Art of War


bing_icon.gif cat_icon.gif chester_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif faye_icon.gif felicia_icon.gif

felix2_icon.gif francois_icon.gif michael_icon.gif rachel_icon.gif sanderson_icon.gif sarisa_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif tris_icon.gif

Scene Title Art of War
Synopsis FRONTLINE and Charlie Team make another run at taking down Dreyfus and the Russian Vanguard.
Date April 30, 2010

Red Hook

All war is deception.
-Sun Tzu

Headlights streak bright across icy pavement, studded wheels precariously grip ice-crusted lengths of plowed roads, winter digs its claws in and the revenants of Russian blood rise up from their graves to haunt the living. A cold and ferocious wind blows across the coastal neighborhood of Red Hook in Brooklyn, and a precession of four armored vehicles cuts a black path through a field of concrete, brick and white.

"Base this is Officer Hancock, we're en-route to DHS extraction site with Harrison, over." Leading the column of vehicles through the wintry streets bathed in the darkness of a blackout, an NYPD police cruiser's blue lights strobe rhythmically, turning white snowbanks over ten feet high a frozen shade of blue.

«Copy that, we read you from the air.»

The rotors of a black police helicopter chop against arctic chill, and the flashing red and white lights on the underside of the chopper serve as visible reminders of the eye in the sky. Behind the police cruiser on the ground, a black, armored prisoner transport thunders down the stretch of street, heading beneath a railway overpass, swallowed by the dark of the tunnel before exiting back out into the shadow-swathed and lightless city, following the glow of its own headlights against the rear of the police cruiser ahead of it.

In that lead truck, restless hands shift nervously under padded gloves, hydraulic systems hiss and whine, and four members of FRONTLINE Unit-01, Squad-01 prepare themselves mentally for what's coming. "You nervous?" It almost sounds like a challenge from Squad-01's rookie, blonde hair swept over one of her eyes by the way her head's tilted. Dressed in the matte black of her Horizon armor, Adelle Sanderson looks more machine than woman. Hydraulics hiss as she lifts an arm, runs gloved fingers through her hair to pull bangs away from her eyes.

Across from her, USMC Second-Lieutenant Michael Spalding balances an M16 across his lap, face shrouded by the eyeless black visored mask of his helmet. He looks up, wordlessly, and an electronic pop and whine comes from his optical systems triggering on, three glowing green irises appearing in a triangular pattern behind the visor. «You aren't?» His voice is synthesized thorugh the emitter on the helmet.

"Just… " Sanderson dithers, looking over to where Tristian Bentley sits beside Michael, then silently to Chester Wade at her side. "Just wanted to make sure I wasn't the only one…" she adds with a crook of her lips into an anxious smile, reaching down for the helmet at her feet. The blonde folds the back of the helpet open, slides it on over her face and clips the back shut, just a tiny tail of blonde hair poking out from the back. An electronic pop and whine comes from the helmet, and three green irises alight behind the visor. «Ready to go, Sir.»

The second armored prisoner transport hits a pothole, jostling the people set within, a shudder running through the dimly lit interior where Elisabeth Harrison, Rachel Mills and Faye Crawford sit armed and ready, Horizon suits donned, helmets charged, weapons primed and loaded. If this plot doesn't pull Dreyfus' men out of hiding…

"So you're… really Felix Ivanov?" Driving the black SUV behind the rear prisoner transport, FBI agent Thomas Brent offers an askance look to the wiry blonde agent in the passenger seat behind him, "Like, really actually Felix Ivanov? Man, there's stories about you all through the bureau." Cracking a smile, agent Brent looks back out the tinted and armored windshield towards the rear of the prisoner transport ahead of him. "Nobody's going to believe me about this."

Two streets away, running parallel to the prison transport, a civillian sedan designed with armored chassis carries neither government officials or FRONTLINE representatives, but civilian agents opted in to the operation by the hand of Sarisa Kershner. It's perhaps best that Catherine Chesterfield is driving the car, tinted windows hiding the fact that she's wearing a flak SWAT uniform, complete with matte black flak helmet, vest and balaclava complete with winter goggles. The Frenchman seated beside her in the car is likewise protected and properly dressed. Team Charlie's estimation of necessity was a narrow margin by Kershner. Do not engage without authorization was her order. They're redundant backup, just in case.

But as Sun Tzu said centuries ago…

All war is deception.

Rachel sits quitely the former marine closing her eyes against the inside of the van, as she keeps her gun near her. Her head tilted back slightly as images of the Middle East flicker through her mind. Even if they are in radically different enivornments there is something in common with reading in the back of an armoured van. Her breathing relaxed as the former Marine prepares herself for whatever may come. Her lips opening slightly as she asks, "Anyone want to come out my way with me?"

"I am, I'm sorry," Felix is entirely serious when he says this. Sempiternal winter has been intensely unkind. He's aged what looks like nearly ten years in the past eighteen months, the salt and pepper goatee he's been cultivating not doing much to help that. Nor has the fact that the ash blonde hair's now liberally streaked with silver. He's thinner and nervier than ever, ever more like those wolfhounds they raise back home, all rolling eyes and heaving ribs and irresistible instinct to CHASE. "And you're wise enough not to believe everything you hear," he adds, calmly. "There's a lot of hot air blowing around in DC about what we're supposedly doing up here. I assure you, it's nowhere near as glamourous or adventurous as the spooks down there make it sound." He glances back over his shoulder, out their rear view, and then down to the pistol in his lap.

Mirroring Sanderson, Tris picks up the state of the art helmet settled between his knees — spins it once between the palms of his gloved hands and spares Adelle a crooked smile. After a week of being both blind and deaf to the world after the disaster that was the Lighthouse, it's predictable that Tristan Bentley would be the one to bounce right back — as much as the usual taunts about how he's ~so~ going to take down the Midtown Man for that have been absent.

"Chillax and stick with me," the Californian invites, pulling his helmet on. «You won't have a thing to worry about.»

It takes an amount of insight that Francois has to recognise his position in this scenario, and it's hard to tell if he's happy about it. He's had no objections thus far, but his silence probably communicates that he feels all dressed up and nowhere to go — that or he's had a hard week.

Sitting back in his seat, the taciturn Frenchman has an arm rested against the car door just beneath the window, fingers curled into a fist and chin rested on it — he's paying minimal attention to the convoy, thoughts elsewhere, even if a slice of cautious attention remains transfixed.

The non-man and not-French person driving the vehicle keeps focus on the road ahead, weapons within easy reach if not already on her person. Comm gear, silenced pistols, knives, grendades, and the M16. Cat is herself taciturn. She glances at Francois.

There is one other thing Cat has which she didn't mention to anyone else. She has a length of piano wire.

In the helicopter above the Units, Felicia surveys the scene with observant and calculating eyes. She has the advantage above with being able to get a birds-eye view of the team and their operation while still being able to get into the action quickly. While she wasn't the one on the headset, the woman has a hand placed above her head on the framing and is looking through the plexiglass below her. It may be hard to pick out the nondescript cars to other people, she knows exactly which one holds her Unit and where they should be headed. Keep it steady, she thinks to her members. However, she feels no need to relate that over the headset, they should know by now that she trusts them to have the proper instincts. However, she's tense, just as she always is before a big mission.

Wearing her FRONTLINE armor, Elisabeth actually looks…. less nervous than she's been in days. Push has already come to shove and for her, this is make or break. She has no idea if Dreyfus is going to take this bait. There's no way to tell if he's insane enough to try to make a hit on a fully armored FRONTLINE convoy. But we couldn't take less than this and make it look real, either. Her weapon sits across her lap and the blond is quiet for a long time. She picks up the helmet and looks at the women in the van with her. "For what it's worth… thank you. We've not worked together as a squad very long, and I know there were doubts about me even being here. But I appreciate the fact that you're willing to pull this off. If it goes too far south, don't risk yourselves on me — you're not his targets and I'd rather you got away to come at him again." She slips her head into the helmet, her hair securely clipped into place so as to keep it out of the way of the HUD inside. She doesn't speak over the radio, though — if they're monitoring, that would give away that she's not trussed in the van.

For someone who keeps getting hurt, you're sure eager to teleport around,, Faye sends privately, as a bit of a jibe to the teleporter, the mental voice is quiet and calm, but also tinged with nervousness. Nervousness visible on her face as she glances around. The tension in her muscles is hidden by the suit, but it's still there. Such an op is dangerous, even if their suits grant protection.

It doesn't always protect. Or else they wouldn't be so worried about them getting destroyed.

"We'll stick together and see this through, Harrison. It may only be your problem, but we'd probably want the same from you, if we needed it," she adds, before pulling the helmet on and sealing it shut, checking the coms over in her display to make sure everyone's hooked up like they should be.

The rules of war have historically dictated that the killing of enemy officers is not permissible, but this particular edict — like so many others — has since gone out of fashion. Guerillas govern themselves, and Carlisle Dreyfus has proven again and again that he has no compunctions about breaking laws, both written and not, to get what he wants.

The only warning that FRONTLINE gets is the shrill whistling sound the precedes an explosion that engulfs the police cruiser in flames and sends it flipping end over end with enough force to crumple its sides and hood, reducing the vehicle to a lifesized version of a matchbox car crushed in half with a pair of meaty pliers. Fire shoots out the back windows as it skids across the road on its roof and crashes into a nearby lamppost, bringing it down across the street with electric pop, sizzle and hiss drowned out by the roar of the flames and crackle of paint peeling off the vehicle's side.

Rocket-propelled grandes: probably not a surprise to anyone with overseas combat experience.

«RPG! RPG! Did anyone on the ground see where— »

Chatter in the chopper is punctuated by the sound of plinking metal richcheting off of the underside of the chopper. There's a yelp of fright from the pilot and a suddenly lurching in Felicia Varlane's stomach as she feels the chopper pull back up and away. «We're under fire, we are under fire! We're pulling bakc to a safe distance!» Inside of the helicopter, a black-clas figure in SWAT uniform has been silent the entire time Felicia has been here, the onyl SWAT agent inside the chopper aside from the pilot. When the helicopter begins to pull back, the black-clad officer gets to their feet and moves to the door, rolling it open and clipping off their belt onto a rapelling line. The masked soldier salutes with two fingers, then motions to the pilot and points down sharply. "Roof," she says in a husky voice, and the pilot brings the helicopter back and away from the crackling flames, lowering the chopper down enough so that the bottom of the rapelling line hits the roof. Facing out towards the door, the black-clad woman rests her heels on the edge of the doorway, then falls forward, plummeting head first out of the helicopter, one arm braced behind herself on the cable.

In the street below, tires screech and the lead prison transport fish-tails across the icy road. The truck swerves to try and avoid the flaming wreckage of the police cruiser, but quickly begins slipping out of control across the ice-crusted streets. The truck scrapes along the side of the police cruiser, sending flaming shards of metal sparking up into the air before is skids off the road and plows straight into the piled high snowbank on the side of the road with a crunch of metal and a groan of the vehicle's frame.

Above the street, the black-clad SWAT officer zips down the line headfirst, using a clench of one hand to slow her descent moments before she strikes the roof, bringing her legs swinging out and down and boots slamming onto the rooftop. She quickly unbuckles her caribina andlets the cable fall away from her as, with a swing of her shoulders, she brings the black bag carried over one down to the rooftop. With a slam of its heavy surface onto the roof's snowy top, she drops to one knee and unzips the top, revealing the segmented components of some unassembled weapon.

Watching the lead van go swerving out of control, the rear van slams on its brakes, swerving ot try and avoid the flaming shrapnel laid out across the road, run-flat tires shredding over the torn wreckage of part of the police cruiser, though on the ice once they've lost their air the heavy vehicle becomes like a child on ice-skates. FRONTLINE had prepared for the worst, and this is what they were hoping for. Sarisa's plan accounted for this, prepared them for this, and when the black van goes tipping onto its side and smashes down onto the street, skidding across the road before grinding to a halt everything is — at least partly — going as planned. Broken eggs and omelettes, after all.

Bag unzipped, the SWAT officer on the roof quickly begins assembling the stock and barrel of a long rifle, screwing on a gas vent and suppressor, mounting a scope, attaching a bipod, her goggle-shrouded eyes psotting movement along the roof, darkly dressed figures that weren't invited to her perch. Setting down the rifle, she springs back and ducks behind a chimney, reaching down to her side to pull the combat knife from her vest, gloved fingers going up a moment later to the scarf around her throat.

"Oh shit!" Agent Brent screams as he slams on the brakes, watching the acrobatic circus of flipping and crashing vehicles ahead of him. Steering into the eventual spin that the SUV is thrown into, the sudden explosion of the driver's side window and a spray of red across the side of Felix Ivanov's face comes with the entrance of a high-caliber armor piercing round punching thorugh reinforced driver's side window, driver and the passenger's side door. Felix could feel the displaced air fromt he round blow across his face and hear it buzz past him.

Swerving out of control, there's no one alive driving the SUV any longer.

«Charlie is go.» Comes over the radio in Catherine's car. From the sounds of it, there's more resistance here than they'd expected.

«Rather be out of this tinbox and hurt then in this tinbox and blown up.» Rachel replies back to Faye as she opens her eyes to look around the truck, and that's about when the RPG slams into the lead car and her eyes open wider. "Right, that's my cue," Rachel says to the team over the radio, as one of her hands reaches out to grab Liz, and the two of them suddenly disappear in a flash of white light as the van begins to slam in and skid all over the place.

A flash of bright light later, Rachel and Liz are standing slightly behind a snow drift close to the road, getting a nice look of the damage that was caused. Rachel's eyes begin to scan around her, looking for contacts as she asks over the radio, "Where are they attacking from?"

The hyper-adrenaline that is his curse and his particular gift kicks in, reflexes kicking into overdrive. Before he knows what he's doing, before a drop can fall from his face to ruin the upholstery further, Fel's got his hands on the wheel, and is trying to counter the spin.

It doesn't work. Speed is one thing….but SUV's were never meant to be maneuvered by speedsters. Rather than countering it slowly, and bringint it under control, the abrupt wrench rolls the vehicle. AT least it isn't into the pileup ahead of them….just into a snowbank on the opposite side of the road. Fel, being Fel, gets to experience all of it in slow motion, every impact, the sight of poor Brent's body jerking like a ragdoll. His brain's still trying to formulate a coherent question as they come skidding to rest, half-buried and upside down, held only by the webbing of their seatbelts. He's got a pocketknife in hand and is slashing his way out as quickly as he can. One touch determines that Brent's gone to the halls of his fathers, and is one more death to be totted up in red ink by whatever recording angel has been assigned to one Felix Ivanov. The angel in question likely suffers from hand cramps, considering. Anger's driving now, and fear, as he eels out the passenger's side window, and then burrows his way out of the snowbank like a prairie dog. He doesn't stop moving until he's come to the relative shelter of a building's corner, pistol in one hand, knife in the other.

Or, you know. It's the amount of resistance if not expected, but dreaded when Team Charlie had spoken of what they will and will not do — and ended up doing everyhing regardless. Francois finally speaks up in the form of something that sounds like putain de merde de— and his hands come down against the dashboard as if anticipating the braking car upon watching the convoy practically break apart in front of them. "Who was hit?" he demands to know, trying to see from the vantage of the windshield.

Spies Felix, instead, sliding out of his car and running for cover. Francois doesn't have a seatbelt to slither out of the way, just a pistol to extract from his holster and moving when Cat moves.

She doesn't speed up, when the call to enter the fray comes. Cat keeps the car's speed even and turns down a side street chosen to bring them closer. Headlights are turned out along the way, she uses the glare from snow to navigate by on the approach. "Watch for hostiles around and in front of us," she recommends. It wouldn't do to be under fire right here, before they can close in.

Once she's at a spot where she believes they can approach unobserved and start taking down hostiles, Cat stops the car and kills the engine. Getting out, the M16 is over her shoulder, but she opts instead to draw out a silenced pistol and a knife. It's not commented on, she just hopes Francois sees her actions and is on the same page. Attack without being observed, let Dreyfus not notice until his ranks are a good deal thinner.

From the helicopter, Felicia nods once, decisively to the other woman. Letting the officer go first, she decides not to use her strength for something she can use a rope for. While she lightens herself just slightly on the trip down so that she doesn't have to worry about her landing, she drops to the roof gracefully in a defensive crouch. She's practiced with all the FRONTLINE armor on before, so she barely even notices the extra weight. When the RPGs fire and her team in trouble, she straightens, immediately thinking toward Faye, Status?. She'll jump down and join the fight as soon as it's opportunistic, but it's best to keep a back up so that their attack doesn't come all at once.

As the SWAT member is assembling her rifle, Felicia has pulled out her own weapon. The safety is still on for the moment, but she's ready for whatever may occur next.

The peculiar whistle of an RPG is unfamiliar to Elisabeth, having not been a soldier unlike the rest of her team. With the sounds of crashing and the incoherent shouting of Squad-01 in her ears, Elisabeth suddenly finds herself out of the sliding transport vehicle and standing on the snowpack with her weapon in her hands. Thank God she was actually wearing all her gear — she's unrecognizable to the attackers, for the moment. Crawford?? Elisabeth demands as well through the link. Because now that they're standing out on the street, the ex-cop knows we're going to be specific targets really fast.

Someone's bolting from the back car, the lead car probably has no one left alive from the looks of it. To hit us here,…. Liz's eyes swerve to take in all the places the shot could have come from, seeking any kind of confirmation of hostile targets.

Everything can go wrong in an instant— even if they expected this would happen. Everyone who was briefed knew people would die on this. It's the risk that those in their line of work take every day. If it brings down a dangerous terrorist, it's supposed to be worth it. Or that's what Faye's military training reminds her, as she listens to radio chatter, and readies her rifle. Night-vision on, targetting assistance, all of it.

Mills teleported Harrison out. I'm heading for the door. Will use it as cover. As much cover as one can expect against explosive grenades.

Getting to the door, she starts to unlatch it, to go out the old fashioned way. Maybe if she knew everything was going to go to hell so quickly, she would have accepted the teleport.

Out on the street, it becomes rapidly apparent that this stretch of road was not the best for Dreyfus to have made his move on. Red Hook is a mixed residential and industrial zone, and on one side of the street, closest to the water, are old warehouses gone derelict with chain-link fence separating the property from the curb; on the other, a skinny row of houses packed like sardines, some with dimmed lights flickering in the windows, and others dark.

There are civilians living here.

Gunfire peppers out from the direction of one of the squatter warehouses, bullets ripping through the exterior of the SUV Felix had been riding in. Glass shatters on the opposite side of the street where the houses are, punctuated by small explosions the size of clenched fists where they impact wood and metal siding and blow out chunks of insulation, drywall scattered to the building wind.

Dreyfus picked this ambush point for a reason, and if there was any question about where his men are holed up, the answer comes in the form of muzzle flashes blinking loud and lurid from inside the warehouse on the other side of a nine foot chain-link fence.

There's a loud pop that resonates through Rachel's skull and instinctively causes her eyes to flinch shut. When she opens them again, spider veins are spreading through the visor of her helmet from the center of a small, circular point the size of a dime. The bullet didn't punch all the way through. If it had, there wouldn't be much left in it, but judging by the sound of static buzzing in her ear, it has at the very least knocked out her communications system and compromised her vision.

Two masked men in heavy winter clothing, all dark colors, come running along the rooftop that Felicia and the SWAT member had landed on. They jump down from a higher point, one of them carrying a similarly sized rifle to the one the SWAT agent was assembling, the other an assault rifle with an armed rocket propelled grenade launcher slung over his shoulder. The SWAT agent motion one gloved hand to Felicia, pointing down, and while they're headed for the FRONTLINE agent, the SWAT officer with knife un hand and her other hand curling around the front of her black scarf circles around the chimney.

She cuts out alongside one of the approaching men, yanking the black scarf from her neck, a small police-ordinance walkie clipped to one end serving as a weight. She steps out from the cover, swings the scarf and wraps it soundly around the running rifleman's neck. One firm yank pulls him off of his feet, and the woman in SWAT gear advances three steps, takes a knee and plunges her combat knife down into the center of his chest, lays a knee on his neck and withdraws her sidearm from her belt, drawing and firing in one fluid motion to clip the man with the RPG in the shoulder, sending him off balance, spinning around and down onto his back.

She drops the gun and grabs the hilt of her knife, wrenching it up out of the dead man's chest as she rises to her feet. The gunman is already getting up, lifting his AK-47 as a thrown knife finds itself lodged firmly into his abdomen. Gunfire sprays up into the air before the assault rifle falls out of his hands to land in the snow. The SWAT operative skids down onto her knees, coming to stop by the fallen man and rests a knee down on his chest, pulling out her knife from his shoulder and them swiftly maneivering it down into his throat and across in a quick, sawing motion.

Goggled eyes look up to Felicia, and the masked woman nods her head and makes an all-clear hand-gesture before lowering her gloved hand down to the dead man. She pulls up part of his balaclava, pressing the two fingers on her right hand that aren't covered by the glove to his throat. She's not checking for a pulse, she's checking for intel.

Down on the street there's a flash of light from inside one of the open garage bay doors of the nearby warehouse, the rev of an engine and the screech of tires and the roar of a diesel engine echoing down the street. A garbage truck comes rolling out of the open bay doors of the warehouse, headlights blindingly bright and chain-wrapped tires biting into the ice. It turns onto the street, blowing past the intersection Cat and Francois are approaching from, roaring past Felix's overturned SUV and right down the road towards the back of the toppled Squad-02 prison transport. The moment Faye Crawford gets those back doors open, all she sees is headlights and the flat faced grille of the trash truck coming barreling towards her. Throwing herself to the opposite side of the tipped van as fast as she can, Faye feels the impact in her bones when the truck hits. Metal crunches and frames bend, the trash truck plows the toppled van across the street in a shower of sparks and crunching ice. It clips the corner of the overturned Squad-01 van and spins it around before it carries past, thorugh part of the burning wreckage of the police cruiser, through the toppled street light and right to the end of the road where a guard rail terminates at a T-junction ont he edge of the Hudson river. The truck driver doesn't stop until the van plows through the guard rail, shearing metal screaming as the van, its driver and passenger and Faye trapped in the back go tumbling down an icy, snow-crusted embankment end over end before crashing down into the frigid waters of the Hudson river.

The back door of the Squad-01 van kicks open and one of the black-suited Squad-01 operatives comes rushing out, assault rifle raised, scanning the surrounding buildings and then looking over his shoulder to the trash truck as doors open on the side and gunfire peppers the street fromt he men hanging out. Michael Spalding ducks to use the wrecked armored truck as cover. «Bentley! Switch to thermal, go for the windows and take out the snipers!» Michael's helmet turns, one green iris whirring narrow. «Wade! Head for the truck, I'll cover fire, we've got a bird in the water!» Sweeping out from behind the truck, bullets flatten against the chestplate of Michael's Horizon Armor, reactive ballistic plating hardening against the kinetic force. He takes a knee, firing blindly at the truck while his targeting reticles on the helmet start tracking motion. Bullets whiz from higher vantage points, through windows, one clips the side of his helmet leaving a white scar on black. «Sanderson suppressive fire!»

Running at a full sprint out of the back of the truck, Adelle Sanderson lifts up her M-16 from her waist, shouldering it and coming to crouch at Michael's back. A pulse of psychic information spreads out for her, offering sharpshooting and urban combat experience to her team from her repitoire of military field experience. Suddenly the trials of Madagascar's assault on Antananarivo lace through muscle and bone, instilling muscle reflexes that weren't there a moment ago.

«Got your back!» Sanderson crackles over her helmet, three green irises on her visor narrowing to fine points as she fires behind Michael, shooting for concrete, shots not designed to hit targets but to make them think they're being shot at. With so many civillians around, she has to be careful where she's firing.

Sanderson and Michael don't stay still, they move, ducking around one another, shooting over each other's shoulders, Sanderson using Michael's armor and his neigh-indestructible Evolved ability like a shield.

Rachel is stunned as she stands there with her helmet in its shape, and it doesn't take her too long before she's removing the helmet and ducking further down to the snow. "Son of a bitch," she mutters as she finally gets her head up and then peeks over the bank to see what's going on. Just in time to watch the van they rode in go into the lake. "Did Faye get out," the teleporter asks Liz, "My comms are dead," she further explains as her gun comes up and she sights down it to take shots at the warehouse, aiming for the muzzle flashes. This she is used to, no HUD in her vision. Just her, the gun, and the target, as she fires, down on a knee and just barely over the edge of the snowbank.

"Tell Felicia I can get us all into the Warehouse and do a flanking manuver if she wants me to," Rachel yells over gunfire to Liz while she continues to fire.

The warehouse is a problem, clearly. And the Fed goes ghosting that way, once he's emerged from the snowbank. He's not running fullspeed, but moving at that groundcovering lope, pistol held in a two handed grip.

Gaining a peek of what's happening requires some amount of following Cat, and Francois is just as good at taking orders as he is at moving independently. He sees, more, the heat their team and various allies are putting on the warehouses— spies one of the FRONTLINE-1 men, Bentley, crouched and aiming a rifle up towards the windows, though the Frenchman doesn't completely notice the way the projectiles actually arc. Tris is swiftly ducking for cover a moment later — save for the fact his rifle remains where it is, floating in the air, and firing off towards the buildings.

Francois doesn't speak, just sucks in a breath when he sees the way the front of the houses are getting torn into by bullets that aren't hitting flesh and armored vehicle. "C'est le foute bordel. I'll be back soon," he announces to her, a throwaway promise before he's splitting from the trajectory to the warehouses and moving at a brisk and quiet pace for the houses, gun still held but getting holstered as he goes.

"Fubar does seem to apply," Cat breathes out, as she observes the battle and ponders the best way to bring assistance to bear. No one to ambush from behind, her assessment that they'd have attackers on street to surround the vehicle turns out wrong. The garbage truck isn't a decent target, being on the move. But she has an idea. Into the radio she speaks. «"Have grenades. Need quick way in and out to pull pin, drop, and vanish."> Her silenced pistol is put away, the M16 being slung off her shoulder and aimed at the warehouse as Francois makes whatever move he's attempting.

The attackers are met with merely a standing motion from Felicia. She watches the SWAT woman work with admiration, never needing to move forward to help disarm or disable either. The woman is too well trained to jump away before she's learned that the perimeter is clear, but that means she also knows not to jump into a close fight without good cause. And this woman has certainly proved her mettle with fighting. Instead, she waits, her gun aimed right at one man, then the remaining man - ready to take the required shot should they step apart far enough that she wouldn't endanger her teammate.

It's only a matter of moments before both are put down and with another confident nod, Felicia jumps off the edge of the roof without other provocation. Her gravity manipulation cushions her fall, however she doesn't have much guide over where it places her unless she waits until the last few feet to make herself light enough to drift to the ground. That is, in fact, what she does and she lands on the slick and snow covered ground only a foot or so off from where she started to plummet. As soon as she's down, the gun is back up and targeting.

Aiming at the people taking shots at her team, Felicia squeezes a few well-aimed shots from her vantage point before quickly moving to join up with Francois and Cat. They're the closest to her, it would seem.

Elisabeth sticks to Rachel's side like glue, dropping down behind the snow drift with the teleporter. «Varlane, Mills is taking us on a flanking maneuver into the warehouse. I can't see Crawford. Mills's helmet is toast — we're trading gear. You'll have her on the comms.» She rips the helmet off her own head and shoves it at Rachel. "I don't know," she replies to the query about Faye, "I can't see her — she's a tepe, she'll let us know if she's okay. Take this! There's no point in being bait if they can't tell who it is."

Elisabeth leaves Rachel's shattered helmet where it is, and she too pops her head up over the bank to lay down suppression fire. Spotting the speedster heading in that direction, Elisabeth can only hope that Felix's nine lives are not used up.

Cat's voice through the comm gear brings her up short, though. "Take Chesterfield in with the grenades first. Flashbang may disorient the shooters enough that we can remove a few from the equation. I can't even get a good headcount at this point." Her ability in this instance is damn near useless. What will carry them through is training and experience. She hopes it's enough.

There's silence from the mind of Faye for quite some time— it's hard for them to know if they would feel it if something happened to her. Continued tumbling knocks her out of the doors, back toward the front of the van, where her gun lays unattended, and she has to stabalize herself. There's a moment where she thinks she lost consciousness— but it's more just the shifting of gravity and everything moving the wrong direction.

Looking around through her optics, she checks the systems over thinking she has time, before she notices the water coming in. A lot faster than she'd like. «This is Crawford, I'm fine— » More or less. «I'm going to try to get the driver and passanger out, then I'll rejoin.» Her mind reflects her thoughts, which get sent along the other way, at least for the first part, before she forgets to push the rest along. The strain in her voice is obvious, because she's trying to get to the driver and passanger first. Reinforced strength from the suit gets her to them, both seem alive, if injured and knocked out from all the trauma of the flipping. And the front compartment is filling more quickly. Though they have winter gear, their suits aren't near as advanced as the Horizon, making them far more vulnerable to the chilled water flowing in as the van sinks. The water creeps up, even more, as she undoes the first seatbelt, and pulls one of the men out, up onto her shoulder. Without the suit active, she's not sure she could manage.

It hurts, but Coast Guard Search and Rescue had to learn early on— choices need to be made. Can't save everyone. The van's sinking too fast to take them both, even in the frozen sludge of the river. With the one she has on her shoulder, she works her way up to the back of the truck, now the top, pushing against the battered and twisted back doors to try and get them open. «Would be a good time for super strength,» she adds over the radio, the bangs able to be heard close up, but not getting very far, considering her arms are occupied part way by a guy over shoulder, and the grip to keep her from sliding back down to the front, where the water's filling in.

A young man follows Catherine and Francois into the fray. Familiar to some, though not in terms of the most common and predictable visual cues. His face is covered. With it, the distinction of scar, aquiline nose, and much of the manic intensity that beacons itself out of Teo's eyes when he's concentrating very much on a situation fraught with violence-enabled Feds, terrorists who periodically succeed in killing people he cares about, and fucking civilians everywhere.

Arguably, this stretch of road was a good place for Dreyfus to have made his move precisely because there are civilians here. When she-Varlane blows into the scudded stretch of snow ahead of him, there's an instant's tension, before sodium-yellow light defines the contours of her armored shoulders and a dull glint off the curve of her helmet, and her voice crackles out through the breath filter. Ah, bene. Good to meet another Feeb with a fine-tuned sense for who the good terrorists are. He'd wave if he weren't carrying a rifle.

A steel-boned groan fluxes through the van, cutting through the whiney protest of the drowning structure around Faye and the men— below her. Abruptly, the doors hiccup an inch's gap: a velvety swatch of open sky slices into view, even as the molded metal around the handles begin to crease, warp, bend inward like a piece of Saran Wrap being pinched delicately away from a sandwich. The slurpee-consistency of river stubbornly swallows one more inch of van before the left-hand door abruptly pops off entirely.

Chester's fingers close on the edge of its floor instead. His features are mottled with effort. It's a gruesomely ironic position for a field doctor to be in, men dying below him, his strength dependent on the agony that's fading from their bodies because they're dying too fast in the ice. "Jump," he hisses at the woman. "I'll— work on getting them out"

Another whistle splits the air, ringing shrill in ears, and a moment later one of the houses across the street belches flame through one of the windows on the first floor, spraying the front steps with shards of glass that transform the pavement into a glittering sea of silver that reflects the flame's licking at the window's wooden frame, half-collapsed by the brute force of the explosion. More gunfire sweeps across the house's exterior, splintering apart the remaining windows.

Impossible for FRONTLINE to know whether or not the blast was intentional or a grenade aimed too far, too wide, too high, but after his last conversation with Dreyfus— Francois knows better. As screams erupt from inside the burning house and lights snap on in the surrounding homes, Team Charlie and FRONTLINE have an important decision to make. They can either continue the assault on the warehouse or turn their attention to the buildings being sprayed with gunfire on the other side of the street.

Flyaway strands of cornsilk blonde hair are torn away from Elisabeth's face in the wind now that her helmet is off, exposing her head and face not only to the elements, but to the men inside the warehouse as well. Bullets rain down on them where they're seeking shelter, impacting concrete beneath the ice and kicking up puffs of snow around the bank. One whizzes through it and slams into Elisabeth's chest plate, but like the bullet that glanced off Rachel's helmet, it lacks the momentum to punch through her armor.

Felix, in his kevlar flakjacket, is not as protected. Bullets tear up the concrete in front of him as he comes up on the warehouse, and it isn't until he arrives behind cover next to the chain-link fence that he feels the sting in his leg and the accompanying heat carving a bloody path down his leg. Although he's been hit somewhere calf and thigh, it's only a graze — knows because his knees aren't buckling under the weight of his body.

The black-clad SWAT officer on the roof creeps over the body of the man she had been touching the bared skin of, moving over to where her assembled rifle lays in the snow. Squatting down and laying it over her lap, she reaches inside of the duffel bag and pulls out a walkie from inside, clipping it to her vest to replace the one she'd used as part of an impromptu weapon. Pressing down the call button, she's scanning the street from above, watching the path Francois and Felix are taking into the warehouse.

«This is Kershner,» she calls over the comms, «Six Tangos in the warehouse, second floor catwalk. Armed with light machine guns, one RPG. Don't go through the front entrance, up over the snowbank and around the side of the warehouse, there's a fire escape. Climb it, go in through the second floor right into the catwalk. Clean house.». Clicking off the radio, blue eyes flick behind her winter goggles, her two exposed fingers freezing cold, tucked back against her palm for a modicum of warmth. «I've got your sky.»

Lifting up the bipod to brace on the edge of the roof, Sarisa Kershner leans into the shoulder-stock, lifting up her winter goggles with one hand before settling one eye into the scope of her sniper rifle. A blue eye narrows as she considers the markers on the inside of the scope, opens her other eye to get a different view of her surroundings, then checks it again, infra-red scope scanning over the warehouse windows, watching the tracks of white from Bentley's telekinetic autofire flashing across her field of view.

«Targets confirmed,» Kershner crackles over the radio, «Ivanov, Allegre, I've got your 12.» That warning is followed by the cacophonous roar of a Barret 50-Caliber sniper rifle's report, sending a shockwave of sound as one of the warehouse windows erupts into a shower of glass and stone debris where she shoots through a section of brick wall to take out one of the snipers aiming down at Francois and Felix.

On ground-level, the explosion that rips through the building has Michael and Sanderson both dropping into a crouch. The two Squad-01 members look over each other's shoulders, one to the residential building and one to the warehouse. «Sanderson, I'll take the tenement building. Go with Mills and Harrison.» He's already moving, breaking away from her and rushing across the street, storming up over a frozen snowbank and taking three bullets against the chest of his armor, knocking him back off of his feet and slamming down to the ground, but after all of the other shots hes' taken, it's just a scratch at this point due to his toughening body. Michael rolls with the shot, back up onto his feet and firing blind into the warehouse before vaulting the snowbank and sliding down the other side, getting back up onto his feet and plowing through the front door of the tenement building to try and help evacuate and protect the residents. He's— probably going to need help, but at least he's the most likely to survive the fire.

Sanderson is likewise moving across the other side of the street while Michael draws fire. The blonde climbs up the ice crusted snowbank, the weight of her Horizon armor helping break the four inch thick crust of ice atop the snow and provide traction. She comes sliding down the other side towards Rachel and Elisabeth, and with this proximity both Mills and Harrison and everyone close by to them can feel the muscle memory of Sanderson's firearms training and urban combat expertise twitching in their muscles. Diving for cover feels more natural, the zig-zag needed to dodge incoming fire, moving and shooting— it's like cheating— and Sanderson loves getting away with cheating. Just ask Bentley and all the money he owes her from Poker night.

"Lets go then," Rachel says to Liz and Sanderson as they arrive, and she clicks her coms on, "This is Mills. Teleporting beside the warehouse with Harrison and Sanderson, will return for Chesterfield." Finishing with that, a hand goes out to Liz and Sanderson before there is a white flash and they leave that snowbank behind. A white flash beside the warehouse heralds there return. "Be right back," Rachel says to Liz and Sanderson, before she disappears again.

Reappearing beside Cat, the teleporter looks at her and replies, "If you've got grenades, I've got the way into the building. Shall we go?" Assuming Cat's agreement the teleporter once more disappears, reappearing briefly inside the warehouse to let Cat drop some grenades or not, on her call. Rachel herself reaching in to pop the pin on one of her own grenades.

Honestly, it's sad but true that it's just another day, another bullethole for him. If he had actual scars from every slug of lead he's taken, he'd look like Swiss cheese with his shirt off. The Russian's leaving blood spoor, as he tries to creep along still within cover, heading for Liz and crew. Though he's got far less firepower. No rifle, just a .45 automatic.

But then there's the house, and the screamin civilians, and he breaks for that. Trusting speed to keep him safe. He's shedding his overcoat, exposing the vest beneath, blazoned FBI in big yellow letters. Right after Spalding. How weird, to be following his doppleganger. They used to say that to see your fetch was an omen of certain death. Here's hoping it doesn't hold true. Though arguably Ed Dantes is long gone….

It appears as if Francois had already made his decision even before the RPG hit the house — his swift closing in on the residential homes, completely breaking off from Cat and those that remain with her, gets all the more swift. His gun is left in its holster and his hands go to pull off both balaclava and goggles, letting them fall away, a glance of distraction at the sound of Sarisa's voice tinny in his ear. In comparison to the close in on the warehouse, Francois beelines for the opposite, squat homes on the other side of the roar.

«Dreyfus will kill as many as possible and consider Elisabeth a bonus,» he barks harshly down the radio when he has a chance to catch his breath, accented voice distinct through the lines. As Ivanov blurs his way into the building, a fresh round of gunfire has Francois ducking as he runs, brickwork and glass both spraying over his bent back as he moves for the burning home, just on Michael's heels.

There's no hesitation when Mills appears and grabs her, Cat gratefully is taken inside the building and sees they've missed the target. Damn. She had hoped Mills would've taken Sarisa's advice and gotten right on top of them, but didn't. Maybe she couldn't, given not knowing the exact dimensions. But she can now. The grenades held in Cat's hands, full anti-personnel kind, still have the pins in them. She looks for a place to land on the catwalk above without being in the middle of getting shot at before they vanish. "Location's wrong," she states. "Need to be up there for this."

If it turns out not doable to get up there and not instantly being in the center of fire, she uses the time available before Mills 'ports out with her to spray the catwalk with bullets.

Nothing notes that Felicia has heard Sarisa's orders, however she was also not a part of them. She has her own duties to attend to. Seeing that Felix and Francois have peeled off in order to take care of the civilians, she takes surveillance of her team. Ducking behind cover, she notices Chester going to help Faye out of the river, Rachel teleporting with Cat and Elisabeth, leaving Sarisa holding the fort from the roof.

«"Roger."» Felicia finally speaks into the com. Making sure her team is safe, the Commander «"Reinforcing Spalding."»

Running into the Warehouse would make too many personnel in the building and stretch Mills' ability to teleport effectively. Readying herself, the brunette dashes out from her cover in the alley toward the building. Zig-zagging through the street, careful to vary her patterns, she moves quickly in order to join up with those evacuating the tenements.

Catching up to Felix and Michael, she does a quick spot check to make sure they'll be able to hold themselves up for an evacuation under fire. "Let's keep this organized. Someone guard the exit, the rest spread out and guide out civilians. Escorts back to safe territory."

The bullet that slams into Liz's armor makes the blond grunt and have to suck in a shallow breath as it knocks her back several steps. The Horizon armor deflects most of the impact, though, and she drops once more behind the snowbank. When Adele joins up, Elisabeth looks up with a helmetless head and nods to the other woman. The teleportation flash that drops Sanderson and Elisabeth at the fire escape requires moments to simply realign viewpoint.

As the two women race up the fire escape as quickly as the frozen conditions will allow, Elisabeth silences their ascent. The sound of their boots does not carry anywhere, nor does any sound ringing from the metal stairs themselves. There may be some small sounds from higher up, where bolts hold the stairs to the brick wall, but they should be easily missed beneath the raging gun battle going on inside. The blond pauses only long enough to verify that their ingress through the second-story window onto the catwalk is clear, then she and Sanderson take up positions on either side of the window and send a dual barrage of bullets down the catwalk to both break out the window and clear the catwalk on this side of any hostiles. Clean house indeed — Liz has every intention of following that order to the letter. Once the area nearest the window is clear, they'll make their way into the building and onto the catwalk to continue firing at anything that moves.

In the sinking van, things are less fire-heavy, but that doesn't mean they aren't something to write home about. There's an awkward shifting of the armor as Faye accepts what help out she can get, joints hurting, wondering if something broke in all the falling around. Only one man on her shoulder, which she carries as she jumps across to the edge of the water to lay him down in the snow. It once was earth, but now— now it may as well be a sheet of ice, with snow on top. Not helping with the bleeding.

The optics still work in her helmet, and she looks up at the sound of fire, then back at Chester, aware of his limitations, and suddenly grateful that she's in some pain, at least. «There's only one left in the driver's seat, try to get him out if you can. I'm going back up there.» Things sound bad. Bad enough that the boss lady apparently showed up to help out, if the coms are any indication.

All she has is the smaller arms left, though, which managed to stay in her armor— they're not going to be much use at range, but as she hurries up in large leaps, she hopes to locate a stray weapon or two from one of the other downed vehicles. «Crawford on my way back.» She gives warning over the radio, adding «Though I'm lightly armed, so anyone has a spare weapon it'd be great.» She's not even sure the side arm managed to not get wet.

"Crawford." Chester Wade's voice rattles across the comm, recognizable enough that the woman can pinpoint its origin despite that the comm system's nodules at her ear and mouth replace any reliable sense of direction. Behind her. She looks up in time to see the matte black shape of his sidearm pitched at her, overhand, somewhat more elegantly than a man struggling to keep a van from vanishing into the gurgling depth of a river really ought to be capable of.

He doesn't want his to get wet, after all. There might even be a parting smile, or a grunt of encouragement, before the man twists around and puts his back into it. His armor is too dense for corded tendons and straining muscle to stand out perceptibly, but the strain in the outline of the medic's burly shape is unmistakable. As is the surrendering squeal of the transport, inching its way out of the water, even as the sole living operative below begins to cede fractions of central nervous system to numbness.

Teo doesn't have to see where the teleporters reappear to know where they've gone. Radio chatter takes care of that. For an instant, he's sorely tempted to call in and demand a shot at Dreyfus all his own, but a peripheral glimpse gives him both Felicia's lithe sprint and — of all things — Francois spiking off, never mind the Limey cunt who'd hanged him. He expels breath in a translucent mushroom cloud of raw frustration, with a snarl to match the twist of scar tissue up the side of his face. Turns, and bolts toward the houses, too, wordlessly, running like a cat below the dissipating trails of rockets in the air.

Inside the warehouse, there's little in the way of warning for anybody involved. Not those down at whom the FRONTLINE women and their Phoenix comrade are hailing bullets down on, their movement enhanced by teleportation. Nor—

The abrupt heave of the catwalk, when the mass of a colossal man collides into its edge with preternatural durability. Bing registers blobbily luminous in the periphery of their goggles in an instant, heavy fingers closed on the corrugated iron of the edge an inch to the left of Sanderson's boot, bunching the quilted material as if the flat-hammered and rust-ridged alloy was no more rigid than toilet paper padding the palm that wipes the shit. And it twists just as easily, spinning Elisabeth and Sanderson's center of balance.

It's a good thing that Michael enters the building first because, as soon as Felicia is giving orders, the flaming support beam that comes swinging down from the ceiling and catches him in the chest would have caved in the ribcage of another man and would be pinning a corpse to the wall instead of someone stunned, aching, but alive.

Inside the house, which is a single family home rather than the multiple-unit building that facets of its exterior may have suggested, the others are greeted with the sight of a dead woman sprawled out at the bottom of the stairs in a night gown soaked with blood and perforated by bullet holes. In an adjacent living room, slumped on the couch, is a dark-haired head lolling against a similarly messy shoulder.

Everyone downstairs is dead. The screams are coming from the second floor and in spite of their volume they sound very small.

In the warehouse, Cat's bullets spark off the catwalk and one of the figures at the windows pivots at the waist, struck, and tips over the rail, plummeting to the ground below. The remaining men, clad in black, snap their attention from firing out onto the street to firing down at Catherine and Rachel. On one hand, the homes on the opposite of the street aren't in immediate danger anymore. On the other, the two women have just made themselves very easy targets.

The blood that spatters across the view of Rachel's borrowed helmet isn't her own. It belongs to Cat and its source is the bullet hole in her neck. To at least one of women on the warehouse's floor, the abrupt hiss and snap of Elisabeth and Sanderson's cover fire sounds like it's coming from the end of a long tunnel, its source growing further and further away. She won't see the men behind Bing on the catwalk crumple under the barrage of bullets or be able to focus on the dark fluid leaking through the grate above her head where they've fallen, but neither are the edges of her vision crowding all the way in.

She's still alive. Losing consciousness rapidly.

Armor hardening the moment the beam slams him against the wall, Michael clutches gloved hands against the wooden supports, drywall cracked at his back and wind knocked out of his lungs. Hydraulics crackle and hiss as he uses the enhanced strength of the suit to force that piece of flaming wood back, up and away with a groan of both pain and effort, sending the beam toppling through an open doorway. He slouches, staggers, silvery fluid leaking from a rip in the armor caused by the beam and he takes a knee, looking out to the door as he considers Felicia's comment and makes a decision.

«I've got the door!» Michael shouts over the synthesized crackle of his helmet, letting Francois pass by him with a slap to the Frenchman's shoulder, then moves to fill exactly the position that Felicia had recommended, the one he's best suited for, covering. Bracing his M-16 at his shoulder, Michael watches the doorway and the chaos coming from the warehouse across the street. He can see flashes of gunfire, hear the report of guns firing, heat signatures that don't determine friend or foe, so many down now in that building. «Watch the floors!» Michael calls back over his shoulder, voice crackling over the synthesizer.

The moment blood sprays across Rachel's mask, the teleporter turns to see the strike against Cat, and the Frontline officer is wrapping ana rm around the brunette's midsection as kinetic force and shock send her back. «Chesterfield is hit! Chesterfield is hit!» She exclaims, and a moment later all Rachel does is vanish in a flash of brilliant white light, taking the immediate safest location she can think of within her short teleportation range — the interior of the armored transport.

Reappearing in a flash of light, Rachel drops to one knee and presses a gloved hand over the wounded area, «Medic!» She screams over the intercom, «Medic!» Blood pulses up between the synthetic fibers of her glove, pools down onto the wall of the van they're using as a floor. «Where is our evac site Chesterfield is hit!»

Trying to concentrate over the haze of gunfire and screams, Sarisa's attention through her scope tracks bodies as they fall, but when she trains her sights on one moving figure through the scope, Kershner's breath hitches in her throat and she leans away from the rifle and turns on her comm-radio.

«This is Kershner! Chinese Vanguard in warehouse! Kinetic absorbtion— he absorbs kinetic force and converts it into strength! Don't shoot him, you'll only make him stronger!»

Up on the catwalks, Sanderson goes toppling when Bing twists the metal framework, hitting her waist on the railing and flipping head over heels, catching the bottom of the catwalk with one arm, fingers gripping the metal grating tightly. «Harrison!» Sanderson shouts, eyes wide and legs kicking. With a hiss of frustration, Sanderson lets go of the railing and falls the rest of the way, landing like a sack of bricks on her feet, noisily clunking to the floor, her leg hydraulics hissing as she drops into a crouch.

«Copy you Kershner, what do we do?» This is what Diego was for, damn this storm, damn being under-staffed. «How do we fight him?» Tilting her visor up to focus on Bing, Sanderson's HUD tracks the Chinese soldier's movement with a rectangular targeting box, and her instinct to just shoot is the worst thing to try and suppress.

«Fire, use fire.» Is all Sarisa can think as an answer. When all else fails, use fire.

He's right behind Michael. But not fast enough to shove him out of the way of the beam. Fel's right there behind him, though, trying to help. "Talk to me, Spalding," he orders, as he pries at the beam…..even as the sound of the cries from above have him staring that way. And then he's on and past, heading for the stairs.

Charging past the dead, Francois thuds up the stairs after Felix once Michael secures himself at the door, hands clawing and gripping onto the railings to propel himself up all the faster, taking two at a time, sometimes three if momentum permits. "What rooms?" he yells out towards the speedier of heroes in this scenario, though isn't waiting to be told what to do. Upstairs, the hallways splits off into bedrooms, and he shoulders into the closest one, all black-clad loping franticness.

The catwalk is a precarious place to have to come in and clean house, especially when they have to come in through a window to get on it. Although they managed to take out several of the shooters, Bing's massive bulk and his ability to simply shred the catwalk's stability is a detriment. As he twists it, Elisabeth is sent flying in the opposite direction from Sanderson. Her weapon is thrown clear out of her hands and although she does manage to grab the railing briefly, her hands slide right off as she plummets to the warehouse floor below. A pile of massive crates breaks her fall, but Liz doesn't move or get back up immediately; if she's conscious she has no helmet or commlink to respond with, having given hers to Rachel, but she may be simply trying to catch her breath.

She's on the floor and fading out fast, she can tell she won't be awake long, and there's blood. It hurts. Without really being aware she's been moved or what else might be happening, something tells Cat to clamp her hand there and keep it in place, hoping anyone nearby will see and mirror the action. Apply pressure, seek to stop bleeding. Vital vessels there, and if one is damaged… "Blood red," she babbles. "Artery. Darker vein. Stop blee…" Zzzzzzzzz.

With the crash, Felicia instinctively jumps backwards. The suit protects her from most of the heat and damage that would otherwise make her cringe. She watches Francois and Felix dash upstairs together past the flames and the bodies, pausing to make sure that Michael is alright to guard the door before taking a step inside to help them.

The chatter from the others is worrying as she hears of Chesterfield's attack and not taking out their target. Something else inserts itself into her mind, however, a message from Faye: Truck is sinking, the driver's still inside. Maybe you can help super strength guy out.

There are people here to help those inside and someone to guard the door. She can't leave someone to sink while their medic is needed elsewhere. «"Moving to support Wade."» Eyeing Michael on her way out the door to make sure he's covered, she checks the windows of the warehouse and then potential sniper spots outside before criss-crossing the distance to the river. Once she comes to a stop she takes a deep breath. Even with the help from the super strength man, lifting something as large as a van is hard on her ability. But, she doesn't have the time to waste and immediately focuses on shifting it's gravity. With someone else to lift it, neither of them should have to do all the work. She can just make it light enough for him to lift it out quicker.

The telepathic message sent, Faye's paying attention to the coms as she makes her way toward the firefight as much as she can. Use fire? If only she had fire to use— all she has is the weapon that Chester threw at her and she caught. How many of them came equipt with the ability to burn things? «Did the other Unit bring any flame throwers?» Cause if they didn't she might have a hard time thinking of anything else right now. The questions are being asked as she works her way back up, dripping wet. The suit itself may have spared her from freezing, but…

«I think we have access to more snow and ice than we do fire. Can you teleport him into the freezing water, Rachel?» Considering… she was just dumped in it, it's the first damaging thing that comes to mind. «I might be able to stabalize Chesterfield until Wade gets here,» she adds finally, as she continues quick movements, to get to where she can hold onto the woman's neck until the real medic can arrive.

As Francois forces his way into the bedroom closest to the stairs, Felix disappears into the doorway on the opposite side of the hall in a blur of motion reminiscent of watercolours leaking off a saturated canvas. Inside Francois' room, a pair of large, dark eyes peer out from under the bed, which is dressed in linens with dinosaurs on them, though the Frenchman's attention to detail may not be what it normally is; although the sound of gunfire on the other side of the street has stopped, the heat of the flames rolling out of the house's kitchen has begun to waft up the stairs, curl at the wallpaper and wash over his back.

Felix reemerges from his room with a bundle cradled to his chest in one arm, the other clutching at the doorframe with a bloodied hand as he tries to keep his weight off his wounded leg. "I have one!" he shouts down at Francois, hoarse.

With Harrison thrown across the warehouse, six men dead and Sanderson on the floor below, Bing furrows his brows and lopes across the catwalk, booted feet making clanging report against the grating underfoot. He looks back at Sanderson, watches her as she reaches for something at her belt, and then tilts his head to the side when he sees her pick up a small hand taser. One corner of Bing's lips creeps up into a smile, and then quickly drops into a frown when Sanderson runs for the crates that Elisabeth had been thrown into. She vaults up onto one, climbs atop another, turns, runs and leaps to the catwalk, clearing the railing and landing on the metal grating.

Bing lifts a brow, one hand, and gives her a thumbs up. Taser at her side, Sanderson starts to chase after Bing the moment the hunchbacked soldier turns, watching him run towards the tall windows outside of the warehouse and crash thorugh the glass to land down below. Sanderson follows, one foot up on the railing and leaping thorugh the window, crashing into the snow and sinking down into it outside.

Scrpaes across her suit leaking silvery reactive fluid, Sanderson pulls herself up out of the snow to—

Her faceplate shatters as a fist slams into her helmet, fragments of glass, optical camera components and wires exploding from the side of her head. The taser falls away and her world goes dark as the HUD is disabled. Sanderson collapses down onto her hands and heels, palms frantically scrambling to try and find purchase on her helmet, then yank it up off of her head. Blue eyes are wide, blonde hair matted down against her face.

Bing moves to lift one foot up to step down on her, only to wobble backwards clutching his stomach, cheeks puffing out as he staggers to the side, turns and violently vomits all over the snow.

Standing in the ground floor window, blonde hair is streaked with blood and Elisbaeth Harrison is projecting waves of sound that disrupt Bing's inner ear, disorient his equilibrium and make him sick to his stomach. "Bing… nnhh— ungood."

Harrison staggers, slouching forward as dizziness from her injuries and the strain of focusing her ability give Bing a moment of time where he can stumble, and the hunchbacked soldier is lurching backwards through the snow like a sea-sick gorilla, lumbering into a dumpster with a clatter, then back around the rear of the warehouse. Sanderson pulls herself from the snow, grabs her taser and gives chase while Liz tries to keep her head clear enough to remain conscious.

"I'll follow you!" is assurance over his shoulder, Francois' hands gripping the doorframe before scanning the room again, close to simply bolting after the speedster— until movement registers and he's swiftly ducking into the bedroom, pulling up the skirt of the dino-printed bedsheets to peer beneath the bed. His promise to return to Cat, bleeding somewhere across the street, is forgotten — as is Dreyfus and why the building is on fire and the ache in his left hand, the bizarre, ever-present tingle of scarring on his right shin.

Tangible relief drives his hands beneath the bed and grip onto the child's arms, as gently as he can pulling the boy out from beneath the furniture, up into his arms as he gets to his feet. Rather than wasted reassurances, he focuses on keeping a firm hold on the child bundled to his chest as he finally goes to follow Felix out. Trusting the lack of gunfire and assault as a successful raid across the road, he has no problem moving for the quickest route out rather than ducking for something more obscure.

That works too, whatever it is Harrison did to the man. Faye moves up next to Rachel, where she's putting pressure on Cat's wound. "No wonder you weren't responding on coms," she comments outloud, as she notices the state of the young woman's suit, moving closer, but then casting an eye around to see what all is going on. The helmet zooms in, giving details on the cluster that this has turned into, and it's not getting much better, either. They knew there would be casualties going in, but no one expected anything like this. "Just keep pressure on it until Wade can get here. He and Varlane are trying to pull our driver out of the Hudson," she explains, raising her borrowed weapon in case anyone else threatens their position.

No one does.

Outside the burning building, Felix takes to a knee, blanket-swaddled infant drawn into his chest with one hand cradling the back of its head, not to muffle its squealing cries but to shield it from the pieces of broken glass that the kitchen window spits out at his back when the flames consuming the house from the inside out implode in another smaller explosion than the one that initially rocked it.

There's no one on the curb to take the child from Francois, either, though a small congregation of neighbors watch cagily from their windows, some broken, ratty drapes peeled back behind cautious fingers, their faces never fully visible.

A tiny hand curls fingers around Francois' knuckles. There's warmth at his throat and a nose pressed against its hollow. Tears have a tacky texture where they come in contact with his skin.

Fire. Radio static. The distant sound of encroaching sirens. And yet the night suddenly seems very still.

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