Thanks For The Memories, Part II


bella_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif jet_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title Thanks For The Memories, Part II
Synopsis At long last, the Ferrymen and allies move in to rescue the prisoners of the Refrain experiment trials and topple it once and for all. With their numbers already dwindled, the Ferrymen carry out their rescue mission into a situation that's already changed in unexpected ways.
Date February 14, 2009

Refrain Testing Facility

It must be said again: plans have changed.

Less than an hour before the appointed time of the raid, the eyes set to watch the Refrain testing facility caught sight of an unexpected development: the gruesome directors of the place are moving shop. A fleet of vans appeared, swallowed up bodies and crates, prisoners and contraband, and sped off into the night, pursued by one arm of the intended raid force. This leaves a skeleton of the original raiding force to deal with whatever and whoever might remain in the facility, including a full garrison of armed guards, whatever Refrain they did not have the means to move, and quite possibly the ring leader of this whole enterprise.

And Joseph. It is important to note that the captive pastor was not among the prisoners transferred into vans. Colette was borne off, but Joseph remains. For what reason or what end, if he is even still alive, remains uncertain. The warehouse sits, mute as ever, amidst the waste and ruin of its eria tarka.

Within the facility, there are mutually exclusive realms of doubt and knowledge. The sound of migration and herding is discernible by Joseph through the door of his cell, but after days upon days without Refrain, this could as well be a withdrawal hallucination as a genuine perception. He has been left to 'think things over', approached only by the giant orderly who brings his meals, all liquid, baby food stuff, to accommodate his weakened condition. The sounds of evacuation can send only one clear message: he is now, even more than before, alone.

Jet's circumstance is somewhat less gruesome. After the deal she cut, she was moved to a second story addition to the facility, where she has been living with Dema, the aforementioned orderly, whose attentions both personal and medical (to stave off the worst of the withdrawal, a mercy not afforded to Joseph), have improved her lot considerably. She knows, too, that an evacuation is underway, but that she will be remaining here until the rest of the 'staff' is moved. Dema seems worried, though, preoccupied, but assures her over and over that, no matter what happens, he will not leave her here. Though he must descend from their room module to assist the back veiled Madame in the necessary storage of data and wiping of drives. The plan: to leave with nary a trace.

But, it bears repeating, plans change.

A finger lifts to Jet's mouth as she bites at the skin near a fingernail at Dema's words of him going. A shaking of her head and a flaring of her nostrils. "Don't be silly. You cannot go alone." A hand to his forearm as she moves after the man, a firm holding onto him before her fingers lace with his own. "We will go together Dema, or I will find another way to join you." A perk of her brow, the threat of her taking drastic means hanging in the ai as well as her stubborness. She doesn't give him much time to reply to her though as she's already making to walk down the steps, the man is going to have to physically stop her from going with him. "I can take another if I get killed, you cannot."

Inside his cell, Joseph can't bring himself to try and not care.

Changes make him nervous, now. The sound of evacuation is a change, and he worries about it without effort made to still an uneasy mind. Fretting and hand wringing is normal, because everything else is just— godless. Lying prone on his cot now that he's pretty sure he's thrown up everything he could possibly throw up, he'd will himself to sleep if he could, sheets cast aside despite shivers. He knows it's trite, but no one he cares about is here to see, so he has the Bible that Dema had given him tucked against his chest, strange comfort as he worries and worries and worries about whatever's happening on the outside so as not to worry about what's happening on the inside.

Most of the facility's occupants have either escaped or been dragged away. The warehouse crew is almost home free — so close they can taste it.

And that's when something blows up.

That's always when something blows up.

The metal jointed garage door of a loading bay tents inward off its hinges, and then the rest of the way inward on the cusp of a second concussive blast. Flame belches after it in a fat roll of smoldering rubber and orange heat, as quick to die back as it is to singe off eyebrows and scorch lungs. Inside, smoke heaves through open doors and down adjacent hallways; things that were not on fire before are now. Klaxons sound on a delay, emergency lights cut on and so do the sprinklers, hissing and spitting against fire on the build.

That's where the Ferry comes in.

Having acquired and assembled for himself the garage sale zombie apocalypse version of SWAT gear, Flint Deckard's wiry frame is bulked out into vaguely respectable proportions by the bullet resistant thick of a scuffed up vest, elbow pads and a matte black helmet whose chin strap swings ineffectually past the scruffy lock of his jaw. The breast of his vest loudly proclaims that he is POLICE. Black BDUs and clunky boots fail to balance out long legs as effectively, but he has the look of someone who knows how to aim and pull a trigger if nothing else. And really, when you get down to it, that's the main thing that matters, right?

He levers himself up into the thick of the smoke inside, shotgun in hand and lambent eyes diffracted in shades of white and electric blue through the smog.

Deckard's shadow is not a shadow at all but the slim shape of a small woman clothed in dark fabrics that contrast with one another under the right conditions. The smoldering remains of the garage, however, do not qualify except for where tongues of crackling flame lick hungrily at the air and illuminate her figure in shades of gold and chrome yellow, and even then they distort its proportions rather than flatter them. At a distance, it's difficult to get an accurate feel for her size and build — trying to guess at what she might be wearing is impossible.

Incidentally, it's a combination of leather and wool overtop a kevlar jacket with ceramic inserts fit snug to ease her movements as Eileen follows Deckard through billowing smoke that resembles ink diffusing through water. Bits of broken glass and debris tinkle, crunch under booted feet, making it hard for her to hear the sound of Raith's voice buzzing in her ear or decipher what's been said, and although she's in the process of ensuring that her radio is still secure, she isn't using it to communicate her current intent.

Kaylee, can you get a feel for how many? she asks, directing her thoughts at the telepath bringing up the rescue party's rear.

I can do this. I am not a failure.

After a grueling night, these words have been repeating over and over in Kaylee Thatcher's head all day long. Hands grip hard at the M4 Carbine in her hands, to keep from shaking, while she tries to ignore the fact her stomach wants to get rid of what's left of her lunch. She was never this nervous at Pinehearst, but then in that case it was just about killing… there are people that need to come out of there alive.

«I like your style..Flint.» Kaylee comments rather impressed with the older man's use of explosives.

A hand releases it's death grip to pull a black balaclava mask up on the lower half of her face, nestling the tip of her nose beneath the edge, which helps warm it in the winter cold. Only a few strands of blonde show from under the black cap on her head. She doesn't come off as fancy as Deckard, her gear doesn't say POLICE… but she's still dressed for a firefight.

She follows after the other two, carefully, carbine lifted, mind searching. Of course, anyone that close, it would probably be too late. Booted feet moving carefully through the debris of the door, eyes squinting against the smoke and lashes blinking against the droplets.

She really wishes the butterflies would go away.

Let me…. Swallowing nervously, Kaylee shifts her position, so the other give her cover. Her head turns slightly as her eyes unfocus, mind reaching out looking for mental impressions, she pushes at the limit trying to see just a little further, but then she just gives a small frustrated sound. No.. I'm.. not able to see far enough out. But as they move, she mind still searches though she doesn't overly tax herself — never know what she'll need to do later — so with hope, she'll feel them first in the smoke, if Flint doesn't. Listening to the sounds within she adds. But we'll know soon enough.

Dema pauses, turning his gaze up towards Jet, feet and hand set on the ladder. He gives her a small smile, but shakes his head. "Do not worry. It is just that I have to go where you are not allowed to go. I will be back. Nothing will happen to us. We are simply moving. You have moved before, yes? Pack-" BOOM!

Dema's grips the rungs as the entire facility shakes, his deep set eyes growing wide with surprise. He grows pale, only a few shades to do due to his complexion and many hours under a roof, but this only emphasizes his fear. He lifts a hand. "Stay," he says, tone absolutely firm, "I must find the Madame. I will be back. I pledge. My love." And descends rapidly, to the first floor.

A click comes from Joseph's door, his lock disengaging. His cell opens, and the dark figure of the project director steps into his room. She has her cane in hand, is fully veiled, and already has the voice transformer's switch depressed. "Joseph," she says, "I'm here to tell you that you'll soon be free. We're moving the operation, before your associates can muster a real attempt, but I don't want them entirely sore. You've been very cooperative, and very helpful, as well as willing to push back when you felt I've gone to far. I respect that. More than that, I'll reward that. I'll have you door unlocked right before I leave. Thank you for your help, Joseph. I wish you all the b-" BOOM!

The director grips the door frame to remain steady as the facility shakes and the sound of the explosion shatters the relative quiet. "What the /fuck/ was that?" she says, switch undepressed, giving Joseph a quick listen to her real voice, a pleasant, feminine voice, even when cursing. A total inverse of the distorted words he used to hearing. The director fixes Joseph with a quick look, then backs out of his cell rapidly, moving to shut the door with considerable force, her other hand gripping the top of her cane tightly.

Outside the facility proper, in the gullet of the warehouse, the remaining garrison are packing up their card tables and readying for pickup. There is a sense of relief, mixed with the mild tension that always sets in during a move. The will to have it all really be over, to quit this place, even if they're just going to another such location. Still, jokes abound and discipline isn't as tight now that the prisoners and the lion's share of the Refrain are gone. Not much left to guard besides the oddball people with their weirdo science, and they tend to keep to themselves. One guard, Osmond by name, offers to buy everyone a cheap beer as soon as this move is done and they can get a little bit of R&R. There is a general call of appreciation, with one exception. The group captain interjects. "Shit, Osmond, didn't get enough R&R after you got your short ass blinded? You got three days off!" he grins, "But hey, forget it. Keep your pay. All the drinks are on m-" BOOM!

Flames gout and shrapnel flies, a piece of sheet metal scissoring out and catching Osmond in the back of his neck, which piece keeps right on going, while Osmond falls to the ground in two pieces. Card tables are lifted, men drop to their knees, using what cover they can, disabling safeties as they try to see through the smoke. The captain ducks into the main door of the facility, the safest spot with its concrete layer of defense, and barks over the roaring of flames. "Weapon's free! Fire at will!"

Muzzleflares stutter like strobe lights as the guards open up with their suppressed SMGs, peppering the thick smoke, trying to hit /whatever/ it was just knocked on their door with a titanic, flaming fist.

"Dema! Don't leave me!" The possessor screams after the man as Jet is left there propping herself up against the wall as she watches her male counterpart scurry off into danger. Obviously torn between staying and going… Jet finally goes, running after Dema as she decides to follow after him rather than to stay in their room. Fingers are unzipping her sweater as she does so, shedding the bulky layer of clothing so that her limbs are fred. Unless she hits a solid wall of blocked exits, she is on his tail.

Watching the director in a hollowed kind of disbelief, Joseph could look more impressed than he does by her announcement, sitting up now and still keeping a grip on the leather bound Bible. False hope is not something he's unfamiliar with, and he's not letting himself dare, yet. Listening, however, listening with a sharp interest before the warehouse is shaken by the very unfamiliar sound of an explosion. If nothing else, it has him on his feet, Bible falling with a soft thud before he jerks a look at Bella with obvious shock — the attack's noise somehow not as bizarre as hearing a real voice come from the veiled woman.

And then she's backing out, and closing the door. Hope is kind of a ninja-emotion — it gets in even when you guard against it. Unthinking, Joseph lurches forward with all the grace of a drunk to grab the edge and the handle, uncaring if his fingers get caught and bruised.

Ears ringing and eyes stinging against sooty smoke, Flint fumbles a gloved hand up to drag a robust set of goggles down off his helmet and across the bridge of his nose. Opposite them, skeletons stand out of the warehouse space like beacons of bone and gristle, metal recoiling white-hot in hands flayed bare. So far as he's concerned, aside from the charry taste of it in the back of his throat, there is no smoke.

Around him, changes in air pressure pop and flex where the sing of bullets is lost to tinnitus and the firing of fresh rounds. They're supposed to be here to rescue people, but so far he's willing to bet none of these guys are them.

Without waiting for instructions to do otherwise, he pulls the trigger, catching the nearest guy on the payroll full in the chest with a wad of buckshot that reels him back over a felled card table. The spent shell is pumped out, wash, rinse repeat — the next guy gets it in the knees because his gun looks like it's jammed or something and he's kind of scrambling. Maybe he doesn't occur to him that a slow death bleeding out of your mangled legs doesn't actually qualify as pity under current conditions.

Eileen lacks Deckard's clarity of vision, and not just because her eyes are absent of goggles. Water expelled from the sprinklers glances off her coat, makes her hair slick and plasters it to soaked skin blanched sallow. It clings to her lashes and the fine hair of her nostrils, trickles cold along the curve of her jaw and gathers in the space between her lips when they part. Adds weight to her clothes, too, though she's carrying enough equipment that she has yet to notice the difference.

M4 dangling from the sling strapped across her shoulder, the barrel flush against her narrow shoulder blades, she takes a moment to assess what little she can see through the haze before raises the Glock in her hand not pressing fingertips to her ear.

She squeezes off two shots into the roiling miasma of soot and fog and is rewarded with the sound of her first bullet ricocheting off an overturned table leg. The second hits something less dense that absorbs its impact with a wet pop.

One eye closes against the sound of guns going off so close to her, making Kaylee wish she had ear protection. A hand dashes across her forehead to wipe water from it as small thin rivers of it slide over her features soaking the balaclava slowly. As soon as she feels the mind of the guards, Kaylee steps to where there won't be any friendly fire, personally she doesn't want to have to explain why she shot Flint in the ass. So she's careful at least, trying to keep in mind the past weeks grueling instructions.

A quick look at the guards head, her weapon swings towards that mental impression, sset probably against her shoulder, she squeezing off a burst of automatic fire spraying the area with some rather nasty bullets, listening to the sound of something being hit and waiting to see if that mind winks out. It's all she can do for the time being as she's unable to see any of them yet.

Dema turns at Jet descend after him. Outside can be heard the crack of gunfire, the snap of bullets striking plastic, metal concrete, flesh, all over the dull hiss of the sprinkler system. He extends his hands, palms towards her. "I beg you," he says, "Let me… let me do my duty. Just please, stay, be safe." His expression is imploring as he stands in the large, mostly empty storeroom where the Refrain was held.

A hallway and a turn away, Bella has Joseph's fingers trapped in the crack between door and wall. She gives a yelp of surprise and instinctively starts backwards, letting go of the door, releasing the pressure from Joseph's digits. She presses her back to the wall, grips her cane in both hands and lifts it, clearly willing to use it as a weapon if needs be. Clearly, also, frightened. With both hands occupied, its in her real voice that she stammers. "J-Joseph, please. I d-don't know what's going on out there, but you're safer /inside/. Please, you're," as she speaks she starts already to regain herself, her words reestablishing, for her, some feeling of authority, "You're endangering yourself."

The guards drop at a rate that would bring shame to their parent company. With casualties in these first few instants, many duck down to maintain cover, avoiding exposure, waiting for the smoke to clear so they aren't as such a serious disadvantage. Battling against people for whom visibility proves no issue is no good when /you/ are firing blind. The captain hears voices behind him, down the hallway, and glances back. He spots the prisoners and the director, the former looking like she might need a hand. Then again, his men need a hand to. Then /again/ again, its her that fills out his evaluation, so to speak. He barks out a quick order: "Maintain the perimeter!" which really just means 'don't fucking die', and then strides down towards the pastor and the veiled woman, his weapon leveled at the former.

"Trouble, ma'am?" he asks.

"Dema…" A parting of Jets lips then a closing of them as the tears swim in her eyes, "If you die on me, I will make you pay by god. Some how. Do you hear me?" Jet stands still now, just latching her eyes on the Russian man before her, "Don't leave me alone again. Go, save the Madam. I dont' even have a gun." It seems that Jet is backing down from her need to help, just placing a hand against the wall as her borrowed eyes stare out after the man. "Go."

The ratatat of gunfire does well to back up Bella's claim, Joseph coming to rest his back against the wall just next to his door, hands in sore fists huddled into his midsection. Firefight is close, enough like the impact of bullets on concrete is enough to make him nervous, but apparently, not nervous enough to scurry back inside and wait it out, even with the threat of braining as Bella wields the wolf-headed cane and the silver snarl shaped into it.

Or a gun pointed at him. The guard gets a baleful look, a step taken away despite the fact he isn't going to try to outrun a gun any time soon. "Just let me go, doctor," he says, without looking at her, focus fixed on the pistol aimed at him. "Y-you go an'— go and make sure they don't gun you down too. If you're smart, you'll be— be runnin'."

Dirty runoff lines off the rim of Deckard's canted helmet in an uneven drizzle when he snaps his focus off sideways after the retreat of a single skeleton into the hazy region of undefined black that marks every border of his range. A cough rolled out harsh but clear against ash and unnatural rain, he jags a few impulsive steps in that direction before hesitating to mark Eileen and Kaylee. There's also the whole thing where people are still shooting to contend with — a hot wad of lead slaps itself into the shoulder of his vest and he ducks as if to avoid it some two or three seconds too late. The pain will catch up with him momentarily.

« They're taking cover. We should move in before they can see well enough to shoot, » crackles over the radio, Flint's voice worn ragged by crappy air and the fact that even that much just got spanked out of his lungs by a bullet trying to punch through them. « One of them just took off out've range. Looked like he knew where he was going. » There's a pause punctuated by the sound of wheezing and boots tacking uncertainly away through spent water in that direction.

«Flint.» What Eileen really means is wait, but she hesitates to give orders when she doesn't know if they're going to be followed — although they're equipped with enough firepower to wage a small guerrilla war in the Midtown ruins, this isn't a military operation and she isn't Deckard's superior. «Be careful,» she recommends instead, and tracks his footsteps using the ripples they leave in his wake after his silhouette disappears into the smoke.

She has less reservations about telling Kaylee what to do. Once upon a time, the two of them went after Emile Danko together with Sumter. She'd deferred to her then. Hopefully she'll defer again to her now. «Kaylee,» she says over the radio, her voice less strained than Deckard's but just as low, hoarse, «tell them to fall back. Do what you need to to make sure they listen.»

The orders from the younger woman, get a lance from Kaylee, her eyes cutting over to her, squinting against the water dripping down her face. The young telepath trusts the womans judgment and so has no problem deferring to her.. Who is she to complain, this is probably only the third time she's done stuff like this.

A bullet grazes near her ear, making the woman duck, hand slapping on the wet ground. Holy crap… She moves to the side, even as more bullets zing past where she just was.

«I'll see what I can do.. but I have to see them…» Her voice is a rough, but more from the black elastic fabric covering her face. It's a risk, but of course it only takes one, to send the herd panicking. So moving for cover, Kaylee's head shifts from one side to the other as if listening for something, eyes stinging from the smoke, scan for a shape. «Cover me..»

A movement in the slowly thinning smoke, causes her to crouch again. Eyes latch on that armored form, a hand flips out her ability sinking into the unsuspecting mind. If Eileen is close enough she'd barely hear the murmuring from the young woman, there is almost a seductive tone to it. What she says isn't clear until….

"Fall back!! Too many of them.. Fall back!" The guard starts shouting backing away from something unseen, into the hazy smoke to the others. "Fall back! Let's get out of here!" He sends a spray of bullets fire in a different direction then the Ferrymen as he swears he sees something there.

Dema exits the storage room with Jet's blessing, moving to the door leading to the three way hall. As he enters that space, he hears Joseph's voice, and the voice of the Captain. He turns the corner to see the Madame, the prisoner, and the head of the guards, all together. All while the world outside sounds like it's coming apart, though at a slower pace now, the gunshots coming less and less frequently. The orderly moves down the hall, looming over the trio, even the captain, not a small man by any means.

Bella frowns behind her veil, sizing up the situation, glancing to the captain, and to Dema as he arrives, then finally settling back on Joseph. "Just… stay low," she says to the pastor, "It would be so irritating if I showed you mercy and you ended up dead anyways." Her cane descends to the floor, and she looks to the guard captain. "What's going on?" Because she doesn't yet know. "Gunmen, blew through the dock door, packing serious weaponry. Ma'am, I suggest you leave straight away." Dema, hearing that plans have been accelerated, speaks up. "I will go get assistant Malkin, yes?" To his surprise, Bella shakes her head. "Not like this, not now," she says, "I don't have clearance, I'm not going to bring a possessor into our midst, suppressed or otherwise." Dema's brow lowers, "Then I will stay with her," he informs her. Bella pauses, before: "Are you kidding me, Dema? You're an accomplice, they'll /shoot/ you. Worse, interrogate you. You're an /asset/." The orderly gives a small shrug, "I will not leave her." Bella gives a low growl, glancing up and the Captain, whose expression is one of barely contained impatience. He takes the glance as a chance to remind her: "They have us pinned down, ma'am. We need to get out, ASAP." He even pronounces it 'ay-sap', to save time. His suggestion requires no further argument, as it is just then that the cry for a tactical withdrawal, the declarating that there are just 'too many'. And there is no reason for any inside to disbelieve the report. They don't have the time for this.

Bella lifts her cane and smacks it into the concrete floor. "Dammit! Dema, take Joseph. Stay in the storage room with him and Malkin. Let them find you, all together. Joseph," the woman fixes the pastor with a glare he can't see, but her tone does the trick, "Speak well of Dema. He's been /very/ fucking good to you, to all of you." Finally her gaze returns to the captain. "How do we get out? It sounds like Normandy out front." The captain nods down the hall, towards the bend leading to the SMG room, and starts to unfasten the suppressor from his SMG. "We make a back door, ma'am."

«Chevy's on the curb.» Teo's voice crackles through the comm units, familiar to the entire drove of rescuers, and one or two of the enemy, as well, but as long as communications remain secure the fact that there's a gimpy Italian playing wheelman outside is only relevant facts for the righteous crusaders. He'd mentioned to— somebody, that they were looking at a fifteen person legal capacity and as many above that as they could sardine into the service vehicle's cramped and scabbily-upholstered interior.

However, Teo cranes his head over the matte black bulwark of the dash and all he sees is the streets empty of anything but darkness and smoke straining toward the colorless sky. Means they're inside. Which is good, and on-schedule, and delightfully short on corpses or wounded required for retreat. He shifts his cast-fattened ankle, and jiggles the transmission button optimistically: «Sitrep?»

Fuck you, lady, is not what good pastors say — and he doesn't, regardless as to whether he still qualifies as being a good pastor. Joseph almost doesn't have to, anyway, stony silence in response, and then a flinch as a fresh firing of bullets echoes through the warehouse. Undoubtedly aimed at people, as that is rather the point. "Lord Almighty, why're they still firing?" is a harsh rhetoric in the captain's direction, and no, Joseph isn't running to do as the lady requests, a hand gripping the wall to steady himself and looking to Dema to see if that's what the orderly wants to do and how much he wants to do it. Because waiting right here sounds awesome to Joseph.

There's enough hesitation to Flint's departure that he might have managed to actually hear wait, but implication alone isn't enough to stay him. Not with the be careful that follows it up. « You too. » Shotgun crossed light across both hands, he stutter-steps into a long-legged jog for the hallway he saw Captain Crunch skirt towards a scarce two or three minutes earlier. Ahead, smudges of ghostly blue are already resolving into vaguely human shapes through layers of wall, easy identity obscured by the same piping shunting fresh water down onto him from on high.

Gunfighting 101 dictates that he should stop at the corner and — you know. Peek and fire around it at the figures parked further down the hall. But the floor is wet and hard and his boots are shiny and new. When he pumps the brakes, he keeps on going whether he likes it or not, dirty water sloshed out ahead of him at a sluggish ripple when he skids to a rickety slide that ends with him flat on his side in the open. Eyes blotted into smudges of argon by the fogged up plastic of his goggles, he struggles with all the grace of a barrel-rolled horse to heave himself back at a sit behind the corner that would've worked so cleanly as cover if he was even marginally cooler than he actually is.

To make matters worse, once he's identified that new voice crackling in his ear, he slings off his helmet and his comm unit after it, flinging both down into the murk in the midst of thumbing fresh shotgun shells up into the magazine tube. "NOBODY SAW THAT, OKAY?" echoes up the hallway to friend and foe alike at a familiar drone, just the right amount of cranky and nasal to be utterly unmistakeable.

Only once the garage has cleared and the smoke diluted by the winter air flooding in through the gaping hole where the doors once were does Eileen step forward, maneuvering around a dead body bleeding black into the water, and begin to survey the garage for remaining signs of life. A contraction of her trigger finger dispatches the wounded guard that Deckard felled with a shotgun blast to the legs. In many ways, this has become a triage situation as much as it is a rescue mission — with his mangled limbs and the lowermost portion of his torso riddled with buckshot, his chances of survival were dubious to begin with.

There's a corpse in two pieces amongst the dead that does not go unnoticed by Eileen during her cursory examination. Osmond's head is nowhere to be found, though she doesn't look very hard for it either. Instead, she directs a look back over her shoulder at Kaylee, her eyes dark with implicit approval. Apart from a cut on her left arm where a bullet grazed her at some point during the firefight, she appears unscathed, bicep oozing blood that's thinned out and washed away by the water raining down from the sprinkler system before it can do much to stain her sodden clothes.

«Garage is clear.» Already, Eileen is moving in pursuit of Deckard with a sharp jerk of her chin that indicates Kaylee might want to follow. Weapons discarded by the dead are left where they lay. Any spoils the Remnant might want to take can be claimed on the way back out. «You all right out there?»

There is a grimacing around blue eyes as the telepath, with more whispered words and a flick of her fingers, send another man running shouting a retreat, while heading for the one door out Kaylee remembers. She ignores the pressure between her eyes as it increases threatening to start throbbing as the last body exits.

A small flicker of a smirk is offered to Eileen, a stinging line that paints one cheek red, her only real damage. Another nod and the telepath is shuffling a lot more carefully then Deckard, scooting her way over to take up a position on the other side of the door, a blonde brow arches at the older man, Graceful.

The man across the door from her can see a tell-tale tilt of her head as Kaylee glances in the building with her ability. Eyes move a little as if she's looking at something in front of her. Four fingers are held up and her eyes widen a bit. Her head tilts towards the wall, eyes close for a moment. The pastor feels a familiar pressure in his head. Joseph. Reassurance in the familiar one.

Dema gives Bella one last bow, and the finality of the gesture is unmistakeable. It's not slow, but its /deliberate/. "Thank you, Madame," he says, finally using his appellate to her face, but this fact goes right over Bella's head. She's been distracted by a /much/ too familiar voice echoing down the hall. She hopes, /prays/ that she's just hearing things. That this is the work of her shocked civilian mind transposing familiar voices onto a totally unfamiliar setting. But it's just not worth the damned risk. She turns from Joseph and Dema without another word, and limps as quickly as she can towards the MRI room, joined by the captain, who walks backwards, eyes on the hallway, ready to squeeze the trigger if anything that doesn't look like Dema or Joseph pokes into view. The cracks between the concrete slabs are dripping water now, sending a gridded drizzle down onto their heads, forming puddles. Bella circles the bend on the hall and swipes into the MRI room, using her weight to press the door open, favoring the leg that isn't in agonies of psychosomatic distress.

Taking the director's departure as a dismissal, Dema offers his arm to Joseph, and guides them both back down the hall, in view of the open door to the facility as they turn to head towards the storage chamber.

If Teo heard communications units being ripped off and flagrantly discarded in the middle of a firefight, he doesn't let it on. Slumping his shoulders down at the bend of the window, he looks out across the vanishing points of asphalt either side before he answers. «Street is clear.

«No reinforcements on the approach.» They're either making a last stand or retreating, he'd add, but there's enough tactics and updated data between those inside the facility to put that together themselves without him crowding the air with the sound of his empty-headed animal food trough water voice. Teodoro is left to assume that the rescue unit is gradually closing in, cleared garage behind them. «Tap twice when you need radio dark.»

Joseph gets a white knuckled grip on Dema's sleeve, unable to think clearly enough to quite put together the protest necessary even if he knew what the smarter idea was. There's an element of trust for the orderly who protected him from Bella that one time, brought him food, and consistent doses of Refrain. Familiar voices are echoing down the hallway, and he's fringing on the point where he could well be hearing hallucinations right about now, though he casts an anxious glance over his shoulder.

Strangely enough, it's the voice that's actually in his head that makes him stumble, even if bare feet find nothing to trip over. Kaylee? is not the most useful thought to have, and he even echoes it out loud, but there it is, loud and clear— and probably not even necessary by the time the orderly has him steered into the hallway which is the bottom of the 1.

Goggles torn off after everything else, Flint scrubs the wet of his sleeve across his soot-smeared face and gives Kaylee a dirty look on his way to pushing up onto his feet. He's wetter than most of the facility inside, buzzed off hair spined into fine echidna bristles that vanish back under the sodden shell of his helmet when he flips it back into place and trudges into the facility proper. To the left! Where Dema's broad back is labored with the process of hefting Joseph along.

A warning shot rails off the walls of the interior facility's interior like cannon fire, ricochet lead sparking off metal wherever it happens to scrape past it. "On your knees, Sweetums!"

The abrupt crack of Deckard's warning shot halts Eileen in her tracks, and there's a moment where she feels her heart turn over in her chest. When it isn't followed by his lanky frame crashing into the water, she releases the breath she'd been holding and swivels her focus back toward the expanse of garage behind her, the rising runoff, and the reflection of the flames in its greasy surface.

The fires are already beginning to subside. There's little left to fuel them, and the sprinkler system has done its job to suppress their initial spread. Deckard's barked command reassures her that he has the situation under control — a third body pressing in on the corridor to bear down on Joseph, Dema and Jet would only make the confrontation more cramped and uncomfortable than it has to be.

She hangs back, opting to cover the their point of entry in case there's something that she missed or one of Bella's personnel decides to disregard Kaylee and return to the scene of the slaughter.

Dirty look is ignored, as the minds coming down the hall get closer, Kaylee is on her feet behind Deckard, weapon raised. There is a sigh of relief when she sees Joseph, the barrel of her weapon dipping down, his name repeated out loud this time. It takes a lot for the young woman to stay and not get in the way of cranky, wet Flint, so as to help Joseph. The weapon lowers to her side as she steps along side the older man in her team. Though with the balaclava covering her face and her long blond hair under a black cap, the woman wouldn't look like her, Told you I wouldn't leave you here.

"Joseph.. can.. you walk on your own?" A hand is held out to him to grab, should he try to make a break toward Kaylee and Flint. A glance goes to her companion to see if she should just go head and grab the pastor.

A warning shot is all Dema's needs. He's kneeling even as Deckard shouts out the order, his knees hitting the wet concrete floor just as Flint gives the Russian a new nickname. Thank god Jet isn't close enough to hear that one. Dema even places his hands over his head, his motions almost gracefully placid. This is not a man who appears ready to fight. "Your friend?" the orderly asks Joseph, in a low voice.

Meanwhile Bella has her hands up to her ears, clamping black cloth over them as the captain moves next to the shattered remains of the MRI and points his SMG at the wall. He shields his eyes with one hand begins to fire in a small arc, chewing at the concrete, weakening the wall. After emptying a magazine, he moves up and applies his boot to the center of the space, trying to knock it free… but no dice. He loads another mag, and starts at it again, trying his best to do his first and foremost: protect the client. A real pro, this guy. Bella keeps glancing at the door, which is closed and locked, but not designed to endure the sort of punishment these bastards are obviously capable of dishing out. Another magazine gone, and the floor is littered with shattered concrete. The captain applies another slam from his boot, another, another, /another/ and CRACK! A gap large enough to crawl through opens up as a piece of the wall tumbles to the outside. Bella is on her hands and knees at one. To hell with dignity, she's getting /out/ of here.

Jdjshfk. Joseph flinches off towards the side, away from Dema presumably out of a need for self-preservation. As the man gets down on his knees, Joseph sort of just half-tilts into the wall, shaking his head free of the geometric water spilling down on their heads. The echoing voice in his head is more sense-making than most of the sounds echoing through the facility, from gunshots to orders to distant violence being done to private property.

An appropriate word being 'hell', in reference to how he looks, but he can walk, presumably, getting back his balance. White as a sheet, ugly track marks littering his arms and not quite dressed for an escape in linen trousers and a cotton T-shirt, he extends a hand to the bizarre — bizarre to him, anyway — figures gathered in the hallway. "Don't hurt 'im," he rasps, voice shaken. "He's— " In on this, entirely, small kindnesses that don't compare to being broken out of the place. Joseph's brow furrows. "Just don't.

"I'm coming." Relief is delayed, waiting until maybe they're out of this place and he gets to see the sky. Without much thought, bare feet make cautious steps towards the group."She went— " He casts a look down the hallway he last saw her.

"We have Sumter!" called back to Eileen at a shout that doesn't ring quite as loud as spent shot but somehow fails to be as subtle as use of the radio system he's cleverly abandoned, Deckard sweeps wildly over the cells lining the adjacent hallway and sees — nothing. "Take him. And make the big guy think he's belly button lint if he tries anything," passed off in a distracted aside to Kaylee, he sizes up Joseph with a sheer absence of expression that only gets harder around the edges when he tries to talk. Jesus. At the pastor's last glance, he hustles a ways down past two cell doors, three doors, four. All the way until he sees a pair of bony back ends crawling out ilium to ishium through a shattered wall.

One is more familiar than the other.

Teeth grit past a curse that fails to fully manifest with vowels to go with consenants, he bolts in the opposite direction, boots squelching and eyes burning a track of drifty orange accross the eyelids of anyone who happens to catch him in passing. Out've the hall, past Joseph, Kaylee and Dema, to the left and then right, back out into the warehouse proper. Notably, despite glancing at her in an indirect avoidant kind of way in sprinting past to round the interior building's corner MRI-wards, he does not explain himself to Eileen.

The structure's unique acoustics create alien sounds magnified by its architecture, transforming the thin rasp of Eileen's breathing into something hard and abrasive that's drowned out by Deckard's boots splashing through water not yet high enough to engulf them. Her first instinct is to swing her weapon toward the doorway, but when nothing comes charging out after him, she lowers the weapon and casts a brief glance back at him—

— only to discover that he's still moving away. «We have Sumter,» she reports over the radio, her voice interrupted by sporadic fizzles of white noise and static. «No word on how many detainees are still left in the building.» Brisk footsteps make the gradual transition from trot to lope as she takes off after Deckard, counting on swiftness to close the distance between them rather than the length of her strides. Compared to his, Eileen's legs are very short.

«Kaylee, maintain radio contact.» Which should probably go without saying but— you know. Deckard dumped his. «Bring the pastor out front and let Laudani take a look at him.»

Okay, now Kaylee is worried. "Got it.." Is all she replies to Flint, before she closes the distance to Joseph, a hand lifts to yank down her mask so that he can see it's her. Her voice is soft. It's hard for her not to want to grab him into a hug.. something. No more dreams or nightmares.. just the real thing. Words spoken are echoed mentally. "It's okay Joseph.. Not going to hurt him.. we need him." Blue eyes search his face, a hand, smudged with a few cracked nails, touches his face briefly, before it drops to grip his arm at the elbow, to support him. When she moves her hand, the sight of the tracks on his arms just makes her heart give a painful twist, before anger hits her.

Then she turns to the Dema, suddenly despite the throbbing between her eyes, her ability goes to work and she is not gentle about. The words are soft, but with a dangerous edge as they almost seem to hiss from her, "«You will not resist. You will do as we say.»" Kaylee's weapon is slung across her shoulder as she asks. "«Get to your feet and walk.»" Her free hand moving to wrap in his clothing and give a yank to emphasize, the image of the door and the waiting vehicle forms in the orderlies head, pushing him that way.

The dull throb in her head is on it's way to being a migraine.

«Working on it.» Kaylee finally manages to say over the radio as she tries to get prisoner and Joseph to the point they can move out. «He's not looking too good.» Despite the anger, her voice still shows worry. Miss 'State The Obvious' offers support to the pastor so they can get out of this god forsaken place.

«Here and ready to receive.» Teo's 'ready' pops a brief fleck of static through the middle but his meaning's clear enough. He elbows past his unclipped seatbelt to paw around the big plastic bin wedged in between the driver's seat and the first passenger bench. He recognizes the First Aid kits's squared shape by touch, even through calluses and cold, yanks out it out by a vacuum-seal of bare palm on corner and tosses it out onto shotgun.

That covered, he starts— a little less expediently— to pull himself awkwardly into the back of the van. It is climbing, hand over hand, his bad leg bumping around like some big stupid baby's appendage while he tries to get the door. His first grab, he overextends his bad shoulder going for it from a few inches too many. Mumbles something too low for the radio to have caught even if he'd left the transmit on. He unlocks the door and metal grumbles on metal as it slides open to the bitter monochrome of the night.

Dema tries to remains on his knees, his body shuddering as what part of him can resist does resist. His brow furrows thunderously as Kaylee's commands echo in his head, urging him to rise to his feet despite his efforts to the contrary. Fighting all the way, he is finally standing, sweat gleaming on his forehead. "Please," he says, a bit breathlessly, "A woman. This way." He nods towards the door in front of him, the storage room's entrance. "Go. Help her. She is also prisoner here. Tell her… tell her she can come with me. She will not if you do not." Already his feet have him turning towards the door, making to exit, leaving despite his promise, because he has no choice.

Meanwhile, Bella is out on the other side of the facility in the not-so-open air of the warehouse. She leans heavily on her cane, her leg's throbbing kept down by the adrenaline coursing through her. She doesn't wait for the captain, who is backing out of the hole, watching their six. Instead she heads straight for a tarp that lies by the outer wall of the warehouse. Coming to a hard kneel, almost a fall, she yanks up the tarp, casting it aside to half-reveal a set of metal double doors, leading straight into the ground. Bella fumbles for a key in her pocket, just a turnkey, and fits it into the padlock, snapping it open and tossing it aside. She heaves to lift one door, and starts to slide herself down the stairs that lead underground. The captain is jogging to join her, his eyes and weapon sweeping the area, doing his job to the bitter end… though he hopes very much he can dodge the bitter part. And the ending part as well.

Dazed, would be another good descriptor. Hallucinations, visions, dreams, and then there's vivid reality being attempted to blend into any amount of the first three for the last month or two through a whole plethora of chemical. So a touch to his face stirs attention and not much else, Joseph's skin uncomfortably clammy even considering the water. He manages to look apologetic.

"I'm— " fine. Lying is a sin, as many people like to remind him, and this one is cut off before completion. Joseph watches with dull eyes as Kaylee orders the man around, reflects that it's probably not worse treatment than he got for the last two months, and lets his eyes slide shut until he can feel the telepath tug at the arm she's gripping. His own grips back, easily using her as balance and navigation. "They stopped the doses," is all he can think of to explain what on earth is wrong with him, barely listening to Dema's request as all three make their ways, unassisted, assisted, and unwilling through the corridor and out into the warehouse proper.

Bodies like in pools of their own fluids and spraying sprinkler water gets a flinch until Joseph is just concentrating on the immediate ground, feet slap-slapping through puddles. If he can just make it to out

Still running hard through the sprinkler-soaked warehouse, shotgun dropped down out've his hands into the wet to be exchanged for a handgun strapped somewhere at his side around the time he rounds the last corner and has to drag himself down to a walk or — you know. Risk his heart exploding or something. He didn't notice it before, but his vest feels tight when he looks blankly between Bella and guard, jaw hanging open to better drag in air cold enough to fog on every burning exhale.

He doesn't raise his gun this time, even with the other guy with his already hefted, wiry arms stock stiff in their point at the ground, firearm and all. The helmet looks stupid in capping off his long face, but the shadow it casts rings his spectral eyes into sharp relief: he's looking right at Bella as she slides herself down into a set of stairs that descend into the same black that defines north, south, east and west, Eileen coming up fast at his back.

Fingers gloved in leather pop Eileen's pistol back in the holster she wears over her clothes. She trades the smaller weapon for the M4 carbine at her back, navigating it around her neck and head in very precise sequence of movements directed by muscle memory rather than strictly conscious thought. In Madagascar, she practiced performing similar motions in combat so many times that it allows her to operate on instinct, leaving her mind free to make tactical decisions.

Deckard switched out for something that's easier to wield up close, and although Eileen has no way of knowing whether this is the logic dictating his thoughts, distance is exactly what she's taking into consideration as she skips to a stop, kicking up a wake of oily black water as she narrowly avoids losing what little traction she has under her feet, and brings the rifle up to brace its stock against her shoulder. Her thumb flicks across the selector switch at its side, and in the interruption caused by a hitching breath she trains her sights on Bella's companion as he strafes toward her.

Crosshairs find the broad target that is the captain's chest. Another deliberate flip of her thumb switches the rifle's setting from three-round burst back to semi-automatic for reasons only Eileen is privy to. Bent at the knuckle, she squeezes her index finger around the trigger. One shot, that's all.

The orderlies request seems like it's ignored at first, it's Kaylee's priority to get Joseph to the van. But then Dema can overhear her say on the radio. «One patient still in the building.» Snatching the woman's location for the big man's head makes the telepath grimace at stab of pain in her head, she doesn't really have much more in her…. "I'll go back for her if the others don't get to her first." The sound of gunfire a good indicator they are busy, but that's all he'll get from her.

The young woman guides the pastor through debris and bodies, as he's barefooted, it's slow going while Kaylee makes sure Joseph stays on his feet. The distance seems to drag on, as all three of them head for the van and safety.

Reaching the open door of the van, she puts a hand on the large man's shoulder, "«Stop,»" with another grimace. Eyes close briefly, before she angles herself to help Joseph in the vehicle with the other Ferryman. "Teo.. we have something for restraining this guy?" A thumb is jerks at Dema, "Hand cuffs.. zip ties or what have you?" Kaylee's not going to leave Dema alone with a sick pastor and a busted up Sicilian without some assurance, telepathic prodding or not.

The massive Russian orderly's resistance ends with the assurance that Jet will be seen to, led to safety. He moves along with the psychic commands with placid ease, letting the orders do the work for him, his face and his mind a smooth blank for the moment. It's a mental exercise he developed while lying in a hospital bed, powerless, ready to die yet not yet dying - the serenity of one whose fate is entirely out of their hands. He doesn't even blink at the mention of restraint, just stands there, hands folded at the back of his head, eyes gazing at a distant, impossible point somewhere deep beneath the city streets.

Bella drags her cane down with her, making a clatter that is the loudest noise she can hear over the hiss of the sprinklers. Then, the gunshot. The guard captain gives a pained grunt and topples backwards, falling to the ground and landing on the unopened metal door. His vest took much of the impact, but he's got cracked ribs to deal with at the very least. He glances down at Bella, retreating into darkness, then reaches up and brings the open door closed with a loud CLANG. He then casts aside his rifle, lies back, and lifts his hands. No more. With any luck, she'll limp to safety. His part in this shit show is over.

The redheaded shrink tugs her black veil free and alternate shuffles and hops her way towards the break in the wall up ahead, leading to the walled off section of sewer they've used to ferry in the less easily concealed materials and staff. Cane gripped in one hand, crumpled black fabric clutched in the other, she hobbles towards the ancient stench of long-unused sewer.

Success: the door is open. This is the tactical ingenuity for which he has prepared all these weeks. :(

Winter wind is carving sores at the bottom of Teodoro's lungs now, as he falls back inside the van. He lands his butt on the island between the driver's seat and shotgun, manages not to slide off into the hived circles of the drink holders while he checks for the twenty-third time his gun is clean, safed, and operational, glancing at the smokey doors, the radio again, the doors, the radio, the doors.

The giant Russian man accompanying Kaylee and the pastor out of the doors.

Jesus fucking what, that wasn't the plan? "No.

"But we have sedatives," Teo answers brightly, reaching out a hand to steady Joseph onto the second row of seating. Though the pastor draws a sidelong glance and worried lines through the Sicilian's brow, his priority is securing Dema as soon as he can. Plastic rattles in the dark: Teo digging the Diazepam out of the bin.

He does so dislike being told to stay in the car. There's almost enough tension in his voice for it to crack. "Something happen to Deckard?"

Whatever energy reserves Joseph has left, he spends them on getting inside and quickly. "Thought I missed win'ner," is mumbled semi-coherently, mild complaint at winter chill picking at his bare skin and wet inmate clothing, unabashed in letting both Kaylee and Teo help himself without really minding whose hands belong to whom. Half-falls into the seat designated to him and shivers there for a while, hands up to cover his face and maybe still his spinning dizziness. Home run.

Maybe. "He won't fight," Joseph tiredly tells the interior of the vehicle, he being Dema presumably, and not Deckard, though mention of his name and the logic that there are people still in there has him lifting his head to look back at Kaylee.

Deckard's, "Don't!" is lost to the rat-tat-tat of Eileen's rifle. Too late. But Bella's already gone by the time he looks back, and the guard isn't dead either.

Phlegm swallowed thickly down against the cold and the wet and the ash and all the running, he sweeps water off his face with a drag of his left hand and looks to RUSKIN. She doesn't have any holes in her, save for the ones she's supposed to, and with a vaguely apologetic or ashamed or something else illegible through the knit of his brows look, he turns his back on the felled gunman and further pursuit to slog back along the inner building's flank for the way they came in.

Reason triumphs over emotion, or maybe it has something to do with Deckard's shout. The man with his hands raised is not Emile Danko. He isn't going to pick his gun back up again and put two bullets in her teammate's chest or in his retreating back. Still, Eileen has a difficult time making the distinction between what makes this situation so different than the one at Amundsen-Scott — almost a full half-minute elapses before she makes her final decision, closing the distance between herself and the captain, not to blast off his face but to drive her rifle's stock into its center. Two decisive blows later, one to split the bridge of his nose and the other to knock him unconscious, she's taking to a knee beside the doors and scraping up his rifle.

She isn't going to take any chances here. «Sheridan got away.»

"We need him…. Hopefully, he knows what the hell they gave these people." Kaylee explains to Teo, once Joseph is as settled as he can, she grabs the Russian by his arm pushing him into the back of the van. Once he's in there, she leans towards him, letting him see just how serious she is when she says, "I hope Joseph is right about you.. cause I'm going back for your lady friend, but I warn you.." A finger points in the direction of the other two in the van, as her voice echoes slightly within the hull of the vehicle. "Hurt them… I will hurt you." If she wasn't running on mental fumes she might have expressed that telepathically, as it is… her head hurts like a son of bitch.

"And Deckard is just fine last I saw…" Kaylee answers Teo, pulling back from the van. "I believe, him and Eileen are after whatever her name is.." Her tone is almost sounds cranky. She leans in again, long enough for her long fingers to grip Joseph's leg, an act of reassurance. "Almost home." A glance going to Teo, as her hand slides away, before she's hurrying back in in search of Jet, since no one said they'd do otherwise.

Her progress slows only slightly at Eileen's news. Shit… The telepath not at all happy to hear it.

"He sure won't," Teo answers, stabbing the enormous lummox of an evil henchman with the needle as soon as the telepath is out of the way. In the arm rather than the eye or the neck, for instance. Fortunately, the diazepam is slow-working enough and Dema compliant, indeed, that there's only a minimal nudge to get the Russian seated before his limbs start flopping around stupid from injected chemistry. The needle's discarded without being capped, flung right out the door.

Teo wades through the half-darkness of the van like a hog. Two blunt fingers saw down into the clammy line of Joseph's neck, checking his pulse, then a thumb nearly as hot as his feverish skin squeezing moistly below his eye to examine the less easily deciphered articulations of pupil. Teo mutters something in a language no one else in the van can understand. Pastor looks miserable and weak, but it's nothing a seatbelt and a bucket won't hold for the trip. Finding one of each, Teodoro withdraws.

There's a popping of buttons and zipper scratching down. The Sicilian's jacket closes densely on his body and starts to lump his crooked figure back into the driver's seat. His shoulder is beginning to creak at him and his boot feels far too tight. Nerves. «Are you in pursuit or do I wait?»

Luckily for Teo, Joseph is pretty much used to people checking his vitals and responses, and there's only easy compliancy and a lack of surprise. Hey a bucket. This is something he settles between his feet, as if to take the temptation to hurl out of visibility and shuddering in a breath. Unsticking his tongue from the roof of his mouth, he asks, "Is everyone okay?" in the kind of hopeless tone where one isn't expected to be listened to. And obviously not the test patients they already whisked away, all the men on a payroll lying dead and dying in the the building, or—

You know, the right kind of everyone. Tremors keep clasped and closed between his knees, bruised knuckles feeling normal at the very least.

For all that he was six foot two fuckin' killing for fun however many minutes ago they stormed the warehouse, Flint mostly looks like a sodden, grizzled old vietnam vet who's only just realized the US didn't win when he reappears outside. Short one Thatcher, the van is up a Deckard as soon as he heaves the sidedoor open on its rails and levers himself in, helmet thunked down on the floorboard with little care for any kind of sensitive equipment that might still be in there. Or anyone else who is left inside.

He's just dependable that way. Clearly.

He doesn't say hullo or glad you're okay or welcome back, but jolts the door closed again after himself and slouches lank and damp into his seat, where his eyes cast odd shadows across the ceiling and dazed faces. "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."

«Negative.» As if Deckard's behaviour left Teo with any doubts. Eileen is slower than the former healer when it comes to making her exit — she hasn't reappeared yet and won't for a few more minutes. She's compelled to do a quick sweep of the building to make sure they didn't miss anyone and then pick what she can off the bodies to help replenish the Remnant's stockpile.

This has been an expensive undertaking.

The young telepath doesn't say much as she passed the others, no words are spoken as she heads straight for the room Dema indicated Jet was, emerging shortly with her. Of course, it probably took what little is left in Kaylee to persuade the woman to trust her.

A hand swipes blood from her nose as she approaches the van, guiding her charge. Kaylee's eyes look tired, even as she helps the last captive in the van. Only once Jet is settled does the telepath force Deckard to scoot out of the way so she can drop heavily into a seat, or hell she's crawl over him for one if need be…. She has no desire to sit back with Dema and Jet.

Slamming the door shut, cringing at the sound as it sends a spike of pain through her skull, Kaylee gives a soft sigh. Resting the carbine between her knees, she pulls the cap and balaclava off her head, letting slightly tangled blonde hair free.

Only then does the telepath slant a worried, if exhausted look towards Joseph.

Teo's eyes rove the rearview mirror a moment, but don't try to make contact with anybody else's. By now, Dema's are closed. «Come on, E. It'd only take us a little more time to knock over a candyshop than it looks like the girl and Sumter have in them before they blow the fuck up from a new strain of SARS, brain-first.»

And then there's Deckard climbing in, spider-like in long limbedness and demon eyes by which Joseph once identified him. It's shocking, actually, and he didn't even notice it before, or perhaps realise what it meant. The first time, it had made ice run through his veins. This time, it actually has the same effect, until a kind of wry smile is reflected back at the other man.

Lots has changed, since he was in here. Kaylee's tired look at him only manages to tire him out all the more, so Joseph mostly just shuts his eyes against the lot of them as he hears the vehicle growl into being. "And I will dwell in the house of the Lord," he says, and it sounds like he's just reciting.

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