Missing Thimble


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Scene Title Missing Thimble
Synopsis Odessa makes a friend.
Date December 10, 2019


Plum Island, Ruins of Long Island

December 10th

11:18 am

“I’m sorry, Brucey. I own the railroads. That’s just the way the game works.”

A colorful bouquet of paper money is thrown in Odessa Price’s face as she’s now bankrupted Bruce Maddox. Two chairs push away from the table, where a faded copy of Monopoly has been set up.

“Aw, Rich, you’re not going to watch us anymore?” Odessa pouts as she collects her tithe and sorts it neatly into piles with the rest of her riches. There’s a touch of annoyance in her tone that isn’t her own.

Schwenkmen rolls his eyes. “I only stayed after he knocked me out of the game to see if Bruce could return the favor. I’m out.”

Odessa shrugs and offers a polite smile to each loser in turn, even though all she wants to do is offer a glare at them both for being such spoilsports. “It was fun! We should do it again sometime!” Or, wait… Maybe that’s how they feel about having lost the game?

Both men ignore her good cheer and head for the other side of the recreation room, leaving Odessa and her remaining opponent alone in their corner of the space. The others have been giving them a wide berth. Odessa spares a glance over her shoulder at the rest of the room before shrugging and turning back to the board to scoop up the dice.

In truth, she’s grateful for the departure. It leaves her with less conflict. Fewer entanglements. Emotion seems to slither away from her like streamers trailing from a departing parade float. It makes it easier to sort out her own thoughts and desires.

And those that aren’t hers.

The black-pipped white cubes rattle around in her hands as she shakes them up real good before casting them down on the table and pushing her pewter race car forward the prescribed number of spaces. It’s not the piece she usually chooses for herself. “You know, Donna took the thimble,” she informs her partner casually, not looking up from her piece. “She’s still sore at me even though she got that punch in.” One hand comes up and absently cradles against her jaw, as though it might still hurt. (It doesn’t.)

“Joke’s on her, though.” A wicked grin cuts a slice across the blonde’s face as she finally looks up, passing fake money across the table for having landed on property that isn’t hers, sans complaint.


Though Darcy could never receive HIM at Pemberley, yet, for Elizabeth’s sake, he assisted him further in his profession. Lydia was occasionally a visitor there, when her husband was gone to enjoy himself in London or Bath; and with the Bingleys they both of them frequently staid so long, that even Bingley’s good humour was overcome, and he proceeded so far as to talk of giving them a hint to be gone.

Miss Bingley was very deeply mortified by Darcy’s marriage; but as she thought it advisable to retain the right of visiting at Pemberley, she dropt all her resentment; was fonder than ever of Georgiana, almost as attentive to Darcy as heretofore, and paid off every arrear of civility to Elizabeth.

Pemberley was now Georgiana’s home; and the attachment of the sisters was exactly what Darcy had hoped to see. They were able to love each other even as well as they intended. Georgiana had the highest opinion in the world of Elizabeth; though at first she often listened with an astonishment bordering on alarm at her lively, sportive, manner of talking to her brother. He, who had always inspired in herself a respect which almost overcame her affection, she now saw the object of open pleasantry. Her mind received

Donna stares at the page and looks for the next. Her eyes scan the book, flipping back and forth through the dog-eared old novel, then finally notices the tear-lines where the final page should be. Her eyes widen, breath hitches in the back of her throat.


Back at the Rec Room

“I tore the last page out of the book she’s reading.”

Huh.” There’s only one person left in PISEC who will still entertain Odessa Price at board games, mostly because no one else tolerates him. Pete Varlane stares across the angled Monopoly board, then down to the pile of colorful, crinkled bills sitting on Free Parking. “That’s gonna go over swimmingly,” Pete remarks, but he can’t help but laugh at it too. Pete eyes where his shitty metal dog token is on the board, watching Odessa move the race car over to one of the unclaimed utilities.

“You didn’t have to do that,” Pete says. “Stop her from ringing my bell, I mean.” Not buy the Power Company. Though he wishes she hadn’t done that just now either. “For the record, anyway.”

"Let's be clear that she was going to straight up fucking murder you," Odessa responds easily, paying her money in to the bank, the happy new owner of Tesla's legacy. "If I have to suffer the rest of my days in this place, why should you get so lucky to get an early release?"

The dice are nudged over to Pete's side of the board with a flick of her finger. She didn't, of course, rescue Pete Varlane out of the scornfulness of her heart, but it's easier to share that kind of lie than admit to the truth. That she's tired of watching other people get hurt, and tired of watching people throw what's left of their lives away for revenge that won't even remotely satisfy.

Her heart feels heavy.

It must, right? That only makes sense, given the givens of everything that comprises her even being in this place. Playing fucking Monopoly with Pete Varlane.

Wow. Life is strange.

One arm stretches lazily over that blonde head, joined slowly by the other. Her back arches and Odessa tips her head back to regard the room from her upside down vantage point, mouth opening in a wide yawn even as she scans the room and notes who else is still around, how close they are, and, most importantly, who is paying attention to the pair of outcasts and their game.

Watch for the yawns. They're contagious, after all.

Odessa doesn't hear the dice fall when Pete tosses them but she does hear the cursed exclamation under his breath followed by the way he slams his piece down counting every space he has to move until he lands on Park Place with a blocky red hotel rising up from its blue field. “This game sucks,” Pete says with a roll of his eyes, fishing his disorganized stack of colorful money out from his lap. She'd only been partway paying attention to the game, instead watching the handful of others in the rec room. Most had moved on, headed to the cafeteria, lunch was approaching and it was Taco Tuesday.

“Here's your fifteen fucking hundred dollars in blood money,” Pete exasperatedly says as he slaps a stack of nearly all of his money except a handful of singles and a fiver in Odessa’s lap. In spite of his demeanor she can't help but feel like he's enjoying himself, that somehow this spiteful game of all things was bringing him a measure of joy. “I hope the IRS audits you,” Pete adds under his breath as the last of their company in the rec room exits.

Odessa tips back upright into her seat just as the money lands in her lap. She blinks owlishly at it for a moment before she starts to count it out and sort it into the neat piles in front of her. “Thank you,” she purrs. She doesn’t particularly care about beating the rush to the taco bar. It’s not like there are so many of them housed here that the cafeteria ever runs out of food.

She’s enjoying herself too, after all. At least, she must be, or she wouldn’t be playing this game. And she’s winning, for as precarious as that position can be, so, yes, she is enjoying this. Odessa smiles genuinely and leans forward until her elbows rest on the table on either side of her colorful cash.

Brows lift, her eyes sparkling with mischief and curiosity. “Whose dick are you sucking to be off your meds?”

For the first time in a long time, Pete actually laughs. It’s a startled, choked thing. As if he hadn’t expected the reaction to happen, looking equally as much surprised and embarrassed by the sound that escapes him. Once he’s wrestled that fit under control, Pete palms the rest of the monopoly money from his lap and sets it down on the corner of the game board.

“I’m not,” is Pete’s delicate and carefully worded response that could be a denial of either point. Sliding his tongue across the inside of his cheek he looks down to the top-hat wearing mascot in the middle of the Monopoly board, then back up to Odessa. “How’d you play the old switcheroo with your power?”

His laughter is answered with a broad grin. Good, that was the intended reaction. She can’t explain why it feels good to lift the spirits of Pete Varlane of all people, but it does. “I have no idea,” she answers honestly with a small shake of her head. “One day I was completely human, and the next, I hear you explaining what I can’t possibly understand.”

Odessa leans back in her chair again, head tipping to one side as she crosses her arms under her chest, that grin still in play. “Lucky for both of us that no one else heard you.” This is their little secret.

“Maybe they heard me, maybe they didn’t,” Pete says with a shrug, “we’re still here and nobody’s been turned into lemon Jello, so…” he spreads his hands, “that’s progress.” Making a soft noise in the back of his throat, Pete leans forward and rests his elbows on his knees. There’s a conspiratorial angle to his posture, inviting Odessa in to share in a secret.

“Look,” Pete says in a hushed tone, “between you me and the Mayor or whatever the fuck the Monopoly guy is, we’re all guessing. We’ve been guessing since the 40’s, since somebody decided to try and pin down miracles with science. The smartest person in the fucking room knows as much about people like you an’ me to fill that missing fucking thimble. We play the odds, we try and fail, and we try again. Your bullshit?” Pete motions to Odessa with one hand. “Maybe there isn’t an explanation.”

With that, Pete leans back in his chair again. “Odessa, I’ve seen a lot of weird shit in my years. I’ve heard about twice as much. People can guess, try and pin it down with theoretical science. But that’s all it is, theory. Mohinder fucking Suresh might say he’s cracked the code or whatever trite bullshit sounds good on a report, but he’s just guessing too. We’re all weird little enigmas, driving smart people in lab coats out of their fucking minds.”

There’s a spark in Odessa’s eyes at the change in Pete’s posture and demeanor. There’s an excitement for her to this secrecy shared between the two of them. In this place that thinks it has them under its thumb, Price and Varlane are still in possession of their powers. Even if she doesn’t understand hers yet, or what to do with it.

“I’ve always been a fan of it’s all bullshit as an explanation, personally,” Odessa opines, sweeping her hair over one shoulder flippantly. Like they’re just bantering over who’s going to control Monopolytown. “But you’re not wrong. I get to watch the little lab coats tear at their hair, wondering where we’re going wrong. Why what we’re doing doesn’t line up.”

To say that she isn’t also at a loss for why they aren’t making the headway they all believe they should be would be disingenuous.

“You know they’re all terrified of us, don’t you?” That light in her eyes only seems to grow in intensity as her mouth ticks up in a satisfied smirk. “They have us choking down pills to make us weak like they are, and still they fear what we can do.” Odessa’s brows lift briefly, mirth crinkling the corners of her eyes. “So cheer up, Pete. We still have something on them.”

Pete looks back down to the Monopoly board, slouching forward to rest his elbows on his knees. “Maybe,” is his half-hearted response. “We’re going to spend the rest of our lives in here, Odessa. That’s on an optimistic spectrum where the government isn’t deposed and we aren’t lined up against a wall by more conservative parties.”

Shaking his head, Pete scrubs one hand over his mouth, studying the board. “I don’t know,” he exhales as a sigh, “what to tell you, or them, or anyone. They want us developing a means to kill Adam Monroe, maybe that’s our legacy. We kill someone older than dirt.” Pete looks up to Odessa, brows furrowed. “Just like that.”

The weight of Pete’s defeat is enough to wipe the smirk off Odessa’s face. It drags her down as well, despite her best efforts to remind herself that what she feels may be real, but it isn’t hers to feel. “I don’t think it’s the government we have to worry about. I mean, if we stay locked up in here long enough, sure, but I don’t think we’ll be here for a changing of the guard.”

Odessa frowns and brings one hand up to worry at her thumbnail with her teeth while she dwells on her thoughts a moment. “I can’t be the only one that thinks the government shouldn’t be putting all its bad eggs in one basket,” she reasons, glancing around the nearly empty room apprehensively. “Something is bound to come down around our heads. The question is whether or not we have the means to disable Monroe by then.”

Pete squints, incredulously. “What, you think a anybody is going to spring us?” He exhales a snort and shakes his head. “Spring us, kill us, either or. They've had plenty of time to come after us, all the boogeymen under all the beds. You know whose come here?” Pete shrugs. “Nobody. My son saw me off before they dumped me here, and I can't blame him for wanting nothing t'do with me.”

He looks Odessa up and down, then returns his attention to the Monopoly board. “The game’s rigged to put us at each-other’s throats,” Pete opines, and start first it isn't clear if he's talking about Monopoly or life. “You know what fucks the players of this game up more than anything?” He points to the hotels on Park Place and the rows of houses just down from there. “Buying land.” Pete says with a snort. “Everyone starts off equal, but the second someone starts buying up the land it all falls apart. Soon you owe them, they owe you, the knives come out and tables are flipped in anger.”

Spreading his hands, Pete declines against his chair. “The only way to win at Monopoly is to not play by their rules. You go around the board,” he makes a circle with one finger, “you get your Chance cards, you accumulate, and then…” he shrugs. “Then eventually you die. But happily, and on your terms.”

“Spring us?” Odessa shakes her head. “No.” Her head tilts to one side then, considering, “Bomb us into oblivion before we can figure out the science of ending immortality? Much more likely.” So she may not be optimistic about how much life they’ll actually live of their life sentences, but at least the guards are still scared shitless of them. It’s the little things that keep a person going.

He raises a valid point, though. If someone was going to come after them, surely they would have done it by now. It’s been months. It leaves her to wonder if they might still be considered to be of some use to Monroe in the future, or if they’re of no use and not worth the effort to exterminate. Neither thought makes her particularly thrilled, which manifests as a frown on her face.

“You wanna call a truce?” Odessa starts stacking her piles of money on top of one another, glancing up to make eye contact with Pete. “Everybody in this place hates my guts. Except maybe Kyla, who’s just lonely enough to accept me.” That may not be the kindest assessment of Kyla, but it says more about Odessa’s opinion of herself than her opinion of the younger woman. “And you…”

Varlane’s pretty much personally fucked over every other prisoner in this facility.

“Well, I don’t hate you.” And she definitely doesn’t want to play by their rules, even if she has been a model prisoner up to this point.

Pete laughs in a way that's more a bark. “A truce?” His brows flick up, eyes roll skyward, but at the same time he's smiling. “Alright,” his hands come up in a mock surrender, “okay, fine. Far be it from me to deter someone from their own bad tastes…” Angling a sideways look to the door out of the rec room, Pete hunches forward and looks back to Odessa.

“But here's my next turn,” Pete says, picking up the dice and shaking them around in his hands. “If this is a truce, why don't we consider what a partnership looks like?” The dice rattle noisily between his cupped hands. “The Renautas girl,” he nods in the direction of the cafeteria, “she talks to you?”

This is a terrible idea. A terrible notion blooming like the nasturtium in her garden. "You have my attention." That much is evident in the way Odessa leans forward in her chair, and the gleam in her eye as she does it. This is the start of what promises to be a spectacular backslide.

"She does." And there's a twist of guilt she's not sure she deserves just yet, but will undoubtedly earn, if past history is any indicator. "She helps me tend to my flowers. I listen to her woes." It seems a fair enough trade.

Pete twists his expression into something more thoughtful, more considering. Odessa can feel the shift in his emotional stance, like a shift in posture, a move from something withdrawn into a more confident footing. “Let’s just say, between you and I, my trick?” Pete motions to himself with one hand. “It’s something I can do for other people.”

Slowly, Pete offers Odessa a smile. “Now, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to make outbound calls again?” He raises his brows. “To reach out and… make a connection?”

Pete rolls the dice.

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