It's more or less morning. More or less. The only way to tell is that a number of the doors open at roughly the same interval of time, and everyone is waking up, still groggy, many making the slow shuffle toward the dispensary for morning coffee. The Visionary is one of them, dressed in her usual hippie garb: a maxi-dress that flutters around her ankles and swallows up her shape completely. Those that most recently recall her as Angeline, or only do, would doubtless find her current appearance something of a shock -- all hair and bare shoulders and bare feet slapping calmly against the floor. She's dressed, washed up, but not entirely awake as she makes her way toward the idol of coffee and cigarettes, as if programmed to do precisely that.
The Healer's door is slow to open, as if it's hinges aren't quite functioning or are a bit creaky. They probably aren't though, and that's borne out by the look on the face of the woman who peeks out through the small crack opening up in the frame. Blue eyes are wide and there's a mess of curly red hair framing her pale face. No care has been taken with her appearance, truly, she just woke up this way, faint sleep lines still creasing her cheeks. She has on loose pajama bottoms that sit low on her hips, and a snug t-shirt, even her attire hasnt' changed from her waking up. There's a hint of panic in her expression as she opens the door a bit more widely, staring out into the hallway, taking in the location, and barely registering that she's not alone yet.
The door labeled with a masculine figure holding a feather in one hand and a sword in the other opens, and the swarthy, stocky figure of the Judge walks out a few minutes after the others. Visible care has been taken to get cleaned up and properly dressed before stepping out. "Once more into the breach," he mutters half to himself as narrowed eyes quickly take note of the others present. "Good day to all of you," he wishes, without much inflection.
The Rogue shambled from the door that had a man wearing a cloak in shadows laying in wait upon the door. His right hand brushed the wall in the subtle effort to stay upright. After a year without depth perception in his muscle memory it was like navigating a fishbowl filled with jell-o. He isn't always the most taciturn, but it seemed to be the case today. He didn't make for the coffee seeming to be resisting his natural inclinations to do so, maybe because it's habit. He seemed healthy: clean, shaven even which was perhaps odd on its own, and whose skin was considerably less weathered than it had been in recent memory. A tanktop and very broken in green-grey drab cargo pants and bare feet. Eyes tracked the Judge as he moved past and seemed to try to pick through the others searching for... someone.
The Confidant would be a morning person, wouldn't he? As is his custom, his door's been open for a while. The writing is fresh, since it disappears every night. Only now does he emerge. The tall, broad and strong redhead strides into the parlor, fully dressed in a gray hoodie over a white t-shirt and jeans. No shoes. He has a necklace now. Blue beads to bring out the blue eyes. "Good morning!" He says brightly. He's about to head into the dining room but he stops dead in his tracks. His eyes fall on The Healer. "Oh. Hi. A new face. Old door." All the cheer is replaced by a distant sort of sadness. Still, he steps towards the woman, cautiously. "Hey. It's alright. No one will hurt you."
All new entries to the hallways and coffee idol worshipping temples finds a sleepy looking but energetic blue eyed pretty fella manning the coffee dispensary. He's devised a secondary perculating system, it seems. Taking the good, smooth, refreshing coffee from the dispenser and running it through various filters and a tea kettle to somehow make it a semi-viscous black, gritty 'beverage' that he is interceptiong would be coffee drinkers with.
It has grit. How does it have grit? There's no grit in the coffee from the machine? Where's this grit coming from?
Is it delicious, well you'd have to try it. He seems to be sipping from a cup of his own, wincing faintly whenever he does. He's barefoot also, though there are a pair of Monty Python Killer Bunny slippers off to the side with scalding looking coffee stains on them. His pajama pants are snug, as if they were a few years old and he'd bulked up since then, they are also covered in images of 70s movie stars holding lightsabers. His shirt is tight about the shoulders and biceps and denotes him a proud member of the FBI. There's fine text below such claims.
The Visionary can't quite be said to be too put together herself; at a guess, she'd lose a game of strip poker in the first round. That dress of hers just eats everything, save, perhaps, for the sound of the door creaking open down the hall that immediately catches her attention. Turning her head, she flashes a smile down the hallway, and her fingers wriggle in a wave to The Healer. Stranger? It's fine. Everything's fine. Someone's in a good mood, despite the grogginess of a pre-coffee morning. "Morning, Sam." Morning, Ralph. Like it's all normal. "Coffee's this way!" she calls out, perhaps in consideration for the new face in the hall, as she continues to pad along in that direction. She has no accent. It's just that unnerving American Broadcast English, giving no more clue to her origins than the odd mix of her features does. "And cigarettes, and booze, if you need it." Turning, she glances back at the sound of The Confidant's voice, and catches Caleb emerging into the hall with a tick of fingers against one another. There's another smile, but she doesn't interrupt. "That'd be four."
It's when she rounds the corner into the dispensary, and runs out of fingers at the same time, that The Visionary actually... yelps. Like a startled poodle. Gone is the mellow, zen calm. Then, she just stares. Stares at The Crusader like her mind is playing tricks on her, or maybe she's finally just cracked.
The Judge turns a wary, measuring eye over the Rogue and the Coffee-conjurer in bunny slippers, in turn. The former Heck gets a deadpan stare, though the big man will give a small nod and word of muttered thanks for a cup of.. whatever it is he's done to the former coffee. Visibly skeptical, the Judge will take a seat, take a sniff of whatever this mug is full of, and yes, he'll take a strong taste of the stuff. "Morning, Angel," he returns with the Visionary's most recent monicker. "Any new memories? Island still the oldest, Nevada still the newest?" His words are spoken in an even, measured tone. He sounds better educated than he had in Prosperity. He too turns an eye to regard the new faces, but doesn't linger. A simple nod of greeting, and looking back to the Visionary. "What is it?" is his steady question at her panic.
It takes visible effort, but the Judge swallows that first mouthful of caffeinated abomination, gives a mute nod of thanks toward Heck, and slides the cup away, choosing not to take a second taste.
Ceili's fear seems to be fading a bit, or at least the near panic is being subsumed under an outer shell of calm. Glancing up and down the hallway, she takes a step outside as The Confidant speaks to her. Her body turns towards him, arms crossing over her chest as she tilts her head, examining him momentarily. "Mmm, and you'd say that even if you were, no?" There's the slightest hint of some accent there, but one of someone that's lived far from the source of accent for some time. "But I don't suppose there's much choice in the matter, unless you'd like to show me the way out?" Glancing down the hallway, she offers a strained smile to the Visionary, and then comments, "Perhaps some coffee would make some sense of this, possibly with some whiskey in it."
"Oh, there's no way out." The Confidant says, plainly. "But if you look at the folks in the parlor, you can see that there is a lack of violence. No point. If like..." He points to The Rogue. "If he were to stab to death right now, I'd just wake up the next day in bed. So...not a great deal of point in being violent. For which I am glad. I was unpleasant in the last Encounter." Confidant smiles with perfect teeth. His accent is similar to Visionary's. Plain. Bland. Can't pinpoint it. He looks back towards the former Caleb. "Oh, you'll get your bearing back pretty quickly. You know I was deaf in the first go? Imagine my shock to waking up here."
The Rogue watched, silent and wary until Angeline calls him number four. Four what? He leaned slowly in the yawn of the hallway until Confident comes by. Yes he remembers 'once Jody' from eighty paces with that hair. Eyes flinched and and tried to clear his head but he didn't move entirely into the room. He was still looking and two guesses for what. He only pushed off the wall when there was a yelp slowly trying to decide to bail, help, or even enter the room entirely.
The Confidant hears that yelp and he giggles. "I was waiting for when they saw each other."
"First go?" Having just arrived on the scene, the Artist, by contrast, still hangs on to his first accent-- well-educated turn of late-century western, at odds with his ambiguously modern looks: a cloud of white hair, a face, as in Prosperity, frozen in ageless youth, a paint-stained white button-up shirt, and worn blue jeans. Bare feet, pale on the floor. He's clearly been too disoriented to care. And: "Is this hell? I thought it would be... grander."
Oh look...another one. Popping up like flies. Or blackheads. Or something else unpleasant, potentially, in the case of the Deviant. He is tall -- spindly, even -- pale, high cheekboned, dressed in tight black trousers and an itchy-looking black turtleneck and pointy-toed boots. His black hair is on the short side and parted. And he stands at the entrance of the Parlor from the direction of the dining hall, a glass of something dark in his spidery hand as he looks out and over at the large number of assembled people who didn't appear to be here just a day or two ago. Intriguing.
Heck is already pouring out more mugs of coffee for anybody that hoped to make it to the dispensary unscathed. The man is just so damn honestly congenial and kind that it's hard to say no to him. People can, but, then the confused sorrow in his blue eyes happens. It just goes downhill. Finally, if someone really resists his offerings, a solemn, tight frowned acceptance of the disappointment they put into him is conveyed, the judgemental look stuck on them till they finally get their real coffee and escape.
He's at an inbetween when the Visionary rounds the corner. A steaming paper cup of dark sludge near his lips as he seems to be quietly daring himself to drink it. He's looking right at that corner and when Ange rounds it, his eyes go wide. His breathing stops. The coffee drops. It hits the floor. It splashes its steaming contents all over his bare feet. His eyes go wider. He cries out, "OWWWWWWCH, YOU'RE REAL!?" His accent is midwestern or northern Californian, something in there.
It is important to note that the Crusader had been watching Samuel closely to see if he took a second drink, but now is definitely the time when any and all potential surveyors of the Crusader's Coffee might be able to damage local flora by dumping their mugs into plant pots.
"Sam," The Visionary seems to expect to find here. Familiar enough to be comfortable, and she just points at The Crusader. "Remember how I told you I needed to introduce you to the sheriff?" That should answer any lingering questions about how well she recalls Nevada in an instant. "Well... " There's still clearly some Hargreave in the girl, lingering, as she creeps slowly forward toward The Crusader, eyes narrowed uncertainly, but the grit in the coffee that splatters over the floor seems to speak volumes in a language that apparently only crazy people understand with any fluency.
Then, the poking finger rises in slow motion. But she waits, eyes slitting further in suspicion. Lack of coffee and this particular room in combination have played tricks on her before, it would seem. Slowly, carefully, she stretches out that single finger to dart in The Crusader's direction, as though she genuinely expects him to pop like a soap bubble. When he doesn't, she just spins on her bare feet and sinks to a seat right on the main dining table in a puddle of skirts and tucked-up knees, with a petulant-sounding, "Oh, come on," she laments of... probably God, at this point. She just flaps her hands out in the air in a hopeless, helpless gesture. "And did you actually get better looking?!" Like he absolutely did it on purpose.
Catching hints of The Artist's inquiry, she raises that poking finger to mumble, "Still the same damnably flummoxing escape room it was the last time."
"What is this place?" The Healer's attention is drawn when Arthur asks if it's hell, but she shakes her head, "I don't think I'd have ended up in hell, I haven't done anything that awful I don't think." Her steps are already taking her towards the coffee, in spite of the noisiness out there. Watching the scene play out, she just seems really confused by this entire experience. Giving up on coffee, since more of it seems to be landing on the floor than in mouths, she just stops where she is, at the edge of the room, leaning a shoulder against a wall. "So you guys all know each other? I dunno if they offer group packages tours to hell either."
The Confidant points at The Artist and makes an excited little hop. He just beams. "He's looking for you! Fuck, I am glad you are real. He was so sad when I saw him. Martin, I mean. Because he lost Fleur. Oh. Oh." He looks a little confused. Why? New face, old door. The Deviant. "Holy shit, there are so /many/ of you now. New faces from old door. New faces and new doors. But I am not holding a New Person's seminar this morning. Not before my Froot Loops. But to answer you--Arthur, was it? Some of us have done this before. Three times now?" He looks back towards Vis and Judge for the confirmation.
"Not Hell though. Here. I don't think so, at least. I would think that people wouldn't show up with no memories at all if it were Hell. You'd need to be punished for something, right?" With that, to the dining room. Froot Loops await.
The Judge picks up his feet, in a vain effort to avoid getting coffee-sludge splatter on his shoes as the former Heck goes full-Visionary for a moment. Glancing toward toward whoever first mentioned Hell, he mutters, "Might be," without any venom as he tries to wipe the worst of the splatter off his shoes. "I know they'll be clean tomorrow, still just.. bothers me." A stern glance at the ruiner of coffee and shoes, and a glance toward Angeline as she's stricken with Heck. "Yeah, faces change sometimes. Still waiting to see if any ever change back." The big man seems a bit glum briefly, but it passes soon enough.
"What's an escape room?" The Artist's cultural frame of reference is, at least consciously, still the 1800s. But he is not precisely the same person: emotion is actually visible on his wide-eyed face; his posture is electric, all lean tension and barely-contained shock, where the 'good' doctor had been languidly sly.
Jody's revelation that another familiar face is here seems to both relieve and consternate him, somehow, and he tilts his head to the side. "Why is Martin here? He was a good boy."
"I thought nothing mattered that all those people died for nothing and all that suffering and that nobody was real and..." Heck begins in earnest to Angeline with utter surprise and puppy dog eyes as if Ange was surely dead, because she left the house for half an hour, but just arrived again clearly resurrected by a miracle and she can't leave or she'll be dead again and object permanence and complete, unshakable acceptance, love and loyalty.
Look, he even made a mess while she was away.
"Angeline... I... you are so hot. And real. My two favorite things."
Then he's waving the confidant over, perhaps the only person he 'knows' here, "Jody! Or, sorry. Chance! What is happening! Do I love her still? I think I do? Am I Heck the Sheriff or Heck the coffee guy.... or both.... or neither...." He looks back to Angeline and says with tender panic, "I need a bath."
He definitely registers the others, the good Judge, the 'good' doctor, Ceili, Caleb his cousin-in-law?, Arthur and Addison but he doesn't seme to have the capacity to engage all avenues of surprise at once. The biggest one, now folded neatly in a flowy dress on the dining table before him, seems to have his focus.
Something somebody says -- possibly The Confidant, though who can say -- seems to amuse the Deviant, because he raises the back of his hand to cover his mouth, and a moment later, his shoulders are visibly shaking. Still smirking, he takes a sip of that vile-looking liquid and leans against the archway, the ankles of his long legs crossed. A moment later, while the others continue to freak out, he crosses to the silent television and flips it on. A music video is playing there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1ysoohV_zA
The Rogue looked to Healer and shook his head with a resigned expression. He answered them in a accent that wasn't English, and pointedly not Southwestern. Too rounded out to be Asutralian. "They say Hell looks just like Earth but you can see heaven and know you're not there. Can't touch it." He watched Heck and Angeline's reunion not with contempt but with a somber aceptance. He'd never been out of his room ever until last night which went notably bad. "The bloody feck is this place?"
The Visionary is just staring. The need for coffee that tastes like real coffee and her cloves is, for the moment, completely forgotten. She simply stares at The Crusader, then looks over to The Judge, as though somehow she expected or hoped the big brother instinct would kick in so this all might be explained to her. "Short form?" she rattles off, her voice oddly quiet, "Some of us have been here for a while. It's impossible to know how long. It feels different, for all of us, depending on." There's no comforting way to put the next part. "How long we survive. Different lives. Lots of them. Some of us are up to three, plus whatever the he-" She stops herself. "Whatever's happening here."
"An island, in 2018. A space station called Tenochtitlan, in 2149. Then," she chokes a fraction. "Prosperity, Nevada. 1902." Each of the numbers in the last date are carefully articulated, as though time insisted on slowing down around her. "So. Some of us. We've been four different people, by now." Her head snaps toward the mention of Martin, and some of Angeline's den mothering instincts kick in instantly. "Martin, too?" There's something horribly plaintive in her voice as she asks, barely able to get out more than a whisper.
Dammit, the puppy dog eyes. "Cassandra. Cassie. Cass, here. Just." She sucks in a breath. "Easier." Teeth pin her lips from the inside for a moment, thinning them to a line as she tries to summon up the right words. "I'm really... grateful you're here." Slowly unfolding from her defensive crouch on the tabletop, she eases tentatively down to her feet, and then throws her arms around the coffee-splattered former sheriff in a firm embrace. "And I couldn't be more sorry you are, too. Trapped with the rest of us."
Panicking Heck's mention that he needs a bath is met with a flat, "Yes, you do," from the former Sam. He returns Cassangeline's eye, and his gruffness settles a bit. "Whatever it is, or whatever it isn't while we're here, might as well make the best of it. None of the lives have been easy. None of them have been peaceful. But until the countdown starts-" he gestures toward the television which is now showing a music video, "It'll at least be peaceful in here. Suppose that's something."
"Exactly! It's not Hell, man! Proof!" Confidant says as he slips into the dining room. "I was good the first time!" He calls out. "I was an EMT. I helped people instead of dragging them into my petty family drama. But I was deaf. So." and then Heck's going on and the Confidant has an answer. "I was really into the first face of out her door," Her, being the Healer as he indicated with a gesture. "She was my girlfriend at the end of the first go. We...did things in that room." He blushes pink because bro is pale. "My advice is not to think too hard and follow your heart. Because in the next go, you're not going to remember her. Until you get back here. Live in the moment." Froot Loops in hand, the tall ginger returns to the parlor. "Cassie. Good name. You picked it? Cool. I just like Chance. Everyone call me Chance. Not Jody, christ." He then regards The Rogue. "South African accent. Weird. I need to make a note."
The Healer remains standing against the wall, arms crossed over her chest, watching the interactions without commenting on them. Even her expression is carefully neutral, until Angeline starts mentioning dates. That's when her face tightens up a bit, her eyes squinting a little as if trying to process that. But it's the kind of thing that just seems impossible if it's never happened to you, so again, she just lets that go. Without comment.
The Artist whips around as the TV flicks on, stumbling back in shock. Film was rarely available to the public in his previous incarnation, and it wasn't like this: in color, in high definition, and with sound-- much less 1980s music. When he realises that this isn't some kind of threat, he just gapes. "This can't be Heaven, then," he whispers to Heck, about all the sound that he can produce. He seems to think that he's dead: how is this all otherwise possible?
The Deviant stands back from the TV, watching what he has wrought for a moment. His eyes move from the screen over to the Healer, whom he studies for awhile. He's still yet to say a word, not even an exclamation of confusion and despair like the others seem full of.
"Wha-hey." Heck states to Samuel over Cass's shoulder as he swings her around and around in his arms now. He seems to have a heavenly bliss in this hellish area and he says to Cass, "Heck and geeze, Cass, whatever name you want... it was never about going to heaven or even New Orleans... it was about going with you and with our family and... and at least some of them are here.... even if we've changed. There's got to be things in each of us that's the same. People change throughout their lives anyhow... maybe Nevada was just like our adolescence or something... that early twenties stage of ruling the world without any skillsets whatsoever..." He pauses, still holding Cass and seems to decide something as he searches her eyes. "Whoever we are, I'm still me... you are you... that's as good as it gets."
He glances at Jody and smiles wide, "And this guy is ten times better! Sorry, Chance." As if he'd called Chance Jody but only in his mind but needed to apologize for that as well. He looks to Art and then at the television. His eyes flutter a bit and he says, "One step at a time..." Then he guesses to everyone, "Best Pergatory Ever?" He doesn't seem super willing to let Cass go.
The Rogue watched them come to grips stealing as much from context as he could remaining silent. Arms folded as he leaned on the wall not trusting himself to cross the room. The look to the Confidant was judging, so judging, what threat assessment he was to him right now after , well he had a fast one pulled over on him. He nodded. South African, yes. He only replied, "That's right, Chance." Yeah... don't be Jody. He did finally ask looking more concerned to ask after Jody got done telling Healer what he did to her room, "Has... anyone... Seen Addie?" His jaw tightened preparing fror whatever truth was on that.
The woman who apparently named herself Cassandra somewhere along the line just stays mid-hug while she continues to explain, though there's a brief diversion to, "There's a name book. On the shelves. If you're at a loss, just open it to a random page, and point. If you like what it lands on? Keep it. How I got mine."
"Trust me when I say that if I tried to explain what it's been like, it would only get more confusing," The Visionary murmurs, though The Judge sums it up succinctly enough to earn a slow and certain nod. "I died the first time, too. On the island." A hard swallow follows immediately after. "And when I died in Prosperity?" That part about getting more confusing the more she explains is about to kick in, most likely. "When I was... dead? I was back in my room here. I didn't know what it was, when I was Angeline. But the stars? The glowing numbers? All of it is here. It's what I opened my eyes to when I was-" Dead. Yes, she absolutely said she was dead for a time. And then, apparently, not dead enough to convey this description to others. "Gone. The voices I could hear, it was Nolan, I think? Senni, too. Colorado. But they've been other people, too. I've met them both before. In the... future."
"So all we went through to get away from Hell? Get to Heaven? End the curse?" The crack in her voice surely shows. "Just to get back here, either way. This is it, people. For now, at least." She looks toward The Rogue from over The Crusader's shoulder, and says, "Not in here. But not everyone comes out. I remember her from the Island, though. So she could be here. Some of the faces repeat, but they aren't here. Or never come out. No one's been able to figure that part out, yet. The Devil? Mr. Fell? He was a bartender, back on the Noc."
"And that fucker, Mo, has killed me twice now."
Not Heaven? "No. It certainly is not," the big man rumbles in response. Taking advantage of Heck's distraction to step past him and access the coffee maker directly, pouring himself a fresh cup to clear his throat out. "I do apologize to any of the new folk around here, if I seem callous. Once you've been through a few turns, you get used to it." He looks toward the Rogue, to note simply of his Addy inquiry, "She's real."
The Confidant's words seem to finally register with The new Healer, and she turns to him with raised brow. "You were in my room? When it wasn't my room? Is it the same? I mean, you all seem to come back here, to your rooms I guess? Am I her or am I me? I don't really know who I am, so I mean.. I look different I guess? I don't remember anything." There's concern there, if she'd been doing things in her room, probably knowing about them would be good. It's not a lot of words, just a small jumble, but it's clear that it's just the tip of the iceberg of the mess of thoughts in her head.
The Artist's hands come up-- to cover his ears. From the music? From the conversation? Reality itself? "You're all mad," he states firmly. "This is a madhouse, is what it is." And he moves to depart, all of it being too much for him.
Confidant is all smiles when Heck says he's better. "I know, right? Thanks, cousin." Judge's answer to Rouge gets an addition from Confidant. "Yeah, real and she's an old timer AND she's been named Addie all three times. I like that. Easy to remember." Says the guy that seems to recall everything. Then he adds to Visionary's words. "Yeah, when you get here, you're...normal. Like I mentioned before, I was deaf...then delusional with auditory hallucinations. Then the leg. It's a thing apparently. Just me though. I'm always fucked up in the Encounters." When The Healer speaks up, his brows furrow with concern. "Oh, no. Um, the little bit I saw behind you was different. Totally. She was a different person. Not you. You just have her door, her previous space. And they clean up every night so...nothing gross remains." What a nice assurance.
The Confidant calls behind The Artist. "I'm going to send Martin your way when I see him, okay? It'll be nice, I promise!" Beat. "If you need someone to talk to, I'm down the hall..." Then he regards the area. "That's for everyone. I think it's my...calling? I don't know." He shrugs.
The Deviant takes another drink from his glass, his grey eyes watching the Artist head for the hills. He finally speaks, asking a question: "Isn't there anything to actually do here, or does it entirely consist of waiting around?" Another man with an accent, his being English, but decidedly northern. His voice is quiet and sharp, nearly a whisper. His gaze strays from the Artist, so the question appears to be to the room.
The Judge raises his cup of real coffee in a mute toast to the Artist at the proclamation that they're all mad, and re-takes his previous seat, taking a long drink. "Someone was asking for a hard coffee, earlier, who was that?" he prompts aloud, settling into a steady bartender role, though not partaking, himself.
The Rogue had a reaction to Cass-Angeline's break down of what's happening. His jaw clenched determined but the truth was he looked distressed and like he was trying no to throw up. The heel of his palm rubbed his eye dry and the Judge was given a nod. Real. Alright. Thoughtful he asked again, "But, has anyone found her since we got back?" all those lovely rounded vowels in tentative concern. In the last forty eight hours he gained and lost a family he fought like hell to hold onto. Looking back to Chance (not-Jody) he added, "Ain't no heaven. Not if they keep stripping away all you are," He sniffed and thought about it with a shake of his head, "Can't be real."
The Rogue, maybe still Caleb, paused looking to the Visionary and the others, "I got us off that bloody space station and some regrettable things to do so. In Nevada we crossed the damn desert to make answers that weren't there to get as many out as we bloody well could. we lived and still this and though we saved them my family is still missing so I'd like to know," Yup he was angry but not yelling. it wasn't their fault, "Who can tell me where they fekkin are?" Yup, that flinty look of Caleb Colton's was alive and well in the man. Those blue eyes went watery looking for anyone with any sort of an answer.
The Healer's earlier words are recalled to her, about the hard coffee, but given that she's not even had a 'soft' one yet, she seems uninclined to get one. Still, she offers a smile in Sam's direction, and a quick murmured, "Changed my mind." Turning back to Chance, she watches him for a moment, then nods again. "Good. I wonder. Do you think there's something we have in common? I mean, do the rooms have significance, even if they change?" She's pretty calm, trying to unravel this knotted situation in her head. Or at least calm on the surface, where her hand rest on her crossed arms, a close observer might notice the way they're clenched, or the concern in her gaze as she watches The Rogue talk about his family.
The Visionary simply remains where she is, falling silent for long moments. Something seems to tug at her, and her eyes sink closed. Slowly, her breathing starts to even out toward something that at least resembles calm. "We'll figure it out," she whispers against The Crusader's shirt. "Lots of long stories to tell. Lifetimes' worth." She nods quietly in The Rogue's direction, whispering, "I remember you as Sinclair. Was on the Heph when it took off. Brought Cole." She swallows back a catch in her voice. "Never saw him here, other than... well, it was probably a bad dream. No shortage of nightmare fuel. Was the synthetic Riordan -- Nolan -- told Maya -- Senni -- to take along with the evidence from the Noc, and from Sevastopol." Dead, check. Resurrected from the dead, check. Formerly a robot, check.
The question from The Deviant does seem to reach her, or at least penetrate enough to get her to attempt some form of answer. "Waiting, in part," she concedes. A long breath follows. "Mostly recovery. Not physical. And I can't say anybody ever completely gets there. Maybe not enough time in the world for that."
"When we first came, there was a piano. Board games. No television. No radio. Just the piano. Endless books, all the food and drink you could want, and cigarettes." It reminds her of her own waiting room addiction, and her fingers tic slightly against The Crusader's back. "I don't know where the new doors go. People tried to burn the place down, the first time. Don't ask how we found out that if you kill someone, they come back the next morning -- everything resets, when we sleep. And there's no staying awake, either. We all ultimately go down at the same time, even if we just woke. After, everything is the same, unless it isn't, and we get a countdown clock. Or endless Western movies playing on the television. Or... " Her head shakes in the direction of the screen. "I don't even know, don't want to guess, what the MTV is about."
"Hey, Caleb?" The Confidant puts down his Froot Loops and begins a careful approach. Hands up, peaceful. It's like he's aware of his size and stark features and if anyone saw Jody DeWitt, this is a world of difference in appearance. So, he's going in with caution. "It wasn't all for nothing." He begins and a glance towards the others means it's meant for them too. "We don't know what yet. We don't know how to obtain the information. It's so fucked up, I know. We can't live in the past Encounters nor can we live for them. We live for now. Because, we don't know what happens when we leave. And we might not return. Or...we could be replaced." His eyes dart to the Healer and back. "So...wait for Addie. Okay?" He steps back and looks at the television, as if only now noticing it. "If it's like the last time, it's a clue to where we will be. The last was so on the nose that I don't quite trust it." He shrugs and goes back to his soggy cereal, muttering something about accents and notes.
The Deviant angles his body towards The Visionary as she speakers. She certainly has a lot to say, and he listens to her with full attention, barely blinking. "I know you all killed someone here," he says casually, "to see if they would return. I'm afraid that's no secret, thanks to the Scotsman." He runs a long finger around the rim of his glass. 'But surely, there's more to do here than wait." He asks, "Did the Western movies play on the television...before you found yourself in a Western location and setting?" Once more, he glances at the TV. It's now playing "Warrant" by Cherry Pie, which makes him smirk. "Perhaps the television is a sort of...window on the world to come."
Heck watches the Visionary retell some stories, with a slow blink of a complete lack of comprehension. He's gone rather quiet, just listening and soaking in details. Holding onto the freckled feminine form of the female called Cassie as if she were the only thing he was shurt was real. It's very romance cover posing despite his playful clothing.
The Judge's expression turns toward a glower and a grunt when Cassandra mentions how they discovered that death here was temporary. "Didn't see her, this last time," he mutters. "Damned stupid is what it was," he rumbles to the Deviant at the 'no secret'. "And it wasn't all of us. Just the sociopath." A shake of his head to clear the subject. Caleb's rising temper gets the level answer, "Tough to say who in our recollections is real. Some faces repeat, but never show up in these rooms. Others, we never see again. Or at least, have not seen, yet," he amends.
"Likely so," The Visionary agrees with both The Confidant and The Deviant as they speculate on the purpose of the programming on the television. Programming of a different kind, after a fashion, and that sets the wheels in her brain turning. Nope, still not moving. "Preparing us, maybe, but I can't say it does a good job of it in any way."
"Unless, of course, we're about to get dropped into an 80s music karaoke battle royale, possibly to the death." That she's not entirely joking should comfort no one. Her attention shifts to Samuel, and she asks, "Maata?" as she straightens slightly. There's a glance toward the floor, then over the parlor on the whole, as she murmurs, "...cat seems to be gone. Would always be out here in the morning for breakfast scraps, rubbing on everyone's legs."
The Confidant snaps his fingers. "Irene. Irene Colton has appeared all three times. But no room. See...this entire situation makes no sense. Zero. Zip. So..." He looks to Deviant. "Not a lot of choices other than waiting. There is reading. I read a lot. And I heard talk of rooms that become whatever you want. I-I dunno. I just like to make myself available to others. Don't think too much about...other stuff." His expression tells a different story. A sad one but he won't elaborate.
The Confidant adds. "Hey, given my record, I might bring us a seeing eye dog next time." Still, sadface remains.
The Healer stands up, murmuring softly, "This is a lot to take in. A lot." A sigh, and a lift of a hand, as she states a bit half-heartedly, "Pleasure meeting all of you. I'll be in my room." With that, she starts to trudge down the hallway, footsteps louder than they should be as she makes her way to her new door.
The Rogue clearly remembers the man as Jody DeWitt, hence the apprehension, though he also has accepted by his statement that he's trying to separate this man from his prior incarnation. He leaned off the wall and swayed. Equilibrium still coming back online. His eyes tracked the room and back to Chance-not-Jody and the tension in his shoulders relaxe. Defiant as he wasany prior grudges seem to be let go of and he actually offered a hand to the tall redhead. His soul hurt and at elast it was encouragement to wait. "Alright then. No hard feelings, mate?" It was sincere and he offered with a faint smile, "You might have tried to get me killed but eh, I think once I tried to abandon you all in space so... yeeea. Is good to see you. Just... if you see her ? I need t'know."
"Sociopath?" The Deviant glances Judge's way, eyebrows arching, curious. The Visionary and the Confidant weigh in, and the Deviant taps his lip with a finger. "Surely," he muses, "there's more to do than sit around and not think. Where's the fun in that?" The tall, pale, thin man stands near the television. "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams is playing on the screen now.
The Healer heads towards The Facility - Hall of Rooms
The Confidant takes that handshake. "No hard feelings. I...I just hope that everyone else I hurt feels the same as you." He sighs. "But it wasn't me. But I don't know who the hell I am so...fuck, I hate this music." He drops his bowl of cereal. Appetite lost. He crosses his arms and pouts, basically. "I know I am not a dick. I'm usually a nice guy. Friendly. People person. The thing on my door has people leaning on...me? I'm probably here to support but...god damn it. I'm making myself sad again."
The Judge grunts in flat confirmation to Cassandra, turning his eye without further comment on his choice of words to the Deviant with a curt nod. The occupation of 'not thinking' draws a dry sniff, and the big man muses aloud, "Trying to puzzle out our surroundings is a bit old for a few of us. Keeps running into the same problem: not enough information. Guesswork starts to run away with itself, after awhile. Until we get more to work with, I fail to see much point in speculating. But to each their own," he decides with a shrug.
"I've said nothing of puzzling things out," Deviant points out to the Judge, draining his glass of the noxious black liquid within. "One can use one's brain for many a thing." He raises his empty glass, a sort of explanation, and heads to the dining room, presumably for a refill.
The Addict comes creeping down the hall. He has been hiding in his room, but hunger has finally gotten the better of him. He winces as he sees that, indeed, that screen on the wall is still showing strange images and even stranger music. He pauses as he notices there are a number of people here. Pushing his hair out of his eyes, he lingers in the hallway and considers his options.
"'course we'll tell her you're here," The Visionary murmurs toward The Rogue. There's a smile, though it's an awkward one. She is still leaning on the human security blanket that is the former sheriff of Prosperity, like the man is simply a wall she has to hold onto to keep her knees from giving out. "Oh, some people think. Others drink. Both. Some, neither."
"The answers have a bad habit of leading to more questions, and little to go on. Whoever or whatever keeps us here, they seem to want us complacent, well-fed, relaxed, entertained, even, though their understanding of how best to accomplish that appears to be... flawed." Deeply. "At best."
"What Sam said," she confirms, nodding once as her eyes close. "That's how people end up getting stabbed. Or someone sets a room on fire. Bashing through the book cases like there's a secret door and we're all trapped in an episode of Scooby Doo. It's all been tried, not that I'd be inclined to stop anyone who wants to try again, or has some new spin on it all."
Reluctantly, she eases her hold on The Crusader to tap a few buttons on one of the dispensary keypads to summon up a pack of cigarettes. A small box of matches pops up on the screen, and she taps it twice. "Spare matches if anyone wants to try that again, just be sure to get some marshmallows, too."
And then, there is a Martin. She isn't entirely surprised, as he had been mentioned, but that finally pulls The Visionary off and back to her own two feet.
"True enough," the Judge agrees with a tight smile to the Deviant. "My mistake. After the.. primary topic-" he gestures at the facility around them with one calloused, meaty hand. "-thinking on other things tends to feel like just passing the time, to me. Get a bit fixated, I suppose." The Visionary's commentary gets another low grunt and a short nod. "And the graham crackers. Need those, too," he adds to Cassandra's mention of marshmallows for the fire.
The Confidant is salty and fuming and not paying much attention when Martin arrives. Or else he would say what he does. "God fucking damn this all to hell! I'm...I need some me time. Me time is good. Self care is good." He repeats like a mantra as he stands up. "If anyone sees...sees Miss Senni, please send her my way? Yeah?" And he begins to depart but he sees The Addict and this makes him smile. "Hey. Arthur's real. Find him." Confidant's whole demeanor brightens when he delivers this news. "Later, man. Door's open." And sure enough, Confidant leaves but he doesn't close his door.
"C'mon... " The Visionary, the woman formerly known as Angeline, at least in rough form, says to The Crusader, "I probably need to explain a few things." She glances toward the hall of doors, but the shake of her head is somewhat abrupt. No, not that way. Which leaves only the two as-yet-unknown doors waiting.
Once more into the breach! Some part of her is still clearly a Hargreave girl, through and through. She will drag that man easily twice her size along with her if she has to.
The Deviant makes his way back in: glass of black liquid in one hand, lit cigarette in the other. He leans up against the archway to the parlor once more, gray eyes lazily taking in the images on the screen: Paula Abdul dancing and singing with an animated cat. Wearing sunglasses. Something about opposites attracting. There seem to be fewer people in the room than before, and he tries to regain his bearings.
The Addict slips out from behind The Rogue and he stares at The Confidant. "He is?" he says, and the news that Arthur is here seems to breathe life into him. His eyes brighten, and he stands a bit taller. Then he looks around, as if Arthur might be right here even now. Instead, his gaze falls upon The Visionary, and he watches her take her leave. He steps further into the room, glancing toward the dining room with its promise of food. He steps cautiously, nervous as a cat.
The Rogue watched Confident go. Noted where. Filed that away for later. He nodded in support of the statement made of Arthur. Finally he eyes that coffee machine. he sighed and walked across the room in an imperfect straight line that had to be gently course corrected more than once. To Sam he nodded, "Thanks for the updates," Drawled the Rogue. Looking to the spidery fella he asked with an upnod, "What do you call yourself?"
From somewhere down the hall of rooms, a door opens and Beast makes his way out of his room and wanders down toward the parlor dressed in a comfortable pair of jeans and a dark green sweater with white socks on. He almost never wears shoes in the facility. He seems to be headed toward the dispensary, but pauses when he sees those gathered in the parlor, leaning up a bit against entryway from the hall of rooms.
The Deviant takes a slow sip from the black glass. Whatever he's drinking seriously resembles sludge. The tall, thin man with short black hair is dressed in minimal black, smoking. Music videos play on the TV; currently, the steamy black and white video for Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" is showing on there. "Call me Dirk," he tells The Rogue. "Shall I call you something?" His whispery, lilting voice has a touch of a northern English accent.
The Addict ducks his head and gives The Deviant something of a wide berth, with a murmured apology as he skirts by. To the dispensers he goes. There, he stand watching the panels, and he pokes at the tentatively. He's hungry enough to give these weird things a try, but picky enough he just keeps scrolling through options. Most of this stuff doesn't even look like food to him.
The Rogue was staring a the machine. He didn't really move until 'Dirk' offered and he nodded. "Don't... remember. Caleb works fine. Sinclair?" He glanced the way not-Jody left admitting with the barest hint of a rueful expression. Frankie was a domkop." The hit of South African slang not having departed him completely. Here? here was odd for certain. Beast got a double take. The expression might be the first sign of relief seen on the man in the last very tense 24 hour. "You're here." He walked over, and hit against two chairs on the way to approach his ... boss? Friend? Brother-in-law? Well a party of concern.
When Rogue approaches, there's a moment where Beast just stares at him for a moment. The freshest memories are of Caleb, not more than a day or so old at that, but Sinclair is there, too, and the two become juxtaposed a bit in his mind. Finally, though, and nods. "Just like last time. Spike to the head. Demon aging. Still here." What might be strange is the softspoken British accent that pegs him as a Londoner, something neither Aaron and certainly not Evan had. "Good to see you. Or condolences, as the case may be." He reaches out and clasps Rogue's shoulder.
Here they go again. The Deviant impassively watches another reunion happen. Perhaps it bores him, because he turns to glance over at the twitchy Addict, his rather unflinching gaze curiously observing whatever it is the Addict chooses to get.
The Rogue could likewise be said that neither Sinclair nor Caleb sounded like they were from Cape Town. A faint smile, warmed and he patted beasts shoulder and briefly gave the man a hug. "I keep tryin, mate. Even when I take a hit for ya ye keep getting gibbed in the head. Quite distressing to be honest. Can we please ask whoever to stop doing that?" If he might be known for anything it was trying and failing to keep Beast alive. He paused and ran his tongue across his bottom lip looking... scared? Worried. "I can't ... I... Addie's missing." He pointed "You might remember Martin. That's Dirk. He seems to check out." Still the loss was raw, but he was working on that hope thing.
The Addict finally decides on, of all things, an apple. Apples he recognizes. They're safe, inasmuch as anything in this place is. He then gets a cup of coffee. Perfect for someone dehydrated and nervous. He returns to the parlor with his food and he actually smiles when he sees Evan. "You're real," he says. "Thank God. Evan, we were so distraught about what happened." He glances then to Dirk, and he gives him a nod. Then he retreats to a chair and sits legs tucked beneath him. There are few dainty ways to eat an apple, and he doesn't even try. The youth is hungry.
The Beast frowns slightly and nods to Rogue, "Rashid didn't come back, or Cameron, Maata.. there are a lot of faces that are missing. Was talking about that earlier. Hoping they found.. someplace better." There's a furrow to his brow, but he accepts the hug, seeming perhaps momentarily startled by it. But he pats Rogue on the back once and then releases him. He looks over toward Martin when Rogue points him out. "You're new," is his response. "You weren't here the last time." But then he pauses and nods. "I'm as real as any of us are." He then looks over toward Dirk and studies him. "You're even more new. You weren't in Prosperity." He looks the man over. "Do you remember anything?" he inquires, studying him. He also looks younger than Martin would have remembered him (even before the aging to 60), more in his late 20s than early 30s.
The Deviant smiles a little when the Rogue says he seems to check out. He's been smoking, and he taps the ash carelessly onto the floor. He nods to The Addict as he passes, but the man known as 'Dirk' still hasn't chosen to sit. There's a brief glance to the TV, where a brunette Madonna is singing in front of a landscape of burning crosses, before the turns to the Beast. "That's right. I wasn't in Prosperity. I remember nothing." This idea doesn't seem to bother him much, but then again, he appears to have a rather cool facade. "I take it you're another thrust into these various unpleasant situations."
The Rogue didn't hold on and let go as fast as the moment struck him taking the pre-offered coffee Dirk was helping him out with though he semed wise enough to sit and drink it. "Glenn...whatever said it might be a risk. I don't know..." Well he wasn't going to shit on other people holding onto whatever feeble hope was offered in this place. "They think teh telly is a clue."
The Addict's attention turns to the television. "Who can make sense of it, though?" His 1902 sensibilities are getting awfully strained about now. He makes quick work of the apple and sets the core on the table beside his chair. He'll deal with it later. "It seems our lives were a fabrication," he says, "but it's the only life I've ever known. I'm led to understand another life will come?" He looks at the TV again. "I don't know what's real anymore."
The Beast glances over toward toward the TV and says, "It was playing Westerns before Prosperity." His expression turns a bit dubious as he watches the videos on the screen. "Some sort of precursor of what's to come." He then nods to Dirk and says, "Been here through three different scenarios now. Survived the first one, only to be on a plane back to Heathrow when I woke up here. Died in the last two.. and here we are again. Welcome to the cycle." It sounds just about as grim as it's intended to. He nods to Martin then and says, "They seem to be fabricated scenarios. The memories of what happened during them are the clearest once you're out, anything before and after, kind of not real. You remember them here, but there.. you live as who you are in that moment with no memory of any other life. Then you come back here and.. try to make some sense of it before it starts all over again. The first time, we had only a countdown, a timer between one experience and the next. The second, the westerns, and now..." He gestures at the televisions and their music videos. "We likely won't be here long before we all find ourselves somewhere else, someone else."
The Deviant takes another swallow of black liquid, gray eyes moving from the Rogue to the Addict, then to the Beast. "It's an adventure," he says. Not lightly per se, but -- he doesn't seem terribly worked up about it all. "Wouldn't you say?"
The Rogue nodded slowly to Arron or..Evan's...or just maybe Nnn's words before looking to Matrin. There was a man he could empathize with presently. The South African offered as solace, "Well what's real is what's in front of us. On the upside you didn't try to kill 280 people with the push of a button so there's that." Empty solace. Still he offered gently, "Maybe we'll see them again. Might be a while." The words rounded out with patience, and no small amount of disappointment in them. "Well withthe diversity of lex and gloss coming through here they're making it hard to pin down where we are. When. Anything."
The Addict looks at the Rogue over the rim of his coffee cup. "I found out my wife isn't real, and my daughter never existed." He takes a needful drink. No matter what the circumstance, caffeine makes it better. "It's just a lot to take in, that this is me. This is the constant, and everything else is a scenario." He looks down at himself. "I have no idea who this is. But I suppose if that's the reality of the situation, then here we are. Arthur is real, he's alive. I hope what we had wasn't just a pretty piece of fiction to him."
Padding into the parlour comes one Anette Hargreave. At least, that was her most recent name, even if it changed to Anette McTavish during the events of Prosperity's Last Reaping. She's had many names, but either way, she is the Penitent. Dressed in a black tank top and white slacks, the bare foot woman pauses after just stepping out of the hallway to see the parlour is clearly in use. "Oh, hello," she greets in a pleased tone to see others. She considers them all in turn, one after the other. "Be careful what you hope for," she says quietly towards the Addict.
"It's something," Beast says in reply to Dirk. He looks over toward Addict and gives a small nod, as though something in what he says rings true, but not what. He then gives Rogue another squeeze of the shoulder before heading off to the dispensary to find something to eat and return to his room.
The Deviant, standing there casually with a glass of something black and a cigarette, turns to look the Penitent over. He is tall, thin, and pale, with short black hair, cool gray eyes, and a minimalistic black ensemble. "Hello," he says, his voice barely above a whisper, and tinged with something northern English. He, of course, has no idea who the Penitent is, same as all the others in this room. The TV is currently playing "Sowing the Seeds of Love" by Tears for Fears, which is at least a feast for the eyes.
When the words left Addict's mouth the Rogue just paled and tapped his finger against the side of his coffee. He didn't like tipping his hand but it was worn plain that he didn't even consider that. he reached out tapping Beast's sleeve as he got his shoulder a squeeze. However they got to it it was some sort of constant: thick as thieves. He looked up, dressed only in a tanktop and very, very broken in green-grey cargo pants and bare feet and a shave? he looks totally different in regards to self-care off camera apparently. Fingers lift to 'Nettie' but pointing to her all the same. Careful.
The Addict gives Nettie a respectful nod. "I just want something that mattered to me to be real. I see the faces of people I loved and admired, and they look at me like they're strangers." Not that he's presenting all that much of an image of Prosperity's Martin, dressed as he is in a red kimono robe, his hair in long curls just past his shoulders. "It's going to be all right," he tells himself quietly. "I just need to get my bearings. At least the demons didn't follow us here."
"I don't remember you from Prosperity," the Penitent notes thoughtfully when she considers the Deviant, watching in quiet contemplation for a few moments before moving on. Her gaze flickers over the Rogue, offering a sort of vacant smile and lifting her hand in greeting. There's less care about her, apparently. "It was real. Real enough, I suppose. The issue is, that it might become less so when we're all spirited out of here again for whatever comes next. And then new memories come to mix in with the old. I've had three names now." A pause as she considers his following words. "And who knows about the demons. Might be they were just people playing a part, too. I've seen the Devil before you know. He was the bartender at the Eclipse on Tenochtitlan Station."
"I wasn't there," the Deviant tells the Penitent, as he's said to a few people before. This new information regarding the Devil seems to catch his interest, however. "Reccuring players?" His gray eyes study her. "Rather like...ourselves, it sounds? Intriguing."
The Rogue answered Nettie, "ja-no, Not-quite Angeline was mentioning that earlier." The accent not Scottish and not Australian...??? It settled something between them and didn't sound like a cowboy in the slightest. he was working hard to come to grips with this. "First time I remembah being in this place is yesterday. I can remember the mining ship and... the town, the demons, and Mo. Something... when I spoke with Mo I fell like we knew one another beyond some sycophant's project. Maybe there's another dormitory somewhere. Maybe they wonderin what we are. Hard to say." he sighed and looked at his coffee and then to Deviant, "Chance may've been right. I might want a dop or two after today."