Log:A tour of the Noc

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A tour of the Noc
Characters  •   The Deviant  •  The Caregiver  •  The Penitent  •  The Bravo  •  The Capitalist  •
Location  •  Hephaestus - Common Room
Date  •  2018-12-24
Summary  •  The Capitalist and the Penitent take some of the other Archetypes to visit the Noc.

Out of all of his memories, his time on the Tenochtitlan Station was the Capitalist's most frightening. It wasn't a lifetime of horror the way living through each Reaping was for Cillian, but besides the final Reaping, the ones that came before were those odd snapshots in his mind with notes written on the back with details on what had occurred and when. His time on the Noc was much more brief, but when shit hit the fan, it was a terrifying experience for all of those involved. The station was large with so many places for these alien... monsters to hide and nest and birth many more of them. So while he had mentioned bringing a few individuals for a tour of the magnificent thing that was once the biggest mall in space, once stepping through that mystery door, that sense of unease returns.

Penitent may recognize his attire, the Capitalist was dressed in full Rhys Driscoll mode. The fancy business suit was there, but a heavy dark trenchcoat and a similarly dark scarf, untied, rested upon his shoulders. Taking a few steps further in to allow everyone else space to enter, his gaze immediately looks up at the starscape in the distance. It was as magnificent as he remembered it to be. "This is the Twin Star Observatory, probably one of the favorite places on this giant floating death trap for many."


Dressed in a white t-shirt, jeans and a pair of sensible, practical shoes, the Penitent likewise looks more like Kylie Shorley might on a trip to the fancy side of Tenochtitlan Station. Kylie didn't come up this way very often, usually. She worked her shift during mining season down below. Occasionally she might come up here for a better quality of drink, but more often than not it was to see her friend Ramona. And that didn't involve coming to the Observatory bar. She always had a thing against putting her hard earned money back into Penumbra.

The unease isn't quite there for her. There might be a sense of it, after spending those tense days trapped in the station core when the other areas were vented, but for the Penitent, she found the Island a far more harrowing experience. "It's got a great view of the constelations of Zeta Reticuli. Sometimes you can even see KG-348 from here. The gas giant that the Noc was opened to mine and refine. But Penumbra also wanted a tourist trap on top of that, and you get places like this too." She peers out to the starscape herself, looking thoughtful at it.


Lacking those memories of terror and pain, Bravo is simply just happy to be getting to explore the place more than the last little taste she had of it. This time around she's wearing jeans, and boots with a t-shirt that, in her mind, matches the surroundings better than what she's been wearing recently. "Are there actually twin stars?"

The question seems innocently enough, her head tilting back as she looks up, then around the area, taking it all in from a distance. Briefly. Then she begins to wander off from the door, her hands tucking carefully behind her so that she adopts a slightly tilted forward stance, much like a doddering old English private eye might in those classic stories. She's at least not hmmmming about things. "Zeta Reticuli?" The name causes her to come up to an adrupt stop, head tilting a fraction.


It really doesn't matter that the Caregiver might still be a little off around the Capitalist for variety reasons. When he knocks and says they're going somewhere, well, they're going somewhere. She has yet to wear a pair of pants, but instead of a dress today, she's feeling modern liberation via her closet with a rich red and sleek black floral print mini romper with elegantly long loose sleeves, a lazy draped v-neck, and absolutely jackshit for hemline, short as it is. She doesn't even bother asking where they're going as she traipses in a pair of ankle-tied red chic heels after the man, but when they meet up with the other two women and take a turn for one of the doorways she hasn't been into, she holds her breath with a sudden anticipation.

Whatever greeting on rendezvous she had is stolen promptly. It's stolen hard, visible, swift. She loses every ounce of breath once the scenery changes to space bar flair and observatory stars and her movement draws up short to stare. Letting the others talk, she stands for a moment, does a slow spin to drink it in, then immediately launches at quick clip of excitement to halfway hang over the safety railing so she can see down better. Then her eyes are back for the stars, mesmerized.


Out of the entire station, despite the glass of the windows encompassing this place, the Capitalist felt the most comfort here. This was space, however, and there were many ways to die in space. For a long, silent moment, he stands there proudly, chin lifted, to take in the full view that the observatory had to offer. It was beautiful. And so open. One can't help be reminded by how vast space was and how we were all a mere insignifcant speck within it.

That good-natured smile on his lips now, Driscoll, himself, had been amiable and friendly often, when he felt he needed to be, the Capitalist wanders over behind the bar and sets out an array of glasses before playing bartender. "What'll it be?" For now, he'll let Penny answer all the questions, as he reaches behind him to take up one of the bottles in his leather gloved hand. "While I've only done a short stint as a mixologist before," He's talking about Rhys Driscoll when he says this, "I might still remember how to mix up some mean drinks."


Moving along after the Capitalist, the Penitent grins briefly at Caregiver's staring of the stars. "See?" She just says quietly as she settles in at the bar, leaning one arm against it as she just watches the other ladies. "The Zeta Reticuli sector. This part of space. By now humanity has started working on colonizing the stars, and there's lots of deep mining vessels. This station is positioned in a prime location to both collect on that and to provide a stop over point for people travelling to the far out colonies. Which means a lot of stuff gets moved through here. People coming and going all the time, supplies for the colonies, supplies for the station. A major gas refinery too. And naturally, a whole lot of smuggling came through too." With that, she does glance at the Capitalist, one corner of her lips tugging up in a crooked smile. "It's the new frontier I suppose. Just like the Old West, only a couple hundred years later."

She waves a hand at the offer of a drink, making a very 'whatever' sort of answer to the question as she settles her gaze back on the two other women. "Zeta Reticuli is a binary star system, yeah. There's twin stars. "


"Anything." Bravo replies as she turns her attention towards bartender-Capitalist. She moves in that direction, her hands reaching out to lay flat against the bar, fingers lightly drumming against it. "Something sweet? Not paint thinner like....and maybe not as dark as death." The last words out of her mouth cause her to pause momentarily, then she goes on to explain, "Ran into Dirk somewhere, in one of these rooms, and he served this weird drink that was black."

Then she moves towards Penny, settling on a seat next to her, legs crossing, "Binary star system." She repeats this, her arms crossing over her knee, studying Penny before she smiles about something, letting her attention shift towards the Caregiver, watching her for a second, then back to Penny and Capitalist, "So, sounds pretty amazing. The view is....spectacular, though. I've never seen anything like it before. Obviously. But I don't think I'll ever see anything else like this again...thank you."


Eventually, the Caregiver stops hanging onto and halfway over the railing at leaning perch of fascination. It's unclear if she even noticed what the others were talking about before, but when the Penitent mentions things among the stars are the new frontier like the Old West she lived, she turns around with a tiny 'huh' at the explanation. After another long spell of staring, she eventually realizes that she can see from the bar, no everywhere, not just there at the rail posed like she wants to dive into it all.

After turning, there's a moment where she stands looking at who she knows as Nettie and Cillian, then back at the stars, as if trying to imagine them at life among them instead of the way she remembers them. Then after finally breathing like a normal person instead of in held gasps and forgotten spells, she moves to where the others are situated and seated to launch herself at the Penitent with a standing hug next to the barstool, vehemently tight. It's almost like she's apologizing for it being overdue, and she stays there latched onto the woman with a kind, if somewhat more reserved smile for the Bravo nearby.

"Cill- uh. Can I have a whiskey sour? Please?" She asks this of him as her head finally lifts somewhat from her clinging nuzzle of hug, eyes unwittingly falling back to the view. Now. She may have memories of a life unlike others, but those memories are -extremely- ill-suited for conversation about space and the starts. So it's kind of hard for her to ask anything that doesn't make her sound like an adorable idiot, "Are we floating around up here or are we rooted to a place with no sky to block the stars?"


From his place behind the bar, the Capitalist observes the reactions of both the Bravo and Caregiver, though the latter's is the most extreme. Perhaps it's that 1902 state of mind that makes this all wondrous, where as the Bravo had nothing to grasp, so this wasn't simply magic for her. "We are officially floating in space. There are vehicles that traverse the stars. In fact, some of my clearest memories, strangely, starts before I even step foot here for the last time. The Hephaestus mining crew were doing their last dig before retirement on some lonely rock or other. I was there as security detail for a group of miners."

With one order actually given him, he works on that first, before asking "Any objections to me multiplying this by four?" The bar was beautiful, but like many empty places, there was a strange eeiriness about it. Or perhaps that's just some lingering memories from his time here.


"What was weird about it? That 'Dirk' fellow is a bit strange, though, in general. Which is interesting given the two of you have so much in common," Penitent says to Bravo, considering her briefly and then shrugging her shoulders. And then, suddenly, she's hugged. A gasp of breath and her arm slides around the woman that was Eilis, giving a soft laugh. "There now, it's fine." She says quietly, shifting slightly with the Caregiver latched onto her like so. "It's been a whole lot to take in, hmm? You should have seen us when we first got here too." She gives a gentle smile to the woman.

That smile is then turned on Bravo, beaming with simple delight that the woman is enjoying the view, and she gives the Capitalist a brief nod as his suggestion of multiplying the same drink. For some reason, when she's here, alcohol just doesn't worry her as much. "The last dig, they sure took their time. Ship was late again. Always late, bloody Hephaestus." She gripes good naturedly at the idea, before addressing the Caregiver once more. "Floating, yeah, like he says. I mean, more acurately we're in orbit around the gas giant. Like the way the moon moves around the Earth."


Objections? Not from her. Bravo shakes her head towards Capitalist with a smile, then she glances at Penny to answer her question, "It tasted....like." She frowns, trying to place it, "You know how the air feels, right before a summer storm?" There is some small part of her that realizes she's not even sure that she knows, she certainly doesn't remember ever having been in a storm, let alone experiencing that single thing. But that's the only thing that comes to mind as a descriptor, "And anise. Plus, there were corpses in the glass bar in his little murder palace."

Which might actually be the strangest of the situations. She glances towards Caregiver, offering her a smile as well before she turns herself forward to rest both elbows on the bar, chin resting on her hands, "So you were security, and..." She glances at Penny, her smile softening a bit, "You used those loaders. Did you load the things this mining crew brought over from the planet?"


There's something about how the Capitalist explains about mining, vehicles, and the Penitent dropping the ship's name in conversation that seems to quite visibly build a bridge of understanding for her, because actual logistics just probably aren't going to do it. It comes with a slant of smile and some semblance of backhanded relief as she finally detaches herself from who she knows as Nettie's side and body. She opens her mouth as if to speak, but the Bravo's bit about corpses in someone's personal murder palace and she blinks fast a couple of times. After staring at the other woman like she might have heard her wrong, she slowly eases off eyes to find herself a stool to sit on after tugging it to be close, not naturally spaced in line.

As the question is presented between company, she watches her former cousin bartend with a vaguely distant, fond expression for a beat before speaking to him, explaining her own way of understanding, "Haephaestus was a Greek god. The smith one, among other things. In Olympus, he had a palace filled with clever inventions and steel automatons to do work for him. Like mining."


"I'm sure they wanted to their last haul to be their largest." The Capitalist says in defense of the Hephaestus' delay, though quickly adds as he begins pouring the bourbon whiskey, lemon juice and syrup into a shaker of ice, "The rock was so remote and was guarded by an electrical storm that going in and getting out of there was risky." He then screws the cap closed and gives it all a good shake. "It was all: Go big, or Go home."

He then expertly strains the content to fill up all four glasses. For the most part, his measurements are precise, leaving nothing left over.

He then pushes each glass forward towards the edge of the counter, before taking up his own glass in hand to make his way out from behind the bar. "I wouldn't trust anything that guy served." He says, lifting is own glass to his lips, eyes staring out into the starry void. "What your room looks like, from what I can tell, reflects what's inside of your mind in a sense. The decor, the style, even the clothing provided."


"Yeah, he's a strange one alright." Penny agrees when it comes to murder palaces! She scoops up the glass, shaking her head in thought at it. "I wonder if he'll kill someone here. Likely he's already been told it doesn't matter. Dunno if that would make someone more likely to try or not." She just nurses that glass for the moment, not yet sipping from it, as she glances to the Bravo. "I ran the docks, most of 'em. A lot of loading and unloading ships, yeah. Also logistics of where each ship would dock. When mining season was in full swing we'd have heaps of ships here. Kept me busy." Now that Eilis has moved off to her own seat, she smiles at the woman, giving a little 'huh' at the talk of Greek Gods. Clearly, that wasn't something she knew about. The name makes sense after all!

"Eh, they were always late, season after season. Always the last ship to come through. Didn't know about the electrical storms though. Seems like more risk than it's worth." She returns in regards to the Heph. "Y'know, it's kind of interesting that you say you remember that. I do remember the waiting around for the Heph to finally come in, too. Weren't much to be done on the docks durin' that time."


"Really?" Bravo wonders, glancing at Caregiver when she shares the little tidbit about who Haephaestus was. "That's actually kind of cool, though." She decides, smiling easily at that before she reaches for her glass when Capitalist passes it towards her.

"So a mining ship that would always wait until the last moment to turn up." Facts that she'll never actually need to know, but it it gives her a little time before she responds regarding Dirk, or Deviant. "It wasn't his actual room, but one of these rooms." She lifts a hand, indicating the room their in that has been dressed up like the Noc. "There was another guy there, Connor? He left though, I don't think he liked Dirk, either." She then picks up her drink for a sip, looking pleased that it doesn't taste like paint thinner, or ozone, before she continues, "So if your room reflects you, or inner you...I wonder what mine says about it."

There's a quick shake of her head, dismissing the thought briefly before she glances at Penny, then Capitalist, smiling just a bit before letting her attention turn back to Caregiver, "So how'd you learn about Greek gods?"


"Mhm." The Caregiver nods through a drink with a quick little flash of smile at the Bravo, easing up some as the topic turns more familiar, a bit charmed that the Bravo and Penitent see the connection she seized on to mentally order the concept of a mining station floating among the stars. Though that backpedals some as this 'Dirk' is spoken of again with explaining and after a glance at the doorway they came in through, she decides aloud with blurt, "Connor is Evan." She says this like it means something of merit and strength, "Maybe he'll punch him in the face and dissuade murder for kicks. I don't want to accidentally meet this guy and get offed for experimental purposes." That possibility seems to settle her some. As does the question after.

Drinking again, the brunette is much less accidental idiot when asked about things she knows and she's glad for the subject change, visibly. Even her posture changes with perk of upright. Eilis McTavish knew -all- the fantastic stories once upon a time. "I read a lot. My brother was the librarian. Among other things. I was always taken with mythology. And tragedies. And romances. And poetry. And fantasy. And plays. I was a stage actress in New York City for a small handful of years, once, during a spell away from home." She squints with cut of lashes to look into her glass suddenly, "It helped that I knew all of those things. I didn't have to do what the other girls did to get good parts."


"The Hephaestus was one of the oldest mining ships that was still running and not under corporate control." The Capitalist explains about the rickety thing. "The crew, many of them, have stuck with it since the beginning. The Captain of the ship and a few handful of others founded the company with each member of the crew having a share in their profits." There's a shake of his head followed by another sip from his glass, "A few years prior to this journey, before my security company was ever hired on by them, Evan--" He remembers the fact, Evan's name being the first that comes to mind, but he corrects himself, "Aaron, told me that there was a malfunction in the sleeper pods that nearly killed them all. The sleepers that were there for this last voyage, those were the newest thing on that old ship. But the crew was tight-knit and though the Captain wanted to cash in his share of the ship and company, there were many others who were willing to repair the Heph with their earnigns and continue doing what they were doing." There is some fondness there when he speaks of the Hephaestus crew, though he was merely an outsider to them, hired security.

Strangely, when The Bravo brings up Connor, the Capitalist says after taking another taste of that bourbon. "Evan from Prosperit, Aaron from the Hephaestus, from whta I can remember on the island, they were Connor too. Glenn's rockstar self's bodyguard." It's odd to think of Glenn McTavish as a rockstar!

Looking between both Eilis and the Bravo now, he decides to say, "I'd almost completely forgotten about that. We're in the presence of two stage actresses today."


Finally taking a sip from that drink, the Penitant nods thoughtfully at the threads of conversation going on around her. "Yep," she trails onto the Capitalist's words. "One of the last truly free private mining boats left in the business. Would have been nice, getting out and away from the corporations for a bit, but ... I prefered to stay in one place as much as I could. Though after this place," a gesture around the room, "Kylie had decided no more space stations if she made it through. Pity." Another mouthful of that whiskey and she shakes her head. "I remember Aaron. We were chatting after the station shook and the umbilical was damaged, remember? Huh." She does glance between Bravo and Eilis though, grinning briefly. "That's right! I'd forgotten that too. Eilis was a stage girl through and through."


When Caregiver mentions that she was an actress there is a bit of straightening, and Bravo looks interested, curious, before she quotes, "Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell! I took thee for thy better: take thy fortune; thou find'st to be too busy is some danger." A hand lifting to her chest, resting there for a moment before she drops the hand. "You'd like the stage, then. I told..." She pauses, glancing at Penny for a moment before choosing the name most closely associated with here, "Kylie, that she should come watch me practice Merchant of Venice."

Then she lifts her drink, taking a sip off it before she follows up the topic of stages and plays with something about the mining ship, "So was this a big deal? Being a private mining ship..." She smiles, almost apologetically at them. "Lack the frame of reference to know why, but I feel like it's a big deal from the way you two are talking about it."


All the mien of lingering reserve on the Caregiver that seems to sink into when she's out of element, it falls down after another drink and she's utterly bright-eyed Eilis McTavish again to the pair nearby while she watches and speaks to the Bravo. The post-tragedy version. The Eilis of the very last summer in Prosperity before the Season turned everything upside down. She blossoms into a delighted smile of pure sunshine with the quoting speech, wide blue eyes sparking with curious interest there on the tail end, "There's... a stage? I would go."

The ship and mining talk honestly seems like it's mostly just noise to her, more or less, though she is listening. She drains the rest of her drink and leans forward to put the glass on the bar edge, waiting until one question of relevance is answered by the Capitalist and/or the Penitent before she up and asks, "... what's a rockstar? Glenn mined star rocks?" She may have the television with 80's rockstars on it, now, but it's all videos without the actual television for her to hear the term in use elsewhere.


To answer the Bravo's inquiry, The Capitalist is quick to respond, "With the mega corporations like Penumbra, who owns this place, and Weyland-Yutani..." There's a sour taste in his mouth when he utters that corporation name, "It meant that independant companies were dying, being swallowed up by these companies. I've kept my security firm independant, but I liked being my own boss. Megacorps came a-knockin', of course, trying to force your hand into working for them, but I've done a good job turning them all down. Same with the Hephaestus, which made us a good team of independants. Indies were space cowboys all their own, doing their own thing without corporate regulations, so you had more of a motley crew of sorts rather than the uniformity you'd find working for Penumbra, for example." He considers all of this for a moment, his attention still staring out into the glittery vastness of space, "If no one is in a rush to do anything else, I could give you a tour of the ship I spent months on board." He tries to think of the crew, "Evan was there, so was Caleb an Llesenia." He looks to Penitent now, "Malcolm was Heph crew too. As well as Grace Munson and... " He tries to think, "That rich guy who was kidnapped with the others by the natives on the Island, he was our pilot, Rashid."

Finishing off his glass, he sets it down and looks ready to venture to the lower levels of the station.

The Caregiver's question makes him take pause, having thought that she might have learned the term 'rockstar' by now. There's a little bit of a smirk on his lips, "You know those guys you see on television with the guitars and playing awfully loud music? Glenn was the lead singer of one of those bands."


"Corporations sure did like snapping up talent, so they could control it all," Penitent says with a nod of her head. "Penumbra was decent though, in comparison to others like Wey-Yu and Seegson." Another sip from her glass, and she gives a bit of a huff. "I wonder how long Driscoll could have kept himself independant for." She sets it down though, having only had a few mouthfuls of the stuff when the Capitalist notes checking the ship out. "Sure. I never did get to see the ship. Though, seen one seen 'em all a lot of the time." She winks and turns about, ready to tag along to somewhere else if that's the way of things.

She grins at Bravo, nodding. "I am going to come and watch you practice, too." She assures, before considering Caregiver.

"These rooms seem to have everything you could want to see in them. There can be a stage, for sure." She does laugh at the confusion on the term rockstar, tilting her head towards the Capitalist as he explains it all. "I finally bumped into Llesenia and Angeline again. I never even knew Senni at all here, and sure didn't see her afterwards, though I didn't come out as much."


"I can show you." Bravo offers to Caregiver, swallowing the rest of her own drink when Capitalist offers to show them the ship, pushing the glass away from her as she slides to her feet.

Very slowly she combs back her hair, tucking strands of it behind her ears before she tucks her hands into her pockets, "Did you know you said I?" She wonders, smiling very faintly at Capitalist at that, a brow lifting a fraction before she moves away from the bar, absently walking heel to toe, "It's curious, how you all treat these lives, and..." She trails off, shaking her head, "Anyways. So those corporations sound rotten, and....I'd probably have wanted to be my own boss too. I like making my own choices so far."


"You're painting me a coon's ass with full tail, there, surely." After a pleased bob of nod to the Bravo, there's a sharp, suspect look after the initial snort of surprise and frontier-bent exclamation at the Capitalist with -that- bit in answer-- her once-brother Glenn serving another life as one of those pieces of loud presence and fantastic noise? Everyone's different here, sure, but that particular possibility bounces right back off of her. After eyeing him for a moment while he moves, she slips down to follow with the others, she suddenly starts to laugh, "Oh, you're -not- kidding!" The laughter kind of stops to consider, then starts all over again with trailing giggles on close. That'll be a fun conversation for later, clearly.


The Caregiver arrives from Alien Nexus.


Since the very first room that they entered was Twin Stars, the move from the observatory bar to the lower levels takes the group through much that the station has to offer -- passed the mall proper and all the guest amenenities, they go deeper into the Noc, to the lower levels where most guests don't venture. But it is a place where the Colonial Marshall's department can be located as well as the Penumbra science offices. Further down, they read Kylie Shorley's domain, the docks, and lo and behold, the Hephaestus is still sitting there, looking as rundown as ever.

There was a mild look of fondness on the Capitalist's features on seeing the rickety thing, but he is reminded of the terror that he and the cew experienced there at one point. Entering through one of the umbilicals, he gestures around "This is the Hephaestus. It's not the prettiest of ships and it looks like it may fall apart at any moment... it doesn't give one muc confidence when knowing that you'll be hurtling in this thing through space, but it's still not ready for the junkheap just yet."

This room was very familiar to him, having been here during their flight to the Noc and then... "For a time we were trapped here, having fled the Noc due to the infestation we learned was about the station. One of those monsters actually got on board before we took off, so..." He looks at all of the tables and chairs, looking as they did before the chaos, "This whole place was overturned, with people hiding beneath tables trying not to make a sound, less the alien... thing, would hear you. This is where Aaron died and several others."


Wandering along with a quiet thoughtfulness as she peers at everything again, lingering at the Bravo's side, there's a certain ease that just naturally comes over the Penitent once they get into the lower levels proper. Kylie was much more at home in the industrial parts of the station proper. "I wonder if this all works like it should. Could we release it from the docking clamps? Hell for that matter ... could we fly the ship?" Not that anyone here likely knows how to actually fly the thing. Still, she steps through that airlock and the passenger umbilical, tapping against the edge of it as they move.

Once on the ship proper though, she's got her own sense of curiosity like the other two might. This isn't somewhere she'd been before, and whenever she was on a ship it was more or less straight into hypersleep as a passenger, so hanging around in the crew areas is curious enough. "Oh yeah, I heard one of them got aboard. Probably worse than being stuck up in the core with the Queen, huh?"


As they move through the area there are a few times where Bravo starts to stop, to take things in at a closer level, but she doesn't linger for very long. She keeps her hands tucked into her pockets, smiling with a very faint look of bemusement. When Penny wonders if they'd be able to fly the ship she glances at her, eyes widening just a fraction, "Do you think we could?"

This is something that she can at least grasp, oddly, a little more than the talk of death. On the one hand, she's gotten it that people die, and don't die. But it's still not exactly the most comfortable of subjects, and there is no actual emotional connection to the lose of those peoples lives. So she just stays away from the questions there, but does ask, "Queen?"


There's a whole mess of walking and staring through Eilis-fascinated eyes, ever expressive and open, the sheer expanse of all the futuristic trappings lapsing the woman trailing along into pure silence. And she is trailing behind some, because she's doing that -thing- where she has to touch half the things they pass if it's remotely in reach. It doesn't matter what it is. Tactile brushes of absorbing, drinking in the things they pass. In fact, there's a spell where she literally has to run in a clicking trot through the uninhabited space to catch up because she's trying to push buttons on a slot machine at some point, too shiny to resist and pass up. It doesn't work without credit, of course.

Then they're down right where they were aimed to be and she tilts her head while looking at the ship. It doesn't look like a ship to her as she knows the image of a ship, for certain. In fact, she seems a little disappointed, if likewise impressed by the vastness of it. While listening, her lashes drop in brief to the silver cross at her throat, out of place with her designer chic little romper, hung from a leather cord like it is. Then she finally breaks her silence as her eyes draw up. "Will... you tell me more about Pierce in this place?" The question comes with slow hesitance to pose between the Penitent and the Capitalist.


The Hephaestus, hell, the Noc in general, brought back bad memories for the Capitalist. However, there was the comfort of familiarity for him to just be in this giant heap of junk that the Heph crew called a cargo ship. There's a moment where he falls quiet, just remembering the events that occurred here, both the good and the tragedy that followed. Especially, the tragedy that followed.

Somewhere in his lost thoughts, he hears the Penitent mention something about flying the ship. It piqued his interest enough to turn to her, "One of my earlier jobs was as a cargo pilot." A bartender, a cargo pilot... former Colonial Marshall, a P.I. and a Security Contractor. What has this guy not done in this lifetime? "If these things work in this place, "The holodeck, "Then I could fly this baby."

He'll let Penitent explain what this 'Queen' is, it is the Caregiver who his eyes light upon now. "Pierce.. was Wolfram Kinneson, he as a Colonial Marshall. I worked with him alongside the other Marshalls on Penumbra jobs to... search for the creature on the station. In the end, when the evacuating shuttle was attacked by a swarm of them, Kinneson helped unpin me from the wall, where one of them was holding me hostage with a hand in the shape of a blade, oozing acid the whole time."


The Deviant wasn't invited. This has never stopped him before. He's followed the others along through one of the giant umbilicals in the docking area here, to this large and very futuristic ship. Currently, he observes the group from the shadows -- hidden out of sight, listening. Waiting. Watching. Wearing all that black comes in handy: he easily blends into the places where light does not reach, and right now, he takes advantage of it.


"Maybe, but you would need someone on the other end to smoothly undock properly. Oh wait," Penny grins a little and winks. That's basically what she did. "Though, unlikely you'd be able to get anywhere. Takes so long, we'd probably wake up back in our rooms before any destination was reached. Unless it's a super quick ride you sleep throughout it all anyway." She reaches out, giving Bravo a brief shoulder tap that might be something of an apology for not really being able to get anywhere in the little ship. "We could check out the Ludo too, though. That's a top of the line ship, hey?" She grins, glancing at Capitalist briefly.

Leaning back against the table, arms folding across her chest, she sets to explaining for Bravo. "These creatures that attacked us here, think of them like ... ants or bees. They had a Queen who seemed to be in charge of them all. She was cunning and intelligent, before she'd built up enough of a force to really try to wipe us out properly she kept herself hidden mostly. We were stuck up in that mall with her." She does glance sidelong at Capitalist and Caregiver, considering them both for a moment when talking about the Defender.


There's a bit of a good natured smile in return to Penny for the tap on her shoulder, "It's fine." Bravo points out, but falls silent to listen to the story about the Queen, and all the other things that are brought up.


Listening to the Capitalist's answer with a bare tilt of her head, the Caregiver's eyes take a sweep around the space they're in anew with vague cut and narrow of pensive nature. Outwardly, it's a bit as if she's trying to place the Defender there and after a sober look at the man's perfectly healthy shoulder with fixation, she blinks a couple of times and dusts a fingertip along the length of the cross to murmur fondly, "Different. But the same." There's a ghosting of smile at her lips that comes and goes.

Her attention visually drifts to the Penitent's explanation to the Bravo's own inquiring and then abruptly, without needing a visual, she shudders and rubs at one of her arms slowly like she's trying to bid the goosebumps down and away beneath the fabric of her attire. She starts to wander again after that spell, idly taking to touching at one of the walls.


When the Penitent talks everything that must be done to have the Heph's take off from the station to go smoothly, the Capitalist calculates a few things in his mind, "No, we'll never get anywhere once we undock, nowhere specific anyway. We will have some time to explore, if we leave early enough in the day to do so." It almost seems as if he's up for the challenge, even if he, or Driscoll, has't flown a ship in what could be considered a very long while, having lived another lifetime since he was last year.

At the mention of the Ludovica, especially in comparison to the Hephaestus, the Capitalist is quick to say, and rather proudly, "And which of the two ships remained in tact at the very end?" Of course, the Ludovica was blown up for a reason. While, he may not have known the full details of that whole event, he recalled when it happened. It was a difficult thing to miss.

Noticing the Caregiver's attention wandering the ship, it's almost as if he could read what was on her mind. "He wasn't in here." He says of the incident with Wolfram. He then gestures for her to follow him to one of the windows. From there, they can see the docks below. He recalls checking out these same windows to observe his security crew just outside to ensure that they were positioned properly and nothing was amiss. "It happened out there." He even points in the direction to the wall that he was pinned against, right next to the entrance to the maintenance tunnel.


Leaning on the table right near the Bravo, Penny nods her head at the Capitalist. "I mean you could always take it out just to fly around and all that, but yeah. Nowhere in particular. I wonder if I could set the controls to some kind of timed release. Or ..." she laughs and shakes her head. "We could just come into the Heph mid flight if we wanted, really." Which, in same ways, might make the whole thing kind of pointless. She rolls her eyes at the idea, arms folded. There's a brief smirk and a nod of her head, conceeding which ship outlasted the otherm before her gaze drifts to the Caregiver.

"I remember he was coming to try and rescue me too. I ... tried to buy some time for the people escaping on the shuttle to the Heph here. Ship wasn't docked then, and I got myself caught by the creatures. He shot a few of them, but it was too late for me. I told him to get the fuck out of here, but I don't think he would've actually left me to die if I hadn't made sure he had nothing to save." A shake of her head, and she looks down at the floor of the ship for a moment.


Automatically captivated by the very idea of seeing where the Capitalist points out of the window, the Caregiver follows and looks at the space in the distance, the wall by the entry, her breath kind of hitching and catching for some reason. After working her bottom lip in nigh-bruising hard trap between her teeth with pinch and standing there for a moment, her head and body falls into a sudden melt of lean against the man nearby after she turns to listen to the Penitent's adding to the story of the Defender before he was known to her. "No. He wouldn't have." She probably didn't have to be there at all to know that and it sounds just so with quiet affirmation.

Then she finally breaks her sober and reflective rumination with a sudden posed question, "How are you both walking in this space right now? I-- I don't think I could walk in the empty pieces of..." Home. It's unspoken.


That's when the Deviant strolls right in, like he's been here all along. He's currently examining the slightly long nails on the bony fingers of his left hand. Impeccable nails, actually. Then the hand goes behind his back to join the other as he walks in, taking in the nooks and crannies, the little details and the big set pieces, like he's some tourist in a museum. Which, in a way, this is: a museum of past lives, past journeys now emptied out and hollow.


"The place was in chaos. We were in the process of transporting people from the station to the Hephaestus via a shuttle. On our very first trip, we were atacked by several of those monsters." The Capitalist says, his eyes focused out at the dockyard, the memories of that last stand so clear in his mind. "There was panic everywhere as everyone tried to shove their way into the shuttle, a vessel much smaller than this one. My security team and I were already outside and there was no way that we'd be able to push pass the crowd to board our own shuttle, so we looked for another way out." That's when all of it happened, but it gives some idea of the full blown panic and terror that went on that day.

The idea of entering the mystery door to board the Hephaestus in flight does get a nod, though even he must admit, that sounds far less exciting.

When the Caregiver speaks up on her inability to walk through the empty pieces of... He was curious enough to try and fill in that blank and that is when he notices the 'straggler' aboard. The mystery door was in use, so if anyone tried to enter it, they would end up on the Noc. He was uncertain if anyone else had come in after they had, but it seems that someone did. "I suppose both rooms are currently in use." It's more of a statement than anything, otherwise, why would the Deviant be here with them now. To the Caregiver, he then adds, "We don't have to if you don't want to."


"Well, I took it out of his hands," Penitent says with a brief smile to the Cargiver, shrugging her shoulders. "As for being able to be here, it's ... weird. Maybe you'll be more ready to walk around Prosperity again eventually. Especially if you want to show it to someone who don't know it? I don't know," she glances at the Capitalist. "It's new to us too, to be able to be here." She's quiet, at the panic. The rush for the shuttle plays about in her mind, and her initial instinct to get on board and try to push through the masses. Instead she went and did something very different, making sure the shuttle was able to get away in time. Maybe it's a similarity between Kylie and Anette.

Then she's looking up at the approaching Deviant, tilting her head. "It's a big station that you happened to wander and find us here." She notes, watching him. "Hello, Dirk." Well the greeting is polite at least!


Tales of terror and entrance timing tend to work together in fabulous fashion, lined up right. Right as the Caregiver breathes out a small noise and shifts to stand on her own again out of her lean on the Capitalist while she listens to him and the Penitent with big blue solemn and thoughtful eyes... she catches sight of the other visitor to the ship they didn't enter with. And it scares the holy shit out of her in jump that's starts to come down after a brief flutter of calming hand at her chest. When he's addressed by name, though, she's glued right back to the man near the window with skidding sidestep and smash, studying the Deviant with a keen wariness.


The Deviant offers no explanation as to why he's here. "That it is," he says to Penny, nodding. "I'm pleased you remembered me. So, this is the place all of the commotion was about?" There's no particular judgment there either way; whether he thinks the place is worthy of commotion or not is up for debate. His eyebrows climb as the Caregiver notes him and jumps, and the corners of his mouth curve upwards. The teensiest bit. "Sorry, luv," says the whispery-voiced man, his Yorkshire accent quite evident. "Didn't mean to scare you there."


Listening as Penitent tries to assure the Caregiver that when she feels the time is right, she could visit Prosperity again, the Capitalist adds, "It might take some time." A look is given first to the window, before he turns back to the Hepheastus interior in general. "I won't say it was easy returning to this place, even the Hephaestus, but at least for this chapter of my life, I think it was worth it." There's emphasis on 'this chapter'.

Sensing the fear from the woman who used to be his young cousin, the Capitalist watches the Caregiver with care, his gaze then lifting to view the Deviant again. The man hadn't done anything as of yet, but his presence isn't always the most pleasant. A gentle pat is given the Caregiver's shoulder.


"That's me. Always remembering," Penitent replies to the Deviant, shrugging her shoulders. "Some of the commotion at least. I never came in here, but those docks out there, a lot of commotion, yes." She gives that simple little smile as she watches him, glancing to the Caregiver and Capitalist as she pushes away from that table now, meandering around the common room to look at various bits and pieces. "I feel like there's a let of decent memories on the Noc, even if the end of it was kind of terrifying," she voices to no one in particular. "Though it's weird, anyway, but I'm glad we came too."


Eventually, the Caregiver lets the Capitalist have his own space again, listening to the Penitent speak to the Deviant while she continues to make wary-eyed survey. Maybe she's heard some things the way she's looking at him there in his black-favored attire. Then she just can't help her damn mouth, full impulse blurt, "You're not going to kill anyone just to see what happens, are you?" Yep. She's heard some things of fairly unflattering variety in passing and it's just enough wrong for her to address it. Even if it's done a little accidentally. Of course, once it's out, so she adjusts her posture to something more solid to suit with her brows ticked to draw down.


"Have you ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome?" That's the Deviant's question, posed very casually, to Penitent, though he doesn't explain why he's asking. He glances up and around the ship environs again and nods, once. "It's certainly an interesting change of pace. One can't deny." Then there's Caregiver, blurting things out. The Deviant's gray eyes move back to her, and his smirk grows. Then he laughs, though it's really more of a close-mouthed chuckle. "Viktoria telling you stories about the morgue-bar, is she?" He hazards that guess as he starts to come a little closer.


"I have," the Penitent replies, glancing over her shoulder to the Deviant, nodding just slightly. "Though, I have felt like I belong here since the beginning. I was probably the only one who felt that way, that I am where I am meant to be. At least, to begin with. Maybe there's others now." She shrugs her shoulders after turning about completely, not particularly bothered by the question or its implications. She glances at the Caregiver though, brows lifting up at that question asked before peering back at the Deviant, "I believe the phrase she used was murder palace. You wouldn't be the first to think about these kinds of things. Have you met Lupe yet? Also known as Ramona, and Esme?"


There's no flash of recognition with the name drop in question, but there's also no real answer. The Caregiver may be a bit impulsive these days and she might have decided to nip a paranoia right there in the bud for the sake of the greater good by way of her mouth. But she's not a -snitch-. After a shift of weight in her little red heels between hips, she continues to regard him with her brows clouded, eyes watchful keen. Her eyes slide aside to the Penitent there for a beat, though, in the middle, then back, "... I'd rather just know now than find out later. The hard way." She pauses, a little more natural with concern instead of caution, "There's nothing really stopping you. It's practically self-cleaning here. Especially when people are fixated on finding out how 'real' or 'not real' things are or can be. So I'd rather just know instead of spooking around corners worrying about it."


"I must belong here, too," the Deviant tells Penitent. "Why else would I be here at all?" Another brief chuckle at the phrase 'murder palace.' "Some people just can't appreciate my avant-garde decorating, I suppose. Viktoria blows things out of proportion. Who is Lupe?" So he hasn't met her. Then he turns to study the Caregiver again, his face revealing little. "Well, now. If everyone expects me to kill them," he breathes, "then where's the fun in that?"


"Perhaps we all do." Penny agrees with a slow nod of her head. "But few believe it to be the case. And without everyone to inform you of all that goes on here, I wonder if you wouldn't have joined the many that were desperate to find a way out. Who can say?" She spreads her hands thoughtfully before shrugging. "Lupe is the woman in the room with the door symbol you can't forget. A naked woman, arms crossed at the wrists above her head. Body parts and gore around her feet. Maybe you should talk to her sometime." There's a soft laugh, and she shakes her head, glancing to the Caregiver a moment and then back to the Deviant. "When you answer like that, you're kinda pushing those exepctations." Her tone is thoughtful, and perhaps a touch amused even.


The Caregiver doesn't think it's very funny and one of her hands goes to her hips with plant as she continues to watch the man a good space in front of her. It's almost a seethe, but actual concern about the possibility with everyone so broken all around, whether they admit it or not, it takes most of that away. It's more that she's protectively bulldogging on behalf of everyone. Maybe even him too. Rumors in small spaces of certain nature can be a veritable problem when stress is high.

It's easy to kind of see it all as accidentally cute with her standing there dug in, looking like she looks with not a damn thing to do about it either way. But the Penitent's vague amusement isn't lost on her when combined with the Deviant's backhanded goading. Or at least, she sees it as that. His demeanor doesn't really lend well to it being a joke, considering, even though the actual flippant comment is harmless. She refrains from speaking for the time being.


"We shall never know, I suppose," the Deviant tells Penny. His lips twist at this description of Lupe's door symbol. "I noticed that one. Hard not to." Though he doesn't comment on whether or not he's interested in speaking to her. Then there's another light laugh. "I'm merely misunderstood," he assures her, though he glances to the Caregiver with a curious look. "What's the matter, luv? Cat got your tongue?"


Just a nod. That's all the Penitent has for the talk on the door image, and now it's her turn to fall quiet. Perhaps it's because she's not been directly addressed, but her gaze is distant now. Thoughtful. Her mind may have just wandered off, perhaps.


"No. But I kind of want a cat now that you went talking about one." The brunette little woman finally loses whatever heat and dig in she had standing there with her hand on her hip, watching and studying the Deviant, rushing it out with a gust of breath to accompany. Her hand slides down and her brows knit differently, mild confusion lacing her features. Then it passes as she explains more gently in the posture relent, "Look. We're all stuck together and if you want to move around in the spaces of shock value, eventually, that'll catch up with people walking around carrying damage. So if you're not someone fascinated with death to the point of murder, well, you do your thing to cope. But..." She pauses, "It only takes a spark when you're already in the powder keg. Don't go spooking people to the point of you getting punched in the face. It probably hurts."


"I'm sure the dispensary could serve you some," the Deviant says to the Caregiver. A little joke. He listens to her give her piece, head tilting. "Have I hurt anyone that you've heard about, dearie?" One thin, dark eyebrow arches. "I seek not to shock, but only to serve. Alas, there's so little for me to do here, just like the rest of you. So when I can't be of use, I try to learn -- be it about human anatomy or the innards of a space station -- " Quick glance around at that. "-- it doesn't much matter. If I seem to try and shock, it's merely out of boredom. So tell me." He smiles a little. "What is it /you/ need, that you aren't getting?"


The Caregiver actually snorts helplessly with something like a piece of a laugh at that cat bit, like it's a valid fear and valid joke at the very same time. He doesn't know it, but she's from the Old West circa turn of the century by way of mind and experience, so those dispensers just shooting out what seems like mystery meat -has- been a bit of something to worry on. Especially when people say you can get anything.

When he starts to talk, though, and really talk to explain in his way, there's another demeanor shift-- she's almost earnest in the way she listens, as if she genuinely wants to understand. His question throws her, though. But she doesn't hesitate very long. She shares, "Security. And a body next to me when I wake up. I woke up alone on the worst day of my life when I wasn't supposed to be alone. It jolts me every time the daily waking comes."


His eyebrows raise. The Deviant is a serial eyebrow-raiser: if it's not one, it's the both of them, like now. "And you don't have those things?" He sounds surprised, somehow. He finds a wall and leans rather languidly against it. "Even here, where you seem to be surrounded by others who like you, and want for nothing?"


"Ahhh, well," Penny says, suddenly coming to life. Maybe she was listening the whole time, maybe she just tuned back in moments ago! But there's a sympathetic glance towards the Caregiver. "Unfortunately, I don't know there's a way around that. We always wake up in our room, no matter where we fall asleep. And no one has managed to stay awake for an entire ... day. So to speak. Who knows, given everything that's going on where we're whisked away to live other lives, maybe this place doesn't clean up after itself; maybe we're just living the same day all the time. Which is why even dying isn't enough to change anything. But then, people come and go somehow, so that's not quite right either." She frowns. "Bah. All this circular questioning makes my head hurt."


"No. Just because I'm stable and functioning decently doesn't mean all this doesn't still feel like walking on the ceiling instead of the floor, both of which are occasionally waiting to zing you-- it still stabs at me, hearing or seeing people dear to me as different shades of what I know. Even though I'm relieved and glad to have them." The Caregiver shakes her head with small and short briskness at the Deviant's wondering, candid as all get out. She doesn't really seem that distressed in saying it either because of that damn Eilis state of grace that's still with her, "But people are made to change."

Introspective bit handled, she turns a little downright sulky with agitation while explaining the other hindering, "And there isn't a thing to do about waking up alone here."


The Caregiver kind of ticks her head to Nettie's words prior after that sulk, as if double demonstrating. Then she mentions aside to the woman, "... I went in yelling at Pierce thinking he did it."


"Difficult," the Deviant comments, but about what exactly, it's hard to say. Then he half-turns as if to go. "I'm going to have a smoke, but do think about it. The both of you, if you'd like." A glance to Penny as well as the Caregiver as he fishes a cigarette from a black pocket and lets it dangle between his lips, already heading back the way he crept in. "If I can be of any service...tell me so." And he's gone once more.


"I don't even know what you're good at," Penny says vaguely to the departing Deviant, inclining her head slightly and pushing away from the wall. She glances over to the Caregiver, giving a soft smile of amusement. "Maata went off at Conrad for much the same thing, too. That's how we learned." There's a soft sigh there for her, as she steps closer to the Caregiver. "Would you want me to just be Anette? I probably could manage it, though it might even be more jarring, because I'm not just Anette. When I'm in a place like this, especially," she gestures over the ship interior. "I feel far more like Kylie."


"No. Just because I don't like how something is happening doesn't mean I get to decide that my life and perception and wants are the only ones to matters. Deep down, I want all of you to be who you -feel- like. That's why I'm not calling you Nettie, as far as I can manage it." The Caregiver sighs in a gusty rush with a drop of her lashes, looking and sounding very many shades of Eilis McTavish at the very core. Thinking ahead for others. Considering how to manage others. Intending to avoid fallout or harm. Probably in part at her own emotional expense.

But she's easy enough in explaining this to the Penitent once she's finished eyeing the space where the Deviant departed before, "At the same time, the Kylie name seems too foreign to wrap my tongue around. So I just avoid using your names directly in address where I can manage it. It's the best way for all of us, maybe. I'm not a reminder that way to any of you." She pauses, admitting, "It doesn't always hurt, but when it does, it burns. And I get afraid of losing people twiceover. But it doesn't mean I'm letting go. Just making space where it's needed."


"I guess I'm an almalgamation of all these different people," the Penitent says with a smile, stepping closer and reaching out a reassuring hand for the Caregiver, resting it upon her shoulder. "But they're all in here, and I really don't mind if you call me Nettie. I'm not deliberately trying not to be her, you know? And as others have said recently, I guess any name is better than 'hey, you.' And honestly? Anette Hargreave taught me a lot about myself, I think, and how to carry myself and certain burdens. I'm pretty fond of her for that. I still think about it a lot. But I guess the biggest difference is that I don't have the same burdens she had." She drawns back now, considering.

"Perhaps I'm just a version of Anette that doesn't have the ten years of the outlaw life behind her, and a lifetime of the Reaping to worry about. Even though I do feel that in here, sort of. You know what I mean?" She shrugs, and shakes her head, glancing around. "Do you want to get out of here yet?"


"I think I do know, maybe. Just with different colors on it. I don't ever really feel not-Eilis, but at the same time, I've always known how to feel. So I also know I had my whole life cycle, short as it was, powerful and awful and pained and filled with love. Because I died anyway, after all that. And some things stuck about it. I remember coming to terms. How it felt to let go and move on. Now I'm also made of the things I carried with me on the way out. And not all of that final packing up to go was clean. You know?" Eilis nods a little readily to the Penitent's suggestion on leaving, finally lifting her eyes from the floor. She might have been doing it so long to avoid looking at how wrong their surroundings are while talking about these particular things; it's more of a focal point affair than it is a vulnerable downturned expression. Then she starts to walk, "Why do you think you belong here?"


"I know," Penny says, moving along to lead the way out and back through the station, up to the door that will return them back into that facility parlor. But it's not the quickest of walks. "At first, I mostly didn't feel like Madison. The woman I was before I was here. But I was also terrified of being Madison. She had a lot of issues." There's a moment of silence after this, thinking it through, and then she gives a soft little sigh, as they move back through the loading dock.

"I don't mean here, on this station or ship. I mean this whole place that we find ourselves waking up in after we die. I feel like I'm supposed to be here. Not that I want to be here; I'd like to get out when the time comes. But this is a prison as sure as anything, even if we have these magical rooms that can take us anywhere. Let me tell you the real truth about the people I've been."

"First I was Madison Wellson. The wealthy heir of a legacy, she was good at what she did, but she wasn't the most confident person in the world. When her brother, Conrad, wanted to throw a party on an uninahbited island, she was hestiant but she went with it. She made all the deals to get the island that no one would let us use. I made the bribes, and in doing so sealed the fate of everyone who came to that festival. We manage to trigger an ancient curse, and the dead ancestors of a tribe of natives rose to punish us for trespassing. A lot of people died; and I blamed myself. Scared, alone, she was useless to everyone. Then she was killed, and I woke up here. When I realised my memories of Madison's life were not ... quite there, I was relieved." She pauses there, for the moment.


There's some helpless looking around as Caregiver walks with Penny, because she's still pretty wide-eyed wonder about the sheer size and stars and technological scheme of the space they're in. But she's attentive and thoughtful, head nodding a little with understanding or notation of one thing or another, her brows at vaguely pensive knitting.

Then once they get to the casino area for passing through, she -really- can't help it. She sidesteps while the other woman is taking a moment to collect her thoughts and pushes the buttons a few times on a bright flashing slot machine that's passing near to close enough, trying to make it work. It's a brief diversion that ends with a hnf of noise, but she falls back into step right after in catch up with the same attentiveness.


Watching the Caregiver messing with one of the slot machines gives the Penitent pause, and a soft little laugh. "You need to put some money in," she says with a small amount of fondness there, pausing and looking around. "After some time, I was Kylie. Kylie served on space stations like this all her life. Mostly, she worked on another one in this sector called Sevastopol station. It went bad too, being cut off from communications when an alien creature got on board. She didn't know about the creature, but a group of people with limited supplies? She turned into a looter and a thief, and even shot some people just for basics like food, or medicine. Once she got out of there, she ended up here, on this station, and kept her head down. She always felt terrible about what she did in the past, but she tried to make the most of her life, tried to make up for what she'd done. And then, well. You knew Anette. One of the most wanted women across at least four states. She was a murderer and a thief, though not without a purpose. In the end, for everyone I've been, there's been a measure of guilt." She chews on her lip thoughtfully, "Though they each had different ways of handling it. Or not handling it, in the case of someone like Madison."

A shake of her head as she steps off again. "And then there's my door, that woman weeping into her hands as a village burns in the distance behind her. That's the guilt, right there. Even though I don't exactly feel any of their guilt, any of those people I've been, I still feel like ... I deserve this. This prison. It's okay, because I need to answer for whatever it is that I've done."


"I see." The Caregiver keeps walking as they continue egress out, sudden understanding crossing her features about the parallels drawn between the lives that Penitent has cycled, then the door in relation to that. "I'm not entirely sure what to think in trying to pick my door apart now that I know maybe it's worth looking closer. It's not bad or anything. It even makes sense, I guess. I bet you could pick it out on your own if you gave it a try. Maybe. I don't know, you'll just have to look at it, I guess, it's hard to explain in words and really get out how it feels as a whole. But I guess maybe that's because I don't have the same context to see echoes... and that bit is just a matter of time."

"You call this a prison and yes, I get that, but I also don't feel that for sure. In fact, I don't actually feel much of anyway about this place. Which is strange, too, but my focus tends to be on us, not the place we're in. Feels too out of my hands, maybe. Or it's... mm." She pauses as hey make to finally get back to the stars, stealing and drinking in a look before wondering, "Why isn't this referred to in the life count? The things that happen here still matter and happen."


"You'll have to tell me which door is yours. Did you already? I might have forgotten." Penitent mentions as she steps through the door, and back into the Facility parlor, rolling her shoulders and smiling. "But other people see different things, looking at my door. I know what I feel. I guess it doesn't really matter what others feel; you asked why I felt like I belong here." She pauses, turning about to face the woman that was once Eilis.

"I do count this place, I suppose. But this is honestly the most I've truly come out to interact with others. When I was just Madison, I spent most of my time reading in my room and trying very hard to forget about her life. Sometimes I'd come out. The second time I stayed in, even more. It was weird to remember two different lives. A lot of time spent processing. So I don't disagree that the things that happen here matter." She nods firmly. "But mostly I think it's just to give us a chance to relax and a bit of rest before the next life we get to be."


"No. I don't think I did. No one's been in my room, even Pierce. I spend most room time I'm awake in his, instead. It's like... I'm trying to acclimate to his differences through spending time not just with him, but his room as another immersion piece of him. It has some of the marks that make him different and the man I know all smashed together. It's hard to explain." The Caregiver looks around the parlor for a beat, then the currently muted television with a little 'aw' face that's split second unwitting. Like she can't just turn it back on. She might not know how though. Then she's just plain distracted, the thick haze of past pieces that are clear as bells and foggy poignant imprints, they're all over her as she looks along the hallway adjacent.

"I was never without him, you know. Even though he was... mm. Those last months he was always in the room with me more often than not. Even when I died. It's the second reason I hate waking up alone." A pause, "She's holding a human heart. The woman on my door. It's blooming flowers. But there's vines too."


"No, I do understand." Penny says with a simple nod of her head. "And I suppose you should spend what time together you can, while you can. It's good. Cillian and I have the awkward part where we still remember being brother and sister. Makes things weird, but we're trying to make the most of it. Sort of." She begins to move towards that hall of rooms, nodding her head. "That sounds like ... I don't know. I want to say 'love hurts.' Or something. I don't know. You know you better than I do, I suppose. I think I'm going to lay down for a bit, if you don't mind. But you should come visit me some time, if you care to."


"It..." Eilis won't really say it outloud, not as she was, not here as Caregiver, but there's the barest ceding gesture of her head and posture. Love does hurt something terrible sometimes, she damn well knows that even if it sounds too Debbie Downer to say where she can hear it. She knows horrible heartache through and through, in mere months of a single lifetime. After a hard trap of her bottom lip between her teeth, her shoulders roll it all off and she starts to trail along, probably straight to Defender's door while she has the waking breaths left for the day, "Okay. I'll see you." She only gets so far before she turns to give who she knew as Nettie a fond and gracious smile, continuing after the lull of sentiment.