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Day 55: Cafeteria
mustbethesuit wrote in damned

A night spent inside his room had done nothing to ease his jitters. Peter couldn't stop worrying. Over Brainy, what he thought of him now that he knew about what he'd done to Grell, and where he was going for the night. If he'd be safe. If Indy and the others would be safe, trucking on down to the basement. (Not frigging likely, considering 'basement' was synonymous for 'giant ass doom pit'.) If that ominous intercom announcement had meant anything. Peter had spent hours staring into the dark after that, his stomach churning his supper into butter over the horrific possibilities. Whatever punishment that arose for the food fight was a mystery. It didn't seem to infect him, unless it was a particularly trying case of insomnia. No matter how badly Peter tried, he couldn't find the will to sleep. Much of the night had been spent making notations and doodles in his journal by flashlight, peppered with long stretches of staring at the dark.

Honestly, he'd rather be taking another crack at the Hall of Hallucinations instead of rolling around in his bed. Paranoia was his only company the whole night.

Morning felt like a blessing by the time it came. He wasn't sure when sleep had finally overtaken him, but as he blinked his way into life he couldn't help feeling a bit...off.

It was really quiet. Peter's face scrunched under the light, and he stretched underneath the covers. There was a zip of cotton on cotton, and his shirt half dragged itself out from under the belt.

His eyes shot open. Belt? The covers flipped back, and Peter gaped down at his form on the bed. ...Belt?!

What the frigging hell was this? Peter jolted to his feet, patting himself down. He looked like some kind of air cadet. There were freaking epaulettes on his shoulders (was that even what they were called?), boots on his feet and a beret on the dresser. A single pin was nestled into the front, looking freshly polished as it glinted in the light. Peter snatched the hat up and stared. Two letters were inscribed on the pin. Nothing more, nothing less.


Special Counseling? Peter's expression took a turn for the frantic. What else could it stand for? He tried to run through a few candidates, but nothing stuck. Nothing applied so neatly without being ridiculous, because it clearly didn't stand for Super Cuckoo or Spider Cadet. Was he supposed to wear this like some stupid badge of honour? God, just brand it across his forehead, why don't you? My name is Peter Parker and I totally snapped a guy's arm for Mother Landel's. Hail the Smiley!

Peter pressed the beret against his face and groaned into the fabric. This was it. They weren't playing games anymore. They were finally turning this into death match boot camp and sending them off to war. Shit. Shit he was going to be in the frigging army in some messed up alternate universe, and he didn't even know what the frick they were fighting against or why they were fighting. If they were pulling magical whatsits out of every book and TV show known to man, then who knew what wacky threat they were up against. Aliens? If it was aliens, he was quitting. He was going to curl up on the ground hugging a grenade and pull the pin. Just no. No. This was not happening. This could not be frigging happening.

Except that it was. The person who whipped open the door that morning wasn't the affably sour Nurse Rachel, but a hulking, thickly built man who looked like he consumed a toddler a meal solely to fuel his pecs. Peter couldn't even find the breath to argue as he was told to tuck in his shirt and put on his boots and come to the cafeteria. He left just as another soldier brushed past them to collect Brainy, and Peter abruptly realized that in his confusion he'd forgotten to check if the boy was okay.

Too late for that now. Peter tried to match pace with the burly man, fumbling to put his snazzy new beret on and watching with wary eyes as other patients were dragged by. Things seemed even bleaker as they hit the cafeteria. The buffet was empty. The scent of food was lacking. Soldiers packed along the borders of the room so neatly you would think they were part of a particularly tacky wall paper. And worst of all? Buckets. Mops and rags and brooms, all piled in the center of the room.

The lady officer's speech was entirely unnecessary at that point. Peter withered where he stood as she told them their duty. It was like a scolding from Aunt May, if someone gave her a gun and a license to use it. Except the joke only made things worse - now he just wanted his Aunt. The force of his loneliness bowled him over like a wrecking ball. He might never see Aunt May again. Peter's gaze fell to the floor and he clenched his fists.

Was this it? Was his life really over? Escape never seemed so far away.

There was no protest from him as they were sent to work. Ashen and queasy, Peter stumbled towards the cleaning supplies and selected a bucket and a rag. He couldn't even bemoan his lack of breakfast. His nerves were making it impossible to even think about food.

They needed to get out tonight. Everyone. Somehow...


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The door opened loudly, giving the Scarecrow a fright as he snapped awake. Everything about the previous night- the body, Detective Gumshoe, the Horrible Hallway- slipped away for the moment as he stared at the soldier before him. He continued to gawk in utter confusion as he was ordered to get moving. The usual end-of-the-night announcements floated through his mind: it certainly had sounded like this Eagle fellow was on top of things, implementing changes all the time. Was he really someone who worked with Wizard Landel? And where was the Wizard, anyway? According to Depth Charge, he'd been fired, but surely he was still somewhere.

The soldier barked his order a second time, growing impatient as the Scarecrow stumbled from the bed with his feet tangled in his sheets. Well, even without a brain, the Scarecrow could tell one thing already: the nurses were going to be missed.

After a few minutes and a tragic job at lacing his shoes (it was his first time ever doing it- frankly, the Scarecrow thought he'd done well, given the circumstances), they were ready to leave. Well, the Scarecrow thought so, but he'd apparently left something on the night stand, or so the soldier told him.

"My what?" the Scarecrow asked, turning around. On the table was an odd hat with a pin (M-U? He hadn't a clue what that could signify. Perhaps "Most Useless," as would be fitting for someone without a good head on his shoulders) and a set of tags on a chain.
Hunk Howard
B Class
That was curious, wasn't it? He pulled the chain around his neck and set the hat atop his head as he followed the soldier out the door. The name was the one the institute had given him, but the rest didn't make any sense at all. What was a B Class? And that was a very high number, if his knowledge of numbers was still correct in his human brain, though he still had no idea what it was for.

As they passed the bulletin board, the Scarecrow made a beeline toward it, only to be stopped by the guard. "Board privileges are extended to only S and A classes this shift. The rest of you are to report to the cafeteria immediately."

"Oh, but I've got friends I need to check on," the Scarecrow said, as though his explanation would change the soldier's mind. If the stern look he received was any indication, it did not. He took a second look at the tag hanging from the chain: B Class. The former strawman sighed- he didn't like to make his friends wait, especially those who would worry if he didn't answer a message; however, he supposed it couldn't hurt to have something to eat first. He had skipped dinnner- he hadn't been very hungry after the morning fight and his therapy session with Dr. Venkman, but he was definitely feeling the grumbling in his middle now.

As it turned out, he wouldn't be getting to eat, either. After a brief announcement from one of the soldiers, the Scarecrow found himself on his hands and knees, scrubbing near the spot where just the day before, he and Mele had taken cover, only to find themselves suffocating as the tear gas filled the room. He was really starting to dislike that particular spot.


Edited at 2011-03-10 11:50 pm (UTC)

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