Salem, Part I


amadeus_icon.gif devon_icon.gif edgar_icon.gif feng_icon.gif keagan_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif perry_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Salem, Part I
Synopsis Roosevelt Island doesn't know what hit it when efforts to purge the island of its own Evolved light the night on fire.
Date February 11, 2011

The Dome: Roosevelt Island

It has been quiet, since the sun went down and curfew began. On the immense rooftop of the Dome, large enough to plane flat in places, the sun has melted some of the thick snow that had settled atop of it over the last week and change, and a little like partings in clouds, patches of sky can be seen. The sky is smoggy, dark, but the hazy pinpoints of stars can be seen as if through veils of smoke. But at least the nighttime obscures the worst of it — in the harsh light of day, the grey combination of settled snow and lifted particulates make an unclean circle of sky for only the denizens of the Dome to appreciate.

It has been quiet, since a good portion of the private military contractors had left the island to head for Queens, both on the civilian boat as well as through the checkpointed train tunnels that veins underground to the larger borough. The rumours had been that they were meant to restore some order to the much more chaotic portion of trapped land. That it's been quiet is probably not a bad thing, because the skeleton shift left behind might not only indicate that they are outnumbered, but that they all are.

Everyone is.

It also doesn't stay quiet.

While night pulls over and most of everyone has retreated somewhere to sleep, some of the homeless gathered in the Chapel in bunks, some borrowing apartments or staying within their own, something is happening within one of the apartment buildings — or at least outside of it. Confusion, people in ones and twos, or even in groups from being amassed in hallways, are being ushered out into the dark street, milling like an angry hive. The men that move them aren't contractors, but they do— they must— have guns.

But what might draw attention, out onto the narrow street, is the gunshot that cracks through the night, and the yells of protest that send people scattering and ducking variably.

With a list to make and two children to take care of, Melissa hasn't noticed the contractors leaving the island, or the people being ushered out of the apartment building. Not immediately anyway. Especially since she's somehow gotten separated from Perry and is looking for him. But the gunshot? Yeah, that gets her attention, and damn quickly too.

She ducks down, pressing her back against the nearest building. Her list and pen are dropped as she goes for her own gun, coat brushing the cold ground from her lowered position, her hand reaching for her own pistol, hidden beneath that coat at the small of her back.

As she looks around, scanning the nearby area, noticing the people who are coming out of the building, she searches for the source of the gunshot. Part of her mind flashes back to the last gunshot she heard, on the eighth, and the sight of people lined up against a wall. It's enough to make her hesitate, just for a moment, before she reluctantly tries to batter down the mental wall, to let herself feel the pain of those around her. If nothing else, maybe it'll help her locate the source of the gunshot. If anyone got hit by it.

And in her experience, someone always gets hit.

Keagan, rather suspicious of most of the locations to sleep, has generally kept to himself. Food, he gets from the chapel, but the night he spends by himself. People have been crazy, and he doesn't want to get involved with any trouble. But really, he does! The mimic wasn't close enough to see what is happening in the street, but he's close enough to hear the cold crack of the gun. While most people would go running, the boy finds the action irresistable. Still, he doesn't wish to be a fool. It isn't through the street that he moves. Instead, he sinks into the ground, and makes his way through the alley and under a building, before sliding up a wall and watching. The walls really do have ears tonight.

Tonight seems set to be one of those that Ygraine is spending on this side of the water, having failed to meet up with a certain hydrokinetic for a lift back across to the recomissioned Ferry safehouse on the other side of the Hudson. As a result, she's been spending the last while rooting around in search of anything that might qualify as a Useful Item - there being a certain ease to unlawful entry when one possesses a reasonable selection of tools and the ability to make use of an openable window on any floor of any building.

Now, with a small pack slung over one shoulder - the receptacle holding a few tins of canned food and a block of some rather mature cheddar - the leather-clad Briton was in the process of skulking her way towards somewhere safe to sleep. But the sharp report of a gun has her instinctively cringing, then scurrying for cover as she attempts to pinpoint both the source and the reason for the firing.

Seated on the stoop of one of the multi-level duplex tenement buildings that makes up the Summer Meadows residential complex, a transient isn't an entirely unexpeced sight. He jerks attention towards the crack of a gunshot, dark eyes squared towards where he seems to think the sound came from, but with how noise can echo between tall buildings, pinpointing a direction can be deceptive. Hands wrapped in fingerless gloves slide out of his pockets, one arm moving stiffly. There's a pang in the back of Melissa Pierce's mind at that, a tingling prickle of shoulder and joint pain that lances up thorugh her right arm socket, a dull impression of unexpected pain within her sphere of nervous system control.

As the homeless man rises up to stand, he tugs down his black knit cap more snugly atop his head, blakc brows furrowed just beneath the rolled up hem that displays a faded New York Jets logo on the brow. Scuffed boots scrape across the concrete steps, down to the sidewalk and out towards the pot-hole riddled street, a slow progress of footfalls that seems intent on discerning the direction of that noise.

Keeping his shoulders hunched forward against the chill in the air, one gloved hand moves up to his injured shoulder, massaging softly as those dark eyes narrow into a regretful expression. His posture shifts awkwardly, stiff and heavy in gait beneath his puffy, black winter jacket.

Gun… who brings a knife to a gun fight?

Edgar does.

It's yet another night where he didn't care to stay in after curfew. He's not fond of the whole practice and while under the bubble, he's going to take advantage. Take anything he can get his hands on, really. Tonight's menu is a bunch of canned meats, some apples that might have just gone a little gamey, and a bunch of clothing. He's not going to eat the clothes, but a few of the outfits sparkled. If Lydia doesn't like them, he can find a use or two.

Putting down a box of freshly acquired (read stolen/looted) canned goods, he pulls a bit of debris over it to hide it from any other opportunists. He's got a billion mouths to feed… Lydia, Ethan, the guy that almost threw up and then ran away, and Lydia's collection of cats. No one was as particular to the suggestion of using them as bait/food for the wild dogs as the speedster himself. So he's stuck feeding the lot of them.

Jumping up onto the fire escape of a nearby building, he crouches low and strafes toward the narrow space where the gunshot came from. Blackenned knives slip from sheaths at his back as he peers over the edge. Who cares about curfew, really?

Having been stuck in a haze of his own making, Devon had failed to notice much of anything. He did agree to help Melissa, keeping notes and making lists as he shadowed her on her errands. Tasks meant his mind was occupied elsewhere, and there's still a purpose to things. The quiet only further muted the teen; though the gunshot pierced through that cover.

"Fuck," The teenager hisses after the report, dropping to hands and knees to crawl after his neighbor. As he reaches the wall, he presses his back against it, looking first the opposite way of the fired shots and then toward it. The teenager refrains from asking the obvious question, what's going on is that someone's got a gun. Instead he spares a glance to Melissa for instruction before looking past again, toward the source.

Having slipped into Roosevelt fairly recently, Amadeus is still dressed in his black Chucks, jeans, zipped up black jacket, with the red claw tribal markings on the sides of his face. He's equipped a black backpack, a machete strapped to his back, with a crossbow in his hand. Who knows where he's keeping the arrows, but it's already loaded with one.

He's sitting behind the driver's seat of someone's red ferrari, all ready to be hotwired, but he's staying low and watching for the source of the gunshots first. He has a message to spread! But there might also be people to run over or shoot with arrows.

With the underside of the Dome slicing off Roosevelt Island from the electrical grid of New York City, and then the murkyness of the air above, it's very dark to see by. But not dark enough to be unable to do so.

For instance, it's not hard to pick out the person on the bad end of the gunshot — a man lying facedown now on the street and bleeding black-red onto the asphalt in gushing, rapid succession, his throat torn through as if it had been made of wet paper mache. Perhaps the surprising thing might be the Stillwater Security logo printed on his kevlar, and the way his arm is tangled with the strap of his automatic rifle. That the first blood to be spilled is what some may consider to be the enemy speaks of the idea that maybe there's more than one. Enemy.

In the dark, it's hard to separate out who is who from those that have emerged from Eastview, but there seem to be two groups. Those who cower, driven back from the building they were residing in, ordinary people — a young woman gripping the hand of a kid, maybe a sibling; an older gentleman gripping a coat over his pyjamas, his feet becoming cold on the chilly asphalt and sidewalk; and a child, too, standing lost in the chaos. The other group are male, armed, and not in any kind of uniform that they can tell, and outnumber the people they're driving out of the building.

One crouches over the dead PMC, strips him of his weaponry. Another scoops the child up under an arm. They all seem variously intent to get away from the building, or otherwise guarding the door to prevent people from getting inside. Or getting out.

Attention is something picked up upon— it's inevitable, the gunshot being a mistake— by the man stealing the weapons of the dead contractor. "Hey," he barks at a comrade, before he gestures with a sweep of his new rifle. The cue is taken, and the people forced out of the building are dragged by clothing, elbows, hair to mass in a group on the street, the older man shoved onto his knees. "Not the kid," the rifle-wielder clarifies, even as the young woman and her brother are forcibly shoved to stumble. The rifle is pointed to the group of Roosevelt Island residents, a silent warning for anyone who wants to come close.

Frowning, Melissa rolls her right shoulder, shaking her head. That's not a gunshot. She knows that feeling all too well, and this? This isn't it. She glances at Devon, nodding slightly. He's not hurt. She looks back out, keeping her voice low, doing her best to keep it from carrying. And doing her best to keep her own gun from Devon's view. "Keep down, keep close to me. If I tell you to run, run back to my place."

She winces as she spots the lone child, watches him get scooped up by the bad guys. But it's when she sees people being shoved into a group that her expression goes blank, the phantom pain in her arm momentarily ignored in the face of anger. Rage. "No…not again," she whispers fiercely to herself before looking around, seeing who might be close who can help.

Keagan watches from the wall, knowing that something must be done. The boy slips down into the ground, remaining merged. He isn't really sure what he should do, camping at the location beneath what he sees as the villains' feet. Merging with solid substances can be so handy at times. The man who spoke is becomes his most specific location, and he waits for some sort of opportunity. But…what will it be? He doesn't know.

Ygraine is also distinctly less than enthused by what she can make out, and has one of her rare moments of doubt regarding her loathing for guns. A hand-held taser, a small selection of screwdrivers, and a few cans of tinned fruit are unlikely to offer overly much against this particular group. As it is, she delves into her pack for one other item, slipping her all-black helmet into place. No longer presenting a pale face against the dark of night should help no end with avoiding notice. A couple of the smaller cans is slipped into the pockets of her jacket, in memory of a successful distraction technique conducted in another time, then she stashes her pack and its precious little burden of food and looks for a way to loop around and get behind the building.

It's the echoing gunshot that brings Perry back in this direction, his own pistol (or rather the pistol he borrowed from Mel) held firmly in his hand, both hidden together in his big winter coat. He keeps his head down, weaving back from his own investigative vector. Sound is tricky as a location finder in a space like this - sonar is great underwater, but on the city streets you'd have to be bat to have much of a chance - but when in doubt he jogs in the direction of where Melissa ought to be. Strength in numbers, if trouble really is starting. And that doesn't seem like much of a stretch, seeing as where there's gunsmoke, there's typically gunfire. Unless people are firing blanks for funsies.

Perry doubts there are a lot of funsies being had under the Dome right now.

The homeless man in the street lingers for a few long moments, working his hand at his shoulder he exhales a snort as a huff of steam out of his mouth. Those dark eyes slant towards the building, then the crowd of people being forced out and into a chosen selection of targets. Lips downturn into a frown, not out of sympathy but out of frustration. Stepping across the street, the wayward transient makes his way up to the opposite curb, then up onto the stoop of another building, watching the goings on just a little up the street where the chaos is playing out.

Looking back over his shoulder and down the other end of the street, the lightly tanned and round-faced transient slides his tongue across the inside of his cheek, then walks down off of the stoop and back onto the sidewalk, shuffling back and away from where the gunmen are gathering people up, firing a few furtive looks over his shoulder as if trying to evoke a clear I don't want any trouble vibe.

That vibe and posture changes entirely once the homeless man slips around the corner of the adjacent building and out of sight of the gunmen. He moves with a fluidic quickness, no longer that stiff and rigid gait, save for in his right shoulder. Melissa can feel the throb of phantom pain in her arm become less and less the further than man gets, until both the pain — and the man — disappear out of sight into the thick shadows of Roosevelt Island.

Well… isn't this curious.

Faced with the child being manhandled and the gun being pointed at others in warning, the carnie isn't too amused. But they have guns and he has a few (or more than) knives. Slinking back from the edge of the rooftop, Edgar begins collecting small pebbles, roughly the size of bullets. It's the smooth ones that get pocketted into his grubby courderoys, the rough ones get gently piched back down to the rooftop with a click click click.

Once his pockets are full, he runs as fast he can toward the building, being very careful to avoid any of the gunmen. Unlike the roundfaced man, the speedster does get into the middle of the crowd of gathered targets. Hunched low and looking somewhat meek, he shuffles along behind the old man, placing a hand on his back to support him. "This is nice, eh? Goin' fer a walk in the middle of the nigh'… crisp air…" The quiet mutter of conversation is more to mask the sound of his hand in his pocket, fingering the smooth pebbles. Edgar's bullets.

Keeping his attention fixed just beyond, to the events unfolding in the streets, Devon gives a nod. He'd heard Melissa, and keeping his head down sounds like a fine idea. He takes a breath, slowly exhaling as he shifts his feet under him. The teenager moves carefully, slowly to position himself to follow the woman.

Melissa's words, though whispered, give Devon small pause, eyes flicking from her to the scene once again. He remains crouched, hands feeling along the ground for anything that could be used as a weapon. However, the teen's feet shuffle forward a little further, drawing him alongside Mel while he watches those with the guns, and the residents.

Wires are tugged at, rubbing together, and vroomazoomzoom, the ferrari rumbles but he doesn't turn the lights on. He has no idea what's going on, he just knows that some guys with guns are pushing people around, so he'll do this strategy in the best way that he knows how. Stoned off his ass and completely on the fly.

His seatbelts put on, backing up as the Led Zeppelin song Whole Lotta Love plays loudly on the radio, then when he backs up, the lights flick on and he's facing the men with the guns. He beeps a few times, then is suddenly ducking his head. Whatever his next move is, it can't be anything good.

There's a slam of something breaking, further down the street.

A door is kicked open, two more of those gun handling thugs moving out of the rental home that sits squat on the street and, on a mission, don't really paid heed to what the rest of their comrades are doing as they head for the next door. One of them flings aside a couple of small items, plastic cards with the DoEA seal on them — Registration identification, and at a distance, it's impossible to tell whether they're stamped as Evolved or Non-Evolved, or if that's meant to matter.

But it probably does, when one of the windows glows with low, golden light through the curtains. No one's had power since the Dome occurred, and so it's probably not a lamp.

"Hey, you." Though Edgar had gone undetected in his sidle into the group amassed outside Eastview, his face is unfamiliar enough for one of the pistol-holding herders to point weapon at him, directly between the eyes. "Let's see some ID. Registration. Now."

"I'm not Evolved," rasps the older man, who'd only given Edgar a bewildered, empty stare at conversational attempts. "Only my wife is, and she's not here— I showed— I showed you my card, I'm not lying— "

"I'm not either! I'm not one of them!" squeaks the girl, her hand gripping her brother's, eyes wide and desperate. Similar echoes of the same claim murmur up from the group, all around Edgar.

"Yeah, we know. And if you behave, you'll be fine," the man holding the pistol at Edgar snaps at them. "Fucking carriers."

The man with the rifle glances back up at the building, waiting, before he takes out a cellphone and dials a speed number, pressing it to his ear, and oblivious to where Keagan can listen in easily where he approaches through the ground. "If there's anyone left inside, it doesn't matter. We need to start moving, the street's getting louder, and we got a long ni— hang on." BEEP BEEP BEEP goes the ferrari, and for a moment, many— though not all— people on the street glance towards where the red sports car sits and blares its music.

"The fuck?" mutters the rifle-holding leader of the pack, as two more men emerge from the building behind him. A tilt of his head has one of them breaking off, pistol in hand, and taking long strides towards where the car sits idle.

"Hey!" he yells out, and, seeing the windshield empty, fires one gunshot towards the passenger side, the impacting crack of bullet and glass loud to Amadeus, instantly creating spiderweb breakages across the glass. "Get the fuck out the car!"

The Eastview apartments themselves aren't fully evacuated. A window opens, a woman peering out from the third level to see what the fuck just happened, her face painted with blood from some blow delivered to her. Ygraine in particular will see more of the fact that the rooms aren't actually vacated, although fireescapes and back entrances remain unwatched, save for that front door with the group several paces out into the street in front of it.

Well, that's it. Help or not, Melissa's seen enough. Heard enough. "Devon…hide, if they come over here, you hide," she mutters, before she starts moving closer. Quickly, yes, but she's trying to escape notice. She just needs to get a little closer, just close enough to use her ability. She's not a great shot, and something has to be done. More, it has to be done now.

When she thinks she's in range, she focuses, not an entirely easy thing to do while she's this pissed, but she's had practice. Too much practice. She does her best to mentally mark the innocents who are gathered up as untouchable, to focus only on those she sees with guns, the ones rounding up the innocents. When she thinks she has the right men marked, she lets loose with her ability, sending a blast of pain, as strong as she can make it, flooding over them.

It's a lucky thing for the men that her looks can only hurt, not kill.

Keagan was looking for his moment, and he's pretty sure he just found it. With the additional characters involved in this impending tragedy, the juvenile makes his move. Under the leader's feet, he raises just enough to make himself the man's ground, and then slides forward, his concrete body acting like a rug pulled from the leader's feet. He sinks back down, and procedes to the next. Like a wave beneath feet, he passes beneath the feet of the two men near their commander, hoping for the the same effect to them. Keagan isn't much of a fighter, but if he can bring the armed men to the ground long enough for the others to act, he'll at least give the more combat saavy a better chance.

Ygraine has also seen quite enough, but her course of action is somewhat different. A last, hasty glance around for immediately-impending trouble of a personal kind, then she dashes for the wall, springing up onto it and carrying on straight up the vertical surface. Once on the wall, she removes her helmet, to let the woman above see something other than a mysterious black shape coming towards her - and gestures urgently for quiet. Picking a course between windows - both to avoid the glass and to reduce the risk of being shot - she finds herself arriving at a vacated space, the injured woman above having hastily backed away from the strange apparition.

Crouching on the sill, Ygraine peers inside, gaze flickering to and fro in search of threats even as she hisses into the room. "Please! I'm here to help. I can get you out. Is there anyone else in here?" Outside, on the far side of the building, chaos is just starting to break out.

Muffled cries. Distress? More gunfire. Shattered glass? The screech of rubber on asphalt pretty much seals the deal. Events are unfolding. Perry breaks into a run, keeping his head low, jacket puffing out a little as he catches wind.

When he arrives on the scene, he's dipping around a corner of weathered brick. He keeps close to the wall, edging around to get a better view of the unfolding vignette, the muzzle of his pistol pressed right at the corner of his pocket, index finger still pressed along the barrel.

ID and registration cards is something that Edgar has plenty of, just none of it is his. Moving his hand to his back pocket, he thumbs over the hilt of a knife before sliding his palm in to grab one of them. "Registration card? Righ' then.. 'Ere yeh go." His voice carries far enough to a few buildings beyond and as he hands the card over, he smiles brightly. His brief glimpse of the piece of plastic showed teeth, so he's smiling to try to make himself look a little more like…


No, Edgar wasn't so choosy when he picked the ID. Spotting the glimmer of confusion on the gunman's face, his own screws into a sneer that hasn't been seen in a long while. His hands move faster than the gunman can see or even pull the trigger. There's a blur on either side of the carnie's body just before his and the two faces adjacent his are bloodied. A pink smile is what greets the old man beside him and Edgar nods just as a gun toting hand lands on the ground. It's severed at the wrist, presumably by one of the two kukri in the speedster's hand.

"Yeh migh' wan'teh ge' down now… I think they'll star' shootin' strai' 'way."

Hiding would be a good idea, but it isn't the on that Devon clings to as his hand tightens around a broken bottle. When Melissa moves forward, he starts to follow, only to stray off slightly and position himself against a lamppost. Not the best form of cover, but better than being out in the open, and still near enough to help Mel or anyone else, should need come up. From there, the teenager rises up from his crouch, shoulder pressing into the cold metal of the lamppost while he peers toward the gunmen and residents, his head turning just enough to allow for a mostly unhindered view.

Amadeus doesn't say a word when the gun shoots, trusting in the power of the seatbelt, he just hits the gas and starts driving as fast as possible torward the men, and anyone who doesn't take the hint to jump away from the speeding red ferrari.

Making trouble in Evo village is probably a bad idea, when multiple things slam through the group herding the nons all at once. The ground ripples underfoot, the leader's legs easily stolen out from under him as he lands with a graceless thump of his backside against the ground — fortunately, his rifle doesn't go off. That would be a terrible misfortunate to add to the other terrible misfortunes going on around the place. The two men flanking him go down in similar fashions, before crippling pain renders them unable to really do much more than that, which is little compared to—

The heart wrenching scream of someone missing a hand. The terrorist staggers back, collapses as shock steals balance from him, clutching his arm to his body where blood gushes, near spurts from the stump created by the knife.

The rifle lies untouched on the ground. The non-Evolved don't touch it and take instead the opportunity to scatter or, in the case of the teenage girl and her brother, run back for their building. "Mom!" "Mom!" cries out like gulls, and there are more important things to consider. Like the fact that a red Ferrari is suddenly tearing through the street, black tire thu-thumping over the torso of the already Edgar-maimed man, the soft crack and snap of bone louder than the rush of air ejected from his lungs.

A rapidfire report of gunfire is suddenly aimed towards Amadeus from one of the men on the street, further down, blowing out the windows entirely and peppering him in fine, shallow cuts and slices of glittering glass, and then suddenly pain when a bullet slips neat and snug into the muscle of his shoulder and chest. His companion doesn't shoot, only getting out the way in case the car goes wild, but otherwise, he's approaching the next rental unit, aiming a gun at the locked door to blast open the catch, Perry close enough to see the muzzle flare.

Inside Eastview—

"You don't want my ID too, do you?" the woman murmurs from where she's backed up against the wall, still clutching her Registration card, words burbling through the blood on her mouth. The smell of smoke is what Ygraine is first hit with, and she can see through the crack of the woman's door leading out into the hallway, the glimmer of fire.

And it's a few floors upwards that the bomb goes off, the force of it knocking both the woman and Ygraine to their knees.

The thunderous boom of the explosion rattles the ground, the structure of the building, echoes out into the evening and fails to shake any of the snow from the top of the Dome even as it spills more smoke upwards. All at once, it's like the top most floors of the Eastview building are engulfed in flame that swipes out through windows that implode from concussive energy and the sheer heat. It fans upwards, blackening brick.

Seeing two of the jerks go down thanks to her ability gives Melissa a momentary feeling of satisfaction. That feeling crumbles to ash though when she spots the fire starting to burn. "Warning, all hell is breaking loose," she mutters, unable to resist the quote. But then she's drawing in a deep breath and doing what no sane person would do. Running towards the building that just had an explosion in it.

"Everybody get the fuck away from the building! Run! Go! NOW!" she starts yelling, especially after seeing the kids running back into the building. There's a momentary startle when she recognizes the face of her former roommate, but it doesn't halt her steps. It does make her groan softly. "Edgar, grab the people outside, get them away from the building!" she shouts to him, knowing about his little problem with fire. This? This lets him help without shoving him right into the mess.

Keagan didn't want to present a target. He really didn't. Stupid kids ran in, and it's their own fault. But he'd never forgive himself if he let them just be crushed under the weight of the building. So what does he do? He raises from the ground, a concrete statue of a teen appearing, grabbing the leader's rifle as he does. Still partially merged into the ground, he slides in a fashion that is remarkably similar to Gumby toward the building, only fully unmergings as he reaches the door. Instantly his more natural looking self returns as he chases the two children inside. "Okay, dipweevles! Get out of here before this building kills us all!" he barks at them in his most intimidating voice. Which might be not much, partly because of the fact that he's fourteen. Partly because he used the word 'dipweevles'. What is intimidating, though, is an assault rifle. He doesn't know how to use it, but he waves it over their heads, careful not to point it at them. "Get out now!" He doesn't know where their mom is, but he can't save mom, he can only save them.

Fortunately, Ygraine's mouth was open when the bomb went off. Having got as far as "Huh? No -" in her reply to the frightened householder, she was duly spared some of the worse effects of being so close to a blast wave. As it is, having focused all her gravity onto the windowsill, she was also spared any significant risk of being knocked out into mid-air… but her back is still spattered with falling detritus and washed over by fiercely hot air. That is quite enough to encourage her to spring nimbly to the floor… or to dazedly half-jump and half-fall into the room, at least.

"I… woah. Merde", she provides by way of initial insight on the situation, before a groggy shake of her head allows her to refocus her gaze and at least some of her wits upon the injured woman. "My name's Ygraine. I'm here to help. I can get you and anyone else who needs it out the way I came, though the fire escapes might also still be okay. But we need to get going. Now. Please."

The key to staying calm during scenes of urban terrorism, Perry has found, is keeping things simple. Staying on task. Setting clear objectives after making a brief survey of the situation. With a clear, deliberate calm, Perry scans the area. Melissa, of course, is noticed at once. But she looks to be in the thick, and he trusts she knows what she's doing - she's had more experience than him by far. The muzzle flare catches his eye, and immediately takes tangible priority. He is, to be honest, not sure precisely what is going on… but armed men moving in a pack through Evo-town? It's not terribly hard to guess.

Perry walks with long, scissoring strides, closing the distance between himself and the man at the door, course a slight parabola as he shifts to stay out of his target's field of vision. When he's just five feet away, he rushes in, pulling the pistol from his pocket and jamming it hard into his back, nudging the muzzle between his ribs.

The moment after he pulls the trigger, Perry reaches around to grab the man's weapon arm and yank it down and back.

run. Run.. RUN…

The words echo through Edgar's head as he stands there looking stunned in the glow of the fire. His heart which normally beats at least twice the speed of a normal man is racing at the rate of a hummingbird's. The grab at his shoulders jars him enough to double take and look down at the petite form of Melissa. His mouth still gaping, Captain Obvious points to the building with one of his knives. "Melissa… there's a fire!"

What she said only half registers and he picks her up bodily, tossing her over his shoulder. Time to save a life~ And he's out of there faster than a steaming locomotive. Until he hits the invisible wall…

He's raced around the dome enough that he knows where it is and with a majestic leap, he's running along the inside of the dome, with the pain manipulator slung precariously over his shoulder. Knives are still out as they veer around the inside of the dome in a graceful arc. She is deposited safely somewhere on the other side of the burning building while he keeps running. Back to do what she said and goes to collect a few more bodies. First, the old man.

From the space between buildings, lit by the fire burning out of the upper floors' windows, the homeless man who had disappeared earlier re-emerges, half cast in shadow, the remainder bathed in the flickering orange light of flames. The carnage and chaos is recognizable, more so the blur of superhuman speed moving against the fiery illumination. Hands tucked into the pockets of his winter jacket, shoulders rolled forward and dark eyes following the speedster as best as he can, Feng Daiyu's firelit form has laid eyes on this man once before, through a scope.

No name has been appointed to the speedster yet, but that he has been in proximity to Ethan Holden is all that matters. After lingering to watch for a few long moments, Feng reaches up and inzips his jacket partway, revealing for the barest of moments the high collar of a heavy tactical body armor normally obscured by his scarf. From inside the jacket, a battered and scuffed matte black Glock is removed from an interior holster and the jacket zipped back up.

Not far from the gap between the two buildings, one of the young thugs that was toppled by Kegan's morphic body is struggling to get to his feet, palms of his hands scraped where he tried to brace himself against the asphalt. As he rises, he's met at the cheek by the heel of a boot, sending him back down onto the ground. When he rolls onto his back, that same boot comes down on his throat, and the last thing he sees in clear focus is the muzzle of Feng Daiyu's handgun before muzzle flash and the pop of handgun fire silences him permanently.

Feng hardly breaks stride as he moves across the asphalt, leveling his gun out towards another recovering thug, firing once into his right arm that he's braced against, blasting apart his elbow in a spray of dark blood and a scream, and once he's down on the ground a second shot silences the screaming swiftly.

"This way," Feng calls out to Edgar, where he's skidded to a halt by the old man to grab him without super-speed collision. Jerking his head back to the space between the buildings, Feng indicates "it is clear." A personable smile is worn like a mask across Feng's face. "You must be Ethan's friend," he tosses to Edgar, "how can I help?" The serpent coils and hides his fangs.

With a sickened grimace, Devon looks away from the excitement of guns and knives and a car driving over people. He presses his forehead to the lamppost for a short second, then looks again, eyes catching on the girl and boy running back for the building. At the same time that it explodes. He abandons all ideas of staying safe and begins sprinting for the building, falling in behind Melissa.

"I'm going in—" Words cut off when one minute Melissa is there and the next she's being carried away. Not that Devon can see this happening, to him she's simply and suddenly gone. "Shit." He glances upward just before he passes into the apartment building, gazing at the smoke and flames at the windows well above the ground. Likewise, Keagan is given a passing glance, the older teenager's feet not slowing as he turns for the stairs. "G't out," is called over his shoulder, to the younger boy.

"Dick shit!" Amadeus yells when the bullet pierces his arm, releasing the wheel with that one so he can keep driving with the other. His wheels screech across the street, turning away from the direction of the door so he can follow any of the men with guns at a fairly dangerous speed. With all the adrenaline pumping through his body, he doesn't even realize what's going on.

Apparently the shaking ground has caused his radio to change for the worse. When I Grow Up, Pussycat Dolls, blaring from the rampaging car.

Blam, and the man Perry is attacking only wishes he had kevlar when gore sprays along with broken ribs as the bullet knifes hard through his torso. An animal cry pierces Perry's hearing, arm levered back and hand loose now on the pistol he'd held with such confidence. "No! Don't kill me! I'm not— I was just— we're trying to find the mutant who did this!" he bleats, eyes wide in shock at his own injury, a leg giving out as he falls away from Perry, shoulder hitting the frame of the door he'd just blown open. His other hand clutches something neglectfully. A frag grenade.

Inside, it's dark and quiet, until meek faces peer out from adjacent rooms, wide-eyed with terror, watching Perry as if to see what he will do next.


A speeding sportcar clears the street pretty fast, with the evicted Non-Evos who had scattered scattering even further, and the man who'd been firing at him hesitating, before giving up the whole shooting thing and running for his goddamn petty existence, veering off for a gap between buildings. But not fast enough. The nose of the Ferrari smacks into his body, the momentum of impact throwing him over the hood, rolling up the windshield, and landing somewhere behind with a broken bodied smack.

And then it's like fireworks, the quick succession of shit happening.

The Chapel explodes. Melissa, newly placed, is best to witness it even if all of them hear it and some might even see it, the force of the explosion blowing back her hair despite her safe distance, flames and smoke roaring up the side of the Dome further up north. She can see, too, people who live in the neighbourhood all running, scattered groups coming into the area from the north. "The subway! Make for the subway! Get the fuck out of hear!" seems to be the hoarse cry of the evening.

As people outfront the building take heed for both the instruction to get away from it as well as the concept of running south for the train tunnels, there's yet another concussive rumble of explosion. Hopefully the last.

But even if it was, it happens like this:

The boy keeps running, crying mom, mom, headed for the stairs and slipping out of the grasp of his sister who stops and turns to Devon and Keagan, uncertainty reflected in her eyes. And then movement and energy, fire too, as the doors of the Out of Order elevators blow outwards. The girl is thrown forward, the boy disappearing in smoke and dust, and brickwork splinters outwards, spraying Edgar and Feng even as they initiate conversation. Keagan is slammed back, his back finding some solid support structure in the wall, head ringing and ears whining, and Devon is amongst the debris that is carelessly ejected out onto the street, landing hard on his side on the sidewalk and tasting blood.

As the second explosion rattles the ground beneath the woman that Ygraine is trying to appeal to, the Briton doesn't get a lot of protest. She extends out her hands to her with a soft cry. "Get me out of here!!"

This was not what she meant.

When Melissa feels herself picked up and sprinted away she starts squirming. "I meant the others! The innocents!" but then she's set down, and the moment her feet touch the ground she's taking off at a run, one much less impressive than Edgar's. Or, at least she stares to run. But then there's another explosion, then another, and she goes pale.

She can't help the people who were in the chapel. But that last explosion. Devon was right behind her. "Oh god," she whispers, before putting everything she can into running, trying to get around the building, to find out what happened to the boy. Too bad she didn't think to put her mental shields back up, to block out pain, because once she gets close enough…

Let this be a lesson. No good deed goes unpunished. Keagan was just turning to hthe sound of Devon's voice when the blast catches him full force, shredding his clothes. The young teen slumps against the support structure, reaching to grab his head. Where's his coat? The boy can't see from the dizziness, and can hardly breath for the smoke. Everything hurts. He sinks back into the support structure, taking a moment to get his bearings. This brings back some bad memories. He spots the girl, where's her brother? Where's the door?

The ringing stops as he enters the stone, allowing him to think clearly. After all, support beams don't have labyrinths. Steeling himself, Keagan leaps back from the beam, landing on the ground next to the girl. It seemed more heroic in his mind than it is in practice. He collapses on top of the girl, his legs like jelly, the pain which wasn't present in the support beam more than clearly present back in his natural form. Where was the door again? Oh yes, to the right. He grabs the girls arm, and totes it over his shoulder as if she were a large sack. With that, he starts to crawl out of the building with all of the strength he can muster. "Help!" he wearily calls out, tumbling across the threshold. Who is going to help? He doesn't know, but he doesn't have the physical ability to do much more after taking a hit like that.

"Jesus!", Ygraine expostulates, before darting forward to take hold of the woman, hustling her to the window. Bodily lifting her up - aided by tweaking the gravity affecting the householder to the Briton - then setting her outside onto the wall and attaching her to that, Ygraine is fully aware that she'll have thoroughly disorientated the poor lady. Still, adrenaline should be doing wonders for her ability to flee right now, however seasick she might be feeling. "When you get to the ground just hop off the wall. Now go!", Ygraine instructs, eyes wide with a combination of fear and urgency.

Cramming her helmet back onto her head and flipping down her visor, the Briton then turns and vaults around the window-frame, swinging herself up and out onto the wall to run up another floor - to the one directly below the bomb's horrific effects - and start checking windows for signs of life that might also be grabbed, bundled outside, and set to fleeing down several storeys of wall to the comparative safety of the ground. It'll involve repeatedly diving into the blasted and burning structure, but right now it's the best plan she can come up with.

First, disarm him. The pistol is the first step, and Perry believes, at first, the only one, as he pries the weapon from fingers loose with pain and slips it into his pocket. The appearance of the grenade, he must be honest, makes his heart skip a beat, but as soon as he perceives its pin - still safely in place - the resumed beat faster. The limp hand is framed by a darkness shared by the peering faces.

He relieves the man of his ordinance with firm and uncompromising fingers, gripping the knobbled surface of the explosive in a tight fist. "This," Perry informs the man as softly as the general chaos will let him be while still hoping to be heard, "is the whole of your life. All the time you'll ever have. Your eternity." He lifts his pistol up to the man's eye and presses the muzzle into the socket. "Well spent?" he inquires. The possibility of answer disappears in a cloud of red.

The body is still slumping to the ground when Perry turns his frank, muddy eyed address towards the fearful faces in the residence. "You can't stay here" he says, stammer absent but for the slightest tremor to his voice, "it's not safe. Come with me, we're- we're attempting exodus," and after a moment's thought, "Anyone with combat worthy gifts, stay on the outsides of group and don't hesitate to strike," he lifts the grenade into clear view, "these men are butchers. Let them die like pigs."

He steps aside, to clear the door, and waits, hoping for more than frightened eyes.

Edgar's body curls around the old man's in an attempt to protect him from the debris being hurled toward them by the explosion. Feng's summons to safety is ignored for the moment as the speedster is preoccupied with fire, old men, and thoughts of how great Ben Gay smells and how he's going to use it on all of his muscle aches. Blame the old man.

When the dust settles somewhat, the coat of his newest passenger is gripped and the senior is tossed over his shoulder in a fireman carry. "I 'ope you've go' a strong stomach, cousin… Where's yer wife a'? We'll find 'er." All the carnie can remember is she's not here.

To the Asian man with the guns, the carnie nods a quick reply about Holden. "We ain'— friends 'zac'ly, e's…" Something of an unknown element at the moment. Closer than acquaintances but not in the zone where Edgar can comfortable wear a housedress around the other man. "'Oo're you, then? Friend've 'is?" Edgar doesn't recognize him from his fall from the helicopter, or the dangle, or whatever went with it. Edgar was busy running around in a circle.

"Ethan and I are not friends exactly, either. I am his old partner," Feng explains as he turns to offer a look towards Perry, one dark brow lifted towards the trim of his knit cap in surprise. "We… used to work together, a long time ago. I have been looking for him," dark eyes sweep back from Perry to Edgar, and Feng regards the Carnie briefly before looking up to the burning building. "I have something important to give to him, but— it can wait." Lips press together into a thin line, and Feng's brows furrow.

Feng's furtive stare diverts over to the speeding car, around to movement in his periphery, there's too much going on to keep track of entirely and— when he looks upwards towards the burning upper floors of the building, he spies Ygraine's black-clad and masked form rapelling down the wall without so much as a rope. Daiyu's jaw sets as he asks, "How can I help?"

It feels like Midtown all over again. Devon's body, in one piece but spilled upon the debris of a building, feels as though it had been run through a food processor filled with rocks. And somehow it wasn't the rocks that got processed. It takes a long moment before reality slides back into place, and before his eyes crack open. The apartment building fills the teenager's gaze, eyes catching on the fires desperately trying to consume the building.

Working his knees under himself, Devon begins pulling himself together. Nothing feels too out of sorts until he tries to pull his arms under him. The movement brings a shock of renewed pain through a shoulder, an unwilling groan echoing the sensation. The teen braces the non-hurting elbow against a thigh, pausing to spit a glob of pink onto the ground. Taking in an unsteady breath, he turns his head toward the apartment again, figuring he should probably back up before another explosion rings out.

Amadeus doesn't stop, he knows something is going on around him, but he just keeps going, zooming down the street to god knows where. He'll have to stop his bleeding eventually, but right now he has more pressing matters.

Drive really goddamned fast until he's sure he doesn't have to deal with whatever the hell those explosions are.

To step back, and paint an image of Roosevelt Island, it's one done mainly in blacks and oranges.

North of them, fire and smoke paints up the side of Dome as the chapel blazes, a relatively distant threat that heralds the swarm of residents and denizens running from their homes and down the street. In roughly the same direction is a speeding sportcar that cuts like a knife through warm butter, the crowd that's spilled onto the streets. In the immediate area, fire licks up the top half of the proud Eastview building, the heat of it spitting glass out onto the road and billowing smoke up and up and up. The front facing wall of the ground level is in ruins, dust belching out of it, sparks from faulty electricity flaring in the gloomy wreckage.

Ygraine spiders in and out, and like ants leaving a hill under attack, those she rescue tentatively crawl down the outside wall, variously bloody and beaten from when the terrorists had been storming the building. Those that manage to get to the ground start to move south as well, following the scattered crowd that head for the subway. The night is alive with flame. Dead men lie on the sidewalk from where Feng shot them.

"Outside," the old man wheezes weakly to Edgar. "She's outside the walls, thank god."

Keagan's cry for help manages to pierce through the night, heard by Feng and Edgar, where the silhouette of himself and the near unconscious girl appear in the gaping maw of the wrecked building front. The dull ache of her pain triggers in Melissa's consciousness, but there is nothing from the ground level, where the boy disappeared. Unfortunately.

Perry gets silence and blinks, and then, fear seems to turn into something else. Not obedience in the way we understand cattle to be obedient, but understanding. They emerge, a man with his daughter that slips out first, his hand covering clamped her eyes so she doesn't have to see the gore, intent on exodus as opposed to war, but two others, roughly Perry's age, are slower. The woman of the pair blinks owlishly at the dead man, then the grenade, before finally nodding. Three other silhouettes behind seem happy to follow.

Up ahead, coming up behind the crowd of runners, are four men not unlike the ones who began this ordeal. They move down the street, spread out, armed, and laughter has the audacity to bark up as one fires a pistol into the air. They see the carnage, but they might not immediately understand that most of their men are dead, and that fear can breed anger.

Even with the pain she's feeling from the others Melissa doesn't slow down until she's around the building. She sees Perry, notes him taking care of business, gives him a nod if she happens to catch his eye. But it's the younger people that have her concerned right now. Devon. The girl. She hesitates as she looks between them, then uses the pain she feels to judge who's hurt how badly, and thus needs help more.

In the end, she ends up rushing towards them, negating Devon's pain as best she can while she kneels down beside the girl, checking her over, sticking to where she knows the girl is hurting. "Can you get up, move? We need to get away from the building, just in case," she says, her words brisk but sympathetic.

Keagan coughs, hand planting on the ground as Melissa arrives to relieve him of the girl. "There's another one inside," he tries to explain. It's all he can do just to remain conscious. He tries to get back to his feet, but as he does, he topples sideways again, unable to maintain himself, and crashes back to the ground among the rubble and glass. Take two. The youth clambers up to his feet, and starts to topple again, but this time crashes against the brick wall of the building for support. "We gotta get him." It's pretty clear that he isn't the ideal rescuer at this point, but you gotta give him an A for effort. His eyelids droop as he claws his way along the wall to the wrecked doorway of the building, and peers in, trying to see what he can see. Where is that kid?

Ygraine keeps going as long as she can bear to enter the building, at one point pausing just long enough on the exterior wall to remove her helmet, don one of her breathing masks, and then restore the full protection before she delves back into the flaming structure once more. Each remotely-coherent person is asked for the locations of any others they know about, but in the end she finds herself conducting a hasty check of the stairwell itself, using her ability to spring from floor to ceiling to wall to ascend - and then descend - far more rapidly than would otherwise be possible.

In time, however, the heat and smoke and dust will become too much. Ygraine only hopes that she's able to find and rescue everyone who needs it. She already knows that she'll be having nightmares about this as it is.

The delay this handful displays, Perry takes to heart. He nods at them, acknowledging an offer he assumes is being made, and motions for them to move with him, flanking the column of escapees and drawing a line of defense between them and the road on which more brutes arrive. The laughter, the glee, it's pretty clear that these are beasts of the same breed. Perry deposits the grenade in another pocket - this jacket has many, Perry likes the utility of it - and extracts his second pistol.

"Kill them," Perry calls out to the small party of (presumeably) willing deputies, "as fast as you can." Simple enough instructions, if you have the nerve to follow them. Perry certainly appears to. Both pistols lift and he levels them at the chest of the man who fire into the air. A waste of bullets, a stupid show of bravado. Perry is much more economical as he pulls each trigger in turn.

Edgar is hesitant at the call for help. His eyebrows furrow deeply as he spies his one rescue, Melissa, disappearing back into danger… and fire. "Damn women, ne'er do wha' they're told." The sudden bit of frustration and hostility is perhaps sparked by his own wife's stubbornness in the face of trouble. She's a handful, just like the little blonde running into the building. The old man is placed gently back on the ground and a twitch of an eye is pointed toward Feng. "Make sure 'e stays alive…" It's probably as much of a threat as it is a responsibility that he lays on the other man.

"Fuckin' 'ell," he curses as he flips his knives over in his hands. One is tucked away behind him while the other remains out and in a blur he's gone, into the burning building and after Melissa. He uses the blade as a fan, attempting to keep the smoke away from him, unfortunately the breeze might just fan the flame nearby. No one ever accused the speedster of being fires-m-r-t.

Feng acts like the victim of shellshock at the best of times in situations of violence and carnage. Detonations firing as they are blossom light and heat in the distance, illuminate half of his sunken and scowling countenance, but do not elicit the fast-twitch muscle reactions it would in most people. Languid, dark eyes regard the growing ball of fire from what was the chapel. It reflects in his eyes, a plume of flames and smoke against night as dark as his stare.

Those eyes are soon leveled on the old man, and Feng fixes him with a pointed stare, then motions with his gun down the street. "Walk," is flatly stated by the Chinese assassin, and the old man stares wide-eyed in Feng's direction, pulling his jacket on tighter over his pyjamas. A shuddered, freezing exhalation of chilled breath is offered as his bare feet start to scuff along the ground.

Feng hesitates, lips downturning into a scowl, before he looks back over his shoulder to where Edgar was. Tucking his gun in the back of his pants, Feng unzips his jacket and awkwardly twists around his injured shoulder to remove it. Heavy, black body armor with throat guard collar and layered sleeves covers Feng's body beneath the puffy jacket, which is handed off to the old man.

"Put this on, then walk." Another handgun is visible under the opposite arm from the empty holster, long and thin knives designed for throwing interleaved down his abdomen through looped belts. Watching the old man don the heavy jacket, Feng looks back over his shoulder to the burning tenement building, then turns to follow the old man as he marches him down the street and away from the danger zone, keeping a wary look out for trouble that may need a gunpowder problem solving.

Proving a point to Ethan, via Edgar, will require the old man surviving the night. It's his lucky day, not everyone gets an Ex-Vanguard personal security escort during a violent insurgency.

When the pain disappears, Devon pushes himself to his feet, a frown fixing on his face. Stranger things have happened of late, but even that registers as unusual. He takes an uncertain step backward, half staggering and nearly losing his footing in the process. Somehow he remains upright, even clinging to rational thought enough to tuck one arm into his jacket in case the pain suddenly comes back. Something is wrong with that limb, he remembers, but it'll have to be dealt with later.

Devon's head comes up to watch Melissa, and now Edgar, at the apartment. He should move. They should move too. Yet he remains rooted in place for a long moment, wanting to go and assist however he can, unsure if he should. The fire and explosions give him pause, but in the end he begins again toward the building, a little unsteady on his feet.

There's a crack of concrete as one of Perry's newest followers lift her hands, chunks of asphalt rising up where it breaks from the road, pitching hurled towards the oncoming squad of four. One finds his head crushed beneath the weight of rock, another spun off his feet, and sent running as his instant respond, bravado gone. Two guns worth of bullets fire into another, body twitching and jerking under impact, and it only takes two to fell him, crumpling. The fourth fires his gun instantly, the blunt impact of aim punching a bullet into her thigh, collapsing her.

A gut shot from Perry's gun ends the brief fire fight. No more silhouettes come out from the alleyways. No more guns fire, no more hoots of laughter. Just the crackle and smokey stench of buildings aflame.

The girl is taken from Keagan easily enough, before Melissa is turning to head out of the building. "Get out now. I don't feel anyone else that can be saved." Except for…"Devon! Ass out of here now, honey. I've seen enough kids die, I don't want to add you to it," she says, in as motherly a tone as she's ever used, and Kendall could tell him that she's gotten good at that tone.

Either way though, she's heading outside as quickly as she can with a girl in her arms, searching immediately for Perry. Oh good, he's alive, he's safe. He's off killing people. Well, all is right in the world.

Keagan most certainly isn't going to get out of here on his own power. "I'm just tired," he complains weakly to Melissa. The boy pushes off from the building, and wanders after Melissa, but after a few steps his legs give out again, and he collapses onto the ground in a heap. Everything hurts. He isn't dying from his injuries, but the concussion he's received from the blast is taking its toll, and the world is starting to spin now that his adrenaline is wearing off. He'll just…sleep it off.

Perry lifts one arm and peers down the sights of the weapon, aiming for the turned back of the retreating man. His eyes cut over as the woman next to him falls to one knee, a momentary distraction, and when his gaze returns to his target, it's all the smaller. Perry makes a single noise of frustration, and fires a single round, barely pausing to see if it hits before he's down next to the casualty.

"Someone… help me with her," Perry asks then, figuring this is too vague, points at just one individual, a man, "you. The rest… check for others injured. And take all the weapons," a beat, "finish the enemy if you find one still breathing." Tying up loose ends.

A quick sweep of the building proves to be fruitless as Edgar finds nothing but dead bodies strewn in different places throughout the building. The smoke that manages to sneak by his homemade fan irritates his eyes, causing them to redden and water as though he'd just smoked something belonging not to the cigarette family. As he exits the building, Perry's instructions are met with a point to himself and a raise of eyebrows in who me? fashion.

The juggler simply shrugs, lifts the woman back to her feet by one arm, and then hefts her over his shoulder. His big manly shoulder. He ambles along behind the lanky scholar, a man seeming fit to lead their little pack of misfits. "Where're we goin'?" The question is posed as the carnie looks around for his box of looted/stolen items. He could probably carry both… the woman might fit inthe box too.

Not far down the street, Feng waits in silent contemplation with the old man at his side, within arms reach and just behind him. In the light of the fires, Feng's weathered countenance seems more stone-wrought than flesh and blood, no emotion shown in his dark eyes. Gun at his side, he watches Edgar and Perry's interactions from a distance, then upturns his attention to the sky and the dome beyond it to where the twisting fingers of smoke are disappearing into the ceiling of their spherical prison above.

It's a lot of smoke, and the dome is only so large.

This needs to end, and soon, or the dome will be the death of both Feng and Ethan.

Turning to follow Melissa down the road and away from the ruined apartment building, Devon stumbles over Keagan's body. He catches himself on a postbox, uninjured arm pressing against the metal as he turns to look at what had tripped him. "Stupid kid," he grunts, grabbing hold of one of the younger boy's arms. It takes some manipulating, squatting down and pulling on Keagan to get him upright and balanced against Dev's own shoulders. A look of help is passed over the older teenager's shoulder, seeking out Melissa or Edgar for help as he struggles to get himself upright with the added weight.

Where are we going could be something of a useless question. To Suresh Centre. To Queens. But in the end, the perfect circle of the Dome's imposed limitations means that there are only so many options, so many directions, and the sliver of land that is Roosevelt Island restricts movement even more so. By the time the many of Roosevelt Island are funneling in a panic into the dark mouth of the subway station, its back up power long since depleted, they are faced with a long journey in a black tunnel.

But maybe the other side has more promise. You know what they say about the grass being greener.

For those that remain, it takes a long time for the smoke and soot to clear from the air — the dust, as well, with the Eastview Apartments reduced to blackened brick and greyed wood, crumbled inside and creaking like it could give away. The fire snagged five more houses. Half of the barrier on the northern most side is black from the smoke of the burning chapel, adding a more visual barrier between them and the outside world.

And the Dome stays standing, impassive and uncaring.

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