Chugging along since February 26, 2014 OOC Chapter Index Part One: Beginnings Chapter One: The Week of Change Chapter Two: Within the Sandy Van and Cell of Solitude Chapter Three: Welcome to the Reformers Chapter Four: Thief on the Loose So far in chapter four... Chapter Four (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Chapter Four (open) Chapter Four (close) Kirra Today was going to be the day. Even though it was already two months since he joined the gang, Jake was still being treated as the incompetent rookie that wasn't ready to do anything yet. The others were wrong though. He knew what he was doing and knew quite well how to look after himself. Wearing a pair of jeans and a black hooded jacket that covered his short well kept hair, he wasn't someone that was easily distinguished from the rest of the crowd, something he purposely aimed for in this instance. He've heard the superiors mention something, a plan of some sort of bigger and greater things, but of course as always he was the one that was left out of the planning. However he knew that the tides would be turning for him today. Today would be the day he prove himself and start to earn some respect. Scanning the crowd, Jake looked around for a target. He wanted to find someone easy, someone that he knew he would be able to start the day off on a good note. It didn't take long before he found his target. He watched as what seemed like a group of visitors pile out of a van. By the way the were standing around they must have stopped by the market to visit. It seemed possible that they were traveling out of New York or maybe the opposite and was heading towards the big apple. Deciding on the group, it didn't take long after that before he found his target, what appeared to him to be the weakest link. The teenager or the old man seemed like the two best candidate seeing that neither probably wouldn't be able to catch him as easy as the rest of the crowd. As a few started to move towards the flea market, Jake took his chance to attack. Walking towards the group, Jake made his way towards to the target in hopes of swiping their bank card while acting as if he too was heading towards the flea market. He learned from a few of the others how to swipe things from unsuspecting targets and he knew that he was getting quite well at it. "Sorry." Jake mumbled apologetically, running into the teenager before continuing his way towards the market. With the card in hand, Jake quickened his pace in hopes of losing the crowd before the girl happened to check her belongings. That was when he made his first mistake. Take a quick look behind him, Jake looked to see if the girl suspected something and at that moment he tripped on the curb, sending him to the ground and the card being knocked out of his hand. "Crap" Jake muttered before scrambling onto his feet as he grabbed his card and ran towards the flea market. If he was fast enough he might be able to lose them within the crowd before reaching the other side and making it to safety. He wasn't far from a few of the others that were a few blocks away. If something happened, which he doubt would, he knew where he could find help. Izkripp Vida was busy watching the people of the town when a couple of the people of their group wandered off. As normally as they were she could not remember a time when her and her own family walked down the street laughing and linking arms. Her head turned away from the normal people before her eyes did. Suddenly she found them darting between the people that were still there. Nervously she stepped away from them and then scanned the crowd until she found the two girls that had already left. “Should I follow?” Giving little thought to the question that she asked herself she followed behind them sheepishly. She could feel her feet moving in the shoes that she was wearing. They were much too big for her; no doubt that she would have blisters before the end of the day. She stopped for a moment to adjust her shoes slightly. At this time she was able to see a sight that was a normal assurance in the city. A pick-pocket. “Wait!” She yelled at the guy that had stolen something from someone in her group. “A thief!” Vida looked at the others, but did not wait for them. She took off after the thief. She shuffled through the crowd with practiced easy. The crowds here were nothing compared to the rush hour shifts at the subways. She found herself slighting her arm between people as if it were a wedge to make room for her. “Wait!” She turned to pass around some people trying her best not to touch them. “She needs that!” There was no doubt in her mind that the guy could hear her. After running everyday in the city so that she would not be late to work she was confident in her speed and her endurance. One of them would have to give out soon and she doubted it would be her. He was right in front of her now. All she had to do was reach out and grab him. She threw her hand out almost able to seize his arm then at the last minute froze. Fear from earlier forcefully made its way into her mind. Her body was frozen. She could not do anything but watch the man get further away. “Useless.” “What?” Her hand dropped and her head looked around. viktor Saturday, May 3rd, 2014. So far it had been a good day. Tom had 10 new suits and his tailor had been paid handsomely. He’d also received a reference for a tailor out in KC. As Tom walked his way back towards his parking garage, he watched as a city bus became involved in a crash not 20 feet away, and, putting the suits down on a bench, jogged over to help. He made sure that the driver in the other vehicle was okay, pulled out his cell phone and put in the call to NYPD dispatch. After making the call, he got onto the bus and began assisting passengers off the bus. As soon as everyone was accounted for, he left and faded back into the crowd. He’d had his share of the limelight. It was, after all, the reason he now found himself moving to the middle of nowhere on a crap job. As he returned to the bench, the suits were gone. “No good deed goes unpunished,” he said aloud. He made his way back to his tailor, who graciously offered him replacements at cost. Tom refused, saying he’d pay him full price, and left to return home. A gnawing headache pounded away in his skull. He sank into a fevered dream, watching his mother die again and again. Each time he was just too slow, or just too far away to save her in time. Sunday May 4th, 2014. “Brother?” Melanie shook his shoulder, rousing Tom from his sleep. “We’re supposed to grab lunch today.” Tom looked like hell. The dreams left him shaken. Though the headache was gone, he still felt off. He rose, nodded to his sister, and looked at the clock. 2 PM. Damn. “Yeah, let me shower real quick, and we’ll get going,” He said, heading for his bathroom. He showered quickly, dressing in the bathroom. “Sorry, sis, rough night.” He called out, before entering his bedroom, grabbing his wallet, and escorting her out of the apartment. They took the subway to Chinatown and had a delicious, uneventful lunch. He was really going to miss his sister. The job was his only way to redeem himself, though. He took his defeat very seriously, and the corruption of NYC government had jaded him to any hope of justice. They idly bantered back and forth, Melanie kept passing worried glances over him, checking his eyes, breathing rate, and cognitive functions. He did seem to be okay compared to what she had seen this morning. Sometimes the researcher and doctor in her overrode her normal sisterly instincts. Walking back towards Tom’s apartment after a peaceful subway ride, things got interesting. A screeching, tearing sound of metal on metal shot out from overhead as a construction crane began to collapse. Tom looked up from the newspaper vendor he was sliding quarters into as the hulk of metal bore down to the ground. Mel, No! His mind screamed at him to do something as the crane continued to come down. She was semi oblivious to what was going on, purchasing a soda from a street vendor with an ear bud in. She looked up and both she and the street vendor were paralyzed with fear as the deadly debris reached 750 feet from the ground. Time slowed at that moment. Tom saw the crane, the vendor, his sister, the crane and knew what he had to do. He moved at a speed he had never moved before, closing the distance of a city block in seconds and throwing his sister and the vendor to safety. They landed several feet away, and he smiled before leaping to safety himself. The crane smashed into the ground, demolishing the vendor’s cart and smashing in the roof of a nearby car. He heard a scream coming from inside, before he moved to the car. He saw a small child in the rear seat crying uncontrollably and an unconscious woman in the driver’s seat. He ripped the door off of the car and pulled the woman to safety as the metal groaned under stress. He then reached in, offering his hand to the little girl. “Quickly! Take my hand!” He yelled, pulling her out as the crane’s weight crunched the car roof into itself. He walked back over to Melanie’s side, and pulled her to her feet. “Are you okay?” he asked. “I’m fine,” She answered, hugging her brother as her adrenaline wore off. Tears streamed down her face. She felt his muscles begin to sag, and he started to cough, before falling to the ground, struggling for breath. “Tom!” She cried, putting and arm under him and helping him to get away. Something was wrong here and she was going to help him out. She had to get him back to her lab… Present Day. He watched the pickpocket, laughing at the poor kid. He sure had picked the wrong target. As the girl took off running after him, Tom tailed them and sank into the crowd, focused on the pickpocket. As the girl lost him in the crowd, Tom continued the pursuit, stepping up next to her and pulling his badge from his pocket. “Freeze!” He yelled “Federal Agent!” The kid turned for a half second, as the crowd around them dispersed. Now he was visible plain as day to everyone as he took off at a dead run down the street. “They always run!” He quipped, looking at the girl next to him. “You coming?” he asked, offering a friendly smile, a wink, and a hand on her shoulder to reassure her. He took off again running after the pick pocket. He kept his sidearm holstered, knowing this kid wasn't worth a bullet. The kid turned down a few side alleys, and Tom was barely able to keep up. However he came to a stop in a dead end, with a tall chain link fence lined with barbed wire blocking his path. “Nowhere left to run kid, turn the wallet back over and you can go home! No harm, no foul!” he said, slightly out of breath. Your move He thought to himself, not sure why the kid was so adamant about escaping. viktor. that is all. BlessedWrath "Idiot." Sam grumbled internally. "You've been caged too long. Should have seen that one coming a mile away." Even though Sam had struggled with the concept of having enough money to buy things, the sudden loss of that power struck a nerve in her that she didn't know she had. She didn't even realize how her face had twisted up after the thief had robbed her. She felt embarrassed, weak, stupid. The event played back in her mind as one foot fell slowly, rhythmically in front of the other; each scenario with a different chain of events and, indeed, a very different ending. Without even the knowledge that it was happening, Sam was after the boy who took her card. In her mind, she had him by his collar before he took two steps away from her. She jerked him backward in-stride, causing him to land on his spine. He had tried to apologize, but speech was difficult to accomplish with a mouth full of aged sneakers. The poor boy scrambled away from her, clawing at the ground to gain some kind of foothold, but she kicked his hand out from under him and helped his face to the pavement. "Steal from me, will you?" she demanded of him, pulling back his head by the fist full of hair in her hand. Then she slit his throat with her stolen bank card. By the time Sam came back to reality, she was alone. The bustle of the crowds and the market was still plainly audible, but faded, as if further away. She made it to be about two blocks' distance. How had she come this far without the memory of walking? A quick scan of her surroundings revealed a less-frequented part of the city with an industrial tint to its layout and architecture. "Great." she scowled. "At least there are no crowds here. Maybe I can find a decent spot for some free gear." It was all she knew. From the time of her release, Sam's only source of equipment, clothing...even food...had been what she could acquire from dumpsters and pick-up sites. The loss of her eight hundred dollars seemed to weigh less heavily on her mind, now that the prospect of gaining back some of what she'd lost when she had been abducted presented itself to her. For some reason, she hoped to find something a bit more handy than discarded sweatpants this time. It was the damnedest thing, but the concept of second-hand tools most appealed to her now. The theft did still give her the occasional reboot of her bloody daydream, but it was all secondary now; all unimportant next to the hunt. Prince of Seraphs Christian exited the van with everyone else, running his hands from the seat to the side of the door. Once he was down on the ground he found himself a little bit lost. He recognized the voices all around him of course. He was still in the group but now anything more he did was contingent on asking for help. A lump formed in his throat at the thought of the last two times he'd had to do that. Twice in as many days. He of course had the eight hundred dollar plastic card but really what good was it to him if he couldn't find any stores. There were too many people for him to wander around blindly and he didn't have his White Cane anymore so there would be no chance of people moving out of his way. His revery was broken as the headache that he'd had since the bus accident peaked. It was like someone was squeezing a clamp around his brain. Just as the pain was becoming unbearable it broke like a water balloon showering his mind with his surroundings. It was almost a cute little town. In the middle of a flee market. There were 146 people on the streets right now but Christian's attention was immediately drawn by a man who'd just pushed his hand into one of there groups pockets swiping the cash card and walking off. Before Christian could think three other people broke away from the crowd running after the man. Vida, the girl with the skin melting abilities, a man in a suit who he didn't think had anything to do with them and the girl whose card it was. Christian took off after them at a run. Vida was just on the thief's tail, about to grab him when she stopped dead. Christian was confused for a fraction of a second before remembering what he'd heard she had done to that man's hand. She's scared to touch anyone. He thought to himself. The man in the suit shouted something to the effect of "Federal Agent" and Sam turned down the wrong street. She seemed dazed. He thought between the thief and Sam and made a split second decision. He ran off after Sam. She'd stopped running now, they were getting further away from the crowd moving into an industrial district. Christian was about to speak when a terrible pain ripped through his head. It was like the activation of this second sight was a knife going into his head and when it shut down someone had torn the knife none to gentle from his skull. The world went black and Christian became dizzy like he'd suddenly been enveloped in a crushing darkness. His legs gave out from under him and he collapsed to his knees. His breathing was coming in ragged gasps. "Sam?" He managed "Sam are you all right?" He didn't give much thought to his own situation or any thought that someone else might think about it as serious. He'd been dealing with a body that betrayed him at every turn and had years ago accepted it as normal. What was important now was Sam. She was at the very least upset and angry and at the worst injured from the thief. dpickle Pat grimaced as he got out of the van. He could have sworn the driver had hit every bump and pothole possible just to torment him. Pat was never a big fan of vehicles, they seemed to either mean going to the hospital, or piercing horns in the middle of the night. Or more recently, superpowers and gunfire. In any case, Pat hoped the girls in the group would take their sweet time shopping, he was in no rush to experience the ride back. Still, despite the unpleasantness of it, the ride had given him enough time to get his thoughts, and pain, under control. His thoughts were still a bit slow, but at least it wouldn't be horribly obvious that something was wrong. He had only managed to keep the facade up this long because everyone was distracted by the tour. Pat spent a few moments wondering what to do, eventually deciding to find a book store and an isolated bench to read on, He was preparing to head off to the market alone, figuring Josiah's statement was more towards the wild youngsters in the group, when the cry of "Theif!" suddenly sounded followed by a bunch of the Charlie's racing off into the crowd. Pat turned around and continued towards the market when he was stopped by the unfamiliar feeling of guilt. Those kids might need his help, although he didn't know how good his help would be, and, like it or not, they seemed to all be in this together. Pat sighed and began to jog towards the commotion, mumbling to himself, "Next shopping trip, we're chaining the cards to their wrists. Kids can't go two minutes without being robbed nowadays." Kirra A chill ran down Jake's spine as a voice of a man was heard over the crowd. He was dead if he was caught. If it was just the girl and those she was with, the outcome of the situation might have been fine but having a Fed involved was nothing but trouble. If they took him in and questioned him it could spell trouble knowing that his affiliation with the local gang would probably be found out. The others already had a distaste for him and if they knew that he was caught by the Feds, not only would he lose all their trust but he would lose even the pity they felt for him. If he wanted to have a chance to escape without the higher up knowing he knew he needed to find JC and his buddies and soon. Glancing behind him as he made a turn down the road a string of profanity escaped from him mouth as he saw that not only was the man chasing him but many members of the group and they were catching up to him. Turning down an alleyway and heading towards the fence, Jake knew he would find JC and the other there. They had to be there or he was screwed. Pounding hard on the locked metal door, Jake hoped that someone would answer. "Come on. Come on! Open the door! We have trouble!" Jake yelled ignoring the Fed's request of returning what was stolen. "Seriously?" Am irritated voice said from behind the door as the sound of locks being undone was heard. "What'cha doing knocking like tha..." The voice continued before stopping in the middle of his sentence as a man in his early twenties answered the door. "Oh, you IDIOT!" The man yelled before turning his attention inside. "Look what this idiot did? He brought trouble to our front door." Grabbing the kid by the scruff of his clothes, the man yanked the kid and pulled him indoors. "We'll deal with you later, you idiot." The man said as he scanned the group. "You came here with an old man and a bunch of women?" He said scoffingly as three others from those inside joined JC. "Listen, the kid made a mistake. He's a kid and he'll learn, eventually. However if you continue in trying to get the card back you all will be making a stupid mistake as well. I'm not a fan of hitting women or the elderly but I can't let you continue, I just can't." ~.~ Panic crossed Jenna's face as she watched the kid run away with Sam's card. They needed to call 911. They needed to get help. However as he saw Vida, Sam and the others run after the man she knew that there wouldn't be able to call for help. If they got a hold of the police that meant that the TSP might find a way to track them down. Unsure exactly where Josiah and Daniel were, she knew that the group were on their own. She wasn't exactly sure how they would stop the kid but Jenna hoped that the others had an idea. Following the others, a wave of relief crossed Jenna as a man joined in the pursuit stating that he was a federal agent. He would know what to do to resolve a situation like this. Maybe the kid would even stop because of the man. However as the chase headed towards the alleyway she knew the teen wasn't someone that would comply. She only hoped that things wouldn't get ugly. Seeing Sam and Christian split apart from the group, she wondered where exactly they were going. Even more so she was curious on how Christian was able to run with the group seeing that he was blind. She only hoped that the two would be okay as she continued with the chase, glad to be finally stopping as the kid reached a dead end. Although not tired, she was already breathing hard from the run and was glad that they weren't running any further. A feeling of dread filled the pit of Jenna's stomach as she watched the door open. She could hear that there were others inside as well. Sure, they could deal with a thief but from the mannerism of the others she knew that if they didn't leave things would get physical in a much larger way than just running. Taking a hesitant step back, Jenna looked at the others. She would be more than fine with going back. Maybe if they could find Daniel they could cancel the card and get a new one for Sam and avoid any trouble. Besides the single Federal agent and Vida and her power of being able to melt skin she wondered if their powers could be of any use here. Besides screwing up their phones or taking their keys away from them Jenna couldn't see a use for her powers and she knew she would be useless trying to fight these men. "You know, maybe we can get a new card for Sam. Let's not stir up trouble. We promised Josiah that we wouldn't." Izkripp Vida could not help but jump when the unknown man that called himself a Federal Agent touched her shoulder. What was she doing? Oh yeah, someone had stole one of their cards. She trialed after the man until they had the boy cornered in an alley. At this time she was able to get a closer look at the Fed man. He did not look to be with the pick-pocket so she decided not to worry too much with him. Her attention turned to the boy that was now bagging on a door to get in. When the door opened Vida took a half of a step back before she noticed Jenna. So there was three of them. She quickly looked between the two and immediately decided that they were all going to die in this alley way. She had to hold back a sigh. It was a strange reaction for her. Normally she would be on the verge of peeing her pants. This whole situation did not seem real anymore though, it felt like she was watching a CSI show. CSI: Genetic Wars. Or CSI: Bio Soldiers. When the man started talking from the door Vida snapped back into reality. This was no time to be thinking about the next TV show she would watch in her head later. The man’s argument sounded convincing, but the fact remained that the card did not belong to them. She also listened to Jenna. Sure they could go back and tell the two that brought them here that they allowed themselves to get pick-pocketed, and now they needed more money so that they could go shopping. Vida tensed up at the thoughts. She was more scared of telling them then she was of the threat in front of them. “Now, now.” She finally said. She pulled the sleeves of her jacket up to her elbows then raised her hands. “We don’t want any trouble and won’t even report you.” She said glancing to the Fed man that had followed them. “And this guy can’t do anything unless he has proof the card was stolen and not…. Um just… you know picked up after it was dropped. I mean we don’t know if the guy was going to turn it in or something.” “Yes! I’m not stuttering too much!” She celebrated a silent victory in her head. Vida stepped in front of the man that was helping them. If anyone was going to get shot or stabbed it might as well be her, she figured. She had not died from a bullet wound yet. Nervousness crept on her face as she started to slowly walk towards the man at the door. “If he would just hand over the card we will be on our way. No harm, no foul.” She hoped to anything with a higher power that if they did decide to grab her they touched her skin, freak out, and run away. ArcanicNeon Ester watched as the man at the door was joined by three others. 'oh christ almighty do not tell me he's part of a gang.'[i/] Ester thought anxiously, hoping that the building the kid ran into wasn't full of dangerous crooks. She rubbed her hands, hoping that her current anxiousness and slight fright would cause her powers to go on the fritz. Ester listened in to what Jenna had to say, then looked at the 3 other men at the door the thief ran into. 'What if we have to fight them? Jesus Christ i'm a child psychologist not a combat girl. I just wanted to make a damn phone call! Ester continued in her head. Finally, she hesitantly spoke out. 'Yeah, We don't mean any trouble or anything!' She added onto Jenna's sentence nervously. She looked at her, then thought of a quick lie. 'And, the cards expired anyways!' She said, hoping that the men wouldn't go and check to make sure. 'Please work, Please work, Oh please let that lie work.' Ester thought, gripping her hands together as she slightly prayed for the situation to lighten. Even though they had a federal agent by them, Est was nervous that a fight could break out. viktor May 4th, 2014. Tom lay on the table, trapped in another feverish nightmare. Meanwhile Melanie fussed over him; drawing blood samples and infusing him with IV fluids. She was a little nervous herself. As his sister, she was fraught with worry: Her brother had just performed a feat of preternatural strength and speed, and then collapsed on the ground after saving the lives of 4 people. As a scientist she was completely engrossed in fascination. Her brother had just performed a feat of preternatural strength and speed. She struggled to balance the two as she brought him back to her lab. DARPA had bought out several buildings and modified them into research and development centers out in the Meatpacking district. Few people ever came here anymore that weren't looking for some sort of illicit activity, so it was the perfect front. His blood work came back negative for any traces of foreign substance. Unsurprising, she wasn't expecting him to be doping. So she took a sample and ran it through a DNA sequencing unit. She ran it for comparative analysis against a sample she previously had on file. Thanks to her research she had access to cutting edge tech, and the process would identify anomalies and changes in the DNA strands within a matter of hours. In the meanwhile, She monitored his vitals, fretting over her big brother. Present Day: Tom smiled at the reactions of the others. For people with the gifts they’d been given, they understood nothing about them. Not that he understood much more, but at least he knew they were different. These street punks should be no match for one skilled fighter. He sidestepped the girl who put herself in front of him, touching the small of her back and leaning in to whisper in her ear. “Stay behind me. This is my job” He smiled at the platitudes that the girls offered, and his cop instinct told him that even now it was too late to walk away. As the other men stepped out and joined them in the alleyway, Tom produced a pair of finger-less gloves from his pocket, and removed his suit jacket, tossing it on the top of a dumpster. Now exposed was an under the shoulder holster carrying a Smith and Wesson .40 pistol. It wasn't loaded, but no one needed to know that. “Now, the lady here is wrong about a couple of things. See, I gave a direct command based on probable cause to your young friend there. And he ran. He is now chargeable for resisting arrest and evasion of a federal agent. That’s a pretty serious crime. As for you, you’re obstructing the course of an investigation.” He slid the gloves onto his left and right hands slowly, as he talked in calm, even tones. “Now, let’s make this really easy on everyone. Turn the card back over to the young lady and everyone gets to walk away no harm, no foul.” he stepped into the middle of the alley way, a cocky grin on his face. He loved when assholes didn't listen. BlessedWrath "I'm fine," Sam lied automatically. Most folks gave away their true emotional state by the natural modulations of their voices; fear could make the voice smaller, quieter, or anger might cause a growling effect or more forceful annunciation. This was not always true of Samantha Cole. What gave away her lie was the flatness of her tone. It was devoid of emotional effectors or influence. As she picked her way through the aging ruins of some of the older, abandoned buildings, she was inwardly curious about that tendency in her. Samantha Cole displays a recurring reliance on emotional detachment and depersonalization disorder. Her file had said. The recurrence of such events is not wholly unexpected, and may be intentional in some cases. If it were true, this certainly was one case in which Sam wished she could choose to detach. This area had clearly been used as a dump site after its shutdown by the city. Discarded electronics littered the streets, haphazardly thrown toward dumpsters which had not had pick-up service for what looked like months. The openings spilled over with refuse, and the cornucopia of unwanted items produced an unpredictable range of odors; some of the trash had been decomposing for so long that it no longer produced a smell. Sam zeroed in on a small pile which looked like it might contain mostly abandoned electronics and set to work sorting them into small piles. "Watch your step," Sam muttered absently. "You don't want to fall here." Prince of Seraphs "I'm fine," the words echoed through the darkness, flat and empty. The kind of response a computer might display after a virus check. It was the sort of response that anyone who truly was fine never gave. The kind that built up over years of being asked, years of not being so and refusing to acknowledge it. It was the same sort of response that Christian had given to anyone who'd asked for months after the accident, some might say he was still giving it. Christian heard Sam's footsteps recede somewhat and a panic rushed through him that caused the pain in his head to recede. He'd gotten here with the help of his "second sight" but that was erratic and irregular and there was no telling if it would come back now or in weeks or if he could ever control it. Without Sam he'd have no way of finding his way back to the others. The best he could do if he lost Sam would be to wander and hope someone from the group found him, his chances with that were close the zero, he needed Sam. Christian ran his hands over the sidewalk till he found the wall of an old crumbling building. He used it to haul himself to his feet and was nearly overcome with dizziness again as the smell assaulted him. "Sam?" He asked straining his hears to hear any sign of her. Then a voice came out of the darkness again. "Watch your step," Came the murmur. "You don't want to fall here." Christian stopped dead. He could feel loose pieces of trash and refuse he thought under his feet. Here would not be a good place to wander. He gulped in his breath, he'd once sworn to himself he'd never say these words and now in less than three days he'd done it as many times. "Sam, could you help me. I can't find my way." Kirra "How many rounds in that do you have clip? Ten? Is it a fifteen round clip?" JC said motioning towards the man's gun. "Are you sure you want to keep that gun out fed? Do you even know who's inside or what firepower they have? I'm surprised that you don't have any backup here and that makes me wonder if you even know who you are dealing with because if you did I have a feeling that you would be approaching this situation differently. It's one armed fed versus all of us. Do you really want to start a firefight here? What's the likely chance that a stray bullet might hit one of those citizens by accident?" The man said with emphasis on the last word. "This is my last warning, leave now or things will go sour." As he stood in the center of the alleyway, JC watched as the other three slowly moved towards the group. As long as they took the fed down they would be fine. Nabbing one of the girls and holding a gun against her would stop the fed in his place if his warning didn't work. It was only a matter of time. The fed couldn't leave. News about their gang couldn't get out or there would be trouble with the others. They made a mistake about staying. ArcanicNeon Ester looked at the gang man. 'I can't believe i'm actually saying this but.' Ester said, 'I really think we should just... go. let's just go!' She said, a nervous smile on her face 'The card is expired, like I said trust me!' she explained to the gang man. Ester was more nervous than ever. She suddenly felt a freezing shiver crawl up through her body. 'Ohhh no...' Ester thought. 'Keeeep Calm. Cool. Stay calm...' Ester repeated in her mind. Just to check if it wasn't a cold draft, Ester let out a slightly lengthy breath into her hand. Looking into her hand, Ester's fear induced hunch was right. She was loosing it. 'Calm.' Ester she thought, taking deep, but quiet breaths. 'It'll go away. Just keeeep calm...' But what ester was scared of was actually fighting a gang of all things. She was scared that she was going to lose control, get herself and her friends into lots of trouble, maybe even get higher authorities involved. Ester crossed her arms, sticking her hands under her armpits like she did when she was 'kidnapped'. 'Conceal... Screw it up and they'll know...' Ryver et Rhine Callie was the last to arrive. She skidded to a stop at the mouth of the alley. How odd? The rest were just standing there. Sensing it would be in her best interest to remain low-profiled, the woman edged towards the others. She ended up behind Ester and it didn’t take her long to realize they were in deep shit. She continued staring dumbly and her survival instincts kicked. Even though she appeared calm on the outside, her mind was frantically searching for an answer. She can't figure out why the men were so hostile. There had to be a reason! Clearly, blaming the fed was the last thing on her mind. Not that she hadn't noticed Tom earlier, but nothing clicked. Noticing Ester hugging herself, the stewardess wrapped her arms round the shivering woman. "Yes. I think it's best we leave." She hoped the latter was okay, because frankly, the woman didn’t look too good. As Cal unconsciously reached for Ester’s hand, her fingers brushed against something icy cold. The shock made her exclaim loudly as she let go. Seconds later a shot was fired. Luckily, the bullet zipped pass, but it was enough to startle Callie. C-crap! The man was still aiming at that them and the only source of cover was the huge dumpster way back. There was no telling how many people will be hit by the time they get there. I must do something… She felt sick to the stomach, but she refused to be intimidated. Taking a deep breath, she did the only thing she could think of – Cal yelled loudly. “Run!” Instead of turning around like she hoped the rest were doing, the blonde charged forward while trying to keep as low as possible. Then Callie leaped in front in an attempt to tackle the man. As she fell forward she could have sworn she heard the other two guns go off. Izkripp Everything started at once. There was no time to think about what they should have done as a man grabbed Vida. No good. she thought as the man grabbed a hold of the back of her jacket instead of her arm like she had hoped. The man pulled her back to him forcefully almost choking her with the jacket. After a moment of struggling she reached up and unzipped the jacket, now all she had to do was get her arms out. Quickly she ripped one arm out then the other leaving the man with only her jacket as his hostage. Vida ran a few paces before she stopped and turned around to look at the man that had grabbed her. He seemed slightly confused on what he saw. Looking down she could see the rusty brown color on her shirt, a reminder of the night before. She was still wearing the shirt that she had been shot in. It was shredded in the back from the bullets and completely stained with blood. The man recovered quickly from his confusion and charged at her again. She stepped back from him now wondering if it would have been better to keep running instead of stopping to look back. She barely dodged the man once, but the second time she was caught. He grabbed her arm forcefully she twisted it behind her back in an awkward angle. It felt like her joints were going to pop at any second. She endured the pain, the man would release her at any second when his skin was turning black. A moment passed. “Now listen up.” The man said that was holding her. “I’ll shoot this bitch if you guys don’t settle down.” With that said he put a gun to her head and held it their firmly. At this time Vida was able to see the scene that was in front of her. There were more people than, a couple of them had guns and her stupid power was not working for some reason. “Die… we’re going to die...” Vida started her teeth now chattering. Her confidence from earlier was starting to shatter. “No. No. We can’t die. No there is more. My cats. I need to help them…” She was starting to panic now. Her breathing was more ragged and sweat formed on her face. Oh god she was going to hyperventilate. “I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.” She repeated to herself. “Shut up!” The man with the gun said as he pushed the barrel of the gun harder onto her head. “I don’t…” “Then simply, my dear, don’t die.” A voice… She felt a tingle over her body, her cells seemed to buzz alive. She felt like her skin was going to wiggle its way off her body at any moment. The sensation did not last long before it was completely covered with pain. She screamed in response to the unbearable pain. It felt like someone was pulling her skin off her. Her screams were echoed by the man’s yell as he let go of her. He staggered back from her and looked at his hand and his arm. They were covered in completely black scabs that cracked and bled. His neck were her head had touched was also covered in an identical way. “What the- Dammit. What did you do to me?” He covered his arm protectively and backed away. “You… you…” He seemed to struggle to find the right words. “Monster!” Vida had fallen to the ground and was looking at her hands that his touched him. They looked the same as his. She was different now, she had stopped screaming. “Monster.” She said to herself then turned to look at the man with a twisted smile on her face. “Why thank you.” viktor "You made five mistakes" Tom chortled as he insanely slowly removed the pistol from the holster. He put a finger in the trigger guard and twirled it absent mindedly. "First mistake, your boy there took the card, Second mistake, your boy there ran.” He smiled with a halfcocked grin as he drew down on JC the laser sight on his gun painted a target right on the thug’s forehead. He raised his voice. “Third mistake, you came light. three man crew to take me out? Fuckin’ Insulting,” He smirked, always wanting to have said that. “Fourth mistake, you assume I didn't call for back up when I chased your young friend here,” A bluff. “And your last mistake? You’re lying. If you had more guys in there you wouldn’t be wasting your time out here talking, you woulda sent them to deal with us quickly,” he shifted the grip of the pistol, turning slightly to give a lower profile. “Now, the list of felonies just keeps growing… and you really only have one option here… Give the girl back the goddamned card, and walk away!” he finished at a muffled shout. His tone was commanding, his voice dripping authority. He could feel his heart rate accelerating, as his eyes focused on the leader. “Ladies, I can understand your apprehension. If you don’t want to get hurt, it’s time for you to go…now run!” he said, tightening his grip on the pistol again and putting his finger on the trigger. This was the biggest bluff he’d ever pulled. “Your move asshole!” Of course, that’s when one of them grabbed the girl and screamed. At that moment, Tom used the distraction to move on JC, charging forward and attempting to use his body mass to dive tackle the gang leader... That’s when the shots rang out. dpickle It took Pat a while to make sense of the situation, he guessed his migraine was slowing him down more than he thought. It looked like the thief had gotten some backup while they had picked up a federal agent from somewhere. A federal agent who seemed much more confident than the situation should have allowed him. It seemed the girls had the few brain cells necessary to realize that trying to appease these guys was their best option, money wasn't worth your life. Unfortunately it seemed the federal agent fell slightly short of that bar and seemed to be actively trying to start a fight. Pat was about to yell for the agent to shut up before one of the ladies decided she wanted to be the first one killed and all hell broke loose. The girl dived, a gunshot sounded and for the second time that day time seemed to slow. Loud noise and migraines didn't mix. When Pat was younger, someone clapping in a nearby apartment would cause him to wince in pain. A gunshot was a lot louder than a clap. The instant the shot sounded Pat doubled over clutching his ears. He was pretty sure the shot missed him, but it might as well of hit considering his condition. As additional shots rang out, some sort of basic primal instinct began to surface in his pain wracked brain. If the noise wasn't going to stop on his own, he was going to have to stop it. With blurred vision Pat began to stumble, at a surprisingly good pace, towards the source of the noise, hands outstretched, ready to grab whatever he ran into first. Kirra As the fed pulled out his gun, JC followed suit. The man in the beanie towards his left was focused on grabbing one of the ladies but when the fed grabbed his gun the man directly to his right pulled out his knife and gave a slight chuckle to what the fed said. Although the fed said that they made some mistakes, they weren’t the only ones and JC and the others knew that quite well. As JC kept his gun pointed towards the fed, the third man that joined him was slowly moving towards the fed’s side so that he wouldn’t be able to easily shoot both of them so that whatever happened one of them would be free to stop the man Giving nothing more than a slight nod towards his men, JC looked towards the fed. “My move you say? Its things like this that gets feds and police killed. Hopefully you believe in the guy upstairs because you’re either going to be meeting your maker or will be repenting for the innocent bloodshed you caused.” That was when all hell broke loose. He was prepared for one of the girls to scream but was surprised when he heard one of his own men yell out in agony. It was then when the fed took advantage of the moment and rushed towards him. Firing a round towards the man, he knew that he missed the fed as he fell towards the ground and the man was not wet with blood. Little did he know that he did hit a target, just not the one he was expecting. Luckily the shot wasn’t too serious. Grazing against the outer right side of Ester’s upper thigh, she was lucky the bullet didn’t hit her hand due to her arms being folded. There would be pain and the bleeding would have to be controlled but she wasn’t in immediate danger of bleeding out and would be mobile for as long as she could fight through the pain and not pass out. With the arm with the gun pinned down, JC made a move with his left hand to try and punch the man in hopes of moving him just enough to be able to get a shot off of him. ~.~ “You… you… monster!” the man in the black beanie said with a startled expression written in his eyes. Raising his hand painfully with unsteady hands, the man aimed the gun towards the freak. He was having trouble comprehending what exactly happened but he knew he needed to stop the woman. Cringing as he pulled the trigger, he knew that he missed his target without having to look at the freak. Again he tried to aim for the she-devil and as he pulled the trigger a sudden force collided against him as he felt himself fall towards the ground. Already holding the gun with the loose grip, it didn’t take much for the gun to fall out of his hand and land about four feet away from him. Cringing from the pain, it took the man a second before he could recognize the woman that knocked him down. It was the freak’s blonde haired friend. His skin wasn’t burning again from touching this woman so that was a plus. With too much pain in his arm and neck, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to shove the woman off easily but his legs and uninjured arm was still in service. Aiming for wherever he could reach, the man used his uninjured arm to try and punch the woman off of him, pausing just enough to get a word or two in between each attempted punch. “You…are going…to…pay…for that…! You…and…that monster!” ~.~ Since arriving in the alleyway Jenna didn’t take a step. Too scared to run and even more so to fight back, the woman was frozen in place. Hearing Cal urge her and the others to run, Jenna tried to turn back and run away but she couldn’t. Years from now she wished she could look back at this moment and say that she stayed there due to loyalty to the others but it wasn’t so. She watched with uncertainty as Vida was snatched and the man’s skin started to burn wishing she had an ability that would have been more useful in a situation like this. She then watched as Cal jumped in to save Vida wishing again that she the the bravery that the woman or even the fed had. However as the man with the knife moved towards the federal agent and the third gunman moved towards Pat, Ester and herself, she knew that something would have to be done. Stopping a bullet was out of the question, she could barely stop silverware from moving when she visited a restaurant. However maybe she could do something with the knife. She wasn’t exactly sure what she would be able to do but going against two men singlehandedly wasn’t right, the federal agent would need help. Seeing Pat moving towards the gunman, she hoped he knew what he was doing. She could hear the gunman yelling in protest for Pat to stop but with the three of them behind her she didn’t know exactly what was happening. “S-stop.” Jenna said yelling at the man with the knife with feigned confidence which was easily read through. BlessedWrath "You've got to be kidding me." Sam's inner voice was a lot louder than her mouth was, though one could probably find a few examples of people willing to disagree. She steadied herself with a palm against a sagging floor joist as the pile of junk shifted beneath her. For that one moment, she marveled at the fact that she hadn't fallen; that her reflexes and balance were still good enough to manage unpredictable terrain. She stole a glance back at Christian, who now looked completely helpless. "He's even doing Zombie Arms." Sam hadn't exactly been social with the group; she hadn't had the time nor the inclination. Even if she hadn't been incapacitated by her incident with the lamp, she knew she'd have refused the chance to mingle. It became clear to her that she'd missed an obvious point of order in Christian. He was showing all the classic signs of blindness. How could she have overlooked the presence of a disabled person? The feeling was not remorse or shame. It was embarrassment. If he'd been an enemy agent, an infiltrator, she'd have been long dead before she noticed anything wrong at all. That would have to change. Just then, a thought occurred to her: If he had no eyesight, then how had he gotten this far? Complete blindness had a way of preventing things like a flawless pursuit through crowded, dangerous streets. There was no way in hell he'd have been able to do that. "Just so we know who's who," Sam called out, making certain her words were clear enough to be heard. "Exactly how does a blind man follow me through two blocks of traffic and people?" Prince of Seraphs There was a sort of silence after Christian spoke. He knew she was still there, he could hear her breathing but he got the unnerving impression that she was studying him. When she finally spoke again her words hit a soft spot that he hadn't realized he was protecting. He'd not told anyone of the Reformers or his fellow... Gen Charlies (was what the doctor had called them) about his ability. None of them knew about his strange flashes of reality. No doubt the TSP had some sort of record of his abilities from his attempted escape but the only other time he'd used it with a degree of success was when they were being shot at. Surely everyone had been to busy saving themselves to notice at the time. He could make up an excuse he supposed, say that he'd followed her distinctive footfall, hypothetically it was possible and he thought with some practice he could probably do it but she wouldn't possibly believe it. Christian didn't know much about Sam but from there time in the cells together and in the Reformer's base he'd gathered that she was a kind of loaner. Christian knew people like that, they didn't take anything at face value. They didn't trust anything but what they're own sense could tell them. If Christian assumed this was true of Sam then his only hope of getting out of this area of town was telling her the truth. He felt a little nervous talking about it and it likely showed on his face. "We're special aren't we?" he asked hesitantly, then it was like a damn burst inside of him and all his thoughts came spilling out in one big burst. "That bus accident, it did something to us. Vida survived four bullets to the chest, Daniel and his people all seem to be able to do something, I don't know what you're deal is but I... I make things move, a lot of the time its not even conscious, when the TSP came to take me I had a wall of garbage and debris flying round my body trying to protect me." He breathed out quickly and sucked in another breath so he could keep talking. "There's something else that goes along with it. Without my sight I guess I'm like a sniper rifle with no scope, I can fire but don't have a way to aim. My... my power seems to have compensated for it. Sometimes, when things are desperate I just sort of understand... everything. Facts, distances, weights, sizes, and more wacky stuff like light spectrum measurements and pressure and stuff, it all just gets jammed into my head and for minutes or hours I feel... liberated then it all comes crashing out violently the moment its not necessary anymore. I can't seem to control it, it comes and goes. Sometimes useless, sometimes specific and sometimes so surreal that I can't move or sleep like I can feel everything except myself." Christian stood t here trying to slow his breathing and his heart rate both of which were moving much faster than normal. It felt weird to open up to someone. Of course since the accident people had asked him what it was like to be blind and he usually shrugged it off with a funny or sarcastic remark. Talking about this though was different, it felt special, important and it felt strange to tell something else about it. "Well that's my explanation, what's yours then, if we just want to know who's who. The Reformer's wouldn't have come after you if you weren't effected so what can you do?" ArcanicNeon Ester never felt this much pain before. It was worse than a broken arm, or being punched in the nose. She was full on panicking now, tears slowly strewing from her eyes as she felt the warm blood trickle form the graze. 'JESUS CHRIST.' Ester yelled, clasping her hands on the graze. 'GOD DAMN IT.' She cringed and shook her head in pain. Ester took her hands off, breathing out misty, cold breath. Ester wanted to fight back after receiving her graze, but her fright and anger overtook her. She was took scared to move forward in risk of getting shot. As the third gunman came towards her and Pat, Ester moved backwards, fearing for her and her friends lives. As the gunman made his way towards Ester, she felt something make contact with the heel of her shoe. Looking down, Ester noticed a small lead pipe conveniently there for someone to just pick up and use. Ester swiftly snatched the pipe up, gripping it with two hands. She knew that this wasn't going to be enough to defend her against someone with a gun, but it was something rather than nothing. As Ester held the pipe, she saw the frost crawl up from her palm and up around the pipe. 'Crap...' Ester muttered, hoping that her powers wouldn't effect her improvised weapon. BlessedWrath Sam stood there, staring blankly at Christian. It felt as though he'd just gushed his life story to her. She had suspected his ability had to focus on some kind of positional acquisition, but had no idea it was telekinetic in nature. The battle in her mind between curiosity about the telekinetic side of things and surprise at the levy of Personal Disclosure which had just burst was ultimately lost when a third contender showed up: His question about her ability. It had been a little over a week since she had escaped from the facility, and just a day since her liberation from the TSP holding cell. She hadn't had much time to make sense of it. On top of that, disclosure was not something which defined Samantha Cole as a person; she much preferred secrecy and guile. But Christian had spilled his guts to her, and he really did look helpless now. Something inside her felt...wrong. It was as if her primary instinct -the knee-jerk reaction to bail on him and leave him for dead- was somehow a bad thing. It wasn't pity; that would have required an emotional connection. This was something far worse than pity. It was something which made her feel partly responsible for what happened to him. Her mind just couldn't conjure the word 'ethical' at the moment. And there was another voice which now made itself the solo in this little mental orchestra. He had described himself to her on a level which resonated in a way she didn't like. Samantha Cole was unique, different, rare. To hear that somebody else was having similar difficulties shot that egocentric viewpoint completely to hell. "It's a lot to take in, isn't it?" Sam ventured. "You're deaf and dumb for so long, and then you have that moment where it all becomes clear. You can't contain it all. It overwhelms you." She toed a pile of discarded wiring absently, trying to formulate her next words. Even she did not fully understand what had happened to her when she touched the lamp. But she did know that the memory of its design and function had stayed with her. She couldn't shake the image, even now. "I guess we're not a whole lot different in what we do. It's just how it's done that's different." She paused again, trying to find the right way to explain her ordeal. "You say you can see with your mind. Well..so can I. But it's...different. You see people, places, things... I see what those things are made of. I see how they work, and why." "At first, I didn't really believe we had been changed. If figured it was all some kind of experiment to see how much pressure it would take to get us to crack. But...after the thing with the lamp..." She trailed off, trying to force herself to maintain control. Her voice betrayed her concern about the incident, wavering slightly in just the way one would expect from a traumatic memory. "Do you have any idea what it's like to instantly know everything about an object? I remember every detail about that damned thing. I know its frequency cycle, the parts-per-million concentration of halogen inside the tube...I even know the purity of the tungsten element. Wilson's right: I'm different, and this has got to be my thing." There was an uncomfortable silence during the time it took for Sam to utter the words: "I really can read tech." dpickle Pat continued to stumble forward. It seemed every time he was about to recover his mind another yell or gunshot would bring him back to square one, the gash in his brain being sewed shut only to be immediately pulled open again. Through blurred vision Pat could make out the figure of a man with a gun and some sort of deep primal instinct drove Pat towards him. He was traveling way to slowly to have any sort of element of surprise under normal circumstances. However this man was much more focused on Ester and her pipe than the old man stumbling towards him. It was meant to be a push, but ended up as Pat just leaning on the man with both hands. As soon as Pat made contact, the man instinctively leapt backwards with a sharp cry of pain, lowering his while clutching and shaking his head with the other. With nothing to lean on, Pat fell forward, landing on his hands an knees. With his instincts now satisfied, Pat stayed in that position, eyes staring unfocused at the ground, waiting for things to quiet down. Izkripp The gun shots and the commotion fell on deaf ears as she was focused in on the man with the beanie. Fluidly she stood up and faced the man. Her eyes never left his face to see even though Callie was there on top of him. She did not seem to register her either. Her aura had changed to one that reeked of murderous intent, but the way her body moved willfully and the smile on her face seemed to contradict the notion. Her eyes though did not betray the aura. They were focused as if analyzing the man to see the best way to kill him. When she was within arms reach of him she knelt down just in time to see his fist rise up to hit Callie. “Now, now!” She reached her necrosis like hand out almost touching the man’s face. “Hitting a pretty lady is a no good, no go.” Her tone was very playful and completely out of character from how she had acted up until this point. “There was payment you said. Yes, yes. Payment was said. How about your life? Would it be enough to pay?” Her smile held as she shifted her attention to Callie. “Pretty lady, are you ok-ok?” Prince of Seraphs Christian could hear metal clinking against itself and surmised that Sam was playing with some copper wires or something else she'd found in the trash heap. He almost felt jealous of Sam. Her power seemed to give her direction, it was like someone giving directions while you're driving. To Sam they were giving clear instructions 'go twenty meters and take a right' to him it was more like 'STOP SIGN!' while they snapped there fingers in his face. "You're lucky, at least your powers stable. You can do something with it. Mine's well... at least for the moment it's completely gone and I don't know how to get it back." As he said this though he himself wasn't aware of it several lighter pieces of refuse, chip bags and string and things rose a few feet off the ground around him. "Unless you see Safeway around could we move on?" Then he realized that Sam had had her card stolen by the thief that he'd been chasing before he'd changed direction to see if she was alright. "Oh sorry, I forgot." the floating objects immediately fell to the ground. "What was that?" he asked cocking his head listening for anything else. He decided it was likely just someone dumping unwanted garbage nearby. "Listen you can share my card, I'm not going to spend eight hundred dollars." BlessedWrath Sam's normally stony expression was taken by a moment of annoyance. Christian had assumed she could control what she did, when the truth was that she didn't even know how she did it. She hadn't bothered to tell him about the side effects yet, but after the comparison of inconveniences, she felt compelled to expand on earlier explanation. While she waited for him to finish, she considered how she would respond. "Stable," she ventured, after the talk of money had concluded. "Is not a word I would use to describe myself. More like 'broken'." The memory of the incident with the lamp came back with a vengeance, forcing her to relive some of the data she'd gathered. It was all disjointed images, abstract and hardly useful; except that she somehow knew what it meant. It was like those posters composed of hundreds of photographs, only she saw the completed image while the individual photos were too blurred to understand. She didn't know whether it was simply a matter of practice, or if she would never gain the full benefit of her ability. "I don't even know what to do with it yet, or how to make it happen. The truth is that I haven't touched anything in the way of technology since I broke the lamp in my room. Wilson says it was my ability that did that. He also says I blacked out; had some kind of episode. I can remember a few other times when I woke up with a gap in my memory, during the week before the Reformers came for us. Every time, it was after I'd salvaged something or fixed something up. I don't know how I did it. I just know that, every time, it makes my brain go haywire." Ryver et Rhine Cal groaned as she felt herself being cushioned by the man. That was lucky! Somehow she managed to escape relatively unscathed. She swore she heard swearing coming from under her. She tumbled off as the gunman stood up. She dashed her head against the rough asphalt ground and her eyes became slightly unfocused. She pulled herself up slightly only to have a massive fist slam into the right cheek. The impact turned her head sideways as a blue-green patch began forming on her right cheek. “Urgh…” Callie clutched the side of her head helplessly as he pulled his arm back. She fixed her electric blue eyes on his livid face. She screwed her eyes shut and turned away slightly. The next one would be worst. “Hitting a pretty lady is a no good, no go.” One eye opened then the other. Soon the battered airhostess stared at the woman restraining her assailant. She blinked slightly in an attempt to clear her double vision. Yet the the scene unfurling before her was sending off very bad vibes. She shuddered. The tables have turned… But… She watched as Vida for the man’s face… “There was payment you said. Yes, yes. Payment was said. How about your life? Would it be enough to pay?” “Stop! We don’t have to kill him.” Both turned to look at her. Her eyes looked into the man’s fearful ones and her heart skipped several beats. Slowly she turned back to her yet-to-be-known companion. The eyes appeared normal, but no, this definitely wasn’t the woman from before. “Pretty lady, are you ok-ok?” “I-I… yes. Thanks.” Cal gave Vida a grateful smile in an attempt to distract the other from committing murder. “We don’t have to hurt him, okay?” Her eyes glazed over as the world began spinning again. There seemed to be hundreds of people all around. Multiple clones moving around. It was all very surreal. The edges of her vision grew dimmer. All the sounds around them faded away. Cal swayed slightly. Those blue eyes that were looking straight into Vida’s closed as Callie fell backwards. She flopped on the ground and lay very still. Kirra “Stop? What are you going to do if I don’t?” The man said with a slight chuckle as he turned towards Jenna. “I doubt you can do a single thing to stop me.” Taking a hesitant step back as the man took a step towards her, the man chuckled again. “Heh, don’t waste my time. Why don’t you leave while you have the chance? I don’t have time to deal with cowards like you.” Turning around, the man continued towards the fed with an aim to stop the fight before things became ugly. With the knife in the man’s hand Jenna knew she had to do something quickly. Sure, the federal agent might be able deal with JC on his own but he was going to get hurt if the man attacked him with the knife and then both of the gang members would have the upper hand and that would be troublesome for the whole group. “No.” Jenna said running towards the man. The thought of getting injured or getting killed swarmed her mind but even so, she knew she had to act just like the other have done. “I can’t let you hurt him.” Pushing the man hard on the back, she was trying to push the man towards the ground as she saw Cal and the federal agent both do but wasn’t faced with the same success as she watched the man stumbled forwards before regaining his balance and turned towards Jenna. Face to face, she looked at the man and wondered if she too could use her power against the man as Vida did. Thinking back to the restaurant when she tried and grabbed the silverware, Jenna wondered if she could replicate the incident and move the knife in a similar fashion. Reaching out with her in the direction of the knife, the woman then balled her hand into a fist and jerked her hand over a few inches. Nothing Again she tried to use her power but yet again there was no movement. Trying again but this time with multiple times in a row with both hands switching between opened and closed fists and anything else she could come up with but nothing was happening. She could feel herself panic as she tried and think back to other times an “incident” came up when her power surfaced but couldn’t think of anything that connected the different incidences. She had no idea how to get her power working. “What’s wrong ya? Havin’ a seizure or something?” The man said with slight confusion. “Come on, work already.” Jenna mumbled as the man started to approach her. “Oh crap, oh crap, crap.” Jenna said panicking. With her arms crossed over her head and eyes squeezed shut, Jenna ducked down with the anticipation of the knife hitting her. However she was surprised when she her the man yell out in pain and the sound of the knife falling towards the ground. With her hands still up to protect her face she slowly opened her eyes and looked at the man. He was clutching his ear and could see that he was bleeding. Knowing that she couldn’t waste any time to figure out what happened, she dived down for the knife. She wasn’t exactly sure how she would use it but it would give her the slight advantage, or at least she hoped. ~.~ “What the…” The man mumbled in confusion as he gaze drifted from the old man to the woman as she lifted a pipe. He wasn’t too concerned about the woman having a weapon. With a gun she didn’t stand a chance against him when he had a gun. However the sudden appearance of frost on the pipe, especially in the middle of May, seemed unbelievable. Thinking that it was nothing more than him imagining things, the man looked again at the pipe and the frost he thought he imagined was still there. “H-how did you do that?” The man said with disbelief as he pointed the gun towards the woman. “You better tell me right now what is going on or I’ll...” The man started to say before a cloud of pain collided with him. He wasn’t exactly sure how much time passed as the man slowly opened his eyes but it couldn’t have been long. Still disoriented, the man could see that the old man was now on the ground. Still in a painful daze, the man slowly pulled the gun up towards the old man. He knew there was something he was forgetting but in the condition he was in at that moment, he couldn’t remember what it was. ~.~ “Monsters. Demon possessed monster.” The man said with a hint of fear in his voice. A sudden sharp cry of pain made the man look towards the other man with the gun. The old man was crumpled on the ground and appeared to somehow hurt his comrade while ice was growing on the female’s pipe. “The whole lot of you are monsters.” The man said babbling as he attempted to make a cross as is often seen with the catholic community. He wasn’t a religious man but that was the only explanation of what was happening besides drugged out of his mind and he knew quite well that he didn’t touch any form of substance that day. “D-demon possessed freaks.” Although the “pretty lady” did come with the others, she wasn’t exactly like the others. There wasn’t any sign of any freakish activity coming from her. Maybe she would be able to stop the monster. “Y-yes, listen to her. You don’t want to do this.” The man said as he glanced towards the lady but instead of getting an agreement he saw her collapse. He only hoped that somehow the monster would listen to the lady. ~.~ Undisclosed Location “Are they finished?” “Hold your horses. Things like this takes time, patience and most of all it takes silence so quit your nagging or I’ll make you wait outside.” “Fine.” Cameron huffed in annoyance as he watched the man work. “You know, why don’t you wait in the corner over there or better yet wait in the other room. You X-men wackos give me the creep and I have enough to worry about making sure that your computer-brained wench doesn’t get her hands on any of this.” The man said pausing from his work just enough to point towards the chair that was in the furthest point in the room from him before continuing his work. “First of all that woman…” “Go. Leave me be right now or I will stop and let you deal with the mess you created on your own. I signed up to cover the tracks of the first batch of wannabe freaks but now you’ve replaced them all and you want me to do all of this with very little time to work. You're lucky I’m still here so go now while I still have my patience.” “Just remember, this isn’t for nothing. I will deal with my end of the bargain for you after you are done.” “Yes, yes you will. However speaking of bargains, you’ve changed your end of things so I think I should have the liberties to do so as well. I have another job I want you to complete. Deandre over there has a file for you with all the information you need. Although your powers are necessary for this, you’ll need some assistance for this one so make sure you take along one of your guys or better yet a few of your new freaks. Who knows, it might be interesting to see what they can do.” viktor May 5, 2014. “Yes Dr. Miller. Yes, that’s right. I don’t know how to explain the symptoms other than miraculous.” Tom only heard one side of the conversation. “Yes, he’s perfectly fine now. His resting heart rate is back to normal levels, the only change I found is in the DNA sequence. But I don’t understand what it means..” Melanie paced the room chewing on a pencil, her long hair pulled back in a ponytail and her glasses resting on the tip of her nose. Tom smiled. His sister, even when nerdy, still managed to look adorable. He dressed back into a pair of sweats and went back to the treadmill to perform his 3rd stress test of the day. The first two had been somewhat uneventful. He had no doubt that She had his best intentions in mind, but this was getting tiresome and they’d only been at it a day. His mind was still hazy as to what had occurred. His memory of the events was returning in flashes. He found himself staring off into space and letting his mind wander, as his sister ramped the treadmill up from her tablet. “Dr. Miller says that something triggered what you did, but we’re not sure what. We have to keep running tests…” present Tom assessed his situation within a heartbeat, And looking up, JC would have seen his pupils dilate, retract, dilate again and finally narrow to near pinpoints. Tom felt a surge in his muscles, using the energy to bash JC’s wrist against the ground, while blocking the hit from the youth’s free hand. The gang leader let out a howl of pain as the bones in his hand smashed into the pavement under the combined weight of the gun, and Tom’s arm. Tom then squeezed his wrist, pinching nerves and bones alike, forcing the hand to open. Several broke under the strain. Tom rolled onto his back, pivoting off of his hip and shifting his legs and weight to put JC into an arm-bar restraint. He was completely focused on his quarry, though he was vaguely aware of the screams of the one assailant, the taunting of the knife wielder and the other man, who had fired off a couple of wild rounds as he fell in pain. One of those rounds ricocheted off the pavement and grazed Tom’s thigh. “Enough!” he bellowed, striking JC with an elbow, breaking his nose and drawing out a thick stream of blood. He pulled again, removing the man’s shoulder from his socket, and taking advantage of the pain and disorientation he pulled the young man to his feet, and slipped his neck between his bicep and forearm. He held him and backed against the chain link, looking at the scene in front of him. “Everyone stands down, or I snap his chicken-shit little neck!” he said. His eyes burned fire as he looked at the remainder of the assailants. He had little time. The gunfire would draw police interference, something Tom did not want. “Do it!” He yelled again, ”now…” Ryver et Rhine Cal felt a pleasant warmth blanketing her. It reminded her of the lazy summer days spent sleeping in Grandpa’s hammock. Next she heard a cacophony of otherworldly voices. She opened her eyes and a long drawn soundless scream escaped her lips. She was hovering hundreds of feet above the rundown puddle filled alley. Was she dead? Callie reminded herself to be rationale. Of course she wasn’t dead or she wouldn’t be thinking. Still her worried blue eyes searched the area and her heart stopped. Lying on the ground was her body. Oh god! She must really be dead. But how? Why? Surely a hard bump on the head wasn’t enough to kill someone, was it? She heard more yelling as the man tried continued fighting off the possessed Vida. His eyes were literally bulging as he clutched the clothed part of the she devil’s arm with both hands. He kept his arms as straight as possible to keep the cursed hand away from his face. A garbled mix of English and Italian tumbled out of his mouth as his poor brain tried to accept the stark reality. The scene was like something out of the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Christ! When Father spoke of spiritual warfare he never imagined he would come face to face with one of Satan's minion in the flesh. Cal attempted to reach for Vida even though she knew deep down that it was futile. To her utter amazement she found herself standing behind young woman. She tapped Vida’s shoulder gently but an angry howl shattered her concentration. Turning to the source Cal saw the fed wrap his beefy hands round JC’s neck. Her stomach churned so badly that she forced herself to stare at hairline crack running parallel to the tips of her shoes. Don't think about it! She repeated the same phrase over and over again in her mind. Her fists clenched and a determined look flashed across her usually kind face as she jerked her head up. “Please Vida stop!” She screamed as she wrapped her spectral arms round person in front of her. Like a ghost her entire body phased through Vida. Callie gasped as she felt herself pulled towards her still form. Everything went blank the moment her translucent hand passed through her clammy skin. Pain engulfed Cal and the woman screamed as her eyes shot open. The after effects of her first ever out-of-body experience left the Wright woman feeling severely queasy, but somehow she was able to remember being incredibly frightened by the out-of-control fed. Cal sat up and pointed a shaky finger towards Tom. She fought to keep the remains of her greasy bacon and eggs down when she saw his huge muscular hands wrapped around the throat. “Vi-vi-VIDA! Stop him!” She screeched. BlessedWrath Sam chewed on her lip in the uncomfortable silence which followed her elaboration on the inconveniences her ability brought with it. She had done it again; had given away too much information. This always happened. She would let someone in and they would discover that they didn't like what they saw. "Forget it." She mumbled, turning away. "It's not important." She busied herself with a nearby dumpster, though whether it was out of legitimate interest or as a means to force a subject change was unclear. Sam never found much interest in criminal activity or methodology, but from the collection of discarded electronics within, she suspected it to be one of many dump-sites that the more organized thugs in the city might have used when ditching their "burner" phones. "What a waste." She said softly. Before she could think better of it, she plucked one off the top of the pile. She dropped it instantly, clutching her hand to her chest, as if to shield it. "Whoops. Almost forgot." She turned back to Christian. "These phones all have one thing in common. They're all low-tech, pre-paid models. No GPS, no internet...nothing. I'll just bet they all have just one or two calls in their history. Crooks use them to make deals, sometimes. I...uh...read about it." "Better leave this stuff alone. If they are burners, the deals their owners made would have to be pretty serious, just to cover the cost of their gear. We're not looking at common hoods here." She hopped down to the alley floor and trudged over to Christian. Just touching that phone had made her edgy, almost excited. She hadn't given herself the time to absorb any more than the most basic information, but it was enough to make her want more. Leaving them was like turning her back on her most basic instinct. "Come on," she insisted, grabbing Christian's hand. "Let's bail before anyone sees us." That sentiment would have helped them quite a bit more, had it crossed her mind minutes earlier. She could not know that their movements had already been observed. Prince of Seraphs Sam had described her power as 'broken' and of course Christian could see where she got that. Imagine every time you touched a piece of technology you blacked out and had the specs for it downloaded into your head. Then again she knew exactly what her trigger was, she knew what would set her power off and how to avoid it. Though he thought bouncing the ideas back at himself, she could try to avoid technology for the rest of her life (assuming she couldn't learn to control this) but that seemed like much more effort than it was worth. There must be some sort of temporary solution. If her power responded to touch then maybe there was a special type of glove she could wear that would block the signals at least till she got decent control over it. She was lucky, Christian thought. Her powers were as far as her description went out of control but she understood them a lot better than he did his. He couldn't very well shield against his powers or indeed use them when he had no idea what activated them in the first place. Maybe he'd got through the rest of his life having episodes of near sight just to have them ripped violently from him. If that did happen he prayed that at some point the headaches would become less extreme. Then he wondered, could these powers be doing some sort of damage to them. It couldn't be healthy to absorb knowledge the way they did, was it possible it was injuring there brain in some way? "Forget it," Christian heard a disgruntled and slightly hurt voice. "It's not important." Sam's voice became slightly muffled and Christian surmised that she'd turned away from him. This was confirmed when he heard the sounds of trash being riffled through. She was clearing going through one of the dumpsters. Christian cursed himself. As near as he could tell Sam was a very private person, it couldn't have been often that she talked that openly about herself. No doubt after all she'd said she expected or perhaps hoped for something along the lines of 'no it's not that bad' or 'you're not a freak' and not hearing those things she'd instantly assumed he thought the opposite. It was too late to say something now. He'd been too lost in her revere of processing all this new information and speculating on what it might mean to see that Sam needed some support. Granted seeing was not his strong suit but he was usually better at sense the mood in other people. Sam started into an explanation of why there were so man discarded cells phones. Christian up until that point hadn't actually been aware that there were but he listened if only to give Sam the impression that he was interested. No doubt she was only explaining it to bridge the awkward silence that had sprung up between them. Christian heard the sound of Sam's feet hitting the pavement. Then her hand yanked on his. There was a sudden spark of electricity between there palms. It only lasted a second but in that second Christian's second sight turned on. For the briefest of moments. It didn't last long enough for him to get a coherent picture of anything but he was left with the distinct feeling that something nearby was very very wrong. "Sam, I think we go, now. Something's not right on this street." They should get somewhere more populated quickly. It was just a gut feeling but Christian felt like someone or something was watching them. Izkripp Vida seemed disinterested in the woman now. She appeared to only be a passed fancy and since she was now unconscious there was no reason to pay her any mind. Vida turned her attention back to the gang member that was still very much awake in front of her. “Now, now. Pretty lady has gone to sleep. She won’t hear you screaming louder and louder.” She tilted her head to the side with an innocent looking smile that did not fit the words that she had just said. She could not help but stare into the man’s eyes as he looked at her with terror. “Now. Where was I? Oh!” She poked the man’s arm with a giggle that made the man flinch away from her. “Screaming, screaming!” She was just about to enjoy herself even more when Cal regained consciousness. “Vi-vi-VIDA! Stop him!” Cal screeched. Vida stopped her poking of the man and looked at Cal. “Stop who Pretty Lady?” She said confused and showing a little more annoyance than she probably should have. She looked to the people that were around her now. There were more people then she could care to remember. The one that stood out was the bigger guy from earlier. He was yelling about something and threatening to kill someone. She couldn’t help but smile. Turning her attention back to Cal she motioned to Tom. “Stop Muscle Man is what Pretty Lady wants?” Vida sighed as if annoyed but her facial expression showed she was not. “Alright, alright, but first.” She looked at the man that was trying to get away from them now. “Stay, stay!” Vida reached out with both of her hands and grabbed onto the man’s legs. Thankfully fashion sense said that people should have holes in their pants now as she was able to touch the skin on his legs. The man reared and screamed as she held on through him striking her to get away. The struggle didn’t last long as the man went unconscious from the pain. “Good boy~!” Standing up Vida walked over to where Tom was. She now looked worse for wear as her cheek was starting to swell from the hit she had received and her hands looked like she was a victim of leprosy. “Muscle Man, Pretty Lady doesn't want him to die, die.” A giggle escaped her lips before she could catch it. “Stop, stop or I will touch you!” She held her hands up that were decayed. She was actually missing half of one finger by now. Still… she was smiling. "Is... is that an earring?" Jenna said as she saw something metallic on the ground. There was traces of blood on the simple earring but as the man composed himself again she knew she didn't have time to think about it. She needed to find a way to stop the man. "You're going to pay for that." The man said as he reached out to try and force the knife out of her hands. She could see that his earlobe was ripped from where she assumed the original hole was and straight downwards. She could feel herself stumble backwards as the man wrestled for the knife. Compared to the strength the man had she knew she wouldn't be able to keep a good grip on it for long which was exactly what happened as she felt a sharp pain digging into her right hand. Startled, she quickly released the knife and jumped back and looked at her hand. There was a decent sized gash on her right palm which would need to be attended to but wasn't so bad that it would be life threatening. Without a knife, she was back at square one or rather worse off now that the earring couldn't be used against him again and she was injured. Maybe if she could find another piece of jewelry she could use that against the man in the same fashion as the earring but she couldn't' see anything on him. "You know..." The man started to say before interrupted with slight excitement at her find. "Gotcha." Another metallic piece caught her eye as the man spoke, paying very little attention to what he was saying. The idea was gross and the thought of more blood involved wasn't something she was looking forward to but it was that or be attacked. A yowl caused by pain came from the man as he used both hands to grab towards his face and slumped forward. Using the same method as before with the earring, she did so but this time with the tongue piercing she saw while he spoke. She couldn't see the piercing anywhere on the ground so it must have been still in his tongue or in his mouth however she could see blood. She knew she was turning pale as she felt herself start to get queasy. "Let's end this now, please." Jenna asked more for her own sake than for the man. Although she didn't get into a physical fight she wasn't sure how much more she could handle. She was already on the way of feeling like she was going to throw up from the gore. "Go ahead. Kill me." Although in obvious pain by the way JC's voice wavered, there wasn't an ounce of fear in his voice as he taunted Tom "Come on, you're almost there. I know you have the strength." The man said starting to chuckle before he cringed from the pain. "But do you have the will? Can you do it in front of everyone? I dare you." A mix of stubbornness and knowing what the superiors might do if they heard what happened was the only reason he wasn't giving in and the way the fight was going end soon even with his taunting. It was only a matter of time before they were beaten. The others were always pathetic when it came to fight like this. Without a larger group as is the norm to back them up, the will to fight was much weaker. One was already incapacitated on the ground babbling nonsense about demons and monsters while the second seemed to be struggling with the woman and the old man crumpled on the ground. The third appeared to be faring better than the other two since he had his knife back but for how long. He only hoped that inside the building Jake was doing something productive instead of twiddling his thumbs around like an idiot and was waiting for him and the guys to join him. Another scream escaped from one of his men before passing out which was shortly followed by one of females heading towards the two of them. A slight look of confusion crossed the man's face as he listened to the woman speak which followed by a morbid look of disgust as he saw the condition of her hands. That was when he remembered what one of the men were yelling. Was she the monster he was talking about? Were they all freaks like that woman? It would explain the struggle they were having against them. "They don't pay me enough for crap like this." JC mumbled as he continued to look at the hand. With only a small handful of men there would be no way to stop them and if the others were freaks such as the women he rather face what would be given to him by his superiors than see what the freaks would be able to do.