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Also Appearing…

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Scene Title Nemesis
Synopsis Odessa and Kazimir travel to the doctor's home in search of the end of the world.
Date December 18, 2008

Primatech Paper

Odessa, Texas

Somewhere in each of our lives, there comes a decision that must be made.

The sun burns brightly overhead, even for the middle of winter, the warmth of the Texas sun shines hotly down on an open and empty parking lot. The vacant facility situated amidst a seemingly abandoned industrial park looks indistinct and under-utilized. Old cargo bay doors are closed down securely, and only a pair of unmarked white box trucks in the otherwise empty parking lot gives any sign that people have been to this place in years. A faded image on the side of the building displays a sepia-toned logo of an unfurling roll of paper, and reads, PRIMATECH PAPER.

It is these decisions, personal paradigm shifts, that can change the future not just individually, but on a far greater scale than imagined. These monumental choices life presents to us are often few and far between, but the decisions we make for them shape who we will become, whether we will strive for the light…

There's an audible rush of air as desert dirt blows dryly out of the way from a trio of figures not present but a moment ago. Elias DeLuca lowers his hands from their shoulders, rolling his gloved forefingers together as his nose wrinkles in mixed appreciation of the heat. First Antarctica, now Texas. Stepping away from where he emerged, an elderly man in a sleek black suit tucks a steel-tipped cane under one arm, removing a pair of black leather gloves one by one, tucking them into his breast pocket as his pale blue eyes survey the facility beyond. At his side, a young blonde woman sees the same building, but from a perspective uniquely hers. Whereas to Kazimir Volken, this is progress, and the future, to Odessa Knutson, it is something far different, it is the past.

…or whether we will be swallowed up by the darkness.

"Home, sweet home," Odessa murmurs as she takes in the sight of the facility. "I'd like to watch it burn." She takes in a slow, deep breath and glances to Kazimir. "How do you want me to do this?" In her mind, she's already going over the layout of the building, room by room. She knows them all. All but one. Closing her eyes only makes the images more vivid, so she opts to keep them open, under the guise of appearing alert merely alert.

"That depends," Kazimir's words address Odessa even as his eyes address Elias. An unspoken order, one Elias seems to understand, and the Vanguard agent takes a single step back and flourishes his hand as if to gesture abracadabera, and he disappears in a rush of air. "On your capabilities. Despite what I believe you are, what you may be…" The old man turns from where Elias' footprints in the dusty soil are, the only signs that he was ever here. Pale blue eyes drift up and down Odessa, and the cane tucked under one arm comes down to rest its tip against the dirt no the edge of the parking lot, gripped by the snarling wolf's head. "I do not know the true limits of your potential."

There's silence for a moment, as if he were to let it simply stay with that non-answer. "I feel something in the air, this day." His head lifts a bit, shoulders squaring, "It is a day to test limitations, Nightingale You are in charge if Phase Three, and you know this place better than I do." His eyes level on the old building, its deceptively decrepit exterior, "I will follow your lead, and maybe yet we will get to watch it burn together."

"I have no limitations," Odessa states boldly. The doctor strides forward confidently, one hand flexes and then holds with her fingers splayed out. "No one sees us." Nothing stirs. Nothing moves. It's just her and him. And then, it's just him. And suddenly, a side access door with no outside handle is pushed open. The blonde cants her head to one side. "Welcome to Primatech Paper. Let me give you the grand tour."

One gray brow rises slowly as Odessa vanishes from sight, only to crack open the side door leading into the main floor of the warehouse facility — the cover of the old and now foregone Primatech Paper facade. He hefts his cane up, so as to not use it as a balance and allow the clink of metal it produces to give away his position. He follows in Odessa's footsteps, walking across the old and sun-baked pavement of the parking lot to the open door, and then into the warehouse beyond. The old man's shoes softly scuff across the concrete floor as he makes a concerted effort to walk softly, a measure that takes considerable effort on his behalf due to his very advanced age.

"A marvelous talent," Kazimir's voice is spoken quietly, but still has that rough and gravely tone to it. His blue eyes sweep around the stacks of old, abandoned crates as he walks in, unable to spot where Odessa has spirited herself away to, and at this distance unable to feel the presence of her life-force.

Odessa reappears atop a stack of crates, her eyes closed and her hands held out at her sides. "Okay," she says quietly with a nod. "We're clear." She then disappears and reappears in front of the man with a bright smile. "Don't worry about noise. No one will hear as long as you're with me."

One eye narrows slightly, and the opposite brow raises as Kazimir watches her flicker around the room like a jumpy film reel. His pale eyes scan around the building, and then to Odessa. "A familiar facade," he notes the crates and the general layout of the warehouse, a suggestion given by Adam long ago on how to hide things in plain sight, and it only makes sense to see it here as well. "You are ever full of unique traits, Nightingale" Kazimir takes a few steps, tapping the tip of his cane down on the cement floor to test her theory as blue eyes track back to her. "We stand but at the threshold of this journey, and it is the door you spoke of that I see." His words take on a more poetic wording than usual, "Show me the way, to our future." There's whimsy in his voice, and it is both Odessa's confidence and the verisimilitude of her ability that seems to embolden Kazimir some.

"Try and keep up," the woman chimes mischievously before swiftly striding further into the warehouse. "I used to sneak out here so I could smell the air." It smells stale now. Maybe it did then, too.

Her youthful exuberance is as infectious as her confidence, and Kazimir follows with an even and swift gait behind the young woman. Following Odessa, Kazimir passes through an interior door and into a remarkably ordinary looking hall lined with faux wood paneling. His eyes track to each abandoned office along the way, up to the disabled fluorescent lighting in the drop-ceiling, and then to Odessa as she winds through the narrow hallways past abandoned photocopy machines and large spools of print paper. Eventually, her progress halts at a simple steel door and a security card lock, remarkably still lit with power. The three red lights on the top of the card lock indicate the door in secured.

Kazimir takes a step forward, pressing his hand against the flimsy faux wood paneling, and then presses his fingers hard against a seam, splitting the thin wood touch touch the concrete wall behind. His finger withdraws, lightly scraped from the jagged surface. "Intriguing…" His eyes divert down to the young blonde, "I take it you have a special power to bypass locked doors as well?" One gray brow rises slowly.

"Please." Odessa strides drops her hands to her sides and pounds on the interior door. "Stand back. Just for a moment." She pounds a few more times before she also dances back a few steps, out of direct view of the door. When it opens, someone coming out to check, she extends her hands out toward the door, fingers snapping open. The man is frozen. "Come on, then." She scurries past the paused man, assuming Kazimir won't be far behind.

There's a rough, hollow laugh that rises from somewhere deep in Kazimir as he sees Odessa's tactic, a simplistic and yet brilliantly played plan. All of her bravado, and all of her confidence delude Kazimir into believing the Company security would be stupid enough to answer knocking on the door, and not that it was merely the beginning of something else, something far more calculated on the Company's behalf. Kazimir walks past the man, then hesitates as his blue eyes track to him. He meets the guard's gaze, looking him up and down a moment after, and then reaches out with one bare hand to touch him on the forehead. A test.

Immediately from where Kazimir's two fingers touch skin, the flesh turns gray, then white, then begins to turn a withered ashen hue like meat left out in the sun. Veins blacken and spread outwards beneath paling flesh, and frozen as he is the guard can do nothing, not even scream as what began as a simple touch only grows more invasive and debilitating. Slithering tendrils of darkness rise up from Kazimir's extended arm, lashing out like umbral vipers, lancing through the man's body as he feeds on his life force. There's a vivification, a resurgence to Kazimir and a smoothing out of some of his more sunken features.

As the black tendrils snake through the guard, be withers and decays, frozen in time, his skin pulling tight over bone that becomes brittle as if exposed to a great dry heat. The body is dessicated through and through as skin flakes and cracks, still frozen in one spot. All that remains is his uniform, and ashen gray flesh pulled taut over bone, suspended in place only by merit of Odessa's power.

"Marvelous." His voice is deeper, stronger, and Kazimir grips his cane tightly just below the wolf's head as he turns from the guard to look down the concrete hall at the half-green painted walls. "Lead on, Nightingale"

Odessa glances over her shoulder with a cheerful grin. "Hey, slow po- … Oh, my gosh. What are you doing?" The smile flees to be replaced by a look of wide-eyed horror. And yet? She doesn't stop it. "Oh, my gosh. That's what you do." She takes a step away, her chest heaving with gasping breaths. Her mouth hangs open and the uniform falls only an inch or two before she squeezes her eyes shut and holds her fingers out again. Slow, deep breaths now. Breathe, Odessa. Breathe.

Kazimir lowers his hand from the skeletal forehead, two ashen gray fingerprints there like some profaned religious marking on the corpse's brow. "Yes," it seems to be a revelatory day all around. "It is what I do." His shoes click-clack across the floor, moving up to Odessa's side as he levels a careful gaze on her, "He is the first." A hand motions down the hall, "He will not be the last." One step is taken ahead of Odessa, and Kazimir pauses again, not looking back to her but addressing her with a calm and confident tone — together, what can truly challenge him? He can think of no one. "Lead on."

"You can't just leave a trail like—" Odessa purses her lips even as she makes sure she keeps more than arm's length away from Kazimir. She'll just have to expend more effort. She takes a slow look around the room, committing the exact way it looks to memory. As they move on, one hand stays stretched out behind her, almost the way a mother reaches back for a child's hand. But Kazimir's is one hand she has no intention of holding. The more steps she takes now, away from the pile of dust that was once a man in a Primatech Paper uniform, the more her confidence returns. What can truly challenge him? A grin forms.

Odessa Knutson can.

That begs the question, then…

What can challenge Odessa Knutson?

"Let them know." Kazimir boasts, striding alongside Odessa, "Let them come, it's too late for them now." Truly the touch of victory so close has given way to carelessness, and for a man who plots and plans as soundly as Kazimir does, it is this failure to consider the obvious a glaring omission to his usual manner. Coming to a junction in the hall, Kazimir eyes a security box on the wall, looking up from the piped cabling to the unsounded alarm klaxon above and the security lights which have not yet come on.

"Hardly a soul down here, just as I would have imagined. Something so secret, not even the guardians know what they are protecting." Continuing along, it never dawns on Kazimir how sparse the guards are, and when another steps out from a doorway and into the middle of the hall, he is quick to act. With a quick step forward, Kazimir's body exudes a seething aura of darkness, as if Wu-Long was seeping from his very pores. The blackness gravitates towards the source of life like metal filings to a magnet, and begin to do as he had to others, devour them from the inside out, but this time without so much as a touch. Skin blackens where the shadowy aura touches the Company agent's flesh, and this man to Odessa's keen attention isn't merely a security guard, he's someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The pistol at his side, the black suit and narrow tie, he was an agent.

The body collapses down to the floor in an ashen and bony heap, the brittle dessicated bones crumbling like burned wood when they strike the concrete. "How much further?" He turns to look over his shoulder to Odessa, and those swirling necrotic shadows have consumed his eyes, leaving them blackened pits.

"W- W- W- Wa- Wait! Wait! Wait!" But it's too late. Odessa isn't quick enough to stop the decay, and so she lets it happen. She fixes her gaze, now equal parts fury and terror, on Kazimir. "That was an agent! You don't just kill agents!" She press her lips together, looking flustered for a moment as she looks about, trying to think of the best route. She points down one hall, "Shanti is that way." Then she points toward the opposite fork, "But the information I need to manipulate her will be found over there."

"Agent?" One gray brow raises, looking down to the undamaged suit, and then the crumbled bones and ashen flesh. "Fascinating. It seems one does just kill them." Blue eyes track in both directions that Odessa mentions, each discussion of Shanti being a living thing draws more of his focus and interest. Reaching into his jacket pocket, Kazimir withdraws a small and cheap looking cell phone contained in a plastic bag with wire mesh surrounding it. "Go secure the information," he informs, looking down the hallway towards the door. "I will handle retrieving Shanti."

Kazimir's blue eyes focus on Odessa for a moment, and he unzips the bag, retrieving the cell phone from within. The plastic is discarded onto the floor, and the cell phone is flipped open. Kazimir holds up his hand, pressing a button as a shutter noise like an old analogue camera echoes from it. He presses two more buttons, then flips the phone closed. "I trust you to handle that."

Odessa nods quickly. "Yes, sir. Be careful. And don't kill the guards. You'll need help to open the door. Even I won't be able to do it alone. I don't have the clearance." She frowns and bites her lip. "Be sure to smile. You'll be on camera. Good luck." Now that she's seen what the man can do, Doctor Knutson isn't about to disobey a direct order. She holds her arms rigidly out at her sides at slight angles away from her body with her fingers stiff and held toward the floor as she goes. It's as though the very air stands still around her.

One brow raises at her comment about the door, and the corners of Kazimir's mouth curl up into an approving smile. He turns, footsteps carrying him hastily down the hall past several branching halls and another junction box for the security system. His eyes scan through a wall of half-windows that open into an empty conference room, still stocked with furniture, though sparsely so. As he rounds the next corner, however, the sight that meets him is perhaps a bit more overwhelming than he had originally imagined.

Towering from floor the ceiling is a vault door comparable to the bank vaults in his former Swedish holdings. One gray brow raises as he approaches the door, no guards. Finally it's beginning to raise the hairs on the back of his neck. He turns to look back over his shoulder, and no one is there waiting for him. Perhaps, just perhaps, they truly are this incompetent.

Taking out the cell phone again, Kazimir snaps a photograph of the vault door, and then takes a step back as he presses two buttons again. The phone vibrates as the image is mailed to another nearby cell phone. In an instant, there's a flickering black suit appearing from thin air, as Elias emerges from a rush of air with a guest.

"Elias." Standing by Elias' side, the blonde-haired woman in urban camouflage looks tired and weary, but the near five and a half foot long anti-machinery sniper rifle she carries is primed and ready. Never mind that Elias was phoned to pick up Ellinka in New York City, last he had even heard of her she was in Russia. Thankfully for the Vanguard's transporter, he didn't have to travel that far, though the fatigue is already wearing thin. "Ellinka, disable the locking mechanism."

Kazimir steps aside as the blonde sniper approaches the door, examining the locking mechanism before turning to move back down the hall. She drops into a crouch, lowering the stabilizing arms of the smooth-bore rifle. The barrel snaps forward to its full extended position, and Kazimir quietly steps back as Elias flickers behind Ellinka.

"Two shots. Cover your ears sirs." A moment later, there is a thunderous bang as the sniper rifle is fired, and the high-velocity tungsten dart punches through the door, the first shot blowing out the lock mechanism, but not having enough force to punch through both sides of the door. The second shot is locked with the bolt-action slide into place and fired, blasting the slide bolt free from the door. There is a pressurized hiss as the vault cracks open, and Ellinka rises from her crouch, locking back the barrel of the marvelous weapon.

"Finally…" Kazimir begins to approach the vault door, but as he catches a glimpse not of a restraining room, but of small glass-faced safety deposit boxed beyond, one brow begins to raise in confusion…

Blonde hair bounces against slender shoulders as Doctor Knutson hurries down the hallway, her teal peep-toe heels echoing to those who are in sync with time to hear them. She actually stops and backpedals when she spots an empty office with a computer. "Perfect." She darts inside and shuts the door, sitting down and beginning to call up Company files. Fortunately for her, someone left their computer logged in. She taps away at the keys, looking for information on the location of Doctor Mohinder Suresh, but her finger hovers over the enter key. "This is too easy." She squints and looks up toward the door.

The chair goes skittering back and against the wall as Odessa makes a run for the door, throwing it open with the intent of bolting out into the hall once more.


It's permeating the facility. You can't go anywhere without finding silence. The only perpetrators of this silence is Odessa, Kazimir, and his newly arrived operatives. But to say they were the only ones present would be incorrect. With all the other guardians of the virus dead or conspicuously absent, only one remains to ensure the security of the Shanti.


The door is flung open by Doctor Odessa Knutson, but she will find it very difficult to bolt down the door. Mainly because of the sudden presence of a tall, well dressed Haitian. The only barrier between the Doctor and her path. The man's eyes are on Odessa, calm and still as steel. Silence is where he lives.

"I've been searching for you, Odessa Knutson."

"Elias, take Ellinka back to the drop point." Kazimir moves towards the door, pushing it open a bit more with one hand, "Then come back here for our extraction." He does not even wait for Elias' confirmation, or to hear if the rush of wind of him departing the facility with Ellinka comes or not. He steps through the threshold into the vault, eyes sweeping around the glass-faced cases. Camera. Odessa's words ring in Kazimir's mind as he hearkens back to them, and he moves quickly about the cabinets — a kris-bladed dagger, a brain preserved in a jar, so many strange objects, it looks more like a curio shelf than a vault. But there he spies the vial, printed text across the label reading, Shanti Virus - Strain 138.

Kazimir's eyes narrow, and he smashes the glass open with the wolf's head of his cane, reaching in to retrieve the vial, palming it before tucking it into the pocket of his jacket. Finally, he has it, the goal he and Adam have been searching for over the course of generations. Finally, the fruition of all his work is in his very hands, but yet there is a hollow feeling, a sense of uncertainty, that something is not right.

Kazimir eyes the brain in the jar, brows furrowed together as he considers something. He raises his phone, snapping a shot of the contained jar, and then folds the camera closed again after sending a text message to Elias. Retrieve Brain. He's certain to love that extra errand, but he can't help but wonder what Gabriel could do with it.

Turning back towards the vault door, hanging dead on its hinges, Kazimir spots the tip of the tungsten dart halfway torn through the back side of the door. His hand comes up, resting a hand on his chest where the virus is contained, and smiles coldly. "The end is here."

A woman's shrill scream pierces the silence of the facility. "No!" she cries, throwing her hands out over and over again in a desperate attempt to make her ability work. "Don't! You can't!" She backs away, even though the thought of cornering herself further in the tiny office terrifies her. "Don't make me go back!"

The one thing Odessa Knutson fears the most.




Fluorescent lights overhead sputter and crackle, accompanied by a static-electric discharge that floods a storage room floor with showering sparks of blue-white light. A pinhead of red-orange light bends into existence like a heat-mirage, then expands outwards until it reaches roughly six feet across. Inside the sphere, a helmeted figure sputters and crackles into being like an out-of-tune television channel. When the sphere pops like a soap bubble, she solidifies and drops to one knee from a standing position. The concrete floor beneath her is scooped out like a bowl, filled with quickly-dissipating sparks and glowing white-hot around the edges.

The armored woman stands quickly, lifting up a blast visor. The moment she sets eyes on the room her stomach turns. Towering stacks of paper in shipping boxes stacked neatly in shelves bend inward on themselves as if viewed through a glass orb. Her stomach turns and vision swims. Gripping her helmet she staggers, trips on the edge of the bowl depression in the floor, and collapses onto her side, screaming inside of her helmet. The noise is only a barely-audible moan from outside.

After several moments of agonizing delirium, the woman rights herself on her knees, then slowly stands up. She reaches for a fixed-bladed knife at her hip, gripping it tightly in one gloved hand, then advances straight ahead toward a solid concrete wall. The armored woman and her knife begin vibrating so loudly that it sounds like a tuning fork at a pitch that could shatter glass. As she runs head-long at the wall she passes through it rather than smashing against it. She emerges in an adjacent hall, hearing a shriek from further down. A dark silhouette of a man in a black suit — Kazimir Volken — briefly crosses the hall in front of her, but he neither notices the armored woman nor does she react to his presence. Instead, she repeats something lyrical to herself, muffled by her helmet, and rushes through the wall ahead of her…

…and emerges inside of a brightly lit vault. Glass-faced storage cabinets line the walls, filled with bizarre curios. The woman looks back at the vault door, still closed, then approaches one of the storage lockers. By the third step she can tell something is wrong. She gasps for breath inside of her helmet, feels her heart racing backwards in her chest, and feels as though she is coming apart at the seams. Unraveling like a thread doll. Hand trembling, she fumbles her knife and it clatters onto the floor. But she doesn't notice, her focus is too intent on not dying. On completing her mission. Stepping forward, she makes one more heavy-footed stride toward the locker she was instructed to loot: top left, top left, top left.

She gets three more steps before she feels a shooting pain racing down her arms. The armored woman collapses onto her knees, mouth open and gulping for air like a fish out of water. A tiny holographic timer in her peripheral vision continues to count down. Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one…



Odessa falls back within the office as the lights overhead flicker and gutter, and the Haitian is soon pursuing her within the office. He fixes her with a stern gaze. Your games have gone far enough. A parent coming to retrieve an adolescent runaway. A teacher going to reprimand a child throwing a tantrum. One hand flies out at the woman's wrist, going to pull her in.

"You brought a friend, Odessa Knutson. We need to go visit him." Comes the words in the thick Haitian accent.

The force he asserts on the wrist is over the top. His firm very tight, to reign in the woman and drag her where he goes if he has to.

The shriek echoes down the hall, Odessa's cry for help, or cry of fright, or both. Kazimir scowls, looking down at the phone, he's made too many communications as it is, and risking further interceptions is out of the question. Tucking the phone away Kazimir moves quickly down the hall towards the sound of Odessa's scream, slithering tendrils of darkness rising up off of his shoulders, whatever is inconveniencing her must be alive, which means that inevitably like all things that he has seen stand against him, will wither and die.

But before Kazimir can make his way to the end of the hall, the dark silhouette of another ominous figure moves into view. Dragging Odessa, the Haitian slips into view with a firm grip on the young doctor's arm, dragging her along amidst tight-lipped silence on his behalf. Kazimir and the man meet their gazes for a moment, and then something goes terribly wrong.

The moment the Haitian's powers focus on Kazimir, the moment the Haitian seeks to turn off Kazimir's Evolved ability, there is a withering shriek that erupts from his body as a wave of darkness rises up like a tidal wave, then snaps free as if tattered cloth billowing in the wind. A swirling maelstrom of shadows wrenches itself free from Kazimir's body as he drops his cane to the ground with a clatter, the seemingly benign object rolling across the floor to the Haitian and Odessa's feet.

But what rips itself free of Kazimir is something beyond explanation, a slithering mass of darkness that takes on in fleeting moments the vague expression of a tormented face, billowing waves of darkness rising and falling from it as it gutters about in some unfelt wind. "Nnnh… h-help…" The voice is dry and hoarse, "W-whh…" It sounds like Kazimir, but only Kazimir himself would know that the voice crying out for help, is Richard Santiago.

The billowing curtain of darkness swirls around Kazimir's body, like jet black smoke brought to life with crackling edges of black flame-like edges, as if made of cloth, slowly crumbling at the edges.

"Let go of me!" Panic fuels Odessa's struggles as she tries to dig those impractical heels into the floor so he can't pull her along. She's really wearing the wrong shoes for that, so down the hall she's taken. If she was frightened before, it's nothing compared to what she sees now. "Stop! You're killing him! Stop!"

Black brows narrow, dark eyes watching the spectacle down the hall impassively. If he cares he is killing the old man he doesn't show it. If anything he increases his ability on the old man, if that was even possible in the first place. The Haitian continues to exert his own ability on his immortal opponent. His enemy who has no match.

Though for a moment, something like shock passes over the man's face. He glances to Odessa quickly. A flurry of questioning and accusing expressions passing on his face. His foot raises up to stop the oncoming cane before him. He looks down at the wolf head then back to Odessa.

"Why did you come here, Odessa Knutson?"

Santiago staggers, dropping to his knees and grasping at his throat. His skin creases around his eyes as he looks down at his hand, even as the guttering black flame and smoke force seems to swirl around him like some disembodied energy. Every time it attempts to divert itself back down into Santiago's body, the Haitian's power prevents it from connecting, instead it simply phases around him with the wild movements of a guttering candle flame.

"H-Help…" Santiago's plea comes from a dry throat, and the sickening feeling in his stomach only worsens as the age Kazimir was repressing slowly begins to catch up to him. Wrinkles start to become more pronounced, hair lightens, and dark circles set in around his eyes, as if he were rapidly aging before their eyes.

"Suresh," Odessa responds without missing a beat. "I'm trying to find Suresh." She tugs at her arm, attempting to free herself. "You're hurting me! Let go!" She suddenly goes lax, dropping to a crouch with her arm raised above her head, still grasped firmly, snatching the head of the cane, she makes an attempt to pull it the blade of it straight out of its sheath (held firmly in place thanks to the pressure from the Haitian's foot), with the intention of making one swift stab upward toward the man's ribs.

There is too much pride in this place. Each of them thinking themselves infallible. Kazimir thinking himself matchless by virtue of his ability no one could touch him before withering to ash. Odessa being able to come at anyone without them even knowing about it. The Haitian's hubris manifests in that he temporarily forgets Odessa Knutson's ability to physically act.

As soon as Odessa feels the ever present ebb and flow of time return to her - a feeling that seems to wash over her skin - she strikes out with her free hand to freeze time. Fortunately for the Haitian, this means he isn't losing more blood. She takes a few moments to catch her breath, and pry her arm out of that strong grip. After sheathing the blade once more, she waves the hand held around the cane and time resumes for Kazimir once more. "Hurry up and take the body. I can't hold him forever." He's still the Haitian and whether Odessa likes it or not, he's stronger than she is.

The moment the Haitian's focus is cut by his very blade, there is a hissing shriek from the black smoke phantom that swirls around Richard Santiago's body. The essence of Kazimir's profane life-draining power, in truth an incorporeal essence of his very mind and power do what it does naturally when its powers are restored — it finds a host. The shadows surge for a moment towards the Haitian, snapping away from Santiago, then swirl around past Odessa's shoulders, narrowly avoiding diving straight into her body, before plummeting back towards Richard Santiago. The shadows slip in through his mouth, nose and eyes, inhaled until nothing but slithering tendrils of darkness are left as them lift out of his skin in ephemeral waves.

Just a moment too late to witness this, Elias appears in a rush of air. His expression is both puzzled and put-off. Kazimir struggles up to his feet, walking for a moment over to the Haitian, as if to rip from him his very life essence, but there is a ripple of the shadows over his body, and he relents, the fear of being exorcised like that from his host again was terrifying.

Reaching out, Kazimir snatches the sheath of his cane, then growls out in a wet, weak voice, "Out. Now…"

Elias' eyes focus down on the Haitian and the blood pooling out from the staff wound, then to Odessa. He nods, in a terse moment of confusion, "What about the brai— " Kazimir casts his blue eyes, now bloodshot and sunken into their sockets and Elias grimaces, reaching out a hand to settle on Kazimir's shoulder, then another to take Odessa by the wrist.

Volken looks down to the Haitian, then to Odessa holding his sword, almost, he was almost her instead of Sylar. That could have been disastrous.

But the smile on his face belies any disappointment, and it's that expression of victory despite all odds that the Haitian is left with, and the deep wound in his abdomen far more than a medium injury.

In a rush of air, Kazimir, Elias and Odessa vanish from sight, and with them what Kazimir has sought for all this time. The Shanti Virus is now his, if only he knew how virulent Strain 138 truly is.


The only thing the lone man is left with is the blood trickling out of his stomach. His eyes flick up to where the people were just moments before. They have the virus. They have wildly powerful abilities and the capability to destroy a large percentage of Earth's population…


He isn't dead. The man slowly pushes himself to his feet, glaring down at the wound. He has a job to do, information to report, and a man who is planning genocide to find. The Haitian's priorities just switched.

The man adjusts his tie, turning on his heel he makes his way back to the exit.

December 18th: Regarding Dani

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…
Trusting the Untrustable

December 18th: It's as Simple As...
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