Debriefing, Disappearing


aviators_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif cat_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif francois_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif gillian3_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif kazimir5_icon.gif magnes2_icon.gif noriko_icon.gif peter_icon.gif rico2_icon.gif sarisa_icon.gif veronica2_icon.gif

Scene Title Debriefing, Disappearing
Synopsis When Kazimir Volken instructs the crew of the USS George Washington about Operation: Apollo's Shield, one woman's curiosity makes things much more difficult.
Date January 9, 2010

USS George Washington

There are moments when this mission seems to have been a dire one, where time was crunching down around everyone, and the looming threat of nuclear holocaust approached relentlessly. But then what? Where did the impending threat of apocalypse go, what of prophecies of the moon being swallowed up and the land beind wiped clean? Have the actions of the teams divided up across the globe truly made a difference, or is the clock still ticking, and the world making its inexorable progress towards armageddon?

That question is on the fore of many people's minds as they congregate in the large briefing room in the belly of the USS George Washington. This expansive hall is set with rows of folding chairs divided by a center aisle facing towards a raised stage behind which three large LCD television screens are hung.

The briefing room is hardly full to capacity, a handful of naval officers sit in the back of the room with clipboards and note pads, and standing at the back of the room, Agent Sarisa Kershner silently observes the members of teams Alpha, Bravo and Charlie as they are escorted inside, with one notable absence— Ethan Holden.

Striding into the room with a measured click of hard footfalls and the tap of a copper cane tip, Kazimir Volken's presence in the room seems to cause some confusion among the naval officers when it is he who ascends the few steps to the stage, and begins conversing with the technical officers hooking up the displays.

Seated among the members of the collected teams, a familiar face from Argentina rests with his arms folded across his chest and an unlit cigar anxiously gripped betwen his caloused fingers. Rico Velasquez watches Kazimir's approach on the stage with furrowed brows, one hand moving to adjust the strap of his eyepatch carefully.

"Kershner." That stern announcement comes from another man entering the conference room by the back door, a tall man in a crisp navy blue suit, mirrored sunglasses hiding his eyes. His presence and voice is enough to make Gillian Childs' skin crawl — it's the man who fired dart gun needles into her body out on Swinburne Island — Aviators.

"Kershner I need to talk to you." Aviators spits out a hissed breath of frustration at the woman, and when he turns his head it's clear there is a medical gauze eyepatch behind one lens of his sunglasses. Sarisa turns a languid stare towards Aviators like a lazy feline, one brow slowly arching.

"It can wait until after the meeting." Sarisa explains in a hushed tone of voice. But Aviators isn't having any of that. He steps in close to the blonde, and for as much as he is offering sharp and quiet tones to Kershner, all it takes is a narrowing of the blonde's eyes and one word to make Aviators back down.

He steps away from her, lips parted, confused, and when she motions for him to sit in one of the folding chairs at the back of the room, he quietly slinks in that direction like a whipped dog. Sarisa offers his back a crooked smile, and turns her blue-eyed stare to the rest of the briefing room as she watches people file in.

Noriko slips into the room, her eyes looking around as she does so. Kazimir is met with eyes that don't recognize him, because she doesn't know him. A roll of her shoulders as she moves to take a scene. An untrustworthy gaze is leveled on Sarisa, before the Asian begins to look around for the possibility of a tall black man. Now she must be on her toes so that she avoids the Haitian, so she can still make good on her threat if Sarisa is a bad girl. Or at least make Sarisa asplode. Eyes going to Aviators, an eyebrow gets raised, she didn't know he had lost an eye.. well she did, but hadn't really connected dots til she had seen him.

That voice. Gillian tenses as she enters the room, looking over at the man, the voice she recognizes even if she never really saw his face. The same sunglasses, with a new addition under. No one told her he would be among this group. Then again, there's others in the group she's not exactly happy to see, either. Shoulders stiff, she shoves her hands into her pockets and moves to drop heavily into a seat and glare grouchily ahead of her.

Gillian will be glad when this whole thing is over.

Entering the room, Veronica glances at those near the front to be sure they haven't already begun speaking, then her dark eyes alight on Gillian. She moves toward the other woman and perches on the folding chair beside her. "Hey," she says quietly. "If they don't tell us a few things I've found out, I'll tell you later," she says under her breath, as she continues to take in her surroundings and appraise those she hasn't met or seen yet. "You okay?" she asks, noting the grouchy glare.

Huruma, though not entirely hard to spot, has been a flitting sight on the boat and in the bunker- not in Cardinal's sense, but moreso in that if she were a monster in a video game- she would be the one where it takes one hours to find via random battles. She is there, simply hard to pin down. She does turn up with the rest of them in the briefing room, happening inside as if she had just wandered there. The woman's gaze travels up and down the rows when she enters with an outstretched field, eyes going over the figures gathered, and they rest finally on where Kazimir is directing the officers in charge of the displays.

Wearing something similar to her first night- drab pants, boots, that underarmour shirt- Huruma makes her way down the aisle between the sets of chairs. Her eyes narrow slightly in Veronica's direction as she goes, though Huruma's seething does not last long. In a way, she has to thank Veronica for some things happening as of late. The empath finds a rather lonesome seat nearer the front, one knee propping over the other as she sits down.

A seat is chosen after entry, eyes taking a slow travel of the room to note the people present and absent. Cat's features are the commonly displayed neutral expression. There's nothing to say, unless addressed directly. Attention settles upon the man who claims to be Kazimir after her scan of the briefing room. It's a vindication of sorts in her mind that he's present, free, and seemingly conducting this session.

Dressed in the naval version of the BDU pants and a white tee, Claire stands against one of the walls, arms crossed and eyes on the stage as Kazimir arrives. Aviator's arrival grabs the young blonde's attention, eyes narrowing. He's familiar from the day of the extraction.. but a blur beyond that. She eyes the confrontation with an arch of a brow, since she's yet to have had any dealing with the woman beyond her at briefings.. watching that… maybe that is a good thing.

Richard Cardinal's wearing the flight suit that he seems to feel is comfortable for around the ship; he is a pilot, technically, even if there isn't anything that's on the ship that he's qualified to fly. The pilots so far haven't been very forthcoming with lessons despite the occasional attempt to wrangle them.

It's in one of the folding chair that he's relaxing, gloved hands folded behind his head, shades still firmly in place on his face and a faint smile on his lips as he watches Aviators get scolded by mother Kershner.

Up on the stage at the fore of the room, Kazimir rests a gloved hand on the shoulder of one of the technicians in a gesture of appreciation as the young man rises up from behind the large LCD screens, turning them on to a blue field before it blacks out and states No Input. Kazimir nods his head in appreciation, moving to pace across the stage and pick up a SatCom device situated on a table at the stage's side. He squints, blue eyes narrow as he looks about the room, seeing people still filing in. "If you could all get settled in, we'll be starting this briefing in a moment…" Kazimir intones from the front of the stage, but his voice doesn't quite reach the back of the room.

Brows furrowed, he looks to his left as another naval technician comes in with a small lapel microphone, clipping it on to the front of Kazimir's suit, tapping it twice until the pop-pop sound is heard over speakers perched in the corners of the room. "Thank you." Kazimir offers in confidence, but that is heard clearly everywhere.

"If you could all get settled in, we have a lot of ground to cover." His blue eyes drift over the faces of those here, and a relieved expression crosses his face when he fails to find someone, whoever it is. Huruma can feel a small measure of anxiety from him, stage fright, though he doesn't show if visibly. It's amusing, how someone as well guarded in hiding his emotions as Kazimir, is like an open book to Huruma.

Even more interestingly is that she is feeling two very distinct emotional quantities from him. One anxious, and another layered beneath that surface, angry and indignant. Huruma has felt the oddity of multiple minds sharing a single body before; it's more curiosity than novelty now.

No man is an island, but Francois is working on it, adrift in his own thoughts and not in an ideal position to watch the door anyway for those who come and go. Relaxed back into his chair, toying with the ends of a thick woolen scarf, the empty chair immediately in front of the Frenchman rattles a little as he jostles its legs with his ankles in a restless kind of fidget, the sound of it seeming to wake him up some and he apologetically retracts his feet.

Back going straight, achieving some semblance of good posture once more, he shifts enough to observe who else is here, though isn't waving, isn't standing up to greet anyone or offer out a seat, observing. When Kazimir's voice is then projected about the room, Francois' attention is inevitably stolen forward, and he only wishes he could help the morbid kind of amusement he gets, watching the stage more like watching a show than the upcoming presentation. Bon dieu.

Noriko looks around as she sits there, giving a nod to Gillian and Cat when she sees them enter. Claire gets her own nod as well, before the hydrokinetic's green eyes turn towards the front and she observes Kazimir clamly.

"I'm fine, just— cranky," Gillian says, still frowning visibly as she looks up at the stage and the beginnings of a briefing. "I hope this goes better than the last time I got a briefing done by an old psychopath…" That one ended in a surprise shock that sent her power out of control, filled the room with naked Brians, and caused Abby to have a healgash. Best not to repeat that. "I'm just waiting for this whole thing to be over."

The brunette agent nods to Gillian, her eyes skimming the rest of the room and falling on Francois, who she recruited politely, then Huruma, who she … well, recruitment would be a euphemism for shooting the empath with some tranq darts and shoving her into a van to be brought to the Company's facilities. Sawyer isn't immune to the quick glare from the tall woman, but she doesn't respond, instead sitting up alertly as Kazimir begins to speak.

"Hopefully they'll give us more information than last time," she says in an aside to Gillian, in reference to the briefing Team Alpha never got on account of the slaughter at the base camp. Her dark eyes return to the front of the room to watch Kazimir.

It only occurs to Huruma after she has read Kazimir's moods and found his mild stage fright- does he know what she does? Not to mention that there is a familiarity there- the indignant mind under the first makes her head cant to the side curiously. She turns out to be watching him very carefully because of this, white eyes making flirting attempts to catch the blue ones. Her gaze, should he actually meet it, already gives off an air of knowing something that she knows she probably should not.

Fufufu. At least she can laugh inside her head at this- perhaps as a test, her mind reaches out tentatively towards the one below the surface. On the outside, Huruma just seems very keen on listening.

The hydrokenetic gets a short nod in return and a small smile, others are watched for a moment, but mostly Claire is just off on her own, back to the wall. A touch paranoid still? Who knows. Or maybe there are those in the room she'd rather not give her back too. So as far as settling in, that's as settled as she's gonna get.

Of course, Cardinal's not too fart away from where Claire's leaning. He's settled in, certainly, the prelude to things beginning leading him to lean over slightly, murmuring to the blonde, "Maybe I should've brought a book."

Magnes is sitting off in the corner, upside down on the ceiling. He more or less wanted to avoid Claire, at least so he can pay attention to the briefing. His legs are crossed, and he has a little notepad in one hand, and a pen in the other, waiting to write any needed bullet points. And, oddly enough, with this strange mixture of people, and things getting close to the end, he's begun looking for signs of The Symbol, anywhere he can find it.

On seeing Francois make his way in, Kazimir's blue eyes narrow just a touch, but it's his presence and Cardinal's that the darkly dressed man was counting on. Breathing in deeply, he exhales a calming sigh, and while the surface of his mind eases, that phantom presence beneath rages against a mental prison. Huruma can feel a turbulent conflict of emotions; outrage, confusion, indignation, frustration, all simmering like a stewpot of negativity just under the surface.

"This is briefing for Operation: Apollo's Shield." Kazimir's voice roughly states as he turns his back to the room, looking up to the screens for confirmation as he presses a button on the SatCom to synchronize the devices, and the large LCD screens now display a global map, showing the Prince Edward Islands with a targeting reticle on Marion Island.

"After careful inspection of documentation discovered here on the island," Kazimir begins, turning back to the crowd, "as well as intelligence gleaned from Vanguard prisoners acquired from Argentina, Russia and Madgaascar, we have managed to reconstruct a blueprint of the intentions for the Vanguard's use of the Nuclear weapon Munin."

"Contrary to intelligence gathered prior to this operation, the warhead "Munin" that was stored at the nuclear munitions facility in Stepnogorsk, Russia was not a 20 kiloton ICBM." A click of the SatCom changes one of the screens behind Kazimir to a sectional display of an intercontinental ballistis missile. "The files secured about the weapon which was codenamed Munin by the Vanguard was correct, according to Stepnogorsk's records. However, the facility has been storing a cache of nuclear weapons outside of what their records officially claimed. The weapon codenamed Munin was not 20 kilotons…"

Clicking the SatCom again, another screen displays an almost stereotypical-looking "bomb", with a round and fat body and tail fins, like the kind in the movie Dr.Strangelove. "This, is Munin. It was designed under the Russian Nuclear Armament Protocol, designated Project 700. It was one of two nuclear bombs created in the 1950s. The first of which was entitled Tsar Bomba and was detonated in northern Russia in 1961." Coincidential, that date.

Clicking the SatCom one more time, there is a map of a scythe-shaped island off of the northern coast of Russia, a red targeting reticle designates it Novaya Zemlya. "This bomb, and Munin, are 100-megaton thermonuclear weapons. When Tsar Bomba was detonated, it's fireball was five miles across." With a click of the button, Kazimir displays the image of a glowing orange sphere of fire, like a sun, burning in an orange-hued sky. "The blast radius from the explosion was thirty-two kilometers across. Windows in buildings as far away as Sweden were rattled by the blast."

Seeping in through the door appears to be a sentient shadow — too dark and pitch to pass as Cardinal's familiar shadowform, and no capacity to whisper sweet nothings either. Regardless, it moves into the room with discretion, seeking out where Sarisa's feet are planted where she stands by the door, skimming over the woman's sensible shoes and then creeping up her leg. The navy blue fabric of her slacks and then her blazer are washed over with the tarry tone of the creeping shadow, coming to settle high on her back and over a shoulder like a cloak made of nothing. She certainly feels nothing, but small tendrils seem to cling to the edges of her clothing, her limbs, to latch on. It isn't two dimensional, with smokey wisps occasionally flying free, but for the majority of its shapelessness, it remains flat. And seems to be watching the proceedings from over her shoulder.

Francois' elbows come to rest against his knees, face tilted towards the projected images more than the man introducing them with his explanations, only listening now. There will be a time for questions and he has none right now.

No more annoying raspy banter come from Gillian as she leans back in her chair even more and looks up at the slide show. In some ways, this really reminds her of the Phoenix meeting before they went to take down Kazimir on the bridge. The coincidences are oddly extraordinary. It had nearly been a year ago, as well.

"One kiloton is equal to 1,000 tons of TNT. One megaton is equivalent to one million tons of TNT," Veronica murmurs softly to Gillian, her lips close to the other's ear, to put it in layman's terms in case Gillian isn't sure what is significant about the numbers. Her dark eyes stare at the images with a numb sort of horror.

This is interesting- both the presentation and the fact that Huruma is apparently able to observe Kazimir so closely while remaining unmolested. You would think him to have much better capacity for realizing these things. While other incidents and the most recent one of augmenting her son have told Huruma otherwise- generally when she sees an open road with a 'Do Not Touch' on something at the end, it stands to reason that she will want to investigate and probably want to touch it. Thankfully, she restrains herself from moving any further for now, but that does not mean her eyes come off of the man at the front still giving his speech.

Head and then body tilt over so that Claire can listen to Cardinal's words, a chuckles escapes her. Her own voice is in a low whisper, "Maybe.. You think it's everything we already know? Or just don't care to know?" Blue eyes lift to the man hanging upside down, brows lifting. How hadn't she seen him floating there before. Her expression is confused as she watches him for a few long moments, before she knees bend and she leans further down so that she can whisper in her bosses ear. "Is… that normal for him?" Her head moving just a tiny fraction to get him to look that way, but not draw to much attention to it.

Of course, before any answers can be obtained the briefing starts and Claire straightens to listen, frowning as she watches the images on the screen and glances at her uncle.

"What?" Cardinal lifts his head a bit to Claire, then glances over— and up to Magnes. He rolls his eyes, leaving the answer at that as he turns back towards the briefing, arms sliding down to fold over his chest.

The lack of surprise on hi features at the ominous news suggests that he may have already known about this, although the visual aids do cause him to grimace slightly. It's when he notices that seeping shadow spilling thickly up over Sarisa's leg and back that he sits up a little, lips pursing in a tighter frown as he regards it bemusedly.

When the bombs start appearing on screen, he begins writing faster, dropping from the ceiling about five feet from where Claire and Cardinal were standing; apparently it's hard to write upside down words, for Magnes at least. "I should have paid more attention in physics, at least I'd have some idea of how to use my ability for this…" he mutters to himself, scribbling faster.

"The Vanguard's plan of operation is decidedly simple in its execution, and also grand in its intentions." Kazimir's explanation comes with a clearing of all of the screens, causing all three screens to display the global map again, this time tracing a red line from Marion Island, south towards the continent of Antarctica, and then in a dashed line across hundreds of miles of ice to the south pole. "This plan was known as the Final Solution, a closely-guarded secret among the upper echelon of the Vanguard. It was shelves as a last-resort following the inception of the viral plot of 2008."

Pacing across the stage, Kazimir folds his hands behind his back, still holding on to the SatCom. "This plan was maintained as a failsafe by an operative codenamed Vidar." Blue eyes scan the crowd in their seats, eyes finally settling on Magnes, and then close in a furrow of frustration. His emotions — on the surface — practically scream, oh Magnes.

"Munin is set to detonate at the south pole, beneath the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Station, a multi-national facility maintained for Antarctic research. However, the scheduled detonation date for the bomb was December 31st, 2009, at midnight." This revelation causes Sarisa's brows to rise higher than they already are from the blanket of shadow slithered over her. However, that umbral cloak that now drapes itself over her seems less something of unfortunate curiosity, and more welcome company. "This date has come and gone, and Munin has not detonated. Which means, something must have been disrupted with the detonation sequence. The bomb was designed in the 1950s and modified several years ago by the Vanguard operative Hector Steel. It is possible something has malfunctioned with the device."

"Vidar, the man organizing this detonation, is also known as Mikhail Wagner. Son of Heinrich Wagner, a Nazi party scientist. Wagner's connection with the Vanguard is a closely guarded one, he was among one of…" Kazimir hesitates, "one of my most trusted men. His loyalty to the cause is beyond mere conviction, and has transcended to the realm of fanaticism. He does not simply believe in me or my former ideals but the very idea the Vanguard represented, as twisted as it has become."

A frustrated sound rumbles at the back of Kazimir's throat, and he offers a look across the crowd again. "Vidar possesses a unique evolved ability, capable of negating and stealing powers of Evolved near him. My last estimate ranged Vidar's ability at three hundred meters, and he does not need to maintain line of sight once he has made a connection to an evolved person. However, if they are rendered unconscious or killed, his connection to them is severed." Kazimir's blue eyes narrow, having a hard time parting with this information.

"Wagner may be able to utilize multiple abilities at once, I do not know if— " dark brows tense, furrowing the scar between them. "Assume that he can." Reaching up to pinch at the bridge of his nose, Kazimir looks back to the screens. "Vidar plans to detonate Munin beneath the Antarctic ice shelf, creating an explosion that will liquify a large portion of the ice shelf and displace the remainder into the sea surrounding. A thirty-two kilometer explosion should create a cascading effect of melting, thawing, and cracking that sloughs off the ice and snow from Antarctica like skin from an orange. The resulting melting could effectively raise global water levels by two hundred feet. This would put most major cities underwater, flood rivers, and drown a great portion of the world…"

hings begin to change, as Kazimir's words wind over the fate of the earth.

Slow, at first, a kind of fuzzying at the peripheral vision of all of those in attendance, and the scent of the ocean one can get on the decks suddenly increases within the cramped meeting room. The cry of seabirds, different to the plague of penguins up above, call in the distance, and the room brightens as if uninterrupted sunlight were beating down on the backs of their necks. It's warmer, too, just a little, and a wind suddenly blows through the room as if it were clean off the ocean outside.

Huruma will be able to remember it when the walls seem to go opaque and the impossible stretch of water suddenly floods into their view, though it's been that way for a long time. In the distance, the tops of buildings are visible, skyscrapers the encrusted sealife on their walls, boats tied nearby, few and sparse. The horizon stretches on and on, displaying no limit to a flooded world.

The illusion, lending some credit to Kazimir's words, leaks away as quickly as it began, replacing the top of the building they'd been standing upon and seated with the meeting room bit by bit, with every blink, and its the subtle senses, the smell of the open wind and the sound of bird calls that are the last to fade.

Yeah, okay. "So basically stop the bomb or die, gotcha," Gillian says to Veronica, as she pays attention to the rest. As Vidar is explained, she hisses a breath as she inhales. "I only like power stealers when they're on our side." Cause when they're not, it's hard to kill them. But Cardinal is the man to have for the job, if that's required. But then— then the plan gets described. And she recognizes what that would mean. What it would create. The world that Else sang of. And where's the Ferryman named Noah to build an ark. And there's something even stronger making it possible for her to see and feel it. "Okay, I like the slide show better. That was creepy," she mutters.

"I hate fucking illusions," Veronica agrees with Gillian in a growled whisper. "And … he's telling us that so we can … kill someone if we have to, to keep the ability out of Wagner's hands, I guess." She doesn't like this. Her hand goes to Gillian's, and squeezes. "Try to stay out of it if you can. I mean… if he got your power, would that mean he could augment himself?" she whispers, brows knitting together as she waits for the details of the plan to counter this icy apocalypse.

"Doesn't work that way. Other power stealers had my ability and never were able to use it like that," Gillian says, but doesn't supply examples. Examples that she could probably point at with a stick if she really wanted. "The energy for augmenting comes from me, so it'd be kinda pointless to borrow power from yourself to power something you're already powering." If that made any sense.

Huruma's attention focuses on mental notes of Vidar- Wagner. A power thief of apparently great magnitude- and her mind sticks on the consciousness of it. If it comes to it, she may need to knock herself out. Hopefully not, as she would likely be left behind. Unless someone was loyal enough to drag her along. Huruma's not exactly a twig, after all. She tries her best not to become too put off guard by the illusion as it sinks into focus and back out again; the scene is familiar now, and it takes her memory back to Usutu's dreamstate- was it a dream? Or has he always been more than a painter?

"Remind me to call home," Cardinal leans over slightly to murmurs to Claire, one hand raising to half-shield his words, "And have Mack start building an ark."

Of course, it's said with tongue firmly in cheek, and trails off as the illusion begins to bleed out across the room. "Standing on the shores of the empire state," he muses to himself, head turnng to sweep over the rooftops, the endless flood that stretches out in all directions. As it fades, he raises his voices, "Might I suggest issuing everyone tranquilizers, particularly those with dangerous abilities, in case it becomes necessary to knock themselves out?"

Eh, briefing, discussion forum… he never stood on ceremony.

The illusory display startles every single one of the naval officers who were not expecting it. Sitting up straight in their seats, they look around at the display, then back to Sarisa. Aviators is getting up from his chair, reaching inside of his suit jacket for something, but Sairsa's wave of her gloved hand and a point towards Kazimir on stage as if to say eyes forward, boys uneasily settles their nerves. They sink down, still trying to find out where the unexpected illusory display came from. Aviators eyes Sarisa through those mirrored lenses of his sunglasses, brows furrowed and lips downturned into a scowl. She, however, doesn't seem to mind at all that he's upset.

Huruma can sense a twang of alert leap thorugh Kazimir, his guard raised in the moment that illusion begins, but she can feel recognition and dawning awareness bringing comfort and reassurance once he realizes what's going on, which means that he knows the source, or at least doesn't feel threatened by it.

Cardinal's voices question earns a squint from Kazimir, a quirk of his head to the side, one brow raised. "We're going to try a combination of negation gas, darts, and tranquilizers to handle this situation. I could arrange for personal tranquilizers for the lot of you." There's a nod of his head, and Kazimir looks to Sarisa, who's just smiling which is sort've disturbing, and then back to Cardinal. "The one certainty I do have, is that if your own ability is negated, Vidar can still access it and utilize it. Consciousness is key."

Then, finally looking back to the screens, Kazimir clears the images on all three screens. "Our plan of attack is four-fold. The USS George Washington is set to embark from Marion Island for the McMurdo Antarctic station on the southern tip of Ross Island. It is a United States Antarctic Research station, and will become SatCom command for Operation: Apollo's Shield." Clicking a button on his SatCom, Kazimir brings up a satellite map image of McMurdo station. "From here, we will be divided into four teams, Shield One through Shield Four. Our intention is infiltration of the Amundsen-Scott facility, which we will deploy to by helicopter. We will be operating under the false identity of a Vanguard Remnant come to inspect the facility to determine why the bomb has not detonated, presuming that Vidar was compromised."

Looking back to the crowd from the screens, Kazimir's brows furrow. "You will all be acting as Vanguard members for this mission, a personal escort designed to build confidence in Vidar and allow us access to the bomb. Once in the facility, teams Shield One through Shield Four will split up to secure the facility."

Clicking his SatCom, Kazimir displays on one of the screens a large boxy building with a central dome. "Team Shield One will consist of Rico Velasquez, Felix Ivanov, Gillian Childs and Noriko Amagi." Blue eyes go out to meet the individuals in the room. "Shield One's task will be disabling or destroying the Amundsen-Scott station's power generator, located here in the power station of the facility." One wing of the large complex is hilighted. "It is expected that this location will be maintained by a security force of Vidar's surviving cell members from Germany. No intelligence on them is available." Then, looking between Noriko and Gillian, Kazimir adds. "I will need to speak to you two after the briefing."

Noriko looks over at Kazimir at what he states, and an eyebrow is raised up while she sits there. The hydrokinetic speaking for the first time, "I don't want to seem rude or anything. But, I am not exactly… suited to destroying equipment without… gratitious amounts of water. /Liquid/ water. So… how do you plan on disabling this machinery short of blowing it up?" For now, she's trying to figure out why her and Gillian were paired for this mission.

"They probably have pipes somewhere in the facility, water heaters," Gillian offers softly across to Noriko, though she doesn't really like the sound of things on this matter either. She know Rico, at least. The name Felix sounds familiar. But… "Gotta talk to the devil. Christ. I can't believe we're going to fucking Antarctica." She's been there a long time ago.

There is an audible sigh from Veronica. So much for keeping Gillian out of it. She shoots Kazimir a narrow-eyed look and gives a disappointed shake of her head. The agent had thought she and Kazimir were in agreement on a very few things, and Gillian not being put in danger was one of them. "Guess is you'll augment her, she takes out the generator with her water power?" she says softly to the augmentor. "Be careful."

Brows crease in a frown at Cardinal and she tilts her head a bit and mutters, "Who?" He can see the confusing and sudden frustration at another forgotten name and face in her life. The mention of negation, pulls her attention and she thinks of something adding softly to Cardinal, hand gripping his shoulder and giving it a squeeze to make sure he hears what she says. "I need to talk to you later." Eyes glance to Magnes briefly over the shadowman's head.

Magnes clears his throat when it seems everyone is able to state their ideas, then he raises his eyes from his notepad, oddly enough not really looking in Claire's direction. Focus! "Excuse me, Kazimir! When I'm unconscious, I float. I'm not sure if unconsciousness would work for me. But I had an idea I spoke with Agent Sawyer about. Basically, I know how to use a sniper rifle. I'm far from being an expert, but I do know how to use one. I was thinking that maybe it's a good idea if I hang back and try to get a good shot on this guy, instead of getting in the way and risking him taking my ability."

"Mn? Sure." Cardinal shoots a questioning look up to Claire's standing form, then turns his attention along back to the briefing once more, taking note of the names assigned to the team. Interesting group. "Never did get a chance to talk to Velasquez," he murmurs to himself, then he pauses, a hand raising up to rub against his face as Magnes speaks.

Squinting at Noriko, it seems that Cardinal turned this into a question and answer session. Kazimir's expression clearly says thanks Cardinal with a narrow of his eyes. "You're not going in unarmed, you're going in with an explosives expert." There's a nod of Kazimir's head towards Rico, and the Puerto-Rican raises a gloved hand into the air with a little wave, that unlit cigar between the fingers of his other hand twirling around. "Your capacity in the mission will be anti-personnel, Noriko, as that is your specialty. Also, there are water manes and pumps all throughout the facility, and the generator running at the station is water cooled. You'll likely be able to ascertain how to handle that situation. However, there are further instructions I'd like to give you and Gillian, privately later."

No, not like that, Cardinal. I heard you.

A sign escapes at Magnes' question, and Kazimir's brows furrow intently. "You expect to use a Sniper Rifle, against a target who will likely be indoors at a facility that has minimal windows to the outside, in a sub zero environment which may well be in a blizzard when we arrive?" There's a hook of one dark brow up, and Kazimir tilts his head to the side. "You want to kill a man who may well have designed a dead man's switch that detonates the bomb on his death?" Blue eyes stare piercingly at the young man. "Leave the planning to me, Magni. You'll have your own tasks. Disarming the bomb takes precedence over Vidar's death."

Clearing his throat, Kazimir takes a moment to furrow his brows in consideration. He's silent for a moment, looking down blankly into the crowd before focusing to the back of the room at Sarisa, then over to the crowd, looking momentarialy confused, but it fades quickly. In that instance, Huruma could feel the foreground and background presences in his mind transposing their positions, but it is only a brief moment of change.

"Team…" he clears his throat, and those two mental presences flash warning shouts at each other that reverberates through Huruma the way that the sound of two angry dogs fighting with one another might sound. "Team Shield Two consists of Catherine Chesterfield, Jensen Raith, Huruma, and Teodoro Laudani." Wait, Teo? "Shield Two will be tasked in heading here," there's a click of his SatCom, and a seperate building of the Amundsen-Scott facility is hilighted, a large geodesic dome halfway buried in snow.

"This is the power substation where backup generators for emergency situations are maintained. Your team will be tasked with disabling these generators and dispatching any Vanguard security forces present. Also contained in this facility is a security sub-system, backup systems for the cameras and hermetic locks on the station. Your team will need to destroy these facilities as well. Be at mind there may be civilian hostages in this location," Kazimir notes with a wave of one hand towards the indicated area."

"This is one of the few locations where — if any surviving members of the actual research team are alive, they could be detained. It is considered a secondary site for this. I'll— " Kazimir squints and looks over to the screens, then looks back to the crowd, "I'll discuss the primary possibility for that location in a moment."

Teo's name should probably at least gain a blink from Francois, but it doesn't, the minor detail of the man's involvement coming as no shock in that he's already met that shock. It's the splitting of the teams that has him frowning, now, though the mention of Felix had been at least a hint towards that. He shifts uneasily, unsure if he should be expecting his name or not, and more importantly, if he should be declining. He twists in his seat to glance back towards Sarisa (and the cloak of smokey shadow still draped upon her), Autumn, the recognisable figures of authority, and mutters out some form of French expletive. As for the illusion that flickered on and off, well, he probably attributed that to some new 2010 multimedia technology— kids these days— until the officers and some of those seated here had reacted. Still, he remains quiet and listening.

The regenerator stares at Magnes for a long moment, then with a blink Claire turns to look at Kazimir as he gives the facts of it. The fingers on Cardinal's shoulder tap thoughtfully, as her thoughts turn inward.

"I was just trying to be helpful…" Magnes frowns slightly, glancing over at Claire with clear embarassment on his face, then just stares at his notepad and slinks back into a corner.

Teo? Cardinal's brow furrows, and he glances to the door, as if expecting to see the man enter. They haven't spoken in quite some time - months, really - and, well, the situation was rather complicated and confusing when last they met.

"Team Shield Three has an equally important task," Kazimir states flatly, clicking the SatCom on to hilight a central area of the main facility. "Having read the manifest of personnel working at the research station before it is suspected that Wagner may have made a quiet takeover of the compound, there were two Evolved registered with the People's Republic of China. Lindsay Cho; a pyrokinetic, and Mei Shen; classified as an "Empath." I have been able to secure no further information about these individuals from the Chinese government."

Looking out across the crowd, Kazimir's expression tenses some. "Wagner is likely keeping them alive and captive, and we suspect that this location," the map zooms in, showing a large room with a single entrance, "based on his previous activities, would be the most likely storage space for them. It is the secondary food locker in the mess hall on the second floor. This room is accessed only by a freezer door, and any prisoners Vidar has kept to enhance himself are most likely detained at that location once he has made a connection with them."

One gloved hand tiredly brushes across Kazimir's forehead. "Shield Three consists of people I trust with being able to handle this assignment to the best of their capabilities; Veronica Sawyer, Magnes Varlane, Francois Allegre, and Elisabeth Harrison." He nods to each of them in the crowd as they're addressed, then looks back to the screen. "Disabling or removing these individuals will be paramount to diminishing Vidar's capabilities, should a direct confrontation be necessary."

One name he knows better, one he doesn't at all, and one— Francois glances down the row towards Veronica's profile, a wry lift of his eyebrows for the woman who'd bridged the gap between the ragtag group of do-gooders who had brought him here, and the people running the operation. A rueful kind of smile is offered and nothing else, dropping his gaze back between his knees before he lifts his attention back up again. "Disabling," he repeats, with some doubt, but it's not a question — it has to have more words to be a question. Linking his fingers together, he rests his chin on clasped hands.

Noriko leans back in her seat for now and just listens to folks. Her eyes occasionally glancing around the scene, mostly just to take notice of those she don't know who will be accompanying her in. She bristles a bit, while lingering on how Kazimer regulated her to anti-personnal, like she's some kind of weapon. Before Madagascar, that might have made her smile. Now, it makes her feel sick.
With the woman beside her's mission described, in short, Gillian looks over and offers a friendly smile, hoping to reassure her. Too bad the smile doesn't last too long. There's not a lot to smile about for long these days. "Elisabeth is good. She's got a really useful ability. They'll be good to have on a team." She's worked with and augmented both of them before. Obviously Manges is useful. They just spent a month in Argentina with him. "Just don't let Magnes try to walk on the ceiling or something."

Veronica's eyes lift back up at the sound of her name, this time partnered with three names she knows. She gives a single nod of understanding. Like Francois, she knows what the word means. Take their abilities out of the picture, even if it means their lives. She was never "Kill Squad" at the Company, but no doubt they know she's willing to do it if she must. She killed Goodman, or may as well have, even if she didn't pull the trigger.

She glances at Gillian and nods. "She and I both worked on the Case case," she says softly. That just never sounds right. "For all the good that turned out. Maybe this will work out better." Turning to look at Gillian brings Francois into her sightline, and she gives a nod of recognition to the softly spoken Frenchman. She feels like she should apologize, but… maybe later.

Huruma listens at a length, about the teams and about her own, and of course the descriptions of every facility, and the possibility of civilians. She takes these in as she does everything else thusfar; the only hints that she knows something out of the ordinary being the shift of her eyes over Kazimir and the twinge of her jawbone as she plays observer to the two dogs snarling and snapping at each other inside of him. It is much like watching a raft bounce about on a riled sea; one hopes to see both the sea or the raft win out, though the sea winning will always be the most dramatic.

Huruma has tried to keep from reaching a hand into this particular cookie jar, but as he explains the presence of another empath, she seems to decide that these cookies look too delicious.

Once he goes over the third team, the little homunculus that is influence hops over to the fishing hole and tosses in his line. It is only a test at first, giving a more forceful mood to the one below Kazimir if her line might reach- on one hand, courage and far more determination- on the other, something more like heroic foolishness. She only wants to see what happens, honest.

Breathing in deeply, Kazimir seems momentarialy distracted by something, his brows creased and eyes wandering. He looks away from the crowd, over to the screen, and wipes a gloved hand at his forehead again, dabbing away beads of sweat. Swallowing, his posture tenses and those two forces inside of him seem to rage against one another again, and unlike the reaction Huruma may have anticipated, neither seems to be able to get the upper hand over the other.

Shaking his head, Kazimir blinks his eyes, looking out blearily to the crowd. He swallows, then clears his throat twice again. "Team Shield Four— " he clears ihs throat again, one gloved hand covering his mouth. "Shield Four will consist of Gabriel Gray, Richard Cardinal, Claire Bennet, Eileen Ruskin, and Hector Steel." He looks around the crowd, head shaking. "Shield Four's task is the single most important. Infiltrating the north wind of the Amundsen-Scott facility," it takes him a moment longer than it did before to change images, hilighting the region, which includes a large, newly constructed hexagonal shaped structure. "This area is the Chinese Antarctic Deep Drilling site. This site is used for drilling core samples out of the miles of Antarctic ice below the station." Blue eyes go distant for a moment, and Kazimir looks around the crowd, squinting in disoriented fashion.

"It is unknown what security or resistance you will face, but this is the location where Munin will most likely be. Your task is to secure the drilling site and allow Hector Steel access to where the bomb is located, so that he may safely disarm and disable it." A gloved hand smooths across Kazimir's mouth. "I will— be keeping Wagner distracted while these teams are in operation. But— " he clears his throat again, "I doubt I will be able to keep him occupied the entire time. We will deal with that wrinkle once— " his brows crease again, straining for focus, "once it crosses out path."

Of course, by process of elimination, Richard Cardinal would be in… Shield Four. He leans forward slightly, hands clasping against one another as he watches Kazimir with a steady gaze through his shades. At the mention of who he'll be teamed with, a brow tic's up slightly, but there's no other visible reaction.

"Well," he murmurs, "This should get interesting."

"They should send only non-Evolved as necessary," Francois murmurs, loud enough for those immediately seated to hear, though his mutter isn't impossible to catch all the way on the stage, as much as he's not truly making a suggestion. "'Disable' Wagner's prisoners and he is powerless, eliminate possibilities." Louder, now, he offers up his question, lightly accented voice marking him by his name to those who don't know him, which are many; "Aside from Wagner— and nuclear devices, of course— how much opposition are we expecting to face?" He aims that question forward but regards Kazimir somewhere around his shoulder as opposed to his eyes, kind of like playing make believe. Make believe the man who caused all this isn't debriefing them.

So… Gillian rubs her face with her hands. Distracting. All by himself. But no, she's not allowed to worry about him, and he doesn't want her to even think about worrying about him. Not like she cared if Kazimir went up in a puff of dust again. But it doesn't change the fact she closes her eyes a bit and is genuinely distressed. And not just about him, but the other team, the one with the big important mission. The ones who're going after the bomb.

Veronica reaches out to grab Gillian's hand, giving it a squeeze. She nods over to Francois. That was her thought as well — the one she voiced to both Claire and Magnes, that anyone with powers should stay out of range, rather than go into it. Her dark eyes flit from his face to Kazimir's, to hear the response to the question of numbers.

Sometimes the struggle is the fun part. He is lasting long enough to finish his directives. Huruma allows the man in front a few moments of her listening before slipping in again, watching closely as she administers the next change not to the thing underneath- but to Kazimir. Gloom, firstly- and then enough fear to try and direct the change towards a fresh feeling of submission. By now, one arm of hers is crossed over her ribs, the other bent with hand trailing the bottom of her jaw.

It's not to make trouble, no- it is an experiment, for the most part. It is not often she meets people that are actually two.

There is no real reaction from Claire over the team she's with, eyes steady on Kazimir, worried . What about isn't really clear. Her only reaction to her teammates is a tightening of her grip on Cardinal's shoulder, and her teeth pressing tight together as she tightens her jaw.

A glance down at Cardinal at his mention that it'll be interesting and Claire add softly. "Your telling me?" Her voice rough and a touch irritated, but she's not going to argue with her uncle.

"I'm going, if we're done." Magnes states as he closes his notepad, sounding irritated for whatever reason, then heads for the exit.'

"Unknown," Kazimir offers distractedly to Francois, swallowing dryly again as he looks up and squints at the Frenchman. "I don't trust the— " fuck, fear quickly lances thorugh his senses as he considers what he was about to say from the confusion, a look being afforded to Sarisa very briefly in that, before looking back to Francois. "I don't think it owuld be prudent to invite the marines along. Which leaves me with a very small handful of individuals capable of impersonating Vanguard. That and there's…" Kazimir's eyes narrow, "there's a painting I've seen that I need to consider the details of."

That bit seems like an omission he shouldn't be making, "I ah…" Kazimir's head shakes, one hand smoothing over his forehead again. "The teams were chosen for— for very specific reasons." His dark brows tense, blue eyes wandering from side to side, "I— I don't— " One gloved hand waves to the air. "That covers everything. We will arrive at… At McMurdo on— " blue eyes blink once, and it's like a rubber band snapping.

Then, Huruma clearly gets an emotion from both sides of that line of tension in his mind, panic. Looking left and right, Kazimir looks as though he'd just walked into the meeting without any pants on. Blue eyes grow, and his breath hitches at the back of his throat. Everyone is watching him expectantly, his chest rises and falls, mouth open, unsure of what to say.

"We'll be arriving at McMurdo on Friday." Sarisa loudly states from across the room, immediately moving down that aisle with a brush of one hand at her shoulder, as if to politely tell that cloak of shadows to shoo. She makes her way with firm and swift steps towards the stage. "We will depart from McMurdo at noon on Saturday, and arrive at Amundsen-Scott sometime near twilight hours." Which is as close to night as it gets there.

Moving up onto the stage, Sarisa rests a gloved hand on Kazimir's shoulder, then looks out around the crowd. Kazimir shakes his head. "If you'll… all excuse me, I— I've been up all night." He adds as an excuse, "I think it's finally getting to me." Clearing his throat, the confused looking man takes a step away from Sarisa, and then begins making his way to the edge of the stage.

Sarisa watches Kazimir move, eyes narrow, and then looks out to the others. "You have your orders, we disembark from Marion Island in one hour. Dismissed."

"I know." Cardinal's hand lifts up, clasping over Claire's hand where it rests on his shoulder, a reassuring squeeze there before he rolls himself up to his feet, gaze lingering on Kazimir's form as he steps to the edge of the stage, frowning at the man's manner. Finally, he shakes his head, turning to the door, "Let's get out of here."

The shadow slips off the woman easily, melting into a pool of darkness too thick and too mobile to be anything but a sentient creature. It trails after Sarisa as it flows back down her body, gathering in a shifting patch of black smoke before it slips away, ahead of those who had stuck around for the dismissal and off to do whatever it is serial killers do. Presumably on their downtime.

Francois finally drags his gaze up to meet Kazimir's as he stumbles around his answer, confusion for the man's reaction evident on pale features and in green eyes. His attention switches to Kershner as she takes over, and if that confusion was also laden with concern for Volken— well. It isn't. Just uncertainty and an observer's analysis as he watches Kazimir throughout the dismissal, before he's getting to his feet along with everyone else at the gentle sound of chairs scraping the ground. Digging his hands into his pockets, Francois makes an exit, making eye contact when it happens by chance, but otherwise content to leave alone.

Of all the things she needed right now, hope in that was not one of them. Gillian mutters under her breath, a few curses that only Vee can hear, before she stands up as well. She did say they were all dismissed. Even though she's supposed to be coming back, for a personal briefing with Noriko, the hydrokinetic she's been paired with. Running a hand through her hair, she calls out, "I need to do girl stuff, then I'll come back for the extra orders."

It seems like …Kazimir… needs the extra time himself.

Vee's eyebrows shoot up at the sudden fear manifesting in the man who she's known to range between stoic and hostile, but rarely frightened. "Well, that didn't exactly inspire confidence in the mission," she says wryly, glancing at Gillian who is shouting at their leader. She stands. "If you need to talk, I'm here, unless you mean girl stuff as in … girl stuff." Like bathroom stuff? She doesn't know. "Otherwise… I'm going to go call … home." Meaning Brian, but she can't say that aloud.

Giving Cardinal a tight lipped smile, Claire steps back while he climbs to his feet, though her attention is on Kazimir, brows dropping at the mans suddenly loss of composure… That can't be good. "Huh?" She starts her tone distracted as Cardinal speaks to her.. "What? Oh.. yes.. Yeah lets get out of here." Moving to follow after the shadowman.

Huruma, meanwhile, is being entertained by what happens after what she does- Kershner or anyone else be damned, before many people have the chance to leave entirely, they'll hear Huruma's laugh from where she sits, arms coiled on her like she is absolutely tickled by it. It's not quite that evil laugh one might hear from supervillians, though it brings to mind a certain puppy-skinning, cigarette-smoking, fur-wearing madame.

Out in the hall, around the corner from the conference room in an access corridor leading to the midship deck, narrow shoulders louch up against the metal walls. One leather gloved hand rubs at his forehead, tongue wetting his lips, eyes wide, staring up at the ceiling. There's a hesitant, anxious noise in the back of his throat, and the tone of voice that comes out is decidedly not the one that was speaking earlier. "Kazimir?" Peter Petrelli whispers to the air, "Kazimir— answer me."

Peter's hands shake, shoulders tense and back goes still as a chill runs down his spine. He breathes in, deeply, then exhales a nervous breath.

You wanted to run the show again. comes the voice in the back of Peter's mind. Be careful what you wish for.


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