The Wild Courage of Despair


cat_icon.gif delia_icon.gif devon2_icon.gif elle_icon.gif

Scene Title The Wild Courage of Despair
Synopsis Fear and despair force Queens residents to do the unthinkable when an unwanted guest darkens the doorstep of their neighbors.
Date July 1, 2011


Then, summoning the wild courage of despair, a throng of the revellers at once threw themselves into the black apartment, and, seizing the mummer, whose tall figure stood erect and motionless within the shadow of the ebony clock, gasped in unutterable horror at finding the grave cerements and corpse-like mask, which they handled with so violent a rudeness, untenanted by any tangible form.

From "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Alan Poe

Once, this neighborhood in Queens called Ridgewood was the sort that had a homier, more suburban feel than much of the rest of the city. Red brick row houses line the streets, their stoops shaded by tall green trees. Despite being in the city, the streets felt safe for children to play outside on their bikes and skateboards. Homeowners and shop keepers here kept an eye on one another's property, keeping graffiti and vandalism to the minimum. It was the sort of neighborhood that felt almost like a small town within the larger city surrounding it.

The riots of last November changed that. Here and there, windows have been boarded up. Several "for Sale" signs are propped in other windows that managed to go unscathed. Fire damage blackens the brickwork of many a home, and these days, no children play outside without being under the watchful eye of an adult.

Closing in on evening, the day's warmth is still baked into the black asphalt and white concrete, and the temperature is still in the mid 70s. Two middle-aged men stand talking on a corner, the corner they stand on a T-intersection of the main arteries in the neighborhood and a cul-de-sac. The discussion is animated, the stocky blond man with the mustache nodding vigorously to the other, thinner man of Asian descent. "Almost time," says the stocky man. "You put the jammers up?"

"One near each window last night," the thinner, younger man murmurs. "Ramirez already cut the other lines. Power's next."

Cutting through the less populous neighborhoods tends to make shorter a trip to anywhere. Less traffic of all sorts to contend with, less distracting noise. Less eyes watching when you'd rather not encounter much attention. There's an anonymity of a different sort that isn't offered in the same way idling through a large crowd would grant. Thus, how Devon comes to be navigating the sidewalks on his way back to a certain safehouse.

In typical blue jeans and a t-shirt, the teenager's footsteps draw him inevitably toward the intersection already occupied by two men. As their movement draws his attention from the not at all absent wandering of his eyes, ever watchful of his surroundings lest he find himself followed, his hands come free of his pockets. A casual move that tells nothing more than that Devon had tired of his hands being confined. His steps slow as well, cadence lagging as a quick glance shows him the T and cul-de-sac and which roads go where before bringing his attention surreptitiously back to the two men.

Curfew is still some time away, with light remaining in the sky until just before that hour. It gives the panmnesiac time to wander the city she dreamed so much of living in and working as a musician, well before Peter Petrelli turned it into Nuked York City. She wears ahtletic shoes, jeans, and a t-shirt of some nondescript variety, with her hair tucked up under a New York Yankees baseball cap. The brim is pulled low to obscure facial features. It's a a good day to undertake this exploration, temperatures dipped into the 70s allow for reasonable comfort while wearing long pants. Cat makes her way through the streets alone, creating her own map of the city's condition by simply being present and seeing what's available to be seen.

The men up ahead don't immediately draw her attention for more than a few seconds, simple recognition of them being present.

Beep Beep Beep

In Delia's mind that is the signal she's sending back to whoever is monitoring the cuff around her ankle. In her imagination, she is one of many dots on a screen, moving about like an ant on a picnic blanket. She's been testing her boundaries for weeks now without reprecussion, simple day trips. Today she chose Queens.

Her reasons were twofold, the first was to carry her little tree out of Eltingville for planting, the other to see if she would be followed to the burrough. The entire day was spent at the graveyard between the grave that will never be and the one containing her mother. Now, she's headed home. Not to the one shared with her current housemates but the one that she lived in for two decades before going on the run. She hasn't seen it for months.

Climbing a fence, she alights on the other side to the back of the apartment building, well out of sight of anyone walking down the street. Hands in her pockets, she ambles slowly, milling about in the alley waiting for the two men to vacate the premises. Not that she's necessarily afraid of strangers, she is, but mostly because she's tresspassing. She doesn't need a strike that would limit her days outside of the walls.

The building the men point to is one of many all cut from the same cookie cutter mold; a duplex that houses two families, from the looks of it, with two "front doors" on opposite ends of the front facade. In the second story, those with watchful eyes might notice the drapes move, and pressing up against the glass can be seen a pale face.

Even from here, the eyes gleam red.

A second figure moves behind the first, this one taller, reaching for the child. The mother's hand moves to her mouth as she coughs, then she reaches to draw the drapes closed.

A door opens two doors down, and an elderly woman steps out. She waves to the men across the street as she bends to attach a hose to a spigot. There isn't a lot of "yard" for any of these homes, just a small communal garden and whatever plants they can manage to grow on their balconies. But she begins to water nonetheless — the side of her house closest to the last house on the street, the one nodded to by the two men.

Coming around the corner, a Ford Focus pulls to the curb, rolling down the window. "Got the stuff in the trunk," is called out the window by a young man, college-aged. "We ready to roll?" The trunk pops open and the two men move to the back. The Asian man glances over his shoulder, noticing the passers by and waiting. "We know them? They in on this?" he asks.

It's all taken in, from the movement at the window to the old woman watering the garden. Even the sound of the car is noted, with Devon's eyes following it to it's stopping point. The two men. Again. His eyes narrow slightly, flick toward the houses then taking quick stock of his surroundings. Another woman he doesn't know would mark Cat, Delia is a lurker barely noticeable at the alley's mouth.

He continues his approach, unhurried and stopping only once he's reached the intersection. A look one way, then the other, might indicate intent to cross, however Devon remains stopped and turning a considering look back to the car, its driver, and the original two men.

Devon isn't recognized, nor are the two men at the intersection. But the house they pointed at gives her pause, when Cat's eyes shift in that direction. Movement, of some kind. Red eyes? Yes, they were red eyes, she calls the specific image of seeing them into mind's eye for certainty.

It isn't yet enough to be alarmed, but she gets a sense something isn't right here, and so begins to track all the people within sight while continuing to walk along as if she doesn't notice anything at all.

It's a lovely night to be out, really. The weather is beautiful, just right for a walk around. Granted, Elle probably shouldn't be out and about, but one can only hide underground for so long, with fake windows and fake light, before they get a bit stir crazy. Staring at the same walls day in and day out gets boring, and one can only watch so much television before they grow weary of that, as well.

The little blonde wears simple clothes, despite her access to the clothing Warren provided to her while she was hiding with him. A pair of dark gray capri pants, and a black t-shirt with a coat of arms emblazened across the front, involving wolves and the phrase 'Winter is Coming', black flip flops clicking against her heels as she walks. Her hair is back to being its natural blonde, though she wears a pair of sunglasses to hide her face as much as she can.

She's just wandering about as she notices all of the strangely suspicious activity. A few men chatting, a car, a woman watering the side of a building…that part is the strangest part of all. Elle doesn't like water, however, so she stays a good distance away from that, keeping the street between herself and that active hose. Also noticed are familiar faces, namely Cat, and Devon. Those two are watched, filed away.

If they want to talk to her, they can come talk to her. For now, she'll stick to her spot far away where the water can't reach her. Stupid water.

The appearance of the car has the redhead gluing herself to the side of the building. Delia's not the stelathiest of people at the best of times, her height inherited from her father and the awkward gate that she's had since her recovery mark her a little more noticeable than she'd like.

Peering around the corner, she judges the distance across the street and to the next set of buildings she could use for cover. The flutter of the curtain has her paused as her eyes meet those of the adult before she turns her head. That's when Delia freezes and takes in a long breath, flitting her glance down to the child before it's pulled away. A sympathetic frown forms over her features and she raises a hand to the pair only to curl her fingers into a fist as the curtain drifts back into place.

"Yeah, I think I seen 'em round here, probably the other side of the street, but we all agreed in the Neighborhood Watch meeting that this was the best plan. The Martells are in denial, and now it's too fucking late," the blond man tells the other, who finally lifts the trunk.

"Get that shit out of my trunk. I don't care if you use 'em now or next fucking year, but they're not staying in my car," says the young man behind the wheel.

A cardboard box is taken out, very gingerly, by the Asian man, and brought to the stoop of the house nearest the curb. There is a musical tink of glass bottles knocking lightly against one another, and the man stills for a moment; the driver laughs, yelling out the window. "They're fine 'til you light 'em, buddy!" A Zippo is tossed onto the sidewalk, and the car pulls away, making a U-turn before zipping back out onto the main road.

Near Delia, the window opens, and the child peers out. "Are you a doctor?" comes the small voice of the boy, who couldn't be more than eight.

Across the street, a man steps out, peers down, shielding his eyes from the setting sun, waves to the others and then jogs across, moving around the back of the house to find the circuit breaker.

"Once he's back, we're ready," the stocky man tells the Asian as he stoops to pick up the lighter.

As the car drives off, Devon takes his chance to cross the street. The activity at the house, while noticed, isn't responded to. His attention stays with the remaning two men. "Hey," he calls to them, a tip of his head and thrust of his chin presented in greeting. The teen's eyes stray to the box with its tinkling glass then back to the men, making note of its contents as he makes to join them. "That the stuff? What's the plan? I mean… how we gonna do this?" Arms fold over his chest as his head cants toward the box again, brows arching in askance of the men. Not that he's one of them, but let's not act in haste.

A car, glass bottles, a lighter? dropped in the street. A man heading toward the house they were pointing at. Now this guy she doesn't recognize approaches the men and seems to speak with them. While the woman with the hose continues to water down her neighbor's house. And oh, hey, that's Elle Bishop, probably. The face may be covered in part by sunglasses, but the height and body shape are a match. Not to mention the diminutive electric woman appears to watch her, which suggests recognition. So Cat adjusts course.

And approaches Miss Bishop without displaying any semblance of concern.

Oh, that's a good way to be inconspicuous. Shout about stuff being fine until you like it, and then skidding away. And a box. That isn't conspicuous at all. Elle watches from behind those large sunglasses, blue eyes following the Asian man, and the others that seem to be working with him. A glance is cast toward Devon, brows raising slightly. Most of what is said can't be heard, but it's not difficult to come to a conclusion that they are up to No Good.

As Cat approaches, Elle turns toward her, offering a faint smile. She knows that the woman likely recognizes her, with that crazy memory thing she has going on. It's not like she's being inconspicuous. Not enough to fool a Panmnesiac, at least. A small nod is cast toward the woman, Elle Bishop lifting a hand to lower her glasses, so as to better peer at the woman.

But in her other hand, electricity dances briefly over her fingertips, before dying down once more. Not for Cat — no, she's pondering the merits of electricuting some hoodlums. Might be fun…

"A doctor? No but I'm a nurse," Delia replies to the child in a soft voice. Peering a little bit past him, she tries to look for the woman that pulled him back from the other window. Her eyes don't stray from the boy for more than a second or two before she places an elbow on the sill to stop anyone from slamming it shut again. At least without causing her to scream loudly.

Her other hand reaches into her pocket to take out her cell phone, raising it around her head in an attempt to get a signal. She frowns and shows it to the boy. "Do you think you could ask your mommy if I could use you phone? I have to call home to tell them I'm alright." She smiles, a little uneasily, and shrugs one shoulder before slipping the phone back into her pocket.
ORDER: NPC5 Devon Cat Elle Delia

There is a rumble down the street as a street sweeper pulls up to the intersection. The streets here are narrow, barely enough for two cars to get by one another when there are cars parked along the curb, and there always are. The driver keeps the sweeper centered, as most people do unless there's approaching traffic, and then pulls the vehicle to a stop.

He hops out, and darts down the street toward the bodega on the corner.

"You're Angie's kid, right?" the blond mustached man asks Devon, then doesn't wait for an answer. "Like we said at the meeting. The Martells are all sick, and they don't wanna go to the doctors and no one's answered our calls about 'em, so we're taking matters into our own hands. You wanna help? Hold this." The man shoves one of the bottles into Devon's hand, and then flips open the Zippo. "Once I light it, you're gonna throw through their windows. Pham here will take the side of the house, and I'll get the back."

Pham picks up a bottle and waits for it to be lit.

The man who had darted from across the streets runs back out, hurrying toward the three men. "Power's cut, jammers are on. No cell phones'll should work anywhere on this block," he says proudly, moving to pick up one of the bottles.

The child blinks back at Delia, red eyes wide and blood crusting his nose and lips. "I'm not supposed to talk to strangers, but I'll ask," he says, turning away to do as asked.

"Right," Devon responds to the query, though he has no idea who Angie actually is. As his fingers wrap around the body of the bottle, he glances over his shoulder. Once again he finds the unknown woman and someone new. Fleeting recognition reveals itself in Devon's countenance, a meeting once or twice with the electrokinetic, but unless he wishes to lose any edge he might gain from his game, he makes no telling motions toward her.

"So wait," the teenager puts in as the newcomer joins with news of the power. "You really think this is a good idea? Burn them out? Plagues aren't stopped by setting fire to your neighbors." Despite his own words, Devon holds out the bottle so the wicking can be lit. "I mean, there could be kids inside. Kids who could be helped even if their parents won't do it."

There are no words until she draws alongside the far smaller woman, Cat's eyes settling on this unfolding event she can't quite figure out yet once she's within easy earshot. "Elle Bishop," she finally exhales, "it's been a long time." Not that it doesn't feel like five minutes before given the strength of memories. "I think something's up here. Got a clue what?"

The woman watches in silence, brows raising as she examines the group of men, including that boy she saw in the dome. After a moment, blue eyes turn toward Cat, hidden behind those dark shades of hers. "Catherine Chesterfield." she murmurs in a silky-smooth tone, quiet but charming. She always likes playing the part of the sweet little thing when she's about to be very dangerous.

"I think they're up to no good." She glances back over at Cat, her voice kept low, as if to seem like she's having a charming chat with an old friend. "I have half a mind to zap those jars of fire right out of their hands." A smooth smile appears over her features, fingertips sparking once more, oh-so-brief before the sparks die again.

What the little boy can't see from his place at the window, Delia can. Bottles, wicks, and what seems to be a little flame in the hand of one of the men cause her eyes to widen in panic. "I don't think your mom would have too much of a problem with it, really, I mean… I used to be your neighbor, right? Sort of?"

When the boy disappears a frustrated sigh escapes Delia's lips. She glances quickly to the right and the left of her before taking a page from the book of Sasha. She places both of her hands on the sill and jumps up, trying to lift herself into the window.
ORDER: NPC5 Devon Cat Elle Delia

"Of course there's kids in there. The Martells. They got two, and the Chavez family have three, and the twins are sick, too. I saw them last night, coming in, and the one was coughing up blood like Jamie Martell was last week. They're done for, kid. Ninety percent or something? There's no way they're gonna live, and the health folks don't care about us this way. You bet if we had a Park Avenue address they'd have come when we called about it, but no, they've written off Queens like they wrote off Staten Island five years ago. You know it, and I know it." The mustached man punctuates his words with a spit into the ground before nodding back to the duplex. "The entire block's on it. We took a vote."

Pham takes the lighter since his neighbor is too busy discussing ethics with Devon, and lights his own bottle and hands it off, before taking off in a run toward the building. Halfway down the street, he lobs the flaming Molotov cocktail through the nearest downstairs window, the one belonging to the Chavez family. There is the crash and tinkle of glass and a moment later an orange fireball erupts.

On the far side of the duplex, Jamie Martell's room looks like someone may have died, blood on the sheets and on the glass and window sill. A smaller child moans from the lower bunk bed. The house is dark and smells of illness. It is only a moment before the screaming comes through the thin walls of the town house, the wall they share with the Chavez family.

Though he takes the lighter to set fire to his own bottle, Devon still prepares to voice a protest. His brows knit together in concern, true concern unlike going along with the assumption that he belongs with the older men. "No wait—" he begins as Pham takes off, a coldness settling into him as the first flaming bottle is thrown. "Ninety percent or not," he states through clenched jaws, "they're still people and deserve better than this."

Without putting flame to the bottle in his hand, Devon takes a possessive step toward the box and its remaining haul. His hand tightens around the lighter protectively, eyes slanting from one of the two remaining men to the other. Without further consideration, he's run out of ideas and talking isn't going to work, the teenager sends his foot into the box, a kick meant to shatter and ruin the rest of the cocktails.
"Molotov cocktails," Cat mutters darkly, the voice tinging with something muted but murderous, "such pleasant things come from Russia." Eyes track the man as he starts one fire, ears register the screams in the distance, then Devon is witnessed in the act of upsetting this particularly rotten apple cart. "Looks like a dissenter amid the crew," she opines, "no clue who they are. But my first guess would be an HF cell going after an SLC person's house." Her jaw sets.

"It does seem a piece of truly shocking behavior is called for here."

Oh no he didn't. She was just waiting to see…and then they did it. That up to no good thing was spot on, obviously. Elle's jaw sets, and even as the molotov goes soaring through the air, her hands spark to life at her sides, crackling with angry blue electricity. The boy from the Dome…his actions are noticed, and Elle Bishop promptly crosses him off of her to-zap list. Briefly, she casts a smirk and a nod toward Cat. "I must agree."

And then, her ire is directed toward that douchebag, Pham. One hand raises, sending a bolt toward the asian fellow. He probably won't die, but he'll be feeling it in the morning. "Stop right there! There are people in there!" She snarls as she attacks, flip-flops clacking against her heels as she storms closer to the group with sparking hands.
ORDER: Delia NPC5 Devon Cat Elle
ORDER: Delia NPC5 Devon Cat Elle

Once inside, Delia tears the sleeve of her shirt off and ties it around her nose and mouth, lack of a real mask necessitates the improv. She kneels down beside the bed of the small child and places a hand on his forehead, brushing the sweaty hair away from his brow. Stripping the blankets away, she pulls up the sheet and wraps it around the child. "Come on, little skittle, let's go take a nice cool bath."

Gathering him up, she carries him gently in both arms out into the hallway. The tall redhead hugs the child to her shoulder, trying to shield him from the screaming through the thin wall. "Kid? Hey kid? Where did you go?" The call to the other child is made as she peeks into various doors, trying to find the bathroom. "Lady? Lady!! My name is Delia, I'm a nurse! Don't panic… just try to get the kid outside, I have your little one.."
ORDER: NPC5 Devon Cat Elle Delia

"Goddamn it! Fucking pacifists… look, they're as good as dead, and so are you if you-" The blond mustached man's argument is cut off as he stares at the arc of electricity slamming into his neighbor Pham, who staggers to the ground clutching his shoulder where the bolt hits.

The neighbor from across the street still holds an intact bottle as does the mustached man, and they turn to Devon, as if ready to fight him for the lighter, but a second glance at Elle has them backing away. "I don't recognize her, do you?" the older balding man asks. "We should get outta here…"

He backs away, and a moment later, the stocky man follows suit, dropping the bottle and letting it crash to the cement along with the others. He turns and begins to run.

The Chavez apartment is streaming smoke, the drapes and window sill on fire. Pounding comes from behind the locked door, accompanied by the screams of an entire family.

The rest of the neighbors stay inside. The street, but for the few present, is silent.

Inside the Martell apartment, Delia can hear coughing and the crying of a woman. The mother is in the restroom, wringing out a blood tinged rag when she finally hears both Jamie and Delia behind her. She pulls Jamie by the arm, stepping in front of him, and staring at the redhead in her home. "Who are you? Get out of my house!" — it would be a yell, but there's not enough air or energy. The pounding from the neighbors makes her bring a hand to her head, and she winces, shaking her head as if to clear the headache and the noise.

"But, Mommy, she's a nurse," says Jamie, dark hair and blue eyes rimmed with red.

"Give me him!" Mrs. Martell says, demanding the smaller, fairer of the two children, and she reaches for the child, before stumbling forward. "You can't take them from me!" she cries out, grabbing the child, and pulling him from Delia's arms, nails scratching both Delia and the little boy.

The crackle and pop of electricity only briefly takes Devon's attention before he's rounded on. Lanky is a far better description for him than built, but he meets the two older men without flinching or fear. He throws his own bottle after the pair without further comment, then turns and runs the other direction, to the burning side of the side-by-side house, disappearing around the corner. Hopefully someone else will think to stop and have a chat with the two ne'er do wells.

Down the side of the house, it takes little time to find suitable entry, easier entry than kicking down a door. Pausing only to pull his shirt up to cover his mouth and nose, the teenager kicks in a kitchen window. Easing himself past the shattered glass and into the kitchen, ears strain to catch sounds of life within the dwelling, eyes searching for movement. "Anyone in here," Devon yells past the fabric of his shirt, "I'm here to help! Let me know where you are!"

The brim of her baseball cap is pulled down a bit further to increase obscuring of her features, and Cat moves to follow Elle toward the men. She isn't daunted by the way they drop their molotov cocktails and run. No, she's made curious instead. Having initially wondered if this crew was HF, that wonder is gone. It's too easy. There's no hail of gunfire being aimed at Elle as a reply for her shocking actions, no use of negation gas to curtail abilities either. For the moment at least Devon is left to help the people within that house. Cat's attention and approach is focused on Pham.

"What's your issue with the people in that house?"

That was alarmingly easy. Rather anticlimactic, really. As the men scatter and run, she sneers after then, sending a bolt toward the blonde moustached fellow's back, followed by another bold aimed for the stocky fellow. Nothing lethal, but maybe they'll think again before they do anything like this. Now isn't the time to give chase, in any case.

No, Elle is aimed for the door, storming toward the door of the burning home.

Electricity arcs from her palm, aimed toward the door knob and dead bolt. Normally, she would avoid this, for sake of not destroying the poor family's door…but she has a feeling that a damaged door is the least of their concerns at the moment.

Since when did she ever get heroic? Not even she can say.

"Be careful with him!" Delia yells at the woman, wincing as the sharp nails rake across her skin. "I'm not here to take them away from you, I'm here to help.." Blue eyes drift down toward the older of the two boys and she swallows, reaching up to pull the makeshift mask from her face. "I'm here to help all of you get out of here and get better."

She kneels next to the tub and starts the water, letting it run cold before adding just a touch off warmth. "Come on, we don't have much time, this place is going up like a match stick. Get the boys in the tub and get them wet…" The instructions are given before the young nurse turns to glance at the boys' mother again. "Come on, you can get in with them, don't worry I'll take care of you. No one is going to take your boys away."

The electric bolt fizzles around the door knob and lightning leaves scorch marks around but the family stops pounding when they hear Devon breaking the glass of the kitchen window; luckily it's a small apartment with only two actual rooms down stairs, and they can see their teenaged and lanky savior. The parents each hold a child, the eldest pushed in front of them to the window and hoisted up onto the kitchen sink so that she can hop down into the tiny side yard, just inches away from the hosed-down brick wall of the elderly lady next door.

"Gracias, Gracias, tu eres un angel," the mother tells Devon.

None of the family looks sick.

Upstairs, the mother does what Delia says, then points a shaking hand down the hall. "My husband's sleeping, he's the sickest of us; the kids got it first, but he's got it worst…" she wheezes.

On the street, Pham scuttles away from Cat, finally able to feel fingers and toes again, and is up onto his feet finally. He staggers a few steps. "We all have families, you know? We're just protecting them," he says, glancing at the burning building and then beginning to run away.

"Go, go," Devon tells the family, herding them toward the window. He helps the family through, coughing against the smoke as his hands free his shirt to keep each person from cutting themselves on glass. Children, mother, then father are all assisted through the window before he allows himself to climb through. He follows behind them, hands on Mama and Papa Chavez's shoulders to guide the family to the front of the house and toward the road away from the weapons that had set flame to the house.

A final ushering push gently sends the Chavez family away, and Devon turns back, this time for the Martell house. He pulls his shirt up again, over his nose and mouth before climbing through the window Delia had entered in. "There anyone in here," the teen asks roughly as he starts inside. His eyes sweep from side to side, squinting against the smoke beginning to find its way into the house. "You need to get out, the house is burning! Do you need help?!"

She could chase after Pham when he gets to his feet and starts to run, and is partly tempted to. Her experience says people like this often have backup nearby when trying things such as this. But if they did, Cat reasons, it'd already be obvious. There's a marked absence of being under fire, or any hardened commitment to violence and murder on the part of those men.

So with danger being verified as absent, at least to the extent she can verify it, she approaches the burning house with the intent of helping rescue efforts. Where is the woman with the hose?

The door is wrenched open by Elle, to find the family retreating into the kitchen, through the window. Hmph. Well, there goes her chance to be heroic. Probably for the best. No need to have the Institute on her tail, when she's been nice and safe. Not knowing what she knows. The electrokinetic retreats away from the fiery door, back toward Cat and Pham.

As he begins to run, she sends another zap his way, her features cold behind the sunglasses as she stalks after him. "Ohhhh no. You're not going anywhere." She snarls this out to the asian man, her hands crackling with that angry-sounding electricity of hers.

"What makes you think that what you did is okay? They're sick. Keep them on fucking quarantine, don't murder them. You should be ashamed of yourself, trying to murder innocent people. Would you want to be burnt alive if you fell ill?!" Another angry bolt spits toward his leg. Nothing that will kill him, no. Elle doesn't want another murder on her hands. Not this guy, at least. She'll just make him hurt. Make his heart jump in his chest.

The scars on her wrists, which look like bracelets of grafted skin, remind her of the time that she was nearly burnt alive, and she sure as hell is going to make sure this man has the fear of god in him for trying to do the same to others. Elle may have gotten a little bit heroic, but she's still a brutal little thing. "Give me your wallet."

"In here!!" Delia responds to the teen's yell with one of her own, once again covering her mouth with the rag of sleeve. Turning toward Mrs. Martell and the boys, she holds up a hand. "Get really wet and then go back into the boys room, where I came in. I'm going to get help to get your husband out, okay?"

The fabric is removed from her face only long enough to get it wet. "I need help, there's a man too sick to move!!" Delia then moves out into the hallway to find the source of the other voice and lead him to where Mr. Martell is lying.

The woman has retreated into her house, blinds closed tight. The hose is still attached to the spigot, there for the taking, however.

Pham groans and falls again when Elle zaps them, grabbing his leg and writhing on the ground. "They'd make us all sick. The kids, they came out of the house a couple of times… the little one sleepwalks, we found him wandering in the street, bleeding… my little girl found him. He could have touched her… The health people, they didn't come!" he cries out, tears streaming down his face from the pain and fear of being electrocuted for his part in this.

He reaches for his wallet, pulling it from his pants pocket with a shaking hand to offer Elle.

The Chavezes spill out onto the street, eyes wild, soot on their faces, coughing from smoke but there is no blood, no sigh of the Red Plague. They were targetted simply because of their proximity to the Martells.

"Call 9-1-1!" the father yells. "My cell phone won't work… my house! Who would do this to us?" he gasps, arms tight around the toddler in his arms, the child bawling and breaking the prior silence of the street.

Upstairs, Jamie shakes his head at Devon. "I'm afraid of heights!" he cries out, staring at the roof - it's not far to the fence and then down to the ground from there, but it's farther for someone with small legs.

"Go on baby, you can do it," Mrs. Martell says, hugging the smaller child as she pushes the older one further. Finally Jamie grabs hold of Devon, arms around the teen's neck as he buries his bloody and teary face into Devon's shoulder.

Locating Delia and the family isn't difficult, the houses are small enough. Devon draws an arm protectively over Jamie, then pulls him up onto his back. "Hold on tight," he tells the child around a cough. His eyes go to Delia and Papa Martell, then to Mama Martell and the other boy. "Go with them, we'll be right behind. —All of us."

Keeping one hand tucked behind to support Jamie's weight, Devon kneels beside the ill older man on the floor. A quick prayer that the family doesn't have a dislike for the SLC expressive gives him brief pause, then his hand drops to the man's forehead. His eyes, his focus clamps onto the fellow, mind and awareness and understanding flowing and locking into place, synchronizing his control over the other's form. It seems like forever, though only a half minute passes, and the teenager stands again.

His eyes never leave Mister Martell's body, and as Devon straightens and his hand falls away, the illness ravaged man's body lifts, too. It takes careful maneuvering, painstakingly slow so the father of the family isn't dropped, the teen's ability, a trick of gravity and telekinetics, gently carries the man through the window and to the grass below. He keeps watch the entire time, only daring to look away and begin to exit with his other charge, Jamie, once Martell is safely placed on the ground.

Finding the hose still out and producing water, Cat attempts to pull it around to the nearest area of burning house and start spraying things down. Pham is given little further attention, even though he stopped running. Elle clearly has this in hand.

But she also remains alert, listening for the approach of any fire personnel, police, or soldiers. She has no intention of being around if that happens.

The wallet is snatched up and opened, slender fingers seeking out only one thing: the man's ID. She picks this out of the wallet, and tosses the leather down to the ground, at Pham's feet. Then, she ducks down, her newly claimed ID card in one hand, while the other lifts, electricity crackling, popping and hissing between her fingers. She brings her face close to Pham's, then, with the electricity only inches away.

"Tonight, I want you to turn yourself and the others who were in on this in. I want to see a little section in the newspaper devoted to how you gallantly confessed to your arson, and lead the police to the others who did this with you. You will say nothing of me." With the hand holding the ID, Elle lifts her sunglasses, staring at the man with cold blue eyes, a sneer on her face.

"If you don't, I now know where you live." She sneers. "And if you ever do something like this again? If I hear of an attack like this that can be linked to you?" She leans a little closer, eyes narrowing dangerously. "I will personally ensure that you and your family suffer the same fate. Do you understand me?" She spits at the man, toward his chest, before raising to her feet again.

"Run and do what I said now, before I change my mind." This is said with a cold tone, the electrokinetic glaring daggers down at the Asian fellow. She'll wait for him to run, then she'll likely head off as well. Perhaps she'll hang out with Cat for a while. If anything, the panmnesiac provides fascinating conversation.

While Devon is busy lifting the family out of the window, Delia secures the wet sleeve a little tighter around her head before climbing out after them. When she finally jumps to the ground, she tries to lift the weak man to his feet, using her own body as a crutch for him. "Lady, if you can, try to cut some of the sheet to cover your mouth and nose. Then do the same for the boys. I know a place that's safe, you can get better without worrying that you'll infect anyone else."

Looking up to the window, she waves toward the teen. "Come on, climb out before— " The yell is interrupted bhy a few coughs resulting from the smoke around them. "Let's get to the sidewalk, do you have a car? We need to get to Brooklyn."

Pham's eyes are wide, but he nods, scrambling to his feet and taking off running, feet slipping in the gasoline and glass shards of the broken bottles. There is a police sub station not far; it will be moments, if he keeps true to his word, before the police and fire units come. The blaze seems to be out, thanks to Cat’s quick thinking and the neighbor’s hose.

The mother does as Delia bids her to, then shakes her head. "No car," she whispers, the rattle of fluid in her lungs accompanying her words. "We can't — we can't walk; no taxi will take us… not like this…" The family is in their pajamas, the mother and children soaking wet.

"Take ours…" gasps Mr. Chavez from where he stands hugging his family. Elle's words have told him everything he needs to know. He kisses his son's head and puts him in the arms of the older daughter, then strides to the ill family. Reaching into his pocket, he pulls out keys. "Take ours," he repeats, holding it out for Delia. "And thank you. Thank you so much. For my family. God be with you."

Mrs. Chavez behind him makes the sign of the cross. "Angeles," she whispers. "Gracias, mis angeles."

In the distance, a siren wails. The angels scatter into the darkening night, no longer lit by fire.

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