Whispers in the Graveyard

Who: Posy and open to Chris
Where: the Cemetery
When: morning.

Posy hadn't known whether she should be annoyed, due to her head-poundingly awful awakening, or happy, because the scientists had obviously gotten her request. The computer screen at the end of the room was wonderful and confusing at the same time. She could see people in their houses - so many of them, just waiting for Posy to get to the core of them. She smiled softly to herself when she found the message from Chris, too. Someone who actually worked for the scientists on an official level. How perfect.

She only wished her instructions were less cryptic. Was she meant to be taking notes? And what on earth was that muscular naked fellow tied to the Christmas tree all about? Someone else's problem. She had a man to speak to about an experiment.

She applied lipstick in her usual shade of head wound red, dressed in clingy black attire, and left the house quietly (not that she thought any of her house mates would hear her over their squabbling and the incessant thumping of Frosty the Snowman). Huddled in a dark grey trenchcoat she waited in the graveyard for the mysterious Chris to appear. She did not doubt he'd come and meet her. After all, it was he who had initiated their dialogue. A dialogue which she for one was very keen to continue in a slightly more face-to-face environment. If anyone could tell her how to get involved with the scientists it was someone who already was.

 - .

Chris had been overjoyed to wake and find they'd given him access. He'd begun to think that they were ignoring him - him! After everything he'd done for them! But maybe it had just been his own personal test, and he'd passed. And they'd given him access again now. It was a start, and he'd deliver. And the first step in that was to meet with this Posy woman.

He wasn't late for their meeting, wrapped up warm against the snow. He didn't know who she was, but he knew from his own experiment, where he'd seen some people be given camera access, just what kinds of people were granted that - the breakable, the manipulative and the unstable. He wondered which one she'd be. He couldn't wait to find out - who she was and what she was. He'd make his judgement of her only when he knew that.

Entering the graveyard, he approached the grey-clad figure. "Posy?" he asked, going straight to her.

 - .

"Yes. Chris I presume?"
She scanned the man with a deliberate flick of the eyes across his tall, skinny frame. He was almost as pasty as Posy and she wondered was his excuse was, doubting that he shared her blood condition. She wondered a lot of things. How he'd come to work for the scientists. What he'd been asked to do. How she could get in on that.

"Let's get right to it then shall we? Are you still helping conduct this experiment and if so, how are the scientists giving you their instructions? I made attempts to speak with them. I didn't take particularly well to being included in their bizarre joke with the Doll's House. I'm not a lab-rat, you see."
Her voice was languid and rather bored sounding, betraying very little of Posy's rather twisted sense of curiosity. She almost sounded scornful when she mentioned the Doll's House, though. Posy may have been impressed by what the scientists had acheieved previously, but she didn't sign up to be fucked with, and she failed completely to see the scientific merit in a toybox. She'd rather like to hear the internal workings of that idea.

 - .

Chris took it all equinamicably, raising his expectations as she mentioned that she wasn't a participant, smiling slightly at her phrasing - so close to his. "So, if you weren't part of the original experiments, why are you here?" he asked her. "Were you an intern - or are you fresh blood?" he added, not knowing what she was talking about when she referenced the doll's house, and not willing to answer her questions specifically until he'd had an opportunity of further assessing her.

 - .

Posy shrugged in a nonchalant fashion. She didn't like having her questions answered with questions, as hypocritical as that was. She raised an eyebrow and spoke with her usual clipped overenunciation. "If I was an intern do you think I'd be asking you how to contact the scientists? I assume I would know. No. I volunteered to come here. I wanted to see what had happened, what the experiment was."

Posy took a breath and smiled slightly - a more genuine one than she usual managed, but still with the slight frosty quality - before continuing. It was really a stroke of luck to meet someone who had worked on the experiments. Even if she was getting the distinct impression that he didn't know much about them - maybe he was low down in the hierarchy. Otherwise wouldn't he have realised that she wasn't a fellow intern?

"It's really rather fascinating how they managed to pull something so enourmous and illegal, don't you think? Why on earth would people spend so much money and effort on something like this? And then imagine my intruige when I realised I wasn't simply going to be talking to these....suvivours...I was actually still part of the ongoing experiment. Obviously I wanted to speak with the people in charge."

Her use of the word "suvivours" was slightly laboured. She had a hard time sympathising with anyone, let alone a childish group of irational paranoid fools like those she had already encountered.

"Now. Tell me about you. What did your job for the scientists entail, precisely?"

 - .

A volunteer. Chris smiled - a genuine smile. "Clearly, you know very little about the background and reality here," Chris told her, though it was in a forgiving tone - there was no reason why she should, but he was happy to tell her. "When the experiments were 'closed', we ended up here. Some of us, at least. Nobody knows what happened to the rest who didn't seem to make it here." And Chris honestly didn't really care. "We were given the same line as everyone else - discovery of the experiments, highly illegal and unethical, shut down, reintegration, the lot. It all seemed very real, until the day the town was abandoned. As I understand it, nobody's had contact with anyone outside the town since then. Not directly." He paused. "But then, there was no direct contact with the scientists at any time anyway, even before. The labrats were in their cages, we monitored them, we tested them, we ran the show on a day to day basis. but we had no contact with the scientists, not directly. We submitted reports and received instructions. Each experiment was totally separate, until I arrived here, I wasn't even aware that the others existed," he explained. Not that he was entirely happy with that situation. He wanted to move up that ladder, he was never meant to just be a test monkey, taking orders. "I was in charge of my intern group," he added.

 - .

"You were in charge of your group, yet they never informed you of your function? What sort of thing you were meant to be testing for? That seems odd to say the least. How exactly did you receive your instructions? What did your experiment involve as such?"
She saw Chris' tone and raised him a whole bunch of patronizing. It was clear she didn't quite believe Chris had been in charge of anything.

"At any rate, what exactly do you suppose we're supposed to be doing with the monitor system? Look' isn't exactly the most explicit of instructions. Have you anything different on your computer system?"

 - .

"My - don't you ask a lot of questions?" Chris posed, smirking a little now. He wondered what the rules were here. Wondered how they were viewed. Because he knew how people like her were viewed before - he'd enjoyed watching them be taken down a peg or two. And, purely for entertainment's sake, he wouldn't share that with her. Especially not now he could watch. "Instructions were received via email, as for what exactly we were testing for, there was the overarching test of seeing how people reacted to different stressful situations of course. My experiment involved a multitude of different tests, though I figured early on it wasn't so much scientific testing as just seeing how the rats dealt with torture. As for the monitors - I've seen it done before. They gave it to some of the rats in my experiment. To see what they'd do with it. I don't know what their plans are here."

 - .

Posy held her chin a little higher, and kept her air of defiant superiority. Two could play that game, and as far as Posy was concerned she was the undefeated champion of being the best. Simple.
"If you don't ask questions how are you supposed to get answers? I never understand why people have such a problem with it"
There was no hostility as such in Posy's tone. She just sounded bored - mostly because she was. Bored of the whole 'blah blah none of your business' routine. She never understood people's inability to discuss things.

She cocked an eyebrow at his use of the word torture. That was interesting. There was something about Chris that was a little bit twisted, clearly. His constant use of the word "rats" for one. Like he was distancing himself from these people.
"And you didn't care that you were helping to torture people? You haven't come away with massive amounts of post-traumatic distress like every other person I've met? It's really rather frustrating how few of these participants seem incapable of simple conversation. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to what you consider torture, Chris?"
Her eyes were shiny with curiosity. She pulled herself up on top of the tombstone she was standing next to, crossed her legs and cocked her head like she was conducting a rather macabre therapy session.

 - .

"No problem - merely an observation," Chris allowed, giving her a smile in the face of her icy cool. He wondered if that was meant to make him feel inferior - if it was, it wasn't working, but he wasn't going to call her on it either. If she felt the need to play those games, then he'd just let her and watch. "Does it bother you that you're given the ability to watch the people you live with now?" he asked her in return. Somehow, he doubted it did. He knew it didn't bother him - he was intrigued, and he'd always enjoyed watching. "They were fully informed of what they'd signed up to. It was all there - in the small print. High stress, social experiment, they knew they would be tested."

 - .

Posy nodded. She wasn't sympathetic. Not because she thought people deserved what they signed up for - she just didn't care either way. She wasn't exactly the epitome of fluffy hugs and rabbits. She leaned forwards slightly and her hard eyes glinted slightly, "Watching is a little different from interacting, Chris. I'm simply wondering if you've any psychological traumas I ought to worry about hindering me - considering it seems we've to be working together now, doesn't it?"
She spread her hands and smiled the tight non-smile she was so fond of. She wondered how he'd take it, this malnourished looking fellow who considered himself so in charge, her putting herself on equal staus (even though she was obviously of higher stock, but Posy could be the ideal lab partner if she felt it was called for) with him. It seemed laughable - he was no more in the know than her it seemed. If he'd really been some figure of authority then he'd have some information. As it was? From her perspective he had delusions of granduer. That would be interesting to play with.

 - .

"You think we'll be working together? Have they told you they're putting you to work?" Chris asked, his tone neutral. He'd seen this before, after all. Camera access didn't mean information, or employment, though he had to admit it made him feel a little less completely fucking ignored. That had begun to play on his nerves, his mind. He'd thought they'd forgotten about him. Or, worse, abandoned him. The ungrateful little shits - after all he'd done for them, risked for them.

 - .

Even though Chris' voice revealed nothing, Posy assumed that comment to mean that Chris himself had not recieved any more in the way of instructions (if you counted one word as instruction) that she had. She shrugged, matching his poker face.
"I fail to see the purpose of giving one a camera system and then not utilizing it. You said it yourself that there aren't other interns that you're aware of. They'll need someone to work for them, won't they? Why - are you adverse to partnership?"

 - .

"Not utilising us, or not us not using the cameras?" Chris asked her. "If it's the former you're after, whilst I wouldn't be at all against it, I doubt you could rely on it," Chris told her. He thought it less likely for her than it was for him - after all, he'd shown them already what he could and would do for them, surely they wouldn't forget that? "And you clearly are. Ask anyone who was a labrat and they'll tell you - everything was done remotely. As far as they were concerned, anyhow. In my experiment, there was the odd example of a scientist plant - as I understand it, she's in town right now, actually. A woman named Eris. She was one of them - but she was hired by the scientists to work from the inside. Until she manifestly failed in her task, that is," Chris told her.