Logs:And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at; everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its disasters.

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And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at; everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its disasters.

cn: death/disease

Dramatis Personae

Timeslip, HYPERDRIVE DISPATCH, Vector, K.C., Naomi, Nanami, Kelawini, Beau, Dusk, Gaétan


"There is no ideal course. Only a best course." (Recruiting Naomi happens in the middle of this.)


Across the Rift - Shippenville Prison - Shippenville, PA

Though there is a slight wind, it is quiet and calm. The air is chilly as the night has set in, a light covering of snow dampening the sound even more, except for the soft crunching underfoot. Timeslip's plans were explained through pre-recorded audio earlier in the day, while the snow was still falling, accounting for the likely weather conditions; once the communications in and out were properly shut down by K.C., there would not be a lot of time to get the rest of the plan underway, mostly hinging on Hyperdrive Dispatch's ability to disable the dampeners, Timeslip's relative strength and speed to get through most of the more physical barriers (as well as keep an eye on how things are progressing), and Vector's capacity to incapacitate their foes, human and machine alike.

To this end, Timeslip is wearing a toolbelt under her black jacket, with both intended tools and less intended weapons hanging from it, a pair of clear goggles, a black fabric mask around her face. A small speaker hangs around her neck on a chain, though it is presently silent. For the time being, she is remaining near to the others, occasionally chirping something to herself incomprehensibly, evidently the results of a habit that she has of thinking out loud.

K.C. is a little wide-eyed, a little restless. She's been fidgeting, twitchy, in the cold, also muttering quiet to herself and though it's far more audibly comprehensible than Heather it may not make a lot of sense to anyone who doesn't live inside her head. Still, it's clear enough when she looks up, nods to the others -- "Patrolling Sentinels won't alarm now. Little closer. Can shut down the main alarms too." She bites her lip uncomfortably, looking to Vector first and then the others. "Can't kill the robots. You can kill them?"

Spencer is sticking closer to K.C., the only member of this team he can safely teleport, though if all goes well he should not need to. He's been restless and fidgety ever since their rendezvous, though now that it's go time he seems to have found some small measure of serenity. He doesn't look at K.C. when she speaks, but follows her gaze to Vector, his eyes very wide though he knows perfectly well what the man can -- and intends -- to do.

Vector isn't wearing much that marks him as just about to Do Crimes; he's just in jeans, boots, a warm knit cap and gloves and scarf (that isn't much disguising his face), soft fleece-lined jacket. He's been keeping quietly to himself while K.C. works but attends now with a small lift of his brows, a small tip of his head. "I can kill the robots," he affirms softly, and then, "I can kill everything." A moment later, as if -- perhaps! -- realizing this might be off-putting, he amends a touch apologetically: "I'm not going to kill everything." A beat of pause. "Only clear the humans out."

Timeslip nods quickly and gives a thumbs up when Vector clarifies that he is not going to kill everything. She does not seem at all bothered by the latter part. "Any alarms you can shut down," says the speaker around her neck, "It will save effort on manually disabling them." To Vector she says, "The more defences we can disable now the better. I do not want to break too much." A pause. "Personally, I mean. I am indifferent to things being broken in the general sense. Of course."

K.C. nods along with this, eyes turning out through the snow toward the prison. "Okay," she says, "yes, okay. Only --" But here she stops. Turns, staring at Vector. "Clear all the humans?" Her fingers are fluttering quicker at the air. "Kill the robots. Kill the robots. The people -- the people..." The flick of her fingers is faster. "What."

Spencer is growing less and less apparently calm, shoving his hands deeper into his pockets. At K.C.'s question he shakes his head. "Not all the humans, everywhere," he says quickly shoulders hunching. "Just the guards here. They probably don't like -- have other staff overnight." He does not sound exceptionally sure on this point. "But there's no other way we'll pull this off, so many people have tried and died or got captured themselves."

Vector tips his hand out to Spencer for his explanation. "Only the humans here," he assures K.C. "Which -- if they're working at this prison --" He leaves this sentence unfinished, but there isn't a lot of weight in his tone. "Are we ready? I have never really loved the cold." His mouth compresses, thin. "Or -- prisons."

"And any of them who see us here could cause us future trouble," confirms Timeslip. "I think we are ready. I am ready." She looks back towards K.C. and Spencer. "I do not care for prisons either. And I am not known for great patience."

"Janitors human. Nurses human. Gaétan human. Captured. So many. Friends --" K.C's hand is twitching with a greater agitation, her words shorter, clipped. "Bad plan bad plan bad plan bad plan."

"I don't think janitors and nurses are here in the --" Spencer's eyes do snap to K.C. now, wide-wide. "Gaétan? Gaétan Tessier?! What -- why would he be here they don't put humans here, not like the regular camps. They would have -- sent him somewhere else!" He turns his panicked gaze to Vector, then Timeslip. "They wouldn't put a human kid in here, right?"

"Tessier?" This part does give Vector a moment's pause. His brows lift, his jaw tensing. "-- from. Your world, yes?" A little more cautious than before. He glances aside to Spencer, then to Timeslip. "If she says he's in there -- she would know, yes? If he's like the Tessiers here -- I imagine collaborators are at some. Not-insignificant level of risk." His eyes lowers, head bowing slightly. "It's -- unfortunate. I'm very sorry." He's turning aside, now, already starting to head across the snow-damped ground toward the outer prison wall.

Heather shakes her head, "Good plan. We will have few opportunities. If we stop--" She looks back towards the prison. "We lose our opportunity. Everyone loses. We will be in danger as well. There is no ideal course. Only a best course." Her lips press into a line. She squeaks a few words afterwards and then turns around to face the prison again, shuffling after Vector.

"Gaétan Tessier," K.C. confirms, "Gaétan Tessier. In there. Human. Human. Human." She isn't following after the others -- just frozen in place on the snowy ground, hands clenching and unclenching as her words get quicker and choppier.

Spencer is also rooted to the spot, breathing fast. "That's -- they're not supposed to -- that's wrong --" He squares his narrow shoulders. Looks at K.C. "I'll try to save him," he tells her. "Maybe -- I don't know. I'll talk to Vector." He stretches a hand toward her. Hesitates. "They're gonna do this, with or without us." He bites his bottom lip hard. "I'm sorry. I'm sending you back with the others." He lays just the tips of his fingers gently on her shoulder and she disappears. Turning, blinking back his tears, Spencer jogs to catch up with the adults.

Vector is leaving the kids behind -- they can catch up! Ahead of them, around them, there's just the quiet landscape -- dotted, as he goes now, with statue-still Sentinels, frozen in place in the snowy landscape. He stops near the first guard post. Settles, quiet, by a tree just out of its sightline. Briefly pulls his sleeve back to check a watch on his wrist. "Sorry," he says, his voice mild, "I know patience isn't your forte, but we only have a little bit more waiting to go."

Coming up in a dash, the thudding of her boots slightly muffled by the snow, Naomi is coming from the buses towards Spence and the others as fast as she can. When she does catch up, she’s winded, pulling the scarf around her mouth down so she can catch her breath. “I can stop the guards,” she says breathlessly, green eyes wide. “I can- I can stop the guards please let me help please.”

While waiting for the go-ahead from Vector, Timeslip has been toying with a fidget cube that she deemed important enough to include in her toolkit. She turns around when she sees someone running towards them, for just a split second seeming ready to spring into action, but returns to her more relaxed posture when she sees it is just one of the children from the bus. "You are Naomi. You have the gift of charm," her speaker emits, as if it is a reminder to herself more than anything. "Yes. You can stop the guards. If you see anyone unexpected, tell them not to communicate. Steel yourself. You will see death."

Spencer is huddled beside Vector, unmoving save for his breathing which stirs little puffs of white condensation in the cold hair. His eyes are red even if his face is dry now, and it's at a slight delay that he lifts his gaze from the snowy ground to the approaching girl. He does not meet Naomi's eyes, or look at Timeslip at all when she speaks. Just presses harder into Vector's side. "I'll try to keep you safe," he says, his tone kind of flat and inflectionless. "It'll be easier if you stay close enough to touch."

There has been movement by the guard station -- some conversation that sounds almost jovial, some coughing, some dawdling. Two guards staying in the station; two heading to do a round, two heading back inside. Vector has had his arm curled around Spencer's shoulders. He's pressed back the wool on one finger of his fingerless gloves and is turning slowly at the small dotted studs on a steel ring he wears at his thumb, but looks up as Naomi approaches, hand curling loosely into a fist.

"If it all goes as planned," he says, quiet, "it won't be a worry. The humans should all be dead before we get inside. But if they're not, it would be good to make sure nobody sends up any alarms." He looks to Timeslip, then back to Naomi. "It will be ugly. What I do usually is."

Naomi’s breath hitches at Timeslip’s warning, eyes still wide, going wider still at Vector’s clarification. Takes a deep breath, head nodding. “I can do that. I can do that.” She moves to Spence’s side, leaving only a few inches between his arm and hers. Breathes slow and deliberately as she waits.

Timeslip continues watching, fidgeting, checking her watch with her back towards the others for some amount of time. When she looks back, there is some air of concern in the tension that lines her face, and her flat voice asks, "Are you going to be okay, Spencer? It is time to move. I will need you." She gestures forward and starts to zip towards the entrance once the first guards seem disabled enough that they will not cause her any trouble to pass by, to collect any cards or keys that she needs to from them.

Spencer pulls reluctantly from Vector's side once they move out. He reaches out and takes Naomi's hand, not bothering to try and match Timeslip's pace -- she will likely be through looting the corpses before the teenagers have even made it past the now-neutralized guard station to move in on the prison complex proper. There's a Sentinel in sight of the door that Timeslip's card opens, but it is collapsed insert in the snow. The entry area is set up with what incongruously look like an unfurnished lobby but is probably intended as a kill zone for the guards at the security checkpoint on the other end to defend. They are not defending it now, not visible at all from the door.

Spence stoops down and sinks his fingers into the snow. Handfuls of snowy earth vanish at his touch and, invisible to the outside, materialize inside the walls at the depth and height where the suppression grid hardware is usually embedded, neutralizing the field in this immediate area of the building, at least. He stands up and takes Naomi's hand again, his own damp and icy cold now. He waits for the adults to enter before following them, the grip of his hand tightening, no expression on his face.

Vector is quiet, now, but so is the world around them. Much more so than a prison ought to be, even at this hour; the grounds near silent, the Sentinels standing still and unmoving, no movement or alarm going up as they pass through the kill box despite the many vantage points all round from which doubtless countless guards should be watching.

When Timeslip's stolen card opens the checkpoint door on the other end he's already slightly more braced, a tension in his posture, a small tightening to his eyes and nose. He does not visibly gag, though the smell that greets them is thick and immediate, more readily visible than the strewn bodies that are soon enough apparent. Whatever the origin of his mutated virus, it has wreaked a messy vengeance through the halls of Shippenville. The entrance is quiet, though his footsteps squelch on the floor as he passes through.

Somewhere in the distance, someone is still hacking, wracking and painful. Somewhere entirely else, there's panicked banging on a wall. "Oh. Good." The banging is the direction his head turns. "I was worried, now that we wouldn't have K.C. to guide us."

Naomi’s squeezes tight on Spencer’s hand when it returns to her, her eyes now just perpetually wide as she follows. She does gag when the door opens, just barely managing to keep down her bile. Squeezes Spences’s hand harder. Tries not to look at what she is stepping through. Who is she stepping through. Her eyes flash glowing green, though as of yet there is no living person in sight.

"I was just going to open every door. That saves some effort." While Timeslip's wearing a fabric mask for just such an occasion, she does spend a moment pushing it closer to her face to protect against the smell. She zips around collecting items, opening doors and destroying security information before she gets to the cell to use one of the collected cards to open it up. "Please escape in an orderly fashioned. We have a bus."

Kelawini has been pacing steadily in the darkness of the cell she shares with her sister, going to peer out through the small reinforced window in the door at the apex of every round. She gasps when she comes to the door this time, her hand shooting to the wall beside it. "Nanami!" she whispers harshly, her eyes closed in concentration. "Da kine--" is about as far as she gets before the electronic lock in their door whirs and clicks open. She almost rushes out the door at once but, miraculously, has the restraint to wait for her sister, eyebrows raised. "Any dem bots out dere?"

Nanami hastens after her sister. Her head shakes, quick. "No. No! Bots gone. What? After all that? Either we go free now or some zombies 'bout to eat our faces -- oh." Her eyes widen as she peeks out into the hallway. "No zombies there. That's our people!"

Dusk is not a zombie, though he looks halfway to one, pale and gaunt and shuffling as he makes his way out of his cell. His dark eyes widen at the familiar sight of Timeslip's rapid movement, a quick smile flashing across his face and one huge wing stretching out towards her even as he starts exiting -- even in kind of an orderly fashion! "What took you so long?"

Almost as soon as the grid goes down in their block the door to Beau’s cell explodes outwards, the teen’s massive hand grabbing hold of the frame and his head peeks out, checking for guards. “By the Emperor, if this is another dream I’m stranglin’ an orderly when I wake up.” He isn’t looking all that great, no traces of eyebrows or a mustache left on his burnt and bandaged face, but it doesn’t stop him from hurrying out and trying to figure out what’s happening.

Gaétan is slower than some of the others to leave his cell, still looking kind of dazed as he steps out into the hall. "Escape? Is this a --" But he freezes, first when he sees Naomi and then -- his eyes are kind of darting rapidly between Vector and "Spence? Oh God -- no. Shit. Are you Spence?"

Down at the far end of the cellblock, there's motion in the farther guard station. It's quiet, first. Maybe a zombie after all, from the low groan, the small thump -- but then the outer door opens, another uniformed figure ducking into the security booth to crouch at its control panel. Maybe they are hitting buttons! From the hallway now it is hard to tell if that is all they are doing. Some of the cell doors are just starting to lock again, though.

Nanami, Kelawini, Beau, Gaétan- with each successive emergence of her classmates Naomi’s mouth opens a touch more. Her eyes dim, her words coming out breathless but normal. “Oh my god y’all are okay,” she whispers, then louder, “Escape bus is outside go fast go- Hey you.” Mid sentence she switches back to full snake eyes- she is yelling down the hall, the hissing twist of her power slithering into the ears and around the mind of the one guard she just saw. “Undo what you did.” She tugs free of Spence’s hand and jogs forward. “Tell me what you did.

Spencer does not spot Gaétan immediately, but his eyes zero in on the other boy at the sound of his name. "Gae --" he calls out, his voice heavy with relief, but then his wide gray eyes widen further, focusing on the movement of the guard down at the other end of the hallway. The noise that comes out of him sounds far more like a panicked yelp than the word "No!", but throwing himself in front of Vector with his arms flailing high speaks perhaps more eloquently than his mouth is able to manage right now.

"Locked the doors," the guard in the station answers Naomi promptly, already starting to unlock them. Down the hall, the remaining cells are clanging back upen. "Called for backup. There's nobody left here."

"Oh --" Vector's attention has reflexively trained on that unexpected motion down the hall, his hand flexing as the guard station door opens. He relaxes at Spencer's flailing, though. Glances to Gaétan, then to Spencer. Back to Gaétan. "Is that your friend? You're alive. Good." His voice is mild. "Let's go, then." He's gesturing the stream of newly freed prisoners toward the exit, picking his way back through the cellblock to the carnage -- and the exit -- beyond.

Gaétan watches Naomi race down the hall, his eyes widening as the cell doors start to open back up. They stay wide after this -- it takes a moment for him to trail after Vector, arms curling around himself and hugging tight, face paler at the grisly sight around them. He presses a hand to his mouth. Frowns, deep. "Should I -- not be alive?" The question, small, comes as he looks at the scattered bodies.

Timeslip spreads her arms and grins when she sees Dusk and starts to help guide him out of the cell. "You know how I work. I always take my time." She stops, furrows her eyebrows and looks in the direction of the guard and draws a knife from her toolbelt, and while she readies herself to throw it, she stops and thinks better of it. "Just tell him to sit down and wait to die. If backup is coming. We need to be gone. Swiftly."

Naomi’s breathing is speeding up, her whole body trembling as she splutters out more commands immediately after the guard finishes answering her. “Tell backup not to come. You don’t need backup.” Her head whirls around at Timeslip’s suggestion. Looks from her, to Vector’s retreating back, back to the guard. Slowly, her voice trembling but still imbued with charm: “Lie down. Wait to die.” Her voice cracks on the last word.

“What a fuckin’ rat.” Beau growls in the general direction of the guard and Naomi before following Vector out. “I guess that means we won’t have time to hit the gift shop on the way out. Was lookin’ forward to getting one of those bags of rocks and some hard candy.”

Spencer bites his lower lip hard. He cannot seem to quite look at Gaétan. His words come out in an anxious tumble, "He was right you were safe I just was worried..." He glances at the corpses of the guards and then quickly away. "...that what got them might get you, too." Then he spots Dusk and he vanishes --

-- to reappear beside the gaunt vampire, throwing his arms around him tight. "Thank God I didn't know you were here have you seen my pa lately do they have him in solitary?" He looks up, eyes huge and imploring and growing more worried by the milisecond. "Or medical is he sick?"

Dusk's wing trails lightly against Timeslip's shoulder, his smile warm despite his haggard appearance. "Glad you made it, anyway, I --" His smile drops away as he reaches the mess outside the cell block. The look of horror stays frozen on his face when Spencer appears at his side; it's a little numb when his wing drapes over the boy's shoulders. "Your -- pa?" His eyes drop slowly to Spencer. Peel back up to the door as he holds it for people behind him. "Spence, he's not --" His overly-prominent Adams apple bobs hard with his slow swallow. "He was worried you'd try to jump here, he isn't -- he's been dead a long time. I'm sorry."

Back in the guard station Naomi is retreating from, the guard is meekly making a quick call. Lying quietly on the floor. Face down, silent, he looks even more peaceful than the contorted bodies of his ex-coworkers beside him.

Timeslip's small smile starts to fall as she looks between Spencer and Dusk, listening quietly. Her brow wrinkles a little bit and she looks downwards towards her feet, and-- carefully, slowly-- tries to place a comforting hand on his shoulder. "I am so sorry," said at a quiet volume.

Spencer goes still, his head already shaking with dismay before Dusk has finished speaking. "No," he says, his voice very small, high and wavering and suddenly sounding very much like the child he is. "You -- you're wrong -- I'll find him --" He pulls away carefully. Takes a step back, then quickly one to the side when he starts to slip on a pool of blood. His arms wrap around himself and his eyes unfocus --

-- and refocus in rapid succession, likely too quick for normal senses to register. He doesn't go anywhere. "No...no he's not -- he's not supposed to --" His breathing comes fast and hard. "But I was so good I never tried to come to him, not once!" The tears come sudden and surprisingly quiet, huge sobs visibly racking his lanky frame. He stares through the stream of evacuee as if seeing nothing at all.