Put It Out Put It Out


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Featuring: Lewis.

Scene Title Put It Out, Put It Out
Synopsis A night of tragedy presents a choice for some and an awakening in others.
Date March 10, 2019

Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights is the last place you'd want a fire to break out with the overgrown nature of the trees and vines, not as overtaken as Park Slope that was rumored (or obviously) the work of an SLC-E ability but it's enough to cause worry when the crackling of flames can be heard through the neighborhood.

Black smoke slowly wafts up into the air and the smell of wood and metal being burned fills the air, the smoke intermingling together almost creating a column. The work crews have gone home for the day, the sun a deep orange as it sets on the foliage filled neighborhood bathing in its glow riddled with ruins and tools and construction equipment used for the rebuilding.

The smoke comes from flames that rage on multiple floors of an apartment building, nondescript, one of the ones renovated and allowed to the public for living. Not many lights seem to be turned on but that seems to matter little with how the fire illuminated the rooms inside and the world around the building. It could be mistaken for a miracle that it appears that nobody is home except for the distance sound of cries from inside along with a high pitched shriek up in the air suddenly.


There hanging on the edge of the building, the silhouette of a man dangling with legs kicking out frantically can be seen. Fluttering to the ground is a small mass that lands a few feet away from the burning with no sound at all. The yowling of a dog can be heard nearby on the first floor.

A crowd slowly surrounds the building, "Somebody call the cops!" An older woman screams clutching her bag of groceries from Red Hook Market to her chest, nearby the woman a younger lady with platinum blonde hair shaved short taps away at her phone the screen illuminating a tear streaked and panicked expression on her face. Brown eyes wide as teeth chatter against the cold, she's only in a halter top and skirt with a very light see through jacket of a deep purple shade, knee high red boots adorn her feet. Her hands a deep caramel complexion have blood on them , dotted with one large blot on the left side. Ash sprinkled all over her trembling long legs, "Shit. Fuck. Marigold…" The young woman whispers to herself choking back tears. She doesn't run forward as flames reflect in her eyes.

Planted in place watching the horror unfold in front of her.

A bright teal Mercury Woody comes rolling to a stop a little further down the road out of the way of any emergency vehicles that would be coming. The figure in the car looks in his rearview with a furrow of brows. Where were the emergency crews?

Jonathan Smith seems to hesitate there, watching the roiling smoke and chaos with fingers gripping the steering wheel tightly. It had been a long day with teaching his kids and then his council duties afterward. He had been on his way to meet a friend for dinner and to finally relax, but…

Slowly stepping out of the vehicle, briefly resting his arm on the roof, the Councilman watches the man dangling; but, the sight of something falling has him finally shutting the car door and hurrying over. The thinly clad woman quickly grabs his attention, prompting him to shrug out of his suit jacket and offer it to her. It would leave him only the his button up shirt against the cold, but he doesn’t seem to mind. “Here,” Jonathan offers with a small, yet gentle smile; the jacket is held where she can just slip into it. “You look like you need this more than me.” More importantly though, “Do you know what happened here?”

On nights when Silas can't sleep (spoilers: most of them), he walks. It's good exercise, it gives him time to air his thoughts, it's a damn sight healthier than what he used to do to deal with insomnia… and, most of all, it gives him a chance to familiarize himself with his new home. It's just good sense to know the ins and outs of anywhere you plan to live.

But the unmistakable light of a fire — a big fire — is enough to draw his attention, bending the course of his nightly wanderings like a strong current pulling on a small boat; fire is a seafarer's natural enemy, and even now, some reflexes die hard. Of course, arriving on the scene and being able to do anything about it are two entirely different things.

Jesus, isn't there a fire department or something? This one looks like it's going full force… and he can hear screams coming from in there. Shit. Shit. He's got his gloves on, at least. Gloves are good for lots of things. Keeping your hands toasty in cool night air. Keeping you from getting splinters. Keeping fingerprints off things. Tonight, though, maybe they're going to keep him from getting burned, because one thing he's not hearing is the wailing sirens of fire engines. They aren't coming, or they aren't coming quickly enough to make a difference to whoever's roasting in there.

"Shit," he curses aloud under his breath. No one else in the crowd seems to be rushing in there either, which is a shame because then maybe he could leave it to them instead of feeling obligated to go do Something Stupid himself. "Shit," he repeats, his feet already starting to carry him towards the door.

"Wait!" A particularly nervous voice calls from behind Silas. It's accompanied by fingertips nipping at the sleeve of his coat. Sahara Jackson is unfurling her fabric scarf from around her neck, thrusting it out at him as soon as it's free. "Here," the blonde gushes, her eyes wide as she looks back at the building. "Against the smoke."

She's tried calling 911 twice. She connected the first time and was able to pass on that there was a fire, but not where… and her phone has lost signal both times she's tried calling since.

The Southerner really hopes it's because other people are calling it in.

It’s really not good when you get off the bus at the wrong stop. It means a lot of walking, which is even less good in the evening hours. But that’s what you get when you’re not paying attention. And that’s why Squeaks is making the hike through the less familiar neighborhood. A book-weighty looking backpack hanging off her shoulders could probably be the reason she’d missed her stop. Whatever the cause, she’s hiking.

Since she’s hiking, the fire doesn’t go unnoticed. Wide eyes find the burning building without the aid of the screams and yells for help. Her path turns to take her closer, and her hike turns into a little jog. The young teen eyeballs the crowd of people gathered around as they come into view, then find man hanging from the roof. As she gets close, she slows down to just walking again.

With a swivel of her head, Squeaks looks at the people gathered around. She doesn’t know most of them, but Jonathan is mostly familiar, and Silas — they talked about barbecue that one time. “Is there… Did everyone get out,” she asks as her head turns back to the conflagration. “Is everyone outside?”

The young woman looks shell shocked as Johnathan places the jacket over her shoulders but the chattering of her teeth does lessen to a degree, she nods her head in thanks but unites that movement with a frantic shake of her head, "N-no. I was smoking some weed around in the back alle- my- the building just was on fire the best moment." Poppy's eyes grow wide and her blood speckled hand rises to cover her mouth. "Oh my god." She nearly shierks taking a step back and almost falls. "There are people in there! Somebody has t- somebody help them!" Her eyes flick to the roof but it's like she's forcing herself to look away from the man dangling up there.

Off to the side the object that fluttered down to the ground lays there in a rumpled mess.

Another curse from above grabs the attention of the crowd as the man bellows, "Fucking pieces of shit!! I'll find you! I'll find you!!" His legs waving wildly in the wind as he tries to hold on for dear life. The smoke chokes the last bits of sunset as finally the sounds of sirens can be heard in the distance but Silas' assumption is right. Too little, too late.

"Be careful girl!" The older woman steps forward when Squeaks' shows up a worried expression on her face but it would seem she recognizes some of the other adults though the girl must remind her of someone with the way she looks at Squeaks. Rushing past Silas a brave soul barrels into the entrance and off in the direction that the dog howls but he trips over fallen flaming debris and falls face first into the flames with a howl of pain, screams of death are what echo outside through the roaring blaze.

There is concern at the idea that are are people inside, the man looking at the house again. The faint sirens is just as concerning, it would be sometime before they would get there. After a meer moment of thought and people starting to hurry in, Jonathan lets out a soft sigh letting out of the tension that was gathering in his chest. He knows what he needs to do and starts to unwind the yellow and black scarf around his neck.

Without another word to Poppy, Jonathan jogs towards the door. Normally, the councilman isn’t one for heroics and such; but he doesn’t hesitate when absolutely necessary.

Pausing before the doorway, the man glances over at Silas and gives him a nod while winding the handknit scarf (sorry Tasha) around the lower half of his face. A glance up and silent prayer, “I’m heading up to help that guy,” Jonathan comments a touch nervously, before ducking into the building.

The oily black smoke is partially blocked by the glasses the men wears; but still his eyes sting. Squinting, it takes a moment to find the stairs. Any that follow after him will see his ability on full display. Though he is registered, he never really talks about it. Any debris in his way will be pushes aside without out precaution or care to his person. Flames lick at his hands and face, but the flesh doesn’t boil and blister. Even though he continues unscathed, he feels it, teeth gritting against the discomfort signaled by nerve endings that don’t know any better.

Silas looks back at the sensation of someone tugging at his sleeve, eyes wide with surprise; it takes him a moment to parse what the woman is saying, but when he does his lips curl up into a grin of genuine gratitude, some of the dread he's feeling fading. It's a simple thing, but even a small gesture makes a difference sometimes. "Thanks," he says, taking the scarf and hurriedly wrapping it around his mouth and nose.

Unfortunately, while he's wrapping up, some other idiot's already run in and… demonstrated exactly why this is a bad idea. Before he can think about it too much, someone else steps up. Silas nods as the guy heads in; if nothing else, it looks like he's brighter than Silas is, since he's already scarfed up against the smoke. Well. No more time to waste. Silas nods one more time to the woman who'd handed him the scarf, flashing her a brief thumbs up… and then he heads into the building proper.

The heat is intense, the smoke blinding; it's a one-two punch that hits Silas pretty hard, leaving him gasping. The scarf filters the worst of it, but it's still a struggle not to cough and choke. He can glimpse the other guy up ahead, pushing through debris and… seemingly not giving a shit as he pretty marches his way past any would-be obstructions, just like OJ in The Terminator. Jesus. But he's not here to gawp. He moves forward as quickly as he can, gritting his teeth against the searing heat. He pauses briefly when he gets to where Mister McBadluck had his unfortunate facefault, but it doesn't take a coroner to tell that that guy is done; he's not even moving anymore, and the smell of badly burnt meat is absolutely nauseating. Nope. Rest in peace. Silas moves on, heading towards the howling dog.

A vaguely suspicious look is sent at the old woman, as some deeper part of her still mistrusts unknown grown-ups. Squeaks is quick to step away, to keep a distance and out of the woman’s reach. Glances that way are taken when she feels separated enough from the well meant warnings, and her attention returns to the house in time to see Silas and Jonathan enter.

“Wait.” It isn't a very loud call. It's born on the heels of a barely formed idea. Or really no idea. It's dangerous inside, with the smoke and the flames. But what if people died because of the smoke and flames. What if the rescuers died too because they couldn't see.

She shoots a look at the onlookers, not expecting to find answers in any of them. The girl probably wouldn't ask anyway. Bringing her attention to the fire again, Squeaks stands indecisive, but a few steps closer to the burning building. She could go in there, her ability might work to see through the smoke. But she doesn't move closer.

Thankfully, or Sahara would rush to pull her back. Her heart is pounding as she steps back from the building, looking up at the man dangling from the rooftop. She can't soften his fall, not on her own. Blankets could help, but she doubts anyone will have them… "Hold on!" she calls up, trotting closer. She looks down at the burnt item that fell, carefully skirting it as she comes closer to being underneath.

He could probably survive a drop that far with just a few broken bones … if he landed right. Hopefully it wouldn't come to that, though. Motivated, her tendencies to rally and support kick in.

"Somebody come help over here," she calls back to the small, but growing crowd. Maybe some of these other people could be motivated to make a difference where it was safer instead of heading indoors! Sahara looks at a taller, gruff-looking man pointedly in that regard. "We've got to cushion his fall!"

As Jonathan powers through and upwards past the flames and burning debris his body is fine but his clothes catch fire and smoke as he moves forward. Before long as he navigates the black smoky halls and stairs to the door leading to the rooftop and though the handle is hot too the touch the man is able to knock the door open to pile out onto the rooftop with the man seen hanging on the lip of the building … but that's not the most shocking thing for Jonathan.

A body of a young woman with light blonde hair splayed around her on the roof mixing with blood that spills from her throat, dark eyes almost devoid of all life her chest barely moves but there is some kind of life still there for her fingers twitch and give off multi-colored sparks that dazzle and sputter out. A gun lays by the ledge of the roof near the woman's twitching foot. "Help!!!" Screams the man… murderer.

Down on the ground Sahara's eyes past over the lightly burned object as she moves to assist more and there's a moment of dread that curls in her gut. A familiar insignia glares up at her. Of Pure Earth nature. The man hanging from above, Erin Lewis fledgling member of the racist group. The older woman eyes Squeaks as the younger girl eyes the fire and she shakes her head but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to be a good person. Regardless of age. Poppy chokes back, "Marigold- Marigold!!," she moans in pain and stumbles back and the taller gruff man looks at Sahara and nods moving forward to help.

While inside Silas encounters fire and the dead body of that unlucky brave soul. Flames roar on either side of the man and the dogs barking grows more erratic in the back of the building as Silas nears the source of the sound but there are three doors and not enough time. To make matters worse, the cries of a child can be heard with the dog previously not able to be heard because of the roaring flames.

The entrance of the building becomes partially blocked by falling flaming debris and the crowd cries out as they take a step back. For Squeaks the small opening left in the entrance not covered in fire marks an opening, a window, opportunity.From the side of the building the shadow of two people stagger away from the building and coming to the back of the group, both covered in ash and soot marking up their faces.

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Isa stares on with wide eyes and a hand goes to her mouth an expression of horror on her face. At her side, Shahid looks just as shocked. Brunette hair flying in the wind that's kicked up. The sirens get closer but it's still not enough time.

The level of smoke inhalation in Shaw’s lungs is enough so that he doesn’t have any words to say. Instead, he coughs them out. “Eanqa’, are you alright?” It’s possible he means just physically, but more likely he means something deeper. It’s only for the pyrokinetic to know for the moment. He bats and pats at several places on him where the shirt on him is slightly smoking. Even so, he sticks close to Isa for the time being as they retreat from the burning building to the back of the crowd.

As the pair make their way and stand behind everyone else Poppy continues her backpedaling holding the gifted jacket tightly around her body. She bumps into the couple with her back and begins to wheel around, "Sorr-" her expression stops when she notices who it is and she whimpers in the back of her throat.

Like many of the onlookers, Squeaks flinches from the flames and sparks that shower out from the falling timbers. She brings an arm up to guard her face from the heat and her weight shifts away from the house, but she doesn’t run. Blue eyes peek over the folds of her sleeve and she whispers, “Oh no.”

Her head swivels to look at the crowd, searching, seeking anyone who could help. Or anyone who would help. She sees those preoccupied with helping the dangling man, and a lot of scared faces — people too transfixed by the destruction to do anything. Her attention twists around to face the fire again, looking for her own answers. Windows are dismissed and there probably isn’t time to go around to the back to look for a better solution.

Then she sees it, the opening in the timbers. It’s a risk, a dangerous one, but…

Her backpack hits the ground with a thud and her jacket flumps on top of it. Squeaks hesitates only a tiny part of a second longer before she sprints the distance to the opening and crawls through it. With her heart trying to break out of her chest, she keeps herself on her hands and knees, as close to the floor as she can be and still move. Her sonar-like ability starts almost as soon as she’s through the opening, ultrasonic clicks and squeaks emitted in short bursts, and she lets it determine her path to any people on the first floor.

Silas feels panic starting to close in on him; now that he's in here, neck deep in Hell, he can hear something else along with the dog's howling. There's a kid still in here. A horrible sense of dread seems to crush his chest like a vise.

Or maybe that's just the broiling heat, because he is in the middle of a goddamn inferno. But if he's feeling it this bad, how much longer is the kid gonna last? Or the dog, for that matter. Shit.

Alright. Alright. Not a lot of time, but that means even less time to panic. No matter how justified he'd be in doing so. He takes a deep breath, tries to ignore how hard it is; the air's so hot, so thick, it feels like he could drown trying to breathe it. "Kid! We gotta get outta here! Where are ya?" He listens for a moment, trying to pick out where the sound might be coming from, and all the while the blistering heat seems to claw at him like an animal, the smoke stinging his eyes.

After a moment of listening, he picks a door. "Get clear, I'm openin' the door!" he yells, a second before he rears back and slams a boot into it as hard as he can.

Once on the roof, Jonathan blinks back the tears brought on by the stinging smoke, while he jerks down the scarf so that he can cough and fight for breath. Hands pat at the smoldering holes in his good word shirt. However, it doesn’t take long to have his attention drawn back to the situation by the man’s screaming and see what went down. The choice presented to him wasn’t an easy one. A glance behind him shows that no one braved following, so he was on his own.

The choice for him was easy.

The man could hang a bit longer while Jonathan hurried over to the girl to assess her situation. It was a dire one at that. The rough roof digs into his knees as he drops to her side and cups a hand gently behind her neck and studies the wound. However, he is no medic… he’s only a teacher. Though it didn’t take a medical degree to see how bad off she was. His stomach churning at the sight of all that blood and the way it oozes out of her neck. Despite the squeamishness that twisted at his stomach - he is glad he hasn’t eaten yet - he presses fingers against the wound at her neck in a vain attempt to try and save her life.

“Hey,” Jon greets the woman, looking into those eyes and noting the way the light was fading. “ Hold on a little longer, okay? Medics are on their way. Just a little longer.”

Shifting the scarf catches Jonathan’s attention. There is a bit of an uncertainty that voices itself at the back of his throat, before he pulls off the scarf. “Sorry, Tasha.” It was such a lovely scarf, too. His fingers are replaced by the scarf which is pressed tight against the wound trying to get her stable enough for him to carry her down.

There was that ever hopeful. cheerful, and optimistic part of himself that just knew that if Jonathan could slow the bleeding she’d have a chance. Though deep down, he could only think of the young woman’s parents… he knows what they would go through if she doesn’t make it. It drove him in the moment and strengthened him.

Sahara whips her head up toward the sky when she hears the door on the roof open … and then nothing. She looks down again at the bundle that's on the ground, hesitantly and hastily grabbing ahold of it. It's not small enough that she can really hide it, but she throws it so it's clearly out of the way. She bets the MPs would have a field day if they found that. If she remembers, if there's room enough to, she'll collect it shortly and spirit it away.

If the man hanging on for his life was smart enough, he'd tone himself down to play the part of a mere Evo racist instead of a Pure Earth fanatic. But how he sold himself once he was in the hospital after this wasn't her business — making sure he stayed alive after that fall was. Sahara waves forward a few more people, encouraging them to create a net with their combined arms and coats stretched between them.

"We've got you!" Sahara calls up. "Let go, we'll catch you!" A few injuries could be traded in exchange for preventing another fatality, as far as she was concerned.

Marigold just chokes and sputters lamely in Jonathan's arms the warmth from him and the fires not really reaching her. Blood pours from the wound profusely but soon begins to slow from the compression with the scarf, her heartbeat is weak. Too pale lips open to utter, "Poppy.." before eyelids flutter and she loses consciousness altogether. The sparks from her hands glimmer and fizzle out with an audible pop that collides with the sound of popping and cracking coming from the burning building below them. "Help.." she's out.

The man continues his screaming as he flails about, "Bunch of cowards!" He heads a voice behind him saying to drop back and it sounds like the craziest thing he's ever heard so much so that he laughs loudly, "You think I don't know what you're trying to do?! That Bitch—" his words stop as an explosion in the apartment below him sends glass flying outward to rain down on the crowd below. As well as the man. He falls through the air with a piercing scream his arms pinwheeling in the air. The older woman gives off a shriek and falls over trying to get out of the way of the mass of people surging forward to attempt to catch the man.

Inside the building, the answer to Silas's cry is a cry from the child inside the apartment, "Help! Help! Mister isn't doing okay!" "Mister" must be the dog who barks wildly and scratches at the door. Movement can be heard behind the door as Silas' boot connects and splinters the weakened wood, one more well placed kick knocks the door wide open to reveal a smokey apartment with a small boy and a large German Shepherd yelping at the man from another timeline turned rescuer. "Mister behave!" The boy shouts before erupting into a coughing fit. The kicking of the burning door has left flames leaping up Silas' leg.

Squeaks' ability traces out a path for her through the rubble and flames and she ends up at the back of Silas easily enough as he enters the apartment with the child and his furry companion though as she passes her arm gets too close to the fire causing a flare up of pain and making her back away from the heat. To make matters worse, a creaking can be heard from behind the pair and their way out is ruined by the collapsing of a portion of the floor. Flaming debris blocking the path out.

Outside of that apartment in the back of the alley a brilliant red light shines through the windows, playing over the young boy's face who looks on in terror eyes meeting Squeaks' blue ones. "What do we do?"

"Move." Is the reply from Isabelle to the shell shocked expression and whimpering from Poppy. The pyrokinetic looks frustrated and clearly Poppy has reason to be afraid because as the brunette marches past Poppy with a rude brush of her shoulder against her flames burst to life along her arms and her pace is measured as she looks forward at the burning building and the swirl of the flames in front of her. She can feel the heat not just on the surface but inside of her. Stepping in front of the crowd and the entrance to the ruins of the place Isabelle's flames on her arms rapidly go out leaving smoke rising from her shoulders before she throws her hands in front of her and pulls from inward at the flames.

Fire sputters and flickers in the front windows and it seems like she has some success with draining the power from some of the flames but it isn't enough. Pushing herself further with flames reflected in hazel eyes the woman grunts and throws her head back as she pulls harder than before. Release.. Though she doesn't listen to that voice. Isa had done it already once tonight. Orange flames that have seeped outside of the building fly from where they lay on the wall and zoom to Isabelle wrapping around her like a friendly pet flaming snake. Others start to follow, slowly.

The sirens are closer than before.

Frightened inspection of her arm is broken off by the sound of creaking and crashing from behind, Squeaks’ head twists around, but in the smoke she can only guess what caused the noise. A quick series of clicks, heard only by her, reveal the cave-in. “We can’t go back,” she calls to them, her head turns back to look at the boy and Silas. Then beyond to a window where flames also leap and climb.

There isn’t time for thinking, and the young teen’s heart hammers against her chest. This was a terrible idea. Her ability triggers again, sporadic squeaks and clicks sent in bursts that she can’t quite control, but all relaying information back to her. If there’s a way out, she’ll find it that way, and call to Silas and the boy the follow.

Lowering his head some to hear the young woman, Jonathan’s brows furrows in concern. Who was Poppy? He had no idea. “Do what we can,” he offers softly as he works to use the scarf to hold itself into place so that he can move her. “But you got to hold on. Hold on for Poppy.” It is a lame attempt to get her to hang on to what life she has left, but then… he’s not a first responder. Jon is going on instinct here.

The building explosion has him throwing himself across her, protecting her. He’d survive an explosion, but not her. Only once he is sure the building wasn’t going to come down, does his sit up again and resume his work, with trembling fingers.

You can do this. You can do this. Jonathan repeats over and over in his head, but in truth is was terrorfied. How he had managed to step in and get to this point, it felt a bit like a dream… and he wasn’t done.

Once the scarf is tied, the man, shifts her into his arm and with a grunt climbs to his feet. He takes a moment to adjust his grip before turning back to the door. For a brief moment, he loses his nerves as he can see the flames licking not far beyond the door. While Jonathan can walk through and come out unharmed, this young woman couldn’t.

Looking down at her bloodied face, Jonathan knew her only hope was to get her out. He’d just have to be careful. So he goes, trying to retrace his steps, keeping himself between her and the flames.

Sahara stands below, eyes widened when the building begins to belch flame. She's less concerned about the glass, attention firmly on the man that's sent back away from the building. A curse bleeds from her under her breath as she surges with the group, trying to cushion the Evo racist's fall. It's a fool's errand to begin with, so she can't help but feel a bit relieved when her arms are among the tangle that brace his falling weight. The crowd sinks in, falling to the ground in a tumble as the man lands on top of them.

As far as she can tell, everyone's alive, so so far … everything according to plan. Even her arms and knees suffering for it is a part of the plan.

"Oh shit," Silas mutters as his pants catch on fire. Quick as thought he reaches out with his ability… and slaps it down on himself, catching that sense of pain and smothering it before he can recognize it. It's not a matter of turning off the pain; he's only delaying it, holding it indefinitely in that moment of shock before the brain really realizes that it should be feeling pain.

But that's fine. Right now he needs a clear head, because another misstep here and he's gonna end up deader than that poor bastard who'd run in here first. 'Stop drop and roll' is not an option here, so he quickly drops to one knee and starts beating at the fire as fast and hard as he can to smother it, clenching his teeth against that horrible feeling of wrongness that gnaws into his leg wherever the flames touch.

Luckily he's able to put the fire out before it spreads beyond his leg; even more luckily, he's still able to walk, though that throbbing sense of shock waiting to become pain is a reminder that there's going to be a price to pay for this later. Whatever. He'll pay it then, but right now the important part is that he's still alive. And the kid's alive too. For now. Gotta keep it that way.

Then… then Squeaks shows up. Silas's eyes widen in shock. What in the actual shit?! he wonders, and for a moment his control slips, the pain of his burns lashing at him. He grimaces. "Jesus, kid," he murmurs; he's impressed despite himself that there's someone out here nearly as dumb as he is. And at such a tender age, too. And here I thought I'd be the one taking gold at this year's Idiot Olympics…

He laughs despite himself, but it swiftly turns into a series of coughs. Shit. Gotta get out of here. It's getting harder and harder to breathe, and what's going through his head right now suggests that he's probably inhaled more smoke than he should.

Squeaks' talk of not being able to go back makes his eyes widen again. "Oh shit," he murmurs. His first impulse is to go check… but he slaps that one down. It's the panicked reaction of a trapped animal, and there's not time for that here. Besides… he still remembers Squeaks in action at New Mexico. Just being at New Mexico indicates a certain degree of competence, and she faced down that lightning monster thing. Might as well trust her judgement; at least that way if he does end up heading out on the slow boat to Bermuda, he'll be in good company.

"Alright, we gotta get outta here," Silas says aloud; it's stating the obvious, sure, but sometimes that helps. If the way back is blocked, next best option is probably a window dive. God. He hopes the windows in this place actually use good old fashioned glass; the cuts will be a pain, but at least it'll be a way out. "Either of you have any ideas?"

The clicks that emit from Squeaks bounce all across the hallway engulfed in flames. The way back was in ruins and the rest of the hall led to the back wall of the apartment which was covered in flames though there's a flicker throughout the hallway and the flames die down but just for a moment. The next second they surge upwards to new heights, the boy wailing in fright as the German Shepherd barks and crowds closer in an effort to protect the young boy from the heat and flames.

The more Squeaks' ability sounds off the closer she gets to overloading with the adrenaline pumping through her veins from the panic and the pain of the situation she's literally crawled herself into. With an audible snap in her ears Squeaks can feel her hearing become muffled as the reigns of her ability become harder to grasp.

Silas's question goes unanswered by the boy and his furry friend as their options of getting out seem to be dwindling to nothing. The back wall of the apartment the most damaged by flames with blackened cracked wallpaper exposing wood along with a noticeable hole in the upper left corner from some unfinished repair with what was plastic tarp. It leads to an alleyway, the window stands there, glass splintered and might be their only hope of getting out alive. A skinny path leads to the wall but the window is blocked by orange flame. That bright crimson light outside seems to pulsate in the alley. It's familiar to Squeaks as she catches it in her panicked gaze reflecting bright flames and the red light alike.


They never learn

They never learn

A sharp crack rips through the air as a space on the wall shudders as cracks spider out and smoke begins to rise. Not the black smoke of the flames coursing through the building but white wisp of smoke that mingles with the black creating a deep gray shade of smoke that fills the room, the cracks sound in time with a flare of red light, an audible thud from the other side of the wall can be heard as something can be seen coming through the wall.

A crackle of red lightning runs across a human shaped space on the wall…


Beyond the point

Of no return

Of no return

The explosion rattles the surface of the roof but Johnathan holds steady over Marigold whose eyes flutter rapidly and her fingers wrap around her arms clinging to him as if this was the answer to her lifeblood leaking out on the floor. When the shaking stops and the older man picks up the wounded woman there's a sharp intake of breath but she's limp again in his arms. His journey through the stairwell earns more burns along his clothes leaving the back of his shirt tattered and soles of his shoes sticky as the process of melting begins.

When it's too late

The damage is done

The damage is done

Marigold's body doesn't receive too many burns as they make their way down and the few that do spring up are easily snuffed out by pats of Jonathan's hands. As they reach the first floor a look over his shoulder would tell him that a section of the second floor had caved in with the weak infrastructure in this section of the Safe Zone. Ahead of him is the exit… also now blocked by flaming debris though a space small enough for a child stands out to him.

The flames all at once seem to flicker and die down revealing outside a bright orange light and what looks like a woman with dark brown hair in front of the entrance a few feet a tight expression on her face as flames fly from the building Johnathan is standing in and wrapping around her in an endless cross loop of bright orange flames. Isabelle sees. Johnathan through the wreckage and her eyes widen in recognition as they find Marigold's near lifeless body in his arms.

The flames surge upwards again a moment later blocking them from each other's view leaving Jonathan trapped again in the hallway with the girl.


Sahara and the group of people who surge together to try to cushion Lewis' fall are rewarded as they are all slammed down into the ground in a tangle of limbs with various cries of pain and shock between them. Sahara feels the bright prick of pain in her wrist as it's bent at a slightly weird angle but Lewis is alive and the man seems to be mostly unharmed except for being winded. A miracle. For him. Scrambling to his feet not caring that he steps on people's faces and limbs in the process his shocked expression finds Isabelle in front of him and he quickly scrambles away as if he himself is in the line of fire.

Lewis doesn't thank anyone, he doesn't even look down. He just runs off with his eyes on Isa climbing over anyone he can to limp down the street in the opposite direction of the fast approaching lights of emergency services. Poppy's eyes widen in shock as it all happens before her and she takes a step back as Lewis gets up to limp away but the man is too focused on the pyrokinetic in front of the them to notice the prettified young woman. "No.. no.. somebody.. somebody get-" her voice cracks and she begins to run forward tears streaming down her face in an effort to chase after the Pure Earther but she's so focused on her pursuit that she doesn't notice the older woman bending over in her path and they collide with the older woman crying out as she falls.

"Get to those pieces of rubble!" Isabelle's voice cuts through the increasing noise of sirens and fire. "There's a man— fucking hurry!" Isabelle's eyes shine as she grimaces and rears back drawing her hands up in a single motion before slamming them down in the air. The flames snuff out completely in the entrance of the apartment building leaving the men not recovering from saving Lewis' life to scramble forward and yank at the debris as fast as they dare because of the heat.

Inside Apartment 106

The human shape that seems to be imprinted on the very wall itself steps through fully into the burning wall revealing a woman of crimson light, on the taller side. Lightning crackles along her whole body as she leaves the wall leaving scorch marks and smoke in her wake. The wall cracks more in larger spaces Silas and Squeaks can see. Long hair floats around her head, a nimbus of crackling crimson energy. Her eyes— her eyes. Her face. Squeaks knows that face anywhere. Silas knows that face but it's older if age could be distinguished from her current form.


Eve Mas stands there in sort of the flesh her expression one of fear as her gaze locks onto Squeaks. Her mouth opens but no sound comes out and an confused expression crosses over Eve's face as she tries to speak again slapping her hands with a loud fizz onto her throat to no avail. The woman bends forward and then leans back before her whole body ripples with what looks like waves coming from the center of Eve. Pale skin creeps over the red cracking energy and in a few moments the pale, naked form of Eve stands there in the flames. Crying out from the pain of the fire on her bare feet. "No time!" She shrieks though she wants to run right up to Squeaks, Silas gets a brief gaze with a flick of her eyes and then the dog and the boy who by this point are just staring in open shock at the sight of a naked woman in his almost destroyed living room. "T-Close your eyes young man!" Apparently there is time.


"Quick quick, Young One. Older Man. Back away, back back back. Three. Thr-NO TIME FOR THAT," she seems to scream the last bit to herself and her hands tighten into fist in front of her as a snap of pain rips through her. "When I explode, Older Man. Run into the wall, it's weak. After I do this, weaker. An escape. A daring one, not a long distance to the ground. It's safe." She stops, "It's not really safe out there but dying here isn't going to be very fun." Backing up Eve holds her sides and makes a shooing motion to the group though there's only so much room in the hallway. "Go home Young One. Gilly already almost lost me." More than once almost permanently this latest time, "Don't let her lose someone else, protect yourself. NO RUNNING INTO FLAMING BUILDING—" Eve's scolding is cut short by the rapid rupture of her molecules causing her to throw her head back and scream as her whole body explodes the force of the explosion rippling through the room but centered on the back wall as it continues to crack from all of the heat of the flames around it and Eve's own energy.

The cloud that is Eve reforms itself again assuming the shape of that hybrid form and slamming her hands against the ruined wall. Further trying to weaken it so that Silas can punch through as necessary.

How is it possible that the man who managed to fall on everybody just runs off after they helped him? The injustice spurs Shaw to pursue. His footsteps are a few behind Poppy, which allows him to spot and avoid that head-on collision with the older woman in the crowd. “I’ll get him!” he calls back after he’s passed Poppy and taken lead in the chase.

Not til he knows he’s close enough does Shaw focus on Lewis’ back. He sends out the invisible signal his ability provides, the power grasping for a shutoff switch of the man’s sense of sight. As long as he can keep him in that range, or at least stagger him long enough to slow Lewis down. Shaw pursues like a linebacker after the man, intent on bringing him down.

"Easy kid, easy! We're gonna get you outta here!" Silas gasps, alarmed as the flames roar and the kid panics. He sucks down a deep breath, managing not to groan as he does so, and gets himself under control, putting on his best, most confident expression. "We're all gonna get outta here. I promise," he says to the boy, his voice confident and calm, full of a certainty he doesn't actually feel. He turns his gaze to Squeaks, then, and lies to her too. "I promise."

Keeping that promise, now… that's gonna be the hard part. He can see a window, gleaming in the inferno's light — a way out, taunting him from beyond the flames. Maybe I can beat a path through them… he thinks. Of course, doing that runs a very high risk of setting him on fire, instead — and he suspects that if he catches on fire again, he's not gonna be able to stop it before he gets some serious burns.

He thinks on it, for almost an entire second… but it's not a hard decision to make. He squares his shoulders and starts to move forward… only to stop in his tracks as things suddenly take a swerve directly into the Twilight Zone.

"Oh fuck," Silas says aloud as he sees another goddamn lightning monster step through the wall. What the actual fuck? What, you thought there was actually a way out so you decided you were gonna fuck that up? he thinks, mind scrabbling desperately to find some way out of this that at least lets the kids survive this.

Then things get weirder as the lightning monster comes into focus, revealing the panicked face of Eve Mas; she's younger than he's used to, but still recognizably Eve, and that's enough to make him hesitate for a moment. Then she fully materializes, and. Whoa. Damn. You could tell that Mad Eve had been a knockout, once upon a time; even with her age, she'd still worn what remained of her beauty like a tattered cloak. This Eve, on the other hand, is not only in her prime but also very, very naked. Under other circumstances it'd be quite distracting; even here and now, in the middle of a legit inferno, it's enough to make Silas blink.

He stares wordlessly as Eve speaks, wondering idly if what he's seeing is some kind of hallucination. If there'd actually been a horrible lightning monster, he'd be quite dead at this point; if he'd been hallucinating, he probably wouldn't come up with anything nearly this weird. So… this is maybe actually happening. And weird-ass naked ex-lightning monster is probably actually this world's Eve.

"I'm… I don't wanna hear you calling me old…" he manages, a half-hearted protest barely loud enough for even Squeaks to hear, let alone Eve.

Whatever. Run into a wall, pray he doesn't bounce back into the fire and die. Not a great plan… but it's definitely an Eve plan, and she's right about the whole 'dying in a fire' thing not being a lot of fun, so… why not? He tenses, watching Eve start to destabilize. He glances to Squeaks and the kid. "I'm gonna hit it. When I start running, follow close."

He turns back, readying himself… then, as Eve explodes, the wall buckles and bends, the flames all around guttering and diminishing for an instant from the force of the blast… and Silas runs. He doesn't leap at the wall; instead, he lowers his shoulder and drives into it like he's trying to spear someone, putting all the force he can behind it…

…and between the fire, Eve literally exploding at it, and a spear he's pretty damn proud of, it feels like the wall pretty much implodes when he hits it. He hadn't been expecting that; he manages to twist and roll as he flies out the other side, but he still hits hard on his shoulder. He feels as much as hears it go out of place with a pop that should be the precursor to some fairly awful pain, but he manages to put the whammy on that before it puts the whammy on him; more fun for him to look forward to later. He'll probably pass out once he has to stop using his ability.

But the air! It's like actual normal air out here instead of like breathing boiling maple syrup that got run through a muffler. He sucks down a blessedly deep breath, the another, before using his good arm to pull the scarf down from his mouth and nose as he drags himself up into a crouch. "Come on! Time to go!" he calls, back into the inferno.

The flame lick across his back, his skin prickling where it touches; but Jonathan ignores it and the growing anxiety. As debris falls around them, he flinches and curls his shoulders as if he could protect her more. His lungs are tired and his chest muscles sore from all the coughing he’s doing as he travels through the burning structure. It’s awkward, but the closer he gets to the exit, the more relief he feels. That feeling dies as the teacher sees the burning debris in his path and no place else to go.

A flutter of fear goes through Jonathan as he looks up, watching the fire crawl across the ceiling. It wouldn’t last long. Their best bet was through the door. If it was only him, he’d go through the flames, but he wasn’t. Panic starts to set in about the time the flames start to die. “Thank goodness.” He tries to say, but ends up coughing against the black smoke.

Feeling a touch lightheaded, Jonathan wonders if he is seeing things beyond the smoldering. The flaming woman doesn’t really seem real as he takes those first steps forward to kick at the debris. However… the flames flare up, worse than ever. “Help!” He calls out as he is forced take a few stumbling steps back. “Help!” he croaks out again when a flaming piece of the ceiling crashes down near him. He can even feel the frames of his glasses finally starting to warp against this heat. The councilman was going to need new ones.

Hands fly up to her ears and her eyes squeeze shut for the space of a heartbeat. It blocks out the mess of information that are bouncing back in that short time, but it doesn’t completely stop the erratic bursts of clicks and squeaks. Her eyes come open again to find the crimson flashing, the lightning. She’s seen it before, in the ruins. But what is it doing here?

Fear propels her backward, away from the familiar being, and her eyes remain locked on the cloud taking on human shape. The dead birds being flung from the cloud are still a fresh memory, and now they’re trapped with…

“Aunt Eve?” Her tone is pure disbelief. It can’t be for reals, because something happened in New Mexico and Eve was just gone. It was just a red human shaped cloud. Like the one that turned into the former seer. “Aunt Eve!?” The teenager’s tone is a more desperate, pleading cry. People just don’t come back from being dead. It’s an effort to keep her distance as instructed, one hand escapes her side to reach for woman.

Her arms fly up to shield her face just as the woman explodes, and she’s slow to lower them again. She finds herself staring at the reformed human-like shape, eyes wide with fear and timid hope and so many questions. Squeaks only partly registering Silas’ break through the wall. It’s his call, and a loud snap and pop close to her that reminds the girl to go. She grabs the smaller kid under the arms as she darts toward him, and passes him down to Silas.

“Come on,” is yelled at the dog just as she jumps out of the building. Her landing is rough, feet hitting first and then momentum carries her onto her hands and knees. Squeaks’ elbows bend and her head dips to rest on the ground. A breath of clean air is sucked in and released in hard, hacking coughs as her body works to replace the bad air with good.

Sahara's determination in her followthrough doesn't prevent her from crying out when her arm bends under the force Erin Lewis carries with him from his fall. "You're okay, you're okay," she stammers to both him and herself, touching her forearm. She bent, but she didn't break.

Her eyes widen when he immediately takes off. She'd leave it, but well… He's being chased after. And hell, the man after him took off from the side of the woman who was trying to suck the fire out of the building with her bare arms.

If that didn't mark what side he stood on, she didn't know what did.

"Shit," Sahara breathes out as she pushes herself to her feet with her good arm. She takes off after Shaw, trusting him to lead her the right way. And if not, all the better — it means the Pure Earther got away.

She says nothing in her pursuit, just runs as fast as she can to keep up.

First goes

Beyond me

Beyond you

Shahid's efforts of pursuing the bigot pay off as he slices his connection to sight off and Lewis stops with unseeing eyes widening. "What the fu—" down he goes in a tangle of limbs as Shaw tackles the man. Lewis' head hits the ground with a loud crack and he lays there dazed. When his eyes look up it's to the bright light of a emergency services vehicle bearing down on them.

Sahara's pursuit is rewarded with the sight of a fellow racist being knocked down and the authorities arriving before she can lend assistance. Her eyes catch a flare of orange light and the blonde's head turn for her gaze to land Isabelle.

A white room

By a window

Where the sun comes


he dark haired woman is now engulfed in flames, her head thrown back as she continues to pull at the flames with her mind which flail and whip in the air as they soar to add to the large mass of flames in front of the building. The group of people helping barely have enough time to move the debris and help Jonathan and Marigold out before everyone is backing away from what seems to be the actual source of the flames. As Silas, Squeaks, the little boy and his faithful dog run out of the alleyway coughing up smoke, Silas is struck by the sight of his friend on fire though that isn't so out of ordinary. The dark grin that plays across her face is something new.

Something only Shahid has seen.

We are

Just happy to serve you

A man claiming to be a nurse comes to inspect Marigold, placing a finger on her pulse and leaning in as if straining before he shakes his head up at the councilman who just attempted to save her life. She was gone. Her brown eyes stare up lifelessly at him, he already knows he'll see her in his nightmares.

Isabelle's grin becomes the only thing visible behind the sphere of flames engulfing her, the white of her teeth shining as her arms move and twist and pull, the air in the surrounding area rising to a stifling heat making it harder to breathe the closer you are. A scream begins to tear itself from her throat, the sound intermingling with the roar of the flames all rippling through the night sky.

Behind Squeaks as the girl turns to look for her aunt, she sees the crimson crackling figure of Eve standing there in the alley a ways back. Her expression hard to discern from this distance but she doesn't walk forward closer instead she shakes her head and points in the direction that she knows to be the way to home. A light wiggle of her fingers that buzz with energy and she's backing away until she fades into a nearby building, scorching and leaving black streaks across the outer wall.

Just happy to serve

There's a loud sound of the air being sucked in around Isabelle before a loud FROOM and the large sphere of fire is hurtling upwards to the sky above the buildings, taking all of the fire from the now ruined building with it. Bright orange light fills the street and surrounding neighborhood as the large fireball flies into the sky and expands across the skyline with a flash and rumbling that seems to shake the world above them.

As the flames above crackle and fizzle into nothing just leaving a large cloud of smoke that drifts and begins to be taken by the wind the crowd of people look down, in search of the woman bathed in fire. The woman some say looked like she enjoyed the flames but not in a healthy way.

She was gone.

As was Shahid and when the authorities finally screech to a stop in front of the wreckage and tragedy before them all they find is a smoking badly burned building surrounded by panicked people and a young woman shrieking into the air as she mourns her lost friend.


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