They Will Hunt You


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Scene Title They Will Hunt You
Synopsis A would-be turncoat turns to a veteran for assistance.
Date August 2, 2011

In Dreams

The Institute

Standing on the balcony looking out the window of the building's courtyard, Elisabeth Harrison seems pensive. She is seven, nearly eight, months pregnant… and the downtime has been eye-opening. If Richard were around or paying attention, he might have seen the signs of unhappiness, but he's become more and more obsessed lately. And Elisabeth has learned a lot more recently about the deals in play. Amazing what one can learn when one is not running about in armor all day.

The decision is made. It's implementation that consumes her now. How to make it work. How to make it work without getting her ass shot in the process. Elisabeth absently strokes the mound of her belly, listening with half an ear to her son's heartbeat. That sound is the driving force in her life now.

She cannot turn to those she would normally call on. Richard has unquestioning loyalty from Claire and Peyton — Liz herself is only one who makes him explain his actions. He's always been able to give her reasons and logic that she can accept for actions. He's good at it. The lie doesn't become evident until one steps out into the world without the protection of the walls or armor. He's wrong. And she cannot convince him of it; she hasn't even tried. The few hints of 'wrong' she's dropped he has reacted to in powerfully negative fashion. So now… now she has to turn to a woman whose loyalty is to no one but herself. And God help her if this woman gives her away. Richard will lock her up to keep his son.

In the fashion those who call upon her have come to expect, Odessa Price seems to merely materialise next to Elisabeth Harrison. A languid sort of lean against the rail separating them from the drop into the courtyard below. It's hard to sneak up on someone who can hear you coming a mile away, unless you cheat.

"You rang?" In another life, Odessa would have made an invaluable addition to FRONTLINE. Perhaps it's the fear of what the woman could accomplish if someone actually gave her tailor-made Horizon armour that kept that decision from ever being made. "Secret meetings with the boss' girl are too intriguing to pass up." In case there was any doubt about whether she would show.

Between the two women's abilities, this meeting is guaranteed to be a clandestine one.

Indeed, Elisabeth exists inside a silence field at this moment. "It's not exactly secret, is it?" she asks mildly. "Standing out here in the open to be seen by anyone who happens by." She glances around at the atrium with a faint smile. "The best part about being out in plain sight is that no one thinks anything of it — you can't possibly be discussing anything sensitive, can you?" she muses.

Odessa grins, apparently liking the way Elisabeth thinks. "Indeed." Terribly casual posture is matched by tone, despite the need to act in any way other than body language. "How can I help you, Director Harrison?" There is the briefest of glances to the other woman's swollen belly.

Leaning on the ballustrade that lines the walkway, Elisabeth looks back out the windows. But her focus is clearly on the woman next to her. "You spend a lot of time out in the city, Doctor Price," she finally says mildly. "I'm interested in your perspective. Do you think the policies we've enacted are working out?" It could be a trick question, of course — the blonde is the boss's woman. But there's something in the way that she asks the question.

"For us," the doctor grants. "For other people out there? No, probably not. But there are always… kinks in new systems." A cautious answer. In case Odessa's being set up to play the part of traitor. Given her past track record, it'd be convenient. Her loyalty to the Institute, however, has seemed unwavering. "Doctor Sheridan and I have no complaints about the living arrangements so graciously affords us by our employers."

A hand smooths down her stomach absently when the child within creates a visible distension by rolling over. She looks not round but mildly misshapen for a moment. Elisabeth seems to be thinking about the answer given. "Of course you don't," she murmurs softly. "They're quite luxurious." It's not said with censure. "From your observations, do you believe the kinks will work themselves out, Doctor?" Now she looks at Odessa with a straightforward gaze. "Entirely off the record… do you see the new regime working out?" She makes a point of silencing all sound so that Odessa knows nothing is getting in or out.

"Off the record?" Odessa asks with a hike of her brow, then shakes her head. "Not a damn chance. The only people who win in this equation are the dictators. People like you and I stand to gain a lot from this new world order if we can keep the people in charge convinced of our usefulness." Her chin lifts, but she does her best not to look condescending, just inquisitive. "Trouble in paradise, Director?"

Elisabeth has only ever offered the image of an entirely united front — Richard has enough politics and bullshit on his plate. She has made a point of being very careful that whatever disagreements she may have with him are behind closed doors and utterly silent so far as anyone is concerned. Oh, they're not the storybook couple. That image she doesn't try to convey. But one of being entirely on board with decisions? Oh yes — she was not going to be the back-door by which people could lobby him.

Her gaze on Odessa remains cool. "Paradise only exists in Heaven, Doctor," Elisabeth tells her mildly. "And most assuredly none of us are going there."

Odessa's shoulders come up in a nonchalant shrug. "Not what I asked. You're discontent," is not a question. "What do you need from me? If you're looking for someone to help you rise up and take control, I'm not that person. But I won't turn you in." A wolfish grin spreads across her face as she straightens up, tucking a strand of her white hair behind her ear, "It isn't that I wouldn't relish the idea of a bit more power around here, but I don't think you can pull it off." A pointed look to her stomach again.

"No offense."

Trusting this woman with anything so dangerous is counter to everything Elisabeth knows of Odessa Price. But there's only going to be one shot at this, and she needs someone high enough. "I'm leaving," she says quietly. "You're one of the few people in a position to help keep my disappearance quiet for long enough that I can get out. And considering who you live with, I believe you may also have ties enough to help me … locate a good route out." Bella's ties to Deckard are well known to Elisabeth — and what Deckard went down for more so.

A hand settles over Odessa's mouth before she murmurs her next words, "The Ferry." Crossing her arms over her chest then, she nods. "I still have some notions of where to find them… But when the time comes, I expect you to vouch for us." Meaning the idea of getting out has crossed Odessa's mind as well. "Will you be taking intelligence with you? It makes a strong bargaining chip with them. You're going to need it."

"You don't think what I know is enough incentive for them?" Elisabeth asks quietly. There's a moment of pain that flashes across her face. "I don't need to have intel on paper. I help the man devise his plans." God help her for that too. There are some in the Ferry who may forgive — Abby. Perhaps Teo. If they're still out there. "If you think I need more, I can make that happen too." She pauses and eyes Odessa thoughtfully. It doesn't seem to surprise her that she might be thinking of her own skin in this. "I can't promise you that anything I say to them will ease your way later. It'll depend on how deep in the shit I am myself. Pretty deep I'm going to assume. But… you have my word that I'll vouch for your actions with regard to me if the time comes that you want out."

"That's all I can ask," the co-conspirator admits. "I'm nothing if not realistic about my chances with them." Slim and none, where she's concerned. "I'm not saying you don't already know a good lot that can help them, but they'll want as much as you're willing to give. The better armed you are with information…" Odessa spreads her hands out in front of her, palms up. "I'll see if I can get in touch with some of my contacts. I won't be able to dredge up anything concrete, but I can get you looking in the general area. They'll find you."

That's about all she can really ask. Elisabeth draws in a deep breath and looks back toward the window. "How long?" she asks softly. Because the longer she stays, the more likely it is that he'll figure it out.

Realistically, Elisabeth Harrison doesn't have much time to waste. "Give me a week," Odessa decides after a moment's thought. "I'll have answers for you then. Just be sure you're ready for life on the outside. It's no cake walk living on the run. They will hunt you." She would know. "Be sure that's the life you really want to give your child."

Her blue eyes are bleak as Elisabeth turns them to the doctor. "I'm betraying the man I love, Doctor. I'm taking the only thing we've ever done right together away. And I'm heading for a group of people that I used to count as friends who I can only hope will not kill me on sight. You don't think I know exactly what I'm doing?"

"I'm not asking you to defend your actions to me, Director." She won't be calling her that much longer. "It's your decision." Odessa pushes off from the railing and takes a look around to see if anyone's taken an interest in their meeting. It doesn't look like it to her. "After I've figured out where you need to be, I'll escort you part way. It'll give you a head start."

Elisabeth nods slowly. "Thank you. I'll be ready." She strokes her bulging stomach lightly, and then she drops the silence field. Shooting the good doctor a cool smile, she says, "Thank you, doctor. I appreciate the update." It's not entirely unheard of — her people have gone under Odessa's knife a couple of times for injuries.

"Of course, Director." Odessa offers an easy-going smile. "Try not to worry. Everything will turn out just fine." Whether it's just lip service to make their meeting sound less serious than it was, or if she means the sentiment is up for debate. "Be well. I'll be in touch." Despite the suddenness of her approach, the temporal manipulator chooses to take her leave in the more mundane fashion. Turning and heading back to work as though this were nothing but routine, spiked heels sounding her departure.

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