DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 50: Intercom, Evening
The Intercom
damned_intercom wrote in damned
As expected, after the allotted amount of time had passed, the nurses started to move through the waiting rooms to inform the visitors that it was time for them to leave, whereas in the Sun Room King Kong was turned off and the staff quickly sprung to action to put the equipment away.

Meanwhile, the sound of intercom turning on cut into the hustle and bustle, but it was Lydia's voice which came through. "Mr. Landel is taking a quick nap," was all she said by way of explanation, as she seemed to be beyond making lengthy excuses for the man. "Nurses, once the visitors have said their goodbyes, escort the patients back to their rooms for dinner. Tonight there is steak and fries on the menu, with a slice of cheesecake for dessert and vegetarian options if requested.

"Enjoy your food and have a good sleep." Keeping it short, the intercom then turned off.

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Sleep wasn't peaceful. It hadn't been in years. Claire would wake at the slightest sound and clasp the gun with sweat-slicked hands, ready to snap out of bed. There were times when it was tiresome. Animals chattered in the jungle at night, waves crashed on the beach. Useless noises that drove her out of a much needed rest. Other times it was lucky, like when the bears came sniffing around, or the Others missed her traps and drew too close. She'd shot them all down before they could take her, alerted by the snap of a tree branch or the slow crunch of sand under feet.

This time was neither lucky nor tiresome. It was downright terrifying.

It wasn't sound that did her in, but touch - and to a lesser extent, scent. The ground beneath her was downy soft and molded to her shape, curving her spine as it softly dipped under her weight. The air held no salt, no jungle sweat, flowers in boom, gun powder. Only food. Food so long forgotten now that it made her belly ache at the memory. Steak and fries.

Fries. Steak with spices.

It was all wrong.

She bolted upright, the line between sleep and awake so thin it was torn almost immediately. She shouldn't have been sleeping. She couldn't remember sleeping, least of all in a real bed with a mattress and sheets, and where was this?

The room was white, clinical. Two beds and two desks with steaming meals on trays, and a door with a lock. Claire's heart seized. It was one of theirs. The Others. They had taken her to one of their stations. She didn't recognize it. She didn't know them all, they were too well guarded and she wasn't suicidal. Getting caught snooping around them alone would mean a bullet in the back of her head. Which one was this? How far away was it?

She had been on the dock not two moments before, watching the sub sink with John. Watching them leave without her. Her chest throbbed, joining her stomach in a painful ache. Jack and Kate, all of them gone again. Her own brother. How had this happened? What had the Others done?

John couldn't have let them take her. No, no, it was impossible. What had they done to him? How did they get her here? They couldn't have taken her if he was there. He would have killed them on the spot.

She had no time. Claire sprang off the bed and made a sour face as a fleecy fabric brushed against her leg. They had gone and changed her. Stripped her naked and put her in these...sweatpants. They were called sweatpants, she remembered. The bra was new too - those bastards - and the shirt. Everything. The streaks of dirt along her arms were gone. She even smelt of soap.

She shivered and clutched her arms. They had put her to sleep and...

She was going to kill them. All of them. Thinking that they could touch her like this, humiliate her.

A woman possessed, Claire tore at the door handle, pounding against the metal and kicking until her foot stung and her toes blossomed with bruises. "You bastards!" she screamed. "You can't do this to me! You can't do this to me! He's coming for me - he'll kill you. We're leaving!!"

Nothing came to answer her. Seething wildly, Claire pounded one last fist on the door in fury and turned to face the room.

The drawers went first. Meticulously folded sets of shirts were sent flying in the scramble, a blur of grey and yellow sailing over her shoulder. She tore out the pants and the undergarments, tossing them into the pile and glaring at the vacant drawers. Nothing there. She tried the one next to it and met the same luck.

There had to be something here she could use. She needed something to kill them with. Claire was a lot stronger than she used to be, but she wasn't an idiot. She was too small to fight them without a weapon. Normally bludgeoning would be too risky, too reliant on brute strength and the luck of a hit, but that was the only option she had. She was too dangerous to trust with sharp things.

Nothing under the bed, and the knives and forks were plastic. Claire swept the tray off the desk with a damning clatter. Like she would eat anything they gave her. She ignored the pool of spilled water slowly soaking her socks as she searched the desk, uncovering a radio (which was strange) and a journal, and a set of pens wrapped in a rubber band. She regarded them for a moment before snapping the band off and tucking them into her pocket. Gouging was a decent last resort, but she'd rather not get that close.

She ripped open the closet next, and the coats there joined the growing pile of clothes on the floor. She would find something. They couldn't beat her.

Not like this.

In Elle's words, to put it succinctly: today sucked. She only knew marginally more about Landel's than she knew when she woke up, and it looked like getting out was more of a distant dream than it was reality. But ... the longer she stayed, the less she minded that. Her power wasn't bothering her. She wasn't overloading. She was capable of calm, linear thought. Even though it had only been weeks since her power started malfunctioning, the pain made it feel like it had spanned centuries.

And now it was gone. Ever since she came here. 1 for Landel's, 0 for the world outside.

She was trying to wander the hall again when the dinner announcement blared over the intercom, and found herself being ushered by a nurse in a manner that was in no way kind or gentle back to her room. She thought of mouthing off, but bit her tounge just this once. Dinner sounded kind of nice, anyway. When was the last time she'd eaten? Didn't the plane to New Jersey have those little bags of peanuts? Yeah, that was probably it.

The nurse left Elle in her new room with her new roommate, and all she could do was stare. Maybe it was a mental asylum after all. This girl seemed pretty certifiably insane. Whatever. While Claire was rummaging around for Narnia in the closet, Elle tried to silently make it over to the bed she decided was hers (coincidentally, the one farthest away from the closet) and pick at her dinner. Starting with the cheesecake.

"You do realize that's my stuff too, right? You're like... damaging my personal property. Or something. I should flag down one of the nurses." She acted calm, but it was just a cover for how immensely uncomfortable Claire was making her.

She was nearly knee deep in coats when the door swung open. The motion shocked her still, and she watched for a moment as a woman was escorted in by a nurse (in uniform, they didn't use uniforms), dressed exactly as she was. The woman was a stranger. They both were.

She thought she'd been on the island long enough to know them. If not by name, then by face. This woman...she had to have come from the submarine. The nurse was a mystery.

She hadn't been staring for more than a moment, but it was enough to waste her chance at freedom. "Hey!" she shouted. But the nurse was leaving. The door trailed after her, and Claire had all but run into a stone wall by the time she caught up. Her cheeks grew hot with rage. The soft clip of shoes against tile meant the nurse wasn't out of earshot. Claire's lip curled and she resumed banging on the door. "What did you do to me?! Come back! Get back here!"

The sound faded into places unknown. She was alone with the stranger. To her, she only gave a heated glare before stomping back to the closet and ripping out the last of the clothes. It was empty. And useless. Calloused fists clenched in frustration. There was nothing to use here. Even the chair was attached to the desk, like the childish seats from primary school. She eyed the curtain rod darkly. Thick, wooden. Screwed into the wall, of course, but not an impossibility.

The snide remark drew her gaze away to settle on the impeccably kept stranger. American. They were always American. If she wasn't wearing the same uniform as her, Claire would be wondering if she had even spent a day on the island. Even Shannon hadn't been so pristine. Blonde hair neatly brushed and straight as a pin, not a smudge or blemish in sight.

She hated her already.

"Shut up," Claire hissed vehemently. She took a step forward and leaned in, the message loud and clear for little miss perfect with her jokes. "You can roll over for them all you want, but I'm getting out. You call that nurse back in here? I'll kill her."

She could do it. It would be much harder without a knife, but Claire could improvise. The floor was hard enough, and so was the frame of the bed. A few sound knocks would do the trick. Failing that, she could try putting a pen in her neck. Both messy, not exactly the way she preferred to do things.

But if she could get that bar out, things would go much more smoothly. Putting a little distance between you and them was always a good idea.

Claire set to work again, determined to ignore the woman daintily eating cheesecake (shows how stupid she was), wrapping thin fingers around the wooden rod and attempting to heave it out. Every inch of her dedicated to the motion, and all she got was a frail wooden creak. She scowled. Bracing a foot against the wall, she aimed for a second go.

Elle was still staring at Claire. She couldn't help but stare. And then stare some more. Seriously, what was this girl's problem? Of all the people to get stuck with in the fake mental asylum, Elle got the one who actually belonged there. Her mouth gaped open, cheesecake forgotten. Invasion of personal space wasn't as nice when she was on the receiving end. And the nurses were annoying, but that didn't mean they needed to die. Yet. Her opinion on that was subject to change, though.

When Claire ignored her to go back to trying to yank out the closet rod, she exhaled. It was almost like she forgot to breathe when the other girl was in her face. She picked up her fork again, and started giving what remained of her cheesecake a tentative poke.

For lack of anything better to do, she watched the other woman's struggle. It was kind of amusing, to Elle. If nothing else, it made her feel like she had nothing to worry about. How strong could Claire possibly be if she couldn't pull out a stupid closet rod? There was no way she'd do something like... say... strangle her in her sleep.

Right?

This vague, newfound sense of safety compelled her to make another remark.

"You should try pulling harder." She mused between bites of cheesecake.

"You know, if you aren't going to help then you can be quiet." Claire gave her a look just short of rolling her eyes. So clever of her, really.

She continued to bodily tug at the rod, but even with the leverage of her foot it wasn't budging. Nothing but promising wooden creaks, as if it was about to obey her and fly loose yet always remaining fast in place. The screws at the end hadn't quite wiggled loose enough. As bad as the room was for supplies, maybe she could find something to work with. Something small, flat ended, strong. It didn't have to be as precise as a screw driver: so long as it slotted into the groove all right and didn't snap when you turned it, an improvisation could do the trick.

Though it was unlikely, Claire whipped out a pen and gave it a go. It didn't work, of course, but you never knew. She abandoned the closet to wade through the clothes again, surveying the room for likely suspects. Aside from her useless bunkmate, it was all looking like a lost cause.

She frowned, watching her eat uneasily. You would think she would be up in arms with her, but no. The woman seemed perfectly content to sit there and finish off her cake (her stomach cringed in its emptiness - how long had it been since she'd even thought about cake?), shooting cool remarks her way every now and then and looking every bit like she was...she was at a cafe. Yeah. A cafe, and not a prison. If it hadn't been for the scenery that is exactly what she would have thought.

Maybe she had missed something from the desk.

Claire kicked a jacket out of her path and flipped the lid open. She paused, uncertain and peeking at the stranger from the curtain of her hair. She was really strange.

"Where did you come from?" she asked suddenly. Her tone was not so dark as before, but it was still a far ways from friendly. It was less a question and more a demand. "Are you from the submarine? One of Widmore's people? The plane?"

More likely that it was the submarine than the plane. If she had been on the flight that brought Kate in, she wouldn't be half so calm as she was now. This would all be new to her, and frightening. Widmore's crew seemed to have a general idea of what was going on. Why else would they have brought guns?

Oh, great. Girl, Interrupted had stopped trying to vandalize their closet and was now subjecting her to questioning. She put her empty, now cakeless plate back onto the tray and looked at her dinner instead. She didn't know if she trusted the steak or not, but she decided to apprehensively nibble on a french fry. It was nice to be able to eat like a normal person again, without all the pain getting in the way.

"What submarine? What pl-- what are you talking about?" She tilted her head at Claire, trying to figure out what to make of her. "If you really want to know, I flew out of California to New Jersey, and I was going to this company called Pinehearst. I-- I don't know, after that it blacks out and I woke up here."

She popped the rest of the french fry in her mouth and picked up another. If Claire had been in this room the entire time, was as new as her, and hadn't had a chance to get out and talk to anyone else today...

Shit. She sighed. Did she really want to be the one to break this news? Like Claire would believe her, anyway. Elle wasn't even sure she believed it. Not completely.

She leaned towards Claire's general direction, voice lowered to a conspiratory whisper. "You know this is like... a set-up, right? It's like a mental asylum, but none of us are supposed to be here." She gave Claire a once-over, and rectified that statement. "Well. Most of us aren't supposed to be here."

No one said she had to be tactful.

"Widmore's sub," she explained impatiently. "The one that just came to the island."

The one that the others had just left on.

Her hands shook at the thought. She had to look away for a second because it still stung. It hurt in a way that she hadn't been hurt in a long, long time. Right now it was much easier to focus on the captivity and hunting for a weapon, the dash to get out again. She could ignore a lot of things when it came to her own survival, but she wasn't okay. Far from it. They had left her behind, even after they asked her to come with them. They were supposed to be her friends.

She still had John. But even he wasn't here right now.

The woman was still talking. Claire lifted her head to take it all in, brows contorting when she mentioned California and New Jersey. (That was where, now? Sounded like America, but she couldn't be certain. California was there for sure, so logically that would make New Jersey a part of it too.) More likely than not she was lying. It was one thing when Claire passed out and woke up here, but if the woman was telling the truth she hadn't been anywhere near the island when she had fallen asleep. And frankly, why would anyone go through the trouble of gassing her and bringing her over? She would have to be important somehow.

To the Others, at least. Claire wanted nothing to do with their schemes.

She could only stared as she continued on, blabbering about asylums and conspiracies. Of course none of them were supposed to be there. She was trying to leave, that was exactly the point. Claire even ignored the latest barb in favour of utter confusion.

"Is that what they told you? That this is some kind of nut house and we're all crazy?" She straightened, abandoning her quest for the moment. "We're on the island. I don't know how you got here or why they bothered to take you, but we're prisoners. The last time they took me I got shocks. Tortured. They even branded me." She raised her sleeve, revealing the puckered scar from the hot poker across her shoulder. "And unless we get away? Right now? They'll probably kill us both."

"I wasn't on an island. I don't know what you're talking about." She inched back in her seat on the bed, trying subtly to put a little distance between herself and Claire. She didn't like the look on her face. It was creepy and weird and wrong. Part of her wished that she would go back to trying to tear out the closet rod. At least then she'd have something to laugh at her about.

Elle pursed her lips, annoyed at the ridicule that her attempts to discover the truth was receiving. "It's what someone told me. I got it from a really reliable source, okay?" Not that she could verify how reliable Yukari really was. But whatever information she had given her had to be at least a million times more accurate than what she was getting from Claire.

Her expression contorted to one of disgust at Claire's scar. She'd seen worse-- given worse, even, with the right amount of voltage-- but that didn't mean she wanted to be confronted with it right this moment. "Keep your shirt on, Crocodile Dundee. Sharing isn't caring. And okay, sure, this could be on an island, but that's not important. We're still stuck here. And there's no way out. ... Or something."

"Really reliable source," Claire repeated, skepticism oozing through her words. "Right."

The Others were liars, and damn good ones at that. Whatever they had told the woman, it wasn't the truth. It couldn't be. It was nearly impossible to leave the island, and thus far there was only the battered plane left. As far as she knew, the only pilot on the island had just left on a submarine. They were stuck. She was stuck.

And now she didn't even have John's company to ease the time. Instead she was a prisoner again, cell mates with a total stranger who was too thick to get it. Claire narrowed her eyes, yanking her sleeve back down at the woman's request. With that brand of sass she almost reminded her of Sawyer. Except without any redeeming qualities.

She shook her head in disgust and resumed her search through the desk. "Well, you're on an island now. It doesn't matter how you got here because we're never getting off. I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend my nights out there than stay cooped up in these pens."

Her fingers brushed something cool, hard. Metal. Keys. Puzzled, Claire lifted the set from the desk and studied them intently. They were new, bright and brassy, and most definitely of the door variety. Was this some sort of a trap? Bait? False keys that let you in all the wrong doors? It was hard to believe they would really be so careless as to leave them in here. She thumbed the edge thoughtfully. Perhaps they would fit into the screws...

Something crackled above her. Claire jumped, attention snapping to the sudden sound of a man's voice and spotting the intercom for the first time.

This...this was new.

[Hope it's okay to switch them over? Ping me if you want to change anything or keep going!]

Well, at least she wasn't going to take her shirt off. Even so, Elle scooted back on her bed, even farther away from Claire. The more she could distance herself, the better.

When it came down to it, part of her was almost reassured by the sterile setting. It was familiar to her, after so many years with the Company. Not the being a prisoner part, no, but it was better than all the things she imagined going wrong if they tried to escape and make their own way on the island. If it even was an island.

"They aren't pens, they're--" Elle's attempt to correct her was interrupted by the intercom. What was it even talking about?

Her eyes moved cautiously to the door. Did it just...? She got up, moved past Claire, and turned the knob slowly.

[It's fine with me. :> You don't have to reply if you don't want to, I just wanted to get one last tag in, LMAO.]

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