Blend in. Lynn visibly scowled at the suggestion, but turned away for a moment from the group, arms crossed and teeth clenched. After a few moments, slowly, the intense heat boiling off her seemed to simmer down, and her hair flickered from white-hot to a mere blue. When she turned back, her skin still shimmered as though live coals were lurking just under the surface, but she was no longer causing the papers on the desk around her to spontaneously ignite.
"Fine." Lynn said. "I'll do my best Hitler impression, we should be able to walk right through. Lynn's hands were still clenched into fists, and wisps of smoke coiled off her. As everyone put on the lab coats, she watched Archie for a moment, his hands fumbling, as though they'd lost a touch of human dexterity, a look of subtler panic undercutting the more apparent terror on his face. For one moment, a thought clinked in her mind like ice in a whiskey glass, and she thought of egging him on, of pushing the lizard out and pointing him through the open door. There is nothing in this place we couldn't smash and burn, Lynn thought. Spoons could throw him through the side of the station and to the motherfucking moon.
But then Lynn blinked. That was - that wasn't what she should - no. No. Cursing under her breath, Lynn walked over and parsed through the lab coats, the smallest one being a men's medium. "Fuck me," she muttered, putting the coat on. It fit her roughly the same as a bridal gown, and Lynn attempted to roll up the sleeves with as much fury as she could manage, cursing under her breath. For just a moment as the others prepared, she let herself stare around the room, soaking in every single detail. The glow of the fluorescent lights, the way the remains were sludged across the inside of the tubes, the smell of cleaning solution on the tile floors. She turned and walked, doing her best not to let herself get tripped on the lab coat. Lynn walked beside Archie and behind Denim, who offered directions in short, terse words. Lynn could see it on her face, and on Denzel's too. They were starting to look like her - without the fire, and without the glow, but Lynn could see it. Spoons was already there. A part of her, the part of her that could feel the vibrations of slamming Salamandra's skull into the wall running up her arms at night when she couldn't sleep - a part of her wanted to fight that, to tell them not to.
But the other part of Lynn, the part that had only ever found one book she was ever assigned worth reading, purely on the basis of its first line, felt otherwise; it was a pleasure to burn. "Let's see how these fuckin' Nazis do when I put em in the ovens," Lynn muttered under her breath. In the center of the group, her eyes darted in every direction. She may have lacked Keaton's preternatural thinking, or the sharp senses Archie possessed, or whatever weird antenna shit Leotard was doing, but Lynn had a more mundane set of senses. She had eaten a number of meals in parahuman juvy with a spoon angled to watch behind her as she she wolfed down meals. She had known to look for the bulges of pistols that gave away plainclothes cops, the subtle tells of violence on drug dealers or inmates or any number of purely human predators.
Leotard was doing the same thing beside her, Lynn could tell, and for a brief moment Lynn wondered what his upbringing was. No man who wore a leotard was in a gang, so she ruled out any form of criminal activity wholesale. It was a question worth asking before they'd walked into death row, but Lynn let it pass from her mind. The anger was still there, throbbing, but she kept in check. A little longer, she thought, watching killers and rapists and torturers pass her by. She felt in her empty hands the rough texture of the bunny rabbit doll from the woods, the single button eye, the tag with an inmate's number. If her blood boiled any hotter, it may well have turned to steam.
"I - " Lynn turned, seeing that Archie had grabbed onto Spoons' arm. Lynn's emotions had never been blessed with stability, and for a split second she felt all of them at once. His presence next to hers, warm in a way she couldn't be, in a hospital bed - fury, like when he'd brought her to the mall and had a fucking cop there - small, the dragging of her lab coats and the looseness of her sleeves on her stupid, small, thin body - anger for letting her mind wander a minute when there were children dying around them, for being stupid, for even -
Then they were in an elevator and he had let go. He stood next to her, putting her in the corner, where her back was safe, masking her flickering hair with his frame. They were close, enough to feel every muscle pulled tense and tight in his back with anxiety, the smell of dirt - the real kind, not the tons of transplanted soil that made the artificial gardens of the Promise - and something like the salt of the sea, Lynn thought. Thoughts came to her as they had non-stop since Lynn realized she was going to die, really die - in this place. It wasn't that Lynn hadn't made peace with dying, that killing the people who killed children (just like you, burning boys alive) wasn't as good a way to go as any. She'd known that, she understood it, but little things kept coming to her mind unbidden and shaking that surety. Like the ocean. She - what was it like to ride on a boat, she wondered, snug for a moment behind Archie. For a moment, something warm - soft warm, like Christmas candles, or a cookie out the oven that was still goopy - seemed to melt through her arms and she realized she'd started to lift them, to wrap around him for just a moment in the -
The alarm blared and her arms clenched back. Psychiatric patient loose? Of course. Lynn really wasn't disturbed by this information, and was a bit surprised to see the others were. More chaos only helped them. Sure, they may have been homicidal like - like Salamandra was - she was going to hurt him but they had to kill a lot of Promise fucks before they got to anyone who didn't deserve to die. Lynn was okay rolling those dice.
"Oh shit Spoons, they found out you left your room," she muttered under her breath as the gen ones in lab coats - close enough for Lynn to grab, wrestle to the ground, and spark out - funneled out. As they ran, Lynn fumbled behind for a moment, bundling her trailing coat up in one hand as she hustled to catch up. Stupid legs, Lynn wanted to shout. I fucking hate being short.
They reached a door which needed a keycard - hey, Packet, yet another fuck-up from the guy who probably stuck it in a toaster and called out Cara's name. Before Lynn could advocate for just having Spoons punch through the whole door, Leotard started analyzing it.
"Well," Lynn said, her voice as dry as she could muster. "When it comes to only going two inches deep, I trust this guy entirely." Why does this dude know so much about doors? His three passions are doors, homemade explosions, and gymnastics, and we don't think he's a fucking narc? Again, Lynn found herself less than trusting of Leotard's motives. He seems to have quite the knowledge of the Spire's security systems. Lynn started to speak again but noticed Archie, tense. She frowned. Lynn was sure she could put some heat on the door and, while melting through it entirely would be quite the expenditure of energy and time, she was sure she could soften it up a bit as long as Spoons didn't mind her hands getting medium-rare in the process.
But Archie looked tense.
Lynn hesitated, looking between the door and Archie. Why do I always have to fucking choose
"Uh, Eli," Lynn said quietly as Leotard drew stuff on the door, because now he did arts and crafts and gymnastics. Why does no one else think this guy is fucking us over? "Could you, um, - " she nodded her head toward Archie, feeling the fire in her gut twist into iron snakes. Then she turned her back on him and went over to the door. A bunny rabbit doll or the feeling of someone beside her in a hospital bed. Lynn pushed all that out her head, someone's mocking voice - whether Salamandra's or Che's, she couldn't tell, and pressed up against the door. Lynn took several deep breaths, her skin and hair shimmering rhythmically like a bellows blasting air into a burning forge. The air around her began to warm up considerably. She pressed her hand against the door. While Lynn had never stayed awake in a science class (assuming she attended in the first place) to understand the minute applications of her powers, she grasped the broad strokes at an intuitive level: whatever it was, it boiled or burned or blasted a lot easier around her. Melting too. Trying to eat ice cream was a bitch and a half.
Lynn pressed against the door, heat radiating off her. One of her pockets exploded briefly into flame, which she slapped out with a string of profanities. "Fuckin' lighter," she muttered. She reached and grabbed the explosives that Leotard had given her and tossed them with less than ideal care to him. "Yo go stand over there with that if you want to keep your eyebrows," Lynn said, grunting as she tried to channel her heat into the steel rather than the people behind her. "Okay Nat," she said. "Just think of it as one big, hot spoon. Have at it."