Log:From Prosperity to the Stars
The Noc is a giant space station, and when they step through the door they arrive at the bar within the observatory of the Eclipse casino. Below them is the casino floor, visible through the 30 foot gap between the railing around the circular raised bar area and the great dome above. Through the dome, one can actually see the space station spreading out around them and then the massive expanse of space, the binary stars, and the blackness beyond. The place is empty. There are no people. Only Connor sits at the bar, waiting for the others to arrive, leaning back against it with his elbows resting on its surface. He's just looking out at the view, perhaps remembering the last time he'd sat at that bar, sharing a drink with some who had gone, and some who he had seen again.
The Loner strides into the observatory, not even missing a step in the transition between the interior of the facility and being under the vastness of space. If anything, for part of him, it's like coming home. Holding the bottle in hand he steps right towards the edge of the railing. Only one quick glance is given down towards the casino before his eyes shift upwards, taking in the twin stars. He takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "It does feel different. Seeing it this way." He stands that way for a few moments, head thrown back. "I didn't know if it would."
The Beast nods his head in agreement to Loner, his gaze drifting down from the stars to watch the man instead. "It's definitely different," he agrees. The feelings, the experience of it is both different due to the emptiness of the place, the context, and all the memories that he holds for it. He opens his mouth, looking like he might say more for a moment, but then he shakes his head and doesn't, instead just looking back up to the stars to take them in, appreciate them for just being there.
The Rogue was quick with a quip regarding the station, "Yeah it's free of paracites." Still it was pretty damn awe inspiring if not eerily quiet in comparison to the traffice one would expect. Looking to Beast he mused, "Remember when I said naw, I'm good on the Heph I have no need to go socializing?" He squint those blue eyes, balance back, "I was wrong by one I think. Who's playin dopper? Bartender?"
The Addict slips in after his dance, and he stops short in the doorway. A man with a 1900s sense of technology has no idea what to make of this place. "Where are we?" he asks in a low, cautious tone. He steps further into the room, slowly making his way to the bar, though his gaze is on the windows overlooking the binary star. "Should I be here?" he asks. He glances back toward the door, like he's giving fleeing some consideration. "I don't understand any of this."
"Well yes, that too. But it feels different than the last time I saw this." The Loner sounds a bit breathless as he speaks. "You don't know what it was like for me here. I didn't have feelings, not real feelings. This view didn't mean anything more to Callum than staring at a wall did." He leans back against the railing, still admiring the view above him. "Sure, he might have reacted as if it was impressive, but it didn't mean anything. All a show." He frowns before lowering his gaze back to those at the bar, focusing on Martin as he spreads his arms wide. "Welcome to Tenochtitlan station. Where some of us lived for a spell."
The Beast shrugs his shoulders at Rogue and says, "I can pour." He gets up from the bar and goes around the other side. There may not be a bartender, but there are glasses and bottles and enough booze for them to enjoy. So he pours a few glasses and sets them out on the bar for others to take if they like. He then pours himself a glass and leans against the bar from behind it, arms folded on its surface as he watches Loner. "No," he admits, "I didn't even know then what it was like for you. I never figured out you were a synth." He then looks over toward Martin and says, "You remember looking up at the stars on a clear night and seeing them all up above you? Well, this is it. Except, now you're up in amongst them. Like looking down into a clear pool of water and seeing all the fish, then jumping in and swimming with them."
The Rogue nodded in appreciation to Conner (we'll just stick with Connor even if it made no sense to him). His eyes torn from the stratosphere by the words he didn't expect with a chortle of surprise, "Bloody hell you were a robot? Okay he drinks first." He waded over to stand in the middle of the room and mused, "I remember... I- um, Sinclair just wanted to start over. Had nothing, ran until... Aaron- you," He gestured to beast, "gave him some way off the rock he was stuck on. Blast- I just...wanted to get back to the drop point so fekkin bad." He sighed, and in truth was successful in that but barely. He squint to the other survivors of that wreckage, "Why I keep getting what I want but losing every bloody person I want to spend that success with?" Disturbing really.
To Martin the Rogue turned and considered the question offering, "It's a gathering hall, surrounded by lights with a tavern and for people to meet and do business. It's... weird. I know. But it's quite alright...unless the glass breaks but I'm fairly certain here we're safe as it's just trickery. Illusion."
The Addict makes his way to the bar and takes one of the drinks. "Thank you," he says, half-distracted as he continues to look out the window. He considers the pair of stars for a time. Then he knocks back the drink and sets the glass on the bar. His voice rasps a little as he says, "I think I would like another, please." He looks back to the trio slowly. "Who could conceive of such a thing? Living among the stars? It's the stuff of fiction. It makes me worry for the minds of whoever have engineered this sick game."
"Callum was very good at not coming off too synthy." Loner takes another long swig of his beer as he heads over to the bar and claims a stool for himself. He spins a bit on the top before coming to rest with his side leaning up against the bar. The bottle is set aside for the moment in favor of the glass to take a sip of whatever Connor poured. "Yeah, a robot with some serious Pinocchio syndrome. It was rather hard when I woke up from this place. I barely came out of my room at all." He glances down at the glass in his hand and takes another sip. "Well, this was supposed to be the year 2149 and technology keeps going. Who knows, this place we live in could be the far future, we just don't know it."
The Beast seems content with playing bartender, pouring a drink for Martin to replace the one that he drank, and then another for the Rogue as well. "Aaron just wanted to keep flying, to keep the Heph going, maybe someday make enough to buy another ship, grow his own small fleet again, keep independent mining going strong, take care of his crew." He shrugs his shoulders. "And he was willing to let every single soul on the Noc die in order to give the crew a chance at doing it." He glances over at Martin and says, "You think being among the stars is the sickest part of this whole cycle?" One brow arches a bit, but then he just shakes his head and takes another drink. "Could be even this is the distant past from where we are now," he nods to Loner, "No way of knowing, really."
The Rogue walked over and took the glass made for him and offered in consillitory manner, "If it's any consolation? You succeeded there... and I think I owe you an apology for snakin your bunk after." Eh he always was an opportunist there. Looking to Loner he squint, "Man, that's... rough I won't even fabriscate otherwise. My head's not wrappin around that but, eeeeh, we can always try to make a point of no hard feelings...or try." He slow turned to martin considering that. Back to not-Glenn he said, 'well here's to you not being titanium alloy. Incidently what /do/ I call you?"
The Addict shakes his head. "Not the sickest, but the most fantastical. The imagination it must take to dream up such scenarios." But then the Beast mentions how this might be the past to whoever is doing this, and that's a sobering thought, so he takes another drink from his glass. He looks at the Loner. "Is he saying you were a metal man?" Of all the eras to come from initially, the Old West is a rough one. "I'm starting to think nothing will surprise me anymore."
The Loner laughs sourly. "I hope there's no hard feelings. I shot Rory in the head on this station. Had to, mind you. He was infected, but still." At the question posed by Caleb he just shrugs. "I never picked a name, none of the ones I've been given feel right and I must have a name that's really mine. Just picking one at random seems.." He shakes his head and shifts the glass around on the bar. "I want to know who I am, picking a name feels like giving up." He looks aside to Martin and nods. "Well, a mix of materials but yes, I was a machine here. Not that it made dying any more pleasant, it just took longer to do so."
The Beast shrugs his shoulders, "If I were to carry hard feelings back, I would have beaten Chance until he was bloody. No point in it. Which isn't to say that I don't harbor some resentment, but what is beating him going to solve at this point? May as well move on." There's a glance over toward Loner, and he studies him for a bit, then pulls away from the bar, leaving plenty glasses poured out for them all and carrying one back over to the railing. He leans against it, looking down at the empty casino floor.
The Rogue flinched slightly and looked down into his glass and tilted his head sideways. "Yeaaah, you an I both..." He drank his drink and offered, "Maybe you're right. Maybe it's giving up.. letting em win, but I'd rather address youas a personand not an after thoughtnad certainly not 'not-Glenn'. you've had enough people making choices for ya, chummie." He shook his head lifting his glass, "I'm not inclined to be another t'do that to you." He considered identity and sighed looking out at the star scape, 'i miss m'name... my home. I miss knowing what me home is. As far as we know maybe we're in the year 2525 and there's nothin left and they are tryin to figure out how to fabricate a new colony... correct the mistakes of our sordid past. Maybe we're prisonersor expierement, Martin. We don't know. We're not going to get to know." He sighed and closed his eyes, "Maybe Addie knows... you lads think...she remembers?"
The Addict stares into his glass. "I admit, I've been wondering where I come from, and where was I while the rest of you were here or..." He gestures to the space station around them. "Here." He takes a drink. "I try not to think too hard about it, because there's nothing for my mind to do but run in circles. Part of me doesn't really want to know who I am or why I'm like this." He gestures down at himself with his feminine-but-not-quite-female clothing. "It wasn't the way I was brought up, as far as I know. It's just comfortable. But it's not who I was in Prosperity. I realizze I don't know any of you, but I still feel the way I felt back there. I still care about you all, and I'm not sure it means anything."
The Loner turns his head to stare at Connor's back his expression going blank and unreadable. With a sigh he picks up his glass and drains it. "Call me by whichever of the names you're most comfortable with. Most seem to go with Andrew or Glenn. Who knows, maybe sometime through I'll find a life that feels more like mine." He shakes his head slowly as he glances over at Martin. "It means something. Just because we can't remember who we are here when we're in one of those lives, doesn't mean what happens in those lives don't mean anything." His eyes shift back over to Connor again, then lets out a heavy sigh.
"Maybe none of it means anything at all. Maybe it's all just some simulation running over and over again for someone's sick amusement and none of this is real," Connor says, looking out over the empty gambling hall. He finishes off his drink then flings the glass down into it, watching it shatter on one of the machines below. He watches the glass fall and reflect the light from above, a glittering rainbow, the noise loud in the silence. He then pulls away from the rail and heads back toward the exit they came through, leaving the Noc behind.
Not the answer he was hoping for. he looked down into his glass and likstened to the glass break. Something in this fabricated lie pulled off its schematic. Something... that in short order at the close of a door didn't matter. His eyes slid closed and the murmur followed in language that marked none of them from similar origin, "I'm real. It...might be a lie... sometimes the lie's all we have." His hand came up to wipe his face dry, checked it. Passable. Had to be sure.
The Addict watches the Beast, Connor, take his leave, and he flinches at the sound of breaking glass. "It still matters," he says. He looks to the Loner. "It does mean something. What you did in Prosperity changed me. So did he." He points to the departing Beast. "In the grand scale of Creation, maybe it doesn't matter, but it matters to me." He swallows the last of his liquor and sets the glass down. Tentatively, he comes up beside Caleb and lays a hand on his shoulder. "You all meant so much to me there. You were the first people I ever had."
The Loner flips the glass over and sets it on the bar upside down. His eyes follow Connor though he remains silent as he watches the man not making any attempt to argue his words or to stop him. He keeps his expression cool and unreadable, barely blinking as his eyes follow. He looks at Caleb and Martin with the same unreadable look, after a moment he sighs and stands up, shoving his hands into his pockets. "I'm going to go take a nap." With that he moves towards the door that leads back to the facility. He waves over his shoulder. "You guys know where to find me if you need me."
The Rogue didn't move. His eyes scanned the starry sky but he didn't pull away from Martin either. "From... all I've seen we all wind up at the same spot. I just thought-" he took a drink and shook his head falling silent. "doesn't matter what I fuckin thought." His eyes scrutinized the billion stars opposite the glass as if they were spying on him. They might be. Who knows. "We never really got to talk much, havin our own families to worry about... but you remember that talk we had?"
The Addict gives the Rogue's shoulder a squeeze, and he nods. "Clear as day," he says. "That was the day I decided you were a good man, and one I'd lay down my life for. It broke my heart when Jody said he was picking you, but you know how stubborn that man could be." He smiles a little, then ducks his head, the smile fading. "Seems like broken hearts was what those demons wanted, and they got them in spades. But yeah, I remember."
The Rogue nodded slowly taking another drink. Yup this might be a good solution, pun withstanding. "I want you to know... I know what Jody said. Pierce told me, but... I never told you that because I wasn't willin to do it. I was always willin to, but-" He fought for phrasing, vowels rounding and taking the time to enunciate his words with all the care adopting them in a blend language brings. "We get a very small time we can make a difference. Some lifetimes? We never get that chance at all. We can take what we want, or we cna take teh initiative; rob our enemies of their success. Return to the people who will remember us a quality of life they'd be denied." He took another drink and looked to Martin, "Life deserves to mean somethin. It was an opportunity to take everything from those who would crush generations. Terrible and glorious a victory. Had you insisted? Eh i'd have let you but I wanted to make sure you knew it wasn't because your life didn't mean something, it's because yours could make everyone's mean something. You deserved to be proud of that...and... to know it would not go in fucking vain."
The Addict lifts his gaze to the Rogue, and he says softly, "See, it's you talking like that that makes me respect you. Because you're right, and because I knew you would've done it. That night in the saloon, we were equals on the same page, and I thought myself lucky to be counted among such men. I still do."
The Rogue and the Addict are at a bar in a casino on a space station whose window overlooks a binary star. It's a far cry from Prosperity, and the rest of the Facility, for that matter. Martin's hair is tied back by a ribbon the same sky blue as the tunic top he wears, with bell sleeves. Under it, he's wearing leggings. No shoes, as usual.
Martin's hand on the Rogue's shoulder squeezes, and then he gives in and hugs the man. "I am proud," he murmurs. "Of us both. I don't care what else happens, they can't take that away."
Perhaps the Deviant came in out of curiosity, or because he expected the holodeck room to be empty, and wanted to do something with it himself. Seeing it as bar in a casino on a space station gives him pause, but only for the briefest of moments. The slim fellow wanders slowly towards the other two, his spindly hands clasped behind his back. At the moment, he's wearing a black button-down shirt with two prominent front pockets, buttoned all the way up to his throat, very slim black trousers, and very polished black shoes, though they manage to make a remarkably small amount of noise.
The Rogue stood in the middle of that room, same cargo pants and a tank top, though now with an unbuttoned short sleeve linen shirt with it. Oddly what he wore in space usually though only he'd know it. Finally there was a drink in teh man's hand. One really could only grieve sober for so long. At least he wore casual really well.
"Thanks. I appreciate it,"the South African offered earnestly. "i'm glad I could do right by you just... and I'll say this from experience as a man that tried to abandoned preeeetty much everyone but four people t'die? I don't think everyone here wants all these experiences to matter so much. You get made the villian against your will? Eeeh ain't somethin you want to be remembered for." Turning, eyebrow arched he upnodded to Deviant. come to break things with us?"
"And what is it you're breaking?" The Deviant moves closer, speaking in that almost-whispery Northern English voice of his. He's very tall, really, so he rather looms over them while they sit and he stands. "Anything fun?"
The Addict hugs the Rogue, then steps back. He slips behind the bar, picking his way carefully around the broken glass. He takes a bottle and tops off his glass then offers a refill to the Rogue. "I suppose I have the luxury of only living one life so far, and it was a life I can be proud of. It must be hard to reconcile." He looks up at the Deviant. "Would you like something to drink?" he says. "So far we've only broken a glass, but the night is young."
The Rogue lifted a hand to greet the hug, brief, but appreciated. He finished his drink, bottoms up, and lobbed it carelessly to go keep Connor's company. "catharsis in a cup, just add spite." He turned to pad over to the bar and answered the big question with a wolfish grin, "I'm gonna break this whole place if I can."
The Rogue took his glass from martin and nodded. "Thanks." he lifted it, in gesture to teh enpty space that surrounded the Noc and said quietly, "If you're out there somewhere... here's to you." he flinched and drank his drink... and drank... and...yeah that just became single serving. "I'm sure others don't need to be reminded of, aaaah the reality of the situation. I'm jsut going to head back cause t'behonest, chums? It ain't sittin at all well with me. Not very kiff if ya catch me so... I'm gonna... yeah." Go have a meltdown for a couple days in private and wade it out? Sure. He paused looking to Dirk and both eyebrows went up already knowing i might be 50/50 if he even had a headache after. "me later. I might have somethin for you.' and that was ...that was that. Today was a day of ugly but very concrete truths. Stupid truths.
"Yes," the Deviant tells the Addict, when a drink is offered. "Surprise me." He looks to Rogue, one eyebrow arching, one side of his mouth going up as well. "I look forward to it," the soft-voiced man says, inclining his head to the imminently departing Caleb.
The Addict watches the Rogue go, and his brow furrows. "Poor man," he says quietly, "he's having a rough go of it." He glances down at the additional broken glass. He's really got to start rethinking his barefoot policy. He pours the Deviant a glass of what looks to be some sort of brown liquor. It's in the whiskey family. Then he crouches and sets about picking up the pieces of glass. "I don't think anyone's having an easy time right now."
The Deviant slides his bony ass onto a stool, picking up the glass in his long fingers, toying with it. "Mind if I smoke?" He's already getting out a cigarette, and a book of plain, black matches. "Everyone does seem to be in a bit of turmoil." His inscrutible gray eyes move over Martin's face. "What of yourself?"
The Addict shakes his head and says, "No, I don't mind." He puts a handful of glass in what he can only hope is a trash bin, then goes back to collecting them. He's got a youthful face, dark eyes, and though his expression is troubled, there's nothing of long-term wear and tear on his features, no old trauma weighing him down. "I'm doing all right, I suppose. I lost people, but my lover is here, and he's more or less all right. As much as anyone can be."
The Deviant takes a sip...but a moment later, he's slipped off his stool, crouching on the ground to help the Addict pick up the glass. He takes them up carefully, one piece at a time. "How fortunate for you," he says. Not a ton of inflection to his words, but he seems to mean it well enough.
The Addict looks up and smiles at the Deviant. "Thank you," he says. He throws away more glass, then pats the floor gently with just his fingertips to feel for more shards. He winces, finding one the hard way, pulls it from his finger, and throws it away. It's so small a shard he doesn't even bleed. "I lost my wife," he says, and a daughter I can barely remember. They're not here, though. They were never real. It feels real."
"Feels real, but it wasn't, was it?" The Deviant tilts his head, a bit of greasy hair falling into his eyes. He's kind of smiling, but it's really more of a smirk. "Such a perplexing place. Your lover from there, who's joined you here...who are they, are they somebody I might have met?"
"It's all rather confusing," Martin says. He picks up a few more pieces to throw away, though there's really no way of telling if he won't find another sliver with his feet if he trusts the cleanup job. "You may have met him. His name is Arthur. He's the only one I've seen so far with reddish eyes. He's quite pale."
The Deviant continues to pick up the shards one by one. If they're hurting him, he makes no indication of it. "I may have seen him, yes." He stares at Martin, balancing a tiny shard on the edge of his longer finger. "Aren't you suspicious," he asks, "when mysterious strangers like me appear out of nowhere -- phantom-like, bits of dream, interrupting what remains of your lives?"
The Addict shakes his head slowly. "No more than any of this makes me suspicious," he says. "This is my first time here, though. I have nothing else to compare it to. Waking up here has been the biggest interruption to my life, and it wasn't even a real life." He smiles a little, but it fades, and his gaze falls upon the shard on the Deviant's finger. "You're just another soul trapped in this place, as near as I can reckon. Unless you're not. I have no way of knowing, do I?"
"You don't," the Deviant says, arching an eyebrow -- though he seems rather amused. "And neither do I. I try to see it as more of an opportunity than a trap." The little shard is still glistening on his fingertip. He considers Martin for a moment before venturing, "Perhaps we can all help each other. We don't have much of a choice otherwise, do we?"
"I'm not sure what to make of it," the Addict says. He plucks the shard from the Deviant's fingertip, considers it, then puts it in the bin. "Whatever it is, we're in it, and there's nothing we can do about it. Of course we should be a help to each other. We're all we have." He looks into the Deviant's eyes, studying his face. "I'm Martin," he says, "for lack of another name. I don't know who I'll be tomorrow, but we'll work that out tomorrow, won't we."
"Call me Dirk," the Deviant says. His face is strange, somehow. Good-looking-ish, but weird. He stands back up to his full height, which is mostly leg. "I've got some more measuring to do before the powers that be return us to slumber, but I hope to speak to you another time, Martin." He picks up the glass Martin had poured for him earlier and downs the contents easily before striding from the room, heels clicking on the floor as he goes.