No Good Deed Goes...


emily_icon.gif geneva_icon.gif julie_icon.gifsasha_icon.gif sibyl4_icon.gif

Scene Title No Good Deed Goes…
Synopsis … unpunished.
Date December 18, 2018

Emily and Julie's Apartment

The entrance into the Fournier-Raith/Epstein apartment is a relatively noisy one, the door slamming behind them from being left to close on its own while Emily ushers Geneva toward her bedroom. She pulls the curtains closed after flicking on the lights, helping with getting Sibyl situated on top of the covers so they can finally start addressing her wounds. As guilt-ridden as Gene seemed to be about her part in the girl's current state, having her on-hand was going to be particularly useful — she probably knew better than anyone else what kind of damage she could do, and eyeball how injuries from it should best be treated. Hopefully, at least.

"Let's get her coat off," Emily murmurs, swinging the small bag she'd been wearing off of her shoulder to set it down carefully in a chair by her bed, scarf sailing after it with less grace. She'll worry about her own coat later. "Is there anything you need me to grab?"

In the dark, it'd been harder to judge just how bad it had been. Emily's attempt at wiping away the blood from Sibyl's nose had been mostly successful, for example, but not entirely. Indoors, she can see the scorch and soot on the coat with much more clarity now.

This would be easier if Sibyl was fully conscious; even though her build is bird-boned, she’s still roughly one hundred pounds of dead weight with limbs that behave like they’re filled with lead. Geneva navigates the removal of her coat with some difficulty, and is then able to roll up her sweater’s sleeves to expose the angry pink skin of her forearms.

First degree burns. Geneva knows them well and can identify the severity of the wounds with just a glance. That is to say: they’re largely superficial. Sibyl can expect some peeling and residual pain for the next two weeks while she heals, but she won’t suffer any nerve damage or permanent scarring.

If she’s in shock, it has nothing to do with the state of her poor peacoat.

It speaks to just how Geneva is feeling that the normally flippant girl has been ashen-faced and not said much this entire time, save for spoken directions to Emily on what she needs, such as to fill a basin with cool water (which she herself goes to help with). She has not even yet really processed what she has seen in Sibyl's nightmare-memory, either, aside from cracks of the occasional image involuntarily slipping through to the forefront of her mind even as she attends to her current responsibility.

Casting a very briefly apologetic look towards Sibyl’s ruined coat after it is set to the side, Gene then braces for the task of examining what damage she has done to the child.

By the way the teen slowly lets an exhalation slip out, it can be inferred that it is not as bad as she feared. Still, however. She had done it.

First is to maneuver the water-filled basin into place atop the nightstand by Emily’s bed. Then gently, as a mother would to a toddler, Geneva props Sibyl up in bed, taking the girl’s angry-red forearms and settling both of them beneath the cool surface of the water. It is a little longer yet before she says anything, only pausing once to tuck a curl of blonde hair back behind an ear.

Finally… “So. All that stuff that we saw.” The question that was probably inevitable.

What the fuck?” A distinctly shrill, feminine voice erupts from a short hallway leading to bedrooms. A thin blonde woman not much older than Emily, bearing a striking familial resemblance, bursts out of the door across from Emily’s in a long night shirt and drawstring yoga pants. Her bare feet scuff across the floor, blue eyes wide as she takes in the chaos happening in Emily’s room. On making eye contact with Emily, Juliette Fournier-Raith exhales an exasperated breath and presses the fingertips of one hand to her forehead.

Who the fuck?” Julie curses as she sees two women around Emily’s age and looks shocked and then embarrassed and then shocked again when it looks like one of them is possibly unconscious. Stepping into the doorway, Julie’s eyes dart around the room looking for bottles, baggies, needles or other paraphernalia.

Why— the fuck?” Julie finally manages to stammer out as she whips one hand in the direction of the bed, one eye closed and the other squinting. Maybe she wasn’t quite awake enough for this.

The figure that emerges from the bedroom on Julie’s heels moves at a more languid, relaxed pace. Sasha Kozlow is in no hurry; he is, in fact, in the process of lighting a cigarette as he enters the adjacent hallway.

Also important to note: He isn’t wearing a shirt. Just a pair of worn denim jeans buttoned a full inch below his navel.

At least he was polite enough to take off his shoes — if not at the front door.

Sasha peers wolfishly over Julie’s shoulder and wrinkles his nose at the sight of the small blonde teen slumped in the circle of Geneva’s arms. His ginger mustache gives him the appearance of bristling whiskers.

There's not enough time to address Geneva's question before the shouting comes after them. Emily turns back at hearing Julie's voice, calmer than she should be. Then again, it wasn't the first time she'd gave her cousin a scare and been on the receiving end of a rebuke recently. All she can do is look, a little helplessly, up at her as Julie processes what's going on, going through all the different stages of it.

"I think she—" is as far as she gets, calm and in control, before she sees the face of someone she finds to be very unwelcome in this scene, in this house. At all, really. Emily's up on her feet, gesturing with at Julie with flick of her hand, more toward the entire Russian that's lurking behind her. "What the fuck," she starts in exasperation. At some point later, she'd apologize profusely to Geneva and swear this wasn't how they normally talked with each other in this household, but seeing him here…



… would be enough on its own to set her off.

"Put that the fuck out." Emily hisses at Sasha, bodily placing herself between the girls on the bed and the figures in the doorway. To her cousin, almost as an aside, "The fuck, Julie? Get him out of here." After which she's looking back at Sasha again, looking like she'll snatch the cigarette from his hand if she has to. "It's non-smoking in here, it's a fucking handicap unit, they could throw us the fuck out if it starts stinking like cigarettes." Julie at least had the sense to smoke by the window, even if she was chastised for that, too.

Aside from being generally riled by his presence, though, her hair's standing up on the back of her neck. There was a relatively short list of people she knew should probably be nowhere near Sibyl, and Sasha Kozlow was one of them.

Welp. It looks like Geneva’s queries on the matter will have to wait. Because two strangers, one of them half-naked and smoking, just burst into the room. Bleary-eyed, the teenager can’t help but swivel her head towards the doorway with all this new commotion happening, taking in the respective sights of both Julie and Sasha.

“People. SHHHHH.” she snorts at the newcomers in a tone that is basically an order— especially the lady that is yelling and cursing… As though this is her house and her room they had just intruded into. Right now, though, the unconscious form of Sibyl is her one and only priority. Through all this, Gene is still holding the smaller girl, ensuring that her burned forearms stay submerged in the basin of water before her.

A look is darted towards Emily with one eyebrow raised, as though to say, Who the fuck are these disruptive-as-fuck people?

Julie makes a face at Emily, squinting, head shaking, and when she turns toward Sasha she’s starting to say, “Calm down he’s not sm— oh my god Sasha.” Julie makes one swatting motion up at the cigarette. “For fuck’s sake go open the balcony door and smoke out there.” Her attention is quickly fired back to Emily as she insinuates herself into the room, leveling a one squinted eye look at Geneva.

“What’d she take?” Julie asks with a motion to Sibyl. “Did you take anything?” More judgment, there. “Because if she’s blacked out on Refrain I want her out.” She hasn’t gotten close enough to really see the burns for what they are, still trying to figure out what’s going on with the water in her somewhat groggy state. Mercifully, they’re not that severe. It’s clear she didn’t get the text.

Sibyl’s eyes creep open and her body judders in Geneva’s arms. Tension snakes through her shoulders and neck. She acclimates to her surroundings much faster than any Refrain patient that Julie has ever treated; by the time she’s cognisant, her gaze is too sharp, too bright to be anything but sober.

It’s also a startlingly pale green-gray.

Her next breath comes out as a hoarse bark. Nails dig into Geneva’s wrist and hold it fast.

“Fuck,” she says. “Fuck—”

There’s something different about her vowels. She looks between the faces she can see: Emily, Julie, Sasha.

“Aleksandr?” she asks. “Who are these people? Where’s Ethan?”

If Sasha was going to put out his cigarette, he’s not now. He has forgotten it entirely.

Emily's brow angles sharply down at the judgement she hears from Julie, stopping just short passing what could be classified as a shitty comment. "She didn't— I didnt," It's hard, but she's really trying to not snap back. Refrain?? Really? If there were a time she might, though, tonight was a strong contender. "She has an ability. She overexerted herself."

She's starting to get a little impatient with her cousin's attitude, though. Emily had texted ahead, for Christ's sake. "I figured you would be able to tell if—"

Sibyl coming to startles her, as she doesn't expect her awake, and certainly doesn't anticipate the sharp cursing. Emily falls silent, staring back wide-eyed. Something seems off.

A shock of familiarity crawls through her as she hears, even from those few words, the change in her voice. "Oh shit," she whispers, no breath coming afterward. Emily shoots a look at Sasha, and he seems suitably shocked, enough to the point she doesn't waste time staring any longer at the former Vanguardite. "What the fuck did we do?" she whispers, her next look at Geneva.

Then, to Sibyl herself. Except she has a very strong feeling Sibyl's not home anymore.

"Eileen?" Emily queries cautiously, her head dipping forward as she asks.

The tension that seizes through the previously-inert body of the child makes Geneva start, looking downwards at the disturbance. And then there are nails digging into her forearms — owie. Trying to suppress the wince rising as a reaction, Gene then has her attention caught by the eyes of Sibyl, now open and alert.

Except… they didn’t look like the eyes of the child that she had helped put to bed. Something about their new tint reminds her of that one, shining, cat-like eye of the corpse that she had immolated in Sibyl’s dreamworld—

The drifter hears Emily’s question without really being able to formulate a response, as her mind is trying to process what is happening. Because what in the actual fuck is happening.

All she can think to say to Eileen(?) is: “Hey, it’s okay. You’re— wounded, just lie still.”

I just woke up,” Julie snaps at Emily, forgetting Sasha’s cigarette as well in her inspection of Sibyl’s narrow frame. There's abject confusion in her expression when she notices the burns, and looks sharply to Geneva.

“Out the door and down the opposite hall. Bathroom. First aid kit is on the table by the sink. Please.” Then, turning her attention to Sibyl’s eyes and tries to look for signs of head trauma for all of the word salad coming out of her mouth. Julie has nearly no exposure to the Vanguard and only ever knew Eileen as a distant figure in a crumbling castle in the days she barely recalls after losing her twin and mother. There's no immediate recognition in her eyes at the names. Especially not Aleksandr.

“Eileen?” Julie asks, partly to Emily and partly to the now conscious young woman. At the same time, her pupils begins to dilate beyond the normal limits of the human eye. The black swallows her iris and she stares through Sibyl, and then exhales a sharp breath.

What,” Julie gasps as her brows scrunch up, “the,” and a look of bewilderment crosses her face, “fuck?” Whatever she saw, it wasn't what she expected.

If there’s one thing Sasha excels at: it’s following orders, as long as those orders don’t conflict with his own desires. And he does not desire to be in this room right now.

He retreats into the hallway at Julie’s command, last seen lumbering in the general direction of the bathroom. He’ll bring her the first aid kit, sure. It just might take him a few minutes while he tries to process what the hell is happening in the other room.

Geneva can stay right where she is, apparently. Sibyl — is it Sibyl? — leans back into the older woman, shrinking away from Emily’s question.

There’s lucidity in her eyes, but no recognition.

“I don’t understand,” she says, like that isn’t obvious to anyone else. “Eagle Electric— the warehouse. This isn’t—”

She sacrifices the other half of that thought for an opportunity to call out across the apartment on the off-chance someone else might hear her. Someone she knows who isn’t Sasha.

“Amato!” she shouts, voice gone hoarse. “Wu-Long!”

One small part of Geneva- the part that isn’t bewildered by everybody else’s bewilderment- is glad that the newly-awakened girl isn’t thrashing about. For now. That, at least, is a small mercy. A few minutes more, and Sibyl’s charred arms will have been soaking for long enough to progress to the next stage of burn treatment.

The teenager would have asked the others (now that there are others present to ask) to help get the girl to the bathroom so those burns could be rinsed beneath properly running water, but in this state, it seems rather dangerous to try and move Sibyl. Eileen. Whoever it is. The basin of cooled water will have to be enough, but it does seem like it is doing the job. At least it seems that there is someone with medical expertise, Julie, here to supervise.

“Grab some soap, too,” she yells after Sasha, who seems to have disappeared into the bathroom. The she lapses into silence again, watching the figure in her arms with a gaze that is half mother hen, half wary cat.

What else could she even do?

A question Emily is starting to ask herself, too. A look at Julie to confirm what she's surprised by this time makes her want to wince, as she's not even sure she'd want to know what Julie sees going on inside Sibyl at the moment.

The shouting is a pretty good indicator, though, which makes the desire to wince even stronger. Oh god. Emily thinks to herself. The girl was shouting for Vanguard members now. What, did that put her state of memory back like, nine-ten years ago? Emily's expression is loud as she processes, tries to sort out what she knows, exasperated while her thoughts visibly rush. Never did she expect reading the bible of information on the defunct Vanguard might actually help her defuse a situation.

Her hands are held up before her in a gesture of calm, hoping she'll stop shouting. "Um… Munin," she says, the name coming out like she's only ever read it and not actually heard it. That's the case, after all. "I'm Emily. You're in our house. You need to stop shouting, and calm down." Her words are firm, but clipped. She's trying to emit calm, but not take her time about it.

Her hands fall as she moves quickly to her desk, grabbing a thick paperback and tossing it at the foot of the bed like it's an explanation. All 428 pages of the Wolves of Valhalla bounce, the white eyes on the cover art peering up knowingly.

"Nobody else here. Just us and — Sasha," Emily sounds frustrated as she says it, the irony of the man she just yelled at probably being the most trustworthy person to Eileen in her current state definitely not being lost on her. She clarifies hastily, since the name had been said by her already, "Aleksandr." After less than a breath, her brow furrows. "Skoll?" She looks wildly uncomfortable.

She looks back to her cousin abruptly, that pained expression still there. "Jules, it's not Refrain, but she tried showing us something from her memory and—" No more words follow that. She's still trying to process herself exactly what was happening herself.

Suspecting that maybe Eileen's memory wasn't entirely broken — from a certain point of view — wasn't comforting, though. This definitely wasn't the woman her father knew and had been looking for. Not the one who had died on Pollepel Island. Fuck. What now? Emily thinks to herself, looking back to see if the book has been picked up.

The subheading hopefully had caught Eileen's eye.

Emily,” Julie takes her cousin by the arm, staring at her with a wide-eyed and pleading look from the bedside. She doesn’t quantify the plea, yet, looking briefly to Geneva with a momentary nod of recognition and then toward Sasha’s retreating back. Her grip on Emily’s arm tightens as she looks at the burn-victim-come-amnesia-patient. Releasing her cousin, Julie turns to Sibyl and gingerly gestures toward her with an open-palmed gesture of placation.

“You’re in Elmhurst.” Julie says calmly, “you were…” she flicks a look to the burns, then back up to gray-green eyes, “you were hurt in a fire.” Another snap of a look to Emily, then back to Sibyl. “My name is Julie Fournier-Raith,” she says with a hand at her chest, not recognizing the weight of that name when she says it to Sibyl, “I’m a nurse, and you’re in my home. You’re safe.”

Then, brows furrowed, Julie leans in just a bit closer. “You may’ve suffered some head trauma. Possibly a concussion? Can you tell me your name and what year it is?” She looks back to the book at the foot of the bed, grimacing, then back to Sibyl.

Sibyl doesn’t give Julie any outward indication that she’s heard the question. She regards the book at the foot of the bed cagily from behind her pale lashes. It’s impossible for her not to notice that subheading, but she refuses to reach for it the same way a small child refuses to look under their bed when the lights are out.

And maybe the identifier Sibyl no longer applies, because when she does finally respond Julie this isn’t the name she provides. It’s: “‘leen.”

The first syllable is so small, she practically swallows it. Something behind her eyes — although not their colour — changes with the realization that she doesn’t know the year. It’s fear, and it intensifies the deeper she digs for some sort of an answer.

“I don’t understand,” she says again.

Geneva can’t help but follow the trajectory of the book as it is tossed, though she herself does not move from her position to pick it up. It might just be time to do a little light reading herself, when all this is said and done. Then, she sneaks a peek over to Sibyl to see if this action had done any good.

Apparently, it had not.

Even though Gene is situated right next to her, it is difficult to catch the little syllable that slips out, but it is indeed caught. ‘leen. “Eileen,” she repeats quietly, as though confirming for certain to everyone else in the room what they all suspected. “It’s- 2018,” she adds, when no answer appears to be forthcoming to the latter part of Julie’s question.

She casts a meaning-filled look over at Emily, seeking to exchange glances with the other girl. Then, back down at… Eileen. “When Sibyl was showing us around those memories… Um. What happened to her, then.” You know. “Do you think that might’ve… caused this?”

The grip on her arm stops her, and Emily is forced to consider what she's doing. Not quite 'taking a deep breath and a step back' level, but she realizes what Julie's trying to do. Oh. she realizes too late. She's already tossed the book. It at least had the intended effect of stopping her from yelling, she tries to tell herself…

She winces visibly when Geneva says what year it is. If Julie didn't kick them both later, it might be a miracle. She had to respect how much more delicately her cousin was trying to handle this, at least.

Emily's response to Gene's question is a lift of her brows and a slight cock to her head like uh, yes, absolutely before she stows the look away. "Sorry," she whispers under her breath, more to her cousin, but also to the room in general. Her panic wasn't helping this delicate situation, but the staccato of gunfire was occasionally echoing in the back of her mind still. She wasn't overwhelmed by everything they saw, but she was far from immune to it. Stupid, knee-jerk reactions wouldn't help at all, though.

She'd at least try to avoid them.

"Like Julie said, there was an accident." Emily pauses, emulating her cousin's gentle firmness. "We just want to make sure you're okay. Do you remember where you're from?"

“Don't let her go anywhere,” Julie hisses at Emily before pushing back off of the bed. “Sasha!” She calls out to the apartment, socked feet thumping on the hardwood floor as she tries to figure out what's taking him so long.

Sasha is probably where Julie expects to find him: the bathroom. The first aid kit is exactly where she said it would be, too, except that he hasn’t picked it up yet. He’s in the process of running his hands under cold water so he can splash it onto his face and scrub his fingers through his beard.


Killing time.

Whatever you want to call it.

He catches sight of Julie’s reflection in the mirror when she appears in the bathroom doorway. “What I do?” he asks her. What he means is: What do you want me to do?

The expression on his face makes it clear he doesn’t like this turn of events. At all.

Back in the bedroom, Eileen is staring blankly off into space and has been since the words two-thousand-and-eighteen left Geneva’s mouth.

“London,” she says, but suddenly doesn’t sound very sure of that either.

Meanwhile, it seems as though Gene does not know where to go now after the train of her last thought has died. Uncomfortably, and unnecessarily as it looks like, she makes sure Eileen does not shift from her bedside position in a manner where she might hurt herself.

Burns, she knows well how to deal with. For whatever this is she’s got nothing.

Against her better judgment (going by Emily’s past wince at her), but fueled by curiosity, Gene asks the girl now vacantly staring into space: “D’you… d’you remember anything of how you got to this point?”

"London," Emily sounds more relieved than she should, the named place coming out of her in a rush. "That's — that's good." Her shoulders slack and she nods. She's not sure entirely what to do next, aside from approach the bed slowly … keeping herself between tiny Eileen and the bedroom door all the while.

Geneva's question is a good enough place to start, though. In the event she really doesn't remember, Emily just shakes her head gently. "If you don't, that's okay. If you can tell us the last thing you remember, we can work with that. We'll do everything we can to help you through this, all right?" Like it really was just as easy as working through disorientation from a concussion.

Emily glances down at the book for just a moment before leveling an apologetic look back toward Eileen. "I'm… sorry I panicked there for a second. Are you okay?"

Julie’s silhouette re-emerges into the doorway of the bedroom, one hand clasped around Sasha’s wrist. Blue eyes are fixed up at him, brows furrowed, serious. “She's dead,” Julie whispers up to Sasha, her expression tightening, “right? Eileen?” She turns a look back to the girl on the bed, then back to Sasha with worry in her eyes.

“She has two abilities, Sasha. Avian telepathy and… and some sort of psychic sinkhole. I can feel them both. It can't be her, right?” Julie never met Eileen Ruskin, but she watched the stories on television, she'd read Emily’s copy of Wolves of Valhalla, she'd collected the cultural osmosis of who that was. “Sasha tell me that's not possible.”

Sasha barks something at Eileen in what sounds like it might be Russian: “Malen'kaya ptitsa,” he says.

And she answers softly: “Volk.

Julie feels Sasha tense. He curls his arm around her hip and rests his chin on the top of her tousled blonde head; if she didn’t know better, she might mistake this display of affection for him using her as a shield to barricade himself against the small creature in the bed that may or may not be Eileen Ruskin.

He’s made up his mind, anyway.

“Yes,” he mutters into Julie’s hair. Whatever that means.

Eileen’s attention turns back to Geneva, to Emily. What does she remember last? “New York. Winter rain. Damp wool on my skin. There’s a boy— Italian. Not Amato. Teodoro. I think his name is Teodoro. He smells like sunshine and salt and the Mediterranean.” She takes a breath. “I don’t understand.”

Emily glances up at Geneva at the odd exchange of words, looking to see if the other young woman might have any clue into the context of what was being said. Russian wasn't a language she knew or planned on knowing, and its meaning is ultimately lost on her. All she knows is now both Julie and Sasha aren't in here, she doesn't hear footsteps heralding their return, and she feels woefully equipped to handle this alone, long-term.

When Eileen speaks again, she can only nod. Great, so she has no memory of what happened to get her specifically here. And Emily has no idea who Teodoro is supposed to be.

As she repeats she doesn't understand, all that can be said is, "I know. This is a lot." She hesitates for a moment, looking back to Geneva again like that alone might give her advice on what to do next. Dumping even more unbelievable things on Eileen's lap, getting it all out in the open instead of finding a delicate way to handle this complicated affair, is tempting. But … probably not smart. Or safe.

"Julie and Sasha will be back in a sec and we can get your arms treated and figure out what to do next. How's that sound?"

Julie remains in the doorway, with Sasha at her back and his chin atop her head. His confirmation has stalled any forward progress she would have made into the room. Instead, she watches Emily interact with the frail-looking young woman with wide, unblinking eyes. Sasha can’t see it, but it isn’t a look of fear or apprehension on her face. Instead, there is a subtly manic twitch of Julie’s brow and an open-mouthed fascination on display. A cat presented with a particularly feathered toy.

“I need to know how…” Julie whispers, not to Sasha or Emily, though both might hear her. It’s to herself, a reflexive desperation. If the dead can find new life through consciousness transfer, if the visions that have been plaguing the city are telepathic in nature, is any death truly forever? Were she even slightly religious, there may be parallels to make there. Ones involving Horsemen.

Eileen is looking at her hands, eyes downcast. She takes interest in the shapes of her fingers, how each segment connects at the joint. There’s nothing special about them — except that they aren’t hers.

The next thing she does is touch her face, following the shape of her jaw. The tips of those same fingers go to her mouth, and she feels that too.

She makes a little sound at the back of her throat. “No,” she tells Emily. “Fragments— I remember there were fragments. Thousands of pieces shorn apart and blown around in the wind. A castle— Bannerman’s. Bannerman’s Castle. And an island. There was an island in the middle of a river.”

Her voice increases in pitch and intensity, although not in volume, as real panic slips into her tone like a knifepoint. “Oh my god,” she says. “Oh my god.


Something small and feathered glances against the bedroom window and leaves a bloodied smear.


Unfortunately, Gene doesn’t have even the remotest knowledge of Russian, and so all she can do is return the look given to her with a shrug as her eyes flicker between Emily, and then Eileen, and then back to Emily again— like she is following a tennis match where she has no f’ing clue what the rules are supposed to be.

Quietly, she budges the heavy basin of water a bit out of the way when she sees the Eileen has taken her hands out and is examining them. Momentarily fixated on this task, what happens next takes her completely by surprise.

“Hey, hey—” Concern had very slowly begun to overtake her features as Eileen had started to describe the castle; compounding this development, the THUMPS from the direction of the window cause her to literally jump.

“Hey, what the fuck. Eileen? Sibyl…? It’s gonna be okay. Just relax… oh. Oh my god— are those birds?”

Eyes start to widen, Emily listening to Eileen trace her memories patiently, despite her nerves. She'd gone straight to the worst possible place, the worst possible time. The birds suddenly throwing themselves at the windows do not act as a good omen to her state.

The need to act, and the need to get away compete for control as Emily's brow sharply furrows. Heart wins out over head.

"Oh, no. No no — honey, stay with me," Emily's voice is flooded with urgency along with that same emulated soothing tone from before. She reaches forward to take Eileen's hands, letting them disappear into her own warmed ones. "Look at me. Everything's going to be fine. You're here, you're right here."

Please don't be like it was when she died. Emily prays.

"Gene, move," she says softly but with that same urgency as before. Emily's eyes are harder than before as she accompanies the command with a glance. "Julie!" she raises her voice without looking back, thumb brushing over Eileen's small hands.

"Eileen, listen, it's going to be okay." Emily stresses again, trying to meet her eyes.

A few steps into the room when the first bird hits, Julie jumps when the rapping continues. It takes her a moment to piece together what’s happening, breath hitching in her throat, one hand coming up to hide her mouth behind a trembling hand. She looks at Sibyl, then Emily, quickly to the window — her heart is racing now, she’s freezing, can’t think straight.

Stepping backward and away from the horrifying sound of birds breaking against glass, Julie bumps into Sasha, jolting her back into reality. Looking up to him, she at first opens her mouth to beg for his help, but as she makes that connection: Sasha, help, a new idea is born in her eyes.

Your kit!” Julie shouts, a hand at Sasha’s waist to urge him aside or back, or whichever direction leads to his state-supplied drugs. “We need your adynomine!

Oh, the expression on Sasha’s face says. Right. His kit.

He braces a hand against the door frame and shoves off, galumphing footsteps like distant cannon fire on the hardwood floor as he lurches back toward Julie’s bedroom.


Not Sasha’s footfalls.

Geneva can feel Eileen’s frame shudder against her at the same time Emily is taking her hands. Her pulse jumps, her heartbeat judders. Another bird crashes into the window; this one leaves more than just a mess of blood and feathers as a large, angry crack slivers through the glass.

“I’m not okay,” Eileen insists, voice growing thin, breathy. “Not an island. A jungle— strange birds. The air is wet. Skin, hot. So hot. Epstein is— Epstein is—”

Each sentence, each thought coalesces with the last. Her memories accumulate out of order faster than she can process them.

Emily insists that she’s here in the safety of her apartment, but Eileen isn’t. Not really.

She’s everywhere she’s ever been, all at once.

She’s broken, and the bedroom window is about to be too.

“Dead. Gabriel’s dead. Iago, Kazimir, Rasoul, Wu-Long— all gone. My fault. It’s my fault!”

Geneva all but jumps to her feet at the next slam of a tiny body into the windowpane. Emily doesn’t have to tell her twice; in the space of the next few seconds, following a shared look with the other girl, she loops one of Sibyl/Eileen’s arms around her neck in a joint attempt to begin carrying the child up and out of the bed to a slightly safer space.

Namely, one that’s not right by the shattering glass.

“Jesus fuck-” she is muttering beneath her breath, over and over. “C’mon. You gotta stop that. Nothing’s your fault—”

Well, something might have been, but who knew. Emily certainly doesn't have time to think about it, rushing with Gene to the doorway, Eileen's small frame between them. The door is slammed shut behind them. Okay. Threat of death by anxious birds momentarily forestalled.

"If we're doing this remembering thing, you gotta …" she pauses, exasperated, and glances to Julie. The hall's crowded all of a sudden, and all Emily can think to do is run her mouth. "It's not all bad things. You helped people. Kids. The— the Lighthouse. The Ferry."

"Epstein. You remember him, right? I'm his daughter — Emily Epstein." She tries to stall, to create an anchor, anything to buy them some time. Emily crouches to be more at Eileen's height, still engaged in the possibly-futile act of trying to get through to her.

“Epstein,” Eileen echoes. Her breath hitches. “No, that’s not right. You’re supposed to be little—”

One hand closes around Geneva’s arm. The other reaches out to touch Emily’s face, then abruptly goes slack as Sasha plunges a needle into the side of the girl’s neck. Her legs buckle and she folds like a marionette with its strings cut, but manages to avoid hitting the floor.

She will thank Geneva and Emily for holding onto her — if she can remember to.

Sasha takes a step back, still clutching the emptied syringe.

That isn’t Adynomine. Adynomine doesn’t put people under.

What Sasha is doing with a sedative in place of his negation drugs is a question for Julie to address later.

The one that needs to be addressed immediately is that one that the Russian poses to the room in his halting, broken English: “Okay,” he says. “What are we doing with her now?”

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