United We Stand, Part IV


aric_icon.gif amato_icon.gif alia_icon.gif brian_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif claire_icon.gif colette_icon.gif daphne_icon.gif delia_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif doyle2_icon.gif edgar_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif eve_icon.gif harmony_icon.gif s_hokuto_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif janice_icon.gif joanna_icon.gif katie_icon.gif lashirah_icon.gif lucille2_icon.gif lucy_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif lydia_icon.gif matt_icon.gif matt-jr_icon.gif maddie_icon.gif mala_icon.gif melissa3_icon.gif molly_icon.gif monica_icon.gif peyton2_icon.gif rourke_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif russo_icon.gif susan_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif vincent_icon.gif walsh_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

unknown-cameron_icon.gif samuel_icon.gif

Scene Title United We Stand, Part IV
Synopsis New York City braces for the coming storm, and minute by minute, the future foretold approaches…
Date November 7, 2010

Peyton Whitney & Wes Smedley

Redbird Security - Wes Smedley's Apartment - New York, New York

2:43 AM

Shink. Shink. Shink.

His brows furrowed and his jaw held tight, Wes Smedley draws the blade of his hunting knife along the whetstone in a slow rhythm. He tries not to think about what might have happened to Peyton over the last eight hours. He tries not to think about what might happen to her over the next twenty-four. Instead, he focuses on the edge of the blade, and the angle it makes with the stone.

The sound of metal on metal is interrupted by metal on metal as a key inserts into a lock, and the door knob turns. Peyton steps in — at first glance, she looks all right. There are no swollen eyes, no smeared makeup. She's already been given a clean t-shirt from Cardinal's stash to replace the torn and bloody one she wore before getting cleaned and stitched up. But there's still some specks of blood — mostly Luther's — and grime and dirt from their stand against Samuel that hint that it was not easy, and there's a gingerness to the way she holds her arm against her side.

"Hey," she says softly. "Mind if I crash here tonight?" It is, after all, past midnight — past curfew.

In those few seconds before the door opens, Wes adjusts his grip on the knife, only to relax it once more at the sight of Peyton. He stares at her for a moment, his eyes drifting from her eyes to her arm, and then the shirt which is clearly not her own. With a half-stifiled sigh, he turns shoves the knife back into it's leather sheath, dropping the whole thing onto the towel he's laid out on the small kitchen table. "Yeah," he says somewhat gruffly. Even covered, the weapon clatters against the pieces of the two revolvers and a rifle that have been spread out on the oil-stained cloth.

"You okay?" The question comes as he starts to reassemble one of the six-shooters, clicking and clacking the various components back into place with a bit more force than it possibly necessary.

"Yeah," Peyton says, watching him a little warily. That's a lot of weaponry, and he doesn't sound too pleased with her. "We stopped them. The woman's dead. Sullivan — he lost his ability. He can't do that anymore. I think Arnold's dead, I'm not sure." She sounds weary. It's been a long and hard few days, fighting battles she never dreamt possible. And there's more to come. She moves closer to him, bending with just the slightest wince as the change of posture aggravates something in her wounds, and she presses a kiss to his cheek. "We're going after the guy who's supposed to cause the riots. Tomorrow, sometime." She tenses, waiting for the reaction to come.

Wes lifts a hand from the revolver to the side of Peyton's face, spidering it up to her hair to curl his fingers into the shortened locks. He doesn't tell her to be careful. He doesn't verbalize any worry for her safety, even given her obvious injury. He knows she'll be safe. He knows she's more than capable of taking care of herself. But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of reasons to be worried, or upset, or even angry.

The revolver lies forgotten on the table, it's newly cleaned parts half-assembled. Wes stands with Peyton held carefully in his arms, his mouth pressed tightly against her forehead. "I got pegged to lend a hand to some folks on Staten, gettin' 'em - people like you - out'uh dodge before the law comes knockin' down doors. Might get ugly, but-" But he may not be doing it at all if it weren't for her.

"I'll see you this time tomorrow," he says with a small smile. "Deal?"

That he's risking his life to help others — and not necessarily her — gets a worried but proud smile, and Peyton slides into his arms, nodding at the words. "Deal," she says, a sincere smile punctuating the singular word, the tone of her voice not frightened or tentative. Whatever war she's been through the last few days — no matter what the battle brings tomorrow — she feels like she's won.

Delia Ryans & Hokuto Ichihara



The grey coloured sky and cold wind whip around the narrow white-ish lighthouse causing the windows along the front of the building to shake with the force of the rush. The snow covered grass and skeletal trees blow within the wintry air, nipping at exposed skin and eyes alike. The hint of frost draws an even sharper nip, crisp in its bite. The clouds in the sky swirl with the changing tide and temperature, a virtual tempest in a teapot, a perfect storm along the coast.

Perched high above the ground, her long hair flutters about in the brisk wind, the red curls blowing into her face as she gazes out onto the water. "They're finally gone… Thanks for all of your help," she says quietly. She doesn't know if it's a necessary courtesy to give thanks to a mentor for a lesson well learned but it's offered.

"Still yet more trouble to come," Hokuto intones with a furrow of her brows, stepping to move to Delia's side with a click of wooden sandals on the ground beneath her feet. The cool air rustles the fabric of her kimono, long sleeves patterned with white sakura branches on matte black waving like flags. "Still no rest in sleep, and more work of ours to be done yet as well."

Turning gold eyes to Delia, Hokuto manages a faint smile with ink black lips. "But well enough for now, and well enough to deserve peace. I should go," she implies, turning a look back out to the horizon. "I have a new friend, and she needs me to help connect her family together. I would have that done… at the very least."

With a small smile, the young redhead clambers to stand long the edge of the high tower. Once upon a time the lighthouse was a beautiful place, it's revolving beacon sending a ray of hope to sailors out on the ocean. Now, it's a dead thing like so much more around the island with its empty shells for homes and barren streets.

There's no pause before Delia takes the first step, no consideration for what she might be leaving behind. No question for advice… Instead there's only a peaceful smile as the empty world wraps around her and blankets her in darkness.

Janice Parkman, Matt Parkman, & Matt Parkman Jr.

Los Angeles, California


9:12 AM, New York Time

She's been pacing by the front windows for the last hour, been nervously biting at that one chipped thumbnail that is never allowed to keep polish on it. Yet she doesn't give up, just stubbornly applies another coat after teeth strip it away. It's an ugly habit, she has more than enough. Just this once it might be justified.

By the time the car door is shutting outside, Janice Parkman feels the pit of her stomach twisting, feels anxiety boiling behind her eyes and her blood go cold. How many years has it been, and she still hasn't changed her last name back?

A dark silhouette approaches the front door, visible through the frosted glass. One look over her shoulder to check and make sure her man is comfortably seated in the kitchen, and then she's pre-emptively headed to the door, opening it before the man on the other side can even get a chance to knock.

This would be infinitely less awkward if she'd say hello instead of just staring expectantly.

But in situations like these, traditional greetings only serve to eat up valuable time.

Still, Matt Parkman takes a moment to stare at his ex-wife, his brows furrowed in that classic look of concern and worry that has etched many a line into his once youthful face.

"I'm sorry it's so early," he finally says, looking from her face down to the porch beneath their feet for a moment. "But I had to see you. I had to see Matty." He looks past her, craning his neck to try and see into the kitchen, where he knows his son is likely chowing down on breakfast, oblivious to the danger that looms.

But in the next moment, Matt is reaching into a pocket to produce a folded index card, only to press it into Janice's hand as he stares intently into her eyes. "Don't lose that. No matter what."

"This is how you say hello?" Janice keeps her voice down as her fingers curl around the card in her hand. "This," she brandishes her closed fist holding the card up towards Matt as she pivots out of his way, turns her attention towards the door to the kitchen where the clink of a spoon can be heard. "This is how you're catching up?"

Not even looking at the card, Janice clutches her hand around it tighter. "He's eating, and I swear to God, Matt…" Janice's eyes narrow and her chin sets. "If you upset him and I have to— " her voice hitches in the back of her throat.

That wasn't really fair.

It's been two months after he'd say he'd visit every month, but Matt doesn't verbally recognize his broken promise. Instead, he slips past Janice and into the kitchen, a tired smile easing onto his features at the sight of his son, milk dribbling down the toddler's chin. Rather than remove the boy from his chair, Matt ruffles his hair and leans to place a kiss on his head, letting his eyes close for a moment.

He can't stay long, and that makes the whole visit difficult. Tainted.

"It's just a precaution, Janice," he says as calmly as he can, so as not to upset the boy. "If I can't hold things together out east, you and Matty are going to have to hide. And I don't want to loose you that way. So that's how you can reach me. But it's just a precaution. Just a fail safe." He bends his knees then, stooping beside Matty's chair to smile at the boy again. "Does it taste good, Matty?"

Janice's eyes grow wide, her breath hitches in the back of her throat, and as Matt ducks out of that conversation and into Matty's field of view and hearing, Janice's mind boils with anger. Trying to keep the venom out of her expression, she fails as she has so many years going on to do so.

Matty Jr's expression seems precociously wary as he looks up from his cereal to his father, brows furrowed and his mop of hair partly obscuring his brow. It's as though even he knows that his father hadn't held to his word, even if at his age he's just a little too young to realize the implications of it.

"Hi daddy," the young boy offers sheepishly, and the sound of his voice stills Janice's rage, quiets her mind and makes her throat tighten as she lifts a hand to cover her mouth. The boy needs a father.

"Hi," Matt says with a short, breathy chuckle, his smile gaining strength.

Andy Rourke, Susan Ball & Katie Sebastian

Central Park


The man and the woman on the park bench could be married. It's not taboo, anymore. She watches the children chasing the geese at the edge of the lake and marvels over how not one of them has been bitten yet. The last time she and her husband — not the man beside her — were here with their little girl, she was attacked by a trumpet swan when she tried to feed it a piece of stale, crumbling bread.

The Ball family hasn't been back since.

"It's the only way they're going to survive," she tells him, not for the first time, a thin trace of an Irish accent in her voice courtesy of her father who is, at this very moment, breaking someone's fingers with a hammer on the other side of the city. Daniel Walsh doesn't have much in common with his daughter, but resorting to violence under pressure is something that runs in the family.

It's why she's here now, even if neither she nor Andry Rourke realize it. "You're making the right choice."

Breathing in deep;y, Andy exhales a shaky sigh as he looks down to his gloved hands. It's cold this morning, maybe because purgatory is supposed to be cold, desolate; It feels like that here. "I know s'right, I jus'," Andy's dark eyes come shut, lifting up hands to the stocking cap covering his shaved head, fingers curling in the brim and eyes falling shut.

"How's this all s'posed t'go down? Like, I just…" He has a bad feeling, a sinking sensation in the pit of his stomach, but one justified by his vision of the 8th. "Naw, it— we go through with this, Sue." Andy's head dips down, a tight swallow coming. "When that bitch was comin' round, poking inta' what people saw in that vision shit?" Dark eyes flick up to the woman who has never been his friend, but who's argument sounds so reasonable.

"A'saw m'self drivin' me an' Else out t'Yonkers. We met up with some people, said they was waiting for us, so… I figure that's like some kinda' protection or some shit, right?" Dark brows furrow and Andy turns to look askance to the pigeons braving the chill November air.

"Man, this… I know it's right," because Susan told him it is, and she is always right, and fair, "but it just… you're sure?" As if Andy's one last moment of plea for sanity would make her change her mind.

"The council was a mistake."

Susan speaks with no malice, only quiet conviction, but she does not look at Andy when she addresses him. Her eyes are somewhere across the lake. "It's what allowed the massacre at the hospital to happen. More people are going to die tomorrow, there's nothing we can do about that. But we can make an impact when it comes to how many."

Sliding his tongue across his lips, Andy slowly bobs his head down into a nod, though it looks more like a penatant man admitting his sins. "Yea'," he weakly replies, "shit wasn't right with that, we ain't— I didn't sign up for this t'make with shit that they did. All that killin', all the people that on our bloody side. Kids, some'f them were fuckin' kids…"

"Just fuckin' kids," Andy exhales again, recalling the former Phoenix-infatuated kids that had eagerly joined up to fight, only to die for what? Trade how many lives lost for how many spared?

"Fuck'em," is Andy's bitter agreement, "fuck the whole bloody council."

If Susan takes offense to Andy's assessment, she does not allow it to show, or lacks the energy for it to. She's part of the whole bloody council, after all. A hand gloved in wool reaches out and touches his arm just above the wrist in a gesture of restrained affection. "We'll give them our safehouses in exchange for the safety of the people in them," she says gently. "Clemency for everyone.

"I'll talk."

The approach of Katie Sebastian comes with an air of authority for all that she isn't dressed like it. Black skinny jeans, a red sweater on which her fine blonde hair catches in its weave, and an expression like she's stepping into a business meeting as opposed to meeting someone in the park. Then again, that's how she approaches her dates too. The figures on the park bench are scrutinised with hard hazel eyes, before she's stalking on over in long strides, boot heels clicking on the asphalt bike path.

"My name is Agent Katie Sebastian," she says, lifting the hem of red wool to flash the badge at her belt, gleaming darker red and gold before it's obscured again. "I wanted to pass on the message from Secretary Praeger that the Department of Evolved Affairs is very thankful for your cooperation today. I know this can't be easy for either of you."

That they're out in the open doesn't seem to bother her in the slightest.

It bothers Andy, more than he lets it show on his face, that this is all happening out in the open. Somehow the preconceptions of this arrangement were skewed towards some sort of back door dealing, a dimly-lit and smoky room where the maneuverings of disparate political factions could bargain for their futures.

Central Park wasn't his idea, isn't ideal, but he's here because of Susan. Or he's here because this is the right thing to do, even Andy himself isn't sure which is which anymore.

"Andy," is his long belated greeting to Agent Sebastian. "So… ah, how's… how's this gonna' work?"

Susan reaches into her coat pocket, revealing not a slip of paper, but a thin flash drive held between her gloved fingers. It's small — small enough that if she changed her mind, all it would take is a flick of her wrist and a well-placed stomp of her heel to everything back.

She doesn't.

"You won't kill anyone," sounds like it should be a question but isn't. "Most of the people working for the network aren't in deep enough to realize the full extent of what's going on. Many of them haven't broken any laws, and those who have did so under the influence of a select few. Their names are on the list."

The flashdrive is taken, made into the property of the United States Government with a delicate push of it into the pockets of her jeans, Sebastian bouncing a glance from Andy's question to Susan's conditions, the latter of which gets a reasonably flinty stare over the half-smile she's afforded. "Make no mistake that we're going to be making a lot of arrests. I wouldn't want you to be under the illusion that this will be anything different," she states, flatly.

"I'd like to invite you both back to the HQ and go over these key individuals and answer some questions about the network. I have a map." Her smile manages to make it to full, before it flattens again. "And then we can talk about the conditions of ensuring your security. I have the feeling we'd all appreciate closed doors."

"Yeah," is Andy's murmured response as he looks nervously towards the crowd in the park, then back over to the sleek agent offering up simple answers to complicated questions. "Closed doors, s'about right…" Andy's brows furrow, a warning and worried look offered to Susan as if to imply we can still run.

Neither of them do.

Maybe it's resignation that this is all predestined, maybe its comfort in the notion that this is all out of his hands, maybe it's a silver tongue; but Andy Rourke acquiesces to Agent Sebastian's will, and with a sharply exhaled breath he asks the one question still fluttering in his chest.

"What 'appens t'us?"

It's an important question, and when Andy asks it on behalf of both of them, Susan lifts her eyes to Katie's face, silent and expectant.

On the subject of arrests, she has no objections.

What happens to them might not be as important as what happens to Katie. She might get promoted.

Her nostrils flare a little in vague impatience, but her eyes hold understanding. "That's up to you, Andy," she says, in the tone of voice that implies she would be preferring to address him more formally, but works with what she's been given. "Your personal safety will be my priority. After that, I think you'll find the Department of Evolved Affairs exceptionally lenient when it comes to trading information. Depending on the value of that information— "

She begins to walk, with the expectation that they'll follow, a subtle dimple indenting next to her mouth. "You could be on the payroll by noon tomorrow."

Colette Nichols

Grand Central Terminal


Hunched down at a folding table, fingers wound in her hair, Colette Nichols breathes in a deep and steadying breath as she looks over her piecemeal map of New York City. Overlapping circles drawn in colored pencil, names written in them, like a Venn diagram of the apocalypse.

"If I can just…" She's talking to herself, which is partly the fault of not having been to sleep yet. She taps her red pencil over an area where most of the circles overlap, teeth toying with her bottom lip, mismatched eyes scanning for something — some clue — that she could have missed.

So caught up in solving the mysteries of the visions, she's failed to see all the warning signs along the way. Scribbling around the red circle, Colette writes in scrawled handwriting:

How do you stop the future?

Her rhetorical question goes unanswered. Eventually, though, the call for sleep does not. Her back will hate her when she wakes up, but her fatigued mind will thank her.

Delilah Trafford

The Octagon, Roosevelt Island


Delilah has been waiting for this day for roughly eight months, since she first found out that she was pregnant. A summer and long autumn between the visions and the day that they were of. The November chill has long set in, having October to warm up and settle into its groove. Memories of winter flood back, as they should. She has had time today to remember and recall a great many things, about the past year, the past years. Her recent past, and what her future is ought to be when her baby boy finally sees the world.

In being honest with herself, Delilah has known a long time that maybe some people think her a fool for keeping it- some stare, some cluck tongues, some decide to actually talk to her- but in the fact that she will never be truly alone ever again is her innermost argument every single time. Coming from a life where her family disappeared in the span of a few short years, being alone is one thing that Delilah has always been afraid of. Perhaps that is why she surrounds herself with an aura of love, and perhaps that is also why people may think her foolish. Love may be foolish, sometimes, but it is the only thing on Earth that is truly universal.

Sunday night, for Delilah, is a time to reflect on all of this while putting away clothes and baby supplies into a large wheeled suitcase, its cherry red cloth spreadeagle on her bed. One side is already tucked together, full of amenities that she knows she will need both for herself, and for Walter, once he is born. She is very sparse with her own clothes; plain dresses and leggings, flat shoes.

There is a notably missing presence while she folds them down, and her having left Samson with Marien has given her a slight feeling of chilliness; usually the dog is right there with her all the time, and for the last nine months he has been the one other thing that she knows she'll have. There wasn't too much that she could do for him, besides entrust her aunt and cousins with him while they leave the city themselves. Closing the lid of the suitcase is luckily a simple affair, despite the largeness of her belly.

Some things she has simply learned how to do better over time, thanks to it. Though, she will miss having a surface to put things onto when she doesn't want to reach for an endtable. Maybe she'll have the chance again one day, maybe not.

Wheeling the suitcase off of the bed with a thunk, Delilah rolls it behind her out to the living room, where there sits a car seat tucked with a few other items. She leans down to sit beside it on the sofa, relaxing back and taking a few moments to pause. Just that, not really thinking about anything for just a few seconds. It lasts only that long, before she takes out her phone from a pocket on her skirt, sliding it open to thumb in a message on the little keyboard.

Going to Abby's now, she's coming to get me. I'll see you at her place. :)

It is not much of a message. Enough to make sure that Teodoro knows where she is and where she is going soon. Abby will take her to her own place, to monitor things; in the morning, all three of them should be in New Jersey well before midday. To give themselves time, and to field anything that may come up in between, before the fated afternoon that may or may not explode the city into riots and fire. Nobody knows, quite yet. That fact will not displace the somber stillness in the air, regardless of if something does begin.

The stillness feels like something out of a movie- the calm before the storm that Delilah has only felt marginally before today. It has come to her, but never at this scale. It feels to her as if the entire city is simply …waiting. She checks the clock on her phone, a warm smile flowing over her face. Five o'clock. Around this time tomorrow, she'll have a son.

A living, breathing part of herself in her arms, with an impenetrable place in her heart.

Amato Salucci

Staten Island Greenbelt


46 mounds of dirt lie peacefully over 46 freshly lain corpses. Though unmarked by stones specifying the particulars of each individual in their final resting place, each grave does have something to signify it. The original inscriptions on the stones may be worn away, bodies may be stacked a few feet above whomever was previously interred, and the few crosses made of nearby twigs lashed together may be humble, but there are at least no more bodies left to rot in the sun.

All have been returned to the earth.

Dressed in a motley suit, Amato Salucci stands over his work, the leather work gloves peaking out from the pocket of his tattered black coat. The garment still bears it’s bloodstains from past battles, but the once vibrant red has faded into the wool. The thin man stands with his bare hands clasped together and his head bowed. The old words flutter past his lips as he recites them, keeping the image of each of the forgotten faces he covered in earth in his mind as he prays.

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spirtus Sancti.

Amato opens his eyes, the blue crisp against the muted, warm colors of autumn. A breeze picks up several of the leaves at his feet to dance them across the graveyard.


He stoops then to pick up the olive drab, military surplus duffel that lies at his feet and hoist it onto his shoulder. It is a long way to Mount Moriah Monastery, but Amato cannot tear his eyes away from the cemetery, or the thought of what bodies will need burying when he returns after the dust has settled.

That is, assuming there is still a ground in which to bury the dead.

Molly Walker

Redbird Security


The sound of a bag being unzipped can be heard as Molly sits on a bed and sighs. She just had to listen to her father.. didn’t she? After helping the others find Rupert Carmichael she was brought here. She’s pissed that her dad put her in this situation.. sad that she had to leave Angela to fend for herself. And pissed that she’s not doing anything.

The young clairvoyant, sits and thinks about what she can do to help.. she has to make sure her dad doesn’t get hurt. She needs to make sure he’s okay…

With a sigh and a look of complete and utter disbelief at what she’s about to do. She leaves her room and turns the light out. Not looking back.. she can’t afford to.

Jaiden Mortlock & Delia Ryans

The Underground, Manhattan


There are so many ways to cook cheeseburgers and so many different ways to add the portions together - kinds of meat, kinds of cheese, vegetables…you name it, there's a combination that can either taste amazing or utterly revolting. Jaiden has gone the simple route - good ground beef, American cheeses, hand-patted patties with a little salt and pepper, and freshly baked buns from a local bakery down around Brooklyn toasted just perfectly. He stands in front of a makeshift grille beneath his stove hood, the meat sizzling as he cooks it to perfect doneness. An interesting meal before the end of the world.

Jaiden looks over to Delia, wanting to speak, but not knowing what to say.

Huddled into a corner of the oversized couch, Delia looks up from one of Jaiden's lists and furrows a worried brow at him. "Jai— " It's the first time she's ever used the shortened version of his name either it's intentional or just that her word was cut off is pretty much up in the air. "So… tomorrow?" She hasn't let it go all day. She should have gone to the island, but she just couldn't leave. Not yet. Not without him.

"Do you think this place will be safe?" She's been waffling on whether to leave or stay.

"I can only hope so." Jaiden says softly, turning the burger over with a satisfying sizzle and a sudden burst of good burger cooking aroma. The bacon is starting to crisp well too, so dinner will be ready. "I think it will be. Aside from you and one or two Ferrymen, no-one knows about this place's secret room in the back. I'm pretty sure that once the people head up to the island we'll get a few holding up down here…." He pauses for a moment, his eyes closing. "I"m not going to go anywhere near a helicopter, and I'm going to be with you tomorrow….come hell or high water."

Chewing on her lip, the redhead pushes herself up and pads over to the kitchen. She comes to a stop only to stand behind Jaiden and rest her cheek on his back. That strong heartbeat, so familiar and soothing has her closing her eyes in less than ten seconds. "I was going to ask you…" Delia murmurs quietly. "Would it be okay if I stayed with you for a little while? After things calmed down a bit? I… I uhm… If it's okay. I don't want to just move in on you or anything. Just until I find something for myself."

Bare feet on the wooden floor are fairly quiet, but when the only other sounds are sizzling bacon and the heater keeping the underground at a nice 72F, they do tend to stick out. The touch against his back causes him to straighten, Jaiden turning, his hands resting on her shoulders, squeezing her lightly. "There's plenty of room, Delia….for storage of your things in safety and for you. I wouldn't mind at all, and you can stay as long as you'd like. You'll never wear out your welcome here."

Looking up at him, the young woman gives him a silly grin and then looks up to the ceiling, apparently trying to see through to the garage. "So… What did you say about needing a secretary?"

Vincent Lazzaro

Financial District


It's still raining when Vincent finally feels like he's gone far enough to coalesce.

He does so under a bridge, glass particulate and a few flinty shards glinting frigid in their frosty skim and plummet from the slope of his shoulders once he's solid. They shatter in brittle, uneven succession, littering themselves against the pavement to crunch underfoot when he slings his briefcase up onto a barrier and latches it open.

His breath fogs steadily while he works, brows level, collar damp and fingertips without sensation against fresh rounds thumbed one after the other into the shuffle of his 9mm's magazine. The rain hisses and spits closer with a turn in the wind, chilly mist prickling unforgiving across the back of his neck. The ammunition box is transferred to his laptop bag. Two bottles of pills and a box of cigarettes go into his pockets. A single slender manilla file falls victim to the lick of his lighter an impersonal beat later.

Then he's gone again in a sooty furl, roll and flush, open briefcase left to flag empty in the cloying cold over a halo of broken glass.

One more stop to make.

Melissa Pierce

Westview Apartments

Roosevelt Island


It's not that late, not too far before curfew. A glance at her phone, a quick push of a button to illuminate the screen shows that it's actually five minutes past curfew. But at least she's back at her home, at least temporarily. Not the little apartment that DHS demanded she live in for another four months, but her home on Staten Island. The place where she stashes all her weapons.

Melissa moves upstairs to her bedroom and digs around in her closet, until she comes out with two duffel bags. They're lifted out, dumped out, and the backpack she's wearing is taken off and opened. Inside it holds some first aid things, stuff to take care of injuries that might be incurred during a riot, and two cloth wrapped darts full of negation drugs. And now her floor is covered with weapons and some other emergency essentials.

The guns and ammo are shoved into the backpack, along with the flares and radios. She's long since memorized the frequency given to her by the Ferrymen. They may trust her no more than Messiah does anymore, but tomorrow, that won't really matter. It leaves the backpack heavy,
almost too heavy to comfortably carry, but even she doesn't have enough pockets in her cargo pants to carry it all.

She starts to zip it up then hesitates. Weapons may be necessary, no telling who Rupert will have out causing trouble and killing people. But…she remembers, all too well, the vision she had months ago. Of a woman with a gun, all too eager to use it.

“Can't be helped,” she murmurs, shaking her head and zipping the backpack up. Besides, going to jail for carrying illegal weapons would be infinitely easier than sitting back and doing nothing while
innocent people were gunned down or killed using evolved abilities. She's done jail. It's horrible, but guilt is worse. This sort of guilt, the worst.

She picks up the backpack and moves back downstairs, dropping it on the couch. A few hours yet. She can get a bit of a nap before November eighth hits. She sets an alarm on her phone then drops down onto the couch, squirming a bit until she gets comfy to catch an hour's sleep before it's time to move.

Hopefully, she'll be able to sleep.

Monica Dawson

Westview Apartments, Roosevelt Island


Life is very boring when you have to sit on an island and just wait.

And worse when you know that somewhere out there… you're kicking ass and taking names. And oh, if only you could go warn yourself to make sure to pin a note to yourself before you go into the past and get yourself into this situation in the first place.


Can you drop me a little earlier when I end up blown into a wall at that carnival in the past? I seem to remember 1996 fondly. Thanks!

But no. Bad idea. Time might… explode or something. Not wanting something like that on her conscience, she's spent the past few weeks sitting in her new apartment.

All part of the being arrested deal.

It's also left her able to dread the upcoming riots and madness all over again. Which has led to a fairly depressing and lonely time for her. And no day worse than today. She hasn't been able to pick up the phone to call anyone, not Niki or Richard or Peyton or anyone, just to talk a bit, get a little comfort before the clock strikes twelve and they all turn back into pumpkins.

Monica has never really considered her own mortality before. She hasn't much liked it on either run through of the weeks leading to November 8th. And by now, she's run out of tissues, so instead of crying, she reaches over for her phone, to dial a number she promised herself she wouldn't call unless it was an emergency. But… your possible last night alive, that counts, right?

Sitting through the three longest rings of her life, Monica lets out a sigh when the other end picks up.

"Hey… Damon and Nana around?"

Bradley Russo

Russo's Apartment, Manhattan


The bottle of liquor and glass of amber fluid sitting in front of him only spur on Bradley Russo’s song, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen~” He downs the rest of his glass with an ahhh kind of sounds, soothed and merry about the entire affair. “Nobody knows my sorrow~” His lips quirk into a bitter grin as he lowers the glass to the table and leans off in his chair. Across from him their pictures are propped up, taped to chairs as if they’re meant to be there, but then this is his reality; every anniversary the same thing.

You always hated it when I stank like liquor didn’t you, Kare-bear?” he winks at the picture before bringing the glass to his lips again, only to realize he’d emptied it moments earlier. “HA!” drunkedly he plucks the bottle from the table and pours himself another glass which is then raised to his lips. “I’m pretty sure you never knew I drank, did you Ma?” He winks at his mother’s picture now. “Well, we all know where this is going. Happy death day ladies. Hope heaven’s treatin’ ya both decently.”

And then, sliding away from his chair, he quips again, “I hope it’s treating you better than the hell of my life… time travelling… sort of dating… or something… ugh… just…” He glances between them again before refilling his glass, “So I’ll sink another drink because it’ll give me time to thiiiiink~”

Eileen Ruskin & Daniel Walsh

Staten Island


The glass casing is cool to the touch, its contents like liquid tar or polished volcanic rock carved into a perfectly cylindrical shape. It has no label, but also has no need of one.

There is nothing in Eileen's possession that she can mistake the vial of Amphodynamine for.

Walsh is watching her hands, freed of their lambskin gloves, his blue eyes a washed out gray in the sallow light of the Staten Island warehouse where Remnant does its business with his operation. It stinks of corrugated metal gone red with rust, damp concrete and a sodden, earthy smell like rotting wood, but at this proximity, his nostrils are filled with the scent of rose oil in the Englishwoman's perfume and the smoke trailing from the end of the cigarette she keeps pinched between two knuckles.

The claw that her right hand has become resembles the foot of the barn owl on her shoulders, its pale face as solemn as the woman's and its dark eyes equally unreadable. He does not ask how it came to be that way — her hand, not her face — not because he is afraid, but because he does not care until she asks in a soft, steely voice:

How much?

Madeline Hart

New York Times, Building II


They move like sharks through the water, the men in blue knifing through the open space of the New York Times HQ. Maddie Hart sees them first as disruption, colleagues standing to see above their monitors and clippings-papered cubicle walls, before she thinks to do so herself, a meercat peering over her corner. Three officers and two suits, one of them moving through the space in the direction she suspects Kieran Harre to be seated. They'd broken open a bottle of wine last night. Article of the month. Year.

Decade. More lavish in their self-praise after a glass of sav blanc. "We should get arrested for this," Harre had giggled. Maddie had smiled, more painted on than it had a right to be. Like witnessing premonition.

She sinks into her seat again, the animal urge to run warring with her knowledge that that would be a stupid thing to do, that they probably just have questions, and they would have a right to them. Conviction has her laying her hands back down on her keyboard, finishing a line on the email she'd be been working on, and hitting send. A face obscured by glasses over a silk tie looms up above her by the time she's glancing beyond her screen, his eyes only faintly visible skipping over her before landing down in turn. Indoor air conditioning faintly ruffles ginger hair.

"Maddie Hart? My name is Agent Turner, I'm with the Department of Homeland Security. I'm going to have to ask you to come with me."

Maddie is already standing, smart enough to do so as she makes a slow grab for her handbag, which earns her a condescending smile. "Can I ask what for?" is prim, and wavery in shown nerves. Out the corner of her eye, she sees Harre on his feet, briefly obscured to her as the police officer goes to take his arm.

Turner takes off his glasses. "Terrorism."

Harmony Roberts

The Ruins of Midtown


It is a scene that every good looking blonde should avoid, walking down an apparently abandoned street at 9 o’clock at night, all alone and clearly without weapon. Harmony Roberts, 24 years old, musical legacy to the band Authentic; a tall leggy blond with a major wild streak, and a perchance for attracting trouble. She was just asking for it, just to look at her. While she was dressed in pure black, it was still something one would see on a TV show, involving some hot girl, being a super sexy spy or an ass kicking heroine: tight black pants, a black leather jacket, with her hands tucked into her pockets. A smart thing to do might be to look around, ensure she isn’t being followed by some lunatic. But Harmony? She isn’t worried…

The sign she passes is enough of a security to believe she won’t get attacked. It was a warning, indicating the oncoming fallout in the area. Yes, this is where IT happened, and the street she passes is a scene right out of a horror movie. The charred remains of building structures standing like the ruins of a destroyed civilization, unrecognizable as to if this was a residential area, or something else. The lack of anything to really stop the wind from blowing makes it billow with an audible wake, poisonous particles carried on its breeze.

But none of that matters to her, Harmony has no risk of getting sick: she won’t become nauseated, get a headache, start losing her hair or anything associated with radiation poisoning, her ability makes her immune to the affect it would have on the normal human body. That’s why she is here now, by herself. She’ll stick around till the curfew is lifted. No one would be in this area anyway. Huh.. there is an idea. She can safely hang out in areas like this, and surely no normal person would risk intense radiation exposure just to come after her. Bonus.

Wait.. what was she doing here again? Oh yeah, the warnings. Richard had warned her about the riots, dropping a bomb on her that they would be coming on the 8th. Offered her protection, and a place to hide. But.. what if he couldn’t protect her? What if things got so bad, that she had to protect herself? Well… she is going to make sure she can do just that.

“Well, I guess here is as good a place as any.” Her bright blue eyes drew in her surroundings. There was so much decay and damage all around, things left behind, strewn about, the remains of a disaster and a tragedy. But all of that, she tried to ignore, pulling a pair of leather fingerless gloves from her pockets. She could cause this kind of destruction, make this happen where SHE lives, if a firm grasp and understanding over this ability is not achieved. Harmony walks a fine line, because on one side she is reluctant to even use her power in most situations. On the other? It is a force within itself. Like it has a pulse and a need to be free. It eats its way to the surface, burning to burst free and rampant, much like she did shortly before her manifestation.

She has to make a decision, a choice of where to stand. For the past few nights, all she could think about is what she would do if she were standing at the business end of a gun barrel, her life on the line, do or die. Would she let her fear get ahold of her? Because then… it would break free. It would probably burst from her like the wildfires in California. And then she wouldn’t be able to control the outcome of what happened. By doing nothing, she could very well end up doing the worst thing, all because she hid from the one thing no one should ever hide from. Herself. Well, she wouldn’t be that girl… Not anymore. She wouldn’t sit around helpless while her ability took the lives of a mass of people like before. Her mother and father were enough, and Harmony was gonna ensure that history did not repeat itself.

Her eyes closed, and she imagined herself in the center of the chaos; at the eye of the storm with fires, screaming and carnage all around her. Her heart began to race and she could feel a tingling in all of her limbs. It was starting to bubble its way to the surface. Her vision was so real, she could feel the flame licking in her direction, the crack of the gunshots stinging her ears and the cries of the people weighing heavily on her heart. She was afraid, and she could feel the force within starting to rattle at its cage, banging and clawing to be free and unleash its wrath on the world around her. Already a corona of heat begin to pour off of her, singeing the crisp Autumn air with an ionizing scent.

You can do this, Harmony. What will you do? What if it does happen? Right there, right in front of you, gun trained right on your face… You can see your own reflection in his visor, you can hear the click of the gun being cocked, in preparation. A few seconds more, you’ll either be dead, or the cause of another disaster. There isn’t time to think, there isn’t time to be afraid.

What. Do. You. Do?


Well, she called it. There is a split second of silence just before the area around her goes up with a dangerous light. A sound, like something from another world being shot across the universe. Seconds later, Harmony still stands alone, her hand held in front of her, smoking about her fingertips. Ahead of her, the remains of a stop sign, it’s metal glowing orange and oozing down the parts that went untouched by the wrath of the tall blonde. A perfect hole in the dead center showing her that she isn’t helpless. That she can control it. That she can fight. But this was just a simple sign. It wasn’t real… When faced with the real thing, could she do it?

She had a feeling that come tomorrow? Come the 8th? She would find out…

Claire Bennet

Redbird Security Building, Battery Park City


As the final clicks of lock is heard through the door, Claire Bennet can only stare at it with a sad downtrodden look. She was a prisoner again, forced to 'sit tight' til the 8th had passed. It was for her own good, she knew that, yet she hated being unable to help out. It was also saving a life of an innocent man, who would otherwise be slaughtered in a joyous expression of rebellion.

Soles of her sneakers squeak on the polished wood floor of her apartment as she lets her feet carry her to the darkened window. Fingers splay out on the chilly window pane, her forehead shortly follows. Claire didn't want to be here, she wanted to be out there helping out Cardinal and Elisabeth.

No TV, no radio or even a phone. Just her and her thoughts. It reminded her of all those times as a kid, when she would get in trouble. Her dad would give her that look and she would be sent up to her room to 'think about what you did.'

A sigh escapes her, leaving the window foggy.

Claire has a front row seat for the mayhem and no way to help stop it.

Lashirah Lee

Gun Hill Apartments, Bronx


It had been a long day for the Forensic Scientist. She was used to figuring out how people did the stuff she was preparing to do. Charges set in the plaster, small ones, to blow chunks of the stuff around. Flash powder in unused corners wired to remote timers. Paint and dry ice in sprinkler-like distributors overhead. Smoke pots hidden in some of the floors. All with electronic start ups controlled remotely, and set to run off batteries… and all kept out of line-of-sight of the cameras that had been installed the day before, also on battery backups. She leaned back in her chair, and sighed. It was time to get some rest, before the insanity of the morning started… and nobody knew what would come after that.

The Coffee pot was set to have a pot brewed by 6 AM, and a large traveler mug sat next to it, waiting to be filled. The cleaned .45s were on the table next to them. Lashirah was as ready as she could be for the morning. Or at least, so she hoped.

Lucille Ryans

Gun Hill Apartments, Bronx


On top of the Gun Hill rooftop, a young woman can be seen there. Feet dangling over the edge of the roof. Short and dark hair is moved by the gentle breeze blowing. Dressed in a pair of dark jeans and a dark blue tank top. Her eyes drift over the cityscape with a glazed look over them. Next the grey eyes drift down to the handgun that she holds in her two hands. Closing her eyes, she sighs and bows her head deep.


I know, I don’t pray that often.. well at all, but that’s not the point. If you’re up there and you can hear me? Please protect those two. I know you might not have much control up there.. but if you can. Please protect them.. and give me the strength to help protect them.. will ya?

Lucille Ryans stands and holds the handgun firmly in her hand and she looks over the city again. Taking in what she might not see again. Or if she does see it.. it might look completely different then. “Love you and miss you..” she whispers softly as the wind ruffles her hair stronger and she begins to turn and walk back inside the building.

Things to do.. family to protect and a life to continue living. One thing about the Ryans.. they sure know how to survive.

Daphne Milbrook

Little Italy


Once upon a time, Little Italy at eleven at night would still be a lively, brightly-lit and vibrant place full of laughter from shoppers, diners, and bar patrons — even this capricious thief would have thought twice about climbing a public building with the potential audience of hundreds of people below on the streets.

She would have still done it, if the price was right, but she would have thought twice.

But in November of 2010, the shops and bars and restaurants are all locked up, their metal grates pulled down and padlocked, their wrought-iron gates closed and deadbolted. The speedster, eye blackened by another speedster's fist, is not much more than a blur of black clothing as she makes her way up the fire escape of the tallest building in the neighborhood, and of course the one to brag a tall antenna as the pinnacle of the structure up on its roof.

The streak of black and rush of wind comes to a stop, crouches at the base of the antenna tower and pulls off the heavy black bag she wears on her back. Out comes one of the jammers made by Warren. Out comes a screwdriver. A few blurred spins of the tool and a panel is flipped open, the jammer placed in, wires connected and a switch flipped. With Daphne's speed, it takes no more than a few seconds from start to finish.

She still has Greenwich Village, SoHo, and Chelsea to get to before her work is done, including at least three jaunts back to the New York Public Library in the ruins of Midtown to resupply, both in the radio equipment and in fuel. There's a stash of protein bars, Red Bulls, and water bottles to replenish her system.

The night is still young, and luckily, Daphne Millbrook is untiring.

Edgar & Lydia

Las Vegas, Nevada


11:03pm, New York Time

The Las Vegas wedding chapel is small enough, yet acts as a hub of activity— tonight it's quieter for whatever reason. It's not one of the larger more notorious chapels (The Church of the Blue Suede Shoes), but Vegas is Vegas— known for quick cut and dry legal weddings with little planning (and normally lots of intoxication). Like most wedding chapels, this one is white outside, tall and steepled, picturesque if it were located in the country rather than lit up by bright fluorescent lights of the city. Inside it's complete with several rows of wooden pews, a burgundy center aisle (for the bride to walk down), and an altar at the front. The officiant is more Vegas than not; his dark hair and build made him a shoe-in for the role, especially as he fit the slim jumpsuit designed to imitate that of one Elvis Presley. He stands behind the altar, his book cupped in his hands.

Elvis has been through this particular song and dance already. The vows were said by both bride and groom. Rings had been exchanged. He'd joined their hands, pontificated and espoused the virtues of marriage— interesting advice coming from the King— and has finished nearly every step in the process, save one, "With the power invested in me by Rock 'n Roll" he does an Elvis gyration for good measure, "and the state of Nevada, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."

The bride had abandoned her flowers to Luscious, her Showgirl attendant, long ago. Her hands squeeze the groom's, they feel small and soft within his, even as she leans towards him, the warmth of her smile and the sting of her joyful tears demonstrating her feelings openly; her guard is down for once, particularly as she can, quite tangibly feel his. Lydia's dark eyes close as she awaits the first kiss of her married life.

Edgar's jaw clenches tightly at the squeeze, his bruised knuckles indication of some kind of bare knuckle brawling incident. She didn't press for an explanation, he didn't exactly offer one. Good bachelor party on the eve of destruction. The gypsy woman can sense everything he's feeling and it matches her almost exactly. His large paws wrap around her small fingers as he leans closer.

The kiss is soft. A sweet brush of lips that doesn't openly display the passion the two have shared since their reunion but it suits the occasion. The two carnies aren't predisposed to share too much of what they have to the public anyway. Wayne Newton, the groomsman, couldn't say it better when he begins to croon…

"Danke schoen~… Darling danke schoen~…. Thank you for all the joy and pain~… Picture shows, second balcony, was the place we'd meet, second seat, go Dutch treat, you were sweet~"

Moments later the kiss is broken and Elvis gains the attention of the room again. "It's my pleasure to introduce ya'll to Mister and Missus Smythe."

"Danke schoen~… Darling danke schoen~…. Thank you for walks down lovers lane~… I can see, hearts carved on a tree, letters inter-twined, for all time, yours and mine, that was fine~"

Brian Fulk

The Lighthouse Orphanage, Staten Island


The clip is lowered, a single finger going to brush off the top bullet in the chamber. The clip is turned over and examined, weighing down his hand slightly. Brian then holds up his 9mm and inserts the clip soundly. Standing in his Chinatown apartment, the young man is illuminated by the harsh blue glow of the television. Wearing only a pair of black track pants, Brian aims the gun in front of him pointedly as if taking aim.

Lowering the weapon, he places it on the bed behind him. Then picks up the black vest that had been discarded there. The kevlar is fitted onto his body tightly, the snaps put into place. Once the vest is adjusted on his muscular frame, the weapon is again picked up. Another practice aim…

His attention is suddenly caught by something in the kitchen. Walking slowly in, the microwave is popped open. Revealing the time: 11:04 PM.

Closing the microwave, Brian takes the bottle in one hand, his weapon and walks toward the tiny infant Kasha swaddled in a blue blanket on the bed.

Eric Doyle & Brian Fulk

Le Boot Motel, Wildwood NJ


Holding Lucy in his arms, the Lighthouse owner slowly goes to lay the little one down on the bed. Luckily Doyle and he were able to get two adjoining rooms but still there's not enough beds. The boys and the men sleep on the floor, and the girls get to share the beds in the two rooms. It's crowded, but there's a certain peace washed over the group safely evacuated to New Jersey. Once Lucy is laid down, Brian looks up to Mala, pushing the dresser in front of the motel

Brian then glances over at Doyle, giving a tight look that expresses much and little in the same breath.

The motel has a nice view of the beach - if far away - little bunches of scrub greenery cropping up here and there until the ground grows sandy and the waves wash over it. In the distance, the boardwalk's lights glimmer in the night, muted since most of the summer attractions are closed down.

Doyle's resting back on the couch, his skin fishbelly-pale thanks to the blood he'd lost a few nights earlier, the bulk of bandages bulging against the side of his sweatshirt noticably. "It'll be fine," he encourages Brian at the look, managing a wan smile back to him, one hand resting down to stroke over the ears of Hailey's puppy, "They're not going to find us here… and, any luck, it'll all blow over." False optimism. But sometimes hope's all we have.

Once Mala finishes pushing the dresser, Brian leans down to kiss the top of her head lightly before motioning for her to get to bed with the others. Stepping over the boys on the floor, the younger of the men goes to join the elder. Sitting down gently he folds his hands over his lap. His eyes look over at the digital clock once again. Only an hour left.

He looks over at Doyle and then watches the window silently. Nothing to do but to wait…

Aric Gibbs

Redbird Security Building, Battery Park City


As he walks into the basement of the Redbird Building, Aric sets down the final box of supplies that he has been shipping over from the Blue Moon Cafe. He runs a finger over the boxes as he begins to count to himself. "Ten." He sighs looking at the clock and looks back at the boxes. He runs a hand through his hair as he plops down on the floor. Aric leans his back against the small wall of boxes and begins to review the inventory of the various supplies for the Endgame team.

"Oatmeal…Spam…Corn…Powdered Milk…Powered Eggs." His eyes move to the 30 gallons of water he hiked down the stairs as he begins to yawn. "Medical Supplies…bandages…wraps…tongs…pain killers…disfinecant…" The young man closes his eyes a moment as his thoughts wander. Liz…Cardinal…Peyton…Abby…Monica. "Oh Monica…god I hope she forgives me one day for fucking that up." Aric slowly opens his eyes as he looks down at his list. His thoughts going to the people he has met over the last few months. Some of them he has grown to care about…others he has grown to fear.

"…Petron… M&M's…Ammo…" As he continues to go through the list the uncontrolled need to close his eyes over comes Aric. The calm and cool embrace of dreamland to comfort him. The calm before the storm. As the clipboard slides from his hand, Aric's body curls up on the floor as he goes into the deep exhausted sleep hours before the "storm" hits New York City.'

Joanna Renard & Tasha Renard

Solstice Condominiums, Manhattan


“Be safe. I love you so much,” Tasha murmurs into the cell phone, listening to the response before the other side clicks off. She knows they are just miles away, but it feels like she’s on the other side of the world from Colette. She sighs, slipping out of her bed and padding on socked feet down the hall to her mother’s room. Before knocking, she wipes her eyes with the back of one hand, the other still curled around the phone that is her only connection at the moment to Colette on the other side of the city.

The door to the master bedroom is open a crack, the washed out blues of a television screen playing across the walls in reflection. Joanna’s not asleep, watching something instead on the television and when Tasha enters, she can see Joanna sitting on the bed, pillow arranged against the headboard, a remote in her hand to an honest to god VHS tape, watching the screen of the television in her room. Across it is a much younger version of herself, dressed in billowing white gown and laughing with a more hirsute version of her father. The camera isn’t professionally handled, recorded by someone within the family, husband and wife newly minted are walking away from the church they were married in, hand in hand, ducking handfuls of rice.

When Tasha sees that her mother isn’t busy, unable to see the television from the door, she assumes it’s just late-night TV, whatever crime and courts rerun might be on at 11:45 p.m. on a Sunday, so she pushes the door open and pads across the floor, crawling up onto the bed without asking — she had done this when she was small, whenever her “big girl’s bed” and bedroom got too big and scary and lonesome, crawling up to lie between her parents who would keep the monsters away. Only when she is in the bed does she realize what her mother is watching, and she swallows back the tears at seeing her father on the screen unexpectedly.

“You look beautiful,” she murmurs.

“Do I? Less botox back then, not as many worries.” Pillows are shifted to be shared with her daughter, taking the time to snake and worm her arm around Tasha and pull her in close. “He wasn’t always like he is now. He used to laugh. Used to smile even and sass me. First time I met him, he tried to boss me around. He soon learned that he wasn’t going to get away with that with me” Joanna tilts her face away from the laughing couple on the screen that used to be. “He’ll live bee bottom. He’ll make it through the day tomorrow and he’ll live. What did that batman movie say? It’s always darkest before the dawn?”

Tasha shrugs noncommittally and burrows deep into the blankets, resting her head on her mother’s shoulder. “Can I sleep with you tonight?” she murmurs — a few years ago she wouldn’t have asked, but she’s now 19 — it seems a little silly, but then, the monsters she wants to keep away now are bigger and more real — monsters who are chasing her father, monsters who would hurt children and innocent people, monsters who would hurt her mother. Monsters who would hurt Colette, who aren't monsters at all but her friends.

“I’d like that. Been a long time since you did and I think we could both use it” Especially with regards to what is going to supposedly occur tomorrow. “I think I’d like that a lot Tasha.” Another kiss is pressed to her daughters temple and into the dark hair, her eyes watching Vincent and herself get into a vehicle with cans strung behind it and presumably being driven off to the reception sight. Happier days, brighter days. “Long as you don’t mind watching this for the umpteenth time?” Why she was watching it, she doesn’t know, just that she had dug it out and dug out the VHS player too from some closet. “We’ll get through tomorrow bee bottom. We’ll take it one hour at a time. Deal?”

“Deal,” Tasha murmurs, and watches for a moment, shaking her head as to the question of whether she minds watching it or not. Her eyes follow the car with the once-happy couple, and she can’t help but wish she could have known that man before all the stress in his life changed him — before juggling a career and a family, before the accident, before DoEA. She closes her eyes after a minute, turning her head on the pillow and letting the low sound of laughter and later, music from the reception, lull her to sleep. It will be a fitful one, dreams filled with shadows and fires borne of her worries for the day that looms ahead of them.

Richard Cardinal

Redbird Security Building, Battery Park City


A length of green-dyed string, formerly taut, grows loose and drifts towards the concrete floor of the basement that houses the operations center for the conspiracy known as Endgame. As the clock's hands drift towards that inevitable midnight, Richard Cardinal moves carefully through the future web like a gardener, pruning the threads of those killed since his last adjustment and moving those destinies that he thinks have been changed.

It's largely guesswork, and he knows it. He doesn't have the perspective of a true time traveller such as Hiro Nakamura, nor the analytical abilities of Edward Ray. It's guesswork… but he'd rather a vague map to follow than none whatsoever.

Fifteen minutes to midnight. The last of the strings to be pruned falls away from the web, a photograph tumbling with it to lay flat on the floor, the unshaven visage of Kain Zarek staring up from it. The tangle at the center of the web, the knot with dangling notes that read EVERY PROPHET IN HIS HOUSE, SUMMER MEADOWS RIOTS and FIRES - QUEENS? still there, swaying gently with the vibrations of the other strands. He'd done everything he could, put every resource at his disposal towards trying to stop it. Everything short of fulfilling the future Edward's demands for blood.

But the future refused to change.

The clock's long arm ticked further towards the midnight hour, and Cardinal stared at the web, ignoring the others moving elsewhere in the basement getting supplies ready in case of an unexpected siege - or the need to give aid to others recovered from the chaos to come. His expression unreadable, blank as a masquerade visage, before finally he nods.

"Fine, then," he exhales, "Maybe you're right. Time to start over."

One hand vanishes into a pocket, emerging with a battered zippo, thumb flicking sharply to open it up with a tongue of flame's flash in the dimly lit basement. Leaning forward, he holds the lighter beneath one dangling note, the fire dancing up the paper and reaching hungrily for the strings above.

Turning, he picks his way slowly out of the tangle of threads, the fire spreading from one point to the other with startling swiftness. "Alright, people," he barks out, ignoring the startled and worried looks turned towards him, "We've got work to do."

Benjamin Ryans & Lynette Rowan

Gun Hill Apartments, Bronx


It has only been a short two months, but it has felt like years to the man that once led the Company's hunters to prey on the worst of evolved kind. Now a few short months has turned what was once seen as a monster in the eyes of people like the Ferrymen, into one of them. A man struggling to protect people being attacked by their own government.

A man determined to do what was right.

It's edging through the last minutes of the 7th and still he is awake, hands brushing out the roughly drawn plans of Lashirah Lee for the defense of Gun Hill, that lay illuminated on the card table of his apartment. Crudely made devices hold down two edges. It had been some time since he had put his bomb making skills to work. These were not for Gun Hill, they were for the defense of the Ferrymen's island fortress.

He looms over the plans, arms crossing as he goes over all of it again in his head, before his fingers move to brush over tired eyes. He just knows he is missing something.

The soft click of a door, forces him to glances up from staring at the lines and note on the table, they had begun to blur with his weariness. Lines deepen at the corners of his eyes as they adjust to the darkness in the rest of the apartment. "I thought I told you to get sleep." The softness of his voice, is a testimate of his exhaustion. Like all the others that had gathered together to go over what their roles were, Benjamin had sent all to their beds, even has he stayed up himself.

"Yes, well. I so rarely take orders," Lynette's voice is quiet, but that playful sass is still there, along with a crooked smile. Stepping over toward him, an eyebrow lifting at the sight of the plans still laid out there in front of him. "You're going to go blind from all the staring you've given those plans, darling," she notes, wryly, "Not that I don't appreciate it."

Her hand comes to rest on his lower back, just a gentle touch, something almost like reassurance in the gesture. "I know you're worried, we all are," which is probably why she's not asleep right now, "But at some point, you just have to accept that you've done all you can. And you have." It's funny, given that Lynette was among the most unhappy that these Company agents were going to be staying with them. And hurt by the motion that she'd be asked to house them, given that she'd just gotten free of the Institute and what the news was saying about them all… But now, hours before everything is supposed to go swiftly to hell, this is the place she chooses to be.

The gentle touch draws Ryans' attention from the plans again, having let his gaze fall there again. So few get to see the emotions written on the older man's face, normally keeping that part of him hidden away from the world, but the worry is there in the open, made more pronounced by the way the light from the lamp falls over his features. "I just want to make sure you all are as prepared as you can be for this.

His gaze lingers of her features, seeming to want to say or do something more, but Benjamin turns back to the plans, hands moving to press on table, shoulders hunching some. "I trust my team to protect you and this building…" He doesn't expect to be here to do that himself, with being asked to help with so much more then Gun Hill, he can't solely focus on it. He has to go where he is needed and he needs to help out with the evacuations and getting people to the island safely and without notice.

"But I just can't help, but worry about what could go wrong if I'm not here." The words growled out gruffly by the ex-Company man.

Lynette can't help but chuckle at those last words, warmly though! "You're so Type A, Ben," she says with that familiar, crooked smile. "I'm sure a thousand things could go wrong. all over the city, in fact. We'll handle it. You can't be worrying about us here when you've got other things — important things — to do tomorrow. It'll just be a distraction." And there… her expression falls, letting her own mask down as she reaches up to touch his cheek, gently turning his face her way.

"Ben…" There's an odd quality to her voice there, something soft and vulnerable and not… trying to cover it as she usually would. Sarcasm, wit, anger, it's all set aside for a moment of rare, unashamed honesty. "I don't know… what's happening with you and me. Maybe nothing. Maybe something. To be honest… you make me so nervous," she says with a gentle chuckle. "But I do know that tomorrow… if things go how we all saw it going…" She must not have been lying about the nerves, because she seems to be tripping over her words and second guessing herself. "I just… I don't want…" Looking up at him, she bites her lip for a moment before letting out a soft sigh.

"Stay with me? Tonight?"

Body slowly turns to follow where Ben's face is guided, Lynette's words striking him in such a way that he doesn't know what to say at first. In truth, she makes him just as nervous, upending a world he thought he clearly understood, yet he wasn't sure his heart followed. It left him a confused man.

The back of bent fingers reach to brush at her flush cheek, brows furrowed with that confusion, yet slowly, he reaches out to the single light in the room and with a click he plunges them into darkness in wordless agreement to her question.

As their two silhouettes converge in the darkness, for at least a short time, they can brush aside the worries of tomorrow.

Alia Chavez

The Village Renaissance Building, Greenwich Village


Alia Chavez looked like she was asleep, leaned back in her bed… the systems around her however would highly attest otherwise. She had spent the morning making sure every bit of electronic security in the building was equipped with sufficient battery power to run for several hours after loss of electricity. She had double checked all the network paths in the area, making sure there were no new snarls of virus or Trojan Horse, or other various snares around… then she set to her last task of the night. A copy of the Times from before the retraction, scanned into the computer as a digital copy… now it was just to get into the site Rebel had set up so long ago… and to edit the text to leave a copy for the world to see with a simple line at the bottom: "Hidden Truths Come To Light. ~ D.Crypt"

With that done, she finally rejoined her body, and leaned back. The morning would come soon, and the technopath intended to be ready for the chaos to come. If nothing else, anyone who needed her assistance that knew how to ask, was likely to do so. A wave of her hand started some light music, and she smiled at a memory, whispering to the night. "The swords are many. Who wields them?"

A question for the following days, when the results could be more seen.

Eve Mas

The Commonwealth Institute Arcology


The clock ticks.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

As Eve Mas sits in an armchair and watches the clock move back and forth before turning her eyes towards the series of paintings in front of her. Lined up, she studies each and grips the arms of the chair so hard that her veins start to peek out. She’s been sitting here for hours, barely moving. Not accepting visitors.

Dressed in a long dark cotton dress and barefoot, she leans forward to study one of the paintings. Tilting her head she sighs and closes her eyes as the images of her dreams come rushing back to her. So much destruction.. so much loss..

As the clock hands inches closer to 12 o’clock. Eve’s breathing grows more labored and faster and her legs start to shake. As the clock ticks to 12, Eve’s eyes fade to a milky white color and her head snaps back.

"It’s time."


It's too dark to see, where the ground sharply dips. Running as far as his long legs might carry him, leather boots scuffing to shreds over gravel and ruined road, Samuel suddenly feels the world open up beneath him as if he were caught in one of his own sinkholes, sent tumbling down the steep, gravely hill of concrete and rubble. His buckshot ruined shoulder slams into rock, the shock of pain knocking the remaining wind from his lungs that hadn't already been driven out, and by the time he lands, he can only lie still.

Above him, he's sure it mustn't be so late in the day, but the smog filling the skies and the thick cloud of overcast weather seems to drive the day into an early, darkened dusk, with only the shapes of ruined buildings making a broken silhouetted skyline when he dares himself to look up.

Breathing harsh through his nose, Samuel gets to his knees, and crowds against the sharp inclined he tumbled down, trying to become as small and insignificant as possible as he peers up towards the edge. He's only has a few minutes to get acquainted with his terroriser, but he's already getting the sense that this thing doesn't care how well you hide yourself. That it must have other ways of finding you, like nightmares do no matter how deep you bury yourself within the comfort of your bed. His fingers dip into the gravel of the incline, mourning more than ever the severed tie between himself and the earth.

It had been such an easy thing to give up. At the time.

When it appears, he remains frozen and still.

Eyes gone red in artificial light, twin beacons that hover over the dark ridge of rock. Pebbles tumble down from where its immense paws rest on the edge, and with a faintly metallic whir, Samuel sees it raise its skull-like head. Steam plumes up on either side of it, sharply white against the blue-purple-black sky. An insect-like twitch has it resting its weight back, and Samuel is already getting to his feet, anticipating the—

Leap. The terrible creature springs like it doesn't weigh the same as a pickup truck, suddenly moving like the feline its bony appearance emulates, slamming its steel claws into the sharply angled side of the hill. It careens down towards Samuel, spitting sparks and spraying gravel in sliding descent.

This thing makes Samuel feel delicate. Breakable bones as splinterable as chalk, flesh as tearable as wet paper. He aches, he knows fatigue, and this thing does not. Still. He launches himself into a run, scanning his surroundings, trying to identify some safe haven to dive into, but this wasteland seems to only go forever, for as far as the eye can see. He'd imagined, at first, that soon he would hit city, find people, electricity and moving vehicles and normalcy. But he's beginning to realise that this ruinous stretch of urban wreckage is, perhaps, all there is.

"Get out of the way!"

The sound of a human voice, male, militant, jars him, but Samuel obeys it, seeing no alternative. With a twist of momentum, he flings himself off the road— suddenly realising that this terrain was once meant to be that, faint lines of paint and cracked asphalt— and lands painfully beside a burned out husk of a car. With an agonising roll, he disappears beneath it, and twists enough to watch the results. A deafening sound, a concussive boom, and then bright, white light sears down the street, forcing Samuel to squint.

He doesn't trust it, and remains huddled, rat-like, in the shelter of his hiding place.

The crunch of foot steps sounds far lighter, far more organic than the thunder of the creature's space, and Samuel emerges from his hiding space on the other side of the vehicle, hands gripping onto the shell of metal as he comes to regard the man on the other side. The faintly smoking bazooka gets a fixed stare, before he studies the one wielding it, a man younger than him, in military garb that Samuel judges to be stolen rather than awarded. The name patch, reading TOLLEY, is stained and frayed.

"I'm passing through on my way back to the East Side entry," the younger man says, like Samuel should know what he's talking about, "and you can come with me, if you think you can keep up."

Samuel's heart skips as he's summarily abandoned with a clipped pace, and after one final stare towards where the metal creature he'd been chased by lies in pieces on the road, a gleaming government emblem of red, all maze patterns and eagles, he moves to follow. "I'm guessin' that Tolley ain't your real name?" he croaks out, moving at a limp with the younger man already gaining distance on him.

"Nope," the man agrees, tilting a hazel stare over the shoulder that doesn't hold the bazooka. "Call me Harrison. Cameron Harrison."

"Well, Mister Harrison," Samuel rasps, skipping a step with the intention of not losing the one human— living human— he's met since arrival, "aren't I fortunate that I met you?"

By the time they're rounding a corner, heading into a new city block, the red of the robot's eyes finally dim.


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