Log:Cut from the Same Cloth
So far, it’s one of the only other doors to show someone wielding a weapon. But where hers has her just crouched in the brush, wielding her bow… his has him actively defending people. She’s never seen the Defender come and go from the room, so she doesn’t know whose it is. She just knows its a door that holds some similarity to hers in the imagery. It shows someone capable of fighting. Right? That is what these meant. They all held some meaning to the person inside. They had to. They all woke in the same rooms as before.
And it’s not like they could have name plates. And even just numbers might get confusing. Perhaps easier. ‘Hi, I’m 12. And you are…?’
With a cup of coffee in one hand and a breakfast burrito in the other, she just stands there outside the door, studying that image of the man with sword and shield, defending the people cowering behind him.
It’s better than watching yet another Western on repeat at least.
Though the Defender wakes up probably at the same time most of the 'early risers' do, he usually does not venture out of his room immediately. So it's not surprising that the Hunter already has her breakfast in hand when he is finally ready to leave his room.
With the Hunter silently looking over the image on his door, the Defender didn't realize someone was outside. The door suddenly opens and he stops in mid-step when he sees that there is someone just standing there. "Oh." Is the initial greeting due to the surprise, "Thorne." He adds, "Or Kahloa."
Once again, the Defender is not in casual dress, apparently more comfortable with the buttoned up shirt and slacks, as if he is going to work everyday. At least the type of work he handled when his identity was Anton Grant. As a Colonial Marshal, his uniform was assigned, not his choice.
“Either,” the Hunter says, “or neither.” This, in answer to the names provided. She did take a step back when the door opened. She looks away with a frown. “Maybe Thorne. Maata was…” Happier? More naive? In love with the man that the Capitalist is now trying to suppress?
She takes a deep breath and looks back to the Defender. “Sorry,” she follows, lifting her mug to gesture to his door. “I was looking at your… uh, door. We’re some of the only ones with weapons on ours.” She pivots on a heel to gesture to her own in turn. “I guess I’m trying to make… connections. Find answers. Maybe ones that aren’t even there.” She takes a sip of coffee before giving a helpless sort of shrug.
When the Hunter chooses between the two names, the Defender arches a brow when her words trail off, "Different?" Offering a word he would use from his experience between Anton and Wolfram. He certainly dresses more like the former than the latter right now.
As for the apology, the Defender can only shake his head once, "No apologies needed, we all have many questions and answers in here are rather hard to come by." When the Hunter mention weapons, he actually turns to look at his door as well, perhaps not having given the image much thought. "Hmm..." Comes the initial response, the tone showing neither surprise, approval, nor disdain. As if to accept it as is. "I don't think the weapons matter though."
“Different,” the woman affirms. She certainly carries herself more like Thorne. She did even before they found themselves on the Noc. “Like night and day, I think. And having them both in my head is…” She takes a deep breath. “Especially knowing all of you. And how… different we interacted in some ways between the two places.”
She takes a moment to finish off her burrito as she looks to the Defender’s door again. “Mmm. Maybe not. I just want to know what the reason behind mine is. Why it is.” Her shoulders roll back a bit. “It’s a bit easier with you, y’know? We sort of had a similar… deal both times. Similar purpose. We had a job to do. Shit happened. We had to fix it. Had to help people. But other people? Madison and Kylie. Conrad and Rhys. Mother..fucking… Thorson.”
That has been something that the Defender has been trying to cope with as well, which is why he spends the majority of the time here in his room. When he is out, he maintains a rather calm and centered demeanor, but his mind is certainly not as settled. "I can't say it will take time for us to understand it because part of me feels that it is something that we just will never comprehend, something we're not supposed to comprehend."
The Defender does shift his gaze from the Hunter to his door again as he gives it a second look, "It's hard to tell, we're not in their head, we don't know their thoughts. People react to things differently, especially when what is thrown at us is on the very extreme. Things that don't make sense." When Thorson is mentioned though, the Defender can't help but furrow his brow into a frown, even he has no explanation for that monstrosity.
She knows Thorson was only seen in his monstrous form by some of the others. They didn’t see him beforehand. They can’t connect the dots, perhaps. “Thorson was Karl,” the Hunter provides, quietly. “That lawyer who was with the Wellsons. I… haven’t seen him here yet. Is he hiding in a room? Did he get removed from the… cycle, as it were?” She lifts the hand now freed of breakfast to press into her hair and rub at her scalp, sighing as she looks off and down the hallway.
“Maata and Conrad were in love,” she says a bit more distantly. “And we… held onto that here. Up until we fell asleep and were different people. Now we’re those people, too. So I still feel that when I’m around him, but I’m also Michel. And while Michel liked Rhys and enjoyed his company, she wasn’t in love with him. Does he feel the same? What does he see when he’s with me?”
She shakes her head. “I don’t know what to make of this shit anymore.”
"Wait... what?!" The Defender certainly did not connect the dots. He didn't exactly know Karl but he certainly knew what the other man looked like, being Conrad's bodyguard half the time. When the Hunter speaks of being removed from the cycle, he never even considered that as a possibility which changes his incredulous expression back to that frown.
As for the relationship between the Hunter and the Capitalist, the Defender is quiet on that front as well. It certainly isn't his specialty, "Well... I can't offer any thoughts or advise on that. Not when we have multiple personalities, as if we were clinically insane but not since somehow we all share the same insanity." Of course, if he was the only one insane and everything else around him was a hallucination, that would be a completely different story. But he doesn't even want to consider that possibility as it would send him off the deep end.
"Some of us don't even know what to make of this to begin with." A pause as the Defender looks down the hall towards the main area, "I'm going to get a cup of coffee. I need to clear my thoughts."
“I wouldn’t expect you to have advice,” the Hunter says in answer. “But that’s where I’m at. These two very… well, not very disparate feelings. There’s… someone else who I hated on the island, but on the station I felt fairly close to. I haven’t seen them here either time. It’s…” She looks off down the hall of doors. “I wonder if they’ve just stayed in their room. Same as you did the first time.”
The woman takes a breath and steps away, gesturing. “I could use a cigarette, myself.” Thorne didn’t smoke much. Sometimes, yes, but not as much as her Hunter self seems to. After a moment of quiet, she ventures. “Do you think it’ll happen again? We sleep and wake up… someone else?”
Nodding his head, the Defender starts heading down the hallway, going past the doors without given them a second look, at least right now. "I can say that I wouldn't be surprised if we end up becoming another person again. Will it happen again though? I have no clue, I wasn't even conscious of it happening the first time until I woke up here again. And the only reason I know is after speaking with you and the others. Otherwise it was just two very confusing chain of memories in my mind. I thought I was going crazy... but at least my room was the same." And that is the only reason why he pressed on, if he woke up in some new room or some lab, he would've most likely gone insane.
“Could you handle it?” The question is posed quietly as the brunette walks alongside him, casting a glance over. “I’m not sure I could.” She takes a sip of her own coffee, even though it’s gone cold. “I’m already having a hard time being two people. It was… easy to be Maata. I didn’t exactly feel like her. I didn’t talk like her. I had… skills and knowledge that didn’t match her. But my memories were hers. My feelings were hers. She was all I knew. Now I’m her and Michel, but I’m also neither.”
The Hunter takes a deep breath, glancing sidelong to the television and its Westerns as they pass through the parlor. “But if I become a third person, I’ll have their memories, their feelings. Their friendships, entanglements. I’m… glad Michel didn’t get emotionally involved with anyone. I’m not sure I’d be able to handle that.”
The western movie on the television is ignored by the Defender, apparently not a very big fan of that genre of movies. The concern about a third memory coming in is heard but he has no response at the moment. As he goes to the dispenser, he punches in the command for coffee, one of the unique flavors since there are so many to choose from. "I guess I'll let you know if I can handle it if I wake up from yet another... adventure. And if it is forced on us again, I'm not sure what else we can do but handle it. Just like how we tried when the dead rose from the ground, and when the aliens infested the station." Taking the cup of coffee after the dispenser added the right amount of cream and sugar, the Defender takes a long drink as he looks at the Hunter.
“Seems a little last-minute for someone like you,” the Hunter says a touch wryly. Her lips curl in a slight smile. “You always struck me as prepared for things.” She discards her current mug of coffee on a table and steps up to another dispenser. The menu is considered and she opts for just a standard mug of coffee with a bit of cream and sugar… along with a pack of cigarettes. She opens it a moment later and gets one out and lit before tucking the pack away into a too-small pocket in her shorts. It makes an awkward lump.
“If I gotta be someone else again, I’d like a nice vacation. Maybe a ski resort somewhere. Or a quiet cabin in the woods.”
There is a smirk from the Defender as he takes another sip of coffee, "If it is something I can prepare for, I'd do it. But this?" He says as he gestures to their surroundings, "I don't have the slightest clue on what preparations can be made if they screw with my head even more. Apparently, we can't even off ourselves so that final escape route is closed off to us."
When the Hunter makes suggestions on what she prefers next, the Defender can only shake his head, "With how things went these past two 'lives', if we end up at a ski resort or a cabin, the vacation would somehow take a terrible turn. Our best hope is that these little adventures are over now and whoever is in charge of this sick experiment comes forward."
“If you had the opportunity to test that theory,” the Hunter says of the death and rebirth cycle, “wouldn’t you?” She looks directly at him as she says it. “I didn’t simply murder someone for the sake of it. She wanted us to do it. She demanded and tried to force me into it the first time. The second time, she made Conrad do the deed… and had me finish it. Apparently I-” the woman that was Maata shakes her head, staring down into her coffee after exhaling smoke, “broke her heart or some shit when I refused her.”
She moves to lean against one of the tables in the dispensary. “And yeah, well, that’s what I mean. I want… I’d like things to go nicely next time. A change for the better, y’know?” She takes a sip of her coffee. “I don’t know my name. I don’t know my family, where I came from, but fuck me can I remember how I died. Twice.”
The Defender's answer comes rather easy and quick, as if there was no doubt in his mind that he would answer differently at any given time, "No. Life... is precious, no matter what. We must do everything we can do hold onto life and escape this alive." He does fall silent when Hunter shares what transpired the last time the group was together in the Facility, the frown returning as what he hears doesn't sit well with him. "And what if one day whoever is in control of this whole thing... just turns it off, the thing that brings us back the next day? Would you be able to embrace and accept death so easily?" On history of who they are, the Defender is in the same boat, his silence is as much a response to what she has said as a verbal reply would be.
“I already have my answer,” the Hunter says, shrugging. She finishes off her cigarette, putting it out in her old cup of coffee. “I have no want nor need to kill anyone else here. But we know. We die. We return. Maybe we’ve always been dead. Maybe the Hindus were right and this is part of the reincarnation cycle. Perhaps people are moving to different… levels. Thorson, Karl… fucked up big time and went down a level. Maybe some of us need to get it right to go on someplace better.”
She doesn’t sound like she believes a single word of what she’s saying, but it’s not like any of them have had any better theories so far!
After another sip of his coffee, the Defender heads to one of the food dispensers and punches in an order for breakfast. Simple eggs, bacon, and pancakes, standard fare but smells pretty good. "I don't know much about religion but if we are on some sort of scale where we have to move up or down different levels, it makes no sense to let us not remember anything when we are in one of those... incarnations. It'd be a roll of dice on how you behave since behavior is more likely dictated by your environment." He begins heading towards the Dining Room with cup of coffee and plate of food in hand. "If I was employed by the Weyland-Yutani instead of the Colonial Marshals, who knows how I would've acted. I'm sure it would've been much worse."
That's one thing you can say for this place: the food is excellent. The Hunter sets to follow him into the Dining Room. She sips at her coffee as she goes, dropping into the first available chair once in the well-stated room. "But how do we know what behavior is just random?" She props her elbows on the table itself, holding the mug aloft. "You took care of people both on the Noc and on the Island." She watches the Defender, tilting her head slightly.
"Maybe we... are who we are, regardless. Or... deep-seated aspects of us, wants, desires, and shit like that come to the surface somehow. I mean it's not like in Hinduism, the reincarnated remember their past lives. They just get another chance to be better." The woman that was Thorne (and Maata) looks out to the Parlor and all the books there. "Maybe I can start reading on it. Try to figure it out."
Finding a seat, the Defender puts his coffee down and his plate of food down between the set utensils before taking a seat, "Well, it just happened to be my job at the time. Plus... on the Island, I didn't do my job very well. Both Wellsons died." The failure a constant reminder courtesy of the employment contract he had signed with them, one he had written over with red ink when they were waiting for either the nuke to drop down on them or the rescue to come from the sea.
Another drink of coffee and the Defender starts digging in, starting with the eggs first after putting ketchup and black pepper on it, "There are a lot of books, never really thought about reading them. But if we are stuck here for a while, I'll probably pick up one or two too. Better than the damned Westerns that are still playing. You'd think they have a better selection with the variety of drinks and food they offer us."
"Most of us died," the Hunter points out quietly. "I think you did your job fine. You were up against... I mean, how many bodyguards can say they had to deal with something like that?" She shakes her head, setting her coffee down. Fingertips fall to rest atop the mug, turning it left and right lightly on the tabletop as she looks up at the man as he eats. She wrinkles her nose a bit at the ketchup on the eggs. Ew.
"The Westerns are a nice change of pace from the lack of... well, any entertainment before. Last time we had nothing except the piano. Now we have a radio and the movies." Her lips quirk in a small smile. "Even if it's just westerns and the radio only plays classical music." The Hunter tilts her head just a little. "What do you have against westerns?"
There is no further reply from the Defender on the subject of his performance on the island, perhaps choosing to drop the subject since it is still a sore point for him. He does catch her reaction to him putting ketchup on his eggs, arching a brow as if to ask 'What?' Another drink of coffee and he finally answers, "I regret not venturing out last time we were in here now. As for the westerns, guess they are just not my cup of tea. I prefer more modern movie time periods, or even more advanced." A pause before he adds, "Actually... that's not true. I don't mind medieval genre either. Hmm, maybe I do have something against westerns." A helpless shrug, he goes back to his food. The Defender seems rather organized in how he polishes off his food, finishing off the eggs before starting on the pancakes.
And her response to that arch of brow is just to stare. She can find ketchup on eggs gross if she wants! The Hunter glances down to her tea. "I wish you'd ventured out, too. It would have been nice to see you. You were... someone good to fight alongside. I know that better in here than I did as Maata during the shit on the Island." Looking up, she taps against the side of her mug. "Michel could tell that Kinneson knew his shit."
She's just rambling a bit now. There does come a smile after a moment. "Well, maybe you can post a note somewhere, requesting some variety. I think the westerns are hit-or-miss. Some of them are all right, but others just bore the hell out of me. The older ones are too talk-y, the newer ones have enough shooting and excitement."
Draining the rest of his coffee, the Defender excuses himself for a moment to get another drink and he returns with two bottles of water, offering one to the Hunter. "For some reason, I thought I was back in quarantine with the military that picked us up. Never thought much about it, oddly enough." As for the compliments on his fighting when the shit hit the fan, he can only incline his head appreciatively, "Thanks. Military training and Colonial training helped, for sure. And what we were fighting sure weren't wolves." More of the pancakes are devoured, similar to how one eats in the military, then the Defender takes a long drink of water. "I'll be sure to file a strongly worded complaint to those in charge here."
The water bottle is accepted and the Hunter opens it to take a drink. It pairs well with the coffee, balancing it out. "Seriously? Quarantine? You never thought to look around, talk to anyone, ask questions? Or... wonder if you were gonna be questioned or tested?" She can't help but grin, even laugh a little. "Had a few screws loose that time, didn't you." There's another sip of water before the bottle is set aside as she watches him finish his food.
"Thorne felt... a lot more me I guess. If that makes sense? I feel like whoever I am was military-trained, or close to it. Maata was tough. Smart. She knew those islands like the back of her hand. But she didn't have any real training like that. But Michel..." The Hunter nods slowly, knowingly. "Michel was a marine. She was a strategist. That all makes sense to me."
"Yeah... no. That wasn't exactly on my mind at the moment. I thought they had another series of questions and tests to do on me. Not everyday do you see an army of the dead rise from the ground. Then have a very real threat of a nuke being dropped on your head." A pause before he shrugs, "Plus, it seemed I was being put to sleep so I thought that's how they were testing me while I was out." When the pancakes are done, he slowly enjoys the strips of bacon, savoring the taste as he nods his head to what the Hunter is saying, "So that is who you identify with more in your memories then, makes sense. Me... I can't say which one is more me. The memories from both are so clear, it seems they are both me yet not at the same time. It's hard to explain."
"But is it really who I identify with more or is it just because she's the more recent memory?" The Hunter runs her tongue across her lower lip, reaching for that water bottle again. She plays with the cap, staring off past the Defender's shoulder. "I can't clearly remember either one's past, their childhood, or much else about who they are, but Michel is the one that just happened, so... is it because she's more fresh in my mind? Or because she's the stronger of the two?" She blinks a few times before focusing back on him directly.
After a sip of water, the Hunter sets the bottle back down. "But then... Michel rejected her feelings a lot. Maata didn't. So I can't... suppress her entirely, as it were. It's a strange conundrum."
The Defender has no background in psychology, that's for sure so he can only shrug his shoulders again, obviously no help on untangling this mess they are in. "As you say, I can't remember the past when I was Wolfram, or Anton. I can't exactly recalls the details after surviving both encounters either. I mean... I do vaguely remember the gathering that Driscoll organized, that's how I ran into him again. Pretty sure got his card, made contact afterwards for employment." A pause from his bacon eating as he narrows his eyes slightly, obviously making an effort to remember, "I think I was on a ship on the way back to Earth... cryosleep I believe. But when I woke up, I was in my room."
"I wonder if there's something to the fact that you survived both times," the Hunter says quietly, considering the Defender. Then she laughs, leaning forward after pushing both her drinks aside. She buries her head against her forearms after dropping them against the table. "Fuck," she says, word muffled there in the burrow of her arms. "I keep trying to find answers and they're getting me nowhere." There's a sigh, shoulders slumping.
Then the Hunter finally lifts her head, she just rests her chin against her arms and watches the man across from her with slightly lofted brows. "I guess it's better than the fact that last time, I just kept trying to break out. Destroying things. Setting fires. Shit like that."
The last strips of bacon is munched away and the Defender takes another long drink from his bottle of water, "I think that is the point, they don't want you find any answers. No windows, no contact with the outside. So far to the point that we see no staff or anything that maintains this place." When the Hunter shares that she was full on vandalizing the place, he can help but furrow his brows, "What? Why would you do that? What if the fire spread out of control. We all would've burned to death." The Defender obviously does not approve of the actions she took, when it had a chance to place others in harm's way.
There's a scowl at the Defender when he begins chastising her. "I'm not an idiot," the woman says in return. "I wasn't trying to burn the place down. I wanted to trigger the fire suppression system in one of the empty rooms. Find out what type of system the place had and how it worked." She sits up straighter, grabbing her coffee to take a drink. "We had wet towels on hand to put out the fire if it proved to be problematic and, again, empty room." The Hunter is still frowning, annoyed. "I figured if it was a standard sprinkler system, I could track the pipework and maybe find a weak spot in the ceiling to break through."
The Defender couldn't help himself when he spoke but he doesn't criticize the action any further, especially when the Hunter mentioned how controlled the situation is. "I guess you guys found nothing of note. Which means whoever is in control, they're not careless. This place they've built... they've thought of everything. Not only to prevent us from escape, but also to keep us alive." A pause as he drinks more water, "The most troubling thing is their technology level. They can somehow revive us and also somehow... put is in different lives."
"Nothing so far, no," the Hunter says quietly with a hint of her own vexation. "I keep hoping, but no." She leans back in her chair finally, studying him. "There's a lot about their technology that is just... insane." She drops her hands to her lap, letting out a sigh. "The food dispensers for one. Anything we can imagine, there for the ordering. How we all fall asleep at the same time, but end up back in our beds." She shakes her head slowly. "I can't even begin to explain it, imagine it."
Rubbing his temple with one hand, the Defender shakes his head slightly, "The last two can be explained somewhat. Sleeping gas is somehow pumped into this entire area, all the rooms, at a set timer. Once we are all out, they move everyone back, replace everything. If they can dispense all that food, they must be able to recreate any items we break in here. It's the... resurrection and the lives we live that is leaps and bounds above any of our understanding." Almost like someone is playing god. A long sigh is released as he looks towards the parlor, "I think I'm going to head back to my room. Every time I give this stuff though, it hurts my mind." A pause before he quickly adds, "I don't mean actual physical pain, they haven't planted anything in my head. Just... frustration."
There's a long period of quiet from the Hunter. She just leans forward again, grabbing her water. She lets out a small sigh at long last, taking a sip. "No, I understand what you mean. Sometimes I just need time to think myself." She moves to stand, watching him. There's a small shrug. "Look, if you ever need to... talk shit over, feel free to find me." She takes a deep breath and settles back on her heels. "I know it's not the kind of thing people like us-" a gesture to him and herself with the water bottle, "do often, but getting stuck in your own head is no good either."
"I'll keep that in mind, Thorne." The Defender says as he rises from his seat, taking his half drank water bottle with him, "I'm sure there are others who are much smarter than me stuck in this place with us, like the Weyland-Yutani scientists. I'll let them do the heavy mental lifting, I'll not to dwell too much on it but it's hard when there isn't much else to do and every day we wake up, it's an instant reminder that we're still prisoners here."