df_cardinal2_icon.gif liette_icon.gif 00-01_icon.gif 00-04_icon.gif

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Scene Title Defiance
Synopsis Too late to intervene in a tragic turn of events, Liette makes the decision to fight on her own terms.
Date October 13, 2011

At street level, the sight of a non-descript white van pulling up in front of a condemned tenement building seems ordinary. Somewhere between the Bronx and Harlem, where New York City struggles to maintain a sense of normalcy, people go about their day unaware of the danger all around them. The back of the van hisses open, with a handful of white-clad men in gas masks begin circling the structure. From a distance, Institute retrievers can be brushed off as pest control, first responders to a toxic spill, or any number of other mundane hazard found in and around the New York area. To a trained eye, they're a symptom of an insidious disease.

Creeping out from behind the corner of a brick tenement building across the street, a young woman with tangled blonde hair streaked with faded shades of blue and pink watches the Retrievers with precision. The emergence of two men in FRONTLINE armor from the van elicits a chill up her spine, but the serial numbers on their armor are familiar. 00-01 is Desmond Harper, and 00-04 is assigned to Lucas Eldridge. The girl recognizes both of the suits, though neither were so battered the last time she saw them.

Both Harper and Eldridge enter the front of the tenement building, followed by a tall and dark-suited man that causes the girl to duck back behind the corner again. Rene is someone she can't handle, not by herself, not right now. That said, the Retrievers are easier prey. As she ducks back out from behind the corner of the building, once Harper and his cronies have gone inside the tenement building, Liette Fournier utilizes her borrowed photokinetic gift to shimmer into a heat mirage. With a burst of atmokinesis she vaults over the street on a howling updraft of wind, slowly descending to the other side before fading back into view with a scorching aura of blue fire roaring around her hands. The Retrievers look stunned, turning to face her and call out over their comms. But waves of blinding blue fire lash off of each of Liette's arms, boiling plastic, flesh, and bone with equal measure. Their screams are wet-to-dry pops and snaps as incinerated forms hit the street. Liette retches, tenses, and looks up to the tenement building with purpose.

Two floors up, there's a sudden explosion of debris that blows out most of the second floor windows. Liette recognizes it as the aftershock from Eldridge's unique form of matter-replacement teleportation. She darts past the burning bodies of the Retrievers, ignoring the screams and calls for help from the street. Hustling into the lobby, Liette looks up the open stairwell and drops into a crouch, then springs up two whole floors with a burst of wind that throws her wild hair around like a hurricane.

Gunfire pops off one more floor above, and as Liette lands on the staircase she can tell its small arms fire and not something like what FRONTLINE carries. Liette can hear screams and shouts, crackling voices over headsets, and she hurries up that last flight of stairs before —


Two rifle shots in short sequence, followed by a primal and horrified scream. As Liette reaches the top of the stairs she can see a door to an apartment blown in by debris from Eldridge's teleportation, skips two steps and comes running just in time to hear the vacuum pop of Eldridge's disappearance. Skidding to a halt, Liette looks around with wild eyes, then lets out a shrill scream before stamping one foot into the floor. Out of the corner of her eye, however, she sees a body laying prone on the hardwood floor beside a tattered sofa. Liette's breath hitches in the back of her throat, feet move before she's even really sure where they're moving to. Hastily scrambling over to the body, Liette drops down at his side and sees two bullet wounds in the center of his chest welling with dark blood.

"No, no, no no no." Liette doesn't know who this young man is, except the victim of professional cruelty. Laying a hand on his side, she feels warmth in his skin still, feels a sign of life that is clinging to the most tenuous of threads. But there's no recovery from this, not naturally, perhaps not even unnaturally. Regardless, Liette tries the latter route. Closing her eyes, she presses her palms flat to Howard Phillips' bullet-riddled chest. Liette tenses, brows furrowed, requesting help from the other side of her connection.

In that moment the lights in the apartment flicker and gutter, sparks shower from the bulbs and a sickly yellow glow radiates out from her hands and flashes beneath Howard's skin. The light is tinged with lime green flares on the edges, crackles and pops like electricity in places, like fire in others. Howard's injuries move backwards in time, blood slithers into his chest, soft tissue damage knits back together, bone mends, blood unclots. Life —

Howard draws in a sharp and rasping breath, then rolls over onto his side to exhale a mouthful of blood onto the floor. Liette's expression shifts into the faintest of smiles, tinged with uncertainty as she looks at the gift she'd exchanged with her twin. Her blue eyes dance around the apartment, unaware that the silence of the Retrievers on their comms downstairs triggered a red alert back in the Cambridge facility. As Liette rises to her feet to greet Howard, to ask what happened, there's another explosion in the apartment.

Wood flies in every direction, followed by the whirr-click-hiss of hydraulics as Lucas Eldridge returns in his Horizon armor. He levels his rifle at Liette, then hesitates as his internal camera feed catches sight of her. She intuits what his intentions are, reading him like a piece of machinery and lunges for the teleporter. Liette grabs onto a strap on his armor, letting out a fierce shriek as she does before —

Mount Natazhat Facility, Alaska

Wood, half a sofa, and part of a kitchen cabinet explode into the maintenance bay at the Institute's Mount Natazhat facility. «Red alert! Red alert!» Eldridge cries out over his comma, seeing Liette still clinging to his armor. «I need Rene here now!» A downdraft of air pressure explodes from the ceiling, sending Eldridge sprawling to the ground and leaving Liette untouched. The young blonde's hair swirls around her as she steps forward, moving toward the teleporter with a soured expression.

"You're an awful man," Liette hisses, static electricity crackling around her palm. "We left you alone," she continues, lightning arcing from her arm to the floor. "But you came after my mother!" Eldridge stands up, then disappears in a flash of light, leaving a hemisphere of the maintenance bay floor missing, edges glowing white hot with molten rock. Liette turns, hearing the sounds of boots approaching from nearby doors. She raises up one hand, points in the direction of the doorway, and shuts off all the hallway lights, throwing the security force into darkness.

Gunfire pops and snaps in the dark, muzzle flash lighting up the shadows. Liette looks to her right, spotting a door opening and another FRONTLINE-00 officer emerging from the doorway. 00-03, Olivia Roland. Liette throws out a hand and creates a cyclonic blast of air, throwing Roland off of her feet and snuffing out a wave of flame that had started to build around the pyrokinetic's arms. With a look, Liette ends the darkness in the hall, turning it into a strobing flash of blinding light. The security forces let out a howling scream, but she can hear the whining hiss and thrum of machines activating somewhere in the facility. A child's anger fades to the clarity of a young adult's fear, and she realizes what her hastiness has got her into.

"Juliette," comes from an unfamiliar voice moving through the last available door. As Liette looks up, she sees the youthful face of Tyler Case — a stranger to her — worn like a skin-suit by Richard Cardinal. Liette lifts a hand to strike out at this newly percieved threat, but is slammed by a bolt of red lightning in the process. Liette lets out a yelp and stumbles in disorientation, but even as she does Cardinal is looking at his outstretched hand as if something went wrong. The blast didn't linger like it normally does, he couldn't feel the tether to others that he could manipulate. He — It dawns on him what just happened.

"Fuck!" Cardinal had gotten careless, and in his inability to see past the end of his own nose with regards to his stolen ability from Tyler Case, he'd failed to remember how it interacts with a specific subset of Evolved. As Liette gets up to her feet, her eyes crackle with red lightning. Cardinal backpedals, eyes wide with shock. "Someone, anyone, shoot-to-kill! Shoot to kill!" But Cardinal's order doesn't come quick enough, the AETOS drones don't arrive soon enough. Liette disappears with a vacuum pop of displaced air, leaving another hemispherical divot in the concrete floor. Loose papers scatter around in a cyclone where she departed from, and Cardinal's scream echoes through the ceiling of the facility.

Somewhere between Harlem and the Bronx

New York

A sudden explosion of fragmented concrete rains down along with the rear third of a fiberglass crate filled with medical supplies. Half-melted syringes and IV bags flap to the floor around Howard's prone form, along with a wild-haired blonde girl sparking with red lightning. Eyes wide, Howard lets out a faintly confused, mumbled gasp as he stares at this child that just drove off a FRONTLINE-00 operative.

Reaching out one hand to Howard, wholly unaware of who and what he is, a smile crooks up at the corner of her mouth, fingers curl, and she takes a play from her father's own book. "Come with me if you want to live," echoes the raw, unfiltered Jensen blood in her veins. Howard, bewildered and blossoming with rage as the events of the last few minutes come rushing back like a blow to the head, reaches up and takes the child's hand in his own.

Liette squeezes Howard's hand firmly, then closes her eyes.

"There's no place like home."

And then they were gone.

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