Down in Flames, Part II


claire_icon.gif colette_icon.gif daphne_icon.gif francois_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif gregor_icon.gif kris_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif melissa3_icon.gif noriko_icon.gif peter_icon.gif teo_icon.gif west_icon.gif

Scene Title Down in Flames, Part II
Synopsis A joint attack against the Staten Island Hospital to liberate the captives there stumbles upon the grisly work of Doctor Dmitri Gregor
Date August 12, 2010

Staten Island Hospital

It begins in total darkness.

The passage of wind in absolute darkness is like an unending roar, the rush of windshear over ears and the sensation of falling without gravity. The sensation is unlike anything on earth; total weightlessness combined with the sensation of wind shear from a freefall in impossible juxtaposition.

In the lightless depths, there is no horizon, no sense of equilibrium, it in a way what being lost in the reaches of space without sun or planets to guide must feel like. But this isn't the lightless depths of space, this isn't some final darkened void, this is war.

«Enemy RADAR darkened, ground communications scrambled, electronic surveillance equipment comandeered. Commence operation.»

Three voices in unison form a harmony across digital communication devices ergonomically designed to rest as headsets. In that exact moment, the darkness peels away like strips of paint curling off of an old wall. Long slivers of a starry night's sky and the glittering lights of distant Manhattan on the now visible horizon.

It looks like a tandem jump from a plane, though Magnes Varlane and his team-mates need no airplane to make this high-altitude descent. Zipping thorugh the air like human bullets, the members of Attack Team II freefall by way of gravitic manipulation towards the lightless Staten Island Hospital.

«Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!» Squeaking over her headset with crackling pop, Colette Nichols clearly wasn't prepared for what was described to her in words compared to how it looks in reality. Falling at 32 feet per second is something that Claire Bennet has experienced once before in her life, freefalling out of the back of a cargo plane over the jungles of Madagascar.

The battlefield may have changed, but the war is the same.

Laughter echoes over Kristian Bender's comms as he sees the world peel away from Colette's photokinetic invisibility, the last 500 feet of descent happening at a speed that will surely kill everyone on descent should their flight not be slowed. This is what it feels like to live for him, and as the spiky-haired teleporter flattens his arms down to his sides and falls head-first towards the rooftop of the hospital, he couldn't be any happier.

Turning end over end like some out of control pinwheel, Colette's black-clad form finds no stability in her descent, unlike Kristian. Her arms flapping and flailing, legs kicking and black hair flapping in the wind, all she can see is how fast the hospital and Staten Island are approaching below her.

What, at a distance, looks like flickering flashes of yellow on the ground is actually gunfire. The closer the descent comes to the ground, the more the sound of automatic arms fire popping and rattling can be heard. The exterior team is already engaged with Stillwater's forces.

There's no turning back now.

Some people, like poor Colette, may be freaking out at the sensation of falling. Sane people would be, given the lack of parachute. Melissa, however, is apparently not sane. But then, skydiving was on her bucket list. Time to cross off something new! The black clad figure is actually smiling as she falls, arms spread as the wind whips through her ponytail and roars in her ears. Luckily her weapons were secured ahead of time, so there are no pistols freefalling around her.

When she does see the flashes of light, the smile begins to fade, but nothing, not even potential impending death, can fully erase Mel's excitement in this moment. The next is something else entirely. She glances over at Colette, then speaks into the radio. «It'll be okay, Colette! Just go with it and enjoy!»

Yep, she's insane.

Brown eyes open wide as the wind rushes past her in a different direction that she's used to — she's often likened her own ability to flying, but this is much closer and a little less enjoyable for the tiny speedster. It's getting a taste of her own medicine to be afraid of the sensation, and perhaps worsened by the fact that the fall seems to take forever from Daphne's perspective.

With a black ski mask covering her blonde dreadlocks and her face, Daphne wears a flak jacket and has a gas mask tucked in a backpack along with a gun and various lockpicks and wire cutters and other tools of her trade. She's prepared — but she's not really ready. "«How freaking long is the drop!»" she mutters — for her, it's too long.

The earth is coming up to meet them at an alarming rate, the wind as loud as the nattering of radio conversation in his ear. His hands have turned into claws as if there were some great invisible curtain to rake them down and catch himself, but there isn't, and Francois is mute in response to exhilerating adrenaline, the verging panic. There's a certain amount of gracelessness to his arms and legs akimbo, hands and face pale for all that his hair, his clothing is dark, feeling weightless despite strapped in pistols, clips, sharp things.

What he wants to say is: Aaaaah! But doesn't, jaw clenched enough to hurt like he's enduring this as opposed to enjoying it or even fearing it. He's done this before, and that was meeting an icy death and potential nuclear fire. Maybe this will go differently, even. If Francois could change anything, it would be to fall faster.

Magnes is in all black, similar to his White Knight outfit, except pure black without an inch of skin, hair, or eyes showing. He has black boots with his black cargo pants tightly tucked into them, a belt full of brown pouches of stuff, various slots and pockets littered all over the pants as well. His shirt is tight, long-sleeved, and cotton, with black leather gloves zipped to them. His mask has no holes, but it's also zipped to his shirt so it doesn't slip off.

Oh, and he's glowing a fiery bright purple, darker than Gillian's purple, it's the color that his own ability makes when it gets pushed further than he's normally capable of.

"Don't worry, we're landing in a moment!" he says from behind the voice modulator that makes it sound like three or four voices mixing together. His fists are tight, and suddenly the purple extends to the rest of them as he flips over so he's descending upright. The landing is quite soft, and the purple aura is pulled inward, not trusting himself to keep it extended around people.

Boots down on the rooftop, Colette immediately takes a knee when she hits the solid concrete at the top of the building. One hand covers her mouth and the black-haired teen hunches forward and breathes frantically into her gloved palm, eyes wrenched shut, even though that doesn't really help her perceptions of the horizon that still spin inside of her head. Everything just looks like a Matisse painting in her minds eye, and right now that painting is upside down and inside out.

Kristian lands with more grace, already making forward momentum towards the rooftop stairwell access, boots treading over the circular Helipad symbol painted on the stone. "Alright, guys, room by room! This floor's narrower than the others, mostly admin offices and that kinda' junk. I don't think we'll find anyone here but we gotta check."

Shakily rising on wobbly legs, Colette stays slightly hunched over at the sounds of popping gunfire snapping down below on the street level, then looks up overhead as a clap of thunder and flash of lightning preceeds the first few pattering droplets of falling rain. Rolling her eyes and exhaling a huffing breath, Colette looks to the others as they land, watching Claire drop into a slow crouch on setting down on the roof before unholstering her pair of handheld custom pistol-gripped AK-47's.

"I'll be waitin' for you guys up here," Colette calls out, not using the comms. In the rain is implied, but not complained about. There's way more important things going on.

The small black clad form of Claire is silent, as her mind is on the battle ahead. As she fell her mind settled into a place, she learned to go when she fought in the jungles. It's feels like that part of her life was a life time ago, maybe because her memories are so spotty.

Unlike many others, the ex-cheerleader has skipped wearing a mask, he ponytail whipping out behind her. She is already a wanted killer, no reason to pretend she isn't who she is. The black trench coat she's wearing flaps around her, weighed down with all the magazines and grenades she's brought with her.

Add the heavy chest armor and Claire Bennet is ready to be a heavy hitter in this fight. As soon as her feet hit the rooftop, she's moving after Kristian, those pistol's gripped tightly in her hands. She's ready for this and she wants this. Her mind on the fact someone she hates is in this building… She looks forward to the reunion.

Melissa manages to land somewhere between Colette's fall and Kris's graceful roll. She gets to her feet and glances towards the sound of the gunfire with a grimace. Fun is over, time for work. Her pistol is drawn, the other left in it's holster, and she nods to Kris, heading towards the entrance down into the building. "This is gonna be interesting," she mutters softly.

When her sneakers, red and white and not black like the rest of her, touch the roof, Daphne exhales with a sigh of relief, landing in a crouch and balancing herself with gloved hands for a moment. She reaches back into her pack, pulling the gas mask out to swap for the ski mask. None of them are as powerful without their abilities, but she's a liability without hers.

A gun, though she doesn't want to use it, is slipped into a holster at her waist, and she nods to the others. "Be careful, kid," she adds to Colette over her shoulder, before becoming a black blur to catch up to the others. "Once we find them, I'm just gonna grab and make for the roof, yeah?" she says, nervously. This may be normal for Kris and Claire but she's just a thief with an unfortunate conscience and a soft spot for European men.

Momentum doesn't quite topple Francois, shock absorbed in bent knees and feet flat on the ground, hands landing in front of him so maybe he doesn't hit cement face first and allow gravity and clumsiness to draw first blood, but people will be moving before he does, and they do. It's only a split second of bracing himself, however, before he's surging forward so that following and getting up is one movement, ghosting along after the turned backs of friends and temporary comrades.

"Please do," is affirmation for Daphne's suggestion, a pistol in his hand by now and being checked over to see if falling from a height at a rapid speed did anything to it. Non. It stays in his hand when he's done, a blocky shape at his side, black and silver.

"I'd think you'd wear a helmet." Magnes idly comments to Claire as he follows the others, not pulling out any weapons himself, he looks down at his fingers as visibly purple gravity rises inbetween them, with tiny black dots that appear and vanish like an old film, barely noticable unless someone's paying close attention. "This feels incredible. I'll crush that bastard and this whole building when we get them out."

First through the rooftop door, Kris holds it open with one shoulder so that his team-mates can move past him and out of the rain into the narrow and unlit stairwell. "They weren't kidding about this place being completely dark…" there's a momentary look back to Colette as Kris takes out his flashlight and clicks it on with an aiming of the beam down towards the bottom of the stairwell. Kris leans over the edge of the railing once everyone is in the stairs, hearing the clunk and thump of footfalls in the dark and listening to the noise of pouring rain and rumbling thunder.

«We look clear all the way down the stairwell…» Kris softly speaks into his headset, «I don't see nothin' moving. You guys go on ahead, I'll— uh— watch the rear.» Reaching down to the back of his jeans, Kris pulls out his lightweight Baretta 9mm and slides the safety off with an awkward motion of his thumb; it's a last resort he doesn't want to have to make.

Down the stairwell, Melissa who is now by her progress in the lead can see the stairs wind down to a landing where the fifth floor doorway is closed. There's no sounds inside of the hospital itself, save for footsteps. It's just the noise of thunder, rain and exterior gunfire that gives a sense of urgency.

It's so still and silent here.

"No thanks." Claire returns to Magnes, the words rough as she says them softly, glancing at him out of the corner of her eyes. With the silence in the hospital "They know who I am and it's easier without it." And that's all the explanation he gets as she hurries along after Melissa. Her boots heavy on the stairs.

Claire leans over the edge, Pistols aimed down as she moves along. Eyes squinting to see down the the stairwell, waiting to see if she see's a target.

Like the others, Melissa glances over the railing. "My thought exactly," she says to Daphne. "And people, if you're not sure if someone is on our side or not, leave 'em to me. I'll incapacitate so they can't hurt us if they aren't friendly," she says to…well…no one in particular, or to everyone. Who knows. Then, with a deep breath, she starts heading down the stairs, pistol held in both hands, a round in the chamber, ready to use it, and really wishing she didn't have to.

Her steps are quick and as soft as can be in boots, keeping against the wall when possible, eyes scanning the dark as well as she's able. But, it seems, that now that she's started down, talking time is over, at least for her. The better to hear sounds of Institute-created monsters.

"If the door's locked, you want me to pick it or are we just shooting it out and not worried 'bout it?" Daphne asks, glancing back at the others and then offering a smile to Francois she hopes is reassuring — before realizing that he can't see anything but the mask on her face and her dark eyes behind it. She looks like an alien or bogeyman and any glances she casts him are probably not at all reassuring.

She follows the others into the dark stairwell, her heart pounding against her chest. she looks back to the door to the roof, already wishing she was still on the other side, and far, far from here.

No this isn't worrying at all. Maybe more worrying if things had been different to what they'd been briefed in the first place. There's a soft click, quieter than the sound of safety being switched off from a prior few seconds ago, and ghost-white light pools out in a narrow, reasonably unhelpful beam. It's difficult to immediately tell that it's from something attached to a gun, for those that don't know any better. Francois uses it mainly to guide his feet, making quick work of staircase and going quietly in contrast to distant gunfire, thuds of feet, storm above, abruptly not interested in being at the back of the pack.

«It would be nice,» he says, quietly muttered but crystal clear in radio, on the subject of shooting versus lock picking, «to not draw attention, but we shall see how long that lasts.»

"Just be careful." is all Magnes mutters back to Claire before they start heading inside. The purple around his body can be seen creeping down the stairs ahead of him. It doesn't do much in the way of light, he's just feeling around so he knows where to step. «I wish it wasn't visible when I'm augmented, I stick out like a sore thumb and gravity isn't much of a stealth technique anymore.» He shakes his head and just continues following.

Thankfully for Melissa the door on the fifth floor is unlocked, which doesn't quite answer Daphne's question since they have four more floors to ascend to ground level, but at the very least it doesn't mean having to wait in a hallway to get inside while people are dying outside. On the way down the stairs following on Melissa's heels, Francois, Magnes, Claire and Daphne can all hear the same thing that makes Kris let out a frightened yelp— the sound of an explosion outside.

Whatever it was, it shakes the whole building and is followed by a sudden increase in automatic gunfire. The thundering sounds of conflict also come with the popping of glass downstairs, but still no noises from the hospital interior itself. "Jesus, what— the hell is going on out there?" Kris doesn't take the stairs, instead he disappears in a crackle-pop is pinkish-red sparkling light and reappears in a flash behind Melissa when the blonde enters the fifth floor hallway. When Kris emerges from that sparkling shower of heat and light, his boots squeak and skid in something wet that Melissa stepped over.

Bracing himself against the wall with a sharp huff, Kris angles his flashlight down and goes pale. With Francois right behind him, the Frenchman can easily see a still wet pool of blood four feet across on the floor. Kris backs up, breath hitched in the back of his throat and flashlight tracking up the wall beside the door.

There's a smear of blood that goes all the way up the wall in brushed streaks, and then disappears into a hole in the ceiling tiles where wiring is hanging in tangled masses. It looks like someone was dragged into the air vents. "Wh— what— what the fuck?"

Down both sides of the hall there's no more sign of violence or movement, just glass-walled doctors offices sitting in chaotic disarray. Loose papers line the hall, toppled shelves are knocked over in the office rooms viewed through the glass walls. Chairs are tipped over, computers untouched. It looks like whatever happened here happened a while ago.

Except for whatever that was that went up into the vents.

That had to be recent.

"I'll be as careful as I always am." The words whispered in bland tones, Claire isn't really playing attention to him as she follows Melissa down the hall. She stops before the blood, a tip of her boot touches the pool of it, smearing it a bit over the flooring. She can't help but morbidly wonder if her blood had looked this way. Fuzzy memories of a woman leaning over her, trying to hold Claire's head together, trying to keep the gray matter in the woman's noggin while everything healed.

Outwardly, Claire doesn't really register anything, she feels numb at the memory. But something is building within her. A rage she hasn't yet addressed, she can't face it yet. Her boot is planted in the middle of the thick puddle, before she moves to follow Melissa again. Her eyes following the trail up the vent. Instinct has her watching it as she passes it. She doesn't like it.

"Let's keep our presence here unnoticed as long as we can," Melissa says to Daphne, before she puts a hand against the wall at the vibration. Before she can speak, she's glancing back at the newly reappeared Kris, and following his gaze downward, and along the tracks to the vent. "Calm down. Keep your mind on the job," she murmurs to Kris.

She looks back to the others, judging expressions and body language. "We need to search this floor, make sure that they're not here." She glances to Daphne. "Can you do a quick run through? If you can, and they're not here, it'll save time."

The blood makes Daphne pause, stilled, frozen for a moment, and anyone who knows Daphne knows that a moment is forever to the restless speedster. She shakes her head as she stares at the smear and turns to look back again, dark eyes wide behind the bug-eyed mask. She gives another shake of her head, and murmurs, the words for Francois, given they are in French: "Je ne pense pas que je peux." I do not think I can."

But the request for Melissa helps to focus her and she swallows, chin lifting with resolve. "O-okay," she murmurs, turning to look at the others, waiting for any one to disagree. They might or might not — the pause she gives them might not be long enough for them to voice an objection before she becomes a streak of black in the surrounding darkness, heading down the hall to sweep the rooms.

Filmy light sweeps across the area, dances on overturned furniture, black-eyed monitors and the lack of movement. This only after Francois has mimicked Kris' actions of skimming his flashlight over the pool of blood, incomprehension reflected now in green eyes gone generic grey in the low light. Then, his attention turns hawkish, a twitch of a glance over when Melissa makes her request of Daphne, and Daphne obeys in a whirlwind that sifts loose pages, makes the deathly stagnant air active and alive for all of two seconds.

An exhale streams through long nose but his mouth is shut when Daphne is a blur. For the meantime. He turns his back on where she'd disappeared to await return and news, for now ticking flashlight over the far corners of the room with a careful sweep of pistol.

Magnes' gaze turns to the blood, more curious and on edge than actually shocked and afraid. He can keep telling himself that at least it's not robots, but the entire setting, well… "God, it's like Umbrella Corp. Once this augment wears off, I think I might start pissing my pants." He doesn't mention zombies, the last time he mentioned something, that thing immediately jumped out and started trying to kill everyone.

He was made a believer of 'jinxing' things back in Argentina.

The administration floor of the hospital is as dark as it is silent, but Daphne Milbrook is like a speedy fly on every wall near simultaneously. By the time she reappears in a rush of air and a squeak of her sneakers on the tile floor nearly where she was standing before, she's already had a chance to look through all seven of the glass-walled office rooms. Aside from loose paperwork and filing cabinets looking like they were rifled through, the blonde didn't see anything out of the ordinary.

Well, aside from—

"There you are," is a hushed whisper coming from the solid wall near the stairwell. Daphne had seen him coming up the opposite stairwell on the other side of the administration floor, but Peter Petrelli's ghostly arrival was all but guaranteed by the time the pixieish speedster returned.

Phasing through a solid concrete wall as if it were thin air, Peter turns solid on the other side, shoes touching down on the tile and eyes alight towards the blood stain that Kris is still staring at. "The cells are one floor down, I found some paperwork up here describing the orderlies routes," Peter notes with a jerk of his head down the hall to the stairwell the team hadn't come down on. "Gillian and the others are probably down there somewhere."

The blur that is Daphne is watched for just a second, before Melissa reaches out to lightly touch Kris's arm, hoping to get his mind away from the blood and vent, and back onto the job. Then Peter's arriving, and she's nodding to him. "Let's go then. Daph, did you see anything?" she asks, moving towards the stairwell with the same quick and quiet steps, cautious, despite the silence inside. So far.

When Peter comes through the wall, Daphne's head turns to look at him, hand going to the gun at her side until she sees it's Peter — she's not too startled by the phasing, having worked with a phaser before. "Nope. Nothing but offices, nothing too weird on this floor, no patients or prisoners," the speedster tells Melissa, though her eyes dart back to the red smear of blood on the wall. "All right. What's going on down there?" she asks Peter, "or have you looked yet?"

Words like 'probably' kind of make his grip on his gun go anxious and tight. Moving, though, impatience in Francois' step, less playing 'follow the leader', more like a compass given North when geography reorients itself, when any given doorway holds meaning and maybe he'll have to be a doctor again soon. It's how they should move, with individual purpose than treading uncertainty. There isn't room, right now, to question Peter — too late, would have done that weeks ago if it was an option — and so faith in notes and faith in probably compels him forward. Onwards.

Magnes is prone to follow Francois. They were on the same team, he knows that out of everyone, the French man knows what he's doing. "I wanna find that bastard before this wears off, so I can pull his organs in twenty different directions." he states, making one of his purposes for being here perfectly clear.

"Outside's a mess, I think the National Guard called in a tank on the northwest side of the building. When I was headed up things looked pretty bad, I— we need to hurry on this, the outside isn't going to be able to hold as long as I thought, even with everyone we put out there." Shaking rainwater off of his zippered up leather jacket, Peter treads across the floor a few steps, then looks back to Daphne. "If you meant downstairs, I didn't stick around long. I poked my head in a couple cells but they were empty, I'm hoping that…"

No, no that goes unsaid.

Dark eyes drift from Daphne to settle on Magnes, "You've probably only got three, maybe four minutes left on the augmentation before it wears off. I don't know what kind of side-effects its going to have on you and I don't have any more of it either, just the one Rupert gave me." Flicking a look back to Francois, Peter's lips sag in a crooked frown followed by a slow shake of his head.

No sign of Teodoro yet.

"C'mon," Kris interjects, backtracking to the stairwell they'd come in from. "Maybe the Doc bugged out of here when he heard the gunfire, it ain't lookin' like there's anyone in here at all. Jail with no jailers ain't much of a prison, y'know?" When Kris backtracks towards the stairs, Peter creases his brows together and seems like he was going to go in a different direction, but his conviction on that isn't very firm since he moves to follow Kris towards the stairwell that at least know is secure.

On his way past Claire, noting her somber silence, Peter hesitates for just a moment and rests a hand on her shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze before offering her a curt nod of acknowledgement before passing by her and towards the stairs.

Down the stairwell, the noise of shoes and boots squeaking and clunking on the steps echoes softly under the sound of shouting, gunfire and explosions outside. The pace is a hustle, stomping feet coming down the steps followed by Magnes just floating down the stairs like he was sliding on an invisible banister.

When the team reaches the fifth floor landing, there's more signs of violence. There's handprints on the floor, streaked and dried, old, russet brown and flaky— dried blood is easy to recognize. Peter hesitates ont he sight, looking back to Kris when he notices the teleporter's flashlight wavering.

Trying the door, Peter finds it locked with a rattle. One moment later he's sliding his arm thorugh the door as if it weren't there, reaching around and— click.

Pushing the stairwell door open into the hall, Peter hits something solid and the door stops halfway. Immediately stepping back, Peter pulls out an old and battered looking Company-issue .45 from a waist holster, pushing the door open with the barrel until it hits something solid again. Leaning to the side, he shoves his shoulder against the door and pushes it open the rest of the way, and the door leaves a red smear across the floor in its wake from that point onward. A black splotch of congealed blood rests on one portion of the floor, smeared away red where Peter moved whatever was blocking it from going the rest of the way.

He steps inside the door, holding it open with his foot, and goes to look at what was the obstruction, then immediately looks away and covers his face with his free hand. Laid out on the floor is a portion of a person. A headless torso and one arm, stripped of clothing and twisted apart in the way sausage links can be. One arm is just missing, wrenched free from the body like a turkey drumstick while the lower half of the body looks to have been pulled apart by some great force. An unspoiiled ball of glossy entrails leads down the hallway some sixty feet following red footprints of bare feet that just stop in the middle of the hall and disappear.

When Peter tracks his vision up to the dark ceiling, he can barely see in the ambient light bloodied handprints on the ceiling tiles and an open ventillation shaft. "We— need to hurry." Doors line the hall otherwise, metal cell doors with sliding viewing slats to allow doctors to view patients, all locked, but at least that isn't too much of a deterrent.

The muscles under Peter's hand, jump as Claire is taken surprise by the touch. Her head jerks towards him a little, blue eyes briefly meeting his, before she nods in return. Straightening her back, Claire tightens her grip on her pistols and follows her uncle silently. Her bloodied boot leaving faint prints and squeaks a little.

As she slips through the door, her jaw tightens and face pales a little. Her wrist it lifted to cover her nose at the smell of the bowels laying there. A flicker of a memory tickles at the back of her mind. Of looking down at herself, laid wide open on a table… a bespectacled figure over her, cooing about the way her organs were growing back. It's a memory that had been lost, found again at connections are made within her brain. Memories tucked away, waiting.

"I agree." Claire agrees softly, her voice taking on a strained note.

When Peter takes the lead, Melissa pauses to let him pass. He is Messiah's leader, so it seems he's earned the right to take point. His last words have Melissa muttering, "Ya think?" in what is probably meant to be a comment to herself, but with the radios, everyone hears it.

She follows him in, grimacing and paling a little as she sees the part of the person, and she shakes her head. "Careful guys. Don't slip," she warns softly, before moving to the nearest cell, to slide the slat open so she can peek inside. Anyone home? Teo? Gillian? "Check all the cells, hopefully everyone we're looking for is right here."

Dark eyes wide behind the plastic goggles of her mask, Daphne's mutters might be audible as she talks to herself, "Don't throw up, just breathe, you can do this." She steps carefully over the carcass that was obstructing the door, her gaze tracing the trail of blood and she shakes her head. It's too late to go back. The only way is forward.

"Hurry is a word I can freakin' get behind," she mutters. She makes a clockwise gesture with her black-gloved finger, to indicate the way she's planning on getting around this floor, and then she's no longer there, becoming a streak of black with a tiny bit of white and red at the bottom before anyone can say yea or nay.

Francois wasn't planning to slip, or anything, this communicated in a glance shooting Melissa's way from where his attention had snagged and stuck on the display of gore, and it returns to it soon enough as the light beam from his pistol dances over the display. Looking for anything, for some semblance of shape in ruined torso, for tattoos on skin, identification of any kind, before he's stepping around the stinking person-turned-puddle.

Glances back at Magnes and has room somewhere to offer a wry half-smile at the younger man, the feathery brush of an eyebrow going up as if it say are you sure you want to do that, because it looks kind of gross. But certainly not offering any objection. Francois is not a bloodthirsty individual. Tonight, he's not going to judge other bloodthirsty individuals.

His footfalls echo down the hall a second later as he covers the other side of doors from where Melissa is working, light shining through the little peepholes, pushing open doors that seem unlocked.

"You gave me this crap and it has unexpected side effects? If I lose my ability, I might kill you." Magnes says without any humor behind it, turning his gaze away from the corpse as soon as it begins to enter his vision. "I decapitated a man last week, and still I can't stand to look at something so horrible." He motions his right hand and one of those Company guns he normally uses slips from a compartment at the ankles of his pants. He grips the gun tightly, then starts raising a hand as purple energy extends to tug against cell doors. He's not trying to make noise, just open them without touching.

When Melissa slides the slat of the cell open, all she sees is an emoty room with an unmade cot and padded walls and floor. The door Francois checks however contains what was once a person. Laid out on his side, curled up in the fetal position with his back and sides covered with black threaded stitches that had turned purple and blue from infection, yellow around the edges. The smell that comes through the slat is nothing short of the stink of decay. That Dmitri Gregor idolizes the scientists of Nazi Germany can be no surprise, for in these atrocities he has outdone some of their most depraved minds.

For just a moment, Francois can smell the distinctive scent of burning human remains, a sooty smell that clings ot his nostrils. It isn't real though, but the ghosts of Auschwitz and Dachau are old hauntings for Allegre.

What seems like a haunting is when all of the other slats from the remaining eighteen doors all seem to snap open at once with a raucous noise of clanging metal. It startles Kris enough that he pops back a foot from where he was standing in a shower of sprakling light, eyes wide and gun aimed in frantic sweeps around the dark hallway, flashlight crossed under his gun like he's seen in the movies.

"I gave you that injection," Peter snaps at Magnes in a frustrated tone of voice, "because we needed to in order to get in. You're going to deal with the side-effects or I'll kill you." It's the first time Peter has vocally lost his temper to anyone since when he was possessed by the razor's edge of Kazimir Volken. "If— "

"Gillian!" Daphne's voice sounds alarmed in the hallway where she's snapped back into normal smeed with a rush of air, face pressed up to one of the slats eight doors down the hall. Peter is already turning incorporeal on hearing Gillian's name, and as Daphne turns there's visibly tears in her eyes. "Get her out! Theres— there's people in the two cells next to her too, alive!" Though the others aren't familiar faces. Maybe it's froma chance encounter Daphne and Gillian had, or maybe it was from Gillian's picture being passed around during her disappearance. It doesn't really matter to Peter.

Not much else could right at this moment.

Phasing through the wall of one cell, Peter unlocks the door as he passes, letting it creak out into the hall where the sounds of sobbing and whimpering from a young teenage girl can be heard. Peter doesn't stop to help her though, he just moves on to the next cell, popping the lock on that door and letting it swing open to the stink of human waste, only to finally reach Gillian's cell to find…

Paper. That's what his foot hits immediately. A book rests nearby, or what's left of it, with pages ripped out and strung across the room, the result of a possible tantrum. A handful of other books seem to have been thrown against walls, the slats and windows. The result of a tantrum. The bindings have broken, the glue un-sticking. For the moment it's difficult to see much beyond shapes, long shadows. single bed is bolted against the floor near a wall, and a dark figure sits against it on the side, a slick of liquid reflecting the light, as if a drink's spilled.

The more eyes adjust, the more details become apparent, shades. Grays and whites and blacks. And much like the hallway, there's a glossy smear across the bed and floor, and up the pale arm of the figure leaning against the side of the bed. Gillian's lost some weight. Her face is pale from lack of sun, eyes bloodshot and darkened around the edges, showing inability to sleep well. With everything they suspect has been going on, it's a wonder her room is as unmarred as it is. It's as if this room has been kept safe. Or as safe as it could be from the outside.

A piece of metal glints in one of her hands, twisted and unruly, a handle of a spoon that was broken off, and filed down until it was made into a kind of shiv. The metal has been darkened on the sharp end, darkened by blood.

Gillian's blood.

Small ragged cuts shine on her left palm and fingers, the back of her hand resting against the floor. It's as if she tested the sharpness there, before finally dragging it raggedly up her wrist, toward the crook of her elbow, where she cut a few more times, for good measure. To destroy the injection scars. There's a lot of blood, smeared across the gray fabric of her torn clothes, even some against her face. The ghostly entrance catches her attention. A soft cry is the response, hand shaking as it's raised toward the figure.

Claire actually manages to look impressed as Daphne does a quick sweep of the area, flinging all the unlocked doors open. While people check the cells, the regenerator stands guard watching the ends of the hallway. Her eyes occasionally drift to the cell with Gillian in it, anxiety for her friend, finally starting to gnaw at her gut.

Teeth clench tight as anger for all the poor souls in the cells. All the dead people. People experimented on. The glint of glasses and a satisfied smile, fill her thoughts along with the memory of a gentle man with a terrible ability. Claire gives a little shake of her head. Why does it all have to haunt her now?

Not now The small woman closes her eyes at another flash of memory, brows furrowing. Taking a deep breath Claire opens her eyes and forces herself to focus on guarding her team.

Peter's threat to Magnes has Melissa looking at him and blinking in surprise. Despite him leading Messiah, she hasn't actually seen him inflict violence on anyone. He always lets others do the actual dirty work. But then she hears that name and her shoulders hunch a little. "Daphne, start taking them up. Get them out," she snaps, voice a little sharper than intended, but she can't do anything about that, now.

After glancing at Peter, she grimaces and shakes her head, moving back into order mode since he's…preoccupied. "Start with Gillian." And she heads for one of the other doors that contains someone not Gillian. "Francois, get Teo, start up. Kris, help him. Claire, with me for the other one. Magnes, you're getting our backs. We get them, we get out now. That's our job," she says, peeking in the opened cells until she finds one without Gillian or Teo, but with someone alive, and she starts inside to help whoever's in there."

Noting that Peter has Gillian, Daphne heads to the door of the crying teenager. "It's not Teo, I haven't seen him yet," she calls back, before ducking in and peering at the girl, lifting her gas mask so the frightened girl can see her face rather than the mask. "We're here to help you," she says quickly. "I'm going to run you out of here — you may feel sick, because I'm fast. Please don't hurt me and do what the people on the roof tell you when we get there," she says, taking the girl by the hand and pulling her out of the cell.

"I'm gonna take her and be right back for more," she tells the others. "Faster I think; the stairwell is narrow." She could take two, but they'd be bouncing along the walls quite literally, and they look just a touch on the frail side. If the girl doesn't fight her, Daphne heads off, full speed ahead, passenger in tow.

Scent is a powerful memory recall, but only works to transport Francois for a few seconds, in which time he stands in the door, as frozen as a photograph within its frame. But his ballistic vest is a weighty reminder there he's here and not there, pistol heavy in his hand, angled as it is with the attached flashlight and the hopeful loading of bullets remaining lined up at in good company together. He swallows, the air tasting a little of decay, the metals and minerals of human bodies coming apart, and the edges of his hearing registers Gillian's soft keening.

He'd been silent and even polite, somehow, up until when the handle of his gun connects against the frame of the door with a sharp clang, and the sound of it puts unwieldy punctuation in Melissa's barking orders. Sparking frustration and anger, super manly emotions obviously and probably bruising the side of his hand in the same motion, but it's over. And that was before the glimmer of error, between whether Teo is here or not.

His gun is holstered to free his hands as he approaches the sick, maimed man, a hand out to check pulse, gently thumbing open eyelids. He was here, once, time stretched between nineteen-forty-four and forty-five. The smells are the same, and so are the wounds. "Daphne!" he yells out, but she's gone, voice echoing in the cell. "Merde, who else is a doctor?" No one, and frustration sparks antagonism in his voice. It is removed with surgical precision when he next speaks up. «Kris, to me, s'il vous plait. //This one needs to get help. I can't follow.» He won't follow.

Magnes covers his mouth and nose, his mask not doing much for the smells. Peter can't see the frowning behind his mask, but a friendship just died here. "Gillian?" he asks, but doesn't approach, instead turning to Melissa as she starts giving orders. "I'll do my best, but I have no idea what side effect this stuff will have, so I can't make any guarantees. I'm sorry." he sincerely apologizes, then stands in the middle of the hall, waiting for any potential pursuers.

"Gillian— oh God." Peter's eyes grow wide as he rushes over to where the brunette lays bleeding on the floor of her cell. "Oh God— no." Skidding to a stop beside Gillian, Peter crouches down reaches out for her wrists, frantically looking for something to bind her injuries in. Quickly sliding the butterfly knife out of his back pocket, Peter flicks it open and starts slicing through the sheets of her cot, tearing off narrow strips before wrapping it around and around and around and then tightly — and apologetically — cinching off the bandages. "No, no, no, no, Gillian— "

"Y— Yes sir!" Francois isn't Messiah, he wasn't even anyone Kris had even heard of before this assignment, but anyone that can forge ahead through this nightmarish hospital without shaking like a leaf on a tree is probably pretty hardcore. In the instant after he calls Francois sir, Kris disappears in a flash of pinkish-red sparkles and reappears in the cell in an equally crackle-popping procession. Retching the moment the smell hits him, Kris wraps a leather-sleeved arm around his face and crouches down next to the only partly responsive Arab.

Panicking when he realizes that he can't phase other people with him, Peter wraps one arm around her waist and then another under her legs and lifts her up off of where she lays. Carrying Gillian in a hurry to the door, Peter rests her head against his shoulder. He has to brace her weight against the door as his phased hand moves into the lock and slides aside the lever holding the door in place, but as Peter pushes out into the hall it becomes dreadfully clear that Gillian is dying.


In the Arabic man's cell, brown eyes look up glassy to Francois and when Kris lays his hand down on the wounded man's shoulder, there's a bright flash of red and pink light followed by crackling flares as Kris and the prisoner disappear, leaving only pinkish sparks burning in the air where he was in a tiny whirlwind.

A moment too late to catch Kris, Peter is left carrying Gillian in his arms. "I need— someone, Daphne? She— Gillian needs to be brought to the field hospital at the greenbelt before— "

Well, before something bad happens.

Unfortunately… something bad happens.

It only takes a moment for Peter to let out a horrified scream and drop Gillian to the floor. He stumbles backwards, letting out a choking and pained cry as blood erupts from his eye sockets, nose and mouth in a spray around the room. Peter falls backwards on rubbery legs to the floor, twitching and kicking as his blood forces itself in a fine mist out of his body while a clang-slap-clang-slap rattles thorugh the ceiling.

One ceiling tile falls on the far end of the corridor in a crash, but then another breaks down before a ghostly thing drops down from inside of the ceiling. Skin mottled shades of pale to darkly tanned thorugh mocha and jaundiced yellow is glistening with swear and uric acid. That it was once a man is barely recognizable by the way two powerfully muscled arms act like forelegs ending in an eight fingered hand on each end. Two smaller and more human arms are clutched to the monstrosity's chest, but it's only visible in flashlight for a moment. Whatever is pulsing on its back isn't able to be seen before it jumps back up through the ceiling and behind where that hunched creature was, something else has descended down from the ventillation ducts.

It looks like a marionette, a puppet of a person possessed of pale skin and draped in a bloodied medical gown, but Noriko Amagi is suspended by her wrists, neck and leg by what looks like exposed tendons and sinew connected to her own musculature and joints. Her eyes droopily open, dark and focused on Peter as a bloodied sphere of water forms in front of her, sucked out of his body by seemingly her will.

The sinew and tendons ascend up into the partly exposed rafters and shattered ceiling tiles, like something is up there controlling her.

As if not nearly enough things had gone wrong at once, Magnes feels a flutter in his stomach and a heavy weight in his legs as the augmentation wears off and his knees buckle, sending him down onto his own weight under a diminished form of his own gravitokinesis. It seems the after affects isn't burning out entirely, but operating only at half capacity.

As Noriko's body is lowered down slowly from the ceiling, her head lolls about on her neck. Gregor, not content with merely making a marionette, also had the foresight and artistic bent to make sure that his new little puppet would always be smiling, dark blood oozing from the wounds that Gregor wouldn't let heal. Instead, he wanted to give her as fierce a look as he could. Her head hangs down, while she shakes it a little, the only part of herself that she has under her own control. Not that it is much in the drugged state that she is in. Gregor keeping her as doped up as he can in order for their to be less resistance as he uses her body and her ability, her eyes staring at the orb. "Cut," is the single whispered word that Noriko Amagi can get from her lips, the cut on smile leering at those below her while she hangs freely, even as Gregor begins to select his next target.

Dying quickly or not, Gillian finds herself wearing more blood than her own, all of a sudden, sprawled back on the floor in the hallway she's not been in for quite some time, to look at the bleeding head of Peter. For a few moments it's almost like she doesn't seem to know what's happening, shaking and shivering, eyes shifting around as she looks up through the watery sphere to her former partner in Antarctica, a young woman who was missing long before she was.

And turned into a monster. Just like everyone here seems to be.

Crawling along the floor, she reaches out towards Noriko's dangling feet, trying to make contact, until a crackling sound can be heard, a spark. It's like suddenly a tesla coil came on line between her fingers, between the skin of Noriko. A dark purple in color, it seems more uncontrolled than what Magnes may have seen from her before, but the lightning effect— that is new. Drawing energy out of the grotesque puppet, and then spreading it out around her, a glow in her eyes, as Magnes gets some of that power back— and so does every other person. A blanket augmentation. The closer they are to her, the stronger they feel it, and only the person she's sapping the energy from left out.

Looking from where she's watching the hallway, Claire freezes at Melissa's order. Normally, Claire Bennet is a good soldier and does as she's told. But… this won't be one of those times. "No." The word is spoken firmly. "I've got it covered out here." She says, voice rough with some unknown emotion. "With or without his ability, he will be more useful with whoever needs help getting out."

There is a slight glance in Magnes' direction, she motions him after Melissa with a wave of her pistol, barrel to the ground, with a 'Go. Shoo' look. The sound of a door opening, she turns back to the hall in time to see Peter step out with Gillian. Her eyes widen as she sees them and Claire hurries to close the distance. "Gilli—!"

She doesn't get very far before, Peter is screaming and drops Gillian. Claire can only stare in horror before she looks up at Noriko. Where there were no memories of the woman before, memories seem to flash of a scared water manipulator on a table next to her, staring in horror as Claire's flesh grafted to her own. "Gregor…" She remembers him now, lips pull back from teeth in a sneer. "Gregor! Let her go, you crazy son of a bitch." The anger that the regenerator feels is the first truly real emotion she's felt in sometime.

Glaring at the ceiling, head tilted back, Claire spreads her arms modified AK-47's and all. "Your favorite toys is back." The words growl out with feeling, each word viciously spoken, even as she can feel tears burning at the back of her eyes. "Come play with me."

The moment that Peter screams everything else seems to fade from Melissa's focus. No matter how much she tried to keep everyone else focused on the job at hand, that focus disappears with that single sound. She whips around towards Peter, his name on her lips, and her eyes widen in horror as she watches the blood pulled from his body. Well, there's one way to deal with that.

Even as she's breaking into a run to cross the short distance between her and Peter, she lashes out with her ability, focusing it like a laser on Gregor's puppet. If she can still feel, the pain goes beyond simply annoying, beyond intense. Most people are lucky enough to never feel pain quite like what she's forcing on the person who is seemingly hurting Peter. And that's even before Gillian's augmentation hits. She's just that supremely pissed. Of course, using her ability with this much force means that almost immediately there's a small trickle of blood from her nose that she ignores. It's simply not important.

She tries to just stop and kneel, but her focus is split, and she slips, ending up falling to her knees beside Peter. Her hands move to his cheeks, then one slides down to his throat, as though worried that whatever was done to him killed him. She can be forgiven for forgetting that he stole Claire's power under the circumstances though, right? "Peter, c'mon. You gotta get up. C'mon baby, let's get out of here," she says, more than just a little concerned, almost desperate for some sort of response from him. Hands move to grip his shoulders, trying to pull him up enough that she can get an arm around him and try to get him to his feet, murmuring soft words of encouragement, babbling really.

"Magnes, get Gillian, get her out of here!" she shouts, glancing around hopefully for Daphne's return. She's quick, she'll be back soon. She has to be back soon.

Having made it up the stairs to drop off the teenager with Colette, the blurred form of Daphne suddenly coalesces just in time to see Peter's eyes bleeding and that horrific puppet with that very unfunny carved smile grinning at them. Her gun whipped with a blur out of its holster, the speedster shoots up at whatever is controlling Noriko — blindly and with a shaking hand and no real training with a gun, she hopes really to just frighten whoever it is at best.

Not waiting to see if her aim is true, she speeds over to Gillian, grabbing her by the arm. "Gillian, I'm Daphne, we gotta fly," she says, making quick introductions to one of the people they've specifically come to save. Her eyes dart to Peter and then to Melissa. "I'll be back for him next, unless Kris can grab him!"

Her gloved hand wraps around Gillian's wrist to help staunch that bleeding. "Time to get outta here. Hold on tight," she warns, before sprinting at her top speed for the nearest exit.

Francois moves back from vanishing teleporters and injured men, relief of a door closed and watching the play of magenta sparks flying in the air. Powers could be pretty, and he's not sure if he's just lagging behind the culture shock of remaining fascinated. But what goes on in the hallway is a similar spectacle, on the horrific side of things. Back up against the doorframe to remain out of sight, peeks around the corner have even the surgeon's stomach turning, protected though it is behind kevlar.

Claire's words, kind of horrific too. Francois' declaration is less so, angling himself back out into the hallway, forgotten flashlight sweeping up over Noriko's scarred face, and for a moment, white light shines on the ceiling. Bullets in quick succession fly by the hydrokinetic's trapped limbs, break ceiling tile just beneath that spotlight. They create a path of destruction up towards the gaping hole in the ceiling, joining Daphne's wilder shots, before his boots are squeaking on the ground in swift steps towards where Melissa has Peter, lending his strength in dragging the younger man up from the other side, hauling him back, locking arms together with a hand wedged beneath the socket of his shoulder.

Magnes doesn't acknowledge the other two when he falls to his knees under the heavy weight, but when he feels Gillian's energy flowing into him while he stares up with wide eyes behind his mask, he's finally filled with shock and horror for the first time tonight. But then he hears them speaking again, and before he can say anything, Daphne's taken Gillian and gone. He's finally focusing again, and he's staring up at the ceiling they've shot up.

"Don't die, you two." is all he offers them, the violet of Gillian's ability mixing with the purple of his around his body. He reaches into his pants for a combat knife with his left hand, gripping his Company issue handgun in the other, then suddenly starts flying up to the hole, shooting his way up as he prepares to start slashing the hell out of whatever's up there, if he doesn't die first. "Come on, bastard. I'll rip you apart and show you how it feels." he mutters under the quad voices of his voice mod.

Everything happens so fast that it's hard to tell what happened at first.

Gunfire in enclosed spaces creates a hammering cacophony that leaves ears ringing and teeth rattling. Somewhere in the hail of gunfire, bullets strike Noriko Amagi in the shoulder, spinning her around and tangling the twisted cords of her sinew theads holding her up. There's a howl of pain, an animalistic howl due to both the gunfire and the bone-deep agony that Melissa is inflicted upon her.

The water orb dislocates and splashes down with a mixture of Peter's blood still in it. The wounded Petrelli, affected by an exsanguination, is unresponsive to Melissa's attempts to rouse him, and somewhere amidst the screaming he wakes up from death with a wheezing intake of breath, startling into a half-seated position as his regeneration begins restoring his body's functions.

But Peter hasn't even time to think before another horrible scream echoes from inside of the ceiling. As Magnes is rocketing up into the air, smashing ceiling tiles aside and flying straight up towards where he can hear the monstrous creature, it is falling from its perch in pain. The two pass by each other in mid air, and it's here that Magnes can see the four-armed creature has a man's face. Round glasses perched on his nose, four eyes spanning across the sides of his head. Two blue, one green and one brown. As Dmitri Gregor falls, his oddly jointed body twists and turns so that — like a cat — he lands on all fours. His bare feet squeak wetly on the floor when he lands by Noriko's prone and severed form and his oversized paw-like forearms land knuckles down onto the tile.

"C-C-C-Claire…" is a clicking rasp of Bennet's name as Gregor wetly calls out for her. In that instant, Daphne is gone in the blink of an eye like an explosion of black and purple, moving nearly the speed of light as she carries Gillian away and cuts off Magnes from her augmentation. Thankfully still with some of his gravitokinesis, it's like being stuck with rollerblades again, but Magnes' ascent has given him the perfect angle to fall down towards Gregor.

From above, and to those still on the ground, the pulsing lumps on Gregor's back are clearly visible. THey are contained in semi-opaque fleshy sacks are human brains. Three of them in specific, one directly behind his head, portions of the gray matter woven into a hollow in the back of his skull, the others sit close together behind his shoulders, synaptic fibers linking them all together. Worse yet is the detritus that is littered on the floor in here; syringes, empty. Most of them containing trace droplets of black fluid. Gregor has not only been sustaining himself on flesh to augment his form, but has been regularly dosing with the amplification drug to augment his own adaptive regeneration and freakish physiology.

"C-C-C-C-Claire," Gregor clicks again, followed by a rumble in the floor as Claire is yanked forward by unseen hands as telekinesis draws her towards Gregor, and the beach rises up onto his hind legs, eyes wide and jaws open with Claire suspended in mid air by the familiar sensation being like a fish on a telekinetic hook. Augmented as much as he is, Gregor has begun to consume the abilities of the other Evolved in here in his mad quest to exceed the research of his idols.

In a way, he has created something they'd never imagine.

But it was at the sake of his humanity.


Staten Island Hospital: Roof

A snap of black and purple flares has Daphne appearing on the roof, radiating augmentation in waves and bands of violet light that burn from her and Gillian together like a corona. On her arrival, Daphne can see West Rosen taking off from the roof with the Arabic man carried close to his chest, soaring up into the rain.

"Gillian!" Colette screams as she steps into view with a flash of lightning behind her in the torrential downpour. Around the hospital, gunfire fills the air still and explosions sound off along with the roaring rush of water. "D-Daphne oh— oh my God— WEST!" Colette screams up to the sky, then remembers to turn on her headset and tune it into the other teams frequencies. «West come back! Gillian's really badly hurt we've gotta get out of here!»

But then, over the radios and communications, Hana Gitelman's voice relays even more terrible news.%r
«Air strike inbound!» Hana Gitelman relays the warning to all radios tuned to her frequency, «Two jets pass over in 10 minutes to level the facility!»

Colette's eyes go saucer wide as she turns to look at Daphne, "O— oh… shit."

Inside the Hospital

«Air strike inbound!» Hana's voice crackles over the radios inside of the hospital as well. «Two jets pass over in 10 minutes to level the facility!»

Ten minutes to save everyone.

This she isn't expecting as Claire is yanked closer to the monster, who looks so familiar and so different. And when did he becomes a grotesque Sylar? A shiver of disgust runs through the woman's body, when she realizes she'd rather it was Sylar. "That's right." She snaps at him, even as she hangs there suspended. "It's me, Claire.

"Miss me?" There is a mock sweetness, her expression echoing it, remembering the glee the man had in removing body parts and making her watch. Her body strains against the telekinetic force holding her. Hands clenching around the grips of her pistols, they tremble slightly with the amount of force she's trying to exert. He might have a hold on her, but she won't make it easy on him. "Miss the time we had together in your lab?"

No… it's not like how it sounds! Honest. "Experimenting on me? Furthering her your research?" Claire is trying to keep the ma— thing distracted, while her mind scrambles to think of something. She wanted to kill him, but now she's just helpless again… always helpless. It makes her furious, and yet tears slide down her cheeks leaving wet trails.

Okay, that…thing…that was Gregor is much scarier than Noriko-puppet. The pain that Melissa is projecting ceases, or rather, it shifts to the Gregor. Francois is given a grateful look, and she shifts around to get a better hold on Peter. "Shit, shit, shit," she mutters at Hana's comment and she jerks a head down the hall, away from Gregor. "Go find Teo, Daphne'll help me," she tells him, her gaze locked on the madman who's no longer human.

Mentally her thoughts shift between just two words. Peter. Pain. Back and forth, unable to focus on just one at a time. By now the use of her ability at its maximum is starting to take a more visible toll on the woman, blood flowing more freely from her nose and, with her hair pulled back, it's also seen in a little trickle from one ear. That's not good. But maybe focusing her ability will keep him distracted long enough for others to deal with him.

"Daphne! Get Teo!" she calls into the radio, before starting to move down the hallway, half carrying, half dragging Peter if need be. "C'mon Peter. Walk for me. Let's get you out of here. C'mon, just help me a little," she whispers.

Francois is an alright soldier, historically speaking. Takes orders, can give them, too, if granted opportunity. Can shoot a gun, directly relevant here, because he fires with panicky generousity towards the thing that just came down from the ceiling. It is an image burned into retinas, because maybe he doesn't have enough nightmare material to work with, the smell of concentration camps mixed in with the sight of sticky-slick monster limbs, pulsing grey matter, dislocated movement. Great, fantastique, pew pew pew, the pistol jumps in his hands upon each rapport.

This is fucked up, and Hana's announcement is like a gun at the start of the race, triggers the kind of decision making that occurs when people jump from bridges, except this is possibly more selfish were it not for Melissa's blessing, Francois breaking from the group, out the gate. Surgery Ward isn't read as quickly as the fact that it's another angle to pursue, the double doors with blood smeared tackily on its whiteness. Gregor dangles his captured princess high, but she sounds like she's taking some care of herself.

He shoulders through the ward's doors with as much art as a charging bull.

Now this is flying, not that slow free-falling, anti-gravity stunt that Magnes thinks is. One small part of her is blissful with endorphins as she feels that rush and power of feet-driven flight. The rest of her is terrified, heart pounding with adrenaline and fear. "Hurry, help her," Daphne murmurs to the people on the roof before swearing at Hana's warning on the radio. "Back in a jiff," she adds and once more is a near invisible blur, faster than possible before she slows as she leaves Gillian's field of power.

Slower, but still fast.

Entering the war zone again, she stares at the freakish creature holding Claire and gives a shake of her head. "Ten minutes, get 'er done!" as she zooms by, a glance at Magnes and then at Peter and Melissa as she heads down the hallway to help Francois and whoever else lies that way — Teo, hopefully, but she sure as hell is not going to leave anyone who still has a mostly-whole body and a pulse to keep it running behind if she can help it. "Be back, try and get to the roof!" she calls to Melissa.

Magnes isn't going to shoot from above as he slowly descends, he doesn't want to scare the thing away. It could be fast, he doesn't know, he's not risking it. He slips the gun into his pants again, then his body gradually gets heavier and heavier, at least as much as he can manage at half capacity, trying to be heavy enough to straddle the monster and keep a grip on it. At the moment he lands, he tries to stab at the brain behind his head, attempting to rip and slash as much as he can, while his right hand reaches into one of his pouches for a vial, and slams a fist down in an attempt to shove his arm into Gregor's body, and crush the smoke bomb inside of him.

He has no idea what will happen, but if he can manage, he's sure it's going to hurt. "Don't you fucking touch her! You don't have the right! I'll rip you apart!"

Agonizing bone pain should have Gregor blacking out from Melissa's ability, but whatever creature he has turned himself into has deadened both his humanity and his pain receptors, but that shock of agony causes him to lose control of his telekinesis and drop Claire — the perfect bait — entirely. When Gregor looks up to Melissa there is a spark of flame that appears in mid-air in front of his face which is abruptly cut out when bullets tear thorugh glossy flesh, spray blood along the walls and has Gregor recoiling and scrambling backwards. He sticks to the walls like a gecko, some friction manipulation taking effect as blood pulses out of his body. Jaws open and teeth gleam as Gregor lets out a clicking hiss and leaps into the air at Francois' fleeing form.

But the sudden downward's crash of Magnes landing atop him sends Gregor grashing to the ground with a howl. "Ssssshe is mine! he slurs with a swolen tongue, only to add a wailing scream to that noise when a knife perforates the flesh sac on his back, spilling overabundant spinal fluid down onto the floor. Magnes' fist punches down into the fleshy mass of the exposed brain and Gregor lets out a ragged, choking howl as his oversized forearm reaches up and grabs the gravitokinetic off of him and throws him into a wall.

Like a wild and bucking horse and with all the additional muscle density of one, Gregor slams one of his trunk-like arms down on Magnes' chest, pinning him against the wall as flames begin to ripple in front of his face again, blood flowing from his back where he has been robbed of telekinesis by the slaughtering of that stolen brain.

Gregor chokes out a laugh only to suddenly feel the impact of a broken piece of ceiling tile on the side of his head. "Get away from him!" Having split away from Melissa in a staggering sprint after being helped to his feet by Francois, Peter follows up with a punch that does little more than ripple the fatty tissue around Gregor's neck like a grocery bag full of gelatin.

The four-eyed scientist turns, letting out a slithering hiss and opens his jaws, leaving himself wide-open to Magnes again as Peter stares down the beast with both hands clenched into fists. Gregor lunges at Peter with a rolling wave of superheated flame exploding out from near his forehead in pyrokinetic generation. The flames swallow Peter and completely surround him before dissipating, revealing his phased form flickering and guttering like a candle in the wind.

Made you look.

Staten Island Hospital: Surgery Theater

Was that a roar?

Groggy consciousness comes swimming back, dim illumination from nothing more mundane than candles filling a surgery lab where an examination table draped in a white cloth contains a half-conscious Sicillian, hs head shaved jarhead short and dressed in little more than a backless hospital gown. To say that Teodoro Laudani's awakening was ill-timed would be wrong, but it could have come with more opportune surroundings.

An unconscious roll to his side, more reflexive than intentional sends Teo over the side of the table and down onto the floor, landing on his hands and knees on the cold tile while distant gunshots and screams echo thorugh the hospital.

Blurry eyes focus on whatever he can around himself, throat tight and neck sore, it feels like waking up from a particular bad fever dream. Struggling to get his muscles to respond, Teodoro's eyes focus and reveal rows of gurneys with bloodstained sheets and dismembered corpses, bone saws caked with viscera and spools of thread laying spent on the tile.

Not far away, a young blonde woman in a medical gown lays on one of the gurneys, looking as though she were prepped for surgery. Blue marker lines have been drawn around her shoulder and arms, as though those were going to be removed for later use.

Teodoro Laudani may not recognize Lynette Rowan, but he does recognize another human being in need. Lest they both wind up like the experiments dead and decaying around the room with foul rancid stench.

That the surgery room doors burst open is surprising, but that Francois Allegre comes charging through them to— see— Teo's bare backside is perhaps the least likely face to be here. A rush of air and a roar comes with Daphne's arrival, sending the blonde skidding to a stop beside Le Docteur where she sees Lynette sedated and laid out on a table and Teodoro crouching and exposing his best side.

Staten Island Hospital Roof

When West comes circling back around the land on the edge of the roof, he takes a few steps towards where Gillian has been given to Colette and where the photokinetic is holding the brunette close, looking down at the bleeding wounds on her ars, tears running down her cheeks and dampening her face.

"Oh my God, is that— " West makes a staggering approach towards Gillian, only to hear a roar in the air up above. A fighter jet, followed by another, streaking past the hospital. Both he and Colette tense on seeing the vehicles, but there is a moment of relief that neuther drops their payloads. The unfortunate part is that they're six minutes early.

"I can get you both out of here," West notes as he looks back to the planes' running lights, "C'mon, I can at least get you and Gillian away!" With the rain hammering down on the roof, Colette shakes her head and laces her fingers with one of Gillian's hands. Looking up to West, the young girl furrows her brows and then exhales a sharp sound.

"Gabriel wouldn't run," Colette states firmly, squeezing Gillian's hand and nodding slowly when she sees purple light begin to shine between their palms. "We're waiting for everyone," Colette firmly offers to West, looking up to the sky to see a swarm of birds heading towards the lead of the fighter jets, "I ain't leavin' nobody." Because when it came down to it, when Colette was captured, they all came for her.

As the jet draws closer an arc of lightning splits open the sky, it's followed by booming thunder and the sound of an explosion as the engine at its tail erupts into flames and scorched feathers, birds sucked out through the back, their bodies reduced to ash, smoky black grit and embers. It shoots past its mark, soars over the facility's roof. It's this moment and the flash of lightning that Colette was hoping for. Lifting her hand up and aiming at the jet, her pupils widen to swallow her irises and a whorl of light flares over her palm as the glow of the lightning is intensified into light and heat.

A purplish-blue beam of laser light streaks into the sky, shearing off the wing of the approaching plane and sending it into a spiral. The jet roars over the building and careens down towards the nearby forest, crashing in a massive explosion of wood flinders, branches, dirt and flames.

Inside the Hospital

It's a bad time to flaunt one's assets when one can barely feel them, never mind coordinate one's extremities. Even for Teo. His hair's gone; he notices that a little earlier than he should, in the process of whittling through cobwebs to find the proper shape and dynamic of his conscious brain. The girl marked up for surgery is somewhat more important, and he manages to rally enough sentience under him to notice that seconds before his sentience trips and slides over to land in an ungainly pile on the fact that the both of them and the reeking mess of the surgical facility's slaughterhouse contents are now privvy to an audience.

He knows those two. Straightens suddenly, maybe too suddenly; catches himself with a hand on the gurney's railing, just barely, his bare feet twisting stupidly as a new colt's underneath him. Even his toes have flattened themselves together, weak with disuse, a contiguous and clumsy arc with his feet and ankles like the bones of his legs are still soft from the womb. In truth, the Institute has left nothing physiologically revised about him. He's just—

—fucking tired and coming off a higher dose of tranquilizers than his weight class probably should have set him with, especially after the diminishing effects of IV nutrition.

There had been an unmistakable, embarrassing fear in the backward flash of blue eyes, across Francois and Daphne. Vulnerability to go with the addled feet and pathetic asylum haircut. It's gone the next instant, deliberately shoved out before his shoulders can think to fold themselves into a cowering. He hitches at his gown a little self-consciously, but he's moving toward Lynette as well. Where 'moving' is more like falling with style, the gurney's braked wheels stilting along, half-dragged, half-braced against as he starts toward the woman. "She's still alive," he croaks.

It's embarrassing for Claire when she cries out in surprise, as she's let loose of the telekinetic hold on her. There is no time wasted rolling over on her stomach, a soft sound, much like a growl starts in the back of her throat. It's a sound of all those pent up emotions bubbling to the surface, sliding up her throat… threatening to choke her as she pushes to her feet with the grace of — well — a cheerleader.

The tears still won't stop, leaving their wet trails on her cheeks, even as she stoops down to pick up on of the AK-47 pistols. She doesn't care about the fact there is an air strike incoming. She'll happily die in a ball of fire, if she can take her former torture with her… it would stop the nightmares that have haunted her.

It's those thoughts that motivate Claire to run at Gregor, his back to her as he holds Magnes. Even though it's been a few years, she is still athletic enough to jump on his back, with a wild shout. She crashes into him, ignoring the feel of his grotesque form against her body or the brains trapped between them. The regenerator clings to him, legs finding purchase around his bulk. She'll probably throw up later when she really gives herself time to think about it. Instead, she shifts one arm around his head, while the cold barrel of the gun is pressed to his neck.

He can hear Claire whisper, her cheek pressed against the side of his head. "You don't deserve this easy of a death, you bastard." The emotional words choked out, before she pulls the trigger. Semi-automatic weapon vs Gregor's neck. Who will win this fight?

When the flame appears Melissa doesn't have time to react or show fear, and by the time she could react, it's gone. Thank you Francois! Someone's gonna be getting a gold plated stethoscope later! Then Peter is being difficult, as usual, and she's crying out his name when he's engulfed in flame.

Her ability is starting to seriously affect her now, black spots appearing in her vision, more blood trickling out of nose and ears, but it doesn't stop her from pulling her gun and walking closer to Gregor. She doesn't run, it'll be hard enough to aim without adding the difficulty of running. She starts to fire into the mass that used to be human in some way, trying carefully not to hit any of the people on her side. Luckily, Gregor has more mass than a person, so there's more of him to aim at. A boon, when she's having trouble seeing straight.

"Peter, get out of here!" she yells to the recently deceased, firing until her gun clicks empty, then it's simply exchanged for her backup. It's quicker than grabbing a spare clip. And then she just starts pulling the trigger over and over again, even as more and more of her vision starts fading to black. But she came in here to save people, dammit. And just because the trio in the room with her weren't on the original list doesn't mean that she won't try to help them get out alive. And maybe, just maybe, between two people shooting and Magnes punching, they can kill this monstrosity.

Then she can go pass out.

When you're running through a maze with blood on the walls and entrails spilling out, victims in fetal positions, hideous monster spider things like what spiders would be if they were mammals and really big and gunshots and outside a plane is being taken down with a laser—

Francois is relieved. Weak knees, shaven skull, even the fear glimmering telltale in blue eyes are all acceptable because Teo's standing upright and intact, for a golden second, and then completely and utterly unacceptable in the time it takes to breathe in. His pistol is holstered as momentum kickstarts again, one quick glance to Daphne's wee blonde profile as he goes, hands out, grips onto Teo's shoulders, then his elbows, in an offer of support as well as stop him. There's way too much concern and relief in green eyes to be strictly a doctor's analysis as his gaze darts from pupil to pupil.

"She will be all right," he says. He hasn't even looked at Lynette. Best doctor is the best. But it's true when he says, "We're taking everyone. We need to go— "

There's no time at all, and no time for him to stop and stare at Teo's mouth, where there is only the trace of healing skin — not even broken at this point, no scar at all, just now visible in the dimness. Too late to think about it, and now he pays attention to whatever Daphne might be doing. "Is she responsive?"

Magnes grunts as he gets the wind knocked out of him into a wall, but when the thing releases him thanks to Peter, Magnes' eyes widen to spot Claire on its back. There's no way he's letting her take it on her own, who knows what else it can do. "Let's kill this bastard once and for all!" He goes running behind it while Claire is pressing the gun to its neck, then bounds up high only to land on its back behind the left shoulder, trying not to get in Claire's way. Then that knife starts moving to stab repeatedly into the brain, enhancing every ripping stab and slash with gravity. "How's it feel to get torn apart?!"

"Teo!" Daphne bubbles from behind her bogeyman face that is the gas mask, worn in case there was any negation gas being thrown around, though there hasn't been. She hurries to his side, and then to look at Lynette's unconscious body. "Oh, my God, what were they going to do," she gasps in horror, beginning to help pull the woman up before something catches her eye.

A canister, on the counter behind Lynette's gurney, just what Francois and Corbin had warned her of, just what Corbin had said might be her undoing, the reason she is behind the strange alien face she wears. "Shit…" she says, letting go of Lynette's limp arm and darting with speed to the other side of the gurney. "Holy shit, be right—"

The back is lost in the rustle of wind that blows Teo's gown open again, to reveal his lovely assets (these cheeks unscarred as well!) as the blur moves back to the room where Magnes and Claire and Peter and Melissa are trying to take down the monster.

Tugging off the gas mask, she yells "Catch!" to Peter, waiting to make sure he puts it on, speeding in circles until it's done before speeding as close as she can to spray the can into that monster's face, giving the spray of bullets as wide a berth as she can.

She'll speed away to try to get out of range of the gas — if she can.

As gunfire rails through Gregor and a knife cuts up along his body, there's a murmuring from beneath him. On the floor, laid out on her side with short black hair spread out behind her head, Noriko Amagi is laughing. Dark eyes slowly open, lips curl into a smile as blood rains down on her from Gregor, and she lifts one scarred hand with a slice down the back for where he'd connected her muscle tissue to his, and whispers, "I told you we'd have our revenge."

In that moment blood explodes from the second of the three replacement brains on Gregor, filling that sack of spinal fluid dark with crimson and causing the perniscious regenerator to reel backwards as gunfire saws thorugh his throat. Noriko's eyes narrow and her jaw clenches as the brain sack pops like an over-ripe tomato beneath a heel and Gregor loses his friction manipulation ability, sending his wet limbs sliding akimbo.

Fully automatic gunfire and the attack of knives has the desired result in sawing off Gregor's screaming head from his body to land with a wet slap on the floor. Gregor's entire frame slouches with that severance and his chest crashes down to the tiled floor. Unfortunately, standing as close as he was to Claire's wild fire thorugh Gregor's throat has cost Magnes, and he doesn't even realize it until his legs give out and he feels the warmth of blood on his abdomen.

Magnes has been shot before, many times, but never by a fully automatic weapon at point blank range. The damage done to him is severe, enough that his arms are shaking and blood is freely flowing from where the few rounds that managed to slip through his armor penetrated him.

Magnes falls when Gregor does, landing next to the monster and breathing in shallow, hiccupped breaths. But while Magnes can't quite move to get back up, Gregor seems to have no problem reaching up and grabbing that severedhead of his with fumbling hands while bucking Claire off of his back.

Lifting up the severed head, Gregor places back atop the stump as slithering tendrils of muscle and sinew lace back together and reattach his body. "How," Gregor hisses as he turns four eyes on Magnes, staring at the gravitokinetic thorugh the fractured lenses of his glasses, "Does it feel to be torn apart?" Massive hands move down towards Magnes as Peter tries to intercede, only to be smacked aside by one of Gregor's other arms, sending him staggering back into Melissa.

"I will sssshow you how it feels to be torn apart."

Just as Gregor looks ready to attack, there's a blur of Daphne moving past, delivering a gas mask into Peter's hands. He tugs it on, not knowing what it is she's carrying, until Daphne reaches up and pulls the pin and stuffs the negation gas grenade into Gregor's face. The moment the yellowish gas starts to hiss from the canister, Daphne tries to pull back and disappear in a flash, and for a moment it feels like it's going to work, right up until her legs give out from underneath herself and she folds onto the floor beside Magnes.

Peter lets out a hissing cry of shock when he sees the color of the gas, yanking off the gas mask and knowing what little help it will be once that voluminous cloud begins to fill the hall. Looking back to Melissa's bloodied face, Peter scowls and pushes her behind him, backing up away from the cloud even while Gregor emits a horrible screaming noise as his seams begin to break apart. Like over-boiled chicken, every single regenerative augmentation Gregor has given to himself starts to detatch from the whole. Ligaments detatch, flesh sloughs off, eyes bulge out of the sockets, cerebral tissue breaks down, everything he has done to himself is undone by that one single flaw in his grand design: He is dependant on his ability to live.

Sliding up onto her side, Noriko crawls forward while Gregor is literally falling apart around her, moving over to where Daphne lays and weakly slides an arm around her, trying to drag her back away from the choking gas. Rushing into the gas when he sees Claire beginning to curl up on herself and sweat from the aching malarial infection, Peter crouches down and grabs her by the wrist with one hand and Magnes by the wrist with the other. Dragging them out of the gas as best as he can, Peter watches as even Noriko tries to save someone from Gregor.

«##ffcc33|The second jet is still active in the skies, it is circling around for another pass. You need to escape.» Crackling over the comms, Rebel's voice warns of the imminent approach of the fighter jet that can be heard roaring through the walls. In the moment after that message, there's a noisy crackling snap and a flash of sparkling red lights as Kris reappears after a several minute long diversion delivering the wounded with West.

"Holy— shit!" Kris screams as he sees Gregor's bloated form thrashing around in the hall, slamming against one wall wetly as his limbs break off and slap to the floor. "F— Fuck the— " Peter needn't even ask before Kris crouches down to lay his hands down on Noriko and Magnes. Peter is quick to take Kris' shoulder as well. Not to teleport with him, but to replicate the ability. Regeneration will have to wait for another day, and Peter's furrowed brows react to the lack of— anything— when he tries to copy Kris' ability. Negation gas. Right.

"I'll be right back," Kris explains, disappearing in a flash of red light to deposit Magnes, Noriko and thanks to Noriko's proximity contact Daphne up on the roof.

When Peter is knocked into her, Melissa automatically tries to wrap her arms around him and catch him, though she stumbles. Then she's getting shoved back, and again she stumbles back a few more paces. Seeing Gregor melting, however, she lets go of her power, releasing Gregor from the pain. It has her giving a soft cry from the sudden absence of pressure that her ability caused. But then Magnes and Noriko are gone, and she's struggling to focus, just for a little longer.

"C'mon, we gotta…we gotta go," she stammers out, reaching for Peter's arm, trying to tug him along with her as she starts for the stairs. "Book it, Claire," she says, unaware of the malaria and what it's doing to the other woman. But, unfortunately, she gets barely two steps before she blinks rapidly and whispers, "Shit. Peter? I'm…" And the rest of her words are lost as she loses consciousness. Hopefully Peter is close enough to keep her from falling, or she'll get injured after all. And she just got over her last concussion too! But at least she made it until after the Gregor died.

Ding, dong, the monster's dead.

"She looked— looks totally fucking unconscious. We have to," get her out of here. Teo fights back the utterly incongruous urge to explain who he is to the man who's holding his shoulders, and despite its utter incongruity, it isn't particularly easy to do so. Maybe because, following Daphne's surreally abrupt departure carrying random hand-sized objects, Francois is the only thing in the room that doesn't carry the bilious stench of antiseptic, chemically-punished pus or iced meat in this room.

He is abruptly flustered; embarrassed about his state of disarray, both physical and in terms of— priorities. It's like accidentally bumping into one's childhood hero at the grocery store while one's face is spotty and clothes are day-old and shapeless, the feel of a dream congealing to solidity but in the wrong fucking shape. "I can walk," he hears himself saying, the flat of his palm meeting Francois' shoulder, uncertain about how far his fingers are going to contract before they abruptly splay of their own accord. Directing a little push at the prone woman.

His friend, the Gurney, provides enough support for him to worm his feet toward the door. Though, while his attention is on that subject, confusion hazes his brow into a knot; almost enough distraction for him to accidentally drop the bunched lump of gown he had pinned under his elbow. "Why the fuck does it sound like the fucking Ghost Busters a— shit. Never mind."

God does she hate the pain.

Claire can't help but groan as she's pulled out of the gas, her body enveloped in pain as the Malaria makes a meal out of her. A clammy hand, reaches up to grasp Peter's wrist and the negated regenerator, uses him as a way to pull herself to her feet. Once she's on her feet, Claire turns to watch Gregor's thrashing as he starts to fall apart. The young woman doesn't even know what to feel at the moment.

A glare is shot at Melissa's back, at the order, but there is no energy to follow it with a snapped reply. Already her face is pale with pain and sweat beads on her skin, mingling with the blood and goop from Gregor. Even in her state, when Melissa goes down, Claire takes a few stumbling steps to try and stop the fall.

Francois' fingers compulsively tighten on the loose gown sleeves on Teo's arms, instinctive reaction to gentle pushing, latching, maybe due to the sounds going on in the other room, it sounds awful, but there is recognition to the fact that time is running out and there is a girl lying like butcher meat on a slab. He chooses to believe Teo, about standing and walking, letting go of his arms and wrenching himself away to attend to Lynette, breath hitching in surprise at the lines drawing over her body, guilt worming into his system.

"It is worse," he tells Teo, reassures? And then his voice is over the radio. «Two captives down here, the surgery ward from the holding cells. Come get us.» Now. S'il vous plait. One warm hand tilts Lynette's face to study, checking her eyes, fingers drifting to her pulse, before he's moving to lever his arms beneath the natural bend of her knees, the other under her shoulders into a princess carry.

Once teleported, Daphne is shivering, though the rain that falls is warm and balmy. Covered in blood and worse, she gasps for breath, trying to focus on what still needs to be done — did she make things worse? With an air strike impending, would it have been better to just run, with Claire battling Gregor, getting everyone else out? Again, her split-second decision might have been the wrong one.

Through chattering teeth, she gasps to Kris, "Get them, hurry!" as her eyes begin to fill with tears. Blinking them back, she turns her attention to Magnes and Noriko.

"Thanks," she whispers to the puppet girl who had helped her, looking away immediately from that terrifying visage, and crawling toward Magnes to apply pressure to his wounds.

Peter and Claire both move to stop Melissa from falling, though they both are awkward in their retrieval of her. Having grabbed Melissa by a seperate arm each, Claire and Peter gently ease her body down to the floor, while Peter takes a knee at her side, listening to the roar of a fighter jet drawing closer. Furrowing his brows, Peter swallows nervously and stares across the divide of their unconscious comrade towards Claire. "This didn't go like we planned…" Peter weakly admits as he looks down the hallway towards the skeletal frame of Gregor slouched with molten flesh and muscle. "I— don't actually know if we're going to get out of this one."

Curling his fingers tightly around Melissa's wrist, Peter lifts her up off of the ground and swings one arm around his shoulder, then hooks an arm around Claire's waist to try and help her stay steady on her feet. "But— I am not giving up. Not on any of us…"

Determined as he sounds, Peter would still likely die were it not for the red flash of crackle-snap that explodes into the hallway. "Evacuate!" Kris shouts as he lays his hands on Peter and Claire, followed by a loud crackling buzz of reddish pink sparks that whirl around where they were.

Further down the hallway, another crackling explosion of heat comesa as Kris reappears in the medical wing where Teo and Francois are caring for Lynette's unconscious form. By now Kris looks ragged, his hair frizzed, skin reddened and lips chapped. He looks like he's been baking out in the sun all day, and he is palpably hot in proximity.

"R— roof, it's as far as I can go!" Kris shouts as he rests one hand on Francois and one hand on Teodoro, and by Francois' carry of Lynette's delicate frame the young blonde as well. Kris closes his eyes, as if afraid what his next teleportation could do, and then disappears in a brilliant flash of pinkish-red light.

Staten Island Hospital: Roof

In a flash of light and heat, Kristian Bender appears and immediately throws off his leather jacket as it begins smoking. Hopping away from the smoldering clothing, he looks back behind himself and then around to the people gathered up on the rooftop. "West!" Kris shouts, stepping away from Teo, Francois and Lynette, moving past Magnes' prone and bleeding form being tended to by Colette with a panicked look on her face, past where Gillian lays with a pallid complexion and to the rainsoaked flyboy.

"I'm gonna go like a fuckin' match if I teleport again too soon, how quick can you fly everyone out've here?" Kris asks with a nervous fidget. While he's talking to the others, Peter rises up from Melissa's side to walk over to Gillian, look down at her nervously and then up to Kris, resting a hand on his shoulder to try and copy teleportation again, still to no avail— the gas prevents that much still.

"Gillian," Peter says in a hushed tone of voice, "are you still awake?" Crouching down by her side, looking at the bloodied bandages. Gillian's response is a weak noise in the back of her throat, reaching up to take peter's hand even though he didn't offer it. This isn't the first time the paramedic has been by someone at death's door, but never so many "Gillian, I need you to augment Kris. I need you to give him everything you've got, okay?" Dark brows crease together, and Peter looks up and over his shoulder at the sound of a plane's engines roaring away. West gets himself just a little airborne, up off of his feet, just in case he can maybe same himself before everyone else is incinerated.

Walking over to Peter, Kris crouches down by Gillian's side nervously, then looks up to the man who — with arguably questionable leadership skills — runs Messiah. "Pete, I— don't know if I can do another hop, especially with— with like— " Kris looks around at all of the people on the rooftop, then back to Peter.

"If you don't, we're all dead… all of this for nothing." Dark eyes sweep around the roof and Peter reaches out to rest a hand on Kris' shoulder. "You can do this, you've got to." Brown eyes flick back towards the fighter jet, then down to Daphne's incapacitated form.

Eight more minutes and this wouldn't have been a problem.

Eight minutes and the negation gas would've worn off.

Wow. It's raining.

Teo realizes he shouldn't be thinking about that, either, and for a moment it strikes him with an uneasy pang that perhaps he's become permanently brain-damaged in the course of the past few weeks, but even that is background static, like the crisp stink of Kris' heat-flushed clothes and the exchange between an unexpected Peter Petrelli and Gillian sloughed down to the roof. He tips his head back to look. It's raining. It feels like it was only a week since the last time he'd pulled a sweater hood over the roof of his skull, grumbling, to block a downpour, despite that he knows it was longer than that, and knowing makes a difference.

Lightning licks fork-tongued up the footless rungs of storming atmosphere. His hospital gown, sodden, begins to stick and suck at his tattooed skin. It's pretty fucking cold. Waking his brain up, albeit slowly, bringing to him the grotesque mess that Grigor made out of his rescuers. Making him wonder how the fuck Lynette's still asleep in Francois' arms, if she's past saving. He stops a syllable from suggesting they leave her.

Peter's right, of course. It'd be a shame, if all of this came to nothing, but sometimes that isn't about cost-effectiveness. Not to this Teo, anyway. "You could aim for someplace cold," he croaks at Kris, still with his toad-like register. He tries to correct the discombobulated stagger that had taken him a foot away from the teleporter's side, winds up bumping his shoulder into Francois' instead. "Meat locker, shallow water. Minimum distance. Please."

"Peter…" Claire says softly, before Kris appears. "When have either of us ever really given up easily? It's genetic. Besides…" She takes a deep breath, body giving a sudden shiver from fever as it spikes. "..I don't fear death anymore."

Then that whole moment is ruined as Kris appears and pops them to the roof. The shock of it, makes the regenerator reel and sit heavily on the roof, with an startled oof. Claire feels so weak as she pushes herself to her feet again, each movement aches, muscles throb with pain as she's eaten alive by the disease.

Swaying on her feet, the young woman turns her face up to the cooking rain for a moment, before Claire shuffles her way over to where Gillian and everyone are crouched. Once there her knees give out and she lands heavily on them with a grunt of pain. "Kris… you have to try." The smile she gives him is a weak one, her hand moving to rest on Gillian's shoulder, even as she continues to address him. "Time to be the hero I know you can be. One last attempt could save us all, especially the people we came here to rescue."

Short of toss the weak link off the edge of the roof, Francois keeps a hold of Lynette, pattering rain doing its part in waking her up, or not, maybe just plastering cornspun blonde to her lolling skull which he tries to keep at least partially tucked against a kevlar-clad shoulder, her feet at a lax point from loose ankles. To be honest, Francois doesn't care about Kris' problems right now — they're all going to catch on fire anyway, you know? His arm presses a little further against Teo's when the younger man stumble-sidles up to him.

He doesn't have words for peptalks for the teleporter — others are doing it better. He can stare, expectantly, shivering not from the cold. It's been a long month.

Shoulders hitching violently with sobs, Daphne avoids looking at anyone but Magnes as she stares down into his pale face, willing him to keep breathing, to stop bleeding, to not let this be for nothing. Peter's words echo the speedster's thoughts and she sobs harder when she hears him, not looking up when she feels his glance on her. She does throw a glance at Melissa's collapsed form, the friend who she agreed to try to help, then back down at Magnes where her hands try to keep his blood in his body. The realization that the handful of friends she has in this world are all, with the exception of Corbin, in danger of dying at this very moment makes her cry harder.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, J'ai fait une erreur," she whispers, tears streaming down a face streaked with blood that doesn't belong to her, her body shaking as the rain plasters her pale hair against her cheeks.

Maybe it's Daphne's sobbing that has Kris finally moving to do what was asked of him, maybe it was the gentle reassurance by Teodoro Laudani in a manner unusually empathetic for what some people may have become accustomed from him as of late, maybe it was the fighter jet bearing down on this location.

It doesn't matter.

Kris reaches down to take Gillian's hand, looking across the roof to Claire with blood soaking half of her body, to Teodoro's shivvering and rainsoaked frame, to Francois cradling Lynette's unconscious form to his chest, to Daphne's hunched posture and sobbing, to Melissa Pierce's unconscious body streaked with blood, to Colette Nichols hunched over Magnes Varlane, her fingers wound into the jacket she had laid over his stomach, trying to keep the blood in, to West edging up higher and higher from the roof, then finally to Peter, his hands shaking as he feels the augmentation beginning to take affect, a purple glow, then with a strain of effort and pain it begins to turn lavendar, then whitens.

"This is how Norman would've wanted it," Kris murmurs as he stares past Peter, looking at the sight of an oncoming jet with wide eyes. There's a sudden explosion below the fighter plane, the streak of the missile that hit it only briefly visible before flames engulf the vehicle in the sky above the hospital. But it's already armed and dropped one bomb from its payload, one heavy piece of ordinance — and the flaming wreckage of the F-22 — crashing down towards the hospital in increasingly brighter and brighter form.

Kris clenches his eyes shut, and either the fire from the jet is that close or his body has radiated that much heat. A wave of warmth explodes from around Kris, rpeading across the roof with a swirling surge of red sparkling flares glowing white hot at the center. Colette squints against the radiance, her pupil narrowing to a pinpoint before there's a crackling rush that sounds like rolling fire, bright sparks igniting in the air and—

Staten Island Greenbelt

Momentum hurls people like victims of car crash, bodies flung haphazardly onto soft, wet grass. Each person that had been on the rooftop only a moment ago is thrown down to the ground as if they'd fallen from a standing position. In the distance thorugh the trees, a gigantic fireball rolls upwards towards the sky, belching out black smoke that billows into the rainy clouds.

Even from this distance, the explosion is impressively huge, and the building that was once the Staten Island Hospital simply no longer exists where the flames and smoke rise up from the ground. The glow from the explosion is bright enough to cast shadows from the trees rising up from the parkland.

Sprawled out on the grass, flat on his back with his arms out to the side, Kristian Bender is — remarkably — alive. Smoke rises up off of his body and the puddle he has landed directly in soaks thorugh his clothing with cool water. While he's hurting, visible, internal and external burns on his body, he's alive.

Smoke twists from his clothing and hair the same as it does from the ruins of the hospital, and as he stares up at the rainy sky, he bubbles out one hiccuped combination of a laugh and a sob.

In a way, that sound is so exemplary of what happened here at the hospital. A laugh and a sob, a victory and a defeat.

Maybe Gillian Childs, Noriko Amagi, Teodori Laudani and Lynette Rowan will see if differently, maybe their own personal freedoms costing the lives of so many.

But this was about more than just freedom, more than just revenge, more than just anger. What matters most about the blaze that brought the Staten Island Hospital to ruins and destroyed the legacy of Project Icarus' final incarnation is what the effort represents.

It was proof that when it matters most, when absolutely everything is on the line, people of conflicting ideologies and backgrounds can work together for a common goal.

When the fires of war that this spark ignited burn, hopefully that lesson will be remembered.

Or there will be nothing but ashes left behind.

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