DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Nightshift 55: Main Hallway, 1-West
Not funny.
mustbethesuit wrote in damned
[From here.]

All righty. First one here. Surprise surprise.

Peter took a thin breath and took up a post across from the hall, where he could watch both entrances for the gang. His arms crossed and he leaned against the wall. The whole thing was rather broody-looking, to be honest. Not the kind of chipper attitude you expected from a guy dressed like a cast member of Cirque du Soleil.

He was allowed to have bad moods. They happened. He hadn't started the night in one, but he'd tripped into it easily enough on his own. That sort of thing happened when your life sucked this much, okay. There was no sanctuary from the suckage. He sighed yet again. It'd be easier to perk up once somebody else showed up. Then he could push his mind away from all of this garbage and pound some small talk out of it.

Not to mention that waiting out here alone in the big hallway was twice as creepy as it was moving alone through the little ones. His flashlight swung back and forth. Please don't let anything be creeping on me in the dark. Please please please...

He was so not in the mood for whatever monstrosities were lying in wait for him. And knowing Landel's, they were.

[For the Platonic Family!! Y'all know who you are.]

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[From here, and timewarping so that she doesn't stare at Peter in his spandex and no playercest occurs al;sjajdsf. ALSO FOR KLAVIER AND BATTLER? 8D]

Klavier hadn't arrived yet. His room might be a bit further away than hers. Her map wasn't well labeled, but it looked like there were two men's blocks just above hers. It would make sense that he would need some extra time to get here if he was sleeping in one of those.

Claire found a spot where she could keep an eye on the exits - and the other patients. Soldiers. Some of them were still wearing the rigid uniforms from the day. Others wore different outfits. Some of them made sense, and others...less so. They looked kind of clownish, to be honest, but she guessed anything was better than wearing the stuff they gave you. She felt much more comfortable in her old clothes. Ragged as they were. The fit was better, and it seemed to give her a measure of control.

If you ignored the fact that they had stuffed these very clothes into a box and gifted it to her at dinner.

Claire scowled out at the corridor. Unbelievable.

Edited at 2011-04-01 02:55 pm (UTC)

[from here]

The main corridor. This was where he was supposed to be meeting Claire. She was new, but she was sharp, so he was sure she wasn't going to have any trouble moving from the patient rooms to this point. What he hadn't been expecting, however, was that she'd get there before he did.

Klavier spotted her quickly enough, momentarily surprised by that fact, but soon shifted to a bright smile. He approached, lifting the pipe in his right hand slightly in a sort of distracted greeting. "My, you move quickly, Fräulein. I didn't keep you waiting for too long, I hope?"

He vaguely noted the girl's clothes as he got closer. Judging by their condition, she must have found them lying around here somewhere. Personally, Klavier wouldn't have even considered taking clothes in that kind of condition let alone wearing them, but he also fully understood the desperation to have something... "normal" in this place. Something familiar. Anything. So even if they were in horrible condition, they were still a more normal alternative to the uniforms they'd been provided. Well, regardless of motive, Klavier wasn't going to be so rude as to comment on them or her appearance. His expression didn't shift at all.

A familiar figure stepped out from the entrance. Claire straightened, easing the frown from her face in favour of a smile. "No. Not at all. It's only been a few minutes."

He was armed. That much as reassuring. Like Andrew, he seemed to prefer a blunt instrument. A broken pipe dangled from his right hand. Which was a bit odd, come to think of it. Not something you'd normally run to get in a pinch. Did he just rip that out from the plumbing himself? Didn't his place have a supply room for tools? A garage? Something a little easier to get at?

In any case, she guessed she could count herself lucky for getting into town. (She should really thank Andrew the next time she saw him. She'd been so awful to him the day after.) Claire liked the odds of something sharp much better. You had to be strong to make a blunt blow count. While she was much better off than before she came to the island, Claire held no illusions about her own strength. She was too small and too thin to push her luck with clubs or pipes.

The second thing she noticed (or rather the first, but the second priority-wise) was that Klavier was wearing the uniform. Claire's brows drew together as she tilted her head at the sight. It wasn't that the clothes were impractical. It was just confusing. "Why are you still wearing that? Didn't you get your clothes back?"

Were they just handing stuff out at random? Her nose wrinkled with confusion, and she took a quick peek around the hall. Yes, she'd already taken note of the other patients in the uniform, but she didn't understand how they picked who got to wear something different and who went without.

Hopefully Klavier, having been here longer than her, could provide an answer.

Edited at 2011-04-02 02:26 am (UTC)

Apparently, Claire didn't plan to extend the same courtesy back and had decided to comment on his clothing. Or more question him on them. The smile faded a little into confusion.

"My clothes back?" he repeated. What was she talking about? The only clothes in his room were the new and old uniforms. Given the choice of wearing one or the other, he actually preferred the one that felt more like clothes and less like loose-fitting pajamas. But Claire was speaking as though it was not only possible to have something different, but it was something expected. "Are you... talking about my actual clothes? From back home?"

Returned his clothes from...? Dear goodness, that was actually a really horrifying thought. That these people would invade his home and take his things. If they did that, they'd probably go through everything while they were at it. Luckily, most of anything of importance was in his office, which was a heavily secure building. Not that that had ever stopped these people from getting through anyway. Klavier kind of wondered now why he was so surprised. They kidnapped people and were holding people they knew hostage. It wasn't much of a stretch to think they'd steal personal property, too.

But if all that was true, it was even more difficult to believe no one on the outside had ever noticed any of this activity. Especially for someone who'd been "missing" as long as Klavier had. The LAPD would still have his office and home under observation at this point. ...Maybe that explained why his clothes hadn't been returned to him. They hadn't managed to get past security to get to any of it. Hmph.

"I don't have anything like that, no. Is that why you're wearing something different? They... 'gave that back' to you?" He didn't know anything like that happened here. That was bizarre. And extremely irritating since the staff evidently didn't care about returning it in pristine condition. It was a wonder she wasn't furious.

"Yeah," she said with a slow nod. "Didn't you...you didn't get anything?"

Klavier looked about as enlightened about the subject as she was. Which was to say not at all. Claire felt a flush of embarrassment wash through her cheeks. Had he not seen anyone else in their regular clothes here? Or...well, regular in the loosest sense of the term. There were some really strange outfits here. It almost seemed like a costume party.

None of that had really mattered to Claire until she'd found her own clothes. Until then, she had just assumed that everyone was wearing things they had found somewhere. That clothing wasn't important. But now that she knew better, it infuriated her. It was just such a personal thing; a hit to the gut that killed almost any sense of hope you had. Which was stupid, really, because if they were capable of snatching them from their homes unawares it should be obvious that they could take their clothes too. Yet she couldn't help the niggling feeling she had that this was all part of some twisted joke.

"Yeah. They gave it back to me." She nodded absently, still a touch lost within her thoughts. "When I went to the room for dinner, they had a box with all my stuff in it -" she gave the tool bag a tug, "- and I just found my clothes in there. It's what I was wearing when they took me.

"It doesn't make any sense though. Why would they only give some people back their clothes? What's the point?" Claire pressed a hand to her forehead, exasperated. Was there any thought behind what these people did at all?

[from herp derp.

If he were to be honest, Battler couldn't help but feel a bit unsettled as he made his way through the halls. It wasn't the halls themselves, or the atmosphere, or even what had happened the previous night. Those on their own were easy enough to deal with. However, the pieces fit together to create a whole, and that combination was enough to create a totally different outlook.

It was.... strange. This place really did have a totally different feel during the night. The darkness didn't help that; every little shadow or flicker of light from that came from the other occupants was enough to put anybody edge. More than that.... It was strange thing to be thinking, but he was honestly a bit unnerved that he wasn't scared. That made no sense, did it....? After all, you'd normally embrace the absence of something like fear, not want to encourage it to settle in. Of course ..... that meant one thing. Unlike the previous night, where he'd been frantic and totally suspicious, tonight, he was in his normal frame of mind. He was ... stable, as much he completely hated admitting that everything he'd been thinking and feeling that night were completely unnatural.

Therein lay the problem. The crucial difference between that night and this one was simple: here, he could actually trust his own observations. So what did it mean, then, that those memories actually matched perfectly....? The more he looked around, the more he felt that everything he saw in that seriously screwed up state was totally valid. That was fine for the hallways, but... What about that thing in the end that attacked him? Was he supposed to just accept that, too....?

There was no way something like that could actually exist, yet, even now that he was paying a little more attention, nothing seemed wrong about those memories aside from the way he'd been thinking about things. Which meant that they really hadn't been painted over and exaggerated with fear. Sure, he still kind of wanted shiver and became kind of uneasy whenever he looked back on them, but anybody would get kind of messed up thinking too deeply about something like that, right....? It didn't necessarily invalidate anything.

He paused for a moment, bringing up a hand to pinch the bridge of his nose. Ahhh, dammit, his thoughts were getting messed up again.... Wasn't he just contradicting himself here....? Didn't it not make any sense at all to completely accept something like that just because the hallways looked the same or had the same creepy atmosphere? That didn't really prove anything, did it....?

He was lost enough in his thoughts that he remained totally oblivious to everything around him, caught on the area itself rather than the occupants.

What she was wearing when they took her? That... made sense, actually. They did all wake up here already in uniform, after all. As unsettling as it was to imagine, the people here had actually removed their clothes and redressed them before they'd fully woken up here. He knew that already. But he hadn't considered that they'd kept the clothes or that they would return them. Claire was absolutely right. The idea was bizarre and pointless. Then again, many things here seemed to be but rarely ever were.

Klavier smiled a little at her exasperated gesture, absolutely and completely understanding the sentiments. He tried to keep his tone casual and conversational for the sake of lightening the serious subject.

"It does seem completely pointless, honestly. But at the same time, it's pretty out of their way to do something like that if there's no reason for it at all. Like everything else here, it's probably some kind of mind game. ...Maybe a morbid reminder." There was a small hint of bitterness in his expression at the assertion that might have been noticeable if one were paying attention. He glanced to the side for a second before continuing. "Something to keep us from adjusting smoothly, you see? What better way to do that than to shove a reminder of what we've lost in our faces? Even something small and meaningless would be enough to make us home sick." But why would they want to motivate that? To make them focus that much harder on escaping? ... He glanced to the side again.

"...It could also be to try and drive down unity. With everyone dressed the same, it's usually easier for strangers to think of themselves as one cohesive group. Throwing in a handful of variants might drive down that sense." The smile spread again and he shrugged slightly. "Aha, then again, I may be over-thinking it a bit. Maybe it isn't anything as complicated as that. ...It could even just be to try and make some of us more prominent and noticeable at night.

"...Take Herr Red, for example." Without even looking in his direction, Klavier used one hand to indicate the redhead who'd been standing in his periphery for a while now. "Even though it's nearly pitch black, he sticks out like a sore thumb."

Yes, he had noticed Red a while ago. Even if he was fully engaged in conversation, Klavier had been keeping an eye out for movement in the hallway. Nothing like having a giant scorpion try to impale you to keep you on edge when standing in the same hallway it had happened. Not that it would have been easy to miss the guy even if he hadn't been looking, what with him wearing an all white outfit. Klavier had only glanced over for a second while speaking, noted who it was, and kept talking ready to overlook the boy's presence entirely. But he couldn't really do that with Battler just standing there, a white blob with a bit of red lingering in the way in the corner of his eye.

He hadn't looked over enough to see if Battler wanted something and was looking in their direction or was just standing there in the hallway for... hell knew what reason. Regardless, Klavier stayed looking at Claire after he'd finished speaking without looking over at all.

Klavier had all but confirmed her theories about the clothing. In a much better worded manner, but the same idea was there. Claire grimaced, nodding along with him. "Maybe not it's not just making us homesick. It feels like they're just showing off, you know? They can do whatever they want. Send us off and bring people in whenever they like and there's not a thing we can do about it. This whole clothes thing could be them playing games with us."

Like dressing up dolls, Claire thought with a chill. That was close to it. Even with the army moved in permanently and all this stuff about dog tags and following orders, it felt like they were living in an ant farm. Or a fish tank. They'd throw in a new decoration once in a while and watch them from behind the glass. Untouchable.

Hopefully not for long. Slender fingers contracted around the axe, tightening the grip. They had to be sleeping somewhere in the building.

The next point Klavier made seemed a bit silly, but the more Claire thought about it the more it made sense. Not so much in that their uniforms united them, but that so many of the patients wore the weirdest things. She'd have to think twice before heading out with someone who was dressed like an idiot. For example, a young man near them was in a fancy white suit, like he was going to a business meeting instead of sneaking around a hospital in the dark. Then there was a boy over there in a jumpsuit with a hundred buckles on it, and another kid talking to him in a black, leathery cloak, his back turned towards her. Like he was from that one movie...where they were living in that computer world. It started with an 'M'...

"Take Herr Red, for example."

Blinking, it struck Claire that he was talking about the same guy she had just been boggling at. His hair was a vivid red, even in the dark, and amongst the shadows of the hallway his suit shone like a beacon on the horizon. Not to mention he had ventured within earshot. She looked between the two of them, baffled.

"Do you two know each other?"

The more he thought about it, the more Battler began to realize he was just wasting time. If he had time to entertain a line of questions without answers, turn them over until he was no longer even sure what he was asking, shouldn't he be looking for some kind of clue instead? He shook his head, continuing on to the next hall.

Or at least, that's what he would have done, if he hadn't caught a familiar voice just in time to hear himself mentioned. He paused again, not turning to look just yet. That was ...... seriously annoying. Was that this guy's way of saying hello or something? .... Well, that wasn't really his problem. Whether he wanted something or was just trying to be a pain, it seemed he didn't have anything to say directly, so he could probably just continue whatever he was doing. It was only because of the second voice, one that he didn't recognize at all, that he actually turned to face them.

He was met with Klavier, and scraggly-looking blonde woman with a pretty face, though he didn't pay much attention to that. Instead, his attention went to their hands, or rather, what they were carrying. .... A pipe and axe. That was kind of creepy, even if he ignored what he knew about this place, though he had to admit something like that might be a good idea after something like that rat from the previous night. Right now, all he really had was his flashlight, or maybe the pen in his pocket if he got that desperate. He might want to find something, just in case.

".... Yeah, something like that," he answered a little vaguely. He turned his attention to Klavier, smirking slightly. "So, did you want something, or am I just interrupting your date?"

As Battler finished speaking, there came a sound from the nurse's stations. Two of them ran the length of the hall, one for each dorm block, and in the closest one, something stirred. There was nowhere for them to go during the day and at night, they remained locked within these rooms, transformed but without a stage to stand upon. From beyond the walls came a wail, not quite human but not quite inhuman either. It was followed by unintelligible words, the shouting changed into indistinct mumbling through the thick materials of the Institute walls.

The sounds of humanity - pretty voices, jokes, simple conversation, the sound of heartbeats, footsteps, breathing - were like torture to them, cloistered away in their prisons. The creatures raged against their inability to rip the patients apart from so far away. From within the room came thumping noises and crashes, like someone throwing machinery and books against the walls. The tirade was short and soon enough silence fell again. Broken only by the occasional sound of someone thumping their hands or perhaps their body against the wall.

[Kaze - this is a one-shot encounter, so feel free to keep going with your thread.]

Claire was on exactly the same wavelength he was. It was like showing off. A nice way to display their power over everyone and prove how little control the lot of them actually had. They did many things for this exact purpose. It was really irritating. He nodded along with the claim and seemed fully engrossed in their conversation. Which is why he'd only referred to Red offhandedly and only turned his attention to the guy when the Fräulein asked her question, like it had been her idea to shift focus.

He turned to Herr Red, as though interested in his answer, noting to himself that the all white outfit was actually a suit. In a way, that was actually far more surprising and offputting than anything else. But he didn't plan to comment on it for now. Instead, he smiled at the response. Way to go, Herr Red. Give the poor girl a completely vague and entirely unreassuring answer. He really had no manners at all, did he?

That aside, there had honestly been a secondary reason for bringing the boy's presence to attention. Something aside from the boy distracting him and a mild concern regarding whether the guy was completely lost or not, anyway. The fact of the matter was Klavier secretly found this... interesting. Coming across Red again like this, that is. Wasn't this a bit too much of a coincidence? It was exactly like last time. Once again, Klavier was standing here in the same part of the same hall. Once again, he was speaking to a woman. And once again, Herr Red just happens to come waltzing by a bit too close for his own good. It was funny. Almost like after having his memories wiped, Battler was just repeating the same unfortunate series of events all over again.

Klavier blinked, entirely innocent at the harsh little comment and opened his mouth to respond. Before he could, however, a loud noise could be heard from a nearby room. A horrible wailing noise. Whatever quip had been on the prosecutor's lips immediately fell to the wayside and his entire expression dropped. He quickly turned his flashlight toward the sound, illuminating the wall of the room they were standing next to. There was a thump of someone or something hitting against the wall... the wall that served as the only barrier between them and it.

One foot took a step back, but he didn't move his eyes from that wall. "We need to move," he said sharply.

As the man (boy?) stepped closer, it was easier to make out features beyond his vivid suit and hair. He was younger than the both of them, but a little past being a teenager. Or maybe he was in his last year of school? Claire took him in with a wary gaze. It was hard not to notice he was good looking, but something about his attitude suggested a vague sense of...was regality the word she was looking for?

She rolled her eyes at his comment. No, definitely not. The suit may have suggested as much, but he was a little too cavalier for it. Maybe he was just pretentious.

"We're not on a-"

An unearthly sound rattled her ears. An feral wail. Claire halted. The axe rose, the head hovering parallel to her chest in a one handed grip as she silently switched the torch off, aiming it at a pocket in her bag. She watched the nearby door with narrowed eyes. There was a loud crash. Thumping noises.

It wasn't the soldiers. It was something else. Another monster - monsters, maybe, bigger than the rats and the trolls she'd seen thus far. Too stupid and too bloodthirsty to be of any use.

What a shame.

"...Yeah," she agreed with a nod, eyes still trained on the door. Having Klavier along, she had no more need for the torch. If something were to surprise them, she'd need both hands to take care of it. She slipped it into one of the tool bag's outer pockets, next to Rika's knife. Both would be immediately accessible if she needed them.

Claire took a step forward, tilting her head upward to catch the boy's eyes. She was within arm's reach of him now. The axe was still raised. "Are you coming?" she asked quietly. The tone was less than welcoming, cool and calculating. You couldn't expect any kind of enthusiasm from her about a total stranger tagging alone, but if he knew Klavier then there might be some use to him. "Or would that interrupt your date?"

Not that he'd looked anything but lost the whole time. She seriously doubted he was waiting for anyone.

Edited at 2011-04-09 01:36 pm (UTC)

Instead of a comment in turn, like he was expecting, what Battler received was a sound that made his blood run cold. What.... the hell was that....? Whatever it was, it definitely didn't sound human. He gripped his flashlight a little harder, the wound from the previous night aching as though in anticipation of something similar. He intended to ignore that sound at first, pass it off as the product of residual feelings from before and an overactive imagination, but that kind of thinking wasn't something he could entertain. Not when they'd both heard it, too. In a way, it was a reassurance that he was thinking clearly, yet.... Somehow, he couldn't really consider that a good thing.

The sarcasm he'd been expecting came a little too late, and all he could really do was laugh weakly in response. He kind of deserved that, and given the situation, joking around was about the last thing on his mind.

"Y-yeah. It's not really the time for being a smartass, is it... Sorry about that."

Rather than the woman, he was more looking at the axe she was holding, lifted right in front of him. He couldn't blame her, exactly, but something about it made the hairs on his neck stand on end. When he quietly ducked into the next hall, it was as much because of that than the sound they'd been hearing.

[ducking into random hall like a sissy CALMLY WALKING HERE WITH DIGNITY AND PRIDE.]

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