Altair opens the door to the nurse's dressing room. "Bonasera, bambina."
Maia There is a rustling noise, and a box of uniforms falls over, then silence.
Altair "None of your friends ever tried to escape from a hospital before, I think." He shakes his head. "Makes them miss that sort of thing." He looks about, standing away from the door. "You're free to leave. Just wanna tell you something, tho'."
Maia There is an expectant pause.
Altair "I don't know what happenned. But from what I heard in there... no idea how much YOU did... I have a pretty good idea. You tried to help them. You fucked up. You... did it." He shook his head. "But you can't. You can't give up on that. Your friends still need you, Maia. You don't have to be strong for you, but you have to be strong for THEM."
Maia "...who are you?"
Altair "They are in danger. And they aren't half as capable as they think they are. None of us is. You fucked up. Want to know the worst of it? You will fuck up again. And again. And again." He shakes his head, shaking a bit, wiping a tear out of his eye, "I'm someone who's tried looking out for them. And who fucked up. Bad."
Maia "What do you want? Who are you working for?"
Altair "Myself. Aren't we all?" He turns around, "You can put it on. I'm not going to look. Or call on you. Your friends are looking on the upper floors. I think they guess you'd throw yourself from the roof, or something."
Maia A snicker. "You can look all you like, smart guy." There's some more rustling.
Maia "So who the hell are you?"
Altair "Altair. Exchange student from Italy. You missed class when I got in."
Maia "I wasn't feeling well."
Maia "Altair, huh?"
Maia "You're one of us. The fuck you been doing in Italy?"
Altair "Well, not 'exchange'. Foreign. People ask me if I'm one so often I forget what the word even MEANS. I mean, really." He shakes his head. "Oh, y'know. Partying. Raving mad. Moping. The works."
Maia "That's not what I meant."
Maia "How have you stayed alive?"
Altair "My parents helped. Influence and money go quite far, you know. Especially when you have some good contacts, like the good friend you can send your son to study in the school of, even after your son's... rather public disagreement with said friend." He turned around, "It did explain why people kept, kept trying to take me away, though. Was good to know I wasn't paranoid. Well. I guess."
Maia "Well, you might still be paranoid. I don't really know you that well."
Maia "Why did you come to visit me if we've never met before?"
Altair "Your friends were broken. Everyone talked about nothing BUT you. I wanted to see it. Curious, I guess." He shrugs. "I was already here, anyways. And nothing better to do. The best part about not sleeping is that we have alot of time on our hands."
Altair "How did you know I was 'like you.'"?
Maia "Cause you're named after a star, dip."
Maia "Johnstone didn't mention you."
Altair "... huh. And here I always thought Johnstone was screwing with me."
Altair "All my friends always had star-names, after all... well, most of them."
Maia "Kind of a weird coincidence, huh?"
Maia "How's Furud? And Antares."
Altair "Did you hear what I told you when I got in?"
Maia "They're idiots in danger. Yeah, I know. I meant more like...never mind."
Maia "Listen, I'd better get out of here."
Maia "It was nice meeting you...kind of."
Altair "No. That they need you. They are BROKEN, Maia. They need you, or they'll end up doing the same thing you did. They are crying. They are hurt. They look at the world and see only you. You did what you had to do, Maia, you did what could to help them. Help our friends... our kind... that's what we DO. Because we love them."
Altair "And they love you back. So go back to them. For their sake."
Maia "They don't love me. They..."
Maia sniffs. "It doesn't matter. We gotta do what we gotta do."
Altair sighs, sardonically. "No, it does. That's all that matters."