audrey2_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif jenny2_icon.gif michael_icon.gif

Also featuring:

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joe_icon.gif lance_icon.gif mala_icon.gif


Scene Title Gone
Synopsis Audrey attempts to get exactly what she wants.
Date April 13, 2010

The Lighthouse

From the outside, the Lighthouse looks as if it has had better days. The massive tower rising out of the house has fallen from its former glory. It is no longer a shining beacon, guiding wayward ships in from the lost harbor — though some may argue its purpose now is even more admirable. In its current state, the lighthouse seems to be in disrepair. Though upon closer inspection it all seems to be in the details. The paint has chipped away, leaving a discolored patterns of grays, whites, off-whites, and more grays. The occasional graffitti tag is here or there along the large building. One would notice that the doors, the windows, and the integrity of the building are all quite sound and newly repaired. The lighthouse has just been left with the look of abandonement.

Inside is a completely different story. Upon entering the main door, one will find a completely furnished and cozy arrangement. A spacious living room lined with two large blue sofa's, facing each other, a coffee table between them and several large bean bag chairs have been planted in the room. Shelves have been hung on the wall to display various different pictures of the occupants. A large bookcase is against the wall, holding a large variety of books from Dr.Seuss to the Bible, and even a copy of the Qur'an. The living room is focused on the fireplace a small black fence encloses it, the wood stocked on the bricks in front of it.

Connected to the living room is a kitchen, complete with a large rectangular table capable of seating around four on each long side and two on each end. A sink, a stove, an oven, a microwave and two refrigerators complete the look. Several low and overhead cabinets line the kitchen. At the edge of the kitchen are a pair of doors, one leading to a bedroom and the other, which has a padlock on it, leads to the basement.

At the back of the living room a glass sliding door leads out into the backyard of the Lighthouse, but just before it a staircase leads to the upper levels of the structure.

Despite the flawless white that's descended from the steel bowl of sky above them, the icy chill of winter that belies the month, this doesn't mean the sun sinks any sooner than it should for spring. It's begun its slow crawl westwards, mood lighting of long shadows but clarity. What sunlight is left in the day shines off the untamed snow of Staten Island, and the flurries of ice in the air that comes spiralling down as if shaken. In all the white, it's the dark things that snag the eye.

The younger children are already tucked into their rooms, though few of them will be sleeping any time soon — all the same, the Lighthouse is peaceful, and Jenny is too. Her feet clad in woolen socks are snug one against the other on the covers of her bed, her body swaddled warmly in loose grey wool and cotton, a billowing hooded sweatshirt and matching pants, and her long red hair has been bound back into a loose, slightly fraying braid come to flop over her shoulder like a snake.

In her hands, a paperback of the Hobbit is cracked open and being read sleepily. She doesn't hear the creak of footsteps or the whispered giggles in adjacent dorm rooms, or really, much of anything at all.

There are no high heels or heeled boots outside the Lighthouse. Audrey for once in recent memory, is in gear suited for what they're going to do. Warm boots, pants, sweater and jacket with a vest beneath both. Not that frankly the vest will do much of anything if he starts accessing his abilities. Thankfully, apparently the clone or copy that's residing within the lighthouse will not be whipping out all of his abilities should things go to hell. Or so Peter says with his unique take on the ability. But what exactly this one has, they only know a little about.

With a few agents at her back, everyone else ordered to spread out and be ready in case Sylar makes a break for it, there's a sharp rap on the door to the light house. A glance outside reveals the stern and pinch faced agent with her bade out and clipped to where it can be see as she waits patiently for someone to answer the door. Her weapon already unclipped and ready to be drawn if she really needs to. She's hoping not to but her past conflicts with the individual in question dictates otherwise.

The back yard also has two large huskies in the backyard sit up, and then immediately start panting happily in the cold snow, their warm coats made for this kind of weather. Huskies can survibe subfreezing temperatures, so they're fairly calm as they sense something they don't mind outside. Their barks don't raise the alert.

There is someone downstairs, Gillian, cleaning up the stove finally after the left overs are put away, and the tables cleaned off. Yes, she cooked. There's recipe books a plenty laid out— it's the one thing she's starting to get moderately good at. At least the kids stopped making faces. To think, two years ago, she only cooked from boxes and microwaves, and rarely other things…

The knock draws her eyes, and the wet towel gets abandoned in the sink for a dry one, so she can rub it over her hands as she walks to the door. Most people who are invited, don't have to knock— The curtain gets pulled back, the freeze on the window obscuring the face, making her reach to unlock the door itself and pull it open, though as soon as she does, she might wish she'd done otherwise. Gear suits. And people behind the one in front, too…

"Can I help you?"

Silence is the method of Ruth Crow Dog's approach to the back of the lighthouse, a german shephard set back and away from the tower, her mind reached out towards the pair of huskies behind the building before they have a chance to disrupt the residents. Creeping up in her black armor, Ruth stands out sharply against the snow, along with the subtle whine-click-hiss of her armors powered exoskeleton carrying her through the snow. As usual, she refuses to wear the helmet to the Horizon armor, and as such her long, ink-black hair is flowing like so many brush strokes in the snowy breeze behind her.

Coming up to crouch between the huskies, she holds out a hand for them to sniff, smiling softly before reaching out to unclasp both of their chained leashes, nodding towards where her shepherd is sitting, sending then trotting after. Ruth raises a hand in a closed fist, then opens her palm and waves two others forward.

Chester Wade comes up next from behind, unidentifiable save for the nametag WADE on the right breast of his black armor. He storms up through the snow, the powder underfoot masking the normally thundering footfalls of the Horizon armor. Reaching onto his back, he withdraws his AR-15 assault rifle and crouches in position by the back door, rifle trained up to shoulder level.

Third and last in line is Juliette Wright, hustling behind Wade and coming up to the back door, one heavy boot set on the rear stoop, pistol held out in one hand and an oblong rectangle of plastic with a handle on the back and wires sticking out the side placed over the door's lock. It's a small shaped charge designed to blow out the lock of an ordinary door, and such drastic measures are unfortunately needed here.

With Audrey Hanson out front, the aces of FRONTLINE Unit-01, Squad-01 are one fist-bump away from a job well done. Michael Spalding and Tristian Bentley, clad in their matte black armor and donning their helmets make the approach with Hanson, green light flashing to life like the emerald eye of a cyclops, displaying map data, ammunition levels, targeting displays and the vitals of their team. The pair are an ominous sight behind Agent Hanson.

"Gillian Childs? I'm Agent Hanson." Her actual credentials are offered up for her to glance at and confirm, followed by a blue folled piece of thick paper that contained other papers inside. "I have a warrant to take in an individual residing within the lighthouse who is going by the name of Jennifer Childs. If you'll be so kind as to direct us to her, I'd like to make this as easy as possible considering there are young children residing here and I'd like to not -" Terrorise, traumatize, scare the living fuck out of them. "Create a disturbance or a scene that would stress them any more than her absence will cause. I'm sure you understand"

There's a glance to the rest of the Lighthouse innards that she can see. She's sure Gillian knows that Jenny isn't really Jenny and Audrey is unsure of what's going to happen from this point in. "I would really appreciate your understanding and your compliance in this request Ms. Childs"

Agents. With warrants. Of all the people who could be served warrants by these people, the name given causes Gillian to release a breath into the cold air coming in from the outside. Credentials glanced over, the papers… Her absence.

The story is over.

Her pardon won't get her out of this, it doesn't work in this situation. And then walking through the Lighthouse leds to trouble that— that they can't possibly deal with. Even Linderman may not be able to bail them out of this. And she doesn't want to go back to a jail and have to fight her way through Argentina just to get free. There's a tightening of her fist around the doorknob, and she's very tempted to slam it shut. "You don't have any right, she hasn't done anything wrong," she says, voice thickened with stress. Her absence will stress a lot more than the children. If it's not the cold air making tears rise up in her eyes, then this certainly is.

On the icy railings of the Lighthouse, an omen lands.

The big black raven is easily detectable against the pale, fading sky above, the white paint of the structure and the dusting of snow coming down in its continual fall. It gives one low croak, large wings fanning up with the spread of its feathers like knives of black iron. One blinking eye may scan in Ruth's general vicinity, before it begins to preen.

Upstairs, there's flicker of life in a window, but that's not to be unexpected — for all that they may wish it, there is no real time when the Lighthouse is empty. A moon-pale face glances through glass somewhere upstairs, and sinks back into the dimness of the room again.

"Jennifer Childs body was found, over a year ago. Ms. Childs, you know and I know, that that's not Jennifer Childs, and I of the firm belief that you do know who that is you are harboring. The law gives me the right. I would appreciate you leading us to her and helping make this an easy transition. For you, for her and for the children" Doesn't anyone think of the children.

Audrey takes a step forward, a glance over her shoulder and a nod to the two frontliner's behind her as she moves forward into the lighthouse proper. It's because this is a Linderman property that makes this as civil and by the books as possible minus the slavering at the jaws to get her hands around sylar who is somewhere in the place. "Ms. Childs" A gesture for her to lead them in, perhaps a sign of respect that this is an orphanage. Her hand is on her weapon regardless, ready to draw and pull if she needs to. The midtown man is in here, somewhere and by hook or crook, that fucker is coming out of here. Willing or not.

"Fuck you. You and your people walking in here won't do anything for anyone. All you're doing is— Next time you want to play high and mighty, show the fuck up when wild dogs rip one of my children apart, and not when someone who has done nothing but help happens to be here. Who the fuck even— " Gillian's fists clench again, her eyes close briefly, and she turns around and leaves the door, heading for the stairs at a quick pace, feet stomping angerly.

God, she doesn't want them in the house. She wants them to leave. She doesn't want them to look around, find all the things they could find— thank god Doyle isn't here, or she'd need a code to tell the fatman to get under the bed… "If you don't want to disturb the kids then stay there, they're all upstairs," she says, though she fully expects them not to listen to her, as she stomps up the stairs.

«Ruth, how're things back there?» Michael calls over the internal communications of the helmet, ringing in the single ear-piece Ruth wears in its place. Across the other side of the Lighthouse, perched beneath one of the windows squints upwards at the raven perched atop the building, then looks back and over to the other team members waiting in position.

"Everything's clear so far, Sir. Waiting for your orders." Ruth whispers into the subvocal microphone, one hand pressing at the receivers braced against her larynx. Chester offers Ruth the profile of his helmet and an askance glance inside of it, then focuses on the door where Juliette placed the blasting charge, nervous energy bristling through him.

Motioning to Tristan, Michael gives him a gesture to stay outside and keep an eye on the exterior of the building, while Michael moves to fall in line behind Audrey. «I have your back, Agent Hanson.» Michael replies thorugh the static crackle of his helmet.

The black shine of Tris' helmet weaves against the glossy surface as he nods to fearless leader, automatic rifle held securely. As soon as the civilian is clear of the door, twin sidearms suddenly leap from his holsters, make cowboy rotations in the air as if on invisible strings, and the safety snicks off — all without the use of hands still gripping his rifle. His black boots crunch through white snow as he backs up, pistols hovering at his elbows with trained aptitude.

Beneath his visor, he's grinning, and doesn't notice the black shape of the raven above them taking flight, furious strokes through the air away.

At the sound of thudding footsteps, it's Jenny's door that opens a crack. Her feet are still in socks but she's certainly abandoned her book, and an appropriate amount of wide eyed worry and curiousity writes on her expression by the time Gillian is coming into view. "Is something wrong?" Belying her appearance, her voice is not girlishly timid or whispered — it comes out flat and inquiring.

But kids love FRONTLINE! The uniforms! The guns! The helmets!

For all that Gillian lays down her tirade around Audrey's ears, she's oblivious to it, letting it wash over with with a suppressed roll of her eyes. Blah blah blah, he's so innocent, he's only protecting us, can't you leave him be. Where were you when the dogs came and chewed up a kid. Audrey was too busy tracking down the guy copy-catting the guy masquerading upstairs. That's what she was doing Gillian.

There's no offered apology and when the woman turns to head up the stairs to go in search of her 'sister', Audrey's right on her ass like an unwanted highly suspect mole. "Lets hope we don't need you Spalding" Or the others. But the sinking feeling in the Agents chest says otherwise. Last known legal capture attempt put so many people in the hospital and before that, a place full of agents slaughtered.

But there's the devil, or well, one can at least hear her and Audrey is coming into view as well. "Jennifer Childs? Could you please come out here? I have a warrant for your arrest and would appreciate you coming with us in a calm and orderly manner"

With her back to Audrey, Gillian hopes the woman doesn't see the sad, angry look that she gives the fairytale that was never her sister. It felt like her sister, it was enough her sister. But now— now… He fought for his freedom just as hard as the rest of them did. Where is his pardon? Where is his forgiveness? Even if it's just a piece of him… A fraction. She still deserves…

Just go. Hurry.

If she could use telepathy, she would, but instead she mouths the words silently, the same way that she's seen Lance do it all the times he wraps himself in a bubble of silence and can't seem to get out of it. It's three simple words. She'll deal with whatever happens, but she wants her sister, whatever's left of her, away from here. Away from the men and women with guns, away from the people who won't listen to reason.

Striding behind Audrey quietly, Michael's black silhouette in the stairwell is perhaps a little more foreboding than it need be. The glossy black shine of his helmet sheds a subtle amount of unearthly green light from the single visible camera iris at the center of the helmet's visor. No firearms out, Michael's right hand does hover over the heavy looking pistol holstered at his hip, and the whine-click-hiss of his hydraulic powered suit clomping up the stairs makes him sound like some sort of movie monster on approach.

Nodding to Audrey, Michael keeps his hand just above that gun, gloved fingertips touching the matte handle, eyes flicking around the displays on the HUD inside of his helmet. The sound of Michael's breathing inside of that piece of headgear is moderately distracting, and with a look to his left, then his right, there's a tension in his back at the silence on the other side of that door.

The stillness is like that at the eye of a storm.

Jenny flicks a glance over Gillian's shoulder and sinks back an inch further at the sound of Audrey's voice. There's a stillness that goes over her face, some kind of recognition, green eyes glossy before they snap back to life and fix on Gillian's hazel. There's a minute movement — she shakes her head. No, she's not going to just leave her sister, and a hand reaches out to Gillian's arm. The push is first gentle, and then more determined, and there's a surprising kind of strength in her model-long limbs that probably catches her sister unexpectedly.

And she steps into the hallway, with a hand behind her back as if pressing her palm to her spine like it pains her. "My arrest?" she asks, looking Audrey up and down, a glance to the FRONTLINE officer, back to the woman. "What for?"

Gillian will see it, the shine of stainless steel and a white, decorative handle. The blade, she hasn't seen before, but now she sees it at a glimpse. A ridiculous thing to wield in the face of automatic firearms, and it's kept hidden at Jenny's back.

To list off all of what Gabriel Gray was being charged with would likely take a good twenty minutes, and that he's even asking is somewhat laughable. "For multiple deaths including those of federal agents, resisting arrest, aiding and abetting, the murder of Jennifer Childs.." she rattles off a handful of others murders that he's most certainly guilty off and midtown. "Please put your hands where we can see them, lay down on the floor please." Audrey's free hand, the one not resting on her weapon, are reaching for her handcuffs. Laughable as that is, she is going for her handcuffs and taking one step forward up the stairs towards the serial killer. "It's time to come in Sylar. I will be taking you in this time and there's no plane that you can down this time"

There's a startled sound at the manhandling— literally and Gillian is forced out of the way, pushed against the wall she'd been walking up, looking up the stairs and hoping against seeing faces poking out. It's when she looks back at her sister and the federal agents, that she spots the knife. The brief manifestation of another form fighting off a piece of herself for her freedom…

He didn't get his pardon. The fucking US Government didn't give him his pardon. Instead—

"What's going on?" a small voice says from upstairs. It's a tiny little dark skinned girl, with girly hair and big eyes. She can tell no one downstairs is happy, even if—

"Go back to the dorm, Mala," Gillian says in a firm voice, looking back at the agents. This is not what any of the children need to see.

Glancing back at the sounds of a child's voice, Michael alerts downstairs thorugh the internal communications, «Kids are active up here, use extreme caution. This whole thing feels like a powderkeg about to burst.» Glancing back at the young girl, Michael lifts one black gloved hand, giving a little harmless finger wave that makes his stomach sink, before turning the cyclopean eye of his visor back towards Jenny.

It might have been a mistake, to ask Sylar to come in. Because Sylar would never. Maybe Jenny Childs would, and how much of her is in this body is a mystery even Gillian struggles with, and maybe Jenny does too. Most of the sentiment that makes up the younger Childs seems to have drained away in most senses that aren't strictly flesh — her green eyes are avid and calculating, expression free of internal expression though it shows off glimmers of—

Possibly amusement? Something. It's more as though she's watching Audrey talk, as opposed to be recognisably talked to. The interruption of Mala's voice doesn't cause her to bat an eye.

She glances over her shoulder, now, looking to Gillian rather than the orphan, then back to Audrey with steely resolve. "Well," she says, breath hitting the air in steam that seems to dance into useless but strange tendrils of brimming anxiety. "If you put it that way…" It's not really a powderkeg about to burst — this one implodes, suddenly, on a tornado of inky black shadow that writhes through the air, twisting insubstantially and promptly diving for Audrey in cloaking darkness.

It's never easy with this guy. It just never is. It's all rawr, and death, screaming, blood. Just like a jurassic park movie with the T-Rex just smiling and then pedaling into motion to go and start consuming the stuipd tourists. Sylar implodes into inky black and Audrey's already drawn her weapon and flicked off the safety in one motion. There's the report of her gun firing twice. Her aim isn't to take out him. Not when he's incorporeal and they were warned he could do it.

No, she's aiming for behind him, for the main body of Gillian and hoping that the tranq rounds in the weapon will strike the woman. Last they need is an augmentor fueling Sylar and making him twenty or a thousand times stronger. She did her homework on the individuals in this orphanage that houses evolved children. Double tap, straight for her body and then an inch to the side. "Shadow!" Audrey bellows, loud enough to be heard elsewhere in the house and maybe outside. The hard way it is.

Outside the Lighthouse, those crunching steps coming in huffing puffs of powder towards the building catch the keen senses of the dogs that Ruth has set up as sentries first. The smell on the air tickles their senses and the growling that comes next brings the animal telepath's focus on their eyes, and where they're looking. "Incoming," Ruth hisses, nodding in the direction of the crunching footfalls through the thick snow. Chester turns, hsifting his weight to one foot and pivoting his assault rifle towards the sight.

«I don't see nothin'» his voice crackles over their headsets, but Juliette has the frame of mind to switch optics, first low light, then infra-red. The communications officer hisses in a sharp breath and moves away from the door, and at that same moment Chester thinks to switch his imaging to infra-red as well, picking up areas of the light spectrum that the photokinetic bending isn't affecting.

«Oh shit, Commander we've got incoming. Stealthed target at our six!» Chester takes two steps from the door, leveling his assault rifle towards the glowing white silhouette he can see approaching. «This is FRONTLINE Unit-01, Squad-01, halt immediately.» Chester's voice comes crackling over the helmet's external speakers, even as Ruth is getting the dogs mobile, keeping them a distance away from the approaching figure.

Inside the tower, Michael is wrapping one arm around Audrey's waist and interposing himself into her position, one hand reaching down to his waist and wrenching out not his side arm but his matte black combat knife from his chest sheath. Too many kids around to even risk firing a tranquilizer gun, if even one kid got a dart in the eye he'd never forgive himself.

«Contact upstairs! Contact! Contact!» Michael's practically hurling Audrey back down the stairs when he switches places with her, the powered suit whirring to life as his fingers grip tightly around the hilt of that knife. «Tristian cover the front we've got an inbound on ground level!»

There's a sudden cry of surprise as the form of her sister explodes. Gillian's scrambling back away in the hall, looking shocked and surprised, and then a dart catches her sleeve and buries itself in the wall behind her, right next to a second one. Between the shadow explosion, the stumbling that the target did, and the commander of FRONTLINE's grabbing, the aim got thrown off enough to just rip a hole in her sleeve.

"Fuck," she mutters, turning and scrambling deeper into the hall, grabbing Mala and ducking into the nearest room with the tiny fragile girl, who definitely isn't exibiting her super strength right now, unless Audrey gets a happy fighting "Sylar", who didn't listen and go back to the dorm like she was supposed to. "I told you to go to the dorm." she even says firmly.

Visibility sudden floods over the running figure when he's spotted — Gabriel Gray looks harried in his black winter clothes, face flushed and usually neat and kempt edges gone slightly wild, if not as feral as his more Sylarish counterpart, wherever he may be right now. He doesn't stop, of course, with all the stubbornness that Jenny shows, and in the same moment of his features coming back into focus, his arm is already lifted. Inside the Lighthouse, they will here it — a hugely loud, cannon-like BLAM of noise— and air ripples cone-like and headed straight for Chester. The snow goes in a vortex along with the concussive blast, hitting the FRONTLINE soldier with a solid kind of accuracy.

It may not be the artful sweep of telekinesis, but it will do. He keeps running for the Lighthouse, and now— the snow is going through him, even as his feet impact solidly in the snowfall, still kicking up ice-dust even as the rest of it— and bullets— passes straight through him.

«And what's going on up there?» demands Tristan, but naturally, he's doing what he's told, bolting around the building with his pistols taking the lead and swerving around before he can appear. At the sight of— Sylar heading for the building, and the peripheral blur of a downed Chester Wade, he curses, and a sharp blast of gunfire thunders through the air. As sharply accurate as they may be, they only hit flesh gone incorporeal.


The shadow seems to fill the whole hallway, cloaking blackness like a gateway to some infinite eternity of nothing and swiftly closing in on both Michael and Audrey. As soon as one touch of blackness snags onto a trace of flesh, clothing, whatever is in reach — all movement ceases as both she and he are assimilated into the inky blackness, becoming a writhing part of it, and all three are helplessly dragged down the rest of the way down the stairs. Michael and Audrey can do nothing for the next few seconds, seeing all around them, hearing all around them, and radio static fizzes through their radios.

It stops, all at once, and the two of them are gracelessly thrown across the room, made solid in time for it to hurt when they hit the ground. Wu-Long— because that is who appears out of the shadow, dressed in that same sweatshirt, the same pants and argyle woolen socks, and holding a very sharp knife— is almost as swift as his shadows.

His white teeth show in a sneer as he bears down on Audrey first, knife flashing to drive it towards her throat.

This has never happened to Audrey before and Peter sure as fuck didn't tell her about this aspect of the trick. That He can take people with them and for a brief shining moment, she's wondering if she just suddenly is very much dead for all that she can't and is unable to access any of her physical senses despite spalding grabbing her to drag her behind him.

But the confirmation that no, she's very much alive comes in the form of the pain that rippled up her side from hitting the furniture, tranq gun skittering off to the side and out of reach where she's slid up beside scattered furniture. "DOWNSTAIRS!" She warbles out, seeing the tall asian bearing down on her. Feint right, last second, bear and roll to the right as he comes in with the knife and get the hell out of the way and hope that Spaldings armor and all his FRONTLINE glory will kick in. Oh but her kingdom for a fucking Negator right about now.

Michael recovers from the fall with more grace than Audrey, crashing down againdt the floor then into one of the walls with a shattering of the sheet rock, his body armor leaves a great dent in the wall behind him as he comes tumbling to a halt on one knee, the metal hydraulics on his right leg leaving a deep groove in the wood floor when he scrapes to a stop. Without hardly missing a beat, the disoriented Spalding is back up on his feet as his headset flickers back to life after a few splutters of static.

«I've got an engagement down here!» Michael bellows into his helmet communication system, powered hydralics in his armsand legs launching the soldier back into battle as he throws himself in front of Wu-Long's fatal slash. The chestplate of Michael's armor is slashed open, leaving a drooling trail of clear gel glittering with metal fibers leaking from the wound in the reactive armor.

Black knife out, Michael slaps his blade against Wu-Long's, diving in towards the assassin's assumed guise. Wu-Long leans back and away from the thrusting jab of Michael's knife towards his face, long black hair flowing behind his motions. The knife slashes to the side and Wu-Long breaks apart into a cloud of tendbrous ink before re-emerging right in Michael's close proximity, eyes black, teeth white, blade gleaming. Michael's armor takes the thrust of the knife better than it did the slash, hardening in the miliseconds the knife presses against his midsection, sending the knife scraping past.

Michael's combat knife zips up along Wu-Long's cheek in a ragged slash that cuts from jaw to ear leaving a slick trail of blood, followed by a hydraulic backed punch that whines forward, only to find an explosion of shadow around his hand.

That blackness swarms around Michael and reforms in a puff of darkness behind him, and as Michael turns Wu-Long's knife lashes out and leaves a deep scraping gash across the front visor of his helmet, scarring the plastic shield. Another slash comes out, severing his left arm's hydraulic cable in a spray of fluid across the room coppery red like blood. Feeling his left armo siezing up as the joints refuse to respond, Muchael hops forward and delivers a surprisingly quick knee to the Chinese soldier's stomach, launching him up off of his feet and back towards a dresser. When Wu-Long impacts with the furniture he explodes into a haze of black shadows, bounces along the floor then jumps up to the ceilign before reforming and dropping down like a spider at Michael.

Michael braces himself, booted feet spreading apart and knees bending. Wu-Long's ceramic blade flickers down across the front of his helmet, driving into the faceplate and shattering the targeting system with a shower of sparks and an explosion of glass. Michael's one good arm lunges forward, swiping across Wu-Long's midsection not quick enough to catch the shadow-morph before he becomes an incorporeal haze of darkness again.

When Wu-Long bounds away, Michael throws his knife into the floor with a clunk and reaches up to disconnect his helmet, unclasping it in the back and shaking it forward off of his head, a several hundred thousand dollar piece of military hardware destroyed by a knife.

Crew cut and scowling countenance, Michael reaches over and releases the emergency locks on his right arm, dropping one limb of powered armor exoskeleton and lightening his load. Hand moving down to his side, Spalding withdraws his .45 with his unarmoed left hand, then slowly crouches down and wrenches his knife out of the floor with his powered arm, crossing his gun over his knife wielding wrist. Ready for the second round.


All hell breaks loose when Chester is launched up into the air, smashed bodily against the exterior of the Lighthouse, sending brick loose, and then collapses down into the snow. His reactive armor vibrates from the absorption of the kinetic energy, but the hail of Tristian's bullets pass right through Chester's target. «Phasing!» Juliette calls out over her comm system, and Ruth nods sharply, slinging her bolt-action rifle from over her shoulder and diving out of the way of the door to the lighthouse where the shaped charge is set. The animal telepath rolls int he snow on her back, then rises up into an awkward crouch, tracking the phaser's movement in her scope. «He's still not solid! Commander, you've got a phaser incoming!»

Chester pulls himself out of the snow, shaking it off from his helmet and one gloved hand pawing at the cracked visor, slapping himself in the side of his head to get the static to clear. «This is bollocks!» Chester growls over the intercom, slapping his helmet at the side of his head again when the image fritzes out.

From the unseen dorms, there are startled sounds as kids hide under beds. Some of them do, at least. A few step forward to see what's happening. Some of the kids happen to be in the same room that she ducked into, letting go of Mala to glance around at each of them. It's Joe and Lance that seem to be the most calm, bravely looking out the window into the field of white, to see the soldiers, and the man attacking the soldiers. It's Joe that speaks up, voice quiet, but loud enough. "Gillian."

He's pointing, and Gillian has to step over to look out, hand going down on the invincible boy's shoulder.


God she hopes it's Gabriel. Then again, last time she saw him, he'd wanted to kill Jenny…

"Joe, I want you to go out and go to the other dorm, make them close and lock the door. No matter what happens. And stay there. You're in charge." He's one of the youngest, but… in many ways he's been the most mature, ever since Brian took him under his wing.

All he needs is to nod, and he's running out the door and down the hall. He's the only one who can't be hurt by darts, knives, or most things, hence the best choice to run to keep the others safe.

Phasing or no phasing, Tris fires again, as if maybe enough persistence will force the phaser into solidity, but no dice. Intention hidden behind his helmet, his blue eyes analyse the situation, Gabriel's charging form, and the way his feet sink into snow. With a sneer, Tris concentrates for a split second, before another bullet is loosed from one floating sidearm — it arcs through the air with unnatural control, passing effortlessly through Gabriel's boot without damage— and out his heel with a sudden spray of red against snow.

The serial killer gives a sharp yell, abruptly tumbling down like wounded prey, solidity slamming back in when caught off guard. Tris takes a breath, likely to yell FUCK YES through the radio, until insidious numbness winds through his body. If he does shout through the radio, he can't hear it. He abruptly can't see either.

Thinking it's his helmet, the soldier goes to yank it off in a panic, all three guns dropping down as blue eyes blink blindly, the world reduced to darkness and soundlessness. To the rest of his team, there's nothing wrong, but they'll watch the former Army man stagger back, confusion inelegantly writing across his features.

Not that Gabriel is watching the impact of this, too busy morphing into the same shadow that his clone had in a panic-reaction. No matter. He swarms towards the Lighthouse once more, soaring over Chester and temporarily blinding him as he passes by, and monkeying up the sides of the building. Rifle-fire from both Juliette and Ruth send chips of paint and stone flying as they shoot at the demonic thing as it scales the wall, and slides through the window, tumbling into the safety of the room. Gabriel tumbles easily back into solidity, hitting the ground with a pained groan. Brightly brown eyes blink up at Gillian.

"What happened?" he demands, fairly snarling.

Ready for ths second round is an exaggeration for what Wu-Long is, at least physically. Dark eyes show a cold determination despite the fact that a sheen of sweat makes his face and hair damp, and his face bleeds morbid red down his throat, gathering and drying in the soft grey of his sweater. Audrey's the Sylar expert in the room — and this man isn't fighting like Sylar. Despite the arrogant show of abilities, he's only showing one. And using a knife, at that.

Another face, just like Jenny was another face. If the glance to Hanson is of any indication, it's her flesh that he wants his knife to impale. But he has to get through Michael.

Against all probability, Wu-Long makes a cat-like leap for the man, swarming back into shadow even as gunshots blast through it, flashing light in the dense darkness like lightning rolling through cloud. As shadow becomes flesh, Wu-Long has his arm locked around Michael's gun arm, holding it paralysed as he drives the knife for the man's face. There's a scrape of metal as Michael brings his own up to block, and Wu-Long is quick to move with an agile turn as if to wrench that arm from its socket.

Never quite makes it, Michael turning with the movement, and abruptly, Audrey is left alone with a teeming swatch of darkness as both men become shadow, whipping through the room like a demon. Michael is regurgitated artlessly through the open door, the man flung out into snow as carelessly as one pleases.

As the shadow becomes corporeal, it's Jenny that reappears, collapsing on the ground and gasping in air like a fish, knife still clenched in her knuckled hand and slashed face draining blood from that wound that twists her mouth, face gone shocking white. When she turns green eyes up to Audrey, all the killing has gone from them, but she raises up in a crouch, looking almost wild with her shock of auburn hair, bloodied face and knife held to stab.

"I'm not him," she slurs, words mushy, a little unhinged. "'m not him, please… let me be her. All of them. I owe them all."

Michael is playing the game of distract the one serial killer while Audrey is lunging for her weapon with it's few tranq shots left in and ready. It's amazing and astounding to see the soldiers of frontline up and close instead of them all smiling in their suits and reading about the hijinks that they get into and are supposed to get into.

Audrey braces herself against a wall and making herself small in a corner in the hopes of avoiding getting smashed into by the armor and ending up like Ivanov did after the tangle he had with Sylar and succeeded in catching him. When Michael sets himself up for round two, Audrey's already setting herself up to try and eliminate round two inside so that people can focus on Mr. Phase outside. Besides, it's a god damned active orphanage and so far, this is racking up a PR nightmare that will be landed squarely on her ass by her superiors.

But there they go, Michael tossed and corporealized outside the door to leave just her and Jenny/Sylar. "I Can't" It's all she says as her finger pulls down on her gun again, other palm cupping the butt of the hand to steady the weapon as she pumps it once then twice, aiming at the young woman that is undoubtedly Sylar. Get him down, tranquilize him. So far, his only tricks seem to be shadow and shapeshifting. Please let one of them hit before he gets her.

«Ruth!» Juliette hollars as she holsters her sidearm and drops her more cumbersome rifle into the snow, «Boost!» The command is simple enough, and the two remaining Squad members to have sight and hearing remaning break into movement ouside. Ruth takes a knee and laces her fingers together as Juliette comes running towards the animal telepath thorugh the snow. Bounding up into the air, she sets a foot down into Ruth's laced fingers before the dark-haired woman launches Juliette up into the air. The agile communications expert vaults some fifteen feet straight up into the air with the combined aid of Ruth's suit and her own, arms crossed in front of herself and exploding in through the window behind Gabriel only seconds after he's landed.

Juliette comes rolling across the floor, glass shards sliding off of her black armor, hydraulic joints whirring and whining as she reaches down and withdraws her tranquilizer gun sidearm, the eerie green iris of her helmet whirring down to a narrow focus point as the targeting system inside her vicor flickers once on Gabriel's form and the noisy ka-thwip of the dart gun goes off.

Outside and one his back in the snow, Michael staggers to his feet, shoulders heaving and hydraulic fluid leaking down in the snow like brown blood from the severed line. Squaring his shoulders he ecjects a smoking clip from his pistol and withdraws another from the bandolier at his waist, striding with heavy, clomping steps back towards the rear door, little cuts and scratches all across his face and brow that should've been larger gashes and cuts, his reactive adaptation to lascerating wounds already having kicked in.

The sight that Gabriel lands into is one of— fear. Children are crying against the far wall, sobbing and scared, huddling against each other, and Gillian's pulling a dark haired boy away from the window. One of the rifle shots didn't just hit the side of the building— it went through the wall. And the young boy happens to be bleeding heavily from his arm. Lance isn't crying or screaming, but he looks pale, and scared, and Gillian's raging with anger at everything.

"They came here for you!" she yells, as the window explodes inward, sending glass and cold air into the room. The children's dorms are the one thing that doesn't have weapons stashed in them, so she can't reach for any, but it doesn't stop her from picking up a book from the floor to lug at her. A hard back book. Hailey's copy of Watership Down. She'll buy her a new one. At this rate, they're already going to need a new house.

The knot in her head has exploded open, as well, sending a surge of energy to the one Evolved she knows can handle it— most the time. The one who taught her to use her ability in the first place, and from the crackle of purple electricity around her hands as she tries to stop the bleeding in Lance's arm— some of the energy is coming from him.

In the split second between Gillian's words and the window's explosion, comprehension writes across Gabriel's features. They came here for him. He flinches away as Juliette dives through into the room, snarling as he automatically dives for the left, dart whistling past his ear. A hand extends, and Juliette's helmet promptly spiders with cracks as kinetic projection slams baseball bat force across it, sending the woman sprawling back, stunned.

And then something happens.

Purple energy, strangely addictive, insidiously familiar, slams into Gabriel's system like a hit of adrenaline — if not for him, but what he can do. Shadows lift off his body in uncontrolled, writhing tentacles of darkness that Wu-Long's ability lends him, patches of soundlessness creating distortion in the room. It's kind of a magic trick, as those shadows abruptly expand through the room, ringing silence as well — the children, Gillian, Juliette, all of them can no longer see.

A second passes. The entire Lighthouse has grown still.

Gabriel staggers out of the darkened room, still reeling from that hit of augmentation, staring at all the black he'd created, hanging in the air against his will. Limping and leaving marks of red from his right foot as he goes, he slowly makes his way down the staircase, and peers into the scene in the living space.

Jenny is half on her knees, scarred face frozen in a look of begging that makes his lip curl, and a dart sticks from her pale neck. The agent in front of her is locked in cool determination, one he can certainly relate to. Time has stopped, and Gabriel takes all the time he has to observe it before letting out a deep sigh. In unnatural slowness, the dart withdraws from Jenny's throat, going back in time, her wild mane of hair blowing in reverse slowmotion like seaweed, and Audrey's position slowly unlocking from its tension of firing.

It pauses again with a tilt of Gabriel's head, and he raises a hand. With a carefully aimed firing of kinetic projection, the dart is knocked out of the air, shattered entirely.

When time starts again, and start it does, there's no dart flying through the air, and Gabriel's shadow behind Audrey falls across her, and has Jenny startling at the sight of Gabriel seemingly appearing out of nowhere behind the agent as he falls into her line of sight. "I think we better talk," is all he says, before a hand suddenly claps down on Audrey's shoulder. Both of them turn into shadow, the same matrix of darkness, but rather than a chaotic whirl around the room— they both zoom for the door, agent helplessly dragged along for the ride as Jenny simply sits, frozen with bewilderement when she abruptly left alone.

With a sheepish kind of sink, she turns into shadow as well, melting into a pool of it, and darting into the cracked open darkness of a cabinet. And there she stays.

Up in the bedroom, what they see: sudden darkness, and then it's gone, and Gabriel along with it. Like a magic trick, one of the kids might observe later.

Absolute shock, for a whole few seconds that Audrey is allowed to have it. The dart flying out of the gun, face determined and uncaring that the clone in front of her is begging and resumed the shape of Jenny. But somewhere, between it's exit and it's intended target the dart just ceases to exist. Finger is about to depress the trigger again when there's a hand on her shoulder, Gabriel's voice and suddenly, she is no more, not there and Jenny along with Michael when he comes bounding in, are left alone as Sylar absconds with the agent.

"Oh god." Michael breathes out as he stumbles thorugh the doorway, brown eyes wide. "Wade, Crow-Dog, Wright, Bentley someone respond!" Michael barks into the building, pistol still out as his boots crunch over glass, looking up at the ceiling then around to the largely empty room. Staggering down the stairs, one hand at the side of her head and the shattered helmet from her suit in one hand, Juliette is the first to respond to Michael's call.

"Here, sir…" the brunette breathes out, brushing dark hair from her face as her eyes sweep the damage in the living room. "Where's— Agent Hanson?" Juliette's eyes grow wide, settling on Michael with dawning horror.

Outside, Chester pulls himself up from the snow a third time, crawling over to Tristian, slapping him on the back of the head before pulling his face out of the snow. "Bentley, you alright?" Fumbling at the back of his own helmet, Chester unfastens the clasps and shakes the helmet forward and off of his head to land in the snow. "Jesus, that guy— " his eyes peer towards the back door, semtex charge not blown. There's a sigh, and he scrambles up to his feet, moving over to withdraw the detonator, disarm it and set it down on the ground beside the door.

"This is Ruth," the animal telepath breathes into the microphone of her ear-piece, "I've got birds in the air, no sign of Gray or Hanson. Sir, I…" There's a shake of Ruth's head, breathing in slowly as she looks over to Chester and then back up to the sky again, and the raven perched on the roof of the Lighthouse.

"I think she's gone."

At the words, she's gone, there's another person appearing in the doorway, holding a young boy with dark hair and pale skin, bleeding from a rifle shell that tore through his arm. It could have been a whole lot worse, but even then, there's a child bleeding. Exactly what Michael had wanted to avoid. Gillian looks around, hoping to see some sign of her sister, or what's left of her, somewhere in the room, and at the same time not.

That's the 'she's gone' that she's hoping for. And at the same time, hopes that it doesn't mean, in those split seconds that blinked by in the darkness, that she's… really gone.

"I need a hospital for one of my kids," she says hoarsely, voice tight and strained. The boy seems to have gone unconscious, but she's tied something around his arm to cut off the bleeding some. "What happened?"

It's a question that no one left in the room can possibly answer. And one she doesn't get an answer to either.

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