The Bloody Good Guys


martin_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title The Bloody Good Guys
Synopsis Martin drops by the clinic at Gun Hill to deliver a grim warning to the attending physician.
Date August 4, 2010

Gun Hill

Odessa's Clinic

Ninety-five degrees with a near one-hundred percent humidity index creates a stuffy atmosphere all across New York City. The afternoon's setting sun has done little to alleviate the sweltering heat that has enveloped so much of the northeast, and the failure of one key air conditioner in the basement clinic of the Gun Hill Apartments several days ago has facilitated the necessity of box fans until someone can get around to fixing the air conditioner.

With Doyle moved out of Gun Hill, the building has lost its resident handyman.

The knock on the clinic door isn't Odessa Price's prayers for refrigerated air being answered, but rather something else entirely. When the clinic door opens after the courtesy knock, a familiar — and unexpected — voice rings out through the thankfully somewhat cool basement. "Is th' Doctor in, or should I take m'self somewhere else? A'heard you give out free painkillers t'junkies, thought I'd score a fix." Wryness was always Martin Crowley's way, and when the gray-suited agent steps in with one shoulder easing the door open, his eyes sweep across the clinic with brows furrowed and chin tilted up subtly in that haughty posture he subconsciously adopts.

The basement may be comparatively cool, but it's still not exactly comfortable. A plain white tank top clings to Odessa's slight figure, untucked from a tiered and ruffled Bohemian-style skirt in a shade a bit closer to eggshell. Stray wisps of hair, newly dyed a shade of platinum that's edging on just plain white, flutter about the woman's temples as a desk fan blows directly at her face.

The doctor's head tilts slightly, her lips drawing a thin line at the lilt of the familiar voice. "Martin," Odessa muses, not looking up from her work - which is carefully administering a clear liquid from a dropper into a small vial. "To what do I owe the pleasure?" It's very possible she's still using. She hasn't put any more weight onto her frame since the two last spoke, and she doesn't appear to have been sleeping any better, either.

With the utmost care, Odessa sets aside the half-filled dropper and puts a top on the vial before putting it into a box with a dozen and a half others like it. "If it's recreational drugs you're after, I believe there's a kid about a block down that sells them on the corner. Always wearing a red hoodie, even in this heat. And he's very discreet." And it's possible she would know.

"Actually…" Martin mumbles as he steps aside of the door, uncertain if it will close for him or not. When it hangs there ineffectually the Brit gives it a tap with his heel and sends it swinging to shut with a noisy clack. "I might actually take you up on that recommendation, wouldn't be 'tirely untoward of me t'get stoned out've my mind after the few months I've been 'avin." He's not even trying to hide his thicker, more poor-sounding accent today.

A few meandering steps brings Martin slowly into the clinic, nose wrinkles and brows furrowed, then dips his attention down to Odessa with the faintest of smiles. "I came to pass you along a warning, one that no one else thinks you're deserving of… but," Martin's brows furrow together tightly. "After what you've gone through I think the measure is even for you'n I." Martin's eyes narrow and his attention shifts to the broken air condition unit still sitting in one window.

"D'you really work 'ere?" sounds reluctant, coming from Martin, as if the answer on that will somehow change his answer, or at least make him reconsider.

Odessa rises from her chair, sliding the rolling stool under her workbench, resting her hand on the surface and leaning in a terribly casual sort of manner as she regards Martin Crowley with anything but casual interest. Blue eyes narrow skeptically, though not unkindly. "This is where I do my work," she confirms. "I won't say I don't miss the resources I enjoyed within the Company."

That gaze sweeps the man up and down quickly, sizing him up and trying to decide how much of what he's told her to swallow. "I can't tell if you're serious or not. If you are… Well, we should talk about that." Unconsciously, the woman glances to what appears to be a small refrigerating unit with a keypad lock on it. "But that isn't why you're really here." Odessa's poker face falters for a moment, concern apparent. Whether it be for the man or the news he's supposedly about to deliver is less apparent. "I appreciate you coming here," she murmurs pre-emptively. "I like to think we're even as well. Though I suspect I'm about to owe you another favour."

Slowly, a smile spreads across the woman's face, making her appear less tired and worn down than she must feel if the dark circles beneath her eyes are any indication. She looks prettier. "I'm comfortable with that. What's on your mind?"

"The Company is getting taken down," Martin offers in a hushed tone of voice, "taken apart, taken away… I don't know the how or the when but I know the inevitability. The government is replacing us, piece by piece, an' I'm afraid that there'll come a time when the armistice shared t'you isn't going t'be honored anymore, that you'll… go back t'being hunted." There's a furrow of Martin's brows as he takes a step forward towards Odessa, tucking his hands into the pockets of his slacks.

"If they take us apart, they take the isotope tracking system with us, which means," there's a nod towards Odessa's neck, "they'll find y'ventually. I didn't come 'ere t'ruin whatever this is you've got… whatever peace it is you've found," which judging from her lacking sleep habits is apparently minimal. "But, I didn't want y' t'be surprised. One day, maybe as soon as next year, the Company won't be around."

There's a poof motion with one of Martin's hands, slid out of his pocket, as if motioning to some ethereal point in the air with a flowering of fingers. "Jus' like tha'. They took away m'job, shit-canned me after years've service, demoted me t'Senior agent… took away our tranquilizer weapons… an' a'just know there's somethin' else comin'…"

The smile fades. The skepticism fades. Odessa stands staring at Martin with wide eyes and a fearful expression. One hand comes up and she feels at her neck, as though she might find the isotope buried beneath her pale skin. "But I was never-"

She catches herself, closes her eyes. Of course they tagged her. "I don't understand," she murmurs, lids coming up again to stare at the man with apprehension and confusion. "Why would they do this?" Odessa's eyes then cast down to the floor, one hand smoothing the stray strands of hair away from her forehead and the other coming to rest on her hip.

"They will try to find me, won't they? They'll want what I can do, just like they did at Moab." Restlessly, Odessa taps the heel of her shoe against the floor, trying to think. "Do you still have access to the bag and tag files?"

"No," Martin notes with a slow shake of his head, tucking both hands into the pockets of his slacks and slouching his shoulders forward, "No one does, actually. Director Dalton's doing some sort've closure a'the archives. I think she's trying t'secretly move them out, so that when— not if— this goes down th' Institute doesn't 'ave nothin' t'use against us, or not as much. M'not in that loop, but I can smell what's comin' on the wind close 'nough t'matter."

There's a crease of Martin's brows as he lifts one hand to adjust his glasses, then starts to reach into his coat before asking, "D'you mind if I smoke in 'ere?" One dark brow goes up as Martin's eyes wander the clinic, then settle back on Odessa with a weary smile. He doesn't need to confirm her worst fears, she's done a fine job of finding the truth in all its ugly and miserable glory.

Odessa shakes her head to his request. "Go ahead. My clinic, I get to make the rules." She begins to pace away from the desk, eyes tracking about the clinic and settling on different points at random, as if looking at different items about the room will help her think of a solution to her problem. "So I'm moving from the Company's shoot on sight list to the government's, is that what you're telling me?"

The meandering pacing stops and Odessa pulls herself up to sit on the edge of her Hospital Green padded exam table. She tilts her head to indicate that Martin's welcome to come join her. "You know, to be honest, I'm not sure whether I'd rather they kill me or lock me up when they find me." And she's sure it's a matter of when. Gone is the cocky young girl who was sure her ability would get her out of everything.

"Or recruit y'," is Martin's mumbled third option as he withdraws a tin cigarello case, pulling one of the brown papered miniature cigars out, pinching it between his lips before sliding the case closed and tucking it into that same inner pocket. "They're no' the biggest fans've the Company or its employees, m'afraid… but jus' because th' Company didn't want you, Odessa, doesnt mean tha' they won't want t'try an' recruit y'for whatever it is they're doin'. Yer undoubtedly valuable an' extremely powerful. Jus' like y'said," Martin opines as he retrieves a book of matches from his slacks pocket, "yer' useful."

Striking a match down the back of the book with a flick of his thumb, Martin lifts cupped hands up to his mouth and breathes in with short puffs as an orange glow surrounds his face and smoke wafts away from the lit ember at the end of the cigarette. "These fuckers'll do one've two things," is said as Martin shakes the match out and flicks it into a waste basket.

"Lock y'up in one've their fancy coma-boxes," which sounds delightfully macabre, "or turn y'loose on us like a fuckin' bloodhound."

A shudder runs through Odessa at the mention of their fancy coma-boxes. She's seen them up close and personal, and it's not something she'd ever wish on another human being. And Doctor Price can be fairly cruel when she puts her mind to it.

"On you?" she asks with a small twitch of her lips, mildly amused at the irony she finds in it. "That'd be a switch, wouldn't it?" Blue eyes turn stormy, conflicted. "What do you suggest I do, then? You've always had the mind, the knowledge. Advise me."

"Run," isn't exactly what Odessa might have wanted to hear, "run an' don't stop runnin', an' when y'feel safe, like they ain't comin' up on y'again, start runnin' again." Taking a long and slow drag from his cigarette, Martin exhales the smoke in a slow, wafting gout from his mouth, turning to regard Odessa's desk, then approach it only to sit on one corner. "A'dunno what th' Company's goin' t'do when all this falls apart, I 'maging there's eventualities in th' works, but tha' won' apply t'you."

Squinting thoughtfully, Martin plucks the cigarette from between his lips and motions towards Odessa with it, "You might find it fun t'be the hunter 'stead've the hunted… but a'assure you, they'd turn on you th' moment tha' it was convenient for'em to. Don' let them sell you on some sweet story they might 'ave, remember who pulls the government's reins." That cigarette is ashed over the side of the desk into the waste basket, then brought back to Martin's lips.

"Remember wha' th' Company did t'you," he adds before taking a long, slow drag before exhaling twin jets of cigar smoke through his nostrils, "an' we were th' bloody good guys."

It seems to be more and more that Odessa is managed to be made frightened out of her mind in the presence of Martin Crowley. She doesn't like it. He used to be a rock. The bastion of sanity. When Crowley came around, you knew things were about to get straightened out. "Doesn't sound like much of a life," Odessa mutters. "Either option." She slides off the table smoothly, her heels clicking audibly on the cement floor as she makes her way to that locked fridge and punches in a combination.

Only Odessa would keep wine coolers in with the medication. Then again, if you ask her, those count as medication too. Something fruity with a Bacardi label is twisted open and brought to the woman's lips. "Been the hunter before. It's fun, but it's not as much fun as I thought it would be. And it's even less fun when you're watching your back constantly."

The bottle is tipped back and it's three swallows of the pink-tinted liquid and a small audible intake of air before she speaks again. "What will you do?"

No answer comes, and Martin lowers his cigarette from his lips, brows furrowed and lips downturned into a frown, "What a leader needs t'do," is a vague enough answer to politely imply not your business.

"They may've taken away m'title and m'access, but it ain't changed that I've sat with this Company for the better and worse parts've m'life, an' t'just walk away from it now when it needs me th' most because some suit thought tha' Benjamin fucking Ryans'd make a better Assistant-Director'n I would? Tha'd be petty," and that affirmation earns a grumble from Martin as he slides off of the corner of her desk.

"M'not about t'run," is a stubborn thing to say, but entirely British, "m'goin' t'stand m'ground an' see this Company through t'the end, 'cause tha's what a'promised, 'cause that's what she would've done were she still here w'me…" Martin looks down to his cigarette, rankling his nose and turning to snub it out on the corner of Odessa's desk, then toss the crunched butt into the same waste basket.

"M'no bloody hero," Martin explains with a shake of his head, "but neither'r you, an' I know that you can tell right from wrong. Whether or not y'actually listen t'that conscience've yours is up t'you. I like t'think you're a good person though, deep down in there, jus' tha' y'make some damn foolish mistakes."

"Right back at'cha," Odessa muses darkly, eyes drifting to the mark left on her second-hand bench by Crowley's cigarillo. Eventually, she brings her gaze back up to the man himself. "We can't live our lives for people who aren't here anymore," she offers quietly. "If it comes down to standing your ground, or lining up for the firing squad, I'm hoping you'll do the sensible thing and walk the fuck away from the Company. I don't think she'd want to see you die for the organisation that's failed us all." It's maybe a bit cold, but she doesn't seem to think twice about what she says.

"If you need to disappear… Let me know. I may be an eternal blip on the radar, but we can relocate you. It's the least I could do." Slender shoulders come up in a shrug. The ball's in his court on that one. "You're a good man, Martin. Good luck with… all of it."

Silence again is his answer, troubled as it is judging by the look that sags at his face. "Yeah," is dismissive enough that it's easy to see the comment actually affected him. Brushing one hand over his mouth, Martin turns for the door, looking askance to it, then back to Odessa. "Thanks…" he offers in a hushed tone of voice, that raised hand moving to push his glasses up the bridge of his nose, "A'think a'needed t'hear tha' from someone."

Martin Crowley used to be a bastion of stability for everyone who worked for him and everyone that was around him. In more recent times he just seems like a broken, weary man, slouching from one assignment to the next with an axe hovering over his head that could drop at any moment.

"You've got some time t'think on what I said," Martin notes, "Far's I can tell the Company'll be around for at least another six, seven months. They 'aven't stripped us entirely for parts, an' I figure when we all get our walkin' papers we'll have some warnin' t'either step in line or step off."

"I hope you're right." The contents of Odessa's bottle slosh quietly as she goes for another drink. "If they find me… If they set me after you…" She smiles faintly, "I'll try my hardest not to find you."

She scuffs the floor with the toe of her shoes and utters a curse. "Fuck." Why can't the news ever be good? "If by some miracle you do get access to the bag and tag files, send the names my way. I'll see what I can do about warning the people in my organisation. Hopefully we can be prepared when the shoe drops, at least."

Odessa sets her bottle aside and crosses the room, reaching out to offer her hand to him. When he takes it, she's quick to clasp her other hand around his and squeeze reassuringly before dropping a feather-light kiss on the man's cheek. "Thank you. For everything."

Martin's throat tightens and his brows furrow, eyes cast down to the floor and his head slowly sinks into a slouched nod. Whatever kindness Odessa afforded Martin, it's deflated him somewhat, slowed him and made him ponderous. Whatever it is he's thinking, however, is too late to be of any good. Turning to the door, Martin adjusts the lapels of his suit jacket, then wordlessly opens the clinic door and slips out into the hall. No thank you, no you're welcome, no goodbyes.

He's just gone.

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