Two Thumbs and One Eye


varlane_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title Two Thumbs and One Eye
Synopsis Who has two thumbs and one eye? Not Odessa Price if Magnes J. Varlane has anything to say about it.
Date April 13, 2011


Lit by a swarming sea of headlights, street lamps, neon signs and interior lighting, the bustling Canal Street Market is packed shoulder to shoulder and moves to an urban pulse. Amidst the tight crowds of residents and visitors, it would be hard to see that New York had collapsed in on itself in this cross-section. Spared as much as it could be after the explosion, Chinatown had endured as a pillar of New York City, and its refusal to succumb to the collapse of the other burroughs around it only contributed to the surge of population and interest here after the rebuilding began.

It is within all of this play of lights on the dark streets where that strong facade begins to show its structural cracks. A district so small can hardly sustain the some two-hundred and fifty-thousand residents, piled upon with transients seeking shelter, the unaccounted for displaced housed in local homeless shelters, and the thousands of visitors that pass through each and every day. There simply isn't enough Chinatown to go around, and in the face of more pressing reconstruction, the condition of this portion of the city has begun to continue a slow decline in the years following the bomb. Potholes line the market's street, pieces of broken sidewalk litter the curbsides, and the facades of so many buildings have begun to take on the look of post-bomb New York that so many other regions had assumed. No place in new York was truly spared, some just didn't know they were wounded yet.

A Wednesday morning like any other, a bit of a chill in the air, most shops already open or beginning to open in this part of Chinatown. Odessa received a call from one Magnes J. Varlane, asking her to meet him for a late breakfast. He sits at an old square wooden table outside of a random Chinese place with ducks hanging upside down in the window, not too many people walking by this early.

But he seems to have changed a lot since she saw him last, which wasn't even that long ago. A bit of a neatly shaved goatee, hair slicked back with gel, and a blue denim blazer with a grey shirt under it, and jeans that are a slightly lighter shade of the jacket. There are two plates and a main dish sitting on the table, strangely much like a dinner setup, but outside a cheap restaurant. The dish seems to be a duck, head intact, and he's neatly cutting his meat with a knife and fork, waiting patiently.

In these sorts of situations, Odessa would much prefer to simply appear seemingly from nowhere in the seat across from Magnes. Sadly, she doesn't have such a luxury anymore. And so it's exceptionally pedestrian in the way she approaches the table, and takes her seat. There's hesitation there, a lack of complete confidence.

She attempts to recover. "Magnes," Odessa murmurs in greeting, flat but not with disdain. Just a sort of… detachment. Wants to give the appearance that there are other places she could be - or perhaps would rather be - while still suggesting she finds this meeting worth her time.

Her attire is subdued. A black pair of slacks and a vest to match over a white dress shirt. Black ballet flats on her feet. Not the usual skirt-and-spiked-heels one has come to expect from her. Even her eye patch and her purse lack the usual sparkle and glamour, both a flat black. She eyes the meal on the table without the disgust or recoil most might have. Instead, Odessa simply watches the knife cut through the meat for a moment before lifting her gaze back to the man who requested her presence.

"Dessy." Magnes offers a friendly smile, rather calm and quiet as he cuts a few slices of meat for her plate, and returns to focusing on his. "It's good to see you again." He doesn't make eye contact, carrying himself in a way that suggests he believes himself to be in control of the situation.

Lifting a slice of duck into his mouth, he takes a moment to chew and swallow, taking his own sweet time to say anything else. "Tell me about how you made Eileen blind in one eye, again. I'm curious."

Odessa's gaze flits to her plate. She doesn't make a move to start eating. Not yet. Not until she knows what this is all about.

She isn't left waiting long. Her spine goes rigid. She sits up a little straighter, lifting her chin. "I made her blind in both eyes, actually." For all the remorse she's claimed to have - that she does have - for the attempted assassination, she refuses to show any of it now. It's a defense. "She was supposed to die, not go blind. Slow poison. It's an art, really.

"The fuck do you care?"

"I see." Magnes still doesn't quite look up at her, cutting his duck into smaller pieces. "Do you know what Yakuza members do as a form of apology to their boss, forced or otherwise? Don't answer that, I'm going to tell you…" Another small portion of meat is lifted to his lips, and he continues explaining. "Yubitsume. Cutting the tip of your finger off, a ritual derived from the idea that with each lost piece of finger, the grip of your katana weakens just a bit each time."

"And in the People's Republic of China, do you realize that a simple financial fraud is a capital punishment? Do you know how they commit their executions? Again, don't answer that, I'm going to tell you." He holds up a piece of meat and wags it with a bit of a grin before putting it into his mouth. "A good ol' firing squad. Or lethal injection, but the firing squad, there's a certain beauty in such a punishment. You don't always die during the first round, so you could have at least twenty burning hot pieces of metal lodged in places you've never even felt before. Don't worry, there is a point to all of this."

He stabs the table near her hand without much warning at all, not actually trying to hit her, leaving the knife lodged pretty deep in the wood. "I understand that you have a fear of the Institute murdering you, and that you'd love to join the Ferry again. Well, I'm going to give you a choice. You can make up for Eileen's blindness by working under her, and being absolutely loyal, only you'll really be loyal to me. Even if she asks you to do something stomach churningly awful. I think it's a small price to pay for blindness."

Then he motions to the knife with a casual nod. "Option B is that I remove both of your thumbs, I won't do it out here, but it will get done, even if you go down kicking and screaming. Now, I know what you're thinking 'That's not much of a choice at all, the Ferry won't even take me back'. You let me worry about the Ferry taking you back." Then he motions a hand for her food. "And don't let me stop you from eating, please, enjoy the duck, it's good duck."

Odessa did actually know the answer to both of those questions without having to be told. She looks more than just a little annoyed as she sits through the explanations threats. She doesn't show any fear.

Not until the knife comes down near her hand. She lets out a startled cry and shrinks back from the table, clapsing her hands together near her chest protectively. This shouldn't happen like this. She should be standing over him with that knife in her hands, repeatedly stabbing him in the face for his audacity, and then leaving him to bleed out on the Chinatown street as she seems to simply vanish.

The dog days are over. Odessa swallows uneasily, eyeing the man across from her warily like she's ready for him to snap again. "Let's say for a moment," she begins, voice infuriatingly unsteady to start with, "that the Ferry would take me in. What good would I be to them then? I have no ability. Eileen would find me a very useless instrument." As she continues, she finds her strength again, gaze narrowing. "If Eileen wants me, I'm of much more use to her right where I am. Carrying a badge. With access to the Registry, and Institute records and facilities. Department information."

Odessa brushes the pad of one thumb against one corner of her mouth while the other ticks upward into a smirk. "Eileen is an exceptionally intelligent strategist who will see the advantage to me holding my current position. What exactly are you hoping to accomplish by setting me close to her, Varlane?" A slightly haughty sniff may substitute for a bark of laughter. "And only to fool her while working for you? You have my attention. What are you playing at?"

"What you and Eileen ultimately decide to do is between the two of you, I simply want retribution in the form of your eternal servitude, and if I can't have that, I'll have your thumbs, and if I can't have that, I'll have your life, very slowly. And I can't help but notice that you've stopped eating." Magnes' expression and tone become a bit darker, more commanding. "I don't like Eileen having her own pawns. If she says jump, and I say sit, and your feet lift from the ground, that won't be a good day for you. As for what I'm playing at, I have more goals than you need to know, but one happens to be the death of Abigail Beauchamp."

"I never started." Eating, that is. Odessa leans back in her seat, "And just why would you want to kill sweet little Abigail Beauchamp-Caliban?" There's a lilt to her voice in the question, a gentle tease. "I thought you wanted to nail her." She shifts gears after a thought occurs to her. "If it's a Ferry pawn you're looking for, have you considered Jensen Raith? He may not care if you threaten his thumbs, but he has daughters."

"Raith won't need threatening, Raith will understand exactly what I'm doing. And this isn't a matter of pawns, it's a matter of revenge. If a cat ate your bird, you'd toss it out in the snow. If some man out from the street attempted to steal from you, you'd cut his hand off. And if they damaged your property, you'd kill him." Magnes raises a finger to point directly inbetween her eyes. "You damaged my property, I'm letting you off easy."

He closes his eyes, reaching over for that knife and yanking it from the table. "Abigail Beauchamp killed Kazimir Volken. For that she's not just going to die, she's going to suffer. I wouldn't think of even touching vermin like her anyway, she's dangerous, I hear she has a fire ability now, and with very little control of it. Even if she didn't kill Kazimir, I'd be putting a bullet through her head anyway."

"If my cat ate a bird, I'd pet her on her precious little head and tell her what a good little pussy she is." Odessa grins. "You don't know shit about me. And does Eileen know you consider her your property? I'm sure she'd love to hear about that."

Her gaze turns skyward, coy in tone and expression, "I mean, last I checked, Eileen was Sylar's property. If we must insist on calling her property at all." Truthfully, it doesn't sit right with Odessa. Not just because she lost the battle for Gabriel's affection to the other woman. But the subject is left alone when Magnes condemns Abby for the death of Kazimir Volken.

What the fuck?

"Volken was a madman," Odessa reminds, incredulity now having firmly taken hold of her features. "He wanted to wipe out the entire Evolved population with a virus. I would know, I fucking helped develop and sabotage it." And talk of putting Abby down just because her ability might be dangerous has her remaining eye growing wide, head tipping back some to convey confusion in her posture. "You are not Magnes Varlane. Who are you?"

"I know enough about you, I don't care to know more than I have to. And it's not for Eileen or anyone else to worry about how I refer to her, it doesn't make her mean any less to me. But she belongs to me. Gabriel Grey is going to realize that once I have his head on a pole." Magnes suddenly stands then, knife still in hand, but he takes a breath, calming himself, and takes his seat once more.

"Kazimir Volken had a vision. Cleanse the world of filth that will ultimately destroy us. Short-sighted and small minded individuals couldn't possibly understand. And I am Magnes J. Varlane, but I'd prefer if you referred to me as Mister Varlane. We are not on a first name basis, well, I am with you it would seem." He stares at the knife for a while, then to her, and does the same thing quite a few times, patience wearing rather thin. "If I can't get back to my world, I'll shape this one until it's a nice and comfortable Vanguard utopia. But first there is a matter of long overdue vengeance, and ducks to get in a row. Is there some sort of problem?"

"Your world?" Magnes' — Mister Varlane's little temper flare up doesn't bother Odessa. Not this time. She knows now she's dealing with a wild animal, so posturing is something she expects. "A Vanguard utopia? No. The only problem here is that you're crazy." She rises from her seat, her unimpressive height still enough to make her taller as long as he stays seated, and that's enough for now. "I'm leaving," she tells him, but doesn't depart immediately. Perhaps challenging him to stop her.

"I didn't hear you make a choice. All I heard was a lot of disrespect." Magnes stands now, immediately heading over with the knife in one hand, reaching out in an attempt to roughly grab her wrist. "So here's your choice. You can comply with my request to join Eileen, or I can take something in exchange for Eileen's eyes, and one more thing for this attitude you seem so adamant on showing me."

"Are you assaulting an agent of the Department of Evolved Affairs, Mister Varlane?" Odessa asks with wide, innocent eyes. "You want my answer?" Her tone stays steady, betraying nothing just before she uses his grip on her wrist to yank him closer to her while she comes up with her knee to his groin, using the momentum to make the attack more vicious than kicking a man in the balls already is.

Then, she turns to run from him as quickly as she can.

Magnes— Varlane drops his knee, doubling over to grab his crotch and fall to his knees, watching her run off with pure fury in his eyes. He doesn't speak loud enough for her to hear, it's hard to speak at all, but he manages to mutter, "Alright… two thumbs and an eye…"

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