Log:Back to the Drawing Board

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Back to the Drawing Board
Characters  •   The Capitalist  •  The Penitent  •  The Rogue  •
Location  •  Facility - Rogue's Bunker
Date  •  2019-03-05
Summary  •  The Capitalist and Penitent pay Rogue a visit while they hash out conspiracy plans, improbability, AI, the Ethan Drake paradox, and the curious message given to Loner.

Ever since stepping foot into that one door and being transported to a place that existed in the same... universe, is that the word? Of another lifetime that he has memories of, the Capitalist can't help but focus on several ideas of what this could mean. After getting himself cleaned up and changed out of bloody attire, he takes a much needed glass of brandy back to his room to jot down more notes.

At some point, he steps out of his room, perhaps to test out some theories he's had. Perhaps not at all overly odd, he has a note in hand, one that he seemed to have picked up off the floor, it having been slipped into his room beneath the door. He's reading it in silence as he makes his way towards the parlor, but it's not the dispensary or that damn radio that has his interest now. Nope. Once there, he's standing before one of the two mystery doors, looking thoughtful.

Even though he's gotten himself changed, he's still dressed in similar attire to what he'd worn earlier, but this time instead of a white dress shirt with tie, he has on a black shirt, with black slacks, dress shoes, the works.


Penny came out of that same encounter shaken and disturbed by the whole thing. She's normally better than that, but it happened so suddenly that she was unprepared to come face to face with Madison Wellson, and so, she ran from it all. After spending some time talking some things out with a very drunk Caregiver, she retreated to her room to shower and change also.

Now she's come out again, dressed in her loose fitting casual clothes again, at the dispensary getting herself something to drink. A steaming cup of tea is produced and she's thoughtfully wandering back towards the parlour to consider the radio further, only to spy the Capitalist dressed all in black now and standing before the magic door. "So what do you think?" She wonders by way of greeting, glancing at the door herself.


The Rogue is actually cleaned up. This might be a Facility first. Generally speaking the man hasn't looked bad, but he has looked like he's either rolled right out of bed or put in 10 hours on the Heph in BDUs and broken in utility clothing. The button-up is even pressed even if it screams 'casual holiday'. Idly he fidgets one hand shuffling a deck of cards thoughtfully while overhand carrying his coffee.

Feet slow as the Rogue brings the coffee up, nodding to either of them, but not interrupting more than to offer greeting before giving the two nebulous doors a look askance. "Hey." Still the radio being here and the tele being absent is making even him wonder. That misplaced accent on him asks with a genuine curiosity, "Everything alright?"


"It wasn't my imagination then? It felt like we were transported in time." The Capitalist says in response to the Penitent, though his words come out in a slow, thoughtful way as if he were still mulling over things around in his mind. Folding the piece of paper up, neatly, he tucks it into one of his trouser pockets, his hand remaining hidden there for the time being, giving him this casual stance. "The longer I was there, the more real it all felt. You know, the fuzzy memories, those polaroid snapshots of our past?" Here, he turns to look over at Penitent now, "It really felt as if we... or at least, I was there at that moment. Never mind that it doesn't make any sense for Conrad and Madison to be there with Dahlia, carrying a bloody... Eastman," That's the Fool's incarnation that he's most familiar with, oddly. The Marshall's dispatcher on the Noc. "Into some random, out of the way, hospital. We weren't there, but just being there--" Then the Rogue appears and for a brief instance, the Capitalist pauses in his words.

"Everything's as fine as can be." A slight pause, before he decides to relay some tidbits of information, "Bella stabbed the shit out of Dahlia... Angeline's guy last night." Dahlia's name comes first, because that's who he saw once they stepped through the mystery door, but he switches to a name that, perhaps, the group may know better, "So we carried him over into one of these doors," He gestures to them, "only to find that we've stepped back in time. Remember the talks of the Island? Not the Lodge, but the other one? We were in that universe, we were those people... but younger. A /lot/ younger."


"El Sable," Penitent supplies as another name for the Fool, shrugging her shoulders. "He was El Sable." Everyone knew about the masked avenger that would often stand against the monsters of the reaping. Sometimes Anette and him fought side by side, though she had no idea who he was. Lives saved all around. "It was real. I wasn't prepared for just how real it was going to be to suddenly feel like that again." She admits with a bit of a thin smile. She's not keen on the idea of going back to that, obviously.

There's a smile for the approach of the Rogue, and she dips her head towards him. "Caleb," she greets easily and naturally. "You heard about the whole thing with these rooms having people and full worlds in there now, right?" Capitalist explains what happened better than she was about to, so she just nods thoughtfully. "You know, I should have expected it. Lupe told me that when she went back to the Noc, she was an actual synth again. She actually became a robot. Probably isn't so surprising that we became ... those people again, given that."


The Rogue drinks his coffee quietly, but the blond's eyebrows arc up at the news that Bella stabbed the shit out of someone. There's no alarm, but it seems news is news. Blue eyes, paired again, carry back to the doors, pause, and furrow with a squint. A glance is spared over his shoulder to the parlor at large in a sly glance that still, like the clothes, seems to pull strong from his time as Sinclair. Emily's clarification earns her a slow nod of recognition. The greeting gets a lift of his mug to her. "I remember El Sable."

He pauses and holds his words leaving the smile warmed on his cleaned up face. "Ja ja, we um... We went back to Oregon. There were some...notable differences." Looking around where traffic brings newer faces he glances back to the both of them at least trying to keep that relaxed posture. "Ran across something might be of interest to the both of you. Interested in your thoughts really but," His eyes squint and the expression is thoughtful if not entirely puzzled. "Would love to pick your brains on a few things. But not out here in the open. Theory tends to breed hysteria and right now, eh, not entirely certain that'd be so productive."

He looks to his coffee to give it a swirl offering, "Would you be up to joining me for a sit down over it?" Which is to suggest, someplace out of direct earshot.


When the Penitent reminds him of just who the Fool was in Prosperity, the Capitalist 'Ahhs'. "Right. I knew he looked familiar. Somewhat." Cillian, himself, had no care for the masked hero, but was always glad to have any help that the El Sable had to offer! Unlike Penny, it seems that the Capitalist looks like he's preparing himself to do just that: Go back to the universe of the Isle, even if not to that exact point in time. He's grown up so much since 2010 when he was 18. Not that he knew the exact date that the Visionary had pulled them into, but from what he's seen of his sister and himself, it was close.

Though when the Rogue brings up Oregon again, the Capitalist has to ponder a little on this, before realizing that he's talking about their most recent memory. "You went back to the Lodge?" A curious look on his face, but this mention of theories has him him interested. "I have an idea of my own that I want to try out, but sure." A lone look is given the parlor, "We can talk somewhere private." As they begin to walk back towards the hallway, he then asks, "Are you inviting?"


Noting that feeling of preperation coming over the Capitalist, Penitent simply asks, "Why then and there? Of all the places we could go and who you could be, why Conrad?" It's not a judgemental question, nor does it sound like she's trying to talk him out of it, specifically. There's a slow nod to Rogue as she thinks. "I could do that. I'm curious about ideas, but wary of being taken in by lies given to us by this place. It feels like an attempt to keep us ... complacent." Which really, shouldn't be a difficulty for her!

She shifts then, as though to start to make her way to wherever the Rogue is going to lead. She's quiet for the moment. People have ideas, and they'll share them or not soon enough.


The Rogue nods simply to the Capitalist, "Ja ja." The answer comes quiet and thoughtful with a faint nod. As there seems to be agreement he just starts walking not toward the anywhere rooms but the Hall of Rooms he's called the 'filing cabinet' once or twice. Penitant's words draw a wide, slow grin from the man not often found in this place on him. "Eish! Well, then I see we've found the right company to have a drink with."

Halfway down the hall he pauses turning where there's a man laying in wait in a cloak in a shadow etched on a door. His hand comes up and there is a pause looking to them, "Apologies. The arrangement has proved difficult for some." Which was to say anyone having PTSD over Dini's bunker which looked no more than a cement hole than the Rogue's room. Still, it's finely furnished for having polished concrete walls. Yes, Cillian, this might be in theory where the paycheck you gave him went. Or at least in theory.

With no more preamble on it he offers, "I'm entirely in your corner that this place is trying to feed us a lie to keep us complacent. The more disturbing news is that it's working." The coffee mug is set down on the long high-top table as he takes a seat. Looking back to Driscoll he enlightens, "Went back to Eugene, not the island. Two years before the incident Lyle Lucas drown and died in that lake like the little girl that assailed you when you tried to cross the water. Left his inheritance to Ethan then. Didn't think that'd be called in but he did. Where we went? It was after the island and... after my death but there I was as kiff as I was the year before everything went utterly to shit. Now isn't that a curiosity. Not even a ghost. My dogs were there too." He lets them take that math as his ante into the puzzle. A hand invites them either to the table or the couches as they want.


As the pair follow behind the Rogue, still caught up in their little conversation, the Capitalist finally says to Penny, "Because in Conrad's case, I feel that's one of the few lives where we could possibly make a difference in. Some of the others, those were out of our hands completely." Once they get to the Rogue's door, he does take the time to examine the symbol there. He can't make heads or tails about what any of them mean, so rather than occupy himself with trying to break down the meaning of this cloaked man, he enters.

This place did give him a sudden sense of claustrophobia, something that he's never really had in any incarnation. Then again, it could be that PTSD kicking in... or the fact that most of their rooms looked like luxury suites. This was a well-made bunker. His eyes look over the interior with some curiosity at least, noting the placement of furniture among everything else that you might find in the abode of a doomsday prepper at least. Or, that's what the Capitalist is trying to compare the Rogue to.

"This is what this place conjured up for you when you first woke up here?" Nevermind that, what the Rogue has to say about his trip to Eugene after the events of the Lodge has him turning his full attention back on the man. "Sure, these rooms and everything here is tossed in to make us complacent, but I'm hoping that some of it, any of this, leads to something." Though his interest now is the fact that Rogue was alive in Eugene despite having died. Or so he'd heard! "Did anyone there recognize you, aside from those you went in with? Then again, how many people knew that you'd died?"


There's a little smile there at the apology, and the Penitent shrugs a little, glancing over the room, inclining her head slightly. It's not something that bothers her especially. After Creepshow's room she's not really sure much could when it comes to seeing what the rooms decide to give people. "Of course it's working. If it wasn't for Cillian here I'd probably be just as complacent, you know. Feeling like I deserve to be in a prison like this is pretty much my whole ... thing. I'm always complacent."

She still casts her gaze over the room a little, nodding vaguely at the Capitalist. "Personal closure of some sort?" She wonders at what the rooms might lead to -- and also, what difference something might make. Though she's not sure what difference it will really make to ... anything, really.

"Wait you mean you went back there now, to a point before that summer, and died there? I'm not following." She glances to Rogue brows raising.


The Rogue looks around at the room all leather furniture and finery buried in fortified ground, or with the appearance of. Tapping his back teeth together thoughtfully he really gave it a good look not really considering this is what he was 'given' before he even really knew himself. "Seems to be. Has what I need. I'd say it's fortified but that doesn't stop them from fekkin taking what's mine out of my bed when the reset comes like anyone else's." It gets a shrug. Suits him well enough: get what he wants, lay low, fortify, repeat. Just like every incarnation of his really.

Attention from the Rogue shifts readily back to listening to the tidbits brought up. The tally is given in short order. Turning to Emily he runs the new time-line, "I died in Lakeview the second time, for good in the late summer of 1989 dealing with the Freak. Witness to this were Colorado and Ethan- who," he holds up a finger looking between them, "Is the same Ethan Drake from" he points to Driscoll, "your island, boss." Yeah he was good with the affectation. Continuing he offers curious himself, "We went back to the anywhere room in the following early summer in 1990. Short story, back in 87 when I died the first time I left Ethan enough to get by and they got a house after the world went to shit, college and what have you where he, Ethan, started working on his degree in Anthropology.. While there? Bastian Roen and I were veeeery much alive. Not dead. Not ghosts. As healthy as we were before everything got weird."


Seeing as there was some sort of offer to make themselves comfy, the Capitalist settles down into one of the leather seats, testing it out some. "Very nice." He murmurs, fingertips touching the real leather. He also has a leather soft and seating in his room, but his looked like a cross between a full blown office and some fancy executive suite.

There's a frow that forms on his lips when told of their adventure to the Lodge -- if not to the Eager Beaver, exactly, but that's how he refers to their encounter or story there when describing things to people. The Lodge. "Were you really who you were? I mean, are you sure you're the same person who you were, the one that died at the Eager Beaver?" Though he doesn't dismiss the fact that the Rogue's friend, Ethan, was Conrad Wellson's college professor at one point. "I thought he looked familiar, strangely..." Though his attention moves off to look at Penitent, deciding to voice his own ideas now, "I was thinking of going back to that moment when I'd first pitched the idea of Wyred Fest. That boardroom meeting... that you had to agree with me on, to impress our father." Yes, that was still a sore issue for him. "What if we... or I decided against the festival altogether? What would the outcome of our lives look like then?" Leaning back deeper into his seat, he ends with, "That's what I'm planning on doing. Preventing Wyred Fest from ever happening."


There's a frown from the Penitent and she shakes her head. "I'm still not following, Caleb. Give me the timeline from your point of view exactly? You're using years and I don't know if you mean you died before we were ever at the lodge or came back here and went through to a point before then and then did it. But either way, it sounds like nothing much has happened."

There's a vague little nod at Capitalist's idea. She was expecting something like this. "I see no reason to think that it's actual time travel or would have any effect on us or our situation," she says simply. "I still lean on the theory that it's a fantasy, facsimile of whatever reality and life that we lived. It doesn't change what actually happened, regardless of what changes we effect upon the situation while we're there."


The Rogue sets teh coffee cup back down letting it wobble. Moving to the side of the room where the walls arc up he digs through one drawer. Wrong one. He gives a light yank on another and pulls out chalk. As the concrete is sloped he draws right on its surface using it as a chalkboard. "So, for starters, yes. I mean I was unmistakably back to being myself from , eh I'd say 88. Had the scar on my arm, but I wasn't scorched or a pile of ash,, so that I had a body? I'm going with I was me.. So here." He moves to draw the following timeline on the wall:

1987 - Lyle moves to Lodge 1987 (L) - Lyle dies in lake. Rescued 1989 - Lyle dies on Island(2)

    - (Ethan Drake lives)

1990 - Return to Eugene. All alive.

The Rogue circles the entry where Ethan Drake lives and looks at them curious. "Same chap what you knew and slit his throat on another island Colorado told him not to go to." His arms fold and he eyes the blank space on the other side of the wall. Reaching up he starts to work on a new timeline for them. "What I've noticed though is I don't have any cognative memory until post Noc when I was working for you, Driscoll." Yes he's keeping that name for the Capitalist. "Yet, on the island for Wyred Fest? He seems to have known me? The things that we didn't go back and 'remember' until very recently. Same man who started his life by dying, and ended it younger and living long enough to... what? Allow the fist encounter you know to still be true?"




"It's still a reality that I'd like to see played through." The Capitalist responds to the Penitent, his eyes on his sister for a moment longer, when he says, "I was hoping that you'd be there to help. I mean, without your presence, I suppose, the whole venture would have fallen apart either way." That much, he knows for certain. "That said, I don't see this helping my... Conrad's situation with his father, having called a meeting and then backing out of it."

Though now with the Rogue actually writing out some sort of timeline for his story, the Capitalist rises from his comfy seat to take a better look. "Did you actually did back in 1987? I mean, it said rescued. So, you... drowned and someone performed CPR or something like that?" He recalled the mention of drowning. "I don't know what any of it means really, especially as you're able to return to an encounter in which you died, to a point in that universe's future and still retain the same, well, everything as you did as if you were the person living that Lodge life."

The Capitalist doesn't mind at all being called Driscoll. But then again, being called by any of the names that he's ever had, has never been jarring to him. Though once more, Sinclair's words make him blink, brow furrowed, "But how? I mean, I can't say anything about it." Another look is given his sister, "We died before Professor Drake did, so anything else that we know about what happened there came from those who sacrificed their lives to stop the curse. But, is that what Professor Drake said?" He's only using this name because it's that particular person in question that they are talking about, "That he remembers you? The Lodge you, I mean."


"Okay," Penitent says after the timeline is laid out before her, nodding. "So the only thing you've done through the magic rooms is go to 1990 where you should be dead. That reinforces my idea that the world we're creating is a copy of the existing one, likely drawn from our subconscious. Or the combined subconscious of everyone participating, perhaps. Did you interact with anyone who wasn't one of us who should have known about Lyle, and known that he died?" She wonders quietly, nodding a little.

Leaning back in thought for a few long moments, she nods vaguely at Capitalist's questions, as if echoing them. "I'll be there to help," she says quietly, when he voices that hope about what he might like to do. "I've got some ideas maybe." She offers a bit of her reassuring smile before turning her attention back to Rogue.


The Rogue chortles dryly with a shake of his head, "Kid was grey and floating like a dead fish. CPR. Two day hospital stay. The whole it. But he was- I ...was pronounced dead there." With a sigh his eyes flick over his work as it's getting jotted out. A murmur leaves him, "Knew in 87 was going to wind up like that little girl. Wasn't leaving that Lodge." Squinting at the first timeline he taps the last entry, "In transparency, we visited the house in Eugene. We didn't go back to the lodge and ja no. No one else did we run into. I-" He works on finding the short answer to sum things up without getting into it offering quietly, "those, um, were all my people. So no."

Looking back to the wall, "You have your island which, transparently, we know I was not there for in any configuration. If Ethan's right? That could be why. But also leans on my theory that none of this is fekkin real and we're all... something and somewhere else. How else does a man at 54 die to save a bunch of people having been a youth once with a past not lived and explored until after a life in space and after gunslinging demons in the desert? A life revisited. Memories retroactively remembered or written perhaps?"

The Rogue has a seat again folding his hands around his coffee mug. "We have a couple theories, none of which are particularly a lovely thought. Maybe we're dead and atoning for... something. Putting ourselves up for something trying to find or...change what? I don't know. Not my favourite theory but one worth leaving on the board. More so I think Ramona being Ramona? Might be the clue we ought to look at."


"What would happen if you went back to 1990 and visited your family then?" The Capitalist asks, perhaps curious about the result of this himself, if he were to try it. "Would they freak out because you're supposed to be dead? That's a theory I would like to see tested as well. If the other inhabitants know what happened to us. Either those who died or just the survivors and what they'd gone through. If it were made public knowledge that is."

Some of the other things which are said brings that non-too pleased expression on the Capitalist's face. "I don't get it. So he didn't have memories of you during his time on the island when we experienced the island? But in afterhought he did? I mean, if I have to be honest, sometimes we forget things. People in our lives. But I guess, even those long gone, if you were close enough to them, are never far from... your heart." It's pretty sappy and the Capitalist regrets even uttering those words. The rest about their possibly being dead is something that they'd considered before, but, again, not something that he'd like to believe.

To Penitent, or most likely, to the group as a whole, he then brings up, "What if there are multiple universes. I mean, that's what scientists have been trying to figure out for ages now, right? But whatever those mystery doors lead to, if there's a way to stop ONE Wyred Festival from happening to save a bunch of folk, I'm willing to try it out. And like I said, see how differently our lives become from there." Though he knows that if this happens, Conrad would never have met Maata.


"Only way to find out is to try it out and see what happens," Penitent says with a considering nod of her head. "Go to a place we've died and interact with people who should know. Wait, Max did this?" She nods slowly. "I don't know if it was after her death or not, though. She mentioned going home and seeing Max's mother, who acted like she was just staying a weekend away from college." She turns slightly, glancing across the room as she considered. "Given that I think it's all there as a method of keeping us happy and not, say, thinking and plotting of ways to get out of here," she nods slowly. "My guess is that people wouldn't know about the death thing, and wouldn't behave oddly."

She leans back, considering the talk on Ethan Drake. There's a strange mix of memories. She remembers the Professor from the Island and vaguely from his history with Conrad, but she also remembers Ethan Drake being her ex back in her highschool days, which wasn't that long ago from Emily's perspective. "Memory is a tricky thing, I guess. If he feels like he remembers, he probably does. Did he before? Hard to say, especially when we know this place can simply write new memories whenever they seem to want to."

Nodding once more to Capitalist, she considers. "That would probably require staying there for a long while to see what happens and what doesn't. You'd have to live it for long enough to observe the results of the experiment. I can go back to Madison, but I'm not sure how long I want to commit to being her."


The Rogue snaps a look to Driscoll with perhaps a harder line than intended. "I won't do it. Visit Christian's." Alright, no love lost there with whateer Lyle had going on. Smoothly he moves past that notion to the question, "Who said he didnt' have those memories to begin with. What I'm sayin, hoss, is that we shouldn't take anyhthing for granted."

ooking to the Penitent there's a slow not of agreement and the wonder creeps back into his eyes, "Not Max, Ramona. The synth. The body? Superfulous to the programming that runs a synth. A life reset with a button. What if... we are running the same program and the bit of code we are is all that's being told that any of this is real?" Which was brought up already. His finger taps on the glass with a more distant tone, "I used to want out so badly, after Addie was taken entirely. Now? The found the one thing that will keep me here. Those rooms though? They're trying to keep us in in in... what if that's because there is no out? What if we're just... bits of programming? Trying to understand ...something. Hell Julian's of a mind tht maybe we're somewhere being expieremented on from a prison colony. I dunno. He was a synth, I wasn't. The reality is? We may not get to know. We can only ry to understand."


There's something about this discussion of going back to a story where one had died and interacting with those who knew them then, whether that be their parents, siblings, or other loved ones. The Capitalist looks troubled by this, considering the ways in which he had died. "I'm not even sure if Price's family knew that he'd died. Or there would be no confirmation of it, I don't think." That's one thing that makes him uncomfortable to think about. "If anything, it would have to be Madison returning back to the Wellson's patriarch, if he'd learned that she died, well, she was always his little princess." He goes on to say, before adding, "But that's the timeline that I'm hoping to correct."

Hearing the tone which the Rogue uses, voicing his unwillingness to test their idea out, he murmurs out, "I'll consider. I need to know exactly what happened after the events of the Lodge. May need to speak to Laine."

Then this talk of them being programming comes up again and the Capitalist can't hide his eye-rolling. "That is a theory that I'm not willing to entertain." Maybe that idea scares him that they are mere programs when he so much wants to be real and escape this place. "The other part, about being experimented on. That, I can see. But if so, I have no idea how we are supposed to break out of it. Dr. January once said that she planned on not playing their game and would do the opposite of what it seems that they, our overseers, expect us to do. And now she's gone." He then quickly follows up with, "But then she worked for Weyland-Yutani, so... I can't say I trust anything that she says, but the fact still stands, that she is no longer here."


"Synth's were slightly more than just that, especially if you asked Kylie about it, but that's neither here nor there. I say this is real. It is to us. I don't have a driving need to get out of this place, honestly. But that's my personal ... I don't know, programming, to use the metaphor. The weeping woman." She shrugs her shoulders. "And I've shared my theory about this being some fancy hi tech prison, where the crime was severe enough to warrent this ... removing of our memories and putting us through these awful scenarios. And the people that vanish? Because their sentence was served. It doesn't make everything fit, however, I know."

She leans back. "The thing I can't figure is why this in between time. 'They', whoever 'they' are, clearly can alter us seemingly at will, but maybe not quite at will. But they can alter us, though there's running similarities between the people we are, I think. But why then dump us back here with all the mix of memories and personalities and remembering each other in very different ways? Social experimentation seems to be the only real answer." She doesn't really have a lot to offer on going back to the time of the Eager Beaver Massacre. "Anyone could have been made to be working for Weyland Yutani, Conrad," she offers with a shake of her head. "I'm telling you that the power this illusive 'they' have over us in this place is greater than the need of any one person to come and mess with us directly. They gave Alexis the role to play and the memories to back it up. Just as they gave me the role to play as your sister, once. Why is one naturally more trustworthy than the other?"


The Rogue sits quiet pulling his attitude in and finally giving him, "Weren't many Colton's left and they're here. The only family livin that Sinclair had was... sorta you. Lyle.." He just shakes his head with a faint tightening of his jaw and says quietly, "is not a good litmus for this." Looking back to Penitent he curiosity returns back to postulating this. Gettin back up he starts to make a separate list on a cleaner part of the wall neat, orderly, and in all capitol letters. The AI gets a small froning annotation with it.

The chalk taps against the Rogue's temple for a while, but it grows slower and slower asking< "You htink that's what happened to Addie? She served her sentance an' tehy let her go? Addison Barrett too? He was only here a minute." His brow furrows again and watches the wall to see what they're missing so far while Penitant ads in more vible consideration. "Solid question. We all seem to have commonalities in these lives." Gesturing to teh wall there's a smirk, "Unless you're the man with two of one life. How we gonna reconsile that being outta chronological order? Something is up."


The Capitalist just has to blink, "The only famly Sinclair had was Driscoll?" Oh man. But he does say, almost in this sense of camraderie, "Thinking back on it, it's understandable. Rhys never had any real family either. He was a drifter, working various jobs, before deciding he wanted to build an empire. Then, his security team became his family among others. And that includes the crew of the Hephaestus." Most of them were part of some weird tight-knit rag-tag crew!

"One of my ideas had been reincarnation. Past lives, something of that sort. Why we remember them in a particular order is beyond me." The Capitalist speaks, his eyes once more looking at the board that Sinclair is writing on. But these inquiries of the missing brings back hard feelings that he was slowly beginning to shake off. His voice comes out quiet, "I'm hoping that wherever it is that they've gone, that it's a better place than here." Though he does have a response to Penny, turning in her direction, "I'm not blaming January for anything. I can't say she was any saner here than she was on the Noc, but... it seems that whoever takes up residence in her room tend to be," He's remembering the most current incarnation of the Thrill-Seeker, "Look, she was racing around in rollerskates, alright. The both of them."


"It's a happier theory than we're all just data running in a simulation on a computer somewhere and they needed to free up some space so they deleted our friends." Penitent says dryly to Rogue, nodding. "But I have an inclination towards optimism and choosing to believe that whatever happened is a good thing and for the best, even if just get left behind to miss certain people. But then, I probably deserve it anyway." She gives a smile and shrugs her shoulders. "I didn't know that Addison was gone. Maybe, in my theory, his sentence was a shorter one."

Leaning foward, hands gsturing a little, she nods. "I know you're not blaming her, I'm just curious about some of your logic, sometimes. And yeah ... I guess you're right. Okay, so if we're going to head around to just before Wyred was all setup to go, here's a thing. Emily Reed lived through the Eager Beaver event. She should still be alive, I expect, in 2018." A nod. "Even when we went back to that room, why Madison instead of Emily? Are they in the same reality? Do their existances overlap? Can I look her up on social media?"


The Rogue nods not too proud of his perinneal situation. Hand pats the Capitalist's shoulder giving it a brief pat. "That was the way of it. Sinclair was an orphean. Aaron gave him anything stable of a home. Dris gave him a means to do what he needs to do, even if he chose to stay withteh ship." Looking around the bunker his voice trails off curious with a faint grin, "That hasn't much changed I suppose."

Looking back to Penitent he nods with some agreement, expression fading. "I dont wanna be not real either. I want..." Taking a deep breath fingers go through his hair, "I liked my life. Going to Eugene, Oregon 1990? I want it. I wanna see the dogs. I don't wan tto want it but I do and I honestly can't tell you if whoever they are are tryin to give us more to mak us happy because it's all they can do, or if because it's part of some insidious plot. What if we're in a damn coma and this is all they can offer us trapped up in our heads and-" Well it'd mean he'd have to admit Addie and the others passed on? Yeha that's off the table. "Got better." Nice cover up. Looking around and to the letter sitting on the desk and back to his companions, "It might come down to do we wnat truth or... what we have?"


"I don't know if I like the idea of reincarnation all that much because that means that we are all dead or... this place is some holding cell for those waiting to be reincarnated, but oddly, our worldview is rather limited as we keep seeing the same faces over and over." The Capitalist says as almost a gripe. Though this mention of a coma wasn't a happier thought either. "I also had the idea that maybe one of these stories is our true story. It could be different for everyone and for whatever reason, everyone else just goes along for the ride." That's when he slowly turns to Rogue, "Your time in Oregon, is that the life you'd want to return to most of all?" He was curious as to whether everyone had a favorite memory so far.

Then back to Penitent, he tries to think on this, "If Professor Ethan existed at both the Lodge and the Island, then I can't see why Emily wouldn't exist there as well." This does get him excited in a sense, "We should make plans. Preventing Wyred Fest first and then do a little investigation of our own to learn more about how the Lodge connects to the Island." He then adds with a touch of humor, "I wouldn't mind soaking up some rays at poolside while doing research on my laptop." Yes, he's talking about the Wellson family home.


"Except when we don't see them, I guess," Penitent says with a shake of her head to Capitalist. "And I guess there's no way to determine which story might be the 'true' one, in that sense. There's no guarantee it's the one we want it to be. If it were up to me I'd choose Anette. Or Kylie, would be okay too." She shakes her head slowly. "And I'd want the truth, honestly. I have lived enough lies, I'd prefer to know the truth."

That's when she glances at Capitalist properly. "And that's why I'm hesitant about all this, living in these rooms. That it's just all a lie. That is my biggest fear. A very well crafted, easily believed, lie. Along with issues with just ... being Madison. Both my personal issues and ... other things." Her brows lift up, as if that's explanation enough for the Capitalist.


The Rogue really thinks about Driscoll's question. A smile flickers and he stays quiet really thinking about it. "On the Heph I was free but a man without a home. Prosperity I had a home but everything I loved is now dust. My boy, my brother, my wife. Oregon?" That dimped half-grin rides easy with a shake of his head, "Had a home and someone that loved me; wanted me there more than anything and I was dead so I'd say of personal array of bullshit in my deck? Yeah Oregon would be the clear winner there. No contest."

Stanging, arms fols on teh table to look to Penitent and offers, "Never did get to properly thank you and yours for savin my ranch and my family. I have no' forgotten." He lets her decide her path in that and falls quiet asking either of them, "SO if we're going to look for somethin, bru, we best be able to know it when we see it. How are we going to identify what is real if we know our perceptions are all compromised? When does it fall to choice? I don't want to spend forever standing on teh thing I'm looking for like a fool."


It's a little unfair that he asked the question to the pair, yet had decided to not answer it himself. Then again, maybe the Capitalist is having a difficult time deciding. Still, he looks both quite intrigued by the responses given. He even smiles some at the Penitent, before returning back to the board that the Rogue had been writing on and only idly reading what's already there, one hand in his pocket, the other at his hip.

"I won't make you stay if you don't want to. Once you're feeling uncomfortable about the situation, I won't be upset if you decided to leave." His words are obviously to the Penitent and while he was about to address her as Maddie at some point, he stops himself. "I'll return once I've got the information that we were seeking." He then thinks, "How to figure out what's real? That will be a difficult task." Here, he spins around to face the others again, "I was wondering if we could leave a world then return to it, choosing a day a month after our last stay, etc. But you're right," This is to Penitent, "Once we start changing the story, it's no longer our story. What we've lived. It grows into something else."


"More to the point, we might be able to just look at it from outside at various points. Rather than going in there and physically stopping Wyred Fest from happening, what if we just decide to conjure up the same world where it just didn't happen for whatever reason? I think the experiment of doing it ourselves is worth doing, to some degree, but." Penitent lifts a hand, "It's a curious situation in general." She shakes her head. "I can deal with Madison with everything else in here to balance her out, you know I'm better than I was earlier, and you know she is better than that. It just caught me -- her -- both of us? That's weird. Anyway it just caught me by surprise to suddenly be there again. It was more my own worries than hers coming up there. I can manage it, but it feels like I'm giving up other possibilities to commit to that role. Either way, I'm with you."

There's a small little smile offered for Rogue though, as she nods at his thanks, shrugging. "It was what I did. I can't especially take credit for it, really. And as for telling the difference, I don't know. I don't think anything through those doors can ever be real. The question of if it's a favour or just a tool to keep us from thinking too hard is one that I hadn't considered, honestly. Given it seems to be making some of us think extra hard, maybe it is just an attempt to give us a slice of hapiness." A pause. "Angeline's idea of trying to find Zeb in there is an interesting one. Or we could head to 1902 and see if we can't conjure up Old Scratch himself. Or maybe just find him at the bar of the Noc? I mean, he clearly knew something about what we were really in."


The Rogue arches an eyebrow to Christian, looks to Emily, and back gesturing to the one item circled on the wall curiously, "Say you go back and stop yourself from, I dunno, making whatever decisions led to this festival that gathered people to create the sacrifice situation on the island and the bombs and whatever. That'd mean the professor would live." An eyebrow arches, "Would that mean he doesn't make it back here if this changes?"

A look of genuine commiseration is offered for the Penitent confronting her difficulties. "I can only imagine how very trying that must be. I don't envy you." Idly thinking it over his thumb rubs the edge of his jaw. "Thought about it a lot this... morning. Maybe questioning happiness makes us the broken ones? Maybe these... lives what we have? Maybe they are there to show us how much harder it could be, and this a forgiveness for our failings. I can't say. What I can tell you," Blue eyes flick between them as he finishes his coffee and setting the ceramic gently on his tabletop, "is that Glenn said that one of the ghosts said something to him in the Lodge along the lines of going mad from having no memory of what's real nd that he would understand. He knows." His head tilts squinting a look at them trying to gage reaction without hiding it. "Said that to Julian McQueen. He didn't get it at the time. And maybe he's going a bit craz' but, he wouldn't make up such things. I wonder if some of these we run intoaren't at another famility or part of the managment."


"I..." The Capitalist starts, his own thoughts now on Rogue's question, "If he doesn't return here because he survived the Island? One, that would be strange as he's existed in these other stories. But if that is the case, it tells us -something-. Or it would give us this sense that we can alter our stories and the timeline." Lifting a hand to scratch at the side of his neck, right below his ear, he then states, "If people who don't die on the island don't return here, then that means we wouldn't be back either. The Survivors of the island returned, but none of us, except for maybe Maata and some of the others who were native to the islands at that time, would have ever set foot on the Island."

He looks raring to go, with all of that in mind. It's to Penitent that he speaks next, "I know full well of what Madison was capable of. Sure, Maddie wasn't made for what we experienced on the Island. Who would've been? Not even Maata or the others, though they were willing to risk their lives to protect us all. But yeah, Maddie has the schooling and the experience. And when push comes to shove, in an arena that she better understands, I always knew she was a force to be reckoned with." And he says this with genuine admiration for his sister.

Hearing Glenn's name mentioned brings back memories of Prosperity. Cillian had always watched out for Glenn and Eilis, so just hearing about him, even if this is still the story of the Lodge, brings out this protective side of the Capitalist. "This ghost had memories as well? Like our own?" That's his first thought, before he then asks, "Or just the strange fact that they knew exactly what we are going through." This he ponders on, "I can't say I've seen Zeb anywhere outside of Prosperity, but the pictures of I'd seen of Dini? That was Captain Ward of the Hephaestus. And... his daughter was Vie."


The Penitent is quiet for a few moments now, blinking in thought. "That can't happen. We can't change what actually happened." But there's this nagging doubt in her. "But if we can that means I'd be Madison forever." This is stated very flatly. "That's the last thing I want. Would we still remember all these other experiences? Would they fade after a while? I'm not prepared to forget all of that stuff ... not permanently."

She takes a deep breath, nodding a little at Captialist's encouragement. "Madison carried her burdens poorly even before the issues at Wyred Island though," she says softly, shrugging a little. "I should talk to Christine before doing this, in any case."

She listens a bit further, accepting that story about Julian or Glenn or whatever anyone wants to call him. "Once again we have recurring enemies, and people in a position to know what we're going through. I think there's something to attempting to find them in these rooms."


The Rogue shakes his head chewing on his cheek entirely too casual for the depth of the conversation lifting a hand tot eh Capitalist, "How some I'm either working for him, you, or him and you, bru? What's going on with that?" The look given to Penitent is, well, patient. His history of being tactical apparently not without passive compassion along the way. He offers in support of the idea, "Well he has a point. If we died on those islands he'd definitely not be here or I, and yeah. You should talk to Christine. I can't speak for you but I'm not ready to lose those connections I have. I don't want that to chance even if it hurt." Spinning slowly to lean back against the table he flicks the stub piece of chalk at the wall. "Think you have a point. I'll talk to Glenn about going back and trying to find Gash again. We resolved her so... weirdly it'd have to be while all hell is breaking lose. That could... be a lot to ask of him. Bru's suffered more than a bit that last go around. Definitely that time before." The expression hardens but his eyes still flinch. What happened to Glenn McTavish was damn haunting.


"I don't know if Captain Ward was an actual enemy." The Capitalist says, taking steps towards the door. This time he withdraws that folded up piece of paper to give it a second read. "The raucous of our fending off the specimen, the alien, drew him out of his room, only so that we all could watch one of its sharp talons run right through the guy." Refolding the paper again, he adds, "Him being Dini though, that is another a story. But we can go looking, sure. In fact, we have a lot of different ideas that we want played out and to be honest, I want to stop Wyred Fest from happening. It was /my/ idea." This look is then shot over at Rogue, "And wouldn't you prefer him alive than to have him slit his own throat?" It's only slightly accusatory in tone! "Right now, I have someone I need to check up on, but I'll let you both know when I've decided to return to Conrad Wellson's life and, I don't know, finally do something worthwhile with his life."


"I wouldn't want to lose those things, yeah." Penitent says with a nod of her head. "I guess it depends. I don't think we would though. I still think it's just a copy of that life, which is why I'm willing to risk it." She shifts then, glancing at Capitalist and looking down at that piece of paper in his hands. She's not attempting to read it, but the curiosity is definitely there. "You might not need to find Gash in the middle of everything going crazy. Search for her before hand, she may not be able to physically manifest but it could be that she could still be reachable. Or even, search for her before she died."

She glances at Capitalist again, nodding a little to him. "Wyred Fest was a good idea," she says with certainty there. Even if it wasn't, Madison rarely said no to Conrad's ideas anyway. "But we'll do what we need to, if it helps you. And to see what the fallout of changing something is. If it can be changed." A pause. "As for Dini, we don't really know if he was an enemy either. Laine said he was hoping to stop Mahoney, after all."


The Rogue arches an eyebrow and slowly squints to Driscoll, "Ja ja, as much as he'd prefer I not get electrocuted to save him I'd imagine. Our deaths weren't ever about our lives, mate. It was about us calling someone's bluff and the people that needed us to. So, if you can keep that from happening? Godspeed, eh?" Not without a slight barb on it, but the Rogue doesn't seem intent on carrying the rebuttal further than voicing it. The other eyebrow joins the first with a slow nod, "Before she died?? That's a thing. Go back back and see what she knows when." Looking to Penitent on Dini being savable he murmurs flatly, "He was a bag of tools to work for. Christine has the details, but I wouldn't call being an arse a hanging offense. He did give me two weeks for holiday." Eeeeh, for the PTO? Sure maybe Dini wasn't the enemy. Looking back to Capitalist he asks in more a suggestion gently given, "Might want to look in on Glenn if you think of it. Could help you in his own words, but, if I can be of help in these experiments? Eh, you both have my support." Pausing he wonders distantly to no one in particular, "Wonder what would happen if I went there when I've never seen it. Would I still be the same age as when I died if it's in continuity?" Fingers rub at the back of his neck trying to sort that one. "Could be worth a go. I'll let you know."


Pausing at the door of the bunker now, the Capitalist thinks on what Penitent says, "You're right. It was a damn good idea." With a shrug of his shoulders, he says, reachin for the door handle, "We'll just find another location to hold it. Somewhere not cursed, let's hope." But this is something he has to add, "You know, it would be just our luck that the next locale chosen will have problems of its own. I mean, look at what happens everywhere we go."

To what Rogue says to him, all that the Capitalist can do is nod. "That. That event cannot be altered, unfortunately. If some of us weren't there at the Lodge at the time, who knows if there would be an Island to go to or a Wyred Fest to create." Though this talk of Glenn has him practically laughing now, "That's one person who I wouldn't want to meet when returning to the Island 'universe' and Conrad Wellson's life. Andrew, the rockstar? He was an asshole." He seems to be in high spirits, however, when he says, "I'll try to talk to him." Before passing the threshhold, he is quick to say, "Thanks for being a gracious host. This has given us a lot to think about."


"Dealing with someone else's past." Penitent says with a chuckle and a shrug of her shoulders. "We could move it. If the guest list is still the same someone is probably going to destroy our comms as soon as we get rolling, though," she muses with a touch of a grin. The conversation between the two men just gets a bit of a smirk from her, for a moment, and a shake of her head. Clearly she's thinking along very different lines to other people.

A lift of her hand a finger-wiggle of a wave is given back to the Rogue as she moves towards the door as well, intent upon stepping out after the Captitalist does. "Nothing will change through this. We will just get to torture ourselves further with all sorts of what ifs. But maybe it's no more than we deserve." And with that cheerful thought, she too is taking her leave. "We'll see what happens. Be seeing you."