DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 41: Sun Room (4th shift)
Hmm?
should_be_dead wrote in damned
Other than the single person who was apparently "200 years from his future", no one had replied to his message on the bulletin board. Tenzen couldn't be certain whether it was a good thing or not, but this meant other Iga or even those damned Kouga were not taken captive along with him. This begged the question of why they had captured just him, though it could be easily explained because of his own death (which naturally meant the remaining ninja had gone ahead). But to take a corpse captive, they must have known he would come back from death. Otherwise, there would hardly be a point.

Provided that it wasn't some sort of illusion created by one of the aforementioned Kouga, of course. Though he knew the rivaling clan a little better than most Iga thanks to his history (and life span), he was by far not aware of all of their techniques. It could very well be possible that one of them could pull such tricks. Of the ten chosen Kouga, only four remained. There was only one Kouga he didn't know the ability of; the woman Kagerou. Even though the issue remained the same; they must've known he would come back from death. No Kouga (that hadn't died) could have known, unless a member of the Iga had gone around telling them.

There were various possibilities, one of them being a certain mimic. Either way, he would need to find a way to properly test both theories, he supposed.

According to the voice from what was called the 'intercom' (the manner this place made announcements still sounded as if it was coming from the walls itself), there was no need for him to follow the other patients to the 'showers'. Judging from the rest of the announcement, these showers were used to clean oneself.

Either way, he was instead brought to the area called the Sun room. The ninja took a seat on a couch rather close to the bulletin board, mostly to keep an eye on it in case someone wrote something of interest. Not that he expected in a place filled with madmen, but there was hardly anything else he could do right now but wait until nightfall.

[Free, limit: any]

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[coming in from here]

Hair still damp and injuries freshly bandaged and looking better than he'd expected, Jason was admittedly feeling good. It was still bothering him how much better the burns were looking considering he'd only run into that thing last night but it almost made sense. The bastard running this place got his kicks from watching them struggle to survive and if they were too easily disposed of then they might lose some of the entertainment value. It didn't make it any less disturbing to think that they'd done something to him to make him heal this fast but he could deal with it for now. Not like he had much fucking choice.

The Sun Room was still pretty empty so he took the time to check over the bulletin board again. His note hadn't gotten him much by way of useful information - he had the last name of Luxord's roommate, which he should be able to use to track the man down and from there find Luxord but it was going to take a bit more legwork. But there was something far more important to consider now. The baby bird, little Timmy Drake himself, had also been brought in. And he apparently knew some others who were here too, though that wasn't news with how loudly those idiot metas had been looking for him.

Jason couldn't see the little fake anywhere but he might be outside in the courtyard with the rest of the kids. He'd have to keep an eye out, he didn't want to run into the little shit before he was ready. Then there was Bruce. If he had been telling the truth and didn't know Jason when he sure as hell knew Tim.... that would be a problem if the baby bird got to him. Fighting Bruce was one thing but fighting him when he didn't know Jason, when he thought Jason was just another Gotham psychopath not worth his time? That wouldn't work out in his favour. Bruce wasn't here either so Jason couldn't try and get to him first.

Taking a seat in the corner of the room where he could keep an eye on the doors and the board, Jason waited to see if either of them would be making an appearance. He still had other business to take care of but right now he was more concerned with getting to Bruce first. Damned if he knew what he'd say to the bastard but he had to do something before he went gaga over the replacement.

[Possibly for Alfred, otherwise please grab him and stop him causing trouble

“Now why don't find yourself a seat and make yourself some new friends, Mr. Quartermain?”

“Pennyworth, ma’am.” Alfred surveyed the room, which was steadily filling with people all clothed in identically ridiculous uniforms – if you could call them that. He supposed that he should find himself a seat before the nurse got too pushy about it. There was something familiar about one of the other patients, although – Jason? Alfred raised an eyebrow. Well this was certainly an interesting development.

"Oh!" The nurse followed Alfred's line of sight, "it looks like you've found someone new! Let's go talk to him. I'm sure you'll get along wonderfully." She steered him quickly over to Jason's corner, leaving little room for argument. "Well here you are!" She pushed Alfred towards Jason before rushing out of the room, presumably to take care of other patients.

Alfred looked down at Jason, raising an eyebrow, "Fancy meeting you here, young sir."

Jason had been watching for Bruce or Tim and while he'd seen other prisoners being brought in he hadn't paid them any mind beyond determining that they weren't who he was looking for. When a nurse brought someone right over to him though, he had no choice but to turn his attention to them. Looking up with a sullen glare he opened his mouth to tell them he was waiting for someone and wanted to be left alone. The words caught in his throat as he actually looked at who the nurse had brought over to him, eyes widening in shock. He hadn't seen the man for years but he still remembered what he looked like, even if seeing him stuffed into the ridiculous outfit they all wore here instead of his customary suit was almost enough to make Jason laugh out loud at the sheer absurdity.

The nurse was gone before he could gather his wits and Jason was alone, staring up at one of the only people he didn't want to have to see again. He wildly thought he should just get up and leave, go somewhere else but if the old man really wanted to talk he'd just follow and there was nowhere to run here.

Swallowing nervously, it took Jason several tries to force words out of his suddenly dry mouth. "I woke up here a few days ago," he replied stupidly. What else could he say?

Alfred arched his eyebrow higher, if that were possible, at Jason's obvious discomfort. He didn't particularly mind being made to talk to the younger man, but then he'd never really had many problems with him. Admittedly, it had been quite some time since he'd seen or spoken with Jason face to face, but he knew that the young man had somehow come back from the dead.

Keeping his slightly mocking expression in place, Alfred stepped back from Jason by about a foot. He looked as though he'd just been trapped or cornered, and Alfred hoped to avoid a conflict with him. "Is that right, young sir? You simply woke up here a few days ago?" The question was asked in a manner seeming to imply that Alfred had somehow planned on being here, and was unsurprised by the appearance of Jason, or anything else that might have happened. "You appear to be in good order. Was your awakening here planned?"

What? What was Jason supposed to say here? Alfred was acting like everything was fine, like Jason hadn't failed, like he'd never died and come back. Like Red Hood hadn't been carving out a section of the city for himself and killing every criminal in his way.

"Why would I plan to- No. I didn't. I just woke up here. I don't know how they got me here either." He could almost deal with this if they stayed talking about safe things, like what the hell was going on here. So long as it stayed away from anything personal he could cope. Except it was still too much. It felt surreal, like maybe this was just another day and when they were done here they'd all go back to the manor and it would be as if nothing had ever changed. Like Jason could actually go home and there would be a place for him that wasn't a stupid fucking case making him out to be something he wasn't because it was better when he was dead.

But it was just an act, they were both stuck here and under observation and it wasn't like it meant anything beyond Alfred not wanting to draw attention to them. They were just exchanging information, that was all. Clearing his throat, Jason tried to make himself sound mature and in control but it really didn't work when he felt like he was a dirty little kid again. "How did you get here?"

"Either, young sir?" Alfred questioned. "Are there others?" The possibility couldn't be overlooked. If Alfred and Jason had been brought to this place, there was a high probability that others whom they might know had also been taken here.

Jason was older than the last time that Alfred had seen or spoken to him face to face, and he knew that the boy had changed He knew about the activities Jason had been up to, as of late, but he didn't mention them. They were unrelated to the current situation, and Alfred had no desire to anger Jason, if it could be helped. He'd liked the young man well enough as a child, and, even if he disapproved of his recent pastimes, nothing would come of mentioning them yet.

"How did I get here, young sir?" He looked at Jason in a way that could be construed as him looking down his nose. "I appear to have woken up here, much like yourself."

Shit. He needed to be more careful what he said. Seeing Alfred again, for the first time since he made the stupid mistake of running off to Ethiopia, was bringing back too many memories and putting him off-guard. He couldn't afford to get careless, no matter who he was talking to. He should know that by now.

"Others from Gotham, yeah." Should he mention Bruce? It felt wrong to lie about that, Alfred hadn't done anything to warrant Jason trying to deceive him. But if he admitted he knew Bruce was here he was afraid his plans to get back at the bastard might come up. While there was nothing short of Bruce tracking down the Joker and putting a bullet in his brain that would dissuade him from following through, Jason didn't want to have to deal with the inevitable anger and disappointment it would bring up.

But if Alfred was here then he might have assumed Bruce was here too. If the bastards behind this place managed to sneak in and kidnap one person why not take them both? He'd find out eventually and maybe once he'd heard Bruce was here he'd go looking for him and leave. Before Jason did or said something he regretted.

Looking away, Jason sighed and muttered sullenly, "Bruce is around. A couple of Arkham lunatics too." He wasn't going to mention the replacement or Two-Face if he could avoid it. The little shit could deal with this clusterfuck on his own and he wanted to keep Dent's presence quiet until they were ready.

Alfred watched Jason, waiting for him to elaborate on who the "others from Gotham" might be. It seemed almost as though he didn't want to tell Alfred which people had also found themselves waking up here.

Bruce? A look that might have been surprise crossed Alfred's face for a moment, and then his aloof mask was back. "I'm sorry, young sir. It's impossible for Master Bruce to be 'around', as you say." Alfred paused briefly before continuing, his voice growing heavy. "You were aware of our current predicament when I was last in Gotham. Master Bruce is dead."

Alfred watched Jason, gauging his reaction. It was impossible for Bruce to be here. He'd seen the body. Batman was dead. Something wasn't quite right about this situation. Jason had no reason to lie about Bruce being here, so why would he? It was odd enough that this place should kidnap people and bring them here, but it should be impossible for them to bring a person back to life, should it not?

Dead? Why the hell would Alfred think Bruce was dead? Sure, Batman hadn't been seen around Gotham since their encounter in Crime Alley, but that was because the bastard had gone on a fucking cruise!

Jason shook his head, laughing bitterly. "I think you've gotten us confused there Alfs. Bruce is just fine - well, OK, he's alive anyway. What the hell makes you say he's dead?" Even if the Bruce here was a different one to the one Jason knew, he still knew his Bruce- the one from his world or however you put it - was alive. It was impossible for him to have gotten killed without Jason hearing about it somehow. And there was no way he could've gotten killed in the few days Jason had been here either.

Never mind that Alfred seemed to think Jason should already know that Bruce was 'dead'. Why the fuck would he think that? They had no reason to believe that Jason was even still alive after his last encounter with Batman, besides that he'd already come back to life once already. So why think he knew about this? It made no fucking sense.

"No." Alfred repeated Jason's gesture, shaking his head, "I'm afraid not, young sir. Masters Richard and Timothy are well. As are you and I. I can assure you that Master Bruce, however, is no longer among us. Arrangements were being made for Batman's funeral shortly before my arrival here." He paused for a moment, looking thoughtful. "I am curious, young sir, as to exactly how long you've been held here."

Denial? That was an unexpected outcome. Alfred knew that rumors of Batman's disappearance, and then his death, had been circling through Gotham, seeping into its underworld. There had certainly been enough belief to promote several individuals, including Jason, to try and claim Batman's city for their own.

He supposed that it was possible for Master Bruce to have been kidnapped and taken here - to what Alfred assumed was a mental hospital. But to fake a man's death was certainly an elaborate cover, and Master Bruce's state of well being had been spiraling downwards for several months now.

Jason scowled, getting to his feet so he didn't have to keep looking up at Alfred. "I'm telling you he's fine! I've been here less than four days and before that he was still on his fucking world tour with the other two and doing just peachy!" he spat out, fists clenched angrily.

Bruce wasn't dead- Batman wasn't dead. He wasn't allowed to be, not while Jason still had unfinished business with him. And if there even was something out there that could kill Batman, it would take more than four days and there sure as hell would be some sort of sign of it beforehand. It just wasn't possible for Batman to have died and Jason to have no idea about it. If he were talking to anyone else he'd have assumed he was being lied to from the beginning but Alfred-

Face it, he had plenty of reasons to lie to Jason about this. He probably was trying to keep Jason away from Bruce and to make it clear that he wasn't welcome any more. Like he needed to be told. Fuck them all.

"And I spoke to him two days ago. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go ahead and bury him anyway," he finished in a quieter tone of voice, still laced with resentment. Arms crossed in a way he refused to think of as defensive he glared at the opposite wall.

It was slightly disconcerting to have Jason stand up. The two of them where the same height, but Alfred hadn't seen Jason in person for years. It was odd to suddenly be on the same level. "I see."

This was certainly... unexpected. Not the anger - but the lack of knowledge about recent events. "Jason." There wasn't really a tactful way to approach the subject, Alfred looked at the boy with something almost like pity before continuing, "It's been a year and a half since Masters Bruce, Richard, and Timothy left on their world tour. It's been a half a year since they returned from their journey, and it's been a week since Batman was murdered."

There wasn't much more to be said about the situation. And any chance of having a peaceful talk, without attracting unwanted attention, was becoming less likely as Jason became louder and more agitated.

Teeth clenched as he caught the pitying look directed at him, Jason's mouth twisted into a vicious snarl. "That's bullshit. They've only been gone a couple of months. It can't have been more than that." It had taken him a while to get back on his feet after what Bruce had done to him and it hadn't been that long since he recovered. He couldn't have lost another year. He wouldn't accept that any more than he'd accept Batman being dead. He'd lost enough of his life already, dammit!

As he spoke Jason realised one hand had crept up to press against the scar from Bruce. As soon as he realised this he tore it away, spinning around to slam his fist into the wall. Punching the unyielding surface again, he focussed on the ache in his knuckles while he reigned in the anger.

"If it's been that long then what have I been doing? Or have I been missing the whole time and you're just guessing I didn't die?"

That was puzzling as well. It was clear that Jason was the boy he knew and remembered, but he seemed to only retain his memories from the past, the last year and a half forgotten. Alternate versions of people from another world were not unheard of, but this situation was quite a bit different.

Alfred's eyebrows went up again when Jason punched the wall. It wasn't entirely surprising, really, and he supposed he should be grateful that Jason wasn't currently punching people.

"I'm not entirely sure what you've been doing during that entire time, young sir. I do know that shortly after the masters' return, you were in New York with Master Richard. I do believe that recent events have found you among those wishing to keep watch on Gotham as Batman. I am certain, young sir, that you are quite alive and well. I do believe that I mentioned that earlier in our conversation."

That got a mocking laugh from Jason and he turned back to face Alfred, smirking viciously. "Well now I know you're full of shit. There's no way Dickie-bird would tolerate being in the same room as me without being tied the fuck up and drugged out of what's left of his mind."

Even before Jason died, Dick had wanted nothing to do with him. To think that had changed was beyond stupid, especially now the Dick had little prince Timothy to fawn over. Jason wasn't even going to touch the idea of him trying to be Batman. He'd have to be even crazier than everyone told him he was to try that.

"Why don't I save you some time?" Jason went on, determinedly keeping his voice steady as looked everywhere but at Alfred. "You want me to stay the fuck away from Bruce. That's not happening. So don't feel like you have to waste any more time on me."

"I'm sorry, young sir. You seem to be mistaken about the circumstances under which you were in New York. It would seem that you'd decided to impersonate Nightwing. I don't believe that Master Richard was overjoyed to see you there, given the conditions of your meeting."

Perhaps he should have elaborated on the details a little bit more when he'd first mentioned them. Although it was rather bizarre having to explain to someone the details of their own life.

"I believe you misunderstand my intentions, young sir. Master Bruce, were he still alive, would be mostly capable of looking after himself. I wasn't aware that you considered yourself a waste of time, young sir." Alfred's tone wasn't as mocking as his words seemed to be. He still had no desire to argue with Jason, but he wasn't going to simply stand there while Jason while was being an irritable little twit.

Jason blinked, taken aback. He had been thinking about 'borrowing' Nightwing, since Dick obviously didn't want the job right now and Jason was used to filling in for him so why stop now, but it hadn't been more than an a vague possibility. If Alfred knew about something Jason had only recently been considering then could he be telling the truth?

After running into Two-Face - who'd apparently only just had his accident with the acid - it wasn't impossible. But it still left Jason with the uncomfortable possibility that he might have lost another year of his life. And that Bruce could be dead and he had been- what? Really trying to be Batman? What the hell could've happened to him in a year and a half to make that seem like a good idea? And why didn't he remember anything?

Maybe it was an alternate dimension or time thing, like Bruce had suggested. His memories could be just fine, he just hadn't - or wouldn't - done the things Alfred was talking about yet. It was better than the alternative. But enough of the details matched up that it was difficult to convince himself that that was the reason instead of the far more likely scenario of Jason's memories having gotten fucked with again.

He'd started pacing restlessly as he considered the possibilities but his gaze snapped back to Alfred as the man went on to say what had to be the most absurd thing in this entire fucking conversation. Normally he'd ignore the comment - pursuing the matter wasn't going to result in anything good, but his mouth seemed to have other ideas. "Dunno what else you'd call the fuck-up everyone was glad to be rid of."

Alfred watched as Jason began to pace, raising an eyebrow at the boy's sudden mood change. Perhaps he did recall the events, to a certain extent, but had tried to block them out. It was possible. The current happenings in Gotham were something that he sometimes wished he could forget about as well. Forgetting everything from after Masters Bruce, Richard, and Timothy had left was a little odd though. Alfred couldn't be sure that something hadn't traumatized Jason during that time - or traumatized him at a later date - causing him to repress the memories. This still didn't explain why Jason would believe that Bruce was here as well, so Alfred was unsure about which conclusion, story, or option was the most realistic, believable, and probable.

"Master Bruce and I were most certainly not glad to be rid of you. You performed admirably, to the best of your ability, and, while the outcome was less than favorable, we were proud of you for what you attempted. Even if it was, perhaps, lacking a bit in foresight."

Snorting, Jason shook his head. He couldn't be expected to buy that. If it were true then- Then it should've been different. If Bruce and Alfred had cared when he died, had actually missed him as anything beyond a spacefiller for Dick then they wouldn't have replaced him, forgotten him. If he'd actually mattered then his murderer wouldn't have been allowed to go free and Bruce sure as hell wouldn't have picked the Joker over him. But it wasn't and they didn't and he was sick of this conversation, sick of being lied to so obviously and sick of being reminded of everything he wanted to forget.

Voice thick with emotion he spat, "I'm impressed you can even say that with a straight face. It's the biggest load of crap I've ever heard." Spinning on his heel, Jason quickly stalked away, refusing to stop or look back.

"Young sir-" Alfred began. But Jason had already stopped listening and was running away. He sighed inwardly. Alfred had certainly never thought that he would speak with Jason again. And if, by some chance, the occasion had come up, he certainly wouldn't have walked into it as unprepared as he'd been. He momentarily considered following after the young man, but quickly came to the conclusion that nothing would be gained from him doing so.

He hardly had the time to turn away from Jason's corner to survey the room, when an intercom buzzed to life...

[to here]

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