PMs to Camber, Glitch, and Shane

I've already established contact with one person, but not with you. My name is Addison. If you're active and able to answer this message, I would appreciate it deeply. I'm looking for a woman named Indira. If you've spoken to her or know who someone who has, I would appreciate news about her as well. Thank you.

Addison.

Addi sighed and ran a hand through her hair fretfully. She had to know if Indira was safe, but it was their words, and what if Indi wasn't and they wouldn't tell her? For all she know, really, they were all scientists on the other end, being paid to type in responses. But it was all she had to go on right now. That doctor woman, Addison would ask her later if she'd talked to Indira. She wanted a reply first.

 - .

Having gone between "Days of the Phoenix" and "I Wanna Be Sedated" all day with little else going on, Cam started when Hole blasted at her from the fourth computer.

She blinked at it and then typed back a response.

It's Camber over on this end. I haven't heard anything from Indira, but I've got about a dozen people within three jumps...one of them might know? I'll see.

BTW, I'm trying to get a list together so if anyone needs something I can figure out who to go to first. We've already got someone who needs a doctor two rooms away. Do you know who's on your other computers?

She sighed and hit send. Cam wasn't in a great mood to try and deal with people who weren't, you know, about to die -- especially Indira and company -- but it was Indira who pissed her off, not Addison, and she wasn't going to alienate a means of information.

 - .

Addison had settled into a pattern of going one full round around the room to check the computers, and then seeing if any of the plants needed watering - her grandmother would be really ticked off if she let perfectly good plants die for dehydration, after all. Even if her grandmother was probably never going to know about this.

She'd just checked the plants, and watered two of them, by the computer that started chirping at her, so Addison set down the mug she was using to do her watering thing and went to check it out.

She brightened slightly. It was good to know that while she didn't know Camber at all, the name was at least familiar.

I have someone who claims to be a doctor on one of my computers - a doctor in what, I don't know. I'll send a message and find out.

 - .

That's great! Cam typed back at double-speed, feeling a little bad for having been grumpy about responding to Addison in the first place. Thanks so much, let me know if they have any medical expertise? She knew the likelihood of there being a sudden, third doctor around was slim, but maybe...

 - .

She said that if it's about an overdose, the information's already been passed on to a medical doctor. If not, can I please have the information to pass to her, so she can pass it on to the medical doctor she's in contact with.

 - .

It's the overdose, but thank you, Camber passed back, and sighed. And also, the "she" and "passed to a medical doctor" meant - probably Kaori on the other end. Haven't heard anything about Indira yet, btw, but I'll keep an eye out, she added a second later, feeling a bit unhelpful.

 - .

Thank you, Camber. I wish I could've helped more.

 - .

No need for thanks. Me too.

 - ..

Glitch had been going through the catalog of vinyl that had been left for her, her eyes wide in shock. Some of this stuff, she knew, was extremely rare- albums she'd had her eyes on for years, but never in her wildest dreams thought she'd ever own. She had just put on The Beatles' Yesterday and Today- with the original "butcher" cover!- when the computer that had until now been silent beeped at her. Gently removing the needle from the record- real or not, she wasn't taking any chances with something that valuable- she chirped and snapped and "cock"ed her way over to the computer, hoping it was someone she knew.

It wasn't. But the woman was looking for someone, like most people here, and damned if she wasn't going to help.

Hi Addison, my name is Glitch. I don't know the person you're looking for, but I hope you find her. This is quite a crazy set up, isn't it? If I get in touch with someone who knows her, is there any particular message you want me to pass on?

 - .

Hello, Glitch. Thank you for helping me locate Indira. I need to know if she's alright. She's family. Addison typed without really thinking about it. Indira might as well have been family. Glitch, though. That was an interesting name, and Addison wondered if Glitch was a boy or a girl - she suspected a girl. Just something about the way four sentences were written made them feel female. And she wondered what the story behind that nickname, and she was assuming that it was a nickname, was. Maybe she'd try sketching out this Glitch person before she met her, just for something to do. Don't you just love playing telephone online?

 - ..

Glitch chuckled a little as she read the last part of the entry on her computer. It was a nice change of tone after the first part of the message, which almost sounded desperate.

Yeah, it's great fun. I'll send a message out to my people, who'll send out a message to their people, and we'll get word back to you, don't worry.

So what does your room look like? Mine looks like an old loft apartment I wanted back in San Fran, complete with a couple of turntables and a microphone, and a bunch of records I'd always wanted but never could afford.

 - .

Addison smiled slightly to herself. This Glitch person seemed nice, and it seemed like a pretty normal thing to talk about. And all she could really do was wait for word on Indira. She cast a quick, uneasy look at the computer with the person who claimed to be Shane on it; she was waiting for a reply there, before she turned back to the Glitch computer. Maybe she should make little signs.

Mine is the old apartment my grandmother and I lived in, before she moved and I signed on. I have all my art supplies, and a lot of extras, too, and plants that look like my grandmother's. It's nice. Feels sort of like home but not really. Are you a radio jockey?

 - ..

I know what you mean. It's like that Steven Wright line about waking up and everything in his apartment had been replace by exact replicas. Everything's right, but wrong at the same time. The amount of detail they put in is amazing though. I've even got a view of the Bay from my window.

I'm not a radio jockey, I'm a club DJ. I work dance clubs and stuff like that at night. Pretty sweet gig, plus you get to watch people get totally messed up and make fools of themselves.

 - .

I have all my CDs here - they're all ripped off the internet friends' computers. I've got The Dandy Warhol's "Plan A" playing right now. That's cool though. I'm not musically inclined myself. I think I played the tambourine in grade two music class and pretty much failed that. I prefer to sketch.

 - ..

Glitch giggled a little as she saw the woman's choice of music.

Sounds like we've got similar tastes in music, at least, and love that pirate spirit, burning them yourself. I'm the opposite though- can't draw to save my life. I screw up stick figures. Still, there's nothing like the sounds of vinyl- I've got "Moving Pictures" spinning now- haven't heard that on a real record in AGES.

I'm still on the lookout for your Indira- you said she's family, is she your sister?

 - .

No. We just survived together - our experiment was bad. She's just... family now. We're not actually related.

The music I had to burn. My grandmother and I didn't have a lot of money, so I could exactly afford new CDs. But I think it was better this way anyway because at least I know I got music I enjoyed. I didn't think anyone still used vinyl, though. But as for the stick figures, have you ever been on the internet? Some of the most popular webcomics are stick figures, for some reason.

 - ..

Glitch understood completely. She should have guessed that the girl wasn't talking literal family. The scientists wouldn't be so sick as to put people in this with actual family members.

That makes total sense. I know I'm really close with some of the people from my experiment. They're definitely like family.

Whatever it takes though to get the music, right? And I'm old school, I guess. Music just sounds better to me on vinyl. Plus they're better for mixing in the clubs. And I've seen those webcomics, so I guess there's hope for me yet!

 - .

I wanted to be a comic book artist. But especially for DC - I'd love to work on Batman. Though who knows, maybe I'll be a police sketch artist one day instead. Who else are you listening to now? I've had Shiny Toy Guns, Abney Park, and Alice In Videoland since we started chatting.

Addison doubted it personally, since she believed she probably wouldn't survive Experiment 2.0 - she'd gotten damn lucky she wasn't targeted in the house, and she knew it.

 - .

Shane read the message when it came in, and sat down to message in return. He had to blink a little, really. He was kind of amazed, and kicking himself at the same time. He really should have looked around better for people. He remembered her. Addison?? Hey! It's Shane!! Do you even remember me? I remember you. Cute girl, artist...and I remember Indira too, how's she?? Jesus, I didn't even think to check for you lot when I got to town, but then I've been a little antisocial...what's up?? Are you okay? Is she? What happened with everything?
--Shane

 - .

Addison blinked at the computer that started making sounds, and frowned. No, that wasn't right. Goddamn scientists. Goddamn them. She wanted to rage at the computer, shatter the screen, get glittering shards of glass everywhere. Bastards, pretending to be Shane. He was dead - though they'd never found the body, or if he wasn't dead, why did he get out? No one else got out. Everyone else had to stay in the damn slaughterhouse.

She stood up and walked around a bit, trying to breathe and relax enough to type.

Shane from Exp. B? Gone after just a few days?

 - .

He read the reply, and was mildly confused, but eh. Maybe she just only vaguely remembered him.

Yeah, I wasn't there long. I got put into C, which was an isolation experiment. Not fun, don't ask. But what happened? Are you okay? What's up? Sorry if I'm being a little exciteable at you, I just really hadn't figured I'd see anyone from there again, it's been so long and everything.

 - .

Addison chewed on her bottom lip for a moment, and rubbed the back of her neck. What did you say to the undead? Except he wasn't really undead, he was alive and he'd gotten out.

The experiment went bad. None of us are okay. I thought (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) you were dead.

Addison hit 'send' and wondered if she should give him more information then that. If it was a scientist, they'd already know after all, and if it really was Shane it wasn't like he'd have gotten close to anyone in the experiment before he disappeared, right? Maybe it would be better if he wasn't told; he wasn't part of any of it after all. Addison stood up, fretting.

 - .

Reading that, Shane felt like his blood chilled a little in his veins. He stared at his screen for a few long moments, before sighing, scrubbing his hands over his face, and typing back to her. Explain 'bad' to me, Addi. he sent. He didn't even know if he really wanted to know, but he just had to.

 - .

If you're really Shane, and I'm not going to believe you definitely are until I see you (I hope you understand, if you are Shane, my reasoning behind this), you should know you're the only one who got out alive. Everyone else stayed, and I think our survival rate was something below 50%. There, that sounded reasonably not like she wanted to start screaming at him for managing to do what no one else did. Literally.