The Addict comes in from the dining room. He's in pajama bottoms. Just pajama bottoms, with his hair loose and disheveled. He yawns, then grimaces and says, "What on earth is that smell?" He eyes the smashed plates. "Who among us is living like animals?" He eyes the dispensers. "Ugh, never mind." His appetite is gone. He starts to go, then pauses and presses a button on one of the dispensers. It delivers strong coffee. The Scholar has the right idea.
Not long after the Addict comes the Deviant, dressed in black as he usually seems to be: turtleneck, slim trousers, pointed shoes. Ignoring the smell entirely, he moves straight to one of the dispensers to fiddle with the touch screens, glancing first to the Addict. One thin brow arches. "Has somebody lost their head?" A glass filled with something resembling ink appears before him, and he picks it up and takes a drink. His almost whispery voice has a Northern English accent. "What a shame."
This was, most definitely, the weirdest sensation she could imagine. Not that she had a lot of material to work with. Time was a hazy, bright concept that only existed as far as the fact the she knew, somewhere, that she had to have existed before this moment. This didn't come with distress, but a deep abiding curiosity that had pulled her from bed, made her wrap the floral, beaded, fringe-line robe she wore around herself, and drawn her out into the hallways. It was the /smell/ that had encouraged her in this direction. Not that it was pleasant, mind, but it was something to follow, and that's all she had going for her. Barefoot and still holding her robe closed, The Dabbler pops her head into the Dispensary, hazel eyes wide as she looked around. She says nothing, just watching, head tilting slowly to the side as she stares at the pile of plates, making her blonde curls tumble over one shoulder.
The Rogue finished his coffee and gave the mug a careless toss because... seriously it didn't matter. Flint blue eyes tracked Loner and he said only, "Meant the offer on backgammon. keeps the mind busy." And that was all he said on that giving the surly cuss a nod. some might bother with subtle assumption that the Rogue even liked the man keeping an eye out for his sensibilities. Who really know what Rogue's game was aside from a few. Eyebrow arched to Martin stating what they had all come to agreement on, and then up to Dirk. "Oh who hasn't taken leave of reason in some fashion? happens to all of us. In a way, an odd comfort that there's reason to lose. Means we're not too far gone I suppose." The gentle roll of the South African's accent extended the sentiment though tired and musing. Coffee listing to the- shit new enw face. "I think they're plannin somethin bigger than Prosperity. Or maybe more didn't make it back and they're looking to backfill."
"There was some experimentation going on, I think," the Scholar says, a hint of apology in his voice. He bobs his eyebrows at the Addict, raises his mug in a salute, has a sip.
"Can you really lose reason in a place which seems to lack it all-together? Maybe you're just coming to terms with your surroundings, then," he murmurs into his mug. Before he can get too lost in the weeds with that topic he spies a second new face. He glances from Deviant to Dabbler, tilts his head. "I don't recognize either of you. Are you new?" He tries to come up with a more logical way to word that, fails utterly. Yes, they'll just have to be new-to-the-Scholar, for now.
The Scholar's mismatched eyes flick to Rogue, and he grimaces; that does indeed sound like the case, and he hates to contemplate what's coming.
The Addict frowns when Rogue tosses the mug. It does matter when one has bare feet! He sighs quietly. "I think if we can keep this place livable for everyone, it'll go a long way toward keeping the rest of us from losing all reason." He keeps his strongly scented coffee close to his face so he doesn't have to smell the durian. He avoids the area where the smashed dishes are.
He looks to the Deviant and says, "I keep thinking it's safe to walk around barefoot, then something like this happens. Maybe too much of Martin remains in me, but making messes is just..." He shakes his head. "I don't know why people do it." His attention shifts to the Dabbler, and his demeanor softens. "Hello."
The Deviant's eyes, inscrutable and grey, look to the Dabbler as she comes in. He stares at her for several moments, like he's memorizing her face, before Rogue's mug toss distracts him. Considering his words, then those of the Scholar, the Deviant squats down, long legs in a V, and begins o pick up the pieces of shattered ceramic from the Rogue's mug, one by one. "New, yes," he confirms to the Scholar, lifting his head. "I'd like to think that 'reason' is one of the things that makes us human. Isn't it?" He smirks to Addict as he shares his thoughts about the broken glass. Deviant is actively cleaning it, after all, even if he's taking his sweet time doing so.
It seems to surprise The Dabbler when she's noticed, gaze flicking from the plates to The Rogue and then to The Scholar as if she's not entirely sure they've actually seen her. Perhaps it's that she's not sure she's real. It only lasts a moment before she steps into the room properly. "I suppose that depends on what you mean by new." She says softly, her voice touched with a genteel Virginian accent. The Addict's hello makes her smile, a small thing that only tugs at one corner of her mouth. "Hello." Her reply is simple and quiet, paired with a nod in his direction as she reaches for the tie to her robe to secure it closed properly and not just hold it that way. Glancing down at her feet, also bare, she turns her attention to the room in general. "I have to agree, breaking dishes may not be the most civilized thing in a group living environment." Maybe? What was civilization anyway?
The Thrill-Seeker has been away who knows how long. A bell having called her away. It was silenced after she left but she stayed away awhile. Now she returns baring yet another tray of baked goods. This time it is miniature cupcakes...or maybe muffins? They're dark and maybe slightly overcooked. Still the frosting on top of them looks tasty enough. She is smiling and looking mostly pleased with the creation she bears. "Is he still tossing things?" She asks from outside the door before setting the cupffins down, peering inside. Then there is a smell that hits her and she wrinkles her nose. "Oh, ew! Who tooted?" A hand waves in front of her nose as she scans the larger crowd. Unfamiliar faces are peered at with a cheerful and dimpled smile. "Hi!"
The Rogue eyed Dirk picking up just the most recent ceramic from Loner's monumentous pile of shattered ceramic. "Okay t'be clear, chummie, the dop on top's mine but the rest of this shite is the Scot's science project." Looking back to Scholar he nodded sagely, "Let's... not get me started on that. It's... not a ..." He just shook his head. "I know McTavish's had a deck of cards and a table but I haven't the stomach t'go back. The Noc had a casino we can fabricate though didn't it?"
Thinking of a conversation he had with the Coward, the Scholar says, "I suspect this place was designed to strip us of our humanity, sooner or later," and sips from his coffee. He watches Deviant set to cleaning up the enormous pile of stuff. "When we're forced back to sleep this will all disappear." He gestures with his mug for emphasis. "Which isn't to say," he glances at the Addict's feet, "that I don't sympathize with a desire to go not get your feet cut."
With a sigh, the Scholar explains, "It's durian," to the Thrill-Seeker. He peers at the tray of treats but doesn't approach them, content to sip his coffee from a safe(ish) distance. "It's nice to meet both of you," he says to the Dabbler and the Deviant. "You can call me Bastian."
He tilts his head at the Rogue, or Caleb as he still thinks of him (and maybe always will). "I wasn't at the 'Noc'." The word comes out awkwardly, as he's unsure of what he's actually saying. "But assuming it did, what do we bet?" He smirks. "Do I promise to learn a specific song for you on the piano?"
The Addict watches the Deviant for a moment, then sets aside his coffee and kneels to start picking up pieces as well. "I know it will go away when we sleep, but it's the principle of the thing. This is where we live, whether we like it or not. We shouldn't be making it worse than it already is." Without the smell of his coffee to protect him, he grimaces again at the scent of durian. He looks around for the offending fruit so that he can toss it out. "There's really no way out of here, is there," he says, his first inkling of curiosity as to how one might get the hell out of here.
Another new face? The Deviant gives the Thrill-Seeker a literal side-eye from his place squatting on the floor. Not afraid to get dirty, this one. His hands are already covered in the remains of whatever's been tossed down here. Perhaps even some durian. "Then the Scot is an even bigger fool than I thought," he tells the Rogue. He stands back up to his full height - 6'4", perhaps even taller, even though he's mostly skin and bones -- with a sopping handful of shard. "If this is the best we have at change," he tells the Scholar, "then we are pretty pathetic." Squatting down again, he starts scooping handfuls of broken things into the nearest trash, and if there is no trash, then he piles them nearly onto a surface. "Why would you want to get out of here?" That's to the Addict. Wait, is the Deviant actually enjoying himself here?
This mixture of personalities has The Dabbler feeling a certain amount of social whiplash. Nevertheless, The Thrill-Seeker gets a small wave from the blonde before she puts her back to a wall and watches the room. There's a nod of acknowledgement at Bastian's name, but that's the most she has. That is, of course, until people talk about living here and not being able to get out. "Potentially stupid question," She says then, crossing her arms over her chest, "Where... Or what... Is 'here', exactly?"
"Durian? Isn't there a band on the television called that?" Thrill-Seeker asks Bastion, looking away from the new faces a moment. When it becomes clear they are new to him as well her smile grows even more. "Oh -goody- we aren't the only blank slates to wake up!" She seems relieved by the fact for some reason. And now she gives the Deviant and the Dabbler another looking over. lue eyes going a bit wide as the Deviant stands to his full height. "Everyone is so taaaaaaall..." She says softly to herself. "You can call me Cheer. Cause if I had a name, I don't remember it," The pleasantness and dimples are back in place despite the side eyes and uncertain looks.
Risking the perilous field that the Dispensary has become she moves and gets herself a glass of milk. Pressing a button and grabbing it while pinching her nose. "Oh wow, that's bad," She says in a nasal voice of disgust and quickly hurries back out and over to the cookies. "Why would you get something that smells like that? I almost don't want to eat these anymore." Almost being the operative word as she grabs a now-cooled chocolate chip cookie from the plate and dips it. Dabbler's question doesn't get an answer from her, she just shoves the cookie in her mouth and chews.
The Rogue eyed the lot of them when Dabbler asked what was going on. It was to her alone the South African softened his tone drawing on any patience he still possessed. Man, there was always going to be someone wasn't there. "Hi. I hate to be the one to break the news but," It was regrettible but he was also firmly in camp 'rip the damn band-aid off' historically speaking. "You may havenoticed memory issues. Maybe you can't remember your name, where you're from, How you grew up... how you got here and all I can offer as condolance there is, well, neither do we. Someone...something's got us captive here and we're trying to figure out how to get by. There's more than that but that's a lot to take in. The short answer? We don't know. we jsut know there are expierements and we don't have a lot of choice. I'm sorry, but... that's... teh sum of it. The rest is a mite bit awful but ... at least we're in this together. That's something." Bitter? Yes. Fuled by rage and rebellion? Yes. Heartfelt in his apology that there's more to suffer with them? Absolutely. He offered a hand to the blonde and said simply, "It's nice to meet you." Martin wasn't entirely wrong. Some things counted. Civility for one.
The Scholar shrugs in response to the Thrill-Seeker's question. "Experimentation, maybe. There's several kinds of durian, not all of them as foul smelling as this one." He pauses a moment to wonder where he knows that from, shakes it off. Perhaps Sebastian read a book on tropical plants. Maybe he himself did; the time in their prison passes with a strange elasticity.
"Who says it's our best?" he asks the Deviant. "Some have been through this circus three times now, from the sound of it--I doubt they're feeling at their best." He grunts, has a drink of his coffee. "I know I'm not."
Which leads him to the Deviant's question to the Addict. He stares at the Deviant, surprised. "Why wouldn't we. After the things they put us through, the people they make us be--only to take it all away..." His voice fades, he sighs. "I suppose you wouldn't have any way to know that though." He studies the Rogue as he explains things to the Dabbler as clearly as possible, growing more uncomfortable by the second until he reaches some sort of limit. "It was good meeting you," he says to the Deviant and the Dabbler, "and good to see the rest of you." And with that, he heads back down the hall to his room, taking the mug of coffee with him.
The Addict finds the offending durian and throws it away. Only now he's got durian on his hands. "Because I doubt even our keepers will get this smell out," he tells the Deviant. He starts to wipe his hands off on his pajamas, then stops himself. Nope. That won't do. "I'll be right back," he says, and he heads out of the dispensary. He has to wash his hands. Off he goes toward his room. There's a sink in his bathroom.
"Oh, well. Clearly, that's an excuse to do whatever we want, especially if what we want is stupid and pointless," the Deviant says to the Scholar and yes, that sounded a touch sarcastic. Though who can tell with those Brits. He watches the Scholar and the Addict leave the room and turns to the two unknown ladies, to him anyway. "This is a liminal space," he tells them. "The others seem quite afraid of what's waiting for them on the other side. I say it doesn't have to be like that, but they all think I'll soon /know better/." He passes into the next room and finds a broom there, just waiting for him, along with a dustpan. Then he returns to start sweeping up the mess in earnest. He seems to enjoy keeping busy.
The Dabbler sits with that information for a moment. Eventually, though, she does take the offered hand for a small shake. Not entirely sure why that's the thing you do with an offered hand, but she thinks it is. "Good to meet you too... I think." She says and swallows hard. A moment later she seems to come to terms with what is happening, at least on some level. "So we're stuck, there's some sort of odd experimentation happening involving identities and memories and the nature of reality, and we're doing our best." A shrug, "I suppose it's better than not existing at all." Maybe. "Only way to learn more is to continue forward, anyway." When The Scholar returns with broom and dustpan, she holds out her hand to him. "Would you like a hand with that?"
The Thrill-Seeker chews at The Rogue and Bastion give explanations. Her blond head bobs in agreement with most of what is said. When she swallows her cookie she follows it with a gulp of milk. It leaves her with a milk stache for a moment. "Also, you may have a hard time getting why everyone is so touchy right now. Probably because I've no concept of the relationships they're talking about. I mean, I've read stuff sure...but I don't...I don't get it." She actually looks disappointed as well as apologetic. When Deviant speaks up again she smiles at him and nods. "I've just decided to enjoy every moment I'm awake and explore everything I'm inclined while I can. If we're all about to have some horrific experience we can't control, I'm gonna enjoy what I can control." And so she takes another cookies and dunks it.
The Rogue nodded as, yeah, it's sort of the way it was. He didn't like it, but he wasn't going to burn himself out on railing against the obvious. he paused and offered, "I've been keeping... notes. Trying to keep an order of the events best I can but-" He sighed, really hating the reset. He through about it and shrugged, "Look, my room's he one withthe man in the cloak on it. You want to know? There's something I can share so you know but..." Again words training off. This was hard. Punching the buttons on the dispenser to hide the flinch. A hand slid out to Dirk's shoulder in a brief squeeze. "appreciate you holding the line," Carrot cake? Huh. Finally he answered the woman with the baked goods, "Wish t'hell and back you never get it, cookie. Honestly? I'm afraid you will." and the flinch again. He piled the food together and informed the fellows he knew, "I'm gonna go look in on Champ. I owe em that." There was only so much theory he could do when there was a cold space echoing its lack of presence where he wandered. Like a shark, he was off to stay moving.
The Addict returns, his hands well-scrubbed. He has with him a little brass brazier that has a little incense cone in it. "This ought to help," he says. He lights it with a lighter, then blows it out. As the smoke starts to waft, he puts the lid on the brazier to diffuse it a bit. Hey, at least it's not patchouli. It smells a big like nag champa. As he sees the Rogue heading out, he tells him, "It was good to see you again. Take care of yourself." His brow knits with worry, but he keeps it to himself, whatever has him bothered.
The Rogue paused and looked to the man once Matrtin not saying anything but the expression reading what it needed to. "You too, Martin." His elbow nudged the armof the slight man in just the PJ's and off he went, with laser focus jsut to hopefully keep his wheels within wheels spinning together. He looked down to his hand and back up to Cookie. (He was calling her Cookie) "Cheers." Which was as good as a thank you.
"Not entirely necessary," the Deviant tells the Dabbler, "but feel free to hold the dust pan, if it turns you on." He's still sweeping away, but he also pauses to study the Thrill-Seeker. "Such as...baking, I presume?" That's something she can control, after all. When the Rogue promises a tantalizing piece of information not long before he leaves, the Deviant gives him a long, thoughtful stare. He can bet he'll be by at some point to find out whatever it is he means. But for now, here comes Addict with some incense. The black-clad man wrinkles his nose and goes back to sweeping in long, full strokes.
The promise of information makes The Dabbler nod, her curls bouncing a little, but her eyes a little brighter than before. She says nothing, but there's no doubt from that expression that she will go seek out that information at a later time. At The Deviant's quip, The Dabbler does take the dustpan. "Well, I don't /think/ I have a cleaning fetish," She says with a soft laugh, "But I'll try anything once." That's only half of a joke. Kneeling down, she helps with the clean up in this small way. "Not a bad way to look at it." She comment to The Thrill-Seeker, before her nose crinkles at that incense. "Is that the only incense they have around here?" She says with another laugh, "I'm pretty sure the same stuff was burning in my room when I woke up."
The Thrill-Seeker gives The Rogue a simple smile as they pass. And maybe a few cookies are slipped to him before he goes. As Danny returns with the incense she sniffs and then smiles, "Ohhhh, that smells lovely. What is it?" She focuses more on the incense in curiousity. "Did you get a cookie, Martin?" And she picks up another one from the plater, holding it out with a smile. Deviant's question has her turning back to him and nodding. "Well, yeah. Baking. I found some equipment in my room, like roller skates. Champ and me used a special room last night, had skating rink. We fell down. It was a blast."
"It's just what they had in my room," the Addict says. "It's burning when I wake up." He glances at the Deviant. "It's better than the durian," he says. Now that his nostrils aren't filled with the burning garbage smell of durian, cookies seem appealing. He comes over to take the cookie, and he says, "Thank you." He takes a bite. "This is good," he says with a smile. Then he looks around. He had a cup of coffee around here somewhere.
The Deviant sweeps a large pile of broken plates into the Dabbler's dust pan. He's good at cleaning, having already made a sizable dent on this pile, and he likely won't stop until everything is tidy again. He has yet to offer a name to either of the newcomers, though he does raise an eyebrow Thrill-Seeker's way. "Who or what, exactly, is 'Champ'?" There's an amused look to Addict when he declares that Nag Champa smells better than durian. If he disagrees, he ain't sayin'.
The Dabbler is, perhaps, surprisingly patient with this cleaning process. Empties out the dustpan into the nearest trash every time and then goes right back to it. She falls quiet then, though, just listening and letting the world go one around her.
The Thrill-Seeker dunks her cookie in her milk and beams at the Addict when he praises the cookies. "The cupffin's didn't turn out like I hoped. They're a little...chewy," She says and does that cute nose wrinkle. "Hmmm? Oh! Champ is my...friend? Yeah. Friend. He's about this tall," And she uses her hand to indicate height. "Golden brown short hair. Super upbeat. His is the room with the guy and champagne."
"Is that what he's calling himself?" the Addict says. "Champ? He seems nice." He finds his coffee, takes a drink, then asks the Deviant, "Do you want me to help? I feel kind of bad sitting here drinking coffee while you toil." He polishes off the cookie and finds a wall to lean against. He studies the rows of dispensers. "I worry this place is going to drive people crazy," he says. "It's broken crockery and durian now, but what are they going to think up next? I never thought of here as unsafe til tonight."
The Deviant and the Dabbler seem to work well together, with the former sweeping and the latter emptying. They make fairly short work of it -- at least, of the pile of crockery. The Deviant briefly leaves the room again and returns with a pair of rubber gloves -- yes, they're black -- a bucket full of soapy water, and a bunch of rags and sponges. He's preparing to scrub the place down, apparently. "Haven't heard of him," he says of 'Champ.' There's a shake of his head to the Addict at the offer of help. He and the Dabbler have it covered. "You already knew someone had been killed here, didn't you?" This said rather drolly to the Addict.
Quick work, indeed. When he returns with soapy water, The Dabbler considers for a moment before also taking up a sponge. She did say she'd try anything once. Besides, it was something to keep herself busy. The mention of someone being killed makes her blink, but not pause. "Really? Why?" She asks, "Who? When?" Curious, this one.
The Thrill-Seeker looks vaguely confused over her cookies and milk at the turn of the conversation. She eyes the Deviant with her head cocked to the side. "Um...killed?" She looks vaguely puzzled. "Didn't everyone die horribly or something? That was the general impression I keep being given." As Deviant and Dabbler seem to be nearing the end of their clean up she gets up and fetches two more smaller glasses of milk and two plates. A couple cookies and the milk set aside.
The Addict says, "Oh, I know. I know they were awake in their bed the next day just fine, too. There are more hazards than dying. There's soundness of mind to consider. Even if the environment gets reset every sleep cycle, it can still be disturbed in devastating ways, and there's no escape from it." He'll remember the smell of durian for the rest of his life. "We exist to some extent at one another's whim. Common decency would dictate we don't make the place more miserable than it needs to be."
"Some clever soul killed another as an experiment," the Deviant says, taking a wooden-handled scrub brush, rolling up his sleeves, and beginning to go-to on one of the walls. He sniffs. "Yes, apparently she was fine." Does he sound disappointed? There's a little smile to Addict. "And yet, it seems as though common decency has little place here. Why is that, I wonder?"
The Dabbler continues on her cleaning, thinking all of this information over as she falls into a rythm. It's a calm, natural place for her, getting something done. "Well," She says, voice a little far off, "At least she was alright, I suppose. Unless there was a good reason to want to be rid of her - Then that's not so good." A pause. "It's true, though, there are worse things that death. If we devolve into those for the sake of entertainment, satisfaction, or competition - Or madness I guess - Then that's not going to be a good time."
The Thrill-Seeker pauses in eating her cookies and stares at Deviant with wide eyes. A second or two later she blinks and asks, "Well, were they both agreeing to the experiment at least?" The blond sounds hopeful as she polishes off the next cookie. "I dunno, everyone has been pretty decent to me so far. Except whoever that was who was throwing things earlier. He was just rude," And she fiercely chomps that bite of cookie. And considers the Dabbler's words. "Mmmm, yeah. I was reading a book called In The Mouth of Madness. I asked for something that would terrify me...it has worked so far. It is back on the shelves after the last reset. I am not sure if I'm going to get it again and keep reading..." Who is she kidding, of course she is.
"I can only assume some of us are more broken than others," the Addict says, not without sympathy. "People hate this place, and they take out their frustration. I don't know, to be honest, I'm not a philosopher. I'm not sure what I'm meant to be." He glances toward the way out. "My door has a man in chains suspended above a broken scale. I can only guess at the meaning, but it can't be good."
The Deviant is smirking. What's got him so amused? He's been silently scrubbing away, not commenting for the time being, but he does look over at the Addict when he describes his door. "How curious," he breathes, grey eyes trailing to the other two. "What of the rest of you?"
The Dabbler just shakes her head. "I didn't even notice the door had a symbol on it. I'll have to look later." She shivers a little, and turns her attention entirely to cleaning, seemingly. Sort of goes a little glassy-eyed, even.
"A woman running towards the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. A look of jubilation, I learned that word today, on her face," Thrill-Seeker says, when Addivct shares his doors symbol. Of course her eyes flick between Dabbler and Deviant at this point. "What about you? I didn't till they told me about it either," Her hand gestures sort of at Addict, but more towards where the Scholar and others had gone earlier.
"Maybe the symbols don't mean anything," the Addict says. "It could just be some random way of marking each individual door so we can tell them apart. We don't have to adhere to what some nameless, formless keeper decides. It probably means nothing." He nods to himself. He'll just keep telling himself that. He glances down at his coffee, then swallows down the last of it, tosses the cup away, and presses a button on one of the dispensers. It produces for him a glass of whiskey, neat.
"Mine is a silhouette of a man, presenting a skeleton key," the Deviant says, dipping his scrub brush in the bucket. He's done a terrific job of cleaning this wall and the floor nearby. The only bits left to do are in the areas the Dabbler is working on. As he pulls off his rubber gloves, he watches the Addict. "Yes, we must drink together soon, mustn't we?" Then, a nod to the room. "Pleasure meeting you all, but I need to attend to some things." He doesn't specify -- merely wanders off, black gloves in hand.
The Dabbler finishes her cleaning not long after The Deviant heads out. "I should... I don't know..." She says, putting the sponge back in the bucket of water, "Go empty this and figure out what all I have in my room, I suppose." Or just stop thinking. Or sleep. Something. The overwhelming amount of new information is starting to catch up to her.
Off in the distance there is a *diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing* that goes on obnoxiously. Thrill-Seeker's eyes pop open and she smiles brightly. "Oh! Rice pudding," She says with eagerness. Downing the remaining milk she sets it on a table and shoves the rest of the cookie in her mouth. "F'ee ah a'der!" She says around it, turning to lope off through the dining room and to her room.