Don't Trust Them


clara_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title Don't Trust Them
Synopsis Odessa runs into someone somewhat like her, and feels compelled to offer advice and the possibility of shelter in the future.
Date April 18, 2010

A nondescript liquor store somewhere in the Village

It is a liquor store. It has automatic doors and shelves and aisles and a cash register and booze.

There are a few different sorts of people that come into a liquor store shortly after it opens for the day. During weather like this, those types expand to include those who would otherwise show up later in the day. This morning, the lushes are adding to their hoard, the hostesses are getting a jump on their cocktail and wine stock, and others are just looking to grab a six pack to keep them company while they watch the snow fly throughout the day. The chance that the power will hold is dubious at the best of times, after all.

Odessa Knutson is here to replenish what she's taken from Abigail's bar. Hopefully before Brenda notices it's been taken. That is to say, she's here to steal stock to replenish the bar. She's braved the unnatural weather patterns of New York City with a large backpack in tow, using her ability to cut down on the blowing wind and drifting snow. It doesn't make the trek much easier, but it at least makes it marginally less cold. Normally, she'd be doing this under cover of night, but with daylight lingering longer and the threat of a second bout of the Snowpocalypse, this morning will simply have to do. It's not like anyone's going to see her anyway.

Carefully, the blonde woman wraps a bottle of Jack Daniel's in a towel before setting it into her pack and wandering the aisles. She dodges past a woman frozen in mid-reach for a bottle of - Ye Gods, is that Boone's Farm? Her nose wrinkles in disgust at the other woman's choise, as she lifts a bottle of Arbor Mist for her own personal stock. Don't think too hard on that.

She continues on her quest, which sees a bottle of Absolut added to her inventory, wrapped up as neatly as the bottle of Jack.

Some days are easier to be a temporal manipulator, others are more complicated. The verisimilitude of powers the manipulate and influence the flow of something as subjectively defined as time can often cause headaches when two or more of these rare individuals come into contact with one another. When Odessa reaches for a bottle of Captain Morgan's Private Stock on the top shelf, another hand bumps hers, apparently reaching for the same bottle.

"Oh, sorry!" Comes the moment of shock from the much taller blonde standing at her side. "Hah I— thought I was the only one needing a little pirate pick-me-up first thing in the morning, oh this— is a bit embarrassing." Having dealt with silence so much in the last few months and given the current state of the people she's been forced to stay with, Clara Francis' mind isn't exactly what it used to be.

Bundled up in her bright red arctic survival jacket, brows furrowed and smiling awkwardly she hasn't even noticed that the woman three aisles down isn't moving anymore. "Sorry you— you can take it I'll just grab some Tattoo or something, otherwise ol' sourpuss gets all finicky if he hasn't had a drink." There's a good-natured if not somewhat goofy laugh at that, and Odessa notices her jacket is labeled across the chest with Dr. Clara Francis. Amundsen-Scott Antarctic Research Team.

She's a little far away from home.

Okay, Odessa, think. No one else in the aisle has been moving. The owner hasn't shouted hey, no backpacks! and you didn't shoot up last night, so your ability can't be acting up. So that must mean…

Odessa steps back and blinks several times at the other woman - the other doctor - the other impossible thing in the room. "You're still moving," she states dumbly. "You shouldn't be."

Dark blonde brows furrow and Odessa actually sets her backpack down before circling around Clara like she's a creature to be studied. Her eyes are just a little too wide, a little to curious, to make her appear wholly normal. Not that there's anything normal about two women having a conversation in a liquor store that seems to be out of flux with time. "You can stop time, too?"

Clara's eyes go wide, saucers of blue that look over Odessa's shoulder to the old woman three aisles down, then back to the shorter blonde. "How— " the abortive question is breathed out, and the doctor stumbles back into one of the shelves of bottles with a clatter as they rattle together. "You're looking at— I wasn't— " teeth pressed in her lower lip, Clara looks around to notice the people by the register frozen in mid-conversation, snow outside hanging impossibly still in the air, then back to Odessa again.

"Oh— my god how many of you are there in this city?" Blonde brows up towards her hairline, Clara looks more frightened than amazed, gloved hands curled tightly at her sides in anxious tension. "I— I don't— well maybe I do?" Clara's not entirely up to speed on exactly what her power does, but conversations with Gabriel on the topic have been enlightening… among other things.

"You don't know?" Odessa's lips curve upward into a smile that isn't exactly reassuring. Perhaps it's amusement. "Poor thing. New to this, are you? That's okay." She holds out her hand. "Clara, is it? Odessa. Or just Time Lady, if you find yourself forgetting later. Long ways from home, aren't you?"

"How do you— know my name? Oh— Oh my god have we met before in another— " Clara stops herself right there and closes her eyes, one brow twitching as she curls a hand shut and brings it up to her mouth to conceal a clearing of her throat. "Yes. Clara." Trying to hide her own obtuse reaction, the blonde doctor offers out a hand with one brow raised, looking around at first for something before letting her hand go the rest of the way, gloved fingers wrapping around Odessa's offered hand before giving it a nervous shake.

Not letting go of that hand, Clara eyes Odessa up and down. "I've… I've only had my ability for— " That's not going to work, defining how long it's been isn't something Clara can do anymore. "A little while? It— I spend a lot of time like this I— " Realizing she was clinging on to Odessa's hand Clara's jerks away afterwards sheepishly. "Does yours turn off when someone else is looking at you too?" Both of Clara's brows lift up, glancing around the store and then back to Odessa. "I— I mean aside from someone else like me— or— you? Can you teleport?" Odd series of questions.

Well that's an odd question to ask. Does it turn off when someone's looking at her? What kind of power works like that? "No," is Odessa's slow response, seeming unperturbed by the way her hand is clung to. "I stop areas in time," she isn't usually quite so forward with someone else about her ability, but something about Clara's shock makes her want to reassure her. "As much or as little as I want. Only people who can usually skirt that are the ones I let, or others like me."

The next question doesn't necessarily strike Odessa as odd so much as it has her feeling sort of exasperated. Of course this woman wants to know if she can teleport. Nakamura is the poster boy for her ability. "No, that's not part of what I can do." Yet, is wishful thinking.

"Oh I— Okay." Clara looks to the side towards a paused in this moment refrigerator unit, then back to Odessa again. "Have you ever heard of Schroedinger's Cat?" It's an odd question considering that's— the name of Odessa's cat. Seeming to break into this situation as if it weren't no deal now, Clara leans away from the rattled shelf and reaches up to grab that bottle of Tattoo she was talking about, turning blue eyes over to Odessa after the fact. "It's a physics thing, my ability works something like the concept, or— so I've kind've been discovering. If I'm not being observed, I can stop time. If I cross someone's frozen field of observation, it unfreezes."

Moving past Odessa, Clara pauses and turns, beckoning the shorter blonde to follow before she continues on towards the register. "I don't think I'm actually freezing time though, so much as moving at near light speeds which — in perception — makes time seem frozen. Why I'm able to react in your frozen bubble of time and that Japanese fellow's is pretty… unusual."

Walking over to the cash register, Clara squints and eyes the bottle, then unzips one pocket of her jacket and takes out a twenty Euro note and leaves it on the register, wrinkling her nose and shrugging her shoulders— that'll suffice.

Odessa stares down at the currency that Clara leaves on the counter. For one thing, why the hell is she paying for anything? "What is that?" Sheltered girl that she is, Odessa has never seen a Euro before, but she's intelligent enough to recognise it as cash. "I don't think that actually works as money around here." She plucks it up off the counter and hands it back to Clara. "Just keep it. The guy won't even miss one bottle." The four she's about to leave with might be a different story.

Now it's her turn to gesture to be followed, leading her toward the door and the world outside. "I've never run across an ability like yours. That's pretty impressive." As such, the explanation is causing Odessa to make sure she's keeping an eye on Clara.

Furrowing her brows, Clara waves one hand dismissively at the register. "It's wrong to steal, especially in this economy. Besides, that's not my money anyway… there was a bunch of it lying around where I worked when those euro-trash terrorists showed up with their bomb." There's a snort of Clara's breath at that, turning as she looks Odessa up and down, then reaches into her jacket and pulls out a wad of oddly colored money, taking out another forty euro and lays it down on the spot beside the register.

"That's for your bottles. You get what you put out, you steal you'll get stolen from, you hurt you get hurt. Just karma," Clara notes with a wag of one finger in the air. "I've only met one other person who can do what I do, but he… he's special," the blonde doctor notes with a wrinkle of her nose, jug of rum tapping against the side of her leg. "You have a place you're staying?"

Odessa represses the urge to roll her eyes at Clara's talk of karma. She just can't quite bring herself to care about anyone else's plight when she doesn't get something out of it one way or another. She leaves the strangely coloured money on the counter, as per Clara's wishes. If the money was stolen in the first place, then that makes it slightly less disgusting.

"Yeah, I have a place. You?" Odessa keeps her tone conversational, belying the attentiveness she's giving Clara's words. "And what do you mean special? Special like how?"

"I have a place too…" Clara offers a bit obscurely. "I ah— he told me not to talk about him to people, he's— private." There's a crooked smile from the temporally displaced blonde, and Clara's weight shifts to one foot. "I've gotta' get back to my place, though, otherwise Avi'll get all pissy that I was out for too long. It's… kind've dangerous out there right now. But— it was nice meeting someone that knows what I go through."

Smiling a bit weakly, Clara takes a step back, head tilted to the side and a lock of blonde hair spilling from behind one ear. "See you around some— " she laughs awkwardly with a snort, "time?"

Odessa smirks faintly, "Your private friend doesn't happen to be Japanese, with a little beard," she holds one finger up to her chin to illustrate the shape of said facial hair, "and sometimes carry a really cool sword, does he?"

Odessa reaches out to grab Clara's arm. "Hey. Take it from someone who knows — Whoever's telling you that it's dangerous out here? They want something from you. Don't let them use your fear to control you." Her expression is grave, horribly serious. "If you're anything like me," whether she means in ability or personality is debatable, "you can handle more than whoever-it-is wants you to think you can without their help." Still holding onto the woman's arm, she gives her a look as if to ask You understand?

"I live above Old Lucy's. Keep it yourself, but don't hesitate to come see me if you need an ear, or need a place to hide." Somewhere in the back of her head, Odessa realises that this sort of benevolence is nothing like her. She doesn't care.

Looking down at Odessa with furrowed brows, Clara tenses nervously, gloved hands squeezing tight again before taking a hesitant step back from Odessa. "No I— I met the Japanese guy on the roof a few weeks ago for the first time. He— bought me a pastrami sandwich and told me to watch out for ducks and then thanked me for… I don't even know." There's a squint, and Clara's head tilts to the side.

"Do you know him?" This has Clara taking a step forward, brows furrowed and head quirked inquisitively, the bottle of Tattoo sloshing in one jittering hand. "Do you know who he is, why he— how he even knew I was in the city? I— I'd never met him before in my life and he shows up out of the blue while I'm watching the snow and— "

"He does that." Odessa cuts Clara off with a shake of her head and a dismissive wave of her hand. "His name's Hiro Nakamura, if he didn't tell you - cryptic little bastard. He just does things like that. He can do things with his ability that I can only dream of right now, and it apparently leaves him with the side effect of being omnipotent." Her lip curls in something like disgust, but it's mostly jealousy. "Don't try and wrap your head around that."

Dark blue eyes sweep over Clara's jacket again, still with her hand on her arm. "You're with the government in some fashion? Don't… trust them. They don't trust us. The Evolved. They convince people like us to get on board, but it's just a bribe. Do the work, and you don't have to get locked away in a dark cell forever." Odessa can only hope that Clara hasn't been drinking the Kool-Aid. "I know you don't know me, but I've been in your shoes." Well, not those shoes. They are ugly, and don't have heels. Functional? More like fugtional.

"I'm— not with the government." Clara explains with a nervous smile, as if saying any more might be too dangerous for her tastes. "Not— really anyway. Don't worry I get enough paranoia talk from Avi and Gabe," there's a roll of Clara's eyes and she hasn't quite realized the slip there. "Anyway, I'm going to do that whole walk out the door thing, and I guess— if I feel up for a drink sometime I totally know who to go to, yeah?"

Odessa slowly lets Clara's arm go and nods her head. "Yeah, you do. Be safe out there." Rather than move to follow the brightly clad woman out, she instead steps further into the store, but keeps her eyes on Clara. Just in case.

Clara's content to make her way out of the liquor store with little more than a passing wave and a toothy smile on her way out. Of course when she gets to the door and walks right in to the sliding glass doors and bounces off of them, the blonde stumbles back and holds her forehead with one hand. Turning slowly, she looks back to Odessa and grimaces.

"I did that on the way in too."

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