DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Night 56: Recreational Field
[A] Wear the coat.
lovecrafty wrote in damned
> ==>

The snow had gotten heavier. Rose walked out into it. It was better than being on fire, but slow going. She let one needlewand slide back into her hand, and pointed it at the ground. Nothing. At the air. Nothing. She wasn't going anywhere her own feet didn't deign to carry her. Her powers were well and truly blasted back to square one. Before square one. She didn't even have a laptop.

At least she could see the shape of the other side of the building. Provided a general lack of space-time paradoxes, the extents were clear. That was a stupid assumption to make, so she didn't.

Instead, she turned back to Lily, who still hadn't answered her questions. This made sense, as it had only been a few seconds, mostly occupied with such trivialities as doors.

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[From here.]

Even though he'd spent most of the day admiring the snow in town, it took on a more magical quality during the night, the white-covered surfaces of the Recreational Field seemingly glowing in the pale illumination from the moon as it peeked from behind the clouds. The Scarecrow found himself transfixed again, taking in the sight. He was brought back to his senses by another sharp ache in his arm; as he started for the wall, his attention was drawn to a strange mark on the ground where the snow had been pushed aside to form a most peculiar shape. It was taller than he was, with wide sides and a great ball on one end.

The Scarecrow froze, so sure it was the footprint of something terribly frightening: it was far too large to be a bear, though it was about the right size for a small brontosaurus. That didn't explain why there was only one, though. As far as he knew, a brontosaurus- granted he walked upright like Lion- would had to have left at least two footprints. The Scarecrow looked upward, attempting to see to the roof of the building without turning on his flashlight; perhaps the brontosaurs had been sitting on the roof, taken a step into the snow, and much like the Scarecrow himself on his first day with the foot-on-floor feeling, had pulled his foot back to him in fright.

Hm. That didn't explain at all what a brontosaurus would be doing on the roof of Landel's Institute, now did it?

While thinking of all the possibilities of what could have left such a strange mark, the Scarecrow suddenly became aware that his arm no longer hurt, nor could he feel the snow seeping through his shoes. If there was a time for the clever little thing to make itself useful, it would certainly be when he needed to be pain-free long enough to concentrate on finding a way over the wall.

Moving past the footprint, the former strawman approached the wall, trying to find the best area for climbing. He finally settled on a spot with rough bricks and a few creeping vines, knowing both of those could be used to help him over. Looking to the edge, he gauged the height- he knew he ought to be able to climb it (unless the clever little thing shut off suddenly; if the pain was anything like he'd experienced the previous night, he was not looking forward to it), but it would be a hard climb nonetheless, especially since he wasn't stuffed with stuff as light and flexible as straw.

[Sonia!]

Another one? Why did everyone decide to venture out at night, in the cold and snow, when they knew they would not succeed? It was a simple matter of staying indoors where Japan would not see them. They would be safe as long as they were inside. Asking them to stay in their rooms was too much, he knew that, but could they not at least stay within the building?

Stepping from the shadows, Japan frowned as the unfamiliar man searched the wall for a way over. There were vines here and there, but the snow and cold would have made them brittle and slippery - unsafe conditions in the best of times. But tonight the field was even more dangerous. This man was trespassing on Imperial property and had to be sent back.

"I would not suggest going any further," Japan said, pushing his thumb against the katana's guard to free it from its sheath. Snow clung to his uniform, covering the gold braids and embellishments, but standing out stark against the black fabric. His shoes crunched in the snow as he walked calmly toward the intruder. "Or I will have to take extreme measures to return you to the building."

[Moving this along with permission!]

"Extreme measures?" the Scarecrow repeated, looking the newcomer up and down. He must have been out there for some time: his uniform, with golden embellishments so fancy that it could have been mistaken for one from Oz, was flecked by the falling snow more than his own outfit. The Scarecrow would have indeed mistaken it for one from the western regions had he not immediately considered how unlikely the chances were he'd find another Ozite wandering the Institute, given how many people and how many other places there were out there. Then again, Dorothy had apparently been at the Institution at some point, but she was from Kansas, which was far closer to where people assumed Landel's to be than Oz. Maybe it didn't count.

Oh, there he was thinking too much again! As the man neared him, the Scarecrow could see he was carrying what looked like a sword. He frowned in frustration, eyeing the blade: he did have rotten luck when it came to running into the nightly guards, didn't he? Like the Burning Man, he didn't look much like a patient with his outfit and orders, but he certainly didn't look like one of Landel's wizards, either.

It was safest to go with the assumption he was a brainwashed patient, the Scarecrow reasoned, rather than someone who was simply giving a word of warning to a stranger in the dark. He'd learned his lesson the night before: letting one's guard down in an area known to be more dangerous than not just wasn't a good idea.

"I'm not looking for trouble," he said with a shake of his head, taking a cautious step toward the fence, "but I do need to get over this wall. I'll be over and out of your way before you can say Oz, if you'll give me just a second."

[from here]

Well, now she knew why it'd been freezing in there. (The snow angel was beautiful, even if it did look out of place.) Unfortunately, she hadn't dressed for it. Sonia crossed her arms and shivered, feeling goose bumps rise on her arms, then shot a curious glance at her boots. At least her feet weren't too cold. She would have loved to head back inside, but she had a job to do. She'd rather catch cold than let these guys catch her.

So far, it all seemed too good to be true. Which meant it probably was. Making it outside without running into anything? No one got that lucky. Call it a hunch, but Sonia smelled trouble.

"Huh...?" She noticed two people in the distance. They weren't moving, and for a moment, neither was she. From where she was standing, she couldn't tell if they were guards or prisoners, but she could see what looked like part of a perimeter behind them; it didn't seem like the kind she was used to--it was better. Better for her, that was.

The princess was about to look around the yard for a way past them (maybe she could sneak off to the side and climb a different part of the wall) when: Wait a minute! It looked like one of them was trying to corner the other. There was no way to know for sure until she got closer, so she began to crunch through the snow towards them, trying not to be spotted by the guy in black uniform. She couldn't run away and hide; if the person near the wall was a prisoner, they might need her help! At the same time, she got ready to move in case either of them came at her.

The stranger seemed to hear him and yet, like the others, refused to cooperate. Japan sighed, his breath fogging in the air, and continued his slow walk toward the other man. It would be so much easier if he had his military here. As a country, it was difficult to draw the line when it came to the differences in power. Humans were just so...fragile.

"You were warned." After his earlier encounter, Japan wasn't going to take any chances. He couldn't let them have the first attack or he'd be on the defensive for the rest of the time. It was likely there would be more coming this way soon enough and he needed to clear the field. "Your lack of compliance has been noted."

Someone else had come onto the field, but they were far enough away that Japan paid them little mind for now. Instead, he advanced upon the stranger by the wall and drew his sword. He had been warned. Japan had been given instructions not to kill unless absolutely necessary. He always wondered where that line was to be drawn. This was war. These people his enemies. Was killing them not part of it? But...He would be honorable. As a Japanese man, he had to be honorable so he could show his face to his allies.

Bringing his sword up, Japan paused, giving his opponent enough time to realize what was about to happen. That was honorable enough. The patients here had to know what came of challenging a Nation. The moment passed and Japan sprang forward, aiming a harsh blow at the stranger's left shoulder.

[Sorry for the delay in posting!]

As with the night before, the bewitched patient didn't seem like he was going to back down; however, unlike with the Burning Man, this one was armed. The Scarecrow didn't know a great deal about swords, but he knew enough about axes, scythes, and the fragile condition of humanity to gather a basic idea of what would likely happen if he were struck with it.

In the darkness toward the doors, the Scarecrow thought he heard something. He only had a moment to consider what it could be- hopefully not a second brainwashed guard, though he wouldn't put it past the General to make sure any misbehaving patients were outnumbered wherever they went- before his attention was drawn back to the armed man by a small glint in the pale light as he drew his blade. It was just enough time for the Scarecrow to see an attack coming, but what could he do about it? He was being attacked!

Frightened, he stumbled to the side with a yelp, his legs getting tangled on one another. He hit the ground on his side; he turned onto his rear and scooted from the guard. The Scarecrow got to his feet, his knees shaking beneath him: though the blade had missed him, the attack itself was more than enough to scare him.

He looked down to his trembling legs, only to spot something he hadn't expected: the snow below him was stained with red, the deep color a stark contrast against the pure white. The thought that it was the burn wound crossed his mind before he realized the source was his uninjured arm- well, the one that had been uninjured. Blood trickled down and out of his sleeve, the long slice on his upper arm visible through a cut in the shirt. The sword hadn't missed entirely after all, but then- oh! The clever little thing!

Now here was a problem he hadn't anticipated: if he couldn't feel how much pain he was in, how could he know he'd been hurt at all? The Scarecrow put a hand to the injury, trying to keep the blood from escaping. Getting hurt was bad enough, but if he was cut to ribbons and was never even aware of it? That sounded like a terrible predicament indeed.

[Ditto!]

While it didn't fall heavily, the snow made it harder for her to see what was going on, compared to a clear night. She could always point her flashlight at them, but she didn't want their attention until she knew who belonged on which side.

Once she'd taken a few steps, though, she noticed the man in black uniform had a sword, and Sonia froze, a gasp dying in her throat; she was suddenly beginning to doubt the brilliance of her plan. She instinctively lifted her hand to her chest and for a second or two, she felt confused to find her medallion wasn't there. "Oh no!" she hissed. Everything she normally would have relied on was gone. At close range, she had no idea what this guy was capable of. He could slice her to ribbons if she got too close!

The rest happened so fast it was hard to follow. Sonia thought she heard the guard say something, and then--! Before she knew it, she was rushing forward, her feet wading through the snow as fast as they could go. She had been right! This guard meant serious business! There was no turning back now. Her feet might be covered in snow, but this hedgehog didn't get cold feet! She was going in.

"Hey!" Sonia called out to the guard, glaring to her heart's content. Before she'd had a chance to rethink (there was no time!), she stopped short of being eight meters from him. Time for a distraction! Lure him away so that poor man can escape! It might've worked with a SWATbot, but whether it was effective against a person remained to be seen. "Haven't you heard? Violence isn't the answer!"

His blade connected and the man fell back, scooting away from him. He was bleeding and Japan knew it was he who had drawn blood, and yet he looked on impassively. He had warned the man, after all. It was foolish of humans to disobey a Nation, especially one on the war path. Japan was carving an empire out of the Asian continent and he wasn't about to let a few humans stand in his way.

Which meant he couldn't let up. Until this stranger agreed to go back inside, Japan could not show mercy. He stepped forward again and raised the sword, pointing it at the cowering man as he stared at his own blood in the snow. "You have a choice. Stay here and I will hurt you again, or go back and--"

"Hey!"

A new opponent has entered the field.

His eyes slid down to the box only he could see and then back up to the woman meters away. She was far enough that it would take her time to come over here, but Japan had learned from the last meeting. He wasn't going to allow anyone to interfere with his mission. He switched his katana to the other hand and pulled the second short sword out, narrowing his eyes.

"He had a choice and ignored the wiser option. Will you do the same? Return to the building or I will attack." He turned his attention back to the man on the ground before him, pointing the sword at him. "Make your choice."

The situation went from bad to hopeful, then to worse as the seconds ticked by. It was bad in that the Scarecrow found himself cornered, injured, and sure that he wasn't getting anywhere without losing a limb (which, he reasoned, would be far more unpleasant as a human than when he was made of straw). Suddenly, someone else appeared, drawing the sword-wielder's attention.

While this was seemingly a good thing- after all, the newcomer was a distraction and could possibly help- the Scarecrow knew the outcome was worse overall: she was someone else who could be hurt, and the former strawman wasn't sure he could handle that weighing on his mind. Sergeant Carter's distress over wounding the Burning Man (in self-defense, but wounding him nonetheless) was more than enough for a lifetime.

This left the Scarecrow with a decision: fight or flight? Well, he wasn't about to leave the girl all alone with an armed attacker, especially when she'd come to his aid; however, there wasn't a great deal he could do on his own. Both arms were injured, and he was carrying only his radio and flashlight. Only one of them seemed very useful at the moment.

Though he couldn't feel the pain he was sure was running through them, the Scarecrow's arms were shaking. He'd be in even more trouble if the clever little thing suddenly allowed him to feel again, and that just wouldn't do. It was hard to admit to himself, but he wasn't getting anywhere this night. It was one thing to take on a wicked witch, but when the enemy was a fellow patient, and the chances any one of them could be terribly hurt because of the Institute's trickery were high, he was willing to back down.

"Maybe we oughta do what he says," he called to the girl, getting to his feet, keeping his bleeding wound covered as he fished his flashlight from the snow. He took a couple of sideways steps toward the door; his legs threatened to buckle. What was it his body knew that he didn't?

Sonia fought the urge to back away, instead narrowing her eyes at him when he suddenly took out another sword. A guardian who offered them a choice? That was a new one! What she really wanted was to knock him to the ground, but it wasn't going to happen, not while he was carrying those swords. And as much as she hated what he'd done, she had to try to stay calm. As a disgruntled part of her already knew, this wasn't a bot she was dealing with, so she knew she had to try reasoning with him (but in her experience, anyone who hurt others like that couldn't be reasoned with). Generally speaking, though, Sonia wouldn't deny that having a guard on their side could be pret-ty useful. But her hopes of getting through to this guard weren't very high, especially not now.

Anyway, that wasn't her goal. What mattered was getting that prisoner out of here! She kept a concerned frown from showing on her face as he got up and called to her. The girl agreed with a nod. As annoying as it was to be forced to retreat after they'd found the exit, it was probably their only way out of this. She looked back at the guard and pointed at the man he'd injured. "All right. If you let him go, then we promise to go back inside!"

The man kept sliding away and Japan felt a bit more at ease now that he knew he couldn't get over the wall. His injuries were such that climbing would be difficult even with help and the person who just came onto the battlefield was too far away. Unless this man was putting on an act of helplessness, this skirmish was all but won. A victory for the Empire. Japan would smile if that was in his nature.

Since both people were voicing their willingness to cooperate, Japan lowered his sword slightly. Lowering his guard completely would be foolish, but for now he had to give a show of good faith and get these people off his field. "Your proposal has been accepted. Get inside and neither of you will be harmed any further."

The man got up and began towards the door and Japan turned to keep him in a clear line of sight. "Do not come outside again or I will be waiting for you."

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