DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Night 57: West Wing, South Hall 1-B
the best portrait
witchdetective wrote in damned
[ from here ]

There was a bounce in Erika's step as she ran through the list of people who would be coming with her tonight. Hopefully, everyone would be there... It would be a bit of a problem if they were a person or two short, but Erika was confident that she made a compelling enough case to win over some allies. Sync, on the other hand, probably was going to lug that boy out of his room like a potato sack again, but whatever worked for him.

The halls were quiet for once, though that didn't surprise the detective since she ran out of her room the moment that the doors were unlocked for them. Her roommate was left ignored for tonight, so hopefully she wouldn't take it too personally. Erika was busy tonight, after all. She upped her pace a little, trying to reach the meeting place as quickly as possible.

[ to here ]

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[From here.]

Edgar indicated the second door to the left, which came into view from the beam of his flashlight almost immediately. His pace quickened.

"As of last night, the rebel seems to be in an alliance- however questionable it may be- with Landel. One thing is clear, especially from tonight's announcements: Aguilar and Landel are not currently on the same side."

"So we're currently supposed to be on the same side as the guy that brought us here? That's great."

Locke moved walked forward, opening the door Edgar had indicated for the both of them.

"So, not a lot changed when this Aguilar guy took over, just became a bit more strict? At least, that's what I picked up on. Seems strange by coop standards, but, I'm no expert."

"In a sense," Edgar replied. "More militaristic might be a better way of putting it. We're definitely treated now as subjects being groomed for some unknown purpose rather than as patients, as was fitting of the hospital facade they had before."

He nodded habitually in thanks to Locke as he passed through the door.

[To here.]

[From here.]

"How are our friends, then?" Edgar asked, keeping his eyes ahead of him, refusing to betray his feelings. He was all too aware of how well Locke could read him. "After Kefka's fall, I mean."

A part of him was genuinely curious for an answer, especially should Celes' name come up; another part couldn't help but wonder if Locke had been bewitched, new memories forced into his mind the same way they were for the brainwashed patients.

Locke didn't necessarily like the fact Edgar was obviously avoiding his gaze, but, he didn't press it; it was probably a lot to process anyway. It was weird enough for him to know Edgar didn't remember a lot of what he did, but, he could only imagine what it must be like to be told what you were missing.

"They're fine. At least, they were when I left them."

A thought crossed his mind that left a bad taste in Locke's mouth and his expression darkened.

"Of course, so where you."

If Edgar was here, and for so long, when Locke had only just heard from him, what did that say about any of his other friends?

Locke's dark statement was met with silence. Edgar, who, as far as he knew, hadn't yet lived the events Locke described, had been fine when the thief was captured and brought to the institute; however, Locke didn't seem to recall his ever being at Landel's in the first place... just as other returning patients hadn't known, including Edgar himself. There was no telling how much brainwashing was going into play now.

Or was there any brainwashing at all in this case? Why would Locke appear at the institute having been captured from around the same time as Edgar, disappear, and reappear a few days later with a whole new batch of memories of events yet to come? How did this fit into the military's plans for the patients, and in their work overall? What was their ultimate goal? Were the patients to be useful, or would those in charge really spend so much effort into breaking their wills?

They were questions to which he wouldn't find the answer- not anytime soon. The powers running the show had every patient at their mercy, whether their captives knew it or not. Such an utter lack of control... it stoked the fire in him. They were never going to know all the answers— the king was coming to terms with that— but it was the lack of foresight into their goals that gave him the most trouble. The unpredictable enemy was the most dangerous of all. He knew that much from first-hand experience.

Edgar swallowed the lump in his throat. "As were you when I last saw you... when you were here before."

Locke felt the shock run through him like water.

"...W-what?"

That made no sense. Out of everything Edgar had told him about this place, the people in it, what they did here, everything, he could make it all make sense somehow.

Even with Edgar's memories, as much as it confused him and even hurt a little that there was so much his friend didn't remember or hadn't lived through, it was different when they were his own memories. He realized he probably had an idea now of how Edgar must have felt learning there were things he'd gone through and couldn't recall.

"How....how long ago? What happened? I can't..."

When he tried to think of this place he couldn't see anything past the last day or so.

"...I can't remember..."

Edgar turned to face Locke, a pause standing before he put a reassuring hand on his friend's shoulder. "You're not the first it has happened to. I doubt you'll be the last, either. There are several who've disappeared, only to return a short while later with no memory of ever having been here."

He arched an eyebrow. "I can't say they all come back with a new set of memories— in your case, of the future— but the important thing is that they do return. As long as you're here, that means you're not wherever they send those who have been successfully brainwashed, robbed of their lives without even knowing it."

His voice took a grim tone on that last part. The thought that his brother was somehow among those numbers still clung to him.

Locke shook his head slowly, a quite, but, bitter laugh escaping him. This place just got more messed up the more he learned. However, this wasn't the time to try and process it all. At least for Edgar's sake, he just needed to go with it and not hold them up; he could dwell on it later when it wasn't just his time he was wasting.

"...Let's keep going and...no getting brainwashed, okay? Memories are all we have sometimes, got to keep them straight if we want to get out of here."

Locke smiled up at his friend, trying to recover a lighter mood, if only to make things seem a little more pleasant. As it was, Edgar had enough dark thoughts going on in his head, that much Locke could tell, the king didn't need him adding to it.

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