Martha sat at the edge of the motel bed
Martha groaned as Rossin paced from the motel door entrance, to the bathroom
It wasn't far.
They had gone to a nearby motel.
Not the closest, Rossin switched with her to have the manager hand over the keys
I just want to sleep now..."
'There are a few things you need to know first, then you can sleep, I promise.'
Rossin looked at her, still pacing
"Why are you pacing."
'You know when you have your mind running a mile a minute.
I am in you, and moving is a way to keep the part of your mind that hallucinates me active.
When that is active: you can not sleep.'
"So you're keeping me awake..."
Again, Rossin nodded
'Making sure I have not missed anything...
What he said was true, about the school - machiavellian.
But that is not really a trait that is instilled there.
It is practically a prerequisite to be in this world...
You do not meddle in the minds of humans without some detachment from humanism.
Being around others that challenge you...
That hones that trait...
So he has got some goal...
Some machination: we just have not seen what it is yet...
But he will betray you, if it serves him to do so...'
"And we're in a motel because...?"
"You said you'd tell me when -"
Martha leaned back, staring at the ceiling
Rossin's voice grew annoyed
When she didn't sit up, Rossin began to walk on the ceiling - pacing back and forth
It is a test. If you went to sleep where he knew you would be - your house - then you did not listen - so would erase you, and me in the process.'
He continued to paced
'Do not sleep yet.
There is more yet...'
Rossin slaps his head
'You understand this stuff takes years to learn...
And we played our hand a bit - he thinks you can use hooks at least.
He saw the people in the cell do that thing with the wall.'
We should go back there and fix.'
'Facing a wall somewhere, that is just...
What they will do now...
We can take care of that when you wake up: there really is no rush.'
"Won't other people notice?"
Rossin was clearly annoyed
He still paced
'We will fix that too...
It is fine, a little messy but just fine...'
"He knows I can use hooks."
'I can use hooks, But he saw the people from the cell...
He thinks you can use hooks successfully...
But he does not know how.
He will assume the visual link...'
Martha realized And the thought of it still stung.
She just went along with killing another human
"He knows I killed someone..."
She curled up
'Well, trading a human'
"That's what we did, I killed my neighbor, and we killed...
Overwrote another human to take his place...
Was that right?"
'Right or wrong it happens all the time.
People are not the things they are made of.
They are the connections between themselves and other humans.
The ideas, their emotions...
Not the physical matter they make up...'
"That police officer was a human...
He's somewhere in the back of the mind now?"
But he was the worst person that other police officer knew...
So we made the streets a little safer.'
"What about his track marks?"
'What about them?'
Rossin paced for a moment before speaking
Addicted to heroin now - like...
Martha shifted the covers, wrapping up in them where she was on top of them
If he is - he will think withdrawal is a nasty cold...
If he goes to the doctors, they will give him stuff to fix it...
He will not know why it works, and the doctors will just assume he is lying.
It will be a mystery, but not a identity shattering one...
If he goes to the doctors at all.
If the withdrawal is bad enough.'
It's a risk..."
Martha was silent for a time
'It is a price. Things always have a price.'
"He knows I killed someone...
He knows I know about hooks, but he thinks I'm inconsistent with them, at best."
Martha looked at him
'You will have to learn quickly...
I can not keep switching with you...'
Martha realized that how tired she was, was in fact tied to Rossin's movement.
The more he moved, the more awake she felt.
But even with him moving: it was a stop gap against the inevitable force of sleep
'I made that for a demonstration...
Not healthy to use...
It does a little bit...
Just a little bit of damage.
It is best that you are able to do these things without me being you.
I can not do everything for you...
But I can probably be of more help getting you up and running...
But that is for when you wake...'
Rossin laid down next to her
I think that is everything. We will fix the people at the station, if anything even needs to be done...
Maybe Felix noticed that detail...
He was tired too...
Maybe he missed it as well...
'I am not sure how this goes for me...
When you sleep that is.'
"What do you mean?"
'Do I stay here?
Will I stay conscious when you are not?'
"You don't know?"
Martha shifted away from him
'I mean, I know I will not be able to see or hear anything...
Because you will not be able to...
But do I dream?
Or am I blind and deaf for 8 hours a day...
Also - please try and get a full 8 hours.
It really is good for your brain.
Sleep deprivation is terrible and I live here now too, you know.'
She thought as she stared at the beige wall, waiting for sleep
'Here is to finding out...'
Kent heard a ringing by his ear.
The much too loud kind.
The kind like his phone next to his ear.
The kind of ring he intentionally set far too loud to wake him up
He groaned, bleary eyed
The clock next to his bed said 8:45 am
The phone stopped
'Not even three hours.'
He turned over and shifted the covers
It rang again
He sighed and reached out for his phone
'If it was important they would ring again...'
'It was Tom, goddamn it.'
"This better be important."
"You're girls awol."
'My wife? She had been gone for -'
Things clicked into place
"The one from last night."
His mind was still warming up - spinning things into place
That woman Martha.'
Kent sat up, slowly
His back wasn't as amazing as it had been
He groaned out a yawn
"As in: not here, not discharged: missing."
The light shown on his tiny loft
Kent squinted and reached over to closed the blinds next to his bed
I'll be there in a little bit."
"I'll heat up the coffee pot for you."
He meant it.
It was nice and all.
But Tom's niceness felt like it had strings attached, strings he didn't want to pull
"Don't do me any special favors."
There was a pause in the other line
"It's coffee, from yesterday, fucking relax...
Well: you'll see when you get here."
He sat up, looking for his shirt
It was by the door - he just sort of collapsed on his bed last night
"Just tell me now."
He corrected himself.
He realized he was still wearing his pants from last night.
He decided he would change them
Another too long pause
Kent picked out a new shirt from his closet - new pants too
I don't know what I think.
The other people in the holding cell...
They're acting weird."
Kent cleared his throat
"They won't talk to anyone...
They're just standing in front of walls."
"...And it's really fucking weird."
Kent was starting to grow impatient
"They're facing the wall...
Right next to it...
Like - millimeters away."
"Facing the wall?"
Kent took a moment to digest that information
"Facing the wall."
"And if you move them away from that wall?"
That's why his leg hurt - he'd been sleeping on them
'Where were his keys? Right - still in his other pants.'
"They go right up a wall and face it...
I think it's some sort of prank...
Well: just get down here..."
The phone clicked
He needed coffee.
A lot of coffee
"I'm on my way in..."
Everything he needed besides coffee
'Wallet, keys, phone...'