Alone.

Who: Will (and open PM to Hannah, Bethany and Shane)
Where: The only room he can be in right now.
When: Late morning

Will knew he was fucked when he realized there were no doors.

Okay, he suspected he was fucked before then, when he woke up and he wasn't in the white bedroom in the giant house; his heart immediately started pounding with the innate knowledge that he had been moved; he had fallen asleep and he had been in the dark alone and he had been taken somewhere.

But this room didn't look anything like that big plush room in the experiment. It was like some kind of vacation house; he woke up and everything was sunny, he was asleep in a day bed in a small neat room, pale hardwood floors clean and shiny. Across from him sliding doors let sun in; tucked into a nook beside them, a closet was open across from him with all his clothes. Over to one side there was a tiled bathroom behind a screen.

He got up slowly, unsure, turned to pull his covers straight and froze. Beside the bed was a workdesk. A little white wicker chair sat at it. It had his family photos, stationary, paper, a ballpoint ink pen. Psychology text books mixed with escapist fantasy literature of all sorts on an overhead shelf.

And a computer.

His heart nearly stopped. The family photos, the computer...

But then, they'd all been in the other space, too. Surely...

He tried to suppress the panic. No. No. This wasn't happening. This wasn't...Not again.

"Scott, Saj?" he called warily, opening the door, hoping beyond hope he'd just find they'd all been transplanted to some kind of magical winter house in Greece or something. There would surely be a hall, a matching cottage, something. Saj would be having the time of his life. Scott would be recuperating. Something.

He walked onto a patio, made of round cut stone. To either side of him, a short stone balustrade lined the patio, but some sort of infinity pool sat in front of him, the water disappearing into the distance. Short, lush grass carpeted part of it; the rest was light gray stone. A fountain with seating sat in the middle, and terracotta pots with small ferns sat beside lawn chairs on either side.

It was a little like the French Riviera, actually.
If no one else was there.
Which was, you know, creepy, because that would never happen.

He was beginning to feel a little dizzy with fear. Where am I? What is this?

He noticed something funny - something reflecting off of the fountain edge - and went to investigate. His heart lept into his throat.
Another computer, sitting inset into the edge of the fountain, easily accessible to the seating. On the screen, his journal was open.

No. No. No. His ears were ringing. Will turned around wildly, searching frantically for a way out.

There was no way out.

Will ran frantically to either side of the balustrades. More computers, sitting by the lawn chairs, and, with a sickening feeling of dread, he realized that the sky was a projection. And there, by the water, another lawn chair, with another computer.

He threw himself into the water, and got about 6 inches in before hitting glass.

"No," he howled, sitting on his knees, rocking. "No, no." What had he done to deserve this? He had been making friends. He had even had plans for today: he was going to do tai chi, and get Scott more medicine if he needed it, and write Vivi a letter - even if it wouldn't get sent - and now, now things had been reset and he was in a prison, a very very pretty prison with water and ferns but a prison nonetheless.

He sat there for a long time, shaking, trying to convince himself that he had gotten through this once; that he could do it again -- yet unable to move. How could he have let this happen? How could he have not woken up? He would have rather died, he could have fought them...and now he was back here, in this cell with nothing but false promises.

And that ringing, which wouldn't go away.
Will blinked. Wait. It wasn't his ears that were ringing. It was a steady, outside beep. And it was coming from one of the computers. In his panic he hadn't noticed which one, but one of them was clearly chiming, a sort of bell sound. He went to it, dreading what could be on the other end.

It was a message from Saj. Saj. My housemate. So we aren't, maybe, alone? In the other experiment, they could only watch; here, at least, they could maybe keep in contact with each other. Although if the experiments started all over, it might be a fresh hell, to be able to talk but not help...Will couldn't think about that. Contact was better than nothing, that horrible loneliness, that silence.

He took a deep breath, heart still battering against his ribs, and tried to respond, but his fingers were frozen. Finally he managed to type something back. Then he went to each of the other computers.

Is anyone there, please? This is Will.

 - .

Shane was in the dorm room he'd had senior year in italy. It had that boarding school feel, had everything in it--he'd had a private room, that was connected into another via a bathroom. The other room was there too, a friend of his. The same way it had been left. It just lacked said roomie, and the doors didn't open into the halls. They just didn't open. If he peeked out the hole in the door, he saw a view of the hall, but yeah. In fact, after a while he even saw people walking by in their school uniforms, but any attempt he made to alert attention was for not. He didn't figure they were actually there. That he was seeing a projection of some description. He dropped down onto his bed and stared at the ceiling for a while. This he couldn't quite wrap his head around yet.

All he did know, was even if he was in an environment he actually sort of liked? (After all, who wouldn't, when he still had his drawer full of trinkets he'd gotten off of the girls he'd taken back there?) He was still feeling way too much like he was back in the room he'd been shoved into and left for months. When messages started coming through on the only out of place things in the entire scenario, the weird computers, he started checking them. And one came through from Will, who...he wasn't sure if he knew or not.

I'm here. Shane Hawkins, that is. Not too keen on this development, either. It's reminding me too much of the stupid room I was locked in for months.

 - .

The computer sitting next to the chair by the water chimed pleasantly, and Will went to go look at it. The stupid room I was locked in for months. Shane. He searched his mind for the name, but of course everyone he recalled from the experiment was a face -- sometimes a screaming one, he shuddered at the memories -- or a first-person experience in the form of journal entries.

Still -- someone who probably knew what he was feeling; he felt a surge of relief at the thought.

We were in the same experiment, then. he typed back. I don't like this at all, no. Have you spoken to anyone else?

 - .

Shane got back to Will, and sighed. Jillian, she was in the same experiment as us. Still working at the other computers. I kind of had to get over the WTF of it all before I started messaging people. And he wasn't sure he was over the WTF of it all yet. This was so weird. Like he kept hearing voices from the 'hall' too, just normal dorm sounds. People laughing, shouts to get someone's attention. He had run over to look out the peep hole again and thought he recognized someone, but that? Was really probably his imagination. Or people with incredibly good make up artists, which he was sure the scientists had access to. He couldn't trust it.

 - .

Will nodded at the PM without thinking about the fact that the other boy couldn't really see it. Jillian; again a name he sort-of recognized, like Shane. He wondered if everyone had been put adjacent to one person they knew, from their own experiment. Me, as well. It took me until someone messaged me to get to the computers.

He looked around. This place was so deceptively pretty: he could have almost sat down in one of these chairs with a good Wells novel or a postcard to finish -- was that the sound of seagulls overhead? -- and let himself relax, if he hadn't known deep down that wasn't true. What does your place look like? Mine is some sort of...villa, like I've been stuck down in Provence. Sort of like a vacation we went on with my grandparents once, but totally isolated. It even sounds like there are sea birds, but it's really all indoors.

 - .

Just when she'd settled down to play some music. Hannah sighed, but got up to answer the chiming computer.

Hannah here. Brett and some paranoid crazypants on the other computer.

 - .

Will heard the soft chime from inside -- the workdesk! -- this was going to be a bit of a workout; and went to answer it before checking back at the other end of the room. He hadn't met a Hannah, as far as he knew; he hadn't really encountered anyone except his housemates and the people they knew, and Veronica who had arrived after him.

I don't think I've met you or Brett, he typed. But I'm glad to meet you, Hannah. I think we'll only have four people to talk to for however long we're kept here, so we might as well all get to know each other.

 - .

Hannah rolled her eyes when she heard the message. That's assuming I care about talking to any of you, she wrote back. I'm enjoying my solitude, thanks, and I've got better things to do than play twenty questions with the man in the machine. Cheers. Hitting send, she went around to her four computers and made sure each of them were silenced. She'd turn the message indicators back on later, but for now she needed to chill and play some music.