What Happens to Bad Girls


eileen_icon.gif ethan_icon.gif odessa2_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title What Happens to Bad Girls
Synopsis Remnant comes to strike a bargain with Odessa Knutson.
Date September 16, 2009

Ruins of Midtown — An Abandoned Apartment

One's heart should feel at peace while at home. There should be a sense of serenity, of a sort of security, and safety. No place really feels like home to a woman who doesn't officially exist. In lieu of the warm and cozy feelings a person is supposed to have when they're in their own dwelling, Odessa Knutson has chosen the only place in town that stirs up any sort of feeling with in her. It isn't so bad, really. Some of the apartment buildings in the ruins of Midtown are mostly intact. They can provide a roof and a dry place to sleep, shelter from the elements.

Sometimes, she can even scavenge something worth using. An old blanket here, an umbrella there. The replacement batteries in a radio she found have chosen tonight to run dead, only getting through a couple bars of some classical piece before draining to silence. In the absence of music from the radio, she tunelessly sings to herself as she folds her teal shawl up to rest on a dusted-off kitchen counter. "I… don't want to set the world… on… fire." She can't remember where she learned the words to that song, who sings it, or what the name of it even is, but every so often, it drifts into her mind. "I just want to start," she in time with the beat in her head, twirling across the floor and sauntering toward the window, "a flame in your heart."

Although not as dangerous as certain parts of Staten Island, Midtown is rife with feral dogs whose eyes appear to glow green in the dead of night. The scientific explanation for this involves a mirror-like layer of cells called the tapetum lucidum — "bright carpet" in Latin — at the back of their eyes, and while humans do not possess such cells, they can appear just as predatory and fluorescent under the right light and circumstances.

It's not the reflection of eyes, however, that Odessa will see first — it's the glimmer of a knife shimmering like the scales of a fish. That's the problem with rundown places like these; not all rooms have doors, and those that do don't necessarily have locks. "Interesting company you're keeping these days," comes a familiar voice, accompanied by a pale set of eyes, the colour of which hovers somewhere between gray and green, pupils dilated as large as a cat's. "But you and Monroe go way back, don't you?"

Speaking of bright carpet,

Well there's not really much to add on to bright carpet. There's a whole lot of darkness though. And out of the darkness comes a man, a black hood hanging over his brows. Half of a balaclava pulled up to his nose. The man is standing behind Eileen languidly. His heavy shoulder rests against the wall, while his eyes skirt around the 'apartment'. Arms folded on the chest, the man carries a few weapons openly but they're not held up in a particular threatening fashion.

Tilting his head over to the wall, the man watches quietly as the girl approaches the woman. His hand goes to rest on the automatic weapon hanging in front of his chest, the strap looped around his neck. One thumb rests lazily on the safety switch.

Two's company. Three's a crowd. But two at one side and one at the other? That's a pincer. And caught in one is absolutely the worst position that Odessa can possibly be in right now. "It's funny how it works out, don't you think?" This second voice, the third intruder in Odessa's life, is not with the others. To say it's on the opposite side of the room may not be accurate, either. The light isn't good, only a few candles here and there. Whoever that voice belongs to is hiding in the long shadows, or perhaps in another room.

Or maybe, just maybe they're right in the room with dear Miss Knutson. Right next to her, in fact, just barely visible in the corner or her eye. Or maybe that's a trick of the light.

"That you can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep," the voice continues, "Have you never noticed it? And have you ever noticed, perhaps is the more important question, the sort of company that your friend keeps about? What does that about your situation, I wonder? What does it say about your situation five minutes from now? Ah, now there's something to think about?"

One moment Odessa's standing in front of the window, the next, she's put the counter between herself and her unexpected guest. Guests.


Judging from the bewildered look on her face, she expected to get further than the counter. "So what?" Like a cornered animal, dark blue eyes flicker back and forth between possible threats. "I know Adam Monroe the same way I know Sylar." Her gaze rests unsteadily on Eileen's silent companion, then search in vain for that shadow she can't quite pin down. Reminds her of someone she once knew. "I thought you'd approach me on your own." Odessa swallows uneasily. "What do you want? I wasn't hiding anything from you."

Eileen's silhouette is backlit by the glow filtering in through the window, Manhattan's distant lights reflected off the sheen of her skin and the soft leather material of the jacket she wears. What she wants, apparently, is a place to sit, because she settles herself in the overstuffed remains of an old armchair with rusty springs that creak shrill protest when she eases into the seat. One denim-clad leg dangles over the chair's arm, boot dangling into space.

A sliver of dirty moonlight illuminates something round and green-skinned in the palm of her left hand as the blade of her knife moves across the object's shiny surface in a series of slow, deliberate motions and produces what looks like a single curl of loosely coiled ribbon. It's just an apple.

"I don't know," she says. "Hiding, disappearing — it's the same thing, isn't it?"

Eileen's shadow watches quietly as the younger of the females make herself comfortable. If he weren't wearing a black getup and being scary he would chuckle at the way she is behaving. Maybe not chuckle. A hearty guffaw is in order for this situation. His eyes near twinkle as she cuts up the apple. But this is an awkward and uncomfortable situation. And he would like it to be over.

A click is made. The safety being turned off. Maybe it's a sign to Odessa to be more forthcoming with her answers, or to fall silent or something. But Eileen will know the true meaning of the little noise. It's a message just for her. A very special two word message.

Hurry up.

"They're close enough for us, and they're the sort of things that only bad girls do." The second voice, unlike Eileen's, is not one that Odessa has ever heard. If whoever it belongs to was once Vanguard, then they - or more likely, he - was sharp enough to step aside just before the shit hit the fan. And if they aren'tVanguard… maybe that's worse. "And you know what happens to bad girls, don't you? Don't you?

"Oh, but you're a bad girl, aren't you, Odessa? You've been bad, haven't you? Haven't you?"

"Is there a question in there? One that isn't rhetorical?" Odessa purses her lips tightly, fingers twitching restlessly at her sides. "If you want to know something, ask. You surely have more productive things to do than to come here and try to intimidate me. So, why don't you tell me what you want?" Her eyes flick up when the safety clicks audibly. She actually looks slightly incredulous. "What are you, new?" The longer Odessa has to acclimate to the situation at hand, the more bold she's becoming. The surprise is wearing off. Or, at least, it was until the mystery man started talking. That is just creepy. A shiver runs through Odessa. "What do you want? I walked away from the safehouse. So what?!" The boldness is overshadowed a by tone laden with a rising shrillness.

The distinct click of the safety being flicked off does not go unnoticed or missed by Eileen. She concedes the masked stranger's point with a rolling gesture of her wrist as she flicks away the apple's peel onto the ground, creating a wet sound when it hits the floorboards. "I can't say that I appreciate you walking out on the Ferry without saying good bye," she tells Odessa, "especially not after you tell us that Feng Daiyu held you captive and tortured you for information."

She cuts through the apple lengthwise, splitting it in two, and then begins the process of dividing it into quarters, eighths. "I don't like loose ends, Odessa. And I don't like liabilities. When was the last time you saw Daiyu?"

Narrowed brows are directed at the vague direction of the second voice. The third member. If he was in the speaking business right now he would open up shop with a grand opening of 'What the fuck?!' But he's not. So he doesn't. Instead he picks at the rough surface of his gun handle. Pick pick pick. When Odessa starts 'fighting back' as it were his attention comes off the SMG. His brow under the hood arches cleanly at her tone. Taking the weapon off his shoulders, it's set by his legs. In the same motion the pistol is taken out from his holster.

Then a cyllinder object is slid and screwed on to the weapon. A silencer. Once that message is sent he looks back up to Odessa making a gesturing motion with his hand. As if gesturing her or perhaps daring her to continue in that way. The weapon is held at his side though, as his back goes to slump against the wall again. He watches Odessa quietly as Eileen continues to act like papa.

For the moment, thankfully, the mystery man keeps quiet. Apparently, this is Eileen's show now.

Odessa's jaw drops. "Are you fucking crazy, Eileen? You saw how scared of that son of a bitch I was. You think I would-" The dark-haired woman falls silent and leans heavily against the counter as though the wind was just knocked out of her sails. "That's the point, isn't it? I was scared." She shakes her head, scowling at the implication. "Yeah, he scares me. I still have nightmares about him. I don't have what he wants. He hasn't sought me out again, and I've sure as fuck been doing my best to avoid him." She shoots a scowl at the gunman, but offers no further challenge. Her fingers come up and slide under the blue gemstone choker at her neck in a nervous gesture, something like a businessman adjusting his collar. "I'm not working with Daiyu. Fucker was going to take my teeth out with a knife. I'll kill myself before I let him put me in a situation like that again."

For a moment, it looks as though Odessa might be about to cry. But the tumult resolves itself to anger as the woman's palms slap down flat on the table. "I left so I could get high without all the dirty looks, okay?! I was getting high! I ran away from my problems! Are you fucking happy now?!"

"I wasn't suggesting that you were working with Daiyu," Eileen says, pausing to take a crunchy bite of apple and wipe off the flat of the blade on her jeans. "My point is, you're out there, he's out there — it's only a matter of time until he gets desperate enough to ply you for information again, and when he does he'll do more than take out your teeth. You gave up Elias to save your skin before. Who'll be next? Ethan? Sylar? Me?"

Another bite, another swallow, and Eileen drags her sleeve across the corner of her mouth. "I'm sure you can sympathize with the situation we're in, Doctor. I don't want you divulging Vanguard secrets to Daiyu, but I don't particularly want to see you dead either, so I'd like to make you a proposition instead — assuming you're interested?"

Odessa is about to open her mouth to start defending herself when Eileen gets to the heart of the matter. She closes her eyes and breathes in deeply, reining in her anger. "I'm listening." Blue eyes open again, fixing on the woman in charge. The prospect of a deal causes the young doctor to relax again. Somewhat.

Eileen uses the tip of her knife to carve a seed from the hollow of the next slice. "I saw the way Monroe was looking at you," she says, lowering her eyes from Odessa to the apple, choosing to concentrate on her work rather than study the expression on the other woman's face or attempt to decipher the emotions behind her cool blue stare. For as precise as she is, her fingers are not immune to being cut. "He'll protect you from Daiyu in exchange for the services you offered him this afternoon. As long as you stay with him and his people, I have no reason to view you as a liability. Are you with me so far?"

A light breath passes out from the balaclava as those dark eyes slap over to Eileen. Fixing onto her for a moment the man takes a slow step forward. Again Odessa might take this as a show at intimidation, and it may very well be. But it's also something else. A black gloved hand practically shoves itself in front of Eileen's face. Expecting something.

The apple. He wants it now.

Odessa nods slowly. "So far, so good." She could speculate on how else this arrangement might benefit Eileen, but for once, she prefers to wait for the answer rather than supply a possible one. Especially if she might not make out as well in her own scenario. "Go on." Warily, she eyes the silent man.

Eileen stabs the apple slice through the middle, rotates the knife between her fingers and holds it out in offering to the man in the mask like some sort of raw fruit kebab. Take it, is the unspoken implication, though her eyes do not lift to his face — and not just because she can't see its familiar features behind the balaclava. Her focus has returned to Odessa, lips pressed into a thin, unreadable line.

"Because we're being so generous as to let you live," she continues, "you're going to be my eyes and ears and provide me with details about Monroe's plans for the future. You're aware, I'm sure, that he and Kazimir were partners in crime. I don't trust him not to pick up where Vanguard left off."

Placing the knife between two fingers, the silent man brings the knife up so that he may slide the apple off the blade. Eyeing it suspiciously the man does not pull down his mask nor does he try to eat of it. It is simply held in front of him for a moment. But that last comment warns that this conversation may be coming to a close soon.

Stooping down, the strap of the SMG is brought up and shouldered. Then he steps forward next to Eileen's chair, apple in one hand, silenced pistol in the other he watches Odessa expectantly.

"Generous?" Odessa's brows furrow and she actually lets out a huff of laughter. "Sweetheart, I could have walked out of here any time I wanted. But I'd rather hear you out than have you hounding me. I'll do it, because I want to help you. Not under any illusions that I'm scared you're going to kill me." She rests one hand on her hip, the other now resting loosely at her sides, fingers flexing almost as though she were playing an invisible piano. "I don't want any part of anything he's planning. But as you can see, my surroundings needed an upgrade. How much involvement do you want me to give him?"

"Full involvement. Complete cooperation. Anything less might arouse suspicion, and it would be better for all of us if we didn't have to deal with Monroe unless what he's doing here in New York City requires us to take action against him." Eileen is down to six slices now, and as she rises from her seat in the armchair, she wedges four between the gaps between her fingers on her left hand and two between the gaps on the right, along with the steel handle of her knife.

Her footsteps sound against the floorboards as she crosses the apartment, closing the distance between herself and Odessa at an almost languid pace, each stride carefully measured and punctuated by the click of her boot's heels. "Illusions or no," she says, "if you do anything that jeopardizes the operation we're trying to run here, you can consider our bargain null and void. Deal?"

Odessa's face screws up into an expression of distaste. She clearly didn't want to be anywhere near fully involved in Adam's activities, but she grudgingly nods. "Fine. Full involvement." After a slow breath, she nods again. She watches the other woman stand and move forward, eyes cast down to her feet briefly and then back up to her face as her other hand lowers loosely to her side slowly. "You've got my cooperation. I scratch your back, and you guys scratch mine." Or don't stab it. "Which brings me to a favour I want to ask of you."

Stepping past Eileen and Odessa, the silent man stands at the door. Waiting for Eileen, he goes to take off the silencer and resecure the gun in his side holster. His hand goes to rest on the back of his belt as he watches Odessa's back quietly. Those eyes from behind the hood flicker to Eileen. The most subtle of nods is given.

Eileen counts out three of the six slices and places them on the counter in front of Odessa. Whether this is a symbolic gesture of goodwill or a side effect of having eyes larger than her mouth isn't really clear, because she never explains the reasoning behind it. "I make no guarantees." She turns her head just enough to glimpse the shadow's nod in her peripheral. "What's the favour?"

Odessa stares down at the apple slices on the counter, blonde brows knitting together. "I…" Her lips press together tightly in a thin, bloodless line. "I wanna know where Ethan is." She doesn't lift her head, but she gazes up through a curtain of dark bangs to Eileen, imploring her. "Please."


"Right 'ere, love." Comes the cockney accent. Though that's after the dart escapes the tranquilizer gun and imbeds itself in the back of Odessa's neck. The plunger inserting all of the serum into the doctor's bloodstream instantly. The hood is pressed back and the balaclava pulled down with one finger. Ethan takes a few steps forward as he tucks his tranq gun away.

Reaching out one strong hand clasps itself around Odessa's arm his other limb going to sling itself under Odessa's back to support her from totally crumpling. "Just relax." He says softly, slowly lowering her to the ground.

In the shadows, in the darkness, there is an inward sigh. This shouldn't be this difficult or take this long. And then, great, they brought out the dart gun. Jensen Raith pinches the bridge of his nose between his fingers. He feels a mighty headache coming on. Why can't this be like the good ol' days, when all you had to do was look threatening and show someone a photo of their family to get what you wanted?

But does he leave the shadows? Hell no. If anything, he should be slinking back out the way he got in, so he can later deny having any part of this. Or, he could just listen a bit longer and see what happens, and where this goes. If Odessa has any information to give out about Monroe, Raith would rather not hear it second hand.

Eileen gives Ethan a pointed look. "I was going to tell her you don't stay in one place for very long," she says, and it's true. The Remnant has needed to change its tactics in order to ensure its continued survival. "Was that really necessary?" The balisong is snapped shut and clipped to her belt with her free hand, the other still holding the remaining apple slices, each meaty sliver like an extra digit growing out from between her knuckles.

As Ethan lowers the doctor to the floor, she takes a step back, and then another, causing the floorboards to groan audibly beneath her shifting weight. "She's going to pitch a bloody fit when she wakes up."

The tranquiliser may be potent, but Odessa still makes an effort. It's as though her image stutters about the kitchen as she attempts to hold time in place and make an escape.

With her fingers outstretched, Odessa begs time to stop. She stumbles toward the door, past the frozen figures before she feels the passage of time slip through her fingers again. She closes her fists around it once more as she stumbles backward and loses her grip once more. "No," she murmurs, again making a break for the door in the absence of time before the medication can get the better of her. But the sand continues to flow through the hourglass and Odessa finds herself with Ethan's arm at her back, staring up at his face. "What have you done?" She blinks heavily, trying to clear her vision. Make him come into focus, damn it! "I thought you were dead…" She reaches up, eyes held open so wide in an attempt not to slip into unconsciousness. Finally, they close heavily one last time, leaving her to lay limp on the floor.

"I was dead. A little." The wolf says, reaching to the back of her neck he yanks out the dart from her neck.

"Don't even act like this is my fault, princess. You talkin' so long, puttin' your legs up and slicin' up apples, how bored did you want me to get? Fuckin' Christ. Wot was I fuckin' supposed to do? You doin' my part, Raith acting like a fucking creepy clown in the corner and wot do I get to do? I get to stare at a fucking apple I can't eat." Speaking of that, his hand slaps up to one of the slices.

Om. Once Odessa is laid out nicely, Ethan glances around the room. Taking a few steps he goes to grab what Odessa has been passing off as a blanket. Draping it over her he goes to straighten. "I imagine she won't be very 'appy with me. What with me not being dead and all… But fuck me. I thot she was dead too, roight? Ah, fuck me. Let's get out of 'ere."

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