Icky Thump Part I


gabriel_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif edgar_icon.gif

Scene Title Icky Thump
Synopsis You can't be a pimp and a prostitute, too.
Date March 26 2011

Downtown Asheville North Carolina

Downtown Asheville North Carolina


"Jason Cochran."

A message has been left on a cellphone for Eileen, Edgar, and Gabriel. The rest of them had already left for their own operation. But Ethan had left behind instructions for the capable team. In the kitchen of the Old Dispensary a few documents have been faxed from Holden already down south. The cell phone rested on the middle of the table as the remaining Remnant members huddled around examining the documents.

"Picture's there. The first one I sent. Red 'eaded kid. Looks nothin' like 'is old man. Anyways, I've tracked th'boys keepin' 'im. They're secretive, but don't look so skilled. The front business is called Pathways. 'elps deaf kids learn sign language or some stupid shit like that. Anyways. Aint been a deaf fuckin' kid in there for a long time as far as I can tell." There's a pause as it seemed the phone was held away from Ethan's mouth.

"A mango a go go, sixteen ounce and a cinnamon twistie." The man growled out.

The picture on the table is of a young man in his twenties. Bright red hair and a stubble forming along his jaw line. A bright eyed looking kid with a half smile resting on his lips. The documents include Ethan's gathered information. Hours of business, the address, the closest iHop. The essentials.

"'ave a couple of 'eavies goin' up there every now and then. Dressed in suits." A laugh was spat out. "Shouldn't 'ave a problem. Probably to th' top of th' buildin'. They got postponed rennovations goin' on up there. No one allowed up. I assume that's a good place to keep prisoners."

8:23 AM

Asheville is just now beginning to stir to life. Downtown always is home to visiting tourists, the thriving downtown area playing host to many different enjoyable activites and events. This early, though the streets of Downtown Asheville are mostly vacant. A few cars slide down the moist streets, carrying them to their respective work places. A few men down the street are wandering out of a building with their eyes on the ominous clouds above. Pondering whether or not today would be a good day for the 'Drum Circle' with the inevitable rain on its way. A Hummer roams its way down the street obscuring the entrance to the office building across the street. Having just arrived, Eileen, Edgar, and Gabriel are still disposing of their meal as they approach the address marked on their papers.

A light fog has hugged itself around the quaint city in North Carolina. Making everything in the usual bustling tourist attraction seem somewhat quiet in the misty morning fog. What appears to be dew condensates on the exterior of the building. Eight stories tall, the building in the middle of downtown is somewhat of an enigma so far. The doors are opened. A few people have decided to get to work this early on a Saturday on different levels. But this is by no means the norm. The building has taken the lead of the streets surrounding it and has remained relatively unoccupied. Mostly. It's fitting that on their unusual trip to North Carolina, Eileen should most readily find a Northern Cardinal to do her bidding on the building. It's tiny wings having flapped it through a briefly opened door at the bottom level. An elevator door with the red and white OUT OF ORDER sign hanging over it. A few hallways lined with doors tying to office buildings. Climbing through the stairwell reveals more of the same. More open ended floors with sparsely occupied cubicles. But when arriving at the fourth floor, the doors are securely locked. And off limits. A thorough search of the building revealed one cracked window on the fifth floor. But it led only into a bathroom. A bathroom with unfinished business in the toilet, and a TIME magazine on the counter. But no access to the rest of the building. At least it's clear someone has been there recently.

Gabriel's ability is a little more illuminating. Having revealed that there are over thirty people in the bottom four floors. And upwards of ten on the fifth. Though not a whole lot upwards.

Thunder cracks loudly overhead as a single drop of rain places itself on Edgar's button nose. The clouds reveal that it's going to be raining hard, real soon. With the rain slowly starting to pelt it, the black Hummer moves into the parking lot. Being thrown into park and turned off, a large man eventually exits. Well into his forties the man looks hardened, a black goatee with slick sunglasses. The head of a dragon in bright blues and reds peeking out from the green collar of his shirt. The overweight but well muscled man throws his door close, making his way to the passenger door. Opening it two styrofoam trays of coffee are brought out, the door nudged close with his hip. While doing so, his jacket lifts revealing a black grip, silver pistol sticking out from his pants. But it is quickly covered as the man makes his way into the building, back going to push the door open. Looks like he might be going to the fifth floor.

The weather in North Carolina this time of year is significantly warmer than it is in New York, but early morning is early morning, and the dark sky promises to keep the day damp and cool, which is why Eileen is dressed in a pair of low-rise jeans that conform to the lean shape of her legs, cotton blouse and a caramel wool and navy mohair-blend cardigan with a dark trim and tortoishell button fastenings. Her jeans tuck into a pair of leather boots that come up to her mid-calf and have flat, functional soles and a slightly elevated heel — the sort of footwear she might wear to go horseback riding, even if horseback riding isn't on today's agenda.

They only have so many clothes. Her cardinal watches the men climb out of the Hummer from its perch in a sycamore on the other side of the parking lot — it's a female bird rather than a male one, its plumage dusty brown with reddish accents on the edges of its sleek wings, tailfeathers and the proud little crest on the top of its narrow head. Tiny pink feet curl around the branch it sits on while glassy black eyes track the large gentleman's progress toward the front of the building up until he disappears inside it.

She's already told Gabriel and Edgar what they can expect to find inside, but now she asks from their hiding place, "Any ideas?"

That's a good one. Any ideas.

Gabriel defers to the gentlemen moving out of the Hummer before scanning the firefly brains he can sense with yet another ability, his eyes blanking a little as telepathy cracks static-like in his head, pushing passed the immediate thoughts of man and woman he stands with— the swift hummingbird synapse movements of Edgar's, the confused, somewhat sinister dual-voice of Eileen's— to reach out to the strangers. What he does find is a lot like sticking ones hands into a paperwaste basket at an intern's desk in an important building, and coming up with useless emails, old newspaper and a few glimmers of interest.

He shudders once done, the kind of shiver that comes with twinging headaches. "Take the bird to the fifth floor, if you can," he gravels out. "Someone's getting hurt." Rain pelts gentle off the wool that fits his shoulders and back, a grey fabric with a lining designed to protect from the weather. Black cotton beneath it, dark denim, and boots that are scuffed enough that maybe they journeyed to hell and back, a crack in the heel that he only remembers when he steps into puddles.

A few seconds after disposing the take out containers for IHOP, Edgar zips up beside Gabriel to peek down to street level. Possibly not the smartest move but the speedster seems more concerned about folding back the yellow wrapper that surrounds a sausage mcmuffin in one of his hands than he is about being seen. The other holds a small cup and when he brings the straw to his lips, two long gulps are precursor to a rather loud slurp slurp. It's not his first stakeout, maybe.

He's a little bitter that they're not going horseback riding. He's never been on a horse. His eyes drop down to the humvee below and his eyebrows raise a little. He's never been in one of those either… it could be a day for firsts. First time eating IHOP with Gabriel and Eileen, first time eating McDonald's in North Carolina, first time in a humvee. Perfect day~.

His the leather of his draggin' jacket creeks a bit as he raises the mcmuffin to his mouth and bites down again, there's a little of the grease that spills down one corner of his mouth and it gets wiped up with the bottom of his black t-shirt. Looking down at his boots, he scuffs one toe against the concrete and tests the pad of one foot. "I ain't the idea man, idn' tha' the ol' man's job?" He's not exactly clear on which old man he's talking about.

Rainwater glitters on the cardinals wings as it springs off the branch and flutters away, a blur of movement only briefly visible in the dark. Eileen dislikes playing scout when playing scout means sending her birds indoors — she's developed a mild sort of claustrophobia since becoming blind, and although she doesn't have to leave her body to follow Gabriel's directions, all she can see is what the cardinal does, narrow corridors and darkened windows that reflect its shape back at it.

Fortunately, this bird has no desire to launch itself at its reflection, and Eileen can place her focus on the task at hand. The cardinal alights on the sill of the open window on the fifth floor, sheltered from the rain. Waits.

She might not be able to see what's on the other side of the bathroom door, but she can at least listen. "I'll let you know if I hear anything," would usually go unsaid between them, but with Edgar here the rules of the game have changed. She's mindful to keep the third point of their triangle informed. "I might be able to access the main hall through the ventilation system," she adds, "but that requires jumping into it and someone will need to mind my body."

"No." Gabriel glances from Eileen to Edgar, then back towards the building they're scoping out. "It's not like you just snap back if anything's wrong."

He isn't one for planning. Right now, his plan would be to walk into the building and set everything on fire until he can locate what they ran all this way here to retrieve, but a bullet wound still twinges in his back as reminder for what happens when he forgets he is not so invincible, and he retreats into thoughtful, scowly quiet. Edgar is right. The ol' man tends to make the plans, whoever he happens to be at any given point in Gabriel Gray's life — Kazimir Volken, Arthur Petrelli, Jensen Raith or Ethan Holden. "If we assume what we want is behind locked doors, I can enter first and head for the fifth floor, and open some. Edgar can come up behind me and locate the kid while I hold people off.

"I'll get out, grab Eileen, and we rendezvous at IHOP. I could do with a second helping." A gun is extracted from a pocket, silent indication about what he intends to do on the way.

Crumpling up the mcwrapper and tossing it over his shoulder, Edgar glances up at Gabriel and raises an eyebrow. "Or we can go in an' sweep through the place all fas' like." The speedster slides two blades from underneath the back of his jacket and tosses one up to 'test the weight' or just show off before catching it again in midair. "'ow many'a these people are we s'posed teh keep alive?" If Edgar had his druthers, it'd be zero to less than that.

A flick of dark blue eyes is directed at Eileen and the speedster's head twitches to the side, letting out a series of cracks. "No 'ffense miss, bu' I wouldn' le' my Lydia go in no place she migh' get 'urt an' forgive me fer sayin'… I ain't too keen on tellin' yer da we le' you go in a place like tha'." In other words, girls shouldn't be fighting. He might dress pretty sometimes but the Carnie's still a little sexist when it comes to real action.

Eileen's cardinal perches in the spoiled bathroom near the door. There's not a whole lot to be heard initially until there are a few comments made eventually. "Do I get a turn?"

"No. He's pretty much done."

"Come on. We've got a whole day. Let me get a little bit in."

"He doesn't think he can hold it right now."

"What the fuck?"

The men conversing must have taken a step away from the door or something. Because Eileen is suddenly deprived from more comments. Until there is the flat thud. The tell tale sign of flesh pounding into flesh. Then a sharp cry. And then again. Rinse and Repeat.

The fog grows a little more dense in the expanse from the teams vantage point and the office building across the street. Another drop of water cascades from the sky down onto the street. Before it all out openly pours down into the street with a cracking lash of thunder. As Gabriel and Edgar move across the distance they will find the building much as expected. The first few floors are mostly vacant a few workers milling around here and there. Once they get to the fourth floor they find it is much more empty and protected. Doors locked from there on in. The fifth floor only a half a flight away. Gabriel's brain GPS helping out a lot more at this point.

There are men scattered throughout the fifth floor. Through Gabriel's telepathy he can sense some are resting, some are sleeping. A few are partaking in idle conversation or thoughts. But a few, roughly three, are dealing in much more violent stuff.

Back at Eileen's vantage point, she can hear one more stray comment before Gabriel and Edgar seek entry.

"Alright Jason. Good work. You want something to drink?"

Gabriel and Edgar are already gone by the time Gabriel might've otherwise been able to feel it — a quiet shimmer of frustration and resentment at Edgar's words, some genuine hurt threaded through it, though none of it unexpected on Eileen's part. With the men gone, she allows her facial expression to reflect more of what she's feeling, mouth pinched and dark brows drawn, gray eyes gone hard with an emotion that's difficult to assign a word to even when she's being introspective.

She isn't right now. The cardinal on the lip of the fifth floor window watches the door. Listens. Tittering sparrows and fat, glossy starlings keep watch over the parking lot on her behalf, making sure that Eileen isn't taken by surprise while alone. At this point, she has no method of communicating to the men exactly what she hears.

It's the Jason that gives her pause, and through the empathic connection she shares with Gabriel, she drives a sharp spike of warning.

The name isn't uncommon, and neither are coincidences, but she's not going to operate under the assumption that it is one.

None, had been Edgar's answer, before Gabriel had sped away from hiding spot and hurt feelings. Later, that can come later. And keeping this man Jason alive is also unspoken, just assumed.

The noise of their invasion and the thunder of speeding feet echoes through the building by the time they've reached the fifth level, Gabriel choosing to leave the irrelevant bodies they whizz by unharmed if only because they present a lack of threat, and energy and bullets can be better spent on things like— the door. Skidding to a halt in the corridor and telepathy picking up what it had picked up before, he levels a hand for the correct locked door (the one not holding a gun) and concentrate.

Just as that spike of anxiety fritters through his empathic consciousness, concussive force is unleashed. Blam, and a cone-shaped ripple in the air slams into the door, blowing it off its hinges.

"Yeah. There any coke? Holy shit man. I could send a man through a steel wall. When they come tomorrow, I'm just going to punch through their heads. Like seriously." It's the last thing Eileen's bird hears until the world busts loose on the other side of the street.

"Holy shit, Mike, someone's coming up the fourth floor. I think. I didn't see anyone. But the alarm is going—"

The steel door flies off its hinges, but doesn't go far until it collides. The steel door takes a man straight off his feet. His head whips back from the sheer force of the door, blood splattering out against the ground behind him. The man and the door topple a few feet away from the now empty passageway.

As Edgar bursts in at stupid speeds, his eyes acclimate quickly to the new surroundings:

The room is full of about twelve, now eleven, men. And all of them are staring straight at the empty doorway. All of them wide eyed and jaws dropped. There are a few mattresses and sleeping bags scattered on the far side of the room. Men having woken up at the sound of the blast and the door. Four or five men looking groggily over at the door.

A few more men are scattered about reading magazines or just lounging. One mad had opened the door to go into the bathroom. To find a bird and a pooped in toilet. But rather than be angry about that, he's busy staring at the blasted door. There is a moment of awkward hesitation before every man in there is scrambling for a weapon. Those awake are grabbing weapons in their holsters, those that were sleeping are crawling for a table to grab shotguns and weapons.

On the far side of the room, near the windows there are a few suited men standing next to a man on his knees. The man on his knees is the boy in the pictures. Jason Cochran. Covered in blood. A busted nose, a black eye, cuts and scrapes cover his face, and the wounds continue on the rest of his body. The kid has endured one fuck of a beating. His white t-shirt is blood soaked, a long stringy trail of the red liquid going down the front of his shirt. Yet he's still conscious. Hands splayed at his sides, Jason stares wide eyed at the door. The men standing by him do as well, one holding a Coke bottle and rapidly going for his gun.

"Oh no man," Edgar says mildly as the man reaches for his gun. "Y'don't bring a gun to a knife figh'. You've only go' six'er ten bullets— righ'? Et's 'ardly a fair fight." The kukri are tossed straight up in the air and Edgar's arms are almost invisible as they flick behind him to pull four throwing knives. They get flicked in rapid succession as the carnie sings one of his favorite childhood songs, or at least one of the only ones he remembers. "Head an' shoulders, knees an' toes~"

Coke bottle gun man's first hit is a dagger between the eyes, then another embedded in the shoulder of the gun arm, another to the opposite knee, and the last one through his shoe. The speedster is gone before the last knife pins the now dead man's foot to the floor.

Gunfire fills the room — a sharper, but louder sound than the concussive blast that came just before it, and it swipes a man's jaw from his face before Gabriel is moving again. His form turns into black, inky darkness, slithering agile through the room as it snakes around the men that fill it. Corporealness flicks on and off with each position, appearing behind a man to put a bullet through shoulderblades, flowing over his toppling form in shadow again to wind around the leg of another, becoming flesh to knock him off balance and fire gun with the muzzle pressed flush into his ribs. And to the next.

He doesn't notice that Jason's hands are shaking either, more intrigued by the floor and spatter of blood, the joy of hunting fish in barrels. Get Jason, is a telepathic instruction that knifes through Edgar's brain.

The man who was previously known as Coke Bottle man is now known as Knife Cushion Man. The man drops lifelessly into the ground with the knife pinning his foot into the ground. Another man is taken out by Gabriel. The man flopping on the ground, blood soaking the ground around his downed head.

By now, men are gathering weapons. Bringing their guns up, trying to aim them on one figure or another. But Edgar is speeding along ridiculously. And Gabriel is inking around the room without a trace. Another man drops from Gabriel's weapon. Eight men left. One man has risen with a double barrel shotgun, letting off a single deafening blast in the direction of Gabriel's most recent location.

Jason is remaining on his knees, resting in his own blood. His eyes flick to one of the men in the suits. The man he has looked at has retreated to a corner, folding himself up some. Jason's eyes flick up to Edgar, then Gabriel. His hands continue to shake uncontrollably, but has yet to make a move.

The slow spiraling decent of the two kukri is interrupted from actually clattering to the ground by a blur that scoops them up at the very last second. The voice in his head causes a sneer to find its way the speedster's face, fucking telepaths, but he obeys. He zips through the room in a serpentine pattern, a corpse in his path gets a high speed boot crunched down on the neck as the carnie uses it for leverage to leap off and tumble toward the… spaztic hands?

Well that's just not right.

Coming up from behind Jason, Edgar first tucks the two blades into their sheaths and then stops completely beside him. "I told 'im i' wouldn't be a fair fight. 'E only 'ad so many bullets, righ'?" A twitch of Edgar's eye is really all the warning Jason gets before he's scooped up into a princess carry. "'Old on, we're 'ere teh take you 'ome."

Buckshot tears up the wall where Gabriel used to be before he'd disappeared once more into inky black, but he spins in place in his phased form before moving again, zipping like a demon through the air directly for the man with the shotgun. Shadow wraps around it, becomes a hand, pushing it away before it swings around to clock him in the jaw — blood sprays from slack mouth, but it doesn't actually have to do with the blow itself. Getting shot, in shadow form, still hurts. But shotgun man convulses in place once, landing in a pile from some mysterious, likely psychic attack, even as another gun is leveled at Gabriel's back.

They shoot. Nothing happens, except for the wall getting a bullet in it when it goes cleanly through Gabriel, the serial killer unharmed.

He crumples in place as well, executed where he lies by two clean shots from his pistol, but there are less men in the room than there are bullets, unfortunately for them. He glances at Edgar out his eye, before lifting his hand towards those remaining in the room in preparation to blow them away the same way he did the locked door, teeth bloodied in a grin.

More men are dropped due to Gabriel's vast array of powers.

At the end of the rapid exchange of Edgar and Gabriel's awesome display four men line themselves up in the center of the room facing off against Gabriel, Edgar, and Jason. One man is in his skivvies, a t-shirt and red boxers. Another in a jeans and t-shirt. And the last two in suits. All holding pistols. Except the man in his boxers holds an MP5 in both hands.

The large man they had seen carrying the coffee lay in a pool of blood Gabriel delivered him into, a few soy lattes spilled on the ground beside him.

The four men hold their weapons up at the two powered freaks, weapons shaking with the tremendous amount of fear the two supers have put into them. Though one man on the end in a suit slowly sinks to his knees. His weapon being dropped. Hands placed palms down on the cold floor. Pressing his hands down weakly.

The bloodied and beaten Jason is scooped up easily into Edgar's capable arms. Hands going to grasp at Edgar's shirt as his wide eyed stare goes up at Edgar. Lips practically trembling. He doesn't know what to say. His hesitation is prolonged until he fills the momentary silence.

"You're early." Jason meeps out.

The hand grasping at Edgar's shirt then extends and flings the speedster into a nearby wall as if the man was a bag of marbles rather than a sack of flesh. While Edgar is thrown out from under him, Jason lands nimbly on the ground, prancing forward in the same moment. Raising up on one foot, Jason's fist is cocked back. The pull back seems like it goes on forever, the fist flying at Gabriel's chest. Time slows down as Jason's fist careens through the short distance. And then time speeds back up.

Gabriel flies out the window.

After the fist connected thickly with Gabriel's chest the former serial killer slash current serial killer slash whatever goes sailing and crashing out of the fifth story window. Body flailing as the man goes down…. down…. down….

Good thing that Hummer was down there.


Sometimes Eileen has to remind herself that things were never straightforward, even when they were still a part of the Vanguard, and to wish for simpler isn't only pointless — it's a little delusional, too. The sound of Gabriel's body impacting with the hood of the Hummer booms through the air like a small explosion, and if it sets off the other car alarms in the parking lot outside the building, then that's not her problem.

Jason is, and it's one that she shares with Edgar even though her boots are cracking against the pavement five stories below him as she makes brisk, purposeful strides toward the site of the collision.

The trees rattle and rustle in anticipation, and when she raises her hand, the sparrows and starlings that had been keeping watch in the dewy green sycamores abruptly snap out of their branches and rise as one into the early morning mist.

Hurling a body through a window doesn't leave much glass in it. She directs the stream of birds into the gaping hole and at Jason, not to claw and scratch at his face, but to drive their bodies into the orifice his mouth and throat, aiming to swiftly choke and smother rather than make him bleed out.

Car alarms thrumming in his ears, but not quite as loud as the rushing blood that beats a percussion through his veins. Dazed, Gabriel doesn't move from where he lies starfish splayed atop the dented roofside of the hummer beneath him, and when he breathes in, the air sounds like it's being sucked through a wet tube, and red fountains between bared teeth as his lungs give an involuntary cough of the blood that's gotten into them. He's done this before, pretty sure. Jjjust like riding a bike, is being tossed off a building.

Black phasing slithers over his body, but never quite takes, remaining corporeal.

Essentially alone, save the Hitchcock scene unfolding around Jason, Edgar peels himself back from the wall and shakes his head to clear it. Everything aches. A full body shudder loosens his muscles and a near invisible flick of each wrist has a kukri in each hand as he glances around him. Bullets are easily dodged as the speedster’s eyes can follow what seems to him as their slow progression through the air. Maybe he just moves that fast.

By the time a light spray of bullets peppers the wall where he stands, the carnie is gone. The hole provided by Gabriel gives inspiration for what happens next. Soon the man laying on the humvee is joined by another only his company lands on the sidewalk beside the large vehicle. He’s quite dead, thanks to the smile that’s been carved into his neck.

Jason’s body nearly collapses after the strike is delivered. The boy crumples forward, one hand going to slap on top of his knee to keep him upright. One knee lands thickly against the ground as Gabriel takes a flight out the window onto the car below. A ragged breath is drawn in, hand pushing weakly against his knee to right himself.

Jason takes a ragged breath as his eyes slink to the open window, and then the birds rapidly descending upon the gap of building. And at the same time a man in his skivvies is being thrown fully out the Sylar sized gap and out onto the pavement. Jason stares wide eyed at the birds as he takes a step back, mouth opening as if to sound a warning. But his warning stops abruptly at the Speedster’s deadly antics. Jason turns sharply to stumble his way towards the door.


The man who was kneeling on the ground gives a sharp nod. And then the speedster finds it a little bit harder to move around. Mostly because the ability to gain friction on this surface has become all but impossible. Boots and feet alike slicking along the concrete surface as if it consisted entirely of hot butter. Jason too slips and swings around to have his back slapped against the ground. Max seems to be the only one who is impervious to the footing problem. One of his hands grips under Jason’s shoulders, pulling him quickly towards the door.

The men with the guns let out frantic sprays of fire towards Edgar as they fall rapidly. Unable to stay upright. And then the birds arrive. Jason’s mouth opens only to admit a tiny bird. A yelp is let out as Max rapidly pulls Jason through the doorway, slamming the door behind them to head off the rest of the bird assault. Max is immediately throwing his arms around the convulsing Jason, pulling the heimlech on the smaller man.

Tiny claws hook into Jason's esophagus — whether or not his companion will be able to force the sparrow out again is no longer up to Eileen. The tiny creature doing the smothering is in turn being smothered, and she can feel her connection to its mind fraying away, thread unraveling until it eventually snaps, the sparrow voids its bowels into Jason's throat, gives a few final, feeble snaps of its wings, then goes still, no less of an obstruction than it was a few moments ago, but no longer a mobile one.

Outside on the pavement, Eileen moves around the side of the Hummer to avoid stepping in the mess left behind by Edgar. It's an unpleasant reminder of how her November the 8th could have ended, would have ended if they hadn't been warned in advance. She hooks a boot up onto the side-step, swinging herself up to grip the roof's crumpled edge. Her other hand seeks out the side of Gabriel's face. Slips behind his neck to support his head.

"Falling back," she tells him, which is a prouder way of saying that they might want to consider a full-on retreat — if he's even able. She's not sure that he is, and her voice is tight with uncertainty.

The shock is bleeding away, but not to unconsciousness. Gabriel's eyes blink and gain some clarity, which might give hope to the idea that he heard Eileen correctly, or at all. Baring pinked teeth, he slowly, sorely, rolls onto his side and away from her, but mostly out of the practicality of not needing her to scurry out of the way, for all that retreating back from gentle hand may have something to do with pride as well. Move out, is a raw command — not anything nearing persuasion, or even a hamfisted nudge. The telepathic voice is only that, sounding staticky in the heads of anyone who might be nearby enough to hear it. Eileen. Edgar.

And his new friends.

Hands braced on the car, Gabriel looks a little like moving is labour, but determined to do it anyway, teeths set and breathing through nostrils. He hasn't broken a bone, but there is damage. But maybe not any pain, as he numbs out the feeling of injury with a flick of a thought.

Bullets whiz by and Edgar doesn’t have enough traction to actually move out of the way. Not controlled movement at least, lucky for him the spread arcs upward as the people shooting at him are having just as much trouble as he is. Helpless to do anything but passive resistance when it comes to injury, he looks something like a Vaudeville clown while he arches his back, this way and that, in a small attempt to dodge the projectiles. Move out sounds through his mind and for a moment he’s grateful, left alone but not behind.

Unfortunately everyone else hears it too and when all eyes are on him, the carnie gives them all a twitch of a smile before growing deadly serious again. The kukri are replaced in their sheathes and a set of smaller throwing knives are drawn from inside his jacket. It’s a race against the gun as Edgar pokes the knives into the drywall at a rapid pace. The hilts are used as handholds and his feet planted firmly on the floor, he pulls himself along, skating across the slick floor toward the window.

A five story drop is going to hurt like a bitch.

Jason’s face is completely pales as he falls weakly against the stairs. The only thing keeping him upright is the arms of Jason secured around his chest. A solid pump of the man’s arms has Jason convulsing, that usually small seeming bird much too large for Jason’s throat. The dead bird has scratched and clawed it’s way down. Jason’s eyes begin to flutter close. Another sharp crack against his ribs, his neck lolling around on his shoulders as if it was disconnected entirely from the rest of him. Another sharp pump and a sickening gag is let out. Feathers, blood, and bile empty out of his mouth with resistance from his teeth. Dropping in a splatter in front of him, a deep desperate breath pulls out from Jason’s lips.

“Come on. We’ve got to get word out.” Max murmurs, feet hammering down the stairs as he practically drags the near dead Jason behind him, trying to suck in breath as they make their hurried way down. Jason is almost dead weight as the larger form of Max tries to escort the pair of them down and down. Away from the birds and into the more populace levels of the office building.

On Edgar’s level there are still two men left. Slipping and slapping across the now slick surface. One of the suits falls onto the a mattress that had been there from before. Gun slapping against the ground, the man slides on the mattress towards the exit. Raising the gun, an uneven shot is let off, penetrating straight into the ceiling. And then the man is springing off the mattress in a haphazard leap, one foot swinging on the lose ground, arms going to sweep around Edgar’s hips. But the lack of traction has the man’s momentum continuing. Sending the two men toppling out of the Sylar Sized window.

They'll land with the scene title if someone doesn't think quickly.

Well. No. They still will, because thought does barely nothing. Numbed to pain and general physical feelings, Gabriel becomes a blur under the philosophy that he must move quickly, and he does, adopting Edgar's familiar blur and converting into inky blackness at the last moment. Momentum with him, the formless black mass of energy arcs up the wall, touchless tendrils lashing out and reaching for Edgar and the man he tumbles with in deathly pitch for the ground.

One of them disappears. The other hits the ground and is motionless, but with his face turned up, Eileen can at least see that Gabriel snagged the right man. Haphazardly roiling for the ground, the black mass of cloud writhes across the concrete in what looks like dizzied, weak movements, before Edgar is distributed into solidity, finding himself with all four limbs still attached and lying on his back. The swatch of black peels away, and ripples towards Eileen, reaching.


Is the sound Edgar probably would have made if this carnival ride was a fun one. As it is, pushed out a window at five stories, even after trying to mentally prepare himself for the fall elicits a scream of panic from the speedster. Someday he'll learn how to parkour and he'll be able to jump down buildings bigger than this and do it with style, today he'll settle for living.

The inky coils that surround him and the sickly feel of turning non corporeal, even for a moment, is enough to give the man the willies. When he's deposited face up on the ground beside the one that made it out of the mess living impaired, he lifts his head to make sure that he doesn't need a new pair of pants first. Then he turns his entire body onto its side and wretches his McBreakfast all over the sidewalk. Never again. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, the sludge gets wiped off on the splotch of a man beside him and he slowly moves to his feet.

"We're goin' teh ge' breakfast again?"

Birds stream out of the broken window, seeming to disperse in every direction — there are multiple ways out of the building, and Eileen wants to be sure that they're all covered, not that so she can direct them to attack Jason and Max, but so that she, Gabriel and Edgar have a sense of where it is they're ultimately retreating to.

Trying to take one or both of them alive isn't worth the risk, and if what happened here is any indication of what might've happened to the others, then Eileen suspects they'll decide what to do about it when everyone gets back to New York.

The black swatch ripples toward her, reaching, and she steps back into it.

The police arrive pretty soon. This isn’t New York City. Things like this don’t happen every day.

The police department naturally overcompensates.

As the Remnant gathers and disperses, Jason and Max wait out their options. Moving from window to window to peek out at the swarm of birds hovering around. Searching for them. Eventually the Remnant are forced to draw back. Too much attention from downtown Asheville, causes them to retreat rapidly.

Jason and Max eventually slip out the back, a few police officers hinder their way but it’s nothing that a few punches from Max to Jason cause the cops to have their worst on duty days in their service to North Carolina. The two slip away a few blocks before they get into their own car. Jason slumping in the back, nearly dead.

“I don’t think we got them…” It’s said weakly.

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