DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 33: Lunch
doubt
tsunagari wrote in damned
There was a knot in Sai's stomach as he was led back inside to the cafeteria. It was an unfamiliar feeling, and he tried to ignore it. What was it? Was he actually uncomfortable with his decision? He couldn't afford to be. This alliance with Itachi was crucial, and he'd just have to try and make sure the others saw it that way.

The promised lunch didn't help, as the fish was fried and generally not something he'd eat on a regular basis. The cod by itself would have been far more preferable. Nevertheless, the ninja took the meal as it was offered, figuring he could simply scrape away at the breading once he'd sat down. He passed up the "chips" completely and just added the cooked carrots in their place. It was somewhat more appealing than he'd anticipated once he sat down.

Having done about all he'd intended to do today already, Sai allowed himself to get comfortable and relax. His wounds needed time to heal, even in this place. The more rest he got, the faster that would happen.

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[Waiting unknowingly for Homura]


Allelujah was a little disappointed to be dragged back inside so quickly. He rarely got to spend any amount of time in the outdoors, even when he was on Earth, so he'd appreciated the chance to sit out in the sunshine for a while. He appreciated Ion's help though and the map was currently tucked into his pocket securely, ready for him to look over once he was out of sight of the nurses and other staff.

He let the nurse fill his plate with fish and chips, actually looking forward to tasting it. He'd tried fish and chips once when he'd been in England and it had made a nice meal, even if the batter was something that made him feel his arteries clogging up as he ate. He took the tray to an empty seat near the corner, glad that he was one of the first people into the room and had his pick. He could see the doors this way at least.

Homura wasn't paying much attention to his nurse, his mind instead working over what Adelheid had said. It was, in theory, a good idea, though more beneficial for Adel himself if he didn't plan on taking assignments from Homura. Still, if it would make him more cooperative when it came to making the swords, the demi-god supposed it could be tested for the present.

And he couldn't at all say he didn't understand Adelheid's frustration.

As he was thinking, the nurse prepared a tray for him, then left him in the company of some person Homura didn't recognize--and out of the way of the others, he supposed. The wheeled chair was something of a frustration, certainly, though Homura doubted the nurse could be more bothered by it than the occupant.

Still, in some ways it was nice to have a relaxing lunch without having to necessarily worry about business. Maybe he would even get lucky, and find something interesting about the man across from him.

"Hello there." A relaxed, easy smile, despite Homura's obvious injury.

Definitely artery clogging, Allelujah had to admit once he started in on the fish in it's batter. At least it wasn't too greasy and it was definitely nice to eat proper food once in a while. It was something good to focus on when what he really wanted to do was look over the map that Ion had given him and start working on a plan for the night.

He looked up warily when someone approached him, eyes narrowing at the nurse before moving onto the man she was pushing over in the wheelchair. Evidence of an attack at night, perhaps? Or was it some kind of disability. No, he looked like he was able-bodied normally, so an injury of some kind most likely.

Allelujah smiled politely in return at the man, not minding the company since it kept him distracted from the map which would probably get confiscated. "Hello. I'm Allelujah."

Homura noticed the steely gaze the man across from him gave the woman before she left, and let out a low laugh. "They're typically harmless during the day, provided you behave properly." Not that Homura was one for that, but the touch of amusement in his voice suggested he wasn't being entirely serious anyway. And certainly compared to their night forms, the day nurses were quite harmless.

"And I am Homura." Now to see if this person read the common board. At present, there were only three major groups that used so public a method for their communication, though Homura doubted that number would hold. With the growing number of patients and the diverse personalities in charge, it really was a matter of time before more groups formed. Something to consider, perhaps, in future plans.

"Are you new here?"

Allelujah shrugged, watching the nurse's retreating back sceptically. "They have needles," he said, unconvinced by Homura's words that they were mostly harmless. "They're nurses," he said after a moment with slightly more vehemence. He didn't need any more reason than that. He just disliked medical staff in general, even if he'd got used to Doctor Moreno on the Ptolemaios.

Homura... Allelujah paused for a moment at the name, a considering expression on his face as he tried to remember where he'd heard it before. It was an unusual name after all. "Oh, one of the clubs?" he said, giving the man another look over. He remembered seeing the posts signed with that name.

He smiled weakly and nodded in response. "Yes," he replied. "I just arrived yesterday morning. It's a little overwhelming."

So there was more to it than just their situation. Homura couldn't help a slight chuckle at the man's obvious disdain, and nodded. "They do. But they don't tend to use them unless you are violent or otherwise out of control." For all the help it would offer Allelujah. No doubt nothing he could say would calm the other man down.

When he was acknowledged, Homura nodded. "That's right. The History Club, specifically." Just a little group that Homura was in fact rather proud of. Despite the frustrations of it, in a sense it was easier to run his own group that remain in with another's, particularly Arts and Crafts. And certainly being the leader had its own advantages, especially considering Homura's greater goals.

His guess that Allelujah wasn't entirely seasoned held, and the demi-god closed his eyes. "Then you've already seen and likely experienced the truth of this place for yourself, correct?"

Gentle Allelujah would never be violent or out of control, would he? Hallelujah said with dark amusement which really wasn't helpful because he knew that if Hallelujah wanted to, he'd risk being stuck with needles for the chance to hurt someone. He forced a smile at Homura and shrugged a little. "That's reassuring, I suppose," he said. At least it looked like they wouldn't drug him for no reason.

He nodded, expression a little brighter when Homura mentioned that club. "Ah! The one that Mr Edgeworth is a part of," he said with a touch more enthusiasm. "I talked to him yesterday afternoon." Even if most of the conversation hadn't been about any kind of club and more about world politics.

"I've seen what happens at night, yes," he replied more quietly. "Even if I didn't get very far then. Although what I saw wasn't so terrible so I can assume it gets worse."

Allelujah was trying, but the effort it took the man to smile at first was obvious. He wasn't reassured a bit, but Homura would leave it be for now. It turned out that they had a mutual acquaintance (despite the fact that Homura himself had never met Edgeworth), and that might work to his benefit, should Allelujah be the joining type.

Yet it was early to press the issue, and Homura was more interested in what the man had seen. "It does. What have you been told?" Of course hearing about something and experiencing it were entirely different things. Still, any body could be said to be a good thing for Homura's goals, provided that person wasn't actively working against him.

Allelujah didn't think that there'd ever be a time when he wasn't going to be on edge in a medical facility of any kind. It just wasn't going to happen even after destroying the original place. But any information was good to have. The more information, the more he could plan.

He leaned back in his chair, giving the conversation his full attention instead of dividing it between Homura and his food. He could go for a good while without eating if he needed to so he didn't think delaying this one would do him any harm. "Monsters," he replied. "People getting taken away from experimentation and being brainwashed to fight against other people. That seems to be the jist of it." Even if his voice trembled a little at the mention of experimentation. Barely noticable unless you were listening closely.

"That is about the jist of it." Of course, monsters was a general word that didn't seem to adequately describe the horrors that haunted the halls. Things that couldn't be touched, things that were unholy meshes of body parts sewn together. And the simpler creatures, still twisted and mutated to forms that only bordered on recognition.

What was more interesting was that tiny tremble Homura heard, or thought he did, when Allelujah mentioned the experiments. That would explain his anxiety towards the nurses, certainly. And it would be easy enough to tell for sure, one way or the other, with a few simple words.

He calmly met the gaze of the man across from him, controlling his amusement for the moment. "Unfortunately, even outside experiences only prepare the average person for so much."

"Ah well, as long as I have some idea fo what to expect," Allelujah replied with a wry smile. Monsters. He'd never seen any horror movies, but he understood the idea of them and this sounded like something that would be in one of them. He wasn't exactly certain what monsters entailed though, but as long as they could bleed then he could kill them and would have even fewer qualms about killing them than he did about killing people.

Allelujah managed to keep himself from shifting uncomfortably beneath that too frank gaze, returning it coolly with his visible eye before glancing down at the table top again. "I've seen enough," he said finally, reluctantly. The daytime was more unnerving than the night so far as he'd seen. He could fight during the nighttime.

"You don't in any significant sense. There will be things that shock you." Homura thought of what he'd seen over the short time he'd been in this prison, and shook his head. He had been alive for over five hundred years, so much of that time spent fighting youkai and creatures of every shape and size, and even he hadn't been prepared for so many of the things he'd seen. And what else would happen? It had only been ten days, or close to it. What more would come as time stretched on?

Allelujah met his eyes, but not for long. So he was trying to hide, to decide what would be safe to reveal. He wasn't so easy to pry open as some, but Homura was well-versed in the signs of nervousness, and knew what to look for. "Do you really think so? I've lived for a very long time, and I hadn't seen enough to prepare me for things I've had to face."

Shock? How long had it been since he'd felt shock at something he'd seen? He remembered the brief moment of shock when he'd felt that Super Soldier's mind against his, but beyond that, he hadn't even felt shock when he'd killed those children. Sadness, but not shock. He shrugged, playing idly with his cutlery. "Then someone should tell me what I'm meant to be expecting beyond the general monsters," he replied pragmatically. If people actually said things instead of hinting, then he was certain that everyone would find it much easier.

"I've seen enough," he said more firmly, looking back up at Homura with his other eye visible for just a second, Hallelujah's growl coming through in his voice. "I've seen terrible things, caused terrible things. This is just another one of them."

Wasn't that clever? The annoyance was there in Allelujah's voice, and Homura welcomed it. Those who could be riled were more interesting than those who simply chose to sit idly by, who refused to resist and struggle for what they wanted. And for that, Homura was willing to tell the man what he wished, to share some of his experience to help him be more aware.

But then he saw something he wasn't expecting.

Shock. That was the word for Homura's expression in that moment, when he caught that brief glimpse of Allelujah's right eye. Heresies were rare, a fact that Heaven was thankful for. But in all his time, Homura had never even heard of another half-god, another being with the uniquely colored eyes that marked his own birth. And though Homura knew well that his world's rules didn't apply to the others, he was still taken back by the sight.

"Have you?" He'd barely heard Allelujah's words, his question murmured softly. There was a moment of silence, then the demi-god spoke again, staring at the eye he knew lurked behind the hair. "What are you, Allelujah? To have eyes the colors of yours and mine..."

Allelujah's eyes widened a little in surprise at the expression on Homura's face, wondering what he'd said that was so shocking. Homura didn't know him well enough to be able to pick up on the stark differences between himself and Hallelujah, so it couldn't be that, he couldn't have noticed that. He could feel Hallelujah's wariness, but he wasn't taking over just yet at least. Just watching.

Allelujah heard the question, but remained silent. It didn't even seem like Homura was really looking for an answer for it, just saying it for the sake of appearances, because it was what one was supposed to say. Allelujah could recognise that easily enough because he did it himself.

He took a sharp breath when Homura mentioned his eyes though, one hand flying up to cover his right eye, the one that wasn't entirely his. "What do you mean?" he asked harshly. That facility had been top secret, unless Homura had been one to work there but... For the first time, Allelujah glanced up and looked closely at Homura's eyes, expression tightening at the sight of the single gold eye. He should have known. Why hadn't he realised?!

So it was a mark of...what? Shame, anguish? Or perhaps some other emotion. The severity of Allelujah's reaction helped Homura contain his own, and for a long moment he didn't answer. He simply studied the man across from him.

He knew of the different worlds. He knew Allelujah's existence wasn't the same as his own. And yet...

"Has someone explained to you that people here are from different realities?" Homura's voice was soft, carefully controlled in an effort to renew his presence from before. "The color of my eyes--of our eyes--holds great significance where I'm from. And from your home as well." It was far too late for Allelujah to deny it even if he wanted to, and Homura continued. "Has it caused you misfortune?"

This time Allelujah did shift uncomfortably, only reluctantly moving his hand away from his eye. He knows, we should No! You heard what he said, there's nurses everywhere. River knows anyway River is like us. He bit his lip hard, forcing himself to ignore Hallelujah for the moment. Violence was not a good idea during the day.

He shrugged in response, staring down at his food and feeling like he was being interrogated by the older man. "I've heard things. So many people say the same that there must be some truth behind it." He didn't know how, but everyone was so convinced and... he trusted River. "Misfortune?" he asked, a bitter smile on his lips as he looked back up at Homura. "That's one way of putting it." He sighed and then spoke again, the truth, as much of it as he was willing to give. "A Super Soldier. That's what it signifies. Someone created to be a killer for whichever power they were created by."

Allelujah was considering, and Homura wasn't surprised by his need to. He kept his eye covered, hidden away from strangers who didn't know it's meaning, and moreso from the ones who did. That was a choice Homura never had in Heaven. To hide who he was, or to deny it; no, they all knew him, knew he was an abonminable creature, and that was simply the truth of it.

Allelujah seemed to accept the reality of different worlds, and that was fine. It was merely a minor point, a fact that made the whole more easily understood. What was so much more important was what he said next, words Homura listened closely to. Purposely created to be a killer...oh, wasn't that a fate the demi-god all too well! His laugh was quiet, bitter, and Homura nodded in slow understanding.

"My creation was not intended--it was a sin against the gods." Homura considered that perhaps Allelujah hadn't told him everything, but it didn't matter. They had something in common, and that was enough for Homura to tell his own story--at least in part. "An unsanctioned child of god and man. A heresy. And I too was forced to be a puppet for them, the assasin of the Heavens who could not kill, and so pushed the work on their unclean beings."

Allelujah just stared for a few moments, eyes wide as Homura related his story, or the bits of it that he wanted to recount at least. Allelujah wasn't naive enough to believe that he wasn't hiding something, just like Allelujah hadn't been telling the whole truth. A god? The child of a god and a human? That was... it sounded insane, even though Allelujah wasn't one to ever talk about sanity.

He swallowed thickly, running over the parallells between their two stories with a touch of worry. Someone who was forced into being a killer because that's all that they were good for. "A heresy..." he said softly, a fron on his face as he thought it over. It was amusing, in a way, that he should be working for a group named Celestial Being if that was the case. "That sounds frighteningly similar," Allelujah admitted after a moment, a weak smile on his lips. Too similar for him to discount.

"Doesn't it?" Homura smiled lightly, feeling a faint urge to laugh at how common it apparently was to face an arrogance such as the gods' whom he despised. Even when Heaven did not act, mortals did, creating such people for their purposes. It was, in it's own way, even worse than the hypocrisies Homura had faced.

"There are others, where I am from. Very few." Nataku, whose creation was whispered in rumors, and Son Goku, fabled for being born of the Earth itself. And yet Homura had the mark of divinity in him, the blue eye that so contrasted with the other shade of sin. "All with golden eyes, said to be the source of misfortune."

Allelujah just nodded numbly in response, his fingers clenching in his lap at the thought. A heresy. It didn't necessary fit his own experience exactly, but he was a person who wasn't supposed to exist, who didn't exist by the standards of most of the world and You're over thinking, Allelujah. Yes, yes her probably was. It was enough to know what he was.

"There were lots of others created in the same place as me," Allelujah admitted awkwardly. Misfotune, he did bring misfortune to others. How many people had he killed? But it isn't wrong to survive Hallelujah replied with a derisive snort. "To fight wars because we're stronger and faster than normal soldiers."

That was the difference between them, then. Perhaps the first of many, but a major point where the parallels split and ran their own course. Allelujah had been made intentfully, created presumably by mortals for their own benefit. Homura's existence, however, was a mistake, an error of a god's judgment put to use by Heaven.

"That is what they claimed in Heaven." Homura could remember the conversation quite well, even now. The position of Toushin Taishi vacant. How he had been chosen. And the look on the Jade Emperor's face when Homura's dismay had showed. "But the laws of the gods forbid them from killing outright. So instead they try to rid themselves of their mistakes by having them go to the battlefield. They would have had me die fighting for their glory."

An underhanded loophole to their own rigid rules. But Heaven was filled with gods who savored this morality, used and twisted it for their own purposes. And Homura hated them all for it.

There had been outrage when Celestial Being had released the information about the Super Soldier project, but Allelujah had always wondered how those people would have reacted if those created had been put to use for them, winning their wars. Would they still have expressed outrage or would they have dismissed it more strenuously? And they still had no qualms about using that girl for their fights.

"Hypocrites," he said, a touch of anger to his voice. "They won't kill for themselves, but they're happy to use others to dirty their hands." At least Celestia Being had allowed him the choice to become a killer, rather than discarding him for being incomplete and then cursing his existence. "There's no glory in warfare."

"Exactly." And Allelujah saw the truth immediately. Homura was pleased by the man's reaction, his recognition of the truth of his situation, and the anger that resulted from it. It would have been disappointing if this person, a man who shared his eyes, couldn't even see this truth.

And then he stated another. Homura considered it, the idea that warfare had no glory, was a dirty thing. And yet he couldn't say he agreed with this fully; Homura was the Toushin Taishi, a war god, and he had found pride in that. Not because of Heaven's appointment, of course, but because he had made the title his own. "There is glory in fighting for your choice. For your beliefs, your goals...yourself."

Homura had lived for that. He had died for it. And even now, in this prison, that view hadn't changed.

"I suppose it's the same everywhere, no matter what kind of world someone comes from." The governments were hypocritical, condemning war with one hand, and funding it with the other. And it sounded like the place Homura had been, this Heaven he spoke of, was the same as Allelujah's own world.

He frowned slightly, giving Homura's words the consideration that they deserved. He knew of people who gloried in war, but all he could see were the people killed, the people hurt and taken advantage of because of it. This darker side was all that he'd ever known. "Even when it makes you a murdered, thousands of times over?" he asked after a moment. "People who were doing nothing more than following orders because it was their job. Children." He added the last more quietly, barely a whisper.

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