Log:Not Quite a High School Reunion

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Not Quite a High School Reunion
Characters  •   The Explorer  •  The Thrill-Seeker  •  The Caregiver  •  The Addict  •  The Capitalist  •  The Rogue  •  The Gambler  •  The Beast  •  The Crusader  •  The Martyr  •  The Caregiver  •
Location  •  The Facility - Parlor
Date  •  2019-10-27
Summary  •  After the events of Lake Havasu, many gather to talk about the past, the present, life in the facility, relationships, and all the complications therein.

And so it goes, that the man formerly known as Morrison woke once more within his room at the facility, remembering yet another life lived to add to the rest that have been accumulating over time. And now he sits in the parlor, as he often does on his return, in a pair of comfortable jeans and a long sleeved lightweight sweater of a dark wine color, with a book open on one knee and a mug of tea in the other hand, just reading.


The Gambler comes down the hall, not really looking at who's there before she starts talking. "There was a copy of the Ungame! Why would anyone want a copy of the Ungame? It's like someone combined the worst aspects of therapy, stupid 'get-to-know-you' games, and Candyland. And you can't even win to make it end more quic..." She comes to a halt and blinks, realizing it's someone she hasn't met, yet, at least here. "Hey. Sorry. I... umm..." Small pause. "Mor... wait, no. Are you? What should I call you?" She's older than she was, not much, though. Somewhere in her twenties, maybe? Currently she's wearing a skater-style dress printed with multi-colored dice and sandals.


The Beast's a bit older than he was as well, though not too much older, in his late instead of mid twenties. He glances up at the familiar voice, and one brow ticks up just a little bit as she approaches. "Connor," he introduces himself, using the name that he's chosen for his own of all the ones that he's worn throughout his time here. "Though you can call me Morrison if you like. I'll know who you're referring to." He also has a British accent, which he definitely didn't in Lake Havasu. "What do you prefer to go by?" he asks.


The Gambler smiles brightly and nods. "Connor. Okay. I may slip, but... you're easier. I didn't know you that well." She looks down at the box in her hands and finds somewhere convenient to set it. "I... haven't chosen a name, yet. I mean, He..Dare calls me Red, but I'm not sure if that should be an everyone name or a him name. So... I don't know. Felicity works as well as anything else, I think. For the moment." There's a small pause. "I think it's the accents that get me the most. No one quite sounds like I expect them to."


The Rogue strides out of the hallway looking, for the Facility like his usual Malcolm to Caleb-ish self. Put together, blonde goatee trimmed back quite short though he looks like he's dressed either out of Ethan's closet today or as a Malcolm holdover: deress shirt, but folded to the elbow, slacks, shoes on. Well, he can pass for a Marchant at 40 that's for damn certain. He loiters in the hall for a moment before entering the common area; surveying, assessing, waiting. His eyes shift to the pair there, lock, and squint slightly. After a moment an eyebrow arches quinetly giving Beast a slow nod but watching 'Felicity' quietly.


"It doesn't bother me either way," Connor says with a slight rise and fall of his shoulders. "I've had many names at this point. This is just the one that I've chosen to use." Not like he can remember a name prior to the Facility. He takes a sip from his mug of tea and closes the book that he had been reading, setting it off to one side. "No, the changes can be a little bit jarring at first. You'll likely grow more accustomed to them after you've lived a few lives." He glances over toward Rogue when he appears and he dips his head a little in greeting. "I see you made it safely back, as well."


The Gambler spins back to look behind her from where she was only a little way into the room and blinks, studying the Rogue for a moment, then giving him a sunny smile. "Hi! L... Okay, what would you like me to call you?" She glances to the box on the table and sighs. "Maybe this is a context where the Ungame would be useful, but I refuse to play it from pure loathing. We can pull out Apples to Apples later. It's almost as good for learning people and way more fun." She's older than she was, but not much. Twenties somewhere. And she's currently wearing a skater-style dress printed with a multicolored dice pattern and sandals.


The Rogue speaks with a dialect that isn't... Scottish nor Australian but something in linguistic shift between. Patient, and not starved for sincerity he offers 'Connor' in even reply, "Ja ja." He pushes off the wall and walks in finally but not close giving people their space. "Thanks t'you, boet." There's a pause and a reserved but earnest smile to 'Felicity' that leaks up into his eyes. "Uhhhhh what you like I suppose" There's a calculated pause and he finally answers, "Been both Lucas and Lyle Lucas, so that's fine by me, honestly. Had more names than I care to count but..." His head tilts to side considering, "It was a good life. I'll keep it." He watches her for a moment and then to his 'brother' and back, "You alright?"


"What is the Ungame," Connor finally asks, having no idea what she's talking about and finally seeming curious enough to inquire since it's been brought up again. He then glances over toward Rogue and gives a bit of a nod, though he doesn't exactly seem like he's going to take credit for that. There's a slight nod when Lucas claims the name since he's had it twice as given and surname. But when Lucas asks how Felicity is doing, he studies her a little bit more closely. Things are always a bit uncertain when one returns to the facility, unsure of what sort of ties from past lives persist, or not. Though he does look over toward Lucas and says, "Didn't see Matthew this time. His door's blank."


The Gambler rocks back on her heels and the smile fades a little around the edges, but doesn't dim completely. "I'm... better. a lot better. They're here. And I got to yell at Ca... Chance. Though not enough because he was already on the ground being mopey and doing the 'I'm awful' thing and it's much less enjoyable to yell at someone when they're already beating themselves up." She sighs and there's a little frown. "I'm... I'll talk to him more later. Apparently here, there's almost always a later. I'm overwhelmed. I'll be fine eventually." There's a flicker of her gaze towards the anywhere doors. "It's a lot. But... it's weirdly better than what I was facing. For now, anyway."

Then Felicity turns back to blink at Connor. "Oh. It's this... it was designed to be a non-competitive game in... I think the 70's? It was a whole thing. You move pawns around the board and ask questions from cards or sometimes you get to make up questions, depending on what square you land on, but it's all like 'What makes you happiest?' 'What's your biggest fear?' 'If you were a bird, what would you be?'. It was part of this whole 'we're making our kids too competitive' movement. Like the participation trophies."


The Rogue answers evenly with s ashrug and a concerned look, "Well. It's true. He is rather." Rogue pulls no punches with this, but the conern doesn't He listens to the game, curious, and at least on teh surface no flicker of familiarity. " How are people supposed to know that?" He pauses and looks curious squinting an eye, "There's trophies for this? For participating?" This is not on his radar exactly but he can parse enough together. "Well, if we can help withthe perspective on the... inconsistincies of this place..." He pauses and looks to Beast in silent conference and back, "Do ask." There's a pause at the news that 'Matthew's door is blank' and Lucas' expression goes mute for a moment. Fingers reach up and rub at one eye (that one) quietly before nodding slowly and studying Beasts face silently for the while. Apparently this has some value of information to it. Why people care about a clean door?


"Beat him up anyway," Connor says to Felicity with a faint smirk that is almost Morrison-like save for the British accent that doesn't quite line up with Morrison. "He deserves it. And being a mopey git shouldn't weasel him out of it." He lifts his cup of tea and takes another sip from it. Though he nods when she says that she's doing a bit better now. "You'll never know when you're in it, that there will be a time back here, but there usually is. Though.. not always. Use what time you have and don't rely on there always being a next time. Sometimes, they don't come back. We don't know where they go or what happens to them." He nods down the hall toward where Medic's door lies blank of his symbol. Then Felicity explains the game and he says, "I see."


The Gambler sighs again and heads over to flop into a chair, then curl her feet up under herself. "I don't want to beat him up. That would make him feel better and me feel worse and that's the opposite of how restitution is supposed to work. It would be more useful to physically hurt myself in front of him, but I'm not really into cutting off my nose to spite my face." She glances down the hall. "I... that makes sense of some of what they were saying. People usually come back, but sometimes they don't? I got the whole 'dying will not get you out of this, you just wake up in your room the next day' speech already." She shrugs again towards Lucas. "It was a short lived experiment in pedagogy that... well, they meant well."


Unlike some of his other 'Wake-Ups', this past... memory, story wasn't as overly traumatic in the end, so there's no bouts of panic or paranoia coming from the Capitalist's room this time around. This means there's hardly any time needed to process everything, though he may have taken some time to lay in bed and contemplate on everything that happened in Lake Havasu, especially now that some of those faces have become more familiar to him on waking.

When The Capitalist emerges from his room, he's wearing his usual suit and tie, something that those who have been on this trip with him through countless numbers of memories are all too familiar with now. He's no longer an eighteen year old boy and instead looks to be in his early-thirties or around with a professional look, his hair gelled and styled and his beard neatly trimmed.

Those who know him best might have thought that by now he would stop checking The Hunter's door. They'd experienced so many memories since... well. But he does. It's a habit. The symbol on the door hasn't reverted back to what it originally was and thus he makes his way into the parlor on hearing the voices of a few others. The Rogue and The Beast are all-too familiar faces for him in many ways, especially after this last lifetime. A nod is given to the pair, before his dark eyes settle on The Gambler. He recognizes her too, but only from this last memory. "Felicity... They've dragged you here too now? Wonderful." Looking over what everyone is either eating or drinking, he announces his intention, "Man, do I need cup of coffee."


The Rogue is still on Matthew's door. Sincerely the South African offers, "Shame that, bruh."Condolences of the most reserved sort. He asks Connor, "Coffee, mate?" He takes a step back falling in line with his once twin but doesn't call him Landon but, "Dris, glad you're back." As much as one is glad of these things. Walking with towards the dispencer he says, "Not-Felicity, you dinnae owe them a damn thing. Just remember that."


"That seems counterproductive," Connor observes to Felicity regarding hurting herself in front of Chance. His tea is lifted and he takes another sip from it, wrapping both hands around the mug to warm them. He glances toward the hall when he notices the movement and sees the Capitalist coming toward him. They've been through a few stories now, some more closely linked than others, and he gives the man a nod of greeting, now the younger appearing of the two, if only by a few years. He lifts his cup of tea in a kind of silent salute to the man. He then nods to Rogue and says, "I'd hoped to see him again." He'd genuinely liked The Medic, but sometimes, people go.


The Gambler shrugs. "Well, thus why I'm not going to do it, but I'm still pretty sure that it would actually hurt him more in a way that counts." She considers again and then slips out of her chair to stand and follow the others towards the food. "Food. I need food. I'd gotten distracted trying to catalogue the games in my room, and then I found the Ungame and needed to express my incredulity to someone. Any... Wait... Not-Landon is... Dris? Or what do I call him?"


Capitalist only catches a bit of the conversation going on on his way to dispensary where he runs into Rogue again. He likes his coffee, but sometimes he likes his coffee fancy, so he spends some time going through menu options of various espresso drinks before settling on an iced caramel macchiato with whipped cream of all things. It's as if whoever he truly was before ending up in this place, he frequented a Starbucks there. "That was some wild ride, huh?" He side-comments to the other man. The pair of them have worked together in the past, but they were both closer than they've ever been in this mast memory.

As he waits for his drink to finish pouring, he turns to rest his back against the counter, both hands at his side, gripping onto the edge of the countertop so that he can better view the others from the doorway. "Who is.. missing?" He just caught that tidbit, but missed on hearing who was now absent from the Hallway of Doors. He should've checked, probably, the certain few doors that are of any importance to him, but as they are all talking about a male figure, it's no one that he's overly concerned about. This gives him some sense of relief, "Has anyone seen my sis--" He's about to say, before turning back to retrieve his newly filled drink, "Penny. That's what she wanted to be called." But he'll go on in case they don't know her by that name yet, "Madison. Nettie... Amy." The most recent memory.

To The Gambler's inquiry, The Capitalist considers, "Some still call me Conrad. Others," He looks to Rogue, "Know me as Driscoll. Rhys Driscoll. I've been here a while, so if it feels more comfortable to you, Landon is fine."


The Penitent heads towards The Facility - Hall of Rooms
.

The Rogue gets his coffee seeing his friend there has something to keep his hands busy. Before he answers Felicity his head dips in a small nod, "Ja, Hoped I would to. Disappointing on all side of it. Ummm... our favourite crabby companion's door's seemed alright. Didn't have a chance to chat him up yet."

Coffee. Today needs coffee. Looking to the younger once-other-self there's an honest damn wry grin. Now he looks like his other iterations. "Was at that." Blowing the steam off his cup his amusement stretches the smile a tad wider. "Honestly? For all the hastle? Glad I had you. Still wonfering though if you can..." he drops that one off and doesn't finish what he started but shakes his head, "Naw. her door's there though. Matthew's isn't. THe army field medic from the lodge that did my surgery? Shame too. He was... reasonable."


"I checked on him when I woke," Connor says as he glances down the hall toward the doorway. He always does. It's the first thing he does when he wakes, ever since the beginning. His attention lingers on the hall for a moment or two and then moves back to the others. In the dispensary, he gets a refill for his tea, but no food for now. He's rarely hungry when he returns. He nods in confirmation when Lucas confirms that it was Matthew's door that was blank this time. "I haven't seen her yet, but I'm sure that she's here. Her door still holds her mark." He'd checked. She was another face that he'd seen more than once, and they'd worked together closely on the Icarus, and then she'd been his cousin.


The Gambler actually has a helpful answer for part of that at least. "Penny was in the parlor when I first got in. So she's around somewhere." She contemplates the screen and considers. "I wonder if these have a random setting. Though... that could get odd." Still, she ends up 'ordering' a bunch of small plates and little bamboo steamer baskets along with a few little dishes of different dipping sauces and a pair of chopsticks. She stacks and balances them all only a little precariously back to a table near the archway where she sits. Apparently someone wanted dim sum. And has decided to start with the braised chicken feet.


The Capitalist didn't really know much of the college kid crowd or the lodge staff at the Eager Beaver, but he nods anyway to what both Beast and Rogue says of this Matthew, trying to see if he can remember what this guy looks like. "Good." Is all he'll say to Beast's confirming that Madison was still around before he leans forward to take a sip from his straw. The Gambler adds to this, bringing further relief. "Glad to hear. Penny and I've been through a lot ever since our first memory. She might be the person I'm the closest to now..."

Turning back to Rogue, there's a gentle lift of his brow once the other man just cuts himself off that way. "...Finish your sentence?" Wow, that was weird. But it's the young woman who he knew as Felicity that has grabbed his interest with her bamboo baskets filled of steaming goodies. "Now some of that smells excellent."


The Rogue nods slowly to Beast. Okay. Good. Being cut off though pulls a silent grin from him and his hand falls to the Capitolist's shoulder, briefly, in a squeeze before finding himself someplace to perch. "Well you can do what Ch-...Zane and I do. Have someone else order you up food." He pauses now curious and looks at the baskets, her and the baskets again.


The Beast watches as Felicity assembles her collection of goodies, smiling a little curiously at the braised chicken feet. Definitely not his cup of tea, but still, he makes his way over toward the table and takes up a seat just a little bit down from her, comfortably joining the others. The tea is left to cool just a tiny bit before he drinks of it. He chuckles just a little bit when Conrad finishes Lucas' sentence and he says, "It's a little strange to watch you two do that now, here, in your current.." he gestures with his mug. Older states.


In shuffles the Crusader with great care, holding five mugs all full to the brim with a dark, steaming liquid. He's still carrying tattoos from his time as Fenrir and it seems he's been practicing some newer designs as well. He's in his typical ninja turtles pajama pants and his somewhat tight t-shirt bragging about some Sasquatch search TV show that may or may not have existed. "I got you, guys. What um.... what did I miss?" He still looks much himself, a bit young in the face now, bright in the eyes. He's carefully depositing cups of coffee into hands if he can and onto flat surfaces if the former doesn't appear amiable.


The Gambler laughs and sets the baskets out so people can pick stuff and waves her hands. "Please, be my guest. We can always get more." In addition to the chicken feet, she's got char siu bao, har gow, the little fried balls with chicken and mushrooms, the scallop dumpings, some kind of vegetable-heavy dumpling which is less easy to identify by shape, a plate of chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, another plate with salt and pepper squid. And then someone new is here and Felicity just blinks at him in confusion, no recognition on her face.


The Capitalist is more often than not seen with a mug of coffee normally, seemingly rarely eating. Today, whatever fancy Asian fare that the Gambler has set up has caught his interest. Of course, he won't just snatch something out of those baskets until permission is granted. And it seems that the Gambler was doing just that. Hovering near the tables, he reaches for one of those char siu baos, feeling its warmth in his hand. "Thanks. I tend to forget to eat, but then again, eating isn't necessary in this place." Taking a bite of the bun, he cracks a ghost of a grin at the other two, Rogue and Beast, when they comment on these twin mental powers. "Yeah, it's pretty wild." He says, brows lifted. It's just at that moment that the Crusader comes to join them carrying several cups of his own. At this moment, the Capitalist has his own iced machiatto in hand along with the steamed bun, but he'll watch as the Crusader stuffs drinks into other people's grasps.


The Rogue jsut soaks in the weirdness and the bizzare. Picking up where Landon leaves off he agrees, "Could get used to this." He sips his coffee and watches, waiting and slides a hand over and snags the morel offering it to Connor/Morrison with an arched eyebrow, "You want a run at this, bruh?" He watches Landon/Driscoll try it first then follows suit. Try crazy things that are new? Sure! use someone else as the guinea pig? absolutely. Looking to teh newcomer in teh turtle jammies he upnots, "Heck. Morning."


"Felicity, that's.... Nick." The Beast chooses that incarnation's name seemingly at random, "He's been through a few times as well." He then nods to Felicity and says, "She's a recent arrival, so far as we can tell." Not that they really know how any of it works. When the food is offered though, he shakes his head and seems content to watch the others, occasionally taking a sip from his tea. "It still tastes good, though, and is comforting in its own way, for some semblance of normalcy." He shakes his head at the morsel that Rogue offers him, apparently good for now. "Enjoy," he says.


In a deep western drawl, the Crusader greets The Rogue, "Howdy there, big fella." He seems to take a moment but then nods to the Beast, "That's right, geeze... that was a good one. I'm not going to lie. I shouldn't have enjoyed the part where space ghosts were trying to murder us so much but overall... a real hoot." He's now going through the assumptive and kind effort of clearing away any previous drinks that people had that they might not be paying close enough attention to, or aren't defending by hand. His own coffee being surrogated in the place of other coffees, teas or drinks. He putters around as if this were the more pressing matter at hand. "I remember being in a high school for about a day and then just blank. Sounds like I missed a lot, especially if we have a new winner amongst us." He smiles to the Gambler at that, offering her a mug of his coffee. "Hey, anyone seen... um..." He squints. Motions a hand as if that might help him jog the memories. "Nick's sister? Sad consumption cowboy nerd?"


The Gambler waves and considers the coffee for a moment, then shrugs and accepts it. "I... have no idea who that is. Sorry. Okay... do you go by Nick? Or what was the other name? I'm trying to keep names straight, but... That would explain why I don't recognize you at all." She finishes her chicken foot and grabs one of the har gao and then some of the squid. Yum. Tentacles. "I'm still acclimating. Two people died, but everyone else lived and apparently that's unusual. And now I'm just trying to learn a whole new set of names."


The Capitalist is sipping an iced macchiato through a straw, if the Crusader's drink looks anywhere near as good as what he's got, he might consider a switch, but he's already wary. Siiiip. He also catches the look that Rogue gives Beast just as he's taking another bite out of his bao. "Not much into Chinese?" He's not quite sure /where/ he's had this before and in what lifetime, but he's familiar with it.

Pulling out a seat at the table, he settles down into it. "Angeline, you mean? Dahlia." He then shoots a glance over at the Gambler, "Mona is the name I believe you'd know her by." However, something that the Gambler says has him thinking. "In one our memories, no one died. Yet. But more often than not, there's a higher body count, yeah. Slightly higher." Back to Crusader though, he shakes his head, "Can't say I've seen her since waking. So uh... you didn't die, by chance, in that last memory? I mean, you said yours was brief."


Heck just shrugs and replies to Landon, "I honestly don't have a ding dang clue, my dude. But that muckiatto looks like you need a real mug of the ol' black bean juice. Here, take mine." The Crusader is clearly still trying to get anyone and everyone to drink his coffee, "It took me ages to get it right this time. I swear everytime we blink out and back in that kitchen food replicator doohickey forgets all of my hard work." He finally relaxes, rather or not his crusade to coffee the people around him has met with much success. He raises his own mug to The Gambler, "You can just call me Heck. It was my first name. Honestly, as long as you get my attention with a sound, I'm good. Nick's fine, but... a little weird... because my twin sister as Nick was... uh... well... when not thinking we're blood related. It's..." He puffs his cheeks out and squints and shrugs. "Anywho."


The Rogue looks back and eats the bao shaking his head, but pausing because this is fucking delightful. He tries to answer Heck, but... fooooooood. There's a pause and the once rancher-once many a thing, and often a Lucas regards being called 'big fella' with a nod in kind. Still looks like Caleb Colton, but does not at all sound American. Gotta love the facility for keeping things on its ear. "Ja no. Going t'have to suss that one our for us. That'd be what? Roen? Colorado? Jaime? Penny... Cannot remember all who was a lunger or no. Apologies." He looks to Beast and Capitalist if they have ideas on that. And then Cap's got it. he nods and eats.

When Heck goes on about the awkward part it's Rogue that looks up casual, maybe his suspiscious nature sated a bit by food and offers as an olive branch, "I heard aboutyour coffee." He's not aksing for it. He's been warned!. the bean bun waves half eaten in a circle offering to him, "I think... everyone in this room's been in that situation at least once in the last six? Seven lives?"" Shaking his head he murmurs, "I know I have." THough he pauses looking back at the room and then to Felicity, and then to the hallway. Can't help but really wonder. Did others there come over? Specifically someone in this case. Huh. Maybe.


The Beast has his tea in hand, and with his hands wrapped around his cup, he doesn't seem to object to the coffee being set in front of him, but neither does he relinquish the cup. "I've died a few times," Connor says. "Not this time, though." This time he managed to get a little bit of a happy ending before waking up once more within the facility. "Sometimes it does get a great deal uglier than what we just experienced." He looks over at Capitalist and shakes his head, "Oh, no, the little buns look good. I'm just not hungry at the moment. I'm often not, when just getting back." He's not really sure why that is, but it happens. "Matthew was my brother in Prosperity before we were together at the Lodge," he says. "Different lives. Different circumstances. You can make youself mad if you dwell on it for too long."


The Gambler considers the coffee in her mug and tries a careful, tiny sip before trying anymore. "I haven't, but I'm the only one. Everyone I've seen so far has explained that bit to me. And that it's totally my choice whether to continue relationships or develop new ones or not. Well, subject to the other people involved wanting the same thing." She frowns a little. "Which kind of makes me think that somewhere in the past something bad happened because people were assuming that... Like you don't go out of your way to explain something like that that much if something weird hadn't previously happened."

Everyone's in the dispensary sitting or standing near a table by the archway. There are a bunch of little bamboo steamer baskets and plates with dim sum on them. Felicity looks older than the Addict would remember her, but not much, probably somewhere in her twenties. Today she's wearing a skater-style dress with a multi-colored dice print all over it and sandals on her feet.


If anything, now that the conversation touched upon the weirdness of their memories in regards to life in the Facility, the Capitalist's brows lift in partial amusement as he takes another long sip of macchiato from his cup. "I guess you can call it weird, sure. Unfortunate, unfair. Slightly uncomfortable sometimes. Those are good descriptors too. Some of us are still dealing with these connections from our various memories."

Look, he's almost finished sipping away at his fancy coffee, alright. Maybe once he's done, he might test out Crusader's concoction, but by the way its being talked about, it doesn't sound like it will be pleasant.


The Rogue considers this and is silent for a while mulling this over while he finished the steamed dumpling. His own coffee is drank not going near the bitter bean juice he's been warned on in polite avoidance. He pulls the chair over and deftly turns it 180* using foot and ankle only and then drops into it backwards with no real ceremony to it even if he is dressed a bit like a banker right now.

He throws in his hat, "Well my once-sibling became my rebound person for a while and that was... it's not a pleasant thing to dwell on, Heck. Like the man says, we have to accept that we make the best judgements we can at the time and those don't often ted to carry. Some personality traits? Sure. Can't drive yourself craze' tho." Looing back to Felicity he tightens his jaw and admits in that way of making peace with the mess. "For me there's often someone. Something. It is... can be...good. but who we are there is not who we are here. Sometimes? Sometimes it can be though. Sometimes the door is clear. Other times? You may run into someone ou share an amazing bond with and while it doesn't carry from life to life it can exist inbetween. Sometimes that changes because we are always changing. You need..." He takes a deep breatha nd shakes his head trying to be encouraging in difficult news, "You need to do what is best for you and that's all you can do. No one's got room to fault you that. We all do it. It can find a way to be decent."


The Beast is quiet as he leans back in his chair and listens to one, and then the other as they talk. He nods a bit toward Capitalist when he says that it's unfortunate, unfair, sometimes uncomfortable. "There can be some good to be found in it, too. But it's something you need to negotiate for yourself." He looks back down toward the hall of rooms once more before his attention returns to those at the table. "Sometimes some things persist, and last."


Briar emerges from the hall of rooms. On the surface, they're clearly Jade, though a few years older, more filled out, and possessed of a poise the Marchant boy lacked. It's the poise of someone who is more centered, focused. Whereas Jade spent most of his life striving to seem straight, however, Briar has abandoned all pretense. Their makeup is on point, with smoky eyes and ruby lips. They're in a shimmery silver mini-dress with black tights and black Mary Janes. Their hair remains lush and glorious, longer, and curled loosely. Their nails are painted with a pearly sheen.

They smile as they approach the dispensary. "Some of my favorite people," they say. "Cousins, this time, and I had the biggest crush on Morrison, alas." To Felicity, they say, "It's good to see you. You're not drinking Heck's coffee, are you?"


The Gambler gets a look on her face that says that taking only a small sip was, well, perhaps not wise, but more wise than a gulp would have been. She stares at the cup like it has personally offended her, then sets it down on the table. After a moment, she pushes it further away from her and starts making those 'I can't get the taste out of my mouth' faces. "It seemed like a good idea at the time," she says plaintively to Briar, the looks around at her options, and ends up grabbing one of the slices of fried chiles out of the salt and pepper squid complete with bits of garlic sticking to it and puts that in her mouth instead.

There's a little shudder and then she gets up to head back to the dispenser. "Okay, this meal needs tea. And... I think this may be one of those things that you can try to explain ahead of time and it may help when it actually comes up, but... people have to experience for themselves. But no, I'm not her. I can tell I'm not her. I'm just not entirely sure who I am, yet, so I'm mostly her for now. Except when I'm not." Tea acquired (it looks like an oolong for those who'd pay attention to that), she returns to the table and grabs one of the bao.


Reaching to grab a pork dumpling to put onto the little plate before him, the Capitalist can't help but eye the Gambler when she tests out Crusader's concoction. It's a curious and all too wary look, but seeing her reaction to the drink, once his hand is free, he'll make sure to push the cup sitting before him further inland on the table. "We probably should've warned you, but with how crazy Heck tends to be, I was hoping that his oddness would've tipped you off." No, he'll continue to sip away at his own iced beverage.

He doesn't need to look at Rogue to understand exactly what the other is talking about in regards to relationships in their lifetimes. Instead, he'll savor the taste of his dumpling with his pair of red chopsticks. When the Addict emerges, his eyes shift over to look the other over. "Cousin." He says in some form of greeting, but he will mutter, this annoyance in his tone, "I wouldn't wish being trapped in this place on anyone," Those far too dark eyes shift back to Gambler, "But it's nice seeing you around, sure. Wherever this is."


The Caregiver moves along the hallway from the rooms, making a rare emergence. Mostly, she's been keeping to her room and herself the past two Facility trips, but she's out now after this last bout with life or something like it. Though slightly overdressed in a long, sweeping designer blue gown with v-neck front with costmetics and curled hair, she's not bothered with shoes for this trip out toward the dispensary, whatever matching heels she has for the outfit apparently kicked off in her room.

She looks at the gathering in the parlor in passing to the dispensary to put a drink in her hands, murmuring a quiet 'hey' in greeting with slight smile for those gathered. Though, when she looks at Gambler, she has a bit of a realization it's the female's first time in there, and she bats her lashes a couple of times before making an empathetic noise in her throat on the way to get a drink.


Typically, the Explorer takes at least a few days to herself after waking in the Facility, to process, decompress, what have you. This time, however, seems different. Breezily strolling out of the Hall of Rooms into the communal parlor in satin pajama pants and a simple camisole top beneath a fluttering kimono style robe, she smiles easily as she notes those in attendance. So, a bit of a contrast to the Caregiver's demeanor. But it would seem that her aim is the same, as she moves toward the dispensary with quiet, bare-footed steps.


The Rogue reaches over with his hands and filches another bao. He wasn't hungry. He is now. Landon doesn't even say anything and there's a nod of agreement from teh man next to him answering to the mood and body language alone. He takes another bite side nodding to the Beast speaking the truths. Looking back to Landon he says with a flat murmur, "Yeah, I wouldn't wish this on anyone either, but at the same time I'm nto leaving without Ethan. So... I mean the next level to that discussion I think needs to be had over fried foods not steamed. Suffice to say if you're not ready to get an unsatisfactory answer? Just odn't ask where we are that this even happens."


The Beast looks over at Briar when they arrive and takes a sip from his mug of tea. There's a cup of Heck's coffee sitting in front of him, but he hasn't touched it. He says, "Not that Morrison wasn't flattered." He can't help but catch Felicity's face when she tastes the coffee and he lets out just a little bit of a chuckle. But then he nods and says, "Deciding who you are is.. part of it. Since you are.. who ever you decide to make yourself, here. I took Connor's name because his personality is the one that I feel closest to." He glances over at Capitalist and says, "I wouldn't wish this on anyone either, but it would be a lie to say that I didn't feel some relief at going through it with others who have become.. familiar." His British accent is definitely Connor's, from the Island, all the way at the beginning. He nods toward Rogue at something that he says, and the look he gives him says that he definitely agrees on at least one count.


Briar says, "It's like coming back to rehab after a bender, only there are no therapists and the food is better. Don't mistake my acceptance for preference. I try to live in the moment. I'd love to be free." They go to a dispenser to get a mug of tea, Russian Caravan, for those who would be familiar with the smoky smell. Then they look to the Caregiver and whistle lowly. "Look at you. Gorgeous." They aside to the Gambler, "I go by Briar here, and it seems we have people in common. You were dating my husband and my lover." Not that Briar sounds like they mind.

Briar quiets a moment as they take in the Explorer's presence. "Senni," they say softly, then they smile. "It's so good to see you out and about, darling."


The Thrill-Seeker emerges from an Anything Room with her bound hair wind tossed. Jeans and boots with a red plaid flannel and white sleeveless tee beneath it. The shirt reads, 'SCREAM QUEEN' on it. As she pads out she seems surprised at the ground, but pleasantly so. A grin spreads across her face. "FOLKS!" She calls out, spreading her arms. And when she sees The Rogue she is moving over to catch him up in a hug. "You!" Is all she adds, but it sounds cheerful and affectionate. As she goes she spots Caregiver and her eyes kind of boggle. There's a low whistle to indicate her approval.


"Sometimes weird things are awesome. Or at least I think they're awesome. Like that burger with peanut butter. It worked surprisingly well." Felicity shrugs. "It's worth trying things. Once. Not again on the coffee. Never again." She shudders again and finishes her bao, then looks over at all the just-entering people, tilting her head a little and trying to see if she can match faces. The Addict gets a bright smile and a nod. "They told me. It's good to see you, too. Thank you so much for... taking care of me. Are you okay with hugs here?" The other two get a little nod, "Okay, you're Senni. There were so many names."

Almost everyone is actually in the dispensary gathered around a table near the archway. There are dim sum plates and small bamboo steamers arrayed there, though the bao, now, seem to be gone. There are also some cups of what might be coffee pushed carefully away from where anyone might accidentally pick one up and drink from it.


The sound of air squeezing through the straw can be heard as the Capitalist sips up the last remaining drops of iced coffee from his cup. Seemingly satisfied, he leans in a relaxed manner against the back of his chair after leaving the ice filled cup on the table. Caregiver's arrival has his attention zeroing in on her and her fancy outfit. Addict's already given her the necessary compliment and it's something that Beast says that lowers his gaze to stare down idly at his mostly empty cup. Then again, he's lost someone familiar to him.

Finishing off his dumpling, he'll notice both Explorer and Thrill-Seeker enter. "As always, this place gets crowded quickly once we wake up from our dreams." There's a mostly generic, "Good work out there." Meaning whatever they'd done in their last lifetime. There were so many here whose blood was tainted bay vampirism. Out of habit, he lifts his arm to stare down at his watch. Or Conrad Wellson's watch. It stopped working a long time ago, when he first woke up here, but he can't help himself. There was no sense of time in the Facility. "I don't normally like to waste my time hanging around here when there's so much more to be done in those special rooms. But I heard that there were some experiments that might be taking place. Or investigating, you know, to find our ways out. I'm curious as to how that's going."


The vocalization of her name from that 'Old West' setting has Explorer pausing, her gaze flitting back over to alight upon Addict. And immediately, her gaze warms with affection. "Briar. Brace for snuggling in two minutes." A glance is cast toward Capitalist, and a grin stirs to life at the corners of her mouth. Her hand darts up, to execute a quick and obviously playful salute to him in response to his.. compliment? She didn't really do much, except get captured and then rescued. So some amusement is warranted. "Yep, 'Senni' is me, it seems. The nickname for one of my incarnations that stuck, after we woke up here," she confirms for Gambler. And then, since her two minutes are ticking away, she scurries into the dispensary for that drink.


The Caregiver takes a moment while at a dispensary machine to reach and squeeze fondly at the Explorer's arm nearby at her own drink machine once they're in the dispensary, a silent kind of standard fuck-our-lives empathetic greeting and 'welcome back' because //she// well knows firsthand too that seeing each other in this place or ever again after their lives they lead... it's sadly not guaranteed. After stealing a glance back where the others are, her bottom lip works between her teeth and her lashes drop for a moment to look at her filling wine glass. Then she pushes another button to get the bottle for refills once she has the glass.

After drawing in a breath and drinking, she brings her glass and bottle to where the others are, coming up to stand against the Capitalist in silent press of nearness and greeting before leaning down to kiss at his head where he's seated. With delay, she crops up a grin from the Addict's compliment with fond eyes his way, "Nineties called. They want their Mary Janes back."


The Rogue says no more on the topic at hand. Hearing the vehemant form of address he turns, pauses on Esme sort and gives her a , "Nice. Morning." His hand though goes back to capitalist's shoulder as if to appear borrowing the man for leverage. It gets a squeeze though. Because there's one hallf of an unfortuante shared experience Beast hits on. His focus is on the gregarious woman sneaking in the hug. He chuckles and actually hugs her. "Heeeey shovel ninja." Of all the names, but at least it's with affection.


"Experiments?" Beast asks Capitalist, one brow arching just a little bit, not having heard of any experiments. Not lately, anyway. He gives a nod to those who gradually appear, familiar face after familiar face. His mug of tea is lifted and he takes another sip from it as greetings are exchanged. He has on his usual jeans and a lightweight sweater in a dark wine color, white athletic socks on his feet -- no real need for shoes in the facility, unless he plans on going into one of the aforementioned special rooms.


"I'll volunteer for any experiments that don't include durian," Briar says. They set their tea aside and hold their arms out to Senni as they tell the Gambler, "Hugs are welcome. I'm a fan of hugs. And I wanted to take care of you. You're wonderful." As they gather Senni to them, they tell the Caregiver, "You'll get my Mary Janes off my cold dead feet. I wanted a pair so bad in the nineties and couldn't pull them off."


Caregiver's hand is covered briefly with the Explorer's, the latter's fingers curling to deliver an answering squeeze of understanding and affection. On the one hand, perhaps selfishly, it's a relief to see loved ones return to this place. On the other, it means they're all still trapped in this place. Emotions get mixed pretty easily, here. Once alone with her options in the dispensary, Senni ponders for a time, then calls up a pitcher of red wine sangria, with a good measure of brandy adding kick, and orange slices, blackberries and pomegranate pips granting pops of freshness and color. That, along with a tray of glasses, is brought back out into the parlor with her.

Once those are placed onto a relatively stable surface, she sinks readily into Briar's arms, nestling up all cozy-like as she eases into the conversation at hand with a groaned, "Isn't this whole place some big experiment already? Tell me they're not coming up with new ways to play with our lives.."


"Heh. That seems so far away now," The Thrill-Seeker muses as she gives a good squeeze and then leans back. Her eyes fall onto the food and she makes a delighted, "Oh!" And reaches to lift a lid or two till, "Yes!" And she snags a ha gow, taking half of it in one bite. Humming as she chews and leans against the table. She turns her gaze to the others, waving pleasantly. "Any cookie requests for the next batch?" She asks generally once the first bite is swallowed. Then pops the rest in her mouth. It is then her eyes alight on the coffee. She sniffs and reaches for an untouched cup. Taking a gulp and, again, making happy food noises. "Oh yes! Heck'in good coffee."


Almost everyone is gathered somewhere in the dispensary. The biggest group at and around one of the tables right by the archway into the parlor proper. There are small bamboo steamers and plates set out with the remains of dim sum in them. Most of the dumplings and the bao are gone by now, but one or two of the chicken feet are still there and the plate of salt and pepper squid is only about half-eaten and there's most of a plate of chinese broccoli with oyster sauce left. Slightly away from the people where hopefully no one will accidentally drink one are two mugs of extremely black coffee.

Felicity, or whatever she'll end up calling herself, grins at Briar. "Okay, then consider me next in line for hugs once you're done with the incoming one." She glances over at the Caregiver. "As long as I'm trying to stuff too much information into my head. What should I be calling you, here? I can't promise I'll retain it. There's been... a lot of names to remember today, but I'll try."


Placing his chopsticks down next to his plate, the Capitalist's chin lifts when the Caregiver draws near, feeling her leaning against his chair. He offers her a smile, his eyes shutting slowly to bask in her affection as he reaches to wrap an arm around her waist. "You really do look wonderful, like always." Laine. That's the first name that comes to mind. The Facility was an odd place, one that fills everyone with conflicting emotions and it's difficult to settle in on one of your old personas. At least for some people.

Turning to the Beast now, he nods slowly, "Madison," Penny, right. Penny. But he doesn't correct himself, "told me that Harkaway, I believe, was testing a few things. Told me that I should speak with them." Just as a refresher, for those who've known the Capitalist for some time, he's dressed in a full suit and tie and that includes the jacket. He may go business casual or even casual at some point, but the suit is there to re-establish who he is. Or perhaps the image that he's always trying to convey.

To the Explorer, he clarifies, "We used to attempt various things to try and find a way out of here. Digging through the walls, tearing out the dispensers, the bookshelves. Setting off the fire alarm in one of the rooms. Hell, we even toyed with playing various songs on the piano in the case that," His shoulders lift into a shrug, "Something triggered a door to open."


The Martyr is wearing an Offspring Tee and black Gothy jeans with lots of chains and metal to figit with. He's aged a few years since his last trip to the facility, but not many. The lines in the corners of his eyes are a little deeper is the most noicable thig. Odds are he's nearly two decades older than he was when he died last. He's gone with subtle eyemake up and a subtle lip. Heleans inthe doorway silently for a bt, making mental note of the faces who've returned which he hadn't seen yet. He winces when he spots the Rogue, and looks very, very guilty. He mouths, 'Sorry.' His expression when his eyes find the Beast is hard to read as he gives him the up nod. He gives a general wave, the comes to offer Cheer, then Felicity, a cheek kiss, before going to settle by Briar.


ROLL: The Rogue rolls spirit for: [2]: x3 (Set) [4]: x1 -- Match Value: 3 (Raw: 2 2 4 2 -- d6)


The Rogue watches the cookie maven drift. Standing he lifts a hand to Thea , "Cuz." Leaning over he says, "Drop by later. Found something that belongs to you." This amuses him at least a bit. Finishing that third bao he murmurs with a wave, "I'm going to see how Ethan's doing and amke him stop writing and actually...eat...something." Words drift off eyeing the Martyr the Rogue stops and looks at him squaring up. He reaches back and, calmly pulls the guy into a hug patting the back of the guy's head and letting go. This might be the most PDA actually seen from him since that one other time. "Water and the bridge, mate." he lets go and gives Martyr's cheek a light double pat with a wink. "Grab yourself some chow. You owe me a game of pool later, bruh." And with that he walks out, "Catch up in a bit. Morning everyone." and with that - oh shit did he steal the little basket of whatever was left over in it on his way out? Yes. Yes he did.


"Thank you, lovely." The Caregiver breathes a partial laugh at the Addict, then speaks to the Capitalist with quiet, familiar warmth in her tone, drawing in a breath to slowly hold and release before leaning to press another kiss on him, this time alongside his face. There's a strange gratitude in the gesture this time around, just for his general presence here, it seems. But most people tend to know all but one of her lives have been closely tied to this man's own lives. She doesn't bother with names for him in here. Just a nickname from one of the closest lives that sticks and carries.

In fact, she explains this title in brief to Felicity's question as an example while making answer, momentarily leaning to put the bottle down before nursing her wine glass for sip of the red liquid inside, "Names can be preferred here, some people take up one of the names they most closely identify with, or their first name, or they create an identity to name themselves entirely differently to account for the life in this place. I try to keep up with what others want, but it gets hard-- I call this one 'lovely' because it's an old habit and easier than calling him a name. You know me as Esme and no one else, so you can call me Esme. I feel like it's added pressure on you to make a new introduction entirely. And honestly, I'll answer to any of my names, I have no preference."

After another sip from her wine, she leans against the Capitalist's arm while pointing out to the gathering with mild humor, "Fun fact, they've all started with 'E'." Her head then tilts at Felicity, and while Esme was always pretty friendly and fairly zen, in here, The Caregiver is a little more intense than that female teen version, genteel and observant with her eyes, "You can ask whatever other questions you like. I know the first time is... unique to process. No question is stupid. For instance, I honestly thought this was a purgatory hell game because I was taken here by demons for at least a few days."


"I was just curious if there were any new specific experiments that were being tried," Connor says. He's more soft-spoken than Morrison was, and his accent is distinctly British, which is very different. "I recall many of the previous ones which were.. unsuccessful." But he nods to the news of Harkaway trying some things. "I'd be interested to know the results." He then glances up and notices Martyr standing near the doorway. He looks a few years older than he was in Lake Havasu as well, but not that many. He meets the man's eyes and though his expression is unreadable, he gives him a small up nod of greeting as well. Then another sip is taken of his tea.


Briar holds Senni close, then gives them a kiss that's not entirely appropriate for a brother to give a sister, though they are still arguably polite about it. Then they say, "I was hoping that wouldn't be weird, and it wasn't. For me, at least." Then they let go so they can give the Gambler a hug. Instead of smelling like expensive body wash and teen angst, they smell like expensive body wash and lavender. "My door has the tortured pill popper on it. You're always welcome to come by, unless there's a scarf on the door."

Then they turn to Martyr, and they give him a kiss on the cheek as well as a hug. "I'm just saying if anyone does any further experiments, I'll volunteer. I treat this place like Club Med, and I should really earn my keep." That said, they find a place to sit where they can have Senni and Dare nearby. They murmur something quietly to Dare.


Senni traces her lower lip with the tip of her tongue after that kiss, considering briefly, then grins slow. "Nope. Not weird. That's a relief," she admits before reaching over, past Briar who's situated between them. She ruffles the Martyr's hair, seizing the opportunity while he's quite possibly dazed in the wake of that unexpected kiss from the Rogue. And speaking of whom.. she turns her attention to 'Lucas' as he makes to depart, lifting fingertips to her lips and blowing him half a dozen kisses, her grin playful and light. "I'll drop by soon, cousin," is promised.

"Mm. You've got an excellent resource to draw from in Chance, too," she voices to Felicity, after nodding her agreement with Esme's words. "He seems to thrive on helping newcomers to this place settle in and find some measure of acceptance."


The Thrill-Seeker lowers the cup of horrible Crusader-made coffee to snatch that kiss on the corner of her lips. "Hello, lovely," She says and then giggles as a grin splits her face. She glances at Gambler, winks, and then turns back to the table. When she goes to fetch another bit of food it is gone. "LYLE!" She protests, turning, but he is gone. Her face scrunches up and she sighs, slinking off to the dispenser for more food. "Anyone want anything while I'm up?"


The Gambler beams at the kiss from Dare, then nods to Esme. "Yeah. I got the whole name thing explained right off. And everyone's been good at answering questions to the extent they can, sometimes even before I think to ask them. I'm still acclimating. But Esme or E will work." There's a little nod. "I'm working on a memory palace for them all."

And then she's getting hugged and the smile for Briar is almost as big as the one for Dare. "Mine is the roulette wheel all the way at the end of the hall. I mean... I figured you knew that because apparently it's the only new one, but still. I've got so many games in there, you're absolutely welcome to come by if you want to play something. I was trying to catalogue them all, but having a hard time." There's a small pause and she says to Thea. "Maybe. I'm still mad at Chance. I'll probably get over it. He was too miserable to yell at much. And then other people keep telling me to beat him up or stab him or something and... that would make him feel better and me feel worse and... that's not..." She sighs and then stares at Cheer. "You... you actually like that coffee?! Well... okay. See, this is why I try things. Maybe I would have felt that way about it."


The Rogue's hug startles The Martyr, but he returns it with enthusiasm, tearing up, "Thanks. Sure." He hugs Briar, comfortable witth the cheek kiss, nor does he mind the ruffling, "Hey, Senni. Good to see you." Once he's settled by Briar he asks, "What experiments?" He flashes Cheer and Felicity a quick smile after Briar's murmur and ducks his head. "Hugs. So many hugs. I'll have wht you're having, Lovely." His Lovely being directed at Cheer rather than that other one. To Felicity he says, "Bleeding anatomically correct heart, but you knew that.... No accounting for taste. I'll stil to more sensible blends."


The Capitalist can't help but laugh, "When I look at everyone here, I already have a name for them in mind. Usually one that I've already known through one lifetime or other. I could address you as any number of those names, depending on what comes to mind first and my own mood. It's maddening to try and remember new names when there's a plethora of names I already know each of you by." While they don't really need to clean up the place, what with things resetting over night, usually, he will take up his ice-filled glass and the plate and chopstick that he was using, along with any empty bamboo baskets with him to the kitchen to deposit.

Turning to glance over his shoulder when the Rogue departs, it's weird to think of Sinclair, no Colton as his brother. And at one time, the closest person he'd been to in one life of many. Returning to this suddenly large gathering, he nods over to Beast. "I'm not sure what more he's planning, but I'll get in touch with him and let you know. It's been a while since anyone's really tried to 'break the system', whatever that means. And find our way outta this place." However, to what the Thrill-Seeker says about the coffee, there's just this quirk of the Capitalist's brow. "Someone's got an iron stomach." He then goes on to say, "Not that I've tasted it."


The Beast has a cup of Crusader Coffee in front of him as well, but he hasn't touched it since it was set there, slowly getting cold while he favors the tea in the mug in his hands -- though, that too is slowly dwindling as the conversation carries on. He finishes off the last of it and then glances down into the cup as though debating whether he wants another. Apparently deciding two is enough for now, he sets the mug down next to the coffee cup. Then he nods to Capitalist and says, "Same. It takes some time to remember the names, and I don't think anyone here really faults anyone for picking the wrong one from time to time. Nature of the beast, as it were."


"Not even wrong," Connor adds after a moment, "A familiar one, I suppose, is more apt."


"Well now I'm curious what name's in your head for me," the Explorer muses, looking back to Capitalist with an ever so slightly arched brow, her eyes twinkling. "This will have been our.. what, fourth?.. lifetime together?" Pausing, she starts ticking off fingers, apparently counting them off. "There was the Heph, and then Prosperity, and the Eager Beaver, the Carnival, and Icarus.." A blink. "Wow. Sixth."


The Thrill-Seeker makes a dramatic display of drowning the last of the cooled coffee. Setting the cup back in the dispenser with a mischevious grin. Ducking out of sight for only half a minute to gather food. Returning with a plethora of fried pub food. Dips and chips and potato things. She has usually been agile if anything and she manages to carry the platters to the table. There's a pitcher of what might be cider or might be sparkling apple juice and cups. "Oh...my door's the one with the cliff and person running to the edge like a mad fool," She shoots towards Gambler as she grabs a free seat and settles down at the table beside her. Reaching for a mozzarella stick, dipping it into ranch dressing with one hand, reaching to give her a hug about the shoulders with the others. "So what is this I overheard about sabotage or overloading the system?"


Briar sits between Senni and Dare, and they take up their cup of Russian Caravan tea for a sip now that it has cooled somewhat. "You can all call me whatever name you please," they say. "I'll respond to them all. I chose Briar because Danny was a thorn in Mahoney's side. He died -- I died -- but not without getting in the way and fucking up his plans. I wanted a name that reminded me sometimes I get it right."


The Gambler smiles and leans in against Cheer when the arm goes around her, sort of resting her head on the taller woman's shoulder. Then she grabs some more of the salt and pepper squid to eat before taking up her tea mug again. She's gone quiet, for now, letting the others talk about their memories and names.


The Martyr smiles softly in response to the Beast, "I go by dare here, but I answer to finn, Kemen, Osiris, Angel, or Hector, though I perfer not Angel. Only an asshole names himself that and it wasn't a good trip." His gaze moves to Felicity, "In any case, I don't take offense." His eyes light up when he sees the cider and fried food. soon he's helping himself, "Very nice, Cheer." He smiles fondly at Briar, "This lovely flower has a dangerous prick."


"Connor," Beast says to Martyr, "That is the one I've chosen, though I'll respond to all but Keme, or Thunderbird. I'm.. still not quite able to reconcile that entire episode." He shakes his head a little bit. The whole being such a completely ancient being with its own very inhuman motivations has never sat well with him, clearly. Though he does raise a slightly curious brow at Martyr's dislike of Angel.


The Caregiver stands listening for a time after nodding solidly at Felicity with understanding, eyes briefly cutting aside to watch the dark-haired man on the sly as he goes to clean up his food leavings. There's a tick of thought behind her blue eyes and her lashes bat a couple of times at a couple of the things said before she drains her glass and leans to pick up the bottle for refill.

Then, in lieu of eating while part of the gathering spread between parlor and dispensary dining, she takes refilled glass and bottle to go sit at the piano bench to play quietly and fill the ambient air space as others talk. She still appears to be listening, though, her expression is subtly pensive. Her slender fingers drag and slide the keys with slow start of Clair de Lune.


From one of the Anywhere rooms, a tall familiar redhead appears. The Confidant looks wistful, pleasant. He's smiling. He speaks before he realizes just how many faces are here. "I don't like being called Jody. Or Cash. I'm greats with names and faces so..." And now he's taken stock of the room. His face flushes. "This is not exactly the high school reunion I had hoped for once." It's Explorer that his eyes fall to and remain. He opens his mouth to speak but seems happy to let Clair de Lune play instead. He's just sort of frozen there.


Not having expected to be called out for it immediately, The Capitalist looks on The Explorer with amusement, especially as she goes through each of their lifetimes one by one. "All you're missing is The Island." Adding in, a little disgruntled by it, "Not that you'd actually be missing anything by skipping that one." Yeah, he had his hands full there. Considering this for a moment, he brings little tidbits up, "You worked for me on the Icarus, but I can't help but think of you as Captain Maya Chevalier and that need to scramble to pick up the pieces of the Hephaestus after Captain Ward's death." This is when his gaze drifts over to the Beast. He then adds, "Funny that both of these scenarios took place in space. In the same universe even."

Though when The Martyr mentions Finn, The Capitalist's attention is drawn to the other man. "Finn. Now that's a name I miss hearing." The gentle sounds coming from the piano makes his gaze drift music-ward to observe and listen to the Caregiver tickle those ivory keys.


The Gambler's gaze goes to Chance as soon as he speaks, studying him from where she rests against Cheer's side, sipping tea from a mug. She's still quiet, just watching him, half wary, half like she'd have a hard time looking anywhere else. Finally, she asks, "What were you hoping for in a high school reunion?"


"Ahh, yes. Maya," Explorer voices, her grin fading to a sort of wistful little smile. A sad one, for a long moment before she manages to shake it off. "I wish I'd done a better job of picking up those pieces, for the record. Maybe we could've saved more people." Leaning forward, she takes up a glass and fills it with sangria from the pitcher she'd brought, and it's then that she notices the Confidant. All she does is cluck her tongue, once, then nestle back into the cushions again with her drink.


The Thrill-Seeker seems content to keep an arm around Gambler's shoulder at the table, while the other plucks different selections from the spread she laid out. Fried pub foods and a pitcher or cider. When Chance speaks she turns to look at him, her own expression only showing worry and curiousity. She'd wondered who had been in the other Anywhere Room earlier. "Hey Chance, want some food?" The woman tries to remain relaxed and friendly as she has been this entire time. Invitation out she turns her attention to Capitalist and smirks. "What about me? I'm curiious what name pops to mind. I know I feel the most connected to Sekhmet and...weirdly Kimmy. Sometimes. Like now." That explains the bubbly.


The Martyr is studying the Beast again, then nods, "Connor. I like it. I think we mostly missed each other here. I look forward to getting to know this you better." He smiles crookedly, "sorry I was a bit of a knuckle head last time out. I hope I'm never that young again." He must have read Morrison's expression. After a sip of cider he says, "My head was a mess that time. Would have been even if the endolith hadn't got me that first night. I did my very damnedest to do my duty, but inside? Like the face of that fucking asteroid and just as haunted by shadows, but I'm better now." A quick smile, "I liked you that time too though, one way or another."

He glances at the Caregiver, something little sad in his eyes as she starts to play. His eyes flick fast between Confident and Gambler, "Hey, chance, Senni's back." Casual. So very light and casual as he munches that mozzarella stick. "Wasn't that one demon at the Carnivale the one you were all talking aboout from Prosperity before you left? Or was that a different one?" He smiles at the capitalist, "I'm fond of Finn still, though that life seems so very far away." He gives the Thrill seeker a wicked smile, "You and that Shovel."


The Beast nods when Martyr answers the question that he didn't ask about Angel, apparently having read his expression correctly and says, "I can understand that." Then he says, "No, that's true. I don't think we've ever really spoken here. My door is the one with the grim looking figure surrounded by bodies on the ground. I assure you the room inside contains no such bodies." He pulls himself up from his chair then, taking both his empty tea mug and the coffee mug back into the dispensary to set them out of the way on the counter before he returns, coming to lean against the wall near the piano, listening as it is played.


Chance's gaze drops from Explorer, wounded. "Cash wanted--" He begins but stops, shaking his head. "But...none of it matters, does it? None of those lives. It's...utter cruelty. All of them. To tease you with a life, let you flirt with joy, family, friendship, love, happiness. And then, all of it gone and you are left with rain soaked watercolors worth of memories and a heart left hollowed out." He starts towards the hallway leading to his room. He pauses and glances back at the group. "Senni...nothing has changed here, you know." He points to his chest, his heart. "It just grows." He adds, his words fading at the end.


"You did the best job that you could do. And you happened to save a lot of people that day." The Capitalist tries to sound reassuring, his brow creasing slightly at the memory of that final day on the Noc. "A lot of that was out of our hands. Out of your hands as well. You saved lives, Captain. Before Weyland-Yutani worked to silence us with huge sums of hush money. I'm sure you put that to good use too."

It's then that he realizes that the Confidant had shown up as well. Several names run through his mind on seeing the ginger, but he'll go out and greet him with a "Chance." He then takes a few slow steps towards the Caregiver and the piano, lingering around to watch her play still. "I'd be lying if I said that Silver wasn't the first name to come to mind." This is spoken to The Thrill-Seeker, his eyes now lifting to regard her with some curiosity. "Though Kimmy was a stand out, though if I've gotta be honest, Christian thought of you as Raul's crazy girlfriend." Look, Christian wasn't part of the college kid crowd.

Martyr's bringing up of Zeb has the Capitalist nodding slowly, "I believe so. They were one in the same. Just as Mr. Chen was..." His eyes narrow in thought, "The demon, Asmodeus or Mo from Prosperity and..." Here his jaw tightens and he inhales a deep, annoyed breath of air through his nostrils, "And Akala from The Island."


Briar tilts their head as they watch Chance. "I think it's a conversation you should have, though," they say. They give Senni a squeeze around the shoulders, then rub her back. Their other hand clasps their teacup, and they take another sip.


"You -know- that Eagon is in my room, right?" Cheer asks with a laugh and roll of her eyes. Picking up a buffalo wing she dips it into some sauce and makes a mess devouring it. She smiles around the mess at Capitalist and says, "Yeah, well, Kimmy was special." And then something hits her. All joy fades from her face as something hits her. Suddenly she is standing up and moving from the dispensary back towards the rooms, looking more scared than she had in the last encounter. Probably cause this is -her- fear. Real. Palpable.


There's a bit of space between the piano where the Caregiver is playing the slow and sweet melody of moonlight, Dubussy flowing easily from her fingertips even when it picks up to sweep up and down the keys. On winding it down, she pauses to take a long drink from her wine glass and smiles at the Beast nearby, head tilted with consideration while her eyes go back to the keys.

When she resumes again, it's a familiar opera song from the Phantom, at least for many, and while she keeps it quiet and unobtrusive, she starts to sing measured accompaniment in operatic compliment, multiple prior lives accounting for the dulcet trained voice. She's clearly been spurred to entertain with Beast nearby, trying to give him something he might know too, but the lyrics and her voice end up a little poignant, considering.

... Think of me, think of me fondly when we've said goodbye. Remember me, once in a while, please promise me you'll try. When you find that once again you long to take your heart back and be free, if you ever find a moment, spare a thought for me...


The Gambler winces a little, and looks down at her tea instead. So, so quiet. And then Cheer is standing up and she catches herself before she falls over, but not without splashing tea on her hand. She sets the mug down and sits backm arms wrapping around herself.


"Please, no 'Captain,'" Explorer directs toward Capitalist with a wry smile. "I think after six lifetimes, we've earned a first-name basis, hmm? Whichever of mine you're comfortable with is fine." And then, albeit reluctantly as Caregiver starts to sing so prettily, she breathes out a soft sigh and gives Briar's knee a light squeeze before rising to her feet. "I was only chastising him for tongue-fucking a Glock," is muttered low. "Yeesh." With that, she starts toward the Hall, after Chance.


The Martyr gives a bark of laugh, "I've visited wendy in her room to chat, i'm not easily put off by gore." Adult Dare is so much better at hiding the direction of his eyes than Hector was, so only someone really paying attention will spot his characteristic interest. His tone softens, "Chance. Please, don't throw the good out wih the bad." Then he's nodding agreement with Briar, slipping his arm around their waist for a gentle squeeze.

He shakees his head bemused, "Oh Man, Raul. Finn didn't even like the man and still stepped between him and that psycho's gun. What was his name? The one the Ballerina bit? I admit, I glad that guy didn't turn up here. To much trouble.... Wait! That was Chen?" It's only then he catches Cheer's change in mood. It doesn't hit him at first. He like the chupacabra, but he never met the advosor here and wasn't sure he had a door, given how little he saw of him recently. Then he's on his feet, "Cheer? You all right, Doll?"


"I tried to hang myself over you, Senni." Chance says, probably before he got a moment to filter it. He cringes and looks at the floor. "Two times now? That's a habit. Probably best to keep an eye on me when my heart breaks, huh?" He looks across to The Gambler. "I'm saving the hard one for last, Vee." Meaning her. "You came back with my ring." He looks gutted, drained. Still, as Explorer approaches, he spreads out an arm, tentatively.


The Beast dips his head to Caregiver as she plays and returns the smile that she gives with one of his own, his attention dropping to her fingers on the keys as she begins to play once more. The song is familiar, but he makes no attempt to sing, himself. Whether he can or not is a mystery, but he does seem to be familiar with it, and he remains there to listen for the duration of the song. There's a little tick of his lips at one or two of the verses, and his gaze shifts back toward that hall of doors for a moment or two before returning to her and the piano. "You should play more often," he tells her, when the song is nearer to its end. Then he glances back to Hector and says, "It's actually pretty dull. It looks like the hotel suite of a movie hit man. Neutral. Nondescript. And a great deal of replica weapons stashed away in hidden drawers. But mercifully clean and devoid of gore."


It doesn't sound like Cheer is all right. "NO!" It's an angry denial and then the sound of someone kicking a door. The no, however, doesn't appear to be directed at Dare because it repeats and grows softer under the sound of repeated kicks to a door that won't give.


The Gambler looks up at Chance again and she's still looking small and tired, all the earlier brightness gone. "I left it once. I regretted it pretty soon after." A deep breath in and then out again. "We should talk sometime, but you have other conversations to have now which take precedence." There's a glance towards the yell from the hallway. "Should someone check on her?"


...We never said our love was evergreen, or as unchanging as the sea. But if you can still remember, stop and think of me...

The Caregiver's eyes flit up from the keys while she's singing, catching on the Capitalist there nearby too, lips slanting upward a touch. Then her gaze wanders to the bits of discord across the room in development in noting before picking up her voice a touch as the song calls for with pitch change.

...Think of all the things we've shared and seen. Don't think about the way things might have been...

It's lovely of course, but probably a little too poignant now. She dwindles it off to close since she doesn't have a Phantom to sing with for the next verses anyway, speaking to the Beast with a perk of smile before stealing another drink from her glass, "Thanks. I probably should." Her eyes flit toward where the Thrill-Seeker disappeared to after hearing an echo from down the hall in that lull of musical space, "... what happened? Did I miss something?"


The Capitalist's reminiscing of old times seems to bring about much melancholy to those whom he reminds of their past lives. It's not that he doesn't take notice of this shift in mood. For the Explorer, he believed he understood what she may have been thinking about. For the Thrill-Seeker, however, it was Raul. No one thought highly of Raul! It does have him thinking back on his own lifetimes starting from the very beginning and to those that they lost along the way.

The Caregiver's singing doesn't help things, as beautiful as she may sound. It's soothing and almost depressing in a way and that is not any of his doing. Not this time.

"Drake?" He asks the Martyr. Ugh, why does he remember that guy's name. "He was also Leon Colton in Prosperity if I recall correctly. After he died at The Lodge, he just disappeared." The Lodge also brings back memories both good and terribly bad. To the question regarding whether Mr. Chen was also Asmodeus, The Capitalist nods.

He's had his coffee, some food and even a kiss from the pretty pianist in the room. That's enough socializing in his mind when he can simply disappear through one of those doors and start 'living life' in some way. As he's hovering near the piano, he leans in close to press a kiss to The Caregiver's lips at the tilt of her chin. At the same time the Thrill-Seeker sounds upset somewhere down the hall. The Capitalist, himself, is never one to comfort anyone who isn't his sister. Or any of his lovers, I guess. So he's not moved to follow suit even if he is somewhat curious as to what is going on. All he will say is, "I believe not all of our lifetimes has been all that happy, no matter the ending. But that's nothing new."


The Martyr ducks his head, "Mine looks like a Haunted Mansion themed hotel room fell in love with a greenhouse, Connor." He looks back at Briar, then at the sound of Cheer's distress. "Maybe we should check on her?" He is thinking of his promises to Briar, but also that in the absence of Fizz, it really ought to be him who goes. Absently he agrees, "Drake. Right. That guy was as dangerous as a Murder ghost." He files away the informtion about chen, "I wonder if there wasn't a subconscious suspicion for a reason." He looks at the hall opening, then to Felicity then back to Briar.


Rather than stepping into Chance's proffered hug, Senni glances toward Cheer, arches a brow, then walks right past the big redhead to the door with the stylized, somewhat abstract compass as its identifying graphic. Pushing it open, she turns and looks back toward him and gestures him inside. It would seem the Confidant has been issued his summons.


The Addict rises to their feet and sets their teacup aside. "Let's check on her. This is the part I always dread." To the Gambler, they explain, "Sometimes we come back, and someone we knew, their door is blank. We don't know what happens to them, they just disappear."


The Explorer heads towards The Facility - Hall of Rooms
.
The Thrill-Seeker heads towards The Facility - Hall of Rooms
.
The Martyr heads towards The Facility - Hall of Rooms
.
The Addict heads towards The Facility - Hall of Rooms
.

The Gambler watches them all go, back to being quiet and pensive. After a moment she stands up and starts clearing the dishes from the table. There's another glance to the hall. "The problem with having the door all the way at the end is that there's no way to get there without going past... everything else."


The Beast looks back toward the hall and where Thrill-Seeker is pounding on a door and for a moment there is a flicker of sympathy there in his expression, "I believe someone who meant something to her is no longer here." This, he says to Caregiver quietly. "Much like I noticed that Matthew's door was blank when I returned." Matthew from the Lodge. His own expression shifts to something a little more somber at that, but he's not given to much in the way of emotional displays, so it soon returns to something a little more neutral. He smiles a little bit at the description of Martyr's room, but they are moving off toward Thrill-Seeker to look after her, and so he says nothing more about it. "I think I am going to go bring something to Theo to drink." He then moves back toward the dispensary, and returns with a bottle of bourbon and a pair of glasses. He lifts it in salute to those gathered, and then heads off down the hall, himself.


After tipping her face into the Capitalist's leaning kiss at her lips, there's a helpless smile of response that lingers on the Caregiver's face, despite the confusion and commotion down the hall that others go to check. After looking at Felicity with another stolen drink, having the man nearby seems to spur her fingers at the keys again, but it's nothing classical this time, and the woman speaks over the opening while waiting on the man to catch onto the melody when it starts, "That... actually is a concern some days, this place isn't always calm for people. Occasionally there's... reactions and a lot of them tend to happen in the hallway."

Her sentence kind of ends with a sigh there, realizing now what's probably happening down along that hallway now given experience. But she stays diligently in build with the music that's more tempo'd than delicate or sad now.

It's totally a piano cover of Little Red Corvette.


Standing tall, posture erect, the Capitalist observes as several depart into the hall, both of his hands clasped behind his back. "You have one relationship in one of many lifetimes and your world falls apart when whoever your partner was doesn't show up here. Or even worse, when they do, that they disappear and the symbol on their door either fades or changes to something else entirely. Meaning that someone else has taken their place." The Capitalist knows that feeling all too well.

When the more classical melody turns into... sexy pop, The Capitalist continues, half-turning to regard The Gambler for a moment, "Which is your symbol?" He's curious about this. "Some believe that they reflect who we are and while I think that's ridiculous to a point, some of these symbols do fit the owners of said room."


The Gambler sighs and glances towards the hall again. "I wonder if I can get by without disturbing them. I may try. I'm... not sure I'm up to meeting anyone else at the moment and hiding in my room is sounding good. Do you think they'd mind if I slipped by?" Then she blinks at the Capitalist. "A roulette wheel and the card suits." She shrugs. "I like games?"


The Caregiver wets her lips and starts to transition into another melody before stopping with a reach for her wine after the Capitalist's explanation to the Gambler about the source of discord where it concerns the hallway. Her hand rakes back through the curled and arranged mass of her dark hair to hold and then tousle for a moment while eyeing the hall with a far away, distracted kind of expression instead of focus on listening to the bits that might be audible now that she's not playing again.

Once she's had a pause, her hand falls from her hair and she smiles some for the Gambler, "It's okay, just make a beeline to your room and don't make eye contact. People tend to get that here, the need for time and processing certain feelings or information. No one will think anything of it."


"If they didn't expect people to happen upon their discussion, then they wouldn't be holding a discussion in that hallway." The Capitalist murmurs, his dark eyes still settled on The Gambler. "People come and go from their rooms. Now, if you're feeling self-conscious about it." This is when his eyes flicker to The Caregiver, "Don't make eye contact, yes." He can't help but grin a little at that advice.

To what The Gambler says about her door's symbol, he looks her over, considering what he can recall about her, about Felicity from their last lifetime and sorts that info in his mind. "Interesting. Whether any of that has any true deeper meaning." He waves a dismissive hand, "Or whether it's rubbish, it remains to be seen. Did you need an escort to your room?" Yeah, like that won't draw attention. "Though I'm sure they'll be fine with you just passing through."


The Gambler laughs a little. "No, I don't think an escort would help. And... given the particular people, I'm not worried they'll attack me or anything. I just... feel like I'm getting in the way of things, but maybe I'm just new and haven't found my place, yet. I'll be fine." And so, saying, she gives the remaining pair a wave and a quick smile - there and gone again. And then she's heading for the hall.


The Gambler heads towards The Facility - Hall of Rooms
.

The Caregiver watches the woman walk off and rubs her hand on her dress skirting before looking down to absently arrange it, quiet and pensive for a time before commenting, "I should probably check to make sure she's okay, but I'd just be crowding her with all those people around. I'm sure they have it managed, anyway." Her bared shoulders shrug up some with a sort of helpless dismissal.

Then, after sitting a moment longer, she starts to rise up and step around the piano bench, stepping to take the glass and bottle off of the wooden surface, careful not to slosh or spill, "I assume you're offering escorts because you're headed that way already?" The brunette smiles a little at the Capitalist once she's turned back from retrieving her drink, posing the questioning assumption.


The Capitalist doesn't expect any more chaos to occur in that hallway, so when the Gambler disappears beyond the threshold, while he may try to be attentive and listen for any sounds coming from over yonder, he doesn't pay them any mind, really. "If you feel you need to go and comfort her." He knows that the Caregiver has always been like that, one to want to reassure anyone when the Capitalist couldn't care less. "I won't say that she'll need the guidance. We all learn to cope here in our own ways, but making friends," Something that he's not been huge on while here, "Can't hurt, I suppose."

To the Caregiver's inquiry on whether he was planning on heading back to his room, the Capitalist shakes his head. "No. There's nothing to /do/ here. Which is why I want to find a way out of this damned place pronto." The Capitalist only really stays in his room if he needs time to reflect and this past story wasn't as traumatizing as some of the others he'd experienced. Especially ones where he died a horrifying death. "I was thinking of taking over one of those rooms. Get out into the world, whether is' real or just some simulation. Work. Live life. Not just spend time lounging around and drinking here like so many others like to do."


"Yeah. I hate this place." The Caregiver says quietly with agreement to the Capitalist, working her bottom lip between her teeth before looking at the doors for a considering moment. Her lashes drop after a few beats, as if she's reminded of one thing or another, then she looks over toward the dispensary for a moment instead of at the man nearby. After pulling on a slight smile, she mentions, tipping her glass toward the dining area, "I'll go eat something solid and let you to it. If you ever want any company to venture forth with, let me know, hm?"


"It's like a prison in here." The Capitalist voices as he looks towards one of the two Anywhere Doors. "But they give us some freedom out there. We can go anywhere we want, be anyone we want." He's not even sure where he'd like to go now. It's usually some corporate setting rather than anywhere really adventurous. He often spent near lifetimes in those rooms, only to emerge back in the Facility with hardly any time passing. Like this place simply stood still.

Slowly, he turns to the Caregiver after some thought. "I can wait for you if you like. Then we can pick a place to visit together. I still owe..." He was right about to say Madison, then Nettie, before he settles on, "Penny a train robbery back in Prosperity. If she's still wanting to go. Right now, I'm just tired of being cooped up in here."


The Crusader heads towards The Facility - Hall of Rooms
.

The Caregiver considers a moment and wets her lips before stepping not to the dispensary, but to one of the side tables to put down her bottle and glass. It all resets anyway, doesn't count as leaving a mess. Then after a breath, she turns back to the Capitalist and reaches out for one of his hands and arms to hug and tug with escort, head tipping toward the doors, "If that's how you feel right now, we change that, lovely. We start in a restaurant so I can have food, you can have coffee, and we can decide where we //actually// want to be while anywhere but here. Two birds, one stone, isn't it? I daresay you loved me a time or two for being clever."

She commandeers the man toward those doors that offer the relative measure of escape.