Running Guns and Saving the World


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Scene Title Running Guns and Saving the World
Synopsis Robert Caliban arrives in Ryazan and is met at the train station by members of Team Charlie, and upon arriving back at the Spektor home Ethan delivers some bad news.
Date December 7, 2009

Ryazan, Russia

The train station is a likely place that no one thought they would be seeing again so soon. Bunched into the van which is turned on periodically to keep it warm, a few people from the house made the venture in to pick up the possibly temporary visitor and houseguest. Robert Caliban. Public Relations representative of the Linderman Group, personal friend it seems of Abigail and someone who might have some information on this James Muldoon that Liz saw at the foundry. Supposedly. The woman has doubts.

Abigail in her parka sits in the back, arms folded across the back of the seat in front of her, chin resting on her arms. Not that she's unamenable to seeing someone she knows, but he's a Lindergoon which she knows won't sit well with some folks, and she's always somewhere in the back of her head wondering what the string is attached to what he does with her. Thank you Teodoro, you'd made her paranoid about nice people. Logan's made her paranoid about British people.

"When's the train supposed to come in?" Impatience laces her voice for once. She's known for her patience. Usually.

"Soon," Felix says, tersely. He's smoking one of those awful, awful cheap Russian cigarettes, despite Liz's scolding - he's clad in his gray overcoat, his fur hat. "This isn't the Soviet era, the trains only occasionally run on time. Not like life under Uncle Joe," The sarcasm in his voice could etch glass.

Sicily had spent the last few days disobeying orders. Probably because he doesn't take orders from mafia bosses or their proxies— something about having been raised in Sicily, maybe. He left the house with typical frequency and pursuit of agendas stubbornly unadjusted to Caliban's warnings. Stayed in radio contact, with the purchase and subsequent use of a cellphone, though. Teodoro isn't reckless until he is.

Nor is he unnecessarily rude. Having dutifully and safely played chauffeur for the hour's drive over, he's playing with the phone now. Prying thumb at buttons, something restless about the gaze he switches it to and from the thing's tiny display window. Seventh text he's sent with no answer, and he suspects that his increasing urgency will be construed as unceasing petulance, if Wireless is listening; worse is the alternative, perhaps more likely— if she isn't. Scowling, he shoves the thing into the lining of his jacket, exhales through his teeth.

It probably speaks of general paranoia that they've all flocked around Abigail like well-meaning vultures, or maybe it was just the cabin fever for those who though to obey. Francois had wanted to go, not only because getting out of the house seemed like a good idea, though slightly vacant boredom has taken over in favour of alert companionship and guard dog attentiveness.

He's used to long hours as a general rule, but the van could be bigger, and the company could be more joyous. A heel rests against the edge of his seat, arms curled around his knee and he daydreams a little about a partially read novel sitting on his bedside table.

"We won't miss it when it does," Francois thinks to offer, reassuringly, as much as he might will it on himself, if quietly.

This is not Uncle Sam. This is not the United States. The fact that all the signs are in cyrillic hasn't escaped the brunette's mind. "I know. I'm just worried" She's always worried. It's a perpetual state for her as well. Cooped up in the car with the folks who wanted to come. Not that she doesn't appreciate it. "I didn't ask him to come" She feels like underlying that point. One can almost see her dragging that ballpoint pen under the spoken words, twice, in red ink then highlighted in yellow. "I was just asking for information on Muldoon"

Fel has been less overtly miserable of late, merely a silent presence at meals and meetings. He's spent a lot of time roaming around the town, limping on first a crutch, and then gingerly on his two feet. "Why'd he insist?" he asks, absently, before blowing a series of smoke rings, unrolling the window to let the wind take them.

In the meantime there is a tiny blond thundercloud fixed to the end of Teo's neck. He, in contrast, had been a relatively sunny personality over the course of the past few weeks, even if his rays of all-encompassing warmth occasionally squiggled and clumsily got lost thanks to the discombobulation side-effect of his ability. He's merely annoyed now. Visibly fighting down the urge to yank his phone out and check again. For answers, for further Ferry bulletins.

It must say something saintly about his character, that the absence of a friend is higher cause for anxiety than the approach of a Linderman patsy. He mumbles something, not immediately audible to any of the others, but familiar enough in its cadence to be construed as apology. He pops his door open, just two inches, and uncinches his seatbelt. Scoots his butt over an inch and, without further ado, punches the crown of his forehead into the car's door with a hollow tunk of bone meeting metal.

It appears to clears his sinuses, if nothing else. Leaves Teodoro on a long exhale, blinking in the narrow strip of the rearview.

"Perhaps— " Francois steers a look towards Teo, eyes narrowing a little at that display, an awkward pause before he continues to speak in a more cautious tone of voice, and distracted - finishing his sentence in an obligatory manner than really trying to contribute to the conversation. "Per… haps he is as concerned about Muldoon's presence as you are, for his own reasons. Sicily?"

Teo hasn't done that in ages. Abby hasn't done it either since she's been on the anti-depressants. "I didn't fight him. I don't fight Robert about stuff. Not directly" Not that she's had the chance to. She - like the others - probably saw him checking his phone as religiously as she prays at night before going to bed. "You could just ask us to smack you in the head, at least you know we won't give you brain damage" Offered softly from her spot. "He does that when something's not going good, or he's worried. Reflex" An aside to Francois to fill him in. "He used to have a titanium plate in his head so when he did it, it didn't damage anything. but now you don't have the plate in your head and I don't have the gift to repair the brain damage Teo" So stop doing it again.

That's quite enough. Felix is tired of being in the car, so, like a cranky toddler, he opens the door, heaves himself out, shuts the door gently behind him. The closetdweller is tired of being confined - he and his neuroses take up quite enough space on their own.

"Ah." Another twitch of a glance as Felix relieves himself of their company, Francois letting his eyes roll up towards the ceiling of the van before resting his head back against his seat. "Abby is right, we might need you later," is gently teasing in the Sicilian's direction, and doing a poor job at masking a kind of detached sympathy. Hands fidget with the gloves on his hands as the Frenchman adds; "Technically, you are also missing, as is Abigail, and Elisabeth and the others. But we are fine, more or less."

"Non problema." Sicily's default answer to everything, though for convincingness' sake, he raises a hand and connects an O in a loop of forefinger and thumb, splays his other fingers around an approximated K.

It turns out, he's still rrright here and everything, so he listens to the entirety of Abigail's brief documentary with a squint of bemusedly fuzzy accusation at her, then switches to eyeing Francois. He feels a pinch of desire to explain, that Wireless isn't like him, or any of the rest of them; that for Wireless to be out of contact inevitably spells DOOM or some other subtype of catastrophic technical difficulty, but he chooses not to, less because he feels it necessary to conceal secrets from Francois than because he doesn't like where that conversation would end, awkward resignation, pragmatic acceptance. Nowhere he can't get to by himself.

"I used to play football," he announces, instead. "Long before they invented surgical titanium, my people were cultivating thick skulls and a propensity for taking balls to the head. Don't worry. I won't do it too often." Vanity catches up with him the next instant. He presses a thumb on his forehead, testing.

"I can attest to the thickness of your skull Teodoro and it's not that thick. You keep doing that, i'll tell…" She can't tell Lucrezia on him, damned if she knows where the woman is. So she goes for the next motherly person on her list. "I'll tell Liz about it and i'm not missing. I didn't up and disappear. I left notes, made sure that things were covered, said I was going away for a bit" She wasn't kidnapped like others, just directed here by the powers that be that commune with waif like see'ers that roam big metropolitan cities.

Felix is loitering outside the van, in dark gray overcoat and fur hat, smoking one of those terrible cardboard cigarettes like he is absolutely determined to have lung cancer on the slim chance that he survives this whole adventure - he's got the cherry cupped in his palm, reflexively sheltering it, smoking off the back of his hand like a borderguard, gazing into no particular middle distance as he listens to the others talk.

"Oui," is concession to Abby's claim, a nod as he glances at her in the rearview mirror. It shows enough to display the smile that goes with it, around the eyes and the tilt of his brow. "I know - though I am sure you are missed, all the same." His other heel comes up, braces, arms shifting to accommodate both legs as he curls on the seat, retaining warmth and personal comfort as he lets his chin come to rest between both bent knees, the toes of his boots dangling over the edge of the van's leather-clad seats.

Felix is watched, next, without particular conscious thought, before Francois lets his attention drift back towards where, presumably, Caliban is meant to emerge soon. "I only meant that people migrate, sometimes without a word, sometimes with many."

Flattening his fingers on his forehead, Teo squishes and pulls the skin around until he's satisfied no welt's to be raised. Perhaps a greenish tick of a bruise, at worst. Lucrezia got used to seeing worse than that on him when he was younger, and even now, he probably wouldn't be entirely above flaunting what idiotic battle-marks he notched himself with. "More is better, when it comes to this sort of thing," he answers, his voice dark with a grumbling sort of conviction.

He glances out at Felix, smells cigarette still slow-dissolving in the air. Liz can't do much about that; chances seem slim she could do much more to stop Teo from splitting his cranium on whatever he pleases. Still, he concedes to crack a grin for Abigail, before closing it off behind sanguine lips when he sees the Frenchman huddling small against the cold. "Should I turn the heater on again?"

"Babies. With the cold" She teases, a glance to Felix through the window and a frown. This was not the fed that Teo dragged into her bar months ago and into the backroom. The one who declared he wanted to know, and was making her his informant so she'd better speak up. Blonde brows - because she has yet to ever really dye her brows except that one time - furrow downards, lines marring her forehead. "I'm missed. Caliban even misses me" She doesn't know if Flint misses her. Joseph misses her. her cat misses her. Everyone is missed by someone no matter how insignificant. "Turn it on, just for a little bit, so you both don't shrivel into cold pathetic balls of human popsicleness"

No, it definitely is not. This is the flotsam that is left after Kazimir, after Deckard, after Humanis First. Fel seems entirely at home in the cold, though his face is set in lines of near-permanent weariness - it's all aged him, despite the exertions of so very many doctors and healers.

Gee, thanks, Teo. Sicily gets a resentful glance from the Frenchman, green eyes narrowing before he stretches. Thunk, thunk, his boots hit the ground of the van, extracting himself from his curling up. "I think he is looking for an excuse for the heater. I was merely being comfortable, and now a scapegoat," Francois states at a mutter, settling into a slouch.

When the elektrichka pulls into Ryazan's station, the sun is still visible in the gaps between the buildings and snow-limned trees on the other side of the street. Its dying light illuminates the frost caked around the power lines that run parallel to the road, broken up by the occasional wooden pole and attached warning sign spelled out in the Cyrillic alphabet: DANGER - LIVE WIRES OVERHEAD. The nice thing about signs, though, is that often literacy isn't required to understand the meaning they're trying to convey. A lightning bolt in the sign's background makes its message abundantly clear, even at a distance.

As the commuters returning from Moscow filter out of the station and onto the street, it's difficult for Team Charlie to pick Robert Caliban out of the throng — if only because Abigail is the only one who really knows what they're looking for. When he does emerge, it's in a heavy coat and woolen scarf in subdued colours that help him blend in with the crowd, knit cap pulled down over a ruff of dirty blond hair that's only started to recede. Instead of proper luggage, he carries a rucksack over one shoulder and a metal briefcase in the hand of his opposite arm, fingers clad in leather gloves designed to ward off the cold.

He looks as much like a native as Felix does, which may or may not be a good thing, depending.

Teodoro resisting the urge to lay a big wet one on a guy and laughing at said guy is fairly interchangeable, as far as external appearances go. He gets squinty, a taunt or a wry observation hovering in good-natured mockery around the corners of his mouth and the distant threat of crows' feet. In the end, he tosses Francois an entirely incorrectly-executed salute, slings one foot out of the door to follow Abigail, who has inevitably already begun to squirrel out to greet Caliban with a bit good old-fashioned Southern hospitality.

However geographically out-of-place that is, here. Once alighted, he doesn't come closer. Stands one boot in the car, an arm over the door, bristly head craning to see. "I'd offer to take your bags," he says, "but I'd hate to insult. «Welcome to Ryazan.»"

When the train comes in, Abigail's head pops up off her arms like a meerkat that Felix watched while drugged so long ago on TV. There's a nudge to Francois as the people start disembarking from the vehicle. "It's here"

Teo also knows her too well and indeed, she's nearly leaping from the van once she opens the door to suss out their guest. That's about as easy as sussing out felix but eventually, there he is and Abigail waves the Lindergoon down. Sorry Robert, no more pink hair. "Mr. Caliban. Your chariot awaits, Welcome to Ryazan. I'll introduce you to everyone in the car" Five bucks he already knows who everyone is.

Evening, Dodd. Fel drops the butt end of his cigarette into a puddle of meltwater, grinds it under a bootheel for good measure, nods absentmindedly to Caliban. He'll let the other man precede him back to the van.

Francois cranes his neck as if he could by sight pick out the stranger in question, and the man with his modest luggage is not who he would have singled out. To be polite, the Frenchman levers himself out of the van in case there needs to be some geographical position changing, gloved hands coming to rest on the damp metal rooftop as he peers over the top of the vehicle at where Abby ambushes their newest arrival. If looked at, he only offers a chin up and a fleeting, guarded smile, and nothing more. The other two have the meet and greet covered, and all the politeness in the world.

"Spasiba," Caliban tells Teodoro, his tone somewhat rueful, apologetic. He hasn't been running, but his breaths are somewhat laboured as he hustles over to the van, one hand on his cap to keep it from flapping off in the breeze. If he knows who everyone is as Abigail already suspects, there's nothing in either his voice or his facial expression that suggests it. He flashes the Sicilian a quick smile that, as always, does not quite reach his eyes — two chips of blue beneath brows more silver than blond. Maybe he's turning prematurely gray. "My Russian isn't very good."

Somewhere in the distance, smoke is rising in a thick black plume. Nothing unusual, not really — this is the country, it's winter, and although people within the city limits do not burn things to keep warm, they often do to dispose of them. Dead trees. Brittle piles of crackling mulch. Trash. They's be hearing the blare of sirens if it was an emergency, wouldn't they?

"I hope you haven't been waiting long," Caliban adds, loading his rucksack into the van. The briefcase he keeps clasped in his free hand. "They wanted to check my papers in Zaraysk."

Now why would they possibly want to do that? Teo's mother taught him to smile only if he means it, so there's nothing specifically plastic about the one that he bends his mouth around, but it's decidedly more politic than the ones he's shared with his compatriots until then. "Not long at all. More than enough company to spend it with— but we should hurry. The Spektors are already expecting you.

"Unless there's somewhere else you need to go," he offers, carefully neutral. He ducks his head in under the van's roof, resettles in the seat with only the faintest grimace when his legs protest the return to their stiffening seated configuration al-ready. Abigail had been right, of course: he's a wimp in the face of Russia's wintry cold, or he'dve had a walk around.

"What Teodoro said. I'm sorry they wanted to see your papers, they didn't bother us at all all the way here" but then, they had company paperwork and the Spektor's and other company issued help to smooth the way. "In, in, it's warm, not cold and we can figure out where you want to go." She offers a smile to the Linderman rep. "Some folks are back at the house, dealing with information and things" And there she is, talking too much. She gestures towards the van, the fur that rims the hood of her parka tickling at her cheeks as she waits for him to get in first. "Robert, meet Francois, Teo and Felix" She gestures to each respectivly. "My informal guardians. As always" It's true. Sorta.

Not all of them. Fel spent a very, very uncomfortable few hours in a little room in the Moscow airport, since he came in legit, but without high level diplomatic clearance. Ostensibly, he's taking some personal time before getting involved in oh-so-fun gladhanding/liaising between the FSB and the FBI legat on counterterror issues. But clearly, he was handed off, at least for now. He doesn't offer a hand to shake. "Zsdrastvuitye," he greets, with lazy formality.

He raises a hand to wave towards Caliban when he's listed— smiles a little wider at Abigail's sentiment— before Francois is ducking back down into the passenger seat up front. Shotgun. He's not about to contribute stories about how very easily he managed to slip into the country, buttered up by some clandestine organisation that horrifies him on more levels he has time to acknowledge. It's all a little—

Suspicious. Instead, he offers, friendly, "I hope your train trip was more pleasant than ours, as much as I doubt it," once the man has joined them in the cosy van.

"It would have been more tolerable if the man sitting beside me changed his socks more than once a fortnight," Caliban says as he climbs into the van, careful to duck his head in order to avoid hitting it on the way in. He's a little shorter than most of the men on Team Charlie, though not by very much. Two inches, maybe three in his bare feet. "I've smelled worse on the subway back in New York, at any rate, and I suspect I'll have more trouble getting back into the States than I did clearing Zaraysk. How far is the drive?"

"Least you weren't looking like an overripe banana, and you speak more Russian than I do, so you'll do just fine" The only woman in the group placates. "I'm sure all of us will have more trouble going in than we did coming out. Nature of the beast I suppose" The door is closed behind her, people shuffling, getting settled. "It's not too long, I'm sure Katarina will have food and hot drinks"

A yank claps the door shut beside Teo, and he waits long enough to watch the others assemble themselves in ragged rows in the rearview before starting the car. It vents a pleasant breath of heat down on his arm. "About an hour," he answers. The van pulls back across asphalt with a susurrus of heavy rubber treads, knocks the shoulder off a melting snowdrift before trotting out to the meager flow of Ryazan traffic.

Well, that was mission accomplished. They didn't get grabbed by spooks of whatever flavor, shot at, or even harassed. Fel watches the countryside pass with an absented, rather dreamy expression….and then simply and expediently tucks himself down in his seat, jams each hand in its opposite sleeve monk-fashion, tips his hat down over his eyes, and to all immediate appearances goes promptly to sleep.

"Even if you are not hungry, she will have it," Francois agrees, glancing at the man in the rearview mirror. It only takes several seconds after that for him to speak again, his tone still friendly as it was before, discussing train rides or alternatively the weather, which is consistently bleak. He holds his study in the mirror. "We were just wondering, monsieur, as to why you have come all this way. The technology these days seems to guarantee that we need not go anywhere to get things done otherwise."

Caliban leans back in his seat, briefcase resting in his lap, and curls fingers around its edges like an eagle hooks clawed toes around its prey. "The government of the United States isn't the only entity interested in averting a nuclear apocalypse," he says. "I understand that not everyone here is fond of my employer, but most days I'm not particularly fond of him either — there aren't any hard feelings. I came because I promised Abigail I'd offer her my assistance if you ran into any unforeseen difficulties. James Muldoon is, in my opinion, an unforeseen difficulty."

"I'd think everyone would want to avoid a nuclear apocalypse" Murmurs the former blonde as she settles in too for the somewhat long ride back to the Spektor household. "Thank you for coming Mr. Caliban. Unexpected, a surprise and a little hard to fathom, but…" But he came, and on a dime. "You have a place to stay?"

Francois nods a little in affirmation, as much as he doesn't necessarily have the misgivings about Linderman that the rest of them might. Not that he's oblivious, filled to the gills with information courtesy of the brunette in the back of the van, but it's all a little like listening to a story. He spares a glance towards their driver before focusing his eyes ahead and listening for the time being.

"Not yet," Caliban says with a rolling shrug of one shoulder. He avoids the temptation to flick errant looks in the rear view mirror at the men sitting up front — especially Teodoro, whose eyes he skirts. "Soon. I don't anticipate a hard time."

The ride back to the Spektor home is endured in uneasy silence, the van's upholstered interior suffused with the smell of Felix's cheap cigarettes, Caliban's cologne and the musty aroma that the vehicle's heater gives off whenever it's running. By the time it rolls up in front of the house, and Teodoro is opening the back doors so the others can climb out into the snow that chokes the stone driveway, the sun has completely disappeared behind the horizon and left the sky a starless matte black.

The lights downstairs are on, though there's no sign of Katarina's silhouette puttering about in the kitchen. Ivan's study, too, appears absent of any activity, its dark curtains drawn shut. Normally, this would provide the English professor with the privacy he needs to work, but tonight things seem even stiller than normal. You can almost hear the snow falling.

Time to unload, face possibly unhappy company agents. Who knows. Abigail climbs out - glad to be out of the van of conflicting smells - and back into the relatively fresher smelling outdoors. A squeeze of Teo's shoulder is given in thanks for driving everyone to the train station then back and a smile for Francois and Caliban as the former healer hunkers her shoulders against the cold and waits to help Felix out if he needs it before heading on up to the house. Boots kicked against the side of the entrance to clear snow and she's opening the door, heading in. "We're back! Picked up Mr. Caliban!" As if, you know, everyone inside didn't see the vehicle pull in.

"After you, monsieur," is polite and demur, Francois gesturing towards the gaping entrance to the house, spilling warmth and light, and offering a smile. Intending to follow Caliban inside, he darts green-blue eyes over the face of the house, seeking out the windows in a kind of instinctive pattern, noting stillness passively as he moves carefully through snow and ice, already peeling off his gloves as he goes.


Almost could be most probably applied to many occurences that happened in a single night. The silence so prevalent you could almost hear the snow falling. The team going and returning almost without a hitch. Ethan almost not being an asshole. But almost has a way of disappointing, a way of luring one into a sense of comfort and…

"Clinic burnt down."

The words might as well be a hammer or some blunt instrument that has hammer like effects on metaphorical faces. Ethan's hands are face down on the dining table surface. Blank features studying the new entrants quietly. His soot-caked peacoat decorated with several tears and holes. The smell of smoke is overpowering as the recent arrivals enter, not only from the cancer-stick dangling from Ethan's right lip. The smoke is worn like a perfume around the dark clad grumpypants of a man.

Scooting back on the chair, a small bit of ash is brushed off his left arm, flaking off onto the table surface carelessly. "Where th'fuck were you?" He growls, accusation clear in the tone as if everyone knew this was Clinic-Fire-Day. Why didn't you guys have your tickets? :(

Caliban follows Abigail into the house, making a point to knock the snow off his shoes before he crosses the threshold and steps onto one of the faded carpets that cover the home's pristine hardwood floors. Ethan draws his attention almost immediately, and as he speaks, as he derides, tension pulls the muscles taut in his neck and shoulders beneath the material of his coat.

Recognition is written all over his features from the crinkles around the corners of his grizzled mouth to his skeptically arching brows, and like he shied away from looking Teodoro directly in the eye, he gives Ethan the same courtesy on his way into the dining room.

Everyone here probably knows the Clinic that they're talking about. The flood of guilt is palpable as it settles around Abby emotionally and visually on her features. "Kozlow gone to meet Faina?" Nice way of saying was he murdered. Spoken while she's pulling off her boots, loosening laces and placing them somewhere out of the way to dry. Same for her parka. "Ethan Holden, Robert Caliban. We were picking him up at the airport" Blue eyes shuttle a glance to Caliban. "Kozlow was the healer that we're pretty sure Muldoon was talking about when he commented they were irritating" In other words, likely not Abigail.

She looks back to Ethan, still somber. "Any survivors at all?" If she still had her ability, she'd be running to whatever was left of the clinic to see if she could help.

Francois lags somewhat behind, taking the time to tug off boots and let them rest at the door way rather than bother to deal with melting snow and the dirt caught amongst it. Coat gone, gloves off, scarf untangled, his frame is reduced to something less bulky than what the winterclothes would suggest, and he runs his palms against each other as he steers his attention towards Ethan.

He doesn't know guilt, not immediately, narrowing a look of open confusion on the other man, brow crinkling. Questions instantly compete for attention in his mind, but Francois keeps his mouth shut for now with the intention to let those who know something do the talking.

"Hospital." Ethan answers abruptly, letting the cigarette bob from one side of his mouth to the other. If walking had a way of being bitter, Ethan could pull it off as he rounds the table, eyeing Abby harshly before his disapproving eye settles on Caliban and finally, frenchie. After the introductions are made, Ethan makes his nice first introduction via a long awkward silence of staring at the man. Finally he looks back to Abby and Francois. "Why don't you go ask the burnt bodies?" Ethan growls dully. Taking a few steps away, "Anyway, I 'ope you all 'ad a wonderful drive." A cheery smile is delivered at that last.

"You make it sound as though it's their fault," Caliban says as he places his metal briefcase on the dining table and flicks open the clasps under the callused pads of his thumbs, gloves removed at some point between the front room and where he stands down, his back rigid. If he knows anything about fires — and he does, just ask John Logan — it's that there isn't a lot anyone can do once they're set unless they're in possession of the proper tools to fight it. To Abigail, he offers a short nod. "I saw him at the Pancratium once," he says of Ethan. "Wasn't sure what became of him after he lost his fight with Sylar. You cost me a lot of money, Holden."

Fel's like some sort of dybbuk who runs on nicotine and bile, rather than any sacred word. Apparently he was out for another cigarette - at least, the aura of smoke that surrounds him these days seems recently renewed, as he comes in, unwinding his scarf from his neck - he's stashed the wolf-fur hat somewhere.

Lost his fight with Sylar. "You mean the fight that Gabriel was fighting to win me back from Logan?" Though she doesn't challenge Ethan back with a look or anything verbal. "Anya Orlova? She turns people to stone. Francois spent two days as a statue while the rest of us were shot up. Doctor Kozlow has a gift, healing of a sorts with tremendous consequences. Vanguard killed his girlfriend when he refused to help them. He expected retribution for helping us. He told me to forget that we ever met him"

And now he's in the hospital so everyone who knows Abby knows exactly where she's going to go at some point. The youngest of the group moves around, easing down into a seat. She still feels guilt, still wears it like a coat, but Kozlow expected and she expected, that something would happen.

That Ethan is gearing up to angrily storm away is as constant aaas the snow, to name something, and so he can recognise the slight turn thataway and what it portends. Francois' hand goes out, ignoring soot and ash when he secures a grip onto Ethan's sleeve. "Stay a moment," he implores, focused on the other man and barely heeding conversation between Caliban and Abby, as much as his ears prick at certain keywords. "What happened? The Vanguard, was it they? Why were you there? You should tell us what you saw."

"You lost yourself a lot of money, fucko. Wagering against an Evolved in a one on one?" Ethan smirks lightly, "That seems kind of silly. Did you invest in Enron, too?" The smile flickers some as Ethan realizes how dated his reference is, feeling slightly insecure Courage Wolf makes up for it with an extra snarl Caliban's direction. Looking over to Abby, Ethan's brow perks slightly in awe for a moment. "You know. If it wasn't for 'er, I think we'd all be lost. Such a good nut-sheller." With that he's turning his back on Abby. When Francois' hand reaches onto his arm, his reaction is somewhat unexpected…

Just kidding. The angry look he shoots over at the French man is vintage Holden, who rears around to face them with full angry face. "Right. It was the Vanguard, they asked me to 'elp them light this place on fire and I was like, fuck, nothing else to do, so I kicked a can o gasoline over and lit the place on fire." He pauses, eyes running over them. "I got there. There was fire. I pulled out Kozlow. Fin." Fin is mispronounced, by the way.

Caliban apparently has nothing to say in his own defense, because he's silent as he opens the briefcase, revealing several handguns nestled in velvet, which he removes one at a time and places on the table's glass surface — clink, clink, clink. He is, otherwise, listening, head tilted at a hawkish angle.

Oh, look, he brought toys to share with the class. It's amazing what that does for both Felix's attention span and his mood. He hasn't asked question one about the clinic fire - just taking that in. He angles himself to peer over Caliban's shoulder with evident interest.

There is THREE people that Abby doesn't like. Logan, Muldoon, Ethan. There's strain as she's sure he just insulted her. She's really sure he just insulted her. "I'm getting tea, or coffee. What does everyone want to drink?" She's taking order, pushing the sleeves of the grey fisherman sweater up her arms to pool around her elbows and disappear into the kitchen proper after everyone who wants something has spoken up.

"Hey, guns," Teo observes, exiting the bathroom. He's wiping his hands clean on a towel that he'd snatched out of the ring beside the sink, out of no particular motive to pester their hostess; it needs to be switched out soon, anyway.

He leans his shoulder up against the doorway, craning his head. It had been the source of a small amount of astonishment, to him, that he'd been the only one to wind up in Russia with any kind of weaponry, and even then, he privately suspects Hana actually disowned him for appearing with no more than one handgun, disproportionate ammunition, and a single knife. "Who would you like us to shoot?"

Ethan reeling around has Francois putting up his hands in twin splaying gestures of defense, backing up and uttering a rather exasperated apology which doesn't quite excuse him for bumping right into Felix in the process. "Pardonez-moi," is muttered, briefly startled. "I did not see you come in, monsieur, you're very quiet— that isn't your ability, is it?" A slightly crooked smile accompanies the query, which—

Is only half joking. Pushing his hands into the pockets of his sweater, he casts a glance back to Ethan, a little narrow, before, like all the boys, his attention is drrragged towards the weaponry with alert interest.

Glancing to the briefcase of guns, to the Russian guys with a wolf hat or something, to the French guy tripping on the Russian guy, to the Italian guy post shit, and to the southern girl running to kitchen. For a moment he looks at his life, he has successfully pushed everyone away from talking to him. No one wants to talk to the angry British man anymore. For a moment he feels triumphant, and then a little sad, and then sleepy.

"Well." He says somewhat awkwardly. "Bedtime." And Ethan turns, dusting ash off his shoulder. "Should go see that geezer in the morning." He suggests as he starts to tromp off.

Safety on, Caliban tucks one of the handguns down the back of his pants for the time being, jacket pulled down over his belt to conceal the weapon from view after he's sure it's fit snugly against his waist. There are four others of various make and caliber he leaves untouched on the table's reflective surface. Wherever Katarina is, it isn't home or there would be a cloth out and food on it instead of the solitary smell of freshly-baked rye bread drifting into the dining room from the table. Tonight, Team Charlie can help themselves to dinner.

"As far as I'm concerned," he says to Teo while Ethan receives a farewell nod in passing, "you can shoot whoever you'd like, provided it isn't me. I brought what I could afford to bribe my way through customs with. It should suffice. Hopefully."

"No," Felix says, simply. No, it's not his ability. No. He doesn't want to talk to Ethan. In fact, he cherishes dreams of murdering him in his sleep, when he's no longer useful. A coyote with one of his roadrunners -just- out of the reach of his clutching paws. He doesn't reach for any of the guns, merely turns a pale and speculative gaze on Abby. "Do you know how to use a pistol?" he asks her.

Ethans comments from earlier days filter back as she turns back into the kitchen to try and figure out dinner. "I can fire a rifle and a shotgun, I've never handled a handgun of any sorts" Probably her first words though, have marked her for an idiot in the group, or as blonde as her namesake. Coming to hunt nukes and not knowing how to use a handgun. Everyone else does.

"Why didn't you want us to leave the house?" Casual inquiry. Casual, casual. Teo shifts a half-step aside to allow the Englishman to move through, doesn't bother making eye-contact at Ethan's ludicrously self-imposed curfew; he half-expects he's going to climb out the window and shimmy down a tree to go meet a cute girl at a club while Katarina isn't watching, or some shit. Something clandestine.

By now, the Sicilian's figured out that the encoded words that had been passed to him during that random bout of drinking game had been done so for tactical reasons, framed as they were by a certain oddities in Ethan's behavior, but he's yet to decipher names and deduce details. Stuffing the terrycloth in his pocket, he steps forward to get his grubby (cleaned) mitts on the weapons in the case.

In lion prides, the older descend on the goods before the children do. In this case, Francois hangs back when Teo goes to approach the weapons, and it's not entirely because of Abigail's frank opinions about the use of them. If he shares the hunger that Felix reacted to the weapons with, it's carefully hidden, or not there at all. So in short—

He'll get last pick, if there's any such ritual to be done, though he half expects not to see them again until they're required. The question the Sicilian picks is a good one, and Francois angles a glance to Caliban, hanging back at the doorway with an arm come to brace against the frame.

"Abigail, don't be silly." Ethan chants from mid-stair. "Pistols are also used to start races, and scare away seagulls. For competitive pistol shootin' competitions, for…" His words pause as he tries to think about what other uses pistols have. But so far there are way more than one. His attention momentarily goes to the Russian-est of the group. Cute girl? Hah. "Don't keep me waiting, big boy."

"Save me one of those guns." He grumbles as he goes to his room to jump out the window and go meet some girl. Or sleep. Something.

"I overreacted," says Caliban, grudgingly. "It was late, I hadn't been expecting the phone call, never mind the news, and I advised Abigail to do what I would myself have done in a similar situation. It was also incorrect." But not so incorrect that he didn't call her back upon arriving at this realization. "She isn't my responsibility," he concedes, finally. "I have my own reasons for taking the sighting here in Ryazan poorly. Can we leave it at that?"

"You're not my type, I'll stay in my closet, thanks," Felix says, with that utterly perfect deadpan. "And Abby, time to learn. You don't have to shoot anyone, anymore than you've killed anyone in anger with a shotgun or a rifle. But you will learn. Just in case." But he doesn't pick up one of the pistols on offer, merely looks over to see if there might be extra ammo suitable for his own Sig.

Abigail, kill in anger. Right. The brunette eases back in the kitchen till she's visible in the doorway and level a glance to Caliban "Do you see? He will be a dog about it until I do. They will all gang up on me until I do. You're forgiven by the way. For making me go inside. Sandwiches and soup, coming up. Felix, I am not going to learn to use a pistol no matter how much the jerk up the stairs flaps his gums, or you do. I'm here to stitch people up. If I don't have one, that means that I can't kill someone and I don't want another person on my conscience thank you" She disappears again, a spoon heard scraping against a pot and 'self rescuing princess' muttered from the kitchen.

Though he shares the other men's feelings on introducing Abby to the use of handguns, there's enough ninjaaa in Teo that he knows to bring his prong of attack at a different time. Biding one's time, and all that. He is picking one out of the case for himself, allows that to appear to occupy the mainstay of his attention, though he has enough good upbringing him to flicker momentary eye-contact up at Caliban as he listens to the answer.

It's a good answer, insofar as that Teo isn't about to insist because— that would be rude and out of place, but you'd have to be dead or retarded not to smell fish all over it. "We've started thinking it's the illusionist, ourselves," he says, at last, offering Caliban something of an excuse. "But if so, that indicates Zhukovsky either has fairly in-depth reading access to our memories or a vested interest in one of former enemies, as well enough range and prowess on his ability to trump the best that audiokinesis has to offer.

"Bad news, either way." He picks out a gun. It's of a lower caliber than the other he'd brought, smaller, though even with .45 ACP there are a variety of places you could aim at and still expect to kill an unarmored man. "We have reason to believe he knows more about the new phase of attack than he wants to share, but possibly isn't directly involved himself.

"Wanna help save the world, or is running guns about it?"

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