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Dramatis Personae

Polaris, Wendy, Winona


"What we need is a bus." (Set at the Blackburn Prometheus facility.)


<PRO> Showers - Blackburn Research Facility

The shower facilities are separated by sex but identical in just about every respect, one at each end of the long cellblock hallway. Inside the floors are tiled in white and the walls in beige, which is not at all a flattering effect, but at least it's easy to keep clean. A wall down the center is lined with mirrors and a bank of sinks on each side, but most of the floorspace is taken by generously sized shower stalls with white plastic curtains. Each stall has white plastic benches on one side and white plastic shelves on the other that are nominally out of the splash radius of the showerhead if it is carefully positioned. The back wall has a line of smaller stalls with toilets on hinged doors that mostly won't close right.

Lights out won't be for a bit yet, but prime shower time has come and gone. Wendy is enjoying the relative quiet; she took an unhurried shower and now, towel wrapped and tucked snug around her chest, is in front of the row of sinks brushing her teeth. She's unhurried about this, too, leaning a palm up against the counter, staring down her reflection like maybe if she stares at it hard enough it might change. It doesn't change, though it is growing some toothpaste-foam around the mouth.

Polaris had come late to the showers, escorted by a guard and looking bedraggled. Now she still looks bedraggled, if clean at least. She's stepping out of a shower stall, scrub pants on but topless still, towel draped over her shoulders as much for keeping long wet hair off her back as actual modesty. "I want like five drinks," she declares, not looking at Wendy though she drifts to a stop at the sink next to her.

Winona has just finished her own shower, having now also wrapped a towel around herself as she steps out of shower. She walks forward to the row of mirrors, and stops at one on the opposite side of Wendy from Polaris. She examines her own reflection, a slight grimace on her face as she examines her ever more haggard facial features and the ever paler rainbow dye at the ends of her hair. She exhales sharply, her eyes flick over towards Polaris and she leans forward a bit, "I wouldn't say no to that either."

Wendy slants a sideways glance -- one direction and then the other in the mirror. She leans down, spits. Turns the faucet on strong and splashes it around the basin of the sink. "I hear Rina's brewing some pruno, but I cannot speak to what that might taste like. Or how drunk it'll get you." She tucks the toothbrush back in her mouth, slowly brushing again. Slightly leaning over the sink, this time. "How far do you think it is between here and the nearest cold cider?"

Polaris huffs a soft laugh. "It's rural Maine, right? Probably not all that far. Or is it applejack that they make up here?" She scrubs the side of her face. "What does applejack even taste like? All I can think is that fucking cereal. 'We eat what we like.'" She starts laughing again, and there's a giddy, unsettling quality to it. "Fuck." More quietly, now, though Wendy can tell the calm is forced. "I can't take this much longer."

Winona's nose scrunches a bit as she considers the flavour and quality of Rina's project, but her shoulder finally raises in a relaxed shrug. "Applejack?" she says uncertainly, biting her bottom lip for a couple of seconds while Polaris is laughing, but her expression returns to a more focused state quickly enough. "Honestly? Neither can I. I know I haven't been here as long, but..." She trails off and pushes back some of her heavy wet hair. "But maybe soon enough." This last is not expressed as a hope, but more forcefully, with purpose.

"Like apples," Wendy supplies not-particularly-helpfully. "Which the cereal does not." She scrubs at her tongue, spits again. Cups a handful of water, though for a moment she just watches it spill between her very-slightly-splayed fingers. "I don't think we'll have to." Her voice is lower, now. Her fingers flick at the stream of running water. "Flicker's been getting people on board -- I think we might have enough to. Well." Her brows furrow slightly. She dips her head further, swishes a handful of water into her mouth. "I'm not 100% sure of it yet. Any plan is going to be -- risky."

"Alright. So first order of business when we get out is track down some applejack. Or cider, or whatever." Polaris turns on the faucet in front of her, cups both hands beneath it, and drinks deep. Shuts it off again. "Good. That's good. I can deal with risk." She looks up at the reflections of the other two women. "Can't speak for the folks who aren't on board, but I--" She grits her teeth, gripping the edge of the sink, hard. "So what's the plan? Whatever percentage you're at, it's probably twenty million times more thought out than anyone else's."

"I've been trying to tip fence sitters over here and there, get word spread quietly that things are brewing, but." Winona shrugs uncertainly. "Any percent is better than no percent. I understand that there'll be risk, but I don't think there's ever been a better time, and I don't think there will be if Flicker-" She cuts herself off, her eyebrows furrowing. "Anything you need, help fleshing it out or... anything. What've you got?"

"When they kill him, we're boned." Wendy is blunt about this, her fingers tightening around her toothbrush. "Most of the guards seem to think it's inevitable soon but one of the whitecoats took an interest in him so maybe that's a stay of execution. I mean, physically, we can make it without him, but, it would kill morale." She tucks the edge of her towel a little more snugly into itself. "You're not going to like it, but we need Jamie. They still think he's a traitor so they're letting him monitor Aubrey's sessions. They could get access to just one guard -- the right command and we could have this whole grid down -- in the middle of one night, I'm thinking."

Polaris nods absently and starts toweling off her long green hair. "I don't like it," she confirms. "Brainwashing or no brainwashing, I'm pretty sure that little--" She sucks in a deep breath and lets it out. "--Jamie is not going to help if Flicker dies. Probably turn us all in, honestly." The last sentence she mumbles quietly. But then her eyes snap to Wendy's reflection in the mirror, suddenly keen and intense. "Wait, he can like--make them do it at a specific time?" Her fingers drum restlessly against the tile. "So the grid goes down, we smash our way out...then what, though? We're still out in the sticks."

"I don't really trust him not to betray us, especially yeah, if Flicker dies, but... not really lots of options," says Winona, her eyebrows knitted. She shakes her head and leans towards the mirror to get a better look at the state of said eyebrows. "How much time would we have between knowing a command's been issued and it being executed? It'll be easier if all of us know what's coming and around when." She leans back again, apparently satisfied with her examination and she squeezes paste onto her own toothbrush. "If we get vehicle keys or something and the grid is down, I can figure out what they go with quick. Pretty universal that people get pissed off from time to time when driving," she offers.

"He can bury an order for later," Wendy confirms, rinsing off her toothbrush and finally allowing herself a very small curl of smile. "And he and Jamie have been such nebbishes this whole time I don't think anyone pays them much mind right now." She runs her tongue up across her teeth, shaking her head slowly. "That part I'm less sure of. If we get the grid off, I'm sure we can get out. I think if Leo starts working on the staff a few days before he can see to it they're short staffed, too. But after -- we're still in the middle of nowhere. Flicker says that new janitor seems sympathetic. Still feeling out how sympathetic. There's slipping us better books and then slipping us car keys, right? But if he's serious, we might be able to wrangle some inside help."

"Huh." Polaris drags a comb through her damp hair--which still looks a mess--and pulls on her top. "Nice. If he can give the order for a specific time--third shift, preferably--then we can be ready for it when it happens." She flexes her hands as if ready right that very moment. "He'd have to be pretty serious to slip us enough keys to transport us all, but I guess we'll see." She balls up her towel and tosses it in the rolling hamper. "You got anything for me to do before go time, I'm down."

"I didn't figure anyone would just slip us keys easy, but without some way to make distance fast..." Winona shrugs, her body language seeming more unconcerned than her expression. She waves her toothbrush in front of her face while she echoes Polaris's sentiment, only delaying from brushing until she finishes speaking: "I'll keep doing what I am doing and keep my eyes open, but if you've got need for anything, I'm also here for it. Nobody here I would trust more than you to be able to pull something together."

Wendy pulls on her underwear beneath the towel, shucking the towel after and tugging on her scrubs shirt. "What we need is a bus," she says, while the shirt is over her head. "But barring that I guess we'll make do."