Longest Two Hours Of Your Life


aric_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif cat_icon.gif daphne_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif ling_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif megan_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif noriko_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Longest Two Hours of Your Life
Synopsis In which a triage tent is really more like Grand Central.
Date August 13, 2010

Nature Center

What was once the Staten Island Nature Center has been converted into a makeshift field hospital with rows of cots separated by white linens to provide patients with the illusion or privacy. Medical supplies, along with extra ammunition, firearms and other provisions, are kept under guard in the basement. There is enough space on the ground floor to (uncomfortably) accommodate up to twenty patients and a small number of rotating volunteers.

Only a few vestiges of the Time Before the Bomb remain, including a taxidermy collection in one unused wing that was too cumbersome to move and colourful murals splashed across the walls that illustrate the diversity of the island's wildlife and include a plethora of birds, animals, plants and even fish.

As the sun begins to peek over the horizon on Staten Island — approximately 5:05 am EDT — what can be seen of the surroundings is …. less than inspiring, perhaps. The sheer amount of rain dumped on the region last night means that there are flooded streets and still-gray skies. There are many missing from the operation, their bodies scattered over the grounds of what used to be the university hospital. And the Nature Center is somewhat barricaded in by soldiers patrolling the streets of the Reclaimed Zone too, so no one has been able to leave easily as yet.

Elisabeth, along with the many of the evacuated survivors who didn't suffer more than shrapnel and minor injuries, has been assisting with securing the perimeter for the rest of the night and lending a hand wherever else people have needed it. Right now she stands on the front porch of the Nature Center with her eyes closed, her face turned to the gradually lightening sky. She is listening carefully to the surroundings.

The rain had finally stopped somewhere around 4:30am according to meteorologists manning DOPPLER radar, leaving the skies angry and gray with the threat of more in the morning once the skies warm up. During the rainstorm and the battle outside the institute, however, Jaiden was busy keeping himself and his team alive and, after fording a street that was several feet deep with floodwater, he was hit by a deluge of water from a destroyed…something…he can't remember exactly what _was_ destroyed last night - only that it was and the ensuing flood knocked him off his feet, out cold, and washed him somewhere far, far away.

Waking up in the mouth of a river is normally not a way to wake up - it's generally cold, unpleasant, and you have fish nibbling on parts of you - and that's exactly how Jaiden wakes. His powers, latently, kept him afloat and kept a bubble of air around his face, keeping him from drowning, but when he wakes, it's disorienting to see you are not where you were when you lost consciousness. Still, he needs to get to the rendezvous point before government patrols find him and, hopefully, get a little medical attention. His head feels like a dragon had used it for soccer practice and there's a not-too-small gash between his shoulders. His shirt is in tatters, but thankfully his boots and pants are still relatively intact, along with his sidearm and tool pouch. Jaiden starts to move, heading toward the nature center, approaching just a bit after five in the morning.

"I'm stuffed." he calls out as he approaches. "Little help for the waterlogged Aussie, if you please?"

The sound of footsteps is not unusual. The fact that he made it past the other patrols further out means that the person should be here. It's the accent that brings Elisabeth's blue eyes flying open, and relief is clearly visible in her expression as she sets down her assault rifle against the support post and walks out to meet the Australian. "Shit, are you a sight for sore eyes. Glad to see you made it." He is one of the missing that she's wondered about all night — it was hard to imagine a hydrokinetic drowning of all things. "You hurt?"

"Ah, I'm as fit as a mallee bull, Lizzie." The man gives a shaky smile. In the light, he's covered in mud from head to toe, a few splashes of blood here and there - probably from him - his olive eyes sparkling, his smile blinding, almost. "Takes more than a little water to keep me down. Off my feet, yeah, but down. I washed up beyond the black stump. Took me a dog's age to get to this place. Figured it'd be best." he rubs a hand over his face, scraping some of the mud away. "We come out on top, I take it?"

Taking in his state with her own eyes, Elisabeth can't help but return the smile though her own is a little on the weary side. "We won," she acknowledges, though from her demeanor it was not without cost. "C'mon, let's get you hosed off so they can at least see where you need patching," she tells him quietly. As she puts a hand on his upper arm to guide him around the back side of the Nature Center where the worst of the mud can be hosed off him before the medics get a look at him, Elisabeth looks up. "I'm real glad to see you here," she tells the man.

"Yeah…" Jaiden rubs a hand through his hair, pulling a few bits out, rubbing them on his pants. "It's good to see you too, Lizzie. Sight for sore eyes and all that." He's led, easily, but Elisabeth can tell, just from touching him, that he's exhausted and it took just about everything he could to walk here, or even to remain standing. "Wish I had my camera or something included to film that. Saw some things that the people prob'ly needed to know about." He stumbles, nearly falling, but keeping his feet somehow as they walk around to the back where the hose sits.

The water turned on, Jaiden stands there without a stitch on, not really caring right now, letting it pour over him, rubbing the mud off with both hands, avoiding the slashes on his shoulders or using little 'scrubbers' made of water to get the parts he can't get, drying off with a borrowed towel and wrapping it around his waist. The medics can see several large bruises, a few cuts, and one large one in the middle of his back that looked like he bashed into something while floating downstream - at least that's what it looks like from the splinters still imbedded in it.

"I could use a clean pair of pants and a shirt if one's around, Lizzie." the man says, a towel wrappe around his waist, shivering a little despite the warmth.

His unsteadiness is the reason she sticks to him like a burr. When he stumbles, Elisabeth's arm goes around his waist to loan a little bit of extra stability, and she shows little concern about the fact that he strips off to get rinsed down. The towel appears in her hand as if by magic — maybe a lot of people have been doing the same. And she puts a gentle hand on his back to get a good look — and wince — at the scrape in the middle of it. That's going to suck to get clean. "There's a few things. Might be scrubs or something for now," she tells him quietly. "Worst case, I'll send Richard by your place for some spare clothes while you're here. C'mon."

Once he's as clean as he's going to get, she'll lead him into the center itself to get him onto one of the makeshift pallets. It's not the most comfortable place to be, but it's dry, there are blankets, and once Young or Abby or one of the others check him out, he'll be able to get a couple hours of real sleep too.

He's led, stumbling over things now and again, to the center. If there are open pallets, he'll take one, but if there isn't? He'll find a chair and sit, or try and make his way home. "Still got my record of not bein' shot." he says with a smirk as he lowers himself to one of the free pallets, turning to keep his back from pressing on the blankets just yet. "Wish I could have passed it on to that kid, though….you think the guard was given orders to shoot fleeing people?"

As she helps him get settled on the pallet and does the most basic first aid — grabbing gauze pads and covering the bleeding gash in the middle of his back and taping it up until more competent hands can come take a look — Elisabeth is quiet. Though her hands never stop moving her answer to him is grim, her blue eyes and her tone both cold to the point of frosty. "I think the guard was given orders to shoot anyone who wasn't part of their security team, whether people incoming from the woods or people fleeing the building," she admits flatly. "They had no way to know what might be coming out of that hospital since they've had no contact for days, and anyone going in who wasn't one of theirs was fair game too."

There's a sense of bleak despair as she speaks. They won… but at what cost? Too many kids dead, that's for damn sure. And the sad truth of the matter is they'd do it again. Her gaze slides sideways and seeks out several beds in particular, people she knows well. People she's sat near and held hands with before Jaiden's arrival. "What you did here last night? It was worth it Jaiden." People Elisabeth loves are here… they're safe. Or relatively speaking, at least.

A bit later…..

Time has passed, as it often does, without care or concern to the people who it passes by. The Nature Center has been transformed into a makeshift field hospital for those injured in the previous evening's assault, people laid out on pallets, tended to by haggard and harried-looking volunteers.

One of the pallets, about in the center, is home to Jaiden, a brown-haired, hydrokinetic. Dressed in scavenged hospital scrub pants, he's sitting comfortably - or as comfortably as he can, at least, on a mattress the same thickness as a playing card, a thin blanket over his feet. Bandages wrap around his torso, a fist-sized knot of gauze in the middle of his back, faint tints of red seeping through from the wound there. A single earbud goes from his iPhone to his ears, the man doing something to keep his mind off the pain and, if one gets closer, the soft refrain of 'There's a Zombie On Your Lawn' can be heard. Someone's playing Plants vs. Zombies.

One of the others laying around is Melissa. Though she's bloody, there don't seem to be any actual injuries on her, and her clothes aren't ripped or anything else that would suggest a wound of some sort. Yet she's been unconscious since she was brought in just after the raid. Yet now, finally, she begins to stir. First a soft groan, arguing against consciousness or pain, most likely, then she slowly lifts a hand to her forehead, wincing as she starts to slowly sit up.

~There's a Zombie on your lawn… ~
~There's a Zombie on your lawn… ~
~Don't want Zombies on your lawn… ~
~There's no Zombies on your lawn…~ Jaiden sits back and rubs the back of his head, finally a little cleaner thanks to the water hoses and the action of blanket against his skin. "Hey there…" Jaiden happens to be quite close to Melissa - within talking distance, at least. "Don't sit up too quick. You okay, Shiela?"

"Not Shiela, I'm Melissa," Mel says, very groggy still. "And no, I've got the mother of all headaches." Her hand is moved from her head and she squints at Jaiden for a moment. "I don't know you." She glances around, relaxing when she realizes she knows some of the people here. Then what happened hits her and she straightens, stiffens so abruptly she winces. "Where are they? Did they make it out okay? Peter? Francois? Daphne?" It's clear who her priorities were on the raid.

"Shelia's just slang for a girl you don't know back where I'm from. Melissa it is. Don't sit up unless you feel like you're getting sick. Want me to holler for the sawbones to get you checked out?" Jaiden puts his phone down and nods. "Yeah, not many people do know me 'round these parts. New recruit, as it were. I was outside, so I don't k now any of those blokes or if they made it out….sorry."

The woman who comes in from the far side of the room is a slender redhead that Melissa will recognize, at least. Surgical scrubs, her hair pinned back in a twist to keep it out of the way, Megan Young has an air of authority that comes with running an emergency room and a combat hospital for a couple of decades. She's carrying a suture kit and a small tray of other implements as she moves, and she flashes the newly conscious woman on the pallet a tired smile. "Good to see you awake, Mel. How's your pain?"
Even as she asks, her blue eyes also take in Jaiden's state. "I'm Megan Young. If you'll turn about, I'll go ahead and clean up and stitch that mess I'm told you've got on your back."

"No, don't need a doctor," Melissa says to Jaiden, shaking her head ever so slightly, as though afraid to move anymore than that. "Who're you?" she asks before Megan appears and Mel looks at her hopefully. "I would cheerfully kill someone for some migraine meds. As strong as you've got.

"I'm Jaiden Mortlock…..and you look familiar…." He snaps his fingers, pointing. Yes, it's a little rude, but it gets his point across. "I've seen you around that club….Tartarus. That's about all I can say about previous knowledge, but…." He winces as he tries to shrug, turning over to lay on his stomach, everything from the waist down still covered by a towel. "If there's anyone else you can see who's worse off than me, see them first. I'm just scratched up. Nothing I can't survive with a pair of needlenose pliers and some whiskey." There's the tone of a braggart in his voice, but the wink

Well, that's an easy enough request to grant. Megan offers a grin to Melissa and snaps nitrile gloves onto her hands with deft movements. The tray she was carrying contains a box, and the box — yay! — contains several syringes apiece of painkiller as well as numbing agents for sutures. Pulling a small penlight from the pocket of her scrubs, Megan squats down and flashy-things Mel's eyes. "Of course you don't need a doctor," she dismisses Melissa's comment. "They're pains in the ass." She winks at Melissa, and once she is assured that the younger woman is not concussed and seeing double or anything, she injects a painkiller into Mel's arm. Wham, bam, thankya ma'am. And then it's on to Jaiden Mortlock.

"I don't know if you wanna tempt me like that," Megan retorts to his comment on the pliers. "Cuz I can just go pull a pair of pliers out and douse the site with whiskey if such barbaric medicine is what you want, Aussie. And if you're a bratty patient, have no fear, I still might." She smiles as she says it, though — her tone is brisk but light and teasing, meant to keep people's spirits up and keep them interacting. It's as much a way of making sure they're coherent as it is her good bedside manner. She swaps out the gloves and gestures for him to turn about. If he makes her go around, she might jab him harder than required with that needle.

When Jaiden first says Melissa looks familiar, she looks cautious. But the next comment has her relaxing. "Yeah, I manage it." She lets Megan do the light shiny thing, then looks away when it comes to the needle. Needles, ick. "I meant more I'm not injured, so I don't need a doctor. Just…overused my ability worse than I've ever done before."

She glances over, watching Megan and Jaiden, then smiles faintly. "So how bad is it, Megan, if I…sorta ended up bleeding from my ears? It stopped, so it's not anything serious, right? And have you seen Peter, Francois or Daphne? Please, tell me they're okay." They've got to be okay.

"Aye-Aye, ma'am." Jaiden says, getting a small smile to appear before rolling on his stomach, his back (still covered in bandages, a bit bloodier than before) presented. "I'm in your hands, doc. I don't know what I hit, but I've got splinters in me that could double as toothpicks - at least the big one I pulled out did." He looks over to Melissa as she asks about the same people. Must be friends or something. "You and them….went inside? Was it as bad as the rumors say?"

While she peels the temporary bandage off his back, Megan's hands are gentle and careful on the tape. A bare wrinkle of her nose gives away to Melissa that it's… nasty. But it doesn't seem to faze the redhead. She puts the bloody gauze on the floor next to her and reaches for the betadine and tweezers. "Try not to move much," she says quietly to Jaiden. "You're not wrong about the size of these things. What'd you do, use a broken tree as a backscratcher?" There's a pause and she grins slightly. "And for God's sake, try not to take this the wrong way." Because he's lying on the floor and to get to all the little bits, she winds up sitting on his bum bent over the gash with her tweezers in one hand and the penlight and the betadine swab in her other.

Blue eyes flicker to the other woman while she works. "My understanding is that they're fine. They didn't come through my triage, so I am assuming they're in one piece. The outside team lost…. a lot of people. I know that you guys came in with all the ones that we were looking for, though." And a few others.

Though Melissa's expression doesn't change much, Jaiden's question seems to have her fading a bit. "I don't know what the rumors are, but it was bad. Gregor…He was a monster. Literally. He was this…thing. He…Peter…" She closes her eyes, shaking her head, and moves past. "It took negation gas to kill him. I'm gonna have nightmares about it.
She relaxes at Megan's words, and manages to smile a little. "Good…Very good. Don't know what I'd do if we'd lost any of 'em." But then the smile fades. "Who did we lose?" she asks softly, not really wanting to hear the answer.

"We lost half our group in twenty minutes." the Australian says soberly. "After we first saw a tank and forded a river oregon-trail style, I got sucked away in the river. I didn't know most of 'em at all, but I'd fight with them again in an instant. I'd give anything if I could." There's a hiss of discomfort as one of the more wicked-looking splinters is pulled free from his back. Imagine taking a thorn bush, running full speed at it, and then diving into it back first and you'll have an idea of the number of splinters in Jaiden's back. That splinter, pulled free, causes a little more blood to come out. "Jesus that hurts." he grumbles, his leg kicking slightly, held down by Melissa's body weight. "You know, you'd get good money for this in certain bars in the city."

Megan's jaw clenches tightly. "Half of Wireless's squad — which I gather from Harrison that Mortlock here was part of. All but three of Tien's squad. I… don't even know how many others," the redhead admits. "I was too busy with the wounded to get more than the first wave of reports, honestly." Watching those planes come down last night brought up a lot of memories that Megan wishes had stayed buried. She digs into Jaiden's back again, her mouth twisting into a wry smirk. "Really." Her tone is beyond dry. "Well, take the money you'd pay for that and donate it to they guys running this place for all you glory hounds, okay?"

"I'd help you there, but I don't think it's a good idea right now. Even if I could use my ability right now," Melissa says to Jaiden, frowning a little at the thought that she might have temporarily burned herself out. "And that many? Damn. Did the building get demolished at least? I sorta…passed out inside, so I don't know."

"I was the guy making all the waves, yep." Jaiden says, biting the pillow to keep from whimpering out loud, his eyes clamped shut. "Don't…" he gasps. "Worry about it. Just tell the nice woman perched on my backside to give it a break for a moment….so I can catch my breath."

"Yes," is Megan's clipped reply. "They crashed one of the fighters into it." She glances at Melissa again and says sternly, "And you will not use your ability in any capacity for at least a week. I don't have anyone with the skills to actually diagnose whether you might have burned it out, or if such a thing is even possible. But you need to take it easy." She eases off digging into his back for a moment, and studies how many more bits are left. She doesn't have enough drugs to numb the whole area for the whole time she'll need — she needs it for the suturing. "Hang on," she tells him.

Shoving to her feet, Megan vanishes back around a corner with a short bark for one of the volunteers. When she comes back in, she's carrying a small aerosol can, and as she retakes her perch on Jaiden's bum, she sprays the lidocaine on his back to at least numb the surface. It'll make it a little better, anyway.

"Trust me, with as bad as my head is hurting, I'm not even gonna try," Melissa mutters, before she eases herself onto her feet, not quite steady, but she doesn't fall over. "I need to get home though. Kendall…He'll have heard the explosion. He'll be worried. God I hope he's alright," she says, frowning in concern.

Jaiden winces at the sensation of Lidocaine on his skin, relaxing as the pain goes from *HEY PAIN IS HERE!!!!!* to something more resembling "ow." He knows it hurts, it's there, but the edge is turned way down compared to what it was. He turns his head to the side to look to Melissa, to think of something else while Megan digs on his back. "I think he'll be happier to know that you're allright, whoever he is. What's your power, if you don't mind me asking? Pain reduction? Mine is… " Another wince as a long sliver is pulled out. "Water shaping. Hydrokinesis."

Unlike most medical personnel, Megan doesn't bother to attempt to stop Melissa. Instead, she calls out, "Matt! Come in here!" When the young man — no more than perhaps eighteen assuming he didn't lie about his age — appears, Meg jerks a chin toward Melissa. "Take her to the comm post, see if there's enough of an opening they can slip her out. You'll probably have to carry her back, but …" She smirks faintly.

The kid helps Melissa if she'll let him — he just follows her if she won't — and leads her toward the tent they're using for a comm station. Megan continues to dig splinters out of the Australian's back. "You're going to need to keep an eye on this," she tells him calmly. "I'm going to douse the whole area in iodine, but the gouge is deep enough that there may be splinters inside it that I can't get to. I'll have a prescription called in for you for antibiotics if you'll leave me the name of your pharmacy."

Jaiden is laying on his stomach, his back a ruined, bloody mess, with Megan perched, straddling his backside, a pile of blood-stained splinters that obviously came from his back nearby. He chuckles, wincing after a moment, turning to look up as best he can to the woman sitting on top of him. "Any pharmacy you send it to, I'll go to. I really haven't seen a doctor since they announced registration."

"Well. This is new…" comes a tired voice from one of the cots. It's raspy a bit, like she hasn't used it. Or perhaps has been screaming with it far too often. Either is possible, considering. Lynette and be heard sitting up just before the sheet separating her from the others is torn almost violently out of the way. Wary eyes dart around a bit before settling on Megan and Jaiden. "…What's going on?"

It doesn't shock Megan that he's not Registered. It just makes it a little more difficult. Not too much so in this case. They have a couple of pharmacists who are sympathetic and will fill scrips without full ID. "Good," she says mildly. She nudges his head back down because it arches his back and makes digging for splinters the size of small twigs difficult. Her eyes never come up to his face. "Which faction did you come in with?" she asks. "They may have someone more local, I can ask."

Meg doesn't jump from her spot sitting on Jaiden's butt — he's lying on one of the floor pallets and it's the easiest position from which to pick splinters. But her body goes very tense when that sheet rips aside with that tone of voice, and her head comes up to look at the newest patient to wake. "Field hospital," she answers briefly. "Got a name?" Lynette's someone she doesn't recognize.

Melissa shakes her head at Jaiden. "Not only, no. I manipulate pain. Causing it last night is what led to my current condition," she explains. "And Kendall is sort of a cross between an adopted son and brother." Then she's giving Matt a curious look. "An opening to slip me out? Carry me? I don't need carried," she mutters.

She's looking at Lynette, not recognizing her. She passed out before she could see the woman. "We're all recovering. Well, recovering and, in my case, trying to leave."

Head swiveled back around, Jaiden nods slightly and tries to converse but finds it a bit difficult with a pillow just in his mouth. He does manage to shift slightly to allow conversation and view without flexing his back too terribly much. "My power is more physical…the more ethereal ones, like pain manipulation, emotion amplifying, and the like…those always blow my mind just a little more. Still. Good to have on your side in a fight, no matter what they are." He looks to Lynette. "I'm pinned to the ground by a doctor who's about to start stabbing me with a needle. Not good times." He's also very australian, as evidenced by the accent.

Lynette looks at them all in turn, and then the hospital itself before she looks back to the people again. "Lynette. My name is Lynette. I'm…" What, exactly, she doesn't say, but she ends up focusing over on Melissa. "Trying to leave?"

A nervous flick of her gaze darts over the hospital again before she puts a bare foot out onto the ground to stand up. Testingly. And hey, she can actually stand, even if it makes her scowl. "Where is this?" There is one little jolt of bright white electricity that seems to hop out of her arm and back into it a few inches lower.

Melissa smiles a bit. "They all blow my mind a little." She looks to Lynette and shrugs faintly. "Something about carrying me out. I don't know. But I gotta go. And this is somewhere on Staten Island, I'm guessing. And you should relax and let Megan look at you." A glance between them all, then she gives in to Matt's help. "Yeah, yeah, let's go. Bye everyone who's staying here. If you see Daph, Peter or Francois, let them know I'm lookin' for 'em, will ya?" she asks, wandering off to head home. Hooooooome.

"It's the Nature Center," a female voice provides, "part of the Greenbelt on Staten Island. You've been rescued. The place you were held at is gone." The source of that voice steps away from a wall she was standing near, all poker-faced in black garb of a military variety. Brown hair is in a ponytail, the eyes are somewhat fierce and perhaps haunted. She's taller than most, perhaps 1.73 meters." The Mistress of Pain is eyed briefly in her move to depart. "See you, Melissa."

Then her attention shifts back to the electrokinetic. "Welcome back to freedom, Lynette."

"Seeya, mellymell." Jaiden says from his place on the bottom, shifting a little beneath Megan when the reality of Lynette's predicament is revealed. "Welcome to outside. It's nice out here. Mebbye you'll stay a while, see the sights. Or mebbye you'll head for safety somewhere else. Be that as it may, I'm Jaiden, I play with water…so stay back or we might have a short circuit."

It's those last words from Cat that seem to have Lynette looking for a place to sit again. Which happens to be her cot. A hand comes to cover her mouth and her eyes blink to hold back a sudden rush of emotion-fueled tears.

"It can't be true…" It's an odd sort of denial, one that doesn't dare start to hope. She has been in there a while, after all. Her gaze moves from Cat to Jaiden as he speaks, and she might normally have at least a snicker for his comment, but at the moment? She's just trying to digest. And not start sobbing.

"It's true, Lynette. You're out of that place and the only thing left in it's place is a smoking crater. Now ain't the time to bring up what happened or who did what to who…just know that this ain't a dream. You're not being toyed with anymore. You're out." Somehow, through the pain of having his back stitched on, Jaiden smiles.

Megan has been quietly sitting on Jaiden's butt — this is the part that requires more of her attention. After cleaning out the twigs and such in his wound, she is merciful. She jabs him with one needle to numb the whole area, then a second to do the same at a different location. And then she commences to swab out and clean the gouge in Jaiden's back thoroughly and begin the laborious process of putting stitches up a man's back. "This is not going to be pretty," she warns. Though he's got some other scars, it looks like, so not too big a deal to him she'd bet. Still, the back is a place that has little soft material to spare for stitching, so the scars tend to be wider.

It takes ten stitches inside the gouge and then another eight outside to close him up, but once she's done, Megan tapes up Jaiden's back and picks up her last syringe. Without warning him, she moves to stand up from her hunched-over perch on his arse, yanks the back end of his scrubs down, and jabs him in the butt with a needle full of antibiotics. And then she stands fully upright. About the same time as someone hollers from another section. With a sigh, she comments, "Back in a bit. Mortlock, stay put a while."

The stitched-up Aussie is glanced at as the nurse dismounts his back and leaves those instructions, but the gaze summarily returns to the sanest of two blonde electrokinetics Cat knows about. Well, she hopes it's still true but realizes it might not be after time spent in the hands of Dmitri Gregor. "I'm Cat, the Aussie here is Jaiden. The woman who sewed up his back is Megan, a nurse."

The aluminum skin of a fireproof suit - such as firefighters might wear in serious disaster areas - crunches softly with every step as Cardinal makes his way through the field hospital, the hood of the garment missing to leave his features visible, hair having clearly been wet and then dried again in a chaotic mass of spikes and flats. He looks about as tired as anyone else in the camp - but unlike many of them, there's no wounds in evidence.

Catching sight of a familiar face, his steps pause just beside where Jaiden's been tended to, offering a tired, faint smile down to him, "Holdin' up alright there, Jaiden? Told you that wyou'd be seeing action sooner rather than later.." Over towards the others, he greets quietly, "Cat. You alright?" Lynette, he doesn't know by face, but she gets a weary smile too.

"…Nice to meet you both," Lynette says, the pleasantry sounding rote and distant at the moment. But she looks up after a moment, focusing on Jaiden and then Cat. "Is he dead?" That narrowing of her eyes and the way her hands curl tightly around the edge of her cot probably gives away that she's not talking about a friend. "Is he dead?"

And when Cardinal comes in, she jumps a little before she looks his way, that smile isn't returned, but stared at for a moment before she looks back to Cat again, that question still in her gaze.

"Richard," the brunette greets in return when spoken to, "good to see you got out before that second plane came down." Cat's eyes shift back over to the hopefully sane electric woman. "You must mean Dmitri Gregor," she opines with distaste on speaking the very name, but doesn't confirm his existence or lack of. That's a question for someone from an interior team.

A small form, already stitched up with bandage on her neck, whimpers suddenly, the cot creaking as she thrashes a little — whatever pain medication has been given to Tasha, if any, is apparently wearing off, though her conscious isn't quite read to come to the surface just yet. Her fingers come to her throat, curling around the bandage and threatening to tear it off; eyebrows contort with pain above closed lids, the eyes moving behind them in REM stage — an improvement, as it means she's not unconscious but sleeping, even if uncomfortably so.

"I think we took out Cong…" Cardinal lifts one hand, fingers raking back through his hair as he offers a tired nod towards the others, "…he wasn't human - fuck, he wasn't even organic - when we found him, though, so it's impossible to say for sure if he's dead or not. I hope he is. He'd been dosing himself with Advent…" The traumatized young woman is regarded for a moment with a faint, reassuring smile, "Richard Cardinal. Hey."

Lynette looks away as that name is mentioned, her head nodding for a moment as fingers trace the line that marks one of the man's sessions with her. That's who she means. She doesn't look back up right away, but rather seems to curl in on herself a little. Concentrating on breathing evenly, those hands are still holding onto her cot. For support though.

"Advent." Her features briefly twist into a scowl, Cat looks like she might want to launch something into the air with her booted foot for a span of heartbeats. "We'll find someone who can verify that for you, Lynette," she offers after re-composing herself, just in time to spot something peripherally. Eyes land on and study Tasha for a time, watching how she breathes, as two fingers are touched to a mild scar on Cat's own neck.

The teenager, only one of three in her squad to survive, murmurs something unintelligible but it's clearly in her dreams she speaks, her head tossing to the side again; luckily her fingers stop pulling at the bandage, once more relaxing as a more restful slumber ensues. She's not ready to wake yet, apparently.

There's a rustle of wind and a blur of black that coalesces into the solid form of Daphne Millbrook as she studies the injured — once she had her "legs" again, after the negation drug wore off, she had run off, to find a shower, to let the hot water pour over her and rinse her of Gregor's blood and worse. She stares at those who were in the hospital with her, glancing at the others who are awake with eyes that hint of "shellshock." Those eyes fall on Lynette and she gasps. "You're awake… are you all — no, of course you're not, but you're alive, thank God…" It wasn't for nothing. People survived.

"Things're just gonna get worse from here on out, Cat, you know that…" Cardinal's hand drops back to his side with a soft crunch of aluminum fabric, his gaze serious on her face, "…we're gonna have to move real careful-like here. The government's going to come down hard… I'll do what I can to keep them off our backs, but there's only so much I can do."

The sudden arrival of the platinum-blonde brings a sharp look over, hand reaching to his waist as if for his weapon - and then he relaxes, letting it fall loose to his side once more. "Hey." A nod to her, recognizing her - wasn't she at the park bombing?

There is a blink at the rush of air, and Lynette looks up, eyes red, but no evidence of tears falling yet. She looks Daphne over for a moment before she nods. "Alive. Did you… Were you in there?" She still fuzzy on the details of just what happened.

Her gaze falls on Tasha, too, as the girl murmurs, and recognition shows in her expression. And worry. "The kids were here? Is she alright? She didn't get involved in the fighting, did she?" Apparently, she assumes these three will have all the answers.

Attention is divided, Cat's eyes moving from Vincent Lazzaro's daughter to the blur and platinum blonde when that sudden wind disturbs her ponytail. One brow goes up, there's recogntion to her visage. "Haven't seen you when I was awake before," she comments quietly. "It'd be good to find you occasionally. If you were inside, can you confirm whether or not Dmitri Gregor is dead?"

Then to Richard, with a somber assessment. "Yes. They knew their project was a failure and planned to scorch it clean, that we did so for them won't matter. Brum will make a silver lining for himself, claim it was terrorism, and use it to advance his goals without batting an eye. Not that it changes much, they were already building internment camps anyway. Now they probably just move faster."

Lynette, in turn, is quietly spoken to. "No children. Everyone involved was an adult, and came of their own free will, just as they would had they joined a branch of the Armed Forces."

"He's dead," Daphne says, quickly, eyes on Lynette, before she turns to look at Cardinal and then Cat, brows twitching into a frown at Cat's words. It takes her a moment to understand, but she simply shakes her head, an almost imperceptible motion. She isn't good for this sort of thing, last night proved that. She takes a step back.

"He's dead. They were shooting him and fighting him but it wasn't doing any good — his head… he just put it back on," she whispers, another step back. "I sprayed him with the gas and I think he died then but if he didn't… I think they blew up the building." She doesn't think he could survive what she saw happen to him, and she doesn't think he could survive the air strike after, but there's just enough doubt in her eyes as she glances between them. "I gotta go…"

"Thank god." Cardinal's shoulders sink a bit in relief at the news that Gregor's finally dead, one hand coming up to rub against his face, murmuring to his hand, "I told them. I told them he couldn't be controlled, that they should just shoot the motherfucker instead of trying to use him for whatever they had planned… one of these days, I think I'm going to have a long talk with Simon."

A look back to the others, hopefully, "Did we get everyone out? Gillian, Teodoro, uh, Lynette, Noriko…? Does anyone know?"

"It sounds like you've practiced that response," Lynette notes to Cat, although it's difficult to say whether or not she means it as a criticism at the moment, given that she's a little off. But, Daphne distracts her and as the speedster declares her exit, Lynette reaches over to put a hand on her arm. "Thank you." They're softly spoken words, but heartfelt to the point that a tear slips past her hold and she lets go of Daphne to use that hand to wipe her face.

"I'm not sure about the others," she says, pulling herself together as she looks over to Cardinal, "But I'm Lynette."

When did he sleep? The last thing he recalled was getting poked in the butt by a needle compliments of the woman who stitched and bandaged his back up, and the next thing he knows? Drooly pillow. Eeeeew. He jerks slightly, snorting as he moves from sleep to awake in 2.5 seconds, blinking, rolling on his side with a gasp, making sure to keep all the relevant bits well covered as he does so. "Jeez, sorry…." He blinks. "Cardinal? Why're you in a fire suit?"

He being Jaiden.


Cardinal's question is only partly answered, in that Cat nods in the sane electroblonde's direction as she states her identity, no words used to comment on any others. She instead applies her voice to agreeing about Dmitri Gregor. "This country got lucky with Werner Von Braun. He was the exception to what should be the rule."

"Oh, Jeez, don't… don't thank me," Daphne says, eyes widening as she stares at Lynette, the tears in the taller blonde's eyes drawing tears to her own for the second time in just a few hours. "I almost ruined everything. If it weren't for the augmentor and teleporter, we'd all be…" Dead. She shakes her head and backs up another step, then looks to Cardinal. "We all made it out… I donno if they'll all make it beyond that." Gillian and Magnes were horribly hurt. It's too hard to make out the faces on the cots with tear-blurred eyes. She gives another shake of her head and this time pivots, her body pointing in the direction she came from before she's gone, just a streak of black disappearing through the door on the other side of the room.

"Oh." A half-smile from Cardinal as he offers a slight nod to Lynette, "Good to meet you. Glad we got you out in mostly one piece…"

That said, he looks down towards Jaiden, smirking a little bit. "I was carrying a flamethrower," he explains casually, "It seemed like the thing to do. And.." Then Daphne's gone, and he looks after her with a look of tired sympathy, stepping away, "I'm gonna go ask for a sitrep - I'll be right back."

Goodness she's fast. Lynette frowns a bit at Daphne's exit, but she doesn't have enough time to get out a response before she's gone. She sighs instead. There's a glance over toward Cardinal, who gets a nod as she rolls her shoulder a bit. "Mostly." She clears her throat there, sitting up straighter, running a hand through hair that's… quite short now, and she looks over at those remaining. "Any idea where I might get some actual clothes?"

"Probably about the same time I do. I had to scrounge up these scrubs since my clothes were either shredded or caked in mud. Cardinal, there, the man with the shiny suit, is probably going to head to my place on the orders of a certain blonde to get me a set of clothes. If you don't mind sharing your sizes, I'm pretty sure he'll grab you something too." Jaiden doesn't know the woman who ran out so he doesn't say anything other than 'hmmph,' looking back to Lynette. Then a pause. "A flamethrower?" He thinks for a moment. "Works for you."

"Your safehouse is still there, Lynette," Cat tells her, "and your apartment in it. If you're healthy enough to go back, we can get you there at least for the short term. Or we can have someone bring things here for you." A glance goes to the Shadowman at his mention of having a flamethrower, she remarks "Good choice for that mission."

"Oh god…" Magnes groans as he finally starts to stir, still very much in pain even with painkillers. He doesn't remember much after getting shot, he's just weakly looking around with a white t-shirt on and a blanket over him, his right hand bandaged and taped up. "Claire… is Claire alright?" he asks, not seeming to really know where he is yet.

Lynette looks up at Cat again with that news and she manages a bit of a smile. "Good. I'm glad it's alright. And I would very much prefer to be there, whenever we can manage it." She looks back over to Jaiden, her head tilting a bit. "To be honest… I'm not sure. I was a six before all this…" But she's not exactly been in the peak of health since being taken. Her hands spread a little helplessly there, before another voice gets her attention.

And it's another of her helpers from Gun Hill. "Magnes Varlane, not you, too." And this time, she grabs the sheet from her cot to wrap around herself before she makes her way over to the boy's cot. "It looks like you had a rough time of it, darling." Not that she looks much better. For one, they cut all her hair off. It's now a sort of pixie-cut in length, instead of cascading past her shoulders like it used to. And she's gaunt. And has these surgery scars. And bags under her eyes. And a bit of jitteriness that wasn't there before, but hey! She's not been shot at least.

After a brief check with someone, Cardinal returns once more to the small gathering of injured and uninjured alike… a low chuckle tumbling past his lips as he admits, "Gonna have to send someone else for some clothes, Jaiden. As soon as I head out've here, I've got to go do damage control."

The sound of Magnes's voice brings his head over, lips pursing in a frown, "Varlane, stay down, you look like hell. Do not sit up."

"Ah well…" Jaiden doesn't sound disappointed. "Damage control is a lot more important than getting us less naked." Here's hoping that one of the volunteers can do the people 'a solid' and bring some clothes.

Clothing. Yes. And damage control too. There still might be people needing found, verifications of who's still alive and not, discoveries of where they are to be performed. Not to mention business matters around Manhattan. Magnes is glanced at, Cat decides between Lynette and Mr. Shadows he's in good hands, not to mention the impending return of Megan Young. "I'll see if I can scrounge up some things for you too, Mick," she tells him.

Moments later Cat has departed, off to be a busy person. Maybe also to sleep or even get laid.

"I can't move." Magnes says with another groan, moving his head to the side slightly to look at Cardinal. "Where's Claire? What happened? Did… is Gregor dead? I destroyed two of his brains… he had two more left…" he's too drugged up to even know how strange that sounds.

"Hey hey," Lynette says as she sits down nearby, "Relax, hunny. We haven't gotten a headcount yet, but we'll find out about Claire as soon as we can. As far as what happened…" She glances over to Cardinal, and then back to Magnes, "A certain young woman with super speed seemed pretty sure he was depowered, fell apart and then was blown up with the rest of the building." Funny, she doesn't seem to think it sounds strange at all…

"She's a perfect regenerator, Varlane, she's fine…" Cardinal steps along over towards the young man's table with a slow shake of his head, "…physically, at least, I imagine nobody got out've there without some mental scars. Yeah, Gregor's apparently dead, and good fucking riddance."

"I wish she didn't do these things. She's not my girlfriend anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't care." Magnes says with his eyes closed, still very much drowsy, and not exactly in a rush to stay awake with so much pain, but he's still conscious, talking and listening. "God, last night seems like a nightmare, it was worse than the robots, I wished it was the robots…"

Noriko is laying on her own bed, not too far from the group. Her lower jaw bandaged and hidden away from view from the others, that hideous smile slowly healing, even if she'll be left with the scars of it. There are very few parts of her that are not bandaged, after the treatment she was put through at the hands of Gregor. The only parts of her that are visible are her upper head above her nose, and her hair. Her eyes slowly open, wincing faintly as she sees sunlight for the first time in… months. Her skin is much paler than usual, and she is a lot skinnier than she was when she was last seen on the outside. One of the first people to be abducted by the Instutite, she can't really believe that she is finally out. From beneath the bandages that are over her lips, a mumbled word can be heard. She continues to repeat it, slowly growing louder in volume until it is audible.


"I'm sure someone is wishing the same thing about you, dear," Lynette says with a gentle pat to his shoulder, "And yet, here you are with a hole or two through you." Looking over to Cardinal, she folds her hands in her lap, "You mentioned damage control. How bad is it out there after all this?" And it seems she'd leaving Noriko's request to the man as well. Hell if she knows where the water is around here.

At that, Cardinal rolls his eyes. "Varlane," he points out, "People who care about you wishing you wouldn't do stupid shit has never stopped— what she said." A gesture to Lynette, his head shaking slowly, "You did a good job, though, kid. It's… still early, but it's gonna be bad." A grim look at Lynette, "It's gonna be really bad. I think I can moderate it a bit, but there's only so much I can do."

At the gasp for water, his head lifts, and he murmurs an apology to Magnes and Lynette, moving along over to one of the jugs of water - a plastic cup shaken out, he fills it up before heading towards the skinny, bandaged woman. "Right here," he says quietly, reaching over to lower the cup near her scarred mouth, "You're gonna be alright, Noriko."

Magnes' eyes shoot open as he suddenly remembers something. "Fucking Peter Petrelli! That bastard, that rat fucking bastard! We could have all died if the side effects of that stuff were really bad, or at least someone could have died. He says it like it was our only option…" His fist clenches the sheets, but his anger appears to be exhausting him more. "He's too reckless, people aren't disposable pawns he can just use however he wants without even asking their opinion. I could have gotten us in without doing something so risky. He could have told me there were risks…"

Noriko's un-suppresed power comes as a godsend for her, as she manipulates the water through the bandages and into her waiting mouth. "In a cup, next to my bed, please," she requests of Cardinal, her eyes smiling at him, even if her mouth is too painful to do much more than drink. Her eyes looking over at Magnes for a moment, seeming to consider before the water stops pouring into her mouth, and she manipulates it into writing.

'Thanks for rescuing me.'

"Whoa," Lynette says, a hand taking his chin in a rather weak grip. But it's there. "You need to calm down or you're going to hurt yourself. And it sounds to me like this whole operation was one giant risk, Magnes. You're going to get upset because there was one more than you expected? They blew up the building, for christ's sake. You're not dead. Be grateful. I know I am." Letting out a breath on a huff, she stands to her feet, hands smoothing out the sheet she now wears as a sort of sarong. "And while we're on the subject. Thank you. It took a lot of guts to go in there."

"You can't say I didn't warn you about him, Varlane," Cardinal mutters under his breath, pausing as the water slithers up from the cup to her lips - he sets it down by her bedside then, stepping back with a tired smile. He knows she doesn't remember him from Apollo; has no reason to know who the hell he is. Drink provided, he walks along over to the edge of the makeshift shelter, looking over the rest of the triage center in silence.

"You don't have to thank me for that, and sorry, I'm just… pissed. I can't believe he'd just risk everything like that, any idiot knows how unpredictable my ability is when it's augmented, but some sort of unstable augmenting formula?" Magnes just shakes his head, starting to calm down. "I went there because it was the right thing to do, as long as you're both safe, that's all the thanks I need. And Cardinal… can we talk about Peter later? In private."

Noriko looks over towards Cardinal, giving him thanks as well, for the water, with her ability. She's laying in a bed pretty much coverd in bandages and talking with water. Her eyes looking over the preceedings while she lays, nodding in agreement with Lynette. Her eyes closing for a moment, before more words form, echoes of memories that associate Cardinal with Liz. 'Is Liz around,' the watery words ask.

"Well, get unpissed. At least until you heal up some." Lynette pats him on the arm as he goes on, though. "Very noble." And then her shaky steps take her toward Cardinal, who gets a hand out toward him, "And you get thanks as well. Richard, was it? What are the chances you might find me someone willing to take me home. This place is nice and all…"

Richard looks back over his shoulder, "Sure thing, Varlane. Soon as you're up and about…" The motion ensures he notices that watery message, a tired smile offered over towards the bandaged woman, "…yeah, she's around here somewhere. I'll let her know you want to talk to her." He turns, then, swiftly as he raises an arm to help support Lynette, frowning, "You aren't going anywhere until you've got a clean bill of health."

It's almost as if speaking her name conjures her up. Elisabeth has been out on the perimeter again, though she checks in regularly. "Someone taking my name in vain?" she asks wearily from the door. She hasn't a clue who Lynette is, though she nods in Magnes's direction briefly and smiles a little to see Noriko awake — though the woman's in the worst shape of almost anyone else.

"I need to sleep, I hurt and I have no idea what's wrong with me. I still can't move, I hope I'm not paralyzed." Magnes closes his eyes, finally deciding to actually get more rest. "Someone go to my place and tell Elaine I'll be there soon." He could say to call, but he's tired, and finally drifts off shortly after.

Noriko's water words change shape as Liz walks into the room, moving into a new configuration that says, "Hi, Liz." Her eyes looking over at Liz, smiling even if her mouth can't be seen, or what Gregor made of it. Her eyes going over towards Cardinal, before looking back at Liz and spells out, 'Your ears burning, Liz?"

And as she's supported, Cardinal actually ends up holding most of Lynette's weight. Which, granted, isn't much at the moment. "My bill of health is clean and paid for, darling. I just need rest. And it'll go much better in my own bed. I never was one for roughing it, as it were." Nevermind that she looks haggard and malnourished and cut up and sleep deprived and a little crazy… and most certainly sitting firmly in the denial stage. She's fine!

"Uh huh." Yeah, Cardinal isn't buying it. An arm slides around her shoulders, and he carefully but firmly starts to guide her back towards the table, his head shaking slowly, "Where's home, anyway…? I can ask some people about it." A lift of his head, and he offers a faint but genuine smile over, "Hey, Liz. Noriko wanted to talk to you."

Blue eyes meet Cardinal's over Lynette's head and the blonde's smile is both genuine and more than a little relieved. With a slight nod of acknowledgement to him, her attention slides over to Noriko once more. She steps toward the bed and her grin is genuine. "Hi," she greets the woman softly. What was done to Noriko is going to give Liz nightmares, she's sure, but she tilts her head. "No, not burning. What can I do?" she asks.

'Just wanted to see how you were doing. Long time no see,' Noriko replies to Elizabeth while she lays there, slowly moving stiff muscles and joints that just don't want to work right, it seems, without Gregor's over riding mind.

"Home is the Bronx. Gun Hill apartments." Lynette isn't hard to guide around, although she gives him a look as he's doing it. "I'm just tired. And I'd like to go pick my real life up again. I'd like to wear a ridiculously expensive pair of jeans and a handbag made out of some sort of animal skin. Patient morale."

"Gun Hill?" A bemused note to Cardinal's voice, "Huh. Some Toby guy wanted to hire us for security there…" He helps her down to sit on the bed, and gives her a look, "Right. You're wearing what you're wearing until someone with some kind've medical knowledge says otherwise."

Considering the state that Noriko's body is in, that she can move at all under her own power — that she is conscious — is amazing in Elisabeth's mind. She nods to Noriko, though, and says quietly, "I'm sorry… that it took so damn long." She found out about the same time about Noriko and Gillian. She reaches out and then hesitates to touch the other woman. "It's good to see you, Noriko. I'm … doing all right, I think. A few bruises, I think I got winged by some shrapnel," she admits with a smile. "I think it's the first time I've come out with barely a scratch."

Noriko nods her head a little to Liz while she lays there, 'That's good.' Her eyes looking around for a moment, before she replies, 'Good to see you whole, good to see everyone.'

"Toby," Lynette repeats with a bit of surprise in her tone. "Toby's in New York? Well, there you go, I've got to get over there before he does something crazy, like paints the walls pink or something… He might start decoupaging." Yes, this is a good and urgent reason. But she's being sat down in any case and —oh, my, that's a pout. "This sheet has a terrible thread count, I hope you know."

At that, Richard can't help a slight grin, his head shaking a bit. "I'll make sure to inform the housekeeper," he replies with a wink, glancing back over to Magnes's unconscious body before reaching into his half-opened suit to drag out his cell phone, "Gimme a sec, I need to make a call."

Elisabeth leans a hip on the bed, very gingerly, and simply stays near Noriko, who seems as if she could use the company

Noriko lets the water return to the jug while she lays there, not having much else to say while she looks over at Elizabeth, just glad to see that she is alright. Suddenly her eyes jump, as dimly remembered bits of the prevous nights events come to her, and she looks around, before the water comes back up.

'Is Gregor dead?'

There is even a bit of a smile for that reply and wink, but as Cardinal goes to make his phone call, Lynette lets out a heavy sigh and lays herself back down. That smile turns out to be a shortlived one, as a more haunted look comes over her when she's left to her own thoughts. Her fingers curl around that sheet and grip tight. At first, she lets her eyes close, but it seems that isn't a comfort, as they snap right back open again.

Blue eyes come back to the letters forming in front of her and Elisabeth says quietly, very clearly, "Yes. They're all fucking dead. Every last one of the bastards." It's as much for Noriko as it is for Lynette and whoever else might be listening.

"Elaine. This is Cardinal— don't hang up, please, I'm just delvering a message from your boyfriend," Cardinal says in tired tones, rubbing at his face with one hand as he walks quietly on the phone, "Mmhm. He'll be alright. He's gonna need some recovery time, but— he should recover just fine. Obviously I can't give you any details over the phone…"

Noriko nods her head to what Liz says while she lays thee, eyes closing to absorb the news that is delivered to her. For now, she thinks back to the hazy memories that returned over here abuse by Gregor. Even if she doesn't have complete recall from what the Haitian erased, she has more than enough new experiences that have made her more than a little like her former self. The water forms new words, 'How is Eileen?'

For some reason, Lynette doesn't… really seem comforted. In fact, she closes her eyes again as a tear slips out of the corner of her eye. And it's a voice straining for normalcy that asks, "All of them?"

"Yeah," Elisabeth says firmly. "All of them. Gregor. Bao-Wei. All of them. The ones that didn't specifically get dead at our hands got dead when the fighter jet leveled the fucking place." It's the only assurance she can offer — she saw that plane come down up close and personal. And had a moment's blind panic at the idea that she was watching some of her friends die. Again.

"Well, the doctors still need to see to him, but he should make a full recovery. He'll get the best care possible, I can promise you that," Cardinal admits, leaning back against the same bed that Lynette's seated on.

Noriko looks over at Liz before her water forms another word. "Bella? She is mine. No one elses." There is a predatory gleam in her eyes while she lays there in the bed. Nothing showing the love that she once had for the other woman.

Lynette buries her face for just a moment at that, looking for all the world like that news might even upset her. But it's just for a moment, as she gets those damn emotions under control and just answers with a nod.

There is a clench of Elisabeth's jaw at that name. She knows who Noriko means, and the knowledge is clear in her expression. Her blue eyes are icy on Nori. "If you need backup, you know where to find me," she says quietly. Because she won't stop the other woman. She does, however, keep her body between Cardinal and that word, her voice low enough that the man on the phone won't hear it.

"I'm looking at him right now. He was just bitching about Peter, so if he had the energy for that, I think he'll be fine," Cardinal allows, looking over to the bed where Magnes is laying down. A quiet chuckle at whatever he hears on the other end, "Anyway. I should get off this line - he wanted someone to call you, though." He apparently doesn't hear or see what they're discussing over near Noriko's cot.

Noriko nods her head a little before she looks at Liz and brings up, "Thanks." She looks around, before the water forms again and she says, "I'm going to try and get some rest… everything hurts." With that said, the water goes back into the jug, and the woman closes her eyes, letting herself heal.

Shaking it off, Lynette sits up again, giving as presentable a front as she can manage at the moment. She glances over at Magnes, too, but then back to Cardinal again. However, she's not interrupting… just blatantly eavesdropping.

"Will do. No problem. Take care, and keep your head down. Things are gonna get unpleasant in the city pretty soon," Cardinal says, the phone clicked shut and slid back into his suit. A moment of struggling gets it tucked away, and then he pushes off from the edge of the bed and shoves his suit down - aluminum suit rasping and rustling as he piles it around his feet. He steps out of it, rolling his shoulders back, stretching a little, "God, that's fuckin' uncomfortable."

"Well, it doesn't seem like you'll need to be fireproof out here." Lynette says as she crosses one leg over the other, making herself comfortable. Just like she would if it were her own living room. Even the way she wears that sheet, like she choose it because of some sort of edgy fashion sense instead of it being the only thing around. "So who are you, anyway, who brings flame throwers to hospitals and makes sure young girls don't worry all day about their wounded boyfriends?"

"I told you," Cardinal replies, looking over with a crooked smile, one brow lifting, "I'm Richard."

"Mystery man and Robin Hood type fellow, is it?" Lynette folds her arms, looking over at him with a crooked smile of her own, her fingers tapping against her arm. Just below a faded line of blue marker that may show just how timely this rescue was for her. "Funny, you don't look like a Dick to me."

That makes Elisabeth laugh out loud, a sound quickly smothered for the patients still sleeping. "Oh believe me. He is."

"Oh, look," Cardinal cranes his neck to look back and over towards Elisabeth with a smirk, "Someone who's going to be sleeping /alone/ tonight." A roll of his eyes as he looks back over towards Lynette, "You see what I have to deal with?"

Lifting an eyebrow at Elisabeth's comment, Lynette looks to Cardinal, as if for a rebuttal. And hey! There's banter. She even chuckles a bit before she reaches over to pat Cardinal on the arm. "Life is hard," she says in sarcastic sympathy.

The blonde is clearly not taking anything Cardinal retorts seriously. "That's just cutting off your nose to spite your face," Elisabeth informs him with a cheeky wink, walking toward the two. "You called the Shark yet?" she asks of him as she comes to stand next to Lynette's bed.

The sarcastic empathy from the woman gets a wink from Cardinal, and then he looks back towards Elisabeth. "I called her just after the air strike landed," he admits, "She's expecting us sometime today. I'm sure she'll be… interested in hearing what we have to say."

Looking between the two of them, Lynette eyes them a little more before she settles on Liz. "I see you're not going to be any help working out the mystery. Codenames and such." But really, she seems more amused than annoyed. When she looks back to Cardinal, her arms unfold as she offers, "What if I promise to get checked out by my own physician?"

There's a quirk of a brow from Elisabeth and she looks between them, affecting an innocent expression. "So….. first you'd have to tell me who you are. Being as I know we got you out of there, m'dear, and that's about all I know, I'm not even remotely exposing the people real names of people I know yet. Sorry," she says casually.

"No." Cardinal lifts one hand, forefinger extended upwards, and then he tilts hand and finger to point at Lynette, "Not unless your physician happens to be somewhere in this encampment, and somehow, I doubt they are." A gesture, then, between them as he leans against the Ferrywoman's bed, "This is Lynette. I guess she runs Gun Hill, which nobody actually told me was a Ferry property, but hey."

"I see I'm not the only one who made it out alive…" A whispery, accented voice carries across the wind, audible to all three in the area as a small haze of smoke begins to hang over the area. There is silence for several moments, and then the clack of booted feet on the floor as Ling Chao walks up behind Cardinal, a devious smile on her face. "I had been… curious."

Cardinal's reply gets a bit of a huff from the woman, and she folds her arms again. "Men." When he introduces her, though, she gives a nod and spreads her hands a little. "I opened it a matter of weeks before all this. Maybe not even weeks. I'm not sure how established it is now, but it hardly was at all a few months ago. I'm sure we'll be… busy once the dust settles from this." There's a quick drum of her fingers, a moment of thought, then she's back to them again. "Assuming I still run it." Her gaze travels over to Ling's smoky entrance with a sort of tired acceptance of another new face, although that smile does get a lift of an eyebrow.

Oh! Well, that changes a shit-ton of things. "I'm sorry," Elisabeth says quietly. She shrugs a little at Cardinal and defends, "I thought when you said you'd spoken to someone about security at the place that you knew. I'm sorry." She keeps in the loop with a lot of things, though she's primarily a silent acquaintance to the Ferry. "I wasn't sure who was in charge of what over there; I steer clear of the safehouses whenever possible." Ling's smoky entrance brings Elisabeth to a state closer to full alert. The only smoke metamorph she knows is the one who drugged her and hauled her off to Russia in cuffs. She is wary when Ling appears.

There's no accusation in Cardinal's expression as he shakes his head at Elisabeth… pushing off the edge of the table, he leans over to slide a hand up her arm and to her shoulder, a firm squeeze there at the mention of the safehouses. "Well, if I'd known, I would've responded more promptly," he admits, "I knew Varlane lived there, but…"

A pause at the voice behind him, and he turns slightly to look over his shoulder, one brow raising a little. "Ling," he greets, voice a little cool, "We're bloodied, but still kicking."

As he walks up to the center, Aric is carrying a large backpack on his shoulders, a bag under each arm, and a satchel over his shoulder. The man looks up at the center and swallows hard as he walks up the steps and says, "Hello?" He knocks on the door in a loud enough fashion hoping he see's a friendly face.

"I must admit, I am somewhat surprised," Ling admits as she paces around into a more open. Somehow in the time between her disappearance in the caverns beneath the hospital and now, she's found time to change out of tight black suit she'd been wearing, and something resembling a casual dress, accented by a red scarf. A bow of recognition is given to Lynette, and then to Elizabeth. "But that is good, it means everything went as planned."

"Well, Gun Hill is supposed to be a… quiet safehouse. Since we use some of the floors to actually rent out and make actual money from, so…" Lynette trails off, letting the sentence go there for apparently no reason at all. She glances to Ling's bow first, then Aric's entrance, laying over on her side with a gentle sigh.

Elisabeth is not sure anything at all went according to plan…. but it was successful, at least. She relaxes a fraction with the touch on her shoulder and the fact that Cardinal clearly knows the woman, even if his mood is not precisely….. friendly. She nods politely to Ling, though, and then looks toward the door as one of the volunteers lets Aric in. Because if he made it past the sentries, he's supposed to be here.

"Tell that to the dead," Cardinal replies quietly, turning the rest of the way around to regard Ling with a brow's slight arch, "I was surprised to see you here. When'd you stop working for Daniel, then?"

As he gives everyone a wave, "I come offering what help I can until I am better trained." He begins to look around the room. His eyes fall on Liz and Cardinal first as he cocks an eyebrow bring the massive amounts of stuff he could carry. He begins to set them down, "I have medical supplies. I brought two disposal cell phones I bought at the corner store. I also brought food and drink. I have water, can goods, and trail mix. It is not what I am use to making or cooking but I figured this would be alot like when I treked through China." He begins to untie his backpack and sets it down in a grunt.

Ling regards Aric with a glance, noting how well prepared he seems to be - something handy, to be sure. She has little response, however, before Cardinal grabs her attention, eyes narrowing as her gaze turns to him, sharp and suspicious. "If you wish to be technical, I have never formally ceased working for him, unless he has decided to act as if I don't exist since the Institute grabbed me. I am curious to how you know this, however," she responds, arms crossing as she turns to face Cardinal more directly.

Something in the conversation makes Lynette pause and look Cardinal's way. her mood seems to have flipped, that bantering, friendly exterior gone for the moment.

"How many?" It's just a quiet voice, gentle and lost somehow, perhaps. "How many from our side?" By her tone, it's an important question.

Elisabeth raises a brow and grins. "Well, damn, Aric…. nice thinking." The triage center is aimed at dealing with the injured, not so much the others who came back — so the trail mix is definitely appreciated. At least by her. She opts not to actually move from Cardinal's proximity, though her body shifts to place herself instinctively between Ling and both Lynette and Aric. If the woman is a threat, the implication seems to be that Liz will handle the people behind her and leave Cardinal to handle the smoke metamorph.

"We lost all but three of Tien's team and half of Wireless's, and I'm not sure who else yet," she tells Lynette (and Aric, really) quietly. It's a head count of nearly 20 in just those two losses.

At the question, Cardinal leans in ever so slightly, the faintest of smiles touching his lips. "The same way that I knew Doctor Cong," he replies, leaning back again and looking over towards Aric, one hand raising towards him, "Great work, Aric."

Aric gives Liz a sigh as he begins to unpack the larger pack filled with the most medical supplies. The normal bandages to gauze. He begins to pull out needles, and pill bottles. He sets them on a near by table and says softly to Liz, "I was able to flirt with a friend at the hospital and get them to give me some anti biotics and higher grade stuff yet nothing too hard. I could have tried to steal yet Cardinal would have been pissed if I got caught."

Ling's smirk sinks a bit, a glance over to Elizabeth. "The dead are unfortunate. Nothing I am used to. But it still seems that this was, largely, a success. That, I am used to." With that, her attention is turned back to Cardinal with narrowed eyes. "There are few ways people know Doctor Cong, or myself. Which leaves me to wonder if you and I are going to have a… problem." There's tendrils of smoke rising up from her shoulders and the tips of her hair, one hand beginning to slip around her back.

Noriko's eyes crack up as she hears voices, and an eyebrow is raised while she just lays in her bed. Spotting Ling and the tendrils of smoke, the hydrokinetic lashes out with some water to splash Ling, before she writes in the only way she's been able to communicate, as bandaged and broken as she is. 'All friends for now. Don't want to hurt people until healed.'

"Was that… a lot of people?" Lynette seems to be outright ignoring the other conversations in the room for this one line of questioning. "Is there a way… um," she closes her eyes for a moment, apparently having trouble finding her words. Should have just left me in there, is sort of a bitter thought, ringing through loud and clear for the telepath in the room. "Um. To get their names, something like that?"

"About twenty," Elisabeth says quietly. "More in the teams I don't have a head count for," she adds, her blue eyes still on Ling. She doesn't like the way this is going at all. But she'll take her cues from the man to her left too.

At the question, Cardinal's dark eyes slide back to the smoky woman, and he spreads emptied hands slightly. "Any loyalty I had to the Ye family ended when they stopped being able to pay their bills. Death, you know, tends to prevent that." A smile tugs up a bit at one corner of his mouth, gaze dropping to the scarf, then back up, "Ol' Danny-boy know about your new fashion sense?"

Aric 's eyes move towards Lynette as he cocks an eyebrow. He finishes unpacking the supplies he brought for the teams. He moves over to Liz and whispers in her ear something before catching the sight of the water words being formed. The unknown man speaks up and says calmly, "I do not know any of you…but this is a time where hurting each other will not happen." He looks at Ling and says, "Your friend is right. I have nothing to lose but I will not see people harmed right now." The kind and hippy looking man places his hands on his hips and says, "I am a telepath. I do not like using my talents to harm people. I like to use them to heal and help. Yet cross me and I will turn your mind to mush." Could he be lying…he makes his attempt to look like he isn't and grabs a water bottle. "Your friend who can move the water? Does she need help speaking. I do not want her to harm herself using her talents until she is at full strength." He continues to make an attempt to look tough standing between Cardinal and Ling.

Ling's arm begins to draw back around and her expression soften as much as it ever does. "If you must know, I highly doubt he is aware of such… developments. I haven't been to the mainland ever since-"

And then there's the splash of water against her back, and that paranoid instinct in Ling surfaces in a moment flat. The Chinese woman whips around, a knife drawn from a slit in the back of her outfit. It's held out, threateningly in the moment before she gets a grasp on what seems to have just happened, and the fact that re water that had hit her already seems to have vanished. "I have been wet enough already tonight," she remarks angrily - despite the fact that she really avoid almost all of the water in their earlier excursion. The knife is held out a moment longer before her arm falls to her side, eyes narrowed and an unpleasant expression on her face. "It serves me right for wanting to check on people, I suppose."

Noriko's eyes move over towards Aric before she shakes her head a little, the words forming again. 'I am fine. I just do not want people fighting after what just happened. Some of us are still grateful to be alive and not in the hellhole has some demented creatures grinning marionette." She shudders a little on the bed, the first time she's touched upon what happened to her during her time with Gregor, not that it doesn't haunt her. More that she doesn't want to show weakness in front of others.

The commotion seems to act as an irritant for Lynette, and with a cringe she pushes up from her cot to get shakily to her feet. "I need to go for a walk," she informs no one in particular before she starts making her slow, hitched walk toward the exit. She really probably should have shoes on to do this. And, you know, more than a sheet for clothes.

Elisabeth tenses further when the knife appears and remains between Ling and the others, but when Aric speaks in her ear her attention is diverted. She relents and steps backward a little, putting space between herself and the shadowmorph not to jump into a combat set-up but to step closer to Lynette's bed. She slips an arm around Lynette and says quietly, "Let me help you out." There's a small smile.

"I was just curious," Cardinal allows with a shrug of one shoulder, apparently unconcerned about the knife. After all, any fight between the two of them would probably result in both of them going incorporeal and circling around each other impotently. "If you ever decide to get out of the revolutionary business…" He gestures to the scarf, "I can probably find you some people to talk to… bridges you haven't quite burned yet. Could be a safer way to make a living."

Then he's turning towards Lynette and Elisabeth, frowning, "I've been trying to get her to lay down, Liz… fine, fine. Get her some clothes first, though."

Aric sees the two are "calming" down as he walks over to Noriko's bed and knees down opening the water bottle and holding it out for her to drink. He says softly to her, "Drink please." His eyes moving to Lynette as he says softly, "Please stay close." He gives Liz a concerned look before turning his eyes back on the Hydrokinetic.

Ling stares for a moment longer at Noriko, before she exhales sharply, restowing the knife. "I do apologise," she remarks as she casts an eye over to Liz and Lynette. "I am- rather adverse to being caught off guard these days. A trained response is all." An look down to Noriko again, before she turns back to Cardinal with a raised eyebrow. "Bridges that have not been intentionally burned, I assure you. The Institute grabbed me after I had a confrontation with Doctor Cong. I assist them now because they were the ones who ensued that I didn't stay inside one of those… boxes."

And then a smile climbs the edges of her lips upwards, an eyebrow raised out of curiosity as she assesses Cardinal. "And just what sort of people might these be? I have no means of making a living at present. I believe, again, that The Institute has seen to that."

Noriko looks around her while she lays there, before she sends her water towards Liz and Lynette, word forming, "Take care. I'll talk to you later, Liz. When you have a chance." Her eyes then turn towards Aric as she uses her water manipuation to send the water through the bandages and down her throat for a drink. Being a hydrokinetic has its advantages.

"Thanks," Lynette says to Liz, hooking her arm over the other blonde's shoulders. "That man of yours. Used to people listening to him, is he?" She's asking with a light, crooked smile. But she turns to look at Aric at his words and she nods. "Anything you say, Handsome," she says with a wink displaying an evenness that the telepath knows is just an act. And he knows that she knows that he knows. And he knows that she knows that he knows that she knows. And— well, it's a big, odd, circular puzzle, in any case.

Slanting a look over her shoulder at Cardinal that is pretty much WomanSpeak for 'Please. Don't let the power go to your head; you aren't the boss of me,' Elisabeth simply assists Lynette toward the semi-privacy of a shower and some clothing. She doesn't bother to deny the assertion that she and Cardinal are a couple. It's pretty much out there for everyone to see at this point. "Yeah, usually," she comments mildly with a grin. She'll urge the other woman back to a bed as soon as she feels better, but a little time to talk between them is potentially a good thing.

"Oh, sure, people live and die at my word, but fuck if I can get them to put some pants on," Cardinal complains with a roll of his eyes at the dismissal of the two women, turning back to give Ling a slight, crooked smile. "Not here. Look me up sometime, if you're interested."

Aric smirks softly to himself knowing all to well what kind of couple they are as he stands and says to Noriko, "If you wish for more water let me know." He begins to scan the room to see how he can help the others in need as he begins to walk back towards the piles of supplies he brought.

Ling paces away and back a bit, an amused smile on her face as she eyes Cardinal. "This… is the sort of thing I am more used to," she replies with an amused - and oddly, somewhat grateful - tone. But this, she means what seems to be an implied bartering and discussion of services. Of business. "If this is the case, then you will be hearing from me soon. That much, I can assure you."

Noriko looks over at everyone while she lays there in bed, before her water words come back, "I'm going to sleep. The first one who wakes me is going to get all the water forcibley removed from them." With that simple declaration, she closes her eyes and tries to go back to sleep, muttering softly to herself.

"As if you have the strength. Get some fuckin' sleep, Noriko." A smile just-crooks to Cardinal's lips as he looks over to her, and then he slants an amused look of his own back to Ling, one brow lifting. "I'm a man of many interests. You can't save the world for a living, I mean, it doesn't pay well. Trust me, I've done it a few times. I have yet to see a paycheck."

Aric watches as Liz and Lynette leave before he looks over at Cardinal, "You need to eat." He walks over and holds out a protein bar. "The girl with no pants feels you should have left her there. Liz is going to talk to her. She told me not to listen in." He shrugs looking back over towards the group and sighs, "I wish I could have helped you more in this Cardinal. Maybe not so many would have been hurt."

Ling chuckles, shaking her head in amusement. "I have little interest in saving the world. Simply in preserving my place within it." She takes a few steps back towards Cardinal, eyeing him carefully. "I suppose they would not, though. After all, though who make sacrifices often go entirely unnoticed." The comment is made somewhat sarcastically, a rather flippant and dismissive hand gesture following. "And just how do I get in contact with, should I wish to?"

Cardinal's hands drop down, patting his pockets, finally coming up with a few business cards tucked into a back pocket - offering one over. 'Redbird Security Solutions' is the company name, 'Richard Cardinal, CEO and President'. A number and email address follow. "Someone has to do it, though," he replies with a wink, then he reaches over to the offered bar from Aric, nose wrinkling in a grimace, "Survivor's guilt. Not surprising."

Aric says in a flat tone, "Its not my best but you need your strength. Something tells me its gonna get worse before it gets better. Eat it." He turns and begins to walk back to his supply piles, his tone softer, "Please." He looks over his shoulder and says to Ling, "You need something to eat too…at least try. Come and pick what you want…" He kneels down as he begins to sort the piles into their various needs.

An eyebrow is raised at Aric, a dismissive motion of fingers. "I have already eaten recently. There are many benefits offered to one who can travel as quickly and quietly as I." Ling takes the business card with a wry smile, shaking her head. "It's that attitude that makes fools of men more often than not, Richard. I would be wary, if I were you." The card is held in hand for the moment, Ling turning and beginning to walk away from those who remain. "I came here with a purpose, and it is about time I return to it. I am sure I will be speaking to you soon." And with that, she walks off, no more to be said on the matter.

"I'll survive," Cardinal says with a shrug of one shoulder, watching her as she strides off before he turns back to Aric - the bar brought up to his mouth, he tears off a chunk with his teeth, chewing and swallowing as he follows Aric over. "You alright, man?"

As he sighs and begins to organize the supplies, "An Agent from Homeland Security was in my shop. She asked me if I had registered yet." He looks up at the man, "Rather odd she comes in getting a "gift" for a friend and happens to ask me directly if I had registered yet." He shrugs looking back down as he sighs, "And the fact you lost 20 people has me concerned. The fact they would harm us so easily for being different. It makes me nervous."

"They're probably doing that to everyone… it'll be fine," Cardinal says with a tight shake of his head, "There're holes in the process we can use if we have to, and a few sympathetic names here and there." A more serious look at him, then, one brow raising, "You should be nervous. We aren't fighting just because it's fun. If we don't win this…"

Aric nods slowly as he shrugs and says, "I know….this is all kind of an eye opener for me. I lived in China for 3 years learning from monks. I did not have to deal with this on the level you did Cardinal. It is gonna take me a little bit of adjusting. That is all." He stands up running a hand through his long locks, "What else can I do?"

Cardinal drops a hand to clap to his shoulder, giving it a firm squeeze. "Whatever you can, Aric," he says serious, "Whatever you can. For now… let's just try'n get all these people back on their feet."

Aric nods and says, "I am no doctor yet I have kind of a brain in here." He points at his head, "I will do what I can with what I can. Yet I have heard that healers now in fact exist. We get our hands on one of those and I will sleep better."

"They're… not exactly common," Cardinal replies in dry tones, "I'd love to have one myself, but there aren't many out there, and they tend to be… of high demand."

Aric nods and says, "I will be here then doing what I can. My manager is holding the store for the next week or so. So if you need me I will be here." As he runs a hand through his hair he sighs, "You should get some rest. I will keep my senses out as far as they can for awhile and that should keep us ok. Granted its is only 70 feet or so in all directions but you can rest some for now. I will keep watch."

"Rest? What's that…" Cardinal shakes his head a little, "We've got sentries, it'll be fine… just help take care've the injured. I'm gonna go lay down until Liz gets back, because then we have to go see about damage control." He rubs a hand over his face, walking off, "When she gets back, tell her to throw a boot at my head or something."

Aric smirks as he nods and says, "Will do."

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