You're Not My Type


cat_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title You're Not My Type
Synopsis A panther finds a nightingale caged and with clipped wings.
Date June 9, 2011

Central Park

Central Park has been, and remains, a key attraction in New York City, both for tourists and local residents. Though slightly smaller, approximately 100 acres at its southern end scarred by and still recovering from the explosion, the vast northern regions of the park remain intact.

An array of paths and tracks wind their way through stands of trees and swathes of grass, frequented by joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and horsemen alike. Flowerbeds, tended gardens, and sheltered conservatories provide a wide array of colorful plants; the sheer size of the park, along with a designated wildlife sanctuary add a wide variety of fauna to the park's visitor list. Several ponds and lakes, as well as the massive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, break up the expanses of green and growing things. There are roads, for those who prefer to drive through; numerous playgrounds for children dot the landscape.

Many are the people who come to the Park - painters, birdwatchers, musicians, and rock climbers. Others come for the shows; the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater, the annual outdoor concert of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, the summer performances of the Metropolitan Opera, and many other smaller performing groups besides. They come to ice-skate on the rink, to ride on the Central Park Carousel, to view the many, many statues scattered about the park.

Some of the southern end of the park remains buried beneath rubble. Some of it still looks worn and torn, struggling to come back from the edge of destruction despite everything the crews of landscapers can do. The Wollman Rink has not been rebuilt; the Central Park Wildlife Center remains very much a work in progress, but is not wholly a loss. Someday, this portion of Central Park just might be restored fully to its prior state.

It's fuckin' hot out here. Sitting on a park bench, Odessa would like a bottle of water right about now. Instead, she's fished the gold case and lighter from her back pocket and lit up a cigarette. Judging by the crushed filters at her feet, this is about her third. After getting the tip smouldering, she fumbles the lighter. It hits the ground and bounces beneath the bench. "Shit."

First, Odessa attempts to nudge it back out from under the seat with the toe of her green hightops. Finding that unsuccessful, she awkwardly slides off the bench, one hand still clutching the armrest. It isn't readily apparent until one actually looks hard that the rest is actually wrapped around her wrist and holding her there. And with the way she's contorting herself to try and turn and reach the lighter, someone might be inclined to look a bit more critically.

She gives up after a few frustrated and embarrassing moments, pulling herself back up to sit and smoke. It's only been… An hour and a half. Someone will answer one of her text messages eventually, right? She won't have to resort to pathetically calling out for help… right?

The shape approaching this bench-bound one-eyed woman with the platinum hair might be recognizable to her, or it might not. The face is obscured by a Yankees cap pulled low, the clothing chosen to be weather-appropriate but otherwise nondescript. Were it not a time of warmer temperatures, she'd be wearing layers to further disguise her identity and maybe even conceal curves to the point of not immediately seeming womanly.

Her eyes are alert in studying this trapped person, memory serves to quickly inform of the identity, and a smile not entirely absent of cruelty and vengeance forms. It's risky to approach, yes, she could start shouting, but the odds on that score seem in her favor. If there were anyone close enough to hear and react to calling out her target would probably already be doing so. Nonchalance is kept up until she gets close enough to speak in a quiet voice and be heard.

"The things I see when I don't have a gun."

"Oh, fuck me," Odessa mutters under her breath. It only took the space of a few seconds to recognise the face. It's beneficial to remember the faces of people who want you dead, or dismembered. Even if the list in Odessa's case is fairly long.

"Keep walking, Cat. I may not have my badge on me, but I'm still technically obligated to apprehend you on behalf of the Department of Evolved Affairs." She forces herself not to glance at her bound wrist. Pay no attention to that!

"Fuck you, Odessa?" Cat replies dryly, the cast of her lips twisting slightly into a smirk. "Thank you for the invitation, but, y'know, I forgot my strap-on. You're not quite my type anyway. For whatever reason I haven't looked at women the same way since what Ethan did to Dani. What you helped him do to her." She studies the trapped one for a few moments, enough to ascertain that fact, before speaking more.

"Now, about apprehending me, if you intended to do that, we'd not be talking. I'd be frozen in time while you wait for someone to come help you out of this current… jam." Her head tilts, a thoughtful expression partly visible under the cap's low brim forms.

"So why haven't you made me a statue?"

"Gross. You aren't my type." Odessa curls her lip and recoils just a little in the wake of Cat's rejoinder. "And we've been over this. I had no idea what he was going to do to either of you. I didn't even know until you told me."

And then she falls very quiet and very still under Catherine's scrutiny. "Because I'm giving you a fighting chance," Odessa responds calmly. "The same chance I gave to Company refugees. I haven't forgotten the kindness of the Ferry."

"I see," Cat replies in a voice so very calm, placed evenly between heated fury and chilled rage, "I haven't forgotten the Ferry's kindness to you either. Not that I would, being me. You were cut open and dying, I could have ended you right there, but instead I helped him put you back together and sheltered you for healing. Then you go bite the hand that feeds you. It's not wise to attack friends of someone who never forgets, Odessa. For a time I regretted not killing you when it would be so easy, felt the fool for not having taken the chance. But you did assist at Gun Hill, so you do have some small restored credit." The cap's brim is lifted so she can make eye contact.

"You also made overtures about being of some assistance to us. You're a medical doctor, and have some training with microbiology, lab work. I might find you useful. If, that is, your reaching out wasn't just a ploy to set someone up again."

Odessa stays quiet for once in her life. She doesn't try to defend her actions. Maybe it's because she's convinced Cat's already made up her mind on the subject. She does, however, incline her head slightly to indicate that, yes, she was serious about wanting to help. "Go on."

"My project is in its infancy, an effort to build the means by which vaccines against this new and rapidly mutating flu virus can be discovered and produced. It's an uphill battle, probably one of futility, but it's not my nature to just watch and let things happen. If, at some point I manage to set up a secure location for a lab, we may be in touch. I'll need a way to reach you." The cap's brim is lowered, she breaks the eye contact.

"For the meantime, be very careful at DoEA. Mayes is with Humanis First, there's no telling how many snakes she's set up there."

Again, Odessa only nods in response. The idea of secret laboratories and one-woman mass production of vaccines may well be the flight of fantasy Cat fears, but Price isn't about to say if she thinks so. "The virus is problematic. However, unlike the first engineered strain - the one meant to kill Evolved - the CDC actually gives a fuck about this one. And they have more time and manpower to devote to seeing such a project through."

The cigarette is brought to Odessa's lips so she can take a long drag from it, then drape her arm over the back of the bench and flick away the ashes. "So, your resources may be better appropriated elsewhere," she concludes through a haze of smoke.

A nod forms as she listens, Cat at first snorting derisively when she next speaks. "I told that idiot Brennan the thing was engineered, he wouldn't pull his head out of the sand. Probably still has it firmly lodged. This virus, though, isn't just one project, at that. Even the non-engineered flu varieties require a different vaccine each year. It's likely far more practical to not try developing vaccines independently, but instead discover the secrets to reproducing what others discover, and seek to prevent monopoly control over them," Cat speculates. "If even that much can be done."

"Such lofty ambitions, Miss Chesterfield." Her tongue darts between her lips briefly, her nose wrinkles as though she's tasted something bad. "You would be better served by protecting your people, not fighting the man." Both hands may have come up for air quotes if one weren't tethered and the other occupied with her cig.

"The more your people strike against the government, the more excuse you give them to wipe you off the face of the fucking planet." Odessa's gaze narrows in a you realise this, don't you? sort of expression.

She laughs, a cold quietly made sound coming as she raises the brim of her cap again to resume eye contact. "Now, now, Miss Price, if we're going to be formal, I'm Doctor Chesterfield. Earned my doctorate in a real college, and have a real diploma to show for it. Do you? And you should really be nice, before you piss me off more and make me decide to leave without calling anyone to come cut you loose. Or just kill you, which is my first instinct after all you've done."

She takes a step back, fingers re-lowering the cap's brim. "Give me a way to contact you, if and when I have something you can assist with, I'll make secure contact through a technopath, it won't show up in any way that compromises you. We can debate feasibilities then."

Odessa's upbringing - lack of accredited education and all - was not any fault of her own. Her jaw tenses and her lips draw thin. "Don't you ever…" Insult her intelligence? Training? The way she was raised? She doesn't finish the thought. "Melissa Pierce has my contact information. You can get it from her if you decide you have need of me." She sticks her cigarette between her lips again, pulling her knees up to her chest anxiously.

"You don't have to call anybody. I don't need you to think I owe you a favour," Odessa mutters around the smoke. "But, if you mean to kill me, then you should at least allow me my last phone call so I can say goodbye to my loved ones."

"If I meant to kill you, Odessa," Cat assures quietly, "you'd already be screaming from the pain of having your fingers amputated one by one. Then I'd start on your toes. Don't make me regret not killing you ever again, and you won't have to learn how seriously I mean that." Cold as ice, the voice saying those words, not any trace she couldn't or wouldn't bring herself to do that and much more in it. Two steps back are taken, she turns and walks away nonchalantly, paying no heed to anything else Odessa might utter.

Five minutes later she passes the maintenance man seen on the way in, the one with the needed item in his toolbox, and gives him a simple message.

"There's a woman on a park bench, she needs to be cut free. Tell her a panther sent you and your hacksaw."

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