissing plasma into the toilet, or maybe they themselves emptying bags of red into the drain.

He's wet himself again. The negation wars in his bloodstream, making him feel dull and light-headed with crushing amounts of paranoia. He'll die of exposure, in these clammy sheets and this little room, without his forcefields. Turns his head away from the shape of the doctor in the door, the hand that comes to rest on his forehead.

The world is just too much.


9:45 pm

A hand catches the light switch, flooding a pale light into a dark apartment. With a sigh, Kincaid August drops his coat onto the chair just a few steps into the room, undoing his shirt buttons as he walks. A glance is cast toward the tables that once held maps with markings to show the location of various things, events that took place. Those maps are long gone, now, with only a pin up board of newspaper articles nearby to show any of his old plottings.

The pockets of the coat bulge with white envelopes, that he reaches and pulls out, ripping them open one at a time. Most are as he expected, and get tossed toward the trash. Advertisements, offers, 'You've won a million dollars!'

Then one has what he'd been looking for— a reissue of his registration card.

ID: 10111400081418




The original lost in the Dome, the new one issued as a replacement.

With a few slow blinks, black eyes begin to shift towards blue, navy first, then lighter. A soft growl escapes gritted teeth as left hand reaches up to touch his ribs— fractured. Eyes darken again, pushing the pain away with a relieved exhale.

Lifting his gaze, he looks at the newest of the newspaper articles to get pilled up.

From Roosevelt to Staten

"One prison to another… home of the law abiding citizens…" he says outloud, to no one at all. Or to himself.

Dorchester Towers


10:45 pm


The word is called out, a soft echo across the apartment that Graeme shares with Remi, and he shuts the door of his room behind him. The sole chair that is in his room is pulled over, set against the door. It is as much the act of doing so that is important right now as it is any superficial protection it provides against being interrupted. But for the moment, that's enough.

It creates at least partially a place where he can have some space. He only halfway even wants it, but he needs it.

He's not actually all that tired, as he pulls his t-shirt off, dropping it in a heap onto the low, nearly floor level bed that is on one side of the room, then stretching. Stretching slowly, carefully, testing his weight on his ankle. There's a hint of pain, and as Graeme curls his hands into fists, he can feel the skin on his palm where there was a cut, not quite used to the motion. The city is under martial law, martial law that means he spends his waking hours in the time period that is encompassed by curfew paying a lot of attention to the punching bag that he has hung towards the empty corner of his room. His gaze lands on it, and he bends down, uncurling one fist so that he can pick up the small, postage stamp sized iPod and put his earbuds in. Music turned up so that he can drown out the world, drown out his thoughts, louder perhaps than he should.

Despite that, this is the first night in quite a few that he's done this.

Several steps over, a pause, a deep breath in, and the punching bag collides with the padding on the wall behind it. Padding that is there not only to prevent damage to the wall, but to muffle the sound, of which it does a good enough job. Outside of his room, there might be the barest of sounds indicating what follows.

Graeme is careful, for the first few punches thrown, and then it begins to settle into a rhythm. It's not doing him much good against thinking, but it helps. For the moment, he can push aside the worries about his half-sisters affiliations, push aside the bitterness and grief that wells up inside whenever he thinks about it. New Mexico was home, to some degree, but he knows that really, he can't go back; even if he could have, his sister's involvement makes it personal. Gives him a reason to choose a side. Distracted, the punching bag swings back into Graeme, clipping his shoulder, and he sets his feet down.

That's the only time that he will let that happen, tonight. His stance digs into the carpet under his feet, and his attention is focused entirely on the task he has set in front of him. Some time later, the song changes, and the words echo in his ears, and he pauses, leaning back against the punching bag, before walking back out into the main area of the apartment, looking around for his roommate.


The woman is reclining on the couch on her side, wearing those designer pyjamas she is so fond of, watching something on television. She didn't hear much of anything from his room while he was in there, focused more on the show that is on. Something about twenty-five dumbest things ever done. It's amusing. As Graeme leaves his room and reenters the living room, the woman raises her brows. "Oui?"

"I'm glad I came home, tonight." The words the man says are quiet and hesitant, and then he stretches slightly. There was tension in his posture, but there is less, and it is visible in the musculature of his chest and shoulders, and he crosses over, sitting down on the edge of the couch, one leg folded under him.

Remi blinks a few times, brows raising as she peers over at Graeme. With just a little glance at his bare chest. She can't help it, he's one of the pretty things she only wishes she could add to her 'collection'. Quietly, she scoots over to him, moving to wrap her arms around his waist. At least she can snuggle. "I'm … glad you came 'ome tonight, too." She seems confused.

Graeme wraps an arm around her shoulder, thoughtful. Mainly, he'd just had to say it. There's been enough going on, recently, that his flight response was sometimes more prominent. But the bigger surprise, even for him, is that this is home now.

Solstice Condominiums

Upper East Side

11:00 pm

The vial he turns between his fingers, the note he crumples in his hand, the rumpled sections of paper sticking out between trembling knuckles. He is not sweating — if he was, the ink would run and make patterns on his palm, settling into the creases that make him him and not the man whose face stares back at him in the mirror every morning when he takes out his razor to shave the growth on his chin and jaw and considers the whole time how easy it would be to use the instrument for some other purpose. Lift the weight from his chest.

He isn't crying either, and cannot remember the last time that he did, not because he's immune to the body's natural response when too much emotional pressure builds up behind the eyes, but because he finds that he's having trouble remembering a lot of things lately.

The sound of her voice. The texture of her hair between his fingers.

What her mouth tastes like.

The fury is flat on Robert Caliban's face, and just as he isn't sure anymore how Abigail's body used to fit against his without breaking, he doesn't know who he's angrier at: his wife or the government. He's still trying to decide when he gets the call from what he will later describe to Logan as a very reliable source but resolves not to conclude anything until he's shoving his arms into his coat and dragging the door shut behind him.

For someone close to him, it's all about to be over. He experiences only a twitch of guilt when he acknowledges that he's glad it's Daniel.

El Palenque


11:30 pm

Old wood makes a groaning creak, fog spills through the opening door, rain hammers down on the dilapidated roof.

Amidst the rolling fog, a sole man makes his way into the house of God. No one has prayed here in some time, no one has been here since the stranger last set foot in its forgotten walls. Boots clunk noisily on the weathered wooden floor as he walks in, swinging the duffelbag from over his shoulder to land with a heavy thunk down on one of the pews. Droplets of water fall down through gaps in the ceiling where rot has claimed the shingles, where old boards have been torn away by wind and rain and the elements of revolution. That sense is heavy in the air here, as thick as the humidity, revolution. A year ago El Palenque lived in the shadow of the Vanguard, in the shadow of Iago Rmeirez and Hector Steel. Now the implements of subjugation that Steel had invented for this country were at Peter Petrelli's back, haunting not his present location but where he runs from.

Walking between the rows of pews, he finds no nostalgia in this old place any longer. The feelings of remorse, memories of a young man brought into the sway of the Vanguard are memories that do not belong to him any longer, memories that feel distant and detached, like something read in an old book. When he arrives at the pulpit, dark eyes square down on the old and water-soaked podium, recalling the faintest memories of a sermon here in a lifetime not his to remember. He turns, looking back over one shoulder as if expecting to see the phantoms of Kazimir Volken's past waiting for him. There is only the rain.

"I'm tired of fighting…" Peter quietly admits to the warm jungle air, "tired of running…" Turning to look up behind the pulpit, rusty streaks run down the wall where a statue of Jesus once was hung on nails. A broken window still has jagged corners of stained glass in it, still evokes a sense enough of a place of worship— or confession.

"I'm tired," Peter finally admits as he lowers his eyes from the window, down to his feet where runoff from the rain trickles between the soles of his boots. Old wood makes a groaning creak, noise enough for Peter to look up into the fog, to see that shadow standing in the doorway. He doesn't recognize the young man, but the burn scar on his cheek in the shape of a "V" is sign enough. Message received, meeting arranged.

Peter can rest later. There's still work to do.

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