Not The Praying Kind


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Scene Title Not The Praying Kind
Synopsis Having barely survived their altercation with the Chinese military, Noah Bennet's team recuperates in the confines of a safe-house while hoping and — maybe someone else is — praying for the best.
Date October 13, 2010

Xichang, China

Street lights shine jaundinced through the high and narrow factory windows onto the wooden floor of a second-story storage room, converted for the time being into living space for a group of now international terrorists, as far as any legitimate government body is concerned. Resting in the direct shaft of light below one of the windows, Noah Bennet sits with his back up against a white plaster wall, one leg bent at the knee and raised up, forearm draped across it. His other leg is stretched out, other hand set in his lap watching the darkened screen of a cell phone.

It's been several hours since the attack on the Xichang Space Port, and the city is locked down. Presence of military police and the People's Liberation Army in the streets exemplifies how seriously the Chinese government has taken the hijacking of a space shuttle. Without access to televisions or cell phone reception, there's no telling how it might be played up in the media.

"He's still 'sleep…" is the murmur of a report from Claude Rains as the scruffy and unshaved Brit ambles in through the door to the room, where sleeping bags are rolled out. "He got tapped pretty bad by tha' gunshot wound, but from th' looks of it, s'not the first round he's taken. I got 'im patched up s'best as I can, but e's gonna' need a doctor sooner rather'n later."

Bennet slowly looks up to Claude on report of Deckard's condition, dipping his head into a steady nod. "Alright…" sounds tense, and it isn't much like Noah Bennet to seem that way. Claude, however, leans against the door frame and comments on something else entirely.

"Now when're y'gonna pay up yer end of the bargain, Bennet. A'din' do this out've the kindness'v m'heart." As Claude's eyes narrow, he considers the man in the horn-rimmed glasses with a restrained scowl. "A'want what a'asked for, then a'want t'be done w'you."

Alia leans back. She still feels tired after the stretching of her ability earlier. She has picked a section of wall not well lit by anything. Her laptop and the last spare battery tucked away, for fear of the wifi signal from it giving them away. She leans back and instead goes through all the things that were done, and finally states, almost disbelivingly. "Stole a space shuttle." Hell, she helped PLAN this, in some ways, and yet she's still a little surprised, when she thinks about it, that it was actually pulled off.

Huruma didn't have time to stop and stare after that shuttle- the one taking off with quite literally, perhaps her only 'friend'. Maybe he knew she was worried, when they last spoke at length- but then again, Huruma assumes many people have the ability to empathize with skill. Benjamin is, admittedly, not adept at it as she is. She has been elsewhere in the building since they returned, and only as she can feel the flutter of courage from Claude, and the stoic beat of tension that is Noah does the hall thud dully with her boots. Huruma does not know him, but it is as if she has felt him before. Somewhere.

"Nobody is ever done. Surely you know this by now." The dark woman's throaty voice comes up alongside the empty edge of the doorframe, and she glances inward with hooded ivory eyes, and then back to the scruffy man bleating at Noah Bennet.

Claude's eyes narrow as he takes in Huruma's tall frame, leaning aside with the intention of giving her plenty of space to move by without comitting to his own entrance into the room. "Aye, there is done, actually. When y'fed up with bein' hunted, an' chased, an' tracked t'th bloody corner've God's green earth." There's bitterness in Claude's tone of voice, brows furrowed and head shaking slowly.

"A'want yer people t'not come lookin' fer me again, d'you understand, Bennet?" A finger is pointed down towards Noah as Claude does what he intended not to do, and stalks into the room. "M'not comin' over t'you, pickin' a side, joinin' the fight or whatever it is y'think m'gonna' occupy m'blood time with!" Claude's head cocks to the side, eyes flick over to Huruma, then Alia, then back to Noah again.

"I help you w'this, an' you leave me alone. We're no' bloody friends, an' after tha' bullet y'put in my gut we ain't partners either." Beneath Claude's tirade, Bennet tenses and avoids eye contact, eventually and belatedly looking up to Noah, slowly offering a nod before exhaling a sharp breath.

"Fine. I take it you plan on finding your own way out of China?" It's almost like a verbal backhand, almost.

"Don' you concern y'self with m'well bein'. M'quite good at runnin' when the chips're down," is Claude's sharp retort. "'Parently so're you." That's sharper.

Huruma edges into the room when Claude shifts, only giving him a cursory glance over a shoulder before finding a seat down on what she's already claimed as a personal space. Incidentally, it gives her a view of the room at the same time. Her eyes draw off towards another spot on the empty floorspace, ears tuned to Claude and Noah, and the silent waters of her ability waiting to ripple with their words, and the various impassions behind them.

"Ladies." Huruma's voice butts in before Noah can say something else, and the dark woman has perched her arms on her knees, watching them. "You are both pretty… an'I woul'rather not hear this ridiculous sniping right now." Her voice pauses only where it must, lips forming thoughtfully around words. The ink black spots of Huruma's eyes find Bennet, first, and Claude second, a threatening mediation- she will shut them up if she has to.

"Honor your respective deals an'leave it at that."

Alia looks at the two arguing men, then simply leans back, and states. "Suck it up. All of us together, until home." There's no idea how bad the situation is… and until they are safely out of China, she'd rather not take chances… After all, plenty of scared witnesses who likely won't remember much detail due to panic, but who knows. She DOES know the security cameras aren't going to give them much.

A few feet away, watching with a slight condition of Spockbrow, Cat takes in the dispute between Bennet and Rains. In deciding to speak, she opts to not acknowledge verbal hostility. "It's been some time, Claude," she states, "good to see you again." Eyes rest on him for the moment, taking advantage of ability to see him while it exists.

She knows it isn't likely to last long.

Noah and Claude both offer a squirrley look to Alia — (but not Huruma huh that's funny) — before their stare is directed back at one another. Whatever agreements or arrangements Noah and Claude were going to continue to argue, Cat's presence in the room seems to stall. Bennet offers Catherine no greeting beyond a tip of his head into a nod, pushing himself up to his feet to move about the room and stretch his legs. Claude turns his attention to the new arrival, though, an old and familiar face if ever there was one.

"Mmn," Claude murmurs, the noise at the back of his throat almost like a friendly greeting. "A'was hopin' tha' per'aps it'd be an even longer time," he admits reluctantly, "no offense or anythin', but trouble follows y'like death follows th' reaper, dear." As he moves to pace like a caged lion as Bennet does, Claude offers another look up to Huruma, then down to the floor. It's only in Claude's quiet and Cat's arrival that Bennet finally has something to say.

"I heard from Flint that there's possibly a teleporter coming back for him tomorrow afternoon. He might, from my understanding, be able to get us out to the west coast of the United States under his own power, but that's the furthest he could take us." Bennet's stare flicks over to Cat, one brow raised. "Can you fly us back, if we manage to hit Seattle again?"

Of course Huruma is the one that gets away with calling Noah Bennet a lady. It is quite possible he has choice deafness. She watches them as she might anyone else of similar stature- the leopard perched and watching rogues duke it out has the best seat in the house- but god forbid she actually wants to go down and interfere directly.

"If it is th'same one Abigail knows, he is very skilled. I'ave never met him, personally."

"Do you know his name?" Cat inquires of Noah, tacking on a reply to the question of transport from Seattle. "Chartering an aircraft will be easily done." From there her attention shifts back to Claude, his remarks drawing a quiet chuckle.

"It's amusing you should mention the Reaper, we certainly did chase him away. I hate to think of what would have happened had trouble not found us and been handled. Anyway, if it matters to you at all, Helena's doing well. Taking poli sci classes at Columbia."

Feet go into motion, putting a measure of distance between herself and the group. Maybe she's intending to check out Deckard's situation.

"Flint didn't say, but as far as I know he's a former member of the Vanguard. I think he was the figure that arrived with Flint yesterday on the tarmac… I'd never met him before, so I can't say for certain, but he behaved and disappeared like a teleporter." Bennet's assessment is perhaps a little too mechanical, pushing emotional response down, down, down during this time while fugitives of the Chinese government.

Claude offers Cat a quiet look when Helena's name comes up, followed by a furrow of his brows and a somewhat stoic response of, "She's a tough girl, always figured she'd make it fine on 'er own. Baby bird's out've the nest an' all that, she didn't need me anymore." It's a dismissive thing for Claude to say, but it seems par-for-course for the man he is. Stepping towards the door, the invisible man hesitates and looks back over his shoulder to Noah.

"Our agreement?" One gray brow lifts slowly, and Bennet's response is just a steady nod of his head. Claude snorts in response to that, then turns as his body shimmers in mirage haze, disappearing from sight, only his booted footprints leaving tracks in the thin coat of dust on the floor as he walks out onto the balcony, then down the hall.

"Good to see some things in this world never change," Noah brgrudgingly jokes as Claude leaves, lifting up a hand to rub at his forehead. "Alright let's— hope that this teleporter shows up and is willing to move us all."
"Mmm." Huruma's response is a somewhat guttural noise, her expression rather sour. "If push comes t'shove I can leave on m'own. Woul'no'be th'first time." She turns somewhat where she sits, giving Noah a shoulder. "My timing depends on who is set t'intercept th'craft when it comes down." She flicks him a short, curt glare.

"B'cause I feel I'ave t'b'there."

Footsteps pause, she turns back partway to address Noah. "Vanguard," Cat murmurs, "he's probably a man called Elias. Never did get his surname." She seems about to resume walking when Claude speaks, but his voice draws her attention. No words are used for him, she simply shakes her head as he disappears. There's always a need for a man with that ability, whether or not he realizes it.

Moments later she's moving again, still most likely intending to check out Flint.

Alia shrugs quietly, as she stands up and walks towards the end of the complex nearest the main part of the city… It wasn't much use, but… maybe she could stretch out and catch the news from some nearby terminal. Not likely, but you never know.

"Elias," Bennet echoes Cat's revelation of the name, turning his attention to the doorway Claude literally disappeared through, then ofers little more than a solemn nod in return. Exhaling a sigh through his nose, Better walks over towards the window, peering through its grimy panes out to the dimly lit city streets beyond, distant glittering lights of tightly packed buildings looking like starlight down on Earth.

Then, looking up to the sky, Noah's brows furrow as he finds the real stars, glittering silently high above. He's never beena religious man, but it's times like these, when he knows just how much his future and the future of the people who depend on him rest in the hands of a small group of people, that he finds the humility to reconsider that stance.

Noah Bennet may not pray, but he hopes that someone else is.

Just in case.

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