Log:The Death of an Archetype
Her room is insanity. The floor is bare concrete splattered with dried blood. The walls are red, ceiling black, and photographs of random sex, violence, and gore hang on the walls - people fucking, killing, dying, and not necessarily in the proper order, if there is such a thing. It's not subtle or obscured, either, it's graphic, vulgar.
Furniture! Yes, there's furniture in The Creepshow's room, and one might even notice it after staring at all the photos. Wrought iron and velvet, skulls and sex toys, glass and human bone. Elvira would approve.
She's lounged in her bed with a book when she calls out for whoever is knocking to enter. She's wearing her standard wake-up clothes - gray tank and boxers.
When the call to enter is given, the door is pushed open. The first present is the Hunter. She's dressed in camo BDUs and a black tank, hair in its usual (for now) ponytail. There's a coil of rope off her belt and she's got one hand tucked into a pocket. The other falls away from the door to join it in the opposite pocket once the entrance is open wide enough for her to step through. "Hey," she says, once she sees the other woman.
The room is taken in, in measure, as the Samoan woman steps through. She considers it, in stride. She doesn't recoil; she just studies. "I wanted -- we wanted -- to ask you about that whole suicide thing you did."
There's this feeling of discomfort that comes over the Capitalist once they step foot into the Creepshow's room. The place was a mess, first of all, with what looked like dried blood staining the plain concrete floors. The colors were dark and threatening. Then there are the photos. These photos actually intrigued him, somewhat, or at the very least, it takes him a moment to realize what he was seeing exactly in some of them. The sex didn't concern him, but sex mixed with gore and death?
He has yet to dress down since his stay in the Facility, wearing the normal business shirt, slacks and tie, though today he's donning a suit jacket. Perhaps they are on some sort of business. The colors are dark.
Allowing the Hunter to speak first, he simply lingers by one of the photos, staring at it for a long moment. in silence.
The knocking on the door attracted the attention of the Penitent, who's bored enough and curious enough to see what's going on. And to see the room that was once described as 'totally a sex dungeon'. In her usual sweat pants and singlet top combo, this time in blue and purple respectively, she's following along with the others and entering. Though she does look surprised at the contents of the room, she begins to explore and study the photographs on display. "Hello," she greets for her own part.
Blinkblink. Creepshow stares at them, watches them take in her room, for what ARE their rooms if not themselves laid bare? Their reactions are measured with a thoughtful expression. Curious. She turns her dark eyes to the Hunter when she states the reason for the visit. "Okay. Ask."
While the others stare at the room, the Hunter instead stares at the Creepshow. There's no reluctance, no hesitation. Today, she's confident, solid. Maybe taking down the Perfectionist helped her out some. Maybe getting a solid meal in her (coffee, a nice steak) before coming in here helped, too. She stands with feet just about shoulder's width apart. Her elbows wing out just a bit. It's a solid pose. A power pose. The sort that would be difficult to knock her off her feet. They teach that sort of thing in the military. Not just to keep your footing, but because it puts you in a position of power in negotiation, in intimidation. For her... it just comes naturally and almost without thought at this point.
"We want to see it. I've proven my theory that suffering in this place is possible. At least insofar as bleeding and pain. No one's broken a bone yet. When you're knocked out, you just stay put until morning. But I'd like to pay witness to the death, to see what happens."
Taking a somewhat casual stance with his hands tucked into pants pockets, the Capitalist seems almost mesmerised by some of these dark and grotesque carnal images, but once the Hunter speaks up, it breaks whatever train of thought that he had as he looks over his shoulder to view the pair. It's only then that he realizes that the Penitent had decided to be nosy and show up and to this, he has to let out a heavy sigh, taking steps to meet with her. "I'm not sure if you really want to be here for this, Mads." There's concern in his tone as he's trying to protect her from what he knows will come, or from what was discussed earlier with the Hunter.
The Penitent paces about the room, looking at all the various images on display, head tilting this way and that as she does, her expression unreadable. Just so, deliberate study as she stares. When the reason for the visit is announced, she nods slowly. She didn't discuss it specifically, but she's not overly surprised by it. She remains quiet though, glancing at the Creepshow to guage her reaction before her attention is taken by Conrad. "I'm not some naive innocent that needs protecting, Conrad, just because I tend to be calm and distant and prefer to pretend everything's nice. I'm not without my own curiosity, you know?" Her shoulders lift in a shrug.
"I seem to recall you wanting no part of helping me do it just the other day," lilts Creepshow, languid and relaxed. "You couldn't even bring yourself to hit me. I hear you've gotten over that hangup. Trying to graduate from assault to assisted suicide? Very well, if you insist, I'll help you kill yourself." She knows that's not at all what the other woman means, but she's going to make her work for it. She glances from Penny to Conrad, rolling her eyes. "You really need to stop babying her," she notes, gesturing to Penny in a 'see?' manner when she stands up for herself. "Your Daddy act is getting tired. She's not your sister anymore, and quite capable of making her own choices."
"Your behavior the other day was right out," Hunter says in a low voice. "I had no want nor will to discuss what you were forcing on me. Neither did she." Clearly meaning Madison there. One of her hands shifts from her pocket towards the rope at her belt. She doesn't remove it, no, but it's almost a warning move in and of itself. Her breath catches, briefly; not in surprise, but in hesitation as she considers her next words. She watches Creepshow, but casts a brief glance towards the Capitalist and Penitent.
"Leave them be. They can work it out." At least the Hunter doesn't snap for the other woman's attention. "You volunteered to kill yourself for us. Conrad and I discussed it. We're interested." She draws out her other hand now, revealing the knife from her meal. She's even cleaned it. This is offered, handle first, towards the woman on the bed. "If what you claimed was true, that you did, indeed, slit your own throat... let's see it."
"But you do know that everything isn't nice?" The Capitalist asks to the Penitent, his gaze locked on her, before he goes to take in the room once more. At the Creepshow's words, there is some visible tension that can be seen in his lean frame, though he responds more calmly that the rising annoyance that he's feeling, "I do have to wonder what exactly you know of anything that's going on." He then turns to regard Esme with a pointed look and a shrug, "Just because you are alone in this world, it doesn't mean that the rest of us are."
And now the Hunter gets down to business, so the Capitalist's posture straightens as he turns to observe both women now. Though once Maata's demand, no suggestion is made, while he's curious whether the Creepshow will go along with this, he isn't exactly comfortable about playing witness, despite what he may have said earlier.
"We're in a prison for unknown reasons for who knows how long. After the books and the games and conversation, what's left to keep us entertained? Sex and violence, really. I'm not blind, Conrad. I'm just introspective and trying to figure out who I am." The Penitent replies as she comes to a stop, turning about to face him. A shake of her head, she glances to the Creepshow afterwards. "In short, they don't believe you actually managed to kill yourself with a not-so-sharp knife." She explains.
A 'brow quirks, Creepshow looking slightly more attentive when the Hunter gives her a warning. "You were invited into my room, and you decide to... threaten me? And I'll include you in my statement: you both need to stop babying her. She's not your pet, she's a... whatever the fuck we are. And an adult. In my room, at the very least, you'll let her speak for herself and stop coddling her. Don't like it? Get the fuck out of my room."
She ignores the knife, returning to her book. "I'm not doing it. One time offer, no refunds, no rainchecks."
Conrad's comment gets a short, sharp laugh from her. "That's rich. We're all alone in this world. You wake up in your own bed, alone, even if you fall asleep in hers. Your not-sister that used to cater to your whims now has some independence. You're rapidly losing control of everything around you, and it's driving you nuts. But once again, so both of you can hear me and follow along: No. I'm not doing it just because you decided it's okay now. I'm no longer interested in killing myself as a party game. Fuck off."
She does look up at Penitent, giving her a sad little smile. "You get it. You more than any of them understand. They treat you like tou need to be protected from the truth, but the only ones they're protecting from it are themselves. You already accept what they can't even allow themselves to contemplate. I like you. You can stat, and come back whenever you like. Nothing you say or think will be judged in here."
"I'm not coddling her. I'm just telling you to fucking focus and let them work their shit out between themselves." the Hunter gives a brief toss of the knife, turning it quickly so that rather than holding it by the blade and offering it out to Creepshow, she's holding it by the handle instead. "And offering you a knife is not the same as threatening you." She takes a deep breath, standing up a bit straighter. "I don't think you actually did it. I think it was all a fucking act." She looks back, towards the Capitalist and Penitent both. "It was all just to get a fucking rise out of us. She knew we'd say no and she'd be let off the hook. She never killed herself."
She looks back to the Creepshow, looking her over. It's not quite a sneer, but it's damn close. "You and whatshername, that diva. Both of you. You just want the attention and you're treating the rest of us like shit to get it."
"Madison," The Capitalist starts, his voice firm, "Was always independent. She had her own ideas that she worked on alongside what I had planned for my festival. She didn't have to ask my permission to go through with any of that. Madison always made the smart business choices, with or without my input. This place, though? It's a big mystery, an unknown and we are trapped here. Of course, my first instincts in this situation would be to protect those that I love." He obviously ignores any mention of the Penitent not being his sister, but he felt the need to speak up.
The rest of the conversation, despite the fact that this is what they came here for, falls second in importance to him now as he's been aggravated enough as it is. "She doesn't want to cooperate." This is said to the Hunter, "And I feel that she'll continue to waste our time." Though he does mutter, "Despite the fact that it seems like we have all the time in the world right now."
Giving a small smile in response to the Creepshow's encouragement, the Penitent nods slightly, trying to be reassuring. "I dunno, I still think we'd get pretty bored in here. I wish there was a pool." She shrugs though, because there isn't a pool and that's that. "But it seems to me that sooner or later, this," she gestures to the room around her, "Is where we'll probably end up after however long. Especially if we wake up from death, then there's no limits." She peers at the Hunter, and then at the Capitalist. She doesn't comment on who Madison was or wasn't. Just a quiet question. "Why the hostility?" A thoughtful tilt of her head. "I guess you did push her pretty strong," she says back to the Creepshow.
The Creepshow bursts into laughter at the Hunter's response. "Oh no! Not PEER pressure! You don't fucking believe me, whatever shall I do?!" More laughter, all of it joyous. "You really don't know what to do with yourself when your swagger and bluster can't get you what you want, do you? You could try... asking nicely? You could try offering me something I might want in return? Either one of you could actually treat me like a fucking equal, but no. You'd rather throw your weight around and make demands, because that's how things worked out there. In here, not so much. You're just like the rest of us. You want my help with something? Learn how to ask."
She ignores Conrad's lecture about Madison, gettiing up off the bed and bristling at the pair of star-crossed lovers. "I treat everyone like shit? The diva treats everyone like shit? I photographed every single fucking victim of your nightmare festival and made them beautiful for their families when they'd have to identify them. The diva talked everyone into helping, into fucking sacrificing themsleves if need be so we could save lives. I chose to die so they could have a chance. All either of you do is tell the rest of us what to do. Fuck. You."
She looks to Penny, pointing at the other two. "That's why. They have no fucking respect for anyone but themselves. Look at how they treat us in here. YOU changed, they didn't."
Something that the Capitalist says distracts the Hunter for a moment. Partially. Almost. It starts to pull her attention away and she even begins to turn towards him with a mildly quizzical expression starting to paint its way across her features. But then- then the Creepshow is off her bed and accusing her of a good deal of things.
That's when the woman snaps. Where she was just calm, but commanding before... she goes into that cold and angry state that she became with the Perfectionist before. Her movements are swift and precise as she moves to close the distance between herself and the Hispanic woman, trying to reach out and grab at her hair. She makes to get in right at the scalp; where she can manipulate, hold tight, and push her to the floor if possible. "You know nothing," she says in a terse, but rising voice. "You don't know what I did or put myself through. You don't know how fucking hard I worked. How fucking little I slept. Every goddamn thing I did to try to save lives and keep shit together. Maybe I'm just sick of pretentious assholes that won't fucking work as a team. Maybe. Maybe I'm glad to get to do something for myself for once in my goddamn life."
Some -- most -- spun out within their first moment or hour. For the Hunter it has been a spiral over a period of days. That lack of time. Of sun. Of sky.
Though he's had enough of Esme, personally, the Capitalist was also here for Maata. That's the only reason why he remains lingering within the creepy room. He also thought himself to be a decent employer, despite what happened during the festival, so much of the Creepshow's complaints are either ignored or silently questioned. He's never met the woman prior to this, so any interaction which they've had came strictly from the Facility.
"And for that, I am grateful. If you don't think that we worked just as hard to protect the attendees, to reach out for help, then /you/ are deluded. If the explosions didn't kill us, Maata was planning to sacrif--" And he stops there. The very fact that this had been what they were arguing over before the security trailer blew up returns to him now.
Though it's at that moment when the Hunter snaps into action. His own reaction time isn't as swift as hers, but once he realizes what is going on, he puts both of his hands up in a non-threatening gesture. "Maata... just let her go. It's not worth it. She doesn't know what we all had to go through. And even if she didn't, she wouldn't give a fuck."
"And neither of you know what it was like for her, or so many others, when everything was going on. You worked hard to save lives and keep people safe through an impossible situation, but that doesn't mean your experience is any more valid than anyone elses." The Penitent speaks up, though her tone remains calm, measured. She doesn't move to stop anything from happening, just standing there, watching with a sad expression. "Did either of you have to hide amongst bodies in the night, paint yourself with the blood and entrails of the dead to try and hide from the living dead?" A vague gesture towards the Creepshow here. "Did you sit alone in the dark wishing your brother would talk to you and comfort you when you knew he was off chasing a girl? Again?" She heaves a sigh. "I'm sorry. But we all went through that, together. All of us. It wasn't easy for anyone. There's no who had it harder. It was just hard."
The Creepshow is small, nimble, and manages to duck and twist away from the Hunter, putting a bit of distance between them. "Maybe," she says back in a flat tone, "if you want people on your team you could fucking ASK them and try saying please for a change. You came in here practically demanding I do what you want."
To Conrad, "And YOU don't know what WE went through. I'm not the one making fucking demands. Get some fucking perspective. We ALL suffered out there. How FUCKING hard is a little fucking decency in ASKING for help?"
She gestures towards Penny. "Fucking THAT."
"No, you just assumed we didn't." The Hunter isn't just going to back down from this. "You just assumed and lashed out. You made shit up. Maybe you could try asking, yourself. Instead of just grinding shit in and trying to get a rise like some sixth grade bully, you could ask. What, you think we're just gonna come sit at your feet after how you've been? Fuck no."
She takes a few steps back, now, throwing the knife towards the Creepshow's feet. "If you change your mind and decide not to just make shit up to get a rise out of people, let us know. We could use some actual entertainment around here."
It's once out of easy 'grab and stab' range that she turns to head for the door.
The Capitalist's eyes narrow slightly, his gaze on the Creepshow, "I only brought those things up because you decided to make it seem that we did absolutely nothing to protect everyone. That we weren't there the first night that saw almost half of our attendees dead. Otherwise, I /KNOW/ what went on that night. I was there."
Annoyed, yes, but he's more concerned about the Hunter now and what she may very well do. He can see her anger, that rage. Hell, everyone could! While he doesn't quite pull her away from Esme, he does watch Maata in quiet observation, not having remembered her being so volatile, perhaps. There's tension building, something that doesn't end when the knife is thrown, in fact the thrown knife, initially, makes him all the more concerned. Though once the Hunter turns to depart, he does feel this sense of relief come over him. Drawing in a deep breath, he turns to follow the woman out, but not without saying. "If there's anything that you want in exchange for your... services. Let me know." He says this as if he has anything anyone would want in this place. The look which he gives her isn't quite apologetic, but it's definitely something calmer than what just happened here just now. However, an apologetic look is given to Madison, even if he says nothing to her in passing.
The Penitent is quiet, glancing back and forth between the speakers, just keeping thoughts to herself. No effort is made to interfere. Her hands glasp behind her back, and she does step back slightly when the knife is tossed, following it with her gaze. She looks after the departing Hunter with a sorrowful look. "I wish I could be of more help," she murmers quietly afterwards, her gaze drifting over to the Capitalist, her pleasant smile returning into place there for his glance. After a few moments, she exhales a soft sigh. "We are all going to go crazy in here." She decides after a moment.
"Have any of you felt any... urges, since you've been here?" asks Creepshow, almost offhandedly. "Things you can't explain? Just suddenly there's this driving need to do this thing you wouldn't necessarily have done before? Or maybe only thought about, but now you can't help but act on it? I have. It started the other day, when I got under your skin, Maata. I could see how upset you were about dying, and where a normal person would offer comfort, or at least have the fucking decency to shut up, I felt this... NEED to dig into it, probe the wound, find the nerves. Have you looked at the image on my door? Anything at all in my fucking room? I'm a fucking mess, and I like getting messy. Love getting others messy with me."
She leans down and picks up the blade. "I guess maybe that's my shitty way of saying I'm sorry and I don't know why I did it. I pushed you, and I honestly thought you'd hit me. But that's not the fucked up part." Her eyes are glassy, tears welled up but not spilling as she stares empty-eyed at the knife in her hands. Whatever she was going to say never comes. Instead, she changes subject. "I did do it. I killed myself, and I really don't care if you don't believe me, because I'm a lot of fucking things, but a liar isn't one of them. I'm not going to kill myself again just because you say jump."
She looks up, from Maata to Conrad. "But I'll let him kill me."
Stir crazy would be a way to put it for the Hunter. It's not just the proximity to the people. It's not just the fact that certain ones keep needling her. It's not just the fact that she was in not one, but two explosions.
Maata Kahloa was a fisher. She would spend hours at sea, either alone or with family. She would spend days in the bush. And the Hunter is little different. She yearns for the wild: for nature. For dirt beneath her feet and the sky overhead. For miles and miles of nothing but land around her. The facility is suffocating. But where she is a font of knowledge in so many things... she is not a woman of words, of emotion; able to convey feelings. She cannot explain what's wrong. So it comes out in agitation, in anger, and in lashing out at the world (and everyone) around her.
The Hunter slows to a stop, not far from the door. Her arm is partially raised toward it, but she does not grab the handle itself. She turns back to stare at the Creepshow. She does not answer the questions, not initially. Nor does she answer them as they are posed. "None of us know who we truly are. Any so-called urges may be perfectly natural. I can barely remember the week prior to the festival." But that last statement causes her to look at the Capitalist also and there's a hint of tension in her. A flicker -- a flare, really -- of Maata showing. He may be protective of her here, but she was protective of him on the island and that shows in how her stance changes. Her jaw tightens. "I don't think..."
The Creepshow's inquiry slows the Capitalist's pace, if not stop him completely. Or at least, not when the question is first posed. He lets it play in his mind for a while, even considering if what was said was something that he had felt himself, but nothing surfaces for him. By then, he's standing just to the Hunter's side, just as she stops to consider the same.
The sudden switch in emotions from Esme would make him wary, especially with the conflict that had arisen between them in such a short span of time, but what she states is something that he comments on now. "Believe me, I've noticed the changes in everyone around me." His head turns to the side, "At least the ones who I was closest to. Are these changes slowly driving me insane?" He shrugs his shoulders. "It does bring up some concerns, because unlike the rest of you, I know who I am and I've made peace with that after the first night."
Once the blade is picked up, all that the Capitalist can wonder is whether the girl will go through with it or not, though he doesn't expect her to. And her words confirm his thoughts. However, what comes afterwards does take him by surprise and all he can do is blink. "You want me to kill you?" If he was hesitant to be here for the woman's suicide, he's even more hesitant now. "Why? Why me?" Though even when he asks this, his gaze drops to the knife in Esme's hands.
Penitent leans against a wall, against some of those photos, arms folding across her chest as she considers the Creepshow's thought on urges or behaviour. She shifts, chewing absently at her lip. "Mmm, I've noticed something like that. The crying woman ..." she trails off in thought, lost for a moment in wondering who that could be, and sort of stops paying attention to the conversation until she catches those words that apparently the Capitalist will be allowed to kill the Creepshow. She looks up, inclining her head slightly. The question he asks is on her lips too, but she's quiet, just staring at Conrad.
"Does it matter why?" asks Creepshow, eyes still red and wet. "You said to let you know if I wanted anything for my services. And to be clear, my services - what you really want - is someone willing to die so you can see if they return the next day. You want a willing victim to test your theory on. That's the service, here. Otherwise one of you would kill yourself and we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Right?"
She glances sidelong to Penny. "I've seen it in you. I only met you once on the island, and you were afraid. Scared of your own shadow and feeling powerless. But here it's like... You've come to terms with it. You say you think you belong here. You're more sure of yourself."
"I want to witness it in action," the Hunter says, of seeing someone die. It is her theory, after all. The death. The suffering and whether the Facility allows it. "And I wouldn't allow-" A pause and she looks away, embarrassed. "Wouldn't want him-" She exhales, in a rush, nostrils flaring. Perhaps unlike the Capitalist's bold admission of love for two of the women in the room, the Hunter has a harder time admitting to such things in the open. She shoves her hands in her pockets, squaring her shoulders.
So all she ends with is a gruff: "You volunteered. No one else had."
"But isn't that your thing?" The Capitalist asks with an arched brow, "Here, I thought you would embrace the act of dying." He looks to the various photographs on the wall even now for a brief moment. "But it was probably a misread on my part." Even as he speaks, he is questioning whether he could actually kill someone or not and with only a knife... not like a pistol or anything cleaner. Colder. As these thoughts race through his mind, he does murmur what Esme had mentioned. "You're right. I... I did allow you to name your price."
There's a look given to Madison first and then to Maata. It is their eyes on him now that makes this all the more difficult. It was hard for him to even think about murdering someone outright. He was not Karl. But to do it infront of... His posture straightens, shoulders squared when he steps forward to reach for that knife. He didn't like the way it felt in his hand and it's not difficult to tell that he was already having second thoughts on all of this, even as his gaze lifts to look at the Creepshow directly now. "Are you sure..?" He doesn't sound sure.
"Madison was overwhelmed by guilt. She tried, but she felt responsible. For Conrad and the secrets she kept from him, for the lives of everyone there. When people started dying, she kind of broke. She died hating herself." The Penitent says, sucking in a deep breath. A calming breath. "Here I try to stay calm, but I still feel like I deserve to be in prison ... for some reason." She's talking, but sort of half to herself, nodding slowly at the Hunter's words. "Maybe I even deserve to die. I'd volunteer but ... I don't want to die. Even if I'll come back."
She looks up then, offering an apologetic smile for the Capitalist, another deep breath taken in. She watches, waiting to see what will happen. She said she was curious, after all.
The Creepshow snatches the blade back and crouches down, starting to rub it really fast against the concrete floor. A few sparks fly. "You have to fucking sharpen it, Jesus. I'd rather not take all day." She continues this, concrete against the metal, heating it, sharpening it, especially at the tip. She looks up at Maata. "Yeah, I get it. You want to watch someone suffer, just not someone you actually like. No offense taken."
To Conrad, "I'm offering, aren't I? But no, it's not like I want to run around all day, killing myself like a fucking cartoon character. I want new experiences. New aspects of it. And more than anything, I want to make someone uncomfortable. She wants to kill me. Which is funny, because when I wanted her to hurt me, she wouldn't, and I think it broke my heart." Those tears? Now they come. "She wouldn't do it, and that was worse than anything I'd ever felt. Fucking crazy, huh?"
Penny gets a nod. "I could see it. For what it's worth, I like you better this way. At least you're more at peace."
There's discomfort clear in the Hunter's features. She looks from the Capitalist to the Creepshow and finally crosses her arms. "That's not quite how I'd phrase it," she says simply. There's other people she likes in the Facility that she'd still be less inclined to leap to the defense of. He's a special case. It's a Gordian Knot of reasons that she has yet to look too closely at, herself.
When the Creepshow explains the reasons, she looks away; twisting at the hip to look elsewhere. To her, the photos are less disturbing. They are just things. Unknown people in various acts: still human, in their own ways. Just the acts of humanity most shy from. "You were fully cognizant of your death. I was not. I don't like to think about it. It was simple cruelty and not a game I wanted to engage in."
With the blade so easily snatched from his reluctant grasp, this gives the Capitalist time to breathe, something almost impossible to do when he had the knife in his hand. That is when the Penitent speaks up and while, normally, this would have been a good time for some form of distraction, what the woman who he knows as his sister says leaves him feeling slightly hollow and empty. The Capitalist knew exactly who he was, or who he wanted to be, but after certain secrets were revealed, not even Conrad Wellson, if that is even his last name, knows who he is anymore.
This bit of reprieve, while allowing some relief, does little to lessen the tension as he watches Esme work frantically to sharpen the blades point by scraping the edges across the floor. There's a paleness to his features, his features tight as he waits. He no longer looks to the two most important women in his life... or Conrad's life, instead he focuses entirely on Esme. "What would you have me do?" He then asks, "To give you a different experience."
The Penitent isn't exactly comfortable with the situation either, shifting on the spot, "I'm sorry that you're feeling bad about that," she says almost automatically to the Creepshow. "You're ... verry good at making people uncomfortable." She frowns a little, realising that reassurance is a kind of weird thing to say. And pondering her need to just apologise for things. Noting the discomfort of the Hunter, she steps slightly closer to the other woman. "So what's the idea behind this? What do we learn if what she says is true?" Honest questions, curious and wondering. No judgement. "If you're certain that we can't even die here, what's your plan after that? Or even if we can die here." A slight shrug of her shoulder. "Not that I disbelieve Esme, but you know. I'm wondering where you're going with this." It's also just a chance for her to maybe help the Hunter think on something other that whatever's bothering her.
"Yeah, well," Creepshow says to Maata as she tests the point of the knife on her thumb. "I know that's exactly what it was. Me trying to make you face something you didn't want to. That's me, in a nutshell. If it makes you feel better, not doing it hurt me way more than hitting me would have."
She straightens, then holds the blade to herself, right under her sternum and slightly angled up. "Take hold of it, just here," she tells him. "I'll make this easy for you. Just hold it there and I'll do the rest. Call it assisted suicide."
She looks to Penny, smiling a bit. "I'll live. And... thanks. That's sweet of you." She watches Penny try and soothe Maata, her smile growing a bit more as she looks up to Conrad. "Here's why I'll never hurt your not-sister: she hurts herself for the pain of others. She's innocent. So, you ready?"
"Time," the Hunter says simply. "We have no way of knowing how it passes." She's not actually looking at the photos. She's staring through them, if anything. "We all fall asleep at once, then we wake up... presumably at the same time. There are no clocks. We just assume it's a day and night cycle." She takes a deep breath. "When I knocked out the diva, she passed out. The rest of us went about our business." There is a glance cast towards Creepshow, briefly, on the 'hurt me more than it hurt you' line, but she seems to make the conscious decision not to engage this time.
Instead, she continues. "Will a death hit a reset button? Will we all 'fall,'" she lifts one hand away from opposite elbow to make an air-quote, "asleep? Or will she just lie there, bleeding out, until we do sleep and wake? It will confirm the base-line for our days and nights. The next step will be to find something in the dispensary that provides us with wax to create candles so that we can count the passage of hours. There has to be a book somewhere that provides the correct diameter to make them so that we can mark them off by the hour."
Maybe, just maybe she's past her destructive stage. For now.
As the instructions are given to the Capitalist, she does finally turn away from the wall to watch. There's a furrow of her brow; concern showing, though a lot of it seems more focused on the man doing the deed... or at least wielding the knife.
The Capitalist tunes out most of the conversation that's now going on around him, especially things which the Creepshow says if her words are not directed at him. He's focused, internally steeling himself for what he is about to do. If he had known that he would be taking a personal part in all of this, he would have dressed down, removed his jacket if anything so as not to get blood all over it. But no, this was sprung upon him out of the blue. So here he is now.
Once the knife is positioned to where Esme wants to be stabbed, he wipes a nervous hand down the front of jacket, before gripping the blade in a way that if the woman plans on pressing herself against it, he would ensure its stability to make this come out clean. That's the best he can do for her. Once he's in position, he draws in a deep breath, eyes closing for a second or two, before they open to look deeply into the other woman's eyes. He was going to watch this, see it all happen. There are no other words from him, but he looks somewhat prepared for what he expects will come next.
Snorting, the Penitent turns about, staring at the Creepshow now, watching the proceedings. "I'm not innocent. I just hope to make things better." Better than what? She doesn't really know. Just, better. She leans back, eyes upon the Creepshow rather than the Capitalist, and more specificly on the knife itself.
"I kind of keep track of time through hunger and stuff. It's not exact. What does being able to have a better measurement of time get us?" Her hands drop to her sides as she stares. "For some reason my first thought was tracking it with melting icecream." This last offered is barely above a whisper, watching.
"You'll be fine," breathes Creepshow, going up on tiptoes and wrapping her arms around his neck. Large, dark eyes that have no discernable iris and pupil due to the shade stay open as she leans in to kiss him full on the lips, and at the same time impales herself on the blade. Angled as it is, it slides right under the sternum and up into her chest, probably straight into her heart or a lung. Her gaze never leaves his, lips pressed to his own.
And then there's a hitch and a hiccough of blood gushing from her nose and mouth, and she lets go of him. She goes flat-footed, staggering back a few steps, hands vaguely holding the blade that's now disappeared, only the handle jutting from her gray tanktop, around which blood blooms. Her knees buckle and she collapses like a ragdoll to the concrete floor.
"We don't know the temperature in here, so we don't know the rate the ice cream melts at." Though the Hunter doesn't seem to be wholly dismissing the idea outright; there's a thoughtful enough expression on her features. Maybe considering whether someone has a thermometer to find the temperature. She watches the Capitalist and Creepshow, both. When the later becomes rather, ah, intimate with the former, her expression becomes stony while her body language goes more rigid. She doesn't vocally protest, but there's a clear displeasure there in regards to it. "That wasn't part of the payment," she says in a voice barely above a whisper.
The rest of the 'assisted suicide is watched' with a tightening to her jaw until the woman falls. She's not unkind or dispassionate enough to simply stand there, at least, and finally moves forward to try to gather her up (or at least begin to do so) in an attempt to move her wilted frame to the bed.
Those last words spoken by the Creepshow sets him into some sort of false sense of ease and when he feels her movement, he is prepared to stand his ground. Unknown to him, however, is what the woman had planned for this final moment of life. There is a strange intimacy in death, watching the life drain out of someone by looking into their eyes alone. That sensation added to Esme's own kiss of death, the arms around his neck, drawing him into her when she presses her lips against his own. In fact, all of this comes as a surprise to him, his own eyes widening as this was completely unexpected. In that one moment, the strange embrace, all he can do is watch that light start to flicker from within the Creepshow's eyes up close, taking in that death mask which she wears.
It didn't help that he could feel the gush of warm blood pouring out from her wound, his hand, rather than the blade tip, now pressed firmly against her. Then there is that taste of blood on his lips. Her blood. Those wide eyes which still stare out at him, her face covered in blood. Panic begins to set in now, his hand quickly withdrawing, letting go of the knife as she begins to fall away. He even staggers back a few steps from the pool of blood that now gathers on the cement floor. His unbloodied hand raises to cover at his mouth as he coughs into it before turning away from the scene. He was feeling ill, that bitterness on his lips.
Staring blankly, there's a flicker of her eyelashes in surprise as the Creepshow makes her stabbing into something else, the kiss and intimacy of it all. In the end, she averts her gaze just slightly. Far to late to really avoid seeing anything. All the imagry in the room is one thing, but seeing this right there in front of her is something else. An exhales breath, one she didn't even know she was holding comes out slowly and she steps off just slightly after the Hunter, towards the the Capitalist. Hand on his shoulder, her presence just there.
The Creepshow is still alive, at least for a moment. She looks over at Maata when she comes over. "W--" her words get cut off by a snort of blood, breathing uneven. "Want to see if ...place lets ...suffer?" Her eyes move to the handle of the knife, jutting from her now-soaked top. She smiles - or sneers, hard to tell! - white teeth luridly red as is much of her mouth, cheeks and chin. "Twist it."
There is hesitation, then. This isn't an assisted suicide. Or proving it can or can't be done. But then, the other woman made a show that it supposedly hurt that it was denied a previous time. The Hunter stares at the dying Creepshow for a moment. She doesn't seem to care that there is blood already on her camo BDUs or her black tank. That it's smearing on her forearms. Her clothes were made for this. She was. Her amber eyes drop to that knife also and she lets out a breath before her hand drops to it. Her grasp is firm enough, in spite of the blood -- warm, but cooling -- on the handle.
Maybe it's a good thing the Capitalist has turned away.
"Don't say I never did anything for you," she says in a low voice to the Hispanic woman. Then, she gives the blade a quick, sharp twist.
The Capitalist is still in shock of what happened. Nevermind that a woman died in his arms, sort of, but that he watched her die. Took part in it and then... that kiss lingers in his mind, then watching her blood seep from her nose and mouth. Even with the Penitent's hand on his shoulder, he is still trying to catch his breath, while his heart races feverishly in his chest. He doesn't even dare to look when he hears the dying woman's next request, perhaps not entirely processing what was asked, but when he does finally turn to see what is going on, the Hunter's frame blocks most of his view and while he doesn't see the actual twisting of the knife, he gets a sense of what's going on. "Maata..." Unknown to him at this moment, she is taking this far better than he is.
Ignoring what's going on behind her, The Penitent is focused on The Capitalist, watching him. "What are you feeling?" She wonders quietly, just there, supporting, hand still upon her once-brother's shoulder. "Remember, she wanted this. You gave her a new experience, and she is certain she'll be fine, and will wake up just like we all do every morning. There's no need to feel guilt over this. Not for you, anyway." She turns about then, to glance back at the other two, her head tilting slightly to try and see around the form of the Hunter.
Maybe there was a reason for the kiss. Maybe it was incentive to make sure the Hunter would really go through with the experiment and twist the knife, make Creepshow suffer. Maybe it was so every time the Capitalist ever thinks of getting some creep on, he'll have this memory and lose all interest.
Or maybe she's just a twatwaffle.
The twist gets the one thing they haven't had yet - a sudden, piercing scream. She arches, head thrown back, eyes wide. Yeah, there's suffering. Her breaths become rapid and shallow, then eratic, then stop all together. She goes limp.
If they're waiting for something to happen, they might be disappointed. They don't suddenly fall asleeep when she dies. There's a disturbing lack of, well, anything. Juat silence and blood - a lot of it, all over the floor. Maybe that's how the floor got the way it is?
The Hunter stays with her through it. She doesn't jump back. She doesn't shy away.
If there was any doubt whether this woman was truly and wholly Maata or if there was a disconnect, this moment might clarify it. Maata could never do such a thing. She had her moments. She had moments of anger. Moments of intensity. She was chosen, in part, for her job because of her reputation in bar fights after all. She was, in many ways, a brutal woman. But this? This goes beyond that. There is brutal and there is cold. And maybe it all depends on what moment someone catches the woman in as to whether she can handle things like her death. Or committing an act of violence against one of her fellow prisoners in this place.
Is she Maata or is she the Hunter?
She stays with the Creepshow through it, hand on the blade. When the smaller woman's body goes limp, she lets go and leans back on her heels. She reaches for her throat and feels for a pulse. When she finds none, she picks up the body with some effort and moves it to the bed. To at least not leave her on the floor the rest of the night.
"Guilt..." The Capitalist considers this. Was he feeling particularly guilty right now? He shakes his head slowly, "I..." He swallows, "I don't think it's guilt that I'm feeling right now. Not entirely." There is still that look of shock that can be found in his eyes when he turns to the Penitent. "I don't know what it is. Horror. Disgust." Right now, he's just saying everything aloud, any thought that comes into his mind. Slowly, first his right hand raises, the one mostly covered in blood, then the left. All he can do is focus on that blood right, breathing in deeper, more steadily as he tries to calm himself.
When he sees the Hunter take the limp form of Esme into her arms, then carrying her to the bed, that's when his arms lower and he moves to step forward, though it was difficult to avoid the blood that was now all over the floor. He wants to call out to her again, but at some point, he realizes that he needs to simply let her do what needs to be done. "We know what death doesn't trigger, but will she really awaken in the morning?"
A flinch, startled at that piercing scream, arms now wrapping about herself as her brow creases in a frown. The Penitent watches the Hunter keenly. She never did really get to know Maata that well. So the differences aren't really as pronounced from her pespective. Still, little things are noticed. She sucks in another breath, glancing to the Capitalist, nodding slowly. "I get it. A pity. You might have some idea of what I'm always going through. Maybe you should go clean up." An edge to her voice there, suddenly, though it's accompanied by that pleasant smile again.
Instead she's stepping foward behind him, looking down at the Creepshow. She takes a deep breath, watching for only a few moments before turning away. "I, for one, never disbelieved her when she said she'd killed herself. I couldn't figure why she'd lie. Besides, we actually died too, and woke up 'in the morning'. I fully expect we'll see her again."
Stepping away from the bed, the Hunter lets out a slow breath. "I think she will," the woman says. She looks down at herself; soaked now in blood. She doesn't even try to wipe it off of her arms; it'd be pointless. Instead, she turns to look at the Capitalist. Her first time really taking him in since he helped in the initial stabbing, as it were. She reaches a hand out for his; bloodied fingers for bloodied fingers. "Come on," she says quietly, her voice shifting in tone. Away from that more detached, clinical state. It takes on something more gentle. "Madison's right. Let's go get cleaned up. Leave her to her..."
There's a look over to the Creepshow, in repose. "to her rest."
Witnessing the Hunter deliver the final death blow, from his safe distance, and then go through the duty of bringing the Creepshow to rest in bed, does have the Capitalist curious on whether the woman he had met on the island could actually, and calmly, perform such an act. All the while when he's watching what transpires, his eyes are always on the Hunter rather then woman who had just died before them. He had always known that Maata was strong in spirit and mind and it was that strength that drew him to her. Was she capable of this though? Perhaps, he didn't know her as well as he had thought. It's not as if he doesn't find this entire thing fascinating in a morbid sense.
Hearing the Penitent speak about her own guilty conscience, the Capitalist just has to sigh. "You know what I mean. And there's some guilt mixed in there, but... have you ever--" He was about to ask if she'd ever killed someone, personally, but no, he will leave his question unasked.
Now that the Hunter, or Maata, approaches them, he is hoping to have a better sense of how she is handling everything. "Are you okay?" Is the first thing out of his mouth now. He doesn't withdraw his hand from hers, noting that she, too, is covered in blood same as him. Only when they turn to leave, does he take a final look at the woman who he helped to kill, her deathly image looking rather haunting alone in her room.
Turning away, the Penitent begins to move towards the door, and even though the Capitalist didn't finish his question, she provides an answer anyway. "I don't know. I'm sorry. I was being cruel. I prefer not to think about these things, really." She's quiet a moment, opening the door.
"All we do is make choices. There's external factors out of our control of course, but we just make choices, and then we have to live with those choices, somehow. Eventually we're supposed to die with them. We don't even get to die with them. I'm not sure what to really do if we truly don't get to die with our choices." The Penitent says softly, steps away and out of the room. Bare foot, soft steps back into the hallway. She's quiet. Thoughtful. Troubling thoughts, and like most troubling thoughts, she just decides to push them away. Not deal with them. Not think about them. "I'm going to get a cheese pizza." And that, is apparently that.
There's a long moment where the Hunter stares after the Penitent, watching the woman retreat down the hall. "She's going to break worse than anyone," she finally says in a quiet voice. "You can't avoid things forever. They come back in the end." She finally lets out a small sigh, pulling the Capitalist close before angling towards his room. He has the better shower. And the nicer towels. The blood is already beginning to dry and become sticky in the warmth of their intertwined hands.
"I don't know," 'Maata' says, to finally answer his question. "I thought it would help." She does make sure to pull the door closed behind them rather than to leave the macabre scene for all to see.
Despite what he just went through himself, the Capitalist looks after his sister as well, murmuring to the Hunter. "I think she's already broken." He hates to say it, but he gets that impression. Being this close to him, she can feel the tension tightening the muscles in his body and how he moves with a slower, sometimes uneasy step. Just like the memories from the island, he can't help but replay his part of the killing. Maata was by his side and he is grateful for that, and though he might not ever say this, he knows that he'll need her strength now to get him through whatever just happened here tonight.