Net and Pin, Part II


b_cardinal_icon.gif b_delia_icon.gif hiro2_icon.gif b_jaiden_icon.gif kira_icon.gif

luther_icon.gif b_monica_icon.gif b_peyton_icon.gif b_sable_icon.gif samuel2_icon.gif

Scene Title Net and Pin, Part II
Synopsis A battle is waged, but whether it was the final conflict is up for debate…
Date October 1, 2006

Something had to have gone wrong. Not a few seconds into their mission, and something had to have gone wrong.

Sable appears first, with the confines of the Jittetsu Arms store falling away around her. They'd gathered, one last time, and she's equipped with a gun that looks straight out of a scifi movie, intended to shoot needle-point projectiles instead of bullets, with a much more limited range, and surprisingly heavy to carry around. Out of indecision, or a lack of prophetic guidance, Hiro had kept the other to himself, and his only explanation to Sable had been: you will get close. But if things are going wrong already—

Wrong, because she's alone. Wrong, because daylight isn't a very dramatic setting to any battlefield. She appears with her back to a silver trailer set into a ground of dirt and scraggly grass. It could almost be the Thomas Jefferson Trailer Farm, except that they don't usually contain half-closed amusement stalls. They sure as shit down have a ferris wheel, which she can see standing silent and still against the backdrop of a cloudy sky.

On the plus side, there's a deserted kind of feeling to this place. At least, no one is out in the open.

Except her.

And except Peyton, whom she sees appearing several feet from her a moment later, and Cardinal in her wake. Luther, Monica, Jaiden, Delia, they all start to blink into existence all around, with a few seconds in between. No Hiro. Of course, no Hiro. The immediate space is open, half ramshackle amusement park, half living area of those that work here, with a line of laundry outfront a trailer, a cluttered breakfast table with the left overs of the day.

It doesn't look like much of a battlefield, but what does, before the battle?

The Carnival

October 1, 2006

When Peyton arrives, her fingers curl around the gun in her pocket — Hiro may have said that they will fail in killing Samuel, but that doesn't mean she can't try. And pain is sweet revenge as well, even if it doesn't kill him. The plan to administer the virus of course is one she plans to follow — but she still feels the cold comfort of the steel in her hand like a talisman.

As soon as she sees they are alone, the black pupils stretch outward, swallowing the copper crown of the iris as she focuses on their target, concentrating on the mental picture of him in her mind, praying to a god she doesn't believe in that he is, in fact, in this time stream, that their research is correct and that he hasn't changed too much of the tapestry of the past to have change this, too.

Monica is armed, too. She's opted not to mention to anyone about her wounded rib, except Cardinal because he's a sneaky man and caught her at trying to bandage herself. So she brought a lot of ammo for her two favorite pistols. She doesn't seem to notice she arrives on a delay, but when they land there, she's already on guard. but no guns out, yet, they're just resting in holsters under her jacket, is all.

Cardinal's gloved hand drops down to rest against Peyton's shoulder as they manifest from the mists of time. "Let's do this," is his simple attempt at encouragement, not a hint of uncertainty or doubt in his voice. Those fingers squeeze so that she can feel it despite her senses being elsewhere, and then he draws his hand back away once more.

Flesh and garments bleed away to shadow, and in moments the man is nothing but a pool of darkness upon the scrubland, twisting into the blades of grass to vanish entirely from view, lingering nearby and waiting for his chance.

Luther is in new clothes now, courtesy of Monica's generous donation. Even though he's without blood on his shirt anymore, though, the man has with him the small handgun revolver from his little jaunt back into the 80's - sans two bullets. He holds the weapon with the rusty precision of someone once trained to handle such firearms, but that 'once' being a 'once long ago'.

It takes him a while to recover from the sudden jump through time. It's not every day one gets thrown back and forth through dimensions past, present and future. The man's still squinting around at his surroundings while the others pop into the area. And he watches with no small degree of fascination.

Delia appears in a blink - first she's not there and then she is, standing in the shadow of one of the silvery trailers, blinking in the brightness, lifting a hand to shield her eyes from the sun before stepping back into the shadows, looking around nervously for Jaiden and the rest of the group.

A heartbeat later, Jaiden appears, dressed in his usual comfortable outfit with a backpack slung over his shoulders and a holstered pistol under his left armpit. He glances around, pulling his hat low over his eyes before approaching the rest of the people, shifting his shoulders and rolling his head from left to right before looking around. Absentmindedly he reaches up and unfastens the holster's catch, the gun easily pulled but left where it is. "So….any idea where he might be? Where they might be?"

Sable is not so hot on guns. She has temporally induced issues with them. The weight of the weapon in her hands maps a little too neatly onto the weight of a similar object in smaller, younger hands in memories long buried. Still, with these badasses at all sides, she's sure as hell not going to show how nervous the weapon makes her. She holds it in both hands, arms straight, elbows locked, like she thinks she maybe saw some FBI agent in some movie or TV show carry their gun sometime. Not super convincing, and not adding much to anyone's confidence, much less her own. But if she does get in close, maybe aiming won't matter so much?

And, regardless of purpose, Sable has a keen eye.

A pair of them actually, which scan the skyline, catching onto the great skeletal spirograph of the ferris wheel. Awesome. Just where you want to end up after being drop kicked through time - an abandoned carnival. The moments of true aloneness get her heart rate up, and the sudden appearance of her fellow timecops kick it yet higher at least at first. She wrinkles her nose and gives a small sniff. "Y'all are th' killers 'n' asskickers here. Don't look t' me f'r nothin' like guidance. Just, like, point at th' guy I gotta plug when y' see 'im. I'll do my bit."

Without a guide, Jaiden's questions might echo unanswered into empty air. The clear sky doesn't tell them much about the season, and the mild air indicates it's neither summer nor winter, but what that means in the grand scheme of things isn't much at all.

Peyton sinks into her power, and it's surprisingly easy that she so readily locates Samuel. Or kind of does. A woman matching the photographs of Vanessa Wheeler is standing in front of him, her slightly lined face showing some concern and no small amount of fear, although she seems to be doing a fair job of hiding it. Beyond her, Peyton can see more of the near-empty carnie grounds, and the shade indicates them both standing beneath an awning sprung from a trailer, with Vanessa seated demurely.

As she switches on her hearing, Samuel's voice fills her ears: "— just wanted to show you what it's been like. I've had such a time, staying away from you. But somethin' amazing's happened. Nothing I can explain, properly, because y'wouldn't understand. Not yet. But when it's right, I'll show you."

"Samuel…" is sighed out from Vanessa, her hands nervously laced together in her lap.

As Cardinal vanishes into something more two dimensional, he's the first that sees the sight of a herd of footsteps. Apparently, this place isn't so much abandoned as it is simply empty. If this Samuel here is the one from their own time, perhaps the carnies are just out for the day, with a few lingering behind. The rest of the group hear it in the sound of conversation, a woman and two men, moving together and talking too quietly to be heard.

But they'll be moving past the row of temporary housing, and into view at any moment. Time to move, and as ever, the choice comes down to the basic survival split decision: fight or flight.

The clairvoyant's pupils constrict back to their normal size, and she looks around at those present; she didn't hear the voices of those close by, having been eavesdropping on Samuel and Vanessa.

"They're close, Samuel and Vanessa, but I don't know where. Somewhere near a trailer I think," Peyton says, turning to look around, eyes falling in the direction of the housing that the voices the others heard came from — different voices — without knowing it. "Maybe over there?" she says, taking a step in that direction, then looking at the others and for Cardinal's shadow for confirmation.

"Well, they aren't right here, that's for sure," Monica says before she steps back toward the nearest cover. "Maybe we should take the buddy system and go look for them," she says, over toward the other Endgamers. At this point, Monica's been twitchy for days, unable to keep still, and even her injury doesn't seem to be changing that.

"I'll see what I can find… find…" A whispering echo from the shadow, and as they hear the approach of others, the shadowy form of Richard Cardinal slithers along in the direction of those coming their way, intending to scout out the situation. They're around here somewhere. And so is Arnold.

Lips parted in the process of starting to speak, Luther stops short of vocalizing his thoughts as there comes the sounds of outside conversation from unknown sources. He quickly sweeps the revolver-holding hand behind him and ducks on after Monica. Twitchy as the girl is, he seems to take his cues from her action orientation. The spot Cardinal had vanished into gets a wary eyeful, though. "Peyton," he hisses towards the clairvoyant, reaching over to herd her back behind the line of hanging laundered sheets and things. The others also get shot some looks to duck back somewhere. Better than being caught this early in the game.

Patting herself down quickly, Delia casts a worried look between the scrambling people and fixes to do the same. The first hiding place she finds has a Monica in it, the second a Luther and Peyton, the third… Eureka. "Jaiden…" she hisses quietly and waves him toward her. It's a fine sized recycling bin filled with paper, this place seem to be filled with recyclers. Jumping into the bin, she peeks up just enough that the top of her head and eyes show, looking for the Australian to follow.

Jaiden gives Delia a quick shake of the head in the negative as he approaches, crouching next to the bin that she's taken up residence in, his battered backpack making him look a bit like an australian hunchback standing there in the dust. He's quiet, his hand on his gun, watching as best he can, his senses turned up to eleven thanks to the threat of the situation they're in as well as the concern he has for Delia…

This is a lose/lose for Sable. She can't really want someone to step up and start giving orders - the very idea rankles her. But she isn't in any position to start bossing people around herself. The gun feels strange in her hands, heavy with danger and also with responsibility. Her role is crucial, something that sounded just right when she was signing up for this (this is all about her anyways) but right now she's not feeling so hot about it. Peyton seems to be the one in the know, so Sable follows her leave, casting Monica a quick glance. She grins. Buddy system? "Y'all c'n buddy up with me, hon. I'll look after y'."

The three moving in on their location seem as innocent bystandery as possible, with man and woman linking arms the third wheel trailing along after. Heavy tattoos, thrift-store garb, and as the heroes retract from their location— it deems itself to be a wise move, as the three carnies raise no alarm, remain ignorant to the invaders of their home as they move through the space, boots and bare feet both trampling over and obscuring the footprints recently made by seven or so temporally displaced heroes.

This isn't an ideal setting. Not in the slightest. But at least it goes to show that a little caution goes a long way.

It doesn't take Cardinal very long, to see what might need to be seen. As his shadow self slithers beneath trailers and plays along the lines of other noon day sunshine, he'll see the middle-aged woman a row of trailers over, stepping out from beneath the shade of the awning and clutching her handbag close as she moves hastily away. Then there's Sullivan, at her heels. "If you can't give me a straight answer," Vanessa is wavering out, "then you're as good as kidnapping me. You can't just keep people, Samuel."

Luther and Peyton duck through the laundry line, the long expansive white sheets veiling them the makeshift road cutting through the carnival — but quite abruptly, they find themselves being stared down through one eye by a woman familiar to at least one of them, crouching catlike on the trailer the laundry string from after motion too silent to be natural.

Kira's eye goes wide. And then, in the time it takes for her to smile, she angles the barrel of her tilted shotgun directly down at them, and squeezes the trigger.

The concussive boom of the weapon going off, buckshot shredding laundry— and more, of they don't think to move in the split second of time granted to them— has Vanessa and Samuel both stopping, before the terrakinetic is gripping her arm and driving her away from the noise.

For all that Cardinal was searching, there's no Arnold in sight.

Luther pulling her behind the sheets has Peyton blinking in surprise, having not heard the voices of the carnies heading their way — she's still looking around to see what danger is present when she sees Kira — her own two eyes echo that widening of Kira's singular eye, and she grabs Luther's arm, jerking as hard as she can to fall away from that blast, knowing another will be coming inhumanly quickly. Peyton's wearing a black wool peacoat today, and luckily the sleeve takes the worst of the first blast, though a few pieces of buckshot pepper her skin within and she winces as she hits the ground, tugging the revolver out of her pocket to try and get a bead on Kira — she's had lessons since her time in the past, many hours spent in the firing range, and this time she aims just a little off deliberately, in the place she thinks Kira might be when she dodges, rather than in the place Kira is.

Of course, that's only if she guesses which direction Kira will dodge. It's not a 50-50 chance, with someone with Kira's agility — she could move in a myriad of directions, and faster than Peyton can shoot.

The sound of a gun shot has Monica's attention whipping that way a split second before she's on the move. Running toward the sound, like a crazy person. Someone else will have to find Samuel, she's running toward the excitement. Guns out, of course.

The moment she sees that shot gun wielding pirate, she's opening fire. Hopefully from an unexpected enough direction for the element of surprise to be in her favor.

No time traveller in sight, and the target's been located! Maybe, thinks Cardinal, this will turn out to be a cakewalk.

Of course, a split-second later there's a crack of a shotgun blast echoing through the air. Apparently, you don't have to say it out loud — thinking it is just as bad.

Rather than rushing to the sound, though, he sticks near Samuel, shadowing him so they don't lose him.

Oh hell. Luther's preoccupation with avoiding detection by the ground forces has him failing to spot the overwatch. It's not until he's yanked to a side and offbalance that he realizes the imminent danger of the shotgun barrels pointed at them. His larger body falls back, but he too catches some of the spreadshot that flies by, the worst of it avoided but a fair number of pellets burying into his exposed and underarmored skin. The thinner material of his clothes only soaks up blood. Luther hits the ground and rolls, perhaps not the wisest of things to do in getting dirt into the wound, but better than being a sitting duck. Oh, and he swears. Loudly. Someone does not like getting shot.

The sound of a shotgun blast has Jaiden's glock filling his hand almost instantly. He doesn't look toward where the shot came from, instead looking toward the doors of the trailers surrounding the group. The air in the surrounding area goes dry as he starts gathering moisture to him, a puddle forming on the ground just below the surface of the dust, making it look like it's just some oddly-shaped ground, ready to be used. His mental arithmetic, already primed to 'worst case scenario' ticks off one shot out of seven. More than likely it's a pump-action shotgun and the most that it could hold with one round in the chamber is seven.

Sadly, one round of 00 buckshot is enough to cause some serious problems for anyone on the other end.

At the sound of the gunshot, Delia peeks out of the dumpster and across to where Luther and Peyton were hiding. The tangled form of the homeless man has her face contorting in sympathetic pain and she scrambles to get out of the dumpster. There might be people on their way but they'll be there anyway, especially with the sound of the gun going off pretty much makes the worry about them moot.

Landing on her feet, she takes off in a sprint across the way, not noticing the papertrail she's leaving in her wake. Her backpack is full of medical supplies, as always.

Jaiden helps Delia out of the dumpster with his left hand, his right holding his pistol at the ready. His hand lifts to press the microphone at his throat, a military-style walkie-talkie system allowing him to have hands free and communicate. *What's the situation? How many. Is anyone hurt?* HE scans the area, sticking to Delia like glue. What's with gunfire lately? Really.

Sable recognizes the sound of gunfire - that ain't no car backfiring. The resounding report of a shotgun, in particular, is distinctive, and Sable flinches, dropping into a crouch. Monica darts away, but as she's heading towards the sounds of combat, Sable doesn't immediately give chase. The chatter of the walkie-talkie clipped to her waistband gives her an excuse to linger - buddy or no, she's not eager to head towards open combat. She's not even really armed! Instead she yanks the radio from her hip and fiddles with the buttons. How does this thing work again? *I ain't keen t' get int' a firefight. We know where th' man himself is?*

By the time Peyton is swinging gun upwards, Kira is on the move — her hand plants down on the tin roofing of the trailer, flipping up and off to land behind the building, and taking off at a run that moves as a speeding shadow between the obstacles of the carnival, but if anyone remembers anything of her, they'll know that 'defense' is not really in her vocabulary. True to form, Monica opening fire on her has the agility-powered assassin rolling, ducking behind an abandoned, closed down concession stand with its curtains rolled over its counter and standing silent and nonplussed by the violence around it, as Kira takes cover in its shelter.

"What's going on?" Vanessa says, even as Samuel is clamping a hand around her wrist, driving the blonde woman to almost bare her teeth at him from the narrow of the glare she delivers.

"I'll explain later, but I need you to be safe." And with that, she suddenly disappears. No Arnold. No Hiro. Just the hands of Sullivan.

Samuel brings about his attention to the sounds of the firefight, unsheathing a pistol from the confines of his own frock coat — he'd always told Lydia, and Edgar, and the rest of them, that people like him didn't need weapons like the others did. The under-privileged normals. But maybe times change. In Cardinal's vision, he disappears, only to reappear closer to the site of the conflict, back pressing to the sun-warmed metal of the day.

A second gunshot, suddenly, almost as a distraction, but buckshot cleans paint off coloured wood before Kira is promptly charging out of her hiding place, heading straight for Monica in a show of stupid bravery, her swift feet and weaving, ducking self getting her close enough that she starts to bring around her shotgun like a club, aiming for the woman's head.

"«Kira's here,»" Peyton hisses into her radio. "«Find Samuel. Luther's hurt— Monica, look out!»" Her whispered voice escalates as she sees Kira swinging that shotgun, and she again lifts her own weapon, but the proximity of her friend makes her pause. "Damnit," she growls, not willing to risk shooting Monica."

Her eyes dilate as she seeks Samuel — only to see that he can see her, which means he's right… She whirls around, backing up against the building she's closest to, to try to find some cover, though she points her weapon in Samuel's direction. "«Sable, get him!»" she growls into the phone even as she tries to steady her shaking arm enough to take aim and shoot at the terrakinetic — maybe if she disables him, he'll be that much easy to infect with the virus — since it's been foretold they won't kill him. Again, Peyton is quite alright with hurting him in this battle, even if he doesn't die.

That warning from Peyton has Monica whipping around with just enough time for her to leap backwards out of the way. And her muscle memory, it seems, doesn't care much about the fact that she's got a broken rib, it pushes her through the motions. Anyone looking at her face, though, can tell she's in some serious pain, and her arm is wrapped around her torso, which leaves her with Karate Kick Action to try to get that gun out of Kira's hands.

Wait. What the hell? He's suppose to be a terrakinetic not a teleporter. Cardinal hesitates for a long moment - and then he streaks across the sun-warmed ground around the trailers, a living darkness that lunges to try and climb up Samuel's leg so that he can't teleport away from him.

God, he hates teleporters.

Luckily, it isn't too hard to find Luther, laying there and wounded as he is. And luckily, the shooter seems to be occupied elsewhere for the moment! The bad news, of course, is all the blood from the gun shot wounds, which he's trying to hold off with the pressure of his hand, and the fact that this is another shirt ruined.

And as Delia skids to a stop beside the injured man, she almost hands the pesky shotgun that she was given to him but reconsiders. No good giving a man you're about to dig into (not like Huruma) a gun to use on you. "It's okay… okay, I'm here… Lemme look…"

The redhead places the shotgun on the ground beside the two of them and opens her pack. Pulling shears, some bandages, and crazy glue from the backpack, she ruins his nice shirt just a little more. "Crap… dirt… Okay this is going to sting a little." And out comes the rubbing alchohol. "Do me a favor and uhm… sing happy birthday, did you know it's my birthday?"

The rules of a gunfight are simple. Shoot the other guy before he shoots you. The high ground is the best ground. If you get shot, shoot them back. Simple. But when you get teleportation, earthquakes, water, shadow people, and other interesting variables, the rules go out the window. He looms over Delia as she works on the fallen Luther, glancing left, glancing right, glancing up to make sure there's nothing incoming….and if there is, he wants to be the one hit because, well, Delia's little and he's not. Well, not as little as she is, anyway. "Get him under cover…he's not going to bleed out here just yet." He gives Luther a small smile. "sorry for being so matter of fact, mate, but we're not under cover." And as beautiful as the flapping sheets with gunfire, as cinematic would be, he'd rather not be here with her. The water follows behind obediently…..

Survival instinct tells Sable to find a nice cozy corner to hide in until all this blows over. Disabling this instinct, a requisite for all stupi- er, I mean heroics is a feat achieved any number of ways. One can let one's fear pass over one. One can accept one's fear and work through it. And one can delude oneself into thinking that one is destined to come out of this alive and well. Being more with the crazy than the self control, it's this last Sable opts for.

Of course, there is no occasion for her to self-delude in this way until Peyton's voice calls her by name from the walkie-talkie. Sable glances around, trying to figure out just what 'getting him' will entail. Peyton is point A. From there, Sable traces her line of fire over to point B where Samuel is. At least for now. She didn't catch all that teleporting nonsense, so she assumes he'll stay in mostly the same place. Keeping low, she scurries around the outskirts of the firefight, trying to steer clear of any crossfire. She grips her dart gun in her right hand, white-knuckle hard, while she presses the radio close to her chest. Trying to get an angle. Trying to get a vector of approach. To get close.

It might seem like a global event, when it happens so far up from the surface of the earth. It's not, in reality, but it still casts its shade.

August 17, 2007, an eclipse gave Peter Petrelli his scar during a time when he was able to grow back whole limbs, irreparable damage, maybe even come back from the dead. Before that, a solar event occurred as Niki Sanders peered through the school project her son made so as best to view it, and men and women stopped and twisted their stare upwards, even if you're not supposed to. That had been October 1, 2006.

Which would be right now.

Kira is sure as shit not noticing as she engages battle with Monica, distinctly aware that she's the uninjured party, here. Her shotgun goes flying from her grip at that sharp kick, but it doesn't stop her at all. A backhanded hit lands its mark, only for a coming kick to be deftly dodged by the movement mimic, earning a growl from the one eyed woman. Producing a pistol from where it was strapped to her calf, Kira lets off a shot. It misses.

Her one eye goes wide once more, when she realises that an easy shot should have hit. She staggers back, her movements suddenly sluggish and clumsy. She won't be the only one who realises that somehow, some property of great objects blinding the eye of the sun, drains her of her power.

Least of all Cardinal.

It's like a kick to the gut, the living shadow rendered an impossibility, the two dimensional shadow creasing through the folds and angles of Samuel's pant leg suddenly spewing out a fully grown man, which is maybe not the weirdest thing Sable will ever see. But fuck, it's up there. Samuel is staggering back from that sudden appearance, dark eyes flaring wide as he realises that a quick second of willpower isn't delivering to him the power he's harnessed.

The pistol aims down at Cardinal, Samuel's foot suddenly stomping down on the man's ankle as if to pin him there. "Hiro with you?" is growled demand, even as he darts a look up to see if he's out in the open. Though he is, he doesn't immediately see Sable's position, but she suddenly has the skills of an ordinary girl.

The shadow that falls on the earth gets a scowl and a glance upward from Peyton, and then when she looks back — Cardinal is on the ground. Luckily her aim from this distance with a shaking hand and pain coursing through her system didn't connect with Cardinal when he suddenly corporealized — and now he's being held at gunpoint.

"«Fuck, I think… is there negation gas or a negator?»" she whispers, and decides to test her vision — coming up with nothing but the frightening scene in front of her own face, rather than a shift in perspective from the host eyes of Cardinal, who she tries to jump to. "«I'm coming up empty — this is good news and bad news, guys… they're without their powers but so are we… Be careful."

Meanwhile, she moves along the wall of her building, a little blood smearing from the wound on her upper arm, luckily superficial unlike poor Luther's. Her shooting arm is unaffected, except for shaking from adrenaline, and she aims it at Samuel Sullivan, hoping to buy time and distract him from Sable's approach — they need her to infect him, take his powers permanently. "Drop the gun, Sullivan," Peyton growls across the distance between them, eyes flickering to where Kira and Monica face off as well, then back to the terrakinetic's face.

The thing about it is… Monica still knows kung fu. Still knows how to fire a gun. Her power isn't there to push her through it, so it all comes less as instinct and more as something she actually has to think through. And weighing her options… Monica lifts her pistols and fires both toward Kira's gut. More than once, if she can manage it before the other woman is able to adjust to their new situation. She'll worry about why they're in their new situation later.

There've been two other moments in Cardinal's life when he was torn out of his shadowy form so suddenly and violently. One of them was immediately followed by pain and humiliation. The other, the discovery of unlikely allies and victory snatched from the jaws of defeat. It's fifty-fifty. Today's the tie breaker.

A sharp grunt escapes Cardinal as he lands sprawled on the ground, starting to roll— but not fast enough, and his ankle's pinned painfully by the sharp stomp of Samuel's boot. "Fucking hell…" A sharp hiss of pain as he looks up at the man pointing the gun at him, "…who the fuck is Hiro?"

Maybe he can play dumb.

"I'm okay," Luther lies by the skin of his teeth to Delia. Tough guys. Of course. "You need to get goin' and hrrrgk!" Rubbing alcohol, man's worst enemy - especially when applied by women in a rush to tend to a wound. But what else is he going to do? Well look there, a shotgun. There's an opportunity laying right there. Then again, so is he, laying right there. Still, the man's hand grabs for the shotgun and he shifts his weight while favoring his wounded side as he attempts to rise to his feet. Healer or no healer, sun or no sun. There's gunfire, and it's time to get out of the way.

The water obediently following behind Jaiden stops and soaks into the ground with nary a sound, Jaiden looking down and back, then daring a glance up at the eclipse. "Come on, Del…" his voice is urgent, clipped. "Let's get under cover. C'mon…" He hooks a hand underneath Luther's unwounded side, helping the man get to his feet, looking around for a target. Thankfully his shooting abilities are not augmented, so any shots he sends downrange are all him thanks to years of practice and experience with a gun in his hand. He can see Kira getting shot at by Monica, but Samuel is obscured, even though he kind of knows that he's *over there* somewhere. Still, he carefully draws a bead on Kira. "Sorry, miss." he says under his breath, his pistol barking once, twice.

Sable can't explain what it is she feels like, losing her ability. It's always on, to some extent, such that it is a part of her normal perception. The shift is, itself, almost imperceptible, but it's present. To Sable, bodies are usually things that broadcast their next location in space by virtue of various cues. Now, bodies are just bodies, and where they are headed to seems suddenly much more mysterious. Yellow eyes blink in momentary confusion, but she lacks the awareness to figure out just what has gone wrong.

And she also lacks the time to think about it. Men are usually ranked pretty low on Sable's perceptual priority list. They tend to get screened out after a very quick friend/foe assessment. But when one man is bursting out of another man's pants… Even with her ability at work, she couldn't have seen that shit coming. And now it's all she sees. Samuel, Cardinal, the gun and whose pointing it at whom.

Sable doesn't have a lot of feelings about Cardinal, and those she does have are pretty decidedly negative. But this man is her ally right now, and she doesn't think it right to dawdle when your ally is at gunpoint. She takes only the time necessary to line up a shot with as much care as she can afford, squinting down the small sights at the terrakinetic. She breathes in. She breathes out. She squeezes the trigger.

Samuel glances up in time to see his key assassin felled, eyes ringing wide in surprise but certainly not grief as he levels that stare back down at Cardinal, mouth twisting in disdain for what he sees as an easy lie. "Couldn't'a been Arnold, not any more, and y'don't look from around here," he sneers, and grinds his heel hard against the ankle bone, enough pressure that Cardinal might feel like it could pop at any second. "He's not dropping the gun, despite what Peyton has to say about the matter, and instead, angles it up in casual brutality and a lot less mercy than the woman who is so intending to hurt him has thus far shown him.

The pistol goes off, and breezes by an inch from Peyton's temple by the time Samuel is staggering forward from something that feels like a very bad bee sting in the centre of his back, releasing his stomp down on Cardinal's leg.

Kira folds over almost double as her gut is run through with bullets, dealing her something of a nasty injury, killable if left long enough. She steers a completely lost expression up towards Monica, her mouth open to start a yowl of fury that begins to contort around the syllables of Samuel's name as she brings up her gun at point blank range to take the bitch down with her— a bullet neatly takes out what feels like a piece of shoulder, spinning her with a whip of sweat-damp hair.

She hits the ground, unarmed, disabled. Breathing with ferocity, she curls her legs around belly wounds, her hand digging into the soft ground beneath her. A hand, shaking, dips into her coat, and the pin of a frag grenade winks between her teeth.

And she isn't throwing it. She is, instead, rolling over so that her critically injured shoulder is on the ground, and making a feral grab for Monica's ankle.

The next few seconds are reasonably important.

The gunshot that about takes off Peyton's head has her ducking much too late, an arm flung up to protect herself — her eyes don't catch that winking of metal in Kira's hand, however, and the cacophony of gun shots — hers, Samuel's, Monica's, Kira's — is too disorienting for her to think to look elsewhere.

"Get away from him," she growls at Samuel, knowing that Sable's shot won't keep Sullivan from trying to shoot Cardinal — or her a second time.

As Samuel stumbles backward, Peyton shoots again, this time aiming for the center of Samuel's body, finger pulsing twice on the trigger; the clairvoyant's dark eyes are full of rage. This is not how she dies — she saw how she dies — but that doesn't piss her off any less. If anything, it makes her all the angrier.

"«Back off me! Grenade!»" Monica doesn't talk over the radio much, but when she does… you know shit just got real. Suicide bomber real! Pirate suicide bomber real! When her ankle is grabbed, Monica uses her other leg to kick Kira in the face. Hard. She's aiming for it to be hard enough that the shock of it will loosen her grip enough to run. But she doesn't wait to see if it works, she pivots and tries to yank her ankle free and run.

A pained sound is masked behind Richard's clenched teeth as that boot grinds down at just the worst possible angle to hurt, pushing himself up slightly on his elbows, hands in the open. "I'm not…" Then the shooting starts, the gun's lifted away, and the foot pressed down on his ankle pulls away.

If there's one thing that Cardinal has going for him, it's the experience of a few years spent in Riker's Island learning to survive around people far less pleasant than him. The foot that wasn't being stepped on snaps up as he twists onto his side, his steel-toed boot aiming for the terrakinetic's crotch.

Teeth grit and frustration certainly evident in his expression, Luther winces as he has a moment of adrenaline powered strength to shove himself up to a standing position. Nevermind the pain that lances through his shoulder as he pulls up the sawed-off using his off hand arm. His aim's not particularly focused, but the shotgun gets pointed in Samuel's direction. The leader of all this mess, and the root behind the pain in Luther's shoulder at this moment.

And besides, he's got Luther's newest boss down on the ground. And he shot at Peyton, his newest friend-slash-coworker.

Luther does his best Eliot Ness impression expression-wise, and pulls the trigger to the shotgun pointed at Samuel.

Luther standing has the effect of his nurse tumbling backward a little and landing on her keister. Delia winces as the shotgun goes off, fearing what further damage he might be doing to himself. She scrambles backward to avoid getting into the middle of all the gun fire and ducks under the nearest trailer. Once there, she just hides with her arms over her head.

She doesn't want to see the poor carnie get riddled with bullets, he seemed so nice on Coney Island. "Oh god oh god oh god…" her frightened whimpers are a little squeaky under the trailer, all she can see is boots and shoes. Hopefully the man's girlfriend isn't anywhere around … The thought has her lifting her head in surprise and bumping it painfully against the metal of the little mobile home. "Shit… shit shit shit…" Normally, she doesn't swear, but someone needs to find out where the civilian casualty might be.

She scrambles out from the trailer in the opposite direction and starts racing around to find the blonde woman.

Prolonged gunfights are not good. This is close-quarters stuff that, the longer it lasts, the more likely people will get dead. One arm goes beneath Luther's good one, pulling him back in a retreating motion, away from the lady he just shot with the grenade. He was just going to wound, but when the call that she was a suicide bomber went out, he does not want to be there. *Has the package been delivered?* he calls into the radio, his gun trained in the direction of the firefight, looking for Delia…and not seeing her.

"Delia…??! FUCK!" Jaiden punches the trailer next to him, scrambling down to look beneath the thing to try and find where she went to. "Del, stop! GEt back here!"

She hit him?

Holy shit, she hit him!

Sable makes a very bad tactical decision and gives a huge whoop. "Gotcha y' freakshow motherfucker!" are her exact words, not the most sensitive or politically correct thing to say, but give her a break - she had a tough upbringing. She's standing straight up, in plain view, yellow eyes fixed gloatingly on Samuel. *I got 'im! Right in th' back.* she says into the radio, grinning like an idiot. They win now, right? Gg, guys. Gg.

When the grenade goes off, Kira's teeth are blood-laced, and her hand is empty as she watches through her remaining eye, Monica make her run for cover. The raw violence of the explosion strips through her immediate vicinity, shrapnel winging out deadly and a shockwave of dust kicking up from where Kira's body doesn't block the worst of it, but is however ripped to shreds in an arguably more merciful death than the slow pain of a gut wound. Kind of.

In a sense.

The sound of the explosion is heavy punctuation to the prior sounds of gun blasts, defeaning to Kira's ears— if she still needed them ever— with a near blinding flash of light. The force of it throws Monica off her feet, pitching her into the wall of a trailer hard enough for it to rock, and by the time she's fallen, she's bleeding.

But not dead. Speaking of being not dead—

There aren't a lot of men alive, who can say they were saved by someone kicking them in the balls.

Samuel goes down, tumbling artlessly with Peyton's shaky shots screaming past him and making dents in some bystander's trailer, and he's not unscathed either — raw red glimmers in the dramatically shadowed sun over the high of his back from where buckshot took slices of frock coat and flesh with it without actually piercing deadly into his spine. His pistol tumbles away as he lies on the ground, partially stunned and certainly in pain, and all the while, that little injection dart sticks out from his shoulder blade.

As the last of the echoes of firefight are dying down, some inhabitants of the carnival— smart emough to stay the fuck away— are peering out of their respective hiding places. No more than five or so having stayed behind, one of them watching wide eyed as Delia goes running past the camera through the grounds.

They aren't animals. There is no immediate surge of vengeance for the sight of their fallen leader. Those that do see it are wide-eyed with disbelief, but it's as if the shadow of the eclipse is keeping them back. There's the sound of running, someone putting distance between themselves and the conflict.

Among them, Hiro has cut a figure in the landscape — despite the fact he probably will have to wait until the eclipse departs in a few minutes. His sword bears the Kensei mark as he stands quiet for a moment, watching for now, before moving forward at a slow and deliberate pace.

With Samuel on the ground, Peyton stops shooting, the blast from that grenade earning her glance in that direction, eyes widening as she sees Monica flattened against the trailer but mostly safe— she hopes. She scurries forward to snatch up Samuel's gun from the ground, backing up as quickly lest he grab her ankle or do any other such horror-movie kind of motion. She's seething with anger, but it seems that Tamara was right — they won't kill him; still, with Luther's shot having connected, he's at least in pain. That seems to appease her as she backs away further, eyes moving to Cardinal to be sure he's all right.

Seeing that he is, she whispers, "I'm gonna go check on Monica," she murmurs, bending to hand Cardinal Samuel's gun, her own hand shaking visibly — even at this close of range she'd probably miss. The pain of her other arm and the adrenaline and fear are starting to grip her. She breaks into a run toward Monica. "I'll be right back, Luther," she tells the other injured party. "«Delia? Where are you? Pickup time…»" she adds, as she catches sight of Hiro.

The good news is that she did not get exploded. The bad news is… she almost wishes she had been, as she's thrown into that wall full force. Her body slides down to the ground in a heap. A bloody, broken heap. She's breathing, when Peyton gets there, but it's labored. She's awake! She's just not going to be walking out of there.

It's a good thing there's not a telepath around, because the thought floats by, her wondering if she'd sound like a maraca if someone shook her.

Luther experiences the same 'my god I actually shot a man' surge of inward, emotional buck after he watches Samuel fold under the impacts of nutshot (ow) and buckshot. The hand holding the spent sawed-off dips to his side and he winces again in a mixture of regret and injury. With Peyton going to see to Monica, Luther nods shortly in acknowledgment and heads towards Cardinal's side. Given his ears still ringing from all the booms and bangs going on, Luther's next words are spoken louder than his normal discretionary volume. "Are we finished yet?"

The gun that's handed to Cardinal is taken in hand, and he staggers up to his feet, his free hand bracing against the sun-heated side of one trailer as he does so. "Crazy son of a bitch," he mutters, favoring one leg as he limps back a step, turning to look to the others and calling, "Anybody hurt?"

The carnival grounds are fairly barren aside from the few straggling people coming out to see Samuel in his broken state. As Delia runs past a few of them, she spots the man down on the ground first and winces as she begins running toward him. "Oh geez… Oh geez… Hang on Mister…" Even though he's the enemy, she's morally bound to at least help the poor man.

Turning around to catch her bearings and find her discarded backpack, she spies Monica and a panicked expression washes over her features at the sight of the hamburger woman. "Oh crap… oh crap… Too many… not enough me…" What she wouldn't give sometimes to be able to split herself in two. Like Voldermort or something.

The Australian manages to catch up to the redhead approximately at the same time as she's sliding down next to Samuel. "What are you doing? Peyton's calling you…" His expression falters a little as he actually understands what she's about to do. Running back to where her pack was tossed down, he grabs it up and then follows her gaze toward Monica. A small nod is given to Delia as they both start to run toward the fallen woman.

There is no one left to punish Sable for her bravado, so it stays in place, gaining momentum even, as she swaggers up to the bleeding man. She sets her arms akimbo and smiles down at him, looking, honestly, kinda crazy. "Y'all never shoulda fucked with me 'n' mine, chum," she says, addressing Samuel with what can only be called an aggressively conversational tone, "you stepped in th' way 'f th' freight train 'f Destiny. Y'all should be glad y' look this good, considerin' what really hit y'."

The dart is picked out of his shoulder with rough fingertips, studied with obvious confusion before Samuel lets it drop to the dusty ground of the carnival, barely even noticing Delia's approach and subsequent departure. "What did you…" And there's no one listening to answer that question, even as Samuel asks it. Above them, far above them, the moon is retracting from the glaring eye of the sun, a slow waltz between titans, and the shade is banished away again as the fine light of day spreads itself across the land. Whatever this land is supposed to be.

He lifts his head as Sable saunters over to him, blinking slowly. "You'd have made such— " His voice catches in his throat. It is not emotion. A far cry, in fact, an itching cough instead blocking his words. His legs scrape under him, an attempt at getting up. "You'd have made such an excellent soldier. It's a shame— "


Though Hiro could take off Samuel's arm, it's simply the flat of his blade that comes down hard on brutalised flesh, earning a guttural growl from the once-terrakinetic, the knife he'd been sliding from up his sleeve dropping to the dirt instead. "I must take him away, before his presence creates a rift," Hiro explains to the group. If there is anything different about him, it's almost too subtle to detect — a grimness, a sternness, and a lack of tired that Hiro had been carrying around up until this point.

And of course, the make of his sword. "But I can take you all home first. I am sorry you have all been dragged into this mess. But the prophet was right about one thing." A small smile. "He will not die. Here."

"«Monica and Luther are,»" Peyton says into the radio to answer Cardinal's question, ignoring the sticky feel of blood and the drag of her left arm now that the adrenaline is fading. The wounds in her upper arm are mostly superficial, but the shot remains will need to be dug out — later.

Crouching next to Monica, Peyton considers trying to help her up but can tell it's not an option just now. "You were amazing," she says softly — then nods toward the others. "Hiro's here to take us home." She can't quite hear his words over here, nor see any difference between the Hiro she last saw at Jittetsu Arms. "«Monica needs help — I don't think I can carry her all the way to you guys,»" she murmurs into the radio.

Monica looks over at Peyton, but talking isn't happening just now. Because it would all probably just come out as one giant scream. Or crying. Maybe some groaning. But she moves her arm enough to bump her hand against Peyton's leg. She's glad to see you, Pey.

Luther shoots Hiro a hefty stare - if only he had enough in his arm right now to take another swing at the time traveler. Instead, he settles for a stiff chastening remark, "You're damn right you're going to take us home first. More importantly, you're going to take the ladies back and to someone who can tend to 'em right, you hear? Hero or not, they deserve to get treated better than all this. Didn't your mother ever teach you this ain't a way to treat a girl?" Sheesh! The grumbling and growling homeless man nods in Monica and Peyton's directions, and as he holds out a better hand to help Cardinal up, he indicates in regards to Samuel, "Just go. We'll make sure he's not run off with." After the skip of a beat, Luther adds into the radio, "«Sorry 'bout ruining another shirt, Miss Monica.»"

The injuries to the team are mostly minor ones, as far as Cardinal can tell… aside from Monica, at which point his face loses a shade or two. The shadowman leaves Samuel to Hiro as he staggers over, dropping down to one knee with a grimace, reaching out to rest a hand on the young woman's less-hurt shoulder. "Don't move," he says softly, "We'll get you patched up, Moni…"

Over the radio, he says quietly, « Good job, all've you. »

Delia and Jaiden finally arrive with the pack of medical supplies and the redhead promptly grabs a few of fistfulls of things out of the bag, picking through them carefully before coming up with a single needle. "Okay… this time it's going to hit the right person and not me." It's a vow to herself more than anything and after a quick swipe of an alcohol patch and a quick prick in the muscle, Monica just might find some of the pain aleviated.

The entire needle doesn't get dumped into her system though, Monica's a little smaller than Delia and as the nurse recently discovered, an entire syringe full of morphine is enough to put out an elephant… or at least a redheaded one.

As Delia is tending to the muscle mimic, Jaiden is splitting his attention between watching over her and making sure they take everything back with them. Though he doesn't like to leave her there to take care of Monica on her own, he has to in order to collect the discarded weapons.

Sable lifts her nose, disdainful, and shakes her head at Samuel. "No soldier, man. Musician. Make love, not war." And she throws Samuel a peace sign. It also happens to double as V for Victory. Having it both ways.

And this is when Sable snaps out of it long enough to notice people have been hurt. There were shots fired. That if this was a scripted battle, fate demanded some price. Sable's expression goes dour, and she jogs over to Monica. She's ready to offer help, sympathy, compassion - oh - and there is a mass of blood and flesh that looks like it might once have been a woman. Sable is already pale, but she manages to get paler, truly pallid. Then she starts turning green. She stumbles off to the side, gagging. Someone's gonna be sick.

Hiro considers his options, before lifting his sword from where he has it pointed at Samuel, and moving across the space in much the same path that Sable is cutting — save for her diversion to upchuck over there. Carnies aren't going to know what hit them, but at least many won't be around to see the worst of it. He demurely steps around the vaguely human shaped spatter that was Kira St. Croix, and lets his shadow fall across the injured Monica.

Regret has him frowning, before he crouches and rests a hand on her ankle. "I will take her somewhere safe," he promises them all, before he and movement mimic both blink out of reality.

Time is malleable. That Hiro reappears a second later should be a shock to no one. Samuel has gotten to his feet, it seems, back still curved seeing as Cardinal's kick more or less felt like it went as far as his ribcage. "Vanessa. You have'to get Vanessa. I sent her home but she dies," his eyes are wide, staggering now for Hiro, "I sent her back but she'll go to New York City, the bomb, you mustn't— what did you do to my ability?!" is savagely snarled. Sweat stands out on skin that's gone pale in shock.

"It was never yours to begin with," is cold delivery from Hiro, sword lifted in warning, before he sends a glance towards the heroes. "What time are you from? I shall send you back to the correct day."

Luther earns an amused smile from Peyton and she looks a little warily at Hiro as he nears Monica — she is still distrusting, thanks to her tragic time in the past. Her own face is pale, though not for any sort of sickness brought on by the grotesque form of what was Kira St. Croix — she's merely in pain and tired and worried.

"How?" she manages, realizing she hasn't seen Arnold, and yet Samuel was able to jump around in time and space without the elderly man. "How did he … is he a power thief somehow like Peter or Gabriel?" she asks quietly, reaching to take Cardinal's hand and squeezing as she watches Hiro speak to Samuel.

"Sometimes, I think it's just better not to ask those sorts of questions, Miss Peyton," Luther remarks as he leans tiredly up against the trailerside. Hiro's question gets the timejumper an odd look, but like he was saying - it's just better not to ask. "2010, November 6." A beat skips. "Please," adds the man, grimacing with the feeling of foreign metal in his shoulder. Someone isn't up to messing around with the time-space continuum any more than what's already done.

"What they said," is all that Cardinal offers regarding the time - and date - that they departed from, despite the temptation to try and steal some more time. He glances up at the question of how, though, his eyes narrowing behind his shades.

Looking up from the mess that is Monica, Delia grimaces and glances between the rest of them before trying to cut in with a date of her own. "I'll take November 9th though, if you're feeling generous." Changes in time be damned. Visions be damned. The redhead just really wants to survive.

"Tyler Case," seems like such an easy answer, one that Hiro— should have known? And told them? Surely? If he is saying it so simply now. "It is something the other one missed, an important key — but I can assure you that Tamara Brooks misses very little." But he isn't about to go into what happened to the second syringe of flu formula. That's for Hiros to know, and—

There is a glance as Delia makes her request, and a slyly sad tilt to the time traveler's smile. "November the 6th," he agrees, and without leaving room for questions, the group vanish as one, leaving behind the carnival, Samuel's suffering shape, and reappearing in the interior of Jittestu Arms, very much the same as when they'd left it. Minus Sable, of course, who gets her reward for aiming true and winds up back at home. But as for the cavernous backroom of the old arms store— the Japanese dressing screen bears a sword slash through its silk, knocked kilter, what little furniture was the knocked over.

The web is entirely gone, not a trace, not a clipping, not a paper crane, much as if nothing had ever happened; save for one last fight.

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