It's What I Do


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Scene Title It's What I Do
Synopsis Odessa Knutson meets an American spy in Germany with a mysterious agenda.
Date April 30, 1945

" —ck."

It's the best thing Odessa Knutson can possibly offer to what she sees surrounding her.

Rain falls down in drizzling sheets from sagging gray clouds, and the smoldering city of Berlin is laid to siege by the advancement of the Red Army. While at her back the warbling of a phonograph still playing that American music can barely be heard, and Doctor Knutson has witnessed a distant tank demolish the bell tower of a once majestic gothic cathedral. She had read about this in books, stories, the history of World War II as seen through the eyes of textbooks and journals. Never like this, impossible this.

When the Panzer tank she had seen rolls past the street without spotting her, German soldiers at its flanks, a sight revealed to her behind the tanks passage is something unusual. A man stands amidst the rubble of the collapsed cathedral on the street, gray greatcoat blowing in the cool, drizzling breeze and smoke play oddly with each other, though the scent of it is more lingering from the attack a moment ago rather than the actual fires in Berlin. Odessa's head aches, her eyes struggle to focus on the Nazi officer standing by the rubble, but…

No amount of delirium can account for the fact that she sees him holding his hand up towards where the rubble had fallen, and that a blue-white shield of light is slowly dissipating from around his fingers, dissolving in the air like the way alcohol evaporates. Laying at his feet, Odessa recognizes the bright red Arctic survival wear worn by Clara Francis. The officer closes his gloved hand, turns to look down at Clara, and from this profile Odessa can spot the eyepatch covering what was once his left eye.

All around Clara, broken pieces of the Cathedral lay, though were it not for him they would have laid atop her. Somewhere in the back of Odessa's mind, she is reminded of a dream she once had.

She is once again a long way from Kansas.

Berlin, Germany

April 30, 1945

Injury leaves Odessa woozy and uncertain for several moments. She's certain she must have died. Clearly the man made of smoke killed her and she is somewhere not of this world. Or if she isn't dead, she is at least unconscious, just like the last time she ended up somewhere totally surreal. She actually ducks back inside the building for a moment to make sure James Woods isn't trapped beneath a fallen piece of furniture.

No Toto this time.

Unsure footsteps fall heavy on the streets of a broken Berlin as Odessa attempts to reach the other blonde. This is a dream, but nothing good can come of leaving your allies in the hands of Nazis, karmically. "Clara!" Odessa cries, her voice sounding alien to her own ears. Experimentally, she tests her ability.

Rain never looked so pretty, frozen in time as it is.

Everything is at a standstill, the plumes of smoke twisting up from the rooftops of buildings, some from chimneys and some from fires burning. Droplets of rain hang in the air like little streaks of glass, delicate to the touch, and the eye-patched Nazi officer is frozen in mid crouch, a concerned look on his face, as if he was just about to check on Clara.

The blonde researcher laying on the broken street isn't moving, and it's not because frozen time does any good for her either. There's simply no sign of motion from her, blood streaking red on her pale face and darkening her hair.

Odessa ducks around the outstretched arm of the German officer, fighting the urge to puke from her sudden drop into a crouch. Eventually she will catch her reflection in a puddle and realise how bad off she is. For now, Clara isn't moving, and that's worse than she is.

"Clara! Clara, I need you to look at me, Clara!" One hand comes out to grab the orange-covered shoulder and give it a firm shake. "Come on, give me a sign of life here." The please is a silent one.


All Odessa notices is the subtle rise and fall of Clara's chest in wheezing breaths, but there's blood in the water beneath her at her head, a gash at her brow and blood leaking from it into her blonde hair. Bruises are already apparent down one side of her face near that cut, and for all that Odessa had said she could freeze time to keep Hiro stable had he need of it, that trick won't work on the girl who blinks through time.

It's been a long time since Odessa looked at a patient of hers and felt anything but indifference, or confidence that she could rectify their situation. Suddenly, she's seventeen again and assisting her first surgery and her patient is slipping away and she can't even do anything about it.

Now would be a great time for her ability to do something really awesome, like it did when it manifested in the first place.

However, such things are too much to ask for, so Odessa is quickly pulling Clara up to cradle her in her arms. Wound above heart level. A handkerchief is pulled from the pocket of her jacket and pressed to the other blonde's head.

Looking up, Odessa knows it's time to make a judgement call. With a wave of broken fingers, she allows time to resume again. Her eyes are on the German officer now. Wary, but with a certain degree of warning behind that.

Clara's breathing sounds wetter as Odessa lifts her up, and when time snaps back into being and the rain begins falling again, the German officer jumps back with a startle, his one blue eye wide as he stares down at Odessa, rain flattening his hair to his face. Reflexively, he changes the hand that was reaching out in offering to one trying to ward off the mysterious blonde, and a shimmering field of blue-white light blossoms into being in front of his hand, spreading in a hemisphere in front of him. It's a dazzling sight to see, rain sliding off of some intangible barrier conjured into thin air.

He says nothing, eye wide, back tense, posture stiff as he assesses the way Odessa is handling Clara's prone form, the wound on her head, and the look in the blonde's eyes. Slowly, he lowers his hand, a show of relent or perhaps trust, but the wariness in his stance remains. "Sie werden verletzt…" is said very cautiously, and a hand steadily points towards Odessa's forehead. "Ich bin… ein Doktor," he adds with a raise of his brow, seeming a bit confused by Odessa's reactions, mannerisms and style of dress.

"Sie auch?" Odessa asks cautiously. Him too? "Ich heiße Nightingale. Entschuldigung, meine Deutsch ist nicht so gut. Sprechen Sie Französisch, Englisch, oder Russisch?" None of those languages are likely to endear her to a German, but what can you do?

"We need to get off the street," comes in perfect English, without so much as a hint of a German accent. Bending down, the sound of a distant explosion causes the soldier to turn and look over his shoulder, then settle his blue eye on Odessa again. He holds out both of his hands, then sweeps them apart and creates a flat plane of glowing blue light. "Let me," he instructs, reaching over to Clara, picking her up by the arm and waist and hoisting her up onto the flat surface in mid-air. There's a look to Odessa, and it takes him a moment to realize something, and he just— stares at her.

She hasn't reacted to his ability, at all.

Swallowing tensely, the soldier stands, and as he moves his hands, that plane of solid light lifts up and carries Clara's body with it. "This way," he motions with a jerk of his head to the blown out store front of a bakery across the street. As the soldier moves, boots splashing in the water, Clara is carried like an injured patient on a stretcher, one that just so happens to be made manifest by willpower instead of aluminum framing.

Odessa at first doesn't want to relinquish her hold on Clara, but… She can't carry the other woman. And this man seems to want to help. It's not like she can't freeze his ass if it comes down to it." Carefully, she rises to her feet and follows after him, conscious of the way her path weaves back and forth. She needs to get herself patched up, she's sure of it. Head injuries always bleed like a son of a gun. This will pass. It has to.

"Your name," Odessa says firmly in her own language once more. "I told you mine, what's yours?"

"Raith," he explains plainly as his focus remains mostly on bringing Clara into the blown out bakery, guiding her over to a table with haste as it becomes apparent the field that he is carrying her on it dissipating and her middle is beginning to sag, "Marcus Raith." Settling her down onto the floor, Marcus crouches as she's carefully lowered down, and his eyes scan up and down her clothing. "Why are you two here in the city? Do— " he looks up to Odessa, one brow furrowed and the corners of his mouth downturned into a frown, but he hesitates on asking the obvious, there are more pressing concerns.

Reaching down to Clara's jacket. Marcus finds the zipper in the front, drawing it down and opening the coat to reveal another layer of sweaters. He breathes out a sigh, leans in and listens to her breathing, then lifts up the front of her sweater to reveal her stomach, then her ribs. Biting down ona glove, Marcus pulls it off and throws it aside, then feels his bare hand along her side and chest. There's a wince that turns into a grimace, and he's looking back to Odessa worriedly.

"Your friend, she is bleeding internally. Into her lungs," there's a grave tone to Marcus' voice. "She needs a hospital, somewhere not here. The Russians will not be of help," there's a look out the window, "this city will be a tomb soon enough." Again, he looks back to Odessa to ask, "Why are you here?"

Odessa stares down at Clara, panic rising in her throat again with the thickness and burning distaste of bile. "I can't fix her," she murmurs herself, a stunned look upon her face. She can't lose Clara. She can't lose a patient. She's supposed to be infallible.

"No!" Odessa looks up at the man now identified as Marcus — Did he say Raith? That's not important right now. Clara first, coincidence or fate second. "If we can get her to a hospital, it doesn't matter. I can save her. I just need the equipment." Because her last visit to a hospital went so well.

Wetting her lips, Odessa repeats Marcus' motions, her own examination perhaps a little less halting or hesitant. There's no room for modesty in medicine. Rising up again, after having left small smears of her own blood on Clara's outermost sweater, she fixes the man with an apprehensive look. "We don't belong here," she tells him. "It was an accident. We're not supposed to be here."

"You picked a bad day for accidents," Marcus notes with a rankle of his nostrils, looking around the bakery. "Look I— should just leave you both here, but…" his blue eye glances askance at the street through the broken hole in the wall, then back towards Odessa. "I have a jeep nearby, I have— I have to be somewhere right now, but I can take you with me. I'm headed southwest of here, a village called Dessau. There is an American military camp, they have a hospital set up." Marcus is already rising to his feet, brushing his bare hand over his wet, dark hair while his eyes search the floor for his glove.

"We must move quickly, and do our best to avoid the Russians." Dropping into a crouch, Marcus picks up his glove, shaking rainwater off of it before tugging it back on as he looks back out to the street. "You did something," he looks back to Odessa, "moved in an instant. Can you move us all?" Chin tilting up, Marcus motions to Clara as well, "some sort of… instant transportation?"

Odessa grimaces. "It isn't teleportation, but I can allow us to move undetected." Provided, of course, that nobody else goes and has a surprise negation ability, or can run really fucking fast, or is Schroedinger's goddamned Cat. She stares pensively out the front of the bakery and then nods. "We will go with you. Thank you."

Are you really getting into a jeep with a stranger in Berlin in 1945? Really? There will be plenty of time to admonish herself for this folly later. This is a dream anyway. Why would Hiro have fritzed his ability to send them to Germany anyway? Feudal Japan makes much more sense, so this must be a dream. She eyes Marcus for a moment again and after tugging Clara's clothes back into place, she closes her eyes. She pictures the street beyond, just how she left it moments before, and the commotion silences. Her eyes open again. "Let's go. Quickly."

This time Marcus isn't using his ability to move Clara, too far and too long, and he can move faster without its limitations. Looping one of Clara's arms around his neck, Marcus picks her up and cradles her weight against himself, and given her height it's a difficult bundle to carry. Moving out the bombed front of the store, Marcus looks up wide-eyed at the frozen rain, head shaking slowly from side to side. "Amazing…" he breathes out, not quite able to understand exactly what it is he's seeing.

That moment, that bare moment of pause is what he takes for himself. The rest of the time he's running, a heavy hard-footed sprint that will make his knees scream later. They run, past the blown out rubble of bombed buildings reduced to little more than strewn fields of smoke, stone and ash, past German soldiers running through the ruins of a eviscerated residence, up over a pile of shattered concrete and down the other side to where a gray jeep is parked, exposed to the rain, no roof to speak of.

"Get in," Marcus demands as he walks to the back of the jeep, leaning over the side to lay Clara down in the back, brushing blonde hair from her face before sweeping back around to the driver's side, swinging the door open and climbing within. The ignition turns over with a rattling roar of the engine, noisy and old. There's a revolver sitting on the center console, atop a large photograph exposed to the rain showing seven men standing around a table, one of them is Marcus— one of them also happens to be Adam Monroe.

Putting the jeep into drive, Macrus slams on the gas, picks up the revolver with his left hand and checks the back to make sure it's loaded, then drives out and around the front of the building the jeep was parked behind onto the main street. "What did you say your name was?" He asks loudly over the wind and rain blowing in their faces. The photograph flutters up from the center console, rustling around a little, caught by the wind.

Odessa's pace only matches Marcus' due to the burden he carries with him. Unhindered, she's sure he would lose her quickly. She gratefully climbs into the jeep, grabbing hold and pressing her lips together. When Marcus goes for his revolver, she sees the photo. Her eyes are transfixed on the face of a man she knew very well, who doesn't know her yet. She can't possibly cross paths with him here. He'd have said something when he first met her in Company care. Surely. And how awkward would it be to run into an ex-lover who hasn't even met you yet?

The thought is shaken off and Odessa lifts her head to peer at Marcus, taking a few seconds before she realises he's actually asked her something. "Call me Nightingale," she murmurs. It isn't what she gave before, but if she's risking crossing paths with someone who will know her future self and then meet her past self — Oh, that is headache inducing.

"Cute." Marcus notes at the name, nodding his head, "I knew a Russian who went my the codename Cardinal once, so I guess I'm meeting a lot of birds." Roaring down the street, past frozen SS officers in mid sprint, Marcus shakes his head, looking back to Odessa with a furrowed brow. "So… all fake identities aside, who are you? I mean…" he turns to look out the windshield again, driving around a pile of rubble strewn across the street, taking a direct route since with Odessa's ability he can sneak right past the Red Army. "You've got a special… talent. I've only met a handful of people like myself before, there seems to be so many more've us, the war's bringing us all out to the surface."

Hitting a pothole in the road, the jeep jostles, and Marcus offers an askance look to the passing buildings, then slows as he approaches on a cluster of Russian soldiers frozen in time and a tank halfway crawled over a heaping mound of earthen debris. He weaves the jeep between the soldiers, mock saluting one looking right at him as he moves past. "Was it the eclipse?" Marcus asks with one brow raised, "Did you have your thing happen after it showed up?"

Odessa offers an apologetic smile and a shrug. "I'm out of my time," she tells him. Or in a dream. "I'm… from the future. But it isn't my own ability that brought me here." She frowns, "I know, it sounds impossible. But I'm hoping you understand that impossible things are a bit less far fetched." She gestures with one hand, mimicking the way she saw him call forth his own power. "I… I was maybe seventeen when I was able to do what I do for the first time. If there was an eclipse, I wasn't aware of it."

The back of her blonde head is turn toward Marcus as she watches out the sides of the jeep, gaze ever sweeping to ensure that nobody steps out of lock, and nothing takes her by surprise. The noise slowly begins to continue behind them, but at a safe distance where she no longer expends the energy to hold all still.

"Some things don't change," she says only audible enough to be heard over the engine. "War in my time is bringing people like us to the surface, too." She glances down at the console again and asks. "The young man in the photo, with the blonde hair. Who is he to you?"

Marcus offers a look to Odessa, one brow raised and head tilted to the side. There's a tightness in his lips, a guarded expression, before he turns back to the road, rounding a corner and passing by a series of homes with darkened windows. Strangely, Berlin of 1945 isn't that far off from the New York of 2010; both warzones in their own right.

"The future," Marcus notes with a furrow of his brows. "So who wins the war? Does it end here, Fuhrer dead somewhere," word hasn't yet reached all fronts that today is his death, "what about the Japs?" There's an askance look to Odessa, a brow lifted. "There's a lot you could tell me, if you're being honest you know."

The jeep passes by another large group of Russian soldiers before Marcus takes a sharp right, cutting off the major roads and winding through a lightly forested residential area, brick houses and cobblestone roads, the noise of the road surface beneath the truck a steady rumble that vibrates the whole vehicle. They're both soaking wet from the rain, and he isn't answering her questions.

The similarities are not lost on the Nightingale. Perhaps there is some method in this madness, why it was here of all places that they ended up. To Marcus' questions, she shakes her head. "There is much I could tell you, but it is not for you to know, and not for me to say." She glances to him out of the corner of her eye. "It seems you feel the same about sharing with me."

She gives a wince as she brushes wet hair from her face, from her wound. "Der Führer ist tot." Odessa finally offers, looking at him and his expression when she says as much. That much will reach him soon enough, with or without her saying so.

Snorting out a laugh, Marcus glances over at Odessa, then shakes his head slowly. "You know, even if you can't prove that I'll take it." The jeep jostles as they hit the end of the cobblestone and end up on a dirt road winding away from Berlin's metropolitan heart. "Are you French or American, I'm usually good at placing people, but you're something of a mystery." Marcus glances back at Odessa again, driving slower now that the road is rough, rutted and filled with divots and holes filling with rainwater.

"If you're a time traveler, why don't you go back to your time and fix your friend. Medicine's got to be better in the ah, future right? We're living on the moon, traveling to Mars? Or is not everything you say like something out of a Jules Verne novel?"

He doesn't believe her. The man who just created a forcefield doesn't believe in time travel.

God he is a Raith, isn't he?

Odessa fixes the man with a sharp look. His question as to her nationality is ignored. "I am not the time traveler. I was sent here by one. I do what you're seeing. I stop time." She frowns, "Speaking of which, could I please stop now? It's rather tiresome, as I'm sure you might imagine." And she's just not feeling up to it right now. God, fucking Raiths.

"In 1969, the Americans will put a man on the moon, though the Russians will beat them to space." Spoiler alert, jackass. "We send probes to Mars much later, but it's not a terribly practical practise." She turns her head skyward, wondering if she can see more stars here in 1945 Germany than she does in 2010 New York. Surely she'll be able to.

"He's killed himself, or so the stories will claim. People will remain sceptical throughout the years. A man so terrible as Herr Hitler surely would not have killed himself. Clearly he had to have been assassinated." A brief pause. "He used a Walther PPK. His Eva Braun is dead as well." Odessa's gaze remains sharp, even if it's obviously clouded with a desire to give in to injury and relax. Does she look like she could make this up off the top of her head? Honest?

If it were night, if the skies were clear, the stars would sing to Odessa Knutson. But all she sees here are the clouds, the rain, and the branches of trees forming a canopy as they drive deeper into the forest. Raith offers a look over to Odessa, then offers a knife-thin smile as he pulls the jeep over and off the road slowly, into a clearing between the trees. "I need to change out of this uniform so I don't get shot on sight." Climbing out of the jeep, Marcus circles around to the side, offering a look to Clara in the back with furrowed brows, then starts rummaging through a backpack.

"You know, Agent Knight would like you, probably want to tie you up and suck every little bit of info you have out of that pretty little head of yours if he could." Marcus clicks his tongue, brows lifting slowly as he pulls out a black jacket, lays it across the side of the jeep and takes off his officer's coat, throwing it carefully over Clara like a blanket.

"The man you asked about is Adam Monroe. He's a Nazi scientist, part of the Thule society in that picture," which implies that Marcus is as well. "He was a part of a research project put in place by the Fuhrer called Project Icarus, it was designed to find out about the Ubermensch," the super men, "figure out where our kind came from, what makes us tick. The other people in that photo…" Marcus nods his head as he unbuttons his shirt hastily, sliding it off of his shoulders before throwing it in the back, past Clara, leaving him in a black undershirt.

"Otto Brum, Rudolph Zimmerman, Adolf Meier, and Heinrich Wager are dead…" pulling a white dress shirt out of the bag, Marcus slowly starts to pull it on even as rain darkens the cloth. "Monroe and Volken are the only two left that I haven't gotten to. I don't have any idea where Monroe is, but Volken is where we're headed."


"He probably would," Odessa agress, even if the notion of someone tying her up and pumping her for information is disconcerting. She watches the man change his clothes. If she were embarrassed, she would turn around. Her unbroken fingers flex as she releases her hold on time, allowing the rain to fall with a renewed vigour. She listens to him explain that the men in the photo are dead, except for three, including himself.

But then her stomach drops. "You can't," Odessa is quick to say, standing up in the jeep and immediately falling back into the seat when she finds herself too dizzy to stay upright. Closing her cobalt blue eyes tightly, she groans. "You can't," she repeats. But what if this is meant to happen? If she convinces him not to make the attempt, is that how it was meant to go down? Or if she talks him out of it, will it change the future? Her present.

"It's my job, ma'am. This is what I do, I didn't sign up with the OSS and spent the last seven years kissing Nazi ass as a spy to just turn around and go home now." Marcus notes with a shake of his head, offering a look down to Clara in the back, "besides, unless you want your friend here to drown in her own blood, we're going to have to get moving soon. It'll take us probably till nightfall to ready Dessau, but the Americans there will take good care of you. Just— don't tell anyone the truth?"

There's a lopsided smile at that, and Marcus buttons up his shirt and pulls out a vest from his back, throwing that on and buttoning up the gray fabric as well, before finally removing a gray suit jacket, throwing that on over everything else, buttoning it up and running his fingers thorugh his hair before climbing back into the driver's seat of the truck.

"So, you can either get out here and now, take your luck with the Russians who probably haven't seen a lady in months. Or you can come with me and maybe not get raped." Giving Odessa something of a flat look, Marcus rests his hand on the stick shift between them, then looks down to the photograph before looking back up to the blonde again. "Your call, future girl."

"I'm telling you," Odessa breathes out, "You can't kill Volken because it's not possible." She grabs hold to the door of the jeep, preparing to start moving again. "He can't die." Spelling it out, maybe that will help? She definitely doesn't want to be left to the mercy of the Russians, and she can't leave Clara. She fixes Marcus with a worried look.

Marcus offers an odd look to Odessa, watching her with scrutiny for a moment, then shifts into drive and presses on the gas, rolling ahead a little out of the clearing and back under the thick canopy of trees. "Oh," Marcus notes with a furrow of his brows and a nod of his head, "yeah I— I know that." There's a faint crack of a smile and a tilt of the American's head to the side as he watches Odessa, brows furrowed and lips pursed together.

"I never said I was going to kill him."

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