Scorched Earth, Part I


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Scene Title Scorched Earth, Part I
Synopsis Candace Allard and Claire Bennet arrive at Rasoul's Palace in an attempt to bring him down and recover his information on Munin.
Date December 30, 2009


In a way, it's a little like dying, the pitch blackness of the tunnel that cuts beneath the mountain city of Antananarivo. No lights to guide their way, only the distant voice of a ghostly woman who has come to show them to their freedom. Etana is something of an enigma, a dream-bound soul who understands this mission and its particulars, and yet somehow has not been spoken of by the MLF. A test subject for Gregor, a former victim of Kazimir Volken, and now a guide through the Tarterian depths of the Muspelheim bunker's network of service tunnels in pitch blackness.

After an hour and a half of shuffling in the dark through these tunnels, sounds overhead speak of untold chaos on the surface far above. It started as distant rumbling, then the bang like a bass drum through a stone wall, and then the tunnels were shaking violently, cracks forming in the stone unable to be seen but the splitting noise of them heard. Somewhere in the darkness, Sanderson falls, landing on her knees as she tries to steady herself, a scream coming from her as a thundrous wave of rapid-fire explosions on the surface cause the ground to shudder like an earthquake.

The world jostles, quakes and throbs as if an ahrrythmic heartbeat of the earth was leading to a heart-attack. Little pieces of concrete and stone dust fall from the six foot high ceiling above, trickling down on those trapped in the lightless darkness, with only Etana's voice to guide them. "They are coming…" Etana says against the drumming explosions, her voice heard between ears, not by them, "…and you will be needed soon."

Candy steadies herself while the world around them starts to shake in the tunnel that they are in. Her eyes flashing from side to side, trying to see despite the darkness that surrounds them. She shakes her head leaning against a wall, 'Now is not a time to get clausterphobic,' she says to herself while she stands there. She looks towards the shadowy figure of Etana, and asks, "Who is coming and what will we be needed for?" Conversation is usually a good thing, and with all the bangs going on, its not like they can be heard.

Swallowed by darkness it's something that should bring fear to most people, but for the girl that has died time and again, there is no butterflies or that dread. Fingers of one hand slide lightly against the wall as she follows Etana's spectral form. When the world lurches, Claire stumbles and painfully scraps a knee on the ground, before regaining her feet. Pressing her back to the wall, she ducks her head against the fall of debris, a pair of dog tags around her neck jingle softly. To keep them safe, she had slipped his tags over her head. She'd make sure they get to the right people.

"The calvary of course." Comes the bland tones from Claire, her voice still thick with emotions. "Who else would it be?"

"Calvary indeed," Etana states in the darkness, and her voice continues to serve as a guide in that gloom. "This way, you are not far yet." Sanderson — or at least it's probably Sanderson — rests a hand on Claire's shoulder, taking one of the blonde's hands, before leading the way, using her free hand to follow the ugide of the wall as she shuffles in the dark, trippling over loose pieces of stone debris. Candy takes up the rear, holding Claire's hand, and the daisy-chain of survivors make their way through the darkened tunnel, as the dropping bombs grow silent, giving way to a haunting stillness in the tunnel.

"You have a mission to perform, but also a debt to repay. The one who freed you from your captivity is in danger," Etana must be referring to Six, "and his rescue brings you to your friends. Yes… they are alive, and they are here in the city. But you have a mission, and I know wher what you seek is…" Sanderson bumps into something, slamming her forehead against a metal pipe with a hollow klong sound. She recoils, letting out a mousy noise before Etana adds, "Watch the ladder."

Cheeky phantasmal guides aside, Etana's voice is now coming from above the three women. "Climb up. You are nearly there…" Sanderson exhales a sharp breath, letting go of Claire's hand as she feels for the rungs of the metal ladder, then begins shakily pulling herself up. Each clanking boot-kick against the rungs gets quieter and quieter as she ascends, but as Candy and Claire follow the sound up with their eyes in the dark, the glow of light coming through a manhole cover's vents can be seen above.

Sanderson pushes, grunts, and then lets out a tired cry of frustration as she climbs up one more rung, shoulder pressing against the heavy iron manhole cover, followed byt he grinding sound of metal on stone. The cover comes aside, letting dim rays of dawn light come shining down into the dark. But as Sanderson climbs up out of the hole, Claire and Candy can both see the look on her face.

Horror and disbelief.

Candy looks up as they reach the ladder, and manages to hide something of a snicker at Etana's words. Her eyes looking up, and as she sees Sanderson's face she asks softly, "What's up there?" Her own hands are reaching for the ladder, as she starts to climb up. She really doesn't want to rescue Six, but if Etana says so, best not to make the woman-in-your-head mad. Though, she does finally ask, "What about the worms?"

The marine's hand gets a reassuring squeeze as she is pulled along, combat boots shuffling and scuffling along. The sound of something metal hitting and the old woman's late warning actually manages to get a tug of a smile from the blonde, but it quickly fades as the sound of the other's climbing. Quick to follow taking up the rear of the group, Claire leans to see around Candy form to get a glimpse at the top.

Maybe Claire in her own way feels a bit of kinship with the twisted man, due to her time as one of Gregor's play toys, but knowing they would be helping him, brings a sense of relief from guilt she hadn't realized she was having over leaving him in that hanger.

"He is busy with others." Comes the disembodied voice in Candy's mind. "I have given him a view of something truthful, and it has turned his mind towards vengeance rather than duty. The men who serve Rasoul do not all do so loyally, and do not all do so out of the same interests. The man who controls the worms, now has other matters to consider. But his delay is only temporary."

Sanderson doesn't answer Candy, just shakes her head and takes a few steps forward away from the manhole. When Candy reaches the top, she is the first to feel the hot wind blowing across her cheeks, and take in the sight that had rendered Sanderson speechless. As Claire winds up the ladder and pulls herself to ground level, the three of them share in the same panoramic scene that is like something out of a war film.

They are high atop a hill overlooking the city of Antananarivo, the skies are clearing, where clouds receed away from the bright light of a heavy, full moon hanging low on the horizon. The city below is in flames, glowing orange and yellow, plumes of black smoke rising up from demolished buildings, embers carried on those hot winds. There is a sound of gunfire filling the air down in the city, black helicopters marked with American flags roar past, guns firing down on the streets where the thundering explosion of tank guns being fired up reports back.

Low to the ground, C-130 cargo planes make their slow approach, back hangar doors opened, and parachute slowed tank deployments crashing down on street level. Helicopters landing and deploying ground forces to the streets are engaged with the Vanguard army of Edmond Rasoul.

It is an absolute and utter war zone out there.

"This way." Etana's voice is less immaterial here, behind the three. Sanderson turns, brown hair caught on the hot winds, blue eyes wide as she looks to the frail old woman standing before them. She is still dressed too unreal to be real, her traditional attire and pipe clashing against the crumbling concrete of a disabled Surface to Air Missile battery sparking and smoking behind her.

Etana motions down a concrete walkway, towards a large four-story palace made of heavy blocks of stone with a crimson roof, untouched by the carnage, but surrounded by low shrubbery walls and a razorwire fence. "General Rasoul's palace awaits you…"

Candy nods her head a little her eyes looking over the war-torn city in awe for a couple of moments, before she finally says, "Nothing to do but go." Her eyes looking over at Sanderson for a moment, before she shrugs her shoulders a little. She feels like the outsider of the trio, but she knows that there is no way she can ever reconcile with the other two women, and for the moment, she doesn't care. Right now, she's worried about survival, and unloading a very large can of whoop ass on anyone who gets in her way.

"Dear god…" Sitting on the edge of the hole, the words leave Claire's mouth before she can stop them, her eyes wide as she takes in a scene she's only seen in movies done with special effects. Going to her hands and knees and eventually to her feet, Claire brushes hand across her face to push stray blonde strands away as the wind blows it across. Her eyes have to squint against the unfamiliar sight of the cloudy sky.

Stepping in the direction indicated, Claire glances back over her shoulder, eyeing the destruction. "I hope they are all okay." But then she pushes back the fear for her team mates… well, except Gabriel…. and back on task. "Let's go get this done. We have some payback to serve the General."

Etana disappears much in the way a blown out candle disappears in strong wind. Sanderson takes that cue of her disappearance, but gives on last look to the battlefield below, her eyes narrowing, before she turns and begins running along the concrete walkway towards the palace. As Candy and Claire follow behind the marine, Candy can feel something wonderful in the air, the humidity, the moisture, the concensation on hard surfaces. While the rain has stopped and skies are clearing, the humidity in the air is enough that she can draw all the water she needs to herself, and plenty of fresh puddles from the recently fallen rain give her a great deal more to work with.

Approaching the palace, it is clear that the structure is in a state of repair. Metal scaffolding climbs up one side, windows are covered with plastic, and painters tarps are laid down along the gorund outside of the building. The razorwire fence is open at the path, clearly there should be guards here, but with the city under seige, nothing seems to be making proper sense.

It's only when Sanderson stops in the grand foyer of the palace and its white marble columns that she sees why there aren't guards anywhere. Three guards lay dead on the ground, riddled with bullets, bloody boot prints leaving tracks going deeper inside the building. The marine drops down to a knee, searching one of the two guards, removing his pistol, checking the clip. "Someone came through here," she states obviously, "the guards have 5.56 ammo clips on them, but no rifles. Someone looted them…" Her eyes dart from side to side as she creeps up to her feet. "It's… really quiet in here."

Candy looks at the puddle in front of her feet as she stops for a couple of moments. She murmers softly, "Hello, my love, once again it is time to protect your Mistress." She smiles into the reflection of herself, before her hand outstretches, palm up and open as the puddle raises from the ground, forming into a clear globe of water that hovers over her palm. Her eyes look at it and she smiles serenly, the young woman feeling back in control once more. The globe elongates, forming into the shape of a sword that Candy grasps a hold of, the edges of it honed to be as sharp as she can make it with her powers, learning lessons from when she used the rain against the soldiers in Madagascar.

The hydrokinetics steps continue, until she finds another puddle, this one is used to fashion a makeshift shield. She uses her trick of manipulationg the surface tension of the water so that its as hard as a brick. Ever seen what happens when a speed boat in one of them races hits the water at the wrong angle? A feral grin spreads on her lips as she says, "Now that I am armed." Her eyes flashing with happiness as she marches along behind the others, sword held low but ready sheild kept in front of her in case of any ambushes, she's been shot one too many times on this expedition and she has the feeling that Claire probably isn't going to be so generously sharing her blood any more.

When they walk into the palace, and takes a look around the place she frowns, "Somebody already killed them all." The hydrokinetic sounds a bit put off by that, but she nods her head in agreement with Sanderson, "Yes… it is."

Running behind, Sanderson, Claire's legs have to stretch further and move faster to keep up. Shuffling to a stop near the marine, the regenerator looks at the scene with confusion. "Looks like some one beat us to the punch." She agrees blandly. "Probably for the best since we don't exactly have weapons…." She eyes the watery weaponry. "Well… except for you." There is actually a touch of amusement. "I say Princess Charming takes the lead this time since she's got the shield."

"Where to?" Claire asks to no one at all.

Chambering a round into her pistol, Sanderson looks back at the watery sword and shield Candy has, and offers a lopsided smile — the first time Sanderson has ever smiles at her. "You heard the l— " A distant scream fills the air, followed by a crash. Sanderson is up and moving before she can even goad Candy into following the sound. Booted feet slam across the atrium floor as she moves towards a hallway leading to the eastern wing of the palace. Booted feet slam down on the ground as she runs, gun held down at her side. Shouldering through a door, Sanderson slams it open and heads down a long window-lined corridor looking out to a magnificent and somehow undamaged rose garden. Some of the windows are covered with billowing sheets of plastic where new glass has not been put in, and they rustle following Sanderson's wake.

With Candy and Claire hot on her heels, Sanderson crashes thorugh a partly closed door, gun drawn at the first sign of movement. There, in the middle of a ballroom decorated with a fragile looking glass chandelier, six of Rasoul's soldiers in black body armor and cloth facemasks stand in a half circle, guns raised, around three dead men and one man still on his knees. They look to have all been shot, save for the kneeling one. Their clothing and attire indicates they as Madagascar Liberation Front soldiers.

One of the six Vanguard raises his rifle, spitting out something unintelligible in Malagasy, until Sanderson pops a round into the back of his head. He jerks forward, and the other men scatter like cockroaches from the sound of gunfire. As the body of the Vanguard soldier falls, the MLF soldier rises up to grab his gun, aiming at the Vanguard, and Claire recognizes him instantly.


Candy grins back at Sanderson seemingly about to say something when the loud sound is heard, and then her and Claire are sprinting down the hall to find the MLF man and the Vanguard. Her eyes light up, and she doesn't even speak, her legs just begin carrying her as fast as she can towards the circle of men, not even heeding as they turn to face her and Sanderson. For now, she assumes that Sanderson will keep them busy, after all, a woman with a gun does look a little more dangerous than a woman with some water weapons, hopefully.

As she charges towards them, the real purpose of shield and sword are revealed as the woman doesn't even bother to raise her shield, she casts it towards the closest man Captain America style, not even waiting to look at if it hit, merely using it for a disction while she closes the distance and jams the sword through him, her hand jerking it inside of him.

Her eyes go towards the next one she sees, and this one just explodes into a cloud of pink mist that almost immediately colesces as Candy lets go of the sword. The water moves towards her, forming into blades as she jumps towards the closest man to her doing a triple axel move that would surely win points if she has ice-skates on or knew how to ice-skate. The man screams as the first thing to go are the hands he raises up to futiley attempt to protect himself, then finally his head goes mouth still open in a silent scream. The blades are tinged more red than clear water as she lets go of her control over that. Her eyes fall to the next man she sees. As her eyes fall on him, it looks like she just punches the air, until the misty explosion that comes out from the man. The pink-tinged water that explodes from him quickly forms into another sword that is sent flying at the last man standing pinning him about three free above the wall.

As the last of them falls, the Hydrokinetics rampage that took less than the thirty seconds, is over. Candace just stands there in the room, breathing heavily as blood tinged water drips from her body and fingers her clothes soaked with the gorey mixture. Letting her control over the water that she had used as a weapon fade, there is a splash as the sword goes back to being inert followed quickly by the thud of the man who was pinned there falling to the ground. Her eyes look around wildly for another target for two or three heartbeats, not finding anyone she smiles softly and says, "And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why you do," she takes a breath and seems to be on the verge of screaming, but she tightens her grip on her emotions and continues in her eerily calm voice, "Fuck with me."

Or at least, that's what's supposed to happen.

There isn't much Claire can do, but follow after Candy as she plays with her ability. The ex-cheerleader throws herself in front of Bosede, just in case the hydrokenetic gets too into things. She can imagine how much the Asian missed her ability. Of course, there luckily is no reason for it, so she turns to the man and gives him a small smile, though standing where she was left her a bit splattered herself . " Seems luck was on our side… Good to see a friendly and familiar face again, Bosede." She sounds truly relieved about that.

A horrified look is across Bosede's face as he stares up at Candy, the water-thinned blood dripping down across his face, as he was in perfect proximity of that attack. "'Dere…" he stutters out a response, "'dere is no such luck on'a sides, th' General is go'n t— " Bosede's eyes narrow, and he looks at Candy awkwardly as he rises to his feet. "A— A'you a'right?"

Sanderson could ask the same question, watching the way Candy sways where she stands. Candy can't quite explain the feeling running through her body, but she remembers Sanderson's warning — don't push yourself — as she was coming down off of the ability negation neuro-toxin. The rapid exsanguination of people is something that — at her full potential — normally taxes Candy considerably. But the strangely eadened throb in her forehead feels ever so unusual, as does the weakness in her knees. But it's everyone but Candy that can see what is wrong.

Her eyes are completely red, save for her irises, blood vessels ruptured in them both, and crimson tears rolling down in thick rivulets from her cheeks. The same trailing fluids dribble out of both of her nostrils and run out of her ears. She lurches forward, hands trembling, then doubles over as blood dribbles out from between her lips. Unable to control her descent, Candy collapses to her knees, arms and legs twitching and back arching, fingers curling and one side of her mouth sloping downwards as the eye on that same side of her body twitches violently.

Bosede curses something sharp in Malagasy, while Sanderson quickly rushes to her side. "Allard!" Dropping to her knees, Sanderson looks down at the blood pooling out from beneath Candy, lips parted and a look of absolute disbelief on her face. "Sh— shit! Oh god! Oh god it won't stop!" Blood pulses from the hydrokinetic, her body still trembling. Panicked, all Sanderson can do is watch as Candy convulses on the ground, legs kicking and frothing blood bubbling up from her mouth.

When the tremors finally stop, Candy is still somehow breathing, though the awkward stiffness of one side of her mouth and the pinched narrowness of the eye on that same side has not changed. In fact, she can't even feel the entire left side of her body, as a prickling numbness takes it over.

Candy looks to each of them as they express their shock, "What," asks the Hydrokinetic before the taste of blood is in her mouth and she understands that something has gone horribley wrong for her. Her eyes looking at Sanderson in confusion, before she falls and seizes on the ground. Mercifully, the hydrokinetic doesn't remember the tensing of her muscles as she jerked and kicked on the ground before she sprays out the blood and drool mix from her mouth as she takes in a shuddering heave of a breath. Her eyes move widely in her sockets as she finally stops, and she feels that numbness on the left side of her body. "Can't feel," she awkwardly manages to slur past the side of her mouth that no longer responds to her, blood smeared across her face.

Turning just in time to see Candy hit the ground, Claire drops to her knees next to her. "Oh god.. she's going to choke." She reaches over to pull the young woman on her side and brace herself to hold her there. "I don't know how to help her.. Even if I has a syringe, if I give her my blood.. It'll end up killing her." Claire's voice has an edge of panic to it as she holds the Asian, ignoring the blood and gore.

Claire glances across Candy to Sanderson. "What do we do now?" She's worried.

Sanderson gives Claire a look at the notiomn of injecting her blood, brows furrowed and eyes wide. Swallowing dryly, the marine looks down to the hydrokinetic, running a hand through her hair, showing Candy the care and compassion that the young woman refused to show Sanderson on that night she tried opening up to her. "She's had a stroke," Sanderson spits out, looking down to the ground and around at the dead soldiers, "jesus Christ I don't even know what we can— I— "

"We do'no 'ave time fo'this!" Bosede finally rattles out as he looks away from Candy. "Gen'ral Rasoul gave th' order t'deploy nerve gas on th' city! Some o'the otha' fighters at th' arena an' I managed t'escape when we realized wha'ever was controlin' us was'no doin' it no more. But we heard Lang get th' order! There's tunnels all b'neath th' city, it is Rasoul's failsafe in case of invasion, e' will pump Seren nerve gas up through th' sewer systems. He will kill everyone in th' city if we d'no stop him!"

The look on Sanderson's face could not be any more horrified. Her eyes grow wide like saucers, lips part and a ragged sound of panic escapes through her. Turning to look up at Claire, the Lieutenant almost seems to be deferring to her for advice, until a familiar voice joins them.

"Go," says the rasping voice of Etana. But the voice is so much weaker, so much more fragile than it sounded before. Escorted into the palace by two men who Candy and Claire recognize as slaves from Rasoul's arena, this Etana is scrawny and weak, raggedly thin and balding, an emaciated old woman barely clinging to life despite what Claire had done for her. One man guides her by the elbow, helping her walk into the room.

"We will watch her," Etana murmurs, "the healer… he is not far now." Squinting her eyes, Etana looks down to Candy. "Go stop this insanity, and we will care for her. She has done her part, and deserves her rest. There is nothing more that can be done now."

Glancing up at the frail woman, Claire looks relieved to see her. She had been fretting around her, just about as much as Six and all those pregnant women and babies. Of course, the matronly woman's words get no argument from Claire. Gently, laying the Asian down on her back again, the regenerator scrambles to her feet and starts grabbing up gore covered weapons and searching blood soaked clothing for ammo. She's learned so well.

Turning back to the marine, an assault rifle over her shoulder and a shotgun in her hand, her blue eyes seem hollow like any person who's seen a lot of death. She's in that numb place.


"Lets go finish this, Sanderson."

Looking down anxiously to Candy, seeing the young woman pass out, Sanderson can only nod her head shallowly as she brushes her fingertips along the woman's brow and rises to her feet. A look is offered to Etana, brows furrowed, "You knew all this was going to happen, didn't you?" There's a squint of the marine's blue eyes, and Etana offers a solemn nod of her head, no sense in lying now. She takes a few shuffling footsteps forward, coming to settle her weary bones beside Candy, then looks up to Claire and Sanderson.

"Go, the ending has yet come…" At the sage's offered wisdom, Bosede takes a step forward towards her and takes her hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. "Go, Bosede, I will not break yet." The smile she offers is clearly one of familiarity, an implied familial sense of loyalty, even if it is not blood.

Taking one of the assault rifles from the exsanguinated soldier, Bosede racks a bullet into the chamber, then grabs another to toss to Sanderson. The marine slings it over her shoulder for now, preferring the pistol. "Where do we go?" Bosede nods towards a doorway, then hustles ahead of the group at a job. While Sanderson is willing to move at a faster pace, she is reluctant to leave Candace behind, hesitating just a moment before breaking away and running towards the hall behind Bosede, with Claire following.

Once they're thorugh the door, Bosede keeps his rifle readied, slowly moving down the corridor towards a flight of stairs. "I saw a monst'a come thorugh 'ere, followed 'im this fa'. Doctor Gregor's pet." Six! Heading down the stairs, Bosede leads through group towards the sounds of commotion, raised voices and sparking electricity. Rounding the corner at the bottom of the stairs, the old brickwork of the basement looks more like something out of an old horror movie, spun with cobwebs and rusted pipes, dripping water and puddles of murky runoff on the uneven stone floor.

Bosede stops at a doorway, ducks back behind the wall and waves for the others to stop. Peeking around the corner, he sees the source of the earlier shouting. "This— this is unacceptable!" The voice is familiar, the hissing and irregular vocalizations of Doctor Gregor. "Six I— demand you get out of my way! The soldiers, they— are going to ruin everything!"

Bosede leans back, waving two fingers in the air, then peeks back around the corner. Six, huddled in a doorway, has bleeding wounds all over his body, gunshot and otherwise, one eye swolen shut. He has his hands raised towards Gregor, threateningly. "S— Six no let you hurt people n'more! Six— Six does not want nice gorls to die!" Gregor takes a step back, the long trail of his white labcoat rustling about his ankles.

"We are— all dead if you do not let me pass! I must turn— on the gas!"

"He's not a monster anymore then I am." Claire snaps quickly, defending poor Six. Maybe she's just been there to long under the tender care of the doctor. That's all she says after that, any protests on the matter are easily ignored as she puts her mind to the task at hand.

At the dark man's signal, Claire stops and presses her back against the cool wall, her eyes on Bosede even if she strains to hear. The familiar voice of the Doctor brings mixed feelings from the regenerator. A part of her hates the sound of his voice and yet another part of her brain…. kills any desire for killing him.

Claire's jaw sets and she steps around Bosede, shotgun raised. "No Dr. Gregor… You are dead if you touch that gas. Hands up where I can see them" Her words are calm, yet with a rough edge to them. The muzzle of the gun is pointed right at him, as she comes up behind Six. "Good Six." She offers softly, eyes not coming off of the Doctor. Everything in those blue eyes says she won't hesitate to kill him, even if there is a part of her that knows that might not be true.

Gregor snaps tense when he hears Claire's voice, turning slowly to face her. In the dim and flickering light of this wet basement, Claire can see where the sparks are coming from, severed electrical cables damaged in the bombing run that must have hit a different part of the palace than the side they entered in from. Taking a step backwards, Gregor hesitates as he realizes he is getting closer to Six. "You— do not understand, miss Bennet." Light reflects dully off of the round lenses of Gregor's glasses. "If the American military succeds— here," he squints his eyes behind the lenses, "they will take back— all my research, they will recover all of the— biological weapons plans."

Swallowing awkwardly, Gregor slowly raises his hands above his head. "They will— kill me, and then they will turn those weapons— on you. Who do you think supplied me with— the neurotoxin?" Gregor's brows lift. "The— American Government." There is a look from Gregor as he watches Sanderson take a step in behind Claire, and the look of distrust on her face seems to bring a twithcing smile to Gregor's.

"You do not— believe me? Your government cannot proceed with biological weapons developments, because of the— biological weapons convention of 1972. They are not— permitted to develop the kinds of weaponry I have. General Rasoul had a contract with your government to develop anti-evolved toxins."

"That's…" Sanderson's lips part to try and finish those words, but she can hardly manage it. A ragged, choked breath exhales from her as she steps forward again, training her gun on Gregor. "You're full of shit."

"I am— not, Lieutenant. They did not know who Rasoul truly was, but they— supported his developments. Why do you think the military is— here now? To fight a war for a small, poor nation? To protect soldiers that it has— officially disavowed the existance of?" The doctor's lips curl into a cruel smile. "They are— here to cover their assets."

Of course, Claire has lived on the other side of the tracks from Sanderson, so she actually gives what he says a thought. Finally, she states firmly, "I can't let you kill them, what has been done here by Rasoul.. but be undone.." There is only a beat before she asks calmly, "Where is the research? We have to destroy it." That kind of knowledge in the hands of her government, just the idea sends shivers down her spine.

"No one should have that research… not even our government." There is a glance at Sanderson out of the corner of her eye, but then she focuses on the doctor again. "Where?" She shifts the shotgun higher to train it on him.

"Miles away at the research facility, likely already being— looted by your Americans." When Gregor says that, a pang of realization shoots through Sanderson, her blue eyes going wide in recollection of the battle plan being formed at the MLF bunker. "It is too— late now, unless I activate the gas protocols and— kill them. Then there will be time, time to reclaim research and— " and this should come as no surprise, "escape."

Sanderson trains her rifle higher on Gregor. "No fucking way in hell are you escaping. Do you have any idea how many crimes you've comitted in that lab of yours!?" Claire can see Sanderson's patience wearing thin. her trigger finger twitching as she stares down the barrel of the gun at the Doctor.

Six, for his worth, is lowering his arms, confused by all of the shouting, unable to fully grasp the content of the conversation. "Please lower your gun…" Gregor says in a hushed voice, lowering his hands down to his sides. "We— do not need to act so hasty. We need to— activate the gas. It is for the better of… everyone here. Trust me." One of his hands begins tucking down to the pocket of his lab coat.

KER-CHAK Claire's shotgun makes such a lovely sound. "Don't…. you….. dare. Get those hands up." The words are vicious and cold. She glances beyond him to the odd deformed man, "Six… if he tries to reach into his pocket again… Do your thing." Though she doesn't have full confidence that he can. Then she focus on Gregor again, expression cold. "As much as I hate what the government does to the evolved, I am still a US citizen… I won't let you kill my people." Even if she will regret it in the long run."

Gregor's eyes narrow to slits when Claire racks the shotgun. "If… you wish." Gregor raises his hands again, and his brows raise. "What then do we do? I'm a bit at a rock and a hard place right now. You wouldn't trust me to— disable the gas and render it inert. Yet anyone who comes down here could— enable the system." Letting his brows raise, Gregor looks back at Six. "This experiment seems to be— taking orders from someone else now."

When his blue eyes settle back on Claire, Gregor can't help but smile. "Where does this leave us?" Sanderson takes a step forward, pressing the barrel of her rifle up to Gregor's chest, then reaches down into his labcoat pocket and retrieves what he was reaching for, a cylinder that looks like a teargas canister, but has a familiar biohazard symbol on the side, an anti-evolved gas grenade. Handing it back to Claire, Sanderson grabs the doctor by his collar and turns him around. "Take us to it."

Six, still seeming confused, ducks his head down and steps out of the way when Sanderson starts to push Gregor towards the hall. The bald-headed experiment licks at his lips, then looks to Claire with a worried expression. "Six… Six wait here?" He asks confusedly, even as Bosede moves up to fill Sanderson's place, eyeing the creature with narrowed eyes and disgust he cannot help. He moves to follow Sanderson, who's pushing Gregor down the hall to wherever the gas is controlled from.

Taking the grenade, Claire's expression falls some, not liking to even touch it, but she tucks it in a pocket of her combat pants for now. Doctor Gregor's words, force her to look at him again. If looks could kill, the mad doctor would be dead. "Six knows the good people. You sir… are not good."

When the others move out Claire turns to look at the bald man, a gentle hand moving to touch his shoulder with finger tips. "No.. come with us, Six. If something goes bad, we may need you. Let us protect you too."

Reluctantly nodding his head, Six steps in to follow behind Claire. Ahead of them, Sanderson and Gregor move thorugh a winding brick corridor marked by broken power conduits every few feet, old water pipes no longer in service, and then down a crumbling pair of steps to a rusted metal catwalk overlooking a small laboratory. Rows of wheeled tables looking generations out of service flank a pair of enormous pressurized canisters connected to gas and water manes, the canisters each contain glaring biohazard emblems on them.

On one of the tables, a computer terminal sits idle, an old computer, black and green monchrome screen with a crt tube. It has to be at least thirty years old. "That is the— gas resevoir." Blue eyes hesitantly flick towards Sanderson, and she gives her gun a nudge forward between the doctor's shoulders, pushing him down the flight of stairs. His progress down is jerky and halting, right up until he comes to stand on the damp concrete floor, looking towards a large sealed door at the fat end of the room, then back to Sanderson. "What— now?" He has her backed somewhat into a corner. Can she trust him to deactivate the gas?

Bosede seems preoccupied as he comes down the stairs, looking at the computer, then over to the large metal canisters, then finally over to Claire. "A'say we jus' shoot 'im now an' get it over w'." Bosede moves towards the computer, staring down at the screen, then looks over to Sanderson. "We shoot all'a this stuff," he motions to the computer, "an' 'ope for th' best."

What a bind they are in… Anyway her mind tries to play the options, Claire ends up losing. Would Gregor be scared enough with preserving his own like that he's deactivate it? Or would he just say he is and put it all in motion? Claire sidles over to the computer to eye it curiously, lips pressed together in a firm line of thought.

"You start just shooting stuff and you might hit something wrong and gas us all." Claire murmurs looking at the computer before her. "Sanderson? What do you think? Smash and go?" Looking at Bosede she nods to the canisters. "See if it looks like there is a safe way to disconnect them… maybe?"

"Don't— Don't disconnect anything!" Gregor hisses out with both hands in the air, "you'll kill us all! I— I will disable it, I will— I will walk you through how to render the gas inert." Gregor stutters out, swallowing noisily as he looks from Claire to Six, then over to Sanderson. "But— but I want a promise." His brows raise, "Promise me that you will get me out of this country. That you will not let me— be captured by the Americans. Help me escape, and I will show you how to turn off the gas."

Sanderson seems suspicious about that prospect, looking to Claire with a debatable expression of uncertainty. But Bosede is completely against it. He raises his gun towards Gregor and screws up his expression into one of disgust and outrage. "No! He is'a butcher an' a madman! We can'no trus' him, and we can'no let him get out of here alive!"

"Bennet!" Gregor shouts, "Please don't let him kill me!" Something up, Gregor sounds frightened but there's a false tremor of urgency in his voice. "Don't let him kill me!" Bosede takes a step forward, angling his gun down on Gregor's shoulder and forcing him to his knees.

"Sh'yo mouth!" The soldier demands, "Sh'up! Sh'up an' stay down o' a'will shoot you!" Gregor ducks his head, grimacing, Sanderson looks panicked, training her gun back and forth between Bosede and Gregor.

"Bosede stop! Stop! Don't— Don't shoot him! Stop!" In the panic, Gregor cowers down to the ground, shielding his head with his hands, and it's right about then Claire realizes what he's trying to do, about when her stomach twists into knots.

"NO!" Sanderson lets out a howling shriek, feeling her arm twist and contort as Six lets out a terrified keening sound. Bosede screams, his fingers bending backwards in putty-like motion away from the grip of his gun, and Gregor scrambles on his hands and knees under a table to get out of the radius of Six's flesh bending ability.

A howl of agony comes as Sanderson drops to one knee, her arm twisting like a corkscrew as Six manipulates the flexibility of her body uncoltrolably, and Claire too is put through the proverbial and literal wringer. There is a horrible feeling of helplessness as Claire begins to wilt and melt like a candle exposed to too much heat, skin becoming rubbery and slack, sliding around on jelly bones as she collapses to the ground, gun clattering to her feet.

Six cowers in a corner of the room, whimpering and covering his face. The shouting, gun brandishing and Gregor begging for help terrified and confused him and his simple mind. Bosede lets out a painful scream as he tries to move, notted muscles straining in cramps that cripple him. Gregor crawls around another table, an apologetic expression painted across his face.

"I'm sorry," he emphasizes, beginning to type into the computer rapidly, "but I cannot let— secrets like my research fall into the— wrong hands." Flashing hazard lights begin to activate all around the room, and a pressurized hiss in one of the large canisters seems to signal something being activated. Warning klaxons sound, and Gregor moves over to one of the walls where gas masks hang, picking it up and strapping it on over his face. Voice muffled now, Gregor's response comes with a cluck of his tongue and a bow of his head. "I— apologize. But this is for the— best."

Turning towards that door at the back of the room that Bosede had been eyeing earlier. Gregor looks to be making his escape as Six continues to panic, bending and warping the flesh of the people in the room in his fearful squirming and wailing. But when that door slides open and Gregor turns around, the loud pop of two gunshots sends him staggering back, one hand clutching at his chest.

Walking into the room, a man in a sleek black suit with a crisp blue shirt beneath holds a silenced Walther to the doctor's chest, firing two more shots into him as he crumples and slides down the brickwork, leaving a bloody trail. "I'm sorry, Doctor." Edmond Rasoul's voice is a silken smooth one, "but you've misunderstood."

Continuing down the lab towards where the others are, Rasoul arches a brow and looks down at Bosede, squirming and writhing on the floor. The Walther is raised, and Claire cannot do anything for him as the sadistic general of Madagascar fires four rounds into his deforming head, spraying blood and gore across the room.

Pausing before he moves further, Edmond looks to Six, dark brows furrowed. "Six!" He shouts affirmatively, and like a dog that was trained by brutality, Six drops down onto his knees and hunches his shoulders, and the flesh-warping begins to straighten back out. Rasoul's hard-soled shoes click across the floor as he walks over to Sanderson, leveling his gun up towards her. Three shots are fired into her chest, and when he goes to drop a shot into her head, the gun clicks from having expended the full magazine. A hiss of breath slips past Rasoul's lips as he throws the gun aside, walking over to Claire before picking up the shotgun she dropped. He examines it carefully in both hands, brows furrowed, then levels it down towards Claire.

"Doctor Gregor was very wrong, miss Bennet. This isn't ordinary nerve gas I'm releasing…" His thin lips creep up into a smile, and when Six begins to assert himself, begins to straighten up and look threatening as the gun is leveled at Claire, all it takes is one baleful look from Rasoul to put him back into his place. He is too afraid of him.

"You won't need to worry about that, though." Rasoul's eyes narrow from a smile that does not quite reach his lips as he places the barrel of the shotgun to Claire's forehead. "I'm fairly certain even you won't regenerate from this."

Then, everything is black.

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