DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 40: Lunch
self-inflicted pain, my foot, ouch
whiny_egomaniac wrote in damned
*hobble wobble*

"Damn that SCOURGE!" Starscream cried out, the slowly-filling cafeteria producing a jarring echo of his raspy voice. His limping, already bad enough from not knowing how to properly use his crutches, was now exacerbated from the injuries he'd received the shift prior. Despite the gauges in his non-casted leg so lovingly provided by the aforementioned 'patient', Starscream could still put some weight on it, but not so much that he could really stop and rest; relieving the soreness under his arms was out of the question. The nurse that walked behind him with his tray, already upset at having to deal with yet another troublesome inmate, was growing rather impatient as his charge slowly made his way down the food line.

"Just...give me a standard serving of the aquatic creature's flesh, some of those fried potato slices, two bananas, and three bottles of juice," Starscream sighed, his anger from just a moment ago assuaged by the physical exertion needed to move the way he did. "I'm going to sit down here...bring it to me when you're done."

He was hardly surprised to find that one of the bananas was completely bruised along its inner curve, or that the handful of 'chips' on his plate were all on the small side. Tired and frustrated as he was, however, he could barely muster a 'damned flesh-creature' before moving his fingers to the plate, picking one of the longer 'chips' and shoving it into his mouth listlessly.

There was an unusually high concentration of sodium chloride crystals on it. Of COURSE.

[For Tony Stark]

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The Scarecrow had been so enjoying the sunshine and fresh air and political conversation with Sangamon that he hadn't noticed how fast the time had passed. He was disappointed when his nurse arrived to take him to the next shift, but it wasn't like he could protest. Well, he could, but he had a feeling it wouldn't do any good. Giving his new friend's hand a farewell shake, he followed the girl in white. He took a last deep breath before walking into the building. He would rather have had the outdoors than food- that certainly was saying something.

The sterile air of the institution seemed to suck the good feelings right out of him. That nagging feeling in his legs came back as he walked alongside his nurse, keeping a hand on the wall for support. She showed him to a seat and retrieved some food for him, setting the tray on the table before walking away. He eyed the meal before him: the smell was less than appealing. Maybe being injured made food smell different. Using his knife to awkwardly cut a small square of whatever it was, he took a bite. It had an interesting taste to it- one of those that sort of stayed in his mouth long after he had swallowed the morsel.

He looked around for his nurse- no sign of her. The cafeteria was still fairly quiet. He set his fork on his tray and pulled his left leg onto the seat next to him. Rolling up his pant leg, he decided to see if he could take a quick look at how his leg was doing under the bandages without actually taking them off. Then again, he wasn't sure how to go about that, or how to take them off if he wanted.

[Needed: one girl who isn't unconscious in the middle of a necrit-filled hallway]

[ My girl has no idea what you are talking about. |D ]

Maybe she needed to vary her questions or something. She was starting to get repeats.

Sighing as she followed the nurse, Mele went over the greenhouse conversation and decided she'd learned nothing. Besides that this institute was holding someone who looked a little inappropriate for the place, considering Chise had been covered in bandages. And had apologized for not seeing Mele there. Mele was used to that from rinshi, not from humans.

Speaking of productivity, Mele tapped the nurse not-lightly and curtly informed her that she needed to go back to the room for a pen. The nurse frowned but complied, which Mele still found vaguely suspicious, but having a pen was better.

Mele made a mark on the bulletin board, glanced at the various other notices without interest, and then headed to the cafeteria herself, the nurse trailing behind. Hopefully he'd see it. Hopefully Long some nurse or whoever wouldn't immediately rip it down.

Her trip through the Sun Room made it apparent that it was not yet dark, so...lunch. It looked like fish of some kind, but Mele had no idea what was good so she actually listened to the nurse for once and took a little of whatever the nurse suggested. Mele had survived last night's food, so the food was likely not poisoned. And no one else was keeling over yet.

Usually Mele just headed for whichever seat, but...there. Kind of familiar, kind of suffering. deliciousssss suffering exuding just that cadence of calm....

She thunked her food on the table and took a seat opposite him. "Encounter any huge-eyed critters lately?"

The Scarecrow scrambled to pull down his pant leg and get his foot back on the floor without looking like a kid who'd been handling something he shouldn't have even been thinking about touching. He failed miserably as he accidentally banged his knee on the adjacent seat, causing him to hiss through his teeth.

His eyes rose to met those of his table mate. "M- Miss!" he said loudly, honestly surprised to see her. Several questions ran through his mind at once, and most of them jumbled together into one query that made very little sense when he actually put a half-second's worth of thought into it. He stammered for a second before finally managing to make sense of his words. "What happened to you last night? Are you all right? Did you get your flashlight back?"

Okay, bombarding her with questions was probably not the best tactic, but he could worry about that later, after he heard what she had to say. Frankly, he was mostly elated to see her alive.

That answered that question. Although someone worrying about her was the strangest thing. Ever.

Mister, you'd suck as a Rinju Fist, she couldn't help thinking. "I'm fine." She tilted her head. "Though it doesn't look like you are." Which more or less confirmed that it very much hadn't been a dream. Not that Mele had doubted it much; she hadn't dreamed since...a long time. And she didn't make a habit of doubting her reality.

"Feel like explaining what happened there?"

"Um, well..." the Scarecrow started. He wasn't really sure where to begin on that one. He could start with what happened to his leg, but that didn't really seem far back enough. Maybe with the monster attack? Still not far enough.

"My roommate, Kaiji- that other guy who was with me last night- and I were looking for some way to the third floor of this place." He retraced their steps in his mind, trying to remember the path they'd taken until they found her. "We were on the second floor, near the stairs, when I saw you fall. We ran over to you, and when you didn't wake up, we agreed we really couldn't leave you there, so we grabbed your flashlight and I hoisted you up on my shoulders, and... And then those somethings came out of nowhere and attacked us."

The Scarecrow wrinkled his nose thinking about those horrible critters. "They really did seem to be all eyes and teeth. And I think they did a number on my legs. My left one isn't so bad, but whatever lies beneath these wrappings on my right has me a little worried."

His smiled returned. "And speaking of worried, I definitely was about you and Kaiji. I've not seen him today, but I'm relieved to hear you're doing well."

...What the hell. Mele almost laughed. Looked like there were some justice types here. Well—maybe. Word games? Crossdressing? Maybe the girl was just loony.

Dismissing the ruckus, Mele turned back to the guy in front of her. Fall? Had she fallen—oh. Oh. awwww maaaaan.

She didn't think she could be as much of an idiot to force her body and ki beyond its limits. She had a technique for that, one that gave its recipient power until he died. She could have done that. But—

Mele bit her lip. But she hadn't been after simple power. She'd wanted to feel herself back, needed to confirm that she was still the same Chameleon Fist who could beat at least four Gekiranger at once, who could beat Braco, who had attained dorinki, who had recieved Beast Power Bloom—who could fight. Who could fight that bastard bitch sorry excuse for an existence Long. Well, she obviously didn't have that, anymore.

"Hmmm." The guy's worry and relief annoyed more than she cared to admit. It meant she had to be on her guard, because a practitioner of Rin Juken didn't live long if she was naive enough to trust anyone. But Mele had no power and no army so she needed allies and connections.

This was so annoying. "I'm Mele." She tilted her head. "Pleased to meet you." It came out wooden, so she cleared her throat and sat up. "Um. Have a nice lunch?" She picked up her fork.

The Scarecrow smiled in return. This girl acted a little strange, but who here hadn't? "I'm the Scarecrow of Oz," he said, deciding to leave off the formal tags in favor of a more approachable name. "It's a pleasure to officially make your acquaintance, seeing how there wasn't exactly time for that sort of thing during the scuffle."

He took his fork as well, eyeballing his plate before setting it down again. That strange flavor was still in his mouth, and another bite surely would not help matters. Then again, he couldn't go without eating, or his stomach would complain. He lifted his fork and took a bite and swallowed it quickly without chewing to avoid that icky taste.

"So," he said, cutting another neat square from the fish, "You never did explain what happened to you the other night. Did you trip and hit your head? Or did you see something that scared you so badly that you fainted?" The question brought memories of the Lion to his mind- the poor soul probably wouldn't last a day in this place, much less a night.

Just making them scream wasn't enough if she didn't have the power to make them scream in the first place—

"WHAT. Me? Scared? No. No, obviously not." Even though that was the truth, if she really thought about it—NO. "I forced my rinki too much. It...that's not a good thing."

How many practitioners of Juken could she find in this place? She hadn't picked up on any, yet. Didn't that son of a bitch he need Rinju Fists to create the Hakaishin? Maybe it was—

Whoops. She'd stabbed the fish. Mele stared at the impaled fish and tried not to indulge in imagining a certain golden dragon being impaled in the fish's place—Mele concentrated on the fish.

Concentrating on the fishy fishiness of the...fish, Mele's stomach reminded her that she'd only had half of dinner the night before, and none of breakfast. Mmm. The fish turned out to be pretty good. Hadn't the voice on the intercom said something about fish?

...Intercom. "Who's the—do you know who's the voice behind the intercom?"

He wasn't sure what a 'rinki' was, but the Scarecrow didn't press the matter further. Seeing how she'd impaled her meal with her fork while talking about it, he figured it might be a touchy subject. Honestly, who liked to be frightened? He bit his lip, feeling both rude and ignorant for even asking such a question.

"I assume the voice on the intercom is this Landel character everyone talks about," answered the Scarecrow, trying to get his mind off the previous subject. "They say he's the guy who runs this place- some sort of an evil wizard or something like that." The Scarecrow couldn't remember if he actually was a wizard or not, but it seemed likely. "Well, he's supposedly decent during the day, but he goes mad at night and unleashes those somethings all over the place. Sounds evil if you ask me."

He looked around, wondering if he should really be talking about this. "I don't think I've met anyone who has even seen him. He must spend a lot of time locked away- maybe he can somehow watch us from wherever he is and he has no need to leave his room." Or maybe he's protecting himself from us his thoughts continued. There's bound to be an awful lot of people here who want his hide.

[Apologies for the potty-mouth! D: I honestly couldn't find another way to put it ><;;;;;;;]

Landel, Long, it wasn't that much of a difference—ok, yes it did. Mele frowned at the fish. Either he could change his voice, or it was one of the Sougenshi...who could change his voice. Or one of his followers that she didn't know about.

Mele stilled. Or it wasn't him.

"Yeah, that does sound evil," she said distractedly, oblivious to the ridiculousness of her saying it—she'd certainly done what amounted to the same, sending out rinshi to attack humans, in her time. "Maybe he's just ugly."

But why would someone who wasn't Long revive her and bring her here? Rio-sama's Rinzai, Braco's Madoku, and Long's technique that had brought about Suugu were the only revival techniques she could think of. And only Madoku had been able to give true life, like what she had now. But no one she had met so far had been practitioners of Juken. All of them—Rinzai, Madoku, Suugu—were Juken techniques. It could very well be something else.

But Long had said—the damned dragon god was—

GAH. It was still mindfuckery. There was no reason to stop plotting on the chance it might not be him. It was easier to assume it was until she could confirm otherwise. Yeah.

Suddenly drained, Mele slumped in the chair.

[No worries. XD]

The Scarecrow laughed. "He'd have to be awfully hideous to want to hide himself so well!" He honestly couldn't imagine someone that ugly, not even on his worst days. He could think of people who were appalling on the inside, like the Witch, but even she hadn't been terribly hideous on the outside. He'd have to put some thought into it when he had his diploma back, if the occasion arose.

He stopped laughing when he saw Mele's change in posture. "Is something the matter?" he asked, hoping he wasn't prying too much.

"Got a mental image of the hideous Lo—Landel," Mele said lightly. The lie came easily; she didn't make a habit of lying (there was usually no need to), but lying for the sake of fooling Gekiranger people was pretty fun.

Or it would be, if it weren't for her current mood.

Mele shrugged, then turned back to the meal. She'd come to that when she came to it. She couldn't decide, actually, if Long's presence would be better or worse. Long was the worst, but he was at least known.

"I've never heard of Oz," she said, to divert Scarecrow. "Is it a place or an organization?"

"Oz is a region," he replied, his mind easily distracted, "Comprised of four countries and a central district where the capital city is located." He drew a rectangle in the air with his finger as he spoke, thinking of the lay of the land as he'd seen it on maps. "Gillikin to the north and Quadling Country to the south, with Munchkin Country to the West and the Winkies to the East."

Or is it Munchkin to the East? I can never remember. Thankful he hadn't had that thought aloud, he continued.

"The Emerald City is in the center of these four countries, and is where the King of Oz rules over the people."

"Hnn. That sounds...simple." Mele idly stacked the yellow-ish slices (had the intercom man called them 'chips'?) into a small tower.

Rinju Den was both place and organization—she hadn't been entirely sure how that had worked, but it wasn't that big of a deal; Rio-sama had technically revived all of Rin Juken under Rinju Den. Back in the day, she hadn't been part of Rinju Den, either. Mele moved some of the slices along the sides of her tower to make a mountain.

"Which one were you?"

"Well," he started, feeling strangely sheepish about this topic, "I was originally a Munchkinlander- well, in the sense that I came from Munchkinland and was created there- but I moved to the Emerald City." He watched Mele built a teetering tower from her food and put his fork down. Maybe it was the taste, or maybe he just wasn't hungry after all. All this talk about home had made him homesick again.

"What about you?" he asked, trying to get off the topic. "What kind of a place do you live in?"

"I wonder." Mele rested her chin on her palm. Which counted as home? The place she was born, or Rinju Den?

"It was...dark, I guess." Mele shrugged. Rinju Den had been lit by only lamps, but that was because it had no electrical wiring. Though she also suspected that Rio-sama had kept it dark on purpose.

With a flick of a finger, Mele made the little food-mountain collapse. "It isn't there anymore."

She didn't want to think about Rio-sama anymore. It was an effort not to race out of here and go look at the bulletin board. Time. I've got to give it some time.

"Hey. Have you seen someone this tall," Mele raised her arm high, as if she seriously thought it was actually an accurate portrayal of Rio's height, "dark brown hair to his shoulders, um..." Describing Rio-sama was unexpectedly hard, as she'd learned yesterday. Anyone who knew him just...knew him. "And...he might be looking for me? He's called Rio-sama."

With a shake of his head, the Scarecrow responded: "I don't know of anyone like that, although he could be one of many people with a description so generic. Then again, I don't know many people here. Maybe you could use the bulletin board to look for your friend?" The Scarecrow furrowed his eyebrows. Didn't he have any better ideas? Oh yeah, lack of brains. Of course his best notion was to 'use the bulletin board.'

He was going to have to face the facts- human brain or not, he needed his diploma back. He wouldn't be of any use to anyone until he had it in his hands.

"What happened to your home?" he asked. "And if it isn't there any more, how can you go back?"

Mele face-palmed. Generic. That about summed it up. But Rio-sama didn't have any (physical) scars or anything. Unless she wanted to bring up his three ear piercings. But she wouldn't forgive anyone who was looking closely enough at him (and his ears) to realize he had them, anyway. "I already wrote on the bulletin," she said moodily, "just before coming. He might see it soon, he might not. And anyway, he—" Might not have died.

Mele bit on a chip as an excuse for trailing off, and then decided she didn't need to finish that sentence.

"It burned down. Going back..." Mele tilted her head. "Are you planning to go back? To your city?"

"Burned?" the Scarecrow asked in an incredulous tone. "Your entire home? That's terrible! I mean, it being destroyed is awful enough, but by fire?" He really didn't like the mental image that floated into his head after he'd said those words. The Emerald City didn't look quite as lovely and welcoming when it was bathed in flames.

"I... I do want to go back," he said a little hesitantly. "I just don't know how to get there, even if I can get out of this place eventually."

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