Divide And Conquer


aviators_icon.gif bosede_icon.gif candy_icon.gif claire3_icon.gif dajan_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif

huruma_icon.gif lang_icon.gif kwasi_icon.gif sanderson_icon.gif tau_icon.gif

Scene Title Divide and Conquer
Synopsis Team Bravo is beset upon by the Vanguard.
Date December 9, 2009


There are times when hope seems to be in short demand…

Fluorescent lights flicker and sputter overhead, cracked concrete walls as riddled with bullet holes, and blood lies against the walls in equal measure with their spread. One of the lights flickers, sputters and darkens entirely. Down here, water mingles with crimson in swirling pools, where bodies draped in olive-drab lay angled one atop the other. A rifle is twisted, broken in twain from some unknown force, bullets strewn out from its shattered magazine like candy from a pinata.

There are times when it seems like the odds are stacked against us, and victory is but an illusion of a weak mind…

Up a long flight of concrete stairs, the bodies lay left and right, some piled atop others, all dark skin and green uniforms, though the higher the stairs go the more hazy it becomes. A trickling line of crimson dribbles down one of the steps from where a man lays face down in the dirt, one arm missing where but a ragged, bloody stump remains, the other twisted in an impossible angle and met with bone protruding from flesh, gun wound tightly in his fingers, not a single bullet mattered.

To give up in the face of these odds might seem like the easy way out, might seem right, might seem the only solution…

White smoke twists and turns thorugh the ruins of brick and plaster walls, where once buildings of the village of Mandritsara lay, where fresh bullet holes and fresh blood have mixed as if this whole city had become some war-mongering artist's canvas. Soldiers lay dead, tire tracks are fresh imprints in red clay earth below and only ten feet away from that an exploded hole in the ground, and the smoking remains of a blown up truck that had the misfortune of passing over an active landmine. The remains inside can't even be called human anymore.

But hope cannot be so easily abandoned, not when the alternative is perdition; Not when the sacrifice for failure is annihilation…

"Go ahead." Blood runs down the side of battered skin, knees are dirtied by mud and the blood mingling into it. The dark-haired man on his knees stares up through the shattered lenses of broken aviator sunglasses, his cold stare locked with one that belongs to little more than a monster. The gun lies between them, but the man looming over Aviators does not need a gun, does not need a tool. He is a weapon all in himself. Sylar's lips draw back, a smile that gives away nothing save the color of his teeth — pink with blood.

We must not give in, we must fight.

White smoke blows thorugh the ruins of Mandritsara, bringing with it the prickling sting of defeat, mixed with the echo of gunfire that has long since drawn silent. Aviators narrows his eyes, looking up at Sylar, and when their eyes finally meet, his clenched teeth spill forth with a simple command. "Do it."

«Thirty Minutes Earlier…»

"He's at least accepting meals, it is the least we could do, but I will not let him just wander freely after what he did." Walking at a brisk pace thorugh the bunker's hallway, Dajan offers his good profile towards Eileen Ruskin, the pair of them moving side-by-side towards the conference room. "He went in willingly, which at leasts hows either remorse, or feigned remorse. Either way, he stays in there for now. Besides, your commander is up and about now, and she is waiting for us so we can begin this briefing." He's strangely like his mother in some ways, sharp and to the point, but smoother on the edges, lacking some of the bestial qualities Huruma possesses.

Not far down the hall, the meeting room is a full-house. Standing over the ping-pong table strewn with maps, Aviators has been locked in a quiet conversation with Sanderson much of the morning, the pair of them going over information on her SatCom while it charges off of one of the MLF's generators. Tau has been waiting here as well, for roughly a half an hour, seated on the tattered leather sofa with arms folded and head down, brows furrowed in contemplation. For all his weariness, it is the situation that has put Gabriel Gray in the same armory Huruma was once locked in that has his inwardly drawn attention. He does not know what to make of the man, or the accusations of what he may have done.

"No, for th' thousandth time, no…" Kwasi's voice is the only one that really stands out in the meeting room, leveled in sharp tone towards Bosede. "Dey' will be comin' today, we ca'not postpone this briefing any longer. We mus' b'ready t'mobilize once 'dey arrive, ano'the twenty-four hours is too much." Waving his hand at a satellite image of something, Kwasi seems intent on trying to drive his point home to Bosede, even if the younger man isn't having any of that.

"'Dese men will be going in to the missions w'out proper instruction. You would leave that all up t'chance? As it is, you are letting these Americans handle the most important assignment 'demselves, an' they can'no stop killing each ot'er long enough t'cooperate?" Dark brows raise, and Bosede waves his hand towards the doorway, as if gesturing to the armory's direction.

"Bosede," Dajan intones as he walks in at the same moment Bosede is gesturing in his direction, "leave Kwasi alone, he knows what he is doing, I trust him with this." The two exchange a stare for a moment's time. "Go topside an' wait for the trucks to arrive, cool y'heels some." A look is afforded to Eileen at his side, as if trying to assess the young woman's stability with what happened to Gabriel, but he voices no concern, only turns his attention to Aviators and Sanderson. "Well?"

"We're good to go, Dajan." Sanderson states flatly, looking around the room with one dark brow raised. "We've got plenty of time, though, no need to rush."

Candy is standing in the meeting room, the Asian's face unreadable after what she had heard from rumors, though she isn't talking about it much it would seem. Not that she has really talked at all since she finally got over the malaria and the pain in her shoulder having been taken from sharp pain to a dull roar that can somewhat easily be ignored. Easily enough that she can take care of herself should an emergency occur.

She merely watches the discussion, her attention turning to Sanderson, as she speaks something the Marine probably wasn't ever expecting to hear from Candace Allard, "Good to see you back on your feet, Sanderson." That's all she say, before her attention is once more garnered around the room, eyes resting on first one than the other person. She's in a lucid period, after having a chance to experience civilization once again. Or what passes for it in Madagascar.

Somewhere, Gabriel sits in the corner of the room designated to contain him. It wouldn't, if it wasn't for the fact he's perfectly happy to be contained, and doesn't want to test the patience and the means of the men that put him here. He'd gotten the opportunity to wash, though his clothes are stained beyond repair. His arms are curled around raised knees, and he leans against the wall, eyes open and regarding the floor with a certain kind of blankness that one would think he's ill. He's not, in that sense. He's just not watching the floor.

Instead, he peers through Eileen's eyes as Dajan checks the young woman and her mindset. Gabriel can't tell - his only access to her thoughts comes in the form of what he can feel of her expression, and some things are too subtle. He doesn't nudge at her consciousness yet, only settles like a parasite only able to leech information.

Eileen has been quiet, but this isn't anything unusual — she's always quiet, except when she's not, and even then she tends to restrain herself and speaks lowly unless the situation dictates otherwise. This one doesn't. She knows that Gabriel has a problem, and until they have time to assess his mental condition they have no other choice but to keep him locked away for the safety of not only Claire but everyone else in the compound as well.

"We've been on the ground for two weeks," she's saying. "He's had plenty of opportunities to kill before now. He only acted yesterday because of the vision your prophet painted for us." A vision that her eyes carefully avoid as she takes in the familiar faces that populate the meeting room, though they do not linger on one person any longer than another. "He's scared, Dajan. No one wants to die. All I'm asking for is a few minutes alone with him."

Standing in the meeting room already, Claire has been fairly quiet since the attack preferring not to talk details of what happened when people ask. One would think she was embarrassed about the whole thing. Back pressed against the wall, a boot foot propped against it as well, arms folded across a black tank top which still sports a few bullet holes, but at least it's clean.

Her blue eyes, watch Eileen's back, thought not really seeing her. She's right of course he had, maybe that's why Claire's guard had been down… she kinda was starting to think that maybe….. She sighs softly and shifts her back a bit, eyes dropping to the floor, content to listen as always.

"You should let her'ave them." One thing about Huruma, she's a sneaky pete- the muttered words that crop up between Eileen and Dajan are barely preceding Huruma coming back into the conference room. Judging by the space on the old couch that is exactly her size, she had left not too long before. Her return is as quiet as her re-approach, though in order to get through to where she had been- Huruma has to sidle between Eileen and Dajan like one of those rude businessmen at the airport. Save for the rude part, that is; all that goes on otherwise is that she makes certain to sidle past with her face turned towards her semi-estranged son.

Huruma then sits down back into that space without much else to say; she does, however, give a cursory glance across the span of faces while waiting for the next part of this act.

Dajan's answer is a steely stare at his mother as she moves past, watching her settle in to the conference room before laying his dark stare down on Eileen intently. "I will consider it after we're done with this meeting, but I still find it hard to trust a man who would so quickly turn on one of his own." One of Dajan's hands moves up to his face, fingers absently toying with the horrific scar at neck-level. "I will consider your request, but until I can be sure he will not be afraid again…" there's a touch of distrust in Dajan's tone, but it fades as he changes topic and tune. "We've a meeting to attend."

"About time." Kwasi states flatly, looking over to Aviators. There's a staticy bweep from Kwasi's hip-mounted radio which elicits a crooked stare from the old soldier, turning the dial down and off — it's impossible to get any reliable signal this far underground. "Th'Americans 'ave been lookin' over our intelligence, an' they 'ave some sat'lite maps o'the areas o'th munitions buildin' an' th' airport." Kwasi waves one hand down towards the maps on the table. "I'm gon' t'head topside for a moment, I 'aven't 'ad a cigarette all day. Besides, th'American soldiers don't need my expertise." Aviators looks up, hiding a cold stare behind the mirrored lenses of his sunglasses. Sunglasses he wears indoors.

"Kwasi, stay." Dajan moves over to the old soldier, laying a hand on his shoulder with a squeeze. "You know I value your in— " Kwasi moves Dajan's hand away, and his expression shows little sign of compassion in it at the moment, only frustration.

"I no'want anything t'do with these people ri'now. No'after what tha' mon'ster tried t'do t'one've his own people." Kwasi's words are met with a cold stare from Dajan, but one that speaks no rebuttal. "I'll b'back."

Sanderson looks better, much better, than she has in several days. Near a week of bedrest has done wonders for the woman, and now it seems she and Candy have traded off being impaired by having one arm in a sling. She never did return Candy's well-wishing, perhaps she was too busy listening to Aviators, perhaps she juts can't stand the sociopath. They never did bond very tightly.

"In light of what Gray did…" Sanderson cuts right to the quick, "I actually have to report back to command. I haven't had an opportunity yet, but I was under expressed orders to inform them if Gray did anything like that, even to enemy soldiers. We may have to leave him here, or— " She shakes her head, cutting herself off as a look is offered ti Aviators.

"Gray is a lunatic reckless psychopath, which means he's the kind of person I'm typically used to working with. However that also means he's unstable, and until I can be sure he isn't going to start crying into his brain-soup for breakfast over how mortal he is, he can stay in his brick shithouse."

Aviators is a diplomat of the highest caliber.

You're not really making deals with this asshole, are you?

That would be Gabriel's voice, echoing moodily from somewhere in the back of Eileen's mind, a twinge of awareness that she's not alone. At least he's not really conscious to the physical manifestations of his own irritation, as much as his body shifts uneasily back in his room, fingers twitching into half-hearted fists before relaxing.

Tell them they don't need to worry about me. If he thought to check, he'd know. Tell them to get on with it.

Eileen contains her emotions in the pit of her belly, face a neutral mask, gray eyes dark and shadowed by her lashes as she studies Sanderson and Aviators, gauging their reactions in reticent silence. Only Huruma is privy to what's churning around in her stomach — that nauseous amalgamation of bile and anxiety. Fear bubbles up from her core and forms a fine, frothy layer at its surface that combines with the disappointment she's feeling. Hurt, betrayal. If Gabriel could have just controlled himself—

There's a twitch of movement at the corner of her mouth that betrays her surprise when he speaks up. Not entirely unlike the direction telepathy she's accustomed to, but different enough that she recognizes it as something new. I'm not telling them anything, she says without moving her lips except to flatten them. You'll be lucky if the man with the glasses leaves you here. I don't know what I'm going to do if his superiors decide putting a bullet in the back of your head is better.

While the tautness between Dajan and Huruma is less than it was for the first meeting of this nature- it is still not absent. There is something intangible stretched awkwardly between them like a tin can phone. Perhaps it will loosen, but that may only come with time, barring some other event. As of now, Huruma's treatment of him is much like they are all fenced in boxes, and Dajan happens to be on one side of her. Resigning oneself slowly to the fact that there is always going to be someone over there.

Her primary attention, however, is fixed on observing the fineries between Eileen and Aviators as he reasons that Gabriel- Sylar- whomever- is best left in his box, even though if he wanted to, he could just leave it. Ah. The attention on the two quickly concentrates a bit further onto one. Eileen's little storm, plus something …else. Huruma narrows her eyes curiously over at the small dark-haired woman, tongue running the back of her teeth.

If she has an opinion on Gabriel, Huruma does not choose to voice it. She was in that box not days ago, it really isn't her place to argue about psycho-analysis.

Seeming happy that no one rebuked his opinion, Aviators offers a flash of a smile that must be where Jensen Raith got it from; car-salesman mixed with sociopath. "Alright people, listen up. We've got one man on the lamb with potential intentions to confiscate a biological weapon that may well be turned against us." Aviators is clearly talking about Emile. "Either that, or he's been found by General Rasoul's men and he's dead." Tapping his fingers on the maps, Aviators slides one satellite image out towards the edge of the table. "Come get a closer look, that's Site-A, and likely where we'll run into Danko if he's still out there."

From the air, Site-A doesn't look all that impressive, it resembles an aerial view of a water treatment plant, or in a way something of a similar shape to the Eagle Electric facility in New York, a lot of cylindrical tanks and blocks buildings surrounded by a fence. "We've got a support team of fifty men coming in from the north, strictly boys armed with sticks and rocks for all it'll matter against the military hardware Rasoul's packing. They're going to be running interference." Football references, could he be any more of an American stereotype.

"I'm going to be leading the attack team going in to the munitions factory. Satellite intelligence indicates roughly three hundred and sixty armed soldiers on site with more aerial than land defenses. Some SAM sites that keep the skies clear and a few assault jeeps. Nothing we haven't handled before." Rubbing one hand across his mouth, Aviators lets the light from the ceiling lamp glare off of his mirrored sunglasses.

"Gray seemed to think we could take the site on our own, and despite the fact that he's rattled all his screws loose, he's got a point. However, and I don't mean any slight by this— " Aviators offers a look to Dajan, not entirely sincere. "I don't trust the locals not to fuck up the airfield. If we don't get those MiGs out of the air and the other missile batteries down, our boys will be flying in to their deaths and we'll be staying here more than a month. I, personally, have had about enough of the local hospitality."

Clearing her throat, Sanderson is quick to talk over Aviators. "What— he means is that we'll be dividing some of our assets to handle this. I'll be leading the alternate team going to Site-B, the airport outside of the capital. I've set up a team consisting of Mr.Dunsimi, Ms.Ruskin, and Ms.Bennet for the job. Dunsimi to disable to airstrip with his ability to prevent any of the jets from taking off, Ruskin for recon and Bennet for artillery support." A look is offered to Claire. "I can't risk sending you in to a chemical plant. God knows what would happen if you were exposed to a concentrated form of the nerve agent."

"My team's gonna be Ms.Allard, Mr.Nwabueze, Huruma, and Brainiac in the locker." There's a nod of his head to where Gabriel is kept. "If we don't leave his ass here. Kwasi and Bosede are figuring out how to divide up the MLF soldiers between the two of us."

How Eileen chooses to take static silence upon her refusal is up to her. It could just be that he's listening, but there are no new words offered immediately. Then, finally, a cutting sneer in direct reply to her words, Let them try. Unhappiness is communicated enough in Gabriel's psychic voice, as much as nothing but his words are projected from his waiting body to her. However, there's no further pleas to speak for him, no demands that they obey what his singular order had been.

Well aware that leadership was left in the mud topside. No one spoke up for him.

As directed, she moves to stand and look over the maps, eyes roving over it taking in the details. "I've got a pretty good idea would happen," Claire agrees with Aviators there, a nod given to him… having been stripped of her ability before, "And I agree with it." A glance goes to Eileen and a small tight lipped smile is given, before looking back at the map and listening to the briefing.

"You're taking him," this from Eileen, directed squarely at Aviators in the same impartial tone she'd used with Dajan. Whether or not Gabriel is listening is inconsequential at this point; her words are not intended for him, and letting him know that she still has his back is at the very bottom of the list detailing her present priorities. "Intuition. Shadow form. Puppetry. Telepathy. With the limited resources we have available, you can't afford not to. He has an entire arsenal of abilities at his command, and as long as you keep him separated from Bennet there won't be an issue."

No argument on how the teams have been divided, however. If she has any misgivings about the decision, she keeps it veiled along with whatever else she might be thinking. Her emotional state hasn't changed much, if at all.
Huruma would have if it had any merit coming from her! Sorry Sylar. Psycho speaking up for psycho has about as much merit as a chronic liar testifying on behalf of a defendant. There is one thing, however, that she does see fit to mention.

"Allard'as almost no firearms skills- would sh'not b'better suited t'th'airport team? Should her ability be negated-" Huruma tilts a look towards Candy, finally. "-she would'ave nothing. I do no'think she belongs at th'plant." Not to mention that if she finds Danko she might just pop his head like a bug. Just sayin'.

"Allard can control the fucking gas." Aviators spits out with a frantic wave of one hand that slaps at his head. "She's a goddamned hydrokinetic, do any of you people seriously think about things before you say them? That gas is probably twenty or thirty percent water vapor. It won't be perfect but fuck if it isn't something." Affixing Candy a stare over the frames of his glasses, Aviators raises one dark brow. "You got that Miss Saigon?" He stares at her a moment longer, "Don't just fucking scream and run, try and actually do something worthwhile."

"Ah— right I— " Sanderson covers her mouth with one hand, looking to Dajan, then to Aviators, then back at the other group again. "We… don't have any idea what the insides of either facility looks like, but the distance between the airfield and the chemical plant from here is roughly three days each, if we're being cautious of patrols. That means we head out about the same time, and meet on the outskirts of the capital before giving the all-clear for the fighters on the George Washington to launch and begint he bombardment of the capital." Offering a side-long look to Aviators, Sanderson seems anxious about something.

"This entire aerial attack is black-ops, no one is getting credit for this. Madagascar is isolated enough right now that news won't spread with any credibility outside of the region. But this— the US involvement?" Sanderson turns to look to Dajan, "This won't be a prolonged thing, don't expect this to turn into another Iraq, you people are on your own once we find what we're looking for here…"

No more words for Eileen. If Gabriel has remained in her head since his last comment, it's her to guess, because she certainly can't feel him leave. Nor can she detect exactly where he goes. Like hands seeking out monkeybars, he swings delicately between the minds at his disposal, before settling somewhere like a cat choosing which lap to shed fur onto.


It's a casual greeting, in the back of Aviator's mind, and completely Gabriel. Words hurt, you know? But that's not what I want to talk to you about. I want Ruskin on my fucking team. You want to steal away my authority, then that's fine, but Kershner promised me she'd be within range. Allard storms the airport. Bird girl covers us.

Milliseconds before Aviators is able to finish, Huruma fixes him with a narrowed stare and a flicker of nervous fearfulness. Don't piss with her, she is not in the mood for it- that is the most she aims to say non-verbally, and if Gabriel is that into the other man's head- he will feel it aimed at Aviators too. Neither of them seem to like Mister Sunglasses-at-Night. Verbally is an entirely different matter, as Huruma sits straighter in her seat, one arm languishing over the arm of the tattered couch.

"We need t'include Rasoul's camps-" The words breathe a hiss out of her lungs before she decides to stand, fingers brushing at invisible dust on her thigh. "-I for one am not going t'ignore th'favor we'ave been given by having the M.L.F help us …help them. Besides- th'more th'merrier, and I'd love t'see what Madagascar offers in its …special citizens." Whether Aviators likes it or not, they needed the MLF. If there was no MLF, they would not be where they are. Technically there are other favors- as in Bravo's coup coming up- making way for others to fill the government- but unification is not unification when there is a sacrifice- of part of that unity. The last laugh, as it were, has to be from the Malagasy citizenship, not Team Bravo. And in the end, she may have a point about more abilities.

And just perhaps, Huruma's feelings of obligation and her desire to curry love- have had a slight growth spurt. Also partly because she honestly does want to see the Evolved here run through the heart of the opposition. To be the ones flooding in after the battering ram. Wouldn't it be something, to have a place governed by the Evolved? Ooh.

Something's wrong, something is terribly wrong and Gabriel can sense it the moment he is inside of Aviators' body. The level of wrong takes a moment to fully be comprehended, his mind taking in the physical abnormalities that shouldn't belong, the things inside of him that shouldn't be there, and it only takes one intuitive leap to realize what they're doing.

But it's too late for Gabriel to do anything about it.

"Fine." Aviators agrees to that too quickly, "We'll play Sparticus after we blow the airfield and the— " He winces, sort've like the way someone does at the twinge of a bad headache. "And the munitions depot." A look is offered to Tau, then Dajan, and Sanderson seems suspect about Aviators willingness to comply so hastily. "Look, Huruma's right, regardless. The people in those cages under the city might be helpful, God knows with all the powers they have." Sanderson catches something there, one brow raised as she looks to Aviators with her head cocked to the side.

"How do— "

The entire bunker shudders with a violent explosion. Fluorescent lights spark and sputter overhead, and another violent explosion comes immediately after, dust settling from the cracks in the ceiling and the overhead lamp swaying left and right from the force of the blast. "Thos're mortars!" Tau shouts, bolting up from his seat as a third explosion followed by a chain of smaller eruptions rumbles the bunker. "They're shelling th' city!"

Dajan is quick to fire a look to Huruma, moving towards the wall at the far side of the room. "Bosede and Kwasi are out there, I have to— " The wall starts to soften like mud near Dajan's hand, but Tau sharply grabs Dajan's wrist and wrenches it away from the wall, a stern look in the enormous man's eyes.

"No. They are on their own now, we do not know what is happening, you cannot endanger yourself so recklessly." Dajan freezes at Tau's rebuking, even as Aviators is unholstering his sidearm and stepping out towards the hallway. Sanderson is quick to follow suit, popping her baretta out of its holster as a fourth explosion rocks the bunker.

"Everyone get armed, someone get Gray out of his cell! Be ready for anyth— " An explosion far closer comes next, a deafening clang of metal accompanying it as on the other side of the bunker — thorugh the mess hall and down the entrance corridor — the bunker hatch door is blown inwards by a door-buster shaped charge, followed by the rattling pop of automatic weapons fire.

Then, a pop, a hiss, and a clink-clink-clink…

and far, far down the hall on the other end of the bunker, white smoke begins to fill the halls.

Candy has been eying the Aviators the whole time since his little chat about missing things up, the arm in her sling clenching but she has managed to stay quiet. Her eyes look over the other group, before she jumps at the booms and the shelling. Her eyes whip around to the door and she blanches a little whens he hears the pop and hiss of a gass grenade. Her eyes flashing, before she looks behind to the others. As long as they've been there, she's come to rely on them, so she doesn't just start running to save herself. She frowns, and then decides to test Mr. Aviators conclusions, trying to will her power to make the smoke move at least some, to keep the way clear, or keep a clear avenue open.

Gabriel wrenches himself from Aviators' body at some stage after finding out what's desperately wrong with the man, which is almost enough to punch his psychic presence out altogether. What is this? is an echoing demand, useless by the time the attack on the bunker shudders the world. He pulls free as easily as a needle sliding extracted from someone's arm, latching onto the nearest moving body, and then the next, and the next.

Typical that the first person to react to Sanderson's order of getting Gray out of his cell is Gray. He follows whoever goes, and if no one does, he cuts his own path.

Eyes look upward as the first mortar hits, Claire's head ducking down just like anyone else. Glancing around she spots the AK-47 against the wall and is quick to snatch it up. Moving to the doorway, She glances out at the smoke. "Think we can make it to the Armory?" She doesn't sound convinced they can really, but never hurts to ask since they are lacking in the weapons department. "I can move out first if you want… cover Candy while she moves the smoke." As glance goes to the Asian woman and adds. "If she can." She does not offer to get let Gabriel out of his cage.. plenty of people for that. Her eyes go to Sanderson waiting..

Eileen's cargo jacket is shrugged from her shoulders and hits the floor at her feet, allowing her better ease of movement as she pulls her sidearm from the leather holster she wears at her hip and slides her thumb over the manual safety switch, its click inaudible above the roar of mortar shells and the groan of the base's foundation inside its concrete walls. Although the smoke hasn't reached them yet, all the dust and debris dislodged by the explosion is already giving the young woman a difficult time, and with no mask she has to filter the air she breathes with her hand. It settles like ash in her hair and on her eyelashes as she blinks more of the particles away on her way out the door and into the hall, hot on Aviators' heels, though this has nothing to do with any intent or desire to follow. That they are headed in the same direction is probably incidental.

"I'll get Gray," she croaks out through her fingers as she brushes bodily past Sanderson and disappears across the threshold, swallowed up by the shadows in between the intermittent sputters of flickering light. "Get topside!"

Huruma, like the lieutenant, is quick to pick up on the fact that nobody is aware that they told Aviators- and his compliance is suddenly bizarre. The woman, already on her feet, pulls together her face into an expression of distrust just as the mortars rock the ground above them, sending shudders through the bunker rooms. That same look, now naturally tense and started- glances to Dajan as he looks towards her; Blood is Blood, especially when it is now within speaking distance. That emotional thread is a steel wire now. Of course they both look over.

Tau speaks for her when it comes around to those above ground; no matter how much any of them might want to, the ground below is where they are. Huruma scans the room once more, letting out a shortwave of something that feels stubborn- though brave- through that consternation evident in everyone. Eileen gets it too, just as Huruma turns her head to look after her. Once Gray gets a clue, he'll be able to get out himself- that much she is certain of, so Eileen's actions are not so much noble as they are preserving- He'd defend her if he had to, right? Still?

"We shall have to try to get there, Candace." To the armory- as most of them have powers and pistols; Huruma has dislodged hers from her belt in the meanwhile, setting it to fire and keeping one hand wrapped gravely around the grip. She looks up to Dajan again, a question suddenly skirting on her thoughts. Maybe it comes over her face- How good can he tunnel?

Gunfire breaks out into the far halls on the other side of the bunker, the distant patter-pang of ricocheting rounds and the cha-chack bang of a shotgun. Muzzle flash glows like lightning in the smoke canister's gas, and when Candy attempts to manipulate that vapor, she finds herself doing little more than making eddies and currents in it using the moisture in the air. It must not be the same gas that Aviators had talked about, but it does give her ideas, seeing the way water-vapor in the air can affect smoke.

Bursting thorugh the mess hall that the meeting room is connected off of, Aviators keeps his gun held to his side and posture low as he runs. One stone column becomes his cover as automatic weapons fire spills down the hall and blows cups off of tables. His back slams up against it, one hand grabbing Eileen's wrist as he yanks her behidn the pillar with him, one arm wrapped around her waist and hie gun held down at their side. "Fuck Gray," Aviators hisses out. "What can you see outside?" He asks the avian telepath before peeking around the column and ducking back as gunfire chips off one of the corners.

When Claire and Sanderson make their way into the mess hall behind Aviators and Eileen, they're met with the same automatic gunfire, coming from a pair of camouflage and red bandanna-clad militia soldiers armed with AK-47s stepping out of the fog, their faced shourded in gas masks. The gunfire is erratic, designed to keep people down. People except Claire Bennet at least.

Without the aid of body armor, Claire is little better than soft cover, but as bullets punch thorugh her, tumbling out of her body and spraying blood on the floor and walls, she manages to keep her forward momentum and fire from the hip as she moves. Chips of skull and bits of scalp go flying as she's shot, soon to be replaced as her own gun unloads on the two soldiers, clearing a path for Sanderson. The Lieutenant only stays behind Claire until the gunfire starts, and she's duick to dive behind one of the tables, flipping it over before popping around and opening fire. This is the first time Sanderson has been in a gunfight and not crippled, and her aim is impeccable. Slow shots but precise, she kneecaps and disables the soldiers Claire has scattering from her wild full-auto gunfire.

"Tau!" Dajan shouts out, "Make sure Bosede and Kwasi are alright, get the men and get up!" Tau nods, looking towards the tiny blonde that stole his gun as he offers a grimace. Dajan unholsters his Desert Eagle, tossing it to the enormous man. "I'm taking a shortcut."

Offering a hand out to Huruma, Dajan furrows his brows and asks. "Where do you want to go?"

Candy hmms faintly as she notes the way it does that, before she just begins to run behind the others, holding her breath through any smoke that may be in the way. She shakes her head a little, disliking the way her crippled arm loves to move through things. "Fuckin' A," she mutters as she runs, and says to herself, "Mental note: Ask U.S. Government for a fucking new shoulder." As she sprints in towards random gunfire, she dives for cover, she does not want to get shot, again.

Her eyes look towards the others taking cover, and she shouts over the gunfire, "Nothing like a little excitement right? And no fucking rain down here, looks like I'll have to improvise." She grins almost maniaclly as she peeks up a little over her cover, looking for any soldier whose bright idea it is to be out in the open, if she spots one, that man is suddenly lost in a vapor cloud of red, as Candy giggles in glee. "Need to use that one a bit more often," she murmers, half to herself.

I need you. It's neither romantic or particularly desperate, Gabriel's voice in Eileen's head. It's a fact, and echoes louder than even Aviators' barking orders, the sound of gunfire and violence. The convenience of someone who knows what they're doing outstrips counting on his luck enough to linger to see if she'll follow through, but only for so long.

The metallic clink of spent casings, as they clatter to her feet, are occasionally joined by the bloody bullets that didn't make it out her back. Blood soaks into the tank top as more holes are added to her clothing, though over all she slowly starts looking like a candidate for a horror movie, so much blood from various healed wounds. There is actually a little tug of a smile at the corner of Claire's lips as she fires off each round at those men, her shoulder leaning against the wall when a couple of shots do a number on her, but it's not long before the rifle comes up and starts shooting again. As long as she's there, she's a focus for fire and the others can pick them off.

The arm around Eileen's waist is met with some resistance and tension in the muscles of her abdomen beneath the fabric of her top. Her breath hitches, caught sharp in the back of her throat, and she arches her back against his chest in a bowed, feline curve as she instinctively twists to pull away from him — but that's before the bullet impacts mere inches from her ear and flecks of concrete graze her left cheek. She turns her head away from the gunfire instead, Gabriel's voice a rising crescendo thrumming in her skull, and coughs into Aviators' shoulder with her eyes pinched shut. I'm coming, she tells him, her consciousness pressing against his, perhaps in an attempt to squeeze him out of her ear. This is more invasive than she remembers it being.

"Everyone outside is dead," she murmurs, voice thick, distracted. Most of the birds above ground have taken flight and abandoned the area surrounding the bunker, driven off by the explosions. She's limited to those few that have taken shelter in the ruins and secluded themselves under crumbling slabs of concrete and in the vine-swathed rafters of gutted buildings. "Fifteen trucks. Kwasi's—" There's a momentary pause in which Eileen suddenly becomes very still except for the rise and fall of her chest, straining to breathe. "Kwasi's with Rasoul. He's one of them. They took Bosede."

"Th'armory- can you reach it?" There will be another time for facing the sentiments of Dajan reaching out towards her; Huruma's palm finds his, fingers closing around the root of his wrist. "We need weapons- an't'get th'bunker emptied. If not we are trapped." We- as in everyone.

"Weapons," Dajan states flatly to Huruma, "Weapons I can reach. We cleared out the armory, but I can reach the storage, no metal in the walls there." Squeezing her hand, he turns towards the wall north of them in the meeting room and walks towards the wall, bringing his hand to lay flat on the concrete where its porous texture begins to change and soften. A moment later Dajan draws his hand back like a fist and strikes out at the wall. There's is an ear-splitting crack of stone and an impossible manipulation of the rock as it explodes outwards like an opening iris of rock. This spiral of stone corkscrews thorugh fifteen feet of concrete and solid rock before forming a makeshift tunnel like a drill would have into an adjacent storage room where the MLF has stored some of their armaments. The rock walls shudder and groan as Dajan leads his mother carefully thorugh the constructed hall, keeping her hand held for some reason despite their method of travel not being through the earth like she may have expected.

Once they arrive on the other side of the tunnel, Dajan rests his free hand up against the ceiling of the tunnel, as if he's holding the whole thing up. "Grab what you can, I'll… make another exit once you're done." His eyes rise up towards the concrete ceiling, fingers toying with the jagged edges of rock. "There's three more coming down the stairs!" Dajan calls out to the people engaged in the firefight in the mess hall.

"Good job," Aviators calls out to Claire, then pushes Eileen out in front of him to see if there's any more gunfire to be drawn. "Get Gray's head out of his ass and meet me up top, they're trying to drop this whole goddamned bunker on our heads!" The CIA operative shoots into the concealing smoke, unloading what remains of his clip with one muffled scream coming from inside before he drops down and grabs one of the dead militia soldiers' assault rifles.

More gunfire is heard further away, other MLF operatives engaged in battle with the invading militia forces. Soon, Aviators disappears into the smoke, leaving Sanderson behind to care for her ducklings. "Ruskin!" The Lieutenant chirps as she pops up from behind the table, "Let's go get Gray!" Backpedaling across the concrete, Sanderson moves in line with another of the concrete pillars, pressing her shoulder up against it. "Clear!" One gloved hand waves Eileen towards the hall the armory door is located in. To her right, Dajan and Huruma are visible in a storage room where the munitions were moved. It seems he — made a door.

"This guy is getting on my nerves," Candy remarks as they make their way through the place, her eyes looking at the swirl of dust he leaves behind. Finally, her eyes go back towards the armory and where Gabriel is at as they reach it. Candy, stays back with Sanderson, working to make sure that the Commander who actively hates her guts is safe. Funny thing about high-stress situations.

"So, you and me, how about a date when we get back from this shit," Candy asks of Sanderson, that crazy grin on her face while she looks down the hall. Any miltia troops that aren't friendly will find themselves exploding rather quickly should they decide to come down this hall, Candy amusedly wondering whether or not she could use the moisture she is forcing out of the bodies to make herself some handy water weapons. A water-axe does sound tempting to her, and maybe when she gets a spare moment she can water-guitar too… but she'd need some music. Her eyes look around, where the hell is the dude with the Walkman, she wonders.

The calm that fills Claire is almost scary, it's something she's learned on this trip, something new. It's different then it was with PARIAH.. a whole new ball game. As her rifle clicks empty, Claire takes advantage of the lull to collect weapons from the downed militia, straps pulled over her head, extra rifles tossed at a spot where she's been.. extra cartridges tucks in pockets when she can find them. Wiping blood from her eyes, smearing it across her face, hair clumped together in locks of blood drenched hair. She is a sight for anyone coming down those stairs next. The fresh rifle, smeared with blood is lifted as she waits for those three to come down.

Eileen's booted feet strike the concrete as she moves like a wraith through the wisps of smoke, both hands on the grip of her pistol, barrel pointed down at the floor. It isn't far to Gabriel's cell, especially not at a sprint, and when she arrives her weapon is shoved back into its holster. There is no key to the door, which eliminates any frantic fumbling when she throws herself up against it, seizes the latch and wrenches it open with a loud pop and a faint but sibilant hiss of air rushing out to displace some of the gaseous vapour that hangs like haze in the hall outside.

He said he needed her, and here she is, fingers clasping around his shoulder as she drops down into a crouch beside his prone form and lifts her other hand to his face to take it forcefully by the chin. "Get up."

He doesn't need to be told twice. Skin brushes skin, and Gabriel's half-closed, blanked eyes suddenly open bright with alertness, drawing in a hard breath. Stupid, stupid stunt. "Coming," he gasps out, a hand pressing against wall, the other against the floor, and surging to his feet. His hand drifts to his holster, not a habit he's had since he was depowered, but it's not there. You don't lock an armed man in a room. Not that it matters, awfully much.

At a stagger gaining a kind of determination and balance, Gabriel charges on towards freedom, sending out a psychic ping of awareness that gives him a twinge of a headache when he does so. No one immediately outside, and through the clusters of minds he has to radar around, the quick-moving psychic entities of the bad guys are interchangeable with the good.

Mouth pulling into a scowl, Gabriel isn't running for weaponry or the way out. Instead, he moves towards the sounds of gunfire, and where he can detect the presence of warm bodies down the hall, towards the entrance of the bunker.

No matter how he moves through the earth- it is still a more wondrous thing to behold than the sounds of gunfire and the shifts of explosions. The pride is back- even if at its most primitive state. She had nothing to do with this, save for genetics, but it is a talent nonetheless. Huruma follows through the dug route, fingers releasing the link of her hand on his wrist when they spill out into the storage unit. She does not need told twice when things are this chaotic. Chaos breeds levelheadedness somehow.

Huruma lays into the stores as swiftly as she can; shoulder straps hoop over her back and arms, pistols tucked, and by the time she seems vaguely ready to move again she even has a pack of ammunition tied around her waist. A regular arsenal- it is disturbing how quickly she falls into the pattern. One hand passes Dajan a pair of handguns roughly similar to the one he passed to Tau moments earlier.

Speaking of Tau, the mountain of a man emerges from one of the bunks inside the underground fortification strapped with a a suitof heavy body armor similar to the ones that Bravo Team had come in with. Looking towards the armory that's open, then to where Dajan and Huruma are, the healer points with his pistol towards the smoke filled hall, eliciting a nod from Dajan. As he passes by Claire, Tau offers the small girl a broad smile as he dips into the whirling smoke and towards the stairs and the sound of gunfire.

"Cover your ears," Dajan offers to his mother, rising up to stand on his toes as his fingers brush the ceiling. Just like before, the concrete warps and softens, and then explodes inwards as if some invisible drill were tearing thorugh earth and stone, but compacting it rather than breaking it apart. The hole is torn upwards thorugh the rock, blasting out towards the light of clouded skies and drizzling rain. Dajan's hand draws down with a trail of loose earth, and as his hand moves, deep hand and foot-holds etch themselves into the stone as if by hammer and chisel, a makeshift ladder. "We can flank them…"

"Allard." Sanderson chimes in across the way, "I— " Her dark brows twitch, "I would never," her eyes wrench shut, one hand comes up as if to say no, and she just rolls her shoulders and turns to look up at Gabriel and Eileen. "Dajan made a back entrance, or we could try the stairs— " there's a pop of gunfire from that direction. Sanderson moves her hand up to her ear, turning on her comm.

"Your voice says no, but your lips say yes," Candy says, before she adds, "Or something like that." She grins at Sanderson, before she looks around and then to Gabriel and Eileen, "Well, after all the noise of that back entrance, they're gonna be on it like white on rice. I vote the stairs." With that, Candy begins to slink towards the gunfire, being careful not to just go around corners, and get shot. That would be bad.

Gabriel's agreement with Candy is more or less silent, only continuing his movement towards the stairs, without particular show of seeking cover for himself, unlike Candy's careful moves. Easily mistaken for heroism, stupidity, whatever you desire to call it — but he rarely does things without the guarantee that they'll work, including walking into gunfire and being able to walk out of it again. By the time they've made it towards the stairwell, guns are already pointing in their direction, sparks and flashes at the muzzle of automatic weaponry as bullets try to tear through flesh.

And for Gabriel, they do, and pass right through him as if he were as immaterial as the smoke they'd thrown down here. Lifting a hand, there's the sound akin to a shotgun, but louder, harsh in these close quarters, and the air ripples out as a sonic blast slams through the air, hitting the men like a fast moving wall.

The smile Claire gives Tau, as he passes, would be a soft one, but it looks out of place in her current condition. It probably comes off more creapy then anything. Glancing down at his armor, she can't help but wish she had some of that, but settles for what she has… With various weapons on her person along with ammo, Claire moves to flank Tau, as he moves up the stairs towards the rest of the action. Leaning enough to see around the bulk of him, rifle at ready.

The general consensus seems to be that the stairs are the best way out, and who is Eileen to disagree? She needs the open sky and the winged shadows that inhabit it to be of any real use, and as she follows the others into the cacophony of screams and gunfire, she reaches out above ground with her invisible feelers again, gray eyes growing opaque, and assesses what she can see. In times of chaos, situations can change in an instant, and it's been several minutes since she last checked the status of the military presence bearing down over their heads.

If they're going up, she wants to know what it is they're going up into.

The first one was loud, and this one will prove to be louder- Huruma has her arms lifted halfway when he tells her to cover her ears, which she now does, white eyes roving upward to follow the bending of earth. Once he looks to be done, the sounds of the surface can be heard funneling down to them; gunfire, the rain, the drumming of obese clouds in the sky. Granted that there was never too much to start with, Huruma has made a good haul of the storage, looking like some manner of awkward war machine as she crouches and springs herself upward, pulling herself- and that load- into the skyward tunnel. Flank is as good as anything at this point- and the sooner they get out, the sooner comes the surprise from behind. She keeps one handgun at the ready, yet.

Just like Eileen, Huruma's senses now go fully outward instead of simply making sure that the bunker is emptying itself. Feelers, whiskers, tendrils- whatever one calls them, they have to know what they are heading into; though she cannot see through other's eyes, knowing is half the battle.

Tau stops in the smoke when Gabriel brushes past him and makes his way up the stairs. The large man drops into a crouch, picks something up that his boot had nudges and then continues on and up the stairs. Sanderson eyes the direction Candy and the others are headed in and shakes her head, throwing in her lot with Huruma and Dajan, — divide and conquer — she thinks to herself, and it's not exactly what this plan is, but splitting up their numbers means less likely to be felled inone mistake. Far behind both Dajan and Huruma in their ascent, Sanderson holsters her gun and begins climbing up out of the hole Dajan created, arriving some twenty-five feet up from the bunker to the smoke-laden ruins of Mandritsara.

There is wreckage everywhere, the trucks that Kwasi's men had arrived in demolished on the roadside, one tipped over and one fire. The shelling has stopped, but the roar of engines has not. A howling shriek of a chant comes from one of the trucks that is driving around in a circle, dragging one of the MLF soldiers by a rope in a bloody mark through the dirt. Standing in the back of the truck, one of the few white men seen outside of Team Bravo throws a fist into the air. Dirt and ash is matted against his skin, darkening his blonde beard. The sleeveless vest he wears has a raised collar, and shows off a black tribal tatoo down one arm.

"Yeow!" He proclaims, firing his assault rifle into the air, surrounded by thirty some odd militia soldiers. "Look'a that fucker bleed! Ha!" He waves for the truck to stop, pointing towards the bunker entrance. "Shit, boys, we ain't done yet. You haul your little sissy asses down there an' make sure we got 'em all. Boss'll be some sideways with us if you ain't shot them all flat dead!" He has a southern accent, as in southern United States, not South Africa.

Ducking down near a furrow of earth and a crumbling brick wall, Dajan motions silently to his mother and points to the soldiers gathered. There's too many here, his eyes go wide, and Dajan ducks his head down slowly. "That is one of tha' General's lieutenants, e' calls 'imself th' butcher." Sanderson finally makes her way up out of the hole, crawling on her stomach as she hears the voices, moving to Dajan's side as she pops out her magazine and checks the remaining ammunition, but her eyes ask it all — what the hell do we do?

On the other side of the bunker, the remainder of Bravo Team and the MLF make their way up out of the stairwell, finding themselves in a field of corpses. MLF and militia soldiers lay dead all around, blood soaks the already red ground darker. Not far away, a truck is approaching, three more in another direction, followed by a distinctive sound from the backs of the pickup trucks.


Streaming trails of grasy yellow vapors trail from four canisters launched in the general direction of the bunker, the same canisters that were fired on that boat. "Come on boys!" The voice of the Butcher calls out from across the city, "Light 'em up!" Truck engines begint or oar and rev, guns are cocked and loaded, ammunition is chambered, the sounds of guns being readied echo from almost every building around the bunker, some of the militia soldiers in sight, some not. Bravo barely has cover here at the top of the stairs, where a man looks to have been sawed apart by gunfire, face down at the top of the steps, his arm blown clear out of the socket.

Aviators is nowhere to be found.

Candy's face screws up as she sees the man, and she shakes her head a little, before she moves the corpse out of her way a little. As the distinct sound of the grenades being launched reaches her ears, she grits her teeth and peeks over the edge. As soon as she can locate the greasy yellow clouds of smoke, she begins to try and push them back towards the men who launched them. Hoping that it will help to give them some added cover, and who knows, it might mess with their eyes or something. However, for now, the hydrokinetic is stuck on that one task, it requiring too much of her concentration for her to be able to lash out in the rain at the men who seek to kill the group.

The air immediately around the emerging Team Bravo thickens in humidity, swirling eddies of mist beginning to be visible, pushed towards the smoke — he doesn't have the skill to manipulate it any more than that, but he can at least give Candy more to work with. Moving, though, headed for the nearest source of cover with his back bent, shoulder crashing into a pile of rubble. His psychic radar is going insane, and for the first time, he can't concentrate enough to keep his heart rate at any normal speed.

"Tau," he growls out, through the sounds of engines and gunfire. "I can cover whoever wants to make a run— " He ducks further when a spray of bullets sends debris over his head splashing out. "— run for the jungle." Because really— retreat isn't a bad idea.


At the sight of the yellow smoke, Claire actually hesitates for the first time. Taking a step back involuntarily, she suddenly uncertain about the route she's chosen, glancing back the way they came. Nothing like being in between a rock and a hard place. Then her eyes catch the sight of a red bandana and an idea hits. She quickly starts checking the bodies for intact gasmasks, she saw them one some of the guys she took down. It may not work, but what else is she going to do. Candy may or may not be able to do this thing… Claire isn't risking it.

There are birds darting in and around the gaps between buildings, flitting swiftly through the smoke with razor quickness, some large and some small, some drab-coloured, others with plumage that glitters gold and obsidian in the light. The diversity of Madagascar's flora and fauna will never cease to inspire awe in Eileen, but she isn't thinking about the beauty of the creatures at her command as she follows Gabriel through the mist and uses her view from the sky to guide her movements rather than her eyes, still clouded over and pupils dilated.

No sign of Aviators. No immediate sign of the others, either, even as a thrush darts past the truck in which the "Butcher" is situated and comes dangerously close to his ear. "I can help," she says aloud, backing Gabriel's offer of cover. "There are enough in the trees."

Huruma is bristling even though the attention of the militia is elsewhere- she can feel those droves in her range, and it makes her lip curl angrily. She keeps down alongside Dajan and Sanderson, feeling more and more like a sneak behind that wall and rubble. I may be best to not be here at all- Huruma hates retreat as much as the next person with a sense of pride and ego, but sometimes- it really isn't a bad idea. At least for those who do not stand a chance no matter their pride.

"I suppose I will'ave t'teach him a lesson some day, hmm?" About being a real butcher. The dark woman hunches in the shadows of the wall, exchanging her gun for an automatic rifle. Her eyes turn up to the marine, taking stock for a moment before turning her gaze to Dajan, fixating there. "We cannot stay-" Huruma pauses unintentionally for the fraction of a second, voice resuming its smoothness and a trickling of not so liquid courage to both of her current fellows. "-Dajan-" Was this the first time she has spoken his name to his face? New, but a good sign.

"Son- how are you wit'earthquakes?" Huruma's eyes narrow out of sudden and pure curiosity, one eyebrow lifting and head cocking. If you're needing a distraction

Dajan looks towards Huruma, sharply when she brings up the word son. His eyes betray a sense of uncertainty that his emotions mask behind resentment, as if she has not yet earned the right to call him that yet. But in the heat of this terrible conflict, under the oppression of drizzling rainfall, Dajan can not spend time to argue. "It doesn't work like that…" He says in a rough tone of voice, even as he sinks his fingers down into the dirt. "I can do something though. Cover your mouths and close your eyes."

The canisters continue to spin thorugh the air in the drizzling rain, and as Candy begins by trying to control the molecules of water bonded into the gas, she instead finds a much easier route of redirecting the rain in a torrent away from the group. The sharp redirection of the rain is another to veer the canisters from a direct hit, and from there changes in humidity density pushes the gas down to the ground like changes in air pressure. It's taxing, more so than simply manipulating water, it's like trying to filter sand thorugh her fingers and only stop certain grains. Her focus is solely on yhe task, even as pops of gunfire start to test their cover, searching for someone to run out and expose themselves.

The birds high up in the trees begin to stir, a cacophony of cawing and shrieking. Tau passes a look to Gabriel, nodding his head once as he looks over to Claire, offering out what it was he lifted from the fallen soldier — a pump-action combat shotgun. It may not be a gas mask, but there is something comfortable about a familiar wood-grain stock and mule-kick recoil.

"Retreat seems wise, b'where a'Kwasi an' Bosede?" He doesn't yet know the truth that Eileen had revealed. "Where s'your sunglasses man?" Where is Usutu might also cross his mind, but that man's inscrutable ability to avoid danger is legendary here.

Ducking to cover her mouth and nose, Sanderson watches Dajan for a moment, until the wet soil of the Mandritsara roads begun to rumble, damp earth picking up like sand on a snare drum. It's not quite an earthquake, it's a tremor at best, but that's not what Dajan is aiming to do.

The first landmine explodes a moment later, shooting a column of black smoke and dirt high into the air. Another erupts soon after, exploding near the street, followed by another, then another. The trucks had driven through the areas shelled by mortars, picking only the areas otherwise that the MLF had cleared safely, they knew where was safe. But Dajan's unsettling of the ground has all of the landmines in the city beginning to explode like a chain reaction, sending dirt and shrapnel and stone debris into the air, creaking thick, damp clouds of mud and smoke.

Screams begin to erupt from the men in the trucks, the explosions continue, and Dajan tilts his head to the side once enough dirt has been kicked up into the air. He reaches up, fingers touching the airborn soil, and then clenches his fist, causing the dirt to clump together. Muffled screams come from within the dirt clouds as militia soldiers are suffocated by earthen clods and throat-fulls of wet soil. Strangling noises and vomiting gags fill the air, along with the roar of tires peeling back and shouts from the men too far away to be caught in the effect. They're starting to withdraw, but it's going to take more than what Dajan can do to drive them off.

Candy's small from shakes with the concentration it takes to maintain her control over the gas that has the potential to make this so much more unpleasent then it already it is. "Fucking kill them," she says through grit teeth to Gabriel and Claire, her eyes on the gas, before she adds, somewhat unneccasarily, "I don't know how much longer I can keep this up, and I'm not falling unconcious around here." No, she doesn't exactly trust the group to grab her and take her with them.

As the shotgun comes into view, Claire pauses in her search and stares for a moment. Blue eyes lift to Tau, giving him a curious look…. how did he know her favorite weapon? The rifle left to hang at her side, the shotgun is taken and hefted a little, a smile sliding across her lips. This did feel familiar… it felt right.


Taking a few steps higher, Claire states, "Candy… you let go of that stuff.. and I get it.. I'll haunt you." She growls out the words, before looking at Tau. "Shall we?" She asks nicely, her head jerking towards to gunfire. In other words: Can I have this dance?

"Fucking run," Gabriel fires back at Candy, and less severe, he adds, "You've got it, now go." With a glance towards Eileen, he doesn't direct that order at her, just nods once in acknowledgement, but not before he grabs her arm to drag her close enough— and it's nothing so romantic that he hisses into her ear, below the noise of cacophony. "Find Aviators." He releases her a moment later, darting from pile of rubble to broken wall— and bullets tear through him again as if he were a ghost, rather than a man— and crouches.

It takes some aiming, so as not to waste what energy he has. Like one readies a rifle, he extends a hand, concentrates for three, two, one— and it's that same gunshot sound that went off down below, a ripple of hair that collides with one of the trucks, rocking it back as men are thrown against its metal sides.

He disappears into shadow a moment later, slipping around broken rock, and sharking his way towards the trucks on his end of town. Which is about when the light show begins. Shadow and light in equal parts burst in firework-light stops and starts among the militia, blinding, disguising as Tau and his men are angling off for the trees. Sound, too, seems to distort in their immediate area, cutting out, dampening, rising back to full volume again.

A throat is slit in passing, solidity regained for the time it takes to draw a knife across skin before returning to wraith form, and another man startles when he can no longer see.

Eileen's birds come to the terrakinetic's aid in droves, spilling out of the trees in a stream that congregates on the trucks. Cuckoos and couas, swifts, nightjars and wagtails, tiny bulbuls in their olive brown uniforms and needle-like beaks, warblers and flycatchers, babblers, orioles and sunbirds — she does not discriminate against the weak or the small. If it can take to the air, she calls on it and directs it toward the trucks by pouring her energy into the flock, so thick with bodies that it blots out what little sunlight seeps through the cloudcover and reaches the earth.

Find Aviators should be a simple thing to do if they weren't in the heart of a warzone. Her pistol is in her hands again, and she squeezes off sporadic shots at the militia to further direct their attention away from those fleeing into the jungle, flanked by billowing plumes of sallow yellow smoke.

As the birds descend on the trucks and the men inside, she focuses on the individuals that make up the flock's periphery, slivering off a few waxbills to break away and scour the terrain for any sign of the man she's supposed to be looking for. There's blood running from her nose, but it either doesn't matter or she doesn't notice, though the former seems more likely than the latter, one small hand reaching up to smudge it away with the backs of her fingers.


When he gives her that look- Huruma seems to realize what she said. Her top lip lifts to say something, eyes glancing away from his- but he continues in time to interrupt her. But make no mistake, she only realized the error after the fact, and that much is written on her features. Odd, for her- but then again, the entire experience at Mandritsara has been nothing but. Another time, she might have promptly taken it back somehow; but he has told the women to cover their faces. She does so, initially reluctant, but more cooperative when the first landmines go off.

The cover of earth in the air, and as Huruma peers past the slit of her fingers and eyelids- lights- familiar lights- and the sense of a fluid form- a mind moving light lightning. With the shadows that lengthen and the sparking lights, the empath knows that Gabriel has gone to work.

"Come, run." Huruma reaches out for Sanderson to pull her up and along as the dirt in the air makes its final collections. She knows retreat only means in one direction- to forest, to jungle, to shelter. Hopefully by now the marine has picked it up too. Dajan is Huruma's son- she trusts him to be as savvy by natural selection.

Chaos comes next, absolute and unadulterated chaos.

The shrieking cries of birds mix with the horrifying sound of militia men suffocating or screaming in the dirt clouds that Dajan has called up into being. Though the dirt does not stay up forever, the dust does eventually settle, especially with the drizzling rain weighing it down. The soldiers who had been out of Dajan's terrakinetic trick steel themselves when they hear a fearless cry come out over the crowd, a hooting "Wooo!" From the direction of the Butcher and his men. An engine roars to life, and one of the trucks begins to move, rolling down the street and into the edge of the ruins, whipping between demolished buildings even as birds swarm and snap at the open cabin.

Dragged by Huruma, Sanderson makes her way out from their cover and towards the next nearest area of shelter. Dropping to one knee, the marine pops up through a blown out window frame and opens fire at one of the militia men nearby, dropping him to the ground before a potshot fired by one of the other militia men shatters the brickwork next to her head. She dips back down, handgun held close and near her shoulder as a blue stare is leveled to Huruma. "Can you— do that thing— " Her breath comes fast and sharp, "scare them?" More gunfire pops and cracks off of the stonework, this is worse than when they landed.

Some of the militia soldiers aren't as lucky as those who managed to avoid Dajan's suffocating earth. It is those caught in the birds' hungry cloud of talons and beaks are rent asunder, flesh picked from bone in slowly painful fashion. Strangely, it is those whom Gabriel finds in his blots of shadow, silence and unexpected radiance that find the quickest deaths. There is some measure of irony in his humanity.

Catching the sound of the roaring truck, Gabriel spots it whipping past at full speed, hitting an earth berm and bouncing up before crashing back down. More trucks begin to roll up their engines, and shouts come from the men inside. Some fire wildly into the ruins, trucks in motion to drive around the block where the bunker is, tires kicking up wet earth. Hooring and yelling comes from some of the vehicles, matching the Butcher's in tone but not quite in spirit.

So intently focusing on the gas canisters, Candace fails to see Tau and the others breaking away, fails to see Eileen's focus intently on hundreds of different sensory inputs from birds, fails to see Gabriel no longer providing cover, fails to notice the truck roaring up alongside of where she's standing. "Candy!" Comes a shout from Sanderson, barely able to see the Asian woman exposed from where she and Huruma are hunkered down.

The Butcher rolls past, rising up out of his seat, a long length of silvery cord wrapped in one hand. His wild-eyed stare is leveled down to the woman, even as his truck swerves past her, bouncing over a pile of rubble. The gust of wind from the truck blows the gas she was trying to control closer to her, and when she backpedals away from it, her eyes catch a different sight. That braided metal rope lasoos through the air, snaring her in a quick jerk by the throat and yanking her off of her feet.

"Shit!" Sanderson breaks out from the cover, handgun held in both hands, popping up onto a pile of bricks as she fires blindly at the Butcher's truck, trying to cut him down.

The hooting and screaming from the other men in the trucks grows louder, even as the Butcher's truck swings to a stop ina rooster-tail of dirt, and two more militia men hop out and grab Candy's bloody and battered form, tossing her into the back before it peels out in the dirt again and begins roaring down the road away from Mandritsara.

Every time Gabriel blinds, deafnens and kills a soldier, three more are firing at him from different angles. The MLF soldiers are returning fire from the treelines, but there's just too many of Rasoul's men here to keep them down. Bird swarms, earth-clouds and all of Gabriel's multitudes of powers seem to not be quite enough to keep them from scattering like rats and skirmishing back in.

Another one of the trucks roars down one of the narrow streets between two ruined buildings. The blast from a shotgun sends the driver rolling out of the truck and the vehicle jumping over a pile of debris to crash on its side, wheels still spinning. When Claire steps out from behind cover, chambering another shell with a satisfying cha-chak she hears the sound of an engine behind her, turning in the haze of rain and — smoke? Blue eyes catch the yellow vapor pouring out from where Candy was a moment ago, and in that distraction the truck barrels past her, followed by a lasoo of corded metal snatching one of her arms. She's ripped off of her feet, smashing down to the dirt road, then dragged thorugh debris, broken glass and shattered stone tearing at her uniforn and her skin. The truck comes to a stop, Claire struggles to find her gun, but she can already feel stinging pain coming in as the truck parks in a haze of the yellow smoke that Candy is no longer suppressing. She chokes, choughs, and collapses to one knee, and Gabriel can barely make out the sight of her being hoisted up into the back of the vehicle.

Squidink chases for the truck as it pulls out, gunfire passing harmlessly through dark smoke, but behind him he can see the militia soldiers he left behind closing in on Eileen, gunfire pinning her down and birds occupied with other men on the opposite side of the ruins. Pop-pop-pop shots from Sanderson's handgun come as the Lieutenant climbs up from cover onto another pile of rubble, shooting wildly into the crowd as militia soldiers on foot try clearing the distance to her. She's put distance between herself and Huruma to try and save Candy, and the same truck that grabbed Claire comes around for a second bounty. A steel-fiber lasso whips out and hoops down over one of her arms and shoulder, cinching tight before jerking her off of her feet with a painful howl. The truck begins barreling away, even as Dajan points in its direction and stamps his foot on the ground, creating a cascading wave of dirt like an ocean wave that slams up against the side of the truck.

It rocks up onto two wheels, then slams back down into the dirt and keeps moving, taking one of the many roads out of Mandritsara as cheering and animalistic howling rises into the air. "No!" Dajan roars, moving around from the cover he had been using, pointing towards a brick wall and spreading his fingers, the pieces of stone erupting away as if he had thrown them loose, brick shrapnel knocking one of the soldiers that had captured Sanderson out of the back of his truck, but the driver manages to avoid harm. Gunfire pops too close, and bullets tear through Dajan's shoulder and waist, sending him crumpling to the ground. The fire of another automatic weapon lays one soldier down, and Tau is moving back into the firefight, screaming at the top of his lungs as he tries to reach the downed Dajan.

It is absolute pandemonium, and Aviators is nowhere in sight.

Some bullets fire wild, hitting patches of darkness they can only guess to be the enemy, shadows that disappear a moment later, but none of them are the silky ink-cloud that roils with viciousness among the men who have not yet made it to the departing trucks. When someone thinks to fire into it, the cloud implodes inward, slows, but doesn't stop. Whether or not it's harming it is difficult for anyone to tell, no flesh to mangle or blood to leak, and those who can keep tabs on the emotional wellbeing of others are likely a—

Little busy. One militia man running for the trucks finds the wraith shadow form hurdling after him, turning into solid flesh that collides with his back as if Sylar were physically thrown. Both go barreling down, a knife slipping in between ribs, and the serial killer lifts dark eyes to regard the scene around them.

His lips part, teeth bare as he turns his head in time to see Claire get snagged, some indefinite twinge of something that becomes slightly more identifiable when Sanderson is met with the same fate. Beneath him, the militia man makes dying wheezes. With barely a thought, the blood flowing from the man's knife wound sudden comes at a gush, Gabriel getting to his feet, breathing at a laboured pace and face smeared with both blood and fever sweat. The blade is pocketed, the man's gun apprehended, and Gabriel withdraws as the trucks move out, moving back towards the ruins of the town as he tries to count exactly whose left, whose retreated to the jungles, and who else has been rounded up.

As she drug into the truck, Claire groans softly as she can already feel the difference in her body. When she drops to the floor of the truck, she curls on her side as she continues to cough. A taste blood in her mouth, the ex-cheerleader, running her tongue over the inside of her lip. Finding the spot where she bit it still unhealed, panic seizing her in the awareness that her ability has been suppressed. When the attack passed she stays where she is, the weight still in her lungs… not a good sign. When Sanderson lands in the truck with her, Claire reaches out to try and grab the woman's arm. She starts to say something, but ends up coughing again, this time not from the smoke.

The jarring of the truck, from Dajan's attack, sends Claire flying into the side of the truck with a cry of pain and dazzing her as her head thumps painfully into something behind her.

Eileen numbers among those still left standing, though perhaps not for much longer. The torrent of birds subsides, her control wavering as the smoke continues to diffuse into the air without Candy to direct it away, and as she struggles to maintain some semblance of organization while dividing her attention and energy between her flock and the ground ahead of her, she staggers through the ruins and drags the tips of her bloodied fingers along a crumbling stone wall that runs parallel to the direction in which she's moving.

With Aviators nowhere in sight and three of her teammates missing, finding a safe place to hide has replaced attacking the militia as her topmost priority. Sanderson, Candy and Claire are a lost cause — there's no way even the swiftest of her birds can catch up with the trucks, and even if they could there's not much she can do. The last time she attempted a spectacle of this size, it was in the exercise yard of Moab Federal Penitentiary. It had almost killed her then, and if she doesn't find cover it's going to kill her now.

A slab of concrete covered in vegetation becomes a shield between her body and the pockets of gunfire that continue to erupt in the ruins around her even as the trucks retreat. She slumps against it, chest heaving, and ejects the spent clip from her pistol where it clatters to the ground between her legs.

The stretching line between Huruma's mind and Sanderson's pulls further when the woman moves over rubble to close the distance between Candy and themselves. It snaps off contact when the truck pulls a circle to fetch her; a lost cause, yes, but only for now- as there are more pressing things occurring to Huruma. One thing being Tau yelling the devil out of his barrel-chest; Huruma manages to pick off a straggling militiaman before she hears this, the field around her vibrating painfully as soon as Dajan is hit, and his friend bellows out for him. It feels like someone has swung a hammer into a bell with all the strength they could muster; the hollow vibration of pain reaches Huruma with a dull humming, and it takes all of two seconds for her to turn around, rifle halfway at the ready.

Her own yell comes bare seconds after Tau's, rising above the sounds of trucks in the distance and bullets grazing the empty rubble of buildings. It is furious, more than all else; an scream of prelude to her temper exploding out of her. Huruma takes off at a sprint, her load weighing her speed, but the force of wills that strike out at the trio of soldiers between Huruma and Dajan takes care of whatever decrease there may be. Terror blossoms in the militiamen that she bears down upon, a fright so sudden and ferocious that two of the three drop their guns in panic, turning to run. A succession of pops accents their turns, one going down like he was hit in the spine with a bat.

When he falls into the dirt, Huruma is virtually on top of the two others; her arm unwraps from the rifle, and it swings at back to her side as the opposite arm latches firmly at the machete the soldier has tied and sheathed on his belt. It meets his side with a sickening squelch of skin breaking apart and allowing the silvery blade to enter through his stomach. The last man is now fighting frantically with the pistol stuck in his belt, backing away quickly in order to draw it out. Huruma moves onto him once she draws her own weapon out of its human holster, teeth bared and eyes wild. The pistol comes free, lifting into the air with a screech of itchy triggerfinger, the bullet pinging through the air at Huruma's oncoming.

The blade of the machete meets the join of bone at the soldier's wrist, pistol and hand falling free before a splash of red. One hand wraps around the side of his neck, pulsing with a fresh scream under Huruma's palm. He can't even see her- at this point he is little more than a pest that realized it is done for- and perhaps that is why she finds it easier above all else to drag him closer. Drag him closer, lift the machete, and dig the tip into the bare side of his neck, plunging into the artery.

The gunfire dies down only after what feels like an eternity of that conflict, a few more loud pops of small arms fire building staccato rythm from the edge of the ruined village. One last unexploded mine detonates out of sight, someone unfortunate enough to flee in its direction fleeing no longer. Staggering from that direction, a bloodied and battered Aviators has his back towards the direction of the bunker, walking in reverse and firing his gun blindly into the ruins at something out of sight. He trips, landing on his side and then rolling onto his back, breathing out a heavy, huffing breath. Turning slowly, it's clear the lenses of his sunglasses are shattered, likely from proximity to an explosion, or landing face-first on the ground at some point.

The trucks that were moving are withdrawing and the soldiers on foot that hadn't caught a ride on the backs of the vehicles either lay dead on the red clay streets or dying in pools of their own blood. Tau, looking at one such dying man, offers little more than a wide-eyed and horrified stare at Huruma's savagery. It's Dajan's groan of pain that draws the healer's focus back to him, "We need t'get 'dem bullets out'ta you…" Tau murmurs, looking back with wide, dark eyes to Huruma and what she does to those militia soldiers.

Sanderson is nowhere to be found, Candy is missing and that yellow gas is already dissipating in the strong winds and drizzling rain. Worst of all, Claire — after what she just went through with Sylar — has also disappeared. The MLF lost Bosede and Eileen knows the truth of Kwasi's seeming betrayal. Their numbers, just like that, were cut down to a tenth of what it should be. No reinforcements are arriving, like Kwasi said. If they ever existed, there's no way they're alive now.

This is it, this is everyone, and this is terrible.

Boots crunch through rubble and ruin, Gabriel taking in the battlefield that was made one even before today. He appears out of Eileen's periphery, noticing her perhaps sometime after she sees him, being that he only has two eyes at his disposal. Her presence is confirmed and nothing more, before he looks to track his gaze towards Huruma, Dajan, Tau. Those who are still left.

One of them is awarded with Gabriel's shadow falling across him where he lies prone. There's a clatter nearby the man's feet as Gabriel carelessly drops the gun he'd stolen off the dying militia man, other hand gripping his knife once more that's cleaned enough not to drip, and he studies the CIA flatly, as if some grim truth were confirmed. His leg moves, a sharp kick to the sole of Aviators' boot.

"Get up."

Huruma throws the militiaman to the ground with far too much force than is nesscessary, catching Tau's gaze as he looks back to her across the short span of ground. She's dripping red by now, having punctured the previous man like a hanged pig. One hand clutches the glistening machete and the other is frozen in a rigid, claw-like position. Though there is no sign of Huruma's ability invading his emotions, the picture may be enough to further disturb him from keeping eye contact.

The steps she takes next are hurried, though for some reason awkward. She has not paid it much attention, but there is a stream of her own dark blood seeping down her leg amidst the others. It is just a flesh wound on the outside of her thigh, the torn hole in her pants matting with red on dark brown. Huruma's free hand digs into her still stuffed belt to withdraw a smaller knife, fingers pinning the blade and offering the handle to Tau. Bullets? Out? It's called digging for gold. Whether or not he takes it, the woman finally sinks a pace under the dragging of guns, ammo, knives, putting herself down onto her better knee.

It's an absolute massacre, almost equal on both sides were it not for the ones that managed to escape that served the militia. The jungle is eerily silent now, save for the grumble of Gabriel's voice. Tau's acceptance of Huruma's knife is wordless, if not wary, as is Dajan's silent consent to what must happen in order for Tau to properly heal him.

Feeling the clunk to the sole of his boot, Aviators looks up at Gabriel, ruefully, and even now the serial killer can feel the presence of something squirming behind the CIA agent's left eye. Crawling up to his knees, Aviators looks up to Gabriel with a scowl, brows lowered and glasses crooked on his face. In a way, he half expected this was coming. Like he knew all along.

Down in the bunker, things look equally as bleak. Fluorescent lights flicker and sputter overhead, cracked concrete walls as riddled with bullet holes, and blood lies against the walls in equal measure with their spread. One of the lights flickers, sputters and darkens entirely. Down here, water mingles with crimson in swirling pools, where bodies draped in olive-drab lay angled one atop the other. A rifle is twisted, broken in twain from some unknown force, bullets strewn out from its shattered magazine like candy from a pinata.

Up that long flight of concrete stairs, the bodies lay left and right, some piled atop others, all dark skin and green uniforms, though the higher the stairs go the more hazy it becomes. A trickling line of crimson dribbles down one of the steps from where a man lays face down in the dirt, one arm missing where but a ragged, bloody stump remains, the other twisted in an impossible angle and met with bone protruding from flesh, gun wound tightly in his fingers, not a single bullet mattered.

White smoke twists and turns thorugh the ruins of brick and plaster walls, where once buildings of the village of Mandritsara lay, where fresh bullet holes and fresh blood have mixed as if this whole city had become some war-mongering artist's canvas. Soldiers lay dead, tire tracks are fresh imprints in red clay earth below and only ten feet away from that an exploded hole in the ground, and the smoking remains of a blown up truck that had the misfortune of passing over an active landmine. The remains inside can't even be called human anymore.

"Go ahead." Blood runs down the side of battered skin, knees are dirtied by mud and the blood mingling into it. The dark-haired man on his knees stares up through the shattered lenses of broken aviator sunglasses, his cold stare locked with one that belongs to little more than a monster. The gun lies between them, but the man looming over Aviators does not need a gun, does not need a tool. He is a weapon all in himself. Sylar's lips draw back, a smile that gives away nothing save the color of his teeth — pink with blood.

White smoke blows thorugh the ruins of Mandritsara, bringing with it the prickling sting of defeat, mixed with the echo of gunfire that has long since drawn silent. Aviators narrows his eyes, looking up at Sylar, and when their eyes finally meet, his clenched teeth spill forth with a simple command. "Do it."

He knows what has to be done.

The knife in Gabriel's hand turns and turns numbly between fingers gone sticky from the rust-red that coats them. He runs his tongue over his teeth, sweeping away that copper tang before, like the gun at his feet, the knife drops sharply as well, point catching in the dust and rubble, bouncing, tipping over. He watches Aviators gaze track it, and Gabriel lifts his chin a little as his now emptied hand rises up.

The tool lies forgotten between them when Aviators hand goes up in tandem, lingering only long enough to allow for the older man to realise what's happening. The sound is probably almost worse, in the man's skull, than the sensation of his own thumb suddenly crushing inwards, sinking into meaty flesh with more brutality than anyone sane can inflict on themselves. Rich, stringy red begins to coat down the man's face as fingernails work to claw out the mess and the squirming thing within it.

At least most men who screamed out loud today had the opportunity to stop. Gabriel watches like a guard dog as Aviators, in a sudden turn of tables, does Sylar's dirty work for him.

Behind the overgrown concrete slab, Eileen inserts a fresh clip of ammunition into her pistol with the heel of her injured hand, wincing when her efforts are rewarded with a pointed click. She's only vaguely aware of what's happening on the other side, voices filtering in and out of her range of hearing like foreign-language stations in between intermittent hisses of fuzzy static while trying to tune a broken radio. Her head tips back, face turned toward the sky as rain washes away the blood and dirt, forming thick rivulets of discoloured liquid that carve winding paths down her cheekbones and jaw before surging down her throat and following the shape of her collarbone.

She puts out one foot, leg bent at the knee, and digs the heel of her boot into some loose debris with her back and shoulders braced against the slab in an attempt to stand. Exhaustion and muscle fatigue pull her back down again in the moments that follow with a sharp tinkle of rock cracking against rock and the squelch of displaced mud. Utterly spent, she turns her head against her shoulder, eyes half-lidded and fading, and resigns herself to watching Aviators gouge out one of his own with the points of his fingers.

Summoning pity requires physical energy she no longer has.

The screaming shows no sign of ending, a horrifying, pained scream. Aviators has tore his own eye out of the socket, leaving a drooling mess of gore down his cheek where that eye once was, and a crushed gelataneous orb in his palm, where a writhing purple-white worm thrashes around in his palm. The African people call it the Loa Loa, a parasite born of infected mangos and fly bites, but this one is different, and this one was placed there in a whole other manner.

Clenching his fingers shut around the worm, it bursts between his fingers as the scream turns to a keening wail, and then a growl of frustration, anger and agony as Aviators doubles over and rests his forehead to his knees, incapacitated by the shock to his system from the loss of something as defining as an eye and the unfathomable pain.

Perhaps because Aviators is screaming, or perhaps because it has to happen sooner rtaher than later, Tau takes that knife offered by Huruma and goes at Dajan's shoulder. It's like the game operation except Tau is terrible at it and is touching the sides everywhere. That knife soon becomes slick with red, and Tau's scream is muffled only by the clench of his teeth on the cuff of his jacket. A flattened piece of scratched metal is fished out, and Tau motions for Huruma to press down on the wound to keep it from bleeding too badly before he can work with it.

Two more bullets — one in Dajan's hip and the other in his thigh are met with equal parts pain and screaming, lasting long after Aviators has gone to feverish gasping and panting and whimpers from the excruciating torture Sylar — somewhat neededly — put him through. Tau is quick to work his gift once he's certain the bullets are removed, hands pressed over Dajan's injuries. Theres no light, no glow, not even a sound, just the very gradual acceleration of natural healing. Blood clots at a rapid rate, scabs over, flesh begins to mend, create scar tissue, scabs peel away and flake off. It's not as pretty or as clean as what Abigail beauchamp once did, nor as beautiful, but here in the jungle it is still a miracle.

Gabriel goes into a crouch, picking the worm up from where it slid between Aviators' grasping fingers, turning it over between calloused tips and doing nothing to either keep it alive, or kill it for dead as he studies it with all the studiousness of which he studies Aviators' gaze. His nose wrinkles in prim distaste, before his other hand goes to grasp a fistful of Aviators' hair. It's trimmed well, shortness making it slip between fingers, but he gets enough to pull the man's head up, studying him as if to detect any more of the squirming things somewhere buried inside.

A moment later, he's shoved away so as it return to his own crouch of misery, Gabriel standing up and moving off from him, towards Eileen. His gait is unsteady, face gone shock-pale from something more physical than simple fear. Fatigue. Most Evolved know it well, and Gabriel is no exception to the rule. "Kwasi wasn't the only traitor," he tells her, back turned to where Dajan is being seen to. His hand splays open, showing off the worm that wriggles weakly in his palm.

Eileen lifts her eyes from Gabriel's hand to his face. The rain clings to her eyelashes and in the small space between pursed lips, open just enough to allow her to breathe through her mouth, though she does not bother trying to blink or wipe it away like she had the dust in the bunker or the blood caked in her nostrils. Her gun and the feeble hand clutching it are lax at her side.

"Sanderson's gone. Bennet. Allard." There's a pause as she closes her eyes, then forces them open again, drawing in a long, slow breath that fuels what she says next, voice gone hoarser than the ravens and crows whose company she keeps back in New York. "We need him alive, and we need to move. Salvage what supplies we can from the base, find shelter before they come back for the rest of us."

On second thought, maybe she should have done this part. Huruma's jaw sets long before she is motioned to put pressure onto Dajan's wounds as Tau empties him of metal. There may be some teeth-gritting aimed vaguely at the big man while she assumes her duty, but for the most part it comes out of nowhere else to aim it. The air is filled with screaming- and then soon it is only Dajan's wounded noises and the scuff of boots from afar. While waiting for Tau's ability to snowball, there seems to be a problem- not as big as the very first one she had, thankfully. Huruma's muscles tense while she has her son under her hands; it's a horribly familiar feeling to her, for obvious reasons between the two of them.

Once Tau is done, she tenses again to lift her hands away. One hand, however, having been blocking bloodflow on his shoulder, trails over the young man's collarbone in its path to leave him. Dajan has always had some very conspicuous-looking splits in his scars, and Huruma's four fingers now follow four rifts along the top of his chest before pulling back. She says nothing.

Scattered footsteps only now make their way into the clearing, three MLF soldiers in fatigues, one of them with a freshly bleeding head wound, five more behind them. Survivors of the thirty some-odd men that resided within the Mandritsara bunker at any given time, but still no sign of Usutu anywhere. Two of the men approach Tau, where he sits by Dajan's side. Their conversation is a terse one, spoken in native tongue, mostly fearful of what is to come, and where they can possibly go. For the sake of their guests, and the sake of being open, Tau answers in English. "We go'on w'the mission…" Dajan nods weakly from where he lays, only slowly managing to pull himself up to a seated position, dark eyes settled on Aviators crumpled form where he holds his missing eye.

"Tau," Dajan nods towards the wounded man, "Go see what can be done for him, while I go see what need be done with this Sylar." Dajan looks to his mother, a wariness still in his eyes, but as he pulls himself to his feet he looks over to where Gabriel and Eileen are, nodding his head once in their direction as if to ask do you have my back? He doesn't wait for her response, only paws at the new scars on his shoulder before making slow progress over to the pair.

"We will need to be getting out of here, soon." Dajan echoes Eileen's sentiments unknowingly, "the ones they took have likely been brought to the prison at the Capital. I don't know what we can do for them…." A look is offered to Gabriel, then down to what he holds in his hand, and Dajan's eyes narrow. He'd probably like an explanation as to why Aviators is now a cyclops.

Over by the CIA agent's side, Tau crouches down and rests a hand on his shoulder. Aviators recoils, swatting the hand away, one of his own still cradling his face. Tau seems not much phased by the swat, staying crouched there, his voice a deep and baritone murmur as he tries to offer some sympathies to the half blinded man. He may not be able to regrow that eye, but he can at least keep him alive.

Dajan gets shown the worm too! In that Gabriel drops it to the dust, and turns it into a smear in the rubble with his boot heel. "He has parasites. Parasites that someone else is using against him. This one was in his eye, and I'm pretty sure they were able to see what Aviators was seeing as a result. There's another one buried deep, in his ear. That's going to be fun to remove, too." His voice is flat, alluding to no true mirth or anticipation for such an ordeal, almost dry.

A hand goes out, takes Eileen's arm, and tugs her weight off the wall. "The others can wait. At least one of them is hard to kill." Yeah, yeah, the neurotoxin. Gabriel knows. He brings up a hand to wipe his brow, dismisses the thought as soon as he has it. "I'll check what's left behind, and then we move out."

Eileen's arm is released only so that he can move purposefully away, stepping around debris and dead bodies alike, and barely glancing at Aviators as he goes.

Huruma pushes herself and her mini-arsenal up again with a small heave of breath, following behind Dajan as he gestures to her. Her gait is increasingly off-center because halfway over she finally cranes to pat at the wound in her leg with a look of distaste. Moving after spotting it is forcefully straight. When they reach Eileen and Gabriel, Huruma is sorely tempted to pass off some of the stuff she is carrying- but they are not falling off, and so her attention is drawn to the parasite Gabriel possesses and his news that there are more in him. Gabriel moves away, and Huruma's gaze follows him, uncertain whether to remain or to go try and assist with checking what is left in the bunker.

"I think w'need a better plan f'later." Improve upon the old, or possibly start anew. Right now things are looking quite down.

Eight surviving resistance fighters plus Tau, Dajan and what's left of the Team Bravo totals fourteen, including Aviators. Their odds are bleak at best, dismal at worst, and as Gabriel heaves Eileen to her feet she makes a sharp sound in the back of her throat. He's showing her his back before she can really protest, however, and her hand not holding the pistol goes out to steady herself against Dajan. "We don't have the manpower to move against both the weapons facility and the airfield," she says, releasing her grip on the man's arm when she's sure she has her footing again. "One or the other, then Antananarivo, your slave camps, Rasoul. Maybe we pick up Danko along the way."

Splint-arm held across her middle, she angles a look back at Aviators' shape hunched in the rain and Tau's looming over him. Rain reflects off skin and hair, illuminating bodies both alive and dead in strange, iridescent halos of light caused by the refraction of the sun's rays through the mist. "If nothing else, we can still infiltrate the capital and free your people."

As the remainder of team Bravo prepares to salvage what can be taken from their demolished base camp, Tau is waiting patiently for Aviators to be willing to accept his healing. In that time, though, the giant of a man has settled down onto one knee. From inside of his armored jacket, he has retrieved that bent and battered gold cross from around his neck, clutching it tightly in both hands, head bowed and eyes closed. There is a furrow in his brows, intent and focused, and with a heavy heart and even heavier words, Tau begins to recite words that hold a great meaning to him, even if for not the most obvious reasons.

"Th'Lord is m'shepherd, I shall'no wan'…"

Birds still scatter into the skies, fleeing the drizzling rain and gray smoke that winds in thin tendrils from the entrance of the boker and smoldering holes in the ground where motrars had landed. Mandritsara is a ruin, and Lau is not praying for those who have died, those who have passed, he is praying for those who yet live, and for their souls to be saved in spite of the evil they must work in order to suceed in the face of overwhelming odds.

"'E make me t'lie down in green pastures: he lead m'beside th' still water…"

Aviators turns towards the sound of Tau's deep voice, one hand still cradling the gaping hole where once an eye was. There's a horrible pain in that, a disconnect from humanity in losing an eye. Even with just one eye, though, Aviators can see around him the devastation that has been laid out, and he can still feel one of those creatures wriggling around in the back of his mind. His one good eye goes down to the pistol on the ground in front of him, the one that Gabriel left behind. A shaky hand reaches down, picking it up with bloody fingers.

"'E restore m'soul: 'E lead m'in th' paths o'righteousness f'his name's sake…"

Swallowing dryly, Aviators stares down at the gun, turning it over in his hand to check the safety with a motion of his thumb. It's disorienting, seeing it without any sense of depth perception, that in a way makes it less real, easier to angle towards himself with a brush of dark metal against the base of his skull behind one ear. It feels heavy.

"Yea, tho' a'walk through th' valley o'th'shadow a'death, I will no'fear evil: for thou ar'wi' me; thy rod an' thy staff 'dey comfort me…"

A shuddering breath exhales from the CIA operative, and his good eye closes. Equally disorienting is the lack of sensation from his eyelid as he moves his gore covered hand away from the empty socket, the feeling of being unable to open his eye to see. It makes it easier with both closed, but still is a harrowing sensation. His index finger trembles, even as he listens to Tau not far away, praying for his own soul's salvation.

"Thou pr'parest a'table b'fore m'in th' presence o'mine enemies: thou anointest m'head with oil; m'cup runneth over…"

Dajan is far enough away not to notice, looking down at the newly added scars to his shoulder. Gabriel is half sunken in the white smoke near the bunker, pragmatically taking his time to descend back down inside and gather up supplies. Huruma is with her son, where she needs to be, where she is supposed to be. The surviving MLF operatives are standing together in a nearby ruin, checking their ammunition and listening to Tau's voice, mourning the loss of their comrades, and Eileen is hot on Gabriel's heels. No one will see before it's too late.

"Surely goodness an' mercy shall follow m'all d'days of m'life…."

Click. The sound makes Aviators heart skip a beat. The gun is empty.

"…and I w'dwell in th' house of th'Lord f'ever."

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