Variations on an Awakening



Scene Title Variations on an Awakening
Synopsis On June 10th, many people in New York were afflicted with visions of the future. Some have spoken out about what they saw. Others have tried to keep it to themselves. Some lament that they saw nothing. Odessa Knutson Price wishes she hadn't.
Date September 21, 2010


Gun Hill - Delia Ryans' Clinic


It's roaring in her ears.

Pooling at her feet.

Speckling her dress.

Wide-eyed, Odessa watches life ooze from the second smile carved beneath a man's chin.

Eric Doyle's chin.

She staggers back, one hand fluttering up to cover her face, smearing transferring red smears from fingertips to scarred cheeks. He shouldn't have been here. She shouldn't be here.

Gunfire elsewhere in the building calls her attention back. She shifts the duffel bag slung across one shoulder. Scalpel clutched tightly still in her fingers, leaving droplets on the floor, across her knuckles.

Thick yellow smoke stands unnaturally still at the bottom of the stairwell, like ominously frozen water vapour. Sprinting past her dead friend's sprawl, the tacky red smacks almost glutinously beneath Doctor Price's stilettos, avoidance of all that blood not on her mind. Avoidance of the hazy barrier between her and the rest of the building, however, is top on her priorities. She's supposed to be escaping through a secret egress in the basement, but something important waits for her upstairs.

She doesn't touch the cloud of gas, but she doesn't take into account the bulk of her duffel bag.

It isn't easy weaving through the sea of black-clad intruders frozen in place, some more awkwardly than others. Ducking under a gun here, sidestepping an outstretched leg there. And the bodies on the floor, some clad in the black of the storm troopers and some their victims. Odessa recoils as she recognises the faces of Abigail Beauchamp, François Allègre, Clara Francis, Daphne Millbrook, and Susan Ball numbered amongst the resistance. Most of those people shouldn't even be here. Especially not with advanced warning, which they all should have had.

In the preternatural silence, Odessa's gasp for air fills the first floor like a deafening roar in its contrast. Like the shot of the cannon pointed toward the door to her old apartment. Number 103 is having its door kicked open. There's no gas deployed here. Not yet.

Her foot catches on the shoulder of a fallen raider, sending her stumbling toward the wall, landing sprawled over a different body. Elle Bishop's lifeless eyes stare up at her, her face visible enough beneath a torn hood for Odessa to recognise that it's her. Scrabbling back on her hands and knees, she gives in to morbid curiosity and peels back the hood of the person she tripped on, finding Veronica Sawyer beneath.

She scrambles scrambles back to her feet. This isn't right. This isn't how it should be. Isn't how she saw it happen. The halls of the Gun Hill complex weren't filled with the bodies of her friends. The heel of her palm rubs against her lidded good eye. Spot flash in her vision and when she looks around her again, splatters of blood correspond with each spot of light she sees when she closes her eye.

She has to crawl underneath the invading party in order to get to her apartment. What was so important that she had to come back in here, sneaking around the soldiers? This isn't her home anymore. It hasn't been for some time. There's no cat waiting to greet her when she steps inside. But all her little knick-knacks remain where she left them. Like some sort of shrine to her abbreviated attempt at living like she thinks a normal person might live. The photograph of the Paris skyline, black and white save for the majesty of the Eiffel Tower. A stylised painting of a legendary samurai locked in battle with a shadowy adversary, a familiar symbol on the hilt of his katana. The clock on the wall ticking away.

Ticking? It shouldn't be ticking.

She should really, really go. Odessa checks the watch on the red leather band around her wrist, watching the second hand merrily tick along half a second out of synch with the timepiece on the wall. A newspaper is picked up off the coffee table. The words all seem to run together, except the date at the top. November 8, 2010.

What did she come here for? It was important. Something she didn't want found. Bracing one hand against the bottom of the large bag on her back, full of pilfered medical supplies that don't belong to her, she pulls its strap across her shoulders.

Her hand comes away oily. She looks down in horror at the yellow-tinged film on her palm. "No!" She quickly wipes it off on her skirt as though it might save her from the effect she can already feel settling in. Her head is already aching. She readjusts her grip on her scalpel, trying to hold just this one brief segment of time even as she can hear footfalls on the floors above where her ability has slipped away. The sound of resuming movement is like the terrible crescendo of a wave crashing to shore. She fixes her gaze on the doorway, preparing for the inevitable.

The only way out is through.

The door finishes its swinging arc inward, slamming against the wall and impacting drywall. Odessa staggers back in reaction to the violence of the blow and the sudden rush of chaos. A man in a dark visored helmet steps through the doorway and with a flick of his hand sends the negated temporal manipulator off her feet and sideways into the wall. The samurai falls off the wall, frame and glass shattering next to her.

She relearns how to breathe, her hands up in front of her half to defend against a possible attack, and half in surrender. The man advances, the rest of his detail left standing at the door, or moving on to the next apartment. "Wait. Please," she begs.

His visor comes up and Odessa gasps. She knows that face. It's impossible. And some part of her brain registers that it can't be real. He shouldn't look just like his photograph. People don't look like they do in photographs. They have nuances in life that make them real. The man's face is too passive. Too fixed. But she stares up with wide eyes and utters the words anyway.


3 AM September 21, 2010

The Octagon – Apartment #108

Odessa Price sits up quickly, clutching sheets to her chest. It takes her a moment of listening to the quiet sounds of her apartment, and Roosevelt Island in the stillness of curfew, before she can calm her pounding heart.

Disentangling from her bedding, Odessa swings her legs over the side of her queen-size bed and slips her feet into a pair of yellow marabou-adorned mules that seem to match the stars on the Wonder Woman-inspired camisole set she wears as pyjamas. Her footfalls are at first muted by the rug laid on her bedroom floor, but sound clearly on hardwood floor as she nears the doorway and walks into the living area and then to the kitchen. She presses a glass to the dispenser recessed into the stainless steel refrigerator and fills it with ice before splashing ginger ale in over the top of it.

Her muted grows closer to actual size as Odessa draws nearer to the expansive windows that afford her a view of the city that's somewhat less impressive from the first floor as it would be from the third. But it doesn't give her that sense of vertigo and fear of toppling that the third floor view would. Cradling her glass in her palm, it's her own face she studies with tired eyes, one clear and one knotted, rather than the twinkling lights of the city that never sleeps, even while under strict curfew.

It was just a dream.

A nightmare.

She averted the fate she saw for herself when visions overtook the people of New York. She deviated from that path when she set her failed ambush. But in that dream… She was looking for something in her old apartment. Something she needed to keep safe from the Institute. She sends a glance toward the couch, beneath which she'd pried loose one of the floorboards just as she'd done in the closet of bedroom at Gun Hill, and she's buried there the file about her parents. What sort of thing is her conscious mind forgetting that her unconscious mind is aware of the significance of?

She tips back the short glass of fizzy soda against her lips until she's drank it all. Rather than go back to bed, she leaves her glass on the coffee table and her shoes beneath it, curling up on the couch and pulling a blanket around her skinny form. It's moments like this where she misses her cat the most. The way the squash-faced Persian with her coat of patchwork Calico would leap up and settle herself onto her mistress' feet as if to keep them warm.

Odessa sighs and stares at the clock on the wall even as the watch on her wrist ticks away beneath her head where she's dug her hands in beneath her pillow. What kind of life does she lead where even her dreams cause her to question her reality? Sleep will not come before the dawn.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License