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Day 53: Intercom, Evening
New Intercom
damned_intercom wrote in damned
The commotion just after the intercom's jingle displayed the same kind of erratic energy that the Head Doctor had been exuding all day.

"Come on, get those papers out of the way – no, I don't...! Ah! Good evening, everyone, and I hope you all enjoyed the activities we had to–"

Someone whispered something in the background. The Head Doctor sighed and muttered: "Yes, Lydia, I know we don't have many organized activities...

"...But anyway! Next up is dinner with your roommates! Tonight, we'll be having turkey and gravy, which will consist of some moist slices of turkey breast and garlic mashed potatoes, garnished with steamed broccoli, grilled asparagus, and topped with delicious gravy. We'll be serving the dinners with small side salads and our dessert will be pumpkin pie – as per usual, we have alternate meals for alternate dietary needs."

The Head Doctor took a long pause. Lydia mumbled something in the background.

"No, I'm not dawdling–! Er... I'll talk to you shortly, everyone!"

The intercom clicked off.

[ All room threads go in response to this post; please post your character's room number as the subject line of the initial post. Thank you! ]

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Stepping into the empty room and letting the nurse close the door behind him, the Scarecrow had to admit he felt lonely. While he was sure Depth Charge would be arriving any minute and that he'd feel a little less alone with another person in the room, it didn't help that Abe was now gone- either due to being released or something worse.

He frowned as he set his tray on his desk, opting to sit on the bed instead. When Kaiji had disappeared, the Scarecrow could honestly say he didn't know a great deal about what could have happened to his roommate; while he'd thought then that he'd maybe made it home somehow, the time at the Institution had taught him otherwise. There were worse things that could happen to a flesh-and-blood person. The reassuring part about Kaiji was that he was the sort who seemed like he'd turn and run in the face of danger. If the Lion could get away while stumbling over his own tail, surely Kaiji could have run fast enough to get away from anything chasing him.

For Abe, however... it was a different story. It was his specialty to deal with danger- after all, he was a professional. The Scarecrow understood that any time a patient disappeared, whether by being brainwashed and sent into the world beyond the Institute's walls or through death or other mysterious forms of vanishing, the staff used the blanket term "released." Still, it bothered him to know that Abe had fallen victim in some way. What weighed on him more was the thought of what exactly could have happened to his friend.

His brow furrowed as he clasped his hands together. They felt so stiff. If all of Abe's professional knowledge and skills hadn't kept him from becoming one of the "released," what could a scarecrow trapped in a man's body without a working brain do?

Edited at 2010-12-10 07:58 pm (UTC)

One more day down. Depth Charge'd thought it before, but now it really was starting to feel like doing time. Maybe he needed to scratch it off on the wall next to his bed like they did in old fly-in movies- or maybe he needed to get back into being productive and start fending his benders already. If he was having trouble keeping track of the days it was because he wasn't doing anything with them; the amount of time he'd spent sitting and stewing in his rust was downright pathetic.

Action. He needed action. That was the trouble, he guessed- you could take the soldier out of the battle, but you couldn't take the battle out of the soldier. Knocking heads together was coded into his processor, for Primus' sake- human or not, he just wasn't built for sitting still. Hopefully, he'd actually get something done tonight. Admittedly he'd run into that blonde woman the night before last, but given how the night had ended before he could complete the rescue (if you could call being strangled by a hair witch while the victim made a break for it a 'rescue') could be completed- he hadn't even heard back from her yet.

Depth Charge pushed the door open, neatly blanking his nurse's goodbye and dropping the door in her face behind him. The Scarecrow was already there, sitting on his bed and... uh-oh.

"Scarecrow?" That wasn't a good look. In fact, that was definitely a bad look, all wrung hands and knit brows and the most anxious look he'd seen on the man for days. Now with a frown of his own he headed over, narrowly deciding against sitting next to the Scarecrow before taking a seat on his own bed. "What's wrong? What happened?"

It took a moment before the Scarecrow finally met Depth Charge's eyes, the entire scenario of his roommate disappearing one day playing through his mind. Or what if it was the strawman himself? We wasn't sure what death was like, but judging by the way the Wicked Witch had perished, he was sure it was unpleasant. Then again, her wickedness had dried her up and possibly made the whole process more painful than it normally would be- things often were with the Witch. He was quite certain he didn't want to end up brainwashed, though.

He shook his head in frustration- there was no use thinking like that and working himself up over what hadn't happened. And now he'd gone and made Depth Charge worry about him, too! While having a friend care about him was always comforting, especially to one whose entire purpose in life had originally been to scare folks away- well, crows mostly, or anything else that might have picked at the crops- he couldn't give the man more to carry on his shoulders. They had all lost friends along the way.

"A good friend of mine was released today," the Scarecrow started, getting to his feet in a literal attempt to walk from his woes. He paced to the closet and back, then to his desk. "I know people are released daily, but I never, ever thought he'd be one of them. I can't help but think what could have happened to him."

The pacing continued as the cogs in his mind turned. Abe had insisted he was used to these sorts of settings to some degree, so surely he couldn't have been brainwashed; however, that left few other options, and the Scarecrow didn't like to think the worst.

The fact that the Scarecrow hadn't been able to meet his eyes was Depth Charge's first sign that something was seriously wrong this time. Pit, he was one of the most open guys he'd ever met- he couldn't even imagine the guy pity-lying about a friend's weight, never mind avoiding his eyes. So when the truth finally came out, several long moments later, the Maximal was fully braced for it.

His first thought was reflexive: I should have seen this coming. The second was reflective: it was bound to happen sooner or later. The third? Hot as the Allspark and full of righteous indignation on his roommate's behalf: Landel's going to pay specially for that one. Only a couple of hours before he'd caught himself thinking how nice it would be to be naive about the whole thing- no worrying, no baggage, just that crazy little leap of faith that things would be okay people called optimism.

Looked like it wasn't working out too well for the Scarecrow.

Outside of his own thoughts, though, Depth Charge managed to limit his reaction to a clenched fist, albeit one so tight his knuckles strained painfully- could've cracked a chromium nutshell in there. He'd lost his temper last night, and he wasn't about to do it again in a hurry.

He spoke in a low voice, watching the Scarecrow pace up and down the room- it was easier if he focused on something other than himself. "That's what I thought about Hime, too. What I've been thinking about her" He forced his hands out of their fists- they obeyed, slowly. "I heard people can come back."

"They can come back?" the Scarecrow repeated aloud. The thought of returning to Landel's once he'd made it home didn't sound very good at all, even though his time at the Institute had granted him with some interesting experiences he'd have never had (and probably never would have) back in Oz. As far as he knew, the only known ways of escape were either being bewitched into forgetting oneself or death; however, he'd never spoken to someone who'd returned to the Institute.

But what if people really could come back? He thought he'd heard some people were readmitted over the board, but with his mind already handling more things than a broken human brain probably should, he'd not put much more than a passing thought into it. Since folks probably didn't opt to come back to Landel's if and when they found a way out, he expected that like their first arrival, the return trip was involuntary. He didn't blame them- he'd be leery about returning to a place ruled by a wicked wizard as well.

The Scarecrow was curious now. "You mean when they come back as visitors but don't remember you or themselves anymore, or do they know who they are and what this place is like? Because if people can come back after being 'released,' then that's a horse of a different color! It certainly opens up some possibilities that people are still out there somewhere and aren't completely beyond help."

The Scarecrow seemed to be taking the suggestion far more cautiously than he'd expected- but really, why was it that still surprising? Spend too much time in this place and it was a guarantee any remaining idealism you had knocking around your processor would get smacked out of you faster than you could think. And that went double once you saw friends disappear.

Depth Charge nodded gravely. "The second one. Memories perfectly intact." Forte. Hands clenched into fists. "I've seen it firsthand." Then his gaze faltered, and the Maximal was forced to look away. It was only the Scarecrow he was talking to, yeah, but he didn't like breaking eye contact any time- came too close to weakness for his liking, to the other person and in his own head to boot. But the fact was, as good as the news probably seemed to the Scarecrow, to him the knowledge left a bad taste in his mouth. True, it did mean that there was a chance that people could be helped- but he'd sacrificed Forte to get that knowledge. Given another chance, even with the knowledge the kid would come back, he wasn't sure he'd do it again. 'specially now ow the kid was missing again. These days it looked like everything had a price- even hope.

He shifted on the bed for a moment, eyes still to the floor, then he made himself look up. "A friend of mine died, vanished, then came back a couple of days later. Name's Forte." He gave a hollow little chuckle. "Apparently, some nurse told him he'd been in the medical wing. I've never even seen that place."

[tl;drs all over the place]

This was wonderful news! Well, in a sense. If there was a chance that people could recover from Landel's spells without help, then there was hope he'd see his missing friends again- Dorothy, Kaiji, everyone! A professional like Abe would surely be back in no time. Some would still need help, no doubt- he couldn't give up trying to find a way back to his body yet.

Even better news was that people could return even from death- it must not have been as bad as it seemed after all. Why was it people were so afraid of it? That was unless the implication that had been made was that one could lose his memories by dying, of course. That wouldn't be pleasant at all. The former strawman couldn't think of anything much worse than forgetting his time in Landel's Institute, his friends, their adventures, and his original form.

Another thought: was it that people died, lost their memories as a consequence of said dying, then once they were told who they were (following the false lives the nurses claimed they had, of course), Landel released them? If that was the case here, then was death the same in Oz? He didn't like to think that the Wicked Witch could-

He paused briefly as he stubbed his toe into his desk, not feeling the pain that should have come with the impact. It seemed he'd been thinking too much again. He opened the drawer, trying to decide on what he needed to do for the night.

"I've not heard of the Medical Wing," the Scarecrow admitted, retrieving his map from his journal. "And I don't see it anywhere on this map, either. If it does exist, it might be one of these unlabeled rooms, or there's the chance it could be on the third floor. I wonder if that's really where they've been keepin' some of the folks who've disappeared. Surely not all who've gone missing have either been bewitched or died. There's got to be more of an answer than that. I just don't know what it is yet."

Edited at 2010-12-17 06:55 am (UTC)

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