gald_digger: (I see what you did there.)
Anise Tatlin ([personal profile] gald_digger) wrote in [community profile] damned_institute2012-06-03 06:49 pm

Day 64: Cafeteria (brunch)

Well, that went well! Anise had gained herself a gorgeously handsome new friend. She just hoped that weird illness didn't get either of them killed before she could get to know him any better.

... Yeah, that was morbid. It was hard not to think about, though.

Before going to the Cafeteria, Anise made a stop at her room to grab her journal, maps, and a pen. Once she finished eating, she could get a start on copying the maps for Barnaby. He was going to be so glad he met her!

With that done, Anise made her way to the Cafeteria, where she picked up an assortment of food, making sure to get some meat, vegetables, and milk on her tray. She then sat down at a table and set her notes aside while she started on her meal. It was hard not to feel self-conscious about the rash on her arm, though the makeup she used had blended the discolored part enough that it couldn't be seen from a distance. Anise just hoped no one would come specifically looking for it.

skeletonenigma: (fightfire)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-03 01:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery was feeling a little more in control of things when Landel announced food over the intercom, thanks to Sora. That faded very quickly when he realized, as his nurse guided him gently down through the Sun Room, that the strange feeling in his gut from earlier had been hunger.

He wasn't even sure if he could remember how to eat food. It seemed pretty self-explanatory, but then, so did walking. Was digestion an automatic process? God, he hoped it was. Skulduggery delayed the inevitable by leaving a message on the bulletin board Sora told him about, and then allowing his nurse to chatter away aimlessly while she picked out food for him.

When Skulduggery was alone again, he sat slowly back in the chair, trying to gage exactly how his sense of balance was different now that he had more mass. His head, Skulduggery realized, was about twice as heavy as it used to be, throwing him off a lot more than it really should have. That would be the addition of the brain. And speaking of the brain, his organs. They just sat there and were, apart from keeping him alive, utterly useless. Skulduggery had forgotten how fragile they were. He never thought he would miss the empty space in his ribcage so much.

He looked down at the food, trying to remember what his favorites had been from when he was alive. He'd always liked tea, hadn't he? Tea was probably a safe bet. Skulduggery lifted the mug to his lips and took a sip.

It wasn't bad. It wasn't hot, either, as far as he could tell, but there was something wrong with it. The liquid swished around the large and awkward tongue for a moment - bringing with it a pleasant taste Skulduggery remembered from centuries ago - before he finally understood what was wrong with that taste.

Swallowing. He'd completely forgotten how to swallow.

[Waiting on a noir detective, I believe...?]
tasteoftruth: (Damn I'm good.)

[personal profile] tasteoftruth 2012-06-04 12:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Heh. Saint Kojak. That had not been the most mature deception he'd ever pulled off but one had to savor the little things. Badd picked a random assortment of food items, loading heavy on the sweets, and went to look for someone else he could hold a bearable conversation with. Let's see if we can't bat two for two today.

The man he sat next to seemed to be having a problem with his food. He was drinking the tea so slowly Badd almost felt like giving him verbal instructions on how to continue consuming it. It wasn't a face Badd recognized, either.

"It's not poisoned," he put in. "At least we don't think so." But give it long enough here, brother, you'll wish it was.
skeletonenigma: (closeup)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-04 01:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery glanced up as the stranger sat down next to him, but wouldn't have responded even if he didn't have a mouthful of tea. He knew the food wouldn't be poisoned, partly because Sora confirmed that everything was as normal as possible during the day and partly because there was very little point in holding a large group of people prisoner if you were just going to poison the food they ate. Poison hadn't been why Skulduggery was hesitant about eating it. Of course, he hadn't really given much thought to swallowing, either.

Professor Grouse used to force unconscious people to swallow by holding their breath and massaging their throat. After a slight pause, Skulduggery tipped his head back and tried that himself. To his surprise, it worked, but had the unfortunate side effect of going down the wrong way and sending him into a coughing fit. Good god, coughing fits hurt.

"Sorry about that," he said once he managed to stop. "I haven't had to swallow for a while. I don't suppose there's an easy way to explain how it works?" With everyone here in the same boat, Skulduggery didn't see any point in trying to hide who he once was anymore; people would either believe him or believe he was crazy, and honestly, what else was new?
tasteoftruth: (Damn I'm good.)

[personal profile] tasteoftruth 2012-06-04 06:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Badd watched the strange display with a deadpan expression and his fork halfway to his mouth. It reminded him of the way Gumshoe made Missile take medication, closing the dog's mouth around the pill and stroking his throat to make him swallow it.

Which turned out to be nearly what the man was doing. "Dunno. It's always come pretty naturally to me," he said, finishing the route of fork to mouth. "So what are you, some kind of alien? Robot? You act like you're new here." At 'here' he gestured to the cafeteria around them, as well as to the man himself. Seemed to be new at being human, too. Badd had learned to accept these things with grace.
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-04 06:44 pm (UTC)(link)
"I am," Skulduggery answered as he put the mug back down on the table. "New here. Not an alien or a robot. I take it that's par for the course around here." It also implied that Skulduggery wasn't the only one who had to get used to a new body, a fact which piqued his interest. "What kinds of aliens and robots have you encountered?"

...Not exactly a question he'd ever pictured himself asking seriously, but that was the wonderful thing about life. Even ending up in a trans-dimensional prison could be an educational experience.
tasteoftruth: (Lollipop)

[personal profile] tasteoftruth 2012-06-04 06:47 pm (UTC)(link)
"No goddamn idea. I tend not to ask people about their personal lives. But normality tends to take a flying leap around here so I like to keep an open mind." Badd wasn't sure he wanted to know, really, but he knew at least some of the people here claimed not to be human. At least one was a clone, or had clones, or something nonsensical like that. Therefore just roll with what you get, because wasting time denying it is probably going to get you eaten.

He took a long sip of his drink, again looking the man over. "What's your name, new guy?"
skeletonenigma: (writtenname)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-04 06:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Everyone's idea of 'normality' was going to be different depending on where they came from, so Skulduggery thought it best not to ask for clarification. Even in his own reality, there were people who didn't consider living skeletons or magic 'normal,' and as the man said, normality was definitely going to be taking flying leaps in this place. Skulduggery could already see that.

"Skulduggery Pleasant," he replied with a polite nod. "And you? What's your story?" The man looked like he'd seen a lot in his time, which really only served to heighten Skulduggery's own desire to find a mirror. He'd always wondered what sort of man his new skull belonged to, and meeting new people without knowing what you looked like was slightly unsettling.
tasteoftruth: (Wandering)

[personal profile] tasteoftruth 2012-06-04 07:01 pm (UTC)(link)
"Tyrell Badd." Badd stirred his breakfast, pondering how to phrase it. What was his story? Bloody and miserable, mostly, as worn as the trenchcoat they were going to give him this evening. Foster uncle, thief of truth, failed bodyguard, convicted criminal...might as well start with the basics.

"I was a detective. Retired, before I got snatched here. I don't know how it happened, nobody does. We're all just going about our business, living or dying, and then..." Badd snapped his fingers. "We wake up in hell."
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-04 07:23 pm (UTC)(link)
"Ah, a detective." Skulduggery wasn't quite sure what to make of that fact yet. In a perfect world, all detectives would think the way he did, and therefore immediately be trustworthy, as well as worthy opponents in chess. But that obviously wasn't the case. And it might also be true that detectives, wherever Badd came from, were not the same as detectives Skulduggery was familiar with - or worse, were like Remus Crux. "I was a detective, too," he continued, "although I wasn't retired so much as fired. I accused the man I worked for of treason." He paused, and tilted his head slightly to the side. "To be fair, he was actually innocent of that charge, but I had very good reasons for suspecting him."

The slight headache was back, and it was worse. Did he need to hydrate? Skulduggery glanced back down at the tea, but didn't reach for it just yet. "How long have you been trapped here?"
tasteoftruth: (Default)

[personal profile] tasteoftruth 2012-06-04 09:45 pm (UTC)(link)
"About three weeks." Three visits to Doyleton, at least. It was hard to keep track of time around here.

Accused his boss of treason? Interesting. No brown-noser, but that didn't mean he wasn't an asshole. Everyone was a potential asshole. "Always sucks when that happens," he said, feigning sympathy. "You just want the credit you're due, maybe to hitch yourself another rung up the ladder, and someone screws with your nice little conclusions. I've never been fired, but I've had that happen."

Well. Define fired.
skeletonenigma: (fightfire)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-04 10:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Three weeks? Badd was either a poor excuse for a detective, or it really was that difficult to escape this place. Studying him now, Skulduggery decided on the latter; the man looked the very picture of a 1940's private eye, which meant he would at least have an eye for detail, and he wouldn't give up without a fight.

"I didn't really care about climbing any ladders," he said. What would he get promoted to? Head Prime Detective? That would just be silly. "I was trying to save the world at the time. You'd think you'd be shown a little leeway for that, but then again, the man I worked for has always been... interesting." Self-serving and prejudiced, really, but Skulduggery could forgive him for that. He briefly wondered how Thurid Guild would take the news of Skulduggery's disappearance, but there wasn't much mystery there. A much more intriguing mystery was who the replacement Prime Detective was going to be. Because if it was going to be Remus Crux, Skulduggery would have to find a way back just to punch Guild.

He cautiously tried another sip of the tea to stop himself from thinking about it. This time, when Skulduggery closed his eyes and pushed it to the back of his throat, the swallow was fairly automatic. He felt a mild flash of irritation - what went wrong last time?
tasteoftruth: (Thieftaker)

[personal profile] tasteoftruth 2012-06-04 11:02 pm (UTC)(link)
"The entire world? That's a bit of a tall order. I had enough trouble with L.A." And he did a poor job of saving that. Badd politely watched Skulduggery (fine, fine, he'd worked for a man named Manfred von Karma, weird names were par for the course) make another attempt at swallowing, managing to keep it down this time. Good for him.

"So what kind of detective were you, back where you didn't have to swallow? I'm a bit new to the supernatural and bizarre and it's hard for an old dog to learn new tricks." Such as how to react when your companion turns into a monstrous bleeding sheep. No, Badd was not going to get over that anytime soon.
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-04 11:26 pm (UTC)(link)
L.A. Los Angeles, in California. It matched the American accent, but Skulduggery was having a hard time believing everyone here spoke perfect English. "Perhaps," he responded evenly, "but I'd managed it several times before. I'm worried about how they'll get along without me. Not that they're not all fine people in their own right, but none of them handle responsibility particularly well."

Well, that wasn't exactly true, but Skulduggery didn't really feel like splitting hairs at the moment. One more sip of tea, which he also swallowed with a minimum of fuss, and then he tentatively picked up a fork.

"I was a skeleton," he answered after a moment. "Among other things, but if you're new to the supernatural, you might already be lost." People tended to get hung up on the whole 'living skeleton' bit. Because he mentioned L.A, Badd might come from the same reality as Skulduggery, which was another reason for the skeleton detective to tread carefully. Then again, a place like this probably kept you on your toes.
tasteoftruth: (Testify)

[personal profile] tasteoftruth 2012-06-04 11:39 pm (UTC)(link)
A single eyebrow slowly went up at the word 'skeleton', but Badd's face otherwise remained unchanged. "...sure." He gave a half-hearted shrug and stabbed a piece of egg. "Skeleton. Why not. You're probably not the only one."

He needed a lollipop right now, badly, because the sad part was that Badd believed him. Had to, by default.

"I don't mind dead people. Some of my best friends are dead people," he said, allowing himself to ramble. "Some of my worst enemies, too. So I won't hold it against you."

Make that a lollipop floating in a glass of whiskey. Next time he saw Dr. Cox he was knocking the man out and raiding his office for that flask Badd just knew he kept under his desk.
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-05 12:12 am (UTC)(link)
Badd was taking it well, compared to some. He was even taking it better than some sorcerers had. He wasn't fainting, wasn't staring, and wasn't leaping across the table to attack him, all of which had happened at various points in Skulduggery's life. But Badd also hadn't been faced with the stark reality of his skull, either, and that might account for some of the nonchalance.

He was right, though; Skulduggery might not be the only former skeleton here, and he still didn't know how he felt about that.

Skulduggery had also seen his fair share of death - though mainly from before he became a detective - so he didn't comment on Badd's ramble. He was, however, slightly curious about how far Badd would be willing to stretch his obviously reluctant belief. "I was also a sorcerer," he added. "Quite a powerful one, too. Not nearly as powerful here, unfortunately. Would that be more or less common than people who weren't human?" Meeting other Elementals, while unlikely, would certainly be beneficial.
tasteoftruth: (Family)

[personal profile] tasteoftruth 2012-06-05 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
Badd took the information with the same eyebrow and shrug as he had the skeleton revelation. Even if Skulduggery was crazy, would it matter? He wasn't a skeleton anymore, nor a sorcerer, and so whether he was one previously made no difference. "I wouldn't know, but I doubt it. Nobody else has claimed to be one to me and I've never seen any magic that wasn't Landel's garbage."

No. Wait. That time on the rec field, those children he had shot of them had thrown something at him. A shadow that had knocked him flat on the ground. It wasn't a particularly pleasant memory but Badd had too many of those to only hang on to the good ones.

"Except once," Badd corrected himself, his stoic expression seeming to grow grimmer. "Some kid with silver hair. I didn't get a good look at what he did, but it wasn't natural. So yeah, maybe there's some of that around. Me, I'll just stick with steel and gunpowder."
skeletonenigma: (fightfire)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-05 01:31 am (UTC)(link)
"What's wrong with relying on both?" Skulduggery asked. Steel and gunpowder certainly had its uses. Skulduggery himself used a revolver, and he'd managed to arrest Baron Vengeous during the war by throwing a stick of dynamite at him. He still wasn't quite clear on why that resulting explosion hadn't killed the man, but since Skulduggery finally killed him a year ago, it was a moot point.

And now he'd confirmed that there were definitely people around here who could use magic. Whether Badd had witnessed an Adept discipline, or a different form of magic altogether, remained to be seen.

"So," said Skulduggery, the fork he'd picked up a few minutes ago still clutched in his hand, forgotten. "Now that you know my deep dark secret, would you mind doing me a favor? I haven't been able to find a mirror yet, and I don't think my face is doing what I tell it to. This is one of those rare opportunities where I could use some criticism."
tasteoftruth: (Lollipop)

[personal profile] tasteoftruth 2012-06-05 01:44 am (UTC)(link)
Badd looked up. He scrutinized Skulduggery, scratching at his permastubble with his thumb. "Well, you're not hideous." He rattled off the man's vital statistics--approximate weight, height, eyes, all the things a cop learned to note at a glance so they could write them down later. "You've got this weird habit of deadpanning, plenty of emotion in your voice but none in your face. Guess that makes sense. You're not used to that whole facial muscle thing. Being a skeleton and all."

God, the things this place made him say. Badd nearly winced at the bizarre nature of his own statements. "I'd say you should practice so you don't freak people out, but honestly everyone who's been here more than a week has a raging case of PTSD anyway. On the freak scale you're still pretty low."
skeletonenigma: (writtenname)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-05 03:06 am (UTC)(link)
...Right. Yes. Good to know he wasn't hideous.

Badd's description - very much that of a thorough detective, Skulduggery was pleased to hear - reminded him of what he used to look like, back before he was killed. That was a strange coincidence. It couldn't be exactly the same because Skulduggery's own skull was stolen by goblins a couple of decades ago, but the fact that it sounded similar meant Skulduggery couldn't look that bad.

"Nevertheless, I will practice more once I find a mirror," he said absentmindedly, looking back down at the food. Part of him couldn't help but enjoy having this challenge, having to work at passing for normal, even though it would take time to master absolutely everything. Hell, it would probably take weeks just to master eating.

"Am I smiling now?" he asked, looking back up at Badd. Just like the smile he'd tried on Yomi the night before, his lips twitched up properly, but his eyes remained completely empty.
tasteoftruth: (Thieftaker)

[personal profile] tasteoftruth 2012-06-05 11:41 am (UTC)(link)
"Yyyyeah, but now you're just looking creepy." You get both eyebrows for this, Skulduggery. That's how creepy you are. "Your mouth's moving but it's about as fake as a wooden nickel, the rest of your face doesn't flinch." Badd mimed a smile, though on a face like his own it looked equally unnerving. He very, very rarely smiled, even when he had something to smile about.

"Gotta get your eyes into it," he continued, dropping the smile as soon as possible. "But like I said. You have bigger problems."
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-05 12:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery dropped his own smile as soon as Badd did - or he tried to, but it sprang almost instantly back up without his knowledge and stayed there.

"Oh, I'm sure I do. There are always bigger problems." Like stopping evil psychopaths from bringing back a race of dark gods who wouldn't hesitate to destroy most of humanity. It was almost amusing how often that had happened to Skulduggery in the past few years alone. "That doesn't mean you can't appreciate the little things in life." He rested his chin in one hand and studied Tyrell Badd. "You look like a man with hobbies. And if you're not, you should be." Smiling might not be one of those hobbies, but Skulduggery politely didn't point it out. He wasn't really one to talk, after all.
tasteoftruth: (Sweating bullets)

[personal profile] tasteoftruth 2012-06-05 07:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Badd waved his hand dismissively. "I got no time for hobbies. Even retired, there's too much work." And it was a little hard to get a hobby together when one had just been arrested. "I'll appreciate the little things in life when I'm dead. Given all the dead guys walking around here it might actually happen."

A hobby'd be nice, though. He'd planned on finding one if he survived to retirement, which was something he honestly hadn't expected to happen. Not until Byrne gave him a cause to both live and die for.
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-05 09:20 pm (UTC)(link)
"That's not a very healthy attitude," Skulduggery pointed out with a frown in his voice that completely failed to take the place of the smile on his face - a smile which had grown lopsided. "I'll admit, I'm already dead, so you may have a point, but not everyone turns out as lucky as I did. Try playing a game of chess sometime. Or cards. Apparently, if you get a good enough poker face, you can even cheat death, so all your problems are solved right there."

But was he still dead? Was that still something you could say when you'd been thrust into a living body? For the sake of sanity, Skulduggery decided that it was.

He did need food, though. That strange feeling in the pit of his stomach was only growing. Skulduggery stabbed a piece of egg with the fork, just like he'd seen Badd do earlier, and slid it into his mouth before he could change his mind.
tasteoftruth: (Testify)

[personal profile] tasteoftruth 2012-06-05 10:52 pm (UTC)(link)
"Or be a prosecutor. They can argue their way out of most anything." Now there was a funny image, von Karma arguing death to a stand-still in court. And weren't at least two of their would-be-dead inmates prosecutors? Badd could almost find it likely.

"Don't forget to chew," Badd put in as Skulduggery attempted the next level in food consumption. "You've got better ways to die than choking."
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-05 11:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Right. Chewing. Just the jaw, moving up and down, because his exposed set of teeth wasn't quite so exposed anymore. When Skulduggery had just become a skeleton and was still getting used to the skull, he'd done nothing but chew, because it felt like his jaw was going to fall off otherwise. He was glad to see that he had indeed grown into the well-adjusted skeleton he always thought he was.

Slowly and carefully, Skulduggery mashed his teeth together, pressing his lips closed and generally giving off the air of someone under great concentration, albeit without a facial expression to match. Swallowing food was very different from swallowing tea, but Skulduggery managed it in the end. He was vaguely perplexed to find that he had been concentrating so hard that he forgot what the egg actually tasted like.

"So, Detective Badd, if you've been here for three weeks, what have you discovered? I take it no one's properly escaped, but has anyone gotten close? Is anyone trying anything at the moment?"

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