Light On Water, Part II


brian_icon.gif colette_icon.gif conrad_icon.gif grace_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

alistair_icon.gif liu_icon.gif song_icon.gif trent_icon.gif

Scene Title Light on Water, Part II
Synopsis Helena comes into a confrontation with Triad Boss Liu Ye, and in the chaos, a new Evolved finally awakens to her own ability.
Date November 29, 2008


Though it's less than two miles square, Chinatown is home to some quarter of a million residents. Cramped, ancient tenements are the norm, though the fourty-four story Confucious Plaza standing at the corner of Bowery and Division does boast luxurious accommodations by comparison. Mulberry Street, Canal Street, and East Broadway are home to streetside green grocers and fishmongers, and Canal Street also boasts an impressive array of Chinese jewelry shops.


Chinatown looks no different than it does on any other day. Thousands of people filling the streets that are choked with automobiles. At this busy hour of the day, rush hour, people coming and going through this small and overpopulated borough cloud sight and sound. The roar of engines, the muffled din of countless conversations, and the sheer life of this portion of New York from street to rooftop creates a suffused noise that so many natives have grown to drown out. The city is as it always has been, but somewhere that she sun isn't shining down on, in a portion of those winding back alleys and side-streets, there's something transpiring. A series of events falling into place years in the making, a connection of elements that only at this exact moment could create the right conditions for what is to come.

And to this it all started with something as simple as a phone call.

"Hey sanba, 54 Mott street at sundown. Come alone and unarmed or your little guilao gets his throat slit instead of you."

Profane, distempered, and chaotic. The sounds of machinery still echoed in the background even during that second phone call to Helena. But the demands, come alone? Come unarmed? Surely they don't know who they're dealing with.

Foresight and planning are paramount to any rescue effort. Foresight to see exactly where 54 Mott street is, and as it turns out it's an automotive shop. Cheer Shine Automotove, according to the city records. And up close in person that proves to be the case. A two floor garage that looks like a reconditioned brick-faced warehouse. Four large bay doors, all closed. Amidst the crowds of people coming by on the sidewalk and the cars passing by, the lone man standing out from of the garage might go unnoticed. His olive-tan skin, long black hair, and leather jacket are all indicative of someone Helena is somewhat familiar with. A passing familiarity from the last time she spent a prolonged period in Chinatown, one of the men who jumped her on the tagging raid. It feels like forever ago that happened.

From across the street, the building doesn't look vacant. Lights on in several windows, and one man watching the three bay doors and one old and rusted steel door. They're obviously not expecting trouble.

They obviously underestimated the Ferrymen.

For all intents and purposes, Helena seems to come alone. She walks up to the warehouse, lifting her head to check out the windows. It's entirely likely one of the baddies is watching her, even though she likewise knows there's at least a dozen eyes on her side watching. Her lips part, but do not otherwise move, and she says without moving them through clenched teeth, "Going in." Taking a breath, she starts heading for the door slowly.

There are people everywhere on the streets, walking, talking, shopping. With a small plastic bag tucked under her left arm, its contents inscrutable, that same hand holding a phone to her ear, Grace Matheson fits right in — at least amongst the Western-ethnicity visitors to Chinatown. The ones whose cellphones might as well be extra appendages on their heads, and credit cards permanently affixed to their fingertips — maybe especially in these troubled times.

She wears eminently unremarkable blue jeans and a brown windbreaker that's seen quite a bit of use, left unzipped to show the autumn-toned shirt beneath. Grace certainly isn't unarmed, though it'd take some looking to spot the concealed handgun amidst the throng — but she's just another pedestrian. That rasping, rough voice is merely another part of the hubbub as she banters with the person on the other end of the line, its harsh pitches carrying poorly.

Of course, even if it did carry, it'd take someone who knew Grace to realize it's Alistair on the other end — and someone with knowledge of the Ferrymen to remember that Wireless is almost certainly eavesdropping. For what it's worth.

From maybe a hundred yards away Conrad watches Helena intently as she walks, keeping his profile low and his concentration on her and every sound that comes near her. He's got an invisible sonic shunt set up near him to where it repeats everything in Helena's personal space right next to him, so of course he hears it when she says she's going in. Tonight the Con-Man's wearing a Boston Red Sox jacket, matching ball cap pulled low over his face, hands in pockets. He's just business tonight. No smartass remarks. Nothing. But only one person is allowed near him right now to hear the stuff he's picking up from Helena.

Standing next to Conrad, is Brian. He wears a gray beanie with a brim that is tugged low. A pair of gold rimmed aviators and white track jacket. He stands near Conrad to hear everything Helena says. Though he is more the walkie talkie for the more important Brians.

He is all over the place. Though keeping a low profile. One on a cellphone on the sidewalk here, another watching with binoculars from a car, and even another simply loitering nearby. It is this one who is packing. Though the others are armed with various melee weapons, LoiteringBrian has a .40 tucked into the back of his pants though it is hidden by his coat. All the Brians keep their faces relatively disguised with use of sunglasses, collars, and hats, and all of them look rather disinterested.

"I bet nobody ever whispers things about you behind your back, huh?" Brian asks idly.

"Hold it." The man by the door steps over to Helena, reaching out and resting a hand on her shoulder. For a moment his eyes, ineffectually, scan the crowd, looking for people who stand out too much, ones who don't fit in to the crowd. Seeing nothing immediately suspect, he turns his focus back to Helena. One hand pats down alongher side, then across her midsection and up again. It's a bit too thourough of a pat-down, and it borders on manhandling for a moment.

A shout in mandarin rings out, loud enough to be heard inside, but it doesn't sound alarmed. It's more like someone calling ahead. He takes a step back from Helena, pursing his lips and making a kissy-face to her before raising his brows, "Have fun, sanba." He nods to the door, then folds his arms and leans back against the wall, watching the street.

From the car, a quiet and somewhat anxious voice crackles over Grace's phone, "Three on the second floor, automatic weapons. They're looking down, bets are on they aren't staring at the floor. I'm figuring there's a catwalk in there, height advantage for a favorable kill-zone. I can't see anyone on the ground flood, windows are blocked with plastic. Grace, is this really a good idea? Maybe we should've dragged Scott down here." Alistair's eyes and ears on the scene are one thing, but it's hard to argue with Harkness' expertise.

Conrad's attenuated senses pick up more than just the chatter between Helena and her manhandler though, he can her the droning din of machinery on the inside of the building. Heavy machinery like a lift, maybe an automatic crane and a generator, all running. It's drowning out a lot of the other sounds on the inside, making it hard to hear conversation or movement.

The Brian spying from the car notices the same thing Alistair does, three people patroling by the windows on the second floor, and with the binoculars he can make out that they're all armed. Each of them a rough and rugged looking asian street-thug in their twenties, likely Helena's walking into a gang safehouse, or worse.

Helena is…oddly calm. It's like with what's gone on with her in the past few days, her capacity for terror or trauma or fear has more or less hit the limit, and well…now it's time for a limit break. She doesn't protest the near mandhandling, though she doesn't encourage it, either. Hana's training allows her to see the easy kill spots. This is uncannily well thought out for a bunch of Triad thugs. Taking slow steps, she begins to proceed further in, darting her eyes toward the most likely locations a bullet might come from. The air around her has a heavy, charged feeling to it.

"Oh, they talk about me all the time. I hear a lot of it." mutters Conrad distantly, his concentration obviously mostly still on Helena and what's going on with her. It's a little more challenging when she's out of eyesight. He has to more actively adjust his focus on her source of sound instead of using visual cues to do it. Not a problem really, just takes more effort. Filtering out the background noise is a bit more of a challenge, because it's hard to pick and choose what you listen to. "Damn it's noisy in there. Hopefully they'll speak up." he mutters. Briefly he glances at the Brian near him and explains, "I can make everything out just fine but not much I can do to help you. I don't actually hear with my ears…"

A smirk is given to Conrad. "I have binoculars down there. There's a couple up there. I'll see if I can get around to the back. See if.." And with that suggestion the loitering Brian wanders around the perimeter of the building seeing if he can pick anything up.

"Lotsa guns man." Brian says softly. "I only have one." He intones to Conrad, flicking his eyes to the older man for a moment. "I don't think overwhelming them with force is going to be an option. You don't happen to have a bunch of guns I could arm myself with, do ya?" Brian asks flatly.

"I can ask him, but didn't he say he'd be working next weekend? Got called in to cover someone else's shift, I think?" There's a limit to what they can arrange on same-day notice, when there's people amongst them who actually make an attempt at a cover life. Grace idles on the sidewalk, sidestepping a stray pedestrian too busy digging in a bag to really be aware of where he's walking. "I swear, no one pays any attention where they're going. It's like they think the rest of the world ceases to exist for their convenience. Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh, right…" Chatter, chatter, mindless chatter — literally; disengage the thoughts and let the mouth run. It hides the fact that she's situated herself at an oblique angle to the upper windows and the door. She could probably shoot at two of the upper-level-watchers and have a reasonable chance of hitting them. She's also not far from the entrance.

On the inside, the garage is much to be expected. It's a spacious three bay garage with three seperate lifts, one of which is raised to the full twelve feet of its height. A catwalk area encircles the work floor, stairs accessing it from the back. Helena can hear the metallic clank of footsteps on the corrugated metal grating, and directly above her she can see three men pacing back and forth. Ahead, two more on the catwalk's opposite side, with firearms that look an awful lot like the ones she was given by Kain.

The actual workfloor has four people in it, two of which are familiar thugs from the last time she ran into the group in chinatown. Both with shaved heads, one in an army green vest with a combat knife sheathed in the front along with a pocket flashlight. He turns his head to look to the man beside him, equally shaved but with a short-cropped goatee, his black jacket looks fit for riding a morotcycle, but isn't made out of leather, rather a rough canvas-like material with hard plastic plates at the shoulders, back and elbows, "You came." He sounds surprised, and upset.

Behind those two are a pair who look out of place, a man and woman, both Helena's age.

"You must be the wind girl we've heard so much about." The young woman doesn't look dressed for hanging out with thugs, her backless dress and the slit up its side to reveal the tattoo of thorned vines on her leg seems more fit for a cocktail party. Her long, dark hair frames equally dark eyes. "Your friend has been very helpful." She flicks a hand towards the raised lift, and it's only then Helena sees the chains hanging on the other side, and the bloodied, beaten, and battered young man hanging by his wrists from it. Trent. He looks unconscious, hopefully.

"A lot's changed since you decided to beat me and my boys up," The young man is one Helena knows all too well. Thin moustache and swept back black hair that ends in curly waves at the back of his neck. He's dressed nicer today, with that white collared shirt unbuttoned and a black suit jacket and slacks. Seems like he and the lady were going out for the evening. He rises up from the stool he was seated on, dipping his fingers into the glass of water he was drinking, raising his fingers from the glass to trail serpentine coils of water in the air like caligraphy, spelling something out in chinese charaters before the water just falls to the floor in a splash. Oh, Helena remembers this one well.

"People have died, promotions have happened. I've been, really waiting for this." The water on the floor slithers behind him like a snake, following his footsteps. "You and your people have made a lot of noise. A lot of commotion. It's been hard figuring out just who you are, because all of the people from the…" He looks back to the young woman.

"PARIAH," She says informatively, and the man nods his head to her with an affable smile.

"PARIAH, told me you weren't with them. I figured they were liars, so," He snips two fingers like scissors in the air, "Cut out their tongues." Circling around one of his bodyguards, the hydrokinetic pauses and bows his head. "We never were introduced. My name is Liu Ye," One hand gestures towards the dark-haired woman sitting on the stool next to the one he was perched upon. "My sister, Song." He cracks a smile, "And I think you remember Han and Guo." He motions to the two subordinates. "I think you and I need to talk."

Helena makes a point of strolling, keeping her eyes on Liu Ye and placing herself near a window. "We can talk." Helena says, not bothering to introduce herself. "But I'm here, and you have no more need for Trent. Let him go. It's not like he can help me in his state." She holds out her hands. "I'm here, and I'm listening to what you have to say. You were wrong about PARIAH, though. I'm not with them." She doubts he'll care about harming the truthtellers, but there it is.

"Uh…uh…" Con's putting plenty of effort into concentrating and listening more to what's going on with Helena and her situation than he is Brian. "No…don't carry guns, man. Lemme concentrate here, it's kinda important okay pal?" Especially this really nasty part with the hostile threatening tones and everything. Con can't see what's going on in there, but he can tell this Liu Ye bitch sounds like she's got a score to settle. "Man we're gonna have to extract her…" he mutters to himself.

"Yeah, yeah, sorry." Brian says, folding his arms. He listens, all the Brian's being informed at the same time of the voices that Conrad brings in. Walking around the building, Brian tries to find anything that might help them in extracting Helena.

Cellphone Brian stops in the middle of the sidewalk and goes on one knee to 'tie his shoe' the cellphone is wedged between his ear and his shoulder. "Yeah, yeah. I love it.." He says, pretending to be having a conversation. A duffle bag is dangling over his left shoulder.

"Come on, stop it, no!" A voice squeaks out from behind the building, "You can't pee there! Someone's going to — Jupiter!" Dragged out from the side of the building by a dumpster walks a young girl in a heavy suede winter coat. She's dragged by a dog a bit too large for her to walk on her own, espescially when he's intent on sniffing something out. His dark brown and black fur is long, greyed at the snout. He's not young by any means, but the dog seems to have a great energy left despite his age.

"Uh, god, I thought you were smart!" The girl tugs at the dog's leash, but he pulls her on ahead, nose sniffing all along the base of the building's foundation.

The noise, and the dog, warrant a wary stare from the man standing by the door outside that had manhandled Helena. He shoves something further down into the back of his jeans and tucks his jacket over it. "Daizi! Get the fuck away from there!" He storms across the empty parking lot past two of the bay doors. The raised voice immediately warrants the dog's attention, ears folding back and eyes attentively peering at the advancing figure. He halts as the dog looks up, then to the girl, "We're closed! Take your fucking dog somewhere else or I'll call the cops!"

the girl stops, head canting to one side as the fur of her lined hood blows in a rising gust of wind carrying down the street. "Y-yeah uh, r-right, sure… I — " She struggles as the dog lets out a low, steady growl. "Jupiter, come on, damnit." She gives the dog's leash another tug, and the wind picks up again, blowing her hood down off of her head, revealing a mop of messy black hair, and a pair of mis-matched eyes. One green, one white.

The dog starts barking, a measured and repetive bark towards the man in the leather jacket.

Perfect timing.


Murphy reigns supreme. Grace does a credible imitation of surprise as the dog and girl just wander over to the building — mostly because it's not an imitation at all. "Speaking of. You think cats are bad…" There's a hesitation. To the outside, it's a stranger debating whether to help an unknown girl with her equally unknown dog. On the inside… Grace knows better than to think Colette would pick up on a hint. Which means… bad news for her. "…I swear, dogs trump them every day. I'll never get what you see in them. Call you back." The phone is closed, stuffed in a back pocket.

"Hey. You need a hand with… what's-it, Jupiter?" The words are strange, compared to Colette's past experiences with that distinctively ruined voice; almost pleasant. Grace doesn't really wait for an answer; she puts one arm across Colette's shoulders and grabs the dog's collar with the other. Given her previous, memorable reaction to attempted physical contact, that's also… wrong. "Let's not bother the surly, hardworking mechanics, huh Jupiter? Come on." The goal being to get them away — or at least get Grace herself between Colette and the door before all hell breaks loose. Which it will.

Forget Alistair and Wireless. Murphy's watching.

"Fair enough." Liu motions over toward the crane, "Han, take him down and throw that hundan outside." Han nods, straightening his vest before quickly stepping over to the lift controls. Guo goes with him, waiting beneath the car-lift as it groans into action. The noise is coupled with a loud mechanical whine and a shriek of metal. Conrad can hear it clearly from his vantage point. The chains binding Trent to the lift rattle and clink, and as the lift slowly makes its way down with a hiss of released hydraulic pressure, both Han and Guo go about unhooking Trent and lowering him to the floor.

"So, Helena." Liu smiles to himself, since she didn't introduce herself, he'd make the effort for her. "There's an easy way we can make this up without it coming down to a anyone's blood needing to be spilled." He glances to Trent, "Any more." Eyes flit back to Helena, "You and your friends have some fantastic powers, really wonderful things. The man who burned your graffiti into the backside of this garage, for instance. Very neat trick." As Liu speaks, his sister Song rises up from the chair behind him and walks with a slithery sway of her hips over to where Trent has been laid down. She crouches, tracing thin fingers across his brow to brush hair away from his bloodied forehead. The way she moves and the way she acts, it's like she's everything that's wrong with snakes and spiders.

"Huh, he's still alive." She chirps, head tilting to one side as she traces a red nail along the cut on his forehead. "Alright, boys. You heard Liu. Throw him out with the trash." She motions to the side door, and Han takes one arm, Gou with another, and hefts Trent up, stil chained up around the arms and wrists, bloodied and chafed from hanging. They drag him towards the door, kick it open, and hurl him down onto the sidewalk and into a pile of garbage bags, then step out into the alley beside the building and close the door. Two down for Helena to worry about.

"I want you and your friends to do a job for me." Liu raises one dark brow, "You hit what I want, do what I say, and your problems with the Flying Dragons is over." As if to punctuate that offer, the fingers on both of his hands blossom open. "One job, for a lifetime of headaches gone, and I can save face in front of my father. We all win." His eyes narrow slightly, "How does that sound?"

"This is going to hurt." Helena's voice is soft once more - a puzzling, if general statement to Liu, but also a warning for Conrad. Louder, "Let me think about it." There's no upraising of wind, just a few steps to one side as she studies her adversary, and then cocks her head. "Thought about it. No."


That sound is music to Helena's ears, even as it sets them to ringing. Like with Sylar, she was expecting it, but the others in the warehouse with her? Not so much. The force of the thunderclap is enough to crack a few widows, even set some to breaking, and is likely to leave some on their knees, if not with hands to their ears. Ideally it buys time for Helena to escape.

"Movemovemove!" shouts Conrad to Brian, probably unnecessarily. He shuts off the sound-shunt right away. It'd be too much to keep it going with what he plans to do next and anyway it's kind of a relief to let it go. The man in his Red Sox jacket takes off at a full run toward the warehouse, taking a breather from power usage at the moment and relaxing everything for just this instant. Because in a short bit he's gonna start getting really loud…

Freezing at the sudden movement down the alley, Brian eyes then widens as the body is thrown out of the building. Then the doors are closed and Brian is rushing down the alley as stealthily as he can towards Trent. His sidearm is drawn now, holding it kinda in front of him as he squat runs through. He's not exactly a professional.

"Oh shit!" Brian exclaims ducking from the sudden sound, swinging his hands to his ears. Though he is right by Conrad in the rush.

Suddenly on his feet, ShoeBrian is unzipping his dufflebag. Rushing through the crowd, a baseball bat is tossed at the oncoming Brian and Conrad. The Brian clone catches it and now there are two baseball bat wielding Brians rushing at Conrad's side.

Vrooom. That 91 Dodge Spirit is screeching out onto the road and then into a sharp turn, the binoculars are tossed into the back, SCRREEECH, goes the wheels as the man positions the car to face the bay doors of the Silly Dragons. And then Brian drops the hammer on the gas pedal…

"Jupiter, come on you stupid — " Colette's focus jerks towards the sound of Grace's voice, flinching slightly when she sees the raven-haired woman approaching. "Oh! Hey, awesome, can you…" When Grace steps in and wraps an arm around Colette's shoulders, the girl freezes in place. It's like if Judah started singing, or Ygraine stopped being british, something is decidedly wrong. Her eyes lift up to Grace, brows knitted together in a puzzled look of confusion, "G-Grace, uh…"

"Get your dog away! Go!" The man at the door waves both of his hands threateningly at the animal, and Colette squeaks out a response with her eyes wide.

"W-woah hey, he used to be a cop-dog!" Cop-Dog? Only Colette could phrase it like that, "You know, K-9 and stuff!" There's a loud growl from Jupiter, and he struggles against the restraint Grace has on his collar, but only marginally. He seems well trained enough, it's to the point where he could be yanking away, but more that he's trying to warn about something.

"Grace what's — " The sudden and resounding explosion of thunder from inside of the building blows out the windows on every floor. Glass rains down on to the sidewalks and street from the thunderous explosion of sound, along with shredded black plastic from the ground floor windows. Colette lets out a loud and terrified shriek at the sound, covering her ears as sheleans against Grace and completely lets go of Jupiter's collar. She ducks down and crouches, covering her head as glass showers the parking lot.

The guard out front staggers away from the building, holding the side of his head. "G-godddamnit…" He hisses and breathes in a few short and clipped breaths, stunned by the sudden and loud sound, even outside. Jupiter lets out a yelp when the thunder goes off, and he struggles away from Grace's grip in the chaos. "This was a trap, you're with the fuckin' Yak's aren't you!" The guard reaches behind his back and whips out a pistol, blood running out of one of his ears. Jupiter leaps up into the air, jaws opening as he clamps down on the man's gun-arm, dragging him down to the ground and shaking willdly. The goon screams and lashes back and forth, one foot striking out to kick the old dog square in the ribs. There's a yel, and Jupiter releases the arm.

"Stop! Stop!" Colette shouts over the ringing in her ears as she sees Jupiter kicked aside. The hit was hard enough to cause the old dog to limp away and circle back, giving the Triad member enough time to pick up his gun with his free hand and level it at the dog. "Stop! STOP!" Colette reaches out with one hand, screaming as loud as she can as she watches the man level a gun at the dog Judah trusted her with.

Then come the screeching tires. From behind the garage, Guo and Han stop dragging Trent and drop him the moment they see what's going on. The 91 Dodge Spirit barrels up the street and weaves through traffic to come speeding towards one of the closed bay doors. The gunman makes a decision, turning his aim towards the driver of the speeding car through the windshield and away from the limping Ex K-9. "Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop!"

It's hard to say exactly when it happened, those last bits of sunlight threatening to dip down behind the buildings nearby, light reflecting off of the windows across the street, off of the Dodge's windshield, off of the chrome-plated gun. Colette's scream rips out, and somewhere during that, in the fear of everything happening, a distorted lens of light forms between the fingers of her outstretched hand, like a magnifying glass turning from convex to concave in a single pop. Then, lancing out from her hand is a beam of yellow-white light that strikes the gun-toting Triad in the face. He lets out a scream, the gun firing once, missing both car and dog. Smoke issues from his eyes as he stumbles into the path of the oncoming car. He's struck, smashes into the windshield and bounces straigh tup over the hood to hit the ground behind the car.

The Dodge Spirit crashes thorugh the bay door, plowing it open from the bottom and knocking it off of its runners entirely in a terrible screech of metal, plastic and broken glass.

Colette doesn't see any of that though, only the glow subsiding around her outstretched hand, the distorted waves of rippling light bending and flexing around her fingertips.

And she keeps screaming.

Grace probably couldn't shriek if she wanted to — the raven's voice doesn't do high pitches anymore — but the grunt the thunderclap's abuse to her ears drives from the woman serves well enough. She interposes herself between Colette and the building, hunching her shoulders in and holding the girl close. Shattered glass showers down, out, around; she'll have a few pieces to pick out later, but at the moment they're less than pinpricks to Grace's mind.

The light… can be dealt with later. For the moment, she just hauls Colette to one side of the door and to the ground, where any stray bullets that ensue are unlikely to hit her. Somewhere in the midst of that motion, the shopping bag finds itself abandoned on the glass-strewn ground and Grace's right hand sprouts a handgun, pointed towards the door, the broken windows… whatever nearest opening affords her a view inside. Helena's designated not a target. Anyone else who looks like they're a threat to her, Colette, or Helena is setting themselves up to get shot at.

Helena's plan worked wonders. the thunderclap not only deafened Liu and Song, but knocked both of them off of their feet. The guards up in the catwalk were sent sprawling from the blast of concussive sound that was strong enough to blow out the windows. Their pained groaning and struggling is heard only for the moment before one of the garage bay doors explodes inwards as Brian's Dodge Spirit smashes thorugh and halfway into the shop floor.

Liu struggles to get up, one hand holding his right ear as he groans loudly, vision blurred and balance thrown off from the ringing in his head. He looks over to Song, unconscious beside him. His mouth opens, a slurr of mandarin slipping forth, mixed with cantonese. He struggles up to one knee, then slips in the water her had been manipulating earlier and falls back down, cursing all the while as colorfully as he can.

Han and Gou, having seen not only the blast of photokinetic energy, but also the attack dog and the Kamakaze Dodge, look back and forth from the warehouse to each other, then to the broken glass. Then immediately make a break for the rear door, bursting in and running right past Helena. Gou crouches down and grabs Liu by one arm, helping him up to his feet, while Han picks up Song in a fireman's carry over his shoulder. Both of them shout at each other in mandarin the whole while, the men that were blown down on the upper floors are left to fend for themselves, but it seems Liu and Song are important enough to warrant extraction a the risk of Han and Gou's own lives.

"«Let me go you idiot! Kill her!»" Liu shouts out in cantonese, flailing a hand towards Helena, but both Gou and Han look to have second thoughts about screwing with her again.

Helena zigzags - the way to run, as Hana taught her, when being chased by someone likely to shoot you. When she sees the Brian with Trent, she says swiftly, "I think they're coming!" Even as she moves a bit past them, then backtracks to make the assist. "They've got guns, and we really, really need to get out of here, like yesterday."

Without so much as a pause Conrad Wozniak extends a hand toward the door to help him focus and emits a focused shout. The wordless vocalization is amplified a several times exponentially, compressed, and completely knocks in the door, frame, and a couple of feet of wall surrounding it, crumbling the brick like dried mud and peeling the galvanized metallic wall in like aluminum foil.

Inside a concave steel door, bent impossibly in a parody of a C shape, flips and bounces perilously inward, bringing rent metal and insulation with it in a mess.

Through the open door Conrad runs full tilt, looking for Helena. "HEL!" he shouts, impossible not to hear even over the atrocious noise level inside.

Of course to everyone else present it sounds like God just said: Hell.

Ducking to one knee, two fingers goes to Trent's neck. Checking for a pulse. "It's okay, Hel, we've got em on the run. Let's deal with them now so they don't come back later! This Liu Be guy sounds like a dick!" With that Brian is back on his feet and running around the building after the escaping henchmen. His gun is brought up fully now.

Baseball Bat Brian one and two are with Conrad as they rush in. "I've got her." Brian tells Conrad. "We're over there." One finger points outside. "But there are guys up there!" He points up to the catwalk.

The car squeels into reverse and after a moment the bay door is shaken off as Brian wheels the car out. Slamming it into drive, he goes to put the car in the Fucking Dragon's way of escape.

Gun Brian is not far behind. "Drop your guns!" He's shouting as he sprints, gun held up at Han and Solo and their carried friends. "Slowly!"

Add insult to injury, why don't you. Grace won't be able to hear anything for a week. (Probable exaggeration.) Since Phoenix seems to have chased off the villains of the piece, the woman reholsters her gun and turns her attention to Colette. She's still reeling mentally from the sonic attacks, but some things are automatic. Whether the girl's still screaming or not, Grace pulls her up from the ground; she'll walk with Colette, haul her along, or carry the teen. Whatever it takes to get her moved. Jupiter, being a well-trained police dog and not her concern, will just have to catch up.

The muttered, barely-audible profanity that accompanies Grace's efforts is much more in keeping with her normal persona.

Colette's legs kicks and flail wildly, she struggles to move while tears streak down her face. Jupiter limps and hobbles over to where Grace has crouched down with her firearm out, protectively shielding the panicking girl. The dog nuzzles in under one arm, nose brushing against Colette's cheek, tongue lapping across her face in some attempt to calm her down. The dog pulls his head back, then looks around the building, ears folding back against his head from all of the noise. Colette is completely hysterical, looking down at her hand and barely managing a rasping scream from what she saw, what she can't even comprehend happened. Every so often a pulse of flickering light like that from a dying flashlight will glow around her fingertips, furthering her hysteria.

When Grace pulls her to her feet, Colette whimpers and struggles, looking back and around through blurred vision from tears of panic and fright. She barely is able to keep up, but Grace persists and pulls her along and out of the way. Jupiter, obediently follows along behind, paying no attention now to the building he was conspicuously interested in earlier.

When the wall of the garage is blown in from the subsonic vibration. Guo and Han are struggling to get away from the blown apart wall. Han looks around with eyes wide, then crouches to set down Song on the floor, he ducks his head, quickly taking out his gun from the back of his jeans, but then throws it ahead of himself, raising both of his hands up into the air. He saw what Conrad did to the wall, that could be his head.

"«You filthy coward! You worthless cowardly piece of shit!»" Liu shouts loudly in a babble of cantonese as he's dragged towards the same door Helena went fleeing out of, but stops short when the car wrenches out of the doorway and reverses, blocking the side entrance for them. The other Brian coming in with a gun causes Guo to stop, and he crouches down and raises one hand, the other easing Liu down to the floor. "«You sons of bitches!»" Liu struggles to his feet, muscling away from Guo, but his subordinate grabs him by the sleeve and drags him down to his knees. Liu glares at Guo, but then looks up at Conrad, and then Brian. The other men up above were in the direct cone of sound from Helena's thunderclap and in an area that amplified the noise. They're down for the count.

But there is one problem with this victory, the sound of approaching sirens.

"We need to go!" is Helena's shout. She moves to help with Trent, but can't help but yell, "Conny! C'mon!" She can trust the Brians to get out under their own efforts, but she'd heard the yell for her location. And unless they are otherwise hindered, they will make their escape. Liu is on her mind, though. He's another one for Helena's personal villains gallery.

Oh good. The fight seems over before Con has to actually hurt anybody. He points at the thug who tossed his gun and nods as if to say: I'll leave you alone. Then he looks at Con and Brian, Brian, Brian, Brian, and…settles on one of the Brians. "Get out!" Normal but loud voice, "I'll bring up the rear!" Then he looks after Liu and shrieks at the guy, giving him a dose of high-pitched sonic hell that might make his ears bleed. Conrad sure hopes so. Though it's nearly impossible for the normal human to make the word out, the word that Conrad shrieks is "Asshole!"

"Guns! Drop them!" Brian insists, holding the gun level with both of them. "Slowly or I swear I'll cap your faces off!" The replicator insists. "The car, Hel! Get in the car!" The two Baseball Bat Brians rush out of the warehouse quickly to fetch Trent's body. And are soon heaving him up and towards the Spirit. "Come on Hel, quick!" One of them insists.

Car Brian brings the Spirit as close as he can down the alley towards Helena and the others. Though Gun Brian is waiting. Throwing up one arm for a moment as if the sonic blast is going to hurt him. Then the gun is pointed again. "Seriously! Drop em!"

Having heard the very loud commotion — who didn't? — Alistair has already set out to navigate traffic and get over here. Grace didn't even need to place a call. The woman looks down the way at Helena, Trent, and the rest. They seem to have their escape under control, so she pulls Colette over towards their car. Alistair opens the passenger door from the inside — and Grace directs Jupiter into it. She opens the back door and gets Colette situated, keeping the girl company there. The phone is fished out of the pocket it disappeared into, and Grace sends Helena a message by way of Wireless as Alistair heads down the road. Away from the sirens. Grace: Tell me he made it. Whenever Helena actually has time to pick up her phone and notice the message.

Wrenched into the car, Colette just hyperventilates and curls up into a small ball against Grace, staring down at her hand and the flickering spots of light on her fingertips. Jupiter jumps into the passenger seat next to Alistair, who leans away from the dog with one eye squinted halfway closed. "Scott doesn't really like dogs." Even under times of stress, he can crack a smile. The car is quickly put into drive again and weaves through the traffic and speeds away from the building. "So I take it Wireless is still on the lessons about subtlety, right?" He peers up at Grace thorugh the rear-view mirror, both eyebrows raised, "Subtlety?"

Conrad's scream sends Liu to the ground, clutching his head, and by proximity it also knocks Guo back onto his ass, the gun that was in the back of his pants falling with a clatter to the floor. The men up above push their discarded automatic rifles aside, rolling onto their side in hazes of pain and dizziness from Helena's thunderclap — it seems to be much more effective indoors. Liu and his gang are subdued, and the conscious members seem to have surrendered, likely without enough time to escape from the approaching police, and judging from the sound of the sirens they're only a block away.

Helena will do her best to help with Trent - and make it to a getaway car. But she also scrambles with the door open, yelling for Conrad to get out somehow, and more to the point, "Get in the car!" They'll hopefully make it away on time. In the back of her head, she knows this was a one trick pony. Liu will be better prepared next time he wants to come after her and anyone she cares about.

Taking about one heartbeat to check the whole inside of the warehouse, Conrad agrees hastily, "All right let's haul ass." He would really rather not get charged for all this. Although it serves these jerks right for having to explain the mess. And he beats feet after Helena toward the car, diving in the back seat on top of whoever or whatever is there. "'m in!" he calls, trying to close the door behind him with his foot. Which doesn't work so well but once he gets his toe hooked in the window crank he manages it after a fashion.

Brian and Brian quickly make their way to the car. Opening the back door, Trent is slid into the seat the baseball bats chucked on the floor of the car beneath him. Conrad jumps in on the other side. Then the two rush to the front. And in an odd motion the first leaps into the front window. Though as soon as he leaps into the drivers side window he vanishes. Melding into Driver Brian. All that remains of him is his clothes flying into a pile on the passenger seat. The second one does the same. "Get in Hel!" Driver Brian yells. The back seat currently occupied by Conrad and Trent.

Walking forward Gun Brian goes to pick up the gun that has been dropped on the floor, though he keeps his own weapon trained on Lu and Bu. Tucking the extra sidearm in the back of his pants he crouches momentarily in front of Liu. His free hand grasps the man by the shirt as he speaks directly into his face though his ears may or may not work. He makes his lips movements very clear. "You ever try to fuck with her again. I will kill your whole fucking family, anyone you've ever loved. And then I'll start on you." He aims a pistol whip at the man's face before going up to stand.

The last Brian exits the warehouse quickly, stuffing something in his pockets. Rushing to the last seat in the backseat, the car jets off after everyone is in.

"Scott…" Grace glances over at Colette and stops the sentence short. "He'll live." She goes back to eyeing Colette. The girl is clinging to her. Alistair, with the rearview mirror to consult, has a very good view of Grace's frustrated, put-upon, why is it always me expression — only slightly overdramatized. She sets an arm around Colette's shoulders. "Hey, if it's stupid and it works, it isn't stupid, right? Let's just…" This is Colette, here. "…take her home."

With two cars speeding in opposite directions, blue flashing lights soon move in to fill the void both automobiles and the escaping members of Phoenix and the Ferrymen leave. But as police converge around the Cheer Shine Automotive Garage, things are already being set into motion. There are repercussions for every action taken, for every drop of rain that falls into water there is a ripple, and from every single choice, no matter how small, there is a wave of change that comes from it.

Tonight, with the sun setting over Chinatown, a ripple has been made.

And there are many more to follow.

CHINATOWN - Just after sundown on Saturday, police responded to the sounds of an explosion at the Cheer Shine Automotive Garage on 54 Mott Street. Upon arriving at the scene of the crime, police discovered what appeared to be an attempt at explosives production gone horribly awry. The scene at the garage, "…looked like something out of a warzone." According to officer Daniel Hartford who was among the first responders on the scene. "There were a few bodies in the mix, looks like they were trying to make improvised explosives."

According to preliminary reports, two suspected PARIAH operatives were found dead at the scene, along with hundreds of pounds of chemical compounds used to make homemade explosives. The NYPD cite this as an exceptionally fortunate find on their behalf. "There's no telling what PARIAH could have done with these explosives if they were ablew to be manufactured." Stated Detective Aaron Brown earlier tonight at a press conference, "Rest assured that the NYPD is looking into this case closely, and we will follow any and all leads that arise from it."

Word spreading through the criminal underworld is that the Flying Dragons, New York City's largest Triad gang suffered a significant loss of one of their store-houses over the weekend. Liu Ye and Song Ye, the son and daughter of Triad Boss Chang Ye were rescued from police captivity by their father's dwindling influence in the NYPD.

The Flying Dragons' constant struggle with the Linderman Group's influence in the city has been notable over the years, but with the Civella Family squashed earlier this year, they've been making stirdes to reclaim territory and fill the Civella family's void before Linderman can sink his claws in. But with this defeat and humiliation at the hands of — according to rumors — a group of Evolved led by a woman named Helena, things are going to get harder for the family.

Rumors of revenge and reprisal are spreading quickly.

November 29th: A Modicum Of Trust

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 29th: I'm A Monster
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