elisabeth2_icon.gif emerson_icon.gif kaitlyn2_icon.gif jj_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif tess_icon.gif yana_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title Severance
Synopsis The noon-time meal at a popular restaurant is violently interrupted when a disgruntled former worker comes seeking justice and recompense.
Date January 20, 2011

World Center Mall

Situated on the north end of Battery Park City, the World Center Mall is the largest shopping mall remaining in New York City. With the destruction of midtown Manhattan and the general financial decline following the bomb in 2006, many former businesses that eclipsed this large shopping center have gone out of business. The World Center Mall is a three story establishment featuring 150 stores as well as dozens of fast-foot restaurants and a 20-screen cinema located on the mall's third floor.

Given its status as one of the last remaining shopping malls of its type on Manhattan, the World Center Mall remains a busy and active shopping center, crowded with people during operating hours and severely lacking in parking accommodations that have not been expanded since the time of the bomb.

Lunch at Fresco is usually more busy, even in the winter, despite the fact that the temperature outside is at the freezing point, and gloomy clouds promise more snow in the future. On the third-floor "outdoor" restaurant of the World Center Mall, the chill is kept at bay by the tall patio heaters that loom above the diners who nibble on "small plate" style lunches — amuse-bouche an tapas sorts of tapestries that are the specialty of the house. Any chance of snow, rain or over-abundance of sunshine is also guarded against by green umbrella; once in a while, a chilly breeze wafts through over the four-foot high glass wall.

Two black-clad servers, a young man and a young woman, comprise the waitstaff today, while once in a while a bus-boy all in white comes to pick up dishes or refill water or iced tea. The manager, every twenty minutes or so, steps out from the waiting area on the inside of the building, to make his rounds, asking this or that table if they found everything to their liking.

All in all, it's a pleasant day in Battery Park at a pleasant (if overpriced and trendy) little bistro. It could be better, in the manager David Huerta's eyes — only 15 tables of 30 are occupied, but business is business, and some is better than none.

Lunch at restaurants, real ones, aren't something that Tess treats herself to that often. They tend to cost more money than she'd like to spend. But every once in a while, you just gotta treat yourself or what's the point in working hard? So she's bundled herself up and made her way to the restaurant, sitting at a table by herself.

She's chowing down on the entree part of her meal, though dessert has already been ordered. She must have her sugar, after all. And sitting by her right hand is a camera, a cheap one, which she's picked up to use a few times. Just random shots, likely of no importance to anyone but her.

One of the smaller tables, nearer to the outside and therefore nearer to the chill, is occupied by an older man, seated by himself where he can have some space around him. The empty chair across from Nocturne Ziadie holds several shopping bags, all on the larger side, and he sips idly from a glass of water. Next to his food sits a small pile of papers, but he's not paying attention to them, and next to those is a small cell phone, one of the inexpensive pay-as-you-go ones. But he's not really paying attention to any of it, just turning the glass of water in his hands and occasionally taking a bite of the food in front of him.

Magnes is still waiting for his food, arms crossed as he sits back rather boredly. He's only dressed semi-casually in an unbuttoned black suit jacket, a white buttoned up shirt, some neatly fitting blue jeans, and black leather shoes. He's been trying to immerse himself into these settings lately, so a swanky lunch is as good as any time to try.

There is nothing quite like a bit of time to oneself. Something Yana has been lacking as of late. One person needing her attention for something or another. Whether it be work, her nephew or other members of her family who feel the need to connect over their physical distance. She has barely had time to take so much as a Calgon moment for herself. Today's lunch is all for her. Lunch being about the only dining experiences acceptable to do alone. The woman in the expensive black dress, fancy Monola Bloniks, and perfect posture sits amidst everyone else. Her legs properly kept together under the split side dress, and cast slightly to the side.

Knife and fork in hand, she cuts her meal into very small squares in preparation for tasting. The woman is a rather harsh critic when it comes to dining. So much so that she might have missed her calling in that industry. You know, if she weren't the Virus Queen or anything. Some people are just born for greatness such as that.

The manager is on his way toward Yana's table, adjusting his lavender tie, pastel satin juxtaposed against the black cotton of his dress shirt. She clearly is the one with the money in this crowd, and that's just the kind of patron that Fresco would like as a repeated customer.

"Kenneth, just-"

The door from Fresco's patio to the indoors opens, and the hostess's voice trails after a man striding suddenly toward the manager. The new arrival looks out of place in rumpled jeans, a gray hood covering his head, five o'clock shadow across what might be a handsome face if it weren't so pale and lean. "David, I tried to stop him," the hostess protests in a querulous sort of whine, but she gives a roll of her eyes and steps back inside to man her station.

David turns, and his eyes narrow when his gaze falls upon Kenneth. "Ken. If you're not here to eat as a paying customer," he begins.

Kenneth Pruitt's voice is low, muttering, "I just want what I'm owed, man. You owe me at least two weeks that I worked. I need the money. Times are hard."

"Times are hard for everyone. I don't have time for this-"

David's words are cut off when suddenly tables begin to rattle, the plates and glasses upon them as well. Water glasses spill, sloshing over onto Ziadie's papers. Near Tess, the heater above her table leans a little before righting itself.

One of the waitresses stops where she stands near Magnes' table, about to refill his drink, her eyes wide. "Oh, my God, someone call 9-1-1!"

Out come at least five cell phones — four of which go flying immediately, grabbed out of the frightened patrons' hands by something invisible, and flung over the balcony wall.

One man in the corner manages to hold on to his, frantically pushing the digits, somehow escaping notice.

"If that's how you want to handle it," Kenneth says through gritted teeth. "Then I have more demands."

Yana suddenly finds herself flung out of her seat and into the air, over that wall and then suddenly suspended in the air. "It's a long way down…" Kenneth begins. "If you want this nice lady to live, Huerta, I want my pay, and I want whatever you have in the register now, and I want you to rehire the others."

Drama? Tess is all about some drama. When Kenneth arrives, she looks towards the exchange between him and David, only to blink, then go wide-eyed when things start moving on their own. "So fuckin' c—" Oops, there's someone being dangled over thin air. That's not so cool. She remains in her seat, looking from Yana to Kenneth to David then back to Kenneth, keeping herself quiet, trying to discreetly slide her hand into her pocket to dial 911.

Ziadie curses, wiping up as much of the water as he can with a napkin. Those were the paperwork for his pension, but he can get another copy a slong as he can still read the information on it. The he watches the man, for the moment sitting quietly, leaning back in his chair a little like nothing has happened, trying to judge the distances between people, eyes alert despite the otherwise relaxed posture.

Magnes immediately stands when Yana is lifted into the air. Who knows how long the cops will take, but he's trying to get close enough to get her into the sphere of his ability so he can either snatch her away, or catch her if she's dropped. Of course, talking and making sure he doesn't panic might help. "Sir! My name is Manges J. Varlane, former NYPD. I have at least a hundred thousand dollars in a bank account, I'll take you to an ATM if you'll just put her down safely."

Oh come now, really? New York is so full of crisis that she somehow ends up being wrapped up in. She was just calmly enjoying her meal, and then suddenly hell breaks loose. Yana comes to pause in mid nibble as the dramatic scene begins to unfold. Her eyes lift suddenly, and her brows raise as there are people raising their voices in the restaurant. Hmph.. some people have absolutely no scruples. The look on Yana's face clearly displays such a thought, while she reaches for her napkin to fold and daintily wipe her mouth. She is looking to the waiter and is just about to ask for the check when all of a sudden, she becomes the victim of a disgruntled worker?

You can bet that Yana's reaction to what happens to her is very dramatic, but unlike times before, her response is pretty warranted. She has control taken away as she is jerked right out of her seat and lifted into the air. There is bound to be some bruising and such, she is a delicate creature after all. One that currently screams at the top of her lungs while she is tossed about like an expensive porcelain doll.

While Yana is visibly freaking out, Dr. Blite is of course internally cursing the moment. Lack of control is her biggest peeve. And for someone to snatch it from her this easily.. weeelll, she is not a happy camper. This is the last time she eats at this establishment, that is for sure. This young man will pay for this humiliation! He will suffer divine retribution if she survives! She will not stand for this outrage!

While she is up there screaming, her hands quickly drop down to her dress, pulling it in closely to protect her modesty. Even while dangling dangerously through some Evo act of aggression, she still stays worried about decency. She hear's Magnes' voice, and immediately, the woman turns her freaking out towards him, "Magnes! Magnes, get me down from here! Oh! This is highly unacceptable!" she turns her glare to the man that is causing it, "This is no way to get your point across! You have completely blown any credibility to your favor in your case! I insist that you place me down this instant and— Oh!" she loses hold of her dress a little, but not enough to reveal anything, quickly snagging it back in place.

"Sit down!" Kenneth Pruitt shouts when Magnes stands, suddenly the chair behind him shoving in hard behind the young man's knees to make him take a seat, the table suddenly jerking forward an inch to attempt to trap the man between wrought iron chair and wrought iron table. Water pours over the remains of his meal.

Meanwhile, there's an odd mix of curiosity and the flight instinct — the door becomes jammed between those trying to come look, Pruitt's former coworkers coming from the kitchen to peer at the spectacle, while patrons try to flee. Pruitt's attention on Magnes makes some of them stop their attempts to escape, dropping to their seats like obedient children, eyes wide.

Shoving through the crowd at the door is the mall cop, who lifts his gun stupidly, only to have it ripped from his hands with a wave of Pruitt's hand — the disgruntled man's wild eyes dart around the patio in an attempt to keep an eye on everyone and everything.

"Credibility? I've never been anything but a hard worker, and one of the best goddamned waiters this place had, and I was fired wrongfully by this asshole!" At his words, Huerta is suddenly slammed against the balcony, which shudders against the force. Huerta slides down the wall to take a seat, rubbing his head and gazing up at Pruitt with fear and horror.

"Why? Ask me why!"

The waitress whispers, "Why?" as she hugs her notepad to herself, eyes wide.

"Oh, fuck you Jocelyn. You and your sick days, you and your missed shifts — you weren't fired, though, were you? Why? Because you aren't evolved. Because you didn't have a fucking Evo card like me and Anabelle and Fidencio. Fidencio! He is 50 years old, no one's gonna fuckin ghire a 50 year old Evo dude!" More plates and glasses jump with each word.

Huerta shouts, "Fine! Let her down! We'll fix it! Whatever money we have, it's yours!"

"Guess what, Huerta? Guess fucking what? My girlfriend was pregnant and she fucking miscarried because of the stress, since we're getting evicted and I can't find a fucking job. How you gonna make that right? How you gonna fix that?"

Dispatch came through Elisabeth's headset before the team had even reboarded the people mover. What the fuck is it with the full moon and all the damn loonies? "Be advised that 911 dispatch is requesting assistance with an Evolved hostage situation at Fresco in the World Center Mall." Even as the squad climbs into their vehicle less than a mile away, the details begin filtering through the headset radios. Elisabeth, whose helmet is sitting in her lap, has a clench-jawed, grim expression on her face as more and more information comes in.

Upon arrival at the Mall, the entire team of Horizon-suited Evo soldiers is deployed. The head of the unit carries her helmet, wearing only the headset and throat mic that can be used instead. "The restaurant's patio area is just east, around the corner there," Elisabeth points. The transport has set them down in the parking area nearly adjacent to the entrance where the restaurant is. "Dooley, Emerson, when we go in, I want the two of you to sweep left and evacuate any patrons in the main part of the restaurant and go through to the kitchen to be sure we've got as few hostages as possible. Jones, you're with me. We're going to hit the balcony itself first thing, see if we can talk this guy down. Can you use the door handles to get me a good read on what he actually wants? Whether this is a full-on suicide situation or if he actually wants something we can work with in this?"

The FRONTLINER with 01-03 on her suit, for once doesn't have a camera attached to the side of her helmet. It makes her a little surly, but luckily the light scowl on her lip is hidden by the faceplate. Kaitlyn Dooley has been in a slightly sour mood since the meddling of her boss lost them Proto.

There was no telling if and when they would get the flying drone back.

Kaitlyn gives a slight nod of her head, stepping around Liz to join Emerson. "Helmet." Comes a bland reminder to the leader. Whether she likes it or not. "I ain't gonna patch no hole in that head of yours if you're gonna be a target." Harrison might be the boss, but Dooley is the healer.

She don't want to heal if she can help it.

Within her helmet little points of light flicker on and off, readings for her teammates. Measuring their pulses, dark eyes flick over to them before focusing on Emerson again.

At the mention of her name, FRONTLINE 01-02 steps forward, her posture surprisingly casual as she stands with her rifle leaning against her shoulder. They can't see it because of her helmet, but Hannah EMerson is smiling. Not that the situation they find themselves called to handle is by anymeans good, but this is what she's hear for, isn't it?

Besides, HQ gets so boring after a fre days of having nothing important to do.

"10-4, boss," is her rather enthusiastic reply, looking over twoards Dooley and offering a nod as the healer's attention turns back to her. "Just the one man, correct? No friends seeming to be waiting in the wings to help out? If so, this should be in and out. No problem." Sometimes, she lives to be a jinx, even if she doesn't know it. "I'm ready to go as soon as you are."

"Ahhh," JJ says, squinting a little down at his hands as if blaming them for the answer he's about to give. "No. I can't read minds, not even retroactively. I can only see what happened, so the best I'd do, even if he were the last person to touch the handles, is to describe what happened when he walked through the door, which … I think is gonna be pretty much he opened it, and walked through." His tone is apologetic.

At Kaitlyn's reminder to Liz, he too pulls on his helmet.

Glancing down at her phone Tess hits the speakerphone button, deciding that's probably a safer way of relaying information than putting the phone to her ear. After it's been muted of course. No letting the whacko know she's got 911 on the line, right? But she remains still and quiet, doing her best not to draw attention to herself. She has no ability that can be useful here, and has no money to offer. Although…

"The woman you're holdin' over the edge may be evolved herself though. You don't wanna kill an evolved woman because they discriminated against you, do you?" she asks, voice as soothing and calm as she can make it. "Please, just bring her back on this side. We know you can do what you threaten if they don't listen to you."

Ziadie watches, still, and gets up, leaning on his cane. But that's all he seems to be doing, getting up, stretching his legs a little, if perhaps making a bit of a show of the fact that he's stretching, a show of the fact that he is old, and harmless. "Words can't make your girlfriend's child come back, sir," he says. He speaks loudly enough to be heard, but his voice is calm. People around him have panicked, but whatever panic Ziadie experienced has been internalised and shoved aside. "I know it hurts — my wife miscarried, and died from it — an' I know it hurts to be discriminated against, but actions like this can't either."

"I'm Evolved as well, I've lost friends and had them treated like animals because of who and what they are, I've been shot by Humanis First on two different occasions." Magnes holds a hand out, the table moving away from him, floating about a foot from the floor as a demonstration that he is, indeed, Evolved. "That man is right, there's nothing we can do for your baby, but I know people who are more than willing to help you and your friends with jobs, and to put you on the road to recovering from this. But if you hurt someone, if you kill someone, you'll be throwing away any chance to salvage what I understand must be a terrible situation for you."

While she is hanging in midair, listening to everyone pour their hearts into the guy's special cup, Yana is seems to be one of the only ones who doesn't feel a single sliver of sorry for him. Quite frankly, Dr. Blite probably wants him shot directly in the head.. After she is brought to safety of course. But first she will have to actually get that safety before she can rain down any sort of vengeance on him. She is well aware that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar, so she does what any other wealthy individual might do in her position. "If this is about money, I assure you, you are making a mistake by threatening my life. If you desire money, I can give it to you. I am no slouch when it comes to fortune. Obviously you are a very troubled and afflicted young man. Someone who doesn't need an act such as this on his conscious ontop of on his record. If you go through with this, you will only make things worse. Society already gives poor treatment to Evolved, adding criminal charges to the image you are already apart of will only ensure you never rise above it."

All she can do is dangle, and lay it out the truth for him, lay it on thick. "But.. if you set me down, you might still have a chance. I can make it worth your trouble, give you the money to help you set your life back straight. You would be foolish to do otherwise. What will it accomplish, going through with this? You would only be another statistic, an example of what happens to Evolved that step out of their place. The man is correct, I myself am Evolved. And I am an example of how it doesn't have to be so bad."

Kenneth Pruitt scowls, the one hand that seems to be the one that holds Yana shaking slightly, and thus she shakes slightly as well, suspended as she is in the air. Below, a crowd has begun to form, staring up at the woman hanging above. Sirens herald the arrival of the police and the fire department, their red and blue lights reflecting off the icy spots on sidewalks below.

"I don't care," he growls at Tess, nodding at Yana. "She doesn't have to worry about not having enough to eat, about getting evicted or digging through a supermarket's dumpster to get her meal."

Ziadie's and Magnes' words merely bring a deeper scowl, and he looks away from Ziadie, unable to meet the older man's eyes, even if it may be the one person most likely to be able to understand his pain. Misery doesn't always want company.

At the mention of Yana's money, however, he shakes his head again. "I just want the money in their safe, at least what's coming to me. He owes me! And for you all to let me get out of here alive," Pruitt suddenly shouts, looking at Huerta and then the mall cop who has pushed his way through the throng at the door. "Don't even try it. I'm faster than you, I guarantee it, Jimmy," he warns, and looks apologetic for doing so.

Pruitt turns to Magnes. "If you wanna help me, help me get out of here. All I want is the money and I'm running somewhere that doesn't discriminate against people like me, like you. And I want them to rehire Fidencio and Anabelle. It's too late for me — it isn't for them."

Huerta nods, earnestly, eagerly. "Okay! Just let someone get the money, all right? Jocelyn can go inside and get it from the safe, if you say it's okay."

Huerta's words make Pruitt pause, and he nods. "No funny business, or she falls."

Elisabeth nods briefly to JJ's response, and then she rolls her eyes at the healer. The newer helmet doesn't have the full faceplate to it anymore — it still connects to her exoskeleton and frames her face but leaves the lower half of her face open. She can close it up to the full-face shield but rarely opts to and this situation is no different — the top portion of the face shield is entirely in place, though, and her HUD and the radio springs to life. "Director, dispatch is relaying a live feed. Mall security is evacuating. The perpetrator is holding one of the hostages out over the balcony. Some of the customers are attemping to talk him down. It sounds, as of this time, unsuccessful. He's demanding money. Also be advised that one of those customers has given a name that flags the system. Magnes Varlane."

The blonde bites back a series of obscene words. With a quick gesture, Elisabeth cuts her team loose. With mall and restaurant patrons running as fast as they can from the entrance due to a fast, quiet evacuation on the part of the mall security personnel, they have to do a bit of upstream swimming. But upon entry to the restaurant itself, much of that area has already been cleared leaving only the people clustered closest to the patio doors to notice the two exoskeleton-suited soldiers. "Oh shit," Liz breathes softly.

As soon as she's cut loose, the ex-NYPD officer follows after Liz, lips pressed into a fine line. Kaitlyn doesn't complain about the job she has to do, only thankful that the hydrolics help her move the heavy suit along. "If he makes me heal anyone, I'm gonna put a few bullets in him." It's not said over the com, thankfully. It's an empty threat really… maybe.

Once Elisabeth is inside… or really outside since it's outside dining, Kaitlyn brings up her rifle and cuts to the left, sweeping the weapon along to see if there are any threats before easing slowly in that direction stepping out around tables butted against the wall. A glace to the side shows their target and the woman he had floating there, as the healer inches to the left letting Emerson follow after her. She intention is to get to the kitchen doors and get them started out.

Emerson is moving just behind Kaitlyn, letting the healer take pointas she covers behind her, rifle sweeping the directions Kaitlyn doesn't cover. Gripped tight, she can't help but laugh. «If he makes you heal anyone, Kait, I'll probably have aleady put some in him. Here's hoping it doesn't come to that." Particularly with so many innocent folks around.

Stepping up beside Kailyn as she steps around tables, she grimaces, a look given over to her partner. "How do you want to this? Getting people out without having him drop the woman might be tough, and I'm not exactly a negotiator if things go awry." And it doesn't seem like Kait's the type either. Which makes Emerson hope Liz has that end covered well enough.

When Tess realizes that she's not going to be able to talk the man out of freaking out. So she just glances to her phone, making sure that it is still connected, even if she can't check to see if there's someone on the other end. Then she looks back up, towards the woman hanging over the edge, chewing lightly on her lower lip as she starts to consider something insane and very unlikely to work.

Ziadie glares at Yana as she speaks. Her approach isn't helpful, as far as he's concerned. He takes a few steps in from where he'd been standing, and he moves slowly, getting himself away from the edge.

"Yeah, he probably does owe you," Ziadie says. "Ken, my name is Nocturne Ziadie." He introduces himself, just mainly trying to keep talking as the Frontline people enter. Trying to keep Kenneth's attention. "Former NYPD as well." He glances over to Huerta, addressing him briefly, and his voice gains a stern edge. "You know, there's a specified period of time in which you need to pay an employee their last paycheck. It's a matter of labour law. Failure to obey can affect your business licensing, as I recall." Ziadie turns. His left arm is in a sling, actually, and he awkwardly reaches up to rub his temples. "Hard times don't constitute an excuse."

"I can get you back there." Magnes should comply, since this is giving him some measure of a chance at getting closer. "I can use my ability to deflect any bullets while we're going for the safe." he explains, beginning to approach the man. Of course he only deflected a bullet once or twice, and said deflections were more like making sure the bullets didn't go completely through him… with 9999.9% luck thrown in for lack of super speed. "Will you put her down? Just bring her over here so I'll know she's safe, I can hold her and lead you in."

Herpes.. It was going to be Herpes that was given to him for this audacious act. But now, Dr. Blite has HTLV-1 in mind for the villain in this story, that is currently not her. HTLV-1 and Herpes.. And as he doesn't take her offer to pay him, she adds Influenza to the pot. One scattered cocktail of viral 'uh-oh' is in his near future if she can get her talons on him. This is how Dr. Blite's mind works, it might be a bit delusional to think oneself to be far greater than they are, but she is sick like that. She acts quite like the Queen of England might, if she were touched by tatterdemalion with grimy hands. And for him to even think of dropping her is a very foolish dare indeed.

However, the man is right about one thing, Yana doesn't have to worry about not having enough to eat or getting evicted or digging through the dumpster for a meal. Ugh.. Parish the thought. As she is floating there, she frowns, looking at Magnes. Her face practically dripping with 'Would someone please euthanize this pathetic creature? I'm allergic to failure.' And Magnes, knowing what he does about her, just might be able to pick this up from her expression.

She offered him money once. She isn't about to do it again. She simply looks disenchanted with dealing with him. Even though she is at his mercy. Her pretension an her madness make for good panic dampening in situations like this. Calm as a river. Though Yana is secretly praying somewhere not to die.

JJ simply follows, quieter than the others (for once), very aware of his lack of experience — negotiation isn't in his field of expertise, so he simply waits for orders and attempts to look imposing — not a hard task, given the exoskeleton makes them all look rather formidable.

Jocelyn meanwhile squeaks as she makes her way into the doors past the soldiers to find some of the cash that is likely never to make it into Pruitt's hands. Pruitt turns to look at the new arrivals, eyes widening when he realizes he's backed himself into a corner rather literally. After all, he can't fly, even if he can make Yana float. His eyes fall on Magnes as the man offers to help. "When I have the money in hand, and if everyone else holds off. She's coming with me until we're safe, both of you, and Huerta, too — and then when I'm sure no one's gonna shoot me, then okay. She's in the clear."

He glances back again and with a wave of his hands, a table turns on its side, dishes and silverware sliding off, an attempt at a kind of shield.

At the doors, Jocelyn nods toward him. "He used to work here, he was a good guy — David fired him and the others, rumor is because they all got registered, had to to keep their jobs," she gasps, pale with fear as she moves to the cash register, hands trembling and taking a few times to manage to hit the right button. The drawer pops open and she grabs all the money. "Should I bring it to him?"

With Emerson and Dooley handling the evacuation, Elisabeth herself and JJ Jones sidle up behind the people who are blocking the patio door. When they split and expose the soldiers to Pruitt's eyes, the blonde glances at JJ and has him to stand near Jocelyn. Then she steps through the crowd into the outdoor dining area. A brief glance toward Varlane — and God knows, she hopes the boy is on the damn ball; she does not want to see this woman go over the edge — and Liz speaks to Pruitt. Oh this is going to give her a massive headache.

"~You know we can't do that~," she says quietly to the hostage taker. "~What I can do is give you my word that the management of the establishment will put the money they owe you into your bank account by tomorrow. But I can only do that if you put the lady down.~" Her husky contralto is very soothing, laced through with calming wavelengths. It's the first time she's tried this since the riots, and Elisabeth can feel the spear going through her brain already. Not as bad as it has been, but she'll definitely pay in a migraine tonight.

Reaching up to take the helmet off, to let Pruitt see her face, Liz continues to talk as she puts the headgear under her arm. "~My name is Liz Harrison. I give you my word that I'll personally be sure you get what's owed to you, but you need to come peacefully without hurting anyone. I know you don't want to do this. That you're just desperate. And I understand that. You've had a shitty year, and the law hasn't caught up enough yet to punish assholes who fire good, honest, hardworking people on the basis of having an ability. Just set her down, okay? Trust me. I will make it my mission to be sure that things are taken care of.~"

It's probably a good thing Kaitlyn it preoccupied in another area, to see Liz pull that helmet off. Else, the audiokinetic, might have ended up too busy turning the sound down on the healer. WHo would be yalling at her to get that goddamn helmet on. But Kait's distracted and as soon as she's in the kitchen, there is a sweep for visable weapons.

"Alright…" She barks out to the people in the kitchen, her voice crackles a bit over the speakers of her suit. The drawal of her voice sounds weird coming from it. "We are clearin' y'all out. Is there another door out of this here joint? If not. My partner and I here will be doin' our best to get y'all out."

Kaitlyn doesn this WITHOUT her helmet off.

Emerson sort of wishes, soemtimes, that that she had super strength instead of the gift she possesses. Then they wouldn't really need to worry about another way out from where they wait. But unfortunately, she doesn;t and Chester isn't with them this evening, leaving the two to improvise in a different way. "If there isn't, we give Liz the benefit of the doubt for the moment. If she doesn't pull through, we improvise a distraction." Which Emerson can do well enough, she thinks, given the chat.

Emerson's helmet was on, but it's stuffy in those things with as much hair as she has, so any opprotunity she can take to remove it, she does. So while Kaitlyn insists on keeping hers on, hers is popped off (but held against her shoulder, in the even she needs to snap it back on quick like). "We're going to make sure that all of you get out as easiily and as unharmed as possible," she remarks, thinking that seeing a face with help keep people calm. "But we're going to need everone to follow instructions to the letter when the time comes."

In the kitchen and indoor waiting area, people follow the orders of the FRONTLINE officers, leading the way out into the rest of the mall, rather than outdoors; the rest of the shops have been evacuated by mall security and police, so only the patio is in danger, and perhaps the lookyloo crowd below.

On the patio, the psychometrist gives Liz a nod and moves closer to Jocelyn, one bare hand reaching to touch her arm lightly, to keep her from moving toward the young man. "It could be a trick," he whispers to her, giving a nod toward Pruitt, who is staring at Liz.

The calming effect makes the thin man's face fall, from anger and tension to something more bereft of hope — calmer, but more pained, now that the adrenaline abates.

He looks from her to the crowd below, swallowing. "Fuck it," he says, suddenly flinging the table in front of him toward Liz, and Yana back up and over the barrier and toward Magnes.

Another wave of his hand brings JJ's gun out of his holster and toward the distraught man. JJ's eyes widen and he makes a lurch to catch it, but it's already out of his grasp.

Pruitt makes a grab for it and brings it to Huerta. "It's too late for me — but I'll take you down with me," he whispers.

Oh Goddamnit all to fuckin' hell! WHY JJ's weapon was in a position to be snatched off his body is something that is going to earn the boy a rip-roaring reaming when FRONTLINE gets back to base. In the immediate, however, Elisabeth has a bigger concern — a massive table flying right at her head! Instinct drives her as she throws herself sideways out of the path, dropping her helmet in the process and hurls a wave of hard, deep sound waves at Pruitt to knock him off balance and hopefully knock him out of alignment to catch that weapon. "DOWN!" she shouts, using that simple command to the civilians as her weapon of choice.

And oh Lord her head is paying for that. Later she'll realize her nose didn't bleed, though.

When Yana is back over solid ground Tess seems to relax a little. Good, she won't have to try to play Spiderwoman, with an ability she still hasn't quite gotten the hang of yet. Yay! No probable death in her future! And even though the authorities are there, she keeps the phone on and the connection active. Juuuuust in case. And ducks down in her chair. Also just in case.

Ziadie leans his cane against an empty table as everything goes on. The sound wave from Elisabeth makes him wince, and there's a split-second glance over at Yana. The woman is over solid ground now, which leaves Ziadie free to respond to the gun hovering in mid-air, Pruitt's statement.

"Get down!" The former cop echoes what Elisabeth has said, as draws his own gun, from under his jacket, and winces. But the wincing doesn't stop him from firing four rounds in succession directly at Pruitt, before glancing to the other Frontline soldiers. He lowers his gun, leaning on the table once again.

Magnes catches Yana, and almost immediately after he's having to dive when Elisabeth yells for him to get down. They're on the floor, and he's holding Yana's ears just in case. Though so she doesn't think he's completely insane, he nods over in the older woman's direction to indicate just why he's holding her ears, wincing himself.

Yes, this restaurant is certainly getting two thumbs down from Yana, and she will express her displeasure of the establishment's treatment of it's employees, and furthermore the unstable people it hires. Dr. Blite has no fear that the man will kill her, even if Yana is making prayers and disliking the idea of flight with each passing moment. She gets her reprieve with she is brought back up and over, and then flung at Magnes. He threw her! Threw her! Oh she is fuming at this point. And even though she screams, her arrogance dictates to her that Magnes will catch her, which he does. "If they don't kill him," she whispers firmly to her savior, "I swear to God, I'm going to give him every single v— What?!" she blinks as he is covering her ears, starting to think he is completely insane. His look to the woman only confuses her further, but the sound from Elisabeth gives her a bit of understanding, and she follows suit.

Pruitt only has the gun trained on his former boss for the most fleeting of moments when Liz's blast has him stumbling off kilter, the gun lifting up and out as it fires off a couple of rounds, luckily into nothingness. The crowd below makes for the nearest cover now that gunfire is involved, running for the street instead of watching the tragedy unfold above.

Three of the four bullets Ziadie fires strike the former waiter in the chest and abdomen, the fourth lodging in the glass barricade, a spiderweb crackling around it. Pruitt stares down at his chest as scarlet spots blossom through his gray hoodie, and he parts his lips for a moment, blood bubbling out instead of words, before he wobbles and falls to the floor, on top of his former manager. Huerta shouts in disgust and fear, kicking and flailing to get the corpse off of him.

Jocelyn, at JJ's side drops the wad of cash as she brings her hands to her mouth, turning away and burying her face in the stunned soldier's shoulder.

The green bills, fanned out on the floor at their feet, amounts to a mere $900 — what would have been Kenneth Pruitt's severance pay.

Ziadie pushes the safety back on on his weapon, and re-holsters it. Very obviously, in fact, so as to not cause any more needless panic, and then he walks over to where the FRONTLINE soldiers now stand, around the felled tables and chairs and debris of lunch. A badge is produced out of a pants pocket, and an affixation denoting his concealed carry license, and he begins a rather quiet and very subdued verbal report.

There'll be paperwork later. There always is.

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