Another Time


cat_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title Another Time
Synopsis Cat questions Odessa about her visitor, and inadvertently steps on the other woman's toes.
Date May 24, 2010

Village Renaissance Building - Fourth Floor Safehouse

The floors here on the fourth level of the Village Renaissance Building at 14 East 4th Street are of polished grey marble and the smooth walls are painted a cream color. Four corridors with four apartments each are found here, with stairwells at the front and back and elevators centrally placed in each corridor. The elevators have buttons for the first three floors visible, and control panels requiring both key and keycard to open.

The apartment doors, made from sturdy pine, are operated by keycards only on this floor. Like the second and third floors, they're numbered 401-416.

But that's where the similarity ends. This floor isn't for rental to the general public. It's a place reserved for temporary stays by whomever the person who lives on the top floor chooses to give sanctuary.

It's a safehouse of the Ferrymen, operated by a member of Phoenix, using the cover of musician's eccentricities to explain away the motley crew of folks who might come and go if anyone should ask.

Suite 401, in use as a medical recuperation place for a woman with an interesting past, isn't empty when the occupant returns to it. A brunette half a foot taller than she is waits patiently, seated on a chair in the kitchen area. On the table is a photo of the man she recently met with, it shows him coming through the lobby door. Two cups of coffee are also present, one in front of her and the other at an empty place across the surface.

In Cat's hands is a dictionary for the Dutch and English languages which she's going through, looking at each page just long enough to see it fully for later recall. She sets it down to take a sip from the coffee, then resumes her self-appointed task. "Next step, once bookstores are back and deliveries can resume, is to research the grammar and compile a list of verbs with full conjugation. Or maybe I can just get that woman Magnes brought 'round to do it." Her head tilts briefly, then nods with the decision.

Odessa gives Cat a queer sort of look when she enters the suite at a slow pace in her impractical heels, but comfortable dress. She loosens the red silk scarf from around her throat but doesn't untie it entirely just yet. "Something you need?" she asks in a quiet voice, taking the unspoken invitation to sit at the table across from Cat and in front of the second cup of coffee. The paleness of her skin coupled with the colour of her scarf brings out the puffy redness around her eyes that suggests she's been crying recently, though her face is dry. Likely splashed with water.

"A bit concerned, actually," Cat replies. When Odessa sits, the book is set aside and attention settles on her. The evidence of recent tears is noted but not spoken of for the moment. "Not sure if you feel up to coffee, but I brought some anyway." Then she slides the photo over slowly, asking "Are you in danger from this man, Odessa?" No trace of accusation exists in her vocal tone or her facial expression, she by all appearances is mildly troubled by him having come looking for her.

"If so, we can take steps to move you so he hopefully can't find you again."

Odessa brings the coffee to her lips slowly, sipping as her eyes settle on the photo Cat pushes in front of her. She shakes her head, setting the cup back down on the surface of the table. "Not anymore," she assures softly. "He… Actually came by to tell me that we're… I don't know. We're not in a position to need to try and kill each other anymore, at least."

"That's a relief," Cat provides quietly. "His badge said the name is Martin Crowley, of DHS. I don't know if he's standard DHS or Company DHS. I don't know how he thought, or knew, to come look for you here. I didn't tell anyone who doesn't need to know, and I don't expect any of them would give away your location." She pauses to lift her own cup, pausing before partaking of it.

"Is he the cause of tears, Odessa?" Then she sips carefully. "Seems so, given you and he used to be at potentially lethal odds."

Again, Odessa shakes her head. "Maybe Peter told him were to find me. Peter arranged for me to meet him at Eagle Electric and instead sent Martin and the Haitian, so it's possible he told him where to find me this time, too." That's, of course, running on the assumption that Abby has told Peter that Odessa is at the Verb.

"As to the other… He is, and he isn't the reason I've been crying." She untucks a red folder from under her arm and sets it on the table. "This is me," Odessa tells Cat, tapping the front cover. "This folder is me." She stares down at it like it's something to be more revered than its modest appearance suggests. "It's who I am. My past. Where I came from. How I ended up with the Company. Why I am who I am today." A single tear drops from her eye, brushed away just as it slides down the prominent curve of her cheekbone.

"It's terrible."

Silence greets the speculation, Cat mulling it over in her mind for a span. "Mr. Petrelli and I should talk again soon." She eschews commentary on what they might discuss, opting instead to take the file and examine its contents.

"I never saw a folder on my own origins," she states, "I heard about them secondhand. That the Company in the late seventies and early eighties developed a formula to grant abilities, and gave it to a number of children. When they decided to abandon it, they also murdered most people who knew of the project. They trapped them in a lab and set it on fire. Some of this I learned from Arthur Petrelli, the rest came from Hiro Nakamura. Hiro said Arthur ordered the murders. Children of the slain researchers, most of whom were given the serum, were taken by other Company employees and slipped into false names. Mason and Jennifer Chesterfield took one of them, and raised her with the name of their own deceased daughter."

Eyes lift from the file to meet the blonde's. "So I'm no stranger to sudden shock from discovery of a hidden past."

Odessa's eyes narrow slowly over the course of Cat's explanation of her own tragic past. "Do you think I care?" she snaps. "You always have to have a counter. A story that shows you know what it's like. Or worse, that you know better. I don't care. You were placed with parents who loved you." Odessa is trembling, barely restraining the emotions threatening to overwhelm and consume her. "You don't know."

She opts not to argue with Odessa, eyes continue to observe the face. "It's terrible," she agrees. Returning to silence, Cat is open to absorbing whatever vitriol comes her way, and if desired to wrapping arms around the blonde to provide comfort in the presence, to simply listen as the flood is let loose.

To simply accept Odessa is in emotional pain.

To Cat, nothing's changed. Odessa's still sitting where she was, how she was, but the folder's been closed and pulled back to the blonde's side of the table, and telltale droplets of coffee give away the fact that the mug skittered violently across the surface of the table. Tears have made rivers down Odessa's cheeks, forming a basin at her chin. "It hurts," she whimpers miserably, her arms wrapping around her midsection. "I would like my morphine and to go to bed." Sobbing is not kind to her muscles.

It's a silent mental assessment Cat makes when Odessa speaks again and there are signs of things having moved without her seeing them. Time was stopped. This she understands, her desire to never show weakness in front of others. Tears and the like are for private moments, sans witnesses. When that code is broken, as it was with Abby once in a cathedral, she collected herself and never again acknowledges it happening outside the confines of her brain. She rises from her seat and assists Odessa back to bed, if allowed to, then readies to dose her with morphine.

She can share the story of the Company's origins another time.

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