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Also featuring:

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Scene Title Remember
Synopsis Kaylee helps Joseph remember what happened to him during his time with the Institute, and the Ferrymen uncover the truth that confirm some theories about the visions of the 10th.
Date June 19, 2010

Gun Hill: Joseph's Apartment

With the curtains thrown back, crystal clear sunshine shows off exactly how bare and new this Gun Hill apartment room is — clean, but empty, and Joseph doesn't know if he's going to be filling it with stuff just yet, whether he wants to make it is. He's shifted a few of his things from the GCT already — mostly his dogs, the big one curled up in the middle of the room, the small one— and swiftly growing— currently resting in his arms, having proven to be frightened of things like the curtains shifting from the partially opened window, the phone ringing, and just recently, Kaylee and Eileen's appearance at the front door.

"I figured if I ever got a boy dog," he's saying, currently skritching the floppy ears of the puppy whose heart is slowing from its jackhammer pace, black muzzle snuffling into the pastor's shoulder, "I'd name it Max. Also figured he'd be less of a fraidy cat, but what can you do?"

He seems alright himself, in jeans, a white T-shirt with longer sleeved flannel pulled over, the sleeves rolled halfway up his forearms but no farther than that. Around his neck, a silver chain dangles, and freed of being hidden behind cotton, the two crucifixes glimmer in the bright afternoon light, one of gold plating and the other of silver and coloured glass.

Head tilted to one side, blonde pony tail hanging there swaying slightly, Kaylee studies the puppy in Joseph's arms. "Max." The name spoken as if trying to test it. Her head slowy nods, brows lifting just a bit in approval. "I like that name. Better then having to call him Puppy all the time." She muses softly, eyes flicking up from the puppy to the Pastor for a moment.

"I'm sure given time, though he'll loosen up a little around people." There is confidence in that statement. "Being around everyone here, Missy puts up with some, but others like — this one woman Sable — just does not like her… at all."

Kaylee actually looks somewhat feminine for once, no leather jackets or Harley t-shirts. Her hair is pulled up, few strands fallen loose since she put it up that morning. She's wearing a white tank top with a bright floral print and a pair of blue jeans, and oddly enough a pair of flip flops, but then she live in the building.

"And you know when you need him watched, I'm normally in the building." Kaylee gives him a smile. "Unless I'm in my college classes or what not. Nights tend to be totally free anymore." She offers with a small wave of her hand.

Eileen has no advice to offer Joseph on the subject of dogs. It's not why she's here, and so she remains silent, a shadow in the same dark coat with brass buttons she wore to the meeting yesterday sans scarf. Instead: a baggy sweater and black leggings paired with a scuffed pair of leather boots that lace up the front and have flat soles, well-worn. Her clothes are more suited to spring than they are summer, but early mornings are crisp regardless of the season, and the Englishwoman is out of the Dispensary sometimes at the break of dawn.

The distance she's maintaining between herself, Joseph and Kaylee might have something to do with the animals in the room or it might not. There's a handkerchief clutched between her pale fingers and covering her mouth, making it impossible to read her expression without focusing on her eyes, and they are very cold.

"They're okay on their own, but I'll let you know. Gonna see about a place of my own, but findin' a place nearby the Brick House that I c'n afford and takes dogs— " Joseph shrugs. It takes time. He's opening his mouth to say more — maybe inquire about her college classes, or talk about what building he had been thinking of checking out — until he, perhaps, remembers Eileen's presence, and a glance signals to him that maybe now isn't the time. Giving one last scratch to the newly christened Max's neck, he puts the puppy down.

Runs his hands nervously up near his knees, and jolts a shrug. "So, uh. I'm guessin' Teo," and this is to Eileen, "told you about what I told him. He mighta mentioned that I dunno if my not rememberin' stuff was on purpose, 'cause it's not as blank as it was. I remember— ideas, more like. I dunno how this works," he adds, more to Kaylee.

The glance to Eileen has Kaylee glancing the woman's way as well, the telepath suddenly looking sheepish, tucking her fingertips into the pockets of her jeans. "If… you're — ah — remembering things, that's better then the rest of us that were taken out of there." Her gaze shifts back to him, brows furrowing a bit. There is a little worry there as she focuses on him, though her eyes are on a point in the middle of his forehead.

"Tho… makes me wonder why they did that and not completely wipe it clean." Blue eyes shift do to actually look at him now. "But… much like I did before I'll go in and see what we're up against and see if we can knock down that wall." Sounds simple enough, even if the opposite is true.

The telepath gives him a soft smile, "Hopefully, we'll get those memories back for you."

"He didn't mention," says Eileen, lowering her handkerchief so Joseph and Kaylee don't have to decipher words mumbled thickly into the fabric. She adopts a position close to the door, her back to the wall, and rests her weight against it to take some of the burden off her legs and feet. One arm folds across her midsection, handkerchief knotted between her fingers, and clutches at her side beneath the cage of her piano key ribs.

If she's being completely honest with Joseph, she doesn't know how this works either. "Do you what you need to," she tells Kaylee. "I'll be here."

The skittering of paws on the ground indicates the sound of Max trotting off towards the kitchen, likely to inspect food bowls, and in the next moment, the liquid sound of lapping at the waterbowl fills the quiet apartment as Joseph listens to both women, expression open and inquisitive. He's taken to sitting on the edge of a couch upholstered in faded flower patterns, worn thin at the arms, frayed threads showing. "Alright, well," he says, not entirely able to eliminate the nervousness from his voice, but he does offer a smile. "Tell me what I gotta do to help."

A short nod goes to Eileen, "Good, cause when I do this… my mind and ability will be totally wrapped up in his." Kaylee motions to Joseph as she says it, a glance sent his ways as she quickly adds. "I don't expect us to get invaded or anything, but I don't exactly like being… vulnerable."

Shuffling over to settle on the couch next to him, Kaylee gives him a some what crooked smile. "Mostly, relax." She starts, shift closer and turning sideways, tucking a leg under her — flip flop dropping to the floor — so that she's facing him. Her leg rests against his, but only so that it eases her reach. "Listen to my instructions." The telepath wipes her hands on the thighs of her jeans, a little nervous as always about invading the mind of some one she cares about. "And most importantly…" Leaning forward, long fingers hands lifts — much like they did in his nightmare — to press fingers to his temples. The pad of her thumbs, naturally laying on his forehead. She says the last softly, a gentle smile on her lips. "…trust me, like you have before."

Her brows twitch upward just a little, before she closes her eyes turning her attention inward. He can feel the light brush of her ability reaching into his mind, a gently pressuring settling there. While Eileen will hear nothing, the telepath's voice echoes between the Pastor's ears. I need you to think back to the last thing you remember doing before everything goes blank. Before you were taken. Once she can find that moment in his memories, then she can slide along that line events to find that block.

Tension knotting through his shoulders, Joseph obligingly shuts his eyes all the same, a hand up to grip around the twin crucifixes, letting them warm in his palm where they jab their four dull spokes into his skin. His other hand has the tips of his fingers settling in an almost grounding gestures on her knee, as light as if a bird had landed there. Beneath the pads of her thumbs, she can feel a little tension beneath his skin, but he does as she says.

The dreary New York street looks like any New York street, with the sun sunken down enough to be dark, temperature obviously still quite cool as Joseph is bundled into a wool-lined jacket, slight vapor flagging on each exhale as he walks through Greenwich Village at a jovially swift pace.

Heading from Pastor Ashby's, he explains, telepathic voice as echoey as the memory plays out between them.

Okay… It's a thoughtful tone as Kaylee moves through the memory, like an unseen ghost following long with the memory, she watches it all unfold. Until it jumps to the next memory along the chain. She stops then, backing up to that moment.

Eileen can see Kaylee's brows furrow and her head tilt a little to one side as if examining something. Her ability trails over that spot slowly as if feeling it out. This… The word echos through his head, fading off before she continues. This is different. It's… She can see the pieces… all scattered and the frayed edges of his memory. I know what to do.

Gently, almost like tendrils, Kaylee's telepathy moves to pull the pieces back to the forefront of his mind, a command is gently spoken to him, «Remember what happened after.» The words even echo out loud. «Remember.» She whispers softly in his head, as if it's being breathed into his ear. All the while, she pulls the fragments of his memory back to where they belong, like crumpled bits of paper, smoothing them out flat into place, guiding him with the command to link them together.

As they move along those missing days, the pressure in her own head builds towards the familiar headache, it's ignored in favor of giving the man his memories back.

As the close in one where things start to get cloudy, Joseph flinches a little beneath Kaylee's hands, but doesn't draw away or even stop as memory begins to be filled in, very familiar, now, the screech of the van and the flicker-stop imagery of the whole world shifting as— Joseph apparently gets on his knees, of his own will, as the masked, automatic rifle wielding mercenaries close a circle around him. For what good it does, though, the memory of the taser darts jabbing into his shoulder probably not fun for neither he nor Kaylee.

The coffin might be a familiar sight, the specially designed Institute carriage case for captured Evolveds being dragged from the back of the truck, before it all seems to fade away.

Memory skips forward again, standard tests, needle marks, white walls and the plain cloth of a hospital gown, the monotony of routine and a boring hours of being locked away again. A woman dressed in white, at one stage, the words mumbled as Kaylee tries to put the memory together, but Joseph already knows. "Her," he mutters, out loud, heart skipping when he recognises the redheaded, coolly voice scientist, and both he and Kaylee watch together as a deal is made.

He gets out, if he gives her a vision. And he does.

Skipping forward, they're both abruptly plunged into the most vivid of the memories, for all that it should be vague, the moment when his recollection of those days was scorched from his mind from power use.

June 10th, 2010

The rush of adrenaline is a rude way to awaken from the groggy stupor of a drug-induced slumber. It makes the heart race, flutteringly so, but the results cannot be ignored. Back in the 1960s the United States Government experimented with the combinations of downers and uppers used in conjunction on a person in attempts to research remote viewing and psychic phenomenon, back then they called it Project MK ULTRA. The project itself, perhaps not surprisingly, bore no fruit.

When Joseph Sumter's eyes snap wide and breath sucks in sharply into his lungs, he is unaware that his is the living embodiment of the low-hanging fruit of the future, and while past experiments of the government's to research special abilities may not have met with success, Project Delphi is slated to achieve results, whether it kills them or not.

Nearly immediately following Joseph's abrupt awakening the young woman laying next to him on an adjacent gurney has the same adrenaline injection added in to her IV. Gillian Childs is rocked from drug-induced sleep by the jolt running thorugh her veins that causes her heart to pound against the inside of her chest. This is why vitals were tested, why stress levels were analyzed, why any number of the battery of preliminary examinations were done over the last two days. To prepare Gillian and Joseph's bodies and minds for what was to come.

"Doctor Sheridan, if you would be so kind as to retrieve the three syringes from the case on the table." The voice and instructions are that of Doctor Jean-Martin Luis, the man behind Project Delphi and its abhorrent research and testing. When results are demanded, human rights suffer.

He stands at the foot of both of the tables, labcoat crisp and clean, hands folded behind his back and posture rigid. That Bella Sheridan was asked to assist during this experiment is a testament to Doctor Luis' opinion of her, and her less dismissive attitude about their research tham both Doctor Richards and Doctor Cong.

"Good morning," chimes in a young blonde woman standing beside Gillian's gurney, her hair tied back into a pony-tail and countenance so impossibly familiar. Julie bears an exact likeness to her twin sister Liette, save for her more proper grooming and stoic demeanor. The eggshell colored dress she wears is a sleeveless affair, showing off the bandage on her shoulder from an injection earlier in the dag.

Nearby to the researchers, at a computer console, Doctor Dmitri Gregor is visible merely as the silhouette of a doctor with his back hunched and round-lensed glasses reflecting text scrolling across the terminal's screen. "The interface is— ready, doctor Luis." Gregor's eyes flick over to Luis, then nod towards where a multi-corded cable extends from the network of computer towers, ending with an odd black plastic clip. Luis nods his head slowly, then offers a patient look to Julie, motioning to the cord before settling his attention back on the redheaded doctor.

"Oh ah, the syringes…" Luis gestures towards a suitcase set on a wheeled table near the gurneys, "the combination for the locks is 2112," he states succinctly, "I'll need all three. You should be familiar with the composition of this particular drug, though it is more refined than the… unexpected breakthrough you made."

Bella didn't go through years of medical school to be ordered around like a second-rate assistant. But she didn't survive liquidation for her failures in her last project just to get herself terminated over a simple point of pride. In the presence of the mighty, best to act meek. Someone pretty well known suggested meekness gained you the earth eventually, right? She'll have to ask Joseph for clarification on that point.

So she goes to that case, turns the locks, lifts the lid to reveal the syringes and she damn well retrieves them. Call her a labrador - she'll live as a bitch if she can't live as a woman. The three vicious points are held away from Dr. Luis, offered in that same vassal-to-liege way that may have helped bring her here. For what that's worth.

Waking up this time comes a little slower than before, perhaps because of the drug cocktails involved. Gillian blinks and turns her head, glancing around in confusion and opens her mouth as if to protest, but her throat is hoarse and only a soft mutter of, "Let me go." She's been yelling that most the time when she's awake, trying to say they have no right to hold her and poke her with things, not to mention just being generally disagreeable.

There might have been some curses that could come out as well, until her eyes fall on a young teen who looks like the mirror of another young teen that she met under some remarkable conditions. Like helping to stop a blizzard that plundged the entire seaboard into an ice age.

"What— " The age of the girl cuts off some of the curses, before she follows eyes back to another face. That face she recognizes, briefly, from a meeting months and months and months ago. When she went with a friend to encourage him to get help, to support him as he went back to his therapist. A red head with a personality she liked— "What the— hell." Thank the kid that's as colorful as her language gets, for the moment. Brian trained her.

Eyes search again, seeking, until she settles on the other gurney. At least she's not alone in this— though she may wish she weren't there at all.

It will be the first time Joseph has felt true fear since coming here. Anxiety, yes, worry and uncertainty and everything that had sort of coalesced into an emotion a lot like fear, since waking up, but now— well. The adrenaline probably has something to do with that, but Joseph is more or less familiar with what preliminary procedures look like. What it looks like, too, when they're ready to do whatever it is they want to do.

There's not protest from the pastor. He had actually gone peacefully when they'd come for him — not that this mattered which way or the other. He'd still seen the coffin, in the end, and his arms are aching again with the jab of needles.

When Gillian looks over at him, Joseph has his eyes shut, trying to breathe in a sane and steady way, dark hair plastered to his forehead and pale skin gone a damp kind of pallid. Letting go of a streaming exhale, his eyes flicker open again, and he glances towards her, recognition less of a surprise, more of a reluctant relief. He has no real words of assurance, here, but flicks another look towards Bella, something equally expectant and accusing.

A murmured thank you comes from Luis as he takes the syringes, carefully sliding them one by one into the front pocket of his lab coat. The black, inky liquid inside slides from one end of the syringe to another as he does. "Julie, would you please go make the necessary connections? Dmitri, if you'd keep an eye on her synchronization rates for me?" There's no further instructions for Bella, she's largely here to observe the situation and assist when needed, or perhaps because of her own personal connection to Joseph, it's hard to say.

"Good morning, Joseph, Gillian…" Luis offers a somewhat absent-minded smile to the two as he comes to stand between their beds. "I apologize for the conditions you've found yourselves awakening to, but haste makes for certain corners to be cut. You know how beurocracy is." Levity aside, Luis comes to lay a hand down on each of the beds, his brows furrowed.

"You are both going to be taking part in an experiment today and I promise that it will not bring either of you to any undue harm." Undue harm. "What we're going to be performing is an experiment involving foresight. Miss Childs, you're going to be performing a targeted augmentation of my young lab assistant," there's a motion to Julie, "whom is then going to perform an augmentation on you. If my hypothesis is correct, this should form a circuit of augmentation that will expand your abilities exponentially. Julie will then impose amplification onto you, mister Sumter, once she has reached a significant enough charge, and you will make physical contact with her, imparting her with a vision of the future clearer than you ever have."

While Luis is giving this explanation, Julie is connecting a laptop to the cable that Gregor laid out, then nods her head to Luis. "We're networked to the interface, Father. Everything's ready." At Julie's words, Luis glances over his shoulder and arches a brow, then slowly nods his head and turns to look back to Joseph with a smile, then Gillian. "If neither of you perform your required actions willingly there will be, ah, consequences? We'll be forced to make you perform the actions and I can assure you that won't really be plesant for any of us."

Bella is just going to faaade into the background now. Let the mastermind deliver his monologue. She knows how this works. The higher you are, the most likely lightning is going to strike you. She doesn't flinch away from Joseph when their eyes meet. She just gives him a nod. Let him read that as he may. She trusts his talent for interpretation. Hands folded before her, some paces away from the epicenter of this event. If nothing else, she can always say she was here. That is, if she could ever tell anyone.

"Oh hell no. You don't understand how this works, how— you're fff— you're insane. I'm not helping you do something like this," Gillian growls, pulling against her restraints as much as she can. This would be why hers are fairly tight. She kicked and clawed and pulled hair whenever possible, and it looks like she may very well try to do it again. "I'm not helping you do anything." And she knows what happened the one time she augmented Joseph. She remembers it fairly clearly, because she ended up throwing up on the floor of his church after witnessing… things she doesn't want to witness again.

"Fuck all of you." She held it in as long as she could, but even the young teen can't stop her at this time. The knot in the back of her head is checked and locked down as much as she can, as stubbornly as it can be.


Surprisingly, this from Joseph — the guy strapped to a gurney and in her exact boat. Maybe he'd reach over and take her hand, too, if he could. "It'll be alright. Or— maybe it won't be alright, but there're better ways to fight, honey." There's an uncertain, wavering look towards Julie — too similar to the teenage girl he'd met in the network, while simultaneously markedly different. Back to Gillian, an uncertain smile that lasts for the barest of seconds.

"Don't make 'em hurt you more'n they have," he adds, apology in his voice.

Were it not for Joseph's keenly timed words, things may have suddenly gone for the worse. As it is, Luis looks like a man halfway prepared to administer a spanking by the way he brandishes a wagging finger in Gillian's direction. "I'd listen to mister Sumter if I were you, it will be much easier on you if we do this without force. We've run the variables on your output and Julie's capacity to recieve several times and this test is going to be perfectly safe, I assure you."

Stepping out from behind the computer screen, Julie furrows her brows and offers a look between Gillian and Joseph, then back to Luis. "Should I begin administering the amplification drug?" It's an eager question, one that Luis is hesitant to answer with a nod, yet does so anyway after a moment of prolonged consideration. Stepping over to her father, Julie rises up onto her toes and retrieves the black syringes one by one from his pocket, then proceeds to walk over to Joseph's side and uncaps the first syringe, plugging it into the IV hose connected to his arm, and then offers the pastor a mild smile.

"You're going to feel a slight sensation of euphoria accompanied by a tingling at the base of your skull." With that, the blonde pushes the plunger down on the syringe, sending what looks like ink through the IV tube and snaking down into Joseph's arm. But what meets his veins has a familiar sting, a familiar ache to it. That the amplification drug is partly composed of Refrain means a revisitation of the old drug into Joseph's system as it forcibly expands his consciousness in the same way a rib-spreader does for a chest cavity.

Julie is already moving after that injection, to Gillian's side as she prepares the second syringe, hooking it up to the IV tube and offering Gillian a smile but doesn't yet inject. "After I inject this into your IV, you're going to need to augment me and only me, do you understand?" From the computer, Gregor watches eagerly, his chin lifting up as he regards the experiment in progress down the bridge of his nose.

"What they want to do is going to fucking hurt! Variables don't mean shit— you're not the one who was— what is that?" Gillian asks, eyes widening at the sight of the syringes and it being injected into Joseph. That's a new variable thrown in that makes it so she's not even sure what would happen when this goes down. It doesn't take her long to draw a conclusion about what it must be, thanks to Cat's conspiracy theories of doom, and she looks at the young teen.

"You're being manipulated, you don't have any idea what this will do. This could— " This could kill them. It could overload her mind, like it nearly did the first time, when she saw hundreds of visions of her own future, usually leading to her own death.

"You can't be fucking serious, you— you don't even know what this will do to my ability!" And despite the words from Joseph it seems she's still struggling, at least until she finally looks away from the kid and at him again. There's a pleading in her eyes, worry, and fear— he was there when she augmented him. And she was there the first time she used his own power on him. But this is different— What happened scares her, but the unknown of what could happen scares her more. But at least she's not thrashing against the restraints anymore, what little good that did besides bruising her.

"I have some idea," is all the precog in the room really has the opportunity to say, as the drug is administered, and he only gets a good glimpse of the greasy black before it takes affect.

Pupils act against what the available light dictates they do, Joseph's skull resting heavily back against the gurney as air hitches, startled, in his throat. For all his reassurances and requests of Gillian just prior, there is resistance that manifests as a twitch up the arm being injected with the drug cocktail. This. This feems familar, the synthesis of Refrain with something else, god knows what, and he can't even bring himself to glare his betrayal at Bella before it all becomes—

Soft and warm and good. His breathing kicks up a notch, vague panic finally locking through his body, but no thrashing. Just tension, as if he could will away the insidious warmth of the chemical. Less the prayer and bracing himself kind of eyes shut that Gillian had first glanced at, the lines at the corners of his eyes shadowed and deeper. When they relax, it's likely not a good thing.

"Well no, we don't exactly know what this particular concoction will do to you, but that's why this is a test. You both aren't the actual final subjects of this project, you're… a dry run, I guess we could call it?" There's a hopeful smile on Luis' lips as he looks over to Julie and nods his head, arms crossing over his chest and brows lifting expectantly as he waits to see what happens. The plunger on the syringe to Gillian's IV tube is depressed and she can do nothing but watch as the inky liquid slithers down the tube and sinks dark into her veins.

It feels like Refrain, that warm buzzing thrum in the back of her mind and a slight feeling of euphoria. Perhaps the adrenaline was meant to cut some of the cloudy-headedness that comes with Refrain, or perhaps it was meant to heighten the effect of what comes netx to both Gillian and Joseph. Not long after both of their injections their heart-rate spikes and blood pressure sky rockets. There is an immediate feeling of vibration in their bodies, a perceptual effect of the amplification drug as it courses through their body and begins building like a slow, steady pulse of ability augmentation.

"Now, augment me." Julie's request to Gillian comes with a tonal shift of her voice at the end, a hollow and echoing tone of voice that makes it sound as though she's speaking from across the span of a great cave of a concert hall, turning a request into a demand.

The tingly feeling pulls on old feelings, drawing on desires Gillian had been fighting since she first quit the blue drug for good. It seemed like it would be such an easy escape, to other times, to places she might have missed, and people who may have loved her— but she never fell back. "God— damnit," she softens her cursing, hearing the voice across the concert hall, and helpless to stop the unravelling that had already begun with the wave of euphoria and burst of adrenaline.

And Julie gets exactly what she demanded.

Gillian's eyes open wide, the familiar glow starting up, but something about it is different. Darker than the bright ones more common these days, closer to the original color that lit up in her eyes and on her hands. A dark purple, like the way a blacklight glows in a dark room. Less light, more color.

Joseph's own ability is a contained thing, but even he can feel it building up inside him, something that requires release. He's never felt urge behind the prophetic touches he carries, but he knows the impulsive instinct behind dealing them in high stress situations — Abby, Flint, Danko have all gotten a taste of a vision gone awry, jarring through their heads, some element of uncontrol that only seems to be kindled as the augmentation drug kicks up his heart rate to rapid spikes.

The restraints are pulled taut, less resistant, only tension winding anew through his tall frame. His fingers splay, clench in again, needy for something.

Julie flinches when the wave of augmentation hits her, fingers curling tightly around the syringe in her hand. She trembles, body tensing up as the tables adjacent to her rattle momentarily from an unseen force shaking them. Once Julie gets herself under control the young woman plucks the plastic cap off of the syringe with her teeth, then moves over to stand beside Josepg as she slides the needle down into her own arm and proceeds to perform an injection of the inky black amplification drug on herself. There's a surge of almost palpable energy that washes off of her once the injection happens, and Julie too begins radiating that deep magenta-hued light.

Much like what happened at the Ferrymen safehouse with Liette, Julie begins exuding waves of amplification energy as arcing coronas of purple light seethe from her silhouette. Sympathetic vibrations of ability augmentation radiate outwards from Julie and lay into Gillian, and the forcible command to continue augmenting Julie sends what builds itself as an amplification circuit that burns dark black-purple.

Julie's eyes are swallowed by that near black energy that radiates outwards from them, wafts up and off of her body like a fiery wreath, and as she reaches out a hand for Joseph Sumter's bare arm, Julie extends that shockwave of amplification into the pastor's body, her fingers curling around his arm to make direct amplification contact.

"Show me what you see…" is Julie's whispered request, not phrased as one of those echoing orders, but playing on Joseph's pliability and his inability to resist the release of his prophetic fervor building up inside of him. But what Julie isn't prepared for, is the end result of this much augmentation.

Bella has kept her peace this whole time. This is far beyond her ken. She has arrived here due more to accident than ambition, and she realizes now that there may be some limits to what she would be willing to orchestrate. Though, as Milgrim demonstrated and Bella today has reaffirmed, she is easily enough made party to it. If only she could see this as glorious.

Well, she ought to wait just a little longer. There's still time left.

If she could think, Gillian would be relieved that it's the girl's brain that's going to get punched by visions of perhaps her own future, but everything feels loud, like the flow of a river against rocks, or the thump of a speaker in a nightclub. It's all in her head, but that's also where her ability happens to be warping back and forth.

The euphoria from the drug keeps it from being painful, but even with that, it's still jarring. And the strangest thing, it's not nearly as draining as she expected it to be.

In the other augmentation loops of the past, the world would go blurry and bright and get lost in exhaustion. This time it seems heightened, her mind aware. Every sensation seems louder and sharper.

The illuminatory quality of Joseph's prophecies are, in comparison to some, a faint beam of dwindling light through barely parted curtains, enough to show the receiver the faintest gleams of what will be, the indirect curves that shape their path, the faint detail like dust particles in the slice of glow. But this

The window is thrown open, and heavensent light comes streaming on through. Bright enough to burn. Too glorious, too much. They say the voice of God cannot be heard by mere men, for the same reason as Julie is not meant to see all of this.

Worse still, it does not end with her.

As for Joseph, his participation in this event ends with likely nothing no one will notice. He lies still. He breathes. That's about it.

For Julie, however, the vision is nothing. The girl is shocked into a realm of utter and absolute darkness as a scream erupts from the back of her throat. Back straightening and fingers clawing into Joseph's arm, Julie lets out a wailing cry of pain as her abilities are thrown haywire by the mental shock of what Joseph's fully augmented ability shows her. There is a phrase that says, Those who stare too long into the Abyss find that the Abyss stares back, that feels more true today.

A telekinetic wave rocks the room, sending the beds skittering away on their wheels from where Julie drops to her knees clutching her head. Cracks form in the floor and ceiling and the walls bow outward as a kinetic shockwave sends Bella and Luis both off of their feet, knocks Gregor's computer off of the table and sends Gregor himself crashing into the far wall.

The augmentation loop continues, burning dark like an inverted sun as flares of ink black trimmed with purple alight up off of her blazing body. The moment the augmentation loop finally breaks, it's like a dam shattering as a psychic backlash leapfrogs across the people gathered in the room. Everyone in the room except Joseph Sumter feels the effects of the prophetic power gone horribly awry, and Joseph witnesses Luis, Gregor, Bella and Julie drop to the ground comatose and Gillian simply black out, her augmentation ending in a snap of power that cuts off as abruptly as it began.

Silence hangs in the laboratory, silence and the flickering sputter of broken fluorescent lights. Over a minute of prolonged silence, followed by Julie's whispered and whimpering words.

"All I saw was darkness…"

After a minutes time, Bella comes awake to the feeling that she's hit her head, and hard but little pain. It's a minute too late for the feeling of impact, but she still feels… off. And how did she get onto the floor? And what did she just see?

Dr. Sheridan immediately lifts herself into a sit, her head spinning for a moment as she regains herself. And then she gets to her feet looking around, trying to compose her thoughts just as much as she tries to compose the situation. Not a good combination. And then… the subjects! Her eyes move to Gillian and Joseph, trying to assess their condition. A doctor trained bone-deep.

Moments after consciousness begins to come back to those in the room, Gillian lets out a raspy groan. The vitals show quite a lot of oddities, lower than the spikes of adrenaline that the drugs enduced, and dipping lower at a fast pace, as if turning the opposite way. The lower things get, the weaker she'll get, and the more likely she'll pass out again, but for a few moments, her eyes fly open again and an unseeing stare up at the ceiling anove her, as she struggles as if trying to get away.

Energy doesn't leak, not at first, as she rasps out a, "Stop…"

Her eyes roll up toward the top of her head, and soon she loses consciousness again. Different from the blackout, but somehow trapped at the same time, in a nightmare vision that she doesn't know the beginning to. Or the ending.

Whatever was taken out of Joseph to donate a vision larger than himself or his capacity for future-seeing has left him still and quiet, with a heart rate still pumping all too fast to be neither healthy nor natural. A fine sheen of sweat has risen on his brow, leaking to gather at the subtle hollow next to an eye, although that may be a different kind of saline fluid, judging by the track of clear from both corners of his eyes.

Like Gillian, he's not responding, nor waking, when Bella comes to check on him. At least the deep sleep he's been shunted into is peaceful, if the relaxed lines of his expression are to be any judge.

June 19, 2010

The young telepath swallows as his capture comes into focus, her's was so much more pleasant. Joseph can feel the fingers jerk a little in response to the tazer. What he doesn't see is the glistening of moisture as it gathers in her lashes, though it never slides down her cheek.

It's hard for her to watch.

The scene with the redhead, Kaylee supplies a name for him, Dr. Isabella Sheridan. Her feelings about that woman, she can't hide, not like this. It'll be clear to Joseph she doesn't like her.

As the scene shifts to the memory in lab, Kaylee pays closer attention, her mind paying close attention to what she sees. Breath catching at what she witnesses, waiting in anticipation. When the vision hits everyone else, there is a soft gasps from the telepath of surprise. So that's how…

As a result, the memory of her own blurry and barely coherent vision — one that seems like her own death — seeps into his mind before she can stop it. It cuts off suddenly even as it sinks into that eerie darkness that the girl in his memory mentioned and she wakes in pain on the bus.

Sorry, is mentally murmured with embarrassment, even as she finally loosens the hold she has on his mind. Kaylee can feel the moisture on her cheek, as she becomes more aware of the world around her, blue eyes slowly sliding open and hands dropping way. All too quickly she becomes aware of sharp pounding centered right behind her eyes. She quickly wipes at the wet tracks on her cheek, eyes dropping away from either of them, her wrapped arm cradled loosely against her stomach as it too, protests the abuse.

"Got it." Kaylee states in a strained voice, her gaze still lowered, her mind going over what she just witnessed.

Eileen may as well be a stone angel in the corner for as much as she's moving. Apart from the unsteady rise and fall of her breast beneath her coat and the occasional blink, she's still enough that at some point a moth decided to alight on her collar, its wings the same ashen shade as her pallid skin. As Kaylee recovers, she reaches up and gently brushes it off with the back of her hand before bracing her palm against the wall.

The first step she takes away from it is very small, but there's nothing tentative about her movements; as soon as she's confident that she has her footing, she starts forward, closing some of the distance that she'd been so adamant about maintaining only a few minutes ago. Her voice might not carry the whole way on its own.

"What did you see?" she asks, careful to keep her tone soft so Kaylee doesn't misintepret her request as a demand, tight though her tone may be.

A small glance confirms something that Joseph is happy about — Eileen is asking Kaylee. Not him. The sliver of vision projected back at him only seals the certainty that it was him, his gift, that wrecked havoc on New York City, that Gillian was there and he told her not to fight despite the fact that he got out and she did not, about selling a piece of his soul to Bella for selfish freedom and everything else. Liette— no, Julie. And the Refrain. Even mingled with other substances, it was there.

He isn't touch her now, elbows braced on his denim clad knees and fingers laced together as if in prayer, head bowed, brow pressed against those knuckles and almost hidden in this curled posture, twin crucifixes dangling from his neck at a frenetic sway that might have something to do with a small shudder, the way he's breathing.

Finally, looking up Kaylee looks at Eileen, giving her a grim look. "Nothing good," she says softly. There is a moment where her lips are pressed tight, but then the telepath glances up. "It… would be easier if I showed you. Beyond Gillian and Joseph… And Sheridan… I don't recognize any of them. Couple of scientists and a blonde teenage girl."It will put her to her limit, but it's important enough. "It was the moment of the event and how they did it."

Her gaze falls away from Eileen, to the man sitting next to her on the couch. Kaylee's brows tilt upward in worry as she watches him for a moment. A part of her wants to say something, anything to be comforting… but she's not him, where he always seems to know what to say…

Words fail her.

The only thing she can think to do, after a moment of hesitation, is to reach out and let her hand rest against the back of his flannel shirt. The weight gentle at his shoulder blades, if he doesn't flinch away, moving slowly back and forth, a gesture of comfort. She saw first hand what he went through, so can truly understand what he might be feeling. A part of her wants to just throw arms around him protectively, hug him in understanding, but she keeps it to the back rub. No reason to over react, especially in front of Eileen.

Eileen has a guess as to the identity of Kaylee's blonde teenage girl. Bella's name has her adopting more predatory mannerisms, eyes sharp and lips pressed thin to keep from exposing her teeth when she feels the urge to curl her mouth around a quiet snarl or curse. She manages to resist, channeling her anger into brisk, scissor-like movements like a small, swiveling hawk as she turns her head toward the sound of Joseph's more haggard breathing.

"Don't push yourself," she advises the telepath in a thinner voice than the one she'd been using previously, edged with an emotion that's difficult to place but matches her eyes in terms of its sharpness.

Richard Cardinal was right. "If you're going to show anyone, let it be Catherine. She and Jensen should be prepared when they go to bring her in for questioning." Her attention shifts away from Joseph, steers toward the apartment's window where a robin stands erect on the other side of the glass, dark head cocked and red breast flashing. It gives an anxious flick of its wings. "I'll also need you to draft up another bulletin for me, if you would."

"Dr. Luis and Julie." There. Joseph supplies these names with as much readiness as he does reluctance, voice coming deeper and thick from his throat, fingers detaching from there they were laced together so that he can run his palms up his face, still in that half-hunched kind of position. His back is warm beneath Kaylee's hand, but he makes no indication that he's paying attention to it — at the very least, he is not flinching away.

By the time Eileen is listing what to do next, he's raising his head. His eyes aren't dry, but composure has been gathered, save for overt tension making his jaw hard and shoulders hunched. "This wasn't Sheridan's idea," he feels the need to input. "What do you mean, show?"

She would nod, but it would not help the pounding in Kaylee's head, so she offers a soft "Okay." The word is sighed out in relief. "I'll give Cat a call and arrange a meeting… see if she'll let me." Her eyes drop from Eileen before sliding over to Joseph, the look sad, as she says, "Not a whole lot of people trust me in their heads." Brows dip down just a little, before the relax.

The mention of a bulletin, Kaylee glances back over to Eileen, watching her at the window from corner of her eye. "What would you like the bulletin to say?" The agreement to draft one in her tone.

"No it wasn't." Kaylee agrees with Joseph, her hand slowing to a stop as he raises his head. "It… was that older man." Eyes narrow slightly as she looks at him, then saying as if finally clicking the connection into place. "Dr. Luis… or at least he was in charge."

His other question has her hesitating, teeth catch her lower lip while her tongue wets it as she considers how to say it. Ther is a glance back to Eileen, before she says, "Meaning, I can share the memory with someone else, like I showed you mine. I — don't think as clearly… but…" Kaylee trails off softly.

"If you'd rather I don't…" I won't. That last sliding through his mind unconsciously, she gives him a sheepish look, hand sliding off his back. I'm sorry… I should have thought to see if you even want it passed on.

Eileen is unaware of Kaylee's half of the clandestine conversation happening only a few feet from where she's come to stand, and it's probably just as well. Knowing the Englishwoman, she might not like to be told that they can't pass Joseph's memories onto another person for analysis. As for the bulletin—

"Someone has to check in with the local hospitals and ask if any Jane Does matching Gillian's description have turned up over the last few days," she says. "If they let go Joseph go, it's possible that she's still unconscious somewhere out there."

Joseph gives a twitch, both a reaction to the voice in his head as well as shaking his head in rapid denial, as if he doesn't do it now, he'll get precious about his memories. "No, no, do what y'need to," he assures, clearing his throat once this is said, but otherwise, he's not offering much more than that. Decisions, actions, these things are being discussed over his head and he makes no effort to drag himself to its level, pensive in his silence as he breaks his gaze from either woman and studies, instead, his dog so tidily asleep on beige carpets.

Kaylee's head jerks towards Eileen and what she wants, instantly regretting it as her brain feels like it wants to explode out of her head. Grimacing, she bows her head slowly, eyes sliding closed. Fingers press to her forehead, as if that alone will stop the headache. "Okay…" The word laced with the pain, threatening to rip her head apart.

Probably a good thing she didn't try to push it.

"It'll get that out right away." When did Kaylee become Eileen's secretary? The brief fluttering of the thought amusing, not upsetting her at all, infact her lips twitch with a small smile. Her hand drops away from her forehead to lay limp across her lap, as she looks up to where the woman is standing. "Anything else?"

"No," says Eileen, "nothing else." And the robin on the windowsill takes this as its cue to leap out from under the protection of the concrete lip into the sunlight-suffused rain, silver droplets of water glancing off its wings and back as it corkscrews cheerfully out of sight.

Her demeanor is a lot less jovial as she turns toward the door and shows Joseph and Kaylee the slender column of her back, the angular jut of her shoulder blades visible beneath the navy material of her coat and long, brown-black hair. "Thank you," she adds, though it isn't clear who her words are meant for.

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