DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 56: Crossroader's Bar and Casino (Noon)
make you comprehend.
unheroed wrote in damned
Well, the hardware store had been a bust.

There had been a gun holster, but it cost far more than his measly fifteen dollars, so he'd eventually had to leave behind both the store and Klavier Gavin in a fit of frustration. Of course, when he found something useful he wasn't actually able to get his hands on it. There had even been the possibility that he could get away with buying something like that, since it wasn't a weapon; it was just a means by which to hold one. But seeing how he couldn't afford it, there had been no point in sticking around.

Which meant going along with his original plan and getting himself a drink. He didn't even know if the bar would be serving drinks at noon, let alone if the bartender would serve the patients, but it was worth a shot.

And honestly, the small town vibe here unsettled him, but no matter where it was located, a bar was a bar. That felt familiar even with the Western theme that it had going. As he entered and took in the new billiard table, Harvey sent a glance to the man who was standing at the bar itself, wondering if he'd have any luck. The fact that he was injured also lowered his odds, but everyone knew that strong alcohol worked as a good painkiller.

Figuring that he'd take it slow, he first moved closer to the bar so that he could at least peruse the menu.

[For Indy.]

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[From here.]

Stepping inside the doorway, the Scarecrow paused to take in the sight: bottles and glasses everywhere, signs on every wall, the floor littered with peanuts, a large green table without any chairs, and a long counter with several cushion-capped stools lining it. Well, he couldn't say it wasn't an interesting place, and it seemed a few other patients thought the same thing. He was fairly certain he heard Sergeant Carter's voice trailing through the room.

Spotting a few empty seats at the nearest table, the Scarecrow stepped out of the way for his friend. "How about here?"

Small bars went one of three ways. Sports, Irish, or kitsch. This was definitely number three, though the gun looked real. So did the chairs.

"Lifesaver, man, you're a lifesaver." He took a seat. "The cold felt good for a while, but if you hadn't come along I'd have sat there all day. Ow."

Adding ethanol to the cocktail of synthetic opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories running around his bloodstream was something he would have been contractually obligated to protest. People with principles were expected to be so damn inflexible. His were more like guidelines. Don't fuck with your brain chemistry unless it's serious.

Almost three weeks trapped in an alternate dimension where the irreversibility of death was on the list of guidelines that weren't rules qualified as an emergency.

Cold beer for brunch. Maybe they'd bring some peanuts out too. He ordered two half-pints, to spare his liver and the world from a drunk Scarecrow.

Letting Sangamon choose his seat first, the Scarecrow took the one next to him, still eyeing the rest of the room. He remained silent, allowing his friend do the ordering: the former strawman wouldn't have known what to get in the first place, and his stomach was surprisingly quiet for how little he'd eaten the day before. Thumbing through his book, there was a note for a free meal at one of the other places in town; he supposed he could wait a little longer.

Aside from the usual booklet of coupons, he'd been given a thin piece of... well, he wasn't entirely sure what it was made of or even what it was, but he'd forgotten about it entirely until that point. He turned it over in his hand: aside from the picture of Hunk Howard on one side (it was hard to think of that face as his own) and a black line across it, it didn't seem to have any indication as to what it was. He set it aside for the moment, wishing he'd paid more attention to the morning announcements instead of worrying about the state of his arm- there had probably been a mention of what it was for.

Resolving to ask Sangamon a bit later, the Scarecrow decided to satisfy his immediate curiosity first. "Now, what were these prizes you were trying to get? They had to have been something good to be worth such a risk!"

S.T. was still laughing -- real irony-flavored belly laugh -- when the beers arrived.  He washed down the reaction with a swig.  It was colder than his half-frozen hands, like it should be.  "Fuck if I know what they're good for.  We got a little silver shield from the Sphinx's riddle, and two swords from last night."

He took a bigger sip.  "Try it.  It's, oh, my second or third favorite thing on the planet."  Sex and being right ranked up there, but being right sometimes backfired.  A cold beer never did.  The seventh or eighth in a night might, but he was old enough to switch molecules before reaching saturation point.  Managed toxicity, like the EPA claimed to do, was harder than it looked, but his liver could prove his ability.  

"That got us a set and a half, if the Sphinx wasn't lying through her giant teeth, and one more big set of doors.  Guess we'll just have to find out the hard way."  He didn't sound disappointed at the job.  It was doing something, not sitting on his ass and keeping his head down.  He'd had enough of that as a wage slave.  Hell if he'd do it for free.

The Scarecrow looked at the drink as it arrived, surprised by the gesture. "Why, thank you," he replied, taking hold of the glass and giving it a try. There was a moment where he was glad his face was partially obscured by the drink, as he was sure his expression wasn't pleasant. It was very different from the drink he'd had during his last visit to town when he'd met Javert, but wasn't any better tasting. Not wanting to be rude, he gave it another sip- Sangamon had just said it was one of his favorite things, after all (though if this was his second for third favorite thing, the Scarecrow wasn't sure he wanted to know what was the first).

The second try was interrupted as Sangamon continued talking about the basement and what they'd found there. A Sphinx? A big set of doors? And wait- "The hard way?" the Scarecrow asked incredulously, setting the drink on the table and reflexively wiping his mouth with his sleeve. "You don't mean you're going back down there, do you? Surely not after all the trouble you got into!"

The Scarecrow made the face of a ten-year-old sipping his father's beer. S.T. stifled a laugh with a big sip of his own.

"Sure. What, you think we're going to go to all that trouble to figure out what's down there only to give up halfway?" He tried to look hurt, which wasn't difficult when his bruises had burns and his burns had bruises. "Not tonight, I guess. Need a night or two for R&R w-- rest and relaxation. That is assuming they bother to take us back to the Institute tonight."

He changed the subject from zombie massacres before the Scarecrow could worry more. Oops, too late. "You find anything worth knowing about lately?" There were dozens of places they didn't have maps for, despite a small army of conscripted volunteers running every which way whenever night fell. Talking about this shit would help. Keep knowledge from running off with people.

The drink stayed on the table as the Scarecrow's brow furrowed with concern. Somewhere in him, he knew Sangamon was right (again); however, that didn't make it any easier to accept that his friends were heading off into danger for reasons unknown. That was the point, though, wasn't it? There was a chance they'd find something that made the trip worthwhile in the more dangerous parts of the Institute- after all, there had to be a reason they were so dangerous. Maybe Wizard Landel was hiding down there, or General Aguilar, commanding the army of witches far away from the eyes of the patients. If they found the person running the Institute, perhaps they could all go home.

Oh, there was that concern that when the time came, the he wouldn't want to go home. It wasn't returning to Oz that was the problem, so much as it was the thought of being stuffed with straw again. After all his experiences as a human, both good and bad, could he go back? Or even would he? He pulled the drink to his mouth, deciding to have another sip after all, if for no other reason to fill the silence.

Deciding that he still wasn't too keen on the drink, the Scarecrow found something to talk about. "My body was in the box with my possessions last night. I don't know if that's worth knowing about, but... I suppose it's something."

"Man, that's rough." Open up a box, find your face staring up at you? Standard nightmare material. Most people weren't straw dolls in real life, and in real life that sentence made no fucking sense, but it was still A+ bed-wetting material.

S.T. wondered what was in his. A kiddie pool and a blow-up raft with a skull-and-crossbones added in Sharpie? A seven-year service award pen holder in the shape of a beaker from Mass Anal, because he'd let himself rot? He'd have to go find out, if he could fit it into his busy schedule.

"You O.K? Really O.K.?"

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