Quiet as the...

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odessa_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Quiet as the…
Synopsis Doctor Knutson runs into a former patient while taking a little detour.
Date October 7, 2008

Calvary Cemetery


"I said I want to see it!" An annoyed blonde in a heather grey sweater dress is walking quickly away from a hapless thirty-something with dark brown hair and a cheap suit. "But Doctor-" he attempts to protest, only to have the younger woman wheel on him like a child twenty years younger than her, about to throw a tantrum. "I want to see the cemetery! I've never seen one before!" Only in pictures. She turns away from her escort and stalks through the gates, bright, lime green heels sinking into the ground. But the man is in hot pursuit, "Doctor Knutson! We have to stick to the plan!" Finally, she stops in her tracks, shoulders sagging. "I just want to see things," she says in a quiet, mournful voice. "I may not ever have another shot at this."

It's a wide open space, and yet, there are always corners to slink from, shadows to navigate. He's close enough that he can see them along with hearing them, but only one of the people really gain Sylar's attention. One eyebrow raises, and he considers slinking back where he came from, because who needs this danger… and yet, he can't really help himself. Especially with what he's hearing.

The man doesn't get a chance to reply to the woman. His eyes suddenly widen, bulge, and his body starts to lift from the ground, slowly. He doesn't make a sound, unable to, when his body is being squeezed so, all of the air in his lungs expelled. The sound of grass underfoot is heard as Sylar walks over slowly, gaze trained on the man and a hand raised towards him, although of course, Odessa is kept within sight as well. "Some men don't know how to talk to a lady," he comments, wryly, hand clenching just a little more. If he doesn't let go, the guide will be dead within seconds from the inability to draw breath. There's just no room for it.

Odessa stares up curiously at her escorting agent as he's lifted from his feet. She watches his reactions like a scientist watches an experiment. "So are you squeezing his throat, then? Or are you causing distress to the lungs themselves?" There's no compassion in her face or tone for the man about to suffocate. There's surprise and now anger in his features, and Doctor Knutson only sees it as a new symptom. "Interesting. You've got a wanted criminal behind you, and you're concerned by my curiosity. Huh… I'll have to write that down." She turns her gaze, mild and polite, to Sylar. "Hello, Mister Gray. I was worried something had happened to you. Nobody'd given me any word, and I was afraid of what would happen if you didn't take your medicine. I can see my worries were for nothing." If she's afraid of him, she isn't showing it.

"The throat's quicker," Sylar says, moving around in a slow circle, actually coming to stand beside Odessa — although still remaining a few feet away. "I like the more claustrophobic approach." His hand, again, tightens, and the sound of bones cracking can be heard. A flourish. Carelessly, the man is dropped down onto the grass, where he lands in an unmoving heap. "And I've told you before, doctor," Sylar adds, arm lowering. "That I prefer to be addressed as 'Sylar'." He turns to face her, now, dressed very much like an ordinary citizen, and while his gaze is as intense as always, his expression is almost serene. Perhaps mimicking her studious look. "Interesting. You've got a wanted criminal just next to you, and you're concerned about his medicine."

The body crumples and the doctor remains unruffled. "You're my patient, Mist— Sylar." Odessa blinks twice up at the psychopathic killer, seemingly entirely unconcerned, even with his mockery. She instead reaches out to gently take his wrist, turning it over so she can slide two fingers over the vein there, watching the second hand make its circle around the face of her watch. Nothing digital for her. "You enjoyed that," she comments without looking up from that ticking hand. "Your pulse is quick. But not racing. Is it always this way?" Whether that last comment was to him or to herself is unclear.

He allows his pulse to be read, simply watching her as she goes through the motions, the only motions she knows. "Yes," he answers her unclear questions simply. Then, with a jerk, he tugs his hand away from her light grip. "And you're not my doctor anymore. You know that." His voice is almost kindly, but there's a sickly edge to it that's not quite right. Sylar fixes the cuff of his shirt. "You should also be aware that your watch is three seconds too slow. Better get that fixed." This is a meeting of a different kind, a strange dynamic built over time and taken out of its natural environment. He can hear her tick, it's true, and yet, she's not dead. Just looking at him, you'd think he'd have no intention — but then again, psychopaths are unpredictable.

"I know," Odessa responds immediately to the comment about her watch. "They keep telling me to get rid of it. Get something with a stop watch on it. That's silly, if you ask me. If they would just let me go to a —" She falls silent, thoughtful. Suddenly, her eyes are alight with a certain sort of giddiness even as she peers up again at Sylar. "I can see a proper watchmaker! …Do they still have those?" She frowns. There may be a wrench in her plans! "Do you know where I could find one? This city is awfully big, compared to the facility…" Awkwardly, Odessa lifts one foot and then the other, adding about another two inches to her height as she pulls her heels from the soft earth, only to slowly sink in again after only a moment.

Rather delicately, Odessa's watch strap will start to undo itself, sliding off her wrist and floating up between them. Sylar reaches out a hand, fist closing around it. "Do you know what it was like," he asks her, as he opens his palm again, showing her the timepiece, "to have the most distant sense that something wasn't ticking away like it should? And being able to do nothing about it." The watch comes apart, as if invisible, miniscule tendrils were doing the work, removing the clock face, realigning wheels. As he talks, his voice has lowered dangerously, though no doubt his tone has no effect on her. It never did. "Because some big, bad company decides that you weren't allowed to anymore. But what was it, doctor, once a week? Twice a week? You'd walk in, and the sound just drove me insane." The watch starts to put itself back together. "Your medicines couldn't ever dim that."

"It's like when your patient is sick, and you can't make them better." She watches with utter fascination as the man begins fixing her watch. "Once, maybe twice a week, I would walk in… and I couldn't fix you. And I had to keep trying to explain why I couldn't fix you. Filling out paperwork and giving reports." Her eyes flit to his for a moment, and then back to the watch. "The frustration was mutual, Sylar. I couldn't make you better. You already knew how to be perfect." He took her God complex and turned it on its head. Took it away from her and made it his own. "When I was young, maybe fifteen, they were teaching me anatomy." She changes the subject, although not too much. "There were these… triplets. Identical. They took them apart. Everything, I mean. All laid out in perfect little pieces. Heads. Arms. Legs. …Lungs. Livers. Kidneys. Hearts. Brains. And I put them back together. I put all the pieces back and made each person whole again. It's a gift, I guess. It didn't mean anything to me. You can't fix a dead person."

And just like that, her watch is fixed, the last piece sliding back into place, securely as ever despite the lack of real tools. Sylar stares blankly down at it before releasing it, drifting the piece back towards her to pluck out of the air as she sees fit. "Ever wonder if you were meant to learn that you can't quite fix anyone, doctor?" he asks. "We're either all perfect, made in God's image, or broken beyond repair." The slightest of nods. "You're welcome."

Odessa takes back her watch with a warm smile, fastening it carefully around her wrist once more, "Thank you so much." Her expression turns serious with the course of the conversation. "I know I can't fix everyone. Not everyone can be fixed completely." Pulling her heels from the dirt again, she moves a few paces and comes to actually sit on a headstone. It isn't as though the dead person is going to complain. And, really, she just doesn't know better. "The nurse who brought me up once told me I was created in God's image. But I think she broke me."

That's okay, Odessa, Sylar isn't one to have respect for the dead — although his eyes do flicker down to the tombstone engravings for a moment. "She broke you, doctor?" Sylar asks, voice lowering in tone just a little — almost a purr, which might count as seductive if such a tone ever lead anywhere mutually beneficial. He approaches. "Tell me the ways you're broken." Cynicism is introduced to his voice, now, and certainly, a lack of pity.

Odessa stares up, and it's clear her mind is trying to process the subtle nuances of his behavior. In the back of her mind, there's red flags. But… no. She's still not afraid. "This is the first time I've been outside since before the bomb. And the last time I was outside, it was just long enough to leave Hartsdale, get in a car, get out of the car and head to Level Five. This is the longest I have ever been outside in my entire life." She closes her eyes and takes in a deep breath. "The air smells different. It's… Crisp? I think I read that fall air is supposed to be crisp." She opens her eyes again, quizzical expression on her face. "Is this what crisp smells like?"

Sylar tilts his head to the side as he comes to stand right in front of her, gaze travelling away to glance about the graveyard. "It's what life smells like," he suggests. "Nothing grows, where you come from." Suddenly, Odessa will feel her jaw being gripped — not by his hand, which stays at a distance from her although it lifts. The doctor is dragged to stand up again by that forced holding her jaw. "And it's not polite to sit on graves. Tell me, doctor, what do you do? Because I know a way to fix you."

"It isn't?" Odessa stands up without any fuss, despite the uncomfortable grip on her jaw. "Sorry. Didn't know." To his question, she tilts— well, tries to tilt her head. "I'm not allowed to tell anyone what I do." Despite everything, her loyalty stays firmly in place. Odessa didn't promise to keep her escort alive, but she did promise not to use her ability unless necessary. And she certainly promised not to tell anybody about it. …Saving her escort must not have counted as necessary. Or maybe her ability wouldn't have changed anything.

The grip doesn't lessen, Sylar pulling her just a little bit closer, making her back straighten as he glances longingly at her hairline, mouth parting slightly. It's been… it's been a while since he's experienced something new. Call it patience. Then, his gaze snaps back down to meet her eyes again. "I don't think they broke you," he says, in a way that could be almost comforting if it weren't for the circumstance. "Not by their standards. They turned you into exactly what they wanted." Something occurs to him, enough to cut through his instincts, and he releases her. "Like Peter Petrelli."

"Just because I'm everything they ever wanted for me doesn't mean I'm less fractured." Odessa obviously isn't bothered by the proximity, because she doesn't move. She keeps her back straight, chin up. "What about Peter Petrelli?" She blinks, head now able to tilt in accordance with her expression.

"If you think you're so fractured, why don't you start running?" Sylar responds, raising a hand to gesture around the graveyard, still empty of people. All the while, a crumpled corpse remains in a heap not walking distance away. "Instead of trying to fix," (and that one does come out as a snarl, a flash of teeth, a flash of heat in his eyes) "the prisoners you call patients."

"Why would I run?" Odessa's confused gaze is turned away and she frowns at the corpse. "And where would I run? You killed my escort. And I haven't got any money." She frowns back up at Sylar. "In hindsight, I probably should have asked you not to do that. It's okay, though. I'll… I can work with this."

He glances towards the corpse too. "You should probably have someone clean that up," Sylar says, with a gentle sneer. "But I suppose that won't matter." Another telekinetic grip, not just her jaw, now — the invisible force wraps around her body, and the good doctor is suddenly shoved to the side, her back up against a larger monument, Sylar's hand outstretched. "When a psychopathic killer suggests you run, doctor," he says, other hand raising, a finger pointing, "it's usually a good idea to take his advice. But don't worry, I'll make sure your fractured pieces are put to excellent use."

Odessa gasps when she's thrown up against the wall, eyes wide and frightened. "You don't want to do this," she warns in a low voice. "I can help you, Sylar. But I can't do that if I'm dead." At her sides, Doctor Knutson's fingers twitch and flex anxiously. "Put me down."

"I think I do want to do this, Dr. Knutson," Sylar insists, but— something makes him stop, no line being traced into Odessa's skull just yet. In fact, she suddenly drops down those few inches, feet find grass abruptly. "Help me," he repeats, at a growl. "How do you propose to do that."

"A trade," Odessa says quietly. "I can give you the names and addresses of Evolved citizens I had to attend to after the bomb." They're citizens. She has no loyalty to them. "If you started offing agents, well, that wouldn't serve any good. The paperwork would be horrendous and I just don't have the time for that. But the people of the city? Fair game." She smiles serenely, smoothing out a wrinkle in her sweater dress before clasping her hands together restlessly. "But I want something in return. And I'm not talking about keeping my head."

Sylar doesn't exactly leap at what she's offering at first — he knows the Company well enough now to question everything one of them says to him, as if traps lay in every path he could be lead down. Who else would they want more, after all, than him? Probably quite a few people, but no one ever said that Sylar didn't have a superiority complex. Still, she certainly has his attention. "And what else do you want?" he asks. "I wouldn't underestimate keeping your head, doctor, it's a good thing to have."

"Yeah, but your promise to let me keep it doesn't mean much. Especially not when I'm perfectly capable of protecting myself." Odessa's hands unclasp and she braces against the monument behind her as she again pulls her heels up out of the soft ground. "I want your help finding my friend Adam."

Sylar's eyes narrow when she mentions being able to protect herself. From him? All the same, he can do the math. One ability doesn't stand up against a whole sleuth of abilities, which is supposedly what she's offering him. And now, of course, this new twist in the game. Sylar is silent for a moment, taking in this new variable. "Monroe," he says, as if to confirm, but of course it's Monroe. Sylar has heard plenty about Odessa's 'friend Adam' already. "Your people are just having a hard time keeping track of everyone, aren't they. What do you want him for?"

"He's my friend," Odessa reiterates. Her only friend, if the rumours are true. Of course, the rumours say she hasn't any friends, so it will just have to be assumed that he would be the only one she has. "He says the world is sick. I can't begin to heal it if he doesn't show me the symptoms."

One thick eyebrow is raised at her, a hint of a small smile on his features at her answer. Doesn't sound much like a Company approved errand to him. All the same. "I can help you find Monroe," he states, as if this were doing her a favour, "and let you stay alive in exchange for those names and addresses. As long as you know the world of pain you'll be in for if I even get a sense of the Company at my doorstep." A figurative doorstep, Sylar doesn't really have one to call his own for more than a night.

Odessa smiles and inclines her head slightly. "It won't be a problem." She eyes Sylar for a long moment. Her hands come up in front of her to steeple her fingers briefly, and then she spreads her fingers, palms out toward the man. Her hands drop to her sides finally and she smiles, the extra two inches back to her height. "There's a stone for a woman named Alice Ayers. If you don't look hard enough, you won't be able to read the name. I'll leave a bouquet as often as possible. On the card, I'll leave the last known name and address of your target."

Sylar cants his head to the side, sort of like a puzzled dog hearing a new sound, almost, but the moment passes, and she's telling him interesting things. He inclines his head to her. "Then we'll soon find out if it was a pleasure doing business with you, Dr. Knutson." He starts to walk away, a footstep towards the left — before he pauses and points back at the man he'd killed. "He's not useful to me, is he?" Because he has to at least check.

The doctor reaches for the skirt of her dress, hiking it up enough so he can see a burn halfway up her thigh. "One of my prisoners got a little feisty." She jerks her head toward the corpse. "He took the pain away." And that does look like it should hurt. The dress is dropped back into place and she doesn't even wince when the knit clearly rubs against the raw skin. "Can I watch?" She can't fix a dead person, after all. Who is she to stand in the way of Sylar's pursuit of perfection.

Well every power is unique. Every one of them is a step closer to power… no matter how small or large they are. Sylar glances around the empty graveyard, then back towards the strange, broken woman making such a strange, broken request of him. He actually smiles. "Only if you're quiet," he says, as he turns away from her, moving to kneel down by the corpse, pulling him by the cheap jacket he still wears to lie flat on his back. Sylar lifts a hand, points a finger. "It takes some concentration."

Odessa comes to stand behind Sylar, peering over his shoulder like she would when she watches another surgeon work. "Quiet," she echoes. "As the —" Grave. Yes. Either way, Odessa shuts her mouth.


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October 7th: Just a Handshake
Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…
Bloody Hands, Clean Feet

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October 7th: The Power of a Name
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