DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 44: breakfast
Ninjas > everybody else.
thatdamnedninja wrote in damned
Yuffie had died.

No, really. Seriously. She had actually died. Bleeding all over the place, making a horrid, sticky mess and scaring the hell out of Suzaku; she remembered it clearly. Kind of. Sort of. Through the blood loss, the pain, and the visions. Through Aerith's voice whispering in her ear, Cloud's stricken eyes, and her own panic. As bad nights went, it had been Bad, capital B and all the trimmings, and oh, god. She sat, trembling on the edge of her bed, eyes closed and hands pressed hard over her racing heart. The by-play between Landel—Landel!—and Lydia barely even sunk in. There was nothing in the whole world, any world, that could prepare you for something like…

Had it all been some kind of hallucination?

Had she imagined the whole thing?

No… She didn't think so. Nightmarish or not, Yuffie knew reality. But if it had been real, how was she alive now? That kind of pain wasn't something you could just cook up, was it? She thought about it all the way to the cafeteria, drifting behind her nurse without focus or intent. Maybe if she tried to stay clinical, tried to step back… But she'd never been good at that when things got personal. And every time she closed her eyes or blinked, she swore that the scenes played back to her, like an overused commercial on a crappy channel on a crappy TV, in a run-down dump of an inn that smelled like mothballs and yesterday's breakfast.

The scent of blood and damp, rotted wood clogged her nose. Disgusted, Yuffie shoved her bowl of cereal—handed to her by a clucking Plucky—off to the side so that she could melt into her chair, palm heels scrubbing against her eyes. Too much. This was… Too much. She couldn't even paste a plastic smile on her face to make herself feel better. Her usual shield, the white noise of inane babble that could filter out almost any crisis, was in tatters all around her. Five minutes, she gave herself.

Five minutes (not) to think, five minutes to get her act together, because there was no way she could let herself shatter here. No way…

[Closed to Sheena]

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In bad news, it seemed that everyone had been rendered unconscious somehow and returned to their chambers when the morning came: Edgar didn't remember how- surely it was a sleeping spell of some sort. He couldn't, wouldn't put it past Kefka or any other maniacal sort of creature to use such trickery. It certainly did make it easier to transport unruly prisoners.

In good news, it seemed he'd somehow made it back with his new treasures- he found them in his closet upon waking. Allowing prisoners to keep their equipment was fairly charitable.

A woman had entered his room, and after a moment of ignoring his advances, she led him to the dining hall of the prison. The place had a very different atmosphere during the day: it was almost more suffocating than at night, as the nursemaids seemed to be watching from every corner, keeping tabs on all actions and conversations. The one escorting the machinist led him to an empty table (disappointing, as there were several ladies sitting alone at other tables), placing a tray of food before his seat and assuring she'd find him some company.

It seemed during the day, the man behind this place held all the cards.

[Free]

[can has an Edgar?]

The smell of blood was still in Soma's nostrils when she awoke, the acid coppery tang still clinging to the back of her throat. She tasted it every time she inhaled, but instead of hunger she only felt an overwhelming nausea. The bite was almost invisible on her skin now, and she clamped her hand over it, ignoring her protesting ribs.

What had happened last night was her fault, regardless of what she knew Senna and Meche would say. She should have known better than to approach them; she should have known better than to stay in the same room for that long. It hadn't just been the predator that had been howling for a fight last night. She knew that much. And now that she knew the effects of the bite would last, that they would return every night...

The duty of a soldier was to protect civilians. That was what the colonel had said. But he wasn't here to tell her what ought to happen if a soldier failed in her duties, because they had taken him, too, and she'd been powerless to stop it. She'd even considered leaving him here, assumed he might be happy living a false life under a false name. And she'd believed that, believed she could change and live a life she couldn't have and he didn't want. And even if she could have it, she didn't deserve it anymore.

It wasn't just her friends she'd failed yesterday.

When the nurse arrived, she followed silently. She accepted her tray expressionlessly and automatically set it aside, staring off into the distance, unaware of her surroundings.

Well, it seemed the lady who'd led him here and had promised him some company had fulfilled her promise after all. Edgar put on a smile for his new acquaintance and tried to catch her eye. It proved difficult, as she seemed distracted beyond compare. Perhaps she'd had a rough night.

He cleared his throat and gave her an earnest look. "Miss, is there something the matter?"

Soma didn't exactly start, but her gaze snapped straight to the man who'd spoken. Her nurse said something about keeping Mr. March company as she departed; the suggestion barely registered in her mind.

"No," she said automatically, if a little sharply. The last thing she wanted to do was have a conversation right now, especially with someone who looked like they cared. She'd had enough of talking about feelings she couldn't sort out to people she didn't know.

Still, just because she was socially awkward didn't mean she was intentionally rude, and the realization that her initial response had been rather less than appropriate eventually sank in. "I'm sorry," she said again, and this time there was a little more substance to her voice, though it was quieter than it had been before. "It's nothing that concerns you."

"I'll trust you on that," Edgar said. "You just looked troubled. I know we've only just met, but I couldn't help but ask. It's just my nature to try to assist a lady in need- forgive me." His smile faded. Not every lovely maiden would be willing to open up so quickly, even if the young king had been honestly concerned.

He took a bite of an apple the nurse had picked out for him. Surprisingly juicy- at least they served prisoners here better food than they served in Figaro's cells. He kept it in hand as he looked around the mess hall- the lady guards seemed to be watching from all sides. It seemed he had a lack of privacy whether he was a king or a thief: there were always eyes around.

He seemed quite the gentleman. Soma wasn't sure how she should feel about that; she had very limited experience with gentlemen, which was to say none at all.

There was a slightly awkward silence as the man began to eat; Soma left her own tray alone. She wasn't even slightly hungry right now. No doubt her nurse would notice eventually, but that was a chance she was willing to take. She drank from her glass of water, but that was more to wash the taste of blood from her mouth than anything else.

"Thank you for asking, though," she said after a moment. "There's no need to apologize." Another pause, another drink of water. Then, searching for some way of distracting herself from her thoughts, "Have you been here long?"

"I have not," he admitted. "I awoke and found myself here last night- how they transported me here without my knowing is beyond me. My roommate was less than eager to give me information on my whereabouts, and I had not the time to ask my companion as we made our way to storage rooms for supplies."

He took another bite of the apple, bringing a napkin to his lips afterward. "This is a rather unconventional institution," he continued. "Giving prisoners a chance to escape seems sloppy. Allowing them to run freely at night in order to watch their gears turn as they try to find the exit is a little twisted."

He gave a nod to the nursemaids. "That seems to not be the case during the daylight hours."

"You're very collected for someone who doesn't know what's going on." Somewhat thankful for another topic of conversation to occupy her, Soma made her own scan of the room. "I've only been here a few days, but I can answer what questions you might have.

"I don't think it's sloppy as much as it is sadism on the part of the Head Doctor. I don't know anyone who's managed to escape so far." She looked across the table at the man. "I don't know if you've encountered any monsters so far, but I think 'a little twisted' is an understatement. Escape appears impossible regardless of whether it's day or night here."

Edgar put a hand to his chin in a thoughtful fashion. "I've met a few twisted individuals in my time, including those who would use others for their own devices. I'm not the sort who allows himself to be upset by such people- someone has to deal with them, after all." The king was sure there were more disturbed men than Kefka around, but he wouldn't be terribly surprised if he was somehow tied to this place.

Then again, if the man running the prison was referred to as 'the Head Doctor,' he could probably rule out Kefka as being completely behind the prison. With a medicine man running the game, it was more like a madhouse or a hospital. That certainly would explain the lovely nursemaids in place of burly guards. Edgar definitely wasn't going to complain about that, though.

"I do have some curiosities that could be satisfied, I suppose," he said calmly. "First off, these monsters. What sorts of fiends are we talking about? We saw only a few enchantments and apparitions during the night, but nothing that would have put us in serious peril. Perhaps we were lucky."

Regardless of how many twisted individuals the man had met, he was certainly taking the news much more sensibly than Soma herself had. It made her wonder what the world he came from was like.

"Everything from undead cats to large metal monsters made of steel and lightning." Soma thought a moment, sipping from her glass again. "I don't think anyone has seen all of the monsters that are here. There was a list of them on the bulletin board yesterday, but it's gone now. I wouldn't be surprised if someone will put it up again, though."

She paused, then added, "You mentioned enchantments. Are those common in your world?"

"World?" he asked, thinking the wording was a little strange. He put little thought into it as he continued: "Well, monsters are pretty common where I'm from- especially since the world changed. Enchantments, not so much. I've seen plenty of them, but I'll always favor machines over magic. I'm better with the former, and the latter is somewhat of a rare art among people."

He finished his apple, putting the core on the tray before taking a drink of water. "It's peculiar that a place like this would provide a bestiary. Was it written by the people running this show, or by prisoners like ourselves? And where might I find this 'bulletin board' so I can peruse the listing?"

Since when had asking what world someone came from become such a commonplace question for her? Perhaps she was adjusting to this place more quickly than she had realized. It was a disconcerting thought.

"We're not all from the same time, place, or even planet," she explained, still unable to keep a little skepticism from her voice. "At least, it certainly seems that way. It sounds as if you have experience with magic, but that doesn't exist at all where I come from. Monsters aren't particularly common, either."

She drained her glass of water and set it aside. "It's in the Sun Room--that's the room you came through in order to get here. The list was compiled by the patients, so it's probably incomplete, but it's helpful anyway. There's a patient here by the name of Lamperouge who's been doing most of the organizing, as far as I can tell."

Edgar's brow furrowed as he paused. "Wait, not from the same time, place, or planet? How is that even possible?" Magic could do a lot of strange things- divide two worlds, create and destroy others, and even stop the flow of time temporarily- but being able to pull people from a completely different points in history? His stomach shifted at the thought of what would happen if Kefka ever figured out that trick.

He ran a hand through his hair, trying to think more about how this could possibly make sense and less about how he really wanted something to keep his locks off the back of his neck. "This place is more unconventional than I anticipated," he admitted.

"I don't know. I don't think anyone does." It didn't particularly matter, as far as she was concerned; the logistics of how they'd arrived were the least of her worries at the moment. "But if there was a way to bring us here, then there must be a way to send us back."

She didn't smile at his comment; only nodded slightly in agreement. "It must be a shock for you. I didn't believe it at all until I was attacked by monsters one night."

"The 'different times and worlds' issue is more of a shock to me than beasts wandering the halls at night," Edgar said as he finished his glass of water. He returned it to his tray, not sure if he was hungry anymore. "Knowing there is someone out there with this sort of power is a much more disturbing notion. Some people think themselves gods when they have those sorts of abilities."

He pushed a stray strand from his face. "However, I believe you're right. If there was a way to bring us here, then there must be a way to return us, no matter how difficult to obtain. Impossible is more of a figment of the mind."

That may have been the ambitious machinist in him talking, but he believed it. There had to be a way back to where he was- he'd come too far and worked too hard for everything to be completely lost. End of the world or trapped in a completely different one or not, he was going to find a way back to his people.

"It sound as if this Dr. Landel does." Soma tilted her head slightly, faint curiosity showing in her golden eyes. "You sound as if you've encountered this sort of thing before."

She only hoped they were both right about a way back. And maybe there was a way to bring back those who'd been brought back to life, too...

No. She wouldn't think about that. Especially not now.

"I've encountered men who believe they have the right to use others, to wipe entire towns from existence on a whim, to murder in cold blood in order to get to the top." A scowl crossed the king's face as he felt ire rising within him. He closed his eyes briefly and recomposed himself. A tyrant like Kefka could not be allowed to rule the world forever.

He took a deep breath, catching the girl's eyes after a moment. "I don't believe we introduced ourselves, milady," he said, his smile returning. He knew it'd be best if he stuck to his thief persona until he was positive Kefka wasn't somehow in charge of this madhouse in one way or another, but it struck him that this woman was probably speaking the truth. She had no apparent reason to lie to him, and he was fairly skilled at reading people.

Then again, they had taken his disguise and supposedly taken them from completely different times and worlds. The chances that Kefka would strike him down with the Light of Judgment were slim, supposing this was true.

"My name is Edgar," he said after a brief pause.

"It sounds as if most of the patients here have met people like that." Soma almost wanted to hear more, but didn't press. It wasn't as if she wanted to talk about those in her own life--not when she was considering allying with them here.

She was a little baffled at his sudden change in manner, but she nodded. "I'm sorry; I should have remembered. My name is Soma Peries."

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