What's Kinder


cat_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif sasha2_icon.gif

Scene Title What's Kinder
Synopsis Cat and Sasha bring Odessa to the Village Renaissance Building after Old Lucy's goes up in smoke and flames.
Date May 15, 2010

Village Renaissance Building

It's a longer trip than normally needed, but not so long as it could be, carrying Odessa and the Russian physician from the fire which used to be Old Lucy's to her building on a snowmobile. Time isn't a factor they have in any great supply. Once the building is reached, Cat uses keys to open the Rock Cellar doors and enter through it. Then there's just the floor to cross, to reach the semi-secret elevator near the manager's office. It's out of public view.

A short stretch of seconds later, a ding heralds arrival on the fourth floor which used to be a safehouse until Cat and friends chased off an HF person watching the building. Now it's just vacant spaces where she still has some medical supplies stashed. Stepping out, she simply says "This way" and heads to the nearest apartment.

The journey to safety is punctuated by shrill cries and low wails of pain from Odessa as she drifts in and out of consciousness. She alternates between thinking to put pressure on her stomach, for all the good it does her with a wound that size, and clinging to Sasha for dear life. Her utterances for the most part are incoherent, though she manages to convey one thought clearly.

"Don't let me die."

It might be kinder if he did.

Odessa cradled in his arms, her blonde head lolling against his left shoulder, Sasha follows Catherine at a brisk pace bordering on a trot in spite of his gait's long, wolfish strides. When the door to the apartment opens, he adjusts the angle of his approach and steps inside, mindful not to knock her against its frame. "«If you have medical supplies,»" he says to Catherine, preferring to communicate in his native tongue, "«bring them. I only want to rely on my ability when it becomes necessary.»"

When. Not if.

Don't let me die.

As the Russian and his armload of slashed woman enter behind her and she's heading for the stash, Cat muses. There might never be a better chance than this, or even another chance period. She's still armed, Skoll has his hands full; she could put two in his ear and finish him. Then she could stand over Odessa and laugh as she slowly bleeds out, dies. It's tempting, so truly tempting.

There's a table not far from the entrance, one of sufficient height for medical attention without needing to bend over. Within half a minute Cat is there to join the others, setting out items needed for the purpose. Sutures. Bandages. Instruments. Medications for coagulation. "«You may not need to use the ability»," she replies evenly. "«I read Grey's Anatomy once and I'm not a bad seamstress. Nimble fingers.»"

Fortunately for both Russian and patient, Cat is unlike Carlisle Dreyfus. She can and does set aside personal desires for vengeance.

"English! English!" Odessa pleads, staring up with wide-eyed fear at the pair conversing in Russian. She can understand a word here and there, but in her current state, it all sounds like jibberish. And when it comes to all things medical, Odessa wants to be on top of things. The panic only fades because she starts to slip away again.

Sasha lays Odessa down on the table, revealing a chest and stomach swathed in wool and stained with blood, none of it his own. It's not that her requests go unheard — simply unfulfilled. "«There is more to field surgery than simple stitching,»" he says, watery blue eyes flicking away from Odessa's bone-pale face to survery the equipment Catherine has to offer. For a civilian, it's an impressive collection. "«Remove her shirt, please. Scissors.»"

Scissors are taken up and brought to bear, one pair provided to Skoll and the other used to cut through Odessa's shirt as instructed. "«True enough»," Cat admits. She glances at Odessa's face, considering translation for her, and over that moment contemplates torturing the woman by not letting her know what's being said. "I told him I read Grey's once and am a decent seamstress. He says there's more to field surgery than sewing, asked me to cut your clothes off, and for scissors."

Once the item of clothing is gone, she begins to shed layers of clothes. "I once helped set right a man's interior which had become exterior, but we had a healer present. So this is school for me still."

"You…" Odessa rasps, unsuccessfully attempting to lift her head to peer more fully at Cat, but she settles for the sliver of her that obsfucated by the tilt of her head and prominent cheekbones. "Listen to everything he tells you," she warns. It seems that Doctor Knutson trusts Doctor Kozlow with her life about as implicitly as she can, given the circumstances. That trust doesn't extend to Miss Chesterfield, Esquire.

As Catherine works, Sasha is trading his leather gloves for a pair of sheer surgical ones that snapped on and then adjusted without any additional fanfare. This is usually the part where he's supposed to report on the damage, or at least explain to Catherine what he's doing, but either he views this as a waste of his breath or has difficulty concentrating on more than one task at a time. Both.

Wordlessly, he places one hand on Odessa's shoulder to hold her in place on the table and gestures with his eyes for Catherine to take the other. "«This could take several hours,»" he feels obliged to inform her in a tone that sounds brusque to Odessa, but so does most Russian to non-fluent speakers. "«Are you sure there isn't someplace else you'd rather be?»"

Gloves are reached for once she's shed a few layers, then the scissors are taken up again. Cat moves them briefly, but seems to decide it isn't necessary to deprive Odessa of the dignity in retaining her bra as a man works on her opened abdomen. She doesn't reply to the spoken words of skepticism and the insult they contain.

Cat does, however, grace the Russian with a spoken answer. "«I'd rather be on a stage with my guitar, blowing the audience away. But life's journey contains odd forks in the road. Are you saying you don't need assistance, and would prefer not to have it»?" She places hands on Odessa's shoulder as non-verbally asked to do, applying only the pressure needed to hold her down, but seems quite ready to depart should she be again invited to.

Of the things among the supplies Cat provided, one thing isn't present. No morphine for you, Odessa.

Of all the things that would upset Odessa, being seen half naked when one's eyes should rather be focused on her spilling intestines doesn't really rank. There are several former residents of Level Five who would be more than amused to know that while on the makeshift operating table, Doctor Knutson isn't being administered any painkillers. Turning her head to one side, she coughs violently several times, blood trailing from the corner of her mouth and across her cheek. She shuts her eyes tightly and braces.

Sasha does not ask Cat to leave. Neither does the pointed look he gives her imply that he doesn't need the assistance. In situations like these, four hands are always better than two — even when the other person's set would at any other time be wrapped around his throat.

It takes an hour to put Odessa back together, and if there's no morphine available maybe she would have appreciated Gabriel's presence in the makeshift operating room. He could have taken away the pain by numbing her nerve endings to the sensations Sasha's ability-assisted surgery inflicts upon her abdominal cavity. What few words are spoken during the course of the procedure are in that same hoarse language, stilted and succinct, once hissed at a point when the tendons in the Russian's muscular arms — sleeves peeled back — stood out under his skin like metal cords pulled taut to the point of snapping.

He's disinfecting the stitches that cinch the blonde's belly shut when he gives the first real indication that her long-term chances of survival are better now than they were when they brought her in. "«She'll need a sedative,»" he says. "«I'm aware of her condition, but if you have morphine—»"

The procedure is observed throughout, instructions followed and assistance given, adding it to her repertoire of such knowledge along with an impression of the degree of touch and precision needed. Maybe in future Cat will be able to perform it herself.

Afterward, when the Russian is disinfecting sutures, Cat gives a brief consideration to the issue of pain and how to manage it. "«If necessary. I may have a better way to resolve the matter of pain she must endure. In my travels I've come across a woman whose talent is to manipulate it. But if need be, which in your medical opinion is more severe? What she would suffer now, or the agony of withdrawal again?»"

At some point during the process, Odessa loses consciousness, her skin far too pale to be encouraging. — Too grey to be encouraging. But at least it stops the involuntary thrashing for a time. When it's over, the woman is awake again, her blonde hair plastered to the sides of her face and her forehead, trickles of blood cutting dried up riverbeds from each corner of her mouth to trail down toward her ears, depending upon which way her head happened to be canted when she started coughing the stuff again. It's wetter, redder, at her lips.

Weakly, through half-lidded eyes, she stares up at Sasha, recognising one word in Russian as well as she does in English. "«Morphine,»" Odessa agrees. Demands. Withdrawal can be dealt with when she's not wondering if she should have been begging him to kill her rather than save her.

"«Oxycodone,»" Sasha suggests vaguely. "«I don't know what you have available, and in this weather—»" He blows out a low snort through his nostrils. "«Use whatever medications you have to curb it until you can bring your pain manipulator in. If one dose of morphine to help her sleep causes a full relapse from which there is no return, she has worse problems than those I've left her with. Watch her. Help her. You people are good at that.»"

A pause, then. "«And thank John Logan. He's undermined Dreyfus' efforts since the beginning.»"

Silence extends, Cat taking a quiet visual survey of the woman's condition, seeking to judge the amount of blood she's lost and the lasting effects from that, whether or not arranging for a transfusion is necessary. There is temptation, then, to let her endure pain sans morphine or Melissa, which goes unspoken. As does her questioning of whether or not Odessa will have the discipline to force herself off the drug again.

Some mild degree of surprise shows on her features as Logan's name is spoken, shown in an eyebrow raise some might associate with Spock. "«That's interesting,»" she remarks. "«The man's name and presence surfaces in odd ways, and at odder times.»" Cat turns away from Odessa, and is gone for a short time.

On her return she's bearing a syringe and seeking a vein to administer it to.

Odessa turns her left arm slowly to expose the bend of her elbow where fading track marks remind of frequency of use. Though to her credit, none are terribly fresh. "Sasha," the blonde says barely above a whisper, turning the wrist of her other hand as though she might be wanting to take his, but makes no other outward indication of this. "Spasibo." Delaying death is cause enough for thanks.

"«He could be a formidable ally,»" Sasha adds, "«if you allow it. And so could I, if you're willing to look past my transgressions the same as you've looked past Holden's and Raith's. Ruskin.»" He looks down Odessa and peels a strand of crusty red-blonde hair off her cheek between the tips of his gloved fingers, which he then tucks haphazardly behind her ear. "«This one, too.»"

To Odessa, for the first time in English: "You are welcome."

First a small amount of liquid is ejected from the syringe, to eliminate air bubbles which might terminate Odessa, then the needle pierces flesh and opiate contents are injected. She has good touch, applying just that amount of pressure needed to enter the vein without tearing through it and the precision to hit target. "«I am not Carlisle Dreyfus. I don't permit the desire for vengeance to rule my life. And there are people in the world who've committed far worse crimes than you, Holden, or this woman.»" Possible intel there, in the unspoken: that she doesn't judge Eileen or Raith as having personally affronted her. "«I may soon speak with John Logan. And others,»" she intones gravely. "«If Abigail perished, as I believe she has, her absence will be notable.»"

After injecting Odessa and withdrawing the needle, she briefly looks at the woman's face. Dryly, she remarks "You're welcome too."

If Odessa could find the energy, she might be able to manage a more grateful smile for Sasha than just the minute twitch of her lips that indicates that she made the attempt. She might also shoot Cat a dirty look. She may not have any clue about what the other woman seems to think she's done to her, but she knows that Cat believes she's done something heinous, and that's enough to make her distrusting. Or at least excessively suspicious of the darker-haired woman's motives.

Heavily, Odessa's dark blue eyes blink once. Twice. The third time, they don't open again. She doesn't look peaceful by any means, but at least she's resting.

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