The Martyr is settled in front of the TV with a tray with a bowl of half eaten tomato and veg soup, a roast beef sandwich with several bites out of it and a big tumbler of water with a slice of lemon on it. He is wearing a "First and Last and Always" black tee shirt with camo trousers in shades of pink. He is barefoot and also crying silently as he stares at the television.
The Martyr is tall and skinny, gangling rather than well proportioned. Despite his slenderness, he looks to have a wirry strength. There is still something boyish about his face and figure despite him being in his late twenties. He has pale skin and dark, neatly cut hair. His face is squarish, his eyes large, and his lips full.
From the Hall of Rooms comes a guy in a set of dark blue bamboo pajamas. Nothing too unusual - understated men's clothing. He is black, and a reasonably dark tone to it as well, with large brown eyes behind a set of dark glasses and an uncertain expression. The man is holding a book underneath his arm - 'My Life as a Chair', which has been thumbed a little. Mostly he just looks faintly confused. "Helloooo? Er, sorry to interrupt."
The Martyr starts, and grabs quickly for a tissue to wipe his face. Turning, his reddened eyes go wide as he sees a stranger. His voice is a little rough from emotion. "You're new!" He visibly forces himself to attempt a welcoming smile, "They said sometimes really new people come, but you're my first. I'm... you'll hear people call me Finn, but I'm trying Dare this week." His accent is Pacific Northwest American. He approaches slowly so as not to startle and offers a large hand to shake, "Uh, welcome. I've only been in the facility since yesterday afternoon so I'm still getting my feet under me."
"Er, yeah?" says the man and he spreads his hands, paler on the palms into what seems like a very typical, open kind of gesture "That's me. Brand new. Lllllook." The book goes down onto the table "Not to be rude, but is this...like. A +hospital+? Because, this is going to seem crazy - I don't remember a _thing_. I mean, like. Not my name, not anything. I don't seem to have any head injuries..." His own accent is muted. Maybe Australian or South African? Really hard to tell. "Uhhhh, thanks. Hey, the room I woke up in is kinda weird. There's a symbol on the door."
The Martyr's dark eyes are kind and he really is trying despite a certain nervousness and an underlying distress. "It's okay. Not remembering is normal. You might want to sit down as this is rather complicated. Can I get you anything? Literally anything but drugs. Any food you can name. Any drink alcoholic or not. I could fetch my quilt from my room if it will help." he gives the newcomer a sheepish smile and runs his hand through the longer mop of hair on the upper part of his layered hair cut. "The symbol tells you which one is yours. "I'm..." He looks a tad embarrassed, "the anatomically correct heart if you need anything later."
"Well, maybe some juice?" says the other man "That sounds like a better idea than alcohol, at least, you know, if drugs have been involved? Or if we've been knocked out." He looks puzzled, but not panicky. Eventually he pulls out a seat, and he says "I don't need a quilt. Look, I'm not really the...I don't _think_ I'm the kind of person to panic "Oh, okay, that's super weird. But alright. I'm the one with the tsunami warning sign and the surfer?"
The Martyr shakes his head and looks terribly sad, "No drugs are involved as far as we can tell. Orange okay?" He goes to the dispenser and gets them each a glass, setting them so the stranger might pick first. He settles down, "I'm not sure, but I think... Matching the people who I know and their doors, that's sort of a symbol that is short hand for you. It's not like names will work under the circumstances. And yes, it's all super weird. It's going to get a whole lot weirder."
"Yes, orange is fine," says the man, who prods at the table as if to check if it is real, and then he says "Okay. So a guy charging a tsunami with a surfboard is me. I guess my name is 'Idiot' or something?" He shakes his head, and then he purses his lips, curiously "Weirder how? So are there orderlies? Or something? Like, where am I? And are you okay? You seem a biiiit...you seem just a bit upset."
The Martyr shakes his head, "We pick our own names, or we keep one of the ones we're given later. Let me see if I can explain, and remember this is just a theory. I get accused of being a bleeding heart. There is a heart on my door and I... did the things I ended up doing out of a deep love for.. a whole bunch of people. There is a guy who.. isn't here yet, but there are coins on his door and it fits. There is this woman, Cheer, who's sigyl thing is sort of a woman running towards a cliff? Trust me, it fits." He takes a deep breath, "I'm upset because I died yesterday and I was watching some people I care very much about mourn me." He winces, "That probably sounds crazy and also not the best way to break it to you." He takes a deep breath and tries again, "There are no orderlies, just us. People like us, I mean. There are two ways people turn up here. Some people just wake up here with no memories like you and some of us, like me, start in the middle of a... different place, kind of like being in a story only we don't know we're in a story until we get killed and then we wake up here with only what we remember from there in our heads and everything before sort of flat and two dimensional. I was Finn in that other place, but I woke up different here with that other me inside me and part of me but not me. I've never been here before and I've never met anyone new, so I have no idea how to explain it properly."
"But what _is_ this place? People don't just wake up randomly - who's providing the food?" asks the man, rubbing the back of his neck, puzzled "I mean, I can't remember specific things, but I think I can _cook_. I know food doesn't appear out of nowhere...does it?" And then he says "Okay, wait, your name is Finn. So I'm to call you Finn." He chews the side of his mouth, and then he says "What, on TV? You were watching your own funeral on the TV? That's pretty weird." And he picks up the juice and sips it, and he says "Hmm. This is really weird. This feels like some sort of crazy cult thing. Or an experiment!"
The Martyr looks at him with real sorrow, "No one knows. I very much wish I did. There is no one to explain to us. The thing I said about the door signs? It's a guess. There are theories about where we are. An experiment? Hell? Something else? No body knows. No one knows why we're here and who's in charge. Sometimes people die over there and don't come back. Sometimes they die and return. Sometimes if they've returned before they don't come back, but the odds are better of them coming back. Or so they tell me. You can cook if you want. Cheer makes cookies. you can also just have things if ou want them from the communal kitchen area. If you want it, it is. If you break things or move things they all are back where you found them when you wake." He sips his own juice, "Not my funeral, though they were talking about some sort of memorial. A bunch of us got electrocuted yesterday fighting... never mind what we were fighting, and the building we were in killed in burned and they only had enough people still standing to get the wounded out. And there are still some of the ones we are fighting left, so it's not safe and they are running out of time. Still, they are planning a funeral for Misty, who died yesterday morning fighting Mahoney. They are likely going to include a memorial for us. Fuck!" He scrubs at his eyes to wipe the new forming tears away. "Misty is my boyfriend's ex girlfriend, and my boyfriend... He's returned before so there's hope, but I've no idea if we'll still be an us when... if he dies and returns. When you're there you can't remember here. When you're here you remember there and it's all to real."
"Hell? Why would I go to hell? I haven't done anything. I mean, I can't even remember if I've done anything!" objects the man, and then he says "Er...that all sounds awful. Mr. Finn. Is it Mr. Finn? Well, I guess I could c..." He pauses "Wait, if I _think_ things, they just appear? Like, if I break things, they appear? What if I break something _to_ make something else? Like, I don't know...er. An ice sculpture!" He pauses, and then he throws up his hands "Whoa, whoa whoa. Of all the things I know, I know I don't _fight people_. I am _not_ a fighter. I _like_ people. I don't want to hurt anyone...hang on. If you all come back. Why do you have memorials?" He pauses "Your boyfriend's girlfriend. Okay then. Right. So you guys are stuck here and you...does anyone ever get pregnant?"
The Martyr shakes his head, "Call me Dare. Just Dare. When I was alive, I was Finn O'Neill, a lawyer, but I'm not quite him anymore and I'm going to be someone else completely different at some time in the future they tell me. I wasn't a fighter either. When things got bad I mostly... took notes and posted hand outs to try to keep people informed on what was going on, and help people... survive. I talked to the... ones we were fighting and sometimes it helped and sometimes it didn't, but in the end I fought, because I had to. People were dying and it was really all I could do to try to save them." He gets this haunted, stricken look, "I was in charge when Misty got killed. I tried to distract... the one who killed Max so Bastian could kill him, but it didn't work and then a bunch of us got electrocuted and now they have to fight on morning us without Bastian, and they're being so fucking brave and clever and I love everyone of them even the assholes." His voice gets raspy at the end. "I like people too. I wanted to make the world better. I died trying to save it, and now they tell me at some point I'll have to go back and try to do it again without remembering this me or the me I was or the people I love so intensely it's an ache in my bones!" He is crying again, face red and ugly with the pain of it. He takes a deep breath, "Finn was gay. I'm bi. That's how I know I'm not really Finn. I don't know if people get pregnant. We'll have to ask someone who's been here before. They say that watching our friends and lovers die is a new thing. I don't know. all I remember is being Finn and now not being quite Finn."
The Optimist eyes the man who is crying, a bit uncertainly, but then he pats him on the back "Well, stiff upper lip, you know? It can't be all bad. I'm sure everything will turn out for the best in the end." He really has no idea how to deal with someone crying, and he puts is patting hand behind himself a bit awkwardly "Okkkay then. So if people reset, what you're telling me is that I can eat whatever I like and I won't gain weight? Awesome. Excuse me, I need to like, load my plate up with caviar and triple cream brie." He holds a finger up, and then he says "Er, I don't need to know people's orientations, erm. That's definitely...maybe aliens. That's sounding really very aliens." A bit of a nod at that, and the man starts peering around for wherever the food comes from "I guess the _up side_ is that _aliens are real_." And after a moment, he frowns "I guess I should think of a name."
The Martyr nods, and rasps, "Sure. That makes sense Just... just give me a minute, okay?" He crosses to the tissue box and blows his nose a few times. hr drops the box on the way back. He disappears for a few minutes, returning puffy eyed with a freshly washed face and a tray with the caviar, some toast, butter, and the brie." He sets it down in front of the Optimist, his lip curling up, "I'm here, I'm queer, get used to it." He sits back down, tiredly, "A lot of us aren't straight, though some of us are. It's going to come up." He nods, "You can change it later if it doesn't fit right."
"That is really cool," says the man who says dryly "I don't care what anyone is, I just don't think some things need to be discussed with strangers right off the bat man. That stuff's heavy. And _personal_. I just don't see how it's relevant to me." And still, there is the food "Holy moly. My God. Wait. Ahhhh -" He lifts a hand "Cruelty free goose pate! OH MY GOD. Cruelty free...everything!" His face literally lights up "Cruelty free! Wait, wait - like...the vegetables. Are the organic? We can like, wish for carbon neutral everything, my good dude - do you know how _great_ that is?!"
The Martyr sighs, "As you wish. I've been trapped on an island full of murder ghosts with the same people for a week and a half in the summer of '89. Now I'm here trapped with a handful of the same people. We left a certain amount of privacy behind a while back, but whatever you want, man." He blinks at him several times, "I don't know, but if it makes you happy go for it." Then his eyes go wide, "I just realized I'm a week and a half old objectively. Even though I think I'm 29. Fuck this place!"
"Ooookay then," says the Optimist, as he starts to tuck in "Isn't it 2019? Or are they running some kind of weird experiment where they pretend everything is in the past for people?" He scratches the side of his head, and he then reaches out for his juice "Yeah, I'm not quite there with the privacy thing? I honestly don't...care what someone is, it's just, um. Look, the who weirdness of the fact I can't remember anything is freaking me out. I...yeah! That's it. It's like I'm ten minutes old!"
The Martyr nods emphatically, "This whole thing is bizarre and nonsensical and we have been left to try to fit things together without directions or guidance. One of the men who died with me yesterday was a California teenager when I knew him in 1989, but now he's older than me with an accent a bit like yours only not quite and with more slang. It's disorienting in at least two senses. Are you sure you don't want strong drink?"
"Well," says the Optimist "That's...messed up. Maybe this is a computer simulation?" He rubs at his temples, and then he holds up a finger "Oh, no, I prefer to be able to focus on my troubles. Though, forgive me, I might need to take my food back to my room to, uhhh. Try to think about this. No offense, I'm sure you're not at all a crazy murderer, it's just I need some time to digest it all."
The Martyr says, “If this were a computer simulation would we be able to notice we were only 8 bit or text? All of this feels incredibly real. The emotions and the pain especially, but I'm not sure if we were characters in something like that Hitchhiker's text game we would know what really real was like. I don't feel to me that I'm saying scripted responses, do you?" He snorts, "Oh, in your place, I'd think I was a raving lunatic. Don't worry the doors lock from the inside.”
"I'm sure I'll feel better in the morning," says the man "Think positively! You can always turn a bad situation into a good one, I'm sure!" And he slaps the Martyr on the back "I'm sorry things are weird for you. I'm sure we can find a way out. It's important to never give up!" And he slides on out.