Far Be It From Me


amato_icon.gif ethan_icon.gif munin_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif wu-long_icon.gif

Scene Title Far Be It From Me
Synopsis Odessa heads back to Eagle Electric to lick her wounds while a very uncomfortable Q & A gets averted by some quick thinking.
Date November 20, 2008

Eagle Electric

Most notable business collapse in Queens was that of Eagle Electric, a major manufacturer based out of Long Island City for decades, comprised of acres of warehouses and manufacturing plants designed to produce electronic components to suit all sorts of needs. The western warehouse of the Eagle Electric lot is an enormous and foreboding red-painted building made entirely from sheets of ridged steel. Amidst the grass growing up through the cracks in the pavement and the burned out cars in the parking lot, it seems just as uninhabited as the rest of the area. A large and ruined sign at the top of the office and manufacturing building prominently reads, "Eagle Electric—Perfection Is Not An Accident."

All is not quiet and all is not well surrounded by the walls of Eagle Electric. Soft whimpers mingle with muttered curses and hisses of pain, announcing Odessa's presence even before she can be seen slung across Kazimir's usual station, bent over her own lap where a silver of mirror sits. In her hands are a surgeon's needle and thread, the doctor stitching together a gash across the brow above her right eye. The scar won't be quite so wicked as the one cut and burned across her throat, but it will be present, certainly.

The sunlight streaming in through the warehouse's broken windows reflects off the mirror, helping to illuminate the needle and thread while Odessa works. Eagle Electric probably isn't the best place for the doctor to be sewing herself back up, but it's at least quiet save for the soft rustle of feathers up in the rafters, and this affords Odessa the concentration she needs to work.

When the silence is broken, it doesn't break so much as it splinters. "Far be it from me to tell you how to do your job," comes a light voice from somewhere in the shadows overhead, "but you've been at that for awhile now, and I'm guessing you could maybe use a little help."

JesussonofabitchingChristohmydearsweetGod he's found me! Odessa nearly pokes herself in the eyelid when voice disrupts her concentration. But it isn't the voice of the man who did this to her, and so she relaxes at least a fraction, head tipping up slowly so she can hopefully catch a glimpse of the person to which the voice belongs. "Maybe a little," she admits quietly. "It isn't the stitching that's so bad, really… It's just everything else." Like how it hurts to breathe.

A glimpse is all that Odessa will see: the bare curve of a pale shoulder, eclipsed by several curls of long black hair so glossy it would be easy for her to mistake them for feathers even though the sheen is right and the texture is wrong. A moment later, the rest of Munin's slim shape comes into view, and she begins climbing down the wall-mounted utility ladder, which is probably how she got all the way up there in the first place.

"If you could just…" Odessa trails off and returns to her stitching in the mirror, snapping off the thread when she finishes. "I need help taping my ribs. Do you think you could…?" Her gaze flickers to the girl as she makes her descent via ladder. For a moment, Doctor Knutson wondered if the girl could fly.

Of course Munin could. It's a matter of whether or not she will. "If you think it's bad now, just wait until Ethan and Wu-Long take a look at you." It's a fair assumption that the men of Vanguard don't know how Odessa arrived at such a sorry state; if they did, she wouldn't have fled here, and she certainly wouldn't be alone. "What sort of mischief have you been getting yourself into, Doctor?" More importantly, what excuse do you have — if you have one at all?

Munin lets this second question go unasked as she reaches the bottom of the ladder and the soles of her flats touch gently down on the concrete underfoot. Not for the first time, she's glad she took the opportunity to sweep up the last time she was here by herself.

There is a bang that echoes through the warehouse which could be attached to the slamming of a door, the clattering of a crate, or the arrival of one of the Host.

"You…" but rage grips Amato's vocal chords as a sneers twists onto his usually guarded face. His pale eyes are wide and fixed on Odessa in the chair of his master, and as the fury within him rises, the skin around them pinches, muscles contract, and they narrow to slits not too much unlike those of the man whom belongs in that chair. Emotion erupts, spilling out of the thin blond in his native tongue as determined, stiff steps carry him toward the makeshift dais and throne. "Creatura insolent vile senza rispetto per potere o autorita!" Each one signals an increase in his volume until it is comparable those of the Spanish priests who converted large squares full of heretics.

Odessa's breath hitches in her throat as she moves to gather up the box of supplies left next to the seat. Ow. Ow. Ow. Owowowow. Her thoughts are derailed a second time not by Munin as before, but her righteous companion. She lifts her head slowly, rather unperturbed by his tirade. "Insolent, vile creature with no respect for authority, yes, yes. I get it." At least, that's what she got out of it. "Are you quite finished?" Any other day, the display would have frightened her. Whatever left her in such a state, face covered in cuts and scratches - one of which she just got done stitching up above her eye - and body obviously battered enough to make breathing and movement extremely difficult, it has made her immune to Amato's anger. For now. "It's a chair," she points out quietly. "Surely your master is above something so petty as to squabble over a chair. I hardly suspect he needs you to fight his battles for him." His loyalty is kind of cute, though. What was that she said earlier that night about puppies?

"You know nothing of my master, child. Now move yourself from the seat you are unworthy of." There need not be a threat, for one already hangs above Odessa's head. Of all the Vanguard's ashen-winged angels, Amato Salucci and Ethan Holden, the right and left hands of their deadly master, are those only the most foolish test twice. It is his position that Amato banks on as he stares at Odessa from the warehouse floor.

"Do you think that because you are the whore of his mind and will, that you will become the mistress of the Angel of Death?" A cruel smile curls into the corner of Amato's fiercely turned mouth. "You will perish and be welcomed by the host of Hell before that day."

"Settle down, Amato." Comes the cockney accent from the recesses of the warehouse. The direction he is walking from implies that he came in from the roof. A duffle bag is in one gloved hand. He is dressed warmly, nearly all in black.

Ethan walks quietly through the warehouse towards Amato and the commotion. "Don't drive off those that 'elp us, will you?" Comes the question to the man. Glancing over at Odessa, the man jerks his head as if a suggestion for him to come with him or something of the sort.

There's a moment of silence that lingers after Amato's harsh words. It's pierced by a very throaty, yet hoarse chuckle from the woman they're directed toward. Odessa clutches at her sides, tears pricking at the corners of her eyes. Ow. Ow. "I- I think I am good where I'm at, thank you." She leans back in the chair and sucks down a deep, pained breath. "Munin?" The inquiry is perhaps a bit more shrill, maybe even a little panicked, than she would have liked, "Could you help me, please?"

If it weren't for Ethan's more subtle attempt to dislodge Odessa, Amato might have continued. As it is, he smolders, his eyes filled with icy hatred directed solely at the young, foolish woman in the place of wisdom.

"She is not here to help us, Ethan," he states slowly enunciating his words as if they themselves were tainted by the meaning they carry. "She is here to help him. No matter how he is viewed, it is hardly the same thing." And when Sylar's purpose is fulfilled, where will that leave this girl? "She is only lucky," he continues, his voice softening the slightest bit, "that he decided to be merciful." Amato's right hand, gloved, carries a brown paper bag not unlike one that a school-age child might pack a lunch in. His grip on it tightens, and Amato turns wordlessly to leave the warehouse in the direction he came. "Make sure you clean up the trash before you go," he commands with the comfortable, subtle authority that his years at Kazimir Volken's side have afforded him in a relative mutter.

Munin's pale gaze wanders from Odessa to Amato to Ethan before it eventually finds its meandering way back to the blonde perched on the dais. Amato doesn't want her up there, and while Ethan doesn't appear to care one way or the other, she suspects the atmosphere in the warehouse would be a little less tense if Odessa wasn't sitting where she is. "I can if you come down," is her murmured response, one arm outstretched, the palm of her hand facing upward. She can be subtle, too. "There's a sink in the back. No soap, but the water runs pretty warm. Maybe you ought to rinse off before we start taping you up."

Amato doesn't go ignored, but Munin doesn't remark on his tirade either. She simply turns her head to watch him go, saying nothing.

"Aren't you every bit as lucky, Amato?" Ethan asks in return with a slightly edged brow. His words speak in reference of something only he and Amato were subject to. "As I recall, your life was held in a delicate balance as well. But mercy has been had on you also, so per'aps we should all be merciful. Sound good?"

Slowly and ever so carefully, Odessa rises from the seat she's chosen, letting the sliver of mirror in her lap slide from her wool dress and onto the floor. "Maybe," she offers in response to talk of rinsing off. Is this what dying feels like? Surely not. Death must be far more merciful than this. Where is that damnable man when she needs him? She takes Munin's proffered hand and goes so far as to then wrap her arm around the other woman's shoulders. "Oh, it hurts," she hisses low enough so only Munin might hear.

Before he exits the warehouse, Amato pauses and turns, the light casting the bandaged half of his face in a grim shadow. "You know nothing of my life before I was called to fight off the armies of the Fallen, Mister Holden." Amato glances to Munin as his thoughts drift to the those days when it was only he and Kazimir. The days during which he found the strung-out girl near the Tower. Then Ethan, in a flat sharing a final evening with his late father. And then he is gone.

Munin has no way of knowing what Amato is thinking. If she did, the expression she now wears on her face wouldn't be nearly so complacent. She helps Odessa down from the dais, careful not to jostle her in any way that might aggravate her injuries, and then begins leading her deeper into the warehouse, toward a shadowy alcove where the concrete floor gives way to a metal grate designed to let water drain out into the sewer in the event of a flood. "Leave him be, Ethan. I'll need your help in a minute."

A light frown as Amato leaves, then the Wolf turns fully to face the two women. "What 'appened, lovely?" The Wolf asks of Odessa a touch of concern on his features. He peers at Munin and then lets his eyes roll over to Odessa.

"I fell," Odessa mutters, leaning far more weight on Munin than she wants anyone else to know she needs to. "I fell a lot." Telekinesis may have shoved her in the right direction, but she did actually fall a couple times. "My phone's gone," she informs the other two Vanguard. "I wouldn't recommend calling it. I didn't have any numbers stored, so that should be safe."

"It'll store any numbers you dialed," Munin points out in a mild tone. "Not that it matters much. Most people'll just take it apart." No comment about the rest of the story. It's incredibly unlikely, especially when one considers the Vanguard's line of work, but it also isn't any of her business. As she and Odessa arrive at the sink, she gestures for the other woman to take a seat on a nearby crate while she starts fiddling with the spigot. Somewhere in the walls, sludge pushes pockets of air through the aluminum pipes and causes a series of knocks to resonate through the warehouse, though the water that comes spilling out into basin of the sink is surprisingly clean in comparison — even if it carries the faint smell of iron. "Are you really sleeping with Sylar?"

Ethan steps after Munin and Odessa, watching closely. "Will she be alright, princess?" The man asks, clasping his hands behind his back as he watches the two. Eying Munin, a slow smirk edges on his lips. "Whot concern of yours is it, Princess?" He eyes her for a moment, a grin present before looking back to Odessa. "A'right. You fell. Who fell you?"

Odessa works on the buttons of her coat, opening it and shrugging it off with a hiss. "A man in the park," she murmurs. It isn't the whole story, but what's a girl with secrets to keep to do? She turns her gaze to Munin, gaze incredulous. "Sylar is a gentelman," she insists. "He would never do that to me." Not with, to. How deep do this girl's issues run? In a self-conscious gesture, the injured doctor rubs at one ear as though there were something there that she needs to wipe away.

Ethan looks to Odessa as she answers with incredulity. "Dessy." He says soothingly if a little condescendingly. "You need to trust me. 'oo was it?" The man asks again, looking down on her. He looks to Munin for the answers to his previously stated queries.

The distinction between to and with is one that Munin recognizes. Wordlessly, she takes Odessa's coat from her and hangs it on a nearby hook where it won't get wet while there's water splashing around in the sink. It's when Ethan starts to push that she speaks up again, turning just enough to slide him a reprimanding look over her shoulder. "She'll talk about it when she wants to talk about it."

"Why would I want to tell you about anybody who was able to get the best of me?" Odessa narrows her eyes. "You don't have abilities. He would lay you to waste before you could even think up the proper expletive for the situation you'd find yourself in." And Odessa was able to think up quite a few during her own encounter. "I trust you with me, Ethan. I don't trust you not to get yourself killed." She shoots a grateful look to Munin and then gestures over her shoulder with one hooked finger. "Zipper. Back. I don't think I can reach it m'self. I kind popped my shoulder back into place and now it doesn't really want to move much."

There's a fog rolling in. Not really. Merely Wu-Long, creeping in black, cloud-like through the top edge of the door, before he drops down the hinges like runoff grease. Rolling down in polite acknowledgment of gravity, recorporealizing just in time to hit the ground with a slithering thump of leather coat and heavy boots. Skin differentiates from curly hair, dark irises and black pupils popping loose from eye-whites, a gleam of metal zipper separate from the fabric of his shirt and callused knuckles, and he straightens, fully ravelled and every molecule intact. He is carrying a briefcase in one hand and a small cardboard box underneath the other arm, quiescent good nature on his face; characteristic. "Good evening," he greets them as a collective, rote. He moves toward a weapons crate.

Eyes stay on Odessa, though anger doesn't flash on his features. Tilting his head to the side the man remains silent for now. He looks more intrigued than angered. Then he turns to retrieve a crate in which he plops down so that he may sit on it. A glance is given to Munin. Who told her it was okay to talk to him like that. Though, discipline can come later. His eyes flick back to Odessa. "I would like it very much if you could tell me every thing you know about this person."

"There's nothing to tell." The words have left Munin's mouth before she even realizes she was thinking them. To her credit, though, she does not falter. Much. "It's my fault, Ethan," she says, voice steady, barely audible above the running water. "I was in Midtown and— I know Kazimir told me not to— I just…" She takes in a deep breath as if trying to keep a hold on her composure, but she's really just stalling for time as her brain scrambles to work out the details. She glances over at Wu-Long, earnest now. "I wanted to help. To do something useful. Odessa said she'd come with me, and— we ran into some trouble. That's all. It wasn't a man. The stairwell we were in collapsed when we tried to move up a floor. I was light enough to make it to the top. Dr. Knutson wasn't."

Odessa gives Munin a look and flashes a brief smile. The gratitude in one little quirk of the mouth is immeasurable. "Munin, you weren't supposed to tell them…" She frowns and looks down at her feet, "It sounded so much more badass my way. Now I just look like a fat fool who falls down the stairs." Her eyes lift to fix on Ethan, look apologetic. "I'm sorry about the lies. I just… I didn't want to look stupid."

Ethan watches them both levelly. His eyes going to Munin for a moment then back to Odessa. "If you are truly sorry about the lies. Then you should stop telling them." He gives Munin a harsh look. "If you can't trust me, 'oo do you fuckin trust?" The man stands up, his face several different emotions, anger and.. hurt? Scooting the crate back, he takes a step away. "We are going to crumble unless we start workin' together round 'ere. When you two feel like tellin' me the truth, you know where to find me." With that he turns his back to them.

Do you hear that noise? It's the sound of Munin's heart breaking. She doesn't say anything more, not to further elaborate on her story or attempt to back it up, and definitely not to come clean. What's done is done — whether Ethan believes her or not, she has to stick to her story. Swallowing hard, she turns the spigot and the flow of water abruptly stops. There's more than enough in the basin for her to clean Odessa's wounds, but before she can do that, she has to help the other woman undress… and undressing the doctor isn't something she's willing to do in Ethan's presence, so perhaps it's just as well that he's leaving. Wu-Long, she doesn't mind; he's preoccupied elsewhere.

Odessa hears that noise. She hears that noise loud and clear. She fixes a fiery glare on Ethan. "Hey! Don't you go bein' pissed at her! I asked her to lie for me. She's the one who told you the truth, isn't she? That's because she trusts you and I don't trust anybody. So you wanna be pissed at someone? Be pissed at me. Don't take it out on her."

Pausing with his back to the two. "Like I said, when you want to tell me the real story, let me know." And with that, Ethan goes on his way.

November 20th: Lies Of Omission

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 20th: Misdirection
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