29 May 2015 @ 09:49 am
[From here.]

The next room more befit the first floor than the third. Clinical lab environments had been replaced with something much more cozy. There was a plush couch, carpeted floors, and even a bookshelf. The room was designed for comfort, meant as some kind of escape for whoever might make use of it -- and Castiel had an idea who that was. It wasn't an office, but it was another step toward it, or so he guessed.

The setting didn't mean that they could relax, though. It was dark in here, and while Lloyd's wings and the glow from the pad across the room shed some light, it wasn't enough given the size of the area.

Still, there were signs that they weren't alone. The metal slide of two blades moving against each other, the rasping noises of monsters that were in eternal pain, and a more alarmed sound as one of the mutated nurses realized there was fresh meat close at hand.

More than that, Castiel could now sense them again, picking out the taint that gave away any supernatural creature.

"Stay back," he ordered the others once they'd all made it through, "and shield your eyes."

He didn't act instantly this time. The horde of nurses were across the room from them, which gave him a few seconds to delay, long enough to give the others in the group a chance to prepare themselves.
29 January 2015 @ 06:40 am
The security station that monitored the third floor didn't differ much from any of the others, but where normally at least one distorted nurse would have been waiting, there were instead bodies littered on the floor. Quite a few belonged to nurses, and it appeared that the monsters which had been unleashed in greater force on the institute had decided to attack indiscriminately.

The nurses hadn't been spared, and neither had the doctor who had worked so hard to get away from a group of displeased patients. His body laid crumpled on the floor, throat torn open by the mountain lion that stood over him. It didn't seem particularly proud of its kill -- no, it really only seemed hungry as it ripped the doctor's neck further open with large, greedy bites. As if some fresh meat might repair the damage to its own body, that telltale taint of rotted flesh and exposed bone.

Screens lined one wall, still displaying footage which cast enough light to show off the grisly scene. The security feeds revealed that there were monsters in most parts of the third floor now, occupying rooms where the patients had only just been.

As they arrived on the warp pad, the mountain lion's head jerked up and it bared its teeth in a snarl. The muscles in its legs coiled as it prepared to pounce.
06 November 2014 @ 09:33 am
For those who were situated on the other side of Dr. Landel's office, they would be able to hear something, a strangled cry in a tone that would strike any patient as hauntingly familiar. It was faint, barely loud enough to be heard, but it was still a sign of something.

There was no announcement, no institute-wide broadcast of what happened next. But there didn't need to be.

Any patient who possessed powers would be able to feel it, like a rush of air almost strong enough to knock them over. Like when a train passed by a little too close for comfort.

Something ran through all of them, but then filled them up, returning every lost power that had been stolen from them.

The building's defenses had been weakened. Their powers had been returned. Nothing stood in their way now, save for the hordes of monsters that had infiltrated every part of the institute as part of that last-effort defense plan.

And one man.
[From here.]

At first Lloyd thought this room was as empty as the last, a few trolleys with jars and tools sitting on top, forgotten, the only signs of recent use. Two chambers much like the one that had nearly killed Kratos (and him, except that he'd been more lucky) stood on either side, ominously promising the same experience - or worse - if any of them dared to step through. The warp pad wasn't in either one, though. This time its soft purple glow lit up the room they were in from the far side, with no need to tempt fate in the pressure chambers again.

That same purple light revealed a flicker of movement as something large, maybe as tall as Lloyd was himself, darting back around the corner of one of the chambers. Lloyd's heart jumped in his chest, and he quickly motioned to the others.

They weren't alone in here.

"Who's there?!" he demanded, lifting both his swords.

Please, please just let it be another patient.
23 September 2014 @ 08:20 pm
[From here.]

The room Lloyd stepped into was a whole lot larger than the one they'd just left behind. It almost felt like a hall, especially with all the doors Lloyd could see - one, two, a third... maybe four? It was hard to see around the corner into what looked like a little side hall. It wasn't as long as the other halls in the Institute, though, and there were a few pieces of furniture - rolling carts with lab equipment, crookedly parked as though hastily left behind. Something about that bothered Lloyd, but he didn't think about it for long. There wasn't any sight of the next warp pad, and that's what they needed to keep their minds on.

"Everyone pick a door," he suggested softly, moving toward the nearest one. "Call out if you find anything. But don't split up." It would be bad if something attacked while one of them was too far from the others to be helped.
23 September 2014 @ 08:56 am
[From here.]

While the next room at first looked like nothing more than another shower, the heavy duty sinks and the sterility of it indicated that there was more to it than that.

Castiel pointed his flashlight into the empty spaces and under the counter. While he could still hear the distant banging from the previous room, they had at least put some distance between themselves and the onslaught. The sooner they got to another warp pad, the better.

He didn't see any reason to linger, and so he moved across the narrow room to the opposite door. When he found it locked, he let out a small groan of frustration and turned to Lloyd.

"You can handle this one if you'd prefer."
06 September 2014 @ 12:43 pm
[from here]

Three doctors, identifiable from the fact they all wore their labcoats, as if they had no other clothing, rushed into the center of the third floor. One turned left, fleeing to the staff lounge as if it would yield her safety. The second went straight, bolting westward towards the smaller hallways.

The third hesitated. Only for a moment, but it was long enough.
06 September 2014 @ 11:25 am
The security shutdown hadn't only affected the patients; there were other humans in the Institute by night.

The mindless beasts that Landel loved as much or more than his human monsters, however, did not know the difference. The living quarters were quickly overrun -- things crawled out of lockers that had been empty moments ago, and slithered out from underneath every bed and sofa.

Groups formed and scattered as they fled; the patients had learned through hard-fought battles that groups of three or so were best, and two men and one woman glanced at each other in the chaos and ran out into the main hallways.

This hall was empty, for the moment. All three of them suppressed any signs of relief; they knew what weakness looked like in humans, and they were not going to show any.
05 September 2014 @ 08:40 am
[From here.]

Castiel's head pounded and his stomach twisted as he stepped off of the pad, forcing himself forward so as to make way for the other three trailing him. The first thing he heard was a loud banging off to his left, coming from behind a door. The snarling and scraping sounds that intermingled with it signaled that the monsters had already found them. They might not have much time before they broke in, which meant their best option was the other door across the room.

However, they had yet another metal detector to deal with. "Hurry," he snapped at the others as he rushed forward to set his blade on the conveyor belt. None of them could afford to get shocked right now, not when they had monsters nipping at their heels.

Castiel undid his belt as quickly as his fingers allowed and set that down too, before he walked through the detector to the other side and went to collect his items. The rest of them should know how this worked by now, so he didn't expect them to take too long.
06 August 2014 @ 10:03 pm
[from here]

Taura stood on the threshold of the hallway, holding both double-doors open. She hoped Aigis and Sechs hadn't followed her; this was either a very good idea or the last one she'd ever have.

A promise was a promise, though, even to a monster that had threatened to eat her. Especially to a monster that had threatened to eat her. "Sphinx," she called out. Did it have a name? A gender? "It's Taura." She wasn't sure that would help, but the least she could do was treat it like a person. "The door's open. We're going to try to ki-um," She switched words at the last moment; if the Sphinx stayed out of loyalty rather than necessity, they didn't need to let it in on the plan. "Kick some ass." There, that was, well, not much less specific than kill Landel, but it had some leeway for explanations.

Then she waited, while claws scrabbled in the dark and growls echoed down the halls.
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30 July 2014 @ 05:35 pm
The first sign that something had changed in the institute showed on the ceilings and walls. Regardless of where a patient might be positioned, they would notice a strange shimmer that started at the ceiling and then cascaded down the wall. A glitch in the programming; walls had come down.

Immediately after that, a robotic voice blared out over the intercoms.



As soon as the voice faded, a shrill set of sirens started, and went on for a good five minutes. That was the only warning the patients received, but all of the monsters that had plagued them during their stay here were suddenly released from their cages and sent on the hunt.

The building was vulernable, and its guards were free in a way they had never been before. Whether they chose to attack the patients the way they'd been trained, or take this chance to escape and find their own freedom, no one controlled them now.

The monsters weren't the only ones who took that moment to flee into the halls. All of those doctors, who had put countless patients through horrific torture, realized that they were no longer safe and did everything in their power to exit the building. Some of them were even attacked by the monsters they'd helped to create.

True chaos had fallen on Landel's Institute. One of the rebel's tasks had been accomplished, but it would be all for naught if Landel wasn't stopped.
[from here]

Like each time before, crossing onto the third floor resulted in some minor nausea. Tsubaki had readied herself for it, and in a second the wave of discomfort was no more than a fading memory as she adjusted to the darkness. And like each time they'd stepped off the warp pad and into the Fitness Room, the room itself was empty aside from the two of them.

Being alone for so long was strange, wasn't it...

She looked around, half-expecting something after Landel's ominous warning, but her senses picked up very little. "We're okay for now..." she said aloud, both for Korra's sake and her own, a means of breaking up the third floor's stillness a little. "Do you want to head the same way as last time?"

They hadn't gotten very far to exactly decide on a route, but each night they got a little closer. A little progress counted for something.
12 April 2014 @ 04:45 pm
[From here.]

The moment Sechs felt his powers seep away from his grasp he knew they had entered Landel's territory. They must have been just below the institute grounds at this point. He and Taura would have to make the rest of their trek without any significant boost to their speed. Thankfully they seemed close to the end of the subway and before long the claustrophobic walls of stone and moss gave way to a grand cavern. They had reached the underground lake.

"So... This is that lake Marc and Sora were talking about!" Sechs remarked with a whistle, taking in the impressive scene before him. The cavern presented itself as a collection of environmental contrasts, an open yet oppressive landmark with unnaturally white sand set against impenetrable darkness. The central lake was but a black silent spot in the ground, nearly indistinguishable from a solid or a liquid. For all Sechs knew, it could have just been an enormous pit with no bottom or an expansive ring of black ice.

Such comparisons reminded Sechs of his M-U, causing his back to twinge and ache. Slowing down to a burdened shuffle, Sechs stepped off the rocky ground onto the eerily white sand. There he stopped to recover his energy, crouching down upon the sand with his crowbar supporting some of his weight. "Didn't think I'd be visiting this place from outside of the institute!" he panted, "Now we just gotta get across..."
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11 April 2014 @ 11:48 am
[from here]

Dim light met her eyes and Aigis blinked, attempting to adjust her sight. As usual, the depth of the ballroom was rather stunning in its own way, if it didn't hold such terrible truths behind it. It was just another of Landel's sick games, but here she was, looking to see if there was a way to escape after this.

Surely there was something... A hidden tunnel or another secret room. There was the door that she had not yet gotten to pass, but surely could after the fight in the Coliseum.

At odds with herself, Aigis reached into her pillowcase and pulled out one of the items she had salvaged from the pantry. A box of crackers. That would work. Taking out a sleeve of the crunchy treats, Aigis opened it and began to eat a few while she considered her options.
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11 April 2014 @ 11:43 am
[from here]

This was it. From here on, Aigis was going to be alone when she went down there, and there was no one to blame but herself for this hideous condition.

No. She had one person to blame above even herself.

Martin Landel.

Grimly, Aigis tightened her grip on her pillowcase and shoved aside the trap door. As carefully as she could, Aigis descended into a place she hoped she never had to see again after this night.

[to here]
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11 April 2014 @ 11:35 am
[from here]

She had to tread quickly. Who knew if a creature was lying in wait for her to slow down so it could snack on her?

Swiftly, she patted around the shelves in an attempt to find something edible. Her hand fell on a basket of fruit and a banana was quickly taken for an immediate snack. It wouldn't last for long, so she also added a few more random fruit to her pillowcase bag along with a few boxes and bags she found in the pantry that weren't too heavy. Cans she left alone, not sure if she would have an implement to open them anytime soon.

With her pillowcase a bit heavier, and a half-eaten banana in hand, Aigis stepped back into the kitchen.

[back to here]
11 April 2014 @ 11:31 am
[from here]

She was nearly out of breath when she entered the kitchen. Already, she was feeling worn out. Aigis needed fuel. Food.

Deviating from her course for a moment, Aigis moved to one of the pantries on the side to find something to help her recharge.

[to here]
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11 April 2014 @ 11:29 am
[from here]

Here, the air was still, stagnant. No one had been here tonight, and she hoped nothing would be in here waiting for her, either.

Quickly, she raced across the room and over the counter. She didn't look back to see if anything followed her.

[to here]
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11 April 2014 @ 11:04 am
Aigis had been nearly useless for the past several days. Even when the nurses attempted to get her to eat, it was nearly impossible for her to work up the effort.

All of her friends were dead and gone. Certainly, a few acquaintances had survived, but most of them were gone or busy with their own troubles. Aidou was distant, Heat no longer believed in who he was, and now Sechs was...

She clutched her plush toys to her chest when Landel spoke with his grim tone over the intercom. From the sound of it, this was going to be a night of purging. A part of her welcomed the idea, thinking it would probably be best if they just let her shut down for good. Then she wouldn't have to live with the memories of her friends' faces playing over and over through her head.

But after a few minutes, just stroking the plush fur of Schrodinger-san, Aigis sat up and the small Sechs plush fell into her lap. If she was gone, if she was destroyed, then where would those memories go? Where would be Heat's impatient scowl, or Scar's clumsiness, or Ema's enthusiasm, or... or any of it? Would it be lost to the world, no longer even a small glimmer to anyone's knowledge? And Aigis, despite how down she had been recently, stood with a sureness that she hadn't felt since that night she entered the Coliseum.

Without allowing herself to think further on it, she began to stuff a pillowcase full of items, everything she had went in there as Von Karma had taught her once before, and she made her way out into the hall and walked past the row of silent doors.

[to here]
27 March 2014 @ 11:54 am
[From here.]

The hall they stepped into was empty and dark, save for the light they carried themselves. As near as Lloyd could tell, there was no one else there. The silence made their footsteps sound way too loud. Lloyd dropped his voice as he continued to speak.

"Lana was worried about running into a monster, too. She said she and Ryuuzaki aren't the greatest of fighters. I told her they could call us for help, but..." He trailed off as sudden dread filled his gut. "Castiel, those key cards seem to take us to the last place we were. What if they took Lana and Ryuuzaki right back to that room?"
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