If You Don't Know


luther_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title If You Don't Know
Synopsis If you don't know, now you know, Mr. Bellamy.
Date March 12, 2018

Elmhurst Hospital, Outpatient Waiting Room

It isn't like Luther to call in sick. The man hasn't missed a day since they started, and he's been in surprisingly good health despite the occasional pull in to work with something like a poor night of sleep of a hangover (like that day following the official opening of the Safe Zone branch office). But the man's put in for sick time on account of an entirely avoidable reason, but he doesn't mince words on why. There was an altercation on Staten Island and few nights ago, and he was shot. But it wasn't serious, really. He's been worse. He's just taking the time off because, well he's got to get it checked out. Finally having a company healthcare plan also helps. He may have forgotten he had one of those things. And there's people worse off than him down in the Emergency Room. Currently, he sits in the outpatient waiting rooms, triaged to a bit of a wait since he's put down on paper that he's just in need of some wound care. All in all? Could be worse.

Truth be told, Richard Ray has assumed that something about Luther's ability boosted his immune system as a happy side effect; such secondary benefits to abilities aren't unknown, after all, and the way he absorbs energy could lead to such a thing. The news that he was shot, though, has the CEO clearing his schedule to come to the hospital as soon as feasable.

He's still in his black suit as he nearly stalks into the waiting room, shades perched upon the bridge of his nose as he looks left, then right, and catches sight of the man. A relieved sigh escapes him as he walks over to the other man, "Well, glad to see you aren't in ICU, Luther…"

Looking up from the Home & Garden magazine that's a few years out of date, Luther winces not from pain, but from the heat of embarrassment that Ray's here. "Hey, Boss," he rolls out in a low volume. With a short nod of his head, he offers the empty seat beside him. "I'd forgotten how it felt," confesses the man dryly. Then, quieter, "I can explain, but I'll warn you, it gets a little crazy."

"You do remember who I am, right?" Richard drops himself down into the offered seat, body twisted to face Luther more directly, his tone wry, "My life is so crazy that the SyFy channel wouldn't pick it up as 'too unbelievable', so, go for it."

The chuckle that rumbles from Luther is a wry, throaty sound. "Are you finding out that trying to build a normal life is turning out to be crazier than it's cracked up to be?" Closing the magazine up and setting it on the chair to the other side of him, Luther peels off his jacket - which itself still carries the blood and bullet hole where the piece ricocheted into him - to reveal the bandage that's brown with dried blood in the gauze and bandage. It looks worse than he feels. "Was at the Crooked Point, on Staten," he starts with the yacht bar turned dive hole, "And a man with a pretty decent mustache walked into the bar demanding another man with some exotic birds to declaw his pet ocelot." Did he say it was going to get crazy? Yeah, this is the normal part.

Ray breathes out a low chuckle in agreement, his head shaking slightly. "You have no idea," he murmurs — and then he looks down at that bandage, smile fading for a grimace. "Christ," he breathes out, "What were you doing on Staten— nevermind, don't tell me." He blinks, then, "So… a feud between exotic pet collectors?" Yeah, this is definitely going to get weird, he can tell.

By virtue of their experiences in war, it's one of those types of wounds that probably could turn nasty if untreated. Out in the field, he'd probably have tried cauterizing it. There's more than a few scars on his person, likely, that are the result of it. But with the luxury of a hospital, he's taking care of it, honest! "I…" Luther starts, but since Ray doesn't insist on reasons, he doesn't supply them. "I don't actually think it was a disagreement as much as a… contract negotiation," muses the man. "But I found a friend there I hadn't seen in a while. Since Raven Rock." He lets the location hang there, a memory lingering, before his story resumes. "Then a couple of toughs heard the mustache jabbering away, and this young lady who looked like his protege came in with the demon cat on a leash… What'd that guy call him? Oh. Mr. Black."

"Hold on." Ray reaches into his jacket, pulling out his phone and tapping it to life. It takes way more taps that necessary for him to get a notepad app open, and he types in 'Mr Black… mustache… exotic pets, ocelot?' before glancing back up, brows raising a little, "Mm. Raven Rock? Long time… alright, go on."

Luther peers curiously in wait as he watches Ray extract his phone and start tapping away. The man slowly nods in regard to Raven Rock, confirming that Ray heard right. "That's what the first tough called him, before Mr. Black up and shot him," continues Luther with a shake of his head and a frown. "He just, casually, pulled the trigger. Turns out the guy was bulletproof, and his partner was some kind of concussive blast emitter." His head is about to shake again, but he resists. "Anyway, suffice to say though, my friend's got a protective streak about her. Mr. Black's assistant wasn't more than a girl. She's fallen into a rough crowd, maybe. And when she saw she was in trouble, Chess just kind of… grabbed a stool and chucked it at the bulletproof guy."

There's a pause before Luther adds, "Er. Chess. She can kind of charge stuff up and it blows up later."

That has Richard pause for a moment, his gaze dipping back down to the phone for a moment. "Mnm. Like Angelina," he says quietly, considering the screen for a moment before looking back up, "Alright. So she threw an exploding bar-stool at the guy that was bulletproof…"

"And somewhere in that, another big guy, long hair, was also trying to get a piece of the action. He stabbed the guy with the blaster power." Luther's voice drops further to avoid the eavesdroppers who might have started to listen in. "Right in the throat." He clears his own throat, before concluding, "…Both the Mustache and his girl, and Chess and I got out. Not too sure what happened with the rest of them. But I'm pretty sure I just got hit with a ricochet. Those guys didn't seem like the kind to miss what they want to hit." He lets out a sigh, about to roll his shoulder and stopping just shy of it. That would have been bad. "So. Uh, why the notes?" He nods towards the phone. "Being sick ain't enough a reason?" That's more of a joke.

"Habit." Richard crooks a single brow upwards, offering Luther a wry smile as he lowers the phone, "I mean, if someone starts talking about a 'Mister Black on Staten Island' now I know who that is… or talking about an ocelot or something. Look— " He waggles the phone at the other man, "I might be out of the information business, but that doesn't mean I'll ever really stop. I'm glad you're alright, though, or I'd have to go kick over some stones in Staten."

Eyeing the other man and his phone, Luther considers for a long moment before he seems to come to an inward conclusion. "Appreciate it," he says with the man's clear care given for him, despite the word feeling like it's not enough. His gaze starts to wander at first, but then Luther speaks again, this time without any dryness, but hesitant. Exploring. "I had a question to ask you. About, uh. You remember the whole time travel thing, back when?"

At that, Richard lets out a bark of laughter. "God, how could I forget?" He brings one hand up, rubbing at his face, "I— you know the worst part? I actually have to ask this question. Which time travel thing?" He's lived a very weird life.

It's Luther's turn to laugh, but it's back to a dry cough of a sound. He waits for the nurses at the triage station to stop eyeing the pair before he answers. "1984." The year is spoken with a sense of gravity and importance. "Hiro, the first time I met him, he… teleported in to the Redbird break room one night. Handed me a paper bird and said I had to go save somebody." Eyeing the other man at this reveal, he waits to see, to compare craziness.

"Ah, that time…" Richard rubs a hand against the nape of his neck, "Crum. Yeah, okay, we're on the same level now. I don't think I knew that you got dragged along with all that too— Christ, Hiro was always doing that shit."

Luther's surprise registers with a slow blink. "Er… yeah, so that time," he continues after a beat to reorient, "He dropped me into a house, and there was a body of a man, and the guy who killed him had taken his - had cut his skull open." Luther swallows, the visual image of it having never truly gone away. "Anyway, there was the pregnant woman. And…" He hesitates again, a really awkwardly long pause. "And anyway, I'm not sure but, seeing Sera one day, it brought back some memories." He lifts an uninjured hand, rubbing at his beard. "You don't think?" He dares to posit, because this is Richard Ray.

Any lingering mirth fades from Richard's expression at the mention of the skull being cut open… and he in fact pales ever so slightly. "Samson," he murmurs, a flicker of something close to fear across his expression for a moment. "Sera… wait, the receptionist?" Bemused, "What are you thinking?"

That's something he's not truly seen in Ray's face before. For a man at least somewhat sure of himself, at least in outward presentation, that's something Luther has seemed to subconsciously count on. Seeing the fear stirs emotions. Troubling ones. "I like to think Hiro knew what he was doing, pitting me up against that guy," he says with a short huff. "But anyway, yes. Sera, the receptionist. Your receptionist. She- she looks a lot like the woman I helped back then." The woman he saved from a madman. "But that's not possible…" Or is it?

"The receptionist," Richard echoes, his brow furrowing, "That's… and Hiro was being goddamn irresponsible." A bit of anger there, "If Samson'd decided to come after you— anyway, anyway." He gestures dismissively with one hand, "What else do you remember about the trip? Did you get any names, see anything you remember…?"

Luther takes in a steadying breath as he reaches, again with his unhurt hand, to pull out a supremely battered, worn down but still functional brown leather wallet. It's thin, not much billfold in it, but from it he pulls out a seemingly equally battered piece of paper and a photograph that he offers to the man wordlessly.

She will need your help. She has needed your help. That's what's written on the crane, along with a photograph of a blonde woman known now as Odessa Knutson.

Ray reaches out to accept that faded old photograph, looking at it for a long moment in silence. Then he offers it back calmly, hand raising up to pinch the bridge of his nose. "…I need a very strong drink," he says quietly.

The once-paper crane and photograph are carefully tucked back into the wallet, then slipped back into his pocket. Luther glances over at Ray's maybe by now trademark bridge pinching, and nods slowly. "I don't recommend the Crooked Point on Staten Island," he says after, the rumbling coming from deep inside. "I take it this is one of those 'need to know' things?"

"Luther." Richard glances up, over the edge of his shades, hazel eyes seriously, "Since you signed on with me you've never asked any questions, not really. You've even gone into what was probably your worst nightmare because I asked… and you never questioned it. You came back as soon as we found you. I'll be honest, I think you're the one person I can trust the most right now. So given that, don't fucking repeat anything I'm about to tell you."

He might not be prepared for what's about to be dropped on him, but it's true, Luther has not asked questions. And yet, there's a look in his eyes that is full of those very questions that he's not asked over years. Maybe a decade. He nods for the man to continue, displaying one of his assets: Silence.

"Odessa Knutson," says Richard, leaning back in his chair and closing his eyes, "Is a woman who was raised by the Company. Her memories have been significantly, traumatically altered, and we suspect there're some very important things hidden in those memories. She's been manipulated all her life, and has done— terrible things for one organization or the other, always under duress. She was used to it. Shit, when I found her, she didn't trust me because I wasn't coercing her."

He raises his head again, looking over seriously, "Due to the various… groups she was dragged into, she's wanted by the law, and by Wolfhound. She's also currently going under the alias of Desdemona Desjardins."

The Company is a significant enough name that even Luther's heard of their exploits and the whole run through of the government involvement. He furrows his brow tightly as Ray goes on about what's been done to the woman, but his expression shifts to disbelief when the secret identity is revealed. "Wait. Wait." Luther's hand grips his knee and the line of tension in his shoulders tightens. "She said her birthday and Sera's were the same," he utters as he thinks back. Then Luther adds, "What the fuuuck." He's apparently fine with this whole wanted by the law thing, and Wolfhound? Not commented upon. But it's the whole package together, perhaps, that gets his head a'spinning. It takes him a bit before he gets it to slow enough that he asks, "What, no, why are we keeping her away from these people?"

"They have the same…" Richard's going to need an even stronger drink after this, he can just tell. "Yeah, okay, I don't have any answers there," he admits with a grimace, "But I hope to find some. As for why…" He brings one shoulder up in a shrug, "She's been a tool for all her life, Luther. For the Company, for Adam Monroe, for the Institute, for God knows who else. She deserves a chance to show what good she can do without some evil bastard making her design viruses and shit."

Neither of them have the answers, least of all Luther. He just nods with the fact that this puzzle has a monkey with a thousand wrenches tied to it clambering all over. His grave expression falls with the naming of each terrible sounding entity, and then he straightens in his seat. "Alright," he notes like he's agreeing to something unspoken. Like he's on board. "Seriously though, Richard… you gotta stop taking in strays." Here, he finally cracks a smile at the man who's sure to appreciate the irony of the statement spoken by Luther of all people. "Once I get this stitched up, you want to grab that drink?"

"I'll buy," Richard replies with a laugh, reaching a hand out to clasp the other man's shoulder, "And I'll try to cut back on the strays, Luther, I'll try. Oh, speaking of not taking in strays — if your friend needs a job, see if they've got an updated resume? I could always use someone who can blow shit up now'n again." He grins, then, fully aware of the hypocrisy in those two statements back to back.

Hey if the boss is buying, someone isn't going to hold back. Never mind the doctor who's going to say stay off the alcohol. "She's a cagey one, but I told her I'd drop her name with you," Luther replies as he hears his name finally called by one of the nurses of the waiting room. He pushes up to a stand, nodding to the magazine with a note, "The garden on page 23 - might be a nice one for the roof." That said, he starts away to meet the nurse and disappears for a while in to one of the patient rooms.

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