Trading In The Pawns, Part I


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Scene Title Trading in the Pawns, Part I
Synopsis Richard Cardinal of an indeterminate future returns to his roots with the intention of preserving the future despite divergences in the timeline from what he remembers. His ability to set things back on track, however, derails the lives of three people he at one time may have considered friends.
Date December 6, 2010

Redbird Security Solutions

History is a fickle thing.

Monday morning is as gray as Sunday was.

Great and monumental changes in history require the moving of figurative mountains in order to enact the changes. But some times, it is the small changes that can matter the most.

Out the windowed front wall of the lobby of the Redbird Security Solutions building, Battery Park City is cold and dismal. Diffuse gray lightning floods through the windows, competing with the more yellow internal light reflecting off of the cream colored walls. Quietly sipping her coffee at the front desk, Redbird Security's secretary, Jo, quietly checks up on Facebook statuses on a remarkably slow day at the office.

A nudge in one direction too far to the left, and too far to the right, and an event decades or even generations in the future might be offset.

When the phone rings, Jo exhales a flustered sigh and sets down her coffee, wheeling away from her personal labtop in her desk chair, picking up the receiver and flipping to the incoming line's call. "Redbird Security Solutions, we protect your future, how can I help you?" Her brows furrow, eyes cast to the side and the secretary reaches for a pen as she leans towards the phone, trapping it between her shoulder and the side of her head. "Mnhmm, okay… Yes we do offer that…"

Steadying the course for the future requires a delicate touch and an understanding of intricacies normally outside of the bounds of human perception.

An ordinary morning, like any other…

Or at the very least, outside of the bounds of human morality.

As he walks into the lobby, Aric is carrying a basket. He also is carrying a large cup of Starbucks. A soft smile on his face as he walks up to the desk and sets the cup down for Jo. He can see she is on the phone and whispers, "Just how ya like." Aric gives her a kind wave as he runs a hand through his hair and begins to make his way towards the stairs that lead to the basement.

He pauses to look at himself in reflection of the glass and cocks his head to the side adjusting his button down, and pulling his khaki's up.

What was it she was supposed to pop in and pick up? Harmony doesn't quite remember the instructions, but it had something to do with the experiments she had been performing with Cardinal and Luther. Things are apparently going well enough, but today she was sent on an errand. Mondays are the worst. Harm isn't quite dressed for the weather, leather is kinda cold in the cold, and her leather jacket is probably freezing. Well no, not really. She could wear shorts and be alright. See.. Harmony has learned that she can radiate heat safely without actually harming other people. Once afraid of causing radiation sickness with anything she did, a little study set her off the path of ignorance, making her a little more confident about certain aspects.

She steps into the lobby, iPod in ears, bobbing her head and rocking out to something that is set at a high volume, her hands stuffed into her pockets, and carrying in the air of the inside of the car after it's been running for a while, and the heater cranked up on high. She notices the secretary on the phone and purses her lips.. Well, she can't ask her. Idly, she wonders what Richard is doing, and what the next step in their project is.

Elle is doing much better, lately. Her arm is finally out of the cast, the fracture healed rather nicely, with a little boost to her healing from Kayla. She's also got a cane now, her leg healing nicely. She's still in a brace, but at least she can put a little bit of weight on her leg now. It's a nice black cane, with a shining silver handle. Today, she wears casual jeans and her yellow t-shirt, with a stack of waffles angrily throwing the viewers a 'rock on' sign on it.

She's been prowling around Redbird a lot lately, going from her room to the offices to try and figure out something to do. There's not much, with her lingering injuries. Thank god it's just her leg.

She hobbles down the stairs with a scowl, grumbling something about Cardinal being a discriminating asshole for not getting a building with handicapped access. Blue eyes spot Aric, the girl raising her brows. "Aric…hey." Last time she saw him was shortly before she was stabbed.

Then, as Harmony steps in, Elle turns to peer at her, offering a faint smile and a hopeful look. "Harmony— hey." She offers a small wave, leaning against her cane.

Belatedly noticing Aric, Jo offers a warm smile and a silently mouthed "thank you" as she turns her attention back to the phone conversation. Another light comes on at the switchboard and Jo exhales a steady sigh. So much for a boring Mondya morning. "No, actually— ah, yes we can offer personal security and bodyguard work. What office were you with again?" Jo wheels around in her chair, then rolls towards her computer, one brow raising as she eyes the screen, though more in reaction to what was said on the other end of the phone.

"Donovan," Jo notes as she sets about to typing, offering Aric an amused smile before returning to her work. "Alright, I'll just need to get some information on the dates for what you need done…"

As Elle's static comes into his mind, he turns and looks upon her. Aric smiles softly as he says, "Hey Elle. How are you feeling better I hope." He begins to slowly walk towards her and stops when Harmony comes into his view.

With the slight tilt of his head, Aric looks the woman up and down as he says, "Hello…Harmony if I remember correctly. We met very very briefly once in passing."

Yeeeah.. she isn't going to get anything from Jo at the moment. Harmony isn't the type to go and interrupt her while she is on the phone, so she'll just wait. She just has to irradiate someone later, and after that, she has a karaoke show to do, so she isn't really in that big of a rush. Meandering away from the desk, she passes Aric and smiles, "Oh hey. Yeah.. you're Aric right? The mind guy?" She remembers him saying a few times that he was a telepath when they were huddled out in the basement. "Busy day?" the woman smiles.

Elle calling her name catches her attention and Harmony looks over her shoulder, "Hey Sparkle, how are you holding up? Did Richard get in contact with you? He said he was going to. I told him everything you wanted me to tell him, and he was pretty concerned and said he was going to look for you." she informs her, "But he can get a little side tracked sometimes, so.." Yeah.. like participating in Evolved fights?

Elle offers a faint smile to Aric, waving again. "Yeah…I'm not on crutches and most of my stitches are out. It's not so bad any more." She tilts her head toward the man as he moves closer. "Though I'll be happy when my knee isn't messed up any more." She seems in a fairly good mood today. She got to talk to Dax on the phone, and they've made plans to go out soon.

Then, she frowns toward Harmony, shaking her head. "I still haven't heard anything from him…" That…seems to have ruined her mood. With a frown, she moves to one of the chairs in the front room, and settles into it with a tired sigh. "I wonder if he's just avoiding me or something." It WAS pretty awkward, when Gavyn made her confess things to Cardinal that she never intended to let him hear.

The sound of an explosion rings thorugh the building, a peal of thunder indoors muffled by its origin somewhere below the lobby. It's enough to rumble the floors, cause the lights to flicker, and send a palpable static charge through the air. Jo's computer flickers off, the phone cuts out, and Jo is left looks startled, clutching the receiver to her chest, wide eyed. "Oh— my fucking God, what— was that an earthquake?" Breathing in a shuddering breath, she turns a sharp look towards the locked security door to the basement.

While Jo is staring and trembling, Elle, Aric and Harmony have a fairly good idea of where they heard the sound come from the loudest. It definitely sounds like something exploded down in the shooting range. Out of the three, only Aric and Elle have the keys to unlock the door to the basement.

As he looks towards Elle, Aric begins to run towards the basement door, "Jo are you ok? Harmony make sure she is ok." Aric stops at the top of the stairs and looks down at the security door. He extends his senses towards the door and past it to see if he gets anything as he mutters, "So much for enjoying a quite day at the park. Wait a second before you go in Elle…please." He has learned that she and pain do not react well and he does not feel like getting all sparky today.

"Ugh.. Richard.." Harmony complains in a mutter, rolling her eyes. "I don't know what goes through his head. He told me he was gonna do something about it. But I also think he is trying to take on all kinds of crap currently." And fighting in Evolved matches. Don't forget that. But don't say that Harmony. Elle will hang herself if she hears that. Richard is actually trying to stretch himself pretty thin lately. It's a shame he doesn't have time to contact Elle.. Poor Elle. "I'll jump on him about it later. On a totally unrelated note, you're looking like you're doing a lot better!" She smiles to the other blonde, pointing to her injuries.

Then.. all hell breaks loose? An explosion? It makes Harmony jump and look around, like a spooked cat, "I.. I didn't do it!" she spouts out immediately. She gives a nervous swallow and looks to Jo behind the desk. "It's probably nothing.." she tries to assure her. "Blown transformer or something like that. Electrical problem.. that's all." she hopes. But she skeptical. This place does belong to Richard Cardinal. She is certain aliens from the future will land their invasion on this particular spot one day, because he is involved.

The electric blonde is about to respond to Harmony, a frown on her face, but then, that explosion thing happens. Elle screams, tumbling out of her chair and away from the sound of the explosion, her eyes wide. But even with her injuries, the electrokinetic isn't about to be caught unawares. Elle struggles to her feet rather quickly, raising to her feet. Then, she's hobbling toward the door to the basement after Aric with her cane, the key that's kept around her neck swinging along in front of her.

Her free hand, raised up into a claw shape, flares with electricity, the electrokinetic wearing a scowl upon her face. Whoever is interrupting her time to be upset that Cardinal hasn't talked to her is pissing her off. "This shit does not need to be happening right now. I'm gonna melt their eyeballs, whoever they are." This statement is muttered through clenched teeth. "What the hell is going on?!" It's also a bit early for her.

The girl pauses, glancing back toward Harmony with raised brows. "No. That kinda shit doesn't happen down there. Ugh, fucking Cardinal, I'm going to shock him until he loses control of his bowels for this." It's all his fault for not being here. If he were here, this wouldn't be happening!

Would it?

This is just like I remember it.

Aric can hear a voice inside of his mind, beyond the security door, it's— it's Cardinal.

You and I… we aren't really that different after all, are we?

But there's another voice beyond that door, a second mind, this one unfamiliar to Aric.

Look at this fucking place. God, I hope this goes well.

They're moving, too, and from the opposite side of the security door, Aric can hear a couple of crackling pops of electricity, tiny though and fading. Up in the lobby, Jo looks alright, but clearly startled. She taps on the receiver a couple of times, then shakes her head. "Phone lines are down, I— I'm going to go get my cell. Should— " she hesitates, staring towards the basement door. "I'll go call miss Harrison and mister Cardinal."

As he blinks and looks very alarmed, "Something is wrong…" Aric snaps his head in Jo's direction, "Harmony get her out of here! Jo…run…find Mrs Harrison…now." Aric stands to the left and says quickly to Elle, "It's Cardinal…and a voice I do not know. He says, "You and I… we aren't really that different after all, are we? and the voice responded, "Look at this fucking place. God, I hope this goes well. I dont think that is protocal or whatever the fell Liz calls it." Aric lets Elle at them…

"Um.. Yeah.. try your cell." Harmony says to Jo with a pinch of sheepishness in her voice. "Ifff you don't get reception, I apologize in advanced. Little nervous right now, for obvious reasons." Slip ups of emotions tend to make Harmony have slip up of radiation. Particularly radio waves. Elle's display makes Harmony mentally sweat drop. Okay.. Warren said she was kinda crazy.. She didn't really believe she was as psycho, and she feels she wouldn't be a friend if she didn't say something to her about what she perceives right now.. "Elle.. It might not be that bad. Positive thinking, yanno. You have a little bit of crazy on your face right now. Just there.." Harmony scrapes her finger down one corner of her mouth. "Not saying you are, just saying.. chill sister, chill.. Getting worked up doesn't really help usually." Especially in the case of Harmony.

Of course, as Aric mentions that something is wrong, Harmony changes her tune, "On second thought.. I'll take that back. Go nuts.." she tells Elle and reaches out her hand across the desk for Jo. "C'mon, we're gonna make that call somewhere that isn't here.." she wiggles her fingers for the girl to make haste.

Elle turns towards Jo, gesturing with the cane. "Go on, get somewhere safe. Hide in Richard's office, under his desk, and call them, now!" She gestures down the hall, before her attention is turning back on the door. She steps away from it slightly, the electricity crackling over her hand. She might not be in the best shape of her life, but she's not going down without a fight!

That is, until Aric indicates that it's Cardinal. Her brows raise, and she falters for a moment…then, she narrows her eyes. "No! It's not him…Cardinal wouldn't work with them. That sound— that was the same sound that came from a teleporter for the Institute. Don't let your fucking guard down!"

The cane is cast to the ground, Elle hobbling in spot and spreading her hands, electricity growing across both of them. "When Richard fucking Cardinal walks through those doors and tells me he converted that freaky teleporter who was there when they wiped my mind, then I'll stand down. But until then, we will defend Redbird."

I've seen enough. Aric can hear Cardinal's voice resonating in his head, The map isn't here, that's the only difference. Let's get upstairs and finish this.

Before Aric can even vocalize a warning about what he heard, there's a thunderclap right in the lobby. It resonates thorugh the walls, vibrates the lungs and reverberates through the building like an explosion. Jo and Harmony are knocked off of their feet by the shockwave, followed by the appearance of two men in sleek, black suits of plated armor that look like something out of a science-fiction novel. Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers, or something vaguely analogous.

It's reminiscent of FRONTLINE armor, but heavier, thicker plates, ochre-tinted visors showing vague suggestions of their faces in silhouette. Each of them have a number associated with their armor, one of them, 00-00 written on the right side of his chest plate, has his hand leveled on the other's shoulder and is expelling a humming energy of bright red coloration into him.

The man being supercharged is crackling with tiny sparks of electricity. His armor is designated 00-04. Elle recognizes the teleportation, not the armor, as belonging to one Lucas Eldridge an agent of the Institute.

«Right where they should be» 00-00 states with a crackling ovice over his armored helmet's external speakers, moving his hand from Eldridge's shoulder, red lightning arcing around his fingertips. «For the record, I'm terribly sorry to have to do this. But I have to preserve history.»

As Aric is turning towards that concussive entrance and Elle's electricity-endowed hands are beginning to aim back towards the intruders something unthinkable happens. Twin bolts of bright red lighthing lance out like spears from 00-00's hands, snapping and wavering like a windblown kite string. The bolts hit Elle and Aric simultaneously, sending Aric backwards and into a wall beside the stairs and knocking Elle down to the floor from the impact. The moment the electricity hits her, she can feel the charge of her own lightning sputter and die.

It feels like their blood is boiling, a raging heat beneath Aric's skin and inside of Elle's mind, and it only grows when red lighting leaps from their bodies towards Harmony, twisting in a way that electricity cannot, bending in the air like some red serpent, forming a three-way connection between them. The red light floods the lobby, and Jo is scrambling backwards on her hands and heels away from the pair of armored figures, right up until Eldridge unholsters his sidearm, aiming the heavy pistol at her in warning, slowly shaking his head.

Harmony feels like she's been set on fire from the inside, feels her body helpless and out of her control. It all happened so fast it seems like a blur. Then, once that three-way conduit is established, things become insane.

Lightning of an electrical variety begins to leap and flare off of Aric, exploding off of his arms and legs, crackling to the floor and leaving tiny burns on the carpet. Arcs of blue electricity leap between his teeth, over his skin and down his fingers.

Meanwhile, Elle's clothing begins to smolder, smoke rising off of her shirt in thin, twisting tendrils as everything feels suddenly warm to the touch. Behind her eyes, Elle can feel the constant humming vibration of her electrokinesis is gone.

More horrifyingly, she knows exactly what this is. She knows who Tyler Case is, knows that he was a prisoner of the Company once, that he can switch Evolved abilities or strip them away entirely with a wave of his hand. Last Elle Bishop knew, he was also presumed to be dead.

Harmony, though, poor Harmony has it the worst. Her mind is awash with sounds, voices, noises, a cacophony of every single thought in the room flooding her senses all at once. Jo's fear, Aric and Elle's pain, juxtaposed against the unintelligible din of Eldridge and Cardinal's thoughts. Pain too is blinding, and perhaps in that pain Cardinal didn't consider one thing.

It's Harmony.

Both he and Eldridge suddenly recoil away from her, clutching at their heads and staggering back and away at a rapid pace, boots clomping on the floor, a sputtered voice crackling behind Eldridge's helmet. «Fuck! Fuck make her shut up!» One gauntleted hand holds his helmeted head as he backs away, the pair stunned by something.

As he slides down the wall, Aric lets out a gutteral cry of pain as the change flows through him. His mind begins to quite yet his body tingles…literally. As his eyes widen, the tingle begins to shift to pain as he throws his head back he lets out another scream of pain as electricity begins to crackle all around him expanding like a static ball.

What. Just. Happened?! She got shot! She got shot with something! Oh god! She's gonna die! She can feel her body burning from the inside out! It's gonna leave her a hollow shell of cooked blondy burntness! This is really the end! How can it end like this!? As Harmony is left to stiffen and stretch upon the floor, the pain being so intense, that she can't even scream properly, she has a final thought.. This— this is going to make it happen! She's going to explode, she can't.. keep control.. under these.. conditions! She's going to cause another disaster! No!

But wait.. No.. what's this?

Panting and huffing upon the ground, Harmony can't feel her limbs, or her face.. Is this what it's like to be dead? Plus.. that voice.. Is.. is that you Jesus? God? Are you coming to take me home? Why do you sound and feel like Elle? Please stop yelling at me, I'll be good, I promise! I can't.. understand what you're saying! I mean, I understand parts of it, but.. you need to stop talking in those different voices all at once..

It's like a growing pain, a like someone punched her in the boob, hard. It starts out dull and the it spreads in her mind. Before long, Harmony can feel her face again, and realizes she isn't dead. Now.. she wishes she was.. Tension headache plus sinus headache times 100! She wants to scream 'Oh My God' but it just won't come out. And so.. she broadcasts…


Over and over and over and over again, increasingly louder she is screaming while rolling around on the floor.

There really is no way to accurately react. Suddenly, there's fucking Tyler Case, and he's shooting her with that stupid ability of his, and she's NOT feeling too nice right now. It really hurts. It's uncomfortable. And then…that familiar buzz of her ability is gone. Just no more. And she is smoking hot right now. In the most literal sense of the word.

Motherfuck! She rips off her shirt, doing her best to preserve it. That's a limited edition shirt, and her favorite! Oh, she's really mad now. The jeans and the melting plastic and the pain be damned. She's pissed.

She doesn't know what's going on, but she goes with instinct. Electromagnetic energy is sparking off of her body, and she's burning up. But her hand instinctively flits out, the girl aiming a blast straight toward that bastard Tyler Case. Except, of course, she's not got the electricity. Instead, she promptly unleashes a bright white particle beam toward him.

What the fuck? Well then. That's…effective. But it's so hot right now. Her jeans aren't going to be around for much longer, and the brace on her leg is getting horribly soft and melty.

Leave it to Elle Bishop to be concerned with her clothing first and foremonst. She will forever be daddy's little girl, even if she doesn't want to.

The explosive discharge of electricity next to Elle nearly electrocutes her, were it not for the short range of Aric's horrifying electrical explosion. The bolts of electricity arc and crackle along the walls and floor, and Jo is scrambling to her feet, running and screaming for help. As Aric rolls onto his side, the pain begins to fade, and suddenly the electricity now coursing thorugh his body doesn't hurt anymore. It's just— plesantly tingly.

Not so much can be said for the particle beam that Elle is charging, but when that beam goes out, Harmony's telepathic tidal wave hits Elle's mind, and the sudden scream of a bellowing voice in her head causes her to reflexively twist, her hand aiming towards the ceiling as that blue-white beam of supercharged atoms blasts a black and brown scar into the ceiling overhead, rainign down chipped and blackened plaster.

« A staticy sigh exhales thorugh 00-00's helmet's speakers as Cardinal lurches back, lifting up his hand and laying it on 00-04's shoulder, beginning that red glow again. «On three,» A voice that is not Richard Cardinal's comes out of that helmet, similar in tone, hard to identify from the digital tuning. The on three/ elicits a sharp look from Eldridge, and while his visor hides his expression, Harmony can hear a //oh come the fuck on amidst the other psychic information she is receiving.

«One, two,» and at the same time, the armored 00-00 figure, and 00-04 hop up into the air with a whine of hydraulics launching them three feet up off of the ground. In that instant, another thunderclap and a bright flash of light fills the air, followed by an explosion of electrical energy crackling in a sphere around Eldridge and his companion.

When the noise dies down and the electricity in the air fades, they're gone.

The only sound now, is Jo's frightened sobbing where she hides behind her desk, and the low static crackle of Aric slowly gaining control over the electricity sputtering out of his body. In Elle and Aric's head, Harmony's whining, fearful voice can still be heard, though the sudden shockwave of telepathic attack has faded.

Aric whispers softly, "Elle…breath." Aric gets his mind focused through his mastery of meditation. What the fuck? I am gonna bitch slap Dick when I get my hands on him. I swear to god…or I am gonna set Lizzie on him he thinks to himself. Aric looks down at his hands as they crackle with energy and fade away. He looks over at Harmony. He knows that face— he knows that look of horror. He begins to stand slowly as his knees buckle and he grabs the wall for support.

He looks around and finally sighs. "Liz is gonna be pissed."

Okay.. okayokayokay.. just.. calm down. Calm. Down. You're becoming emotionally compromised, Harmony.. that's not good. You're going to kill everyone around you. You're going to melt them into— Wait.. she isn't hot. She doesn't feel her usual warm self. It's.. coming from somewhere else. And that sound! That was a particle beam! She would recognize that sound anywhere. She doesn't remember firing one off.. and how did it come from the other side of the room? Just calm down, Harmony.. it's a dream.. or.. it's something really weird.. RICHARD THIS IS YOUR FAULT! But in all fairness, he did warn her. She just.. has to think right now!

God! Everyone just SHUT. UP! I can't hear myself think! But they can, apparently. Harmony is normally mouthy, and she is usually pretty in control of her emotions. But this… This goes beyond emotionally compromised. Oh my GOD! Why do I have to have a head?! Why do people have to have thoughts?! Wake me up! Call my name and save me from the dark! She is trying not to be frantic, singing in her head to try to calm herself and dispell this pain. It's too intense for her to see clearly right now. She just wants to be unconscious right now.

It does lessen a little, as a few of the voices disappear, but it's still bad. She'll need a minute.

Elle curls into a ball, heat radiating off of her as her jeans sizzle, the girl clasping her head as Harmony's attack hits her and letting out a scream of her own. "Shut up!" She shouts this at Harmony, though she doesn't quite understand what's going on.

Oh, and then there's the fact that the fucker who did this just got away. Elle's jeans are unsalvagable by now, brown crisps that crack away as she moves. She's all but naked, right now, and little arcsof electrictromagnetic energy are coursing over her skin. And she's radiating heat.

"Mother fuck, I'm gonna fucking kill Tyler Case again, that motherfucker should have stayed dead! God damn the Institute and their stupid little 'back to life' person Darren, I fucking hate them!!!" She struggles to get up…then, she winces, settling back to the ground and wrapping her arms around herself for decency's sake, considering that her clothing has burned away.

"Who the fuck's ability do I have?! Harmony, this has to be yours, since I'm not hearing people's thoughts. How the fuck do I turn this shit off?!" Elle scowls over at Harmony.

Aric looks towards Harmony as he brings a hand to his head and a pulse of electricity surges and conntects the two at touch. "Your kidding me… this means I have yours Elle and why can't I do that." He looks at Harmony. "Your projecting your thoughts into mine. I…" He closes his eyes as Harmony's thoughts begin to overload him his and his sphere begins to crackle around him again. The loud *CRACKLE SNAP POP* echoes from his pocket.

Aric takes his iPod out and swears, "God damn it. That had 5000 songs on it." He begins to close his eyes and says, "Harmony… listen to my breathing… focus on the sounds of your breath. Focus on that and it will dull the noise…for now. Keep calm."

This isn't fair. She was just getting adjusted to her own ability, and now she has this? She doesn't even know if she can control this ability. It doesn't stop her from trying however. She thinks about how if she doesn't do something than she doesn't stand a chance of reversing this catastrophe. The necessity to be calm helps her on the path to getting calm. She is actually able to pull herself into a sitting position at least, her face still in an uncomfortable wince. She flop-flails her hands up and down. Ewww.. ewww.. I can hear people's thoughts.. ewwww.. I don't wanna be in people's heads! I— Wait.. maybe one person.. one or two people. I can get answers.. No wait. she pauses. Ewww.. *flailflailwhineyflail*

Aric's instruction is picked up, and Harmony at least has enough sense to try it. "Okay." she breaths in through her nose, "I'm calm. I'm an island. I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." A few more lamaze type breaths and she is alright enough to open her eyes.

She sighs, looking over to the radiating Elle. "Oh.. um.. not.. Well. You don't really.. shut it off. You just turn it down by keeping calm. Emotion is kinda the key. The more intense they get, the more.. well.. Yeah."

In your case, I would suggest drugs. LOTS and LOTS of drugs. I'm talking coma inducing. Horse tranqs. Or elephant.. Probably elephant.

Elle scowls over at Aric. "No, really? Yes, you have my ability, I apparently got Harmony's, and Harm must have yours." She scowls up at the burn mark in the ceiling. She hopes that didn't go up into the apartments above. It would really suck if it hit her apartment. That should've hit Tyler Case.

Elle turns, peering at Harmony at her answer, a frown forming on her face. Then, she takes a few breaths, closing her eyes and doing her best to calm herself down. Harmony's exercise helps. After breathing a few times, she manages to get the heat down, and the little sparks stop. That doesn't change that her clothing is gone, and she's naked.

She's still running pretty hot, but she's not ready to kill someone. Yet. "Okay, bitch." She frowns at Harmony. Keep calm, don't use that crazy beam of light on her too. Elle is slowly getting to her feet, using her cane, naked though she is. One hand demurely covers her chest, while she uses the cane to hide everything else.

"Now that this shit has happened, you need to tell me where the fuck Richard Cardinal is. No more time for kept promises. The fucking Institute just lead an attack on Redbird Security and invaded. I need to talk to him now. So, spit it out, brain-girl. Where is he?"

Bitch, you better tell me. I will not hesitate to burn the shit out of you just like I burnt that hole in the ceiling. Elle's still irritable.

As he looks towards Elle his voice is calm yet his teeth shimmer with sparks, "Elle… None of us are in good shape right now. I am suggesting strongly that we all do our best to call Liz or Peyton. Dick will be found yet we… All of us need to stay calm right now…and." He motions in an upward arc as sparks crackle from his fingers, "None of us are calm… or should leave the building." Aric looks towards Jo, "Do you best to go find Mrs Harrison now Jo. We are in need of her."

There's no response from the secretary, with what she saw she may be tendering her resignation — or at least that's the impulse of terrified thoughts Harmony is picking up in a jumble.

Hey! You do NOT go flinging around particle beams like they're water balloons! Especially at PEOPLE! Ohshit, you can hear me, can't you? When you question a telepath about something, usually the answer is pushed to their surface thoughts. The first word that comes out of Harmony's mind when Elle mentions that is 'library'. She can't help but betray his location, given her new ability. Ohshit! Um.. ummm.. Manamana.. do do do-do-do.. Manamana do do do do…

"Look.. if you don't calm down Elle? Exert some control? You know the Midtown disaster? You'll recreate that." Harmony informs her. However, she pictures in Elle's case, a picture of the earth from orbit, and then a mushroom cloud engulfing the whole half of the planet.

"Yeah, calm down. And stay that way.. Hey! try pot. It works wonders. Seriously? Not even kidding about the horse tranquilizers either. You're not the most emotionally stable person on the face of the planet, sweetie. I know this, you know this. Your new ability? LOVES to hitch a ride on your intense emotions and let itself out." the blonde girl purses her lips at a though. "Oh. And for now? Don't have sex. Do not have sex. Join a nunnery, actually."

Library. She knows he's in midtown from their last conversation. Unfortunately, Harmony is privy to her putting those pieces together in her mind. She's not stupid, and she did inherit brains from Bob Bishop. "The Midtown Public Library? That's where he is?" She frowns at Harmony.

Then, Harmony is offering the warnings. And Elle is frowning. "No…sex?" She's warming up a little again, though not as bad as last time. "But…what about…Dax…" She frowns. "Am I not going to be able to see him?! I don't want to…am I going to irradiate him if I get too close to him?!" Suddenly, she looks like she's going to cry.

"But…I like him. We were going to have a date tomorrow…" She seems to have forgotten that she's standing in the middle of Redbird Security in her birthday suit.

And I thought Sara Palin's daughter had issues. Aric's widen as he watches Elle. He does not want to get to close to anyone much less Elle with the ability to blow up. He pulls off his t-shirt to reveal his own muscular body and throws Elle the t-shirt. "Elle….go to your apartment and stay there. When we get Liz here we will figure out our game plan…yes?" He looks at her and he raises his voice, "Elle!" as an electrical surge zips into the floor.

"Promise me…you will stay in your apartment. You need to stay safe and calm right now. Promise me Elle you will stay there till Liz sees you." His thoughts escaping him again, Or I will knock you out with your own powers….or something. Last think I need is to be the one responsible for blowing up the city. Richard Fucking Cardinal…you and I are gonna speak.

Crying.. crying.. Crying is okay. Yeah, go ahead and cry, she hasn't had any accidents with sadness. Depression is good for her powers. Make her sadder, Harmony. "Okay, yeah.. that's where he is. BUT.." Harmony holds up a finger, "You have my ability.. Do you also know what my ability does to Richard when I can't control it?"

It HURTS him.

"If you go to him now, you.. will probably kill him. You could KILL him, Elle. Just by being in his presence. You really don't want that you know.." Harmony purses her lips together and nods, continuing to pour on the sadness. If she were in the Bog of Eternal Sadness right now, she would be sinking. Then if she exploded, the mud would muffle it and people would be safe!

"You're not in any condition to be seeing anyone. Especially your boyfriend. You can barely handle yourself with those powers. If you get excited, or happy, or even the emotion of love? You could very well love him to DEATH. So I recommend you keep it to phone conversation, or the internet… Oh.. wait.. You don't have enough control to turn yourself down, so you'll bust up radio waves. You'll need an ethernet connection and a land phone if you wanna talk to him.. That kinda sucks.. Sorry Elle.. I really recommend that you smoke tons of pot and take a Zanex so you don't give a fuck about ANYTHING.." Harmony nods.

She suddenly points at Aric, "Hah! I heard that!" she points out to his initial thought. "Anyway.. I'm gonna go get fucked up myself. If I'm in a coma.. I can't hear thoughts.."

Stay in her apartment? When she finally knows where Richard Cardinal is? Fuck that. Elle scowls at Aric (admittedly enjoying the sight very very much, though she knows he's not interested in the ladies), putting on his t-shirt and enjoying the man-smell and the added dignity she has. Strangely enough, Aric's shirt and subsequent shirtlessness helps her stay calm.

"No way. I've been trying to get in touch with Richard for a month. I know shit that you don't about what just happened, Aric. I know who both of them are, and I know what is going on. I'm going to get dressed, get my iPod and put on some classical music, and I'm going to go find Richard fucking Cardinal." She frowns at the two of them.

"I'm fine. I need to get away from here, in any case. I'd be better off in the ruins if I'm radioactive. At least there I'm less likely to hurt people." She's hobbling toward the stairs. "I'm not staying here, so don't try to stop me. If I'm as volatile as you say…I need to get away from Redbird and everyone." She pauses, peering over at Harmony. "Well, I'm glad I still have the large bag of medical marijuana that Bella gave me. I'll be bringing that with me."

Aric sighs deeply as he looks towards Harmony, "You and I will talk soon. I can help you get through the surface noise yet it will take some time….who knows how long we will be like this…I will do my best to keep her in line. Yet…." He looks down at his hand and his finger tips spark, "I umm have my own problems." He begins to walk towards the basement as he mutters, "Richard….fucking….Cardinal."

Well.. Now she knows what she is gonna do. First of all, she is gonna go tell Cardinal Elle is coming. And she is packing her power. And second? She is gonna clench a spot with him at the library. Only one voice there for her to pick up. Will be the easiest solution.

All things considered, she is taking the situation pretty well. She does feel a bit of a lump of guilt in her stomach. She learned to respect her powers and not let accidents occur. Nuclear Elle? The world will most likely not survive. Suddenly, she gets an idea. "Oh! Yeah, you should go see Warren and ask him to invent some lead stuff for you. Otherwise, you might be giving some people cancer. Just sayin." she says to the girl as she hobbles on her way.

"Yeah.." she sighs at Eric, one finger lifting as she rests her forehead down on it, shaking her head, "I'm gonna need to get a hold of this.. mind thing. Otherwise, I'm gonna go nuts. For now though.. I'm outie. Late!" Aric's partial nudity does at least spark a thought from Harmony, even if she isn't gawking at him. As she turns around to head on her way…

Speaking of sex…/

The t-shirt-clad Elle pauses halfway up the stairs, turning to stare at Harmony. "Fuck Warren Ray. That fucker can suck my ass cheeks for all I care. In fact, I might just visit him and do the sex thing with him just to get him back. I'd love to make him sterile." She scowls, and continues on her way, leaving Harmony and Aric to wonder if she's serious or not. Click, click, click, and she's gone up the stairs.

Aric stops at the bottom of the stairs and opens his hand. His body begins to spark as small streams of electricity begin to flow out of him. Aric looks around at the light show and grins, "The colors are cool…" *POP* a light above him explodes into a million pieces.

Aric looks nervous and says, "Woops." He disappears into the basement to look at the damage and see if he can help clean up while he relaxes his mind for the first…it's silent.

Through the door and into the basement, with Aric going to survey where the intruders had been, there doesn't look to be any visible damage downstairs. Aside from the electrical systems, which seem to have been short circuited in the basement and on the ground floor due to the electrokinetic assault, the basement is remarkably clean.

As Aric wanders past where he blew out the light, his eyes settle on small bits of debris on the floor. Turning in that direction, he finds broken pieces of concrete, one of them having an orange paint stripe across it, like a border from a street median or a parking lot space. It's odd, these crumbled pieces of street litter that don't look to have broken off anything down here.

But there is something, it catches Aric's attention in his peripheral vision. There's a string that's been run from one side of the basement to another, tied off to brackets on the walls where Richard's old — and tangled — string map once was. It's a single length of colored yarn, bright red in coloration.

A paperclipped piece of lined paper hangs from it, with a note in Richard's handwriting written on it.

I'll handle the future from here on out.

Your Better Half

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