Orbiting a planet, there is a moon. On that moon, there is a castle. In that castle, there is - well, a lot of things, many of which will become relevant shortly. But for the moment, let's focus on a particular cell: it's stone, with one wall in metal bars and a door hanging slightly open, and it has a wood bench big enough to lie down on in one corner. In that cell, there is - no one, for the moment.
"Yeah so, I mean I guess Kal might be right, but the way she says it is so - "
Vern carries on being very thoroughly mediocre at communicating clearly with people from different cultural backgrounds for the rest of the walk, but in a way that doesn't require - or allow, really, unless Jamie wants to put quite a lot of effort into interrupting - responses more specific than the occasional nod or 'mmhm'.
The walk is nicer when it's light out; it's a beautiful, crisp-but-not-chilly autumn day. They pass people harvesting the fields and eventually make their way into town, where there are more but still not very many people, chatting excitedly in small groups or reading a book on a bench next to a tree or braiding each other's hair. The architecture is almost unbearably cozy and the foliage on the well-placed trees is impressively pretty for seeming to come from entirely ordinary plants.
Jamie might notice that he hasn't seen a single boy, or man, or for that matter anyone more androgynous than Lane. Or younger than twelve, or older than about eighteen.
Yeah this is really intensely creepy in context and he doesn’t like it at all.
They arrive back at Lane's house. Vern pulls a rope which rings a bell somewhere inside the house, waits about three seconds, and marches in.
She goes into what is presumably Lane's room, given that it contains a bed with Lane on it.
They're not lying down, but neither is 'sitting up' quite accurate; their legs are under the covers but their top half looks like they were leaning against the headboard and just sort of slid against the wall. Their neck is at a strange angle and it doesn't look like a particularly comfortable position. One of their arms is splayed to the side and its fingers are loosely threaded through a mug's handle; there's still a small wet spot on the quilt near the lip of the mug.
They.......don't really seem to be moving.
Vern looks at Jamie, then back at Lane, then to Jamie again.
“Is sleeping like that unremarkable in your culture.”
"Well, if you're using hours and hours of wakeravel..."
“They aren’t... breathing.”
"Well." Gesture, possibly at the mug but too broad and inexact to be certain.
“Are they already dead, or is not breathing a known and harmless side effect, or is it neither of those.”
She looks at Jamie in confusion for a long moment.
"She's........right...there?" she eventually tries.
- She appears to abruptly realize something and panickedly pokes Lane's arm a few times, to no particular result. For some reason this seems to assuage whatever she was afraid of. "Yeah. I mean, presumably she's breathing like, at all, right?"
“Is splashing a sleeping person with water to wake them up taboo in your culture.”
"...It seems rude? And then the blankets would be wet. - Not that I mind being rude to her right now. But I bet it probably wouldn't even work anyway, that's the whole point of drugs, and if it did then probably," poke poke poke poke nonresponsive Lane "would too."
This whole scene seems... wrong.
If he were mind controlled and he wanted to commit homicide, temporarily playing dead would be an excellent way to go about it. If he wanted to commit homicide or kidnapping or whatever and he were - just slightly dumb, in the way that people are when they think they’re very bright - and he didn’t know the exact abilities or sleep schedule of his target, he might even hand him over to an accomplice while recuperating, and then arrange to trap his target in a confined space.
Not all of the weapons on Jamie’s person look like carrots.
He shifts his posture around, just a bit, rearranges his hands in what looks like fidgeting. If he’s going to be confined in a room with two complete unknowns he’s going to be confined and dangerous.
“I don’t think we can do anything right now, then.”
"Yeah, no, probably not. We should probably just like, hang hereish till she wakes up?"
He turns and walks out of the bedroom; this probably happens uneventfully, but if not he sure does have a lot of weapons.
(Can he grow anything out of the walls? He tries for a tiny, useless mushroom in the corner, these are terrible growing conditions but he should be able to get something - nope.)
Jamie's exodus does not particularly call for the use of his weapons. Vern follows. Lane's house is just as quaint as hers, although along slightly different axes; more books and papers and things that from context are probably equipment for some sort of magic use. There are a few musical instruments hanging on the walls, not particularly resembling any Jamie's seen before, with paired copies of each kind.
"I wouldn't guess we know any of the same card games, but I can't think of a better way to pass the time?"
They can... do that, probably.
"Okay so, you probably don't know enough to have any opinions on which one so we'll go with Chainweave. There's a draw pile and a discard pile, and you're trying to get rid of all your cards. You can only play ones that are next to the one on top of the discard pile, with either their number or the suit or both. Suits go flowers ivy pumpkins grapes horses bats, and you can do whatever from either side; if you can't play anything draw until you can."
(Vern: still very thoroughly mediocre at communicating clearly with people from different cultural backgrounds. Conveniently it does seem to be the same game Lane already taught Jamie.)
“I already know the rest from Lane, we can go ahead.”