Log:Trying Out a Name

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Trying Out a Name
Characters  •   The Bon-Vivant  •  The Penitent  •
Location  •  The Facility - Parlor
Date  •  2018-12-28
Summary  •  The Penitent and Bon-Vivant finally meet!

Sometimes the parlor is a busy place with people discussing the nature of this reality they all find themselves in, or reminiscing over memories that may or may not be quite as real as they seem. Sometimes it's quiet. This is one of the latter times, where there is only one person present. It's the Penitent, dressed in a simple black tanktop and a pair of dark blue sweat pants, she's sitting on one of the couches with her legs crossed beneath her. There's a plate that's empty, a cup of tea, and what she's currently eating: a big bowl of icecream.

Currently, she's staring at the television. The volume is low, but not completely muted as MTV keeps on playing with those 80's hits. Her gaze isn't really focused on the show, though. It's somewhat distant. But she's listening, evidenced by the tapping of her spoon against the bowl when she's not digging into her dessert.


The sound that suggests she's not remaining alone much longer gives the TV a little competition, as low as it is; the Bon-Vivant isn't being particularly rowdy, but the humming still carries, and the fact that he's walking in time to it means his footsteps emphasise the beat. Shame it's not the same song as the video being shown, though if she's been watching long enough, it's recognizable as one of the others -- specifically 'Take Me Home Tonight', and the footsteps are... kind of dancy, actually, almost syncopated. He's actually in the midst of a sort of twirl when he steps into the parlor proper, and pauses, slightly startled to see someone there. He shouldn't be, given the place has a bunch of people, and only so many places to be, but maybe he was expecting to hear people first if they were there.

Either way, he recovers swiftly, breaking into a grin and heading toward where the woman sits, whatever his original goal might have been. "Hey," he greets, and gives the television a look. "How come you've got it so quiet right now? People complaining again?" He's fairly nicely dressed, today, albeit as someone who may have been watching too many of the videos. Very Miami Vice -- white suit, turquoise t-shirt, sunglasses. It all fits like it was made for him, at least. Nice thing about those closets.


One can't help but have one's attention drawn to someone twirling into the place! Her train of thought completely derailed, Penny's gaze naturally drifts to the humming, kind of dancy entrance of the Bon-Vivant. Her lips crease into a bright smile, a guileless thing. "Hello," she says almost serenely, shaking her head as she glances him over, considering that choice of outfit. The spoon stops tapping, is practically stabbed into the ice cream that's slowly melting away as she sets the bowl aside for the moment.

"Oh no, no complaining. I just got a bit tired of it so I turned it down, but didn't want to sit alone in the quiet so left it on a little ..." she trails off and then shrugs her shoulders, the smile somewhat sheepish as to her own ears the explanation sounds kind of daft. But then, she's okay with that! "I don't think I've seen you around before, hmm?" Her brows lift up to emphasise the questioning nature of the statement.


The Bon-Vivant pushes the sunglasses up onto his head, which is probably a good choice. It's not really bright enough in here to excuse them. A slight tilt of his head at her explanation, but apparently it makes enough sense, in its way. "Yeah, it's quiet enough in my room I turned the water on a while when I was reading," he says, "I'd put one of those," a small inclination of his head to the television, "in there, if I could."

He half-sits on the arm of the couch, giving her a curious look, and then nods. "Nope, haven't seen you either. I'm new, ish. I mean, I've been here several days, but I haven't been in any Encounter-things." A tiny pause. "And I don't really have a name. Though, Colorado said he was going to call me Champagne, after my door," she may have noticed the one with a laughing man, surrounded by other partygoers, opening a fountaining bottle of champagne, "and Caleb shortened it to Champ. I'm still kind of figuring these things out."


"It's interesting, isn't it? What some people get in their rooms, and how different they are. Do you like your room?" Penny suddenly wanders, her gaze tracking him as he moves to sit against the arm of the couch, matching the curious look with one of her own. "Oh, another one of the new memory-less people." She beams a bright smile at that idea though, nodding her head. It pleases her, apparently. "You haven't picked a name, like Dirk did? Or the actress, have you met either of them? Er, I suppose 'the actress' isn't such a great name for her. Champ could be a good one, though."

A pause, a brief shake of her head. "I haven't picked a name either, but I've been Madison, Kylie and Anette so ... take your pick I guess. I'm more fond of the latter two, though I have nothing against Madison as a name exactly. So!" She claps her hands together, almost startling herself at the sound of it. "Figuring things out. What have you figured out so far?"


"I like Kylie and Annette," BV says, "You don't like one more than the other? And, yeah, I like my room. It's pretty awesome, actually, except for not having music in it. Cheer and I were wondering if things in them ever change when we're asleep, aside from getting tidied up... 'cause what if we get interested in something we're not yet?" A slight pause, and he adds, "Cheer's a new one like me, she's got the door with a girl jumping off a cliff on it. I don't think she's the actress, though, and I don't know if I've met her -- I did meet another new girl, though, early on. She thought about being called Bunny, after her slippers, but I haven't run into her since then. She's blonde, her door's got a woman being watched by an admiring-looking crowd on it. They're the only ones like me I've met, though Chance implied there's others."

He considers a moment, then lifts his feet and slides down the side of the sofa-arm, landing on the cushion with a pfft of air pushed from the stuffing, and the grin returns, though it goes thoughtful again fairly swiftly. "I've figured out I know more stuff than I know why I know. And I've figured out that I like that music, and that the dispensers make really tasty stuff, those rooms," a tilt of his head to the pair of doors, "are fun, being around people is usually better than being alone, and people here really, really like to talk about what this place might be and what it all might be and what might be outside and why we're here, even though on the whole it's mostly more fun to do other things. And that if I think too hard or long about what I don't know, I don't like how it makes me feel. Those are things I've figured out so far, I guess." The grin flashes back into place. "Also how to make things here work, how to skateboard, how to rollerskate, how to float in the ocean, and how to fall out of the sky. How about you? I take it you're one of the people who've had three other lives, but it seems like you're all figuring things out too anyway, so."


"Maybe I have a slight preference towards Kylie, but none of them really feel like me as such, so. I'll answer to any of them." Penny's fingers click and she points a finger at the Bon-Vivant, nodding. "Bunny! Yes, her. I've, uh. Hung out with her a bit." She averts her gaze slightly, that smile curving her lips once again. "She didn't care for the name in the end. Also tried on 'Viktoria' when it came from a name book -- Oh!" She looks back at him, suddenly. "Have you tried the name book thing? There's some running theories about it." She's gesturing towards the bookshelves now, peering over that way. "Maybe go get a book of names off the shelf there, and just open it to a random page and pick a random name and see if you like it. If not, well ... remember it anyway!"

Her legs uncurl from beneath her and she sits up straight, nodding. "Well, I guess figuring yourself out is the thing to do. Somehow. I don't tend to bother with the questions of where we are and why we are and what's out there, if there's even an out there. For one, there's no answers and the questions just chase themselves in circles and I'd much rather just eat ice cream. Or go exploring somewhere, those new rooms are amazing for boredom." She nods in the direction of the magic Anywhere rooms. "We didn't have them before, though I think this might be the first time I've truly become restless here. But yes, three lives. I'm not sure I've got it any more figured out than anyone else, really. I just try to enjoy myself." Then she's reaching out to take back her bowl of icecream, to devour another spoonfull or three.


The Bon-Vivant gives a small nod to the slight preference, and seems quite pleased by the confirmation that 'Bunny' is indeed 'the actress', or perhaps that they've hung out. But then there's that name book idea, and he glances toward the bookshelves, looking intrigued. Intrigued enough that after about a heartbeat he's on his feet again, and heading over there as she speaks. Still clearly listening, though -- particularly clearly given that, until he gets there, he walks backward and leaves most of his attention on her.

The remarks while he's walking get another grin again, an almost brilliant one, and when she stops, he points a finger at her and says, "See, that's what I think! It doesn't seem like there's any way we can know, or anything we can do about it, so... I mean, we /could/ go over it again, but we could also go try hang-gliding. Or eat cake. Or dance. I think I kind of like discussing things, as a thing to do, but I /know/ I don't like doing the same thing all the time. And if it's not fun, why do it?" It's a question with better answers in a world that doesn't take care of virtually all needs and reset itself regularly.

He seems to sense the bookshelves behind him, though not soon enough that his nose isn't practically in the spines when he turns around. He takes a step back, and starts looking for a suitable book. "Have you looked for a name in a book?" he asks, running his fingertips along the volumes as he hunts; a couple other books catch his attention and get moved to a lower shelf, presumably for later, but he sticks to his task for now. "And if you did, what'd you find?"


She grins as he's on his feet again, tracking him across the room as he starts to dig through the volumes. "I suppose it was different for us the first time, we weren't here before we were other people. Some people got here afterwards and were sure they were still those people and ... yeah. Anyway! It must be kind of nice in a different way to just be able to be yourself. Whoever that is. Like I said with 'Bunny', from my point of view at least, it's good to meet people and get to know them when I don't have any ... previous memories that I feel a need to react to. So to speak." She lifts a hand up and rubs at her face a moment, frowning.

"Anyway, yes. Doing things is much better, though people often have to readjust every time they're here. I don't think I've been hang-gliding. Should I? I do like swimming though. We went to the space station, have you seen it? And 'Bunny' performed some Merchant of Venice for me." Setting the bowl aside now, she leans back, lazily watching him as she clasps her hands together over her belly.

"I tried it a while ago. When I only knew Madison. I got 'Natalie' but I don't know, it didn't take. I suppose that's partly Conrad's fault, not that I blame him, because he was insistent then on reminding me that I was his sister." There's a soft little sigh, but nothing exceptionally dramatic.


The Bon-Vivant looks over his shoulder at the mention of the space station, even though he doesn't have the book he wants yet, his fingers pausing in their hunt. "I don't think so," he says, "but it sounds really cool. I was on a-- I called it a space deck, that Caleb made, but wherever I got that name from says that's not a space station, and also that that sounds like something I definitely want to see." He manages not to make it sound like 'right now!' should be on the end of that, but it does hover somewhere in the vicinity of 'soon, please!' instead.

Returning to the books, he says, "I haven't been, yet. ...hang-gliding, I mean. Cheer found it in a book, though, and it looks kind of awesome, so I vote yes, you should come with us and try it. You kinda strap into a thing kind of like a big wing, and jump off a cliff and fly." What could go wrong? "And I... don't think I know what Merchant of Venice is." A pause, and a bit thoughtfully, "Most people seem to think it must be much easier our way than doing an Encounter first. I don't really know. But I do think... it's weird not knowing who I am, and weirder if I think about it too much, and sometimes I think maybe it'd be easier to be like Martin or Eilis, and have that to work from. But from what everyone says, I might be glad I get to try to figure that out without getting told I'm someone else first. Because it seems like this is the main life, and it goes out and lives the other ones and then comes back. Natalie's not a bad name, but if it didn't take... though, you could always try it again, if you think it was mostly that. Or look in the book again."

He's just found one, himself, and turns around, closing his eyes and choosing a random page, then sliding his fingertip down the page and stopping on a certain beat of the quite music from the TV. He opens his eyes, and focuses where his finger's stopped. "...Felix," he says, and then tilts his head, focusing in the near distance for a moment, and repeating the name more quietly, as if tasting it. There isn't an audible 'hmm,' to follow it but there might as well be.


"You'd certainly know if someone took you to the Noc. I've been a few times now. It's the same space station that I was on when I was Kylie. A lot of us remember it. It has some great views, though it's unnervingly quiet without all the other people that I remember being there. So big, and so empty." Penny grins a little at the eagerness, which strikes a chord of familiarity in it, and just mentions off-handedly, "I'm surprised you haven't caught up with, uh, 'Bunny' more often. I feel like the two of you would get along." A light chuckle falls from her, and she shakes her head.

"I know what hang-gliding is, but I can't say I've ever done it that I'm aware of. And Merchant of Venice is a play. But maybe I should. We should bring her along too." A pause, as she considers, eyes closing a moment to think. "I can't say which way is easier, obviously. Or which is better. All I know is from my point of view, it's nice to meet people that for now, I don't remember in some weird other setting. Or in weird multiple ways from multiple settings. People like you, I get to just get to know without a weird twinge of remembering you as one of my employees or a scientist that worked for the Company or whatever." She waves a hand dismissively. "So that's kind of interesting from where I'm sitting."

She shrugs a little at the comments on the name of Natalie, and leans forward, scurrying over the sofa to prop her elbows up on the arm of it as she gazes at him when he picks himself a name. "Felix." She echoes for a third time, considering it. "What do you think?"


Now the 'hmm' actually does hit the air, the Bon-Vivant seeming to still turn the sound of it over in his head. "It's got potential," he decides, with a firm nod, and then seems to be hit by another thought, turning a couple pages in the book and scanning them as he goes. "I was hoping I'd see 'Bunny' more -- she was the first person I ran into who was new like me. But I guess we must keep missing each other, and I didn't go knock on her door yet..." Though, given the note that she thinks they'd get along, he might well be making his own note to do so.

He's still looking along the pages as he moves back toward the couch -- and its occupant -- though he looks up from it and to her to add, "Sorry, if I shouldn't have explained that one. I have trouble trying to figure out what anyone might or might not know -- I know I know things some other people don't, but they know things I don't, also, and I don't really know where any of it slots in yet. But I think I get what you mean about the weird multiple ways of knowing people, even if I haven't done it yet."

This time, he leans up against the back of the couch for the moment, rather than sitting, and his eyes move back to the page, which he then turns back, to scan the one before it again. "Huh. I guess 'Fizz' isn't a name," he says, half to himself, and more properly to her, "I said it yesterday, and I kind of liked the sound. And the meaning, I guess."


"There's a kind of theory that this place knows so much about us, with our rooms and door symbols and ... which door did you say was yours?" Penny asks curiously as she sits upright again, curling her legs beneath her in the corner of that couch, smiling her simple smipe up at him. "Sorry, I didn't mean to say you don't need to explain it. I understand what you mean, and yeah. It's especially weird, especially in the last one, Prosperity, so many of us were in these big families, but I also remember the people from other ways. Some of them were even robots, one time." She rolls her eyes. "So try and figure that out."

"Who says that Fizz isn't a name! Some silly book? Bah." She grins at the idea, shrugging her shoulders. "I think it's got potential all of its own anyway. What about it do you particularly like?" She wonders, brows arching up.


"Robots," the Bon-Vivant says; it starts out as a question, but ends up like an answer, or at least an idea, and his attention flickers toward the Anywhere Room doors. Thoughtful, again, which might or might not bode well. He's still focused mainly on the conversation, though, so he's back to it quickly, and smiles back. A glance at the couch, and he takes a step back, then a second, before retracing those steps faster, one hand coming down on the couchback, launching himself over it onto the cushions more-or-less beside Penny. A little on the 'less' side, which is probably for the best, considering. He breaks into a grin again when he lands; the move would've looked perfectly appropriate transferred to the hood of a car in the sort of show he currently looks as though he belongs in, despite the fact that he can't possibly have seen any of those shows.

The grin remains, though it softens a touch as he turns it on her. "Yeah, it's... my door's the one with a guy on it who's laughing and opening a bottle of champagne, and it's all spraying out, and he's surrounded by other people and they look pretty happy too. I like it. So, when I didn't have any name at all, Colorado was saying he'd call me Champagne, because of it," as he mentioned earlier, but now she gets more detail, "and Caleb decided to shorten it to Champ. Which I like when he uses it, and don't mind other people using either, but I think maybe it's like Kylie for you, that way? I like it, and I'm happy enough to be called it, but I'm not sure it's /my name/." And that seems to bring another thought to mind, as he leans sideways against the couch, facing her. "Eilis said it's basically a man's term of endearment, and I could think of it as a nickname, which works for me. Maybe Fizz could be a nickname for Felix. They both start with the same sound," he muses, and then gets back to answering the actual question. "I like the sound of it, and I like that it kind of goes with what they were naming me for before. That's what's coming out of the bottle, all the fizz. And it's sort of... exciting and happy, fun. The kind of thing I like. You don't /need/ fizz in a drink, but I know people use champagne for celebrating things, when they could just use normal wine, and that's basically the difference, right?"


"Robots." Penny confirms, though her eyes widen when she realizes he's going to vault over the couch, shifting just slightly, though she laughs after he's landed, a merry little sound, bright and bubbly, shaking her head. That laugh continues a moment before it comes out in an amused almost-sigh, as she leans back to a more relaxed posture once again, considering. "Oh right! Champagne. You mentioned that. Your door sounds a lot more fun than mine. A lot of people's do, come to think of it." She pause a moment, her attention seeming to almost just drift off, her gaze distant, and thoughtful. Another shake of her head, a shrug, and that kind of vacant smile returns to her face.

"I think Fizz is a fine name, if only because then I could say I'm going to come for a 'Fizz-it'," she says with that smile turning slightly sly at the pun, before she lets out another brief laugh. "No, but really, you're not wrong. Getting to be all exciting and happy and fun and drinking champagne because you're always celebrating, or something? Even I feel like it's a fitting name, and I've only just met you, so maybe that means something."


The Bon-Vivant laughs as well, a sudden and unrestrained sound. "You should /definitely/ come for a Fizz-it," he says, which could so easily come off as suggestive, but instead sounds just short of delighted, whether it's with the pun, the approval of the potential name, or both. "I don't even know everything that's in my room yet, but some of it's definitely pretty good." He considers for a moment, and then nods. "I think maybe I'll try them for a bit, and see if it," there's a barely perceptible pause, maybe finding that word she'd used for the feeling before, "takes."

There are a number of things he's meant to circle back to, already, and the robots thing is almost certainly one of them, but that distant look is hard to miss, and her words do rather demand one obvious question, even if he'd probably rather not call that look back again: "Which door is yours?"


Penny beams at the appreciation for her little bit of bad humour, taking it with that delighted sound, grinning afterwards. "I'm sure plenty of people can help you figure out what's in your room. Maybe I could if I ever stop by, and see some of this stuff that's pretty good." She nods encouragingly, though, tilting her head. "It's weird, having to name ourselves. And yet when we're 'out there', all of this is forgotten about and we just are those people. It's kind of remarkable really, if a little frustrating."

The question comes with a sidelong glance, and a little shrug of her shoulders. "My room is the one with the weeping woman with her face in her hands while a village burns in the distance behind her. It's, uh. Hardly as uplifting as some of the others, you know?" She smiles though, "I don't let it worry me too much these days. It used to worry me more."


"Huh," the Bon-Vivant -- Fizz? -- says, turning that description over in his mind. He knows the one she means; he's gone down the hall specifically looking at all the doors at least once, and incidentally looking at them quite a lot more, particularly when he was teaching himself to skateboard there. "They do really vary a lot. I'm glad I got one I like, but I do wonder how we end up with them. When I looked at yours, it kind of reminded me of people who came back from those Encounters, the way they talk about who they were there and the lives they had. Like a past that's gone, but they're still there, and they're sad for the loss." He studies her for just a moment. "But if they do have to do with us personally, you don't seem like you're grieving it like that." A sudden brightening as a thought strikes him, "...but you live on the /other side/ of that door. Maybe that could mean you're moving past it."

He kind of likes that idea, but doesn't seem to feel the need to really dwell on it, agreeing, "I figure not letting things worry us too much is probably the way to go, not unless we can change them. I wonder what happens if we try to change our doors -- anything aside from them changing back overnight? What if we took off two doors and put them on each other's rooms? I had a thought, talking with Cheer, that maybe if we actually did the thing our door shows, it'd change to something new. But some of those images would be a hell of a lot harder than others to do."


"Everyone seems to see mine differently to me. I'm not really grieving for lives I've had -- mostly. Madison and Kylie both died, in the end, so you know. They ended. Anette ... well. Perhaps surviving it all is the most awful thing of all. Personally, I think she's responsible for the fire, and doesn't know how to handle the burden of guilt. But a lot of people argue with me on that one." Despite the words, Penny doesn't seem terribly upset or anguished about it all, just shrugging her shoulders rather than dwelling on it. "And perhaps I am moving past it now. Nettie -- Anette -- certainly taught me a thing or too about how to carry that kind of burden. My room on the other side of that door is still kind of a prison cell, though. A pretty fancy cell, but still."

She glances up at his suggestion, considering. "You know, I never thought of actually trying it out. Though, there would be no way to try it out many of them until recently. Now that we've got our magic doors, who knows. But I don't really feel like imagining up some village just to burn it all down. I'm not especially fond of fire. Though, the symbols do change sometimes. When the people behind them change. And I ... guess they'd just reset like everything else does here, if you did anything to them. Guess you can only try, and hey, it's something to do."


"I could see that," the Bon-Vivant decides; maybe it's easier without having a past image of her to contend with, or just because of the stated uncertainty as to how symbols get 'assigned'. "Something has to start the fire, and that seems like the kind of thing someone'd feel bad about, if it was something they did. Even if they didn't mean to. You'd probably have to be kind of an asshole to just go 'oops, my bad' and be done with it, if it doesn't just come back overnight like here." Maybe even if it did, though that'd surely be a lesser sin.

If he had any other thoughts about that, they're pushed out by that description of her room registering properly. "So your room isn't what you'd want it to be?" he asks, just a little bit surprised. "I think that'd make it the first one I've heard that was-- that the person probably would rather not hang out in. Which seems kind of unfair. But, yeah, it's something to do, trying. And I kind of like trying to figure out how things work, what we can do with them." His gaze falls on the book in his hand, and returns to her: "Have you ever tried doing the book thing a second time? If you got Natalie again maybe that'd mean it really was right somehow. And if not maybe you'd hit something better."


She can't help but give a soft laugh at that line, the idea of of the 'oops', shaking her head. "Well, feeling bad about things is kind of my specialty." She says with a wink, rising up to her feet for a moment. She stretches just briefly before wandering, just pacing for the moment as Penny shakes her head. "No, it's not that I'd say my room isn't what I want, as such," she begins, pausing a moment to think.

"It's peaceful and calm and I find the place soothing. It has a sense of belonging to it; like it's where I'm supposed to be. It's just not as fancy and entertaining like others find theirs to be, perhaps? I don't know. I know at least one person who is not fond of her room at all. Cass. I've never seen inside it to judge for myself." She pauses in her pacing, glancing at him. "Yeah, I tried it a few times. I didn't get Natalie again. I wasn't really paying attention enough to remember what the next couple were though."


The Bon-Vivant grins at the remark about the specialty; maybe he wouldn't have without the wink, but as it is, he does, twisting to sit in the more proper direction on the couch, and stretching as well, his arms sliding out to either side along the back of it as he watches her. "Well, I guess maybe it needs to be someone's," he says, "but given the option, I'd definitely recommend feeling good about things instead. Like helping me poke more at the name thing. It's a lot more fun." Speaking of which, he offers her the book, just in case she'd like to see what it has in mind for her today.

"I haven't met a Cass, yet. And now I really want to look in all those doors. But I guess if your room's soothing and nice and feels /right/, then the rest doesn't so much matter, really."


Shaking her head at the book and raising a hand, it doesn't seem something Penny is really all that interested in delving into once again. "You should meet her, if you can. She's definitely not too keen on her room, maybe it'll be an interesting talk." There's that brief smile, and then she's wandering over to the bookshelf, selecting something within a matter of moments and nodding. "Right. That's my thoughts exactly, really."

With a book in hand, she pads back across the room. "I'm going to lie down for a bit, I think, and read this. It's been nice to meet you Fizz. And don't be afraid to come say hi, or drag me out to do something fun some time, hmm?" There's another brief smile, and after waiting a moment, she's turning to wander down that hallway.


"Nice to meet you, too!" Fizz says, smiling again; he seems fine with the declining of the book, tossing it gently onto the coffee table in front of him. "I'll keep an eye, or possibly an ear out for her, and I'm pretty sure I'll see you soon." Something about it implies that if it doesn't happen on its own, taking her up on those suggestions may well be employed to fix that. "Have a good book." That's a thing people say, right?

He lifts a hand in farewell, and then glances around the room; a moment later she can hear the volume of the TV rise again, the strains of 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World' floating down the hall behind her as she goes.