Like Cockroaches


alexander2_icon.gif anders_icon.gif brennan_icon.gif corbin2_icon.gif daphne_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif else_icon.gif francois_icon.gif kendall_icon.gif liette_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif mouse_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title Like Cockroaches
Synopsis The Den is roused by an emergency phonecall in the wee hours, and an evacuation takes place.
Date April 1, 2010

The Den

Beneath the floorboards of the butcher shop, the Den sprawls out as a surprisingly large underground complex comprising more than just a single building's basement. The basement of an adjacent tenement building under management by the same owner as the butcher shop is compiled into the same structure. The entry point of the Den is a large hall with an eight foot ceiling and industrial spiral staircase descending from the back stock room of the butcher's shop above. This room is decorated with old patched up sofas, a single television and a few old bookshelves stacked with records and an old fashioned turn table. Speakers for the turntable flank the couch, but the left most one is always cutting out.

Adjacent to this hall is a storage room containing non-perishable foods stacked in cans and jars on old wooden shelves as well as a small armory consisting of typically no more than five or six bolt-action rifles and boxes of ammunition and a pair of handguns, necessary in case the safehouse were ever overrun.

Opposite of the storage room is a wide doorway in the concrete that leads into an eight foot long earth and board tunnel lined with hanging construction lamps that connects to the basement of the adjacent tenement building. It's this tenement building that serves as residence for some of the safehouse's tenants. The basement itself contains a boiler, furnace and work-bench with tools, along with stacks of old newspapers and magazines in cardboard boxes. Stairs here lead up to the ground floor of the two-story tenement building, which was condemned by the town in 2008. The front doors are bolted shut and do not provide entrance, which is why the basement access was created to keep outside appearances.

All of the exterior windows of the condemned two-story building are shuddered and covered with weatherproof plastic to keep in heat, while only the ground floor has any working radiators. The tenement building itself looks like it may have been little more than a halfway house before it was condemned. Small rooms consisting of little more than a single mattress on the floor are barely large enough to be considered full bedrooms. The ground floor features the only working bathroom, as well as a communal kitchen and dining room. The second floor is largely vacant, due to the poor stability of the flooring and lack of any furnishings in the remaining rooms.

At night, no lights are allowed in the tenement building, to give it the presence of abandonment.

It starts with a ringing in the darkness.

Someone's watch ticks over — 5: 20 AM, an ungodly hour if there ever was one — just as the shrill sound of a cellphone goes off. Not to make the mistake that the Den is in anyway quiet, even during these periods of time. Muffled hacking coughs into pillows, the creak of floorboards and the soft open-close of doors, because a sickbay is rarely quiet and symptoms and illness pay little respect to circadian rhythm. It's been a rough day, for everyone, and it seems to just keep going until Alexander might want to pick up his phone—

"— xander, they're coming," is what Teo is already saying into his ear before the telekinetic can raise it. "The DoEA is going to do a sweep of Summer Meadows in half a fucking hour. They'll ID and Register any Evolved they find— and they know they're going to find a safehouse. A Company contact told me. They're checking cellars, attics, storage facilities, under the loose gravel outside the fucking playground . You have to get out. You have to— " all right, and maybe there's reluctance there, the consequence more of the Sicilian's history with the telekinetic than any lack of interest in the wellbeing of those sick or unregistered. He's spent years fighting for them, mind you; only, he's spent two lifetimes at Alexander's rescue.

But he does say, in the end:

"You have to get them all out.

"Where's Melissa?"

That was perhaps five minutes ago. By now, Melissa has Alexander's phone in her hand, and the quiet mice-steps of creeping people through the house has become more frequent over the sleeping heads in the first floor. Some people are awake, blinking the sleep out of their eyes. Francois is among them, because it stopped being Brennan's turn about an hour ago, he and Liette sleeping somewhere free of cellphones, a new rule for the first floor.

The Frenchman is stepping out into a hallway, hop-hopping once as he pulls his second shoe on, and knock-knocking on the room that Daphne and Delilah share. "Demoiselles?"

He's long since learned the old soldier's trick of coming awake all at once. Doubly so when you need to be aware to control such a potentially destructive power. Alex prairie-dogs right out of dreamland and rolls up off his cot onto his feet. "Understood," he says, over the phone, before he hands it off to Melissa. He's already running from room to room, making sure all of those there are awake, flicking on lights, barking the necessary facts. Nevermind that the copper nap of hair is still utterly rumpled from sleep, and he's in nothing more practical than sweats and a t-shirt.

The blood drained from Melissa's face after hearing Teo's message, and she's gone very, very still. "Shit," is said, softly, but very obviously heartfelt.

Melissa takes off for the first floor, still holding the phone to her ear, and she starts pounding on Brennan's door, before opening it. "Brennan, wake up. Now. We need to leave. Everyone. We need transportation for about fifteen, too."

Then she's moving on and speaking into the phone. "Teo, got a time frame? How long do we have until they get here?" she asks, before she calls to Alexander. "Gonna need your help. Got a girl who can't really use her legs and wheelchairs are slow!"

Samson already knows something is going on when he can hear people shuffling around to an odd degree outside the door; when Francois knocks on the surface the dog lets out a muffled whuff of air, and if he opens it Samson is already going to snoop out into the hallway. Delilah is only half awake when the door is rapped on, and her response is a gurgling grunt of slow wakefulness. Whassut? Truly, the dog has more sense than she.

Unfortunately, the last time Daphne took the ibuprofen left by Francois was over six hours ago, and the anti-inflammatory effect has worn off. She raises her sweaty-face to the door, her rusty voice cracking from want of water and use: "Hiro?" she murmurs. Why Hiro would be speaking French, who knows, but her feverish brain doesn't stop to think that one through. She rolls out of the bed, forgetting she can't walk in that moment of half-wakefulness, and crumples to the ground on the far side of the bed. The thud of her falling will be heard from below.

Meanwhile, a door opens down the hall from Kendall's and Luke's room, and a sleep-rumpled Anders pokes his head out. He's more able bodied than most of the house. "What's going on, dude?" he asks Francois when he spies him a few doors down.

Kendall is one of the coughers disturbing the circadian rhythms and all that. Also, he is not a morning person, so it's in a half-sleep daze that he stumbles out of bed and into his shoes once he was able to comprehend what's going on. He at least has the presence of mind to grab his jacket. It's cold out, after all. "Huh?" he asks, poking his head around Anders.

Luke, for his part, hears about it and promptly leaves, without staying to help. What a nice guy, huh?

"ETA is probably half an hour, maybe an hour," is Teo's tinny voice in Melissa's ear. "If you can't get off the island by then, there's a bookstore on 413 Main Street, the Ichihara Bookstore. Its owner's name is Corbin Ayers. Ayers. If you can get that far North— practically the dead center of the island, he can shelter half the sick and personnel, between the upstairs apartment and the storage in the back. Some kind of shit with leaving a little knife in the Company's back, I don't know— but you can trust him to do this."

Francois remains a silhouette in the doorway, glancing over his shoulder at the sound of Alex making his rounds, and looking towards Kendall. He's about to answer the young man before— whud goes the Daphne. Briskly, he holds a hand out to Anders and Kendall, a bid to— "come here, help"— before he's disappearing into the room and trusting that at least one of the young men will follow.

"The Den is compromised," he explains to the room at large, as he goes to help Daphne up and off the floor — pushing his arms beneath her knees and her shoulders to do it, lifting to set her to sit at the edge of the bed, delirium or no. "We have to leave. They are checking for the sick, and will register those who are not." This, he's managed to gather from Alex's barked commands and explanations.

As movement and life buzz through the tenement, Melissa still listens to the device clapped to her ear. "I think he can bring a truck, but you're going to need other drivers. I'll find out from Ruskin who can pilot over, but I'm all the way out on fucking Staten right now."

"Get everyone dressed in their warmest clothes," Alex orders. Like he's got every right to. "Get those who can't walk onto stretchers or gurneys. If they don't have the power to wheel themselves, leave the chairs. I can only lift so many," he adds. "Take only what you need to. Medicine, food, clothes." Not that there's all that much beside that - this is a safehouse, not the Ritz. He darts back to his room, skins into more useful clothes in record time.

"If they're searching everywhere on Roosevelt won't they search his place?" Melissa's asking, even as she looks relieved to see Kendall up and about. "I gotta drop you in my pocket. We've got three kids. Need both hands." What she wouldn't do for a bluetooth headset right at this moment. She does wait a moment though, to hear anything else Teo has to say, before the phone is dropped, still connected, into her coat pocket.

There's a passing thought of the DoEA finding the stash of firearms, but better they find those than all the Evolved who are here at the moment. "I need someone to help me with the kids!" she calls out, moving into that room, to start getting the kids dressed as quickly as she can while still being careful with them

The upside to having spent this last month as a nomad is that their things are already packed. With the banging on the door by Melissa, Brennan's upright, having just fallen asleep and instantly feet are on the floor from the mattress he's sharing with Liette. Whom now he wakes with a squeeze and rock of her shoulder. "Come on Lee, wakey wakey, bad guys are coming" Maybe. Well, well intentioned individuals with a concern for those who are ill and not seeking appropriate medical attention.

Which is this group, despite having two doctors in their midst. But he can't chance Liette falling into the wrong hands, whomever those hands may be.

Over go her boots, warm pants, jacket and her backpack, he's already dragging on boots over his jogging pants and a sweater to go with his jacket. "Just stay calm Lee and help where you can okay?" His concern is her. He'll help with the others but hopefully, everyone else would understand, Liette's his priority.

Delilah has been with the Ferry long enough to know when something is bad- she's been there when things literally fall to pieces. Francois only needs to say it once- despite her state, Delilah absorbs it like a sponge to a spill. Compromised. Like someone splashed cold water down her back, Delilah scrambles out from under the covers, stumbling for the wall where she left her shoes days ago last she used them. She is in her sweatpants and a long shirt, so it's not like she's got to get dressed. There is still a fever sweat on her, but with adrenaline brings disconnectedness.

Samson, in his wisdom, is meandering along the side of the hallway, peering into rooms to see who is where, doing what. His tail is held horizontal to his spine, neck lowered as he peeks about. Something is going on! And he already does not like it!

Half awake and rubbing one hand at her eyes, Liette slouches forward and breathes out a weary, whining sigh. "It's not morning yet…" she grouses in a tiny voice as Brennan struggles to get her dressed while she's more than willing to take her time. "Is the bad technopath coming after us again, Doctor Brennan?" Both of the young blonde's brows lift as she wrinkles her nose, hears the sound of creaking floorboards overhead and clunking footsteps. A worried sound croaks in the back of Liette's throat once she's finally dressed, once she's finally standing, even if she isn't finally awake — not really.

One floor up and three rooms down, a whooping and wet cough comes from one of the single-resident bedrooms of the infected. It's not surprising to hear the sound of wet coughing coming from the rooms, but Else Kjelstrom's room is solitary not by necessity but by request. Out of all the infected here, Else is among the worst. She requires considerable aid from those tending to the safehouse, due to the advanced stages of the infection she's suffering from. Three days after arirving at the Brick House she lost all control of her legs, and five days after that control of her right arm. Barely able to feed herself let alone take care of herself, the sickly and suffering musician struggles on a daily basis to survive the H5N10 virus' ravaging of her nervous system.

The sound of her coughing is good indication that the ruckus going on in the sfae house has finally roused her from her sleep, and the furtsrated, weary groan coming from her room is case even more clear that all she wanted to do was sleep, and not wake up to this horrible disease again, not wake up to the aches and pain and terrifying numbness that's sunken in to so much of her body.

Some of the people who've taken care of her wonder if she even wants to wake up at all anymore.

Anders reaches up to rub his sleepy red-rimmed eyes, then scratches his five o'clock shadow. "I donno, guys. I mean, look at these girls. They're in a bad fucking way. Is bringing them out in the snow and to God knows where really better? The best drugs we've got are Advil and Sucrets. Maybe it's better if they go to a real hospital," he says, tentatively, glancing back at Kendall. "Him, too. They're way worse off than I thought this was gonna get. Seeing things and shit. You can't help them, but maybe the government can." He pauses, looking at those in the room to those in the hall, questioningly, though he does go into his room to grab his coat and shoes before going to the hallway again to watch the others.

Daphne seems to punctuate Anders' words by staring past Francois where he holds her up on the bed, eyes tearing up as she stares into seemingly nothing. "I told you he'd come back," she whispers, and the tears slip down her cheeks, running into her chapped lips. "Maybe they can help him, too. He needs a hospital more than I do. Can't you stitch him up or something?"

Quiet becomes even less of a fond memory as the back door is shoved open, the new arrival's shoes clomping loudly on the floor. His excuses and pardons are as sincere as they are fleeting while Mouse dodges people on the Den's first floor and barrels towards the stairs. "Sorry, sorry —" He caroms off one wall and up the steps, albeit only partway. "Problem, guys!" the youth yells into the funnel of the building's stairwell. Not that they didn't already have a problem, but — complications. "Bridges have roadblocks! Barricades, cops, whole nine yards. No traffic in — and no traffic out!"

"In your pocket?" in Kendall's half-asleep state, he can't do much but stare at Melissa's pockets in perplexity. Yeah, right now he's not the sharpest tool in the shed. "How do I…?" fit? Someone smack him so that he actually wakes up. He coughs to punctuate Anders' words about being bad off, but comes forward to help even if he's not quite in the state to help himself, much less anyone else.

"Reason to believe they're focusing on Meadows first, signorina. Get out of the neighbourhood and make your next move to a checkpoint that's less of a fucking hotspot. Move, go." Alexander's cellphone nestled in Melissa's pocket blinks its screen. Disconnected. Either Teo trusts the Den operator to do what she has to from there on, or he has to make other calls. Maybe a combination of both.

Francois flicks a glance towards where Delilah is managing herself, and it's one of those things where you wish you could be in two places at once as he goes to steal up a woolen sweater draped at the end of Daphne's bed, trying to negotiate the blonde speedster into it. "We will take care of him ourselves after we take care of you," he promises, and he can only glance at Anders, minor hesitation showing, because—

There's a woman down the hallway who can barely move, and there really isn't much Francois can do for her, even with his and Brennan's powers combined. They're not a hospital. "Merde, does anyone want to stay," he mutters, mostly to himself.

It's so awful, having no healer. Like God's turned his back on them, at least a little. At Mouse's news, he swears. And then there's Anders - the telekine favors him with a pallid stare of disbelief. So much will be compromised….but there's truth to that statement. Better alive and registered than the alternative. Alex hesitates, and then shakes his head. "If there are some who are too ill to be moved, I'll stay with them."

"It's like Hotel California, Anders. Once you're in, it's impossible to get out," Melissa snaps as she continues to work with the kids. "And not you in my pocket, Kendall. Get dressed. As warm as you can." Then she hears Mouse's words and she lets loose with a few words that the young kids probably have no definitions for but will enjoy repeating at the worst moment possible. "I don't want more problems, we need solutions. What about boats?" she yells back to Mouse. "We can take a few across at a time if we have to, if we just can get them to a boat."

The trio of little kids are dressed and herded out of the room, bleary-eyed and still half-asleep, but they're ready to go. "But hey, if anyone wants to stay, that's their choice. I won't take choice from them." Though her eyes do fix on Kendall directly after that statement and her tone hardens a little. "Except you. If you're mine now, you will not be taken by the government." She's been there, and doesn't want her quasi-adopted son to go through that too!

"Stay here. Don't move," she tells the kids before moving to Else's room, moving into it. "Else? They're coming here to check for evolved. I know you feel like shit, but do you want to evacuate with us? Or do you want to stay and hope you can go to the hospital? It's your choice." Assuming that she's not out of it too much to make a decision, of course.

"If we get separated, you stick to Melissa. NO one else. You understand me Lee? I don't know if he's got a hand in this but I wouldn't be surprised, he wants you bad enough" THe doctor says, carting the girl - not literally - to the second floor and gravitating towards Else who's the sickest and therefore, the most perilous to move. An address in greenwich is rattled off to Liette as her fallback (the hangar) in case she gets lost somewhere along the way and the Den won't be where she can go.

"Francois!" As he goes by, making sure everyones moving, hand still in Liette's. "Where do you need us? Mel?" Calling toward Elses' room. He's ready to follow instructions.

Mouse sketches a thumbs-up to the upper floors that is completely lost on its target, preoccupied as Melissa is. Not to mention out of sight. The thought's what counts, right? "Boats, we've got," he shouts back up the stairwell. "Queensboro Bridge, underneath, got that?" The youth doesn't wait for a reply, but jumps down over the four or five stairs he'd come up. "Queensboro to the Brick House. I'll make sure it's waiting!" Those last words increase in volume, intensity compensating for his headlong dash back out the way he came, with far fewer excuses and no apologies this time.

The back door slams loudly in Mouse's wake, courtesy of nothing but the sheer energy of the boy's departure.

At some point between people milling in her room to get Daphne up and going, and the slams and rattles of various doors and stairs, Delilah has made her way to her own door to survey the immediate situation and try to figure out what's going on. "Else's bad, Al. I'm already on lists and shite- I can stay too-" The redhead glances back to the room and back to the people running to and fro trying to get a headstart. "But someone's gotta take Samson, he can't stay with me if people're coming." He'll listen if someone makes him.

Samson, meanwhile, has made his own way into Else's lone room before anyone else. He knows which ones are bad too, you know! He's a dog! The molosser is licking at her good hand when she sort-of-comes-to and others come to check on her.

"Monsters" Is the first word out of Else's mouth at Melissa's query. There's a frightened look in the singer's dark brown eyes, and beyond their swolen and puffy appearance, its' the sweat slicking her face and the way her tangled blonde hair sticks to her cheeks that makes her plea seem all the more piteous. "It's— please, a hospital won't hold all the birds…" comes out hoarsely next, and she uses that one good arm to prop herself up onto her elbow, throat working up and down as a wave of nausea has bile working its way up the back of her asophagus. "P— Please, I just— " her eyes wrench shut, teeth grit and Else twists so that she can bury her face in her pillow, letting out a keening whine. "Tell the people upstairs…" she slurs out, "to turn their music off."

There's no one upstairs.

There's no music.

Now upstairs with the rest of the chaos, Doctor Brennan's priceless package of a teenager is watching the dark of the safehouse with wide eyes, the nervous energy flowing thorugh the place seeming to pick and claw at the back of her mind. Tongue running across her lower lip, she stays close to Brennan's side. So much change and so much upheaval in the last few days, from dog attacks to moving from Staten Island and now needing to evacuate, Liette seems frazzled.

"This is like the security drills," Liette murmurs to herself in a manner to keep herself calm, squeezing Brennan's hand with her own as she does. "We're gonna move quietly and in an orderly fashion to the exits and not disturn the security force. Don't stop for any noises, don't leave your lab partner behind." Liette's teeth toy with her lower lip, and blue eyes wander up to the far greener ones of Francois.

"Where's the security?" The young blonde asks timidly, brows lifted in anxious uncertainty of what is coming.

Daphne's arms work, even if her brain and legs don't. She helps Francois as he pulls the sweater on her, though she still stares at the spot in the room where no one stands. "Hiro says to slow down, that we're all moving too fast," she says quietly, before looking back to Francois, her brows knitting as part of her memory latches onto what he told her the other night. "But he's not really here, right? This is because I'm sick. My fever. And you're all putting yourselves in danger for me. For us." Her words come painfully slow, especially to her own ears, but the epiphany is there. "I'm sorry… I'll … hurry…" She reaches for her crutches, as if she could move fast on her own legs, and then for her snow boots in the corner to pull onto her feet.

Anders is hopping into first one boot and then the other, clomping down the hallway to peer in at Else. "She's going to die if you guys take her on a boat, man. She's so far gone," he says, tugging his coat on as he turns to glance back down the hall where Delilah is offering to stay. "I'll take your dog for you." He's so helpful.

Kendall was just about to say something, but then Melissa came out and got all stern and stuff, and so he shuts his mouth again and instead goes over to maybe help with Daphne. Or maybe that other girl who is claiming the nonexistant music is too loud? Regardless, he's interrupted by a giant sneeze that rocks him back on his heels.

"If Hiro Nakamura were here," Francois is muttering to Daphne, a hand up to smooth her hair back from her face in something more affectionate than simply taking her temperature, "then he would be able to give us the time we need. But non, he is not." Backing up as Daphne slowly gets herself together, which is probably more efficient than Francois attempting to do it for her, he picks himself up and out of his crouch, glancing to Liette at her question and giving a soft bark of laughter as he finally goes to pull on his own jacket, wool-lined leather. "If I knew that, little one, I would tell you. We will have to do for now."

Out into the hallway for now, the Frenchman steals a glance around at the activity going on, before moving towards where their medical supplies are stashed, pushing them into a backpack with the same efficiency as a bank thief palming stacks of money.

The last call of all comes so late that it's squeezed in between the frenetic booms and burst cycles of activity that the first one had started, both temporally and physically. By then, Francois needs his hands, however painful and stiffened that using his mangled left is for him, and the phone must be cinched between his shoulder and his ear. Teo's last call comes in so late it must have been either an afterthought or earlier forgotten, and judging from the guilt blaring his voice, it was:

"Cazzo, don't tell me you're still at the Den."

Rather than lose his temper, Francois indulges in a quick trade of information, one that ends, rather abruptly, with "oui, je t'aime" and a snapping shut of the device. One second to register that particular choice of signoff before turning back to the activity. "Teo has a driver who will be here in a couple of minutes," he reports, shouldering the backpack, a glance from Brennan to Melissa.

Boats. That's a relief. Mouse's call has Alex nodding. "So it's a matter of getting them to the coast, then," says the redhead. He presses the heel of his palm to his forehead, between the eyes, as is to forestall the headache building. "Are those on their feet ready to move?" he asks, beginning to range down the halls. "And if anyone stays to….." HE pauses, looks in on Else, looks to Melissa. "She's too sick to decide. Crap. We gotta move her….but it might kill her." He seems at a loss. "She's gotta stay. I'll stay with her," he says, heavily. "They've already got my name, my face, all that on file. They can't …disappear me again." Well, really, yes, they can. "I can hold them off for a little, though. Be a distraction, give you all more time to get clear. They'll bring in more force…."

"Queensboro Bridge. Got it!" Melissa calls down to Mouse. That's a bridge she knows well enough. Then she's giving her attention to Else, frowning for a moment, then she nods. "Yeah…probably. She needs to stay here. Dammit. Maybe they can help her more than we can.""

Back out into the hallway. "Everyone who's staying, let me know now so we can focus on getting everyone else out! I wanna see this place cleared out! Downstairs if you're going, with Else if you're staying!!" she calls out to everyone in general. She knows time is short, and she refuses to let anyone get caught who doesn't want to get caught. Co-operator or not, she still see everyone here as her responsibility.

Mel's gaze flicks to Liette, the three kids, and Kendall. They're her priorities. All five of them.

Then it's time to start barking out orders. "Okay, Anders, get the dog, head downstairs. Kendall, go with him, take the kids with you. Keep them together. I'll be down in a minute. Delilah? In here with Else." Mel looks around for a moment. "Brennan! Can you get up here and stay here with the ones who are staying? Make sure they're alright until they get to the hospital? I'll take Liette with me!" she calls down the stairs to the doctor. "Alex, I need you to help here. Others will stay. Help Daphne downstairs. Carry her if you can. If you need help, I'll be there in a sec if Francois can't help you."

Francois gets a nod at his bit of information. "Good. Hear that? Everyone who's going needs to be downstairs and ready when the driver gets here!" She looks back to the frenchman. "We won't all fit in one car. A van maybe."

Brennan has a plan. "I'll stay. I'll catch up with wherever you're going" There's a call to Al. "Go, you go. You may be registered, but I work with the Suresh Center and the moment you all are gone, i'm going to call an ambulance. We'll get her to the hospital, circumvent any thorough serach" Brennan calls. "Leave who's staying that's ill, i'll take care of them, Healthy people need to go" Brennan looks to Liette, squeezing her hand.

"Go with Mel. Stay with Mel Lee. Do you understand? I'll come back for you, I won't get hurt like you're friend. I will be back for you and help get you home. Go with Mel, stay with mel and no one else." There's that flurry of ESL that he and she know that was set up before. "You teach mel that when you get safe" There's a kiss to her forehead before he's passing his backpack to someone else to take with them. "Someone leave me a cellphone!"

Did someone say van?

Cause that's what pulls up close to the butcher shop, with a scruffy and heavily bundled driver quickly hopping out. Corbin'd driven with as little light as possible, just so he didn't attract too much attention. The roads down this way are plowed, and the tracks of the wheels blend in with the tracks of other wheels, but if it stays idle too long, the melting will make it obviously people had a chance to pile into a van. He'll just have to hope they don't pay that much attention until it's too late.

Moving around to the side, he opens the doors and then walks up to what looks like the entrance. In fact, he's just hoping he has the right place. It isn't like he's been awake very long. The warning didn't give much time to recover, and the adrenaline. The Summer Meadows is not somewhere he wants to be when the hammer comes down, so he starts to shift his weight in the cold and glance around for signs of lights.

Delilah remains aside in the hall, wandering towards where she is called. Her eyes, raccoon-like, find Francois for a moment as she slinks away from the others. It may be because of the phone- but with all the ruckus he probably will not notice. "I'm staying! Go without me! I'll be fine!"

Samson passes her in the hall, tilting his head to look at her when she slips into the room with Else and sits there at the foot of the other young woman's bed. Delilah doesn't give him any reason to worry- so he'll take care of things for her; he simply wanders after the others, though the kidlets have his eyes more than the rest.

Panic immediately sets in to Liette's expression when she hears that Brennan is staying. "No!" Liette practically squeaks out, "No, you— Doctor Brennan you can't stay with if the technopath finds you! He'll cut open your brain and scoop out the insides and figure out what makes you tick." There's a furrow of her brows, small hands balls up into fists at her side, and apparently she's connected Rebel with the boogeyman. "You— I— I don't want to leave you behind Doctor Brennan." There's a weak, keening tone to Liette's voice as she squeezes her hand around his tightly. "Please— Please don't leave me."

Across the hall and in Else's room, the blonde is moving her good hand to stroke along the side of Samson's face as he departs, her dark brown eyes wide and palm trembling against the might dog's cheek. She reaches back when Samson goes, blindly scratching at the air where she thinks he still is and whimpers out a pained noise in the process. "Too many hammers making poundin' noises, Sammy…" there's a whispering quality to her voice, as if that's a conspiratorial secret she's sharing with the dog that isn't there.

"We're no'supposed to hear it, but we do. That glass is all gonna' break, an' then what'll we have, nothing but a window where a wall use't be…" Else's dark brows lift up towards a blonde hairline, and she leans in to nudge her nose in the air against what would be Samson's snout, and the way she scrunches up her face and spits at the air is indicative that maybe she's thinking she just got a big drooly lap of dog tongue across her face for her efforts.

"Nobody's supposed to see behind the glass," Else whines out, curling her fingers in the air. "I don't wanna go…" the singer whines, turning her head again to wipe off the imaginary slobber — and more likely feverish sweat — from her face against the pillow, shoulders hunching forward and a ragged, whining sob croaking out through her body. "I didn't see nothin', I don't wanna go." Her voice cracks, "It's too early."

Anders glances at Delilah and then the dog. "Come, boy," he tells the dog, his green eyes darting to Brennan, then Delilah, and then Else. "Wait, that's that singer chick, isn't it?" It's the first he's gotten a glance at the most severely sick patient. "Shit. I hope she gets better, I like her music," he tells no one in particular before he pats his thigh, to get the dog to come, to lead him down the stairs and to the van. "Good luck, guys," he says quietly as he moves to the stairs.

Daphne manages to shove her uncooperative feet into the boots, then tries to pull herself up on her crutches, wincing at the exertion. Tears stream down her face, mixing with the sweat that already glazes her flushed skin. "The hospital people will help you, Hiro," she whispers to the spot in the room where her hallucination stands bleeding. "If Francois doesn't come back for you," she adds. "He might be too busy."

"Ok, kids, let's go." Kendall tells the three littler kids, though kinda stares blankly at them. He doesn't know how to deal with kids! Unconsciously he mimics Anders' pose and tone to try and get them to follow him. Dude, they're not dogs… oh well. Regardless, he reaches for hands, although he doesn't have room for more than two to give a hand to each.

Francois' gaze darts over the people around him as if making a checklist, of who to help, of who is being handled. In this single moment in time, his hands and attention aren't needed anywhere specific, as Melissa points Alexander to Daphne, as Kendall handles the children, as Else and Delilah stay behind under the care of Brennan. And Anders' got the dogs.

"Brennan." His voice is terse, and a second later, his cellphone hurtles towards the doctor at a light underhand. "I'll see the vehicle. We can go by foot if not all can fit," Francois tells Melissa, over his shoulder. "It might even be safer for those that can walk anyway. We'll discuss outside."

And with that, he takes the other doctor's backpack when it's held out, and starts down the stairs with one last glance to Daphne, then to Delilah, a rueful smile before he's on Anders and friends' tail (as it were), footsteps a-thudding as disappears from sight. Outside— it's not snowing, so it could be worse, but the shock of cold can take someone's breath away, and Francois breathes out steam in a heavy exhalation. Pushing out, he's among the first that Corbin will see. Arcs a wave once it seems safe to draw attention. "Ayers?"

"Speedy, leave off, I gotcha," says Alex. And suits the action to the word - abruptly Daphne's skimming along a few inches above the ground. Check out the magic of Disney, Tinkerbell. He's taken Melissa's orders to hear, and some of the confusion has left both face and posture.

Melissa looks around for a moment. Kendall is going downstairs with kids. Check. Alex has Daphne. Check. Anders has the dog. Check. That just leaves…Liette! "I'll be down in a sec, Francois," she tells him as she moves over to Liette and Brennan. "Liette? It's time to go honey. You'll see Brennan soon, I promise. And we'll have Kendall with us. He's about your age. You'll like him," she says, offering the girl her hand and a reassuring smile.

Brennan quickly snags the phone when it's hurtled at him and tucks it away in a smooth motion. "Hey lee, we made it this long right? Remeber what I told you, about your journey, and the tribes sending out their young girls and they come back women? This is it. This is the last stretch okay? You need to trust me. He's not gonna be cutting my head open. He doesn't want me. He wants you. SO. you go. With Mel. I'll catch up real quick and I'll make sure to bring you something when I do. You tell Mel what you want, and I'll buy it and bring it to you. Deal lee?" please lee, you need to do this, I need to know you'll be safe. He's taking her hand, trying to settle it in Mel's.

Oh, a waving person. Good, he's at the right place. "Yeah, I'm Ayers," Corbin says, blue eyes scanning those who will be coming out. He'd been expecting a lot, but so far he doesn't see too many. There's still enough that the van had been a necessary thing, and his eyes settle for a moment on a certain pixie being helped along. A sick pixie, who he hasn't seen since she piled into another similar van. "We need to hurry. I was told where the boats are. You can all try to leave together, or you can split up. I got some space for people who need a place for a few hours or a few days, however long is needed until some of the heat blows over."

Is that a dog? Gabriel the cat probably won't like that, if they have to stay over in the Bookstore.

Moving, he will help people up into the van, as much as needed. No comfortable seats, it looks like a supply van more than one meant for people. But a bunch of blankets have been shoved in there, to supply some extra warmth. And comfort. "The front passanger seat has seatbelts, one of you can sit up there, but the rest'll just have to lean against the walls. I'll drive as carefully as I can, but we have to move fast, before they start driving through. We don't want to get caught in the van." It's not a defensable position, nor somewhere they can actually hide. No where to run. "How many are there?"

Samson goes with the others, leaving his master with Alexander and Else. Delilah perched on the bed halfway between the dog's leaving and Else's moaning about, so when the girl begins to sob and crackle, the redhead moves up the side of the bed to either sit or take her hand instead of the dog- who in a way had possibly come to say goodbye for now. Else's got Delilah now, though, and barring tongue kisses she can offer a similar bit of reassurance.

The dog, as Corbin puts it, is perhaps the least excited of everyone, if just because he has to cut a steady figure for the sake of everyone else. He stands there, between the filing of people and the street, blinking at the van as everyone prepares to escape.

Samson likes cats. It stands to reason that Samson- will like Gabriel. (The cat.)

A worried, nervous sound crosses the back of Liette's throat as she takes one insteady steps away from Brennan at Melissa's urging, but doesn't let go of the doctor's hand. Her blue eyes angle up towards Melissa, and then around to the other people preparing to move. The young girl swallows noisily, brows furrowed and lips downturned into a frown as she slowly lets her hand unwind from Brennan's as she allows Melissa to guide her back. Dependantly, Liette reaches up to snatch Melissa's hand, lacing her fingers between the older blonde's.

"Please be careful Doctor Brennan…" Liette offers softly as she backs up to Melissa's side, squeezes the blonde's hand again, and then looks up to her with a pleading expression. When Liette's attention lowers from Melissa, it's to Brennan, and she lifts one hand in motion of sign to the doctor in confidence.

I'll be waiting for you.

Waiting is something the blonde laying prone on the bed in the same room as Brennan has plenty of experience doing lately. While all the chaos is going on around her, Else Kjelstrom is sinking deeper into a fever-induced dementia, breathing sharp and shallow breaths as her eyes wrench shut. "You're not supposed to look behind the curtain," she murmurs into her pillow while Delilah rests at her bedside. "S'not supposed to be like that I don't want— " she groans, curling her fingers into the blankets beneath herself, back arching, "will someone stop the music please for fuck's sake!"

Anders has his hand on the dog's back as he herds him out of the Den and toward the van. "You, dude, don't get shotgun. I don't care if you dibbed it," he tells the dog amiably enough, glancing behind at the building behind. He gives a nod to Corbin, then helps the others into the van — children and ladies first. "If there's not enough room, I'll take off. I'm not that sick," he says, counting heads. "Only like … eight of us?" he guesses, not sure.

Floating along with Alex's help, Daphne frowns, her delirious mind not quite sure what's happening. "I can't run on air," she murmurs, clutching her crutches to her chest, looking more like a waif than even earlier, in PJ bottoms, snow boots, and the ugly wool sweater pulled over her small form, her hair sticking out like hay. Her eyes lift and meet Corbin's, but she just tilts her head, as if unsure who he is or why he's here.

There might be a tingle in the back of Alex's neck due to Kendall staring at him. He's never seen someone aside from Magnes use a power like that! Telekinesis… like Jean Grey!! Regardless, he keeps his attention on herding the kids towards the van.

The twin backpacks Francois had slung over an arm are tossed into the vehicle and out of the way in the van as he speaks; "Three children, two teenagers. A woman who can't walk. Myself, him," a head tilt to Anders without really acknowledging the younger man's option of staying, too distracted, and his gaze crawls across the desolate looking shop and tenement. "And two other caretakers. The others are staying behind. If we split, I can direct those who can walk to the boats— it's closer, on foot, and I won't let us be seen— and you can have the others hide at your place."

"Now you can, darlin', enjoy the ride," says Alex, bluntly, as he hustles her along to the van. It's rude to hurl your allies around like skeeballs, but he shuffles her into the available space in the back as swiftly as he can. He notes to the driver, "Don't wait on me, I'm gonna make my own way out, play rearguard." Which is to say….he's likely not.

Melissa smiles and returns the squeeze to her hand. "He'll be fine, honey. C'mon. We gotta go join the others. We're gonna go for a boat ride." She nods to Brennan, then starts moving, downstairs and out to the van with the others. She doesn't bat a lash at the floating Daphne, or join in the fight for shotgun. She heads for the back, to climb in after everyone else. Then she looks to Alex. "You're gonna go by yourself? Would you do me a favor then? It probably won't be safe here for a few days, and my puppy…he's locked up in my house. Can you get him? Please?" she asks, digging out her house keys and offering them to him.

Brennan's following the group down, cellphone out and in his hand, ready and waiting for everyone to take off so that he can follow through with his intentions, hope that everything he's done before with SUmmer Meadows and his clandestine super secret relation ship with certain government agencies AND his work with the Suresh Center keeps him for being tossed into some sort of brig for 'harboring sick evos' or something like that. "Quicker people" He ushers.

Yeah, that's a dog, and a young man who voices going it alone. Not to mention the sudden appearance of… Corbin knew that she would likely be among the sick he'd be helping out. Would he have called if he hadn't asked Teo to help her? Probably not— if only cause he wouldn't know who to even call. Everything seemed to fall into place for this. "Christ, there's children," he says once his eyes finally slide past Daphne. "I didn't realize you'd have children."

That makes things a little more urgent. Adults, even sick ones, could possibly run and hide, but children… It is good that the first man who came out, one of the caretakers he assumes, seems to have a plan. "There's blankets inside the van if the ones who go on foot need extra protection against the weather." But there's one that definitely won't be able to make it on foot, and that's the one who helped guide him here in the first place, whether she knows it or not.

Hallucination? He could be, but he reaches out to help her into the van, with additional assistance. "Splitting up sounds like a good idea, but yeah, quicker. Those of you who can't walk fast, in the van. Everyone else, with him. If you need extra warmth, grab a blanket or two." He threw plenty in there.

Screw you! Samson listens at first, blinking at Anders just once before wandering over to hop into the car between bodies being loaded up. SHOTGUN. :D

A worried look over Liette's shoulder is all the tiny blonde offers to the tenement building and butcher shop she's being evacuated out of. At Melissa's insistance and surrounded by strangers, Liette is hoisted up into the van, settling in to one of the back seats with an anxious press of her hands down across the patched denim of her jeans. She's still struggling to be fully awake now that she's shoved into the van's confines, surrounded by the sniffling, sick figures of people she doesn't know.

"Why're we all leaving?" Liette asks helplessly, her brows lifted as she turns to look out one of the van's side windows. "Why— Why're we leaving Doctor Brennan behind. I— I don't like this, I'm not— I don't— " Agitated and nervous, Liette hunches forward in the back seat, and apparently Corbin forgot and left the air conditioning on full blast because the breeze in the back of the van— oh wait no that's Liette.

Emotionally distraught at Brennan's separation and all of the chaos and haste happening, a torrent of unsteadied air is tossed around in the back of the van, flipping Liette's tangled blonde locks around and making it feel like Corbin's driving the van with all the windows rolls down, even if the van hasn't even started moving yet.

"You got the dog? I'll walk, man, I can get to the boats and I'm not that sick," Anders says. He grabs a blanket from the back to wrap around himself — a leather jacket's all he's wearing and the weather's gotten worse since he's been in the Den. "Be safe, guys," he adds again, and glances around, starting to take a few steps away, toward the bridge where boats theoretically wait.

At Corbin's assistance, Daphne looks away, settling her crutches nearby and wrapping her arms around her useless legs. She leans her head on her knees, looking away from Corbin so that he can't see her sickly face. But then that strange wind begins to blow, her hair fluttering. "Shh. It'll be okay," she murmurs, though she hasn't believed that in so very long.

Quite suddenly, there's the noise that none of them want to hear.

Like a wolf howl through the woods or the screech of an eagle from the sky, the wail of a police siren sounds out just once, singular, although from here, there's nothing to be seen. Still, Francois whips a look in that direction, forest green eyes flaring wide for a moment as if that might better help him see what's going on, before he focuses on Corbin.

"No time," he mutters, before stepping back from the vehicle himself. "Go, take everyone to the east side of Queensboro Bridge, you won't have a hope of getting much further. I will follow soon." Check in with Brennan, first, then make his own sidling exeunt.

The telekine makes a soft sound in the back of his throat. Almost a growl. He seems curiously reluctant to leave, despite the howl of the sirens on the chill wind. But he starts to fade back, following those proceeding on foot to the boats. HE does, however, take the keys Melissa offers him, and allows, "I'll get him."

"There are people coming. People who want to take anyone who's sick and evolved. We don't want that to happen. Brennan is staying behind to watch over a couple of sick people who couldn't be moved," Melissa explains to Liette after getting her settled in the van. Then she stiffens and she just starts grabbing people, trying to shove them into the van. "Move it!" Once she's gotten as many people in as she can, she's jumping in, and if she's the last, she shuts the door behind her. She didn't even tell Alex thank you!

"Two days lee" brennan calls, seeing her and the wind that's working in the car. Negation settling in as Brennan darts forward, try to reach in and get a hold of Liette. "Lee. I'm negating you because you're hurting others. Calm down. Two days. You can do this, I have faith. Get a hold of yourself okay? Your a young woman. You're brave, you can do two days without me." He keeps his gaze on the girl, keeping up negation. "Mel will take care of you till I come. I will come. I promise"

Then he's stepping back, flipping open the phone. "Get going now" At the sound of the single sweep of Siren. A nod to Francois and he's turning away, heading back into the mouth of the building while dialing 911.

"Hello?" When there's an answer. "My name is Doctor Harve Brennan, i'm in Summer Meadows. Someone called me to tell me abut some individuals who are sick with H5N10. I need two ambulances to-" He rattles off the address of the Den. "Two females, one in an advanced case, and the other with a moderate case" Brennan looks towards the door waiting to see the van drive off. "Please come quick"

"Right, everyone in," Corbin says, slamming the doors once he's sure "everyone" + dog happens to be inside, those who aren't taking it on foot. He makes no protest to stop those who do, as he quickly runs around to the driver's door and gets into his seat, starting up the car and beginning the side street shuffle. Unfortunately, Roosevelt doesn't have much in the way of side streets, it's smaller than half of Central Park! But after a few weeks on the island, he knows the routes, and he makes his way to the boat.

For a moment, he casts a glance at the dog in shotgun. Well, better than some of the alternatives, like someone armed and dangerous. Or a telekinetic who can crush cars—

"You guys do this kind of thing often?" he can't help but ask as he gets moving, glancing in the mirror that lets him look back at them, the older ones that seem in charge. The blonde and a teke, who luckily is no where near the description of the teke he's supposed to be looking for. "Cause this is kind of my first time."

Samson casts a glance to his left, brown eyes momentarily meeting with Corbin's blues. His eyebrows are kneaded slightly, cropped ears up. The dog lets out a throaty grunt, turning his neck on its swivel to look out the front window. One big paw lifts up onto the door.

Csssssh, goes the window, down far enough so he can put the tip of his nose out.

All ready! Let's go.

"No— No Doctor Brennan no!" Liette doesn't know why she's so worried, why her pleading is coming with those terrified bursts of emotion, but maybe it's from the flash of the siren behind the van, maybe it's from the wailing noise coming down the street towards the safehouse, maybe it's because for the first time since they've been together Liette is actually scared. Not for herself, but for Brennan. Brennan's voice and name on a 911 phone call trailing out into the ether, with an angry technopath waiting to swoop down from the skies and snatch Brennan up in binary talons.

Liette turns in her seat, up on her knees and staring out at the back of the van's rear windows. "Doctor Brennan!" Her fingers curl against the fabrc of the seat, brows lift and jaw tenses as she calls out her protector's name. Sure, Melissa is here and there's some solace in that, but this is the first time they've been seperated under conditions like this. She may be a teenager, but in many respects, Liette is still just a little girl.

Curled up on her side in a bed in the Den, Else Kjelstrom stares up listlessly to Delilah Trafford, her lips moving slowly in silent speech. The blonde's hand reaches out, fingers cupping around a face that isn't there and that only Else can see, her jaw trembling as a bead of sweat rolls down her flushed brow and drips off of the tip of her nose. "Gone so quick," she whisipers to the air, and in a way it's narrative to the events transpiring around them.

Side by side, one by one, on foot and in Corbin Ayers' van, the Ferry scatters into the night. Like snowflakes from a powerful breeze, or in a less flattering way;

Like cockroaches from a sudden light.

Anders thumps the van once more and takes off in a jog behind Alexander, glancing behind himself at the sound of the sirens. After a few minutes he disappears, quite literally, into the pre-dawn gloom.

Daphne turns to look with pleading dark eyes at Francois, first, and then Brennan, docteur and Doc respectively. When the window goes down, she leans forward. "Remember to help Hiro," she calls in her husky voice. "Ghosts need help too…" this is murmured more softly, and her eyes move to the rearview mirror, where she looks at Corbin's reflection before her attention is diverted to the crying Liette. Someone seems to need more comfort than she does, but that she can't give. She knows how Liette feels — abandoned and deserted, even if Brennan is protecting her by leaving her. It's hard to see that when one feels abandoned, of course.

"Shhh. It'll be okay," Daphne whispers again, though she rocks herself in her corner of the van, knowing it's a lie.

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