DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Day 47: Recreational Field [Second Shift]
punch combo, ATATATATATATA!!!
vsyourface wrote in damned
Scott wasn't really what one would call the sporty type, at least not currently. In the past, maybe. He could have called himself a hockey player at one point - in grade two (it totally counted). And he had been a jock in high school, hadn't he (he had at least played a lot of Track & Field for the NES, anyway)? Regardless of what his athletic status may or may not have been, sports weren't really what the Scott Pilgrim of nowadays was associated with. He was a fighter, not a lover sports guy. Still, he was surprisingly excited to be going out to the Rec Field. Maybe he wouldn't get any games on, but he could still work off those pesky bullet wounds, right?

He walked as fast as the crutch would let him despite the protests of his nurse and his injured limbs. His hand could grip just well enough to keep the crutch steady under his right arm (gravity did most of the work), and he was thus able to keep a good pace. "All right, not doing bad so far," Scott said to himself with a grin as he hobbled quickly across the field, heading for the goalposts on the far end. He had worked up a surprisingly steady stride by the time he got close to them. Crutch forward, then left leg swung out in front of it. Crutch, leg, crutch, leg, crutch, leg. Nothing to it! Sure, his shoulder was hurting like burning. Sure, his right leg was still giving him similar pain on a smaller scale despite not having weight put on it. Sure, his animal brain was constantly shouting, "WHY WON'T YOU STOP?!" Other than that, though, he was a-okay. He was determined to be. Otherwise, it was Game Over, wasn't it?

Soon he reached the goalposts and stopped, much to the relief of his limbs. He hadn't really gone to this spot for any specific reason. He had just wanted to prove to himself that he wasn't that hampered by his injuries. For now, he seemed to have made a good case for the affirmative on that point. He knew that he couldn't just stop at moving forward, though. He had to see how good he was going to be at fighting in this condition. How was his moveset going to be modified with a crutch added and an arm taken away? That was the million dollar ($1176470.59 CDN) question, wasn't it?

He tried something simple to start - a standing kick with his good leg. He quickly raised his left leg while leaning his armpit against the crutch, lightly touching the goalpost with the sole of his foot. Nothing bad so far. He did the same thing again, only harder. A small wave of pain shot from one leg to the other, causing him to wobble on his crutch a bit. Scott grit his teeth, not liking that result at all. This time he decided to try a small jump kick, just to spite that stupid injury. After backing up a good few inches, he pushed both feet off the ground. "Hiiiiya!" With the end of his crutch still on the ground, he gave himself a bit of extra momentum, letting it fling him toward the goalpost with his left leg outstretched.

One didn't have to be able to predict the future to know what that the result of that was going to be. Foot connected hard with goalpost. Rebound pushed him back against the crutch. Center of gravity over the crutch shifted too far back. Pain shot through both his legs and his injured arm again. This and the gravity shift caused him to let go of the crutch entirely. Body flew back over the crutch and crashed on the ground slightly behind it. Bum (among other things) ended up stinging and covered in grass stains.

"Owwwwww," Scott groaned to himself, fumbling for the crutch. It was in an awkward position, just beyond the reach of his good arm. ". . . Well, could've gone worse, I guess," he told himself as he used his left foot to start pushing the crutch back toward his hand.

[For Keman at first, then Peter and Indy later.]

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Breakfast ended all too soon for the Scarecrow, but at least a few of his fears had been assuaged: his head injury apparently wasn't as noticeable as he'd thought it would be, and Abe had said the wound looked good and probably would heal well. Human bodies were pretty amazing if they could recover from trauma like he'd faced the previous night. No wonder crows feared them more than they feared a man made of straw.

Though some concerns were momentarily put to rest, he had a new problem: he was sure he'd be feeling better if he could feel anything at all. Stepping outside wasn't nearly as satisfying as he'd hoped it would be: the great smell of the air, the feeling of the grass beneath his bare feet, the sensation of the sun on his skin- all were absent. Oh, if he ever got his hands on that doctor who'd put that clever little thing in his head that robbed him of his senses, he'd string her up to the crows himself!

He found a grassy patch and had a seat, running his hand on the grass- still nothing. His sensations had to come back eventually. He'd lived a long time never knowing what they'd felt like, so he could be patient, though now that he knew what he'd been missing, it was difficult.

[Remy]

This was the first time Remy had been outside in a few days, which might be a kind of record for him. In the past, his life had been lived intermittently and fluidly indoors and outdoors. Almost all rats found a safe place to shelter -- dry, too, if they were lucky -- and ventured out to look for food as much as possible. He had been indoors much more often since meeting Linguini and spending so much of his time in the kitchen at Gusteau's, but in that situation, he didn't need to scavenge, and he still got fresh air on their daily ride to and from the restaurant. Yeah, he was pretty sure he hadn't spent this much time inside since the last time he was as pink and hairless as this. It was like being a baby again, only with bullets.

After the nurse left him alone, he looked around the sunny field. Scott was already in discussion with some other guy. Eventually, his gaze fell on a familiar face: Scarecrow, the first person he'd met. The guy who had been right about everything, and Remy hadn't listened. Apologies always came slowly... they wounded his pride... but he figured he probably owed Scarecrow one. Plus, the guy was friendly.

He ambled over, and when he was next to Scarecrow, he said, "Hi there."

The Scarecrow turned his focus from the grass beneath his hand to Remy, giving him a smile. Something in his expression said he needed a friendly face. Then again, it had been a couple of nights since their first meeting- maybe he'd been to the Horrible Hallway, or met up with a witch elsewhere in the Institute.

"Morning, Remy," he said with a nod, motioning for him to take a seat. He consciously took a breath, in and out. Had he been doing it automatically without thinking? Unable to feel the air moving through his chest, it was hard to tell. Maybe he shouldn't be thinking so much about it in the first place- his sensations would come back in due time. He just had to convince himself of it.

And there he was again, overthinking. "I hope the nights haven't been too rough on you," he said, breaking the momentary silence.

Remy flopped down on the grass, his legs sprawled in front of him, and his weight supported by his arms. It's the first time I've really been on the grass since I got to Paris, he realized. The grass was still a little bit damp with dew.

He hesitated before answering Scarecrow's implied question. "... Last night could have been better. I tried to go to the kitchen to cook something with that guy" -- he indicated Scott -- "the one on crutches. But there was some jerk with a gun in the Sun Room. Meche and I ran to the cafeteria and Scott and two other people stayed to fight. Scott got shot." He paused, staring down at the ground. "I guess I should've listened to everybody. I just thought, how scary could it really be?"

A small smile crossed the strawman's face. Despite the dangers this place constantly offered, the strange sort of kinship it created between the patients was comforting. "I guess some things have to be seen to be believed," he said, his eyes falling on Remy's friend across the field. "When I first arrived, I had no idea what sort of creatures were lurking around. Until last night, I was sure the Horrible Hallway on the second floor held all the nightly terrors I could ever face." Boy, had he been wrong about that.

His eyes focused on the wall that was all around them, keeping them from escaping. He briefly wondered how hard it would be to cross it during the night, making a break for whatever was beyond the walls and get as far away from this place as possible. Surely someone had tried it before- with help, it wouldn't be too far of a stretch.

"Until last night? What does that mean?" Remy didn't think Scarecrow had seen the guy in the Sun Room, because Remy hadn't seen Scarecrow in the cafeteria or anywhere else around. If that had been the scary thing, he probably wouldn't have gone any further. "What did you see?"

He breathed in the fresh, cool air; in the sweatshirt that the nurse had insisted he wear, it was almost like he had his fur back. He was grey from his neck to his ankles.

Well shoot- the Scarecrow hadn't quite meant for that to slip out, but there was no taking it back now. "Well," he started, choosing his words more carefully this time around, "Let's just say monsters aren't the worst of your worries here."

Across the field, he spotted Sangamon with- was that Abe? There were so many people here, yet it seemed like such a small world. He kept an eye on Sangamon- he still wanted to have a word with him. He was certain he couldn't thank the man enough for coming to his rescue, but he would sure try.

"It turns out the doctors experiment on folks at night," he said, completing his thought. "You remember that evening I met you? I'd just seen a friend of mine- she attacked me like she didn't know who I was. She was fine the next day, but for that night, she was someone different. They take other people, too, experimenting with them on tables and the like." He looked like he was going to continue and paused, feeling something prickly beneath his- oh! The grass! He looked at his hand, running it along the grass near his leg, his mood improving immediately- he could feel it!

"Was she in... they called it Special Counseling? Like Gun Guy was." Remy thought over the things he had been told about the Institute. Some of them were hard to remember, because he had discounted them the moment after he heard them.

If Scarecrow had seen something more horrible than the Horrible Hallway, and he had some new knowledge of the doctors experimenting on people on tables (Tables? Like kitchen tables, or the ones in the cafeteria?), then that could mean....

"Wait a minute. Did they experiment on you last night?"

Remy, now aghast, thought of Emile's huge, hungry friend Git, who'd escaped from a laboratory; keeping that guy in food had been a chore. He peered at Scarecrow's ears, looking for a numbered tag that would answer the question for him.

If the answer turned out to be yes, Scarecrow would probably need a big lunch.

The Scarecrow paused with his hand on the grass, eyes still downward, briefly pulled from his moment of joy as his smile dimmed. "Well, I suppose that would be a good word to describe it," he said solemnly. He looked at that far wall again- finding a way over it and away from this place did sound tempting, but what would it solve? It certainly wouldn't do anything for that returning ache in his head, and he'd be leaving his friends behind- Depth Charge, Sangamon, Mele, people he cared about. He'd rather be made of straw and without a brain at all than to even consider that.

He tore his eyes from it, looking at Remy. "I don't understand why they felt they had to go and do it," he said, hearing that uncomfortable anger in his own voice again. "Or why they brainwash folks and send them after one another. There's no good reason for it!"

Wow, Scarecrow sounded mad... but then, Remy supposed he would be mad too, if someone had experimented on him.

Then again... hadn't they? Just because whatever they had done to him had fulfilled a curiosity he'd had for months didn't mean that he'd given them permission to do it, or that the transformation they'd caused wasn't weird. It was. It was weird to make a rat into a human even if the rat didn't mind. And Remy was beginning to mind: not because of the physical change, but because the only point of it that he could see would be to be able to move among people without someone trying to kill him, and to be able to cook without the limitations of his miniscule size. The previous night, he had been attacked anyway, and he hadn't even made it to the kitchen.

"So... what do you think they did to you, Scarecrow?" His tone was very neutral. He felt the grass between his fingers. The ground was beginning to feel cold.

A deep breath in and out- being able to feel the air rushing into him was enough to soothe some of that ire- and the Scarecrow answered: "They took my head apart and messed with my brain, that's what. I find out I've got one- a real one- and it's broken almost immediately!" He wasn't sure how to explain it any better than that, but he was sure it wasn't working as well as it had been when he arrived (and even then, its performance was a little spotty).

While it was easier to talk about it while angry, he didn't like that burning feeling, that fire in him he couldn't quell. Another breath in and out- he could feel it. The situation wasn't hopeless- at least he knew who he was, and he'd rather the doctors experiment on him than on someone else, especially one of his friends.

"Well, I suppose it could me worse," he said, reconsidering after a moment. "Still, it was not an experience I'd want to ever have again."

"Your brain?" Remy echoed. "That's terrible! What did they do to it? Are you sure they... broke it?"

He was sure -- almost -- that, since Scarecrow was still talking and presumably walking, it wasn't that his brain had been taken out, like in a recipe for cerveaux au beurre noir, but that it had been changed in some way. What would that mean? Remy didn't really understand how the brain worked, except that it was in his head and that protecting his head was much more important than protecting his tail.

"It isn't an experience I'd ever want to have, period."

"I'm not really sure," the Scarecrow said tiredly. That was one of the heavier thoughts on his mind. "I just know the doctor said she added something to it, and now it isn't working right. And it's complaining an awful lot more than before." He didn't blame his head for the aching- after all, it had been through a lot. That doctor and her clever little thing- they were the culprits.

Thinking about it seemed to be making things worse- the dull throbbing was coming back. "I can't think like this," he said, rubbing his eyes, trying to shut it out. "Maybe this is what being human is supposed to feel like all along, and I've just been lucky so far because it was new to me."

"But how isn't it working right? Aside from the complaining?" Remy sounded confused. He wondered if the 'complaining' in question was related to Scarecrow's crankiness, which was noticeable but not in the same league as, say, Dad's or Skinner's, or if he meant that his head hurt -- which would make sense if the doctor had opened it up.

"I... I don't know. I don't think my head is complaining." He was unwilling to admit, just yet, that being human was also new to him. Would they be breaking into his head and putting things into it that would make it work wrong? And hey, if they did, would he lose his sense of smell, or his sense of taste, or his ability to remember everything he'd learned from Anyone Can Cook?

It was an alarming idea.

"Maybe you just need a good meal and a nap. You had breakfast, didn't you?" Remy sounded earnest, and a little bit sad.

"I had maybe two bites," the strawman said, shaking his head. "There's this thumping going on in my head, and I'm not really feeling all that hungry." He figured he'd be hungry by the next shift, but he wasn't going to make himself any promises he couldn't keep.

He plucked a piece of grass from the ground, holding it between his fingers. He'd thought for a moment he might not have felt hungry because he wasn't feeling anything, but that couldn't be it- he could certainly feel the blade in his hand. "I don't really know how to explain how it's not working," he said, tossing the grass aside. "Maybe I just need some time to think about it and get my head to stop hurting."

He felt a little badly for avoiding the conversation, but he still wasn't sure he wanted to talk about it. "I think I'll take your advice," he said quietly. "A nap might do me some good. Maybe after lunch, I can ask if I can just go back to my room for a little while. Do some thinking."

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