DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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day 49: early afternoon - The Twin Pines Restaurant
found me!
angels_inflight wrote in damned
Unlike the nurses, some of the other patients, and the residents of Doyleton, Naminé actually was enjoying the light drizzle. It was a little cold, but the damp feeling in the air was one she was not used to, and that was probably why the Nobody spent the better part of the morning lounging around town, enjoying the light rain. Rain, real rain! It was probably sad that Naminé hadn't actually experienced real rain too often, especially not when she was back on her own... part of the universe. However, the rain picked up and Naminé found herself being shooed into town, to take shelter in a building.

Naminé was feeling hungry, and upon mentioning this, the nurse shoved her inside the Twin Pines restaurant, saying something about how fast food was unhealthy for a growing girl anyway and she had the choice to eat at a better restaurant. To be honest, Naminé didn't mind either, and that ball pit at Tasty Burger actually looked somewhat intriguing...

The decision was made though, so Naminé quietly took a seat near the wall, wondering exactly how this was going to work. She hadn't eaten here before, so she didn't really know what to order. Scanning the walls of the place seemed to suggest the "country fried steak", whatever that was. Maybe that? The witch deliberated on her meal silently, staring at the menu with an unusual amount of concentration.

She only had one coupon, so she had to make sure that she would eat what she ordered!

[ For Riku ♥ ]

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[from here]

So Westerning had been here a while, compared to most patients. Javert nodded thoughtfully as he pushed open the door to the restaurant. There were other people here--he spotted von Karma seated nearby, and his gaze flickered past the other man without even the faintest sign of acknowledgment. The quiet sound of voices filled the air. That was good; it meant there was noise enough to cover their own conversation.

A waitress directed the pair of them to a seat, and he shrugged off his raincoat, seating himself and gesturing for Westerning to do the same. "Out of curiosity, did you observe any odd changes in your roommate's behavior before he went missing?"

The Scarecrow looked around the restaurant as he followed Javert through the door- he had to admit that while he enjoyed the rain, the smells of the building were very enticing. He followed Javert and the waitress a table, removing his own coat as he had a seat.

He waited for the girl to leave them alone before answering the question he'd been asked. "Not particularly," he said, fumbling with a list of food she'd left on the table. "He had talked about how he'd been feeling strange because he needed to get a hold of something called alcohol, but aside from that, he seemed the same as before. I didn't see him in town the next day, and he's been gone ever since." He frowned behind the list, his brow furrowed- Kaiji was still a sore spot, especially with his new knowledge of human mortality. Even if he was still living, there was a good chance he was bewitched in the same manner as Dorothy.

Javert inclined his head slightly, filing the information away in his mind for later. A sudden release, then; not like the ones which had come upon some of his own roommates. "That happens from time to time. Occasionally, I have heard that roommates sleep a great deal before they disappear; that was why I asked."

The waitress reappeared again; he ordered a coffee and almost reached for the notebook in his raincoat pocket before he hesitated. He'd long since realized that this was hardly the precinct anymore, and nothing shut another patient up as quickly as the sight of a notebook appearing. Still, this meeting had been planned from the start.

"Now, M. Westerning, if we might return to the issue I wished to discuss with you," he said at last. "Would you mind if I took notes while you spoke, or are you more comfortable if I forgo that for the time being?"

Unsure of what to order (so many choices! Being mostly foreign to eating in general didn't help his decision at all), the Scarecrow simply told the waitress he'd have whatever his companion was having. He made a mental note to keep an eye on Depth Charge- sleeping an unusual amount (or falling asleep at strange times) couldn't be a good thing. In the event he was put under an enchanted sleep, how could he possibly awaken his roommate? Finding snow in a building didn't seem likely.

Boy, did he hope he never came to that bridge. The Wizard Landel had to be stopped before anyone else was bewitched or worse. There was nothing else to it.

"Oh, I don't mind," he said with a curious smile, taking a hold of one of the utensils on the table. They were a lot nicer than the ones used at the Institute. "What would you like me to tell you first?"

It seemed, at least, that this man would be a great deal more talkative than all the others had been. That in itself was odd; that caught his interest. One might ordinarily seem a great deal more hesitant to speak about being taken against one's will and experimented upon for dubious reasons.

Perhaps his experience had been less traumatic than most, though that was unlikely. He doubted Taylor would have recommended Javert to him otherwise. In any case, it remained to be seen.

"Let us take events as they occurred." Javert retrieved his notebook and a pen, setting both on the table in front of him. The open page already had Frank Westerning printed in impeccable handwriting on the first line. "I assume you ate dinner in your room the evening you were taken. What happened after that?"

The Scarecrow put a finger to his head in his usual thinking fashion. Dinner that night had been admittedly fuzzy.

"I don't really remember night starting, to be honest," he said, eyeing Javert's notebook. Such organization! He was undoubtedly a professional in his field. "I remember talking to my roommate, Depth Charge, about his plans for the night, and I think I recall one of the nurses coming in- they don't usually do that in the evening, so it was kind of peculiar. After that... Well, I'm not really sure what happened." He shook his head- he really should have thought to ask Depth Charge, but the thought never crossed his mind.

The waitress returned with their drinks, and the former strawman took a moment to examine his before continuing. The smell was unique, and one he wasn't sure he liked. "Next thing I know, I'm in a room under a bright light with no idea how I could've ended up there, and I'm restrained on this surface, head and all. I couldn't move one bit, no matter how hard I tried."

Edited at 2010-05-03 06:55 am (UTC)

"I am acquainted with Depth Charge." A hotheaded sort, inclined to rush off into the unknown rather than think things through, but competent nonetheless. It was a coincidence, but one he could use to his advantage. Presumably Depth Charge remembered more of what had occurred. He'd have to arrange another meeting.

Westerning's story was similar to what Javert himself had experienced, though he dimly recalled seeing an orderly as well. Still, his face gave no indication of this; he only jotted down notes as the other man spoke. Best not to influence the other man's testimony with his own remarks. "Could you hear anything or see anything other than the light?"

"I definitely heard footsteps," he said, recalling the clicking of the doctor's shoes on the hard floor before she'd revealed herself. "I asked if someone was there, and a woman answered me. I couldn't turn to see her since my head was stuck, and the one time she did lean over me enough that I could see her, I couldn't get a good look at her face on account of the light bein' in my eyes."

He took a tentative sip of the drink before him, grimacing as he returned the cup to the table. It certainly wasn't something he enjoyed. "After talking to me for a moment, there was this sound of metal hitting metal- not like tin, but something more like these." He took the metal knife in his hand- the one Depth Charge had given him made a similar noise when clattering across his desk.

At least one woman working for Landel, then. It only served to confirm what Javert knew, but he wrote it down anyway.

He pulled his own cup of coffee to him, sipping it slowly and savoring the taste despite himself. Westerning's reaction to the coffee was interesting--had he ordered it only because Javert had done so? Perhaps he came from a world where the drink was unfamiliar. Javert turned his attention back to what Westerning was saying.

A scalpel of some sort by the sound of it; that was unsurprising. The pen moved briefly across paper. "What did she say?"

The Scarecrow watched Javert's pen move, wondering what kinds of notes he could be taking. Nothing he was recalling seemed very important, but then again, he was an untrained eye. Perhaps there were certain nuances of the experiments that had some meaning or hinted toward the Wizard Landel's intentions, but only a professional could find them and realize their importance.

Despite having spent the last couple of days trying to keep his mind off that night, the Scarecrow could still hear the doctor's voice in his head, her tone cold and patronizing. "I asked her why I was there, and she said she was curious about something, and that I'd be answering a question for her."

He paused a moment, having a dark afterthought. "I'm not sure she actually asked me anything, but I'm pretty sure she got her answer anyway."

Edited at 2010-05-04 12:58 am (UTC)

"I wouldn't be surprised if she did. The doctor I had was similarly vague."

It was the first admission he'd made to Westerning that he'd been taken himself. He felt it wouldn't hurt; the man had a right to know why he was interested, after all. Before, he had always made it a point to remain distanced from the interviewee; here, it appeared the opposite was what helped people to talk. Well, he could adapt. It was less of a problem than getting used to the twenty-first century had been.

"What happened after that?"

A sympathetic frown crossed the strawman's face- it seemed everyone was connected to the darker works of the Wizard Landel in some way or another, whether it was through a friend who had been bewitched or because of personal experience in one of his experiments. It was easy to see why people like Sangamon, Abe, and Javert were putting their skills to good use- it wouldn't be easy to defeat someone so powerful, but they'd never know what could be done if they didn't at least try.

"After that..." Oh right. That was where the night started to go sour. "There was this feeling- pain, I think- up here." He pointed to the patch of shorter hair on his head where the doctor had been working. "I'm pretty sure she was cutting into me." Something about the thought that the woman had been cutting into him like someone might cut into a piece of cloth gave the Scarecrow a strange, crawling feeling in his stomach.

"After that, there was this noise I can't quite describe, and then this... rattling that ran straight through me as she worked more in the same spot." He made a vague hand gesture, not entirely sure how to compose his thoughts. "I found out after she'd been making a hole in my head at that point."

The way Westerning phrased his description was--interesting, almost as if he were unused to the concept of surgery. Granted, he hadn't been able to see what the doctor in charge of his session had been doing, either; he'd had to guess at what had been done to him, and he still wasn't entirely certain.

It sounded as if he'd had a drill of some sort in his head, and the mental image gave even Javert pause. Needles and small blades were at least accepted tools of the trade; drills, as far as he was concerned, were not. He had never put much stock by trepanation.

His hand kept moving across the page, but his eyes were fixed at a point just above Westerning's own. It was the best he could do without meeting the other man's gaze directly. "Go on. Did she say anything else to you during the--procedure?"

The Scarecrow closed his eyes tightly for a moment, trying to recall every detail of the experiment. Most of them came fairly easily (his human brain may have had some issues, but his memory was working well enough), but the aforementioned rattling drowned out the majority of his thoughts at that point, even when the doctor's invasive work had ceased.

"I can't recall what she said when she stopped," he answered truthfully. "After that, the lights went out, and this picture appeared in front of me. She had to have been using some sort of magic to make it work- it showed what was happening at that moment, as if I weren't in my body at all. I saw my head in the picture and where she'd put a hole in it, and I- I could see my brain."

Simply remembering that momentary excitement from the discovery of his human brain brought a smile to his face. It left him as quickly as it appeared.

"It wasn't good enough for me to just have a brain. She wanted to fiddle with it, too. Couldn't just leave well enough alone!"

Some sort of magic. Was this the 'television' Teisel Bonne had mentioned? Some sort of method by which Westerning had been able to view his brain? Javert wrote it down, glancing at the page briefly and nearly missing the smile that spread momentarily across Westerning's face.

He had expected disgust, perhaps horror--not a smile. However strange Westerning's world might be, surely the fact that one was staring into one's own head ought to disconcert rather than delight. This was a matter that warranted further investigation.

Javert took another drink of coffee and said drily, "Are you not in the habit of possessing a brain, monsieur?"

Amazing! The Scarecrow nearly dropped the knife he'd been twiddling in his surprise- this man certainly was learned in his work (perhaps investigations were his specialty) if he could deduce that the former strawman had indeed not had a human brain for the majority of his existence from only a brief conversation. Given the amount of people he'd met since his arrival who hadn't a clue what a scarecrow was or how one could operate without a brain, he had never suspected Javert would be able to determine that key detail about his former form, not even in an educated guess.

"That's right," he said lightly. "You might not believe it, but before coming here, I was a scarecrow. When I found myself here and human like this, I didn't put much thought into the possibility that this body would naturally have a brain. As awful as that night was, I was relieved to find out I'd had one all along."

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