Blue Sky, Part I


brand_icon.gif jj_icon.gif kincaid_icon.gif malcolm_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title Blue Sky, Part I
Synopsis A convergence of forces allow for the Dome's end to be within reach, but there is no reward without cost.
Date February 20, 2011

The Dome: Queens: Autoshop

"The thing with these things…"

Malcolm's voice echoes off the concrete walls, the rolling door scrolled up to permit a non-existent breeze into the autoshop garage. He's a lanky silhouette, shadowed, as he paces back and forth. The ice above them is thick, towards the centre of the Dome, which the autoshop is hardly a stone's throw from, and so the sunlight is shadowed out, blotted as if early afternoon were an early, grey morning. He has a cigarette, managing to scrounge packs as devotedly as others do water and food.

The smoke wreathes around his head, darting a look out into the empty street. "Y'can't run out of 'em. So when I was in Midtown, I'd be perched up in the middle and have those fucking robot fucks pace around and wait for me t'let up. 'til dawn, anyways, then they'd leave, and I'd run like the blazes. It don't really— it don't protect

"I mean nothing's perfect."

He's been like this the whole time, rambling, a little incoherent, tangential narratives that seem to change their conclusions. How does one begin to explain what he's done, what he's caused over the last three weeks. A first aid kit as nicked by Brand at one point or another lies open. Soon, they will have amp, if Brennan and Melissa were right. Soon, it'll be over.

It's been a while since Melissa left with Brennan to get the Amp from the Suresh Center. While there she managed to get her head looked at, and she's a little less fuzzy, but she has yet to visit her apartment to get another pair of shoes. Maybe after this. She hopes. And another pistol. Pain meds. Life's little necessities.

As she walks into the auto shop, her face shows that the news she has isn't good, but she doesn't make anyone wait to hear it. "Someone had stolen some Amp from the Center. They wouldn't let Brennan sign any out, and were ready to toss me in a tiny little room to interrogate me because they thought I might have taken it. Dumbshits. So no Amp."

She leans heavily against a wall and sighs, muttering to herself, "Where the fuck's Gillian when we need her?"

The man behind the Dome isn't the only one enjoying a cigarette. With shoes that don't fit well on his once bare feet, Kincaid milks a cigarette as he sits down with his now very dark eyes focused on a gun in front of him. Smoking while counting the number of bullets they scrounged for him may not be the safest thing in the world, but he needs the nicotine hit.

Especially since there's more than a few wounds he had to have bandaged. He'd only showed the ones on his wrists, where the ties dug deep into flesh, and the ones on his face. The rest didn't matter. And once his eyes turned dark again, it became hard to tell if he were damaged at all. Slow movements and hesitation seem to be the primary indicator. And the small bandages closing the cuts on his face.

With the return of Melissa, he grimaces. "Wonderful," he says around the cigarette before he slams the bullets back into place in the gun and straightens. He's able to stand without his head spinning from the pain and the movement, so that's definitely a change. "Don't suppose anyone had a back up plan?"

The man perches on the edge of a table, leaning back against the metal and wood work area. His brown duster and fedora rest on the surface worn smooth with use, next to a rifle offered over by Brand. Arms are cross and head tipped down in thought, lengths of hair brushing at Benjamin Ryans' forehead.

He'll believe this is close to being over when the dome is gone. Til then… "Good intentions badly executed." Comments Ryans blandly.

Melissa's arrival has his head lifting. He's not surprised really. "Wonderful." The word rumbled out sarcastically, just about at the same time as Kincaid. The old man glances at the kid briefly, before sighing and pinching the bridge of his nose. "Alright… so… we're going to have to find a way…" He pauses and glances around for the teenage boy. "Brand might be our answer." Though he's reluctant to put a kid in danger.

Brand is easy enough to overlook. Partly because he's claimed a little corner to put himself in and sort through his guns and ammunition and to rest. Partly because his Ability won't seem to taper off fully, just shuddering at a low ebb. At the sound of his name, the battered youth jerks up slightly. Perhaps he was dozing.

"Huh? We didn't get it, right?" He pushes off a cabinet, using his strong arm to take some weight off his injured side. Muscling himself to standing, he rearranges his pistol, and slings his rifle back in place. "Now you want me to go. Right?" He rubs his face with a wipe-rag, its anti-grease properties well suited to cleaning blood and dust off his brow.

Standing still and sullenly quiet, Malcolm watches the interaction with the same sort of wary confusion of someone who doesn't quite understand the language being spoken. The words are traded between people who aren't him, strangers, and he only catches a few of them despite the fact the only accent on his voice is one straight off the boat from the mother land. He snorts smoke out in canine irritation.

"What's there t'steal, if they don't 'ave any?" he points out, a little rawly. "If this is— this is a trick, then— "

The Institute, Brennan had called it. The Institute sounds about the right sort of ominous for Malcolm to pin to the Suresh Centre, and Brennan isn't here anymore. His blue eyed stare is analytical as it bounces from Ryans to Melissa.

"Pretty much," Melissa says, nodding to Kincaid and eyeing his cigarette with a kind of hunger. Nicotine is goooood. "And wait, what?" she asks, looking to Ryans. "Brand? Who the fuck is Brand and how would he be useful?"

Malcolm's paranoia has her glancing back to him, and she shakes her head. "It's not a trick, Malcolm. And from what I got, the thief didn't steal all of it, but apparently they have to sign it out, and there was less than could be accounted for. If I knew who had stolen it, I'd just go to them. But trust me, Malcolm, I have no desire to get you anywhere near the Suresh Center or the ones who are pulling the strings there now."

There's a brief 'who was Brand again?' look in Kincaid's eyes until the teen speaks up. He shakes his head, as if he's not entirely sure how he forgot that, but… He seems to have. "The idea of someone running around this place with that stuff isn't exactly giving me a fuzzy happy feeling, but if there's more there could be a chance to sneak in and take it…"

A chance he doesn't seem to like, as he reaches into his pocket and fetches out the second cigarette, which he lights with the first one he had, inhaling a bit before handing it over to Melissa. Seems he recognized that look.

A hand is lifted towards Malcolm, the ex agent's voice calm and level in opposite to Melissa's demeanor. "I have no love for the ones behind the Suresh Center." Ryans has quite the dislike for the Institute, in fact. "You and your ability would be something they want and I'd like to keep you far from them if possible."

Unfolding his arms, Ryans pushes to stand straight moving to pace a little. To Melissa's question, a thumb is jerked in Brand's direction. "That is Brand." A simple answer really.

"And Kincaid is right. We may have to sneak in and get it, if they wouldn't sign any out." Ryans sounds about an enthusiastic of that idea as the young man. "If amp is the only way we are going to do it, we'll have to work for it. Especially, if we don't know who took it."

The battered youth grumbles under his breath, gently feeling along his bandaged head. "Its bull, trading us like cattle. No respect for our human dignity and stuff. We are humans, after all." He says that last part a little bit softer as he he limps into the room proper, out of his little corner. He rummages in a pocket, for a piece of gum to chew on angrily.

"I'm not really useful. I have like, the stupidest Ability. I can't shoot lightning or fly or make awesome force fields." He shoots a glance to Malcolm. "I'm just, overlooked. People ignore me. It kind of sucks, actually." He pats his rifle, which has been reloaded and polished. "I need one of these to get stuff done, I guess. I'm useless." His shoulders slump.

"Right," Malcolm intones, relaxing faintly at the repeated reassurance that they won't be taking him to any kind of institution, ducking his head and teeth tugging absent at his cigarette filter. "Maybe I should just, uh. Stay here then. Hold the fort, as it were, 'til— then it'll be fine. I'll just take down the field and sneak on out the back. And then we can all have sandwiches."

Benjamin Ryans' phone buzzes insistently in his pocket, with all the understated panic of the message it carries with.

"I adore you," Melissa says, completely sincere, as she takes the offered cigarette and takes a few puffs of it it. Then she's holding up a hand, one finger extended. "Problem. The Amp is in a room that's locked. Keycard access only. But I was right outside the room, so I can direct him there." Seems she's got no problem with sending a kid into danger.

Her gaze moves to Brand, studying him for a long moment. "Being overlooked could be exactly what we need. Can you remain overlooked while you're picking someone's pocket? Does it work for people watching security cameras?" She pauses, then glances back to Malcolm. "Probably for now, yeah. If we do go to the Center to try for the Amp, it'll be a small team."

There's a brief smile across Kincaid's face at Melissa, before he focuses on the job at hand. And Malcolm's insecurities. "You're not useless. None of us can throw lightning either," he says to the older man, with a furrow of his brow as he watches Melissa take charge of things. There's a glance toward Ryans, as if waiting for the man to either confirm such a plan, or give another one.

"We can't all sneak in there, though, no matter what plan we come up with."

"Overlooked means you can sneak in without notice, while people are distracted." Ryans points out, giving Brand a matter of fact glance as he reaches into the pocket of his jeans to retrieve his buzzing phone. With a glance at it, anything he might have been about to say has his whole body tensing and he goes still.

> Ret team left. flwd Mel. Wtch Out. Dr.B

"Son of a…" This means bad things in Ryans speak, even if it's rumbled out calmly. The old man tossing the phone at Kincaid to look at, while hurrying to the door and pull it down. It clatters loudly through the room as it is pulled down on the tracks. "We got company coming."

As he passes Melissa on the way to grab his rifle, he states to her. "A retrieval team followed you. Give you a guess as to who they are after." A glance goes to Malcolm. "Stay close, we'll try to get you out of here."

"Brand…" The old man turns to point to a latter up to a trap door to the roof, his other hand is already picking up his father's old fedora and placing it on his head. "I want you to be our eyes. See if we have any clear ways out. As well as if they have anyone in FRONTLINE armor." He's hoping that JJ isn't one of the those coming to try and take Malcolm.

The young man grimaces, and limps over to his back, spilling out the cache of his remaining rifles and ammo. Enough for Melissa at least, and Malcolm if he could handle it. "Fine, fine. I'll go." He pulls a bit of old blanket over his rifle, concealing it, before he mounts the ladder. Halfway up he just seems to become…inconsequential. So unimportant that the senses don't even register him. Or his slightly creaky passage through the trapdoor.

In only a few short moments, Brand is suddenly back among them. Not quite popping out of nowhere, but more ….just there. "There is a van down the road. I saw two guys in suits and gas masks get out the back, cross the road, and then slip into the alleys and stuff. I don't like that their in gas suits."

Brand adds lamely. "A creepy white government molester-van."

Weaponry is looked at with distaste—

But at the news that Brand is spilling down at them, it's no wonder that Malcolm is shuffling forward to pick up a sidearm, checking it over with not entirely unskilled fingers, but ones that haven't handled such weaponry in some years. His cigarette stuck out diagonal from the corner of his mouth. "Maybe I can just— put up a field 'til they all go away," he mumbles, cigarette weaving and bobbing with his words, the hitch of syllables.

"No, that's a terrible idea."

Malcolm being the first to admit it.

Outside, there is a sudden screech of tires coming around the corner before brakes make a high-pitched whine as a pick-up truck comes to an abrupt stop at the front of the auto shop. A door is flung open and JJ's head pokes out. One hand makes sweeping gestures, a silent but adamant get in the damn truck from the looks of it. There is no Horizon armor — the next time he tries to stop a dome from being made, he'll be sure to bring it with him.

Hindsight is ever perfect.

He does have one a pistol on the seat next to him. More important, however, is the Amp in his pocket, but he's not about to shout that at the people inside. They'll just have to trust that he's on their side.

"What? Shit," Melissa says, mentally kicking herself and dropping the cigarette, moving to find a gun. She's got her ability, but she knows well that retrievers can deal with that. "Brand, can your ability cover someone else? So we can get Malcolm out of here?" She pauses to look out the window at the tires screeching, and she frowns as she spots JJ.

"Do we trust JJ? Because he just pulled up and it looks like he wants us to go with him. I know he's FRONTLINE, but…Better him than Institute," she says, glancing back, first towards Kincaid, then Ryans.

"Between him and possible negation gas? Definitely," Kincaid simply says as he grabs the borrowed weapon and puts out his cigarette with the heel of an oversized shoe so as not to set fire to the autoshop and begins moving toward Melissa and her gesture of JJ, obviously choosing that option rather quickly. In fact, he looks downright relieved.

Even then, as he moves that direction he glances at Ryans and adds, "If I get negated I'll pretty much be dead weight, but don't risk getting caught to stick around and carry me," he adds to Ryans as he moves past, trying to keep an eye out for danger even as he plans to head for the van.

Moving up alongside Melissa to look outside, Ryans' brows crease at the sight of JJ's beckoning. There is a bit of hesitation there, uncertainty. A glance goes back over his shoulder to Malcolm, as he weighs the risks. The options are slim with few places to go.

Blue eyes narrow as Kincaid makes his decision and Ben suddenly declares. "We have too, but I'll be the first to put a bullet in his head if he's dragging us to them." He's not afraid to take the FRONTLINE lackey with them if they are betrayed.

Pulling away from the window, Ryans moves to the back far enough to call up the latter. "Lets go kid. We're getting out of here." The rifle is swung into place, booted feet scuffing across the floor toward the rolling door so that he can lift it an let everyone out, clearly the old man is taking up the rear. "Melissa, can you keep up with Malcolm? Protect him, while I watch our backs?"

Confusion flickers across Brand's face at that barked question. "Cover someone else? I never tried with…." His voice trails off as his eyes slide across the floor of the shop. Looking around for a long pause. "…..I mean, I can't look too out of place…..I mean…" Suddenly he kicks over a tall box that held hoses or something, dumping out its contents with a clatter. He then drops a handtruck, and pops the box on top.

"Get in the box. I'll wheel you to the truck and pop you in. Maybe, maybe if they don't see you it'll work." He shrugs, looking to Melissa. "People never saw the stuff I carted off, not even a handcart of water. Just open the tailgate and wait a minute so I can get it in." He looks grim. "Since you won't notice me. I don't want to get left."

Malcolm looks at Brand, looks at the box, looks at Brand, looks out the window at the pickup truck idling riiight outside.

"Sod that."

More spirited than seems natural for him, a sort of uncoordinated agility, Malcolm springs off for out, ducking into the hazy noon sunlight — seeming to vote for speed over stealth. All long limbs and clumsy grace, he levers himself up and over the edge of the pickup, clamboring inside with a whud-thud of legs and arms. JJ can feel the vehicle rock as the lanky forcefield master lands into the bed of the truck, and the Briton has the good sense, at least, to keep his head down.

There's no engine growl of pursuit. Not yet.

When Kincaid climbs into the front to slide next to JJ, the driver's face, tense with worry, splits into a wide grin as he claps the man on the shoulder. "Fuck, am I glad to see you," JJ says, glancing in the rearview mirror as he feels the bed of the truck jostle.

"Come on," he hisses to the others, waiting for them all to climb into the bed where they can jostle around with a bag of crushed aluminum cans. Whoever he commandeered the truck from was a recycler, it would seem.

"There's another pistol in the glove compartment," JJ mutters to Kincaid. One hand reaches back to slide the window open so he can toss back at the others, "Hold on tight. I'm gonna get us somewhere safe. I have the Amp."

He pulls away from the curb with another squeal of tires — the old pick-up is rusted but has a powerful engine that roars as he tears around the corner.

Melissa may not know or trust JJ, but she does trust Kincaid's opinion and nods. Ryans gets a nod as well. "Done." Then Malcolm is moving, and Melissa is hot on his tail, keeping as close as she can, right into the back of the truck, and immediately trying to press Mal's head down even as she ducks down herself. "Some head's up would've been nice since I nearly got snatched for you taking it," she mutters, but without any real heat. Priorities and all.

"Malcolm, do you need anything but the Amp to take the thing down? If you can take it down while we're moving…well, it gives us more options," she asks, looking to the man.

"Same," Kincaid said with a smile that would be more pained by the look of his face than it really is. Pain never was much a problem with him, especially when he managed to have a good cigarette. Setting the original weapon aside, he pulls out the extra pistol to check it, making sure it's loaded, before he twists around in his seat to shove it into the back via sliding window with a, "Mel," so she knows to look up and take it.

Seems he's opted to give the extra to her, she may need it.

"You have excellent timing, too," he adds to JJ, as he moves his eyes to the side and the front to watch for any sign from that direction.

Brand snags his bag and slings it on before dashing out toward the truck. Even with a slight limp and soreness from getting peppered, he's faster than the older man. He tosses in his bag and climbs into the bed with Ryans, his shorter M4 much more maneuverable. "Holy shit just watch out there might be another van!" He shouts through the pass-through window as they start to peel out!

Exhaust fumes belch into the air as the pickup truck goes growling out of the area with a screech of mechanism, jostling everyone inside.

Malcolm stays gladly bellydown and low, tilting a glance up towards Melissa before shaking his head. "Dunno. Just know I used it when I put it up, and I can't take it down like normal. But I can— " He swallows, huddled up against the edge of the bed, spine curled some. "I can feel it, a bit. And people in it. Like some over big part of me that— " But now is no time to wax poetic, as they tear through the streets of Queens.

Not when, out the corner of the eyes of those able to look, and in JJ's rearview mirror, the van suddenly careens around a corner in hot pursuit.

Green eyes reflected in the rearview mirror as JJ watches those in the back as he drives. "Ain't happening now, not with them in pursuit!" he shouts. "Y'all with your guns, start shooting! Aim for the tires, disable that vehicle."

For now he's going to drive — surprisingly, his palms are suddenly spinning his steering wheel, doing a sudden U-turn so that his truck faces the van. Malcolm will be more protected this way, and it's easier for him to aim his own pistol, firing a couple of shots at the driver and then the front tires of the van. "Duck," he tells Kincaid, and suddenly JJ's sneaker presses down on the gas, to floor it, hopefully past the van which will have to do its own u-turn to put it back in pursuit.

The pistol is taken with a grateful look from Melissa, and though Kincaid just checked it, she does so herself. Routine. Then she's shoving her hand back up. "Just give me the Amp when you can and we'll try to get the damn thing down!" As for taking out the tires, she looks to Ryans. She can shoot, sure. But shooting out tires while in a moving vehicle? Only if she's very, very lucky. And this hasn't been a lucky day so far.

"Next time, I'm driving," Kincaid mutters as he holds fires a few shots out his window as well. Moving vehicle and trying to keep his head down means aiming becomes less of an important point, as he fires off a few rounds.

As the truck goes for driving past the van, he lets out a grunt again, catching himself on the door in a way that his elbow would hate him for— if he could even feel much from it. He doesn't repeat his sentiment, but it's there. In a single quick glance at the driver. The young dark eyed man only has a few moments to adjust so he can fire a shot or two over the bottom edge of the window— while he keeps his head down. A head he'd prefer to keep in one piece.

Benjamin Ryans doesn't need to be told what to do, already he's setting the rifle at his shoulder, head tilting to the side to sight down the length. Body shifting about so that he's facing straight out the back, taking the risk of sitting up enough to steady himself. Focusing on the van racing to catch up, his eyes narrow. Being that it is an institute van, he's dealt with them. So the rifle dips down ever so slightly.

He may have been shooting a guns in wars since he was Brand's age, but Benjamin will still need some luck in the back of a fast moving and bouncing vehicle. Even so, he lets loose with bullets aiming for the tires.

Brand follows Ryan's lead and lets out a torrent of lead at the pursuing van.

Rubber comes off as pieces beneath assault of gunfire, the pursuing white van buckling as to swerves in an effort to tail the pickup truck. Brand's gunfire splinters cracks along the windshield, but it's unclear if anyone was actually hit. Return fire peppers bullets along the side of the racing truck, exploding the passenger window beside JJ's head and very thoroughly distracting as glass glitters fragments across his lap, JJ's lap, little stings of red in his face.

But his head didn't explode. So that's the main thing.

"Aaaaah!" That's from Malcolm, managing not to give into the compulsion to Dome up.

There's a sharp bang as the van veers too wide, its blunt nose slamming into a streetlamp. Two Retrievers wielding rifles clambor out of the back, and chase the truck with bullets as they stand their ground, clanging and pinging off the truck — but for the Institute, it's too late. Understaffed and outplayed, the pickup truck screeches clear.

"Fuck," JJ says, ducking, the truck veering, one wheel bouncing on a curb as he tries to regain control of the truck despite the glass shower. His eyes squint, concentrating on the road ahead before finally hazarding a glance into the rearview mirror, watching the Retrievers as they grow smaller and smaller.

"Fuck!" he says again, this time with a bark of a laugh, a little on the hysterical side perhaps, given the fact he almost got shot in the head again. "It can wait until we're out of this fucking neighborhood," he shouts back to Melissa. That and his hands are shaking — it's hard enough to steer let alone pull out the small syringe and pass it through the window — where the jostling vehicle might make it difficult to administer anyway.

He glances at Kincaid, trying to convey something to the man without so many words, before he returns his eyes to the road. "Not far. Sorry I didn't get to you earlier." Either tonight, or earlier in their captivity — it's hard to tell.

When there's shooting Melissa's hand is quickly tugged downwards. She's gotten shot plenty, no need to get a hand caught in the cross fire. She does peek just a bit once the van has past them, then she's looking to Malcolm, to make sure he was okay. It would be a bitch if he died now.

"Just a little longer, then we'll get you the drug, you'll get this thing down, and we'll get you someplace safe so you don't have to worry about the robots or the Institute, okay? I swear it," she says, voice as low as she can manage and still be heard.

The glass may not be spreading too much of his own blood around, but Kincaid grimaces as he glances over at the driver and what wounds he managed to get. "Scratch that, you can keep driving," he says, as he uses his side of the window to watch and give any warnings, before glancing back and making sure everyone is still on board.

"Did you have a plan on where to go once we managed to get away?" One would think someone stuck in the Dome for as long as they've been would know most of the roads. Kincaid didn't get the chance, though— because he was busy trying to lay low and play along with the bigots. Who didn't trust him with more than sitting around and look out.

And for good reason, considering.

Once the damage is done, Ryans is quickly grabbing for Brand to pull him down out of the line of fire, listening to the sound of bullets impacting the metal of the truck. The kid is only restrained long enough for them too get to far for the retrievers to hit them. When he sits up finally, a glance tells him that Malcolm and Melissa are alright.

Ben sits back against the side of the truck heavily, privately relieved that they got away. "Good work," he acknowledges to the teenager. The fedora is pulled off his head so that he can brush the sleeve of his trench coat across his forehead.

He doesn't know where they are going, but Benjamin hopes they get there soon. He's ready to be done with this dome and home again. Feels like forever since this whole thing started.

It turns out that Brand doesn't need much pulling around. He drops to the bed of the truck like a good little soldier, avoiding the zinging rounds of the government retrievers with Ryans. He's panting slightly, his hands twitching as he cheek caresses the cold metal of the truck. Finally it is over and he can sit up again.

"Yeah, thanks. I'm starting to gget pretty good at shooting and killing. Amazing what a Dome will do."

With a groan, Malcolm sits up enough to slump his back against the edge of the truck bed, hands scrubbing furiously at his face as if getting chased by gunfire itched more than the scruff of ginger-brown beard on his face. "Used t'be that I didn't think there was any place much safer than my own— my own forcefields," he mumbles, a look from Brand to Melissa, blue eyes tired. "But I guess that's not so true anymore."

He rests his head against the vibrating metal, arms bundled around his stomach in a fold, as the strange sky he's created for them all stays impassive and still as the truck cruises through the crippled neighbourhood.

Whether JJ has a plan or not goes unsaid — the FRONTLINE agent simply drives in silence until finally squinting up at the tall silhouette of a dark building standing sentinel on a street. He gives a nod, more to himself as he slows the vehicle, pulling into the parking garage. "Keep an eye out for anyone who seems hostile — but don't shoot at anything that moves, all right? There might be some people on our side here, or just people squatting."

The truck is eased into a parking spot, and he unclicks his seat belt before reaching into the center console where the syringe filled with black liquid rests. He glances up at Kincaid. "Let's hope this works." Rather than pass it through the window, he opens his door, nodding for Kincaid to do the same, before moving around the truck to pull down the tailgate. "Can you do it yourself or need help?" he asks to Malcolm, holding the syringe out.

"You can't protect yourself by staying in a bubble all the time, though it's nice to think so," Melissa says, smiling sympathetically to Malcolm. "Got a couple movies I'll show you sometime," she says, before looking up at JJ, then over to Kincaid. "Got another smoke?" Because, regardless of whether the dome comes down or not, she needs it.

Live and learn," Ryans offers in comment to Malcolm, moving to sit on the edge of the truck bed, swinging a foot out to rest on the bumper, rifle held across his legs. "Like I said before, I know and work with people that might be able to help get you underground and protected from being stuffed in a metal casket."

But that is all he says on that, elapsing into silence as the syringe of inky fluid is offered to the dome's creator. Instead of watching, Ryans turns his attention to watching out for trouble. Seems weird to stare at the poor fellow while he tries to right his mistake.

Taking the syringe, Malcolm nods his thanks to JJ, turns to Ryans. "That might be nice," is all he can really say to that, meekly, dazed that there are people would help him. Help him. And they stand here in a scattered circle, and whether they really mean it or are just saying it will come into the light of day when he does what everyone wants him to do. His coat is shed, so that he can best roll up a sleeve, and he turns his back on the group as he takes a few steps towards the open maw of the garage.

The needle slips into his milky white arm, discarded with a clatter once the black fluid is offered into his system, released like a virus, or petals to the wind.

Taking a breath as Malcolm feels that familiar sensation of the drug in his system, his arms lift, spread, as if trying to reach for the sky they can't see beyond the ceiling of the garage, every finger spread and straining, chin tipping back. It happens, then, like a change in the wind, a dull sort of pressure that goes off in their skulls, and then a rush of air that billows through the garage door. Silver shines over Malcolm's skin, briefly, as if all that pent up energy standing stalwart in a circle around them were returning to him, making him shudder.

Up above, smog releases like trapped balloons. Cascades past the thick ice that is supported by nothing but air.

And the silhouette that Malcolm makes in the doorway wobbles. There was no gunshot. Not even the sign of him getting hit. His legs just suddenly give out from beneath him, collapsing him to the cement, red blood plastered all up the grey of his shirt with the evidence of a bullet wound tearing at the muscle and bones and ligaments in his right shoulder. He exhales as if he'd been punched, confusion written into his eyes.

His hands clutch at the wound, come away slick.

A strange sound is filling the air. And then, like a giant blithely stepping his foot down upon the roof of the garage, massive amounts of ice makes a thunderous echo as it slams down upon the rooftop, filling the cavern with thunder and smashing upon the ground just outside. Shards of white splinter inside in a hazy cloud that pillows into the garage in sudden chill, ears ringing and the ground shuddering within the force of it, run off meltwater greasing inside.

Malcolm half-heartedly scrabbles backwards, gasping.

Green eyes dart to Ryans, and something twitches in JJ's jaw but he presses his lips together and gives a silent nod, turning back to watch the man pull down the barrier that has cut them all off from the world. His brows twitch at the change in pressure and his lips part to say something when suddenly he sees that blood and sees Malcolm staggering from seemingly nothing at all.

"What the-" he begins, swiveling to seek a gunman, his gun's barrel trying to find a target before the shake and thunder have him staggering down to his knees.

Melissa watches as Malcolm injects himself, and stands. She cocks her head, right up until she spots the red spreading across his shirt. Quickly she does two things at once. First she flicks on her ability, muting the pain. Then she's darting towards Malcolm, trying to get him down and cover his body with her own. The others are better shots, after all. Everyone should stick to what they're good at, right? "Malcolm? You okay? C'mon buddy, tell me you're alright," she says, voice steady despite the situation.

While Melissa darts towards Malcolm, she finds Kincaid not far behind her, still armed, but with nothing to fire at. And also starting to wish he hadn't given her his last two cigarettes and his lighter.

Dark eyes move around as he kneels beside them, searching for something, adding additional cover, even if it means he's putting himself between them and more potential bullets.

"Did anyone see where that came from? Anything?" he asks outloud, as if that'll give him an idea on where to aim.

"Dammit," Ryans growls out as Malcolm starts to go down, all the relief he might feel at the barrier going down dashed. With a hand resting on the edge of the truck, he leaps out of the back. However, as soon as his feet hit the ground, his body follows shortly after as the ceiling of ice falls, shaking the world and throwing him off balance.

Ears ringing and the cold smacking his face, Benjamin pushes himself to his feet and hurries to cover Melissa and Kincaid. "Can you two drag him back out of the open?" he asks a bit louder then normal since his ears are still ringing from the sound of the impact.

Rifle to his shoulder, Ryans pressed his shoulder to the wall, before hazarding to lean out and search for the sign of a shooter.

Having slunk out of the truck and pressed himself against the wall in anticipation of something going wrong with the Amp. You might call Brand cynical. So when the pressure drops and the ice begins to fall, the teenager is not so easily shaken. Malcolm getting shot is another story. He actually cries out - but softly.


He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

Tempting as it is to throw up the Dome— smaller, bigger, who knows— Malcolm refrains. He's done with hurting people, intentionally or not. Blood pours out of him as readily as if there were a faucet attached, face going shock pale and making the patchy swatched of facial hair on his jaw stand darker on his skin, all the flaws and shadows and lines that show his age and health. The ice peppers sugary on hair, fabric, eyelashes, and he doesn't resist being dragged into relative safety.

"Ohhh, it hurts," he groans out, clutching at an arm that could be more attached to his body than it is, though difficult to tell how bad that damage is through fabric that's gone near black with saturated blood, unconsciousness swift to take him without much response to Melissa's steady plead or Brand's soft startle.

And in the morning, it will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering.

The ice masks any chance of finding guilty footprints.

It may also have driven the culprits away. Wails of car alarms howl up into the sky after vehicles suffered the crush of falling ice, the world outside the garage made into desolate tundra. There's nothing to see outside, no ensuing bullets chasing them deeper into the garage. The world outside is not quiet, but it is empty, and a harsh wind slides down the street, kicking up ice as if the outside world had come to play, to reconnect them.

O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

Red mixes with the ice water, and the street remains empty. And freed.

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