Put It Down


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Scene Title Put It Down
Synopsis In a scene whose title can be taken more than one way, the feral dog pack roaming Staten Island grows bolder still and launches an assault on the Garden during the last hour of daylight.
Date March 30, 2010

The Garden

If the sky was clearer, it would glow varying shades of orange and purple at sunset; as it is, it paints a bleak picture composed of dark blues, pale grays and other smudges of colour that are difficult to name but fall somewhere in between the two. The light that penetrates the clouds reflects off the snow that covers the Garden's rural property is a blanket of white and makes frost-limned skeletons of the leafless birches and beeches at the edge of the fence.

Inside, there's a roast on the stove and vegetables baking in the oven along with a kettle of black tea boiling nosily on one of the adjacent burners. The safehouse's residents do not sit down at the table for dinner like a family might; rather, they come down in groups of twos and threes sometime after the bell is rung, help themselves to what food has been made available and retreat back to their rooms to enjoy it in solitude. It's one of many reasons why the Garden has a reputation for being one of the Ferry's quietest safehouses, which is just as well because for most of the people congregating here this evening, it's been a very busy week.

Melissa has been busy most of the day, so dusk is the first time she was able to make it out here on her sorta semi-daily rounds to the various safehouses to see if anything is needed. This one though, this one has become more important to her, what with Liette staying here. The girl may be directly under Brennan's protection, but Melissa is rather fond of her as well.

She heads towards the door, shivering a little despite her cold weather wear, and she's all too happy to hurry inside where there's warmth and hopefully coffee. Sweet, sweet coffee.

One of the girls got colder sooner than the other and with others outside, Brennan took Genevieve inside so he could get her out of her winter garb and warmed up. Tonight was their last night at the safehouse and the next morning they'd be heading back, along with Brennan and Liette to a different safehouse. Once he decided which one.

For now though, the physician was crouched down, toddler in a chair with a warm mug of weak weak tea in her hands and giggling at Brennan as he's doing the itsy bitsy spider motions with his hands and singing it to her. "Up came the rain and washed the spider out" His hands woosh down and to the sides as his voice lowers in tune with the music.

The only safehouse that Gillian really visits would be this one. With two kids in tow to the dinner table, she gets to listen to some complaining, and so does everyone else. The Lighthouse Kids are a common feature every so often, though this would be the first time any of them have visited since the incident. The blonde girl, younger than Liette with a ponytail keeping hair out of her face looks toward the table and then back at Gillian, "I thought we were going to be home before dinner." It's a pout, but—

Gillian seems to know why. "If someone else gives left overs to the animals, you can feed them in the morning." Her hand rests on Hailey's shoulder, squeezing gently before she moves her over to the table. "And think about why you want to be home next time you stow away in the back seat of the car." There's more kids, some even younger than them. The other kid with her, a dark haired boy with bright blue eyes, stays silent as he plops into his chair. Or that might have been a plop, if there'd been any sound made. He'd been the reason for their successful stowing away, and he actually has a grin as Hailey gets scolded instead. There's an exchange, when Gillian isn't looking, where the older sister sticks her tongue out at her mischevious younger brother.

The sound of six feet tumbling steps down the staircase echoes through the ground floor, becoming distinct as they get nearer — four paws, first, skittering nails and laboured doggy breathing as Alicia, a large, black Newfoundland dog, comes trundling ahead of her own. Joseph's hair is slightly damp, either from a trek outside or a recentish shower, bundled into indoorsy winter clothes with his hands tucked into sweater pockets and feet shoved into boots for want of something better to keep them warm in.

"Not for you," he's already muttering to his dog, who is already starting to salivate at the smell of dinner, before Joseph lifts his black-eyed gaze up enough to spy Melissa coming in through the door, and she gets a nod of greeting and recognition.

Her purpose in coming here today, at this hour, has branches. More books to drop off for Liette, knowing the teen must have a voracious appetite for them now if she didn't already. A plan to head for the Lighthouse afterward and meet with Gillian to discuss the potential relocation of people. Branch three: she has a boat to literally Ferry people for that purpose. In keeping with what's become protocol when visiting the Garden, Cat carries no communicate device.

But she does have a box of ribeye steaks to drop off along with those books.

Melissa smiles at Brennan and the child, then gives a nod to Gillian and Joseph. She doesn't really know them, but their faces are vaguely familiar. "Hi guys. Been having fun in the snow?" she asks, but the question seems more intended for the various kids in the room than the adults. Her hat is pulled off, hair shaken out, but the snow on her clothes is ignored for the moment.

'Dessandra is still out, making snow angels. I told them to give her ten more minutes then bring her in." There's a glance to Cat as she enters and a terse nod to the woman before he's looking back to Genevieve and the silly goofy smile that disappeared at the appearance of the human feline resurfaces. " Maybe we'll find some cards and play go fish before bed? But bed is soon. Back to Mommy tomorrow, both of you but I promise that I'll be back soon, sometime. And we'll… fly out to disneyland to make up for it okay?" To the question of when is he coming home.

'Liette's upstairs, sleeping, dead to the world. I'll tell her you came by again though" To cat and melissa. "Sumter, look gene, Mr. Joseph brought his dog Alicia…" Which of course has tea abandoned and the kid sliding off the chair to bound for the dog.

"Oh a doggie!" the blonde girl squeals at Joseph's entrance, reaching hands out for the definitely-not-a-puppy to pet him. In fact, she jumps right out of the chair to go down and say hi, even if she doesn't bring any food. "He can have some of mine," she says, beaming up at the pastor for a kind of approval, before trying to pet the dog, assuming he doesn't seem to be against petting. She'd know!

The boy, Lance, seems to laugh, the silence field around him finally dropping at the end of the laugh, making it cut in. "She totally forgot she wanted to be home. Just took seeing a dog. We build snowmen every so often, but the snow gets old after a while— except snowball attacks. Those are fun." Despite being the younger, he talks like he's older, even if he's got a mischevious gleam to his eyes.

Unlike many others, Gillian's settled. Coat removed, scarf hanging up. All electrical things left at the house. Brief nods are passed around to those she recognizes from various meetings, but there's a longer glance given to the Pastor, even as Hailey gloms to the dog— but she's nice enough to move back and let the younger kid enjoy the big puppy too. "Hi!" she says in greeting.

"At this rate, she may suddenly decide she wants to stay— she loves new animals," Gillian says quietly, though there's a smile on her face, making the dimples stand out for a moment.

"Hey, Gillian." Once, Joseph thought this particular woman was kind of insane — and then he became a Ferryman, and turns out she was just trying to keep up with the rest of the world. So it's a warm smile that the young woman gets from the pastor, before his attention is diverted down to where his dog is getting the kind of love she loves. Alicia's tail gives a gentle wag of affirmation, nudging her big-skulled head into the blonde girl's reaching hands.

Used to it by now, Joseph only says, "He's a she, and looks like she likes ya. And she loves food too, I'll tell you."

The feral cats that double as mousers quarrel with each other so often that their screeches and yowls are as much a part of the safehouse's ambiance as the creak of footsteps upstairs, the wind whistling in the attic or the distant cries belonging to the shorebirds wailing off the island's coast. At first, it's easy to mistake the shrill sound coming from the fence as any one of the aforementioned sounds, but there's something very wrong about both its duration and pitch.

Someone outside is screaming.

Someone very small.

Melissa nods to Brennan and smiles. "Please do. Tell her we'll do full makeovers sometime. Maybe a full out girl's night," she tells him before she looks to the dog and grins. "Maybe I should've brought Jerry. He loves meeting new people." Then she stills, head turning slightly towards the door. "Anyone hear that?"

Parents know the sound of their children. The can tell the difference between crocodile tears, a simple scrape or dire emergency. It's in the pitch, from where it comes from in their bodies. The deep it goes, the worse the situation. Brennan jackrabbits up in the space of a heartbeat. The next, he's already bolting for the door, ignoring that he's only in a long sleeved shirt and forcibly muscling past anyone else with no care as to who might be in his way. "DESSY!" He yells, sheer panic in his voice. Oh dear god, he shouldn't have left her out there with the others. "Gene, stay with Melissa! Dessy!"

"Oh, sorry! I can't tell gender just from emotion— " the young girl says, looking sheepish as she shares the dog hugging with 'Gene'. But the screams make her straighten and look up, shocked and surprised. But before she can even move a step Gillian's already bounded across the room and grabbed her by the shirt. "Oh no you don't. You stay inside with your brother." And from the way she pulls, she's not going to take no for an answer.

There's a hint of protest from the girl, but she's pushed toward the table, where she stumbles. The big sister of the Lighthouse who a pastor once thought was crazy isn't running outside, but she does move to see what's happening. Lance is on his feet, looking ready to move too— and suddenly silent again as he grabs his sister.

A furrow of confusion lines Joseph's brow when he hears that noise, he himself unable to really tell what it is, but before he can open his mouth— he's quickly getting out of the way of the force of nature that is a worried parent. "Harve?!" Joseph starts to automatically follow — a step in Brennan's direction, before there's a slightly steely clench to his jaw as past paranoias are quick to remind him about things like Beach Street, things like Humanis First.

Thump-thump go his feet against the wooden floor as he instead moves for the door for the basement level of the Garden, though Alicia is following her master's first instinct — she trots after Brennan, as if expecting to be walked.

Screaming heard as she approaches the door with her cargo? Cat wasn't in a hurry, but is now. Sturdy boots crunch snow underfoot as she breaks into a run headed for the location of that sound, making her way around the building's exterior.

Outside in the Garden's rear yard by a wooden fence that divides the plot in two and allows its proprietors to keep horses within the property's perimeter, which is defined by a squat stone wall, the bright red material of Dessandra's parka is caught on one of the steel wires stretched between the fence posts. This wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the large, black shape with its jaws locked around the toddler's arm as it fights to drag her under the fence and into the field with the horses.

Not that the horses are having any of it. Heads thrown back and soulful brown eyes wide, the two gray mares that live at the Garden are stamping their feet from the other side of the field, and it's about the time that Brennan explodes out the back door and Cat skids around the side of the building that their harsh voices join Dessandra's.

The culprit is a dog, and it isn't alone. There are two more: one with thick, red-orange fur and flat face that gives it a leonine appearance, another with ears that stand straight up and a long, rat-like tail that whips excitedly behind it.

Brennan's reaction has Melissa stepping towards the door, until she gets put in charge of a kid. She doesn't know kids, not little ones! They're all smelly and messy and complicated. She looks uncertainly at Gene, then towards the door. Clearly she wants to go help, but instead she motions the kids over, back away from the door so there's no one in the way when Brennan returns. Just in case.

Kids or not, Mel mutters, "Dammit!" and moves to the window. If she can't be out there helping, she can at least figure out what the hell is going on!

"Dogs!" Brennan yells, running as fast as he can through the snow to get to his daughter. His gun is in his coat pocket which is hanging up out of the reach of any little hands. The physician's heart is in his throat at the sight of his daughter and the feral dogs right there, the one with his maw around her arm. "Dessy! Someone get a gun NOW! He's got Dessy! I'm coming Dessy, I'm coming baby"

Someone ask for a gun? Gillian says firmly to the kids, "You stay here or you're grounded for a week," before she runs out the front door, without so much as putting on a coat or a scarf, or even her snow boots. Trudging quickly through the snow toward her car, she quickly opens the side door and pulls open the glove compartment. Where there's a gun. Too bad it was so far away, she may not get it loaded and get back in time, but she's certainly going to try.

The two kids she left behind seem to be arguing, if anyone could hear what they're saying. Tears run down the blonde's face, and she tries to pull out of her brother's grasp, but he keeps a hold of her. The tiny men of the Lighthouse, even the mischevious ones, try very hard to be tiny men.

Explosive barking from Alicia when the smell of animal hits her, large black paws skidding in snow as her lower body goes down, near playful, but the warning , thunderous barks from her maw are far from friendly, tail and ruff bristled. She stays somewhere between the fence and the house, as if defending the cottage ever as the child is worried by the feral canines.

By the time Brennan is shouting out the threat, Joseph is coming back up the stairs — slower, stopping to crack open the shotgun in his hands and slip the shotshells inside. "Dogs?" he repeats, incredulous, but this particular plot twist doesn't have him slowing down — soon, he's following Brennan's path through the house with a glance towards where Melissa is peering out the window, one brisk check that the kids are staying put, before stepping out into the cold.

"Harve, be careful!" is— probably useless, and so to get the dogs' attention instead, Joseph angles the barrel of the shotgun skywards, and fires. The noise cracks and thunders, and certainly has Alicia's ears going down, ducking around in lumbering fright. For all that he can aim a gun, he's not going to try when the target is a pack of dogs surrounding a child, and he's firing buckshot.

"Shit," Cat mutters on rounding the corner and seeing the issue at hand. The girl in terror with a ravenous canine at her arm and others waiting for an easy meal. "The things I see when I don't have a gun." Feet keep moving through the snow toward the imperiled child, books are dropped one by one. She has no gun, but isn't entirely unarmed. Her head whips around with the report of Joseph's shotgun, swiveled toward the source of it, but she's soon back on course.

The plan, once she's free of books and close enough to be effective, is to lob steaks over the fence at the dogs one by one and hope they abandon the girl in favor of them.

Of the three dogs, Alicia not included among their number, the cagiest one with the skinny tail startles at the gunshot and flinches away, retreating several paces with its head held low and shoulder hunched. Its eyes dart worriedly between Brennan barreling toward the pack and the toddler being squeezed under the fence as if weighing the threat posed by the men against the one posed by the weather. Even from the window, Melissa can very clearly see the outline of the animal's ribs through its short fur and the way its waist tapers into almost nothing. It's starving.

Nonetheless, it snatches up one of the thrown steaks and takes off at a sprint — there's some greyhound or whippet in it — before floating up and over the wall, disappearing into the gnarled thicket on the other side. Its companions, both chow mixes by the looks of them, aren't as easily dissuaded. The beast with the mane of orange fur curls its lips at Brennan, exposing a mouthful of yellowed teeth caked brown with tartar and plaque. Either it's very old, its owners didn't take very good care of it, or it's been on its own for a very long time. Possibly a combination of all three, because it shows no fear of man as it shoves its front half under the wire and growls low in its throat at the doctor, froth and spit oozing from the gaps between its teeth.

Melissa looks at the kids, then back to Brennan, watching with a furrowed brow. Then the window is thrown open and she pulls a pistol from a holster at the small of her back. No more carrying it in her coat pocket, not since she needed it and didn't have it. She doesn't immediately put it to use though. First she judges the distance, curses softly, then fires a warning shot, aiming above the dogs head. She can't quite bring herself to kill them if she doesn't have to. Not when they're starving.

Cat has steaks, but Brennan, Brennan has shovels that were being used in the yard to dig into the show, make pits to hide in. His broad hand snatch up one on his way to his daughter. Brandished like.. well, a shovel. He has longer legs that small children and through all the play, some of it has compacted down enough. So he's behind his daughter soon enough, and while dogs can't understand likely half of what people say, but they surely understand - at least orange mane one - A metal shovel coming down on it's head with all the force the good doctor can muster "Help!" He calls out.

Shoving bullets into the gun as she moves, Gillian trudges through the snow around the house as quickly as she can without dropping said bullets. There's a determined look on her face as she keeps going, but she wishes she still had super speed, like she had the night she carried two tiny girls into the Garden for safety. But no, all she can do is trudge as quickly as she can, listen to the sounds, and hope she's not too late. Whether this is one of her kids or not.

Inside, Lance has put his hands over his sister's ears, trying to block out the sounds of barking and gunfire, while she pushes and tries to get out of his grasp.

With a flinch almost reminiscent of his dog's startle, Joseph ducks just a little when Melissa fires out the window, a hand out like he might try to warn someone off but no words leave his mouth as he watches with staring dark eyes as Brennan brings the shovel down on the feral dog's skull. For a second, Joseph is frozen in uncertainty, for all his determined striding, gun loading, firing — he has the barrel leveled somewhere snow-wards between himself and the fray, before he's finally moving on forward to help, with a glance back at Melissa's window.

And Alicia is too, barking broken up with snarling, as she pitches herself bodily forward at the fence to show white teeth flashing in the midst of her pale pink mouth, her big shaggy black head. "Alicia, get!" is an order for her to move the hell out of the way, which she ignores this time, all flying spittle as she snarls through the fence at the dog bullying the child.

She's out of steaks, the six of them tossed into the snow serving to dispel just one dog. Cat keeps coming, eyes settling on the second shovel which she grabs. It's potentially symbolic, this situation. Three dogs total, they'll make good surrogates for aggressions and vengeant desires. After all, there is Ethan who was called Fenrir, and Skoll, also a Norse name related to canines. Dreyfus? She doesn't know if he has such a moniker, but might as well be a mangy, slavering beast. Her agreement with Eileen regarding the human Ethan still holds, but that doesn't mean Cat can't beat him to death by proxy.

"Stupid dogs," she snarls, "I gave you food and you wouldn't just. go. away! I've got this one, Doctor," she suggests. "Try to get a piece of that meat and hold it out to see if it'll lure it away from the girl."

And with that, she proceeds to bring the shovel down on the dog in places where Brennan isn't already hammering at. Yes, she has issues.

Brennan's shovel glances off the dog's skull with enough force to kill a smaller animal like the one that already took off running, but against this behemoth it leaves a long gash across the left side of its face and muzzle instead. Blood oozes from the wound, stains the fur around its eye dark red — obsidian in the dying light — and exposes one of its teeth where the shovel's metal edge cut clean through its lip. Cat's comes down a moment later, catching its shoulder but it's lurching away before she has the opportunity to hit it a third time.

Dessandra is still screaming, and maybe for the first time in Brennan's life he can be glad. It means she's still alive. The bullet from Melissa's gun imbeds itself in the wooden post a few inches from the black chow's ear, causing it to hesitate for a fraction of a second before — with one last wrenching motion of its great shaggy head — it pulls the squealing toddler the rest of the way under the fence, readjusts its grip on her arm and hefts her up like a ragdoll, eyes on Alicia as it makes a huffing sound at the back of its drooling mouth.

Still reeling from the blow to the head and shoulder, the leonine dog gives Brennan and Cat one last scathing look and heaves off, moving with a surprising amount of grace and speed for an animal of its monstrous size. Unlike the first pack member to retreat, it does not float over the wall so much as it clambers, hind paws knocking off loose bits of stone that tinkle against rock and leaving bloody prints in their wake.

That leaves just one, and both Melissa and Gillian have clean shots at it.

Melissa's eyes go wide as she watches the girl being pulled away. "I've got this one! Go get the girl!" she yells out as she sights down upon the remaining dog, and while part of her apologizes silently, she fires. The whole time wishing she were closer, or that there was someone else to help watch the kids still in the house.

Michelle is going to kill him. Divorce him and kill him, take his girls away from him. This will be after she ever gets over her grief if they loose one of their girls. The one dog has his daughter and he wants to tell them to fire, but she's small, just slightly bigger than the beasts. Hands go on the top of the fence and he's hauling himself over, shovel and all which is a small feet when you're pretty damn near 6 feet yourself and the moment he lands, he's going straight for his daughter with his free hand to get a grasp on her jacket. "Hodl on Dessy!"

There's some soft whimpering that can finally be heard in the house, for a splint second, before Lance grabs onto his sister. Hailey'd been running for the door, but instead she reaches for the tiny girl, Gene, and pulls her in close. The three kids will stay wrapped in a little bubble of silence while they try to cope with what's going on. At least Melissa doesn't have to listen to their tears and whines.

And for the woman on the outside, what once was a clear shot for Gillian isn't so clear when Brennan leaps over the fence, making her curse under her breath, and hold her fire.

Joseph's hand comes down on Alicia's collar before she can think of muscling her way to the other side of the fence, pulling the snarling beast back about a foot, ruthlessly, though she certainly doesn't seem to mind or even notice much, front paws curling up off the snow. Concerned in trying to get his dog and himself out of the way before the former can do something stupid or before he can do something stupid in preventing her doing something stupid, especially as gunshots sound out through the air.

The dogs have names, in Cat's mind. Skoll, smartest of the three, took a steak and ran off. Ethan, beaten with a shovel, also ran away. The remaining beast she dubs Carlisle, because it's still got the girl and won't give up. Cat knows there are guns in play, she anticipates a shot will be taken now that the remaining dog is at least in the semi-clear and hopes the aim is good enough to hit canine, not child. Then she hears Brennan's voice, sees him moving, and starts to call out. "Doctor Bren…" The shout cuts off short, it's too late. He's already gone over the top.

The dog jerks back, an audible spatter of blood splashing across the front of Dessandra's similarly coloured parka, but it isn't immediately clear who it belongs to: the girl or the canine. For a moment, there's only the sound of haggard breathing, Alicia's snarling and what sounds like it might be a whimper coming from the still form of Brennan's daughter. When he reaches her, she's slumping into the snow, released from the dog's jaws as its front right leg buckles beneath it and it drops where it stands.

Apart from where the bullet grazed her cheek on its way into the dog's chest, Dessandra's tear-streaked face appears unharmed, though she is undoubtedly nursing a dislocated elbow under her coat and bruising around her arm where its jaws clamped down. It turns dark brown eyes on Joseph with the shotgun, its sides heaving with a sudden and momentous effort, then flicks them across to where Gillian is standing. Steam billows from inky nostrils.

Melissa breathes a sigh of relief when Dessandra is released, and apparently she thinks that the others can handle the wounded animal. Mel has other children that she needs to tend to. The safety is flipped on and the pistol slid away, and she moves to the trio of kids, crouching down and wrapping them in a hug. "It's okay now, it's okay. Shh…Everything's okay now," she murmurs soothingly.

"Put it down!" He order, Brennan leaning over to scoop Dessandra up and move away from the dog. If it jostles elbow or the like, he doesn't care, not right now. The focus is on getting his daughter away from the dog and back towards the fence. He realizes that he quite nearly got shot, that his daughter did to a degree and maybe more, he doesn't know not till he can get her back to the house.

Which he's doing, letting the others fire at the dog or let it escape. "Chesterf- Catherine" He's passing the three year old over the fence. "House"

With the kid and the man safely at a distance where she's not afraid she'll hit them, Gillian doesn't show the kind of mercy that would let it limp away, even wounded. The amount of training she got on the aircraft carrier leave her confident enough to possibly hit the dog, and if not, at least only hit the snow around the dog.

On the inside, as soon as Mel joins the circle, the sounds of quiet sobbing can be heard, mostly from Hailey. Lance's bubble may have fallen apart as another person tried to join, but— it's hard to know. The boy isn't crying, and in fact trying to calm his sister down. "It's okay— it's okay."

"But it's hurt…" Sucks to be an animal empath, who can only feel.

For most, putting down a dying animal is mercy, and Joseph looks briefly relieved when that final pistol goes off, ending the drama. Alicia's interest level goes from vicious to merely curious, and he slings the strap on his safetied shotgun to hang across his back as he sets about nudging her back off towards the cottage. "Inside. Inside." She obeys, if grudgingly, leaving massive paw prints in the snow as she goes. Inside, she treks in dirt and meltwater, looks around with dull eyes, and trots on over towards where Melissa has the children gathered as if desiring to join in.

Joseph, meanwhile, stands by as Brennan seeks Cat's help, willing to lend a hand as willing as he is to stay out of the way. "She okay?" he asks, grimly, glancing off towards where the other two dogs took off.

The girl is quickly taken and wrapped in arms as Cat moves off toward the house at a steady pace. Steaks not taken by dogs and books dropped one by one are left in her wake as she examines visible parts of the girl for injuries. "Mostly, I think," she tells Joseph. "Cheek is scratched, might need a bit of treatment. Won't know more until she's inside and can be gotten out of outdoor gear." At that, she checks the spot on the coat where the dog's jaws had a grip for signs of teeth going through it to make a guess about whether or not her skin was broken by them. While doing so, she whispers quiet and comforting things to the girl and continues on toward the entry door.

In the field, blood leaks out into the snow, forming a dark pool around the dog's even darker head; no more vapour hemorrhages from its nose, only sticky black fluid. Snowflakes settle over matted fur and clump together in the small space between its unseeing eye and the rim that surrounds it. Before morning, its coat will have gone gray.

The mares remain restless.

Melissa gives Hailey a sympathetic look. "I know sweetie, but if it wasn't hurt, then Dess would be hurt. You wouldn't want that, would you?" she murmurs, while her mind is whirling a bit. She shot an animal and this girl feels it? Oops!

"We get her inside, I'll know better. No one hit her, she's not got any holes in her. Just need to get her inside and get her jacket off." Echoing Cat without realizing it as he runs a hand through his hair and remains hot on her heels once he's back over the fence. "Melissa" Brennan hollers across the yard to the house. "Take away her pain, if she's got any. She doesn't need to hurt, please, just take it away for as long as you can" The shovel is abandoned back into the snow as he takes big strides back to the house, not even looking back to see if Gillian's shot struck true. Feral dogs with a taste of blood, will always attack again. "First aid kid. Joseph, make sure Gene's okay. She'll play with alicia.. how's the other girls? Can someone check on Liette? She might be scared" Or fascinated. Probably want to poke at the dead dog. Dead dog. Now he looks back and satisfied, scurries in behind Cat so he can take his daughter back.

Feral dogs with a taste for blood already attacked once. Gillian lets the gun drop, a cold tear running down her cheek before she furiously rubs it away and begins to head back inside, where she'll have to stop and put her gun into her coat for later. No holster for her. It didn't even belong on her person. "I'll handle these kids, you can help out there," she says to Melissa, who is getting instructions, as she walks over to the group. "It's okay. It's over."

For Hailey it's not quite over, though, she rubs at a runny nose and face, and Lance just peers out toward the window and then at Gillian. He mouths something so his sister doesn't have to hear it. 'Is it dead?'

There's just a small nod from Gillian, followed by another simple and mouthed. 'Good.'

"Alright," Joseph complies, readily enough, following the others back indoors and a little nervous, suddenly, about holding a big and obvious firearm in the presence of children. He sets it up on top of a high cabinet, first thing's first, before whistling for Alicia's attention. Her ears go back before she's once more dogging his steps as he and his dog go to see to Brennan's other youngest. The pastor claps a reassuring hand against Brennan's shoulder as he goes, as if to let him know that all is once more well, even if one of his babies is hurt.

Once inside, Cat hands the girl off to her father carefully and moves away from them, her intent now to catch Gillian's attention for some quiet words about the situation. Her knowledge of medicine taken from books read and courses taken in the past doesn't match the doctor's, and she's not needed to perform there. No, her immediate concern is the two dogs which ran off.

"On it," Melissa calls back to Brennan. "I'll be right back, promise. But it's all okay," she murmurs to the kids before rising to go meet Brennan and Dess. She's not yet mastered using this aspect of her ability from afar, not quite, and it's important to take the pain now. "Hey honey. Had an adventure, didn't you?" she murmurs with a faint smile, touching the girl's hand and drawing the pain out, whatever pain there may be.

Brennan doesn't know if Joseph has a child or not and when Cat passes over his daughter, there's a glance to the woman and then to Joseph and a nod. His heart can ease down back to where it should be, and adrenaline can stop pumping into his system. All is right in the world, or will be right in the world once he takes care of his daughter. It will be a long night for him, likely with no sleep, while he sits watch over the three girls in his charge.

And fearing his wife when he ever gets back to her and no longer has Liette. Three dogs may not be sleeping in the doghouse, but there will be one father who will be.

With the gun securely dropped into the pocket of her coat, the remaining bullets unloaded so that nothing untoward happens, Gillian stops before going to round up the kids to look at Cat. Words don't even need to be exchanged right now. "I know, a couple got away— And there were a few more at the Lighthouse the night that…" She glances towards the two kids from the Lighthouse, before moving away with Cat for easier conversations, but still keeping the kids in sight.

From where they can be watched, Lance is holding onto his sister, but watching the adults carefully. At any other time, that might be a dangerous glint in his eyes that means he was planning trouble. Now it seems he's just worried about his sister. "I'm going to be taking them home soon. I need to make sure everyone else is safe." The only one putting her in the doghouse over the kids would be herself. But she certainly will be if anything happened to another one of them.

That Joseph does indeed have a child speaks very little about his experience in handling them, all things considered — but after babysitting Raquelle's children and meeting about as many families as they were parishioners, he has something of a clue. "C'mere, Genie, let's go play with the big dog while your dad's busy, huh?" he coos as he picks the toddler up and off the chair, disappearing out where there is significantly less tension and blood, a spring in Alicia's four-footed step at the prospect of playing. Fortunately, the girl is too young to know what irony means.

She nods once at Gillian's beginning words, demonstrating this to be what she wants to speak of, but silent until they can converse without being overheard. It's then Cat shares the rest. "Yes, and there's meat out there in the snow. The dogs are still hungry, they probably aren't far away. Watching and waiting for the coast to seem clear, then they'll come get the ribeyes. Might want to be watching from the window and put them down then." Because the Vanguard symbolism still applies. They keep coming until eradicated. Even across oceans. Her head shakes.

"I really thought the fresh meat, which was supposed to be a donation, would draw them off the girl. Easier meal."

"I'd give her any meds that you're gonna give her now, Doc," Melissa murmurs to Brennan. "I can keep her pain free for a little while, but not indefinitely. And there's no reason for her to hurt if she doesn't have to." And she has a sudden urge to go check on Kendall, but she's not sharing that bit.

"We'll get Liette to do it when you can't Melissa' Brennan is quick to point out. "Liette will do it" He watches Joseph and Gene and the dog head out, Gillian and the others as coat peels away from sobbing child to show no puncture wounds or any need to be discussing rabies shots. Just the aforementioned dislocated elbow. Something easily dealt with. "We'll get through this" Her nods his head, setting about to barking kindly, out the orders for what he needs. "We'll get through this"

"Could just be the dog didn't want to give up what it already had. I'll let the people who live here take care of that," Gillian says quietly, pulling the coat on and beginning to gather up scarfs and coats to hand to the two kids, determined or crying as they might be. "I want to get these kids home before Brian sends out a search party looking for them, since I can't exactly call and let him know they're okay." Thanks possibly crazy technopath. "And I want to know the others are okay too." Same difference.

There's a motion where she tosses one coat to Lance, and then another. He gets the picture, and starts to wrap his sister up in the coat. "I do appreciate the desire for vengeance. But I just want to get home right now."

"Let me know," Cat replies with a nod, "if you want or need help with that thing Eileen was talking about," she offers. Details won't be gone into, she doesn't feel the need to do so with so many possible ears around. Vaguery works. Then she's moving away, headed back outside to collect those books she brought for Liette.

"It was stupid, coming to Staten Island without a gun," she mutters to the snow and winter chill outside Garden walls.

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