Give Blood, Get Mud


lynette2_icon.gif luther3_icon.gif

Scene Title Give Blood, Get Mud
Synopsis Lynette takes on a mission to rescue a team of captured rebels and friend.
Date August 19, 2013

Colorado, a farm

Night has well and truly fallen. Out here, there's no light pollution, just the stars overhead, seeming to flood the sky. And also an old farm stretching out across the overgrown grass. Lynette has no idea what they might have been growing here, be it animal, vegetable, or mineral, but whatever it was it is long gone now. Replaced with soldiers and barracks and hastily constructed guard towers connected by fencing.

All Lynette was told— all she had to be told— was that a key team had been captured and taken here. She's seen maps and intel and refused a team of her own. It's easier to be silent as one person than as a group, she told them. It's what she's said every time someone has mentioned it since the Olympians died. Since Nicole moved on. Lynette, though, has not moved on and maybe cannot move on. So she's here, lingering at a distance with a pair of binoculars pointed in the farm's direction. The pair of knives are for later. When she moves in.

Despite the nearly full moon shedding light overhead, her position was secure in the long, overgrown field. She was right. A rescue team would not have been able to move in as a group. This makeshift forsaken fortress, revealed through the lenses of her binoculars, would not have been so heavily guarded unless there was good reason. And maybe that’s why the team captured had tried their assault. Something had gone wrong, though, and now they’ve been held at this point for close to a week.

The intel had been something of a mess. The would-be rescuers had already lost a scout to get it, presuming them dead or captured, but at least the ragtag group had managed to ensure the survival and return of the second. The hastily drawn map had pinpointed three guard towers triangulated around the cluster of buildings that make up the farm. Two-story house at the northwest corner with the elite soldiers and officers and their commander, east of it a large barn with the squad’s equipment and possibly the prisoners, and south of the barn a temporary tent structure for the barracks housing the squad of soldiers. At any given entry point, two of the towers would overlap their fire on an intruder. All three could aim their fire upon someone inside the compound. The weakest point, and a chosen point of entry, would be the southeast corner closest to the barracks. The towers focus on protecting the main house and barn, counting on the barracks soldiers to be able to protect themselves with their numbers.

Lynette folds up her map and slides it into a pocket of her dark jacket. She's dressed in black from head to toe, including tucking her blonde hair up under a beanie. Her face isn't painted, but it is dirty from hiding in this field and that helps. Her tenure in the war hasn't been known for stealth, but lately she's been giving it a go. Sneaking into places before lighting them up from the inside. She's trying something similar here. Slipping in, finding the prisoners, and hoping they're well enough to form up a small strike squad helpfully positioned within the farm. Her orders are to rescue, but she's never turned down an opportunity to use her initiative and take out whoever she could on these missions.

Keeping low, she starts toward the barracks side, aiming to use that weak point to slip in. One knife is in hand, ready for any surprises. Because the soldiers really can protect themselves. But she hopes not to find out how well they can manage it. Not yet, anyway.

The night finds the majority of the soldiers asleep in the barracks, but first thing’s first, getting through the outer barrier. It’s not hard, but there’s still an element of risk. The patrols at night move at staggered intervals, and the guards actually are competent. And armed with assault rifles. There just aren’t enough to fully cover all entryways at all times, though, especially against the pokings of a stealthy lone intruder. Once the outer perimeter is crossed, she finds plenty of cover in the form of supply crates stacked up or a vehicle to duck behind out of direct line of sight of the nearby tower.

The prisoners aren’t hard to find. Still under cover, she overhears the footsteps of a night guard returning, close to her position but not indicative of having spotted her crouched form, to meet up with the other guardsman posted in front of what looks like a barricaded equipment shed. There’s not any noise coming from inside the shed either, possibly on account of the prisoners being asleep or just quiet.

Slinking through the property, Lynette stops behind some crates when she sees the equipment shed. That's not normal, after all. She almost moves right for it, but spots the guards at the last second and ducks back under cover. She inches toward an edge, waiting for a moment when they're both turned away from her.

And then she moves, quick across the gravel, to grab each of them by the arm and channel electricity from her fingers into them. It's true that she could just knock them out, but she doesn't. When they hit the floor, she uses her knife to finish them off. Leaving them bleeding onto the ground, she moves forward to see about removing the barricade.

It almost seems like the guards aren’t going to turn from their position any time soon. Their chatter is kept low, the topics bland and not useful. The weather. Their respective female companions of the times. It’s only when one’s got to take a leak and regrets not doing so earlier that the other convinces him to just take a corner of the shed. Blame it on the prisoners. They’re all going to die in the morning anyway. With a laugh, the guards turn from Lynette and she gets her chance to pounce.

The two men never see her, and they collapse after the run of electricity fries their nervous systems. The knife puts an end to any further chatter from either. The sounds have stirred movement inside the shed, though, and a woman’s voice hisses through. “Who’s there?” Another, low in volume but ranging high for a man and young, adds in a call-and-response, “Give Blood.” It’s a phrase the rescue team’s familiarized Lynette with to indicate she’s an ally, the response: Get Mud.

Lynette doesn't answer the first question. But when the code phrase comes, she gives the reply she was drilled on. And then she starts opening the shed. When she's able to open the door, she does, but only a crack. Enough for her to slip halfway in so they can see her.

Her face is probably recognizable.

"Bellamy's team?" It's a rhetorical question. "I got in, but getting out is going to take some work. How able are you all?" Captivity isn't generally kind. She also seems to forget to introduce herself. Maybe she will when they're clear. Her gaze scans the people there, counting heads, as it were. She has a roster, a number. She's supposed to get them all out. "If we go one at a time, we can slip out, but that'll take time and they won't stay blind forever."

The barricade takes some yanking to loosen and pull aside, but the idea is more to keep the prisoners from getting out than to keep people from getting in. She doesn't know how long she has to do this rescue op before the two downed guards are discovered. Once she's in, it's even harder to see in the shed as the moonlight illuminates a sliver of light through the blocked and grimy window.

Inside, there's four prisoners who are awake now thanks to the break in. Two men, two women. All four of them look roughed up, faces and clothes smeared with grease or mud as expected of prisoners who've been made to sit or lie on the ground. They're actually not as bad off as they could be.

When they see Lynette, the woman, a dirty blond with her hair up in a frazzled mess of a bun, and young man no more than late teens who had spoken push to their feet. Another older Latina woman beside them is slower to get up, grimacing with a wound but she has the young man to help her. Even in the dim lighting, they look distinctly related. The man in the very back of the shed, a dark skinned man with a stripe of dyed red dreadlocks looks up from his seated position. His hands are bound behind him with handcuffs. The glimmer in his eyes is something Lynette's familiar with: simmering rage, like the cauldron of a volcano ready to blow. "About damn time," he growls as he creaks in his reinforced biker leathers to a knee, then to a stand without any help. The man is about as tall as Luther, bigger in overall size and looks like a giant compared to the others. The four on the roster match their descriptions.

There should be five. Luther's not there.

Once Lynette relays the info, the intimidating, cuffed, bull of a man huffs an unsettling laugh. "Last we heard, they took Bellamy to the barn. Roughed him up. Man's a tough bastard." There's nods of this assessment from the others, but it's the blond woman who steps forward with a direct stare at Lynette, once she's finally recognized the electrokinetic. "Get him out," she says, more like a command than a request, but it's the undertone of desperation that confirms just how personally she needs this to be done. Her gaze turns back to her compatriots, and the big man in the back smirks.

"We'll clear the path to get out behind the house, through the northeast field past the tower," he says as he takes hold of the cuff chains behind him. In seconds, the metal heats to an orange-white hot color and he pulls the metal apart like putty. The little droplets of metal sizzle as they drip onto the ground. "Rendezvous in say, five minutes?" He glances to the group, then to Lynette, a feral show of white teeth in his smile.

Heads are counted twice. Faces examined closer in the dark. Luther's missing, but the volcano in the back gets a nod of acknowledgment. Rage is useful. "Sorry. The buses were running late," she says to his growl. But she takes in the intel without much reaction. It's the woman who gets a blink from her. "That's what I'm here to do. Five in, five out." She seems sure of it, like this might be just another day for her, just another mission. But the desperation gets noted a second later and she reaches over to touch her shoulder. "I'll get him."

And then she looks to the others. She watches the metal drip to the ground and smiles. Like a shark. "Five minutes. Keep their attention." And then she's gone, slipping out of the shed and breaking apart from the group to find a path to the barn.

“Could have sent a limo,” the big man shrugs his shoulders to loosen them up now that he’s out of the cuffs. Fists flex at his sides. “Get it girl,” the young man says to Lynette’s back encouragingly, and then they wait until the electrokinetic has left before they too start to make their way out. She’ll have to trust they don’t get themselves caught or in trouble again.

The way to the barn is a potentially hazardous stretch. The dirt road for vehicles to get to and from it is exposed to the overseeing towers, yet the alternatives are overgrown grass or in some cases gravel-pocked, making for slower but also possibly noisier approaches. As she takes cover from one passing patrol of two more guards, there’s still no indication that the escapees have been noticed either. It feels like the minutes are passing slowly with each measured breath.

Until, as she starts to move in on the barn when the way is clear, there’s an odd sound that pierces the night. It sounds like bending, protesting metal. A man’s shout of surprise. If she were to look south, she’d see the tower nearest the barracks start to topple, the guard’s nest falling like a tree right atop the barracks tent with resounding boom and cacophony of shattered glass and other screams. Then, gunshots.

And suddenly, the camp is awake. The patrol of guards that had passed by headed towards the house then rush by again at a sprint towards the barracks area. Lynette’s darkly dressed form doesn’t even catch their peripheral vision; they run towards the fiery glow like moths to flame.

The barn isn’t locked, but the doors are the heavy rolling kind, and it takes a moment to push one open. It seems clear, until the edge of the door just about explodes with wood splinters flying close to her face. The bark of the gun from the guard inside is an afterthought. He’s missed, given the relative darkness, but inside there’s the guard standing by a camping lantern that provides him enough light to see by.

Lynette ducks at the sound of a gun, of splintering wood, seeking cover behind the door. But only while she peeks out, to get a look at the man inside. She didn't bring a gun with her. But then… she doesn't really need one, as long as no one's throwing negation gas around. And since they aren't, she stands up and steps out. It might seem like a poorly chosen move— and it might be one— but she holds her hands out and lets a peel of lightning slam into him from each hand.

And she steps into the barn.

No questions are asked, no words spoken at all. Just the lightning. It isn't an easy way to die.

The crack-boom of living thunder sounds deafening to those not used to it. It’s the last thing the guard hears before the rest of him is sent sprawling, his electrocuted body twitching a few times before going still. Outside, the sounds of assault rifles, shouting. Inside the barn, there’s hardly the sound of breathing. Then, there’s the clink of chains that come from one of the stables close to the middle of the barn floor.

Luther croaks out, a growl of forced air through raw, parched vocal chords. “Give blood.”

Watching him fall, Lynette waits to move until he's gone. It looks, if anyone was able to actually see her, like she might stand there staring at the body for a lot longer. But the sound of chains, the voice, they draw her away. She moves along the stables, checking for him.

"Get mud, jesus," she says with a frown, "you all need to get better secret codes." It would normally be a joke, but it doesn't make it there. Lynette is twenty-four hours sober and one escape away from her next drink. So it comes off grouchy. When she finds his stable, she pauses there to assess.

And then lifts a hand.

He knows what's coming. It isn't water for his throat, either. It's a flash— not like she's been giving the others, but enough to get him going. Give him something to work with.

When she swings the stable door open, she sees a bit of a sight. Luther’s forced into a kneeling position, restrained by rope and chain on either side to where normally a horse would be tethered. A wild horse. His arms are spread, kept apart, and he is at present down to a bloodied tank that used to be white, now blotched with red and black. His face is swollen, a cut above a black eye having slowed in bleeding and scabbed over, likely from a pistol handle. He manages to cough a dark laugh. “Shitty calls is Slag’s idea, not mine.” Well, at least he’s coherent.

And at once, he recognizes the hand up from Lynette. The man sucks in a breath, sore muscles complaining as he draws himself up to prepare for what might be, at least at first, a painful jolt. No counts of three here. And when that jolt hits him, it first causes the spasms like he’s actually getting tased, but then the lightning seems to dissipate into his torso and the man lights up like a Christmas tree. His body starts to steam with the heat, then the chains around him get hot. Much like before, when she saw Slag heat up the handcuff chain enough to pull it apart, Luther’s putting the energy towards heating up the links on the arm wraps enough to summon what strength he’s got to pull them off the halter rings. The ropes holding the rest of him light on fire and sizzle along with his shirt. And then with a final yank, he’s freed.

He falls to his hands and knees, staying there for just a second before stripping off the burning remnants of the shirt and restraints. One more push, and he’s staggered up to his feet. There’s a small fire that’s started in the dried hay and mud. The man looks at it, then back to Lynette and grunts. “Hit me again.”

The sound of an explosion outside rocks the barn, and gunfire is close now, enough that there’s bullets striking the side of the barn, punching through and splintering into the stables around them. It’s going to be a fight to get out of there.

That he's in decent enough shape to joke is probably a good thing. Although it is hard to say how much Lynette took note of it before the jolt. But once he's moving to get to his feet, she steps in to help support him. And to help him out of the stable. "Your team is clearing an exit behind the house," she says. And then an explosion. She turns to block her face from any debris that might decide to go flying. "I think we have a couple minutes until we're supposed to meet up. Although, I get the sense that at least one of them won't leave without you."

The rest, who knows.

His request for another is answered as gunfire strikes the barn, not in a bolt of lightning this time, but in her sparking up under his arm. Arcs jump through her hair, through her clothes— it probably isn't comfortable for him in those moments before his power goes to work, but Lynette seems to think he can take it.

"Let's cut a line through them," she says darkly as she steps away from him and starts for the far end of the barn. She doesn't want to exit the way she came in. Plus, this end is closer to the egress point.

Legs are stiff from kneeling, Luther takes a bit to get moving. When the explosion rocks the ground, he stumbles, catches himself against the woman supporting him. His hand peels off the singed remnants of his shirt and bits of rope, the movement eliciting a grunt from him that no doubt is the sign of a broken rib or two.

But his mind isn't there now, not when Lynette mentions the team, one in particular, waiting for him beyond the barn. "Trish," he supplies, a name spoken fondly. It motivates him to move faster. Again, it's that first jump of electricity sparking up her arm that startles the body into a slight jerk, but Luther's opened up the floodgates. His ability eagerly absorbs the energy supply, having been sapped for so long. He straightens then, walking just that much taller for a few moments before bullets penetrate the barn again.

When they're out of the stable, he tells Lynette, "Wait a sec." Then he goes to strip the dead guard of the man's BDU jacket, holster, rifle and handgun. And gives the dead man a hard stomp of foot to face for payment. Or repayment, as it were. Once that's done, he nods that he's ready. They move to the back of the barn, the back set of doors not locked as with the front.

Outside, it's chaos. The night is lit up with smoke and fire, shouts and gunshots. The closest fighting is just off to the west around the barn structure, proving Lynette's judgment of avoiding the front doors was a good idea. A second guard tower in the distance, the one near the 2-story farmhouse is covered in roaring flames. As they move north, the first set of soldiers they encounter are a three-man squad hiding behind cover of a vehicle and supply crates. "There! There!" shouts one that has spotted the pair coming out of the barn. Gunfire peppers the barn behind them, bullets zipping by.

“I won’t disappoint your Trish,” she says, sounding suspiciously like a promise. She lets him get ready, but once he’s good to go, she works on getting the doors open. She doesn’t make him help. So he gets to watch the chaos revealed from behind the curtain. Their big scene just on the other side of the threshold. Lynette pauses to take it in, just for a brief moment before she starts forward.

She stays ahead at first, giving him time to recover— as much as he can get running away from a battlefield. She hears the warning called out, but instead of ducking, she fires bolts off, aiming for guns, for cover, anything they touch that can conduct electricity gets shot at. As usual, she sparks herself as she works, not bothering to keep that under control. Especially not with someone like Luther nearby. She reaches a hand out to hold onto him, electrified fingers digging into that jacket he wears.

The first bolt that hits the supply crates jumps and strikes the two guards hiding behind it, flushing one from cover with a pained, strangled noise and twitching. He doesn’t die, but he’s also useless as he drops his gun. When Luther’s in range, he too pops out from behind Lynette and slamming what comes out as a blast of thermal energy that hits the guard using the vehicle as cover. It’s not enough to kill him outright either, but enough to explode the gun in his hands and take off precious limbs, fill him with shrapnel and set him alight. The last soldier twitches on the ground near his compatriot, gritting out a “Fuck you, freak bitch!” at Lynette as she gets close to their position. The man can’t lift his rifle, muscles still spasming in the wake of essentially being tasered.

There was a time when solid hits and clear victories would get a whoop and a cheer from Lynette. Not these days. She moves behind Luther when he fires, keeping from that thermal energy. But once it goes, she moves out again to come over to their chatty survivor. There's no banter, no warning. She just draws her knife and slams it into his neck. Deep. Blood covers the blade when she withdraws and spills out to pool on the gravel under him. And she the same with the next body over. Quick deaths. Finishing them off before she signals Luther to move forward again.

"Keep clear of that guard tower. It'll topple any minute. Hard to say which way. Over here," she says, skirting the fence around the house in a crouch. "Let me know when you need some fuel," she notes in a whisper. Hopefully they can slip by the fighting, but the way she's holding her knife ready, still dripping blood, that might not be her personal hope.

Unlike Lynette’s move to quickly finish off the two guards on her end, Luther leaves his man down and writhing, bleeding, burning. A second glance isn’t even spared to the soldier, and only a nod signifies acknowledgment of her deeds done. He spares a glance up to the flaming tower, and for a solid moment, looks like he might actually break formation to go over there. After all, the flames are another source of energy. And close to the house, where the commander and top guard are. “The commander had some plans for a few more raids,” he says as they move along. “We were going to see what camps they’d heard about, got intel on. They got the jump on us.” He exhales a breath. “Probably from a damn drone.”

Shots fired, bullets whizz along and ricochet off cover as up ahead by the house and spilling into the area where they’re supposed to escape, they see muzzle flashes coming from the two-story windows of the farmhouse and others from the nearby field. The team is pinned down, holding position as they wait for Lynette and Luther, using their numbers to keep the house guards distracted. They’re close to the fighting now, enough so that escape is only a mad sprint away. If, they can manage to not get shot in the crossfire.

“They’re stuck,” Luther assesses from where he and Lynette take in the battle. “Gotta at least take out those windows. At least kill the lights.” He then eyes the electrokinetic again, a dark glint in his gray eyes. “Or, burn the whole damn house down.” Between the two of them, they could.

"Did you get eyes on them? The plans?" Lynette's eyeing the house now like she's rewriting the plan in her head. She glances to the team, pinned down, to the exit beyond them. To the house. And then, when he speaks again, back to Luther. "Go to your people. Get them out. I don't want Trish to kick my ass later. I'll get you all clear." Get them out was the mission, after all. Nothing too specific with what happened to her after. "Maybe I can find the plans while I there. They might have passed them along. Better to know what they think our weak points are.

She looks back to the house again, her own gaze darkening. "There's a transport in three hours. Head west down this main road. When you hit the only gas station this sorry excuse for a town had, that's where you stop. Use your damn call and response." Then she looks back at him, "Good luck." And then she moves to hop over the fence. And head for the house.

When asked if they had gotten the plans, Luther rolls a shoulder in a half-shrug. “We did, but they’ve probably changed ‘em up now,” he replies, eyes narrowed as he looks up to the windows of the house briefly. His eyes go back to Lynette when she tells him to go to his team, to Trish. There’s indecisive conflict for a moment. He shakes his head to clear it. “No fucking way are you doing that on your own,” he says with a grunt, using the rifle butt to help himself up. A smirk curls along bloody lips. “And you ain’t my CO anyway.” Just his savior.

He can’t follow her the same way, not being as nimble as she is in climbing the fence, but Luther’s coming along, slow and relatively steady. She’s on her own for a few minutes, as he takes a longer way around. The gunfire from the windows remains concentrated on the northeast field, though it might not be for long before the escaped prisoners will run out of ammunition. The return fire from their position is already getting sporadic.

As she gets closer to the house, she can hear shouting inside. “Get me more troops goddamnit, we’re being attacked!” … “No, we’re holding inside the house. They’ve already taken out the barracks and two towers.” … “No we don’t know how many of them are out there! There’s a whole fucking lot of— hold on.” … “What do you mean the prisoners… get a team out there and take them out. You, you, and you. Bring the gas launcher.” Shuffling happens as booted troops inside grab gear and start for the front door.

"Luther, I can handle this," Lynette says. There's confidence in her voice, even if it isn't true. She sighs when he smirks. "Suit yourself," she notes, since he's right. She's not his CO. She's no one's CO these days. Her attention moves to their little group, then she moves around to get her eyes on those windows.

The lightning comes without warning, but streaks of it jump from her to the gunmen firing on the people she is in the middle of rescuing. As if she's personally offended by this. And like before, she's not stunning. She's killing.

"Bellamy!" she calls over to him. "Gas coming out the front!" He can see that she doesn't mean literal gas, since the front isn't billowing with any sort of fog. But that's the warning he gets. And maybe a target, too. Since it would be bad for all of them if they got negated.

She can feel the tug of the grounding earth as she sends up her bolts of lightning, but directing them to the nearest targets are an easy feat now. A little too easy, one might think. There are shouts, screams of pain from the men in the upstairs windows and at least briefly, a ceasing of gunfire coming from above. There's a mad shuffling, stomping of boots rushing about in the house. She almost doesn't see the glint of an object tossed out of the window as she's calling out her warning to Luther, who's rounding the front of the house full steam ahead. The small, fist-sized object lands nearby, not exactly on Lynette's position but close. The grenade doesn't bounce as it hits the dry dirt. And then it explodes, sending dirt, debris and a fiery shockwave outwards.

Like a charging bull, Luther advances on the front door with rifle raised and catches the three-man team that's exiting from the front. When the three men open the door, they find it kicked inward by a blast of heat manifesting into a crackling electricity that snaps through the air. Luther's wielding of the energy is far less finessed and controlled by comparison, but it does enough of a job on the first man out that the soldier topples back into his teammates. Luther's stolen rifle can be heard rattling out in short bursts, milliseconds before the grenade explodes.

The grenade is noted even before it hits the ground. She's been in this war too long, maybe. But Lynette turns and starts to run, but it's too close to her position for her to be able to put much distance between it and her. She tries, but she's not far enough away before it blows. Panic washes over her face, because she knows what that thing is about to do to her.

And then there's a flash.

And Lynette skids to a stop on the other side of the yard from the explosion. She watches it, as the debris hadn't even settled before she landed. She looks at her hands and for a moment, they seem to flicker, leaving afterimages behind that she tries to blink away. It's disorienting. And she can still feel the electricity buzzing under her skin as it sinks back in.

She shakes herself out of her daze, though, and looks for Luther. He's got the front, so she turns and runs toward the back. She seems to have gotten something of a burst of energy, because she goes right for the door to kick it open and start attacking from behind.

Shouts from inside the house continue along with a few more bursts of gunfire as Lynette recovers from her brief transformation. Kicking in the back door leads right into the kitchen, where on the kitchen table sits remnants of rations for dinner, some radios, and a tipped over munitions box, empty. A lacey window curtain over the sink flutters with the draft of the open door. For a long moment, the world falls eerily quiet within the little house. Then there’s the sound of heavy, limping footsteps that heads to the base of the stairs, just off the inner door of the kitchen that would lead to the downstairs living room.

“You comin’?” No silly call-and-responses now, given that it’s obvious who’s talking. Luther waits at the base of the stairs, leaning up against the wall with rifle pointed up the steps but otherwise looking casual. Not like there’s three bodies, one of them smoking, the other two slowly pooling blood beneath their cooling forms. He holds out an extra rifle in offering to Lynette, in case she wants to take it. He nods in the direction of the stairs up, indicating that their quarry, and those plans, are likely above. But then so are the grenade wielding soldiers. How many are there left? They don’t seem to be making any noise, so it’s difficult to say.

Lacey window curtains were not what she expected to see. The rest, though, that's all perfectly fitting. No lingering soldiers, so she's quick to move along. She heads for the voice, her head tilting when she sees him, the bodies, the casual stance. But she doesn't seem to mind it. In the earlier days of the war, she might have accused him of stealing all the kills but these days, dead is dead.

She doesn't even really answer him, just slides by him to jog up the stairs, hands sparking like she is just waiting for the chance to use it. The rifle might be offered, but she doesn't take it. She looks through doors, peeking into rooms for people or intel, and not stopping until she finds one or the other.

No rifle? That’s an extra for Luther and Slag’s crew, then. He slings the piece crossbody to his other shoulder then heaves himself to follow after Lynette, if at a slower pace. She mounts the stairs faster than him, so reaches the second story while he’s coming up. The first couple rooms - a small bedroom and a spare room - hold nothing but old furnishings that would have matched the lacey curtains of the kitchen downstairs though the beds have been slept in or are turned into makeshift storage for gear. It’s when she comes to the master bedroom that as she pokes around the open door that she can see what became of the living room table, dragged up to be laid out with maps and held down by radio communications equipment. At present, the device is not operating.

The moment she starts for the maps, though, she’s not more than halfway through when the open door suddenly swings around and bangs into her with the full body weight of another human behind it. The soldier also sweeps around the door, immediately using momentum to slam a balled fist into the side of her jaw, the hard-knuckle SAP gloves he’s wearing putting enough force to those points, enough to be skull rattling.

She’s barely got the time to even process the blow though, as another set of gloved hands grab her and yank her into the room, swinging her in to the very table with the maps on top in a rough shove. There’s some words being spoken, but the first blow leaves something ringing a little in her. “…don’t try it.” From the side of the room, where there’s an open door to the connected bathroom, stands the commander of the squadron, pistol raised and pointed at her. At this range, even if he were zapped with a bolt, he’d probably not miss.

Given that Lynette charges through the door without much thought to what dangers may lurk within, the hit with the door takes her by surprise. And the punch that follows. Blood seeps from between her lips, but she doesn't have time to do anything about it since she's getting grabbed and thrown into a table. She has enough presence of mind to grab onto the soldier's jacket before he pushes her into the table, trying to take him with her. Maybe with a knee to somewhere soft and easily bruised.

She's lost her hat in the scuffle, probably fallen to the floor somewhere between the door and the table. Blonde hair falls wildly against the maps. It matches the look in her eye. But the voice sinks in and she looks over that way to see the gun and the man holding it. She pushes herself upright enough to turn to spit blood out of her mouth and onto the floor. It's filler while she judges the distance and her options here in the moment. Don't try it is probably good advice, but Lynette hasn't been in the mood for good advice for… years. So she turns to grab the radio equipment, presenting the gun with her shoulder as she picks it up to throw it toward the commander. A distraction, hopefully, but successful or not, she aims a bolt at it, trying to make it that much more dangerous a distraction. One that sparks. And definitely doesn't pass the smoke test.

The soldier that throws Lynette into the table gets pulled along as well as kneed where it hurts. Not as much as it should, he's actually wearing a protective cup down there, but the blow itself is still enough to make the man back off. His teammate, the one who punched Lynette in the jaw, is just holding it together with a nasty, thin smirk.

"Blonde electrokinetic," the commander says as he realizes aloud, "you must be Lyn—" He doesn't get as far as saying her name. The sudden twisting reach for the radio interrupts the commander and he pulls the trigger. For the second time, her ears are filled with some ringing as the loud report of the gun fires, and her shoulder burns with the bite of the bullet. But she's tossing radio equipment, and causing the heavy box to explode in a shower of sparks, shrapnel and silicone bits in the commander's face. The commander retreats into the bathroom, his next shot having gone wide into the ceiling.

Knuckles the soldier grabs Lynette again, twisting her injured arm behind her in a cruel, painful armlock and slams her headfirst into the map table again, trying to knock her out. The second soldier is also about to move in and restrain her when Luther busts through the door, swinging the butt of his rifle into the back of the second soldier's head and knocking the man down before grappling with the guy.

Downstairs, there's the sound of more boots coming through the house.

Lynette cries out when she's shot and her hand comes up to the wound on instinct. But still, she starts after the commander, only to get grabbed and her wounded arm twisted. The soldier is probably satisfied with the pain-filled scream that follows, because no matter how many times she's been shot, this hurts. Her scream cuts off when he slams her into the table, blood splattering across the maps.

Unfortunately for him, though, she does not get knocked out. Dazed, certainly, but not so far gone. Electricity always seems to be tingling just under her skin; it makes it easy for her to push it outward, using the man's contact with her to start frying him. She doesn't seem to notice that Luther has arrived, but she's focused on getting this guy off her and not passing out.

That’s what the soldier forgot when it comes to handling Lynette. The electrokinetic’s power turns the soldier’s body into a wildly jerking mess as he turns from manhandling a woman into touching the equivalent of a live wire. He can’t even shout out, vocal chord muscles and jaw muscles seizing up terribly. Somewhere in the spasming is a sick crunch of tendons and ligaments snapping. The sound is lost amidst the electric sparks zapping and snapping in the air.

On the floor of the master bedroom, Luther and the second soldier are exchanging blows. Luther’s at a disadvantage given that he’s working with previous injuries, and takes another hard blow to the face that reopens the crusted cut above his swollen eye. He rolls off to the man with a pained growl, and then spots the sparks just above him coming off both Lynette and Knuckles. In a moment, he reaches over to grab the spasming soldier’s body and focuses on taking the energy from him, using the man as an open circuit into himself. It’s mere seconds of contact, but it’s enough. The man grunts again as the second soldier gets up to bodily tackle Luther again, but this time, Luther grasps the soldier’s face with a hand and pours the energy back out.

The second soldier screams as his eyes burst like boiled grapes.

He doesn’t scream much longer, as Luther presses a pistol extracted from the same soldier’s hip holster into the man’s chest and fires point blank into him. The soldier goes still, as does Luther. Heavy breathing, his own chest heaving with effort, he rolls off the soldier.

The footsteps from downstairs aren’t as loud as a platoon of soldiers, but they’ve reached the top of the stairs and stopped at the gunshot.

When the soldier falls, Lynette kicks him for good measure. And then one more time. And then she's laying into him more than is strictly necessary considering her ability already killed him. But when Luther fires, she stops and looks over at him. She's bleeding from a cut over her eye, from her mouth. But instead of handling any of that, she steps over to offer Luther a hand up.

"Commander ducked into the bathroom. People coming up from the bottom. You want to cook him and I'll grab the intel?" It's a gracious offer, probably because he's far more beat up than she is and deserves it. Treat yourself, Luther.

“Reinforcements?” groans Luther as he takes her hand, leaning against the map table for extra support. A wary glance goes to the bathroom, but he doesn’t move immediately for it. He nods with her offer to grab the intel, pushing up against the table. Then, he rumbles out, “Might want to cover your ears.” It’s the only warning he gives before he swings up the assault rifle from his back and opens fire point blank into the bathroom area. He’s not focusing the fire, but spreading it through the thin walls.

Bullets pierce through drywall and shatter against wood support beams, pierce through piping where the sound of cracked metal is lost to the volume of the assault rifle at such close range. It’s a good five seconds of unrelenting spray before the rifle runs out of ammunition. Luther drops the heavy, spent gun to the floor. “I’ll be back,” he tells Lynette.

From outside the bedroom door, the rough call of Slag’s voice comes barking out. “Give blood!”

Luther grimaces, pausing at the door to the bathroom long enough to respond. “Fuckin’ get mud, Slag! Took you long enough!”

The door swings open with a reveal of the four person team having come to retrieve the pair. They sport fresh wounds and dirt and blood, but they don’t seem to be worse off than when Lynette found them in the equipment shed. The blood must not be all theirs. Trish is the first through the door, though, moving to help support Luther where he stands at the door. She plants a light kiss on his swollen jaw, then looks back to Lynette with a regard, an appreciation, a thanks.

"Theirs or ours?" Lynette asks, but it's rhetorical. And dry. Like she doesn't really think they're lucky enough. At his warning, she covers her ears, but still winces at the noise. When the gun clatters to the floor, she turns to scoop up all the intel she can find. She doesn't check on the Commander. Because he's probably the consistency of ground beef right now.

She doesn't need spaghetti ruined for her.

When they do the call and response again Lynette sighs dramatically. But she turns to look as the others file through. And watches Trish and Luther for a moment. Blankly, maybe, but when Trish looks her way, she answers that appreciation with a slight nod.

"Let's find some first aid. We've got a long walk ahead of us."

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