Better Than He Wants Me To Be


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Scene Title Better Than He Wants Me To Be
Synopsis Coincidence seems to lead the Gabriel Gray, Company and the Department of Homeland Security to the trail of Samson Gray, but is it really something so circumstantial?
Date May 19, 2010

St.Luke's Hospital

Do things happen for a reason?

Amidst the storm-wrought New York City, St.Luke's Hospital is both a bastion of safety and a pit of suffocating despair. More often over the last two weeks, victims of the winter weather have been brought in critical condition to the hospital, only to die shortly after their arrival. The lethal cold outside has crippled the city, and fuel reserves for the generators working below the hospital are running low. Once cluttered storage rooms in the hospital's basement have been converted into living spaces for the some two thousand refugees living in the same space as the hospital, a mixture of private citizens and law-enforcement agents operating out of the hospital, as some of New York's precincts have entirely shut down.

Is there a greater design, a purpose to the seemingly erratic patterns of our lives?

Through the sliding doors and into the hospital, NYPD officer Craig Cristman is one of many welcome faces within the beleagured facility. Serving as both serucity and a helping hand during troubled times, the staff of St.Luke's Hospital has yet to realize that there is anything other than an honest, hard-working member of the force under that smile, yet to realize that there is a shark swimming in their bloodied waters.

Do we wander through our lives, without guide and in mere presence of coincidence? Or is there perhaps something else, a guiding force leading us by the hand to where we need to be?

Under flickering fluorescent lighting in a cluttered staff break room, FBI agent Felix Ivanov and DHS operative Audrey Hanson have spent hours going over the information spread out in front of them. Records from an oncology department in Virginia under an assumed name, records of murders comitted throughout New York City, a grographical map on corkboard with pins and string trying to connect the dots between Samson Gray's seemingly erratic attacks. They've been going at this case for months, and yet still haven't been able to track the rat back to his hole. The weather hasn't helped matters.

Some people call the notion providence; a gently intervening hand of some higher power, putting us where we need to be to make the most difference in our lives, or the lives of others.

"I'm sorry, I don't have any record of where he was moved to." A flustered and over-run nurse situated at one of St.Luke's nurses stations shuffles through a stack of paperwork, having failed to find what she was looking for on the computer. On the other side of the counterspace she's checking, the silhouette of Company agent Veronica Sawyer is a firm and unamused one. Sent out here to reclaim an on-site agent for work back at Fort Hero, finding out that the hospital doesn't know where he is is a low-point in an already low week. "He was here… two weeks ago, I'm certain. But— I don't— I know we have someone else in the room he was staying in now…"

When there is a path laid out before us, do we choose it? Do we take the proffered hand of fate or ro we swat it aside?

A tired, weary figure across the hospital moves up to stand at one of the nurse stations, tapping his weathered hands on the countertop while covering his mouth to muffle his rattling cough. "Excuse me," he breathes out, the stink of cigarette smoke clinging to his form. Trying to focus on a thousand things at once, the nurse looks up to the weary old man, his sagging face and yellowed teeth, gray stubbled jaw and blue knit cap. "Which way is room 304?" There's a tired smile spread across Samson Gray's face, and when the nurse points just down the hall, he offers her a bow of his head and a charmed smile.

Do we forge our own path and make our own decisions, or are we just playing our part in something much larger?

"Thank you," Samson offers cooly, turning slowly from her desk, "he and I have some catching up to do."

Would we even know the difference?

"Find someone who knows, then," Veronica's husky voice is much huskier than usual — the many expeditions out into the frigid weather to breathe in the bitingly cold air are wearing on her, and she has a touch of laryngitis to add to the long list of things making this week horrible — the common cold and hoarseness are the least of her worries.

"Why would you give away his room without knowing where he went? Did he transfer to another room, did he say he was leaving, did he die and end up in the morgue?" Because that would be in keeping with how things are going for both Sawyer and the Company, "Someone had to have seen him, and I want to talk to that person now."

"Excuse me."

In a minorly different corner of the hospital, Craig's ice blue eyes dart up from the screen of his cellphone he'd been studiously tapping into for the past few minutes, the administrator raising an eyebrow at him, and he has enough insight to don an abashed expression. "Sorry, ma'am I was just— " But any excuse on the tip of his tongue isn't probably going to be enough, judging by the look he's getting from the steel-haired older woman, so he flips shut his phone. "You got it."

"Where are you meant to be, officer?"

"As far as I know, right here. Heading for the antivirus stores in the next few minutes," he says, with a glance down at his watch, and he holds his breath until this seems to satisfy the woman. With a last and dubious glance up and down, the woman starts away once more, and Craig's earnest expression melts away as swiftly as a snowball in hell.

Time to start moving, if he's to accomplish anything at all. Slipping away his phone, the uniform-clad serial killer starts to move in the directions he was given.

"He's using the sewer system though. With all this snow, it's easy for him to get around. be a different story, once all this white shit is melted, the sewers will be filled with water, he won't be able to traverse them unless he's picked up hydrokinesis. He'll be forced to move above ground" Audrey stands in front of the wall of map with pushpins, string, pictures, names and staring at it. One hand in a fist and resting on her hip, the other loose and hanging at her side as eye's roam the map. "I'm at a loss, only thing we have is to keep an eye on Lau's kids, see if he makes a run for them." turtleneck, jeans, heavy boots, she's out of the simple suits and into cold weather gear as evidenced by the parka that's hanging up in their appropriated room to work. "Even if we do find him, how are we supposed to catch him? He's worse than Sylar" There's a burst of outraged laughter. "Worse because he's his father"

"A sniper setup, that's all Ican think." Sempiternal winter is…awful. Especially to Felixes. (Felices?) The FBi agent is utterly gaunt, eyes sunken. Were it not for his eternal fastidious cleanliness, and the badge and gun at his waist, he'd be just another among the mass of refugees. But the blue eyes are as keen as ever. "There's no catching him. There's killing him. That's all there is to it. Set a trap." Oh, Felix. Mercy is a virtue. One to which he does not subscribe.

Leaning away from the nurse's station and hiding his mouth inside of his elbow, Samson releases a wheezing, hacking cough that has him slouching up against the far wall, his breath rattling wetly in his lungs and something dappled crimson against the vinyl fabric of his winter coat. The nurse offers a worried look, moving away from her station as offers, "Sir? Sir are you alright?" Samson waves a hand at her, distractedly, staggering down the hall and coughing into his elbow again, shoulders hunched forward and head shaking as he tries to clear the blossoming spots from his vision.

The nurse comes to a stop near one of the hanging wall phones, picking it up as she watches Samson headed down the hall, dialing someone to alert them about his suspicious behavior. At the same moment that call is being placed, officer Cristman is sauntering his way down the hall, a frustrated Veronica Sawyer is at his left side, struggling to deal with hospital organizational failures.

"I— I'm sorry agent Sawyer I— I wasn't the one who changed his room. Look we're— we're swamped at the moment, I can try to call Doctor Wilks, he would know where they last were but I think he's with a patient right now so if you could— " the phone rings behind her, and the nurse offers a strained sigh, sharply picking it up off of the wall and holding it between shoulder and cheek. "Yes?"

Staring down at the map of location, Felix Ivanov has his back to the slatted blinds partway obscuring the window to this break room. It's only by merit of needing to focus her eyes on something other than the map nearby that has Audrey Hanson looking up from the paper, spotting at that exact moment, the silhouette of Samson Gray wiping his mouth and stumbling tiredly down the corridor on foot in broad (as it were) daylight. As those frozen gears in her head start to click and actually process what she's seeing, a nurse is shouting past Veronica to officer Cristman.

"Ex— excuse me, officer!" She rises up onto her toes, covering the receiver of the phone. "Do you have a second, I need someone for security to do a check for me…" No, Veronica's not getting that answer any time soon.

"I know you're swamped, but if you can just help find my colleague, we will be two less people in your hair," Veronica says, irritably, then sighs, leaning on the counter as the woman turns to answer the phone. She watches her surroundings through the corners of her eyes, then turns her attention to the officer the nurse calls to.

The Company agent straightens, clearly exasperated but also curious — security issue could be nothing of interest to the Company, but if it's a matter of an Evolved, it's possible she could be of use. "Can I help?" she says, tone turning resigned rather than annoyed.

Impatience ticks in Craig's brow, but he veers a step off course to turn towards the nurse, putting on a smile. There's a swoop of a look up and down Veronica, but recognition is someone he covers artfully behind his borrowed face, which is a far more amicable one than Gabriel could ever set on his true features. "I'm switching shifts in a few minutes," he tells the nurse, some apology in his voice. "Another officer will be up here any second, but if it's quick…?"

He can't help his own curiousity sparking in tandem with Veronica's — likely for completely different reasons.

No. Must be a hallucination, too many cups of coffee, up too long, the side effects of being exposed to too much felices for too long. Samson Gray is in the hospital and literally headed their way. "Speedy!" Audrey's grabbing Felix by the shoulder with one hand. "You fast enough to outrun his danger sense?"

Is he?

She points to Samson in the hallway, heading towards them and his destination through the blinds. "Ondelay" Arriba arriba, go go speedy, work your evo magic. The last of course unspoken as she's going for her tranquilizer gun. Shooting real bullets in the hospital stuffed to the gills with people is not smart and a bullet wound won't stop him from going to smoke and disappearing. Oh but to have negator riiight about now. Instead, she'll settle for tranquilizer.

A bullet wound will if it's the kind of headwound that turns all Samson Gray's memories to chunky salsa. But….that'd sort of ruin his rep. And even when they're safety rounds, bullets have a way of finding their way into innocent civilians. So Fel's up and -over- the table, because going around it wouldn't be fast enough, or butch enough. He's got his own tranq pistol in his hand, and is screeching out into the hallway to fire at Samson Gray. No one's ever literally laid rubber with a pair of busted out Doc Marten oxfords before, but Felix just managed.

When the door to the break room comes crashing open, Felix's super-speed movements leave black streaks on the tile floor from the soles of his boots. He crashes side-on with a hospital cart that an orderly was pushing, knocking it against one of the walls with a noisy clatter of toppled water bottles, a clanging bedpan and a scream from the young man who leaps back on seeing the human hurricane come crashing out of the room.

The noise resounds down the corridor, the scream and the clatter echo down the hall to where Veronica and officer Cristman are, and it's only in that moment that the nurse quickly hangs up the phone and dials again. "Security I think we have a situation down here— " her eyes flick over to Veronica and Craig at the same time, widening her eyes and lifting her brows in an implied go!

With Felix skidding across the hall, Samson turns around with a wide-eyed stare, glasses sliding off of the bridge of his nose as he takes a few steps back, hands lifting up in a pleading gesture. "Stop— stop!" There's a look of fear on his face, backpedaling away from where Felix was briefly stalled by his collision, watching the agent with a transfixed state or urgency. "I didn't do anything!" With that sharp exhalation at he end, Samson throws one hand out towards Felix in a gesture that Ivanov has become accustomed to over the years, the one that comes right before he's thrown like a ragdoll.



It never comes. Samson wheezes, fingers curling against his palm, one hand shaky, eyes wide and feet slowly treading backwards.

The clatter of carts, bottles, and bedpans has Veronica's head turning sharply toward the corridor, and the Company agent isn't waiting to be told to 'Go' by the less-than-useful nurse at the station — the agent is instantly on her way, her arms crossing one another in front of her chest to reach for each of her weapons: Tranq gun in the left hand, firearm in the right.

"DHS, back me up but let me handle it," Sawyer tells the the uniformed "cop" in terse tones as she takes off down the hall. Snow boots don't make for the best of running shoes but the five mile runs she logs every morning make for short work of the corridor between her and Samson Gray.

As the figures of Samson and Ivanov come into focus, she recognizes each. She has shoot on sight orders — they've lost him too many times for mercy to be an option. Too many people have died — even if it looks like he is powerless as his hand goes up and nothing happens. Veronica lifts her firearm, aiming at the ill and elderly man before her, finger squeezing on trigger.

And Veronica's gun arm goes up even more, cocks its muzzle to the ceiling and fires two bullets up into plaster that promptly rains down on her in flaky white dust. A second later, her right leg goes out from beneath her, buckling painlessly but toppling her all the same, suddenly numb-feeling and useless beneath her, hand loosening against its will enough to send her firearm clattering, stopping a foot away from the downed Company woman.

Craig is on her tail, having not responded when told to stay back, but done — more or less — what she asked. He's not helping her out, however, polished shoes moving along side her and into the hallway.

"NYPD!" he bellows, his own gun out too soon for an officer of the law — or at least, one who plays by the rules as many still do — and his attention flickers again to Samson, a little wide-eyed but stoic. Gun pointing to Veronica, whose body is back in her control, Christman is stepping out into the hallway, lifting a hand in a halt gesture towards the crash and clamour that Felix has caused. It's both a silent plea given by a well-meaning officer, as well as Gabriel's equivelant of taking off the safety. "Let's all just calm down."

Right, Calm down. NYPD does not trump Homesec and Audrey's out of the room, pinch faced and all but not as fast as Felix thank god, but fast enough. "Everybody down! Homeland Security, Stay back Officer" Her own weapon is leveled with Samsons's chestand maybe if she knew that Craig was really Sylar, she might fire just once at Samson and then level the weapon on him after. But alas, she doesn't have any 'Sylar sense' and when her finger depresses on the trigger while speaking, with the self assurance that the man who's telling Felix to stop, she still keeps it pointed towards the older man and advances slowly forward regardless. Surely assault from all sides will be what they need, maybe he's too sick to use his abilities? Maybe he's playing possum like the ones he's maybe stuffed in the past?

He should be absolutely -drooling- with anticipation. One of the Grays here, at his mercy….Fel doesn't wait. He lifts his tranq pistol and fires straight at Samson. If it's an error, well, he'll live to have it sorted out, won't he? All the rest of the alphabet soup fools can wait. Vengeance is his, even if it's only a few CCs of a fast acting opioid.

Gunfire is an amazing inspiration to push ones self to the absolute limit of their capability. The moment Veronica's shots are emptied into the ceiling, Samson is leveling a wide-eyed stare on Craig, scrambling backwards until he sees more guns aimed at him. There's a noise, hoarse and sharp in the back of his throat and at the next few snaps of gunfire, the bullets and darts punch straight through Samson, though not quite as either Federal agent intends.

Exploding into a cloud of sooty smoke, Samson lets loose a howling scream before rising up into a gray column and flowing backwards down the hall. There's a low, harmonic rumble in that escape, causing the walls of the hall to shake and the ceiling tiles to rip free from their placement, one of them flinging like a frisbee towards Felix, another spinning end over end to Veronica's prone form. Samson isn't fleeing towards an exit though, he's going deeper into the hospital.

NYPD will be hearing about this. Veronica tumbles to the ground, gasping as she stares at the gun in one hand clattering away after discharging into the ceiling — hopefully she didn't just injure by proxy someone in the floor above. By the time she can raise the other hand with the tranquilizer gun, it's too late. Samson is turning into smoke and flinging tiles down at her.

Her arms fly up to protect her head, while she sprawls to lower her body against the floor, giving the tiles less of her to hit. Then, it's up to her feet, grabbing the gun and turning to rake her eyes across the form of the uniformed policeman, taking the name in. As she moves to follow the smoke, she hisses, "You just saved the life of a serial killer. Congratulations. Stand down and do not use your power on me again, or you will be the next person I aim at."

Craig's protest is more or less incoherent, a wordless, growl-edged shout as projectiles pass through Samson's frame — whether they make impact or not is more or less irrelevant. Backing up a step or two, he turns a stare towards Veronica, following the wake of Samson's ashy form with analytical patience as she goes after him. Then, he looks down the hallway.

Pretences vanish as he snarls, and a concussive wave of kinetic energy explodes outwards from his open palm, coning out and dispersing, and by the time it hits both Audrey and Felix, it's diminished a considerable amount from its initial release — but it's still a jarring, full body impact that makes a gunshot-like thunderous BOOM sound out through the hospital wing.

The sound of his footsteps running after Veronica catch up to her ears moments later.

"Stand down, Sawyer." Maybe she'll recognise it, Gabriel Gray's gravel toned voice, and the last of Craig Christman's face is vanishing as he passes through her — it feels tingly — and throwing over his shoulder, "I saw him first."

Shit, he went incorporeal. What were the odds of finding him now? In a hospital full of people, air vents, doors, windows, you name it. Audrey's reaching for her radio, finger already depressing the button as she's lifting it to her mouth. "Agent Hanson to security. all floors, be on the look out for an evolved, smoke form when incoporeal, elder gentleman, il-" She cuts off as the NYPD officer lifts his hand and her eyes widen at what's coming two seconds before it actually comes.

What the hell is going on? That's all she has time to think as the kinetic wall hits her and she goes back, shoved onto her rear and side and into Felix and dazes her for a few moment, radio skittering away from her and gun too.

Sylar. Oh, god, Sylar. This is like Christmas. Aslan has come to Narnia and there will be -presents-. You know how when a cat sights something it intends to pounce on, the pupils get huge? That is exactly what happens to Felix - eyes all dilated. He manages to dodge the fragment of ceiling, but then that blow takes him square in the chest, sends him arse over teakettle. But he's got his feet under him in an instant, and is after Gabriel Gray with the unholy light of vendetta in his face. There's no warning. Just his gun in his hand. Someone let loose the plastic rabbit.

Samson's progress down the hall is wavering and frantic, like a harried wind-tossed kite without a boy guiding it. His ashen trale is serpentine, like a big fluffy gray snake spewing soot wherever it goes, flickering flash-pops of fire inside the smoke from god knows what ability. As Samson rounds the corner, there's screams of panic from people in his path, nurses, orderlies, doctors and patients all scrambling to get out of the way, some who have their faculties in control hitting code-call buttons to demand security to this wing.

Samson's bumbling and seemingly out of control path stops when he hits another crash cart, his smoky tendrils slithering around it before he disengages and then billows down to roll like a carpet across the floor, and then beneath the door to a room marked clearly at it's side as 304, Urgent Care.

There's a scream in the hospital room, a smash and then the door flies open, an orderly bodily tossed head over heels into the wall, crashing against it and slouching down limp on the tile floor, another, more weak and feeble cry for help coming from the hospital room.

The footfalls behind her turn Veronica's head and she sees Gabriel Gray's visage where the police officer's once was. As he slips through her, she narrows her eyes, jaw tensing until the creepy sensation passes. She lifts her tranq gun at his retreating back, but knows the dart fired will simply phase through his body.

"Impersonation of a police officer in the first degree is a felony, Mister Gray," the agent informs her former Operation Apollo teammate. "Are you here to catch him, or help him, because if it's the former, let me help, and if it's the latter… if you want any chance at a normal life, Gray, this isn't the way."

The scream has her moving again, on his heels if he doesn't force her back. "Homeland Security — lock down the hospital," she shouts to a doctor running past them.

"Spare me," is his simple sneer at the notion of a normal life, with enough derision to indicate that he doesn't just disdain the notion — Gabriel doesn't think it's possible, either. But there's no time to make an argument for himself, snapping his wide-eyed gaze down the hallway, to where Veronica springs into motion and chaos reins ahead of them. Gabriel doesn't give chase, though, turning now back down the corridor to where the two other agents will inevitably be making their comeback. In their own special ways.

Though he remains phased, bullets do not, and though Gabriel is not a sharp marksman by any means, he has a full clip to burn though. The doctor that Veronica was barking orders at gives a shriek and ducks as the serial killer starts firing almost randomly down the hallway, attempting to catch the blur that is Felix Ivanov.

Audrey's scrambling to her feet, one hand reaching for her gun, radio left on the floor. "Everyone get down" Bellowed, hot on the heels minus any evolved ability, towards 304. Unlike Felix, she hasn't yet come to the comprehension that Sylar is there as well, or that he's going after his father. She soon will though when there he is and he's shooting at at Felix and in turn her. Down the agent goes again, taking cover behind a medical cart, letting Felix take the lead.

Fel's in full cry, metaphorically speaking. He stirs up a breeze of his own. To his adrenaline-charged vision, he's running at normal speed through frozen tableaux, nimble as a dancer, invincible. Though one of those bullets nicks him on the arm, leaving one of those Pollock-painting impressionist splashes on the wall as he passes. But it's Samson who's his quarry now, and Fel comes barreling into the room that Samson's just invaded.

When Felix skids into the room, he finds Samson hunched over the bed of a bald hospital patient with a respirator over his face, one hand up and fingers crooked, like the literal depiction of Nosferatu now that he's lost that fuzzie blue winter cap. Turning towards Felix with wide eyes, Samson hisses out a growling breath that extends into something more insidious, a low lilting rumble of his voice followed by a sedate whistle. The sound takes effect as fast as one of Felix's tranquilizer darts would have, creating a sensation of lethargy and drowsyness, causing Felix's gun to tumble out of slacked fingers, blood to cease its incessant pumping of red out of his injury, and for Felix to crumple against the privacy curtain, fingers grabbing ineffectually at the teal colored fabric.

Samson winces, barely able to keep the ability functioning, the soothing sedation sound sputters, loses some of its oomf, and Felix can feel himself wavering between helplessness and waking, his gun just out of reach. But Samson's flagging abilities are broken by the presence of Gabriel coming in through the doorway behind Felix, Veronica on his heels.

"Son," Samson pleads, his bushy gray brows lifting, forehead wrinkling, "I need this— I need him." It's offered with a rattled, wheezing breath and the sedation is failing.

Into the room with all momentum of a storm, leaving behind a hallway filled with bulletholes — and when Audrey peeks around, she'll see the way is clear, with one light sparking and sputtering when a stray bullet had shattered one end, hanging by its wiring and swinging like a pendulum. Out of sight, in room 304, Gabriel stares across at his father, uncertainty probably tangible enough that Veronica will be able to sense it when she gets to the room.

Glancing towards Felix, letting astral projection sweep through him to just to take in what's just happened to the man, Gabriel's assessment of threat level has him turning on his heel and leveling his gun at Veronica, standing between her and the gurney, and the old man that stands beside it. "You want to try to go through me? Or you can get out. Consider this your chance at a normal life. Or, you know." His gun tilts in either or gesture. "Any kind."

There's a bright future, where he might have helped once. But the uniform right now really is just a costume.

With Gabriel Gray's gun pointed at her, Veronica's perpetual motion stills. "Well, I guess now we know why you don't return my calls," she quips, clicking the safety on her weapon as she lowers it — she's not about to surrender it. Call it pride or stupidity but she's already let one Public Enemy Number One get away with Company-issued guns; she's not about to let another.

Her eyes grow more somber, and she stares at Gabriel, dark eyes on dark, trying to make some sort of contact, trying to reach the human she believes exists in a body most think of as monster. "Don't help him do this, Gabriel. You've come too far," she whispers. "You're better than this. Tell him to turn himself in — he might listen to you." Her eyes flicker to the patient of Room 304. "Don't do this…"

About that coma. I'll have one right now, thanks. Fel's sprawled on the floor, drunken and limp, hand starfishing at the gun that's gleaming seductively just out of reach. "Bastard," he says. Presumably he means the whole Gray family reunion.

Audrey starts her creep forward, eye on the room that everyone dashed into, light on and her feet and quiet as she possibly can make it. Motions for others to stay down, her hand going back to her gun. Sources to use as cover should Gabriel jump out of the room and try to shoot her some more. Something has obviously happened to Felix, likely Sawyer, since neither have come out of the room, but as she gets closer, voices state otherwise.

"Son," Samson pleads again, wheezing noisily as he hunches down against the railing of the bed. "I— I don't need his ability, you do." There's a weak, weary sound in Samson's voice, a pained keening noise of a person injured as he chokes out a cough, covering his mouth with one hand and drooling pink spittle on the floor. "He's a disease manipulator, but his ability— it doesn't work on himself. He— I need you, Son…"

Samson's eyes are wide, terrified and vulnerable. The sedation effect has ended, but it will still tak time for Felix's body to adjust o the lack of the sound. "Please— Please I— I'm sick, I need you to— to take it please." There's other noises out in the hall, sceams of confusion from hospital staff and residents, noises of an alarm bell sounding something like a fire alarm. The radio on Craig's belt is crackle-popping with police chatter about a call put out at St.Luke's.

"Gabriel," Samson's voice takes on a ragged, frayed tone, "Gabriel I need you."

He's looking at Veronica as this information registers, a certain edge of viciousness draining away for all that his gun remains level — a certain kind of dismay is reflected in hard brown eyes, uncertainty making tense his posture. He wants to and doesn't want to with such warring intensity that it's more of a paralytic than a motivator. "He doesn't want to go with you," Gabriel states, backing up towards the gurney. "I don't want you— or your department," and the sneer is back, ex-Company project rearing its head once more, "to have him.

"Hey, dad?" This sarcastic snarl isn't said over his shoulder — his focus is kept on Veronica all the while — and he takes off his radio with jerking, aggravated motions, before tossing it backwards enough for it to skitter across the floor to Samson's feet. "This isn't the time. Get out while you can — favours come later. Just trust me."

In all the confusion, Gabriel hasn't done a crucial thing — he hasn't checked the hallway with any kind of ability, and Audrey's approach goes unheeded. Likely, he assumes her bleeding out under his prior hail of bullets.

The agent knows that, thanks to the slew of abilities on Gabriel Gray's dossier, she can't hope to beat him in a game of who's the fastest arm in the west. She simply stares into Gabriel Gray's face and gives a shake of her head. "We could have gotten you back on the grid, with a cleared record, clean slate like they promised. Paperwork doesn't go through for a corpse and Kershner's a snake, but this —" she gives another shake of her head.

Her dark eyes flick from son to father. "I get it. You're dying. He can save you and maybe others too — but what kind of life can you live? If you turn yourself in, maybe you have a chance — visitations, and all that. Otherwise you're both on the run for the rest of your lives. Do you really want to live like that?"

She's got no extra holes, not handcuffed to a radiator and not blind. She is getting onto the ground, hoping that Veronica - since she sounds closer - is at least somewhat between her and the bed and Gabriel and daddy dearest, use her as disguise and verbal distraction so that she can poke her head around the bottom of the door, look for feet, legs, anything that's not medical equipment but flesh and blood. Further beyond that, discern father from son. Son can cart off the father in a puff of smoke, but she's only going to get one shot likely, if that at all, and she aim's for the anatomy, below the bed, that doesn't have a police uniform on.

"We Grays…" Samson offers in explanation to Veronica, wheezing a breath in and out, "we only know a life of running." It's a bitter resentment, a loathing of his life and what he's become, but it's true enough, running is second nature to rabbits and cockroaches. When he bends down to pick up the radio, eyes on Gabriel, there's a sound that reminds Samson that his most important ability is not functioning properly.

He lacks danger sense.

The Poff-thwip. from Audrey's dart gun comes as a surprise.

A second later there's a hiss and a yelp as Samson stares down into his calf at the tasseled dart driven into his leg. There's a noise, weak and keening in the back of his throat as he takes a knee, huffing out a snorted breath. In the extremities, sedation darts can take up to ten minutes to take their full effect, longer if the biological process is halted or slowed in some fashion. Feeling the dart and knowing its sting, Samson breathes out a sharp, hoarse breath before clenching his teeth, furrowing his brows and struggling to will himself back into his smoky shape.

His body breaks apart, sending taking the sedation dart and radio with him, but halting his biological process. Woozy but alive, his smoky form slithers upwards and away from the body of the man laying comatose in the bed, dying from a combination of the cancer eating away his brain and the frostbite that he was inflicted with earlier this week.

Samson ascends as a cloud of black vapor, leaving an ashen trail as he slithers up into the ventilation ducts, leaving behind his only son in a room surrounded by federal agents, and those posing as some. It's either trust, or proof that the Grays all know something of running.

Gabriel's gun jerks, squeezes the trigger on instinct in Audrey's direction — and nothing happens, having emptied his clip in the hallway. But in the same moment— Teo calls it a brainpunch, and it's what Veronica experiences — a psychic equivelant of an electric shock that snaps her consciousness from her body for a second of time. She collapses, momentarily disoriented, and when she comes too, dizziness is the worst of the symptoms she experiences — Gabriel's dropped his gun and is rounding on the patient.

"I'm not going to kill him," he snaps towards the doorway, a hand coming to land on the dying man's arm, the glow of purple augmentation shining out black-purple from the contact. His brown eyes are bright with that same glow as he glares towards the doorway, other hand extended in warning. "But I can't make the same promise to anyone who tries to stop me."

She's dead, bullet to the head, sure of it. Say your prayers, wait for life to flash before your eye's.

But there's that click that Audrey knows, eye's narrowing at Gabriel from her position on the ground. She's not going to waste words, telling him that she doesn't quite believe him, not when he's doing, then done something to Veronica, the homesec agent going down. She'll take a chance, hope that she can get a dart in him before he can do whatever it is that he'll do, finger squeezing again, aimed at Gabriel and the larger part of his body. Doing this dance all over again, a week and a half blind didn't teach her to back down with regards to him at all.

Shaking her head to clear it of the wave of dizziness when she opens her eyes, Veronica looks up from her sprawled position on the floor, seeing the familiar purple glow she's seen on Gillian. "What… are you healing him?" she asks, pushing herself to her knees and bringing a hand to her head — it doesn't hurt, but she is still disoriented.

She pushes herself to her knees, leaving her weapons where they dropped on the tile for now — the last thing she needs is for him to think her picking them up is her drawing a weapon on him — he's already proven himself eager enough to shoot. "Gabriel… you can be a good man. Don't let him — don't let family ties and family obligations make you less," she murmurs.

Under the touch of Gabriel's hand, the patient's skin becomes glistening and sticky, like a sort of tacky saliva exudes from his pores. It's somewhat disgusting, putrid smelling like stagnant water and mold, but Gabriel can feel his body reacting to it, to the sensation of whatever this excretion from his skin is. Unfortunately, his assessment of the situation is interrupted by a familiar sound.


The sound of the dart firing from the gun is becoming a familiar noise.

"I'm copying his power."

The larger part of his body remains protected, intangible, the dart passing effortlessly through his torso to clatter on the other side. It marks the wall. He doesn't have danger sense — just common sense, and enough knowledge of Audrey's tenacity to not let his guard down. Gabriel's hand curls, Audrey finding her body forced back against the wall, the dart gun swinging to point down at Veronica. "I'm a better man than he wants me to be," he admits to Veronica, an eyebrow raising. "But there's no pardon for me. There never will be, and whoever told you otherwise is lying."

Glancing down at the patient, Gabriel lets go, that purple glow dying and eyes going back to burned-wood brown. "I didn't take the job for a life. I took it for someone else's." There's a glance to Audrey, considering, and she can feel her finger start to depress the trigger.

Doesn't, ultimately. Gabriel turns into a substance thicker and inkier than his father's smoke form — and the puppeteering over Audrey's body releases as soon as he does — and leaps up to follow Samson's flight through the ducts, a tendril reaching to snag on grille before hauling itself the rest of the way.

God damn people who go incorporeal and god damn Gabriel and his telekinesis and puppetry. Once again, here goes that dance, the one where he's controlling her gun hand. Only it's pointed at Veronica this time and not her own head. Not even a look of sorry offered to the other agent when the tranq is pointed at her. Maybe if it hadn't been a tranq.

But copying or not, Veronica's words to the other man or not, It's seething dislike and anger on her face when he turns into the inky black form and disappears much in the same fashion his father did, releasing her from almost shooting Veronica. So close again. "Can we get some help in here! Agent down and a patient that needs attention!" The older Homesec agent bellows.

Veronica's brows knit as she listens to Gabriel speak. Her eyes catch the movement of the gun to point at her, eyes narrowing slightly as she stares down yet another gun, though this one less deadly.

"He needs help — if you're going to save his life — consider how many more lives he might take," she whispers, but it's to smoke and then air. Once he's gone, she grabs her guns, holstering both, and turns to look at Audrey grimly — it's likely the actual DHS agent blames Sawyer for the escape of both Grays, though the reverse isn't true.

Are we the masters of our own destiny?

Two uniformed police officers rushing down the hospital corridor with hands on holstered guns come charging in to room 304, one crouching down by agent Harrison, the other sweeping in to the room wide-eyed, looking at the ash dust all over the floor and Felix Ivanov groggily waking up from his forcible cat-nap. Their chatter over the radios calls in the situation, much of it is a haze behind the noise of Audrey's blood pumping in her ears, they both got away, again.

Or are we instead, continuously guided by some unseen force, hoping to direct us down some better, different path?

Three miles away, smoke coalesces inside of the stock room of an abandoned department store, coiling up into a column before forming into the ragged and weary shape of a tired old man. Collapsing to his knees, Samson Gray breathes out a wheezing exhalation, the tranquilizer dart still driven in the side of his leg. He drops the radio, falls down onto his side next to it, eyes blearily staring at the curiously proffered device.

Is there a greater meaning to our existence, and in this can we find purpose? Or are we all hopelessly left wandering to the whim of the winds and chance?

Breathing out a wheezing cough, Samson holes the radio feebly in one hand, lips parting as he makes a rasping plea to no one on the other end. "Son?" The sheen of sweat on his brow belies his capacity to think clearly, belies his weakness and vulnerability, and that in his most pathetic hour, the one thing he wants and needs more than anything else in this world is what he gave up.

Faith provides one answer, science another. Is there a force out there, inexorably drawing us together? No one truly knows…

In the hospital, staring down at the floor, the police officers fail to notice the pattern in the ash as they tread through it. A serpentine, slithering mark of ash in one waving line. Felix's discarded gun extends off of one side in a branch, and where the officer's foot divided the ash there are two more on the opposite side. A Symbol, one prolific enough that the invocation of the word has a certain gravity.

…but if there is such a force, where is it leading us?

In a manner where time does not flow, a single, darkly-dressed man observes where Audrey, Veronica and Felix are arranged in the room. His dark eyes affixed to them, then down to the shape in the ash on the floor. His brows knit, and he turns to look over at the sword sheathed across his back with mild scrutiny at the similarities to the gold marking on the hilt. "Almost there…" he says to the silence between time.

And to what end?

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