Good Intentions, Part III


amid_icon.gif bennet3_icon.gif brian_icon.gif samara2_icon.gif

Scene Title Good Intentions, Part III
Synopsis Brian Winters, Noah Bennet and Samara Dunham prepare to extract Amid Halebi from Mazdak when it seems like their plan has gone awry; it only gets worse.
Date February 9, 2011

«Her kes ölü. Bu, Amerika idi. Heç kes harada Lucine bilir.»

In the days that have passed since coming to Washington D.C., Brian Winters has become immersed in yet another foreign language.

«O, öz danismaq istediyiniz etmek niyyetindedir. O, bütün heyata tapir, bize öldürecek. Siz o ne ede bilersiniz…»

Noah managed to pin down the native tongue of the D.C. Mazdak operatives to Azerbajani, a language native to the Caucasus region of Eurasia, further north than most Mazdak operatives are presumed to hail from. They've been anxious for the last several days, speaking about Americans, Amid and Lucine. Noah doesn't know the language, and Brian's observations with borrowed shotgun microphone have yielded little help. Were Noah inclined to risk another young woman's life, Elaine Darrow might be on his short-list.

«O, alismis biz Lucine haber olmadan xahis ne. Biz heç bir seçimi var…»

What little of Amid Halebi's English that Brian has been able to pick up through the windows and doors with his microphone has yeilded little help. Contact with Veronica has been non-existant. She should have been back from her mission by now, should have called, should have something. From his perch in the cold, damp air on the rooftop adjacent to the building that Mazdak is holding Amid in, Brian hasn't been able to see much of the men holding Amid captive.

«Zeng Usbek, biz bu gün bunu edeceyik.»

There's at least ten of them in total, no more than four watching Amid on any given day. They rotate out at night when the florist delivery van rolls by. Amid is never seen outside, and for all their surveilance it's uncertain what condition he's in, save for alive.

Washington D.C.

Situated in his hotel room, Noah Bennet has turned his temporary place of occupation into a mobile reconnaisance center. A laptop computer and wireless webcams discretely placed around the Mazdak hideout afford Noah a full situational view of the building's perimeter and Brian's perch, the signal from the cameras bounced back by a router patched in to the adjacent building's internet and electricity on the roof. As Brian's eye in the sky, Noah helps keep tabs on the movements of Mazdak while planning for Amid's extraction.

"Brian," Noah speaks quietly into his headset, slouching forward to rest his elbows against the table. "I'm not entirely clear on what they're discussing, but some of the verbage is pretty close to Turkish, and I know a smattering of that. I don't think they know where Lucine is anymore, judging from that conversation… It's possible that they're not sure how to handle Amid without being able to dangle her over his head. He's been asking for a phone call the last few days… I think I'm starting to piece together this situation."

Unable to go home and relegated to hold down the fort style jobs, and food or supply runs, Samara Dunham occupies her usual placement with Noah while Brian is on operation. It serves a double purpose, in truth. One the one side, Samara is upholding the ruse of inability to work under pressure, while at the same time spying on Noah's activities for Brian.

For the last several days, all Noah has been focused on is getting Amid out of Mazdak's hands. With Noah's cash and Samara's ability to operate in public, trips to electronics stores to pick up the basics of home surveillance supplies have turned their hodgepodge endeavor into something spy organizations thirty years ago would have spend entire fiscal budgets trying to develop. Modern technology is a terryfing convenience when put in the wrong hands.

Or in this case, the right hands.

Sam takes her job seriously. Very. Very. Seriously. Kind of. "A ten letter word for a fake," she mumbles nearly silently to herself as she taps on the side of the crossword book with an HB pencil— the kind teachers give students for exams— the kind that can never quite get the right sharpened point through the defectiveness of pencil sharpeners. In a lot of respects, her job is one of babysitting right now, particularly as nothing of note is going on. And when she used to babysit? She did crossword puzzles! In many respects the entire thing made her undeniably nostalgic for her former life.

This is not to say she isn't paying attention. Her hazel eyes flick up towards the window and then back to Noah across from her. Her lips pull to the right while she leans back in her chair. "Will Amid leave without confirmation though? I know if I had a kid and was being blackmailed I wouldn't leave until I knew like with 99% certainty that she was safe." She shrugs. "Just sayin'."

There's an easiness about her smile before remembering her presumed anxiety, which, thanks to real anxiety about getting caught faking anxiety, weakens considerably. Her knees are drawn up to her chest in her chair and her crossword book is abandoned to the table.

She's prepared for spying today. Her phone has been switched to vibrate and safely tucked into the front pocket of the black hoodie she's wearing and her crossword book doubles as a great distractor: nothing suspicious going on here, just doing a crossword

Peering through the scope, Brian lets out a light sigh against the matte black of the rifle. Listening to the earbud, he shifts his weight. "So how close are we to barging in and shooting everyone, boss?" Winters gives a light shrug. "And when I say that I don't really mean that." He adds in before Noah can start to judge him. His perch is a block away, on top of a warehouse. The warehouse roof is crate and box laden, effectively creating an excellent hidey hole for Brian. Wedged in between an empty pallet and a seemingly twenty year old create, Brian has draped a flat cardboard box over him to obscure him even more.

Brian is a few other places in the marina. One is always mobile, the other sitting in the taxi cab. It took some time and a lot of lying, but Brian eventually convinced Stephen that FBI business needed the cab for a couple days. A little cash exchanged hands, and Brian gained himself a rent-a-cab. "Yeah I'm not getting anything either."

"Simulacrum," Noah affords across the table to Samara without taking his eyes off of the laptop screen. Brows furrowed together, he considers the split up views of the un-leased office space. Thorugh the cameras, he can see Brian perched at the edge of the building, scanning down the windows and picking up noise from inside of the building when the Mazdak operatives venture too close to a window or door, or anywhere thin enough for the sound to resonate.

Leaning back in his chair, Noah scrubs one hand over his mouth slowly. "Samara has a point that Amid likely won't want to move without knowing his daughter is safe. Without contact from your source, we're probably going to have to flat out lie to him. Presumably the reason Mazdak is uncertain about Lucine is because we've already picked her up. Let's hope that our white lie doesn't turn into a black one…"

Looking up and over the frames of his spectacles to Samara, Noah's brows tense again and his lips curve down into a frown. "Your joke might wind up being our actual game-plan if they keep Amid there any longer. I'm getting the feeling that they don't know what to do, which means they're probably going to start panicking. Which either means they're going to start making mistakes, or Amid's going to be in danger." Or likely, both.

"Oooo! It fits!" Sami declares as she retrieves the puzzle book again to pencil in the letters— all caps for easier reading later. "What will Amid do when he finds out though? I mean, don't we need to keep him calm to keep the world from ending?" from anyone else the words might be sarcastic, from Sam? Well, they're genuinely concerned.

"How can a person even deliver that news to him? Or are we hoping on a lark to hear from the contact before we have to tell him— " her frown deepens now while her face pales. This entire trek has turned into one small lie after another.

Her head tilts at him slightly while her nervous chatter and tendency to blurt random thoughts kicks in, "I think your glasses make you more intimidating. You have kind eyes behind them." It's a very random observation.

"I can start a diversion. Draw their fire on doing something crazy and random… Car accident near the store something. Samra could get in through the locks in the back. Get through Amid's bindings if he has any. And get him out the back door." Winters offfers, a light shrug which causes his rifle to wave a little bit. Which makes him mad. Now he has to slowly move it back into spot. Slowly setting the rifle back down, he takes another breath.

"Nothing from Contact." Damnit Vee. "I'm sending someone to search for our contact more.. thoroughly." While Brian may not be able to reach Veronica. Dong-tian has some pull where Brian does not. "If it's his life, we lie to him." Winters says stoically. "I'll do it." Brian peers through the scope. "If they're getting nervous.. We need to make something happen. Nervous people with guns don't have the best track records for good decisions." He has been one.

"I've arranged for a contact here in Washington to pick Amid up once we've gotten him out of Mazdak's hands…" Naoh slowly rises from the table, creakingly, using his cane for balance. "He's an old informant, used to work with me in the Company. He left not long after I did…" Keeping his eyes on the screen, Noah lets Samara's awkward comment go unnoticed, sparing her the reaction he'd afford most other people. She reminds him enough of his own daughter to give her those graces and those extra chances.

Walking over to his bed, Noah pulls back the pillow and takes his handgun out from beneath it, walking back over to the table, setting it down with a clunk of the heavy silencer first, then onto its side next to the laptop. "I can't trust Samara to be able to pull this off, not after what happened a few days ago." He's talking like she isn't in the room with him, too, which is something he'd done to Claire too many times before.

"If there's more than one of you down here, we're going to have to count on that. Samara can stay up here and keep an eye on the building where it's safe. The last thing either of us need is her cracking under pressure and getting Amid killed, or worse— scared. Then we're all dead."

Setling back down in his chair, Noah exhales a tired sigh, turning his attention to the laptop screen again. "What we need to do is tell Amid his daughter is fine. That's all he needs to know, that's what he expects. If Mazdak doesn't have her, we must. Let's keep that going. We'll figure out how to follow up on it later…"

Considering the clock on the bottom-right corner of the screen, Noah tilts his chin up a little. "We're not long from when they usually change out the guards on Amid. A car accident would draw too much attention from the outside, government or otherwise. We can't risk that. But if we take out the men getting out of the van when they're unlocking to let them in, we at least have an open door. Three versus four sounds like fair enough odds." And Noah is counting three Brians.

Sam's mouth gapes open slightly. Being summarily ignored has unusual effects for someone who literally wasn't in the room when she was. Her eyebrows knit together and her forehead creases. Her concerns aren't quite with the words themselves, but with her situation. Her eyes turn down to her hands, but then she'd always been able to see herself. "I'm sorry… I'm right here… you can talk to me…"

Her eyebrows actually arch at the comment about her cracking under pressure. In a way she's pleased, she'd clearly been a better actress than she'd ever imagined. In another? "I can handle it. I think I can handle it…" Although she's gone out of her way to make it seem that she can't.

"No." Brian responds levelly. "We've been playing nice thus far. You don't get to just cart off the man we're all working for too an informant we don't know about." Winters murmurs into his earpiece. "And don't start into me about trust, Noah. This is New York City." Well technically it's not, but hopefully Noah gets the gist of what he's trying to say.

"If he goes with your man. So do I." Brian murmurs across the headset. In the taxi, Brian is rapidly texting. Be careful. B ready 2 phase. "Listen. I've talked to her. I know she fucked up the other day. But I believe she can pull this off. She has a soothing effect on people." Although, Amid wasn't too keen on her going in the first place. Because she was young. And because she was she. "But fine, I'll do it." Brian murmurs quickly.

"No, you don't," is firmly stated to Brian over Noah's headset, followed by a look briefly flashed to Samara indicating that he'll get to her next. Lifting one hand to hold his forehead, Noah slouches towards the computer, then reclines back in his chair with a creak of the wood. "Brian, the Ferrymen get by thanks to the idea of anonymity. The only reason my contact is willing to do what he does for the Ferrymen is for the protection of his identity. And trust me, Brian, he does a lot for us that you'll never know."

Looking to the window, briefly, Noah snorts out a sighed breath. "You're prolific, Brian. You're everywhere. All it would take is one psychometer to touch you and my contact would be compromised. One person like Kershner, or who knows what others in the government. No amount of telepathic protection could prevent that. I tell one of you, and you all know. It's not something I can risk, Brian."

Rubbing one hand at his jaw, Noah looks up to Samara, then back down to the laptop. "We free Amid, he comes with me and he's brought to my contact. Then he's sent off to one of our terminus communes, one so far removed from civilization that even if he did lose control of his power, the damage would be minimal."

"As for Samara…" Finally turning to address Samara, Noah's expression sours. "I feel for you wanting to involve her in your life, Brian. But she failed to take responsibility for the simplest of assignments. I am not putting her in the line of gunfire and possible harm and entrusting her with Amid's well-being. There's three of you, that will have to suffice. Samara can stay here with me until you've secure Amid, she'll be safe here."

The text to her phone buzzes in her hoodie pocket. Slowly, as casually as she can manage behind her crossword book, she draws the phone from her pocket and glances at the message only to return the phone just as slowly. The comment about failing to take responsibility as her eyes tracking back to the book she's holding. There's a nearly smug curl of her lips behind the book. She can't believe she's that good an actor, even if her mad dance skills give her a flair for the theatrical.

She rests the book on the table and pushes it away from her a little. Her hazel eyes watch Noah quizzically, but the question never quite forms on her lips. Instead, her lips press into a line. "Not if the job gets botched," she shrugs.

Brian bares his teeth in frustration. "I'm not okay with that Noah. So you're going to start having to think of a compromise. I'm not letting someone I don't know go unsupervised with Amid. I've worked too hard to get to this point to see him turned over to the wrong hands." He frowns deeply at Noah. "Before we make any decisions, I want to talk to him. We can't decide his life for him. We're not HomeSec. We're the good guys." He thinks.

"I understand what you're saying. About me going with him. But it's not going to happen so.. You better start using that Bennet brain and think of a deal that makes everyone happy." Winters says levelly.

"Don't even try that you're a Ferry head or whatever. Ferrymen have already been fucked by their leaders one too many times for me to trust you blindly." Winters stares through his scope.

"We can and will decide his life for him Brian, that's what we've done since the day he's come into our care. Unless you've failed to remember, I'm still a member of the Council, and my decisions stay final. If you don't want to participate in this, if you'd rather let your inaction cost Amid his life and God knows how many other people than fine." Shakily pushing up from his seat, Noah rests one hand down on his cane and pushes up to stand, "I'll handle this myself."

One hand reaches down for the silenced handgun, picking it up off of the table along with the newspaper Noah had been working at the crossword on, folding the gun inside of the newspaper before he takes up his cane again. "This isn't how the Ferrymen work, not every decision gets to be micro-managed. Maybe when they decide to turn you into a council member, maybe then, but right now Brian you take orders from me. I don't have to make you happy, I have to protect the Ferrymen's interests, protect Amid, and protect this city from him. So unless you plan on taking yoru head out of your ass and listening to how you're starting to sound, you're free to take Samara home whenever you like."

Limping away from the table, Noah looks furious.

The Noah-Brian interplay leaves Sam more than a little unsettled. Her cellphone is carefully removed from her pocket and she texts Brian quickly he mad :(. The phone is returned to the pocket as quickly at it had been extracted. She tucks both of her hands into her hoodie pocket before sliding off her chair. A frown plays on her lips as she takes a single step towards Noah only to stop.

She maintains that position as her hands tuck further into her hoodie pocket. "Noah.. " she feels weird saying the name. "There has to be a way to make everyone happy…" she murmurs while her frown deepens. She can't think of what that would be.

His teeth dig down on his bottom lip. Noah is really making him feel bad but… "We've been getting him to a position where he can make his own decisions. He's a good man. I'm sure he'll make the right choice." Winters lets out a light sigh. "Don't be stupid. Even Noah Bennet cannot take four men by himself while hobbling." Winters glowers.

"I'm not trying to be unreasonable Noah. But Council member means little to me. Susan was a council member. Where's your accountability Noah? How do I know you don't have ulterior motives?" Winters shifts on his position. Tilting his head. There are some other questionable council members which he won't get into.

"I'll go save Amid. But what happens to him, after that is not laid down in cement." Winters looks through his scope. And the assault starts to begin. Mostly because Brian is angry at Noah. The Brian in the taxi pulls up his gun, putting his own silencer on.

Tugging his headset off only halfway through what Brian said, Noah tosses it on to his bed. "This isn't about making everyone happy, Samara," is said with a don't be childish tone of voice. "This is about protecting a little girl," he waves towards the window with his hand carrying the newspaper and gun. "This is about finding a place for Amid where he isn't a constant danger to everyone around him. This is about protecting the people of this city from a man who could recreate the Midtown incident." Noah's face is turning red, a vein presents itself on his brow.

"I failed to stop the Midtown event, Samara. I was there, and I couldn't do anything to stop what happened. Do you have any idea how much that's haunted me? How much guilt I have over all of the ives that were lost? I failed to protect an entire city of people, because I was trying to play to the middle. I was trying to be a good person with good intentions, I was trying to make everyone happy." Nostrils flaring, Noah clenches his teeth and strains the last few words he has for Samara through them.

"Do you know what happened because of that?" Noah's grip around the newspaper crinkles, and he exhales a shuddering breath. "Hundreds of thousands of people died, because I made concessions." Brows twitch, and Noah turns his back on Samara for the hotel room door.

"Not today."

On the other end of that headset, Brian can hear it clatter to the floor, along with the muffled sound of Noah's voice continuing to talk to Samara. But more pressing matters come int he form of headlights sweeping into his view, headlights Noah would have seen coming if he'd stayed at the laptop. Rounding the corner of the one-way street, a white florist van splashes through a puddle and clunks into a pot hole, ambling slowly down the road towards the office space that Mazdak is utilizing as a hideout.

They're changing the guard out early.

Treating Sam like a child has about the same effect as treating her like she's invisible. Her eyebrows knit together. "I was there. I saw it happen. I saw people dying around me. The entire block we were on died aside from my best friend. Don't tell me I don't understand. Don't tell me that I can't comprehend the risks. I saw them. Did you have a front and centre view, Noah? Did you see people disintegrate in front of your face? Did you lose four years of your life, your family, your friends, and your childhood as a result? Please. Don't lecture me."

She sniffs, a tiny hint that if she weren't so stubborn she might be crying, but by sheer will and adrenaline she pushes through. "And, unfortunately, you have to work with people— you have to work together. This isn't a world that lends itself to trust." Unlike Noah, her face has paled with that little surge of adrenaline.

"You're concerned about me as a liability… you need to get your own feelings under control— you guys said yourself nerves bring like.. mistakes.."

Her arms hug across her chest, a hand holds each shoulder in a cross shape while she watches him, almost like she's shielding herself from another tongue lashing.

"Noah." Nothing. Was that noise really the sound of Noah throwing down the headsets. If he wasn't decided in his current course of action, he is now. Noah's outburst is a little too heavy for him. This is intense shit, Brian won't argue. But Noah wanting to come down in his wheelchair or whatever and roll around Mazdak on his own? That seems a little excessive for the old Company man.

Brian peers through his scope. "Noah we have company.." A quiet 'shit' is let out. Peering through, he gives a little nod. Time to start moving. In the Taxi, Brian is moving through the back with his new extra pairs of clothes. And soon the odds have changed. There are five of The Brian. Each equipped. One with the sniper rifle, three with silenced pistols and one with an automatic rifle. He's just in case.

The Brian lurking out near the florists, peers around the corner over at the approaching van. Then ducks back over.

The van comes to a rolling stop, pausing outside of the vacant office space. With no confirmation or response from Noah on the other side, there's just the other Brians here to try and put some semblance of balance on things. When the side door of the florist van finally rolls open, two Mazdak members touch down on the ground, dressed in winter sports jackets, toque hats and ordinary civilian attire.

One circles around to the back of the van, watching one side of the road, while a third man climbs out afterward with a radio. He says something, inaduble at this distance and without the benefit of the shotgun microphone being aimed down at him. There's an audible squelch noise over the walkie, and then the metal door to the office space opens out into the narrow street. One man holds the door open, barking in frustrated tones to the other men, they look to be having an argument just like Brian, Noah and Samara are.

Just a short distance away at the motel, Noah pauses by the door, back to Samara and shoulders tense. He looks back over his shoulder to Samara, then down to the headset on the floor, crackling with Brian's words, and then silent. Breathing in deeply through his nose, Noah looks back to the door. That she has a point isn't something he's willing to verbally admit, but his posture says that she's at least partly right. He's letting his emotions get the best of him right now, and that isn't like him.

Turning around from the door wordlessly, Noah approaches the headset and hooks it with the end of his cane, setting it down on the table. As he approaches, Noah catches sight of the van parked in the street on his surveillance videos. Eyes widen, posture straightens, and a hiss of frustration is exhaled sharply out his nose.

Setting his cane down, Noah picks up the headset. "Brian watch out you have more incoming!" It wasn't the florist van that sparked Noah's shock and concern, it was the white van coming from the other end of the one-way street, turning incorrectly down to block off the end.

This van is bigger, heavier, fashioned in such a way that it looks like a plug designed to bottle up the end of the alleyway, even if Brian recognizes the distinctive rumble of the V8 engine and the blocky silhouette of an Institute Retriever squad. The van backs up into the alley, tail lights flooding it red.

"Get the cab over to the motel, Samara and I will meet you downstairs!" Suddenly the situation has changed, and valuable time they could have been spent formulating a plan was lost when Noah insisted on doing things his way or no way at all. Turning to look up to Samara, Noah looks apologetic.

"We have to go. Now."

Her eyes widen at the word incoming; it's enough to up the adrenaline even more. Arms are lower from Sam's chest as she nods tightly. With that already peaked adrenaline, her concerns and adrenaline aren't exactly on the agenda at this moment. Wordlessly she walks over to him, offering him his cane again, clearly a peace offering of some kind when faced with the oddly juxtaposed gentle seriousness in her face.

When she's satisfied that she has everything she needs for what's ahead (goodbye crossword book!), she clips to the door only to stop and wait for Noah before heading down the stairs.

"Shitballs." Two Brians vacate the taxi cab, the doors are slammed shut behind them as Winters slams the cab into reverse. It's not an overly long trip back to the hotel. But it's long enough for shit to go horribly wrong. The Brian stalking near the florist is creeping slowly the other way. Behind buildings to take the long way round. Sniper Brian and the other two are just watching the alleyway and the retriever team falling out.

Moving his scope slightly, Brian goes to put the Retriever team in his sights. Taking on the retriever team isn't the best idea. But they do have negation gas. Which isn't an altogether bad thing for Amid. And if they managed to take the retrievers van. They would be a lot better off with containing the poor man. In a much nicer way, of course.

So Rogue Brian is creeping slowly to go on the other side of the van.

The members of Mazdak panic on spotting the van pulling up, and the man with the radio that left the van dives into the building, pushing another Mazdak operative with him and slams the door shut. The first man who'd come out reaches the door a moment too late, pounding his fists against the door and shouting to the people inside. Immediately, the remaining two Mazdak operatives on the narrow street move out to the front of their van, one of them shaking his arms as if to get them loose, only to have a coating of silvery metal slide like liquid dow from his elbows across his arms, turning his forearms and hands into living chrome.

The other Mazdak operative shimmers like a heat mirage and disappears entirely. What Noah had said about them employing Evolved operatives wasn't entirely untrue, or an exaggeration. The back door of the Institute van hisses open in Brian's scope, and as the first white-clad Retriever steps out, his palms are facing outward, along with a four foot wide disc of glowing violet energy that shimmers like water in the shape of a shield.

Another Retriever follows him out, unhooking a can of negation gas from his waist. Two more remain inside of the hatch-backed van, and while the forcefield generator is watching the Mazdak operative with chromed arms transmute his limbs into long, smooth blades, he fails to notice the footprints appearing in the snow moving around to flank his shield by the unseen operative.

It's going to be chaos here, in short order, and how Brian takes advantage of that is critical.

A mile away, another iteration of Brian swerves out into traffic on to the four-lane street crossing through the harbor of D.C. At this hour of night, there's still cars out on the road, and the sea of headlights and taillights each represents a potential death should Amid go nuclear. Each set of lights represents a life snuffed out. It adds to the pressure of an already tense situation.

Less than a mile away from the taxi, Noah Bennet and Samara Dunham arrive out of the front lobby of the Super 8, to the cold and windy streets. Beneath the glow of a streetlight, they look inoccuous. Noah's folded newspaper conceals his silenced pistol as best as he can. His footing is uncertain on the icy sidewalk, the rubber stopper on his cane doing little to give extra traction. Lamplight reflects off of the wire-rimmed frames of Noah's glasses, and he affords a look to Samara that implies both nervousness and uncertainty, before looking back out to the street.

"Brian…" Noah grumbles impatiently, "where are you?"

There's a nervousness about Sam as well, yet she tempers it with a very small, very short-lived curl of her lips for him. It's tight, concealing all of those nerves as she begins to rock on the balls of her feet. "We can do this," she assures levelly, not that she has any reason or motivation to believe this fact.

Why can't there be a mission where the instructions are: 'Don't worry about quick decisions, just fuck everything up!' Unfortunately he hasn't ever come on one of those. And is full up with the key strategical moments. He bites down on his lip as the man with energy shooting out of his hands steps out. Don't do anything yet. Just wait. Get in position.

Down on the ground, Brian has made his way around the building. Leaning his shoulder heavily into the corner in a crouch, he peers down. The van is in plain sight. A sprint could get him to the side of it. If they leave it unattended for any reason… They shouldn't be the ones expecting to get ambushed, after all.

On the other side, the two Brians are stalking throug another alley, staying low to the ground.

The taxi pulls a wicked right turn. And off in the distance he can make out the figure that he would know anywhere. His future wife. The headlights flash as he pumps the gas down the road. "I'm coming!"

As headlights streak across Samara and Bennet, the elder of the pair moves to the side of the curb when the speeding taxi screeches to a halt. Pulling the door open, Noah doesn't hold it for Samara, but rather just slides in to the car, shedding the newspaper sheathe on his handgun. "If the Institute knows where Amid is than there's a chance they know we're here. I don't… I don't understand how they could have figured it out so quickly. Maybe we were careless, maybe— " A consideration on something crosses Noah's expression for but a moment, then is shaken away.

"We have to assume the motel is compromised, we need to pick up Amid and get out of here before they send anyone else. If they mobilize their FRONTLINE squad we'll have lost our chance." Scooting across the rear bench seat, Noah lays his cane across his lap and leans forward to look at Brian in the rear view mirror. "And if you start that meter so help me — "

Two miles away from the motel, the first bit of blood is spilled. Preparing to yank the pin out of the negation gas canister, one of the Retrievers finds his suit and flesh punctured by a knife to his neck. Blood spatters up an invisible arm, spotting wet across a sleeve as the unseen Mazdak operative perforates the Retriever's throat. His hand jerks away, yanking the pin out of the canister as he falls down onto his back. There's a gurgling scream that comes through his respirator's voice filter, and as the gas washes over the invisible Mazdak operative, it bathes him in a haze of yellow fog, peeling away his invisibility as if he were surfacing from a mirror still pond.

Still protected, the forcefield generator turns towards the sound of the scream, his suit protecting him from exposure to the gas. He keeps his shield directed towards the metal mimic, angling his machine pistol towards the now revealed invisible man. Gunfire explodes with a noisy snapping of a silenced machine pistol, and silhouette by the gas and streetlights, the outline of the Mazdak operative is riddled by bullets.

Charging in, the metal mimic rushes the forcefield manipulator, striking the barrier with one arm and creating a shower of violet sparks. His other arm extends out, too short, until the blade of his forearm stretches out further, lancing through the forcefield generator's suit, but narrowly missing eviscerating him.

«No— no, no, no!» As the gas seeps in through the tear in his suit, the forcefield crumbles and the metal mimic moves to close the distance, his limbs reverting back to normal as the gas begins to seep into what of him remains flesh. He collides with the second retriever, and the two land on the ground in a tangle of punches, headbuts and screams.

The Retrievers who remained in the van move to the back, one opening fire on the tangled melee with a short burst of gunfire, tearing open the back of the metal mimic and sending him collapsing to the ice street. Negation gas begins to fill one end of the one-way street, obscuring vision and abilities and buying Brian critical time to move unseen, or to finish off the Institute's team while they're otherwise occupied.

Sam's usually bright smile is neutralized with a clipped kind of worry as she slides into the taxi after Noah, slamming the door tightly behind her after doing so, but her eyes retain that wide-eyed wonder of life itself. Her lips curl slightly though as she peeks into the rear view mirror.

"Then.. You think they knew we were here?" that's unsettling— melting away that faint smile. "I can Amid out. I think. Or someone in. I can at least walk through a wall alone to unlock doors or something— "

Releasing the break almost immediately, the car starts to move again. Even though Sam isn't fully in. Sorry pregnant lady, gotta run! As Noah starts to speak, Brian's hand is slowly climbing towards the dash. But when Noah mentions the meter, it recoils as if slapped. As to Samara's comment, Brian briefly glances over his shoulder. "Oh they definitely know Amid's here. And I will bet twelve testicles they knew we were here." He's serious. He would literally deliver six sperm pouches if someone proves him wrong. Brian gives an accusatory look over his shoulder at Noah. "We've been here for days Noah. If the government and Institute knew, why wait til now? No. They just found out. And I'll tell you how."

A beat.

"Who called you Noah? Your contact? If that's true, your contact is stabbing us in the back."

Brian frowns deeply. "We have a metal mimic mazdak side, as well as an invisible guy.. Both going down. Forcefield generator on the retriever. Got a hole in his suit. All negated. Gas is spreading. We're about to lose our cellphone." A little tap to his head. "I think I have an idea. Though I won't be able to tell you if it works or not."

Through the scope, darkly Brian watches the fight unfold. A little nod is given. And team Brian is in motion. Plunging into the thick of the gas behind the fight and into the van. One Brian is careless and finds his shoulder clipped by the Retrievers automatic burst of bullets. Refraining from screaming as it would give them away, he simply flops forward. As he falls forward, another Brian is leaping over him. Hurdling his copy, his silence pistol comes up.

Thwip. Thwip

As the retrievers fall, two Brians take their place rapidly. One going to continue the fog of negation gas. Keep that cover up. The other Brian goes to rip through one of the fallen retrievers suits, piercing the suit of both of them. Meanwhile bloody Brian crawls desperately towards the van.

Not far now from where gunfire and screaming is likely being reported to law enforcement, a yellow taxi cab swerves through traffic, headlights cutting through a growing snow flurry falling from the dark night sky. Steeling himself in the presence of Brian's scrutiny, Noah looks briefly affronted, but all the more guarded. "I know him better than you do, Brian. I'm protecting his son from the Institute, trust me. If he wanted to turn on me he had ample opportunity to months ago, and for more than Halebi."

A look is shot to Samara, accusingly, then fired back to Brian via the rear-view mirror. "You need to stop seeing knives at everyone's back, Brian. I'm not the one that betrayed the Ferrymen, I took a bullet for the council when Ball turned on us and I'll be damned if you think my judgement or the people I'm working with are suspect. My contact relies on me to keep his son and his family safe. He's returning a favor."

Gripping the door when the cab turns sharply onto a side-street and heads towards the harbor, Noah's body goes tense, and the approaching sounds of gunfire put further tension into him. When he hands Samara a gun, however, some of that tension seems to ebb out. "Do you know how to fire this properly?" Noah urges the silenced handgun towards the young woman. Whether she's qualified or not, Samara has just been deputized to help out.

Not far away now, yellow smoke blows through the alleyway. A bloodied and critically injured Mazdak member rolls around on the ground, blood pulsing out of gunshot wounds to his back and one arm. There's screams of pain, terrible ones, cries for help that Brian doesn't need to speak the language of to understand. Fear is a universal tone.

From the rooftop, the Brian armed with a sniper rifle can't yet see any police lights on the horizon, which means there's still time to get away before this turns into a total clusterfuck. Inside the leased office space, shouting exhoes out into the narrow sidestreet, shouting and clattering noises, doors slamming, boots running down flights of stairs.

Mazdak is bracing for a breach.

Sam's face pales as the car lurches forward. "Enough. Both of you," Sami holds up both of her hands and pleads quietly. "Please. We don't have time for this— it doesn't matter what happened right now— we need to get Amid out of there so he can see his daughter again and then we can figure out what happened after. Please." And so the city doesn't go up in flames separating countless others from their families and loved ones. Noah's unspoken accusation is summarily ignored as Sam turns to face the window. Windows accuse less than people.

The gun is weighty in her hand and actually causes Sam's face to pale a little. "Y-yes. Brian showed me a couple of times. I practiced a little. I'm— " she's not great. Not that she's as terrible as whens he started. The gun is regarded with widened hazel eyes and a calming deep breath. She can do this. Maybe.

With one corpse out of his white retriever suit, the other is started in quickly. While the other Brian starts to crawl into the empty retriever suit. The third Brian scrambles forward, one hand shooting up to grab onto the back of the van. The Retriever Brian grabs onto the man's poor shoulder and pulls the wounded Brian into the van. Managing to get to one knee, he stumbles towards the front of the van. Wheezing with pain, he settles into the drivers seat. He only has to deal with the pain long enough to get Amid in the car. Or survive. His hand goes to the upper part of his chest, covering the hole of leaking blood.

The rifle sways some, peering through the scope. He can't see through any of the windows. Being on the roof, he is not yet negated. And so the Brian in the cab still gets to see.

"Looks like I got the van. I'm probably trying to get their suits on. It looks like Mazdak is getting ready for a fight. I have no shots. And…" A light frustrated sigh is let out. A solution pops into his head, but he's not about to volunteer Samara. He would rather Amid die than be the one to come up with the idea of sending her in there alone. So he simply drives the car fast.

Noah Bennet has no such compunctions, not now, when every last bit of effort matters. Everyone is expendible to some degree or another.

As headlights reveals boats habored at a marina and the waterfront, the taxi cab turns away from the street running parallel to the water, moving down a one way street that a white florist van blocks the middle of. Beyond the florist's van, yellow gas is billowing high and wide, threatening to fill the alleyway.

"Samara," Noah is quick to take charge again, "I need you to go inside and find Amid. You're the only one who can move thorugh the building quick enough. We need to know where he is, and if you can get him out without endangering Amid or yourself, do it." Flashing a look to Brian in the rear view mirror, Noah nods his head down the alley. "The Institute van, check around in the back for a container with syringes. Adynomine's a clear liquid, it'll probably be labeled AD and a serial number afterward. If they were planning on taking Amid there has to be some around somewhere."

Out on the roof, Brian can see a dark shape pass by one of the windows, then another, but no clear indication of who it is. On the second floor of the office building, a face is briefly visible, trying to look down into the alleyway where all of the vehicles have lined up.

"I believe.. I th— I'll find him. I can do this— " whether Sam is trying to encourage herself or reassure the others in the cab is unclear, but her determination isn't. Her neck cranes so she can see Brian within the rear view mirror, "Love you— " the words are quick, rushed, and probably more final than they ought be, as she opens the door and clambers out. She peeks down the alley towards the forming gas only to phase out while clipping towards the building.

She sprints to the building. The wall isn't some unknown challenge. By sheer will she walks through it to the unknown on the other side.

Samara emerges on the other side of that brick wall, thorugh three feet of insulation, wiring, structural supports and drywall to the empty interior of an unrented office space. The drop ceiling tiles have been removed, giving the ceiling a gutted look, and loose wires hang down from where fluorescent lights should be. The interior is dark save for a few chemical lanterns hanging on nails pounded into the drywall and support posts.

Two men are right by the door, viewed as dark silhouettes by Samara through the curtain of construction plastic dividing where she emerged and where they wait. They bark at each other in a tongue foreignt o the phaser, though she can see two of them carry rifles of some kind through the gausy film of the plastic curtain.

Another man is walking with his back to Samara, hands opening and closing rapidly, ice crusting around his sleeves and fingers, cold radiating out in visible steam from his hands. A stairwell isn't far from where he's walking, and from that basement Samara can hear people shouting, voices echoing in a large, empty room. Upstairs she can hear footsteps. Amid has to be somewhere.

Sam, in her corporeal form, scans the area with her hazel eyes, a momentary relax from her ability (the fear of disappearing still in her head) as she stands there inconspicuously. The men with the guns are regarded with wide-eyed bewilderment, but her breath is silent. A glance is given to the floor and both of her arms are crossed over her chest. It would be easy to slide through the floor, but that would be an easier escape route. If Amid is upstairs, that's where the challenge lays.

Yet maybe. Maybe with a stroke of luck she can get through without attracting any attention. That would be a stroke of luck. An unlikely stroke of luck. And with Mister Freeze between her and the stairs, it seems better to take them later. With her arms crossed over her chest, she closes her eyes and disappears through the floor.

Concrete, rebar reinforcement, wiring, crawlspace, floors aren't just solid matter. Samara sees it all as she slips down into the basement, emerging in a boiler room between a large furnace and a hot water heater. Leaky pipes drip water into a stagnant, oil-hued puddle on the floor, pooled around the furnace. The room she's landed in is isolated from the rest of the basement through a narrow and open doorway. Beyond that opening, light from a ceiling lamp shines down on one armed man in a sleek, black suit. His head is shaved bald, dark hair in an immaculately trimmed goatee. He looks of some Arabic decent, dark eyes leveled on the more meek, more helpless figure of Amid Halebi sitting slouched forward in a metal folding chair.

Intense, sharp words are being exchanged, an argument of that there is no doubt. But the argument isn't between Amid and the man in the black suit, but rather between that man and someone he's on the phone with. A shout rings through the basement, followed by a roll of eyes up towards the ceiling, and then back to Amid.

Staring down at the floor, Amid Halebi looks broken, worried and lost. Samara can't be certain exactly what's happening, save for what she sees. Amid is unrestrained but complient looking, and the man shouting into the phone carries a large pistol in one hand, tapping it against his thigh anxiously.

Silent steps bring Sam to the door as she peeks carefully around the corner— kind of— while she steals glances at what the rest of the basement and layout look like. She swallows hard once over. One shot. That's all she'd need.. if she could even hit him from this range. And she can't let Amid freak out.

She frowns slightly as she tries to think. WWBD. What would Brian do? Her eyes wrinkle as she weighs everything in her mind. With a quiet release of breath she shakes her head defiantly. She's just going to have to hope she can get him out— she'd have to pass this man anyways if she plans on leaving if even to get help. And then she remembers something. The cellphone.

The pistol in her own hand is shoved carefully into the back of her pants as she slides tight against the wall. Quickly she texts: «found amid. basement. one armed thug. no restraints on amid. will try to take thug out. upstairs there are two guards with big guns. and mr freze.»

Then at least they have a lay of the land if she dies. She cringes a little as her eyes tighten shut, gathering all of her courage. The pistol is retrieved from her pants and she slinks into the room a little more, becoming incorporeal and allowing herself to shift through the wall, disappearing into a million little pieces.

She sneaks behind him, allowing herself an inch as she's behind him. She allows herself corporeality as she reaches for his neck and tightly wraps around it like Brian had taught her months ago.

If Faraq Adahl looks surprised, Samara can't see it from the back of his bald head. The sudden strangled sound that the tall Iranian makes when he's caught in a headlock catches Amid off-guard, and on seeing someone attack the man who has been single-handedly responsible for his daughter's life, confusion sets in on how he should feel. Faraq drops the phone immediately, hitting the floor with a clatter as the battery and back of the phone split apart on the crash, skidding in two separate directions.

Stepping backwards, Fraq struggles against Samara's grasp, then reaches up to close one hand around her forearm. Suddenly, there's a scalding sensation of white-hot pain as a sizzling nose erupts from where his hand grasps Samara's arm, red-hot light spreading between where her jacket's sleeve blackens and burns away to where flesh blisters and cooks under the exposure of some sort of thermal manipulation.

Faraq grips Samara's arm, then throws his body weight forward, flinging her over his shoulder in a practiced lever of her weight. Flipped head over heels, Samara reflexively goes incorporeal the moment before she hits the concrete floor, disappearing into the ground as she's thrown and cast into total darkness. She surfaces, as if by some sort of bouyancy — more a natural instinct to not sink, only to see Amid break into a jacknife snap of motion.

To Amid, the decision took forever to make. He recognizes Samara, realizes who she is and what is going on. If she's here, it means that Lucine must be safe, and to Amid it makes perfect sense why Mazdak can't get her on the phone.

Amid spears Faraq with his shoulder, driving the bald man back up against the wall with a crash, forcing him to drop his handgun downt to he floor with a clatter. Faraq is winded by the impact, but swiftly punches Amid in the side of his head at his ear, knocking him to the side, and then turns to look where he'd flung Samara—

The instant the hand burned her skin, Sam had dropped her own gun and her lips emitted a high pitched yelp. As she crashes to the floor, she bites the bottom of her lip hard, the agony of the blistered skin still searing through her. Thank goodness for phasing.

And for Amid.

And the wonder drug that is adrenaline. The burn will hurt more later.

She's fortunate enough to have moved from her original spot to crawl behind him. The dancer in her focuses on kicks rather than holds now, movement is something she can focus on. Her arms are high, held up in a defensive position.

With a quick, heavy lean and the momentum she has, she aims at Faraq with a quick scissorkick much like that which she'd trained for with Brian.

In practice, much more terrifying to perform. Her hips move out, leg bends, and when she strikes across Faraq's midsection he topples backwards and collides with the wall. There's a grunt of effort and pain, eyes wrench shut, but he's quick and a more trained and brutal fighter. Grabbing Samara's leg before she can withdraw it, there's a flash of smoke and light as another burn scalds down her calf and the inside of her knee. He drags her leg forward, grappling it beneath one arm, but when he leans in to make a swing towards her jaw, Samara's body breaks apart in his grip, turning insubstantial and causing Faraq to simply fall forward from the momentum of his attack against nothing but air to brace himself against.

At the top of the stairs the cryokinetic shouts down to the basement, footsteps thundering down the concrete steps after hearing the scuffle. Amid pushes himself to his feet, exhaling a ragged breath. As he sees the ice-rimmed man coming down the steps, they exchange brief looks of shock and surprise, and when the cryokinetic's hands lift and a wave of cold begins to spread down the stairs, Amid raises his hands, bones in his fingers glowing white hot, skin orange and mottled red.

A wave of red hot energy explodes forward from Amid, the skin on his hands blisters, sizzles and burns, his cheeks redden and his hair smolders as a flare of atomic fire washes out through the stairwell, burning the clothing off of his attacker's body, peeling skin away in strips of blackened parchment-like flesh, charring muscle and cracking bone until there is a half blasted corpse falling backwards in a molten heap on the smoking stairs, his shadow burned into the concrete.
Brian pages: so.. can I say all the people street side are KO'd or dead?
page brian=Yeah I think that totally works. Brians handling that, Noah keeping an eye on the street nervously.
You paged Brian with 'Yeah I think that totally works. Brians handling that, Noah keeping an eye on the street nervously.'

When the Faraq falls forward, Sam comes behind him to deliver another kick to the back of his head, hopefully heavy enough. At least to buy her enough time to grasp her gun again. The kick delivered, she rolls over to her gun to grasp it before temporarily phasing out.

She becomes corporeal again in front of Faraq and reaches for his wrist, which she anticipates will cause him to recoil, but should she get any kind of touch, she'll tug him towards the stairs. It's time for their getaway.

"Taking too long."

The alleyway has been cleaned out. In the battle between Team Retriever and Team Mazdak, Team Brian won. Sitting behind the wheel in the Retriever van, Brian taps the wheel anxiously. Blood leaking down his shirt. His fiancee is in there. His child is in there. A man who could blow up this entire city is in there.

The two Brian in the retriever suit get down into a crouch. They may not be able to speak telepathically. But they have a general understanding for each other. They have an idea of what is about to happen: The van flares up and is driving rapidly in reverse towards the 'florist shop'. Plowing into it, one Brian has the automatic rifle up and ready, the other manning the negation gas just in case. "Sameye!" He calls out in a panic. "Sameye!"

A flicker in the window on the top floor. It was a man, it looked to be bigger than Amid. So. Thwip. The sniper rifle lets out a shot. He will probably miss. But a little fear of a sniper could always do the terrorists some good.

The Institute's vehicles are built sturdily, designed to resist gunfire and attacks from the outside. It's only when they are put up against true tests of their resiliance that their durability shows. When the van plows back-end first into the corner of the office space it smashes straight through the glass wall of the lobby, raining pieces of safety glass down on the windshield. Gunfire plinks and plunks along the side and back, and one of the two Mazdak operatives on the ground floor are struck by the van, crushed under the rear wheels with a howling scream as hs legs are pinned beneath the tires. No amount of friction manipulation can help him there.

The other Mazdak operative whips around with his Ak-47, turning to the open back of the van, only to find a sudden eruption of gunfire from one of the Brian in the Retriever uniform. His call to Samara rings out through the building, and Brian can see a haze of smoke from the basement, coughing and shouts.

From the stairwell, Brian can hear coughing, a wet squelch sound, and then slapping footsteps. Samara emerges from the stairwell first, one of the sleeves of her jacket burned through, reddened and blistering flesh puffy and wet looking where the jacket is missing. Her right leg is likewise burned, pants blackened and charred, missing in a large palm-sized strip at the calf and back of her knee.

Amid looks in even worse condition, staggering up the stairs, his sleeves burned off up to his elbows, and the wrist that Samara has grabbed a hold of is seared by third degree burns. Skin hangs in layers off of his hands, blisters bubble up all the way to his elbows, and the flesh of his face is pink from exposure to heat. Everything is singed and blackened.

Outside of the building, Noah is limping back towards the cab. "Sirens!" He shouts, pointing towards the back side of the harbor. Sniper Brian can see blue flashing lights in the distance, and further from them he can see the searchlight of a helicopter in flight. They need to leave, and they need to leave now.

Try as she does to tough it out, Sam sniffles loudly as tears form along the edges of her eyes at the sight of the van and Brian more particularly. The relief bubbles over her as she sniffles. There's no attention given to her steps themselves, they're weighty. Sam glances behind her to Amid and nods to the van, it's a quick look coupled with a few words, "Amid! Come on! Let's get out of here!" before she phases into the van rather than conventionally opens a door. Her coughing continues, the smell and texture of the smoke in her lungs is uncomfortably heavy, tickling at her nose and throat.

She poises her gun for the ready. If she's not going to drive, she'll try to help as best she can. Her gunfire can provide cover, not an actual shot towards anything in particular. Her lips press together as she tugs on the seatbelt.

Thanks to her tears, Sam's voice cracks in her throat, "Sorry it took so long— " she blinks hard to focus on the unfolding scene around them. With a frown, she considers putting pressure on her burned arm, but chooses to ignore it awhile longer.

"I have the retriever van." Brian reports quickly. "It has negation gas and those thingies!" He's looking over at Noah in the cab. "Come on. We should all get in the van. We can use the thingie to keep Amid safe." Or keep themselves safe. "I'm sure the van has all we need to keep him negated." The cab lurches forward to just get on the other side of the one way alley. "Come on. Get in!" Brian calls out, throwing the driver side door open. Running to the other side, he goes to help Noah get out.

In the building the Retriever Brians are laying out the fire. Though the bullets stop rapidly at the sight of Samara and Amid. Realizing he's in the white retriever suit, he taps his chest rapidly. "It's me!" He calls out, Amid might have an understandable aversion to Retriever teams.Once Amid and Samara are in the van it's roaring into life once again. Carrying itself away from the building towards Noah and Driver Brian. Bleeding Brian will soon be absorbed, but a Retriever Brian is throwing his arms around Samara. Wordlessly pulling her into himself with incredible tightness.

The arms around Samara cause her to blink harder, particularly as she unbuckles her seatbelt and then twists around to fall into his chest, dropping the gun in the process. Tears line her cheeks, trailing downwards in sobs against him. Her body trembles against him as shock begins to sit in, particularly as the adrenaline dissipates. Her arms wrap around him, the pain of her burn aggravated by the embrace, but she doesn't release him; she finds safety and solace in his embrace. Her eyes clamp shut and she lets herself remain comfortable in that embrace. Even if it had seemed like a routine operation to anyone outside, Sam has never done anything like this. It's overwhelming. She sniffles loudly. " Amid ..?" She gasps for breath only to settle against Brian again.

"Drive!" Is the sudden answer from Noah Bennet as he hauls Amid Halebi into the back of the van by the scruff of his jacket with the help of Brian, grabbing on to a bar designed to help climb into the back of the van. Noah turns around, looking back into the building just in time to see a staggered, bloodied and beaten man with a bald head emerge from the basement stairs. A pistol is held shakily in his right hand, and as he blearily trains his gun on the back of the van, it plunks and plinks against the armored plating of the partly closed door.

An explosion of gunfire from one of the Retriever-suited Brian clips Faraq in the arm, sending him toppling back with a puff of blood spraying from the wound into the air. Noah ducks back and slaps his hand on a switch at the inside of the door, creating a whining hiss of hydraulics as the back of the hatch begins to seal shut.

Turning to the sound of ragged breathing, Noah spots where Amid is slouched up against one of the matte black ACTS containers, its vaguely coffin-shaped form filling up one side of the back of the van, ducked with connections to hoses and electrical conduits. Amid's arms are viciously burned, fingers trembling, mucus dripping from his nose and a string of saliva dangling from his mouth as he chokes back tears from the excruciating pain of his molten skin.

"Amid…" Noah looks up to Brian, "Amid— I need you to listen to me— " warmth radiates from Amid's still steaming hands, "Lucine is— " a look to Samara, "she's safe. But if you're going to survive to see her, we're going to need to sedate you and get you negated, otherwise we're all going to die of radiation poisoning before we get out of the city limits. Amid— Amid?"

Amid Halebi's response is a roll of his eyes into the back of his head, legs buckling and his body slouching down towards the floor. As the van pulls out of the demolished front facade of the business front, it bucks and shakes, rumbling over broken glass and broken concrete. The sound of sirens is getting closer now, and Noah offers a quick look down to the ACTS case, then up to one of the white-suited Brians. "Help me get him inside…" Noah's nostrils flare, head shakes slowly.

Looking to the black coffin, the prison they'd freed Amid from in the first place, he regrets every moment of this trip.

"I know somewhere we can go."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License