Barely a Thread


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Scene Title Barely a Thread
Synopsis Odessa Knutson and Marcus Raith finally arrive at Dessau, where they cross paths with Daphne Millbrook and François Allègre. The latter of whom will hopefully be able to save Clara Francis' life.
Date April 30, 1945

Dessau, Germany

The rain has taken a turn for the worse in the last several hours, as day gradually makes the journey into night. The sun is still somewhere on the western horizon, but by the time the noise of a jeep is rumbling up on the desolate dirt streets of Dessau it might as well be dark out for all that the clouds cover. Rainsoaked, cold and tired, the American OSS officer driving a battered jeep up to the security checkpoint offers an askance glance to the blonde seated shotgun to him. It's been a long few hours on the road to Dessau, and there's little that Marcus Raith has to say to Odessa Knutson that he didn't get the opportunity to over the ride, which given their penchants for eluding the truth and omitting facts to one another— means very little.

Withdrawing a leather bifold, Marcus offers his papers out to the soldier watching the road in to Dessau, his one-eyed stare leveled up at the younger man. "Marcus Raith, I'm here to see Sebastian Knight, he should've informed you of my arrival." But the young soldier watching the gate is more interested in the blonde at his side, and failing to notice the prone woman laying in the back seat of the jeap covered by a jacket in the dark.

In the silence of the young and rainsoaked officer's stare, Marcus can only stare back before snapping tiredly with, "She's with me, are you done or can I get somewhere dry before my balls prune up?" The sudden crassness offered to the soldier has him hastily handing back Marcus' documents. Snatching them back they're thrown beside his seat and the jeep is wrenched into drive again, and the rumble of the engine accompanies it rolling into the occupied village of Dessau, between the quaint buildings and beside the swollen river.

"I am going to speak with a member of the OSS and report in, you're— not going to be able to come with me," Marcus explains with a look to the blonde in the passenger's seat. "I'll drop you off with someone in charge of the refugees," he notes as the jeep jostles upon hitting a pothole, "from there you can decide what else you're going to do."

While Marcus is talking, the jeep rolls past a grisly site. A trench dug some hundred feet long and fifteen feet wide, stacked with bodies of German soldiers a few feet deep. Some are being tossed over the side, and laid out in that stack of bodies, Odessa catches glimpse of the man from Marcus' photograph, the man he was coming here for — Kazimir Volken.

Dead; riddled with bullet holes. That… shouldn't have happened.

That shouldn't have happened.

Odessa isn't really worried when Marcus hands over his papers to the young soldier. He's American, after all. It's likely it's all going to check out. She sweeps the young man up and down once, trying to look less exhausted than she feels and possibly more flirty, because she really, really needs into that camp.

For Clara, of course.

When Marcus puts the jeep back into drive and sets them out again, Odessa sits transfixed by the sight of the trench, and the bodies. She gives a sharp gasp in tandem with reaching over to smack the driver's arm with her good hand without taking her eyes off the dead men. Hissing urgently, she demands his attention, "Marcus. Marcus, look!"

One blue eye drifts to the side, and Marcus misses whatever it was that Odessa was pointing at by a few moments of speeding scenery. Grinding the jeep into a lower gear and slowing down, he comes to a stop alongside the trench in the shadow of a three story red brick building, dim lights glowing inside. "What?" Marcus offers in blank expression, looking over his shoulder to the trench, then back to Odessa, "Did you see a doctor for your dying friend, or— " he squints at the trench, then shakes his head slowly, "yes, many Nazis. Probably many that surrendered and were unarmed when they were executed. Such is war," Marcus admits as he moves to put the vehicle back in gear, "such is war."

Closer than either Marcus Raith or Odessa Knutson realize, there is a reunion hanging in the midsts of this rainy, occupied village. Seated beneath the dim yellow glow of an overhead lamp, Daphne Millbrook and François Allègre enjoy the somewhat awkward comforts of a shared lodging, surrounded by survivors of the Dachau concentration camp that still seem to feel as though they're under the watchful eye of harsh taskmasters by their silence and stiff posture.

Dinner time has been a quiet, somber affair, and for Daphne and her old and new acquaintance in François a somewhat introspective one. For the last few hours, François had been brought the injured to his presence, asked for his skills as a "doctor" and the stink of coffee still hangs heavily over him, along with the psychological burden that comes with knowing he's in the presence of a woman purported to be from the future; her evidence was compelling.

Outside, the grind of a truck's gears goes unnoticed, as does the first of Odessa's sharp tone. But given what she saw, and what Marcus missed, she's not likely to be quiet for much longer.

Energy and lucidness is a quickly draining sand through bell-shaped glasses, and Daphne, by now, is probably picking up on the pattern — the attempted sustenance that rich, black coffee gives François, and something taken away from him every time he encloses a man's thin wrists in his thin hands, and heals them back to repair. That he hasn't refused anyone that has come looking for him is probably a dangerous thing, but he agrees with an inarguable certainty. As much as it chips at his own health, it seems, inches him closer to giving into his own fever that flushes his gaunt features warmly.

Probably because, out here, he can actually do something for people who have a chance at recovery. "«There was too little I could do, while at Dachau,»" he's explaining, now, having sat down heavily on the edge of the cot — both fever sweat and well water glitters on the side of his neck, wiped from his brow with the sleeve of his jacket. "«A Herculean task, but not now. I will be fine.»"

The speedster from the future has tried to make herself useful, fetching any supplies or at the very least the coffee that seems to be François' life force here. Just seeing the suffering leave his care feeling healthier, given hope of survival that they still weren't sure, even after liberation, that they would achieve, has been a sobering and touching experience for Daphne. Each victim has a story — some share, some don't — and she is there to see the aftermath, living history pages before her.

"«Whatever you can do — it is more than they had before, doctor. And I know you'll be fine,»" she begins, but then she frowns and looks away. Will he? He would have been — had she not come across his path. Has she changed that fact? She shakes her head slightly, and repeats the words, more to assure herself: "«You will be fine.»"

"No!" Odessa waves her hand and brings the camp to a standstill save for herself, Marcus, Clara, and Daphne. Though she's rather unaware of the latter currently, but the latter should now be rather aware of her! The former three lurch when she brings even the vehicle to a halt. She grabs the man's arm and points him toward the trench again. "Volken!" Dark blue eyes are wide and frightened. "The reason I freaked out when I thought you were going to kill him is because he isn't supposed to die. I know him," and she's careful to say know rather than knew, "in my time. He's shaped me into who I am. Something's wrong."

That causes the jeep to come to a stop from an abortive stop. Looking around the camp, Marcus offers a wide-eyed stare to Odessa, "Stop that," he insists, waving one hand frantically towards Odessa, "no— no powers here, keep yourself a low profile unless you want to end up on Knight's list." There's a furrow of Marcus' brows as he rests a hand on Odessa's shoulder, squeezing firmly before he looks back at the ditch, then slowly pushes open the driver's side door.

"Check on your friend, she may already be dead." Marcus notes as he steps out of the driver's side of the jeep and onto the muddy street with a squelch of his boots. Turning towards where Odessa had been looking, Marcus makes a slow walk over towards the line of bodies, eyes up at the soldiers frozen in time that were preparing to toss the corpses into the trench, rain frozen in mid-air breaking apart as he walks through it towards them.

There's a nervousness in his posture, and as Marcus drops down to take a knee, he lays a hand on the familiar body sprawled out on the pile and half down on the street. His hand comes to Kazimir's arm, feeling over the jacket, then slowly withdraws, fingers rubbing together after the touch. Brows furrowed, Marcus looks up to Odessa quietly as he explains, "Well, he's dead. We got here too late."

Inside that brick building adjacent to where Marcus has parked the jeep, Daphne Milkbrook finds sudden realization of the way the world has ground down to a halt. François isn't speaking, the other refugees aren't talking in hushed tones, and the rain isn't pattering down on the roof. Silence has consumed everything.

Grinding his hands up his haggard face, along the bristle of hair he hasn't bothered to tame growing in the beginnings of beard at his jaw, François knits his hands beneath his chin, elbows against his knees where he sits at a gargoyle hunch at the edge of the cot. "«In time, perhaps that will be true. Of everyone. The war will lay scars—»" And. That's about as far as muttered, slightly muzzy French goes, François falling as still and silent as a picture with his gaze aimed anf fixed somewhere at Daphne's shoulder, mouth slightly parted in preparation to shape his next word. The trickle of water clinging to his temple freezes like a frosted over stream, and he blends into the preternaturally still environment that Daphne is suddenly immersed in.

The sudden stillness is deafening and eerie, but for Daphne it is welcome — at least for a moment. For a moment her heart pounds with anticipation, having experienced this suddenness before with Odessa and Clara, which means — in theory — they should be nearby. Or at least Odessa should be — or perhaps Hiro, even. Once her mind spins with the variations of possibilities, the joy begins to fade, and the caution sets in.

She jumps up from the cot and begins to head to the door before she darts back, reaching into pockets until she can find a pen to jot on that movie stub in a scribble of badly spelled French: «Friends may be here. Thank you for everything. Wish you the best of all possible worlds. ~ D ». She slips the stub in his pocket to find later — if she doesn't catch up with him in the next few moments, if she's wrong.

She becomes a blur as she speeds out of doors to see if she can find any of the people from 2010.

Odessa slides out of the jeep and into the mud, making a face as she slogs through it to get to the back of the vehicle, uncovering Clara and checking her pulse. "Clara? Clara, can you hear me? Hang in there." Please, please, let her still be alive.

It's hard to miss Daphne's movements. Well, it is. But when you think everything around you is supposed to be held still, you notice the shifting of a presence that's not only moving, but is moving fast. And not just fast, I mean really fast. Odessa's head snaps up. "Daphne!" She searches frantically for the blur that is the other blonde. "Daphne!"

Clara's not moving, in fact as far as Odessa can tell she's not even breathing anymore. Standing by the side of the ditch, Marcus looks too slowly over to Odessa when she begins shouting an unfamiliar name, and his blue eye narrows slowly. The blur is a familiar one when it rips out of the nearby building, but familiar only to Odessa in the blonde shape that snaps into being afterward in the time-stilled rain. The tall brunette man staying crouched by the side of the trench watches impassively, his chin tilted up and eyepatch glittering with droplets of water.

He's not moving to intercede in what Odessa is doing, but instead stays hunched down by Kazimir's corpse, watching the pair of young women intently. Out by the side of a stopped jeep, soaked through and through by rain and looking something of a drowned rat, Odessa Knutson has seen better days, but the simple fact that she's here and alive means the women are one step closer to finding a way home, to where they belong.

The blur coalesces into the solid form of Daphne Millbrook once she sees that the timestopper is in fact Odessa, though her eyes are wide as she sees the other blonde holding the seemingly dead wrist of Clara. "Oh shit. Is that… oh my God, what happened, Odessa?" Daphne gasps, stepping back as she slips something muddy in one hand into her pocket. Her dark eyes slide to the stranger.

"Things are fucking weird here, Odessa, I ran into our mutual correspondent," she murmurs quietly, not wanting to say the name in front of Marcus. "He's here, he helped… he saved me… And I don't know what that does for where we're from."

She doesn't see the dead body's face — that it's Kazimir that Marcus is peering down at. "How are we getting out of here? You didn't do this, right? That was Hiro? Can you tell if he's here somewhere or is he still back in 2010 or…" her voice cracks, the strain of the past day finally at its breaking point.

Odessa is staring down at Clara, stunned. "I don't know," she tells Daphne. "I know Hiro must be to blame." It couldn't have been her ability, could it? She would know if she suddenly got infinitely more awesome. Reaching for Clara's neck, she hopes to find something there.

"Marcus!" Odessa snaps her head to the side and bellows. "Get back in the fucking car now so we can do this without getting busted." If she seems furious, it's only because anger will keep her from crying right now. Turning a serious look to Daphne, she tells her, "Wherever you were just now, go back there. There's someone here that… That I don't think we want to know what we can do." Covering Clara back up, Odessa is shooing the speedster along. "Go. Go."

It's hard to tell if there's beneath Odessa's fingers, weak, absent, whatever it is if it's there it would barely be a thread by which to hang on. Clara's life hangs in a very steady balance.

Looking up to the soldier beside him, Marcus narrows his eyes and tilts his head to the side slowly, brows furrowed before he looks back over to Odessa and rises to stand up, brushing his hands off on his slacks before moving over to Odessa. "You can let it down," he explains quietly, "I was wrong to… snap at you like that. The one soldier won't know what he saw. I— " there's a look back to the trench, then up to Daphne before his attention turns to Odessa again, "I have to stay here and handle something."

There's a look down to Clara's ghostly ghostly pale form, blonde hair in a tangle with locks plastered to her forehead and cheeks. "You should consider saying your farewells, no doctor's going to get her to pull through…" Marcus' blue stare lifts over to Daphne, watching her thoughtfully with a furrow of his brows before offering her a curious and slow nod before his attention settles on Odessa again.

"There's nothing more I can do," Marcus offers in grim finality.

"Someone — someone who can still move in your timewarp? Besides us?" Daphne says, brows knitting together, before she shakes her head. "We need to find a way out— if we get separated again, I… how can we get home, Odessa?" the impatient speedster demands, stomping one foot in frustration, before her eyes flicker back to Marcus.

"No… we're not losing anyone, we're all getting back. The singer didn't say people were going to freaking die, and it's not going to happen. Odessa. François. He can help her." So much for not saying the name. "So I can either go get him, or we can take her to him, but he has his power here," Daphne says.

It's been nearly ten years since Odessa cried over a patient. Time resumes around the assembled as her tears fall in chorus with the rain. "No," she insists stubbornly. "Somebody help me. If I can just get her to… to the supplies." Carefully, she's trying to pull Clara's arm around her shoulders and lift the other woman out of the jeep. Small and seemingly frail as Odessa is, however, that's not a task it looks like she's going to be able to accomplish.

Her eyes grow round at the mention of François and his ability… though she's not sure if it is what she thinks it is. The way Daphne makes it sound, however, it gives Odessa hope. "Someone help me! Please!" She looks about to the soldiers. "My friend needs help!"

"You heard the lady," Marcus snorts to the soldier that was disposing of the bodies right as he reaches for Kazimir's. There's a tilt of the eyepatch covered man's head to the side, and then a slow stroll over as he jerks his thumb back to point to Odessa, "help her. I'll take over from here." There's no salute, since Marcus isn't showing any rank, but there's just enough authority in his voice and just enough posture in the way he stands to suggest that he has every right to order to the soldier around, even if he doesn't.

The young private comes hustling over to Odessa's side of the jeep, looking a bit startled when he sees Clara's prone form half lifted up from the back of the truck. He takes one of Clara's arms, hefts her up and lifts her out of the back of the jeep a bit awkwardly while Marcus makes his way back over to the bodies, looking down disapprovingly at where Kazimir lays.

When another soldier comes up, Marcus snaps his fingers, motioning over to Odessa. "She needs help, escort her." Presumption of authority aside, the limp and motionless form of a blood-stained young woman is often enough to pull soldiers heart-strings that have been practically torn out by this war. Helping with getting Clara out of the jeep also makes it easier for Marcus to do what he'd intended to do all along since coming here.

When the soldiers are carrying Clara arm in arm, it's clear they intend to bring her wherever Daphne and Odessa need her brought, and thankfully, the Frenchman of one blonde thief's past and future is just a door down.

Wondering where his dinner date went.

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