Creature comforts

Who: Everett, open to Cheyenne, Eris, and Glitch via PMs
Where: His room
When: morning

He'd been woken by the soft chime and trill of Camber's message hitting the computer to the north of his room, but Everett hadn't even considered it to be a bad thing at first. No, he'd woken up to a deep feeling of relief, a wonderful surge of hope. Why? Well, because for a second there, he'd believed that the last nine months had simply been a horrible, horrible dream.

The immediate space around him wasn't overly large, but it was intimately familiar. It was Everett's office at his station house back in Atlanta, a place he'd considered his natural environment. And at first, why would he doubt the authenticity? There was his desk, with a glass sitting on paperwork that still held a splash of scotch. He was on the little cot he kept here for when he really worked late, the tack boards were as choked with fliers as they'd ever been, the filing cabinets were still worn down and jutting edges of paper from their doors.

The blinds were drawn on the windows of his office, but that soft alarm sound seemed natural enough. It was probably one of the two cybercrimes guys they had on staff showing Mendez how to work his email again. He'd grumbled his way off of the couch, tossing back the small splash of scotch easily and tugging his sweatshirt off in the privacy of his office. Ev yanked open a desk drawer, smiling at the fresh shirt he kept folded within. He was home, it had all been a dream. Stockard, Brett, Rain, all of them were just... subconscious twistings of the things he dealt with every day. Hell, I'll tell Dr. Ming about this one all on my own, he mused with a smirk as he slipped an arm into the shirt sleeve, then froze.

There, on his ribs, was the only piece of evidence Ev needed to see. A small, circular lump of scar tissue; the remnant of the bullet that had nearly killed him. All at once, pieces dropped into place in his head. How could he be home? He was still suspended, still not a cop, still a killer. Leaving his shirt hanging open, Ev yanked open the door of his 'office' and stormed out as the little tone kept sounding from somewhere.

Even if it wasn't real, the detail? Was stunning. It was a chunk of his station house sitting in front of him, desks unoccupied but littered with paperwork. There were blank walls where there should've been doors to holding cells, interrogation rooms, and more, but otherwise it was a flawless recreation of the reason Ev had joined the experiment in the first place. When he saw Camber's message, he knew all too quickly that he wasn't the only one being fucked with. But what was the point of it?

He needed to stop wondering that, since it never seemed like there would be a point to this torment. No, right now he needed to figure out what was happening, and if people were in trouble. Maybe find his scotch. He knew where to look, given the hiding spots in his own office, but Ev also knew he shouldn't. Sober, he growled at himself, Stay fucking sober for this, Dupree. Get it done. Get it done without a drink god dammit.

Fighting a shake that demanded a drink to steady itself, Ev rose from his desk and moved for the east computer, going in a clockwise pattern. There were no messages on this or the other two yet, so maybe there was no one on that end? Or maybe they hadn't woken up yet. So he'd wake them.

Okay. So it's me, Everett. I don't know who you are, if anyone's reading this, but I'm guessing you're stranded on your own too. I've spoken to Camber over these things already, and given that I've got five computers and her message only showed up on one, I'm thinking these things are like big, text-messaging walkie talkies. So we need to try and contact as many people around us as possible, get a head count, find out who's missing. We need to stay calm and work together as much as possible. Breathe deep, it'll be okay.

Once he'd sent the message out the other three ways, Ev retreated back to his office. All he had to do was slide open another desk drawer to find exactly what he didn't want to find. Half a bottle of scotch, cradled by junk papers, was waiting for him. Don't, Ev told himself, praying for an answer from one of the computers before he couldn't help himself.

 - ..

Glitch wasn't happy. She didn't remember going to sleep, but knew she must have at some point, because she'd awakened in a new bed. Her first instincts had been the usual ones. Number one, turn the light on. Done. Number two, open a door.

Door.

Doordoordoordoordoorwhere'sthefuckingdoor?

"Cock!" she screamed, although whether it was her tic or legitimate pissed-off ness, even Glitch couldn't have told you. She banged on the walls for a moment before taking a good look around. If it wasn't for the whole "no-door" thing, she'd think she was back in a warehouse loft in San Rafael. Her tics nearly in overdrive, she examined the room. There were no windows, which had never bothered her before in her own loft, but now really made her uneasy, despite the size of the room. A DJ booth was set up in one corner of the room, complete with records! and the rest of the room was done up in what some would call "shabby chic." The oddest thing was the computers. There seemed to be five of them, one in the center and one on each wall. She was just about to explore them when the one across the room from her began tweeting at her. Intrigued, she wandered over and saw the message on her screen.

Reading it, she had to think for a moment. She hadn't met him, but she knew there had been someone in her house named Everett. So the game was still on, huh? Damn it. Chirping and barking, she typed back a response.

Everett? This is Glitch. We shared a house, although we never officially met. You probably heard my wonderful noises though as I puttered around. So I guess this is our only way to talk? Does each computer go to someone else?

 - .

Ev wasn't saved by one message, he was saved by two. he'd been lingering in the door to his office, staring longingly at the desk and thinking on its' contents when two of his computers chimed, one after the other. Heading over to the first, he settled in and scanned the words onscreen with a somber frown. He had indeed heard the odd cries of 'cock in my ass', but those were the sort of thing a southern gentleman didn't investigate.

Glitch, good to meet you. And yeah, seems like this is our only way to talk. Given that your message is the first I've received on this terminal, I'm thinking these are two-way, limited hubs. So what I need to know first is this; are you okay? Is there anything dangerous about your surroundings? Anything at all I need to be aware of? If not, then what I need you to do is hit up your other terminals, find out who is where, and let me know. There's people here who are dependent on each other, and we all need to be ready to courier messages for each other to keep from being surprised. In exchange, is there anything I can try to do for you?

 - ..

Glitch heard the "bleep" just as she was about to sit down at another computer and just start randomly messaging whoever was on the other end. She'd get to that in a moment. It'd be rude to let her first conversation partner wait.

I'm in great shape. It looks like a loft down in San Fran, where I'm kinda from. Nothing dangerous unless I stick a fork in the microwave or something. If you run into Cheyenne or Ronnie, let them know I'm ok. Anyone in particular you want me to look for?

 - .

Hopping up from his first set of messages with Eris, Ev settled back in at the terminal Glitch could reach, reading with a small sigh. Already he was getting tired of passing messages, but he'd volunteered. He'd opted for it on his own, and it was better than falling back into the bottle. That'd just be obvious to the others once he stopped being able to type entirely.

Good to hear you're okay. I'm your hub to Cheyenne, it seems, and she'd already asked about you. She's doing fine as well, she was relieved to hear you're okay. Still no luck on my end with this Ronnie that you both asked about, but I'm putting word into Camber's line to see if it pans out at all. As for reaching people for me, if you happen to have a line to Shane, Jillian, or Brett, let them know I'm doing okay. Tell Brett I've made contact with Eris, if he hasn't. Camber and I may try to break down a wall, if it actually works I'll bust you out too. Count me as doubtful of this plan.

 - ..

Glitch had been answering another message when Everett's computer went off again. At least the running back and forth was keeping her energy up and keeping her from remembering for the moment that there was no door. She plopped back down and quickly typed, kind of glad that her tics didn't extend to the written word.

Dude, if you can bust me out, that would be awesome. But I understand if it ends up problematic. No worries, we're still alive at least right? Anyways, I don't have Shane or Brett, but I do have Jillian! I'll let her know you're doing okay. She seems to be fine, she's in some kind of a loft apartment, kind of like mine. I also have an Adam who says he knows you. Thanks for passing on the info about Cheyenne though, she's a sweetie and I was worried about her. Sucks that I just got reunited with all these people and we get ripped apart again.

 - pm to everett

Cheyenne was kind of wondering how this was going to work. The messaging system was nice and all, because it meant she could talk to people, but she had to dash between computers. She'd woken up in a close canopy bed, heavy drapes all around it making a nice, comforting cocoon. Outside that there was a tent, with a whole lot of things she really liked and enjoyed. Outside that, was a warehouse looking structure that had a low ceiling. computers were out there, and that's where she was trying to hurry around to them--though she did find a little scooter, a push-kind, which she was utilizing now!

She pulled to a stop in front of the message from Everett, and bent to type in a response. Hello Everett, we haven't met. I'm Cheyenne. You have a unique and amusing way of putting that. I appreciated it. And thanks for the affirmation that it'll be okay. It will be, I'm sure. Someone's freaking on one of my screens, I have to figure out who yet though. But sign me up for the keeping calm and helping spread the calm word brigade. Who else are you speaking with? do you think we could try to pass messages to people? I want to get messages to people called Ronnie(or Veronica) and Glitch for starters.

 - .

Figuring that it'd take Glitch a minute to message him back, Everett hopped up and started plowing through the room towards the other computer. Three down and one to go was good progress, but he had to wonder about the remaining one. Sliding around a tight wedge of desks, Ev found himself grinning with nostalgia. "Hearst, you're still a fucking slob," he muttered at someone who just wasn't there, sidestepping their desk. Ev slipped into another computer chair, dark brown eyes narrowing as he read over Cheyenne's message.

Cheyenne, we've actually met once before? But not formally. I was in the car when you were driving Scott to the clinic. No harm, no foul. As of now, I've spoken with a woman named Camber and the Glitch you mentioned. They both seem as collected as any of us can be in this scenario, but I'll pass on any message I can. If I find a way to get word to this Veronica, what would you like me to say?

 - pm to everett

Rolling up on the scooter, Cheyenne rolled her eyes at herself. I'm sorry, who were you in the car? That whole morning is kind of a blur. God, Scott, do you think he's okay? I tried to get the little guy who'd been kinda sobbing over him to visit Scott yesterday but don't know how successful I was in that. And oh! You've got Glitch around here? Could you tell her that I'm alright, and I hope she is, and that I send hugs and kisses? Which, if that's weird for you, I totally understand. If you can get word to Veronica, send along that I'm okay, and she'd probably want to know Glitch was too--we were all in the same experiment. Thanks so much for this, by the way. Is there anyone you want help finding or getting word to? I'd be happy to help, I've got you and Tobias so far.

 - .

I was the black one. He sent that solitary bit with a grin to himself, glancing back as the terminal associated with Glitch binged again. Looking back to his new message to Cheyenne, Ev sighed a little and debated doing up lists to save on his trips back and forth, a sort of new update as things compiled. I've got Glitch on my other line, actually. Looks like I'm a channel for you two. Glitch says she's okay, she's sitting tight in her room. If you happen to get messages from Eris or Brett, make sure they're okay and tell them I'm trying to find whichever one you don't speak with. I've already put some word out about Ronnie, I'll let you know if I hear more.

 - .

Cheyenne smiled brightly at Everett's message. I remember you! You helped calm me down. I still can't believe Leah, though. But whatever. Thank you for that anyhow, it's nice to get a minute to meet you...well. Sort of properly! And oh good she's okay. That's a relief! And Brett--crabby guy in a wheelchair, hates the world, would be really cute if he just stopped constantly glowering at people? I know him, he was in my experiment too. I'll definitely look though! I'd say to tell him I'm okay but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't give a damn. And Eris, check. Thanks a bunch again, Ev! ♥ She sent off, ticking the names off in her head to ask around about. Well, Brett would be easy to find. He was Brett.

 - .

Eris, in one of her little annoyed fits at Brett, wandered over and finally looked at the message she got. There was another comfortable chair in front of this computer, and she sighed, and dragged the keyboard over to type back to him. Really think that's even going to matter, Sarge? What's a head count going to do? And if you're right, then it's all just a really messed up version of telephone. I'm calm. I have vodka. Or...something. It's clear.

 - .

You saying there's no one you want to hear from, Stockard? He sent the question first, sitting back with a frown. Ev certainly hadn't expected Eris? But with all the reminders their captive liked to give him, he wasn't surprised either. Besides that, what happened to standing up for others' sakes? Your observation, not mine. I wasn't so drunk I forgot.

 - .

She stared at her screen and rolled her eyes. Anyone she wanted to hear from. Right. Because she was such a social little bunny. Friends everywhere, that was her. The only person she would want to talk to she was currently ignoring the shit out of on another computer. So she ignored the first question just like she was ignoring Brett. Did I say something like that? You'll have to forgive me. Someone handed me brain damage--I don't always remember things. she typed back. Unfortunately in this case, she was telling the truth. Her conversation with Everett was hazy in her mind. She knew he'd come in to help her take her medication, but she didn't remember all that they'd said. Apparently, she said something...

Sounds like good advice for the rest of the sheep though, I suppose. Good luck with that. Let me know how panicked assholes playing telephone works out.

 - .

Heading back over from his most recent message to Glitch, Ev wasn't really surprised by the content of Eris' message. He felt about as optimistic as she seemed, but Ev was at least trying to hide his cynicism for the sake of anyone else he could speak with. Christ, Stockard. You got any better way to spend the time stuck like this? They drop you in a recreation of Atlantic City or something? Because my options are this or rereading old case files, and I'm saving that for when everyone else is sleeping. And you feeling okay? I doubt you want any concern, but you seemed pretty rough yesterday.

 - .

First he helped her out with her meds while her head would have felt better with an icepick in it, and now he was asking her if she was alright? She...didn't know what to do with that. Really didn't. So it took her a little bit to answer, not that she didn't have the time to kill. She was still wondering if Brett was going to reply back to her at all. And if he did, if she was going to bother messaging in return. Part of her knew that was total bullshit, she would reply. She just didn't want to admit that just yet. Reading your write ups on me again yet? And I'm just in a room. Looks like the room Princess Di would be kept in if she was captured by the scientists. As for if I feel okay...not really, but nothing anyone can do about that, is there?

 - .

Ev sighed quietly at Eris' words, glancing around the layout of the mock-station. Were her writeups somewhere in here? More importantly, had they been doctored? He figured they had been before; the case against Eris had been strong? But Ev figured it had been tailored just enough to make him just fine with what he'd done. Not shit anyone can do, no, he typed with a scowl, Best we can try for is keeping tabs on each other to stay abreast of the situation as it changes. Speaking of, if ou make contact with someone named Veronica, let me know. I'm couriering messages, and a few people want her to know they're okay.

 - .

What am I, a fucking messenger pigeon? she thought, but whatever. I've only heard from you and Brett. The other two are silent. she told him since she supposed taking out all of her frustration with Brett on Everett wasn't the fairest thing in the world. And while she really didn't give a shit about fair, she didn't want it to come back and haunt her later.

 - .

Ev sighed, just wondering what that might mean. Maybe people slept past their computers' sounds, his weren't too obtrusive on their own after all. Somehow, he doubted it was anything so benign. Well, people are tallying up who they can raise on which channels, so eventually we'll at least be able to make an educated guess about who's where. Fuckload of good it'll do us, I know. But I need something to pace my drinking off of. That said, I think it's time for the first of the day. Here's to you, Eris.