No Prison Breaks Here!


elisabeth2_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title No Prison Breaks Here!
Synopsis No, really! Just finally getting a chance to talk and… well, yeah, the code word came up.
Date April 16, 2019


The grounds of the facility make it seem far better than Elisabeth had any real hope of expecting. As she makes her way through the security checkpoints, she is patient during the process. Sometimes it's perhaps a little slow — she fights to keep a neutrally pleasant expression under the scrutiny. Being the face of the interview that cracked open everything a decade ago still apparently has some amount of notoriety to go along with it. And it doesn't help that her voice is distinctive and, as a result of years of honing her ability specifically to be used in her voice, lingering.

But finally she is through the process and escorted to a visiting area. Elisabeth is honestly uncertain of her reception in this regard, and she waits with her hands clasped in front of her.

A visitor, she'd been told. Setting aside her book, she and her escort made their way to the visitors' center, which looks more like a cafeteria than a prison block. She's already there when the door buzzes when that visitor is led in. If Elisabeth didn't know better, she might think the blonde sitting at the table was dressed in her own casual attire. Except she knows Odessa vastly prefers tweed skirts and cashmere sweaters to joggers and track jackets.

Blue eyes lift from where they were staring at her hands and settle on the familiar face. Odessa smiles. "Hey, it's you." Which seems to be a pleasant surprise. She pushes to her feet and steps out from around the table, giving a quick glance to the guard for any sign that she's stepped out of line before she goes in for a hug. They seem to trust she's not going to be attacking anyone.

The greeting eases Elisabeth's body language immediately and she wraps both arms tightly around Odessa. "Definitely me," she agrees, relief apparent in seeing Odessa in good spirits. Only after she's hugged the stuffing right out of Dessa does Liz release her and step back, both hands on the other woman's shoulders to study her face. A faint nod and she says simply, "I'm sorry." There are so many layers to that, but of course the main one is for not testifying.

"How are you holding up? Do you need anything in here?" She gestures toward door and grins a little. "I brought you some music and some pictures, they're just looking them over before giving them to you — as if I'm gonna hide a file in there." She waggles her brows in amusement. "But … I didn't want to just bring stuff that you didn't want."

"Just to see a friendly face once in a while," Odessa assures with a smile. She's lean as Elisabeth remembers her being, her thin frame felt easily through that hug, but she looks better slept. No longer running from her mistakes and not being grief-stricken about her brother and his wife has helped immensely.

Her smile broadens as the gifts are listed off. "You didn't have to do that. That's really sweet of you, Liz. Thank you." Odessa squeezes her friend's hand, then tips her head toward the table she got up from. "Have a seat," she offers, moving to sit down herself. "How's Aura?"

Pffft — as if she wasn't coming with gifts! Elisabeth smiles and moves to take the seat, settling in to chat. "Well… she's enjoying the hell out of finally getting to go to school every day. She's making friends." Shaking her head, she can't help the rolling of her eyes. "I hear a lot about Walter and Carl. She's also glued to Ricky and Lili. She's finally getting to learn to read books on her own, so now she's thrilled to be able to read words to me or Richard or Harmony."

Looking down at her hands where they rest on the table, there's a moment where she has to pause — these things were delayed for the little girl because the past two years were bad. But she rallies and looks back up. "We're working on her fear of robots … that one is taking a bit of time," she admits. "Apparently a Spot<™> chased her around Richard's place, and there was much screaming as a result. No one told me about that one until recently. Alia's working on getting Aura to help build her own little robot so she can see how it works that they can't just…. You know. Turn into monsters. It's a process."

She could talk about Aura all day, it seems.

Odessa nods along, displaying concern and sympathy at the notion of Aura being frightened by one of the Spots. "I never thought about that," she admits softly. "They're so innocuous compared to the things w— that were employed in the war. It never occurred to me that someone might be scared of them."

Still, there's a plan in place to help the little girl overcome her fear, and that's heartening. "How's Richard doing? I… haven't seen him since the trial. I expect he's been busy." She knows they were both looking for answers to some big mysteries when they were still in quarantine. It wouldn't surprise Odessa to hear that he's been off chasing some ghost or other.

"Well… we had to train her very young to be aware and alert for things. So… I don't know that it would have been quite so bad if it hadn't literally chased her with a glass of water. It's… not funny, but it's kinda hysterical. I'm going to hell for thinking so, cuz that poor baby still hasn't forgiven Richard for laughing." Elisabeth rolls her eyes.

"He'll be up as soon as he clears the day," she assures. "I think he's been … well… looking for a way to let you friggin' telecommute to Raytech or something." She seems a little skeptical and confesses, "I'm not entirely sure he was serious. But honest to God, I wouldn't put anything past the man," she laughs. "I'm … not sure how up on the gossip you've been able to be. Lynette and Mateo have made it home. Eve survived. Several of our traveling companions have turned back up, although we're still missing a couple out of our headcount. I actually expect that they're probably out there somewhere, what with the others showing up.. But I think their landing may have been a long way off target." She pauses. "Uhm…. what else? I start a new job the first week of May. Annnd… honestly, I think other than that, it's mostly just… reconnecting with people where I can, you know?"

"Poor thing." But it does sound kind of funny, even if Odessa didn't see it herself. "They just try to be helpful." She shakes her head and folds her hands on the table in front of her.

"Please tell him I miss him, but there's no rush." There's a breath of laughter given at her own expense. "He had to testify on the stand that I dumped him. I wish I could even say that had been the most uncomfortable part of the trial. I wouldn't be surprised if he wants some space, more time." The notion of telecommuting is dismissed as a joke entirely, but not an unkind one.

Odessa nods her head, "I saw Lynette at the trial. We didn't get to speak, but… I at least knew they must have made it back, or she would have found some way to tell me that Mateo…" The thought of that makes her heart hurt too much to complete that out loud. "I'm woefully out of the loop on gossip." There's a good-natured roll of her eyes with that comment. "I'm glad to hear about the new gig. What is it?"

"I'll tell him," Elisabeth promises. She doesn't comment on the fact that Dessa dumped him — it is something between Dessa and Richard, and she'll respect it. "I think the last thing he wants is space from you," she does say. "The man may not be good at emotions all the time, but he never gives up on the people he cares about. So don't even consider the idea that he's avoiding you or something, will you?"

Shifting away from Richard as a topic, because it's not the easiest one between them, Elisabeth drops her head and laughs. "Would you fucking believe NYPD?" When she looks up, her blue eyes hold a wealth of amusement. "Donovan asked me to LT for SCOUT as it gets off the ground. Desk work, maybe some training work. It's…" She trails off and pauses.

"Well, as weird as this is to say, it's the first time I've really felt stable about being home. Like my foundation is solid again. This … is the only place I've ever been a cop." In all the other worlds, and even here in this one before Alaska, she wasn't one any longer.

“Well, I’ll be damned.” Odessa is content to let the topic of Richard drop with only a nod, and move right on to the next one with a smile. “Congratulations. You deserve it.” She reaches across the table to squeeze Liz’s arm gently. “They’re lucky to have you. I’m glad it’s giving you some stability.”

There’s a wry upward tick of one corner of her mouth as she admits, “This is a pretty stable gig, too.” After all, they’ve offered Odessa this position for life. Or whatever it means to be able to commute that. She has her doubts that she’ll ever leave this place, but it could be worse. “The director had a cupcake sent to me for my birthday. This isn’t the worst prison I’ve ever occupied.”

In fact, it’s by far the best.

Birthday has Elisabeth making a face — that got lost somewhere in all this jumping and settling in and panic attacks. "Now I'm really glad I came bearing gifts," she laughs, turning her arm slightly to capture the hand in hers and hold on. "Happy birthday, Dessa."

She looks a little flushed, pleased with the compliment, but also curious. "Have they talked about what you'll be doing yet?" The trial's outcome and Odessa's incarceration here… it all still kind of blows her mind. "I read the verdict. I'm still not entirely sure I understand the whole thing despite making Dad explain it a couple of times," she admits candidly. "Does it really mean that you could get out? He keeps saying yes, but I can't wrap my head around it." What with a list of things she plead guilty too, it's just not the kind of verdict she has ever seen.

"Thank you." Having her birthday remembered or forgotten is extremely low on Odessa's list of things she's worried about. Still, it's always nice when it's acknowledged after so many years not knowing. And a birthday in prison still isn't the worst birthday she's ever had.

To the question of what she'll be doing, Odessa tips her head to one side. "Apparently I'll be helping with the government's scientific endeavors. Mr. Kotch says there's a chance that I could be released." She's quiet for a moment, smile a little sad. "I'm afraid to believe it, honestly."

"I can't say I blame you," Elisabeth acknowledges. "It's… very different than what I think any of us were expecting. But…" She squeezes her friend's hand. "I'll hold onto enough hope for both of us for now, okay? Cuz… well, Richard always cusses about me being an optimist." She grins. That may or may not be still true — Elisabeth isn't sure about it. But in the end, what they have right now is far more than they were all afraid would happen. So she's grateful and she's trying really hard to believe that Home is a better place than the ones she's left behind.

"You know that if things don't feel right, you've got us in your corner. Yeah?" Her blue eyes seek out Odessa's and she reminds her softly, "I don't want to think things will go sideways, but if they do, you say something." Because she and Richard are going to be keeping an eye on this.

And God knows, for Elisabeth — who is still in survivor mode in a lot of ways — a jailbreak is not unheard of.

"If you want to be the holder of my hope, well… I'd appreciate that." Odessa smiles briefly, looking down to their clasped hands for a moment. "I'm glad everything worked out." She means she's glad Elisabeth made it home. But she also means she's glad she didn't hang. Even if she never manages to commute her sentence, at least she still lives.

To the notion of things not feeling right, Odessa nods her head. "Yeah, of course. I'll use our code word if things get…" She lifts her free hand off the table and does a back and forth seesaw motion. "So far, so good. I'm still waiting for things to go bad, but that's just me letting my past history inform my view of the present."

Odessa shrugs it off. If she asks how Morgan is, Liz can start planning that jailbreak.

Their code word. Elisabeth can't help the grin — that year they spent dodging Arthur fucking Petrelli formed so much of the relationship they have now. But she nods easily. "It's hard, getting through all the baggage," she agrees. And Odessa has way more than most. "We were talking the other day about something I'd like to look into in the Exclusion Zone… and first thing, my brain's all over the 'how do we dodge patrols, we'll need a boat,' all the logistics that will come into leaving the Safe Zone. Richard was hard-pressed not to laugh outright, I think," she admit, rolling her eyes. "You realize, he tells me, all we have to do is file the paperwork?" Shaking her head, Elisabeth just says, "I can't help it. Still… waiting for all hell to break loose. You know?"

It's not the same thing Odessa's dealing with, not by a long shot, but… Liz figures that the other woman will definitely understand the instinct far better than even the rest of those who fought the wars.

"I know exactly what you mean." Odessa gives Liz's hand another squeeze before she withdraws. "I spent a good chunk of time in exile on Staten Island. Coming back to the Safe Zone was… A process." She smiles faintly and looks down to the tabletop. "I could have stayed lost in Texas. But I think… I think this is better, somehow."

It's taken her a long time to come to this point, but running was exhausting. At least she knows where her next meal is coming from. She more or less moves about the compound freely – in the areas she's allowed, at least. And when she's allowed. It's not as bad as she feared it would be.

"Richard has things pretty good," she asserts. "He's on the right side of things, and now everyone else realizes it as well."

"Yeaaaah," Elisabeth drawls out. "Don't remind him — his head will swell even bigger or something," she teases. It won't… or at least she figures it won't. Hopes it won't? Whatever.

"Have you had visitors? I didn't want to come up too early — I mean… there are some others who, I thought, ought to take priority, you know?" Not only Richard but other people who stuck their necks out to testify when Liz herself couldn't, for example.

Odessa chuckles softly at the talk of Richard's swollen ego. "He knows. It's already too late," she teases.

"Yeah. Mateo and Lynette came by with the kids at first chance." One nail scrapes gently at the table top, an absent fidget. "Agent Ayers came by. That was a surprise." That anyone from the Company would want to see her is something of a shock to Odessa.

"I wasn't sure if Aurora would be allowed — I didn't honestly think to ask. But if you'd like to see her, I'll bring her next time." That's easy enough. "And if you let me know what particular books or music you might want, I'll bring it or send with Richard too."

Tipping her head, Elisabeth tries to place the other name. "I'm not familiar with Agent Ayers," she admits. "There were so many agents in and out, I couldn't keep track of all of them." She wrinkles her nose a bit.

"It almost feels like things can finally slow down a little," she offers. "I hate that you're up here, but… I like that we can visit. Very much."

"It's up to the director who gets in to see me." Odessa shrugs. She can't see why Aurora wouldn't be allowed, but it isn't her call. "I'd like to see her if you don't mind bringing her. But if you don't want her to see me in this place… Well, I understand that. She's seen enough bad situations for one lifetime." Even though it wasn't the life she lived, Odessa still has fragments of memories of it. Moments remembered that aren't hers.

"Better here than at the gallows," is supposed to be humor, but it falls a little flat. "I'm just glad I'm not at Liberty Island anymore. This place has greenery and sunlight. I like it." For what it is.

Glancing around at the place, Elisabeth shrugs a bit. "I think it would be fine to bring her here…. I mean, it's not the Ritz Carlton," she grins. "But it's not Liberty Island, and Aura certainly can understand the idea that you have to stay someplace for particular reasons. There's no reason she needs to know more than that. If we just tell her this is where you live, I doubt she'll question it. Not for a few years yet."

Sitting back in her seat, finally, she offers, "The city is definitely not what I expected. Maybe I should have asked more while you were there." There's a moment where she considers… when Odessa had spent that year in Bright in the other body, Elisabeth had tried not to ask very many details of home. It was too hard to hear and know she might never see it for herself anyway. "You said you'd been out on Staten for a while, though. I haven't ventured that far — should I bother?" The wretched hive of scum and villainy seems to still be in operation as exactly that, after all.

"I tell my niblings that I'm on time-out," Odessa confides with a nonchalant shrug. It's an epic time-out, but still. A good way of explaining it to someone so young. "If she knows what this is, why I'm here, I'm okay with that. It's your choice."

The question of Staten draws a rueful smile from 'Dessa. "You go to Staten Island if you have business there. Otherwise? No, it's not worth it for you. There's good people there, sure. A lot of people that are just forgotten or trying to get by. I don't know, just keep that part in mind when you start your new job."

Elisabeth laughs! "I love it. You're on a time-out. That's a totally epic explanation. She's … well, she's seen enough to understand that even good people sometimes have to do bad things and then when the emergency is past, a serious time-out may be in order." She loves the explanation. It's age-appropriate and honest.

"Lady, I haven't been to Staten in… for fuck's sake, more than 15 years, probably, except to reclaim Felix's body when we thought he was dead. Believe me, I have zero intention of actually setting foot in the hellhole." It has a wealth of bad associations for her, between Felix 'dying' there and fucking Heller being based there. "That being said, it may be important for NYPD to be visible there at times. And I'd really like for them to be visible as people to help the folks just trying to get by, you know?"

"Yeah," Odessa nods along. "I know what you're saying. I don't know how open those people will be to law enforcement, but… It's the wild west out there. Something's gotta give sooner or later." Staten Island is its own breed of community. While her associations with it are those of exile, she can't say she completely hated the place.

"Hey, there is something you could do for me… I think someone took some pictures at my birthday party from last year. I'd…" Odessa's mouth presses together to form a thin line and her eyes get a little glassy. "I'd like a picture of my mom." It's all she's got left, after all.

Elisabeth immediately reaches across to hold Odessa's hand on the table again. "Of course," she assures. "I'll make sure you get them as fast as I can obtain them and get them to you. And in the pictures that I brought today, Aurora sent you some drawings of flowers and rainbows cuz she thought you might need bright things in your new room. She said " and here, Elisabeth shifts her tones to mimic the very solemn ones of her six-year-old, " Miss Dessa is probably sad cuz she's staying so far away, so you gotta bring her happy pitchers so she don't think we forgot her."

She grins a bit. "I gather that she and Evie probably collaborated but I don't know for sure."

"Flowers and rainbows are some of my favorite things," Odessa confirms as a tear slides down her cheek. Reaching up with her free hand to wipe it away, she squeezes Elisabeth's hand with the other. "Please thank that little one for me. I look forward to hanging up the drawings in my room."

It takes a moment for Odessa to stem the tide of her emotions, but after a few deep breaths, the tears stop falling and she blinks away the last of them. "Mateo and Lynette are working on getting a piano for me. Hopefully I'll be able to play something for you next time you visit."

"That's wonderful!" Elisabeth looks amazed. "Now there's something I definitely wouldn't have thought of… but that will be amazing." She pauses and flushes. "I, uhm… well, I finally started playing again. Maybe we can work on some things together sometime," she offers a little shyly. "I was going to ask Eve…when I can ever find the damn woman, that is… if she thinks it's plagiarism to use your own work from an alternate world." Her grin is a bit cheeky.

"I'm glad you're playing again." Odessa beams and waves a hand to banish her friend's embarrassment. "Music is… It's what's kept me sane a lot. The other me, from the Virus… She knew that better than anyone, I think."

Laughing softly, Odessa shakes her head at some thought she's just had. "Tell Eve she'd better come visit. But tell her she has to do it the right way. No files in cakes and no boom."

"As if." Elisabeth's laughter is easy. "I'll tell her if I see her! Bitch is like chasing leprechauns — people told me she survived, but she's slack as shit and still hasn't come see me and I have no idea where she is!" Rolling her shoulders a bit, she does admit though, "She could be steering clear for her own reasons, I guess, though. She's not exactly welcome at the building. And god knows, if she runs across Isa, that's gonna be ugly as shit. So…"

I mean… what are you gonna do? Eve-relationships are complicated.

"Eve's always got reasons," Odessa agrees. Perhaps being a bit more charitable than her companion. "Even if we can't tell what the hell they are. I've always said it must be hell to be precognitive." She shakes her head. She doesn't know her cousin has a different ability these days, but it doesn't change that the road she traveled was always a difficult one.

"Well, if you see her… And if you don't, so it goes."

"Precog is in the top three of most hateful powers ever," Elisabeth definitely agrees. "Telepathy is another. And I'm pretty sure fucking Time Travel is number two on the list."

There are definitely some powers she is immensely grateful not to have to deal with.

A wry smile tugs at Odessa's lips. "Time control is up there, too." The smile fades quickly. It's been difficult being without her ability, even if it was killing her. Even if she hated it so much that it drove her to the wrong side of the war. To this very moment. It was still hers.

"Thanks for coming, Liz. It's good to see a friendly face."

"Anytime. I'll try to get up here a good bit. Might be a little harder when the job starts, but I'll make the time, okay?" Elisabeth reaches out and squeezes her arm. "And you know you can call anytime they let you." It won't be so bad, right?

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