Log:Paintings are the Mirrors to One's Soul

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Paintings are the Mirrors to One's Soul
Characters  •   The Rogue  •  The Caregiver  •  The Capitalist  •  The Artist  •
Location  •  The Facility - Parlor
Date  •  2018-12-21
Summary  •  The Rogue and the Capitalist talk former lives with the Caregiver before the Artist's presence freaks her out.

The Caregiver might be a little obsessed with television. It's probably not very healthy for her considering it only plays MTV and she's coming from a world of no television at all, totally impressionable. But she's been exposed to worse. Of course, the problem is, she's got a chair as a prop and she's trying to imitate Flashdance while people are occupied, in their rooms, or just passing through. She's working in those Madonna chair dance moves too picked up another video. And whatever she's got going on in that designer-chic leaned closet of hers, well, she's finding things shorter and shorter. Today, it's a tiny flared black miniskirt with a little off-shoulder burgundy sweater at midriff skimming crop, complete with black strappy heels for prancing.

It's really not that big of a deal. She's an adult. But she's from Prosperity and knows only that. And good chunk of the males in this place were some brand of family that probably wants to throw a blanket over her on principle. That said, she's working the hell out of that chair and the space next to it with arching poses between spinning contemporary kicks and spinabouts to suit Flashdance mimicry. Her energy is at least commendable.


The Rogue was absolutely one of those males, but likewise was married to the hardest woman on the prairie and knew well enough to keep his damn yap shut on such things or possibly get shot in the thigh. Goddamn he missed her. All the same he found his way out of his little holdout bunker that seemed to be his room. He hadn't been doing that much but he was making the effort for the sake, it would seem, of making the effort.

He looked up and compared TV to Eilis, to TV, to Eilis. The eyebrows arched a bit impressed. "A lot t'learn in a short time." The words formed still Jarringly not in the accent of the cowboy he ought to be, and not really Australian either, but they had all the tone of consideration they needed.


Pausing with one leg kicked up in high pose with forward lean over the chair mid-move, the sound of Caleb's voice brings her up to halt. Her leg drops and she straightens with tugs at her skirt and sweater hem, "Something like that. I kind of went in on Pierce blazing like a grassfire set hot. I thought he dumped me in my room and took his shirt back while I was drunk. Turns out..." The Caregiver, known to Rogue as Eilis and little else, she takes a moment to assess him and his posture and general state in that way of looking between the lines she has about her. But she doesn't stop talking and after some kind of conclusion about the weight he's carrying, she finishes explaining and starts to step right up in stand on the chair she has arranged in front of the TV, "He didn't do a damn thing, this place did it. Whoops. At least I didn't hit him. But he probably has that owed somewhere too. Watch this."


They were both a pretty fantastic read of other people to be certain. Rogue was neither really back up to 'bold' or 'social' but there was effort there. "I... came t'look for you actually." Slight hesitation, particularly to see if he's intruding, but the conversation opened right into an honest confidence and that concern melted from his shoulders.

A quiet chortle and a hint of a wry grin came from the Rogue shaking his head looking from her to the room, "I might have noticed that too. Best not to ask how but I think we're in the uncomfortable situation of needing to trust what little we know before hands fly." Then she was up on the chair. His arms folded over his chest, neither scared nor tattooed or sun marked as in previous iterations. He looked up curious indulging her in her distraction hobby. "Show me." With the encouraging upnod to follow.


It's a weird thing to be proud of. But ladies didn't -do- this in Prosperity, or even New York City in 1902. And it admittedly takes a fair bit of bravery, calm, and balance to pull off right-- as the song ends prior to video swap, she makes a finale out of it. After doing a tiny swift spin in her heels, she lifts one of them to hook at the back of the chair and pushes a launched standing ride as the piece of furniture makes forward tipping collapse onto the floor. Then she hops forward after a little ta-da gesture of pride to take a few more steps for the couch in collapse.

"C'mere. I'm here, right bloodhound you are." Caregiver's hand pats on the cushion next to her once she's seated, face still a little flushed from prior exertion of dance. Gathering up her hair after the pat, she fans at the back of her neck, "What's your door look like?"


The Deviant heads to the dining room.


The Addict heads to the dining room.


The Rogue watched and couldn't help but grin belaying the rest of the feelings from unfortunate circumstances that seemed to haunt him. "Gads, woman I see your fascination with this." When the chair tipped with careful precision and no one snapped a limb the smile warmed and his sometimes too-nimble hands clapped for her. "Cheers to you. That was quite, quite kiff." Which was, from the South African, a good thing apparently.

The offer was extended and he wasn't going to say no to- well was she family? Were any of them? Did it matter? He sat and joined her looking faintly admonished at being called a bloodhound. "Can't help it. In my nature to want to know my things are okay which seems to extend to family." He paused with a shrug dropping down into the cushion with no ceremony about it. Once again apologetic, "I can't say where we stand on that point but... you stood by us and... you got hurt with us and that matters to me." She fought and died as a Colton and for his family and was no less protective of her for it. Old habits. He slid-slouched and tried to sum up, "The door?" Curious. "Ummm there's a bloke in a cloak in the darkness laying in wait watching something from around a corner." He paused and said as factually as bravery allowed, "Addie's si... blank now. How about yours? It have a hook on it for Pierce's shirt?" The small grin and the humor there to move on from hard truths quickly. Yes, she was getting some ribbing on that.


"I know, I know, sounds like zero shades of him in whatever lifetime, all told. Shoosh. But even he's different while everything else and everyone is different and I... might have been harboring other things in a whole lot of that sputtering mad. I'm not always sweet with what I feel. That's impossible when you feel everything twice as much as everyone else with no walls. I'm just real good at spinning it." What was Eilis in her looks a little sheepish there for a beat after the ribbing, but she laughs some as she drops her hair, a quick and soft exhalation that turns into a sigh.

Then she circles back around to the doors while explaining her own with ruminating on his and... Addie's too, she just doesn't immediately say that part, "It has a shadow woman figure holding a heart. Not a drawn heart image, a real human one with flowers spilling out of it in this growth and snaring vine wraps." Her tongue pushes against her teeth briefly in tick, "Colorado seems pretty bothered by his own door, I never really put much thought to it til recently. I figured it was just odd ways to mark and claim them instead of having numbers posted." Another pause, "What does blank mean?"


The Rogue offered to her in earnest, "I can see it from across a busy room. S'why I came to look in on you." Still able to read a room. Still able to read motivations, though he didn't seem out to exploit or scalp her feelings for a bidder. Naw. He dropped his hand on the couch space between then, hand up in invite for hers and nodded. "Yeah, his doesn't paint a picture of heroism or dignity much. Certainly I can't say mine does either but I think I've always been more interested in getting things and getting things done than public opinion. I dunno. The vines are... concerning."

He considered that, one eye, once blind, squinting thoughtfully, "This figure stepping into an impossible situation where somethings had been forgotten and grown over to rescue it, or reseeding it and doing a spectacular job at the cost of catching themselves up in the process? Both?" One eyebrow arched. Aaaaah she had to ask though. He took a deep breathe nd hunted words in his cagey brain to offer her that would still be truths. Simply he offered, "It means... we saved Addie but... she's not coming back. not here. Not anywhere. And..." His brow furrowed, "She...was happy and now she's just gone. Even though ... even though."

He just ended it there hitting a wall lest he push more and that dam broke letting his emotions drown him. "She made me better and, a blank door means I can never tell her that or...share another memory with her, or much else." He twisted a wry smile "Someone tried to tell me she might not have been real at all. Almost beat them with my coffee cup. Not..." He looked down at his hand and admitted to her, "Not too proud of that." He bit his lip and looked back up to her, tired but still in teh game. Still here. "I see it on your face you know. Not that I'd say it to anyone else. I know things are different andI know there might be no solace I can offer you but, if it is anything? I think you did everything you could."


Putting her hand over into Rogue's upturned offer on the cushion between them, she listens to who she knows as Caleb at length, despite that accent seeming to actually make her work to understand some of it. She has those kind of slow moments written all over her face before she catches on and catches up, gradually attuning to his way of speaking now. After wetting her lips, she shakes her head some, "See. I don't think anyone knows that. I don't think you know that, about Addie. People have some awfully differing opinions in here. Once that shook me harder than the situation. I'm still undoing some of them to make my own conclusions where they're due. Because it's my life, I get to decide what's real and what matters."

Leaning, she balms her straightforward supposing to the man on the couch nearby with a quick kiss at the cheek, "If I know one thing, it's hope. It's all I had, hope and memories there in the end with Pierce. We didn't... get a happy ending. We got one that mattered. And that matters just as much, but..." A pause, "Too much hope can be dangerous. I know. But put a little seed of it in with what you ended up having. Even though it hurts not to have it anymore. And if that fails... sometimes one lifetime is enough. It never feels like enough, it never will, but deep down, it is."


Having heard voices from the hallway of doors, the Capitalist walks into the parlor in his usual business-casual attire: White dress shirt, the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, complete with silk black tie and a black vest to add further color contrast. A pair of black business slacks and dress shoes in that same dark hue complete the look. "Are we sure that Addie's gone?" He knew that people were looking for her and he wasn't quite sure which door was hers, so he can't be 100% certain if she actually came to this place or not.

That looks of annoyance is no longer on his features on seeing Eilis here as well. In fact, his expression is mostly neutral, already being accostumed to how things are in this place, unpleasant surprises or not. Adjusting the shiny watch at his wrist, despite it not actually working and is used more as a status symbol than anything, he pauses before entering the kitchen, as if waiting for a response to his inquiry.


The Rogue let the warmth of her hand rest there, and gave it a squeeze listening. The expression wore even but his eyes could betray that lie readily enough. he admitted to Eilis, "I like your plan better than my old one I think." and then his perennial business partner returned. He looked up and nodded slowly, "Yeah we found it and... it was pretty much stripped clean. found the ring I gave her though. That's all. The rest?" he shook his head and took a slow breath giving Eilis' hand a squeeze. That was that. "C, you know what the pictures on teh doors mean at all? we were in a manner of some debate over this.'


Caregiver Eilis has clothes on today. But honestly, she's probably exposing more in clothes than she was in that damn shirt she got caught out in during a run to the dispensary, which turned into her ending up just roaming around owning it. She's wearing a short little black miniskirt with flaring and an off-shoulder burgundy sweater that's hemmed to skim midriff with occasional baring, completed by some expensive looking strappy black heels. Someone's been watching a little too much TV, maybe, in outfit planning, despite the contemporary chic design. After a squeeze of the Rogue's hand and a barebones nod of understanding, Cillian walking through is a perfect distraction to give that damage some space anew to reform or start mending. Well, kind of. His entering words and directness maybe aren't the best way to bring it to a close, but hey, Caleb's a big boy. And someone's overdue a hug.

This time, Caregiver doesn't flinch or withdraw, she bounds up to make a beeline for him with reaching, informing, "You all loved me into existence here with you. That's the story I like about all this, I'm keeping it. Come here."


Realizing that Addie, whom he knew as the musical talent coordinator back from his first memory on the island, that she actually had a room here but never ventured out of it since his own first awakening, that surprises him somewhat. "My condolences then, though I'm not even sure if that's the correct word to be offering in this situation." The Capitalist murmurs, half-turning to the others, tossing in, "I'd ask if the symbol on her door changed, but you probably didn't even know what it was before."

Entering the dispensary area, he casually scrolls through the menu. His usual order of coffee comes first, this time in the form of a cappuccino. That was the easy part, it takes him a while longer to figure out what he even wanted to eat. He rarely eats when he's in the Facility. It wasn't necessary, or not as necessary as the coffee, in his mind, but after not having his sense of taste in his last incarnation, he figure he won't take this for granted while he's here.

Returning now with that cup of hot coffee and a steak burrito plate in hand, he's met by the woman who he remembers as Eilis, lips now upturned into an easy smile, "If only that were true, darling. I mean, if you are correct, then maybe it's possible for Caleb," It's still a toss up on whether he feels more comfortable using Caleb or Sinclair for the Rogue, "to bring Addie back." Or for him to bring Maata back. That thought does come to mind now. A very slight scrutinizing gaze is given the Caregiver's attire, his own attention briefly diverted to the dreck on the tele. "I'm just going to come out and say this, the 80's? Not the best moment in fashion history." No, he's not talking about the 1880's!

To the Rogue's inquiry, it takes him longer to consider, "Others might not agree, but those symbols on our doors? Could be a reflection of who we really are, whether we realize it or not."


The Rogue flinched, not at the hug, but all the emotions that came with it, but also because he was not a monster also watched where his hands went. "careful there. Too much hope sets one up for failure. It's... it's terrible but I'm trying to keep my head on my shoulders and my lunch in my belly." He pressed a smooch to the top of her head and looked up to Cillian. At the hitch in address he offered, "Shite, mate, you can call me either or both. Could just change my name to Caleb Sinclair and split the difference for you lot."

He looked from her and back to Cillian, "Aww she looks like the lady on the telly and it goes with the dance. T'was quite impressive truthfully." Looking up at the high ceiling though he gave the door more consideration letting his head waves back and forth in a bit of thought there. "spoke with Rado on that last night. He Champ and I had enough to drink discussing it I didn't think I'd be able to spell my own name this morning." Real funny, Rogue.


Once Caleb is settled with closure hug and she's made her way to dear cousin, he gets much the same treatment. "It's probably not true, but I like it. And it fits. I'd rather be through hell and back with the ones I love than have them think I was never real at all. That's much worse than dying. Not much else space for me to belong to, anyway. Perception isn't linear fact, but it's where we all have to operate, mostly." Speaking of perception, somewhere there in the middle of speaking, Caregiver's reaching hug around Capitalist's suited midsection while his hands are full comes unbridled and warm and familiar at first, but the longer she holds him and the more she's hearing him speak and present in that Capitalist way, not the Cillian way, something about it starts to turn a little too aware or shy with the mesh of bodies. But then she catches on that he might be dropping hints about her attire after following his glance to the television. She steps back to look down at herself with a little tap of her tongue against the point of a canine, "... you ever been tied in a corset and bustle in the desert? I think a little ugly is okay if it comes with freedom too." Yeah, okay, everyone on the television isn't exactly wearing the most flattering things, she admits it.


The Capitalist nearly spills some of his cappuccino when Caregiver latches onto him, his arms lifting higher to keep both coffee and steak burrito stable in hand. He'd hug her carefully, but his hands are full. If anything, the Capitalist looks like Cillian, if maybe a few years younger, but not overly much. His hair may be more styled than what it was in the Old West, that's for certain.

Out of the both of them, Eilis and Caleb, he figures that Caleb would know more about the history of music, even if 1989 was distant history to their time on the Noc. "No, it's probably not the worst time for fashion either," He'll have to admit, "But it does fill me with dread of what's to come." Out of all of them, the Capitalist knows the most about the 80's, having memories from 2018, where poking fun at the 80's or embracing it was still a thing.

"If this is all amazing to you," He's speaking to the Caregiver now, "I can't wait for you to see the bar observatory on Noc station. It has a breathtaking view." Whether she releases him or not, he tries his best to guide her as he makes his way to one of the couches, so he can settle down and eat.


The Rogue replied to Eilis's question of the corset, "Only once and never again." he promised. Wiat...what?! he settled back into the couch and nodded with a slight grin, "I was a bit of a mediaphile on the Heph. Better to tell if something is genuine article or clever forgery." He paused and agreed, "Look mining vessels aren't the most exiting, but it was home." Until he cleaved it in half with the push of some code... Yeah let's not talk about that part. "All the same? Eili-bean, I think.... I think you're right. I'd rather things have meaning than otherwise. I'm not going to pretend it was any less real just because it hurts." He looked to Cillian and didn't say it, but the shorthand glance suggest maybe he shouldn't either. 'i used the room of many things to rebuild the hanger last night. you should have joined us. The view was absolutely something else."


After a sudden snort of laughter at Caleb with catching humor in her throat, the brunette wanders near again to somewhat seal his latter sentiment with approving graze of touch at the edge of one of his ears once she's close enough. Then the words between the two, they sink in. Her mascara-accented blue eyes go wide and look even wider with the flair on the lashes. It's almost precious the way the excitement starts to bubble out of nowhere.

"Wait. Wait. There's no windows here. But there's a bar with a view? A view of what? At a train station?" Though Caregiver relents her hover around Capitalist to let him move and settle down to eat, she stays near, settling in psuedo-leaned sitting perch on the arm of adjoining couches between the pair, leg stretched out as prop with fancy heel balance dug at the floor.

And through her excitement, she eyes her once-cousin's food a bit skeptically for a tick. She's probably never seen a burrito, and given what's been said about the machines making all manner of things, she doesn't seem so sure about the bits that might be tucked inside for some reason.


The Artist might have been here already for a little while, in the entry, silent and unobtrusive, somehow. He's been watching all of the interactions between the three, great and small, the changes in clothes and mien and manner, in age and maturity, in the 'reality' that he'd thought he'd known and the strangeness of what truly is.

He himself has changed-- low-slung jeans and an unbuttoned blousy shirt, stained here and there with paint, his hair a wild white cloud. His eyes, gray in Prosperity, are brilliant crimson here, and they flick from face to face to face and back again. "We find," he states gravely, "Meaning where we must in a place without meaning."


"If that's the case, then you and whoever you were with were in the other door." The Capitalist remarks to to the Rogue, settling down in a seat, before he leans forward to set his cup of coffee on the table before him. "I opened one of the doors randomly and ended up in some Old English play house, the stage setting to look like Verona. Romeo and Juliet." The plate is then set down as well, a hand already reaching for his fork to stab at the pre-cut burrito. "One of the new faces, that blonde girl, has an interest in Shakespeare or the stage. Or both. Then again, she has nothing better to do than fill her head with old stories."

Taking a bite from his fork, he notices the Caregiver's interest in his meal, so shifts the plate so that she can see just what is spilling out from within the burrito, though most of it was strips of steak. "You'll see when we get there." No need to spoil any surprises, not that she'd know what to expect even if he told her. He goes for another bite, before downing a much needed gulp of coffee. "I say we give the folks a proper tour." Though, now that he thinks back on the space station, even he knows that these were some of the most terrifying memories that he'd ever had... even more than what he had to deal with during the Reaping, as Cillian had gotten used to that terror year after year.

With the oddly familiar face of his 'Uncle' now entering the scene, The Capitalist had been told that he'd shown up here as well, even if he was left in the dark about Eilis' presence. "I'm sure there's some meaning to all of this. We just need to figure that out."


The Rogue looked up to Artist joining and throwing his horseshoe into the ring lifting fingers in greeting. Silent he remained to listen and just shook his head in teh end at Cillian. Fingers lifted almsot saying something and curled closed instead, "I told bunny and I'll say it again, Romeo & Juliette is too on the nose for me. You live through that once you never walk away from it." As for meaning he shrugged, "I have some unpopular opinions on that. In the end I think it simmers down to truth or not people are going to tell themselves what they have to in order to survive. Might be the lesson we should take from Prosperity. Live with a cost or pay a higher price for liberty and truth... but that bill will come due."


Having lived a literal star-crossed lovers fate in the only lifetime she knows, passionate, terrifying, and tragic with an aptly named memento in Defender's room to show for it, well, there's a glance where Caregiver seems to agree with the Rogue's commentary about things being too on the nose. She's still dealing with the fallout from it, afterall. But she's still consumingly fascinated with the idea of a 'view' in whatever fashion, as well as the survey of what's falling out of Capitalist's burrito on display. It looks like cow so far as she can tell, which settles her enough with the unspoken skepticism.

"Pierce... hasn't told me about the way the other lives were. I don't think he wants to. Not yet. Because he's what I know. I don't think he wants to shake that. Not yet. I can't see him as three if I'm still learning him as a different kind of one." She pauses, her head working his way, not her own there for a moment, graceful acceptance in the face of nosy curiosity, "Were they bad bad too?"

Arthur's entrance makes her do a double take on the end of that question, though, "... oh. Hello."


"Are we really bad bad when the weight of our choices is already stacked?" Arthur asks rather whimsically. "Or would we just do it all again anyway?" That's as much addressed to the Capitalist and the Caregiver. He paces further into the room and, after a moment's thought, notes to the Rogue, "I hated Romeo and Juliet. I'd rather read Titus Andronicus." Shakepeare's slasher play is probably apt, really, given all the givens.


The Capitalist has had his share of love stories through his various lives. Would he consider any of them to be of the same magnitude of Romeo and Juliet, possibly both have some aspect of it in their own ways. Though, just the topic brings both of his relationships up -- the one on the island and the one in Prosperity -- it's the one on the island that he's trying to forget the most.

"Pierce, or Anton, was my personal bodyguard on the Island." His gaze is focused on the meal before him, going through the slices of burrito methodically. "Since both Madison and I died there, I can't say that he was very effective." This isn't said out of spite, just matter-of-fact. He also doesn't care if Pierce didn't let Eilis in on these past lives, it's something for the Capitalist to talk about, having the knowledge to do so. "On the Noc, he was a Colonial Marshall. Saved my life at the very end when one of those monsters pierced their bladed talon into my shoulder, pinning me to the wall. Without him, I might not have made it to safety before the station blew up." That gives the Defender some brownie points in hsi book!

"The events on the space station were more terrifying to me than what we experienced in Prosperity." His gaze lifts to look at the Caregiver now, "Don't get me wrong, living through what we did in Prosperity took guts and fearlessness. But never was there a time, less you caught a wendigo's eye, that I found myself crouched under a table, almost afraid to breathe, just so that the monster on the cargo ship didn't hear you. When we were trapped on the Hephaestus," Now his attention returns to the Rogue, who was there, "That's exactly what we went through. No talking, barely any breathing, until found the courage to take action to free ourselves from this fear. Or die trying."


The Rogue looked to Eilis and back to Artist with his hair like a nimbus and back agreeing with quiet, but stalwart affirmation. "I'd go back for her every time. Tis no question for me, mate. Not...even a question. F'you too." the Rogue noted to cillian. "Only business partner I 've had. Every time. Though I'd like to remind I told you not to go back. I didn't want to see you get... diseased. " He drew in a slow breath nodding slowly. Oooh teh Hephastus. "I dunno, the Hephastus? Almost died and it was...terrifying, honestly, at the end even after we jettisoned that cargo. I didn't want to die forgotten adrift in space. We barely made it to teh weigh station. Prosperity though? Everything," He shifted to look at them with a quiet well of passion rising in his words, "Everything had to be carefully weighed and we knew we couldn't come out 100 percent and no matter if we won or not I still had to watch everything I had worth living for be taken away measure by measure. For me that was harder than being on the ship where I had to worry about my ass. The ranch?" He sighed, "Shiiiite me I loved that fekkin place."


Those words from The Artist, Arthur, they have Eilis opening her mouth to clarify, but she opts to close it, save the breath in holding, and settle for a nod affirming, yes, she would do it all over again. Then her breath... doesn't really come back out. She's listening to Capitalist quite raptly, but on the other front of split visual attention, she's also watching her former uncle... who she remembers as a dealer with demons and a brother-killer as a result. The word 'bad' probably is pretty up for debate if she were willing to get into it, but she's not. Because the closer he gets into the room, the more she notices something amiss with his eyes.

She was fine. Really she was. She was having a pretty good day. But post-demon-soaked life and the residual PTSD that probably comes with it, those crimson eyes set her right the hell off into paranoia like he's still possessed. Right in what's supposed to be a safe, if odd space. She comes straight off of the arm of the couch and onto who she knows as Cillian and his lap like a spooked child.


The Artist tilts his head at the Caretaker, and drifts even damnably further into the room, still somehow on the periphery of the little group. There is, perhaps, the sense -- as in Prosperity -- that the mind behind the eyes might still just be a little... skewed? Though in what way, who knows? "I hated Prosperity. And yet, now that I've truly escaped it, I think I miss it. That's where my story began, after all. What else will I do, when I'm in another story? Nettie asked, but I couldn't even begin to answer her."


"I made it out alive, didn't I?" The Capitalist says in his response to the Rogue, just before chewing on one of his last slices of steak burrito. Though there is a knowing, amused look that he flashes across the way to this partner in crime, though on the Noc, they literally were partners in crime...

Wiping at his mouth with a napkin, he leans back with the cup of joe in hand just as the Caregiver slides into his lap. It's a good thing, he no longer needed the use of his fork to eat with, since that was mostly done. There's a gentle pat given the young woman's shoulder, before his hand rests there for a time. "That's not up to us, I don't think. I mean, when you finally wake up away from here, you won't have any memories of this place or Prosperity. You'll have your own memories, your own desires and goals. It's when you return back here where things can become odd, awkward in a sense." Being careful to take a sip of his beverage with his former little-cousin partially in his way, his eyes lift to look upon that same ghostly appearance that he remembered Cillian's uncle to have. "That's when you sort these memories out. One may feel far more real than the other, especially your most recent memory."


The Rogue arched an eyebrow at the exchange between Ei and the Artist but kept his council on that. He looked to the artist finally and said "You'll do your best to survive as we all. You'll come back here. hurt. Mourn. Seek atonement with yourself for the things you can't reconsile... we move on." He curled a grin and chuckled, "I did thinks I'm not precisely proud of, but they are what's needed at the time." He considered and mused to Cillian, "Kinda need to keep track of the creative ways you keep employing me to bail your fancy arse out of the fryer. But you know I'm good for it." A brief wink between the conspirators was given as the Rogue pushed himself to his feet. "Cause you know I go back for my people. Maybe not always other ones, but what's mine." He wandered toward the dispensary, hand dropping to Eilis' shoulder giving it a squeeze. You're one of those neo-cuz.


"Can't plan life, really. Not the pieces that make life breathe, anyway. It needs... a constant breeze blowing to be done right. Isn't a person alive that controls the wind." Caregiver murmurs with her own small input once she realizes neither of the other two men are about to run or throw something at the Artist. Those crimson eyes are no doubt something that reeks of possession and damnation in her turn of the century, Prosperity-heavy mind. Even though she's speaking, though, it doesn't keep her curling up with shift sideways and curling body lean in against Capitalist, or at least the piece she knows as Cillian McTavish. Honestly, Eilis herself had always been limited with Uncle Art exposure anyway given timing and age and general differences in bearing between them, recent complexities aside.

The squeeze on her shoulder with who she knows as Caleb in Rogue, it gives her some good distraction for a beat, but she's still in that kind of reverted state of sheer wary caution like a survival reflex that's operating on a base level with how much she seems to need touch from Capitalist right now. And while distressed, what would have slipped as frontier heavy western twang comes out in a soft southern tumble instead, similar but different, unwitting.


"I'm going to paint you," Arthur informs the Caretaker, those eerie eyes locked right on her. "Standing on something narrow, reaching out... at the center of a great windstorm. That's who you seem to be to me right now." And as for memories, or who he might he, he shrugs his slim shoulders. "If it wasn't ever real, what's the point of mourning or questioning? Brief melodies in time, written, played, and ended. I felt guilt in Prosperity, but that was who I had been made to be and to do. Why should I feel guilty for the murder of a man who never existed?"


Sipping from his cup again, the Capitalist is used to all sorts of questions being thrown his way by newbies of this place. He has to think of what the Artists says, licking his lips briefly, before leaning forward, slightly to the side, so he can sit that mug back onto the table without disturbing the Caregiver too much.

"Who told you that they were't real? I can't say that none of those who never show up here are real or not." In some ways, the Capitalist is like Cillian McTavish, despite lacking the accent and some of this niceness, but then, Cillian had family. The part most like Cillian in this man is when the McTavish puts on his business demeanor and that's practically what the Capitalist exudes. "As others have said, maybe they are being held in other places such as this. There are several who have shown up here before, but have been shuffled out. The symbol on their door changes, the interior being different. They existed and are now gone, why wouldn't the others exist?"

Leaning back fully against the couch, he drapes an arm across the backing, "The stories feel real to me, for the most part. We experience it all, live those lives. No matter how many new memories you receive, there's still a place within you that cling onto the emotions you felt in any given one of them. Whether it's your first or last." He notices the interaction between his uncle and cousin, or those who wear their faces, but all he can do is state, "I'm not asking you to feel guilt, but as this is my third time around, I've come to think, that each life that we live and with each memory, you begin to learn who you really are... and what you might stoop down to if placed in that situation." He, himself, is no angel.


"By that logic, if this is your first go 'round too, we didn't exist at all while other people were here living lives ahead of us, before Prosperity. And "real" tch, that word. It sure is getting to be a word that has more definitions than people tend to figure. It was always like that. But see..." A pause, "To me, your eyes aren't real because they aren't what I know of people, aren't what I expect, but you're looking at me with them, aren't you?" Caregiver and Eilis as a pair don't particularly -like- that those eyes are looking at her from the look of her still. But the Artist's imagery spoken with artist flair hits the poetry inside her and it at least has her talking and clinging a little less to Capitalist as he lounges.

Pulling in a breath suddenly, her eyes cast down along the hallway and she rises, making lame excuse. Talk of what's real still kind of tends to dig at her as well, considering the varying opinions, some in direct conflict with what she's no doubt designed to feel and feel hard, "I'm cold. I need a blanket to hide under a bit." Then she pauses mid-stride on the way out to bend some, "... but if you do paint it, I want to see."


The Artist's sudden smile, to the Caregiver, is luminous, radiant, even warm. Could he /really/ have been a murderer? Made a deal with a demon? "/You'll/ be real. I'm only a cipher." For that moment, it's like she's the only thing in the world to him, one bright, fragile thing in a universe of uncertain gray.


"I'd like to think that we existed and were real before Prosperity, or for some, before arriving to this place." The Capitalist announces to the departing Caregiver, but his words could be directed to anyone really. "That we had our own lives before this and for whatever reason, those are the memories being suppressed." Taking another sip from his cup, enjoying the warmth of the hot cappuccino, he murmurs, "Or else, the lives we remember are past lives in a way. We did live them at some point, being reincarnated into new lives. I can't prove any of this, though, I am more than willing to find out the truth." And he's growing impatient. With those words said, his gaze falls on the Artist, a brow arched, "You don't need to terrorize her any more than she already is."


The Artist's got that crooked grin, the Prosperity one, the slightly loopy sharklike one. "Oh, come on, she's not that fragile, is she? I think she thinks she is right now, but so are so many people. Would you I rather paint you, then? That steely glint in your eye that creeps out no matter what face you're wearing?" He tilts his head the other way, and shifts his stance a little. "I saw it changing just earlier, between all of the different yous. Ah! I think I have it."


"Eilis was never really fragile," The Capitalist says, his shoulders relaxed as he continues with his casual posture on the couch. "But she was still the baby of the family," That family, " so you do all what you can to protect them and if that's the only memory she has now." A glance is given the television and the gaudy colored music videos that are being shown to them. "Then again, with how she's being influenced by that," His free hand gestures to the television, before draping across the back of the couch once again, "She'll have more of that spitfire attitude burning within her."

The mention of the Artist painting him, well, the Capitalist tends to be a narcissist of sorts, so of course having a painting of his image is something that interests him. What the Artists says further though, does garner a curious flash within his eyes, "Oh? And what does that change look like?"


The Artist is an artist, but he doesn't just paint with the usual things. He begins to shift again, to move, almost a kind of dance in that it's an elegant transformation of posture and gesture and expression. His countenance almost seems to shift between different personalities, though they are not his: they are a reflection of the Capitalist's. And yet, his eyes, red and yet somehow suddenly a lot more like Cillian's-- no, not his anymore, someone else's, and then someone else's, and yet still the same, coldly, avariciously narcissistic. "What do you think it looks like?" Even his voice is an echo of the other man's, translated through his own ghostly looks, ready to be transferred onto canvas or into song.


His gaze on the Artist, perhaps it's his imagination, but he notices the change in the man, whether it be simple demeanor or whatnot, all in a reflection of just who the Capitalist is. Perhaps even seeing his true-self in there somewhere. Not Conrad or Cillian. As he hadn't had a lick of alcohol yet today, it's certainly not the drink that's getting to him now. "I wouldn't know." He says, dismissing these visions, "I can describe myself from my point of view, but I'm always curious as to how another percives me as." Finally, his attention is drawn away from the other man, a look give the hallway now, "This place knows who we are, or the people who run it do. Though some might think that we have no chance and we're given our roles, being molded to become... I don't know, the figures on our doors."


The Artist shifts into more of a real dance, arms and hips swaying beautifully to the music coming from the TV. "I /am/ the figure on my door," he states simply-- it is a clef whose bottom ends in the point of a fountain pen. "Does it bother you that that might be the endgame? That this is, after all, Purgatory of some kind, and you the subject of some grand moral plan? It seems like so many of us are trying to assign some meaning to it all."


Rather than focus his attention on the hallway, the Capitalist takes in the parlor as a whole, craning his head slightly back and to the side to get a better view of the area behind the couch. "If it means moving on from here to better pastures or even nothing?" His shoulders simply lift. "Almost anything is better than being stuck here." Though, even he knows the horror that awaits them in their next 'lives', which may make him change his mind. "In the end, if there is a world outside of this place, an actual world that we're being barred from, I'd like to get out and really live life. None of this ending back in here crap."


"Always playing the long game, are you?" Art had come here for... something? But he begins to drift toward the exit, his initial goal forgotten. A creature of the moment, the Artist is. "No wonder everyone gravitates toward you. Even if they don't see a way out, /you're/ always thinking."


"And here I thought it was because of my dashing good looks." The Capitalist says, a wry grin forming on his lips. With his cappuccinno already going cold, he quickly finishes the remainder of it up, before rising to his feet. Though they don't have to pay for electricity here, what he does do is turn the television off. He doesn't hate the 80's, but there he's had enough of that for the moment. Leaving both his plate and coffee cup at the table, he moves forward to cross paths with the Artist, "Someone always need to be thinking if we're going to find a way out of this existance." He's about to take a step forward, though pauses to add in, "I'm sure that you'll find something of interest in all of your personas, your lives. There's nothing boring with any of them."


The Artist's expression is pleasantly blank, but it's less of a mask than a state of being. And then he smiles. "I'll remember that you said I was interesting." He makes no move, letting the Capitalist depart before him. "But also that you said that /you/ were interesting." Yes, he has noticed the other man's vanity.