The Guns Turned Inwards


audrey_icon.gif black_icon.gif edgar_icon.gif lydia_icon.gif melissa3_icon.gif monica_icon.gif mynama_icon.gif nadia_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title The Guns Turned Inward
Synopsis Something of a self-fulfilling prophecy unravels on Roosevelt Island when factors that were not anticipated play into fate. It begins with a voice, and ends with death or a black hood.
Date November 8, 2010

Roosevelt Island

It started in the morning. Not early. Perhaps an hour before now.

Barricades made roadblocks around and within the Roosevelt Island station, transport underground summarily shut off as trains breezed by without a halt, a kind of medieval, Indiana Jones style blocking off of the tunnel that explores beneath rivers. Without the trains cooperating with public requirement, the only crowd that formed there were sparse groups of people enduring being informed by bored police officers that the trains weren't running today, and that was that.

The bridge, however. The bridge is becoming a problem.

«Please remain beyond three feet from the barricades. Access to Queens has been temporarily closed for safety reasons. Please step away from the barricades.»

The voice comes booming from a strange looking device — mounted upon a police vehicle at the space where Roosevelt Island Bridge connects with the island itself, it's a black disc, vaguely hexagonal, that turns its face towards the milling crowd, like a coin on its edge. The sound is sharp and clear, echoing out a vast distance, likely audible to those who are not even at the bridge. Some of the residents of Roosevelt Island might recognise it — a sound device that has been turned against crowds before, capable of emitting less friendly noises than the repeated voice of the police officer speaking into it. The Long Range Acoustic Device, or the LRAD, is no stranger to this island.

The bridge is clear of anything save for police presence. Two horses patrol up and down, with armored policemen regarding both ends of the bridge as well as the water beyond, along with a few cars, with the Roosevelt Island Public Safety department emblems on their doors. They seem to be waiting for something.

Though the Queens side of the bridge remains unexciting, the Roosevelt Island side is growing in activity. Civilian cars, about five in total, remain stubbornly parked in front of the barricades, with a couple of the drivers attempting to argue with stoney-faced police officers. Even more pedestrians mill around restlessly, some with pressing duties to access on the more mainland-end of the bridge, some with less so — some with none at all, coming to see what the hell is going on. Police presence is not an unusual thing, on this island, especially not at the checkpoints.

But this is different.

It's a good day to have decided to leave the car at home. At least it means that Melissa isn't, for the moment, caught in all the traffic. But the scene is entirely too familiar, with the horses and LRAD, and she narrows her eyes as she looks at both of them. She draws her trench coat a bit more snugly around her, shifting a shoulder to adjust one of the straps of the backpack, and she considers the scene.

Well, there's only one way to find out just what's going on here, and why people aren't allowed off the island. She's got to ask. So she begins striding towards the officers, trying to get a harmless look on her face. Please don't shoot me, Mister Policeman.

Most of the Institute agents are holed up in the Suresh Center, content to let the DoEA and police do their job — but then Veronica isn't like most Institute agents in oh-so-many ways.

The agent looks like any other worried civilian, black trench coat covering the holster that holds both gun and taser. A green scarf wrapped around her neck blows in an errant wind as her dark eyes sweep the area, watching the bridge for whatever it is the police are waiting for. It'd be smarter of her to stay inside, to hide out in the eye of the storm, but if her badge and her gun can help her get a few more people to safety than would have made it without her help? She has to try.

Nadia Ba'albaki is one of those cars parked stubbornly in front of the barricades. In fact, she's one of the ones trying to get coerce her way off of the island right now, speaking to one of the officers with a concerned expression on her face. "I'm not doing anything bad — I just need to go to my classes! My teachers are really strict, and I've already missed way too much time as it is!"

She knows that her attempts at reasoning will likely fall on deaf ears. All the same, the terrakinetic wants off of this damn island— or any island, for that matter, after the contents of her vision. She wants out of this town, before she causes another earthquake today. The Catskills would be a much better place for her have an accidental earthquake today. "Please?"
One of the vehicles parked there is a DHS vehicle, Audrey parked on the bridge with the other vehicles, the DHS liason with the security force that's playing gatekeeper. Homeland emblazoned across her chest, yellow on navy blue, same for the baseball cap on her head and dressed for the weather, she stands watch to the side, out of direct view of those who might come up to the cops to voice their complaint and ignore the three foot rule. Not to be mistaken for the six inch rule in the least.

This has the promise to get nasty, if they can't contain this and the Homesec Agent has to wonder why people didn't realize that today of all days, that pretty much the city would shut down when she hears someone complain that they need to get to their class. She saw many businesses who were smart and shut down today on her way here. For now though, Agent Hanson remains quiet, hidden under her ballcap and eyeballing the crowd.

Monica is on foot as well, and she's coming around to check on what's going on herself. After all… she's pretty up on what's coming, thanks to Cardinal. She's in all black, too, in what seems to be workout clothes.

She's going to end up arrested again, she just knows it.

But, all the same… she can't just sit in her apartment and wait it out. She's got to help, because she's able. And willing. And far too antsy to hide. She does spot Veronica around, the agent's face not being one she's likely to forget, but she just slinks herself… over here.

The great thing about already being across the bridge is that when there's lots of people out, no one asks you for ID… Not that Liam Banks has much of a problem with that sort of thing. Ambling along the street with his brand new wife (yes, he's showing her off like a trophy), he pauses for a moment to watch the panic and line of traffic trying to cross the bridge.

"Ey, Lydia… Y'mine' stayin' 'ere a moment? I wan'teh see wha' the commotion is." Of course, Edgar hasn't watched television at all today or read the news, or listened to the radio. It doesn't concern him, he's made a pact with himself and the shop owner, no more trouble.

Lydia's arms hug tightly over her chest so as not to accidentally touch any of these antsy citizens; as it stands it doesn't take an empathic ability to know the current state of the population. She frowns at the suggestion, uncertain as to what lays ahead. Her head turns to focus her gaze on Edgar, that uncertainty spilling over into concern.

"I'll come," she says quietly, falling into step next to him and offering him her hand. Whether or not Edgar likes it, Lydia is determined — not that she can keep Edgar from running away (although, that would almost definitely result in a fight).

There isn't any good reason why Mynama is here, on Roosevelt Island, other than the fact that she's playing hookey. With all that's been said about today, either officially or in whispers, put her in a state of mind not too unlike Monica Dawson's - except Mynama's motives are far more selfish and voyeuristic. Of course, the pretense, the lie was that they needed extra volunteers at the Suresh Center today, and that she would be getting extra credit in civics if she went.

Her long fingers peek out of knitted wristies to curl around a venti carmel apple cider. She holds the cup close to her face as she stands on the sidewalk, her eyes wide with an anxiety that doesn't quite harmonize with those around her. This is exciting, in it's own slightly weird and morbid way.

And if worst comes to worst, the Center isn't too far, right?

"I'm sorry ma'am, I'm going to have to ask you step back," the officer is telling Nadia, denying her access as well as information with a hand splaying in front of him, hovering, before his radio chirps up insistantly, nagging at where it's clipped at its vest. He barely has time to go for it before it suddenly fritzes out, going dead, and he turns a shoulder to Nadia as he takes it off its hook and depresses buttons, puzzlement showing beneath the brim of his hat. "The hell is wrong with this thing?"

Similarly, the noise in Audrey's earpiece goes dead and useless, only proving to block ambiant noise in that ear.

They're not the only ones. Radios in cars all promptly die, and a woman on her cellphone at the edge of the crowd blinks and stares at it when the conversation she was having is cut short. Word of jammed communications is slow to ripple through the crowd, especially when they have more to talk about. Conversation, mostly the same discourse, floats around the gathering crowd. They natter in Melissa's ears as she makes her way through them, headed for the barricades.

"Why are they blocking us off? I was meant to be in the office for a noon-time meeting…"

"This is so ridiculous. Have they even said why?"

"Maybe it has something to do with those hallucinations."

"Yeah, haven't you heard? Queens is supposed to be on fire by now, or something."

"No, no. Not that. Don't you know about Roosevelt?"

"What the fuck is that?"

Across the bridge, vehicles are being let on, the two mounted police officers peeling aside and giving informal escort to the sleek black vans rolling in from Queens. One of them arcs a wave to the Roosevelt-side roadblock — with the radios jammed, there's no warning ahead of time that the cavalry has arrived. Stillwater Security paints logos on its sides, and as they cruise to a stop, black-clad security officers come swarming out like ants from a hill, face plates clear, automatic rifles heavy.

A wave of unease shimmers intangibly through the crowd.

And of course, the jamming of radiowaves and signals doesn't have any impact on the LRAD, which continues to blare and repeat its warning even as the armored presence of Stillwater Security make their presence known by lining across the mouth of the bridge. They, too, aren't a new presence on Roosevelt Island. There just aren't usually this many of them.

Towards the back of the crowd, a lanky figure of a man in a bomber jacket and a cap pulled low has parked his car a little distance from the gathering crowd. He's coming to sit upon the roof of it, as if to afford himself a good view, folding his legs as he lights a home-rolled cigarette.

For the most part the mutterings are ignored as Melissa passes by them. She doesn't pay any attention to the newlyweds either, but that's because she hasn't seen them yet. She does, however, pause when the vans start showing up from Queens, and a brow arches. "Well this isn't gonna be good," she mutters, wishing that she was wearing kevlar under her coat.

She beelines for the nearest cop and tilts her head towards the vans. "What's going on? If leaving the island is dangerous, then why are more people coming here? Armed to the teeth, no less? You know, this is starting to look suspiciously like the second Resident Evil movie. If you guys are gonna drop a nuke on us, tell me know so I can start swimming my ass across to Queens."

Sawyer's eyes narrow as she sees the Stillwater vehicles coming in. She glances back toward the Suresh Center, wondering if being out here is folly — after all, if she dies now, all the work she's done, all that she's sacrificed, to get into the Institute is for nothing.

"Excuse me," she says, striding toward the police. "Is it possible for these people to be evacuated in some other manner? They have the right to leave, don't they? Surely since the visions, your people have put in some sort of plan in case this happens — helicopter, teleporters, something?" She doesn't flash her badge — that's likely to get her mobbed. Instead she simply plays like a righteous citizen, looking out for her fellow man. "If Queens is dangerous, you can bring them the other direction, right?"

The little terrakinetic frowns up at the officer. "But if I don't make it, I'm going to be dropped from my class!" She frowns up at the man as he turns away. Then, her radio dies, and Nadia is blinking, fiddling with the dials in her car. Nothing. "What— what is going on? I'm just trying to go to school." This is mostly mumbled to herself as she fiddles with the controls.

Then, she looks up, her eyes widening at the sight before her— the vans rolling in from Queens, and the gun-toting 'security' folks. Nadia blinks a few times, slack-jawed. "Wh— what is going on?!" She squeaks this out, shrinking in her carseat. Oh god, maybe Richard was right. Maybe she should have listened to him and gotten out when she still could. And this news of Moab and Tier 3, and even Roosevelt Island's rumors of being a new prison cell for Evolved, they all only add to her unease at this situation.

Veronica doesn't need to flash her badge, Audrey knows who Veronica is and she gives a two fingered whistle to get the institute agent's attention, and jerk her head over. She doesn't know whether the woman is on duty or not, though at this point, Audrey suspects that everyone was pulled in to help ease the thinning of manpower.

The arrival of Stillwater was not unknown to her, Audrey doesn't bat an eye at that, though she does to silence that was previously chatter in her ear. It's disconcerting, especially everyone is affected it seems.

When Veronica does come over there's a nod for the other supposed Government agent. "On duty?" Not waiting for an answer though, she carries on. "If you go back out there, you need to tell people to go back home, they're not getting through Agent Sawyer. Authorities are here to head off and keep any riots from breaking out. They called in Stillwater to help. It's going to be bad enough around the city if things go as the visions predicted, they're trying to head off violence and protect the individuals who reside here"

Audrey glances to the assembled people from near her vehicle and shakes her head. "I'd think they'd have figured it out by now but they haven't. Care to help or are you on another task?"

Stillwater. Monica frowns at their arrival. It can't mean anything good, under any circumstance, let alone today. She doesn't stride forward, she turns to scan the crowd, especially as the signals get jammed. She has no idea why that would be happening, of course, because she's a good citizen! >.>

She looks ready, though, prepped. Something it coming, and she knows it isn't going to be good. She moves toward the edges of the gathering, just trying to get herself a good position.

Edgar's not going to fight Lydia, not now. So with his arms wrapped around the fortune teller, he guides her just a little ways onto the bridge, no further than the van with the man on top. Glancing toward him, the speedster's eyebrows twitch together and he gives an upnod in greeting.

"'Ey, man… Y'know wha's goin' on 'ere? They stoppin' people from gettin' off the island or stoppin' others from gettin' on?" With the presence of the black vans creeping in from the other side, the juggler curls his body protectively around Lydia and frowns. "Wha'ever y'do Lydia… if anythin' starts teh 'appen.. jus' 'old on'teh me. I'll protect you."

Lydia's stomach curls into knots at the security vans and heightened level of security. Instinctively she leans into Edgar, her eyebrows tightly knit together as her dark eyes scan the bridge and road ahead. Her own uneasiness grows despite her best efforts to ebb it.

She too directs her attention to the man on top of the van, Edgar may have asked important questions, but she still has one "And why are they keeping people here?" Her jaw tightens as her teeth clench together, the tension growing in her entire body. She sinks into Edgar a little more before offering a trembly whisper, "I've got a bad feeling about this."

When the last of her cider is gone, Mynama is hesitant to pull away from the crowd in order to find a trash can. But she doesn't want to give anyone any excuse to haul her in and make her explain to Oscar why she wasn't where she said she was going to be. She treks down the street, pushing past a few rubberneckers who are too busy trying to catch a peek of what's going on near the barricades to pay attention to what's two feet in front of them. When she finally tosses the empty cup into a public trash can, she sees the man on top of his vehicle.

She can't deny it looks like a good idea.

Putting on a coy smile and plunging her hands into her pocket, she continues toward Mr. Bomber Jacket. "Hey, can I bum one?" she asks, letting her accent lay on her words a little thicker than usual. She looks from the man across the hood to Lydia and Edgar, and she raises an eyebrow. "Were you one of those people who had a vision?" She leans on the last word as it it were the vast government conspiracy.

Down towards Mynama, Black makes a gentle, underhanded toss of his pack of cigs with the lighter trapped in the plastic. His smile is easy, the lines at his eyes gaining depth with a kind of genuine amicability. "I haven't been able t'get off this island since I got put on probation," he tells Edgar when he hears the man's question, roaming a look over Edgar and Lydia both. "So it ain't much of a change f'me. But yeah — they been blockin' the bridge since an hour ago."

The police officers have been doing a decent job at at least communicating some key messages to those that ask them, but the security guards entirely ignore Melissa's opinions and queries. The cop she addresses, who is giving up on her own radio, squints at her. "There's nothing to worry about," she says. "We anticipated a crowd at the road blocks, and so we're just making sure the line doesn't get broken — this little island has a reputation. As soon as we receive word for the all clear, we'll be letting traffic through shortly, but for now, please step back— "

Which is when the LRAD decides to give an obnoxious whine, piercing through the centre of the crowd with a laser of noise that has the crowd shift anxiously, but not dispersing, simply stirring the ant nest. "The fuck are you doing with that thing!" the officer who'd been conversing with Melissa demands, suddenly mad.

The cop manning the LRAD raises his hands in universe gesture of I didn't touch anything.

Lydia will feel it, sharper than even the people in the crowd. Irritation is beginning to mature to aggravation, annoyance becoming anger, and nervousness is becoming a kind of adrenalised panic. There are theories, about mob behaviour, as if emotions could be some sort of infectious, spreadable, airborne disease. Energy feeding off energy, enhancing, consuming. In the thick of it, both Veronica and Melissa know their exasperation with the law abruptly amplified, a sharp kind of emotion that comes like a change on blood pressure. Audrey's day feels unnecessarily hard, and she has an amplified awareness about where her gun is. Monica's calm watchfulness grows a rivet through it of shared anxiety of the crowd. It's a shared empathy, one that even tugs at the consciousness of those at the edge of, Mynama, Edgar, Lydia, although Black appears largely unaffected, back to watching the crowd.

Then, blaring out the LRAD, a different voice: "If you vilify us, we will become your villains…" The cop just next to it actually, physically, startles back enough to slip a foot off the roof of the car, bouncing off the edge and landing on his back on the pavement with a grunt. A couple of the Stillwater guys glance over their shoulder in confusion, although most are focused. But it's clear to most that this is not protocol.

"If you demonize us, we will become your demons…"

The police officer that was dealing with Melissa sharply breaks away, clambering to the LRAD and attempting to shut it off, but even a sharp yank at wires doesn't take. What the hell is with this thing?

"If you martyr us, we will rise up…"

It's clear Melissa doesn't believe the cop she's talking to, if the smirk on her face is any indication. But then there's the whine and she winces and glances to the LRAD. But then there's Rupert's voice and she's suddenly darting towards the LRAD, her face panicked, trying to help shut it off as she starts screaming at the cops nearest to it. "Shut it off! Shut if off NOW! Shoot it if you have to! Do SOMETHING!"

Audrey's words get a shake of Veronica's head. "They should be able to evacuate. If they're not rioting, keeping them here in case they do? Whose orders are these?" she asks — not argumentatively, but in a professionally curious tone. After all, she's supposed to be a good little soldier.

The LRAD gets a worried look as it turns on, and when the broadcast suddenly comes through, she frowns. "Disable it!" she cries out, moving toward the piece of equipment in a brisk run, looking to find a place to shoot if she has to, to keep the message from going out. She pulls out her DHS badge before the cops shoot her, first… but even as she gets to the machinery, the message is through. Fuck. "Who told you to have this here?" she demands, eyes flashing angrily.

Nadia cringes at the sound of the feedback from the LRAD, sticking her fingers in her ears for a moment, until it stops. Then, there's that voice she hears over it. Her eyes raise to the sound of the voice, brows lifting. She looks confused, reaching out to slowly open her car door, stepping out of her vehicle. Her eyes travel over the security folks, with their weapons, then to the LRAD. Melissa's reaction prompts raised brows from the young terrakinetic. What's her problem?

Then, Nadia's eyes turn back toward the crowd of people gathered, her eyebrows raised faintly as she peers over them. "What…what's going on?"

Her gun is snug at her waist in it's leather holder attached to her belt, snap in place and safety on. Audrey's hand reaching up to assure herself that it's there. "People have had all morning to take off if they wanted to Sawyer. It's been closed down as a precaution, no more. So far they've just been vocal and told to return home. I'm just here as the Liaison. That's all" Irritation creeping into her voice that the woman has the audacity to question her.

And then there's Melissa, making for the LRAD and this has all the hallmarks of shit starting to go down. Shooting at the LRAD won't do a thing, it's meant to take a bullet or two, but the law enforcement individual who is climbing on top to pull wires has the idea. Audrey is quick on Veronica's heels, making motions that Veronica's okay, she's all good to be here, but Melissa isn't. "It's not supposed to say that" Audrey yells. "It's just supposed to warn people away, maybe something to do with the radio's going out…" She's reaching out for the pain augmentor with one hand going for her gun with the other as a personal safety measure. "Lady, get behind the barricade" Unaware of who the woman is she's making a grab for.

Anxiety is not good for Monica. It makes her twitchy and antsy. And last time she got anxious… well, she ended up blown into a trailer by a grenade. It makes her groan when that feeling spikes through her. The good news is… she doesn't have her guns on her just now, having been unable to bring them along when she was shunted here.

Of course, it means she can't shoot the thing when Rupe's message starts to ring out. "She's right! You gotta turn it off!" Monica adds as she runs forward. Standing still isn't an option for her right now.

The tick under Edgar's left eye starts twitching like mad as he grips Lydia even tighter. Seeing Melissa running toward the speaker and that other woman yelling… then the others just getting all sorts of hackles uppy… it puts him on edge. "We should go 'ome," it's a firm statement but the touch to the empath's skin reveals it all to be a lie. He's planning to run, again.

Turning her to face him, he places a firm hold on each of her biceps and stares into her eyes. "Lydia, we need teh go 'ome, s'there anythin' you need?" Apparently, the bookstore isn't the home he's talking about.

The emotions of everyone around her are almost crippling, especially when combined with her own. Lydia's adrenaline, and consequently, her anxiety, increase ten-fold amongst the crowd. Ragged breath cracks dryly along her throat while her heart rate increases and she trembles just a little within Edgar's grasp. The voice over the speaker arches her eyebrows high on her forehead, it's not quite surprise, but her normally thought-out words and movements have been replaced by mere reaction.

Edgar's words and touch confuse her, but the seriousness and weight of his gaze are enough to yield a faint nod from the gypsy woman. She considers for a moment if there's anything she actually needs, "No. I… I have everything I need right here." She wraps her arms around him and squeezes her eyes shut.

Mynama's thumb is on the lighter when the LRAD's piercing scream goes off, and she drops it in favor of holding her hands to her ears, her whole body bending with the blow of the sound. She's never heard anything that loud and annoying before, so when it's followed by a brief moment of silence, she's relieved, if shaken.

And then people are running. Running toward the van with the LRAD. Mynama's eyes go wide. "Holy shit are they going to tip it?" she asks, the question posed at no one in particular and allowing the gifted, hand-rolled cigarette to fall from her mouth. She stares on, backing up just slightly until her elbow hits the side of the van where Black is perched. Mynama looks to the Stillwater vans, then back at the people rushing toward the LRAD.

Barricades are designed to hold back the crowd. Stillwater are there to hold back the crowd. As Monica rushes forward, she will find the line unyielding, a gloved hand gripping her arm and with casual strength, shoving her back into the crowd hard enough for the person directly behind her to stumble. Even as Veronica is pulling her badge, a rifle butt snaps around, swiping at her chin enough to knock her aside. It seems like everyone is on edge, everyone is acting too hastily, and it's a little like a tidal wave in its inevitability.

The LRAD costs millions of dollars. Cops are hesitating to be the ones to fuck with it, and Stillwater Security are instead watching the crowd rather than this particular technical glitch, hands hard on their weapons and their faces wearing identical expressions of observation beneath the plexiglass of their faceplates. The officer is heeding the yells from the crowd, hearing the cries to switch it off.

"…every prophet in his house."

Sparks fly as the wires are finally snapped, the woman drawing her hand back with a wince.

What happens next is not some sweeping impact of effect. It's just one man, at first, someone inside the crowd who just— quite suddenly— loses it. There's a shriek as he elbows someone aside, charging a path through the crowd. Nadia's car bounces slightly as he leaps up, boot landing on the trunk, the roof, a muleish kick off from the windshield that takes him sailing at a preternatural kind of speed, glass cracking beneath the force of his kick. This is Evo-ville, after all. He lands upon the car right in front, this time denting its roof before he simply springs again, hands outstretched as if he could rend the whole Stillwater Security line apart with his bare hands.

Maybe he could.

The sudden thunder of gunfire echoes through the air as a Stillwater Security employee raises his rifle and lets loose. Bullets— real ones— puncture through the man's flying body, spinning it out of its trajectory in fine sprays of red. He crashes into the barricades, which barely shift back an inch. There's not a sight you're meant to see, in the real world. Not even on television. Not in America.

And they respond. The crowd, that is. A common purpose, a common feeling, abruptly crashes through them in an invisible sweep. It's irrational, dizzying, heady. In a word, one would identify this feeling as rage. It comes slower than the selective trigger being thrown in the psyches of few, and instead comes from the crowd itself, spreading out from the centre, and seeming to carry its momentum right towards the barricades as shared aggression towards the murderers in their uniforms suddenly has the mass surging.

Black is on his feet, by now, a tall figure on a tall perch. "I think they'll do worse than that." But then, apparently, he sees something that makes him squint, a face in the crowd. "Fuck." Leaping from the van roof, he lands, eyeing the crowd like one might eye an obstacle course.

Melissa is so intent on stopping the broadcast that she doesn't even notice Audrey. And once the last words are spoken she looks almost terrified. When the bullets start flying she ducks down, putting her back to the nearest solid object to protect herself. But that doesn't mean she isn't fighting back herself. Oh no. Which is a sad thing for anyone who happens to be within thirty feet of her.

She lets loose with her ability, causing pain to everyone near her. Luckily though, with her trying to keep everyone near her away, the focus of her ability is deminished, and with that, the pain is deminished. A minor migraine, as opposed to oh my god make it stop sort of pain.

"No!" Veronica screams. "Where the fuck is the riot gear — rubber bullet, bean bags?" The shouts are directed toward Stillwater as she flashes her DHS badge. "Use non-lethal force!" Her own very lethal weapon is pulled, and her eyes grow a little wild as she looks at the angry and surging crowds. "Get back! Get to your homes! You're safe here!" she shouts, husky voice hardly penetrating through the noise.

"Don't kill them! You caused this!" she shouts back to the Stillwater operatives and police, even as she pulls her taser, a weapon in each hand.

Normally, Nadia would be upset about her car. She would normally be screaming and quite literally falling apart at the seams as the man is shot down in mid-air. But those words prompt all emotion to drain from Nadia Ba'albaki's face, as she stares upon the barricade with a hollow look on her face. Despite being in the range of Melissa's ability, she doesn't even falter.

It starts out as a low rumble, the earth groaning and creaking beneath the feet of the gathered mob. Occasionaly, there's a minor vibration, as rocks shift beneath the earth of Roosevelt Island. Nadia doesn't even notice that. There's an almost hateful look on her face as she glares at the line of 'security' that is keeping them in.

They really should have just let her go to school.

Suddenly, there's a hideous cracking noise from the ground, the pavement cracking around Nadia in a circular pattern. Chunks of it raise into the air, hovering around the terrakinetic for a moment. Then, without a single movement, the chunks of hardened rock and sand are flung at full-speed toward the line of the barricade. And still, Nadia only stands there, right next to her vehicle.

The pain hits her, gun out, safety off, Melissa just having escaped out of her grasp and now hunkering down beside one of the vehicles and the influenced emotions, Melissa's pain that grates at her just irritate the agent beyond belief. More so when Stillwater weapons go off and one person's life has just been lost.

Take in that Audrey gets a good look at Melissa and her eyes narrow further, gun pointed square at Melissa's chest. "GET DOWN ON YOUR STOMACH!" She bellows to the pain augmentor, unknowing that it's her that's causing part of what she's experiencing. It's not exact for the vision, Melissa's not baring a gun and they're not exchanging words so much as Audrey's glaring down the line of her gun and under the influence, more than a little trigger happy, her finger pulls and a bullet goes spinning out to make contact with Melissa's right shoulder, no chance for the woman to even attempt to get down as per her orders.

"You don't understand — " Monica is just protesting as she's grabbed, but those words come out and she closes her eyes. Failed. "Too late," she says, a little whisper to herself. How disappointed will Cardinal be? As she watches the man get shot for something he couldn't control… she decides that she, at least, is very disappointed.

And then she's just… mad.

She pulls back against that hand holding her arm, giving herself some leverage as so of… runs up his body, a foot planted on his stomach while the other swings up to his chin before she flips herself so artfully backwards, landing for just a moment before she hits the next closest uniform with a Chuck Norris style roundhouse kick. And gut punches the next. And generally starts to kung fu her way through the crowd around her.

When the adrenaline kicks in at this rate, fight or flight are the only options. Lydia actually freezes momentarily, the sheer amount of anxiety and anger coming off the crowd eats at her insides while her own practiced tranquility virtually melts away. Ironically, it's in this empathic state that her own natural empathy for people melts away. Paranoia, suspicion, and rage consume her emotions, successfully stomping out her general, albeit distrusting, good will towards others.

But then she fights it. Hard. Physically she falls to her knees underneath the weight of the emotions. The thoughts are pressed out of her conscience and that little ray of light, that glimmer of hope and joy she'd clung to only hours earlier begins to win again, pressing out the rage and hatred, even if the anxiety and adrenaline remain, at least the worst of it begins to dissipate.

The shift of the bridge has the speedster picking up his new wife and zipping her off to the safety of the not so solid ground. That's where he sets her down and points a single finger at her. "Stay this time, stay. Unless sum'then 'appens tha' you 'ave teh go… Then run. Run 'til I can find you." He'd promise that he'd never do this again when he married her. Unfortunately her own emotions are making his go completely bezerk. He wants to kick the tail end of the woman that just shot Melissa. "Stay.. I'll be righ' back."

In a blur, he's gone.

The blur doesn't stop as it encases Audrey and she disappears with it. The next thing that happens… Edgar's standing on the edge of the bridge and Audrey's been flung out into the open water.

The crunch of metal and the crash of broken safety glass don't phase Mynama any more than they do the rest of the crowd. Neither does the grinding of asphalt in Nadira's wake. All it does it help to fuel the fear-bred rage. It's not fair. That man was killed in cold blood. That girl - that speedster in the park - she was right. This place is a prison. It doesn't matter that Mynama voluntarily brought herself here today, or even lied to be able to do so. She's screaming and throwing her fist into the air with the rest of them, the cigarettes, and even the man in the bomber jacket forgotten in the fog of violent anger.

Mynama moves forward, away from the fringes of the crowd and toward it's center, though she doesn't get far before she's blocked by the backs of her compatriots.

There's a crack as a piece of asphalt, approximately the size of a human head, slams into the chest of one of the armored, rifle-wielding men, sending him flying back and landing hard, while a cluster of clear shields are brought up under the assault, bouncing pebbles and debris back at the crowd, larger pieces of flying rock otherwise driving back the shielding barricade.

"Hey! Get on the ground!" This yell from the cop who'd been too late in disabling the now dead LRAD, her pistol squared on where Edgar stopped by the edge of the bridge, eyes wide from the sight of DHS liaison suddenly just disappearing beyond the railing. But it was the blur that had her recognising where to look, and she recognises a speedster when she sees one. Or at least, an Evolved. With the same wild intent as Hanson before her, the policewoman empties her clip of three sharp shots for Edgar's torso.

A thunder reverberating through the ground is— probably barely detectable by anyone. But it's there. Delayed from their own jammed radios, the rest of the mounted unit from RIPSD is moving down the main street that angles perpendicular to the ramp up onto the bridge. Horses of browns and blacks, masks and shin armor that makes them look more robotic than fluid motions suggest, steered by police in their own protective gear. They do not break their charge, mercilessly driving through the crowd with a canter of hooves on the asphalt. As Monica high-kicks a rifle from the hands of the Stillwater employee, it's just in time to see a huge gelding bearing down on her.

At Veronica's yelling, mere words beneath the sound of the crowd, a Stillwater Security guard is bringing around his rifle. Whether he intends to fire it or order her on the ground, DHS be damned, is never known, as a fist sized piece of pavement clocks him in his mask, whipping by close enough for Veronica to feel the breeze of it. Even as she's inadvertantly rescued from that fate, the surge of the crowd is driving her forward, into broken barricade of hardplastic, and with them and the mass behind her, she goes spilling over it and onto the asphalt of the bridge.

The line breaks. Over her head, gunshots go off. Someone lands on her, someone who doesn't struggle, or even move.

Mynama receives a sharp clock of baton to shoulder as one of the mounted police goes riding by, sending her staggering into the rest of the crowd with numbing pain rendering that arm next to useless, although its damage is bruising over dislocation or breakage. She's spun, briefly, by Black, who sharks his way with a path towards, of all people, Nadia, hands reaching, but the frenzy of the crowd knocks him around like a restless current.

All the while, Lydia has her own private war, the nagging of blind rage eating at her own willpower and emotional maturity, but in the end, her power over the individual and her own self begins to win out over the feedback of the crowd, her head slowly becoming clearer even as her own power strains.

As far as pain goes, a bullet in the shoulder is something Melissa's used to. Relatively. And after what she experienced just a month ago, it doesn't bother her quite as much as it used to. There's a faint wince, and no longer will she have one shoulder unscarred. As one hand comes up to press against the wound, Melissa's eyes shift and find the woman from her vision.

Even without the gunshot, with the mad riding her and seeing the woman who had a gun pulled on her in a vision, it's enough to have Mel's focus narrowing, pinpointing Audrey. Although, before she can get it properly focused, the woman is disappearing in a blur and she tilts her head. Huh. But seeing the blur save her makes her concentrate more on her ability, ensuring that that blur isn't caught in her field of pain.

However, then someone is shooting at the blur. That blur is a friend! Or, well, one of them. It has to be Edgar or Daphne and no way is she going to let any cop shoot one of them. So, with Audrey no longer available as a target, all that focus is directed on the cop.

When Veronica slams into the asphalt, she has the sense and reflexes to keep her weapons from firing, somehow, landing with them flat on the ground, her hands on top of them to keep them from getting scooped up. She's instantly trying to get free of that body on top of her, wriggling and then rolling away, wincing as she's kicked and stepped and stumbled over in the few seconds it takes her to get to her feet.

Her eyes sweep for the cause of that terrakinetic activity — finally falling on Nadia, some twenty feet away in the middle of the crowd. Veronica can't shoot her firearm in this mass of people, but she begins to shove her way toward the terrakinetic, pushing people this way or that out of the way as she lifts her taser, trying to get within range — and more of a challenge, to get a clear shot.

The rumblings of the ground only grow louder as Nadia simply stands there, glaring at the barricade, with her open car door still interposed between her and the 'security'. Her eyes are dark, dead-looking compared to the normally bright twinkle they carry when she's on television and generally in public. She is standing so still that she could almost be a living model of one of her scupltures.

Dead brown eyes flit toward the building behind the barricade, a checkpoint building, and her eyes stay there. The cold look remains on her face, even as one of those armored horses comes a little too close to her; its rider isn't given much of a chance to try and baton her, as a sinkhole suddenly opens in the pavement beneath him, dropping the mounted police officer and his mount into the earth.

An even louder cracking sound comes from the building behind the barricade. Suddenly, the building groans, cracks appearing over its surface; then, said building promptly collapses in on itself, roof and all. A cloud of rock dust begins to spread and hover over the bridge, and all that is left is the dust and a pile of rubble in the building's place.

It is then that the earth's groans and vibrations become a fair deal more audible, and the ground is beginning to shiver in what appears to be the beginnings of an earthquake.

Audrey was prepared to shoot again, finger about to depress the trigger when Edgar makes his move. One second she's on the bridge, facing down someone who she isn't sure was either Sylar or not-Sylar but either way the rage at what his actions have put her and her career through have gone burbling through her.

And then she's weightless, falling, gun falling away from her hand and the blonde windmills in the air and shock on her face before she hits the water. Forty feet is a long way to fall off the side of Roosevelt Bridge and the impact of the water does more to her than just knock the agent unconscious.

Horse, is, admittedly, not what Monica expected. Of course, in her current state of mind, she's not really expecting, she's reacting. But then, that's what she's good at.

It only takes a moment of recognition before she Fifth Elements her way out of the situation, which a series of well places handsprings that take her swiftly away from the horse and… over any bodies that happen to be lying around.

That little shiver through the ground only seems to heighten her fear. She is not from earthquake country!

The first bullet grazes Edgar's side just as he's turning, knocking him a little off balance. He's already angry and the fact that someone is shooting at him? Before the second and third bullets have a chance to clear toward his trunk, he's gone. Not away from his shooter, but toward her with one fist cocked. The speedster doesn't slow down as he weaves in front of her and clocks her in the lower jaw as hard as he can, at the same time sweeping a foot behind her to kick her legs out from underneath her.

He doesn't care about her enough to save her head from cracking against the pavement, he just disappears again.

When he returns to Lydia's side, he's bleeding and in great pain. His wince is an attempt at a smile as he reaches out to steady himself against her shoulder. "I dunno'f I can carry you…"

Lydia is about as good at following directions as she was three and a half years ago. While her thoughts clear, her eyes scan the scene while her jaw drops. The sheer carnage and mob mentality that have taken over effect her more than she'd like to admit. Swallowing hard she takes a step and then manages to stop herself, she needs to listen for her own conscience, and really to prove to herself she can.

And it's fortunate that she doesn't move, especially as Edgar approaches. She wraps an arm around him to help steady him, as gently as she can without making the wound worse. "You're hurt," while she may not be in a rage, her voice squeaks around the words, her emotions are in a very different state of hysterics. Even with the raw emotions, her clearer thoughts work their magic, "We'll go back to the store and get you cleaned up…. and then we'll go from there." Those words said, she's leading the way back to the shop, determined in her steps, even if they are dizzied on the shaking ground.

Mynama cries out in pain at the blow from the baton, but her thin frame is even less of a match for the mob she's knocked into. Black pushing past only serves to make her stagger more, and it's not long before Mynama falls to the ground. She holds her left bicep tight to her side in an attempt to minimize the pain, but it soon becomes very clear that she needs to get up.

Being under the feet of a mindless, angry mob is not a good thing.

The scream of the horse almost overtakes the beginnings of earthquake rumble, its legs splintering when the ground suddenly gives, the rider's leg driven into the craggy edge of broken asphalt and scraping it raw, bone snagging. No one sees where the canister is thrown, but the stinging tear gas is pluming up within the crowd, doing more to disperse them as rage against the man, as it were, dissipitates for some when the extremes of the situation stack against the heart pounding, war-like anger.

A teenager is driven to the ground several feet from Mynama, and she can see the whites of his eyes as the cop plants a boot in the middle of his back and strings his wrists into cuffs. As the crowd breaks apart, it's also tamed, and when a hand closes around her elbow, jars her arm hard enough to jolt her shoulder, she'll feel that cold steel clap around her own slender wrists too.

They'll read her her rights in one of the vans that trundled after the horses. Maybe.

Even as a surge of Roosevelt Island inhabitants drive over the barricades, running, screaming, punching and kicking and getting summarily slain by spitting bullets, the creak and groan of the bridge seems to slow them. The cop knocked to the ground, twitching and writhing from the brunt of Melissa's pain, is rolled over by trampling feet even as they slow. There's a collective gasp as the whole structure shudders, its cagey, red-rust angles shivering in the way they're not supposed to. A deadly crack runs a rivet through the asphalt at its pace, splitting breakdown down the middle, and from the sinkhole that swallowed the checkpoint building, it seems to spread, sinking a tire of one of the Stillwater vans with a shudder.

And Nadia could do more. Especially with Black's— admittedly ebbing— rage, and Rupe's mechanical wrath. But Veronica is quite suddenly there.

The crowd splinters off, some, like Lydia and Edgar, fleeing for the protection of buildings. Those unfortunate enough to be driven into the thick of the crowd find themselves on their stomachs, arms wrenched behind them. A helicopter shudders across the sky above them, and though it's unable to be a live feed of what's going on, the camera still sees all.

With her hand pressed tightly against her shoulder Melissa pushes to her feet. She wanted to get away from violence, really she did. And with people going batshit crazy, and her already shot, it's high time for Melissa to get the hell out of dodge. She draws her ability in closer, though it doesn't get shut off entirely. Instead it's held in a tight circle around her, only affecting those within a few feet of her. Hopefully just enough to let her get out of the mob without anymore injury.

Scraped and dirty, Veronica doesn't look much more like an agent of the Institute or formerly the Company than any other able-bodied young adult here — blood is smeared across her cheek from a cut just below the eye and the knees of her jeans are torn and bloodied as well. The black coat has footprints here and there, and the scarf is trailing down by her booted foot on one end, the other end up high at her throat.

But the disheveled agent is fast and her hand is steady when the sea of the maddening crowd finally parts, and she pulls the trigger on her taser once she has her sights on Nadia.

The boot and the cold steel are soon followed by a boot connecting heavily with the cop's side. It's not as graceful as Monica usually is, but there's this shaking, see. Still, it's got some strength behind it, and Monica punctuates it with a punch to the cop's face.

"She is just a kid, you ass!" Curses… well, they don't sound natural from Monica's mouth, but she's angry, shocked, upset and off balance! Things happen. Her hands move to help Mynama to her feet, as quick as she can manage. "Time to run," she says to the girl, and provided she can pull it off… that's just what she'll do.

It's strange. Though the tazer hits Nadia, she doesn't actually make a sound, even as she collapses, hanging halfway out of her car. She doesn't scream, or grunt, or make much of any noise really, twitching and turning to stare at Veronica with cold, dead eyes. It works; her ability stops working, the earth ceasing its activities with another low groan of rocks skidding to a halt from their unexpected shift beneath the earth.

That same shaking makes it harder for Mynama to stand as well, but once she's on her feet, it's a little easier. Nadia going down helps too, even if the earth further away from her takes a bit more time to stop rumbling. Her eyes are wide and her breath is coming in heaving gasps, hitching slightly at the position of her right arm. Then again, handcuffs weren't ever meant to be comfortable. "No shit," she says to Monica, looking from the older young woman to the cop she's kicked away. Resisting arrest, even if the grounds for arrest weren't lawful in the first place, can't be a good thing for Mynama to be adding to her rap sheet. Still, Mynama is ready and willingly to follow her savior to some semblance of safety.

As Melissa makes her escape, a car swerves to avoid her, cruising in from the other direction of the makeshift blockade being set up from the south. It's an old sedan, totally out of place in its environment, one that practically bowls Veronica over and forces her back from her 'kill', so to speak, Anders' face flashing in a glance towards her, all wide eyed. He pounds his fist against the horn. "Black, where the fuck— "

Are you, never tags on the end of that, as the backdoor opens and a temporarily disabled Nadia is hauled into the backseat like rolled carpet. Black shuts the door after himself, and a flash of blue glints in the light as he takes a syringe from his pocket. A heavy dose of Refrain goes coursing through Nadia's bloodstream, taking her to a happier place, lest they sinkhole the whole sedan.

"This your plus one? Oh shit, her," Anders remarks.

"Just drive, you little shit," the empath growls out, and Anders doesn't need to be told twice. With a scream of backwheels, the car goes screeching out of the site the way it came, and oddly enough, is never pursued.

When Monica turns, it's to the sight of a flying rifle butt. The last time she saw such a thing, she ducked.

This time, not so effective.

Mynama watches her brief saviour spun on her heel and slammed to asphalt, the cop all over her in a flash and though she's a ninja, his greater weight swats her down like a fly beneath a hand, handling her wrists into silvery cuffs even as a hand makes a bruising grasp on Mynama's arm, dragging her away.

The last she sees of Monica is the woman being dragged to her feet, bleeding from the mouth, before they find themselves face to face in the back of a van. And after that, they see nothing at all, hoods dragged over their heads.

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