It was fire and pain and suffering and then... darkness. Nothing. And then she wakes again in darkness. Her eyes open and there's nothing there. Nothing in a deep sense. Nothing to see. Nothing to feel. Nothing to... remember. It's distant and fleeting; waking from a dream. There's things to grasp at, like slips of paper lost in the wind, but she just senses the blanket over her and the room around her. It's that strange sense of being out of place and time. Where am I? When am I? Like waking up jet-lagged after going on a sudden, unexpected trip.
When she finally sits up, the lights come on and bring the room into being. The items there feel familiar in a sense. The sense that they are hers and that she knows how to use them. They bring a comfort in that way. In a way that waking up in someone else's room or a hotel wouldn't. Some things come back. Fire. An explosion. Pain. She breathes carefully before moving to sit on the bed to face the rest of the room. She draws her hands over her face as she stares at it all, taking it in. Not just it, but the pieces of the dream that come back to her. But it's all that comes back to her. Try as she might, as she stares at these things around her... the Hunter can find nothing else that comes to her.
For the longest time, all he could see was darkness. Memories that twist panic and pain together in a fiery embrace drift to and fro from his mind, but they feel distant. So very distant. This heavy drowsiness that clouds his thoughts, keeping him sedated is what spares him from the full extent of... he's not quite sure. It's hard to think and even more difficult to pull himself out of this slumber. He feels medicated, drugged up and even now struggles to awaken, but eventually his eyes open and all he can do is lay there on the bed and stare up at the ceiling in glassy gaze.
Blinking once, then twice, those sensations that bound him to sleep seem to quickly fade. Maybe it was all apart of his imagination. He would go back to sleep, if it not for the realization that he's not exactly certain where he is right now. Slowly, drawing himself up to a seated position, he only now notices the large room that he is in. Perhaps, there's some familiarity with it, but he knows, or believes, that this is not his. The room is decidedly masculine and filled with lots of dark wood and expensive furnishings.
Slipping off from the bed, he walks towards over to the cloest's mirror, taking in his own image. Staring at himself as if trying to remember who he was. Turning to the left, studying his profile, then turning to face the right. His own image seems to fascinate him, but at times, one can tell that it's not his image that he sees but the memories that his very image now stirs.
Out of habit, maybe, he decides to get dressed, opening up the large closet to view the array of suits and other business attire that hangs within. For now, he reaches for a white dress shirt and a pair of trousers, before he is once more staring at his own image as he works on his tie. There's something familiar about all of this.
When that period of strange finally wears off (at least enough to move), she rises from the bed and gets to her feet. The room is large, but the walls are covered in gear. Racks. Pegboards. There's no artwork. Just equipment. A workbench with an old, comfortable chair. She passes through the room, touching some things and staring at others. When she finally comes to the closet, she considers the clothes. There's a glance down at herself. T-shirt. Pair of small workout shorts.
Stripping out of these things, she discards them on the floor of the closet and instead changes into a pair of khaki BDUs and a black tshirt. A pair of boots are selected and she perches on the edge of the bed, lacing them into place. It's all done in a weighted silence as she digs at the back of her mind. Pulling and pulling. All she can find is a name: Maata Kahloa. It's the only name she can find and yet it doesn't feel quite right. None of this feels quite right and yet... it's all she has.
With the boots on, she grabs a hair tie and pulls her hair into a ponytail and starts for the door, but finally passes back to that wall of supplies. A length of paracord is grabbed and wound through a few loops on her BDUs. She'd already checked the knives and found them just that side of useless. The robe might help.
That done... she finally tries the door and steps carefully through it.
Once he is fully dressed, that's when he takes the time to look at the room which surrounds him. His walls are mostly sparce, but there are is the occasional artwork hung around; some traditional paintings and other more tastefully modern. A full office setup takes up one portion of the room just opposite of his closet. There's a dark burgundy rug underfoot. He has no memory of this place. The items within, while they do give him a feeling of familiarity, it is more for their style and function than anything more personal.
With each passing moment, more and more memories begin to flood his mind. Was this a hotel room? Where though? The...island? Wanting to learn more and even see about speaking to someone who may have the answers, like a conceiege of sorts, he makes his way to the door, stopping only to view his own image in that mirror again, before finally departing. The space outside of his room looks even more foreign than what was inside. The long hallway of rooms. For a moment, he simply lingers by his own doorway, staring at all of the other doors that he can see.
She hovers in the doorway for a moment, staring at the door across from her own. It's all coming back to her. She died. She was waking up on the helicopter and starting to process what was happening... and she died. They never got to warn anyone, never got to tell them why he did it, never-
But what is this place? She brushes a hand over the door frame, looking it over. None of this makes sense. Why does she only remember the Island? If she pushes back further... that all seems so much further away, like looking at photographs. She grimaces, swallowing.
A door opens nearby and she steps out further to get a good look, though one hand stays on the handle of her own door- to either pull it closed or step right back in. It all depends on who or what she sees. And who she sees leads to it being closed. Closed and a quickening of her pace down the hall. Because of everyone on the island, one person stands out above the rest and in those memories, the question of one lingers strongest. Of what happened to them. Of where they were.
And even if her own name -- the only name she can dredge forth -- seems foreign and strange to her, she can only find one in her memory for him as well, so she slows steadily as she nears the man in the suit. The one that matches the face in her memories. The only memories she has. Her voice is hesitant, uncertain. Maybe a bit hopeful. "Conrad?"
His own memories of that damn island slowly begin to flood his mind, giving him this sense of urgency as if he needed to do something and do it now. He had to tell the oth-- But then there was an explosion. What happened after that? What happened to... He can see them now in his mind, make out their faces. He knows their names.
So lost in his thoughts now, just this very fact that he has no idea what happened to these people makes him frustrated. It's as if this were a movie and it was fast forwarded ahead or something silly like that. /Where/ is this place? So distracted is he that he doesn't notice the woman's approach. He does, however, hear her when she calls out. Without even thinking, he turns when the name 'Conrad' is mentioned. He knows the name. Was it his name though? Much to his surprise, he sees one of the pair that he remembers so vividly now, her own name bubbling to the surface of his mind, "M.. Maata." He doesn't know why, but he smiles for her and there's some part of him that's relieved that she's here right now. "Where is this place? What happened?"
Hearing that name -- her name? -- from him is almost a sense of relief. Maybe she isn't going crazy. She stops in front of him and reaches out towards him as if to cup his cheeks, but hesitates with her hands just inches away. She stares at those dark eyes for a long moment before her hands fall away. "I don't now," she says softly, "I... I remember an explosion. Then the helicopter and-" she swallows, piecing it together. "We'd called Akala." That name fills her with a sort of detached rage.
"I don't think we made it out," she says, her hands dropping. "Not- not the second time. We couldn't warn them." She steps closer to him. She knows him. All she has is the Island and he's the one familiar thing in this place right now. "Is this... what comes after?"
Voices. The Penitent is suddenly there. In the hallway, at the archway that leads behind. Dressed in a black tank top, black sweat pants. Bare foot. She stands, staring. Drawn by the voices, the sounds of others. More people. Where are they all coming from? But she knows those faces. A gasp of breath sounds sharply at recognition. She's had more time to adjust, more time to consider where she is. She's still just as confused by this place. But more familiar faces are a blessing. She thought she was here along.
"H... hello?" She calls down the way towards the pair, eyes wide. "Is ... is everyone going to be coming?" Her head tilts slightly to the side as she stares.
This flush of memories of emotions are quickly returning to him, but were they truly his memories? He watches as her hand reaches out to him and though she makes no contact, he can feel her hand pressed against his cheek, imagining it there, an image that leaves him holding his breath in some sort of anticipation. Then it is gone, the hand withdrawn. A touch of disappointment comes over him, but he's still uncertain about everything. Who he was and whether any of that was real...
Then Akala's name comes out and that brings out a quick response from him, the way that his shoulders tense, his right hand balled into a tight fist. "Where is he?" That forcefulness in his voice now. This hated memory of Akala is strong within him. "Is this all his doing? Is that where we are?" It didn't look like prison. It was far too fancy for that, but then he quiets, the suggestion she gives chills his blood. "No..." He shakes his head quickly, "It can't end like this." Conrad likes to win and if they were dead, that mean Akala had won.
Another voice rings out in the hall, one familiar as well. He's not sure why he's surprised to see anyone else here in this odd place, but when he notices another familiar face approach, his eyes widen. He had last seen her... "Mads..."
There's a want, somewhere in there, to soothe away his anger. To tend to his frustration and the tension that she can see arise. The Hunter feels these things, but they still seem a bit distant to her. More and more comes back to her, however. Memories with this man and the emotions alongside of them. It all culminates alongside a reflexive motion when another voice comes up behind her that leads to a swift motion.
She twists at the hip and rotates on a heel; snapping into a defensive pose in front of him with a hand falling to that cord she'd taken up earlier. But then when she sees the Penitent -- Madison -- she relaxes. She's so close to Conrad that he can likely feel the muscles in her back and shoulders relax from the build of tension. Maata swallows. "I don't know," she says, finally. "The... last thing I remember was being put on the helicopter with... Tully and Greene and... a couple others from medical. I couldn't warn them."
She looks to Madison, then just over her shoulder to Conrad. "They don't know."
She stares at the pair of them as they wrestle through the memories, her lips setting a hard line at the mention of the name 'Akala', but hardly with the anger present in Conrad. When her name is spoken, though, it's a very sure, "No," that the woman who was Madison offers in reply. "But yes. But mostly not I think. Hello, Conrad." The corners of her mouth lift in a smile, pleased to see what she assumes is a friendly face. Though there's hesitation after speaking his name, because it doesn't seem quite right. All the same, she remembers a brother that didn't exist before the island. The smile creases into a frown as she tries to grasp ahold of a life that never was. She's distracted by the thoughts that Maata's sudden reaction surprises her, having her step back, lifting her hands in a gesture of surrender.
"Dahlia and Jonas are here too. They were asleep ... I think they went back to their rooms." A pause there, as somehow she just knows that they have 'rooms'. Rooms that were empty before. "Maybe they didn't trust me. It's comfortable here. There's food." She gestures, invitingly as she begins to step backwards towards the parlour.
Maata's quick movements catch him by surprise when she stands in a defensive position before him. Standing at a distance, despite him being at arm's reach was one thing, but this closeness, with her standing right before him, with her back almost pressed up against him does bring forth more images. Some of these more intimate. Then there is mention of a helicopter, something that he has no memory of at all. "We were going to escape on that helicopter, you mean." But rather than turning to Maata, he looks to Madison when he says this. "Was there another attempt made?" Confusing is clear on his face.
It's a strange sound with the person who he believes may be his sister says his name. There's something odd about her, different. Though he can't quite place it. When two other names are mentioned, it takes a while for him to remember Jonas, having barely met the man, but Dahlia's image springs to mind. He quiets as if trying to place where Dahlia was when he last saw her-- the security trailer. "They were in the trailer too.. So did it really..." He is about to say 'kill us?', but he refrains from doing so.
Something is different about her: she can tell that much. There's an edge to her reflexes. Rather than simply being ingrained, they have a honed edge. She reacted like someone prepared. The Hunter licks her lower lip slowly as she relaxes, though she doesn't move far. "We did. I woke up as they were moving us." More of it is coming back. Earlier memories, but also those later ones. Being this close to him -- to the man that she knows as Conrad -- is bringing back those memories as well. They war with the moments before she woke up here. "We survived the trailer... I did. Someone else did. One of you, if Greene was there." Anton wouldn't put her on the helicopter without there being one of the Wellsons, right? "But I couldn't tell them about it in time. I don't know if we even got fully into the air before it exploded." She lifts a hand to rub at her forehead, closing her eyes.
"Fuck." The word is hissed through her teeth. "I'm just in a coma. That's got to be it. I'm in a coma. I... I got caught up in that explosion. This is my brain fucking itself as synapses or what the fuck ever die. That's why I'm seeing you two and I can't remember shit."
"I don't remember a helicopter," The Penitent ventures in a gentle tone, "I remember you," she gestures, her hand reaching out towards The Hunter, "Trying to grab me. Pull me. Then ... I woke up here. I was alone." Again she gestures behind her, "There are couches, and books, and food, and no way out. Or in." Her tone is distant, distracted. Her mannerisms are nothing like Madison's, the nervous fidgeting, the uncertainty. All gone. She's strangely relaxed, though just as confused as everyone else.
Contrary to her gesture, she steps foward after a few moments, towards The Hunter, before her once-brother. She reaches out to touch the woman, just gently, to place her hand upon the other's shoulder. "Maybe it's a coma, but I feel pretty real. You are here. I am here. Come. I wish to return to my couch."
With the three of them lingering around in this long hallway full of doors, The Capitalist's eyes stray for a moment to look at the icons or images on each door that he sees. How odd. But Maata's story and just the sound of her voice draws him back to the conversation. "I remembered getting off the phone with-- The explosion and that's it." Maybe it was he who did not survive the blast. "All I could remember was pain. So much pain and then everything went black." When Green is mentioned, he gives a looks to these doors, "Is Greene here, do you think?"
Then he can sense her tension rising, The Hunter's and that anger and confusion in her voice. "Maata..." He says, more comfortably this time and in a voice the islander from the island would recognize. Conrad's voice. It's as if that part of him starts to claim the Capitalist as he now reaches out to embrace her from behind and to rest his chin atop her head as he gives her a tight squeeze. "We are going to figure this out." He says in a steady tone. "If we are truly dead.. and we're together, can it really be considered all that terrible?" Of course, he, himself, doesn't want to think that they died, but he is trying to make a point.
It was a panic welling up inside of her. After life? The steady death of her brain in a coma due to smoke inhalation or sheer damage to her body from the explosion? But between the Penitent's touch and then the Capitalist putting his arms around her, the Hunter begins to calm. It's his voice and the memories paired with it, really. They ground her more than anything because in this moment, they are all she has. This place is foreign. She has no memories of her life before the island save in the vague way one might remember snippets of a show they watched many years ago.
But she remembers Conrad. How his arms feel around her. The scent of him. Maata relaxes into it and leans back against him with a slow breath. She closes her eyes, nodding slowly. "I know," she says carefully. "I know." Her eyes open and she focuses on the Penitent, shifting enough to move just a bit away from Conrad - the Capitalist - her hand slipping to catch his. "Your couch?"
Her hand drops to the side and the Penitent just can't help but look apologetic. Her expression returns to something neutral and she steps back again, gesturing. "Come, come. There are couches. It is comfortable. I don't suppose it is actually mine, but I have claimed one of them. It is peaceful here." Whatever parts of Madison still exist within her are entirely greatful for the chance to just relax. To not have to deal with festival emergencies, and hostages, and the living dead. She has no idea where she is, but she is enjoying the reprieve from the chaos of the island.
She begins to pad softly down the hallway again, "And if you're hungry, there's lots of options." She notes, glancing over her shoulder. "I am not sure if we are dead. Can either of you really remember anything from before the island?"
The Capitalist's arms do not quickly drop, his entire frame resting in this position for a moment longer, even once Maata has calmed. This just felt right to him, like the way he could feel that warmth rush when he first heard her say his name or Conrad's name. The troubling thought on whether he was Conrad or not continues to linger. After a few moments longer of keeping to this embrace, his arms finally lower to drop to his sides. He's not even sure if Conrad is truly who he is or if he's simply stolen his memories or...
The Penitent's explaining of this couch seems to pique a mild form of curiosity, but he knows that they won't find answers just standing out in this hallway. "How long did you say that you were here for?" He asks, uncertain if 'Madison' had ever said, but he wants to know what she knows. To the topic of food, he considers, "I could use an espresso." It's such an automatic response, something natural. But to the question that The Penitent poses afterwards, he is almost quick to say, 'of course I do', but then when he tries to remember, everything is.. it's not something he can explain. He doesn't remember these things happening, but he just knew that they did.
She didn't know what this was, but the Hunter needed something to grasp onto or she was going to spin out of control. And spinning out of control wasn't going to turn out well. Having the anchor of the Capitalist there helped. She sets to follow the Penitent, reaching behind her to grab for Conrad's hand. It's something to keep her grounded for the moment. Something that she (or at least the self she can remember right now) knows and if that's all she has... it's all she has. "I can't," she answers, finally, in a quiet voice. "I keep trying... but it's like remembering a photograph. It's sort of there, but it's not. Like... remembering the details of a picture someone showed you once. The only clear things I remember are once I was on the island, like-"
She looks over to the Capitalist, squeezing his hand. "When we spoke in the kitchen. I remember that. I... I remember that clearly. When we decided to have the boar hunt."
Leading the way, The Penitent is in no rush as she quietly move, stepping into the parlour. "Like it's a story. A story you were told." she offers quietly at teh end of The Hunter's explanation for memories before the island. There's no grand gestures, she just makes her way over to one of the soft couches, setting herself on it. Her feet tuck up under her very quickly as she stares at the two. On the coffee table before her is an empty glass, and a plate, likewise empty. "Which is why ... I do not think I am Madison. But I remember being Madison. But if I am not her ... then who am I?"
"I remember that too." The Capitalist says of the boar hunt, "It happened just a week or so ago, but the week prior to that?" There's an image of Vanessa that comes to mind, but in this image she is dead. But when did they meet? And was she here too? When his hand is taken by Maata, he instinctively gives it a reassuring squeeze. They are both still feeling their way around, uncertain as to who they are. "You said there were only two others?" He then looks at the array of doors that they continue to walk past. "Greene isn't here, is Vanessa?" It's an awkward question, especially with Maata at his side, but Vanessa had died and if she wasn't here. He's desparately trying to connect the dots.
He now looks to Madison, the woman who he thought was his sister. As she leads the way, his dark eyes watch her and once more, he can't conjure up vivid memories of their childhood, though he does see family photos in his mind. "I don't even know what any of this means."
Only parting from the Capitalist once they reach the couches, the Hunter stares at Madison-not-Madison as she explains. There's a glance to the man in the suit. He looks like Conrad. Feels like Conrad. But she does have that sense of this not... being the same. She sinks into the corner of a couch, frowning. A pillow is drawn in against her abdomen. Here, too, she lacks the accent she had. She speaks a more standard English; like they do. And maybe that's sinking in, too. "Is my brother here?" But even with that question, she hesitates. "I... I don't remember him before the island." That stresses her out, too.
Putting the pillow aside, she pushes to her feet, smoothing her hair back. "I'm going to take a walk. I need to... to think." And probably to test the place. Check doors. Corners. Walls. There will probably be some property damage by the time she's through. And then she'll wake up later and find it all repaired.
"I was here for ... I don't know how long. Long enough to explore. There was no one here." The Penitent replies, her eyes closing as she sits on the couch. Relaxed. Has 'Conrad' ever seen 'Madison' so relaxed? Carefree, even? "Long enough to eat a meal and wonder, then there were people in the hallway, it was Dahlia and Jonas. I checked the rooms. They are ... were ... all empty. Then ... you two."
Her eyes flicker open as she stares at them, but doesn't focus on them. "I have not seen Vanessa. Or Greene. Or your ... brother." She glances at the Hunter. "Maybe they are here. Maybe they haven't come out of their rooms? I don't know what it means either." A pause, and she smiles just slightly. "But I am glad for the company." Because seriously, the Penitent was starting to think this was some punishment to spend who knows how long in here all alone.
Rather than immediately taking a seat on the couch, The Capitalist looks this new room over. It was large and spacious, very different from that narrow hallway they just walked through. He looks to be examining everything, though from the point of where he now stands. This place did not look familiar at all. "If you and the other two are the only ones here? Why didn't you leave?" If it was mentioned that there was no access to the outside world, he hadn't heard it. Though he does gesture to the walls, "And no windows. Who builds a place like this? Are we underground?" That's the only thing that makes sense to him for a building to lack any windows.
When he's here griping about windows, the woman who he believes is Maata, but is yet so very different mentions wanting to look around, something else that had been on his mind. "That's a good actually. I had considered it myself." He, too, notices the growing differences now, that island accent fading. And then there's Madison, who very unlike his sister, seems calmer here. And this was a place of mystery still. How can anyone be so calm! "I... I just need time to think. Time to find myself, in a sense." To Penitent, he murmurs, "We'll talk later. For now, I'm heading back to my room." The room with the door of the guy counting money. What does that even mean. The Hunter, The Capitalist, The Penitent