Where Rebels Dare


alia_icon.gif bennet_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif cat_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif linus_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif niki_icon.gif rebel2_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif west_icon.gif

Scene Title Where Rebels Dare
Synopsis People from Messiah, Endgame and the Ferrymen come together to meet Rebel and hear his plan for their survival.
Date September 27, 2010

Central Park

The southern end of central park is considered a part of the Ruins of Midtown these days. It is also the one vulnerable entrance into the ruins not directly protected by the fifteen foot high concrete barricades that block off most road access. Here amidst the charred remnants of trees that were scorched by nuclear fire, only a few sickly surviving maple and elm trees retain their lives on northern facing sides. Already turning colors for the autumn, these trees show fiery colors against otherwise gray bark and desolate surroundings.

Concrete rubble is strewn through this section of the park, pieces of skyscrapers buried in the overgrown grass, pieces of rebar and glass peppering the southern-facing sides of trees. That there was a nuclear explosion nearby is not lost on this desolate end of the park. But that is not to say that the southern end of Central Park is devoid of life. No, life finds a way.

Where once there were joggers and performers, tourists and residents, there are now the unwashed and unwanted. A secret society has sprung up where the ruins of Midtown meets Central Park, where tarps and tents are erected amidst copses of burned out trees and scarred earth. Lean-tos made from cardboard and corrugated metal form a makeshift village of homeless, huddled around small fire pits made from stacked cinder blocks, bricks and broken pieces of masonry.

Amidst this dystopian setting, rises one landmark from the Central Park of old. Once known as the 'Cop Cot', it is a wooden shelter of simplistic design, made from untreated wooden timers that create a more decorative architectural design than structurally sound. The lack of a full roof means that the cloudy night's sky is visible between the open supports, and the wooden plank floor is still damp from last night's rain.

The shelter provided by this large structure is not without company, however. Seated on one of the benches that follows the walls of the round structure, a dapper dressed Asian man looks wholly out of place in this environment. A black, pinstriped suit and fedora, thick black-framed eyeglasses that would look more at home on Gabriel Gray's face, a narrow chin and body build, they all present this clean-cut young man as something other than a transient.

That he is wearing the distinctive red scarf of Messiah over his shoulders loosely is one subtle tell to his allegiance. Already present in the shelter, West Rosen is a garishly colored counterpart to this sleekly dressed man. West's crisp salmon-pink button-down shirt is covered partly by a black wool pea-coat, arms crossed over his chest, chin tilted up and red scarf wound through the belt loops of his faded jeans, tied off at one side with the excess length trailing down his left leg.

Others are already arriving as well, from the far corners of the park. Too many unfamiliar faces for most of the locals, these homeless transients giving the strangers wide berth and a respective distance, eyes averted from their business.

And oh what business they have to discuss.

When Melissa got the text message from Rebel, she wasn't too sure about actually going. No one knows if Rebel has been compromised or not, after all. She heads to the appropriate area, pausing when she sees a few familiar faces. West gets a nod, his name she knows. Rebel, however, gets a longer look, and a blunt, "So who are you?"

Patience isn't her strong suit lately. Especially since Saturday.

She finds a spot near the edge of the building, wearing black cargo pants, black tank top, and a light jacket which also serves to pretty much hide the red scarf wound around her waist.

The sound of skateboard wheels over unmaintained pavement may be familiar to some, strange to others. But it seems Alia has her favorite mode of transportation back… her outfit for the night is pretty simple at first glance. jeans, jacket, a black scarf… at closer look, her scarf must have been home-made… for it depicts a very long game of Space Invaders on it. Over her shoulders is her nearly-everpresent backpack. The woman does not immediately close on the cot, but instead loops througgh the park once first, watching over her shoulders now and then as if to see if she'd been followed.

She's present, occupying a spot near the wall of the structure. Dress is casual, as it most often tends to be, with her shirt presenting a slight homage to someone familiar to one third of they who call themselves Rebel. One shoulder supports a backpack, the other a guitar case. Back straight, head up, eyes alert, Cat chooses to simply observe the others gathered for the moment. West gets particular attention for the moment as she compares his face with what it looked like moments before she used feet to explain why trying to fly away with Liette was a very bad idea.

This, along with calling the date and text of his most recent article for the newspaper she secretly owns.

The easy tread of a man in black crosses through the rubble-strewn remnants of this end of the park, looking sharp from polished shoes to dark fedora, driver's gloves and a pair of opaque shades perched upon his face leaving Richard Cardinal looking more like the sort of person who would be here to arrest this particular gathering than join them for a polite discussion.

"If Rupert shows up," he says in quiet tones to the two women who flank him as he approaches the wooden pavilion, "I don't want him able to say a word, Elisabeth. See if you can see to that, hm?"

As they draw closer, his lips purse in a slight line, voice lower, "…does anyone recognize the guy with Rosen?"

The text message had been interesting, but since Rebel had yet to give Ryans a reason to doubt him, the old man decided to see what this meet was about. He doesn't look so much like an agent of the Company these days, with his black turtle neck under a solid red flannel that hangs open, worn jeans with white paint speckled on them and brown work boots. The only thing that make him look more… agent like is the stoic expression with searching blue eyes that seem to watch and observe everything around him. Hands rest against his legs, ready to grab at the guns nestled at his back.

He's ready to act if need be.

He doesn't approach yet, standing back under a tree just a little aways, observing the individuals gathered, eyes narrowed in suspicion. Can't blame the man really, cause beyond being wanted, Benjamin's pretty sure there are plenty of people that would like a shot at a 'Company man,' especially a man who had been almost at the top of the chain.

Black in autumn is certainly not suspicious on its own, but when it clumps together there is something always causing it. Huruma can't let the stereotype down, her jeans and cropped jacket both black, the cotton blouse underneath a rather fitting pattern of tawny background and sienna spots. Her red scarf, notably, is practically hidden under the lapels of her jacket. There seems to be something else under her jacket, the holster there holding two small pistols. Unobtrusive gun fashion.

Coming from a far angle gives her a cursory view of others closing in, though at this angle she is also easily seen by them. Not much tree cover, apart from the one that Benjamin seems to have claimed for himself. She arcs him a look, from afar, before meandering further and towards the ramshackle gazebo.

Elisabeth Harrison is a familiar enough face to some of those gathered as well. Her blond hair is loose to her leather-jacketed shoulders, her denim-clad legs ending in a pair of scuffed hiking boots. "Understood," she acknowledges Cardinal's request without a qualm. Her own blue eyes are skimming ahead of the trio to the group, but it's her ears that she's paying more attention to. The shuffle and scrape of people ducking out of the way of this little gathering. The sounds of joints and muscles and heartbeats all meshed together in the Cop's Cot. For the most part, she cannot sort out from the sounds who belongs and who doesn't, but she can tell that there are a number of people in the not-too-distant vicinity. She murmurs to Cardinal, "I'm going to bubble the whole area once we're all there, so if Rupert is present… I can do both at once, it just means I won't be on the ball for a gunfight." Of course, that's one of the reasons Niki's along.

There are a lot of strange people congregating in this particular microcosm of life, perhaps not all strange individually, but the combination is a weird one to be certain. Perhaps most out of place however, is the form of Linus Agron. Wearing his usual denim blue jeans, Chuck Taylors and a solid white t-shirt with red and black striped zip up hoodie.

He approaches cluelessly, the proverbial fish out of water. Places like this after curfew, what may as well be the dead of night, is not common ground for him. He doesn't seem to be careful at all, looking behind him or checking for would be muggers. He wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for the person who sent him the mysterious text message. Rebel. It struck a big chord: curiousity.

Niki Sanders is dressed similarly to Elisabeth in a jacket of faded and battered brown leather over a red tank top, coupled with a pair of loose denim jeans. If she's armed, it'll be tough to tell from the drape of her clothing. But then again, Niki doesn't need a weapon to defend herself and those under her protection. Her blonde hair is tied back into a high ponytail atop her head, keeping it out of the way - out of her vision. A look is exchanged with Elisabeth, a subtle nod. An acknowledgement that Niki has got the woman's back should it come down to it.

To Cardinal's question, she narrows her grey-blue gaze on the man with West Rosen and shakes her head. "No idea," Niki utters under her breath, barely a move of her lips. She's apprehensive about this meeting. But the butterflies in her stomach don't change the stony expression on her face. What Would Jessica Do? Act like she owns the fucking whole of Central Park. And so that's how she carries herself, with her shoulders back and her chin up and don't you even think about looking at me funny, boy.

Dark eyes alight to Melissa from the Asian man seated on the bench, his hands folded together between his knees, posture hunched forward in consideration of the young blonde. An askance look is afforded to West at his side, one brow raised, and when he looks back to Melissa it is a clear answer that is put forth. "Rebel," is perhaps the most straightforward thing he has ever said, revealing that there is a corporeal form after all to the trinity of disembodied technopaths that have haunted global telecommunications grids for over a year now.

As more people arrive, Rebel's scrutiny moves from Melissa as he rises up to stand from his seat, roughly the same height as the blonde. "If you will excuse us…" he politely offers with a tip of his head before tucking his hands into the pockets of his slacks, stepping into the center of the wooden lodge. Watching people beginning to filter into the pavillion.

Coming up one of the broken pavement paths with grass growing up through the fissures, Noah Bennet's presence is one punctuated by suspicion. When he finally moves to carry himself up the wooden steps into the open-roofed shelter, he unbuttons the front of his brown trenchcoat, pushing it aside and affording Rebel a scrutinizing stare.

"You're taking a big risk, putting this many egos together under the same roof, Rebel." Noah's attention remains affixed on the technopath, chin tilted up slowly. "But I hear that you and I may have come up with complementary plans to deal with an old problem, haven't we?"

Rebel's focus is not on Bennet, but rather on the young man who is quite literally the odd duck out of this group of terrorists, freedom fighters and manipulative individuals corralled together into a ramshackle tent city of the unwanted. Rebel finally looks from Linus to Bennet, but does not directly address the man in the horn-rimmed glasses, instead he is addressing the crowd.

"Some of you know us," he states in a crisp and clear American accent, "most of you only in name. You may call this form Rebel, but that is not who we wholly are. Nor are any of you merely the sum of the identity associated with your names." Dark eyes flick to Linus again at that comment, then angle away to sweep across the crowd.

"You are here because you are curious," his dark eyes settle on Cardinal and his group, "because you owe a debt to be repaid," words meant for the nominally absent Benjamin Ryans, though he can hear them from his vantage point outside of the shelter, "or because you genuinely care to change the world…"

"There exists in place in this world, a system of satellites high above our world in the depths of space, satellites both old and new, part of a network of information-gathering reconnaisence systems put into place by the organization once known as the Company." Even to those not in the know, the Company has been plastered all over the news, over television and radio and the internet. It's impossible to not know, even tangentally, who they were.

"These satellites were designed for a single, solitary purpose: to track the Evolved marked with a decaying radiopisotope in their blood streams. This was an imprecise tracking system, one designed to gauge the vague basics of migration patterns of the Evolved. However, the structure of the satellites composes a greater threat, now that it is in the hands of this country's corrupt government."

What Rebel is saying begins to sound more and more like some psychotic terrorist's manifesto, at least to the outside observer. "As of current the government's brainchild known as the Commonwealth Institute is locked out of the satellite systems by an encryption placed into their operations by the Company prior to the organization's collapse. Remote destruction of the satellites by inputting of erroneous commands is likewise blockaded by this command encryption…" Rebel's dark eyes turn to Alia at that, "but we do not believe the Institute is aware of a further line of defense…"

Rebel's brows furrow and lips downturn into a frown. "A virus, encoded into the satellites, dangerous enough that were I to directly interface with the satellite network, I fear that it would be the end of my existance, or any other technopathic Evolved who brushed in contact with it. The virus was designed explicitely to defend the satellites against direct and indirect attack by Evolved such as us and others like us." There's a distinct lack of singular pronouns when Rebel refers to himself.

Exhaling a sign that may well be entirely vestigial, Rebel looks across those still gathering. "I have calculated every possible avenue of safe recourse regarding this satellite network, and unfortunately… all of them fail to fully negate the network's capabilities before the Institute is projected to bring them back online." Rebel's dark eyes drift down to the floor of the lodge. "Save for one. Which… is why we have called you all here."

Hearing the name, Melissa's brows lift. "And here I thought he was just a guy on the net," she mumbles to herself. Then there's just surprise as she sees Bennet. She gives him a nod then turns her attention to Rebel as he begins his speech. Mention of the tracking system has her absently rubbing at her neck, where she carries the mark of that system. "So we're talking computer virus, right? Not another sort of evo flu or anything? If so, then why not just…Wait. How many satellites are we talking?"

Alia sighs as she speaks up. "Three satellites. Project Munin, plus one." She looks to Melissa, then shakes her head. "Technopath. Computer virus, our virus." She looks to Rebel, and gives a bit of a nod. "Encryption. My specialty."

"What method is that?" Cat asks, with eyes resting on the three persons in one body… Like mother, like son, to a point, she mentally muses with a glance drifting toward Niki. Commentary is held to her question, she finding no need to speak otherwise.

It's a rather interesting gathering of faces and names, one or two of which isn't even known to Cardinal; a curious look given to Linus, who doesn't even wear a scarf to indicate his affiliation. The man's gaze doesn't linger for long, however, since he's soon giving his full attention to Rebel. A fold of both arms crosses his chest as he stops inside the shelter, feet apart slightly, watching and listening as he gives the 'recap' to those who aren't yet fully in the know about this sort of thing. "Shoot," is all he says, almost challengingly.

After a few more moments and a look shared with Huruma, Ryans steps from where he has been watching and reluctantly moves closer to the gathered group, his height being somewhat an advantage allowing him to see past many of the others. Even as he approaches he can hear the words filtering out of the meeting spot.

Brows furrow and Benjamin steps inside, deciding the risk is worth it, even if he is recognized. The sight of Bennet is a shock to the older agent, a brow twitches up with curiosity. He does study the man too long before he focuses on Rebel, that too a surprise. Tucking hands into his pockets, he settles in to listen to this plan. If any looks come his way, he doesn't pay attention too them.

"Why no'take it out?" Huruma knows that things floating around in space are certainly not her own specialty, but even she is allowed some degree of fantasy here. Why not shoot it into bits? Or send it into the netherworld that is space? That'll take care of that. Though somehow, she isn't so sure it would; one hand brushing over the back of her neck. Maybe as if there were suddenly a large red ACME arrow pointing at the spot.

She passes a look to Ryans as he joins them, lips pursing slightly and looking between him, and Bennet. Least productive time to stir up old hate, but yet, it's around. Wouldn't have a problem if the Company hadn't been such a bitch.

Elisabeth's awareness of the extra body in between this group and the nearest group meant she was forced to make an educated guess and include the man in the shadow of the trees in the silence field. If she were wrong, well… she figured someone in the group would ultimately drop him where he stood with no muss, no fuss. And as he steps forward, her instinct seems to be borne out that he's supposed to be here. She tightens the field in closer once he joins the group and otherwise remains silently at Cardinal's right, slightly behind, leaving him (and herself) plenty of space to pull a weapon (or shadow out) as need be. She makes mental notes of everyone that Rebel thought to summon to this party, though names of some will escape her. She'll be able to describe them perfectly, though. She offers a simple nod to those she knows when she happens to catch an eye here and there.

Linus steps into the ramshackle structure with trepidation and a clear showing of nerves, shaking like he was stuck in the rain. He keeps his hands stuffed firmly into the pockets of his hoodie, and when the being known as 'Rebel' lays his eyes on him, he looks around at the other faces and individuals to see if everybody's attention is suddenly on the confused Linus.

He clears his throat, and actually raises his hand before speaking. "U-Uh, I.. think I might be in the wrong place.." He looks around again nervously before continuing, hand moving back into the pocket it came from. "O-or I would think that, if I didn't get a text from Rebel. You went over it briefly, but let me ask directly - how do you know who I am and why am I here?"

"Micah," is whispered so quiet that only Cardinal and Elisabeth can hear it. And likely because they expect it to pass Niki's lips. To the detriment of staying alert, staying aware, she stands transfixed, studying the form that is Rebel. One third her son. It somehow both softens her, and makes her more hard.

When Linus speaks up, it reluctantly drags the conflicted mother's gaze away. It affords her a moment to recollect herself. Remind herself why she's here, of the role she needs to play. She's acutely aware that she's susceptible to the Company's - now the government's - tracking satellites. The urge to reach up and rub at her own neck is resisted in favour of sliding her hand into her pocket to wrap her fingers around her cell phone, mindful not to clutch at it too tightly.

When Niki's gaze returns to Rebel, anticipating his explanation, it's with that same indifference she held when she arrived. Her emotions hide below the surface of her poker face.

"I know this one," Noah states with a furrow of his brows, "Rebel wants us to physically destroy the satellites." It's almost a challenge in the way Noah explains it. "I'd come up with a similar plan four years ago when I first turned my back on the Company, but I lacked the resources of the time after the bomb destroyed midtown. We all had other priorities that needed to be handled." Squaring a narrow-eyed look on Rebe, Noah arches one brow in challenge of the idea.

"Mister Bennet is… correct." Rebel admits in a hushed tone of voice, his dark eyes meeting Niki's like a stranger's, but the haunted look that crosses Rebel's face implies that it is no entirely a stranger behind his eyes, and that Niki is a ghost of his past that he had put some distance between, even if only the imaginary distance of the internet.

"Bennet is correct," Rebel explains in a hushed tone of voice, "the plan is simple. The satellites must be physically destroyed, which will require reaching them for the expressed purpose of their neutralization. I have called you here to ask for help in this endeavor, because each of you has access to a resource, an ability, or knowledge that will be necessary for what I wish to do."

Chin tilting up, Rebel looks up to the cloudy night's sky, then back down into the crowd. "There is a shuttle launch planned next month in the People's Republic of China. We intend to hijack it."

When Linus speaks up Melissa looks over to him, frowning a little. Then she cocks her head and looks back to Rebel, brows lift. "You want us to hijack it? Okay, I can see how that's possible, all things considered, but…do shuttles have rockets or something attached to blow it up, or are you talking getting onto the satellites and setting charges to blow it all to hell?" Another pause, a glance around, then back to Rebel. "And who exactly is getting tapped to go? I don't figure that all of us would fit in the shuttle, even if it would take all of us to get access to it"

Alia remains very quiet, as she considers the idea put out before them. A physical destruction. Not burnt up in the atmosphere, but blown up… in space. The shuttle doesn't… unless one of the crew had an ability to make it so. She puts two and two together and looks at Rebel with appreciation. "Pilot?" She asks simply. It's the only gap she doesn't have at least an idea of how to fill.

"This mission will be far from boring," Cat muses dryly to herself without really caring if anyone hears or not. Linus is given a brief glance, just long enough to see his face and make a comparison with where she's seen it before. A slight smile forms on her features, as she moves along to considering her own role in the affair.

But she's sure Rebel will get there soon enough.

"I see that you haven't run out of ambition there," Cardinal observes in rather wry tones, one hand rubbing against his forehead in a way that tilts the edge of his fedora up a bit, "I do have to ask, though — if the satellites are so infested with this computer virus, how did the Company use them without getting their computers destroyed?"

The news has Ryans brows shooting up in surprise, the sheer craziness of the idea not lost on him. To hijack the shuttle of a country such as China… it's insane. Kinda sounds like something Ryans could get in on. Not his first crazy adventure.

The deep voice of the former Company agent carries easily withing the small group, "Fun part will be getting the co-operation of the shuttle pilots, I'm sure you have a plan for that as well? Or are we talking a simple, gun to head 'take us up' approach?" Which in itself sounds very absurd. "Unless you have a shuttle pilot up your sleeve?" A hint of a smile tugs at the corner of Ryans lips, eyes giving another scan of the group gathered. It all seems so absurd, but he's curious about what else there is in this plan.

Benjamin then turns his attention to Cardinal, head tilting a bit, before he finally answers the question instead of Rebel. "That's because, I can almost guarantee to you it's more then likely a recent addition, maybe even went online the day the Institute took the Company down. Done by us to keep the Institute away from it, like everything else we scrambled to get rid of." There is no emotions to read in the man's face, to even suggest he has any remorse for that tracking system. "Because, I've never heard of it being in place before — not that I know a whole lot about the techincal side of it — but it sounds like a measure taken in case the Company went under."

Huruma answers this with just a lift of her eyebrows. She was right? Wow. Though Alia's question- is quite astute. As is Cardinal's. Ryans can handle talking about his people, when it comes to answering one of them. She too, however, is quite curious about how they'd be hijacking it.

"And t'be quite honest with you…" Her voice is not as resounding as the ex-agent nearby, but it is notable enough to listen to. "…none of us have that kind of training. Some of us are able t'pilot simple craft, bu'last I knew, we were certanly no astronauts. I hope you have something in mind t'counteract that."

Elisabeth bites back her initial response when several others bring up the query about pilots. She highly doubts Rebel would have pulled this group together without something a little better than that for a plan, but…. one never knows. After all, one-third of the being is a pre-teen boy. She keeps her tongue firmly behind her teeth on that point, merely maintaining absolute privacy for this chat in the middle of the park. But when Ryans brings up his information, Elisabeth tilts her head. "Which indicates that certain people would know of the protocol and know of the ways around the protocol." Her blue eyes pivot to Noah Bennet, a man with whom she's had only the most minimal contact in the past though his daughter she counts as one of her own. She doesn't voice aloud the idea that people like…. oh…. Mrs. Petrelli or Bob Bishop would be people to pound upon for the answers, but she's pretty sure Richard's already there three steps ago.

This can't be happening. There is no way Linus is standing here, right now, in the middle of this discussion. But he is. This isn't one of his roleplaying games. This is real life. Linus moves to one of the walls of the ramshackle fortification, leaning against it as he runs his hands through his hair.

"You want me to help you hijack a space shuttle? What exactly am I supposed to do? I don't know the first thing about this stuff. I just heard about this Company on the news the other week. This isn't happening to me. You have to have the wrong person, man." He looks at Rebel, his eyes almost pleading. "You made a mistake. How can I possibly help you?"

Niki doesn't miss the way Rebel looks at her. They've both tried to maintain some sort of distance in some way, though Jessica is more guilty of creating that distance. If Niki had her way… Well, if Niki had her way, her son wouldn't be Rebel. She crosses her arms under her chest and shifts her weight to lean to her left. A casual, but closed off posture. Her eyes dart between the people gathered, settling on each as they speak.

"So how do we get there? I don't see Hiro Nakamura here," Niki murmurs, taking a second look around to ensure she hasn't missed the Master of Time and Space. And she left Peter at home. "I'm pretty sure just about everyone in this group is on the government's no-fly list. You've enlisted another teleporter?"

"Getting to China will require more mundane methods of travel, however the means by which to traverse these distances will require assistance." Rebel looks to Noah at that point, one brow raised. "As I said, you all possess unique resources which will be of direct assistance to this endeavor, provided that you are willing to commit them."

Exhaling a sigh, Noah lifts up one hand and rubs at the back of his neck. "I… can see about pulling in some favors out on the west coast, I know a few people up in the Seattle area that could cover our way out from the Sea-Tac airport. It would meanflying baggage class, again," because apparently sneaking across international borders isn't entirely outside of Noah's to-do list on any given day, "But the others have a point. How are we going to get into space. My favors only reach so far, Rebel."

"You may leave the piloting to us," the technopath states clearly "the automated systems of a modern space shuttle are too complicated for training to be given, even in the case of those with great memories among us," a look is afforded in Cat's direction, then back to Alia. "Likewise, compliance by force of the Chinese astronauts is unreliable at best, therefore all traffic up will be handled remotely. Surviving re-entry will be our secondary concern." Did Rebel just say secondary?

"Benjamin is correct on the origins of the computer virus," Rebel adds with a nod towards Ryans, "we believe this countermeasure was put in place by the Company during their final days as a means of locking out the systems. It is entirely possible that there is no timely accessible workaround, since it was designed to lock out the satellites entirely, likely without the intention of future use. Simply programming them to descend into the atmosphere could have had disastrous effects on the ground depending on their approach and the decay of their orbit, which likely stayed the Company's hands from that preventative measure."

Looking to Linus, however, Rebel arches one brow. "You, I personally requested to come here because of details surrounding your unique ability as listed on the Registry of the Evolved. After cross-referencing the publicly available data with public databases and registries, I was able to discern a method by which to contact you. We…" he keeps confusingly vacillating between singular and multiple pronouns, "are hoping to be able to utilize your ability to destroy one, if not all of the satellites. This, however, would require that you be willing to travel into space… with only a handful of other volunteers. A team of four others."

Rebel looks around the gathering, one brow raised. "The remainder of you will be necessary to secure the launch platform from the People's Liberation Army and hold the site until launch, at which point occupation of the launch site may be released and your assistance no longer required."

Details on getting back have been notably scarce.

"Okay, so, you're saying…we fly over there with Bennet's help, do the whole mercenary thing to get onto the shuttle, where four of us, Linus included, go up so he alone can off the satellites then somehow we'll just manage to get back? And the people left at the platform will no doubt have to fight their way away from the platform?" Melissa glances to West. "Or get some help getting off there."

There's silence for a moment from the pain mistress, before she looks back to Rebel. "Any requirements for the volunteers? Besides one of them being Linus? I've always wanted to go into space," she says, voice dry, but she seems serious.

Alia nods a little, taking in the details. She doesn't like them, but there they are. There is one question in her mind… but she'll wait to ask until later, when less ears are there to hear. Her eyes take note of Ryans though very carefully. There's wheels turning in her head.

"I have another question, then, Rebel," Cardinal states flatly, stepping forward, one gloved hand sweeping to the side as he challenges the tripartate technopath in stolen flesh, "How do you intend to deal with the political shitstorm that you're going to cause by hijacking one of China's only fucking spacecraft? International relations are already fucked up enough right now, if you haven't read the news lately…"

"…are you honestly going to risk an incident this serious to deal with the satellites? There's got to be another way."

There is a nod of agreement to Rebel's assessment of the situations surrounding the perimeters of the program. It sounded like something they would do, and Ryans voices the thought as well, "With very little chance of the Company rising from the ashes, I doubt they would make the program reversible. Not to mention it would be idiotic to leave an opening."

He then angles a glance to Cardinal, what the man says has Ryans' head bobbing again, it's a good question after all. "That is a problem, unless you have a scape goat in mind? As much as I'd like to see those satellites down, we don't want to start another war in the process and then what was the point?"

"This mission just gets less and less boring all the time," Cat remarks with a brief chuckle. In her mind, she's rating it against others, assigning it a grade in comparison. She's pretty sure taking on the PLA is a harder nut to crack than any of those. "If we had Hiro with us, this could be easy. Give him a spacesuit, let him 'port up to grab the birds, and bring them back with him so we can destroy them on the ground." Taking a moment to think it over, she gets an idea.

"If anyone present is approached by Hiro for time-travel missions, tell him yes, but there's a catch. You won't go unless he does this for us."

"I want t'know whatever it is tha'you are //smoking…"

"B'cause I want some of it." Huruma's expression unfolds into mock appraisal, eyes as steeled as ever. "I think there's something in your water, in any case." Her tone is unimpressed, and she can barely stop herself from rolling her eyes- not only at Rebel, but Cat as well. Time travelers just won't do what you want, either. Huruma folds her arms in front of her ribcage, the line of her mouth pushed flat. "Why not just hijack missile systems? Other satellites? Taking a shuttle is ludicrous."

Thank you. Huruma at least is being straight out about the fact that this whole plan is, so far, beyond ridiculous. Others are voicing dissent. At least Elisabeth's not alone in this one. International incidents aside — and Lord, she never thought she'd hear herself even think that — nothing Rebel has suggested at this point seems very viable as an option. "I'm all behind the idea that these satellites need to come down, and sooner rather than later. But nothing said here so far sounds in the least viable to me. And considering the company in this room and what they've seen and accomplished, I think it's saying something that even we are balking." We who've been up for damn near anything to save the world.

Linus' eyes go as wide as the cliche dinner plates before his knees give out from underneath him. It's a good thing he was already leaning against one of the walls, sliding down along the wooden structure until his ass hits the ground, legs sprawling out before him. He stares blankly at the ground between his spread eagle legs, hands moving to grip his head.

"You want me to what?" The first words out of his mouth are quiet, almost inaudible, certainly less audible than the gulping sound of him swallowing the nervous knot in his throat. "What happens if I say no? I'm privy to your secret plot now, so do one of you come to my home in the middle of the night and silence me?" This is said as his eyes scan the room.

Out of nowhere, his gaze returns to 'Rebel', and he blinks. "You talk like Venom, you know." Random.

Secondary? Micah, you are so grounded. Niki shakes her head at the squabbling produced by this discussion, the suggestions of how they go about this. "I can't get behind this," she admits, her voice gentle. As if she really were speaking to her own son. "What you're suggesting… Yes, taking out the system is something we should work to do, but if it's as encrypted and protected as you're suggesting, that even you can't hijack it," and when Niki says you, she means Micah, because in her heart she is still a proud mother and no one is smarter than her boy, "it's not an immediate enough threat to warrant what you're asking."

Son, I am disappoint.

Niki finally allows some of her own feelings to show on her face, expression imploring as she addresses Rebel. She spreads her arms out to either side of her to indicate the people gathered in the shelter, "You're asking us to lay down our lives, to go die, and risk war with China for a few satellites. Taking down the tracking system is important, but it's not worth this."

"Hijacking a missile defense system would have unwanted social ramifications for the capabilities of the Evolved. If word were to reach public media that an Evolved or agents operating with an Evolved were capable of assuming control of a missile defense system with the capabilities to fire into Earth's orbit, it would be disastrous."

Angling his head to the side, Rebel considers the notion of other satellites. "Further, assuming control of another satellite in orbit and guiding it to crash into the one chosen would create more debris in space than is comfortable, further compounding the issue that if the central satellite is not entirely destroyed, its remains may yet fall to Earth, causing too much potential collateral damage than physical presence in space could afford."

To Elisabeth, Rebel arches one brow slowly. "I have heard of Hiro Nakamura, but I do not know him nor do I have a means with which to communicate with him. Waiting on the potential availability of an unknown quantity such as Nakamura could result in our moving or acting too late to make any actionable difference. It is not so much the satellite systems coming into operation that is the concern…" Though Rebel doesn't out-right explain what his concern is just yet.

"Your assumptions are correct," Rebel notes to Melissa with a slow incline of his head into a nod. "One team will handle physical security at the launch platform, while another will be forcing their way aboard the shuttle before it launches. I will manually override control of the shuttle launch systems and control the vessel itself into orbit and guide it towards the satellites. If we destroy the central and original satellite the other pair that were launched last more recently will have no relay and the virus will be destroyed with the core system, and I will be able to divert the Munin system satellites remotely after the fact. These micro-satellites should effecively burn up in the atmosphere more easily than the central system."

Cardinal's question, while valid, elicits a raised brow from Rebel. "There is no other way," Rebel says with presumptuous certainty. "No other nation has a launch window within the projected time frame necessary, delaying any longer potentially permits the Institute the capacity to engage the satellite systems and access the programming within. To wit, these satellites are not something that will be easily— or ever— replaced."

Rebel's brows furrow as he makes that comment. "The central satellite is utilizing a system of programming I originally developed back in the mid 1980s at the request of one Charles Deveaux as an exercise in animal tracking systems. It was later refined in the 1990s by a supercognitive Company agent named Bennedict Parsons, a genius computer progreammer generations ahead of his time. Parsons was killed in the 2006 nuclear explosion at Midtown, resulting in the end of future upgrades to the satellite software. While the Company was presumably able to remove all hard copies of the software, they were unable to openly destroy the copy of the programming contained on the Satellite, since the Company had to keep up appearances of not presuming the Institute were enemies. Security systems were easily explained away, suddenly destroying their only means of tracking the Evolved must not have been. You do not understand the severity of the issue. Were the Institute able to get their hands on the programming of Parsons contained on the satellite and have the satellite system intact, they could and likely would escalate the use of the tracking systems…"

Rebel's brows furrow. "Imagine if they had a precice tracking system that could pinpoint any Evolved's location within a small geographical area, and were able to integrate it into Parsons' code in these satellites, effectively giving the Government a pinpoint accuracy tracking system that could scan the entire globe…"

To those in the know, Rebel is suggesting that they may be considering integrating their research into the compasses into the satellite.

"It would be the end of all out efforts." Dark eyes sweep around the park, brows furrowed and head tilted to the side. "If you do not wish to participate or are unwilling, or wish to try and handle this procedure on your own you are welcome to. But I am requesting volunteers, here and now. I hope for all your help, but realistically we predict only half of you will agree to assist us. The end justifies the means."

Cat's suggestion about Hiro has Melissa muttering, "Too late," but it's likely too soft for anyone not right next to her to hear. And when people start talking about how the risk isn't worth it, she shakes her head. "I think the risk is worth it, though we should definitely try to minimize the risk as much as possible. Disguise ourselves as Chinese to prevent the risk of war, or something."

She glances around. "The Institute has already grabbed some of us, held us in the hospital. They did experiments, got people addicted to Refrain, and created monsters. And that was without a satellite system helping them to pinpoint us. I, for one, would love to see the satellites destroyed before the Institute can just pull up a map and pick and choose which evolved to grab today for their next experiment."

Another shake of her head and she glances back to Rebel. "Count me in, but we need to talk. Just you and me."

Alia sighs. "Why hijack? Rent the seats." She says it with a deadpan bluntness that you would have to hear to believe. It's been done before, after all. That said, it would attract media attention to whoever they sent up… She looks to Rebel a moment, then sighs as she looks about at the others. "If we can't … team… then…" She looks back at Rebel. "… One for many. You could … show where access points are?" Alia says this with a dead calm seriousness. "Already have trajectory. Dumps big one either in the ocean… or into Fort Hero."

"Ah, Charles…" A faint, rueful smile tugs up at the corner of Cardinal's lips, his head shaking a little bit, "…always with the best of intentions."

The edge of the fedora is tugged down slightly, his eyes half-closing behind the shades, "If the Institute can reach the satellite another way, Rebel, than so can we. This plan is… entirely ill-advised, in my opinion. The dangers, the possible international repercussions…"

A pause, a faint smile, "One might think you're trying to force the Doomsday Clock ahead a few minutes." He glances over to Alia, then back, "Not the worst idea, that. Certainly a better one…"

Arms folds slowly across his chest, Eyes dropping to the ground in thought. Brows furrowed slightly as he tries to decide if he wants to risk it. Ryans has more then himself to think about, with his girls and what is left of his agents. However… Rebel had a point. It would be a hell of a blow to the Institute to lose those satellites. If what Rebel says is true… he has no choice.

"I'll go. I'll even go up there with the kids," says the man that swan dived off a big ass dam and survived, so his volunteering should be no surprise. "I'd like to make sure they go down," Benjamin states firmly, a glance going to Linus and Melissa. His gaze falls on the chinese body that Rebel inhabits, "If what you're saying is true, we need to get those down, if there is no better way…" Delia will have a fit if she heard him talk about that, especially with no plan to get back. Even if they get down, the reception on the ground will be a nasty one.

The explanation, the implications, made by Rebel touch a nerve for Cat. She gets it. Eyes shift over to the Shadowman, she looks for signs he gets it too. She's fairly certain Alia does, having seen her working with that machine she's been using for a certain end. "Those birds have to drop," she agrees gravely, "by the best means possible. Rebel, in the amount of time we have is it feasible to purchase seats on the spacecraft?"

Huruma can appreciate someone entering such a vital bit of information, as Alia does. She turns her attention to the girl, vaguely familiar, to cast her an appreciative look. "This one's got quite an idea, if I've ever heard one. Surely tapping into various funds woul'no'be difficult…"

"Not only that-" She sends a pointed look at Ryans. "But also less of a true risk. If you can do it, do it. If not- we need a plan that is made of more than 'we force ourselves onto th'shuttle'."

"While I admire your creativity, Alia, that avenue of approach is unfortunately not feasible." Rebel's dark eyes narrow at Alia thoughtfully, "I will not allow foreign pilots on the vessel to endanger the mission. The shuttle would still need to be directed to where we wish it to be, regardless of how you were able to board the vessel. Further, fabricating identification for foreigners capable of joining the trip would minimize the number of individuals that could be sent into space. Furthermore, the window of time in which we are to perform this operation precludes purchasing seats, as there are mendatory tests and health screenings for all space tourism, time which we did not have, even if we had acted sooner. Too many months… not enough time."

The mention of dropping the satellite into Fort Hero earns a frown from Rebel. "Murdering potentially innocent civilian contractors or captives still present at Fort Hero would be unacceptable. Furthermore, pinpointing the decay of descent for the primary satellite, hitting its target and not releasing a cloud of poison gas from its fuel cells into the urban sprawl of Long Island…" he shakes his head, slowly.

"I do not know if you and I together could wrest control of the satellites before the virus degenerates us entirely. Perhaps, but I would consider that only a last resort, due to the imprecise manner in which it would resolve the issue and the garunteed high cost." Taking a few steps forward across the hardwood floor, Rebel's brows tense and his head cranes to the side to regard Cardinal. "Action is required within two weeks time, no later than the thirteenth of next month for the completion of the assignment, which means traveling no later than the eleventh."

All things considered, Rebel seems to be defiant in the face of contradictions to his plan. Offering a look askance to Melissa, Rebel offers her an approving nod, then one to Ryans as well, then finally out to Linus with one brow raised. "I realize you may not feel this is entirely your conflict, or that you do not understand the scope of what it happening here, but your ability is essential to the destruction of these weapons." That Rebel considers the satellites weapons perhaps says something about his perspective on things.

"You already know I'm in," West states as he exhales a sigh, "Me and Kris are going to be running exit strategy for people on the landing platform, flying and teleporting people out. As for people up in the shuttle…" there's a slow shake of West's head. "I— dunno. Rebel you… do have an exit plan for them, right?"

Rebel casts an askance look to West, one brow arched, "Land the shuttle." Admittedly, that is the most simple answer. Dismissive as that answer is, Rebel takes a step forward again, looking over to Linus, then to Niki briefly, his brows knitting together behind his glasses before attention comes to Cat, then Alia and others.

"I will not lie, this mission likely will have a potentially high mortality rate. But we cannot abide a system such as this winding up in the Institute's hands. Were there more time to plan, likely the situation would not be as unfortunate. The best reassurance we can offer, is a communications blackout of the launch site. If there are no witnesses to whom performed the hijacking, blame cannot be accurately placed."

That is also a lot of bodies, admittedly.

"Hell, if we're landing the shuttle and not just abandoning people in space, count me in for the team to go up. Always wondered what Earth would look like from orbit," Melissa says with a shrug. "Besides, someone has to go, and I'm not against it, or going out in a suit if Linus needs help." She glances to him. "Assuming he agrees."

"Though I still think disguises would be awesome. If we could find an illusionist to go with and remain with the platform team that'd be awesome." And no, she doesn't spill that Kendall's alive, just in case someone would consider him for the job. "Or someone who can do temporary shapeshifting or something."

Alia sighs. "Work out places to land." She says simply, volunteering herself to do so. She looks at Rebel. "Anything else I should do?" She asks simply. She knows she will be near useless on the pad. And her ability will be of no use in the air, it seems, if Rebel plans on piloting the thing via the computers.

"Yes…" Cardinal's fingers pinch the bridge of his nose, "…because I'm sure that the Chinese don't have a single postcognitive in their entire nation of however fucking billion there are…" His hand drops back down to his side, and he states bluntly, "I still think this entire plan is insane. You're going ignite something you don't have any control of here."

"I agree it's crazy, but… " Ryans looks at Cardinal with raised brows. "How much other stuff has gone on under the notice of the public and succeeded? Even then how crazy were those plans? Stuff that could have ignited some major problems." The old man looks out over the other faces. His arms unfold and he points to Rebel. "If what he's saying is true…" He turns to look at anyone else he missed in that glance. "If what he's saying is true, the Institute is poised to get that program. Like so much of the shit the Company did in it's life time, it'll end up much worse in the hands of the Institute.

"I have two daughters." — Note he said two— "One confirmed evolved, the other… there is a damn good chance she is. They get the capability to pinpoint each of you?" He points at random people, as he says that. "There will be no where to run. No where." Ryans gives a shake of his head. "I'll risk it, especially for my girls. There was once a time that the Company protected the evolved from the public's notice. It's time to got back to that and protect you all from our own government."

Mid-October showtime. This, for Cat, dispels concerns it might tie to the predicted riots, there's a stretch of time between the mission and November 8th. There could be ties, but less likely, she perceives, with more weight added by her understanding of things. The realization those satellites could be used to round people with mojo up for concentration camps, balanced against the risk of war. In thinking of that, she considers Rebel and the situation at hand with them, to arrive at a question.

"Rebel," she inquires, "what are the odds China's government will publicly admit one of their shuttles was stolen, even if they did learn Americans did it? Would they go on the warpath, or cover it up and quietly steam rather than face the embarrassment it would bring?"

On going silent again, she considers whether or not she's fit enough to take those nasty g-forces.

Linus just shakes his head back and forth, looking at the assembled people. All of them are effectively strangers, even Melissa who he's seen before, and even the ones who know who he is like Rebel and Cat. "This is insane. This is absolutely insane. You want me to go out in space and blow up a satellite?" Then he looks down and away, towards some piece of trash on the floor.

"Nobody has ever thought I was essential before. Hell, nobody has really even asked me anything.. certainly not something this serious." He slowly pushes himself up to his full, rather tall height of 6'4". He has a more determined look on his face, though it would be clear to many it's mostly a facade. Whether that facade is for his own benefit or for the benefit of the others present, it doesn't change the next words that come out of his mouth.

"What the hell. I'll do it."

Niki can't hide the disappointment when Rebel meets her gaze, her brows knit together and her head shaking the faintest bit. But what's worse is the concern. This amalgamation is all she has left of her son, and it isn't speaking sense. Isn't suggesting sense. Her eyes lid heavily, and it's as though he can see the mother's heart breaking in her chest.

When those eyes open again, it's beneath lowered brows and a snarl more at home than a predatory cat than a woman. "You're going to need some muscle," Jessica reasons. "So count me in to make sure you don't fuck this up." Her scowl would wither lesser men. "And Rebel — You do anything to risk our son…" She lets the threat hang. How do you put the hurt on someone that generally doesn't have a body to batter? Don't make Jessica Sanders find a way.

When Linus speaks, Rebel's chin alights and he approaches the young man, lifting up a hand and laying it down on his shoulder. "Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay it's price." Whatever that means to Rebel perhaps is unimportant to what the proverb means to Linus, and as Rebel's hand falls away from the young man's shoulder, Rebel offers him a nod. "I willkeep in touch with you, to inform you of updates to the plan…"

Turning to Cardinal, Rebel offers the shadowmorph a stern look. "Provide an actionable alternative between now and the eleventh, Richard, and I will more than willingly work with it. But as it stands now, it is a choice between igniting fires of the Chinese government, or allowing the Institute access to a weapons system that could track all of our kind with pinpoint accuracy. I refuse to allow the latter to take place. If you are comfortable with allowing the Institute access to this technology, than by all means. But without an illusionist, a teleporter, or anything in between we are forced to work with what is at our disposal." Rebel then offers an askance look to Huruma, then back to Cardinal and tilts his head back slowly, before turning to regard the rest of the young technopath in the room.

"If you agree to be involved, Alia, we will find a way to best utilize your talents. It would take strain off of us if you could be present with the ground team, controling computer systems from their launch control center so as to free me to focus on the shuttle launch entirely and localized blackout. You would be invaluable for controling information within the launch site and serving as eyes and ears for those who will venture beyond."

Cat's question is next addressed as Rebel turns to face her with a slow shake of his head. "We do not know, for certain." Dark eyes fleetingly share a look to Niki, as if drawn to the blonde by compulsion more so than necessity or intent, and soon his stare flicks back to Cat. "China has recently engaged in hostilities with the nation of Japan in its northern waters, you may have heard about the attack on the news. They may keep the incident under wraps, but recall… soldiers from the PLA were assisting the United States Government during the Antarctic theater of Operation: Apollo. China and the United States may be closer allies than we realize."

Niki's words, though, they finally get through to Rebel, and for the barest of moments the look that the technopath affords the blonde is a piteous one, as if guilty of already having done something terrible to her son. Truth be told, he did, Micah did, that where one ends and another begins is indistinguishable is an unstated sin.

"Those of you who have decided if you wish to participate, contact me via any electronic medium invoking my name, I will receive it. Even if you are uncertain as to how you will help, once we know our resources, we will be able to better plan." Finally, Rebel affords another look to Noah, who is slowly shaking his head, brows furrowed.

"I don't like this," the former Company man admits, offering an askance lookt o Ryans, "but we really don't have much option. The damage that would be done to the Network with this is unbelievable…" his eyes turn to Linus briefly, then back to Rebel. "Messiah had better not make this a spectacle."

"This is not Messiah's mission. It is mine." With that simple clarification, Rebel looks across the crowd again, to search for further questions.

The clarification has Melissa's brows lifting, surprise showing in her face. But then she nods slightly, seeming to approve. She looks to Bennet then. She may not have much respect for Scott anymore, but this is a man she does still respect. "I don't know about anyone else, Noah, but I just want to make everyone safer. Not cause a spectacle. I'd love it if we could do it as quietly as possible. But someone's gotta do what needs done. Better someone like me go up than someone who has kids," she says, glancing to Ryans, then back to Rebel.

Alia simply nods. She's taxed her ability with words for the day… and will need to figure out how the hell to run an entire launch's ground side, in a language she doesn't speak… in a short timeframe. It goes unsaid that she'll keep working on both Plan B… and Plan C. Never hurts to have alternate ideas to turn to.

"I'll see what I can do," Cardinal says in quiet and firm tones, meeting Rebel's gaze from behind the other side of his shades, "At the very least I'll try and find some… alternatives to your worse ideas here. I have a few thoughts already… and you can save the rhetoric, Ryans, I know what's on the line as well as you do."

A breath spills from his lips in a sigh, and he turns a bit, "I'll get back to you. Bennet — if you have a free afternoon to talk sometime? There's some things that I'd like to tell you."

"Exactly," Ryans says softly to Noah, approaching the other man, a hand moving to clasp his former associate on the shoulder. "What you all have there is amazing… it needs to be protected. All those people in your care need it." He pats the man's shoulder. "Just keep mine protected, that's all I want." A small smile accompanies that request, before he steps away.

Of course, then he catches what Melissa says and turns to look at her, even though there is no way to tell what is his thinking or feeling, tho' those blue eyes are much older then the body they are a part of. His voice is just as colorless, "My girls are grown women, don't let the body fool you, I've live long enough that I can and will take the risk to go up. I may not be much help once we are up, but if we land the thing, need the guns to get us out alive."

A glance then goes to Rebel and Ryans adds, "I'll keep my phone on, so that you can contact me. Tired of sitting around waiting for something to happen."

Huruma stays silent and still, for what seems a long time; only when Rebel looks to her does she move, and even then it is only her eyes flickering to meet his. She knows this is necessary, and that it does not sit well at all- but leopards cannot change their spots, as men cannot help but to to leap for the heavens. It is also in Huruma's nature to ensure her personal survival. If they did what Rebel fears with the satellite- she would never have it, until dead. And that sits worse than Grand Theft Shuttle does. Long arms knit close to torso, and the dark woman's breath leaves with a slight flare of her nostrils.

"If you've use for me, I will help. Even if it is to round out th'shuttle team." She is surprised the latter made it out of her mouth, yet she is simultaneously glad that she did say it. For herself and otherwise.

Jessica crosses her arms and turns her annoyed look on Cardinal. Brows lifted and asking can we just go yet? She turns that glare back on Rebel. She doesn't have the same trust for the technopathic trinity as Niki does, and it's obvious.

"I may," Rebel notes to Huruma with a lift of his chin, "all help is appreciated, immensely. Your reinforcement of the ground team could mean the difference between life and death." Angling a look back to the others, Linus in particular, Rebel folds his hands behind his back. "We appreciate you all having come out here, whether you help us directly or indirectly, you understand the severity of the threat posed by these satellites. We will not be operating alone, there are still a handful more I must coordinate with… but for now, I appreciate your volunteering."

Dipping his head into a nod, Rebel squares his shoulders and looks up to Niki, then away and down to the floor. "If any of you discover others that you feel would be an asset to this mission, do not hesitate in calling on them to assist us, we will make the necessary arrangements and… fate on our side, we will prove victorious against all odds."

Reaching up to remove his hat from his head, Rebel dips down into a bow, sweeping his hat across his midsection before straightening up again slowly. "I will be in touch with you all," he intones, settling his hat back on his head as he straightens, "thank you." At that, West breaks away from Rebel, seemingly in a hurry to get somewhere as he bounces up and alights into the sky like a leaf caught on the wind, flying away thorugh the hole in the ceiling with a vivacious appreciation for his ability and the freedom of movement it provides.

Then, of course, Rebel turns to Melissa as the crowds are breaking up, moving a hand to her arm and gently urging her away from the crowds, one brow lifted suggestively.

"Walk with me, Melissa. We should talk."

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