DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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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! ]

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The door closed behind the Scarecrow with a solid clunk, leaving the former strawman alone in his room. Though not much had happened throughout the day— or at least there didn't seem to be many changes from the way Wizard Landel handled the day trips, though that might have been the military trying to keep the townsfolk from knowing any changes had occurred at all at the Institute— he was glad he'd gotten to enjoy the snow for a while, even if he hadn't accomplished a great deal.

Well, that part about not accomplishing much wasn't entirely true. He had managed to catch up with Sangamon, learning about the basement and the dangers hidden there, and his conversation with Mele, while he never did find out if they'd truly met the same person in the Entry Room, gave him hope that the Burning Man may have been a wayward patient, one who was still around if the nurses patched him back together. If he could be found and his safety assured, the Scarecrow was positive it'd be a relief to Sergeant Carter— and himself, as well. To have thought he watched someone actually die was very distressing.

That brought him to Depth Charge, who he'd not seen since dinner the night before. The nurse had changed the Scarecrow's bandage again before allowing him into the building; the stiffness of the fabric and his own wounded skin was uncomfortable enough, but the accompanying pain was enough to have him shaking. He could ponder why his body reacted to pain the way it did later— his primary concern for the moment was Depth Charge, and how he might be concerned. And what good did worrying about it do? He would get that fretful look on his face, but it wasn't as though the arm could be unburnt. It couldn't be helped now; in the future, the Entry Room was just going to have to be avoided, and that was that. No need for him to be upset.

Of course, this was all coming from a former strawman who, having deposited the tray on his desk (he wasn't hungry anyway, having had a good meal at lunch), was pacing around the room, waiting for his roommate to arrive so he could see just what kind of condition he was in after his journey through the basement. Sangamon's basis for 'just fine' had been more than a little discouraging.

Another Doyleton trip, another day wasted wandering around that empty little town like he knew what he was doing. As tempting as it had been to try and buy something useful (read: dangerous) with his spending money, Depth Charge had decided with great reluctance that holding back was probably a safer bet for now- who knew if those military knuckleheads would even let him keep a nice, heavy wrench or something? This way he at least had his money saved for next week, when he could come back and get something twice as good.

If there was a next week at all.

But, as bad an influence as talking to Kaworu had been, he didn't have much time for getting overly existential and angsty about the whole deal; as it turned out, the Scarecrow was a far more potent source of concern for him.

At first, as he slumped into his chair and saluted a lazy greeting at his roommate, he hadn't noticed anything wrong aside from the anxious pacing. Then he spotted them- the bandages snaking around the Scarecrow's hand and arm, tightly bound and as fresh as his own were now that they'd returned to the Institute. Talk about a spark attack.

Depth Charge froze for just under a nanoklik, trying to work out how he could have been injured- was something broken? Cuts? Burns? Worse?- but then, where was the point in thinking about it when you could just ask? "What happened to your arm, Scarecrow?" He'd ended up sounding a lot more serious than he'd intended, more concerned than he should have been for an arm injury, but then who was to say there weren't more bandages he couldn't see?

As the Scarecrow came to a halt and opened his mouth to ask Depth Charge about his condition, he was beaten to the draw. He glanced at his own arm as it was mentioned, as though it might be any different than the last time he'd looked at it, then back to his roommate.

"What happened to me? What happened to you?" the Scarecrow returned stubbornly. Well, he knew what happened, but that wasn't the point: he wanted to know if Depth Charge was as fine as promised. From the looks of it, the answer was probably a 'no.' He wagged his finger in the air (left hand, of course), getting worked up. "Sangamon said there was some sort of fight in the basement last night, and with the way he's walking, I couldn't help but wonder if you were all right. You aren't made of metal anymore, you know. What if you'd died?"

He shuddered involuntarily as the image of the Burning Man's body lying in a smoldering heap came to mind. He knew everything he was saying could easily be applied to himself, but the difference was that he didn't go looking for trouble, especially when the incentives for doing so were a few trinkets that they had no idea what were for. They had to be good for something, but if continuing to explore down there got them killed, then was it worth it? Humans couldn't be put back together so easily. As far as the Scarecrow knew, death was pretty much the end of the line.

Edited at 2011-05-26 10:28 pm (UTC)

Depth Charge blinked. Just as he'd gotten ready to start some tirade about how the Scarecrow needed to take better care of himself because the Institute was a dangerous place (and don't talk to strangers or cross the road without looking), the Scarecrow had managed to jump in first and start one of his own. And he was doing it better too, as if it couldn't get any stranger, right now to the disapproving finger-wagging. Well. Consider him severely chastised.

"Scarecrow..." He broke off uncertainly. Part of him wanted to laugh at how downright odd this all was, but at the same time this was the closest he'd seen his roommate get to angry- it might have been closer to 'mildly cross' or even 'miffed', but even that was worth noting in someone so naturally relaxed.

It felt... odd. He'd known that the Scarecrow worried about him sometimes, and with good reason given how reckless he could be in the wrong situations, but even so he'd always figured that the man just accepted that he'd be able to wriggle his way out of things if they got touch. Pit, he'd always accepted that; Depth Charge couldn't imagine living any other way. But knowing that it actually bothered him, that was where it started to get weird.

"I know, I know," he said eventually, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. "Yeah, there was a fight. But I knew what I was doing, mostly- and, I promise, it was totally necessary." 'Docile' was not a word he usually associated with himself; apparently he needed to make an exception, because that was exactly how he sounded now. "Sorry if I worried you."

Depth Charge's reaction was one the Scarecrow hadn't expected; he'd prepared himself for arguing or at least some strong insistence, but his roommate seemed so consenting that the Scarecrow felt a little badly for chastising him at all. He supposed there wasn't much use in it: it seemed like it was Depth Charge's nature to go running head-first into danger and help where he was needed. Reprimanding him for doing what he was inclined to do was about as good as telling the Tin Man not to cry when the going got rough.

Besides that, Depth Charge said it was necessary- if he said that, then it had to be true, even if the Scarecrow didn't know all of his reasoning. He was sure he'd have known already if he had his brains.

The Scarecrow's gaze trailed to the floor. "No, it's all right. I know you were probably just doing what you had to do." He paused, then set his eyes on Depth Charge. "I suppose I should be the one who's sorry for getting onto you about it. You'd think I didn't have a brain in my head, getting all worked up about this. It's just... I'd really hate to lose you, especially to something preventable. There've been enough disappearances as it is, you know."

Depth Charge froze. For one thing, he hadn't meant to make the Scarecrow feel bad about all of this- he was the one who'd owed an apology- and for another... well. For another, this had to be the first time in a long while that he'd heard anyone say they'd miss him if he died.

Oh, Primal had said something similar, we need you now, you have to do this, but that had been a matter of war. In terms of mattering, he'd always figured he hadn't especially mattered to any of 'em. Hadn't known them long enough, while they'd been a team for Primsu only knew how long. And before Earth, well, he was just some stupid, crazy Maxi with a silicon chip and a deathwish on his shoulder to most people. Which had been exactly how he'd wanted it, right? Enough people had died or been hurt because of him, and he needed to focus on- on whatever the slag it was he was calling redemption these last few cycles.

That was what being needed was, to him; a vague, nameless pattern across his memory circuits, so old he barely computed anymore. How was he supposed to remember how to respond?

"Don't apologise, Scarecrow," he answered softly. Depth Charge couldn't meet the Scarecrow's eyes anymore. "... I didn't know you worried so much about me."

"Well, of course I worry," the Scarecrow replied with a step toward Depth Charge. "We're friends, aren't we? It's only right to be concerned when someone you care about goes riskin' their tail at night, especially when they're heading into danger on purpose."

The look on Depth Charge's face wasn't encouraging, so the strawman continued: "It's probably a good thing you went down there, though. Better someone who is useful and can take care of himself in a dangerous situation than the other way around. And I'll bet Sangamon would have been in a lot more trouble if you hadn't been there to help." He nodded at the end, giving Depth Charge a smile.

The Scarecrow finally took a seat on his bed- he stifled a sharp gasp from the back of his throat, putting a hand on his arm and trying not to wonder just what was going on under the bandages and why it was hurting so much. He wasn't sure what kind of condition he'd have ended up in if Carter hadn't been there to help him with the Burning Man- it made sense that the same applied to Sangamon and Depth Charge, though chances were that Sangamon had some skills he could use to defend himself. That was probably one reason why he felt so badly, the Scarecrow reasoned to himself: if it had been him in the same position, he wouldn't have been much help, what with his brain being broken and his other one missing. What good was he?

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