Monochrome Delirious, Part IV



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Scene Title Monochrome Delirious, Part IV
Synopsis When Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, the way to the Emerald Tower is found, but too late to be of any use to anyone…
Date May 3, 2009

I don't want to set the— vrrt

The forest of blackened trees and wirhtered grass eventually gave way back to the highway, not quite the shortcut that Peter had in mind, but the baked pavement and faded yellow lines are seen as a relief once tired feet settle down on it once more. Mitchell's words were truth, for soon night would come to the ruined city, and Odessa's small band of wanderers in search of the Wizard would soon come to be confronted with the grim truth of the world they have found themselves in.

I don't want to set the— vrrt

Where the highway would move to meet the Lincoln tunnel, there is ijstead something that is uncharacteristic of New York City — beachfront property. The broken skeletons of skyscrapers rise up from the high ocean waters that swallowed most of the upper west side, lapping waves crashing on what is now Broadway's shores, and most of the city sinking towards the higher ocean waters that rise with the tides. Somewhere behind the cottony clouds of ash that linger in the heavens of nuclear winter, the pale silhouette of a full moon looms.

I don't want to set the— vrrt

Woods stands silently, staring off into the distance at the crashing waves, mouth open and hands at his side, shoulders slacked. Peter has taken up a perch on a parkbench that rests skewed on the collapsing sidewalk that slopes downwards towards the crashing waves and rolling night surf. Mitchell, notably, turns to look down at Odessa, one dark brow raised. "This is the world the Witch has made…"

I don't want to set the world on fire…

Odessa had seen the ruins of Midtown and wept. Nothing could prepare her for this, however. She stands next to Woods wearing a very similar expression, gasping for air with a hand pressed against her chest. She turns to Mitchell when he addresses him and shakes her head, trying to decide what question to ask first.

"Why?" Great, fat tears well up in Odessa's eyes and spill down onto her cheeks. "Why did this happen? Why would somebody do this?" Her free hand flutters up now to cover her mouth as she sniffles and attempts to stifle full-fledged sobs. "Oh!" she squeaks before turning to clutch at Woods and bury her face against him, shoulders quaking with emotion that she gives into for only a few brief moments. With a gasp, she pulls away again and holds up one hand. "I'm all right. Just in shock."

Odessa returns her attention to the vice-president… former vice-president. "How did this happen?"

Mitchell slowly shakes his head, one hand rubbing across his mouth as he glances from Odessa to the water, to Woods' mildly flushed and flustered antics at the sight of the water. "Don't know," he murmurs, looking back out to the lapping waves. "Just one day, all at once… Scientists think she melted the ice caps with her magic, caused everything to flood. Then, then the city burned in the war that came afterwards." Dark eyes travel over from the waves to Odessa. "No one's asked her, mostly because…"

His eyes travel up to the skies, as if looking for something, then wander back to Odessa. "She lairs on the forgotten island, with her army, and no one who's gone to see her has ever come back." He exhales a sigh, reaching into his jacket pocket to retrieve a crushed pack of cigarettes, slapping out one bent stick before fumbling around to find a lighter.

"She just wanted to end the world," he notes in a murmured voice, cigarette bobbing up and down between his lips as he talks, one hand shielding the flame from the ocean breeze as he draws in a breath, sucking a hot lungful of smoke in to calm his nerves. "So, she did." The smoke is pushed out through his nostrils, thin jets that waft in the breeze with his words.

Odessa catches her breath and wipes at her eyes, staring out at this all-too-close ocean shoreline. "It shouldn't be like this." She drags her gaze away from the destruction and wreckage and begins to survey more of their surroundings. "We should find a safe place to stop for the night, I think?" She looks to the others for confirmation. "Or should we press on?"

"There's nothing really dangerous here at night, you're the first people I've seen in weeks." Mitchell murmurs, turning away from the ocean as he tucks his lighter back into the pocket of his ratty suit jacket. "We could probably keep going, I mean— " something catches Mitchell's attention, brows furrowing as he stares into the space between two collapsed buildings, where their tumbling girth collided into one another, creating a precarious tunnel of shattered concrete and glass.

Woods turns around from the ocean, blithely ignorant of what caused Mitchell to pause. "You mean, what? I mean to get something to eat, do you think twinkies are still good after a holocaust?" He asks with a glance back over to Odessa, even as the abnormally quiet Peter looks in the direction of the noise Mitchell heard as well.

"Woods, that's disgusting," Odessa remarks about the Twinkies. "Those things aren't even good when they're first made. I'm sure radiation has mutated them into something horrible that will eat your insides like acid." Not that she has any medical proof of this, but she really doesn't like Twinkies. The lack of reaction or comment by either Mitchell or Peter gives Odessa cause for pause, however. She quiets herself and turns to look in the same direction the other two men are. "What are we staring at?" she whispers, fingers now twitching restlessly at her sides.

"I thought I saw something… move." Mitchell mumbles, taking a few steps towards the collapsed building, just moments before a gunshot rings out and sends Mitchell sprawling backwards against the ground, the sound cutting through the otherwise tranquil night. Peter falls backwards off of the bench in shock, landing on his shoulders with a grunt, while Woods heroically dives behind Odessa. Cursing spews forth from Mitchell as he grabs his shoulder, blood pulsing out from a hole in the fabric of his jacket as his eyes wander to where his cigarette burns on the broken pavement some feet away.

"Jesus Christ," a rough voice swears from within the collapsed building, followed by crunching footfalls moving over the broken glass. Slowly, a tall and broad-shouldered man comes swaggering out from the ruins, hair matted down across his head and a beard covering his jaw, peppered with gray. Holding out a revolver in one hand, it's hard to recognize the face of Nathan Petrelli as he waves his gun around in one hand, "I thought you were one of the witch's soldiers."

Peter scrambles up to his feet, eyes wide, "N— Nathan?" The reaction from the bearded brother is a bit of a confused one, head cocked to one side while he scratches at the underside of his chin with the barrel of the revolver. Woods, despite recoiling from the gunshot, is now counting on his fingers, looking like he's trying to puzzle something out.

"Pete, what're you doing out— " he finally catches the sight of Mitchell hunched on the ground holding a gunshot wound. "Andrew?" Immediately, shock takes the place of recognition as Nathan begins to make his way over to where Mitchell rests on the ground, bleeding from the wound on his shoulder.

"Senator Petrelli?" She knows the man was president, really. But Odessa can't quite shake the title free from her mind. "You shot him!" The brunette drops down to Mitchell's side. "Hold still. Let me take a look at you." Long fingers delicately reach out to feel the area around the wound. She takes in a deep breath and lets it out. "Okay. I can work with this. You won't feel a thing until it's over." One moment, Mitchell is laying on the ground bleeding. The next, his wound is dressed and Odessa is missing strips of cloth from her white pinafore. "There," she murmurs. "It's not perfect, but you won't bleed out."

Odessa's head snaps over now to fix a glare on Nathan. "Shame on you! Picking on defenseless travelers like that! What would your mother say?" … Oh, not much. Considering the house that sort of… fell on her and apparently caused her legs to shrivel up. "You shouldn't just go shooting at people!"

"My mother probably would have chided me for missing his head that I was aiming for." Nathan opines as the barrel of his gun stops its incessant scratching at his jaw, eyes downturning to Mitchell's already dressed shoulder. He does a double-take, having much in the same line of expression that Mithell does, which is nothing short of stupefied. "How did you— "

Woods, however, has more pressing concerns to bring up. "Wait," He's beginning to give in to the madness, straightening his bowtie as he saunters on over to Nathan. "Aren't you the one what supposed to be lacking in Courage?" A single blonde brow arches, and Nathan looks up to Woods with an exasperated expression, motioning towards his bowtie with the barrel of the revolver.

"Who really needs courage when you've got a gun?" Nathan asks, and once the bit of rhetoric has passed, he returns his focus to Mitchell and the injury. "I'm sorry, I thought you were one of the Vanguard." All Mitchell responds with is a scowl as he clutches his arm close to his chest like a chicken wing in its dressed and bandaged state.

"…Vanguard?" Odessa's shoulders suddenly hunch up a bit as though the rest of her body could slump down and she might somehow hide herself away like a turtle. "The Vanguard answer to Munin?" None of this is making any sense. She looks up at Woods. "Does any of this sound familiar to you?" It stands to reason that if any of this is real, and he comes from a separate timeline from hers where he actually lives, maybe he can shed some light on the mystery?

Woods levels his eyes down on Odessa, furrowing his brow, "Only in the part that makes me think she might not be someone who wants to take long dips in the ocean kind of familiar." His eyes wander to Nathan's gun, then down to the street as he looks back up to find Peter, spotting the somewhat dopey stand in for the scarecrow meandering around where Nathan had come from in the ruins.

"Forgive me for suspending this disbelief," he motions towards Peter while looking to Nathan, "but aren't you the least bit curious as to what your brother is doing out here and why he was strung up on a chain link fence doing a Prometheus impression?"

Nathan's brows furrow, lips pressed into a thin line as his head cants to one side. "My brother is an idiot," he says in the most gentle and brotherly way possible, "exactly how does anything that happens around him make sense?"

Woods' lips press together, one finger raised into the air as if he were planning on making an objection, but instead all he can do is mumble. "Oh, well, good point on that…"

"I don't know, Woods. That's especially dumb. Even for Peter." Odessa stands up and then looks to Nathan again. "Well, don't just stand there being useless. Help me stand this man back up." She gingerly slips her hands beneath Mitchell's shoulders to help brace him and offer him some sort of balance. "C'mon, then. Up you go."

Grimacing a bit, Mitchell's eyes flit from Odessa to the bandages, then back to her. "You're… are you one of the good witches?" Woods rolls his eyes, tossing both hands into the air as he strolls away from what is clearly becoming a badly written high-school drama-club performance, heading over to the one person too dense to realize how idiotic this all seems.

"Pete," Woods murmurs, "are there flying monkeys here?" The question is delivered with the utmost certainty and importance, earning only a wide-eyed look of confusion as Peter very, very slowly looks away from Woods, turning his focus to Odessa with one brow rising up.

"Uh, O— Odessa?" He grimaces at Woods, "I think your friend here's lost his mind a little." The look on Woods' face can't be seen, because he's hanging his head just too hard.

"Alright, what're you all doing out here?" Nathan spits out to interject over Woods and Peter. "Because I saw ravens around here, and where there's ravens, the wicked witch of the west is watching." Woods slaps his forehead, smoothing a hand down his face as he finds his flying monkeys, forcertain. A slow, tired sigh is pressed out from tired lips, and he begins walking away from Peter.

"I… I was just trying to settle down and start a fire for the night, when they found me. They're going to try and see the Wizard." Both of Mitchell's brows raise at the notion, eyes lingering on Nathan, who turns to look at Odessa.

"The Wizard?" Nathan's words are overwritten by a furious huff from Woods who hustles up between the two, flailing his arms up and down wildly, a look of abject disbelief on his face.

"Yes the bloody fucking Wizard!" He shouts out, hands gesturing one way, then another, "We're all going to see— " one hand points at Peter warningly as he begins to open his mouth — no singing " — the bloody fucking Wizard. And there's going to be a tiny man behind a tiny curtain and he is going to have come here in a hot fucking air balloon from Oklahoma!" Seething, Woods' face turns bright red, and both Nathan and Mitchell back away from him slowly.

"Is he alright?" Nathan asks with a crooked smirk, pointing to Woods as his eyes settle on Odessa.

Odessa watches Woods sort of meltdown with a patience that could only have been learned from time under Sabra Dalton's instruction. Once he's finished and gotten the others worried about his mental state, she nods. "He's fine. Promise. We're both just a little overtaxed by this situation. You see, I'm not from here. And neither is he. We're trying to get back home, and Madame Dalton says that to do that, we have to go see the Wizard. So that's what we're going to do."

It's at that moment that something Mitchell said replays in her mind. "And, well… I'm not a witch at all," Odessa says a little uncertainly. Mildly perturbed yet, she turns to Nathan. "Would you like to come with us? I'm sure it's safer to travel in a group. I'm betting you know the quickest way to the Emerald Tower, too."

All eyes are on Woods as Odessa's patience and words just cause him to deflate slowly, sulking forward with a sigh as he tosses his hands into the air and turns around wordlessly. "Yeah… yeah I know the way there. You're actually headed in the wrong direction, the tower's only about a mile behind us, just over the bridge into Jersey." Nathan's brows furrow, glancing in Peter's drection, "you weren't following his directions, were you?"

Mitchell shakes his head and cuts in front of Nathan's answer. "If we're going to be visiting the Wizard, then we should wait until morning, it won't be safe to travel at night." A voice of reason, if not a pragmatic one, Mitchell turns to look over to Peter, who's mostly just staring up into the sky with one hand shadowing his eyes — despite there being no sun to shade them from. Mitchell squints, and looks up to whatever Peter is fascinated with, and his breath hitches in his throat. "Ravens!"

Nathan's attention is caught, jerking his head up to look to the black silhouettes nearly invisible against the cottony sky of falling ashes. And were this a cartoon, Nathan would've disappeared in a dust trail, but the stirred wave of ashes behind him as he sprints for the collapsed buildings is almost as comical — first instinct in dangerous times? Run.

Odessa scuffs her red shoes against the ground sheepishly when Nathan asks if she was following his brother's directions. "Well, actually… Jersey, huh? Well, that's not so bad." She finds herself nodding in agreement with Mitchell's suggestion to rest until daytime, even though she's sure she could make a case for continuing on yet. She probably needs some downtime to sort things out in her head.

Though it appears there's no rest for the wicked, as the cry is raised for the ravens spotted overhead. "What do we do?" Odessa asks of Peter and Mitchell, edging a bit closer to Peter and keeping a wary eye on the unkindness above them.

What an unkindness it is, because while the ravens were noticed by a few moments ago high in the sky, their rapid descend on folded wings reveals just how little they have in common with the ones that were tormenting Peter. A sharp and femenine cry from Woods shrieks out as he notices a raven the size of a fighter jet swooping down from the skies, opening up taloned claws to snatch him up in one singular grasping motion. The bird's wings flap once, twice, three times and it picks up into the air in a fluidic motion.

Peter turns, looking to Odessa in disbelief as he reaches out to grab her and drag her away, only for another scaled cluster of talons to pluck him like a grape from a vine, carrying him off and up into the air, his hand still held onto Odessa as he drags her along for the ride. Mitchell tries to run for cover, the black feathered wings of the massive unkindness of ravens grabs him as well, but the Cowardly President has already scurried like a cockroach under the cover of crumbled buildings, where two ravens struggle to claw and peck at the stone for him.

"Odessa!" Peter screams, clutching her hand in his tightly, "H— Hold on! Please!" The birds circle, soaring through the skies as they divert to their course in the ashen heavens, away from Manhattan.

And to Staten Island, the lair of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Previously in this storyline…
Monochrome Delirious, Part III

Next in this storyline…
Monochrome Delirious, Part V

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