Log:Routine Interrupted

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Routine Interrupted
Characters  •   The Martyr  •  The Rogue  •
Location  •  Facility - Rogue's Bunker
Date  •  2019-03-08
Summary  •  Martyr comes to look in on his friend to see how Max's change is affecting him and offers some perspective on life's current mine field.

The Martyr is dressed much as he was when first he arrived at the Facility with an addition of what appears to be a particularly decadent wine coloured bathrobe. He knocks softly in case this is too early or he's interrupting something.


The Rogue hasn't left his room. For that matter he hasn't entered his room, but he did wake up here. There's a pause before the gets up, but he does and wades over to re-latch something not the door. He looks as he does at reset every damn time: shaven but for the goatee, in very broken in olive drab BDUs and a t-shirt he's mentioned having since he first showed up from the Aliens encounter. The look is tired. Seeing Finn though he pulls the door to- yes his room is converted into a posh holdout bunker that can be described as everything from 'super secure' to claustrophobic. Still the gesture's there to take the invite in or leave it. Seeming to know many carry PTSD on bunkers he upnods, "If you got a cig we can step out if this is too much, bru."


The Martyr shakes his head, "I was fine last time, I'll be fine this time. I don't think I smoke." He steps in. His expression is serious and concerned, "How are you and Ethan holding up?"


The Rogue aahs and lets him come in and the door close behind him wading back to where he was either sleeping of staring at the ceiling. There's an already poured but untouched glass glass of gin on the table. Apparently this is common to reset too. Damn, starting with the big questions. Fingers push though his hair taking a deep breath and starts at the top to get the bullet points hit, "Ah. Heard about the post-its. Well... she's alive. In a sense. A good one. Ethan is holding up alright. Stayed with him. Checking up on he and SeaBass later." As for him he takes a deep breath and decides finally, "I'll hold up. Was rough right up to her exploding in light. That was... new." Yeah that gets a damn drink.


The Martyr nods, his voice is calm and sad and matter of fact. "She asked me. I needed time to... be in the right mental place. It turned out to be a little too much time. She told me it was Ethan. I'm sorry I was selfish an left it to someone else." He studies him in that way he has, then sits.


The Rogue takes the glass that is pre-poured and slides it across the hi-top to him giving him a pat on the shoulder, "Yeah. Won't say it wasn't hard for him but fitting. They were connected in every life. Married in the one I think. Either way he made it as emotional as possible for her in a stroke of brilliance really." A dimpled flash of a wry grin warms, "Fekkin brilliant. All that schooling I paid for paid off, ja?" Arms fold on the edge with a most curious expression. "We all take our time, Finn. Still I have never in any life seen anything like that before. I'm not sure what that means for this place or our reality here."


The Martyr sips the gin, making a face, but gives him a wry smile back, "Then he was the right one to do it. I've seen her. It was the right thing to do. She's better now. Still, it's a rough thing to have to go through and an ugly journey to get there ffor everyone involved." He takes another cautious sip and sets the glass down, "It means whoever is behind this is paying attention to what happens in this place as well as out there. She was tearing herself apart and they stepped in to make her into something they can still use for the same purpose. I think too that maybe our bodies are made from templates taken from real people. It would explain things like Boots liking certain dishes and clothes despite not having been out there yet and Wendy suddenly liking jerked chicken even though she never had any before she transformed, though the template idea is speculation."


The Rogue looks to Finn and gives him a sidelong look rubbing his own face, "Might want to really work on defining your definition and qualifiers of 'real' before you go tossing that word about, bru. Sure it's lekker that Max was killed, erupted into light and peeled apart like a goddamned fruit and oh boy everything's kiff as fuck now. Spatial relations don't work like that, so why are they here?" His jaw tightens and he digs through his coat pocket, all utility and pockets, hanging on the hook for his lighter and smokes. Not an often habit but kept as a stress habit. "Sorry. Bit full up on people telling me what of mine is real and what it ain't. Have a hard enough time figuring that out for myself."


The Martyr winces, "You're right. I'm sorry. I guess I'm not feeling all that... Never mind. Is there anything I can do for you? I concider you a friend and you really did help me through some things. I know we must look like children to you in a lot of ways, us first timers. Still, I would like to help anyway I can."


The apology and analogy brings a wry dimpled grin of pure amusement to the Rogue's face with a genuine warm laugh, "That you think I have any more idea what's going on? This entertains me. Let me assuage that right now and assure just because I have more scars doesn't mean I have any more idea what is happening than anyone else, Finn." A squeeze pops the Zippo open, same one he gifted to Bravo a while ago returned as planned on reset, and lights his cig taking a drag off of it. "You want to talk theory? We can talk theory. You want me to tell you the situation was going to be shit all around regardless of whose hand was on the blade? Well it was. You didn't put anything on Ethan he didn't have a plan for and wasn't going to feel a particular way about anyways. Me? Just trying to make sense of this kak and try to find my patterns and commonalities. Sort out this life I lost. You know," Another drag off the cig leaves the smoke exhaled to the side with a shrug, "just like everyone else, bru."


The Martyr shakes his head, "Because we're simpler. Fewer layers and we don't have that long complicated tangled history with each other the way the rest of you have. I can see the clear difference between First timers and the ones who've been twice. Those of you who've been three of four times... I'm like a line looking at a three dimensional figure and trying to grasp what that's like. I don't think any of you have answers, but there are ways that you think that we don't yet. You're what we grow into in time, but we're not you yet." He gives hi a grim little smile, "It was definitely going to be shit whoever held that blade. The person doing it was carving a chunk out of themselves at the same time. That's how sacrifice works. In this case, the person doing the cutting was the sacrifice. The question was not would the cost be incredibly high, because it was obvious it would be. The question was what of themselves they would lose."


The Rogue considers this and walks further into his room. The bed in the back is platform, covers kicked back and abandoned. He heads to the U arranged sitting area: 2 brick red leather club chairs and a couch, low table. The words weigh heavy on him as he drops into one of the seats and gestures vaguely for him to come and join. More thought given to the polygon and lines.

"The problem with being faceted-" His hand rolls with a thoughtful expression, "we'll use your theory, bru- is that it's very tangled and they don't tell you how to sort it out. And yes, cutting's the sacrifice, as was when it was himself, or dying to save the person he loved and the town that did right by him, or deciding to go jump a car on a skate ramp across a watery chasm. He's done this before. No it'll never get easier. When it does I think the purpose of its importance is lost really, but he'll do it again. You? I? We'll do it again and it'll always be terrible. My point on Ethan?"

He takes another drag off his cig, "is the gain has to remain worth it. Bringing peace to a loved one so they know they're loved better or worse? Well then that's the price. Wendy? She can live without the burdens of her past. It's enviable, but one has to ask is it worth wagering those connections we've had? That's... where I'm worried for Ethan to be honest. Sort of like the the Addie situation. I'm still trying to comprehend it."


The Martyr trails after him and sits. "None of this comes with a manual. I wonder if whoever made this really understood what it would feel like from the inside." He really considers what the Rogue is saying, watching the smoke rise as he does, "I admit I was thinking of those things when I weighed my own answer, and I had so much less to wager. Not just the bonds between Wendy and whoever was doing the sacrifice, but with the rest of the community. Things count out there one way. Things in here count in a different way. Here we know better what we risk when we act." He studies the older man's face, "I wish I knew this Ethan, but I only met the Beaver Lake Version. I suppose he's the only one who can really judge, and those that care about him will just have to trust that and do what they can in the aftermath. He is lucky to have you to be there waiting and loving him every time he makes a leap intent on sacrificing himself. I think the burden for you must be enormous sometimes and I hope those who love you best know how to help you carry it. I... I've thought a lot about sacrifice and the way the cost is paid by survivors as well as the sacrificed since I was electrocuted."


The Rogue warms a smile to Finn, the words landing home where they need to. "That's the funny thing, it's new but it's not. It's new? It's... out of order. He didn't always have me here. I'm sure someone. Wendy? I don't know. He carried my loss his adult life. I wasn't even a blip in the facility and he had to give up everything and ... I don't know. This last time? His younger self connected as if I'd always known him, and people have told me it's not real, but it's part of me. It's the first good part of me that doesn't hurt. Maybe I've always been waiting and time sorts funny. Maybe we had to figure it out. When he suffers though? I feel it. I can't explain it any better than that." He takes another drag off his cig and rests his head back on the the back of his chair to look at the domed concrete curve of the ceiling. "Weird is being afraid you're going to live your life utterly alone. Scarier is finding yourself not alone, inseparable, and then having the terror of Is some reset, some encounter, going to take that away?" That dimpled half grin quirk his expression with wry amusement. "You listen to me though you can find a weakness in any joy and any obstruction. Careful, bru. For now? I'm going to enjoy the shit out of this second chance to hold onto em."


The Martyr moves his hand slowly, giving plenty of warning and time for the Rogue to pull away, as he reaches to lightly touch his forearm. "The love is real, the connections are real." His smile is soft and kind, "Star and I were talking to Nettie about it last night. One can debate what is and isn't real about out there, but the love we chose and make for ourselves is the realist thing there is and truly ours. They can divide us and recombine us any way they chose, but the things that are essential stay even when they snatch people away or make us almost unrecognizable to ourselves. Our essence is constant and our love ALWAYS matters no matter what form it takes."

The Martyr's tone turns fierce, "Whatever you've done out there, you ARE a good man and a kind man. Some of us are made to defend the way some of us are made to give. There's nothing at all wrong with being the one who looks for danger in corners the rest of us don't notice. I am glad you have a love like that, something to light you in the darkest places you must walk." He leans back, folding his hands in his lap, "It's funny, that's where Finn started. He believed he'd die alone unloved and unmourned. Out there he mostly was, except by some of the Beaver Lake Survivors. I still have no idea why Danny chose him or Briar kept me, but I am so terribly grateful. I'm not easy to love and the more I understand of myself, the more of a miracle it looks. I have that fear too, that Briar will be taken or I will, or that we'll change so far we won't fit anymore. So I intend to savor every second I have with them and the ones I love best. I refuse to believe love is a weakness. I know how it can be used against a person, but it can also make us strong."


The Rogue looks to Martyr with a tired expression and just. listens. The words bring him to flinch. he just lets them marinate around in his head for a very long silence. Another drag is taken off his cig with a small nod. His jaw tightens as Martyr talks about change. With a faintly wounded tone he asks, "While you're figuring out how to work out reconciling all of this, you think you can figure out how I can sort things out with my best friend. I'm trying to understand. I don't. And we went into this Lodge ordeal and I came back out and I have no idea where the fulcrum is to balance." Another drag of his cig and a flick to ash it on the floor, looking back to Martyr, "I said it before though. Bad men don't get nice things. We always find someway to hurt the people closest to us I guess. Maybe that's the commonality. If you get an answer though? Love to hear it."


The Martyr raises his eyebrows, "Talking's a good start. It doesn't always work, but it sure as fuck gets you further than not talking." He rubs his forehead, "I'd be able to advise you better if you explained the problem."


The Rogue squints to Martyr confused as shit but not opposed, "You serious,bru?" A dubious look is given to Finn a moment and he takes a deep breath and shrugs as if why not? "Before," he gestures, "all this I came out of a life where I grew up fighting, killing, scrapping, protecting my family and our way of life. I can't say Caleb was a good man but he tried to be and in a fit of grief? Failed. He hurt the person he loved for walking out. Spent the rest of my life trying to reconcile that before finding the one person who loved me enough to push me to do just that; redeem myself. In that path for redemption and seeking that forgiveness? We won. Won big. Finished banishing the devil's own. Moved what little family I could keep alive. Started over. Did everything right. And I woke up here and it was gone. All fekking gone." His eyes water at the wound that will never truly leave and will forever be un-reconciled, but he moves through the past to the present.

Fingers tap nervous on the arm of the chair shaking his head, "Woke up here. alone. I had no one really. Couple folks I knew. My brother Colorado who was busy exploring what it means to be married, die, and wake up to that person again which," He gestures at the framed title of the Camaro on his shelf, "I now get and never faulted him for. And it was devastating and holding onto anything without wanting to just be sucked out into space? Hard because I also know it wouldn't have helped and it'd be there all over again when I woke up. And then this guy across the hall from me." he gestures towards Bon-Vivant's room across the hall from him, "Comes in and sits with me to listen. He's trying to figure out what life is and reconcile his own pieces that don't fit. Kept me from wanting to just throw up when I get up in the morning after reset and keep working for fighting a way out of this. Maybe I didn't fail her. I tried so hard not to put that kek on him, but shouldered it. And I care, man. Now we wake up and he ... I don't know. He made me choose." the look is confused and wounded but he shrugs. His head shakes, "That fekkin escalated under my radar fast. He told me what he wanted me to say. I said it and now things are worse and I don't... understand. now Max is trying to die... did... changed. Everyone seems kinda bent on leaving." He sniffs, jaw tightening in casual defiance. Another slow drag off his cig, "Bad men don't get nice things, bru. I will always sabotage the things I care about most. I swear I don't even know do it."


The Martyr has seen that sort of damage enough times to know the grief of it even if his on experience was different. He listens carefully and with obvious empathy. He looks away briefly when the Rogue's eyes water, but is soon watching him again with those kind, serious eyes.

His brows knit when he gets to the bit about Felix making him choose. He gets this fond exasperated look, which doesn't seem to be aimed at the Rogue. In a careful tone he asks, "What exactly did Fizz make you choose." His lip quirks up slightly, "I clearly should have asked him several more questions at dinner, but I thought he'd get to it when he was ready. Scott inevitable did if you gave him time and prodded him the right way at the right moment." He says gently, "Let me help you fix this. I'm pretty sure nothing's spoiled for good and all. I know it's odd, given the givens, but I really do think I can help if you give me more pieces of the puzzle."

He gets a brief, distant look as he thinks. His gaze sharpens again when he's ready to speak, "Max hasn't left. She just changed, is all. The woman I spoke to was different, but we're all different that we were two weeks ago. I'll admit it a leap. It's more like the difference from Danny to Briar than, say Beaver Lake Bastian to this Bastian, but she's still in there. Or at least the parts that Max would have wanted to be in there sure look like she's still in there. She's more balanced and the edges aren't as sharp, but I think she'll cut herself open less often this way. She hasn't Left."


The Rogue is not a weak creature, but still, forever maybe, he remains wounded from the world and the causality he's put into motion. A joyless half grin dimpled his expression, side glance of damp eyes fall back on the Martyr, "Eish, can ya now? Let's make no excuses, that just because I'm aware and I try to check myself? I am, I assure you, a very selfish creature of habit. Were I really wanting to? I could flip this and figure out what I need to do to take back everything but," he ashes again on the floor reasoning, hands rising gently, "They're people, not things, and people I care about at that. Honestly, bru, I want to be fair. I dunno I actually know how. Even with Friend-girl? What right have I to make her suffer because I can't fekkin bloody cope with people leaving? Shite friend is what. So we make the choice to let go and see what floats back."

Rubbing his face he sighs pulling the events back. "Few days ago I tried to check up on him. He seemed pretty kiff but I ain't taking a smile at face value. I know he lies." Finger fidgets with the butt of the cigarette where he's pinching in leaving it otherwise neglected as a nervous habit for now to let his brain thinkthinkthink. "We talked a bit. He was distant. My fault I figure. Sure.He tells me just tell him no. So I did as he asked. This didn't make him happy. He told me to tell him that I loved Ethan forever and ever which... you know isn't false, so I did. He told me tell him it was just Ethan so I did as he asked of me. I gave him everything he asked for and this?"

Eyes tilt to the coffee table as his expression grows still with some bitterness. "Told me he was there for me before all this. It's not false. Told me in not so many words my love for Ethan Drake who lived and changed for me to go on where we couldn't? Is false and implied some how I'm letting fiction come over whatever I am here." This lands the wounding blow but the Rogue falls to stillness over reacting. Looking up he says quietly, "I like this life. Lyle had a very hard, short life, and he had to grow up fast enough to die so others didn't have to. And that fekkin haunts me but I don't regret it because that too came from a place of love, and fear, and fuck you. I can't sit and watch people take things from me. Just ain't who I am. But he held on and kept me alive all the way back into the past where he died, middle aged still thinking of me and trying to make me proud and I am and I can't throw tht away. Even if that wasn't a part of who I was I don't want to reject it as part of who I am now. And I know Champ can't understand that. It doesn't mean I am ungrateful or care any less, but I can't pretend none of that ever happened because it's a part of who I am and the part of me I like."


The Martyr says, “I think think the definition of selfish gets really complicated in this place. Or at least it has for me. Too many directions and implications and facets. Just keep in mind that they get opinions too on how they feel and what they want. we all get choices. Love is a choice. So is sticking with someone through the rough times even if you hurt each other sometimes." Young or not there is something sad and knowing in his expression, "We are all going to hurt each other without meaning to or sometimes because something drives us so hard we can't help ourselves. The people who stick with you? They are there because they want to be. I want to be and I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one. We all come with with risk to those around us, and usually it's less obvious than Max stabbing rafe for hugging her without checking first. we are all capable of terrible things. We love each other anyway."

When he explains what happened with Fizz, he actually facepalms. With both hands. He keeps his face hidden until he can find a way to explain the massive mistake and come up with a plan for next. Eventually he straightens, takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. In a tone that could be the brother of the fond, exasperated tone earlier he says, "It might be easier to knock both your heads together, but that's not likely to be productive." Another slow steadying breath. "I would bet money if I had any that this is a problem that can still be fixed with talking. He... It's as much his fault as yours. The thing I am about to say comes from a real fondness for you both. The thing you don't realize is he's as bad at this as you are for a lot of the same reasons." He looks for words and settles on, "You both... aren't good at letting someone else see that you're vulnerable. You have your literal and metaphorical bunker; he has his pretense that he doesn't care about much but pleasure. You think you're to damaged to have good things in your life? You've no idea how much it took me when I was Finn to talk him partway out thinking the same about himself. He's trying out living by some of the advise I gave him when he was Scott, but he's being... Scottish about it because he's new at it too. Just the way you're new at letting people in." He reaches across and gently cuffs his shoulder, "It was a test of sorts, though I don't think he meant it that way. He couldn't tell you what he wanted out right and risk the kind of hurt that would bring, so instead of explaining properly about himself and what he really wanted to ask he accidentally set you up to say the wrong things. And of course you did because you don't trust the thin ice either and weren't ready to make a leap of faith and I think he must have really screwed up if he presented things as some sort of binary choice. Of course you aren't giving up Ethan. I just... Fucksake, Fizz! And likely he lashed out because he hurt and was being a such a guy about it, only I can't swear to that bit because I clearly talked to him before he made this big of a mess of something that mattered to him." He studies him with real fondness, "To advise you correctly, I'll need to know what the ideal outcome is here for you with Fizz. Not the what you think you deserve answer or the what you think you can get answer, but the best of all possible worlds answer."”


The Rogue listens. For the life of him he listens and predictably makes a face at being called out but a glance at the room would prove a weakness of his own hubris rather than the Martyr wrong. In the end though he accepts how very fucked up his own walls make everything and once it's clear he's assured he's not being prodded to turn his back on Ethan does he just mellow out. "Feel caught between expectations, bru." Looking to Martyr he openly admits, "No one's really asked me who I want to be yet is the funny thing and I... I dunno. I've spent so long trying to sort out all the pieces of the puzzle being alright I've spent little time on the man putting the puzzle together." And there is that honestly in that tangible fear of self Martyr asked him for. Quietly he hesitates, "I don't need anything from him. I just... want my friend back. I miss him. I want him to know he's not alone and forsaken to be perfectly melodramatic about it, but I think in a way this theatre of travesty and many lives calls for it. Whatever my life is? He's a part of that. I don't want that to go away but, maybe Wendy's also taught us sometimes even if you love and care for someone that choice doesn't get to be ours, and nothing will ever really just be okay. Closer to ideal perhaps." Taking a drag on his cig he murmurs, "We'll see, won't we, bru?"


The Martyr gently touches his wrist again and says with a deep sincerity, "Who you want to be and what you want really do matter. Maybe especially here. You can't choose for Fizz, but you can choose your side of things. I consider myself your friend too." The hand is withdrawn again, "So what you want right now is just friends with Fizz, correct? Do you want me to try talking to him firstor do you want to try again yourself? Either way, it might help to remember that most of his memories and experience are of being young and still trying to figure out a whole lot of things about who he is and what he wants too. It sounds like you are working a lot of that out too, which isn't all that suprising given where and what we are and the fact that most of us are doing that to some degree. He really cares about you and you really care about him. That's a good place to start."


The Rogue, so very soul tired, looks to the Martyr, "I haven't much begun to figure out what I want, or what I need. All I know is I haven't the right to put expectation on anyone, least of all him." His hand grabs Finn's and catching it with deft alacrity. The gunslinger hasn't slowed a bit, but squeezes it briefly before letting it go. The same hand used to steal the life from the man who would gun down his family, instead now stealing a kindness. His eyes catch Martyr's, "I don't know. What I need is time. Time to figure things out. I need time to work on not breaking more things trying to fix other things. I just...need to fix my broken pieces before I cut anyone else with them."


The Martyr squeezes back, genuinely moved. He has a pretty good idea who hard all of this has been for the Rogue and how new reaching out is for him. "That's pretty sensible. I'll do what I can to get you both time and your best friend back. Take care of Ethan, but take care of yourself too and if you need me, I'll come."


The Rogue stays quiet and just considers this for a a moment longer. The amusement of such elementary problems bringing a faint grin to the retired rancher, "They had to go and make us twenty and stupid. why could we be super old with all the answers?" This is a question the Rogue will be sorry to have suggested in such an unspecified manner all too soon. "You're right though, but he's not the only one I need to talk to. If I leavened nothing it's I get to make my choice but it will always affect someone else. I love and hate it, bru, but it does seem to be a truth regardless of my opinion of it."


The Martyr smiles, "I'd settle for more answers about the why's of this place. Remember also that when people present you with a binary choice, there's usually a whole lot of other choices if you look at the problem from another direction." He rises, "I really do think you'll be okay, you know. As much as any of us will be until they send us out again."


A nod of agreement follows from the Rogue with a squint and tired smile that is emotionally spent but genuine all the same, "Eish, I appreciate it alls the same. Even if it's to tell him I don't know what's going on any more than he does, maybe he's owed that. I don't want to make it worse is all." Pushing his fingers through his hair he gets up and finds the stone ashtray to stub out his cig in. "When I turn into such a yellow belly I dunno. Not often I'm in a position where I lose things I can't walk away from...eh, or I'm just a chicken shit." His slow pace brings Epiphany and with that he turns on heel and heads to the wardrobe to dig through it. "I need to clear my head and tear up some concrete." Digging through the couple drawers to throw out there some socks, cargo shorts and a leather jacket he pauses holding, turns it around with a faint smirk and throws that on his bed too he hunts for shoes. "I know one thing I do want is the one thing I loved most that was taken from me and now I got both me eyes back? I'm gonna skate, bru. And if it kills me trying? Well... I'll just see you tomorrow and we will just have to try again."


The Martyr shakes his head no, "It's not cowardice. It's just a lot of this is new and we are none of us as old as we look. It's okay to just say you need more time of you don't know what you want. A lot of it is just practice." He watches the proceedings with a quizzical look until the answer is given, "That sounds like a brilliant idea. Relax, have fun, see if anything shakes loose." He gives him a friendly wave and lets himself out


The Rogue lets the possibility of that make him smile. "Eeeeh you have a point there." He pauses and shrugs, "I'll in anywhere in Cali if you want to pop in later. And... really. Thanks. If you do see Champ? Tell em I am sorry and..I'm working on it." That said the Rogue gets his other gear no one ever really gets to see; not the smuggler, the skate punk, Vans on his feet, layers and leather Jacket with an Anarchy A painted on the back. He didn't dig out the board. The anywhere room would have that. Hell it'd have the clothes that were his as ever too but really? Sometimes it feels good to put yourself back on. Even if it is just a part of one's self, all those pieces add up.