Code Redd


odessa5_icon.gif redd_icon.gif

Scene Title Code Redd
Synopsis Questions about the whereabouts of Pete Varlane lead Redd to his Suspect #1.
Date May 26, 2021


Ourania Pride's Dressing Room

A cigarette hangs from Odessa’s lips as she does her best not to fumble with the ring of keys she’s extracted from her pocket, singling out the one that fits into the lock on her door adorned with a star with the letter O in the middle. The tumblers catch and click and she extracts the key before she pushes it open, gesturing for her companion to enter ahead of her while she discreetly fits two keys between her fingers.

Inside, she shuts the door by leaning back against it, her hands behind her. “What the fuck do you want, Redd?” she asks around her cigarette. She does not turn the deadbolt to lock up behind them.

Redd giggles.

Just a dainty little finger-wiggling giggle.

“I already asked.” Redd reminds, plucking the butt of his cigarette out of his mouth and flicking it on the floor. “I wanted to know where Pricker-Pete is, or whatever it was I said back there.” He motions with a jerk of his thumb to his back.

Odessa tilts her head at the giggle. Jesus Christ, it’s disconcerting. More than the rest of this already is. “How do you not fucking know where to find him?” Her brow furrows, glancing him up and down while she takes in the texture of his emotions in the moment.

Redd’s brows furrow. “Staten Island is pretty fucking big and he ain’t in his little hidey-hole. So I figured since you and him are old school friends bonding over cafeteria fights and the like, maybe you know where he fucked off to?” He raises his brows.

That confirms what she was already fearing.

Odessa lunges forward, dropping the cigarette as she goes. While she may not actively be on the murder path anymore, it isn’t as though she’s rusty either. She shoves him, reaching for his throat with her left hand while her right, with the keys in her fist to stand in for a spiked set of knuckles, comes back, ready to throw the first punch. “How the fuck do you know that?!”

The laughter that comes out of Redd is a hyena cackle with a wheeze on the end, his smile bright and wide. It’s like this violence is somehow him winning. “Because ol’ Pecker-Pete told me.” He glances at the keys, then back at her.

“Think that through, little girl.” Redd says with a lick of his lips. “You hit me, I hit you, we’re a happy family…” he shakes his head and raises his brows in mock worry. But she knows he’s not worried, he’s not afraid, he’s delighted. “But then, gosh, your big bad boyfriend would come on in here to investigate, find out why we’re wrasslin’.” He says with a gnash of his teeth. “And me, bein’ the good little soldier I am, would have to say it’s because you’re mad I know about all the secrets you’re keepin’ from him.”

Redd’s smile flattens, he purses his lips, and gives a air-smooch in Odessa’s direction. “So why don’t you stop with the foreplay, and tell me where your little lab partner ran off to? Because I’d rather tell Gideon he ran away, but I found him rather than he ran away and nobody knows where to find him. Because that’s better for all of us.”

Or,” Odessa counters with a fury in her eyes, “I gut you like a fucking fish and tell him it’s because you assaulted me, and he won’t even question it, because you’re such a fucking creep to me!” Her hand tightens around his throat, her fist trembles, mouth pulled small.

He has her backed into a corner and they both know it. It makes her into a wild animal, wounded and ready to snap back.

But… She still possesses enough of a sense of self preservation to stop and process what he’s told her. While her posture doesn’t change, the look on her face shifts to one that shows her recognition of what a shit storm that is. “I don’t fucking know. Last I knew, he was in the basement of the Chinese place.” Her eyes search his face for some sign of a lie. Maybe she’s just given him exactly what he wanted. Maybe he didn’t know that’s where Pete was holed up.

She might not actually care. Pete can take the fuck care of himself. “What do you mean he’s slipped his tether?”

Redd’s smile is an easy one, but not a smug one. It wasn’t a trick question. “I mean he’s gone, am-scrayed. I checked the fuckin’ place he’s supposed to be first before I came to slum it up here with you and your Malibu Barbie Playset.” He glances down at the hand she has around his throat, then back up with a little smirk.

“Pecker’s been acting weird for a while now,” Redd says with a raise of one brow. “Shadier than usual. Now, I was hoping it was just a case of him being greasier than a sack of hotdogs, but I got the feeling something up.”

Redd’s expression flattens some, voice losing its smirky little playtime tone. “You wouldn’t happen to know anything about why he’s up and disappeared, would you?” There’s something accusatory in his tone. That and his swirling emotional state clues Odessa in on something. Redd suspects her.

Her brows jump first, then knit as she makes a sound of disgust in the back of her throat. “Did he tell you he told me to get on my knees and suck him off, too? Because I’m not super inclined to help someone like that.” Like she’s still not super inclined not to kill Redd here and now.

“Keeping Donna from killing him was probably one of the worst mistakes I made,” Odessa spits out. “And I’ve made a lot of mistakes.” Her lip curls. “I didn’t fucking kill him, either.”

Odessa’s thumb presses against Redd’s windpipe. “You get in my personal fucking space again, and I kill you,” she warns. “I don’t wanna find you admiring my perfume one more goddamn time.” Then, she lets go, shoving him back again before she takes two steps back. Then a third.

The breath leaves her lungs again in one heavy exhale. “What the fuck do you wanna do about this mess, then?”

Redd slides his tongue across the front of his teeth, then rubs at his neck. “First, that ain’t how this works. You’re here under a protective umbrella I like to call it. Just because you’re fuckin’ Harry don’t mean you’re Princess Number Two.” He rolls his shoulders, looking from Odessa then around, and back again.

“‘Cause from where I’m standin’? You just said he got real familiar with you. You put your hands all up on my person when I did, and then you said the oh so innocent thing of I didn’t kill him, officer, he fell on his knife!” With jazz-hands for emphasis. “See, you wanna know why Pecker told me an all-you-can-eat buffet of your unmentionables? Because it was a service. In case he, you know, disappeared.” Redd’s brows rise. “You should be flattered, you’re number one on the list of suspects he proactively had in the event of his untimely demise.”

Smoothing out the front of his t-shirt beneath his jacket, Redd squints one eye narrower than the other. “So I’m askin’ you, nice and pretty like: If you didn’t kill Pete, why’d he leave a good gig?”

There’s a moment where she warily eyes him, then breaks eye contact so she can grab the discarded cigarettes off her floor before they catch goddamn fire to her carpet. Ace will be less than pleased about the black marks left behind, but fuck if she cares right now.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” she tells him as she crosses to her vanity to stub the smokes out on the side of her wastebin before dropping them inside. “This seemed like his safest bet, right? Throw in with d’Sarthe, avoid the feds, still get to do what he does?” Odessa turns and leans back against the table, fingers drumming on the wood while she thinks.

“Man like that doesn’t even have many friends.” That’s a statement of the obvious. “I came to him because I needed information. He can determine things even I can’t, so he was a valuable resource I wasn’t exactly keen to squander.” One hand lifts to rub her fingers between her brows. “This is fucked.

“It is, because you ain’t wrong. This is the safest bet in town for him.” Redd says with a side-long glance to the door, then back to Odessa. “Unless…” and she gets that ping of satisfaction from him. “Well, that ain’t your concern.” He says pointedly.

“So, I guess just let this be a notice.” Redd says with a wrinkle of his nose. “If Petey shows up dead someplace, I might have some follow-up questions for you. But since you’ve been exactly zero helpful today, I’m gonna show myself out before the wasp buzzes her way in here and makes a nest under the fucking cabinet and charges three grand a month to rent it out.”

Odessa nods slowly and makes her way back to the door, like she means to show him the fuck out. Except that she turns around and puts her back to it again. “The fuck are you so goddamned pleased about, Redd?” While her eyes narrow, she holds back from sneering. “I’m real keen to prove I’m not good for this, because you’re right. I do look good for it. So what’re you sitting on?” Nostrils flare as she lets out a sigh of annoyance. “Way I figure it, the best way I prove myself is by helping you suss out what the hell happened to him.”

Redd shrugs with a little shiver. “I just like havin’ leverage. This ain’t much, but it’ll do.” He winks. “If you think of some place Pecker-Pete might have waddled off to, you let me know. That’ll be a real help. Or if you find him between the couch cushions or something. ‘Til then, I’m gonna go down the list of people who mighta’ put him in the dirt and see if anyone else shakes out.”

Giving Odessa a thumbs-up, Redd slides toward the door. “Give Ace of Base a nice big smooch for me.”

She stands defiantly against the door while she scans him up and down again, like she might divine something just from his visual presence. That’s not her ability, unfortunately. She draws in a breath through her nose slowly. “You might see if you can figure out what Dunlap’s up to.” Although she can’t imagine that Donna isn’t already on Redd’s list of suspects.

“I don’t know if there’s another game in town that’d take him. Overseas, sure, but… I can tell you he’s not at Raytech. The boss would have loved to get his hands on him.” But even Odessa’s loyalty to Richard Ray has limits.

Shaking her head after another moment of thought, she offers, “There was a facility in Detroit. Institute. Don’t know if that’s still a viable hideout or not.” She doesn’t know that’s where Donna was picked up from in the first place. “That’s all I got.”

Gaze cast down for a moment, Odessa remembers the man she played games of Monopoly with at PISEC, and how he was someone she could actually get along with. Someone who was hurting, just like she was. “I may not always like the guy, but I hope you find him in one piece,” she admits, looking resigned as she finally removes herself as the impediment to Redd’s egress. “Let me know if I can help.”

“Your tone shifts more than a fuckin’ tide, Lady.” Redd says out of the side of his mouth at Odessa, swaying a bit in her direction as he ambles toward the door. “Maybe that little emotional gish-gallop worked on some of your other friends, but I know…” he says, slouching against the door with his hand resting on the doorknob. “I know when like meets like.”

Redd presses down on the doorknob, slowly turning it but not quite enough to let himself out. “You and me? We ain’t all that different, deep down.” She can feel the smug satisfaction bubbling up in him. “Stone cold psychopaths.” Now he turns the knob enough, letting the door ease wide open, allowing the tail end of their conversation to spill out of the privacy of the room.

“You have yourself a nice day, Ms. Pride.” Redd says with a lopsided smile. “That was a nice’n good chat.”

While he may have expected her to simmer with anger to be called out, instead, Odessa’s expression shifts again. One corner of her mouth slowly curves up into a lopsided grin. “Yes, well, you just keep that in mind.” She’s feeding on his emotion, although she doesn’t realize it. It’s easy to do when he’s right. When there’s still a large part of her that wants to indulge the person she was molded to be and eschew the one she’s trying to make herself.

She leans against the door frame, biting down on that grin. The way she can turn on a dime is frankly remarkable, and it will trouble her later, when she stops to reflect on this confrontation of theirs. But for now, she’s self-satisfied. “I’ll remember to drop the front next time.” Briefly, her eyes narrow, nose wrinkling, lips pulling into a pout as she sucks in her cheeks. It’s just shy of an air kiss. “Just for you.”

Odessa chuckles, throaty, a dark and rich sound that ends with an audible inhale and a vocalized sigh. “Been a pleasure, Mr. Redd,” she purrs, then offers her farewell with a sing-song. “You be careful out there.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License