Oooookay....

Feeling:
WTF

Who: Leo and open to Dale, Lilith and Janie
Where: his 'room'/PMs
When: Morning

It took Leo a while to work out what was going on. He'd woken up in a wooden hut - the kind he'd stayed in on the beach in Ko Samui. Single room, hammock for a bed, brightly coloured rungs on the walls and floor, palm branch roof - sand everywhere because you couldn't stop that with a beach hut. It was warm, there was a breeze wafting in the glassless, open-shuttered windows. There was a computer up against one wall - a laptop, like the one he'd taken travelling with him.

He'd climbed down out of the hammock and headed outside to look around. There was sand, but no ocean. They'd put the sound of the ocean in, but there was no actual water. What there was was a beach-bar over to one side, all bamboo and palm leaves again, a single stool at one side, rows of alcohol on the other. And another computer. Leo walked over to it and looked. It was set up for messages. Who knew who to. He left that for now and wandered round. The opposite side of the room - because it was clear now that this was, in fact, a room - was a hot tub. Again, with a computer. Weird, but okay, that was also set up for messages.

He found two more computers - this time without interesting locations. Four computers, set up for messages. And a fifth, in the hut, set up for journal entries. He set some music playing on the fifth, turning it up loud enough to play throughout the large room as he moved between the other computers, typing the same message into each.

Hi - I don't know who'll get this. Bit like message in a bottle, isn't it? Hopefully someone will, and hopefully you'll get back to me. Did you ever used to do that as a kid? Tie your name and address to a balloon and then release it, hoping that the person who found the balloon would write to you? I used to - I actually ended up with a penpal in Norway once. That was fun. Apparently we're in isolation again, so maybe nobody'll get this. But people from C saw my journal entries, so you can never tell and I'm going to hope for that. I'm Leo, by the way - because I was advised by Shane that he always signed his entries, so people could track who he was, and I liked that idea.

Leo.

 - .

Ding. Ding. Ding. That chime again but at a different tone. It was a different computer. Lilith glanced towards the machines and away from the heavy shelves that lined the room. She picked up a couple of small bird skulls and rolled them in her fingers, thinking. Did she want to be bothered by another person? Perhaps she could deal with them. And the room was so silent that she could easily locate the computer. Hell, the room was so familiar that she didn't even think to use her talents in human echolocation very much.

Adjusting her long skirt, she made her way over to the computer and settled into the chair with practiced ease. Ah, to be herself. It was wonderful. She didn't have to worry about some other person seeing how easily she could move. It continued to be her secret. Even if there weren't proof, sometimes when she moved people called her a liar - said she wasn't blind... That was before she took the cloth from her eyes.

The computer read the message for her - long and rambling. Leo. Good morning, Leo. It is Lilith. I recall you writing, excuse me, to me before. I had no need for penpals. My home was filled with, thank you, hundreds of people. Generally, she did not like offering information but she was getting bored and his questions would entertain her though he would never reach the full story.

 - .

Leo hopped over to the computer as he heard it ding, jumping straight back to the first person to reply, typing as fast as he was able, giving up accuracy for being able to contact someone. Hi! Lilith - greta, that's, I was wondering what was going on! So - where are you? I seem t be in this beach hut thing with a abar and a hottub and stuff - it's really random; I keep thinking i shoudl eb near the sea, but there's not ocean,which is driving me nuts, totally nuts. i widn't know whether there'd be anyone else or if we'd been flung back into isolation, you know but clearly not :-D

 - .

Lilith winced as the computer read the returning message. It was having a lot of trouble and she frowned deeply. He was getting overly excited. Dark One save us from crazed men. Slow down!! While I am, pardon, capable of translating your message I must note I am blind, the computer reads to me. And you're very garbled. She placed fingers on her temples and rubbed them for a moment. Headache. A horrible headache. Maybe there was some Advil around. They have built me a room, thank you, that has not existed for several years. It is... eerie but appreciated.

 - .

Leo read her message before instantly replying. If the computer reads to you, I don't control the speed, do I? he pointed out, but he made himself be more careful with his typing all the same, checking for errors. My place is like a beach hut I stayed in once in Thailand. It's kind of cool actually. But I miss the ocean. I have a hot tub though. he told her. It was good to be able to talk to someone. Not to be alone.

 - .

You severely over estimate by abilities, excuse me, with computers. Lilith hardly ever used them. She had no reason to. The telephone still worked fine as did the postal system. A temple. One that has not existed for eleven, apologies, years as far as I know. She frowned a little bit. Had they torn the mansion down? She didn't know. But if she ever got out of here, she was going to find it and live there even if it meant she starved to death in the basement-turned-temple.

 - .

Leo read and reread the messages, and then realised that she was possibly making a pointed remark about the fact he'd failed to ask her what her room was like. Then again, she was blind, so he'd not done that because he'd thought it might be taken as an insensitive question. A temple? That sounds really interesting - what kind of temple? he sent back.

 - .

She really wasn't. It was just an exchange of information. If they could figure out the pattern in rooms or at least theorize how in the Hell they'd gotten this information by what they knew, that was enough. And really, it wasn't insensitive - at least not to her. But then, no one knew about that particular party trick did they? A black temple, she was not about to elaborate on the Satan part, To darkness and death. To the wicked. It's, thank you, quite funny really. Do not lie.

 - .

Leo was intrigued. He'd seen all sorts of weird and wonderful temples on his travels and the idea of one to darkness and death sounded nicely creepy really. Cool - where was this? I'd love to see it, why was it destroyed? Seems a pity to do that to a temple - or was it falling down anyhow? he asked, curiously.

 - .

Since he asked, she would answer. There was no sense in lying. After all, she was never going to meet Leo in person. Scotland... Near Loch Ericht. She tapped her fingers together and settled back in her chair, thinking on how to answer his second and third questions. I do not know if it was, pardon me, destroyed. It may have simply been resold. The temple was contained, yes please, inside of a mansion. Let him translate that as he would.

 - .

A temple in Scotland - interesting. I didn't know they had any up there. Was it very old? Like druid or somthing? Or something else? Or was it modern and built for something special? he asked. He'd had more bizarre conversations, but there weren't many people to talk to right now, so he'd keep talking back, no matter where it went. He needed the contact. He didn't want to be alone.

 - .

I have someone called Dale on my other side, who says to say to you 'hello Sunshine!'.

 - .

... Dale. Sweet Satan. Lilith gave a very exasperated sigh, Tell her, as always, I request she stops calling me that. The bitch was lucky that Lilith had not followed followed one of the tenets due to mob mentality and risking her own death: Do not abide by those who annoy you. If they do not stop when asked, show them no mercy. As to your previous, excuse me, questions - no, it was not old. No, it was not Druidic. Modern.

 - .

Will do, passing it on as soon as I'm done here. So a modern Scottish temple? Sounds interesting. What religion? Or was it a cult? Were you a member? Leo sent off, having first edited out 'weird cult thing' for something slightly more diplomatic, in case she had been a member.

 - .

You ask very good questions, child. She smiled to herself, thinking for a moment on how to phrase her answers... I would not call myself a member of anything, excuse me, save for being born into a religion. After all, did not Christianity begin as a cult? Did not, apologies, all religions begin as cults? Doctors had told her not to speak of it but to not speak of it would to keep the sheep asleep. The sheep needed to be woken, to see the light... And so she would speak.

 - .

Dale wasn't a happy camper. That was a sort of literal situation, because her room looked like the cabin she and her husband rented for two weeks every summer, besides this last one, for vacation. Oh, it was a nice cabin. It wasn't filled with bugs or anything, and it was well-tended by the owners. Actually, it might've been slightly bigger than the original cabin, Dale wasn't sure. Anyway, everything was done up in apple wood, and had new appliances. There was even that fireplace that Dale had wanted for their house though they didn't want to get it until Marlee was bigger and knew the dangers of sticking her fingers in the hot thing. There was even a toy chest in the corner, though it was empty because they didn't bring a lot of toys with them to the cabin, and never left them there.

The windows were interesting. They were black wall behind them, but had some nice lacy curtains in front. But you could hear (very faintly) the lapping at the lake shore, the wood sparrows and crows and seagulls, and occasionally what sounded like a motorboat going by. But it was on a loop. Dale had set up enough of those to recognize it after the third or so time it looped around and she could be sure. Vaguely, she wondered if it would change at night, for the owls, crickets, and outdoor fires left over from beach parties.

Dale sighed and sat on the couch and stared at the floor for a while. You kind of noticed little things like not being able to leave when there wasn't a door. And really, there was that uneasy trickling of relief when she realized that she wasn't expects to leave the room.

And she blinked up when one of the computers chimed.

It took a moment to figure out which one it was, but she managed to accomplish it.

But what if no one wanted to know who he was? Hi, it's Dale!

 - .

I've got a person requesting a doctor. Do you have a line to any? -Dale

 - .

Leo pegged it to the other side of his enclosure as one of the two silent computers pinged twice in succession. He had new messages! From someone new who wasn't weird temple girl! Hi! I'm Leo - and maybe they did, maybe they didn't, but at least they'd know who they were ignoring, right? And, sorry, I don't have a doctor, I don't think. I have you. And a girl called Lilith who has a room like a temple, and then two silent computers - I don't know who's there, if anyone. I sent messages, but aven't got anything back!

 - .

OMG! You have Lilith? Tell her that Dale says "Hiya, Sunshine!" for me, would you?

 - .

Lilith, excuse me, says, thank you, stop calling her that. ;-)

 - .

I probably won't.