Prelude To Armageddon, Part IV


abby_icon.gif alexander_icon.gif brian_icon.gif cat_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif edward_icon.gif elvis_icon.gif felix_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif helena_icon.gif minea_icon.gif monica_icon.gif teo_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Prelude to Armageddon, Part IV
Synopsis Phoenix and its allies gather together to hear Doctor Edward Ray's plan to prevent the end of the world.
Date January 23, 2009

Ruins of Midtown, Broadway — Abandoned Theater

There is a saying, one that comes from classical literature…

Broadway was once a place of the arts; of theater, of music, and of creativity. Now, with the once vivacious boulevard brought to crumbling ruin by two years of abandonment, the broken playhouses and theaters have taken on a new life. Those that remain standing are like haunted memories of dreams that once were. Peeling posters that tear and curl away from signboards show the fading advertisements of productions that once played out here before the bomb. Some theaters, the ones furthest from the blast site, still have prop rooms filled with costumes and pieces of unfinished sets for plays that will never be acted out.

All the best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry.

Within the lightless halls of one such theater, a parody of the life this city once knew is being acted out. Performers gathering to prepare for their roles in a grand production composed of six acts and much pathos, like a Greek tragedy of old with loves lost, lives lost, and peril. Even if the world has crumbled around Broadway, it still finds a way to be a stage upon which emotions are put forth, and where a playwright determines the fates of actors.

The phrase is an allegory of the fallability of men, that even the best laid plans of the brightest minds are no more perfect than that of the ordinary and the simple, that we are all — in our own ways — uniquely flawed. It is this very facet of human nature, our imperfection, that drives us together, binds us, and makes us need one another.

This is where the Prelude takes place, the set piece that determines the tone and sets the players in motion for the audience to begin to grow attached to. Amid molding seats in the theater, a handful of young men and women wore tirelessly to connect hundreds of feet of extension cords and cabling to generators running outside, bringing light to the darkness of the the theater. With a loud series of pops and clicks, and a low rumbling sound, stage lights come on, pushing the darkness of the windowless theater back to the dust-hung curtains and peeling walls. "Oh — God, could someone — those are too bright." One hand raises, fingers splayed and eyes narrowed, as Doctor Edward Ray stares up at the few bright stage lights overhead, shining down on the buckled and warped wooden floor he stands upon.

But it is also this imperfection that makes our lives uncertain from one moment to the next. What will the future bring? Will we be happy, will there be peace, or war? We are responsible for our own futures, and that is the true and terrible irony of life; we are flawed creatures in control of our own destines, making decisions that affect countless others. For better…

Edward's eyes adjust to the lights as an operative of Phoenix in the control booth beyond the seating area turns them down. Shakily, he makes his way to the podium, only now seeing the others entering from the unhinged and broken doors that lead in from the lobby. He shuffles his feet, rolling one shoulder to swing a laptop bag around from his hip to his front, unzipping it to remove a sleek silver computer, laying it atop the podium. Nearby, two young men crouch down and pick up cables attached to a digital projector, connecting it to the ports on the laptop as its opened. There, stuck to the screen, Edward's eyes focus on a yellow post-it note with a scribbled double-helix on it. His lips pull back into a pained smile, as he pulls it away and crumples it in his hand.

…or for worse.

Helena is here. She's curled up in a seat, ready to take notes, though she does have a cellphone readily at hand, as checks on updates for a certain fog that needs to be nudged as Liz gives her directions; in this way they communicate, Helena provides support for the bridge project, and can still give Edward her attention. She's not bothering to hide her face, but then she's also not exactly wearing a 'Hi, I'm one of the leaders of Phoenix!' button, either.

One of of the first arrivals was a group of eight young men, all clothed snugly, and all faces covered. Balacalava's leaving only the eyes visible and a tuft of hair sticking out of the top. This group of young men is spread out around the room, it is apparent they are all armed. At least two carrying shotguns. One of the shotgun carriers sits next to Helena, remaining silent unless she should talk to him. Phoenix members would be well aware that these men, are all Brian, making sure everything goes according to plan.

Elvis has arrived earlier, if only to get a solid half a pack worth of cigarettes smoked before she sort of filters inside with a scowl. It's a good scowl though, or at least the typical one. She'd planned on making this an all day event of course, so she's thought ahead far enough to pack a backpack with all the things she might need. Tools, a carton of cigarettes, an M11, Silencer and four hundred rounds of ammunition. Just the essentials really. "Hey Helena, ya'll sittin alone?"

A dying cigarette is hanging out of the edge of Teo's mouth. He's in the shadowed back corner of the theater right now, on his feet, as if the sight of that many proper seats, with back support and contoured for buttocks and armrests and everything, has physically repulsed him with a psychological or physical barrier. Like his co-leader, he isn't hiding his face either. There's no point, of course: any danger that comes of betraying his true identity is going to come now irregardless of whether or not he dons patriotic football paint colors or a ski mask.

His features betray, instead, the fact that he's a million miles away, motionless, the steep angles of his features plunging in and out of sharp contrast as the light booth goes through epileptic calibration. He still has time to fret, before he inevitably comes to the conclusion that it's not like there's any good pretending he still has options anyway.

Having apparently taken the advice on anonymity to heart, a figure dressed in the undifferentiated all-black leathern garb of a serious motorcyclist enters and takes up a position in one of the balconies, close to its front but none too far from the corridor - and windows - outside. For the time being, at least, Ygraine opts to keep her helmet on and the visor down.

She's standing somewhere near the stage, her eyes alternating between Edward up on it and the seating area. Cat's face is covered by a ski mask in keeping with Teo's suggestion for anonymity given some of the invitees. One hand holds an iPhone which has no flash to its camera, with which she intends to take clandestine photos for posting to archives. This woman, five feet eight inches tall with hair tucked up under the headgear, would be recognizable by that height and shape to insiders despite the hidden facial features.

"If everyone could— " There's a feedback hiss from the microphone, a high-pitched squeal echoing over the hastily reconnected sound system. Edward's fingers gently nudge the mic back and away from his mouth, eyes casting to the side to look to Cat for a moment before focusing back on the mic and laptop. "If— " The noise of conversation echoes in the theater, "Just if everyone could quiet down, we'll — we'll get started." He's a terrible public speaker, but his mannerisms behind the podium are likened to that of a college professor, stiff and ungainly. His students must hate his lectures.

Abigail's managed the night off with no questions, parked close enough to Helena that, should, god forbid something go wrong with a bomb, she can be told and hie off to fix whatever got broken on the people tending to the bridges. That dark pink expensive coat raped over the back of her seat, curled up and watching the ongoings. Nothing to cover her face. Either bravery, or stupidity, take your pick.

Minea Dahl is near the rear of the group, most definitely not part of Phoenix. Quite possibly one of the 'feebs' that was brought in. No visible weapons, unless you count a blackberry a weapon? She's remained silent, a nod to Teo when she enters, hands in pockets, waiting, watching, taking it all in.

Monica has been a little restless. At first she was curled up in a chair, then she was stretched out in a chair, then she was standing up in front of it, and now she's finished pacing back and forth a few times. She had class earlier that evening, learning how to hone her her somewhat unnatural skills into something that she can use even more readily. She turns as they're urged to get quiet, arching an eyebrow. Having finished a set of stretches she wonders back to her chair and settles down.

Helena looks up and sidelong to Elvis. "Well, there's Shotgun Louis over here," she indicates the Brian, "And I think my imaginary friend might be sitting somewhere close, but he bathed recently so it's hard to tell. Have a seat." Teo is given a nod from across the way, but once Edward calls for attention, she turns toward him, expectant, bordering on fiercely eager.

There's a lot of people in this theater. One of them happens to be slouched into a chair with a hoody over her hair and her eyes focused forward. Some of the people might recognize her, others might not. But there's this little knot in the back of her head that she's trying to keep tied up— Gillian's not trying to draw attention to herself at all, or even attempting to communicate with the various people present.

With a soft creak of leather, Ygraine props one booted foot on the back of the chair in front of hair, head turning a touch to focus more directly upon Edward and the masked woman beside him on the stage.

It's a chump play to go around like some mother fucking ninja, according to Elvis. Entirely unconcerned with who might see her, she slumps into the seat next to Helena and immediately produces a box of dots. Its a theatre right, so its only proper for our favorite copfightertm to have snuck in treats of her own. "Lot of fucking fucks round this fuckin place."

Smoke winds in a noxious stream from Deckard's post. Near the back, off center and far to the right, he's slouched into a seat that would've fit his budget nicely if he ever bothered to drop in at some point prior to Midtown's conclusion. Overlarge feet kicked up and crossed over each other into the notch between the chair directly in front of him and the next one over, he's made no efforts towards disguise. He's just kind of here, eyes squinted into a wince against the reflection of over bright light off Edward's face. Jesus.

Speaking of Feebs. Fel is in nothing like his usual suit - just a dark leather jacket, jeans, a t-shirt, glasses glinting in the reflection of the stage lights. He's seated casually in one of the more intact seats, head tipped up as if listening to music. As if all this were just theatre for his entertainment. His expression is somehow both intense and abstracted, and he has his fingers steepled before him.

Al is as close to Helena as he can get. He's slouched down in his seat, lips thinned out into a grim line of displeasure, though his glower isn't directed so much at Edward as some indistinct point in the middle distance.

An eye from inside his little eye whole glares slightly at Helena. "That was a lame joke." Shotgun Louis mutters silently, sounding almost disappointed in the style. Louis frowns across as Elvis takes a seat and starts fucking every fucking thing. He doesn't his a shush yet, he'll fight that urge back. Brian sits back in his chair and tries to keep quiet for Edward to go ahead and start.

Another Brian, (sneaky facecovered) gives a little thump to the shoulder of Deckard, going to take up a post next to the man. He says nothing in greeting. The other Brian's are scattered throughout the room. One stepping up behind Gillian, laying a hand on her shoulder (a gloved hand) he gives a gentle squeeze in greeting before releasing.

"Thank you." Edward gives an awkward moment of silence, motioning past the spaghetti-mess of cabling towards the two young men operating the projector, "If we could get the projector — " There's a clicking sound in the dark, followed by a soft hum of the projector's fan spinning, and a cone of light shining out onto one of the white sheets hung on the wall. "Fabulous." Behind the circular lenses of his glasses, Edward's eyes sweep over the crowd of people gathered in the hall, and the microphone picks up the rustling sounds of documents being shifted around at his podium.

After a moment of finding his place, Edward opens the laptop, connected to the projector, and with a few clicks changes a luminous white canvas into an aerial satellite photograph of an urban shoreline, studded with wharves and warehouses. "Oh, er, sorry. That's not the right…" A few keys click, and the powerpoint presentation reloads, depicting a logo of a red and yellow bird on a black field in a tribal design. "There we go, ah," Another click, and it pans down to reveal a picture of a DNA double-helix, and a microscope image of deteriorating cells.

"Some of you might already be aware of what it is we're dealing with. What our true enemy is in this grand scope things. And right here," He turns around, face half-lit by the glow of the projector, one hand motioning to the screen. "This is it. This is Shanti." Edward smiles, awkwardly, and turns to look back to the crowd. "It is known as Strain 128, a weaponized virus first discovered in the late 1970s by scientists researching an illness which specifically targeted those with special abilities."

The slide clicks over, showing a photograph of a young red-headed woman in a white lab coat standing alongside a team of scientists; information retrieved by Hana in collaboration with bits and pieces of details already known. "The Shanti Virus hails from India, given its name by a Doctor Victoria Pratt, a brilliant geneticist far ahead of her time. The virus' patient-zero was a woman named Shanti Suresh, a young girl in India, presumed to be an Evolved who died of the sickness." A click of the laptop, and a photograph is displayed of the skyline of New York City, post-bomb.

"The Shanti Virus was developed and researched for, what I can only surmise may have been military application, but was somehow deemed too dangerous, due to one strain of the virus being discovered in lab tests, dubbed 128. This strain affects Evolved and Non-Evolved with lack of prejudice. It is a highly adaptable virus, and frighteningly strong, able to survive in environments where normally fragile viruses would not be able to persist."

As he speaks, Edward slouches forward to lean on the podium, pressing a key again to reveal a scanned image of one of the photographs purportedly from the future. It depicts a shipping container filled floor to ceiling with naked corpses, some wrapped in plastic. Men in hazmat suits are loading the bodies. "An organization known as the Vanguard is attempting to release this virus, and according to my probability estimations they stole it from a compound in Odessa Texas, belonging to a para-government organization known only as The Company." There's a pause, eyebrows raised, "Your guess is as good as mine as to who they are," Another pause, followed by a lopsided smirk and a mumbled, "Well maybe not as good as mine."

She holds the device up where only she can see the screen, moving fingers over it like she were perhaps using the note making feature included to take notes, by this covering her true purpose. Cat glances up when Edward speaks, and continues to act as if she were entering data after getting a good look at each exhibit displayed.

Monica arched an eyebrow. Why is it all the crazies are always in Texas. Still, she remains quiet, simply listening to see what the gist of everything is to be, wondering just how bad it can get before it gets better.

Helena puts her fingers to her lips briefly to hush Elvis, but accepts some dots, popping some of the chewy goodness into her mouth as she watches the presentation and takes notes. Alex is given a brief smile, and Shotgun Louis a nudge. Otherwise, she keeps her mouth shut and pays attention. She'd have made a great co-ed.

Teo has put out his cigarette underneath one shoe, canted his head at Minea, swiveled his stare past Felix, and met Helena's eye in time to shutter one of his, briefly, a shadow of a wink.

It's not like you have options anyway.

He straightens, balling hands into fists and entrenches them into his pockets. He exhales breath that stinks of nicotine and fear, and stares at the presentation, waiting with a reasonable facsimile of inscrutable patience for something he doesn't yet know.

Clicking a key, a satellite depiction of Manhattan is revealed on the screen. Eight lines have been drawn connecting manhattan to New York, New Jersey, and Queens; bridges. As well, certain areas of Manhattan and the surrounding environs have been shaded red. "Kazimir Volken, the leader of this organization intends to release the virus, likely into the air by means of chemical-weapons deployment into the low atmosphere, which could disperse the virus through the city. There is also a possibility that the virus will be injected into the city's steam pipes, as a two-pronged attack. What this meeting's purpose is, is to reveal the battle-plan to counter these events. We are the last, best hope for this world's furthered survival."

A click of keys, and Edward pulls up a satellite image of urban shoreline studded with wharves and warehouses, the picture from earlier. Another click of keys, and text fades onto the image, headering it with JERSEY CITY. "Based on intelligence reports and my own predictive capabilities, I've narrowed down a selection of the most likely places, based on their activities, that the Vanguard could potentially release the virus from. The number is based on the count of mortar launchers and chemical-dispersal shells that Wireless has recorded them in the possession of some months back."

"I had divided Phoenix, and its operatives I am aware of, into a group of strike forces designed to overtake each of these facilities." Overtake? He's seriously considering that Phoenix— "Your teams are going to infiltrate these locations, assess the location of the virus, neutralize it, and eliminate all members of the Vanguard present by whichever means your team leaders deem necessary." The orders are delivered cold, emotionless and mechanical; a level of detachment reserved for people who may never be seen alive again.

Doesnt fucking have to fucking curse, for her god damned displeasure to be known. No, you see Elvis has different scowls, and this one was the scowl of silent cursification. In between mouth fulls of chewy dot goodness that is, when Elvis's face sort've breaks into a little grin thats perhaps more disturbing than the scowl. Fucking jackasses and their god damned pussy assed tactics, viruses and shit who'd ever believe a feller with a pair would dare.

It's a bizarre irony. To come from a long line of those who've committed pogroms. From those who've shipped off neighbors to deaths by work in the Gulag, or a grave in the permafrost, and to end up the victim of one yourself. Fel looks amused, though it's very much gallows humor - he smirks, thinly. Teo gets no acknowledgement. It's like he wandered into an assortment of strangers who just happen to have similar goals. Here's hoping this never gets out, or his job will vanish like a genie into its bottle.

Infiltrate and overtake. There's a wrinkle from Abigail's nose, as she's having serious doubts about her own infiltrate and overtake capabilities in a group. Heal them to death maybe? The blonde healer stays resolutely still though, listening to Edward as he speaks. It's important that attention be paid, she knows that, though she shifts enough to lay her head on an adjacent Brian's shoulders, just long enough for it to be felt before she cants it back upright again.

Deckard is in a suit, maybe to make up for Felix's choice to not wear one. Or maybe because he somehow imagined this would be a more formal affair, as he did last time. He's comfortable enough either way, scruffy jaw turned aside after Brian's thump. There's a quiet slosh somewhere on his person, followed by a glint of silver in what limited light manages to touch at the backmost rows. "Want a drink?"

So, that's the plan. Minea's blackberry is out, her fingers moving as she makes notes, ambigious ones, on her electronic lifeline. The dark haired agent remains quiet where she sits, one leg crossed over the other, her ankle resting on knee. She's already in her mind running over the supplies she'll need, and wondering which one of the hooded members within the theatre she's paired off with, or grouped off with.

"No thanks," says Al, waving a hand at Deckard, assuming it was a query addressed to him. When all this is over, he'll be blind drunk for days, assuming he survives. But for now, sobriety is the order of the day.

There's no move to take notes from one of the people in a hoodie. The female. Gillian folds her arms and keeps her eyes on the man in the glasses, likely paying very close attention despite her lack of note taking. Eliminating Vanguard. The small knot in the back of her head makes paying attention very difficult though. Or more accurately— keeping it small and knotted. She glances around once at the people close to her, hoping quietly that there's not a nuclear bomb present if she happens to let it slip once if the man in the glasses says anything particularly shocking.

Of course, Monica thought to herself. She's going to have to call into work for this one. She crosses her legs at the ankle and considers the options before them. Guessing this is going to take more planning than they may very well have here.

"We'll begin with Group Four. This team consists of Jesse Alexander Knight as Group Leader," There's a click of keys, and a small photo of Alexander appears on the right side of the screen, "Catherine Chesterfield," Another click, followed by a picture of Cat, "and Brian Fulk," Again, with the photograph, this time of Brian's smiling face."Your team's mission is to target a series of warehouses," A click, and three warehouses are hilighted in red, and the satellite image zooms in closer, "Located in the Port district of Jersey City, in the Fallout zone."

Edward breathes in a slow breath, "If your exposure is short-term, you shouldn't suffer any radiation poisoning. So make certain not to linger on your way in." There's a click again of keys as Edward's fingers dance over them, followed by an interior layout of the warehouses on the screen. "These three warehouses are contained in one closed compound surrounded by a chain-link fence, satellite surveilence photos afforded by the handiwork of Wireless also show railroad access which… conveniently, connects to the Consolidated Edison power plant, where the steam access hatches are contained. Prior satellite imagery from weeks back shows movement of freight cars through this area following the attack on Consolidated Edison, as well as clandestine raft movement on the waters at night, and unlogged cargo movements not charted by the Coast Guard."

Edward breathes out a heavy sigh, finally letting that tension go some. "Find the mortar launcher at the facility, and prevent the canister from being launched. Once it has been secured, I have taken the liberty of procuring a handful of thermite grenades through one of Phoenix's arms-dealing contact." Zarek. The thought of that smug bastard likely burns Deckard's ass more than the prospect of dying for a cause, or dying in general. " The burning temperature of thermite will ensure that the canister and virus are wholly destroyed; not even an unusually robust virus such as Shanti should be able to survive those conditions, and by my estimates it will not. Proper care must be taken in the use of the thermite, and I was only able to secure one thermite grenade for each team, which means you have the one chance to get this right. Catherine will pass out some safety pamphlets for the handling of thermite once were through here. This is the standardized plan of virus disposal for all groups, so please take note."

This is things that Teo didn't yet know. It makes sense, of course. That they'd have to deal with the virus involved in the viral apocalypse and kill somebody. Multiple somebodies. His mouth finds a thin line, at some pointless point between neutral and annoyed. And one of these bases is apparently out across water — or another task apparently requires moving fifteen personnel across some. His gaze flits across the display, his brow finding a darker knit, trying to figure out where and what the Hell that's all about— before his expression shifts, subtly, when Group Four glows out from the wall. He flattens his shoulders against the wall.

Brian's picture is smiling. There's a quiet chuckle from the back. It sounds Deckardish.

"I can deal with the people who are exposed to the radiation" Comes Abigails voice, speaking up from her spot. "I can look in on them after everything, or they can come find me, if they end up needing to linger. it won't be an issue"

Twitching his gaze over, the ninjafaced young man lifts his arm up and around Abby's shoulders. Giving her a little tug closer to him. A little "Hey that's me." When his picture comes up of him. "That's a bad picture of me." He whispers to the girl next to him.

Giving Al a confused look, Brian looks back at Deckard, giving a shrug as if to say. 'That guy is weird'. Finally he leans in and whispers to Deckard. "You're an alcoholic." With that he leans back. Of course, he only needs one of him to be paying attention, but still, he should be an example or whatever.

With Helena, Shotgun Louis leans in to whisper a little joke. "Should we take guns or swords and bows?" He gives her a little elbow nudge, just because. He doesn't have to pay attention to this team anwyways, Cat will remember everything for him. Chu-ching.

Man, do I really look that weird? I have the stupidest face. At least Al's picture isn't smiling. It's the grim, rather mug-shot-ish image that actually goes with his name on the Registry website - Al's all but glowering, as if he were public enemy #1.

Helena says softly, "Dr. Ray likely has you assigned elsewhere, Abby. Be patient." She calmly elbows Shotgun Louis. Pay attention kids, or no juice and cookies when it's finished.

Abigail's speaking out causes Edward's eyes to shift towards the sound of the voice, a faint smile creeping up on his lips. "Yes I… I'm sure you will be able to Miss Beauchamp." There's something… uncertain about his voice, as if he doesn't believe the reassuring words. With a quick flicker of the keys, to draw focus away from his uncertainty, the details of the warehouses fade away to now show a satellite view of Staten Island, with one small coastal region shaded in. With a click of one more key, a title card reads SEA VIEW HOSPITAL, STATEN ISLAND.

"This is the next likely point of delivery, a former Women's Ward abandoned in the late 1960's and left in terrible disrepair. During the string of serial-killings in October of last year — which we now associate with part of the Vanguard's distraction ploy — a member of the Vanguard was nearly apprehended by the NYPD task-force known as SCOUT at this location." A click, followed by a traffic camera photograph of a gaunt and light-haired man in a long white jacket with a red scarf wrapped around his face. Felix's heart lurches in his chest on the sight, and it's a face Gillian knows all too well herself. Amato Salucci, or at least, that's his real name. "I have suspicion that the upper floors of the hospital, much of which have an open view of the sky, will be used to deploy the virus out to the mainland."

A click pulls up a series of photographs on the left side of the image. "Group Five is led by Elisabeth Harrison, and consist of Owen Whitcomb, Brian Fulk, and Minea Dahl." Edward's head tilts to the side, eyeing the crowd. "Their objectives are the same as the previous team's; discover the location of the virus and prevent its launch, while neutralizing the Vanguard presence. Use of the thermite charge in the virus' disposal will be critical."

She glances up periodically to take in the displays he shows when they come, while still pretending to take notes, but doesn't do anything to give away being the woman who's been identified by photo and for having the task of distributing safety literature. Cat simply records everything. Her facial reactions are concealed by the ski mask, but anyone watching may see her posture stiffen. Head up, back straight.

"I meant afterwards" Abby murmurs to Helena with a playful sticking out of her tongue, letting the masked Brian pull her close. Dr. Ray though, there's a wrinkle of the healer's nose again and under her breath, Brian can hear "have faith" murmured.

The conversations draw her eyes, with the person promising help against radiation at the like, but it's that picture that makes the "anonymous" form of Gillian snort. Amato Salucci. Also know as the creepy grabby guy who had a girl's name when she met him. Would seem that she does recognize that face, and isn't very good at hiding it. But she quiets down, clamping the knot in the back of her head again. It keeps wanting to unravel. Maybe the Brians faults. Or someone using an ability, at least.

"Duh." Brows tipped up in nonchalance after the double refusal, Brian's with the friendly addition of accusation, Deckard unscrews the cap of his flask and sniffs the contents. Thermite grenades provided by someone not him to destroy evil microbes immune to most other, more easily accessable deaths. Cigarette lifted aside, he takes a single swig and rescrews the cap into place, watching Brian sidelong as he does so. "You're popular."


The projection screen next displays an aerial view of enormous compound surrounded by railroad tracks. The title card reads CONSOLIDATED EDISON POWER PLANT, a location just northeast of Manhattan. "Group Three will be led by Conrad Wozniak, and consist of Ygraine FitzRoy, Brian Fulk, and Chri— " There's an awkward pause as a photograph of Christian Enliter appears along with the other team members, and Edward's eyes remain fixed on the screen. "If you'll forgive me I — I didn't have time to change the presentation before people started trying to see who could race who to the finish line of the apocalypse first." His expression is supposed to be a smile — that was his intent anyway — but it comes off more as a sneer.

"I…" He does his best to recover from the unexpected change of events, "I have reason to believe that the Vanguard will have an exceptionally strong military presence here at the Power Plant, given that the train access route from their warehouse to the plant is mostly unobscturted. Odds are their initial attack on the plant was to place some failsafe into the security system, or to otherwise ensure access at a later date."

Edward pulls up blueprints and floor plans of the warehouse and the rail yard, "Consolidated Edison is an enormous structure with considerable security measures put in place to prevent intrusion. Presume that any number of these could be in place during your infiltration and used against you. This is why I have placed FitzRoy, Wozniak and… why I was counting on Enliter's expertise on this mission specifically, to ensure that everyone's skills can be used to counter internal security measures." That feigned smile come sneer appears again, but Edward doesn't linger on that point.

A click of the keys, and a map of the steam tunnels is shown, "Your mission is double-fold, both to ensure that the Mortar launcher does not fire off the virus, and that the steam pipes are not injected with Shanti, followed by the virus' disposal under the same measures as the other teams. Without Enliter, well…" Edward's gaze lingers on one face in the crowd for a moment, something uncertain in his gaze, then goes back to the laptop. "I'm sure you'll figure something out."

Old hospital. Minea's eyes flicker at the screen, marking down the name, notations to get blueprints that she can and study the layout. No running up there to check it out beforehand. She's busy doing this, though the blackberry nearly drops at the name heard. There's a quick turn of Minea's head towards Teo and Conrad's name mouthed to him.

The mention of the old hospital and Amato's face is enough to bring a very ugly look to Felix's. It's still very personal….and that dark, vicious part of him is hoping there will be an opportunity to deal with the 'priest' personally. After, if not during. For all his reluctance to sign on to Chris's playing cowboy, he's not above a fit of vigilantism himself.

If Teo's face were feeling a little more mobile right now, he probably would have exuded a sigh. Identity was a valuable commodity, for what it was worth. For lack of that, or the ability to make faces, he merely relaxes his shoulders out of their rigidly geometric hold and grates his fingers together in his pockets, watching, trying to refrain from assessing any and all available material he has to blackmail the Feds and one Flint Deckard into keeping their pie-holes shut, until the flicker of Minea's turning head catches his peripheral. He turns his eyes without moving the rest of him, like a puppet clicking his parts around. His jaws part slightly, as if to start to ask, What? A slight shake of his head instead: later.

Monica listens to the team breakdowns and is quiet as the missions are delivered out. She really had nothing to input, but is trying to take it all in. She can read the cliff notes, because it's a lot to sink in, and she doesn't have a pen, paper, or blackberry.

"Group Two," One key is clicked, best to get away from the topic of the missing Enliter and whatever Edward had planned for him before questions are raised. A satellite image of a cargo shipping vessel off the coast of New York is shown; an aerial view. "This is the Invierno, a Brazillian freight transport traced back to the bank accounts of the Vanguard. It has been stationary off of the coast of New York for over a month, and if brought closer to shore could serve as an aquatic means of firing the virus onto the mainland to ensure maximum infection."

"Teodoro Laudani leads this group, along with Monica Dawson and Brian Fulk." Edward stares down at the computer screen, "The chances of running into a direct fire-fight with members of the Vanguard here is high, which is why I've assigned Miss Dawson to you. Doctor Chesterfield will be supplying her with instructional video footage of military sniper training after the meeting to educate herself with, and she will be one of your primary combat assets going in. Find the launch point of the virus, secure the canister, and utilize the thermite charges to destroy it. I don't think I need to stress to you the level of danger of your particular assignment."

It's all recorded, without the aid of iPhone which Cat uses to take photos of the persons she doesn't recognise while pretending to take notes in a double cover of that and her ability to remember everything.

One gloved hand rubs the shoulder of Abby gently, grinning behind his balacalava he whispers a soft and gentle 'shh' to Abby, his arm still snaked around her shoulders.

"I know, right." Is whispered in response to the alkee-holic, Flint Deckard. "I'm going to be real tired after all this secret agent shit."

With Helena, Shotty Louis shifts uncomfortably as there is someone missing. The mysterious 'Chris'. He brings his fingers to his chin giving a little sigh. Figure something out doesn't sound very promising. This is all sounding not very promising.

Monica sits up a little straighter and looks around to draws her eye to the other members of her team. But at the mention of a firefight and her name, her eyebrows arch higher. "Yes, lovely," she murmurs. She wonders if Conrad has any of those John Woo movies handy…then again, she may need to watch something that would be physically possible to accomplish without wires and slow motion cameras.

Inwardly seething at the revelation of her identity and involvement, Ygraine is then distracted from her anger by the cryptic but apparently damning comments regarding the mysterious Christian and his seemingly-vital role. Behind the protection of her dark visor, she stares in disbelief at the screen and the man before it. This is the last best hope for the world? "Merde", she breathes to herself.

Brushing the keys once more, Edward pulls up an aerial view of Queens, with one region in the northwest hilighted. The title card reads, EAGLE ELECTRIC, QUEENS. "Originally a manufacturing plant, this particular industry went belly-up before the bomb, and on public record remains an unpurchased lot, consisting of three buildings; A single-story shipping warehouse, a three-story administrative building, and a four-story manufacturing plant."

Edward pulls up an exterior photograph of each building, "These facilities are contained within a boundary of three acres of land, mostly parking lots and the square-footage of each facility, surrounded by a ten foot high razorwire fence." A click changes the aerial photo to show vehicles parked outside of the warehouse; four yellow-colored trucks. "Recent sattelite imagery shows movement at the warehouse and activity, and intelligence provided by a dissenter of the Vanguard's organization confirms the grim — This is where the Shanti Virus has been contained and refined, though the information I was given did not specify the how of its refinement, or the why."

With a click of a few more keys, Edwards populates the site of the screen with team member photographs. "It will be the responsibility of Diego Smith, as team leader, to direct Elvis Shepherd, Brian Fulk, and Felix Ivanov to not only the disposal of the virus, but the potential disposal of incubated human test subjects." Human test subjects? Disposal? "I'll trust you all to do what is necessary for the survival of the human race in your assignment. You as a team were chosen as I feel you have the ability to make difficult decisions under pressure. According to information supplied to me recently, we are aware of two science staff in Eagle Electric. One potential hostage, a Doctor Odessa Knutson. As if now I am uncertain of her alleigance to the Vanguard, and you will need to use judgement in the field as to how to… er… handle her."

Craning his neck to look over his shoulder at the display, Edward shakes his head. "The second is a Doctor Mohinder Suresh, a geneticist and son of Doctor Chandra Suresh, whom I'm sure you all are familiar with the literature of. He, as to the best of my knowledge, is being held against his will." Edward closes his eyes and turns to face the laptop again, and with his had bowed slightly, it's clear the dark circles under his eyes aren't merely from lack of sleep. The stress of organizing this entire mess has taken a toll on him. "Follow the same protocol as the previous teams; Virus location, and disposal. But be prepared to think on your feet. This is, according to our inside sources, the Vanguard's central hub of activity."

Helena's jaw tightens as she hears her seatmate's sigh, and takes in the general murmurings of the crowd. She wasn't expecting anything gung ho, but the disparagement she's witnessing in people's expressions is bothering her, and she does her best not to let it show. Her eyes flick down to her phone as a text appears, she spends a moment concentrating on moving air someplace that isn't here.

Brian does flinch. Shotgun Lou spares a glance at the girl on the other side of Helena, a woman not really known for her mercy. Though his brows pull down hard when she actually talks. Though he holds back any retort. He doesn't know Felix, but Diego probably is a tad heartless as well. Another deep breath is taken again. Leaning back, the young man moves his hand from the shotgun and goes to find Helena's free hand.

Fuck. Teo finally registers visible sentiment. Not to discourage anybody on his team or anything— just, Jesus. His eyes pitch toward the ceiling, studying the steel geometry of the light system above the stage for a half-beat, before he drops his gaze to study the back of Monica's head, sticking out of the layered horizon of seat rows. His expression is schooled long before he finds his nerve somewhere in the pattern of metal slats and screws. Boat, direct confrontation. They have kung-fu. They're supposed to have Deckard, too. Then:

"Why did you want a speedboat that could carry fifteen?"

Edward's eyes track towards Teo, head tilting to one side after he's finished with the speech about Eagle Electric. "You're going to be carrying a lot of ammunition, Mister Laudani. You're going to be traveling across open waters towards a seagoing vessel that will likely be opening fire on you from the moment you're seen on the horizon." He doesn't mention Deckard's non-involvement at all, as if it were a non-issue, something about it seems suspect. "There will only be room for so many people on the ship, and you're going to need every square foot you can muster to carry the boxed ammunition and explosives." There's no sense of pride about the answer, it's a grim task to give to someone so young. "Besides, a bigger boat takes more shots to sink. But you just have to make it to the Invierno. So… It should be fine…"

Helena has one hand on her cell, the other on her pen. No free hands, and she's not feeling touchy feely anyway.

Her ability at least hasn't been given away, so Cat continues to pretend at taking notes to at least keep that measure of anonymity about herself, and retains the ski mask which will be useless once she hands out thermite safety literature. At least, she thinks to herself, while recording the entire event in her brain, she has the photos taken and possible access to Edward's material so everyone will be on an even footing.

Ygraine grinds her teeth, but refrains from further spoken comment - though her mind is working furiously. Identified. To Feds. As someone apparently supernaturally gifted in a way that makes paramilitary criminal activities a particular speciality. And the bastard knows I'm here on a visa and can be thrown out instantly!

Helena shoots Brian a briefly apologetic look, and smiles faintly at Elvis before murmuring to her in reply.

There's a scowl and a wave of her hand to Teo. She'd deal with Conrad later. Not that there was anything to deal with. Just a recording of the names pertinent to her group and and a tkaing pcitures of them with the blackberry so she'd remember. That was it. She's obvlisious to the unhappiness that the images cause some people within the group.

"Okay," Teo answers. "Thanks."

Cigarette replaced once the flask has been tucked away, Deckard lets smoke pool warm behind his teeth. He holds it there, eventually forcing the stuff out through his sinuses before turns his head after after Teo's question. Past some creaking when he adjusts the slant of his spine against his chair and glances sideways to see if Brian's still there, he remains quiet.

This is going to make for some very interesting meetings down the line. Especially if HomeSec steps up its efforts against the Evolved, now that Rickham has more or less abdicated. Fel looks merely thoughtful, though there's faint puzzlement at why Chris won't be involved. He's not been told.

Lastly, following his answer to Teo, the screen clears with a keystroke. Only a series of photographs are shown arranged over an Omega symbol. "The Omega Group is the final option. Once we locate Kazimir Volken, it will fall to these members specifically," there's a bit of vitrol in Edward's over-enunciation, "To dispatch Kazimir Volken safely. As team leader, Helena Dean will organize the operation with Sergei, Brian Fulk, Abigail Beauchamp and Gillian Childs." There's a long, quiet pause, and Edward breathes in a heavy, tired breath. "Phoenix's teleportation specialist, Anne Williams will perform the necessary transportation for Omega Team."

"Based on all available information on Kazimir Volken, from both internal information provided by the Vanguard and my own postulation; his ability allows him to manipulate life-force energy in a parasitic fashion. He is capable of possessing the bodies of others as evidenced by information supplied to us by a Vanguard turncoat, while siphoning their life essence to feed himself. Like, well, a classical fairy-tale vampire." Edward's brows furrow, "However knowing about Lon Cheney is not going to give you any pointers on how to effeectively thwart this kind of ability."

Felix notes drily, after lifting a hand to get Edward's attention, "Do we have any means of preventing him from possessing those sent to deal with him? And any sure means of physical destruction, since even decapitation didn't work?"

Edward glances at Felix, then nods his head in slow acknowledgement, "It is my firm belief and the odds I am willing to place my life on, that it will fall to Miss Beauchamp to finish off this foe. To compound matters, it has been brought to my attention that Kazimir Volken has taken possession of the body of the man responsible for the destruction of Manhattan two years prior — Sylar."

The news may as well be a bullet fired to the back of Gillian Childs' head, spattering her ability to focus and concentrate all across the person sitting in front of her. Kazimir Volken, has possessed Sylar. But Edward seems almost disinterested in the fact, continuing with his thoughtful and almost mechanical assessment of the situation, "Sergei's presence should, in theory, neutralize the possession and force Volken out of Sylar's body, thereby making him vulnerable. I feel it will require Miss Beauchamp's healing properties and Gillian Childs' unique ability amplification power to dispatch Volken. Heal the man who siphons life, where his touch is death, Miss Beauchamp's is life. This is the best option I can give to you, and I know how risky it is. Even with my predictive capabilities… I'm not one hundred percent certain it will work. But it is the best option we have."

Al's expression doesn't change. But there's a little concussion of air around him - a few of the bulbs over him pop and spark, with shards whirling away before he regains control of himself. The redhead's expression is utterly embarassed, as if he'd just farted during a church service.

Helena knew this was coming, and yet she's surprised. All she's expected to do is organize? She's about to open her mouth when things start happening, and she sits up, looks around. Naturally her gaze focuses on Gillian, but she doesn't move from her location, not when she's got her focus on the fog to aid the bomb removal. If Gillian even looks her way though, there's the promise of We'll Talk Later, OK? if she wants. She looks back at Edward briefly, wanting to ask a question, but not sure if in the concurrent chaos it will be answered.

Here Gillian is, interested in the name given to the 'Maybe Middle Eastern' man who she happened to kiss one. Well, his face. And then she's mildly grouchy at her ability and name being told to everyone— but then what he says hits her rather heabily. That knot? Gone. Disappeared. Gone. In fact she outright sits up, drawing some attention to herself even more as she listens to the instructions that they've giving her. She looks about ready to yell something, practically shaking. Though she'd stayed quiet the whole time before, the hood has fallen down, revealing reddish tinted hair, and wide eyes that— also happen to be glowing with a hint of light. There's a tinge of that glow along her skin, as if it wants to spread out all around her.

She doesn't manage to say anything, but she does cast a quick glance around at the destruction, unable to reign it in. It could be a lot worse— people could be touching her. But she does catch Helena's eyes, for a moment. She saw the look.

Giving a little snort at Deckard, he gives a shrug to the older, much older man.

Bringing his arm out and around from Abby, the Brian there goes to stand. Raising his hand up, he clears his throat before saying rather loudly. "Um, sir?" He asks, a bit tenatively. "How many Brian's would you like on each team?" And with that, a sharp cry is let out of the throat of the young man.

And suddenly this party has apparently turned into an orgy. Three replicants of the young man pop out, every location he is at. Making it quite awkward for everyone. Brian's presence has increased by more than one hundred percent, and all the naked replicants are primarily concerned with covering their manbits. Gillian is delivered a sharp look, by a lot of young men. What's the point of wearing a mask if the Feds are you going to see your pecker?!

She doesn't say anything, because she doesn't need to. This was fucked up. "Where's Diego?" is all she can ask, with her eyes straying toward first Helena and then Edward. "I think me and Diego would be better off without frick and frack, Ed." She rises slowly, sniffling some as she approaches the stage some. "I think two people with a clue, would work far better than two clueless bullet magnets stuffed in to ruin it for everyone. Why not just give us a little C4, or give me the money to go buy some. Two people, one big ass bomb and alot of sneakin around. I aint none to shy way from no fight, but this is fucking retarded."

Monica blinks and stands up quickly in the sudden chaos that seems to have erupted. "What in…what's going on?" There are naked men. Several naked men. And…is it cold in there? She half covers her own eyes. "Okay, can we…umm…do we have to? Can we tone this down just a tad?"

The feeling of dread in the healing blonde's chest isn't for Kazimir. She's suspected that it was exactly what she was going to have to do. It's that Kazimir is Sylar now. There's a glance to brian, a bit of an 'i told you so' that's quickly cut off. Brian doesn't feel anything, there's no skin to skin contact. But there's a suddenly hot flash that overtakes the blonde and her hand rises to cover her mouth and try to muffle a series of strangled yelps, stiffening in her seat. Her eyes are wide, sheer shock at the… healgasm, shuddering at the tingle that overtakes her tenfold. Even as whoops— Naked Brian appears, half over her lap. What. The. Fuck.

Teo clamps the V between thumb and fingers down on his mouth, remains belligerently silent despite the mildly hysterical spate of laughter that raises the contrast in his striated-blue irises. He coughs, once, a rough sound that forces its way out of his throat only after encountering something that sounds thicker than blood. He finally shoves away from the wall, loping down the descent of shallow stairs, coming up behind the power augmentor in long, deceptively casual strides. He slots himself into the row of her seats and sits himself beside her, a callused hand reaching for her shoulder.

Deckard is not replicated on. That would be awkward. But there is suddenly a Brian standing uncomfortably close in the aisle next to him. A lot closer than he would like any man to be while he's sitting and they're naked and standing. One eye squinched shut, as if he's fearful it might be poked out, he leans very definitely away from the nearest of his batch of Brians. "Hey there, sailor."

Raising one hand to rub at the bridge of his nose, Edward pushes his glasses up with the motion. He was braced, emotionally, for Gillian's reaction when he spoke those words. But the pop of the lightbulbs overhead and the raining of glass down onto the stage behind him elicits a one foot sidestep, without looking, to avoid a piece of falling glass shards. He retains his composure, only the roll of his tongue over his teeth indicating patience strained behind a throbbing headache and fatigue. Even more so with the tidal wave of additional Brian Fulks rolling out from their surrogate, which leads the mathematician to hang his head in dismay. "I… I will get to that, Mister Fulk, next, actually. There's some dressing rooms in the back, I think there's clothes still in them… Would you please — " A hasty hand-sweeping motion, "Go."

Holy crap. naked men everyone. If that's not a strange sight the flare of powers in the room pulls a spate of laughter from the ISA agent in her seat, shaking her head. How could you not laugh at all of this?

Ygraine shifts position to lower her foot and lean forward a touch, peering dwon from on high in her balcony seat. "We are so utterly doomed", she whimpers to herself.

Helena half rises in her seat, looking aggravated. "Pull yourself together." she instructs Shotgun Louis Brian immediately, and well…it's pretty clear what that means. To Elvis, "Do you understand what the man on the podium does?" she inquires. "His ability is stastical logistics. What he's come up with is based on the most optimal way of succeeding. I promise you, if he's suggesting it, it's the best chance of coming out successful and alive." She casts a look over at Gillian. Seeing Teo tending to the brunette, she nods, and looks around. "I know some of you are angry and afraid and doubting our likelihood. But like I just said, Edward's done his best to give us the most optimal chance for success, so it's important for everyone to calm down," Brian better be working on that whole 'pulling himself together' thing, "And focus our attention." She turns to sit back down.

Felix slants a cool look at Elvis. He's apparently not all that much more impressed with his new team-mate. "I am neither clueless nor a bullet magnet. I think I am likely the only person here to have met Volken face to face twice and survived. Can you say the same? This of all situations isn't the time or place for a lone operative playing cowboy," Felix, wearing four bullet scars as heis, is conveniently lying, in a sense. And then there are multiple Brians, and he just looks faintly annoyed, as if Brian were a Labradoodle puppy who'd just pee'd on the carpeting.

Brian doesn't have anything Cat's not seen before, so she pays him little attention. Others may be upset, but she's focused. Big job to pull off, confidence to project. Her eyes travel around slowly over the faces of those present, her brain records what they do, but it soon drifts back to Edward and the stage. After having had footage of Peter Petrelli creating Nuked York directly into her brain, having her hands on Rickham's insides, and the sufferings of loss so recently felt, this is all so much less impactful.

Elvis narrows her eyes immediately at Felix "I've killed six cops with my bare hands, and put four more in a wheel chair you stupid fucking worthless cunt. You say one more word, and I'll make sure there isnt enough jaw left to wire back together." Helena however, gets the majority of her attention. "What the fuck did we talk about, and now you expect me to go die for some fucking nerd?"

Heat raises up in his cheeks. He would have some very heated words for Elvis, but he's currently very naked at a bunch of different places. His face actually reddens, as Brian's everywhere are strething out their hands. Touching each other on the shoulder, the Brian's are quickly absorbed in a hasty fashion, the men standing there simply disappearing. The Brian standing by Gillian, walks away pointedly after absorbing his replicates. The remaining clothed Brian's go to retake their seats, avoiding eye contact with anyone, practically bristling. Lowering their gaze, the young men avoid saying anything to anyone except one stands and muffles a, "Sorry."

But when Elvis is cursing out Helena, Shotgun Louis is back on his feet, standing silently at Helena's back, staring at Elvis blankly. We're all doomed.

The hand on Gillian's shoulder gives Teo a unique idea of just what's happening to her— though he doesn't get any adverse effects. First of all, she really is shaking, and trying to push it in. "Why didn't— why didn't you tell me sooner?" she asks between gritted teeth. The surge slows, settles, loses it's intensity, but it doesn't end all together. Her emotions are too out of control to stop it. Then she looks up at Edward, not caring anymore about all the people around, or even the fact that they'll see the hint of moisture in her eyes. "What— what will your plan do to him?" And she already saw the naked Brians once and insulted him. They don't even phase her right now. She also isn't paying much attention to the words of the other people, or the other arguments. Not right now.

Edward gives Gillian a quiet, unspoken stare of later. Large eyes shielded behind circular-lensed glasses in that barely contained compsure. "T-Thank you, Miss Dean." There's a crook of Edward's lips, trying to get past the adrenaline surge that further agitates the already lit-firecracker of Elvis. There's ghost of a smile at her composure, but it's dragged down by Elvis' jittery sputtering of profanity. He teaches college, not preschool, and he's slowly being reminded as to why. Edward raises his voice a bit, trying to talk over the commotion.

"If— " He manages to swallow back some dismay, rubbing one hand over his mouth, "If I may continue, there's just a few more points to cover." Edward's brow tenses, head canting to one side. The projector screen remains on the Omega Team's information, but his topic of conversation digresses. "There are, failsafes…" That's always a good term, "Failsafes that you all need to be aware of. This is where your presence on all of the active teams comes into play, Mister Fulk, and I apologize for not being straightforward with you up to this point." Perhaps he means the apology, perhaps not, but Edward's stress seems to intensify as he leans more on the podium.

"In old times, miners used to bring canaries into coal mines to detect the presence of gas leaks." It's easy to see where this is going, and it's not good for Brian, not good in any way. "Mister Fulk is our canary. Should the virus be released and infection of any group happen, Brian's ability will be short-circuited by the exposure to the shanti virus and its neural disruption. All of the networked Brians will fall inert, infected. In the event of this, we have already failed."

Edward's tone becomes more grim, "It then falls to the Omega Team to take up their secondary protocol. The Omega Team will teleport into the site of infection, and Gillian will amplify Helena Dean's ability to control weather. The entire area must then be bathed in lightning, enough to atomize the virus. This has a miniscule chance of success, and will undoubtedly result in the death of at least Miss Childs and perhaps Miss Dean as well." Edward flicks his tongue across dry lips in a lizard-like motion, "Multiple instances of infection… and the plan falls apart, and it's every man for himself at this point, God help us all."

Felix doesn't say anything. He doesn't have to. His opinion of Elvis is written clearly in the disdainful looking-over he gives her, lips thinned out, like she's an erring student, before turning his attention back to Edward as if she weren't even there. Talk about cut with a look.

While, presumably, everyone else's attention returns to Edward, Ygraine rises from her seat and quietly moves further up the slope of the balcony. She comes to a halt near its door, posture close to an "at ease" stance as she listens, frowning intently behind her visor.

Helena focuses her attention on Elvis. "No, I expect you do live so that we can stop ninety percent of the world's population from dying. If you want to walk that's fine, but you'll decrease our chance of success if you do, and you won't be able to get out of the infection zone before it hits should we fail. Anarchists aren't stupid Elvis, and even they understand the concept of odds. I'm sorry you don't like the plan, but it's our best one. So put up or shut up." And just then, she hears declaration coming from the podium. She pauses, stares at Edward a moment. Then she raises her voice to include everyone. "Put up or shut up. Every one of you is needed, the loss of even one of you lowers our chances. It's your decision. A chance to live, or iminent and very painful death." Another look at Gillian; a promise that she will talk to her after all of this, and then Helena for the first time ever, tries Leader Voice. It's success may vary. "Now let the man finish!" Her course is committed. She turns back to Edward.

No more naked Brian — good. Abby's still flushed, uncomfortable, shifting in her seat and looking at her hands. There's a sympathetic glance to Brian though, when the canary situation is mentioned. "He will" Abby's hoarse voice speaks up again. "He will. I have faith" SHe was comitted the moment Helena told her that she was needed. The blonde slides her palms agaisnt the thighs of her pants. residual tingling making her twithcy.

Monica glances between fingers and seems to relax a little bit. Okay, Brian's manbits are safely gone? Good. She returns to her seat and sinks into it comfortably. This should be over soon and she can get to studying what she needs to make sure this thing succeeds. But she'd be lying to herself if she didn't admit she was a little nervous.

It hits Elvis in a few moments after her little speil is given, her bodies delicate balance has been disrupted by a sudden rise in its sensetivity. Its a sudden spike in blood pressure, a paralyzing press on her head as her vision narrows. She blinks, panting dryly as he face flushes. Her chest was growing tight, as adrenaline flooded her system in levels even she couldnt withstand. Her heart was racing, and she was nearly panting but she felt like she was drowning all the same. Her gaze wandered from Helena, then back to Felix for a moment before she was out. Like a light switch she drops right there on the floor in so much of a heap.

The masked Cat turns her eyes toward Helena, then back to Edward, her focus being on the plan he laid out and the stakes of it, which she already knew well. Whatever thoughts she has are kept to herself, those closest to her know she's never professed doubt at any point. The virus, she realizes, won't get out. If they get infected, if they fail, she expects one among them will have the courage and decency to tell Parkman so all of Manhattan can be napalmed.

Looking up at the stage, Brian simply stares. No wonder he wasn't straight forward. Great. A breath leaves him slowly. The Brian by Helena listens to his leader attentively, until he watches Elvis drop. His brows arch. He waves his hand dismissively to Helena as if to say 'I've got this'. Setting down his weapon, he goes to one knee by Elvis, scooping his hands under her shoulders. He is soon joined by another Brian, the pair quickly lift her and set a direct course for Abby. Trying to draw as least attention as possible. This meeting has already gone to hell, enough.

They may very well die. Wonderous. Gillian closes her eyes and leans forward, muttering something under her breath that even the person closest to her can't quite make out. She doesn't toss aside Teo, or even try to pull away. The knot slowly gets replaced, and the hint of a glow stops, but she says nothing else. They all have their part. The shaking even settles down after a time, perhaps thanks to Helena's words. Or maybe just her own resignation.

The grip on Gillian's arm eases slightly as her ability is beaten down in favor of tremors. Or, more importantly to Teo, as the other operatives manage to get their shit together despite whatever residue there may be still hanging in the air. He doesn't let go, though; won't unless she bodily throws him off, listening as Edward defines a failsafe that one can't imagine would go over a lot better than the possibility of monster she sought to protect facing the wrath of her supposed allies. He listens to Helena's speech with his features furrowed and blank from concentration, jerks his head to look at Elvis when something that isn't motivated inspiration comes over her. "Abigail— ?" And then, equally curious to hear the answer to Minea's question, he then returns his attention to Edward.

Abigails up and scrambling over chairs when she see's elvis go down, regardless of others peoples actions. The womans power and it's affect on her body is something Abigails familiar with. A prayer already murmured under her breath, scrabbling over another set of seats till she's met Brian halfway. Her palm out to take the other womans. tinged with noticible weariness from Gillians flare up, it's about to get a little more tiring.

Helena nods to Brian and lets him convey Elvis to the Abby. Briefly she takes a moment to write an 'IOU1REDBULL' in the margin of her notebook, and resumes her attention focused on Edward.

Reaching up to run his hands thorugh his hair, Edward exhales a slow sigh and leans to one side, rolling his tongue across the inside of his cheek as Helena tries to rein in the crowd. He knew the meeting was going to be difficult; so many different ideals, so many different wants, needs, inclinations and beliefs all jammed together. This crowd couldn't exemplify New York as an apocalyptic percolator of cross-cultural ideals any better.

Watching Brian carry Elvis across the room, Edward dips his gaze down to the laptop, to look anywhere but there. This is insane. "Lastly," Edward over-emphasizes the word, he can't be any more eager to get the hell off the stage, "In the event that we are unable to exorcise Kazimir Volken from Sylar's body," Eyes flick over to Gillian, the later has come, "We will be presented with no choice but to take Sylar's life in an attempt to push the parasitic life-force from him, to be exterminated. This is only a concern of the Omega Team, and my choice of wording is for their benefit. Despite what justice you may all think that man deserves, he's nt our target; Volken is." Edward's brows furrow together, "This decision is at the Omega Team's discresion."

"Beyond these orders, everything else is up to your best judgement. Use your skills, resources and abilities as you feel is wisest, and there is a strong probability that we will come out of this alive. I put you all together, because I felt a strong probability of your capabilities working well together. You don't have to like one another, you don't even have to want each other to live. But you have to work together, or we are all dead." Looking weighted down by the conversation, Edward straightens to finish the meeting on a positive note, mustering all of his strength to do so.

'Do we have a day that we think will likely be the D Day for this all" Comes Minea's voice from behind. "So we know how much time for preperation?"

"Operations will commence on Wednesday the 28th, according to the furthest predictions I can make, this will coincide with the most likely time that the virus will be in transit and the Vanguard's forces will be divided and more prone to vulnerability. I am banking everything on this date, and I have gone to extreme measures to ensure that no one interferes with this operation." Perhaps that is why Matt Parkman isn't here, after all his bandying about wanting to help, where is he now? Edward knows, but he most assuredly isn't telling. "We have five days. I want you all to prepare as best as possible, familiarize yourself with your team-mates and learn to get along, at least temporarially. Learn to work together, figure out each other's strengths and weaknesses, and…" There's a hint of a frown, "And if you have anyone you care to see, I suggest spending time with them. Even if we win, even if we do not falter here… Not all of you may make it back.

"When I first heard of Phoenix, in rumor on the internet, I heard that they were planning to make miracles in the world. What we're attempting to do here, is more than throw a stone into the river of time. What we are attempting to do here is made of so many monumental events, happening in such rapid succession and to so many important locations that we are moving a mountain into the path of the flow of history. If you wish for Phoenix to live up to its miracles, then live by example and perform the greatest miracle possible."

"Rise up, and save our world. Rise up and part the river of time itself, so that we may pass through to a future for us all."

There's an awkward pause, and Edward's eyes scan the crowd of people watching him from the tiered rows of seats, and he quietly looks down to the laptop, head bowed for a moment before he looks up with meager resolve returned, to ask the one question he dreads the most: "Are there any questions?"

Questions, answers, speeches and spills out of chairs. Once the offending Brians have vacated his personal space, Deckard resettles in his seat, giving the one that remains in his vicinity a fishy look. Inevitable death via disease without any warning if something goes wrong anywhere. That should do interesting things with his head. After a moment spent staring at Brian, Edward's voice sinks back through the thick of his skull, and near the back, his hand goes up.

Though she casts a glance towards the nearby door, Ygraine lingers. At least Edward finished half-way decently. Perhaps the questions and answers will be worth hearing.

Despite the deliberate lack of Evolved abilities in Teo's possession so far, he feels Deckard's hand go up even before he angles his head to see it. He doesn't get up — either can't bring himself to or won't, as if there could be any comfort at all to be derived from the curled contact of hard fingers on Gillian's shoulder in the face of one devastating scenario after the next. He merely watches Deckard out of the single blue eye in his profile. Waits.

She's stoic as she tends to be when it's most crucial. Cat remains standing with her back straight and head up, still pretending to take notes. She doesn't mind dying, she expected to already be dead when held captive, and sacrifices for the goal, well, she's already made a large one. The memories of being in that place, Dani's screams and the blood as her thumb was amputated, and later more of the same when she was returned with her left hand a stump surface. Grief exists, some of the lingering guilt, but foremost is coldly patient rage. Soon Volken will be dealt with, and she will hopefully have her shot at Ethan.

Elvis is out like a light, heart racing but breathing still shallow. Our favorite outlaw biker was having something along the lines of a stroke, as vascular constriction did war with her brain's desperate pleas for oxygen.

Alexander quotes, under his breath, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few," as he heaves himself up. They'll let him know, presumably, when the hour's at hand. Now there's nothing to do but wait. He heaves himself up and eyes the others present with an oddly insouciant air.

Felix remains seated, fingers steepled before his face, lapsed into thought - though there's little on his face to betray just what he's pondering.

Helena slowly rises from her seat, and with deliberation, steps up onto the stage to stand next to Edward in the event that she'll need to address questions as well.

Thank god for small miracles, or lithe healers. The moment a hand is laid on Elvis's hand and then her chest, held safe by the Brians, not a whit for who might be in the room and seeing, She's working hard to reverse that potential stroke, reverse the damage it was doing to the biker, burn off the adrenaline nto coursing through her blood and calm the source of the adrenaline.

As Helena takes to the stage, Cat does also, so she can get hands on the literature to be handed out and be ready for that task. Once there, she addresses Edward. "May I take hold of your presentation materials when we're done, Doctor Ray?"

There's a slow breath as Gillian closes her eyes. They might have to kill him. Luckily the knot doesn't unravel this time, and she just takes in a slow breath. There's no questions from her, but she looks over toward the person nearby and says, "I'm fine now, thanks." She has to rub her hand over her face, though, her eye make up a little smeared. Then there's another glance to the healer— the one fixing the poor biker chick, and she grimaces, quietly hoping that wasn't totally her fault. "Sorry," she adds. "I just wasn't expecting that." It's whispered to the leader that's close by, as she begins to stand up. Looks like she might just make her way back to her apartment and think. Or maybe just go outside and do the same. Fresh air, and all.

Elvis comes around after a minute or so, trembling at first before she goes still. Not dead mind you, but for the moment at least she's quite out of it. Unconcious or sleeping, its difficult to tell but at least the damage was easy enough to heal. No doubt made a touch easier through the fact that Abby's done this once before.

"None of us were," Teo replies to the young augmentor, by way of reassurance. He offers the absurd ruin of a grin and splays his fingers, ceding the woman her freedom as he reaches into the lining of his coat and rises in the same motion. Offers the woman a cigarette without any real belief that she's about to accept one, and corralls his tall frame out of her way. "You know where to find us."

By Deckard, Brian leans back, cupping his hands around his mouth. Miracles. He's going to be a canary. How is that for miracles. Being told you're sent on a mission as the proverbial thermometer. The two Brians with Elvis look just as distracted, not really paying attention to Abby healing Elvis. The girl having a stroke makes a remarkably low impression on the rest of the gathering. That's what having Abby gets you. Apathy. Some Brian's start to leak out, but they all give Gillian a very wide berth.

"Of course," Edward motions to the laptop, "I won't be needing it anymore." Affording a meager smile to Helena, Edward casts his eyes back out to the crowd in the theater, looking to Abigail and Elvis, a momentarially worried look crossing his face as he watches the southern belle tend to the woman's over-taxed body. With no questions raised, and people already moving from their seats, Edward motions for the projector to be turned off, pulling out his winter gloves from the pockets of his fur-lined parka.

Edward is nodded to, as Cat eyes the laptop. She then seeks out and finds the data on thermite, ready to give one copy to each person. One hand pulls the ski mask from her head, brown hair tumbles out and spills down her back, over shoulders. Concealment is pointless now, and she abandons it. The face is grimly focused, but not showing any sign of doubt.

Ygraine lets herself sink back against the wall behind her, loitering briefly to see who disappears off with whom, before slipping out to make her own less-than-conventional exit from an upper opening in the building's structure.

"Mister Laudani, Mister Deckard," It's like being called up by the teacher after class, "I'd like to speak to the both of you in private now, if you could spare me a moment?" And despite the fact that Edward phrased it like a question, there is little room for maybe later in his tone of voice and expectant stare as he tugs on his gloves. "If you'll accompany me to the theater basement, there's something I'd like to discuss with you…"

All the best laid plans of mice and men… It is who we are, in the grand scheme of this world. We are men, and at the same time we are mice, running through the maze of life, searching for the answer at the end.

Edward turns and gives a slow, affirmed nod to Helena as he makes his way down off of the stage, eyes flicking over to Teodoro and then Flint, tugging on his gloves a bit tighter as his eyes lower to the floor.

But what answer truly awaits us at the end of our journey? And when we find it…

One hand quietly tucks a revolver into the pocket of Edward's parka, the pocket then zippered closed.

Will we like what we find?

January 23rd: Migration
January 23rd: Meet James Stutzman
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License