How Did You Do It?


kaylee6_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title How Did You Do It?
Synopsis Kaylee has a question for Odessa on the subject of love.
Date June 27, 2021

Raytech Basement Lab

She remembers pulling down the bottle out of the cupboard. Can even remember pouring a drink… What she doesn’t remember was when she decided to visit the labs. Which might explain why the labtech gets a confused look when the elevator doors open.


When did she get into the elevator? Did she really drink that much? She should probably say something…


“Ms. Thatcher?” The young woman greets, the last bit of it turned into a question of polite inquiry while holding the door open.

It pulls Kaylee’s attention from her sudden and intense scrutiny of her warped reflection in the elevator siding next to the gaping opening left by the doors. God she looked like shit. She looked like she hadn’t slept, her hair a mess which she combs at with slender fingers. “I’m alright. Just had a sudden thought for Dr. Pride,” she blatantly lies, because why else would she be there? “It couldn’t wait,” she adds in a lame attempt to cover up for her appearance… though it doesn’t cover up the smell of alcohol on her breath. “She’s in right?”

The tech looks like she’s going to ask something and quickly decides against it, only nodding. The Ray family might be good people, but who wants to risk questioning their boss? Instead, she offers Kaylee an uncertain smile and stands aside for her.

“Thanks,” Kaylee murmurs, avoiding eye contact as she slips past and down the hall. It only takes a few steps for her to realize she needs a steadying hand on the wall to walk. Well, shit. Various folks in the lab are greeted as they watch her warily pass by and into Ourania’s lab.

“Hey, got a minute?” Kaylee asks, setting a half emptied bottle of whiskey on the table next to her friend. The bottle gets another confused look, before she gives a soft, “Ooooh…” and a half laugh. “That might have been why everyone was staring.”

Ourania is smiling when she hears Kaylee’s voice, the computer she’s been squinting at illuminating her face. “For you,” she murmurs almost absently, “I have all the time in the world.” That’s a phrase that should carry a bit more weight between the two of them, but it’s innocuous enough to be overheard by anyone else and nothing thought of it.

Saving her progress and locking the computer, the recently minted Dr. Stoltz turns in her chair to in turn give that smile to her friend. It fades the moment she gets a good look at her and understands why people may have been staring. Oh.

“Sit, sit.” Far from discouraging or frowning upon anything, Ourania — Odessa — pulls out a chair for her friend before swiftly moving to a cabinet and retrieving two lowball glasses. She spends enough late nights here with her fellows that they’ve been known to drink about their conundrums.

Setting the glasses out in front of their respective places, Odessa plops down into hers again and looks expectantly to Kaylee. “What do you need?” It’s said with the same intensity as who do I need to kill?

“I need yoooouuu…” Kaylee draws out as she sits down heavily on the offered chair, slumping to where she can rest an elbow on the table, “to tell me how you did it.” It’s vague and it takes her a foggy moment to realize that Odessa probably needed more.

“Like, when Liz came back, how did you find the strength to walk away so easily from someone you loved… love?” Kaylee doesn't look at Odessa, only glumly picks on the label of the bottle. “Cause, I'm not sure how I am going to walk away from everyone I love.” The words thicken at a surge of emotions, tears gathering at the corners of already reddened eyes.

“She’s going to come back and.. and I'm going to lose everything.” Kaylee finally grabs the bottle to fill the glasses. The bottle clinks loudly against the lip of the glass, like it was protesting the rough treatment.

Tell me how you did it, Kaylee asks of her, and Odessa immediately assumes they’re about to talk about murders. When Liz is the first part of the topic brought up, she blinks with confusion, but the penny doesn’t hang in the air for long. Her eyes get wide and she holds her breath in her chest.

Odessa reaches out and grasps the bottle, lifting it gently out of Kaylee’s hands. “What? No.” Far from stealing it away from her entirely, she instead pours a glass for each of them. Sharing the love, sharing the burden. “You aren’t going to lose shit.” She pounds back her first drink and pours a second immediately. Fuel to fight. “Who’s coming back?”

Who. does. she. need. to. kill?

It isn't too hard to take the bottle from her hands, there is a frown, but her lip starts trembling at the question. Relieved of the bottle, Kaylee slumps down onto a stool.

“I am…”

What? “I-I-I mean… the real me is going to come back and then I am going to lose Carl… and Luther. Because I’m not her.” Kaylee’s face is blotchy and red, tears again falling freely. She can never claim to be pretty when she cries.

“I found out a few days ago that… I am…” Her voice catches, and a small sobbing sound escapes her. She presses a hand to her mouth briefly and takes a deep breath. “I’m a robot, Des, made from the DNA of Kaylee Thatcher an- and they even copied h-her entire mind and shoved it in my weird hybrid brain. A perfect copy.”

Watery eyes move up to look at her… at Kaylee’s friend. “I'm a fake.”

The former (never?) telepath’s condition makes sense now, both the state of inebriation and what Odessa’s been able to extrapolate from her blood. Her throat grows tight in an instant and tears spring up in her eyes. She reaches out to take Kaylee’s hands and holds them tightly.

Who can she kill?

Finding who’s responsible for this cruelty — and it is cruelty, to both the original Kaylee, if that’s really the case, and to this one — would jump to the top of Odessa’s priority list if not for all the other things that are happening at once. The end of the world has to remain in her top spot. It’s enough to make her blood boil. How dare someone strike against her friends — her family — while she can’t serve up the most richly deserved revenge.

“You aren’t a fake.” Of all the things she doesn’t know how to respond to, that’s the easy one. “You are you. You may not be that Kaylee, but you are Kaylee.” Odessa reaches up to cup the other blonde’s face in her hands. “Here, let me,” she murmurs softly, grabbing a tissue from a box on her desk with the intent of wiping her tears away gently. “Tell me something. Say to yourself for a moment that you’re the original. What would you do about your copy?”

That question is one that she’s been asking herself over and over again… Still Kaylee just stubbornly mutters out an “I dunno” while Odessa wipes at tears that don’t seem to want to stop.

Suddenly, Kaylee pulls her face away from the blotting tissue and halts Odessa’s actions with a hand on her wrist. After a sniffle, she shakes her head. “Let me give you a hypothetical…” Letting go, she stands and paces away from Odessa, agitated, but clearly not at the other woman. “Imagine being torn from your life, memory repressed and given new ones… shoved into a VR machine to live as a different person. Who knows what that life is.”

Kaylee whirls, a bit wobbly, to hold up a finger to pause any comments. Her other hand steadies herself on a convenient counter. “Now say you are rescued. Brought home, only to find out these people that had done this to you, created someone so perfectly you, that no one knew you were gone. Who didn’t question that this…” she motions at herself, “was you. Something created to love her son and….” Her voice catches, before she mentions Luther, and she sighs. “My point being, I don’t know… I can think about it all day… I won’t know till she… she's right there.” Kaylee wildly motions to an empty space in front of her.

Arms fall to hang limply at her sides, shoulders slumping. Kaylee says softly, “But why in the world would I let me… created by very bad men… stay near her son. I’m an artificial life form.” She looks at her own hand, crestfallen. “I might have memories of giving birth to him, but this body is only maybe a year old. I’m not her.”

It isn’t easy to hold her tongue while Kaylee presents her hypothetical, but Odessa manages. She even holds another moment before presenting her response. “I think you, Kaylee, her… possess such a compassion. And a knowledge that just because a person has or had an association with someone or something bad, it doesn’t make that person bad.”

A smile she hopes is reassuring is offered, along with a small shrug. “Look at where we started. Your association with Adam didn’t make you a bad person. I guess the jury couldn’t decide whether I can be redeemed from my beginnings.”

Odessa watches Kaylee, her heart obviously breaking for her, but it isn’t driven by pity. “There’s one thing I know, she knows it, and I know you know it, too.” Her lips flatten to a line momentarily, speaking to her sincerity and just how much she desires her words to be heeded.

We are not the people they tried to manipulate us into being.

“Maybe…” Kaylee murmurs, sounding not at all convinced. “He might not have made me bad, but we don’t have access to my programming… which by the way is breaking down and slowly killing me due to missing code…” Which explains her episodes, but she doesn’t give Odessa time to process that. “We don’t know what’s hidden deep in my code. Why would I risk my… her son? Or Luther.”

Her shoulders slump and she leans till can thump her elbows on the surface Odessa is working on. Her hands cover her face, tears falling even faster. “Oh gawd, Des…. He kissed me. I tried to tell him, I’m not her… he was so confused. He loves her… and I just.” Hands scrub at red and tired eyes as she fights off the desire to start sobbing again. Her words slur with the alcohol… how much has she had to drink anyhow?… and are thick with her emotions. “That’s why I have to know how you walked away from my brother when you knew Liz was coming back. It hurts so much already and she isn’t even back, yet.”

Odessa doesn’t point out that the other Kaylee may not even come back. If that isn’t something she’s considered by now, she’ll know the programming is faulty. “You are still a person, Kaylee. You’re her and you’re yourself.” As she reaches out to place a hand on Kaylee’s back and rub it in slow circles, she wonders when the act of comforting people got less awkward. “I think if you were going to do something heinous, you’d have done it by now. Trust me. I’m a recovering psychopath. I think I’d know.” There’s a little humor laced in there that she hopes lands. If she can’t use her psychosis as a punch line, then what’s it good for?

“When the time comes, you’ll both be compassionate, even if it hurts. Because that’s who you are. There’s no programming that changes that.” How can she say what the future will hold? Will the original Kaylee come back and want the unintentional interloper gone? Odessa hopes otherwise or does she even know her friend?

“I’ve dealt with enough dormant programming, like Rupert’s, to know that isn't entirely true,” Kaylee corrects her friend, before she realizes she’s slipped up. “She's dealt with it, not me.” The correction is hissed out through clenched teeth, before her hands smack the table.

“I fucking hate this.”

Kaylee flexes her fingers and watches the skin turn slightly pink from the impact. She suddenly sighs out her nose and drops her head to rest her forehead on the cool table top, alcohol forgotten for the moment. “I really do… When I get my hands on those bastards I’m going to fuck them up.”

Sympathetic, Odessa nods her head slowly, agreeing that the situation is worth hatred. That her anger, her desire for revenge, is understandable. “I hate it, too. And if you do find them, I’ll be there to join you, or hold your purse and hand you the knives.” There’s a small smirk, surreptitious and sly. She’ll always be willing to dispense violence on Kaylee’s behalf, and has.

The soft muffled “Thank you,” is uttered miserably before Kaylee slowly straightens, still looking like she wants to disappear into the void. “You’re a good friend.” She looks up, eyes landing on the bottle and she moves as if to reach for it. Instead, hit with a wave of guilt, her fingers curl into a ball.

She had once berated Luther for the same sort of behavior. Bah!

“Sorry for crashing your work space, Dessa,“ Kaylee offers, glancing at the other woman out of the corner of her eye. “There is just…” She sighs heavily and pulls her hand back to hook it on the edge of the table. “There has just been so much going on that… I think I finally just snapped.”

Kaylee’s head slowly shifts side to side. “Finding out I’m a copy, my coding failing, Mazdak, Edward Ray being alive, my mom being alive and remembering some of the past… it has just been piling up… then Luther….” A pained groan escapes her and eyes threaten to shed tears again. “Gawd… That kiss was better than any world out there and…. I thought of you. Of all my friends, you’ve had to deal with something like this.”

“I try to be,” Odessa murmurs, resting her hand on the back of Kaylee’s shoulder and rubbing gently. “You taught me a lot about what a good friend looks like.” Pulling her chair closer, her arm now loops around both Kaylee’s shoulders. “You never have to apologize for coming to see me when you need something, okay? I want you to come to me.” Looking sidelong, she confesses, “It makes me feel like maybe I’m not such a fuck up.”

Pressing a kiss to Kaylee’s temple, Odessa sighs against her hair quietly, just holding her. “Look. No one knows what the future is gonna hold, right? So… Do what you want. Do what gives you something out of life.” She leans back and locks gazes, blue eyes to blue eyes. “Love Luther fiercely. The rest can be sorted out later.”

There is no fight against the gesture of comfort, in fact, Kaylee may lean into it a little as a few more tears find their way down flushed cheeks. When she finally looks at Odessa, Kaylee seems to be seriously considering what she is being told. Red, puffy eyes study her friend, but then her face twists into a grimace and she looks away. The guilt quickly returns, even as she nods her head a bit. “Okay,” she says quietly, with no real conviction behind it and possibly no real plans to follow it.

It is clear, it will take time for Odessa’s friend to really believe that in her heart, even though the storm of emotions have calmed somewhat, the uncertainty is still there.

A soft rap of knuckles from the doorway alerts the two women to a visitor. While Bob is known for his gruff and cranky demeanor around the office, this time he simply looks - and feels - concerned. “Apologies for the interruption, I thought I might escort Ms. Thatcher back to her apartment to get rest.” To sleep off her alcohol induced stupor.

Kaylee for her part looks somewhat abashed to be found like that by him. Pulling away from Odessa, her cheeks are flush with embarrassment at her drunken state. Blinking a few times she stares at the bottle she’d brought with her, almost reaching for it, but steps away. “Maybe… maybe that’s a good idea, Bob.”

There is a gentle smile of appreciation offered to her friend, before allowing the Head of Security to lead her away. Odessa can just hear Kaylee murmur to Bob…

“Please… Don’t tell Luther about this?”

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