Operation Armagettin


asi3_icon.gif eizen_icon.gif godfrey_icon.gif isa_icon.gif kay_icon.gif marlowe_icon.gif

Scene Title Operation Armagettin
Synopsis The Fabulous Four launch Operation Armagettin to take back what rightly belongs to Yamagato Industries. The operation to reclaim the stolen cybernetic arm also adds a few additional faces to their number, along with curious surprises…
Date December 31, 2019

The Rookery, Ruins of Staten Island

11:10 pm

It's not even midnight yet and there's streaks of fireworks intermittently visible through the air. They're being lit both on and off the Island. Small, neighborhood displays made up of black market fireworks imported from out of the country are just another thing for the authorities to turn a blind eye to tonight.

Over the Rookery of Staten Island, against the backdrop of a particularly large blue burst sprinkled with white stars, a pair of drones streak black in the night. While the firework shimmers out, the AH-UN drones zoom in relative silence over the top of several buildings. The lights below flicker in a roll, some buildings losing power entirely while others have their lighting persist at a weaker brightness than before. The brownout isn't uncommon.

But the drones are.

They come to a hover, one in front of the restaurant on the street below, while the other swings around to the back of the building, high above the loading docks that feed the restaurant. The occupants it sees are nonplussed at the brownout occurring across the Rookery— a generator placed between the restaurant and adjacent laundromat is running noisily, keeping the buildings powered. In addition, electric lanterns set up in intervals around the dock and loading ramp area keep it relatively lit.

Moreso than Asi had expected.

Less than a mile away, in the wide cargo area of a van in motion, she sits cross-legged on its floor. Laptop perched on her knees, it streams in real time what the AH-UN drones are seeing. She lets out a thin sigh from her nose as she adjusts the fold of her legs, looking up from the screen to those who share the back of the van with her. "Reading what looks like a number of people in the building still, even though the laundromat and restaurant should be closed. Seeing a few bodies outside." Asi reports evenly, but her expression gives away how little joy that news brings her. "It looks like cocaine doesn't give a shit about the holiday."

There's at least less people than there would be during proper business hours. Maybe less people in general than there would be other nights. But that doesn't make her feel any less anxious given people she cares about will be walking into "Maybe ten of them," momentarily. Knowing the Zeitgeist and Refrain raids eliminated a number of heavy-hitting SLC-E personnel is the comfort she takes, but doesn't rely on.

Asi lifts her head, digging a finger under the armored vest she's wearing to adjust its sit on her body. Her attention swivels in particular down to the party here who's unknown to her: the one they've been calling Isa. Her mouth presses into a line, wondering if the stranger is possibly a liability for them.

Supposedly she was a scientist.

Then again, Marlowe was the Chief of Technology, and here she was, right with them.

Her chin rises a touch more just before she speaks to soften the abruptness of it. "We're almost there. Are you ready?"

Hazel eyes meet Asi's as she gauges the pyrokinetic who in turn raises an eyebrow. Fucking armor, Isa wasn't pleased. Flexing her hands while looking down at the armor, they could make it more comfy, fuck. "Drug mules don't have off days." One of her first boyfriends had taught her that.

Isa only needed to be told once that they had a score to settle and merchandise to retrieve for her to be all in and while the people around her think of her mostly as a stranger, she's met each of them already. The Wasteland World and the Flooded one, she had never forgotten the resistance fighter who had helped them inside the Dome. Or the woman with a whole empire at her beck and call on the seas. "I imagine most of you aren't well versed in breaking and entering," Commenting in her husky tone, they don't look the type, not here in this world.

Though the reputation of Marlowe has the engineer considering her coworker. She knew what she could do, what Kay could do. The question was if the right or wrong circumstances had happened to them here to make them suited to pull this off.

The air in the back of the vehicle is a touch warmer than normal. Heavy black cloth wrapped around Isa's neck to pull up over the orange scar that glows faintly when it's time to get out. She carries no weapons, she was the weapon.

From the driver’s seat, Kay snorts, flicking her gaze to the rearview mirror to catch a glimpse of Isa’s reflection. “You’d be surprised,” she tells her, on the topic of B&E. “You don’t work undercover as long as I did without picking up a few tricks.” She may not be the woman Isa met in the domed city, but the similarities are there.

“How do we want to approach this?” They’ve been over things, of course, but they didn’t expect many bodies between them and their goal. “Are we looking at extra guard detail or civilians?” One of these things she cares about, presumably.

Towards the rear of the van, Godfrey Wells sits with his back leaning against the wall of the van. One leg is stretched out before him, while the other is bent at the knee. Fingers of one gloved hand tap out a rhythm on his bent leg, like he’s playing the keys of a piano. Maybe a nervous gesture or he’s simply bored.

He’s dressed like Asi remembers from his time over in Japan. Geared up, but the skull mask hangs loose around his neck and the helmet sitting beside him.

“Wesley-Khan is right,” Godfrey pipes up, finally breaking the silence he’s mostly held since they started this journey. Odd for him. His head rolls along the cool metal to look at the rest of the folks in the van. “An organization like that never sleeps or ever truly lets down its guard. Bad for business really, allows your competitors an opportunity to hurt your bottomline. And you don’t survive as long as they have by being stupid.”

Then a wicked grin is turned to the pyrokenetic, amusement in his words, “However, I fear you’d be wrong about the breaking and entering, luv.” He motions to Marlowe for example, “Especially this one when her mind's in it. Who needs a lockpick when you can melt a door.”

Marlowe hasn't really spoken since donning the body armor that she and the others have on. The woman's focus has largely been inward, interspersed with listening to the reports of what the drones are helping to survey. Though she's no stranger to a jumpsuit, she can't help a small shift here and there in adjusting as well. Mostly, to hide her trepidation. Her anticipation. Her fingers splay and close, once, twice.

"I'll find and disable their power generators," Marlowe says after a beat. "Once the lights are out, we'll have some time to go in, locate the Cestus, and leave before they think about lighting candles." That is to say, she expects to be quiet and quick about it. The moment she mentions candles is when she glances over to Isabelle. Then she glances back to Godfrey, eyeing the man's ever-cavalier mood. "Right. And I'm not going to be heartbroken if we need to defend ourselves from attack… But only if we really need to."

The rest, well… she slowly turns to where Eizen Erizawa is seated.

Hunched forward with his elbows on his knees and a helmet held between his hands, Eizen looks as though he hasn't been listening to anything the others have been saying. While his silhouette is still trim and black it is more angular than normal thanks to the ferrofluid playing of his AEGIS armor. Staring into the dully-reflective visor of his helmet, he shakes his head and only looks up to Marlowe after it's clear the conversation has hung around his neck like a noose.

“What?” Eizen croaks, blinking a look up from the helmet to Marlowe. “Ah, yes the…” he sets the helmet aside, looking down to it for a moment as if it said something to him, then back up to Marlowe.

“Yes… discretion is the key here.”

One Day Earlier

Executive Office
Yamagato Building
Yamagato Park, NYCSZ

“Discretion is the key.”

Kimiko Nakamura is a sleek silhouette of ink black glittering with scale-like sequins, her hair swept to one side and pinned in a diamond-encrusted clasp shaped like a crescent moon. Flaky gold eyeliner is dusted beneath her brows and swept back toward her temples, matching the vertical line of gold painted on her bottom lip. Kimiko’s muted reflection in the floor-to-ceiling windows of her office looks like little more than an outline glittering with starlight. But behind her, eclipsed in the light of a standing lamp, Eizen Erazawa cuts a darker silhouette.

“I fail to see what is discreet about Isabelle Khan,” is Eizen’s easy retort, approaching her from behind as he circles around her desk, one hand held up and something small delicately cradled in his palm behind a cage of his fingers. Kimiko looks at Eizen’s reflection in the glass and follows him as he comes to her side, holding out a hand palm up in expectation.

Sighing, Eizen deposits a pair of teardrop-shaped obsidian earrings into her hand. “What does it matter that the Triad has the arm?” He asks her. “Praxis is already leaps and bounds ahead of us in cybernetics research, we might as well have cannibalized the Cestus design from them. So what if their hired goons take it back to their bankrollers?”

Kimiko fastens one earring, then the other, still regarding Eizen’s reflection rather than the man himself. “It's a matter of principle,” she says, stepping closer to the window to look at how the earrings hang in reflection. Then, turning to face Eizen before he works up the courage for a rebuttal, she holds up one finger and quiets his thought before it becomes words. “I need your loyalty, not your intelligence, on this operation.”

Sighing in frustration, Eizen clenches his fingers at his side in tight, helpless fists. Kimiko walks past him in silence, skirting the edge of her glass-topped desk to snatch a matte black and metallic gold clutch off the edge as she goes. “Eizen, this is strategy. Please,” she says with a rise of her brows, “trust me.”

Those words chip away at his resolve.

“When have I ever let you down?” Kimiko asks, and he knows she isn't being rhetorical. He doesn't answer, not right away, but instead comes to sit on the corner of her desk with arms crossed over his chest.

“Never,” Eizen reluctantly notes, to which Kimiko smiles away any presumed follow-up. Instead, Eizen looks down to the floor, then slowly back up to her. “Are you certain you don't want me with you at the event tonight?”

“Eizen,” Kimiko says quietly, “I'll be fine. It's a charity auction, not a Triad war.” Eizen slouches his shoulders, then nods and rises up off the corner of her desk. “Go make preparations with Damaris for tomorrow…”

“…and you let me handle negotiations with Mr. Kellar.”

Present Day

“I'll be staying in the van,” Eizen finally says, distraction cleared from his voice, “making sure our escape route is clear. If you're being followed back to the van, I'll be able to temporarily incapacitate everyone following once you get within thirty feet. Beyond that, you're out of my hands.”

Sighing, Eizen looks past Marlowe to the others. “Remember, we’re just here for the arm. The Ghost Shadows are a powerful organization brimming with Expressives. Fighting them head-on is tantamount to suicide, even if their leader’s been arrested.”

It’s a charming reminder as well as a timely one.

Asi glances sidelong at Eizen at his announcement, gaze hitching on him for a moment before she looks beyond to the front seat to reply to Kay. "They don't look to be civilians. They might not be guard detail, but they're Triad." Not all of them might need guns to be dangerous. Isa was a good example of that herself. Hand still on the laptop to steady it, she confirms, "The restaurant and laundromat are both dark already."

All this talk of breaking and entering makes entering through the restaurant sound briefly viable. Asi considers it, but with a tsk, she ventures, "Cutting the lights before we move in will still be our best move. I agree with Marlowe. It will take patience to wait for them to react and investigate, but there's payoff." She sweeps her hand over the side of the laptop screen before snapping it shut. They're close now. "Heading in from any other angle would deny us that early advantage, I think."

When the van slows to a stop in an alley nearby the restaurant, Asi sets aside the computer to clamber out of the back of the van with everyone else. She swings the helmet over her head, fastening it down in swift silence while being mindful of the Bluetooth device fastened to her ear. A pat of her hand against the side of it confirms it's firmly in place as she looks to the others. The black of the armor would make them stick out sorely in daylight, but helps them blend into these nighttime shadows.

"Let's be off." Asi murmurs, hand grazing the back of Godfrey's arm as she maneuvers past him. Off they go, stalking quietly down the alley. A street up, they check they corner and make their turn, light spilling into the street from the operation out in the air down by the back of the Nuojin He Jia. There's no spotlight cast down either side of the alley or any of the other back docks— they're interested only on their own plot of land.

The generator sits well outside that light, multiple cables coming from it while it putters on.

A hand rests briefly on Eizen’s shoulder before Kay steps out of the vehicle, joining the others around the back. Once they’re ready to move, she slides her helmet into place and slides her sidearm out of its holster. She doesn’t have any ability to rely on beyond her own instincts and wits.

Her eyes fall on the generator and she smirks to herself. Convenient. It’s likely no one in the area would presume to mess with Ghost Shadow property, so they don’t feel the need to keep their generator under constant watch. They’ll regret that notion soon enough. With a gesture toward the machinery, she signals to Marlowe. You’re on.

The touch on his arm gets Godfrey’s attention and holds it for a long moment, watching the technopath move on. But then… What are you doing? There is a blink when he realizes he’s staring and the business liaison hastily moves to pull on the mask and helmet. Nothing to see here.

All together, one would have a hard time knowing that Godfrey was under that gear.

“Yes… let the games begin,” Godfrey quips jauntily, which sounds odd behind that skeletal vistage. The man, looks back at the van at the security chief within. The mask covers the look of uncertainty and mild distrust to what Eizen was up to. He was easily one of their biggest assets. “May the odds be ever in our favor, Mmm?” He inclines his head to Yamagato’s security chief out of respect, before moving to follow the ladies with rifle at ready to defend them.

A sense of unease slowly sinks into Godfrey’s stomach, though he tries hard to ignore it..

Her hair's pulled back to a tight bun for this purpose. The arrangement works with the helmet's shape, is what Marlowe had thought about prior to their imminent arrival. After that, it's a matter of not thinking about the fact that she looks a little terrifying, a little too Mitchell's kill squad for her tastes. Which is to say nothing about how Godfrey's chosen to cover up.

Marlowe slips out of the van with the others with her extraction kit slung in a crossbody pack and a couple hip pouches strapped around her waist. She nods at the signal from Kay, slinking towards the humming machinery and approaching from the shadows.

Her path follows the cables back to the source. "I'm so sorry, baby," she hushedly apologizes to the generator, her fingers trailing up the cables to their connection ports. Marlowe's eyes close briefly as she focuses upon her ability, and when her eyes reopen, the sparking blue-white energy flowing from her hands to the rapidly liquifying material reflects off golden irises.

Internally, Isa is still bitching about the armor, and Eizen's word of warning of how a direct fight could spell death elicits a smirk from the dark haired woman. "Boogeymen always think they're the biggest bad in the night," Hopping down to the ground out of the van with the others. "Until they find out they aren't."

There's an itching on her palms. Confrontations are where Isabelle excelled, any fear of her coworkers seeing another side to the pyrokinetic are washed away by the comfort of a voice that usually gives her anxiety.


Hazel eyes scan the area as she puts a hand on her hip, cocking her hip to the side while the other arm hangs lazily at her side. Isabelle watches the matter manipulator at work, impressed clearly. "By the way," Said softly in her huskier tone, "Is the arm fireproof?"

Asking for a friend.

"It's battery powered to protect against excessive kinetic force." Asi replies quietly, off-handed like she's reading a descriptive label. She glances away from watching Marlowe work to add, "Most likely not."

Between Marlowe's ability and things inside the generator beginning to go haywire before they slump together in on each other, the machine sparks before sinking in on itself like a deflating, burnt marshmallow. The spotlight and lamps in the yard by the restaurant loading dock instantly goes dark, only a single patio table with a battery-powered lamp on it staying lit, and providing not nearly enough light to see by beyond it seats ringing it.

The four men in the yard stop what they're doing, one with a box in hand that he'd been moving to place in the back of a box truck pulled up to the loading ramp.

"«The hell happened to the lights?»" he asks. Another one of the men produces a cell phone to light his way by, muttering as he heads inside to see if anything is still lit in there. An arc of illumination beams in front of him as he turns on the phone's flashlight.

"«Maybe we ran out of gas. Go check the generator?»" the man with the box asks the remaining man plainly standing guard. The man shifts his weight before unfolding his arms, disgruntled as he heads for the edge of the yard. In the meantime, the man with the box makes his way into the back of the truck and sets down what he's carrying with a thunk and a sigh.

The fourth man continues smoking at the picnic table, unperturbed. "«Who cares?»" he voices, laconic. "Almost done anyway, then we can go." The transition to English is effortless, just like his non-contribution to actually helping to finish loading the van.

In the dark, Asi shifts her weight. "One's coming this way," she warns in a whisper, a result of being able to understand what was being said as much as sensing the handheld the man carries in his pocket moving along with him. When he rounds the corner, he doesn't immediately look to the generator itself, reaching down for a gas canister that's placed along the wall. He gives it a shake to determine there's still a bit left, and only then lifts his head.

His eyes are too wide already when he looks up, sees the dark shapes and masks for what they are instantly even in the darkness. A quick gun-arm, he draws even before he can form words. The gas canister clatters on the concrete as he drops it. He breathes in to shout a warning—

There’s very little fanfare to the way the silenced gun in Kaydence’s hand goes off. One single shot, aimed for the center of mass. Then a second. She’s already moving toward her victim before he can hit the ground, ready to stomp the breath out of him before he can get a word out if she has to. If her aim is true, and it should be, that won’t be necessary.

She doesn’t look over her shoulder to see if the others are impressed with her marksmanship skills, or to check on Marlowe’s handiwork. These men are like deer on the side of the highway. Where there’s one, more will follow.

Bringing up his own rifle when the man comes around the corner, Godfrey is a second too slow. His head jerks over to look at Kay out of the corner of his eye, no one can see the look, but at least it's in his tone when he says, “Ms. Kay. I am impressed.” Maybe even a bit turned on, but he doesn’t say that out loud, respect for the woman holds his tongue.

Instead, the business liaison shifts his rifle to his back and a black tactical knife suddenly appears in his hand to replace it. Dropping fluidly to take a knee next to her ‘kill’, the knife is held at ready to split open the delicate skin of the down man’s throat if he’s still breathing. Only when he’s satisfied will Godfrey give the body a search for radios or anything to help them in their task.

Glancing back at Isa while he does, his head gives a jerk towards the dropped fuel canister. If he hadn’t been wearing a mask he might have given a single wag his brows at her, but instead he says, “A bit of fun, luv? That truck looks rather cold.”

"To a degree," murmurs Marlowe in answer to Isa's question, her focus remaining on the generator as pieces of metal and plastic meld into an incomprehensible, irreparable mess. Her hand lifts away as the lights go out and the generator stops. Golden eyes fade into brown once more. "Okay, we should mov—"

The warning whisper shushes Marlowe's suggestion and she holds her breath, quiet and searching for the route they could take to avoid confrontation. Too late. The engineer's form twitches at the silenced shots, the smoking gun, her withheld gasp. Then as Godfrey moves in for the literal kill, she finds her voice. "Wh— wait, stop," her protest comes verbally before she can physically overcome the chill in her spine and move her legs.

Marlowe can only stare in horror at the throat slitting, pulling back the step. "Nante koto… Hidoi," utters the woman in shock at the barbarism. It takes her only a few moments to string together Godfrey's regard of the fuel can and their pyrokinetic.

This time, Marlowe hisses in a stronger, quicker protest. "The fuck? No. We're not here to…" She cuts off, pushing her way to the forefront of the group and grabbing for the dropped gas can.

Isa watches as the people she works with unleash their various skills. Godfrey and Eizen were the true mysteries here and the Brit seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. "Nice shot,"

The pyrokinetic wasn't one to judge.

She liked it as well, probably more than him.

Her own half lidded gaze sweeps over the taller man and then the "victim" laying surely dead on the ground and then the truck. Marlowe doesn't receive any fight from Isa, allowing her fellow engineer to wrench the canister from them. As the woman walks forward the heat she emits washes over the group like a wave from the desert.

Finger twitch and curl inwards and the man's body begins to go up in flames. Slowing creeping up from his ankles, she doesn't seem bothered by them but her fist tightens and the fire just as quickly begins to snuff itself out. Isa shrugs, discreet, right. Not that what she was about to do was going to be that discreet but, distractions. Fiery ones, that was her thing. Hazel eyes reflect the light of the flames and Isa smirks. Waving her hand in a loose motion and the flames that were beginning to roast the fresh corpse before fly into the air and circle Isabelle, zinging into the space between her fingers and a small ball of flame begins to take shape between both hands.

"Get ready," Flexing her fingers as the air grows even warmer, the ball of flame quickly grows in size. Tendrils of brilliant orange flame dance around her wrist, licking her forearms and putting the armor she wears through its paces. As she inhales it shudders and shrinks and as she exhales it grows. Her heart rate spikes as she feels the heartbeat of the fire. Wrapping her influence around it tighter, expanding. The training she received from Kaito ironically is leaned on in this moment and her arms lift to the sky as the ball now a large size hovers and roars above her head. With a jerk of her head to the side the fireball screams towards the truck.

The pyrokinetic's hands violently shove apart with fingers curling inward to form a fist and at that moment the singular ball of fire splits into two moderate sized ones hurtling for the truck nearby. "Anyone up for a bonfire?"

Isabelle could go for one. She might have some squashed marshmallows in her back pocket.

The smell of burning flesh immediately brings Asi to bring her hand in front of her face, eyes narrowed to slits. It's a new scent for her, and not one she likes. So it's comes as a relief when Isa decides to not burn the evidence of their encounter any further than that.

It's a relief short-lived.

Get ready, Isa says, and Asi physically steps back, expecting anything at this point. The flames that put off such heat begin to put off such light, growing and growing.

"Oh." escapes Asi. Oh no.

The first of the split fireballs hit the thin walls of the box truck directly, denting the metal in— and with a screech the thin sheet caves under the force and heat, letting blooms of fire spill inside on the boxes and wooden shelving. A startled shout comes from within. The second fireball hits the cabin, scorching the roof and shattering the passenger door glass. Fire scatters inside over the dash and bench seat, flame catching on fabric.

Alarm immediately raises from within the building, voices calling out. The man at the picnic table startles to his feet, throwing his cigarette to the concrete and squashing it out. It wasn't him. the hasty action tries to declare. Then he's drawing his gun as the man who'd been in the truck comes running out, half-finished exclamations coming from him in starts.

They both turn in the direction the guard had gone at the same time. "What the fuck, Andy!" the one who's armed shouts.

Inside, the phone flashlights bob up and down as their bearers head back in the direction of the dock. An external door on the second story opens as well, swinging out though no person steps out onto the staircase walkway leading down to the concrete platform.

Asi takes a moment to regard Marlowe out of the corner of her eye before she draws the gun at her side. "If we loop back around to the front of the building, they may be occupied with this for the next few minutes. A distraction we could use to our advantage." she voices… but the fact she's armed herself proves she doesn't think that will be the course they follow. "We're not exactly fortified here," the technopath points out anyway.

Kay is grateful for the cover her helmet provides when Isa lights up the corpse of her and Godfrey’s kill. She stands stunned for a moment, then is positively furious. She’d been trying to keep things quiet. Bringing the pyrokinetic had been a gamble, and right now it feels like she’s rolled snake eyes.

“I’m going around the front,” Kay declares, already starting to move. Whether the others plan to follow her lead or not, she doesn’t really care at this point. If they split up, it might cause more confusion among the Triad. If they stick together, it’s strength in numbers. “You better hope they weren’t loading the Cestus in that truck,” she growls on her way by.

Marlowe pulls back from the pyrokinetic seeing as she has her hands on a canister of very flammable fuel. Try as she wants to ignore the smell of things burning, usually a distressing sense for any engineer unless it's fire that's been deliberately set, it's difficult to witness the literal firepower that gets hurled towards the moving truck.

Asi's remark about using the destruction as distraction is noted. Marlowe nods in agreement, taking a breath to compose and focus. She glances down at the gas can in her hand, then to the others moving for the front of house. "I'll be a moment," murmurs the tech director thoughtfully. In the next, she's popped the cap off the gas canister and tips it, spilling the precious fuel in a line along the mouth of the alley where the generator and guard's burning corpse lay.

If there's going to be a fire to blame, then at least it could be a deterrent as they move. When the contents are emptied to the ground and along a building side, she tosses the emptied vessel beside 'Andy's' body. Marlowe only waits long enough to make sure the gasoline flows closely enough that it'll get to the fire, then beats a retreat to follow the others.

“Here I was thinking about a pyrokinetic molotov cocktail, but this is much better. Bravo, Wesley-Khan.” Truly Godfrey is impressed by the whole display. Maybe a bit jealous too.

Godfrey’s attention turns to the scene of chaos before them. Crouching near the corner of the building letting the darkness hide him, only the skeletal paint on his mask glows slightly in the orange light. Marlowe suddenly shows up at the corner of his vision. Coming to his feet he watches what she’s doing, raised brows hidden.

He didn’t expect that of her. The business liaison takes a few steps back as the flames spread along the spilled gas.

He waits for Marlowe to pass him, before Godfrey pulls a silencer from one of the pouches on his thigh. It is added to the end of his rifle, while he watches the reactions of the Ghosts. More importantly, he watches that second story, eyes narrowing. A hand snakes out and snags the technopath’s arm.

“A word, luv.”

Dark eyes finally move to look at her, with a touch of concern. It is an emotion he doesn’t often exhibit. “We need to distract their leader while the others grab the arm.” He glances at the others, leaning closer to the woman to offer the one bit of info they didn’t have. “Wai Ching Tsai is a telepath. No idea what type, but clearly not one to be dealt with lightly.”

Godfrey’s head tilts to look at her, she can almost see the questioning lift of his brows, “Help me. Protect them?” His head shiftly ever so slightly towards the others.

Asi being deterred on following after Marlowe and Kay drives a flash of something to cross her features before they smooth, and she holds in place. At the display of concern, she reluctantly turns away from following after, her head being the last thing to follow. “These suits will only absorb a handful of shots, Godfrey,” she protests quietly. “Which is nothing if they shoot for the head.”

But she stays. She closes her eyes, the tiny electronic snug against her ear activating. “«The drones are seeing the alley in front of the restaurant as clear. There might be a lock on the front door, but I’m sure you can take care of that quietly.»” Her eyes open, glowing with an inner blue light as she cuts a sharp look at the man by her side. “«Godfrey can’t be dissuaded away from being a distraction back here, so—»” There’s a brief pause as she checks her sidearm, and when she speaks again she doesn’t sound particularly pleased about it. “«I can’t very well leave him alone.»”

“«If we’re lucky, we pull them further away from the building, and create more of an opening for you. The room the arm was located in likely isn’t in the restaurant itself, but in the space behind it. Should be in the open.»"

As Kay rounds the corner around the front of the building, she can see the sleek outline of the hovering AH/UN drone above the alley as another firework flares in the distance, a crackle of sparks heard even from here. When Marlowe joins her, a glance confirms the alley truly is abandoned as forecasted. The doors for both the laundromat and restaurant appear to be typical, no extra security to the locking mechanism of their glass and metal frame.

Behind the restaurant, shouts of confusion fly when the wall of flame appears. It's clear in an instant that Andy is not coming back. The man who had been smoking brandishes his gun in the direction of the fire. "Who the fuck do you think you are?" he shouts in plain English, squinting in the dark. "Show yourself!"

Asi maneuvers around the corner to get a look past the flame which she keeps her distance from. It's easier to see over it than through it, which is why she notices the second story immediately. From the shadows on the balcony, someone steps out and lays their hand on the railing.

Someone with white hair.


“Fuck,” Asi breathes at seeing that. She’d hoped Godfrey’s warning about Tsai’s potential presence wouldn’t need addressed so soon. Her gaze falls to the men standing on the concrete, the one with his gun, and the other in the midst of drawing. She lifts her arm and breathes in.

Crack goes the gun as it fires, and for a moment she thinks she’s missed her mark, but then the man brandishing his gun goes down to a knee, clutching his chest. The second man hastily finishes drawing and returns fire, aiming blindly past the line of flame. Two more men emerge from the back door, weapons already drawn. The questions they shout come in Mandarin, answered briskly and with another gunshot into the dark.

"If that arm isn't fire proof then Yamagato needs to stop being cheap," Isa fires back with a wink at Kay's back before she turns to join the other two.

The wall of fire serves as a distraction and deterrent but also as a source of ammo for Isabelle, the dark haired woman stalks forward with Godfrey and Asi, squinting over at Godfrey as he explains. "You should have a great reason for not warning everyone about someone like fucking that," What the hell was Godfrey playing at?

When bullets start flying the pyrokinetic bows her head and spreads her feet shoulder width apart. She thrusts her hands forward with a savage grunt towards the wall of fire and as she does so the wall contracts and bulges outwards before two more fireballs scream outwards towards the shooters.

If the pyro is hoping for an answer, she doesn’t get one. Godfrey simply doesn’t have one that he can give. How does one make the phrase “I forgot” not sound lame? For all his suave confidence, he seems to have let this one fact slip by him and put the rest in danger.

“Just keep their attention, hmm?” Godfrey comments to Isa, checking the clip on his rifle. “Let's see if I can remedy the nuisance, before she becomes an issue.”

Godfrey glances at Asi and motions his head after the others. “Go, luv. I’ve got the best distraction here. I’d feel better if you are with them, in case she runs in.” Even if he has no confidence, he still manages to exude it. “Though, if you want to watch after my dimwitted arse, you’ll find no protest.” Though he probably would rather be the one behind her. (FOCUS, Godfrey.)

While Isa throws out more fireballs, Godfrey moves for the cover of the flaming truck. There was a reason that the business liaison showed up with a rifle and the woman standing on the second story was that season. Ignoring the flames licking not far from him, allowing the heat wash over him in the cold of the night, he crouches where he can see the telepath.

The rifle is set against his shoulder, Godfrey’s head tilts to focus down the sight. Dark eyes narrow as he aims for center mass. If he was a sniper he’d go for the head, but for someone like him… the bigger the target the better. Holding his breath…. Godfrey pulls the trigger.


Having caught up to accompany Kay at the alleyway near front of the restaurant, Marlowe hasn't raised the gun she'd been assigned yet. But she can still feel the heft of it in her hand now that it's drawn out of the holster. "«What?»" she asks from hearing Asi's musings over their radio.

But with gunfire erupting and shouts in other languages, she realizes the lack of time and distraction they have is fast diminishing. One hand taps Kay on the shoulder once in solidarity, then she places her hand on the door handle. Locked or not, the door is subjected to the crackle-snap of blue-white energy sparking around Marlowe's fingers as she undoes the metal bolts holding things shut.

Her golden irises are still turning back to brown behind the helmet visor when she shoulders the door open and finally forces in to the restaurant's main dining.

“«了解.»” A large part of Kaydence wants to tell Marlowe to go back to the van with Eizen, where it’s safer. But the truth is that she needs her ability. She needs someone to watch her back. If she were still NYPD, she’d have a partner. Nothing good ever came of any time she rushed headlong into danger alone. This situation is likely not to prove an exception.

Kay keeps her firearm held at the ready when Marlowe pushes open the door. When no one immediately fires at them upon entry, she lowers the weapon to her side, still held in a two-handed grip as she makes her way into the restaurant’s interior. Time to make their way through the knots of tables and toward the back, likely through the kitchen.

It's an easy path, save for the fact it's through pitch darkness, save for emergency exit lighting which takes them back where they came from. The kitchen is void of bodies, though there's the sound of footsteps and voices coming from the space it dumps into, faint and fading. Navigating through the kitchen space reveals an operation interrupted— steel prep tables repurposed for something other than food. A fine white dust clings to the table nearest the doorway to the stock room, which in turn has a doorway propped open into the hall beyond. Only a pair of boxes remain by that table, the topmost opened. What's on the box's label does not match its contents in the slightest.

But here isn't their quarry. It's beyond.

The stock room is packed with boxes for dry storage, the door for a walk-in cooler opposite the doorway leading further into the building. It seems like, for all intents and purposes, the distraction is working, any person who had been here moving to the back docks. So theoretically, the hall beyond should continue to stay void of people. At the doorway to the hall, a glance left reveals a closed door, a glance to the right shows an open doorway at the very end of the hall on the left side, where the hall splits to the right. The window at the end of the hall lets in the faint orange glow of the fire outside, one that abruptly grows brighter.


The two fireballs Isa hurls at the shooters sends them scrambling for cover, pausing in their volley to try and not take a direct hit. The splash of flame over concrete immediately burns to a crisp dry growth through cracks, leaving behind only scatters of bouncing flame. It's enough to startle them. "Pyro!" the noisy of the group calls out as a warning. One man's pantleg catches on fire, bringing him to bat at it in panic before it can take greater hold.

The figure on the balcony takes this all in with one hand on the rail, oddly calm. The flare from the fireballs fully illuminates Wai Ching Tsai, the dancing light catching on reflective gold thread in the shoulder of her sheer creme duster. For all her calm, she looks nothing if not displeased with this turn of events.

When Godfrey lifts his rifle to aim at her, she looks directly back at him, eyes finding his. The moment his aim finds her center, she steps to the side with haste.

use it

The whisper is small amongst the noise of the moment, but no less invasive. It comes again, youthful, feminine, persistent— curling its way around Godfrey's thoughts. reach down deep and use it.

Asi is relieved for the cover fire Isa provides them, but it does little to change the fact there's so little for them to otherwise take cover behind here. She continues to move across the space, firing as she goes to try and hit the men jumping out of the way, her shots all going wide. Her chosen site of cover is, ironically, the front of the truck that's beginning to belch thick smoke from its shattered cabin. She counted five in total on the deck, not including Tsai who is rapidly coming down the metal staircase, pulling a snub-nosed revolver with an opal handle from somewhere on her person. The Triad leader catches sight of Asi aiming up a shot at her around the side of the truck and quickly snaps her arm up, firing at her.

The technopath hisses as she ducks back in front of the truck, hearing the shot ping off the fender as she pulls back. "Don't let them get back up," she calls to Isa, then edges to the other side of the truck again, firing at the man trying to put his leg out.

In the back of Godfrey's mind, the velvet of the woman's voice persists.

use it

Eyes meet through the scope and Godfrey freezes. Bloody… It had been a gamble he knew it would be, but he isn’t done yet. The rifle follows the woman, but strangely it doesn’t go off. It’s because her voice fills his mind, curling around it, invading his thoughts. No! Don’t listen! he thinks. Staring at Tsai as she moves, his breathing seems so loud to his own ears, the end of his rifle starts to dip ever so slightly.

Reach down deep….
Use it…

Teeth clench hard as Godfrey forces his sluggish mind to work, filling the void with the sound of the piano. The flash of his fingers across the keys as he plays Liszt’s La Campanella, remembering the feel of the keys.

“Isa!” Her name is snapped quickly, almost gasped as he tries to concentrate on what he’s doing. He hastily motions at Tsai, before letting the rifle tip down, his head giving a shake. “Distract her.” He couldn’t do what needed to be done with the old lady in his head.

Even with his thoughts turned to the music in his head, Godfrey can feel a part of him trying to do what she asks, but… Reach for what? It would be so simple to reach…

A gloved hand bumps against the side of Godfrey’s helmet, it was in the way, as he tries to grab at the side of his head. “Get. Out. Of. My. Bloody. Head.” he half yells and half groans out the words. He wants to reach within… to see… A surge of panic grips him pushing Godfrey to make another attempt on Tsai’s life. The end of the rifle lifts again as he tries to take care of the problem right then and there. He can only hope she can’t deal with both Yamagato Employees.

The pyrokinetic looks over at Godfrey with raised eyebrows before it clicks for her. Fucking telepaths. Kaylee was the only one Isa liked, this other bitch was gonna have to go down or Pretty Boy was gonna lose his head, probably literally.


Heat rises around her as she throws her head back and rips her armor off, clothing already smoking and burning up to ash. Orange flames crawl over her skin, starting from her arms and moving fast up to her shoulders but Isa seems to feel none of it. Her eyes alight and reflecting the glow before they tick upwards where the telepath is located. She grunts and curls her fist, visibly straining herself before the flames flicker just for a second.


Isabelle's roar echoes out as the flames covering her body burn brighter and shift to burn a blazing blue. "Watch." Raising her hands, "Out." There's an exhale of breath like she's blowing into a fire, feeding it, willing it to burn stronger. Blue flames fly towards the second floor in a stream before it rolls in on itself becoming a large ball of blue fire.


Pulling a slim flashlight off her belt, Kay passes the electric torch to Marlowe to illuminate the path ahead as they make their way forward. Still, Kay keeps her partner at her back. If they run into trouble, Kay wants to be between it and Marlowe. That she regrets bringing her here has nothing to do with Marlowe and everything to do with her guilty conscience.

Looking at the interrupted operation scattered through the kitchen, Kay shakes her head. “I’d love to see this whole place go up in flames,” she confides. “Would serve them right.” For all that she does that’s definitely not above the board, Kay has to hold on to some thread that allows her to separate herself from criminals like the Triads.

At the mouth of the hallway, Damaris only hesitates to sweep her gaze and her weapon from side to side before making a decision of where to go next. Asi told them the arm would be in the open, and while that may suggest the open door at the end of the hall, the closed door is closer, and Kay wants to know what’s on the other side.

They figured they were here alone, and that no one would be stupid enough to hit their turf. Kay expects the handle to give when she shifts her weapon to a one-handed grip and tries it. And if it doesn’t? Marlowe can handle that.

"Thanks," Marlowe says with a nod, receiving and flicking on the flashlight. As they make their way forward, she lights the path and roughly halfway height up, though as they progress further she grows tenser, more anxious and the want to lift the flashlight to a visible height tempts her bobbing beam. "Hey, don't blame the structure. It didn't get a choice for what it's being used for," responds the engineer quietly. The rapid pops of gunfire outside those walls is worrying.

When they reach the back rooms past the kitchen, Marlowe sticks to being that backup coverage while Kay checks the closed door. This time, the flashlight is aimed to the knob, but Marlowe's gun is readied to be raised as well. Just in case. "And, behind door number one…" Her tense whisper is full of blind hope.

The door swings in on a darkened room void of persons. Desks and tables occupy the center of the space, storage tubs stacked along the side wall. At the back of the room stand grated lockers— employee personal storage space, were the space being used for the adjacent businesses. Several are opened, and at first glance are emptied… except one that very clearly is not.

In that locker, an olive-green rocket launcher hangs from a strap, ammunition on the shelves above it.

This is an armory, void of many of its arms. They’re likely on the back dock. Given Asi had said the cybernetic was in the open, it doesn’t seem like it may be here. The storage containers could feasibly fit the cybernetic inside, but they are many, and time is of the essence.

A single pair of feet beat a heavy path down the hall toward the room Kay and Marlowe have entered into, someone sprinting as fast as they can in that direction. He snaps something breathlessly over his shoulder, practically skidding as he slows to take the corner into the room.

That’s when the entire building shakes.


use it that voice whispers to Godfrey, undeterred, unerring. It slithers inside his mind, sets into his bones. Fingers stumble on keys. He can't keep the piano in his mind's eye.

When Godfrey shows signs of struggling, Asi pulls back to take cover, concern flashing in her gaze. Her head turns back toward the building, a short mutter given to the bluetooth in her ear that signals the drone in front of the building to end its watch and head here. The second zips from around the corner, zooming over the tops of their heads and into the fracas of the men on the docks. The little drone might not be able to do much but cause a distraction, but anything to keep them thrown, at this point.

It gives Isa time enough to strip without getting shot, anyway. And when she enflames, it causes a start on the docks. Shouts fly while Isa gathers her energy, and one man runs back inside as fast as he possibly can.

Tsai's gaze cuts daggers through the air as she renews her focus on Godfrey, halting her descent down to the ground. Her hand tightens on the handrail, eyes glinting in the dark.

Use it the voice whispers again, more urgently this time. The youth in her mental voice fades to something harsher as Isa is wreathed in flame. It shifts blue, and Tsai's invasive telepathy demands…

O̴̵̪͖͔̺͕̓̈́̈́͒́͜n̴̸̢̘͔̼̺̫͛͛͐̈́̾ h̸̴͇̝̦͕͉͉͑͌̽͆́̚ë̵̵̢̞̝̼̫̻́̔̀̿͝r̸̵̡͚̺̠͖̔̈́̈́̓̽͘͜

His head turns, eyes glazed over. The rifle and its tip rotate along with him. Reach down, he’d been compelled.

Godfrey begins to glow.


More than glow, he becomes a second source of light in the yard, a sun in the middle of the night. The air around him swims with auroral color, greens and blues dancing in his aura of orange glow. The now-screaming compulsion in his head demands even more of him, and with a grimace he lifts a bright hand away from his rifle, glowing even brighter.

His arm shakes with the energy funneled inside it, gathering to a point at his hand. With a scream, his hand flares with a blinding corona and emits a blast of white energy at Isa's flaming form.

While it's not bearing the same heat Isa herself is putting out, the energy itself packs a force to it. It applies to her side for an entire second as she spumes fire at the side of the building, as her fireball coalesces and crashes into the second story, tearing through brick. Tsai leaps the remaining distance off the staircase to the ground to get as much distance as possible between her and the fireball, hands over her head as her back is seared from the inferno. Her skin is burning, crisping from the sheer heat, her duster set aflame. If she screams in pain, it can’t be heard over the sound of the collision overhead.

As Godfrey begins to emit light, Asi finds herself looking his way at first, brow knit until it’s too bright to keep staring at. She winces and turns away, looking to the men on the dock instead. A shot is lined up carefully as they watch the development dumbstruck. One of the men goes down right as the flaming fireball collides with the brick building. Satisfied with that, she tries and fails to entirely turn to witness what’s happening between him and the pyrokinetic. “Godfrey!!” she shouts at him. “Godfrey, snap out of it!”

When the second drone peeks over the top of the building, it heads not to distract Tsai, but with a wave of Asi's arm, alters its course to collide directly with the side of Godfrey’s helmeted head.

As the drone flies at him, the glow begins to gather in Godfrey’s hand again. Luckily for the others, he doesn’t hear the high pitched whine, before…


One minute you’re fighting against a telepathic compulsion the next you are getting nailed in the head with something. Godfrey’s head snaps to the side with the impact, sending him stumbling to the side. The rifle falls from slacked fingers and clatters to the ground. He felt weakened suddenly. Like he had just run a damn marathon. “What…?” The word is breathed out in a confused huff. A look in the direction of the others, brings a sharp pang of panic.

Oh no..

Immediately, it is evident he failed…. Godfrey just knows he shot Isa. There is a move made in her direction, he is most definitely concerned! “Isa—-” Hands reach up to pull down the mask, only to freeze as two glowing hand come into his view. “Bloody Hell!” bursts from the man in surprise. He stumbles backwards away, only to realize… “‘S that me!?!” Hands are flipped one way and then the other. His gloves were completely gone…Was… Was he really seeing that?


Godfrey remembers… Use it.

The glowing Brit turns abruptly, mask hiding the look of pure fury on the man’s features. He had been manipulated. Used. He doesn’t head for Isa, instead Tsai finds the radiant man descending upon her. The glow brightens as he reaches for the gun at his thigh, the dancing aurora of colors playing around him in a mesmerizing display. He isn’t sure what she made him do, though he so desperately wants to repeat it for her up close.

Godfrey didn’t take too lightly to being manipulated. So while, he should thank her for helping him dig deep…. Instead, while she writhes in pain from the burns on her body, he plans to empty an entire clip into her head.

Into her…


Godfrey’s skull throbs. Something inside and behind his eyes, a pressure, then a release like sinus blockage clearing up. It feels like when Tsai was inside of his head, but like something was dislodged.

Like something was

The chair topples backwards and onto the floor, Godfrey with it. "What the hell!?" He screams, his hands emitting a warm amber radiance that swirls with blue-green threads of auroral light. Garza is up and out of his chair in an instant, wide-eyed as he watches Godfrey's manifestation. Jaiden, too, is quick to alight from his chair and level both an unsurprised and frustrated look at Garza.

As Godfrey scrambles to his feet, the broken whiskey glass at his side forgotten, he can't help but marvel at the sight of the light spilling out from his hands. Garza takes a step forward, nodding to Jaiden who wordlessly excuses himself from the room. "Calm down, Godfrey," Garza says as he closes the distance, carefully placing a hand on each of Godfrey's shoulders. "Easy…" he says in a hushed voice, "we'll work through this miracle together."

"It's… I'm— it's an ability." Godfrey says with a shocked but wide smile as he looks from his hands to Garza. Garza isn't smiling.

Behind Godfrey, Jaiden returns with someone else in tow. An old, weathered looking hispanic man with hair tied back into a ponytail. Garza makes eye-contact with Jaiden, then slowly turns Godfrey around. "Godfrey… I'd like to introduce you to Daniel Espenosa," he says with a motion to the older man.

"Espenosa is going to help you…" Garza says with a firm grip on Godfrey's shoulders.


"What the fuc-" Isa's swear is cut off as she's hit with that solar flare and thrown backwards, landing on her back with a loud smack. She might not be affected physically by the heat but she feels it. What a terrible time to manifest with an enemy telepath in their path. The pyrokinetic is winded but she grunts to her feet in a crouch and breathing heavy. She can hear Asi screaming for him though her own head rings. The telepath is running away and that will not fucking do.

"Godfrey- Godfrey!"

She coughs and yells at him as the flames flicker around her and she steps forward but not in opposition to Godfrey, "You are not as easily controlled, get your shit together now while she's distracted and fire at her with me!" Isa doesn't wait before she's thrusting her hands forward and generating a stream of blue fire that roars outwards in the direction of the telepath.

"Now Godfrey!"


An audible breath of astonishment leaves Kay’s lungs. She slides her handgun into its holster and makes her way toward the open locker. “Hello, beautiful,” she utters in a hush. Lifting the rocket launcher in her hands, she grins behind her helmet and heads back toward the door. She motions for Marlowe to stand back as the footsteps grow closer.

With a grunt, Kay hefts the rocket launcher like a baseball bat as the man tries to barrel past the threshold. The swing cuts up, clipping him in the jaw and dropping him to the ground before he knows what hit him. She stares down at the prone form a moment, already starting to pass the launcher toward her partner.

“We’ve gotta check that other room.” Damaris leans out the hallway and stares at the inferno beyond the windows at the end of the hall. “We don’t have much time.”

Contrasted with Kay's reaction to the rocket launcher, Marlowe grimaces with disappointment. It's not the Cestus, and moreover what the hell is a rocket launcher doing here? Besides the obvious. It's a reminder of a past she doesn't deign to revisit often. "Let's keep search—" Her words hush at the sound of running footsteps approaching, and the motion from Kay is all Marlowe needs to move out of the way.

She ignores the part where she wants to ask if Kay has experience firing rockets. Indoors…

The way she startles, wincing as the launcher is swung at the guard, is all the empathy she might have for the man. Marlowe receives the launcher, blows out a sigh as she loops the strap around herself, and grabs the case of ammunition off the shelf.

"I swear to God, Kay, if the arm isn't here…" Marlowe doesn't finish her threat, instead steps over the prone guard without so much as a glance down to him, heading quickly after her coworker-in-crime and on to door number two. The battle outside speeds her on. "«How are we doing out there?»" calls Marlowe over the comms.

"«まあ、あんまり悪くない。1»" There’s definitely sarcasm in Asi's reply, backgrounded by gunfire and roaring flame. "«でも後ろから出て進められない。2»"

As Kay steps into the hall, she can see the window at the end has shattered, and from the outside light shines in. Nearing the end, the phenomenon proves to have multiple sources— one being what is visible of the second story on the adjacent outer wall of the building, and that it’s on fire. The second source is…

Godfrey? shrouded in a corona of daylight and auroral color…

Along with Isa, who’s wreathed in bright flame cast a dangerous shade of blue, armorless besides.

A glimmer flickers into the corner of Marlowe’s eye from the room to her left as she approaches the window. Sweeping her gaze and her light that way, she can see it quickly — a room adorned with various pieces of art along its walls, accompanied by several standing works that include a cherry red prosthetic arm laid out on a pedestal. The design of it is recognizable instantly, even if the color of it isn’t. The only thing in her path now are a few tables, one of which hosts an abandoned card game.

But also, to their right, the back exit onto the dock is only ten feet away at most— door to the outside still hanging wide open.


About that gunfire.

For all the distractions thrown their way keeping them from laying down fire previously, the remaining Triad members on the dock take notice and alarm at the explosion— instantly looking for Tsai and to secure her safety. When Godfrey takes those first steps across the yard, it takes a single yell from the man who’s finally put his pants out to rally the remaining two. The one wielding a shotgun rises from his crouched position and takes a bold step closer to the edge of the raised concrete dock before firing his already-loaded shotgun in Godfrey’s direction with a noisy bang.

A web of buckshot hails down on Godfrey, pelting him up and down his body. The helmet he wears takes the upward scatter, while the high-tech body armor works overtime to absorb what flies at his torso and arms. The battery pack at his waist sparks as its charge is aggressively depleted, the armor protecting him no longer humming with protective tension. It’s just kevlar and plating between him and the oncoming gunfire now, which continues from the second gunman, though his shots go wide on either side of Godfrey’s feet.

When Isa comes back to her feet, the man who had been set on fire has reclaimed his gun from the ground, vengeance already on his mind. Seeing her prepare another gout of flame spurs him to fire quickly, repeatedly on her as she advances. It’s unclear which of the count it was, but one of the shots finds its mark, drilling into Isa’s extended arm just below the elbow. Additional fire from him is cut off by Asi as she breaks away from the cover of the truck, firing repeatedly back at him and clipping him in the bicep with a shot. She ducks her head to get a better look up onto the dock as she peels away from the black smoke coming off of the truck.

Who knew how long it was going to be before the fire set to it would become an explosive problem.

“«いいから早く腕を取れ!3»” Asi snaps while she moves, cutting off the line before she fires again at the man with the burned pantleg who’s stumbling back, clutching his arm. Over the chaos, the sound of a direct hit from a lick of Isa’s flame comes from Tsai in the form of an excruciating cry. The Triad leader had come to her feet to hoist herself up onto the dock and seek cover behind her men, but the flame pushes her the other way, not quickly enough to avoid it entirely. The fabric of her pantleg is seared away, skin underneath flaking and blackening. A touch to it crackles the skin away entirely, painfully exposing—

Shoot her!” Tsai commands, voice breaking.

The man with the shotgun adapts quickly to the renewed threat Isa poses, swinging the barrel of his weapon toward the living flamethrower. He racks another round and braces the gun against his shoulder again, eyes glazed.

The energy from the shotgun blast stops the business liaison in his tracks and even sends him a step back. Godfrey lifts a hand to brush at his brow now bloodied by a bit of buckshot that sliced by on it’s way into his helmet. Well… Looking down at the smear of blood on his fingers, he doesn't quite feel fear. He feels the sting of anger, as he rubs the bloody fingers together. “Oh… you should not have done that,” Godfrey says in a low and dangerous voice, the light brightening around him, throwing sharp shadows around him.

Colorful auroras go swirling and bouncing gracefully around Godfrey, following the flow of solar energy until it twists into the harsh glow gathering in his palm.

There is something rather savage behind the smile on Godfrey’s face, teeth bared behind the mask he wears. All they can see is the light flashing behind his pupils when he looks their way. Probably a good thing others can't see the raw joy that comes with that rediscovered power.

A power that Godfrey throws at the shotgun wielding goon with all his anger to feed it. Not just just anger at his target, but Garza as well. There is a bright flash of light before it slams into the poor unfortunate(?) soul.

It is going to leave one hell of a sunburn.

She'll burn herself out if she's not careful and Isabelle had gathered that she might need her gift to make sure everyone got out of here. The flames wreathing her body flicker and surge to a bright orange as if the blue was burned away. She and Godfrey are two almost twin balls of light in some form, burning away any notion of staying under the radar, as if it stood a chance with Isabelle in the group in the first place.

Isabelle makes her way towards Godfrey but is stopped by a bullet and pain blossoming up her arm and taking over her body. She hisses and slaps a hand to the wound, blood pouring down to her wrist but being burned at the same time and evaporating or sizzling as it drips on the floor. The pop of gunfire is accompanied by the sound of something cracking like wood, like a door… imploding. The sound is heard by only two, Isabelle.

And then Tsai, for the screams of rage that tear from Isabelle's mind are deafening for the pyrokinetic and she clutches at her head with eyes squinting shut.


A flash of a hallway with flames licking the walls, a door that falls to pieces outwardly. There a glow of eerie blue and orange, a silhouette that's small and turns to stare down the hall at Isabelle, at Tsai. The image is burned into the women's brain. For Isabelle it feels like something is searing inside of her and the scar along her cheek down her shoulders to her waist blazes brightly along with the fire. The bonds that Kaylee had placed on Isa's mind were never going to last and she had done no maintenance to extend their shelf life, that mistake bites Isabelle and everyone else in her vicinity in the ass. Isabelle screams and the fire around her grows brighter, the warmth in the air surges as the dark haired woman shakes her head from side to side. The shotgun soldier being blasted leaves one more person for Isabelle's rage to focus on if not her comrades.

The blood at her wrist dries as Izzy's hands raise and fingers flex, then R E L E A S E The flames swirling around her hand flume forward and slam together to create one constant stream of flames that howl toward the telepath. Slamming into the wall on the older woman's left and slowly being dragged towards her. Isa's hazel eyes reflect that infernal fire and the child in her head, the murderer out of control continues to howl along with it.


“That sounds like things aren’t going quite as well as we hoped for,” Kay surmises. Her Japanese is conversational, and this is not a conversational type of situation. She can pick out enough of Asi’s words and tone — combined with the fucking inferno outside — to gather how things are progressing.

All the same, she’s moving forward through the corridor, eyes going wide as the scene beyond the blown-out windows comes into focus. “Godfrey?” She almost forgets to survey the room they’ve come to search. Fortunately, the flicker of flames off the prototype prosthetic eventually catch her attention. Kay moves her firearm back to her hands and gestures toward the arm. “Grab it, get Eizen. If we can’t neutralize Wesley, we’re in trouble.”

Leaving her behind isn’t an option. That would be like leaving evidence for the MPs with a great big bow on it. Even if they could explain it away, it wouldn’t be until after a lengthy investigation (or incredibly generous “donations”), and that’s not a cost Kay’s willing to pay at the moment.

“I’m going to cover the others. Go!” In spite of Asi’s advice, Kay makes her way for the gaping exit door. Raising her weapon, she takes aim at the man with the shotgun, and fires.

One hand had been raised to half-shield her eyes from the brightness emitted from the open hole of the shattered window. But once she and Kay are in the second room, Marlowe needs no further encouragement as she strides over to the Cestus II that's literally been placed on a pedestal, and gathers it to her person.

"So much fucking trouble," she utters with a huff and slips it into a zippered sling pouch. That goes alongside the rocket launcher strapped around her as well. Two seconds tick past as she watches Kay run towards danger in the back of the building. Whatever protest she may have had gets shaken off with a forced spin of her body and sprint the other way.

She hoofs it for the front of the Nuojin He Jia restaurant, back out the door they entered through and down the street towards their exfil van and waiting Security Head. Her progress is slower than she'd like given the items weighing her down. "Girl, you gotta work out more… job's getting too cushy for your tushy," mutters Marlowe at herself.

The man with the shotgun fires anyway despite the blinding light that begins to radiate from Godfrey— but his shot goes wild, fired high above Isa's head. He blinks away the glaze from his eye as he stumbles a step back, trying to get his footing now that he's under his own control. There's no time to, though. The burst of solar energy hits his front, hundreds of degrees of temperature scalding him and sending his clothes smoking. He cries out and turns away from it—

only to be shot in the heart by Kay as he turns around. Gasping, he falls, clutching his chest— and his weapon clatters away from him on the ground in the process.

Seeing past Godfrey proves a challenge from where Asi is standing, but the hand that cups around the side of her eye as she sees the man with the burned pantleg try to recover enough to fire at Isa and heed Tsai's command. Squinting, she aims for his center, teeth gritting as she fires. He takes the hit, but fires wildly as he goes down, doing his best to land a shot. All go wide, dust kicked up around Isa's feet — and then just past Asi's shoulder into the truck with a ping that doesn't sound like it was entirely deflected. She turns her head back toward it only to head as far away as she possibly can from the truck… and from the gout of flame that chases Tsai down.

Whatever the old woman sees in Isabelle, she looks at it head on. Her eyes reflect the flames, light dancing in the dark of them. In that mindspace, a youthful Tsai stands unburned, looking at once at the screaming child and the screaming woman. … Are they any different?

"You're a ḿ̵̛͜͜o̢͞҉̨͢n͢͡͠͏͞s̷̴̢̛͟t̵̵̢͜͠e̴̢͝҉̵r͏̶̧̀͝." she hisses, the dark of her eyes shifting to the color of smoke in that mental space. "Someone like you…"

The flame continues to crawl toward Tsai, but she doesn't move to try and take cover around the side of the truck. Her eyes remain locked on Isa's, through the heat, through the light…

T̴̗̹͖̮̪̩̻͓͆̍̂̎͊͛̍͋͟͡͠h͙̙͎̹̺̽̀̒̄̀͜e̗̭͕͕̪͔͗̏͒̉̍͑̚y̱͙͓̟̖̥͍̥̼̩̎͂̈̓̀̕'͕̣͙̝̻̹̤̂͐̽̒̋́r̜̠̻̩̜͉͇͓̒̄͂̿́̌͞ͅẽ̜͇͈̹͕̓͊̆͐̽͑̇̕ b̧̢̳̤̖̽͂̊͌͑̏̾̇̿ȩ͕̥̞̣̩̒̈̑͗̾̍t̴̡͚͈̝͑̾͐̈́̉̒̅͘͟t̵̨̛̪̲͕̤͉̯̥͇̩̀̆͊̚͠e̴̡̪͕̤̱̫̠̎̓̉̊́̀̉̕͠r̨̞̤̠̞̠͋̋̋͊̉ ò̸̥̘̦͑͂̔͗̀͌́͜͡ͅf̴̢̩̳̦̟͗̅̍͘͢͡f̸̧̺̥̟͚̯̟̖͉̖̄̆̊̌͊̾̀͞͠ w̸̢̦͓̠̦͋̈́͆̆͌̑͘i̫̳̜̐̂͛̽͐̀̽̚͢͜t̵̲͈͖͈̻̤̗̪̳̏͂̂͋͂͆̊̕͢͝h̸̘̯̬̝͖͇̓̾̈́̓̒̀͛͌͜͠ȱ̵̢͔̗͈̜̱͚̲͎̆͋̓͜u̺̝̰͕̤̥͍͐͂̓͋̅́̍̆͝͡ţ̻̫̞̊́̃̑̄̔̕͜͡ ỵ̵̹̩̳̭͉̜̳̩̤̔̽̅̽̄̓͠o̪̙̬̠̱͊̆͐͐̓͗̍̅̎͟͡ụ̵̞̪͕͕͗̂́͂͝.͙͇̖͈̞̍̃͐͊͐̈̀͝."

Even as the flame encroaches on her, her gaze holds steady on Isabelle, her scream a warcry rather than one of pain. She leans into her choice, and under the maelstrom of fire the dark of her eyes pale just before she's engulfed entirely in flame that strips her of her humanity, leaving behind only ash and bone.

The last man standing wheels around on the dock when Kay’s gunfire from behind takes him by surprise. He fires immediately, shot zinging past her ear and into the brick. In the process of lining up less of a panic shot, the inevitable finally happens. The plastic barrier between tank and fire melts away, and the fumes of the gas instantly ignite. The truck explodes on the driver side, rocking and sending even more fire out toward Tsai’s body. It enters a precarious and firey lean, creaking.

It’s going to fall.

The glow around the business liaison fades away and he suddenly feels like he’d just finished with a marathon session of sex. Yet, there was the man screaming and not dead.

Disappointment flitters across his features. Even though Godfrey understands he has a lot to relearn about what he has, it was quite anticlimactic, especially when Kay dispatches the man. Add in the fact that Isa flambes the telepath… he felt… dissatisfied.


Godfrey waves off that dissatisfaction and calls over to Kay, unable to conceal the edge of hope that the deed was done and they could get out of there before the MPs showed.

“Did you get—”

The question is never asked as the truck explodes next to him, the blast wave sending Godfrey stumbling to the side with arms coming up to protect his head. “Bloody hell!” If the island wasn’t alerted yet, it was now. He looks over at the truck wide-eyed and then up a little as he hears the creak of metal.

Godfrey doesn’t need to be warned twice.

“Right…” He turns to flee from the tilting vehicle. “Time to go!” He shouts at the others, hoping they will also feel the need for self preservation and follow. To get where he’s planning, he is forced to skirt around the pillar of flames. Which makes him very aware of Isa’s berserker rage, but whatever could he do? The woman was full on Dante’s inferno. How does anyone knock any sense to that? He considers the gun in his hand, pondering chucking it at her head… he quickly nopes out of that idea.

So… he flees, right to Asi. Godfrey turns to look back at the flame wreathed woman, “Got another drone, luv?,” he asks of the technopath, “I’d rather not leave one of ours behind.” If it worked for him, maybe it would for Isa, too.

An idea is like a small seed if you water it, it will grow.

Monster… you're a monster

It strikes like the pelting of rain, sliding underneath her cracked and volatile surface, beneath her firestorm of a psyche, veins of water run down, veins of thought, in the farthest reaches of Isabelle's mind. It finds that seed, one that was black as coal, one that the pyrokinetic had planted so long ago, she had just been a child.

Better off without you

The roots of the seed burrow deeper, the parasitic weed begins to spider out. Spreading through, hooking in. It's not so difficult to convince someone they're something they've always believed they were.

Monstermonstermonsteryoureamonsteryoureayoureamonster. Gogogogogogomonstermonstermonster

As her mind breaks further a deep guttural scream rips from her throat propelled by the angry little girl inside, hands curled in on themselves, she's cut short by the explosion of the tank which sends Isabelle flying. The scream is cut off and she comes to a roll not too far from her comrades. The chaos around her muffles the sound of her snark as she climbs to her feet slowly. Blood in patches on her body, open cuts but fire gifting her modesty in this moment. Those hazel eyes scan the area lazily before Isa takes a step.

Away from the ruin she wrought, away from her coworkers. Away from everything.

You're a Monster…. Release…

The voices work in tandem before solidifying into a singular powerful voice. Pushing her further, as far as Mother Mary had. There's a feeling of pressure being released in the back of her head. The door was blown wide open, the chorus of screams not just of her parents but of the children in cages. They spur her forward.

Isabelle's pace quickens before it shortly evolves into a full on run.

There is no time to relax or self-congratulate for a perfectly aimed shot. Hell has still broken loose, and one of its demons has gone on the run. “Get to the van!” Kay barks both across the space and into the comms for the benefit of Asi and Godfrey. “That’s an order!”

There’s a curse uttered under her breath as Kay secures her firearm in its holster at her side again and pushes off in a sprint after Isabelle. She can’t leave her loose on Staten Island, regardless of her ability to look after herself. She’s a liability to Yamagato left to wander this way.

Plus, she needs help, and she won’t find it here.

“Isabelle!” Kay cries out over the roar of fire and the creak of rapidly deteriorating structural integrity. “Isabelle, stop! You have to come back!”


Whatever ideas for stealing in and out the Yamagato crew might have had sold to Eizen flies right out the window of their getaway vehicle in which Eizen sits when Marlowe comes running up. That's because she's weighed down not just with the Cestus presumably in the original sling-bag she had taken with her, but now plus one RPG launcher and ammunition for it.

"すまんね、ちょっと遅かったけど4," Marlowe gasps out, the heavy weapon thunked down between seats as she's clambering in. She pops off the AEGIS helm for some extra breathing room before shoveling the Cestus, bag and all, into a built-in locker and welding the lid securely shut with her finger.

The crackling blue-white sparks and her golden irises are fading back to brown as she looks to Eizen. "Can you drive? We need to pick up the others." There's very little else the tech director reveals to her company head of security, but the clipped tone sounds serious. And at least from the way she phrases it, maybe everybody's still alive. She's not even sure about that. That's all the engineer has to say, though.

The nearby booms of explosions and pops of gunfire have no doubt spoken enough for her.

Pick up?” Eizen barks as he slides into the driver’s seat from his perch in the passenger’s seat. He scans out the windshield, toward the fiery glow in the near distance, then angles a look to Marlowe in the rear-view mirror. “畜生!5" He curses before throwing the van into reverse and slamming on the accelerator. Spare magazines of ammunition slide across the floor of the van, then slide back the direction they’d come in as Eizen cuts the wheel, shifts into drive, and peels out down a side-street toward the sound of gunfire.

How many!?” Eizen barks into the rearview mirror. Marlowe can only see his dark, intense eyes locked on her between flicks to the road. He means how much resistance.

That's an excellent question, Eizen.

One to which, under normal circumstances, there would be a clear answer. One to which, under normal circumstances, there would also be actual numbers still standing in resistance against the members of Operation "Armagettin".

But nothing about this is normal.

While the burning van is still tipping, Asi can see Kay beginning to move after Isa. "Damn it," she swears, firing twice more at the man who had been turning to fire at her. Come on, come on, she prays as the truck falls, unable to see what happens on the other side immediately. The sound of the falling vehicle makes it hard to hear if there's other gunshots, but then—

But then she sees Kay jump off the far side of the dock and take off down the road after the woman wreathed in flames. Asi lets out a sigh of relief and looks back to the dock, to the burning building and burning vehicle. No clamor or gunfire comes, so her shots must have been true. Godfrey's question registers all too late, and she lifts her head to the remaining drone overhead. "Stay on Isa," she asks of it, the glow in her eyes taking on a cooler color than the amber reflection of flame. And that's that— off the drone goes.

She tenses and raises her weapon at hearing the van take the corner and come barrelling down the alley, the flare of the headlights making it hard to tell who is coming up to them until the vehicle stops. Asi lowers her weapon still somewhat reluctantly as she sees Eizen in the driver seat. Because if looks could kill, his was deadly.

It was not supposed to be her facing him down and explaining their plan to go quietly about this went so, so awry. But it's her and Godfrey backgrounded by dead bodies, flames, and wreckage.

"Wesley-Khan." is the only explanation she offers, then she turns to look in the direction both her and Kay had taken off in. Indirectly, she still has a sense of where they are through the drones. "She ran, and Damaris took off after her." Turning back to Eizen, she keeps it just as brief: "探しに行こう.6"

With that, she comes around the other side of the vehicle and invites herself to the passenger seat, slamming the door shut behind her as the blasted and burning portion of the building begins to groan and shift. Soon, it'll fall. She looks one last time at it before turning her attention inward, a flare of inner, neon light in her eyes again while Godfrey climbs into the back of the van and pulls the door closed again.

The arm might be recovered and opposition dealt with— those who dared to steal it literally up in flames— but even without anyone left to pursue them…

the night had a ways to go before it was over.

Somewhere across the bay, another sparkling firework lights up the midnight sky.

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