Let. Me. Out.


vf_elisabeth_icon.gif vf_lynette_icon.gif vf_magnes_icon.gif vf_ruiz_icon.gif vf_woods_icon.gif

Scene Title Let. Me. Out.
Synopsis What happens when you combine electricity, gravity, radio waves, and a portal to nowhere?
Date December 23, 2011

Disposal Room: The Hub

Having acquired a new radio from Elisabeth, this has led Magnes to wanting to do another experiment. He'd been reading his theoretical physics books, trying his best to understand some of the concepts. It'll take some time, but for now, he has an idea.

He stands here, in the garbage disposal room, with Elisabeth, Woods, Ruiz, and Lynette, in their respective suits, without negation. "Woods is here to record. I need Doctor Ray to use the data we gather in his probability models, it's absolutely essential that he tells us what to do next. In part, I believe he's already predicted that something is going to happen here, and most likely just doesn't know what."

Starting to pace a little, he holds the radio in his hands, fiddling with it, then offers it to Elisabeth. "Edward Ray's ability probably works a little like Gabriel's, it's an intuitive ability. I started to realize this when it hit me that he's predicting things and putting them in motion without knowing exactly why he's putting them in motion. He can know that something interesting will happen without knowing what. It's a part of gathering data." he explains, before he lets the radio go, in Elisabeth's care, and slides his arms behind his back, walking to the middle of the room.

"Understanding that, what I'm attempting to do is predict and work out the way that he interacts with data, so that I know what kind of data to feed him in order to get an actually useful result." He does, of course, leave out the part about trying to figure out how to possibly manipulate the accuracy of Edward's ability, but some forms of insanity aren't meant for group sharing. Then, he nods to Ruiz.

"Ruiz' function will be to open a hole. After speaking to Ygraine, I now believe that Ruiz' holes aren't true gravity black holes, but simply the ability to open a hole in the universe. However, everything has gravity, and while his holes aren't collapsed mass, I can still interact with them using my ability. It's actually interesting, really, but I won't bore you with my thoughts." he shrugs, and continues, starting to pace in slow circles.

Hand going back behind his back, he rambles on with his game plan. "My current hypothesis, after reading some things in my books, is that I'm not supposed to create a black hole. I have to push the hole created by Ruiz' ability, until I essentially create a tear in the universe. I can't do this without Gillian. However, I have another idea, one that should work for the purpose of this radio."

He motions his head to the radio, then to Lynette. "Lynette is going to feed her ability into Ruiz, as much as she can, and we're going to make it as large as possible, which is why you all have chains around your waists." Just in case people were wondering. It's probably important to explain things like that. "Instead of trying to control the entire hole, I'm going to try to latch onto a very central point, the smallest possible point in the void." The Void… he shakes his head after that, a lingering thought.

"I'm going to try to push this small point, my ability should be able to do that much. I'm not trying to widen it, or make it large enough to travel through, I'm trying to push this single point just enough for us to receive radio transmission. Depending on the transmissions we receive, if any, we should have some ideas of what universes we're immediately next to, which will give us something to work with." he carefully explains, then just starts laughing for no reason for a moment. "Sorry, I got excited."

"Elisabeth will try to keep the transmission of sound clean, especially since Woods will be doing his best to record and we're doing the best we have with what's available. I'll also need Elisabeth to try to maybe keep the sound enhanced, since I doubt we'll get the most clear signal from one universe to another." Finally, he points in front of him.

"Let's begin."

"Ruiz, open the hole." He nods to Lynette. "You immediately start feeding him." To woods, "Start recording now." And then to Elisabeth. "Get ready."

He holds both hands out, and people can feel a slight shift, though it's not enough to truly affect anyone, it's enough to know that Magnes just sort of turned himself up to a solid ten. His sphere of gravity is probably expanded to a 30 foot radius. It might give one a slightly bizarre sense of their spatial orientation, a bit of a "surreal' feeling, though passive enough not to have a great effect on them.

"I hope their music is better than ours," Lynette says dryly, once the details of the plan are explained. No one is making the charts these days, so maybe she's hoping for the next big hit from the next universe over. But she's here for a reason and that reason is not to make side commentary.

Adding to the odd feel of the room, Lynette draws in a breath and focuses on calling up her own power. She knows there's more depth to it than she's been able to access since crawling down into the hub, but she's been trying to tap back into that well since Magnes convinced her this crazy idea might be worth trying for.

It might be a good idea for people to keep clear of her, because the chain around her waist is conductive. And she's on, live. Ruiz's ability will know, even if he doesn't feel it directly, that there's more fuel than usual.

As she feels their powers start to go live, Elisabeth smiles faintly. Hers have been live for just enough time before this experiment to let her ‘stretch out her muscles,’ so to speak — for almost the first time since she’s been here, she can hear. Much like a blind person suddenly shown color, it must be, she figures. The world without all those sound waves she’s used to is flat, and now it’s not. All up and down the spectrum of frequencies, she can literally map the place if she wants to. Though being buried inside a concrete bunker does limit her some, few people have the facility that she’s learned with her ability, and it’s energizing to be able to finally have the full span of the world within reach again.

The radio itself, she sets on the ground outside of Lynette’s range. Don’t want to fry the thing. And blowing out a breath, she waits for the cue to start scanning the ranges — but not until after Ruiz’s ability kicks in. Once she begins those scans, there’s nothing to do but keep scanning for as long as they can manage.

“This is the craziest idea I’ve ever heard.” Ruiz responds to all the dropped information with a small sigh, even as he looks at each of the suited people to make sure that their tethers are intact. This will be the first time in a long time that Lynette has seen his ability in action, a first time for Elisabeth, she’d been unconscious, and definitely not the first for the other two. They know what they were getting into. From the sound of his heartbeat, which sounds… off? … he’s very anxious already. But his heart beat sounds different than when Liz last skipped her negation and talked to him.

In part because now he is no longer negated.

“Everyone double check your tethers and hold tight if you need to. Magnes should be able to weight you down if something goes wrong.” That’s one thing they tested once, not on purpose. The camera had started to slip, got too close to the threshold his ability pulls from. And he imagines Woods will think they’re all going to die anyway.

With a deep breath, he concentrates on that sound, that call, that gravity that always pulls on him and releases it. The lights flicker. Most of it comes from Lynette, from the wire that connects her to the wall, pulled together into a single point that she can feel. There’s a breath, a wind, then that spot explodes outward. And the noise, to those not used to it, really is an explosion. The hole, black and dark and infinite pulls open to a flat plane that faces them, ringed by lightning, which this time Magnes will notice doesn’t spark, it’s thinner, more like a solid frame that just happens to be made of lightning.

El umbral draws in everything immediately around it. They feel the slightest of pulls on their suits, but it’s mostly what’s right next to it that seems affected. Dust lifts up off the floor, a screw scrapes across the floor and flies up into the center. It may not exactly be gravity, but it’s hungry. Endlessly so.

And the noise— to everyone else it sounds like a some kind of raging waterfall, whipping tornado, roaring forest fire or teeth crunching away at bones. It’s hard to figure out which it sounds like more— but Elisabeth can hear all of them. All at once. It’s all those sounds. Folded on top of each other. And a more subtle sound of blood rushing through veins, of rain beating against the ground, of ice freezing and cracking. So many sounds at once, all wrapped up in each other. Like a whole world of natural, primal sounds, all contained in one infinite space.

Magnes stares into El Umbral, the Void… is that really the Void? No… yes? He's not sure. He shakes his head again, then starts to concentrate, staring. "Unlike last time, I'm trying to sense a single point, the smallest point possible. If I make an imprint in space with gravity, and then that imprint becomes so heavy that I break space wide open when I become a black hole, then, since we already have a hole to work with…"

"I'm going to push the smallest point, a point so small it shouldn't require as much power as controlling the whole thing. Now, let's see if we can get some radio waves!" He looks to Elisabeth, nodding, then he aims both hands at Ruiz' hole, and starts to concentrate, hard.

This use of his ability is very tricky. He's not used to such fine uses of gravity, let alone one that has to deeply concentrate the gravity on such a small point. But he's done some mental exercises, tried to imagine how it would be over and over again, and puts as much of himself into it as he possibly can.

He just pushes and pushes, and people can feel a slight pull from him as well, though likely not as strong as El Umbral. "I don't really know what it'll feel like, if I break through, so just start doing the radio and we'll see what happens, as long as we can sustain this!"

Lynette feels her electricity pull away from her, but she doesn't seem worried about what's coming. It might be the opposite, seeing as it has been a while. And when El Umbral forms, even with the noise, even with the pull, Lynette lets out a sigh that sounds distinctly impressed. In awe, one might say, if one were paying attention to Lynette and not to the void. One of these things is less noteworthy than the other. She takes a small step forward, but she keeps her hand on her chain. She's not suicidal, just enamored.

The sudden inrush of not merely sound but layered sound arrests Elisabeth’s movements. Although her fingers turn on the shortwave set, her attention is pulled to the siren song of frequencies that she can feel. She pulls in an awestruck breath — such nuanced layers she’s rarely had the opportunity to experience. It takes her several long seconds, after closing her eyes to concentrate, to really focus on the sounds and categorize them, sort through them, and shuffle the frequency ranges she doesn’t immediately need to use to the back of her mind. Radio has a relatively limited band of frequencies and that has to be the focus right now… despite the lure of the sounds that she’s being bombarded with.

Only once she has managed to finally narrow her reception focus to the bands the shortwave can also reach does she begin the laborious process of mentally navigating the entire span of wavelengths. It’s relatively small, comparatively — radio bands are limited to a very particular range of frequencies. To listen to each one is simply an effort of time and concentration for her, and it’s one that Elisabeth relishes in this moment, seeking out anything that sounds like it could be broadcasts.

As the young gravity manipulator does his thing, el umbral changes. It’s subtle at first, but that blackness and the lightning start to take on a purple tinge, almost as if taking on aspects of his ability. At the same time, something else happens. It’s as if it reacts to Elisabeth’s narrowing of bandwidth of sound. It becomes softer, more focused, that roar fading slightly into the background. Mateo closes his eyes and clenches his fist, cause he can feel their abilities interacting with his. His body feels it. Like a clenching of muscles in his chest, the warmth in his nose, dripping down onto his lips. To Elisabeth’s fine tune sense of sound, she might even hear his heart skip a beat. Literally.

Magnes is used to this, or at least seeing the after effects. He probably never noticed while he does it.

Taking deep breaths, he tries his best not to show too much what is going on. Cause he knows Lynette is there. And he doesn’t want to stop this experiment. It’s a terrible idea— for one or two reasons, but at the same time kind of genius. And if it gets them out of this terrible world in the end, it’s worth it.

Just for the fucking record!” Woods shouts as he holds the camera steady, fifteen feet away from the experiment and likewise tethered in chain. “I would like to point out this is the stupidest bloody fucking thing that has ever happened in my presence!” The camera sweeps from Lynette to Ruiz, then to Elisabeth and finally Magnes. “Absolutely pants on head fucking stupid!”

The purple-tinged, consuming void ripples like he surface of water for a moment. There's a disturbance in it, frays the edges like tattered cloth and sends arcs of electricity snapping from the edges to the ceiling and floor, loud pops and crackles. The radio is just blasting static, and even as Liz tries to filter through it for a scrap of something there's nothing other than noise.

The radio sputters, crackles and pops, and then there is just silence. There's no static, there's no white noise, and it isn't because Elisabeth filtered all that out. There was the normal background noise of this world that the radio was picking up, and then nothing.

“Is’sat supposed t’be extra creepy?” Woods asks as he zooms the camera in on the radio. Almost as if in response there's a high-pitched shriek that comes from the radio’s speakers, an audio screech like feedback from a microphone pointed at an amp.

Then, loudly, an unfamiliar voice of indeterminate gender calls out from the radio “Lynette, killing satisfies a dark part of you. Don't deny what you are.”

A different voice calls or over the radio, this one distinctly more feminine but likewise unrecognizable. “When you have your chance, kill him.”

Mateo. Let. Me. Out.” The first voice calls again over the radio, followed by the same second voice again.

“I can't make your choice for you, I'm sorry.” She whispers, static briefly rising and falling behind the words, before finally turning back to static again. The strain of holding the portal open in such a fashion sends a stabbing pain behind Ruiz’s eyes and causes Magnes’ bones to vibrate, sending jolting pain up through his extremities.

Magnes suddenly stops, falling to one knee as the pain jolts through him.

That was… that was definitely a result. Something directly addressed them… and he can't help but feel it deep down inside somewhere. "I thought… I thought the Void was a figment of my imagination…"

He sounds absolutely terrified now, staring at the floor in horror, eyes wide. "That… that can't be right… that can't be real… that didn't just happen…"

Lynette glances over to Woods, because he's not wrong. But at least he gets to say I told you so later. It'll make his day. If they survive.

But the noise gets her attention back over to the radio. The static— but more importantly, the silence. Lynette's face falls, like this might be the first moment she's thought this was a bad idea. "Shut it down," she says into the quiet. But then she hears her own name coming through. Her gaze flicks over to the portal. The words aren't comforting, none of them. But it isn't until the voice addresses Ruiz that she actually does anything.

Once upon a time, before the virus, before the negation drugs, before the Hub, Lynette's power was a sight greater than it has been since. She reaches a hand out toward the portal, reaches for that electricity. Her eyes close as she pushes herself, focusing on pulling it back into her. She's not a fan of these voices and she's looking to turn them off. People nearest to her might see the need to move away, with her hand still on her chain and sparks starting to fly. The hand stretched out in front of her blinks away and then back again. And away again. Like she might be struggling to keep herself solid.

The microphone feedback sound is excruciating to the audiokinetic for just a moment. Then it’s all words… and sounds… and really fucking creepy. Because, you know… no one knows exactly where Ruiz’s portal goes, and clearly there is SOMETHING in the inbetween. And it raises all the hair on the back of her neck in ways she has never experienced before — and the woman has seen some truly terrifying shit, people. She is ghost white does something she hasn’t done in more than a decade — Elisabeth crosses herself. “Mother of God…”

As Lynette starts to move forward, Liz screams, “Shut it the fuck down! Shut it down!”

Let. Me. Out.

Once the radio stops talking to him and the pain sets in behind his eyes, Ruiz reaches up as if wanting to touch his head, wanting to tear off the suit that was supposed to protect them if anything went wrong. Usually the pain hits in his chest, but this… That noise from el umbral might be filtered out, but no one can filter out the noise in his head. It still roars. Even louder than before as if trying to echo the words that it could not form until it smashed into a radio as radio waves.

He can’t even hear everyone else yelling for the moment. But he does see Lynette step in front of him. That is when his hand changes directions, reaching out to her with that too thick glove. He doesn’t actually touch her, which would likely be best since she’s like a live wire right now, but he wants to tell her to stop. He doesn’t get the chance.

The lightning along the edges, in it’s soft purple hue, changes as Lynette pulls on it, crackles, sending sparks down into the blackness. It had been held together so tightly that it takes a few moments before it gets the desired effect. All the light pulls inward. Until they touch that somehow unseen center. It brightens the room like a flash of lightning just crashed in. And then the air stops pulling.

In fact, it explodes outward with more force than they had felt pulling on them. It pushes them all back, like a blastwave that will at least knock all of them off their feet and shake the room slightly like an explosion just occured in the enclosed space. The pain in Ruiz’s head doesn’t stop, the pain in his chest, his heart still seems to be unsteady, but he ends up against the wall, blasted back harder than most, likely because it was his ability.

And he doesn’t move right away.

What the bloody fuck was that!” Woods is screaming wildly, having been thrown all the way up against the concrete wall. “What— what the fuck was that!?” The look of panic in Woods’ eyes is understandable, given the situation. But the radio has nothing further to say, and for a moment the only sound in the room after Woods’ screaming questions is his frantic breathing and the soft static crackle of static electricity sparking in the air.

"The Void is real…" Magnes says, clearly assuming that he knows what it is, at least that's what he thinks. "It's… it's real. I'm not crazy… everyone heard that, it's real…"

He starts trying to lift himself back up, after getting tossed against a wall. He didn't get to soften the blow much, his gravity is pretty wrecked at the moment. "What the hell. If what's in between the worlds is the fifth dimension, then… what the fuck kind of thing… I mean that has to be some kind of Evolved person, right?"

It has to be.

The electrokinetic doesn't get tossed like the others, but only because the blast makes her blink into electricity, leaving her chains to hit the wall instead of her. But when she reforms, blood seeps from her nose and her eyes look like she might have popped a few blood vessels. It's unsettling. It takes her a moment to find her footing, but once she does, she looks for Ruiz. Who isn't moving.

So while Magnes and Woods try to wrap their heads around what just happened, Lynette ends up on her knees next to Mateo, peeling off her own gloves so that she can check him over. It's all done in frantic movement, short breaths and eyes widened in panic. "Woods," she manages to get out, but that's as far as her call for help goes because her words end up dying in a strangled noise in the back of her throat.

It’s not the first time Liz has been thrown about like a rag doll. She’s not even sure it’s the tenth. Her instinct had been to protect the radio, so when the blast wave knocks her backward, she tumbles, trying to keep it from being crushed into the wall. So of course it slams into her chest when she hits the wall and slides down.

“Motherfucker, Magnes…” she groans. Prying herself up off the ground, setting the radio array carefully to one side, she yanks the hood and the gloves off, fumbling with the chains that were holding them all in place. “Lynette… is he okay?” She shoots Magnes a venomous look that says I’ll deal with you later on the topic of the fucking Void he’s talking about. Goddamned kid leaving out stuff like that!! She’s furious just now, as she frees herself, but manages to bite back anything except the tight tone.

“Everyone sound off — Lynette, you’re bleeding. Is it just surface?” she asks as she moves to try to help Ruiz as well.

For a long moment, Ruiz still doesn’t move. It’s actually not as long as it really is, but it feels longer to his fiancee, certainly. The audiokinetic can pick up a strange whooshing sound coming from his heart, one that, if she’d been around people with heart problems in the past, definitely indicate something really wrong. More than a heart murmur or irregular heart beat. Almost as if all his microvessels had constricted and then opened back up.

“I’m fine,” he manages after a moment, gloved hand reaching up to touch Lynette and hold it against his chest. Mostly because that’s where it hurts. Nevermind the blood that run down from his nose, where those vessels burst rather than constrict. And a small drop from the corner of one eye, eyes that look bloodshot.

“Did everyone else hear that? From the radio?” he sounds tired, exhausted, like he’d ran miles rather than just— stood there doing nothing really. A voice.

Let. Me. Out.

Woods has been scrambling around since the end, since he was slammed against the wall. He was behind Liz for a moment, then Lynette, then on his hands and knees looking across the rough concrete floor.

Fuck!” Woods rises up onto his knees. “It ate the fucking camera! Where the fuck is the camera!?” Wide-eyes and delirious with fear, Woods looks at where the vortex was, then down to his hands. “What the fuck… what the fuck…”’he repeats, taking his hands through his scraggly hair.

"Ruiz, I need to know something." Magnes finally manages to lift himself up, shambling himself over to Mateo, wiping blood from his nose. "Do you ever heard the Void talking to you? I've… it's that thing, it has to be. It's real. I always thought it was a voice in my head! I've heard it since the moment I became a black hole… I thought it was me, I thought it was my voice!"

"I'm fine!" Lynette shouts this to Liz, although more out of panic than anger. And that panic doesn't subside until Ruiz speaks. She doesn't even breathe until he speaks. She exhales when he pulls her hand to him and her other one moves to his shoulder. "Don't move. No te muevas, mi amor. Woods," that last part is said a little sharper, "he needs a medic."

But then Magnes is speaking and what he's saying gets Lynette's attention. In a bad way. A way that comes with wide, angry eyes and a snarl. "No. You don't need to know anything from him right now. You need to back off is what you need to do." That part is more anger than panic. But there is a little panic there, too. She looks back to Mateo, though, to give him a nod. He's allowed to ask questions, because Lynette has a favorite. "Lo escuché," she says back to him, quiet, "Estuvo mal. No more of this, okay? No more experiments. You told me you two needed more than we have here so, that's it. Until we find your boost, this is it."

Elisabeth puts a calming hand on Lynette’s shoulder, relaxing just a little when Ruiz starts speaking. “Jesus Christ,” she whispers. Rubbing her forehead above her eye, blue eyes turn to Magnes. And as she straightens up, Liz is every bit the woman who ran Frontline Manhattan in that moment. “Magnes Varlane,” she bites out sharply in a tone that would have had even the toughest of her people hopping to instantly, “~Explain. Now.~” She doesn’t even have to raise her voice, because right here, right now, it is perfectly clear that if she does not get some answers, she’s gonna tear Magnes a new ass and then rip off his arms and feed them to him. The demand is laced with the subsonics that she used to use to keep riots under control and get people to do what she wanted them to (assuming they were leaning just a little in the direction she wanted them to go anyway).

“It’s not words,” Mateo mutters, even as Lynette speaks to him, tries to tell him things in Spanish that he’s very much listening to, but… he’s still glancing past her to look at Magnes. “It was never words before. Just… sound. Like when el umbral opens.” Not just tired, but a little delirious sounding. Voice more rambled, breathy. Exhausted. But it had never been a voice. A feeling, an emotion, a pull, something so intrinsic that he’s not sure it ever had been anywhere outside of his mind.

He too had thought he imagined it. Had thought his ability had driven him a little mad. That he just heard it because he knew it was there. Whatever might be on the other side of those holes in space he would open. Because it always sounded like that. Like how it sounded when they opened.

No se detiene, no se detiene.” he mutters to Lynette, after a moment. They can’t stop this. It’s their only chance. “Tengo que llevarte a un lugar seguro.” But Lynette is definitely right, in some ways. He probably could use a medic. Perhaps Aislinn would know something more than the chemist. “I’ll go see Aislinn after this, okay? I’m sure I just need to rest.”

If Liz stopped scolding Magnes for a moment she could tell he probably needs more than rest, though.

Woods can't right now. He can't come to the phone, he can't come out and play, he can't explain where the camera is, he can't explain what happened to the radio. “I'll— fucking— get help.” He’s slowly, unsteadily standing with his hands still locked in his shout hair. He hasn't blinked since the experiment abruptly ended, hasn’t stopped twitching either.

“Goin’ t’just….” Woods makes a sweeping gesture toward the door. “Just go get help. Just one bloody foot in front’a the other. One two, left right, off we go down the yellow fucking brick road.” Woods continues to mumble incoherently to himself as he makes his way to the metal door, unclips the chain from his waist and drops it loudly to the floor. That's enough everything for one day for him.

Magnes frowns slightly, a bit of guilt at Lynette's tone. He did make a promise to her. But he shifts his attention to Elisabeth almost immediately, taking a deep breath. "When I became a black hole, I told you, I just… I felt my consciousness expand, like I wasn't human anymore. I wanted to swallow everything, it was like… it was god-like."

He sounds almost terrified by the way he describes his own feelings, leaning back against a wall. "Since we came here, I gradually started, like, sleepwalking, having dreams, I've found things written down. I thought I was going insane, I thought being a black hole made me crazy. You said Edward— I mean, you know what you said about our Edward." He doesn't finish that thought, it seems… like it might be a bit much to say in front of everyone.

"It would say these things in my head, when I was about to fall asleep, just waking up, or just on paper. It wrote this whole thing, or me, or I don't know. I found this whole thing written on paper, then I found a weird poem, I really just thought I was losing it.

Holding his head, he slowly sinks to one knee. "I… I have to get out of here, I have to go to my room. Just… just, I need my negation shot."

He's starting to float slightly, suggesting that he's burned his ability out, to anyone familiar with what happens when he overloads himself.

"No, Mateo. Look at me," Lynette says, her hand tightening on his. "That doesn't matter to me," she says in a whisper, "you matter to me. And you are going to rest. I don't care what anyone has to say about it, you are benched." She looks up when Woods answers her, watching him for a moment like she worries she might need to direct him. "Thank you, Woods," she says after him. He might not hear her, but she does say it.

Her gaze goes back to Ruiz, though, while Liz and Magnes talk it out. Tears start to form in her eyes, but she's keeping them back as best she can. "I hurt you," she says as she settles back onto her heels. "I'm so sorry. I panicked." She glances down to her lap, to the ground between them. "Just let me get you better. I'm not calling it off forever. Just for now."

Elisabeth nods immediately to Woods — medical help is obviously a necessity. She hasn't the first aid background to help Ruiz or verify that Lynette is all right either. Worried blue eyes flicker to Ruiz while Magnes talks. She's listening, but she's studying the man on the floor while Lynette holds him — his heartbeat is worrying the hell out of her.

Gently she tells both of the remaining men, “Lynette's right. We can't do this again.” Glancing at Magnes, she grimaces. “Magnes’s ability is blown. I'm not sure about yours, Ruiz. But the two of you dying or otherwise getting mangled in this isn't going to help anyone.” She shakes her head slightly. “After you've both rested and recovered, we’ll talk about this voice and whatever experiences you've had of it before. Try and figure out what we're dealing with here.” And whether it means that we need to not try again.

Squeezing Lynette's shoulder softly, she tells the electrokinetic, “It wasn't your fault. Don't beat yourself up, okay? We all knew there were risks… we just didn't know what they were.” With a sigh, she moves to wrap an arm around Magnes and get him at least in contact with the ground. “You and me? We got to work on our communication. No more oops!” Her tone is still tight but a little gentler as she teases him with the line from ID4.

It may not matter to her, but it matters a lot to Ruiz. Getting her to another world where she can live without fear of infection, where she can grow old and live. Hopefully together with him, but— that part seems slightly less important if she gets there in the end. But hopefully with him, too. He’d rather like that part.

Which is why he nods. They are right. It won’t do much good if he doesn’t make it that far. “We’ll rest. I’ll talk to Aislinn…” He leaves out the hope that she’ll have some plants to give him to make it all better, because he doubts it too. She just might actually know something that other people don’t. And at least Aislinn had worked as a nurse, which was pretty much the most medically inclined person they have right now.

“I’ll be okay,” he whispers, even as he closes his eyes and holds onto Lynette’s hand, pressing it against his chest as if the pressure will stop the pain. Or lessen it. “You didn’t hurt me.” He’s talking under that roar in the back of his head, which might be why his voice is so distant. He feels like it’s a whisper, when it’s not, as well.

He’s paying attention to that sound in his head. Like the winds of a twisting tornado, like a crash of thunder, a breaking of limbs under the weight of ice. He’s trying to hear if there’s a voice hiding behind all that.

A voice he can feel still speaking.

Let. Me. Out.

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