Under The Ground


devon_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif jj_icon.gif luke_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif perry_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Under The Ground
Synopsis Survivors of the Dome realise that there's more to the barrier than meets the eye when they make a gruesome discovery underground.
Date January 31, 2011

Roosevelt Island: Roosevelt Island Station

Roosevelt Island is a station on the IND 63rd Street Line of the New York City Subway. Located on Roosevelt Island in the East River, between Manhattan and Queens, it is served by the F train at all times. The exterior of the station is poorly maintained, with two of the streetlights outside having been broken during the damage from the explosion years ago, and have yet to be repaired. Graffiti mars the concrete walls outside, and on the stairs descending to the station proper. Fare control is in a glass-enclosed building off of Main Street.

Underground, the station has two tracks and two side platforms. It is one of the deepest stations in the New York City Subway system, at about 100 feet below street level (approximately 10 stories deep). Due to its depth, the design of the station is also unusual. Similar to the stations of the Paris Metro and Washington Metro, Roosevelt Island station is built with a high, vaulted ceiling. Roosevelt Island Station also features a mezzanine visible directly above the tracks, common amongst stations on the Washington Metro, but not common in New York. The station contains elevators to street level.

The clock's ticked passed four in the afternoon by the time there's a small group of people gathering to the mouth of the subway station, still congregating. Groups become attractive, in times of crisis — they suggest organisation, which can imply information, and information would be nice. Outside the subway station, there's still a haze in the air, the taste of trapped dust which hasn't inspired too many people to cover their mouths, save for one or two who wrap their scarves across the lower half of their face in paranoid wariness. They don't, after all, need it for snow anymore.

Not that everyone knows what's going on. The southern half of Roosevelt Island is a decent portion of land, filled with residential areas, people in their homes. Power outs are common enough, computer screens, televisions, radios all dying along with fridge lights. Along the same lines, the stairwell leading down, down underground is lit up with emergency lights, glowing orange against the concrete walls and giving off an uneasy impression and connotation.

"What are you talking about?" grates a domineering voice, someone older than the disappointingly young male who finds himself at the nexus of attention, and maybe enjoying it a little, feeling important, though he isn't sure how to explain what he knows— or thinks he knows— in the face of reasonable query. "What could it crash against? Another train?"

The crippled shape of Queensboro Bridge shadows as a backdrop in the street, the Manhattan-side of it devestatingly collapsed, and some of those that emerge — well. It's their first sight of it, and hands lift to open mouths.

A crash? Well crap. As if being stuck in a bubble wasn't bad enough. Melissa breaks into a run, snapping at the one who spoke last. "Oh, I don't know, the bubble maybe? Does it matter? There are hurt people down there." Her coat flutters a bit around her as she moves, and part of her mind flicks to the girls in her apartment. They'll be alright there, but people in a crash…Well, at least they started setting up a triage type thing, right?

Luke isn't really a team player, but with not much else to do here, he gathered with everyone else, if only out of curiosity. "Heh. Well it's not like they're going anywhere. Besides, a little shakeup should do them good, prigs." apparently people living the straight and narrow with jobs is contemptible to Luke.

After his exodus to the Suresh center carrying a wounded man who's legs happened to be in the way of the fishtank as it wound it's way merrily around the island, Jaiden, still stained a bit with the other man's blood, is using his journalistic chops to do what he does best - to find out the story behind this and to tell the stories of the people trapped inside. His memory card is steadily filling up with images of the horror, of people trying to break free, pounding the wall with fists, feet, rocks, and whatever else they could use, all to no avail. THe previous evening, Warren and a massive electrical discharge only caused the wall to glow slightly brighter, which led him to believe that, at this time, they're kind of…y'know…stuck.

Working on one of his previous theories - if this thing is a sphere or a half-sphere - he's made his way to one of the subway stations, his mouth and nose covered by a painter's dust mask, his eyes shielded by sunglasses, giving him a bizzarely post-apocalyptic look. His backpack is slung over his shoulders and, now and again, he spends a few moments taking pictures before heading down into the depths of tehe subway.

Some vehicles are still moving in the sealed environment beneath the Dome, and one such - a powerfully rumbling bike - is just in the process of slowing to a halt. The primary rider is clad entirely in anonymous black, but the combination of that appearance, her shape, and the look and sound of her chromed steed should let Jaiden, at least, recognise Ygraine and her bike Alfred.

There are, however, a couple of additions. Secured between the panniers on the back is a military-grade first aid kit in a sturdy metal box, while directly in front of it perches JJ - head protected by an all-black helmet to match Ygraine's own. The two swing to a halt a few yards from the near edge of the gathering crowd.

This was not the visit Pericles Jones expected. Pericles Jones expected to 'veg' as was promised. He expected to stay securely indoors save for the occasional foray into the world solely for the purposes of getting food or entertainment. At no point was disaster and emergency on the docket. You can feel free to check it. You won't find either.

But this is what the universe thinks of the best laid plans, and so Perry finds himself trotting after Melissa, hand rising to fiddle with glasses that are not there, muddy brown eyes wide with ever increasing alarm. He's gotta a quick rundown of the situation - the whole 'bubble' thing - but seeing the rabble of ruin gather is another thing entirely.

The helmet comes off the man in the back as JJ swings his leg over the bike in a graceful dismount. He hands waits for Ygraine to dismount and remove her own helmet before handing her his, with a smile and a nod of thanks.

"What's the situation?" he asks, striding toward the subway entrance and peering down, then looking to the young man who seems to be rallying the troops. He carries a backpack on his back as well, picked up from where he'd stowed it yesterday before his "jog." Inside is a radio, batteries, flashlights, water, and a first-aid kit, along with ammunition for the gun he carries in his pocket. He's also no longer in his jogging suit, but jeans, hiking boots and a sweater. He might not have ever been a boy scout, but the motto still stands.

Just ahead of Melissa, Devon runs as well as the way toward the subway station is made. How far down does this bubble go? Just one of many questions, the answer of which would possibly determine the actual size of the barrier. When the crowd comes into view, his steps slow onto a jog, and breathless he makes his way closer still. Until the milling throng forces him to slow further, to a jostled walk that'll take him to the entrance.

"Woah hey!"

The teenager can't quite bring himself to grip onto Jaiden to stop him from going down, hand out as if to do so before hovering in uncertainty. "Should you be going down there? It's probably dangerous, what if it— caves in— " He isn't, really, able to put to words why he has his own reservations about heading back down the orange-lit stairwell, into the shadowed darkness with its arc tunnels spanning from either side, to Queens and to Manhattan — but then, it's still difficult to put to words what's happening, even.

'Bubble', for instance, isn't something that's being comprehended when Melissa snaps at the complete stranger, who blinks at her like one. "Excuse me, ma'am, but what?" he says, raising an eyebrow. "I would say it matters to know what you're running into, yes— "

"Look, I was waiting for the train, and the express came through. Then the power went out," the teenager is saying, with the tone of someone who's repeated themselves before. "Then it came back on, but the whole place shook up and it was— so fucking loud. Like an earthquake. I went to get help but— "

But the bridge was falling down, is what an expansive splay of hands is meant to communicate. It's been a busy day.

"We're trapped in a bubble that's six thousand feet across. That's why everything's gone to hell. And probably what the train hit," Melissa says, not stopping, though she does slow. She's not stupid enough to rush into a disaster if she doesn't have to. "Anyone got flashlights or an ability that can provide light, just in case?" she asks, starting down into the darkness, hesitantly trying to feel the area around them for people in pain.

And since she spotted JJ back there, "FRONTLINE guy, what sort of supplies you have? You've got some, right? Radio, flashlight, flares, that sorta thing?"

There's a prick of Jaiden's ears at the mention of an actual diameter of this thing, but first of all, there's the teenager to deal with. He stops and pulls his mask down, his mouth and nose outlined with grime, the rest of the skin beneath the mask still clean aside from a little 5-o'clock shadow. "Probably is, Mate, but if this thing is a half dome, the only way out is going to be down there. I'm trying to figure how to get out of here b'fore the air gets too terrible. We can't stay here….I've seen what a confined society can do. It ain't pretty."

Luke snorts at Melissa from where he's loitering off to the side. "I used to, but I traded it in for a better one." well ok, so his power didn't actually create light, but it did make a kind of glow when he was frying the crap out of something. "Eh, mine is more useful anyway."

Ygraine had been going to follow directly after JJ… but after stowing away the spare helmet (leaving her own in place), pocketing a couple of items, locking the pannier, and swinging the recently-acquired medkit onto her shoulder, the Briton finds her attention caught by a very familiar-looking photographer heading away from her. Cocking her head for a moment, she then breaks into a trot, booted feet clomping sturdily on the tarmac as she moves to the subway entrance.

Arriving with her, unfortunately, is a slight whiff of… sewage, but she flips up her blankly dark visor as she comes to a halt next to the others. A breathing mask also covers the lower part of her face beneath the helmet, and slightly muffles her voice. "Routes near the surface have been cut", she says quietly. "I had a look a few minutes ago. But this is a lot deeper. And either way, we need to see if people need to be got out." As she talks, she clips one of her crank-powered flashlights to the shoulder strap of her jacket. "I've got two more of these, if people need them, but I'd recommend we stick to small groups, working together and keeping each other in sight. No one should wander off on their own."

A man of functional considerations, Perry stays clammed up, receptive, until he catches onto all the relevant details. Jaiden as a point, without doubt. If there is a way off and out of the reach of the dome, it'd be through the down-there. Of course, if the dome isn't a half dome, if it's, say a sphere or close enough to it… well, he'd rather not be down there when the tunnels rumble and fill up with seawater.

Perry doesn't know who Ygraine is or why she has all that sweet gear, but Melissa seems to have her mind set on risking danger, and like hell is he going to sit out in that case. He lifts a hand to flag down Ygraine. "I'd- uh- I'd like a flashlight if- uh- if you can spare it." Glancing over at Melissa, since it's she that made the first request.

"Jones," JJ says, tossing a look at Melissa, "will do. Only my best friends get to call me 'FRONTLINE guy.'" He's not aware there's another Jones in the vicinity. He pulls his backpack off to grab his own flashlight, a heavy duty Maglight.

He looks to the man who seems confused about just what happened. "There's some sort of a forcefield that's encapsulated us. Nothing we've seen before, but hopefully they can figure out who did it and get us out quick. For the time being, we need to work together and try to help out anyone who needs it." He gives a nod down the steps. "Including the people down there."

He glances around at those assembled. "Not a bad crew — pain manip, concrete punching, and first-aid-goddess-slash-spelunker. We can do this. Anyone else got a power that's useful, come on with, or you can just be plain ol' man power and elbow grease like I'm gonna have to do."

With that, he starts to descend into the underground.

Devon is pretty useless in the ability department, but the emergency power might provide enough light down there for some seeing. After pushing his way through the crowd, he pauses just at the head of the stairs. A look is sent to Melissa and Perry, then Jaiden and then just beyond to the other teenager, then back to the rest of the crowd. "Getting out of this bubble's all well and good," he states flatly and to no one in particular, "but that crashed train…" First things first.

Shooting another look back, this time picking out JJ and Ygraine in the crowd, Devon starts down the steps, hesitating only briefly when JJ does the same. As he begins down those first few stairs, he pulls his scarf up over his nose and mouth, eyes squinting against the dust.

Among those that give in and start to descend would be the teenager that raised the alarm, hesitating before a sense of all-consuming duty has him thundering on down the orange-lit stairs in the wake of those reacting in emergency. The crowd remaining split up, variously, some to go see what on earth Melissa and JJ might be talking about, others maybe trying to find enough help, because if any amount of people are still alive down there—

They'll need somewhere to go. Something to surface to.

The underground is empty, variously vandalised, and the emergency lights that glow are already dimming. The platform shows nothing of real damage, but then, it is a good distance from the divisions that cut into the ground, as Ygraine reported. The two mouths of the tunnels are pitch black hollows, ominous and thrown into complete shadow. Rather confident of his own safety, the teenager hops down onto the tracks, and points west — Manhattan side. "That's where it went, and then boom," he says.

Sparking light flashes, intermittently, without definition. Electrical bursts, some distance away. "I'll wait out here," the teenager suggests, having no desire to trek on foot down the dark passage.

"And just what is your ability, Jones? All FRONTLINE guys have them, right?" Melissa asks, motioning for Perry to keep the flashlight, for now at least. "And yeah, train first, Devon. Don't worry." And with a deep breath, down she goes, following the teen down to the tracks, then towards the train itself. "There's still room in the church for any wounded, right?" she asks, presumably of Jones and Ygraine, though she doesn't specify.

"Okay, people with flashlights, up front, make sure none of us fall into any sinkholes or anything. Let's try to keep this team as uninjured as possible, since our supplies are limited for the time being."

Rummaging in his backpack for a moment, Jaiden pulls out a head-mounted flashlight and pulls it on his head, clicking the LED on, illuminating what he's looking at with a eerie blue glow. "Bloody hell…" A glance to Ygraine and a pat on her shoulder. "Hey there, girlie-girl. Fancy seeing you in a place like this." Mention of Frontline, though…that gives Jaiden pause. Leaning in to whisper something to Ygraine, he straightens and looks down the tunnel where the train was, studiously avoiding the third rail.

Luke doesn't have a flashlight, but that doesn't stop him from pushing to the front of the group. This seems more interesting than standing outside doing nothing, anyway. "Dumbass should've stopped the train if it was going to just crash into something." nevermind that the thing came up without warning.

Though JJ's description of her makes her grin behind her mask, Ygraine quickly returns her thoughts to business. "The church? Ahhh. Some. We could do with somewhere intact, if we can manage it, but I admit I don't have any suggestions." As she talks, she produces a couple of flashlights, passing the first to Perry and the second to the unnamed teenager. "If it dims, just crank that handle there. See? No batteries - all it takes is being wound up. Please take care of them - they'll keep working as long as we need them, if you do." However long that might be.

When the nervous youth comes to a halt, the Briton nods to him, lightly touching his shoulder with one gloved hand. "Good idea. As soon as we can get people out and send them back, you can wave the light and call them to you. Help them to find the stairs", she informs him, giving him a job to do rather than risking him feeling that he's simply hiding from danger.

Falling into step beside Jaiden, she picks up her pace a little, nodding to the tall Australian. "Sewers are wholly cut, which surely means we've got severed gas mains close by sparking cables. The good news is that I don't think there should be any pressure in the system", she murmurs to him. "So we can hope that things'll just dissipate quietly and not accumulate dangerously. And this deep, we can hope to be out of range of all of that sort of trouble. At least for the time being."

"Nothing physical that's gonna help; hence the elbow grease and manpower," JJ says with a shrug at Melissa. "There's plenty of room for injured people. We'll worry about where to put them when we get them out. I think the best option'd be a school, maybe a multipurpose room, something with a kitchen, supplies."

He turns to Luke, eyes narrowing at the 'dumbass' remark, though he doesn't point out the obvious — if they had time to react, they wouldn't be here. "Kid, you're gonna be needed to carry people, you think you can handle that?" Another glance is given to the teen who stays behind, and he gives a nod. "Maybe you can have someone up there look for a locale closeby we can bring them to — and maybe see if anyone nearby has a van or truck or something for transporting. If none of the people out there do, send someone to knock on some doors. Any supplies they can bring us for emergency first aid, the better, too."

That done, he points his light to the ground and moves toward the dark western tunnel.

Devon shakes his head at Luke's assumptions. "Right, like we all had so much warning above ground before that wall came up." A glance is sent back to the teen who's decided to remain behind, giving a shrug before looking ahead. The flicker and sparks give him mental pause, but then he's stepping out onto the tracks as well and staying in step with JJ. He's got a light, after all.

It will occur to them, a few minutes in, that it's a long way.

A long way under ground, with countless amounts of water above them, which is only above countless tonnes of earth. You don't have to be claustraphobic to be at least a little nervous at this thought. It's a long way, too, from where they began, a decent trek under ground that carries them so close to the other island west of Roosevelt, and still, as they now know, so far. But soon, they'll be able to see the suble glow of where the windows shine illumination on the brick, curved walls of the tunnel, nearly all the way to but just shy of Manhattan's coast. The sound of faltering electricity snaps and sparks up ahead.

There's also another sound. The sound of trickling water.

It's difficult to tell much from standing as a group downwind of the train, but they can also hear a scraping sound. A door being struggled and forced open.

"There's the Suresh Center. When me and Devon were investigating it looked like it was in the bubble. They have medical supplies there anyway. For the long term, though short term probably needs to be done closer," Melissa says, shrugging a little. "I've got a car, but nothing big. Also asked Devon to start organizing a search for nonperishable food, to collect it and ration it. Just as a side note."

Melissa pauses, head tilting as she listens. "Hey, I hear something. It sounds like someone's alive. And with the gas…We should hurry." And with a bit of a nudge to Perry, she's quickening her pace, onto the falter a bit when she gets closer, body tensing slightly, brow furrowing. "We should really hurry," she murmurs.

"Th- uh- thank you," Perry stutters, taking the flashlight (torch, in her tongue) and turning back to Melissa, thumb fidgeting with the activation switch, casting a pool of light on the ground, checking the luminosity. "I'm- uh- right with you," he assures Melissa, turning the lance of light down into the darkness, as far as it will go, before retracting it and pointing the pool of illumination nearer to their feet. Safety first, especially if they're rushing.

The water trickling 'round doesn't really worry Jaiden as much as it should. What worries Jaiden is the dirt that's surrounding it all. Water he can deal with, but earth crushing down on top of him to boot? Well, let's be safe and not sorry. That's the right thing to do.

His light swivels around, looking at supports, looking at the walls of the subway tunnel, fixing on the larger ones, staying out from under the more gaping cracks. "Hey! Hey!" Jaiden calls, his voice echoing. "Wait where you are! We'll come find you!"

Luke bristles metaphorically at being called 'kid'. "Sure, old man, I can carry around your sorry ass too if you fall and break your leg." so what if JJ's only about five years older? "Hope no one's claustrophobic, I'd hate to have to deal with anyone screaming their head off because the walls are closing in."

Ygraine briefly runs through a few fantasy scenarios of things to do to Luke's head, but manages to confine such notions safely to her imagination. Jaiden does, however, briefly have his arm touched as that liquid trickling becomes all too noticable.

Then she lengthens her stride, hurrying to get closer. "If we can start moving people back as soon as we get them out, it'd be good", she suggests to those around her. Dipping into her jacket once more as she hurries to help, she comes up with a sturdy screwdriver - not exactly a door-busting crowbar, but it might help with levering and prying things open.

JJ gives a very mature roll of his eyes at Luke's back talk, but keeps moving — after all, pissing off the strong man of the group doesn't seem like a good idea. His fingers trail around the walls out of habit — not that he thinks there'll be much to glean from the tunnel. Not a lot of fingers should have been touching these walls.

Others flashlights on the ground in front of their feet, he moves his forward, green eyes straining to see what lies ahead.

Devon rather keeps to himself, glancing toward Luke at his comments then looking ahead to Melissa and Perry. He checks his scarf then tucks his hands into his coat pockets. However, several steps later finds him pulling them free again. He lags behind briefly, then realizing most everyone has picked up the pace, quickens his own to rejoin them.

What lies ahead is a relatively intact train car, a silver, well used industrial looking thing that sits silently. As the group files in along the empty set of tracks beside it, they'll see the sliding door partially opened, movement inside. Jaiden's yell gets a response, a ragged, female sounding: "H-hey! In— here. Help us!" Not overly populated— and whether that has something to do with a lack of Registration cards or good luck is up for debate— is the train car, its dimly lit interior holding several people.

The girl, a student, that cried out shuffles to the opening, peering out fearfully. Red blood streaks down the side of her face from gushing head injury, which always bleed worse than they are, but she steadies herself on the edge of the door. "S-some people are— they got knocked out— the old lady didn't wake up yet— are you the rescue team?"

Obviously, she's a little disappointed at the motley crew come to collect them.

Perry's flashlight that swings ahead sees the damage done up front. It's almost comical, if you forget there were people involved. The entire front half of the next carriage down accordions gruesomely on its front most portion, metal crushed and broken, sprawing sparks into the puddle that's beginning to develop in the dank bottom of the tunnel. Despite the mess, it's not too difficult to see that not only did the train collide with something unmoving, it was also partially divided.

If you squint, you can see that faint blue line rimming along the curve of the underground tunnel, dutifully following its shape.

"There's about a dozen of them, maybe fifteen, it's hard to tell," Melissa murmurs, mostly to Perry, but the sound may well carry to the others. "Luke, can you get the door open? So we can get in, get them out, get them above ground?" she asks, voice lifting a bit, though she doesn't look away from the train.

Considering this is a subway, the spilling fluid is either hydraulic, lubricant, or, god help them, something really, really flammable. And knowing how today's gone, it's probably some combination of all three. Jaiden's light swivels to fix on the doorway, looking around for something discarded during construction - Rebar, 2x4, something to pry the door open a little easier. "We're what you've got….there's a lot of confusion right now, and we're just doing the right thing for those who need it. Now sit tight, miss, and we'll have you out in two shakes of a lamb's tail." He leans over and concentrates, the water in the tunnel flowing to conceal the spreading stain from any potential sparks….

Oh, good Lord. Perry has caused a fair bit of destruction in his as of yet short life, but coming upon it like this, in this place, in such strange circumstances, gives him a feeling of sudden and profound alienation. The pool of light he directs shivers over the wrecked car, finding it difficult to stay in one place for any extended period of time. Not trusting the hush of Mel's voice, he turns his head and calls back to the rest of the expedition. "Over a dozen people," he translates, "how- uh- how bad off are they?" this just to Mel, since she'd be the one who might be able to tell.

Luke is still irritated enough by being called kid, and now this lady's ordering him around. "Screw you, I'll do it if I want to." he retorts to Melissa. He waits a minute or two, just to make sure his point is made, then he goes over and kicks the door. That didn't quite work, so he leans over and just rips the door off and tosses it to the side. Erm, hopefully no one was standing there. "Okay, dumbasses, off the train."

Ygraine very nearly was standing, having been just in the process of slipping quickly by to check out the remnants of the forward car, in case there's anyone in there - and in the process look for further problems in the nearer one as she passes alongside it. As it is, she finds herself devoting a moment or three to new thoughts of Luke-murder, before managing to get her mind back on course.

Devon hangs back some, eyes flicking after the door then back to the newly opened train car. He keeps back from the opening, leaving space for people climb out and generally keeping himself out of the way unless asked to help otherwise. He does, though, start pointing people the other direction, to where the nameless teenager hopefully still waits to show survivors where to go from there.

The smell of fresh death and injury greets Ygraine and others that inspect the crumpled train, and there is no noise coming from the crumpled remains. Sparks fly, briefly illuminating the interior of a train that is so wrecked it looks like someone picked up the train car, shook it violently, and set it down again. Glass glitters from impacted windows, popped in shards from the crush, and the seats all crumple together in disarray, and the shapes of people can be made out. Bloodied faces, tangled limbs attached to broken bodies, and no one moves.

No one breathes.

Out in the tunnel, underfoot, water pushes the puddling fluid away from where broken electrical pieces spit sparks, guaranteeing some measure of safety, as much as there can be guarantee for an underwater tunnel thats been cut in pieces by an immense forcefield of mysterious origin.

Inside the less broken carriage, people are recovering from being thrown off their seats, off their feet in some cases. An older African American lady cradles the head of skinny white guy who'd been clinging to a handhold on time of crash, his face broken and bleeding, and his consciousness— decidedly absent. Among the unconscious is an elderly woman being half-held by someone who seems to be family, who blazes a furious stare at Luke but starts to move, a man in a suit. "I need help," he intones, gently, with tried patience. Those more able are already getting up, allowing themselves to be shepherded away.

And some dozen more of them in similar states — neck injuries for almost all of them, broken fingers, shattered ribs. It's a young woman slumped against the side seat that flickers the most for Melissa's range, internal bleeding creating fire and agony behind broken bones, barely conscious.

Another scene of carnage. Jaiden sighs, lifts his camera, takes three or four quick shots, and then gets to work. "Okay, those that can walk, head back down the tunnel. Avoid the third rail…power's intermittent, so it might go live if you aren't lucky. If you can't move, or see someone who is alive and needs help, speak up…" Actually….a lightbulb goes on in Jaiden's head. "Hey strong guy…think you can pull this car back down the track?"

"Some of them are bad. Very bad." Melissa's eyes close and she leans against the side of the train. "The worst…someone a few feet…over there," she says, motioning in the general direction of the woman. "Lots of neck injuries. Fingers. Head. They're messed up." Eyes open and she looks at Perry. "I can't help them until we get them all out. I'd be useless," she says, looking pained from more than just the shadowed pain from the victims.

She straightens then, moving to look inside. "Everyone who can walk, head that way," and she motions back to where the teen stayed. "There's a boy there who'll tell you where to go. There's a church, we'll gather there. Please, move quickly," she says in a strained voice.

Luke glares right back at the woman. Bitch, who do you think just opened the door for you? Jaiden's question, however, has Luke regarding it uncertainly. "I can try but…" he starts walking to the end of the train, the reaches for the undercarriage and starts pulling.

Ygraine dallies a little longer than might be expected, seemingly examining the concertinaed carriage in some detail - no doubt leaving herself with a fresh set of horrific images to go with the array she has acquired over the past few years. Then, swallowing bile and frowning fiercely, she tucks away her screwdriver and turns to hurry back the way she came, until she can slip into the carriage still blessed with survivors.

Once aboard, she unslings the medkit, moving along in search of the best targets to help. An old army recruitment television advertisement springs to mind, reminding her of the notion that those casualties able to ask for help probably need it less than those beyond that state. Hoping that it's correct, she moves to crouch by the unconscious elderly woman, worriedly running her gaze over the motionless victim.

Once Ygraine comes to the unconscious woman, JJ nods to her and moves to someone else, helping those who can carry themselves out of the carriage, guiding them toward the young man farther down on the platform. "Kid," he says to Devon, handing him his flashlight, "walk with them to that other boy, then come back. We need the light, and some can use a strong body to lean on."

"Any luck?" he calls to Luke, standing at the threshold, casting a worried look inside the train car. The rest are injured enough that they shouldn't be moved, but they may have to be. He'll wait before he starts trying to lift people and carry them the long journey back toward sunlight.

With a glance toward JJ as Devon hears his name, he nods then claims the flashlight. "C'mon folks," he says, voice giving way to the uneasiness he's been feeling since entering the tunnels. Shining the light downward, angled to illuminate the ground well ahead of where they'll be walking, the teenager steps away from the wrecksite to lead the first group back to safety. "C'mon. It's not too far."

The injured but able move with Devon, a listless group of people who cast bewildered looks back behind them, wondering why they aren't going that way, but there's no arguing. No struggle. No asking, either, simply wanting to get out from beneath the immense amount of earth above them. Devon's flashlight, faded and vague the farther it gets, is still seen by the other teenager who raised the alarm, and soon, Devon and his troupe can see the movement of waving arms from the light of the subway station.

It's still a ways to walk, but there's only one direction to go. A girl gets out her cellphone, the little blue light shining a path for them. "We got it from here," she murmurs to Devon. She'd be prettier without blood on her face. "Thank you. Tell— all of them that."

Back at the train—

TWANG-SKREEE. That's the sound of Luke pulling a piece off the train, only the slightest of trembles from his effort. There's a slam as he pitches the piece of torn metal into the wall of the tunnel, debris embedding into brick with a crack, but fortunately, nothing more than that. Lame as hell. He folds his arms and absently nudges the train with a resentful kick of the toe of his boot, before sullenly squinting down the darkness of the tunnel.

"What does it look like?" is snippy delivery to JJ.

Well, it was a good idea when it started. Time to improvise. Since ripping chunks off the train seems to be fairly easy, Jaiden moves toward one of the unconcious injured people. Pressing a bit of cloth to try and slow the bleeding, he moves the person as best he can without moving their back and spine too terribly much. Being here is unhealthy. "Thanks for tryin', mate!" he yells to the strongman.

"Don't forget to take them to the church," Melissa calls out after Devon, before she climbs up on the train, wincing almost constantly now. "This one…She's the one with broken ribs. We should get some sort of stretcher for her, so we don't accidentally puncture a lung or something. That one," and she points to a different one, "also has broken ribs. She's just not in as much pain."

She ducks her head out of the train. "Can you guys find something that we can use to keep backs straight? So we can get these people out of here safely?" She glances upward and adds in a mutter, "And quickly?"

Ygraine points to the unconscious young man. "Barring internal bleeding, he should be okay. His head's at the right angle, his neck's not showing bruising, and he's breathing steadily. Which means he can be grabbed and moved with less risk than's involved in leaving him here", she announces, doing her best to sound authoritatively calm, rather than like someone extrapolating from an extensive personal experience of crashes.

"This lady…." Turning her attention back to the old woman, Ygraine sighs quietly, stripping off her gloves (and stuffing them into her jacket) before gently touching the victim's hand. "I can't see any sign of broken bones anywhere vital. We'll have to chance moving her as well, and as soon as possible. I can take her myself" - and in the process, tweak gravity to greatly reduce the jostling she'll receive.

Rising to her feet, she moves back along to swing the medkit off her shoulder and offer it to Melissa and Jaiden, though her real purpose in rejoining them is revealed when she delivers a sotto voce warning, meant for their ears alone, though a look is cast in JJ's direction in hope of conveying the idea that perhaps he should find out what was said when he gets a chance. "Curvature of the field indicates it's a sphere", she murmurs. "It's starting to cut back under us, down here."

Then she's returning to the old woman, very gently scooping her up into her arms, using the same trick as with the unfortunate Stillwater employee an hour earlier, though this time her burden is much more managable - and much more fragile.

Jaiden scooping up the man gets a nod of thanks and a clap on the shoulder from JJ, and then Ygraine's words get a more somber nod of (feigned) understanding. As Ygraine lifts the elderly woman, he pokes his head out of the carriage. "Brawny," he calls to Luke, who is anything but, "come rip me up a bench, will ya? And you can help me carry it."

Green eyes alight on Melissa, brows raising as if to ask 'That'll do?' "Go with them — I think we'll be okay. She's hurt, but you won't do us any good if you pass out down here. One more thing to carry."

"Yeah, just follow that guy," Devon says as he points his own light toward the waving one in the distance. "He'll get you up top and then anyone injured go to the church." He waits, just long enough to see everyone shuffle past, before he turns back for the train. He covers the distance not quite at a run, flashlight held out in front of him mostly in idle effort to keep from tripping over anything. But his return should be quicker.

Stomp stomp stomp. Luke moves as directed but not especially willingly — mostly, showing off his own ability is the priority, there, but he does as asked, moving into the carriage. There's a gruesome sounding wrench of metal and plastics, peeling off the side seat from the wall, a twang as metal poles are snapped, and he tilts his head to JJ as if to say: let's get this show on the road.

Limping, shuffling, and occasionally carried, the train is left behind. Body retrieval, what's left of it, might be carried out another time as the group herds back for the light, away from the spooky blue line that indicates the sphere down beneath the ground and under their feet. In the darkness, it's the only illumination, but that hardly matters, as there's no one around to see by it.

Not the remains left in the crushed train carriage, a temporary graveyard, or the barely detectable trickles of river water that course down the invisible wall.

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