Quietus I


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Scene Title Quietus I
Synopsis A handful of the Ferry's leadership sets its evacuation plans into motion.
Date December 19, 2011

Pollepel Island, Bannerman's Castle

It’s snowing.

Not in the postcard-perfect sense. Sleet and hail pound the island with enough force to break brittle branches and churn mud. It slams against the battlements and cascades over the walls in a ceaseless torrent. What doesn’t pool in the courtyard runs off into the drainage system, which feeds the swollen river far below.

The forcefield protecting the Ferrymen from the military forces on the other side of the water has been down for only a few minutes, but in that time both Heller and the Ferry’s Special Activities division have set their own plans into motion. Beneath the roaring wind and splashing sleet, those assembled in the castle’s courtyard can hear the distant sound of tanks as they rumble to life.

Floodlights blink on one at a time down the length of the river. The only reason Heller hasn’t crossed it yet is because he must still be trying to determine how. While the surface appears frozen, the current running beneath the ice is strong enough to cause it to groan and shift. This is an assessment that the Ferry will need to make as well — and soon. Certain areas might be crossable by foot; others too treacherous to be navigated by anything other than the boats moored at the docks.

Although most of the island’s inhabitants are still blissfully unaware of the situation, there are already operatives going door-to-door, waking families and scrambling to help pack the remnants of their lives into whatever bags they can carry under their arms or on their backs.

There are more reasons to panic than there are to stay calm, but aside from the initial crackle of gunfire that came from within the castle itself, the only signs that something terrible is about to befall the island are the sort that a handful of people know to look for.

It’s en route to get Avi on Eileen’s orders that Nick becomes quickly, violently aware that the odd quiet that had shrouded the castle has ceased. The sudden sound of weather battering against the castle’s walls, when there has been none, is enough to alert his ears and mind what the emergency is — how Eileen had known before sending him on the errand is only obliquely wondered at as he moves through the castle. The woman, his sister, has spies in various places — rafters and trees and eaves, places too small for many to notice the watchful eyes of tiny birds.

Nick’s rushing feet bring him to Epstein’s room and he pounds on the door, wondering how many knocks it will take to wake the man out of a bourbon haze. “Epstein! Emergency!” he shouts through the door, a nervous hand raking through his hair as he glances down the hall at some flurry of activity. “Gotta get to the courtyard.”

There’s a gun pointed at Nick when he finally focuses on Epstein. Not a handgun, not a rifle, something from Raith’s armory. The M60 belt-fed assault rifle is something Avi and Raith both feel is a third brother-in-law to them. A surly, violent brother-in-law who only visits when something’s wrong. But there’s Avi, with a belt of ammunition slung over his shoulder, a mostly undamaged armored vest strapped over his chest, and his eyepatch replacing his usual dark sunglasses.

“Here,” Avi intones, underhanded throwing a belt of grenades in Nick’s direction. With that, the battered old soldier limps across the room, leveling the heavy rifle on his other shoulder, cigarette flicking around to one corner of his mouth. “You might wanna find something to plug your ears with,” Avi adds as he hobbles out the door, a makeshift brace around his right leg. “My friend here is a screamer.”

For all his bravado, Avi Epstein is a broken old man. He can barely walk, barely hold up his gun, but in the handful of minutes since the forcefield went down, he threw himself back into the war zone. In the back of his mind, he never left. “Come on!” He hollars, as if Nick is the slower one in this comparison.

Barbara had been looking out a window, trying to formulate a plan for what their next steps might be. She hadn't seen the dome itself come down. What she had noticed was the sudden sound of snow and sleet battering against the side of Bannerman's Castle, drawing her up from the collected notes from her meeting with Elaine Darrow over two weeks ago.

So much for next steps.

She hadn't wasted time, simply shoved essentials into a bag and booked it to their appointed meeting place. She knew this would happen eventually. It was inevitable, unfortunately. She had thought they had more time, though. As much as she had learned to be more pragmatic in her time leading Thompson and the Ferry in New York, a bit of optimism still resided in her. It just always picked inopportune times to come out.

She doesn't sprint. She knows she needs to conserve as much energy as she can. Time is short, but there was little different between dying now, in the courtyard, or dying running away from the soldiers. She simply moves with a brisk, determined pace as she approaches the courtyard, a look on her face as frozen as the river around the island and a pistol gripped tight in gloved hands.

Dropping the new guard rotation sheets on the table in front of him, lit only by a battery powered lantern, Ryans rubs finger and thumb across tired eyes. He should have been in bed a bit ago, but had not been able to quiet his mind. Tensions were high and something was going to snap, he felt it in his bones.

What was that?

His hand drops away as the world goes from calm to chaotic, just outside his room. The shutters on his window rattle as if is suddenly moved by a gust of wind, and the old man finds himself on his feet. He knows what that means. “Son of a bitch.” He murmurs, snagging his coat on the way out the door. It was time.

He doesn’t even try to move quietly, boot heels strike loudly on the stone floors as he hurries down the corridor. Stopping at the first door, he bangs on it loudly, getting a grumbled response within. When answered, Benjamin orders the young rumpled Richards to get others of the Special Activities teams up and prepare for further instructions shortly. The former agent leave the guy blinking at his back, at least until he too, notices the wind.

Ben won’t stop again, until he is outside in the cold and wet weather of the courtyard.

While not part of Special Activities, Gillian had been walking on the island thinking about something that she’s long since forgotten when she got drenched by the downpour of sleet. As she had helped put up the forcefield, she knew that, now, it was down. And that was a terrible, terrible thing. She started running back toward the rooms that people stayed in as soon as she realized, planning to wake up Jolene and make sure she at least got to safety.

She doesn’t make it all the way there when she comes upon the ones who have made it to the courtyard already. “What happened? Why is the field down?” She asks, looking around as if they could possibly know the answer. With her dark hair plastered against her head, she looks cold, grateful that she had worn one of bigger leather coats when she went on her walk.

Looking around, she checks for Lene, but doesn’t see her. Part of her wants to keep going, to find her future displaced daughter, but… “Is there anything I can do to help?” They might need all the firepower they can get in a few minutes. And that’s what she is.

Power for the fires.

The next phantom that enters the courtyard promises no kind of firepower, not while everyone involved is awake. Benji Foster, better known now as just Benji, folds her arms against the onslaught of cold coming down, feet cautious on wet flagstone, bright eyes darting from face to face in a restless zigzag. The winter coat of black she tends to wear doesn't seem thick enough against real winter, only rainy days.

She isn't a part of Ferry Special Activities, nor is she part of the leadership, and it's probably questionable as to whether she is a part of Ferry at all: and yet here she is. No guns, no superpowers, and for once, no information.

The sky looks very different, now. Where once there had been a frosty film settled atop the field, giving off a light blue glow on contact against the black sky, now it's only the flurry of ice descending from darkness. When she hears more people arrive, she turns to look, anxious and apparently dissatisfied with everyone who emerges from the castle, save for Nick. But even then.

"Is this—"

She stammers it out, but can't quite say it. Evacuation wasn't meant to happen.

A wall of wind slams into Nick and Avi as they arrive at the courtyard last, kicking up a slurry of ice and mud. It billows their sleeves, numbs their noses and ears, and forces their eyes to involuntarily squint against the weather’s assault.

The floodlights on the other side of the river cast strange, macabre shadows and make the figures gathered there stand out against the stark brick backdrop. Barbara, Ryans, Gillian, and Benji are recognizable not only by their clothes, but by their faces’ familiar features, which are exaggerated to the point of caricature by that bright and ominous glow.

Of the Council, Lynette, Grace, and Joseph are missing. It’s a safe assumption that they are among the shadows passing through the corridors upstairs, lanterns in hand, hastening others along with soft but urgent voices that are simultaneously quick and heavy with authority.

Eileen might be included in this scenario too, except that an explosion of glass from the third floor cuts off whatever Benji was about to say after “Is this—

Crows descend from the shelter of the battlements and dense island trees in a surge of black wings and flashing claws. They grasp at the shape expelled from the empty space where the window used to be, tearing at skin, hair, and silk in attempt to stop or at least slow its fall. Gravity, however, proves to be stronger than the combined efforts of the small flock. It breaks apart, scattering into the wind when the body its members had been trying to hold aloft crashes unceremoniously into the mud below.

Fine shards of glass rain down after. Some tinkle against stone. Others are swallowed up by the dark and do not so much as glitter where they land.

Despite Avi’s telling Nick to hurry, it’s the younger man who leads the way into the courtyard, a hand futilely pushing the freezing water off his face as he squints against both cold and glare, taking a moment to count the heads of who’s there, who they’re waiting on, a moment to look at each figure to see that his sister is not yet among them. His gaze alights on Benji, blue meeting blue, and he too looks about to speak when the shattering of glass throws everything into a nightmarescape that’s all too real.

He stares, with horror at the falling form — familiar in an instant, less than a heartbeat — and the rush of birds, a murder of crows, ironically, trying to save a life. Eileen’s life.


The man rushes forward, booted feet slipping in mud and crunching on glass as he falls to his knees beside the woman, his hands shaking, not touching her, as he tries to make sense of the damage to her flesh and bones. “Who-”

Nick looks up to the window, brows fiercely knitting together, as if he expects the traitor to stay there, looking out at the damage he or she has wrought.

For a solid moment Avi is frozen in place. No one else is around him, not Barbara, Gillian, Ryans, Benji, or Nick. Not Heller’s men, not the castle walls, not the fleeing Ferrymen. Just the twisted body of Eileen Ruskin laying in the mud. He lurches, just for a moment, as a knot of panic swells in his chest. After Cambridge, after Madagascar, after a lifetime of this it never gets easier.

Ruskin!” Avi shouts, hobbling across the courtyard, “get her up. We've got hostile inside the castle perimeter. Heller’s men aren't going to wait much longer and once those tanks are in position they're gonna start the bombardment. I need you and her at the docks, now. Get her to Megan, get them the fuck out of here.”

Childs!” Avi spins around, slowly, “Find your siege weapon of a daughter and get everyone to the boats. Get as many evolved around her as possible, she's the only artillery we have to break anything Heller has up river!”

Hobbling over to Ryans, Avi is quieter. “Ben, take Barbara and find Grace. Get as many people loaded into the boats and you fucking wait for me.” Then, as he looks over to Eileen he adds. “If all hell goes loose though just— get as many people out as you can.”

“Kid!” Avi hobbles over to Benji, whose name he can't remember, making a you'll do face as he unholsters his sidearm and turns it around, offering it handle out to Benji. “You're coming with me, we've got people locked up downstairs. S’about time you trespassers start pullin’ weight.”

Avi’s cyclopean stare sweeps around everyone, and he tries to steady his one shaking hand. Did any of that make sense? Are they going to listen? Should they? He swallows, dryly. Just keep moving you old piece of shit.

Barbara is scanning the gathered crowd for anyone else making their way to join them - Lynette, Grace, anyone really. "Do we have a cryokinetic on the island?" She practically shouts the words, eyes narrow as she watches Benji approach. "Someone who can use the ice and snow, slow down the soldiers?" Particularly if they have Gillian's help, or that of her daughter. Barriers, ice walls, protective shells, anything-

The thought is interrupted by the sudden crash of glass, a murder of crows seeming to flock together from nowhere. Barbara is smart enough to know what that tends to means, and it leaves her wide eyed and paralysed. The moment feels like an eternity as _Avi_ barks out orders and Nick rushes over to the fallen councilwoman. Nick seems to have it covered, but- A glance is offered up to the shattered window.

A deep frown forms on her face.

"I don't know that we have time for Megan," she says in a low, almost frightened voice as she approaches Avi. A glance over to Ryans. "We need to get people moving. Now." She hopes that that includes Eileen, though she doesn't quite voice it.

Turning fully to Ryans, she motions out to the river. "We'll need something to handle the river. I'm sure someone in our swiss army knife of an island can make way for us." Be it Jolene or someone else. There aren't enough ice skates in the world for them all to cross a frozen river, and that's assuming it would even support their weight.

Much like everyone else, when the shattering of glass is heard over the lashing storm, Ryans looks up in time to witness the descent of Eileen. Though who it is does not register right away, it is like his mind goes numb to what he sees. Then it clicks, “No.” Disbelief. A glance back up at where she fell from.

Then there is Avi, shaking him out of that moment of shock.

He doesn’t say anything, Benjamin doesn’t trust his voice at that very moment. He only reaches up to grip Avi’s shoulder with his hand, and gives a firm nod. A light push on the other man’s shoulder tells him to go do what he needs to, he’s got it.

It is only when Barbara speaks to him that Ryans finds his voice, “I’ve got the men mobilizing inside, use them as you will. I’ll work on getting the boats ready to move.” He looks towards the other side of the river. “You find Huruma send her my way.” He could use the back up. “If you know someone who can break up that ice, send them my way.” He glances at Eileen again, a brief pained look on his face. “Just don’t take too long, the time is ticking.”

Where’s Eileen?

Ironically that is exactly what Gillian is thinking when she hears the window blow out. She wants to scream, but it catches in her throat as the birds appear, as they try to slow her down. As she hits the muddy ground. Like so many others, she runs over to her, kneeling down beside the man she doesn’t really know, and looking down at Eileen as the man she only recently began to stand starts giving orders.

Find her daughter. Oh, oh she wants to. She wants to very much.

“I can’t go get Lene— Eileen had a plan for when the forcefield went down,” she suddenly says, through the sleet. The two of them had discussed it. They had agreed. But the idea was for when the forcefield had to come down. Cause eventually, it would have to. “Eileen? Are you still able to do that? Can we cover their escape?”

Is she even able to move?

Benji is still and silent, aghast at the sight of Eileen's small figure plummeting, landing, the tornado of birds that follows. An evacuation was never meant to happen, and neither was this. Ghost-white, she is barely responsive when Avi approaches her, and shoves the gun into her hands — which, by instinct, whatever training she's done in her life as a matter of course, she holds with competence.


She's been given an order, and it lodges itself in her comprehension. Perhaps, on a delay, she will follow it. For now, Benji moves at a run through the urgent conversation with all the care of breaking through spiderwebs, fragile and distracting, and lands heavily at the other side of Eileen. The gun in her hand is dropped at her side, and she is less shy about putting her hands out, touching Eileen's face, lifting her head up off the hard ground.

"Eily?" isn't anything she's ever called Eileen since arriving, but it slips out, panicky and hoarse and small. "Oh, god, fuck—"

When Avi looks back on this, he’ll have to chalk his order to extract Eileen up to optimism; Nick’s closer examination of the body in the mud reveals even more damage than a fall from that height would inflict on someone of his sister’s size and build. The silk slip he last saw her in has turned from a shade of pale rose to black where the fabric is saturated with blood pumping from a neat puncture wound beneath her left breast.

Her knuckles are white and stiff, curled tight around the wolf’s head sword in her dominant hand. The other splays against the ground, mud bubbling up between her fingers as she tries to right herself, but her strength is leaving her as quickly as her blood is.

She isn’t going to make it to Megan. Avi can forget about the docks.

Eileen lets her head loll against Benji’s shoulder. The warmth of her niece’s body is a welcome relief from the cold, hard, heavy ground. She mumbles something thick through the wetness filling her mouth that only the other woman can hear and presses the blade into her hands.

It’s going to be all right.

In her psychic periphery, somewhere beyond the immediate bird noise, she feels a presence that causes her body to relax again on her next exhale, which is audibly thinner than the one that came before it.

She’s glad Nick and Benji are with her, but the person she wants to see the most is also close by. Good news for Eileen. Bad news for everyone else.

Relieved of Kazimir’s weapon, she reaches for Gillian in the closest thing she’s going to get to a yes.

Avi’s words are ignored as Nick stares at his sister; his blue eyes swim with tears and he shakes his head, as if he could shake away the nightmare he’s in, will himself to wake up. The head shake is also a silent answer to the tacit question no one dares speak. He doesn’t say it, but it’s clear he knows that Eileen isn’t going to live past this moment. That she isn’t leaving this island with any of them.

Once she’s given the blade to Benji, Nick’s hand seeks Eileen’s free one, to cover it for a moment, gently, almost questioningly, then turning his beneath hers, so she can choose to grasp it or not in these final moments.

He throws a questioning look to Gillian, then back to Eileen. “She can’t-” he begins, not savvy to their plan. His head shakes again. “How can she cover us?” His voice is soft, disbelieving.

When he turns to look at the others, he looks lost. Younger than he is, younger than he’s looked for years, despite his youth. “Just go.” His words are rough, strained. “I’ll stay with her. She shouldn’t be alone. I can’t leave her he-”

The word cracks and he reaches for Benji, then, his hand clumsily moving to the side of her face, gloved fingers tangling in her hair.

“Tell your mum I’m sorry. She’d understand. You should go,” he whispers.

To Eileen, he simply whispers, “I’m here.” He’s already said he’s sorry. So many times.

Avi is no better off than Nick. Wit's Benji crumpled by Eileen’s side, with Nick refusing to budge, Avi’s jaw sets and his hands begin to tremble. Now it's Jensen standing over the corpses of his wife and daughter. It's the conveyor belt hauling dead babies into an incinerator in Mandritsara. It's the village in Panama during Operation Just Cause in 89. He's crying but he doesn't realize it.

Nick,” is a helpless mumble from Avi. The mind of half-controlled mumble scream that someone suffering from sleep paralysis might make. He can't get his mouth to move, can't get his voice to raise. All he can do is stand there and stare, jaw trembling, rocking back and forth at the waist as melting sleet clings to him.

Barbara stares back, motionless. Stunned. What's happened is settling in, the handing off of Eileen's wolk headed cane speaking volumes even without knowing the history behind it. She can tell she was right - there was no time in fetching Megan. No point.


Her voice is low, quiet. Disbelieving, as she sees Eileen, hears Nick and Avi. She swallows loudly, not looking back to Ryans as she speaks to him. "Ben. Go, get people moving." She falls silent for a moment, hand tightening on the grip of her pistol. "I'll be right behind you."

All the energy she had made sure to save getting there has fled her body, and now she needs a moment to draw it back up so that she can get moving too.

With all the emotions about him, and even through him, Ryans has retreated into himself emotionally. This means he is stoney and silent, cold wet rainwater sliding down his features. His head only nods a little to her words. He would.

It only takes a single stride of long legs for him to move alongside the huddled group and crouch, pop of knees barely heard against the storm. He reaches out to lightly touch Eileen’s arm, “I’m sorry.” To who or for what is unclear, but the words carry rare emotions. It is just the briefest of contact, before his hand shifts to rest on the shoulder of the young man who was in a sense his grandchild.

Still Benjamin doesn’t say a word, he shouldn’t have to, if Benji is a Ryans she’ll understand the comforting gesture from the patriarch. Fingers tightening a little, a brief pressure.

It is a momentary gesture, but then Ryans is on his feet again, moving to catch Avi’s attention - blocking the view of the crumpled body. He tries to pull the other man out of… wherever he was mentally. “Epstein,” the name is said as roughly as Ben felt. “Lets go.” He’ll attempt to guild the other man towards the castle. “Times ticking and I need your help.”

At the offer of a hand, Gillian bends down at Eileen’s side, looking at Nick as he speaks. She doesn’t know him well, other than that someone once called him ‘the other Ruskin’ and that he helped get the kids up to Canada— but she can understand his worry, his pain. She lost her sister. She watched one of the Brian’s, who had been a distinctly different person, die. She also knows a piece of her died somewhere.

“She won’t be alone. I’ll stay with her as long as I can,” she says, trying to give him a reason to leave, to do his job. But she doesn’t know him enough to force him to, doesn’t know him enough to make him go. So she’ll just say that. She’ll stay with her as long as she possibly can.

Hazel eyes start to glow in the rain and darkness, a violet color. The limbus surrounds her hand, starts to slide down Eileen’s hand and arm. Gillian’s power doesn’t heal, but it finds that knot of energy inside everyone… and connects it to hers. A transfer of energy.

To EIleen, who already should know what they are going to do, she adds, “Send one of the birds to him. You should be with him too.” Him. Not Nick, but… someone they both know. Someone who died on them. Someone the former Librarian once loved, and someone she knows loves the woman lying there in the dark.

With the wolfhead hilt pressed into Benji's numb fingers, it feels as real and as intrusive as ice on bare skin, while everything else — the sleet coming down, the words of those standing near, Benjamin Ryans' formidable presence — may as well be coming through water, muted and warped, even less comprehensible than Eileen's quiet, bloodied murmur. The compulsion to remain unmoving is a strong one, to lay down next to her on the cold concrete, and say all the things she's been too afraid to say up until this moment.

She starts just a little as Nick reaches across, watery focus snapping to him, hardly comprehending, more taken by gesture than the sentiment being conveyed. She reaches up and covers gloved knuckles with her palm, twitching a look back towards Ryans, and then finally to Gillian. Terrible understanding. Looking down to Eileen once more, she shakes her head, a twitched movement of regret. "I always wanted to be like you," she says, quiet. It sounds like nothing, to her, now that it's in words. Meaningless.

She shifts backwards on her knees, untangling herself, blinking rapidly, open vulnerability frosting over. The blade she's holding scrapes clumsily on concrete as she gets up, taking the pistol with her, and moving towards the hulking figure of Avi.

"Mr— Mr Epstein?" Benji says, first two syllables coming out voiceless, before she tries again. "The cellar?"

Eileen’s eyelids succumb first. The rest of her body follows as the tension leaves her long, bare limbs and the slender curve of her neck. She captures Nick’s hand in a fierce squeeze, then abruptly allows the energy to drain from her fingers, siphoning everything that she has left into the catalyst Gillian has ignited at her center.

Her consciousness disseminates into the crows crowding the courtyard, and under the influence of Gillian’s ability, reflects off the minds of the people left there. All at once, the bruised floral notes of her perfume cut with cigarette smoke are blossoming open in Avi’s nostrils. Benji will feel the familiar sensation of her aunt’s hands against the small of her back and the heat of Eileen’s breath in her ear. Something in the wind shifts and the thought that you are like me imposes itself there.

Eileen’s voice is in Barbara’s and Ryans’ heads, then, sounding very far away in spite of the trick their minds are playing on them, because they can sense her right there next to them like one lover feels another’s proximity in the dark. Please take care of him.

Nick, she means.

Deep in the woods on the other side of the river, another storm is gathering as dark shapes flutter to life in the trees like the memory of summertime leaves. Every bird for ten miles is waking up and opening their eyes at the same time Eileen is closing hers for the last time. One screaming crow’s voice multiplies into a hundred, into a thousand, into ten thousand — into more.

Heller’s floodlights flicker and wink as wings pass over their lamps. The moon ebbs.

I won’t be able to control it, is the last thought she leaves them with. Run.

Realization of what she means to do dawns on Nick slowly, just about at the same time Eileen squeezes his hand, and mere seconds before the darkness comes to life in feather and wing. He looks up, tearful eyes lifting to the dark clouds above, in a moment that might be the most desperate of prayers. When he looks back down, he sees Eileen’s eyes close, and he gasps, a ragged sob, before gently placing her slack hand lightly on her broken form.

He stands, then, an abrupt and violent action, broken glass falling from his knees, the denim there dark with mud and blood. One hand grips Benji’s shoulder, and he too moves to whisper into her ear, his forehead bumping in something like affection, love, against her temple. “Be careful.” The words are laden with so much more, but he can barely speak.

Nick glances at Ryans then Avi and clears his throat. “Don’t let it be in vain. Let’s move,” he says tersely, before he strides off to do what was asked of him.

Avi doesn’t move, not when Barbara calls back to him, not when Ryans tries to coax him to move, not when Benji pleads, not when Nick uses reason. Avi stares down at Eileen’s body, jaw trembling, hands clenched around that useless gun in his hands. He stares vacantly where she lay, vision swimming, blood pulsing in his ears so hard he can barely hear the others’ voices. The smell is what did it, the idea of her, the person she could be winding up like so many of the other people in his life. Just meat.

He doesn’t say anything, doesn’t check to see if Benji picked up her gun, doesn’t notice the cane in her hands either. Instead he turns, reaches down to the rifle and racks the belted ammunition into place, teeth clenched so tightly he’s biting into the sides of his cheeks, pinking his lips with blood. He marches in the direction of the basement, shoulders shaking, unable to process anything other than psychotic rage. It just hasn’t found an outlet yet.

Barbara stares for a moment longer, swallowing and then giving a shallow nod. Eileen's already closed her eyes, she can't see it. But maybe, in a brief moment through one of her birds, she can. That moment feels like it borders on an eternity, her free hand curling into a tight first, knuckles white and popping as her fingernails dig into her palm. Goodbye, is a distant thought - she's only truly known Eileen and worked with her for a year, but it had been a year of learning and improvement.

Her eyes close, and in an instant she summons up everything she can.

"Benji, with Avi. Get the people from below. We don't have long, move!" She turns to Ryans."B-Ben, with… with me. We gotta get people moving now." Her voice is shaking, but as the only living councilwoman among them, she's trying her best to take charge. "Gillian- I-" She takes a deep breath. "Find me someone to clear the ice, and then see what you can do about helping hold off what's coming."

She turns to Nick, and her expression falls. Take care of him. She thinks for a moment, and then motions over to Ryans. "Go with Ben, Nick. Be quick, time is short." For so many reasons now. "And for the love of God, don't get shot."

She casts another look towards the dock. "I'll see what I can do about getting the boats ready."

Another look back to Eileen, and then her eyes are peeled away as quickly as she manage. "Go!"

With his back to the scene, Ryans doesn't see what happens, but he feels that presence and somehow knows. His breath catches at that familiar voice in his head - faint as it may be. You never get used to it.

She knows he will. Ben feels he owes her that much.

Unable to help himself, he starts to turn to look back at Eileen, only to stop as he notices the shadows cutting across the lights. It draws his gaze across the water. The former Company man can't help but be impressed and a little hopeful that maybe Eileen can get some revenge for everyone lost. The warning echoes through his skull.

Yup, time to go.

If he has to, he will physically propel Nick in front of him into the castle. “My team should be up by now.” It was time to get this operation started. “Go.” He echos Barbara, footsteps quickening to his task and taking the young Ruskin with him.

Still holding the hand, Gillian closes her eyes as well, feeling that remnant of energy flowing within her. The glow pulses, then fades. “I hope you know I considered you a friend,” she mutters quietly. Words she knows probably will not be heard, but something she needed to say, either way. When Barbara gives her instruction, she nods her head, her only real answer that she will do what she can.

But she also wants to stay with Eileen for a minute. She doesn’t have much power left, so she wouldn’t be of much use in helping anymore— not unless she could recharge. So instead she’ll just hold onto Eileen’s hand. For a time. “I’ll be right behind you. Go. Get as many people off the island as possible.”

They knew the island was in danger, ever since Eve’s dream. They would do what they needed to do.

They always did.

Benji's vision blurs all the more as Nick reaches for her, nodding in inane reassurance. Nothing about anything that's happening right now permits for caution, but it doesn't matter. "You too," she says, more or less a whisper.

And then she's turning, and running after Epstein, half-blind not only from the moment but also the driving sleet. Pressing on, even if the idea of abject failure seems to be clawing its way from the inside of her chest. Her hands are unfeeling, gripping sword and pistol, feet unfeeling in boots that have already soaked up the icy cold, but she spurs herself on. Rue is in the basement. Calvin is in the basement. Onto the next task.

She doesn't look back.

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