A windowless room with once white, but now rather greyish walls, and tiled floors of the same washed out colour. Empty, save for one cube about a meter high with an anatomically incorrect symbol for a human heart still barely visible in it’s centre, and an old coffee machine with a bunch of plastic cups stacked atop of it.
Room is filled with a low humming noise of air-conditioning and illuminated by a soft white light of semi-translucent ceiling panels. In the centre about half a dozen reddish office chairs form a loose semi-circle around one of them, while providing support and dubious comfort for a handful of characters.
An inquisitive woman in her mid-40s with a long, dark hair falling down on her slim shoulders. Dressed in a white business suit with an armless blouse, and a red scarf around her neck. Methodically scribbles notes in an yellow writing pad, with an old, chewed down pencil. Her demeanor seemingly reflects the long gone high standards of this facility.
(inquiring, with a monotone, professional manner)
– Was it the same dream as before?
Sitting with legs crossed, her brown eyes constantly look for something in the corners of the featureless ceiling. Freckles, and a burn scar clearly visible on her fair skin, she folds her arms almost as if to cradle herself, leaning back in a squeaky chair.
(avoiding eye contact)
– Yeah, same old story, with a dead girl, and all.
– And, have you made the decision this time around?
(briefly looking straight into her eyes)
– That’s one shitty-ass decision, you know that?
– We’ve been through this before, Marrieann. It’s about the choice, not the outcome.
(defensive, distressed, raising her voice)
– And maybe I don’t feel like choosing? Maybe I like how the story ends?
The Old Man
Black, bushy beard hides his thick lips. Right eye ornated with an old, slashing scar. Reddish tattoo, strikingly contrasting with his pale skin, starts just below his left eye, climbs across the brow and the top of his bald scalp, to find its way down the muscular shoulders of this giant man. He is tense, with hands resting on a widely speeded knees, breathing loudly, but slowly.
(dominant, leaning back in his chair)
– Cut the heart out, or the head. Preferably both.
(confused, trying to focus on him, while questioning reality)
The Old Man
(calm, matter-of-fact tone, leaning in)
– The Monster. Stop running. Focus. Bring it down with your arrows, then cut it’s heart out, and cut off its head.
(still confused, looking around in hope of finding support)
– It’s… I don’t… I mean… Where did you even get this guy?
(calm and professional tone trying to hide a hint of irritation)
– Greece, but that’s not important now.
(looks at everyone around the room, attempts to sound slightly cheerful)
– Let’s focus on Marrieann now, and her fear of making a choice. Why can’t you do it Marrieann?
His eyes still focused on the floor, hiding an unshaven face complimented by the selection of some fresh bruises. Clad in a black, leather jacket, and a colourful but washed out pattern of a button-up shirt and a white tee underneath. While looking up reveals, a nasty half-smile lacking even a hint of happiness.
(looking at the floor, reminiscent)
– I had a choice once. It was like a mosquito squished on the headlight of the oncoming car. All but invisible until you stop and look at it closely. But then it’s to late, you can’t go back, you can’t just wipe it out, it stays there forever throwing it’s shadow on your future, and…
(stretching arms wide in disbelief)
– Is he drunk? Again?
(With growing irritation)
– Max, please wait for your turn to share. Let’s get back to you Marrieann.
– You continuously fail to make a choice. Is it because you’re weak?
(folding her arms and lowering her chin, looking within )
– It’s not that simple, it’s more than…
With a light, unkempt hair and a stubble, his blue eyes dart to whomever is speaking at the moment. Black cowboy hat sits comfortably on his head, while wide torso is covered in pinned blue shirt, with splashes of mud and possibly blood here and there. All of his clothing clearly have seen better days, his manners hint at being in unfamiliar surroundings, but eyes still glim with curiosity.
(ignoring the doctor)
– I’m with the yankie on that one. Had the same feeling, like a mosquito on a… what’cha call them? (makes a swirling gesture with a right hand)
(rises his ayes above cowboys head)
– The headlights…
(hands reach for the jacket’s inside pocket, but find nothing)
– …of the oncoming car, driving through the black night as a…
(visibly happy for a brief moment, clicking his fingers while pointing a finger)
– Yes, those!
(happiness fades from his voice as memories fill his mind)
– Same happened to me. I was just trying to protect my friends, my family, doing as I was told, ya know? After all, he had a plan, and then it all just, like that mosquito…
The Old Man
– You just kill it with one, quick slap.
(slaps palm of his hand on his thigh to explain)
– There’s some blood, but that’s no concern…
– What are you doing? Stop it! (Tries to compose herself) Why do you keep failing Marrieann?
(Changes her stance, almost standing up, pointing finger at the Doctor angrily)
– I don’t! I mean, I didn’t. I’ve made my decision…
(Loud buzzer goes off in the background)
(visibly exited, slaps hands on his knees)
– Finlay, all that talking. I’m starving.
(takes out a pack of cigarettes from his satchel while standing up)
(standing up, and following the Cowboy, trying to sound all western like)
– Hey there, partner. Got a spare one?
(smiling, and handing out an open pack)
– Ya know it.
Everyone, except the Doctor are leaving together, the Cowboy, and the Detective talk about smokes, the Old man follows somehow interested, while trying to appear disinterested at the same time. Marrieann walks out at the end of the group, anger slowly leaving her.
(Standing up, looking at the leaving group, trying to command authority, rises her voice above the noise, irritated)
– We will pick this up next week, but I want you to commit to making a choice.
(trying to compose herself, and sound calm, and endearing)
– If you will, next time there’ll be cake!
(Muttering under their breaths like children leaving class)
– Yes, Mrs. Glados.
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