DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 55: Intercom, Evening
New Intercom
damned_intercom wrote in damned
Snow doubled in number as the day transitioned into the evening hours. Unfortunately, none of the patients were allowed the time to enjoy the weather changes. They were instead greeted by the telltale jingle of the intercom, signaling their cue to return indoors.

Once again, they heard the voice of a familiar female. She sounded unchanged from her previous announcements, her intonation as clear and as flat as ever.

"Attention all subjects and personnel. All subjects are to return to their assigned rooms for their evening meal. Lights Out will commence shortly after."

The woman paused, seemingly for effect.

"All personnel: you are to report to your stations. Thank you."

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. ANY NEWLY ACCEPTED CHARACTERS MAY POST TO THIS SHIFT (but are not obligated to if you would like to wait for Nightshift or Dayshift); please refer to the new room assignments before posting. Thank you! ]

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Aside from the glares because he kept removing his hat, the Scarecrow didn't find his soldier escort to be all that different from his usual nurse: the guard addressed him by the wrong name, wouldn't let him go outside after his shower (he'd muttered something about a wet head and cold weather being a bad combination, but it had gone in one ear and out the other at the thought of there being even more snow outside than before), and left him with a lot of unanswered questions. There was only a little bit of information on the bulletin board. It seemed that with less nurses around, what was posted wasn't as monitored as it had been, and therefore not hidden in cryptic clues out of necessity. He'd have to remember to mention to Mele about the ranking system being based on time spent at the institute the next time he saw her- if that really was the case, he expected he wouldn't be getting any better food anytime soon.

With the door closed behind him, the Scarecrow let out a sigh, looking sadly at the slop waiting for him. The staff may have been mostly the same, but the change in food was downright terrible. While he wasn't sure he preferred having no taste at all to having to taste the gruel with every bite, he was certainly getting there.

Also waiting for the Scarecrow was a box on his bed. Now what could that be? He peered inside carefully, as though the container might bite him, and was surprised to see his possessions. Had the staff come in during the day and taken them? Someone had to have put them in the box in the first place... but if the patients weren't supposed to have such goods, why give them back at all? He wasn't about to complain about having his things returned, but it did seem awfully suspicious of General Aguilar to just hand them over as the night shift neared.

So tonight he was gonna get his hands dirty courtesy of S.T., huh? Sounded like a regular night on the town, considering the kind of things that went down around here. He'd taken his sweet time in the showers, loosing his muscles with the heat and steam and looking over last night's war wounds once he'd shed his bandages: the one on his arm had a line of stitches and they all stung with the pressure. He had noticed a few more scars and lines on his skin while he was in there, too, scratches on a human paint job that you couldn't just spray over. Like it or not, this place was leaving its mark on him. He just had to make sure they stayed physical.

When Depth Charge emerged at last, having been pried out from under the shower head under threat of punishment, he found that his injuries weren't quite so bad as he'd thought they might have been. They hurt, yeah, but it was nothing he couldn't handle. And if they were going where he thought they were going? Yeah, he was going to have to suck it up.

Which meant, like it or not, eating his fill tonight. Funny how he had to brace himself for that better than for the rest of this place, huh? He'd felt a twinge of regret, of reluctance even, at the thought of the basement, a reminder of Hime, but he couldn't keep holding onto those memories. Too much weight was just gonna slow him down.

"Scarecrow," he greeted with a brief nod, heading into the room and slipping into his seat with the grim determination of a man planning to take a long stroll over a street of broken glass. "Good to see you." Then he was off, spooning pink slag into his mouth and swallowing it like there was no tomorrow- which there wouldn't be, if he didn't get this stuff down. Urgh. Stupid human gag reflex.

"And the same to you, Depth Charge," the Scarecrow returned, his attention drawn from his box and the items in it for a moment as his roommate dug into his serving of pink mush. How he managed to get past the awful taste and texture was a mystery- the best the Scarecrow could figure was that he ate it out of necessity. Flesh-and-blood bodies needed food to survive, and there was no telling how long it would be until either of them was allowed the meals the S and A classes were served.

The former strawman considered thinking as hard as he possibly could for a moment, tricking the clever little thing to cut off his senses. Maybe then, he could manage to force some of it down. After all, he was going to have to eat something eventually to stop that grating feeling in his middle. It really wasn't a bad idea to have been thought up by someone with a damaged head on his shoulders.

"I've got to say that this place doesn't seem any better with the General running it than it did with Wizard Landel," he said, resuming the search of his box. He smiled as he retrieved the watch, winding it and holding it to his ear, listening to its soft ticking. "Aside from the snow outside, of course. You got to see it, didn't you?"

He set the watch aside, taking out the spare flashlight and the two-way radio, followed by the rest of the items from Hunk Howard's possessions box. He paused as he grabbed the movie and the pictures of his friends- what was that in the bottom?

Edited at 2011-03-29 12:43 am (UTC)

It wasn't that the stuff tasted bad, exactly. Depth Charge had swallowed worse things in his life than this stuff, and doubtless would continue to do so while this place was still finding ways to annoy him. But for whatever the reason, his body just did not approve of it and wanted out of this equation, like he'd up decided to try eating wallpaper paste, and it was a struggle to keep swallowing anyway. Maybe it was the texture, part-liquid and viscous. Or maybe he'd just psyched himself out with the whole wallpaper metaphor. Either way, he had to fight his reflexes to get it all down his throat, and after a couple more furious spoonfuls he gave up and picked the bowl up inside so that he could pour it into his mouth instead.

Hah. He hadn't had to chug something in a while.

And swallow. With a distinct shudder, the Maximal put the bowl down and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Was it going to stay down? A couple of nanokliks waiting for a response seemed to indicate so; his stomach wasn't happy with him, but it wasn't going to go on strike just yet.

When he looked over his bowl, he found that the Scarecrow was back to searching his box- the box that he hadn't noticed at first, what with the tunnel vision deal he'd had with the pink monstrosity. It came as a surprise and a relief to see not only a couple of mundane objects appear out of it but also the flashlights and radio he'd given the man a few nights back. So their stuff wasn't totally confiscated, huh? Thank Primus for that.

"You're telling me," he answered, heading over to his own box to inspect its contents. "Guess it's like they always say- take down one psychopathic ringleader, three more'll jump up in his place. Though one Aguilar is plenty good enough for me." Flashlight, radio, scalpel, shears... his expression softened a little. "Yeah, I saw the snow. Got the feeling you got more out of it then I did, though. Nearly froze my aft off."

Now that wasn't very encouraging, what Depth Charge was saying about Aguilar and ringleaders and all. So supposing they were to finally defeat the Wizard Landel or the General, someone else just as bad would simply replace him? It made sense- after all, Dorothy had landed atop the Wicked Witch of the East, only to have the Wicked Witch of the West (who was reportedly the worse of the two) chasing her. As far as the Scarecrow knew, there weren't any other wicked witches aside from those two. Surely there had to be an end to those ruling the Institute, as well!

Ultimately, even if they did manage to rid themselves of Wizard Landel, General Aguilar, and whoever came after them, there was no guarantee they'd be able to get home, or if they'd get their bodies back at all. The Scarecrow reached into the bottom of his box, feeling around the contents sitting there, his face glum as he thought about home. "We don't get a lot of snow in Oz," he said in a complete understatement, "or at least we don't in the Emerald City. I've only..."

The Scarecrow trailed off as he pulled a familiar black hat from the box, straw still hanging from it as if it were in use only a day ago. His face became a mixture of shock, excitement, and trepidation as he reached into the container again and pulled at the shirt lying at the bottom. Green- it was a dull, faded olive from having been in the sun too long.

His knees gave way beneath him; he didn't bother to put his hands out to soften the landing on his rear. With as much as he was still struggling to find his voice, he probably couldn't have put the hat down at that moment if he wanted to. Not that he wanted to, of course- there was the lingering thought that it would all disappear somehow if he let it go for even a second.

Edited at 2011-03-31 07:09 am (UTC)

Looked like he was going to be all set for tonight. If there was one thing Depth Charge had to be grudgingly grateful to the soldiers for, it was the fact that they hadn't taken his stuff away when they'd had the chance. Obviously they'd seen it all, what with it having ended up in his box, but they'd left it anyway. Not to mention the fact that, when he thought about it, these boots were probably a lot better for storming the basement with than his fluffy slippers.

How... convenient.

As much as he wanted to be pleased, there was a poisonous little edge of suspicion to his relief. Why were they suiting and booting them so well, huh? Just what did Aguilar have in mind for them, anyway?

The Scarecrow was talking again, so he closed the box lid and looked over, ready to make some pithy comment about electric-magnetic snow- but the words had run away into silence already. He frowned, looked a little more closely, and only then did he realise that the man was holding something, and not only that but he was on the floor.

"Scarecrow?" He was over in an instant- now that he was closer he could see what the Scarecrow had. A hat and a shirt, both a little worse for wear, but it didn't look like he'd put them down for the world. "... are they yours?"

It was an odd enough sensation to be completely separated from one's body in the first place, a construct living in the skin of a flesh-and-blood man and learning to manage all the human senses while just trying to get by in a strange world. To actually have his old body before him, to feel the rough texture of the shirt, the smell of hay perfuming the fabric- it was a familiar smell, and yet, was completely novel- was an entirely different matter.

The Scarecrow sat numbly for a moment, holding all of his original being in his hands. He'd wanted it back since his arrival- oh, how long ago that seemed now! But what would he do with it now that he actually had it? And would they just take it away again?

Oh, he probably needed to answer Depth Charge. It suddenly occurred to the former strawman how very quiet he was. "I- it's my body!" he managed, creeping to his feet to inspect the rest of the box's contents. Some straw (not enough for stuffing), the pants, boots, gloves, and some twine ties- it was all there, save for the burlap face and his brains. "Well, almost all of it. My head is missing." And that made sense, being that the head was the usual place for keeping brains. He'd kept his diploma tucked into his stuffing or under his hat for safe keeping, but it wasn't anywhere to be seen.

There was a feeling he couldn't quite describe running through him as he continued to peer into the container, his hands shaking slightly. There had to have been a mix up- the box was clearly labeled with the same number as on the tag hanging from his neck, but why would they return it to Hunk Howard? Or at all?

The Scarecrow said nothing, and for the first time ever Depth Charge realised that he couldn't entirely read the man's expression. Not that there was any guile to it- he still wasn't sure the guy would lie- but he was still so used to him displaying the usual, simple emotions he could recognise right off the bat. Sympathy. Happiness. Confusion. Nothing he could ever have called conflicted by any stretch of the imagination.

And yet here he was, totally at a loss as to what to say or think before the Scarecrow spoke. Then? Then his mouth fell open.

"Your what?!" he managed hoarsely, but he didn't wait for an answer, eyes dropping to the clothing in the man's hands and searching for limbs, bones, anything. His body?! Were they serious?! That was just about the sickest thing he'd heard in this place yet, and that was including the fake-death routine Landel had thrown at them a couple of weeks back. And he knew first hand- Protoform X had introduced the concept to him as a 'takeaway meal'.

In his case, it had been the other way around- head over heels, as the slagger had put it.

But the more he looked, the less he saw in the bundle of clothes- rough material and the occasional stray piece of straw. Depth Charge, in spite of the initial shock, found himself frowning at the Scarecrow in bewilderment, trying to work out just what it was that the man was seeing that he'd miss. Was this like the shadow thing? "... sorry, Scarecrow, but I don't get it. Your body?"

Oh, that was right— not everyone came from a place where scarecrows existed. Scooping the rest of himself out of the box, the Scarecrow lined all the pieces on the floor in their proper places: pants here, shirt there, shoes at the end, gloves and twine to tie them on, hat on top- leaving a gap for the missing burlap sack that had once been his head, of course.

"This is what I used to be," he said a little calmer, coming to grips with the fact that it was indeed really him. Every little hole and patch was in the right place! He hoped the mice that had been living in him were okay. Surely they'd been taken out with the stuffing. "Except I was stuffed with straw, which seems to be missing. And my head went here, though I can't imagine much reason for them keepin' that."

The Scarecrow left the items on the floor for now, finding it hard to pry his eyes from them. Somehow, it felt different than having his legs pulled from his torso or the stuffing knocked from him: he was completely separated from his body. It was like... being someone else entirely.

And there was that strange, indescribable feeling again. "You didn't get your body in your box, did ya?" the Scarecrow asked.

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