DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Night 55: Disciplinary Therapy Room 5 [M-U for Edgar]
damned_doctors wrote in damned
When faced with the unknown, men fell back to one of two choices: to understand what lacked and come to a reconciliation or to exterminate. More often than not, the latter proved to be the more popular choice. The unknown, after all, was a terrible factor in regards to risks. As far as humans were concerned, the unknown was a monster capable of deeds unimaginable. What better way existed in controlling a monster's presence than by ending its life altogether?

One civilization, however, had formed a marriage. A compromise of habits, unifying the institutions of science and magic as a way to control the beast called the unknown. Aptly named "Magitek". Aptly brought about by the lifeblood of Espers as an attempt to come to an understanding.

It was beautiful, imbued with a sense of irony and distortion, fascination and madness. It was flawed, but she wanted to recreate it.

Preparation required for the procedure had long since been finished. The doctor was simply waiting now; it was only a matter of seconds before the subject would regain consciousness. Unfortunately, a far cry from the present. King Figaro might have dealt with less impatience when it came to waking in a woman's presence, but the doctor was an exception. She needed his audience immediately.

Therefore, as opposed to standing at a distance, she leaned against the table strapping Edgar in place and with a quiet hum, brushed a lock of hair from the man's temple. Enough of this, and he would wake soon. She was certain.
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There was a moment of acute awareness just before Edgar awoke, his mind stirring from a gentle caress at his temple. What had he been doing? Yes, talking with Gren, just before the soldiers arrived. Before either of them could do anything, they were pulling him from the room. This was the night for the sleep studies- was that where they were taking him? Edgar opened his eyes, the rest of the image coming together: the guards had taken them both.

Despite the bleariness of his sight, he could make out the frame of a woman standing over him. He pulled against the restraints that held him to the table, testing their limits. There would be no breaking these bindings. It was expected, but worth a try. The question wasn't so much of if he could escape- he knew well enough that even if he did make it to the hall, it wouldn't be long before the guards had him again. He had to admit a part of him was genuinely curious to know what she would be doing. All he'd heard about the sleep studies pointed toward a mixture of torture and experimentation. How unfortunate that he'd be finding out first hand.

Well, at least he'd have someone lovely to look at while he was being tormented. "If they'd told me the sleep studies were conducted by such a beautiful woman, I might have volunteered," Edgar said, deciding to shift tactics. Old habits did die hard.

Good, good. Her patient was waking. More importantly, he was already aware of his situation, cutting chit-chat down to the bare minimum. The man was also as charming as indicated in his file. If only all royalty followed his example, existence would be a much better place, no? She laughed lightly and pulled away, circling around to meet the man face-to-face.

"Flattery, Your Highness," the doctor began, "will not get you out of those restraints." There was a brief pause as she assessed her approach. "But I suppose it will place me in a good mood. That, perhaps, might make all the difference."

Her eyes seemed to shine in the light overhead. "Why do you think you are here, Mr. Figaro?"

As anticipated, his charms wouldn't get him out of this situation; however, what Edgar hadn't foreseen was how the doctor addressed him: by his real name, not the one assigned to him by the institute.

His expression darkened- so there were some individuals behind the scenes who were aware of Landel's intentions, more than just the Head Doctor, the General, and the potential allies on the other side of the radio. An elite group, perhaps? She wasn't one of the regular staff, not one of the cheery nurses who either chose to ignore all that was wrong with the institute or was genuinely naive to what was at the heart of the beast. With one question, her presence suddenly bore more weight.

There was no point in playing games. "I expect either torture or experimentation," he answered flatly. "Or a bit of both. Regardless, even with you around, I suspect this isn't going to be something I'll enjoy in the slightest."

It was good to see a man who acclimated quickly--in expression, words, or otherwise. She idly slid a hand across her lips, a gesture that spoke of contemplation. Anyone could tell the doctor was quite enjoying herself, though the reasons seemed as ambiguous as any. The woman could have gone on with the procedure without conversation--it was what she wanted, after all--but here she was. Talking.

It likely did not bode well, either way.

"You are quite correct in your expectations!" she exclaimed cheerfully. "Ah, but that is a harsh suspicion, don't you think? There exists the possibility that you may learn to love what I will do to you tonight." The doctor trailed off, presumably for dramatics. "Here, let me give you a hint: the names Chere and Palazzo should ring a bell for you. What commonality can you find between them?"

Edgar's eyes narrowed. She was toying with him at this point, delaying the inevitable while tantalizing him with vague statements. That he might learn to love what she was preparing to do to him? With the way the situation was going, he was going to be living with whatever consequences came of the session, for better or for worse.

He'd wanted to know more about the darker elements behind the scenes and was increasingly frustrated with how little those who had seen them were willing to reveal. It sounded like he was going to be getting exactly what he'd wanted, but it came with its own set of cryptic clues. He wasn't sure what price he'd be paying for his experience, but perhaps those on the other side of the board had been right: it wasn't worth it.

He snorted bitterly at both the scenario and the doctor's question. There were several commonalities between Celes and Kefka, but what was the answer she was looking for? "Both had worked for the Empire, were trained as Magitek Knights, and had questionable fashion sense," Edgar answered, subtle anger coloring his voice.

The pointed look and the veiled anger indicated frustration, an acceptable consequence in the doctor's mind. Heightened emotions would make the upcoming climax sweeter than it would without. Not to mention, riling up a man normally suave (with varying mileage) around women was something of a sport. A poor, unfair sport, to be certain, but it wasn't her job to be fair.

She laughed again, the tones polite, as if humoring Edgar's attempt at an adequately placed quip. "Well spoken," the doctor said, amused. "I'm sure you're wondering which of those details is pertinent to our session." She allowed the statement to sink in. Let him throw guesses at the truth for a moment; it should be fairly obvious given the setting.

The doctor continued after a minute, "Teasing experiments is a bit of a pastime for those in my profession, but for you, Your Majesty, I want to make an exception. I could explain the logic and the procedure in a frank and honest manner. Or--" There was a casual wave of the hand. "--we can jump to it without further discussion. Your choice."

While there was little Edgar loathed more than being patronized, he couldn't dwell on it- there were matters far worse coming to light. He raised an eyebrow, the rest of his expression passive as the doctor paused in her game. Aside from Celes' former presence and any similarities between Kefka and Landel, what did they have to do with the institute and the forthcoming experiment?

Undeniable alarm flashed across his face. He'd already known this wasn't going to be just any operation, testing for a general reaction from one of any number of patients; however, he'd not expected just how tailored it would be. Laboratories, human test subjects, something that would leave him changed- his voice was barely above a whisper as he finally put the pieces together, but was unsure whether or not he could believe it. "Magitek..."

But how? No, there wasn't much point in contemplating that. Landel's inner circle knew exactly who their patients were, so it shouldn't have come as a surprise they had more than general knowledge of the various worlds from which their prisoners came. Keeping calm was admittedly harder now. Edgar's mind raced, trying to remember anything he could about the infusion process. Aside from what Celes had mentioned- that she'd been asleep when it happened- there was only one key note: it had driven Kefka to madness. That was not a comforting thought.

"I suppose even if I ask for an explanation, you'll be diving into the actual work as soon as possible," Edgar remarked, "but I would like to know what I'm getting into." He stalled for time. There had to be something he could do, but what? With Gren captured as well, chances were that no one was aware he was in trouble. If this was his personalized torture, he wasn't sure he wanted to know what demons they'd dredged up for his roommate.

Smart man. Though, to be fair, she had hinted quite heavily in her words. Still, Edgar's revelation was nothing less than sweet to her ears. The doctor nodded, confirming the one word that had come out of his mouth in subdued horror.

"Magitek," she repeated. "The token power of the mighty Empire." She scoffed, a tone that rang much differently from her previous pleased attitude. "What a waste. The process used to create the Magitek Knights only produces a fraction of an Esper's power in a human," the doctor continued. "Gestahl was a fool."

Among other things, but that was a rant for another time.

Instead, it was time to make good on her bargain. King Figaro had requested an explanation, and she would provide it, even if it was pretty obvious he was stalling. They all did, in the end, thinking they could somehow miraculously escape with enough time at their hands. Unfortunately for him, she had all the time in the world.

"You are correct. I'd rather we skip the explanations, but I am a woman of my word," she said. "Very well. It's really simple if you give it any moment of thought." Here, the doctor raised a substantially sized syringe, one long enough to almost double the length of her hand. If Edgar looked closely, he should see that the liquid contained an abnormal red, bright and tinging closer to orange in the light overhead.

"This is Ifrit. I believe you two are acquainted in some respects." The doctor smiled, amused. "To become a Magitek Knight like General Chere and General Palazzo, you will receive the blood of this Esper. And unlike Celes, you will be awake for the procedure." That, really, was the reason for his presence tonight.

Infusion and being awake for the procedure- the experiment was sounding better and better.

Knowing exactly what was coming didn't set Edgar's mind at ease in any way, even more so as the doctor brandished an impressive syringe that held the blood of an Esper. What made him most uncomfortable was the sense of helplessness- the feeling that no matter what he did or how long he stalled, there was nothing that could be done about his predicament. She would force him through the process- and from the way she spoke of the Empire's methods resulting in a diluted effect, it would be an operation more akin to Kefka's than Celes'- while he stayed strapped to the table, unable to fight against it in any way.

Who was this woman? She couldn't be just any doctor, someone working for whomever was running the entire operation- with the rank of general, the chances were high that Aguilar wasn't at the top of the ladder. She expressed more than a passing interest in the Empire. One possibility was that she'd been hired specifically to study Magitek and its production- perhaps it was impossible without drawing someone from that world and getting information directly. He had no way of knowing whether or not Celes had been through experimentation during her stay at Landel's, and there was no asking her now.

Another prospect was that she had been drawn from his world as well, and was from the Empire herself... or what was left of it after the Apocalypse. With nowhere to turn to continue her work, she may have taken up an offer to put her skills to use for institute. She knew of Celes' infusion- it wasn't a completely flawed theory. On the other hand, was she unaware of Magicite? She'd somehow acquired the blood of an Esper he knew to be dead, and Celes might not have been the only one pulled from an earlier time, one when said Esper still existed in flesh rather than in stone.

Edgar gritted his teeth. Celes had said there were Espers being used as guards at Landel's- he'd seen only one for himself, but there was the grim possibility of there being more. If the doctor knew Magicite was a more potent method for gaining magic, she might be tempted to pass on one experiment for another- it'd be one with which he had more familiarity. The downside was that he'd be handing over information with which they could gain incredible power. He couldn't risk more innocents- human or Esper- with that kind of a gamble.

Whether unaware or disinterested, her tone made it clear she was set on experimentation, in creating a Magitek Knight. Edgar was unaccustomed to giving up, especially when his sanity- and therefore, the well-being of his people- was on the line; however, there was no rescue party coming, nor a brother to save him. "But why?" he asked. "Why give me power when you know I'll only use it to fight back against this wretched place?"

Now there was a fun question. Why? Why bother with something when it can seem contrary to your end purpose? The doctor couldn't blame Edgar for it. If she had been in his position, she might have wondered the same. Voiced the same. He was lacking the full picture so of course, the natural inclination was to question.

The man was also stepping his bounds, but it did not matter. He needed to understand. Perhaps he'll even use it as incentive to fight against whatever consequences lay in store. Such a wonderful concept! It was only good of her to bring it to fruition.

"Hm." She shifted the syringe to her other hand, lips curving upward as she did so. "I wonder. Why give you the wonderful ability to wield fire when you might used it against us?" the doctor mused. "Seems so contradictory, doesn't it?" So utterly stupid if you thought hard enough.

Without warning, the woman lashed forward, a steely hand aiming for Edgar's throat. Not to harm, no. That wasn't her aim. Much like giving him magic, there would be no point. "If fire magic was the goal, I could have picked anyone," she spoke, surprisingly without strain. "Power is such a gimmick here. You know this better than I. No, what I am interested in is the effect. The struggle. How you might let this overwhelm you."

She laughed, the sound manic. "Did you have any other questions, or may I proceed?"

Had he not been strapped to a table and readied for unwanted experimentation, Edgar might have been more satisfied to finally receive some answers to questions he'd been asking since his first day, as well as support for his own theories involving the institute. The doctor admitted she was eager to watch how the trial either ruined him or forced him to adapt, regardless of what he actually did with the magic once he had it. Much of the institute seemed aimed at breaking the wills of its patients, especially after the military takeover; it was becoming more and more apparent that the weaker prisoners wouldn't survive, physically or mentally. Aguilar wasn't one for bluffs.

However, the breaking wasn't the true aim after all. They were watching how the patients were affected by being pushed, how they learned to survive the nights either through cooperation or standing alone, how those with skills and training used them to their advantage. Those who wouldn't allow themselves to be subjugated, in spite of what hardships they faced, were no closer to escape than those who had just arrived- if anything, the chances were that they were under a more careful watch, having survived long enough to prove themselves potentially useful. But for what end? Once those fit for attention were all who remained, what then?

Edgar had suspected that the patients were nothing more than test subjects, trapped in a maze for some sense of amusement, but knowing it was closer to absolute truth was still sickening. She was a scientist, one more focused on her work than on the well-being of those whose lives she altered. The clearer the picture became, the harder it was to accept.

Even after years of dealing with scum like Kefka, Edgar couldn't hide his disgust completely. Toying with people... it was just like him. The sound of her laughter only twisted the knife. "You'll find I'm not so easy to overwhelm," he assured her in an icy tone.

His bearing was impressive for a man about to undergo a life-altering process. Then again, he was a king, was he not? Men of unabused power usually had to set a prime example. No doubt his indignation came from "injustice" wrought by the institute for the suffering of the patient populace. It was pathetically cute, and a part of her was glad.

Out of those from that world, it was he who remained. Neither the general nor the thief would have sufficed as much as the king. Her laughter died, and as if to make up for her crazed reaction, the doctor smiled congenially.

"We will see, Your Highness. We will see," she said, readying the syringe. "I would hold still, however. Missing my mark would probably be more disastrous for you than it would be for me."

With the doctor making the final preparations for the infusion, Edgar found it hard to stifle the trepidation welling in his chest. It was true he put on a good face when absolutely necessary, unwilling to let an enemy see the fear in him, to let them know what they held over him; however, that didn't mean he was free from the anxiety of facing the unknown, of not knowing how the experiment would change him and if he truly could handle it.

He knew his limits in most cases, but magic was still relatively unfamiliar territory, especially when it came to the Empire's Magitek Knights. How he hated wrestling with doubt and uncertainty.

He had no more words for her, clenching his fists angrily. Though he gave her a piercing glare, he followed her instruction, bracing himself for whatever came next.

Good man. Rather steely on the glares, but he was willing to behave. That fared far greater than a single patient's approval. The doctor took to gently massaging Edgar's neck, obviously feeling for the contours under his skin.

Unfortunately, from her expression, what she found was not to her liking. Here, the woman clicked her tongue, her mind wavering between choices. "Mm, no good," she muttered before releasing her grip on the man. There was a shrug, and her expression turned particularly nasty.

"Better for horses than humans, it seems," muttered the doctor before her free hand moved to the buttons on his shirt. "I apologize, Your Majesty, but I will need your bare chest."

Edgar stayed silent as the doctor felt his neck, continuing to watch the needle in her hand and her changing expression. The shift in it was not one that held promise for him, save for the promise that he wouldn't like anywhere else she chose for the procedure. Whether his neck really wasn't suitable for the injection or she just wanted to find a more torturous spot, he couldn't guess.

"Hard to believe any apology when I'm strapped to a table against my will," he said in flippant response. It was a shame: in any other circumstance, he would have been happy for a beautiful woman to undress him, but something about the impending experimentation and its life-altering effects really killed the mood.

"I like to leave a little dignity to my subjects," she crooned, moving her hand down to undo the top button. "Plus, taking you out of dress code could be costly~" Thank you, new military regime. Your powers of change have already allowed one woman easy access to an attractive man's chest.

She continued down the line, humming softly as the doctor did her work. In a full minute, she managed to get his bare chest in full view. Though one might suspect a snide remark to be forthcoming from such an individual, the doctor gave nothing in terms of words and began to feel around the man's upper left chest area for the spacings between the ribs. After a moment of what was awkward poking, she retreated her hand back in satisfaction.

"I also apologize for the less than sterile conditions," she said, continuing as if no breaks had occurred. "The Empire never did get sanitation completely right, and I'm afraid this is an exact replication." Infection might be possible, but with Esper blood invading his system, any surface impurities may never matter in the end.

She uncapped the syringe to reveal an impressive needle. Without sparing another word, the woman brought it down gingerly to push into the spot she had deemed most accessible to his heart.

An exact replication, right down to the last detail- even if the situation was looking poorer all the time, at least Edgar couldn't say she wasn't thorough in her methods. After all, she was attempting to make a Magitek Knight out of him using a procedure that had already proven it could shatter a person's mind, so what harm would a bit more risk add to the equation? If he went mad or died from illness, then he clearly wasn't fit for Aguilar's survival-of-the-fittest program in the first place.

The doctor gave him no time to reply, bringing the needle to his skin. The sharp discomfort that followed was expected, but nothing remarkable. He'd been stabbed, clawed, bitten, and pummeled into the ground on more than one occasion- even some of the slaps he'd received throughout the years (and despite being a king, there were a lot of them) weighed more on his body and mind.

That wasn't saying that his mind was entirely at ease yet. There was a pause as he waited for a reaction. "I don't suppose there's more to this, is there?" There probably was, but that didn't stop him from making irritable comments.

The needle pierced cleanly, and she allowed the blood to seep into the man in a timed fashion, slower than what was normally permitted. He took it without whimpering, which was good. Most would find something sharp against their heart to be a discomfort among discomforts. The fact that this man was different from his peers was a wonderful detail. Very wonderful.

To his question, the doctor smiled. He was catching on to the whole evil-genius-explains-everything concept, and since there was no harm in showing the consequence, she would oblige once again. Perhaps without details, but at least he would have a basic idea. "Give it a few more seconds," she stated. "The blood needs to hit your brain."

Then, he might experience what it would be like to be consumed in flames, burned from the inside-out. Ifrit was a fire-based Esper, after all. While the being might have been comfortable in that state, a mere human would fidget--to put the description lightly.

Those few seconds felt like minutes as they ticked by- fitting, as everything until that point had been prolonged, whether by Edgar, holding onto some last vestige of hope for an escape plan, or by the doctor, who apparently took pleasure in watching him squirm. He felt sweat run from his brow between his eyes, his composure slipping momentarily with it. He tried the restraints again- there was sweat on his hands and wrists, too. Had it been so hot before? No, it had to be—

Edgar let out a sharp gasp, his body tensing against something for which he could not have prepared himself. There was no keeping calm now, no attempt to maintain some level of control in spite of the mounting odds against him; it felt as though fire itself coursed through his veins, his insides ablaze and incinerating him from his core. His hands shook, eyes shut, teeth clenched until he thought his jaw would break. It took everything in him not to scream.

The seconds were even longer now as the heat refused to subside, welling in his chest and pushing to every end of his body. Edgar had to breathe- his throat felt scorched, the intake of cool air from the room doing nothing against it. With the unimaginable pain from every inch of him came another feeling: rage- blinding, unwilling to accept what was happening to him. The restraints held as he pulled against them, this time with a definite fervor in his eyes. Had he been able to reach her, he felt he could have torn her limb from limb without a second thought.

Edgar forced himself back, the momentary- but nearly complete- loss of control bringing some semblance of himself to the forefront. Pure fear colored the anger in him, quelling it. Was this what had happened to Kefka? The pain was immense, but Edgar's determination to survive- both in mind and body- wouldn't allow him to give in.

Just as the doctor emptied the syringe's contents, Edgar tensed and gasped in the effort. Smartly, she slid the needle out and stepped to the side, far enough for nothing to touch her. The man likely wanted to pour his fury onto every inch of her, and the masochistic side yearned for that result. Work, unfortunately, wouldn't grant her the leave time.

She watched as he rose in temperature, skirting past what was acceptable by human standards in regards to numbers and pain. The king was suffering, the poor thing, but this was no time for laughter. She had to witness, to etch the results into memory. Into history. The data acquired for this procedure had yet to be sufficient. She needed to watch the beginning.

Unfortunately, observation only went so far. Edgar was far from an immortal being, and fevers were a nuisance to mortals. After a few minutes, she reached over to a nearby device and flipped a switch. A spray fell from crevices in the ceiling, spilling icy cold water over Edgar. This shouldn't prove much of a comfort; his fever may drop to manageable levels, but the pain should only pique.

The icy water brought a physical shock as it made contact with Edgar's skin. Given the circumstances, he would have thought the shower would have been a welcome relief; however, it was impossible for him to tell if it did any good, or if it simply served to make him suffer more. The blaze in him continued to claw its way through every bone in his body, apparently incited by the introduction of an opposing element.

Edgar jerked involuntarily against the straps that bound him to the table, turning his head as far as he could from the chilling spray. At that moment, there was nothing beyond his will to survive the ordeal, to subdue the ever-present threat of succumbing to all that was rushing through him: the fiery wrath that tried to engulf his mind, mirrored by the intense burning within his chest, and the despair of what would happen if he was overcome by the flames. Those whose livelihood depended on him- they were the ones who kept him going.

Edgar's fists grew tighter; his nails buried themselves in his palms. Blood mingled with sweat in his right hand- it felt like molten lead as it pushed through his fingers. Despite the spray, he opened his eyes. He couldn't keep an eye on the doctor, nor prepare for what was next- if it was even possible- if he stayed blind.

Ah... The will to survive and its efforts were things to praise. If it was remotely professional, the doctor would have offered an applause. Edgar was doing so well in pushing through; one almost had to wonder how much sanity had been torn away in the attempt. She laughed quietly and reached back to flip the switch once more.

The cold shower stopped, leaving nothing but drips and a pathetic man. With soundless footsteps, she walked to table and placed two fingers on his forehead.

"Congratulations, Your Majesty," she proclaimed. "You have been officially inducted into the Magitek Knights. How do you feel?"

Sweat and water trailed into Edgar's eyes, though they already burned from the inside- he blinked stubbornly, determined to clear his blurry sight. His heart thundered in his chest; his breaths were ragged and uneven, each one searing his windpipe. He might have missed the doctor's question entirely had he not felt her touch grace his forehead. In comparison to all that was running through him- a quieter fire than before, but one still aching to escape from every pore- her fingers felt like ice.

There were many ways to describe how he felt at that moment. Angry came to mind immediately: he'd been taken against his will, used as though his life was worth less than satisfying her curiosity. Worse was the thought that he was neither the first nor the last to undergo such experimentation at the institute. He was no closer to stopping them than when he'd first arrived; the sleep studies continued even then, as he searched for an answer to the doctor's question. The thought that there was possibly nothing he could do against the staff, that those with weaker wills and constitutions wouldn't survive, was pure torment. Some chose to fight, and had to face the consequences of diving into dangerous territory; however, dragging innocents who would otherwise avoid conflict into such situations was beyond abhorrent.

Exhausted would have been another description of how he felt. Even though it seemed the worst had passed, Edgar felt ill, his muscles twitching as they slowly accepted the blood working through his system. His vision blurred again, but he forced himself to stay conscious. Sweltering heat still radiated throughout him, though most seemed to have gathered in his bleeding hand- he was sure he'd long since sweated away every bit of moisture he had in him. Even with his mouth as dry as the desert sands, he wasn't sure he could have pulled himself to water if it was only a few steps away.

In the end, Edgar chose a word that covered everything. "Sickened," he answered, his voice raspy and unfamiliar. His body may have been worn, but his eyes still held daggers.

Sickened was as close as one could come to describing the mesh of conditions that made up Edgar. For one in such a pitiful state, he appeared surprisingly infuriated. Intensity more unexpected than the actual presence--the doctor was hardly blind. She could see why he would be so angry.

Of course, she wasn't so opposed to making him angrier. "I'd say you're all charged up," remarked the doctor cheerily, quoting from one whom Edgar might consider to be a familiar source. She lifted her fingers to the crown of his head and gave a patronizing pat. "In five minutes' time, you will be released from your restraints."

A smile. "Last chance to ask a question."

Edgar could have snapped at the patronizing pat on his head that came coupled with words he recognized- trapped in another world, and the clown's words still haunted him. Such ire felt foreign to him- it had to be the heat wearing him thin, the exhaustion setting in and pushing through his defenses. He felt himself at a breaking point, but held back from the precipice. He wasn't about to allow her the pleasure of watching him crack.

Five minutes; from the sound of it, she wasn't going to stay for his release. And then what? Would they simply allow him to leave, keeping tabs his every step, seeing how he faced the halls as a man changed? Or would they put him through more trials to test the limits of his weary mind? The thought that he'd never escape their eyes rested worse with him now than it ever had before. Even though he fought it, they crawled under his skin.

Well, no time like the present to ask. "And what happens then?"

What a waste. He could have asked for their secrets, and instead, he used the chance on something obvious. She would have indulged him, too! Well, not really, but stringing the man along would have been entertaining. The doctor gave what looked to be a pout before breaking into a chuckle.

"Then you're free to go," she replied. "All finished. No more shots. That wasn't so bad, now was it?" There was a casual wave of a hand, as though she was indicating to something across the room. "For being such a stellar patient, Your Highness, I'll leave you a bandage. Oh, and a scalpel, too. You can find them on the tray over there." Both should theoretically bring a smile to the man's face, even if the actual chance of that was a trillion to one.

The doctor grinned, work finished and satisfied, and then turned on her heels. "Well. Time to take my leave. Take care not to set any of your friends on fire!" Despite the emphasis, the voice faded as the woman walked toward the shadows, her hand waving once more in farewell. The room echoed with her humming, before falling silent altogether.

As promised, something clicked in Edgar's restraints, loosening them from his limbs.

[The bandage, should Edgar choose to accept it, has pretty yellow smiley face patterns.]

She may have promised that they were all finished, but as far as Edgar was concerned, his problems were ongoing- this was just one more complication added to a growing list, especially if the long-term effects were as promised. He could use them to his advantage... if he survived long enough.

He snorted bitterly as the doctor seemingly vanished, her humming fading into the shadows as she did. He listened for the sound of her exit, of a door opening and closing; her soundless departure had him wondering if she'd truly left at all. There was the chance she was simply waiting for him to rise, still watching for the results of her work.

Surely enough, the restraints on his body released him after a short period. He tore from them at first, rage still fueling him- once he'd risen from the table, he could feel the exhaustion set in. The room spun around him, and the tray she'd indicated looked to be miles from where he sat. Though the light above him touched the walls of the room, she was nowhere to be seen. Whether by sorcery or some other skill, she was gone.

Determined not to stay any longer than necessary- but deciding he would be taking that scalpel rather than leave himself defenseless once in the hall- Edgar pulled his legs from their restraints and took an uneasy step on the ground, stopping as a wave of disorientation hit him. His eyes squeezed shut automatically as he used his free hand to grip the edge of the table, trying to steady himself; his fist, still burning, stayed clenched, as though relaxing it would let loose a fire he'd trapped there.

That wasn't to say that the rest of his body felt any sort of relief. He stumbled on his second step, hitting the wall- he leaned into it heavily for support. Every part of him ached: his lungs shrieked for air, though he felt each breath stir the flames in his chest, which felt as though it would burst at any moment; his legs trembled, threatening to buckle beneath him, moving only through sheer willpower; his head pounded as he attempted to focus, ignoring everything else in favor of reaching the tray and escaping the room. It probably wasn't the wisest move, but it was the one he'd chosen.

Edgar took another step, then another. Every second of progress ramped the difficulty; he was in absolute agony by the time he reached the tray, which he was certain she'd put across the room for that exact reason. Sweat ran into his eyes again as he neared his destination, the heat continuing to make him suffer. His last step was received with a crippling pain, one that brought him to his knees. His breath caught in his throat; he found he couldn't have screamed in anguish even if he wanted to. In a vain effort to return to his feet, he grabbed the tray, but it was as unstable as he was: both crashed to the floor, the scalpel clattering across the cold surface as he lost consciousness.

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