Jagged Edges


cardinal2_icon.gif cat_icon.gif claire3_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif felix_icon.gif magnes2_icon.gif noriko_icon.gif

Scene Title Jagged Edges
Synopsis Members of Bravo team talk about the horrific ordeals they faced in Madagascar.
Date January 4, 2009

USS George Washington

USS George Washington is the sixth ship in the Nimitz class of nuclear-powered supercarriers, and the fourth United States Navy ship to be named after George Washington, first President of the United States. She was built by Newport News Shipbuilding and was commissioned July 4, 1992. George Washington is 1,092 feet long, 257 feet wide and is as high as a twenty-four-story building, at 244 feet. The super carrier can accommodate approximately 80 aircraft and has a flight deck 4.5 acres in size, using four elevators that are 3,880 feet each to move planes between the flight deck and the hangar bay.

Traditionally, US Navy aircraft carrier hangar bays were painted "Navy Gray"; George Washington was commissioned with her hangar bay bulkheads and overhead painted white, to make the hangar bay appear larger and brighter. All US Navy aircraft carriers have their hull number painted on both sides of their island structure for identification. These numbers are lighted white for visibility at night while in port. By order of Congress, George Washington's island number is outlined in red, white and blue lights in honor of her namesake's contributions to America's independence. General Washington had long been a proponent of a strong Navy. On November 15, 1781 he wrote, //Without a decisive Naval force, we can do nothing decisive. And with it, everything honourable and decisive. These words are engraved on a plaque on the ship's quarterdeck.//

The days since Team Bravo was extracted have been … stressful. At least in terms of waiting. Claire is finally, however, cleared to be released from isolation, and Elisabeth — who has spent much of her time haunting the medical personnel for information and trying to badger them into letting her talk to Claire through a speaker or something — is practically dancing with the need to see the teen. They've warned her of the injuries that Claire was suffering when she came aboard, and of all the people on this boat Elisabeth herself is probably in the best position to understand what Claire has gone through. So Elisabeth waits at the door of the medical bay, wearing a pair of US Navy sweatpants and a white T-shirt and sneakers, looking just a bit worried as the younger woman is allowed finally out. "Hey, Claire," she greets quietly, searching the face to see if there's recognition.

It's been a long several days for Claire, being couped up and poked and proded, has been her favorite thing, with a constant indescribable feeling of dread and unease that came with the stark rooms and lab coat wearing folks. When they finally cleared her, the regenerator had to keep from running out of the med bay.

Instead she quietly strolled out, combat boots clomping on the metal floors. She thought when she left Madagascar she would be glad to be rid of the combat fatigues, but instead when they had offered her clothes.. this is what she put on, camo pants and a black t-shirt. A pair of silver dog tags glint in the faint light as the young blonde turns her attention to Elisabeth.

Brows drop slightly and Claire looks confused for a moment. "Um.. Hi….." She grasps for a name, the older blonde sparks a fleeting recognition, but that's about it. "I.. feel like I should know you…" She offers as an apology, "Obviously, I did." That fact bothers her a lot.

"I…" She starts slowly, ".. they said I took quite the shotgun blow to the head." It's offered as an explanation, as she does remember staring at that barrel.

There's a faint smile, regret and sadness tinged with relief that there's perhaps something remaining. Elisabeth says quietly, "I know. I was here when they brought you in." The knowledge of what Claire was going to suffer had made Elisabeth throw up for a while that first night. What she offers now is simply, "We know one another, yes. I'm Liz. Elisabeth Harrison." There's a tilt of her head and she considers. "I'd like to think we're friends. Sometimes it's hard to tell, I guess, what another person thinks of you." She gestures to the door. "C'mon, kiddo… let's get you the hell out here where we can talk, okay?"

She waits until the younger woman's out in the halls and she guides their steps as they go. "You hungry? We can hit the mess, or we can head for the place Cat and I do some thinking, if you want."

For a moment Claire looks torn, "Thinking… is good. Even though I had nothing but questionable gruel and MREs for awhile…. Not feeling awfully hungry at the moment." Her tone becoming some what bland. Knowing that she's forgotten some one who might have been a friend, makes her stomach lurch unhappily.

The blonde is quiet for a time as they walk along, but finally she breaks her silence, "They said.. as my brain continues to make connections some things may come back, but not to hold my breath. The hard thing is not knowing what's missing." A hand rubs lightly at her forehead and she sighs softly. "I can't remember a friend…. or the most of the names of people on my team.. Yet… I remember a lot of Madagascar… except for a good portion of my time as Rasoul's prisoner."

Claire's tone becomes frustrated as she tries to remember something of the woman.. "I can remember parachuting out of a crashing plane… being on a boat.. being shot countless times.. killing countless people.. day in and day out. So many battles. But I don't remember how I got into this whole damn mess, I just know it was important." Arms move to wrap around herself, her thoughts kind of drifting, her blue eyes on the deck before them.

Passing Navy personnel in the corridors, Elisabeth offers brief smiles to several greetings and even a casual roll of her eyes to one guy's flirtation. But her attention seems to be on her companion and most people in their path are giving them space to be on their way. After all, most of them are on duty without much time for chatter and hanging out at the water cooler, so to speak.

Elisabeth takes Claire toward the fantail observation deck, since she's not hungry. "Yeah," she replies quietly, "I know. Couple of months ago… I got shot in the head. Killed, actually. Or the next best thing to. A mutual acquaintance of yours and mine healed me up… but there were parts of my brain blown away. I'm missing… about a decade of my memories. Luckily for me… they aren't recent ones. The ones I'm missing are… college. The end of high school. My early career. The last years of my mother's life." The last, though, looks like it pains her still. "It's…. strange. Sometimes. But you learn to work around it. In your case… what doesn't come back, you relearn."

She listens as Claire talks about what she does remember, bringing the younger woman out to the rail of the ship so she can look out over the water, and encloses them in a bubble that lessens the roar of the ship's activity to a low-level kind of background noise, though it doesn't entirely mute it. She leans on the rail and admits softly, "Even if you hadn't lost part of your brain matter, you might still not remember some of the time you spent as a prisoner. The brain has ways of compensating for being tortured. Most of what you'd remember is … flashes. Particular images or especially scents." Liz looks at Claire, sympathy in her gaze. "It's going to take time. A lot of it. But you've got friends, Claire. You're not alone."

"I don't know… I do remember flashes of being a prisoner." Claire agrees, hands resting on the railing, she leans over it a bit to watch the ocean rush by. "Somethings during it a clearer then others. Why don't I remember that as clearly as all the gun battles.. and standing at the bottom of a stair way, killing everything that came down.. taking the weapons off the corpses….. " Her voice trails off to a soft whisper, till she gives herself a shake. It was going to take some time to get use to the fact that everyday isn't another gun battle.

Glancing at Elisabeth, hair whipped around in the wind, Claire a hand lifts to tuck loose strands behind her ear. "So… we were friends? How did we meet?" It's something to distract her. "Through Pheonix I imagine.. Some of my last really clear memory beore ending up on that damn island is being very ill and staying near Cat."

From behind them sounds approach, perhaps detectable by Elisabeth but not Claire due to use of that SLC ability. The source, one might guess, is approximately 145 pounds. The placement, the rhythm, suggests a woman's stride. No words are spoken, there's just the footsteps getting closer at a relaxed pace. They turn slightly to head for the rail a few feet away, whomever they belong to choosing against impacting on whatever conversation takes place by closer approach and verbal communication.

As she listens to Claire, Elisabeth moves to stand near the younger woman and wraps an arm around the teen's shoulder, drawing her back against her body in an embrace. She rests her lips on Claire's hair, releasing her only when Claire shakes and moves to put that distance between them. Only then does she put her hands back on the rail. "What your mind chooses to remember from all of it… is sometimes random. I have… flashes of my own. I won't bore you with the details. You'll probably have a lot of nightmares. If they get bad, Claire… you can talk to me. Or Richard." Because she knows that the girl has a close relationship with Cardinal. "He's been my rock through a lot of my nightmares too."

Glancing over her shoulder toward the person approaching and nods slightly in greeting. Claire can be the one who invites if she'd like after Elisabeth draws attention to Cat. "That's Catherine. Cat." She doesnt' include the panamnesiac in the low-volume bubble as yet. Looking back at Claire, Elisabeth says, "I'd like to think so. We met through Phoenix a couple of times, and then through Richard more recently. It's only been since you hooked up with that group that we've become closer." She shrugs. "I think perhaps I annoy you at times, because I'd like to see you have a little more in your life than JUST this…. but then again, it may be that you're the one who's right. That this is pretty much all there is worth doing in the foreseeable future."

Has it been only a short time since she's been around human interaction that didn't bring violence, but it feels like ages. Somehow when the woman, comforts her like that, something clicks in Claire's head. Her hand drifts up to touch the arm around her shoulders. Yes.. this was a friend, someone to trust. There is a certainty to that thought. She glances over at Liz as if suddenly seeing her a bit differently.

"Richard…" That name sparks recognition in the young woman, "He helped me the night I died.. I do remember him." But her tone says it might not be a whole hell of a lot. Claire glances in Cat's direction and gives the dark haired woman a smile, motioning her closer, before saying to Liz "Freedom Fighter…. tell you… nothing that we ever did before comes close the the shitstorm I got dropped into. It was a total war zone. The men I met in the MLF over there.. Now those… those were freedom fighters." Her smile is a touch sheepish, "They made what we put up with everyday look like child's play. Those are people I won't forget for sometime."

Acknowledged, her head inclines to each of the two in turn then feet move to cross the empty space. Cat's greeting is quietly spoken once she's inside the bubble of quietness. "Claire," she greets. "This perhaps has to be the oddest place we've encountered each other." Facial expression is calm, she studies the shorter and younger one's face for signs of distress lingering from whatever she experienced. What Aviators said about her and Candy echoes in the replay of impeccable memory.

Her body turns, back resting against the rail as attention remains on Miss Bennet.

There's a bit of a smile, somewhat wry, in Elisabeth's expression as Claire speaks. She encloses Cat with them in the low-volume bubble — all it does is keep the sounds of the jets taking off above to a low rumble of the deck and the sounds of the ocean to a low hiss. "No…. we used to call ourselves… freedom fighters. After seeing that? Seeing what they saw in Argentina? I'm not sure we've earned that right either. Perhaps rebels. But that's as close as we get." She sighs, that arm holding Claire's slender form back against her own gently. "As hard as that was… what comes next may be worse."

"It is.. isn't it? Or at least of what I remember." Claire says to Cat as she comes into the bubble, but that's all she says to the woman before she gives Elisabeth her attention. She nods slowly, "Amazing how something like this can totally make you realizes what we've done… it… seems like nothing… nothing compared. Registrations.. the Company… God.. Liz.. Rasoul had rooms upon rooms of women he had impregnated.. All of them laying on slabs." She has to give a hard swallow and goes quiet for a long moment as a few more connections are made.

"That also made Humanis look harmless.. Rasoul's people insin…." She stops.. voice catching, a hand coming to cover her mouth. It takes a long moment before she slowly lowers her hand and says in a strained voice, "..incinerated any baby that was evolved."

After taking a deep breath of sea air, Claire continues. "I… I know something bad is going to happen." She admits softly. "I… have to be there… I was shown a vision when I was in Madagascar. I have to… where ever we are going next."

Elisabeth's arm tightens once more around Claire and her lips again touch the top of the smaller, younger woman's head. God… she cannot imagine. The smell was horrible enough from her end hanging out of that chopper. "Tell me about the vision," she says quietly. "When you're ready." She and Cat are flanking Claire on the observation deck, Elisabeth cradling the younger girl as if protecting her.

With his eye all taped up and treated, Magnes has a white eye-patch around his head, covering his left eye. When he finally got out of sicbay, he took it upon himself to explore the ship, just generally floating around like a ghost. He's eaten, rested, and now simply enjoys the safety of being surrounded by the navy.

When he spots the group huddled around talking about something, he lands and starts to approach. When he spots Claire, he just full on starts flying towards them. "Claire!" he exclaims, landing when he gets closer, shoes sliding against the ground before he finally comes to a halt. He's wearing a grey NAVY t-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and some white sneakers. Anything is better than that dirty Argentina stuff, which he insisted on not being thrown out (There is a dead robot somewhere on this ship).

Claire actually, leans against the older woman as if needing the support, though more emotional then anything. Her hands move to grip the railing, knuckles going white. So much is there.. but the emotions are the worse. "It's hazy… this old woman showed it to me." She starts softly, eyes on the churning water below, her eyes are unfocused as she tries to grasp at the memory.

"It's hazy… I know there are people there.. faceless in the background, but I'm kneeling next to Peter. He's been shot." Her voice takes on a distressed note. "He was dying… but…. his eyes really stood out.. They were brown." Anyone that's seen him lately would know how significant that is. "There is some one standing there holding a gun.. but I can't see her, but.. Something says I knew. But the old woman said that moment in time was important.. it's a moment that decides everything. " One hand lifts to rub at her temple.

"This sucks.. how can I save him if I can't see who did it?"

The shout of her name, makes Claire jump and she turns quickly, ever part of her tensing as if waiting for something bad to happen. Her reaction isn't one of fear either, but some one who has had to be on alert for so long, ready to strike first. But seeing the young man is injured and supposedly harmless, Claire forces herself to relax again, giving him an apologetic look. "Ah.. sorry." Blue eyes narrow as she considers him, thoughtfully. "Another friend?" She murmurs to Elizabeth, before giving the flying boy a bit of a small smile. "Your name isn't coming to mind… Who?" She prompts, a brow lifting.

"You'll save him."

Richard Cardinal's approached with his usual unassuming stealth; he's wearing a flight suit, although there's no insignias that could result in him being confused as part of the crew, an identification badge hanging from a chain around his neck bearing a DHS logo and declaring him an agent of that particular agency. Just how he got that sort of badge, well, that's probably an entirely different story.

"So long as all of us are in the right place, at the right time," he observes casually as he nears the group, a faint smile curving to his lips, "It'll work out, Claire, don't worry about it too much. How're you feeling?" A glance over to the shout from Magnes, a roll of his eyes, and then he looks back to the group.

Oh. This will be less than good. Cat's eyes shift over to Magnes when he wanders into view ahead of Cardinal. She's been listening without comment, and due not to being there when the conversation started, remains unaware of Claire's memory lack. That gaze moves to settle on Miss Bennet, then Elisabeth, unspoken question in them.

Elisabeth holds Claire tightly, wishing there were more she could do for the girl. She rests her head against the top of Claire's while she listens, but Magnes comes barrelling at them and shouts — a sound that barely carries within the low-volume field she's holding, Liz automatically steps between the oncoming boy. There's a wince as Claire sort of … imparts the information that she can't remember her own boyfriend somewhat tactlessly. "Erm… boyfriend," she whispers to Claire. "Be gentle with him, he's gonna freak." She turns her attention to Magnes, relief flickering in blue eyes as Richard sashays up and joins the group. The badge around his neck gets a momentary raised eyebrow, but she widens the low-volume field to include the two men and introduces Claire. "Claire, this is Magnes. Magnes… Claire took a… shotgun blast to the head. She's missing some things. People, places, recent events. Take it slow, okay?" She doesn't move away from Claire, though she does shift slightly in Cardinal's direction to allow Claire unimpeded line of sight to Magnes while remaining in touching distance of the teen.

"She what?" Magnes' fists clench and anyone standing near him could feel a slight increase in weight, though nothing that could physically affect anyone. "Are you alright? Other than the memories." He slowly approaches, gently reaching out to touch her face. He tries to keep his cool, taking a few deep breathes, then looks over at Cardinal. "Where's Kazimir? Maybe he can help somehow."

"Richard." It's simply a statement saying she recognizes the the man, a smile echoing his, touched with relief. It then falls away, as she answers him truthfully, "I feel like I went through a fucking war and got my brains blown out…." It's blunt, but there you have it, but that's not all. "….and it only left the worse parts of the whole screwed up trip." Before she might have tip toed around her thoughts, but then just the look in those blue eyes will say this isn't the same girl that left.

There is a widening of her eyes as Elizabeth tells her relationship with the younger of two men. Her mouth opens and then snaps shut. "Oh shit.." She turns her gaz to Magnes, giving him a once over, her brow creasing as she furiously tries to find something in her memories.. something… anything at all. "I… " She's just totally at a loss at what to say. But she offers what she can when he touches her cheek, it takes some willpower not to pull away, "I'm sorry. I'm… okay, beyond having a form of Malaria they have never seen before." Again straight to the point.

At a closer range, Cardinal's personal condition can be estimated; he's only sunburned, but it's pretty horrific levels of sunburn, his skin an almost uniform red except where scaly patches are starting to peel away. He scratches at his cheek, pausing at the exchange between Claire and Magnes, and then at the question shot his way he shakes his head slowly.

"No, kid," he says quietly, "There isn't. This's a— sort of damage nothing can heal." One hand lifts to rest on Liz's shoulder, giving it a squeeze as he looks to her, then to the third woman, nodding a bit, "Cat."

It's a place she's been too a few times, though only when running into a negation field and after surviving Arthur's attempt to kill her in Hartford. The feeling of fog, of bits and pieces being accessible and large chunks missing. She has a variety of understanding it. Yet at the same time Cat is left to wonder: Kamis move from body to body, carrying memories of previous hosts along with them. Peter being able to impersonate Kazimir, Francois manifesting on occasion in control of Deckard. Why would Claire not have all her memories? Why doesn't Elisabeth? Some metaphysical property of those two kamis and the abilities they bring? Or the fact of being disembodied life forces in new hosts releasing them from physical limitations which still claim Claire Bennet? It's a mystery, one she won't figure out here and now if ever.

"Take it easy, Magnes," she recommends in calm voice, "one step at a time. She can be told things to fill in gaps she has, and to see if it awakens recollections, but it can't come at her like an info dump." He's watched to see if he gets it, while she adds "And please, please, don't call him Kazimir aboard this ship." She's had quite enough of people presuming Peter isn't at the wheel.

Once Claire appears all right with Magnes's approach, Elisabeth shifts just a bit more to give them a little space. It's instinct rather than intent that turns the blonde so that her cheek rests for just a moment against the hand on her shoulder, though it is intent that brings her fingers up to twine with Cardinal's. Her body language eases slightly, as if some of the tension seeps out. "She may regain some things, with time. If … the memories are still in there, sometimes the brain can reroute pathways. Not always, though. It just … depends," Liz says gently to Magnes. In Claire's case, too, there's been a bit of a personality shift where Elisabeth's damage only peripherally touched on that. Looking between Cat and Cardinal, Elisabeth finally, for the first time in weeks, fully smiles. It's a weary grin, but there is relief tinged through it. "Okay… so step one mostly complete. Intel gathered, aircraft carrier at our command and en route to final conflict. Anyone wanna put money on how bad we're going to kick Vanguard ass this time? Cuz I am seriously pissed off at this point and would like to do some major damage," she offers in an attempt at levity. She does not touch the comment about Kazimir, though blue eyes are wary on that one. She is not even sure Peter's who he claims to be.

"Ah, uh, it's alright." Magnes looks from Claire to Cardinal, then back again, clearly having a question on the tip of his tongue, but he simply shakes his head. Gently removing his hand from her cheek, he grabs the bridge of his nose and closes his eyes for a moment. "I'm gonna go find something to eat, I'll visit you later, Claire." he offers as his excuse to leave, turning around to walk away with his head down slightly, hand dropping from his face. His tone is one that's clearly defeated, exhaustion at the whole ordeal, Argentina and now this, just hitting him like a brick. His fists clench again, starting to shake as he's barely able to hold it together.

Blue eyes shift from person to person as they talk about her, blond browns lifting a bit, but Claire doesn't say anything, she mostly looks amused on how they talk about her. Magnes' demeanor is noted, but there isn't much she feels she can do. Guilt twists her stomach into knots and she glances at Liz. She's feeling suddenly uncomfortable about it all.

However, the other blonde's words seem to touch on something in Claire's mind. "Your not the only one that wants to cause some major hurt." Claire's voice holds a touch of a chill as well as her eyes take on a fierce look, her hand lifting to wrap fingers around the dog tags around her neck. "There is some major fucking pay back due."

"Yeah, let's keep that part quiet if we can," Cardinal agrees with Catherine, even as Magnes turns to walk away; he grimaces slightly, but comforting's never been his strong suit. He lets the young man go, fingers squeezing against Liz's own before he turns back to the others, looking down to Claire. He watches her, listens to her for a moment, before saying in softer tones, "Don't tell Peter about that vision you were talking about… but stick to him like glue once we head out on the mission, alright?"

Eyes trail after Magnes, then shift back to the others. She'll have to talk with Gillian about this, see if she can help him deal maybe. Perhaps even find it in himself to start kindling what feels like a new relationship. But now is not that time. "I estimate the weapon is in Antarctica, the plan being to detonate it well below the icecap and melt it to cause a flood, but there may be a piece I've not figured out yet. Twenty kilotons isn't enough to pull that off," Cat supplies. "We also don't yet know exactly where in Antarctica. Agent Kershner doesn't seem totally disbelieving my thoughts on this point, but the angle of Peter's activities has brought some question on my judgment. It was necessary to tell her, after she learned I'd had contact with someone on the ground in Argentina."

Elisabeth might regret just a little that the information about the contact got out, but not enough to actually look regretful. She doesn't mention that was her mess-up, either. Not at the moment. Blue eyes linger on Magnes and she makes a mental note to speak to the kid — he's a good kid and he's been through a lot — but she returns her eyes to the other three who stand within her field on the deck. Very quietly, she says, "All I know is from here out… it's for all the marbles. I don't particularly feel the need to pull punches anymore, what with the fact that my life back home is basically gone." Like Claire, there's been a kind of transformation in the older blonde. A sense that she no longer feels constrained by certain things that might have been tying her hands before. "So let's start pooling the resources we're each bringing to the party and see what the hell we can come up with to ram that fuckin' nuke down their throats."

"I don't plan too." Claire affirms with a small tight smile. "Especially, with Kazimir within him, but I definitely won't let him away from me. Some one within this group of people is going to shoot my uncle, Richard." Reaching out she gently grips Cardinal's arm so as not to hurt that burn, her voice lowers as if the bubble isn't there. She remembers him enough to know she can trust him, that she's helped him. "An important moment.. That's what she called.. A series of decision that will affect everything. I remember…. " Her eyes unfocus a bit as the memory if a woman screaming in her head.

"They… they will all die in the cold… The water comes, to wash away the world.. If…" Her eyes close as she tries to grasp those last words, repeating them. "If you don't go to the land of eternal Ice, Peter Petrelli will die."

There is a soft gasp as Claire finally gets the words out as if it was hard to catch them in her head. Claire looks at Cardinal, worried. "So that moment in time is crucial and I have to be there."

"You won't be alone, Claire," Cardinal returns that look, but there's no worry or concern; his expression's reassuring if anything, a confidence in his words and a faint smile touching his lips as he brings his other hand up to rest on hers where it clasps his arm. "I only had half of it before, but— it'll work out. I can't explain how, but, it will."

He looks back up to Cat, his tone turning more serious, "We're going to need Steel; the weapon self-armed on the twelfth, so the disarm codes my agent acquired won't do us any good. His ability should let him disarm Munin, whatever it's purpose is."

Candy is walking along the ship when she spots Claire among a group of people, her eyes taking in Cat as well. Nodding her head a litlte that she will at least be turned away gently if she does approach. Her eyes go over to the man that is with them, not recognizing him. Moving closer she gives a weary nod of her head to those gathered, her arms around her, a definite change from the once rather confidant woman. She seems to somehow be more edgey than anything, as if she doesn't quite feel comfortable around other people any more. "Hello, everyone," she says ina soft voice as a way of greeting.

Eyes move from one person to the other, then settle on Cardinal as Cat forms words and voices them. "Steel," she echoes, "that would be the prisoner Gillian says you brought along, the one who makes robots? She didn't know if he's a technopath or not, just that he makes interesting robots." From there, attention settles on Claire again and her commentary is mulled over. "That fits with my belief about Antarctica," Cat adds.

"No place on earth better fits the description of eternal ice. I need to talk with him soon, ask a few questions." And the unspoken thought: If someone is going to shoot Peter, it's probably Francois Allegre. Best to keep those two far, far apart. Candy's approach is noted and acknowledged with a nod, though she doesn't break from the conversation at hand. Words spoken in the group aren't heard outside it, with Elisabeth's sound dampening in effect; that conversation happens is only apparent by the grouping and the movement of lips. Similarly, Cat doesn't hear Candy's greeting.

Somehow the words are reassuring and Claire gives a firm nod. "Thank you.. I… don't remember everything about you and I, but I know I can trust you." It bothers her not to remember people, but she gives his arm another light squeeze before her hand slides away so she can turn towards a familiar figure. Of everyone on the trip, Candy is the clearest in her memories, though they are still spotty.

She motions at the small Asian, motioning her closer with a small smile. Once Candy is within hearing, Claire says softly, "This is one of my Team mates, Candy. Candy these are my friends. Cat, Elisabeth and Richard." A hand touches each person in turn. "We were talking about what's still ahead."

"Candy." There's a hint of private amusement at the introduction to Cardinal, his head dipping in a slight nod as he regards her through the tinted lenses of his shades, "We've met." There was the briefing, of course, but they didn't exactly speak then - although the tone of his words suggests a greater familiarity.

"Please… don't call me by that name right now. I'd rather go by the name my real parents gave me: Noriko," Candy says to Claire while she stands there, smiling faintly at the blonde cheerleader, before she looks around at them all and then her eyes go to Cat. "Need to talk to you soon, Cat. I have, some things we need to discuss," she adds to Cat. Looking around her present company she adds, "Now or later, I leave that choice in your hands."

"We've met," Cat also supplies in reference to the Asian woman. "She helped us with some things not so long ago." A brief silence follows, after which eyes settle on she who manipulates water and Cat nods. "I'll find you sometime soon, Noriko." It's a curiosity, this, given her name being Candace Allard, former Moabite.

Of the unspoken variety is Cat's recollection of Aviators speaking about something happening to her and Claire. This will be quite a story.

Blond brows lift a touch and Claire smiles a little brighter, but it doesn't reach her eyes. "Noriko then." She glances at the other two, "Sorry… this memory thing is gonna take some time. This whole crazy mess starts with jumping out of a crashing plane.. before that…." Her voice trails off and she gives a heavy sigh.

Then a flitting of memories brings her attention to Cardinal again, a glance to Liz, she steps closer to the shadow man, her voice dropping low. "Also.. I need help watching my back around Sylar." She swallows at the memory of being flat on her back him digging that knife into her skull, her eyes drop to Cardinals chest, but then lift again and she says softly, "He made a play for my ability again while there." It's not something she wants a lot of people to know.

"Good to know you survived the Humanis situation," Cardinal offers with a tip of his head towards Candy, then, "I wasn't sure if you had. I…" Before he can say anything else, then, there's that quiet statement from Claire, his head dropping down to look to her. Behind his shades, those eyes turn to ice. "Oh." Crisp, flat. "Did he, now."

Noriko looks at Cat, before she merely nods her head a little. "I don't know if… survived is quite the term I would use about that particular happening." Her eyes look back towards Claire before she replies, "I wasn't there for this… or I was, just not around." She shrugs her shoulders a little as she looks out over the ocean, rubbing at her left arm and in the t-shirt that she is wearing, the patch of paler skin is rather noticable, along with the fact that it rather closely matches Claire-skin.

Finally, her gaze moves back towards the rest and she says, "Long story short, Claire, Sanderson, Don, and I were captured by Vanguard. It wasn't a pleasent experience, and not one, I want to really re-live right now. But regardless, we spent time under the care of Rasoul, and his mad Doctor. He experimented on Claire, pulling her apart and stuff. Used me as a lab rat to see what Claire transplants and transfusions would do. At one point, he wanted to cut my face off and put Claire's on it." She shudders a little at the memory, before finally saying, "Then we escaped… Don got killed during it." Candy finally just falls silent, looking down as the memory of Don comes back to her, the look on his face as he stood on the grating, and her desperate thinking for a way to save him, only for him to go up in flames.

Her features twist into a scowl on two fronts: the word of Gabriel making an attempt on Claire. That was one of the conditions behind working with him some time ago at Gillian's request. Gillian will hear of it soon, among other things. And Peter too; with the Kazimir ability there's no risk of going nuclear now in chasing the vendetta. But it is possible to simply suck the life from him and cure the problem.

As to actions on Madagascar, Cat quietly remarks "It's sad we didn't have this level of support a year ago, the Vanguard would've been wiped out then. There must not be anything left of it when this is done now."

A firm affirmative nod is given to Cardinal, there is only a touch of fear in her eyes over it , mostly there is that emptiness. "He did.. Two others stopped him, but if they had only been moments later…." Her voice trails off, letting what could have happen die on her tongue. "I just.. don't want to be caught like that again. I.. thought he had been done with that.. He had seemed different." She had been wrong.

Her attention is returned to Candy, eyes narrowing. "I… don't remember… that. I remember Don…" Claire murmurs. "I tried to pull him out before that…. baby furnace flared." Her gaze drops to the floor around them, "He and I both burned." The words are soft at the memory, would it always be like that? Memories so clear she can almost feel the flames again.

"It's that power of his," Cardinal replies, biting off the words like a man might bite ice, "It's like a cancer, it…" Then Noriko begins to talk. And she keeps talking. And he looks up to her, even his burnt skin seeming to pale as she speaks. One hand lifts up to pull the shades off his face so he can look at her more steadily.

"Jesus," he whispers.

Noriko nods her head a little to Claire while she stands there, before she says softly, "It is much better that you don't." Her eyes finally return back to Cardinal and she shakes her head a little, "Jesus had little to do with it. They were all mad. They made us fight in arena battles, using worms in our eyes to control us." She shakes her head a little and finally says, "We made it out alive and in one piece, more or less. Though, Sanderson's condition is something of a worrier, but the Doctor's say she'll survive." Her eyes watching them all, before she adds, "Well, physically in one piece ."

"The Nazi links were known," Cat mutters under her breath. "Of course they had their own private Mengele. What became of Rasoul and his Doctors Mengele? Tell me they died horribly, screaming for their mothers." There's venom in her eyes, and the way words are spoken. Her face shows the anger brewing under the surface, the rage contained by will alone.

After speaking, she lapses into silence for a time spent simply listening. There will be time later for individual interviews and data collection.

"They made me beat on Candy with a crowbar," Claire states blandly and a bit bitterly, as she remembers that. "I just don't remember the how or why." She murmurs softly, before taking a step or two away from everyone. "I'm… gonna go back to my bunk and lay down," Claire murmurs, looking tired suddenly, which says a lot for the regenerators mental condition. She hasn't been eating much either really, but no one will notice that for awhile, since she's been quarantined. "I'll talk to you all later."

Cardinal brings one hand up to rub against the side of his face, the one holding his shades dropping down to his side. "Okay, Claire," he says quietly, looking over with a wan smile, "Go get some rest…" That said, he turns his attention back to Candy, eyes flat, "Tell me the same thing. Otherwise I may have to… reassess my priorities here."

Noriko looks at Cardinal while she stands there, and she says flatly, "Rasoul's doctor… Gregor, I think he is dead. I don't know the how or anything like that, just that he is probably dead. Rasoul… was all splayed out and Huruma was… munching on him…" She shrugs her shoulders a little and replies, "That's about it, I think."

Elisabeth's gaze has moved from one speaker to another as each new bit of information is revealed. She's continuing to maintain the sound-dampening field around the group, merely modifying it to make it larger as necessary when more people join up. The tone of Cardinal's voice brings blue eyes to linger on his face for a moment, but whatever she may say will wait. Meanwhile, she scans the deck behind the group periodically to make sure they're not being stared at. Observed, yes — it's a given on a ship this size that people will notice a group that hangs out on the observation deck together. But no one seems unduly interested in the goings-on at least.

And to join the crowd comes the ill-tempered, skinny Russian. Fel's not smoking - he's given it up at Liz's beseeching, even the American cigarettes. He's in a t-shirt and fatigue pants, and each is just a hair too large for him - the pants have their tabs taken in, and even then need a web belt to hold them up, and the shirt slips off to one side to expose a collarbone. He looks around at those gathered, blue eyes wide, and then looks to Liz, as if in expectation of an explanation.

Claire nods a bit to Cardinal and lifts a hand in farewell to others before she makes her escape to her bunk… or if her roommate is there.. somewhere else. There is a nod to Felix as she passes, but if they ever met, it doesn't sow on her face.

"'You think' isn't good enough for me," Cardinal snaps, his voice sharp as a dagger's blade, though he looks away from Candy — Noriko — after that statement, his lips pursing in a tight grimace, "Sorry. Not your fault. I'll have to ask the others to make sure that fucker's dead. And Gabriel…" A shake of his head, and he pulls away from the group, heading to escort Claire along back to her bunk. Or at least that's the direction he walks in. "Ivanov," he murmurs in passing.

Noriko watches as Cardinal and Claire head off, and another one arrives. Finally looking back towards those that still remain, she shrugs her shoulders a little and replies, "Sorry, I had my own troubles to worry about at the time."

Glancing toward the Russian as he joins, Elisabeth says quietly, "Hey." She sends a brief grin at him. "We're…. trying to figure out where the hell we stand, I guess." As Claire and Cardinal head out, the blonde merely shakes her head slightly. "Christ…. this is a mess."

"Where -do- we stand?" Felix asks, bluntly, coming up to take her hand. Hey, he needs something to do with them, now that he's no longer smoking.

Noriko looks at Felix and responds just as bluntly, "On a boat, by the looks of things." She shrugs her shoulders a little and says to Elisabeth, "It could have been much much worse."

Looking at Felix and Noriko bleakly, Elisabeth says quietly, "Right now? Fuck all if I know." She jerks a chin toward where Cardinal and Claire retreated. "He's the guy to ask… God's honest truth, Felix…. we've been working on partial intel for a long time." And when she says 'we', she means that she too has been working with partial intel … and faith in the man who just left. "Looks like we're going to fuckin' Antarctica, though. Claire seems to have confirmed it. Take it easy with her — she's missing a lot of memories thanks to getting part of her brain blown away." She shoves a hand through her blonde hair. "I love it when they send the pissed-off PTSD crew out to play. Those fuckers don't know what they're about to get handed, but I have a feeling it's going to be VERY ugly." She shares a look with Noriko. "There's not a one of us here who hasn't been tortured, I don't think. Except maybe Richard." She shakes her head.

Fel glances grimly between the pair of women, gaze lingering on Noriko for a moment. And then he nods. "Seriously. If I don't get at least a month's leave when all this shit is over, I'm quitting."

Noriko shrugs her shoulders a little and replies to Elisabeth, "That place… what they did," she takes a breath before finally continuing, "Moab couldn't hold a candle to what happened there nor can my time in Humanis First. I thought then was torture, constantly looking over my shoulder." She shakes her head and says, "Instead, what was supposed to be just a fairly dangerous mission, turned into a fucking nightmare. Getting shot, getting sick, getting killed, getting tortured, getting used as a lab rat, having a stroke," Candy shudders a little, arms wrapping around herself, the patch of Claire-skin on her arm prominant as she seems to almost fold into herself. She looks utterly and completely beaten, she still hasn't broken down however and she refuses to do it now. Instead, she straightens up a little and then adds, "Nothing to do but carry on."

"Excuse me, if you would," Cat voices after taking time to absorb what's been shared here. She will meet with Noriko again soon enough and try to gather details, as well as Claire and anyone else who can provide information. But for now, she has a blue-eyed man to find and converse with. But she does make a parting comment. "Sadly we weren't able to warn, Noriko. If we'd known you were tied to this and had time to make contact, you'd have been told the Vanguard's founder was a Nazi."

Feet soon carry her into the ship's interior.

Elisabeth slants a glance at her erstwhile de facto partner. "At least you have the option," she says darkly. She looks at Noriko, and she says quietly, "I torpedoed my career for this, too, not exactly voluntarily in this instance though if they'd asked it WOULD have been." She shakes her head. "I've been tortured at the hands of Humanis First, had my head blown off by one of the heads of that fucking group, and I don't think there's many of us in this group who haven't been tortured, killed, or almost killed by Vanguard *and* in some cases by the fuckers we're having to work with to GET the Vanguard. So…. I don't want to think about what's lost back home. The only thing left at this point is … saving the goddamn world so everyone back home has a home." She shakes her head slightly. "I need to… " She can't even come up with a good excuse at this point, she just needs to go. To run. She pivots on a sneaker-clad heel and heads down the deck, breaking into a full-out sprint for as far as she can go.

"I don't know that I do," Felix says, quietly. "They're hanging me out to dry, too. I think I'm supposed to die a hero's death on this trip, so they don't have to deal with me. And if I live….fine. I'll go be a rent a cop in a mall in Florida." HE nods his sympathy to Noriko. "HF had me for a month."

Noriko smiles lightly at Felix and then replies, "They never tortured me.. or at least aware that they were. I was an undercover operative in Humanis First. I provided intel and had to…" She shakes her head a little and then sets her teeth, "I had to ruin other evolved's lives, so that my cover could be kept and expanded. To save one life… I had to destroy many. A part of me broke, during then, and… this finished breaking it."

Felix's expression cools, as he blinks at Noriko. "How'd they get a hold on you?" he wonders, more quietly.

"I attempted to be something of an anarchist with the FRONTLINE act, more wanted to just portray Humanis First as the bastards they are. It got put on the web… then Cat decided to use me as a mole in Humanis First, and there I was. Three months of depravity culminating in a rescue and the destruction of the New York cell of Humanis First," Candy replies to Felix.

"Did you get Emile Danko?" His expression is wolfishly intent, almost longing.

"That.. is a good question," Noroki replies, before saying. "He was grabbed, and imprisoned, last I heard. Then the US freed him for the previous attack on Madagascar and we lost him in the jungle. Perhaps he died, I don't know."

Fel's immediate response is to punch the bulkhead that is the back of the observation deck. Hard enough to bruise. "Dammit," he hisses.

Noriko shrugs her shoulders and replies, "But, the others may have found him, I think." She shrugs her shoulders helplessly.

Felix looks down at his knuckles, already swelling. "Found him? He's not on board?"

Noriko shakes her head, "No, I think he's still on Madagascar."

Felix's lips purse. "Too bad," he says, and his voice is utterly flat. "I was so looking forward to seeing him again."

Noriko shrugs, "I'm perfectly fine never seeing him again." She closes her eyes and then says, "Just want to go back home, and get my apartment, and then just stay there with Bella."

The speedster's face looks grim. "I don't blame you," he says, more gently.

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