Also Featuring:

Rianna Price

(NPC by Elias)

Scene Title Rest
Synopsis The future refuses to change.
Date April 8, 1984

Temporal manipulation is a handy thing to have access to. But even for those with regular experience interacting very directly with the space-time continuum, temporal manipulation can lead to unexpected and very bizarre situations that otherwise would not, could not occur.

In 1984, a hospital in Odessa, Texas became host to such a phenomenon, a bizarre situation that should not have occurred, could not have occurred under circumstances widely considered 'normal.' And yet, it did. As a woman, Rianna Price, laid wounded and dying alone in a hospital bed, the phenomenon happened. She wouldn't have been alone under different circumstances, perhaps. She was a new mother, having just given birth under circumstances not widely considered 'normal': So few women come to a hospital wounded and give birth. But she did, and from there, circumstances only became less normal.

For that same little girl she had just given birth to, named Odessa just like the city her mother was in but aged 26 years old and temporally displaced from her usual haunts, the situation was, is more normal but perhaps no less strange, for the opportunity laid in front of her does not arise under circumstances generally considered 'normal.' Rianna Price died the same day Odessa Knutson Price was born, and yet Odessa Knutson Price now has the chance to meet the mother she never knew.

'Strange' might not be strong enough a word to describe the situation after all.

Odessa, Texas

April 8, 1984

Finding the hospital was not the easiest thing to do. Fortunately she was able to flag down a passing motorist. My mother's been taken to the hospital, is actually one-hundred percent the truth, if still somehow not quite honest. It helps to look as distraught as Odessa already does having run some blocks from where her (would-be) childhood home is slowly being destroyed by fire.

A profoundly heartfelt thank-you is given to the driver before Odessa goes running into the hospital. Her mother could be one of several places, by her reasoning. The OR, ICU, or maternity ward seem the most obvious, in that order. Not knowing the layout of the hospital makes it next to impossible for her to possibly stop time completely without creating so many complications and problems. She could run around looking for her.

Or, she could ask.

Odessa approaches a young nurse at an information desk. "A pregnant woman in her third trimester should have arrived here not that long ago. She's likely suffering from shock, having experienced severe trauma, and second or first degree burns." She's hoping that she won't have to lapse into full medical terminology to be taken seriously, but it's likely a better strategy than hysterics. "I don't know if she was in any state to give her name. I'm looking for Rianna Price."

The nurse behind the desk does what any reasonable, young nurse in her situation might do and stares at Odessa for a few moments, caught off-guard and somewhat dumbfounded. However, she then does not do what she perhaps should do and ask for ID, or ask what Odessa's business is, or anything of that sort. Her prevailing logic, instead, appears to be that if she knows so many particulars about this person, well then, she must be bringing important medical information about her!

"Well, someone like that did come in," the nurse replies, thumbing through a stack of records at the counter. The days before computers: How did people get anything done? "I don't know if we got her name, but she's up in room two-oh-three. Are you her regular doctor?"

That's a dangerous question to answer. Instead, Odessa offers a smile and a quick nod. "Thanks. I'll head up there and talk to her attending." There's a flood of relief. She isn't too late. Her mother hasn't died. Not yet.

Since it's only one flight up, Odessa makes her way toward the stairwell, rushing up the stairs in a cacophonous clomping of chunky boots. Maybe it's not too late. Maybe she can save her. Maybe she can change things. Or maybe she'll just have a chance to tell her mother that her baby girl is a survivor.

The ploy works, because there isn't a gang of surly orderlies chasing Odessa upstairs. Good news so far.

Room 203 is not difficult to find; it's not a terribly large hospital. And inside is, sure enough, the woman that Odessa has come to see, seriously burned, badly injured, breathing with the aid of a ventilator and, fortunately for Odessa, accompanied by nothing but the sound of the EKG beeping in time with her heart, telling the world Rianna Price is still alive, for the time being. Still alive, and apparently sleeping. It could have been much, much worse.

Single blue eye lids heavily after the wayward girl has a chance to take stock of the room. Odessa looks around for Rianna Price's medical chart, first near the door, then at the end of the bed, hoping to find out more information about the woman's condition. Aside from lucky to be alive, that is.

A guilty look is spared toward the bed. If only she hadn't hesitated. Maybe her father would still be alive, too.

The only good news afforded by the chart- located at the foot of the bed- is that there are no first degree burns. Second and third are present in fair abundance, along with other injuries. Rianna Price looks more than worse for wear, and in some places her appearance drifts away from 'Rianna Price' and towards 'raw hamburger.' There's a note on her chart that she's given birth, but aside from an ID number, not much information exists regarding the child. The surrealness of seeing herself identified by little more than a string of digits is unlikely to linger for more than a moment. The other good news is that, while she's been given pain killers, none of them are in the groups that Odessa can identify as also being sedatives. Rianna may be asleep, but it's not because drugs are keeping her that way.

For the second time this evening, tears begin carving rivers down Odessa's face. She makes sure the door is shut before she comes to sit at the woman's bedside, turning her chair so she can face Rianna fully when she speaks to her.

"I know this is going to sound really strange. I don't even know if you can hear me." She could try to wake her, but the fear that it wouldn't help, or that it might ruin her resolve is too great. Odessa already knows how this is meant to end. "I'm your daughter," she tells the sleeping woman in a low voice. "I'm like… Dad. I have an ability. And I… I came back from the future to save you."

A gasp for air sounds reedy, her chest feeling like it's in a vice grip from emotion. "I love you, and I don't even know anything about you." A nervous laugh bubbles up, followed by a wet sniffle. "I know you dyed your hair. You have hair like coal in the photos I have. So… I guess that's something, right?"

Rianna makes a sound that's not quite a groan and not quite a cough, but is also not indicative of something inside the room, or inside of her, failing either, even if it doesn't sound particularly good. The next moment that follows may well feel like it stretches on for minutes to Odessa, even though it is only a moment that passes before her mother's eyes begin to flutter opened, despite the obvious discomfort it causes her, and she angles her head just to the side to get a look at the source of the voice she'd heard.

Odessa's clear eye goes wide with - well, mostly panic. She rises from her seat and moves to angle herself so Rianna doesn't have to move quite so much to get a good look at her visitor.

"You have a baby girl," is all that she can think to say as she looks to the bedridden woman who has the same blue eyes. Odessa's bone structure comes from her father, however. She can only wonder what it must be like for her mother to be peering at her through a hazy state induced by pain inhibiting drugs. In an incredibly selfish act, she swallows down the lump in her throat and forces a shaky smile.

"What's her name?"

Hearing is always the last thing to go. Odessa knows this. Any doctor knows this, so it may well be leaving her to wonder how much, if anything, Rianna heard before she stirred and woke up. The word that escapes her lips after a few moments of struggling is, undeniably, "Odessa." But it's the intent that is not so certain. Was it a statement, to mean, 'Yes, her name is Odessa,' or was it a question?

Rianna doesn't clarify what she said. She reaches up weakly with her hand, heavily bandaged and probably badly burned. It's not even accurate to say she reaches in Odessa's direction, she's too weak even for that. But she can still reach out.

Odessa's brows furrow as she reaches out to take Rianna's hand carefully. "Rianna… Do you have family? Sisters? Brothers?" Does she have aunts and uncles? "Is… Is there someone I should call?"

Jesus Christ. Life was so much easier when she pretended she didn't have a heart, and that nothing ever mattered. Fat tears slide down one cheek and it's all she can do to keep her voice from cracking when she speaks.

When Odessa takes Rianna's hand in her own, the injured woman does her best to curl her fingers and squeeze tightly, even though the bandages and her lack of strength make this nearly impossible. She doesn't, or isn't able to make a statement about who, if anyone, she would like called. Again, she speaks the name, "Odessa," strained and weak though her voice is. This time, it is undoubtedly a statement and not a question.

"Is that what you… You mean to name her?" Odessa from Odessa? Really? If it weren't so tragic, it would be comical. She stares down at the woman, holding her hand tightly. "Are… you like Colin? Are you like me? Do you… have a power?" This isn't fair. She should be able to ask her these questions with Rianna on the road to recovery, not with one foot in the grave. "Colin… Dad's telekinetic." She doesn't say was. It's too cruel to open so fresh a wound. "I… I can stop time. Can you do something, too?"

Rianna's response to the question is a weak shake of her head. Her breathing has become more labored, so speaking appears to be out of the question, for the moment. Bone structure wasn't the only thing that Odessa inherited from her father. The labored breathing might be less of a concern if the beeping from the EKG hadn't increased in frequency, just so slightly.

Panic settles in. Suddenly Odessa feels seventeen again as she listens to the blips on the EKG pick up their pace. Her free hand comes up to cover her mouth. She could stop time, freeze her mother in this moment, and try to figure out how she could save her.

Or she could let history run its course.

No orphan should ever be faced with this situation. "Mom. I don't know what to do," Odessa admits. "Tell me what to do. Tell me to save you." The lump in her throat thickens to the point where she fears it will cut off her ability to breathe.

Again, Rianna doesn't speak her response, and again, she shakes her head, 'No.' Whether she's saying 'no' to telling Odessa what to do, or to Odessa saving her is perhaps uncertain. But she closes her eyes, not because she is hurt (even though it's plain that she is), but rather because she seems to have found some small measure of peace. As tightly as Rianna can manage it, she squeezes her daughter's hand.

There's a quiet, hiccuping sound from Odessa. "I love you, Mom." Maybe it's better this way. Odessa will have a lot to say to her therapist about how it may be fortunate that Rianna Price never had to see the woman her daughter would grow up to be. "I'm so… glad I got to meet you. I'm just sorry it was like this. Your baby's going to grow up strong, and smart. I'm a doctor." Maybe that's something to be proud of at least, even if she does dabble in mad science.

Odessa leans down, and presses a kiss to Rianna's forehead. For the first time in her life, the angry little girl hopes that there is a God and an afterlife, waiting to receive her mother, and reunite her with her husband.

Weak though she is, Rianna raises her hand through force of will when Odessa leans in to kiss her, to rest her bandaged hand against her daughter's cheek. "Love, you," is strained and forced not because she doesn't want to say it, but because her body is protesting saying anything. She manages it, just the same. And everything she does takes a lot out of her, as her hand falls back down onto the bed. Not dead, just dead tired.

"Rest," Odessa whispers when Rianna's hand cups against her wet face. She plants a second kiss before she straightens up again and gently lowers back to the bed Rianna's hand that she had been holding for dear life. "I'm going to go get some water. I'll be right back."

Tiredly, Rianna nods her head affirmative and resolves to do exactly what Odessa has told her to do: Rest.

Odessa reluctantly turns away and heads back out into the hallway, shutting the door behind her quietly. Then she leans heavily back against the wall and closes her eyes. Too many thoughts run through her head. Can she avert this? Should she avert this? And what if she does save her mother's life, but no one comes back to get her now? Ellie's already gone, if finding no sign of carnage on the front lawn was any indication.

A quiet thud! accompanies the back of Odessa's head lightly striking the wall.

When temporal manipulation is concerned, it can lead to unexpected and very bizarre situations that should not, could not occur under conditions widely considered 'normal.' But even those unexpected, very bizarre situations occurring under abnormal circumstances have one thing in common with other, 'normal' situations. Over other sounds in the hospital hallway, eventually the singular sound of footsteps comes to be heard over others, to Odessa at the least. About those footsteps, there is nothing sinister or necessarily dark. They are simply footsteps, standing out only in that they belong to a tall, red-headed man who, of all the people in the hospital he could have chosen to zero in on, has chosen Odessa. A tall, red-headed man who will become, and perhaps remain for the doctor a reminder that all situations, normal and abnormal, have one thing in common.

Sooner or later, they end.

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