Log:Not George Michael
The Addict is having a lazy day, though they've had a bubble bath and a shave. Their hair is piled in a sloppy bun, and their eye makeup is minimal, their lips given a coral gloss. They're in a red lace-trimmed singlet and black and red checkered flannel pajama bottoms. They're stretched out on a couch, listening to an old The Shadow episode on the radio. On their stomach is a French language book. Someone is trying to better themselves, but must have gotten distracted.
Someone else is trying to better themselves too...but does she ever stop trying? Competitor arrives in her leg-warmers and leotard outfit after yet another aerobic session. Her hair in a pony tail, sweatband keeping the fringe back, and the glow from hard exercise upon her pale skin. She sings as she bounces into the parlor, one of those songs from the 30s that have been seeping into their minds from the musicola, though she does go quiet when she realises that there is a drama on being played rather than songs. "Who knows? The Shadow knows" she grins before waving at the Addict. "Parlez vous Francais?" she asks with a nod to the book. "Une cassette serait mieux pour pouvoir entendre la prononciation."
The Addict looks up and grins at Competitor. "Pas tres bien," they say. They glance at the book, then say, "If I can find a cassette, I'll listen to it as I go to sleep. I want to read No Exit in the original French." Their voice is quiet so as not to completely talk over the drama unfolding on the radio, where some man says, "Whadda ya want, Shadow? What's your game?" And the Shadow says, "I want your confession to the murder of Singing Jim."
"Ah, you only want to read it, not speak it?" Competitor smiles as she finds a seat to plonk herself down on. "If you can find a tape player at all, please let me know. I'm rather annoyed there are no Walkmans /or/ VCRs. It makes it really hard to do aerobics. I have to sing the songs myself...this is not pretty" she laughs before a tilt of her head at what he wants to read. "'No Exit'? Very apt for this place I suppose. Maybe Satre was stuck in here?" She glances over at the radio. "Poor Singing Jim. Doesn't that crook know you don't annoy the Shadow?"
"I want to start with reading," Addict says. "Maybe we can speak it, if you're fluent? Martin was fluent in French, but Danny wasn't. He spoke Hebrew and Yiddish, did you know that? But now I need to brush up on the French because it's rusty. Martin also had a fairly good handle on Latin. He was very well read." They laugh a little as the radio music swells, declaring that crime can't hide from the Shdaow. "I love the Shadow. He's hard core."
"You know...I actually have no idea how fluent I am or what languages I can speak" Competitor frowns. "Christine had to learn some basic phrases for the guests that came through but it's not as if she learned them in that time at the Lodge. They were 'implanted'...for want of a better word...before that all started. But does that mean /I/ know them too? Won't find out until I speak it I guess." She smirks at Addict's adoration for the Shadow. "They tell me that this is a hint to where we are going next? Maybe we get to be superheroes...in a musical."
The Addict says, "Je me souviens que les Francais parlaient en 1902. C'est demode. The good thing about French is it doesn't change much over time." They're sprawled on a couch with a French learning book on their stomach, and The Shadow program is just ending on the radio. Apparently it was brought to its audience by Colgate. "I guess if you know it, then you know it, no matter how the knowledge got there." They get a wistful look in their eyes. "Oh wow, if we could be super heroes in the 1930s, that would be so cool."
"French is not allowed to change unless it's been approved by some stiff-necks in Paris" Competitor nods. "Not 'proper' French at least. Doesn't stop different parts of France speaking different dialects." Competitor is in leg-warmers, leotard, and sweatbands - aerobics recently done. "Super hero in the 1930s? Hmm...I will be Irma Vep. Not that we have much choice in the matter. How are you and Dare getting on?"
A door opens in the hall. One of the nearer doors to the parlor. From it emerges Thrill-Seeker in a pink robe and bunny slippers. Beneath the robe can be glimpsed her heart print pajamas. Her destination seems to be the dining hall. Head down she tries to be sneaky. But then Addict has to go and start spouting French and that just stops her short. Blue eyes going a little wide as they turn to look at them. It's the first time she's spied Addict since everything and it catches and holds her frozen in place. "Danny..." They may not even hear the whisper, seeing as it was spoken thought more than anything else. Then her eyes skip to the Competitor and she lets out a breath. "H...hi," It's meek and almost embarassed the way she says it.
The Addict is inn a lacy red singlet and red and black checkered pajama bottoms. A stint as Danny didn't erase their femininity. "Dare and I are doing great. Better as each other than we were in Beaver Lake." They grin with ridiculous infatuation. Then they look toward Thrill-seeker and their expression shifts to warm surprise. "Cheer!" they say, and they set their book aside and get to their feet. They come over to her to wrap her up in a hug. "I've missed you, sweetheart. How are you?" They draw back to look her over.
"Glad to hear it" Competitor smiles about Addict and Martyr before there is the distraction of a former cheerleader. "Hey!" she grins at the woman who she once pressed boobs with, though she will keep back from hugging until Addict is done. That may take a while. "I heard you were stuck here alone for a while. That must have sucked.
The Thrill-Seeker is tense for a moment when the hug hits. But relaxes instantly and grips Addict back tighter than ever. "Oh fuck I missed you guys!" She says as she, briefly, buries her face into their shoulder. "Yeah...it wasn't long...but long enough here alone with the fucking TV playing the horror show the entire time," She says when Addict pulls back. A red flush has touched her cheeks as she smiles lopsidedly at them both. "I...I'm trying to process it all. And with everyone being back I...well...I was...Kim was...ah..." She seems to be trying to find the right word and her nose wrinkles in distaste as her vocabulary briefly fails.
The Addict says gently, "You're trying to incorporate Kim's life into your own. It changes you." They give Cheer another quick squeeze, then steps back so Competitor can get her hugs in. "It's disorienting, but you'll level off. I went extra femme for a few days when I got back to reestablish the me I knew."
Competitor steps up to continue the Thrill-Seeker hugs. "At least we have our tops on this time" she teases, before giving the other woman a kiss to each cheek. "You look great." Competitor has lighter hair in the Facility and is a bit older...just a bit. "Was Kim your first?" She steps back to give the poor girl some room.
The Thrill-Seeker turns to hug Christine as well and like with Addict, it is tight. The woman's comment makes her give a short bark of laughter. "Thanks...yeah she was. I mean...I was aware before we went in or whatever you want to call it, so when I came out I had -some- sense of what the fuck..." She moves to follow them back to the couch. "I...couldn't make myself watch the television after awhile. Once...so many died at once I kind of locked myself in my room. It's..." She rubs at her face and sighs. "Kim loved everyone so much I couldn't. And...I still got that yeah?" Again she wrinkles her nose and looks vaguely uncomfortable at the admition.
The Addict sits down on the couch and moves their book to a side table. "It's over now," they say gently. "We're here, and we're safe. It was horrible, but it's okay now." With a small smile, they say, "Hey, remember when I was telling you about Christmas dinner, and we ended up summoning that huge feast, and people came and went getting some food and just talking?"
"Christmas dinner?" Competitor sits back on the couch, making sure there is room for everyone. "The last Christmas I remember was with a family that don't exist. At least I know what Christmas is. That's something." She indicates the old radio that is playing big band music now. "Have you seen that yet?" she asks Thrill-Seeker. "Briar and I are hoping it means a superhero musical in the 1930s. Oh, I go by the name Star here. In-joke."
The Thrill-Seeker's smile grows and she nods her head. "Oh yeah. That was kind of hard to forget. I liked that," She says and her eyes get that distant look of memory. "Star? I like that...whose Briar though?" She glances from Addict to Competitor. "I started calling myself Cheer before last time. Irony right?" She gives a snort before turning to eye the radio. "Huh...do we always get some kind of hint like this then? And...how many time have you done this, Star?"
The Addict says, "I'm Briar, because when I died, I was a real thorn in Mahoney's side. Plus it's kinda gender neutral." Unlike Danny (or Martin for that matter), Briar still talks like they're from New Jersey by way of Brooklyn. To Star, they say, "We summoned so much food. Roasted goose, turkey, every side you can imagine, then Chinese food for people who don't celebrate Christmas. It was kind of like having a little holiday, even though we never know what day it is in here."
"We should celebrate birthdays too. For all of our component parts. There'll be a birthday every day before we're done" Competitor smirks before replying to Cheer. "Eager Beaver was my first time. I wan't here before that. All I know is Christine's life though I also know that is not all I am. Judging by some of the people who have been here a while, I think we have a lot of confusing times to look forward to, Cheer." She reaches over to ruffle Addict's hair. "You were awesome in that last battle. We couldn't have won without it. I hope that whoever is watching us saw the value in self-sacrifice."
The Thrill-Seeker cringes only slightly when Addict mentions dying. "I...damn. I've been too much of a coward to find out who lived and died after that first wave," She admits as she reaches up and scratches the back of her neck. "I'm glad -you- at least gave him a hard time on dying. I didn't." There is a pause as she watches the two interact and she smiles. "You're adapting pretty well then. Finn was pretty freaked out when he came out," She draws her knees up to her chest as she curls into her part of the couch. "So what did happen? If...you don't mind me asking that is."
The Addict grins at the ruffling. They have fantastic hair. That didn't die with Danny, thankfully. "Finn told me he freaked out on you and he feels so bad about it," Briar says. "He's going by Dare now. He's worried about you. Hopefully you two will connect soon." They stretch their legs out and folds their hands upon their flat belly. "He got me in his bear trap," they say. "But he was aiming for Sonya. She was doing the ritual. I jumped in front of her. I guess it worked because lots of folks lived, and the world was saved." To Star, they say, "Birthdays would be awesome. I was so close to mine last time."
"I can't say it's been easy in here. There's a lot I have to get used to but I'm not the kind who lets a situation get the better of me. With any new environment, you learn the parameters, and you adapt to 'win'." Competitor smiles before a look to Addict. "You mean Nattie and I connect? We spend time with each other, she shows me her previous lives, we...you know...but I'm just one of many relationships she has here. And I don't think I'm the most important one either" she smirks. "I had the bad luck of falling for the persona she did not like at all. But, like you said about Dare, she's even better here. We'll sort it out."
"And don't be silly, Cheer, you kicked ass. You kept people going with your never say die attitude...and that shovel. There's a 'dig' pun in there somewhere." Competitor leans over to wrap an arm around Thrill-Seeker and give her a consoling squeeze. "What happened was that we won. We stopped Dagon and Mahoney and Dini and the rest of them. Humanity survived because of what we did. What we /all/ did. That bear trap almost decapitated Mahoney. We won because we kept our heads...and he didn't."
The Thrill-Seeker wrinkles her nose and its clear she remembers that damned bear trap very well. Even if it didn't exactly hurt when it happened. Yay coke? "Dare? Really?" She asks and her smile broadens. "I like that. I feel bad for hiding afterwards. I'm going to try and be more social. I just...love is weird yeah?" She looks at both of them hopefully, as if they'll understand what she means even as she squeezes her legs a bit tighter. But then she is smiling again as Christine tells her side of it. "God...th fucking shovel's in my godamned closet," She says with a laugh that turns into a groan as she shakes her head. "I'm glad that we won. Even if a lot of us had to die horrifically to do it."
There is a pause before Thrill-Seeker says, "Birthdays...birthdays would be great. Though how would we keep track really? We'd have to get Alice in Wonderland and have unbirthdays. That said...I'm now craving cake. Anyone want me to get them some?" She moves to rise from the couch.
The Addict tells Star, "I know she cares about you, even if she doesn't always care much for herself." They glance toward the hallway of rooms. "I haven't seen Arthur yet, but we both understand that relationships will get messy and complicated. I'm not jealous and neither is he. Neither is Dare. It can work out." As for birthdays, they say, "Maybe we can just throw themed parties, and if it's a theme you dig, it's for you. I don't mind sharing a party."
"Love is /very/ weird." Competitor is more than happy to agree with Thrill-Seeker about that. "You have the shovel? That is awesome." Her brow furrows. "Oh...does it have blood and stuff on it? That would be a bit icky." Best change subject. "We could have a bowl with the names of all our personas in them. Pull one out every day, and that is whose birthday it is. Easy." At the thought of cake, she looks down at her recently aerobicized body and contemplates. "Cake sounds good to me." A nod for Addict. "Yeah, I know she cares about me. I'm sure of that much. It's me who has to get used to it." Addict then gets an arch of an eyebrow. "Did you just make the 'dig' pun for me? Nice work."
The Crusader saunters on in, looking growly and pensive... except that from the point of view, with him behind the couch, he seems to be grumpily floating backwards. Finally the lack of couch in the direction he is going exposes his glow in the dark lightsaber boxers and the fact that he's moon walking with socks on. His legs have fresh tattoos on them involving wolves and moons and the like and then he's talking soothingly, mild argumentatively, with the dispenser before returning to the crowd with a bowl of lucky charms and a remarkably viscous coffee. "Love, birthday and cakes?"
The Thrill-Seeker glances at Addict and the dimples show in her smile at them. "I have to say...that's one thing I don't mind taking with me from Kim. She...didn't get jealous. I mean...she liked to share," And again she blushes and looks away at the radio. "Over share," She says with a short chortle. "You know I'd party with you any day, Da-," She catches herself and amends, "Briar. I'll be right back with cake." And she pops off towards the dining hall, a spring returning to her step. But she stops in the doorway as Crusader's smooth voice floats over to her. "Heh...yeah. You want some too? I'll just bring a whole cake." And she pops off with her cheeks still rosey in a blush.
The Addict smiles at Star. "Would I do that?" Then they wink. "We should have a frat style blowout," they suggest to Thrill-seeker. "Maybe the dispensers can make us a keg. Then, if we trashed the place, I wouldn't mind." They perk up when Crusader saunters in. "Hey, good-looking," they say. "Loving those boxers." They hop up to try to give Crusader a kiss on the cheek if they can get away with it. Their hair is slapped back in a sloppy bun, and they're wearing a lacy-trimmed red singlet and red and black checkered pajama bottoms. Their makeup is subtle and on point to make those big brown eyes pop. "That coffee is terrible," they inform Crusader fondly.
Oh God. That coffee. The vile brew that uses beans that have come out the other side of a sasquatch. The poison that had Competitor throwing up for hours after she stupidly volunteered to try it. The reset probably saved her life! "Not necessarily in that order" she smiles to Crusader's words. "Though all at once could be fun. And, yes, your coffee is foul." A teasing below for Addict about Thrill-seeker's words. "I think you're in there, Briar. I guess she doesn't want to party with me" she sighs playfully. "And after we touched boobs too." Competitor is in her aerobics outfit of leg-warmers, leotard, and sweatbands - working out keeps her focused.
Crusader is eating his cereal excitedly with his brows way up and he coos to the three still in the room with him, "Sharing's not a crime. I don't shame love." Just slipping it out there, it seems. He accepts the Addict's kiss with a happy tilt of his cheek and a bright smile as he eats. Though halfway through his cereal he abandons it and takes up his coffee in both hands, he shakes his head at Danny, "Hell nahhh, this coffee is the best." His voice growly and firm. Then his sips and whimpers, gagging faintly, croaking, "The besSsstTTt." THen he drinks more, slowly, his blue eyes /locked/ on Danny's brown eyes.
"Trust me, this batch is /way/ better. The food rowbut stopped putting the stick that would stand up in it every time when I backed off from that direction." He offers Chrstine the mug with a wiiiink. "She wants to fuck your boobs." Crusader guesses for Kimberly to Christine. Then offers the mug again.
"I DIDN'T SAY THAT!" Comes a shout from the dining hall. "I LOVE YOUR BOOBS!" Then an awkward silence. "I MEAN...fuck..." And the sound of the dispenser doing its thing.
The Martyr is wearing tight jeans that have black faded a tad gray. He has made an attempt to spike his hair with citrusey pomade, but the hair cut is not quite right, so the effect is just a little off. He is wearing a black tee shirt displaying a young, nude Iggy Pop, and the purple high tops he seems fond of. The outfit looks like it might have been borrowed from College Age Finn's closet. He appears to be wearing eyeliner. He looks over Briar witth an expression that suggest they may be some sort of fashion deity. He comes to kiss them in greeting. He calls, "Is that Cheer in there?"
"I'd say you got four pots to a pound with that coffee," Addict says. With a laugh, they add, "I'll always remember drinking that coffee to stay awake in Prosperity and wondering if it might not be worse than the demons." They reclaim their spot on the couch. She glances toward Cheer's shout, then at their own flat chest, and sighs. "I feel cheated." They beckon Dare to join them and greet him with a return on that kiss. "Yes, it is. She's getting cake."
"Not cupcakes" Competitor quickly clarifies for Martyr's sake. She looks at the nude Iggy Pop with wide eyes. "I guess those stories about Iggy Pop were true." She glances at the others as she explains. "How his twelve inches wasn't just in vinyl." A little blush to her pale cheeks. "Umm..." But it's okay, Thrill-Seeker is yelling about her boobs to take her mind off it. "I loved yours too!" she yells back with a laugh before a solemn nod to Crusader. "Doesn't everyone?" A frown as she reaches over to squeeze Addict's knee. "Trust me, they cause enough problems as solutions. Wendy will know all about that now. If I was back at Prosperity...with no brassieres...I'd get black eyes every time I ran." She stares at that poison being offered her by Crusader before summoning a polite smile and an apologetic shake of her head. "No coffee straight after exercise. It's a...thing. Thanks though. You enjoy."
The Martyr grins at Briar, "I need to get my Cheer hug first real quick." He looks Briar over, thinking, "We could try some of the tricks they use for drag shows, maybe? I know it's not as good as growing your own, but we could see if changing your sillouette would make you more comfortable on your girl days. Either way, you are beautiful, but what do we have here but time to experiment."
He eyes the Crusader, "I've seen your coffee. There are far easier ways to die. At least electrocution is fast, if smelly." He gives the Competitor a wicked grin, "Oh yes, but have you seen Yul Brenner? Dayumn! That man had something to be proud of in his prime. Still, I admit, the idea of Iggy and Bowie trolling parties for a third? The sort of thing to make a man wish he were there to see." He yeells, "We all love your boobs, Cheer!"
The Thrill-Seeker returns with a smile and a blush on her face. In her hands is a bottle of whiskey with three glasses and what appears to be a triple layed chocolate monstrosity of a cake. "Finn! I mean...Dare," She corrects and moves to quickly set her stuff down on the coffee table. "I'm sorry I disappeared after you got back. I kind of...yeah I freaked out in my own way and hid," She says this while making her way to wrap him up in a hug.
The Addict eyes the cake. "I need that in my face," they say. They do not worry overmuch about their figure in here. They reset every 'morning' anyway. Besides, they've been experimenting on if one can live only on black licorice, ice cream, and cake. So far, so good. Shooing Dare, they say, "Go get your hug." To Star, they say, "It's nice of you to say." A pause, then, "Why would Wendy know what a big rack is like?"
"You haven't seen Wendy's new boobs? Max may still be short but she's got the curves now. I said to Dare the other night that I could give her some tits..." Competitor rolls her eyes at Martyr. "I did it again. /Tips/ about how to handle them." A pause. "That probably didn't sound much better. Cake sounds good though." She takes a slice before peering at Addict. "In your mouth may be better but, hey, do whatever makes you happy. Thanks, Cheer. And whiskey too? Who wants a birthday today?" An amused shake of her head at Martyr's fantasies. "You know, I think there are rooms here where you can find out exactly what that was life if you wanted to."
The Martyr hugs Cheer, "Oh Honey, I knew you were grieving and had stuff to work out. I didn't blame you; I just missed you and hoped you were okay in there." When he lets her go, he flops down next to Briar, curls his arm around them and kisses their cheek. He laughs at Christine's slip of the tongue, "And I admit, I'm finally in a position to notice the difference finally." He laughs, "I almost said 'grasp' there, but that might give the impression I was intending to or that she'd welcome it. Which is not the case." His eyes go wide, "Oh! I never thought of that. Cocaine was never my thing, but I'm pretty sure beig the meat in that particular sandwich would be."
The Thrill-Seeker finds herself giggling at Star and Briar's antics even as she wraps Dare in his hug. Leaning into it she squeezes tightly and doesn't seem to want to let go for a second. "I admit I really wish I could get more than whiskey out of the dispensor," She says as she eyes the couch and seems to consider where to insert herself. "That...does sound fun..." She admits with a sly glance before turning about to start cutting the cake up. "Oh...I forgot plates. Hands it is!" And she presents Briar with a slice of chocolatey goodness.
The Creepshow arrives from The Facility - Hall of Rooms.
The Addict sits up a bit and says to Star, "Wait, she changed? She got..." They hold their hands up to their chest. Then they look at Dare. "You need to start providing details when you tell me what's going on. Also, don't withhold boobs from me. That's not okay." Then, back to Star. "Dare said she died and reset. He didn't say she changed!" They take up a piece of chocolate cake with a "Thanks, sweetheart," to Cheer.
Competitor nods to Addict. "D-Cups now, though she is the same height. I was going to offer her advice but, you know, hard thing to bring up with everyone around...like I'm doing now." She clears her throat before continuing. "Did Dare mention that she was also black now?" Patting her lap she smiles up at Cheer. "You can sit here if you like. I don't fondle." A confused look for Martyr. "What position do you need to be in to notice a change in boob size? I'm intrigued."
The Martyr smiles crookedly, "It's funny, I hardly ever smoked out there, but just yeasterday I wanted a joint so bad..." He blinks and then his eyes widen, "I thought I had explained! I'm so sorry. I think I spent so much time explaining to Caleb and maybe Scott the morning after that I thought I'd explained to you better than I had. I'm sorry, Briar, Love, and I will never stand between you and boobs again. I'd rather be right behind you while you inspect them properly." he takes a deep breath, "she has a whole different body, with new tastes and it's sort of like everyone she was before including facility Max is like Martin and Danny are to you, but the mortar that holds it all together is different the way Briar you is different but contains everything else. She really does seem Right now, but still her. Lke someone who got the right bipolar meds." his cheeks colour, "And she's definately hotter." His blush deepens, "I woke up bi. I guess maybe I'm going to slide around the Kinsey scale dependng on who I am at the time. It's hhow I knew I wasn't Finn. The... vague attraction I had once for a woman isn't vague anymore. It's more like I feel about men. Sort of."
The Thrill-Seeker bites her lip and gives Star a glance. "The Kim in me wants to say, 'Too bad', but I'm just going to smile and give you some cake," She says with a giggle as she hands her a slice. "Want some?" She asks of The Martyr, turning her dimpled smile on him next. At his words her eyes go a little wide and this time she can't help her Kimmy-response of, "I'm down." And then her ears turn red to match her nose and cheeks. Thankfully Star's comment finally sinks in and her head whips around to her, "Wait...what?" She turns to blink at the Competitor in surprise. "She's black?" Then she looks at Addict in confusion. "I thought we didn't change?" He -is- the most experienced here at the moment...technically.
The Addict is the grown up in charge? Oh, hell. "I didn't know we could change," they say. "That redefines everything. That opens up possibilities. I mean, what does it mean? Are they taking our consciousnesses and putting them in new bodies somehow? Does that mean that's how they... did they make us, whole cloth? Did we even have lives before this?" They stop the questions by stuffing cake in their face. After a bite and a swallow, they say calmly to Dare, "Thank you. I know you didn't mean to, but remember that boobs are extremely important."
The Martyr grins wickedly and waggles his eyebrows at a blushing Cheer, an teases, "Sure, Cheer, but watch out, I'm still a virgin, at least in that sense. You know exactly how far I could go before I got electrocuted." More seriously, "No one knew we could change like that. Not any of them who had been here longest. This was a... special case." He looks away, the mischief drained out of him, "A sacrifice was planned and made, and whoever is in charge of all this took pity on her and those who love her best. Seeing what she's like now is why i'm starting to think we are based on people out there in the world, but maybe we are memory wiped copies instead of the people themselves. It's only a theory, though." he shudders and curls up against the addict,pressing his face to their shoulder, "I think I'd like some cake." He takes a deep breath, "I promise to remember about the Boobs next time, Love."
Competitor nods to Addict. "That's what I've been saying. Our bodies are no longer real. Merely constructs that our consciousness can be transferred or copied. That also explains how we become different in the stories. Little modifications to help with the parameters of the program. I assume that they must have a new staff member who is really into boobs; built me and Wendy" she smirks before a shocked look at Martyr. "You're into girls now too? Hmm...probably only because of Briar. But, hey, who isn't into girls?" she grins. It's probably best that her lap is still free with all the crumbs she is making as she eats the cake.
The Thrill-Seeker's smile is lopsided and though she blushes she isn't acting as shy as she was earlier. The shell having come off as she gets comfortable with people again. "I admit...I would vote for boobs over cake, if it came to it," She says before getting Dare his own slice. "You think we're in a program or something?" She asks Star as she moves to cut her own slice. That makes her blink and frown. "Like...oh what was that movie..." She snapes her fingers and makes a face.
As much as everyone is talking about them, Creepshow's boobs must be burning. She strolls through dressed in an orange sports halter and baggy white pants and sneakers, hands stuffed in her pockets. Her hair is tied into a row of six knots that starts behind one ear and arcs up over her head to the other. A septum ring adorns her nose. She seems headed for the dispensary.
"Good...whatever. Time it is," comes a clearly articulated, bright voice as the man calling himself Boots steps in. The Optimist comes in just after Creepshow, dressed in slacks and a bright yellow vest. He pauses, peering at the people he does not yet know.
The Addict gives Dare's hand a squeeze. "All is forgiven, dear," they say. They watch Creepshow make their way across the room, and yeah, they're trying not to stare at her chest, which means they're absolutely staring at her chest. "Uh... Wendy?" he ventures. "How's it going?" Their gaze is forcefully diverted to her face. "You look amazing." Slowly, they look away to regard Boots. "Oh, hey! Boots! Star, Cheer, this is Boots. He's new. How did the sign experiment go?"
The Martyr shakes his head, "I noticed it within about half an hour of waking after I was electrocuted. I realised Cheer wasn't Kimmy. Seconds later something I absolutely couldn't ignore reared it's head, as it were and it was dead obvious to be that something so central to who Finn thought he was and built his whole life and idenity around just wasn'ttrue any more. It's why I panicked that first night. If essential things o my identity weren't after all, who the fuck was I? So I got really, really drunk. When I sobered up, I started working it out. Anyway, that's why I've been eating cupcakes." He takes the cake and thanks cheer, blushing again. "Can't we have cake AND boobs? Why do these have to be mutually exclusive?" he shakes his head, "I'm still hoping for some sort of parallell universe Time bandits senario, but with us maybe not being abductees, but copies." He eats some cake, "I can't rule out computers program or aliens or experiments or heaven or hell or any of the other options. Experiment is looking pretty good right now, to be honest, but I don't have enough data yet to settle on one thing as truth."
He spots Wendy and Boots and waves, "We have cake!" He kisses Briar's hand, all courtly.
The Thrill-Seeker is giving the other three on the couch a somewhat coy sideways glance when Creepshow enters. The topic of their conversation draws her gaze and her eyes widen slightly. "You look amazing!" Are the first words out of her mouth. To be fare she looked at her face first, then boobs, but she did look. Then she turns and gestures at the half-eaten chocolate cake on the coffee table. "You're both welcome to cake...and his Boots. Welcome to crazy-land."
"Boobs and cake often go together. Usually with cream" Competitor deadpans before nodding to Thrill-Seeker. "Our minds are ours. Why do an experiment where you know the ending? We are put into programs slash settings and then set off to see what happens. Not sure what movie. Remember, I don't know anything after 1990...for now." A wave to Creepshow and her boobs as they make a cameo.
"Oh, I've met Boots" Competitor nods to Addict. "How are you doing? Good whatever time it is, right back at you." A roll of her eyes at Martyr. "So, a problem arose and you took it in hand? Not that I've noticed you eyeing me off. I would have totally thought you were still gay. Even with the cupcake demonstration. I guess I don't rock many people's boats around here." At least there is cake.
Creepy slows her roll, eyebrows lifting, and she flashes a smile at the Addict. "Hey. You heard, then. Word probably gets around quick in here, huh?" She looks down briefly at herself, still petite but now slightly thick instead of dainty. The hair texture and facial features definitely suggest black, but her skintone is fairly light, though a few shades darker than before. She's probably mixed, African and something. She bobs her head, the knots like a little crown across her head.
"Thanks. It's taking some getting used to, but I like it. Definitely could have ended up with worse."
"My sign is back up right where it was," Boots says to the Addict, scratching the side of his head "So I suppose it just gets remade. Well, it was worth the attempt, anyway, I suppose." From the gist of the conversation, he pauses "You mean, the current guess is that we're a bunch of simulations? I think that was suggested by Steven Hawking or something...?" He sounds hesitant, perhaps not necessarially in agreement "I can remember 2019. But I gather that's late? We can look different?" He glances down at his own dark brown skin, faintly suspiciously.
The Addict slips an arm around Dare's waist and curls up close to him. "I try not to contemplate what's going," they admit. "There's not enough data. Everything I guess will be informed by my wants and fears. I don't know where to start to wonder." To Star, Briar says, "I was told the cupcake demonstration didn't go well. I miss all the good stuff."
Then, to Wendy, they say, "You're a stone cold fox. How are you feeling? You want some cake? We're contemplating celebrating birthdays, but we're kind of 'eh' on whose it is today." They nod to Boots, then. "It's later than I've ever been."
It's that sort of day in the Facility for the Visionary: nothing has actually exploded in her presence, no one is bleeding, and she's still sober and wearing all of her clothes. One might be tempted to call it a semblance of normalcy, if not outright boring. Silly rabbit, that's not going to happen; normalcy is not a thing. But she's blissfully unaware of that as yet as she slips out of her room, humming idly to herself, clove already tucked between her fingers as she pads barefoot down the hall toward the parlor and likely the dispensary, intent on caffeine.
Wait, did someone say boobs? Her chin snaps up, and she takes in the 'new' arrival with a sudden cant of her head and her usual flicker of fingers in a wave of greeting. Someone who actually looks like she could be her sister? She squints. And talks like her sister, somewhat. "Wait just a second... " The talk of looking different has her shuffling closer, though she does absent-mindedly answer Boots' question: "It does happen, sometimes, but it's usually... " Subtle. Her eyes drop to regard the Creepshow's new, not so subtle cleavage, before her chin tilts up again. "Sis?" The look around the room seems intent on gaining confirmation from somewhere, if not the Creepshow directly, eyes owlishly wide.
The Martyr is wearing tight jeans that have black faded a tad gray. He has made an attempt to spike his hair with citrusey pomade, but the hair cut is not quite right, so the effect is just a little off. He is wearing a black tee shirt displaying a young, nude Iggy Pop, and the purple high tops he seems fond of. The outfit looks like it might have been borrowed from College Age Finn's closet. He appears to be wearing eyeliner. "It's possible that out there isn't the experiment, but what happens in here is the main thrust. The ways that being all these people change us, for example. Or it could be both. That both halves of the senario is intended to learn things about idenity and huan nature that couldn' be learned any other way."
Dare is now blushing to his ears, "Finn thought of christine like a sister. It's hard... wow, that's the wrong word." He tries again, "it's still difficultt for me to look at you that way, Star. Next time around though? Who knows where we'll be. And you definately rock some boats, of that I can assure you." He nuzzles Briar's hair. "The cupcake demonnstration went alarmingly well. It's just my attempts to replicate the effect need work." He smiles crookedly at the Visionary, "Hey, Cassandra, come have cake."
The Thrill-Seeker mutters something around her cake that make sound like, 'I'll rock your boat,' but there is cake and it's mumbled. At this point she brushes her hands to gether to dislodge some cake crumbs and reaches for the bottle of whiskey and a glass. "2019 huh? Better than me." Then suddenly she snaps her finger and points at Star, "Tron! We're like Tron. Or Max Headroom?" She takes a sip of her whiskey as she contemplates it.
"Tron? I don't think Tron is right. Did anyone actually see that movie?" Competitor considers. "That doesn't really have consciousness downloaded into empty shells, does it? Max Headroom, maybe, but that was a digital thing. We'd need to be put in clones or something. There'll be a movie about it somewhere or sometime" she nods to Thrill-Seeker before a giggle for Martyr's words. "Did you just friend-zone me, Dare? Or sister-zone I guess. Ouch." She is dressed in her aerobics outfit; leg-warmers, letoard, sweatbands. Cake crumbs soon littering her outfit. "We're only guessing about everything" she shrugs, "At least until I can break out. Hey...you know how 'new' people come out of the rooms sometimes? Maybe they weren't new at all? Maybe they were the early versions of what happened to Max and only now they've been able to transfer full memories." A wave for Visionary before she replies to Addict. "The cupcake demonstration went great. I have no idea what Dare used it for afterwards but it certainly inspired me."
Visionary gets a smirk as Creepshow is inspected, hands still in her pockets, posture a bit slouched. "You got the post-it I put on your door, yeah?" she says with a nod. "This... is the unexpected outcome of that. Ethan. Uh, Riordan. He did the honors. It was painless, and I had people around me who care about me. It was nice. Sorry you and Oz missed it, but I'm not upset. I gave no notice. Sorry about Oz, by the way. Wasn't my finest day."
Talk of how far forward memories go gets her attention. "I know stuff up through the mid 2100's, but between 2018 and then is really vague."
"Some people in 2019 think that everything is technically a simulation," says the Optimist "Our whole minds function that way, creating illusions that are designed to help us survive. I mean. Only. I know this, but I can't tell you how I know it, really, it's kind of...uuughhh." A bit of a frown. Then he waggles his hand and he sits down "I've seen Tron, yes...I mean, the new one, right? The one with the really cool effects?" He pauses, pulling his head back "Wait, what happened to Max? I'm new. Do you mean that. I...oh! So you are from the future." The Optimist pauses, and he opens his mouth, then decidedly shuts it "Nope. Won't ask."
"If it makes you feel any better," Briar tells Christine, "Danny thought about you as a hottie who was off limits, but looking's free." They glance toward Cheer, then lean over to give her a hug. There are cake crumbs involved, alas, and they have frosting on her lips. Cake is one of those foods it's permissible to eat messily, apparently, despite how their inner Martin may be quailing. "I saw Tron," they say. Then, to Oh, "They made a new one?" A pause, then, "Why?" Cass gets a wave, and then they smile at the sisterly reunion and duck their head.
The Thrill-Seeker glances at Creepshow around the rim of her glass. When it lowers she says, "That was...I screamed at the TV a lot that night. You were awesome though." Then she moves to pour the remaining glasses with whiskey for people to take at their leisure. "I think we're just having a party. We can start with the birthdays tomorrow. Do we get to spank the birthday person?" She asks suddenly and with a mischevious grin and meaningful look at Star. But it turns from her to Boots and she quirks a brow. "New one? There's only one...well, okay I only know of one. 1982. Kim watched it over and over for -some- fucking reason in High School." Briar's hug has her leaning into him as she returns it.
"Holy mother of fuck," is the Visionary's not-so-eloquent response. She just stares for long seconds, though the grin is forming slowly around the corners of her mouth. "Rafe's... you know. Rafe. I woke up and things were already... " The grin is in full force, now; she may be easily awestruck, but she wears it well. "You look amazing. And." She sucks in a breath, and shakes her head emphatically. "He's all right. We still love you, bitch. You know this, or, I hope you do." Said with all genuine affection and warmth. And, because 'hugs = stabbing' clearly hasn't penetrated the Visionary's skull, she opens her arms in offering. But she doesn't grab.
The Martyr says, “Oh! I liked Tron! It was silly, but very pretty. And those special effects are state of the art! What new one? How could they top that?" And it's a more comfortable subject than the handling of his dick, so that's something, but then the topic rises again of it's own accord, He eyes Star, "I'm not blind. I'm just saying it would be really weird for my first time to be with someone who was metaphorically my sister." More blushing, "I managed to eat so much icing, I got sick." He takes a deep breath, "I'm told the man who had my room before me was middle aged and taciturn, but also kind underneath it and sacrificed himself in the end. Very different, but a thred of commonality underneath. Maybe they needed someone more... talky and less butch who was good at organizing information for the Beaver Lake senario, but who had the same sort of essense underneath. I arrived late. Mabe they only figured it out at the last minute."”
"Awww, thanks, Briar. Yeah, it makes me feel better" Competitor blushes, reaching over to squeeze their knee once more. More blushes at the spanking question from Thrill-Seeker. "Umm...sure? Better than birthday punches. At least in my book. They made another Tron? But no one went to see the first one. Next you'll be saying they made another Blade Runner." A sympathetic nod to Thrill-Seeker. "Christine kept watching 'Dirty Dancing'. Trouble is, /I/ still want to keep seeing it. Our programmers can be cruel people. There is never too much icing, Dare. I think there are things that go on around here between people who were more than metaphorically siblings in some of the stories. Just saying, no judgement." Another bite of cake. "I was late too. I /started/ in the story. This..." A gesture to the world they are in now. "Is all new to me."
Creepshow goes up and in for the hug, returning it well enough. She's not bad at hugging anymore, at least! "I understand, and appreciate it it," she tells her once-sister. "And thanks. Like I said, a lot to get used to and I'm still adjusting. Starting to feel different and talk different, so I don't think I'm finished. Hopefully the tits don't get even bigger. Not sure I'd know what to do with them."
The Optimist pauses, and rubs the back of his neck "Weelllll...it was an old movie everyone loved, so they made a sequel. Which was really good. Right in the spirit of the old one, but _much_ better special effects. It was great! I loved it. I mean, I suppose some of it seem a bit ironic now." He looks at the Competitor, and he says "Yes, another Blade Runner. A sort of Golden Age of Science Fiction, er, in my era. Some really freaky things too." A little frown, and he says "You don't think you're _finished_." A faintly wondering tone. "I feel like _I'm_ complete."
The hug is joined with a sudden strengthening of the Visionary's grin. "You'll never drown, think of it that way? I'm glad I didn't bring Danica's back with me, m'self, but you look fantastic, and that isn't just my inner narcissist talking." She means every word, too, even if she punctuates it all with a wink. "Could actually pass for sisters now easy, too."
"They did make another Bladeru-" the Visionary begins, but she stops herself before she completely bursts that bubble. "Don't ask about Ghostbusters, OK?" There's something plaintive in her face on that point. "Or Highlander. There was only ever one Highlander film, you can rest assured of that." She's not even a good liar.
"Well, that's one of the big questions around here. Are we 'finished'? Are we in some hamster wheel, 'working on ourselves'?" Her shoulders rise and fall. "I don't even pretend to know at this point." She takes a quick drag from her clove, and drops to a hip-lean against one of the couches.
The Thrill-Seeker has finished off her cake and now throws back the rest of the whiskey in her glass. "I think I need to go wash my hands. I can only take that sticky feeling for so long," She says with a giggle. Then she leans in to hug Briar again. Except she extra leans in so she can include Finn in that hug. It means the Addict gets some boobage pressed against him, so win win? Then it is Star's turn for a hug. "Be back. Maybe I'll dig Eagon out of the closet for funsies." She promises...or maybe threatens.
The Addict opens their mouth, then closes it. Not a thing said about that sticky feeling. They hug Cheer closely. Mmm, boob press. "Take care, Cheer," they say. "Hey, Bladerunner was great. Dirty Dancing was okay, but I was hoping for more dirty dancing." They lean back, nestled against Dare. "Maybe this just is the nature of the universe," they say. "And every other notion we have of birth, life, death, God, religion, the cosmos, and science is nonsense they pump into our heads when they make us."
The Martyr says, “Why would anyone need a second Blade Runner? The first was so poetic and complete in itself." He does his best Roy Batty immitation with pauses, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die." He mimes the death, then shivers with the remembered beauty of it. "And how could they ever make better special effects? Where would they start?"
Dare's cheeks pink again, "I know that. I just need a little more distance from Finn before I can think about it that way." Then he looks at her sharply, "Is there some sort of hurry?" Teasingly, "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?"
He munches more cake, "Maybe they realised at the last minute they had no one set up to organize the resistance properly. Some of us could have tried: Bastian, other Cassandra, Addison, maybe even me despite my general uselessness. None of us had your authority or skill set, and if you hadn't been right there and who you are, there wouldn't have been someone everyone would follow without any arguement at all."
He is watching Max and Cassandra-Danica covertly, but contentedly. "How could Highlander have a sequel. Everyone died but him! That was the Point!" He looks suspicious, "What could they possibly do to Ghostbusters?" Finn's eyes go a little wide as Cheer leans in, before snapping them back to her face where they belong. He hugs her with real feeling. "Don't be a stranger, Cheer." He wraps his now empty hands around briar and cuddles back. Smitten that man is.”
"Ghostbusters 2 was a bit iffy" Competitor nods sagely to Visionary. "Highlander 2...nope. Gosh, I was really looking forward to seeing Batman but, you know, end of the world happened. Was it any good? And Lethal Weapon 2. Mel Gibson is pretty dreamy. No George Michael, but he was decent." She happily hugs Thrill-Seeker. "That's your shovel, right?" she asks about Eagon before smiling over at Creepshow. "I'll help you with them if you need it. I've had practice." Yes, she's talking about big boobs. "But they suit you well. You do look great."
Competitor has a litte glare for Optimist. "They made another Blade Runner? Seriously? And it was...good? That was such a disappointing film for me. Freaky? Hmm...sounds like you'll be good for an experiment I want to do. Go into one of those rooms and watch a movie I have never seen but someone else has. Then I come back and tell you the story. If it matches, that means what happens in those rooms is an absolute truth. If it doesn't match, then what happens in those rooms is made up by who goes in them."
Competitor laughs at the accusations from Martyr. "Hey! Wait a sec. She was supposed to be twenty years older than him in that film. What are you trying to say? Maybe I was too young for Blade Runner? I was expecting more action. Though it did look pretty good. So many video clips were like it afterwards." And then there is a torrent of praise for her actions at Beaver Lake. "That's so sweet of you, thanks." Though it did make her sound like a deus ex machina, she will take it. "At least I wasn't a one shot guest star."
"I just went through a pretty drastic change," Creepy says to Optimist. "It's complicated. I think I met you once before the change. People called me Max. If you met her, that's me. Or, this is, now. We've never had someone change like I did in here before, so we have no fucking clue what's going on."
Back to Visionary. "Heh. Yeah. In case of flooding, everyone hold onto me. And it is amusing that a couple Hargreave kids finally look maybe related. Better late than never."
"If you'll all excuse me, though, I gotta grab something for someone. We'll chat later?"
The look the Visionary aims in Dare's direction is the sort of expression mothers usually reserve for fairy tales about that nice farm Rover went off to live on, and her mouth opens. Words should, arguably, come out of it, but it just closes again as her head slowly shakes. No, there is no happy ever after MacLeod farm, and it pains her. "I know," she says gently, wincing all the while. "I know."
For a brief moment, she perks. "Hey. At least we haven't had to somehow survive 'Highlander Sequel' yet. That's a win, right?"
"Always said you were my sister, even in here," the Visionary says to the Creepshow with a quick nod. "Do what you've gotta -- you know you can come on in any time, right?"
"Well, I thought it was good," says Optimist of the second Blade Runner movie "But then I kind of enjoy things even if they're bad? I just seem to like stuff. Most stuff. Not Highlander 2. Wow. That was bad, even for me. Still, we can try the movie experiment? Especially with Bladerunner, there's going to be absolutely a certain way to tell if we're both seeing the same thing." He waves a hand as Creepshow goes to head out, and then he finds himself a seat, and takes out a pair of glasses from a pocket.
The Addict admits, "I haven't watched enough movies to keep up with this conversation. I was usually in the alley behind the theater getting waasted. We'd sneak in, though." They gives Creepshow an upnod as they head out. "Do you really need glasses?" Briar asks Boots. "I mean I don't think you're lying about it or anything. I just don't know of anyone else who's got any kind of health issue while we're here. I know Chance usually has something when we're in a lifetime."
The Martyr nods agreement on Mel Gibson, because how could he possibly know? "He was so damned sexy in Tim and Year of Living Dangerously. It's too Bad Road Warrior was so homophobi, because the style in that was gorgeous." He makes a pfft sound in response to George Micheal, "Bland straight guys were never my thing and that 'Fatther Figure' song was creepy." He smiles at Wendy, "You definately look great." His brows knit, "She? Oh, I was all about Pris and Roy and that poor little guy who designed them. Okay and Harrison Ford looked good all roughed up, but really, it was the struggle of the replicants to build lives and be treated like people that really spoke to me. I did feel bad for Rachel, but..." He is firm, "No, Star. You definately earned your new name.
The Visionry's expression clearly worries the Martyr, but he decodes he is so much happier not knowing if someone really had been so foolish as to ruin the Highlander. Then he's laughing, "How would that even _work_? Would they send us all to murder each other and then be polished off by the one?" Then he looks at Boots in real horror, "Tell me you're kidding? I refuse to believe such a thing existed?" He looks at Briar, impressed, "That is a genius question."
There's a shhhhhhhhing from the Visionary at the combination of the words 'Highlander' and 'Two', but she tries not to laugh. It sends clove smoke spilling from her nostrils in tiny whorls, as she holds up a hand and finally wheezes out: "I need coffee. I'll be right back."
"I wouldn't put it past them," she notes as she breezes into the dispensary. "Then we'd get to kick the ass of whoever lived to the end. Or laugh, I guess, when the Kurgan gets 'em."
"We'd have to try the experiment with the new Blade Runner. I know absolutely nothing about that film, so if I go into one of those rooms to watch it, then what I see will explain a bit" Competitor nods to Optimist. "I really liked 'Excalibur'...if that counts for anything. I went to see that with a school excursion. That sex scene at the start almost had the teacher rushing us out again. 'The Sword and the Sorcerer'. 'Krull'. 'Dragonslayer'. 'Working Girl'." Martyr is drifting into fighting words territory as he slags off George Michael. 'Father Figure' was totally romantic. You're just jealous George isn't gay." She looks excitedly to those who have seen the future. "Are Milli Vanilli still huge?"
"But I always read with my glasses on," says Boots to Briar, and there is an imperceptible pause, and he pushes them up on his forehead "...hmm," he says. And then he very awkwardly takes off his glasses, folds them, and he puts them away. So self conscious! Though he shoots Dare an odd look "George Michael is not...you know, don't worry. All of that stuff. It's not as. I mean. Never mind!" He then says "I like Krull! But it's completely ridiculous. I like Krull though!" And finally he says "He was gay. I mean, he came out as bisexual for a while, but then as gay." He pauses "Who's Milli Vanilli?"
The Addict winces. "Not great news for Milli Vanilli." They gape at Boots, though, at the revelation that George Michael was what, now? "Wait, was? He didn't stop being gay, did he?" They finish their cake, then lick the frosting off their fingers. "I need to talk to Fizz. We need to have a booze up, maybe at the lake. Without murderous ghosts. We can have weed in the Anywhere Rooms, you know that?"
The Martyr looks wistful, "Fully naked Lancelot stabbing himself with a sword. I watched that one over and over. That opening sex scene looked like it really hurt though. Is that what straight people like?" He snorts, "No way do I want to fuck my 'father Figure' nor be fucked by him. Maybe I see it differently because of the gay predator trope." He rolls his eyes, "I am not jealous. If Prince were bi though? That would be something. That 'Kiss' video was the sexiest thing ever. Please tell me Prince is bi." He is now eyeing the Optimist thoughtfully, "If the glasses make you feel more comfortable, you should wear them. It's okay." Then he's grinning at Briar, "Well, it is your UnBirthday. Let's have a party!"
"Some day," the Visionary says as she weaves her way back out from the dispensary -- clove abandoned in there somewhere, fresh pack in one palm, coffee mug dangling from a fingertip, carafe held in careful balance -- "You all need to see the maintenance platform on the station. It's in the bar, which was well-stocked with booze, as well as more or less every designer drug the mind of man could conjure up between antiquity and 2150."
"Pretty sure Prince was bi." Oh, shit, that 'was' just slipped right out there, didn't it. She pauses, fussing with her mug to pour off coffee to pretend nothing at all slipped out. Don't ask about Bowie, don't ask about Bowie...
"Who is Milli Vanilli? Only the best looking, best dancing, best singing, hip duo ever! How could they not still be huge?" Competitor's world is crumbling. Not helped by another bit of news. "George Michael is gay? But...but...I was going to marry him. Well...before Emily came along at least. Though I know that there are different futures out there. One with President Lake for a start." A concerned look for Addict. "Please don't make a mess at the pond. It's still /my/ pond. Sort of. In some reality. Wait, Prince /wasn't/ bi?" Thankfully, Visionary is there with the answer, and she gets and nod of agreement from Competitor. "What was missing in the 1980s were lesbian role models. Sure, there were things like 'All-Girl Sorority Orgy Volume 5', but they didn't use their real names. As an aside, stay clear of Volume 6." She eyes off the whiskey she's been drinking. "I might stop talking now."
The Optimist says awkwardly "No, he died being gay. But you know, he was in his fifties and taking a lot of drugs. That kind of thing can just happen, right? He did live with his partner, and then there was another guy when his partner died of AIDs. I mean, he was pretty great? He wrote a lot of interesting music, and had respect from people, even if he did mess up a bit. Prince? I don't know, he was vegetarian though." JUST THE SAME, RIGHT? Boots beams, and he says "Anyway, he was sort of linked with lots and lots of different women. Madonna too? She's still doing all the things. Wow, actually, you might like Lady Gaga? She basically does everything. All the things, all the time." He pauses, trying to think of any lesbian role models that get the airtime that gay ones do "...maybe we have some way to go."
"Aw, man. That's too bad," Briar says, of George Michael's demise. To Cass, they say, "The problem with going to the space station is it's like being the only one not included on an inside joke. You guys all know each other from that lifetime, you've got your own experiences and references, and I'm just like... okay, cool window. Which it was. A very cool window. The stars were really pretty. I figured we all know the lake, and 1989's a lot more fun than 1902."
The Martyr's eyes narrow, "What do you mean 'was.'" He looks at Briar flirtaciously, "I don't think we were planing any sort of mess. Do you think I'd like ecstasy?" He reaches across and gently pats Star's arm, "You're fun when you're buzzed. You're safe with us." He is studying Boots now, and thrusting aside the question of bisexuality and vegetarianism he asks, "What does aromantic mean? I keep forgetting to ask." He thinks over the station, "I think I would like to see it some time, but I feel the same. There's so much history there while at the same time being so far out of my... time period. Or something."
"...was last I checked?" Still a craptastic liar. "Well. There's... " the Visionary seems to draw something of a blank, too, frowning visibly. "Ellen. But. I don't know if comedians and talk show hosts are really the target goal. There was a decent show for a while on cable, but otherwise? Still a way to go there. At least in 2018. 2150? People stopped giving a fuck. Everybody just fetishized everything equally -- at long last." There's no small amount of grumbling in her voice as she says that much, but she seems inclined against arguing human nature on that particular point. "Shortly after the time we just lived through? Became super fashionable for women to pretend to be bi, mostly also just to appeal to guys. Which is serious bullshit, but... " Human nature again, and she winces through a swallow of coffee. "One of these days? We'll just cheerfully kiss whoever we feel like kissing, love whoever we feel like loving, fuck whoever we feel like fucking." There's a pained look to Briar, and she sighs. "Fair point. And with the crowds there, now? Knowing my luck, I'd have to explain to my sister-bot why I stole her boyfriend, and she'd set me on fire." This is unnervingly likely.
Enter the shambling mound of blankets and trailing smoke that is Rafe, his shuffle one of tiredness and a bit of fighting off that sleep thing further still. Soak up as much people time as he possibly can and all! He grunts softly in passing by Vis and shakes his head, "She's not gonna do that because every reflection of ourselves has fragments that are part of the whole. Chuck was a part of me, much as the sweetest pyro in the galaxy was part of you," he shrugs and carries on without giving it much thought. There's Eldritch beverage to be had. Which is to say a sixteen ounce glass of espresso and a hint of cream and sugar. That gotten he yawns some and stumbles back to the group. "Um shit, yeah there really weren't a lot of lesbian - that we know of - stars in the 80's. I mean plenty of support from Cher and Cyndi Lauper, but like, actual comins outs?" he shrugs to his knowledge, then again he might be sleep deprived! Eventually he'll nestle against Vis and sip at his beverage. "What's good, cool cats?" he beams at the rest.
The Optimist pauses, and he says "Aromantic is the 'romance' version of 'asexual'. As in 'not into'." To Dare, at least. But now he is busy staring at the shambling mound, and the new person - to him. He says "Er...the coffee is generally good?"
"George. Michael. Is. Dead." Competitor is doing her best to keep calm and composed. It happens to everyone after all. Everyone except those in this place. She downs the rest of her whiskey as she looks away to hide the tears in her eyes. Murderous ghosts and mass death, not an issue. George Michael dead, she is struggling. More chocolate cake is shoved into her mouth - though she really needs ice cream to get through this properly. "Ellen? Ellen Barkin? She was a lesbian? Sorry, if you'll excuse me for a moment." She pops up and heads for the Dispensary, wiping her eyes quickly, to get some ice cream.
"The coffee is whatever you want it to be," Briar tells Boots. "Just imagine good coffee and it's good coffee. Or, if you're Heck, dream up an abomination they would barely drink in 1902 and only out of dire necessity, and it'll make that, too." They give Christine a sympathetic look, and they give her shoulder a squeeze as she gets up. "I'm really sorry, honey." They curl closer to Dare. "Hey, Oz. I'm getting sleepy, but I had cake, so life is pretty good."
The Martyr waves to the Fool, "Have you met Boots? I can't remember." He gives Boots a quizzical look, "Asexual?" He gives Star a distressed look, "So is Prince!" He takes a deep breath, "At least we still have Bowie. He'll surely live forever." Another deep breath, "I'm sorry George Micheal died. I really am. Jitterbug was pretty good." He kisses the top of Briar's head, "Life is good, Love, and you are still the prettiest."
"I would totally set me on fire for stealing you," the Visionary says to the Fool as he passes, offering up a tiny swat to his side as he goes. She spills onto a corner of the couch to give him somewhere to land once he returns, and there's a sudden look of empathy for the Competitor. "Sorry, Star," she murmurs, wincing. "I mean. I guess it's not exactly news that all of us are going to die some day, and everybody we adored at the lake is dead by 2150? Except the idiots who froze their heads in cryostasis. We still have no idea what happened to any of them."
"Ellen D-" she begins, but, no. She'll leave that potentially happy thought unmolested. The mention of the Crusader's coffee has her snickering quietly to herself. "The dispenser spits it out with a stick in it now, standing straight up, to prove its worthiness," she notes to Briar with a tiny grin. "There's a reason Fleur, Senni, and I had to make the coffee at the sheriff's stat-" Then Bowie comes up. So does her mug, and she downs her coffee in a long gulp just to keep words from flying out of her mouth accidentally.
"...Everyone dies eventually," Creepshow points out as she returns. "I mean, in 2149 all the stars of the 80's are dead. So... might as well get them all out of your system now." A shrug.
"Asexual, as in not experiencing sexual attraction?" says Boots, who adds "I'm getting a bit tired too." He lets himself grin "And frankly, I'd rather not bring people down by talking about who's passed away. Or even frozen heads. I'd rather focus on some of the awesome books in my room."
The Fool does indeed take up that space made by the hippy chick, his coffee being sipped slowly and he beams a nod at Optimist, "As good as you want it to be!" Poor Christine is given a sympathetic look and he exhales a slow breath only to have the words stolen out of his mouth by Max. She earns a sweet smile and a kiss blown her direction, "Exactly, it's kind of pointless to get hung up on death, especially in this horror factory," he says rather pragmatically. "Boots?" he asks and then shakes his ehad before Boots and Star each a glance of curiosity, trying to sift through a haze of sleep dep. Leaning on Vis he takes another sip of his coffee before passing the lit cigarette her way.
The Addict stretches and says, "Oh, so you're like the opposite of me. I'm pretty much in the mood all the time. Not as bad as Danny, but close. And aromantic means you don't feel squishy emotions toward anyone? I mean you do you, but I'm a fan of the squish." They ponder a moment, then they say, "Wow, that's got to be a real time saver. The pursuit of sex and romance can get exhausting. I could tack on another hobby or two if I swung that way." They nod to Optimist. "Cool."
The Martyr is thinking over the new concepts. Eventually he says to Boots, "Okay. Tell us what you've been reading?" He watches Briar stretch, having nothing clever to say about Death's inevitability.
The Visionary takes the clove, and a long drag from it. Nestling in at the Fool's side, she raises her coffee mug to clink against his, and she notes, "If Kolvek is somehow a part of me, that part is an asshole. For what it's worth." She clears her throat, and notes, "The new face, by the way? That's my sister." A sentence that could be so very confusing on every possible level, even in context. "She changed. And now she really does look like my sister. Cool, huh?" She is doubtless already wondering what she may end up turning into, some day, and potentially how many heads it will have.
"Is there a word for 'absurdly more romantic than average?'" she asks. "I mean, the sex part aside. 'Smitten Addiction', maybe. 'Sucker for somebody who brings flowers'. 'Swoon Factory'. Because that's probably me, if I'm being honest with myself," she says blandly.
The Fool blinks slightly and then double takes at not-Max before tilting his head, "Oh! Well then," he just blows her another kiss for good measure, then double-checks to make sure she's not wielding a bottle! Only slightly traumatized by previous encounters. "I dunno, Hopeless Romantic is definitely a thing?" he offers to Vis before shrugging, "It's all weird body chemicals anways, right?" he laughs and downs a few more gulps of deliciously bitter beverage.
"Boots," says the fairly tall dark skinned man. He wears nice suits, but the styling is not quite American. And then he says "Huh?" to Briar for a moment. Clearly a wire has gotten crossed somewhere. Not that he seems particularly bothered by it, but he does add, lightly "Yeah, I'm calling myself that," to the Fool "I don't really know what my name could have been. So 'Boots'." He glances down as though his book might be there, but then he says "A magazine called New Scientist." And he tilts his head, trying to think "Well, not sensible, real words. Some negative ones. I'm trying to think...well, no. I think 'Fun' sounds appropriate?"
Creepy waggles fingers at Oz. "Sorry about the attempted Jamaican prison shanking," she offers.
Competitor returns with a huge bowl of ice cream - she will have to do double aerobics tomorrow (even if it doesn't really matter) - eating as she walks back towards the couch. "You have to remember that then 1980s was the only world I knew. And George Michael was a big thing to Christine. I'm sure I'll get over it but, even without that, we should never treat death as something casual. Even in our current situation. The dead need to be honored and respected...and never forgotten." It soon becomes apparent that the conversation has moved on so she goes back to eating sugary goodness. "'Absurdly more romantic than average'? Optimist?"
The Fool grins and offers a wave to Boots, "Nice to meet'cha, I go by Rafe here, last round of hell everyone called me Oz," he finishes off that ridiculous amount of caffeine and is slowly perking up as he returns to his cigarette. A snort comes, a good drag escaping his lungs as he chuckles and shrugs at Creeps, "S'all good, I'm not dead," he grins with some self-satisfaction there.
"I like people. I can't entirely help it," the Visionary says as she shamelessly steals a corner of the Fool's blanket to tuck herself into. "Truth is, everyone I've come to know here is fascinating to the point that it would be easy to adore the hell out of them, sometimes at the very same time-" She nods once to the Creepshow, as if that summed it up. "-stabbing seems like it would be highly enjoyable, too."
"I'd say I'm a lover, not a fi-stabber, but reality is, I'm pretty crap at the love thing in every lifetime in some way. Whole thing is confusing most of the time, other than the 'feeling it all the time' part. Maybe I'm meant to be a murder-ninja?" She doesn't really seem sold on this one.
The Addict grins at Cass. "I like people, too. I especially like you two, but you'll always be like family to me." They then look to Wendy and they say, "I like you. If I ever seem distant or whatever, it's because I don't want to be a total dork around you. Because I think you're cool. Way cooler than I am." They look around the room. "I like all of you. That's another reason I'm not desparate to find a way out. I don't know what life would look like without you guys."
"No, we should be kind to people," says Boots to Christine, quite seriously "And emotions are important. How we feel about death, life, those things make us human." He grins "Sorry, I'm tired, I just can't think of the appropriate word. And hello, Rafe. Perhaps you can do it. Come up with a great word for someone more romantic than anyone else." He chews the side of his mouth at Briar's commentary, and he shakes his head and smiles, then he says "Thankyou." And slips on out.
The Martyr raises his hand sheepishly as to being in the 'Smitten Addiction' club, but asks, "Is it like there is all this love inside of you for everyone, but it's not...a dating kind of love or a sex kind of love? Sort of more general? Like friends? Or is there nothing?" He smiles encouragingly at Boots, "That existed in our time too, though I don't think I ever read it. Did you find a good article?" He thinks over what Chrstine said, then nods agreement, "The funeral you had for us really... helped me. It's hard to explain, but it did help me let go." To Wendy he says, "I definately still like you." More generally, "And you are all family as far as I'm concerned." He kisses Briar's cheek, "No one is cooler than you, babe."
"Why?" Creepy asks Competitor in a curious tone, sitting on the arm of a chair. "Death is just another part of the cycle, no more important than the rest. I've died nine times. Should we honor every one of them? There will be more, I'm sure. And what about those who are with us in the stories but never return here? They're not even real, at least that we know of. I guess they could be in another place like this, but still."
"I think that's really it, to tell the truth. Everyone here is family, after a fashion? I mean. There are some folks we get along with in one way and drive us batshit in another, and-" The Visionary's shoulders rise and fall in a companionable shrug. "-at least we don't all have to share a bathroom. I mean. Fuck. Could you imagine?"
"We just know each other a little more or a little less, but. Yeah. We've been family, sometimes. Blood, or otherwise. Married around, once in a while." She glances to the Creepshow, and her brow furrows slightly. "Truth? That's the other reason I don't want to go back to the Noc. I still don't really know if Cole was one of us, or one of the ghosts. And I don't feel like being haunted by that one any time soon."
"Not that the alternative is more comforting."
Addict gets a smile, though. "Um. Thanks. You're cool, though. Chicks dig confidence, though."
The Addict tells Dare, "Wendy's cooler." Then they grin at Wendy. "Danny gave me that. Poor Martin never had it. I want to go back to 1901 and punch his dad in the face." A lifetime of supportive (if untraditional) parents was good for Briar. Who stretches, stands up, and tells Dare, "I'm going to lie down. Come find me before you crash for the night, baby." They give him a quick kiss. "Love you guys," they say before heading off toward the room of hallways. On the topic of death, they seem to have no real opinion. Maybe it's what they're going to go think about.
"Because every one of those nine lives were important, Wendy. Yes, they should be remembered and honored. It helps others too." Competitor replies before her brow furrows. "Should we see anything in that Wendy changed form after her nine lives were done? Are we cats?" More ice cream shoveled in. "Even if you honor by not caring, that's still something that you've chosen to do to accept. Though it might even have contributed to why you were so down." More ice cream is eaten. "You are the only people I can be 'sure' actually exist. I wouldn't know what to do if you all weren't around either. But, hey, if we want to get really worried, we could all be figments of each other's imagination. Only /one/ of us is actually real." A little singing of the Twilight Zone theme before she is waving to Addict. "Take care. See you around."
The Martyr takes Briar's hand to give it a courtly kiss, "I promise to be more forth coming in the future, My Love. I truly have learned my lesson." His eyes cut quickly to Wendy, then back to Briar's face, "I won't forget to kiss you good night either. I may be a Fool, but I try to make a new mistake each time. Also? I really, really want to punch Martin's father _And_ Granmother. Anytime, I'll back you up, Babe." He nods to Star, "I think they all matter too.
"Honestly?" says Creepy. "I doubt the number had any significance. What mattered, I think, was that I wanted a change. Either they heard me and gave it to me, or they decided a fixed me was better for tormenting than a broken one. No fucking clue if it was mercy or malice, and I'm not even sure it matters."
Another shrug. "See, this is where I'd normally say some fucked up shit, get inside your head and make you uncomfortable. Make you question yourself, or at the very least score some cheap shots. Maybe I will tomorrow. But not today. I'm still cooling. I can push the monster aside today."
"I'm tough to make uncomfortable, Wendy, it usually just inspires me" Competitor smiles warmly, "But, thank you for restraining yourself." She is sincere in her words. "I should head back to my room too. It's been a long day. So many deaths to deal with. I'm taking the ice cream with me though." A hug for Martyr. "Let me know when you're going back to the Beaver. Good night...day...everyone."
"You know," the Visionary says quietly, glancing toward the Creepshow with a thoughtful expression, "if anyone here thinks they don't have a monster inside them somewhere, they're fooling themselves. Confronting it head on is braver a thing than people give credit for." She raises a hand to wave to the Competitor, offering a smile. "Sleep well, Star."
The Martyr smiles crookedly at Wendy, "I'm okay with it either way. Just so you know. I know I've got a monster in me, and I'm not afraid of yours." He hugs Star, "Sleep well indeed."
"Oh, everyone does," Creepy agrees. "Everyone is capable of horrific things. But as far as who in this place is a monster, lets theirs run wild? There aren't many. That's probably a good thing."
"I don't imagine I've seen as much of mine as there is to be seen," the Visionary says quietly. Her eyes shift toward the others, each in turn, before dropping to the rim of her cup. "I'm not looking forward to the day it happens."
The Martyr's gaze is steady, "Yes. I understand that pretty well. Just...I'm not sure how to say this." He gets that abstracted thinking face while he works it out, "I am very glad you are you. As you are, but without losing my fondness for who you were and the parts of you that hold that pastand the parts of you that remain constant." He looks frustrated, "Does that make any sense at all?" He reaches over to lightly touch the Visionaries wrist, "I know that feeling very well, but we'll deal with it when it happens."
"If or when it happens," Creepshow says to Visionary, "I'm here. Come see me, and I'll help you through it." To Martyr, "Same for you."
"That day? I'm going to take you both up on that," the Visionary says, squeezing the Fool's hand subtly beneath the blanket.
The Martyr smiles softly at Wendy, "I'll remember that. It's good to have someone who knows the shape of the dark when one is taking a good hard look at the Abyss." He is studying her face, feeling out this new season of their maybe friendship, what he thinks is a friendship anyway.