DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 51: Breakfast
Ninjas > everybody else.
thatdamnedninja wrote in damned
Yuffie Kisaragi, indomitable bouncing ball of sunshine and unfathomable ebullience, was tired. It'd been a long night full of gibberish and getting nowhere fast.

"Can't I—"

Plucky, who had been busily loading a plate full of French toast and bacon, tittered. "I'm afraid not, Hanna, darling. A chat over a nice, hearty breakfast would do you a world of good, don't you think?"

"Aaaaactually—"

"Come on, let's find you a seat. Plenty to choose from this morning!"

For a long moment, Yuffie seriously considered doing something—anything—to act out. Punch her nurse, rub jam in an orderly's face, climb a wall and hang off the ceiling, jump on a table and parody Loveless… A ruckus like that would definitely jolt her back into gear, right? Sedation aside. And it'd turn Plucky's good day right on its head, which was always a bonus worth shooting for.

But, by the time she'd reached a decision—and it was an epic decision, a really awesome one; everybody'd appreciate the genius, she was sure—she was already alone. Her breakfast tray had been set down neatly by the nurse, who had left with an infuriatingly winsome smile.

"Wow," Yuffie muttered. Shaking her head, she picked a chair at random and threw herself into it. She kicked back, one arm slung across her eyes, to wait. For what, she wasn't totally sure. Some moron to decide that she looked like good company? That was how it usually went.

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Last night's intercom announcement had been a complete mystery to Guy until the very end, when he'd been assaulted by another painful screeching noise and -- well, then Landel had told them the answer to the question about the ring just like that. That alone made him suspicious, but as he got up from his bed (for a split second he'd been disoriented and thought he was still in Claude's room, but a sleeping Okita let him know that wasn't the case) he still found himself considering the possibilities.

Being able to "save" locations like that would be really helpful, he had to admit. He was sure that Luke would be excited by the prospect as well, but he just hoped that his friend didn't start spilling his blood too early. This sounded like something they needed to discuss as a group, seeing how there were now four of them present. They'd lost Jade but gained Natalia, which kept their number at roughly the same. It'd been so long since they had any more than four here.

He hoped that his friend had caught that explanation at the end, but either way Guy had heard it and would be able to transfer that knowledge to his friends if needed. He ended up deciding to take the initiative and leave a bulletin message about it.

With that taken care of, the servant waited patiently in line for his plate of food, deciding to grab a bagel and some sausage instead of the french toast. He just wasn't much in the mood for something sweet. With tray in hand, Guy found himself an empty seat and started to eat. He didn't seen any of his friends from Auldrant around just yet, but maybe one of them would show up and say hello soon. He needed to catch up with Claude, too, now that they would be back to speaking the same language. He was glad that had only lasted for part of the night.

[For Edgar.]

Edgar pulled the covers over his head as he feigned ignorance of the knocking on the door a second time. As expected, morning had arrived as suddenly as ever, but this day was accompanied by exhaustion, his muscles still worn from the night, his shoulder throbbing painfully as he shifted in the bed. His hand met the wound, inspecting it through touch alone- his stitches had been sewn again, the skin stretched and torn where his previous set had been pulled from the strain of climbing the courtyard wall. He and Gren had made progress in their exploration, but they had paid for it.

Another knock came, the nurse outside calling his assigned name. With a sigh, Edgar rose stiffly, making his way to his desk. The drawer held not only both radios, the dagger, and his journal, but also his new finds. The shovel was in his closet, noted as he fished out a set of slippers for the day. He took his journal and adjusted the sling around his arm, pain shooting through him as he turned his shoulder. Yes, this day was going to be a long one, even longer if spoken languages were still an issue.

Despite the nauseating pain from his shoulder, Edgar stubbornly insisted on picking his own food for the morning, unwilling to give the nurses any chance to poison it with the medications they insisted he take for his injury. The paranoia was unfortunate, but their lovely appearances could be deceiving: ultimately, they worked for Landel, and trust in anyone on the side of a madman only went so far.

Edgar scanned the room for an empty seat, finding one near a familiar face: Guy. His presence was a good sign- not all of the king's allies had disappeared yet. Taking the seat across from him, Edgar tested the waters of communication: "Please, tell me you can understand what I'm saying, Guy."

Guy was about halfway through his bagel when a familiar face did end up stopping by. It didn't belong to any of his friends from Auldrant or to Claude, but Edgar was someone who he had always enjoyed speaking with, even if their first meeting had only been a few days ago.

Unfortunately, it looked like the inventor had been having a tough time, if the sling that his arm was in was any indication. Everyone had their bad spots, either emotionally or physically, and so Guy wasn't particularly surprised, even if he was worried for the man. He quickly swallowed his food down and straightened in his seat.

He wanted to ask Edgar what had happened first things first, but it seemed that the other blond was more interested in clearing up the language issue. Luckily, the words that came out of the man's mouth sounded exactly like the language Guy had grown up speaking and hearing; while he'd figured that everything was back to normal due to being able to follow the announcements and the nurses, he still felt some relief. (At the same time, he was somewhat curious to know what Edgar's true language would have sounded like to his ears.)

"So you had to deal with that last night, too, did you?" he replied with a small smirk. "Yes, I can understand you." The thought of having to deal with that all day was frustrating just to think about. "But what happened?" he continued, gesturing to the sling. It reminded him of when his arm had been broken. Even though that had happened a while ago by this point, he still had a chip on his shoulder about it. That had only been the start of Sync's presence as a nuisance here, and it had only gotten worse from then on.

It seemed whatever Landel had undone the night before was back in place. Edgar smiled wryly- that being the case, he had plenty of questions to ask Gren during dinner. For now, he had other matters to attend to: getting a meal in him despite that nauseated feeling, handling his injury another day, seeing what other information he could find on the strange town, and designing something far more ambitious than his Air Cannon using the lawn mower from the courtyard shed were on the top of his list.

He gestured toward his shoulder, keeping his hand off the wound. "This is the result of two nights ago, the night when the doors were enchanted," he said in a lowered voice, avoiding the attention of any nearby listeners. "My roommate and I found ourselves in a curious location where we challenged by an undead abomination. We won, naturally, but we didn't leave unscathed. It'd be in better condition if we hadn't climbed over the courtyard wall last night, pulling my stitches, and trekked around the surrounding areas until dawn.

"Conversation would have been a nice distraction during the long hike," he added with a sigh, "But yes, my roommate- Gren- and I were stuck with limited communication. We managed with gestures."

It certainly sounded like Edgar had been keeping busy, even more so than Guy had as of late. With what had happened in the coliseum and then Claude being taken for sleep studies (what a deceptively innocuous term), he really hadn't been able to focus as much on exploration and investigation as he would have liked. That was something he wanted to change as soon as he could, since he knew that Luke would need his support as much as possible. This place wasn't being very easy on them.

"The undead," he echoed with a frown; despite the subject matter, he still managed to continue eating his breakfast. "Like in Doyleton, or was it something different?" It sounded like it was Edgar's shoulder that was giving him trouble, which was definitely preferable to a strained or broken limb. But if it was bad enough to need a sling, then it was probably worth getting looked at. "There are healers around here who might be able to help you with that. You might want to look into it." Kratos had certainly been a life-saver for him when Sync had broken his arm, for instance.

While Guy was curious to know what exactly Edgar had seen over the wall, he didn't want to start drilling the man right away. Instead, he tried to let the conversation flow more naturally. "Yeah, my friend and I had some trouble with it too. We ended up resorting to drawings." He could have mentioned how said friend had been blind on top of it all, but he didn't want to spill information about Claude to a man his friend didn't even know, as nice as Edgar was.

"It was a beast," Edgar answered, vaguely recalling rumors of the undead that haunted Doyleton on one of the previous trips- before his time, he imagined. "Some sort of a feral cat, but its flesh was decaying, its body playing host to parasites. Our attacks did little to slow it down until the very end- and believe me, we had a powerful weapon on our hands." He couldn't help but grin, thinking of the chainsaw in his hands, the handles shaking in his grip as the engine roared. Powerful and beautiful.

No use getting nostalgic now, especially since it was unlikely he'd be finding another opportunity to hold such a tool for some time, even if he could find one. Guy's mention of healers, though... It occurred to Edgar that while he'd lost his skills in magic since his arrival, other more adept mages might have had more luck. "I'll have to look into that," he said, gripping the fork in his hand tightly as he leaned back, hissing as a wave of pain tore from his shoulder through his neck. "I never realized how dependent I was on heavy armor and potions until now," he muttered to himself.

He continued after a moment: "I've already redesigned the tool I was working on before- had to shift the weight to the other side and to my waist, since carrying anything with this arm is out for now."

One of the rotted mammals, then. Guy had heard of and witnessed his fair share of those, but he had to remember that most of the people he talked to these days probably hadn't been around as long as he had. It was a stark realization, but at least it meant that there wasn't too much he could be surprised by anymore. Except that he knew that was half a lie; he hadn't been prepared for Claude being taken for experimentation, after all.

"Yeah, the monsters here don't go down without a fight, that's for sure," he conceded. And what was this about a powerful weapon? Did it have something to do with the invention that Edgar had showed him the plans of the last time they'd talked? Guy wondered if maybe that was just wishful thinking, though, since putting something like that together probably took a lot of time.

But then Edgar went on about a redesign and his hope was rekindled. "Does that mean it's done?" he blurted out suddenly as he scooted forward on his chair until he was practically on the edge of it. "Does it work the way that you planned for it to?" The frustration of an injury aside, Edgar was talking as if it was already functional. Guy hoped that was the case; if something like that could be accomplished here, it would actually be a pretty big morale booster for him.

Edgar had to admit that Guy's enthusiasm for machine-related talk was always a refreshing change. He got the feeling that most people just tuned him out when he started talking about his beloved tools.

"I've not finished it yet," he answered with a shake of his head, "though your enthusiasm is encouraging. I've got a basic frame and enough materials that I can finish the construction. A few of them aren't exactly what I was hoping for, but beggars- or treasure hunters, in this case- can't be choosers. I've been further delayed by this injury. I could have finished it by now if I'd just stayed inside a couple of nights ago."

He prodded a piece of toast on his plate, wondering why he'd taken it in the first place. Any hunger he had was being drowned out by the consistent throbbing of his shoulder. "Then again, if I'd stayed inside that night, I'd be behind in other areas," he said in a serious tone. "That was when I found out a close friend of mine disappeared. She's not the first ally I've lost while here, and I don't expect her to be the last, but her disappearance was disappointing, to say the least."

Even if the device wasn't quite done yet, it sounded like it was really starting to come together. Guy could admire someone who was able to get an idea for something so intricate and actually stick to it until it was done. If he was a bit handier with that sort of thing he probably would have been the same way, but he had to admit that someone like Dist had a head over him. As much as he loved technology, he wasn't necessarily the best at putting it all together on his own.

"What things are you still missing?" he asked as he continued to eat his meal. While he doubted that anything Edgar needed would be something he would have, there was always the chance that he would know where to find it. He'd been here for long enough and had visited enough parts of the institute that there was always a slightly possibility.

Guy could definitely understand the issue that came up when trying to decide between heading out or staying in. Last night had been an instance where staying in had been the right choice, though. While he hadn't had anything physically wrong with him, he hadn't much liked the idea of leaving Claude alone like that. He was sure any of his friends would have been able to agree with that decision. Though at the mention of a disappearance, Guy frowned in pity. "I'm sorry to hear it," he said as he set his fork down, not quite as eager to eat anymore. "It's disappointing how often it happens." No one was spared that, he didn't think.

"I need something to strap the device to me," he answered, realizing he'd turned the conversation in a discouraging direction with his mention of Celes' disappearance. There was no use worrying about it now- she was already gone, and he couldn't do anything about it but hope that she was okay, wherever she was. For now, he needed to focus on those who were still trapped, himself included.

"If I have to," he continued, "I'll ruin a few of my shirts to make bindings. They're not good for much else as it is, given their appalling appearance. They certainly don't provide any protection from injuries, though it seems Landel doesn't mind maiming us. I've pictured him as a man who enjoys a challenge, given how he gives us ample opportunity for escape, provides us with tools to navigate his prison during the night, and apparently translates our speech so we have a chance to plan against him."

He put his hand to his chin, thinking. The similarities between the madmen were striking at times. "Then again, perhaps he thinks we're powerless and just wants to watch us run. I believe he underestimates his collection of prisoners."

A strap, of course! It wasn't like something of the magnitude that Edgar had shown him would work as a handheld item, after all. Guy marveled at how something so amazing could be held back by the most basic of materials, but in the end every single component mattered; with one gone, the whole thing fell apart. "Yeah, it seems like using your clothing might be best, since it seems like we've got an unending supply anyway," he remarked, placing his hand to his chin as he thought it through. He'd torn countless shirts and even ripped them up for bandages, and there had never seemed to be a shortage of them in his room. "I'd say you might have a chance of finding something sturdier in the supply rooms, but you've probably searched those already."

Considering the two portraits of Landel that Edgar had painted, Guy took a moment to decide which one he agreed with more. It was hard to know if the man was trying to push them and test them or if he was simply that arrogant, but either way he found Edgar's final statement to be surprisingly inspiring. It was good, to come across someone who still hadn't given up.

Not that Guy had either, but it could get hard at times, especially when he had a friend who'd been blinded and others who were out in the real world, brainwashed into oblivion. Then again, Edgar had just lost someone and he was still keeping his head up, which Guy found admirable. "I think you're right," he said with a firm nod. "We're not going to make this easy for him, that's for sure."

Edgar smiled darkly at Guy's statement. Simply letting a madman run unopposed wasn't his style, and it was a comfort to find someone else who shared that sentiment. "We certainly won't. I know I, for one, will be taking advantage of all the resources available. Letting Landel go unchallenged as he tortures and brainwashes people, my allies or not? If I were to give up the fight, I might as well be dead."

He slipped his hand into his sling, retrieving his journal carefully and setting it on the table before turning to a blank page. He found his pen, uncapping it with his teeth. "And that's why I don't plan on giving up. Getting away from this place is important- there are people who depend on me back home- but even if I had the chance to leave this very instant, I don't think I could do it in good conscience. Not as long as Landel is in power."

Edgar was right; with all of the things that Landel left laying around for them to grab up, it would be a crime for them not to make use of all of it. All it took was an innovative mind, and the man clearly had that. Guy nodded in agreement, taking Edgar's severe words to heart. Giving up was as bad as death. He wanted to keep that in mind, for all of those times when it got particularly hard.

"He doesn't give us much time to catch our breath, but we need to keep going," he agreed. Languishing would just lead to a steady decline into complacency, and that was what Guy was most scared of. He didn't think he would succumb, though, especially not when he had his friends around to both motivate him and rely on him.

Though at the mention of home, Guy couldn't help but think of his trip back to Baticul. He almost wanted to tell Edgar about it (it didn't sound like he'd gotten back home the other night, despite being warped around to other places), but Guy still wasn't sure if it had been real or not. It didn't seem right to feed the man false information when it would either inspire him or depress him.

"But yeah, it's... hard to know. If I stumbled upon the device that would send us back home, it's not like I could just leave without all of my friends, and without helping everyone else." Landel had to pay too, as Edgar had said.

Despite his serious mindset, however, Guy couldn't help noticing that Edgar had taken out his journal. Was he going to draft up more plans, maybe? Scooting forward in his seat, he tried to get a better look.

One line, two lines, then another were scratched onto the paper as Edgar pulled the pen across the surface. "I agree," he said, drawing a long horizontal line. "We patients all share a common enemy, one who is taking people by force. I know for a fact some of the captives aren't trained for combat- how can they protect themselves?"

Another line appeared on the page, followed by a few scribbled pipes. He bit his lip as the pen shook, pushing pain from his mind. He had more important things to do. He took a deep breath, resuming both his line work and his train of thought: "Those are the ones I'd fear most leaving behind. They're not my people, but I still feel the need to help those who may not be able to help themselves. That's why I'm putting my strengths to work."

Edgar was drawing the blades now, nearly finished with his sketch. "Before we crossed the wall last night, Gren and I decided to take a look inside the shed in the courtyard." He grinned, already pleased with his new idea. "Tell me, Guy: do you know what a lawnmower is?"

It was difficult to tell what Edgar was drawing while he drew it, and so Guy gave up after a few seconds had passed, deciding to focus on the conversation for now. He was sure he'd get to see the sketch once it had been finished, and he was just going to have to employ some patience in the meantime.

"I'm pretty sure that some of the clubs here work to help those without combat training to get some help," he remarked, wanting to assuage some of the man's worries. At the same time, he could see where Edgar was coming from, and the fact that the man was so dedicated to helping out even those who he didn't know really spoke for his character. "I know what you mean, though. This place is bad enough for someone who knows how to use a sword. For those who don't..."

But Edgar seemed completely confident in his ability to take charge, almost as if he had some experience with all this. Which was completely possible, Guy realized. Maybe he'd saved his world, just as he'd helped Luke to save theirs. However, that train of thought was derailed when the man asked him a question. "Lawnmower...?" He'd been to the shed on the recreational field, but not the one in the courtyard. He didn't have a frame of reference. "I can't say I do... what is it?"

Edgar nodded as the conversation turned toward the clubs, drawing a figure at the bottom of the sheet. The truth of the matter was that he didn't entirely trust the club system- from what he'd seen, people contacted one another through the board, then set up tasks to accomplish during the night; the idea had merit, but he wasn't sure how much they actually accomplished. Celes had said those in her group had mostly disappeared- if she was their acting leader, it was possible they'd disbanded with her release.

His other concerns with the clubs would wait for later. He looked over his sketch another time, crossing out the area where his hand had jarred moments earlier. It was a mess, but it would do for an illustration.

"A lawnmower is a lovely machine with a rotating blade underneath a metal frame," he answered, remembering the discovery, the smell of grass and oil permeating every crevice of the shed. "There's a bar at the top, and appears that you push it along to cut grass when it gets too high. It's a clever design, really- it's a shame Figaro wouldn't have any use for it, being in a desert."

With a nod, Edgar set the paper on the table and slid it to Guy, making sure there weren't any nurses looking their way:



"As I don't intend to be cutting grass here, the composition needed a few... structural tweaks." He grinned slyly. "I've not yet decided what to do with the metal casing, but I'm sure I'll find a use for it by the time I've finalized this design. These metal poles for stability, two handles on the side- one of which will have the ignition cord attached- the engine mounted near the rotating blade, which spins at a high speed." He smirked- it was no chainsaw, but for something that would be constructed with the available resources, it would certainly be nasty.

At the description of the lawnmower, Guy tried to imagine what it might look like. He knew he could have gone to the shed in the courtyard himself to see, but they weren't allowed to access it during the day and he wasn't going to go there at night unless he had to for some other reason. Still, the name (and Edgar's handy explanation) made it pretty easy to figure out what the device was meant for, even if that wasn't what Edgar had in mind for it.

Pere would probably get some use out of a machine like that. Maybe Guy would mention it to the man once he made it back home. Even though he no longer lived with the gardener, he wouldn't mind dropping by for old time's sake.

When the journal was set down and extended toward him, though, Guy was out of his seat in an instant, leaning forward so he could examine the drawing closely as it was explained. He followed the scratchy lines with his eyes as Edgar went through it all. It all fell into place quickly, and before long Guy could see what it was meant for. The blade would spin at a high speed with the help of a motor and cut apart anything in its path. It was destructive, but the monsters here were dangerous enough to necessitate it.

"Looks gruesome," he said, smirking slightly as he fell back into his chair. "Where are you going to get the motor from? The lawnmower?" If Edgar ended up being able to utilize both the blade and the motor from that machine, then he'd really made a good find! Even though the man's first invention wasn't even completed yet, Guy was already excited to see this next one in action. It looked like it might be cumbersome to carry, but it would probably be worth the overall function.

"The lawnmower itself had one," Edgar answered as he collected the journal, returning it to his sling. "I believe I saw another machine in there with an engine on it, as well. I didn't get a good look, unfortunately, and I hadn't thought to bring my tool kit- an oversight I won't be making again, as those basic tools would have come in handy in several instances last night."

As tempting as it had been to stay in the shed a moment longer, they'd had to keep moving. They couldn't afford to waste the precious twilight hours. It was impossible to tell what challenges Landel would bring them on a nightly basis- the nights that were normal by comparison had to be savored.

"I'll be sure to take a closer look when I go back," he continued, watching the nurses over Guy's shoulder as they started to collect their wards, ushering them to the next shift. "It'll have to be at least a few nights from now, though. Even dismantled, those parts will take some effort to move, and I can't risk ruining my arm entirely. I learned my lesson from one night of trekking around without potions."

That shed sounded pretty useful, then -- more useful than the one in the recreational field, at least. The bat Guy had gotten from there hadn't lasted him all that long before he'd gotten a better upgrade, though he was pretty sure all the new patients ended up making a trip to that spot at one point or another. Unless they were really, really lucky. In any case, it was something he did make a mental note to check out, even though he wasn't sure when he'd get the chance.

"A tool kit sounds like it would definitely be something you wanted on hand, if you're looking to salvage parts." Which seemed to be Edgar's pattern in this place: he found useful machines, took them apart, and then combined the different parts into a brand new, more deadly contraption. It seemed to be working out pretty well for him so far.

Hearing that Edgar would be delayed by his wound made Guy wish even more so that he could be a help. He was in rather good health at the moment, so carrying some parts around wouldn't be a big deal at all. But it wasn't like Edgar's inventions could be shared around very easily, so it wouldn't be fair for Guy to give up the man power he provided to his friends simply because of his own disconnected interest in something.

"I hope you can get yourself healed up, then," he said with a smile, quietly dismissing his desire to tag along. The nurses were on their way to collect them, and Guy didn't need to be giving them any reason to get handsy with him, so he quickly stood from his seat and nodded to the other man. "Good luck, and I'm sure I'll talk to you again soon." They had struck up a sort of friendship, after all, and Guy certainly didn't want to let go of that if he could help it.

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