Midnight, Part I


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Scene Title Midnight, Part I
Synopsis Team Shield 1 enters Amundsen-Scott to take out the power generator, and uncovers an unexpected temporal stow-away
Date January 16, 2010

Amundsen-Scott Antarctic Research Facility

It's so cold here, cold enough to turn an exhaled breath into freezing mist.

It is white as far as the eye can see in all but one direction, white from the field of snow and ice that covered hundreds of thousands of miles in every direction. It should be night here, the hour of the day would mean it should be, but the sun refuses to sink below the horizon. Instead, it lingers on the edge, turning one end of the sky a deep sapphire blue, and the other a crisp azure. Shadows are long and dark, creating black contrast against the stark white of the frozen landscape. This place has become a land of everlasting twilight, and if this mission fails, it will be a poetic twilight for humanity.

Crunching ice and snow accompanies the approach of a four-man team up a solid snow drift and into view of the one man-made structure at the bottom of the world. Cresting the hill, Rico Velasquez crouches down and retrieves a pair of digital binoculars from the pack on his back, bringing them up to scan the front of the Amundsen-Scott reserach station. His hands are shaking, beneath all those layers, he's freezing solid.

The lenses of the binoculars click, changing layers of magnification, and Rico sweeps the front of the structure, checking the shadows for movement, scanning the ice-frosted windows for silhouettes, looking for any signs of life or motion. «We're clear.» He states back to the three at the base of the snow drift behind him. «Let's move. Go ahead of me, stay low, be quick, single file.» Tucking the binoculars back intoa pouch at the side of his backpack, Rico brings his M-16 up from its loose hang around his shoulders, and slides down the front slope of the hill on one knee, coming ot a crouch at the base with gun readied, acting as a spotter.

«Head for the metal door on the far left side of the building, by the bulldozer. If you hear shooting, don't stop.»

Noriko nods her head to whatever it is that Rico is saying over the comm while she finishes her slide down the slope. Her eyes looking around the winter wonderland as she shakes her head a little. What she would give to have a pyro. For now, she doesn't want to use the bodies of their enemies to provide her hydrokinesis with the water that it needs to be able to use her power in a way that she would much rather prefer. Instead, for now, she just scoots along behind someone, her eyes occasionally glancing over at Gillian.

In some ways, Gillian increasingly wishes they would have remained indoors. The frozen desert and her are not getting along. What pieces of flesh are exposed to the air have turned shades of pink, ice crystalizing around her eyes and where she might be sweating. All in all, she's not happy with this. Why couldn't Vanguard decide to flood the world with… dirt. Or something less freezing. She opens her mouth as if to speak, and immediately regrets it, feeling the cold trying to get in with each breath.

A gloved hand goes up to cover the lower part of her face. Should have brought more scarves. She could have had twenty of them and there still wouldn't be enough, though. The glance from Noriko is seen, and her other hand lifts up and bobs a bit. Her way of saying 'I gotcha' without having to actually say it. Or uncover her mouth to get frozen again.

Must be an Imperial code is Felix's inconsequential thought, as he scuffles along at the rear of the little column. He's been skating by on adrenaline, nerve, bitter will, and sheer habit for so long it's like watching an engine start to meltdown after too long running in the red. For good or ill, though, the crisis is at hand, and even flawed metal will have to bear it. He's got a rifle, cold-proofed as much as it can be, and a couple of blades - those're far more likely to serve, in this merciless climate. He gives Rico a (puffy) thumbs up, and starts skittering forward, nervous, soundless, and hurried, like a mouse dashing across a quilt.

As the team rushes out in the open across the blindingly white snow, their approach to the Amundsen-Scott central building, they pass by a large collection of derelict snow-moving hardware, from bulldozers to plows to back hoes, all covered with several inches of ice and snow, some seated skewed from sinking down into the hard packed frost. It shows a telltale proof of just how long Vidar and his men have taken over the facility.

Moving into the cold shadow of the building, Rico's team comes into clear view of the amazing architecture of the facility. Amundsen-Scott is not a structure build upon the ice, but instead built above the ice. The main building rests on a series of enormous concrete stilts that supports the building from the ever-rising layers of ice and snow that would — over time — theaten to bury it.

A set of metal stairs rises up from the ice to the metal door Rico had pointed out before, some twenty feet above where the team waits. Rico is the last to arrive, coming up quick behind them, then moving past the three team members and up the stairs with loud clanging footfalls, hurriedly reaching the door at the top.

Carefully reaching to his side with a gloved hand, Rico withdraws a small acetaline torch, bringing it up to the knob of the door, melting through the lock in only a few bare moments, and the liquid aluminum dripping from the molten core of the knob freezes to solid metal pellets before it even hits the stairs.

Slamming the door open with his hsoulder, Rico practically falls inside, dropping the torch with a clatter, rolling across his shoulder and coming up into a crouch with his M-16 raised and at the ready to aim down the hall in front of him, then sweep to another hall at his right. «Clear.»

Hopefully it's warm inside.

Noriko looks around as she enters into the place behind Riko, without all the noise that accompanies him. Looking around, she frowns slightly and asks, "Aren't we supposed to be quiet? I can't exactly make everyone we meet just die, I do have a limit on that." Okay, a limit that is greatly expanded by the presence of Gillian, but she still can't just kill hordes of goons in a moment or two.

Oh thank god. That's a little better. From her place just behind the hydrokinetic, Gillian coughs and shivers, trying to readjust once again. It's going to take time. She's definitely not touching anything metal for a while. "I— I think that's why— you're not here alone," she says with a chattery voice. And she's not meaning herself. She's meaning Rico and his gun. Felix and his— stuff. It's not like they went in with miss power pack and the hydrokinetic as the only source pest control. Though the power pack herself doesn't seem to be offering much of that. She's never been particularly good at killing. But she hopes she's better at staying alive. "Fuck, wish we could stay put and warm up or something… but nooooo. We have to save the fucking world."

"Tell me a-fucking-bout it," Felix says, in a voice barely louder than the hiss of steam escaping from a kettle coming on to the boil. "This is getting fucking old. I want another medal. They can leave it on my grave," he grouses, even as he creeps up to flank Rico's other side, helping him clear the room. He may not be a soldier, but they've had a while to work on tactics, back on the carrier.

"There's no one even here." Rico offers quietly once inside, not needing the comms to communicate that. His oen dark eye sweeps around the facility's linoleum floor and gray metallic walls. It's strange, how much the inside of this research station looks like the inside of a battleship. "Thermal goggles didn't show any heat signatures thorugh the walls, and trust me even a fucking mouse shows up nice and bright out here." Rico's up off of his knee, stalking forward before pausing at the L-junction of the hall, reaching down to grab his SatCom off of his belt and check the map displayed on it.

Two fingers wave down one hall, and Rico turns from the direction he was initially headed in, creeping in slow procession as the vented heat of the station melts the ice in the soles of his boots, leaving watery footprints behind him. "Most of Wagner's men must have been at the welcoming party they had set up for us." Rico stops near a door in the long, empty hall, creeping up to it and listening, then just walks past it slowly. "We go down to the end of the hall, thorugh three doors, and we'll be at the power station… All we have to do is set a charge on the generator and bugger out. It— sounds kind of easy."

Rico regrets those words the moment they leave his mouth. "Merde," he hisses under his breath, "Easy is never ease."

Noriko shrugs her shoulders a little and says, "It never hurts to be careful." As they walk, and the ice melts from them, Candy quietly collects it all from the floor, to hover in a sphere slightly ahead of her. Waste not, want not. HEr eyes looking around before she nods in agreement, "Its never as easy as they want you to think it is." She shrugs her shoulders, eyes going to her ball of water while they follow her mind sculpting the likeness of Bella into it.

"Why would it be easy? We're in the middle of fucking Antarctica. Not like there's anywhere we can run if we fail," Gillian says, rubbing her hands together again as she begins to equalize into the change of temperature. It helps that Noriko's making sure they're not wet as the ice and snow melts away. That's handy. "You must be useful when it's raining," she adds, glancing at the water sculpting and tilting her head to the side for a moment. The face looks familiar, but not quite since it's all transparent and stuff, so she looks back around. That way— and then that way—

Fel makes a comical shushing gesture with his free hand. "Bog, don't tempt fate," he hisses at Rico, unaware that he's half-slipping into Russian as it is. The old saying about keeping your head on a swivel is clearly in action - the Fed's gaze is never still, like he's trying to take in all of it at once. God, let's just get this over with. He's afraid….but it's like it's become such a familiar state it's ceased to matter.

Spotting Noriko's hydrokinetic trick over his shoulder, Rico quirks a brow and can't help but smirk behind the dark fabric of his face mask. There's a shake of his head, amusedly, and as he comes running to the end of the hall to open the doors at the end, there's a mild squeaking skid to his step. He stops at the double doors, shouldering his rifle again, before leaning up to the doors and testing the push-bar latch. They click open, and as he makes his way through them, he leads with the barrel of his assault rifle, creeping between the doors, then holding one side open with his hip, waving everyone else in.

Beyond those double doors, is another long and open stretch of hall, and when Rico looks over his shoulder, to make certain that he rest of his team is following him, he fails to notice one of the doors now out of his periphery — thanks to his eyepatch — opening, and an armed man in arctic clothing casually stepping out into the hall, MP5 tucked under one arm, steaming styrofoam cup of coffee held in the other hand.

"Well, I can keep me and others from getting wet. Its just a matter of making them resistant to rain, I guess is what you'd say. Its simple to me, but probably sounds really convoluted to any-," Noriko stops as they step through, and she catches sight of the guard that Rico is missing. She sighs faintly, before glancing towards the cup of coffee. Without a word to anyone else, the steaming coffee leaps from cup and forces itself into the man's mouth. Noriko lodges it in the man's throat, serving as a block to keep any air from entering his lungs, and to basically gag him to keep him from sounding the alarm. She watches him, until he stops twisting, and she lets the coffee drain into his lungs before she moves on, though she is careful to make sure that no one else is going to come out behind him. That would be bad.

Here is Gillian, making chattery raspy conversation with a psychopathic hydrokinetic, and the next thing she knows the woman is making a guy drown on his hot coffee. "Son of a…" she begins the curse, and doesn't finish, keeping the knot in the back of her head fully tired. The energy will be given out later, but with everything that could happen, she's keeping a good amount back for herself until there's no other option.

While she's aware the whole operation is out to kill these guys and that they're evil terrorists who wouldn't hesitate to kill them, she's never really been cut out for that. Good thing her main purpose is to empower. Even then, she does begin to pull off the top later of gloves. What firearms she does have, she can't use, when she's grasping it through an inch of fabric.

He said it. He fucking said it. It's sort of unfortunate that Felix's reflexes are orders of magnitude faster than considered thought, especially with Gillikins there to help - because hey, if the spinal cord and the brain stem could function at genius level intelligence, what would we need the rest of the brain for? And Fel's cerebrum is left with its metaphorical coffee cup in hand, blinking stupidly, as the rest of that absurd greyhound neural network kicks in. There's the flash of a blade as Fel yanks it out of its wrist sheath, and the machine-gun patter of his feet as he dashes past Rico - all the better to leap on this unfortunate fool and try to slit his throat. It's really redundant, considering Noriko's work, but Fel is nothing if not obsessively thorough. There's the soft sound of arterial spatter, as one of the walls suddenly turns into a Pollock painting….accompanied by the terribly ironic scent of coffee. ENough to convert one Felix Ivanov to a tea drinker for life.

Hydrokinesis and superhuman speed linked together in a messy and excessive coupling causes Rico to blink his one good eye. It's only when Norikos voice cuts off and when Felix turns into a blur of speed and charges past him that he even knows something is wrong. By the time the Puerto-Rican looks back over his shoulder, the man on his back is dead, blood sprayed up the wall and across Felix's chest.

"Fuck— " Rico hisses out, pushing off from the door before Gillian and Noriko have even gotten a chance to get in, "Fuck." Rico can hear what the trio behind him couldn't, what Felix can see now that he's crouched in the doorway. "«Fuck!» Rico's voice crackles over the comms, boots slamming on the linoleum tile floor as he moves down the hall. «Contact! Contact!»

Through the doorway that is now wedged open by a corpse laying motionless in its path, Felix Ivanov can see seven more people in that room, which consists of a long table surrounded by chairs, a refrigerator, and a Mr.Coffee perched on the edge of a counter. Five of them don't even look to have weapons, two of them though have the same matte black and sleep MP5 that the dead man Felix is kneeling in the blood of has.

Surprise, confusion, and anger rise up in their features as they —

Wait, what the hell was that? For the briefest of moments, Felix thought he saw a blonde woman in a red arctic survival jacket in his peripheral vision, but then she was gone.

— rise up form their chairs, flipping over the table and sending donuts and a cup of coffee sloshing to the floor. One of them readies his MP5 up with one hand, spraying a loud report of automatic gunfire thorugh the doorway. Like his namesake cat, Felix is fast on his feet, fast enough to move in a superhuman blur back, away from the door, around the bullets like some cheap Matrix knock-off as they come exploding thorugh the doorway and portions of the thin interior walls.

Rico slides to a stop, dropping to his knees when bullets start flying. «Multiple contacts! Multiple Contacts!» he reports back to his team over their closed network.

Shit hit the fan early tonight.

Noriko winces faintly, she knew that was going to happen. At least her way of killing him probably woulda made them come out to them, and they could ambush them. Maybe. Probably not. Regardless, Noriko's ball that had once been a pretty representation of her girlfriend's face, instead begins to bubble and froth, as if trying to escape the confines, and indeed, Noriko tosses it in there much like a grenade, before it she simulates the trick she learned in Madagascar, making it explode with a bunch of needle sharp water spikes that lash out at whoever happens to be around. Though, she does make sure to stop them short of any of her allies, that she can see. The hydrokinetic saying to Gillian, "Stay behind me."

Already ahead of her, there. Gillian gets down as soon as 'contact' is confirmed, and as soon as the bullets start flying. It's not much cover, but it's down and close to the wall, and more or less behind the people who are better equipt for this sort of thing than she is. She's an asset, more than anything, and she knows it. The knot finally opens up, two threads reaching out to connect to the two evolved on her team, heightening their own abilities, as well as the strength and speed of them. It's a fraction of an augmentation. Most of the energy needs to be conserved, as she finishes pulling her gloves off and pulls out the smaller firearm they were given.

There's another reason Fel doesn't make a good soldier. Too prone to going off before others can react properly. Which is what he does now. There's another blur of motion, another flicker of the blade and the foe assuming he has cover behind the door and time enough to react has neither. Fel's cut his throat and let his body fall, and to him the droplets of blood are gems hovering in mid-air - he actually dodges the spray, as he snatches up the fallen man's gun and goes lunging for the others. Only to resolve like film being brought back to its proper speed, the muzzle of the MP5 at the head of the nearest of those trying to hide behind the table. "All of you, down, hands on your heads!" he barks, in his best "I have totally done NYPD riot control, bitches" roar. Painted with blood, eyes wild, face white, he looks as if he's been possessed. Which, in a sense, he has, by his own adrenaline addiction.

Just less than five seconds and four people are already dead, it's quite a rate of extermination. In that break room, Felix now has the undivided attention of the five men who were using the table as cover, hands raised and folded behind their heads. "Surrender, surrender!" One of them shouts frantically, and the litany of Portugese that comes next is a very clear indication that these men speak little to no English.

Rico's up and on his feet once he hears Felix's voice, a dumbfounded look of confusion on his face. He hesitantly creeps into the area where Noriko's water-bomb went off, peering around the corner into the doorway. One gunman lays dead on the ground, tiny holes punched through his body, blood leaking out the holes in ihs back that water had made.

He creeps into the room, eye wide and brows furrowed. "Ivanov." Rico states flatly, looking from head poking up over the flipped over table to the next, then down to another man who was lacerated by the water-needles by Noriko's attack. "I've got this, comprende?" There's a jerk of his head over his shoulder towards the door, grim expression on his downturned lips.

Noriko lets out a faint sigh, as the guns stop, and she turns a little to look at Gillian, "You okay?" She offers a smile to the augmentator, and Gillian gets that rare gift of actually seeing the hydrokinetic care. More of it having to do with Gillian admitting that her sister was a hydrokinetic as well. It makes Noriko feel like she has the capability to connect, at least on some level with Gillian, and she really honestly doesn't want to see Gillian hurt. She would be quit devastated if Gillian died. She might even cry a little, before sucking Gillian's body dry of water and using that water to avenge her.

"Fine," Gillian says, peeking up now that the gunfire has stopped. It seems like it barely lasted a moment or two. Are they even in the right place, or is that going to bring all of them down on their little corner of the big mission? How are the others doing? There's so much she wishes she knew that she doesn't. But at least it's not freezing in here. "Still got plenty of energy. Should be good." The opening between the three of them stays there, but she starts clamping it back down, ready to open up again if the shit hits the fan. But Rico seems to think he's got the handle on it. While she was never great at following orders, this is one time she's going to try to be good at it.

Mostly cause she wants to live. Portuguese? Being around Spanish the whole last month makes it almost familiar, but not quite. And it reminds her of something, too…

Uh, what, wait. Blood frenzy abating. Felix blinks at Rico for a long moment, like it's taking a moment to filter through multiple languages. But he nods, and steps away, heading for the doorway. And once he's there, he pauses, like he intends to play Janus. Only then does he look down and realize he has blood all over him. And that….that makes him start to shake. Not the trembling of chill, but something more.

Felix can't quite hear what it is Rico mumbles over the Portugese being spat out behind him, but a bullet sounds the same in every language. Five shots in measured and even succession pop out with bright muzzle flash in the break room. It's only afterwards that Rico is making his way out of that area, leaving their guns behind as he walks, no need to over-burden himself with additional weight and weaponry. When he passes by Felix, there's just a quirk of Rico's head so he can get a better look at the Fed. Nothing gets said, just the clomp of his boots as he rounds the Fed ad continues moving down the hall.

Noriko looks out towards Rico when he walks out after hearing the shots. Making sure her team mate is alright, before she nods her head to Gillian and says, "I guess that is the sign to move on." She nods her head down the hall, before the Asian begins to walk along with Rico, pausing only to collect another ball of water, after making sure that it is completely devoid of any lingering red.

"I— guess so," Gillian says softly, looking at the door with an unnerved expression on her face. Something about that didn't really sit right with her— but everyone in this base is Vanguard. Every one of them would kill her without hesitation. She has to remind herself of that, though, as she gets back to her face and moving along beside Noriko. "Your water moves differently than Jenny's," she adds absently, unable to remain quiet as she moves along. The gloves are mostly off, leaving only the thinnest of the sets on, but the puffy thick ones are shoved into pockets of her oversized coat. She's not taking that off. Who knows how fast they'll have to run away.

Fel does snap out of it. He moves along, after shaking himself all over, hard, like a dog coming out of the water. The blood's already more or less frozen to him - it'll take a much more thorough thawing to deal with it. "Let me take point," he urges Rico, quietly.

Rico moves down the hall, pausing when he hears Felix's question. There's a narrowing of the Puerto-Rican's eyes, dark and uncertain when Felix makes the request. He nods his head, waiting for Felix to move to the fore of the group as they pass a long series of doors leading into empty and unoccupied rooms. Once they reach the end of the hall, Rico hangs back, looking over his shoulder to Candy and Gillian, nodding once, reassuringly to them, before looking back ahead at the double doors Felix is waiting at.

«Ivanov.» Rico quietly states over the comms, «The next doorway…» He checks the SatCom hanging off his belt, looking down at the map, «opens up to a four-way junction in the hall. We need to take the left hallway, it'll go down ten feet to metal hatch door that leads in to the generator room.»" Lifting his head up, Rico nods solemnly. «This thing stores and converts the power from the facility's solar panels. No telling how well guarded it will be.» Rico drops to take a knee, bracing his M-16 as he aims it at the doorway carefully.

«Amagi, Childs,» Rico doesn't look back over his shoulder to them, instead focused with his one good eye at those doors. «When Ivanov opens the doorway, be ready for anything.»

"It means be ready for anything. Including robots and rapotors." Though Gillian's personally going to hope what is on the other side of the door is living and breathing men. Likely to not be breathing for much longer once the three psycho killers on Gillian's team are done with them. The thread of energy stays open, and this time she loosens it, reaching out to touch the arm of the girl she's standing near, while her other hand readies the gun. Though it's unlikely she'll ever manage to use it, at least she has it.

Instinct…..Fel's power is not prescience. Nowhere near it. He pads down the hallway, ever softer, ever slower - it -is- like watching a cat edge up to a mousehole it intends to reach into. He lifts his free hand into a fist, flares the fingers once, twice. Multiple people there, no doubt. Another gesture to Gillian - a cranking motion, like someone trying to raise a car's window. Give it all you got, baby. Once he's satisfied she's doing what she can, Fel crouches…..and lunges through the door like a coyote who's damned certain the roadrunner is just on the other side.

Following which, all hell breaks loose.

Exploding thorugh the door in a blur of speed, Felix ivanov is presented with a prepared barricade of ten gunmen in waiting position. Clearly the earlier firefight and slow progression down the hall gave them the time it would have taken to be prepared. For Felix, everything is moving in slow motion; five men in front, kneeling, five men in back, standing— all of them shooting.

Muzzle flash, the stread of bullets moving at the speed of a tossed paper airplane, and Felix Ivanov weaving between the fires bullets, feeling the sting of their displaced air across his cheeks. They're not shooting the high-velocity ammo that the guards at the hangar were, these low-calibur and rapidly spit out rounds.

Rico's gun sounds like a slowly thumping hammer behind Felix, one shot fired, a low bang accompanying it.

In that bullet-firing instant, Felix has swerved around the front row of the group, a gray trail of motion-blur behind him. He skids into place behind one of the standing men, covers his mouth with a hand, jerks his head back, and plants his knife into that soft spot at the corner of jaw and throat, and then saws a jagged line to the other side.

Rico's bullet finally arrives at the end of the hall, punching thorugh the unarmored body of one of the kneeling soldiers, then thorugh the left leg of one of the standing men, sending them both toppling to the ground as he watches a super-speed knife carve up one soldier like a thanksgiving turkey.

As more shooting is heard, Noriko shouts out, "Fire in the hole," before her ball of water is lobbed again, hoping that Felix and Rico get the message. She can't really do anything with much more finesse without exposing herself to fire, and right now, that's not what she wants to do. She's been shot enough in the past few weeks, and is tired of getting shot. So, she tosses her frag grenade of a water-ball in there, hoping that'll manage to take out most of the men when it goes off. Razor-sharp needles of water really aren't fun.

After the incident with a certain ex-Vanguard crazy man, Gillian's not trusting body armor to protect her from bullets, so she ducks down and tries to stay out of the line of fire. Which means the gun isn't getting much used. Teamed up with a hydrokinetic and a superspeedster… it's almost like being next to the first people she ever augmented. Her brother and sister. Adopted as she may have been, they will always remain her siblings. Even if her sister died because of her— because of these people. Those in Vanguard. Energy opens up more, pouring out through the lines connecting her to the two who have her siblings powers. Draining away more energy. The gun's still held in her hand, but she's not in any position to fire.

"Fuck," Felix says, as some of those needles nick him. One more factor than he anticipated. He's still slicing and dicing in some mad, balletic spate of motion. Apparently he feels compelled to handcraft his murder this afternoon.

Jerking one last Vanguard soldier by the throat, Felix drops him to his knees by driving that knife into the base of his neck, wrenching it to the side to seperate the vertibrae. Blood and spinal fluid roll down Felixs' gloves in murky quality. Bodies litter the hallway, most of them perforated by the needles of water that erupted from Noriko's use of hydrokinesis, some still twitching as Rico comes up from his crouch, popping off shots towards those still able to move. He's not taking things slow now, not when he comes charging into that room as fast as he can, bloods sliding on the slicked floor.

"Move, move!" Turning in mid run, Rico is forced to tread repeated steps in the same spot to get traction, the soles of his boots slipping in the blood that collects all across the floor. He turns down the hall to the door that leads to the generator room, and slams his shoulder into it as Felix is finishing off the last Vanguard.

Unclipping something from his belt, Felix pulls the pin out, then tosses it into the generator chamber thorugh a quickly open and shut door. A flash of light shines around the door's seams, accompanied by a deafening bang, and Rico swings the door back open, charging in to the generator room to find—

—no one.

"Wh— " The Puerto-Rican takes a few steps across the concrete floor, looking at the large generator at the center of the room, connected by power conduits to the rest of the facility, bolted to walls and floor. His brows furrow, a few careful steps taken in, eyes scanning the tall and open room to the door on the opposite side.

«There's… no guards?»

Noriko looks into the doorway and sees no one, and an eyebrow raises while she stands there. "That's wierd," Noriko says as she takes a look around. The hydrokinetic is confidant in her ability to evade trouble, or at least not get killed as she begins to wander around the place eyes searching for something out of place, perhaps.

With a hand still on Noriko's arm, Gillian's not gotten far from her in any of these movements, and for the first time in a while she shifts to peer around the girl's shoulder so she can see into the door. It's the way the girl said that it's weird that makes her look, as if she wants to see if she can see something she doesn't. A flow of energy falls back, tightening the amount that they get for now. A real shock will blow it wide open, but she doesn't cut it off completely. Two evolved on their team is just the amount she can control at once.

"That's bullshit, is what that is," Felix says, as he hastily cleans the blade of the knife on the outside of some fallen foe's coat. "It's a trap," He's still got the wide-eyed look of a horse about to throw his rider and bolt.

Not able to look a gift horse in the mouth, Rico shakes his head and moves over to the generator, crouching down and laying his gun on the floor at his side. He slides his backpack off, bringing it around in front of himself and zips it open, revealing stacked bricks of C-4 inside. One by one, he takes the bricks out, placing them at the base of the noisily running generator. Crab-walking, he circles around the machine, affixing each one and connecting a spaghetti-string daisy chain of coiled wires with metal pins to each brick.

«Keep eyes on those doors,» Rico offers into the comms, «Ivanov watch the hall or— something.» As he moves the last brick up, Rico pauses and lets out a hiss of breath. The putty block is held up, and Rico's one good eye scans the hole in the C-4. "What the fuck?"

Hastily moving the brick down to rest on the concrete slab the generator is elevated on, Rico finds the detonator in pieces at the bottom of his backpack. "Fuckfucking fuck!" He throws the shattered pieces of plastic and metal to the ground, looking back over his shoulder to Noriko, then to Felix. «The fucking detonator got shot up! I don't have shit to set this C-4 off with!» Surely they thought to pack a backup detonator, and he starts searching the pockets of the demolitions pack, pulling out screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutters, another screwdriver, which is promptly thrown with a clinking clatter across the ground. "Motherfucking…"

There's a blonde woman standing in front of Gillian, out of nowhere. The moment Gillian was looking to Rico's exclamation and then looked back towards Noriko, she appeared. There's a confused— stunned— look on her face, gloved hands raising, blue eyes going wide. She's dressed in that same red arctic weather jacket as the phantom of a woman Felix saw in his periphery for a moment.

"Oh God," she hisses out breathlessly, taking a step back, eyes wide. "Oh God please don't— " her eyes go to the guns, to Felix spattered in blood, "I'm not— Oh my God who are you?"

Noriko turns to look as she hears Rico, and then her eyes go to find a woman suddenly in there. She frowns a little and then says, "Lady, you might want to talk about who you are and what you're doing here." No, she doesn't asplode her on sight, before for now, she wants an explanation. Her eyes going over to Felix to make sure he doesn't do something stupid, like try to kill her. Keeping her eyes on the lady, she asks Rico, "So, you're telling me we're shit out of luck?"

"Fuck," Gillian curses as soon as their gift horse turns out to be a dead one. One that probably got kicked one to many times too. But there's— woman. Out of fucking nowhere. "What the— fuck." Invisibility she's seen, but that didn't really look the same at all. And even then… Her hand tightens on Noriko's arm, and she knows that at least some of the ones she's with are prone to killing first and asking questions later… Especially after what she heard Rico do. "We're not shit out of luck. There might still be a back up, and even if there's not…"

They have a back up plan.

Why would trying to kill her be stupid? It's been the best solution for everyone else they've met this afternoon. But Felix is just there, knife vanished up his sleeve again, still bloodspattered like he's just wandered in out of some teen slasher flick. That'll teach you to go necking in a parked car, you little bastards. He regards the apparition almost calmly. "Who do you think we are? The Girl Scouts? Who're -you-?" A nervous glance towards Rico, too. Uh oh.

Rico's up on his feet the moment he hears Candy talking to somoene, rifle picked up as he circles around the generator to find the woman from a different angle. He offers her no words, just a nod of his head to let her know, got you. Rifle readied and his cyclopean stare aimed at the blonde, Rico keeps his gun trained on her as he approaches, a quick pat down with his own free hand finding a handgun tucked up the back of her jacket It's dropped to the floor, kicked aside and sent skittering across the concrete.

Blue eyes wide, the blonde woman rather quickly offers up a spluttering explanation to Felix. "M— My name is Clara— Francis." Her back thumps up to one of the walls of the generator room. "I work— worked— here." Frantic exchanges of glances come from one person to another, until Clara's eyes settle on Gillian with a wide-eyed look. "Mm— You, I— I know you." Lips part, and Clara's expression goes somewhat foggy, gloved fingers flexing with her hands raised.

"I'm a scientist," the terrified woman surrounded by apparent murderers feels pressed to add, "I'm one of two permanent staff— I— I'm not one of them!" Swallowing anxiously, Clara lets out a shuddering breath, trying to figure out which breed of sociopaths she's dealing with here. But it's only when she makes prolonged eye contact with Gillian that she realizes something. "I— Do I know you?" Clara squints, "You and your husband?"

Oh, of course. Fucking Antarctica.

"What's the backup plan?" Rico asks with a quirked look over to Gillian. "Because if someone told you some bullshit secret backup plan I would like to know it seniorita."

Noriko looks over at Rico and says very politely to him, "It involves you running the hell out of here for your life." She gives him a wink, before her attention goes back to the woman and she asks, "Do you know how to destroy this generator? Without explosives? If so, I would recommend doing it. My friend over there with the blood and knives, isn't too keen at staying at rest for long periods of time. After that, you can come with us, I suppose." She looks over at Rico, Gillian, and Felix, before her attention returns to the woman, smiling pleasantly.

Wait, husband? "Oh hell. Well, at least you're talking to me and not him. I don't think he would appreciate it right now," Gillian admits quitely, wanting to rub her face with her gloved hand, but avoiding it just barely. Mostly because she doesn't want to let go of Noriko yet. The back up plan isn't exactly something she wants to do unless she has to… "Yeah, we sort of met before. When I was here last. Now I'm back and trying to take this place down…"

One way or another. "I really hope you're not on the same side as the assholes with the guns, or else you're probably going to die…" For which she actually sounds apologetic. "Your buddy in Argentina's the one who came up with the secret bullshit plan, so take it up with him," she adds to Rico, just barely resisting sticking out her tongue.
Felix looks at Rico. "Seriously, dude. What do we do? Have one of us go mujahid and stand on the damn thing with a grenade and pull the pin?" He swings his gaze back to the scientist. "Anyhow. We are the ride out, lady. This place is about to go outta business, in a really permanent way," Where'd that Brooklyn accent come from?

"No." Clara emphatically states, but not about the generator. "I— can't go anywhere. If I get too far away from the bomb, the timer will start again. You have to help me," the blonde urges, her eyes wide and pleading. "These people— they have a nuclear bomb in the drill site. They've lowered it down inside the drill site, I don't know how deep into the ice it is now." There's an anxious tone to Clara's voice, her lips trembling as she looks from one gun to the next, from one bloody face to another.

"I'm keeping the bomb frozen— in— in time." What. "There's a man here, I— he's old, he's looking for me. He knows what I can do, he wants to undo what I did to the bomb. You have to help me— you have to. Please."

"You know about the bomb?" Rico ngles his assault rifle up to her. "I don't fucking buy this— this is too fucking convenient. HSe's one of them, we turn out backs she's going to turn invisible again or whatever the fuck she does and kill us." Clara lets out a terrified sound at the suggestion, tears streaming down her cheeks, head shaking rapidly from side to side.

"I'm not, I'm not, I'm not, I'm not, I'm not." Rico rolls his tongue over the inside of his cheek, looking from Clara to Felix, one brow raised. The look is rather questioning, maybe he hopes the Federal Agent can feel her out a little bit better than a demolitions expert can.

"We're pig-fucked with the C4, there's enough there to blow it, but we don't have a remote ignition. I could maybe set it off, but whoever does isn't going to be fucking walking back to the helicopter. If Jensen gets his ass shot off you're going to need me in case we have to fly out of here."

A look is offered back to Clara. "Merde this is fucking complicated."

Noriko looks at Rico, and nods her head a little as she looks around the room at folks, and smiles a bit. "Well, if you're needed to fly it. Then tell me how to detonate it and I'll do it. You all just get the hell out of here, and make sure that bomb doesn't go off," Noriko says with a sudden confidance that is almost, fightening. Its as if she's finally able to latch on to something that she can do that will benefit everyone, or hopefully do something. She looks back at Clara, before she nods her head again and tehn says, "Stick with them, they should be able to help you. Maybe Gillian can help you get it back in time to like the dinosaurs and then just let it explode to help kill them off or something."

"We do know something's keeping the bomb from going off. Otherwise it would've gone off a long time ago while we were all dancing around in different parts of the world. She doesn't look like she's lying," Gillian says, though she's probably one of the least kill-kill-kill off the group. No, she is the least. She doesn't want to see the poor woman shot up. "And if she is stopping it, and you kill her, it might go boom and then the whole thing's fucked." A glance is cast at Noriko and she shakes her head.

No, she'd rather not see the dinosaurs. Or be responsible for blowing them up back in time. How does stopping the bomb work? And could they actually—

This whole thing confuses me. "If you're going to that plan, I'll need to stay with you…" It doesn't sound like she likes 'that' plan.

"How fast can you run?" she directs at Felix. She's had super speed before— she knows how fast it can go, but… there are different kinds of fast.

This has gotten just that much more surreal. Fel stares at her. "Wait. You stop time, and you've stopped them from detonating the bomb? How exactly do you work with time? And how'd you figure out about the bomb to begin with. Talk fast, please, the clock is running." He looks to Rico, and says, with a terrible offhandedness, "If it comes to that, I'll do it, if you show me how. But….if she's the only thing keeping the bomb from going off…..she believes what she says." HE glances at Gillian. "Real fast. Nowhere near the sound barrier, but sprints of several hundred miles an hour."

Rico gives Noriko a crooked look, squinting at her, then looking to Gillian. "That is your secret fucking back up plan you blow yourself up? Merde, wonderful, fantastic." He backs away from Clara, watching her for a moment, and while everyone else is keeping an eye on her, he turns for the backpack, watching down one of the adjacent halls as he moves.

While Rico is grumbling to himself and kneeling down at the backpack with his rifle draped across his legs, Clara is giving a confused look to Noriko. "No I— I don't travel through time, I— it's complicated." Felix's further probing though, elicits something of a concerned look from Clara, and she starts to lower her hands, and explain more. "I… can freeze time for myself and anything I'm touching, unless it's being observed. If I walk in front of someone while times' frozen, my molecules move back into the current speed of time. Anything I touch, I can charge to become stuck in time, until someone looks where it is."

Felix is going to have a field day with this, she's Schroedinger's Evolved.

"How it works doesn't matter. The— the guy that took this place over, he doesn't know. If he could actually get to the bomb and observe it, the timer would turn back on. I— I can't risk going back in there if that happens, the whole casing on the bomb is cracked, it's been spewing radiation out into the facility since is was brought here. Three people already got sick and died, I'm afraid if I try to go back down there again— " there's a shake of Clara's head sharply.

"Calm down." Rico growls out from the backpack, pulling out his cigar and rolling it between his fingers. There's a shake of his head as he tucks it back inside of his jacket. "Fuck, I don't think you get to blow yourself up today chica. All I have is my torch. C4 burns slwo if fire is applied to it, won't do shit without a blasting cap. We're fucked with taking off the electricity."

Clara swallows tensely, the muscles in her throat working beneath the raised collar of her jacket. "If I wasn't holding the bomb frozen, I could— I could pull the generator out of the flow of time for you as long as no one came in here to check on it. I'm sorry." Easing away from the wall now that it seems like not everyone is going to shoot her, Clara looks over to Rico, then back to the others. "I don't think there's any explosives here. They— there's a lot of guns but. I'm sorry."

Noriko smirks at Rico and says, "No, that isn't the back-up plan." She then looks over at Gillian, before swallowing and then saying, "Well, I can try to just do it to the generator area of this place. Then we can try and go in as back-up for the other teams. I don't really know." A roll of her shoulder is given while she bites her lip.

"Is that why precogs and clairvoyants weren't supposed to be able to see it either?" Gillian asks softly, perhaps even speaking to herself as she tries to understand an power that's difficult to comprehend. She shakes her head, then moves her hand down to grasp Noriko again. "Think you can just do half the building? That's good. Everyone needs to get out. Noriko and I'll destroy it without needing the C4."

Well, more like the good guys need to evacuate as much as they can, everyone that needs to stay alive. She's hoping that the others will let the woman go, at least, but she's stopped looking at her, as if to give her a chance to get away. Instead she focuses on Felix, "Can you bring people with you when you move fast, cause if more starts happening… we might need assistance if— we don't just bring down this part of the building." She's not even sure if it'll work… But she can't really question the only plan they got now that C4 is a bust.

"One, maybe," Felix says, calmly. "I can't carry more than one." He just stares at Clara, for a moment. "So, as long as the bomb stays down there, we're safe. You've put it on pause. But that's all you can do right now?"

"I— " Clara hesitates, "I might be able to bring someone with me. Maybe? They'd have to be unconscious, or— not observing me somehow." Her brows furrow, jaw jutting to one side. "That's not very helpful— I'm sorry." When it becomes clear no one is going ot be shooting her right away, Clara takes a few steps closer to the rest of the group, looking out one of the exterior windows to the snow beyond

"I've frozen the bomb's atoms, keeps everything in a state of suspended animation and invisible, it's like it doesn't exist, and if I'm not there to observe it no time will pass for it, so the timer won't even count down. Literally out of sight, out of mind." Swallowing tensely, she looks over to Noriko when she talks about bringing down one half of the building.

"If— if you do that, you have to be careful. The other side of this facility has hostages, that old man's keeping them alive. If we can get them out of here it— are you with the army or something? I saw the helicopter arrive, but— I thought…" Clara shakes her head, worrying her teeth at her lower lip.

"Sort of." rico offers to her query about their allegiances. "Alright, if you two witchy women think you can sink this thing under the ice like a lot of whiskey, I'm up for it." Rico nods his head once, looking over to Clara. "Seniorita," he offers her a pointed look. "How many men does he have here, Wagner?"

"I… I don't know." Clara offers uncertainly, "Fifty? Sixty? I try to avoid areas where there's lots of people, it makes me vulnerable." Rubs a gloved hand over her face, tiredly. "You've been the first people I've talked to in…" she doesn't quantify the rest of that. She's afraid of how long it's been for her.

"Alright, so we knocked down what, eighteen?" Rico quirks up a brow nodding his head. "We're doing good. Hopefully the other teams are having better luck. Chicas!" Rico straightens up, looking between Gillian and Noriko. "What do we need to do before you two bring this whole place down? We'll get on it, if blue eyes says it's a plan, then I'm willing to trust it."

Noriko looks over at Rico and replies, "We need to get out of the building, so that we're not caught in it collapsing. Don't need to go out a door, find a window or something." Right, a window. She then looks over towards Gillian and says, "You ready to get this over with," before adding to Clara, "We will be careful."

"Fuck, we have to go outside for this?" Gillian had rather hoped that wouldn't be the case. She closes her eyes briefly, to rub gloved hands over her face, before she looks back up at Felix and Clara. "This will probably knock me unconscious. And even if it doesn't, I'll be too tired to move, so if one of you can get me somewhere safe — and preferably not fucking freezing — that'd be awesome. Cause I've been unconscious out there once before…" The last time she'd arrived in Antarctica unconscious. Due to a augmentation loop that got interupted by a bullet.

And while the plan won't be a loop, she knows where the energy comes from.

Felix makes a face, too. This hasn't exactly been the Hawaiian vacation he was hoping for. Ah, well, such is life. "So, what's the plan?" he asks, breath clouding before him.

"These windows are twenty feet off the ground, solid ice below." Clara offers, swallowing anxiously as she looks to one of the square windows, "probably too small to squeeze through as well; they're made small for heat conservation." Wringing her gloved hands together, the blonde nods towards the doorway. "If you're going to bring down this whole wing somehow I… this facility is made in segments, it was build in large prefabricated parts that were craned together." There's a motion of one of Clara's hands up towards welded ceiling joices.

"If we get far enough away from the generator, and you work your…" The blonde scientist trails off awkwardly. "Work your abiity, we might be able to avoid any part of the structure that's collapsing. This whole place is held up on those concrete supports, send those tumbling and each block of the facility falls."

Reaching for his last cigar, Rico brings it to his lips, bites the end off, and lets it hang unlit in his mouth. "Alright then, Chicas!" Rico may have just included Felix in that, unintentionally. "Let's get out of here, back down the hall to where we came. I saw another one of those big welded arches near the break room." Rico's single eye offers a dark look to Felix. "You're the fastest, if seniorita battery falls down, you're picking her up. I'll try to play interference if anything happens or anyone else shows up."

Backing towards the door, M-16 slung around to his front, Rico chomps down on the end of his unlit cigarand waves his hand to follow. "Come on, we're burnin' eternal daylight!"

"The plan is basically I'm going to augment her as much as I can and she's going to level the part of the building with the power generator. Take it out the same way we would without needing the C4," Gillian explains to Felix as they move, grateful to hear the speedster will be trying to get her to safety, almost as much as she was grateful to hear they might be able to stay inside as they do this. Anything to keep her from freezing to death.

"And thanks. Good to know…" And it's a good thing they found someone who knows the building well, too.

"…..why didn't we think to do that in the first place?" Felix says, looking rather vague. "And yeah, run-like-a-little-bitch skills, go," he says, to Rico. He doesn't bother to correct the form of address.

"From the sounds of it, last resort." Rico offers in a grim tone of voice. "The C4 was shaped charges designed to cripple the generators, it wouldn't have even sent shrapnel as far as the door." The Puerto-Rican states from the head of the group as he marches down the hall. "This? This sounds like a fucking sledgehammer to a piggy bank, and it's going to blow any remaining hope of a cover we have here." Managing to make it out to the four-way junction, Rico stands watch as a sentinel, checking the connecting corridors for movement, and waves the group down the hall they'd come in from.

"How… exactly are you going to do that? What kind of ability?" Clara curiously asks, looking to Gillian, then over to Noriko. "If it's something that manipulates the earth, it might not work. There is roughly four miles of ice beneath the Amundsen Scott station to the continental plate of Antatctica. I'm not sure how… something like that would work?"

Clara's breath hitches in the back of her throat when she reaches the junction, spotting the bodies heaped up, a gloved hand coming over her mouth. Clearly she's not accustomed to this level of violence, and her much hastened pace brings her hustling past the others, thorugh the doorway into yet another bloodied hall. The body of one of the men Felix slashed the throat of — who was coincidentially already drowned — lays in the doorway of the break room in a still tacky pool of his own viscera.

A muffled retching sound comes from Clara, and the blonde turns to face the opposite wall in the hall, eyes wrenched shut. Rico is the last to come thorugh the hall, marching at the back of the group, one gloved hand pointing up towards a large steel arch in the hallway. "This is what I saw, another connector joice, si?" His dark brows arch up, finger tapping on his eyepatch. "Thing ain't got me down yet."

He looks around from here, hand pressing to one of the walls. "If you start out slow enough…" he murmurs in a quiet, accented tone of voice, looking back to Gillian and Noriko, "you should be able to shimmy the whole generator wing down without doing too much damage to this side of things."

He seems unconcerned with the how's or why's, only the actions.

Noriko shakes her head and replies, "No, something more watery, is what I do." She looks over at Gillian, before she takes a deep breath and then says, "Are you ready?" She offers a smile, and holds out her hand for the augmentor.

"We don't even really know if it'll work," Gillian admits after a hesitant grimace. From the way she's avoiding eye contact with the floor, she's not fond of the blood and guts either. Seen enough of it in the last year to last a lifetime. It's never like it looks on television or in movies, and she's never going to say she's immune… It's just easiest to not look directly at it. "But…" she hesitates and glances over at Clara, before she continues, "Blue eyes seemed to think it would work, and he understands this shit better than most." She doesn't know if it's safe to say Kazimir's name in front of this one. So she borrows Rico's nickname.

"Take off one of your gloves," she instructs Noriko, before she slips off the final layer of her own. Skin to skin contact has always been the strongest. Almost as soon as their skin touches, purple light springs up between them, encasing their hands and going up their arms. The knot in the back of her mind is loosened. Not all the way. Starting slow means controlling her side, too.

There will be panicked shaking, self-recrimination, and a heaping helping of PTSD later. But for now, Fel's still on the ball. He nods at the ladies, jaw tight. And then watches Clara's reaction with a curious, strangely detached expression. Like he's trying to remember what it's like to react that way to seeing a violently-killed dead body.

Noriko nods her head a little as she touches Gillian, and she looks around before she closes her eyes, sensing the ice that is beneath them. Her brows furrow slightly while she stands there, but there can be heard the groan of steel, as she begins to move the ice under the wing, slowly getting it to go lower and lower.

Despite her words to Elisabeth that she'd keep her eyes open, Gillian's eyes slide shut just as the glow starts to shine in them. Keeping focus in her mind on the tiny knot in her head, she opens it up a bit more, slowly, a margin at a time. The change in energy output is visible. The light around their hands gets brighter, spreading further, and takes on more and more light, washing out the color until it's a pale violet.

As the steel groans, she finally opens her eyes again to look, hoping that the building doesn't collapse on them. "You're doing fine, Noriko," she tries to assure, voice a husky whisper.

Fel's just watching, expression wary and curious. How's this going to play out?

How indeed?

The how is noisy; it starts as a shaking, a rumbling, and then a cracking; ice is compacting itself down into denser and denser layers as Noriko swells with the addition of Gillian's power. "Merde," Rico hisses out as he looks up to the ceiling, the weld above holding, but the more distant power plant wing creaking and groaning like some dying mechanical beast soon joins that cacophony. Lights flicker inside of the station, followed by the crackling snap of electricity surging thorugh the lines, blowing out the fluorescent bulbs overhead. The floor flexes at the foor-way hall, and Rico turns his back to the hall and looks towards Gillian and Noriko.

"Keep it up!" He insists, moving to rest one hand up against the outer wall of the corridor, distracted by the sight outside of movement on the snow. "Fuck, I see Vanguard out on the snow near the— "

The spray of automatic gunfire that comes flooding down the hall is unexpected, even by Rico. So wrapped up in the seismic activity of ice-layers colliding under Noriko's augmented hydrokinesis, he fails to hear the sounds of frantic approach from the four-way junction. The noise of the gunfire is finally apparent as thorugh the now darkened hallway, Vanguard operatives dressed in hunter orange arctic survival jackets come storming in to the corridor.

Five bullets perforate Rico, teo at his right leg with a spray of crimson, another at his waist bursting through his hip, and two in his back that punch out the opposite side of his chest, sending the dark-haired man collapsing to the ground, his cigar falling from between gaping jaws.

That same phalanx of gunmen who emerge thorugh manage to strike Gillian int he abdomen, her shriek of pain lancing thorugh the air as the collapses atop Noriko, who takes a bullet in the shoulder, spinning her around. The moment Gillian is hit, the glow of augmentation changes, going from a warm and bright violet, to a sudden spike of near-white radiance.

In that instant, the man leading the charge down the hall seems to regret his decision. As time seems to slow down — and for Felix Ivanov does once the bullets start flying— Paulo Viera and Clara Francis exchange a look, traitor to prisoner, saboteur to Vanguard.

Then, the entire ice shelf that Amundsen-Scott sits upon quakes with the combined force of Gillian and Noriko's powers raging wildly out of control. The whole corridor cracks down the middle, buckles and upheaves like a sawed-in-half beer can when one cracked part of the ice shelf goes up and another goes down.

Paulo is left dangling from cabling and broken metal, his gun falling to the ground as a litany of curses in Portugese slip from his lips. Legs kick in the air, the ground shudders and roars violently again, and even as Noriko tries to pull in her power, she can feel the Antarctic ice shelf beginning to collapse in on itself, ice crushing under the friction and stress of what she was doing, tuned wild and uncontrolable once Gillian's ability goes haywire.

Her power surges outward as she feels blood leaving her body, a corona of violet-white light surging off of her shoulders, tiny flares like that of a small sun arching across her back, and Felix can feel the overwhelming acceleration of his speed, and in that very same moment, Clara Francis simply disappears.

The corridor the members of Team Shield 1 find themselves in is sinking down, twenty feet lower than the rest of the station now, and only a tangled ladder of dead power cables, twisted metal and broken tiles serve as a way to climb up, stretching thinner and thinner as portions of the station begin bending and collapsing in on themselves from tumbling pieces of ice falling inwards from the sinkhole that is rapidly expanding out.

At least Paulo's security force has stopped shooting. From what can be heard, they're too busy screaming in confusion.

Noriko's own cry of pain joins Gillian, as that white hot lance goes through her shoulder, leaving it wrecked and useless once again. She cries and grits her teeth as her blood begins to pour from the wound. Did I forget to mention the artery that goes through that area? Nonetheless, Noriko is more worried about Gillian, as she tries to get her good hand on the augmentors stomach. "Gillian, you've got to control it," she says through gritted teeth. The blood vessels in her eyes starting to flood her eyes with red as she does her best to not release the power that is flowing through her. The power is off, their goal accomplished and Noriko isn't going to kill them all, she doesn't want to kill them all. Her eyes looking at Gillian, almost through Gillian really as her vision starts to turn black around the edges, a thin dribble of red extending down one nostril while she struggles to contain the power within her.

Controlling it doesn't seem to be the first thing on Gillian's mind. The pain shoots up from her abdomen, breaking her consentration. If her ability worked like one that had to be turned on, she might have just lost it all together— instead hers is always on. It takes consentration to hold it back. Like the nuclear weapon they'd heard was leaking, the energy pours out of her uncontrolled, stretching out in a blanket and erupting to those at a distance. The brighter the light gets, the more difficult it is to see. The most she can manage to do is finally pull her hand back.

It cuts down on the amount of energy as she tries to roll away, tears falling down her face as she clutches at the bloody hole in her abdomen. Distance is the only control she can manage. Attempts to lock up the energy erode and slip, as each movement, each shake, sends a new burst of pain up from her side. "Get me— get me away from her…"

Though from the look of things, they all need to get away

Express elevator to hell, just as Hudson called it. "Stay," Fel calls, desperately, even as he swarms for the tangle that might get them up and out of this….all the while sure he's going to have his head shot off. "Stop what you're doing…." Everything is so -slow-, like his comrades in arms have decided to play a game of Tableaux. He's got his knife in his teeth, as he climbs, like some Wyeth version of a pirate clambering up the rigging. Got to deal with the enemy first, or they'll literally be fish in a barrel.

Up the rope with the grace of a monkey on methamphetamenes, Felix Ivanov scrambles up the mass of cabling and wires to the outside of Amundsen-Scott, standing on the crumbling edge of an ice ledge beneath the sagging underside of the raised station on its crumbling concrete pylons. Vanguard members on the ground are trying to flee froma rapidly growing sinkhole swallowing up foot after foot of the ground. It's center on Gillian and Noriko, and seems to be collapsing at a steady rate despite their attempts to stave off the fall.

Noriko can feel the ice in intangible hands, pieces slipping between her fingers. With this level of massive amplification she could opotentially sculpt and crack ice, vibrate it at high frequencies or move it around. But with this gunshout wound in her shoulder, she's barely able to get a hold on herself.

Clara is gone, simply disappeared like some rabbit sucked into a magician's hat when the augmentation wave hit, doing God knows what to her temporal manipulation ability. A more pressing matter is Rico, the Puerto-Rican helicopter pilot is sliding down the sloped incline of the collapsed section of the station, his ankle caught in a tangle of wires, blood rolling in a crimson carpet out from beneath him. Either he's dead, or he's dying, either way he can't save himself. Someone else would have to at this point.

But Felix has something more pressing on his mind, the one member of the Vanguard who can't flee. Standing on the edge of the ice cliff, he can stare down at the man dangling from twisted metal and wires, scruffy black beard looking like so much velcro fuzz across his face, eyes wide and mouth agape in a horrified and frantic scream as the ice crumbles further, dropping him closer to that deepening sinkhole.

At the bottom of that very spot, Gillian and Noriko can see all those taut electrical wires vibrating from tension, water pipes burst and spray icy cold water into the air that freezes on contact with the antarctic wind, creating tiny ice shard showers down on them.

Noriko doesn't care what Gillian is saying at this point, the woman is so much more focused on her own internal battle to maintain control over the forces that are raging through her and really threatening to tear her apart. Her eyes open in the stare, the whites of her eyes completely red, her blood still pumping rhymatically from the wound to her shoulder. Her mind is on fire with what is happening to her, her eyes finally closing tightly as her mouth opens in a silent scream. As those ice shards fall away to them, the hydrokinetic does her best to put an invisble dome over them, to protect them both from them while she struggles to stop the sinking of ice. That's really the only thought on her mind, she may not know the how but she definitely knows the what to do. Her muscles tensing as she struggles to bring a stop to what she has started.

"Fuck, fuck…" Gillian calls out as she tries to shift away from the other girl. The deeper they go, the harder it will be to get out. The blood at her nose doesn't lessen as she moves away, and a smear of blood follows her as she slides. Each movement brings new pain, and a surge of power. If it wasn't for the fact that the people who might be shooting at them have plenty to worry about on their own, she would be a perfect target. Glowing as she is.

Seeing becomes more and more difficult as it fills her eyes, but she manages to catch sight of a man she spent time with in Argentina, sliding away, unable to do anything else. She's able to grab onto things, even in her pain. Even if she can't grab onto the ability that comes out of her— But she can reach over and grab onto his body armor in an attempt to stop him, even as she lets out a low cry and groan of pain.

She's starting to wish she were unconscious.

Fel's eyes are barely visible, as he squints down at the man helpless beneath him. There's no time to waste - if he's the only Vanguard left in reach….well, a bullet will take care of him. Fel reaches in to his jacket, and pulls the pistol. All the better to deal with that problem, before he brings the women up.

"//Mmmnh… //" Rico's voice jerks to life when Gillian's fingers loop through the shoulder strap of his body armor, her muscles tensing and pain wracking her body as she holds the short Puerto-Rican's weight up on the blood-slicked slope. Rico's blood is freezing in his owunds from the subarctic temperatures whirling around the sinkhole, freezig over wounds that should kill him from blood loss, and may yet still. It's hard to tell, for a moment, if Rico is more than just a few grunts away from eath.

Until he snatches his cigar with the movement of one gloved hand, just before it rolls out of reach. "Hey Chh— Chica…" Rico spits out the words, turning to look up at Gillian with bloodied teeth and his one good eye squinted shut. Bringing that unlit cigar to his lips, Rico frees his hands to move up to his shoulders, unholstering his assault rifle to just fall away as dead weight. He swings an arm up,g rabbing onto Gillian's forearm, but his grip is so pitifully weak now.

The tangle of Noriko and Gillian are assailed by the falling slivers of ice, pushed away by an unseen curtain of hydrokinetic force only barely able to control the ice now. Gillian and Noriko are barely able to keep their own weight up, not sliding down because of the tangle of twisted wires that had fallen from the ceiling they're clinging onto. When Rico's weight is added, the wires begin to pull free from the wall, one popping aluminum bracket at a time.

The ground shudders, and the angle of the collapsing hallway becomes forty-five degrees, the sudden shift in weight sending Gillian and Noriko dangling down another four feet, as the ice ebenath them suddenly shatters and gives way, sinking down in a thundering crasy of the sinkhole's rapid expansion, the bottom of the ice now dark from depth.

"Chica…" Rico murmurs, straining with all his strength to lean up and bring himself closer to Gillian, before growling out a coarse set of words, his gloved fingers moving up to the buckles on straps at his shoulders. He murmurs something to her, something private, words shared only for someone who would understand them, before he flips his thumbs over the buckles, unfastening the quick release for his body armor, and Rico falls out of it like so much dead weight.

The Puerto-Rican tumbles out of sight, disappearing with a stoic silence into the darkened depths of the growing Antarctic sinkhole. Up above, a single gunshot sounds off, and free-falling thorugh the air, a man in an arctic survival jacket trailing a bead of blood from his forehead somersaults lifelessly into that yawning charm below.

Gillian is left holding Rico's armored vest.

Noriko makes it a few more feet up the cables while she continues to try and protect her and Gillian. She doesn't notice Rico going down the sinkhole to his death, nor does she really care right now. Every step is another fight as she struggles to regain control, her nose leaking freely now, forcing the woman to make bubbley gasps from her mouth as she tries to keep going up, the snow and ice behind her stained a bright crimson from her one big hole and several leaks she has sprung.

Blood and tears trying to freeze, Gillian lets out a cry as the man slips away, pulling the body armor up close to her chest and hugging it against her rather than let it go completely. The majority of the weight has already fallen away from them. And who knows if they'll be right behind him. It hurts. And she's running out of strength. She's not even sure where it's all going. Climbing isn't really the first thing on her mind. It might be better if she falls down as well— At least then Noriko could get control, maybe stop the sinking.

But then she couldn't repeat what Rico said, either…

Finally the piece of body armor drops from her hand, so she can use both hands to climb up— But that also means that one of her hands happens to be bare. The cold tries to freeze where it touches the wire in places, threatening to rip off skin as she continues the painful climb up. Likely she'll have a frostbitten hand when this is over to go with the bleeding abdomen. Not to mention where the icicles managed to get through… The light that came off her is dimming a great deal, though. And not because she's gaining control.

Taken care of. His metabolism is still in overdrive, courtesy of Gillian and the whole situation. There'll be collapsing when he's done. But for now, Fel turns back to scramble down to the women, for all the world like Gollum going down a cliff. Like he's counting on his reflexes to save him. "Hold on," he calls, heading for the pair.

The world seems to shake and yawn with frightening size, the ever-expanding mouth of the sinkhole now swallows a large portion of the Amundsen-Scott facility, sending a screaming piece of shattering metal hurtling down into the abyss. When Felix comes swinging down ont he line line some Australian rock-climber, he's forced to let go of the rope at its end. Bouncing like a cricket off of a leaf, he leaps into the air and springs off of a falling piece of ice in mid-tumble, launching himself to the icy cliff face where he snags a loose power cable, and doing his best impersonation of Cary Elwes swings on that dangling metal cable across the icy cliff face, one arm snagging around Noriko's midsection. He bends his knees, and with a burst of speed pushes himself off the wall and begins running up the ice with the cable as a tether.

Swinging up to the cliff face, he deposits Noriko and wraps the cable tighter around his arm, leaping back down in a freefall. When the cable snaps taut, the corded steel bites into his wrist, drawing blood that crystalizes in the freezing air. Felix swings on the cable, and as Gillian's grip on the wires she dangles from finally gives way, he impacts against her, snatching an arm around her waist, fingers crunching into crystalized blood at her stomach before he repeats the same acrobatic maneuver, running up the ice face's rocky crags under her amplification.

When Felix and Gillian arrive at the crumbling corner of the ice, they can see just how far the sinkhole has progressed, it's almost to the drill site by now. Distant sounds of gunfire and screaming fill the air, along with a crackling voice coming over their SatComs, but the identity of the speaker cannot be heard.

The Amundsen-Scott Antarctic station slides, dragging its concrete pylons thorugh the ice, and the weight of the facility that has already succombed to the abyss threatens to swallow the whole structure.

The collapse simply cannot be stopped.

Nor can Noriko's as her legs give way, followed by a gout of blood snorted out of her nose and mouth. Vision blurs, she can hear everything muffled, her heart races, pupils dilate, and the hydrokinetic collapsed onto her side, arms and legs twitching, blood pooling out from her nose ears and mouth. She's barely conscious, and that won't last for much longer.

Noriko lays down there on the ice, her eyes watching the blurry station as she closes her eyes. The only thing left that she can do is just hope that none of their team was left in there, even that is a fleeting thought. She feels like she's stroking once more, and this time, there is no Tau to save her. Her eyes looking around widly for the few more moments that they ahve left to be concious, looking over to Gillian as she tries to say thickly to the augmentor, "Everything… be… fine."

Charge of the trenchcoat brigade. All Fel can do is drag them away, at speed, towards whatever looks like stability. Good luck there. No grace, no skill, just him throwing up a roostertail of ice and snow like Speedy Gonzales gone too far south for his own good.

Right hand useless and frozen, tears turning into ice crystals on her face, freezing small fissures in her lips as she can't help but breathe through her mouth— By the time Gillian's up on top of the ice, she's not seeing white at all. She should be seeing white. Antarctica is white all over, from sky to ground. But for her, it's decidedly gray— even veering toward black. The tugs of the speedster are the only thing getting her moving much, feet dragging in the snow and ice, arms weak. The light that once glowed has dimmed and paled, until it vanishes completely.

As the light goes out, so does any semblance of strength keeping her upright. The last of the energy she has pours into the speedster, before cutting off all together.

The battery has been depleted. And just as she warned she might, she's out. But her heart still beats, if slow, she still breaths. And unlike most batteries that run out, she couldn't be called dead. But she is bleeding and frozen, and very much unconscious.

The ice is collapsing piece by piece beneath Felix's footfalls, snow is rising up from where portions of Amundsen-Scott are being devoured by the growing sinkhole, and as Felix makes his way to the helicopter, trailing blood behind him from the two young women he struggles to carry across the ice at superhuman sprint, he can feel the ice in his lungs turning his breathing to wheezing rasps.

The sound of Amundsen-Scott collapsing behind him comes like the horrible roar of some great metallic beast shrieking its last breath, yawning some cacophonous death-rattle into the Antarctic skies.

But then, over the SatCom communication links, a voice crackles staticy once more. This time, however, they can hear it.

«Th— — omb is gng tblw! Tere'so time le— »

He can barely make it out, until a warning comes in loud and clear.

«We're out of time!»

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