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Characters  •   The Penitent  •  The Capitalist  •
Location  •  The Penitent's Room
Date  •  2018-08-05
Summary  •  The Capitalist speaks with his sister and has a sudden change of heart regarding her identity.

Once again in that calm, soothing room that is basically the Penitent's own jail cell, the woman herself has retreated with another book, though she's not reading it at this very moment. She's standing in the room, feet together, arms stretched up over her head, and is apparently going through a series of very basic, beginner style yoga poses. Slowly, deliberate movements and concentrated breathing. It helps her collect her thoughts and remain calm.

The Capitalist had begun to hate waking up in this this place, this prison. Despite their best efforts last night, he still woke up alone in his own bed, in his own room. But how? He doesn't linger for long, however, and gets changed to wander into the hallway for some breakfast and especially the coffee. Throughout his meal, he couldn't help but ponder a few things that were mentioned to him the day prior, so to tackle at least one of these issues, he makes his way to the Penitent's room, pausing only to observe the image on her door before he knocks.

"Come in," comes that peaceful, pleasant voice of a calm woman, perhaps one of the calmest people here in this place. Especially if one doesn't count the people who have no memories at all that have joined them of late. But she stops what she's doing, dropping into a simple relaxed standing posture as she waits to see who might be at the door! It's unlocked.

A final look is given the parlor from where he stands in the hallway, though with the Penitent's reply, the Capitalist steps in. He's dressed more casually, as he has been for the past day or so now. No longer in his business attire and instead he wears a simple long sleeved shirt and some jeans. His hair is perfectly combed, however, but he might just wake up that way every morning.

"Madison." He calls out, curious eyes viewing the woman as she holds her yoga pose just to greet him. The door is shut quietly behind him. "Did you see, there's a television out there..." He decides to break the ice, though to be honest, it is a topic that confused him throughout the whole of breakfast.

Sitting on a chair just beside the bed, the Penitent runs a hand through her hair as she looks over him. "Starting to feel more comfortable?" She wonders with a pleasant smile. She considers the Capitalist, and the outfit that he's wearing, nodding slightly. Her feet cross at the ankles and she nods slowly. "I saw the television, yes. With the countdown timer? Kind of ominous, don't you think? I wonder what it's counting down to." A shrug of her shoulders though. "I guess it's something new to talk about, in any case." A pause. "What do you think of 'Natalie'. I opened a baby name book to a random name and well ..."

"Comfortable?" The Capitalist asks, before looking down at what he's wearing. "There's always need for some downtime. And I wasn't born in a suit, no matter the popular belief." Crossing the room slowly, he scans the pictures on the wall again in an idle fashion, both his hands linked behind his back, his back straight. "Yes, that one. At least we have some semblance of a way to keep track of time now, I think. But the countdown reaches it's end shortly. It makes me nervous, of course. Not knowing what will come."

The question now posed to him, makes his jaw set, his lips form into a thin line, but his back is mostly turned to the Penitent now, so it's rather difficult to see. "It's a decent name." Is all that he says in response to that, nor does he inquire why she asked and instead moves on to, "I spoke to Maata last night." And only now does he look over his shoulder at his sister, before turning around in full now, to step in closer to her, "And I'm sorry. I'm sorry for not being the brother I needed to be, when you needed me."

The smile that flashes up is something amused at the idea of him being born in a suit. "Some people just wear them especially well," she admits with a nod, and then shrugs her shoulders once again. "I don't know that being able to keep track of time really matters though, given what we have here. It doesn't ... accomplish anything. We can measure 'days' by sleeping. Or whatever a day might be. Though curiously I've not been able to force myself to stay awake." She shakes her head, eyes following him around the room.

She leans foward to see his response to the question on a name. It was obviously asked to quite clearly study his reaction to the idea, though when he glances over to her, her expression is rather neutral. "Oh. That. I didn't mean ..." she trails off, shaking her head. "It's okay, you know. I didn't mean to make it a big deal or anything. It was Esme who arced up about it more than I did, anyway."

"I suppose now, we can measure how many hours in a day and the like. We'll see." The Capitalist adds to this brief talk on the television that magically appeared in the parolor. Giving it more thought, he adds, "It was installed into the wall. Not something simply brought in and left against the wall, it was built in. It would've taken a lot of time to have that done.

Then the main topic that he wished to discuss. Esme's name being brought up does make him wonder what exactly went on that day, not having been told the full story by the Hunter, if there was any more to the story. "I mean it though." Standing before the Penitant's chair, he crouches down, his hands resting on both arm rests, so that he is on her level. "Despite the island being the event that I remember most, the days were like a blur. Every day there was something new that needed to be dealt with and I'm afraid that I let that get in the way of... I wish that I weren't so blind with trying to keep the festival afloat that I could see everything that you were going through."

"But what does measuring the hours actually do for us? If anything it just adds a sense of dread. In this case, ignorance really is a kind of bliss," the Penitent replies, shaking her head slightly as she leans back, watching him crouch down before her, head tilting.

"There was. A lot going on. And very little time to take for ourselves regardless. Madison never blamed you, and neither do I. I know there was a lot to deal with, and for most of it we still thought there was a way to make it all work."

The Capitalist has to consider what Penitent says about time and in a way, he has to agree, "You're right, to be truthful. But then there are those like myself who just needs to have all the answers. Some form of organization, so for me, this countdown, gives me some of that." A pause. "Even if it fills me with this feeling of dread for whatever reason. It's unnerving when the only thing that you see on a television screen as large as the one out there, is an ominous countdown with no way to know what we're all waiting for.

He then looks into the Penitant's eyes as he remains crouched down before her, nodding slowly to what she says. "But, you do hold some," He trying to think of the word and it is only then that his gaze drifts off as he considers, "I won't say grudge nor animosity, but you were wary of my relationship with Maata. I... I remember it was brought up at the food pavilion that one night."

"Having answers to help unravel the truth of this place is one thing. Having a countdown suddenly appear really just leads to more questions." The Penitent replies with a shrug. "But if it helps you feel more organised and somehow in control, that's a good thing I guess. But all in all? I suspect it's just put there for that exact reason. To keep us from getting too comfortable, for whatever reason." She waves a hand, and pauses then to consider.

"Wary isn't the word I would use for it; it was a stressful time and I never held anything against you. But from Madison's point of view, you straight up told me you were just toying with the woman to get her on our side, and sure maybe she was 'special' but I'm the only person in here who knows the revolving door of 'special' women in your life." She even grins a little there. "I wasn't wary, it was just another girl at your side."

Having that conversation that Conrad had with Madison thrown back at him makes the Capitalist take pause. He remembers what was said that day, despite everything else that needed to be done, dealt with. But that evening, they stopped the monsters from advancing, so it does stand out somewhat in his mind. He clearly remembers Conrad's admission regarding Maata, something that the Capitalist, himself, had been thinking over. "H-- I was a fool then and I realized my error even when we were still on the island, Madison. An error that tugs on my conscience even now, in this place. Sometimes I feel like it's eating away at me, the more I push it to the back of my mind, but I know that I was a fool then, so caught up in..." He slowly shakes his head, his gaze now dropping to stare down at the floor in a distant gaze. "Did you feel as if I had abandoned you for her?"

"And now you have to figure out how to deal with that. The guilt that works within you is something I deal with even now; and you can do harm or good with it I think. Maybe you should tell her, what it was at the beginning. Maybe not. The question of course, is would it be to make you feel better? Being open and honest is one thing, but if it's done for selfish reasons, then ..." she trails off, and shrugs. She doesn't have all the answers. "Not that it matters, in the end. I don't know how you can be so convinced that you really are Conrad. Doesn't it feel wrong? Yes, Madison is here and a part of me; I have the memories. But actually calling myself the exact same woman doesn't ... feel right. Like a shoe that doesn't fit properly. I don't feel like her, it feels like a lie." She shakes her head afterwards. "Not abandoned, exactly. Maybe a little upset that despite everything you still seemed more interested in her than actually checking in on how your sister was really, truly handling everything."

He is told that, perhaps, he should tell her the truth. Those are not the words that someone like the Capitalist (or even Conrad) likes to hear. She might be able to sense, just by looking at his features alone, that he is having issues with determining whether he should face this fact or not. "I don't think that it will help any if the truth did come up and all that it can do is ruin something so spec--" He's about to say special again, that magic word that he uses for Maata. "I'll have to take time to consider whether it would be a good idea or not."

The rest, however, has him returning to look directly at her again. "All I know is that I'm Conrad." His words come out stern at first, before his tone and volume soften, followed by a sigh. "Do I feel like any of this is wrong? My emotions, my memories of everyone I held dear back on the island? No. It's something that I can't shake." But has he really tried to?

When the woman who he knows as his sister explains further about how Madison felt on the island, his gaze lowers once more. "I wasn't..." Another sigh, so that he can better say what needs to be said, "I was interested in her, but even though I was, the work that needed to be done kept us apart as well, Mads." Now, his gaze lifts to look upon her again. "We were all so busy, running on so little sleep. There was hardly any free time and I spent most of it talking to the staff and planning what to do next. Between all of that and Maata and... Vanessa." Vanessa was still around for some of this, having only died during that one terrible night. "I wish that I could do it all again. You... Madison," There's this sign of his being respectful of her choice, even if he tends to waver on this due to the emotions that he's feeling at the moment, "were always my partner in crime. I just didn't want to saddle you with the responsibilities and... I guess I thought I could handle things on my own."

"If you're building a relationship on lies, it'll never really work out. You know this. But if you really want this to work you're going to have to take an approach different to what you always have, Conrad. If she's not a decoration or just a good lay, this time, then you'll have to think about that. This, amusingly, is a conversation I've been prepared to have with you for some time. If you treat her like all the others, then she will just be one of the many." She offers. "I could tell her. But it would be better if you did."

She shakes her head next, meeting his gaze. "You really feel like your life before the island is as crystal clear as the island itself? Maybe you're further gone than I thought." She glances away after this, a hand reaching up to run through her hair again, shifting on the chair. "I can't say that I really checked in on you either, and of course I realize that you were especially busy trying to fix everything. But Madison was breaking under the pressure. And that's why I can't be her. If I was truly, wholy, just Madison Wellson, I'd be broken, and nothing more than a weeping mess in dire need of a whole lot of therapy. You'd probably never see me come out of this room."

Madison never really gave Conrad much insight or advice regarding his relationships. Sure, she questioned him about some of them, but she had never been this direct about how she felt her brother should go about handling things. The Capitalist, however, does take her words to heart now. Wherever that particular relationship would have gone, whether it blossomed or dwindled on the island meant nothing to him now, /He/ had this need to take on what Conrad Wellson had started, basing his whole being on Wellson's emotions and memories.

"You're probably right, but I just feel that if I risked it and told her everything." There he goes, back-pedaling again, "No. I... I think you have the right idea." It's hard to admit to himself and even a harder task to try and accomplish when he speaks to the Hunter next, but his mind seems made up, if for the time being. As time goes on, it very well may change.

The rest does bring up some agitation in him, but he's not upset at her, exactly, but the fact that once again, she is right. "No. They are not crystal clear, but the trauma we experienced before arriving here, it did something to us." The rest of the conversation, has him stating, "I have many regrets about the island. Vanessa was one of them. She died alone... but I wasn't with Maata at the time, I was, as usual, busy being the task-master and giving out orders." His features become more somber now at what she says about Madison's state of mind and as there is still a part of him that wants to cling to the idea of this woman is still his sister, he immediately says, "And I would be there for you. We can talk things through, work things out. I want to be here to support you now."

She never really did, but Madison was still prepared all the same for when Conrad possibly found 'the right woman', whatever that really means. She quietly suspected he'd potentially ruin it all for himself, and well. She always looked out for him. "It is a risk," she admits quietly. "And if you can live with her never knowing the truth, then that can be that. But if you truly care for her, how could you? I couldn't, but I don't know." She shakes her head quietly again, too. "I don't think Madison would be able to talk things through. But, she's still here. The memories of the island are mine, which means she is a part of me. That's pretty wierd to say, I know, but... I don't know how best to explain it. But I have a distinct feeling that I'm not Madison."

Just the admission from the Penitent that Madison was a part of her seems to be enough for the Capitalist for now. He won't push the matter further, not until he feels there's a need to do so, and he is content with how things are at the moment. The Penitent still had Madison within her, she even sounded like Madison at times and as much as it worries him that she is willing to put his sister's conscience, is that the word, aside, if it will help to keep her stable for now, he will allow it.

"I'm just glad to know that my sister is still in you somewhere and that she's in good hands." Still crouched in that lowered position, he rises slowly, though only to lean forward so that he can take his sister up into some sort of sibling embrace. "I think I know what I need to do."

She leans foward, accepting that hug with a brief sigh and nods slowly, leaning back afterwards. "She is, somewhere. Somehow, she's in here. And I'm torn between trying to find her and just moving on, sometimes, I will admit. It's so much easier to just not think about things and kind of drift, for the moment. That's what I've been doing." There's a flicker of a smile, a weak thing as she nods. "You can always come and talk to me. Regardless of who we may or may not be."

He holds onto her for a time, but eventually, there's a release and the Capitalist rises to stand at full height again. "Thanks. Right now, I have to figure out what I'm going to say." Though he doesn't mention her by name, it's easy to tell that he means what he will say to Maata. "I'll check in on you later, though I'm sure we'll run into each other, and everyone else, out at the kitchen before then." Pivoting on his heel, one of his hands slipping into his jean pocket, he makes his way to the door, pausing only briefly as if he were planning on saying something more, but rather than doing so, he simply leaves unceremoniously.