Three Lifetimes Ago


edgar_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title Three Lifetimes Ago
Synopsis Edgar and Odessa meet by chance and find they may be kindred spirits after a fashion.
Date September 5, 2010

Southern Roosevelt Island

The southern end of Roosevelt Island sat undeveloped for decades. Originally the home of the Renwick Smallpox Hospital, recognized as a national landmark in 1972, the land upon which the Renwick stood was purchased from the state of New York by the ReGenesis foundation in 2008. The Renwick was thereafter demolished, and upon the grounds where the historic landmark once stood rose the Suresh Center, a hospital for the furthered study and understanding of the Evolved.

Today the southern side of Roosevelt Island is underground a revitalization like other small neighborhoods in New York City. With the neighborhood of Summer Meadows having found charitable networks assisting in its reconstruction after having turned into a drug haven and ghetto following the bomb, more and more residents of Roosevelt Island have begun to return home. Common sights on the largely deforested southern end of the island include new constructions and signs of development, from chain-link fences surrounding construction sites to graffiti being cleaned off of businesses and storefronts. Even the roads that criss-cross the southern end of the island have seen steady repair since the arrival of the Suresh Center, further giving the impression of a growing community on this side of the Queensboro Bridge's tremendous shadow.

Daybreak found a solitary traveler on the rooftop of a building, near a heating vent. He was wrapped up in a blanket to ward off the cold and possibly keep what little heat the vent offered. Even if the speedster had money from the wallets he made off with the day before, he didn't want to waste it all on a hotel. They're too expensive and besides, Edgar's slept in worse places in his life.

It was around noon when he made it across the Queensboro bridge. He's waffling between looking for some under the table work or trying out a new identity and going legit. With so much construction, it should be easy for the former carnie to get some kind of manual labor position. Unfortunately, should be and is are usually two different animals.

Hanging near a chain link fence, he's got a little crowd of kids around him. There's a slight smile on his face as he juggles six balls of different sorts and one hackey sack. The children are in awe and some of them are even breathing out little 'OoOooooo's of excitement as he tosses their toys in the air.

The momentum of the orbs Edgar is juggling is momentarily thrown off in a way that looks like a simple mistake to the children, but is obviously off to the man doing the juggling. One ball simply hangs in the air a moment too long. It goes tumbling to the ground, rolling between the feet of the gathered children and off the curb. The click of high heels on the pavement, beloning to a woman in shiny patent leather knee-high boots over equally dark, semi-sheer stockings that disappear beneath the hem of a pale yellow sweater dress, stop short.

Odessa's shaggy white hair is styled to obscure the silver patch over her left eye. The breeze ruffles her locks, disturbing trash and debris in the gutters and against the fence line. She stoops to pick up the errant ball and hold it up with a small smile that would perhaps look prettier on someone whose face weren't covered in tiny scars the way hers is. One across her mouth dimples awkwardly with the movement of her lips. "I believe you dropped this."

The scarred woman is eyed warily before the speedster reaches out to take the ball. "I believe I did, no' often tha' 'appens," his accent betrays him as foreign, possibly English, possibly Scottish or even Irish… who knows. Her smile is returned with a little more of a suspicious air than her awkward twitch of lips. Sharp blue eyes flit around her face and body, scrutinizing every subtle movement that she makes.

The toys are passed off to the children who are waffling between hiding behind the stocky man or running. One of them grabs the leg of his brown corduroys and tries to hide behind him, a few of them scatter, and another one just gives Odessa a gaping stare. "Go on wi' yeh then," Edgar barks to the remaining two, "You'll be late fer supper." The sharp words cause little eyes to bulge out like googly eyed goldfish before they scamper off.

Odessa watches the kids run off. She's slowly becoming used to the way little children tend to hide behind their guardians when they lay eyes on her. She's not the unassuming figure she used to be, unfortunately. Her hesitant smile turns into a bit of a smirk now. "I haven't seen you around here before," she murmurs. Not that she knows everyone who has comings and goings on Roosevelt Island, but some faces are starting to become familiar to her.

"No' many 'ave," the speedster replies a little cryptically. There's a duaplicity in his answer, it could be because he's moving a little too fast for the naked eye and possibly because he hasn't been around the area before. He glances back to the construction sight and juts a thumb at it. "Jes' lookin' aroun' for work." The sites aren't open on the weekend though, and the area behind the fence is completely barren.

His eyes narrow a little in regards to the blond in front of him, for a half a moment before the crows feet smooth and he gives her a half tick of a smile in return for her own. "You mus' be local if y'know everyone around."

"A little new to the area, actually. But I'm good with faces." Odessa doesn't miss the cryptic nature of Edgar's response, but she lets it go easily. She leans to her right slightly so she can peer around Edgar and to the site behind them before righting herself again.

"What sort of work do you do, then?" the woman asks in a tone that suggests she knows he isn't looking for construction work. "There are plenty of opportunities on Roosevelt Island for someone looking down… alternative avenues."

"Little of this, little of that…" It's an evasive reply but there's a small tick upward to one of the man's low brows as Odessa makes her revelation about employment. "What sort've alternative avenues, there's things a decent person won't do." Of course Edgar's mind is likely wandering down the wrong path, it's not every day he gets propositioned in the streets by a young blonde.

Well, at least for a week now.

"I was lookin' for somethin' along the lines of manual labor. I figger there must be at least two — three dozen places lookin' fer a hand or two." His calloused hands dip into his pockets and he rolls up onto his toes and back onto his heels a little self consciously. "You know some'un who's hirin'?"

Odessa's shoulders come up in a shrug. "I know a few people here and there that might be willing to pay someone - depending upon how decent you fancy yourself - to get their hands dirty for a good cause. If you want a foot in the door somewhere, I believe the Gun Hill complex in the Bronx might be looking for a handyman." Her good eye narrows, dark blue gaze sweeping Edgar up and down, assessing the man. "But… you also look like you might fit in on Staten Island." A brow quirks upward. If you catch my drift.

Dawn breaks for the former carnie when Odessa explains what she meant, though he doesn't emit a sound his lips form a small 'O' and he nods quite slowly. "Well then, here I though' you were tryin' teh lure me into somethin' unseemly. I was about teh say such a fine upstandin' lady don't look the part've .. well.. heh." His eyes flit in toward the river briefly, in the direction of Staten Island but they don't linger.

"Handyman, well I s'pose that is fairly manual. S'long as I don't have to unplug a loo wi'my 'ands." He gives the woman a small smile and a firm nod of the head in thanks. "Are you some sort've head hunter then? You find jobs fer people?"

Odessa laughs quietly. "You must fancy yourself a flatterer. I don't suspect many people would tell a woman who looks like I do that she resembles a fine, upstanding lady." A strand of white is tucked behind one ear, revealing a bit more of that silver patch over her eye. "You don't strike me as the type to be desperate enough for something too unseemly." If she's understanding what he thought she meant initially.

"A head hunter," Odessa repeats with another breath of laughter. "Something like that, I suppose. I try to… help people." The hesitation is brief, and it brings a rueful little smile to the white-haired woman's lips. She seems to recall an old friend once telling her something similar. "But I try to be anonymous about it. That is to say, if you maybe wouldn't mention who sent you, I'd appreciate it."

"I can' rightly mention who sent me if I don' know a name, now, can I?" Edgar's easy reply come with a little wider of a smile before it drifts away toward a more neutral expression. That is to say, it would be neutral except for the heavy brow which gives him a constant angry air. He'd probably make a great bouncer. He slips a hand out of his pocket and offers it to the one-eyed woman, out of politeness. "M'name's David, a pleasure t'make your acquaintance."

A lie for a lie. "Gale," Odessa responds easily, taking Edgar's hand. Her grip isn't terribly firm, like she doesn't rely on her handshake for first impressions. "The pleasure is mine, I assure you." Where he looks angry, she perhaps looks sinister. Not altogether unfairly so, but wearing an eye patch and having a face that resembles a road map for scars doesn't exactly make a girl look terribly sweet.

"Gale, thank you. It's mighty kind've you to give a tip to a perfect stranger." Her hand is released and he dips it back into his pocket, forming a fist, which in turn form a rather large lump in the side of his pants. Looking off to the side, Edgar rolls back and forth on his feet a little uncomfortably, perhaps just not knowing where to go at this jucture.

The other hand comes out of his pocket at this point and rubs at the back of his neck. "Ermm, well, what'you do then? Just help people? How does that pay? Or d'you 'ave a rich benefactor like Bruce Wayne'er sum'then like that?

"Actually," Odessa begins, a smile tugging at her lips, "it is kind of like that. I'm sort of independently wealthy, I guess you'd call it." Not that she's truly wealthy. She's just got her needs taken care of. "I know what it's like to be without a friend in the city. I try to help other people avoid that. Sounds sappy, huh?"

This gets an uneasy smile from Edgar. Not being someone who is familiar with the wealthy except to grift a few bills from their pockets, he's more or less left floundering at the idea of not having to struggle to get by. Unless incarcerated, but that's never any fun. "No, doesn' sound sappy at all, you remind me of someone I used'teh know back in another lifetime. At least, it seems another lifetime now."

Odessa's smile is sympathetic, with a touch of sadness. "I know the feeling. Sometimes I feel like things happened three lifetimes ago." She turns her head one way, and then the other, as if looking to see if their conversation is being overheard. "It seems we have a lot in common, David." And she suspects false names may be one of those things. "If you're in a pinch and you need some help, there's an abandoned tram station just down the way," she jerks her thumb in a vaguely northward direction. "There's a car with a loose seatback. It's a great place to leave messages." You know, if you felt like leaving one for me sometime…

Glancing in the direction of her thumb, Edgar gives a more sincere smile. "Sounds like a perfect place, I'll keep it in mind." With the way things have been going for him the past few days, it's likely there will be a message waiting for her sooner rather than later.

If she's watching his eyes, the speed at with they flit back to her is quite unnatural. It's unconscious, as though he's forgotten to disguise every part of himself. "Three lifetimes, yeh, three is probably more accurate. Tell me Gale, what'd you do three lifetimes ago?"

Odessa takes note of the way Edgar's gaze seems to kind of zip back and forth a little too quickly. He could have just been giving a cursory glance, but… It doesn't feel quite right. She files it away in the back of her mind, smiling easily when he asks her about her past life. "I was a doctor, a surgeon," she responds with a fond smile for the glories of the past. "I suppose I still am. I haven't lost my skills or anything. It's… just not my trade these days." Perhaps it has something to do with her missing eye. Perhaps not.

Nodding, Edgar gives her a look of concern and then just nods and drops his eyes away. "I— was never anythin' fancy as a doctor or a surgeon. The best thin' I ever did wi' my life was love a woman." There's a tragic disposition to his voice, the tonal crack when he utters the last word. Then as quick as a blink, the sadness is wiped away from everything but his eyes before he nods to her once again.

"I 'ope teh see you again soon, Gale. I'll come find you when I ge' my first bit of cash. A'righ'?" Without waiting for an answer, he ambles off around the corner. Should she follow, by the time she turns the same one, he's gone.

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