A Little Less Than...


dina_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title A Little Less Than…
Synopsis The cold comfort of the in-between. A little less than a human being. A little less than a happy high. A little less than a suicide. The only things that you really tried…
Date November 16, 2008


Harlem stretches from the East River all the way to the Hudson, miles of tpacked residential districts filled with refugees and vagrants, a neighborhood stricken with crime and poverty. Harlem was, and has been for generations, one of the urban hearts of New York City. Before the bomb, this borough of Manhattan was the center of the Afircan American community in New York City. Now after the destruction of Midtown and the wake of social devastation brought in by the bomb, the borough has seen better days. Much of Harlem suffers from the same plight as much of New York — Overpopulation and crime in the wake of the collapse of infrastructure in 2006. With major traffic arteries cut off, power and water only recently restored, the area was in chaos for those first few terrifying weeks after the blast.

Before the bomb, Harlem had been shaping up, cleaning up its crime rate and working towards becoming a safe place for its residents. All of that hard work was laid to waste in a single night. Many of the buildings on the southern side of the neighborhood bordering on Central Park were gutted by arson in the chaotic weeks following the bomb, and the vast majority of them haven't been torn down yet, leaving the southern edge of the neighborhood a burned out and dangerous ruin. Even if it wasn't for the fires, the looting, vandalism and crime that spiked shortly after the bomb only made things worse for the Harlem residents, followed by the electricity and water stoppage from the damage done to the city's infrastructure.

With the major highways mostly repaired, Harlem is in a process of reconstruction and revitalization. Most of the neighborhood's historic landmarks still remain, and the region surrounding 125th street continues to be the urban pulse of Harlem as a whole, and from that street it's hard to tell anything has changes. It is the center of the reconstruction movement, constantly packed with repair crews, construction workers and maintenance teams.

Why bother with some little thing like subterfuge when you can avoid it? It's always been Odessa's policy to make as little work out of things as possible. So when she's handed a bomb and told to go plant it where there happen to be two skanks standing? Well, she takes the easy way. One hand balled at her side, furious still from Ethan's words and implications, she takes in a deep breath and employs a well-practiced technique. When she opens her hand again, everything's stopped. The dancers, the drinkers, the DJs. Everything. Doctor Knutson take a moment to enjoy the silence, a slow smile spreading across her face before she makes her way over to where she needs to leave her explosive. Her patent leather heels actually click on the floor audibly, now that the room is devoid of movement.

Dina, meanwhile, takes a couple steps…and that's about how long it takes before her brain realizes it's gotten very quiet. The Irish woman looks around, at everything freeze-framed, and her tone's a bit indignant. "What the fockin' hell's goin' on here?" She looks about, annoyed and perplexed.

Odessa's head snaps up from her work and she stares at Dina incredulously. "You're moving." Stating the obvious.

Dina nods. "Right, and so're you. It's everyone else that's not. What's goin' on here?" She pokes idly at one of the frozen people, before looking back to Odessa. "This yer doin'?"

The doctor takes a step away from Dina, bomb carefully placed now. "How are you doing this? Are you a Time Stopper, too?" Odessa looks Dina up and down as though there may be some sort of identifying feature that would make all clear.

She isn't, of course. But nor's she stupid. "-Time- stopper. Sure'n that's a handy sort of thing to have around, isn't it?" She approaches Odessa. "They don't know you can do this." It's said as fact, not question.

"No, they don't," Odessa confirms. Her fingers are trembling, hand still held splayed. Beads of sweat are forming at her brow. "How are you moving?" She takes another step back, frightened now that realises her ability's been exposed and a defense has been lost.

Dina smiles. "God looks out for his chosen." She says, with much more serenity than most of her statements. She keeps coming closer, heedless of the stopped time. "An' here I'd been prepared t' just write y' off as ornamentation. But that's got a lot of potential, an' that's a fact." She looks Odessa up and down, as if somehow this revelation of her power lends her more gravity than the silly outfits they're both in remove.

"Stay away," Odessa demands with more high-pitched panic than she would have liked. She bumps into a frozen body behind her and skirts away. "You can't tell anyone. You can't."

Dina looks more confused than anything. "Whoa there. I'm not goin' t' bite. We're on the same side, remember?" She looks back to Odessa. "Now quit bein' a great nit, come back up here so we can talk."

Odessa stops her backward progression and insists, "Here's fine." With distance. Because you're moving and you shouldn't be moving. "You can't tell."

Dina can't help but smirk a little. "Well, for someone who's got a secret they don't want to tell, -someone's- being a wee disagreeable, aren't they? C'mon now, and get up here so we can talk. Y'r in no position to negotiate."

Doctor Knutson closes her eyes tightly and wavers for a moment, breath hitching in her throat. 'Focus, focus, focus, focus,' she mouths before finally opening her troubled eyes again and stepping forward. "Okay. Okay. We can negotiate."

Dina nods. "All right, now come sit down and talk to me. What's got y' in such a tizzy?" She frowns. "Y' should know by now that we're all on the same side. If they trust y' enough to be on something like this, I trust y' to watch my back, and that's the highest trust I have."

Odessa takes the suggested seat gratefully. "The first rule given to me when my ability was discovered was never to tell anyone what I can do. There are only a handful of people who know what I'm capable of." She meets Dina's eyes and says, with all seriousness, "I'm dangerous." Though there's more to it than just that. "You trust me now, but would you trust my ability in Sylar's hands?"

The Irishwoman smiles. "Not to me. And bloody hell, no. Look here…Odessa, was it?" She's barely heard the other woman's name. "I don't know where'n you've got it in yer head that I'm your enemy, but I'm not. I'm not out lookin' for ways t' sell you out."

"Everyone's a potential enemy," she offers up as explanation. "Nobody else can know," Odessa pleads. "I don't know what Sylar would do if he found out. And—" She has to shut her eyes again, taking in deep, gasping breaths. "I'm losing them," she gasps shrilly. She raises her hands, fingers splayed out as she tries to control her panic, and the frozen crowd.

Dina starts to reach out, and stops. If she touches Odessa, all it'll do is shut her power down completely, and that's no good. "In the name'a God, girl, take a deep breath and -get hold of yerself-. I'm not goin' to tell Sylar. Or anyone else for that matter. So calm y'self down!"

"Stop yelling at me!" Odessa's hands ball into fists again before her fingers snap out once more. There's almost a ripple through the room in the briefest of moments as time is almost released from its hold and allowed to resume. Whether Dina feels the physical tug or not, it's still a nearly tangible one despite her ability. The blonde opens her eyes again, slowly, and takes a few deep, even breaths. "I'm not usually freezing a room this size and attempting to hold a conversation. Cut me a little slack. I don't see you putting a halt to the ebb and flow of the passage of time."

November 16th: From PARIAH With Love

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 16th: Prospective Pet Parent
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