An Inescapable Destiny


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mayes_icon.gif rachel_icon.gif sanderson2_icon.gif tris_icon.gif

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Scene Title An Inescapable Destiny
Synopsis When Messiah converges on Georgia Mayes for the first part of their plan to restructure the DoEA by making key assassinations and feints, Richard Cardinal acts through the help of Huruma in extracting Claire from Messiah. Chaos ensues.
Date October 6, 2010

Columbia University

We are all joined by an inescapable destiny…

"No Evo Ghettos!"

A thread that binds us to one another, a tie that connects our events past and present to a design woven into the future.

"No Evo Ghettos!"

Sometimes without even knowing it, our actions have far reaching repercussions, as one choice leads to a domino effect, changing the lives of many.

The shouts of anti-registration protesters is only partly drowned out by the powerful audio equipment projecting the voice of New York City Mayor Sylvia Lockheart to a crowd of some thousand students on the campus of Columbia University. "We all strive for an equality that cannot be easily achieved. Each and every one of us struggles to find our place in tihs confusing new world, and our first steps forward to that future will always be shaky ones. But we have a steady, firm foundation beneath ourselves upon which to stand and take those hesitant steps into the future."

There is no such thing as a small decision, an inconsequential choice; there is only our delusion that we ourselves are not all masters of not only our own destiny, but that of others as well.

Spread out in front of a stage erected for this speech beneath cloudy skies that have yet to threaten rain, a crowd of college students listen to the speech delivered. Behind a large shield of security glass and flanked by a visible trio of black-armored members of FRONTLINE on opposite ends of the stage, Mayor Lockheart serves as the opening act for the true circus to come, where a woman named Georgia Mayes speaks on behalf of the Department of Evolved Affairs to an important support base, an important group to reach out to — youth. They are, after all, the future that is being spoken of.

We may not yet be aware of how our actions will change the course of history, changes the lives of millions…

"I would like to introduce to you," Lockheart enunciates over the crowd of protestors stading behind a police barricade, holding colorful pickett signs, their voices raised against that of the Mayor's and speaking to both she and the crowd of spectators, "to Miss Georgia Mayes, from the Department of Evolved Affairs, who are helping put forth this stable foundation that we are all moving forward together on." Mayor Lockheart motions to an elderly woman seated in a chair behind her, along with a throng of other guests in suits and ties from both the University board and the Department of Evolved Affairs.

…even if we can't yet see the repercussions of our actions.

With a smile that any red carpet starlet would be envious of, Georgia Mayes stands and flows to the podium, a hand out to shake Lockheart's in a warm grip before she takes her place on the stage. Incidentally, it's the same smile she gave the protestors. It's the same smile she'd give her husband. In front of a crowd, she looks little.

"Good afternoon," is how she starts. "It's an honour to be invited to speak…"

Georgia Mayes is forever an impressive sight, impeccably put together even to do the grocery shopping, let alone deliver a lecture about DoEA initiatives to a mass of students. In a dress of strong blues and yellows in cutout patterns, a matching scarf tied side-on on her neck, her hair seems to deny physics in that no matter how much the breeze might tease at clothes and hair, her silver locks don't dare fall out of place from their combed-a-hundred-times sweeps. Being a petite woman, black heels are tall and precarious to anyone unaccustomed to severe shoes, which Mayes is not.

"…and Columbia University will become the leading institution in America pertaining to Evolved education. With the help of the Pathways for Power scholarship programme, Registered Evolved students will be able to receive advisement about their career paths that not only include their individual Evolved abilities, but are enhanced by them. The Department of Evolved Affairs does not look to oppress or deny the abilities of American's Evolved citizens, but encourage their use in society."

She glances down at her notes again, her expression neutrally pleasant. Only someone very close up might be able to note the minute tremor in her hands as she touches fingertips to written words, a diamond ring glimmering in the hazy sunlight. There's a paragraph coming up about student Evo housing the protestors are gonna love.

The earpiece in her ear may as well not be there, for all the good it's doing Elisabeth Harrison as she wades slowly through the crowd. She can hear her teammates if they need to broadcast, but she herself is supposed to be radio silent. Her blonde hair is caught back in a ponytail and she's dressed in a pair of scuffed blue jeans, hiking boots, and a Columbia sweatshirt. The earpiece looks like any other bluetooth device in the crowd. Though she looks older than the average student, most people are not paying attention to her. She's just another face out here. The whole point of her job is to stay just outside the area by the stage and mingle among the ones a little farther back — to get a read on what's being said not in the shouts but in the whispers. In the hopes of averting a disaster instigated by people she's fought side-by-side with before. She's so much less than thrilled.

In the calmer crowd closer to the stage, a tall, lanky man is standing, a passive expression upon his narrow features; Griffin looks like he should be a professor of sorts, wearing a black suit over a white dress shirt, complete with a royal blue tie, with his hair slicked back. His green-eyed gaze is concealed behind a pair of sunglasses; he probably has photosensitivity or something. In reality, they're intended more for hiding those eyes of his that get rather disconcerting when he uses his ability than to hide his eyes from the light. One hand is in his pocket; the other rests lightly on the knob-like silver handle of a cane made of polished black-stained wood.

He occasionally glances back toward the protestors further back from the stage; however, as Mayes steps up to the stage, his eyes turn toward her, eyebrows raising up to wrinkle his forehead. As she speaks, his head inclines toward her, the man apparently listening to the woman's words with interest.

For someone who, any moment now, is supposed to be attempting an assassination, Ling Chao looks neither dressed for the occasion, nor in a suitable emotional state as she stands back a bit away from the stage and arrangement of chairs, dressed more like a teacher than anything else - only the shine of slick black barely visible in the gap between her sleeves and her gloves blight hint otherwise. She watches, stoically as Georgia Mayes walks up on to the stage, eyes narrowing. Any moment now, it would be her time to shine. She had thought about how to apparoch several times in the last few moments, and still nothing suitable had come to mind. So, for now, she would have to do things the best way she knew. A step to the otherside of a nearby tree , and smoke begins lifting off of her fingers. Just a bit longer…

Being short has it's advantages, being only twenty-one affords Claire Bennet some protection as well. Her dark hair is left loose, a red ball cap is pulled backwards on her head. Her clothing fits in with more with the skater crowd with the baggy plaid flannel shirt, with the sleeves rolled up to show the white long sleeve shirt. Her blue jeans are bulky and loose over boots. She looks nothing like the terrorist she is.

Claire uses her size to be lost in the crowd, keeping her head down as she listens to the woman's words somewhere beyond her. A smile curls her lips, but there is something more about it, something hidden. Beneath that smile, is a chaotic mix of emotions with anger bright to any empath. Her eyes seem a touch distracted and distant. Is she listening to the speaker, or to something within her own cranium? Was it really wise that Rupert allowed her to come on this little mission?

There is a single person here that neither the crowd nor Messiah's operatives were expecting to be here. Huruma has her own plans and favors to fulfill; she figures that by coming here, during the event, that any of her activity will be presumed intentional if the others spot her and wonder why she is skulking between throngs of students. It has taken Huruma ages to wind through enough of the crowd to be able to even find one of the others. From there, she can very well begin to pinpoint her tiny target. Claire may be small, but Huruma is tall enough to see well over heads. In her thigh-length woolen coat, she also blends in much better than if she were here in her own capacity of glitz and gold earrings.

Once she finds Claire, however- she wastes no time. Georgia Mayes goes on, and on, and somewhere deep in the thousand-strong crowd something stirs, a rolling, frothing monster that swells into a burning, biting necrosis.

Terror, Metus, Timor- there are a great many old words for 'panic'.

Of the three FRONTLINE officers on stage, one is noticably shorter than the others, even if the Horizon armor prevents gender identification from making Captain Adelle Sanderson differentiated from the rest of her team aside from the 01-04 stenciled in white on the chest's right side. She's fidgety, shifting her weight from one foot to another, given only a small sidearm attached to her waist for munitions. There was some discussion that having people armed with assault rifles on stage would put forward a bad image.

«There's more people here than I expected.» Sanderson crackles over the internal comm links between the soldiers, «I don't have anything yet. Are you sure that Kershner couldn't get us positive IDs on any of them? This is goddamned ridiculous.»

Not far away from where Sanderson is, the soldier in the armor marked 01-10 on the chest plate turns her black visored helmet towards the shorter one, staring at her across the span of stage between them. «No,» is her taciturn answer, «and be quiet.» Rachel Mills is more business-minded than Sanderson is, more stoic and reserved, but even she is having some measure of difficulty not being anxious in this situation. The last time Messiah and FRONTLINE tangled, Michael Spalding was almost killed and Chester Wade swore he'd shot a child in the crossfire, even if they were never able to find his remains.

He's still on psychological leave of absence.

Visible in the crowd of protestors as a bald head over some shoulders, Jesse Murphy is pushing his way to the fore of the shouting crowd, and from his distance he can see a pulse growing in the crowd, a jittering, a movement. Brows furrow and eyes scan the audience, noticing people jolting up from their seats in the front row, some further back in the standing-room-only seats beginning to frantically move away from one another. A yelp first, then a shout.

«I— I fucking said we we have any more intel, I will not shut up!» Sanderson's mousey voice squeaks over the speakers inside of the other operatives' helmets, as her anxiety builds into the trilling shakes of a panic attack. Some people deal with the facets of panic differently, some people flee in fear, others freeze, Sanderson lashes out with anger.

«Goddamnit Sanderson!» Rachel snaps across the stage, looking into the crowd as the brunt of the panic finally builds up in her. When Rachel Mills is panicked— she runs.

In a flash of white light blossoming on the stage, she's gone.

"With enough funding, we hope to— "

And horror of all horror's, Mayes trips over her own speech as something shifts in the air, like a coming storm. Her hand flies up to the little earpiece she's wearing to press it deeper and listen, a twitching glance towards that flashing of light as one of the helmeted soldiers simply leave. Her steel-blue eyes take in the sight of the crowd ahead of her, and the nervous shifting— and then over the speaks, a shrill shriek leaves the DoEA agent's throat as she seems to be bodily tugged at by some sort of invisible force, but her hands come down to grip onto the heavy oak podium.

She whirls an accusing glare towards one of the nearby FRONTLINErs, just as Tris' voice crackles down the radio, wavering in uncertainty. «Shit. Sorry. That was me.»

Elisabeth can't respond to the FRONTLINE chatter without giving away the fact that she's listening to the squabble — she grimaces in the crowd, though. She can't see the panic begin, but she can sense when the sound waves shift around. What's coming at her from the back of the crowd isn't matching what was coming at her before, and she turns to look in that direction worriedly. Just as she goes to break radio silence and point the FRONTLINE unit in that direction, the panic wall hits up there and Rachel is gone. «Mills!» Elisabeth barks into the throat microphone connecting her to her team — her initial instinct is that Mills must have gone into the fray somewhere. And then it hits her.

It's not as if Elisabeth isn't familiar with a full-bore panic attack. She's suffered enough of them in the past year to recognize the signs instantly, but this one didn't build. Didn't start with tremors or anxiety rising. It hit with the power of a tidal wave, and suddenly her heartrate and adrenaline are sky high and there is a wave of a bass *THRUM* that comes off her, so low as to be felt more than heard, as her ability lashes out with her intent to use the sound waves themselves to *shove* people away from her — and from the stage she's supposed to be protecting. «Get her the fuck out, Tris! Go now!»

Griffin's reaction is immediate; while he doesn't feel the same panic that others in the crowd feel, he certainly notices it, first in the front row, then when one of the FRONTLINE members simply leaves. His brows raise slightly, and behind those dark sunglasses, bluish-white replaces the green hue as he summons one pair of vectors. He takes advantage of the space around him, wrapping the two in a 'personal bubble' of sorts, keeping people from getting too close to him.

The other two vectors are summoned, invisible telekinetic arms that flail about above him unseen as his eyes, now faintly glowing beneath the sunglasses, scan the crowd. As the panic begins to swell in his own chest, his eyes narrow, and he suddenly turns, using his vectors to quite literally part the crowd as he limps his way directly toward where he last saw Claire, as quickly as the cooler weather will allow him. His height isn't as great as Huruma's, but it's still quite easy to spot the little dark-haired woman in a crowd.

Too many people, too close…. too much. Claire is already feeling uncomfortable with the crowd around her, so even if Huruma isn't effecting her, she's feeling skittish. As someone, a little freaked out, bumps into her, the ex-cheerleader jerks to the side into another person. She shoves one away from her and into more people. Before that individual can turn on her, the tiny terrorist is trying to duck further into the crowd, towards the edge of it, shoving people away from her.

A hand is ducked and Claire punches the person in the stomach, not even looking to see who might be there. The young regenerator just continues on, even as the person doubles over. She won't be trapped here! She has to get away. It was a mistake to bring her here.

The sudden and growing panic is not what Ling was expecting, even as she makes an effort to fight off a dwelling feeling in front of her. Perhaps they were not the only ones who had thought to pull a stunt at this event, but regardless of this, she is here to a job. Unrest makes for a better cover anyway, as smoke begins to pour out of sleeves, Ling's body converting wholly into a thick, black haze of smoke. Making sure there are as few onlookers in her direction as possible, she almost seems to vanish as the smoke pours out across teh ground spreading and thinning as it begins to slide and cover the distance between her and the stage.

Hopefully, someone would just think a fire broke out if they spotted her.

This is why Huruma doesn't like crowds this large. It is much, much too easy to set them off. She keeps on a relative bee-line through the now jostling crowd, long-legged strides taking her closer and closer to where she spotted Claire, eyes trailing and hopping after the familiar shape. The girl is moving deeper into the crowd; lucky for escape, not so lucky if she knew what was coming. Huruma is not wholly aware of Claire having more than one interested set of eyes- the African woman is quite intent on her purpose here.

A momentary break between globs of panicked college students offers her the opportunity to gain momentum and break into a faster gait and dart forward after Claire's figure. The next bit is worth a shot, at least- with Cardinal's news that memories of Madagascar are returning, and her constancy in Claire's life so far. Huruma gains on the young woman, arm outstretched to wind fingers over Claire's bicep and turn her left. Her voice is audible to only the vicinity- but they have more to worry about, isn't that right?

"You've been compromised, come on."

With Rachel simply gone, Sanderson hears Elisabeth's call, even as the ground begins to rumble and a haromonic resonance whines in the air. Television crews set to film the speech scream as their cameras jostle, a few formerly quiet reporters rushing around in front of the stage, trying to assess the direction of the confusion, cameras whipping left and right. "Are you still filming? Tell me you're still rolling!"

Like domons, fear causes chain reactions. What Huruma instills in the minds of the crowd is only a sampling of what an already tense and paranoid culture in the city can lead to. In a world where any living man can be a walking bomb, where anti-evolved terrorists murder people in crowded marketplaces, when someone screams: run.

People bolt up from their seats, metal folding chairs topple over and students are fleeing in every direction, some away from the stage, others towards it. «Bentley you heard her! Get Mayes out of here!» Unholstering her firearm, Sanderson walks backwards and grips the pistol tightly, training her gun on anyone who crosses her line of sight or moves too quickly.

«Jesus Christ, what's going on? Harrison what's going on!?» Sanderson screams over her comms, a tremor of anxiety causing her voice to shake as the panic sinks in deep to her bones. Behind her, representatives of Columbia University are scrambling for the sides of the stage, some leaping off to get away from what's happening. Members of the DoEA are likewise shaken literally and figuratively, one reaching out a hand for Mayes, trying to urge her to follow him, unaware of the carpet of smoke approaching the stage.

Far enough away not to feel the effects of Huruma's panic induction, Jesse Murphy furrows his brows when he hears something over the thrumming bass beat. Reaching down into his jacket pocket, he withdraws his cell phone and flips it open, brows furrowed while he passes through the crowd of protestors. He stops a moment later, hesitating as he slowly lowers the phone from his ear, then looks around towards Police rushing in towards the stage area.

Tucking the phone away, Jesse turns towards the police, and Huruma feels something amidst the sea of empathic projections. With so many people around, pinpointing its location is a futile effort, but there's a tremor in her senses, emotions spiking and then flattening out, like a light-switch turned off.

A moment later:

A wailing shriek fills the air, the mythic banshee's howl brought into the morden world. The ground shakes and the police officers rushing towards the stage are lifted up off of their feet, flung bodily through the air by a concussive shockwave of sound that bursts their eardrums and ruptures their eyes like soft grapes. Blood follows them in rivulets as the ground gracks and earth is upturned by the scream. Windows explode on the building facing away from the bald man in the denim vest that unleashed the chaos.

Jesse Murphy breathes in deeply, watching as other police officers are dashing across the campus green, ready to do it again.

"No!!" is Mayes' shrill protest when she works out, a second two soon, about the security (sexurity) measures being implemented — and then it's a cry of protest as she goes skidding across the stage, her heels skittering against the flat plain like a fawn's hooves on ice, her hands doing their very best to keep her dress as it should be in the event of falling. Telekinesis reels her in, one way or another, Tris moving forward to grip her arm to yoink her off the stage entirely.

Around his shoulders, twin pistols are ready and cocked, hovering in midair.

"What the fucking fuck is going on!" is her demand, even as she grips onto the FRONTLINE soldier's suit-clad arm. "Why me! What did I do! Those freakish— " And then she stops and just gapes at the sight of police officers getting flung in the wake of a concussive blast of sound. A pistol spins, angles in a way that doesn't require hands to achieve, seeking out the offender. «Did anyone see who did that?» is Tris' demand.

In all the chaos, not even Tris notices the encroaching smoke.

One of the things Elisabeth is not carrying into this crowd is a weapon. Well, other than herself. For the simple reason that a weapon in a crowd is sure to hurt someone who shouldn't have been hurt. Because she is on the ground floor of this mess, and it is her own power shoving some of the people around her off-balance, she remains still. And she feels what that scream does. It is as familiar — as intimate a feeling — as having a hand stroked down her hair. It is her own ability cut loose. She herself has done it before, and the building with all the splintered glass gives her a direction in which to look. She fights the crowd, trying to get over in the direction of the other audiokinetic. «Bentley, you have your fucking orders, now goddamn it, GET HER UNDER COVER! Get the fuck OUT! This is the perfect time for a fucking teleporting assassin!!»

Even as she moves in the direction where she can feel those sound waves ebbing and flowing, it's like fighting the tide too. «Sanderson, northwest corner. Audiokinetic screamer. I'm trying to negate the sound, but it's not going to be perfect! See if you can get a bead!»

As Claire darts deeper into the crowd, Griffin allows himself to grimace. He may be feeling slightly panicked right now…but there's a job to be done, and he'd rather the regenerator who can't die be unsupported than the woman he's been specifically told to protect. Glowing eyes that are barely concealed behind sunglasses turn to watch, just in time to see the last of the smoke pouring out of Ling's clothing.

He only barely misses seeing the tall, dark woman dart after Claire.

With a slow to himself, Griffin turns on his heel to face the stage, eyes narrowed dangerously behind the dark sunglasses. As the shriek fills the air and causes its chaos, Griffin reaches his vectors out, parting the crowd once more as he jogs toward the stage, his limp even more apparent now that he's moving faster.

Once he is close enough, he reaches out with those vectors, glowing eyes focused on Tris and his floating guns. Oooh, someone to play with. Reaching out with a pair of vectors, he attempts to grab hold of those pistols and wrench them from Tris' control, using the crowd as a shield between himself and the other telekinetic.

When the hand closes around on her arm, Claire's survival instinct kicks in. There is a flash of metal and with a fierce shout, the young woman turns on whoever it is that's grabbing her. Blue eyes are wild, at least til she catches sight of who has her, then they go wide. The blade stops close to that dark brown skin, before fingers loosen and the blade falls from slack fingers to clatter to the ground.

"What are you doing? I could have killed you" The regenerator hisses fiercely, jerking her arm out of Huruma's grip with a twist and a pull. "Have to get out of here before they get us, gas us and throw us in cages. Then they will cut me apart, put me in jars, watch me grow back." With another jerk, she pulls out of Huruma's grip and she bolts.

And there goes Claire.

A teleporting assassin, Ling is not. In truth, in this moment, she isn't an assassin either, though all appearance is made otherwise. And appearance is the name of the game, at least for the moment, as the thin haze of smoke slides ever closer. Whatever distraction Griffin unknowingly presents, Ling hopes to take advantage of as she makes her way closer. Tris and Mayes aren't hard to spot, smoke snaking up and pooling around their feet, creating a Pig Pen like haze at the floor.

"Georgia Mayes…" Ling's ethereal, quiet voice rings out, just loud enough for both her and Tris to hear over the commotion around them. "//I would tread carefully, form here on out." A warning?

Huruma's arm moves up, her wrist meeting Claire's forearm as the knife comes zoning in. The girl does her part in stopping, but even so, the knife comes precariously near Huruma's bicep regardless of her readiness to maneuver it away. All that Claire gets as an answer when she snarls up is Huruma's mouth parting into a laugh. Her grip was only enough to get Claire's attention- the girl bolts, and the tall woman trails just after her.

The best laid plans are quite possibly the ones that you never actually plan.

«On it!» is Sanderson's sharp response as she vaults over the stage and lands down in the crowd, switching to external speakers on her helmet with a toggle of a button on one gloved hand, «Every one clear out of the way! Move! Move!» Her voice snaps loudly over the helmet's speaker as she runs, gun drawn and held down towards the ground as she sprints between the crowd. Pushing one person out of the way, Sanderson finally catches sight of the attacker standing amidst a crowd of people fleeing from his direction.

When Jesse turns, his eyes are practically rolled back in his head, blood trickling from his nose and ear as his mouth opens again and a wail of a sonic scream os launched towards Sanderson. The tiny, armored soldier lets out a shrill scream of her own, synthesized thorugh the suit as she feels her reactive armor immediately harden from the concussive sonic force. She's thrown off of her feet along with several folding chairs, her visor cracks, the frame of her powered hydraylics on her arms and legs rattles apart, bolts and screws popping out before she even hits the ground.

When she lands, Sanderson is unaware of just how much her armor saved her. In the past of where Jesse had been screaming, there are a few students who were caught in the crossfire and their flesh has been vibrated off of their bones, hanging like limp pieces of stringy meat, some fallen atop one another, screaming in agony that yet still draw breath.

Jesse convulses a moment later, lifting a hand to the side of his head as blood runs in stringy mixture with music from his nostrils. Turning slowly, his eyes go wide when he spots police closing in on him from all sides, guns drawn and screaming, trying to get him to surrender before opening fire with so many civillians around.

Jesse opens his mouth to scream, this time no sound comes. Trying to get a hole of herself as the ebbing panic that was irrationally implanted is waning, Elisabeth Harrison focuses all of her attention on the audiokinetic, dampening his sound, fighting against the flow of his own ability's projected volume turned on full blast.

She doesn't deafen the pop of small arms fire.

Blood erupts on Jesse's chest and out his back, arms go wild out in front of himself as he's shot. Once, twice, over and over again by the police. The sight is not missed by Griffin, engaged as he is with Tristian. The riddling of Jesse Murphy with bullets — the man who took him in to Messiah and gave him purpose — is not unnoticed at all.

That he is helpless to do anything does not go unnoticed at all, as Jesse's body slaps down to the grass, motionless.

«Then COVER ME, goddamn!» is Tris' snarl back at Elisabeth down the radio. Oh boy, he's going to pay for that later, but he's dealing with the peripheral aftershocks of a fair amount of fright. «God, where did Mills go— » And then someone— someone is fucking with his telekinesis, which has Tris snapping a stare through his visor towards the direction of the tug, hand impulsively gripping harder on Mayes' arm, gaining a wince from the elderly woman.

The guns jerk in the air, even as they get reeled out of his control, and, muzzles angled skywards, empty their contents in a series of BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM that make anyone who isn't running and nearby, start running and become unnearby. He cuts it out before he can lose control, clips not entirely spent, but still with that continued tug-of-war to keep them under his control.

«There's a telekinetic on me! Tall guy! In the crowd!» he bleats even as Jesse is crumpling in a bloody mess.

With smoke curling thick around their ankles, Mayes' main instinct here is start stamping at it with her puncturing black heels, only barely missing Tris' own feet as she tries to kick at and stamp away the roiling— talking smoke. Ling can probably take note of the white that rings Mayes' irises in shock at those words. She doesn't need Tris to do anything — she takes off at a run in the direction that protocol dictates, losing a shoe in the process and she doesn't even care.

Griffin's eyes widen as he watches the spots appear over Jesse's chest, his mouth going slack for just a moment. The man who gave him a clear path has just been killed in front of his own eyes. Most would be distracted; but Griff is quite busy playing that tug of war with the guns, and he's out in the open. This is no time to falter.

Griff turns a now dark expression toward Tris, lowering his glasses down on his face enough to glare at the man with those glowing eyes. His vectors continue to grapple with the man's own telekinesis, doing his best to keep the guns aimed skyward, now. The other two pairs of Vectors reach out once Mayes has taken off running, and are sent flying toward the man's chest in an attempt to knock him back. All the while, he's trying to free those guns from the man's control. My guns now.

His gaze turns down toward the smoke. Probably a good time to start leaving…

Ling doesn't see Jesse fall, or the chaos he hsa helped wrought. She just sees Georgia Meyes taking off as she's instructed to in case of emergency. Ling, however, isn't done with erh eyt. Jesse has made good with making the assassination seem genuine, from the look of it, but she has her own purpose, smoke leaving a trail as it follows on Mayes' heels, at least for the moment.

Police swarm on Jesse's fallen body, guns trained down on the figure as he lays flat on his back in the grass, one on his radio at his shoulder calling in for backup. Sirens are already wailing in the distance and the sheer chaos of the fleeing students and government officials is making it impossible to pick out the dissenters from the crowd. It's Griffin's presence up by the stage and the shouting called out by Tristian that has some small measure of uncertainty put on whether or not the lanky man belongs there near the stage.

Sanderson isn't moving, a crumpled heap of black armor, shattered plastic and broken hydraulic motivators. Laying there in a heap atop broken folding chairs, she's far better off than the students dying around her. Breaking away from nearby to Jesse, Elisabeth Harrison isn't restricted by broken Horizon armor, which brings her approach in full sprint towards the telekinetic Tris had pointed out in the crowd.

"Stop!" is the audiokinetic equivalent to a baseball bat as the barked command reverberages across one entire side of Griffin's body, rattling the stage and hitting Tristian as well, though the reactive magnetic fabric of his body armor protects him from the brunt of the concussive force as it stiffens.

The telekinetic soldier goes flying back under the brunt of of Griffin's attack, landing on his back and wicning behind his faceless helmet plate — and it's some measure of his own ability that has Tris yanking himself back up on his feet, a preternatural leap that didn't actually involve his own limbs as he flails windmill arms in the air when he lands from that brief geometric yoink of self-telekinesis. By the time he's standing again, knives have slid out of their sheaths, forfeiting his guns — though he allows Griffin to take the weapons, caving to brute strength, he keeps the triggers locked. Or tries really, really hard to. 8(

There's a groan of complaint through comms systems as Elisabeth's attack sends him near toppling, but automatic telekinetic correction keeps him on his feet again. In the direct aftermath of her attack, silver blades spin deftly through the space in an arc towards Griffin, intending to stick in torso, arms, legs — whatever gets in the way as Tris concentrates on avoiding bystanders more than be choosy about where blades come to puncture or slice. They're on a boomerang's course once done, hopefully gleaming with red, aiming to settle back into sheaths.


This exclamation is in response to seeing Mayes trip over her remaining highheel, the older woman flipping back around on her back to crab scurry away from encroaching smoke, barely seeing Tris start his run back to to her, leaving Elisabeth to take care of Griffin — or yell at him about it later. Uniformed security is also thundering down, preparing to yank her up by the arms and squirrel her to safety once and for all.

Griffin stumbles to the side, using his cane and one of his vectors to keep himself standing. Damn, that hurt, especially on his already bad knee. Two of the vectors whirl toward Elizabeth, their aim simple: to quite literally pick her feet up from under her, and knock her onto her back. The other two holding the guns yank them back to himself, promptly taking a similar position that they once held over Tris' shoulders.

He turns in time to see the knives coming; a holler escapes his throat, as one knife is slapped out of the air; he misses the other one in the confusion, only able to multitask so much, and a deep slice appears in the man's left side, just shy of the bones of his ribcage. He groans, still using a vector to keep himself upright; his vectors come back around, and suddenly, he's quite literally shoving the panicked crowd between himself and his assailants.

"Smokey! It's time to go!" He shouts this in Ling's general direction, before he turns and attempts to slip into the deeper crowds, one hand pressed against his new wound.

As he slips into the crowd, the guns are slipped into the back of Griffin's pants, with his suit jacket used to conceal the weapons. These will be kept for emergency use. And as a memoir, since it looks like he won't be able to retrieve Jesse's body.

Griffin's call out falls on deaf ears, so to speak - Ling is too far out to hear him over the cacophony on stage. Her target is dead ahead in her sights smoke trailing quickly after Georgia Mayes, the speed at which she moves making her far less stealthy and much more obvious. So when Mayes falls over and begins her crab walk, teh fact that her presence has been revealed only encourages to swirl up to her and around her, only briefly.

"Unlike them I mean you no harm," her wispy voice rings out, "Just a warning - beware Rupert Carmichael. He will be coming to you soon. Do not be alone." Just quiet enough to be heard by Mayes, before swirling smoke darts down to the ground and things, before speeding off, and away.

After all, smoke as she may, Ling has no intention of being around should anyone arrive with the Negation gas again. She's learned her lesson about lingering once before, and now is the time to find a pipe or a window, and make a quick escape.

The first droplets of fall rain begin to darken the stage as ling discorporates around Mayes ankles, a whispery threat of death and despair caught on the wind like a rolling fog. The security officer with Mayes has no idea on the protocol to handle a living cloud of sibilantly hissing smoke, and his dumbfounded and slack-jawed look is held in place by stiff rigidity and a hand on Mayes shoulder that ensures he does not simply tip over.

Flat on her back from the telekinetic flip and dazed by the impact of her unprotected head against the ground, Elisabeth Harrison stares up at the sky, rain dotting her cheeks, blue eyes blinking back confusion as muffled hearing starts to come back, the sounds of screams and the injured filling the air.

As she sits up, looking around the drizzling campus grounds, her attacker is nowhere to be seen. Liz lifts up a hand, raking back her bangs from her face, blue eyes wide as she scans the crowd, breathing in deeply through parted lips before pulling herself to a knee. One hand reaches up for her earpiece, it's missing in the fall. "Sanderson!" Elisabeth calls out, hustling towards the fallen member of frontline as the wail of ambulance and police sirens fill the air.

Police are flooding in to the university's grounds, wailing injured and sobs of fear and confusion fill the air. It's an absolute mess, and knowing full well that Felix Ivanov is all the way across town with Raymond Praeger does not remove that sense of nervousness from her. It only makes her more worried. After all, Felix only has used up nearly all of his nine lives.

Our decisions impact one another great and small. Each pull of our own thread in an individual direction pulls those tied to us, and in turn pulls others, and others.

A news helicopter circles overhead, camera pointed down at the university grounds, watchin the some thousand spectators fleeing. Filming the way rain darkens the colored posterboard of abandoned pickett signs and causes blood to thin in the grass.

One single decision, or one single moment of deception can have a monumental impact.

Television crews on the ground are assessing their equipment from being caught in the audiokinetic tangle, cameras are flicked back on and reporters who were in the thick of it are first to bring the fear Huruma created pulsing like a heartbeat into every livingroom in America.

We are all, individually, responsible for our own situations

«This is Cynthia Hernandez coming to you live from the scene of— of I'm not even sure what. I'm sorry I— I'm going to need a moment to compose myself. There's— oh my god there's bodies everywhere. I'm sorry— Tony, Tony turn off the camera. Oh, God, I'm going to be si— »

We are all joined by an inescapable destiny.

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