If A Bomb Falls...


claire3_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif sanderson_icon.gif

Scene Title If A Bomb Falls…
Synopsis …and no one is around to hear it, has the apocalypse come?
Date November 28, 2009

Ankofia River

There's a proverb that asks, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound. In a way, the night air reminds Lieutenant Sanderson of those very words.

Sometime around midnight the skies started to clear for the firs time since team Bravo's arrival on the island. A thick patchwork of clouds still blots out large portions of the night sky, but dark pools of black flecked with glittering stars breaks up the otherwise oppressive gloom. The air is warm, cooler now with the breeze coming off the water and the sun down. Without sight of the moon, the land around the bay is little more than rolling slopes and dark silhouettes that suggest the presence of high mountains and deep forests. No lights to be seen in any direction, no planes in the sky. It's like that saying, but instead of a tree, it's somewhat more grim.

If the world comes to an end, and no one is around, does anyone notice?

Staring up from where she sits, cross-legged on the deck of the riverboat, Lieutenant Sanderson wonders that very question while watching the play of stars and clouds high above. She's not supposed to be awake, not right now at least. At this hour, it's Huruma and Danko's watch, which may well contribute to why Sanderson's having a hard time sleeping.

The only light other than the stars to be seen for miles is a tiny one when it blossoms to life. Cradled between Sanderson's hands, the glow of her SatCom booting up reflects on the bottom of her chin. With the worst of the storm having rolled past, she searches for a signal, holding the SatCom up, as if she's trying to signal heaven with the little white light of the screen.

Maybe to tell them to be expecting company.

Even the two night watchmen regard the moment as a quiet time- the boat is quiet during the night, moving ever so slowly with small force to do so. The sky above reflects into the water of the lagoon, the surface seemingly forever unmarked by either the boat or the creatures underneath. That mirrored world alongside the boat offers little but a sense of longevity to the water; with the sounds of Malagasy jungle around it and the telltale lurking of the boat's shadow, even the clearing water appears both bottomless and glassy. The water may be surrounded on all sides by trees, but there are slim, varying signs of human habitation- though many are under disuse, or have simply been overgrown by plant life during the interim. The only visibility is skyward, and once in a while, the broccoli-tops of baobabs stretching up above the rest of the endemic flora.

With Danko at the helm keeping watch, Huruma has been relatively free to use her own abilities and skills elsewhere; she has been making a short trip around the skirt of the deck. The satcom's glow as it hovers illuminates Sanderson's face at first. Second, the deck. When she shifts it the third handful of inches, the glow sweeps over Huruma, who is suddenly over on the port side peering over into the river. Where did she even come from? Her feet certainly made no noise.

Sitting with her legs crossed, Indian style, in front of her, Claire is leaning hunched over a cellphone towards the front of the boat. A small frown on her lips, as she stares at it, as if it'll actually start working if she gazes at it long enough. Pressing a button, the phone beeps back at her again. "What the hell..?" She murmurs to herself. "Worked when we landed." She murmurs to herself.

Claire hasn't even slept yet, with Danko on watch she's not going to be able to sleep. She doesn't trust the wiley old man as far as she can thrown him… which is not at all. Gabriel while he still freaks her out, she at least can sleep some around him. He's not as much of a threat in Claire's mind.

To Sanderson's credit, she manages not to recoil when she spots Huruma in her peripheral vision — but only just barely. Swallowing tensely, the Marine glances over to Claire, then down to the SatCom and back again before rising up from her seated position. Huruma is regards with a silent, if wary, look; the same way someone might keep their eyes on a large and unfamiliar dog. Walking over to Claire's side, Sanderson crouches down and turns the SatCom around in her hand and offers it to Claire. "That won't work out here…" She nods to the cell phone. "We had a signal receptor on the plane, probably was still working for a while. It's proper-fucked now, even if the militia didn't take it away. You can use this though, it's secure enough. Just enter 7-7 to get an outside line."

Tilting her head to the side, she looks Claire up and down, then asks quietly, "You holding up okay?" Bennet, after all, is the only member of the team without the proper experience, and also the youngest.

Huruma all but actually ignores the two other women on deck for now, instead watching the water like a tall, sidestepping heron. When the exchange begins from Sanderson, and she explains the satcom- Huruma turns her head at this to listen, eyes alighting on the marine and Claire in turn. If she were a dog, her tail would be wagging at hearing how to access the outside line. But, Huruma is certainly not a dog, and so her mood only betrays itself in the angle with which she now peers over at the two. And the satcom.

She could ask, or steal it for a few minutes- asking seems troublesome if Sanderson has the inclination to say No.

Glancing up at Sanderson, Claire sighs softly. "Sucks that it stopped working.. Richard needs to know about those grenades, since he's in Argentina." She tucks the cellphone in her back pack and zips it shut. "And about Danko.. His girlfriend had a bullet put in her brain by Humanis first.. it's a miracle she survived and is now in Russia. But if you have a line.. you probably got that out to the other teams already." She leans back a bit and rubs her hands on her thighs. "Beyond that, I'm holding up fine." Glancing over her shoulder at Huruma, Claire adds, letting eyes drift back to the marine. "A little nervous about those grenades.." It shows in her eyes some. "I've witness what happens when I loose my ability.. it's not good."

"Do…" Claire starts after a moment of silence. ".. you know why they stuck me with this group? It's… odd to find myself in the same team with the man that hunted me down at a homecoming game to try and kill me.. He hunted me for… a really long time trying to get my ability… and here I am." She frowns a bit. "Just doesn't make sense."

Furrowing her brows, Sanderson offers a hesitant smile to Claire. "I alerted my superiors to the information surrounding the aerosol agent. I'm waiting to receive orders on how to proceed about that." The young Lieutenant's expression turns somewhat earnest, and she moves to drop down and sit beside Claire. Glancing up at Huruma, Sanderson offers her a nod and at least the anxious beginning of a smile. So far, at least, Huruma has proven herself trustworthy — even if that seems to go against what Sanderson read in her thin folder.

"I don't know why they picked you, Bennet." Sanderson's good shoulder rises in a half-shrug. "General Autumn and members of the President's anti-Vanguard task force assigned the teams. I figure it was more about a mesh of abilities than it was personal grievances. You're — for the most part — indestructible. This is the only country that's a war-zone, as far as we know. Besides, your healing might even protect you from the Malaria."

Glancing over to Huruma again, Sanderson's curiosity seems piqued. Something about the way the stoic woman searches the water is intriguing. The visual regard has gone from wary to intrigued to match, now like someone presented with a wild and exotic animal in its natural environment. Hurumas in the Mist, or something like that.

Her inquiry is not so much so as it is a warning that she will be inquiring- either way, it is short and low in natural volume, though loud enough to be heard. Huruma's face tilts back towards the glassy surface of the water, watching the shadowy lumps of trees and dots of stars skim past the side of the boat. Listening to Claire and Sanderson converse is not difficult at all, and the only thing wrong happens to be that Huruma audibly lost some short words to the lapping of water on the belly of the ferry. So the girl doesn't know why she's here? Neither does Sanderson, apparently. Huruma finds the marine's answers very lacking in backbone.

"The… president didn't have a say at all?" Claire suddenly sounds amused like that.. almost like there is an inside joke people are missing. Her head shakes slowly as she smirks. Her dad probably doesn't even know. "Not that I can't handle this.. I think I proven I can.." She flashes Sanderson a smile as she tucks hair behind her ears, "It's just.. weird.. having to trust Sylar… And then those grenades.." She gives a little shiver and rubs a hand on her arm as the hairs stand up. Her head turns a bit so that Claire can take in Huruma as well, watching the dark woman.

"He probably did. I mean, he did form that task force." Sanderson offers Claire a lopsided smile, then looks up to Huruma. "Not… that I expect a straight answer, but who're you going to be contacting if I let you?" If. She at least tries to hold up the pretence of authority here. Though given the situation and her injured state, Sanderson is the least likely of anyone in the tea, to be able to pull rank and be able to back it up.

"Battery's at seventy-five percent too, I just want to make sure it doesn't die before we reach Mandritsara. I'm hoping they'll have something I can charge it on. The solar pack and signal booster weren't in the cargo the militia left behind…"
"Contrary t'popular belief, I do have a personal life." Huruma glances back over at Sanderson, eyes slightly narrowed and lips taut. "One tha'I was pulled out of. Th'call will take me no longer than a minute, really. I jus'need t'tell someone where I am. But No- means no." The woman settles on leaving it to the marine to decide; she doesn't make an ultimatum, or anything like the sort- perhaps she figures it could work best if she left something important to Sanderson. Case in point, control of the SatCom.

When the woman looks back to the water, a huff of air escapes through her nose; she then pauses, then takes a deeper breath. Preparation for something, or possibly meditation to suppress irritation- hard to tell right now, but it sounds like they should be waiting for something to happen next.

"I dunno… " Claire really doesn't see that her father would have knowingly put her with Sylar, but she's not going to press it. She can't really without giving up that little secret. Glancing over at Huruma, she shifts a bit so that she can look at her. "I admit it would be nice to talk to Magnes, but…. At least he knows where I am… so there is no press to use up precious battery," She glances at Sanderson. "I'd think a quick call to tell some one that cares for you, 'Hey I'm alive.' would be a good thing. I know when Magnes was kidnapped, I was fairly freaked out and ready to tear apart New York looking for him, until I got my orders telling me I needed to be here."

"Just don't tell anyone else I let you make personal calls…" Is the quiet permission Sanderson offers to the two women. "We still need it for navigation — " or at least Sanderson does, " — the last thing we need to add on top of being stranded is being lost." When the Lieutenant's blue eyes track to the cabin of the boat, she looks towards it for a short time, then settles her eyes back on Huruma.

"You didn't seem apprehensive about Lieutenant Danko being here." There's a quirk of Sanderson's head to one side, a lock of dark brown hair falling from behind her ear. Quickly threading it back with a reflexive hand motion, her attention on Huruma drifts up and down lazily. "You're the only one who didn't seem to dislike him either. Care to elaborate a little on that? I doubt you two were co-workers."

Huruma seems to decide what to do next, the slight hunch to her shoulders lifting back up and her breath resuming normal timing. Her tongue draws out to wet her lips, agreeable with the minute of call later on. When the question comes, her eyebrows lift slightly towards the Lieutenant, eyes jumping onto her with a somewhat more piqued interest. Oh, is that right?

"You are not ver'good a'this game, are you, Sanderson?" Huruma's lips pull back in a breathy little smile, tips of white teeth flashing. Her body curves inch by inch until it is moving to sit on the edge of the low ferry wall, legs outstretched and feet on the deck. "Yes. We were. Are? Were. I suppose."

"I don't need to make it, seriously. Save the battery. Huruma needs it more.. since she was drug here." Claire gives the woman a small smile. "Thanks though." Sanderson's question to Huruma, snags Claire's curiosity. "That's a good question.. Though I only really know about him through what I've been told by everyone that's dealt with it all. I had friends majorly hurt by him.. Liz was just about killed.." Though she goes silent as Huruma speaks, frowning a bit as she listens.

"Marines don't play games on the field…" Is Sanderson's admittedly defensive answer. In truth, she feels a bit more embarrassed and nervous than anything. The tall woman's evasion of the elaboration comes with a slow close of Sanderson's eyes and a nod of her head, as if she should have expected a cryptic response and feels a bit silly for thinking otherwise. Huruma can feel the embarrassment ebbing from her, and knowing what Huruma does only makes it worse.

"I don't know what happened between the Lieutenant and your friends, but right now he has valuable intelligence on this mission and is another hand. Regardless of what Emile may have done, he's got jungle combat experience and knows the terrain. Once we get to Mandritsara we can figure out the more trivial details." Because apparently, in this setting, Danko's time with Humanis First is trivial.
"Guessing games, dear. Do no'take me so …seriously." Huruma bends at the waist, untying her boots and knocking them off by the heels with the opposite feet. She is already there to take off her socks and ball them up too. "I will educate you more an'say tha'we were, at one point b'fore this, co-workers. But never in th'sense of …being in th'same group- only in th'sense tha'we'ad common grounds t'walk on…"

Without making an allusion to what exactly it is that she is doing, Huruma plucks at the clasp at her belt. "I will, however, not sugarcoat him- Emile is as awful as everyone thinks he is, but really, we've gone over th'fact we all are, t'some degree."

"Maybe.. But I suggest sleeping lightly when he's on watch.." Claire offers blandly, leveling Sanderson with a serious look. "I'd trust Gabriel at my back more then him." A smirk goes to Huruma and she nods a bit in agreement. "I'm pretty sure he's gonna stab everyone of us in the back at some point, it's just a waiting game at this point and with hope we can get the mission done before that happens."

Stretching out her legs, Claire flops back on the deck, pushing her back pack under her head. "I have to admit though… This will be a hell of a story if we come out of this all alive. Though watch… we get all this done and they will Haitian us." Her eyes focused up at the sky now. "I hope they don't. Would be nice to remember all this… and know what we did to help the world."

We all are. The notion offered by Huruma changes Ross' emotions to something unexpected to the palette of Huruma's empathic senses. To describe it as a flavor, it's bitter like the way a pickled vegetable is. Guilt comes in many forms, in many varieties, but guilt tempered by the sting of shame is a unique one. Perhaps Ross isn't the good old American girl she tries to play herself off as.

After all, she's here.

"Haitian?" There's a side-long look from Sanderson to Claire, puzzled in the way her brows furrow. Then, a moment later it dawns on her and she lets out a half-cracked smile. "Oh, you mean Rene?" One dark brow rises, "He seems like a nice guy, even if he doesn't have much to say. I don't think that'll be happening, or at least— I don't hope it does. But then, you know, I might not mind forgetting some things I've seen here…"

The belt in Huruma's fingers comes open, but only so that the woman can pause to look straight at Sanderson. Her eyelids shade her eyes, making the shadows on her face long enough to appear momentarily painted there. Ah. There is a delicate smugness for the span of a few seconds, fading as abruptly as it appeared.

"Sooo that is his name?" Huruma interrupts her quiet with a purr of words. "If he comes near me, I will blind him m'self." That is one way to handle the Haitian problem. Dropping her pants might sound hilarious, but seeing her do it happens to be a bit disconcerting- if only because she gives zero forewarning. At the least, she has the sense to stroll down to the ladder attached to the side of the deck before the next part- the woman leaves her olive tank-top and white shorts on the deck just beyond the ladder, keeping upright with just a hand to the wood above and a leg wound through the ladder.

"Forgetting seems like the cheap way out." Claire turns her head a bit to look at Sanderson. "And yes.. Rene.. I've known him since back when Gabriel started to stalk me. My adoptive dad use to work with him.. and he was always sending him to wipe our minds. But just once Rene didn't take away my memories. Told me I had to remember. He helped me out a time or two and protected me." Her shoulders shrug a bit, hands moving to fold across her stomach, fingers laced. "I don't like having my memory taken from me… So I'll deal with the good and the bad, just so as I never have to have that happen again."

Watching Huruma with a shocked look for only a moment, Sanderson looks away and stares down at the floor as she pulls her knees up to her chest and rests her chin on them. "I dunno…" She murmurs, "…there's a lot I wish I could just forget. It's like… getting a second chance, except everybody else remembers." Rocking her head from side to side, the Lieutenant seems years younger right now, less the military woman she tries to present herself as and more the young woman of mid twenties that she really is.

Casting Claire a side-long stare, Sanderson's brows furrow in consideration. "So you and Varlane?" One dark brow rises, followed by a faint smile. "That wasn't in either of your files," is her way of apology for her behavior on the aircraft carrier. "I guess it must be nice having someone 'back home' waiting for you. There's not much for me when I come back— if I come back." Always the optimist, she is.

"You know, if things were different I'd be in FRONTLINE right now, up in Massachusetts; Unit-02." Her expression turns bitter. "This wasn't how I expected to serve my country, out here… middle of the jungle, half my team dead before we hit the ground." Sanderson's eyes fall shut and she rests her forehead against her knees.

"Some fucking leader I turned out to be."
Fortunately, it is not Huruma's job to actually be the morale booster; but now, she does what she can, sending Sanderson a small wave of calm- emotions of reassurance- and it only lasts as long as it takes Huruma to toss her clothes into the bigger pile over her boots and shift herself down the ladder. When the woman hits the water it is almost soundless- just a splash much like the ones lapping up against the brow of the ferryboat.

"I dunno… considering when I first met you I wanted to claw your eyes out… I think your doing a fine job doing the whole leader thing." Claire shifts a bit up on her elbows to give Sanderson a grin. "Come on… Look at the people your having to lead… not exactly the ideal team." Her tone is bland.

She then quirks a smile at Lieutenant, "And yes.. Me and Magnes. For several months now. No reason for you all to have that in your files. It's not like we're married, only dating." She glances over to where Huruma was as she hears the splash. Brows lift a bit and she murmurs, "There is no way I'd get in that river and I don't get sick. not to mention in movies… places like this have stuff that will eat you… Don't want to have to regrow a limb."

"I'd be more worried for the poor things in the river…" Sanderson admits with a good natured smile. She's not sure where the fleeting calm and relaxedness came from, but she's thankful for it. "It is Huruma in that water with them." There's an almost teasing manner in which Sanderson says that, but just dry enough to be difficult to discern from an honest opinion.

"I'm really worried about what happened to Dixon and Ruskin. I don't have any idea what Rasoul would do to prisoners if he managed to capture any, but the unconfirmed reports the MLF sent us when we made contact says he keeps slaves in the capital. I don't know just how hard this country's fallen, but if Ruskin and Dixon weren't killed…" Cutting herself off, the Lieutenant looks down to the SatCom in her hand when the phone lets out a short tweep noise. Blue eyes scan the freshly illuminates screen and there's something of a troubled look that crosses her face, before she deletes whatever message there was.

"Good point." Claire murmurs listening for the dark womans splashing. "She doesn't seem like some of the others. Cannibal or not. She doesn't make me want to look over my shoulder like Candy." The sound from the SatCom makes Claire glance at her 'leader' and arches a brow. "Okay.. that wasn't a good look. What's up?" She moves to sit up fully and arm wrapped around one knee, the other lay staying extended.

The water is cool, and Huruma is close enough to hear most of what is said on the deck just nearby. She just smiles to herself and submerges for a handful of seconds before moving around the back of the slow moving boat. Having some sort of skill, she is able to keep close and yet have her fun at the same time- though Huruma is also taking the time to at least play the part of hygienic.

"If they were not killed, they are alive." Huruma's voice up from the water on Sanderson's closer side sound somewhat rigid now, possibly from getting used to the chilled river. "That is what matters, yes?" The small splashes of movement become less apparent now; following the boat's trail, Huruma's shadow lurks around the surface of the water just at their heels. Away- but not too far. Just enough to be alone.

There's a swallow, awkward and tight from Sanderson as she just pockets the phone. Momentary nervousness from her washes over Huruma, as well as uncertainty. Forcing a smile, the Lieutenant offers a look to Claire and a nod of her head. "I think she heard you…" comes the attempt at humor, doing her best not to comment about Candy. Sanderson's already worn that road down enough for one day in her mind.

"In a couple days we're going to have to be careful…" Sanderson slips away from the topic, rising up to stand slowly on the boat. "This river runs dangerously close to one of the main roads. We might run into a truck patrol headed this way, or God-forbid another riverboat. If Rasoul's soldiers are armed with the neurotoxin…" One hand comes up to rub at Sanderson's forehead.

"Bennet…" Blue eyes track down to the blonde, then over to the edge of the boat. "You too…" There's a hesitant expression, something like a smile. "I appreciate the company. It gets lonely out here, with all the silence. I'm… glad I got to talk to someone a little more receptive than— " she clicks her tongue and waves one hand in the air. "Thanks."

A small smile tugs at the corner of her mouth as the marine switches subject. Hmm… "I would hope she knows I mean it with the utmost respect." She leans over to look for the dark form in the water. "I would hope… Either way.. Yay more dying." Claire comments with no enthusiasm what so ever. "My mom would flip if she heard what I've been doing." Reaching over she pulls her ill fitting, bloodstained and hole filled body armor into her lap and looks it over with a bit of a frown. "I think this will work at least for another fight.. then I won't be able to cover you all from the big stuff."

Claire pulls on the velcro of the armor and reattaches it again, staying quiet for a moment before adding. "Hey.. it's just nice to have someone who seem at least some what normal. I might be a terrorist.. but I don't have homicidal tendencies. I'm not like the suicide bomber type. I just wanted to protect people like me from a system I see as flawed." She holds up a stalling hand. "Not that I want to get into a debate.. just saying.."

Huruma stays trailing the boat for a short time, at some points submerging and reemerging like a crocodile in the starlight. Eventually, she does rejoin the side of the boat again; the splashing of her hands against the ladder are heard first, arms sprouting up onto the side of the deck followed by her head and shoulders. Her feet remain on the lowest rung, her back to the air. Her eyes seek out the two other forms on the deck, silently debating whether or not she should bother asking one of them to toss something over- It's not like she's totally foreign, after all.

While Huruma ponders this, she watches Sanderson, water dripping down her neck as gravity dries her in tiny doses.

etly, the expression managing to linger now that she's pushed more distressing thoughts aside. Looking up towards the sky, she wrinkles her nose and stares at the clouds as a few quick flashes trace through the approaching dark, followed by a distant peal of thunder. "Not going to matter soon, I figure…" Edging her foot over to Huruma's discarded clothing, Sanderson gives them a courteous kick-scoot of them across the deck and over to where the tall woman stands.

"Looks like it's going to rain again." Then, with another wrinkle of her nose she adds, "…at least we're alive to hear it."

"That's a positive, being alive and all. I like the rain…. Or at least how the world smells after a good rain. Course around here, it never seems to stop raining." Claire makes that last bit sound distasteful and then adds. "Neat place to visit, but I sure as hell don't want to live here." The tiny blond, moves to lay back again, pillowing her head on her pack again.

One long arm snakes across the small span to pick up the shorts; Huruma edges up the ladder, less concerned about toplessness than apparent bottomless …ness- as she finds it more suitable to turn and sit sidesaddle where the ladder meets the deck between the wall- before she pushes her legs through the shorts and nudges them up over her knees. Her eyes are half on Sanderson at the time, something in her expression both unreadable and leading- maybe she knows something was going on, maybe not.

"It is only raining b'cause w'ad th'misfortune t'come during th'rainy season. Right after, during our springtime-" New York springtime, that is. "-it is very beautiful here. Everyt'ing blooms, an'th'floods recede, th'water clears, th'birds return- then again, so do th'tourists." Hm. Win some, lose some.

"I don't know if this country will ever see tourists again…" The tense words from Sanderson are met by another distant rumble of thunder. "We've passed so many little abandoned villages on this river, and every time we go by one I just— " There's a tension in her voice, "I'm hoping we aren't already too late, for the people of this country, for what we came here for…" Sanderson swallows noisily and shakes her head.

"Mandritsara feels too far away." Perhaps, then, that's why she starts to walk past Claire, hesitating where Huruma site, reaching into her pocket and offering out the SatCom. "Offer still stands…"

"Does doesn't it.. All we got is hope at this point. Just gotta give it a fighting chance." Claire murmurs softly. Would Dr. Edward Ray send her here if it was apt to fail anyhow? Claire frowns a bit, unlike Cardinal, Claire doesn't know much of this mysterious dead man, but it doesn't seem like he'd send her on a fool's errand. There is a soft sigh, but she doesn't say anything as Sanderson moves past her, Claire seems content laying on the deck of the boat staring at a darkening sky.

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