Log:The Blank Leading the Blank
The hall's empty, right now. Nothing but closed doors lining each side, each with a symbol worked into its wood. There is, however, sound coming from the far end of the hall. Music. And a voice singing along with, not wonderfully but not badly enough to make a hearer wince, and seemingly completely unworried whether it might, "--crashes into us, to die by your side, well, the pleasure, the privilege is mine..." It goes a bit muffled then, into just humming, as the presumably proper singer continues.
Someone exiting the hall would probably spot the bare feet propped up on the back of a couch first -- well, second, after the TV, which is showing the video someone familiar with the period and genre might expect. The feet are twitching in beat with the music, while their owner is sprawled at a strange diagonal across the couch itself, humming as he eats from a bowl of ice cream. He's wearing jeans, a short-sleeved white button down shirt tucked into them, red suspenders, and a loose red tie, right now. It fits him well, at least. There's a yellow blazer carelessly dropped across a nearby armchair.
The door featuring a woman breaking down a stone wall opens slowly and silently, and out peeks Rebel, dressed in black jeans, black combat boots, and a black hoodie beneath a (you guessed it) black leather jacket. Definitely a fan of winter colors, or at least black... it *is* the new black, after all. One side of her hair hangs free, brown and slightly tousled, while the other side has a bit of loose braiding, pulling its bit of hair away from her face. She looks at the door across from hers, tilting her head, and quietly shuts her own door before leaning back against it a moment. To be honest, she looks like she's casing the joint, or perhaps assumes she doesn't belong here, judging by the furtive looks to each side.
She's still for a time, brown eyes narrowing as she hears the music. It's some time before she relaxes at all, and still she doesn't move, just listening to whatever song is on at that exact moment... She-Bop by Cyndi Lauper, we'll say. Her eyes dart about, attempting to notice any of the movement that's totally not happening in the hallway. She eventually, silently, bends down to unlace and remove her boots, carrying them against her chest as she pads down the hallway. Her socks are bright orange and fuzzy, so at least she's not basically monochrome anymore.
When she's just about reached the parlor, she listens again, and then sticks her head out just a touch, the better to watch the stranger as he sings along with Morrissey. Finally, she relaxes, or at least pretends to, tying her boots together in a loose knot and stepping out to be more visible, friendly smile on her face. She waves, trying not to startle poor Bon-Vivant.
She probably heard that voice joining in with Cyndi first, then, which is not really a better showcase for his pipes. Cheerful enough, though, when it's not trailing off into the hum-and-eat. There's soft clinks of spoon on bowl, hard to avoid and not in time with the music, alas. But at least they're quiet.
The Bon-Vivant may or may not be keeping an ear out for company, but sockfoot is enough to foil it, if so. Doesn't help that at the point she enters, he has his eyes closed and is conducting a nonexistent orchestra, or something, with the recently-licked spoon as he sings along to another couple lines.
Maybe it's a shadow across him, or just that he wanted to look at the TV, but his eyes do open, right about at the time of that wave. And he does startle, unfortunately, though not too badly. It manifests as a facial expression and an extra blink, but quickly turns into a grin; he kicks his legs down to twist into a more proper sitting position and stop regarding her upside-down. "Hey!" he greets, "I haven't met you yet. Hi. I'm one of the new ones, my door's the one with the guy with the champagne. I think my name might be Felix? But I'm going by Fizz right now." The bowl gets set on the table; there's the remains of some kind of fancy sundae in it, but not much.
When Bon-Vivant, or shall we say Fizz, startles like that... Rebel startles just a hair more than one might expect, even though his original startle wasn't that much to begin with. She swallows, still smiling despite this, and nods her head to what he's saying, like this doesn't faze her whatsoever. Still, she did briefly seem a little jumpy, even though now she gestures to the bowl, asking, "How is it? Also: ...new ones?" Her tone's cautious, despite the friendly overtones. She also hasn't come any closer than the entryway.
"It's delicious. Want to try?" Fizz offers, pushing the bowl slightly in her direction. What little's left is a little melted by now and she'd have to use his spoon, but the offer's genuine enough. He studies her for a few moments, brow furrowing a touch. "Are you new, too?" he asks; maybe it's her jumpiness, or maybe it's something else, but he must see something that makes him wonder. Or it's just that otherwise she won't need him to say, "There's a bunch of us here, and most of them have been here for--" He breaks off, and says apologetically, "It gets kind of complicated. Here: did you just wake up with no memories of who you are or where you are or why you're here or how you know what you do know?"
Rebel must think the bowl of delicious ice cream might be a viper, judging by the too-hasty (but polite!) way she fends it off, saying, "Oh, no thank you! Not hungry right now." When Fizz asks if she's new, she glances at the TV as though she's distracted by the inimitable Prince crying about doves that're also crying, rather than not wanting to answer. Evasiveness definitely seems to suit her just fine for now.
She keeps watching the TV past that question for a time, perhaps to lend credence to the idea that she's totally absorbed in watching the singer and hearing how he's just like his mother and his father both. She must be listening, however, because she can't help but break view of MTV in sudden alarm at his question. She blinks. Twice. Swallowing in a way that suggests her throat's suddenly dry, she narrows her eyes, just slightly. "How um. How do you know that?" she asks, ever so cautiously. She's no longer smiling.
"'cause that's what happened to me," Fizz says, watching the Rebel. He's slightly less relaxed than before, but still not giving off any dangerous vibes. Sympathy, though. He glances toward the hall, running a hand through his currently rather fluffy and almost feathered hair. He really has been watching that TV too much. "And some others of us, too. There's about... I think maybe five of us? Who just woke up that way. Some of the others call us blank slates, 'cause they had a different kind of experience. I, and I guess you, and Cheer and a couple other people, we don't have any memories of anything, we just kind of know some stuff, and we're here. You want to sit down? Or have a drink or something? I can tell you what I know, but it's gonna take a little and I promise you it's going to sound weird and confusing."
"So... so okay, wait." Rebel feels the need to walk closer now, sitting down in an armchair and scooting forward until she's literally at the edge of her seat, leaned in toward Fizz. Whereas before, she seemed to be intentionally projecting an air of casual friendliness, now she's just letting herself be as freaked out as she needs, because... situation's freaky, dangit. Without hesitation, she launches into a barrage of questions: "There are some who have memories still? Do they run this place? Who did this to us-- was it them? I wouldn't-- I don't want a drink, no. I don't trust anything here. That's probably how they got us here in the first place, wouldn't you think? Shit in the water or whatever. They haven't killed us yet, so that's an angle to pay attention to, and-- shit." She just breaks off there, glancing about. "It's possible they're listening in somehow, right? Or have--" She stops herself there, not finishing that thought; whatever she'd been about to say, caution's her watchword right now.
Taking a deep breath, Rebel nods, more to herself than Fizz, and then says, "Okay. Sorry for so many questions, I'm just. I'm. It's not good." She frowns. "Can you please tell me what you know?"
Fizz blinks; he had (and, honestly, has) a lot of questions himself, but doesn't naturally come from the same untrusting angles, and even if he did, that's a lot of questions! Still, he gives her a crooked smile when she gets to that very last one. "I can try, anyway," he says, and takes a deep breath himself, shifting position a bit so that he's leaning in toward her in return.
"Okay, so, the things I know. Um... well, first off, don't panic, nothing in here seems to try to hurt us or anything. Each of those doors in the hall, with the symbols on them, there's probably a person in each of them. I've met a bunch of them but they say not everyone actually comes out. And we don't really need to if we don't want to, but over there," he indicates the dining room with a small gesture, "there's these dispensers that'll give you any food or drink you want, and also cigarettes, but not any other things. So we CAN eat, if we want to. But we all wake up at the same time every day, and at some point we all get tired and fall asleep. And wherever you fall asleep, you wake up back in your room, in whatever you woke up in this time, and everything's back how it was. So if you break something it'll be fixed and if you took something from another room it'd be back there and if you cut your hair it'd be longer again..." He watches her, in case of major reactions, but looks inclined to get a least a bit more out before he truly pauses. "But we remember what we did and learned while we were here, we don't lose more memories or anything like that." Although if you think about it... how could he be sure of that? "None of us seem to know really where we are, what this place is, who's got us here or why. Whoever's running things, I don't think it's any of us in here. And-- I'll get to more about the people who do have some memories in a sec, but let's start with that first."
Although Rebel is utterly silent the entire time that he’s speaking, there are several points of contention, apparently. She just *barely* manages to keep from cutting in, in point of fact. When he’s finished, the first thing for her to do is glance vaguely upward while muttering dryly, “Well, okay, you *did* say weird and confusing…” She’s still and silent for a time, brow furrowed, before suddenly holding up a ‘be right back’ finger and getting up without a word. She heads right for the hallway, though halfway toward her room, she turns around and leans around the corner to say, “I need to cut my hair.” Priorities! “Is there… something I can do that with?”
The Bon-Vivant flips a hand over in a 'you see what I mean' sort of gesture, though the expression that comes with it holds apology as well. It's clear he knows it's a lot to process, and he may not be entirely confident in his ability to explain; the way he watches her during that silent period seems to be searching for signs of whether that's actually helped any so far. And then she-- leaves? He blinks, and there's a quiet and somewhat confused, "But there's still...." that follows her, trailing off. Huh.
When she turns with that question, he briefly looks even more puzzled, but it clears up to something much brighter. He may or may not have figured out her thinking there, but he's definitely pleased to be able to say, "Yeah! I've got scissors in my room, if you wanna come." He rises to his feet and heads toward her, leaving the blazer abandoned. "Or I guess I could get them for you, if you'd rather, but probably just coming with would be faster. It's kinda tricky doing your own, anyhow." Doable! Just tricky.
"I may well have scissors in my room, too, but... I didn't spend too long in there." The Rebel offers him a faint smile, nodding her head. "And yes, come with, please. I figure if you were going to stab me, you'd have done it already. And I could use some help. You ever need the same help, I'll return it." That said, she's game to follow him into his room, having decided to trust him that far.
"I cut mine most days," Fizz says as if it's an explanation, and leads the way to his door -- which, she'll find, is only one off from across from hers, and has an image of a laughing man opening a spraying champagne bottle on it, surrounded by other people. Might explain where that name, or possibly nickname, comes from. He opens it for her, letting her go in first; it's a nice place, large and full of things that look like they'd be pleasant to touch. It looks as though it ought to be expensive, though the shelves have a strangely eclectic collection of things on them, ranging from small plants and a few books to a traffic cone with a feather boa wrapped around it.
He leads the way from there to the bathroom, which is huge and sybaritic, but definitely a reasonable-looking place for cutting hair. Opening a drawer, he pulls out a comb and brush and separate smaller mirror, along with the mentioned scissors, and sets all of them down on the vanity, behind which is a very /large/ mirror. There's a chair, as well. He makes a broad gesture toward it once it's laid out, something in the 'ta da!' family, along with a grin.
With a nod, The Rebel follows him in, and she does pause to ask, "...what do the symbols on the door mean, if anything? Yours is different from mine." She hesitates for a moment, eyeing his, and then steps in further, getting a good look around the room. "Looks swanky," she says, in a tone that suggests she's neither judging nor approving, and then shifts her gaze to the bathroom, and beyond, to the mirror. "Thanks. If you're willing to cut it for me, I'm fine with that. I don't really care what I end up with at this point. I mean, bigger fish to fry than a bad hair day, right? Pixie cut or anything short enough to be easily discernable from what I have now'd do." She pauses, blinking. "How-- okay, that's weird. I don't remember ever *seeing* a pixie cut on someone else or getting one myself, but I definitely know what one is. Do you know what one is? That's freaky." She shakes her head gently, and holds still, taking a seat on the edge of the tub, or elsewhere if there's a better spot in there.
"We don't really know," Fizz says, glancing back toward the door, "Except they go with us, not the room. There's-- apparently a couple rooms have had different people in them, and the picture changed when the person did." She may have noticed there are a few doors out there with no image at all. "I wasn't here for anything like that, though."
He takes a look around the bathroom when she comments on it, and looks fairly pleased. "Yeah, kinda. The bathtub is awesome." Where that apparently translates to huge and stone and full already. Maybe it has jets, too. Hard to tell from here. A gesture to the chair, suggesting she sit (it's much more convenient than the tub, which is sunken), and he picks up the comb, looking thoughtful. "...yeah, it's weird. I know a shitload of stuff that I don't know why I know, don't remember ever hearing or seeing. Or tasting. Like, first day I woke up, I made every liquor or cocktail I could think of from the dispenser to see what it could do, and I could think of a /lot/. I knew how they should look and taste. But I don't remember ever drinking any of them before that. And at the same time there's a lot I know I don't know; I've been learning about all kinds of things that're new. So where did what I know come from and why is it what it is and not something else, right?" He starts to comb her hair out, not yet moving to cut it. One step at a time.
The Rebel turns her head sharply mid-comb, wincing when that hurts a little, and gives an apologetic half-smile even as she demands, "Wait, what do you mean when the person did? When the person got free? Or left? Or... died, or...?" She pauses, turning slowly away from him for better combing. "And yeah, there's a song in my head. How can there be a song in my head?? I don't know what it's called. There are no lyrics that I'm aware of. But I know what lyrics are, that songs often have them, and there's the knowledge of the song, itself."
The Bon-Vivant pauses. "They didn't come back," he answers, "Which isn't going to make any sense until I tell you the rest of what they told me. This is all gonna sound really weird, but I mean, we're kind of starting from really weird already, right?" He tries to make it sound simple and calm, though this is the first time he's been in the position of being the one trying to explain things. He considers a moment. "Before I get to that, though... hum the song for me? 'cause I'm curious if-- what if I recognized it?"
The Rebel goes very still at the words 'they didn't come back,' which... sound pretty ominous, to be fair. She frowns deeply, and does a slow turn in her chair to consider him for a moment before nodding. "Yeah, this is all fairly weird," she grudgingly admits. There's a sense that maybe she'd at least temporarily relaxed, and is quite the opposite now. She goes silent for a moment, lost in thought, and then seems to suddenly remember his request. She nods, then clears her throat and hums... this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwGuSPXPyX4 Her voice is clear enough, and it's better than warbling by far; it's pleasant, but not really remarkable. She even grabs the nearest small cylindrical object to use for drums. She's not a good drum player, either, but her timing's good.
The Bon-Vivant considers it as he listens, head cocked, and continues to comb; he gets to cutting, as well, and apparently he does indeed know what a pixie cut looks like. He's not a trained stylist or anything, but he's been practicing on himself enough that someone else is way easier. But it is sort of a /feathered/ pixie cut, definitely influenced by watching all that MTV out there.
After long enough to be sure, he shakes his head. "I don't think that's in my head," he says, "Or wasn't, anyway. I might-- later I might see if you can show it to me a different way, if you're up for it." He takes a breath, and lets it out again, slowly. Hard to miss the returned tension, or fault it; hard to figure out how to allay it, either. "So. The other part of things..."
He sets the scissors down, and half-sits on the vanity counter itself, so he can face her. "They say that sometimes, when we go to sleep here, we wake up in another life. We don't remember this place. We think we've always been whoever we are in that life, and we... live it. Stuff happens. Sometimes people die, and they wake up here again. Sometimes people survive... and eventually, they wake up here again. And when we wake up here, we remember that life, the things we did and people we knew and what we felt, all that. And a lot of the people we saw there are people we see here too. Chance -- he's a big ginger guy around here, he's got the door with people leaning on another guy -- he calls those lives 'encounters'. Apparently you and me and a couple other folks right now are the first people they've seen who woke up here without going through one of those encounters first. We don't really know what it is or why it happens or... a lot. But apparently that's what happens."
The Rebel looks at herself in the mirror only once he sets the scissors down, nodding her approval. It seems to have taken her mind off of the song in her head. But when he moves to face her, though, she knows it's probably serious, and she frowns, nodding at him to go ahead. She leans back in her seat, frowning more each second, but she's definitely listening and taking in the information. When he's done, she looks downward, and then back at him. "And you believe them?" It's said as nonjudgmentally as possible, but he might note that earlier near-paranoia seeping into her tone.
"Yeah." It's said simply, with a very small shrug. "I mean, it sounds pretty damn weird, yeah. But I don't actually remember anything else. I know what's in my head suggests it's strange, but given I don't know how that got in my head...?" Fizz sighs, and gives her a half-smile. It's wry, but still has a potentially reassuring sort of quality to it. "I've talked to some of them, you know? They've told me about the encounters they've been through, and things that happened, and their relationships with each other. I can see where they have feelings for each other, and where they're scared or angry or both, and how they're trying to sort stuff out for themselves and with each other. And I don't..." He trails off, catching his bottom lip with his teeth. "I don't know if maybe you would, 'cause it seems like those of us who wake up here fresh vary a bit too, but I don't... /get/ some of the feelings, really. Not yet. But I can tell they're having them, and I kinda understand them in the same way I know what a Sex On The Beach is and whether it's right when I taste it even if I didn't really /get/ what the taste was until I drank one."
At first, it's probably plain to him that she's feeling paranoid and dubious, but trying to keep an open mind while not looking as down on these ideas as she is. But as he talks about speaking with some of them, and their stories and relationships, it's also plain that she isn't sure what to think, evident also in the way she runs a hand through her hair. She looks a little lost, honestly, and unsure how to even proceed. She swallows, frowning, and then asks in a tone that suggests she thinks she already knows the answer, "...and their stories were-- they matched? They didn't seem to contradict one another, or be lacking in detail?" Her brow furrows even deeper, and she goes silent for a few moments, before adding, "...what of their feelings don't you 'get' so far?"
The Bon-Vivant nods. "They seem to match up from person to person, yeah, and there's-- there's all kinds of detail. They haven't all been through all the same experiences, because I think some of them arrived later than others, like us except they started in an encounter and then showed up here. People showing up here without memories of one of those encounters is new, apparently. Some of them seemed like they really weren't sure what to make of us."
Another quiet moment, and then he says, "Loss. I don't really get loss, yet. Grief. I mean, I know what it is, I know what kind of things cause it, I understand it's unpleasant. I have enough empathy to know someone's in pain from it. But I don't... on that kind of deep level, I don't really know what they're experiencing. Like if they were trying to explain green to me. I know it's a colour, I know what colours are like, I might even know that usually trees and grass and stuff are green, but if I haven't actually seen green, I don't fully understand what it's like. If that makes any sense." He studies her a moment to see if it does. "Same for something like love, or passion. Or fury, even, 'cause nothing's made me that mad yet. I know /things/, some things anyway, but there's no experience before I got here."
The Rebel nods her head when he confirms the stories match up, and she leans back in her seat again, crossing her arms. "So if we're new... that means whoever-- or I guess, whatever?-- is keeping us here... they're changing their tactics, maybe. Something to think about, I guess. And I guess it's possible this is even... just... what life is like, and we just don't know that? That's freaky to think about." She purses her lips. "*Really* freaky. And I think I know exactly what you mean, about empathy but lacking the emotional context to put it all together. Like, maybe if I hadn't wondered where I was, or who was keeping me here, I wouldn't be able to strictly understand 'fear.' I don't know fury, though, either. Or love, or passion. Disgust, even. I know these are emotional states, and roughly what they correlate to as far as causes, but." She frowns. "And I suppose I don't really know sadness or grief, either. I'm not sad. I'm concerned, and I'm freaked out, but it hasn't made me *sad.*" She pauses, shifting her gaze to him again. "What are these encounters like, as far as... I mean, I think you indicated they're a place people go to, rather than something that happens here?"
The weirdest thing is that Fizz brightens slightly at her note that it's possible this is just what life is like. "I've thought that," he says, a little softer, almost as though it were a secret. "A lot of them are convinced we're being held here, and some want to escape, and they all talk a lot about what we do and don't know and what things mean and-- it gets all philosophical a lot, which on the one hand can be interesting, and on the other is also why I have a decent understanding for 'frustrated' and 'bored'." That's a joke. It's probably also true, but it's still a joke. "But a couple times I've thought... they all came here with memories of living in an Encounter that isn't like this. They kind of assume that there's something like those outside this. But as far as I can tell, there isn't actually any proof there even IS an outside. We're all working off guesses and assumptions from information that might or might not actually fit what life actually is."
It worries him a little, looks like. But it doesn't seem to /scare/ him, exactly. And as far as feelings, he nods to her summation. "Yeah, exactly. That's how it feels for me. And... I don't know if I can describe it really well, 'cause it hasn't happened to me yet. But we fall asleep here, and then I guess... it's just another life. Like, the last one, they were all living in a town in the Old West. They fought demons, I guess the town had pacts with the demons and wanted to stop. And before that, they were on a space station? There were aliens. And they're different people when they're there, so-- you'll see people calling each other by a whole bunch of names. Like, Kylie was Kylie on the space station and Nettie in the old west and Madison in one before that, I think." He pauses briefly, and gives her a serious look. "If I was going to give you one advice thing that the rest of them probably won't? It'd be to find a name. Something you feel like could be you. 'cause whoever we are here, that seems like it's what lasts. They remember who they were in encounters when they're here, but they don't remember this or any of the other encounters when they're in one. So it seems to me that /this/ us should have its own name, not one of those. And it also got a lot easier for me to... think about myself, I guess, once I had some kind of name, even if I'm still kinda feeling it out."
The Rebel can't help but give a little smile to his joke, and she nods, seeming to understand as well as anyone could who hasn't had those conversations yet. "I wonder if like... maybe, and this is twisted, but maybe those encounters-- what if they're just meant to exercise us, you know? Like maybe this is reality, and they're the fake ones? When people come here, they're themselves, but when they go there, they're someone else, AND they can't remember here. It's like here is reality, and there is a dream. Or something? A vivid dream, I'm guessing, and shared, but." She shakes her head, frowning. "Philosophical," she says with a bit of a sheepish expression and a shrug.
She's quiet for a moment, thinking that through, and then she's listening with interest to his talk of names. "I like the way you think. The name thing... that does sound important. We're more than a collection of random traits, or witty one-liners. We're people. And people have names. How did you come up with Felix-- well, and I think I know, but Fizz also? I'm not sure what kind of name I'd want, especially if related to the symbol on my door."
There's another hint of that brightening at her theory, twisted or not. "It's possible," the Bon-Vivant says, "I mean, I think you start getting into questions of 'what is reality' and then you're really falling down a rabbit hole -- which is a weird thing to reference considering I've never seen one as far as I know, or a rabbit for that matter -- but I think you probably know what I mean. I know the encounters feel real, and I know they experience them together, so it can't be kind of a standard dream. Shared, like you said. I don't..." He pauses, brow furrowing a little. "...I don't think I know," he says slowly, "if anyone's looked in rooms when an encounter is happening. If they got back early. To see if the others are in here, or actually gone. I should ask Caleb... but regardless, whatever's true about those times, it seems to me this /has/ to be a reality, kinda the prime reality, since it's the one that knows about the others. That's one of the reasons for the name thing."
He shifts position a little, enough to open the drawer and stash things back into it, even if the place IS going to clean itself up if he waits long enough. "Kylie told me that some of them -- not her, but others -- had a theory that if you got a name book from the bookshelves out there and opened it at random, maybe the name you found would be your proper name. So, I tried it, and I got Felix. I like it, I think, but I'm still deciding whether it feels right. And-- well, the first time I talked to Colorado and Caleb, Colorado suggested calling me Champagne after my door, and Caleb shortens it to Champ. He still calls me that." There's a quick, pleased little grin with that. "But from other people it didn't feel right and it kinda felt odd to try to say it was my name. And when I was skating with Cheer, I commented on the fizz in my soda and just kinda decided, you know, I like how that sounds. And it kinda fits the theme that was showing up. So maybe that could be me." He gets to his feet, inviting, "Wanna go find a book and see what you get?"
Nodding her head rapidly, The Rebel says, "Exactly! I'm with you: this is real. And for now, I'm just going with that, because without a lot more info, I can't draw a better conclusion." She shrugs, and then manages a smile at something said. "That's a really good idea, about looking in the rooms. Could be some kind of... hallucinatory drug that's powered by... who knows what, and makes it shared? I don't even know. But that's a really good lead to follow up on." She nods as regarding prime reality, nodding again. "Exactly!" Her smile lifts at his suggestion, and she nods. "It's good there are books here, then. ...what sort of books, anyway? I like the plan, though. I want a name." She rises from her seat, carefully wiping off a bit of her cut hair toward the table rather than the floor, and notes, "Not... sure what to do about all this. Sorry about the mess."
The Bon-Vivant gives her a grin in return for the smile, and nods. "What sort of books do you want? So far, anything I've come up with to look for, I've found. You just have to keep looking a bit, sometimes. And, don't worry. If I don't do something about it later, it'll be tidy again when I wake up anyway." He's leading the way back out, and gestures toward the walls that don't have shelves on them -- a proper look shows the subtle edges of inset cabinet doors. "One of the first days I was here, I started opening cupboards and pulling things out to see what was in there. I didn't get through them all. But I also didn't put anything back, and in the morning, it was all put away again." It is, after all, the reason for the haircut to begin with. "It all seems like it's weird, from the stuff I think I know... but it's also definitely as real as anything."
Out the door, and he leads the way back to the parlour, where the bookshelves live. "Those doors there," he gestures to the two nondescript ones in there, "they lead to Anywhere Rooms. Which are-- well, rooms that can be anywhere. I've made them be a beach, and a... place I could change things like gravity and freefall, and I've been in when one was a roller rink and another a platform in space. They're whatever you're thinking you want them to be when you go in, except there's nothing alive in there but us. No people, no animals." He scans the shelf, looking for a likely title.
"Well, at least there'll be great reading material-- assuming I know any good books," The Rebel says with a wry smile. She listens to the cabinet talk, and of *course* she goes over to the nearest cabinet and looks inside. "Huh," she says thoughtfully, closing it right after, and then follows him into the parlour. "Anywhere Rooms," she repeats, and tilts her head. "Well, that sounds interesting. So, the platform in space... if you'd fallen off, I guess you'd have woken up back in your bed, same as usual? Maybe Anywhere Rooms are like encounters, in that they're a shared dreamlike state? Although, I'm guessing you don't forget who you are when in one, or you'd have mentioned that. Hm." She suddenly frowns, turning her gaze back to him. "Animals... are there any around here? If not in the Anywhere Rooms?"
The Bon-Vivant shakes his head. "The only living things I've seen but us are, I seem to have some plants? I think they're real. There's no windows anywhere. And... we're pretty sure if we did something that killed us in there, we'd wake up in the morning in bed like always. Apparently they already know that if you kill someone in /here/, they wake up fine in the morning. I guess someone volunteered to test it at some point. Before I was here. But yeah, when you're in those rooms, you remember everything you know when you're out here." A small pause, and he hooks a finger against one of the books, drawing it out and handing it over to her. '100,000+ Baby Names', it declares itself, and is rather... thick. "You don't have to know exactly what you're looking for, with the books, just kinda have a general thought what you want and look a while until you find the right thing. That's how it seems to work for me, anyway. So... I guess flip through, open at random, and point at something, see what you get." No one knows if it actually 'works', of course. But it's as good a method as any to start with, right?
The Rebel's mouth opens into a little 'o' of surprise at the information that someone's already tested the 'if we die.' She can't seem to help but ask, "...did they kill themselves, or did-- did someone else?" She accepts the book then, looking down at it, and starting to thumb its pages without actually opening it up. She swallows, looking like she's taking this *really* seriously. Maybe more seriously than she was meant to, but there you have it. "Here goes nothing!" she says, in the cheeriest voice she's had thus far. Without hesitation, she opens the book about 2/3rds of the way through, and immediately points at the first name on the page. "Huh," she says, tilting her head. "Rita." There's no immediate reaction beyond that.
The Bon-Vivant considers this a moment. "I don't think anyone told me," he admits, "Not specifically. But, I'm pretty sure either they did it themselves or they tried it on purpose with someone else, 'cause otherwise, people would be talking about how someone was dangerous or something. It must've taken some work, though, because there aren't any weapons around here. My scissors are practically the most dangerous thing I've seen, come to think of it." It's a bit of a surprise. The blades are reasonably sharp, but the points are blunted, so they'd be hard to stab with. Maybe you could slit someone's throat with them open, but it'd take a bit of doing... Somehow, it doesn't seem the sort of thing Fizz is naturally inclined to spend a lot of time thinking how one might accomplish it. "That's another thing I should get more details on, I guess." Mental note added, though he's more curious than concerned about it.
He leans slightly forward when she starts to deal with the book, clearly interested in what it's going to come up with for her, and reacts mirroringly enough that it'd seem like mocking if it weren't so clearly unintentional. "Huh," he agrees, head slightly tilted, "...Rita." It's like a test-drive of the name. His head tilts the other direction, and he says it again, this time silently, then nods. "That's not bad, I think. But what do you think? Do you like it? And-- does it feel like it might be you?" Different questions, in his mind.
"True. Though if you're trying to kill yourself-- or someone else-- you'd definitely want something better than those not-so-sharp scissors..." The Rebel blinks, clearly decides she'd rather not know where that thought came from, and looks down at the page again. She's quiet for a bit, looking at that name and the ones that surround it. Even when he asks his questions, she doesn't immediately respond, and instead looks off into the distance for a few moments. Eventually, and anticlimactically, she shrugs. "Rita." Test-driving the name for sure. "It's not bad, for sure. Doesn't make me recoil or wish I'd picked another page. It's a viable name. But is it me? That's a question I'll have to think about, for sure. What about you-- do I seem like a 'Rita' to you?"
"I could see it," Fizz (or possibly Felix) decides with a nod after another moment of mulling it. "If you think it might work, I say try it a little and see how it feels. I could call you Rita and you can see if it feels okay or too weird, if it'll help. What's it mean, anyway? Apparently Felix means lucky; I'm kinda on board with that."
With a shrug, RitaRebel says, "If you could see it, maybe it's me. I'll have to see how that goes as far as things go with me, but you're welcome to try it out. Beats not having a name, I figure, and if it doesn't work out, I'll shed it like a snake's skin. Also I have never seen a snake. This is so WEIRD." She shakes her head, and then looks down at the book again, flipping pages several times before she announces, "Margarites is Greek for 'pearl,' I guess, which became Latin Margarita, which I could use right about now, which gets into all these other related names, but eventually that filters down to Rita. Maybe it means nothing. Who knows!" Another shrug, and then she eyes him sidelong. "I could see you being lucky. Seems to suit you. So does Fizz, though, so I'm no help at all." She smiles teasingly, passing the book back to him.
The Bon-Vivant grins. "Well, way I see it, Fizz kinda makes a reasonable nickname for Felix, right? So that's lucky." He doesn't wink, but he might as well. "Pearls are interesting. And margaritas are delicious." He slips the book back into the shelf, and beckons. "C'mon," he says, and leads the way over to the dining area, where the dispensers are. It's remarkably little time before it produces a couple perfect margaritas, in margarita glasses, and he offers one over to her. "Ta da." This time, he actually says it -- maybe because his hands are full of drinks, so the gesture is out. "So... think you've got a favourite food, Rita? 'cause if so, we could make some."
The Rebel grins right back, and follows after him into the dining area. The dispensers are given a long, hard look, even after he makes delicious-looking margaritas, but in the end, she doesn't pass that up. Who could? She takes a small testing sip, and then blinks, having several more. "Okay. Okay, that is... uncanny." Another drink later, she notes, "That's how it's 'supposed' to taste, I think! I've never had one in my life. I mean, that I know of-- I guess if there's someplace other than this, maybe I had and I've forgotten?" A frown, and then, "...but it's *really* good." She pauses, considering the issue of food, and admits, "I'm not sure, but the *first* food to pop into my mind was a peach, so..." She smiles. "Hey. Thanks. For showing me around, and all. You're not bad company, if this is where we are for awhile." She gives a firm nod, and then considers her margarita. "Still, I'm reserving some judgment 'til I've seen the Anywhere Rooms. Don't ask me why I think that'll cinch it, because I don't know." A wink, and she has another drink.
Her theory gets a laugh, and Fizz pokes at the dispenser again; this time it promptly produces a perfect peach. Fuzzy skin and ripe scent and everything. He presents that to her, as well. "It is weird, right? That's how I was with all the drinks and stuff the first day. And-- Pop Rocks. I was trying to think of things it might not have, which I failed at, by the way, and apparently those are a thing I knew existed. Why do I know /that/?" It's all very confusing.
"...anyway, you're welcome. Some people were really helpful explaining things to me when I first woke up, so..." He glances back toward the other room, then nods. "Let's go look at an Anywhere Room. You can pick the anywhere, Rita, you've just gotta think about what you want there when you open it, as long as no one's already inside."
His laugh prompts a bright smile, which just lingers when she spots that peach. RitaRebel hesitantly reaches for it, rubbing the skin and then inhaling its scent. She grins, tossing it from hand to hand, and then has herself a bite. "That's just peachy," she notes, and for all that the situation they're in is stressful, she seems at least briefly happy. "Lead the way, please. And tell me about Pop Rocks! I don't think I know that one. Also... if everything is the same every time we sleep, how can we take notes? Or-- oh! Has anyone thought about notes, or taken some, and then tried to imagine a book with those notes in it the next day? We could really have some fun with this!" She pauses mid-step, and tilts her head. "I wonder if you took notes, and they disappeared, and I'd never read them... if I could think about a book containing 'the notes Fizz wrote' and get to read it? That has possibilities, though I suppose it'd make keeping things secret harder!"
The Bon-Vivant leads on! He likes the Anywhere Rooms. "Notes are--" he starts, and then blinks, looking toward the bookshelf. "I... don't know," he admits, "I thought a fair bit about how the Anywhere Rooms work, you know, what you could do with them, but I never thought that hard about the bookshelf." He sounds faintly surprised about that. "We should experiment with it and see what we get." Not right now, apparently, since it's still the door he's going to. "I think a lot of people've thought about notes, but I dunno if they work, or... under what conditions. Chance writes on the walls, and that goes away. Caleb and I tried to take notes with a couple things and they didn't stick, but I /think/ other people might've had more luck? We might've just not found the right way to do it yet." He considers this, then shrugs. "We'll find out." He leans up against the wall beside that door, with a 'go ahead' gesture. "Pop Rocks are these little candies, like... kinda sharp little sugar crystals, kinda... yay big?" He demonstrates, finger and thumb a small but not tiny distance apart. "And when you put them in your mouth, they fizz. Carbonation, like little solid pieces of soda."
The Rebel smiles over at him as he speaks, nodding her head. "We should write on the walls... in our rooms. Maybe that's the difference? Or... I guess if Chance does it regularly, they'll have tried that. Hm." She nods, seeming enthused at the idea of puzzling this one out. "I was thinking, if we can for sure take and keep some notes, we could test if we can call up foods or books we don't seem to have up here." She taps her head. "Like Pop Rocks! Because those sound amazing. I am going to eat ALL the Pop Rocks." She gestures to the door, asking, "...that one of the Anywhere Rooms?"
“That /is/ one of the Anywhere Rooms,” Fizz confirms cheerfully, and makes that ‘go ahead’ gesture toward it again. “Just decide where you want us to go, and open it. Maybe make it somewhere with Pop Rocks, if you wanna test that as well…” He waits for her to open the door, then follows her in, eager to see just what sort of Anywhere they’ll be exploring tonight.