damned_intercom: (Default)
The Intercom ([personal profile] damned_intercom) wrote in [community profile] damned_institute2012-06-16 01:26 am

Day 64: Intercom, Evening

When the cheery jingle sounded over the speakers, the Head Doctor could be heard humming a song that suspiciously sounded like pieces of "Superstar" from today's movie. Then, as if realizing people were listening, he abruptly cleared his throat.

"Good evening, patients!" he greeted after a quick recovery. "I do hope everyone had a pleasant day. And what better way to end things than with a scrumptious steak dinner? We'll be including fries on the side, as well as offering our usual assortment of water, milk, and juices. Of course, we also carry vegetarian options for those of you who don't eat meat. Enjoy!"

The intercom turned off, leaving the nurses to escort patients to their rooms.

((Please make all dinner threads under this post with your character's room number in the subject line. For updated roommate assignments, refer to the latest Lounge Post. Thanks!))
scarefaux: ([joy! rapture!])


[personal profile] scarefaux 2012-06-18 10:52 am (UTC)(link)
The Scarecrow scratched nervously at the bandages on his forearm again as he followed his nurse to his room, walking the hallway without looking up even once. He knew the way by now, every turn and step memorized from days upon days of walking the path. He looked down the corridor as they neared his room, hoping for a glimpse of Depth Charge. No such luck.

She handed him his tray of food, checking his arm idly for a moment. She wanted to say something, but ended up stifling it with a sigh. "Well, you have a good night now, Mr. Howard. Your roommate should be along shortly."

The former strawman's face brightened instantly. "Really? Oh, that's just great to hear. I haven't had the chance to speak to Depth- er, Mr. Price in some time. I suppose we've just missed each other somehow these last few days. And he was asleep before that." And before that, he'd been taken for the Special Counseling and the two of them had been forced into a mission for the General. There was so much to talk about, so many things they needed to say. They'd never resolved that argument, the fake one that had become alarmingly real the more it went on. The Scarecrow, having had a lot of time to think, finally knew what needed to be said.

The nurse looked at him, pity in her eyes; he failed to recognize it. "You get some rest. You're going to need it if you're to recover from your illness." With that, she put a hand to his back and gently guided him through the door.

She paused as he headed for his desk and set his tray atop it, watching him from the doorway. He looked to thrilled with the prospect of seeing his roommate again, and she hadn't the heart to tell him the bad news. Well, she supposed he'd find out for himself. His friendship with Price, while good for him, wasn't perfect: it seemed from her observation that Howard often let the taller, more imposing man make the decisions for him, and part of his recovery required that he break through the delusion that he was a strawman without a brain, incapable of human reasoning.

Another sigh and she was gone, closing the door. His new roommate would be along soon enough. She could only hope the bad news wouldn't set back his recovery.
Edited 2012-06-18 10:53 (UTC)
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-18 01:55 pm (UTC)(link)
It turned out that the 'scrumptious steak dinners' were an individual affair, rather than in that large cafeteria. Skulduggery saw no reason to complain. In fact, he was even chatting amicably with his nurse as she led him back to the small dormitory rooms. The two had struck up a sort of uneasy friendship over the course of the day, albeit one that was based on very little knowledge of each other. Once Skulduggery accepted that he wouldn't get answers to all of his questions (the morgue, apparently, was "Nothing you need to worry about, Mr. MacAuley!"), and she accepted that Skulduggery would remain patiently obtuse to his real life but was perfectly friendly nonetheless, a lot of the friction that made her seem so annoying simply dissipated.

"You enjoyed your first day, then?" she asked with a smile.

"About as much as could be expected." Skulduggery had already decided that this nurse, at least, truly believed the mental hospital story, which made her just as much of a victim as everyone else here.

"Good! Here's your dinner-" she handed him the tray of food, "-and this is going to be your room from now on." She gestured to a door marked M42 with another smile. "And I'll see you in the morning. Sleep well, Mr. MacAuley."

"Indeed," Skulduggery murmured as the nurse hurried away. If it were up to him, his dinner would sit untouched while he meditated, or thought about tonight. But unfortunately, that irritating feeling in the pit of his stomach was having other ideas. As frustrating as the concept was, the nurse was right. Skulduggery was going to have to eat something to keep his strength up.

Sleep, however, did not feature in any of his plans. Not now, and hopefully not for a while, if ever. He could sleep when he was dead. Actually, he hadn't slept even when he was dead. Skulduggery pushed open the door to M42, and only barely noticed that it wasn't the room from last night or this morning before he froze.

Someone was sitting at one of the desks.

Of course, the fact that each room had two beds should have warned him, but the discovery still caught Skulduggery slightly off-guard. He recovered very quickly and placed his dinner on the other desk, his new roommate now a fact that mixed up with every other thought currently running through his head. "Hello," Skulduggery greeted him, his tone friendly if a bit absent-minded. "I believe we're supposed to be roommates. Would you mind telling me what language I'm speaking?"
scarefaux: ([unsure])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2012-06-19 09:31 am (UTC)(link)
Scarecrow turned the moment the door opened, pushing his chair aside as he stood. "Oh, De—"

However, it wasn't his roommate that entered, but someone else entirely. The tray in his hands and the smiling face on his shirt made it evident he wasn't a nurse; the alternative was almost more than the Scarecrow could bear to think of.

He remembered his manners half a second later, bringing him from his state of horrified shock as his brain worked to put together what his heart already knew. "Oh. H- how do you do?" He gave who he supposed was his new roommate a polite nod, the initial question he'd been asked already lost on him.
skeletonenigma: (fightfire)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-19 12:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery gave him a sideways glance as he lowered himself slowly into the chair, trying to think about anything but the steak he would now have to eat. The man's reaction was enough to garner a little more of Skulduggery's attention; most people only went that speechless upon noticing he was a living skeleton. "Were you expecting someone else?"

Badd had said that people just disappeared occasionally. The man whose name started with a D might have been a friend. Alternatively, perhaps something about Skulduggery's face had caused the shock, although he doubted it was because of how handsome he was. With so many opportunities to find a mirror today passing him by one by one, Skulduggery finally had to wonder if he'd really just forgotten, or if he might - just might - be slightly nervous to see his own reflection. It wouldn't be a man he knew, after all; it would be whoever his new skull belonged to.
scarefaux: ([incredulous])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2012-06-19 08:48 pm (UTC)(link)
"My roommate, Depth Charge," the Scarecrow answered in spite of his shock. Though rude to stare, that was all he found he could do. He'd had a roommate change once before, and it meant only one thing for certain: the man he'd been living with for some time was now gone, and as with Mele and Abe and Kaiji, he'd never gotten to say goodbye. It was worse somehow with Depth Charge- the last time they'd talked at any length, they'd argued. They had never resolved that conflict that stemmed from each other's desire to protect the other and see him safe; the chances were that they never would, now.

And that was the worst part of all. His chest ached painfully, but he couldn't fully understand why. His eyes blurred; he rubbed at them to clear them, and found them brimming with tears for reasons he wasn't capable of explaining. He'd seen Dorothy and Lion cry a few times, and Tin Man did it just about every other day, but it was an experience completely foreign to him. He looked at his hand, puzzled, and wondered idly if losing people affected the human body in some negative way about which he should be concerned. At least he couldn't rust.

That was a single benefit. In the end, he could have all the brains in the world, and still he felt he'd never understand Landel's, his sudden humanity, how to make things right, or simply how to get home.

"Oh, do pardon me for being rude," he said, his voice neutral even though tears welled in his eyes. He wiped at them again with his palm, looking as confused at his own reaction as before. He offered his free hand to his new roommate. "I'm Scarecrow. It's a pleasure to meet you, though I do wish they'd been under better circumstances."
skeletonenigma: (writtenname)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-19 10:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Depth Charge? And people thought the name 'Skulduggery Pleasant' was strange. Although, to be fair, no one he talked to here had said that yet. The closest had been Yomi, and she'd been talking about the definition of the word rather than the name.

Tears were brimming in the stranger's eyes, but the only reason Skulduggery took any special note of it was because his own eyes had watered that morning, and the man looked just as confused at his own tears as Skulduggery had felt when his vision blurred. Depth Charge had, apparently, been a close friend, and Skulduggery's assumption that he was one of the disappearances was looking more and more like the truth. He gave a short smile, abruptly cut off when he remembered Badd telling him how creepy his smiles looked. "I'm sorry."

The name 'Scarecrow,' in and of itself, didn't cause Skulduggery to raise any eyebrows - metaphorically speaking. He was used to weird names. They came with the package when you lived in a hidden subculture of people who chose their own names, with the unwritten rule of making them as bizarre as possible. No, what made Skulduggery pause as he shook Scarecrow's hand was the realization that Scarecrow's face and voice were very, very familiar.

"Skulduggery Pleasant," he responded slowly. The former skeleton's thoughts seemed to be moving in several directions at once, making it difficult to know what to pay attention to and what to ignore for the sake of carrying on a conversation. "Likewise. But from what I've seen, better circumstances are difficult to come by."
scarefaux: ([well])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2012-06-22 09:31 am (UTC)(link)
"I wish I could say that wasn't true," the Scarecrow said with a shake of his head, "but that does seem to be the case these days." He withdrew his hand, scratching again at his forearm, wondering if what he'd heard about the infection had any truth to it.

"I'll take what circumstances I can get, in that case," he continued, putting on a hopeful smile despite the tears still forming in his eyes. "Why, that's better than not making your acquaintance at all, isn't it?"
skeletonenigma: (pencilskul)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-22 04:18 pm (UTC)(link)
The rash his roommate was scratching was the same as the one Sora had that morning, but apart from Skulduggery's muscles subconsciously tensing - which actually worried him more than the threat of a contagious illness - he ignored it. He hadn't forgotten his theory, or Sora's confirmation of it, but it seemed like they would be safe until nightfall. And even then, Skulduggery was more than capable of handling whatever happened, despite the extra layer of skin and organs to worry about.

"True," he replied with a nod. "I'm a good person to know." Skulduggery wrestled briefly with how to phrase his next question, but as the all-too-familiar man smiled, the detective eventually decided to just take the plunge and deal with the consequences as they came. That was what detectives were good at, after all, and Skulduggery was one of the best. "Were you actually a scarecrow, before you came here?"
scarefaux: ([surprised])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2012-06-25 10:24 am (UTC)(link)
The Scarecrow hardly had time to question Skulduggery's insistence he was a good person to know. If there was one thing he'd been told time and time again, it was that he was too trusting, that he walked into danger blindly because he had no idea it was there and was willing to see the good in anyone far too often. Still, he didn't see why he ought not trust Skulduggery's self-assessment. Not yet, anyway. After all, there had to be a reason he thought himself a good person to know, whether it was because of his extraordinary courage or superior mind or something else entirely.

He'd always thought that maybe Depth Charge saw the negative too often; now he was gone, and there was no way of knowing if that negativity was one part of what sealed his fate. What if he was like Dorothy, the Scarecrow thought, out there alone and with no idea she'd been bewitched? She was someone with a kind heart who cared so much for others; she, too, was one some would consider trusting to a fault. It didn't seem possible that the same could befall someone as stubborn and unyielding as Depth Charge, a man fully capable of taking care of himself... well, most of the time. It was apparent from their last few conversations that he couldn't handle it alone, but felt he couldn't endanger anyone else by letting them tag along on his efforts to find a way to make things right. Certainly not someone he considered a friend. He'd have never said it, but the connection was clear enough even to a man without a working brain.

And yet, Depth Charge was the one missing while the Scarecrow remained. Why was he still there? He hadn't given up hope, but surely his limited skill set had outlived whatever usefulness Landel could possibly get from it.

He clawed at his arm idly as his mind was taken away from too much thinking, his roommate's inquiry drawing his full attention. "Why, yes I was," he answered, surprise evident in his tone. He couldn't be sure if it was just a lucky guess based on observation— he wouldn't have been the first to guess at his non-human status after knowing him for only a few minutes— or if his name had actually given it away, which seemed to be the rarer case, strangely enough. "How did you know?"
skeletonenigma: (writtenname)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-25 12:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery's head tilted at the Scarecrow's reply. This man was either whoever had played the role of the Scarecrow and delusional - as well as decades out of his time - or stark raving mad. Or placed there by Landel as another altered perception of Skulduggery's. But given his uncanny similarities to the character on screen, and the sheer extent of Landel's apparent powers, Skulduggery had to admit none of those options really made any sense.

He'd seen the film when it first came out, back in a time when color movies were just beginning to be the next big thing. He'd never felt a particular affinity for the storyline, but you couldn't live in this day and age without having seen The Wizard of Oz at least once.

"From Oz?" he asked after what seemed like an age of just looking blankly at the Scarecrow. His tone took on a slightly musical upbeat. "If I only had a brain? Following the yellow brick road?"

And it suddenly hit him where he'd heard the name 'Jack Skellington' before. Valkyrie had mentioned it. Apparently, Skellington was a talking skeleton from Halloween who thought that Christmas was the best thing ever, and yet Valkyrie seemed to think he was like Skulduggery. She'd talked about it a couple of times, usually around Christmas or right in the middle of a crisis, but Skulduggery had never given it too much thought. Until now.

Fictional characters. Sora said he knew one, the Scarecrow currently standing in front of him was another.
scarefaux: ([observant])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2012-06-29 05:23 am (UTC)(link)
"You've heard of it, then?" the Scarecrow asked, getting excited about the prospect of meeting someone who had at least heard of his homeland. Of course, hearing of it and believing in it were two very different things. Many he'd met thought it sounded too fantastic to exist, that a place with witches and talking animals and where a strawman could be king was somehow out of the realm of believability. With his short life in Oz and his time at Landel's as his only experiences, the Scarecrow had no real basis for comparison of what could and couldn't possibly be.

Others had heard of the name, but thought it was all a part of the movie and only existed there. He had to admit that the one he'd seen certainly had been a good imitation of the real thing, but the very concept of people not believing Dorothy's story when she came back home didn't sit well with him at all. It may have been true that it showed people what Oz was like, but why make it all seem like some figment of her imagination? That her adventures and the friends she'd made weren't real? Had he not been told otherwise, he'd have wondered if the whole movie was something Wizard Landel concocted, some kind of elaborate ruse much like the Great and Powerful Oz had been. It certainly sounded like one of his plans.
skeletonenigma: (pencilskul)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-29 06:52 am (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery was silent again as he tried to figure out how to respond. I've heard of the movie didn't really seem like the best way to proceed, especially if this guy really was the Scarecrow. Did he know he came from a movie? Or a book, possibly? Did his very existence mean that all works of fiction had their own alternate reality somewhere?

This was very, very strange. Not quite taking-on-three-dark-gods-at-once strange, but it came quite close. It was certainly the most interesting of everything Skulduggery had learned so far.

"Yes," he finally answered, opting for the safe answer. "It sounds like a nice place." Different versions of the story described everything in different ways, so he wasn't quite sure what else to say. "Only accessible by balloon or house-carrying twisters, I hear. Of course, this makes my first question more important. What language am I speaking?"
scarefaux: ([puzzling])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2012-06-29 08:22 am (UTC)(link)
Though a smile crossed his face immediately as Skulduggery so perfectly described Oz— including how to get there as Dorothy had, which was something the Scarecrow filed away to ask about later— it faded with the confusion that colored him.

"Language?" That was right- Skulduggery had asked that, hadn't he? The Scarecrow had to admit he'd never really put any thought into what tongue he was speaking, or even how he'd learned it in the first place, given he didn't have a brain at that time. He'd just simply known. "I don't know, to be honest. The one I can understand, though I haven't met a person here I couldn't."
skeletonenigma: (closeup)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-06-29 04:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Alright, that fell in line with what Yomi had said. And while the original movie was in English, the actual language spoken in Oz had never really been made clear. Some kind of fantasy language, presumably. There had never really been a reason to think about it until now.

"You probably have a brain here." Skulduggery glanced back down at the steak in front of him, and then finally pushed it away with a sigh. He didn't really feel like attempting to eat it when swallowing some tea had nearly killed him. "I do, and I didn't before."

Speaking of brains, the headache that had plagued him all day was gone. The realization caused an instinctive rubbing of his temples, which somehow gave him an idea. "Do you understand this?" he asked in French.
scarefaux: ([well])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2012-07-05 06:45 pm (UTC)(link)
"Oh, I know I have a brain here," he replied quietly, a hint of nervousness coloring his tone. He scratched at his arm again, wondering why it rattled him so- it had been a long time since the night they took him for his sleep study, and ages since he'd concerned himself over the clever little thing they'd implanted into his human brain. Perhaps it was Depth Charge's disappearance that renewed his discomfort with the entire event- his roommate had come to his rescue, after all. Then again, it might have been the illness his nurse kept telling him about. She did make it sound like whatever was wrong with his body was affecting his mind.

He was distracted until Skulduggery spoke again, this time in something he didn't understand at all. "I beg your pardon?"
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-07-11 02:05 pm (UTC)(link)
"Is that what the doctors told you?" Skulduggery asked, his head cocked to one side. "Or did they show you?" Would there be x-ray machines or MRI's in a mental hospital? It wasn't a particularly important question; he could feel the organs inside him, even without the confirmation of medical photographs. But if there was any kind of clinic in the building, it would be worth looking into later. Just like the morgue, it might hold the secret to how he was brought back to life.

There were many times, upon setting out to try something, when Skulduggery didn't quite know what he was expecting until it actually came to pass. The Scarecrow's answer to his question was one of them. "Never mind," he answered with what he hoped was a smile. "Just testing a theory." He stood up, walked over to the bed, and sat down with one arm stretched straight out in front of him.

On the surface, making sure everyone understood each other seemed simple enough, but Landel seemed to be twisting it into something more complicated than it needed to be. The Scarecrow understood his English, but not his French - or probably most other languages. If Skulduggery had spoken French to Yomi, would she have understood?