#xpressurself Part 2


brynn_icon.gif cesar_icon.gif chess_icon.gif elliot_icon.gif geneva_icon.gif hailey_icon.gif kenner_icon.gif lance_icon.gif lily_icon.gif luther_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif paul_icon.gif poppy_icon.gif rhys_icon.gif robyn_icon.gif roxie_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Scene Title #xpressurself, Part 2
Synopsis The festival concludes.
Date October 23, 2020

Cheesequake Park
The Stage

There’s chaos at the stage. A body of a young boy who had once flown, but had always learned how to be very quiet, was now forever quiet, Jeremiah was mangled and broken on the ground, arms twisted, body battered. Not far, his parents lay, less broken, but injured, Bruce seemingly unconscious, Daisy beginning to stir from her daze enough to shift, to look.

And to scream.

The scream can barely be heard over the ringing in most everyone’s ears from the wracked explosions, but maybe it doesn’t need to be heard to felt— it’s seen in her face, even in the green haze that everyone suddenly feels they are looking through. It’s eerie, and the mist begins to blend into the surroundings, becoming a visual anomaly more than a physical thing.

Maybe it was just a side effect of the explosions, the head trauma. That’s perhaps what Agent Donald Kenner was thinking, under the wall of pain that held him down and kept him from getting back up anytime soon, even if he was definitely still breathing. Perhaps regretting it as he looked up at where the points of lights that were stars should have been.

Rhys, pushing away from bodies around him, drenched in red and horror, stumbling out of his daze a little faster, eyes darting around in search of their target, of Eve, who has fled the stage. He can feel it as much as see it, in the haze of smoke and debris and green mist, and he makes his way after her, toward the beach.

There’s a lull, a moment, when the screams and the cries and the sobs fill the air, echoing and reverberating over the grounds through the ringing of the explosions.

Flashes of horror and death, of blood and broken people.

An explosion lights up the sky again in the direction of the first explosion, the sound of ripping metal and fire and more renewed screams.

Moments later another round of explosions, these more spread out. Small bombs that had been placed among the stage, disguised among backpacks, among coolers and tumblers of drinks. With a raucous popping they begin to go off, sending small pieces of shrapnel and into the air, ripping through folks running around, knocking Daisy backwards to stare at the sky in silence, covering much of the air in dust and darkness.

That moment of almost peace has passed.

And one of those small bombs happened to be very close to where Chess ended up in her search for her friends.

Ears ringing from the last round of explosion, Chess squints through smoke and dust, turning in a slow circle to look for her friends. When the smaller bombs detonate, a half-dozen spots on her body glow with that gold hue for a second — though the color seems faded like embers dying in a fire — and then blink out. The force throws her backward; her knit cap and dark wig falls into the dirt behind her, blond hair tumbling down.

She reaches up to clasp her neck as she takes a ragged gasp for breath. Vivid red blood spurts through her fingers around the jagged scrap of metal wedged into her flesh at the crook where neck meets shoulder. Too much blood spills out quickly, the bright arterial blood darkening as it hits the air and mixes with the dirt beneath her.

Visibly pale already, Chess stares up with tears in her eyes, reaching a hand to catch someone’s —anyone’s — in a last-ditch effort to not be alone in this moment that she knows is her last. “Tell them I’m sorry,” she whispers, either a constant refrain for all her missteps in life, or for not being strong enough in this moment. Or both.

Her eyes stay open, fear and pain and regret in them one moment, and then nothing.

Pulled up to her knees, there is horror on Robyn's face as she watches new plumes of smoke and fire erupt into the crowd, encroaching on where she sits. Wobbling back and forth in place for a second, she looks up just in time to see Eve's form explode into red mist, streaking across the sky like blood red smoke mingling with the black tinged air. "Eve!" Dragging her leg out from underneath the woman's body across her, the SESA agent cries out as pain shoots through her. Her jeans are torn, a long gash running down the same leg she had been shot in months previously. Blood pools at the ground, even as another explosion throws fire and shrapnel in her direction.

In that moment, she doesn't seem focused on the carnage around her. Not directly, instead letting her eyes trail the undulating mass of smoke that is Eve Mas, fire in her eyes that somehow isn't a reflection of the immediate area around her. With a pained grunt, she pulls herself up to her feat. Teeth grit, blood tinged as she absent mindedly wipes her bloodied hand across her lips. "Evelyn Kendra Mas!" she yells again, hand unzipping her hoodie and reaching in to make sure her gun is still there.

It wouldn't be the first time she's moved like this with her leg injured like this. It wouldn't be the last, most likely. But the pain is pushed back to the back of her mind as she stumbles to her feet and attempts to give chase, hoping to dodge any more immediate explosions that might knock her off her feet for good, shadows and darkness licking at her heels as she moves.

After watching all those kids get yanked away by some flying weirdo, Roxie was just starting towards the Sharing circle when new fireballs erupt from that direction. “Holy shit… The fuck, dude!” she half shouts. Though she knows the Humanis guy isn’t anywhere near by. Goober yelps and huddles against her legs, even trying to get her to pick him up. It practically trips her when she tries to race that way. The more the world exploded, the more desperate she was to find them. So focused on that Roxie isn’t expecting more bombs around the stage to go off.

Roxie doesn’t remember falling, but she can feel the gravel bite into her hands and knees from when she was blown off her feet and left dazed. Rolling on her back, she feels faint, but she can hear the dog yelping with fear. Maybe he’ll get somewhere safe, she hopes, as she starts to let darkness claim her.

However, Goober - who had been running - stops and looks back. There is a soft whine, before he hurries back to her with his belly close to the ground. He wants her to wake up and get safe, so he starts licking at her face. “Stop,” Roxie groans out, pushing at his face, which only makes his body wiggle with happiness and assault her with more doggy kisses.

Up! Get up! Go!

He wanted her to run away, but Roxie has other ideas. “I’m gonna fuckin’ kill him,” she growls out between gritted teach, before rolling over and pushing up to her feet. There is a painful pull at her side, which makes her stumble with a hiss of pain. Reaching under her coat, she feels the sticky heat of blood. When she looks at the blood covered fingers, anger rips through her. She was done with this shit. Just… done….

Zachary!” Roxie roars loudly, turning as she does. It’s hard to know if her angry words make it over the sounds of the dying. She doesn’t care who hears, this was years of frustration spilling out of her mouth, even as tears do the same. “You fucking cunt. I get my fucking hands on you, I’m gonna fucking kill you myself, you fucking coward! All of you! Y’all too fucking scared to face us!//” A wrong step about sends Roxie to the ground again, her hand presses at the tear in her side with a groan, while the other braces against her good leg.

Warren has been out of it for a bit, but he finally starts walking around, taking things in. He looks over at where his arm should be, it's a pretty sturdy arm, but it seems to be missing. He didn't exactly wear a combat ready arm, recently he's tried to take to being a casual normal person.

He will probably not do that again.

But he follows things, he sees 'signs', butterflies, the algorithmic changes in what's happening around him.

It leads him to Robyn, who offers his remaining hand. "I'm supposed to be here with you, so let's go find my girlfriend." he says a bit cryptically.

Celeste was gone.

Poppy's sobs join a chorus of others, moans of pain and grief mixing in the air. Softly Poppy hums a song, a tune from the time when they were younger. "Just… sleep… don't wake… your dreams… await you," Voice breaking on the last note and tears roll down her cheeks. "Your… sister… awaits you…" The lyric change felt right but it was as if the young woman's heart had been ripped out again and she didn't know if she would ever obtain it again.

Wiping her eyes, she tries to see through the mess of the area and brown eyes widen as they land on a familiar body and face.

"Chess! …Chess?!?" No no no no, not like this. This couldn't be happening. "Luther!!!!" Yelling for the big man, "Get Chess!" The tears don't stop and Poppy feels an immense amount of regret at thinking this event could ever work out.

The green light washes over Elliot and falls on his links to Melody and Wright like a blast door, taking with them the field medic experience he was borrowing. He lurches on the ground like he’s been shocked by an electric circuit in a puddle. He can’t even cry out until the moment passes, and is still on the ground when the next volley of explosions send shrapnel hissing through the air above him.

Get up, he thinks, You need to run. He rolls over and climbs with difficulty to his feet. Blood is dripping into his left eye, the shrapnel got a lot closer than he’d thought. Keeping low between burning vehicles, he searches the network anxiously; runs his mind along the links to find Wright. Only Devon and Harkness’s links are still active, but he doesn’t pull. It’s bad enough that he’s in pain, no sense asking them to feel it too.

What do I do? He keeps himself from the edge of panic by touching the existing links again. You’re not alone, you’re not alone, you’re not alone. Focus. He fishes in his pocket for a metal pill case and awkwardly opens it with his good hand, spilling the contents on the ground. He picks up two pills from the sand of the parking lot and throws them under his tongue.

He scans the immediate area, notices the stage van is considerably closer to him that it was. His eyes land on Cooper, a man who clearly needs lessons in infiltration attire. “Fuck,” he says, and moves to the agent’s side. He tries reaching for Wright’s medical skill out of habit and fear spikes again. He removes his belt from his upper arm and checks his wound, It’s not bleeding profusely, that’s good. With unbelievable pain he guides the broken arm through the center pocket of his hoodie. He slides the belt under Cooper’s worse leg and pulls it around, threading it through the catch and pulling hard. He ties off the end and stands.

What the fuck do I do?

Luther's up to a knee with knuckles pressed into the rough ground of the parking lot when the next round of planted bombs go off. This time, he's watching through the haze of smoke and flames. This time, he's focused enough the shrapnel peppering his direction lose the momentum and impact against his dark coat, falling away. The man looks to the offending metal bits and pieces, mouth twisting in a silent snarl with fist punching down, and surges back up to his feet. His ears are still faintly ringing, heart pounding in them, when Poppy's shout makes it through the screams and wails of the dying.

And seeing Chess lying motionless chills the fiery heat building in his hands. Luther rushes to the pair, skidding and dropping back down to his knees beside them. "Fuck, Chess?! Chess! No, no no. Look at me, stay with me. Chess!" His hands soon also stain red. Fighting down the flare of panic, Luther glances up to Poppy. One look around at their surroundings, it's barely distinguishable from a moment during the War. The panic soon replaces with a renewed burn of anger.

"We're going, now," he determines. The van they arrived in somewhere rolled off in the distance, but there's plenty of other vehicles around. Whether or not there's a chance of one still being rigged to blow is one he's willing to take now. The nearest truck, one overturned on a side but still driveable, is his goal. After a brief assessment, he stoops and grasps the edge of the cab to lift. With a yell of release, he flips the vehicle back on to its tires. He punches out the window, reaching in to unlock the door, and turns back to where Poppy and Chess are.

Luther scoops up Chess with barely a pause, cradling her head against his shoulder as if that would protect her identity still, or keep her from waking to the horrific scenery. "You know how to hotwire a truck?" he asks Poppy, grey eyes staring at the young woman. “Because if you do, do it now.”

While stumbling in the direction of Eve’s trail, Rhys stops, noticing Warren and Robyn, who both seem to be moving in that direction and nods slowly. Both of them have a good connection to her, and perhaps— it could work.

“Let’s see if we can bring her in,” he says to Roux as she passes, nodding to Ray, before turning fumbling for the radio and bringing it up to his mouth. “Diaz? See if you can help anyone. Roux and I are going to try to take Mas into custody as planned. Keep an eye on Stevenson and Gerken. See if you can help anyone here. Try to meet up with Wolfhound if they— if they’re— inside. Over.”

He waits for a response, before moving with Robyn and Warren in the direction that Eve had left.

Cesar's groan of response to Geneva comes with a faint "Fuuuck" as he pulls himself up. A hiss and a wince, a hand lifts to the side of his face and comes away sticky, fingertips red. But it beats having the rest of him blown away or punctured by the bits that have riddled his outer layer clothing and embedded into his protective vest. The seconds Cesar counts off in his head to reorient himself interrupt with the sight of green rushing towards their position. He braces for impact, though it harmlessly passes over them. Once he realizes it's nothing toxic or worse, Cesar looks skyward at the shimmering emerald color in moments of confusion and awe.

The confusion disappears as another series of blasts go off, and his first reflex is to grab at Geneva's wrist and pull her down to the safety of the ground. "«Copy, Bluthner,»" he croaks finally into the radio after there's been a moment to get back up again. Cesar picks himself up, looking for Geneva and Lance first, waving for them to follow towards the stage. "Come on, we gotta get the hell over there and help." This is what they were trained for. This is what they do.

The first triage is Kenner who gets a once-over and a look of come on, Agent. He's still breathing and has all the limbs, not lying in a pool of blood (that is his). The SESA group's push towards the stage comes with the realization that Rhys and Robyn are moving on but there's one missing. Thomas Cooper and his bright yellow hoodie, what remains nearly neon of it, is lying on the ground. Elliot gets the barest of nods before Cesar puts in a renewed call into the radio. "«We need Wolfhound to set up a funnel, and get these damn people safe. Need Bomb Squad in here ASAP, and clearance for med-flight. Now! Somebody copy!»" Grim, pissed off, and fighting the urge to retch, Cesar looks back at Elliot.

"Is this one of yours?" he gestures to the green that has enveloped the sky above.

It's from an altogether different time and place, but Geneva can't help but feel an onrush of primal instinct from the fractals of some of her darkest, most ill-kempt memories, sending her mind on blurred wings back to the arena where she had been forced to fight. In that place, she had found herself with her sense of self entirely displaced: a captive like a muzzled rabid wolf, bound to face a foe beyond any conscious understanding at the time.

Under the new auspices of this strange, silent green sky, the terrible sense of anticipation seems the same.

Well. Part of it might be the fact that there is blood tasseling out of one of her ears where some large blunt object had smashed into the side of her skull from the last of the explosions. Everything on that entire side of her senses is ringing. Throbbing, in a deep, dull ocean of silence. On that side, she cannot hear anything at all, and it is agony to keep that same eye unpeeled and open.

The world is all half-dark, and is everything supposed to be reeling unsteadily?

But with adrenaline pouring molten urgency through her veins, it is as though she barely notices. "Oh, god. God, thank fuck," Gene exclaims when Cesar comes to and starts giving orders, reaching down to help haul her senior agent to his feet via a forearm that is prickly with shrapnel.

"Lance!!" is Gene’s next priority, long before she even thinks about hightailing it towards the stage after Cesar. "Come on, you better be okay too — Señor Salad is right, let's see if we can go fuckin' save some people—"

“I’m here.” The words sound almost too loud in Lance’s ears as he stares briefly, uncomprehendingly at the heavens, at the chartreuse tint that clouds the air. He’s still keeping somewhat low, his heart hammering in his chest, his own training — not his SESA training, older words from when he was younger — telling him to hold still, to stay in place, that moving chaotically is going to serve the terrorists’ plans and risk exposing himself to more IEDs.

A long time ago, Humanis First loved using bombs just like these.

Those two sets of training war for a moment before Gene’s words add weight to Cesar’s, and then he’s scrambling up and moving to join up with the others on their way to the stage. “Keep clear of any backpacks, bags, tents, vehicles. Try and get people into clear areas. There’s no telling where these bombs are. Whose ability is that in the sky?”

Lily's scream is drowned out by the speed that they are carried away from the chaos, once they've landed she looks over to the others with wide eyes, "We can't just leave them there! They have totally killed our vibe! What bad karma! What about Eve? What about—" Lily wraps her arms around her herself, looking angry and sad at her family.


The extra explosion of — whatever the hell caused some of the debris in their private little escape bubble to explode into fiery bits and pieces — has Brynn wrapping herself around Paul, instinctively shielding him from damage. She herself is pelted with sharp fragments, but whatever injuries she takes are hidden by the dark material of the denim pants and the dark T-shirt she's wearing. With no idea what the hell is actually happening, the only thing Brynn can do is shake in Magnes's bubble as he lifts the four of them away. Her world is a bit tilt-a-whirl, since Mags isn't being exactly cautious, he's just literally yoinking the small group of young adults into the treeline. And until they're on the ground, she can't ask what's happening either.

Tears she has no idea she's shedding streak her face, leaving clean trails in the smoke and dirt that landed on her. All she can think about in this moment is the overwhelming sense of terror that she can feel waiting to overtake her. But Hailey's not pulled together and Paul's hurt and Lily's a sweetheart but she's a flake. Brynn is what we have, and there's a grim determination despite the shock to do exactly as she's been trained — get low, help other people to a safe spot, and keep out of the way of active fighting.

“This is— the most typical— Lighthouse Kid reunion,” Paul murmurs from where he’s collapsed, not even really fully aware with how they’ve been moved about very well honestly. There’s blood running down from his nose, and despite Brynn’s attempts to shield him, some of the debris from the exploding mini-bombs caught at least his leg and forehead. He’s definitely looking very much like he will just want to lay down and stay down for a few hours as it is.

But really, it feels like a typical Lighthouse Kid reunion. “Managed to stay out of trouble for over a year— met up with you guys— and this happens.” Brynn can’t hear what he’s muttering to appreciate his wit, but maybe at least Lily or Hailey will be able to.

Hailey lands on her back when Magnes drops them to the ground and only just manages to roll out of the way of the flaming lawnchair. Casting a quick glance at the rest of them, she manages a crooked grin at Paul's observance. Yes, this is a typical reunion.

A little more composed now that Magnes has ferried them away from the danger, she somersaults to a stand and stalks over to Lily, placing her two hands on the younger woman's shoulders. "It's okay, come on. Magnes is going to keep us sa—"

And then more bombs go off.

It wasn't a heroic gesture that had Hailey shielding Lily from the blast, unlike Brynn to Paul, it was just a lucky happenstance for the ghost whisperer. Unfortunately for the empath, a nail catches her in a particularly fleshy bit. More pieces of jagged metal pepper her back and rip through her exposed arms. "Oh.." she says, with a bit of surprise in her tone. Lily can feel the warm spray of blood just before Hailey falters and collapses on top of her.

Magnes has no idea what the hell is going on, so he prioritizes keeping the kids safe. The first thing he does is go over to Brynn to offer her a hug. "Hey, it'll be okay. I'm not sure what's going on, but we just have to stay calm, okay?"

And then the other explosion happens, and he immediately releases Brynn to rush over to Hailey, crouching down to grab and hold her protectively close. "What the fuck is going on." He immediately looks her over, just trying to make sure she isn't too badly injured, because that is a lot of blood…

"Is anyone here paranoid enough to have brought a first aid kit?" he asks, before motioning to Paul and Lily. "Come hold Hailey." he instructs, releasing her and leaving her elevated by keeping her body low gravity.

When he stands up straight, he motions Brynn over. "Get closer, and get down. I know you all want to help, but we have no idea what's going on, and there's bombs going off."

Either way, he takes a deep breath, holding his hands out. It's not apparent what he's doing at first, until they notice the dirt beginning to spin in a circle around them. He's spinning the outer ring of his gravitational field, trying to whip the dirt, sticks, and debris up to raise them from the ground, eventually creating something of some makeshift cover. It's only about four feet high, so once it's high enough, he crouches down and motions for the others to do so as well.

He pulls his phone out and tries to send a text. He has no idea if he can even get proper reception out here. But he finds his reception completely fucked. "Oh come on. I need to call Robyn, she'll know what's going on, but my home world had to be one of the ones with shitty internet and phone service. How did we manage to fuck up communications infrastructure in nearly every timeline!"

He grunts and puts his phone away, asking Paul, "Hey, with your ability can you get hurt or anything? Is it a Kitty Pryde type of situation? I've never been sure." He's trying to form some kind of plan.

“Ow.” is the answer that Paul gives, if that’s any indication.

With the rising panic and the growing screams, the trip towards the beach and the bonfire will be fraught with obstacles for SESA and the other officers following after the cloud that had been Eve, but Rhys does his best to lead the way through the path in that direction, hoping to catch up to her before she flits off somewhere else.

Cheesequake State Park
The Beach Bonfire

ava_icon.gif castle_icon.gif emmie_icon.gif eve_icon.gif jen_icon.gif marlowe_icon.gif

Among the beach, there were a few small explosions, but not nearly as many as among the stage, Objects that had been moved around during the night by accident without people noticing, or they were much smaller pops and most of what remained there was just the burning of the previous explosions, the panicked people running, some running right over others. That was what Emmeline Sommerfield had been most concerned about, after all, getting trampled by those running roughshod over anyone who happened to get in the way of their perceived exit. Especially with Castle bent down oblivious to the world with arms over their head trying to shut out everything. With the green structure up, though, she releases the man from her hold and pushes him out of the way, moving to lift Castle to their feet.

Reaching up to pull the headphones down around their neck again, Castle blinks a few times in confusion as if not quite sure what’s actually happening for some reason or another, before she smacks them on the shoulder. “Good job, kid. A couple more explosions went off after it went up, too.”

“You realize I’m older than you, right?” they say with a grunt, looking around at the carnage.

“Then bloody well act like it. We need to prevent more deaths and fix what we can. I’ll see if I can meet up with the law enforcement at the stage. You— “ she waves her hand a little. “Stay safe. There’s no bloody point in putting the Castle up if you get hurt. You didn’t even bring your bloody badge, did you?” she grumbles, then hands them an X-LRAD from a holster under her suit and says, “Try not to shoot yourself with it.”

Castle makes a mocking face at her as she starts to run away toward the stage and they are left looking around the beach. For a moment, they look around at the destruction again— and then their eyes find the lady of the hour. And one of the most wanted women in the US, too.

Crimson and light eyes meet from across the way and Eve stops, what a wonderfully dressed person. Looking down at Barbara, she makes sure the woman's eyes are closed and she kisses her cheek. "Coming back, I promise." Gently she places the woman's hand on the charred grass and stands. "Hey!" Eve calls out and waves her hands at the person staring at her. The woman disperses into the red cloud and bobs over to Castle, materializing a few feet in front of them and breathing heavy.

"Hey you! Yes you!" Pointing at Castle's chest, "What a fabulous poncho, honestly the colors are just splendid." Holding up her finger and looking out the corner of her eye, "Bombs away yes? People are hurt, you seem fine, you look strong, mmmmm. I am enlisting your help, come come." Clapping her hands together and gesturing to the injured people crying in pain around them. "Chop chop no time for dilly dallying my dear," Turning her head to a couple that lies on the ground not too far from them, Eve grabs Castle's hand and yanks them over to the pair while sinking to her knees.

The woman is blonde and her eyes a seafoam green, have the life slowly fading from her eyes. Her partner, a gorgeous redhead with blood on her face can't seem to move and reaches out for the blonde, choking and trying to get air, her fingers twitch erratically and the grass around her grows and dies. A piece of shrapnel lies embedded in her chest, the blood soaking the grass beneath them. "Oh no no no," Eve lays a trembling hand on the blonde woman's cheek and looks into her eyes, "I am so sorry lovely, so sorry." Tears begin to well up for Eve and she takes the blonde's hand and extends it to the redhead's so they can hold hands. Nodding at Castle to help the redhead the end result all four of them holding hands. "They deserve to hold each other," Eve whispers across to them.

Crushing guilt continues to press down on the former seer.

"One family, one family, one family…" Eve whispers it over and over to herself. "I'm so sorry."

"I'm so sorry."

“What —” Castle says with confusion as they are suddenly pulled along by Eve, but they don’t do a very good job fighting as they are brought over to kneel beside the dying couple. It doesn’t take long for them to realize what’s happening, and they put the Banshee onto their lap and place both hands on the young women quietly. They knew they were dying.

He takes in a slow breath, unsteady and horrified, but then he can hear a soft voice in the back of his mind, a whisper, as she reminds him it could still be okay. They might still be able to fix this. “Were— were you hurt before or after the sky turned green?” The two may not be able to answer, but— maybe. Maybe they could.

Maybe they still had enough breath for that.

The blonde's head lulls to the side in Eve's hands to which the pale former seer bows her head and cries silently, the woman's blue eyes fade to sightless and her fingers go limp in her partner's hand.


Her partner's eyes widen as the blonde's hand slips from her grasp and falls to the damp grass. The redhead, Clari looks between Eve and Castle, trying to speak, lips moving but only a scratchy sound coming out. "…A….f…" Eve nods her head along and inches her face forward, forehead almost touching Castle's. "Yes my dear, say it, say the words." She doesn't know why Castle asks this but it must be important.

Maybe they knew about the green sky? It sure seemed so.

Clari clenches her teeth and blood spurts out between the gap. "After." She groans out and her hand also goes limp on the bloody grass. Eyes fading fast, staring into the empty ones of her love.


"Nooo…." Eve moans and looks between both women and then to Castle with a pleading gaze, "Goddess please," Not like this.

There’s relief on their face as after is said, and Castle sits back on their ankles and kisses the poor woman’s hand gently. “You’ll be fine. You’ll both be fine.” That’s a bold statement, considering they just both stopped breathing, but it sounds as if they have new confidence, as they look over toward Eve and then glance up at the green sky. “That’s us.” Us. With a wince, they correct themselves. “Me.”

Setting the women’s hands down, clasped together, they move to stand. “All the damage that happened after it went up will be undone. Unfortunately that means any help we give right now will also be undone, so helping those who are injured isn’t really the… priority. They can be helped after. We can get people clear of the areas where the explosions happened, but we need to find the cause of the last round of explosions and stop them if we can. If we can’t, the priority is to get as many people clear of the explosions as possible. My partner should be headed to the stage area. She’ll probably try to get on the loudspeaker if she can, but— we can see if we can get help from those here.” For the moment, they can do what they can. Move people away from the bonfire where the explosions were, those who were trampled after the Castle went up should be fine also. But—

He can’t help but look toward those caught in the first explosion. “We can’t save everyone…” she reminds him, quietly. “But we can save some.”

Us. The slip has Eve's eyebrows lifting to her hairline, were they like her? Voices in your head, she could sympathize with. She looks one last time at Clari and Alma's lifeless bodies.

"It's you," Eve's voice is weak and heavy with emotion as she looks from the green sky to the person kneeling in front of her with wide eyes but it is a tone of affirming what Castle says, who seems to maybe doubt that it's them. "A Time Fairy," said in wonder and the wild woman begins to gain some of her composure back, green like her cousin. Eve's frown turns upside down into a wide grin. "Yes… yes my sweet darling. You can do it," It doesn't take much to make Eve a believer and she claps both hands on the person's shoulders and jams her forehead into theirs.

Crimson eyes meet light ones.

"The source of the explosion, we can't save all, but we can save some of our family. One Family." Repeating what they have said, committing it to memory. "The Goddess brings us together, I will take to the sky once your Great Work finishes. Dear- what is your name?" They have plenty of time now she figures. A name is important.

"I'm Eve!" Wrapping her arms around their middle and hugging them close, "You've arrived to save your family, you're here to save us."

“I—” It seems that Castle wasn’t prepared for Eve to say all of that. But after a second, there’s a soft, “Castle…” This was going to be awkward to explain to the bosses later.

Ava is still coughing, the young woman at her side with a hand to her back in a ginger, uncertain display of concern. Her eyes are blurred from it, and she finally brings one hand up to rub at them, to wipe her mouth, and the back of her hand comes away with flecks of red.

Tight in voice, in posture, still kneeling in the sand, she tells the girl firmly, "Go." Run.

In case there were any other horrors still awaiting them if she lingered here.

Ava tries to clear her throat, grabs onto one of the nearly-vertical root growths sticking up from the ground, and begins to pull herself to her feet, too. She turns her head at the sound of Eve and Castle's conversation, eyes narrowing at the faint bits she's able to pick up at this distance.

When she finds herself distinctly not dead, despite laying there amidst the chaos, Jen slowly pushes herself up, stumbling through the wild crowd of people. She's still ridiculously drunk, and definitely not prepared for an emergency, but she'll eventually find someone to cling onto who'll take responsibility for her.

Marlowe struggles to keep pace while fleeing, spurred on by terror but dragging as pain shoots up her legs. Once she and Nacho are in a semi clear spot, she lets go to come to a rough stop back on her knees, hands planted in the sand. Her breathing comes raggedly as she waits for a second wind, glancing down to the trails of blood dripping down her leg, and then back towards the smoke and carnage left behind. The green tint of the sky above is the last sobering bit of strange and confusing happenings. Whatever possesses her to think at the moment of what she needs, she reaches into one of her pockets to find her phone and check for signal, hoping to call for help.

While previously, lightRadio boxes brought by event attendees had populated a list of possible connections, now there is nothing. No bars, no potential hotspots.

The green sky continues to shine overhead.


The Road to Cheesequake State Park

debra_icon.gif devon_icon.gif francis_icon.gif

Francis steps away from the impenetrable wall of the prismatic forcefield, unnerved by how it looks like there's nothing on the other side. He refastens his glove to his hand. An attempt to put it through the wall and to the other side by use of his ability resulted in nothing— like there was no other side for it to route to.

His hand comes to his earpiece. "Maenad? Melody?" Well, he's one for two on codenames. "Can you still hear me?" There's strange, faint feedback, but otherwise nothing. He's as unaware of their attempts to contact him as they are of his.

Slowly he turns back to the members of the Wolfhound team trapped inside the barrier, realizing he's being looked to. Right. Get your shit together, Harkness.

The additional explosions are encouragement of a kind, in that regard. His head snaps in their direction, and for far too long a moment, no words come precisely when they most need to. "Uh— " he finally stammers, and shakes his head roughly to try to restart his thoughts. "Help. We need to group up with— and…"

Francis looks to Devon, the pain he'd been in that most likely meant nothing good for Elliot's status, and then to Debra. "We— we do what we can, here." He just has faltering confidence in what exactly that means, in this situation.

Watching Francis is pretty painful for Debra, but she holds her tongue at least until things are blowing up again. Then her already thin patience dissolves and Debra snaps out a “Jesus Christ, kid. It ain’t that hard.” Thin lips press tight as she fights with herself. There is so much she wants to say, but instead she makes a decision….

“You’re right, kid, we do what we fucking can,” Debra says with determination, while shoving the helm back on her head. “Protect and serve.” With a look at Francis, that he thankfully can’t see past the visor… or Devon when she looks at him too, the old wolf gives a growl of sound and turns to start towards all the chaos.

Debra with her rifle held to her side with one hand, she lifts the other to give a wave of farewell over her shoulder. “Y’all can catch the fuck up when you get your shit together.” They’ll have to jog to catch up as she sets a decent pace, especially for someone as old as Avi. Difference, she’d tell you, is she works out everyday.

“Fucking…” Devon’s growled tone follows the next explosion, as his head jerks down and turns in the direction of the report. He takes his cue from that, as well as Debra’s decisive act, and shoots a hard look at Francis. “Pull it together,” he tells the other man once Debra has started to move away. “We've been through a lot fucking worse than this.”

He leaves it at that, turns without giving Harkness a chance to answer, and jogs after the other Hound. The distance is closed swiftly and, once he's alongside Debra, he nods to her to join at the faster pace. There's a lot of ground to cover.

The Stage

He's beginning to feel it by the time they reach the site of the stage. Mild fatigue and a slight breathless feeling hint at a body still recovering from months of atrophy. As the first signs of the destruction are able to be made out in the smoke and dust, Devon finally slows his pace and holds a hand up for Debra to do the same. He doesn't stop moving, but he looks at his teammate while he speaks. “We need to triage. Anyone who can walk should get to the road.” Or as close to it as the greenish wall of nope will allow. “Get anyone not injured to help those who can't walk get there too. Move the dead as respectfully as possible for identification and collection. Anything that looks like a bomb, we move away from the crowd.” Their armor can handle the explosions.

By the time that Wolfhound arrives at the Stage, Emmie Sommerfield has made her way across the park from the beach, dodging the groups and injured in her designer suit. She makes absolutely no effort to offer assistance, because, as she makes it through, she immediately addresses those who appear to be in charge as if she has every right to be in charge instead, “There’s no point in doing triage yet, but moving the injured and the dead is a good plan. If you can find out which explosion they were injured during it will be helpful too. Separate the ones who were injured in the first explosions from the ones who were injured after the— after the sky turned green from those who were injured before.”

Before someone can question her more thoroughly, she produces a badge, which shows Department of the Exterior on it. “Emmeline Sommerfield, Department of the Exterior. You can check with your bosses later, but trust me, I have authority.” Even with her super post British accent? She certainly seems to think so.

From where he’s laying nearby, Donald Kenner grunts audibly, and finally makes a valiant attempt to sit up, even if he’s definitely not feeling up to it. “I take it the green sky is thanks to you?”

“Not me personally, but yes. Hopefully it is going to save your life.” She looks toward Wolfhound, specifically, “Do we have any idea who was responsible for this atrocity?”

Elliot answers Cesar’s question with a baffled shake of his head. His arm is still cradled in his hoodie pocket, and the gash on his head is dripping rhythmically onto his chest. When Sommerfield begins giving orders, the befuddlement only increases.

“With all due respect,” he croaks increduously, “What the fuck is the point of separating people by before and after this bullshit happened?” He points up with his unwounded left hand. “Why would we waste our time doing that when we could be helping people who are about to die right now?

“Because, she wouldn’t say it, if she didn’t know something we don’t know,” It’s Deb that answers Elliot’s question. “And we’re the low man here, so… “ Yeah…. “Just do as she says.”

Good thing the DOE agent can’t see the look of disgust, but Debra can’t help herself but make that feeling public and not even the helmet’s speaker could hide it. “I don’t know who hell invited the DOE, but we sure as hell weren’t briefed on ‘em.” She doesn’t like it at all. Looking at Devon beside her, she leans over and adds. “They're as bad as the CIA, getting their noses in shit where they're not wanted.”

The helmet tips back at the green haze above her. “Though I guess this time it could be forgiven… hey, twiggy.” Yeah she means Emmie. “Rest of our team’s outside your little bubble of whos-it-whats-it, including all our medics.” She swirls a finger above her head to indicate she means the dome.

“Come on, kid…” Deb says to Devon, with an elbow. “We best do what they want or I’m out of chances.” She wasn’t ready for retirement, thank you very much.

“Worse than state cops in the city,” Devon asides. He also hasn't bothered to hide his look of annoyance — the visor does that for him — but his posture says it plainly enough. Little Miss DoE is crossing a line. His head tilts to Elliot, as a means of dismissing the interloping agent. “Get clear,” he advises as he moves to keep pace with Debra, “head up the hill. Try to report to the others that Harkness's caught up with us and we’re proceeding.” He glances at Francis, with a nod in the direction of the stage. “We’ll keep clearing down here.”

“It was fucking Humanis Fucking First… or Pure Earth or whoever the fuck they call themselves now.”

That wavering and angry voice comes from behind Emmie, not long after Debra has moved on to do as asked. She’d seen Wolfhound and had been coming to them, but… Emmie’d work just fine. “I saw him. I tried to find him, but I lost him in the fucking crowd.” The young woman looks pale, past guilty tears, her jacket is shiny where shrapnel punched through her jacket and into her side, another into the back of her shoulder. She’s bleeding profusely, though Roxie is trying to ignore it.

Goober, however, gives a whine at his owner. Sniffing at the trails of blood soaking into her jeans, he whines again. Hurt. Pain. Not good. He hurries to Emmie and paws at her leg with a whined bark, before rushing back to Roxie to circle around her worried, while the girl sways a little in place.

“His name is Zachary… I dunno his last name. I saw him during the war. I was a just a kid, but I fucking remember that smug as fuck face,” Roxie hates crying, but the tears won’t stop, buried in guilt. If she hadn’t hesitated.. Or stopped to tell people… maybe. “I saw him tonight, too. I tried to fucking follow, I’m sorry.”

Roxie’s news gets Elliot’s immediate attention. He reaches beneath the back of his hoodie and removes a Banshee from a concealed holster. “Can you give me a description? Where did you last see him?” he asks, pivoting toward the rest of the Wolfhound team. “Jackalope, Barghest, underclock for me if you can. I’ll find him.”

Elliot’s question gets a squint from the young woman, her face clearly asking who the fuck is he? Still Roxie thinks on how to describe the guy… “Uhh.. I dunno. A pretty boy, older than me… dark hair… light eyes, didn’t actually look that close. He sure as fuck wasn’t interested in me and I couldn’t have given a rats ass about him. Always looked like he thought he was better than us, my parents always fucking thought he was great.” There is a wrinkle of her nose in disgust.

Green sky or not, it's less an immediate worry than the injured and dying. One of whom, currently, is at his feet. Cesar kneels beside the downed Cooper, checking the unconscious agent's pulse. There is some minor relief as Wolfhound arrives, but the worry ratchets back up partly because of the thready, weak heartbeat he feels and partly as the DOE agent shows up, crisp authority and peculiar instructions and all.

Still, the reactions of the Hounds stir Agent Diaz's own angry response. "Stop grousing about jurisdiction, find and clear out any remaining bombs, and find the assholes who did this," he snaps at them, his tone a chastening reminder of Wolfhound's position to support SESA in the moment.

It's when they move off that he finally looks a little bit longer at Emmie Sommerfield. She's not in the clear with him either. "We need medical but they shouldn't come in as long as there's still an active bomb threat. We've got to move," he notes, looking for and nodding towards a less crowded portion of the area. "Gerken, Stevenson, go and help anybody who needs it to get over there, set up a safe zone for the med teams. If you need help, call it in."

Poppy continues to stare ahead at Chess' body while holding Celeste's though she can't really see thanks to the overflow of tears raining down her cheeks. "Oh please… somebody please…" The young woman's shoulders shake and she bows her head and leans over her fallen friend's body.

A flash of the three as little girls playing in a field in Vermont, another of she and Marigold sneaking out to meet some boys in their early teens, right before everything went crazy and they were taken in by the Ferrymen.

"Somebody help us."

Oh, Stevenson doesn't need help. She's absolutely fine. "What?!" she coughs towards Cesar, because she'd only heard his words through one, ringing ear— the one that isn't bleeding profusely.

See? Just fine.

But in spite of that, Geneva just bites back a short "Fuck!!" and instantly turns away anyway with a newly determined stare towards the stage. Heck: Sr. Salad could have literally ordered them to wah-WAH-wah, Peanuts-style, and it would have sufficed in this situation.

She's (half) deaf right now, not stupid.

"C'mon," the junior agent exclaims far too loudly as she tramps across the debris towards Poppy and Celeste, eyes falling on the body being cradled in the arms of the other. Perhaps not the guardian angel one might've hoped for, but goddammit, she's the one that's here. Kneeling awkwardly at Poppy's side once she gets there, she adopts an ugly-looking grimace.

"Hey. Hey, let's get you guys away from all this; easy does it. Lance, come and help me with them."

Where’d Eve go? Lance doesn’t see her on the stage at all as they make their way through the warzone that the celebration has become, and that in and of itself is worrying - but he’s got plenty of other things to worry about too.

He’s shaking a bit but keeping as steady as he can as he nods to Cesar’s request, lifting his voice to call out, “If anyone’s got medical training, help us get the injured over here. Do not move anyone badly injured if you don’t!” All they need is for someone with a neck injury to get moved wrong, after all.

Moving over beside Geneva, he grimaces as well at the sight, saying gently, “Come on, we need to get over there.”

Luther's thoughts to drive off and get help stall like the turned truck. His focus gives way, torn on getting the vehicle going versus keeping Chess alive despite a gruesome injury. In the end he swings to the latter. "Stay with me, Chess. Come on baby girl, please," he whispers tightly, hoarsely as he presses her closer. Somewhere in the back of his mind, a growing, worrying note how cold she feels against him. Upon seeing the gathering of others nearby, hearing Lance's call for medical trained individuals, Luther starts that way as quick as he can without jostling the young woman in his arms too much. "Hey! Over here," he yells back to the others. "We need help!"

When certain members of the crowd immediately decide not to listen to her, Emmie Sommerfield shakes her head, “If you want to waste precious minutes having me explain the complexities of temporal mechanics, then fine, but trust me, it will be a far more efficient use of your time to separate the injured based on when they were injured and not bother to triage until the sky isn’t green anymore.”

That’s the quick version, and she’ll leave it at that, as she focuses on Roxie’s words with a nod. “Zachary Becker, wanted in connection for the attack on London’s BBC Headquarters, on November 8 and suspected assistance in the disappearance of the Itinerant Dawn. Thank you, young one, you’ve been most helpful.” Unlike certain Hounds, perhaps? She gives a small glance toward the oldest of the Hounds, who at least seemed to understand the situation a little better, and a small nod, and then moves away to start talking over the radio, «Castle, did you turn your bloody radio on?» they can hear as she moves away.

Meanwhile, near the trees, Paul shifts from where he’s landed, noticing that Hailey, suspiciously, isn’t getting off of him. Or— moving much? “Hailey?” he asks, before shifting with a groan to move more fully so that he can get out from under her, turn around so that he can see her, which then makes some of the color drain from his face, turning him gray. It’d been a long time since they’d lost a sibling. “Hailey? Hailey??” He starts to panic. Which of his siblings had medical training again? Joaquin? Had he been here? No— “Lily!” He makes a gesture towards Brynn too.

The young woman has sped forward just as Paul calls for her. "No." Lily's hands go to Hailey's wound and she shakes her head. "No." Not like this, not like their other siblings. It had been so long since they had lost another, Lily couldn't take it again. The ghosts of the others haunted her still.

Ripping her sweatshirt off, the young post cog enters a state rarely seen. From airy, light, peacekeeping and having the pure energy, to crisis managing, to mending what's been broken. She made a promise to not use the skills that were given to all the Lighthouse Kids in order to cause harm unless absolutely necessary. A vow to her mother Gillian, but fixing things. Saving a life was always on the table. Lily presses the thick sweater into the wound and looks into Hailey's eyes, though the realization that they may be too late begins to slam her in the chest.

Lily gasps and holds the sweater tight to Hailey, "Hailey, please…"

Whatever boundless all seeing energy was out there Lily prayed to it now.

The adrenaline and shock of the entire situation has Brynn unaware of her own injuries, and now this. Paul's lurch forward and his sign as he lowers Hailey to the ground alerts her to the part she missed when she flinched.


Her gray eyes widen and she makes one of the few sounds that she's ever made, a wordless near-scream of grief. She scrambles behind Paul and kneels next to Lily. But … a part of her can see from the emptiness in Hailey's open eyes that it's too late.

Both of her hands come up to try CPR anyway, but… there's so much blood. Still, she tips Hailey's head back even as she starts to finally shake hard. Count, Paul! She'll breathe, Lily can compress… if anything can be compressed. Futile or not, Brynn has to have this to focus on or she's going to lose it hard.

Magnes, while trying to protect all of them, didn't realize just how dire things were with Hailey until the kids start to panic.

He immediately rushes over after they all run to her, and then reaches down to press his hand to her stomach while Brynn is doing CPR. It's something he does to himself all the time, and to a few others over the years. He sort of inverts her gravity slightly, to keep her blood inside, though doesn't shift her gravity strong enough to actually affect her organs.

"Hailey!" He has to think. There are a lot of people around, someone here…

Reaching out, he carefully scoops her up. "Be careful, I'm finding a doctor!" He gives Brynn a reassuring nod, and looks to Paul and Lily before he suddenly lifts into the air with Hailey's body, trying to find someone in the area who isn't panicking and running. "I need a doctor now!"

It's frustrating, but it's likely that the bombs have all already gone off. He has to make that calculation, as he refuses to lose Hailey.

As he flies toward the stage area and his gravitational field passes through people, he lowers their gravity enough to make it uncomfortable to run, basically starting to make people move as if they're on the moon or something. And then he lands in a fairly large crowd of people near the stage where so many are running from, and continues lowering people's gravity if they run by, to try and trip them up. "No one is going fucking anywhere until I find a goddamned doctor!"

As Magnes lands near the stage, Emmie stops moving away to look over at him with a raised eyebrow, feeling the change in weight and noticing the dying or dead young woman in his arms. Ah. This is why they needed to get the scene under control, but they had not really been listening to her. “If she was injured after the sky went green, she will be fine soon. She will not need a doctor. Calm down, sir,” she says, in her crisp accent that is British, but certainly very calm. She’s not panicking, but she is also not a doctor.

“Your ability may be quite helpful in separating and moving the wounded. Anything that happened to anyone after the sky went green will be undone, so separate the wounded in groups of before and after. Those who were injured before will need immediate medical attention after the sky turns back to normal, do you understand?”

She certainly hopes he understands, and she hopes the young woman in his arms was hurt after, not before, or he may not be able to calm down enough to lend assistance.

Magnes stares at Emmie, and she can physically feel the turmoil of his emotions, as gravity shifts rather erratically, though it remains at relatively safe levels. He's just never been good at repressing the ambient shifts in gravity when he's feeling ridiculously emotional.

Then he looks down at Hailey, gently squeezing her close for a moment, closing his eyes. "If you're wrong I'm throwing you into the sun."

That's all he has to say before he just nods, opening his eyes again. "Take her, show me where you want people." He carefully offers Hailey over to Emmie. She'll find that Hailey's gravity is lowered significantly now. "I need to be able to concentrate if I'm moving a lot of people, and I don't want to make anyone worse if I'm mostly focused on her. So take care of her."

He keeps the 'or else I'm throwing you into the sun' unspoken, but implied by tone.

With the young woman in her arms, Emmie shakes her head a little, but also knows that the blood that she’s getting on her clothes won’t be there in a little bit so she’ll just carry her over to a small section and set her down gently, scraping an area with her foot. Looks like she really will have to take control here— “Before on this side, after on that.” She says to the man who will do most of the labor, as she also makes gestures to the others, moving around to start spreading the word to those who hadn’t heard. She’ll have to hope that Wolfhound do what they can to find Becker, and round up the Bombs.

«Castle, if you’re reading this, keep an eye out for Zachary Becker. Don’t engage, but try to get eyes on him and let Wolfhound or SESA know before you lower the Castle, ya?»

The Beach

Castle can hear their radio buzzing and reaches up to touch the earpiece that had been secured in one ear. «Bit busy over here,» they say, sounding tired and pained, because— they just stepped on some debris from one of those bombs with their bare feet and they were starting to regret not having sandals at least. “You know you’re one of the most wanted women in America right now, right? And that’s not a come on.” is said with raised eyebrows in her direction, and that Banshee that they’re holding might stand out a little bit more suddenly. Cause not just anyone was supposed to have something like that.

“And I think we’re about to have company,” is added in a softer tone, as they catch sight of three figures approaching. Rhys, Robyn and Warren, following the trail that Eve Mas had left in the direction of the Beach. Weirdly, the poncho wearing reveler shifts as if to put themselves a little bit between her and the group from SESA— and the representative of Raytech at their side.

"No. No no, the fuck you are." This is the fourth time Robyn has repeated that exact phrase to Warren - she clearly is not happy about Eve's significant other joining them and all the compromises that brings. Little mind has been paid to Rhys, a singular focus and goal burning in her eyes as she catches sight of Castle and Eve.

"Eve!" she yells over the cacophony, pace quickening as much as it can given her injury. More, if she's willing to put herself through a lot of pain both now and later. Which seems to be the case.

"But it is a compliment mmm?" Eve winks and wipes a lone tear from her eye and stops as she notices an earpiece, a Banshee.

She's been had. "What in the goddess' name is this!" Eve backs up and looks Castle up and down, "You people don't dress like th-" The former seer wheels around and spots her friends coming towards them. And well Fancypants. At least they were all alive.

"Red!!" A side eye to Castle, "She's like my sista- Red! You're alive!"

The glower in Robyn's eyes certainly doesn't look very sisterly. The pace of her march quickens until she's moving as fast as she can towards the other woman. But her arms aren't open wide for a hug, ready to reconnect and be thrilled that they're both alive despite the carnage around them.

As she breezes up by Castle to Eve, her hand balls up into a fist, and in a blink it's connecting with Eve's chin as the SESA agent just up and decks the other woman. "What the fuck is wrong with you!"

The blow sends Eve's head back and her body shifts as a reflex, "OW!" Echoing outwards as she hovers a few inches back as the blood red mist. "What the fuck is wrong with me? You punched me Red!" Eve's mouth appears before her body steps from the mist. Rubbing her chin and looking at Robyn with wide eyes. "I missed you too fuck!"

Eve begins to cackle, she can't help herself. "Calm down calm down, there's a way! A Time Fairy! This shady but amazingly dressed government dude," A hard side eye at Castle at the name. "Can save some!"

As Rhys follows behind, he is taking a moment to scan the crowd, as he often does, and his brow creases as if he sees something that causes a headache. As Robyn runs forward and punches the woman who set up this event that turned to chaos, he steps up behind her and puts a hand on her arm after the fact, in kind of a ‘calm down there tiger’ gesture, as he looks at Castle. Especially as Eve identifies him as a Time Fairy and Government Dude.

“Is this how SESA handles all their arrests?” Castle asks in a suddenly more serious and dead-panned voice, with a hint of another accent that wasn’t there a moment ago under the surface, they shift the Banshee from one hand to the other, reaching into the folds of their poncho, even if at least Robyn would recognize them from the incident back in September. The time bubble. They were dressed quite differently, but— they still flashed the badge anyway, “Agent Castle.” The badge isn’t held long, pocketed once again. The poncho seems to have a few pockets, and their hand doesn’t come back out immediately.

"Oh, so that's why I needed to follow you." Warren says as he suddenly pulls his jeans up and pulls a golden .50 Desert Eagle from an ankle holster, holding it up immediately, aimed at Robyn. "Okay, calm down. I can see that I'm not actually going to shoot, which could either mean you're going to calm down or someone's going to convince me that this all has to happen. I'm not sure which is the actual outcome yet."

He slowly stands up straight, still pointing the gun. "I'm only explaining this because I'm supposed to explain it. I was always going to explain it. That's just a part of reaching the correct outcome. Just like me drawing the gun. Even me explaining why I'm explaining it."

Looking to Eve with his mirror eyes, he asks, "Are you okay?"

“Mr. Ray, you are pointing a firearm at a federal agent. I strongly recommend you put it away or else you will be arrested along with Ms. Mas,” Rhys says, and from the look in his eyes, he means it— and statistically speaking, he definitely does. Odds show Warren that even should he fire the weapon, unless he shoots the man in the poncho for some reason, no one will actually die or even be hurt. Which makes little sense, but there it was. But he would still be arrested if he doesn’t lower the weapon in a few moments. “Agent Roux will no longer punch Ms. Mas. I assure you.”

Warren stares at Rhys for a long moment, then suddenly drops his gun. "Apparently my gun is entirely useless." he decides, then points at his gun. "Don't confiscate that, it took a decade to get that back from the police."


Eve places a hand on Warren's chest, "WarMortJack, I am fine. Red is strong but this chin has seen many fists." A wink and the hand moves to the guns.

Here is the moment where time would stop and an internal monologue would play through Eve's head.

What's a few rounds fired?

Support your man, he's supporting you!

You tried to kill Agent Fancypants once!

Girl you know if you do this it's all over.


It all comes to a head for Eve and she shakes herself vigorously and nods at the others, "I and all of my friends are here in peace." There's a firm glare at Robyn. "Agent Fancypants I've been meaning to say sorry for holding a knife to your throat in order to usher in not only a band of time displaced travelers but an ever powerful entity into the world, but I've been on the chase! Anyway, SORRY! But we're in the middle of an extreme emergency!!"

It's probably a good thing Rhys moves to stop Robyn's hand after the first blow, fist tightening in a manner that makes her knuckles pop. It's a deterrent from acting out again, but not much one. Pulling her hand away from him, she lets it fall to her side, still glaring. "This one's personal," is a practically growled out response to Castle. She doesn't seem bothered by the gun being pointed her direction, raising a hand just slightly, two fingers out like she's getting ready to do something - probably use her ability, to Rhys and Eve's observations both. Thankfully, Rhys makes that unnecessary.

"Let's not make promises we can't keep," she mutters, in response to anything and everything being thrown around right now. Her eyes never leave Eve, head tilting slightly. "How can you be so… blase right now? There's no peace right now, Eve!" Her voice pitches, arm again raising - but this time, at least for the moment, she thinks better of it. "Eve Kendra Mas, do you actually understand what's happening around you?"

"Do you understand that I haven't blown anyone up for fucks sake!" Eve doesn't flinch at the arm being raised if anything she's more upset this is happening here and now when that Castle guy needed to do his thing. Her body begins to waft red mist off of it and she steps forward. "It's not my fault people hate us." Crimson eyes shining bright in anger at… all of this.

"God damn it Red we don't have time for this, the Time Fairy is preparing to do a Great Wo—"

Rhys looks about to say something, but as Eve speaks Castle moves, shifting so that they are standing behind Eve. Their hand leaves their pocket, holding something, and they suddenly say, “Eve Mas, you’re under arrest.” And Eve can feel a sharp pain in her buttocks.

A syringe. Injecting something.

Something that will rob them of their ability to turn into mist, and that will also make her drowsy. “Sorry,” is added, in a softer voice, as they move to not allow her to actually fall to the sandy beach, scooping her up in their arms before she actually goes down.

Can THIS AGENT do that? From the grimace on Rhys’ face, it certainly seems that they can. With the shine in their eyes, Warren at least would know that being taken by this person might be Eve’s best shot of a chance at her goals.

Eve's eyes widen and she looks over her shoulder, "My ass! N-MOOOOO!!!" Her mouth doesn't seem to work right but her eyes as they begin to get heavy also hold anger. "SleepySnakebitch."

Staggering forward and trying to grab Castle's throat but it fails and ends on a weak grasp on his chest.

There's a moment for Eve, whenever a score is started and it's always clear in her mind. A chalkboard in her mind that says: Eve 0 Agent Slippery Fuck 1.

"This round," But you just wait for the next. Crimson eyes slowly fade to doe brown while staring into their light.

Warren looks as if he's almost about to reach for something else hidden on him, but then he stops, and stares down at her. He doesn't make a move for her, perhaps considering certain things. "If I try to stop you, things will get worse. Don't worry, Eve." He gives her as reassuring of a smile as he can manage. "This is the best outcome, there were a lot of worse outcomes."

Though, he does look over at Rhys. "Would a bribe turn this into an even better outcome? Just checking."

Though, after a few moments he adds, "I don't know why I ask questions that I literally know the answer to now. But I saw it, and I asked, so… I had to ask!"

"No." Robyn's response is quick, emphatic, and comes with a glare that could pierce steel. "Jesus, why am I even letting- go back to the stage, Warren." As she had tried to instruct him to do on the way over here, and she expects it to work about as well as it did then.

His brother will certainly hear about this.

"The best outcome," she continues, a venomous sort of anger creeping into her voice as she watches Castle hefts up Eve - man, he's stronger than he looks. "Would be if none of this fucking happened and Eve had actually listened to someone besides the voice in her head for once." Eyes flick over to the other woman. As glad as she had been out here earlier to see people showing off and reveling in their abilities, she knew this was a bad idea. There was a reason SESA had decried it.

It hurts to have had that proven right.

Hurts almost as much as her leg. The pain is finally catching up with her as she grits her teeth and squeezes out eyes shut. "Let go." She is done with all of this.

“There are always better possible outcomes,” Castle agrees, but is apparently stronger than their skinny ass looks even if most of that is disguised by the poncho. “Thank you, Agents, for the assist. We’ve been trying to apprehend Ms. Mas since Detroit. I know you have as well, but— “ It seems that Castle believes their agency takes precedence in this matter right now. “My partner said to keep an eye out for Zachary Becker, known Pure Earth extremist. He might still be around here.”

And Rhys has to nod, but not to Warren, because— well— that question answers itself, “Agent Castle will take it from here, Robyn,” he moves his hand to her back, in a supporting gesture more than a ‘calm down tiger’ gesture from before. Because he can tell that the pain is getting to her, and he also understands some of why this was personal.

Rhys, it seems, agreed. Eve should have turned herself in months ago. This event never should have happened under these circumstances.

It wasn’t the outcome most had wanted, but it was an outcome. With that, Castle starts to walk away, carrying the burden in the direction of some of the parked vehicles.

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At the sound of his name being said nearby, the self-same Zachary Becker turns away from the cluster of agents that have gathered around the slumping form of the day's starlet. He snatches the detonator from Evran's hand, opening the top of Roman's backpack and shoving the device in there.

"And here's where we make our exit," he stresses to them both in a calm quiet, eyes lifting to the road that follows around the side of the lake. "Just look as scared as everyone else, and don't stop until the fires are far behind us."

It's not the first time he's made his escape by blending into a crowd like this.

Still looking a little too eager, Evran nods and heads on forward. It's Roman who looks more the part, turning to look back at where they've come from with a hard-to-read expression. He's well-aware of what else lies in his pack aside from the Pure Earth detonator— a weight he was worried might explode and take him with it, too.

His look hardens before he turns and heads off after the other two, following a trail that others have in their attempts to get away from the explosions and to safety. The shape of the green prism overhead continues to stand out against the night, a wall they won't come to face properly until they reach a break in the trees.

While people continue to mill about in panic within the park under the green sky, Castle approaches their mini-bus that was, thankfully, parked a fairly safe distance away from the destruction in the grass. There’s still view of the destruction from there, the fires, but the painted bus itself didn’t seem to have taken any damage, other than the mud and dirt from the trip. Nothing that couldn’t be fixed, at least.

“Told you so,” she mutters as they catch a glimpse of themselves in the dark window, holding the unconscious woman who had started this whole event.

“Yeah, yeah,” he responds back with the same mouth. “You were right, it’s a good thing we parked way over here.”

With a grunt, they pushed the sliding door open and sat Eve down inside, before flicking their radio on again.

«Em. I’m going to lower the Castle now. I’ve arrested Mas. I’m going to call Reeves to pick her up and then come and help you with the injured.»

The response comes a few moments later, though Emmie sounds a bit tired: «You arrested Mas

«I’m not completely useless, you know. And I did have my badge on me.»

«We’ve got most of the wounded separated here, at least what we could manage. So go ahead. Sounds like you did good. I never actually saw the Castle in field use before, so this is going to be interesting.»

«It’ll be a status reset, not spatial. So you don’t have to brace yourself as much.»

«You trapped Wolfhound’s medics outside, hopefully they called in the calvary. If not, I’ll radio out for assistance as soon as it’s down.»

«Good. I should be there soon. I can buy the critical that hold on until I get there some extra time.»

With that, they pull off the headpiece entirely and pull the sliding door closed again, finding the injector they had used earlier. It was empty now, it had used its dose, but they grab onto Eve’s unconscious form and the injector once again and concentrate.

Cheesequake Park

From above, with the green field surrounding the park looks like a pentagon, covering hundreds of acres of area, covering forest and part of the lake with a shimmering green field that blankets the world within. It has held stable for the whole time that it’s been up, but now, finally, it begins to retract as it had expanded.

It moves slower than it moved while expanding, at half the speed that it had grown, but as it sweeps over the land, things change. A woman who had been laying dead a moment ago near the stage with shrapnel in her body is still laying there, but the shrapnel from the bomb now gone, returned to the bomb that had exploded. And those injuries she’d sustained are now— just gone. One moment they were there, then the green field passed through her and they were gone, like they had never been. She had been dead, but now she blinked up at the sky as if that had just never happened, but she could still remember the moment when her life had slipped away.

It happens throughout the park. Objects and people suddenly put back together as if they had never been torn apart. Still in the same place they had been moved to by the hands of others, or by the force of the explosions, but now whole again. Or as whole as they had been when the green field had swept through the first time.

Back at the Minibus

The Beach

The green field comes down, eventually, to a center on Castle themself. With a slow inhale, like breathing it in, it sweeps over Eve finally. And the drugs in her system are gone, back in the syringe once more. Without a second wasted, the syringe is stabbed back into her buttocks once again, with a second, “Sorry.”

Eve gasps and sits forward, "You Tricky Trickster!! I'll have you know-" She's stuck again and looks blearily at Castle. A look of fury comes over Eve and she slaps at Castle's face. "Ow ow ow! Not again!"

Betrayed twice upon first meeting.

"I will haunt your dreams for the rest of your days, goddess so help… me…" Eve's blows hit with far less ferocity as the drugs again take effect. "Dorothy… is… such… a cooler… Time Fairy…" She sticks her tongue out and some drool falls into Castle's lap.

As the drugs take effect once more, Castle winces, because while the slaps weren’t that bad, their feet were bleeding. The glass and debris they had stepped on after the third rounds of bombs may be gone, but the wounds remained. They push Eve onto the floor of the minibus and move to get out, getting their phone out to speed dial a number.



The phone only rings twice before Reeves answers. In the distance, there is the sound of a steel drum playing. One can almost smell the jerk chicken and coconut lotion.

Then comes the sound of the slightest of sighs following the sip of a beverage. Finally Reeves chirps in her South-London accent, “Reeves here. Did you need something, Keep?”

“You know that… festival thing me and Em were going to tonight? I need you to come by my van and pick up Eve Mas— We managed to apprehend her.” There’s a wince again, as they glance at their reflection again, because they accidentally used ‘we’. It was something that they had tried very hard to stop doing cause people had found it weird, cause while it may have been accurate it caused people to look around and ask ‘we who’. But at least in this case— they could blame Em as the other “we”. Even if they did all the work this time. With a little SESA distraction.

“There’s an incident going on here and I need to help out here before I can leave and you can get Mas into holding faster. She was one of our primary targets since Detroit. No slipping through our fingers like a fart on the wind this time. She’s negated and currently sedated, too. Should make moving her easy.”

"…whow you seated, you goo." Eve tries to open her eyes and fails.

They knew they were talking too much, as they looked in the direction of the stage, eager to get a move on.

“Well, shite. I knew I should have stayed in tonight,” Reeves says. “Give me two minutes or I’ll be showing up in a kaftan and flip flops.” There’s a rattle of ice in a glass followed by an audible swallow as she downs what’s probably a mai tai or some other cocktail.

It takes her three minutes, in fact, before the door to the van pops open, though no one can be seen through the window. Reeves steps in, smelling a little of rum and the sea. Her outfit, at least, is professional, if hastily put on and a bit askew. She hands them a plate of food — jerk chicken, slaw, and a biscuit on the side.

“I’d’ve brought you a drink, but you’re on the clock,” she says a little primly, before turning to look at Eve, tipping her head to consider the sedated and negated suspect.

“She looks so angelic, all tranquilized like that, doesn’t she,” she says, before peering out the window at the havoc outside. Her expression sobers immediately, and she turns back to Castle, eyes wide.

Eve snores loudly, mouth hanging open.

“You can set that back, can’t you?” she asks sharply.

It’s a long three minutes, really, and Castle almost says that they can’t wait and to come as they are. After all, Castle is shoeless and wearing a colorful poncho with winglike sleeves and a big pair of headphones around their neck. And bracelets, lots of bracelets. And feet that are still bleeding when Reeves steps out into the park, which is definitely much colder than the nice places she had been enjoying. “Already set back what I could,” is what they say, a little more serious than they usually are, with a sadness in their eyes.

Of the offered plate, though, they immediately grab the biscuit. “I need to go help Em with the triages. It sounds like it was Pure Earth.” There’s distaste in their mouth at the group, but they nod to the plate, “Leave the food. It’ll be cold by the time I get back, but I’m gonna be hungry.”

It was going to be a long night.

The British agent’s expression mirrors theirs, her brow creasing with worry, before she gives Castle a quick hug around the shoulders. Looking down at the ground, she spies those bloodied feet, and she tsks.

“I could have brought you shoes if you had asked, Fool of a Rook,” she teases, but sets the plate down on one of the seats. “I’ll come back to help if I can. Stay safe.”

Reeves turns to look at the charge she’s here to collect, and sighs slightly. “C’mon, sleepyhead,” she tells the sedated Eve, picking up one of her hands to wrap over her shoulder. “Good luck, mate,” she says over her shoulder to Castle, before hopping out of the van with Eve in tow — only she never appears on the other side.

"Hungry… waffles?"

With a small sheepish grin, Castle doesn’t even bother to look for their sandals in the van before hopping back out and starting off toward the stage.

As the Castle Went Down

The Sharing Circle

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Moments after the green recedes through the area, Asi abruptly sucks in a breath, hand flying to her neck where— where she could have sworn a piece of debris had sliced right through the side of it. She's no longer lying in a pool of her own blood. The darkness has gone from her vision.

She swears she went somewhere in the process, but it doesn't matter now, because she's back. It doesn't need to make sense, they only need to act.

Scrambling to elbows and knees, she looks up and across the circle where Ella Damaris is similarly coming to a sit with a confused look on her face. When she meets Asi's eyes, the Japanese woman sternly calls out the same as she had before— "Go! Get everyone away from the cars. Get to safety!" Then her head is swiveling to the direction of the van that she'd watched explode before. Gasoline is still leaking from it— but the scent isn't as overpowering as it was at the time she'd first arrived here.

It was like it hadn't happened yet, that the clock had been rewound. It spurs her to action. "Come on!" she shouts at the group of four slowly coming to their senses around an injured person on the ground.

Seren Evans can't hear the conversation the same as before, given the ringing in their ears, but they feel pressure applied directly to one of their wounds where originally their rescuers had fumbled in finding where they needed to push to staunch the bleeding. They feel the hem of their shirt less soaked and heavy against their skin as a result. Once that's done, the impromptu team of people prepare to lift Seren away. They close their eyes, biting back a cry of discomfort as they're raised up.

Better this pain than fading into that light again. They'd bear just about anything to not slip back into that again.

They can barely make out the sound of someone nearby shouting, "Keep to the trees, but head to the north parking lot with the injured."

As the Castle Went Down

The Stage

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Donald Kenner may not have known exactly what would happen as the green field swept over them once again, but he had gathered from what the woman had said that certain things would become futile, so he had pulled himself over to Cooper and sat beside him waiting, bleeding from his wounds as he looked up at the green sky. But when the sky was no longer green, the wounds he bled from were— back to what they had been when the sky changed the first time. Still rough, still painful and harsh, still needing medical care— but not as bad.

Now he noticed the belt around Cooper’s leg was gone. He pulled his tie off and wrapped it around the agent’s leg, tying it as tight as he could to cut off and stop the bleeding. There were people all around them who had been injured in the final round of explosions that were no longer torn apart, but the van remained blown up and rolled away, and there were still a lot of people lying on the ground.

Emmeline Sommerfield had the warning better than most. As the green moved over her, she looked around and took note of the changes, then got on the radio and got on the signal used by Wolfhound, «Those last rounds of bombs will be live once again. Find them and disarm them, get them to a safe distance, or keep anyone away from them. They probably weren’t on a timer, so as long as the person who set them off doesn’t realize they can set them off again we might be okay, but get to a safe distance anyway.»

She had been asking Magnes to move what she could of the main source of the bombs when she found them, but mostly she had him move the people. Most of the wounded should be clear, but there would still be bombs about.

“This is going to be a long bloody night,” she said with a sigh, looking around.

When the wall came down and Wright’s link reopened, their relief echoed through the network. There was a flurry of pulls as they shared each other’s memories of what had happened on their respective sides of the wall. Elliot is waiting at the end of the road when Wright arrives, and she briefly stops to press her forehead against his. “Ethereal,” Elliot says.

“Oscillate,” Wright replies.

“Ochre. What an absolute clusterfuck.” Wright’s sad laugh helps diffuse the remaining anxiety. The only emotions now plying the network are grim, determined. She presses a few painkillers into his hand before she moves on to assist in triage.

Elliot stays behind, swallowing the pills before pulling out his phone to make a call. “I know, I’m sorry,” he says. “Wright is fine. There was a terrorist attack at the site and it’s grim. She’s working with rescue right now but she wanted me to tell you that she’s okay before it hits the news.”

There’s a pause before he continues. “She’ll call you when she can.” He hangs up, turning back to help where he can despite his broken arm.

There is a groan of pain from the downed agent as Kenner cranks down on the tie, stemming the flow, but he doesn’t wake. While one is practically gone and the greater threat, the other leg looks bad. It will be a long road for Thomas Cooper, but the returned color in his complexion says he might have a fighting chance.

There had been a cold chill down Roxie’s spine as she stood there ratting out the bomber, like she was being watched. A look around finds nothing, but the cold fingers of dread were hooked in. So Roxie keeps herself busy helping the agents move bodies, as best she can. Even Goober gets into it, tugging at a sleeve, even if he’s too small to be much help.

The continued blood loss from Roxie’s side making her woozy is gone with the lowering of the barrier. But not all of the pain is gone… there is still a pull and burning pain in her shoulder. No doubt the medics will find a triangle of metal buried there from the first explosion.

Wait until she tells Nova and Joaquin about this! Roxie had quite the tale to tell the next study group.

As for Debra, she’s thankful for the armor. It helped her in the task of moving people. Even so, by time she got a few people moved, there had been a steady ache in her joints. Taking a moment to give her back a stretch, she watched the castle lower. Though when it swept over her there was a huff of surprise.

The ache in her limbs had faded with the green, only the everyday aches she battled at her age. A smile ticks up at the corner of her mouth, as Debra tests the feel of her back again, she says to Emmie, “Long night, sure, but coulda been longer. Especially, if you and Poncho hadn’t been here.” The old lady dips her head a bit in respect to the young woman, “Take the win where you can get it, kid. In our jobs, the silver lining is a thing that can keep us sane, when the world is crap.”

The change that comes over Chess is a drastic one — one moment, her face is wan, her lips blue, her body limp where Luther held her as he called for help. But as the green washes past her, she gasps for breath, eyes opening and immediately filling with tears as she reaches to touch the spot at her throat that just seconds ago was impaled by rusty metal. There’s no blood staining her skin or her clothing to know it had ever been there in the first place.

Luther can feel her start to shake, trembling violently despite being now physically whole. The memory of the moment of her death still cuts deep. Her hands cover her eyes, shaking fingers pressing into them, before she looks up at him, at the hellish scene around them, and she presses her lips together for a moment to keep them, too, from trembling, before she manages to whisper,

“Is this hell?”

Is she doomed to relive this moment again?

Her eyes sweep the area — there are still too many bodies that aren’t moving. At the sight of Celeste’s unmoving in Poppy’s arms, Chess sobs again, tears streaking down her cheeks. “I don’t understand.”

Luther makes two that don't understand what the retracted green confines of the Castle means, but he understands one thing as color returns to her and she gasps out: Chess is alive. A choked, wordless sound escapes from the man's throat. Relief amidst the fear, elation amidst the tragedy. He has no answer but to squeeze her closer to him and run a now unbloodied hand over her blonde head.

Cesar fights through the strain of his protesting body as the SESA agent helps pull along an unconscious victim of the attacks to the triage area. And when the castle goes down… the man can't help a wide eyed stare at the effect of things and people impossibly coming back to life, objects reforming, just reset. His own body feels odd enough with his some aches and pains gone, some cuts and wounds still present. "What the fuuuck," the man breathes out, staring in more shock now than the explosions from before. And with way more questions than before. Then, Cooper's grievous injury rushes back into mind. He hurries back over to Kenner and Cooper, and seeing the downed agent's leg still in terrible shape spurs him to call into the radio once again for coordinating medical teams. At least this time the signal should get through.

When the green mist dissipates from around Hailey, the young woman's eyes open and she awakens with a start. Her wide eyes are frantic as she sits up and looks around, not recognizing where she is compared to the last thing she saw, Lily's face. A feeling just as disorienting as waking up in a strange room. Confused, she reaches back to where her liver would be, where the worst of the pain was when she fell over and met darkness.

"Lily?" She screams out, she recognizes where she is the stage before shit hit the fan. As she stands, she can't see anyone she recognizes and panic sets in again. Jumping from the top of the vehicle she was dropped on, she begins to push her way through the rest of the hoard. "Lily! Brynn! Paul! MAGNES!!"

Brynn watches helplessly as Magnes takes Hailey, kneeling on the ground with Paul and Lily. Her hands come up as if to cover her face, but they're covered in Hailey's blood. It is finally hitting the young woman — what's going on around them is real, the explosions, the fire, the pain radiating from bits of shrapnel in her back.

She stares at her hands, and the tremors that began to wrack her body as they were pulled out intensify to visible shaking. A soft sob escapes her along with a choked sound, and she curls lower over her knees. The green mist dissolves around them, but her gray eyes don't see that … they see the blood on her hands vanish.

The petite brunette pivots on one knee, bringing her other foot up under her like she's going to come up either in motion or shooting. Now she has no idea what's happening — only that the hellscape has changed. Maybe she's having a nightmare….?

The low-level burn of the cuts from the exploding lawnchair, which happened just before the sky turned green, seems to indicate not, but… She's very confused. And like her siblings, there's a decent bit of traumatization here too.

The bodies have been sorted, as Emmie told him to. He was moving them en masse with his ability, which has, at this point, exhausted him. He's been pushing his ability quite a lot in an incredibly short span of time.

But he has to push it one last time, because he hears Hailey yelling his name, and immediately goes flying, his nose starting to bleed at this point. "Hailey!"

He has tears in his eyes, reaching out to wrap his arms around her, holding her close and tight. "She was right, you're back…" Looking down at her, he reaches up to gently stroke her hair back. "Coming back from the dead is a bit disorienting at first. Don't worry, you'll be okay…"

The hug is completely welcomed and Hailey wraps her arms around Magnes returning the squeeze like it’s some sort of competition, “I never want to die again!!”

"I'll keep you safe, I promise." Magnes doesn't let go. His gravitational field grows as wide as it can, even though it doesn't shift actual gravity right now. It simply expands as a subconscious extension of his desire to keep Hailey safe from the rest of the world. A subtle shift that others might feel, but shrug off.

"This is bullshit." Rhys has heard this several times from Robyn as they make their way back towards the stage. It's a slow process, her limp becoming more and more pronounced every few feet.Eyes linger ahead before being cast down at the ruined ground in front of them. She knows what the intention was here, but… she's never going to shake how avoidable this all was. Not any time soon. Anger flares behind her eyes, hands clenching into fists.

Not any time soon.

Melody doesn't register the network coming back up as the wall comes down, but as soon as it does, she's moving. To find Elliot, to assess damage, and to help those she can as they await something bigger for triage. This wasn't something she could even begin to think of fixing on her own, but she was certainly going to do everything she can.

At the forest, where Paul was with his siblings, one moment he’d been doing what he could to keep Brynn calm after Magnes had flown off with Hailey, with wounds and blood still dripping down his nose. The wounds in his side and back and legs were all gone, the blood continued to drip down his nose, but it seemed to have reverted back to how it had been moments after he had overused his ability, rather than after they had been pulled over into the woods.

But, he’s able to get to his feet a little better, and make signs in Brynn’s direction, even if he still looks as if he’d very much like to lay down and take a long nap. Let’s go find Magnes. he signs, grabbing, feeling his side where he knows he had been bleeding not too long ago—

If he was no longer bleeding— if—

Was it too much to hope? They would find Magnes and find out. It wouldn’t take them long before they found their way to the group, and when they did, the compact latino let out a relieved sound and immediately sat down in the middle of the park. Lance wouldn’t need to murder him for letting his sister die now. And he wouldn’t have to let him.

Mind if I crash at your place tonight? he signs at the girls, because, well—

He suddenly just doesn’t want to go back to Providence tonight. Not tonight. Maybe next week.

But not tonight.

Lily's eyes are wide at the events that unfolded around them and she nods over at Paul, too dazed to sign for Brynn's benefit at the moment but she knows the others will pick up her slack. That's how their group was. "Of course Paul… let's get everyone together.. get home."

The memories of times during the war play through her mind but her brow furrows as she looks around the space around them and an eyebrow quirks.

"This place feels weird now."

The ghosts had already begun speaking.

Meanwhile, the Wolfhound medics had called in for assistance, and the sound of the Tlanuwa can be heard approaching at a distance, just as Agent Castle finds his way to rejoin Emmeline Sommerfield at the triage. Still barefoot, with the biscuit devoured on the walk over, they survey the area, choose part of the triage group and says to Sommerfield, “I’ll suspend this half while the rest are evaced. I’ll hold it as long as I can.”

She nods, understanding, but doesn’t bother giving orders other than to wave off the makeshift medics that were with that group, telling them to look after the others instead. For the most part, they listen. Castle moves into the chosen group, sitting in the middle, putting their headphones back on and closing their eyes—

And a cube of green, much smaller this time, expands around them, creating a small barrier that only covers that part of the triage. To those outside, those inside seem to vanish, shrouded in the green mists.

By the stage the young woman Poppy continues to cradle Celeste's body, wiping dirt and blood from her face, smoothing her dark hair back from her dead brown eyes. The cries of the crowd grow as they meld together and rise above the trees like a incessant buzzing, an incessant mourning.

This day which was supposed to be one of celebration, had been stained by the blood spilled.

There’s many dead, dozens perhaps— including Jeremiah— a young boy who had been so looking forward to this event. Doris, his mother, who had also briefly been dead, held him in her arms, wailing.

His sightless eyes stare up into the sky, arms spread out at his sides.

Like he was flying.

Outside Cheesequake State Park

There were a number of frightened revelers gathered at the castle's green edge, banging against the wall. A young man steps back from it with tears in his eyes, on the verge of breaking down. Was this meant to keep them in? To finish them all off?

He doesn't— couldn't know that the truth could be further than that. So he prays. "阿弥陀佛… 阿弥陀佛. 南无阿弥陀佛." He looks toward the sky, and sees a shift in it— no longer green, but the color of twilight. His gasp of relief is joined by others when the wall suddenly recedes back through them all, and there is a world beyond that arbitrary border again for them to flee into.

Zachary Becker, Evran Foster, and Roman Santos' steps number with the group who are suddenly released from the boundary set by the barrier.

"What the fuck do you think that was?" Roman asks, head ducking down slightly as he tries to keep the question between the men he's with.

"I don't know," Zach admits openly, and looking back over his shoulder sees only a distant flicker of the fires they're leaving behind. "But we don't need to. We did our part, and now we go home."

He looks back between the two younger men, sizing them up properly for the first time. Adjusting the fingerless gloves he wears, he asks while they trudge down the road, not running like some others are, "What's that you've got with you, anyway?"

"Bombs of our own," Evran answers instantly for them both, flinty eyes darting over to Roman before going back to Zach. "We were just getting around to setting them when all the fun started."

Zachary lets out a huff of laughter, looking forward into the dark again. "Well." He looks up toward the stars, letting them guide his path as he begins to veer them off the paved road and into the trees. "What's your plan now?"

Now Evran's confidence falters, and he shares another look with Roman. It's up to the latter to speak now that boasting and bravado isn't involved. "We were going to hitchhike our way back to the Safe Zone, figure out next steps from there."

The corner of Zach's mouth pulls into a smirk. He pulls a set of keys from his pocket, letting the nearly-naked keyring dangle from his index finger. "Want a ride?"

Roman lets out a quiet laugh. Like they're going to look this gift horse in the mouth? "To be honest," he admits. "We've been waiting for this. Waiting to run into someone who knows what they're doing. Someone else who hasn't forgotten the cause."

As the shape of a van parked between the turning leaves makes itself apparent on the path Zachary's lead them down, he nods once. "Well, boys… today's your lucky day."

The sound of rotors begins to churn on the horizon. It doesn't sound like a helicopter, but he keeps his path all the same, not even bothering to look up or stop to listen to whoever it is that's on their way.

He knows the carnage left behind them will hold their attention.

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