It's the hall of rooms. Just room after room after room on both sides of the hall. Wandering it right now is one person who looks a damn awful lot like Amy Lester. Older than Amy was, but not by a whole lot. Mid twenties or so. The Penitent is wearing her black sweat pants, her blue singlet top and no shoes. Never any shoes. She's padding down the hall and heading towards the Competitor's room, glancing idly aside at some of the doors as she goes, checking for different, or new, door symbols.
First waking up the The Facility (not that she knows what that even is yet) is a helluva thing. The Rebel, or George as she still kinda thinks she might be, does not care for waking up in unfamiliar places with a feeling of 'being wrong'. Maybe she took a few too many drugs to get away from the vampire memories? She's not stressing too much yet, but she is feeling suspicious and a little annoyed. After availing herself of the washroom, she opens the door to peer out into the hallway. "Amy?" she calls, seeing a familiar figure just down the hall. But that doesn't feel quite right either. "What the fuck, man." This whole thing is just a bad trip, right?
Star, as the Competitor is known in the Facility (though the name is still up for adjustment), opens her door in time to hear the Rebel speak. And that means Penny must be close by. Star's gaze finds her next, a warm smile appearing at the sight. "Hey, Penny. Memories back?" She has to ask before hugging. Star is dressed as if she stepped out of a 1980s gym; there are even leg warmers. A nod towards Rebel. "Looks like we have a new member."
There's a pause in Penitent's steps as that door opens and the familiar face of her once cousin shows up. "Oh." She says in a voice that is not-quite Amy Lester. It's far more calm, for one. The anger of the Lester blood being gone from her makes her rather more zen-like. "Hello. I'm ... not Amy. But I am." She sighs a little, looking up as she considers Rebel briefly. "It's a long story." There's a small smile offered, and then there's Star, a nod of her head towards Competitor and a bit of a smile. "Hey. Yeah." She gestures at George. "I was about to visit Star. Ashley. You wanna come along? I guess there's a bit to explain."
The Rebel narrows her eyes, not liking the sound of this. Maybe it's just old memories of their cousin bond, but she does find herself sort of trusting and believing this Not-Amy, but at the same time, it's a bitter pill to swallow. "Uh huh..." she replies slowly, a healthy edge of skepticism in her tone. Another familiar face emerges, but... what is she wearing?? "Penny," she repeats, looking to Not-Amy. "And Star..." Back to Not-Ashley, she's guessing. "No, seriously, what the fuck though..." Whatever she took, she maybe is not gonna try that drug again. Still, she concedes with a little shrug to the invitation to tag along.
Introducing new people to the Facility is always hard and Star's expression suggests that she is concerned for the newbie. "You can still call me Ashley if it makes you feel better" she offers, "At least for a little while." Ashley also looks older - certainly no teenager anymore but in her mid-twenties. With the confirmation that Penny's memories have returned, she closes the gap between them to hug her tight and plant a tender kiss on her lips. Some things don't change it seems. "You kicked ass back there" she grins to Penny before ushering her into her room and gesturing for Rebel to follo.
Competitor's room is very neat and ordered. Various books on the shelves all dealing with personal advancement - including texts like 'The Art of War' and the writings of Machiavelli. Once inside, Star places her Prom Queen tiara on her head. "Look what I brought back" she smiles warmly to Penny. "What about you?"
Penny returns that hug and and the brief kiss that comes along with it. "Hey," she says quietly, before shifting a moment and gesturing towards the room, waiting for the Rebel to follow along. She glances around the space that's familiar to her, smirking a little at the prom tiara. "That sounds like something Ashley would bring back," she suggests with a laugh. She shrugs at the question. "Nothing so shiny," she says quietly before setting herself down and looking up at Rebel.
"This is. Hard to explain. Basically we live here, with all our memories. But when we're somewhere else as other people, that's all we remember. Live or die, we come back here. When we are here, we remember everything. But out there, whoever we are, that's all we know at the time." She sighs a little. "I've been seven people now. Madison, Kylie, Anette, Emily, Lorraine, Samantha and now Amy."
The Rebel isn't fully registering the conversation between Amy and Ashley -- or Penny and Star as she's been told to think of them. But bits of it are getting through. She steps somewhat warily into the room, looking around with a degree of suspicion. "Seven people," she repeats again, in that strange tone. Part doubting and part trying to wrap her brain around this idea. "So... are you fucking with me or have we both gone crazy or what?" Because this doesn't sound like it could possibly be real... but then, neither did vampires. "I mean... this can't be real. So I must be crazy. Or you. But one of us is crazy here." She can't quite deny the fact that they both look' different though -- recognizable, but different. And she feels not quite George-like herself.
"That's how a lot of people react to this" Star nods to Rebel. "It's hard to comprehend at first, and then you'll start coming up with reasons why this is happening. None of us know the answers but we sure don't mind trying to come up with some" she smirks, removing the tiara to place it on her desk.
"I've only been four people...plus me of course. Penny was here before me. So were some of the others. Some came after me. Like you" Star smiles to Rebel. Penny encapsulated what happens in the Facility pretty well but believing it is another thing entirely. "Would you like us to still call you George until you decide on a name?"
"I can't say I'm not crazy, honestly." Penny notes thoughtfully, nodding. "This has become so normal to me now. I mean, it'll be easier for you to grasp once you have been through it a second time. Then you'll have two competing lives, but think about it. How much of George can you really remember." She pauses, and considers. "A little bit before Spring Break, and then everything through prom and up to attacking the vampires, defeating Fran. And then what." She shakes her head again. "Before and after it's all a little bit vague. Like it was a story you were told. You remember it, but you didn't live it, yeah? It's always like that. I'm sorry you're here. I really am. Though I'm happy to see you because I am Amy, or was, and you're still my cousin. Eventually you'll be other things to me, too."
The Rebel looks between the other two women, growing a little annoyed by how normally they're talking about all of this. She really wants to believe they're fucking with her -- which causes annoyance on its own -- but something they're saying also seems kind of true -- which is also annoying as hell. Especially when Amy suggests she try to remember George, and she discovers what Amy is saying is true. There's something about her memories that just isn't right. And things before Spring Break are vague at best. Facts that she knows but not like she lived them. "This is fucked up." She pushes a hand back through her hair and expels a breath. "And I really don't care what you call me. What else would you call me? This is just, I mean... what the fuck kind of trip is this? And you don't even do drugs," she adds to Penny. "Or do you?" Ugh, this is doing her head in.
"Penny's right. It gets easier the more...stories...you do. I call them stories at least. Or experiments. It's how I deal with it. Not important. The more times you go through it, the more you are aware that those lives are manufactured" Star attempts to explain. "When I first got here I was convinced I was someone called Christine Lake who worked at a resort in the 1980s. You could not have convinced me otherwise...but this place did. I've been Nike, Ronnie, and Ashley since then. But here..." She gestures to the Facility around them. "...I am my base self. The person I have chosen to be the 'real' me, while the others are roles."
"I can't disagree with you there. It is pretty fucked up. And some of the people I've been with. Well, Emily indulged in a bit of chemical fun more than was really healthy, for a long while. But Amy didn't. I don't, really." She sighs a little and tilts her head. "I know it's a lot to take in all at once. There's plenty to do around here, once you get yourself as figured out as you can. There's food, anything you could imagine. And a lot of people are here." She glances sidelong at Star. "Felicity is here too." She offers quietly.
"So we're lab rats? Guinea pigs?" Rebel questions to the idea of being in this weird experiment. But no, she must just be on some weird ass drugs. That has to be it. Except she can't really comprehend why Amy and Ashley would fuck with her like this when she was clearly tripping out. Ugh. She rubs her head a few times, trying to make the facts fit. "And you guys are just, like, chill with this?" She glances around the room again, wondering how anyone would feel at home here -- but not just in this specific room. Hers was clearly quite different. "Is everyone here?" she wonders, when Felicity is mentioned.
"Lab rats, prisoners, some people even think this is hell or limbo or something." Penny says with a shrug of her shoulders. "Some of us are trying to find a way out but it's hard. This place is as secure as anything ever could be. Dunno how we actually get in or out. If you die, even in here, you'll wake up again. It'll bring you back. It doesn't make any sense. I don't think I'd say I'm 'chill' with it, but." She sighs. "Unfortunately, I've gotten used to it, which is awful I guess."
Finding a spot of wall to lean against, Penitent shakes her head. "Not everyone, but most people. There's Star -- I mean Star Thistle," a pause and she stares at Competitor. "That's going to be only a little confusing," she muses, before shaking her head and looking back Rebel. "Thistle triplets, Spear, Star and Hector. Lucas and Landon are here. Lennon. Morrison. Uh. A lot of people you knew, yes."
"Hell. Always knew I'd end up there someday, but I figured it'd be more, you know, firey..." Rebel offers some dry humour to accompany her disbelief. "So we're stuck here and can't even die. And you get used to it. After you live a bunch of other lives. Is that about right?" It's stated with deadpan disbelief, but no one can claim she's not paying attention. The list of people keeps growing, and Rebel's eyebrows go up slightly with each one. "And they're all just lab rats like us? This is... Sorry, cuz, this is bullshit. No, I mean, because... because it can't be true. Things like this aren't real."
"Things like vampires aren't real." Penny counters in a soft, quiet voice. "And we go to different times and places. I've fought against demons in the old west, around 1901. I've hidden from parasitic aliens on a space station in the year 2149. I did kind of lose my mind once, like." She closes her eyes and shakes her head at the thought. "But that was more recent. So things like this aren't all that surprising. Hell, my very first memory was being on a cursed island as skeletons rose out of the ground to massacre us all just a couple days into our holiday."
"Not sure I'm really down with it either but there's not a lot we can do, so I make the best of it. We'll figure it out one day but for now, I deal with what is presented to me. I mean...I've fallen in love here so that must count for something" Star offers before a raised eyebrow at Penny. "Felicity is here? How's she taking it? And I was Star first, thank you very much." A poke of her tongue at the Penitent before looking back at Rebel. "To me, none of what we just went through was real. However they do it to us...whoever 'they' are...it's not real, this is real. We remember the other lives here but don't remember anything there, so that makes this real. Right?"
"Yeah, but... But this is a bit more than fucking vampires, Amy," Rebel points out, falling back to Penny's old name in her frustration. But there's a touch of appeal to that too. Please, Ames, let it not be real, okay? Demons, aliens, skeletons and curses... Too much, on top of the idea of being trapped in some sort of hell-prison-experiment thing. She looks to Ashley-Star and shakes her head. "Fuck me, 'there's not a lot we can do about it'. That's anathema to The Rebel. There's always some way to fight again, to Rage Against the Machine, so to speak. "I'm not saying I believe all this, but if what you're saying is true, then fuck that, I'm getting outta here, one way or another." Spoken like a true newbie, no doubt.
"It is. It is a bit more." Penitent says, not concerned about the use of the name Amy. "But look around. Everything is just. What it is. You should fight on. I tried once. Sort of. I guess I'm very different to you, the part I play. Look at the door symbols. Work out who you are. I'll show you around some time, if you want. I hope you do get out. I hope we all do." She does sound a little bit defeated.
"Were we that young once" Star teases with regard to Rebel's resistance. "But, seriously, you're right, George. I'm not the kind that gives in either and I intend to one day get out of here, preferably with Penny. And if I can't get out of here, then I'll make sure it works for me, not the other way round." Penny's slight surrender makes Star frown and move next to the other woman to put an arm around her. "Hey, it's not //all// bad, is it?" she whispers before a gentle kiss to Penny's cheek. Back to Rebel. "Any damage done to the building is repaird by the next day. We all go to sleep at the same time but we really have no idea how long we sleep for. We never get truly hungry but any food or drink or book you desire is available. Though electronic entertainment seems to be forbidden...no personal televsisions or videos." She's a child of the 80s.
Rebel scowls a bit at being called young, but really, in the scheme of things, that's not top priority right now. Hell, how old even are they? "The door symbols?" she has to ask, brow furrowing. This has to be a bad dream, but until she wakes up, she might just be stuck having to play along. "Hell, when I get out, I'll make sure you guys are with me. Then we can burn this place to the ground." Apparently that touch of pyro lingers from George still. "What's wrong with electronics?" This place is super-duper weird, and it doesn't even have TV?
"That's not what's got me." Penny says with a shake of her head, glancing at Star. "It's. You know how it is. Seven lives, seven memories. Every time I ask, how can I fit someone else in here, but somehow they always do. And here I am trying to tell someone about it like it's just normal. It doesn't seem right. But then, you know my thoughts." She licks at her lips a second before looking at Rebel, nodding her head. "There's a lot of options for entertainment, honestly. Almost anything you could think of. Though nothing really in our rooms like this. It's just a place we wake up. Some hang out in their rooms more than others. But our rooms are kind of. I don't know. Built to suit us, in a way?"
"The rooms are an example of the 'nurture versus nature' paradox. Were we given this room...because of who we always were, or were we formed to match the room. Seriously, you //can// go crazy thinking this all through. We have no idea what's outside either. If anything" Star muses before nodding to Penny's words. "I know, hon" she replies solemnly before a quick kiss to the Penitent's forehead. A gesture towards her door for George. "I have a person atop a mountain, celebrating victory, and motivational quotes all around. Penny has less positive images."
"Yeah, it's definitely not normal," Rebel agrees. "Or right." That's the first bit of sense she's heard so far. She looks back towards the door, and then around the room again. "Yeah, I didn't really pay much attention to the door," she admits, rolling her eyes, but more at the absurdity of the whole thing. She considers what she's been told so far, and then huffs out a breath. "So we get whatever we want except our freedom, that it?" The only thing that really matters, as far as she's concerned. "And... what's even the point? Just to fuck with us?"
Speading her hands, Penitent notes, "That's the question. What even is the point. There's lots of theories, from 'just to fuck with us' to ... well, all of the things I said earlier. But the truth is, no one really knows." She nods a little, quietly. "My room is marked by the girl with her face in her hands while a village burns in the distance behind her. Less positive."
"As Penny says, everyone has their own theory about why we are here and what it all means. You'll come up with one too, George. As for whether it's right...who knows what morality is behind this place" Star shrugs before a side squeeze for Penny at the mention of what is on her door. "You rise above it" she offers to the Penitent, but they've had that discussion many times. "And I'm also sorry you're here, George, but also glad you are. A fighter is always good to have around."
"The fuck is that supposed to mean?" Rebel asks, as to the imagery on Penny's door, but she kinda gets it, and that leads her to wave a hand shortly after. "Never mind." Doesn't sound like the best thing to push about. She can be rude and mean sometimes, but not often is she cruel. The question of morality does give her brief pause, but then she snorts. "You'll feel differently about having me around once I manage to burn this place to the ground," she notes wryly, trying to fall back on that dark humour.
"We can have a discussion about what it means some time, sure. But it doesn't matter right now." She pushes off the wall to approach Rebel slightly, standing in front of her. "Fuck that," she says, sounding for an instant a whole lot more like Amy. "Amy put up with all your shit because you were family. And vice versa right? We all did. And I'd like to think some of that lingers still, at least. Even if it isn't like it was, because," she waves a hand around. "And I reckon a lot of people would thank you for burning it all to the ground."
"Unless they were inside at the time, then they may not be too thankful" Star winks. "You can certainly try it, George, but damage to the Facility has been attempted in the past. If it gets too bad, they'd probably put us all to sleep and when we wake up it's all fixed. But don't let that stop you. I'm all for trying things out. There are even rooms that will take you to a simulation of wherever you want. It will feel completely real. You could even go back to Lake Havasu. Penny has shown me some amazing places where she has been before I arrived."
The Rebel smiles a bit at the more familiar Amy-like tone coming from Penny, but at the same time, there's some weird pang of nostalgia to it as well. "Yeah. I guess," she agrees, slightly awkward at the sincerity in the moment. She inclines her head, acknowledging Star's comment about burning it down with everyone inside. "Probably not." She isn't dissuaded by the warning though, and just nods to the encouragement. "We fuck it up enough, maybe we'll mess up whatever it is that fixes things," she points out with a shrug. So it's 'we' now. "Jesus. Back to Lake Havasu. I... don't even remember leaving. Guess this was gonna be the only way I ever got out." She resorts back to that dark humour again.
"I'll show you all sorts of place. Anything you can imagine. But it's a lot to take in, and probably not a good idea right now." Penny says, giving a bit of a smirk there. "I won't tell you not to try all that," she says with a definite 'I'm not really expecting to learn anything new' tone of voice about her all the same. "Hell, we don't even really understand how the dispensers even work." A pause. "The dispensers are where we get all the food from."
"Have we ever had anyone who really understands technical equipment, Penny? Someone who could take one of those things apart and figure it all out?" Star muses. "That could be intentional I suppose. But, yeah, we shouldn't rush George. At least she has plenty of people to help her get acclimated."
"No, probably not right now," Rebel agrees, reminding herself that she still doesn't believe in this part of things, let alone endless simulations that might be possible. At Penny's tone, though, she frowns a bit. "I'm just getting started," she adds a touch defensively. Tearing it apart is only Plan A. "I don't really know shit about technical equipment, except that if you bash it enough, it usually stops working."
"Yes," Penny answers Star's question quickly enough, nodding. "And we haven't been able to figure it out because it doesn't make sense, and you don't get time to really get into it. It's more than can be done in a day, and the next day it's all back and repaired. We've torn them off the walls, and there's no ..." she shakes her head and waves a hand. "It doesn't matter. There's time to just enjoy what we do have, too."
"Yeah, the resetting every night does limit our ability to research and discover. And it's not //all// bad" Star agrees before a little laugh at George's philosophy. "Just don't break something we need to sustain ourselves." She looks to Penny. "Do we know whose room George is in? Who we lost?"
"You can't just give up, Am- Penny," George points out, catching and correcting herself this time. Fuck, is she actually starting to accept this place is real, even if it's awful and must be destroyed? "Yeah, well, I'll try not to," she replies to Star's warning, but shrugging like it could go either way. Better to burn out than fade away. Her expression falls slightly at the idea of them having to lose someone in order for her to show up. "How do people get lost?"
"How many times can your break your skull beating your head against a self repairing wall in the hopes that one day the wall will break instead? That's madness." Penny says with a shrug of her shoulders. "But it's a lesson everyone kind of has to see for themselves. And what do I even know. Maybe you will find the way." She glances aside at Star and shrugs. "I don't know. I don't keep track of all the rooms like that. Just some." A pause and she looks back at Rebel. "Ah. Well. Sometimes we wake up here and some people don't come back. Sometimes there's new people in their place, but the room is completely different. We don't know how or why. I like to think they got out, their time was up, or something, and now they're free. Some others have proposed less hopeful ideas."
"No one's giving up" Star tries to assure George. "But repeating the same thing expecting a different result //is// the definition of insanity." She nods along quietly about those who disappear. "I haven't been out of my room much so far this time, so I have no idea who didn't come back. But we have George and Felicity who we didn't have before. Two people I like so that's a silver lining. I'd like to think that their time is complete too."
"Yeah, but this time's different, because this time, you have me," Rebel points out, halfway joking, halfway serious. She has no idea who she even is, but she somehow has a feeling she's gonna be real good at fucking shit up. "So... people do come and go, but no one knows why or how. This place just keeps getting more and more fucked up." She sighs and then shakes her head. "I think I'm gonna go give my head a bash or two against the wall, see what happens. Maybe I'll wake up from this fuckery."
"It hasn't been long anyway," Penny beams at Star, shrugging her shoulders. "You've got plenty of time to come out. I'm gonna get something to eat, I think. You want something? We should talk about a few things." She offers a bit of a smile to Rebel, grinning. "Yep. More and more fucked up. That's life. Let me know what you find out. I mean that."
"I'll come with you" Star smiles to Penny. "Good luck, George. When you're ready, come on down to the general areas and meet everyone. There'll be a lot of familiar faces and maybe some unfamiliar ones." Then it's off to get food.
"Yeah, sure," Rebel agrees, as to letting them know what she learns. Because she's totally gonna crack this in a day, she's sure of it. "I'll see you around, I guess. Unless I wake up first. But then I guess I'll just see you on that side of things anyway. Can't wait to tell you guys about the really fucked up dream I had..." With that, she's heading for the door.