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Scene Title Midway
Synopsis Following a breakdown in affairs which leaves Silas needing to ask a favor, Asi and Silas swap thoughts on their companions and their current situation.
Date July 8, 2021

New Chicago

The night has been a series of tossing and turning, arms tucked in tightly by sides while eyes remained screwed shut against a seemingly endless stream of noise in one way or another. There were perhaps two or so hours overnight that things were mostly calm enough to sleep, but people turned on radios nearby, flicked on lights in a way that was en masse compared to what Asi normally heard and sensed in the 'Pelago where she kept to herself– where there was concrete in every direction to dull her senses when she wasn't sleeping on the sea itself and the noises were … less. Drowned out, certainly.

But there's no competing noise here – just the sound of nearby humanity and its physical and electrical workings.

She'd paid good money for this sleepless night. Or at least she would have if the Administrator hadn't bought the night of sleep for them.

Another frustrated turn of her shoulders against the well-worn mattress heaves a new sigh from her, face to the wall. Her eyes open to glare at it in a haze of seagreen. This never used to bother her – but she had been so used to the din before the world ended. She used to find it beautiful, even. Now it's just…

Now it's just a pointless din of various objects screaming I'm here, I'm on, tapping her on the shoulder anew with each little shift. And there's not even anything interesting in that, nearby. Just electricity being electricity, running inside circuit boards without complicated movement. With a grumble, she nestles her head against her pack she's using as a pillow with a bit more verve than before, pulling the coat she was using as a blanket up and over her ears like that'll help with the noise.

Perhaps she'd get a few minutes' sleep before Silas came back to collect her. She can dream, right?

Knock. Knock. Knock.

It seems like only a few seconds before three heavy raps fall upon Asi's chamber door. "Asi?" a familiar voice calls through the door, sounding about as tired as Asi feels. "Asi?"

Well, it's something. It takes until the second call for her to rouse, for the moments of sound that preceded it to come back in a rush. That, and she's on her back, her neck with a crick from where the lockbox in her pack has meshed unkindly with the curve where it meets skull. "'m up," she mumbles, but no one can hear that.

"起きてます," she calls out, relying on the verb's lack of specificity in whether she's just waking up or was already awake to disguise her true state. The grumble in her voice lends it toward the former, though. She levers up to her feet, to the small room's door, and goes to pull back the lock on it. A second later she's able to pull it in, to regard Silas out the top of her eyes, and for her brow to begin to furrow. "Why do you look just as bad as I feel?" she wonders, and pushes a hand back through her hair for want of a brush to deal with her bedhead. "You not rest well either?"

She turns away and heads back to the bed, yawning as she does. The door is left open for him.

Silas steps in, his expression grim and weary… and also his pants look to have been slashed and/or set on fire just a bit below the left knee. "Been in a gunfight. Richard's leaving. Can you drive the bus today?"

The very first of those words turn Asi back to Silas quickly. "What the fuck?" is an automatic answer to such a thing being said to her, accompanied by a look down over Silas to confirm his holistic state of being – and there's his pants. But he doesn't look covered in blood, that she can tell, doesn't seem to be bleeding. So he either got the jump or…


The rest of what he's said hits her all at once, her brain struggling to wake up. Her hand fishes behind her for her bag, because something says they should go at once, but the bag slips from her grip all the same. Confusedly, she tells him, "Yeah, I can drive the bus, I'll–"

The middle part suddenly registers more prominently, flashing in neon at her. "Richard's leaving?" She looks as boggled as she sounds by that. "What does that– what the fuck does that mean?" God, she'd kill for coffee right now with how belatedly she's firing on every last cylinder.

"Was up early trying to score some parts for the Wildcat. Found out that Gracie's not who she said she was; we met the actual Rue Lancaster from this reality when some of her trouble found us and started waving guns around. Gracie is apparently another traveler from out of town, just like Richard. Robyn got shot, Chess healed her, apparently Richard had some real bad backstory with a Rue Lancaster — quite possibly Gracie — there was an argument, Richard left, and then I found out that Richard's leaving leaving," Silas explains flatly.

"And according to Destiny his parting words were Robyn is in charge of Gracie, Silas is in charge of everyone else," Silas says with a huff of exasperated amusement; he's impressed despite himself. "Gracie and Robyn both nearly left, I think maybe we dodged that one, now we just have to keep Nathalie and/or Chess from shanking Gracie. Chess I think I can talk around, Nathalie's more of a wild card."

He pauses.

"Also if there's any blood on me, it's not mine," Silas says, checking his sleeves to make sure that he did not, in fact, miss any spots — either from the guy he dismantled, or from the splashback of the guy Gracie shot in the head, or any of Robyn's phosphorous. "I think we have time to grab some coffee and a bagel or something, if we hurry."
Gradually, Asi wishes she were more drunk than hungover from the night before. Plenty of futile grasping at straws makes up her state right now as she tries to make sense of this, or at least grapple with it even if she can understand the words Richard is leaving after having heard them three separate times at this point.

Her hand ends up in her hair again, if only to hold onto it with a fisted hand for support as she mentally composes herself. "Fuck," she breathes out, looking down at the ground while her mind reels.

"Nathalie's former security from the Ark," she reminds Silas in a very quiet, but not mumbled aside. "She's probably not going to take it well she's been lied to for who knows how long, and she's the kind of person who doesn't strike me as the type to voice that displeasure…"

Pick a peaceful end to that sentence.

Asi just shakes her head once, twice, and then her eyes swivel back up to Silas. "You really think we're up and leaving without Richard?" she asks in a balk, first. Her eyes are wide, brows arched high. "And that Gracie's coming with us after that? She has been one problem for us after the next, and if we have to choose between the impostor pretending to be someone from here, and the Traveler who actually is, I know who I'm choosing."

"I remember," is all Silas says in response to Asi's assessment of Nathalie. "Richard said Robyn also got to be in charge of keeping Nathalie from killing her. Even division of labor, see? And to be honest I'm not convinced I didn't draw the easy job," Silas says, letting out a borderline-exhausted laugh.

His expression sobers quickly, though. "Richard, by Destiny's account, is not giving us a choice in the matter; he's already gone. Went full Margo Lane and poofed into the shadows, if you can believe it." Asi is one of the few people who know Silas well enough to potentially catch the hint of dubiousness those last words of his hide.

"And as for Gracie…" Silas's mouth draws tight into a narrow slash. "She has an unfortunate knack for making poor decisions. But she's also part of the reason Robyn is still alive." He's silent for a moment. "But it's not just that," he admits. "If it was just that, I'd agree with you. Let her off in New Chicago, best wishes for your future endeavors. She's got family here. Well, cross-dimensional family, anyway."

"I'm not driving the bus if that woman's on it, and she's banned from most other vehicles, so…"

Asi leaves it at that, eyebrows raised, and drops her hand to her side to pick up her pack and swing it over her shoulders, one arm looping into it at a time. She takes the jacket she'd been sleeping in and ties it around her waist for now, just shaking her head while she does it. "She's a– what's the phrase– a bad penny, Snickers." The knot is tied forcefully. "運がすごく悪い1," she declares, riled to the point of seething.

There's no immediate response from Silas — a rarity indeed. The silence stretches for a moment, Silas's expression thoughtful and distant. "A Jonah," he says quietly, eyes squeezing shut. "Someone that bad luck hangs on. Like a dead albatross around their neck."

Again, he's silent for a moment, one hand coming up to rub at his tired eyes. "You're not wrong. About her luck, I mean. I've had bad luck now and again, but it seems like hers runs worse than mine ever did," he admits. Then he looks back to Asi. "But then, we're all having some bad luck lately. The worst, even," Silas says ruefully. The Sun. "I'm not gonna pin all of that on her."

"But… she did save our lives. Would've been easy for her to slip away in the chaos, leave Robyn to die. Might've even been the smarter thing to do, if she just wanted to look out for herself. But she didn't," he points out. "And the thing about a penny is… scuffed or not, it still spends at journey's end," Silas says quietly, with a sincerity atypical for him. He shrugs. "I think — I truly think — that she can be an asset to us. I really do," he says quietly. "But if you don't want her on the bus… I'll… figure something out."

"Assuming she even shows up," Silas says, shrugging. "Robyn and Destiny are trying to track her down and talk her around, but they may not manage it."

"We'll all be fucking better off for it if they don't," Asi breathes out, and she leaves it at that. Maybe she'll simmer down in time, but that's then and this is now. Her head turns back to Silas, taking stock of his state before she decides, "And we find you a new set of pants before we go, too." Her hand rolls up the strap of her pack to set it right on her shoulder as she shakes her head, afterward glancing up to the door indicatively. "Might be easier to find than coffee," she grumbles, and heads for the door.

She's out in the hall and only halfway down the stairs to the ground floor before she looks back at him and starts off again on thoughts that won't keep themselves quiet just yet. "But what the fuck does this even mean? What do we do?" There's an earnest anxiety sharpening the edge of that question. "If Richard is gone, the rest of them didn't sound like they were well put together either. This isn't our trip to begin with, and it's not us it's going to help if we keep moving forward."

Her brow knits tightly at that in particular, but she keeps moving forward. The key to her room is palmed from her pocket to return to the front desk before she heads out into the morning gloom.

Silas nods at Asi's exhaled curse, and lets it be for now. In time, she may ask him why he so adamantly wants Gracie along with them, and if that time comes, he will tell her, and listen carefully to what she has to say in turn. But that is then, and this is now, and while her wrath may subside in time, it has not yet.

And they have more pressing matters to attend to anyway. Like pants. "Yeah. Yeah, you're probably right," Silas sighs, looking down at his formerly-good black pants with regret. "Did you know Robyn uncontrollably explodes into lasers when she's shot? She also bleeds what looks like that stuff in glowsticks," he says as he moves to follow. She's setting a fast pace, which is good — time waits for no one, and Tay waits only grudgingly.

Her question is a good one. "You're right. This group — they're not that tightly knit. They've got a shared objective but they're not really a crew," he says grimly. "That's one reason I wanted you to drive the bus. Richard wants me to try to keep 'em working together, so I figure I'm probably gonna be doing a lot of talking tonight. And I wanted to get some sleep before I try it, because I think that's gonna be a pretty tall order."

"And how dare he– anyway– put all this on you?" Asi asks as she walks down the road, turning back to make sure that point is emphasized, because their situation was already fucked enough before Richard decided to knight Silas with the task of driving all of this forward still. "If there's anyone who could do it, to get all those people to not fall apart, I would say it's you– but I resent him for this anyway."

She isn't walking in a straight line at this point. She's letting her nose guide her. And she smells food.

"What do you have?" she asks ahead to the man manning the stall, passing off something warm to drink to passersby on their way to their morning grinds, such as they are. "And do you take this?" She produces her coin from the night before at the club, palmed and kept rather than returned at the door as it should have been.

Silas smiles despite himself; that Aces is mad on his behalf now feels reassuring in a way he didn't know he needed. Her faith in him sees that smile grow. "Putting me in charge is undoubtedly one of the most devious, under-handed, conniving, double-dealing bits of vile skullduggery I have ever been on the wrong end of," Silas opines, sounding impressed of all things. "Although I'm not convinced he isn't going to pop up later, anyway, between you and me."

But now he smells what Asi's smelling, too, and it reminds his stomach that he hadn't had a chance to grab breakfast before everything had gone pear-shaped.

The black coin sees the man at the stall pause rather than answering Asi right away, eyes going between her and the coin and then Silas and back to her, and then to the coin. But he respects the coin ultimately. "No charge," he insists diplomatically in tones usually gruffer. "But we've got eggs here."

"Eggs?" Asi echoes, an edge of 'just eggs?' in the question.

"Eggs," the man affirms with an edge of his own, like he won't be talked into believing he's not got a great thing going on here.

"Eggs sound fantastic," Asi agrees with him at once. "We'll take an order each." A pause is taken while the man oils the steel grill plate before him, and she steps back slightly to look back to Silas. Where were they after all? Then she frowns again deeply. Ah, right. She remembers.

"He's from here, you know," she tells him, like it's as much of a mark of quality as much as a stain at this point. She doesn't elaborate specifics in front of the stranger feet away from them. "Did you know that?" She seems to find that an excuse in favor of miraculous things happening, judging by her shift in tone. "Though even then, I will owe you money and him a fist to the face if he shows up again after this."

"It doesn't even help us, all of this," she reiterates again, riled and muted, not unlike a rattlesnake in that quiet persistence. "This doesn't help us and ours. It'd be just him, just his people. If…" And for a moment, she closes her eyes, lets the anger come over her loudly in expression if not in tone. She flexes a hand by her side, lets reason come into play in the short spanse of silence. "… If not for Kaito-san, that is."

"Just because I haven't been able to wrap my head around it doesn't mean it won't be for our benefit in the end, maybe. I don't believe he'd have set us up to find what he left if it wouldn't be able to be used for… to…"

But she doesn't know that. She doesn't know that the probability seer didn't look into the future and see nothing but this failed world and maybe a second one like it but not, one which could continue on where this one had failed. She doesn't know if they were left what they were not to save themselves somehow, but the someplace else instead.

Asi scrubs the back of the knuckle of her thumb against her brow. She chooses to hope Kaito did what he did in the hopes their world could avoid a final end in this, too. Somehow.

Silas nods agreement; eggs do sound fantastic… though the mention that Richard is from here gives him pause for a moment, only in part because he initially thinks Chicago, and not… here, in the broader sense.

He supposes he had known that, or at the very least had known enough tidbits adjacent to it to have inferred it, if only in passing… but that's not quite the same as having thought about it, is it? Food for thought. He suppresses the urge to chuckle at the image of Asi decking him, though, but it brings a flicker of a grin to his lips anyway; the amusement is sorely needed after the absolute clusterfuck this morning's been so far.

Her anger and her worry see Silas sober, though. "Hey," he says, reaching out to lay a hand on her shoulder. "Ain't over till it's over. And until it is… we put our backs into keeping this ship afloat, just like we always have. Right?" he asks, giving a small smile.

She doesn't return it, as she often doesn't. This time, though, it's with the weight of their current situation weighing her expression down as she looks back up to him out of the tops of her eyes. "It's not over 'til it's over," she grants. "But when I think of all the other things we could be doing aside from this…"

A broken laugh escapes her as she supposes, "Just about anything else, really." while moving her gaze on to stare at cracked egg on grill as it becomes more opaque with each passing moment.

"But we're here already," she concedes, tired rather than defeated. "And you seem intent on not backing down now." A beat passes before she looks back to him, the better part of her mood quelled for something quiet instead. "So what do we do now, Captain? Once anchors aweigh. What's your thought on how we keep this sorry crew together past this morning?"

Silas lets his hand fall away after a moment, his own gaze shifting to the frying egg. For a moment he's silent as he thinks, Asi's somber mood making him feel more pensive, as well.

"Momentum'll buy a little while," he says at last. "My job is gonna be to try to build trust before that runs out, because 'Richard said so' is only gonna go so far. So my plan comes down to this: I'm gonna try to rest up today… then I'm gonna make some rounds, talk to em. One on one. See if I can find out what they're thinkin', where the common ground is. Normally I'd already have been doing that, but…" he trails off with a shrug.

Then Silas frowns, looking to Asi. "What do you think of em? Questionable group cohesion aside," he says, mustering a hint of a wry smile at that despite it not being entirely a joke.

Asi laughs anyway– either at the absurdity of the question, as she finds it, or because it's a reassuringly funny comment he's made about them. She only shakes her head at first, tongue to cheek.

She has to think on it, apparently. Spatula scrapes steel, and the chef before them scoops the hard-cooked flattened egg over to ensure it won't run or ooze when bit into. She bides herself a moment longer to get her words together by giving the breakfast hawker a small smile and a grateful dip of her head as he threads the well-cooked egg on a skewer and offers it to them. She can't say she's ever had it like this before, but here they were. "Thanks," she murmurs.

"Of course. Close friends of the Group are friends here," the vendor says, and with a curt nod looks to flag down his next, paying customers. Taking the hint, Asi lets begins to let her feet wander.

"Chess stands out to me," she offers in quiet tones to Silas when they've left earshot. "She's got power and sorrow on her shoulders in equal parts, and seems to have a good head on top of them. The one out of all of them who seems like she's in over her head, but also, that if she wasn't here… then someone else would be, and she'd gladly spare them from that fate."

"The twin I don't really care for and I don't have a reason for it apart from my gut telling me there's something off about her. Eve isn't our Eve. I think she's even madder than the one we knew, and that's not a compliment." She nibbles a bite at the overcooked egg to let that thought simmer a moment, then goes on, "Castle, as they call her, I'm unfamiliar with. She's an Ark enigma– and Leroux, frankly, still is the same even after all this time, too. I wasn't expecting her to follow us out here."

She shakes her head. "But this is about the travelers– I'm torn on Elliot, but I think it's because I've become addicted to the Network of his, even if I resent everything I see through his partner's eyes– through the other Asi's eyes, when I saw her."

Tongue to cheek again, she glances down at her food. "Did I miss any of them?"

Egg-kebab. That's a new one, Silas reflects, taking his own with a nod before following after Asi, eating as he goes — it's been a long morning already, and the sooner he begins the process of stuffing food into his face, the sooner his stomach will stop protesting.

As Aces talks, Silas finds some of the stress from the morning starting to diffuse… mostly because the vast majority of what she's saying lines up with his own observations in passing. At least up until the end, when she makes mention of the other Asi. That one throws a monkey wrench into his gears, and the urge to ask about it right now wells up almost immediately… but he doesn't. Not yet. He needs to think about that one for a bit, figure out what he thinks about it… and besides that, that bit about becoming addicted to the Network shot way past it to the top of his queue anyway. That's something he also needs to think about for a bit.

So he stuffs another bite of egg in his face and answers her question. "Robyn. The grumpier one. And technically Richard, I guess, though you've kinda already covered him with the 'gonna punch him in the face if he shows back up' bit."

"That's the twin," Asi answers mid-bite of her food, interjecting over his description of Robyn. "She's too different from ours and I don't trust it or her. And Richard… well." She chuckles darkly. Yes, Silas already hit her current take for sure. "I wouldn't be nearly as mad if I hadn't worked up enough of a respect for him to take a bullet if it came to it."

She tears off another bite of her food and lets out a noise equally as annoyed as distressed as the kebab system fails to hold on well enough to what's left of her quick meal, leaving her to juggle the bits left and eat the remaining egg white essentially by hand. It keeps her quiet a moment longer, even if that quiet is spersed with unintelligible muttering.

Silas glances to Aces at that, startled a bit; the thought of Aces taking bullets is…

No. No, that is a not a thought and not an image he wants to entertain, not after the morning he's had. Possibly not any other time, either, but definitely not now. He manifestly does not like the thought of Aces taking bullets for anyone… but he also knows that the way you'd like things to be isn't always the way things work out, so he looks back to his egg-kebab in silence for a moment before taking another bite. He holds his hand under it as he does, mindful that his is probably gonna start doing the same thing Aces' is pretty soon — namely falling apart.

"Twins can be different," he says as he swallows his bite of egg. "Real different. I ever tell you I met mine over there?" he asks. "He was kind of a bastard. In fact, I talked to someone who met another one of mine. Seems I end up being a real bastard more often than not… and, coincidentally, in the orbit of a guy named Danny Linderman. Who, also coincidentally… I have gotten a distinct impression was not a very nice guy… although Glory seems to think he plays a role in preventing this" — the Flood — "from coming to pass." He musters a faint grin. "The road not taken can go some real weird places. Especially when it's tangled up with all the other roads not taken out there."

"I think you mentioned it before," Asi interjects mildly, shaking her fingers out. "Back when we were comparing scars from our various adventures. I was less than thrilled you'd gotten one of your own, as I recall…"

Silas chuckles. "Right," he says, his tone a mix of rueful amusement and sheepishness. "Just… still kinda gets me, you know? Getting ambushed by your evil twin on Halloween…" Looking into your own face, except there's something dead wearing it…

He lets out a slow breath, moving on. "Anyway. Castle… I met her on the Ark. Saffon's what she went by then; she was nice enough. Helped show me the ropes in the Ark's kitchen, along with… Rue." Not Gracie. Rue. "Not sure what happened to Saffron on the other side — I lost track of her at Sunspot. Thought she died on the way over, but… a lot of people I thought died on the way over popped up later on. As for LeRoux… I never really interacted with her that much. I was, uh… not keen on Ark Security after the welcome we got. But I think…" Silas pauses, his expression thoughtful. "I feel like you're probably right to mention her."

"Really, I think you're spot on for the most part. Their Eve's madder than ours was… but then, ours was more tempered by experience," he says, his voice growing more somber — Mad Eve, someone else who isn't with them anymore. The reaper keeps marching.

He shakes his head, drawing his attention back to the matter at hand. "And Elliot…" he pauses to chuckle. "On the one hand, I think that man could get thrown off a skyscraper and he'd turn up on time for dinner… but on the other hand, I feel like he could walk into a room and not say a word and he'd be lying about it," he says, laughing… although it's really not a joke. He's silent for a moment, then nods, looking back to Aces. "But what did you mean about becoming addicted to his network?"

Asi's laughing, too, at the description – until she's not. Until he's moved on and honed in on something she probably shouldn't have said out loud. She even goes as far as to look away, like a child who believes maybe they've not been caught in the act if they don't see they have been.

Her tongue sticks its way to the side against the backs of her teeth while she tries to find the right words, looking vaguely flustered while she thinks. "It–" Her expression twists, hating her choice of words. It makes it sound so… so much less than it is. "His power? It creates a tiny Internet, Smiles. The connections? Each one to a different database, a different wealth of information I didn't have access to before."

"I haven't figured out how to hack it," she goes on to say with a heavily-implied yet silently lingering after. "But I like it despite that."

"It's like–"

Her shoulders pinch up before she tosses her kebab stick aside like it's the feeling she wants to be rid of. "It's like having my ability back again. It's like what it was like before the world died, in its own way."

"And I like that feeling," Asi says with sudden challenge, a snap refusal to be judged taking place. "I've missed it. I don't care to see the other world they come from, not through Wright's or anyone else's eyes, but I want to take advantage of what it feels like to…" She has to pause to find the right words for it, settling on, "To be connected again."

There's no judgment in Silas's eyes when her gaze snaps back to him, only a distant thoughtfulness. "Sounds handy," he says, then lets out a sharp breath. "No. Sounds a lot more than that," he admits.

For a moment longer he regards his egg-kebab as if it holds the secrets to creation, then sighs and looks back to Asi. "Well. I'll try not to fuss and fret too much. After all — there's a reason I call you Aces," he says with a grin. "If anyone can figure out the secrets of how to hack the BrainWeb, it's you," he says, grinning and raising his egg-kebab in a toast before finishing it off and pitching the stick over his left shoulder.

Asi hrms, somewhat distracted. She looks up and over the surroundings of the intersection they've found themselves at, one hand lifting and meandering in the universal gesture of is this the right way, no surely it's this in the process of trying to orienteer them both toward the front gate.

"Also, also, hold the fucking phone," she segues as she settles on a direction to point them toward, but also leaves herself mostly unmoving toward it, given the topic shift. "What does Glory have any business thinking that?" Her eyes narrow in suspicion. "I didn't think she was one of them."

She knows now that something isn't what it seems, at the very least. And even if she doesn't grill him, she'll be applying a new lens to everything.

Silas nods, happy to move to a different subject for the moment… though he's not going to forget this turn of conversation, even if he doesn't push on it. "Good question," he says, pointing to her. "There's a reason I was a little surprised when she mentioned Linderman."

He takes a breath and weaves a shroud around them — just enough to keep his words from bouncing to any uninvited ears. "Apparently… Linderman was a big shot, in the world the Travelers came from. At least one other one, too. Had a casino out in Vegas, had a bunch of other shit that was even shadier. But the thing is… Aces, I've been to Vegas, back in the day. I never once heard the name until I went to their world."

Silas takes a moment to consider. "As to what Glory's deal is… I don't know. There's definitely some kinda mystery there, a lot more than scavenger from Delphi; I definitely plan to do some asking around about her. But… I'm pretty sure about this much. When we got ambushed back in Toledo, her first move was to throw herself out to draw fire," he says, turning his hands up as if presenting something. "She wants this trip to succeed."

Asi's expression twists when Silas acts as though she should know the moment he's talking about. It takes a long blink away, eyes squinted and thinking back to any time she's been near Glory where she spoke any amount of words. There was the time she wasn't entirely awake yet…

“Nakamura. The one from here?” Glory says, pointing at the ground. “He’s back where you all are from.” She says rather pointedly to Robyn. She doesn't explain how she knows. Not here. “But as far as anyone knows he's dead. There's a couple people back home who say they met him. Learned some stuff before things got bad. Only thing I know for sure is, he caused the first known deviation in timelines.”

Glory glances at Castle, then back to Richard. “Branch one. Hiro Nakamura travels to Coyote Sands and discreetly saves the lives of Angela Petrelli, Charles Deveaux, Daniel Linderman, and Bob Bishop. Those four people not being dead changed everything.” She rolls her shoulders. “Single raindrops and floods and all that shit.”

Looking at Asi, Glory nods once. “Kaito Nakamura and his son stopped the flood. I don't know if that makes either of them trustworthy. But there’s that.” She looks back down to the ground, tense. “And that's all I'm gonna say about that."


Her expression slacks, but not from ease with the realization. "She's one of them," she breathes out, looking back to Silas with slightly widened eyes. "And not even one of them, but another one. She's from some third place."

"And she wants us to succeed– even though she came from somewhere else things maybe went to shit?" She looks slightly pale now because she can't be anything else. "Just what is her motivation? Why?"

Silas nods. "I think you're right," he says quietly. "About where she's from. As to the rest of it…"

He falls silent. "I don't know. I'd assume her business is the same as theirs — that there's something here that can maybe save her world — but they say assumin' makes an ass out of you, so I'm tryin' real hard not to leap to any conclusions. Not with what's at stake."

Silas lets out a slow breath. "There's a lot of pieces of the puzzle I'm missing. Maybe if I talk to the others I can fill in a few of those holes in."

"A nightmare is what this is," Asi surmises in a murmur. She rubs the cleaner of her two hands over her face, stress plain. "Maybe you can find it out, or maybe we're just along for the ride. This cursed, end-of-the-line ride."

Her eyes close and she sets her hands to her hips, head tilting back as she either revels in her cynicism or chastises herself silently for it. Equal chances, truly.

"前へ進むだけさ," she mutters. "しょうがない2."

"I'll drive," she groans. "Though are there any other surprises I should know about?" Asi asks with an earnest turn back to Silas.

Silas nods at her assessment, cynicism and all… but at her question he lets out a wry chuckle. "Probably," he snorts. "Probably all manner of surprises… but I don't know what they are yet either. 前へ進むだけさ," he echoes, shrugging.

She sighs, working on packaging up her unsettled state– on putting herself back together enough to be reliable on the long road ahead of them today. When it's done, she reaches out to place a hand on his arm wordlessly, looking at him meaningfully.

There's no words she can think of to say now. Only that silent promise to stand by him through it, that quiet plead for him to look out for himself on the journey to come.

Then looking at him, more specifically down him, she remembers, "Shit, we needed to get you pants, too," and looks back where they've come, trying to brainstorm where such a shop might even be in this maze, at this hour of the morning.

Unspoken though her promise may be, the fact of it reassures Silas enough that, even despite everything that's happened this morning, he's able to smile — at least partially to project reassurance in response to that silent plea.

Then it's back to the present — and the presently slightly shredded state his pants are in. "Might be too late on that front," Silas says grimly, regarding the lasered ruins of his left pants leg. "If we can find something on the way back to the Convoy, maybe we can swing by and flash those coins, but they're probably gonna be ready to pull out pretty soon."

"And I imagine the coin won't get us terribly far before someone comes to collect," Asi remarks a touch grimly. "I get the impression they were meant to ferry us across calmer seas and maybe back again, but nowhere else." Those who'd walked out with them still in hand were supposed to have given them over.

"Good thing we're leaving, I guess, right?" she supposes with half a grin, mischievous in its nature.

And despite everything, that grin sees a roguish grin bloom on Silas's face, too. "Well, I suppose it is." What the hell, he thinks to himself, with that same mischievousness. "Onward, then. Pants if we can find them, and then westward."

"One could say we're about halfway there," Asi muses, stretching her arms above her head before she picks a direction she thinks is front-gatebound.

It might as well be halfway there– even in the world before, there were fewer and fewer hubs of civilization the way they'd wend next…

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