This Twilight, Reprise I


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title This Twilight, Reprise I
Synopsis The final battle with the Sentinel begins and the fate of the Pelago hangs in the balance.
Date December 27, 2018

Somewhere beyond the sea

Screams fill the stairwell as the missile hits the building. The entire structure rocks to the side, sending survivors slamming against the stairwell wall as cracks split up the stone. Debris falls from the ceiling, and Ricky Daselles lets out a howling cry of fear.

Somewhere waiting for me

Nate Winters sits on the icy deck of a small fishing trawler, soaked to the bone from freezing rain, sobbing uncontrollably as he looks up at a burning skyscraper, flaming debris tumbling down its side. His face is flushed red, fire reflected in his eyes, cheeks streaked with rainwater and tears.

My lover stands on golden sands

A massive piece of burning concrete swirling with flaming pieces of paper crashes into the dark ocean, kicking up a huge wave that threatens to capsize the Pup. Captain Ryans steadies himself, watching more pieces of the building rain down further away, between his small watercraft and Ricky’s trawler.

And watches the ships that go sailin'

Levi Walker coughs up a mouthful of blood. He convulses on the deck of the trawler, legs kicking and fingers curling in the air. Marlowe’s hands are pressed down over his wound, blood pulsing up between her fingers, freezing rain crusting in her hair. Levi is ashen, pale, dying. Blue eyes pierce the dark beyond Levi, and Kazimir takes a knee by his side, then lays his hand on Marlowe's shoulder. “Don’t fight it.”

Somewhere beyond the sea

Swept up into Stef’s arms, Nate turns and buries his face against her chest, sobbing uncontrollably as the Library of Babel crashes down around them. People are shouting, the noise of the trawler’s engines rumble in the night as it pulls away from the home Stef built from the ground up. The life she made for herself and her family, gone down in flames.

She's there watching for me

Clinging to the railing of the Pup, Sarah Hart watches as enormous pieces of the Library of Babel crash into the sea, arms wrapped around herself and tears welled up in her eyes. Ice clings to her tangled hair. She trembles not just from the cold, but from the bitter injustice and inhumanity on display. The fires burning in the night, the sounds of gunfire, the purge. She had been lucky to escape the Pelago with her life. This was all wrong.

If I could fly like birds on high

“She’s lost a lot of blood.” Jonathan Smith takes a knee beside Nicole Nichols, looking at the blood weeping out from around the edges of the paper bandage. He turns his attention up to Iris. “Go get me Ricky’s first aid kit, I’ll do what I can. Whatever I can.” He says, pressing one hand to the curling paper held to her side.

Then straight to her arms

Choking flames belch out of the top of the skyscraper, like a torch held aloft in the dark. Captain Daselles can’t force himself to look at it as he navigates his ship away from the wreckage, but the burning pages of incinerated books fluttering with the rain like falling leaves is inescapable. The burning pages sizzle when they hit the deck, flatten up in ashen smudges against the cabin window.

I'd go sailing

Kazimir’s hand clamps down on Marlowe’s shoulder, needling icy talons into her skin. Levi writhes, back arching and mouth gaping open. He coughs up more blood, even as Kazimir’s eyes glow a soft blue, tendrils of something black and ephemeral slithering down his arm and into Marlowe’s body. She feels pain, skin blackens around the hand, but Levi sucks in a wet breath in the same moment.

It's far beyond the stars

“Come on, hold on. Hold on!” Jonathan demands, his hands and forearms soaked with blood. Crimson-stained paper plastered the deck, crusted with freezing rain. Jonathan can’t feel his hands from the cold. A man who is invincible, yet trembling in terror of something he has no control over. Blood swirls dark and thick across the deck of the ship, but he never breaks eye contact with Nicole.

It's near beyond the moon

Searchlights flood the dark, seek-and-destroy vessels combing the wreckage of the Library of Babel. The survivors’ escape concealed by the water and the smoke. A small family of cats, huddled in a cardboard box, stow away within Captain Daselles’ cabin. Though the human minds within those felines know both grief and rage, even as the mewling kittens with them know only relief and fear in equal measure.

I know beyond a doubt

Squeaks’ heart is ice in her chest. Shock begins to wear off and a swell of emotions come over her that draws Huruma’s attention; Pain, guilt, anger, despair. She had survived the Wasteland, only to find the icy grip of the flood to be a pull that threatened to drown her not in the waters of an apocalypse, but the unfathomable depths of her own heart.

My heart will lead me there soon

Sumi is slouched up against the wall of Captain Daselles’ cabin, holding her side as ink and blood spill from a wound in equal measure. Stef stays by her side, reapplying bandages and trying to keep the wound shut. The ink mixing with the water twists and turns into words and phrases, subconscious expressions of grief as ephemeral as life itself. Her eyes unfocus, lid halfway.

We'll meet beyond the shore

Marlowe Terrell stares into the eyes of Kazimir Volken, feeling the deathly pall of the grim reaper reaching into her chest. But it isn’t her life the reaper is after, it is repayment for something else. Levi Walker exhales another breath, then turns his head and coughs and spits out a bullet that rattles across the deck.

We'll kiss just as before

“Nicole?” Jonathan taps her cheek with a bloody hand, looking up to Iris, then back down to her. “Nicole, stay with me!” The trawler rocks with the surf, lantern light sways and casts long shadows across the deck of the ship. Nicole’s chest rises and falls in a steady rhythm, her breathing hastens, then shortens, her grasp on Iris’ hand tightens, then relaxes.

Happy we'll be beyond the sea

Sumi swallows down a breath, exhaling a sharp keening sound as she leans to her side onto her elbow. Looking up to Stef with determination and focus. They are the library, she recalls. She has to live for that, at least long enough to share what she knows with another generation, to rebuild everything they had. But the wailing cry from Iris across the ship sends a chill down her spine.

And never again I'll go sailing

Two more bullets pop out of Levi’s chest, rolling down his skin beneath his rain-soaked clothing. Marlowe feels Kazimir’s hand disengage from her shoulder, leaving a blackened scar in the shape of a palm where he touched her. Levi exhales short, panicked breaths and pulls open the buttons of his shirt, smoothing his fingers around in his own blood. But there’s no gunshot wounds, not even scars. Marlowe is rapt by the miracle, but when she looks back for Kazimir… he’s gone.

I know beyond a doubt, ah

Iris’ cry echoes across the ship. Nicole’s blue eyes dim like a computer powering down, turning from electric to cobalt with the last breath to slip past her pale lips. A snowflake lands on her pupil, freezes there on an unblinking eye staring lifelessly into the consuming void of a starless night’s sky.

My heart will lead me there soon

Else Kjelstrom stands at the bow of Captain Daselles’ ship, arms wrapped around herself, ice in her tangled blonde hair, eyes milky white and blind to the tragedy.

We'll meet (I know we'll meet) beyond the shore

Her song is for herself, but it is also for the world.

We'll kiss just as before

For the living.

Happy we'll be beyond the sea

For the dead.

And never again I'll go sailing

…and those yet to come.

No more sailing

So long sailing

Bye bye sailing

Two Days Later

The Cerberus II, Mess Hall
48 Miles Southeast of Palisade Sill
Coastal Atlantic Ocean

December 27th
6:27 am

Lightning illuminates the horizon through curtains of driving rain.

Four ships have dropped anchor nearby to the platform of a sea-level skyscraper roof, half of the top floor underwater with only the rooftop helipad visible above the churning surf. Barnacles cling to the railing on the roof’s edge, seaweed hangs like curtains off the side, blowing in the wind. Sea birds cling to the man-made island to wait out the coming storm. The survivors on their ships do much the same.

Lantern-light from the vessels illuminates the silhouettes of ship-bound survivors from the Pelago. Those not fortunate enough to be able to be aboard the larger vessels are huddled together for warmth under tarps on life drafts tied off to the larger ships. It is an untenable situation, one that could well end in the deaths of all those aboard if they cannot come to a consensus on what to do next.

One of the four large ships, a Norwegian whaling vessel, hosts a gathering in its cabin. Bright lights shine out the cabin windows and raised voices echo into the morning air. Along the side of the ship, the vessel’s original designation has been painted over by black tar, spelling out the new designation for all to see:


“Then just put a fucking gun in my mouth and pull the trigger!

Captain Daselles’ voice rings out through the lantern-lit mess hall in the Cerberus II’s cabin. He whips his hands up into the air, stepping back from the table they’re all gathered around. Else upturns dark eyes to him from where she is hunched over the charts of the Pelago and the surrounding area, watching Ricky with great concern.

“I mean if that’s what you want,” Hart says as she moves a hand down to her holstered pistol.

“Woah, woah.” Comes a call for calm from one of Marlowe Terrell’s crew. “Look, nobody’s putting any guns in anybody’s mouths,” Jonathan Smith says with a hand held out toward Ricky and a hand held out toward Hart as he interposes himself between them.

“Look, I know we’re all on edge. But if we turn on each other all we’re going to do is the Sentinel’s job for them.” Jonathan says, watching for recognition and acceptance in the two before he relaxes and lowers his hands.

Ricky scrubs a hand over his mouth and looks down at the chart, then up and around to everyone at the table. “We don’t have the weapons to take on the Sentinel. I say we high-tail it for the Sill, and we take our chances inland.”

Ricky’s suggestion raises a chorus of murmuring voices and concern among the other survivors listening to the argument. Hart shakes her head, hand at her forehead.

“That’s suicide,” Hart croaks. “The Inland’s a—a—a toxic wasteland! We’d die in weeks if we weren’t picked off by survivalists or raiders first.” She turns her attention over to the others, not having a good answer. “But… But Ricky’s right, we couldn’t stay at the Sill. The Sentinel will probably hit there next.”

A quiet dread settles over the meeting.

“So you travel along the coast down towards Mexico,” comes a familiar rumble from the back of the hall. “See what’s there…”

While they had all been arguing, for once, Captain Ryans wasn’t in the thick of it. Since the defeat at the Pelago, he’s had too much time to think back at everything they’d lost. Quietly sitting at his table, Ben had managed to find and drink half of a bottle of whatever cheap whiskey he could find. It sat next to him on the table, where he sat slumped in a galley chair with a creased photo in his hand. He had only been half listening until Ricky started yelling, his eyes on the photo, his thumb brushing over the images of his family.

All of them dead, because of decisions he made. This meant he was a man with nothing to lose… which was dangerous in itself.

“Not everyone is a soldier and I’m sorry any of you got mixed up in this.” Pushing to his feet, Ben tries not to appear like he’s probably had too many. “Those of you without the ability or stomach for it…. you need to go and see if you can find some semblance of peace before they hunt you down, torture, and kill you.”

That probably came out far more blunt than he planned, but with senses dulled by liquor he had less of a filter then usual.

Straightening his tired and sore back, Benjamin looks around at the people in the room. “That being said, I’m staying. Before it all went to shit, we were working on a plan to hit them where it hurts. I still feel confident that we can take down the main ship and their leader. If we can manage that… maybe….” he sighs, a hand on his hip and fingers rubbing at tired puffy eyes. “I don’t know what it will do, but I hope it will be enough to rattle them and give us a better footing and the rest of you a headstart.”

Asi has been waiting for them to get it out of their systems, to realize their options are few, each looking worse than the last. She needed the other leaders to realize their options were suicidal every way they looked.

So it was time to do as much good with it as possible, for everyone's sake. It's no secret she's been scrapping to strike back, but she's kept her silence until someone else brought it up first.

When Ben Ryans lifts his voice, though, sparks hit the gunpowder.

"We take out their flag, we take off their head. If there's a cause worth dying for today, it's that one." She looks to Hart, to Ricky, Myron— the small mess of captains still left. Then, to Marlowe. "We give the Pelago a chance to get out. We strike back for the lives that have been lost. We do what we must to secure a tomorrow for those still left."

No matter the cost.

From where they lurk, in the back and just over Captain Ben’s shoulder, two more of the Cerberus crew have been part of the silent party while the rest run their voices into oblivion.

Squeaks leans against Huruma’s shoulder, exhausted physically and emotionally, adrift in the seas of argument. Her mind has wandered into a numbing ly heavy half sleep with the ongoing indecisions, eyes and body sagging, lulled by the gentle dip and curtsy of the anchored boat. It's possible, she could sleep through the entire meeting if she chose to. It's not so different from the Wasteland she's from — a lot more water, but similar dangers.

As tempers flare and voices swell with disagreement, the teen rouses with a start, her body going rigid. A hand slips along her side to the heavy knife sheathed at her waist, fingers curling around the hilt. Her eyes search, darting from the nearest faces to the further ones she can see.

But as her tired mind catches up to the words and inaction still continuing as when she'd lost track moments before, she relaxes again.

With her hand still resting on her knife, Squeaks shifts in her seat. How many times in her life already has she sat in on similar discussions? How many times since escaping the Wasteland, where being evolved was hunted and worse just like here, has she heard the same speech? She was tired of it, tired of being hunted and hated, tired of fighting and needing to fight.

But mostly she's afraid to quit fighting. The consequences would be slower and more painful than death in combat.

Squeaks opens her mouth to speak, then sighs after a second. A glance angles up to Huruma to share in a look, then she tilts her head and looks to the gathered captains, crew, and survivors.

Catching the elusive nature of rest isn't impossible, though anytime it seems to come close, Huruma's fugue state nudges her away from it. She's both listening and not. Watching, and not. When they'd gotten to relative safety, there was little time to pause; mourning has to be done while in motion, or while in meeting. It's been one thing after another, and some hit worse. In an attempt to soothe the rawness that is her ability and the current climate, Huruma has taken up where she can watch, rather than participate. Squeaks followed along like a duckling, which she did not seem to mind.

The empath is sitting there with her hands linked between her knees when the noise wakes the teenager beside her; there is nothing said, and the dark woman's eyes are focused on the others up until Squeaks looks to her. Even then… her reply is a slow look back, and a reach to her other side to produce a canteen, offered wordlessly to the redhead.

Huruma has sat in on a great many of these too. They never really change.

Marlowe Terrell finds she remembers little if anything of the past two days. Following the escape from Babel, staring into icy blue eyes as she felt an arresting sensation of death surround her in mind and body, in heart and soul. That Kazimir did what he did, and then was again gone, was the blow that took her out. She slept. Not the sort of sleep that was ultimately Nicole's fate. Her small but loyal crew kept their leader protected as best they could. But even they know it's foolish to protect one at the sacrifice of all others. Marlowe was of course appreciative. And later, livid.

The Syndicate leader lounges in her seat along the wall of the cabin where she utilizes the cast shadows to hide much of her exhausted face and a blackened shoulder. A lingering streak of superficial vanity to cover deeper, uglier scars.

Marlowe quietly watches the arguments flare and finally as Asi looks in her direction, adds her input with a slight shake of her head. "Benjamin, please, no need for melodrama," she sighs at the Cerberus captain's extreme playing out of events. Nevermind that it's quite likely the outcome of those captured by the Sentinel. "He and Asi are right, though. Any hope of survival dies if the Pelago falls." Her grim pronouncement then cuts with a thin, dry smile in Asi's direction and a slow nod of understanding. "And there's ground to run to that the Decatur does not, eventually, follow. We need to… end their reign of these waters."

She sits up some more, leaning forward and into the ugly yellowed light. Elbows rest on knees, finger interlace between them. "The Decatur is riddled with deterrents, but they're spikes on a sea urchin. If we find our way around, I think we'll find a soft center." But who is the we, she leaves open for the moment.


“I’m all for fighting,” Jonathan says with a level look at Ryans, “but we need to come up with a concrete plan to get the civilians out. Hoping for the best three thousand miles away is just that. Hope. I think we’re in short supply of that these days.”

Leaning across the table, Hart stretches out and steals a red wax pencil and circles the Pelago. “Let’s look at it like this. That’s home.” She says firmly. “The Sill is here,” she circles to the north in the shattered islands of what was once the Adirondacks. “Northeast of that is all Sawyer’s territory and we have no way of knowing if Eve and the others made it through. Beyond that’s the Stormfront and we might as well just drown ourselves here.”

Hart then traces the line of the coast in red pencil. “Then we have inland. The coastal fishing settlements are probably safe, we might be able to disperse among them, but they’re notoriously territorial and standoffish and not that welcoming to additional mouths to feed.” Hart draws a few arrows pointing inland. “We go past the new coast and it’s anybody’s guess. A handful of ghost stories of people who’ve come back. Nothing reliable other than how fucked everything is.”

Slowly moving down the east coast, Hart circles the major known settlements. “We know the Sentinel came north from Virginia. We don’t know if they hit Delphi.” She circles what was once the city of Philadelphia. “That’s the closest settlement we have to retreat to that isn’t north.”

“Norfolk's… probably gone.” Hart says, crossing an X over the once-coastal Virginia settlement. “If, uh, if the Sentinel came up from a purge that way, there’s no survivors. Probably no wreckage to salvage, either.”

“Columbia is the furthest south we’ve ever heard of anybody coming from, and it’s just little islands dotted with shelters.” Hart says, circling where the city of Columbia, South Carolina. “There’s rumors of inhabited oil rigs in the Gulf, but… “ Hart slowly looks up to Ryans. “I don’t know if we have the gas to get that far. Not without a proper restock from the Pelago, and even then… that’s a lot of fuel.”

Jonathan sighs, nodding as he looks at the map. “So we can’t run. Not forever.” He looks over to Ryans, then over to Marlowe and Asi, then back down to the table. “My vote is that we take the civilians to the Sill and we take our chances with cutting off the head of the serpent.”

Ricky blows out a heavy sigh and rakes his fingers back through his hair. “Fuck, man. Not to be that guy, but I can go to the Sill, lead the civilian boats. You don’t want me in a fucking firefight, I’m goddamn useless.”

“I can help with the Sentinel. After what they did to Lowes, the Empire, the Library… to everything we built.” Jonathan shakes his head. “We have to make a stand, or die trying.”

The bottle next to him rattles as a wave of anger washes through him at being called melodramatic, but the Captain of the boat manages to keep it internal. Marlowe couldn’t understand the pain he was in. The last of his line in this world. A father shouldn’t have to outlive his children. There was some solace in Bradley being in another world, away from this nightmare. Short ragged nails biting into the tender palm of his hand helps focus him on the conversation.

“I agree,” Ben states roughly, turning a look to Ricky. “Daselles should lead those who want out of here.” Then he slowly shifts that gaze over to Asi. “We have an idea of how to take out the head, but… it’s probably a suicide mission at best.” Not that he thinks there is any other way, but there is no need to sugar coat it.

"Everything is some shade of suicide mission at this point," Asi maintains adamantly. She lifts her chin to acknowledge his point, still looking oddly at peace with the heavy reality of their situation. "If I'm going to die to this, I'd rather choose how. Not by being shot down while we run."

Marlowe's words bring her attention back that way, and she nods once firmly in agreement. Glad to see someone else saw it the way she did. It was overly simplistic, perhaps, but it was just two things. Find a spot to strike… then use it to cut off the Sentinel beast at its head.

Asi turns to look back in the direction of the other Cerberus crew finally, trying to gauge how ready they are or aren't to charge ahead into this next phase.

The canteen is accepted, the cap removed, and Squeaks takes a first cautious sip. It's followed by a healthier swallow before the cap is replaced and offered back. All while the debate continues to wash and tumble over her. There's valid points, valid concerns, words she agrees with and some she'd scoff at if she weren't exhausted.

The look she turns on Ricky when he volunteers himself to take the civilians will have to suffice for the sass she'd rather give him.

Then something Asi says highlights the very feelings the teen has. The same she felt in the Wasteland, first when going into the mouth of the beast then later escaping out the back end.

“We should go when it's full dark.” Squeaks realizes she's likely a disembodied voice where she's seated, so she takes a second to pick herself up and move closer to the captains. Blue eyes direct her thoughts to Captain Ben and Asi, since they're Hounds like her. “A two-prong attack. The first should be the biggest to clear the deck and take control of the wheelhouse and the communications. The other is the smaller, sneaky ones who can get into places and cut off the support.”

The girl tilts her head to include the rest of the captains, “Then we have the Decatur and a fighting chance.”

Ever watchful of the ongoing conversation, Huruma's gaze sharpens slightly just as Benjamin's hackles raise. He knows how to focus himself; she still helps, the invisible, steadying hand of calm resting into his head. Huruma knows he can be a straight arrow here if he has to be- - but no need to do it alone.

The empath only gives a tired, tight smile when she glances to Squeaks, taking up the canteen. She watches the girl rise and move closer, the red curls popping against lamplight.

"If you want to lead a horse, you take the reins." is Huruma's low, rasping contribution to the end of Squeaks' words. Her pale eyes dart into the shadows and back again. "Then push the riders off the saddle. The ocean can do to them what she does best."

"'Great results can be achieved with small forces'," Marlowe quotes of Sun Tzu's The Art of War as plans begin to take shape. Speaking of small, Squeaks speaking up earns an acknowledging nod. "Kid's got a good head for tactic. I can see why you had her on your crew," says the Syndicate leader to Ben Ryans. Her words form a faint apology for the melodramatic remark moments earlier.

But Marlowe frowns mildly in Jonathan's direction when the man volunteers to join the assault group. Ultimately, it's a lot of planning with a lot of variables. Lots to go wrong. "Let's not," she nevertheless states a little louder and firmer, "be calling it suicide before the day's here and done, hm? We see the problems and we'll fix them."

Rising to her feet, Marlowe moves closer to the map to study the marks. "We're missing intel," she says, laying a finger on the map where her building had been. Now who was being melodramatic. "One, that they could still have more forces waiting for a go ahead. Two, the submarine. Three, we don't know if Eve made it through, but based on reputation, well."

Well, she'll leave that to the slim chance it'll come together.

"But overall, I agree. Two, three in a group. And just get me close enough to their engine blocks…" Marlowe lifts her fingers off the map, only to snap the fingers decisively.

Did you tell them about the big bong?” A voice from outside the cabin calls through the glass of the cabin’s windows. There’s a man on the other side, a part of Ricky’s crew, hands cupped around his mouth and pressed up against the glass so as to be heard.

Ricky looks like he’s seen a ghost. He scrambles over to the window, smacks the glass with the flat of his hand, sending the wiry man scrambling back. “Fuck off!” Ricky says like he’s trying to shoo a cat off his porch. Ricky puts himself between the table and the crewman, but it doesn’t do much. He just pops his head over Ricky’s shoulder.

The bong! Big ba-bong! Ricky!” He’s clearly shouting so as to be heard through the closed window. Ricky presses his mouth into a flat, frustrated line and looks like he’s about to snap.

Hart leans away from the table, looking between Ricky and his crewman. “What’s he going on about?”

Nothing!” Ricky says, turning around and slapping the window again. “God damnit Darryl go below decks!


“But the ba-bong! Ricky!” Darryl shouts. “Tell them!”


The name is spoken sharply by Benjamin, who slams his hand on the table and rises to his feet. There is a hard set of his jaw and a look that says he’s not in the mood for his shit or anyone else's crap either. “This is no time for your tricks or games… or whatever is going on.” He looks at the others in the room and then sighs.

“I can’t believe I am going to ask this,” Ben grumbles under his breath, pressing fingers to the bridge of his nose. “But at this point, I feel that nothing is… nothing and on my boat, we listen to every voice.” Letting the hand drop, the Captain takes a few steps towards the door and opens it. “Darryl!” He calls out the mess hall door, before leveling a look on Ricky. “So explain… what is he going on about, Daselles?”

The submarine. Asi's eyes darken at the mention of it, jaw setting. It was a variable hard to account for in their current state. It wasn't like they had warships to work with, exactly. Nothing like what the Sentinel was employing against them. "Has anything come through on the comms of the ship we commandeered?" she asks quietly.

“Nothing,” Hart answers with a shake of her head. “They’ve either gone radio silent or they’re operating on new channels. They might be using encrypted communications we don’t have access to, either. The radio on that boat wasn’t long-range.”

Asi head turns in the direction of the shout from outside. The insistence of the man outside the window begs attention if nothing else, even if his words make little sense. She's used to that, in some respects, from dealing for years with Mad Eve.

"If you don't let him in, his voice is going to carry across the water," Asi inputs. When she looks back to Darryl, the hue of her eyes shift— brightening, pigment changing. She blinks once.

"I'd like to know what it is he's heard," the oni says with a firmness that lets her quiet voice carry.

A small tip of her head is Jac’s acknowledgement and thanks to Marlowe's praise. It's followed by a sharp eyed look to any of the captains who might speak against her idea or involvement. It's as much her fight as it is anyone else’s and she'll say as much if she needs to.

But that's all interrupted by the yelling at the door and Ricky acting like… well, Ricky.

The teen huffs an annoyed breath, mirroring those looks and tones of her captain and crew mates. “Everyone gets a chance to speak,” she points out to the man blocking the door, folding her arms over her chest. “Even Darryl. If he's got an idea, let him share it. Unless you're scared?”

The way that the man outside pleads for someone to listen and the way that his only avenue responds rubs Huruma the wrong way immediately. Benjamin seems the same way, even if his reaction is less bristle and more frustration.

Huruma needn't stand for what she does next; Daselles can feel her eyes find him, because that's when the dread flows in, icy pressure against the defiance he shows while trying to get his kin to leave.

"You're outnumbered on this," Her voice crawls its way up, tired as it is. "Stand back."

Ricky doesn’t look so much mad as he looks frustrated. The look he gives Darryl is one of both apology and worry as the lanky man makes his way into the hold where the meeting is held.

“Go on,” Ricky says in defeat, scrubbing a hand over his mouth. “Tell ‘em.”

“The bong,” Darryl explains in a quiet voice, spreading his hands. “I was in the hold, sortin’ cans. Gettin’ the aluminum and the tin apart.”

“This was before the attack.” Ricky clarifies, his tone now much more somber. “About… about an hour before the missile.”

Darryl glances back at Ricky with a nod, then looks around the table. “Like I was sayin’, I was sortin’ the cans when I heard a ba-bong. Up here.” Darryl taps the side of his head. “It was so loud it knocked me over, but Ricky barely heard it.”

“Darryl’s… special.” Ricky explains in a quiet, worried voice. “He hears things people can’t. The radio. He can… like, tune it in his head. Every radio frequency, he just has to be listening for it. He can transmit too.”

Hart looks at Ricky with narrowing eyes, hunching over the table. “He’s evolved!?

“I’m not fucking broadcasting his ability for everyone and their fucking mom to know! Darryl’s a sweet kid,” Ricky says of a fully-grown adult, “and people would fucking take advantage of him if they knew what he could do!”

We could have used that ability! We could have saved lives!” Hart shouts, slamming her hands down on the table.

“Not your call!” Ricky shouts back, pointing a finger at Hart.

Almost as soon as Ricky utters those words, he finds himself lifted up off the ground and slammed against the wall with enough force to make his ears ring as his head connects to the bulkhead. This is followed quickly by an angry old man, who practically slams into the man, curling fists around the lapel of the other captain’s jacket. This close he can see the red that still rings the old man’s eyes, but also that emptiness that loss always brings with it.

Ben is very angry at this moment, which is rarely displayed. The man’s emotions are so raw from his grief, it slams into Huruma.

Yet, when the old man speaks, he doesn’t yell. He doesn’t have too. “Are you telling me that all this time you had the key to saving my family?!?!” There is a growled fierceness that vibrates with his desire to roar those words at him. He shoves the man with fists that tremble with his emotions, his ability keeps Ricky flattened to the wall, but doesn’t crush him. “All those peoplekids/… died.”

A photograph is pulled out of his pocket, one of Ryans’ family in a candid and loving moment, is held in front of Ricky’s face. Ben’s family. “We could have saved them, you selfish bastard.” The picture is shoved into a pocket of the other Captain’s coat, even though his eyes never leave Ricky’s so that he can see the pain his choice has caused.

“Something to remind you that all of their lives are on your head, Deselles,” Ben growls, fighting not to let the tears that prickle at the back of his eyes show. “Good luck living with that.

When it becomes abundantly clear rather than strongly suspected just what Darryl is, Asi blinks. She draws in breath to retort to Hart's call, surprisingly in favor of Ricky, but Ryans goes a step further than Hart did. Her head turns his direction and it's only after the old hellhound has stepped forward that she catches up to him, catches him by the shoulder in an attempt to force him to look at her and break his concentration. "Ryans."

"They couldn't have known." Could they not have? She seems determined nonetheless on this front, calm and forceful. "We didn't know then what we know now. We didn't know about the sub. And nothing says we would have figured out that piece of the puzzle before it made itself apparent."

“He hears sonar.“ Captain Ryans snaps, glaring back over his shoulder at Asi. “I was Navy, I’d know that sound with my eyes closed.” He turns back to Ricky, giving him a shake, “Tell me I’m wrong.”

She lets go of his shoulder after that rough pull back. "But we know what we know now, Captain," she stresses, rather than keep pushing the what ifs of them knowing any sooner. "We can use this now. We can…"

Asi turns to look at Darryl, then, her eyes flaring with an inner light again as she reaches out to him with her senses. He's the strangest ham radio she's ever felt, but then again, she's never met another technopath in the flesh. "Darryl, you could help save everyone who's left. You can help us turn the tide. If you can help us pinpoint their location, listen in on their communications…"

That'd be everything. They'd know exactly where they'd need to make a targeted strike.

It's not exactly as Huruma thought it would be. This wasn't hiding something small. She can feel the blood rushing to her head and the open wound of Ben's emotions hitting open her own. The rest of them too, but for him—

For her it's the same as driving that nail into him, resonating and banging around in her head like a loose bolt. Physically, Ben does what she desires to do. Grab him and string him and send him to the sea lions— Huruma's gaze refocuses from its short haze, moving past it all to Darryl. It's— not on him, either.

She wants it to be on someone. Asi's right, in her way. There was no way to know, and now there's little recourse.

Huruma closes the short distance between herself and Ryans, far bolder than Asi in the other's attempts to dissuade the violence. Her arm hooks under his from behind, palm flattening against his chest; a broken heart isn't physical, but it may as well be in the wounded, mirrored way Huruma whispers his name in his ear, other hand gripping the same shoulder she's taken post at.

No influential fingers in his head, yet— no force, just the insistent pressure of trying to draw him back.

“Primal.” Squeaks’ voice is barely more than a whisper as Darryl explains what he means. Ricky’s interruptions get a dirty look, the kind one would make when they'd discovered soured milk instead of fresh. She's of a mind to ask the simple minded man — Darryl, not Ricky — for more details about what he can do when Hart fires off her accusations followed fast by an explosion from Captain Ben.

With a guarded look, she watches her own crew mates intervene. She's not a fan of Ricky and the way he does things, but they are going to need his boat. Which means it's better if he's not ripped in half. She glances down at the table after a second, then raises her eyes again to search the faces of the other captains before stopping on Darryl.

“Asi’s right,” she calls once the technopath has addressed the man. Squeaks slips around the table to approach Darryl. “You could help us. I know you've been listening too, even if Ricky wanted to hide you. You know what we've faced and what we're up against.” She stops once she's an arm’s reach from him. Her head tips toward the table in invitation. “Everyone’s got a voice here. Even you.”

Darryl’s response is identical to Ricky’s in all of this: helpless stammering. Ricky’s the one who actually finds conversational footing enough to manage a spluttered: “Fuck you!” directed at Ryans.

“Fuck you, he isn’t a fucking tool!” Ricky shouts, pointing up at Ryans. “He can’t control it, Captain! His ability isn’t on-demand, he’s never been able to control it! People thought he was crazy his whole fucking life! Because nobody believed him! I’m all he’s got! You aren’t going to tie him up to a mast like some sort of fucked up radar!”

“Will you shut your face already?” Squeaks turns her head to give Ricky such a look of annoyance. “Before someone shuts it for you! There's grown ups talking.”

“Like in what about Bob?” Else questions, though she’s the only one listening to her inquiry as she holds her arms out to the side and proclaims, “I’m sailing!” Followed by a fitful laugh and a broad, toothy smile aimed at the back of Asi’s head.

Hart wedges herself between Ryans and Ricky, pushing one hand at Ricky’s chest but angling her attention at Ryans. “Stop—stopit. What’s done’s done,” she says with a shake of her head and a warning look back at Ricky not to escalate it any more. “Ricky, what does Darryl do?

Hart fixes an intense stare on Ricky who backs up against the wall of the cabin, rubbing his hands over his face. But it isn’t Ricky that speaks up, it’s Darryl.

“I hear radio.” Darryl explains with a hunch of his shoulders. “It’s been really quiet since everyone went away because of the water. But every so often I pick up stuff. Your radios. Other radios. Any signals. I just hear ‘em.”

“You’re telling me you’re a technopath?” Jonathan finally comes in, laying a hand on Ryans’ shoulder as he looks at Darryl. “You hear radio signals. Can you tell what they say?”

Darryl nods, glancing to Jonathan and then to Ryans and Hart. “I can hear it and I can talk back. If I know a radio real good I can always tell where it is. Like Ricky’s boat. I always know where it is if his radio’s on.”

“But what’s your range?” Jonathan asks, brows furrowed.

That’s when Darryl goes quiet and looks uncertain, apologetically averting his eyes. Ricky brushes Hart's hand off of his chest in the interim and speaks for Darryl. “I’ve done everything in my power to keep what Darryl can do a secret from everyone so we don’t wind up on the Sentinel’s hit-list. He’s never… practiced. Not like what you people need.”

“No, it’s exactly like what they need.” Another voice chimes in from the doorway to the cabin, where a darkly-dressed figure with ice blue eyes stands hunched from the cold, one hand resting on the top frame of the door.


You,” Jonathan says with a squaring of his shoulders. The man who’d saved them in the library steps down into the cabin, slowly lowering his gloved hands down to his side.

“The submarine they have is a K-141 Kursk, an Oscar-II class Russian-made nuclear submarine,” he explains, running a gloved hand through his hair to sweep it back from his face. “It’s over thirty years old and on its last legs, but it’s the only hardware left in their arsenal capable of launching ICBMs, of which they have a limited stockpile. How many I couldn’t say.”

“But it doesn’t have a sophisticated onboard computer, it’s a significantly old machine. Which means its jamming countermeasures for radio interference are minimal. Last I knew it also had faulty waste disposal hatch that could only open at shallow diving depths, meaning the ship needed to surface every so often or become a submersible latrine.” The blue-eyed man wearing Peter Petrelli’s face comes to stand near the table, tucking his hands into the pockets of his coat.

“Exactly how the hell do you know all of this?” Hart asks sharply.

“I know because I used to be their leader.” He says with a small shrug. “I am Kazimir Volken. I’m the one who flooded the world.”

A withering glare is lowered down at Hart and her comment, a growl of sound issuing from Ryans’ chest but nothing more. Then just like that Ricky finds himself released from the bonds of the old man’s telekinesis, though he isn’t nice about it.

There is a sharp pull of his arms, shrugging off the hands trying to restrain him, the old captain is determined to put distance between him and Ricky. He didn’t trust himself right now. The pain of loss was building. Of course, the sudden appearance of Kazimir and subsequent confession doesn’t help.

It’s only Kazimir’s earlier warning and the fact that he saved their life that stops Benjamin from throwing the man off the boat in a fit of rage.

“So….” Ryans says bitterly, practically spitting out the word like it tasted vile, while moving back to scoop up the bottle of whiskey. “You're telling us one of the best ways to cripple them is to take that thing out?”

The captain turns to narrow eyes to the man who’d destroyed the world. “Why help us and not wipe us all out where we stand?” He isn’t helping, but Ryans’ breath is pretty thick with whiskey already.

Asi's emotional tempering, understanding just where Ricky was coming from even if no one else could understand at this stage, fades immediately with Kazimir's confession. Commentary prepared that perhaps the Sentinel only have one or two shots left after spending three taking down the residential towers and the Library At The End of the World … just dies without airing.

She feels all warmth void from her, all sense, replaced with cold, vengeful purpose. "Y—" Asi's hand goes to the sword hanging from her back, beginning to draw it.

"くそやろう!" Screaming, she runs forward toward the table. In her mind's eye, she leaps over it, slicing the unarmed, relaxed-posture monster across the chest from the neck down. To hold him accountable for everything he's done in the past, to get revenge for what happened to her family, for what happened to the world.

In reality, she doesn't make it two steps.

Jonathan, behind her, grabs her sword arm before she can finish her draw, his other arm around her trunk. With a growling scream, feet off the ground kicking as the taller man restrains her, Asi curses him as much as she curses Volken, screaming in her native tongue rather than the English common to the room. The invincible man maintains hold on the tiny, screeching demon brawler, keeping her away from committing murder.

He'd seen what Peter Kazimir had done to the men at the Library when he first swooped in. It wasn't a fate he wanted to invite on anyone at the table. Not when there was a glimmer of hope finally present for them all, even if it came from the help of the most unlikely of allies.

"Don't do it, Asi. You'll regret it. Violence only begets more violence and right now is not the time for it." His voice is gentle, despite his ability and rock-solid hold on her. Her teeth bare as she prepares another volley for him about how much she would not regret this, even if only from not living long enough to. Jonathan beats her to it, stressing, "The enemy of our enemy is our friend. Let's hear him out, hmm?"

And Asi stops fighting, at least, even if she's still shaking with anger and hate. He knows better than to let her go yet. But she reluctantly, silently agrees to hear him out now, even if she still ends up shoving a sword through his back later.

Between Hart, the others, Herself, and the appearance of Volken, Huruma lacks the need to stay at Ben's side— and yet she does, at that. Less to keep him from manslaughter. The information that is provided too them seems more news than the admission itself; her expression remains fairly impassive throughout, and Asi does well enough to do what people wish they could— try to leap across the room and gut him— but of course, Jonathan is… well… Jonathan.

"If he had wanted to do that," Huruma starts, sure to remain where she is, pupils pinned even in the dim while her eyes rest on Kazimir. "We would not have left the library."

"He is not here for that, but contrition isn't worth anything to us." Her lip curls only somewhat, distasteful, eyes unmoved. "Destroying them is."

Except for her own biting comment directed at Ricky, Squeaks has remained silent, following the shifting tide of the conversation. She nearly cuts another warning to the miserable man, possibly this time with a more tangible promise about someone shutting his mouth for him. But the interjection of a new voice into the discussion stops her from speaking.

Her eyes and head turn sharply to the figure in the doorway. She remembers him. From the library.

Moving slowly, a half step at a time, the teenager gains some space from Darryl. Her eyes flick to the short-lived scuffle between Asi and Jonathan then angle to pick up Huruma’s response. And still she moves on subtle and slow footsteps, a small and lithe creature slinking into the safety of obscurity. With one hand finding her knife for assurances.

Kazimir is still and silent. As Ben contemplates his anger, as Asi is restrained, as the eyes of everyone in the cabin fixate on him with their own personal hatred or disbelief. His pale eyes avert to the floor, then rise back to wander the faces gathered in this room.

“I had a change of heart, the day the bomb was set to go off. The day Antarctica would be turned into an ocean.” Kazimir’s brows tense and he again looks down at the ground. “I tried to stop the Vanguard. To undo all the harm I was about to cause, but I was… I failed.” He looks up slowly, tiredly. “I have lived lifetimes bringing nothing but horror to the world. The least I can do is end what I started.”

“How?” Hart asks with a sneer. “They already stopped you once.”

“That was a different time. The Vanguard are gone, dead with Mikhail Wagner. The order formed in their wake — the Sentinel — serves a different purpose and a different leadership. Martin Crowley stands at the head of the Sentinel. He is just a man. This small fleet is all that is left of them.” Kazimir starts to pace the floor, motioning with a gloved hand.

“To the best of my knowledge, the Sentinel turned on one-another. Squabbles over leadership and power, over direction. This fleet is all they have left and it is shrinking. They did not come here to enact some… righteous purge.” Kazimir says with a wave of his hand to the ocean. “If they did, they would have destroyed the Pelago from miles away with the remaining ICBMs in the submarine.”

Kazimir shakes his head, then runs a gloved hand over his mustache. “They need ships, they need recruits. They made a show, they uphold a code as a facade to invoke fear, but they’re nothing more than well-armed pirates. Scavengers of the world’s carcass. Martin Crowley is a coward and a snake. They’ve come to rob the Pelago of its fuel, of its people, and of its ships. They hide their weakness behind a legend of strength. Ghost stories.”

“Scooby Doo.” Hart mumbles to herself.

A hand rubs thoughtfully over Ben’s mouth, as he listens to Kazimir, doing his own slow pacing away from the other man. The whiskey is still held in lax fingers of his other hand, but stays untouched for the moment.

“So we blow up the sub and Crowley’s people may dissolve into chaos, maybe then we will have a chance to cut off the head and end this.” Sounded too easy to the old Captain, still…

Huruma can feel a cautious blossoming of hope deep within the old man, it only flounders a little bit at a thought, “Finding it will be easy with young Jac and Darryl’s help - if he is willing - However, we lost our only depth charge when the Cerberus sank and we don’t have time to go find more explosive at the other ports.” There was no guarantee they’d find any. Ben gives a shake of his head, refusing to give into the idea of ‘thay can’t’.

“We’ll have to see what we can scrounge up in the wreckage. All we need to do is punch a hole in it,” Benjamin says to the others, before leveling a look at Kazimir and dips his head to the man. A silent thanks.

“I’m open to any suggestions,” The Captain says turning to the rest, as is traditional for him.

"If we wait until it needs to surface and attack then, punching a hole in it may come easier," Asi suggests, a little humbled but her voice carries all the same. Jonathan releases his hold on her finally and it does some to restore her pride to her tone, even if her emotional canvas is still a mess of revenge-seeking color. "Less water resistance to work against if we're seeking to pierce the hull."

She rolls her jaw, gaze going unfocused. "Otherwise, if I can get even a hand on a system of theirs… no matter how low-tech, as long as they physically connect somewhere to the main controls, I could try to tear it apart from the inside. If there's some kind of external sensor I could piggy-back off of, I could stop the oxygen, upset the ballast, do… specific damage, depending on what systems are connected versus manually operated."

Reluctantly, she finds herself looking back toward Kazimir. If anyone knew, he would.

There are no easy answers here. Even the big bad wolf doesn't have the eyes and ears his legend claims— a disappointment, truly, but not shocking. Huruma takes a pace back and crosses her arms in silence. So they find it, and then what? Asi can't be certain of what she could do to it.

"Could try to lure them into the ruins…" Huruma prods her own thoughts for anything at all. "It may at least give us extra time, if they need to navigate debris." At a loss, she nearly trails off. Things look dire no matter how you slice it. "Otherwise… finding it and seeing what she," The empath jerks her head towards Asi, "—can do is our best bet right now." They lack firepower and speed, they're just cornered now.

"Unless you are more the wiser." Huruma runs her tongue over her teeth as her eyes drift to Kazimir, less unsure the longer she sees through him.

Planting herself near where she'd started the meeting, Squeaks listens to the ideas rolling out. Each offering has something she can agree with — Asi’s right if they strike when the sub surfaces, but it also gives away their position; and Huruma isn't wrong about using the ruins, but they could also potentially be lost to the Cerberus crew. There are few good options and, given her crewmate’s reactions to Kazimir, she's reluctant to believe or trust anything he's saying.

For a moment, she finds her eyes resting on the man who flooded the world. What if it's like Hart says, and it's a Scooby Doo. The amount of layers of deception are too many for her to dig through in a minute, and she'd be better off discussing such things with the Captain and crew of her own ship first.

And none of that seems helpful right now.

Lifting her eyes from Kazimir, she shifts her focus to Captain Ben. Squeaks’ brows raise slightly, though she has no words to offer and makes no obvious motion to draw his attention. He knows what she can do, and that she's capable to do it.

“I think we have the formation of a plan,” Kazimir says with a look over to Ricky, who says nothing in response. “I can offer my strength to this. I have nothing else to give beyond that. My insights are already on the table. If you focus on the submarine, I can strike at the Sentinel’s other vessels on my own.”

“On your own?” Hart asks incredulously. Kazimir angles a look at her, but does not truly give a response.

“The rest…” Kazimir continues with a look to Ryans.

“…is the Captain’s call.”

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