DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Day 56: Intercom, Late Evening
New Intercom
damned_intercom wrote in damned
Despite the rough start and the heavier snowfall, the buses managed to stay on route and on schedule. With minutes to spare, they arrived at the gates of Landel's Institute, back to the waiting arms of the military. All pretenses seemed to drop at this point, and the soldiers again took on their patented gruff exteriors. Patients were filed out of the buses in an orderly manner, eventually being escorted to their rooms for dinner in much the same. There, as promised by the personnel, well-behaved patients found their purchases among their returned possessions. A few even found new faces, though whether they brought as much joy as bought goods remained unseen.

The woman manning the intercom seemed to have missed the notice about the day's trip as her announcement remained no different from the usual. "Attention all subjects and personnel," she said. "Lights Out will commence within the hour."

A pause.

"I repeat, Lights Out will commence within the hour. All personnel: please report to your stations. The General will begin his address once preparations are underway. 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! ]

  • 1
Though the trip went without incident, Edgar was completely exhausted by the time they returned. The cold weather had provided him some relief from the sweltering heat that radiated through him, but his illness still left him more fatigued than he'd ever admit. There wasn't to say there weren't positive points throughout the day, namely the part where he discovered that Natalia was still around. No, he wouldn't wish a prolonged captivity- especially one at the Institute, where specialized experimentation was on the regular schedule- on anyone, and while Guy had implied that her being released and brainwashed was the best hope for her, Edgar couldn't accept it. She had spoken so adamantly of her people! To be robbed of one's self, especially when there were people counting on them... unless there was a chance their memories could be returned, it wasn't much better than death.

He set his tray on his desk (how tragic that he'd been ill all day, and therefore without much of an appetite- the pink sludge had made a return), eyeing the box of possessions for a moment. All of his equipment- the scavenged goods, the items from Edward March's box, and the bag he'd purchased in town- were all present. Thus far, Aguilar had kept his promises. It was strange to think of him as more reliable than Landel in any way, though Edgar wasn't sure which of the two heads he preferred. The Head Doctor, while his aims had been mostly unclear, had seemingly given the weaker patients some form of a chance; the General was aiming to weed out those unfit for survival, and held a much tighter grip on the patient population. Personally, he found Aguilar's directness to be the marginally better option; however, he couldn't stomach the casualties that were inevitable with the military's methods.

In the end, it didn't matter which of the two was the better head of the institute. The patients were prisoners- no, test subjects for some project, running through the maze and giving their all in a bid to be allowed to live. All were pushed to their limits, but for what end? It was one thing to have soldiers and specialists battling within the building, but what of the civilians? And of the children? Not everyone was capable of protecting themselves- it left those without such training at a disadvantage if they didn't find safety in numbers. Then again, that might have been one of the aims: to see who would work together, and who would go alone.

They didn't have all the answers, but it was clear that both Aguilar and Landel were vile beyond words.

With no sign of Gren, Edgar flopped onto the bed in a heap, turning onto his back, making no attempt at feigned composure. Though he closed his eyes, he was listening for the door to open. He needed to make sure his roommate was all right, relatively speaking... or still at the institute at all. A rattled sigh escaped him; the frustration just kept mounting.

While his conversation with Leela in the bar had bolstered Gren's spirits some--the illusion of hope, however fragile, could still do wonders for the soul--the day had declined from there. The cold, achy feeling had persisted and by the time the bus trip home had rolled around, he'd begun to feel distinctly ill.

He had a sinking feeling he knew exactly what was going on, but he wouldn't--couldn't--give that dread in the pit of his stomach a name. He just knew he recognized this feeling all too well, and if they'd done to him what he thought they had, he was going to have to make some hard choices in the near future.

The military was no more talkative than usual as they forced dinner upon him and marched him back to his room. If he'd disliked them yesterday, something akin to actual hatred had now lodged itself in his chest. He didn't like to think of himself as a vindictive person, but it was hard not to want to exact some sort of revenge for the previous night. Instead, he kept his mouth shut and kept walking until he reached the room.

It was a relief to see Edgar. He hadn't caught sight of his roommate in town, and he'd been morbidly entertaining the thought that he might not see the man again. From the look of things, however, they hadn't been any kinder to Edgar than they had been to him last night. He set his tray down on his desk, abandoning it in favor of the momentary comfort his bed could offer.

"You look about as awful as I feel." Make a joke of it. It was easier than remembering, that was for sure.

Edgar opened his eyes as the guard left them, watching Gren deposit the tray on his desk. Whether he wasn't hungry due to illness or the fact that the gruel just wasn't appetizing in any sense of the word had yet to be said. From the implication, Edgar was willing to assume the former. He let out another sigh, one now of minor relief.

"We both look worse for wear," he said quietly, continually annoyed by the grating sound of his voice. He sat up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and turning to face his roommate. There was a pause as he looked Gren over, eying for obvious injuries as a result of the experimentation: though his face held a serious expression, he was undeniably pleased that Gren hadn't disappeared entirely. It was one more ally still by his side.

That left the question of how to approach the obvious topic. Gren had never shown himself to be one for much chatter- though they'd traveled together on more than on occasion, Edgar admittedly knew little about the man with whom he shared a room. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. He set his elbows on his knees, leaning to cross his hands before his face. "I take it your experimentation was as personalized as mine. Are you all right?"

Edgar sounded as bad as he looked, which was worrying, but he knew he wasn't much better, all things considered. The main thing was, he was here, and still himself, at least as far as Gren could tell.

"Variations on a familiar theme, but yeah." He didn't know how much he wanted to share, just yet. What they'd done to him was fairly straight forward, but the whys of it required more explanation, and he wasn't sure if he was read for that, or how Edgar would react to that sort of information. He was just going to have to wait and see. He hated the thought of not trusting the other man, but it was possible that some things were simply better left unsaid.

And as for the question... he smile wryly as he reached behind him to pull the blanket from his bed around his shoulders. It wasn't going to solve the problem by any means, but at least for the time being, he'd be a little more comfortable. "Honestly? I don't know. You?"

Gren's response followed along the lines of not only his previous answers to various questions, but also to all the questions Edgar had asked on the bulletin board: brief and vague. He kept his face obscured by his hands to hide any signs of frustration. Gren undoubtedly had his reasons for keeping to himself the majority of the time- all men had their demons- and while Edgar could respect that, it made the continued lack of information no less irritating.

At least it didn't appear that Gren had been injected with a fiery Esper's blood, if his wrapping the blanket around his shoulders said anything. As another bead of sweat ran past his eye, Edgar felt a grim envy for any chill Gren may have felt: there were always more blankets and clothes to wear in layers, but there were only so many garments one could take off before being labeled as indecent. The burning didn't seem to be subsiding as night drew closer.

"I'm sure I'll survive," Edgar remarked, "if for no other reason than by pure volition." He waited a beat, thinking. "I was strapped to a table and put through a very specific procedure from my world- one with a poor reputation for leaving the test subjects sane."

Gren's expression shifted to one of concern at Edgar's words. It was bad enough he had been dragged through this sort of thing, he could cope, but the knowledge that his roommmate had been forced through something similar...

"I'm sorry," he said finally. "I wish there'd been some way to keep them from taking you." He pulled the blanket tighter around his shoulders. "It was similar, for me. Only I think they've simply picked up here where the people back home left off." He gave Edgar a tight smile. "This isn't the first time someone's used me as their test subject." He owed him that much, at least. If he wanted details, well. There were ways of discussing that and staying within his own comfort levels, probably. "I'm not sure of it, but a friend is going to help me look for records tonight. That way, I'll know what I'm dealing with."

He'd know whether it had been a mind game, or if these symptoms--so obviously withdrawal from whatever they'd given him--were just the start of his problems.

Edgar blinked, a little surprised by Gren's admission. That certainly explained a lot about his unsettled demeanor as Aguilar increased his grip on the institute and the people trapped there. Edgar had initially thought Gren's military background was the primary cause, his familiarity with the system giving him more reason for concern than most other patients; however, to learn he'd been a test subject before, and that last night was revisiting his past experiences... The institute was truly becoming his worst nightmare, wasn't it?

It was enough detail to convince Edgar not to pry- not so soon, anyway. There was no question that Gren's sleep study had reopened an old wound. "Believe me, it was frustrating for me knowing I was no sooner going to be able to help you than I could help myself. I was under the impression they usually only took one roommate. For us both to be dragged out was something I hadn't anticipated. What luck we have." He laughed to himself, the dry chuckle no louder than a whisper. "So much for that promise to come to your aid."

He lowered his hands, a thin smile still on his lips. It faded as he continued. "Hopefully, you'll find some useful information in the records. The woman working on me was courteous enough to tell me exactly what she was doing and why she was doing it."

"I never have been very lucky," he joked grimly. "I spent the day wondering if we were being punished for something, but I couldn't think of anything." Their last trip out together had been days ago, and he doubted they'd stumbled upon anything that no one else had found before. "I guess they were just feeling capricious."

He hunched his shoulders a little and folded his hands in his lap. "Mine was trying too hard to pretend they were someone I used to know to give me much information, really." Which had been the worst part of it. There was only so much they could do to his body that hadn't been done before, but he knew full well how fragile his own mind could be, and that, it seemed, had been their real target.

It hadn't been Vicious in the room with him, he knew that, but it had been enough to dredge up things he didn't want to remember. His only comfort was the fact that sleep here was controlled and dreamless, a blessing in disguise.

It was a small comfort to know he and Gren were, more or less, on the same page: Edgar had briefly entertained the idea that the double kidnapping had been retribution for something the two of them had done, but aside from slaying the beast in the basement, he couldn't think of a single thing worthy of such merit. Surely it wasn't for said slaying, as he doubted all who were taken for the sleep studies had been to the basement- not everyone had the information to get there or skills necessary for survival. Even Edgar himself didn't know the way down there, much to his chagrin- the only reason they'd made it was due to the enchantment on the doors that night. It was more likely just an unlucky draw at lots... or at least that's what he hoped.

And it seemed the theory that every sleep study was specially catered to the test subject rang true for Gren's experimentation, as well. Edgar had been fortunate in that, despite how ultimately humiliating the event had been, he'd had a lovely lady to look at when he wasn't writhing in agony; to hear Gren's doctor was pretending to be someone he knew was disturbing. However, it made sense if that was what affected Gren the most. He couldn't imagine how different his own procedure would have been if it had been performed by someone with whom he was familiar- he shuddered at the thought alone.

For now, Edgar nodded in understanding with Gren's words. "They're toying with us," he said quietly. "I'll hopefully find out more about why tonight... or at least learn something new. I'm due to meet two acquaintances- not sure exactly where we'll be going, but they insisted on picking me up." He laughed again, still hoarse. "I'll admit that I'm a little embarrassed. Do I really look like I'll drop dead any second?"

"They seem to be exceptionally good at that." He knew, rationally, that in his case some of it was just a terrible, terrible coincidence. He wasn't vain enough to think someone had planned an entire take-over just to mess with him, personally. That didn't do much to soften the blow, however. "At the very least, we know they do know exactly who we are," he added. That was a fact that bothered him. Not that they'd had some idea of who he was, but that the person working on him had very specific knowledge of things that by all rights, it should have been very difficult to discover. He didn't like the implications at all.

"Well, you're not quite your usual handsome self," he admitted with a wry smile. "But I don't think you're corpse material just yet." He didn't want to think about how he likely looked at the moment. The old experiment had been eating away at him for years now, after all. He hated to think that this one might pick up where that on had left off, just when he'd been starting to believe he'd escaped that particular curse.

  • 1
?

Log in