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Dayshift 49: Bus 3
hasnomeaning wrote in damned
The transition was too disquieting. She remained where she was, staring at the ceiling. Appearing in one place after being in another wasn't entirely new. Blacking out in Unit 00 led her to open her eyes in the hospital ward more times than she cared about. This, though. Rei would say that this wasn't the same, if only for the lack of injuries. The strange events of the night had added to that--echoes of memories flashing in a hall too real to be only that. And a boy in an unlocked room resting in something that seemed strange in this place.

All of that, really. The other, the entry plug, the cool metal that remained in her hand. Almost hesitantly, Rei slid it under her mattress, some sort of instinct hiding what she should not have. Like glasses that were no longer near. When the nurse came in with a change of clothes, Rei acquiesced quietly, sliding the dress and jacket on efficiently. A passing whim thought to question the woman, but after the name argument from the day prior simply had the girl walking forward. Ikari's words and last night slid distrust in place of neutrality. There was something strange about the place she found herself in.

She quietly seated herself on the bus, staring out the window blandly.

[for Sai]

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Even though he'd not made it far from the room during the night, the Scarecrow had been looking forward to the day. The trip to Doyleton was here again, another entire day that could be spent out of the Institute's walls simply enjoying the outside world. Being cooped up all the time made the strawman feel even more disconnected with Oz. At least when he was outside, he was sure he was seeing the same sky (or he sure hoped he was).

The return to town also marked a week since Kaiji had disappeared. There was another concern on his mind- he'd never truly found out what happened to the man, the first person he met on arrival. Now that he knew how easily a person could die, it crossed his mind that Kaiji may have met his end during the strange night in the town. He didn't like to think so grimly, but it certainly was a possibility.

He dressed in the provided clothing quickly (brown pants and a yellow jacket, but the same green shirt and awful shoes as last time- he was silently thankful the jacket with the flames did not return), hoping to catch a glimpse of Depth Charge to make sure he was in one piece. He didn't have much of a chance to look as his nurse ushered him to the bus and handed him his sack breakfast. Well, maybe he could look for his roommate in town, then. He took a seat near the front and watched the doors of the Institute from the window, still optimistic he would catch sight of Depth Charge eventually.


Edited at 2010-04-13 10:14 pm (UTC)

[ /ambushes ]

Mele woke up with her head pressed to her pillow, but before she could get up to properly whine about the lack of progress, the nurse came in with the abomination known as blue jeans. And shoes that had no heels and were not elevated in any way, which meant they were just as useless as the shoes normally worn around the Institute. Mele had to bite her tongue to prevent herself from revealing that she had (part of) her own clothes in the closet. They'd just take them away, and then what.

At least she could get on the bus herself this time, Mele grumbled as she stuck the paper bag of stuff into the strangely voluminous pocket of the coat they'd made her wear, which was made of some kind of shiny material and reached all the way to her knees. Which she didn't see the point of: she was wearing pants, it wasn't like the coat would protect her legs or anything.

And she might have wanted to smack the nurse, too—Mele was sure the nurse was mocking her—Mele would have wanted to smack the nurse if the coat wasn't black with a gold-ish stripe along the hem. The color combination appeased Mele somewhat, to her vague horror. And anyway, if she smacked the nurse, the nurse might just sic the burly guys on her.

"The nurses know something. And they're evil," Mele said matter-of-factly as she sat down beside Scarecrow. "If we weren't being watched all the time, I'd kick her."


The Scarecrow gave Mele as smile as she took the seat beside him. It sounded as though her day was already sour. "I don't know," he said, taking one more brief glance out the window before turning his attention to her. "I don't think kicking would do much good even if they did know something. And I'm starting to doubt the nurses themselves actually do, especially during the day. Nighttime really seems to be when everything turns on its head."

He didn't really have anything to back up that notion, but it wasn't as though the nurses or doctors acknowledged the bizarre happenings during the night. If the Wizard Landel really was as powerful as he seemed, it was likely the staff was bewitched, maybe in the same manner as Dorothy.

"Looking for someone?" Mele asked, tilting her head to take a glance at the direction Scarecrow had been looking. Had he been trying to check on someone on another bus? Could've just stuck with that person, or asked the nurse. Maybe he had, and the nurse had been just as evil to him as they'd had been with Mele. Speaking of—

"I'd kick her anyway!" she replied, folding her arms and huffing at the back of the seat in front of her. It didn't take nighttime activities to make her wear jeans. The nurse was just plain evil. Or it had something to do with Mele's baiting and griping the last few days but never mind that.

"I was just looking for my roommate," the Scarecrow said. He peered through the window again, and just in time- he spotted Depth Charge exiting the building and being escorted to one of the other buses by a nurse. "And there he is now," he added, putting a finger to the glass to point out the other man. "It's been a week since Kaiji disappeared, so I was a little concerned I might be losin' another friend."

The Scarecrow still liked to think Kaiji had made it home somehow, but knowing more than he did a week prior about humans and mortality and the sinister side of the Wizard Landel, it seemed more likely that he'd either been bewitched as Dorothy had and went home believing what the Institute told him, or worse had befallen him. Surely more people the Scarecrow had met had disappeared, as well; however, Kaiji's loss was a tender wound.

He shook his head- no use dwelling on that at the moment. At least he wasn't alone in this place, and all hope of getting home wasn't lost yet. Mele seemed spunky enough for the day. "You'd probably best save your energy, just in case you need to do some kicking tonight. After the last trip to town, I wouldn't be surprised if the Wizard Landel has something up his sleeve!"

The words 'don't form attachments, then' was on her lips before she decided better of it and shrugged it off. Scarecrow would learn that lesson when (...if?) he deemed it necessary; Mele had never bothered talking about this little philosophy, and wasn't going to start now. And circumstances and beliefs did change—if no one else he knew disappeared, he wouldn't need to adopt that sentiment. Unlikely though that was. "...Hnnn."

Ah, tonight. "If it happens the same way, I'll have more than enough energy to throw around," Mele replied flippantly. Which wasn't quite true, but if there was going to be screaming and despairing like last time, Mele's energy level wasn't what was going to be the problem. "More importantly, do you have a plan for tonight?"

"Not for tonight, no," the Scarecrow said with a shake of his head. He didn't have plans most nights, though he was certainly needed to start making them. If he ever intended to find out more about the Wizard Landel, he needed to explore the Institute as much as possible, no matter how many witches and wizards and somethings were lurking out there. If people like Abe and Depth Charge could face them in spite of their human forms, surely the former strawman could do the same, brains or not!

"I've spent the last couple of nights pretty close to my room," he admitted. "You can bet I won't be doing that tonight, though. If we're going to defeat the Wizard Landel, everyone has to do their part. Sitting in my room isn't helpin' anyone, least of all myself. There are some things in this Institute that need some investigation, especially if we're going to get any answers. There's that strange fountain upstairs, the third floor that no one seems to know where is, and Depth Charge- my roommate- mentioned some sort of a basement with traps. I'll bet there are other places that aren't that explored, either."

...Huh? "...Ah, I meant what you would do if the zombiepocalypse happens again," Mele said. Though, it would be nice if it didn't, but that meant returning to the Institute at night. Mele wasn't sure which was worse—waiting for night to end so they could wake up "safely" inside the Institute, or being carted there again before the sun went down. It was a trap either way, but at least zombiepocalypses were a change of pace.

There was no real place for non-combatants to go, though, if it should come to that. What was a good place to hide? The rooftop had worked, after a fashion, but they had needed to keep the hopping corpses at bay. Some preparation was required, and it would be better to make those plans now, before battle commenced.

"Grab as many things that can be thrown, if you can," she said musingly. Not that it was much of an idea, but she'd never dealt much with non-combatants. It was, understandably, she thought, difficult, especially without the certainty that certain multi-colored hero-type greenhorns would come along and smack the source of the trouble into a few milligrams of grave dust. "As heavy as you can manage."

The Scarecrow ran a hand through his hair before answering. "I was hoping that what happened during the night on the last trip was a one-time sort of a thing," he admitted with a light frown. The entire situation had been enough of a shock for the strawman that he'd hoped he'd never face it again. Then again, that was probably being a bit optimistic. The Wizard Landel probably wouldn't use the same trick twice, but it wasn't completely out of the question.

"Supposin' we do have people attacking us again, I'm not sure what I'd do," he said as he started rifling through his bag. "Last time, a boy wielding a giant key like some sort of a weapon and his magician friend rescued me. I would've been a goner if they hadn't shown up. I'll probably try to make sure my friends are all right- you know, while following your advice and finding things to throw."

There was that, of course—that something entirely new and unexpected would happen. What a pain. Mele rubbed her temples. "Find someone to stick with."

...Did he say giant key? She wasn't going to ask, she wasn't— "Giant key?" Was it as ridiculous as using a pair of war fans to fly? What Fist could a key possibly correspond to? No, wait, she was not seriously thinking about this.

Or maybe—Mele took another glance out the window—a monstrous rain would appear and they'd be flooded in the town. She'd seen flooding once; Makirika had done it with the help of her power. Hmm, but it wouldn't be a dam this time. Rain was worse though—no visibility. Intercom guy had said something about some patients left behind at the Institute, if she hadn't been mistaken.... Eh, not her concern. The Institute was enough to deal with all by itself. More importantly, she didn't even know if it was going to rain or what.

"How does he affect the town like that, though," she muttered. If he had to stand a certain place while doing so, they might be able to find him. The problem was finding him.

"I can only figure that he affects the entire town the same way he does the entire Institute," the Scarecrow said, feeling the rumbling of his seat as the bus started. "He's got to be a powerful wizard if he can put everyone to sleep each night and control all those minions he's got wandering the halls. And I'm sure he's bewitching people, as well."

But how could a single magician be so powerful? Even the Wicked Witch of the West seemed to have some limitations. "He's got to have something that makes his magic powerful enough to reach the town and its citizens," he said with a finger to his temple. "Something to boost his spells somehow. If we can find his source of power, maybe we can put a stop to him. I can't imagine he'd keep it outside the walls of the Institute, so looking for it will have to wait until we get back... hopefully tonight."

Then again, who would even think of looking while in town? The trip to town was only once a week, and was a welcomed opportunity to enjoy the world away from the Institute. Would anyone even think to look for such a source, if it existed at all, during the trip? Maybe keeping his most prized possession away from himself wasn't such a strange idea after all.

"...Yeah." Well of course Landel was bewitching people. Even though Mele wouldn't have used 'bewitching'. What was this about 'something' to boost his power, though? Someone either had power or didn't. There was the possibility that his power worked like that of Rin Juken, which was why he needed to mess with them and which basically meant they were a bit screwed. Just a bit.

"Anyway," Mele brushed the subject aside, "how's your body? Does your head hurt?"

The Scarecrow turned away for a quick moment, a little embarrassed over Mele's concern. "It's feeling much better, thank you," he said as he put a hand to his head, finding where the wound was. Still there, but it didn't complain nearly as much as it had when prodded before. "It's awful kind of you to ask, but don't you worry about me."

Speaking of his head did remind him of one thing. "About that- I'm supposed to be meeting a man named Javert in town to speak with him about that night that- well..." He tapped that spot on his head. "Apparently, he's collecting information regarding the experiments. Maybe he knows more about why the Wizard Landel conducts them in the first place, and I can get some answers from him."

'Kind' what 'kind' where is it so I can squash it under my heel—

...She wasn't wearing heels. Tch! "You used to be immortal, you know. It's natural for you to say that," Mele huffed. Whenever Mele had done a routine check on the rinshis, it had never been out of worry. Scarecrow wasn't a rinshi but that was beside the point.

"Hmm." Well, information-collecting would probably be helpful, but was there any doubt now that Landel did them because he was a horrible person who delighted in cruelty? Rather much like herse— Rageku. Rather much like Rageku.

...Landel probably did have a goal or something or other. "Not enough information," she muttered. She looked up. "What kind of information is he collecting?"

The Scarecrow shook his head. "I don't rightly know, exactly. Sangamon- a friend, and one of the men who helped me out of that awful situation that night- told me to find him and told him everything I could remember. This Javert has been trying to get more information on the nightly experiments, possibly to find a way to stop them. He had a notice on the board the other day asking to speak to people who'd been taken in for these terrible events."

He pulled a circular piece of bread from his bag, looking at it curiously before taking a small bite. It was quite a bit harder than he'd expected. "Sangamon said he'd ask questions, so I assume it'll be some sort of an interview," he continued, putting the bread back into the bag. "Even if talking about that night brings back painful thoughts and images I'd rather not remember, I've got to tell him what I can. Every bit of information that's gathered could be another step toward putting a stop to the evils of this place."

He pulled an apple from the bag- now here was something familiar. "I'll definitely let you know what I learn from him, if there's anything to learn at all."

Edited at 2010-04-17 05:36 am (UTC)

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