Just When You Thought It Was Safe


ff_asi_icon.gif ff_delia_icon.gif vf_isa2_icon2.gif ff_marlowe_icon.gif ff_miles_icon.gif vf_shaw_icon4.gif wf_squeaks_icon4.gif

Scene Title Just When You Thought It Was Safe
Synopsis Lowe's suffers an attack, but not for long.
Date December 12, 2018

Lowe's HQ

The sky is dark above the pelago, the water still. Not even the moon hangs in the sky tonight. Visitors to Lowe’s HQ have to rely on lanterns strung up along pathways. Electricity is scarce, so all the light is from candles.

There’s always noise here, always people, but an alarmed shout comes from the southeast corner.

Out on the water, a speed boat cuts through the water heading straight for the building. But more alarming: the boat is on fire. A blazing bonfire rushes toward them, colliding with the building in an explosion that rocks the whole HQ. Not to mention, it shows that this boat knew where to aim.

Bits of the building float by on the water. Bits of people, too.

Delia's more protective instincts kicked in the moment the collision happened. Squeaks, the poor recipient, is tucked neatly underneath her shipmate, the redhead using her body as a shield to keep the young teen from harm. Not until the HQ stops rocking does the older woman tentatively allow the girl up. And even then, she's pulling her to a stand and gripping her by the shoulders to give her a good once over.

"Are you okay? Are you hurt? Did you catch on fire?" The last question is answered by Delia herself as she quickly spins Squeaks around to look for cuts, bruises, broken bones, and small flames. "What year is it?"

The jolting collision first had Squeaks twisting away from the sound, hands clamping against her ears and eyes squeezing shut. She feels the impact rock through her legs, which nearly has her losing her footing, but then Delia takes her completely down in a protective huddle. She stays very still, keeping her head covered and eyes closed even well after the shaking has stopped.

She’d probably stay on the ground even longer, or scuttle into something suitable for hiding in if not for the red headed woman hauling her onto her feet.

The teenager nods and shakes her head in turns. She’s fine, if a little bruised and scuffed from being tackled. “I’m fine,” she almost shouts, her volume barely reined in as her hands come away from her ears. And there’s maybe a hint of annoyance at the concern and the spinning, she’s trying to get a look at what happened while Delia’s busy fussing. “What was that?”

“Shit!” Miles is thrown back as whatever he’d been looking at and thinking about maybe buying — or maybe not — goes clattering out f his hand. “What the hell?” He barely manages to keep his balance with the other hand thrown out to brace himself against one of the more sturdy booths. Luckily it was one of the more sturdy ones, as there are plenty of booths that didn’t survive that collision totally intact. It doesn’t do to brace oneself against something that’s in the process of falling over, does it?

He looks around quickly assess the situation, with a look of someone who might be about to flee, depending on what happens next.

Asi's boots join the feet of others that come down from a higher level to see what the hell's happened. A sword is slung across her back, no coat currently worn despite the chill that chases around the building. It had sounded like they were under attack after all. "Miles," she shouts as she sees him, hopefully as much to keep him in place as to get more information out of him. Her footfalls are heavy clods as she breaks her job to a stop nearby him, eyes wide with alarm. "The hell is going on? What exploded?"

A cacophony of klaxon alarms sounds shortly after the explosion, their clanging loud enough to wake the dead. Fire alarms make up the majority of it, though… are those war drums? Yes, yes they are. Doors leading to stair wells burst open with thunderous footsteps of members of local firefighters, support and repair crews, and armed militia. More than that, these are those with Evolved abilities and the capability to defend themselves and their home have come to do just that. At the head of a group coming down from a nearby stairwell, Marlowe emerges carrying a machete in one hand and a waist-slung megaphone at her side.

A number of commands sound out from the megaphone. Prep the fighters. Defense zones on standby, wait for the signal. AWC's at the ready. It almost sounds like she were captaining her own ship. Except, it's an entire top of a skyscraper. Her path takes her past shaken visitors and looky-lous, where she pauses by Delia and Squeaks to tell them, "Get to a boat or get to the safe zones, just don't get caught standing around!" At the sight of the familiar Miles and Asi, she eyes the teleporter and freelancer with a couple of acknowledging nods to them both. They're not in her employ, but one look at her entourage is likely enough to know their support is appreciated.

In the wake of the explosion, there's a roar from the water. It calls to mind, for a moment, stories of creatures that dwell in the deep. But the explanation is much simpler than that. Three ships come into view, lit by the firelight as they get closer. One heads right for the hole created by their opening move and the other two break off to head up the sides of the building.

Those two start to sling hooks and ropes onto the roof, anchoring the ships to the building before sailors start to swarm into the HQ. They're all armed, and those that don't rush to a safe spot are the first to fall as the first wave cuts a path through them.

The last ship doesn't anchor, but wind picks up around it— from it— and blows toward the building, strong enough to knock the unprepared off their feet.

The sound of the first grappling hook catches Delia unprepared. She's flat on her back when she first spies the boats but she's upright before another gust can keep her down. She's as pale as a ghost when she takes Squeaks by the shoulders to command her attention. "Pirates…" she answers the girl, her hands slide away, one catching the teen by the wrist to pull her further inward. Toward the direction indicated by Marlowe. "We need to run further in, find a place with cover, somewhere to hide. I'm right behind you. RUN!!"

Trusting the girl to obey wordlessly, she pulls a pistol from her belt, checks the ammunition, and then slams it closed again with a satisfied snap. One more glance toward the invaders and she tears off, easily surpassing Squeaks to lead her to a place where they might have a fighting chance.

As destruction reigns down on Lowe's around them an equally destructive force steps outside with fiercely burning hazel eyes. Trouble. She liked trouble. A shift of her gaze to the flames around her and she breathes deep, shuddering as she slaps the flames of their energy and brings them to herself, an extra boost of firepower if you will.

With a hand outstretched Isabelle brings forth orange flames, the lights flicker and reflect in her eyes. There's no life in those eyes otherwise, without much more thought she flings the fire out in the space in front of her and towards the attacks, the flames split into two medium sized balls of flame that hurtle to the group. The wind is met with a fierce growl from the woman as she stalks forward, flames clinging to her body and spiraling around her am.

She charges towards the anchored ship nearest with murder in her eyes, the flames quickly molding themselves as she draws a metal long chain drenched with gas in her hands from her backpack, the bottle hastily thrown away.

Danger isn't an unfamiliar thing, and even those grappling hooks bring back not happy memories. Every world has their bad guys. Squeaks is already moving by the time Delia is touching her wrist. Years of playing cat and mouse with Hunters has taught her to be fast on her feet and the woman’s grip doesn't last longer than a few seconds.

The teenager darts and weaves around other frightened people and debris. There's a lot of it, some of it not very pleasant to look at. That might have been an arm she just passed. But she lets instinct take her, not the route everyone else seems to be running but crosswise to it. Packed in like sardines in whatever safety place Marlowe has sounds less good than finding her own.

As soon as she's able, she goes to ground. Hands and knees aren't as fast as her own feet, but it makes her an even smaller target. And at floor level, there's hiding places just waiting all around, right? That's what Squeaks is looking for, anyway, somewhere to hide and look for the next path to the next safe point.

Miles hasn’t quite disappeared from existence when Asi calls to him — damnit. He turns toward his name with a little frown, but if she was trying to keep him there, well, she’s done what she attempted, since he doesn’t just peace out. “No clue!” he calls back, shaking his head. “Hopefully we live long enough to find out!”


He turns toward Marlowe as she bursts out from the stairway and assembles her minions to her, and while he still looks a little bit like he might just bolt at any moment, he does not do it quite yet. He does move to find some strategic cover, but for now, he’s holding the line. A quick couple of gestures and murmured words to one of Marlowe’s crew who’s taken cover near him, and he’s gotten a gun in his hand. The better to shoot you with, as we know.

Not everyone is blessed with the luxury of guns that have ammunition, though, and Asi wastes no time in drawing her sword, flicking her wrist to bring it down before her. "Shall we play onigokko?" she asks aloud, facing the invaders that charge. After she's not immediately answered, she inches back closer to Miles and clarifies, "That's tag, for the uninitiated. I'd like to go 'tag' their captain, if you're willing."

She looks down toward him expectantly, or with far more expectation than she actually feels. Her free hand extends out to accentuate just what she's asking after. He's never been one to stick one place long, or strikes her as one to stick his neck out. But for her part, she's always wondered what it's like when he teleports. Otherwise, she's just as content to cut these scum down by charging headfirst into them.

The militia manning the anti-watercraft cannons - likely taken from a naval ship at some point - can be heard shouting to each other as they take aim, calibrating to fire all towards the approaching ships and the one that stays out at sea. Gunfire erupting from the defenders, groups of fighters take cover along the piers.

"Cutter! I need a cutter!"
"I'm coming, hang on!"
"Medic! Goddamnit!"
"Fire crew to Dock 4! Get that blaze put out! Shit!"

Explosions, shouts, war cries, gunfire and regular fire have all changed what was a peaceful community into a veritable hive of angered residents. And with her commands issued, the queen of the hive no longer keeps her attention on those uncertain of how to act. Standing from her braced position once the gusting wind passes, she steps forward.

Marlowe approaches one of the smoldering walls of the hole behind the first wave of invaders. Fingers splay as she touches the wall and a blue crackling energy snaps to life along the singed hole's edge. The wall starts to patch, spreading out in a spider webbing pattern of steel and concrete teeth gnashing downwards towards the waters. The pirates inside are soon to be trapped in the kill box formed from the building itself.

Their backup outside of the building is left to deal with the cannons firing upon the second and third ship staying out at sea along the sides of the building, forcing their wind-manipulator to deflect ship-sinking projectiles.

Near to the pyrokinetic, Shaw picks a post where he watch Isa's back as she hurtles fireballs and pulls out the gas-soaked chainwhip. The man also has pulled out a recently cleaned Desert Eagle in hand, takes aim at the hooks and slings being shot towards the rooftop and fires away with the sharp-eyed acuity of augmented senses as if he's gone skeet shooting. The darkness of night doesn't worry him.

Fireballs light up the sky like particularly angry fireworks. One veers off and strikes the ship to the east at the bow, setting the boat alight as well. Sailors turn their attention from attacking to saving their own boat. It doesn't stop the attack entirely, but fewer bodies swarm the walls on that side.

The other firework hits a gust of wind instead of a boat and it turns, slamming back toward the hole Marlowe works on patching up. And the woman herself. The shifting shadows and sudden heat give her warning that she needs to move just moments before the fire catches in what's left of the hole— and the new construction covering it.

From the south, sailors with guns and knives pour over the wall. Asi finds her plans delayed by a knife slashing toward her side. Delia feels a bullet just miss her cheek. Isabelle barely feels a bullet pierce her shoulder. It digs in, though, and doesn't come out the other side.

Just in front of her, one of the anchors is shot off the edge of the building and she can hear one man fall toward the ocean. Beyond him, another of Shaw's bullets hits another and he falls to the deck, hands gripping his chest as if he might be able to hold the blood in.

He can't.

"I just never get to do what I want," Asi laments to no one in particular, not sounding particularly put off about it as she weaves away from the fool with the knife, sword arm cutting back across her body with a lazy slice. She has the advantage of range, and when her assailant reacts to their painful non-fatal wound across their arm and torso, she capitalizes by stabbing them through the chest to apply a fatal one, kicking them off her blade once done. She spits spitefully on them as they fall back, writhing.

No. She wasn't particularly put off by it going this way.

"If you want to play tag, come find me, Miles." is all Asi says before she surges forward, ready to find her next victim. They brought it on themselves, coming here like this. Her eyes gleam with a particularly motivated light behind them, spurning her deeper into the fray. Fighting alongside Mad Eve's crew has given her the tools to be ruthless in pursuit of her own special brand of justice, and she takes pleasure in not holding back from delivering it.

"Get down!" Delia screams as she feels the heat of the bullet grazing by her. Following Squeaks, she ducks into a space that looks much too small for all of her gangly limbs but she manages to tuck herself in. It takes some adjustment, but after a while she gets herself in a good position to fire back. That's when another pistol is produced from her belt.

"You know how to fire one of these?" she says to Squeaks as she passes the other half of her unmatched set to the girl. "You save one bullet, y'hear me? You save it for yourself. If you think you're going to get taken, you use it." Delia's voice isn't usually so shaky, not as long as the young teen has known her.

The pistol is taken with little thought. Squeaks, like all the kids of the Lighthouse, is familiar and even practiced with guns. As Delia is talking, she turns it over in her hands and checks the chamber. She looks at the older red-head to acknowledge she’d heard the instructions, and it could be she’s maybe heard similar instructions before. She’s afraid, but not being driven by fear.

“I go that way,” the teenager states with a motion. That way should keep her under cover and away still from where everyone is running for. She learned a lot in the Wasteland, and one of those things is don’t get cornered. Somehow she’s translated that to mean that mass of people going for the escape route is getting cornered. So she follows her word by crawling away, but watching for the pirate people. She will shoot if she has to.

Miles starts to reply to Asi, but he’s interrupted by the whole stabbing and shooting thing. How rude. They could’ve given him a second! Just because you’re a pirate doesn’t mean you should interrupt people. But in any case, he just gives Asi a thumbs up, and ducks behind a likely pile of stuff to get ready.

A moment later, he pops out again and gets a shot off, hitting one of the climbers in the shoulder just as he’s getting over. It knocks the man off balance and his other arm wheels around as he tries to stay upright, but it’s a losing battle. Soon enough, he’s fallen back over the side with a cry of surprised mingled with pain. One more down.

Marlowe's golden eyes glance up at the sight of the incoming fireball, and she yanks her hand off the wall before abandoning her effort and diving into the water. RIP megaphone. No one will see the grimace of pain she experiences under the waves.

One thing can be said about the homegrown militia that protects Lowe's HQ: they're extremely sensitive about keeping their little piece of home together. Once the fire starts flying around both metaphorical and literal, the crews go into overdrive in saving and protecting their home.

As pirates attack, the groups exchange gunshots and bladed weapons clang off each other. Personal boats that were docked release and move off different jutting piers, taking the battle seaward as they rush to meet the pirates staying out on the ocean. At least one of the boats is somehow moving with greater speed than it normally would, spurred on by a supernatural force provided by someone on board.

There's also an urban myth about Lowe's, saying that battles at the building don't last much more than ten minutes. The evidence of it appears from the deep.

The water outside the building, near the wall on fire starts to swell as blue-white arcs of lightning-like energy crackle and swirl, building the wave up and up to quench the fire and unnaturally gathering into a giant… hand. To be more specific, a giant hand with an upraised a middle finger. At the tip of said finger, Marlowe reappears, waist deep within the water itself and looking super pissed off - probably because her hair's wet.

"Kusoyaroutachi," she growls to herself as she takes in the battle. And after another beat, the 'hand' slaps outward from Marlowe's position, released from her power and aimed straight for the main boat with the aerokinetic aboard. There's no finesse to the wave, simply the natural power of the element as tens of thousands of gallons of water pours out towards the pirate ship.

Crouching next to Isa, Shaw takes on a few more would be invaders as he lines up shots one after another. He doesn't linger on targets, given there's so many to choose from. When Isa is shot, Shaw cries out, breaking from his position to run to the pyro despite the flames licking up from her person.

Once Shaw runs out of bullets, he shoves the gun back into his waistband behind him and pulls out a wicked looking survival knife. A primal scream rips out of him as he charges down the dock, the poor pirate who he deems the shooter (whether he was or not) doesn't see him coming because of the negation field blinding him gets the blade shoved down into the soft tissues where neck meets collarbone. The bloodied end pulls out, Shaw roughly elbow-shoves the wounded pirate aside and into the water, and turns wild-eyed to look expectantly back at the pyro.

A hiss of pain accompanied with the hiss of flesh sizzling as flames lick at the wound and Izzy's eyes grow wide as her arm drops and staggers forward, flames trailing behind her on the floor of the place. Slowly hazel eyes grow more intense as the flames crackle with more power and anger. A hard stare meets her fiancé's eyes as she stalks forward with a stomp, the flames curling around the rest of her body burning her clothes away, black smoke and tattered pieces of cloth in her wake.


A hand raises drenched in orange flame that flickers and pops with life, the edges of the flame turning and twisting into a deep electric blue. Release.. The looks of pain and sorrow that drape her expression during the recurring nightmare that is murdering her parents doesn't translate to this physical plane, instead the pyrokinetic rears back with her good arm and steps forward again to be clear of anyone she might not want to hurt, especially Shahid. A savage cry bubbles forth from her gut as she extends her hand, blue crackling flames sent flying into the direction of the second ship. And again. And again. Volley of volley of blue flame sails through the air, Isabelle's screams of rage right behind them.

The intruders who make it up the wall find that their victory is short-lived. Asi's sword pierces body after body, sending several falling into the water. Those that she misses don't fare any better; Miles is a host unto himself and paired with a gun, the man appears long enough to shoot, disappearing before they can think about retaliation. The third boat ends up riddled with bleeding bodies. Easy to pick off.

The pirates running through the market end up face to face with hidden guns. Delia and Squeaks are forced to pick off a fair number, but they aren't the only people hiding and waiting for an opportunity. No one at Lowe's is unprepared, it would seem.

On the second boat, Shaw is a deadly foe for the man who shot Isa, and for those who try to stop her as her flames appear. No one is able to get a shot off again, not with his blade and his aim. Even when he's forced to retreat to the roof, bullets find temples and hearts, dropping them as quickly as he can fire.

But the fire.

Flames catch on the boat and there aren't enough hands left up top to put them out— even if there was any hope of doing so with the pyrokinetic still attacking. Screams ring out from below decks and a few bodies make it out into the water. But not many.

The ocean itself rises against the remaining boat, slamming against the deck with a cacophony of cracking wood and straining metal. Pieces break off, pirates jump ship, and the splash is big enough to put out the other boat. And to knock people off the third boat who have just struggled to their feet. As the attack dies down— or is put down, more accurately— there are only militia from the HQ collecting those left alive, scavengers collecting the boats (or what's left of them), and their captain treading water and waiting his turn at being arrested. He has little other choice.

Ande manages to catch Marlowe's attention, since he orchestrated this attack, and he spreads his hands helplessly in her direction with a crooked, impish smile on his face. As if he just couldn't help himself.

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