DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 58: Meeting Room 1
embarrassed, grrr, ...shut up
scalyfishman wrote in damned
Depth Charge knew he was supposed to struggle. It was the only appropriate response.

After what had happened- after what he’d watched- how the slag was he supposed to react went the first thing he saw on opening his eyes was a soldier standing in his doorway, waiting patiently for him to wake up? Smile and ask him how his night had been? With the fight winded from him by Jones’ death he hadn’t been planning on turning this into some sort of miniature revolution, he couldn’t change anything now, but something about seeing those uniforms, so perfectly neat and controlled-- it flipped a switch inside of him for just long enough that none of that seemed to matter. Just.

He’d only been out of bed for a split second before he threw his punch (good and strong and balanced, Akihiko would have been proud) but someone must have phoned his frustration in from a mile away because the soldier sidestepped it smoothly and without fracturing that seamlessly even countenance. Depth Charge resisted the urge to spit and spread his legs in a show of defiance, ready to answer whatever punishment he was gonna get for that one with another pointless swing- make my day, Aguilar, c’mon. Like I haven’t got enough reason to hate you this morning- but the soldier didn’t move. The indifference was galling. If he'd been punished he could have gone on hating, but maybe the guy’d figured he was all attitude already; it had taken the Maximal twice as long to accept he didn't have it in him to keep it up.

The wave subsided- looked like he'd exhausted his store of resistance already when he should have been saving it up, stupid idea, but who cared. In sullen, serious silence Depth Charge let himself be marched out, up the stairs, and into a staff room- though that felt like the greatest insult, being considered ‘staff’ enough to be allowed in. Was this about last night? Primus, were they stupid enough that they hadn’t already figured out that they’d shut him up for now? He was alive, yeah, but that seemed like a pretty hollow victory when they could just keep taking and taking without so much as denting. How was he supposed to keep up with that kind of score, anyway, with his record?

Truth was, he'd left his fight in the coliseum's stands. The most he could manage was a cursory gesture, refusing to sit down at the central table. There was a queasy familiarity to the set-up; he could easily superimpose the the Maximal High Council onto the officers waiting patiently across from him, calm and officious.

He said nothing, watching resentfully from under the heavy hoods of his eyelids.

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[from here]

It was impossible to say how much time had actually passed between their departure and return, though it couldn't have been more than half a cycle back at the cafe; same old conference table, same old chairs, same old walls. What was different were its latest occupants. This time Depth Charge could feel his skin prickling with anxiety like electricity, his jaws ground tightly together. Hard to be apathetic when they were about to try and spin these guys a lie.

He just hoped his tension passed for miserable defiance rather than nerves, though it irritated him that he was even nervous at all. What he wanted was to be able to deliver the false name with a sneer and sweep out of the room like he owned the place, but obviously that wasn't gonna fly. It was easy to resent, that strangehold the Institute gained over his emotions last night, as though he was being emotionally blackmailed. In a way, he probably was.

Depth Charge moved away from the door so that the Scarecrow could step in after him, and looked back to where the officers sat at the end of the table. "Happy now?" Enough control and it sounded almost mild, compared to the reality of how he was feeling.

The head officer provided no smart retort. They were not, after all, the type to prolong their duties for insignificant jabs. "Depends on your answer," he stated, almost simply. Far too calm for the circumstances. The General had been expecting this intel since they uncovered the existence of a mole among them. They were incredibly lucky in having the chance to circumvent this particular attempt of the rebels.

Time to see, then, if their gamble was worth the risks. "What was the name?" the officer asked.

Oh, to be faced with the meeting room again: though it wasn't much different from when they left, the change in the air was felt easily enough by even the Scarecrow, who didn't picture himself to be the most perceptive of individuals. As he followed Depth Charge into the room, he tried to give it a look over to see how long it had been. His stomach churned uncomfortably, though whether it was from hunger or nerves was impossible for the former strawman to tell. They did feel the same, after a while- he supposed there could only be so many sensations a human could experience before they began to run together.

The officer at the table managed to be intimidating in spite of his calm manner. The Scarecrow felt another lump in his throat, which he swallowed immediately. The determination he'd felt only moments before was slipping; he held onto it firmly, stiffening as he took a deep breath. An answer was needed. They could do this.

"Well," he began, keeping his tone as even as possible, "you see, I think we pushed her a little too hard in the conversation." He couldn't keep his eyes on the officer- they fell to his knees for a second, which he was sure were shaking. Not yet, but they'd get there.

The Scarecrow was nervous, of course. He tried not to let it bother him- it looked good with the story they were about to spin, like they were just waiting to have the book thrown at them. That's what Depth Charge told himself, anyway. He'd already decided that if they'd just signed themselves up for a punishment he was gonna try and take the Scarecrow's, if he could; there was no way he could let them snipe yet another person from under his lousy protection.

That aside, it was obvious that he was going to have to finish this one off. The longer they spun, the more suspicious they looked. "From what I can tell she only gave us a first name. Beats me why you humans need more than one anyway," he continued, shrugging his shoulders in an empty display of insolence. "All she gave us was 'Peter'."

There. They'd said it. No turning back now.

He resisted the urge to swallow; human bodies gave away so much more than chrome steel ever could. "We done here?"

The first man seemed ready to ramble. If the officer had pressed, perhaps he might have continued on for several more minutes, spilling nerves and sensitive information all over the table. Instead, his companion took over, a fact the officer noted with interest but ultimately dismissed.

"'Peter', hm?" he mused quietly, expression giving nothing away.

His associates kept to silence as the head officer figured out his final decree. It came a minute later: "If that is your intel, yes." He gestured toward the exit. "You are free to go, gentlemen."

"We are?" the Scarecrow asked incredulously, the question escaping him before he could clamp his mouth shut. He had to admit he'd expected their deception to be outed almost immediately- if not by his own jittery behavior, then certainly by Depth Charge's fiery retort; however, the soldier seemed to simply accept their answer without protest. He didn't even tell them whether or not that was the name of someone in the military's ranks. Perhaps he thought Depth Charge's response was proper given his temper, and the former strawman's quivering appropriate given his inexperience with humanity and the effects of possible torture on his new body. They weren't above such things, he reminded himself. He had seen that first-hand.

With a look to his roommate, the Scarecrow gave a visible shrug. "Well, that's that," he whispered, putting a hand on Depth Charge's shoulder. "Let's go before he changes his mind."

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