DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 47: Greenhouse [4th Shift]
chillaxin'
mitase wrote in damned
Entering the greenhouse was almost like coming home, and Hanatarou had been looking forward to this shift for that reason. Everywhere else in the building was strange and confusing (and often dangerous) but in here was the familiar scent of soil and sun-warmed plants with the musty sort of enclosed-space smell overlaying it. His expression turned into something approaching a smile as he glanced around, moving ahead of his nurse for once.

She seemed encouraged by his enthusiasm, and stopped him long enough to offer him a tray of seedlings, with the suggestion that he go ahead and transplant them into an empty space in the herb bed. He bobbed his head in a vague sort of nod and settled down, almost cheerfully digging a small hole in the indicated spot and reaching inside to test how dry the soil was. Maybe if he didn't look around, he could pretend he was back at work in the 4th Division headquarters....

[free]

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Surprisingly enough, his whole day was turning out to be completely mellow. Kratos just wasn't the sort of person who pushed too hard in conversations, so Guy hadn't had to own up to much during their talk together. It did mean that a certain amount of distance would probably remain between them, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Guy knew that the man was a trustworthy, capable guy who also happened to share his fighting style, and that was good enough for him.

So if he could just get through this last shift without any hiccups, then all would be well, at least until night came. He was glad that Claude happened to be free this time, although it did make him wonder about Ashton. Then again, he and Luke were splitting up, so it wasn't so bizarre for two friends to take a break from each other sometimes. Guy just hoped everything was okay.

Stepping into the greenhouse, Guy took a moment to adjust to the temperature change and mugginess. Gardening never failed to remind him of Pere. The man had taught him a thing or two, but Guy just wasn't as passionate about plants and flowers as he was about fontech. Still, he could put together a nice bouquet if he had to.

Really, what he preferred was to just admire the different kinds of flowers and take in their various scents, and so Guy ended up wandering for a bit. He could get his hands dirty later on, if he wanted. There was nothing quite like physical labor like this, after all.

[King Figaro~]

It had been far too long since Edgar had found himself in a greenhouse- desert climates weren't choice places for them, and even when he did travel to other regions, he never found the time to visit them. He enjoyed having potted plants around the castle, though they often didn't survive the warm, dry air of the desert. His pride was wounded with each withering bud- he believed it was that part of him that wanted anything under his care, be it an entire population or a single plant, to thrive that took the brunt of it.

The institution, though usually a prison, held some brief areas of bliss. This was certainly one of them. The various blossoms perfumed the thick air, each scent reminding him of of a lock of hair, a particular style of dress, sweet whispers in the dark. Come to think of it, that girl he'd spoken to during lunch smelled strongly of flowers, as well. Maybe it was a sign of good things to come.

While reminiscing about past flings and how his brother would laugh at his sentimentality, Edgar nearly bumped into another man. "Pardon me," he said apologetically. "I hope I didn't disturb you too badly."

With the way the greenhouse was set up into somewhat narrow aisles, it wasn't too surprising that some minor collisions would happen. Guy hadn't been paying enough attention, and he took a step or two back when he bumped shoulders with another man.

The stranger got out an apology before Guy could, but he made sure to quickly shake his head. "No, nothing like that," he said quickly. "Really, I should have just been paying better attention." He had no problem admitting it. Usually there wasn't quite as much to look at, so it seemed like he'd just gotten carried away.

The other patient was striking, both due to his long hair and something about his bearing. Guy couldn't put his finger on it, but it reminded him of something...

"Do you like looking at them too?" he asked conversationally as he motioned to the planter of flowers that they were closest to.

"I do," Edgar replied with a small grin, eyeing the indicated flowers. The vibrant color of the blossoms stood out against the glass behind them, giving the young king another reason to smile. "My home isn't the best environment for flowers, so they're a rare beauty for me." Before the end of the world, he occasionally had flowers imported to the castle from Kohlingen- now that the land was destroyed, it seemed many once-flourishing fields were completely barren.

"Forgive my manners," he said, returning his attention to the other man. "I'm Edgar."

It was a shame that Natalia wasn't here. Guy got the feeling she would like these flowers, and he would have gladly picked one for her and delivered it later. Maybe he could get one for Anise, but he wasn't sure when he'd be seeing the girl next; it might have withered by the time he found her. Besides, she'd probably come here earlier in the day, so she could have collected some for herself.

"A pleasure to meet you, Edgar. I'm Guy," he returned with a small smile. It was a shame to hear that the man's home couldn't sustain even a few flowers, but it did make Guy curious. Was it somewhere like the Qliphoth? That would be terrible, but it was possible...

"What's your home like?" he asked, frowning. Hopefully the man wouldn't mind explaining, seeing how he'd been the one to bring it up.

"It's a castle in the middle of a desert," Edgar replied with a smirk, labeling his home simply. It'd been so long since he'd last seen Figaro Castle's stone walls: people working the corridors, sand clinging to the crevices between the brick and stone, the smells of steel and oil pervading through every room. It wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but it was home to a machinist. "The dry air and sand don't make a good setting for flowers, so we have to import them. We're much better with machinery than botany, anyway."

Of course, that wasn't the entire picture- the greenhouse, despite its thick air and thicker scents, was inviting because of the change in scenery it offered, as he'd been viewing a dying landscape for months while searching for a way back home- but it would do for now.

"What about your home?" he asked.

In the middle of a desert? Well, that would definitely explain it, but Guy had to wonder why anyone would put a castle in a place like that. Didn't it make more sense to have it near the sea, where trade could flourish? Then again, Chesedonia was pretty dry and there was a huge mansion there, so maybe some people just preferred that sort of climate. What an interesting place to live, though!

Right as Guy was about to express his condolences that they couldn't seem to get flowers to bloom there, something else caught his attention and kept it in a stranglehold. Had he just said...?

"Machinery?" he asked, his tone wavering as he tried to contain the excitement that he could already feel bubbling up in him. He didn't even know what the man was referring to, so he couldn't start getting too interested yet. Still, it was hard.

As for Guy's own home, there wasn't much to say. As much as he missed Hod, the memories were very blurry... The only thing that really stood out in his mind was how it had all been taken away from him. "I can't say I have much of a home, actually. I move around a lot. I did spend a long time in a castle town, but it was a port." Kimlasca had been a wonderful place with good weather, but Grand Chokmah was also a great city. Guy wasn't sure he could choose one over the other.

Edgar nodded, knowing little of what it was like to be without a place to call home- he'd been without his since the Cataclysm, though he wasn't going to give up hope that it was out there, buried somewhere beneath the ground. To be without a home entirely, moving all the time, was something he couldn't imagine, even if it was a situation similar to what his brother had been living in for years. Then again, while Sabin may have considered his place forfeited, Edgar would have welcomed him home in a heartbeat, had he returned at any point.

"Port towns aren't so bad," he commented, thinking fondly of Nikeah. "Being close to the ocean is quite liberating. Thankfully, our castle had close connections with a couple of port towns, so we weren't completely isolated." He couldn't be sure they weren't isolated now, but he would find that out soon enough.

"As far as our machinery goes," he continued, "It's mostly weaponry, though we dabble in other pursuits from time to time."

Seeing how Hod had been an island and how Grand Chokmah and Baticul were both port cities, Guy had to say that for him, being close to the water was preferable. He'd always been fond of swimming, enough to get certified in maritime rescue, so being so far inland was hard for him to imagine. Everyone was different, though. "That's good to hear," Guy remarked when Edgar mentioned having connections to the sea.

What he was really interested in now was this talk of machinery, though. For Guy, it didn't really matter what the function was, though the mention of weaponry did make him think of Dist's creations. It then occurred to him that he hadn't spotted the God-General once today, but he tried to convince himself that it wasn't his problem.

"So this... castle you live in is specialized in developing things like that?" he questioned with utmost curiosity. Hopefully the man wouldn't mind that he was getting so into it. If he was fond of this sort of thing too, then he probably wouldn't think much of it, right? "That's... really cool," he admitted. "Sorry, I'm kind of an enthusiast when it comes to things like that." He was trying to keep his composure, but it was becoming increasingly hard.

"Very much so," Edgar said, his grin widening as he relaxed. "I'm a machinist myself, so you'll have to forgive my occasional enthusiasm over the subject, as well. Some people just tune me out, but I find making weapons and keeping our castle as the pinnacle of technology to be a worthwhile endeavor. For that, being located at the center of a desert can be an advantage."

Normally, they kept Figaro's engineering secrets out of public discussion- after all, in a world where magic was becoming increasingly desired by both enemies and allies, it was a good idea to keep the best mechanic-based technology for one's own defense- but Guy didn't strike the king as a bad character. Then again, it was likely he was from an entirely different time and place, as many of the other prisoners seemed to be, and it was unlikely he could use knowledge of such secrets against the kingdom anyway.

He took a nearby pot in hand to demonstrate. "See, if we were located near lots of plant life," he said, rotating his finger into the soft dirt around the stem of the plant, "We'd have trouble digging underground." He pulled a small root from the hole he'd made, returning it to the soil after showing it to Guy.

Listening to Edgar explain how people tuned him out was almost like listening to a recording of himself. So there were people out there like him! Guy had met a few people like that here in Landel's before now, of course, but this was the first person he'd run into who seemed to make a living out of creating different kinds of machines for all sorts of purposes. On top of that, Edgar didn't seem like a bad person, which was the main reason why Guy had never let himself get drawn in by Dist.

However, even as the man tried to demonstrate how being around plant life would be problematic, Guy didn't completely understand. He could see how roots would stop them from being able to dig underground, but... what did they need to get underground for in the first place?

"What's underground?" he asked with a tilt of his head. "Is that where you get the materials to make everything?" The way worlds were made up and the necessary resources probably varied from place to place, so it might be possible. Guy wasn't going to reject any possible theories, in any case, and he was always curious to learn about the methods that other worlds used for energy and technology. It was too bad he couldn't report back to the emperor about this...

Edgar carefully returned the plant to its place on the nearby shelf before continuing. "Underground is the passage along which the castle travels when it submerges," he said, excited tension catching in his voice. It had been quite a while since he'd met someone who was genuinely interested in machinery- he couldn't help but be a little thrilled. Now if only he could find a woman like this, he'd be set for life.

"The desert sands move easily around the castle, and settle well once it's under the ground, leaving little trace that any structure was ever there." Just imagining the stone walls sinking beneath the sand brought the machinist a minor thrill- the vision was even better when paired with an infuriated clown. "We can use the submersion to travel quite a distance, and it makes a nigh unbeatable defense. I'm quite proud of it."

It was a fantastic tactic, it was true; however, he wondered why he'd not yet found Figaro Castle since the end of the world. He wasn't about to believe the rumors that it was destroyed by the Light of Judgment- his people were far too clever for that. On the other hand, he didn't want to think it had submerged and failed to resurface due to some engineering failure on his part. He could never forgive himself if that was the case.

It took a second or two for Guy to fully register just what Edgar was telling him. So... the castle actually went under the sand and was able to move to an entirely different location? That was... that was incredible! His eyes widened, a similar thrill running through him as he tried to imagine it. He had to fight not to burst out with some sort of exclamation until Edgar had finished talking.

"You should be proud of it! That's amazing!" While he wasn't sure if it was quite as amazing as airships, he was still thoroughly impressed. Guy had never heard of anything like this before, and he had to wonder if there had been something similar in Auldrant during the Dawn Age. It was enough to make his head spin.

"You came up with it yourself?" he asked, just to be sure. Edgar had easily made his way on Guy's "To Be Admired" list, and he was practically overflowing with possible questions he could ask him. If the man had been able to engineer something like that, what else might he be able to do? Guy just hoped he didn't faint in the middle of the greenhouse due to excitement. The humidity wasn't helping, either.

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