A Multifandom Asylum RPG

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Day 51: Intercom, Evening
New Intercom
damned_intercom wrote in damned
"Well, that's it for today's activities and hygiene!" The Head Doctor said with a jovial tone just after the sound system's jingle. He seemed excited and maybe even giddy. "Our nurses will now be escorting everyone back to their rooms, and some of you might find that you have brand new roommates to share your dinner with! That's right: we've gotten a whole new batch of patients, and I hope you all are as well behaved with them as you have – ...well, as most of you have been with our staff. Because of this good behavior, I'd like to remind everyone that they may stop at the Arts & Crafts room to bring their origami figures back to their room and decorate as much as they like!

"In any case, our dinner tonight will be herb chicken – breast and wing or leg and thigh, whichever you prefer – served with hot – well, not too hot – vegetable soup, caesar salad, and lightly fried rose potatoes. Our usual drinks are available, as well as alternatives for special diets, and dessert will be a delicious caramel apple.

"I believe that's all for now. Goodbye, everyone!"

The intercom clicked off.

[ All room threads go in response to this post; please post your character's room number as the subject line of the initial post. ANY NEWLY ACCEPTED CHARACTERS MAY POST TO THIS SHIFT (but are not obligated to if you would like to wait for Nightshift or Dayshift); please refer to the new room assignments before posting. Thank you! ]

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Depth Charge wasn't tired. He wasn't sick. He wasn't even nauseous, and, Primus forbid, he had every right to be in a near-constant state of nausea considering where he was. This time? There was no way in the universe he was going to let himself fall asleep on duty. That was the kind of thing Cheetor did, and if he was turning into Cheetor he was probably going to have to scrap himself.

At least he'd managed to arrive early- he had no excuse for missing the Scarecrow now. Admittedly, he was probably being a little overly cautious, given that he already knew the Scarecrow was still kicking around the Institute from the bulletin board, but that was part of what was setting him on edge. 'We need to talk' sounded oddly portentous coming from someone as easy going as the Scarecrow; given that he'd even managed to brush off a torture session, he wasn't looking forward to what was coming.

No point in worrying himself out of an appetite, though. If he didn't eat something he'd pass out, he'd learned that much about being human. Sitting down at his desk, he started on his meal with one eye trained on the door.

The Scarecrow had to admit that the day had certainly been strange: Abe was the happiest he'd ever seen him, the witch from the Horrible Hallway (one of them, anyway) had turned out being not so bad, and in an unusual act of compassion, the nurse actually allowed him to keep the drawings of his friends.

Even stranger was how much better he felt in comparison to the start of the day- his conversation with Mele had been the biggest step, as she was the one who had not only helped make sense of some of what he'd seen in the movie, but had also given him the idea that he might be thinking too much for a man with no brains. He'd been in that situation before, and while everything turn out all right that time and he'd supposedly been the smartest all along, he certainly didn't feel very intelligent when conversing with the other patients. It was likely that their homes were just so different from Oz, and without his brains, it has even harder to understand those differences.

The Scarecrow wasn't sure how he was going to solve his problem of not having a good thinker in his head- finding his brains seemed to require some brains in the first place, and given that his human ones were already broken, that created a terrible conundrum. It hadn't been so hard before: Dorothy helped him, they traveled to the Emerald City with their friends, the Wicked Witch was defeated, the Wizard presented him with his diploma. Then again, he'd had help. While he had made friends at the Institute, they had their own problems to deal with, and there wasn't a wizard in sight who could simply pull all the solutions from a bag.

Well, he wasn't going to give up yet. There had to be something he could do, but figuring out what it is could wait for a little while. He needed to talk to Depth Charge- it had been some time since they'd had a real conversation (his roommate was often asleep- not a good sign, according to Javert and his experience with Kaiji). It was time to fix that.

The Scarecrow smiled brightly at Depth Charge as he entered the room, setting his tray on his desk, keeping his pictures in hand for now. "Glad to see you're awake this evening. I was starting to get awful worried about you, you know."

The smile was what caught Depth Charge off guard as the Scarecrow walked in- he knew the guy was the positive type, but even so that didn't look like a guy about to start a capital-T Talk about something serious, and to be honest he wasn't sure if that made things better or worse. After all, it meant that either things weren't so bad as he'd been anticipating... or that the Scarecrow was putting on one seriously brave face, and he wouldn't have put that past him for a second. Hmm. Better to give the benefit of the doubt and err on the side of cautious optimism for the sake of his frazzled nervous response system. He might have been built for trouble originally, but it probably wasn't healthy to be on red alert all the time when you were human.

"That makes two of us. Don't know what came over me last night." Except for a hefty dose of Institute-itis, he added silently. It wasn't hard to remember that sleeping too much was a vital symptom of being about to vanish without a trace, as much as he tried to insist that he wasn't checking out until he had Landel's head on a silver circuit-board as a memento (a couple of thoughts of violent revenge usually helped, he'd decided- who needed a virus scan when you had an imagination?).

Part of him wanted to apologise for giving the man a scare but he managed to ignore it, giving a half-smile instead. "Anyway, point is, I'm awake now. You're doing okay, right? Didn't get hit by the warping or the language screw up too badly?" He didn't look injured, but given that he was currently sporting a fresh set of bandages under his shirt he knew better than to make any assumptions. And anyway... he took in a mental breath, expression flickering slightly. "Or is that thing you wanted to talk about unrelated?"

"Mostly unrelated, I think," the Scarecrow answered as he arranged his drawings on his desk, leaning them against the wall so they'd stand. The backgrounds were connected by a single line that spanned across the pages, outlining the Emerald City. They weren't terrific, but they made the room feel that much closer to home.

Now, what should they talk about first? The Scarecrow paused a moment, looking down the long list: there was the night where the doors were enchanted, the previous night and the encounter with the witch in the Horrible Hallway, and then there was the topic of the movie itself. They were all so important, and he wasn't very good at making decisions.

In that case, maybe it was best to just start from the earliest point and work forward. "You know that night the doors were bewitched and sending us all over the place?" the Scarecrow asked, assuming he did by his mention of 'warping' (though what he was talking about with the 'language screw up' was a complete mystery and would have to wait for later). "Well, we were taken to a store in town. Do you know what a movie is?"

And again, Depth Charge wasn't sure whether or not to take 'mostly unrelated' as a good thing or not. At least the news wasn't going to be that he'd been mysteriously teleported into a lake, or out of a window, or into the middle of a town filled with zombies.

... he really needed to stop Hime from talking him into helping her out at night.

Anyway. The Scarecrow was going to tell him enough, so all he could do was get comfy and hope it didn't involve zombies again. He watched with a surprising degree of patience as the Scarecrow lined up his artwork (a multi-page spread of a group of people he didn't recognise: a girl, a dog, a lion, some kind of robot and... ah-hah. A old-school Earth-type Scarecrow.)- then started on the strangest sounding tangent he'd heard so far.

"Uh... yeah. I know what a movie is. People acting things out on film. Moving pictures," he answered cautiously, giving his roommate an uncertain look. It hadn't even occurred to him that there'd be anyone who didn't know what a movie was, but it sounded like the Scarecrow was one of those people. Really, what with all the magic and witches and wizards the man talked about, Depth Charge figured he shouldn't have been surprised. "What about them?"

The Scarecrow rolled his eyes, his ignorance mocking him again- how was it everyone had known what a movie was but him? Surely Oz wasn't the only place without them. There were crystal balls and other magical means, but the thought of a picture that moved and told a story (one which may or may not be real and the people in them have an eerie resemblance to those to whom the story actually happened) was completely foreign to him. On the other hand, he was a man who, until fairly recently, had been made of straw and spent most of his time in a bejewelled city. He hadn't even conversed with the fish to ask them about their gills!

Then again, his lack of experience wasn't the problem. The Scarecrow was downright sure it was his lack of brains.

He retrieved the movie from beneath his pillow, giving the box a tentative shake- it sounded like the disk was still in there, thankfully- before giving it a look over. It wasn't any different: the picture of his friends (himself included) was still emblazoned on the one side, the words Megahit Movies on the other. Why was it he felt so different, though? He knew Oz existed, and Sangamon had explained what had happened and how the movie came to be, but... there was that seed of doubt.

"Well, we found this in town," the Scarecrow explained as he handed the box to Depth Charge. "I watched it last night with Sangamon."

While Depth Charge was still mulling that one over, the Scarecrow made a move for his bed and pulled out... a box? No, a case. He'd already figured they'd have some kind of databook system here, however primitive, so he was curious enough as it was, but it was only when he actually had the case in his hands that he realised just what it was the Scarecrow had wanted him to see.

"You have got to be kidding me."

Standing on the cover, side by side, was a picture. It had taken a moment for it to kick in and him to realise just why he was getting a distinct sense of deja vu- but that was only natural, given that he was pretty much looking at the impossible. Standing on the cover, side by side, was the girl, the robot and the lion from his roommate's picture and, lined up right where he should have been, stood the Scarecrow. The words 'The Wizard of Oz' arched in gold overhead.

'Congratulations on making it big time' was probably what Rattrap would have said, something good and tacky, but he wasn't in the mood for kidding around. His eyes darted up to meet the Scarecrow's, creased with concern. "Is it what it looks like?" Because if it was-- Primus, that went beyond creepy and all the way into overkill. "What did S.T. say?" S.T. was the science-and-tech-type, right? And he was human. He'd probably know more about it than he would; he could say how likely it was that it was some elaborate kind of hoax.

A silent moment passed as Depth Charge eyed the movie; the Scarecrow watched his face, trying to determine whether or not he understood what it meant, if it meant anything at all. He took a seat on Depth Charge's bed, eyeing his own desk from across the room, that tangled vine of uncomfortable thoughts creeping back into his mind.

He shook his head stubbornly. What was he thinking? He knew Oz existed! He'd been there, was made there- it was his home. Still, the thought that his life as a scarecrow, his being the wisest man in Oz, his journey with his friends having all been some sort of an elaborate fantasy bothered him. He could tell himself all day long it only bothered him because he was over-thinking without a proper way to think in the first place, but it didn't seem to help.

The former strawman was brought out of his thoughts as Depth Charge started asking questions. "He said that people don't believe Dorothy- that's her on the front- or Oz or any of our friends ever existed, and that her trip there was all just a story, which is shown in this movie. I know she's real, though- she came here to visit me, but she'd been tricked into believing it all never existed, too."

Oh, but there was more to it, wasn't there? His eyes locked on his hands in front of him as he felt that worried look coming back. "He said it was complicated. What do you think?"

Edited at 2010-08-25 07:20 pm (UTC)

Depth Charge's spark sank a little. When S.T. said 'complicated', the Maximal got the distinct impression that what he really meant was 'completely inexplicable', or even 'anything I say will make just make this worse'.

But really, could he blame the guy for not knowing what to say? The visitors were one thing, as were the nurses and therapy and, slag, even that little brainwashing trick they'd pulled a couple of days before. So I'm not real, am I, bolts-for-brains? Prove it. But this was above and beyond the call of duty- actually planting something like that and calling it fictional, just for impact... that went beyond psychological warfare and into pure sadism, and Depth Charge knew sadism.

But at the same time, even while he could feel his own hands clench with anger, he could see the Scarecrow's expression crumble. That wasn't a hurt look, or an angry look: that was the look of someone who'd just felt the planet move out from under his feet. Depth Charge knew that as well. Whatever it was the man had seen on that video had been enough to shake him so badly he'd started to doubt. And doubt was toxic.

"I think--" He stopped, sighed deeply and tried again, raking a hand through his hair. The muscle in his forehead felt tighter than normal. "I think this place likes to screw with your head. I think they'd stoop to anything. I think the only thing that isn't 'real' around here is the Head Doctor's sincerity." Depth Charge blew out of his nostrils with another frustrated sigh, then looked back up again. "Don't let them get to you, Scarecrow."

And just like that, Depth Charge managed to put everything into perspective.

Brains or no brains, who was the Scarecrow going to believe? He'd seen with his own (human) eyes what the Wizard Landel was capable of- he'd brainwashed Dorothy, bewitched patients like Mele and turned them on their friends, trapped and tortured people against their will, all the while pretending to help them, and that wasn't all! The Wizard Landel knew how to hit someone where it would hurt the most, whether it was taking away a person's powers, friends, or to a former strawman like the Scarecrow, brains. He may not have had the full title, but Landel was certainly wicked.

The Scarecrow felt like a fool again, but couldn't help but smile. It must have been hard for Dorothy at Landel's- maybe she'd been unfortunate and unable to find such wonderful companions as he had. The thought of his dear friend trapped in such a horrible place- and it had to have been just as horrible for her, if she'd eventually started believing the Wizard Landel's lies- tore him to pieces.

But what could he do, especially without-

"You're absolutely right, Depth Charge," the Scarecrow said, hopping to his feet, finding his balance after nearly losing it as his foot slid on the floor. "I haven't been thinkin' right, and I just about let the Wizard Landel get to me, but that's just what he wants! He took my brain from me and fiddled with my human one so I couldn't think, so I'll just have to find some more to use until I can get mine back."

He grabbed his journal, flipping it open to his map. "I know just the place to go, too. Dr. Venkman had several hanging on his wall. He won't mind if I just borrow one- only for a little while, just to see if it works."

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