A Castle Protects


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Scene Title A Castle Protects
Synopsis A field trip into Eve's vision doesn't go exactly as planned. Some people are thrown off balance by it.
Date October 5, 2011

Pollepel Island

It is a strange thing to be someplace familiar but seeing it through another person's eyes for the first time. Eve Mas has visited the Pollepel Island of her dreams many times before, but for Lynette, Kaylee, and Brian, the experience is entirely new and wholly unpleasant.

The group stands on the shoreline where the water meets the rocks without making any sound. Ahead of them, Bannerman Castle cuts an imposing silhouette against a pitch black sky sans moon, stars, or sun. Candlelight pours out of the windows and large gaps in the old stone structure where mortar rounds have punched through the walls and sent chunks of rock scattering across the beach and into the woods, creating a soft, flickering glow that illuminates a sea of bleached white bones.

If they listen closely, they hear what sounds like grass whispering but is only ash floating down from above.

Eve has brought them here, together, connected tenuously by the thread that is Kaylee's ability - which could snap at any moment.

Though she has dreamt of this place, this dark dark ruin multiple times the first time she lays her eyes on it is always the same. A light gasp escapes her wine-colored lips. The sense of dread that fills Eve's body is heavy and sticks to her like moisture from a humid day. But it's not humid here, it's cold. And the ash bothers her. Wrinkling her nose Eve takes a step forward arms held out wide. "This is where it lives, the door.. is this way." She points with a finger up the path to the castle. Her tone hushed with a grey iris peeking out to her left and then to her right.

With a hop and a skip she begins to lead the group through the island of horrors. Her dress leaving a path of uncovered earth.

Lynette holds a hand out to catch the ash the way one might try to catch a snowflake. She looks at it there in her hand, then to the bones and, eventually, up at the castle. Her gaze takes in the holes first, then the candlelight and scattered rocks and — finally — follows Eve's finger to the path ahead. She doesn't speak, although her distress is evident on her face. Much more than it has been in the real world. Her feet follow Eve when she moves, but she has to fight not to run ahead and overtake their guide.

One glove is removed as a hand is raised to the falling ash, trying to flap a little at the particles in the sky. Brian looks quizzically up at the ash before he is able to look past it to the destroyed castle beyond. Features tightening, he glances over at Eve as her voice breaks through the ruined hellscape before them. He glances over at Lynette also trying to catch ash and gives a sheepish smile before falling in line.

As she speaks of 'where it lives' Brian's brows arch high though he does not yet break the silence himself. Instead falling in line with Lynette and Eve. He takes a glance behind them, fighting the instinct to draw a weapon.

There is already a strain to Kaylee's mental voice as her ability touches each of their minds. Having to concentrate on keeping them there, she doesn't even really speak… out loud. I don't know how long I can keep this up, so let us not dilly-dally. The telepath was pushing boundaries today, bringing in Brian with her and council woman. Whatever she saw in Eve's mind made her willing to try.

Crouching where she stands Kaylee, reaches out to touch one of the bones, stopping herself short of doing so. Curling fingers tight against her palms, she looks up at the others. Only once the rest are in motion, does Kaylee move to follow, stepping delicately over bones that are not even there.

Boots grind small bones into a fine dust while larger pieces splinter and crack as the group makes its way toward the castle. It's impossible to know how many bodies have claimed the island as their final resting place, but they must number in the hundreds. Strangely, there are no scraps of clothing or identifying features to be found among them, but perhaps the answers are hidden somewhere beneath the gathering ash.

No time to look.

As they approach the castle, they pass through the empty space where the front doors once stood and enter the courtyard inside. Like the beach, it too is blanketed in ash. Upon closer inspection, however, Brian's keen eye detects a pattern spreading outwards from the center of the courtyard, forming a symbol that consists of three interlocking triangles.

"They came here for safety, a castle protects." Eve's brow furrows as she picks up the pace leading them ahead among the cracked bones. Among the falling ash and shadows. Her hair littered with ash now she stares as she comes to the courtyard. "I.. Can speak! It must be your interference or interjection. I hate injections but an injection of you is mind bendy." Having just realized she could speak, she whispers a few times to herself as her eyes follow Brian's. She drops to her knees in the ash and wipes her hands over the pattern. Her efforts revealing some of the symbol.

"Symbols always lead the way." Her eyes look further into the castle though. The shadows themselves seem to talk to her. Rising to her feet she doesn't bother to dust the ash off her dress. Instead striding forward. "Come Miss Mind you have to help me through the door."

Trying not to think too much about the bones under her shoes, Lynette hurries into the courtyard only to stop a few steps in. While Brian and Eve look at the symbol, Lynette looks at the structure itself. The damage done there. Her fingers drift over the edges of the incomplete doorway, then fall away as she looks over at Brian. "Your friend, her power… how accurate is she, generally?" Her voice counters her features, sounding calm and steady.

Stepping into the courtyard, and looking around quickly he tugs his lips down. Slowing his pace to rotate around, taking in the entire room. Clasping his hands behind his back he speaks up. "Sorry Kaylee, I'm not sure how to lessen impact on your abilities. If we do anything that rattles or destabilizes you, let us know. I'm trying to take careful steps but.. That probably doesn't matter."

His eyes fall to the ground as he works his eyes through disturbed ash. Eventually finding the different lines to connected in a symbol.


"This was drawn." One finger goes to point as he walks alongside the symbol to outline it careful not to disturb the lines. Though he grimaces a little as Eve bends to wipe some of it away. "Either by an ability or someone took the time to draw this big ass thing out, after whatever happened here, happened." He fowns. "It's a Norse symbol." Cocking his head to the side. "I'll look it up. Something to do with big papa Odin." He glances up from the symbol to Lynette, taking a few steps closer to her to lower his voice.

"I never really understood Precogs. And Eve and I haven't spoke in.. years. But from what I know and remember… I mean. We definitely don't want to wait." He swallows hard as he looks around at the bones. "Didn't we fight people back in the Phoenix days who were into Norse stuff? Am I making up stuff?" The question is directed to Eve though he falls silent, and just follows her along.

Ignoring the first prickle of strain between her eyes, Kaylee is quiet for the moment, content to follow. Long delicate fingers brush the rough stone of the doorway, picking up ash that has settled there. She watches how it smears between her finger, leaving smudges of grey across their tips. You know… The telepath starts softly, turning briefly to look back through the door, This is what I have always pictured a nuclear winter looking like. There is a touch of amusement to her mental tone, before she is called upon.

Catching up to them, Kaylee pauses at the edge of the symbol, booted foot hovering just above it. Close one. Much more carefully, she moves round it. There is some appreciation expressed to Brian, that is more of a pressure of thought, then offered allowed.

Now standing next to Eve, Kaylee gives the symbol another look of wonder, clear on her face. Door? The word almost echoes through the chamber. The telepath is thoughtful for a moment, before brows life and she turns blue-eyes to the Pre-Cog. The black door It is not said like a question, but stated, gleaning it from Eve.

"All rivers can be diverted," echoes back Eve's voice from ahead. Her gaze still facing forward, "With a big enough stone." Her mouth quivers though as the memory of all the visions that came to past. "The bridge still exploded though.. Kazimir still.. decimated Cameron. We still got sick." Her face screws up in a frown. "Possibilities can be cruel." To Brian's question, "There was the wolf.. Eileen would know. Vanguard began a big mess." But so did Eve arguably when she decided not to shoot Gabriel all that time ago. She doesn't hear the rest of Brian and Lynette's conversation.

"Yes yes, the Black Door. I can't open it." Eve looks hurt at her failures to open the door all this time. As they continue forward through the castle Eve's eyes widen a little. "But we can speak here, where normally I can't. I think they like it quiet here," she whispers to Kaylee. "Then maybe we can slam the door open, you change the board Kaylee. Tip the scales in our favor!" A tight snicker escapes her as she pounds up the stairs, no time to waste. As they draw nearer to their destination though the sense of dread that has rooted itself in Eve has only intensified. Kaylee might even feel it.

With teeth bared she glances back at the other three. "Can we make it?"

Leaving the courtyard behind, Eve leads the others up one of the winding staircases that connects the lower level to the living quarters above. There are no bones or Norse symbols here, only footprints in their wake.

As they crest the top of the stairs, they arrive on the threshold of a long corridor, and for the first time are greeted with the sensation that they are not alone.

Fine hairs on the backs of necks and arms stand on end. Pulses quicken. Chests tighten. All at once, the group remembers what it's like to be a small child hiding under the covers, afraid of what might be lurking under the bed.

There is Something at the end of the corridor, behind a door leaking a sticky black substance that poisons the stale castle air and reeks of slowly coagulating blood.

Whatever it is, it has a heartbeat. It is angry. It is afraid.

"No, we shouldn't wait," the councilwoman says to Brian, "I'd much rather overreact and be wrong than wait and see how it turns out." Lynette is A-OK with erring on the side of paranoid, considering their position. "Children first. We'll get Special Activities to work on the evacuation as soon as possible."

Plans are set aside, though, as Kaylee reminds Eve, and maybe all of them, why they're here. She looks to Eve, lifting an eyebrow as she talks of tipped scales and slamming things open. "Do things… work like that in visions?" But it's a rhetorical question, as Eve is already off. So Lynette follows, picking up the pace to catch up to the precog and she only slows when she gets that sense. Something else is here. Looking ahead, she sees the black at the end of the corridor and she stares with widened eyes. She tries to calm her breathing. "That's the door, Eve?" This is also a rhetorical question. There's a moment's pause, long enough to take in a breath and push her sleeves up, before Lynette starts for the door at a run, pounding heart and childhood fears fueling her run at the door. She doesn't seem to be checking to see if the others are going to also try to get through the door, she's going for it herself either way.

Tensing at the mention of nuclear winter, Brian does look around quickly. "You think this is like a for-real nuke?" He frowns though looks to Lynette, explaining things for her as Eve speaks. "Cameron was the leader of PARIAH. The organization before Phoenix. Kazimir, the boogeyman, killed him. I saw it." He takes a shallow breath. "That's what got me involved in.." He splays his hands out at the scene before them. "All this. Eve and Cameron were.. close. I think. We never really talked about it." Nodding to Lynette he moves to her side. "I'll start moving the kids now." He steps in front of Lynette and begins a more hurried jog up the stairs to keep pace with Kaylee and Eve. Thouhg he begins to speak as he does.

"Valknut." Brian announces, continuing on as if reading, though nothing is in front of him. "The valknut appears on a wide variety of objects found in areas inhabited by the Germanic peoples. Bla bla bla…" He purses his lips, waiting for more information. "Hrungnir had a heart that was famous. It was made of hard stone with three sharp pointed corners…" Another pause as if looking for something else. "Beside the figure of Odin on his horse shown on several memorial stones there is a kind of knot depicted, called the valknut, related to the triskele. This is thought to symbolize the power of the god to bind and unbind." He steps behind Eve and Kaylee though continues to read aloud the findings of another him in another place. "Odin had the power to lay bonds upon the mind. Men became helpless in battle." He shakes his head a little bit. "The symbol. That's what the symbol is. I looked it up." He explains as an afterthought rather quickly.

Walking up the stairs brings a silence on him, standing in the dark he glances this way and that quickly. Reaching back he takes the gun from his waistband and holds his out at his side. "I understand it won't do anything. It makes me feel better." Though before he can even finish Lynette is running at it. Taking a deep breath he takes off after her, gripping the gun in both hands he points the gun downward as he runs after her.

Can they make it. Good question. Kaylee probably doesn't realize she let that slip out as she follows along with Eve. Though she cannot feel the pre-cogs dread, she feels her own. Arms creep around her stomach as she tries to quell her fear. The pounding in her head seems to beat in time with the echoing sound of the heart coming from the door.

She can change the board. Okay… Well. Taking a deep breath and squaring her shoulders, the telepath starts to reach out.. She feels for what is beyond the door. Kaylee is just starting to focus on her mission, when… Lynette runs right past her determined to ram the door… "Wait!" Kaylee starts to call out. That probably isn't a good idea, she doesn't say. She is too surprised to utter the 'No. Stop. Wait.' Actually, Kaylee is kinda impressed.

"It unbinds?" The question hangs in the air to Brian, she almost reaches a hand out to him. "Odin lays claim here.." Her eyes bug when Lynette rushes the door. "I don't know I just dream her Ladyship. That is the door! Your Ladyship be careful! Kick it down!" Eve shouts as she grips Kaylee's hand and barrels forward. "C'mon Miss Mind, if we get closer maybe you can hit it with your brain." She cackles as she follows after the other two. The thought of sharing her misery with other people has had a oddly positive effect on Eve's move. She feels the dread but if she has friends here to help her, then the darkness can't hurt her.

Can it?

Lynette's shoulder connects with the door so hard that thunder rolls through the corridor, blowing the others off their feet. Brian, too late to catch her, sails backwards through the air and into Kaylee and Eve, knocking all three into the nearest wall and the wind clean out of their lungs.

The door does not budge. It expands. The black fluid encompasses Lynette's arm at the shoulder and creeps up the curve of her neck and jaw, seeking out openings to fill. Her mouth. Her nose. Her ears. It presses into her skull from every orifice. Rot pours into her throat and fills the space behind her eyes.

You cannot run from what's inside, says a voice that only Lynette can hear. It follows.

Warnings seem to come a moment too late for Lynette, although it's hard to say if she would have heeded them in the first place. Even the thunder doesn't seem to deter her from her press against the door. She even gives it a sideways glare as if she might cow it into opening.

But it doesn't budge. And before she can rear back for a second try, the black oozes around her and — worse — into her. There are a few moments of panicked pulling and twisting to try to get free, but the voice stops her. A shudder follows. And then, with what she has left, she leans back, then shoves herself at the door again. Like the way out may just be through.

Thunder cracks. Back slapping against the ground air escapes in a rush as the Winters goes colliding into the other women. "Sorry." Comes out instinctively as he tries to quickly writhe off of the two women. Another apology eeks out as he tries to gingerly but quickly clamber up and off. His hand flings out as he goes to one knee. "You alright?" He quickly gasps before his gaze swings around back to Lynette.

Eyes going wide he quickly stands up. "Take her out. Kaylee. Take her out!" He shouts, rising to his feet to rush forward.

Lowering his shoulders Winters charges forward, aiming to throw himself bodily at fullspeed at Lynette. Aiming to slam himself against her with his shoulders.

Hand grabbed and yanked forward, Kaylee isn't given much time to protest, before she is moving forward. It doesn't work like… The thought isn't finished before she is blown back, head connecting with solid rock, sending a flare of fresh pain through her head. There is no real reaction, right away, as the blonde woman fights to keep everyone in Eve's head.

Once satisfied, she is pushing and shoving to help Brian to get off her faster. Any snippy comment that Kaylee had ready, to assault his ears with, dies on her tongue as she gets a look at Lynette's situation. She doesn't move to stand only — only closes her eyes and reaches out with her mind for the connections, that are holding them in the dream. The threads vibrate, so delicate. So easy to snap; however, before she breaks them she stops.

Blue-eyes fly open and Kaylee rises slowly from the floor. No. Not yet. She tells Brian simply. Moving forward, approaching the door, her hands come up in front of her and simply touch the door. Her eyes become unfocused as she mentally shoves against the block in Eve's mind. LET… US… IN! One can imagine the words hissed from between gritted teeth.

A grunt can be heard from the precog as she is slammed into the ground and Brian lands on top of she and Kaylee. "Ow.. my funny bone." Rasps out as she shakes her head to clear it and lays a hand on both of the blondies in her lap. Her chest and back on fire. "Are you okay?" she mutters before her eyes lock onto Lynette's struggle. "Noooooooooo." She moans out and scrambles to get to Lynette. Crawling on the floor desperately while unable to regain her footing immediately to reach the other woman covered in black. Covered in black.

Just a few feet behind Brian, the look in her eyes of a crazed fear. She hasn't seen this, she can't even control it. It wants out. But they want in. Eve rises to her feet and screams as she rushes towards the door as well. "WE SHALL PASS!" Brute force of four it is.

Something, somewhere, changes. Everything seems to heighten, a tinge of violet appearing over everything. And someone knew suddenly steps out of the darkness, out of nowhere.

"Couldn't wait twenty minutes, could you?" Gillian says out loud, though she might have been surprised at the sudden change in locales— if she had time to be. Apparently it could be the brute force of five?

The power augmentor doesn't need to ask what's happening, because she has eyes, because Brian had informed her on the quick trip over when he found her out on the island with some help from one of the Lighthouse Kids who knew where she went to think. She sees what's happening to the blonde woman she recognizes but couldn't claim to really know, her brother, or one of him, trying to save her, and another woman she knows a little too well putting her hands on that sick, infected door. The one her brother had told her about, that friend had been unable to open.

Without even seeming to move right, she's suddenly beside Kaylee, her hand going down on her arm, using the additional balance to lift her leg up and kick the door, a violet glow around her.

Exert enough pressure on anything and it will break.

The door, imaginary or not, is no exception. Gillian's power flows through Kaylee and spreads out between the dreamers, bending wood and stone until it begins to split down the middle, splintering inward in slow motion. Pieces of wood and rock drift upward in reverse, disappearing into the ceiling as a yawning black hole appears and sucks the debris into the room.

The vacuum rips the fluid from Lynette's nose and mouth and sends it spiraling into what looks like a self-contained abyss but isn't.

In the emptiness where the door once stood, small glittering eyes appear. First two, then four. Eight. Sixteen. Thirty-two. Sixty-four. More.

Time slows down and there is a fleeting moment in which Eve understands that something terrible is about to happen but is helpless to do anything about it. Except scream.

She can always scream.

A swirling, gnashing thundercloud of feathers and claws explodes from the room without a door and streams out into the corridor. The roar of hundreds of wing beats drowns out any sound the dreamers might make as they're engulfed by a swarm of wailing crows. Feet hook into skin and beaks separate muscle from bone with the knifelike prevision. A beak plucks Kaylee's left eye from its skull and hungrily slides it down the crow's gullet. Others rip into Brian's neck, going for the soft underside of his throat and windpipe. Blood fountains in a slick, wet rooster's tail across Gillian's face.

This time, Eve does not wake up.

As the door gives, Lynette braces against the frame, convulsing as the fluid drains out of her. Her face remains contorted, though, even if it is gone. But no time to dwell as she looks ahead into eyes in the dark. Her breathing quickens, but she's able to do little else as the crash of feathers knocks her away from the door. She huddles into a crouch, covering her head and hoping it'll pass her over. It doesn't, of course, and she cries out as the claws cut into her arms. She tries to look back toward the door, to see if there's an end to them, but it's only a peek before she hides behind bloodied arms and knees again.

Throwing one arm up to ward the bird storm away from his eyes. Brian pushes his back against the moist stickiness of the black wall, angling for just a few sight lines. Gun still in hand he tries to slink forward as pain explodes over his body as the feast has begun. Lynette being the closest is first up. Quickly aiming up, Brian fires at the back of her head. Wheeling his arm around instantly after pulling the trigger. His aim locks onto his sisters face just as she's being torn apart. Aiming for the center of her head he squeezes the trigger again.

As the second shot rings out through the cacophany of wings and blood, he moves his arm over to Eve, going to one knee to take aim.

His throat opens up, chest becoming slick as wet spastic noises choke through his mouth. His eyes grow dim, holding his arm as still as possible he takes a third shot. Before Kaylee and Eve are lost in the fray of feathers. As blood continues to open up on him in new and fun places he points the gun up at his chin and takes one last shot.

There is only a moment to feel triumph, before eyes start to blink into existence beyond her in the darkness of the room. Oh shit. Kaylee's own eyes widen with fear and she involuntarily steps back. Maybe this was a bad idea.

Arms fly up as the bird's envelope them, but it clearly does not good. The telepath starts to scream with Eve, the pain too real. Kaylee had to act quick, get them all out before she was torn apart completely. Luckily, Brian was thinking the same thing. She remembers what it feels like to get hit by a bullet, the way it impacts the body. The sensation is enough to jostle her out of whatever hell they are in. She has but a moment to think. With one final scream, Kaylee flings out her arms as she mentally severs the connection with all of them and send them back to the real world again.

Eve can't even enjoy the sight and feeling of her best friend coming to save the day. That's because her dreams aren't as easy to conquer as one would think. Maybe she wouldn't have much problem with her psyche if they were. Her scream fills the corridor it feels like and as she shot and Kaylee yanks the connection the scream seems to be never ending as she wakes doing the same.

Her hair is plastered to her forehead. Her eerie colored eyes wide and unblinking as she scrambles to an upright position in the room they are all in. "No no no." she whispers to herself.

Perhaps some doors were not meant to be opened.

Between the pain, the noise and the blackness, Gillian feels nothing but gratitude when she launches awake with a scream. One no doubt echoed by many there. She touches her face to make sure the blood and wound didn't follow her back— she can almost still feel it. She sits up very close to Eve and Kaylee, where she'd touched them before finding herself suddenly in the dream-mindscape.

"That was suitably horrifying," she manages with a shudder, looking at Eve first to make sure she woke up, looking relieved. Then she looks around to check on everyone else.

Lynette has also felt the tear of a bullet before, even felt herself die to them, when she had replicas of her own. It was not a pleasant experience then and it's hard to say it's much better this time. But when she comes to in the real world, she's more grateful for it this time. Her gaze goes to Brian first, a train of odd thought leading her to check on him before the others. But she gets to them, a quick glance to assess before she stands to her feet. Out here, her face is more controlled. Horror, revulsion, worry… they're all tucked behind a more stoic demeanor. "We have work to do," she says, almost to herself, before she turns back toward the others. Her shoulders straighten as she looks them over. "I need to tell the others. We have to get ready. We have to start compartmentalizing. I need Special Activities to give me a personal assessment." The words rattle off faster the longer she goes on, but she doesn't seem to notice. "Brian, have you got a headcount on the children?" Has it been long enough for him to have that yet? She doesn't know, but she's asking anyway.

"All the kids on the island are rounded up except for Paul. Should find him in a minute." Winters reports as he sits up and shakes off the haze of the nightmare they were all in a moment before. He reaches up to take a glass of water offered by a Brian who stands amongst the group. Holding two more glasses of water, the standing Brian offers them to both Lynette and Eve. While after taking a sip of his own, istting Brian offers his to his sister.

"You ok?" He asks quietly before glancing to Kaylee. "Give it to Kaylee when you're done or don't want any. You ok Kay?"

Brian goes to stand, glancing at each woman in the room before stepping over to set his arm on Gillian's shoulder, giving a light squeeze.

Back to Lynette, "You alright Lyn? I think we have enough time to make sure you're alright."

There is an audible groan from Kaylee when she escapes from the battery of bird wings. She finds herself flat on her back, looking up at the stone ceiling. She doesn't move right away, it will hurt too much, and she needed to think. Instead, she lays there letting events run through her head again. It was somewhat of a let down for her.

"Dammit." She finally murmurs, letting her gaze focus on the Brian above her. "What the hell was all that about? Birds… Bones…" She rolls onto her side, wincing at the migraine it creates. "Quick thinking, Brian," she says as a compliment to the replicant.

Kaylee gets to her knees when she feels that first trickle of blood from her nose, which is quickly thumbed away. She finally lets herself look at Gillian, a small tug of a smile at the corner of her mouth. Sheepish even, as if to convey an apology. "So, we going to do this? It may be hard to convince some of the others."

"Going to do what, exactly?" asks a voice in cool, clipped tones. One of the others who Lynette might wish to tell occupies the doorway without filling it because she stands just a little taller than five feet and has the build of a sapling. Eileen Ruskin adjusts the collar of her coat, which is flecked in ash - no, snow - from the outside. It's in her hair too, little flecks gleaming like dull pieces of glass in the candlelight. At some point the weather must have changed, but the sky is too dark now to see out the windows, and there are no lights in the woods on the other side of the river to illuminate the castle grounds.

Her other hand hefts her wolf's head cane, which she places on the nearest table as she steps into the room. The crow seated on her shoulders makes a low moaning noise at the back of its throat, prompting the Englishwoman to reach up and soothe its rumpled feathers with the back of her gloved fingers.

"Find the infection, before it's here." Viruses travel by birds. The thought makes Eve imitate the sound of a bird briefly before she catches herself. "I'm not sure you guys are safe here.."

Eve's words ring out as she takes the glass of water from the Brian with a nod of thanks. She lays another arm on Gillian. Her smile small but her eyes saying it all. It is good to see her. She struggles to her feet and rummages in her page procuring more sketches of the dream they were just inhabiting. She doesn't think it will be safe here for long. Not long at all.

"Young Falcon!" Eve stares into Eileen's eyes and then the eyes of the crow as she shuffles forward to hand Eileen one of the pages she sketched. The drawing is the one of the sea of bleached bones, the beach of the island looking some sort post apocalyptic wasteland. "A darkness is near, as always. It reeks of infection." Eve presses the page into Eileen's hands with a crazed expression. "It is coming here."

The drink is downed in a few solid gulps, though she'd not been out nearly as long as the others. Gillian just arrived for the good part. Or the bad part. Whichever. With her gulp had, she hands the remainder of her glass toward Kaylee. The gesture of friendship is returned to Eve, but ends with the sudden arrival of Eileen. She can't help but grimace slightly. But her power is reined in once again. She'd tried to send only a controlled burst into the telepath and the precog, hoping it would help. "Eve had a dream," she simply says, getting to her feet and dusting her clothes off. She'll leave it to those who have actual positions within the Ferry to explain the plan. Especially since she literally just arrived to get nearly pecked to death.

Finding a glass of water offered her way, Lynette takes it with a nod of thanks to that particular Brian. Her attention turns to the other one at his question and she seems to realize that she might be giving away too much, so she shakes her head. To clear it. "I'm fine. Thank you." She even drinks some of the water.

But not much, because Eileen appears in a doorway and she turns toward the sound of her voice. "Precog. Vision. I think the castle is either already compromised or about to be. Brian is getting a headcount on the children currently and we're going to discuss a safehouse we can get them to. And I'm going to talk to Raith or — Ryans to get their thoughts on how we can reenforce this place or, you know, try to avoid the mess entirely." See, she's got a whole plan. Everything's fine. "Find the infection, as it were," she adds, with a gesture to Eve.

Brian gives a light smile to Kaylee. "What can I say? I'm always itching to shoot my friends." Though when Eileen enters he visibly tenses. Both of him. As Lynette begins to inform Eileen, Brian's grip on Gillian's shoulder tenses for a moment before forcing it to relax. Removing his hand from his sister's shoulder he watches Eileen for a moment.

"We can take the kids to the Bay House for now." He purses his lips for a moment. "A good way to stop everyone being dead here is to, not be here." He gives a light shrug.

"But I'm no military strategist."

Watching Eileen for a moment he finally can't seem to hold it in anymore. "At the end of the vision we were attacked."

Kaylee's back straightens immediately at the sounds of Eileen's voice, breath catching for a moment, as she schools herself. There is a measured way in which she takes the glass, carefully. "Thank you," is quietly murmured as she takes a sip. But only a sip, as she then offers the glass back to the Brian nearest her.

Takes her a moment to get her feet under her, straightening her sweaters, she faces Eileen, her look neutral, with tone to match. "Eve" The pro-cog is gestured too. "had a vision. The island covered in bones, ash raining from the sky. Darkness.." She shakes her head a little and shrugs her shoulders. "Everything. Just… Gone."

The crow on Eileen's shoulder inspects Eve's drawings on her behalf, head tilted to one side, and then the other. Its eyes - the same black, glittering eyes from the dream they just awakened from moments ago - commit the shapes on the pages the memory, and if Kaylee is searching for it, she might detect the faintest ripple of discomfort beneath Eileen's polished exterior when the crow's gaze lands on the interlocking triangles.

That symbol doesn't mean nothing.

This is the part where she's supposed to agree, to throw her support behind her fellow Council member and call on Ryans, Epstein and Raith to help Lynette draft up a plan. Her hand even quakes in a way that causes the pages to flutter and suggests she's thinking about it. Then, without ceremony, she tears Eve's drawings apart in one clean gesture and casts the pieces aside into the hearth.

The fire consumes the scraps of paper in the time it takes Eileen to let out the breath she'd been holding, first curling it at the edges, then reducing it to embers. "Sometimes a dream is just a dream," she says. "Let's not cause a panic."

"Tell the birds not to attack, they hurt us." Finding a moment to collect herself while in front of Eileen she backs away to stand closer to Gillian. Already scratching the back of her hand, hair a mess and eyes wild. As Eileen throws the drawings into the flames her eyes narrows to slits. "Young Sparrow wants to believe that things are not as they seem." Shaking her head she slaps the sides of it as she looks to Gillian, "She wasn't in my brain, she didn't have an injection of Miss Mind to see. An injection of you.. The birds.." She stops and stares at Eileen.

"Your birds..?" her expression hardens. "Find the infection or become bones Little Dove. A castle protects." A hand tugs at Gillian's sleeve with a look thrown the augmenter's way. Let's go sister.

Don't panic people? Gillian grunts, especially since she's looking at those beady little eyes. "We'll get the Lighthouse Kids off anyway. I'm sure Paul wanted to get back to his old tricks with Joe and Lance," she says to her brother. They don't have to panic anyone by moving the kids off, but she doesn't exactly agree with Eileen's decision, either. At least until she thinks about it more.

Instead, her eyes just focus on Eileen— and the bird. "Actually Eileen may be right— There's visions in the past that our actions because of may have ended up causing… Could be evacuating is why the island was empty—" Dreams are hard. But she knows of multiple things that seeing things from the future ended up causing those very things to happen.

Watching as Eileen (via the crow) looks over the drawings, Lynette lifts an eyebrow when she tears the drawing and throws it into the fire. And the other follows when her words are dismissive, as well. She glances to the bird, to the cane with a wolf's head, then back to Eileen herself. "No," she replies flatly, "Let's do." Cause a panic, that is. Although, she probably doesn't mean that literally. "Brian will take the children off the island and I will talk to Ben about strategy." Others can give their perspectives on the vision itself, but Lynette has decided to hold her own unique version off for now. There's a glance to Gillian at her note and she nods belatedly. "We don't need to tell everyone to flee for their lives, but we can get the most vulnerable out while we run an assessment. It certainly wouldn't hurt."

"That wasn't yours." Is protested quietly with a steel barb behind the soft words. Brian watches the young women quietly, stepping out from behind Gillian. His attention goes after Gillian and Eve before looking back over to Lynette. He nods in affirmation with Gillian. "It can just be casual." As she expounds on how Eileen may be right, Brian shakes his head a little. "There were bones everywhere Gilli. People were still there before whatever happened and happened. And then there was the huge symbol drawn into the ash." He waits for the words to settle before repeating himself.

"Drawn. So after this nuclear attack or whatever it was some guy picks up a stick and spends fifteen minutes drawing this intricate ass symbol into the carnage." He looks up with his hands splayed out.

"I agree we have to be smart. But isn't it better to risk a little panic than a lotta people dead?" He falls quiet looking at Eileen for a long moment. "What does a valknut mean to you Eileen?"

"I found Paul." Is murmured over his shoulder to Gillian and Lynette. "Getting everyone situated now."

A beer bottle flies in through the doorway and explodes on the wall a few feet from Lynette. "Congratulations, you're all dead!" The voice comes booming from the hall. Hustling into the room, gun in hand, pants half buttoned and shirt not really on, per se, Avi Epstein looks like he either just got dressed or purposefully got partly undressed for whatever is about to happen. Neither is particularly flattering, and neither is particularly clear. "I swear to Christ's cousin, you people can't help but blow your shit every five seconds. If it isn't Howard electrocuting rats because he thinks its funny or who the fuck knows who half of you are doing whatever," Avi brandishes his firearm as though it were a sandwich he hadn't finished eating. Then, pausing, it's clear he lost his train of thought.

Brows furrowed, eyepatch creasing, Avi rubs the barrel of his gun at his temple. "If you geniuses leave this island, exodus style, you're going to get you, me, and everyone else on this sorry fucking rock killed dead." As opposed to — "I hear you arguing down the hall about this. I don't care if one of you found out you're Nathan Petrelli's father from a paralell dimension inhabited solely by clowns, nobody's hauling anybody off of this rock. Because that's dumb." Avi tugs his pants up some and finishes buttoning them.

The reaction from Eileen might not be caught, but the act of tearing the paper apart and throwing it in the fire. That. That right there makes her suspicious. Maybe it is the fact, that Kaylee's life is surrounded by and manipulated by pre-cogs of various sources, that has hands curling into to fists. She wants to say something, and she almost does, but cooler heads prevail. Shoulders slump and Kaylee finally sighs out her irritation.

"I need aspirin." The telepath finally says, pinching the bridge of her nose.

Kaylee needs to pick her battles carefully. "Your right. No need for a panic." However, there is no doubt, she won't let it go.

Well, she will for the moment when that bottle hits the wall. Kaylee turns a steely blue glare Avi's way. She has never much liked the guy and it shows. Plainly.

Even Eileen sometimes forgets that her unflappable demeanor is just an act. Her mask shatters when the beer bottle does, and she recoils from the spray as though Avi had thrown the bottle at her and not at Lynette. The crow on her shoulder launches into the air, seeking sanctuary in the room's high, wooden rafters.

"Epstein, what the fuck is wrong with you?" Eileen asks in a much shriller voice than the one she'd been using a few moments ago. She reaches up, closes her eyes, and pinches the bridge of her nose. It's the expression of someone who regrets the words the words that just came out of her mouth but is unwilling to apologize for them.

"He's right," she says as soon as she trusts her own voice again. "It's stupid." Then: "The valknut is a Norse symbol. I know what you're thinking."

"Gahhh!!" This guy is more icky than the black tar in her dreams.

Eve yanks her boot off and tosses it at the drunk man's head. "Put that away!" She looks disgusted by the man and stares from him to Gillian. Gillian to him. Mouth agape. She hops behind her best friend and clings to her shoulders. Hand limp at her side and she growls out, "Then in twos and threes. I didn't know you liked to play Ring Around The Rosie, Roly Poly Man." A brief look to Eileen and her eyebrows raise. "We know what we're thinking yes."

If something about Eileen had made Gillian tense up, the moment Aviators appears is twenty times that. The knot in the back of her head nearly unravels, but she stomps it tight. She immediately wants to argue with him, even if she'd been agreeing with Eileen somewhat, but she tightens her jaw and steps behind one of her brothers instead. She really hates that guy. Like. Really.

But she knows visions are metaphors. She'd not understood them when she had the power briefly. She wasn't sure if it was Eve's power, or someone else's. But she knows they're not always what they seem.

Bones left behind could mean a lot of things— or they could be literal.

"I hope you guys make the right decision." Cause she intends to go back to the mainland either way.

Lynette jumps at the bottle shattering, but straightens a moment later and brushes at stray drops that hit her sweater. She folds her arms as Avi offers his opinion, looking generally unimpressed. "Oh yes, I'm sure you're full of wonderful advice." She turns her attention back to Eileen, because that's who she's attempting to talk to. "I am not saying we evacuate the island. I'm saying that Brian takes the children to a place he thinks is safe and then the sober parts of Special Activites, if there are any," side eye, "run an assessment on our defenses and any likely leaks. We shore up what we can and keep the kids elsewhere, on the move maybe, over the border — whatever — until we can be sure we're secure." She looks over at Avi then, brow lifitng. "We're still the Ferrymen, right? We do still slip people over the border? Or are we out of that business?"

There's a flinch as the bottle goes shattering into the wall. One hand darting for his weapon instinctively. But the ensuing onslaught of words has Winters easing his hand back down.

"Who the…" Brian starts as the circus comes to town. Glancing over to Eileen and then back to Gillian. "No one's talking exodus… Guy. Otis' boat just came in with Eve. I have one of myselves running down to stop him. We should be able to get the kids on it and out by the evening." Winters frowns at Avi, "Think we can holster that weapon there, chief?"

"There's not a ton of kids. We could probably fit on Otis' boat, if not one more would not be a huge stretch. We've done things like that loads of times. And I'll stay here with some of me. But some of me are going with my sister and the kids." He looks to Lynette and gives a firm and supportive nod to her words. He then turns to join his sister and leave.

Though the other him stays behind to watch this trainwreck.

To his credit, Avi doesn't wobble when struck about the head with a shoe, even though he clearly wants to. He, instead, rests a hand on the door frame to steady himself and sniffs defiantly at the air. "Yeah," Avi agrees with Brian after just being struck by a shoe. "You want me to line the kids up and shoot them all in the boat at once, or just take them off one by one? Because I'm gonna say Heller's going to make 'em suffer first. We don't have anywhere to take kids. We're evacuating Grand Central because of the construction, the Institute is sniffing so far up our ass I'm going to ask them if they found any polyps, and need I remind you that Susan fucking Ball sold us up the river so far that we're literally up a river right now." Avi's brows raise, about as high as he can manage, and then holsters his gun in the back of his pants irresponsibly.

"So, I mean, yeah. If you want the blood of a lot of dead kids on your hands, by all means." Avi motions to the door, gallantly. "Or we could be reasonable and not jump every time a precog says doomsday."

The telepath knows all about the evacuation of Grand Central, since she had been helping with that effort. The remind has her looking away from the drunk man, he has a point though. Damn him…

Kaylee shakes her head, glancing at the retreating backs of the others. "Speaking of Grand Central.. I need to make arrangements to get back there." Plus, she does not want to be left alone in that room with the other two. Pressing the tips of her fingers to her temple, she adds, "Aspirin first."

Kaylee offers Eileen and the drunken one a simple curt, yet still managing to be polite, "Good day," before turning on her heals to follow the rest.. a little behind them.

"Can you at least put the safety on?" Eileen asks of the gun sticking out of the back of Avi's pants. The hand that had been pinching the bridge of her nose drops to her side and she curls her fingers into a loose fist. Up in the rafters, the crow gives a series of soft, reassuring clucks and turns its head to watch the others as they depart.

"There's a chance we could get them across to Quebec, yes," she concedes, "but there's no guarantee they won't be intercepted. Heller's tightening his noose at the border. We'd have to cause some sort of a distraction, force him to turn his attention somewhere else. I'm not sure we have the resources for an operation like that just now."

"Did not!" In regard to crying doomsday. "I'll show you doomsday though you pickle." She shakes a fist at Avi and scoffs to Gillian. "He didn't even offer a beer." How rude. As Kaylee goes to move and Brian, she gathers herself and hops to her boot on one foot balancing on one foot the whole while as she tugs the boot on with a grunt. "I hope I'm wrong. I always do. But if I were wrong as much as I am right.. then you wouldn't have come to see me before." She says this to Eileen, this goes for a few of the people in the room. "Do what you will. I'll tell you what happens next."

If she can get through the door..

"Considering you're all ass, I wouldn't be surprised by what might be stuck up there," Brian mutters, looking about to say more even as Gillian tugs on his arm and motions her head towards the door.

"He's not worth arguing with," the OLDER sister says. "We can continue what we would do as if we'd never seen it, but I don't think anyone here is going to forget what they saw, either." No matter of burning pages is going to change that. She'll just have to hope the knowledge doesn't cause whatever the vision had been—

And somehow helps prevent it.

"So, we have only the resources to… hide. Dig in. Hope for the best?" Lynette glances to the others as they file out, perhaps with a bit of longing to be among them. But instead of following, she turns back to Eileen. "I know it's not ideal. But neither is sitting here with no more safehouses and nowhere to run. I would be more than willing to start a distraction to get those kids to safety. That's what I joined this organization to do. Not to bury my head in the sand and cross my fingers." She looks over to Avi then, her tone becoming more clipped, "I hope you don't object to me calling for a defense and personnel assessment. Don't worry, it won't disrupt your busy schedule. I'm asking Ben Ryans to do it."

"Ben's a doer, for a guy pushingwhatseventy?" Avi scrubs one hand at the back of his neck, hardly one to talk about age. "Anyway, if you think we're head-in-the-sand you're obviously not invited to all the fun pow-wows. We can move people out of state, across the border into Canada, but that takes weeks to set up. We're already strained enough trying to plan on how to move a handful of us to fucking Alaska to fight god knows what bullshit the Institute has planned. The last thing we need to do before one of our most dangerous operations is to stick our bare asses out and see what bites us."

Exhaling a sigh, Avi looks at Eileen with a helpless expression, then picks at something under his eyepatch. "Anyway, like, we've got two major operations in planning stages. This place is almost full to capacity, and we're having a hard time pissing with the DoEA knowing about it. I don't know about you, but the last thing I want is to get spotted coming and going from this place, then get eaten alive by robots or whatever the fuck nightmare is current. We can do a half dozen things, poorly, right now. We're not on the top of our game, and moving assets before an operation because one person had a bad dream seems irrational, or at least like something Raith would do. Don't be like Raith."

Eileen spreads her gloved hands as if to say there it is. She then raises an arm, summoning the crow back down from the rafters. It glides over the top of Lynette's head, mindful to give her plenty of room so that the only thing she feels is a soft breeze rustling through the ringlets of her hair. "Do as you will with the children," she says, like that's some sort of compromise. "No one else leaves without putting it to vote."

She shifts the crow from her wrist back to her shoulder, waiting until the others are out of earshot to add, "I'd appreciate it if you kept this quiet. The valknut, especially. Vanguard is gone." As if to emphasize her point, she touches her hand to the small of Avi's back, near his pistol, ushering him back out into the hall. The other hoists her cane. "Let the past die."

"I guess I'm not. You know what pow-wows I am invited to? The ones where people are scared and looking for a decision." Lynette looks very much like she might go get toe-to-toe with Avi, but the passing of Eileen's crow seems to make her pause. "Thank you," she says to Eileen, apparently finding the compromise satisfactory. Or at least a fine way to end this particular ~discussion~. "I didn't really catch all that Norse stuff, so they won't hear it from me." She seems about ready to let Eileen have the last word and watch them pass without comment, but she can't seem to actually let herself be the bigger person, so there is a comment given to their backs. "I like Raith a lot better than I like you, pal!"

Both Brian and Gillian nod at the compromise, almost in unison. They will discuss amongst themselves and decide if the accomidations they have currently can hold all the children— but it's the mention of Vanguard that doesn't help her nerves any. She hopes they stay dead, but they'd looked dead a few times and still seemed to have ghosts. With that, the siblings leave (including her brother's second half).

They have some things to decide.

"Gilly I'm hungry."

As she rushes out with the siblings and Kaylee. Her head snaps back to Eileen and the other two. She stares at each of them for two seconds before stopping at Avi and poking her tongue out. "Bring me tequila next time." And she's out.

A strained sigh escapes Avi as Eileen moves to guide him out of the room. He hesitates, looking back for a moment at the others, then purses his lips into a slowly forming frown. Looking around the room, he sees both the people in it now, and the bunker of people below Mandritsara, hoping for victory against a superior force. He looks away, then, and when he and Eileen are out in the hall his voice has diminished, his posturing ceased. Only then does he show uncertainty, and fear.

"If they come," Avi offers in a small voice, the "they" left both ambiguous and understood. "Nobody's going to make it off this island alive."

That much he's sure of.

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