The Seventh Seal


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Scene Title The Seventh Seal
Synopsis After much deliberation, Canfield and Goodman choose their special operations team and ask them to come and see…
Date November 16, 2014

The value of a life can be measured on the series of choices made during its time against the value of their outcomes. On the one side of the scales, you have the everyday decisions made and on the other the impact they have on others and how it uplifts and benefits society as a whole. It is a hard, selfless scale by which to measure one’s self.

It is a scale not everyone is interested in using.

As keys jingle in a lock, as tumblers turn, and a door opens the dimly lit apartment of Luther Bellamy is not as unoccupied as he expects it to be. From the doorway, he can see lights on in the kitchen, and sitting by the island a pair of familiar faces belonging to familiar men in tailored suits. Stephen Canfield is peeling an apple with a knife, looking up to the door with raised brows and an easy smile. The sleek silhouette of Roger Goodman is considerably less relaxed, standing with hands folded in front of himself and one brow subtly raised.

“Mister Bellamy,” Goodman intones with a motion of one hand to a vacant stool, “we’d like to have a word.”

Luther’s Apartment

New York, NY

November 16, 2014

8:32 pm

The scale with which Luther Bellamy has taken to using is a hard one to calibrate, even for him. The decisions he's had to make, the actions he's taken during his time working for Pinehearst ever since he'd been released from his confinement in a dark, solitary hole, have brought him to a few extremes in just the few years he's been freed. And no small amount of awareness that it could come crashing down as easily as house of cards.

Alerted by the light spilling through from the kitchen, Luther takes careful, slow steps in his approach. There's no attempt to hide. "Gentlemen, good evening," he greets in a low rumble, a dip of his head. A brow lifts for the apple, assessing if it happens to be one from his fridge or not. It is to said refrigerator he goes, opening it and grabbing a couple of beers. "To what do I owe the pleasure?" he asks, stepping back, holding up a count of one bottle each guest.

“A matter of national security,” says Goodman, someone who has not worked for the government since he left the US marine corps. While Goodman waves off one of the beers, Canfield reaches out and takes one with an appreciative tip of the neck toward Luther.

“We’re here on behalf of Mr. Petrelli to discuss a sensitive matter.” Goodman steps away from the island, looking Luther up and down before folding his hands behind his back again. “Mr. Canfield and I are assembling a task force as a part of a special initiative by the Pinehearst Company, regarding a classified new technology.”

Canfield, having taken a sip of the beer, looks over at Luther with raised brows. “You have a remarkable ability, and based on what our science team has discussed it might be essential to the project. We’ve been given authorization to move you from your current assignment, if you're amenable, and immediately set you up with training and orientation for the new project.”

Goodman glances at Canfield, then back over to Luther. “It comes with a significant pay increase and, understandably, hazard pay. If you agree to sign on, there's standard non-disclosure agreements you’ll need to sign before we can discuss finer details. But, suffice to say, you'd be a part of science history among luminaries like Neil Armstrong.”

A matter of national security. Luther's grip on the remaining beer bottle twitches tight. He's heard those same words said before in very different context. It draws out a wry, humorless snorted laugh as he works off the cap of the refused bottle. "Heard a guard say that once about our kind of people." A short cheers to Canfield, and Luther takes a pull.

But he's listening when the pair go on, and focused on what they have to say. He sets his bottle down and doesn't take a second drink, leaning on the kitchen island, silence filling in. If he's amenable. There are Non-disclosure agreements. His brow knits.

"Alright," he notes to Canfield, "Whatever Mr. Petrelli needs." A beat skips and he adds with a glance to Goodman, "I take it you already know about my current… connections to the NYPD?" He has to ask, in the interests of full disclosure.

“We’re aware of your relationship with Miss Thatcher,” Goodman notes casually, without much concern for the matter. “In the interests of transparency, we considered her for the role as well, but she didn’t meet our psychological profile requirements.” Whatever that says about Luther goes unspoken.

Canfield belatedly mirrors Luther’s motion with his beer, taking a sip and looking to the front door of the apartment, then back to Luther. “Trust me, whatever you’re worrying about this being? It is so much weirder and worse than you could think, and if we don’t get ahead of it…” Canfield looks to Goodman, then back to Luther. “It could destroy the whole fucking world.”

The relationship isn’t exactly a secret, although Luther has kept personal matters away from professional as much as possible. Bolstered slightly by the casual method with which Goodman mentions Kaylee, he nonetheless tips his chin up, brow lifting as well, at the man’s mention that they had considered the telepath for whatever this mission seems to be. What does that say about his psychological profile? He’s sure to wonder, but, later.

Canfield’s description of the situation narrows Luther’s gaze once more. He looks down to the beer in his hand, takes a longer drink, and sets the bottle down. “Guess you’re going to be happy, then, I really like this world as it is right now.” Angled brows arch up at the two men.

“So, tell me,” the so-called janitor of Pinehearst speaks in even tone, “Who’s trying to make a mess of it?”

Canfield looks to Goodman at the question, brows raised and bottle up at his lips. Goodman in turn looks over to Luther with an inscrutable expression that seems slightly exasperated. After a moment of contemplative silence, his answer isn’t any less opaque.

“You might want to sit down.”

Pinehearst Security Center, Training Facility

Fort Lee, New Jersey

November 17, 2014

7:07 am

The muffled slap of wrapped knuckles against canvas is a lonely sound in a spacious facility. In the early morning hours just days before Thanksgiving, the gym at the Pinehearst Security Center in New Jersey is a sparsely-populated place. Most employees are off on vacation, leaving a skeleton crew of emergency security personnel behind.

Under the dim off-hours lighting, the blonde woman engaged in a sparring match with a weighted punching bag isn’t focused on how alone in the facility she is, but the movement of shoulder, elbow, and wrist to create the optimal forward punch. Ruia Henrique has given her life to Pinehearst, such as it is. With each strike, she refines the killing edge she’s honed all these years since the fall of the Vanguard into something razor sharp. While other members of the Vanguard struggled to earn their freedom, suffering through arduous assassinations of their former allies, Ruia was given a fast-track ticket to liberation without the blood of her former comrades on her hands.

The thought may drive those fists.

Halfway through her morning routine, Ruia’s training exercises are broken up by the explosion of violet light near the boxing ring at the middle of the cavernous gym. From these particulate pieces of energized plasma, a pair of human silhouettes appear, one in a sleek caramel colored suit and wearing gold-framed sunglasses. The other dressed solely in black, with a tall and thin silhouette. Stephen Canfield and Roger Goodman are among Arthur Petrelli’s most trusted agents, and they do not appear with such haste without good reason.

“Do you ever turn off?” Canfield asks as he slips his sunglasses off, tucking them into the breast pocket of his suit and taking point ahead of goodman. “‘Cause I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in any mode other than intense.”

When the two men appear, Ruia reaches out to still her punching bag. She watches, eyeing suits that don't match her workout clothes and messy ponytail. They're not here for a turn on the elliptical, that's for sure.

"I sleep sometimes," she replies with a crooked smile that seems to imply even that might not be safe. "Good to see you, Stephen." She steps over to her bag, grabbing a bottle of water and drinking a decent portion before she comes over to meet them, instead of making them come to her. "Mister Goodman," she adds with a nod, "you, too. What can I do for you, gentlemen?"

Because she has been waiting. Years of waiting. They were never going to let her of as easy as it seemed they were, even if she had held onto a hope.

Ru,” Canfield greets her with a raise of his brows and hands tucked into the pockets of his slacks. He briefly looks at Goodman who gives him an affirming nod, then looks back to Ruia. “Good to see you aren't getting rusty. Because we’re going to need your hands again.”

Canfield strides across the floor, moving over to the punching bag and smoothing a hand over it. “Arthur has us putting together an A-Team. We've got a Big Problem — capital B, capital P — and your skills are exactly what we need.” Canfield’s head tilts to the side, regarding her carefully. “But this won't be solo work, it'll be a team. Walking on the Moon, for the modern age.”

“He doesn't mean that literally,” Goodman clarifies, eliciting a side eye from Canfield. “But it isn't far off the mark.”

Ruia stays quiet as Canfield explains, more serious demeanor sweeping over her. Default, for all that she tries to be more jovial. An eyebrow lifts— not at the mention of the moon, but at Goodman's clarification. She closes her bottle of water and sets it back next to her bag.

"Sounds intriguing," she says, glancing between the two of them. "What kind of problem— or better, what's the solution?" The acceptance of her assignment comes easily and implied. It isn't something she needs to spell out, not to these two. "And who's on the team?" Because that's important.

There are other questions, moon landing sized questions, but she isn't asking them. She'll figure them out later. Maybe.

“The solution we need you for is simple: Intelligence gathering and violence, liberally applied when necessary.” Canfield spreads his hands, as if it’s that simple. “As for the problem, uh,” he looks over at Goodman who just gives Canfield a raised eyebrow. “That’s,” he looks back to Ruia, “a whole lot longer of a story… But we’re going to need you to go on a long-term assignment way, way far afield.”

“…As for the team,” is a way to sidestep that answer for the immediate moment. “Right now it’s you,” Canfield makes the presumption, “ex-UEO officer and fellow teleporter James Woods, Roger and I,” he motions between himself and Goodman, “and a lovely clean-up fellow named Luther Bellamy.” Canfield raises his brows with a smile, then tilts his head to the side. “We’re also looking into a, ah, specialist.” That much is said with all the delicate avoidance of someone not wanting to explain a complicated answer.

"…Mars?" Ruia lifts her eyebrows as if this might be a serious inquiry, but whether it is or not, she doesn't give them a chance to explain. "Well, you know I'm in. Let me know the details when you can. Arrangements to make. Apartment to sublet. So on." At least the team sounds competent. She can't argue with a group that's half teleporters.

One thing that's always been true of her, for as long as she's been here, Ruia never asks too many questions. Canfield's reluctance works as well as telling her directly that it isn't her business.

"Unless long term means I should be breaking my lease."

Goodman offers Canfield a look, and the other Pinehearst agent turns a thoughtful eye to Ruia, coupled with a wide smile. “Ru,” Canfield claps his hands together, “you might want to let that apartment go.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Neurological Sciences

Cambridge, MA

November 17, 2014

3:14 pm

Absolutely out of the question.”

Standing with his back to a darkened window into another room, Doctor Jean-Martin Luis both feels and is backed into a corner. The gray-haired scientist offers a mild look at Roger Goodman, brows furrowed and lips downturned into a scowl. “She isn't some kind of attack dog you can just unleash when you want to. She's— ”

Not your personal guinea pig, either.” Goodman implies with a raise of one brow, looking at his own muted reflection in the dark glass of the window. Behind Roger, a row of computers show brainwave patterns, and Stephen Canfield is stooped over one, looking at what Luis has been researching.

“She's not that either, and I resent— ” Once more, Luis is cut short.

“What exactly is it you're working on here, Doc?” Canfield looks over his shoulder, motioning to the monitor in front of him. “Do the accountants know exactly how you’re spending your research grant? Because… I mean I'm no scientist,” he says with a grin, “but this doesn't look like weapons research.”

Luis takes in a deep breath, squares his shoulders and stares balefully at Canfield as the taller man leans away from the computer. “How dare you big come into my lab and question my work ethic, while trying to extort a human life away from me! What gives you the right?”

Arthur gives us the right,” Goodman is quick to answer. “And need I remind you that she's Pinehearst property.”

Luis’ scowl sinks further. “She is a human being and she needs help, not your…” He fits himself off, feeling Goodman’s icy stare on him. Finally, Luis slouches away and motions to the door, knowing full well what arguing with these men would mean for his lab, his employees, and those he protects.

“I'm glad you saw reason, Doctor.” Slowly, Goodman steps over to the door and grips the handle, then slowly pulls it to the side, allowing some light to spill into the featureless and lightless room, its silence punctuated only by the slosh of water from a heavily salinated pool. Goodman is a silent silhouette in the doorway, and the window beside him is now not more than a mirror into a black, tiled space.

In the dark, she floats weightless in the salty pool with electrodes taped to her brow and temples, wirelessly broadcasting her brainwave patterns. Her mind is able to reach out here, feel far-flung emotions, feel Luis’ protectiveness, Goodman’s dutiful rigidity, and Canfield’s carelessness. In the dark, she is without form or function, she is thought and emotion and nothing more. But as that door allows light into the sealed chamber, the sense of what is a man is met with the reality of his flesh and bone body.

Huruma,” Goodman calls into the dark, invoking its dweller.

There is something of an escape, here. No errands to run. No visits to dread. Nobody except Luis and his team — who have, in essence, been far better to her than Pinehearst has ever been. Small kindnesses have gone a long way.

So she is comfortable, when she first feels them enter the building. Her senses move from examining the facility as she would an ant farm, to honing in on the intrusion and all of the emotional turmoil it brings. There is no mass or pressure until the light winks into the dark.

It forces her back to her body, back to the confines of the tub. Back to the confines of reality.

Her frame in the water is long and lean, looking underweight in the way of a greyhound; there is enough to her, but only as much as she needs to stay healthy. It gives her a more angular shape, from the cast of cheekbones to the ability to count a rib or two. Goodman’s voice echoes against walls and water and sturdy plastic. When it seems like he may need to try again, she stirs.

Outside in the lab, her readings spike and flutter and contract into a place familiar to Luis; she isn’t happy with the intrusion, and her senses unfurl and hook around the visitors in a tentative creep.

Why must you insist on robbing me of my beauty rest, Roger?”

Goodman exhales an entirely affected sigh at the question, stepping in to the dark room. This moving presence causes the motion-sensitive lights to begin clicking on one-by-one, slowly and dimly at first. The lights cast his high cheekbones and thin frame in a skeletal cast, deep eyes appearing more cadaverous in the dim illumination. “I’m sorry to take you away from Doctor Luis’ work, but… there’s been an incident.”

Moving to the edge of the pool, Roger looks up one end of it and down the other. “Kaito Nakamura launched a terrorist attack against Pinehearst just a few hours ago. He bombed the tower in Manhattan, killing hundreds. I was in the process of putting together a team and one of my prospects was killed in the attack, which leaves me with an opening.”

Discussing mass deaths with such matter-of-fact clarity is par for Roger’s course. He is nothing if not a steady, flat line of emotional reservation on the surface. But Huruma can feel the true man below the flesh, the firestorm of rage kept in check by decades of discipline and regimented living. None see behind his mask as clearly as she does. “Mr. Petrelli has requested your service in an infiltration team. Long-term operations.” Requested. “He’s given me carte blanche to offer you a path to independence through this service.”

The lights reflect off of the surface of the water and across the stark white of Huruma’s eyes as they swivel to follow Goodman’s course at the edge of the pool. An incident, he says.

Details have Huruma’s features creasing in a spell of mirth.

“Oh, poor, poor Arthur. Getting one-upped by another old man, hm? Getting slow…” Her teeth show in a grimace of a smile while she remains floating idly at the surface. “Pardon if my sympathies do not extend so far.” Huruma bends her legs at the knee, sweeping her arms out and pushing her feet to the bottom. It is not particularly deep, just to her midriff. Nodes blink at her collar above the patient garb of a tank-top and shorts, clinging and darker gray against her frame. She curls long fingers over the edge of the pool, brows lifting as she studies the agent come to visit. Both arms cross over the edge next, and Huruma sets her chin along an elbow, cautious in the way of a sidelong look of a snake. Her questions are just above a similarly toned hiss, drawling out like any good python.

“He has not extended such graces to me in the past, so what makes this so special? Is that desperation? Recklessness? So angered that he wants something absolutely by any means? Enough to give you the ability to open my cage, clearly.

A lingering thread of doubt in Goodman, one that goes unvoiced, is a curious thing for Huruma to feel. “Mr. Petrelli’s priorities are his own, and your good behavior is being rewarded. But there’s a catch to this, if you didn’t already expect as much.” Folding his hands behind his back, Goodman regards Huruma the way one might a tiger when you’re sharing its cage, wary of just how domesticated it can ever really be.

“The team I’m assembling is for long-range reconnaissance, out of America.” Goodman pauses, brows furrowed, “out of anywhere you’ve ever been.” He steadies himself, calms that knot of doubt and packs it down with the fire. “I’ll be candid with you, Huruma. For the last few years Pinehearst has been unraveling a mystery of… interdimensional travel. Worlds within worlds, like layers to an onion.”

Goodman’s brows pinch together, chin tilts up just so. “Where we’re going, there’s no guarantee of coming back. But the explosion, the Nakamuras, it’s all connected. We’ve been invaded and Arthur wants to be certain that there’s a reprisal for what’s been done. Your freedom comes at the cost of the world you know, because as far as I’m aware our trip will be one-way.”

But of course there’s a catch. Huruma did not expect any different. She simply waits for the and- - all the while looking right through the messenger and his mask. Nothing to hide him from her, and his doubts are duly noted.

Pale eyes watch him closely as the summary comes, the subtle shift of her pupils follows like a sing-along.

“An invasion from another realm? That is quite the story.” Nails tap in succession on the pool’s edge. “Hnf. You say ‘one way’ as if I have anything left in this place to desire keeping. Our big bad wolf made sure of that.” Huruma pushes herself up onto the side of the tank, stepping out and perching there as she carefully removes nodes from her temples. It is a practiced ritual.

“Worlds within worlds is an outdated term, isn’t it? There may be a world on my palm, in the bones of my hand- - but that world would know only itself.” A lifted, splayed hand flexes at him between the plucks of electronics. “Becoming smaller than atoms and coming back into a world big enough to hold a sun. It is quite the deep dive, not so much the layering underneath.”

“The universe is a web, a net. Empty, but occupied. Capable of a trap. Points of origin and space between, where other things dwell, I am sure. God, perhaps?” Whatever the case may be, Huruma rolls her shoulders in a long shrug, eyes half-lidded when she gives Roger a sharp-toothed smile.. “Every good web has a lovely spider.”

That comment has the corners of Rogers eyes crinkling as he squints. Silent for a moment and giving Huruma her space, he is intrigued that her introspection is so surprisingly accurate in its poetry. “Let's hope for all our sakes…” Roger says with a look up at her.

“…we don't find that spider.”

Geopoint Scientific Enclosure

Subterranean Research Level

Outside Boulder, CO

November 27, 2014

8:13 am local time

Nestled in the western slope of the Colorado Rockies, the Geopoint Scientific Enclosure is Pinehearst’s secondary clandestine research facility for what has come to be known as Project LookingGlass. The members of Goodman’s team were relocated to Boulder on the 22nd and given an orientation on what Pinehearst knows about interdimensional travel, invoking the names of researchers like the late Michelle Cardinal and Richard Schwenkman. The bombing of Pinehearst Tower puts a sinister tone on all of this, and Pinehearst has spared no expense at blaming extremists from Humanis First for the incident, even if the enemy is closer to home than that.

The Geopoint facility is a five-dome biological enclosure with varied biomes. On paper Linehearst uses the facility to test terraforming technology for Project Eden, which helped rebuild Manhattan. Off the books, it hides a black research site where genetic engineering and fringe science is practiced using some of the most brilliant scientists in the world.

The first few days of orientation on-site consisted of a tour of the Geodomes, an introduction to the facility's chief Erica Kravid, and a breakdown of the threat represented by extradimensional terrorism and strife. Today, however, is orientation of another kind.

“I'm glad you could all make it,” is Roger Goodman’s way of making a sarcastic comment. Woods, Huruma, Luther, and Ruia stand in the metal-walled and climate controlled space of a technology testing room, complete with ballistic resistant walls. Goodman has joined them — seemingly sans Canfield for the day — in something outside of his usual attire.

Roger Goodman stands covered nearly head to toe in a form-fitting black body armor made of an indiscernible matte material with external and bulging internal mechanics. Under one arm he holds a helmet with no visible visor, and the collar of the suit runs up in ridges from collar to chin. “Today… we’re going to go over breach training.”

Behind him are four more suits of this bleeding edge armor, of familiarly varying heights.

There are no bars, no collars, no tempered, flexible plastic boxes, not even a pair of cuffs. There is, however, a lingering dread that only appears to someone who has known all of these things in short order. After she was moved to Boulder, it did not take long for Huruma to realize that this was the real deal; a risky calculation that may or may not let her be free. She’s waited for something like this, though she had hoped it would have ended more on the ‘tearing Petrelli apart’ angle.

As it happens, none of the people she has met on this journey make her quite as agitated. Roger’s just familiar, and even his presence is the closest she comes to feeling that seething hatred. And yet, he’s still in one piece. Maybe it says something about him, or about giving peace a chance.

Something like that.

Huruma can recognize the facility for what it likely is; the outside veneer is well and good, but she has known what Pinehearst does for too long to expect anything completely beneficial to humanity. There’s always the flip side.

Pff.” The sound of air huffing out of her nose is the first noise Huruma makes since they were escorted here, just for that sarcasm out of Goodman. Her arms are crossed over her stomach, the bony angles of her limbs making her seem more precarious for her height. When he states the training purposes, she tilts a narrow eyed look towards the suits behind him. This is really it, then. Breach training.

Ruia is having the opposite experience to Huruma's. She's been enjoying a fair amount of freedom in her tenure with Pinehearst, but this has the distinct feeling of a cage. A very nice one, but a cage all the same. It's made her rethink the past few years, that maybe she was in a gilded cage all along.

But she's here, and there's no impulse to run. Only a resigned sort of acceptance.

Outwardly, though, there's a soft, if crooked smile. She looks past Goodman to the suits, head tilting for a moment before she looks back to Roger. She's got a pretty good handle on breaching things, even if it's been a while. Some things are hard to forget. "Do we get to personalize the suits? I'm seeing something in pink."

Sarcasm can go both ways.

Both at a mix of emotions and a loss for words for the majority of the trip thus far, Luther has been dutifully observing and taking in the vast concept as much as the details of what's introduced at the Geopoint facility. The terraforming technology of Project Eden is a fascinating piece of public display, even if he doesn't understand much of the jargon that goes into it.

Having been a part of the cleanup crew of the Looking Glass attack, though, Luther's focus is on that threat of terrorism. What it means to the world. What it means to him. Brow furrowed as he peers with caution toward the suits, he carries a sense of apprehension overlaying the enthusiasm he would have normally for seeing something as cool as the black body armor Goodman is dressed in.

Ruia's comment about personalization nets her an arch of a brow. "I'd have taken you more for neon blue or purple." Luther turns his attention back on Goodman, though, and down to the helmet. “Kind of missing a lot of that spacewalk stuff isn’t it?” Even his ability doesn’t let him survive in a vacuum, for sure.

“You’re going to stand out enough in those as it is,” Goodman notes with a motion to the suits, “without them being neon.” Goodman takes his helmet and slides it on over his head and several articulated plates clamp down once it passes his chin, snapping into place with reciprocal latches on the back of the neck. A plate at the forehead slides down and locks into place, then splits open revealing a series of glowing orange sensors arranged almost like that of a spider’s eyes.

«This armor is designed to protect you from the deleterious effects of the Looking Glass’ entry point.» Goodman looks to the room’s door as Canfield, dressed in a tailored suit rather than one made of armor, comes strolling in while checking his phone. As Goodman turns back to address his subordinates, Canfield starts taking off his jacket and hanging it up on the empty armor rack that Goodman’s suit came from.

“Entry point?” James Woods had been quiet much of this time, but as that delineation is mentioned he raises his brows and motions to Goodman with moderate uncertainty. “You’re saying the thing that gets us from over here,” he makes a box with his hands, “to over there,” and then moves that invisible box with a sweep of his arms, “is what? On fire?

The laugh that comes from Goodman sounds a little electronic and tinny when reported through the external speakers. «The tests done at Pinehearst Tower were on a prototype interdimensional gateway called the Looking Glass. All of our tests indicated that the surface temperature of the breach between worlds was strong enough to cook you from the inside out.»

As Goodman is talking, Woods mouths the words “looking glass” with a look up and down the row to gauge reactions of the others, then back to Goodman.

«These suits, and some supply containers that can hold your gear, are all that stands between you and incineration.» But then Goodman claps his hands together once, muted by the supple carbon-fiber plating of the suit. «Not just from heat, but from friction. Beyond that, we don’t know what threats you may face once you leave the known quantities of… this world.» It still sounds like science fiction to Roger.

“Yeah, you scare ‘em real good Roger.” Canfield says as he loosens his tie and takes it off, draping it over his suit jacket. “What Roger here is trying to instill in you all is caution.” As he talks, Canfield unbuttons each of his sleeves and rolls them up past his elbows. “Since the new machine isn’t finished yet, we’re going to do what I like to call a close enough test.” Stopping his approach about fifteen feet away, Stephen Canfield motions with one hand and tears open a swirling, violet-ringed vortex of infinite darkness into the air.

“Breach training.” Canfield notes with a smirk. “Mine won’t take you to another world, but they’ll wreck your shit if you aren’t properly protected.” Goodman slants a look over at Canfield that he can feel through the helmet. “Suit up.”

With Goodman speaking and Canfield entering, Huruma has a moment more to glance over and study the three others. Her eyes seem to hold onto the dark circles underneath as she studies them without shyness. The only one that seems to gain any sense of regard appears to be Luther, for the time being. Her mouth crooks sharply as Woods questions the path they are set to take, and Goodman’s answer.

She has her own theories as to the cause of such a feat moving between worlds, and most of them involve some manner of the word ‘quantum’ or ‘compressed space’. But the rest she’ll leave to the scientists.

Woods’ look down the row ends on Huruma, and rather than respond visually she simply stares back, bones sharp and eyes pale. She looks back to Goodman and Canfield, mostly impassive again until the latter’s sampling of a vortex in the room. This in particular earns a more hawkish look, curious but clearly fine with using that caution.

Huruma straightens out and steps dutifully onward at the command to suit up, her frame still keeping some of her finer grace despite its lankiness. “What was it, that I was saying about spiders, hmm…?” She hums, lifting the helmet first, angling it’s currently dead arachnid eyes to Goodman before she sets to gathering the rest.

When Woods looks down the row of them, Ruia meets his gaze with a puzzled shrug. She wasn't in the know. Still mostly isn't. But her expression is curious when she looks back to Goodman and Canfield. "Fuck up and get evaporated. Pretty good motivation."

She steps over to her suit, picking up the helmet first. "You know, Stephen," she says, glancing up from the suit to him, "if any of us were cautious people, we wouldn't be here." She tips her head his way, for emphasis, but it isn't a moment longer before she gets into her suit. Even though it isn't pink. Maybe she'll hunt down a heat-proof decal or two.

Mention of extreme temperatures gets Luther's attention, angled brows lifting as he fixes his gaze from one speaker to the next. Canfield's entry gets a quick glance as well, curiosity for the man's casual stroll and the phone in his hand.

Then his focus turns back to Goodman and the description of the effects of going through the Looking Glass. Woods' glance down the row finds Luther frowning with a bow of his head, looking down briefly to a point at the feet of the gathered. A flash of worried guilt passes through thought and expression, which he schools into something more pokerfaced.

Canfield's unsettling close enough test mention shifts Luther's gaze back to the vortex as it tears open. He notes, wryly, "Anbody try to toss a turkey through it yet? Some cranberries?" Anybody questioning his comment gets a shrug. "It's Thanksgiving," he points out, “Not exactly the Macy’s Day parade we got going on.”

When bidden to start getting into the suits, he picks one out that looks to be his size and starts to get in it as well.

“I suggested cornbread to Roger but he wasn't having any of it.” Canfield notes as he raises his other hand and creates a second churning vortex in the other side of the room. “Mine don't cook, they crush, or— tear, I suppose. Used to be a one-way stop to God's front yard, but over the years I've been able to connect them. But nothing tends to come through unscathed. Friction and friction burns for passing through, worse the longer distance you travel.”

Goodman motions from one inky void of darkness ringed in violent energy to the next. «We've tested this distance with a drone and the accumulated temperature is approximate to that of the test readings from the first Looking Glass. Now, before Mr. Woods or Ms. Ruia get any bright ideas, I wouldn't try teleporting through those. We don't know what happens.»

“Ah, right. So we’re t’suit up in these Power Ranger outfits and hope between blood dimensions t’stop… what was it?” Woods looks over to Goodman, likewise holding a helmet as he does. “Inter dimensional terrorists?” Goodman stares at Woods flatly.

“Yeah, this is perfectly normal. Just a promotion, nothing fancy.” Woods grouses as he sets the helmet aside and starts looking at how to put on the armor. “Just a spooky spider-eyed carbon fiber gimp-suit t’take a lovely hop inta’ the phantom zone an’ hope we don't stumble onto General bloody Zod.

Each of the suits is a far from a custom fit, only roughly the correct size for the wearer. But when the suits are put on, a digital dial in the wrist adjusts the carbon fiber mesh to snugly fit the body and adjusts the armored plates to cover vital zones based on internal biometric readings.

“You can thank the late researchers at Pinehearst Tower for these,” Canfield says somberly. “We were lucky to have prototypes outside of the facility. These suits are the only ones left.”

While the others offer banter back and forth, Huruma falls silent as she suits up; it all still seems a little unreal, but it is not the potential for burning nor the dimension hopping that does it. The fact that it took this much for her to be considered as anything more than an asset hits her as the helmet clicks into place, and the optics flare to life.

She flexes her hands against the gloving, adjusting the dial slightly. As long and lean as she is, that ‘gimp suit’ does give her that arachnid quality.

Huruma's stare hones in on the open portals Canfield has already generated. If these are just a taste— the real thing must be a sight to behold.

“If you did not want to be here, why else would you come?” Finally, Huruma appears to decide she is sick of Woods’ bellyaching, snapping at him verbally and punctuating it with a click of teeth behind the fiery, dead glare of the helm. “Stop whining, or you will wish you had.” Her next words are a series of muttered curses in a language they don't know, but it's clear that she is treating this as the most important thing right now. Because, well, it is.

It's her way out.

"It's just how he processes," Ruia says, sliding in to defend her fellow teleporter before an actual fight breaks out. Not that Woods would be easy to catch, but still. "We're only being tasked with some actual science fiction mixed with existential dread. Ease off." Ruia even moves a few steps, as if blocking Huruma's view of the man. Or maybe making herself a more physical barrier.

Her attention turns to Goodman and Canfield, though, once she's ready to do this test run. "Alright, so let's see if we get crushed to death," she says, flippant about possible impending doom. The other shoe finally dropping has her back in a headspace she had been trying to leave behind. The one where she was actively working toward her own destruction. It has been harder to shake than she thought it would be.

Luther snorts in faint amusement with the suggestion of cornbread, but the amusement drops once the second vortex opens. He doesn't say it, but the man's sentiment agrees with Woods' on a deeper level. His glance switches to Huruma when the woman snaps, and he levels a gauging look at her, too.

He finishes adjusting the dial on his own suit, then steps over to Woods' and Ruia's vicinity to get in line. As he's putting on his helmet, the man gestures to the tallest of them, bidding Huruma forth towards one of the vortexes:

"Well. Ladies first."

Woods offers a tip of his head to Ruia in thanks for her comment, still adjusting the fit of his armor to his height, shivering as the material slithers and slides around his body and carbon fiber plates realign with a click-snapping lock sound. Beside Woods, Ruia is the one directly in front of Canield’s vortex with its swirling, violet edges mutedly reflected in the matte finish of her armor.

Goodman, behind the orange-eyes visor of his helmet, watches the other teleporter as she squares her shoulders to the task ahead, and takes the first step forward toward the vortex. «Steady and smooth,» Goodman advises, bracing himself for anything as she turns one step into two, then three, then rushes toward the surging vortex of suffocating darkness and rippling light.

At the end of her stride, Ruia leaps toward the vortex and feels herself drawn towards its gravity well. Sensors in her armor begin to flash warning signs, updating external conditions, and as she begins the breach testing, she finds confidence in abundance staring into the infinite abyss.

And Ruia leaps into the unknown.

Where it all begins.

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