Thoughts of a Dying Atheist, Part V



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Scene Title Thoughts of a Dying Atheist, Part V
Synopsis CONTENT WARNING: Violence.
Odessa remembers her greatest failure.
Date In the past…

Eagle Electric

Scares the hell out of me
And the end is all I can see

"Far be it from me to tell you how to do your job," comes a light voice from somewhere in the shadows overhead, "but you've been at that for awhile now, and I'm guessing you could maybe use a little help."


Odessa nearly pokes herself in the eyelid when voice disrupts her concentration. But it isn't the voice of the man who did this to her, and so she relaxes at least a fraction, head tipping up slowly so she can hopefully catch a glimpse of the person to which the voice belongs. "Maybe a little," she admits quietly. "It isn't the stitching that's so bad, really… It's just everything else." Like how it hurts to breathe.

"If you think it's bad now, just wait until Ethan and Wu-Long take a look at you." Eileen makes her way down the wall-mounted utility ladder to the floor where Odessa has just finished up stitching a gash on her brow and now looks to taping her own ribs. "What sort of mischief have you been getting yourself into, Doctor?"

This was when I thought we could have something in common. I thought we could be friends. She helped patch me up, and then she lied for me. To the people she cared about. I wish I could have truly understood what a gift that was.

Confucius Plaza, Wu-Long's Apartment

"Eileen, can you hear me?"

One good turn deserves another.

Eileen doesn't nod, doesn't give Odessa any verbal indication that she's heard the question. Instead, she moves her eyes from the ceiling to the doctor's face, saying nothing.

"Shit," Odessa murmurs under her breath. She starts pulling away Eileen's shirt so she can get a good look at what she's dealing with. "Oh, shit." She plucks her bag up and starts rummaging through it. "This isn't going to be pleasant, Eileen. I'll try to make it as painless as possible. I won't let you die." She stands over the injured woman and takes in a deep breath, shaking her hands out at her sides. Then, she holds them up, balled into fists. "Here we go." Her fingers snap out and Doctor Knutson goes to work.

It isn't enough, and she knows it. Eileen needs more attention than she can give with her limited equipment, but she can stitch her wounds and set her shoulder. She can't give her blood. The risk of infection…

How I worried for her.

The gaze the blonde turns on Sylar is apologetic. There's blood on her hands, smeared across her cheeks and there's a faint touch of pink in her hair, where she must have swept a lock behind her ear. She shakes her head, lips pressed together. "What I've done… It won't be enough. Who did this to her?"

"Vol-ken. He has – others."

And still does.

The Garden

Dusk has fallen on Staten Island. July is only a day away, so the weather is expectedly warm. Still, the woman who passes through the gate to the Garden is wrapped tightly in a knit and lace shawl as though to ward off a chill. A pale hand raises to knock gingerly on the door to the cottage and the visitor waits patiently for it to swing open. Dark hair clings to a pale face slick with sweat, bangs nearly hanging over sunken and red-ringed eyes. The woman resembles death warmed over.

The woman resembles Odessa Knutson.

Eileen stands on the safehouse's threshold with one hand holding the door open and the other encased in a plastic brace, which she wears in a sling. "Jesus Christ," she breathes. "You look like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle."

You weren't wrong.

Odessa actually laughs even as she suppresses a shiver. "You've always had a way with words, Mun- Eileen." She sniffles and wipes at her nose with a crumpled Kleenex wadded up in her hand. "It's good to see you. You look… Well, you look better than I do. That's something, right?"

Eileen takes a step back to make room in the doorway for Odessa. "Funny," she says, "I don't remember talking that much." They've all changed since Volken's glory days. Some for the better. Others, like Odessa, it seems for the worse. "Can I get you something to eat?"

All I feel is failure. I came to her for help, and she gave it when I didn't deserve it. And how did I repay her?

Sea View Hospital

A flash of lightning overhead illuminates the world simultaneously as Eileen's connection to her ability fails her, leaving her truly blind.

"Ooooh, spooky!" A woman's voice echoes off the broken walls. "Who turned out the lights?!" Raspy and taunting, it would appear Eileen's wandered into a trap. "Why can't you do a damn thing right?"

Like this. I deserved absolutely every ounce of retribution for this.

Quiet fury steals away both Eileen's breath and the color in her face, though it does not take long for the more important of the two to make a swift return in the form of a thin hiss drawn through her nostrils.

Where did this go sideways? Probably about the time I let my jealousy blind me to reason. I should have told that bitch to take her contract and shove it. Or poisoned her instead.

The first word out of Eileen's mouth is, not surprisingly, "Ungrateful."

"Oh, I am plenty grateful," Odessa informs haughtily. "This is the point in the film where I'm meant to monologue about who's asked me to kill you, and then your knight in shining armor swoops in to save you."

Ah, yes. Right about here. I set that scene quite nicely for myself, didn't I? At least it didn't work for Yana either. I really fucked this up. Did I learn nothing from Petrelli?

A shallow, serpentine river of crimson is lazily drawn across Eileen's cheek. Nothing that won't heal nicely. This is only the foreplay. "No one is coming for you, and you can go to hell with a few unanswered questions."

The doctor admires her handiwork, halting the scalpel's progress long enough to chuckle darkly. At the tip of Eileen's chin, the blade lifts and settles instead at the back of her jaw, but doesn't begin to draw another line. "You knew I loved him. I understand him. He understood me. If you had just left him alone, I might have said no when I was asked to kill you."

The weight of Odessa's body bearing down on Eileen's smaller one is crushing, but not so crushing that the shuddery rise and fall of her breast doesn't push against her with every breath she draws in and then leaks out again through her nose. Her throat contracts around a swallow, forcing down what's gathering in her mouth rather than turn her head to ooze it out. Clothes, skin and hair are so thoroughly soaked with rainwater there's no visible difference between the moisture clinging to her face and any tears that might be mingling with it, but her voice is gravelly and thin, too course for her accent to perform any kindness on its edges.

And this is where I should have sliced her throat open and left her there to bleed. I should have blown her head off with her own gun the moment I stopped time. I never should have played these games.

"You don't," she says on her next exhale. "You love the idea of him– Sylar

You were right, Munin. The man I tried to kill you for was not the man I fell in love with. I was wrong. I was so, so wrong.

"I love him!" Odessa's shrill shriek bounces off the walls of the structure, calling back to them until it's swallowed up by the roll of thunder.

"Do you suppose he'll cry when they find your body being picked apart by those birds you love so dearly? Just a piece of carrion." Odessa laughs, a broken and unkind sound. Her voice is already hoarse from screaming. "Poetic, don't you think? But don't you worry, we'll turn your death into a cause. One more casualty at the hands of the Institute. And I'll help Sylar tear it apart, tear them all down. I'll assure him of how proud you'd have been."

My cruelty could be truly beautiful sometimes, couldn't it? Not this time.

Again, she poises her knife above the straining muscles and shallow breath and pounding pulse of Eileen's throat. Odessa's weight shifts, and her own breath washes over the darker woman's ear. "Last chance. Beg me, or say your last words. Your choice."

The fingers of her mangled hand close around the piece of rubble sitting in her fist, she isn't going to miss when she swings it into the side of Odessa's head with as much force as she is physically capable of. Rock connects with skull. Cracks open scalp. A surprised grunt accompanies the blow. Darkness flourishes in the corners of the doctor's vision, and suddenly there's warmth bleeding down her face and neck. Odessa instinctively releases her grip on Eileen's wrist to bring her hand up to press to her wound, dazed and disoriented as she recoils to sit upright.

Dark blue eyes blink incredulously down at Eileen, attempting to banish the stars from her vision. "You fuckin'–" The second blow is not as powerful or as swift as the first and catches Odessa across the nose, but it has enough force behind it to pulverize cartilage and shatter bone. Odessa shrieks and moves her hand to cover her nose. "Bitch!" she howls, though it's muddled by the way her broken nose alters the sound of her voice. Angrily, she stabs her scalpel down into Eileen's shoulder.

The rock comes down on Odessa's hand – it's something Eileen will regret later, not for hurting her, but for straining the muscles in her shoulder while there's a knife buried in it. Blade levered free, she drops the rock, freeing up her other hand to grope at Odessa's hair. Her neck would be preferable, but not something she has confidence that she can maintain a grip on.

And this is a second chance nicely blown. Well fucking done, Odessa.

I was wrong, Munin. Eileen. I was so wrong. You always knew better than I did. I am sorry.

Previously in this storyline…
Thoughts of a Dying Atheist, Part IV

Next in this storyline…
Thoughts of a Dying Atheist, Part VI

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