The Last Resort, Part II


avi_icon.gif dana_icon.gif debra_icon.gif farah_icon.gif gatter_icon.gif kendall_icon.gif voss_icon.gif

Scene Title The Last Resort, Part II
Synopsis As the Ohio River Fire reaches the Safe Zone, SESA evacuates Fort Jay.
Date June 29, 2021

From Governor’s Island it feels like the end of the world.

It’s not quite late enough for the sun to have set, and still the sky is pitch black with smoke and clouds. The torrential rain conjured by atmokinetics to halt the advance of the Ohio River Fire drives in sheets over the island, bathing every bit of the land in oily, black water choked with soot from the smoky air. Just across the river the wildfire burns brighter than the midday sun, and in spite of the rain still manages to cast off whirling embers into the sky, even as a powerful wind drives westward.

But Governor’s Island is not weathering this storm as some impervious shelter. Boats and barges surround the island in this early evening hour and floodlights from the ships bathe the shore. It is a full-scale evacuation of the island and all personnel as the Ohio River Fire has breached the last line preventing it from encroaching on the Safe Zone. The early stages of the evacuation mean that numerous SESA employees and VIPs are still trapped on the island as ferries and barges fill up with evacuees.

Among those crowded on an evacuation ferry is Doctor Albert Gatter, having been at Fort Jay delivering a report on a critical project for the US Government. The ferry pitches and yaws with the crash of the river’s chop, rain hammers down on the cabin, and a powerful wind sweeps across its flank. Out one side of the ferry, the hellish glow of the Ohio River Fire feels like a shape of things to come.

Gatter catches a look at his reflection in the glass, silhouette by the fire, and feels a tightness in his chest.

Red Hook Ferry
En Route from Governor’s Island
The Hudson River

June 29th
7:25 pm

Along with Gatter, other support staff and executives from Fort Jay were evacuated on the same ferry. Agent Dana Carrington sits beside Gatter, offering him her most reassuring smile to hide the fact that she is incredibly seasick. Agent Kendall Cunningham is not far away, unexpectedly rubbing elbows with Deputy-Director Kristopher Voss and Director Farah Nazan-Gutierrez who are struggling to get phone calls out amid the crisis.

Debra Hadden, a member of the Safe Zone’s paramilitary organization Wolfhound sits a few benches down alongside Commander Avi Epstein. The two had been at Fort Jay to coordinate Wolfhound’s relief efforts with Deputy-Director Voss when they were caught up in the evacuation. Avi doesn’t look much to thrilled to be caught up in this particular shitstorm.

Debra’s expression says she is just as thrilled as he is to be in this situation, evident by the tight press of thin lips and the tension in her shoulders despite the casual cross of her arms. Her respirator hangs around her neck now that they are in the cabin. The smell was still as sharp and acerbic making it hard to breath, but at least she didn’t need to wear that blasted thing for the moment. She watches the fire through the mirrored lenses of her sunglasses, worn to hide the pain of watching the world on fire.

The words are soft, gruff with a gravel of age, but with a weight to them, “He will come in power and great glory. At that time the wicked will be destroyed. All things that are corrupt will be burned, and the earth will be cleansed by fire.” The last of it is signed out. Some lessons, no matter how far she distanced herself from her faith, still lingered.

Slowly—so very slowly—Avi turns to look at Debra with a flat expression that slowly turns into a roll of his tongue across the inside of his cheek. “I’m really glad to know time hasn’t made you any less weird, Deb.” He says with an awkward smile. “It’s reassuring.”

Albert Gatter smiles back at Agent Carrington, but his has more than a touch of melancholy to it. This is how the world ends. In fire, he thinks, but does not say… and then immediately scolds himself for thinking. He knows how the world ends, thank you, and this is far milder than the apocalyptic celestial fire that is coming to scour the surface of the Earth.

Which is both maudlin and unhelpful. He's always heard that all work and no play makes you dull; apparently it's starting to happen to him. Whatever happened to that TV show where you built robots and made them fight each other? He'd been banned from submitting combatants, but maybe he can talk some of the Raytech scientists into holding an impromptu tournament or something. It'd be interesting to see what some of them would build, especially if creative chemistry were involved.

There, see? Fun. Good. Now he can go back to mentally doomscrolling.

Or he could not, which also sounds appealing. "That could've gone worse, I think," he says quietly to Agent Carrington, doing his best to hold that smile.

Dana looks up at Gatter, pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose with two fingers as she does. “You’re not wrong,” she admits with a nervous laugh, keeping her voice down. “Still,” she says, looking out the windows to the glow of the fire, “it—it really could be better in the moment.”

Welp. In the mad scramble to evacuate the headquarters, Kendall ended up sitting right next to not only the Deputy-Director of SESA, but the Director as well. No pressure, right? He shifts in place, staring over across the river at the encroaching fire and doing his best not to look like he's eavesdropping on the phone calls, while at the same time trying to keep quiet so as to not make the calls harder to hear than they presumably already are. Nervously he looks around the Ferry at the other occupants, but there's more unfamiliar faces than not, and no one seems like they'd be interested in conversation.

When someone does speak up though, his gaze pauses on Debra as she recites verse. Once he realizes what she's saying, he grimaces at the subject before returning his attention back to the fire, uncomfortably reminded of the fires started from the riots back in the Dead Zone. "Looks more like Hell on Earth." he mutters.

Farah catches what Kendall says and for a moment remains silent, then affords him a reassuring smile across the divide between them. “It might seem unlikely, but New York has weathered worse,” she says with a firm confidence. But then her dark eyes track to the fiery glow on the horizon, and the subtle furrow of her brows suggests she wants to append a barely to the end of her statement.

Reaching into her coat pocket, Farah retrieves a cell phone and turns on the screen.


Voss notices and looks down at the phone, and when Farah sighs and puts the phone back in her pocket he asks, “Still no luck?”

Farah shakes her head. “It’s probably city-wide,” she says quietly, watching as Voss checks his phone as well. Same results: no signal. “Might be the smoke or…” Her eyes meet Voss’. “Or… the weather.”

There’s a lurching as the ferry slows, but the ship is only halfway across the Hudson, not coming into the harbor when that kind of speed reduction would be expected.

There is a subtle shift of Debra’s head towards him and offers him an equally flat side-eye in return. “Well if that ain’t the pot calling the kettle black,” she throws right back at him with a hefty amount of sass behind those calm words, before there is a slight upturn at one corner of her mouth. It’s subtle, but there.

It isn’t there long as Deb feels the unexpected change in their forward motion. Her attention goes back to the window and arms unfold slowly, as tension builds in her shoulders. You don’t live as long and see the amount of bullshit she has, without earning a healthy appreciation for paranoia and suspicion.

Gatter tilts his head, looking a bit puzzled… and then, as he takes in the rest of Agent Carrington's expression, a bit concerned. "Oh?" he asks. "Er… are you not feeling well?"

“Just the end of the world,” Dana mumbles to Gatter, hunching forward and wrapping her arms around herself. “You know, no biggie.”

Then… the boat slows. Gatter can feel it; he frowns in puzzlement, glancing around. They aren't to the other side already, are they? Clearly not. So… why is the boat slowing?

There's an abashed grin from Kendall when Farah not only heard him, but commented on it. He would've said something, but at that moment the ferry stops in place. He frowns and cranes his neck towards the window. "We didn't hit anything, right?" Oh, but the ferry is slowing down, not coming to an abrupt halt, nevermind. "Out of gas, maybe?" Does the Ferry even run on gas?

He shifts in place like he wanted to jump up and find out what's going on, looking around at everyone else, but they all look as confused as he is. "Hm."

“We’d know if we hit something,” Voss says, slowly standing up. He keeps one hand on an overhead rail and walks down the length of the cabin with the uncertainty of someone who doesn’t have sea legs to get a better view at the starboard side windows.

Farah turns to Kendall with a reassuring smile. “It’s probably just–”

A massive explosion drowns out everything Farah was saying. Something off the starboard side of the ferry explodes in the night. The blast is enormous, filling the side of the ship with light and flames. The shockwave is devastating, blowing out all the starboard-side windows with a shower of broken glass and twisted metal.

Voss is launched off of his feet and thrown into the opposite wall of the ferry and collapses to the ground. Farah fell to the floor, but it’s not immediately clear how injured she is as she screams and covers her head. Dana, likewise has dived away from the blast and is screaming in shock. Avi, knocked out of his seat by the blast, lays on his back on the floor with flecks of glass embedded in his brow and cheek. He’s dazed, staring up at the ceiling and struggling to get his head back in order. Dozens of others are likewise injured or worse.

Smoke floods in from the outside, rain enters the ferry cabin through a hole torn in the ceiling by the blast. Off the starboard side of the ship there is a massive burning silhouette. It’s a container ship that was leaving Red Hook’s industrial port that is now a slab of metal wreathed in flames and smoke some hundred feet off the starboard side of the ferry.

First thing Debra is aware of it's the ringing. Loud long sharp tone. It muffles the screams and was giving her the worst fucking headache. Next was the smells. Familiar and haunting. It was all making it harder for her to realize she wasn't huddled in a building in the middle of a warzone.

The overwhelming stench of the local fires forces the world to snap back into focus. Hands wipe across her brow and come away sticky with blood, but who’s… hers? Or?

“Avi?!” Shifting to scoot for the edge of the seat, Debra instead lets loose a hiss of pain held behind clenched teeth. Ouch. Leaning back away from sharp pain, she pulls the nice jacket away she finds a growing circle of blood on her side. “Fuck. And I really like this jacket, too.”

Grimacing, Debra presses a hand against her side and continues to shift herself and half lean off the seat to look down on her colleague laying there. He can see the open gash and a few smaller ones on her face, and even that flash of worry since her sunglasses were gone. “The fuck you doing laying down on the job,” Debra grabs his shirt with a bloodied hand and gives it an encouraging tug even if it hurts. “Get yer ass up, ya big baby.”

It's not time for the end of the world yet — not even close — but it is, in fact, apparently time for a special sneak preview, playing at this exact moment in this place. It unfolds as all catastrophes do, with the interactions of matter and energy blooming disastrously into fire and force.

And blood.

For a moment afterwards, Albert Gatter's mind is caught in replaying the explosion, examining the moment of the blast like a jeweler appraising a gemstone, looking at it from every angle… then the screaming soaks in, and his mind snaps back to the here and now.

It sounds distant, at first, and eerily faint… until he realizes that no, it is certainly quite loud and very close, it's just the ringing in his ears makes it sound distant and faint. Right. He attempts to push himself to his feet — why is he lying in the aisle? Oh, right — the explosion had ~~probably~~ most certainly produced a shockwave; the backrush of water afterwards would have resulted in the ferry swinging back the other way. Newton's Third Law of Motion remains in effect.

One minor mystery resolved through the application of scientific thought; that accomplished, Gatter turns his mind back to getting back to his feet. It's harder than it looks; there is, in fact, a great deal of blood on the floor. It doesn't seem to be his, at least; there's a lot of work to do right now, after all, and if he's focused on not bleeding to death it would severely limit his ability to do anything constructive.

After a moment, Gatter manages to get himself, somewhat unsteadily, back to his feet. He feels sluggish and offkilter, but the ringing in his ears seems to be backing off a bit; that, at least, is good. Before he does anything else, though, he raises his hands and probes at his head gently, making sure that there's no shrapnel lodged in his skull; there isn't, thankfully, though there is more blood and, as he probes, some definite stinging above the hairline, which suggests that he might've been — what's the word… grazed? Yes, grazed — by some of the debris from the explosion.

Mingling blood with god-knows-who isn't good, but that's a concern that will have to be addressed later; the possibility of concussion will also have to be addressed later, because right now they have to worry about assessing the damage and either abandoning ship or at least getting away from the floating inferno currently on display through the ruins of the starboard side, and —


— right. Smoke inhalation isn't going to do him any favors here; that'd be the case even if it was just run of the mill smoke, but whatever that container ship had been carrying could potentially be something significantly worse. His mask, fortunately, is still where he left it, in the pouch on the back of the seat in front of him; he slips it on after only one or two false starts, then moves on to the second order of business.

"Dana!" he calls, taking an unsteady step as he looks around. He hopes she hasn't been injured. Containing this situation is something of a time critical matter, and more hands will make lighter work.

Due to prior (unfortunate) experience with such things, Kendall flings himself out of his seat and hits the deck, even before he is able to consciously react to it. However, even the few seconds it takes to do just that doesn't save him from the blast, just minimizes what could have been a lot worse. "SHIT!" he was sitting right next to Farah and she's screaming, but if she's screaming she's at least conscious. He wipes blood out of his eyes from where the shrapnel hit him and checks on her, but Voss was over by the blast. For his part, most of his injuries were to his head, shoulders, and arms, a cut on his forehead and slashes on his arms from the shrapnel.

He'll come back to Farah, but first he's going to crawl over to where he thought he saw Voss get flung. "Is everyone ok?" he calls out, though he can barely hear himself through the ringing in his ears. He stays low to the ground below sight of the windows in case this was less 'accident' and more 'premeditated'. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't out to get you.

As he crawls down the aisle he passes Gatter and Dana. "You guys ok?" Well, he can see they're bleeding but otherwise fine so he'll keep going.

Dana rolls onto her side, bloodied fingers pawing at a nasty splinter of wood about as long as her hand sticking out of her side between her 8th and 9th ribs. She whines in pain, rocking back the way she was laying before and then blindly fumbles around with her free hand on the ground trying to find her glasses. Dana’s thick frames are broken a few feet away from her on the other side she’s grasping at, one of the lenses cracked in such a way that that implies the lens mercifully protected her from further shrapnel impact.

“I think I’m hurt,” Dana whines, a trembling hand pressing around the splinter of wood sticking out of her side. Her hand is slick with blood, shirt soaking through with it. “Oh shit,” she mumbles, “oh shit.”

Nearby, Farah is on her knees between two rows of seats. She reaches up and grasps at the back of the seat in front of her, tangle of dark hair hiding her face. It’s hard to say how injured she is over the groans and cries of others. Those closest to the explosion aren’t moving, just a sea of broken wood, metal, glass, and prone forms. Smoke belches in through the opening in the side of the ferry which has also begun to list in the direction of the hole in the cabin.

“I think I’m okay,” Avi says a few rows down, shaky hands padding all over himself. The glass shards that scratched up his face brush off with a wave of his hand, but half of his face is wet with blood from the cuts. “What—the fuck just happened?” Avi asks with a shaky exhalation of breath, not too proud to accept Debra’s hand up.

Once Avi is steady, Debra notices her sunglasses on the ground. Picking them up, one of the lenses falls out. With a sigh, she tosses them aside and turns her focus to the giant hole in the side of the boat. After wiping blood from her eyes and narrowing them to look past the billowing smoke, she observes, “Looks like something exploded.”

While Deb’s voice is casual, it covers the twist of anxiety in her gut, because she has to shift her feet to compensate for the slow listing of the ship. That is not a good thing. “Shit…” She draws out the word in realization and looks at everyone around her, especially the injured, one of which is herself. Noting the thick blood between her fingers, where it oozes around the hole a piece of shrapnel left there.

Those fingers move to grip Avi’s arm to get his attention, Debra lifts her voice just enough over the screams to say to the man, “Unless there is a teleporter or someone who can keep the water out of the ferry, we’re about to go for a swim.” Glancing around them again, Deb adds, “More importantly, we need to get everyone out of the cabin.”

Gatter freezes for just a moment at the sight of the shrapnel. Eighth and ninth ribs, right side, penetrating trauma, unknown depth. Possible liver trauma. Bleeding. Not good. Gatter is a doctor, but not that kind of doctor, and while he's well versed in anatomy this is like something out of Doctor Pride's meatball surgery horror stories.

He spots Dana's glasses, though, and that is a problem he can do something about; he bends to pick them up, then moves to crouch down at her side, offering them to her. "You're correct; you're injured. You'll need medical attention once we're out of here," he offers; his voice is calm and level, delivering these statements as simple facts.

The developing tilt of the floor, though, leads Gatter to conclude that they are, in fact, taking on water; additionally, how quickly that tilt is developing suggests that the leak is not a slow one.

It is, in short, the trial version for the End of the World; a trial by brackish waters instead of empyrean fire, perhaps, but a trial nevertheless, and if they fail they will be just as dead… and therefore unable to save the future.


But where to go from here? There are a great many wounded; Gatter has to work to ignore the screams and moans, to focus on the case in front of him. That wound needs to be closed quickly, and in order for any kind of seal to be applied that stake is going to have to come out… but once the stake is out the wound will need to be closed to prevent further blood loss as swiftly as possible. He can probably improvise bandaging from his coat and tie; they'll be quite ruined, of course, but that doesn't matter. He will, however, need to find a surface to work on, and a first aid kit will greatly increase his odds.

Right then. He turns to the man crawling on the floor. "She's hurt! I need a first aid kit!" he booms. "And some alcohol, if you can find any!"

First order of business done; hopefully Mr. Inchworm will be able to assist, because, as is acutely apparent, time is at a premium. Gatter turns back to Dana. "There are a lot of wounded, Agent Carrington, and I think we're taking on water," he says carefully, in that same level voice. "Can you stand? Can you walk? We need to get you off the floor. Don't try to pull that splinter out yet; we need to be ready to bandage your wound the moment we pull it out." Hopefully between Doctor ~~Pride~~ Stoltz's stories and his own knowledge, he'll be able to at least do something to keep Dana going until she can get proper medical attention. After that, she'll need something to keep her out of the river, since getting the Hudson River directly into the bloodstream isn't going to do much for anyone's health, short or long-term… but that is a problem to be addressed at a later time. Soon, definitely, but not quite yet.

It's slow going for Kendall, crouched as he is, and there is a lot of debris, especially in the direction he's headed. He has to move pieces of seating out of his way to get by, and be extra careful of all the glass.

When a guy starts yelling at him to grab a first aid kit, Kendall pauses and blinks back at him. Oh. Right. That would be a smart thing to do. Fortunately the first aid kit is on the wall at the front anyway, which is where he's head. "Got it." he calls back. When nothing else is forthcoming, though, he gets to his feet, wobbling a little as he feels the ship list to the side. Oh, that's not good. The hole in the side is eyed worriedly. They're not going to sink, are they?

However, they're not in any immediate danger of that, so he approaches the forecastle. Before he grabs the kit, he reaches Voss and checks him over. He's not dead, is he? Regardless, he snatches the kit off the wall, opening it to see what's in it. Odds are, there's probably nothing that could help with any major injuries. Can't exactly put a bandaid on a punctured lung or something.

Voss looks dead, run through as he is by a long and twisted piece of what was once framing on the side of the cabin. But as Kendall approaches to assess him, he watches as Voss twists the piece of metal to dislodge it from the wall behind him and then slowly pulls it out and throws it to the floor. A dangling piece of Voss’ lower intestine hanging out from where his abdomen has been eviscerated slowly starts… slithering its way back in.

I’m fine,” Voss says with a wet exhalation of someone with a punctured lung. He wheezes, putting a hand on the seatback beside him, shakily trying to lever himself up to stand. “Ag-Agent Cunningham,” he says through blood-pinked teeth, “where’s the Director?”

Across the way from Voss’ zombie-like rise from the ground, Dana tries to do much as he did and lever herself up to stand. Instead she exhales a shriek of pain and collapses back down to the ground, shaking her head. “I—I don’t think I can. I don’t—” She breathes in and out frantically. “This isn’t good. This isn’t good.”

Nearby, Avi puts a hand on Debra’s shoulder and then steps ahead to close in on the row of injured he sees: Carrington and Gatter. “Shit,” Avi says on seeing Dana’s condition. He looks past them to where Kendall is with Voss, then back. “We’ve gotta get to shore. There’s gotta be inflatable rafts somewhere on here—lifeboats. We need to get the injured on and—”

Another, more distant explosion causes the ferry to shudder. This one is far enough away as to simply be a plume of flame and smoke on the water. It’s another ship, this one in port at Red Hook. A beat later there’s a third even more remote explosion in the port that comes around the same time that small debris from the previous blast is plunking and clunking down on the roof of the ferry.

Avi immediately lurches back toward Debra, eyes wide. “What the fuck is happening?”

Debra wants to help but hesitates as she tweaks the hole in her side just right. With Avi’s back turned to her, the old woman takes a moment to lean against the back of a seat and gingerly touches the wound at her side.

There was something lodged in there, she can feel it. But then the world explodes again and she straightens, covering the injury again, just in time for Avi to come back to her.

“Jesus… call me a paranoid old broad, but it looks to me like someone is taking advantage of the fires.” Debra observes dryly, attention turned up at the sound of debris hitting the roof. It was a terrorist attack or embers, but there were too many precise explosions for that. “We’re all so fucking focused out and up, we aren't looking under our own fucking noses.”

Debra spots a box marked for emergency, just beyond them. “Come on…” she says, voice filled with determination while her hand grabs his arm to drag him with her. “These things don't normally have lifeboats, but they have life jackets.” It was time to save some folks. With hope Avi doesn't notice the slight hitch in her step of the spreading patch of blood down the hip of her pants.

"Yes! Lifeboats!" Gatter exclaims, with the desperate hope of a man reaching for a handhold when the ground is falling away beneath him. Lifeboats would be a godsend; they'd allow them to evacuate the wounded without exposing them to the unfiltered contents of the Hudson River — safer, thanks to the Barnacle System, but by no means safe, especially if Agent Carrington's condition is indicative of the kinds of wounds being suffered.

But whoever had the brilliant idea of lifeboats vanishes whenever something else explodes in the distance; the next suggestion Gatter hears floated is life jackets, which is a solution altogether unsuited to the problem at hand. "Lifejackets? But that… that won't be enough! If you pour the Hudson River straight into an open wound, you're going to end up with horrific infections! Blood poisoning, sepsis, god knows what kind of toxicity! We need… a boat, a raft, something!" Gatter exclaims. "And some of these people aren't in any condition to swim even with a lifejacket!" He's sure Dana's not the only one who's in bad condition, though she's certainly not in shape to swim; yanking that stake around with big arm movements would probably turn half her liver to paste.

He grits his teeth; he hopes like hell they've got a good first-aid kit on this boat, and that it has what he needs to deal with Agent Carrington's wound. After that… maybe he can jury-rig some kind of floatation device to keep the wounded out of the water, if there aren't any lifeboats. Aren't the seat cushions on these things usually designed to be used as emergency floatation devices? Maybe some of those lashed together would work.

Looking back down at the vice-director even though at first he looked pretty dead, Kendall starts and stares at Voss with his mouth open and eyes wide when he goes from skewered to perfectly fine in seconds. Oh my God he's Wolverine. Maybe he should have read those files on other people at SESA to see what they're capable of. A moment later his teeth click shut and he blinks, finally aware that he's staring like an idiot.

"Uh. I guess you don't need this then." Kendall comments weakly. He starts again when Voss starts asking questions, and Kendall looks back to where she was, reaching up to wipe blood out of his eyes again. "She's alive, I mean, she was moving when I came to check on… um, I'm gonna…" flustered, Kendall all but flees from the man, but the addition explosions from outside the boat have him diving for the ground again, this time at least next to Gatter and Dana.

"Here." Kendall gets the kit open and grabs a gauze pad, ripping the sterile packaging over to slap it on his forehead with a wince, gripping his shoulder afterwards. He's not sure where the blood is coming from since everything hurts, but at least maybe it won't block his vision. The kit is left open as he looks at the two, then back at Farah. "What can I do to help?" he asks, staring at the splinter. "Um….. probably shouldn't take that out." Pause. "Unless you also have super healing." Yeah still kind of freaked out by seeing Voss do that.

Kendall takes a moment, however, to warily peer over the edge of the blown out windows to see where the other explosions came from, and frowns worriedly when he sees they're located at the port. Jesus, are they targeting all the boats?

"Um, lifeboats. Yeah. Will…. will we be ok getting back to shore though…" he replies to Avi, still staring at the distant plumes. "It feels like we're… under attack." He takes a deep breath. "Ah, I can probably help with that, actually. Nevermind. Let's find those lifeboats." Better than staying on a boat that might start sinking any minute now.

He finally tears his gaze away to look back at Dana and Gatter, and only then realizes he's seen that guy before. In that bar, dealing drugs. "You wouldn't happen to have anything medicinal on you, would you?" Kendall has only a vague idea of what 'drugs' do beyond the fact that they're illegal, though Robyn did share with him information on what Refrain did, though that one doesn't seem like it would be useful. Well anyway, if he has anything on him that's useful or not, doesn't matter to Kendall right now.

He leaves the kit where it is, assuming the man will help himself, then Kendall hurries back to go check on Farah. Voss did ask if she was OK, so Kendall goes to do just that. She's not too far away, if she needs something he can go grab something from the kit. Hopefully other people are working on escape.

Farah pulls herself up onto her knees, using the back of the seat ahead of her as support. Blood runs down the side of her face from a cut in her hair. She looks dazed, staring at Kendall unblinking for a moment. Her right hand and arm become cloudy and seem to just fade away as if someone erased her, then slowly fades back into view.

“I’m alright,” Farah lies, pulling herself to her feet and wobbling as she does, briefly guttering into invisibility a second time before returning to the visible world. “I’m alright,” she repeats herself. “Where’s Kris?” She slurs, blinking repeatedly as she tries to focus on the ferry. It’s only then that she hears the screams of other people and the cries of the injured.

Nearby, Avi puts a hand on Debra’s shoulder to steady himself while they walk together. He pulls his cell phone out after a moment and curses the signal strength available: one measly bar, and then none. “Fuck, fuck!” He shouts, holding the phone up, trying to find a signal. “Fucking fuck useless piece of shit!” He exclaims, nearly throwing the phone on the floor but thinking better of it.

Not far away, Dana lays in a delirious state of half-aware stupor beside Gatter. “Yeah don’t—don’t pull it out?” Dana says, her hand hovering around the splinter in her side. “What if it’s like—like—like the thread on a sweater and I unravel?” She doesn’t mean to be macabre, yet still Gatter’s mind conjures up an image of what that might look like.

“Hey!” Avi shouts to the ferry at large. “Does anybody have any signal? Anything? Long-range telepathy, any way to get an SOS out?” He looks around at the wounded and traumatized passengers. No one bites.

The hand coming down on her shoulder earns a grimace, but Debra moves forward, dodging through the ferry passengers to the deck box.

One hand lifts the box lid and gives a shove at the top of the arc to get it out of the way, just managing to avoid tweaking her side too much. Deb quickly reaches in and retrieves a small blue plastic case, leaving a smear of scarlet on the stark white paint of the box in the process. A quick check confirms there was a flare gun in there, before she pushes it Avi. “Guess it's time to go old school, old man.”

Leaving Avi to decide what to do with it, she leaning back into the box and gingerly digs a little more, searching. But in the end, she straightens with a life vest in her hands and shakes her head. “No rafts,” Debra states grimly.

"I wish I did," Gatter responds to Kendall, completely missing the subtext. "But I'm not that kind of doctor. I don't even have any alcohol on me." The first aid kit doesn't look too helpful, either; there's gauze, but that isn't going to do any good at sealing the wound off. Nothing is going to do any good at sealing that wound off without removing the stake.

The charming image of Dana unravelling blooms in Gatter's mind like a corpse flower; he can imagine it all too clearly, an eerie stillness falling over him before he manages to fight it off and ground himself back in the here and now. On a boat. Sinking. Surrounded by fire and a toxic river that only just has enough water in it to stop itself from catching on fire.

One thing is clear: Dana is slipping into delirium. That is not a good sign. Another thing, equally clear — as bad off as she is, he is doing very little to improve the situation for her, or for anyone else. Time to fix that, or at least try. "Not to worry. I won't pull it out," Gatter says soothingly. "Try to stay awake; I need you to keep your eyes open, okay? I'm gonna try and see if I can find… find… something. Okay? But no sleeping. You just stay awake until I come back," he says, nodding.

Gatter's gaze shifts to the first-aid kit; he glances at it, studying the contents for a moment before snapping it shut and rising to his feet. There are no boats, no rafts, but Gatter is a scientist, an engineer; he might yet be able to find something that will improve their chances of survival… or something that can be made to serve that function, at least.

"He's, ah, he's going to be better than the rest of us. Um. He's not dead." Kendall is trying to be reassuring to Farah, but the stuttering words probably don't generate much confidence. Farah partially vanishing, on the other hand, doesn't seem to phase him all that much. "OK. I'm gonna… try and do something to get us out of this."

Now that Kendall has taken the measure of all the people injured and realizing there's nothing he could really do about them, he looks over at Avi at the man's request. "I, uh, I might be able to manage something? I just need…" part of the debris from the explosion catches his eye, and he snatches up a pair of binoculars from the floor, scanning the distant harbor. All he needs is line of sight with someone, anyone.

"I can send a message for help, I… I think." Kendall hasn't tried illusions that far away, so he's not sure. "What should it say? Send a boat? Um, we have about half a dozen injured people, two critically, and the boat is sinking?" He lowers the binoculars and looks at Avi, since at least he knows what he's doing. Tell him what to do! He resumes scanning the distant shores after that brief look for signs of life. Surely at least there would be gawkers coming to see what happened.

Flare gun in hand, Avi does not practice even a little firearm safety as he wags it in Kendall’s direction. “How far can you go? I’ve got an aircraft at Floyd-Bennet that could do an emergency pickup, but the only pilot’s—about five miles east at our—Jesus Christ we’d drown by the time she gets to the jet. Fuck.

Down on the floor, Dana offers a pink smile to Gatter. “You just—wanna make sure I don’t die ‘fore you get to beat me at Monopoly.” She says with a ragged laugh. Except, they’ve never played Monopoly together before.

Nearby, Farah gingerly touches the side of her head and pulls away bloody fingers, then hisses through her teeth and looks at Kendall. “We have too many people to swim safely to shore, and I don’t know if a rescue boat could get out to us in time. The Commander is right, we need an aircraft evac, a helicopter. The Watchtower is maybe a mile northeast of us, the NYPD has helicopters and pilots on standby for these kinds of emergencies.” Farah looks at Kendall. “Can you do a mile?”

For all that Kendall has said Voss is alive, he’s slow to make his way over to the group, holding his stomach as he does. There’s enough blood on his hand and undershirt that he should be down with the more seriously injured, but he seems to be recovering more with each step.

“My cell’s not getting anything,” Voss says, late to that conversation. “What’s the plan to…” Trailing off, he turns slowly and looks out the crooked window of the listing ferry. There’s an orange glow coming in from the river, and the sight of it drains all the color out of Voss’ face that blood loss could not.

“Holy mother of God.” Voss whispers. Following his eyeline, the others can see the same slowly approaching nightmare.

The Hudson river has caught fire.

Of course, Avi does that. There is a scowl when Debra sees him waving around that flare. “Jesus Christ, Epstien!” She doesn't grab for the flare gun, she knows better, but she shoves his arm away from the kid’s face to a spot on the boat no less flammable, but far less face melty. “We all not in enough shit for you? You wanna add to it? Just like fucking Bangor when…”

Whatever scolding she was winding up to give him is interrupted by Voss, which pulls her attention to the glow. Avi is quickly abandoned, so that Debra can take a few more steps towards that view. “Well, crap…” she says, sounding a touch helpless. Looking back at Kendell, she says, “Whatever you’re going to do, kid, best do it quickly. Our options are quickly running out.”

Monopoly? Gatter's never played against her. Dana's apparently a fan, though; Gatter has the sinking feeling that she's probably the kind of player who is absolutely savage when it comes to financially murdering whoever she's playing against.

Well, there are worse vices. "One day," he says with a smile. "Count on it," he says, lingering for a moment longer… and then he's off.

The talk of rescue, though, brings Gatter over, hovering hopefully. Voss's approach, looking as he does like an escapee from a splatterhouse B-movie, sees Gatter pause, assessing him with definite concern. Still, the man is at least walking

…but then he freezes. Gatter turns to see what he's looking at. For a moment, all Gatter can do is stare… then he lets out a single, convulsive wheeze of a laugh.

It appears his numbers had been outdated. Perhaps the runoff from all the rain the atmokinetics have been dumping on New York has washed something more volatile into the river, or perhaps whatever had been onboard those container ships had altered the mix. Whatever the reason, it seems evident that his assessment of the Hudson as having enough water in its pollution not to spontaneously combust is no longer accurate.

Swimming had never been a viable option, but it is now assured immediate death instead of almost-certain slow miserable death. Assembling a raft is also not a viable option because he's pretty sure there's no way in hell he can make it fireproof, and the boat is still sinking. He eyes the knot of people who are still conscious and upright for a moment… but they're better off than most of the people on this boat. He starts to speak, and then doesn't; instead, he just pivots shakily and starts to check on the wounded; maybe he can help some of them, at least. There must be something he can do.

When the flare gun is waved in his face, Kendall flinches, but fortunately Debra slaps it away. "Uhh, line of sight, usually, but, um…" he takes a few panicked breaths. "I'll do my best." He's never had to do one that large. He knows New York has hundreds of thousands of… oh god, that makes it worse. Well, think smaller. She said a mile, right? 'Only' a mile? Well, how many people are in a mile, anyway? "It helps if… if everyone believes it will work, that I can do it." It sounds stupid just to say it, but it's how his illusions work. The sight of the river being ON FIRE also adds an even greater sense of urgency. Man, this is gonna suck….

Orienting himself to face northeast where Farah said the Watchtower was, Kendall takes a deep breath. "I'll send an SOS to the world…" he mutters. He hasn't needed to use a geek prop to aid his power in a while, but he might need all the help he could get. The fact that he's reciting the lyrics to a Police song should hopefully help even more (even if it was released well over ten years before he was born).

Right as he finishes the words, he braces himself against the back of one of the intact seats, and a large firework blooms overhead, forming into a giant neon sign with the words 'SOS' and a large arrow pointing down at their ship. He sways in place and looks like he's about to pass out any minute now, a drip of blood forming under his nose from the effort. Regardless, the illusion remains in the air above them.

For… all of three seconds, then it flickers and fades.

Kendall feels a knot of tension building behind his eyes, the onset of a migraine that feels like it’s something growing in his sinus cavity. He tries again, this time with the added emphasis of forcing his hands forward and up to guide his thoughts. Sometimes theatricality helps the flow.


A moment of panic spikes in Kendall’s chest. Nothing, no illusions. Nothing is working. He tries again and fails to notice that the pain of his headache has caused his right eye’s blood vessels to all burst and



Greasy rain runs in sheets down the windshield of a brand new Yamagato Lapis that cuts at a quick pace south down I-278 toward Red Hook. The electric engine whines loudly and the crackle of the onboard radio has communication coming in unintelligible fits and starts. Cell service is out across the city, radio transmissions are cut, and the largest wildfire ever to hit the east coast is bearing down on the city.

It’s been a long day for Agent Zachariah Byrne.

Then Kendall Cunningham appears out of fucking nowhere into the passenger seat of his SUV.

For Kendall the experience is jarring, a sudden displacement of the world around him into an indistinct gray field of nothingness, and then a bare textureless geometry of foggy values of light and dark that looks like the poorly-rendered interior of a car. Except Agent Byrne looks photorealistic sitting next to him.

Photorealistic and understandably surprised.

Byrne touches the breaks just enough to cause him to lean forward, giving him enough space to grab the pistol holstered at his lower back. "Cunningham," he says with a confused sigh of relief. "This seems outside the scope of your ability as far as you led me to understand it."

The pistol is placed in the center console between them as he picks up speed again. "What the hell is going on?"

On the Ferry, Kendall, still gripping the seat back, gasps at the sudden massive headache, the hand that's clasping the binoculars coming up to his head to run a knuckle at his temple. He suddenly collapses to the ground even as his illusion flickers and fades from sight overhead. Even more than that, he seems to have lost consciousness.

Elsewhere, however…

He jolts as he's suddenly in a different place, and he stares about wildly. Oh shit, what happened?! Everything is gray, and indistinct…

"Fuck, I just died, and this is the Fields of Asphodel." he moans. He didn't even get to pay Charon anything, or see Cerberus, the only cool things about dying in this context.

He does finally catch sight of Byrne even as the man speaks up, and he blinks at him after a moment. This seems to wrench his mind back to reality.


It takes a minute or two for Kendall to stop gaping at him like a fish and actually understand what Byrne said to him and he blinks a few more times. "Uh, right, uh… same here, to be honest. I have no idea what's going on."

Byrne isn’t sure where to start that line of questioning. He keeps his eyes on the highway, thankfully few vehicles headed south at the moment. “Where were you before you were suddenly in my vehicle?” he asks. “Because I’m headed to the enormous fireball where I was supposed to meet up with the evacuees from Fort Jay.”

Oh, right. "Ahh!" Hopefully Kendall suddenly yelling that out doesn't cause Byrne to swerve off the road. "I was on that giant ball of… I mean, I was on the ferry, it blew up, and…" Kendall takes a deep breath and reaches a hand up and smacks himself in the forehead. Calm the fuck down.

"Sorry. The ferry got hit by an explosion, we've got about four or five people injured, some really badly, the boat is sinking, and the river is on fire." There, hopefully that conveys a proper amount of urgency. "About midway between Fort Jay and the docks, the director and deputy-director are on board. We need to get a boat." Kendall turns to squint outside the window, but he can't see anything worth looking at, and he makes a disgruntled noise under his breath. What even is this?

Kendall isn’t halfway through his explanation before Byrne wordlessly stands on the accelerator. “Seatbelt,” he says before wondering if Kendall’s appearance here is as illusory as the facets of his ability that Byrne does know about. “If that matters. Keep an eye out for any rogue street carts full of oranges.”

His driving is smooth and controlled despite the speed he’s picking up. He shifts lanes around a dump truck, flying past and back into the exit lane as they get closer to the terminal. “What’s the total head count on the ferry?” he asks, trying to remember the boats he frequently sees docked in the mornings on his way into work. Hopefully there’s something operational and staffed.

Kendall reaches his hand for the seatbelt but it goes through it and he shrugs at Byrne, shaking his head. "Oh… I didn't suddenly develop teleportation, this is, uhhhhhh….." really familiar as a concept, actually. "Like Valerie!" he exclaims in sudden recognition. "Uh, apparently I just learned how to astral project." Which, under other circumstances, would be a Huge Deal, but people might be dying right now.

Byrne is asking important questions, and Kendall pulls himself back to the subject at hand and jerks a nod. "Well uh can't help much with that, aside from you everything is gray and kinda…. shadowy. But, right. There's, um…" he casts his mind back to how many people were there. "Seven." he replies after a moment. "Don't know who three of them are, guests or something. But the fourth is, uhhh…. the Q lady." Q like in James Bond. Sorry Dana, Kendall didn't remember your name.

But they're off, and now Kendall has something else to worry about, like… how exactly does he turn this off?

“I can work with seven,” Byrne says. “Finding something small and easy to hotwire shouldn’t be too difficult.” A car ahead of them attempts to switch to the fast lane at the same time as Byrne tries to get around them, so he cuts outside and passes the other vehicle in the lane it’s leaving. He ignores the blaring horn, making sure the other car doesn’t crash with a glance at his side view mirror.

“If you can un-astral-project,” Byrne says, “Tell them I’m en route.” With little space left between himself and his exit, he activates the vehicle’s emergency lightbar.

Well, Kendall will just have to figure it out. With a furrowed brow, he takes a moment to think it over. We'll, if he's here talking to him, that's kinda like a video call, so maybe he can just… hang up? Right after he thinks that, he disappears from Byrne's passenger seat.

Moments Earlier

The Fort Jay Ferry

Kendall’s eyes roll back in his head and he just collapses onto the floor. Avi startles to try and catch him, but isn’t quick enough.

Fuck!” He shouts, turning to look over at Debra. It’s only then that he notices the blood on her hand and tracks it to the injury on her side. “Jesus Christ,” he whispers, concern briefly in his eyes. He hides it, though. Not from Debra, but from the others. “I’m going topside to launch the flare. Stay put.

Nearby, Dana deliriously rambles. “S’like… my mom always said? Day, you need’t have an honest job. Blow up one chemistry lab, an’ they’ll expel you. But blow up a bakery n’maybe tha’s okay…” It doesn’t necessarily make sense, and Dana is struggling to maintain consciousness. “I always loved pastries.”

Voss takes a knee beside Dana, hand on her shoulder. “Carrington, come on, stick with me.” He turns his attention over to Gatter. “Are there smelling salts in the first aid kit? We need to keep her up.”

By now confusion among the other surviving and wounded passengers has turned to panic. A half dozen or so wounded passengers are now recognizing the approach of the burning river and the ferry’s gradual tip toward the side opened by the explosion as it sinks into the fiery water.

“We need to start moving the wounded to higher ground. Someone help me.” Farah says, blood still trickling down the side of her head. “Two on one, help those who can walk carry those that can’t. We need to get them up to the observation deck.”

The deck Avi Epstein is headed to.

Thundering up the stairs, Avi emerges out on the top of the Ferry, squinting against the driving rain and high winds. He checks the flare gun to ensure its loaded, then cracks it closed and aims it directly overhead and fires. The flare launches up into the sky, blooming pinkish red, but the wind is forcing it westward, out and away from the ferry.

Fuck!” Avi hollers, throwing the flare gun to the deck. “Fuck!

Debra looks down, just as confused as Avi as to why the kid collapsed. “Wonderful,” she murmurs, the word dripping with sarcasm. Dropping to a knee next to Kendall, she is too focused on him to notice, Avi noticing her own condition. For the most part, she’s managed to hide the growing exhaustion.

“What am I a dog?” Is called after the retreating Avi. She has no plans to stay put, not if she can get the kid moving.

“Hey,” Debra calls, giving Kandell’s cheek a forceful pat. “Hey, kid. You okay?” It doesn't take long to notice the trails of blood out of his nose, she grips his face to get a better look at it. “Burned yourself out,” she sighs out in conclusion and climbs to her feet again, using the seats to get there.

The call to get everyone up top is met with a press of lips and another look at Kendell, then to the blood covered hand pressing against her side. Letting go of her side, Debra moves to try and grab an arm to loop over her shoulders…. immediately realizing she couldn't do it herself, not when the world gives a sudden spin with the effort. Son of a Bitch.

“Hey! Someone help me with the kid,” Debra yells over the panicked voices. She hated being weak. It makes her cranky.

The sound of their would-be signalman dropping like a marionette with cut strings draws Gatter's attention back, eyes wide with concern. The idea of going upstairs seems an excellent one, particularly given the increasing tilt of the deck… when Voss calls for smelling salts, though, Gatter nods and starts heading back towards Dana.

He kneels beside her, frowning; it only takes him a moment to get the kit open and retrieving the tiny bottle of smelling salts from within. He pops the cap open and positions the bottle just under Dana's nose, gently waving it back and forth. "No sleeping yet, Dana. We've still got game night to plan for, and we need to get out of here for that to happen," he says gently, his other hand reaching out to rest lightly on her shoulder.

He turns a critical eye to Voss, who seems to be… honestly doing remarkably well for someone who was just exploded and is currently covered in blood. "I'll be there in a moment!" he calls to the woman assisting the signaler… but his gaze swings back to Voss first. "Are you alright? Will you be able to help me carry her in a moment, or will you require a hand upstairs yourself?" he asks quietly.

“I’m alright,” Voss says with a grunt of effort, pawing at his abdomen through a hole in his shirt. “Everything seems back in the right spot again.” He takes a knee, looking at Dana as he lifts one of her arms in preparation to lift her. “On three,” he says to Gatter.

Nearby, Debra is unable to wake Kendall. His eyes have rolled back into his head and while he’s breathing steady he seems fully unaware of his surroundings. Subtle leg twitches and jerks make it seem like he’s dreaming.

Farah kneels down beside him with a look over his body to Debra. “I’ve never seen him do this before, he might’ve over-exerted himself.” She says with a shake of her head. “We’ll have to… to carry him upstairs, come back for the other wounded. We need to get the rest of these civilians upstairs too.”

And the civilians on the Ferry, those uninjured, are busy trying to pull the injured out of their seats and get them to safety and at least away from the fire. While those killed by the blast lay motionless amid the rubble of the ferry’s starboard side.

When Farah seemingly answers Debra’s call for help moving the kid, she seems relieved at first, but then annoyed as the SESA director repeats what she already figured out her-damned-self. “Yeah,” Debra drawls out, with impatience.. “You got knocked in the head pretty hard yourself didn’t you?” It’s a question asked, not really wanting an answer.

“Look, Director. Just grab his other arm, I’ve got shrapnel in me and can’t lift him on my own.” But Debra doesn’t take the arm right away, moving to straighten from a crouch - which takes far more effort than she anticipates - and surveys the chaos. Lips pressed tightly together for a moment, until she makes a decision and lets out a loud, very shrill, very sharp whistle in the closed confines of the ferry’s cabin. The action tightens muscles, making the injured ones spasm, as a result she hisses in pain and grabbing her side. “Jesus…”

Letting out a growl of frustration and anger, Debra shakes it off so that she can finish what she started. Eyes roam the faces around her. “Listen up!” She yells, in a voice Avi knows too well. “We need to get out of here. Help grab the injured and get them up top! If you can walk, you can help. Buddy up if you have too. Help is coming, but we can’t stay in here.//”

Gatter raises an eyebrow at Voss's self-assessment, but nods; he snaps the first aid kit closed, considering Dana for a moment. "I'll do the heavy lifting; probably better if you don't pull too much on that arm," he advises, gaze conspicuously moving to the stake in Dana's side.

He nods as Voss starts his count, draping one of Dana's arms — the arm on the side Dana's not wounded on — over his shoulder and around his neck. On three, he lifts, doing his best to stabilize her. "We've got you. Just stay with us," he says to her. A moment's glance is spared at the sharp whistle… but she's not saying anything that he's not figured out already. Better safe than sorry, he supposes.

One arm hovers at Dana's back, the other holds tight onto the first aid kit, in case it may yet be needed. "Let's go," he says, starting to maneuver them towards the stairs to the observation deck.


A brilliant red emergency flare lights up the rainy sky.

The flare is blown westward by the strong storm winds rather quickly, but it serves as a perfect way-marker for Zachariah Byrne’s final destination. The wipers on his SUV sweep oily rain from side to side across the windshield, leaving chromatic streaks that reflect a rainbow hue in the street lights.

Byrne comes off the highway at high speed, the rear end of his SUV skidding across the intersection as he takes a sharp right on otherwise unoccupied streets towards the Brooklyn Park Pier. He can see the haze of smoke and flames clearly from here and passes clear through the checkpoint onto the pier without stopping.

Beneath the boughs of industrial shipping cranes, Byrne is able to weave between shipping containers parked on the docks and construction equipment marked with the D’SARTHE ENGINEERING COMPANY logo. Driving to the end of the massive concrete pier, Byrne comes to a stop in view of the ferry, sagging into the burning river.

But from here Byrne has a clearer assessment of the overall problem. Two ships further south down the river from the Ferry look to have exploded. One of them is a fuel tanker ship, probably containing close to 70,000 barrels of oil or gasoline, all of which is now leaking into the river, burning up, or both. The other ship was a cargo vessel that appears to have exploded and mostly sunken into the river and possibly caught the tanker in the blast.

But the ferry, the ferry is the real problem. It’s roughly two hundred feet from the pier and has taken significant enough damage to its starboard-side hull to be listing in that direction as it sinks into the fiery water. Even this far away Byrne can see survivors of the explosion on the ferry moving to the upper deck where someone must have fired off the flare.

He hits his hazards and high beams and exits the SUV into the pouring rain. Looking around, he tries to assess the factors at play here. The fire will head down river, likely leaving enough space to evacuate the ferry without fear of it drifting too far into the heart of the burning spill. The other problems are more acute. Namely, there’s no boat within sight to take him to the ferry and there are clearly more than seven people aboard, Mr. Cunningham.

The ferry is going under in short order. The blasted opening in the front quarter is grim. Even if he could somehow pack an iceberg into it, he still needs to cross the distance first. This is far outside his confidence in his own abilities. But he’s the only person here. So it’s down to the shortest distance between two points.

Byrne closes the door to the SUV and walks to the end of the pier, then kicks off his shoes. He takes a deep breath, but not to prepare for a dive. The water around his feet crystalizes in uneven shapes, he steps on raindrops caught mid-bounce, feeling none of the cold. He breathes out, sending steam from his clothes into the wind like wings, feeling none of the heat.

He takes a marathon breath and steps onto the water.


On the Ferry

Out on the upper deck, battered by the rain, Avi Epstein casts the spend flare gun aside and focuses his attention out to the headlights cutting a path through the air across the river. He turns, looking to Debra and Farah coming up the stairs with an unconscious Kendall and several other wounded behind them.

“The fuck happened to him?” Avi asks, then jerks a thumb over his shoulder. “Somebody’s out there, on the water.” He says, getting to Debra so he can take Kendall from her, then directs her attention out to the water where steam is twisting off of lapping surf and the dark silhouette of a man.

The water adjacent to the nearest pier is freezing. Chunks of ice drift as arctic flotsam away from the primary mass, but the wobbling bridge of frozen river extending out from the pier grows by the moment, following in the slow shuffling footsteps of a single, distant figure.

“Fucking cavalry.” Avi says in disbelief at about the exact moment Gatter and Voss are coming up the stairs with Dana. She has taken on an ashen color, eyes halfway lidded, slurring her speech. And there’s—a man… A man walking out on the water.

As if Avi's words were the trigger, Kendall wakes up with a jerk. He's disoriented, a state which is greatly enhanced by the pain that he didn't notice he was missing while he was 'elsewhere', and also the fact that he's getting carried. Oh, and of course that massive headache, forcing a groan out even as he lifts his hand up to his bloody eye, touching it gingerly.

"I… I'm OK. I can walk." he struggles to get his feet under himself, blinking slowly around to get his bearings, squinting his bloodied eye shut. Oh… he miscounted how many people were here. Also, they're upstairs now? Oh. They're sinking, makes sense. And a flare in the sky nowhere near where they are, that can't be good.

"Ah! I was able to… it's…" can Kendall explain what happened to him? No time, he's gotta let Byrne know. "I'm still not sure how, but I was able to make contact with Agent Byrne, he's on his way." Kendall reports to Voss and Farah. "I'll explain how when I understand it myself." he adds, half to himself, then turns towards the shore.

Stumbling to the railing, he scans the shore, only to pause when he sees Byrne just freeze the river and walk across. "Oh…." Guess they know Byrne is on the way already. And just to make sure to correct himself, he decides to clarify with subtitles in front of Byrne. "Hey, this is Kendall. Steal a bigger boat, there's about twenty of us. Please hurry, people are dying, boat is sinking." redundant, maybe, but he winces from the effort and they fade after a minute.

"Let's put her down," Gatter says urgently as they top the stairs; he moves out of the way of those still coming upstairs from below, then lowers her as gently as he can to the floor to get a better look at her. That ashen color is not a good sign, and neither is the slurring. "Agent Carrington. Dana. Stay with me," Gatter says urgently, reaching out to take one of her hands..

He thinks for a moment… then, carefully, Gatter repositions her, sliding the first aid kit under her legs to elevate them a bit; if internal bleeding has tanked her blood pressure, that might do a little good — enough to keep Dana conscious, hopefully long enough to get her treatment. "Help is on the way; we're gonna patch you up right as rain," he says, with a great deal more confidence than he feels. "Just stay with me."

It’s a good thing Avi takes the kid, cause Debra’s noticing the wound in her side a bit more with the weight on her. So when the weight is lifted, she sways a little in relief. But then Kendall is stumbling away and that concerns the old woman. “Take it easy there, kid, you pushed it,” she croaks out.

Debra does follow the direction Avi points, finding the figure coming towards them. “Well, I’ll be damned.” But then the world takes a sudden turn and the edges darken, forcing her to grab his arm until it rights itself. “I might need to sit down,” she admits groggily, leaning back slightly to pull the suit jacket away from her side enough to show the bloodied shirt under it and making her aware of how far the blood has soaked down her pant leg.

There is a hiss of breath that might be a weak gasp. “Yeah… I think I’ll just….gonna…” It’s about then that Debra’s legs give out on her.

On the water Byrne’s attention runs through a short loop of priorities: push and pull, left foot right foot. He feels the water that spills over the bridge as he creates it, forming a curving wall of ice on the downriver side. Breathe in, breathe out. Heat wants to reach equilibrium but the wind is just as good at pushing it away as the water is at giving it up to be taken.

So breathe in (left foot), breathe out (right). Instead of putting the heat somewhere he can just let it go. The ferry is still what feels like a league away and moving. So account for drift, build this path toward where the ferry will be.

So breathe in: water cracks loudly around him as it strains against its wildly varying temperatures. Breathe out: his clothes remain dry as the rain beats down against him only to immediately evaporate. He doesn’t focus on what he’ll do when he gets there, now there’s only discipline. Ten years of constantly using his ability to perform trivial acts. Not for party favors, for practice. There’s nobody here but him and the job needs doing.

Byrne passes through the banner of subtitles and they hover for a few more seconds, blooming with light in the steam rising off the water, before dissipating. The ice underfoot wobbles at first when it is an independent piece, but then refreezes and locks into the pieces behind it, becoming—with every step—like a bridge.

Further away, Byrne’s approach looks like something out of a fantasy. A bridge of steaming ice forms in his wake as he slowly walks across the rippling surface of the east river. The far end, anchored to the concrete pier, is thick and sturdy and the bridge he builds a single-file line. Avi is at first fixed on the sight, but instinct has him pivoting back toward Debra as she buckles. He throws his arms under her and catches her as she falls, but he drops down onto one knee in the process with a huff of effort.

“Shit,” Avi exhales a curse. “Deb? Hadden?” When she doesn’t respond to her name, Avi lays her down the rest of the way on the upper deck and gets a better look at the wound on her side. Blood swims in the rain beneath her. “Shit, fuck.” He looks across from Debra to Gatter and Voss by Dana, then back to Debra as he puts pressure on her wound. It’s a race against the clock now.

Farah steps to the nearby railing, her hair plastered to her face by the greasy rain, looking out at the trail of steam and the man making it on approach. Her stomach sinks as her heart swells, recognizing Agent Byrne. But then her eyes track to the fire, to the ferry, to—

“It doesn’t… make sense.” Dana says to Gatter, staring up somewhat vacantly at him. “Gatter,” she reaches up and touches his cheek, leaving three bloody streaks across it as her hand falls back down. “The extra electrons, n’the ionized plasma…” she shakes her head, smiling as if he understands the context of whatever it is she’s saying. “It’s not fifty-eight point nine three three one nine five, the a-atomic weight changed.” She says with a stifled laugh, her eyes nearly futtering shut.

Gas.” Farah says across the ferry, whipping around with wide eyes as she scans the gathering of ferry passengers on the upper deck. She hurries back to Voss and Kendall. “The ferry is leaking fuel into the river.” She hisses at them, trying to make sure the other passengers don’t overhear and cause a panic.

Wait, Byrne is walking across the water. Guess he wasn't going to steal a boat like he said. Kendall shakes his head and turns away from the railings and almost falls over again. He rubs his head and shakes it again with a quick jerk, taking a couple breaths. He really did push it too much, but he's not really all that injured physically compared to others.

"I could say the same of you." Kendall looks down at Debra with concern when she falls, reaching a hand out, but Avi is already there next to her. Instead, he turns to watch Byrne approach the ship. When he hears Farah, though, he blinks and looks down into the water. "Shit." He turns back towards Byrne and hesitates. He's not sure how well Byrne can do what he's doing, better not distract him further. He will, however, silently will Byrne faster. "We can't do anything about it. We'll have to I guess carry everyone across… that. And fast."

Easy enough for Kendall to say, he looks like a brisk wind might knock him over. He looks at the bridge being made uneasily. "Will it be strong enough, though…." he mutters.

It's a race against the clocks; life always is. But the clocks never truly stop, and Dana Carrington is slowing down fast. Gatter can see her unwinding. "No, no, no," he murmurs, not even really aware of it. "Not again."

It's just like

It's just like

It's just like

It's just like watching his father deteriorate. Week by week, day after day, every day a little less of him there, like water draining from a cracked glass… and all the king's horses and all the king's men were powerless to put him back together again. What's happening now to Dana Carrington is different, but also in many ways the same; everyone races the clocks, and everyone so far has lost. But this is faster. Far faster.

Then, like a fading transmission from a ship sailing towards an event horizon, Dana speaks again. Gatter does not, contrary to what Dana seems to believe, possess the context to decode her message at the moment… but context is a thing that can be gained; he has only to carry the message with him until such time as he finds that context. And, contrary to what many of his coworkers past and present might believe, Albert Gatter has an excellent memory for those things he deems important enough to remember.

This qualifies.

Atomic weight fifty-eight point nine three three one nine five is burned into his brain, tethered to the sensation of a cooling hand gently smearing lifesblood on his cheek in the rain — a gift that will ensure that this moment, this message, stays sharp in his memory for as long as his mind remains. Extra electrons, ionized plasma. The weight changed.

"Yes, of course," Gatter says, nodding. "We can check the records when we get back to Raytech. Just stay awake."


Debra may not respond to her name, but the press of his hand into the wound, well that manages to get a deep groggy groan of pain. Avi can feel that edge of the embedded piece of metal under his hand.

If she was able to form words, Debra would have had a few choice ones for the man trying to keep her from completely bleeding out. Instead it all comes out as more pain filled noises. To make matters worse, there was no blessed darkness to make the pain fall away. A part of her brain understands the dangers of doing so and fights her to stay marginally conscious. So in the moments she can manage to get her eyes to open, Debra is forced to endure seeing Avi’s mug hovering over her and the smoke filled sky above.

Wait? When did she end up on her back?

Step after step, breath after breath. A torturous meditation. Rain above Byrne turns to steam, what makes it past him lands as sleet to ricochet off his bridge. There’s a faint understanding amidst this mantra that he can smell cloth smoldering at his wrists. Stay ahead of it. Get to them before they get to the fire.

Survivors of the blast congregate on the bow of the upper deck, watching Byrne’s miraculous traversal of the river. The bridge of ice formed in his wake is nothing short of breathtaking, steaming in the summer heat, nearly a foot thick. But in the same view there is so much heat radiating off of Byrne that the air around him is rippling. Water vapor in the air mixed with the sooty rain and the light from the fire creates a unique atmospheric effect, leaving an iridescent halo of ice crystals suspended in the air around the bridge that—when light refracts to the eye of those aboard the ferry—makes it look like pillars of light are rising up out of the river.

“Come on, come on!” Farah says to the survivors, hurrying to the front, encouraging them to come with her. Voss stays beside Gatter and Dana, watching her with obvious worry in his eyes. But there’s little he can do here, now. Dana drifts in and out of consciousness, struggling to keep her focus on Gatter through the pain and the blood loss.

C’mon Hadden,” Avi urges, grabbing Debra’s arm and hooking it around his shoulders. He presses a hand firmly to her side over the bleeding wound and then hoists her up to her feet. It’s agonizing, a blinding flash of white-hot pain in her side, pain that comes with a burst of adrenaline and awareness.

“Follow the Director!” Avi says, leading Debra toward the way Farah went. The remaining survivors help one-another to move toward the front of the ferry’s upper deck, watching as fire creeps across the river toward where the ferry is leaking fuel.

Byrne reaches the sunken front quarter of the ferry at the same moment the fire does. In his presence the flames snuff out like candles on a birthday cake, even as ice begins to crust up the side of the ferry and snowflakes drift in the air around him. Smoke issues out of the collar of Byrne’s suit jacket, from the cuffs at his wrists. He leaves molten rubber on the ice from the soles of his shoes, and he can smell the acrid tang of his own clothes blackening against his skin even as frost coalesces in the air around him.

Ordinarily, Kendall would absolutely stop and admire the special effects caused by Byrne's powers, because wow that's cool. And also, a lot more real than anything he can do. Actually though…

Kendall takes a few seconds to snap a picture with his surprisingly undamaged phone, then slips it back in his pocket. He'll appreciate it more later when everything isn't on fire.

But now that Byrne made it to the ferry, Kendall turns towards the ones who were injured. That mean-looking guy seems to have the one lady, so he moves over to kneel next to the other injured woman he called Q earlier. Staring doubtfully at the thing impaling her, he looks over at Gatter. "We have to move her, we just gotta…. gotta be careful." No shit. "I'll get one side, you get the other, so she doesn't move any more than she has to?"

At least Kendall seems to be recovering from the mental fatigue and no longer seems like he's about to pass out again, though how well his depth perception is with one eye out of commission is anyone's guess. Gatter will probably have to steer.

The changing dynamics of the crowd draw part of Gatter's attention away for a moment; the light pillars rising up into the sky are… arresting. He knows what kinds of conditions can generate that sort of phenomenon, and under other circumstances he might try to guess the cause. Not now, though. Not now.

But with the director encouraging them to leave, he has other priorities anyway. "Sounds like we have a way out of here, Dana," he says, looking to Voss —

— but it appears that someone else is going to be taking over lifting duties. Gatter stares at the younger man for a moment — just a moment — then nods. "Right," he says, glancing to Voss briefly before looking back to the other man. It doesn't matter to him who helps him carry her, only that someone does. "If you feel like you're going to lose your grip, say something before you do. Dana, we're going to lift you again; just focus on staying awake, we'll handle the rest."

Again, Gatter takes the arm on Dana's uninjured side — the better to steer with — and looks to the other man. "Ready?"

There is a hiss of pain through clenched teeth when he helps Debra on her feet, her brain fog clearing some. This allows her to get her feet under her.

Of course, then he takes it a step further… The words she couldn’t manage before come out when he dings fingers into that wound. That gets her attention. “Fuck… fucking… That hurts, you son of a bitch. You’re lucky I can’t beat your ass right now… I’d show you how…. ”

And so it goes… The words, while clear in her head, are less coherent as they tumble out. Though as she continues to groggily tell Avi what she thinks of him, he might get an idea of what she’s trying to say.

Debra will no doubt regret and apologize for those words later.

Mostly, because it works. Though much to Debra’s annoyance, she’s forced to rely on Avi to stay on her feet while she puts all her effort into moving them.

The quenching of the fire is noted dispassionately as Byrne finally meets the target of his wandering. This is as far as he goes for now. The pillars of light behind him are nothing more than the cut of the headlights of his SUV scattered by the smoke of the catastrophe.

The ice behind him feels as solid as the pavement rounding the National Mall. Perhaps the pillars of light are the monolithic spire that presides over it. Here he kneels, plants his closed fist against the ice and exhales in a wave that pushes away the smoke from the jacket now alight at his forearms. He doesn’t feel the heat of the fire, the frost of the bridge. He feels nothing other than the distance to the ship, the way the ice flows into the cavity revealed by the explosion. He barely needs to breathe in at this point, there’s nothing but the pull, the push.

It doesn’t register as something that may consume him in the creation. The bridge is an arm, but here is a platform, seeking, hooking into the wounded ribs of the ferry. Pulling the ferry to face upriver, cutting the current, allowing the fire to fall further away as he tries to fill with ice a space once buoyed by steel.

As survivors begin to climb down the face of the ferry onto the ice bridge Byrne created, they visible part away from his immediate position. The heat his upper body is throwing off is uncomfortably intense and the smell of smoldering clothing acrid even against the existing smoke in the air. Avi and Debra wind up at the slope next, and he carefully helps her over the railing.

“Hold on,” Avi says, pulling out a folding knife from his pocket to cut away a strip of his sleeve. He holds the knife in his mouth and uses the cloth to bind around one of Debra’s wrists, then loops the fabric through the belt loop of his pants. It’s a tether, they have to climb together and he needs to make sure she doesn’t fall into the water.

“Go down first, I’ll be right behind you!” Avi shouts over the noise of waves and flames, watching Debra start to descend the face of the Ferry toward the ice bridge. He follows after a split second later, because there isn’t much slack for her to use that tethered hand otherwise.

As Avi and Debra begin to climb down the ferry Gatter, Kendall, and Voss have hauled Dana to the side. But looking over the edge, Voss shakes his head. “She’s in no condition to climb.” He says with a look back to smoke belching up from the lower deck through the stairwell. He looks back at Gatter and Kendall, “We’re going to have to lower her down the side. Gatter, go down first. Cunningham and I will lower her down by her arms and you can take a hold of her leg, try and ease her down to the ice until we get down to you.”

Farah stands at the head of the upper deck, waving other passengers through who scramble and slide down the front of the sinking ferry onto the ice. “Byrne!” Farah calls up. “You’re a life safer!

But Byrne doesn’t answer. He can hear the beat of his heart in his ears more than Farah’s voice. The heat is exhausting, draining. Blood runs down the front of Byrne’s face from his nose and mouth. His hands tremble. A second later

Byrne collapses onto the ice, unconscious.

Gatter nods, having reached the same conclusion as Voss but being a bit slower when it comes to articulating a solution. "Understood," he says, nodding and glancing to the other agent, Cunningham. "Mind the wounded side," he calls as he carefully extricates himself from holding Dana up. They already know that — of course they do — but better to leave nothing unsaid.

The climb down isn't particularly difficult, thankfully… though he wishes he'd worn shoes better suited for ice. He takes a moment to assume the most stable stance he can, then looks back up to Voss and Cunningham. "Ready!"

"Oh shit." Being at a good vantage point to see Byrne collapse, Kendall pauses his actions to stare down at him in the ice… And now that their erstwhile savior is unconscious, things REALLY need to speed up. "Hope you're up for this." Is Kendall's response to Voss, since the guy was eviscerated not too long ago. That intestine slithering back into his belly is gonna give him nightmares for sure.

However, whether Voss is up to it or not (or whether Kendall himself is up to it or not considering he was also lying on the ground unconscious just a little while ago), the fact of the matter is, it needs to be done. "All right then."

Once Gatter is down on the ice, Kendall grabs Dana's arm. The skinnier agent may look like he would break in half like a twig, but he doesn't seem to show much difficulty in lifting his side of things, so long as Voss has the other. "Incoming!" And just like it was suggested, he keeps an eye out for her injury…. but also an eye out for Byrne, since it's kinda his fault the man was here. Sorta. "Hope he's OK. And hope it doesn't melt now." Both are valid concerns. "And hope I don't suddenly take another nap." Is muttered in an afterthought.

Dana awakens from her groggy delirium with a scream as she’s lowered. No matter how careful Gatter, Voss, or Kendall were, the stretch of her body as she’s lowered puts pressure on the splinter in her side and causes it to move. Gatter feels droplets of blood spatter on his brow as he catches Dana’s legs, lets her weight settle on his shoulder, and as he carefully brings her down to an almost-standing position she’s completely passed out from pain. His hands come away warm and wet with blood. In such close proximity to the cold, steam rises off of them.

It takes everything in Debra to keep going, the world has narrowed down to moving her limbs, pain and… Avi’s voice. She doesn’t remember the climb down, just some sort of hazy dream of making sure each limb holds on to the damp surface of the ladder. It isn’t until she feels the chill lifting from the surface of the ice, that she seems to come out of the mental fog for a moment. It was the middle of summer right?

The old woman casts a confused look at her feet, but it’s the tug of the line on her wrist that gets her attention on what Avi did. She doesn’t really know what to think or feel about it, but… she still says the first thing that pops in her head.

“What am I? A toddler or something?” She once had something similar to this for her kids when they were little. It was so long ago and yet still a memory like yesterday.

What she doesn’t do is try to rip it off, because Debra simply doesn’t have the energy to even try or even cares to want to. What she does consider heavily, as the mental fog slowly pushes back in… laying down and sleeping… it sounds so good, but she was still clear enough to know it was dangerous to do. Debra is confident she won’t get up again. Even if she knew Jane would probably be waiting for her on the other side, something told her not yet.

So instead, Debra reaches out for Avi’s support again, “We get out of this alive and I owe you dinner, Epstein.”

“Start with dry-cleaning,” Avi says in response as he climbs down the side of the Ferry. She can see the bloodstains on his clothes. As Debra reaches the ice and her legs buckle, Avi hooks her free arm around his shoulders and urges her ahead. “March. March!” He has no idea how long the ice will hold, and he has to hope someone else will get the agent who saved all their lives. His hands are full.

Voss is next down the front of the ferry, sliding down the last third before dropping into a crouch on the ice. It cracks subtly under his weight, and he freezes mid-landing in panic. When the ice doesn’t completely give way, he looks over at Byrne and kneels beside the agent. When he tries to lift Byrne, Voss recoils with a gasp as if he’d touched a hot stove. Thinking fast, he unshoulders his jacket revealing more blood stains and holes in his button-down shirt worn beneath, then turns the jacket into a makeshift oven mitt to grab Byrne by the arm and drag him back along the ice.

“Go!” Farah calls down from the upper deck, the last one to descend. “The ice can’t hold everyone! Go!” As she starts to climb down the front of the ferry, her grip slips and she slides partyway down and catches herself on the first-level window sill. A soft gasp escapes her, and Farah waits for the ice to clear before moving on.

Gatter winces at the shriek, but all he can do is try to catch her as gracefully as he can. Lowering her to the ice seems out of the question, though, given she's apparently lost consciousness.

He looks at the ice bridge, then back… but Voss is tending to someone else at the moment… and Farah is correct. This bridge is a miracle — no doubt the work of the man Voss is tending to now, he'll have to have someone remind him to send a card or something — but ice is ice and it's not going to last indefinitely. And it's also going to get worse the longer they linger — less stable, more slippery, which is going to make carrying someone a riskier proposition.

Ergo, they need to hurry.

Gatter glances back to the young man who had helped Voss lower her down; hopefully he'll catch up soon, but in the meantime… he shifts his grip, gathering Dana up and starting to walk, focusing on maintaining his balance.

The scream also has Kendall flinching, but he doesn't drop her and she's down on the ice now, for better or for worse. Sliding down onto the ice after Voss, Kendall stumbles and almost falls, still having some difficulties with depth perception with his injured eye. He regains his feet and looks around, taking a step towards Byrne before Voss swoops in. Kendall was about to go help but the gasp from behind him draws his attention, and he holds out a hand to Farah instead. "You ok, ma'am?" If needed, he'll help her down. "Can't stay on this pleasure cruise, I'm afraid."

Pleasure cruise,” Farah barks out with a laugh, taking Kendall’s hand to steady her as she comes down onto the ice. “You sure have a way with words, Cunningham.” She’s quick to relinquish her hand and gives the agent a nod of approval, but also affirmation. She’ll be ok.

Kendall grins faintly back at Farah, then turns, surveying the others: Avi seems to have Debra well in hand, and Gatter at least seems to be coping with Dana, so instead Kendall turns back to Byrne and Voss. Dragging him across the ice? That won't do, that'll take too long. "Here, I'll help, we have to hurry." He had missed the whole interaction while he was distracted by Farah, so it's only when he tries reaching for the man that he realizes why Voss took off his jacket and is dragging him. "Geez." Gaze swinging to Voss' use of his jacket has Kendall tugging off his own shirt for the same purpose, though strangely he still seems to be wearing the exact same one. Vanity, probably. Then, like Voss, he'll grab at Byrne's other arm. Two dragging should be easier and faster than just one.

Debra is beyond the point of being able to resist the help, having to cling to her boss and old rival. “Dry cleaning?” She says the word with disdain, her nose wrinkling. “Who needs to spend money on dry cleaning? And how do you not know how to clean blood out of your clothes? It’s like a must know in our professions.” It’s not, but then she might be feeling mildly.. Loopy? A shudder runs through her thin frame, but a slight trembling begins.

“Fine.” Debra huffs out. “I’ll pay for your dry cleaning. Who wants to have dinner with your crabby ass anyhow,” Debra grouses, her voice quivering slightly in the cool air and the blood loss. “Well, okay… I could think of a few.” She’s normally not this chatty. Then again by the droop of her head, she might be using it to cling to consciousness. Something to focus on.

“Yeah, yeah,” Avi feigns grousing to Debra to keep her conscious, “you make it out of this in one piece and you’ll owe me dry cleaning and I’ll owe you dinner.” He gives her a gentle shake, watching her eyelids flutter back up. “Deal?

Up ahead, Voss offers a momentarily warning look Kendall as he comes to take Byrne’s other arm. But Kendall is too quick, and the moment touches Byrne he realizes why Voss is handling him with the intermediary of a jacket: Byrne is scalding hot to the touch. “I’ve got it!” Voss growls through his teeth, and Kendall can see even through the jacket fabric, Voss’ hands are blistering and red from the heat. “Help the others!”

It is the word others that causes bile to rise in the back of Voss’ throat. There were still people on the ferry; those unconscious, those dead, those dying. Every gurgle of air coming out from the hole in the hull is a nightmare to Voss, he doesn’t know if anyone will be able to get back to the Ferry in time before it sinks. The body recovery will take days. He tries not to think about drowning. The searing pain in his hands is a welcome distraction.

As the survivors make their way across the ice bridge toward the concrete pier on the other side, the sound of gunfire pops in the distance. Police sirens wail in the hazy crimson sky. It feels like the whole world is abruptly coming to an end. Across the river, the wildfire rises like a gleaming wall belching clouds of black smoke into the sky. Fiery embers drift in the air. The jagged ruin of Manhattan rests between the Safe Zone and total annihilation.

One by one, survivors climb up the terraced wall of ice that Byrne had forged, up to the safety of the massive concrete pier. Many crumple into sobbing heaps the moment they reach solid ground, others mill about in abject silence staring out at the pyroclasmic wall of fire roaring across the river, consuming New Jersey.

Kendall doesn't need Voss to tell him to let go of Byrne; the heat causes him to instinctively let go with a hiss. "U-uh, sure." Well Voss is Wolverine so presumably he's got that ultra healing going for him to keep from melting his hands off. Putting his shirt back on with a wince, he dithers a bit, flinching at the gunfire, the goes to help get Dana up onto the pier, hopefully without rupturing anything.

He spares a look back to the ferry and winces, but they have injured here that need immediate attention. Once safely on land, he checks his phone for a signal to call for help. He's not sure if he could repeat what he did earlier, but he's willing to try if there's no other way. He still doesn't have any idea how it happened.

Debra makes a sound at Avi’s counter grouse and all, which could only be a laugh and maybe a comment about him being an old goat… hard to tell with the mumbling, but one word is clear…


But then there is the next big climb. Fuck Blood smears across the ice where thin, tired fingers have gripped the ice as trembling arms pull her up. Thankfully, between her and Avi, the old woman makes it up to the top of the pier. “Can I sit yet?” Debra asks as she tries to catch her breath from the climb.

Debra is ready to just lie down right there - really thinking hard about it - but the popping of gun fire catches her attention and has her straightening…. sorta. As much as the shrapnel will allow. “The fuck is going on around here.” Confusion creases her brows. “Where…” Whatever else falls into mumbling, shoulders slumping as she starts losing her focus again… probably on her way into unconsciousness shortly. At least they made it.

One step, then the next; one foot goes in front of the other, across the impossible bridge to safety.

Somewhere along the way, someone helps Gatter with his burden. At some point, they reach safe ground and he lowers Dana to the ground… and at some point Gatter comes back to himself, the world expanding beyond the narrowed horizons of another step forward back into the ongoing nightmare of apocalyptic prelude that it is.

"We need… medical assistance," he says aloud, his eyes locking on Cunningham and his phone. Right — there might be service here, he can call…

…someone. Anyone.

With a hand that Gatter distantly notes is shaking, he reaches into his jacket for his phone, his gaze drifting back to Dana Carrington. "Help will be here soon," he promises.

Sirens wail across the city, the noise of distant helicopters fills the air. The western horizon is filled with choking black smoke, the sky is a curdled spill of crimson and black. Even the sun looks nightmarish, a brilliant orange drop in a sea of red.

Beneath cold, wind-driven rain, the survivors of the ferry watch the vessel slowly sinking into the river. For a time, it feels as though the worst is behind them. But they are disabused of that notion when they see the serpentine tendrils of fire slithering across the oily surface of the river. The flames converge, rippling in blazing curtains, dividing the Safe Zone from Manhattan beyond. The survivors pull away from the edge of the pier as the flames reach the ferry, causing it to erupt in a plume of smoke and flames.

The river is on fire.

The river is on fire.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License