In The Ashes


ash_icon.gif ling_icon.gif nadira_icon.gif oleander_icon.gif perry_icon.gif peter_icon.gif thalia_icon.gif

Scene Title In the Ashes
Synopsis The bodies of the dead are burned and Messiah fractures.
Date November 8, 2010

Ruins of Midtown

It's been a long night.

Mornings should be about new beginnings, but there's nothing new about the situation presenting itself under the first pale scraps of sunlight that weakly penetrate the thick clouds overhead. Dawn does not bring rays of sunlight, but heavy gray clouds that block out the sun and forebode impending ill weather.

It's been eight hours since Carmichael's double was killed, eight hours since Melissa and Gael broke away in different directions than Gabriel and Eileen. Eight hours to collect the dead, to gather strength, to nurse fresh wounds. Accomodations for the night for the remainders of Messiah were poor, the sixteenth-floor safe-house hidden away withint he crumbling skeleton of a skyscraper once devoted to some faceless corporate entity before the bomb.

Cold, noisy when the wind blew through it like breath through a harmonica, it was at least a shelter for the evening. What mattered is that is was secure and while the comforts and accomodations of the Ferrymen may seem like cold ones, it's some measure of comfort never the less.

Come that pale gray light of dawn, however, no one is gathered in what the Ferry once called Hotel California. Down ont he desolate and isolated streets of Midtown in front of the crumbling skyscraper, the remnants of Messiah are gathered for two distinct purposes. To honor the dead, and to decide where to go next.

"Sit tight," is gruffly stated as Thalia Ashford is forced down onto her knees out front of the skyscrpaer's blasted front plaza, her hands cuffed behind her back and the vigilant eye of Ashley Williams and his AR-15 ensuring that prisoners aren't getting any convenient ideas.

They only had theo ne set of handcuffs, and it's arguably Thalia who's earned them. Oleander Thespuda sits on the steps of the building, head hung and forearms draped over his knees, a black eye and cut on the side of his face, leg bandaged from the knife that drove into it. He isn't going anywhere.

Knox is upstairs, back in the safehouse with Griffin, both still unconscious from the injuries they sustained.

There's been some discussion over what happened, and the stories from Oleander and Thalia line up as much as can be expected. Rupert told them that Peter had betrayed Messiah and killed Rebel, that he'd sold out the group to the Institute. They were fed a story, supplemented by Rupert's own forked tongue that had brainwashed them into their current state.

Still, better safe than sorry, especially since Carmichael could still be out there somewhere.

"No fussing, no fighting, no arguing." That's Peter's one demand for these fleeting dawn hours. The reason why is readily evident in ragged mess in the middle of the street. Wooden furniture has been piled up, whatever didn't burn during the fires that ravaged midtown, whatever's flammable, stacked high and laid atop with whatever boards and planks Peter and Ash could gather over the course of the night.

Bodies are wrapped in tarps left behind by abandoned shanty-towns left strewn between building in the ruins. Too many bodies for one night, too many more yet to come. Stacked up on the pyre, the corpses of Allen Rickham and Mika Iwasaki look like blue plastic crysalis from a distance. There's no bodies for West, Kris and Risa to bury, but this can be in spirit too. Let it not be said that Messiah does not honor its fallen.

"Do you have something to light this with," Peter off-handedly says in a hushed tone of voice to Ash, dark eyes turned over to the soldier. A lot of good a final sendoff would do without the proper ignition.

A molotov cocktail or two would be poetic.

The lioness is caged and she's not very happy about it. The wind is still in the immediate area around Thalia. Her lips locked and her clothes bloody. She shifts her weight, trying to put her hurt leg into a better position. Thalia Ashford isn't happy, but would you be happy right now?

She was brainwashed.. that pisses her off more than anything else. After feeding the story to Peter and the others and being told of what had really been going on, to say that Thalia is sorry for what she did is an understatement. Her light grey eyes scan the cityscape and then she studies each of the people in turn. She did some damage back there. So real heavy stuff.

"Goddamn shame." She says softly as she watches them wrap the bodies up. "Fucking shame." The aerokinetic lays her head back against the wall and sighs. This has been a hell of a month. She's mostly been quiet, wanting to get out of her cuffs. But if she suffocated everyone in here, she wouldn't be in a better predicament. So.. she's sitting and waiting. In pain. Ouch.

Even in the terrible accomdations, and the hard ground that was very much unsuited for someone like Ling, so used to soft matresses, down comforters, and other amneities that helped ease one into dreams, sleep had come easily for Ling Chao, a symptom of the exhaustion she had felt after te previous nights events. Sleep, however, had not been something she wanted. Sleep meant acknowledging that the day was over, and that the following days possibilities had to be faced head on.

Still, sleep had done much for Ling, having been roused form sleep only a short time ago by the sounds of Ash and Peter finishing thier work, and when summoned out to the gathering spot, the Chinese woman slowly paces her way out, a glance afforded down to Thalia, eyes narrow momentarily. There's no way for her to know if she is still under Rupert's compulsions, but the lack of swirling winds is as good a sign as any. Dark tendrils of smoke waft off of Ling's tired form, as they are wont to do, forming a smokey trail behind her as she walks up jsut short of Peter.

Absence and presence aren't always at odds. Sometimes one is necessary to make the other possible. Perry wasn't in the thick of the latest battle - he is so rarely as strong a hand as he is loud a voice - and his distance then may have made the closeness of now possible. To be here, mourning the dead.

Perry considers hating himself for his cowardice. But he has a deficient faculty for self loathing, and an overdeveloped capacity for rationalization. He persuades himself just as effectively as he can persuade others - he can talk himself into things. And out of them.

And so it is without shame or guilt save for the vaguest and most abstract kind that a black-clad Pericles Jones pays his respects, mingling with his fellow Messianics. Black slacks, black raincoat hanging open to show a black shirt with the white words Sein-zum-Tode printed on the front. This is his way of showing respect, honestly.

Perry glances over at Thalia, the woman who brought him into all of this. He dips his head in a brief nod, but says nothing. Just shakes his head. He left his molotovs at home.

Nadira was wide awake. Perhaps she shut her eyes and rested, but in light of everything, she never fully slept. She stands near Thalia, her gaze on the wrapped bodies of those who had been lost. Her expression is hard to read, eyes watching but she's not altogether present. She's thinking. She blinks at the askance of fire, a small shake of her head being the only response from the Egyptian woman.

Ash is standing guard, the man tall, silent, and sombre. He watches the bodies rest on the wooden furniture, and murmurs a soft mantra beneath his breath, just on the range of audible. It's the names of everyone in Messiah that has fallen in New York, one by one. With West, Kris, Risa, Rickham, and Mika all at the end of the list. His teeth grit and his head shakes slowly. He glances down to Thalia, and nods hsi head ot her statement, but doesn't speak in agreement of it.

Peter's request has his head lifting upwards and a slight nod coming from him. He reaches behind him and pulls out an incendiary grenade. He twists, and turns his hands on it, popping it open and handing half of it over to the man. "Pour it out, and then…" He holds up the other half, the ignition cap. "I'll toss this on the wood." He looks over to the pile of wood and bodies, debris, casualties of war and his teeth grind a bit. "Would have been damn good to see you in the white house there Mister President." he murmurs as his farewell to Rickham. "And you cheated me Sparkles. I still owed you an ass kicking… chicken shit…" His voice breaks a bit, his jaw clenching as the big man shakes his heda and looks around him to the others, going silent as he waits for Peter to empty the liquid contents of the incendiary grenade.

Oleander's silent stare focuses distantly on the pile of wood and soon to be pyre. He doesn't see Peter when the darkly=dressed figure releases the incindiary grenade canister, sending it aloft on an unseen vector borrowed from Griffin, the long telekinetic appendage keeping Peter at a safe distance as it douses the bodies and wood with inigiton necessary for a fire.

"I don't… really know what to say," is a guilty admittance Peter makes as he stares vacantly into the fire, his eyes glowing softly in the same way Griffin's do, though a dull red shade. When the canister is emptied, it's just dropped down into the tinders as Peter's eyes lose their diffuse glow.

"I wasn't really ever good with speeches," is suggestive, as he turns dark eyes in the direction of thw wiry young man in glasses not far from Thalia. "Anybody have… anything?" It's asked as Peter step away from the pyre, nodding in Ash's direction in confirmation.

Her gaze falls to Perry and she tilts her head at him. She hadn't seen him in a while but already.. he looks much different than when they first met. He's seen and done things that he normally wouldn't have done before meeting her. It's her fault that he's here in the first place. She nods her head stiffly at him, hair falling into her face.

The young woman slides herself up until she is standing. She walks with her hands cuffed behind her back, with a noticeable limp towards the fire. The wind picks up just a tad, feeding the fire a little. Her hair whips in the wind as she watches the bodies burn. Using her ability to carry the smell out of the surrounding area. "We all joined Messiah.. in order to make a difference."

Her head turns and she looks at everyone before turning back to face the fire. "We wanted to make the government hear us.. change because of our actions.." she speaks softly, her voice barely heard before she speaks a little louder. "These here.. were are brothers and sisters in arms. Comrades.. friends.. or you might not have ever spent a moment talking to them." Tears well up in Thalia's eyes but she wills herself not to let them fall.

"We were tricked, brainwashed.. lied too and made to turn against each other." She turns around with a grimace before making her way back over to the wall and sliding down slowly. "Remember that, it's nobody's fault here of what happened. Remember that and live, in their honor. Or this was all for nothing, we were all for nothing." She nods her head towards the bodies burning before falling silent.

Eyes closing as the wind dies down a bit. Clearly, she's tired.

Ling is not traditinally the emotional type, and even now she tries to show as little as possible, with her arms crossed as she looks out over the pyre in front of them, shaking her head. She knows better than to blame Thalia or any of the others - the square of her blame lies solely with Rupert Carmichael, and what he has wrought. Still, she feels no regrets for the conflicts held against her teammates over the course of the month - such is thet empestous nature of betrayal and allegiances in a "business" such as terrorism.

She lets out a sigh, pacing back, arms sagging to her side as she walks back where Thalia and Oleander sit. She has no speech to give, simply a nod offered to Thalia.A moment passes before she finally speaks up.

"Do not forget this, in the coming days. We are all going to need all the strength we can muster. Perhaps out fallen comrades can lend us some." It's not something she wholly believes in - anyone who knows lIng knows how uncharacteristic a sentiment it. But it's something to say, something that helps reassure herself about the days to come.

Still, no matter how hard she tries, it's hard to miss that look, that air of unease and worry that she carries with her.

Perry gives a brief cough, clearing his throat of a phantom obstruction. It's more guttural and real than 'ahem ahem', but it serves the same purpose. Perry starts talking - and knowing him, he might be at it for a while.

"This should never have happened," Perry states, with a flatness of tone that suggests this is a purely logical statement - but the lack of emotion doesn't last. Tension rises with each following sentence. "We should never have had to fight our own - it is a violation of the very basis of Messiah, as I understand it. Our unity is what makes this struggle universal, and it was riven by the corrupt use of the very essence of our unity - our gifts. This schism was a hideous joke, and these deaths constitute the punch line to a hideous joke.

"There is no value in their loss. It was pointless and stupid, as of this moment. But-" Perry pauses, "there is a test of greatest stress. Neitzsche formulated it. If you found out your whole life would be relived in its completeness, birth to death, over and over and for all time, would you be happy, or furious? Would it be hell, or heaven, this personal eternity? Their lives, as they ended- I can't believe that they would want to live that again. Not with this result, in tatters and mourning.

"So Thalia is right. Our duty is to redeem this," Perry's eyes slide from face to face, "All of this. We need to make every last life here worthy of reliving, in that it made something else possible. If we do not leave this place ready to make their lives more than pointless, we are betraying them just as thoroughly as Carmichael betrayed them."

Nadira's not saying a word. Really, she doesn't feel it's her place. She's on the outskirts of things, still breaking her teeth so to speak, and she doesn't know any of the fallen well. Still, she's respectful, bowing her head slightly. Regardless if she knew them or not, she knows they died for a cause, at least.

Ash looks to Peter as the man spreads the fluid about, then looks to everyone in turn as they speak. "The one thing we can't do is quit. When we quit. When we stop fighitng for what everyone has believed in, fought for, bled for, and died for, we make their lives meaningless. I know that I will fight until my dying breath, and I have a feeling, that especially after today, most of you will as well." He tilts hsi head down, and speaks a soft prayer, something a child might speak at their bedside, asking God to keep the souls of the departed. Then his hand flicks a button on the primer, and he tosses it into the pile with a twitch of his wrist. He then steps back, though his hands cradle his AR-15 once more, and he watches Thalia warily. Not shouldering his rifle, but definitley ready to if need be.

His head turns, his eyes scanning around himself and over everyone here. "And you're wrong there Perry. These deaths are someone's fault. None of our own. But Rupert's. Except for Rickham…. Rickham was alive when he went through the wall. Sylar killed him, though I have no idea how. He reverted him back to his flesh and bone body some how." He rolls his shoulders a touch, then lifts his eyes to Peter, watching the man solemnly.

The pile of wood and bodies catches fire, flames licking along the wood and engulfing it in short order, the small measure of napalm spread over it causing it all to become a roaring conlfageration in moments, lifting tongues of flame high into the sky as it consumes it's fuel, and Messiah's fallen burn.

"Kill or be killed," Peter explains, lifting up a hand to rest on Ash's shoulder. He doesn't verbally correct him on mishearing Perry's sympathies on fault and blame, given the gravity of the situation that might be a bit rude. Instead, Peter lets it slide just as he does with his hand off of Ash's shoulder. "We all made choices last night, I didn't see what happened between the two of them, I'm not going to judge him."

The warmth from the fire spreads out in strong emanation as the flames rise up higher, soon turning Rickham and Mika's bodies to black sikhouettes as thick, dark smoke rises up from the pile of burnable refuse they had lit this makeshift funeral pyre on. Peter, instead of a few good words as some of the others had offered, instead offers a moment of silence

The wind makes its noise in his silence, whipping through the skeletal framework of the skyscrapers beyond, billowing the flames and bidding them to rise higher, sending popping embers up into the air like incindiary snowflakes.

"I don't know what we can do in the short-term right now," Peter admits honestly, "the transmission carrying Rupert's persuasive trigger may still be set to broadcast across the city at noon, and that's not enough time to stop it. Some people were working on setting up frequency jammers, I'm— hoping that it'll be enough."

Looking askance to Thalia, then over to Perry, Nadira, Ling and finally Ash, Peter seems lost for a few moments. "I know what I have to do, and that's head to Staten Island. I need to track down Sasha so that I can come back here and heal our injured, and then…" Peter looks up to the ruins, "save as many lives as I can if things do go the way some of us saw…"

The aerokinetic uses her ability, funneling the smoke and spell out of the immediate area. Her eyes, glowing a hot silver focused ahead on the blaze again before she closes her eyes and exhales a deep breath. Eyes closing again.

"Sounds like a plan Peter." she says in a soft voice, she could be preparing to nod off to asleep. Exhausted still and not exactly in the best shape right now. "Because I.. for one could use a little healing touch." she breathes out and switches her legs position with a hiss of pain. Ling got her good, but then Thalia got her good as well.

"I'm sorry to you guys, Ling. I couldn't.." he kills her pride to say this. "Couldn't control myself last night. I didn't want to, but we all know why I couldn't." she says and then her head falls over to the side and she's breathing deeply. Apparently, she's sleeping or something like it.

"No blame rests on you," Ling replies simply. Sure, she may have throw glass back at Thalia after she had been shot last night, but with the moment past there is no sense of ill-will. That sense of worry shines even stronger as one arm reaches over to grasp the other, Ling looking off to the side. "I do not know what I should do today. Only what I am supposed to do." Her eyes close for a moment, and she sighs. "Helping is not my strong suit, but I will try and do whatever I can. I can only hope these jammers work as intended." She gives a bit of a nod, reaching up into the sleeve of her more-or-less skin tight outfit, pulling out a piece of paper stained with red from the night before. She does nothing with it for the moment, she simply holds it in hand.

Nadira nods towards Thalia. "It could have been any of us in your same position. Do not be too hard on yourself." She murmurs, then notices she's already sleeping. She glances around at the others, shaking her head. "I did not have a vision of the 8th… so I believe I will just go wherever I am needed and try to keep out of too much trouble." She offers with a small smile. "Perhaps I will find some use."

Ash turns his head, looking over to Peter and offers the man a slow nod of his head, then blinks a bit as he realizes that he misunderstood Perry, the realization dawning in his eyes. "Sorry Perry. Didn't quite… yeah." He looks back to Peter, then around to everyone else. "I'm going to be fighting. I'm going to find the government people where I can today, and going to deal with them. I don't know what's going to happen to me today, but I'm not going to hide. I'll probably see about finding some FRONTLINE. Deal with some of them, make the government less able to respond to our attacks." he twists his head, neck popping a little bit.

"Not sure if anyone wants to tag along, or what anyone else's plans are, but that's what I'm doing. I've got a new cell phone, and…" he fishes his hand into his coat pocket, pulling out a handful more. "They're prepaid, very few minutes, but it's a form of contact." He hands the phones off to Peter. "Without Rebel we need to coordinate ourselves. Now we can at least to some degree. All the numbers are programmed into all the phones. If anyone needs me today, call. I'll do my best to come help. The streets are going to run red today. It's our responsibility to make sure as little civilian and innocent blood is shed as possible. At least, I feel it is." He turns and steps away, swinging his rifle around so that it's against his back.

"Ash," Peter worriedly murmurs as he eyes the phones, these things are a hot commodity on Staten Island where traders hawk them for exorbitant prices and don't ask questions, which is especially handy for people like Ashley Williams who set off police sirens just by thinking about a police station. "Today isn't about revenge, it— can't be. That's exactly what Rupert would've wanted us to do, be some sort of faceless monster killing indiscriminately."

Looking to the bodies, as if they'd disapprove, Peter slowly shakes his head, then turns his attention back to Ash. "Some of us still have Rupert's trigger in our heads, we might not even know it. If we hear that broadcast, it isn't just going to be Institute agents or the people that were pulling Rupert's strings we kill."

"It'll be kids, civilians," exactly the kind of thing Peter had been trying to move Messiah away from. "If you want t'do some real good today, the Ferrymen might need some additional muscle. I don't know what their situation is, but I can bet I can get you in touch with someone who does. Help protect the people of our kind who need the protection, from the people who'd do the most harm."

Dark brows furrow and Peter's head shakes slowly. "If the riots happen today, killing a few cops or other people who can stop the violence is only going to do more harm."

Ling winkles her nose as she looks back towards Ash and Peter, a hand rising up to rub her temple. "Staying away from anywhere that the broadcast could be heard until afterwards is likely the smartest thing any of us can do. Just in case." Rubbing her cheek, she shakes her head. "The last thing any of us needs to do is stand out. The draw attention to out selves. It will bring ire from all fronts. If you wish to go out and make a scene of yourself, I willnot be coming wiht you." She can't help her tone from sounding a little accusatory. "If the riots happen…" Ling rolls her shoulders in an uncharacteristic shove. "I think we should do what we can while keeping our heads as low as possible."

Ash looks over to Peter and hsi head is given a slow little shake. "Not indiscriminate violence. Not revenge. Justice. Bringing it to the agents of the government." He does crack a slight smile though, ever slight. "I've got plenty more weapons and ammo. It's what I've been spending all my money on since we started all this. Stockpiling. I knew it would all come in handy at some point." He winks at the man, but it's half hearted, then looks around himself.

"We also can't live in fear and hide because Rupert had something set up. If we do, he's won. I won't stand by while blood is shed and the government uses it as an excuse to hunt us and do as it wishes." He looks to Peter then, and nods his head again to the man's statement. "There's that possibility. But FRONTLINE will be out in force. The Institute will be out in force. Should we pass up this oppurtunity to strike back at them? To weaken them? I'll wear earplugs." His joke falls flat though, and he heaves a soft sigh. "I'm not talking about killing cops Peter. I'm talking about killing the Institute, FRONTLINE, stuff like that. If you don't want any part just say so." he loosk the other man in the eyes, then turns hsi head, looking around himself, his eyes falling on Ling. "I ran down a roof shooting grenades and unlaoding at helicopters and institute people alike. I'm pretty sure I made a scene of myself already." he smiles at her. "I'm not asking anyone to come with. I was letting people know what I'm doingt and offering for them to come with if they wish.

"I have a house full of IED's with remote triggers, all just needing to be primed," Perry says, tone going flat again. He's just reporting facts. "I was preparing for my vision. Where I had rigged Brooklyn-Queens expressway to collapse. I presume, now, that I was doing this under Carmichael's orders. Unless there would be some value in the action. Creating a barrier to the fire, perhaps. The resources are available, in any case." Resources, and evidence enough to send him to jail for a very, very long time. "I don't know what my ability is, still, so I'm not sure what special use I can be. I might better serve by staying outside the city for the day. If I was ready to destroy that expressway, I may well even now have a trigger. I don't imagine I'd remember if I did, but considering what I saw, the chances are not slight.

"That said, I will be in the thick if that is where I am needed," Perry adds, less with conviction than with a total lack of doubt.

"Ash," Peter changes his tone as if somehow it might actually get thorugh to him, "what— part about this don't you understand? You'd rather lash out blindly across the city, knowing that you could get turned into Rupert's instrument of murder at any time, than consider the possibility that any one of us might have the right idea? You can't— you can't just go off like this with a gun in each hand and expect it to make a difference."

"Rupert wins when we do what he wanted us to do, when we become the thoughtless killing machines that people have said we'll become if our triggers are flipped. Are you that blinded by how angry you are that you can't even see that far past your own sense of— "

Peter's hands curl into fists at his side, lips press down together and both hands lift up as he takes a slow step back, looking between Perry and Ash with visible uncertainty and frustration, which deserves more of the other isn't certain yet.

Nothing more comes out of Peter's mouth, no more rebuttal, no more contrition. His argument against the brick wall has come to an end.

Ling's eyes settle on Ash as well, narrowed as she points straight at him. "I am aware Peter said no arguing. I do not tend to argue with you, however, I will tell you not to be stupid." She glares at him, pushing over the wall as she walks towards him, still pointing with the hand not holding the piece of paper. "Have you paid any real attention to what may be coming today? Have you considered the consequences? OR how the blame may fall on the shoulders of others? Of Messiah? Of evolved?" She stops short of him and Peter, recrossing ehr arms.

"I have my reasons to hate the Intitute and FRONTLINE as much as the rest of us. You will not find me, however, striking out against them tomorrow, because to do so is a fool's errand that will only strengthen their resolve and weaken our position. To strike at them now is to do so when they most expect it." Her gaze settles on Ash for a moment, before she turns back, waving a hand at him dismissively. "Do what you want. But do not do so in the name of Messiah, if you choose to make things worse for everone." Smoke is flicked back with the wave, Ling's form becoming more and more ethereal with eerie step.

Ash watches Peter as the man gets angry and tries to get through to him. His head cants to the side a little bit, a faint smile tugging at his lips. "I've already said it's not about anger. And it's not." The man's broad shoulders give a slow little rolling. "Then make a plan Peter. Come up with something for us to do. You're the leader, fucking lead man. Come on." He turns and eyes Peter with a sad look in his eyes.

"We need direction Peter. We've done the Rupert thing. But now what? Rebel is gone. Rupert is gone, half of our people are gone or missing. We need direction and purpose. Where do we strike now? Where do we stand? What is the plan my friend." He steps up to Peter and rests a hand on the guy's shoulder. "We're all still here, willing to fight, willing to do what needs to be done. We need direction." He pats his shoulder, then lets his hand fall away before he approaches the pyre, walking right up to the edge of the flames. His voice is a whisper when he speaks. "You were Messiah. You were the light in the dark for those that have no hope. You were all that we strive to be. Your lives feed the fires of truth and justice, of rebellion against a tyranical government. You are heroes." He kneels down, fingers running through some of the ash on the ground and lifting up to slide over his face in a very warpaintish fashion, a swipe along each cheek from ear to chin, then another down his forhead and the bridge of his nose.

He turns back around, settling on his feet. "No, I haven't. I didn't have a vision Ling. I really don't know what's coming today. No one has shared their visions with me. Everyone keeps them close to their chest, personal. I have no idea what is coming today. Maybe if people had opened up and told me, I might, but I don't, and I'm trying to do the best I can with what I have." He shrugs his shoulders again and sighs before looking to Peter. "Ling, you are no one's boss or leader to tell anyone what to do. Saying you dissaprove is a simple enough statement. Instead you feel the need to tear down, insult, and command. Maybe you should check yourself before checking others."

"Ling is making a criticism, not issuing a command," Perry says, muddy brow eyes fixing on Ash, "we can't let emotions run high right now. If we have learned anything about what, as Ling says, is coming today, then we know that our numbers could dwindle even further. I feel-" he hesitates, "I feel like this is the wrong place and time for this discussion. At a funeral. Angry, at the edge. It gives one a desire to go out in a blaze of glory. But that wouldn't be a really good death. It wouldn't be dying properly. It would be a passage à l'acte, just a gesture of power that really only proves our impotence, that it's over for us. But this isn't over. It can't be, we can't let it. But they way we're talking, it's like we think it's already the end. It's not. We have work to do."

On the verge of losing his temper, it's remarkably Perry who has Peter finding his calm and taking in a slow breath — one that smells of melting plastic and burning flesh, a scent associated with worse — darker — times. "Right now, there isn't Messiah. Maybe after the storm, maybe once we've had a chance to regroup and get our footing… maybe. Right now, we're just us and we need to make sure we survive today to keep this fight going, whatever direction it goes in."

Offering a look over to Perry, Peter slowly shakes his head. "He's right," Perry is, "we can't argue right now, we sure as hell can't figure this out right now. I know what I'm going to do today, and that's hit Staten Island and find Sasha, come back here and heal our wounded and get some someplace safe."

As a red glow flickers across his eyes, Peter motions towards Thalia's handcuffs, and the chain between them snaps with a kinetic tug of two unseen kinetic vectors. "We can't be fighting each other anymore, either. She's behaved long enough, I'm convinced. What happens from here on out is on Thalia's shoulders."

The dark-haired girl offers a scrutinizing look at Peter, chin tilted up, then offers a look askance to Ash. There's a silent fire in her eyes, a silent agreement with Ash's mentality on things. She sure as hell still wants to light some shit up. That's the Ashford in her talking through her eyes.

"I probably won't be back here till close to noon, the rioting is going to be worst in Queens and out on Roosevelt Island. There's going to be fires, looting, god knows what else. The government's on high alert, and I'm going to be concentrating my efforts on helping the Ferrymen if they need it. They helped us take down the Staten Island Hospital, and I'm going to repay them when their back's to the wall. It's the least I can do."

Ling stops and grits her teeth as she turns back. "Some of us have our reasons for not sharing, Ash," she offers back quietly, eyes angled down at the ground, before she back at Perry, letting her eyes close. Listening to Peter she gives a bit of a slow nod. She doesn't address Ash again. She knows that will only lead to more arguing, and for the moment she has no desire to make funeral worse - even she isn't that cruel. NOt at the moment at least. She leans back into the wal, slouching against it. "I will be where ever the day takes me. Doing way I can, I suppose."

Ash cocks a brow up at Perry's statement, but he doesn't reply vocally to the man, just shakes his head in disagreement to something he says, thens hakes his head a bit and looks like he's about to head back inside, but he pauses, and stops, turning his eyes back on the funeral pyre, watching the flames lick at the sky as bodies burn. "There's no Messiah?" he asks, turning, his mouth tightening, and his eyes narrowing hard. He parts his lips to speak, then just shakes his head again slowly. "Why is their back to the wall? Fucking talk to people Peter." He shakes hsi head and looks to Rickham's funeral and sighs softly.

"Sorry Allen." With that he turns and walks away, moving towards the building. He lifts a hand and waves it at Ling. "Then don't preach ot people about today if you're not willing to share and educate them. Makes you sound like a fucking harpy." He walks on to the building entrance, looking up at the skyscraper for a few moments before he trudges inwards, intent on his guns, though he pauses. "If you need my safehouse in the sewers has been empties of weapons but for a few pistols and a couple rifles. There's food and blankets and all that stuff still there." With that the man moves on and into the building.

"Fires," Nadira muses, pursing her lips a little bit. She wasn't sure exactly what she'd be doing when it came down to it, but given the fact that there would be fires, she'd gotten a big hint to her likely actions right there. "Guess I know where I'll be then…" She comments, mostly to herself.

Ash's tacit detraction is met with Perry's usual imperturbable and socially awkward stare. Like he's waiting for the man to speak his mind. But no dice, Ash doesn't have the time or the interest, and probably for the best. Perry thinks 'debate' is not the same as 'argue', and thus wouldn't be afraid to dive right into the former despite the latter's proscription. The harpy comment, though, makes Perry blink. That's… harsh.

"We can't- uh- we can't let our emotions…" Perry says, stammer returning. He breaks off. He already said that. He's running out of pre-considered lines and decisions, and improvisation is very much hit and miss with him. Right now, it's pure miss. Perry lapses into silence, turning to contemplate the flames, lapping at the remains of dead comrades. The orange light of the fire is reflected in the lenses of his glasses, but while this puts fire over his eyes, his expression is muted, indicating nothing save, perhaps, introspective thought.

Turning around, reaching into his jacket and withdrawing a crumpled piece of paper, Peter takes pause. The contents of Allen Rickham's pockets, folded up in a scrawled note. It's curled around by Peter's calloused fingers again before being tucked out of sight once more. Smoke rises in a thick plume from the burning bodies and the detritus that has been gathered for them. It's symbolic, in a way, the burning of the old Messiah in an attempt to start over clean again. Even if the slate gray sky of dawn isn't a welcoming new day, it is something, and in that something there's hope for picking up and starting anew, that maybe by the time the fires are out, the bones have been scattered and the dust has settled there is something left to stand on.

"I'm going to go find Sasha," Peter offers flatly as he backpedals away, watching Thalia out of the corner of his eyes. For a moment she looks ready to stand and follow him, but she can see the look in his eyes that conveys the tension everyone else has been a part of. This funeral — if it could even be called that — is proof enough that Messiah as it was is dead. Whatever makes it from the transition of old to new will be something different, refined by fire; tempered.

That Peter will be back, there may be some doubt, but for the injured here there's the unspoken promise of relief to the damage sustained and hope that they'll be able to find safety before all is sai and done.

Nadira, though, Nadira may be the only one to get it out of all of them. She the moth, fluttering towards the flame. Even if the butter of her wings might just be strong enough to put them out entirely. Peter departs, not with further orders, but with the realization that the Messiah that was is gone.

If anything can be found in the ashes, is ultimately in someone else's hand now.

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