Damage Limitation


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Scene Title Damage Limitation
Synopsis One would think that a time traveling journey to 1945 Nazi Germany would be uncomplicated. Not so.
Date May 10, 1945

In 2010, the vision-dream rouses Rhys Blüthner from his restless sleep, the one with the clash of swords and the blast of pistols in the dark German forest.

Skin damp like a fever, he's helpless before the vision of a bullet going astray and slicing through the delicate pale column that is the throat of Kaylee, the telepath, the sticky bright red smearing her mouth. She falls back and back into the soft bed of forest ground, her hands clawing for her the gaping wound that leaks both blood and air at rapid rate, her wounds choking her like a noose.

Two shapes waltz together in their frenzy, but one hesitates, turning his attention towards the fallen woman for only a split second, but the other doesn't. He reacts, but too late. For a time traveler, Hiro Nakamura lacks in the ways of effective time management.

The flash of a sword when it goes swinging in its precise arc, and a scream pierces the early morning air — it's both pain and rage at the same time, feral, before a deafening blast of a pistol breaks apart the vision like a shattered mirror.

Pieces go skittering aside, and rearrange back into the dark shapes of the Jittetsu Arms office room.

Germany, Dassau

May, 1945

The light springtime rain spangles fine beads of moisture in Kaylee's blonde hair, and there's a chill from a long evening that prickles her skin, the barest hints of dawn now staining the sky. At the inevitably query of where are we?, Hiro had unhelpfully stated, Dassau, and geographic memory is currently whirring away beneath Kaylee's more conscious thoughts and anxieties, while she has nothing to do but wait. It's been about twenty minutes since she last saw the interior of her NYC apartment.

The sounds of civilisation are on the very edges of her hearing, the American military, according to Hiro, but they remain out of sight within the density of forest.

There's a third party here now, also, but their conversation is far enough that low words can't be discussed. It's probably an awkward conversation, with Hiro's rigidly accented voice harking back to his native tongue, in combination with the fact that the man he'd summoned out here thinks in French.

Francois Allegre is a gaunt figure, having come to crouch and then finally, exhaustedly, sit where thick tree roots make a fork in the dirt, leaning into a curved slouch against the rough bark. There is a starved look to him, the sharper jut of his chin and rise of cheekbones all made more prominent, and the severe cut of shaven scalp does little to steal away the skeletal implications. He's dressed plainly, old fashioned, grey all over save for the black woollen jacket that likely does not belong to him, clasped around himself as if it's much colder than it is. His feet are clad in sturdy looking boots that look like they've walked miles through the terrain they gather in. Whether they belong to him or not is a different question entirely.

She'll see him then offer something to Hiro, who takes it — a slip of paper too small for her to understand. Hiro studies it, his pensive expression becoming all the more defined, before he gives a sharp nod of thanks. It's then that the littlest samurai turns his attention towards Kaylee, and with an outstretched hand, summons her over.

Something clicks, around then. Dassau is in Germany.

Being that Kaylee was dressed for a New York summer, and probably rather provocative for the time, she has her arms folded tightly across her chest against the morning chill. Even in a tank top and jean shorts, it's at least bearable compared to only a few months earlier.

Her blue eyes are on the gaunt and tired looking figure, blonde brows tilted up in worry, but also with a intense curiosity for the man and his thoughts. The way French sounds is fascinating and a lovely sound. Sometimes she wishes she had kept taking the language classes.

She was horrible at it, but maybe she should try again.

It takes a moment for her to realize that Hiro is motioning her to join them. Tearing her eyes away from the French man, Kaylee blink and then nods, moving closer, her Keds moving carefully so that she doesn't trip on anything. As she approaches, she offers the man in gray a soft smile, meant to stave off any unease he might have at seeing her.

At Kaylee's approach, Francois tilts his attention to her, feet retracting where he has them loosely braced against forest floor, a sweep of his eyes from her ankles to hips, then more tentatively, warily upwards. There's no greeting, no smile back either, just distrust he seems to be making an effort, at least, to stem.

Hiro hands her the slip of paper, and it's a ticket stub for a movie. Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland was likely not a feature event in 1945, and to support this argument, the April date of 2010 is printed in slightly smudged font, but plainly visible. There is minor protest in the twitch of Francois' hands as the item is handed around, as if he'd like to demand it back — but the most fight he has in him is a forlorn stare and to say nothing, a stark contrast to a more assertive personality of 2010, although Kaylee doesn't know the man personally, and Hiro's only barely acquainted.

"Others came here before. I do not know what happened. The postcognitive cannot see so clearly when things are as far as back as this," Hiro is explaining, ignoring the slouched refugee. "You can help me, Kaylee Thatcher, by looking into his mind and seeing the memories of the time travelers he encountered, and then deleting them from his mind, as well as this meeting. We can discuss what you saw back in our time. We should try not to linger long."

He glances, then, to Francois, who doesn't seem to be understanding the English being spoken, although seemingly used to it as the Frenchman only dimly watches the ticket stub in Kaylee's hands. "Merci," is awkwardly spoken by Hiro, gaining only a flick of a glance from Francois.

Tucking a hand into a pocket, Hiro extracts the now familiar syringe of augmentation drug.

Her brows shoot up high on her head as she takes the ticket and looks at it. "This…" She says softly, giving a shocked look to Hiro, even as he explains. "This time traveling stuff with take time to get use too." When she see's Francois looking at the ticket, she crouches down to his level and shifts her balance to let her knees hit the cold damp ground.

She offers the ticket to him, to ease his tension, if anything she can possibly get him to hand it back after wards. Her smile is reassuring, as she holds her hands up to show she has nothing funny going on. Hell, she can't exactly conceal anything dressed like she is. "I am Kaylee." She offers her name, hoping it will help as well, her hand resting against her chest to indicate herself. "Let him know, I'm going to need to touch him, but only his temple." Her voice is soft and gentle, her eyes not coming off the man in front of her.

Already her ability is lacing its way into his mind lightly, the touch will ease the difficulty like a direct connection to his brain. She waits for Hiro to relay the information, before reaching out to attempt to touch the side of his shaved head with gentle fingers, feeling the prickle of the shaven head. Eyes shut then, so she concentrate on the memories.

There is a muttered attempt at stilted French, that has Francois twitch an eyebrow upwards, but understanding is manifest in the way he doesn't flinch from the touch. The ticket gets folded up in his fist, then, green eyes for a moment locking on her blue before she shuts them, and he slides his attention away mutely.

Hiro looms nearly, a cautious glance around the setting. "Look for women," he suggests. "In the last week."

Three blondes, different faces, and they're almost difficult to make out — as if prior feverish delirium had tipped them over the edge of memory until Hiro's interrogation brought them back into focus. A small, youthful faced woman, her brightly platinum hair matted into sparking dreadlocks, features prominently in recent recollections, softly spoken French. Handled brutally by American soldiers until Francois is taking her under his wing, walking away to the echoing sound of a shotgun in a firing line that no longer includes her.

Another woman lies flat on her back, near death, Francois' hands laying on her and Kaylee can feel the memory of his strength sapping away as he heals her to life, and then panicked words in English— distorted through the filter of his mind that doesn't comprehend the language— before the memory dims out when, in this memory, Francois swoons.

The third woman remained in the same room— no, a tent— not lingering for long before she disappeared out the exit in the wake of a dark-haired man in an eyepatch. She goes without a name, but the first two flags something familiar— Daphne, comes attached. Clara, to the other one.

Next to her, she can hear Hiro crouching down in the damp, leaf-strewn forest ground, the sword strapped across his back erect like an exclamation point.

"Found them." Kaylee murmurs softly, her presence in Francois minds gentle. "Two… I know. Daphne and… Odessa." The pixie girl's face remembered faintly from her time within the nightmare world. Her head turns a little to one side, brows furrowing. "One I do not know… Clara." The faces of each woman, flashes briefly in Hiro's own head.

The telepath goes back to following the flow of memories like a leaf floating down the rushing rapids of remembered time. Her eyes open and she glances to Hiro, brows lifting with surprise. "They were back here?" Her tone is curious, as she eyes the time traveler, but then she gives him a sheepish look. "Sorry… right. Explanation later." She murmurs, turning back to Frenchman.

Her brows tilt upward again as she looks at the gaunt man, studying how sharp his features are, worse then Joseph had looked when they retrieved him from Sheridan's hands. Kaylee can't help, but press her hand against his face briefly. "Poor guy. Concentration camps?" She asks, glancing at Hiro again.

A sharp inhale has Francois leaning back into the curve of treetrunk to evade the gentle touch to his face. It was barely a few days ago, when it seemed achingly warm from fever, but now it's healthily cool in response to the morning mildness, dry as well. "Yes," Hiro answers, curtly, distractedly — those names and images aren't unfamiliar to him, nor surprising, exactly. Whatever makes sense, though, he does not go on to reflect upon — he looks back down at the syringe in his hand, and uncaps the fine tip, winking silvery in the low light.

"Please," he requests, before taking her arm and dealing the injection of unsavoury black liquid. Hiro's hands are precise and practiced, minimising the pain of the pinch, although it still aches when he depresses the slide and enters it into her bloodstream. Once it's done, he glances back up at her, and nods. "Only the travelers," he feels pushed to say, considering the subject of concentration camps came up, and it might be considered a mercy to erase a few details, but his words are firm.

There is no real reaction from Kaylee as he pulls away, it's not unfamiliar to her, to have someone pull away like that. She can only give him a sad, but gentle smile.

The telepath refuses to looks when she offers her arm to him, and a slight grimace at the prick of the syringe in her arm. Francois can see the worry in her eyes, since she's trusting someone, to help another. The sensation has brows furrowing and her inhaling sharply. Along with Kaylee's ability getting stronger, the desire to use it… that little hiss of desire becomes louder. It's a struggle for the telepath to ignore it, but she does manage too, knowing she'll be able to do something with it.

"Alright." She says softly, voice only slightly strained. "Only the travelers." This time finger tips touch both sides of the Frenchman's head. Taking a deep breath she tries to enter the man's head again as gently as possible when you are dealing with a sudden raging storm. She may or may not succeed.

Kaylee shifts through the man's memories and one by one, she puts in the suggestions that divert his mind away from those memories. Her lips move without words, the barriers feel so solid compared to the ones she once put in Diogenes' head. These should hold.

It's a wonderful feeling for the telepath or maybe that's just the drug.

Francois' eyes hood as if drowsy, or maybe that's just his own effort to calm himself, unwilling or maybe unable to do much protest in the way of denying whatever mysterious thing the strangely dressed woman wants from him and his mind. There's no resistance, from his side, Kaylee's task made simple from the warm drug running through her veins, a twining of chemical addiction with her natural temptation that comes with the power her ability grants her — a dangerous combination.

Hiro gets to his feet in preparation to vanish himself and Kaylee away as soon as she's done, but something like a noise or even a scent, just from the way his attention angles, inspires some hesitation. Unknown to her, he shuts his eyes tightly. Morning birds twitter in the trees, Kaylee continues to play with the Frenchman's memories, and Hiro remains as he is.

"Something is wrong," he announces, and his hand comes up to grip the hilt of his blade.

The sound of a shotgun blasting out thorugh the forest to send birds scattering is proof enough that something is most definitely not right.

Bark explodes, wood splinters and Hiro Nakamura disappears in a flash just in time to avoid being struck head on by the slug. Reappearing some twenty feet away between the trees, rain glistens along the edge of the time-traveler's drawn sword, rivulets of water snaking down the flat of the blade. Having given himself some distance between where he is and his attacker, Hiro realizes the gravity of his situation when a conscious effort to stop time shows on results. Folding space, easy. Folding time, suddenly impossible.

There's only one thing that could do that.

Crunching thorugh the treeline, a dark-haired woman younger than Kaylee strides into the dim light of a cloudy morning, her hair sodden with rain, beads of water clinging to the oiled leather of her trenchcoat, fur trim matted and soggy. She says nothing as the double-barreled shotgun she carries is leveled up towards Hiro again, her one good eye trained down the barrel on the iron sights before the trigger is pulled and another explosive release of gunfire blasts out, demolishing a smaller tree.

Snapping the hsotgun open, the brunette flicks her wrist back and knocks out the two smoking and spent shells, then reaches down to her waist and slaps two more inside and cracks the shotgun back up into a loaded position. Only now can Kaylee see her as she steps out from behind a tree, on eye covered by a black patch, hair matted down to her head.

"Come out mister Jap," the young woman calls with an askance glance over to Kaylee, then without hesitation angles her rifle up to the blone, only to hear a sudden crash of metal before the gunshot goes off. A sword slamming down atop her shotgun lowers the barrel and the pull of the trigger sends an eruption of dirt up into the air. Kira St.Croix stares up to the black-haired samurai baring down on her shotgun, forcing it away with the length of his blade, the edge of the sword skittering from side to side across the steel of the barrels, leaving fine notches.

"Nakamura," she hisses knowingly, as if they'd met somewhere before. Kira drops the shotgun, throwing her coat open to withdraw a pair of Baretta 9-millimeters, firearms that do not belong in 1945. "Lucky, lucky, lucky day this here is!" She's gleeful about her job.

The connection to Francois' mind is severed suddenly at Hiro's announcement, the job only half done. She still needs to remove the memories of the tiny samurai and herself from the Frenchman's head. "What….?" The sentence doesn't get finishes at the explosion of the shotgun, moving out of instinct to protect Francois.

Straightening quickly, she finds herself looking at the young woman, wides widening when the shotgun is leveled at her. She had been concentrating to hard on the gray dressed man, to notice the blip at the edge of her mind.

The moment Hiro stops the shotgun wielding woman, Kaylee hops to her feet and grabs Franscois' arm. "Run!" She says firmly. He may not understand what she says, but he'd probably understand what she's trying to convey as she tugs at his arm. Her gaze is cast over at the woman struggling with Hiro, wishing she had brought something along, but the trip had been as sudden as anything.

So all she can do is try to get Francois to cover first, then she'll think of something.

Hiro's disappearance is met only with instantaneous reappearing, his mouth in a line of frustration even as he swings his sword hard enough to take off a limb, eyes going minutely wider as Kira swings herself beneath it, bringing around her Beretta to push the muzzle of it directly into the swordsman's face with preparation to pull the trigger. Hiro reacts in the split second needed for the hilt of his blade to slam back against her elbow and steer her aim, the blam of the gun's rapport almost deafening in his left ear.

They both disappear together, suddenly, reappearing high in the air only for Hiro to vanish and leave Kira to free fall, reappearing with a rush of air closer to where Kaylee and Francois are headed. "There is another time manipulator," he tells Kaylee, words hurried. "I cannot— "

And he glances, now, to where Kira is swinging almost completely around the tree branch she might have otherwise broken her back on, landing in a deft crouch enough to pick up her shotgun, and with her pistol pointed, she begins a mad dash towards them, a bullet slicing through the air, whistling past Kaylee's ear, tearing a few fine blonde hairs from her scalp. Hiro disappears, and the clash of sword to weapon rings through the air as he engages with the assassin once more. Female laughter rings out in the echo of the shot.

Francois flinches, his hands gripping to Kaylee's arms, casting a worried and wondering glance back towards the fight. Rapid-fire French goes unknown past Kaylee's ears, sounding ugent, before he pulls her not so much away, but hidden behind dense forest.

Parrying the katana with the barrel of her shotgun, Kira moves with a fluid grace and quickness that isn't quite superhuman speed, but something alltogether as deadly. Sparks shower down the length of the barrel as Hiro's sword scrapes across the steel, and a swift heel-kick to Hiro's midsection sends the swordsman staggering back and ahead of the lowering barrels. The second trigger is pulled and the shotgun explodes again with Hiro disappearing fromt he blast, bark and wood pulp blasting from a tree just over Kaylee's head as she moves to run.

When Hiro reappears it is above and behind the brunette, but her cyclopean stare catches the glimmer of his sword in a reflection cast in a puddle at her feet, and she is quick to reach down under her arms and withdraw a pair of MP5 machine pistols, raising one with a clash of metal on metal, barrying the sword with the barrel of the gun.

When Hiro touches down to the ground, he teleports againw ith a rush of air and a displacement of the rain, reappearing sideways and swinging his sword at Kira's legs. She springs into the air, flipping backwards, dark hair lashing heavily from the rain, coat flaring out. Her arms cross as she flips, leveling the MP5's in Hiro's direction, triggers depresses to unleash a hail of bullets in wild, unruly spray that rattles through the woods.

When Hiro vanishes and Kira hits the ground, it becomes clear that she wasn't aiming at Hiro, but through him.

Bullets pepper Kaylee's side, one in the left leg, one in the right shin, another in her abdomen tumbling out her side, a bullet strikes her in the back and punctures her lung and another lances through her throat, spraying blood across the side of Francois' face. Kaylee drops, immediately on the force of the shot, her body spinning around in the air as she falls, clothing soaked in blood and body twisted. She falls back and back into the soft bed of forest ground, her hands clawing for her the gaping wound that leaks both blood and air at rapid rate, her wounds choking her like a noose.

Allowing herself to be drawn where he wants, Kaylee doesn't see what is coming. It's the second time within a few months that the young woman has been shot. The wash of pain that punches into her flesh, makes her eyes widen. The bullet through her throat doesn't stop from a scream ripping through someones head, before it cuts out suddenly.

This time, is so much more worse then the last, as she desperately tries to stop the bleeding out of blinding desperation. Her eyes blur with tears as panic grips her, back bending as her body desperately wants to breath.

No no no… The word repeats over in her mind. This wasn't where she was suppose to die, but the darkness is swallowing her up quickly. Sadly, one of her last fading thoughts are for her dog and Joseph, hoping he'll take care of the puppy. Go figure.

In the same motion of Kaylee's tumble, Francois flings himself in the opposite direction, landing hard in fear of flying bullets, warm blood sticky where it spatters across his face, tasting the copper-taint of it at the corner of his mouth as his heart beats hard in the cavern of his chest. His eyes open a crack to see Kaylee's awkward from feet from him. Green eyes wide in his sunken features, he peeks through the forest ground towards the flurry of battle ahead of him, hands gripping dead leaf and twig.

There's a hissing curse of Japanese, Hiro's sword lashing out hard enough that Kira's twisting dodge forces her to hit the ground on her back, and a momentum-gathering spin, Hiro appears above her to drive the blade down to pierce her throat. With a speed that only hints towards the supernatural without actually being so, Kira rolls out of the way, bringing up MP5 to release bullets with the carelessness of water from a hose.

Disappearing to reappear, Hiro brings the sword again in a sweep, deflected by the machine gun in a solid hit as Kira tumbles to her feet, teeth showing as she continues to move, bringing a snapping kick up towards Hiro's face, avoided again by a fraction of a second. Thrice, he teleports, spinning Kira's attention as she follows the track of the sword, until—

The release of two bullets from another gun breaks the rhythm, and Kira is suddenly tumbling and hitting a tree trunk, MP5 falling from her grasp as blood puddles beneath her coat.

Backing up, Francois drops the modèle 1935 pistol he had tucked into the waist of pants beneath his jacket, reversing only to lay his hands down on Kaylee's body, one at her shot thigh, the other at her shoulder, shh urged through his teeth. The light rain peppers damp kisses on Kaylee's face, as persistent as the puppy she left behind. Blood lines her throat thickly, drowning in it, but there's a warmth now flooding through the wounds at her body, a pleasant kind of tingling.

The noise Kira makes is somewhre between a whine and a feral snarl, the noise of a wounded animal more than a person. Stumbling away from the tree, she drizzles a trail of blood in her wake, one hand held fast under her jacket to clutch the wound, vision swimming as she loses her balance and lands shoulder first against another pine.

She laughs, a hoarse and wet laugh as her hand pulls away from the wound, soaked hot and red with blood. Her other hand pulls away from under her coat with a grenade.

Clink, goes the pin and the lever flips off as the pineapple grenade is hurled underhanded into the air, and with a whispering, throaty laugh Kira is swallowed from the world in a rippling shimmer like that of an unstilled pond's surface, swallowed back into the stream of time by whatever force had brought her here and protected her from Hiro in the first place.

Airborne, the grenade spins end over end…

It's hard to think when your choking on your own blood, so when a figure comes into her view, Kaylee's bloodied hand shoots up to grip at Francois' jacket. It's not a very strong grip and almost as soon as she makes the grab, it slips away almost immediately as she starts to succumb to her injuries, he head lolling to one side.

It's the warmth, however, that won't let her go completely and a part of her mind clings to it like a life line. He can feel her fading presence in his head. They may not be able to communicate, but somethings still come across. Kaylee doesn't want to die.

Muscles make tense knots up Francois' back, as if fearing retaliation at any second, but he's been here before, done this before, and closes his eyes as he wills healing warmth to focus on what's important, to keep her alive now and worry about the rest later. Slowly, slowly, it's getting easier to breathe. He does not see the thrown grenade, nor notice Kira's miraculous disappearance.

With a sharp inhale, Hiro closes his eyes tightly, as if willing nightmares away—

And the world goes still, save for the movement of air that a relief sigh might create. This might call for a yatta.

By the time the continuum is back on course, Hiro has appeared just beside where Francois hunches over Kaylee. The healer barely bats an eye, when far in the distance, there's an explosion of a frag grenade tearing up trees and pluming dirt towards the sky, but like they say, if a grenade explodes in the forest and there's no one around to see it, did it really go off? Sounds like a question for Clara.

He sheaths his sword, but doesn't say anything — watches, troubled, as Francois puts Kaylee to rights. If only fixing time and space could be as easy as the man knits shattered bone back together, seals flesh without scars. It takes several full minutes, but progressively, Kaylee is gently pulled back from the brink of dying, though her wounds remain seeping, bullets lodged in her flesh.

When the first breath finally wheezes out of her throat again, Kaylee can't help but cough as her body tries to get rid of the rest of the blood blocking her ability to breath. She still hurts, but she's more amazed that she's alive again. The thick metallic taste in her mouth, turns her stomach, making her want to gag.

"Oh god… oh god." She murmurs over and over as the panic is still there, but she's slowly relaxing, her head rolling along the ground, blonde hair clinging to her head from the rain and the blood. Her head turns to where she can see Hiro, with red rimmed eyes, tears still sliding down her cheeks. "Oh good…" She says in a soft tired voice. "Your okay… cause I really don't want to get stuck back here." She wants to go home and hug a Pastor and a dog… a few others as well, just glad she was fortunate to be around a healer.

Francois glances up to Hiro, and asks a query in French. Hiro remains impassive for a moment as he instead observes Kaylee on the ground, obviously on edge regarding how close they all came to a rift of dire proportions. The rain is fading closely, leaving only greasy wetness on all surfaces, mingling with her blood that the Frenchman is using his sleeve to clear away — if Francois circa 2010 could see himself, he'd be cringing. But Francois circa 2010 is not here. Nor does he have healing.

"Heal her," confirms Hiro, after a second of thought. "But then we must go." This last part directed to Kaylee, before Hiro adds, genuinely, "I am sorry for the pain I have caused you, Kaylee Thatcher. I will take you home when we are done."

And with that, Hiro moves away to give doctor and patient some privacy, boot crushing abandoned ticket stub into the muddy ground as he goes. Francois, meanwhile, is not taking out a pair of hemostats, pliers, suture kit — just a pocket knife to lever out the bullets, and finish his task.

It's going to hurt, but be over soon enough… and wind up as so much history.

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