aman_icon.gif gates_icon.gif kaylee6_icon.gif kimiko_icon.gif phoenix_icon.gif tae_icon.gif

Scene Title Crash
Synopsis Survivors of the Manitoba Crash coordinate with Yamagato Industries and the Department of the Exterior to uncover the truth.
Date January 14, 2021

Hangar 15 rests on the banks of the Hudson River on the south-eastern edge of Yamagato Park, just a block away from the Yamagato Building. The Hangar is an enclosed port for carrier ships with river access by ship and cargo access by truck. The structure is sprawling with ceilings four stories tall. On the exterior, the building is a matte white and nondescript save for the Yamagato Industries logo stenciled on the hangar doors.

But on the inside, it is a crime scene in diorama.

Hangar 15
Yamagato Park

January 14th
9:17 am

The wreckage of an Antonov An-225 Mriya is scattered across the massive floor of Hangar 15. Every single piece of the massive cargo aircraft is laid out in order by orientation of the plane’s design from tip to tail. It looks like the way paleontologists would lay out the fossil of a dinosaur while trying to reconstruct it.

Three black SUVs are parked inside the hangar just within the closed bay doors. One bearing the seal of the SLC-Expressive Services Agency, the other two bearing the mountain-and-river logo of Yamagato Industries.

“As you can see, we’ve gathered and catalogued every piece of the wreckage.” Kimiko Nakamura doesn’t look well today. She walks with a weakness that implies discomfort in each step, looks fatigued and listless. But she is powering through to personally guide the group gathered in the Hangar.

Nearby, six Yamagato Industries TX "Tetsujin" Labor Automatons stand idle but at the ready. Kimiko motions to them with her prosthetic hand. “To ensure that no fingerprints were damaged and no contamination of psychic residue, we employed our Tetsujin automatons to move each piece of wreckage. No human hand has touched them.”

A few paces behind Kimiko, Agent Gates walks through the wreckage with a furrowed brow and an unfocused stare. He keeps one hand at his chin, eyeing pieces of the broken aircraft with great concern and curiosity. Beside Gates, Tae-hwan Ko follows the agent’s line of sight, watching him with a wary and tense expression.

Turning to look past Gates, Kimiko’s focus lands on the other three people gathered at this event. Kaylee Thatcher, Aman Binepal, and the time-spanned psychometer Phoenix. Tae affords Phoenix a subtle nod in greeting. This wasn’t the first time the pair had been called in to investigate a mysterious disappearance. But this one might be the most mysterious yet.

“This is excellent, Ms. Nakamura,” Kaylee says with relief in her tone. “Really appreciate the use of the robots. Thank you.” It’s been a long wait, as a detective herself, she understands how long the process can be with evidence and this was a doozy. Still, she couldn’t help impatiently wait for this day to come.

There is only a concerned look cast the woman’s way at her appearance, but after a debate, Kaylee holds her tongue. Instead she inclines her head to Tae, offering him a relieved smile. “Thank you for your help.” she included Phoenix and Aman in that. “I’m hoping between the three of you we can find some answers to what’s going on with Ms. Nakamura and… and well, all the rest of us that woke up in this wreckage.”

Kaylee offers Gates an appreciative smile for his part in making this happen, even though she’s honestly uncomfortable being there among the bits and pieces of the plane. Just being around all that twisted metal, she could remember the smell of burning fuel and hear the screams.

Taking a deep breath, Kaylee looks at everyone and puts on a subdued smile, “So, I know Agent Gates and his people have some hotspot areas,” she offers him another smile, “but I would like to propose we start in the cockpit. From what I understand, the only body that was found was the pilots, so… with that in mind, I’m hoping that there will be some good information there.”

Kaylee looks at the others to see if they agree with that assessment, especially the mysterious and rather concerning Kimiko.

Phoenix offers a small, polite smile to Tae, respectful of the other man and his similar, if different, ability and holding no animosity toward the other postcognitive, no matter his mother’s feelings or Tae’s feelings toward his mother. Phoenix Dawson, son of Monica Dawson, gives the automatons a wary glance. He doesn’t remember his past — the future — where he and his family and friends lived in a wasteland and fought against robots, nor does he remember the more-recent past of the Civil War where he most likely fought more of the same.
But he knows about them, and they make him a little nervous.

Still, he smiles at Kimiko’s mention of no hands having touched the wreckage, glancing down at his own gloved hands. “Sorry I’ll have to, to get a reading,” Phoenix says lightly. “But at least you’ll know when I was here.”

Kaylee’s suggestion to start in the cockpit draws a nod from the quiet man, his feet shifting slightly to move in that direction with the others, though he waits for the others to lead the way. He turns to Aman, one brow lifting curiously. “Surprised to see you here.” There’s a question in his eyes he doesn’t voice.

To say Aman feels out of place here is an understatement— in the presence of CEOs, robots, mysteries, and secret agents— but it's a reality he's gradually becoming accustomed to. He's dressed better than casual for this meeting, a brown sport jacket with patterns of muted warm colors paired with a pale blue scarf wound around his neck to fend off the chill.

He returns Phoenix's look with a slight, upward jut of his chin. "All these different kinds of reading in one place, maybe we'll have better luck than we did last time," Aman replies quietly, an answer to the silent question as much as it is the observation that was made.

He'll be the last person to argue with Kaylee's suggestion, given he's here firmly to support her. He gestures in the direction of the cockpit like it weren't obvious. "This way, then?"

Kimiko nods and directs the others toward the snapped off cockpit of the aircraft, with its blown out windows driven inside from collision with the ground. Tae is silent as he follows, looking around the wreckage with obvious concern and question in his eyes, none of which is voiced. On his way into the cockpit, Tae gently brushes his fingers across the sheared apart portion of the aircraft’s hull, touching burrs of sharp metal caked with soil. His eyes upturn to the warped ceiling, then continues on in.

Kimiko waits at the entrance to the nose of the plane while Kaylee and the others enter the cockpit with Agent Gates following at their rear. Gates doesn’t interrupt the proceedings, but he does pause to look at the way the cockpit door is crooked in its frame and bent. He scotts his toe and grinds some dirt on the floor, then looks up to the others as they make their way inside.

The cockpit is massive. Even in spite of the damage to the windows from the crash, it remains largely intact. There’s four seats, two on a side, of the aisle coming in. Instrumentation panels hang partly open on the cabin walls, dangling with exposed wires. Cracked monitors are set into the walls. At the end of the long cockpit there is a pilot and copilot chair, both twisted and broken from the crash.

There are so many emotions as Kaylee steps into the cockpit ahead of everyone. The low heels of her dress shoes scrape across the dirty floor, while eyes sweep left and right taking in various details, until she finds herself close to the mangled seats of the pilot and co-pilot.

Her mind seems to catch for a moment she slows to a stop near the mangled seats. Her breathing hitches when the chaos of emotions seems to grip at her throat and threaten to squeeze. Kaylee felt hope that they would learn something finally, but was terrified she’d hit yet another dead end.

A hand absently reaches for a cross that isn’t there, as Kaylee quietly prays that she and the others get a win here.

Her back still to the others Kaylee lets out a shaky breath leaving her and she takes a deeper one to clear to take control of herself again. Emotions shoved to the back of her mind and she nods to nothing, maybe a thought, before she turns to walk past the men who would be digging for them. “Alright gentlemen, the floor is yours,” she says encouragingly, even though her voice is still a little thick from her emotions.

With that she moves to stand next to Gates, pulling out a recorder from the small messenger bag on her shoulder and a pen and pad. The bag stood out cause it didn’t quite fit with the black suit she was wearing, with its deep red shirt under it.

Only once she was ready does she look at the agent next to her. “Question,” Kaylee asks with her voice pitched low to keep from disrupting those working. “Do we have an MEs report on the pilot? And can I see it?” She looks toward the front of the cabin and nods to it, “‘Cause…excuse my language, but there is no fucking way one person could fly this monstrosity… and I vaguely remember a body… it wasn’t in the cabin.”

“That body was the pilot.” Gates says as he follows alongside Kaylee. “We do have the report and I can share it with you, nothing in it is terribly sensitive in nature. But we believe this aircraft was outfitted with advanced autonomous piloting systems after-market, which would’ve allowed a single pilot to man it. But…” Gates looks to the specialists, “I would enjoy being proven wrong.”

Trailing after Kaylee, Aman lays a hand on her shoulder when she comes back closer to the entrance. He gives her a meaningful look before allowing the other two postcognitives ahead, squeezing her shoulder before following after.

He takes his time in looking over the wreckage, crouching to see if there's anything that could have particular meaning to someone to be found in the bits and pieces here. Anything to help his borrowed ability latch on more firmly.

Once he’s in the cockpit, despite its disturbing damage, Phoenix seems to relax away from the automatons. He looks around, green eyes taking in the various panels and multitudes of switches along the way to the pilot’s seat.

“If I’ve ever been in the cockpit of one of these things, I don’t remember it, but it’s a lot more complicated than I would’ve pictured,” the amnesiac says, looking impressed. “There should probably have been at least a copilot, right?”

Guessing he’s the only one who needs to touch the things, he glances over his shoulder at the agents and Kaylee, before stepping through the narrow gap that brings him to the pilot’s twisted and bent chair. Tugging off his gloves, he tucks them in the pocket of his coat, then reaches to lightly touch the steering apparatus. He bows his head slightly, tipping it a little to the side like he might be trying to hear better whatever memories unfold.

Kimiko watches from a distance, her arms wrapped around herself. While all eyes are off of her, she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a handkerchief, holding it under her nose.

Nothing was going to keep her from answers.

Six Months Earlier

Somewhere Over Manitoba

Wouldn't it be nice if we were older?

Then we wouldn't have to wait so long

Music floods through the dimly-lit cockpit of a massive Antonov An-225 Mriya. There is no one sitting in either the pilot’s seat or copilot’s seat, yet the controls pitch and adjust themselves as if ghosts were flying the plane. One row back, a bearded man in a gray jumpsuit is sitting in one of the secondary helm seats, facing the aisle with his feet propped up on the next chair over. A small radio sits on the counter at his side, softly playing a familiar Beach Boys’ song.

And wouldn't it be nice to live together

In the kind of world where we belong?

The bearded pilot’s right foot bobs to the catchy beat of the surf-rock classic, a magazine laid out in his lap showing numerous stylishly dressed and scantily clad women. The text in the magazine is notably in Cyrillic. The pilot licks his thumb and flips to the next page, singing off-key with the Beach Boys in a heavy Eastern European accent.

You know it's gonna make it that much better

When we can say goodnight and stay together

Unbeknownst to the pilot, several lights on the center console of the cockpit come on. One of them indicates спутниковая линия отключена another notes автопилот отключен. A second after those lights go on they flicker dark again and the plane takes a sudden, gentle right turn.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up

In the morning when the day is new?

An alarm begins beeping at the station beside the pilot, and on one of the embedded CRT monitors a warning flashes in red in Cyrillic. The pilot glances at it, does a double-take and throws down his magazine and looks closer at the alert.

And after having spent the day together

Hold each other close the whole night through

нарушение условий содержания
AKTC Стручок четыре

Happy times together we've been spending

I wish that every kiss was never ending

Блядь.” The pilot curses with a shake of his head as he gets up from his seat and walks out of the cockpit, revealing the massive cabin beyond bathed in red light. The pilot disappears out of view as he descends stairs into the noisy cabin. At the same time, the plane takes another subtle right turn of its own volition.

Oh, wouldn't it be nice?

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray

There is shouting echoing from the cabin, indistinct yelling in Russian and a pounding noise like someone repeatedly banging on something. A moment later a light comes on at the pilot’s control console.

It might come true

Baby, then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do

открыть грузовую дверь
ручное управление

Oh, we could be married (oh, we could be married)

And then we'd be happy (and then we'd be happy)

A scream echoes from the cabin, followed by the whirring sound of hydraulics moving. The cabin immediately decompresses, followed by the cockpit as papers are sucked off of the counter spaces and blows out through the door. The roar of wind floods the aircraft and alarms sound all over the plane. Heavy scraping sounds grind through the cabin and the scream once so clear suddenly trails off and then is swallowed by the roar of the wind.

Oh, wouldn't it be nice?

You know it seems the more we talk about it

The aircraft’s controls pitch forward sharply, and the plane begins to make a rapid descent that triggers dozens of alarms and red lights that flash across the control consoles.

It only makes it worse to live without it

But let's talk about it

Blazing alarms, the whine of stalling engines, and the roar of wind accompanies the sudden arrival of the horizon out the pilot’s window.

Oh, wouldn't it be n—

Present Day

Tae shakes his head, rubbing one hand across his throat. He had been screaming, echoing the Russian pilot’s screaming. His voice is hoarse and he looks winded as he slouches against one of the side consoles, head in his hands. Tae looks up to Phoenix and Aman, then over to Kaylee with his eyes wide in disbelief.

“I… hope that helps.” Tae says, looking to the other specialists, then back to Kaylee.

It’s easy to tell that Kaylee had been staring at Tae as he screamed… in Russian no doubt. When he looks at her, the woman blinks several times and looks down at her pad full of notes. From his spot near here, Gates can see her circle two particular words ‘technopathic interference’ with a question mark next to it, before pulling it close to her and stopping the recording for a moment.

“That was… that was actually amazing.” Kaylee says in awe of Tae. All of them really. She has always had an appreciation for abilities. Especially those that could pierce the veil of time and space… either physically or mentally. Concern for Tae settles in quickly. “Are you going to be okay? Do you need a bottle of water? Maybe I can buy you some hot tea later… or something far stronger…” cause that… “In fact, I’ll gladly buy you all drinks after this.” That was horrifying.

“I’ll be alright,” Tae says with a thankful smile to Kaylee. “Just a little hoarse.” Which brings Tay to rub at his throat, looking at Phoenix and Aman curiously. He knew the other three were gifted, but together they have a profound triumvirate of abilities. He looks distracted, eyes wandering.

“The only thing that could make this clearer would be if I had…” Kaylee’s voice catches with a surge of emotion. Clearing her throat, she finishes her thought through a heavy sigh, “had my telepathy…” She quickly put back an appreciative smile, “Thank you guys, that was a pretty good start.”

Her attention turns to the man she’s standing near with a watery look. The encouraging smile she offers him has a momentary tremble. “Looks like you were right, Agent Gates,” she nods her head to him. “You also said that your team had indicated other parts of interest?”

Meanwhile, Phoenix seems deaf and blind to his surroundings, but instead paused early on, lifting his hands from the control to reach into his coat for a pad of paper and pen. With a careful hand, he writes he Cyrlllic he sees, small and slanted.

спутниковая линия отключена
автопилот отключен

He sets the pen and pad on the seat to continue his vision, then lifts his hand again to pick them up a second time, and a third.

нарушение условий содержания
AKTC Стручок четыре

открыть грузовую дверь
ручное управление

Phoenix glances over at Tae as he screams, before touching the steering mechanism again. When at last he lifts it, he looks shaken, pale. He reaches for the pad, handing it to Kaylee. “I don’t read Russian, but this might help.” Green eyes look up, and he raises his brows to those in the cockpit with him, in a silent query if anyone there does.

Coming to his feet from his search, Aman only shakes his head to Phoenix. By far the least impacted, he's able to take the work the other two did and hopefully capitalize on it. He slips his phone from his pocket anyway as he sidles up to Kaylee, making a gesture for the pad. He might not know, but there's online translators for this sort of thing, and they could have an answer quickly.

Balancing the phone against the pad, he scratches out the translation he's able to find under each line.

спутниковая линия отключена
автопилот отключен
satellite line disabled
autopilot disabled

"The plane was flying entirely on autopilot, and something fucked with it," Aman ventures in a mutter while he writes. If he's remotely sorry for his unprofessional language, that'll come later.

нарушение условий содержания
AKTC Стручок четыре
containment breach
AKTC Pod four

"Then something opened which wasn't supposed to— a pod, or something. I'm guessing that's when our guy left the cockpit and things started to sound more distant."

открыть грузовую дверь
ручное управление
open cargo door
manual control

"Then one of the cargo doors manually opened? I'm guessing our screamer started just before this one." Looking up, Aman passes the pad back to Kaylee again with a frown, and then regards Kimiko out of the corner of his eye.

He opens his mouth to ask something of her; hesitates, second-guesses. Then he continues anyway: "Miss, are you good?"

“Fine.” Kimiko says, moving her handkerchief away from her face and quickly stuffing it in her pocket. “So we have sabotage, then?”

Gates is quick to temper that assertion. “Maybe,” he says with a palm briefly raised to Kimiko. “We don’t know precisely what we’re dealing with here yet, but it sounds like there was a disturbance in the cabin, which is one of the areas we suspected was a point of interest. I’m going to suggest we go there next, then—”

“The pods.” Kimiko says sternly. “I want to know what happened in the pods.”

“We’ll get there,” Gates says with a momentarily uncertain look at Kimiko, though it is quick to pass. “Let’s walk on over to where the fuselage is, see if we can pick up the rest of that altercation.” Gates steps down out of the cockpit, starting to walk across the hangar to the wreckage of the fuselage.

Letting Gates move ahead, Kaylee looks at the others before hopping down near Kimiko. “That was my thought too,” she offers quietly to the CEO of Yamagato. “Technopath maybe? To me it sounds like the cabin might have been a distraction.” Her shoulders shrug a bit, looking back over her shoulder at the cabin, brows furrowing as she thinks back to what they all said. “I’m not up on technopaths… do they leave a sort of fingerprint I wonder?” A brow twitches upward at Kimiko.

Leaving her to ponder that, Kaylee’s content to have offered her support on the woman’s opinion. An offered bit of solidarity maybe?

Turning Kaylee waits for the three men, especially Aman, before following Gates. Admittedly, she’s relieved they were getting to the pods yet. It was already tough being there among the wreckage. Just looking in that direction makes her stomach twist with the memories of those things, what it does to her shows plainly on her face.

The quick translation work from Aman earns a nod of thanks from Phoenix. He turns toward to look at the pods when Kimiko interjects, then looks back to her, sympathy in his pale eyes.

He knows a little something about the helplessness of not knowing what’s happened in one’s own past, after all.

Having to move out of the small space of the pilot’s seat, he steps out last onto the firmer ground of the hangar and begins to move in the direction of the fuselage. “Intense. Feeling like I won’t be getting on a plane anytime soon. Probably better you’ve forgotten it,” Phoenix says lightly to Kaylee.

As they get to the fuselage, he looks around for a place to lay his hands, before choosing a seat at random, touching gingerly the armrest.

If nothing else, there's the relief they've gotten anything so far this far at all. Aman is grateful for that much, as he will be if they pull this trick off a second time. By Kaylee's side until they arrive the short distance, he regards the space with a frown, once again looking for anything remotely personal-seeming to try a lay of his hands on. He's conscious every use of his borrowed ability has consequences, even if this is a fact he keeps to himself.

Tae simply walks into the middle of the fuselage section, hands out to his side and eyes shut. His brows furrow, head tilts to the side and

Six Months Earlier

Somewhere Over Manitoba

Alarms flood the interior of the fuselage under the dim glow of the running lights. Clanking footfalls interrupt the rhythm of electric alarms as the pilot hurries down the stairs from the cockpit, running over to rows of matte black cases laying end to end on the cargo bay floor, covered in blue plastic tarp material anchored to the floor with bungee cables.

The tarp covering on one of the cases has come off and a red light is flashing on the exterior. Hustling over to the case, the pilot takes a knee at the side and looks like he isn’t sure what to do. The pilot leans over the blocks silhouette of the ACTS unit, looking at the fogged-up glass window, then down to where a red light is flashing.

A warning in English is stenciled below the light: Lock Disengaged. Along side side, a serial number in spray-painted stencil: P-00011

Блядь!” The pilot shouts, pawing at the keypad on the side of the ACTS trying to find something. In the same moment, the plane takes a sharp right turn and the pilot is forced to grip the side of the case. He exhales a sharp gasp, only to have the plane suddenly pitch forward. As the pilot screams, he hears a muffled noise coming from the interior of the case. A pounding.

Someone is slamming their fists against the inside and screaming.

“Блядь, Блядь!” The pilot shouts, scrambling to his feet. A moment later there’s a buzzer noise and he pivots, looking wide-eyed as the back hangar doors open on the aircraft and the cabin begins to decompress. A frantic rise to his feet suddenly turns to a desperate battle to grab a hold of something as he is sucked toward the swiftly opening rear of the plane. The pilot cries out, grip slipping on the ACTS case before he slips, bounces, and tumbles toward the back of the aircraft. His fingers find purchase in notches on the floor for bungee hooks, desperately clinging on for dear life.

The pilot’s screams continue to grow as he realizes his harrowing predicament and the plane continues its nose dive. The blaring alarms roar beneath the howl of the wind and the pilot’s screams. The drumming of a prisoner within one of the ACTS is a steady beat to this nightmarish symphony. A moment later there is a sudden violent impact and the nose of the plane is sheared off and simply vanishes into the dark of night.

The now severed front of the plane catches on a furrow of dirt, pitches end over end like a circus ride, battering the pilot around inside the fuselage. The ACTS containers become airborne, each of them several hundred pounds of plastic and steel. The pilot’ is battered by the cases and impales on twisted pieces of broken metal. ACTS cases are flung from the plane as it crashes, sometimes with their lids opening sending the people within spiraling out.

As the fuselage skids across the ground the tail section snaps off, one of the jostled ACTS lids comes open, and a portion of the ceiling struts comes flying down and drives straight through that open lid of one of the ACTS, impaling the man inside. Within seconds the harrowing crash is over.

There is fire everywhere. ACTS cases are scattered across a burning stretch of ground and their contents scattered like dolls thrown around by an angry child.

Present Day

Tae staggers, disoriented from a sense of vertigo and slouches against one of the walls. He slides down, having been screaming this whole time in Russian. His lungs ache, his throat burns and tears are welled up in his eyes. “Water,” Tae rasps.

Kimiko is silent and still, one hand over her mouth as she digests the account of the crash the postcognitives piece together. Her eyes search from side to side, lips downturned in a frown. She looks at the ACTS cases laid out along with the wreckage, swallowing audibly.

Something bothers Gates, and he steps out of the fuselage to walk over to one of the ACTS units. “The serial number on the malfunctioning case,” he says with a look around at all the dented and mangled pieces of hardware, “P-00011.” Gates walks down to the case, looking at the evidence tag on the side.

“Tetsuyama, Asi.” Gates says as he looks back in the direction of the fuselage. “That’s who was in this one.”

Kimiko’s brows furrow, dark eyes cast to the side in thought.

The call for water pulls Kaylee from wherever she is. There's a feeling of guilt when she sees Tae sitting on the floor. Pulling a bottle of water from the cross bag she’s wearing, Kaylee crouches next to the man, and presses it into his hand. It was sealed and a small length of ice swirls in it. Her eyes are reddened and cheeks damp with the tears she couldn’t stop while listening to them all go over those last moments.

Kaylee touches his hand, looking at him with deep concern in those watery eyes. “Thank you so much for this, Tae, and I’m so very sorry about the trauma.” Kaylee’s voice thickens with the threat of new tears, the screams still pretty fresh in her mind.

Much like she is with many of her friends, she worries and fusses a bit over Tae’s well being. Probably, because she knows how Luther cares about the man. “You gonna be okay? It’s okay to sit out this next part.” The ACTs she means, she wasn’t that cold-hearted. “In fact, I insist.” Last thing she wanted him to have to do is crawl into that coffin.

Though the mention of one ACT in particular being Asi’s… Kaylee’s breath catches and her head whips towards Gates. “You… you know who….?” She trails off and pales and looks at the other cases. One was her’s, but which one? As much as she wanted to know, Kaylee was frozen where she was.

Grim-faced and quiet, having gotten no reading from his own position, Phoenix stands silently to the side after witnessing the re-enactment from Tae. He slides his hands back into the pockets of his coats, as if to avoid touching anything on accident that might send him into the past and those harrowing moments until he’s more prepared for it.

At Kaylee’s question, he looks over to the ACTS, then moves to follow, giving Tae a pat on the shoulder as he passes him by.

The approach toward the coffins brings Aman closer to areas he knows he'll likely be able to help shed more light through. He steps forward and sets his jaw, pausing before one of the husks of machines to look back between Kimiko and Gates instead.

"Do you have anything that was worn by the crash victims in the evidence held here? I can do my best to get reads off of…" Uncertainly, Aman tilts one hand to the coffins. "But it'll be easier in my case it was something someone held or worn."

Kimiko nods, motioning with a flick of a hand to a member of the skeleton crew of Yamagato personnel in the hangar. They lead Aman over to where gray athletic clothes are laid out in varying sizes, like silhouettes of people forgotten on the floor. There are no shoes, the survivors of the crash were given no such dignity.

Tae, gulping down mouthfuls of water, finally stops for a gasping breath and shakes his head. “I’ll be fine,” he says stubbornly. There’s anger in his expression, not for his circumstances, but for the people that were imprisoned here against their will. “We need everything,” he insists. Tae sets down his bottle of water and joins the other seers, closing his eyes and taking in a sharp breath through his nose as he approaches the ACTS Units.

Six Months Earlier

Location Unknown

The massive silhouette of an Antonov An-225 Mriya dwarfs the ground vehicles set on a rainy tarmac in a remote airfield.

A group of ACTS cases are stacked atop one-another in the back of a surplus military vehicle that looks like an outmoded US Army flatbed transport. The vehicle comes to a stop, a pair of young men in drab paramilitary uniforms with no insignias, buzz-cuts, and knit caps step out from the back of the vehicle into the rain. It’s cold enough that they can see their breath.

“Petnajst minut imamo za… nalaganje letala.” One soldier says to another, motioning to the containers with a lift of his clean-shaved chin. “Pohiti.

Two other soldiers hustle from the transport over to the massive aircraft, which is opened on both ends like an unwrapped cigar. The rear of the plane has its loading ramp opened, while the nose of the plane has flipped open like the head of a Pez dispenser, revealing the cavernous cockpit. The truck rumbles ahead, two soldiers leading it in.

“Ali pustimo tovornjak tukaj?!” The soldier in the driver’s seat shouts out the window, squinting against the rain. One of the two young men in front of him turns around and shakes his head.

“Zažgali ga bomo!” The young soldier shouts back to the driver, who looks surprised but not concerned. They lead the vehicle into the aircraft, and then circle around the back to begin the process of unloading the ACTS units with a forklift. All told, a half dozen men complete the task without any supervision or interruption.

In the end, the aircraft is loaded with the ACTS units laid out side by side. One young soldier, leaning over one of the cases, looks down at the slumbering face of Daphne Milbrook slumbering within. “Ta je luštna,” he says to another young soldier, pointing down at Daphne with a laugh and a smile.

“Sleeping Beauty,” the other soldier says in an accented English with a smile and a laugh. “Daj no,” he says to his friend, slapping him on the shoulder and then jerking a thumb back at the truck. “Zažgali bomo tovornjak in se napili.” The two young men laugh together, then move to join their comrades.

The forklift is driven up ramps into the back of the transport, and the transport drives out of the aircraft around the same time a white panel van approaches up the desolate airstrip, just barely visible from where the ACTS units lay in waiting. The truck’s driver gets out, cell phone in hand. He pauses to look back at the transport driving away from the airstrip, then continues up into the plane. It’s the pilot.

“Они просто ушли,” the man with the phone says into the receiver. “Куда я иду?” He asks, followed by a rise of his brows. “И как звали моего контакта?” Another question, this time met with a word in English. “Archer?” He nods, then walks up the row of ACTS units to a wall control for the cargo entrances, flipping switches to begin the closure procedure.

“Я понимаю.” The pilot says, then ends the call.

Present Day

Tae seems relieved that the visions shared on the ACTS weren’t all terrible. But there is more detail and nuance yet they can pull off of them. Tae sits cross-legged on the ground, massaging his brow while Aman continues to review the clothes. There’s no fingerprints on them for Phoenix to retrieve information from, but hopefully Aman can get something useful.

“Multiple languages,” Gates says with a squint. “One was Russian, I think I might’ve heard Croatian, maybe Czech? Something Eastern European.” He checks the recorder he has in his hand, then nods to Kaylee.

Kaylee’s lips are pressed tightly together. “It’s bothering me that so far there have been hints of an alleged military presence and several languages hinting at a potential multinational operation? I mean this seriously, but God help us if other countries decide we need to be brought to heel.” They didn’t exactly like the US for it’s lax rules for people with abilities and that what happened here to get those freedoms was inspiring their own oppressed people to action.

Aman, going over the clothes, closes his eyes as something hits him.

Six Months Earlier

Location Unknown

Zachery Miller lays naked on a metal table, eyes closed and arms down at his side. Fluorescent lights click on overhead, illuminating rows of other unoccupied tables filling the space. Everything is sterile and metal and lit by the few lights in the ceiling. It looks like a hospital.

A red-haired man in a lab coat walks in carrying an armful of clothes; gray athletic wear. He comes to stand beside Zachery’s table, setting the clothes down nearby before putting on a pair of latex gloves. He forces Zachery’s single eye open with two fingers, takes a pen light out from his pocket and shines it around it, back and forth off the pupil. No response.

Putting his pen light away, the young man in the lab coat dresses Zachery in the gray clothing, then leaves the room and turns off the light.

Present Day

Gates listens to Aman, one hand on his chin, offering a concerned look to Kaylee. He paces the floor, while at the same time Kimiko’s attention is fixed on Aman’s interpretation of the clothing, about what they saw, experienced. Where they were. The lack of details was frustrating.

Kaylee manages to look up from her notes in time to share Gate’s concerned look. She also felt uncomfortable to know they had all been laying somewhere naked at one point like corpses in a morgue. It didn’t come across like something you would do to a living human being.

It was cold and impersonal.

Six Months Earlier

Somewhere Over Manitoba

Asi Tetsuyama is screaming a muffled, gagging scream.

Fists pounding against the inside of her ACTS unit, she is howling in blind horror, gasping for breath and gagging with each scream as she fights a breathing tube in her throat. Her body convulses, palms slap against the small glass window in the face of her prison. She fights against the padding, against the soporific effect of the drugs pumped into her system from an intravenous connection in her right arm that has come loose.

Soon, the interior of her case pitches. It feels like the world is spinning. Vertigo sets in, a terrifying sense of momentum, and she balls up her fist and punches the reinforced transparent polymer window.

And she cracks it with her first punch.

The world spins, flames roar past the glass, and Asi’s head collides with the front of the ACTS unit.

Present Day

Kimiko’s brows pinch together as she looks from Aman to one of the ACTS cases. “Those windows are manufactured from magnesium aluminate spinel. Ceramic glass. It’s strong enough to withstand the impact of a high-caliber firearm at point blank range…”

Gates and Kimiko briefly share a silent look as they consider the implications. “There’s no way Asi Tetsuyama could’ve scratched that glass, let alone…” Gates trails off as he takes a knee beside her case, brushing his fingertips over the spiderweb crack in the surface. “This.

Kaylee stares at Gates as he crouches there next to Asi’s case, brows furrowing. “That’s got to be impossible right?” Yet, the reading said otherwise. Her gaze falls to the case next to her with intact glass. She turns thoughtfully curious.

“Fuck… I can’t believe I’m gonna do this,” Kaylee murmurs under her breath. Taking a deep breath she tries to talk herself into it. “Only way to know for sure…” Kaylee murmurs under her breath and suddenly hauls back and punches the intact glass on the case. There is a meaty smack of her fist hitting the intact glass of one of the cases, followed immediately by her pulling her hand back with a sound of pain. It smarts enough that there are instantly tears in her eyes.

Holding her hand close to her chest and biting back any amount of curses as it throbs, Kaylee looks at the glass and then shakes her head. It was completely unscathed. “Well… we know she didn’t just simply break it,” she says with pain straining her words. “Now the question is, what other factors could cause that."

Kaylee finally looks at her poor hand, brushing a thumb across split knuckles that were just starting to ooze blood. Fuck it was going to hurt for while. To the obvious stares, Kaylee gives them a defiant look, “At least I didn’t go electrocuting my brain. Besides, it was one less thing that’s going to keep me up at night wondering.” Pulling a small pack of Kleenix out of her bag, she looks thoughtful as she dabs at it.

When Gates kneels beside the case, Phoenix rises from where he’d crouched beside it, tucking his hands back in his pockets for the time being, away from any fingerprints with their devastating memories. He doesn’t protest when Kaylee decides to punch the glass, but winces when she follows through.

“Just a guess but whoever caused the plane to crash might have interfered with the integrity of the glass on hers — possibly a couple of them? — to ensure they didn’t all get locked in, to ensure survival of at least most of them.” Phoenix nods to the case that didn’t crack under Kaylee’s swing. “Could need to be from the same angle as she was, inside the ACT, or maybe it’s just hers or hers and someone else.”

He looks over to Kimiko, then Gates. “Anyway to test for that? This Tetsuyama, her power isn’t physical, as I understand it, even if she still had an ability at that point, which seems unlikely.”

Aman is still crouched on the floor, brow furrowed as he takes the arm of the sweater tighter in his hand before letting go. His sense with his borrowed ability was imperfect, not granting him intense specificity in when this image took place— the one he could sense, anyway. He shakes his head back and forth, trying to hold onto what he recalls of the tech. Facial features, eye color, anything that could help when…

Kaylee's cry of pain pulls him sharply back to the present, startling him to his feet. "Wh—?" His attention goes only to her hand, losing track on the conversation save for its physical details. "Kaylee," Aman hisses out, coming to her side as she begins to dab her knuckles. "Let me make sure you didn't break anything."

Jesus, she'd really hauled off on that glass, hadn't she?

“Now that we’ve done a psychometric review we can have the glass sent in for analysis,” Gates explains, looking at Kaylee as he talks, then slowly pulling his stare away to Phoenix. “It’ll tell us if the glass was tampered with or if it actually was shattered by a single blunt-force impact.”

Kimiko approaches Kaylee, gently putting a hand on the one she punched the case with. “You’re getting that looked at before you leave the Park,” Kimiko quietly insists, then turns her attention back to Gates. “Does your government have any indication where these ACTS units came from?”

Gates shakes his head. “Not with one-hundred percent certainty. We know these are Institute design, but the odds are high that they were taken from something like a Retriever outpost during the war. The Institute had bolt-holes all across the country and people like Praxis Heavy Industries were robbing them blind while we were fighting a civil war.”

“Then this could have a chain of custody through Praxis?” Kimiko asks rather directly.

“Maybe. We’ve talked to one of Praxis’ chief researchers Shangjiao Wu, but he hasn’t provided us any information about all of this. As far as we’re aware, Wu’s department didn’t have any involvement in this. But we’re still questioning Praxis assets we have in detention. It’s possible this was something Monroe had in motion before everything boiled over in Detroit.”

Kimiko’s jaw clenches shut at the notion. Her stomach turns. “He would find some sick appreciation in this… but I don’t think it’s him.” Kimiko’s eyes search from side to side, her posture tense.

“That’s a good question Phoenix,” Kaylee says, before Aman gets a hiss out of her when he looks over her hand.

There is a self aware - if pained - smile over Aman’s fussing and Kimiko’s insistence that she was getting the hand looked at. She would protest, but the hand was smarting pretty good even if she doesn’t think anything was broken. Instead, she just gives Kimiko a small nod and a smile of appreciation.

Turning her attention to the conversation, Kaylee looks at the ACTs and then shakes her head. “I’m with Ms. Nakamura. This doesn’t have the feel of Adam’s handiwork. I can’t put my finger on it specifically. Like… too subtle or not egocentric enough?” She sounded uncertain about that assessment. It’s been too many years since she’d been around him. No… It felt more like something her brother’s alternate self would do, but she keeps that to herself. Her brother would do this.

“But if these were taken… years ago, then we may be a part of a long game that got cut short,” Kaylee says with a thoughtful press of her lips. Her eyes drift to the cases again, brows furrowed. “So my new question is… who crashed this plane? If they didn’t crash it, we might have never known anything was wrong and would have woken up in our beds.”

Kaylee looks at Kimiko studying her fellow Sundered to see if the woman had a similar thought. It made her sick to her stomach. “But, why us?” She asks no one in particular, even though she looks over at Gates.

Phoenix listens, glancing from Kaylee to Kimiko to Gates, before settling on watching Aman examine Kaylee’s knuckles. He pulls his gloves out to pull over his own fingers.

“My only other thought is maybe adrenaline — you hear stories about people doing insane things in times of intense fear, though I half think some of those stories, especially those before the 2000s, were people who were expressive and didn’t know better,” he muses.

As for why them, he doesn’t posit a guess, but tucks his hands in his pockets and falls back into silence.

Aman gently feels the ridges of Kaylee's knuckles, murmurs for her to flex her hand, twist her wrist. So far, so good, though maybe an x-ray wouldn't be out of the question. When Kimiko approaches he's brought back to the moment, begins to pay attention to the greater conversation again.

The world of this plane crash is one thing — any discussions regarding Praxis and Terrorist From The TV Adam Monroe go well beyond his area of understanding or comfort passing comment on.

That doesn't mean he's useless here. "As for who crashed the plane— something interfered with the autopilot; overrode it, started causing havoc with the plane. If you're talking technopathy, and Tetsuyama was panicking like that when she woke up, I'd say maybe it was her that caused it." Just talking about the woman sends a shiver down his spine, his eyes going off to the side and then back. "But that doesn't line up with the known facts— that everyone in the crash woke up without their abilities. So that points to either another technopath in play, or maybe just a malicious, regular-brand hacker."

"If it's corporate warfare at play here— and who else would have this kind of money to throw around?— then that kind of sabotage seems likely. Because otherwise…" Aman lifts his head to look around to the plane, to the machines, thinking back to the facility he saw Zachery's body in… the soldiers from the vision where the planes had been loaded up. His expression begins to fall.

With discomfort, he looks between Kimiko and Kaylee, shortly to Phoenix, and finally to Gates. Slowly, he points out while looking at the agent, "Otherwise— you're talking… government-spending level money here, the kind of resources being thrown around."

“That’s what we’re afraid of,” Gates admits with tension visible in his expression. “But, it’s a bit too early to say for sure. I’d rather not needlessly speculate.” Looking at the assembled ACTS units, Gates exhales a slow sigh and shakes his head. “I think we’ve collected a timeline of events that satisfies some of the questions we had regarding the events of the crash, but raises entirely new ones.”

“In that case, we should adjourn.” Kimiko is the first to say. “We’ve already put our specialists under a significant amount of strain and I would like to avoid any potential burnout in the event that we need to come at these pieces again. Yamagato Industries will hold the wreckage here for another month per our arrangement with the Department of the Exterior. Following that, we’ll be transferring it to a site in Kansas City.”

“Which leads me to my next point. Given the results of these findings and other inquisitions, this will largely become a SESA-led operation from here on out. Deputy Director Voss will be continuing the investigation in my stead as I’m pulled to more pressing matters.” Gates adjusts his tie, then looks down at Asi’s broken ACTS unit. “SESA is better-equipped to handle the specifics of this investigation.”

Having been quiet for a while, Tae looks up with a nod, slowly pushing to his feet and taking another pull from his bottle of water. “I hope I was able to help some,” he offers with tension in his voice and evident concern afforded to both Kaylee and Kimiko.

The mention of ‘government’ in relation to what happened to Kaylee and Kimiko has unsolicited memories bubbling to the surface. After Detroit she hadn’t thought about it much, thinking that it was a vision they had prevented… but what if…


Gunfire fills the air, indistinct shapes of violence haunt the periphery of all vision. It is at once a war and a massacre, a destruction that did not come to pass during the civil war to a city that survived intact. But this is not a civil war. This is not the past.

Dead soldiers lay amid the carnage, flags of foreign nations adorn their armor. Britain and Russia, the United States, countless more. All of this suffering feels like so much noise, so much senseless horror, until a single moment in time is crystallized.

Four teenagers stand against a brick wall. A soldier with a hand-held electronic device scans them one by one. The device clicks loudly, reporting a positive identification. The other soldiers raise their rifles.


It’s Tae’s voice that pulls Kaylee out of her deep thoughts. Kaylee dashes away the vision that the entity subjected them to and the sensation of weight around her shoulders with a shake of her head. How could that relate? It couldn’t…. Right? A thought for another time.

“You were amazing help,” Kaylee says with a smile as she turns her full attention to Tae, with a smile that echoes that appreciation. “All of you,” she says adding in Aman and Phoenix. “It’s given us a direction, even if it’s given us more questions, like the potential interference of a technopath.”

Which meant she’d be cornering Asi for a chat.

Turning her attention to Gates, she seems almost disappointed at the idea of the DoEs involvement having come to an end there. “Thank you for everything, Agent Gates. My phone’s always on and door’s always open if you ever need any help with anything.” She could have meant the fact she drummed up three postcogs for him, but honestly… helping is just at the very center of Kaylee’s nature.

The concern from Kimiko about the postcognitive trio’s stress and strain earns her an appreciative smile from Phoenix. He hasn’t had to scream and yell like Tae has, but he has in his way relived the moments of terror and helplessness.

“Happy to help,” he replies quietly to Kaylee when she thanks the three of them. “Between the three of us we got it done. Seems like a lead-in to a joke — how many psychometers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?”

The attempt at levity ends with a shrug as Phoenix turns to move out of the wreckage of the past, and back to the present. “Let me know if you come up with a punchline.”

Aman brings his arms before him into a fold, tucking them in against the chill. He draws in a breath to pass some other comment, thinks better of it. Instead, he sighs out, "Yeah, me too, won't you?"

“Three?” Gates wonders without really getting the joke while offering an askance look to Kaylee as if for help.

Kimiko sighs deeply, resting her head in her hand and then down her face. When she pulls her hand away, she is quick to close her palm.

There is a small smear of blood.

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