DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 56: Morris Park
like something is falling apart
poorexample wrote in damned
It was disappointing that the sheriff's office had been closed for some reason, but many humans rested on Sunday for what they considered good reason. Castiel himself didn't understand the thought behind it. God may have rested on the seventh day, but that didn't meant that the rest of them were allowed that luxury. He'd certainly never followed that so-called law.

Then again, much that applied to humans didn't apply to angels, and yet here he was in a human town, trying to play the part.

Eventually he and Gabriel had decided to split ways and cover more ground, but Castiel had already reached the end of the main street, finding that it dead-ended into a park that was far different from the one that he'd taken note of upon arrival. It was difficult to tell when the snow was covering everything, but some of the uncut grass was showing itself nonetheless, and the few benches that could be seen were beat up and vandalized.

So this was the place where most in the town weren't likely to venture. He wondered if that made it more or less useful in terms of unearthing useful information. Perhaps a clue was hidden somewhere in this quiet space -- a message carved into wood or buried under the earth.

Or maybe he'd be better off trying out one of the other stores that he'd passed. The sheriff's office couldn't be the only useful place, even if it was the one that had stood out most to him. Castiel rubbed at the back of his neck. He got the feeling that this shouldn't be as difficult as he was making it out to be.

[For Aigis.]

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The park on the other end of town had seen better days. Local hangout and dumping ground, all in one. Teenagers and metalheads hadn't gotten smarter in twenty years. Or whatever had replaced metal -- there weren't any anarchy symbols or pentagrams drawn in blood-colored paint, so culture had moved on. The trash was the same. Cigarette butts and beer cans and probably weed, if he wanted to go hunting through the snow and mud.

He didn't. Whatever they'd shot him full of this morning was wearing off, but not enough to go poking through cast-off cancer sticks for a remedy.

He picked up a couple of styrofoam coffee cups, dumped them in the trash can, and then found a bench. Good deed done.

[Scarecrow]

Having enjoyed his morning in Magus park, the Scarecrow decided he'd spend the middle of the day enjoying the one on the other side of town. Judging by the shivering his body was doing, the cold weather was starting to get to him, but he couldn't help but want to experience the snow for a bit longer, at least while he still had the chance. There was no telling how much longer he'd be Hunk Howard- or worse, how much longer he'd be alive. While he didn't like to be pessimistic, he had to wonder how much a human body could take before it just fell to pieces. The chill certainly didn't make his arm feel any better.

Crossing the last street, the Scarecrow made it to Morris Park. He could tell from the sight that his first visit might be his only one: the numerous trees made the area more intimidating that the other park, their gnarled branches blocking both the light and the snow from touching the ground, which was covered enough with various debris as it was. It was a shame to see such a potentially beautiful place in such a state of disrepair, though it did make him wonder why no one bothered to take care of it.

As he was about to turn and head up the street, the Scarecrow spotted a familiar face parked on a bench nearby. "Sangamon, hello!" He almost waved with his injured arm, stopping himself and switching to his left one. The brief movement only sent a small sting through him- no major harm done. It probably helped that the cold air had numbed him a little, just as the snow had the night before.

It was only once he got closer that he noticed the cane. "What's that you've got there?"

"What's what?" S.T. wasn't carrying anything except a cash card. He looked down at his hands. Cane, right. He'd already edited it out of his personal worldview. "This?" He held it up. "Walking stick." To demonstrate, he pulled himself to a standing position, putting just a little too much weight on his bad knee as he did so. "Fuck," he hissed, and then gave the Scarecrow the same look he'd given Kelvin's kids each time they'd giggled at him swearing. What the fuck, everyone could use more vocabulary.

He got cane and feet pointed in the same direction, and took an assisted step. "See, good as new." They'd all taken a few points of damage, but nothing major, unless he'd been more out of it than he'd thought. "How's D.C.?"

"D.C.?" the Scarecrow asked, taking a moment to put it together. "Oh, you mean Depth Charge. I've not seen him yet today- he was already out of the room by the time the nurse got me up."

The Scarecrow eyed Sangamon's walking stick, concerned about his friend's condition while thinking he didn't look 'good as new' in any sense. His own arm was in pretty terrible shape, but he reasoned it'd be a lot worse to have his legs impaired in some way, especially when in a town where getting from place to place involved a good amount of walking.

Sangamon's inquiry did raise a few worries in his mind: "Why do you ask? Was he with you last night? He's still in one piece, isn't he?" All three questions came out quicker than the Scarecrow had anticipated, but he couldn't help but wonder what had happened to his roommate. After Kaiji's disappearance, he wasn't taking chances- he'd take any answers he could get when he could get them.

Edited at 2011-05-10 08:03 am (UTC)

"Your second question answers your first, yes, and yeah, he's fine. A little singed, but nothing bad."

Now that S.T.'s brain was firing on at least two out of eight cylinders, he realized the Scarecrow wasn't moving like an actor trying to pretend bones were only for Buffalo wings. Stiff, and protecting an injury somewhere.

"I dragged him along to the basement last night. We had a pretty good run." S.T. had been the weak link, as he'd figured. He'd kept himself out of trouble, but it had been D.C. and Scott that had creamed the Walking Fossil Army. Then again, if D.C. hadn't been there, they'd have been facing something else. They'd gotten out with most of their skin intact, which was good enough.

"You look like you had quite an adventure yourself. Find anything interesting?"

The Scarecrow let out a sigh of relief, though if Sangamon's descriptions of 'fine' and 'a little singed' were anything like his 'good as new,' there might be reason to worry. He shook his head- Depth Charge was more capable of taking care of himself than most anyone the Scarecrow knew. His roommate probably was as fine as indicated, though everything he'd heard about the basement made it sound like a very dangerous place indeed. What was down there that made it worth the trouble?

He didn't have a chance to ponder that question as Sangamon asked one of his own. "Do I?" the Scarecrow returned as he straightened reflexively, wondering how he could possibly look like he'd had any sort of adventure. Perhaps Sangamon was just that perceptive- like Abe, but without the touching part. "We— Sergeant Carter and I— went over the wall near the greenhouse. We thought we'd head to town, but I'm pretty sure we ended up on the wrong side of the building. Without a road or anything to follow, we walked until we did find something: a mine."

He added a nod to that last word. While the Scarecrow wasn't sure why there was a mine so close to the Institute, if it was under Landel's (or Aguilar's, for that matter) control, or if it had any sort of significance at all, but at least it seemed interesting enough to mention- more interesting than his possibly near-death experience with the Burning Man, anyway.

You look like shit was the PG-13 version. Between the teenage hero brigade (spandex optional) and the children's books, he'd started to watch his mouth. Weird.

Except he totally could tell Peter he looked like he'd had his ass dragged backwards up a skyscraper. Peter was cool. Not that Scarecrow wasn't, he just had that Oz thing going on.

"A mine?" We talking mountain-top removal or underground perpetual fire machine? That wasn't an exaggeration. Little ex-mining town -- now just ex-town -- in Pennsylvania had lit an abandoned coal mine on fire in a textbook exhibition of why trash incineration was fucking stupid. Threw crap into the air and, without proper precautions, set random things on fire. Towns, islands, Pöyzen Böyzen fans. The world might be better off without the latter, but they tended not to put it out of their misery. Just get really lit.

It was like twenty years before the depth of the fucked-up sank in. Along with sections of the town and local kids. Marauding clouds of carbon monoxide, the works. Instant ghost town. Latest estimates put it at a half a millennium until it burnt itself out. Give or take a factor of two.

Given that Scarecrow still had hair, this one probably wasn't on fire. He edited the question to something that wouldn't require an impromptu lecture.

"Open, or underground?" He mimed a cave mouth with his free hand.

"Underground," the Scarecrow answered with a nod. "It was hard to see to the bottom from where we were standing, but it looked like they'd been digging into the rock for one reason or another. There were ladders that led to the lower ridges, all the way to the bottom, but with the snow and..." He trailed off, deciding to omit the other reason, as it wasn't all that important to the topic. "Well, it didn't look safe to climb down there.

"We spotted some tracks as well," the Scarecrow added. "Sergeant Carter said they probably belonged to a mining cart. We started to follow them, but I don't recall much after that. It was awfully late by that point, so it must have been the end of night that got us."

Better the end of night than something else. The Scarecrow shook a little, that tingling feeling running down his back. It could have been the chilly air, but thinking about the night and all they'd experienced could have caused it, as well. He did tend to get that way when he thought of the Mangled Witch or the Burning Man.

Edited at 2011-05-13 07:37 am (UTC)

Huh. The whole concept of history had mostly passed this place by. Sitcom Americana, with white and black generic wrappers on everything.

How many of the patients would find it the definition of normality? Consensus reality. If asked for a town, this wasn't far off what S.T. would envision. Add a green and a white clapboard church and it could be anywhere in New England; this one screamed midwestern. Newer construction, built for cars, yadda yadda.

So what was an abandoned -- or working, for that matter -- mine doing on the premises?

"You cold? C'mon, let's not freeze our asses off out here." His was numb; stone benches had a lot of thermal mass, all of it ice-cold. His knee still ached despite the atmospheric icing, but if he didn't move he was going to sit here all day. He put two hands on the cane and pried himself up. "We went down to the basement." Even if everyone else was all hush-hush, he was going to talk about it. Information just wanted to be free, man.

[Apologies for how late this is! D:]

The Scarecrow answered Sangamon's question with a nod, turning to look down the road as his friend rose from his seat. He could see a few places down the main street that looked promising: the hardware store, something to do with a kitchen, and a place called Crossroader's that certainly looked popular. He felt it was probably best they avoided Megahit Movies, which was also within eyeshot; he didn't need to be any more homesick than he already was, and he was a little concerned the owners had noticed one of their collection hadn't been returned. He couldn't help but feel a little guilty, even if it had seemed important at the time to take the movie with him.

"Where should we go?" he asked, turning back to Sangamon. He followed one question with another almost immediately: "And what's in the basement? Aside from something dangerous, apparently."

"Up to you, man. As long as it's heated, I'm easy." Beer before lunch wasn't something he was categorically opposed to, though whether Scarecrow would like the place was hard to say.

Easier to answer the other question. He started limping down the path. Tightened muscles screeched like rusty bike chains after a Boston winter on the porch. "There's these challenges. One side for brains, the other for brawn."

It didn't occur to S.T. until mid-sentence that Scarecrow might still be laboring under some misconceptions about brains. Oops. He continued on.

[to here]

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