Always Comes Down


corbin_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title Always Comes Down
Synopsis Corbin and Odessa cross paths and do a little catching up.
Date September 21, 2010

Red Hook

Before annexation into the 12th Ward of Brooklyn, Red Hook was a separate village. It is named for the red clay soil and the point of land projecting into the East River. The village was settled by the Dutch colonists of New Amsterdam in 1636. Red Hook is part of the area known as South Brooklyn, though it is northwest of the geographic center of the modern borough. It is a peninsula between Buttermilk Channel, Gowanus Bay and Gowanus Canal at the southern edge of Downtown Brooklyn.

Red Hook is connected to Manhattan by the vehicles-only Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, whose toll plaza and approaches separate it from Carroll Gardens to the north. Subway service in the area was cut off after the bomb de to flooding and collapse of the connecting Manhattan tunnels, and no present plans to reinstate them are yet under effect. The B61 bus, formerly a trolley line, runs as a 24-hour service from Erie Basin Red Hook through Downtown Brooklyn, Clinton Hill, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint, terminating at Long Island City, Queens.

Through the 1980s and 1990s Red Hook began a steady decline from an industrial complex like Long Island City, to a notorious neighborhood known for being rife with drug trade, specifically cocaine and crack. Following the bomb, the drug problem in Red Hook became progressively worse, with a recent influx of Chinese Mafia institutions in the very low income neighborhood muscling in on territory formerly belonging to the Civella crime family.

With the only full-frontal view of the Statue of Liberty, Red Hook has the dubious honor of being so close to the shadow of lady Liberty, while being a haven of criminals and crime activity. Private ferries operate out of the Red Hook ports going to and from Staten Island while operating under the Coast Guard's radar. Some residents have even gone as far as to dub Red Hook "Little Staten Island."

Under the gaze of Lady Liberty, one wouldn't expect so much lurking and illegal to flourish in this area, known as Red Hook. Red for blood, perhaps, because even the building occupied by FRONTLINE hasn't made the crime rate drop too much. There's still enough under the counter deals, and enough crowds of crime, that people involved in crimes feel safer. Even if only because the other guy might get picked up instead.

Crime is not something Corbin's ever been good at, in his years of working with the Company. Lying occasionally, sure, even that he was only partially good at, but actual crime? Not so much. He would rather leave such endeavors to his girlfriend. She's got the speed, and the experience. And he's kind of clumsy.

Rather than his bright colors of years ago, he's dressed rather drably, in clothes that haven't been washed much. It helps him blend in with the lesser criminals of the street, while he wanders amongst them toward a Casino Hotel that he heard about. He has a room in Gun Hill, and he could stay with his girlfriend, but having a third location for emergencies seems like a good idea to him. Still, no amount of drabby clothes or beard can hide his identity. Doesn't help he always had a beard.

"Well, well, well. Corbin Ayers."

The foot and vehicle traffic, the sounds of Red Hook grow still, replaced only by the sound of heeled shoes sounding on pavement at Corbin's back. The artificial quiet makes the footfalls seem louder than they are.

Odessa Knutson Price is a stranger to the inter-personal aspects of the criminal element, but as far as an affinity for crime, she possesses that in abundance. She's scored a fix in Red Hook more times than she can count, but that isn't what she's here for today. If we're truthful, she was actually feeling a little nostalgic, and perhaps a little uncomfortable in her new home, and was planning to steal a nap in the bed she once borrowed from Peter Petrelli at the Speakeasy.

Sick girl.

"Fancy that," Odessa murmurs as she stops only a little more than arm's length from Corbin. Her unintentional prey. "It's been a while."

Prey that doesn't even know for sure that he's prey. Corbin hasn't been back in New York City long enough to hear any word of mouth about the affiliation of one Odessa Knutson (now Price). Nor does he know much of her life after she vanished from the Company all that time ago. "Doctor Knutson? What are you doing here?" The paperwork about her may have been gone over once or twice, but if he had to list all the files he went over in the last few months before the Company fell apart— well, it's no doubt he's forgotten the details.

He's only human.

But he recognizes her, and he knows her past affiliation. And with everything that the Company has gone through…

"I haven't seen you in— a long time."

"You aren't running," Odessa muses. A smirk plays at her lips, twisting the scar about her mouth awkwardly. She's changed so much since he last laid eyes on her. Her face a pitted mess, a patch over a ruined eye, and her hair is white. Not to mention that she has lost a lot of weight, if Corbin remembers correctly.

"Been a couple years," she agrees as though she hadn't just made some comment about him running from her. "You look good, considering." Considering the Company is in goddamned shambles and everyone's being hunted.

Oh yeah, did she forget to mention? "Do you know that I have the authority of the American government to arrest you?"

It's a laughable notion, if the way that she, well, laughs at it is any indication. Odessa's hands are held out non-threatening, though her fingers twitch faintly, twirl invisible threads around her slender digits. "Who'd have thought, huh?"

"So I see you got more than a steampunk appearance in the last few years," Corbin says quietly, looking up towards the sky as if he might be asking someone to pick him up and wisk him away. Unfortunately he doesn't know what happened to Maria after the fall of the Company, he certainly doesn't expect her to drop out of the sky like some kind of guardian angel. Not even the voice that could be lingering in the back of his head can save him. Not when she's currently hanging out somewhere else.

"If you have the authority to arrest me, then I'm guessing you're working with the Institute now. What I've seen of their experiments, it looks right up your alley." From what he'd known of her, possibly rumors. But rumor also said she could teleport.

Or was it turn invisible?

There's always some truth in rumors, but it's hard to know which one was truth and which false. "Did you know they arrested my father too? He wasn't even connected to the Company— didn't even know I was Company, or worked for the government in any way— he thought I'd become a freelance reporter and was just writing stories for tabloids, or something he would never read."

"Project Icarus?" Odessa queries in response to the Institute's experiments. "No. That wasn't one of mine. I was actually hiding from the Institute during all of that. Same as you are now."

When he mentions his father, and his arrest, Odessa actually looks apologetic. "I'm sorry to hear that. It's shitty what they're doing," she agrees solemnly. "It's awful. They're taking the situation and spinning it to make the Company look like monsters," which they kind of were, depending upon who you ask, "so that they can look good in the process." Even Odessa, sheltered as she was, is intelligent enough to recognise this whole thing is being organised for political gain. "I can't change that."

A quick look is cast around before she settles back on Corbin. "What I can do is forget that I saw you. I mean, sure, I'm a capable woman. I could probably bring you in if I really wanted to. But let's be honest here, I don't really want to. And there isn't a soul around that will know I ever had the chance." Her brows, so light they're almost non-existent, hike toward her shaggy hairline. "But maybe you could answer a couple questions for me in return?"

"So you're not arresting me?" Corbin asks, with a visible relaxation of his shoulders, and his arms, lowering them down into his coat pocket. He could call someone for immediate extraction, though getting the number dialed would be difficult, as would telling her where he is. He doesn't pretype text to make it ready to send— though after today he might. He'd gotten lucky in California, able to be a few steps ahead of them when he saved the only member of his family that he could. His brother wasn't exactly happy, unfortunately. But—

He would have been less happy in whatever the new Gitmo is.

"The Company may have been monstrous, but that doesn't mean all the people who worked for them were. I didn't know half of what the Company had done, and I was in Archives. I was hired to make a difference, to protect people, not— what we're being accused of. I didn't know about it and I would have fought against it if I had. All they're doing is blaming an entire company for the actions of some of the board members and a few select divisions."

He didn't know about what the Company had done. Until recently. And when he did find out, he did begin working against them. If the Company hadn't fallen apart, he'd been on the verge of leaving anyway…

"I wasn't given much choice in the matter," Odessa murmurs. Whether she means in growing up Company or being in the position she's in now is a toss up. "There are good people being blamed for the sins of the Company," she admits. "It's wrong."

The woman pulls her lower lip between her teeth for a moment, trepidation the prelude to her question. "Were you there at Fort Hero for… Whatever they called it. Hammerdown?"

"I was," Corbin admits quietly, rubbing his arm in memory. They'd all been moving so fast that night, just trying to get out, that he hadn't known he'd been grazed until after they'd gotten out. Grazed, luckily. No need for hospitalization that he wouldn't have been able to get outside of a mob-group. "I was one of the few to escape. A lot of good people died that day," he says quietly, looking off into nothing. In fact he's looking for someone.

Odd he looks to a dead person for comfort when he can't get it anywhere else…

Odessa's lips part slightly, showing more patience now than she possibly exhibited in her previous tenure with the Company as she listens to Corbin's words. "Was… Martin Crowley with you?" Her expression is troubled, but hopeful.

In truth, she knows.

There's a long pause, as if Corbin's considering how to answer it. Did Knutson and Crowley have a stronger connection than just being in the same company? "He was right until the end. He was shot, but hung on until we managed to escape, and he died just as we made it out." With Hokuto watching over him. With friends and those who worked with him holding his hand.

"We had to leave his body behind, so I don't know if they found and buried him…" A thought which haunts him a little, but— it wasn't his call to make at the time. "Did you know him well?" he asks, blue eyes focusing back on the single-eyed scarred woman.

The news leaves Odessa stunned. She feels as though someone slammed their fist into her gut, leaving her breathless and with a strong urge to cry. She does shed some tears from her good eye. News of Martin's death — Confirmation of Martin's death is more painful than she thought it would be.

"We were friends, I think." Strained, Odessa's voice is barely above a whisper, her throat too tight for any volume behind her words. "He gave me warning that the Institute was going to take down the Company…" Her gaze comes up and fixes on Corbin. "He was a good man."

Odessa Price is furious.

"Who shot him?"

"A member of Homeland Security. I couldn't say which one exactly, though," Corbin admits, with a frown, wondering if Hokuto would have gotten a better look, but knowing that revenge doesn't make any difference. "They were all working under a liaison that had been assigned to us. An Agent Harper." If she focuses her fury on him, he won't be too upset about it. None of them liked Harper, and Harper was responsible for some of what happened to them.

And whoever was pulling his strings somewhere.

Odessa goes rigid, her clear eye shutting tightly so she can inhale deeply and try to get a hold on her anger. Quell it. Calm it. Keep herself from lashing out. Of course it was Harper. The man with the charming smile and the attitude oozing out of his pores.

"Thank you, Corbin," Odessa murmurs as she opens her eye again. "I'm sorry about…" Everything? "I won't tell anyone I saw you. If you're in touch with any of the other refugees, though… You should warn them that there's only so much I can do. I hope you all manage to stay a step ahead of us." Us. It's one of the first times Odessa's ever owned up to her ties to the Institute to someone outside of it.

It always comes down to an us and a them.

"I was careless, honestly," Corbin says, admitting this fault on his own. The Ferry probably would have told him to stay in hiding like a good boy— and even Daphne as a tag along would have been safer. "I'll be more careful next time," He doesn't answer whether he's in touch with anyone else, because— while she's letting him go now, it doesn't mean they won't scan her mind and find out somehow.

You can't trust the Institute. The them to his us.

"But I am grateful— that you're not just going to grab my arm and teleport me somewhere— you are a teleporter right? No one seemed to know exactly what it was you could do."

Odessa smirks at that. "Something like that," she muses. Pleased that there's still someone out there that doesn't know her secrets. She brings her hand up and snaps her fingers.

And like that, she's vanished.

"I knew it. Teleporter," Corbin says, seeming to think the motion has only confirmed his suspicions based on the rumors he'd heard in the last eight years at the New York branch of the Company. After all, rumors were partially his thing.

Looking around the street, he pulls out his simple, store bought and paid by card phone, and sends off a text to Daphne. His trip to the Red Hook didn't go as planned, but he seems to have decided to find a third home somewhere else.

It's hard to trust the Institute, even if the one who found him is letting him walk. For now.

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