2010-02-18: Digging in the Dirt



Date: February 18, 2010


Digging in the dirt

Stay with me, I need support

I'm digging in the dirt

To find the places I got hurt

Open up the places I got hurt

"Digging in the Dirt"

Common Area — Building 27, Governor's Island

In theory, the idea of having telepathic conversations that the guards think are impossible (and they would be, if not for some assistance from an old Company agent) is a great one. In practice? Turns out that it gives you a nasty case of carsickness if you keep it up for too long. Matt is sacked out on the couch again, but this time he really means it; even his telepathic hearing is blocked out for the moment.

In some ways, it has to suck being a telepath. Unless you're really good at keeping the thoughts of others out, they have an annoying ability to just…radiate out. It's not like sound in that you can ask them to turn it down to quiet down either; mental discipline is quite a bit harder. Just like normal physical hearing, it has a the little weakness in that you can still be disturbed by something right 'loud' even when you're asleep.

As it would happen, today's not a good day for one petite little brunette. Strung out from two consecutive nights of not sleeping a wink, Alexandra's finally gotten to the point where she was just too exhausted to put off sleep (and thus, the night terrors) anymore. Inevitably, the dreams come…and boy are they fevered.

Images race by: stopping a train car by erecting a huge mountain of dirt; a soldier's service photo; kids with tubes in their noses and orange jumpsuits; two Hummers smashed with dirt; children with the parents. And it's downhill from there, as even an autopsy or funeral photo of said soldiers sneaks in there.

Matt has had the odd snippet of dream here and there himself - there was something about a rainstorm, and a broken bottle - but nothing anywhere near so strong. One of the few things about being drugged into an unconscious and powerless state was that he missed out on the full force of Peter's broadcasted nightmares.

He recognizes the image that's forced past his metaphorical earplugs now, though - that train car looks a lot like the one where he once tricked a guard into jumping out the side door. This could well be one of the other rescuers— and it seems like she's in awfully bad shape. Pulling himself up to his feet, he braces himself before opening up his senses once again. What direction are those thoughts coming from?

Being sleep deprived for so long makes just about anywhere a viable resting place. When your last attempts to sleep in a bed have all wound up with your body huddled up against the cinder block wall anyway, why even try anymore? Seems like that's about her mindset at the moment: she's huddled up in a corner of common room, on the far side, away from the door. Looks like she just crashed right there where she was sitting or something.

Speaking of the 'good' variety of nightmares…well, she's not there yet. They're rapidly approaching though. The images of the train rescue and aftermath gradually begin to grow darker and grimmer. The train guards become faceless hunters equipped with special weapons. The city gradually becomes more run down, wracked by seismic disturbances. The coup de grace is an image of Manhattan island literally sinking.

It takes Matt a couple of minutes to find the place. He can't make a run for it without tipping off the guards— he has to go slow, acting like he's just bored and has nothing better to do.

Ah, there she is, finally. Now the question is, what would happen if he tried to push a thought into the middle of all that? Would it work, or would it get drowned out— or would he get drawn into a nightmare state himself? Matt doesn't want to experiment, not when there's a simpler approach readily at hand. Kneeling down, he lifts her head away from the stonework and turns it from side to side. "Hey. Hey, can you hear me?"

The little bit of sleep she did manage to get here wasn't refreshing, nor was it calming. That's why when he puts his hands on her head and turns it, she snaps out of her nightmare rather quickly. Alex comes out of the lucid dreams with a deep gasp and a whole body shiver, her eyes springing right open to reveal the bloodshot whites and the large bags.

"Who…who're you? I haven't seen you around here before…" she whispers out, while she looks around to get her bearings. Ah, right, she had crouched down here in the corner just to curl up out of sight and apparently had wound up falling asleep. Lucky her.

"It's all right," he says, holding his hands up in a hey-don't-smack-me gesture as soon as Alex sits up on her own. "My name's Matt— I haven't been here very long, I was… in solitary, I guess is the best way to put it. Are you all right? You looked like— well, like they roughed you up a lot." He'll wait till she has a chance to calm down before springing his ability on her.

"You have no idea," Alex says sardonically. Of course, she has no idea that he has a very good idea. "I'm Alex. As for getting roughed up?" She holds up her wrists, letting the sleeves of the jumpsuit slide down a little; they reveal some healing red irritation and small cuts, right about the place where cuffs would dig into the skin when pulled and struggled against. That should be something Matt recognizes. "They let me rough myself up before I got taken here and drugged up with some new stuff."

Matt shakes his head. "I know that look, all right… I like it a lot better on a guy who's actually hurt other people. You don't look the type… Listen, if you see a guy named Justin working here, see if you can grab his attention, all right? He'll help if he can." Standing up again, he stretches his legs for a second and then offers her a hand up as well.

Alex gives him a quick nod, and then takes his hand; she's not much to help haul up, being so tiny, but she appreciates the help nonetheless. "Thanks…Justin's the one who sent me down here from ah, solitary confinement I guess. I gave up what, uh, makes me special, to be out of that little room. Part of my regrets it." Matt would notice that her hands are a little dirtyish, particularly under the nails, which are still a little ragged and ratty from clawing at the block walls.

"It's not right at all. We're still trying to make sense of it… Anyway, c'mon, there's a bathroom not far from here where you can get washed up." And now that she's up on her feet again, Matt adds something else: « I'll try to fix the other thing, too, but I have to figure out a way how. Act like you're not hearing this part. »

"I, uh, I don't really don't want to wash up," she manages to say, without making much of a stutter or hitch in her voice seeing as how she's hearing his voice inside her head. « I…uh, ok? » Even though she's pretending not to hear it, she can't help but look at him out of the corner of her eyes and raise a brow somewhat.

Matt bites his lip. It sure looks like she needs to… but for all he knows, they figured a way to turn that into a touchpoint for whatever psychological crap they've been pushing her into. "…all right, if you're sure. Just try to take care of yourself, all right? Try the couch, it's pretty good." He's been spending too much time there, anyway, he's ready to mark time somewhere else in the compound for a while.

"The part of me that I gave up is that part that likes to be dirty," she confesses to him. Not like he couldn't have figured that out if he really wanted to! "I've been trying to take care of myself, but it's hard when you can barely sleep, afterall." With that, she blinks heavily and rubs her temples. "I could really go for just one or two solid nights of sleep. I'd probably be in a better place then, but…the place I'm in now makes that impossible."

The part in the nightmare about creating a hill should have been a clue - if he were thinking a little more clearly - but after being under for a few weeks in a row, and with a lot of other things to pay attention to, Matt has yet to make the connection. Plus hey, it was a nightmare, it might have been figurative. At least he manages to put two and two together now. "Because there's all these walls in between you and the dirt. Maybe they'd let you have a little garden if you asked for it, maybe with a UV lamp?" It's a sorry excuse for the real thing, but it might be better than nothing.

"I've been mucking about in the potted plants," she confesses with a little bit of a blush. "Unfortunately, it's not really as cathartic as I'd hoped, seeing as how I can't do anything special." When he mentions the walls being the only thing in between her and the dirt, she looks up at him with raised eyebrows. "I think they see it the same way, and that's how they want to keep it probably."

A plastic prison for Magneto, a stone prison for Poison Ivy. Or— wait, is she more interested in the plants or the dirt they're in? Well, he can't think of any dirt-based comic book superheroes - the closest idea he can come up with is The Thing. Matt offers a helpless shrug. "Well, I hope you catch a break some time soon," he offers. "Hope we all do."

She nods when he talks, wanting to believe it, but somehow, she just can't bring herself to. Alexandra is not exactly the world's biggest optimist; she's pretty much a realist by trade. While she can hope that some miracle outside intervention will help get them all out, the facts of the matter is that they're all pretty much prisoner here; until the jailers decide they should be let go, and as long as the drugs keep flowing, they're all going to be in here. "I hope so too, but I wouldn't count on it."

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