The Harbinger


delia2_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title The Harbinger
Synopsis Odessa faces one of her fears, a tiny woman with birds. This time she actually sort of wins.
Date November 17, 2010

The Woods

The full moon shining brightly overhead casts spectral shadows on the dirt path that winds through the bare trees. Each one that passes over the scarred woman creates a zebra pattern on her skin, she's been walking for so long that her bare feet ache. She's certain that she's leaving a trail of blood for the raven to find her.

Dressed in nothing but the Wonder Woman panty set that she wore to bed on her last night in New York, Odessa nervously glances up into the trees. They've been following her since she got here, wherever here is. Every once in a while a distant caw reminds her that they're still watching, still waiting. Reminding her that there is still one eye left for them to collect. For some reason, the color blue offends the inhabitants of this place. She's had to keep out of sight for fear of being called a witch.

Flitting through the trees, alongside the path, is a figure dressed in white. She has also been following and try as Odessa might, her ability doesn't seem to work on it. Her ability doesn't seem to work very well at all. Not here.

A fork in the path leads in two opposing directions, the ancient wooden sign is hard to read, the chicken scratches on its surface written in a language quite unfamiliar to the doctor. Edging closer, she spots one of the inky black birds in her perifery. A scout.

"One way leads to the king of all," a voice says from behind her. Turning, Odessa spies the form of a young woman she's met once before, in a bookstore of all places. Delia Ryans looks much worse for wear, her white cotton dress caked with dirt along the bottom and stained with grass where her knees might have hit whenever she has sunk to the ground. "The other way… You need to go that way."

Odessa rubs her clear eye, blinking in disbelief at Delia's visage. "I… What are you doing here? Where are we?" She eyes the ravens - or maybe they're crows? She can never tell which - with worry. "…Am I on opium again?" She peers into the trees and cautiously calls out, "Woods? Are you out there? Is Peter stuck on a fence again?"

The white-haired woman sighs and turns back to Delia. "All right, I'll bite. What's that way? And who's the king of all?"

"I — I don't know who Peter is…" Delia starts with something of a frown on her face. Her hands fold in front of her demurely as she regards the other woman in confusion. A flutter up above them and the croak of the bird has her casting a wary eye into the trees. More and more birds are settling around them. "Opium might be better, I don't know…" She's never tried it.

Shrugging again, the redhead takes a few steps toward the 'other way' before turning and giving a nervous glance in Odessa's direction. "The other way is where we'll find…" and she taps underneath her own blue eye and gives the doctor a rather pointed look. "She has them all."

She tilts her gaze toward the dirt path and glances at Odessa's feet before drifting to her own and then back up again. "The king of all is the wrong way, we need to go to the Harbinger. We can't go to the king before we get your eye."

"My— My eye?" Odessa's brows furrow. "Aren't you the girl from the bookstore? You called me a pirate." And it really hurt her feelings, too! She lets out a frustrated growl and starts walking down the path in the direction Delia's indicated they should.

"If this isn't opium, and I've been off the morphine for a couple months, what is this?" Odessa learned a long time ago not to trust her dreams. "And where the fuck are my shoes?" This is bogus. A look back up at the birds has Odessa walking closer to Delia. "Fucking birds. She's watching us, you know."

"Oh…" That word is all that Delia offers as answers to everything Odessa has to say, she's either been taking lessons from Flint Deckard or she really has nothing to say about the situation at all. What drugs Odessa is or isn't on, it doesn't concern her at the moment. Her real worry is what lies at the end of the path.

The beat of wings stiffens the redhead's posture as she picks up the pace, the fact that Odessa isn't wearing anything but a panty set doesn't seem to register at all, she's focussed. "You're going to have to fight the Harbinger." Her quiet voice is interrupted only by the pat of their feet against the hard caked path. "While you're doing that, I can get the eyes." How, she doesn't know.

"Fight? What?" Odessa's lips part, her jaw going slack. "I… My ability barely works. I don't have a weapon." She stops and sweeps her arms down to indicate her Wonder Woman cami top and panties. "I'm not even dressed. I'm not exactly prepared for a fight." This cannot be happening.

As they walk, the young nurse tilts her head just enough to give the doctor a sidelong glance and nods. "The Harbinger won't just give you the eye, it's blue." The simple statement is fairly obvious on both counts, but what each has to do with the other isn't explained. "She might trade it for your other one though, but then again… she might take it before we get there."

It certainly seems that way from the recurring noises overhead. A cacaphony of croaks, caws, and flap of wings follow them, gathering strength as they close in on the path's end. "Maybe you should look for a stick or pointy rock to use as a weapon?"

She pauses when the trees begin to thin, beyond the scrub the path twists and curves its way up a steep hill. On the top, a thatch roofed hut shakes in the brisk wind. "There… we have to go there.." One finger, encsed in skin the color of the moon itself points up to the small cottage.

"Blue," Odessa repeats. "They don't like blue around here." And who the hell are they anyway? And where is here even? "What does it have to do with anything? Why does the colour matter? And I'm not trading my sight." A shudder runs through her body, another nervous glance to the growing flock.

"A pointy rock," the bewildered woman mutters bitterly. All the same, Odessa starts scouring the ground for anything she might be able to use as a weapon. She favours blades herself, so something she could wield in much the same fashion is preferred, but… whatever it takes, she supposes.

The cottage is eyed warily and Odessa scowls, "This is fucking stupid. Why am I doing this? Why do I care? Things were so much simpler before. When I didn't give a fuck about doing things for others." Making the world a better place is hard. It cuts into her me time.

Crouching down behind a large outcropping, Delia watches the hut as Odessa scouts for a weapon. A tremor courses through her body, sending a shudder through her shoulders. There's movement inside, the shadow that passes over the window stooped and bent. A tangled matting of long brown hair tops its head, shielding its face from view.

One by one, the crows alight into the air and begin circling above the two women. If the Harbinger wasn't watching them before, she certainly is now.

"Do you have it yet? You have to go in before they…" The redhead screams as the first of the crows dives down at her, tearing a bit of her dress with sharp talons. "Do what you did before! Make them stop!" The noise she's creating is certainly enough to call the Harbinger down to them.

Odessa gasps and straightens up throwing her arms out to either side of her with a loud cry. "Enough!" Only once she's sure she's stopped the birds from attacking Delia does she crouch down again to retrieve a broken off piece of branch that she's decided looks pointy and solid enough to serve her purposes.

"So, I go kill the bitch in the hovel, we grab the eyes, and we can go see the fucking wizard already?" Sure, Delia said it was a king, but last time it was a wizard. So it's still a wizard in Odessa's mind. "Why do they call her the Harbinger anyway? Isn't she the wicked witch?" She squints toward the structure, and the movement within.
ORDER: It is now your pose.

Slowly, Delia straightens up and glances around her at the birds frozen in midair. Her wide blue eyes betray fear as she twists and weaves through the frozen flock, passing out of the bubble of time. "No… she's not a witch… And he's not a wizard." The redhead's eyebrows twitch together as she begins picking her way up the steep incline toward the hut.

At odd times, she's forced to crawl on both her hands and knees to avoid sliding back down. The stick that Odessa has picked downs't seem like much of a weapon, but the cyclops is the champion, not the young woman. "Okay," the whisper carries only as far as the blond, the redhead not looking at her but glancing toward the window where the shadow had appeared. "You go, I'll find another way up."

The climb is difficult, and it leaves Odessa cursing when she loses her footing and traction. "Okay. Not a witch or a wizard. No yellow paint lines." And this doesn't look like any New York she remembers, or could imagine. She turns her determined frown on Delia and nods her head slowly. "All right."

She begins to move on without her, but a thought has Odessa pausing and squinting at Delia again to whisper, "Hey. Aren't you Benjamin Ryans' kid?" A thought that would never have entered her mind, except that she just saw the man in question a few scant days ago.

But the redhead is already gone.

The shriek of a large bird is Odessa's only warning before the Harbinger herself is upon the blond. Bony claws dig at her face, trying to scratch out the other eye. The brunette's features can't be seen, hidden by a bird's nest of hair that hides her face and stretches down to her middle back. The hisses as the thin oracle attempts to grapple the one eyed woman are almost feral in nature, she has no weapon, at least none in her hands.

A scree from above sounds out as a giant eagle bares down toward Odessa, its sharp talong poised to grab at her. The dangerous combination of multiple opponents and the steep hill interrupted by jagged outcroppings of rock, make it a battle that certainly doesn't favor the doctor.

Odessa screams and lashes out when she's attacked, bringing one hand up in an attempt to shield her remaining eye, while lashing out with her makeshift weapon. "Help!" she calls out to Delia. If she's even still around to call out to.

Doctor Price has her doubts.

"Get off me, you crazy bitch! I don't even know what the fuck is going on! Why are we even doing this?!" Odessa thrashes and kicks and attempts to fight off the Harbinger and her pets, fuelled by panic and adrenaline.

The talons rake the skin on Odessa's shoulder creating a painful gash that begins to drip crimson rivulets down her skin. The deep ruby stain that spreads across her wonder woman tank top marrs and discolors the symbol of feminist power that provides the blond with her own protection from the hag's sharp nails.

From the top of the hill, Delia's blue eyes peer down at the engagement, wanting to help but tasked with her own mission. Odessa will have to figure out a way to beat her on her own. Crawling along the edge of the precipice a few rocks tumble down the slope, one of them hitting the Harbinger and alerting her to the redhead's presence.

There's another hiss from the woman as she reels around and turns her back on Odessa in an attempt to ascend to the hovel again. A few more rocks, this time hurled from the top, hit the brunette eliciting piercing screams.

Odessa staggers when her shoulder is torn into, shrieking with pain. She's quickly realising her defensive posture isn't helping. She throws one hand out toward the attacking eagle to halt its flight.

With the Harbinger distracted, and Odessa just more pissed off from the pain in her shoulder, she turns and strikes, attempting to stab the harpy in the back with the pointed branch.

The stab at the Harbinger's back doesn't puncture her skin as much as knock her off balance and sending her tumbling off the path and down the hill. It's a rather adequate distraction from the fight for all those involved. The eagle swoops down with its mistress in a sore attempt to claw at her long rags in a bid to stop her fall, leaving Odessa alone to continue her climb.

In a way, Delia helped.

Waiting by the door to the hut for the one eyed woman, the redhead pushes open the door to introduce them to a greusome sight. The entire inside of the cottage is lined with rows of shelves. Upon the shelves are jars filled with eyeballs of varied shades of blue.

"Find yours… I have to look for something else." Delia's hushed voice instructs as she moves inside. Ignoring the contents of the jars, she begins shuffling the glass to peek around and behind each one.

Odessa watches the Harbinger tumble down the incline, clutching her wounded shoulder and catching her breath. After she's decided it's mostly safe to continue on, she begins to climb again until she reaches the top and reunites with Delia.

The inside of the cottage has Odessa's good eye widening in shock, but not horror. She's seen far more disgusting things in her time as a doctor. A few preserved eyeballs isn't enough to ruffle her—

Oh. That seems a poor choice of analogies, given the circumstances.

She looks over the eyes on the shelves. "But I still have my other eye," Odessa tells Delia, confused by her search. It just doesn't work. "How can it be here?"

"Do you?" The question is a little confusing after the professed possession but there it is, in one of the jars, an eyeball to match Odessa's working one. Meanwhile, Delia is pitching jars to the side, fratically scouring for whatever it is she needed so badly that she risked the life of the one eyed woman to get it. One of them smashes against the earthen floor and wet little globes scatter through the dirt, one of them landing with a soft thud against Odessa's bare foot.

There's a slight gasp as her hand reaches into a crevice behind a one gallon sized jar full of orbs that are all staring at her. Pulling it back out again in a fist, she turns toward Odessa and nods once. "I got what I needed… We should go before she gets back." It's impossible to determine whether she might be more angry at the loss of whatever Delia stole or the smashed jar of blue eyes.

"Ow! Watch it." Odessa dances back a step with the jar holding what is apparently her eye against her chest. "Those jars hurt, you know." She shakes out her foot with a small frown.

The look Delia receives is skeptical, but Odessa isn't about to argue with her. "Let's get moving, then." She leads the way back toward the door, moving quickly as she can.

"Yes, I have to see the king… Maybe he will trade this for a body." Without another word, Delia nods to the one eyed woman and steps over the glass on her way out the door.

Before Odessa has a chance to move, the door slam shut behind Delia and a shudder of the building sends all of the jars smashing to the dirt floor. All of them seem to avoid hitting the doctor but the brine the eyeballs were preserved in rises higher and higher at an alarming rate.

Submerged in a salt soup of blue eyes, it appears that Odessa might actually drown in reward for her efforts. The wound at her shoulder stings with the introduction of salt but before she can panic too much…

Sitting straight up in her bed with a gasp, Odessa Knutsen Price fumbles in the dark for her cellphone. A quick glance at the screen shows the time to be 02:47AM, too early to be awake. Her ragged breath, still heaving from her near drowning in the aquarium of eyes, refuses to calm completely.

A touch to her shoulder reveals it to be slick with perspiration, not the blood that she thought might have been there.

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