Red Hands


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Scene Title Red Hands
Synopsis Humanis First look for who's to blame by way of public execution, but who has bloody hands— may not surprise you remotely.
Date February 19, 2011

Upon the Queensboro Bridge

They started chanting when they got all the Evolved on their knees — human. is. first. — and it echoes down towards Roosevelt Island, the blackened wreckage of the terrorist attacks a week ago. Those who remain on the island might peer up at what they can only sort of see of what goes on on Queensboro Bridge. The noise of male voices in unison fills the air, the thump of feet on asphalt in rhythm.

The air is filled with smoke, too.

Fire and smoke run off a car, and the sacrifice being made to the eating flames probably is less about the blackened vehicle and more about the air that the fire devours as it plumes hot and bright upwards, black smoke curling to disperse into the smog that lines the ceiling of the dome. It's hot and bright, and acts as a sort of beacon, a message meant to communicate a more complex dialogue than the one Humanis First wants to produce. But it calls attention, roaring flames in the middle of the Queensboro Bridge. It's Manhattan side is wasted, but between the pillars that set on Roosevelt Island, where it melts into Queens to access by foot or by car, a good two thirds of the multi-laned, layered bridge remains intact.

Abandoned cars spot intermittently down the road, some windows smashed by bored hooligans, some edged towards trying to drive off the bridge and into Queens but wound up stuck in stand-still traffic, forcing people to climb over them, crawl beneath them, hide behind them. Up above, the ice cap that seems to hover eerie, faintly glowing blue, shadows the majority of the noon day sun, hazy to begin with.

More smoke lifts into the air. Technically vapour, and moves different to smoke, disclined to rise, and no wind in the air to shift it around. It's yellow, noxious, lingers in the air in the immediate center of the bridge from the last time the canister expelled the weaponised negation gas.

Melissa is the first amongst the unconscious to come too, slowly. On her stomach, cheek pressed into asphalt, her mouth ungagged — but her hands are bound in zipties at her back, any effects on her person stripped away besides clothing, and even then, the chill of the air and the fumes of the negation has cling to bare arms and her bare feet. The dead don't need shoes.

There maybe five more people in similar situations, all of which driven to their knees to line up along the road — Kincaid's legs kicked out from under him and a strangling hand at his collar to guide his fall, the muzzle of a gun resting snug at the base of his skull from behind. Blood plasters his lower face from where a hard punch in the mouth cut skin against teeth, drying and flaky, and one of his eyes blurs, temple aching. Brennan is planted between the young man and the waking Melissa, knees still smarting from his own harsh introduction to kneeling, wrists caught too tight in plastic.

Eight men in total ring around, armed, although there are those that count amongst their number and allegiance in the scattered crowd drifting for the centre of the bridge, faces grim, dirty, tired and pale. Hungry, too, shown more in their eyes than their bones.

They had to take her gun. That was Melissa's favorite gun, too. Someone's gonna pay for that. She comes to without moving, the unusual position instantly sparking her paranoid side, before she recalls just what happened last time she was conscious.

Well shit.

Slowly she opens her eyes, doing her best to remain still despite the throbbing in her head and the chill on bare skin. She can't help but frown when she spots Brennan, then others being held down. Anger starts to build, making it hard to keep her ability under control, but for now, that's precisely what she does.

Among those who get pressed down toward the ground, Kincaid's unable to see anything besides blurry darkness. Pain flares up his right arm from his hand and wrist, making the damage from the beating seem so minute he can barely feel it in comparison.

The rough handling churns his stomach due to the pain he's spent so much of the last two years supressing. Redness hangs around now blue eyes, bloodshot and swimming with tears he can't really hold back. Pain, smoke, many reasons to have them, as he tries to turn his head to see the others.

A choking sound can be heard from him, and he doesn't manage to turn his head more than an inch. Eyes close and he bites down on his lip, trying to keep his last meal down. The last meal that he ate with one of the very men hungry to see his blood.

Eyes down, do what they ask, the better that one will make it out of the situation alive. In this instance, there's no symbol to indicates that he's MSF and the unspoken 'don't attack them' that comes with it. The other way in fact. The positive, on his registration card does that enough. He's lost feeling in his hands a minute ago, but that's the least of Brennan's worries. Melissa's rousing state, Kincaid's obvious injury and the negation gas that swirls and clings to their clothing and to his skin. So he grits his teeth like Kincaid, stiff jaw and head down, giving them as little a target as possible or any reason to do something drastic to him, over the others.

One individual among the crowd drifts with them, acting like the rest. His card clearly states he's just like the men ringing the individual's on the ground, blood test would back it. Benjamin Ryans moves through the crowd with shoulders slightly hunched, his scruffy appearance and blood stained coat makes him fit into the crowd. Haggard like the rest, is stomach even clenches with the need of food.

His duster is open and loose, it covers what few weapons he's recovered over the last few days. Slowly, Ben works his way closer to the ring of people. What he wouldn't give for more cover then he has. For now, Ryans will have to work with what he has.

Closer, he can spot the man he's been searching for, what he didn't expect was his fellow Shuttle-jacker there as well. Lips press together unhappily. Wonderful. A part of him wants to act, when he sees the condition of the people on the ground, but he stays himself. Waiting for the right time.

Brand is skulking. As long as he doesn't attract too much attention he is for all intents and purposes invisible, wrapped firmly in the cloak of his Ability. He's carrying his most precious cargo with him, concealed under a bit of wrap to avoid attracting attention. Guns will draw the eye, rifles, a pistol - one of each for him, and 3 for the people he's intending to rescue. The trouble is of course that slashing the zip-ties with a knife will attract perhaps a bit too much attention. Maybe he could slip a pocketknife to one of the least guarded prisoners? He circles, moving closer and closer to scope out the scene better.

Warmth spills off the flaming car, a backdrop on the Manhattan-side, with no wind in the air to spill the blackened smoke towards the crowd that begins to gather from Queens, having heard the word of some sort of demonstration, some sort of effort to manhandle whoever or whatever is behind the Dome to let up. "This one looks half-done," is easy commentary, and Kincaid doesn't really have much ability to know that this is directed at him, distracted as he is with the pain. The one he can't block out.

Yellow vapour settles its juices in droplets and beads in hair, on skin, makes the collar of Brennan's shirt cling to the back of his neck and settles like lead in Melissa's shoulders when consciousness brings about the knowledge that she doesn't have to control anything. It's already been taken from her, from the taste of it in the air.

"You're probably wondering what we want from you," barks a voice.

He addresses the captured, without addressing them at all. His voice projects clear to the crowd on the Queensboro Bridge, as insidious as the creeping tendrils of negation gas that settles on the fringes of the display, still leaking from the canister lying discarded on the asphalt. "And the answer is nothing. Not a fucking thing, except to burn. Ever since the first mutant freak scorched New York City in nuclear fire, all you people have done for us is bring pain and destruction to the world.

"So much for superheroes."

That gets a chuckle, one that ripples grimly through the crowd around Brand and Ryans. The man making his speech sets himself apart by drifting towards the crowd, a rifle in his hands, drawn up to height. JJ might have recognised his voice, had the FRONTLINE soldier been here to match voice to vision — a man in his thirties, dark hair, dark eyes, and a tattoo of a crucifix on his throat. "If the shitbag who did this to us is among you, step out now. If you hear about what happens here, know the blood is on your hands. We will execute these freaks one by one, on the hour, until you come out."

Melissa lifts her head, to look at the man speaking, giving him her best glare. The situation is bad enough, but negation? Oh hell no. "Why don't you look around at your own people. Got Walsh in here? Bet he'd be able to tell you exactly who put this fucking bubble up," she says, voice scratchy after being unconscious, breathing in the yellow smoke. "Or maybe you already know, and you're just using this as an excuse to round us up and kill us off. Careful that you don't make the monster you fear is already out there.

"Self-fullilling prophecies are a bitch."

Pain and fire— two of Kincaid's least favorite things. Eyes try to open again as a voice rings in the corner, a familiar voice that he hadn't expected to hear. "M— lis— a?" he grunts out through his teeth, barely able to form all the sounds. That bile rises in his throat again as he tries to look over, blinking and squinting through the darkness and moisture.

He never thought he'd wish harder for a ginger to suddenly appear with a stupid sword in hand. Though the gas seems to make such an appearance moot.

"Melissa" Brennan speaks it oh so quietly, out of the corner of his mouth, blinking in the hopes of shaking off some of those droplets of mist and negation gas. It's a warning, a pleading for the Suresh Center volunteer to pipe down. He doesn't want to see her be the first gone if someone doesn't come forward any more than he wants to see the individual on his other side endure the same.

Nor does he. Not with everything he has waiting for him on the other side of the dome. at the least, She'll get what? A rifle gun to the back of her head or her gut, the worst… first one with the gun to the back of her head and trigger pulled. Brennan's not ready to die and so, in between the furtive looks up under his eyelashes, the physican remains silent for now.

Blue eyes settle on the speaker, as he stands just behind a pair of bodies. Benjamin's height gives him an advantage, to see without being out there in the front of the pack. There is a calculating look in ex-agent's eyes as if sizing up what he's up against. His gaze rakes over the group of armed men.

The odds are not exactly in his favor.

Not that it has ever stopped him before. The hand at Ryans' side, slowly shifts to touch the length of shotgun under his coat. Though the talk of executing the prisoners and Melissa opening that familiar mouth, has his body going still. Fingers twitch fighting the urge to grab the gun under his duster. Not yet.

Melissa's claim echoes almost as loud as Crucifix Tattoo — shriller, rawer, less projected than his own public speaking, but definitely heard in the way eyes track to tonight's ringleader. Including that of his pack, an iota of doubt lacing into the tension — but only that much and for only a second before he points his gun at her like he's thinking about it, wreathed in yellow smog. Doesn't, in the end, pull the trigger. This thing has ritual. The ritual shall maintain.

He just gives a nod to one of his men and lowers his rifle, turning back to the crowd. Melissa is swept up off the road, a fist in her hair, the other yanking painful at her ties as she's made to stand.

"Do you want to die first, little girl? They say you're some sort of pain manipulator. Bet that makes you think you're tough."

As if on some invisible cue, one of the men strides forward, and slams a fist into her stomach. Body punches always do the most damage, for all that the ones to the face are showier.

Hearing a voice she'd wanted to hear a week ago, Melissa's head whips around and her eyes go wide. But then she's being jerked up, and she's glaring again, unable to speak before she gets yet another fist in the stomach. What is with Humanis First and hitting her in the stomach? It momentarily steals her breath, then makes it wheeze slightly as she looks at the one who punched her.

"Tough? You're the one who needs…eight armed men to deal with three unarmed people covered in negation gas. What's that make you?" she manages to gasp out, finally. Then she catches a glimpse, just a hint of someone familiar in that crowd, and she has to fight not to look, to identify that face.

"Nnn no," Kincaid chokes out, pushing himself up as much as his body can handle. It takes a lot of effort to do much more than talk, and even that is taking effort. "I've been with you— " he manages to get out, though ends up having to cough and spit. There is blood and perhaps some bile in the spit that hits the ground in front of him. "Betrayed you— should be me you god damn pigs."

Something to be said for chivarly. Ladies first only works when they're not being lined up to be shot.

"Save her for last" Brennan speaks up, lifting his head to look over after they've taken a fist to her abdomen. Who knows, maybe the individual responsible will actually show up, Brennan doesn't know, but what he does know is that he'd rather take Melissa's place, than let the woman end up being the first to be executed.

Isn't that the way to go? Doing something heroic and saving another? Maybe, maybe not. Michelle would have a hard time agreeing to either end of the argument. But Brennan shifts, struggling to stand up as Kincaid does too. "If you're going to go through with this, leave her for last. She may be evolved, but she's a woman and…" And you just don't hurt women. "Please, I know I'm evolved, that I'm unnatural in your eyes, but if this is going to be my last act alive, then… give me this, leave her for the last, take me instead"

There is a grimace as Melissa is hit, Ryans feels sympathy for what Melissa is going through. Even as a part of him wants to move, put a bullet in each man in that circle. He still hesitates, with the direction things are going, he won't be able to for long. Blue eyes roam the area around them, slowly shifting sideways through the crowd, when he spots a car not far from his position. Cover will be a good thing.

Moving, he glances at faces at the crowd, questions floating through his mind. How many would run at the first shot? How many is he willing to let die?

These are the questions he has to answer to himself and live with those choices. Thankfully, he's lived with these choices many times. Those people on the ground were more his concern then the idiots standing around waiting for the show.

Unseen, Brand's eyes widen. Did he hear Melissa shout out what he thought? Negation gas? It certainly would explain why no-one was coughing or tearing up in that little crowd. Why the Evolved in the center did not use whatever they might have had to assist them. And he had been about ready to try strolling right through it! He all but leaps backwards from the closest tendrils of the gas.

Well if he can't get close - he has guns, right? What did the movies say, or show? Shoot from high up and behind cover. An hour could be a long time, and so Brand sidled away from the gas, casting a backwards glance at the gas before hurrying. Cover, like a car or a concrete wall or something. High, if he can get it.

"Hey," Crucifix barks, a terrible smile pulling at the corners of his mouth, "you'll all get your fuckin' turn." No one laughs this time. They're waiting for something bad to happen. The crackle and glimmer of firelight fans on and on, obscuring Manhattan, in the same way the ice above obscures the blue sky. "And if we're lucky, everyone will get their turn. We'll throw your bodies off the bridge and make Roosevelt Island your resting place."

One of the crowd, unobtrusive, a man is approaching and winding his way through the scattered to get a better glimpse. His winter layers obscure the lankiness of his body, his expression sunken and sullen. A mop of greasy brown hair on his head, scruff along his jaw, and fingernails that look gnawed gripping into the hems of his coat.

Watching. Waiting.

"Darling, it takes this many to go against one of you. Talk about fuckin' fair, what do you think you people are to us? Not fair." Crucifix glances towards the three, ticking his gaze over Brennan's face, judging. "Doctor's got a point. It's a girl. Less likely to spread around the fuckin' genes. Which one of you keeps it in his pants better?" Now giggles, nervous, from his group of eight.

Crucifix spits, and nods to Kincaid. "The snake in the grass. On his feet."

Pain-stupid and reeling, Kincaid is driven up by hands on his arms, brought forward, towards the edge of the bridge, and released to stand. That they clear away from him is probably indicative of what's to come. Fortunately, the preparation for first blood distracts a little from those finding position.

Melissa very nearly groans when Brennan and Kincaid speak up, but she manages to keep that quiet. Miraculously, she manages to keep all the smart ass comments that pop into her head quiet as well. Instead she says only, "You don't have to do this. Just let us go. You don't need the blood on your hands."

There's something to be said for too much pain to see— the rough handling on his arm especially nearly fogs out everything else, but Kincaid does his best to walk upright, and stand on his own. It doesn't work as well as he might like, but the rough handling means he doesn't need to. And he's not intended to stand very long at all.

There's no more attempts to speak. The young man's breathing seems rough enough already, and it's taking everything to try and stand up straight, and face it with unfocused eyes open.

His time is up, the moment Ryans sees Kincaid brought to his feet and drug away from the group and readied for execution. The world narrows for Ryans as he goes into motion. Hand slides under his jacket as he pushes between to figures in front of him. He doesn't say a single word as the gun acquired from the recruit, slides out easily and is raised.

Already people around him react, innocents gasping and drawing back. Cries of fear.

Ryans isn't thinking about that, he's watching a rifle being brought up to the back of Kincaid's head. Even as the man readies to pull the trigger, his head suddenly jerks to the side, red blossoming out one side as the loud crack of the hand gun in Ryan's hand goes off.

There is no time to see if he hit, arm swinging to put another man into his sights to fire again. However, one of the armed Humais men whips around and fires at Ryans, the bullet sinking into the car. The close call sends the old man ducking down behind the car.

Ben can only hope he gave the kid and others a chance.

As the terrorists get ready to execute their first victim, Brand scrambles for something to hide behind. A bit from the crowd, a broke-down and slightly burned out truck offers cover. Boxes and bags of sand and gravel on the flatbed have a section in the middle where he can hunker down to unwrap one of his prized possessions. An M4 rifle, top of the line with all kinds of fancy slings and stocks and doo-dads. The important parts, Brand knows, are the little safety lever and the trigger. The scope has a bit of a zoom, and a red dot. Seems easy, even to him.

Still shrouded, he pushes aside a bag to peer out, and looks down the little glass, seeing the terrorists slightly magnified. He's hidden, unless someone sees him firing. The first shot had better be good, as anonymity won't do jack against bullets. The young hesitates, a moment too long. Ryans takes the first shot.

The Humanis First terrorist returns fire against Ryans, and the sound of gunfire is suddenly coming from further down the bridge. Three whipcracks, a single squeeze on the burst setting, and the terrorist's chest opens in a shower of red. THUD! SPLASH! PING! A girder sings as a miss ricochets. The gunman behind the burst fire let his muzzle travel off-target.

Gunshots. Is there a person in this place that won't remember the sound of them?

The crowd of mixed sentiment shriek and duck for cover, bodies thumping against cars as those that got up close drive to drive themselves back and knocking into the still vehicles discarded on the bridge. In a few precious seconds, two of the Humanis First terrorists are downed, cutting the advantage down in a significant sweep of rifle spray and pistol fire. They react with the report of sweeping pistols catching cars, bursting window glass and embedding bullets, a spray of that fire cutting close to Brand in tribute that gunfire is hard to ignore, even when that's your superpower.

Melissa, Brennan and Kincaid are left to their own, limited devices. Alive, no shoes, no weapons, but alive.

"No! Wait!"

The voice is thin in all the chaos, and someone breaks from the crowd — a lanky fellow, English in his voice, hands up, spread. "Stop! I'm here, stop sodding killing everyone!" Sober by necessity, Malcolm Pitt is maybe more lucid than he's been in a long time, and the sight of him running straight for gunfire puts a hesitation in the flow of action. But not too much. Without much in the way of retreat cover — a burning car behind them a dramatic touch but not the most tactically sound elements they've contrived — four of the Humanis First men try to gain ground, two honing in on Ryans' location, two for where Brand's gunshots came up.

The negation gas is thinning in all the movement and prolonged settling, and the last two hover nervously by the three Evolved lined up for execution, but watching more for gunfire from the crowd rather than their capturees.

It's sad. Gunshots barely make her flinch anymore.

Melissa ducks down when they start, glancing at Kincaid. But then Malcolm is arriving, and screaming, and Mel's mind puts two and two together. "Protect him," she demands of Brennan, pointing at Kincaid, then she's darting off towards Malcolm.

Maybe letting Malcolm get killed would bring down the barrier. Maybe running off will get her shot by one of the two remaining guards. But neither of those concerns really enter Mel's mind. It's not who she is. She has to try to get to him. If she can, maybe, just maybe, he can be convinced to bring it down and reveal his source for the Amp.

With his support gone, Kincaid falls forward and lands on his side, surprised by the sound of gunfire and the sudden freedom given to them. The freedom of more rough breaths, if nothing else for him. He doesn't even attempt to get back up onto his bare feet.

With chaos raining around him, he stays down, breathing roughly. The visible injuries don't look bad enough to cause him this much trouble, but it's not the recent wounds that have him reeling.

While one may not have shoes, use of hands or any abilities, there's still one's body. Taking advantage of the bolting Melissa and the distraction that she'll likely and potentially be, Brennan lashes out sideways with the heel of a foot to the nearest HF member, aiming the heel of his foot right for the side of the man's knee, where patella protects the joint. It would be better if he had shoes, but beggars can't be choosers when it's a matter of shoes vs life and the heel bone is more stronger than the patella.

Using the chaos of the moment with people milling around and running, Ryans moves along the length of the car, booted feet doing a sort of shuffle as he moves crouched to the other end of the car. Glancing around the end of the car, he spots Kincaid just laying there. Brows furrow in confusion, concern flicking over his features.

"Come on kid… get up." He murmurs gruffly to himself, willing the young man to his feet. but then Ryans' view is blocked and he has to again concentrate on Humanis freaks.

Ducking behind the car on his knee, Benjamin steels himself for the next round, hand wrapped around the grip, other cradling the butt of it for support. Taking a breath the old man comes up, and starts firing at the two men coming his way, moving sideways so as not to be a sitting duck.

When this bullets ping loudly against the metal of the car, Ryans again is forced to dive down, landing on his side. There he can take a few shots at their feet if any are left standing, before having to reload with a fresh magazine.

The man behind the bags of gravel and sand is brave or crazy. Bullets ping all around him, or sink into the bags around him. A bit of sharp stone zips out, propelled by a shot. It grazes across the young man's skull, opening a cut that bleeds freely. Driven by adrenaline, he ignores it for now - he's a soldier or an athlete or a masochist, he has to be, to work through the pain.

The hidden gunman pulls on the trigger again. This burst is better controlled, and three rounds hit one of the Humanis First shootists threatening his position. A man's torso should not be so easily reduced to a red mist and hamburger, splattering his compatriot. The terrorist tumbles headlong, transforming into a bloody speedbump.

The hail of bullets from Ryans' gun has the two terrorists scattering, one winged around with a bullet to the arm. An ankle is splintered, the terrorist going down hard as the ex-Company man fires through the bottom of the car. The other with the shot arm is still moving, mouth pulled in grimace as he stalks around to unveil Ryans' cover. "Evo cunts! We'll kill you!"

As Melissa runs for Malcolm, she'll see it — fortunately — before she gets too close. The way the ground suddenly writes a glowing blue line in a tight circle around his body, cutting into the bumper of a car, not deep nor big enough to carve a circle in the bridge to fall through. He huddles in the centre of it, gripping his own hair, and glancing back to see if there's an easy way to run. The much larger forcefield around them— does nothing.

Just chills out, above and around them.

A sharp cry ricochets off the bridge supports as one of the Humanis First gunmen go down, landing hard and abandoning his gun in favour of reaching for an impacted knee, muscles all roaring in cramped tension at the sudden snap of ligaments and redirected bone.

His friend whirls around, and doesn't hesitate to turn his gun on Brennan. A bullet punches into his shoulder. The aim is steadied.

And then boom goes some kind of concussive blast, its source difficult to make out — but what is immediately apparent is some sort of wall of concussive energy slamming into the terrorist and sending him soaring. Directly into the flaming car bonfire, disappearing into well kept flames that billow thick for the sky. Invisibility is cast off Gabriel— or, more well known as Sylar— like a coat, mouth pulling in irritation that this is all going so messily when all he wanted to do was see if a delicious forcefield maker was gonna arrive.

… :(

But while he's here, you know?

He dissolves into black shadow, flitting away beneath a car to ponder his next move, wary of getting close enough to get a face full of negation gas.

The second man charging Brand isn't foolish — he dives for cover as his companion is instantly slaughtered, a hand seeking one of those tools that Valentin had snarled at them not to waste. Like the negation canisters. But what is flung towards the younger man is no such thing, and far more deadly. There should be only one thing on Brand's mind, when he sees the frag grenade arcing through the air to bounce and tumble down the gravel and sand, thrown true: Run. Or some semblance there of.

"No! I'm not gonna hurt you!" Melissa says, stopping before she ends up getting bisected by the newly forming bubble. Then she has to glance over her shoulder, but misses the sight of Sylar, so instead she moves closer to the bubble, nearly touching it. "I swear, I don't want you dead. But we need to talk, and we all need to get the fuck away from those Humanis First bastards!"

Perhaps it's the explosions that get Kincaid back into the land of the living. Still blue eyes blink for a few moments before he begins to move. Limited mostly to rolling and sliding along the pavement painfully, his attempt to move away from the gunfire, car bonfire and explosions is slow going.

But at least he's moving again, and luckily enough in the direction of Ryans and the gunfire he hopes is coming from the good guys. Anyone who'd shoot the guy about to shoot him should be a good guy in his book, right?

Or is the guy who's reaching down with his good side to try and haul Kincaid up and get him the hell out of there. That'd be Brennan who's reeling a bit at the fact that should the dome go down ever, his wife is going to throw the biggest french hissy fit that he even left the Suresh Center, much less got shot. Maybe he can pass it off as a vampire bite? Crazed person stabbing him with a spoon?

Unlikely. What is likely is that it's not a join shot, it hurts like a son of a bitch and the guy beside him that he knows from a television show in what seems another time ago, if far more worse off than he.

"Up, keep moving, we keep moving, we live" Leave those with the guns to shoot at each other and do what they do best. Kill people, or some semblance thereof.

As the injured Humanis gunman comes around the car, Ryans rolls onto his back, brown duster pooling beneath him. "Hey dumbass." As the man's attention fully swing to look at him, the Former Agents growls out, "I'm not evolved." Several bullets punch into the man's chest.

Ryans rolls to his feet and approaches the man. "But my friends are." Another sharp report form Ryans' gun, makes sure the guy stays down. He's not in a mercy mood. Coming around the car he's quick to end the misery of the other man, by removing a portion of the guys head with another bullet.

As of yet, the old man hasn't seen Gabriel, only a swirl of darkness disappearing under the a car. Huh. Odd. No time to ponder it, as he sees Kincaid crawling. He still has a personal mission to complete.

"Kid. You look like hell." Is the first thing Kincaid hears from a familiar voice, the crunch of boots and a hand on his arm. Benjamin glances at the man helping Kincaid, giving him a nod as he moves to try and support the other side. "Lets get some cover. I have a knife to get rid of those restraints."

Grenades are the devil's work. Brand abandons his shooting post, kicking out a bag of sand behind him. He slides off and behind the truck with his guns as the grenade lands in his former nest. He starts rolling and crouch-running behind hulked cars to put as much distance between him and the grenade before it goes off. The bad news about grenades is that they do not take half a minute to explode. Therefore, he does not escape unscathed, one side getting peppered with bit of wire and metal.

The good news is that out of sight is out of mind, and with his Ability running full bore the lack of visual contact of direct aggressive action Brand begins to sink back into the background. From anonymity to practically invisible in a short sprint. As long as he doesn't get hit by gas, assuming. Or does something really blatant. Or…

Or— boom.

The grenade explosion temporarily digs its fingers of effect in every aspect of the chaos on the bridge. Melissa's world is tipped into confusion — one second she's standing at the border of this new prison Malcolm has made for himself, as he stares out at her with bewildered, bright blue eyes. The next, something seems to throw her against the impenetrable barrier, bouncing off it and rolling to land on the ground, her shoulder twinging sharp and its snapped out and back into its socket on impact. Blood streaks into her vision.

Malcolm is fine. Dust from broken, blasted gravel coats up the side of his new dome, the man inside it flinching. Without effort, the forcefield flickers off, and he moves, then, for Melissa, going tentative, curious. His hands lay down on her arm. "I think— she needs help," he offers weakly to the wider world.

Are there any Humanis First pricks left? If so, they remain crouched in cover, recognised that they are out numbered.

Or at least one of them, out of sight, pointing is gun down the bridge towards where Brand would have had to have run, but his attention simply smears away from the young man's form, aim wavering uncertain.

For a minute Melissa simply lays on the ground, groaning. "Need the bubble down. Need to know why. Need to know who gave you the drug," she mumbles as she tries to clear her head, trying to wipe her face on her non-injured shoulder, to wipe the blood away. But it's hard to think too much past the pain.

With help coming from two sides, from two men who's voices he spends a moment wondering if he's hallucinating, Kincaid blinks against the pain before flinching at the sound. More explosions— not good. Makes cover that both seem to be trying to get him toward even more like a good idea.

"M— melissa?" he asks, as he gets to his knees and tries to help with the 'moving to cover' thing as well as he can. The movements churn his stomach and wrack him with pain more than he'd like, but it's better than slither-sliding along. Still, he manages another word, through gritted teeth, "Safe?"

'We'll find out, when the shooting stops" Brennan stumbles a bit, using his body as leverage to pin Kincaid between him and Ryans, oblivious that Delia's father is just on the other side of him. More and more, each day, he's realizing that New York isn't that far off rom the Congo only there's skyscrapers instead of jungle. "Lets get some place safe and then regroup." Take stock of who's injured, get everyone to the Suresh Center. Somehow. He grits his teeth, bearing down on the pain. "Yeah, getting our hands undone would be good" Pin and Needles, incoming.

Bringing both around the back of one of the cars, Ryans takes control of Kincaid so that he can be levered to the ground. "I'll check on her in a moment. Hold on." Voice calm and reassuring even in the current situation. Gun is replaced by a folding knife, thumb flipping it open. He doesn't, however, free Kincaid first. Instead he motions Brennan around so that he can cut the other man's bonds.

Once free, the doctor will be handed the knife to take care of Kincaid. This allows the older man to hurry back to finally check on the others. "Melissa?" Benjamin calls as he hurries towards where he last saw her standing, unaware that she's been hit by the grenades explosion. Of course, when he sees her laying there he'll hurry a little faster.

Brand all but collapses behind another hunked out car, panting. His adrenaline high is starting to fade, and with it the pain of his wounds are perking up. He hisses though his teeth, gingerly touching at his skull, examining where bits of shrapnel buried into his coat. Some of them got deep enough to cut. His Ability is pulsing, making him a white hole of total psychic apathy in response to his pain.

"Can't bring it down," Malcolm says, after a moment's pause. The dust of debris swirls over their heads, blocks the smog that blocks the ice that blocks the sky through the structures of the bridge zigzagging dark above. "Not powerful enough on me own. And I did to protect ev'ryone. They got robots, y'know."

He stays settled on his haunches, arms curled around his knees now as Melissa slowly gets her bearings back. The crowd has more or less dispersed, a scattered retreat for the Queens side of the bridge, clattering past Melissa and Malcolm, and where Brand is hidden farther down the road. "And just some dealer chappie who used t'get me the Refrain. And his friends. The ones— on the boat. They didn' say it would be like this."

His attention jerks up, watching Ryans' approach, Brennan and Kincaid eyed warily, guiltily.

And sees the flash of movement behind them.

Suddenly, the entire ground beneath Ryans, Melissa, Kincaid, Brennan and Malcolm shudders and groans, shivers like it could collapse at any moment as dust rises from where glowing blue line cuts a perfect circle wide into the bridge. There's a feral scream as the Humanis First gunman, the last remaining— or last willing to do anything but cower— find his hand neatly severed at the wrist, staggering back and falling as blood gushes from the stump, gun and hand loosely gripping it falling with a like thump onto asphalt.

The section of road seems to have slipped down by an inch, friction alone and the sphere-ish forcefield itself, its curving shape, preventing them from sliding through to the bottom.

"Fuck," Malcolm mutters, realising what he just did.

The car behind Brand, meanwhile, shudders as its neatly bisected where he crouches a safe foot and a half where the new dome comes down, but at least no one is shooting him.

Well, Melissa can't exactly lift an arm to show that she heard her name. But her legs aren't bound, so she lifts one foot in the air, wiggling toes painted neon blue. Then the ground is moving and she's trying to rock so she can get to her knees, her vision still obscured, still in pain. "He's a friend. Ryans, it's fine. Don't hurt him."

She nearly falls onto her face, blinking rapidly. "You don't know the name of the guy who sold you the Amp? Was it Valentin?" And she describes him, as best she can with her head pounding. "If we…if we boosted you again…could you take it down? We've gotta get it down…"

It takes all of Kincaid's effort to get moving where they're trying to get him, grimacing as he gets closer, and the shudder of the ground nearly knocks him on his face again. Close enough, as he slides to his knees and finally lets out a choking sound and spits onto the ground below him. Blood and bile again, perhaps more of the bile.

"Hate— negation," he mutters as he pushes himself back up and presses one of his hands, the right one, against his chest as if that will help with the pain. Or just to try and get it out of the way before it gets smacked into things again.

"We— at least safe in here— right?" But for how long.

It's hard to get the bindings off Kincaid, when his own hands are working hard, one of them at least, to grip and cut it without cutting the other man. But he does, going down to the ground with a grunt when the new dome is slapped up into formation around them, cutting them off from the outside, taking care of the last HF'er who's got balls enough to try and do something.

He rolls, to his good side, knife clattering to the ground and opting to press a hand to his shoulder, stem the blood. "heh" Wry laugh at Kincaids words. "Guess I'm not your favourite person then huh" But Malcom's words, the reason why he can't do something like take down the dome, reaches in through his ears and into his brain.

"I can go the amp" He looks over to the creator. "I can get the amp, if your sure it will work to take down the dome"

He spots the foot with a lift of brows, amusement brief before the world suddenly shudders and shifts, making him stumble a bit. Benjamin stops in his tracks til the world settles again, not hiding the surprise at the world shut out around them. The way the car is cut in half, is an especially good clue.

"Son of a…"

Just what they needed… another dome. Though by the screaming of the man with the severed hand, His gaze shifts to Malcolm — eyes narrowing with scrutiny — and then down to the woman on the ground. Oh yeah. He moves to help Melissa to her feet. "We need to stop meeting under such dire and life and death situations." It may or may not be a joke, Ryans' tone is flat in the emotions department and infuriatingly calm considering.

Brand limps out from behind the car after a suitable few moments, limping his way back up the bridge. No trouble seems to be wanting to hang around this time! He favors one side, allowing the sling to take most of the M4's weight. He mutters to himself as he approaches the new, smaller Dome. Its practically a reflex by now to stoop down and scoop up the firearms or magazines from the dead terrorists. Handless and bleeding to death, the final terrorist is practically harmless. This does not spare him a gut-wrenching kick directly to the nuts and a robbing of any spare weapons or ammunition he might have.

Malcolm crouches down, hands planted on the ground as if to feel what it's doing, the minor tremors, before twisting around to see where to go. With the mini-dome remaining fixed, he wanders to the edge — the opposite side of where Brand is brutalising the one-handed terrorist for his weaponry, fleshy thuds and grunts rising into the air — to touch the edge. Turning back to the others entrapped with him, he gestures for them to move to the edge. "Now on the count of three," he announces, a little grandly, something somewhat unhinged about his demeanor, drunk without chemical, "everyone wants to hop onto solid ground. One, two— "

The mini-dome breaks, disappears, and as Malcolm clears the edge, the ground underfoot tips like a flipping ice cap as the edge with half a car resting on it drags the weight, landing down below with a cacophonous boom and shatter of metal below, and splintering, shattering concrete.

Having staggered, tripped over his feet in an effort to evade the falling ground, he twists to look towards Brennan. "Yeah, I recognise you. The doctor pushin' people off to that— that fucking place." He points, in the direction of the Suresh Centre. "You just— just jump off a bridge if you think I'll let you take me there. I'll cut y'in half!"

He won't. Not deliberately, if the tremor in his voice is of indication.

"Tell me about it," Melissa mutters to Ryans as she struggles up onto her feet. Not an easy task with her wrists still bound, but she manages it. She's not quite steady as she follows Malcolm's instructions, but she manages to make it to solid ground, only to fall and roll, breathing heavily.

"Okay, first? Someone get this shit off my wrists. I'm pretty sure I dislocated my shoulder. Second? Guy…a name would be good…if you don't wanna deal with him, then how about this. He can bring me the Amp, and I'll get it to you. You don't have to go anywhere near the Suresh Center," she says, sounding tired, voice heavy with pain. And this time? This time she's not trying to get up immediately.

"Always… have to throw yourself into everything, don't you," Kincaid mutters outloud in pained tones as he keeps himself near the tall man he met over coffee, whose daughter he helped, and the doctor who he met briefly on set. No, that doctor isn't his favorite person in the world to be around, in the glance is any indication. But he probably hopes this will be a lesson to avoid future negations.

All this lurching is not helping his stomach at all, or the pain shooting up his arm and into his neck and head. Some people grit and bear it, but some levels of pain just aren't grit and bearable.

"Thanks," he adds, grimacing up at the tall man. That part is definitely at him. "Swear I'm not in a hurry to get a bullet in the head." No matter how it may seem at times.

Brennan is there to help Kincaid off the tipping part of the bridge when Malcolm gives his warning, moving off fast as he himself can do so and when safe, starts to use the knife to rip strips off his shirt to make a jerry rigged bandage for his shoulder.

"I didn't say I would take you there, the Institute wants you. Bad. We've orders to take you alive. But I'm just a doctor and not one of their gun toting agents. I said I could get some. I'm one of the head physicians there." He has keys but… they're out near westview, in the snow. "Look, I get that the Suresh Center isn't a popular place and I get why. But the dome, is gonna kill us before that place does. So if I get the amp, will you take it?" Take it and turn the dome off. Whatever the answer, Mel's offer to take it to Malcolm, he can live with. He's 90 percent sure that he can get the amp. The knife is slid to Malcolm so he can undo Mel's bindings and turn to start attending to Kincaid with his good side.

Moving quickly to solid ground, Ryans turns back to look at the result of Malcolm's ability. Impressive to say the least. At least in it's ability to cause massive amounts of damage that the city will have to pay for. There is some satisfaction in that thought. "First off… no one is going take anyone anywhere they don't want too." He crouches down, to again help Melissa to her feet.

"Second, lets at least get out of the open, before reinforcements arrive?"

The folding knife is only briefly in Malcolm's hands before the ex-agent is plucking it from his and using it to free Melissa. "Now you, sir…" Ryans gives the dome builder a look. "I know people that can help hide you from the people that want you. Of course, they are on the outside of this over sized bubble." He motions to the world above, before flipping the knife shut and tucking it away.

"I know a safe spot to hunker down, if you are willing to trust me." Ryans doesn't expect so, but he offers anyhow. "Meanwhile, the doctor over there can get what you need, to get this thing down." An inquisitive brow lifts in Brennan's direction. "Then one of us can meet him, so that you don't have to risk capture. Either way… we need to get going somewhere."

The extra guns and magazines are shrugged into packs and such, the strong young man able to haul a load even when peppered with wounds. The ones he can't carry he drops at Brennan's feet. Hey, Brand is there! He was kind of not-important-enough to really notice until he dropped the extra guns are started talking. He looks like hell, a child soldier, covered in smoke and blood.

"Hey Doc. I'm glad you didn't get shot in the head." He speaks a bit slow and laboriously, favoring one side. "You, you were the other shooter?" That is directed to Ryans. "Here, take a rifle. We need everything we can…that…that we got. To be safe from…from them." He leans against something convenient, but refuses to drop. He just rests there, looking grim. "Who's everyone now?"

Talk of what they can do from him, Brennan going so far as to admit the conspiracy behind the Suresh Centre, has Malcolm's attention, hand loose when Ryans takes the blade. He stands still and slack shouldered, fine brown hair plastered to his forehead as he regards them all, and the sawing-jerk it takes for the blade to cut through Melissa's zipties. The hole in the bridge. The smoke in the air. Consent to be helped by Brennan and Melissa, maybe to even tag along with Ryans, is implicit rather than spoken.

Tired blue eyes regard Brand, and the sight he makes, bloodied and armed and young. "Malcolm," the Dome creator intones, hollowly, before turning to start for the long walk back to Queens. "M'name's Malcolm."

Blood, bodies and bisections are left behind upon the wrecked bridge.

And one man, huddled scared and wary and gripping his rifle until they're all gone, out of sight, a sole survivor of the demonstration. Eventually, he takes out a cellphone, and thumbs his contact list to a name:


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