After spending a couple of days wandering Eastern Oregon in one of the multipurpose rooms (which amounts to all of an hour in the Facility, as it turns out), the Scholar emerges. He's not exactly 'refreshed' but he's definitely feeling a little more like himself. Himself grappling with a complicated situation, but that's nothing new to Bastian or Sebastian, so he can work with it.
He makes a trip to the dispensers for some horchatta, then settles himself at the piano. He stares at the keys a good five minutes before starting to play, choosing Moonlight Sonata. It's a nice, calm piece, and lets him think.
Hiking as he has been, and dressed for it in a red, brown, and white plaid flannel, jeans, and hiking shoes, he looks almost exactly like Bastian. He even has the white streak in his hair. The rest of his hair, though, is quite different: here it's a wild head of black curls flecked with white. (No wonder Bastian kept it short.)
The Vigilante looks a lot like Mallory. A little older, sure. Hair unbound instead of in a sleek ponytail. She's wearing a lot of black in here - black jeans, black faux-combat boots, a gray tank, and a black leather jacket with a somewhat curious silk lining. Maybe it's the music that's drawn her out. There's something coiled about her, a certain something in her gait that seems to indicate she's wary - much like Mallory - but also ready to strike. Not like Mallory. Once she's in view, she folds her arms over her stomach (very Mallory) and watches, her eyes slightly narrowed.
It takes a minute for the Scholar to realize anyone else is there. He stops playing, glances over his shoulder, stills. Slowly he turns on the bench, watching the Vigilante warily. He's already had one reunion in this place go poorly; now he's careful. He has the same mismatched eyes, but not quite the same bearing. He surveys her, taking in the differences. "Mallory," he says, after a second. Same voice, at least. "I'd heard you were here with us." A small wince of apology for that.
The Vigilante nods, slowly. "Yeah," she says. "I don't know why, but no one else is ponying up to knowing any kind of explanation, either. You were Bastian. Ethan and Colorado gave me your field journal. I kept it. You heard we got around a year, after?" She stays by the exit. No hugs seem to be incoming, but that would probably be unsettling, anyway.
"I was," the Scholar confirms. "Still am, more or," he glance up at his hair and a rueful smile, about the only kind Bastian ever had on offer, "less." His expression softens, and he nods. "He would..." He pauses, shakes his head. "I'm glad they gave you the journal. You're the person I'd have wanted to give it to, if I was giving things out."
He lets that sit between them a moment, then nods, leans back a little on the bench. "That's what we were given the previous time. Sometimes I think I can feel memories beyond that year, but it could be just trying to soothe myself over losing it all." He shrugs that difference away. "Unfortunately I can't tell you much about our actual situation. Just what I've personally been through and know about it, and my suspicions. Probably not helpful, unless you're information gathering."
"I'll take what I can get," Vigilante tells him. There's another moment's pause before she unfolds her arms and makes her way to a seat. Granted, it's on a coffee table and not an actual chair, but whatever. "I want to know what the other stories were like. DO you still feel like those people, too? Were they similar to Bastian?" Lots of questions, same blunt way of asking them.
The Scholar's wariness melts away as the Vigilante moves to sit on the coffee table. Well, at least this is going a bit better than it did with Cassandra. He reaches back, takes up his glass or horchatta and has a sip. "I've been in one other life. It was in Nevada, in 1902." He sets the drink down next to him on the bench, narrows his eyes and stares at some point on the floor. "Sebastian," he glances up at her, "that was my name there," back at the floor, "he was a veterinarian and a naturalist. He," a sharp laugh and shake of his head, "was Bastian's opposite in a number of ways. Much younger, he was only twenty-six. He had a curse on him which prevented him from shooting. And he was always thirty seconds from tripping on something and falling. Prone to very emotional outbursts."
He folds his arms, frowns. "But, they were both me. They both loved to read, loved to learn things. Know things." He rubs the back of his neck, pulls a face. "They learned at the hands of different but equally harsh teachers." He regards the Vigilante again. "The town Sebastian lived in, its founders had made a pact with demons to make it prosperous and successful. Sebastian was a scion of one of those founders. He and some of the others," a nod at the Hall of Rooms, "decided to break the pact and free the souls of the town from the demons."
The Vigilante rests her palms on the table behind her and leans back. She thinks about his words for a few moments before saying, "Ghosts, curses, and demons. I wonder if we get werewolves, vampires, and witches at some point?" Her nose wrinkles. "None of those things sound fun."
The Scholar makes a low sound, scratches at his beard. "Before this, it was alien monsters on a space station," he says, thinking back to his tour of the Noc with Ramona. "And some sort of...cursed island, before that." He laughs, helplessly, runs a hand over his face. "I guess that could happen as easily as anything else."
He sobers and drinks more of his horchatta. He fingers the glass, says, "I'm sorry, for getting myself killed like that. For not being there, at the end, for all of you." He looks up at her once he's said that.
The Vigilante frowns. "Mallory was used to being on her own. And only relying on herself. It was kind of her number one goal for a long while. Maybe not once all the ghosts and killing started." She tilts her head to the side. "She was sad?" she ventures. "She also thought it was weird you were hooking up with a co-ed - a girl at that - but that's another thing entirely."
The Scholar accepts the Vigilante's reaction with a nod. If anything, he seems glad to hear there's not much more forthcoming. "She was. And he respected that, as someone who'd been through what he had. I just wish she'd been able to rely on him to the last." He sighs, regretting that on more than just Mallory's behalf.
The comment about Bastian and Max gets a surprised laugh out of him. "Well...you're not the first person who's mentioned surprise at him being with a woman," he says, folding his arms. "It was a combination of the circumstances, and..." He pauses, looking thoughtful. "Max was one of the few people capable of getting past the various barriers he had around himself." He raises an eyebrow at her, suggesting he remembers Bastian wasn't the only one who wound up with someone sneaking past personal defenses.
The Vigilante's eyes roll upward. "I can get that," she admits. There's a shrug, a gentle rise and fall of her shoulders with an accompanying creak of old leather from the jacket. She looks at him again. "It would have been good to have Bastian around in the end, yeah. He could have shot some more fish people or something. We didn't take care of all that many. Maybe more of the college kids could have gotten through it if we had."
"Things can get a little...complicated, because of that," the Scholar warns her. He thinks of Colorado and Lyle in Oregon, who were brothers in Nevada, and blows out a breath. "Very complicated," he adds. But, she's probably guessed that.
With a nod, he says, "That would have been something. Really, all he wanted was to get as many of you out of there, in one piece, as he could." Something he hadn't been able to do for anyone else in his life. He sighs, shakes his head. "But, seeing Max die like that..." He stops, bites his lip. "It was too much." Another drink of horchatta, finishing the glass.
The Rogue arrives from The Facility - Hall of Rooms.
The Vigilante is sitting on the coffee table. She looks very much like Mallory, only a bit older and wearing more black. Black jeans, black faux-combat boots, gray tank top, and an old black leather jacket with a silk lining. Hair unbound instead of in a sleek ponytail.
The Scholar is seated at the piano, though he's not playing presently. They're just talking. Vigilante seems grouchy, but... that's very Mallory.
The Scholar looks like he's been out hiking; a little dusty, traces of gray-brown mud on his hiking shoes and jeans. He's dressed a bit like Bastian as well, in a plaid flannel, and has an empty glass sitting on the piano bench next to him.
"Mallory wanted to keep as many people safe as she could, too," Vigilante agrees with the Scholar. "And set things right for the ghosts. She thought about going on the road and finding other ghosts that needed help." Another shrug.
The Rogue comes in, just as tall, 15 years older, both eyes, cleaned up, and wearing slacks, and an untucked olive drab dress shirt broken in and rolled to the elbow twice. Having both eyes, and muscle on an older model than the skinny skater boy many got used to makes him more difficult to pin down as Lyle Lucas, and the South African lean on his language even more so. Fingers push through still damp hair from teh shower tha likely just happened, and then rub his face offering, "Ja ja, worthwhile cause that. Good t' see you you made it back." Scholar gets a nod, "Sea Bass."
"I hadn't thought of that," the Scholar murmurs. "Other ghosts which might need freeing." He contemplates a point across the room. "In Nevada, two of the demons escaped. I'd always thought if Colorado survived he and Sebastian might have gone looking for them."
He smiles at the Rogue. "Caleb," he says, nodding in return. "How've you been? No--Ethan doing alright?"
The Vigilante blinks at the Rogue, eyes a little wide. A bit taken aback. What the fuck is that accent? "It's you," she says, not so helpfully. There's no hint she's going to get up or go for a hug or anything. She's wary, just like Mallory. More so, even, because Mallory didn't seem quite as ready to punch people, while Vigilante kind of gives the impression she wouldn't mind throwing down in general.
The Rogue replies dryly, "Sure. Leave me and Addie to run teh whole damn ranch, and take after Eilis and Pierce's rugrats, and pierce, and a whole mess a steer. Great plan." Dry wit turned down, way down at Mallory's reaction. Maybe it's habit but both hands go up and that expression familiar to recognize in the golden boy grown up. "Ja, is me" He pauses and pulls from the recesses of his lexicon, "You're not going to throw that mondo huge jelybean at me are you? I voted you best big sister ever so don't hurt me." Looking back to Basitan he carefully gives that is she armed? look that is none too subtle. Hands lower and posture relaxes as he answers the more difficult question. "Ethan's hanging in there. He's been putting up with me well enough, ja?" Looking back to 'Mallory' he hooks his thumbs in his back pockets giving her a little nod, "I'm still Lyle. It's alright. Or... a number of other names, but I'm keepin Lyle."
"As if we'd have been gone all the time," the Scholar says, waving a hand dismissively. "I didn't have the fortitude necessary to be out on the road all the time, with him possessing me." He starts to continue, stops. Those memories aren't bone-deep like the others, even though he knows them.
He watches the interaciton between the two, because while the Rogue looks familiar to the Scholar, he's wholly unlike Lyle, and that has to be a bit of a shock for the Vigilante.
The words are coming out weird, but the jellybean is pure Lyle. Mallory is still looking at him askance. She even looks sidelong at Scholar, like, 'really?', but turns her attention back to Lyle. "I don't have a jellybean. I have a compass. Do the rest of you wake up with stuff from the... stories?"
The Rogue slowly sit down on the arm of one of the couches watching Bastian with a squint. "I shoulda tried that." Huh. Then again the ghost wasn't tangibly and actually his ghost. Looking back to Mallory eyebrow arching, and remaining otherwise quiet. He still chews on the inside of his cheek in familiar habit to keep quiet. Answering her he digs out the envelope folded in half and kept in his back pocket, holds it up, and puts it back like one might a wallet. "We do. I got that and the title to the Camaro. Ethan's got my 'don't eat my pudding' letter I had Cass bring em after my surgery and my blue swatch. Weirdly...whatever this place it is wants us to forget who we were or may have been outside of here, but tries hard to remind us of who we are in...whatever the ever love fuck that was on the Island and other places. Benevolence or cruel irony? I dunno."
After some thought, the Scholar says, "I think that was different. Colorado wasn't a ghost--if I'd released him, he'd have been gone. He was summoned, rather than present before-hand." He shudders at that thought. Colorado, stuck wandering Prosperity? The part of him that's Sebastian rebels at the very concept.
"Yes," he says to the Vigilante, holds up his left hand. On his ring finger is a bronze and silver ring. "After Prosperity, I came back with my engagement ring. And," he flicks a glance at the Rogue, "this time, it was a shirt." He turns the ring on his finger. "I do think it's a sign to remind us of who we've been. Not always a good thing, perhaps," he's thinking of 'Bates', the life Colorado hates to mention, "but I don't know that ignoring them works either." His gaze drifts to the Hall of Rooms, back to the Vigilante and the Rogue. "It's a difficult balance to strike."
The Vigilante reaches into the pocket of her leather jacket and removes the compass. She watches the needle give lazy, lazy spins and never really come to a halt. "Useless," she mutters. "So what do you do all day? I've been training but I'm getting kind of sick of it."
The Rogue sits still, thumbs still hooked into his back pockets nodding slowly at the difference. Objectively he offers gently to maybe-Mallory, "Maybe you dunno where you need to go yet, though not having a polar north? Maybe telling. Unless we're in Greenland or Antarctica... or a space station..." He flinches, faintly but reflexively pushing himself to stop. "What we do? Other than or including having a daily existential crisis trying to figure out if we're rescues or trapped. If we were someone and this is a lie or if this is all we have to be real. The rest is really working on figuring out how to function and who we want to be. Number of tools for that." Blue grey eyes lift to the hallway and fall back to the both of them, "Funny enough Ethan's been Ethan his entire life but out of order. Dunno what that means. He's convinced of a lot of things right now and... I like some of his answers so we're testin em out."
The Scholar considers the compass, then the Rogue's thoughts on its wandering needle. "Depends on if any of this is physically real," he says. Eyes still on the compass, he tells Mallory, "I read a lot. We can't write things down, so I have to rely on memorizing details. Sebastian knew piano, so I've been trying to improve at it, see how it sticks."
He takes his eyes off the compass, toys with his ring again. "And now that those rooms," he glances at the two doors to anywhere, "are populated, I hike a fair deal, since that was something Bastian liked to do. I can't really take notes and specimens like he did, at least not ones which persist here, but..." He shrugs. "It's soothing, in a way. Gives me something to do while I think."
"...We can't write?" Vigilante demands, immediately scowling. Apparently, that is not something she even tried to do, but even so this news irritates her very much. "What happens if you try to write?" She leans forward, resting her elbows on her knees. So. Grouchy.
The Rogue looks to them and looks confused not knowing if he wants to give the answer but eventually the sharing to put the catalyst out there wins out. "I can. We found there'slike... if you write in a book? A journal you can. Scott and I have been working on one. Tried it before the... well just before the lodge. Finalyl got back around to reading it again and the notes were still there from before I left." Pointing to teh halls he shakes his head, "All of Chance's fucking scribblings? Nah. My walls I drew on? Ethan's walls and walls of notes? Naw but the book sure." Heeey a tiny bit of good news. The faintly haunted look returns, nervous, but the words stay perfectly matter-of-fact. "Addie's door is back."
The Scholar blinks, looking surprised. "We can write in journals now?" He sighs, relieved, even manages a smile. "Maybe I can make a field journal. No pressings, I suspect, but..." He eyes the great bookshelf. "I wonder if notes in those books or my own will persist too." He has the look in his eyes of a man who's going to be doing a lot of experimenting. A lot.
Which brings him up short. He frowns. "Colorado was wondering if some of these changes aren't maybe meant to distract us from trying to examine the place closer, from looking for an explanation." He looks at the two of them to see what they make of that. "Since we can go into the rooms and be there for days, weeks, and hardly any time passesd here."
A slow blink for Addie's door. "Has...anyone come out of it?"
"So we can write," Vigilante says slowly, "But it's new. What used to happen? And what's an Addie?" She cups her chin in her hand, still leaning forward with her elbows on her knees, still frowning. Grumpy.
The Rogue nods slowly seeming pleased, jsut that little bit to be able to give some cofort and good news. His eyes lift though, still with the narvous chewing on the inside of his cheek and a hesitation follows. His head shakes in the negative. With hesitation he answer with quiet reluctance. "My wife. We survived Prosperity but we... got back here andher room was erased. All I got left of her is the ring I gave her and..."Slow breath there. The Rogue falls quiet letting his fingers pull that folded envelope out of his back pocket to fidget with. "And I dunno. Her door was blanka nd now it's got a carving on it again but I haven't..." You know, knocked.
"It would just," the Scholar waves his hand, "disappear. Reset, like everything else. If I break this piano, after our next rest it'll be good as new. If--" He stops, swallows. "If we're injured, even die, we wake up here again." He has to look at the floor a moment. "Even death isn't a release."
He studies the Rogue for a time. Presently, he tells the Vigilante, "It happens, sometimes. People we meet in there aren't found in here. Candice, for example." A soft sigh for that and the effect it had on Colorado. "Or those who we know are in here, they vanish, and are replaced with someone else. Someone new, without their previous memories." He suspects that's the case here, since none of them saw Addie at the Lodge. It's possible they just missed her, of course. But.
The Vigilante looks from Rogue to Scholar and arches an eyebrow. "You tested," she says, seeming certain. A pause and a nod. "Makes sense. Two more questions from me." She pokes up one finger from her hand without raising it. "What happens if someone in here is a psychopath or a rapist or something? And have there been other people living in my room before? What were they like?" She poked up a second finger and then, frowning, a third. That was three questions.
The Rogue lets Bastian answer this one working on just getting his feet under him emotionally speaking. He looks down at the envelope in his hands worrying the corner of it with his thumb. C'mon Lyle, stop letting the mind go into entirely commonplace worst case scenario. Nope.. It's the third question that has him looking up with a dimpled, faint half grin still fond of her all the same, "Mal, no one's quite like you. I mean they can try like hell." All his mannerisms from teh lodge stay in tact even if the voice is wrong for the boy he was as he shrugs. Eyes squint thoughtfully considering question one, "Haven't had an incident that I know of. Addison dissecting bodies in a bar in the anywhere room got a little close. I mean if someoen's going to cause a problem I have no problem helping deal with em. Just because we reset doesn't mean the things that happen to us don't matter."
"It's...been tested," the Scholar admits, past exonerative tense in full form. He sounds decidedly unhappy about that. "A couple of times, if I'm remembering right. And people have even died, in a life, awoken here, only to be resurrected back into that life. Though, they've never been able to describe this place afterwards, only give vague explanations of what they experienced. Like every near death experience you've read about, really." He raises his eyebrows at the implications there.
He nods his head at the Rogue. "We haven't--" He stops, winces, realizing that's not completely true. "Sometimes people do attack one another," more exonerative phrasing, "but, nothing like rape, or anything specifically directed at someone. Random, off the cuff violence." He rubs at his eyes. "I've not seen anyone come from your room, before, but this is only my second time here."
The Vigilante eyes Scholar. Just eyes him. But just for a moment. "Addison? From the Lodge?" Vigilante asks Rogue, arching her eyebrows. "...Why doesn't that surprise me? Is he back here, too? Nobody's mentioned him yet. He did die at the lake, though. Or is Addison 'Addie'?" Fuck. Keeping these names straight... I need a chart."
The Rogue falls very quiet and very still. The Rogue withdrawing to take one question at a time. The Vigilante's answer comes in the form of a headshake. "Ja no. My Addie is Adelaide DeWitt... never... call her that if you see her." Rubbing his eye he murmurs, "Addison Barrett's door changed. Blanked, like my wife's." He pauses and boggled looking to Mallory now confused, "Seriously I cannot possibly ever see me married to that man. I can see him having shot me though." He considers the math though with a half-hearted shrug. "I dunno surviving a lifetime has much to do with it. Addie survived, Addison didn', both are missing so... whatever the reason is that doesn't seem to factor into it."
The Scholar weathers the Vigilante's look with equanimity, so maybe he only knows about these things and wasn't involved, would rather not provide details. A sigh and a lift of his eyebrows; he doesn't seem surprised Addison would do something like that either. The question of who 'Addie' was he lets the Rogue address. "It seems Addison isn't with us anymore," the Scholar confirms. "And there's some new people whom I didn't encounter in Prosperity or the Lodge, so I think we'll see some new faces in our next life. Whenever that begins."
"How long do we...? Nevermind. Who can even tell?" Vigilante demands, rising from her seat on the table and stretching her arms up with a shake of her head. "So I'll wake up as someone else, with different memories? Will I still be... me?"
The Rogue falls entirely quiet and looks back to teh hal wondering with them silently. He doesn't excuse himself as he wanders off ot go get a cup of coffee, or move, or maybe just stay busy like a shark. Newton's Law of Survival: an object in motion cannot be snuck upon right? It's a long moment but he returns with a second mug held out to the Vigilante, maybe as a peace offering or some strange caffeinated homecoming. "Waking up? Is hard. I won't lie to you about that, bru, but... I remember the sum of my lives before this last one. I remember living in space. I remember running a ranch in Nevada. I remember sitting up in the hospital with you." He pauses with a chortle rising from him easing up, "Twice." A deep breath and a sip of coffee follow. "Ethan's been Ethan Drake twice. The first time when he died, middle-aged saving another bloody island from another fekking curse. THis last time? When his life was starting on that path. So who is to say we live our lives in order?"
The Scholar says, "That's a truly excellent question, and, one you can only answer for yourself," while the Rogue goes to get their coffee. "For my part, with two sets of memories, I feel like I'm a combination of three people. Roen, Sebastian, and," he gestures at himself, "this. "They have things in common, which helps. They have differences, and that's confusing, but in some ways, reassuring. It lets me know who's who, keep their identities intact even as they inform who I am."
He raises his eyebrows, curious about Ethan's experience. "So maybe these are...past lives, in some way," he muses. "An interesting thought. Who's to say the human mind, outside itself, remembers things whole and entire?" He takes up the empty glass. "Going to go do some writing, not that I can." To the Vigilante in particular, he says, "My room has a young man reading in a chair, with a large bookcase behind him that's also a dam. Feel free to knock if you need anything." He deposits the glass near the dispensers, gets himself a bottle of bourbon and a tumbler for it, and is off down the hall.
The Vigilante squints at Bastian, with his young man in the room. Then she looks at the mug. It's a bit of a strange look. "I hate coffee," she says, as much to herself as to them. She blinks at the cup, then looks back up at the other two. "Thanks," she says, absently. "Space might be neat. Until the space witches or whatever. I'm gonna go back to my room." Aliens would be obvious, Vigilante. Were the aliens witches? Maybe.