Over The River And Through The Woods II


avi3_icon.gif doyle2_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif lynette4_icon.gif nick_icon.gif

Scene Title Over The River And Through The Woods II
Synopsis A Ferry trip runs into trouble. You could say it is moose-t upsetting.
Date October 14, 2011

Adirondack Mountains

A light mist has set on the bottom of the road. They only have a few more hours to go until the rendeszvous. For now. They wait.

The High Country Meats truck sits at an abandoned weighstation in the Adirondack Mountains on the way to the Canadian border. Outside the truck the surroundings are serene and pictureesque. The blue sky, the green trees, and the rocky mountains ahead.

Inside the truck is another matter.

In the cab of the truck, Nick sits at the steering wheel, accompanied by Doyle and Avi.

The inside of the truck is practically bristling. Rather than pig and cow carcasses, there are nineteen children and those in the back of the truck and those looking after of them.

Despite the constant shushing of the adults, it is hard to keep the back of the truck completely quiet. The interior had been converted as much as they could for the safety of the children with small built in benches on the side of the truck. Whatever baggage could be brought along for the children serves partially as padding for the children.

Lighthouse kids, with their number complimented by recent additions of orphans at Pollepel who have also been thrown in with the group for the evacuation.

A brief scuffle is heard in the back of the truck. Lance and Paul normally friends, seem to have had a disagreement on the seating arrangement and have engaged in a hushed fight, whispered hissing and tense pushing.

I fell in to a burning ring of fire. I went down, down, down, and the flames

"Vetoed," Avi mutters, switching the radio from the twang of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire to silence. With a click of his tongue, he leans back and sits against the cab seat, rubbing one hand against his brow. "Jensen used to blast that stupid goddamn song whenever we were driving, because — and I fucking quote — 'one of these days we're going to crash while that's playing and it'll be appropriately dramatic'."

Looking out the passenger side window, Avi sighs anxiously and has seemed on-edge this entire trip. He advocated against this move, advocated against taking the kids, advocated against Eric Doyle. Coincidentally, Avi was vetoed at every step of the way.

A battered old Yankees cap sits atop Eric Doyle's head, its bill shadowing his face and a ratty scarf wrapped around his bull-thick neck to be pulled up if needed. It's almost as if the puppeteer doesn't want to be recognized. Fancy that.

"Oh, c'mon, man," he protests as the radio station's switched, "Cash is a classic. Look, maybe it's a little cliche for me to appreciate Folsom Prison Blues, but the man had some serious talent." Avi may have advocated against Eric not because of his background, but because he's been going back and forth with the other man on every little thing.

Magically — or because a certain Noa Gitelman sometimes has a sense of humor, the radio pops back on and the song comes back on.

And it burns burns burns, the ring of fire.

"Raith is a wanker," says Nick simply, his hand tapping nervously on the steering wheel. "Fuck, this truck smells like cigarettes and it's making me wanna smoke again." Long gone is the fake American accent when he's with what might be considered friends — if he was feeling generous to himself. He at least knows Avi. Doyle, he's not too sure about. And they have many miles to go yet.

"Lance," Gillian murmurs from her position in the back of the truck with the children. Of all the children. He's the one she least expected to be making noise. "At least turn off sound if you're going to make a fuss," she quickly murmurs at him. In her lap sits one of the smallest of the orphans who they picked up, a one year old who can't even say more than a few simple words yet. And he's even quieter than the one who can turn off his own sound.

Running her hand over the young child's body, she offers a soothing gesture, even if she knows as soon as they reach the border she will be heading back with the Ferry that won't be going onward to Canada and will be saying goodbye to this little boy— and the rest of the children she briefly called her own.

Juniper, who may also return with them, shakes her head at some of the younger kids, also holding one of the youngest babies, a two year old black girl with adorable curly pigtails. The littleist kids have special people-shaped seats.

This is not where she planned to be when she went to say goodbye to Emily, but Kaylee found herself roped in, unable to just let the little girl go without helping. She was thankful that Joseph understood. So, she finds herself sitting in the back of meat packing truck, surrounded by kids. It wasn't particularly comfortable sitting back in her seat, with the Glock resting at the small of her back, a cold weight. Her feet as crossed at the ankle, pressing the small knife tucked in her boot against her leg.

Despite what she has on her, Kaylee's real weapon is already in play. Completely, trusting those in the truck with her, the telepath sits still with eyes closed, senses open to the world around them. It took some work to tamper down the loud thoughts of the children and other adults, especially tough to ignore the loud thoughts coming from the tiny blonde mute toddler. She really did not appreciate the fact that Kaylee wasn't listening to her. This meant she was squirming a little for whoever is stuck with her.

She hated to do it, but the telepath needed to focus. The fighting children and the sounds from the cabin of the truck and probably the men's mental voices were not helping.

Hailey stares at the door and nestles a little closer to Gillian, whom she has been glued to the entire length of the trip so far. The admonishing of her brother doesn't seem to phase her, not like it usually does. Usually, she would look down her nose and smirk while being 'the good one'. Instead a set of wide and fearful eyes are glued to the door. Her breathing is a little rapid, a little shallow, and her teeth clenched together.

Somewhere outside a mouse is hiding from a hawk.

In the back of this truck is not where Lynette would have preferred to be. But when the ~menfolk~ called shotgun, she didn't argue. Perhaps as a way to make it up to Avi for being very loud when she vetoed everything out of his mouth. So she has a seat in the back with the children she argued for, but doesn't know well at all. Still, she has one in her lap, a young boy who seems content with twirling her long, blonde hair around his fingers. This is something she seems… resigned to. Perhaps because it seems to keep him from being upset during a long and tense journey.

She makes a mental note: Learn to delegate.

Her hand moves to rest on the shoulder of the kid next to her. A little older, less easily distracted from the reality around her. Quiet tears hit the girl's cheeks, which might be why Lynette gives her a reassuring squeeze.

Pushing Paul to the side, Lance's mouth opens as if he's about to yell at his friend. Though no sound comes, Lance looking like he's definitely taking some time raging at his friend. His pushing and jostling suddenly going inaudible. Though as he does he seems to gain an upper hand on Paul, planting one foot, Paul gets slammed backward. Making a thud noise on the cab side wall of the truck. As Paul is suddenly in a bad position his instinct is to use his ability. And suddenly Paul tumbles through the cab wall onto the seat next to Avi and Doyle, the young boy rematerializing on top of them. Looking embarrassed and shocked as he looks up at the two men, his mouth opens for a moment.

But the song is suddenly interrupted on the radio by a familiar voice. Noa. "«<They are sending someone to check the truck! They know we're Ferry! Think we're on a supply run. Fuck.»"

The passenger side window is suddenly shattering as a cannister thuds in the cab with the three men and now Paul.. And


An extremely bright flash of light and explosion of noise ring out from the flashbang. The men won't even be able to hear the shouting from the woodline immediately.

"Get out of the truck and lay down on the ground with your hands behind your head." The yelling can be heard faintly from inside the back of the truck. Lance looking aghast, his gaze immediately going to Gillian as finally the children completely go silent.

Blinded, deafened, and confused by the sudden explosion in his lap. Avi fumbles his hands around, grabs the side of his head and paws at the window, one hand across the side of Doyle's face, the other smashes into the dashboard, steering wheel. He slaps Doyle's knee, thinking it's Nick's, rambles something incoherent and muffled by the tinnitus ring in everyone's ears. No one hears him shout drive.

The sudden appearance of one of 'his' kids in Doyle's lap breaks him out of his needling of Epstein, blinking non-plussed at the youngster for a moment before a grin cracks his expression. "Alright, Paul, get ba— "

He's cut off by the warning, and then the shattering of the window has him reacting by instinct — arms wrapping around Paul and twisting to shield him from the blast. Fortunately, it's not a grenade. Unfortunately now his head's ringing and he can't see a god-damn thing, face screwed up as he blinks several times, his knee slapped, the shouting just finally starting to be heard distantly.

It takes Nick a few moments, too, to recover from the blast, blue eyes blinking as he passes a hand over his face, then rakes it through his hair. "We can try to reason-" but Paul's up in the seat with them. They could probably have explained Doyle away as a 'contact' but the kid? There is a telepath in the back of the truck, though — only is she any good if they blow up the truck? "Shit," he says, looking at Avi for direction, having missed the shout to drive, just as no one can hear him speak, no doubt, either.

"Let me try," he finally says, grabbing his Interpol badge before throwing the door open, one empty hand up and then the other, before scowling back at the child in the cab. "You, mate, phase on back to the back, yeah? Tell the others we're caught." To the Doyle, "Maybe slide on over and drive while they deal with me," he mutters, before he holds his badge up and steps down from the truck, slamming it behind him.

What the hell are her children doing!? Gillian shakes her head as Paul slams through into the cab and she might just be glad the poor boy didn't fall outside— especially considering what happens next. The fact that the children are strong enough not to start screaming or crying shows just how much bullshit they have been through, how strong they have grown. Many of the Lighthouse Kid's eyes turn sharply to their "big sister/mom", as a sharp scent of sea salt wafting into the air.

Kaylee can hear a sudden mental groan of 'God damnit that drunk bastard is never gonna stop saying I told you so when this is fucking over' as she shifts just enough to reach out toward the blonde woman, offering her hand as she holds the baby boy closer against her body. A soft violet glow comes to her eyes as she starts to let energy pour out of her— almost all of it going toward the telepath she knows— but there's also a young blonde girl pressed against her.

There is a moment, when she feels something brush her mental net; however, there is no time to explore it before the chaos erupts and her concentration is thrown out with a… well… a bang; muted in the back, but still loud.

Sudden rush of fear sends a chill up Kaylee's spine, making her sit a little straighter. It is instinct, that has Kaylee turning in her seat, at the same time Gillian reaches out. Hands clasp and her ability flares out again, much easier then before. A soft «Thank you.» touches the dark hair woman's mind, before Kaylee turns her mental eye outward again.

There is a tentative touch, light - something the mind out there doesn't feel. «Shit.» The words ring hollow in Gillian's and Lynette's minds. «I-I think they have training.» Against telepaths that is, or that is the impression she give them. «I don't dare push further. Without giving us away.» Instead of pushing for it, she gathers the energy that Gillian is offering her pushes her senses further out, trying to get a head count.

A murder of crows in the trees lift off and flap away, cawing and fleeing the scene. Smaller mammals scatter through tall grass, away away. It's the largest one that Nick spies just inside the tree line. A bull moose, easily weighing half a ton that lowers its scooped antlers and paws the ground before letting out its squeal. When a moose panics, it doesn't run away, it crushes whatever is frightening it.

Inside the van, Hailey squeezes her eyes shut and grips Gillian even tighter. She's almost all grown up, at least that's what she would defiantly tell her brother during a fight. Right now she feels very small, very small and very afraid.

Lynette tenses when she hears the commotion up front. The shouting. She forces herself to relax, though, before the child in her lap can get jostled from his distraction. She looks to Gillian and Kaylee, too, but says nothing. She just runs her hand over the young girl's hair to try to calm her.

Her eyebrows lift when she hears Kaylee's voice in her mind. Not because of the use of the woman's power, but the content of her message. That is not good news, she thinks back to the telepath. Don't push until we know they can't salvage this up front. It's possible she thinks it likely that they will not salvage things, because she works on detangling herself from the child on her lap and passing him over to the young girl. She came to protect these kids, after all, and she's ready to do just that.

Letting out a scream, Paul falls to the floor of the cab as Avi is moving. Unable to see, unable to hear. Doyle moves his body to protect the young phaser who in his moment of fear, phases again. Trying to shield Paul, Doyle can feel him evaporate if he can't see or hear. When his senses return to him Doyle will be able to assess that Paul has phased again. And this time out of the cab completely and more than likely now under the truck.

As Nick decides to go the diplomacy approach and round the truck, two soldiers are approaching out of the treeline from behind the weigh station. "Get on the fucking ground!" He's shouting, though apparently Nick isn't going fast enough in complying with the orders. The lead soldier approaching Nick has a blast emit from his rifle.

And Nick goes down.

Dropping in a heap the two soldiers are approaching slowly, weapons trained on the man who was approaching them. The second soldier lifts his rifle up to the passenger door. "Out of the truck, now."

There are more soldiers in the treeline, that much is evident by the red dots sweeping through the cab, Doyle is able to make out. However one thing none of the soldiers were expecting to deal with was an fully grown adult moose. The clip clopping is heard as the two soldiers turn.

The first soldier turns in surprise as a full rack of the bull moose goes colliding with his chest, sending the man flying through the air. There's a huge bang on the side of the truck wall as the man crashes against it before falling limply to the ground.

The other soldier then is concentrating on unleashing a barrage of fire on the moose. Sending waves of pain towards the Animal Empath. The gun the man is using is not firing bullets, but bean bag rounds from a shotgun and while they will certainly disable a human. A moose on the other hand…

Three shots are unleashed on the bull while, Avi, Doyle, and the downed Nick go ignored for the time being. Because. Moose.

"Fucking cocksuckers," is not appropriate language to use around children. Avi kicks out the door of the truck, falling out into a heap on his right shoulder. Still blinded in his one good fucking eye, Avi rolls under the truck as he hears the sounds of screams, hooting moose calls, and gunfire. After a moment, vision still blurry and hearing barely there, he draws a sidearm from his shoulder holster. Breathing heavily, he inhales, exhales, looks around. Still can't see shit.

THATCHER, is about as loud as Avi can project his thoughts. CAN'T SEE SHIT. RED ALERT.

The thick, meaty arms of one Eric Doyle close on… air? "Paul," he hisses out, "Paul get into the back— " Not that there's a lot of point, since despite being intangible the kid can't hear through solid matter. More importantly this means they can't just keep driving, because they might leave him behind when they drive off… and that's just not acceptable.

The bang from the shotgun has him jump in his seat - head hitting the roof, and he winces with a grunt of pain - both hands coming up as he moves slowly to fumble out of the cab as instructed in Avi's wake. "I'm coming, I'm coming, look, officer," he stammers out, bleary-eyed from the flash and panting, "I'm sure this is all just a big… moose?"

The attack of Alces alces is as unexpected as it is opportune, and if the puppeteer is one thing, it's an opportunist. Hands already raised crook forward, fingers dangling down as if he were manipulating a marionette - his power lashing out to wrap itself around the motor control systems of the two men with shotguns to compel them forward into the path of the moose.

The driver doesn't have a chance to show off his pretty badge before he's spun by the bullet? — No, it's just a bean bag — clipping his shoulder and throwing him onto the ground. "Fuck," he mutters, his eyes still seeing big black blotches thanks to the negative of the flashbomb, nad now he can't feel his fingers.

He does manage to roll out of the way of charging moose, sliding under the truck as well. He can't quite manage to get his hand on his gun just now, but being out of the way of giant moose hooves will have to do.

Finding Avi under the truck — he can smell the liquor even if his vision isn't quite 100 percent for facial recognition — he mutters, "Don't even fucking say it."

While those within the truck don't know exactly what their young animal empath has done to help, they know that there's definitely still a commotion outside and Gillian continues to send out augmentation to those who might need to. Specifically the telepath, but Bray, one of the other of the older Lighthouse Kids has moved over to take the baby from her arms as so that she can have her other hand free, looking around to see if she needs to offer her power to anyone else. Or find a gun.

«Absolutely.» is the agreement that floats between the trio of women. Kaylee's eyes are shut again as she focuses on what she hears out beyond the truck walls. Because the communication lines are open, the other two can hear her distractedly counting…

<4… 5… 6…»

Their world goes silent again, as Kaylee shifts the focus of her mind on the trio of men, snapping off communication inside the van. Better to save her energy, even with Gillian's help. She almost loses her concentration again, when something hits the side of the truck. Doyle will know the touch of Kaylee's telepathic mind, but the other two might be caught off guard. «I can only find six of them, but I cannot guarantee there are not more.» offers Kaylee in her hollow tone. Not in time for Nick to get a beanbag to the gut.

«Shush!» is sharp in Avi's mind, commanding from the telepath in the back. In the back of the truck, Kaylee's fingers tighten around Gillian's own, while her body leans forward a little, neck stretching in the direction of the cab. «You are going to have to trust me.» The words though hollow almost seem whispered, seductive in nature; but, more to relax Avi mind, then forcing anything.

With that her ability flows out around everyone, finding each mind again, tracking it. With this information… the telepath slides into his the minds mind and help leads the — ah — blind man. Allowing him to find the targets. «All yours, soldier.» hisses a little too creepy in his mind. There is a reason she avoids this… the temptation is too real to push him. Only the memories of turning a man against his friends keeps her grounded.

As the pain of bean bag bullets hits her in the ribs, the neck, one in the head.. Hailey doubles over and crumples to the floor of the van. It takes nearly every ounce of self control she has not to cry out as the moose she's sharing the connection with is assaulted. She does whimper, though, and clutch at the most painful areas (like her forehead and spleen). "Lance," she squeaks, looking for her brother for comfort instead of her brunette caretaker.

With children passed off and resettled, Lynette stands up. Electricity jumps in little arcs from finger to finger, most certainly without her say-so. She takes a steadying breath and moves closer to the doors. In position, as it were. She glances back to Gillian, then to a spot under the bench where there are weapons waiting. For an emeergency. Which they are in.

The cold ground seeps into Avi's bones as he hits the pavement and slides under the truck the cold of the cement contradicting dulling heat of the truck scraping against him. As the one eyed man scrambles under the truck, the sound of moose on soldier combat near deafening there is a very quiet word, said sheepishly.


Paul Rodriguez, belly down on the pavement is lying under the truck and lays in front of Avi now that he has joined him. The boy tries to smile though his embarrassment and fear are overwhelming. "I'm sorry I fell through the truck." The small boy confesses to the far older far grumpier man. When Nick crawls under the truck as well, Paul gives a little wave. "We get in trouble for saying the fuck word." The small voice announces."But what shouldn't we say?"

The soldier that was opening fire on the moose suddenly tightens up, his body moving quickly, shotgun falling out of his hands as if his body was no longer under his control. And when it is no longer in his control, the man moves. While the moose, wounded wanted to leave, Doyle is able to send the man sprinting on a mission into the moose's fleeing path. Sending the man sprawling out into a crumpled heap.

"Ferrymen in the truck." The words come out loudly, surely it is on some sort of radio or megaphone. "We will open fire on your vehicle if necessary. Everyone lay down with your hands behind your head. Or we will open fire." There's an awkward pause over the megaphone. "Another moose attack will be met with lethal force."

Normally Hailey would be met with derision, a smart comment. But the way she says his name, the way she wimpers. They've been in this situation too many times before. A completely silent motion brings Lance to Hailey's side, his hand going into hers, a light squeeze pumping her hand. If any words are given, they can't be heard. His eyes just meeting hers.

Four soldiers start to walk out of the tree line, all rifles trained on what they can see. Doyle. Standing out in the open. Moments away from pulling the trigger.

Several complicated things happen simultaneously. Kaylee's in Avi's head, rearranging the furniture and also presumably complaining about the state of things. His mind reels, the sensation like sudden sinus pressure. Paul is under the truck and Avi cannot comprehend both phasing and telepathy in the same breath. He giggles in a fit of nervous laughter, reaches over blindly and grabs Paul by the scruff of his jacket and shoves him on top of Nick. "Baby sit," Avi instructs, before swinging one arm out from under the truck.

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, rings in Avi's mind and through to the link with Kaylee.

Gunfire pops out from below the truck, not beanbags, not rubber bullets, the kind of gunfire that blows bark off of trees. The kind of gunfire that takes out a man's knee, sending bone, cartilage, and fragmentary shrapnel skittering up through his body. The kind of ammunition that strikes a man in the foot, blowing it clear off and sending chunks of heel and toe scattering across the pavement before he drops into a screaming heap. The same kind of gunfire that, when fired into the top of a prone man's head —

Shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes

Fifteen shots and an empty magazine, less than half of them hit but that's not bad for firing blind. Avi rolls out from under the truck, takes a knee, and slaps another magazine in by touch. Doesn't need Kaylee's help for that, but the other things are most appreciated.

How many more? Knees and toes, knees and toes, Guards. Sorry. Songs. Avi's mind is a dirty funhouse mirror.

Just the hint of a cruel smile tugs up at the corner of Eric Doyle's lips as the man hurls himself into the path of a rampaging moose under the control of his power, and if he can't see the exact results due to the spots still burning on his cornea from the flashbang, well, he can imagine. "Threaten my kids, will you," he growls under his breath, starting to turn before —

Oh. There's more of them.

The blur of bodies moving forward from the woods is concerning, especially since Eric isn't sure he can focus well enough with the aftereffects of the flashbang to snare all of them before someone shoots him. And then there's shooting from behind him and with a yelp he drops down to the ground, hitting the asphalt hard and folding both arms over the top of his head.

Nick's already pulling out the gun from where it's tucked at his back — but getting down from the truck meant it's just a handgun and he's hardly a crack shot, let alone when he's still blinking away orange and purple dots seared on his retinas. He's about to give it a go anyway before Avi all but flings Paul at him.

"God damn it," he says, to add to the words that Paul shouldn't say, but the answer isn't intended for that question. "Hey, kid, you wanna phase on back up? Safer in there, at least for the moment," he says to the boy, but he does push him behind him. "Yo, Eric, can you, you know, make them shoot each other?" he calls out to the puppeteer. No doubt what the man already had planned, but Nick is super helpful.

Hailey? Gillian looks very worried, and immediately stops sending energy into the young girl as her brother goes to comfort her. She doesn't have time to worry about one of her young kids, though, when she has to worry about all of them. If the men open fire on the truck, it won't offer much protection against bullets. It isn't armored.

"Everyone down," she calls out, and the kids listen, mostly, the bigger kids pushing the youngest down and covering them with their bodies. The only kid who doesn't listen is Joe. Who does something very different.

The one with impenetrable skin decides he's going to stay standing. After all, nothing can hurt superman, right?

Gillian moves to the other two adults, offering them both energy, in case they're planning to kick open the door and go out there. She's not in a hurry to, but hey, if they are.

The soft echo of Kaylee's mind chuckles softly, words full of admiration surprisingly, «Not bad at all for the first time.» He can almost feel the shift of pressure in his head as she works to adjust, pulling in the information.

In the truck, Gillian can feel a light tremor start in the telepath's hand, her brows furrowed in concentration. Pain has started to gather between her eye. She can't really move, her whole focus on her task. She doesn't even hear Gillian's call to get down. If Gillian, lets go, Kaylee stays put. She'll have to do it on her own after that.

Boy is she going to feel this.

This time, Kaylee's mental voice is a bit more strained in Avi's, with a touch of panic. «You only have one more shot at this. I'm not the energizer bunny.» She give him a little push this time. «Hurry.»

The moment Lance's hand grips hers, Hailey feels free to actually cry, really cry, because it hurts. Safe in the comfort of her brother's grip, she lets loose, much like he did a short while ago except his was in anger. By now the noise, the bean bags, and the chaos have sent the moose chrashing into the woods, unfortunately not far enough to sever the connection to the young girl. A few crows settle back down into the trees and emit restless squawks and nervous warbles.

The noise outside is… difficult to ignore. And there's only so much Lynette can take. "Fuck this," the electrokinetic says, emphatically. She is allowed to say the fuck word, kids, she's a grown up.

Moments later, she swings open the doors and hops down. She doesn't take Gillian up on her offer, but turns to her and says, "Gaurd the door." Almost before her words are out, blue bolts of eletricity run down her arms and she turns toward the nearest soldier. Her hands reach out and she sends those bolts his way. This target gets the brunt of the attack, but she pushes it to chain from solider to solider, diminishing with each body, until there's one she can't reach.

The leftmost soldier is grabbing another cannister, pulling the pin, but as he does so his hand is obliterated. Blood and cartilage exploding around Avi's bullet, puncturing the cannister. White smoke rushes out in a cloud over the soldiers. And no one is able to see the man's legs and feet come out from under him, being practically evaporated by bullets. The smoke goes up but Kaylee has no problem still finding them.

And then waves of fire are unleashed from the smoke. The sound of automatic gunfire is cacophonous in the otherwise quiet serene forest setting.

Tink tink tink Bullet shaped indentions plug into the side of the truck, making the back of the truck extremely loud. There are a few screams elicited as the children lay fat and then a few more tink tink as bullet sized holes perforate the truck itself.

"Joe, get down right now!" Comes an exasperated Juniper, who is currently making the back of the truck smell warm and inviting. A familiar place. Cookies. Soothing smells.

Holding some of the other children Bray is also giving Joe an exasperated look. "Joe, no."

If the gunfire were to stop for a moment it would become very clear that the forest was loud. Or maybe even pissed off. A lot of squawking, rustling in the bushes. The animals are feeling pain, fear, anger.

Under the truck, Paul is being handed around and shoved about. "Oof." He lets out trying to scramble back to his belly. He glances back at Lynette dropping out of the back of the truck. And behind her a pair of shoes much smaller.

Joe stands behind the truck looking out at the electricity ripping through two of the soldiers. The smoke piles up, blue arcs of electricity dancing through it… Is when Joe rushes at the cloud of smoke. And Paul after him, phasing through the truck to join with his friend, charging into the smoke.

"I said baby sit, goddamnit!" Avi screams as he sees two children running at military police. "God damnit why did I trust a Ruskin!?" Following Kaylee's telepathic guidance, Avi moves in to sideswipe Paul, snagging him with one arm and swinging him around by the waist like he'd just grabbed a runaway dog. "No," Avi shouts down at Paul, shooting with his handgun in the direction of another one of the men attacking the truck.

Thatcher, we need to get the fuck out of here. Somebody needs to get into the — fucking kid stop squirming — don't pistol whip the child — don't think about scratching your balls while she's in your head — holy shit is that lightning what the ff — cab of the truck and drive!

Wheeling around after psychically emasculating himself, Avi opens fire on another guard and then hurls Paul like a sangback back toward the truck. He wasn't quick enough to get Joe, isn't even sure what Joe can do, other than the obvious of being about to probably die.

"Get the fuck back here right now you little rugrat bag of shit!" Avi screams at Joe, continuing to follow Kaylee's guidance on target-practice.

"I'd love to," Doyle hisses back at Nick from between clenched teeth, peeking in the man's general direction from under one arm as he lays there upon the blacktop, "But I can't do that if I'm a pincushion."

Just as the spots are starting to fade from his eyes and his ears and head stop ringing, he raises his head, peeking out from between splayed fingers, his eyes widening in horror. "Joe! Joe, no, what are you — they might have negation gas — "

He brings his hand up to forcibly stop the children, but then they're in the smoke, and the fat man's stumbling back up to his feet. He should get in the cab, and get ready to…

…no, he's charging right after the kids right now, keeping his head down, one arm thrown up to protect his face, "JOE! PAUL! GET BACK HERE!"

Oh god oh god what am I doing Kaylee I'm gonna die.

"He's. A. Fucking. Phaser. You. Wanker."

Nick is as exasperated at Paul's sudden houdini act as Avi, but Avi earns that wrath instead, because, well, he can't punch a kid. He might punch Avi later, but right now he's the only one with clear vision, thanks to Kaylee's mind tricks. "Cover me, asshole," he tells Avi, and then, not trusting Epstein, he thinks to Kaylee, Cover me, Kaylee, gonna try to get in the truck. Try to get everyone else back in it.

He takes a deep breath, moving up as close as he can to where he vacated the cab. "Be ready," he tells Avi, although leaving him behind isn't the most unwelcome outcome he can think of.

He scrambles then to get himself out from under the truck and back into the vehicle.

Unfortunately the augmentor is busy trying to make sure that the telepath still has juice, since the other blonde waved her offer off, that she doesn't notice what the kid is doing until he's already out of her reach. And she did try to reach after him, grasping at air instead of cloth and skin.

"JOE! You are so grounded it isn't even funny." She may not be going to Canada, but Gillian will make sure whoever they are handed off to knows that Joe MIDDLENAME FUCKING UNKNOWN Fulk is grounded. And stays that way. Potentially forever.

With that she does hop out of the truck after saying back to the other kids, "If any of you so much as fucking move you are grounded as well." Just so they know. Grounded.

And yes, she said a bad word. Outloud.

She does not run off after the kids, but she's going to lean out of the back of the car and look for the young man. If he comes back quick enough she may make the grounding just for a month, not life.

«Good grief, man. You don't have to shout at me.» Kaylee chides, though her tone is full of pain. Before she knows it mental voices are coming at her from every which way. Being mentally tied to Avi, he'll her something like a tinny sigh. The pressure lessens slightly, kind of like she is leaning away. «Oh come… really? Everyone at once?? I can't be everywhere at once. Hold your damn horses.» Mental commentary comes with this part of her ability.

Then the pressure deepens again, and he gets a push, «I got this… the last guy is surrendering. Get in the truck.» That part gets a push, before her mind completely leaves his, like the brush of fingers over skin. There is a soft, barely noticeable, «Thank you,» and then Avi gets to be all alone with his head again.

Her head is screaming at her as she becomes more aware of her surroundings, Kaylee doubles over with the migraine from an over exerted ability. Her hands press to the sides of her head briefly, as she gives a soft whimper of pain. One more task. Just one more. Come on Kaylee.

However, she can't.

"Gillian!" Kaylee calls out between clenched teeth. "Get everyone in the truck. Nick's gonna drive." She raises her voice a little more, hopefully so others can hear it too, even though it hurts her head. "And someone make sure Epstein gets into the truck? He's freakin' blind!" and she can't show him the way.

Hailey just grips Lance's hand a little tighter as his friends make a break for it. "Don't," the word is mouthed rather than spoken aloud, for obvious reasons. She needs him now, more than the phaser and superman do. Anxiety, half belonging to the girl and the other half to the woodland critters, is almost palpable. The smell of cookies and the lighthouse does nothing to calm her nerves. A quick glance is cast toward Gillian, the crows in the tree rustle their wings agitatedly, the moose however remains hidden.

When the kids run by, Lynette cannot make a grab for them. Because she is eletrified. But she takes off after Joe all the same, toward the smoke, trying to catch up. She cuts off her power so she can get a hand on the boy without hurting him. If she could hurt him. She's not sure, but today isn't the day to experiment with how electricity reacts with impenetrable skin.

She, apparently, isn't deterred by the smoke, as she rushes right in after him. Anything to drag him back toward the truck and get them all out of here.

Casper, the friendly ghost.

The song takes precedence over heads shoulders knees and toes knees and toes. As Paul Rodriguez slips right through the arms of Avi, phasing through his arms as his little legs cary him out to meet up with Joe and plunge into the smoke. The gunfire stops completely.

Doyle charges into the smoke, finding as the smoke starts to clear, a man on his knees. Several holes bit into his clothes and gear. The smoke flowing away Eric catches a small group of raccoons running from the man back into the treeline, their fury and fear practically acted out.

Doyle however finds himself standing in front of a surrendered soldier, the man putting his hands behind his head. While Joe and Paul stand right behind the soldier. Joe holding the butt of the gun, Paul holding the barrel. Both looking up at Doyle with a mixture of pride and fear. Winning means you don't get in trouble. Like in the cop movies. The two jostle a little against each other to hold more of the assault rifle.

Though the two kids look down over at the truck at Gillian. Fuming. The two boys' resolve deflates, Paul lets go of the rifle altogether, distancing himself from the crime and insisting his innocence.

Joe on the other hand is looking up to Doyle, slowly offering up the rifle, his head bowed in deference.

"Joe! Paul!" The man mauled by raccoons is sidestepped as unimportant, Doyle's call all the more frantic knowing that he's making a target of himself in the slowly dissipating smoke, "Kids! Kids, where are…"

Oh, there they are.

A heavy breath is let loose, broad shoulders dropping in relief as he trudges up to the surrendered soldier and his captors with a determined set to his jaw. "You two…" He looks down to Joe, then, as he's offered the rifle - and reaches out, one thick-fingered hand taking hold of it. Lifting it in his arms, he hefts it once, regarding the 'stormtrooper' with a gimlet eye.

The kids may not believe it. But the soldier knows, in that moment, that Eric is very seriously considering shooting him.

A little motion of one of the two kids, though, breaks that consideration — and instead he sweeps up a hand, his power coiling itself through the soldier, bringing the man around in a twist of his body and sending him marching off away from the group. Straight on, until distance or time break the puppeteer's power. Or possibly just until he walks into a tree.

"C'mon, kids," he offers them a tired smile, turning to lead them back as he shoulders the rifle, "Your Auntie Gillian's scared stupid for you right now."

"Jesus Christ. And that's why I'm never having kids," Nick says, a little wide-eyed as he starts up the engine, finally, setting his gun in the cup holder where he can grab it quickly.

"Everybody who's coming, get in the goddamn truck. That means you, Epstein. Doyle. We're rolling, even if the scouts haven't said it's clear."

He'll wait a moment or two before he pulls out of the weigh station. It's around that time the jeep can be seen and Noa's voice comes over the radio. «Follow us and we'll try this again. I don't think there'll be another group so close, but better safe than sorry.»

Then Ring of Fire comes back on the radio. You're welcome, Avi.

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