ash_icon.gif rickham2_icon.gif risa_icon.gif thalia_icon.gif

Scene Title Uplink
Synopsis Messiah goes after another high-profile target in their effort to bring down the current government regime.
Date July 8, 2010

Upper West Side

On paper, the Biomere Corporation is a leading contract research organization specializing in animal controlled tests of pharmacuticals.

A dashboard clock reads 17:00 hours in bright red on black. Out the front windows of the Hexadynamics Chemical Transportation truck, a tall and sleek black building of reflective glass windows dominates the western Manhattan skyline. The three cylindrical towers of the Biomere complex looks streamlined and futuristic, as does the minimalist white concrete signage out front of the concrete park between the three towers, where a copper fountain shaped like a globe cascading with water.

Behind the lies, the Biomere Corporation is a cover for a covert government organization known only as "The Company", a faction of Evolved and Non-Evolved who have been working in the shadows for decades, trying to keep the existance of the Evolved a secret.

The massive white truck rolls past the park grounds, around the back side of the Biomere complex and through rush hour traffic before pulling down a sloped concrete ramp towards a security gate leading into the parking facilities. Bobbing her head up and down, the young truck-driver tips down the brim of her navy blue cap and leans towards the window, rolling it down as she slides her security badge from the lanyard around her neck. The guard in the well-lit booth holds out a hand to take her identification badge, failing to notice his computer screens flickering and distorting behind him for a moment.

In 2006, the Company joined forces with the United States Government following the destruction of Midtown with the expressed purpose of controling the Evolved population now that keeping them a secret was no longer possible.

Turning away from the truck, the security guard swipes her badge over a barcode reader, brows furrowed and head dipping into a nod. "Yep, right on time. Here you go, pull around the loading platform F and I'll open it up for ya." Leaning out of the booth to hand the badge back, the female driver leans out of the truck window to take it, a smile spreading across violet-painted lips as one dark brow arches slowly. She slides back into the truck, throwing the security badge on the empty seat behind her, and then kicks the truck back into drive, rumbling into the basement of the facility.

In their zeal to "protect" the American people, the Company employed themselves as government contractors for the construction of a facility now missing from the Utah desert: the Moab Federal Penitentiary. The researchers at Biomere were part of the design and development team responsible for researching security countermeasures against the Evolved.

Noisily driving through the parking garage, the truck follows colored arrows on the concrete towards loading dock F. Beeping noisily, the vehicle makes a three point turn, then begins backing up towards the corrugated metal gate and loading platform. A few inches before the bumper brushes up against the dock, the driver stops the truck and takes off her hat, letting long brown hair flow out from around her shoulders, eyes alight to look at herself in the rear view mirror before she reaches down to grab the matte black handgun sitting on the seat beside her.

Within the secure intranet contained inside of Biomere's basement levels, records pertaining to the research and development done for Moab — including security protocols and scientific research never utilized — are archived. Your assignment is a simple one…

Tucking the gun into the front of her gray jumpsuit, the driver pushes the door to the truck open and swings her legs around, hopping out and down onto the ground with a clack of her combat boots on the concrete. Her hair rises with a gust of wind in the otherwise stagnant basement, and her attention turns towards the sliding door to the loading dock as it begins to open. Three Biomere shipping technicians are slowly revealed as the security door is lifted, and from their perspective the view of the back of the truck isn't what they should be focusing on, but that there's a small, brunette woman with a silenced pistol raised towards them, smiling.

Gain entry to the Biomere building by way of a converted delivery vehicle. Rebel will obtain access to the shipping floor. From there, disguised as shipment technicians, you will carry a payload of freight down to Sub Basement 3, maintaining cover until you reach the basement level…

With the last of the silenced gunshots echoing through the basement, the final shipping technician falls flat on his back, dead. Climbing up into the loading dock, the brunette tucks the gun into the front of her jeans, pulling a second lanyard with a Biomere security card on it out from her exposed tanktop, then zips up the front of her Biomere security jumpsuit. Reaching up a hand to her ear, she presses a finger to the ear-piece communication headset hidden by her hair,

Once you reach basement level 3, obtain access to the server room and attach the data uplink module, this will grant Rebel access to their intranet. You are weapons-free once in the basement. Allen Rickham will be your extraction route.

"It's Ashford," the brunette says into the headset, "we're clear. You can come on out, boys." Turning to look at the back of the truck as the doors unlock, Thalia's halfway lidded eyes stare at the emerging silhouettes of back of the truck in the guise of Biomere shipping technicians. Risa Lynette's slim frame seems just a little boxier in the gray jumpsuit, her hair tucked up beneath a navy blue baseball cap. Ashley Williams looks more the part, all square jaw and broad shoulders, pushing out a wheeled dolly holding a huge and heavy plastic crate marked with a biohazard on the side. Risa looks askance at the crate as she walks out, smiling.

Remember, your success here is vital to the continuation of our mission…

"I hope Rickham isn't too cramped," Risa says with a smile, her dark eyes alighted to Ash as she looks away from the dolly being pushed. "Let's go check in to work," the Russian-accented woman notes with a look to Thalia, nodding her head once affirmatively towards the double doors beyond the loading dock. "We've got a mission to ace."


Ash is not entirely comfortable wheeling the former president around like a box of luggage, but he doesn't let it show. Ash might not be much of an actor, but he can keep a serious face on when he wants to, and right now is a pretty serious situation. The general feel of the mission is very reminiscent of Pinehearst, and Ash looks comfortable with the whole setup. A bit of makeup applied to his face has his scars emphasized, as well as a fake burn patch on the other side of his face, further disfiguring his face. He has his knife with him rather than a gun, the wicked combat blade in it's sheath at his spine, sheath tucked down the back of his pants.

He wheels the dolly out of the back of the vehicle, careful with it and it's contents as he moves. "Women get all the fun." he remarks under his breath after getting a look at the dead bodies and Thalia's having to get to draw first blood. Messiah's own little psychopath looks to the two women then and arches a brow at them, wheeling the dolley towards the doors.

Ms. Ashford raises a eyebrow slightly at the man. "Aw honey, you want some fun? Well.. I'm sure you won't have to wait." Thalia says with a nod and wink towards Risa as she makes her way towards the doors. She looks down at the people she killed briefly and there's a cold stare in her eyes.. and if anyone knew Isabelle they would recognize that expression. The Ashford monster is here. Taking point because she's not really ready to be waiting for someone else to do it.

A comforting cool wind surrounds the small group briefly as Thalia looks over her shoulder at them. "We're all gonna get in and get out, no deaths on our side. Everyone should be getting back home safely." Said with a weak smile, she turns back around and her combat boots clunk on the floor as she makes her way to and then through the double doors.

Running a hand through her head, she holds the door open for Risa before moving forward, intent on getting this over with as soon as possible.

The noise of a busy warehouse floor comes through those doors when opened, the rumble of a forklift's engine, another out of sick beeping as it moves in reverse. The corridor Thalia opens is matte white with a tiled floor, smooth sailing beneath those flickering fluorescent lights. Stepping ahead of Ash and the dolly, Risa reaches up around her neck and slides the lanyard with her ID on it out from beneath the zippered front of her jumpsuit.

"Elevator we need is on the other side of the floor," Risa notes in a hushed tone of voice withdrawing her Messiah-issue phone from inside of her jumpsuit pocket, looking down at the touch screen with furrowed brows as she reviews mission critical information displayed on it. "Rebel does not have the passcode for the elevator, it is not networked. We can enter the code once inside, I— will handle figuring it out."

When Ash brings the cart through the doors and Thalia follows last, letting the double doors swing shut on their own, the trio emerges out onto the warehouse floor, full of shipping technicians in the same jumpsuits, moving plastic-wrapped packaging of medical supplies stacked on wooden pallettes. A straight shot across a polished concrete floor leads to a freight elevator that is their destination, but in the way a man who — judging from the clip-board and hardhat — looks like a supervisor of some sort is offering scrutinizing stares to people passing by, marking off things on whatever's on that clip-board.

Pausing in mid-stride, Risa looks backt o Thalia and Ash, one brow raised. "Play it cool?" she asks with a touch of nervousness, she's not a particularly good actor.

Ash cocks an eyebrow up slowly at Thalia's little statement, a narrowing of his eyes at her as he moves along with the dolley, the wheels of it squeaking lightly on the floor underfoot. When she gives her little mini speech Ash's eyes narrow again. "And how the fuck made you group pep talker? Shut it and just do the job." He mutters something about children with guns and keeps on going. He knew Isabelle, and with his few experiences with Thalia, very much misses the older sister.

His teeth grind a touch, but he steps into the warehouse with the two women. He looks around, and spotting the man over by the elevator immediatley frowns. He whispers, very hushed to the other two women. "Stick with me and walk like you know where you're going."

With that Ash immediatley sets off for the shelves, wheeling the dolly up to it, and stopping. He begins to look over things like he's searching for something specific, then lets out an ah hah as he grabs a box off of the shelf. It's a random box. he pulls it downa nd sets it on top of Rickham's box, then moves on down the shelf a bit, grabbing down another random box after looking like he searched for it, putting tha ton top of the other two. Only then does he pull away from the shelf and begin to roll towards the elevator, a full load now, and not wheeling something right from a truck upstairs, far less suspicious now.

"I'll tell you about those guys with small dicks, low self esteem." Thalia shakes her head, "Cool it Gramps." As she follows through the door and places her hands in her pockets. She's not really worried but something about Ash irks her.. And who said giving the team morale is a bad thing?? Back to the situation at hand.

Without a word, Thalia walks besides Ash and looks bored. Just like any worker around here probably looks, bored out of their fucking minds. The brunette looks around the building with mild interest and her gaze fixes on Risa for a moment. Before continuing to move forward towards the elevators, so far so good. She's actively walking without a switch in her hips, it won't due to be discovered because of her awesomely amazingly sexy walk, uh huh uh huh.

Risa looks left and right over her shoulder at Thalia and Ash, her brows furrowing together while Ash is taking packages off of the shelves and setting them down on the pallette and crate. When the trio passes by the supervisor having the conversation they are — or at least Thalia is — he offers then a side-long look and a furrow of his brows. Eyes divert down to their badges dangling around their necks, then down to his clip board.

Reaching for his walki,e the supervisor calls up to the front. "Hey Mark, did we have a shipment from Hexadynamics today?" He turns as he asks, following the trio with narrowed eyes, staring at their backs as they make their way towards the freight elevator. After a long pause, there's a crackle over his radio.

«Yep, they just came in. Should already have gone thorugh the loading dock.»

Nodding his head, the supervisor rolls his eyes and glares at his clip-board. "Thanks, Mark. I'm gonna' go give Jeremy hell for fucking up the schedule list again…" His voice trails off as distance is put between the infiltration team and the supervisor, and when they reach the freight elevator there's a look of relief on Risa's face.

Pulling up the metal cage on the front of the freight elevator's doors, Risa steps aside for Ash to bring in the cargo crate, all the while watching the warehouse floor.

Ash looks over to Thalia and whispers in her direction, just loud enough to be heard by her and thier partner. "How about you try and act like a damn professional and take this seriosuly." But with them moving into the warehouse he cuts himself short, leaving whatever else he might have said unsaid, at least until the mission is done. But with them in the warehouse now his focus is utterly on the mission and the situation at hand.

When the guy starts calling things in Ash rolls his eyes at the supervisor. "Come on Johnson, you gonna give me shit again? You do this every time I come through I swear…." he trails off into muttering as the man checks in, and then gets an affirmative answer. Ash then goes on frowards, and itno the freight elevator, parkign the dolley, and settling in next ot it, leaning abcka against the wall of teh freight elevator, looking grumpy, and bored as he waits for the thing to start up and take them to thier destination. He looks over to Risa, and then to Thalia before he flops his head backwards, eyes closing, like any old employee bored with his job.

The air manipulator only stares at Ash with lazy eyes until her mouth opens wide into a bright smile. She says nothing more to the young man though. Johnson is given a look before the elevator doors are closed. Her foot is pressed up against the wall as she waits for the elevator to take them to their destination.

Thalia is running through the different scenarios in her head, what if the building blows up? What if Risa goes crazy and tries to kill everyone? What if Rickham sneezes.. or farts? Shaking her head as she looks ahead she blinks a few times and cracks her knuckles. She misses her knife already..

Johnson gives a look thorugh the elevator caging when it comes down over entrance, and then the wooden shutters are drawn down as well, hiding view of Johnson from the rest of the people in the elevator. "Okay, everyone— brace yourselves." Risa begins to explain as she takes off her baseball cap and lays it on top of the crate on the dolly, stepping over to the electronic keypad with a furrow of her brows. "You're… /both// going to see a snapshot of the past, it's going to be disorienting and… I will likely be out of it for a few minutes afterward. Pay attention to the sequence pressed and whoever can punch it in first should. If we linger in the elevator too long, well… there's the bodies."

Moving over to the keypad, Risa lifts up one hand and rests it over the buttons, furrows her brows and closes her eyes, concentrates as she draws in a breath and—

"It'll get done, probably within the week if I had to imagine." A voice echoes in blurry vision before snapping into focus. A tall, dark-haired man in a long navy-blue jacket and black clothing steps into the freight elevator, a distinctive bluetooth headset is hung over one ear with a blue LED shining on the side.//

Walking with him, a taller and more dour looking gentleman with short clipped black hair and thick brows pulls down the elevator door caging. "Simon has me going off to Chicago next week, we're picking up Doctor Stevens before the Company can finish his training and make any appreciable use of him." Scowling even as he talks, this considerably older man walks over to the keypad, then pauses and glances over his shoulder to the man with the headset. "How's Hammerdown coming along?"

"Fair," is the response with a shrug, jacketed arms crossing over his chest. "Lupinetti and Dawson are falling in line like we expected, I think that I'll probably have one or two more salvageable operatives by the time we're done. Are they really going to bring on Stevens full-time?"

"Probably. Fuck if I know…" the older man grumbles, punching in a sequence into the keypad of 7, 7, 7, 3, 3, 2, 7 and then the 'Execute' button on the side. "But Simon says we need him, and what Simon says goes…" The elevator rumbles, and then with a press of the "down" button they begin to descend to

Risa sucks in a whining breath, her legs going weak as she collapses down to the floor, landing on her hands and knees, arms shaking and brows furrowed, pain throbbing in the back of her head from the precise use of her ability. The dizziness and vertigo in Ash and Thalia isn't quite as hard of a hit, since they were warned of it coming, but it's still not easy to recouperate from.

Ash doesn't go for the keypad. As that stuff runs through his head his hands reach for his pockets, pulling out a piece of paper and the pen tucked into the pocket as well. He begins to scribble things down as soon as the visions are over, names, subjects, everything the two guys were talking about is written down in a quick scribble. "Get the keys." He calls over to Thalia as he continues. The man is a smart guy, was a good student in school, and his memory is quite sharp.

Names, locations, all of it is written down in a small tight hand before the paper is folded up and tucked back in his pocket with the pen, his eyes lifting to see if Thalia took care of the keypad. Ash then bends down, scooping Risa up and leaning her back against the wall next to the dolly, careful to hold her up. He blinks his eyes a few times, the effects of the vision making his head swim.

The vision makes Thal's head swim and she grips her head for a second before shaking it. "Hm." Before Ash could really finish speaking, Thalia had already entered the keys and the elevator moves. Thalia takes her phone out and enters a few things into her phone. "One step closer..you Company bastards." She says with a light grin. Then she's leaning against the crate that carries Rickham.

Her thoughts towards the Company as of right now and her long vendetta against them. She still have a grudge.. uh hell yes. The air stiffens as she looks down at the bit of information she put down in her phone. Ready to use it later. The time to thinking of her own personal revenge will come later. Thalia looks towards Risa and then towards Ash but she's quiet. Arms folded, the air becomes thick and has a depressing feel to it.. but then she shakes her head and returns the air to normal. Have to stay in control.

Swallowing noisily, Risa reaches up to curl fingers around Ash's forearm, her eyes closed and throat working up and down slowly before her dark eyes open, looking up at him before a sharp breath is exhaled through her nose. "I'm fine…" whispers to herself, curling fingers a little tighter against Ash's arm before pulling herself up to her feet. "Okay, we've got about three minutes before we hit sub basement level 3. Let's… Let's gear up."

Holding a hand at the side of her head, Risa begins circling around Rickham's cratem popping open metal latches as she makes a circle around the container. Once the last latch is flipped, there's a shifting clunk inside of the plastic crate as steel gray fingers of pitted metal curl around the lit from the space inside, then push the lid up and off of the box and down onto the floor with a clunk.

Rising from inside of the case, Allen Rickham looks like some sort of movie monster come to life. MEtal skin lacerated with deep groove and notches from the laser attack he suffered over the winter, loose red scarf spooled around his throat. The brown fabric of his trenchcoat is freyed and tattered, bullet holes riddled through large portions of the back.

He says nothing as he emerges, brows furrowed and iron lips downturned into a frown. For all that Harrison looks smooth and perfect in his transformative state, Allen looks like metal that was blasted by fire and pitted by age and abuse. One clunkinf footfall lands outside of the box, then another.

Packed around where Rickham laid is what Risa is now leaning into the crate to get at. Black police-issue medium armored vests and M-16 assault rifles. The vest is her first priority, pulling it on over her head and tightening the straps. "Come on, everyone get ready…"

Ash watches Risa pop the latches, and when Rickham shifts and straightens up out of the box Ash blinks a bit at all the damage done to him. "How…" then he pauses and just shakes his head. "Is there any way to fix that? Like… forge new iron into your body? Or get a metal manipulator to do it?" Yeah, somewhat odd questions given the situation. He reaches down into the box, pulling out a gun first, and then body armor. The gun is racked and the safety clicked off, ready to go before he grabs hold of the body armor. He lifts it up and slips it on, fasteining it around him before he pulls his combat knife out, looking for a barrel lug to snap it into on the gun as a bayonet. If there's not one then the blade will be held in one hand and the rifle in the other. He's got the strength to one arm the thing after all.

"You sure?" Thalia asks the other woman before she's reaching in and grabbing a vest. Quickly putting it on, she grabs a rifle but before that, she pulls a pair of fingerless gloves out of her pocket and tugs them on. Then grabbing the rifle, she checks the ammo and looks down the scope, going over checking to make sure nothing is wrong with the rifle. You can never be too careful.

After ejecting and putting the clip back in, she puts the rifle near her hip and stands, waiting. One look at Rickham and Thalia tilts her head. Poor guy, someone should really help him with that. "They might be able to help you fix that. Though for our purposes today.." she throws Rickham a half smile.

"You look exactly right." She cracks her neck from left to right and stares ahead at the doors. Wind blowing through her hair, causing the long brown mane to float around her head for a bit. She's getting restless this one.

"I don't know…" is a grim assessment by Rickham as he looks down to himself, running metallic fingers over the grooves in his throat and down his chest where they disappear behind his black shirt. "If the future is any indication," he offers in that hollow, metallic voice, "then no." It's likely why he's kept himself wrapped up every time Ash has seen him, his face usually covered by his scarf, collar flipped up to hide the back of his neck. It's also probably why he can't ever revert back again, for fear of just falling apart like sliced ham.

Risa doesn't take one of the M-16s out of the case, instead withdrawing a small handgun from the crate, checking the clip with awkward, shaky hands, then snapping it back into place. Dark eyes from the seer of the past drift up to Rickham and she moves to stand behind the man of iron, her brows creasing in worry.

"When the elevator stops, I'm going to start moving and I'm likely not going to stop until we reach the server room. Remember," Rickham turns, hematite black eyes settles on Thalia, then Ash, "when we're done, I'm making us an exit. Don't get lost."

Ash looks confused by Rickham's reply about the future, eyes scrunching together, and a mental note made to ask him later, and to begin looking in to ways to get the man fixed up. Sacraficing your life is one thing, but sacraficing your ability to live as a human… is worse than the former in Ash's opinion. He rolls his head to either side, snapping his curve bladed combat knife to the barrel fo his gun, and hunkering down, stretching out quickly befor ehe settles into a sprinting position, ready to haul ass behind Rickham. "Ready when you are mister president." He murmurs to the iron man, breathing in, then exhaling, letting everything beyond the coming action filter from his mind, clearing his head of everything but kill or be killed, protect the other members of the team, and take down the enemies.

"Promise, I won't get lost. Big guy." Thalia says with a nod towards Rickham and she cocks her head to the side. "You'll feel some wind.. very strong winds. I'll try my absolute best to make sure you guys aren't affected by them but just a warning." The woman says with a look to the others, her teammates. "Goodluck guys." She says and then she's staring ahead again and her gaze is narrowed.

She's going to try her best to control herself.. she's afraid though.. what if she loses control before her flashforward says she will.. what if.. Okay. Enough with the what ifs. Thalia flexes her hands a few times before she gets ready to do the job.

The freight elevator comes to a grinding halt and a jostle that vibrates the interior carraige. Stepping forward, Rickham tries best not to think about the words mister President that rattle in the back of his mind. Pulling one door open, he can see a few white-jacketed lab technicians crossing a junction in the concrete hall up ahead. When he pulls the cage door on the front of the elevator open, however, their attention fleetingly turns to the noise, expecting something other than what they see.

A shout of confusion rises from one lab technician as Rickham begins to charge forward, his booted feet slamming down hard against the ground as he runs. Building up momentum with each step, two of the technicians scatter down the hall and Rickham charges headlong into the first one he can find, grabbing the front of his shirt, lifting him up off of his feet and slamming him full-force into the corner of the wall at the junction. A snap and a yelp is the only sound the man makes before being flung with one arm down the adjacent corridor.

Shouts of terror rise up from the rest of the building, and Rickham stands at the middle of the junction, even as the first panic alarm klaxon begins to blare loudly. "This way!" Risa shouts, looking down at her cell phone before yanking a small backpack out of the crate that carries the remote access device. Her sneakrers squeak along the floor as she hustles up to where Rickham is, stopping just short of the 4-way junction, back pressed up against one of the walls. "We need to go straight!" she shouts, pointing further down the corridor, "then take a right and the server room will be at the end of that hall."

"Incoming." Allen grumbles as he looks down the right hall, stepping into it as the sound of handgun fire pops off, along with the noisy ricochet of bullets off of metal. Skidding to a hald down that hall, two gray-uniformed security guards with handguns look horrified to see a tall man of living metal shrugging off their bullets.

Ash moves down the hallway at a near sprint, following Rickham, careful not to pass up the metal man. His assault rifle is lifted up, bursts of bullets slamming down the hallway after fleeing technicians, each burst aimed at stomachs and chests. Maybe not instant kills, but it'll put guys out of action. If he gets close to anyone they'll get cold metal from the bayonet he's attached to his gun. He slides to a knee, skidding to the intersection Allen is at, turning to light up the two security guards, two quick bursts putting shots through thier knees in case they're wearing body armor. If Thalia's winds get too strong, he'll simply grab onto Rickham and use him as an nchor.

Following after, Thalia just leaves the firing to Ash for now but then she's stopping and looking around Rickham. "Risa, behind." She says as her eyes begin to glow a hot silver color and the wind picks up to more than just the power of a wind that can make you walk more difficult. She gathers all the air around her and throws it tosses it out towards the guards. A grin on her face.

Crouching, she unleashes a burst shot of bullets towards the guards to help matters. The wind blows around her hair but her body doesn't seem to be affected. She tilts her head at the rest of the group. Waiting for Rickham to move forward. She's not sweating yet.

A hail of bullets and gunfire of this magnitude is not what these security guards were trained to defend against on such immediately short notice. Looking down to where Ash is crouched, Rickham's metallic brows crease together before he takes another step into that hall, listening to the sounds of shell castings clinking on the concrete. "Those were door men, the real security will be coming soon."

Watching Thalis with wide eyes, Risa nods her head and when the winds die down, she takes a few toe steps around the other brunette, looking down to her phone as she glances down the curving hallway opposite of the one Ash and Rickham were fighting off security in. Her brown eyes scan the corridor before she moves down the main central tunnel. Rickham finally steps away from Ash, catching up to Risa and moving ahead of her after a glance down to the map on her phone.

It's awkwardly silent after that initial burst of violence, Rickham's heavy, clunking footsteps leading the way down the corridor until they reach the next junction. Looking up and down both ends, Rickham shakes his head slowly. "Not a lot down here. What's Rebel say about this place?" Looking up to the steel man at Rickham's question, Risa checks her phone with a slow shake of her head.

"Data and administration…" she offers quietly, "doesn't look like there should be much down this far." With a twitch of her brows together, Risa looks back over her shoulder to the hall behind them, then sucks in a sharp breath in fright when the freight elevator is called up the shaft with a grind of metal and a clunking sound. "Shit. Okay let's… it's this way!"

Pointing down the right hall, Rickham takes the lead, spotting the blue metal door at the end of the hall.

Ash turns his eyes to look back at the elevator as it starts making noises. It's all the way back down the hallway, so, he looks to Thalia and flashes her a smile. "Mind making it so that thing won't be getting up in time to bring reinforcements?" She can use her abilities from afar, Ash cannot.

Ash steps down the hallway at a quick sprint, stooping low over the men he shot, and putting the bayonet through the side of each of their heads, ending thier suffering if they were still alive. Then he's back down after RIckham and Risa, the man moving with that runner's speed despite his size, pulling back in line with the rest of the team, and then forwards a bit, slinking along the side of the hall, eyes very alert to his surroundings.

"I'd love too." She says flashes Ash a huge grin and then she's facing the elevator and her eyes burn bright silver as she unleashes a huge amount of her power. Not the most powerful but powerful enough to help make that thing come off it's hinges. She grins widely as her hands are thrown out in front of her and she tilts her head, not blinking as she continues to throw wind at it.

"Hey.. wanna help me here?" she calls out to Rickham and she chuckles. "Wanna get it done right." Thalia says with a smile before she throws more air at it.

Hearing Thalia's voice down the corridor, Rickham stops and looks over his shoulder, then looks back to the blue security door leading to the server room. Grating his teeth together with a grinding of metal, Rickham takes a step back with a clunk of one foot against the floor, then turns and starts heading back down the hall. Strong winds are already building by the time he gets to the corner of the hall, feeling the strong gusts blowing his coat tails back, tattered ends snapping against the gale force winds being generated.

Squinting hematite-black eyes, Rickham comes plodding up the hall while Thalia struggles to use that wind to blow down the cage door, but the lack of wind-resistance from the frame is causing her to over-extend herself with little results. "I can't do it!" She shouts over the roar of the breeze, "The gate's on there too— "

Thalia cuts herself off when she sees the elevator's bottom coming down, and Rickham exhales a sharp breath, pushing her out of the way and storming over to the elevator doors. From down the hall, all Ash and Risa can hear is Thalia's shouting and the howl of strong breeze and the grinding of the freight elevator coming down.

There's a loud smash, a crunch of metal, a grinding sound and then a rapid-fire pop, pop, pop of automatic weapons, followed by loud crashes, metal snapping and screams. The wind dies down and a single brass shell-casing rolls into Ash's field of view.

"Oh no," Risa hisses, backing up to the server door, shoulders flush against the metal with a hand over her mouth. A moment later, Rickham's broad-shoulders frame comes into view, carrying Thalia over one shoulder and plucking a mushroomed bullet from a dent in his forehead.

"Elevator's broken," Rickham grumbles in that hollow, metallic voice, "she forced it back up the elevator shaft after it landed, then started bleeding from the nose and ears. She's still breathing…"

Ash doesn't move from where he's at. In fact he pushes Risa down to the floor and kneels in front of her, covering her, assault rifle raised and ready, both hands holding it, so there will be no recoil. In his hands that gun will fire dead accurate. He grips the gun tight, waiting, watching, fingers tight on the trigger, just that hairline away from pulling and letting rip down the hallway. When he hears the clunk of a metal footsteps a moment before Rickham appears he lets out a long sigh of relief and his head nods. He pushes up to his feet, turning to offer Risa a hand up. THen he turns to the doors she was indicating and he lifts the gun, putting a single shot through the lock, and then kicking hard at the door, trying to kick it open.

A gunshot does the job, especially from the AR-15 that Ash is currently lugging around. One well-placed shot and a swift kick sends the metal security door swinging open and smashing against the inside wall. What is revealed within is a massive server farm of metal frames and stacks upon stacks of server clusters in a — formerly — climate controlled environment. Looking a bit hesitant to get up off of the floor, Risa waits for Ash to go in before following him, there's no telling what sort of security might be in there.

With Thalia over his shoulder, Rickham moves in last, slow and heavy footfalls before he turns to look back at the hall behind him with a scowl. "I don't like leaving empty corridors at our backs, but there can't be too many people down here." Leaning inside of the door, he carefully sets Thalia down, her head bobbing forward as blood dribbles down her upper lip from her nose. He tilts his head to the side, squinting. "She's still breathing…"

Risa takes a knee by one of the servers, unzipping her backpack and taking out a black plastic box with several wires coming out of two ports on the back and a small LCD screen. Her eyes drift to her phone where she props it up on one of the racks in line of sight. "There's two entrances to this room," Risa notes to Ash, "one here and one on the other side of the room. One of you're going to have to watch the other door and one of you is going to have tp stay here with me while I get this hooked up."

Ash snorts softly. "Sit in front of the door, it won't be going anywhere if you do." He flashes a slight smirk to Rickham, and gives him a nod at his comment about Thalia being alive, but nothign more for the moment. "Do what you need to do Risa, I'll cover the other door." He's up, and running, bolting across the room to the other door, feet scuffing as he moves. He skids to a stop at the door, and then reaches down to try to ease it open adn take a peak down the hallway and see just what he might be up against oever here.

Ash tilts his head down a moment, breathing in, then out, calming himself, bringing his focus back in, not letting it wander. Eyes cast back to Rickham, then to Risa before his hand does ease the door open,a nd he slips to his knee, aiming the rifle down the hallway. If there's anyone down there, they'll be getting a burst of bullets flying thier way at knee height.

Nothing, just another matte gray service corridor. Everything is cold and damp down here, this has to be on the same level as the subway system and the sewers from the look of it. The silence is what's really unnerving though, two security guards and then those guys that were coming down in the elevator. From everything Ash heard, he figured there'd be more resistance.

On the other side of the server farm, Rickham checks the door Ash had kicked in, wobbling it back and forth and then pushes it shut, leaning up against it and crossing his arms. Ash was right, not much would budge it. Risa remains studiously busy, following instructions that were given to her on how to hook up the device. Laying down on her back, she unscrews one of the server trays and slides it out, looking at the ports on the back. "Nnh so many wires…" she mumbles to herself, reaching for the remote access hub, catching it by one cable and dragging it closer.

"How'd you get involved in this?" is a hollow, metallic question asked across the empty room by Rickham, a man not normally known for his talkative nature. Of all the people, the former President wants to know how Ash got caught up in this. "You're my son's age, it's hard not to think about that when I see you do what you do."

From beneath one of the withdrawn servers, Risa looks up at Rickham through a tangle of wires, her brows furrowing and attention momentarially drawn to the conversation.

When ash sees the emptry gray corridor he grunts softly. He locks the door from the inside, and then moves away from it for the moment. He walks over to Risa and looks at her. "Need help? I know my way around computers and electronics and shit…" He tries to peek at her instructions, and at the stuff she's working with to see if he can help. THat is until Rickham asks him that question. Ash's head lifts up, his eyes finding the metal man before he rolls his shoudlers, thinking. He lift shis head and tilts it, showing Rickham the scar on the side of it. "Moab." Is the core of his reply.

"I was a street fighter. Underground fights, warehouse fights, shit like that. My power manifested during a fight, and I accidentally killed the man I was fighting. Got throwin in prison for manslaughter. Only got five years. I was in prison when they came and got me, threw me in Moab." He walks bavk over to his door after tryign to help Risa, taking a peek out into the corridor again. "Was asleep when whatever happened happened. Woke up in the middle of a corn field. Came back here, only to find myself a fugitive for what I am. Was thrown in prison before the bomb, so didn't really know all about the Evolved shit. Couldn't find work, until Adam hired me on. Helped him get some petty revenge, and decided I wanted to do more. Long story short, here I am."

Ash says, "How about you? How'd you end up doing… this? From where you were?"

"I've… I've got it…" is Risa's distant answer to Ash as she tries not to interrupt his conversation with Rickham, lifting up the relay and getting her arms tangled up inside the frame of the server case. Wrinkling her nose, she starts screwing in the coaxil cables, while Rickham offers a slow nod to Ash's long-story-short version of his screwed up life.

"It was never supposed to be this way…" Rickham admits in a hushed tone of voice that sounds like someone whispering into a tin can. "I never would've let the country turn into this. They never gave me the chance…" Smooth black eyes stare down at the ground, and Rickham's creased metal brow tenses further as he talks. "I was supposed to be the change this country needed. That day I stepped down…" a day that few people know the true story of, "I was forced out of office."

Looking over to Thalia's unconscious form, Rickham shakes his head slowly. "I've known about what I am since I was a little older than you. I hid it for years… hid it after the bomb, kept it to myself. I kept it from my wife, my son. After the election, blood tests went through Washington, there wasn't any hiding then. People found out what I was, and they blackmailed me out of my rightfully won position as President."

There's anger in Rickham's voice; weariness, hurt, frustration, they're all there too with depression. "They threatened my wife and my son if I didn't step down, said they'd watch me and if I ever came out against them, my family would suffer for it. We were shipped off to Anchorage Alaska… I was willing to just disappear, hide. I felt like I'd been beaten, for the first time in my life I couldn't do anything. I was helpless. There's a lot more than that… the assassination attempt by Sylar, those kids in Phoenix saving me… it was just, it all added up wrong."

Shaking his head, Rickham looks down at his metallic hands, working them open and closed slowly. "Rebel contacted me… last summer. Told me he could protect my wife and son if I worked for him, told me I could get revenge on the government, on everyone. I agreed, and he sent me after Knox. The government was hunting him down, and that's how he and I met. West Rosen, a lot of the other people who became this. I owe Rebel everything, without him protecting my family, I'd still be out in Alaska… helpless."

Ash sits and listens, solmenly, to the story that Rickham tells him. Ash would walk up to him and offe rhim a pat on the shoulder in comfort and comraderie if he was willing to risk leaving the door. He opens it again, peeking out, barrley panning across teh open space before it's closd once more and his head turns, eyes settlign on the metal ex president.

"I would have voted for you, just so you know, if I had had the chance to do so." He goes quiet for a handful of seconds, eyes glancing to Risa, then to Thalia. "People fuck up, and they do dumb things. If they'd not forced you out of office, then we'd not be dealing with that Petrelli fuckwer as our president. Hell.. maybe…" he smiles a bit, lips curling. "Maybe with us so public now you could run again. I mean, Rebel and Messiah can protect your children. We can get some of our revenge, and you can come out to the public, tell them what really happened, maybe we can get a man who deserves an office like that into it."

He sighs softly, checking the corridior again, then looking his weapon over to make sure it's kosher and nothings wrong with it. "Sorry, don't mean to bring up old pain and stuff. But that's why I fight. Shit like that. So that kind of injustice will stop. They had no right to do that to you, and hopefully, we can stop things like that form continuance so blatantly. It will never stop, there will always be hate for us, but we can get it down to the level that racism has been at, and that would be good enough for me, then we'd be equal with everyone else."

Ash smiles a bit, popping his clip out and exchanging it for the full extra he has, slamming it home and racking the slide on his rifle. "I was squatting in a house on Staten when the institute came for me. I heard them outside and hid. Jumped the team when it came inside. I killed 8 of them, half of thier team before they would have had me, and only then because of thier damn negation gas. Then Knox, Kris, and Claire rescued me." Then he pauses and blinks a few times. "Sylar tried to assassinate you?" He chuckles lightly. "And now your'e allies…"

"Maybe," is Rickham's grim response, but whether it's about Sylar being his ally or hope for being someone in the future, that's hard to say. But the sour tone and glowering expression Rickham casts to the floor helps give the emotional context. "What do— " whatever words Rickham had next for Ash are cut off by the sound of a scream from the metallic man as electricity crackles over his body in arcing jolts. Risa yelps, jumps to sit up straight and whacks her head on the internal components of the server case, rolling onto her side on the floor.

Rickham abruptly falls forward, landing with a clang on his hands and knees, smoke issuing from his back where he was electrocuted. There, through the metal door is a gloved hand clutching a taser. The hand turns intangible, and a ghostly looking man in a sleek black suit steps through for a moment, before phasing down thorugh the floor as if it were no more solid than water.

Letting out a clicking groan, Rickham clutches his arms around his body, something as simple as a taser incapacitated him. In that same split second, Ash hears a clunk-clink-plink bouncing down the hall, his eyes tracking the bouncing progress of a cylindrical black canister marked with white writing: a flashbang.

Ash glances over to Rickham as the man screams. He was listening intentnly again, as the man began to speak, but then that scream. A flash of rage flashes across Ash's face as the man slips through the floor like that. Ash hears the tink tink, and pulls the door open, lifting his gun, he fires a single shot down the hallway at the flashbang before slamming the door shut, and latching it, at whcih point he rushes over to Risa, fingers to her throat to make sure she's alive, but his primary concern is on the electronics she was messing with. As the only one not incapacitated, it falls to him to make sure Rebel gets what he needs.

His hands begin to move, and fast, those already prodigious reflexes, further honed by training and experience, letting his hands fly through what needs to be done, plugs replaced, wired crossed, everything that needs to get done is now his focus. Even if the whole team dies here, if Rebel gets what he needs, then it's a mission success in Ash's book. Which is not to say he's not keeping an eye on everything going on around him. "Sir?" He calls to Rickham. "You allright over there?" His voice concerned, but also strained as he concentrates on finishing Risa's job.

Portions of Rickham look— fleshy but are quickly returning back to a metallic form. As Rickham begins to push himself back up to his feet, there's a noticable pool of blood beneath him. Not enough to cause alarm, but that you can apparently squeeze blood from a stone is something that should be duly noted.

It's unlikely that Ash managed to hit the moving flashbang with his M-16, given the noisy and cacophonous bang heard down the hall and the jostling of the door with it. Rickham's metallic brows furrow, dark eyes staring vacantly across the server room as he shakily pushes himself to his feet, wiping metal fingers over the lacerations on his boy that have turned back to steel, finding blood dampening their edges.

"Ash!" Rickham shouts as he interposes himself between where the younger man is working on the servers and where half of an arm and a Company-issue .45 are protruding from a concrete wall. The gunshot is deafening in the enclosed concrete space, but it flattens on Rickham's chest. As the iron man steps forward to grasp at the arm, all he gets is the barrel of the gun. There's a crunch of metal as the barrel shatters under his grasp, but the Company agent phases back through the wall.

A moment later, the back door to the server room that Ash had latched closed slams once, likely from a boot being applied to it, then again, someone's trying to force their way in.

Risa is awake, but dazed, clutching her head from the smack against the server shell, blood running between her fingers from a messy but ultimately minor head-wound. Sliding out from beneath the server rack, she crawls up to her knees, watching Ash working on the plugs and the wires to hook up the remote relay.

She fumbles for her gun, just in time to see a hand ghost through the wall and unlock the door that was being kicked at. Risa's eyes go wide as she ducks down behind the servers again as a gunshot rings out in the room. Another agent, likely the phaser's human partner opens fire twice, one shot punching thorugh one of the servers, the other ricocheting off of the wall.

Rickham dives for Thalia, crouching down beside her to shield her from the gunfire as Risa stays crouched for cover.


The message is displayed across the LCD screen on the remote hub Ash was connecting, followed by a vibration from all of the Messiah phones, indicating that the mission was successful but they still need to get out of dodge.

"Ash!— " Risa shouts as she pops up from behind cover, trying to check on her team-mate, "Fuck!" only to pop back down when a bullet buzzes past her. Ash finds himself in a whole other predicament however, when a quick blur of an arm comes phasing up from the floor along with a ghostly, intangible man. The end of a knife wielded in his phased hand turns solid, punching between the plates in Ash's body armor, wrenching into his side with a warm spill of blood and sharp pain before the entire knife turns intangible again, and the ghostly agaent floats through the server rack.

Gunfire is a more pressing concern though, and the non-evolved agent is something Ash can more readily deal with.

Ash is not a happy camper right now. Nope, not one little bit. As gun shots ring out, and Rickham takes a bullet for him, Ash works, his motions fast and furious. "I owe you a motor oil when we get out of this." He calls to Rickham. Yes, he's cracking jokes in the middle of a gunfight. He finishes, and the moemntt hat thing says uuplink established he grins, and he's up off of his feet. Two shots spang off the door near the hand that phased through. Ash's abilities are almost useless outside of combat, but once he's in a fight? He gets to go to town. The man is up, off of the ground in a leap, then rolling forwards to tumble into the opposite wall. Then with a scuff of shoe on the floor he's up, and running towards the doorway that the human agent is firing from.

Ash drops to one knee, sliding forwards into the door way. His rifle is turned upside down, and he chops upwards, the sheer force he's able to put behind the blow brings that razor edge combat knife clean up through the agen'ts wrists, taking his hands off and letting teh gun tumble to the floor. A quick spin of the grun, and he slashes the bayonet out across the man's stomach, but doesn't wait long enough to watch the disembowlment finish it's course, instead he's spinning around, looking for the man who can phase through things. "Come on out Shadowcat!" He calls out. yes, he called the man a girl.

Sharp, shooting pain lances up through the bottom of Ash's right foot along with the blade of a ceramic knife. Blood pools out beneath Ash's boot as the knife turns intangible and the phaser disappears back down beneath the floor again, then ghosts through one of the walls, flickering intangible save for the blade of his knife, slashing across Ash's arm, phasing right through the stock of his rifle before plunging into the center of his vest. This time the armor plating stops the knife before it can push through to his ribs.

The knife tip turns intangible again and the phaser flashes Ash a smile, his bald-headed and narrow frame looking particularly ghoulish in the blurry ghost-like appearance he's taken on. Rickham wraps Thalia up in his arms, pick sher up and moves away from the knife-fight, while Risa rolls onto her knees, holding her head as she looks up to see the Phaser slashing at Ash and the superhumanly athletic man ducking, bobing and weaving away from the driving ceramic point of his knife.

"Ash!" Risa shouts, pulling herself up to her feet, "Dizzy!" As those words come ringing out of Risa's lips, she curls her fingers against the server frame to—

Humming to himself, an IT technician crouches down in front of the server case, sliding out one of the trays as he checks a chipset on the exposed motherboard. Shaking his head, the young man reaches behind the server and unplugs the tray, then slides it out and lays it down on the ground, unzipping a vinyl case and taking out a matching motherboard to replace the damaged one.

—stumbling backwards, Risa holds her head and clenches her jaw shut, vertigo causing her head to spin as her knees give out and she drops to the ground again. In likewise effect to the postcognitive onslaught, the phasing agent is forced corporeal when he loses concentration, lurching forward and clutching his stomach as the world finally turns right-side up for him, fingers slacking around the hilt of his knife and eyes momentarially crossed.

Any ability can be a weapon, in the right hands.

Ash to his credit, does not cry out as the knife pierces his foot. He lifts his foot and takes a swift step back from where it came through the floor. It takes him a few moments to realize he's not going to be able to block with his gun, earning him several slash wounds in the process, his arm split bad where the knife hit it. But then he gets the gist of it all, bobbing and weaving, moving fast and nimble away from that blade. He hears the call and it takes him a moment to realize waht Risa is about to do. He braces himself, taking another wound to the shoulder for the pause.

Then the vision flashes across his mind, leaving him reeeling, but, so is the agent. Ash, with a cold look in his eyes, raise shis rifle up. There's no monolgues from him, or a final victorious comment, there's nothing, just cold blackness in his eyes as he executes the agent. The last sight that man will ever see, is the intense muzzle flare as a trio of bullets rip down the barrel, bursting at supersonic speeds, and rip through his skull, popping out th eother side, trailing spirals of blood and brain matter, fragments of skill sailing through the air as a trio of holes opens in the man's head.

As his body flops to the floor, very very dead, Ash turns, and scoops Risa up, slinging her over his shoulder and looking for Rickham. "Lets get the fuck out of here!" He hollers to the other man, leg limping a little from the wound in his foot.

Yelping as she's scooped up over Ash's shoulder, more out of surprise than anything else, Risa seems thankful for the hasty ability to retreat in her weakened state. Rickham moves ahead of Ash, stepping out into the hall and checking down both ways before hurrying down the left corridor, looking to know exactly where he's going. Feeling along the wall, Rickham's metal brows furrow, though on finding a damp spot, he nods and crouches down, laying Thalia on the floor a few feet away before walking back to the damp spot of concrete.

"Cover your ears," Rickham bellows before curling his fingers into a fist, winding up, and punching the wall. Concrete shatters as if struck by a sledgehammer, pieces falling away from a fist-sized dent in the wall. One swing after another, Rickham hammers his way through the weakened concrete, soon punching thorugh a pipe, sending cold water spraying down the hall and over himself. A few more swings shatter the wall, break open a three foot section, only for another punch to crumble bricks on the other side, send metal twisting away and a swift kick from the metal man knocks out the bottom of the wall.

"//Perry did some structural analysis of the blueprints of this place, this sewer tunnel runs right along the basement. We can exit out by Battery Park, Knox said he'd have a truck waiting to pick us up." Slamming his shoulder into more of the cement, Rickham clears more of the wall away to a good, man-sized opening, then walks back to pick up Thalia in his arms.

By now Risa's gotten her sense of balance back, and after a quick touch of one hand to Ash's shoulder, she squirms free and gets down onto her feet, then takes one of his arms and wraps it around her shoulders. "C'mon, take some weight off of that foot…" the daubed trail of blood behind them will be an easy trail to follow, but by the time the Company catches up, they'll be long gone.

"We'll patch you up when we get to the truck," Rickham grumbles in hollow tone, ducking through the hole in the wall with Thalia over one shoulder.

Ash sets Risa down once they're at the wall and Rickham begins to slam away at the concrete. Ash scans up and down the hallway, alert, ready to unload at anything that shows it's face, hand, knnife through the floor, big toe through the cieling. "Can worry about it later." He mutters at about the same time as Rickham says later. He chuckles, and then waits for Rickham to lead the way through the hole.

As the members of Messiah's information extraction team make their escape through the hole punched thorugh the reinforced concrete wall of Biomere's third basement level, the trail of blood behind is only one of many problems that this assignment has left for them. A puzzle-box of problems, an enigma left behind in those servers designed for curious minds, to those who would be tempted by a sign that says do not open.

While the escape is made, Rebel plumbs the depths of the servers, searching for useful information for Messiah's eventual attack on the Institute itself. But no amount of planning or security alone could properly set the stage for what is being put into motion here. As Ash, Thalia, Risa and Rickham disappear into the darkened tunnels, they have unwittingly opened an electronic Pandora's Box, and moved one step closer to the realization of plans not their own.

Plans that could not be completed without them.

Washington D.C.

Roosevelt Room, the White House

"…thank you, agent, keep me informed." Setting down a phone into a matte black receiver, there is a soft sigh that slides through the nostrils of Vice President Andrew Mitchell. Dark eyes stare distantly towards the reflection of overhead lights in the caramel colored conference table as he sinks back into his plushly upholstered chair. Brows furrowed and dark hands steepled in front of his mouth, he loses himself in the otherwise empty conference room's silence.

A brief tap of knuckles on the door has an intern leaning in to the conference room, glancing around in surprise to see the Vice President by himself. Mitchell's dark eyes meet the intern's expectantly. "Uh, sir you— your 6:00 meeting with Matthew Parkman is in twenty minutes. The President would like to speak to you beforehand?" Mitchell wordlessly nods in agreement afterward, then unfolds his hands and lowers them down to his lap as the intern leans out of the room and closes the door.

Quietly withdrawing a cell phone from his blue blazer, Mitchell flips it open and dials out for a call not in his directory. Silence dominates the room in those moments before someone picks up on the other end. "The door's open," he quietly offers into the phone, "we'll know better once we have confirmation that they've decrypted the package."

Nodding slowly, Mitchell closes his eyes and turns in his chair, lips downturned into a frown. "Yes, I understand the timetable. We'll be ready to go by November…" Rising up from his chair, Mitchell steps around the conference table, breathing in a slow, calming breath. "Yes, sir. Absolutely sir."

"Whatever you need, Mister Carmichael."

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