There seems to be an experiment going down in the dining room. It's starting to become a habit with the Analyst, really... Along with casually unplugging the radio whenever he walks by it. Two tables have been pushed together to make a single huge surface upon which an entire feast has been laid out. There's no logic to the choices. Apple pie, mashed potatoes, and roast turkey have been laid out alongside squid, century eggs, and haggis, and some even less recognizable dishes. The Analyst stands next to the table, barefoot and in his pajamas, slowly and meticulously trying exactly one bite from each dish.
Dare strolls into the dining room in a green mid calf length tunic with hieroglyphic embroidery and loose back trousers. He blinks once, takes in the sight, then goes to the dispenser for a tea service on a tray. The familiar scent of North African style green mint tea with a touch of oregano wafts from the pot. He gives Bik a smile, "Mind if I sit with you while you eat? I have an extra cup if you'd like to try Magrebi tea." He too is barefoot.
The Analyst glances up when Dare strolls in, only to go straight back to his experiment. It's a serious business, evidenced by the fact that he even takes a drink from a glass of water between each bite. Gotta clear that palate, apparently? He only pauses when Dare speaks, in a moment of frozen indecision. Finally, he gives a little birdlike nod, softened by a little smile. "I haven't tried that, yet," he replies. It must be what serves for a 'thank you,' because he reaches over to take the cup. "It wasn't mentioned in any of the books I've read so far."
The Martyr says, “The oregano is a personal touch. You might want to try it plain first, then with a little honey for contrast. The spearmint is a North African varietal. You are reading books about food? That makes sense." He sets the tray down so he might stir a little honey into his cup. "You... uh... figured out the facilities in your room? Bath and shampoo and the like? I remember how much trouble Arcade had when he was Ouroboras, learning how to properly take care of hair."”
The Analyst considers the problem for a moment, but then starts preparing a cup of tea, first by simply pouring it plain into the cup. "Not about food, specifically," he corrects, pouring only a small amount into the cup. "But humans... I mean, people can't help writing about food. It shows up everywhere." He takes the first drink of the plain tea, holding it in his mouth for several moments with a look of intense concentration. Then, without a word as to what he thinks about it he begins preparing a second mouthful this time with some honey. "I figured out the important bits. I don't see the point of showering. Everything goes back to normal everyday anyway." He tries the honey-flavored version, nods thoughtfully, and then goes back to taste-testing from the dishes of food spread out over the table. "Help yourself if you want," he adds. "I couldn't figure out how to ask for one bite of everything, so there's plenty."
The Martyr nods, "That's good. That you worked it out. A warm bath can feel nice, but it's not necessary. How are you... doing otherwise. It has been a big change for you. Thank you. Let me see." He makes up a plate of vegetarian side dishes and starts eating. "What foods do you like so far? Are you still going by Bik?"
The Addict wanders in from the parlor. They're in black leggings with a hip-length grey tunic top, barefoot, with their hair pulled back in a short tail. No makeup today, though they're clean-shaven. They glance at the food curiously, then offer Bik a warm, sleepy smile. "Hello," they say. Then they drape their arms around Dare's shoulders and give him a squeeze and a kiss on top of his head.
The Healer steps in quietly, dressed immaculately in glossy black low heels, black wool slacks, a black sleeveless vest, white China silk blouse of plain design but for the frills at neck and wrist, and a headpiece that covers her head and he eyes in a coarse veil (that completely fails to hide her eyes), almost as if to call attention to the carefully applied lip paint and rouge. Seeing the new faces she quietly steps to one side, leaning back against the wall, to observe, purpose for coming to the dining hall temporarily set aside.
The Martyr's food choice is noted, as is the behavior of The Analyst. She unwraps the beads from her wrist, holding them between her hands before them as she counts them off, an ingrained habit, while she watches.
The Analyst shrugs a little. "I can walk without falling over, now. So I'm better than I was, I think," he answers. "Food is strange, though. Some mushy things are good, like mashed potatoes, but others aren't. I think I don't like eggs. They're the bad kind of mushy. Pie is very good though." He pauses to tear off a bit of the skin on the turkey, and eat it. In the process, he sees that what's underneath looks different, so he takes a bit of the meat and eats that next. "Don't know," he adds, around a full mouth. "Bik wasn't really my name, you know. It was Kuebiko. But I don't think I should have that name. I'm not Kuebiko. He was made of straw. I'm..." He frowns a little, then just shakes his head. "I don't know what I am. I'm not human, because humans die and stay dead. How did you get /your/ name?" He glances around to include Briar and the Healer in his question.
The Martyr tilts his face up in hopes of a kiss, "Grab a cup if you'd like tea. I got it to make it the way Kemen liked it. I think I love Paris." He gives the healer a smile and a wave, "Fenghuang? have you met Bik? This is his first time in the facility too, but he's from out there originally, like I was. Have you tried Magrebi tea? I got a taste for it last time I was Out There." He looks really pleased by Bik's news, "I really am glad you are getting the hang of it. I know it's a lot to get a handle on all at once. Pie is excellent! have you tried Cheer's cookies? Cheer used to be Sekmet. Leona. She hand bakes them."
He sips his tea, thinking, "I was from out there, like you. My name was Finn and I was a lawyer. It was... not as extreme a difference between me and who I was as it was for you, but there was an obvious difference, something so much of who I thought I was had based his identity around. I am proud of who I was and he's a part of me, but he's not me. I decided I wanted a name to express this me, if that makes sense. it needed to be simple. It needed to... fit. I Dare.... It's a little hard to explain."
"When we were at that lodge in Oregon," Briar says, "I stepped in front of the ghost that was trying to kill my friend, and even though he killed me, I was a thorn in his side. I decided to go by Briar. It's gender neutral, and it's a reminder that I died doing something right." They sit down beside Dare and rest their head on his shoulder. "It's easier when you die, I think. It's sudden, and you're not as confused for as long."
A brief expression of displeasure crosses The Healer's face like a ghost flitting through a graveyard before her professionally pleasant mask is donned. Busted again. Being called out makes it hard to silently watch.
"I haven't met this "Bik" yet, no," she says, voice level, as she steps forward into the limelight, face curiously regarding Bik. "I'm sorry if it seems I was snooping, but I didn't want to interrupt a conversation in progress."
The white beads wrap around her wrist as she approaches.
"I'm not sure who I am," she says to Bik, "so I'm temporarily going by the name Fenghuang because of the embroidery on the gown I had yesterday." She spreads her arms wide and glances wryly down at herself. "Had I introduced myself to others in this garb I'd likely have chosen "Butch"."
Nah. Butches don't wear that much lip paint and gloss...
"I couldn't help but notice, however, that you seem to be experiencing food for the first time. Is this normal here?"
Dare's question is missed, it seems, though Briar earns a nod of recognition and a brief smile.
"I guess I don't know myself enough to give myself a name, yet." The century egg is the next thing to be tried, and it's the first time Bik has much of a reaction. A bite goes in, there's a moment of slow transformation in his expression as he realizes this was a terrible mistake, and then he spits it back out into his hand. "There's been a terrible mistake. That is not food." He just sort of casually dumps the half-chewed bite back onto the plate. Hopefully no one else was looking forward to eating some nasty egg. "I'd like to try cookies. I bet they're good."
He pauses in his food experiment to give Fenghuang a closer look, head tilted with a certain sort of curiosity. "You weren't snooping. You're not sneaky enough. Me, I was surprisingly sneaky for a scarecrow without feet, until a few days ago. Would you like some pie? It's made of apples and flour, but it tastes better than you would think. I only ate one bite, so there's plenty."
New Activity ---------
The Martyr curls an arm around Briars waist and kisses the top of their head, "Your death helped save the world. It was terrible to watch, but a beautiful thing to have done. Briars have roses too." He's got a nuanced concept of butch and doesn't seem confused by it. "How are you today, Fenghuang?" Dare watches Bik's face, and fascinated, starts to reach his fork that way, but withdraws disappointed as the rest of the portion is ruined. Grinning, "Remember that time you snuck into my trailer while I was sleeping? You are so lucky I calmed Leona down. I think you were the only person besides Leona who saw me like that."
The Addict watches Bik experience the century egg. "Yeah, I think I'll stick to pie, too." For now, they don't seem to want anything to eat, though. They're content to linger near Dare. "I hope we're not going back to the 1930s. I keep hearing about how the future is better for people like me, but the closest I've gotten is 1989."
They pour themselves a cup of tea from Dare's pot. Glancing between Bik and Dare, they ask, "What is this? You snuck into his trailer?"
The Healer, too, notices the reaction to the century egg, but reacts herself with a bit of a frown of disapproval. "Excuse me a moment," she says, slipping out the the dispensing machinery. A few moments later she returns with a covered tray, opening it after setting it on the table to reveal her choice of breakfast: a plate of sliced century eggs in some kind of slimy-looking sauce, a bowl of rice porridge, and a stack of orange pancake things that Martyr and Addict would both recognize from earlier.
"I hope nobody minds if I break my fast while we talk?" she asks, seating herself before the feast, picking up a slice of the egg and a spoonful of the porridge to consume together with obvious relish. "It helps," she says to Analyst, "if you acclimatize yourself with sauces first before going to the egg alone."
"I do remember," Bik confirms, suddenly solemn and a little distant. "I don't /think/ Leona could have hurt me. She could have removed some of my stuffing, I suppose. Anyway, even if she killed me, at least I would have known." He shrugs, and some of that solemnity lingers while he loses himself in thought, even going a little glassy-eyed for a moment.
Without warning, he goes from glassy-eyed to positively green. "Something's wrong." He frowns, one hand fluttering to his stomach, but the poor guy's expression is a mixture of utterly puzzled and deeply miserable. "No, this is not good. Sorry. Um, I have to..." Without finishing the thought, he flees the room. Looks like he's gotta go discover what happens when a human /over/ eats. Whoops.
The Martyr gives Briar a gentle squeeze, "I'm sure we'll get there some day, Love. was Prosperity 1902, or am I miss remembering?" He brightens when he sees what The Healer is having, "Is it rude to ask i I might try some of yours?" Then he looks really alarmed, "If you can't make it to the toilet use a waste paper basket!"
The Addict says, "Yes, Prosperity was 1902. My first lifetime, and boy, was I confused." They watch Bik run out and cluck their tongue. "Poor dear," they say. "He's still not sure how to be human." They then glance at Healer's breakfast, intrigued. "I suppose the trick in any cuisine is knowing how to eat it. My first incarnation would've been fascinated by trying something new. I'm just not hungry right now."
The Healer clicks her tongue in thought. "I think," she agrees with Briar, "that you may have something there. My first experience with cheese was not one I'd care to repeat, yet it works fine in sauces. Perhaps it's a combination of what you're used to and how new things are presented?"
She continues eating, gesturing to the plate for Martyr's benefit with a nod.
The plate with the egg, not the plate with the cakes...
"Feel free to try it," she says after swallowing. "It has a sesame oil, garlic, and chives sauce on top with soft tofu underneath. It's really quite good."
The Martyr flashes the healer a grin, "Thank you. I love trying new things." He leans forward and spears a pece with sause, careful not to disturb the other pieces and tries it. He is called Dare for a reason after all. He eats it with a curious rather than horrified expression. To Briar he says, "It very egg, if that makes sense. The sauce is nice with it. It's not odd, just, very, very yolk. I think that might have been his problem. he didn't really like regular eggs either.
"I imagine it's pretty eggy," Briar says agreeably. "I like eggs. Cheese, too. But Martin grew up eating it, so he was used to it." To Healer, they explain, "Martin was my first life. He was a food snob. I'm eating vegetarian right now, though, so that restricts some of the snobbery. Eggs are probably my favorite, though." They sip their tea and sigh in contentment. "Those pumpkin pancakes look good, too. I'll get some from the dispensary sometime."
"It turns out," The Healer says with a slight smile, "that I eat vegetarian as well. I found that out yesterday when I was driven to look for food and found ... uh ... What was the name? Cheer? Eating those sausages. I oh-so-wanted some but couldn't force myself to eat any." She pauses, eyeing Dare, then Briar. Hesitates. Then, "You can try the pumpkin cakes if you like. I think they're an indulgence of mine."
She snags one of them defensively and takes a bite, face transforming to pure bliss for a moment.
"I feel like ... a little girl in her grandfather's loving arms when I eat them."
The Martyr kisses Briar's cheek, "Could you grabe be some too? They sound good." He nods, "Cheer. If the pancakes make you feel like that why not have them whenever you like? Life can be pretty rough out there. Why not take what pleasure you can in here while it lasts?"
The Addict leans into the kiss and says, "When I get some, sure. I'm not hungry right now." The hold up a hand to let Fenghuang know the pumpkin pancakes are safe from them at least. "You should definitely have them whenever you want them. We should be comfortable while we're here. The lives they put us through are so rough sometimes. I like to use my time here to relax. Go dancing, see places I always wanted to go. I eat a lot of ice cream. Danny liked it."
Someone else comes into the dining hall -- about 5’6”, lithe, and bubbling over with curiosity and energy. The Dabbler, her hair cut in a short, modern style that doesn’t even remotely resemble her Kitsune persona, is clad in a pair of orange overall shorts over a white t-shirt covered in yellow polka dots. “Oh my god, hi!” She stops and stares at the others, grinning from ear to ear with manic grin. “People! There’s finally some PEOPLE!”
"Because it binds me too tightly, then, to the illusion and binds me more tightly to Samsara," The Healer explains, quite serious in tone, in answer to Martyr's question. "Ideally I should have the strength to treat them as nothing, as if they were just rice in a bowl, but ... I seem to lack that discipline."
She looks up. "I believe we are in Diyu, and are undergoing purging tortures by Lord Yama to rid us of karma. This place..." Her arm takes in the facility. "...is Naihe Qiao -- the bridge of helplessness. When our karmic burden is sufficiently expiated, we will be permitted to reincarnate and try once more for enlightenment and Niepan." She waves her hand as she tries to find the word. "Nirvana."
She returns to her food just in time to have a mouth full when Dabbler arrives. She does the "hot food in the mouth and trying to swallow quickly nonetheless" dance, fanning her open mouth at the end before replying, "Well, I doubt we are people, but we are here, yes. I am ... ah ... let's just go with Fenghuang for now until I remember my name, if I ever do."
A man looks up, startled, and gives the Dabbler a friendly wave. his accent is Pacific Northwest American, "Are you new? Is there anything we can help you with?" The Martyr is just barely above average in height, classically handsome with dark eyes, tawny skin, and black, curly hair. His features are strongly masculine, with high, aristocratic cheekbones and a cleft chin. A regal nose shadows full lips. He's barefooted and wearing a green mid calf length tunic with hieroglyphic embroidery and loose back trousers. "Please forgive my ignorance, but what's samsara?" he sips his tea, thinking, "Reincarnation makes as much sense as anything, I suppose." He eyes Briar, "In here doesn't feel like torture, though the murder ghost outing might count as such.... honestly, I think we are clones, but no one really knows."
"Cycle of death and rebirth," Briar says, but not entirely certainly, and they look to Fenghuang for verification. "Buddhism, I think? Martin used to study this stuff. I've been so many religions now I don't know what I believe anymore."
They smile at Dabbler, then. "Hello. I think we met in the Carnival?" Hastily, they add, "I won't try to eat you. I was a maenad then. I wasn't thinking clearly. I don't even eat meat anymore."
Dabbler draws closer, sizing Fenghuang up, hands on hips. She wrinkles her nose at her, smirking ear to ear. “This place just doesn’t seem like Lord Yama’s /style/, though, does it?” Dabbler looks Japanese, and sounds one hundred percent Californian. Her brown eyes move to Kemen and grins. “You seem super-familiar, bu I don’t know why.” She looks to Briar next. “You, too. It’s crazy. I had this intense dream where I was a kitsune or something. You know, like from the legends? And then it all got so hazy, and I woke up here. No one was around.” Her eyes flit down to the pumpkin cakes and widen a little. “Those are for sharing, right?” Her small hand is already creeping in that direction.
There's that look of a wild dog hunched over meat, growling at anybody daring to reach for it. Then it's gone and Healer's professional, blandly pleasant face returns.
You may try one if you wish, sure," she says magnanimously, after snagging herself a second one just to be sure, holding them in her chopsticks and slurping up another spoonful of porridge. "And yes," she continues after swallowing, "this is not what scripture led me to believe Diyu would be like, but ... the court perhaps changes with the times? It's not as if we have people coming back to report on how things are now."
She takes a bite from her cake and that look of purest bliss crosses her features once more.
"But the data is in my favour. This is obviously not real. Real things don't just magically repair daily." Real things don't dash their brains out against a pillar, almost, and then wake up in perfect form... "Real things make dust. Yet there is not a speck of dust in this place. As if we lack real skin. I don't believe we are real. Or, at the very least, that I am. I believe that I, at least, am being purged for the next ride on Samsara's wheel until I can earn a place in the Pure Land."
She gestures to the preserved eggs. "Those are for sharing as well," she adds.
The Martyr smiles crookedly, "I was an Aethieist, but can one really be one after one has been a God?" He kisses Briar's cheek, "We all did some peculiar things last time." He squints at the Dabbler, "I looked different, but I used to be Thomas. Kemen. Were we in a bar brawl once where Leona ate a... nevermind. I was the one driving the getaway car. If that was you." He rises, "Let me get you some more from the dispenser. I was wanted to try them myself anyway." He goes and gets two big plates of them with chopsticks in the hopes tat this will be enough.
"I remember that brawl," Briar says. "Holden had to pry me off of that one guy. I almost bit him." They smile fondly. "That's when I realized I was sweet on him." They watch Dare get up. "I still don't know what I believe. Whether I'm real or not, alive or not, I don't know. It doesn't really seem to matter, does it? We wake up every day the same."
Dabbler grabs one with her hand and stuffs half of it into her mouth. “Of course we’re real. If we’re experiencing life, then we’re real, even if everything /else/ is illusory. Which it very well may be. I’ve been pondering that myself. Ooh, really, these too?!” Yes, she’s getting herself an egg for sure, and talking with her mouth full as she narrows her eyes at Martyr. “Oh...sure! That all sounds...vaguely familiar. So...you had the same dream as me? Wacky.” Once he comes back with chopsticks, she finally grabs a pair and goes to on another pumpkin cake. She points at Addict with her chopsticks. “And you had it, too? But /you/ weren’t there, were you?” This last is to Healer.
"I ... can only say I have no memory of it," The Healer hedges. "Was I there, it didn't remain in my mind." And large snakes stay in the mind, don't they? Even now... "From what little I've heard, I think these ... incidents? These lives? ... you refer to are part of the karmic purging. We will have many, many, many such experiences until we are ready to once again try for enlightenment, or at least the Pure Land.
The Martyr smiles and Briar, "I hope that's going well, love." He is not as good with his chopsticks as someone who grew up with them, but he's not half bad. He pops one in his mouth with an expression of instant delight. He snags another one and offers it to Briar with an 'are you sure?' questioning expression. He listens wit some interest to the back and forth between the women. Most of his philosophical training was Western. "There's plenty for everyone now. These are really amazing. Thank you for recommending them. Would anyone really torture us with pumpkin cakes though?"
The Addict leans in and takes the pumpkin cake off the chopsticks. Their expression brights. After swallowing, they say, "Those are so good." They take another sip of their tea. "I don't think we're being tortured. Not here, anyway. Maybe our lives are torture. I'm happy where I am, though. This place isn't so bad." They smile at Dare. "Things are going well. I'm genuinely happy."
“I have no idea what you’re talking about with incidents and lives,” Dabbler says, mouth full again, “but I believe the purging part. I mean, this has to be destiny, /whatever/ it is.” She grins at Martyr and adds, “Buddhists don’t like pleasure. Doesn’t mean the rest of can’t enjoy it.” Then she stage-whispers, “I think I’m Buddhist, too, which makes it even funnier.” Dabbler seems easily amused. “Speaking of torture, I woke up craving natto. Be right back!” She hops over to the dispensary and returns with several small bowls of the sticky fermented beans and starts to mix one of them up with several sauces. “Help yourself. It doesn’t go with Fenghaung’s food very well, but who cares? Life is for living. By the way, I think you can call me...Kano.” She nods to herself. “Yep, I like the sound of that.”
You know how westerners typically react to preserved eggs--so-called century eggs? That's sort of how Healer is reacting to Kano's natto, visibly horrified at the sticky strands gooping up the chopsticks.
"Ah ... I'm almost full," she lies unconvincingly, turning her vision from the vistas of a legitimate, direct Hell before her and back to her adored pumpkin cakes. Which she's snagging extras from when nobody's looking. So much for "almost full"...
"Kano," she agrees, still not looking across, and wishing she could get that SOUND of sticky strands sliding against each other out of her ears. "It's as good a name as any. Names are, in the end just labels we attach to that we do not know."
The Martyr grins at Briar, "Where have these been all our lives?" He kisses their nose, "That's the most important thing to me: your happiness." Nods, "Kano. I'll try to remember. I think I'm going to stick to the pumpkin cakes for now. I'd rather not mix."
The Addict grins at Dare and ducks their head, tucking a lock of hair behind one ear. "You have it," they tell him. The sticky strands of fermented beans are glanced at, but they make no move to share in the, er, delightful treat. "I'm still not very hungry," they say. "I feel emotionally full, and it affects my appetite."
Oh yes, Kano is slurping away. She points her chopsticks rather rudely at Fenghuan, Dare, and then Briar. “You two are full on pumpkin, and you’re full on...love or something? Okay, more natto for me.” She laughs -- loudly and merrily, then suddenly shifts gears. “Okay, so -- what else? We’re living in a dream world, or that was reality and this is a dream. Is there table tennis in the dream world?"
The Thrill-Seeker comes wandering in with a smile and looking rather, well, calm. "Hello!" She says cheerfully as she waves on her way to the dispenser. Then stops dead to star at the...slimy goo go down Dabbler's gullet. But she starts walking again quickly lest she be offered a bit. She may be a foodie, but she remember the last experiment session all too well. You can't forget -that- smell. She is in there for a minute and when she emerges it is with a bowl of mashed potatoes with gravy, turkey, and stuffing all mixed together. Walking over to the table where everyone is eating she asks, "Table tennis? I don't see why not unless we're in the medieval ages or something...huh...when -was- table tennis invented?" She takes a bite while considering.
"I could be persuaded to watch some table tennis," Healer muses, forehead wrinkling a bit. "But there appears to be a dearth of tables. Paddles. Nets. Balls. I'm not sure how one would go about playi..." She stops, reddening. "Oh. Those anywhere things..."
The Martyr nods, "You don't have to eat, Briar, Love. I am glad that you are full. I know I am.... Try the Anywhere Room. You could play with famous people even if it suits your fancy. No clue as to when it was invented. Sorry." He waves to Cheer, "Come try the pumpkin cakes! Oh and when Bik is feeling better he said he'd like to try your cookies, lovely." He eyes the Healer compassionately, "It's all right. The snake thing was just Arcade. That normally wouldn't happen unless you wanted it to."
Briar nods and says, "Yeah, those two doors in the parlor lead to rooms that become anything you want. I went out dancing the other night. Dare and I went to Paris. There's no reason you couldn't make it a room with a table tennis table in it." The smile at Cheer and wave a little. "I might go swimming later today. There's a tropical island I like to visit."
“Hiiiiii!” Kano waves cheerfully to Thrill-Seeker as she emerges, then squints at her. “Huh, you look familiar, too. Were you in that Carnival dream as well?” She looks between Healer and Martyr. “Anywhere Room? What’s THAT?” Oh yes, she’s certainly intrigued, and she grins wide at Briar when they explain further. “Oh my gawd. Think of the possibilities! They’re astounding...” Deep in thought for a moment, she slurps some more natto.
The Thrill-Seeker beams at everyone, but especially Dare. She comes to give him a quick kiss atop his head and bends to give Briar a peck if they seem open. Then she leans against the wall, settling to stand and eat. "Mmm, yep, anywhere room!" She says excitedly around a mouthful. "I think I'd be good at it...I think..." She frowns and squints her eyes. "Yeah, Kimmy played it." That girl had too much energy, not even ping-pong could wear her out. "Yeah, Sekhmet. She of far, far too many names," She gives a laugh and her gaze slips to Dare and then back to Keno with a nod. "I like to go hang-gliding." Turning to Dare she says, "Oh! I better find out what kind he likes. I'll make some special. They're best when fresh and warm after all."
Finishing her meal, finally, still steadily averting her gaze from the monstrous Japanese food, The Healer tidily sets the implements on the tray and then looks around for where to place the remains. "Where does one wash dishes?" she finally asks. Then stops. "One doesn't, does one?" she asks wryly. "They don't exist anyway and will be gone tomorrow." She stands up and smiles politely, but face grave. "I have much to mull over. I'm glad to have met you, Kano," she says, "and it is nice to see these other friendly faces. I look forward to further discourse later."
And with that she heads out, not quite fleeing, in the direction of the hall of rooms.
The Martyr lowers his lashes, "Might you want company, Briar?" He lightly strokes Cheer's arm when she kisses the top of his head. "You might remember Cheer as Leona from the bar brawl... No wait, she was wearing a different face then too. He sighs happily, remembering, "Mmmmm.... hang gliding. Some day, I'll learn how to land." He shakes his head, "Bik won't know. He's only ever eaten here and is still trying things out one at a time. he's never eaten cookie before. I think it'll be fine if you don't give him something too eggy." he waves to The Healer, "see you soon."
The Addict tilts their cheek to the offered peck. "I would love company," they say. They wave to Healer as she makes her way out. "I wouldn't mind one of our lives taking place on a tropical beach. Though, knowing our luck, all the fauna would be venomous, the plants poisonous, and we'd starve to death."
Kano’s scarfed down quite a bit of the natto, and gets to her feet with her own tray full of bowls. “See ya!” She waves to the retreating Healer, and then grins at the others, especially Thrill-Seeker. “Hang-gliding. Great idea. I need to check out one of these rooms, stat. I’ll see the rest of you around!” But first, to get the evil food away from everyone.
The Thrill-Seeker wiggles her fingers after Healer as she heads off. Then turns her attention back to the rest of the group. "Oh, a selection of basics then. I can do that," She says with a bob of her head. "Wasn't the first one somewhere tropical? Something about a helicopter blowing up with the wounded...and some curse by the island inhabitants?" She shakes her head uncertainly as she thinks it over another bite of her own dinner.
The Martyr says, “Zombie NAZI water zombies. That Dinosaur island from King Kong. Australia." He winks as he mentions the last one. "I think someone said something about a skeleton war.”
The Addict nods to Cheer and says, "That's right, there were cannibals and skeletons, and various things exploded. I wouldn't mind hanging out with dinosaurs. Until getting eaten by one, which would inevitably happen. But, I guess, if we have to die anyway, that's one way to go about it. Though if T-Rex had feathers, that'd be kind of awkward. To get devoured by something that's a big, fluffy, feathery floof."
The Thrill-Seeker grins and chuckles at that. "I dunno, do they?" She considers this as she takes another bite of her Thanksgiving bowl. "Hmmm...bet there are books out there to tell us if we want." She glances towards the parlor and back before finally slipping into a seat. "I talked to Chance. Brought a plate of cookies. He didn't recognize me," She seems amused by that last part.
The Martyr looks at the Addict, eyes wide, "They had feathers? How did I not know this? I wonder if there's a safe way we could safari in the Anything Rooms. Maybe some sort of gyroscope Hamster Ball? Too big and hard to eat but stabilized and comfy inside. We could eat Toklas brownies and watch the wildlife go by." He grins, "He didn't recognize me either. He's worried he missed someone new while he was blind."
"You probably don't read books about dinosaurs when you can't sleep," Briar says. "I've read a whole bunch of stuff about dinosaurs while I've been here. Like how they were killed off in an extinction event when a meteor struck the Yucatan Penninsula. They didn't know that in Danny's time. We died before those discoveries were made."
The Thrill-Seeker nods as she listens to them both. Making agreeable noises. "Oh, I like the hamster ball idea. Bet it would work. I am totally down for that." Little does she know what wonders and horrors -that- could engender. Or she'd -probably- be dropping her bowl to go do it right now. "Dinosaurs are cool...Kimmy really didn't give a shit about them, but I think they're neat."
The Martyr blushes, "I don't. I've been mostly reading philosophy and Queer theory and Christopher Street issues from after we died." He flashes Kim a grin, "I want to hamster ball a Dinosaur safari stoned. I think I really, really do.
The Addict eyes the pair of them. "It would have to be some hamster ball." They nibble on one of the pumpkin cakes. "They were avians," they mention, "so technically they didn't go extinct." With a nod to Cheer's turkey. "You're eating one. I know, I had a hard time believing it, too. I thought it was a prank book, but I guess they really were birds. So, yeah, feathers."
The Thrill-Seeker grins wide at Dare with her dimples showing. Eagerly she claps her hands at the idea. "Oh I'm sure it'll be fine and fun to boot!" She says before taking another bite of her dino meal. "Mmmph, maybe that's why everything tastes like chicken?"
The Martyr says, “So we imagine it super tough? and big enough to be hard to swallow whole? If wore come to worse when we resurrect at Reset we can have an amazing story to tell about how we died." He snorts and eats a pumpkin cake, "These do NOT taste like chicken."”
"It all tastes like chicken because it is chicken," Briar says with a laugh. "But now picture all those 'reptiles' with feathers. Makes them seem kind of ridiculous." They top off their tea from the pot. "Anyway, dinosaurs have kind of become a hobby. Maybe someday I'll be a paleontologist and it won't be wasted."
The Thrill-Seeker nods with enthusiasm since her mouth is full. "Mmmhmm!" She says, quickly chewing and licking her lips free of gravy. "Yes! Exactly. If we die...well...we'll do better next time!" She says it with fierce determination and a light in her eyes. "That would be nice right? I think...I'll go and find some more dino books. I want to be able to recognize things on our safari." And she pops up to press a kiss to Martyr's lips this time before practically prancing off.