< HSoS 83 | High School Of Scenes | HSoS 85 >

< HSoS 83 | H So S Timeline | HSoS 85 >

Maia examines the guard carefully, looking for keycards or anything along those lines.

Antares Unfortunately, he doesn't have anything that obviously looks like it would fit the card reader. He's a little hard to peg, much like the guy outside the door connecting the two buildings--his build, bearing, and some of his clothes suggest military, but there's no full uniform or insignia.

Antares Leaning against the wall by the door, he lifts his radio and says, "Keep your panties on, nothing's changed here."

Maia examines the radio, too.

Antares "And anyway, those assholes in the camera room can earn their pay for once." It's pretty much a standard walkie-talkie sort of thing, which he stows back on his belt after he finishes speaking.

Maia shrugs, and stalks off, deeper into the warehouse.

Antares The place is a lot bigger than it seems would be needed for the smallish storefront in the other building, and past the first rank of boxes the normal appearance gives way to long tables of tubes and chemicals with incomprehensible number tags, half-lit by occasional hanging lights but with no one working there at the moment. ...

Antares The interior space is at least two stories or more in height. Now that she's past the screen of boxes Maia can see a second-floor room perched above a staircase, with a good view of the whole warehouse and a few monitors barely visible even from this angle through the window.

Maia heads on up there.

Antares Past some crates with obscure serial numbers stenciled on them, and a couple more with something that might be the NASA logo--but missing the actual letters--is the foot of the staircase. It's possible to get up the creaky thing quietly, although Maia will have to go slow. The door at the top is closed (and locked, if she tries).

Maia sneaks very carefully up the staircase, and looks through the window.

Antares Inside are a man and a woman, kicked back in chairs and having a casual conversation that's inaudible through the door. Monitors show occasionally-changing shots of the parking lot outside, the storefront, a couple angles inside the warehouse. There's also a view of a lab with a figure in a long coat next to an empty operating table, checking what looks like a syringe, and a poorly-lit room with two figures (one in a toga) sitting against one wall.

Antares As Maia watches, the figure leaves the lab.

Maia reaches into her pocket and comes out with the rock she picked up. Taking a deep breath, she smashes the window with it.

Antares The man grabs his radio and starts speaking into it, while the woman kicks back her chair and heads to the door, looking for the source of the impact.

Maia reaches into her other pocket and clicks open her knife. As the woman approaches the door, she reaches through the broken window and slits her throat, then reaches down to open the door.

Antares The woman doesn't see the attack coming but tries to pull away when she feels the knife hit her. She staggers back, one hand over her throat with blood leaking between the fingers, letting out a horrible gurgling cry. The man behind her draws a gun, training it on the broken window and cursing.

Maia heaves the rock at him as the gun comes up, trying to use this distraction to get past the door.

Antares The guard ducks to the side, avoiding the rock but maybe messing up his aim as he fires his pistol blindly at the broken window.

Maia scuttles through the slightly open door and keeps the dying woman between her and the gunman, waiting for her opportunity.

Antares The guard swings his gun hand back and forth, knowing someone is there but unable to spot Maia. He's shouting for backup into his radio. On the floor, the woman thrashes and blood spreads around her.

Maia reaches desperately into her pocket, pulls out a handful of spare change, and throws it into the corner behind the guard.

Antares He turns that way, and there's a long couple of seconds before he figures out that the noise was a distraction.

Maia steps up behind him, puts one hand on the back of his head and drives the point of the knife into his right eye.

Antares He screams, jerks, and falls, pulling the knife from her hand. Blood everywhere, now, and pounding feet in the warehouse below.

Maia picks it up, as he spasms, and stares down at the carnage for a few long moments, before she turns and runs out of the room. Before she makes it out the door, she convulses, throwing up, but pushes herself up and staggers down the staircase, still vomiting as she nearly falls down the steps.

Maia looks down at herself dully, and pulls off her ruined shoes, then ducks into a corner, steadying her breath as much as she can.

Maia It takes her til this moment to remember the gun the man had, and she carefully bites back a curse.

Antares Maia makes it out of sight just in time to avoid two guards running up the stairs, the one from the hallway and another she hasn't seen before. More shouting comes from the security room, and after a few seconds they'll start down the stairs again.

Maia heads back into the depths of the warehouse, looking for somebody with a goddamn keycard.

Maia whispers to herself as she moves, "The night is dark/and I can't say/there's anything/to light my way/except for one/star in the sky/watch it go by..."

Antares Through a gap in the stacks as she passes by, Maia sees the steel door on the cell swing suddenly open.

Maia heads in that direction...

Furud stares, the noise and chaos heretofore unheard through the thick door and walls. "What the fuck..?"

Antares comes barreling out of the room, catching the guard by the door half-turned and knocking him back. "Go!" she yells behind her to Furud. "Find an ex--oh shit," as she sees the confusion.

Maia The guard spins, utterly panicked, and clubs Antares over the head with the butt of his gun, then points it at the two of them. "Stay back! What did you DO?"

Furud looks around quickly, searching for a likely exit... and comes up short as and he catches Antares, and the gun points at him.

Antares takes a step forward, looking the guard in the face with a strange gleam in her eye. "Don't be a pussy. Do it."

Antares She's wobbly from the latest head blow, but flashes him a ghastly smile.

Maia "Fucking monsters," the guard spits.

Furud "You can't kill us."

Antares "C'mon. Man up and pull that trigger." Antares spreads her arms as if to indicate the obviousness of the idea.

Maia The guard looks back and forth, wide-eyed, his finger twitching.

Furud takes a step towards him, "Tell me what's going on here. Who are you people?"

Maia "Stay the hell back! I'm warning you!"

Furud "Are you with the government? Where is everyone else you've taken?"

Antares also takes another half-step forward, staying ahead of Furud. "What's the matter?" she says softly, still smiling at the guard. "No heart for it?"

Maia Loud frantic footsteps sound from behind the guard, but nobody is visible.

Maia "Stay back!" the guard yells at Antares...then pulls the trigger.

Furud thrusts his hand in front of Antares fully as the guard yells, making a 'stop' gesture. The air shimmers for a second, and he pulls his hand back, as if stung. "That hurt." he says, as the bullet clatters to the floor.

Maia The guard's eyes widen even more...and then freeze, as a hole opens in his chest, and blood begins pouring out.

Furud looks at Antares, "What...?"

Maia 's voice is rough, almost pleading. "Guys?"

Furud "Oh Jesus... Are you okay?" He runs over to the guard.

Maia gets the knife out of the way just in time for Furud to run into her.

Antares "Maia?" Antares says, looking around. She's tense, listening for a reply or more guards on the way, and the cuffs of her sleeves are smoldering again.

Furud panics for a second and stumbles back, staring around wildly. "Maia?"

Maia "...hey."

Maia "I'm here. You can't see me. Don't worry."

Maia "We should go."

Furud looks towards her voice, seeing the dying guard through her. "Y..yeah... oh shit." He regains the presence of mind to grab the gun from where it skidded, and spins, "Which way is out?"

Antares "Should be a loading dock on one of these walls. Think it's locked, but Furud can get it."

Antares looks hard at the guard's body, then looks away, hands clenched.

Maia "Okay."

Maia "Let's...go."

Antares "I'll be right behind you guys." Antares takes a step back.

Maia "Antares."

Maia "Go."

Furud scans the walls, moving towards them as if in a dream, as more guards come towards them.

Furud looks over his shoulder, "Come on. I can't do this without you."

Antares shakes her head. "Gotta take care of something." Looking at Furud, she says, "I'll follow you out. I promise."

Maia "Antares. I came for you. I'm not taking one step without you."

Maia "Get. Moving."

Maia A furrow appears in a nearby box.

Furud raises the gun in almost-steady hands as the guards approach. "Antares... Don't. This isn't the bridge."

Maia "Jesus, Furud, get down. They'll kill you."

Furud "They need me."

Antares "Goddammit, do you guys want to leave this place behind us with everything they taped? Go so I can fix it!" Antares is getting desperate. Her sleeves catch fire at the edges.

Maia "Who CARES what they taped?"

Furud keeps his back to the wall, and shouts, "You better fucking run, assholes!"

Antares crouches, whether to avoid gunfire or to concentrate, spreading her hands against the concrete floor. The air around her begins to shimmer, heat rolling out in lazy building waves.

Maia "Antares!" Maia yells.

Maia "Furud, do something!"

Furud edges back from the heat, and puts his hand up in a shielding gesture again, "Maia, come close to me."

Maia "Stop her!"

Furud By this time the personnel have pretty much realized what's going on. Some of them pull out larger guns, while others head for the loading dock, which one opens

Furud "You stop her!"

Antares Antares' eyes are closed, head down as the sounds outside herself start to fade away. She jerks as a gunshot cracks and wings her arm, then a swath of the floor ripples and the boxes ignite in the direction of the shot.

Antares "Get out," she says in a low voice, almost lost in the confusion.

Maia "I don't know how!" Tears are audible. "She doesn't LISTEN to me! She listens to YOU!"

Furud "Antares! Stop! Please! There are people here!"

Furud grits his teeth, shaking, "She'll be okay..." it's half reassurance, half prayer, then he starts to run, shouting, at the gunmen. "Come on, you fuckers, Get out!"

Maia ripples suddenly into view, panting, her face streaked with tears, her clothes ruined with blood and vomit. She sinks to her knees, grabbing Antares around the waist.

Maia "Please, Antares."

Maia "I need you,"

Antares flinches back as Maia appears, gritting her teeth and sucking in a breath--and something else vanishes from the air too, an instant before Maia grabs her and finds Antares almost a normal temperature.

Antares "Coming," she says in a strangled voice, scrambling to her feet and pulling Maia along. "Loading dock." Flames from the boxes are holding off the guards from that direction, for now.

Maia staggers after her, the knife dropping forgotten behind.

Furud catches sight of the rows of chemicals and and tubes, and he feels sick, especially when he realizes that two of the guards are not particularly running away from him so much as waiting for him to run into them.

Antares limps toward the loading dock, keeping a grip on Maia with her good arm and shouting at Furud, "Glass!" She has no idea how much control or concentration he has left--her own is pretty shaky.

Furud skids to a halt several feet from them, and looks back over his shoulder at them, relieved that they're both coming. For a second he stares at her uncomprehendingly, and then he looks at the table again. He closes his eyes and with a strangled yell of effort he makes a broad sweeping motion that scythes through the glassware, knocking them off the tables and shattering most of them. The liquids fizz and hiss as they interact with eachother, a miasma growing over the wreckage. For his part, Furud turns white as a sheet, and staggers, falling to a crouch with one hand on the floor for balance.

Antares "Up," Antares gasps, staggering with Maia to Furud and holding a shaking hand out to him.

Maia grabs Furud also, although as much to get support as to give it.

Furud pulls himself up, more or less, and staggers towards the door, supported by the two women. "Antares... when we're out, burn it down."

Antares grits her teeth, blood running down her arm, and rolls her eyes as she manages not to say the obvious. "Almost there," she grates instead.

Furud As they basically ignore the guards and limp past them towards the loading dock, they fall in behind the three like some sort of pissed off honor guard.

Antares "You guys can walk together, right? Running would be even more awesome." Antares laughs a bit, then it turns into a cough.

Furud echoes her laugh, a wild edge to it. "Oh yeah, sure."

Maia "I can drive, even."

Furud "You have a car?"

Antares gets as far as the opening of the loading dock and says, "Get the car started. Please, trust me, I'll be right there."

Maia "You have a car."

Maia reaches into her pocket and flips Furud's car key to him. "Go get the car, it's parked in front."

Maia "I'll...wait here for you."

Furud completely misses the catch. "You've got to be kidding me. I can barely stand."

Maia rolls her eyes, and picks up the keys, then falls over, and struggles back up.

Maia "Fine."

Maia "You wait here."

Maia steps down carefully and looks for the car.

Furud sways a little as Maia lets go and goes back to crouching, just in case.

Antares watches the two of them for a second, turns away with difficulty, and takes a couple of faltering steps back in, leaning against some crates.

Antares She thinks about the blood, the looks on her friends' faces she never wanted to see, and the heavy wooden crates start to scorch.

Furud watches Antares, what he can see of her anyway, and looks down at the gun still clenched in his fingers. Everything that had happened. What they'd done to them. He looks around for the woman with the bored voice.

Antares Her hair stirs as the air shimmers out, gusting past Furud like a wind off the desert, and a sheet of flame runs up the side of the boxes and dances under the rafters.

Maia drops herself into the driver's seat, breathes for a moment, starts the car, and sideswipes the car next to her trying to get out of the space. She stops and breathes again.

Antares slams a fist against the boxes as if demanding more, and part of the stack flash-heats, collapsing in and blowing splinters in all directions. Antares staggers back in reaction, falling down and lying stunned for a second.

Furud doesn't hesitate, but launches himself into a sort of wounded lope towards her, and the fire "Antares!"

Antares Rolling onto her side, Antares struggles to get up. "Gotta go now," she mumbles.

Furud The adrenaline gets him to her side, and he pulls at her. "Come on, baby, come on, we have to go."

Maia pulls the car around to the loading dock, and honks.

Antares A shudder of relief passes through Antares at the sound of the horn, since the parking lot seemed miles away. She scrambles up with Furud's help and leans against him as they pull each other to the car.

Furud pulls the door handle, and it opens. He kind of shoves Antares into the car and then piles in after her. "Go, Maia! We're in!"

Antares "Whee," Antares says weakly.

Maia slams on the gas pedal and crashes into a dumpster. She breathes again, then puts it into reverse, and starts negotiating the alley backwards.

Furud "AAGH!"

Maia "Sorry!"

Antares rolls onto the floor of the back seat as the car hits the dumpster, but seems to be temporarily out of complaining noises or motivation to move. "Home, James," she mumbles giddily.

Maia "Jeeves. The line is Jeeves."

Furud reaches down and grabs Antares hand, and squeezes, looking over the front seat at Maia. "We did it."

Maia "Yeah. Whatever it was."

Antares "Go team," Antares says, and passes out.