I Saw Her In A Dream


dante_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title I Saw Her In A Dream
Synopsis Dante receives word on Delia Ryans' activities from Odessa.
Date November 22, 2010

Suresh Center: West Wing - Dante Lupinetti's Office

The western wing of the Suresh Center's third floor boasts space for ten offices, two conference rooms and an administrative office on the western-most end of the building where rows of cubicles serve as farms for intelligence gathering and tactical planning. A whiteboard in that room is marked with names and GPS coordinates, plasma screens display security camera and traffic camera feeds from across the city and an old-fashioned corkboard is thumbtacked with newspaper clippings, photographs and wanted posters for criminals and individuals wanted for questioning by the Institute.

The working day has drawn to a close, the sunset like a dark curtain over the city that ushers most of the white-collars around the Institute to go home. Typically, Agent Lupinetti's office is awash with the warm light of a desk lamp, marking that not all bodies in the office have gone home to their families.

Hunched over his desk, the stoically surly ex-detective flips through papers, his movements lacking energy, though his focus has a certain momentum to it. He's been working all day, and he's not ready to slow down yet. Presently, with a groan and a rub of his hands over his face, he rises from his seat to go over to a map of New York City pinned on a wall, stuck with pins all over. Quietly, he contemplates it, plucking two Ben Wa Balls from their holder on his desk, and letting them thrum in his hand.

There's a quiet knock on the door to Dante's office before it swings open a moment later to admit the slight form of Doctor Price. "Agent Lupinetti? I, ah… Do you have a minute? I know you've been busy all day, and I don't want to interrupt…"

Odessa sucks her lower lip between her teeth and slides her hands into the pockets of the white lab coat she wears over a crimson sweater dress. She pushes the door closed behind her with one of her red plaid heels, clearly expecting the answer to be yes, he has a minute.

Dante's face furrowed into deep lines that can usually only be so severe when they're carved from granite. He makes an affirmative noise when Odessa asks to come in, rolling his balls over and over his fingers. His tie is pulled to hang loose around his neck, his wrinkled white dress shirt unbuttoned, though it's hold onto his shoulders by his navy blue suit jacket, matching his pants and shoes. He lingers there, staring at his map, before turning a distracted gaze to Odessa…though he blinks when he sees who it is.

"Doctor Knutson," is his seemingly surprised remark as he walks back behind his desk, falling slowly into his desk chair. "What can I do for you?"

Odessa lingers just past the doorway for a moment before she steps further into the office and has a seat across the desk from Dante. "You said you wanted information on Delia Ryans?" White bangs are swept aside, revealing the white eye patch adorned with a red even-armed cross before the hair falls back into place. "I saw her a few nights ago. In a dream." She watches the agent's face intently, gauging his reaction.

"Hmmm? Oh!" She has Dante's full attention now, and the Ben Wa balls get put back in their holder, and he holds up a finger to Odessa to get her to wait a moment. He hunches down behind his desk, pulling open drawer after drawer, muttering to himself. "Stupid, fuckin' thing. Getting in the way when I don't want you, and now I can't find…hah!" Straightening up, Dante leans forward to set a handheld recorder on the desk between them. The red Record light is flashing, and he sits back to carefully button up his shirt again, and adjust his tie. "Sorry, could you say again?"

The woman grimaces faintly when the recorder is procured. "I'm not… entirely sure what to say," Odessa admits. "I saw Delia Ryans in a dream. A few nights ago. I… Is the content of the dream important? It was just a dream." She shakes her head, a small frown creasing her scarred face. "I didn't think anything of her being there until you said something about trying to find her…"

Dante shrugs and makes a vague gesture. Whatever she decides to say will be fine. "I'm not entirely sure," he says to her question, scratching at the corner of his mouth, "I would imagine that the more information you can give the better." He glances down at the recorded, and looks worried for a moment. "Ah, it's only to help me keep notes. Anyways… yes, we're trying to find Delia Ryans. A few of us are using means to seek her out in the "dream world"." He looks displeased to use that phrase. "I'm putting down a physical net. Help to locate her in either would do well. Ahhhh, please excuse me…" Dante tries to shuffle through the papers on his desk, muttering to himself again.

Odessa watches the recorder as if she needs to be giving it her attention instead of Dante. But her singular blue gaze shifts back to the agent before she starts speaking again. "In my dream, I was walking down a dirt road, and there were flocks of birds following me, settling in the trees and watching me. Spying." It sounds crazy when she puts it like that, she half-realises. But it's also a recounting of a dream. Dante doesn't need to know that she's convinced the birds are like this in the waking world as well.

"I arrived at a fork in the road, where this young woman in white joined me. It was Delia Ryans." Odessa taps her fingers restlessly against her knee while she speaks, and then crosses one leg over the other. "The sign at the fork wasn't something I could read, but Delia told me one way led to the King of All, and the other to the Harbinger." Whatever that means. "She said we had to see the Harbinger before we could go to the King. She said I had to… retrieve my eye."

Dante leans forward, elbows on the dark hardwood surface, completely unaware of how bonkers Odessa might be when she's awake. "Your…eye?" he asks, and realizes that while she's been talking, he's been staring right at her eye patch, studiously. Blinking, he forcibly shifts his gaze to her good eye, changing topics. "Ah, what did Delia Ryans look like, in as much detail as possible? Was she carrying anything?"

A blush creeps into Odessa's cheeks. His scrutiny of the patch over her ruined eye does not go unnoticed. She's used to the way people stare at it, but not quite comfortable yet with it. "Ah, she was… Dressed really plainly. Like in a white nightgown. It was smudged with dirt. She was empty-handed. I had to fight off the Harbinger so we could get to her hut, where she kept… shelves and shelves of eyes in jars." She pulls a small face. "It didn't make any sense to me, even in the dream. I still have both my eyes," she feels the need to add.

"But… I found my eye there. Delia was searching for something else. I couldn't see what it was that she found, but it fit in her hand easily. She said she had to go see the King of All." A small shudder runs through Odessa's frame. "She stepped outside the hut, and the door slammed, and there was a terrible crash, and all the jars fell off the shelves and the place filled with the preserving fluid. I woke just before I drowned." Creepy. Even Odessa thinks so. "I thought it was just a really weird dream, and that… That Delia Ryans being there didn't mean much of anything, until you called for information."

Dante's face deepens its furrows, and confusion seems to be taking up a permanent residence in his expression as he listens to Odessa's recounting of her dream. What the fuck is up with the eyes in jars?

"I see," is all he says out loud. "You found your eye that you hadn't lost?" At the mention of the King of All, Dante's gaze flicks down and to the right. "King of All? Hmmm… That's a very…interesting dream. Would you guess that's out of the ordinary for you, aside from Ryans being in it?"

"I have no idea who the King of All is supposed to be. That's… not a recurring theme for my dreams. Neither was the friggin' hut full of eyeballs." Not that it grosses her out, but nearly drowning was rather disconcerting. Odessa's fingers begin to tap at her knee restlessly again. "I don't know how much of it is the nature of dreams, or how much would have been Delia's influence. I'm uncertain as to how that works…"

"That makes two of us," Dante mutters, and he rubs briskly at one left eye for a moment, still looking to the far corner of the room in thought. "Is there anything you can think of that may have hinted to Ryans' location? Her lifestyle? Mental state? Well-being? Perhaps in your dream, she moved in a limp, or there was a certain scent about her."

Odessa shakes her head. "No… She had dirt at the hem of her night gown, and grass stains at the knees. That's all I can remember. She also didn't seem to recognise her own name." Her lips purse faintly, her head tipping to one side. "What are you going to do if you find her anyway?"

Dante hmmms, idly tapping a pen on the desk between them, subconsciously matching the beat of the flashing LED. He nods along to that, apparently unsurprised by that news. Her question gets him to blink, open his mouth…and close it. "Uh, well." Think fast Dante! He clears his throat. "Keep her in custody, of course."

She isn't sure she should be buying, but Odessa nods all the same. "So if I should happen upon her, I should bring her into custody?" Not that Odessa knows where to find Delia, of course! "Or is there something else going on here that you'd like to tell me?"

Dante raises an eyebrow to Odessa at her question. "I can't in good conscience ever encourage a civilian to go out and make an arrest, but if you think you can apprehend her safely, by all means. To be safe, it could be best that you notify us." He frowns, peering at Odessa thoughtfully, meeting her /good/ eye this time. "…We have reason to believe that Delia Ryans has dissociated from her body. What exactly that means, I couldn't say, but I doubt we will find her wandering around."

"Civilian?" Odessa actually looks insulted and leans back in her seat with a bit of a scowl, though it's got the softer edge of recognising the assumption as an honest misunderstanding. "I carry a badge, Agent Lupinetti. And when I've had to invoke that badge," thanks a lot, Walter, "you can bet I identified myself as Agent Price, rather than Doctor." Her look shifts from affronted to something a bit more self-assured, indicating the moment of annoyance has passed. "I'll call you if she turns up on my radar."

Dante's psyche jolts in surprise at Odessa's insulted look, and he lifts his head up. Wha? "… I…really had no idea. My apologies. Well…" Give him a moment, he's reassessing his priorities. And reassessing Odessa actually, sweeping his gaze over her once more, looking notably more approving now, and perhaps a little impressed. "In that case, yes. Apprehend and escort back to headquarters for detention, on suspicion of aiding and abetting a fugitive." On whose authority? On his. He'll deal with the paperwork later. He smiles a little. "So which do you prefer? Agent Price? Or Doctor Price?"

"Doctor," Odessa responds easily, her lips twisting into a smirk. She's actually rather pleased with his reassessing her. "I try not to identify myself as a Dee-oh-Ee-Ay agent except in official capacity where being an agent works to my benefit." Like border crossings, or safehouse raids. "It's my dirty little secret," she teases.

Okay, a little bit less approval, though Dante still finds himself smiling for Odessa and shaking his head. "Good to know the Institute is only using its powers for good," he snarks, idly shifting a pile aside on his desk. As an afterthought, he plucks up the mp3 recorder, disabling it and dropping it back on his desk. "Anything else I can help you with, Doctor Price?"

"No, sir." Odessa looks for a moment as though she may be about to dismiss herself. But then she leans forward, resting her forearms on her knees and balancing her tipped weight as she fixes Dante with a look of interest. "Is there anything I can do for you, Agent Lupinetti?"

Dante nods at Odessa's first remark, turning his gaze down to the papers in his hands. As she goes on though, he looks up…and freezes, one handful of papers upraises, his eyes catching hers. All of a sudden, the detail-oriented part of him goes haywire, highlighting and flagging her posture, the look in her eye, her microexpressions, the tone and emphasis of her voice, and let's not forget her outfit. His gaze flicks down her very briefly, and the agent looks lost for words for a moment. "Ah…is there?" he asks, a genuine deer-in-the-headlights look. "I'm…sure I could think of something."

Odessa quirks her brow and lingers for a few seconds longer before she rises to her feet. "Well, should you think of it… I'll be in my office for the next hour." Agent Lupinetti isn't the only one who puts in overtime around here, it seems. "Don't hesitate to come find me." She smiles, her blue gaze dark with promise before she turns away and heads for the door.

Dante just watches Odessa as she rises from her chair and turns towards the door, eyes wide. That "promise" sends a shiver up his spine, but otherwise he just looks floored to watch her slip towards the door, lab coat swishing behind her. It isn't until she's gone that he blinks, looking down at the papers in his hands. Dammit, he's going to have trouble focusing on work tonight.

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