With One Stone


candy_icon.gif claire3_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif sanderson_icon.gif

Scene Title With One Stone
Synopsis Eileen is reunited with Team Bravo.
Date November 30, 2009

Madagascar — River System

The last two days have been an unusual change of pace. From the moment they commandeered the riverboat and began making their way through the bay and down the Ankofia river, Team Bravo has had not a single sighting of Rasoul's militia. Despite the humid conditions and the near constant rainfall, it's been decidedly peaceful. With the slow speed the riverboat travels, distance has been fair, but not ahead of Sanderson's projections.

More remarkably, is that the team hasn't managed to kill each other in the span of two days either.

On the morning of the 30th, Sanderson looks considerably worse for wear. Gabriel is the only person on deck who knows for sure why she seems so lethargic, why her movements have been getting stiffer and stiffer, but in a way everyone else has other distractions, and perhaps they just might think that what's wrong with them is what's wrong with her.

It all started yesterday.

Sanderson and Danko prepared a plan together to scout for Dixon and Ruskin and get a lay of the land. Taking the firearms he had robbed from the corpses of the militia men and a few days worth of food, Danko departed from the riverboat and made his way onto dry land with the intention of meeting back up on the boat's path in three days. On that warm Sunday, it was just a mild headache that plagued the travelers. Some of them might be able to pass it off as stress, Huruma suspected otherwise.

Come the first full day with Danko gone, however, the truth started to become more evident. Muscle aches and a persistent headache in at the base of the skull and neck, mild joint stiffness and pain, it's symptomatic of every member of the team except Claire. She, of everyone, seems to be doing perfectly fine, even if a little hungrier than normal. Huruma's felt this before, however, seen the symptoms too many times in her youth to not recognize the onset of Malaria when it happens.

Worst of all, there's only a single strain of Malaria that sets in four days, and it's the most virulent and fatal form. Without finding proper medication in Mandritsara, the members of Team Alpha are starting to live on borrowed time. In a way, ignorance is bliss, but Huruma is aware of what comes next — the vomiting, the migraines, blurred vision and increasing joint pain and shivvers. Fever-like symptoms that will eventually lead to a painful death.

Getting to their destination never was more important.

"Gray." Seated on the deck of the riverboat, Sanderson offers a quiet call out to the dark-haired man, motioning to her bandages. "I think they need to be changed again. This'll be the last of the cloth too, I'm going to need to find some more." Her hair, damp from the drizzling rain, is stuck to her cheeks. Like this, injured and hunched like a wounded cat, Sanderson looks more child and woman, more child than soldier.

Long since out of the mountains, the rolling hills and highlands of Madagascar are the vista that spreads out in the fog and drizzling rain alongside the boat in these early morning hours. Fields of arable land once farmed by villagers, now left abandoned and untended. Farming equipment, metal shanties, huts and buildings all line the riverside from this village. Nothing, however, remains alive here. No signs of people, no signs of struggle, just empty and abandoned buildings, vehicles stripped of parts, houses pillaged of possessions. But it's like everyone just got up and left…

…it's like everyone in Madagascar was swallowed by the mist.

Candy has spent the last few days lounging about the boat, and generally keeping herself out of the way (likely to everybody's rejoicing). Now, however, it is clear that her laying low is more from the sickness literally laying her low. The ache in her head even stopping her from keeping the rain off herself, and she is just as wet as the next person while she lays there. Though, as a small blessing, she doesn't have the energy to complain.

Rifle resting across her shoulders, her hands kind of draped over each end, Claire stands at one side of the boat watching the scenery go by, eyes half lidded, looking for any threats. Strands of blonde hair clings to her cheeks and neck, the rest tied to the back of her head in a looses ponytail. Her clothing hanges heavily on her frame, her camo pants and boots, though she's thankful it is a black tanktop she's wearing and not white.

Her head drops back to rest on the weapon across her back and Claire sighs heavily. She doesn't bother to look as Gabriel when he is called, she just quietly watches the fog and greenery pass by.

Thud, thud. Gabriel's knees come down heavy the deck when he goes to kneel down next to Sanderson, his movements awkward in an attempt not to twinge already tired muscles aching up his back, his neck, a headache now pressing sharp into his temples. He hasn't taken a beating in a while, but he feels like maybe he has, for all the lack of bruising is displayed one his body part from minor shades of yellow, green, blue representative of the journey up until this point.

"How are you feeling?" Make no mistake, Gabriel isn't asking because he cares. Sanderson is necessary, and suspicions need to be confirmed. His hands go to the bandage in slower movements than before, gentle by virtue of not having the energy to be brisk.

In the immediate vicinity, the humidity in the air rather abruptly clears - at least, in a span of three feet all around him and Sanderson. There's no doing for the rain, but the insidious crawling of the hazy mist at least leaves he and the small Marine alone for the the time being. "What's your blood type?" he adds.

Being the only one on the boat to know everyone is dying is a very high price to pay for peace and quiet- and sanity. Huruma has not told a soul on the ferry of what she knows these first symptoms to be- of what she knows is coming next. If any of them were in her shoes, perhaps they would think the same way. Preserve the fact that nobody on the boat has yet killed someone else. Claire, over the past day or so, has been getting most of Huruma's idle attentions, though it is not entirely a noticeable event. Enough that Huruma knows she will be around to get at Claire if things go south.

Huruma has put herself overtop the tarp that is in turn lain over some manner of boating supplies- she does not care- she only cares that it makes a very nice place to lounge her whole frame and watch the sky float past. The woman finds herself not-too-oddly thinking about whether or not Emile has realized what is going on; he is also the oldest of Team Bravo, despite his ego, and she can't help but silently ponder over whether it may kill him before he has time to realize. From thinking about this, Huruma's brain wanders over her aches and numb pains to take mental notes, and from there it goes to consider the irony of her calling home to say she'd be back the other night. Maybe she won't be back. Thanks, karma. A lot. Really.

After a while of lying there like some great beast on the mound od tarp, Sanderson and Gabriel's voices reach her. She listens. And then decides to stop listening; in favor of wetting her pliant lips and opening her throat to murmur something. The noise starts out very demure; soon enough, it becomes a rather haunting song sung into the mist, softly and skillfully done- in a language that only Huruma recognizes the significance of.

Offering a mild smile when the air seems to thin some, Sanderson reaches up and wipes a damp lock of hair from her brow. Gabriel knows it isn't so much the rain beading on her forehead, but sweat. It also explains the flushed condition her cheeks have, the redness around her neck, and the other minutiae of diagnostic tells that his keen perceptions start picking up instinctually. Maybe, in some way, Kazimir Volken was right — Gabriel would make a remarkable physician.

"O Negative…" Sanderson says quietly, looking down to the copper-stained bandages going down one of her arms. Then, realizing how odd the question is, given the lack of medical supplies she focuses her blue-eyed stare on Gabriel again. "Why— Why do you care about my blood type?" She's not quick enough, not in the healthy enough frame of mind to consider what she's seen Gabriel do to people.

Off the edges of the boat, the abandoned village continues to languidly roll past. The twisting top of a baobab tree rising up on the shoreline of the river breaks up the scenery, a few small birds perched in its broccoli-top branches. With the fog and mist as thick as it is, it makes seeing much beyond the river difficult. Though it's obvious this river is running parallel to a dirt road now that runs through the abandoned area.

It's hard to imagine where everyone could have disappeared to.

Candy raises her hands to her head while she lays there, and she finally can't take the fact that she is all wet. With a muffled yelp, the water that was on her recedes back into the river with a loud splash as she turns around on the deck. Her hands are over her head and she mumbles almost incoherently into the deck, "Someone turn off the goddamned sun."

Claire's hand moves to grip the rifle and it is slide off her shoulders to rest in her arms as she turns away from the view. An amused look goes to Huruma and her singing, but her glances at Gabriel and Sanderson finally, her voice a touch rough, "It's so eerie. All those abandoned villages." She moves to drop heavily on a box and sighs softly. "It's like an episode of Ghost Hunters or Destination Truth waiting to happen.. Keep expecting to see Josh Gates step out of the mist."

The rifle butt touches the deck and Claire leans forward, hands gripping the barrel of the rifle, her cheek resting on the knuckles of one hand. "A part of me feels like whining.. 'Are we there yet?'" Her eyes watch what Gabriel does, then she studies the woman he attends too. "You look like crap, Sanderson." She offers after a moment.

"Because in that case, I'll be able to do something for you." Laying the dirtied bandages down, Gabriel doesn't immediately redress the wound. His hand gently clasps Sanderson's arm as he concentrates, and she'll be subject to the strange pressure that comes with blood being drawn from the wound. Not a lot, just a little, and he collects it into his palm, fingers smoothing it between them, as if feeling for something in the thin, tacky liquid.

In the next moment, the blood seems to simply evaporate into the air, and he reaches out a hand to grip her chin, turning her face up towards him as he studies her. "You might need it."

The fresh cloth is taken, and he begins binding it around her arm, weariness around his eyes before he finally lifts his head and looks around, only a slight hitch in his work to do so. He licks his lips, then tilts a look up to Claire.

Brown gaze settles back on his word. "She's septic, or getting there, which means she's dying. Or getting there. Nothing you'll need to worry about. Huruma— " His voice raises just enough to carry to the sprawling woman. "Do you feel anything?" A tilt of his head towards port and the abandoned stretch of road, as much as he sends out his telepathic radar ping as he asks.

The only thing animated on Huruma is the tick-tock of one boot every so often, vaguely along with her song. Gabriel inquires to her, and she winds down her words to concentrate on the surroundings. For a bit she does not answer, arms moving up behind her head as if she chose not to hear him. But she did. And for a bit, she considers whether or not he meant physically or- well- nearby. So she settles for the more likely one. Such being that he probably does not care about how sick she is.

"…Hakuna Matata."

Alternatively- No.

Wincing just a little both at Claire's assessment of her medical condition, more so at Gabriel's confirmation of her sickness, and then finally at the blood drawn willfully out from the two sounds on her arm and shoulder, Sanderson looks just a little shy of rueful. "Your file never said anything about medical training…" Sanderson doggedly admits with a side-long look to Gabriel. "Good to know my intel is full of holes."

There's a fraction of a wince on her face again as she moves her arm, eyes alight towards Huruma's position, then over to Claire. "I feel like hell…" She admits, swallowing dryly with a cottony mouth. "Looks… like you're feeling fine, though. Right as rain out here." The Lieutenant looks back to Gabriel, her head quirked to the side.

"What're you thinking? I mean…" She looks down to her arm, and Sanderson's expression pales at the redness, puffyness and faint smell of infection lingering in it. "Treatment-wise? What've you got in your bag of tricks?" It only dawns on her now, she called him Gabriel earlier, not Gray. It seems to stick in her mind, that fact.

Something joins the sounds of the journey though, something on the periphery of sound, a distant thrumming noise. It draws ever so closer, slowly, and soon it's unmistakable as the sound of a vehicle's engine. It's moving fast, but still a fair distance away, outside of Huruma and Gabriel's senses. But it's drawing closer.

"Fucking lovely," mumbles Candy as her ears catch the sound of the truck, and she drags her rear up and starts to move along the boat to the side with everyone on it. Safety in numbers after all, and maybe they'll be less inclined to shoot a poor innocent little asian girl. Maybe. Her eyes look over the railing of the boat as she leans heavily on it. "I hope this isn't a bunch of fuckers to kill," she murmers, doubting that she has the strength to properly excercise her powers.
You paged Sanderson with 'I'll wait until they've been hassled for a bit before posing in, too, if that works.'

"Wonderful.." Claire murmurs, with absolutely no enthusiasm as the word is drawn out, giving Sanderson a once over. Her blue eyes move to study her once stalker, her head tilting to the side just a touch. "How about you?" She asks him straight up, her eyes shift to the marine "Something is off with me, so I'm not totally off the hook." Her temple rests on her hands. "Even if I won't go down like you all." Her eyes flick to Sanderson now, "How far out are we from where we need to be?" She doesn't ask the obvious question of if there is time for them to get there before they are all down and out. She is not exactly thrilled at the thought of having to play nurse maid to sick psychos.

Then she hears the sound of the truck and doesn't wait for anyone to answer her. Claire moves quickly to grab her body armor and starts awkwardly pull it on, while moving to stand alongside Candy. "We can hope." She offers.. "But.." She lifts the rifle to hold it at ready, "But considering our luck… I'm not holding my breath."

"You're less on it than the rest of us. I feel like crap," is Gabriel's brisk answer to Claire, tying off the bandage and withdrawing his hands as he eyes Sanderson, bringing a hand up to rub against his nose before he decides to respond. "I'm O Negative too. I can give you a blood transfusion before your infection and whatever else is kicking your ass puts you on it. And no, I haven't had medical training - I just fix things better than I plan them."

Knees protesting with the movement, he gets to his feet now that he's done what he can, right now, for the Marine. Free of the chafing confines of his vest and military gear, for the most part, a black wife beater clings to his torso, and the arcs of a circular tattoo carve a print into his forearm laid bare as he inspects his limbs almost curiously.

The sound of the truck driving has his head turning, suddenly as tense as a weary predator. Invisibility shimmers over him, for just a moment, before he suggests, rather casually, "We should probably get down, don't you think."

One hand under her skull has now moved over Huruma's forehead, wrist between her eyes and fingers lax. She mutters something along the lines of 'go away', but for the most part it is a growl of words. "Already down." And being the most far-reaching, perhaps it is good that she is already lying down. Huruma does crane her neck upward to both listen physically and stretch out her figurative whiskers to test the air around the boat and out towards the road. "Not'ing yet."

Already having taken a knee, Sanderson perks up at the sound of rapidly approaching engines. The pop pop pop of gunfire comes almost immediately thereafter. But the muzzle flashes in the fog aren't aimed in the direction of the boat, that gunfire is reserved for something in the village. Scrambling across the deck as best as she can, Sanderson ducks down low behind a tarp-covered stack of boat supplies, reaching for her sidearm and flipping the safety off. "Allard!" She hisses when she spots the hydrokinetic by the edge of the boat, "Allard get down!"

Roaring into sight, a brown pickup truck with a weapons mount in the back comes thundering down the dirt road. Two gunmen in the back are firing into the fog with AK-47s, while the militia soldier manning the turret fires in another direction entirely. It's obvious they can't see their target and are just laying down suppressive fire. But when the driver swerves out onto the road parallel to the boat, he lets out a warning shout and points towards the vessel as it becomes visible in the fog.

The soldier manning the mounted gun whips around, and the rolling thunder of belt-fed automatic weapons rattles the side of the vessel. The gunfire comes as fast as Candy and Claire can react. When the gun tears through Claire, it's hardly as much of a concern, the explosive sprays of red from the front of her vest, rounds exploding through one of her legs, sending her collapsing down into a blood heap, even as her body spits the rounds out of the bullet holes.

Candy, however, fares less well. While Claire is able to take the brunt of the gunfire in the sweep of the side of the boat, Candy is struck twice in the chest and once in the shoulder. This caliber of gun isn't like anything she's been hit with before, these rounds pack enough punch to penetrate her body armor. While the first two shots strike at enough of an angle not to hit her flat on, they still tear through the armor enough to pierce skin and knock her off of her feet as if she'd been hit by a truck.

The next thing that comes is blinding, white-hot pain as a bullet rips across the flesh of her shoulder and sends an explosive trail of blood spitting out in a rooster tail of gore. Spinning through the air, Candy lands in a bleeding heap near immobilized by the pain as blood is quick to pool into a larger and larger mess beneath her. She can't move — or feel — her arm at all, just the blinding pain that makes her feel as though she were on fire. The round may have not hit bone, but it severely wounded the young woman. Leaning towards the danger— it was a terrible idea.

Candy doesn't even have time to yell out as the bullets rip through her, and she falls to the decking of the boat. Her eyes wide open as she looks into the grey sky, for now, time seems to be almost stopped for the young lady while she watches a bird swoop through the mist to get a bug. Her head turning slightly to the side as she watches blood pool out from her arm, that's pretty well just managing to stay attached due to the bone, her arterial blood pumping out in quick sprays. Though, each one seems to last an eternity for the young hydrokinetic, as peace starts to settle into her at the knowledge of her end.

So, she won't get to tip the world into anarchy, she won't get to fully realize her dreams. But with that knowledge, also comes the knowledge that she won't hurt any of those that she's come to call friends. As if a floodgate is finally removed from her mind, emotions start to well to the forefront of the young sociopath's mind. The wall that she had built around them during her stay in Moab is finally crumbling, slowly. Her eyes focus on to the truck that is out there, still unable to move, or to use her power. Instead she watches it, tears starting to mist her eyes as she realizes that she has just reconnected with a part of her that she thought lost, only to die. Tears as she realizes that those she loved since Moab will never hear her say those words with any true meaning. She weeps for who she was meant to be, and who she'll never be.

But mostly, she just screams.

There is a cough from Claire as she comes around again, rolling onto her stomach. "God… those things suck." Her voice sounds strained, but all in all she's healing well, the bullets clattering to the deck with one rolling leaving a little trail of blood. Another cough and another blood covered bullet hits the ground with a sharp tink. "Feels like getting punched in the gut by a kicking horse."

Claire's head shifts around to look at Candy, cringing at the screaming. Unable to leave her there, she low crawling across the deck, head held low. Claire leaves a rather unflattering trail of smeared blood, much like a slug leaves slime behind in it's wake. Ignoring the noise coming form the Asian, the ex-cheerleader wraps an arm around her and starts dragging Candy behind some cover, making her to keep her own body between the injured and the bad guys.

Gabriel cares a lot about self-preservation. His invisibility, this brand of it, is sporadic enough that he doesn't hesitate to hit the deck as gunfire spits through the air overhead. For a moment, he just rests his forehead against the deck and breathes. There's the scent of water, and a lot of it, and wood, and the sickly scent that lingers on his hands from treating Sanderson's arm, and now blood, all salt and iron. He turns to look when Candy goes down, the bright red pooling out on the wooden ground and expanding all the further.

The most the woman gets is the excruciating pressure of her blood being force back into her, through arteries, veins, almost enough to break her apart on the inside if his ability actually allowed such a thing. Fortunately for Candy, it doesn't.

If there was anything Kazimir's power taught him, it's that saving lives is almost as easy as taking them. Gabriel doesn't linger over her, guardian angel style - just lends her those extra moments so that his concentration can break enough for him to get out his gun and crawl for shelter to wait out the gun blasts and gather his own strength to go investigate. Claire is dragging her away any, trailing precious crimson.

Around the boat, the mist suddenly thickens, obscuring the deck and the people on it close to pea soup in density.

Even lazing about, Huruma finds herself able to avoid the primary danger; when the guns start firing, it almost feels like a bug buzzing in her ears. It has been a long time since she has not been at least a little jaded about the whole 'warzone' concept. In suit following Sanderson landing behind the pile, Huruma gives a heave before she literally rolls over the side, landing on her knees beside the marine. Hello there.

"This is becoming more bothersome than th'malaria-" Oops. Huruma pauses, eyes moving from their place peering over the boat- down to Sanderson, the woman's thick lips drawing inward. And that, madam, is almost as bothersome as ditziness brought on by such oncoming sickness. "-I shouldn'ave told you that." Huruma narrows her brows together and looks back over the top of the tarp.

Blue eyes go wide at Huruma's proclimation, and Sanderson's focus is on the dark-skinned woman only until bullets crack against the supply crates and shred the tarp covering them in small strips. Gritting her teeth, she looks out at Claire dragging Candace out of the line of fire, curses herself for being stuck here and unable to do anything. Wrenching her eyes shut, she unholsters her firearm and looks out towards the others. There's a focused expression on her face, a vein pulsing on her temple, and a tingling sensation that rolls in waves down everyone's arms. Strange sensations of phantom movement, fingers flexing when there are none. It puts a taxing toll on Sanderson where she slouches down against the supplies, her breathing shallow and wheezing.

But what that strange sensation imparts isn't just a weird tingling, it's a certain level of expertise. Years of military training, years of real-world combat experience and live-fire scenarios, the rigorous sharpshooting training she went through when joining the Marines. All of Sanderson's skills that having one crippled arm has taken from her here.

Given to her entire team, at least for a while.

«Open fire! Open fire!» Comes wheezes over the comms as Sanderson drops to her hands and knees on the floor, having given all of her military firearms expertise to the team on the boat atop their own personal talents. The blessing of actual training couldn't have come sooner, as another truck comes roaring onto the road. This forest green vehicle has only two men inside, one driving and the other standing up in the back with an AK-47, but there's sounds of at least two more trucks out there.

Gunfire peppers the side of the boat, a bullet grazed across Claire's scalp ripping out a chunk of hair and skin that quickly begins to reform even as it slaps down wet on the deck. Gabriel's haze he's shrouded the boat in is the only thing keeping it from being torn apart by the trucks. But now, with everyone on decks and under fire — who is piloting the boat?

Judging from the empty helm in the cabin, no one. Up ahead, Gabriel can see a bend in the river approaching. Someone is going to need to rectify that problem, while dodging bullets.

Candy's screaming comes to a halt, mostly after Gabriel finishes his smooshing of her blood back into her. Her hands clutch at the decking as the pain goes through her. She bites her lip, willing herself to remain silent. Finally, the worst of it passes, or nerves simpley become deadened to the pain that rushes through her. "Bastards," she spits out, before looking at Claire and saying, "Thanks, now, rip my shirt into a bandage, wrap it around. Its gonna have to do long enough for me to make sure we get the hell out of here." Her eyes go to her basically useless appendage, and she mutters, "Bella is gonna kill me…"

Finally getting Candy to saftey, Claire leans against some of the boxes panting, a hand lifting to touch the sticky blood left from getting her scalp skimmed by the bullet and lower the hand to look at it. Candy's demand get an odd look, from the regenerator, before she glances up at the others. "Sanderson… wrap her up."She practically commands since the marine can't do much.. "Or Gabriel.. someone.."

That said, the blood soaked young woman, clambers to her feet and makes for the helm. Her vest a shredded mess, but she doesn't bother taking it off, just keeps moving. Since well… someone has to drive the metal death trap.

Gabriel is busy. Gabriel is remembering every single thing Ethan taught him about guns, mysteriously, although he can tell, full well, the effect of experience has very little to do with his limited collection of arms training. There's no real time to question it, however, as he climbs to his knees and angles his gun over tarp-covered crates.

Conservative with his ammo, he fires sparely, but accurately, aiming for the AK-47 wielding gunmen as he squints through the fog he's created. He vanishes, a moment later, and the people on the boat are close enough to hear the sound of his foot steps moving across the deck. He shimmers into reality from another angle, and opens fire again with steely severity set in his jaw. This isn't his preferred method of killing, but the gun does a lot of the work for him.

The only assurance that Huruma sees keen on offering Sanderson is a half-smile, lips curling at the edges. Yeah, okay, not the best way to find out. Reaching across the tarp to where she had laid her rifle, Huruma yanks it back to prop it against her shoulder and aim over the topmost edges of the parts of boat they are using as shielding from oncoming fire. Her shots this time around would be more off-mark were it not for Sanderson's ability tingling on through to her.

"Our stores will not last us long, if we keep up these fights." Huruma's head has tilted to the side, peering down at Sanderson as Claire drops off Candy there with them.

The miasma of moisture-rich vapour that surrounds the boat not only shrouds Team Bravo from the shore, but the shore from the boat as well. Through the fog, it's impossible for anyone to make out anything except for vague outlines and the glare of diffused headlights glowing wan, so it's probably a surprise to everyone when the first truck on the bank lurches suddenly forward and plunges headfirst into the river with enough force to send waves rippling through the water and broken glass glancing off the side of the boat and across the deck. As it sinks and the men inside abandon the vehicle like rats off a capsized barge, its back end comes into view, revealing a twisted heap of warped metal where the rear bumper used to be, but this too soon vanishes as the squelching mud at the river's bottom pulls it into its embrace beneath the water's frothing surface.

For the four men inside, it's a short swim back to the shore even weighed down by their boots and sodden clothes — or at least it would be if they were able to make it that far. As they splash into the shallows, clutching fistfuls of tall grass that grows where the fish like to escape the heat of the midday sun, the Malagasy herons nesting there set upon them like great prehistoric birds with hooked feet and katars for beaks. They stab instead of slash, perforating chest and abdominal cavities as well as the panicked hands that thrust upward to meet them and feebly shield faces gone gaunt and pale.

The river is running red with blood, and none of it belongs to anyone on the boat.

Sanderson is in shock at the sight, both of the truck coming crashing through the fog and the herons suddenly turning flesh eating on the soldiers. The men in the second truck should be screaming, but when they come closer in the fog, it's clear that the man in the back is dead, slouched over the side, and the man in the driver's seat is dead at the wheel — all victims of the sharpshooting coming off the boat. It's only when the truck plows through the side of a building and crashes to a stop, that those pursuing the slow-moving ferry boat have been wiped out.

The herons, though, the herons attack is a gruesome and painful thing. Blue eyes are wide as Sanderson watches the majestic animals ripping and tearing at the militia soldiers, feathers spattered with equal parts blood and water. She lurches back, watching one of the birds yanking a long wriggling length of intestine from the water before taking off to the sky. "Oh my God…" She whispers with a hand covering her mouth, wide eyes. "Why did the birds…"

She's in too much shock to realize the obvious.

Gabriel, however, is not.

Candy looks between Claire and Sanderson, and just mentally facepalms. She's not bleeding out, nope. "Well, its like Mom used to say, want something done, do it yourself," she mutters, as she starts to wriggle her way out of her shirt. Wincing at the pain while she does it, before she finally starts to wrap it tightly around the wound on her arm. Sighing, she leans back into the decking and says, "Fucking day just went to hell. First the damn sun shines too bright and kills my head… then I get shot. Seriously… I dare it to get worse than this. I triple dog fucking dare it." She even manages to get her good arm up to flip off the sky, before she just lays there, quiet again.

At the helm, Claire is surprised when the bullets don't start ripping through her again, then she hears the noise as all hell breaks loose on shore. The ex-cheerleader stares in shock at the cranes go wilds on bad guys. She has to pull her attention away form that to concentrate on not grounding the boat.

Gabriel reels back at the spray of glass that comes with the crashing of vehicle into river, though his hand remains steely around his gun as much as there is abruptly no need to fire it. There's silence, for now, save for the boat's motor, the sloshing of water, and the tearing of flesh. Making for the railing, Gabriel ignores his own advice by leaning against it to stare down at the carnage, before snapping his head back up, almost hawk-like.

"She's here." A look is cast back towards the battered crew of Team Bravo. "Ruskin. She's alive."

Half-prepared to leap over the side and go tromping after her now, he does recall exactly how much of a range she has on those things, so at least sends out a telepathic signal even as he starts to hook his boot against a rung in the railing in preparation. The boat's still driving, incidentally.

Huruma is smart enough to stop shooting when the men in the drowning vehicle are caught in the reeds; at first, it appears as if they simply disturbed the nests- but after the next crucial seconds where beaks pierce through skin and tear at clothing, she knows that there is something amiss. Her eyes dart after Gabriel as he moves to look over the rail, one hand lowering her rifle.

She lifts to her feet, striking out from behind the tarp and over the deck of the ferry. As Huruma reaches the other side, coming to a stop to Gabriel's left side, she puts out her own brand of feelers to help him, without so much as a word edgewise.

What caused the truck to plunge into the water likely has something to do with its crumpled back end, no longer visible now that the river's bottom has claimed it, but confirmation comes in the form of another set of headlights shining like twin moons suspended in a sea of silver. They're accompanied by the rickety sound of an engine struggling fruitlessly to turn over. Wisps of fog snake sinuous around the bent remains of what was once a side mirror, and for an instant sunlight strikes a chalk white license plate, illuminating a broken windshield with cracks that spiderweb from one side to the other.

It's another vehicle.

Ruskin. Gabriel's call makes perfect sense to Sanderson. The Lieutenant whips out her SatCom, thinking to check it for her position, but then realizes how fruitless the endeavor would be since Eileen's communication GPS is in Gabriel's pocket. Closing her eyes and wincing, she considers the safety of the team, but the guilt in her makes her call out despite best thoughts.

«Bennet!» Her voice crackles over the comms, «Stop the boat, I repeat, stop the boat!» If Eileen is out there, if she's alive then she's going to need help. Sanderson isn't going to lose any more members of this team, she isn't going to try and live with one more abandoned soldier, one more person left behind.

Candy watches them all, "Well, I'm not wounded, by the way. Don't worry about me, its just a flesh wound. I'm the Black Knight, I could lose all my appendages and still want to bite you. Matter of fact I do want to bite you," Candy says from where she is at, feeling like her horrible injury is being ignored, because you know, it hurts, and everyone is worried about the one that is evidently perfectly fine since she can command the birds. In other news, the deck around Candy is rapidly pooling with blood, as Candy's skin takes on pastey white lost-too-much-blood hue, and she passes out.

When the call comes over the com, Claire is already working to get the boat to stop. «Already on it.» Comes the terse reply, as she eases the engines into reverse to slow the forward momentum, blue eyes go to the shore now and then as if waiting for something. «Move quick, Gabriel. We're a really freakin' huge target sitting like this.» She shifts to watch the action, once the boat seems to be stopped.

«Don't tell me what to do. If you need to go, go. I'd catch up.» Gabriel glances to Huruma, as if in silent question about whether she's following or staying put, before he's levering himself over the edge of the ferry. Ignoring his aching muscles, he makes a leap, graceless in that his feet sink into mud and gore, slicking up his fatigues and sucking his boots down into their vacuum. With a stagger, he pulls himself onto solid ground. «I can sense her. Driving. She's doing about as well as we all are.»

Which is to say, physically, not fantastic. No more details than that are spared, possibly because he doesn't know them, and he moves towards the sound of the vehicle, gun in hand, and fog around him almost impatiently parts and cuts down his path and beyond, like the flinging open of curtains, or Moses and his red sea.

Huruma does not follow Gabriel, instead staying put and lifting her rifle back to her shoulder once again; she keeps her eyes trained ahead and senses peeled for the next hint of something happening. Time to wait.

Ramming the truck into the river from behind the wheel of her own vehicle was perhaps not a very wise idea, but Eileen's ideas rarely are even when they're effective. Especially when they're effective. Ask Allen Rickham. Fresh blood carves a red path down the side of her face from an open wound just above her left eye, which is squinted shut in what is probably an attempt to alleviate some of the pain. Her right hand and wrist is contained by a splint held in place by strips of dirty white gauze soaked through with sweat which, like her clothes, could stand to either be changed or rinsed off in the water.

Bullet holes make swiss cheese out of the truck's aluminum siding and explain what the soldiers were shooting at before they turned their guns on the boat, though its driver appears to have escaped unscathed in that respect. Bleary eyes lift from the ignition to Gabriel's shape emerging from the fog, and a moment later Eileen's unbandaged hand is dropping away from the key.

"Oh," she says. Oh.

Noticing Candy blacking out on the boat, Sanderson exhales a sharp breath and crawls over to her. "Allard." Blue eyes scan up and down her lifeless form, two shaky fingers go to her pulse, then her hand comes up to slap her lightly on the cheek. "Allard. Fuck." Wiping sweat from her brow, Lieutenant Sanderson leans down and rests her hands on Candy's torn out shoulder injury, putting pressure on the bleeding wound.

«Allard's in really bad shape!» Blood pools up between Sanderson's fingers as she keeps pressure on the wound, her eyes clenched shut, the sound of her heart pounding in her ears. Of all the combat scenarios she's been in, of all the real-world warzones she has had to soldier through, this is by far the worst.

«Gray, come in. We're not leaving anyone behind, not you, not Ruskin. Do you see her, is she there? Those lights— » Sanderson's words cut out as she crawls to her knees and looks towards the glow of headlights. «What's your status?»

Claire can't help but roll her eyes at Gabriel's words, ah yes… Team work at it's finest. "Well.. excuuuse me. Why do I bother?" She murmurs to herself, not even opening the com for him to hear it. She watched him, a slow sigh escaping her. One hand on the wheel, the other on the engine controls, Claire works hard to keep the boat from going too far and not grounding it, while Sylar plays the guy in shining armor.

Well, his clothes are shining, in that mud and blood are reflect a little bit of what light is managing to filter on into the haze crawling over highlands, dirt road, abandoned village. A knight, however, is known for saving people. And it would seem Eileen has saved herself.

Heroes are probably better at dramatic running over, too, but Gabriel doesn't. Just maintains that steady trudge over, gaze roaming over both woman and vehicle as he holsters his gun. «She's alive. She— stole a vehicle. Bringing her in now», is more clearly heard over telecommunication devices than it is through fog, but Eileen will be able to catch the edge of graveled words as he moves closer.

In his hand, a small, shiny electrical device. Her own comms device and tracker is pinched between fingers, offered up to show. "This belongs to you." Gabriel doesn't throw it, coming to a halt, and eyeing the wreck of the vehicle before looking at her. "Our ride's better." Supreme fatigue masks the buzzing of tension, although of Huruma swept her own feelers over Gabriel, she'd sense the roiling emotions of anger and relief and frustration, confused, twisted, and locked together in icy stoicism.

Eileen reaches up and wipes the blood, growing thick and tacky, from the cut above her eye by using her sleeve to absorb some of the fluid. She's fumbling with the door handle next, and when that doesn't work, slamming her boot into it until it pops open and she's able to extract herself from the truck's battered interior. Whether or not she's the type of person to wear a seatbelt is irrelevant — there isn't one.

"I salvaged some supplies from the plane," she offers in exchange for the comms device, prying it from his hand with trembling fingers and no thank you except for the tacit appreciation in her eyes when she meets his gaze. Some things never change. "Medicine," she continues. "Antibiotics. I couldn't find the doxycycline in the wreckage. I'm sorry."

Because the loss of their malaria medication is apparently all she has to apologize for.

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