envy_the_sinners: (Sad)
Scar ([personal profile] envy_the_sinners) wrote in [community profile] damned_institute2012-07-19 01:40 am

DAY 65: Breakfast

Scar came to slowly, vision blurred and head throbbing. His memory of the previous night was vague and somewhat scattered. What he was most aware of was his renewed and increased hatred for the man called Lingormr. The Ishbalan didn't give a damn if he had been a special counseling patient. That bastard had enjoyed every second of tearing Scar to shreds. What he may or may not have realized was how much it had affected Scar emotionally. He had felt a renewed sense of drive at the start of the night; the disruption on the intercom and the news of the 'cure' had rekindled a fire that fueled Scar to drive forward. To have a little hope.

Lingormr had promptly crushed that.

He was in pain. So much pain. The cut on his hand was only fading scab at this point, but stitches now pulled at the deep gashes in his legs and back. Not only had the nausea not settled, but his stomach was beginning to cramp. The rash on his arm was impossible to hide without the old bandages covering it. It had nearly reached his elbow.

Scar's hazy eyes could make out the nurse, now pushing a wheelchair up to his bedside. This was humiliating. And he was too exhausted and hurting to lash out or become angry. He was just broken. He still tried to take some sort of grudging control, insisting that he didn't need to be pushed around, that he could at least turn the wheels of the damned chair himself. But he didn't make it down the hallway before the pulling and sharp pain in his back became so obvious on his face that the nurse took over.

He entered breakfast with a frustrated, tired, but overall defeated look to him. Scar felt too sick to eat. He sat at the table and brooded, wishing more than anything to simply be left alone.

[For Goku!]
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-07-20 03:43 am (UTC)(link)
As if in response to Skulduggery's thoughts, the end-of-night announcement suddenly sputtered on, thankfully short and to the point. Thankfully, because the dead woman had her hands in his mouth and had been seconds away from dislocating his jaw. Skulduggery was used to broken bones - they tended to come with the territory of being a walking, talking skeleton - but he was also used to getting them healed quickly, if not instantly. Something told him that wouldn't be the way things worked in this place.

Within a couple of seconds, the darkness had faded, the blinding light was back, and the suffocation due to hair and dead flesh was blissfully absent. Skulduggery gingerly tested his jaw, just to be sure the cracking pain hadn't escaped his memory somehow, before the nurse from the day before came to take him to breakfast. Skulduggery wasn't particularly enthused to encounter more food, especially when the annoying and painful hunger had only increased overnight without the accompanying skill of swallowing, but he didn't argue. Rita would most likely be there, and after the night they'd had, they needed to talk.

A brief scan of the bulletin board on his way through the Sun Room didn't reveal anything earth-shatteringly important. It was good to see that people had found whatever clue was supposed to be in the x-ray room, though it apparently hadn't been easy. Something to do with a brainwashed prisoner? No one was being specific, but it was obvious why. Even Skulduggery's nurse was shaking her head sadly at the notes posted up, and warning him not to fall into the same pit that so many of the other patients seemed to fall into. He assured her that he'd try not to, and allowed her to once again pick out his food - just with the stipulation of nothing that so much as resembled flesh - and a place for him to sit.

Rita didn't seem to have arrived yet. They'd been separated in most of the fighting last night, but Skulduggery was pretty sure she'd survived. He'd heard her scream near the end, at least.

He didn't think he was ever going to get the taste of that burned and rotting skin out of his mouth.

[Rita!]
overlimit: (Not my problem.)

[personal profile] overlimit 2012-07-20 05:26 am (UTC)(link)
What a nightmare. Rita awakened with a start that morning, and quickly stumbled out of bed. To her relief, she was back in a perfectly normal room with no massive hair-monsters flooding the place.

Once she had a moment to reassure herself that it was over, Rita was able to fully calm down and was ready to go. She stopped in the Sun Room to check the bulletin, but she couldn't help but watch her back, for fear that that thing could still be lurking about. But it wasn't, and she was able to catch up on current events and continue on to the Cafeteria without incident.

Looked like Lingormr had gotten himself into trouble. He hadn't struck Rita as being particularly weak-willed or anything, either. It looked like the institute's "special counseling" could work on anyone... but that was a matter for another time.

Once Rita picked up some food from the counter, she spotted Skulduggery among the tables and chairs. Carrying her tray with one hand (as the other was still in a sling) she made her way over and sat down across from the man.

"Well, that was useless," she immediately griped. "Looks like we both survived, though."
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-07-20 06:16 am (UTC)(link)
In any case, the events hadn't seemed to dampen Rita's optimism. Skulduggery eyed her as she sat down, searching for any sign of further injury, but she hid it well if there was. A lot of the skin down Skulduggery's right side was burned, forcing him to walk slightly bent to the side, so she was better off physically. But she probably didn't walk away without some kind of scarring, mental or otherwise.

"Indeed," Skulduggery agreed with a short nod. "And fairly unscathed, too." He might have to shave all his hair off if he could get his hands on a razor or a pair of scissors, but that could wait. Decisions made in haste, as they say. Maybe he could find a hat instead.

"I wouldn't call it useless. In my experience, creatures like that are only so persistent when they're protecting something valuable." That wasn't strictly true, but there was no way Skulduggery was letting some arrogant hair-controlling ghost-zombie stop him from getting somewhere, no matter how much dead flesh it shoved into his face. That flash of sensory memory brought on a repulsive shudder, but Skulduggery managed to ignore it. He was already getting better at ignoring a lot of what his body randomly decided to do.

"You didn't happen to get into the library, did you?"
overlimit: (Waste of time.)

[personal profile] overlimit 2012-07-20 01:33 pm (UTC)(link)
'Fairly' unscathed, huh. There had been a few moments last night that left Rita wondering if he was even alive or not, but he seemed to be in functioning condition. At least it looked like he was capable of coming along for a second attempt.

"No," Rita said in response to his question, "The way was blocked." A momentary shudder shook her shoulders as she remembered the feeling of wiry hair brushing against her face and hands. But it passed, and she continued on as if she hadn't been affected by the events. "Whatever that thing was, it probably won't be there again tonight. Something else might get stationed there, though." Especially if Skulduggery's guess was right, and there really was something valuable that abomination had been left to guard.
skeletonenigma: (writtenname)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-07-20 03:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Something else, eh? Just yesterday, Skulduggery would have said nothing could be worse than an eternity alone with the Faceless Ones, especially when they'd probably be furious with him for disrupting their annoyingly endless plans. But if whatever that something else happened to be even compared to the dead woman from last night, he was seriously beginning to reconsider.

It was good to see that Rita was thinking along the same lines as he was, though. Whether that came out of necessity or a simple stubbornness was unclear, but the line between them could often be blurred. "We'll just have to run faster tonight, then," he told her with a blank glance down at his french toast. "Or try and avoid the fight entirely." It was possible that if they waited, or went somewhere else first, then the something else would be preoccupied and they could sneak by. And Skulduggery was still curious about that morgue.
overlimit: (Was I supposed to be caring just now?)

[personal profile] overlimit 2012-07-21 08:36 am (UTC)(link)
"Suits me just fine," Rita replied between bites of her french toast. She doubted they were going to encounter that horrific thing a second time. If they did, Rita was getting the hell out. No way was she going through that again.

That meant their main order of business was already resolved, and Rita had only barely started eating. This looked like a chance to get a few questions answered.

"Now that that's out of the way, do you mind telling me more about the kind of magic you use?" she asked, somewhat abruptly. If it was something that could only be used by those with a specific capacity for it, Rita may not have any applications for what she could learn from Skulduggery, but her curiosity as a scholar persisted.
skeletonenigma: (fightfire)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-07-21 03:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Ignoring that empty feeling of hunger in the pit of his stomach, even as it grew by the second, was a harder feat than he'd imagined. How did Valkyrie manage it? If Skulduggery didn't occasionally remind her that she wasn't also a skeleton, that girl probably wouldn't ever eat. How she survived before meeting him was a mystery.

Skulduggery was more than happy to talk about sorcerers and magic in his own world, if only to use it as an excuse for avoiding the food in front of him. He'd had to explain magic - or at least his particular branch of it - a few times over the years, but this was only the third time in recent memory that he had to do it completely from scratch. Not to mention the first time in a long time that Skulduggery didn't have immediate proof in the form of his skeletal visage.

"Of course not," he answered brightly. "As I said before, I'm an Elemental. It's a longer and somewhat more difficult path of magic to master; most sorcerers become Adepts instead. Adepts work to master a greater variety of abilities that are more immediately powerful."
overlimit: (Are you done wasting time yet?)

[personal profile] overlimit 2012-07-22 02:22 pm (UTC)(link)
He'd mentioned the part about Elementals before. So the old man had chosen a more difficult field over one with faster results... Rita supposed she could respect that. "I take it the harder road is worth the trouble?" That wasn't always the case, as she'd known plenty of people who devoted ridiculous amounts of time and effort to pointless things, but Skulduggery didn't strike her as a complete idiot. Not in the matter of magic, anyway.

"So Elementals use the four primary elements of magic, like you said before. What about Adepts? What sorts of abilities do they have?"
skeletonenigma: (writtenname)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-07-22 03:02 pm (UTC)(link)
"That depends on the sorcerer," he replied. "Elemental magic is usually more powerful overall, but there are those who would argue it still isn't worth the trouble." Skulduggery paused a moment, looking off into space somewhere behind Rita. "They'd be wrong, of course. Most of them argue just to inflate their own feelings of self-worth."

Skulduggery only knew one Adept who had a leg to stand on when they claimed to be the most powerful sorcerer the world had ever seen. And that one didn't particularly count, seeing as he'd vanished from the world and gone back to being an Elemental.

Explaining Adepts to newcomers was always difficult, just for the sheer amount of tricks they could have up their sleeves. "Anything, really," he began slowly. "I was good friends with someone who could adjust her center of gravity. Others can read minds, see the future, travel through walls and ceilings, become invisible, manipulate lightning. Some can do more than one."

Skulduggery sat back in his chair and looked up at the ceiling, trying to remember if he'd blinked in the last few minutes or not. "I've always enjoyed fighting Adepts," he informed Rita, his tone cheerful. "They like to keep you in suspense."
overlimit: (Something to add?)

[personal profile] overlimit 2012-07-30 08:05 am (UTC)(link)
[sorry this is horrendously late!]

Reading minds and seeing the future? Some of those abilities sounded like the kind of stuff Rita never expected to see outside of fantasy novels. "It's that versatile, huh?" she mused. "I can see why it'd be so popular." While Rita was content with her powerful elemental magic, she could see plenty of appeal in such unique, specific abilities.

There was something else Skulduggery mentioned then that struck Rita as curious, however. "You fight other mages often?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
skeletonenigma: (pencilskul)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-07-30 02:14 pm (UTC)(link)
"Only the evil ones," he assured her. "Or the ones stopping me from arresting the evil ones. Or the people trying to kill me. I work as a detective, you see, and I'm so successful that many ne-er-do-wells would love to see my head on a stick."

One, unfortunately, had. And Skulduggery hadn't even been properly dead at the time - or at least, had never properly moved on. The memory of watching his own skull raised high above the crowds of his fellow soldiers had not faded with the centuries. This time, however, instead of simply forcing anger to rear its ugly head once again, the memory gave Skulduggery an idea. A slim one, but an idea nonetheless. Rita came from a world of mages, and while her type of magic would probably be wildly different from Skulduggery's, maybe there were some basic similarities.

"Tell me," he said, leaning forward with his chin in one hand. "In your world, was there ever anyone who... didn't die when they were supposed to?" An annoyingly simple way of putting it, but it wasn't as if Skulduggery had a lot of practice with encountering alternate realities.
overlimit: (Are you done wasting time yet?)

[personal profile] overlimit 2012-07-30 11:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Evil ones. Okay, sure. Rita knew her share of power-hungry freaks, but ‘evil’ always seemed like a bit of an oversimplification.

Skulduggery’s next question was an odd one. The dubious look on Rita’s face made it clear that she thought as much. But, after some consideration, she decided to answer, as she was curious as to where this was going.

“At most, we have some magic-related treatments for conditions that would otherwise be untreatable. For example... some people have had their hearts replaced with blastia after sustaining would-be fatal injuries.” It was far from a perfect solution, but she supposed it was better than dying. “If you’re talking about things like invulnerability, invincibility, or necromancy, then no, we don’t have anything like that.”
skeletonenigma: (writtenname)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-07-31 03:18 am (UTC)(link)
Ah. If there wasn't even Necromancy - which was the easiest and, honestly, most plausible explanation for Skulduggery's resurrection - then Rita probably wouldn't have any answers. It had been a slim chance, so the disappointment Skulduggery felt surprised him. If the whole thing was a mystery even among the highest in the Necromancer Order, he silently chided himself, then why was there any reason to believe he'd solve it here?

Wherever 'here' was. Skulduggery still wasn't quite clear on that.

"Never mind, then," he spoke up after a moment. The former skeleton's blank expression made it difficult to tell if he would elaborate, but when he sat back a few quiet seconds later to stare up at the ceiling once again, it was as if Rita had ceased to exist.
overlimit: (You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.)

[personal profile] overlimit 2012-08-01 01:23 am (UTC)(link)
Never mind? Rita stared at the man for a few moments, hoping he would elaborate, maybe give a hint as to what he was hoping to hear and why, but it actually looked like he was ignoring her. And that was unacceptable.

“What do you mean, never mind? You’re going to ask something weird like that and then just drop it?” Rita demanded, a flicker of annoyance returning to her face.
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-01 02:20 am (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery blinked at the comment. "That was the plan," he confirmed, tilting his head to one side with a slight air of amusement. The outburst had reminded him so unexpectedly of Valkyrie that one edge of his mouth almost twitched up into a smile. That volatile curiosity was a trait any good detective shared, and it was only fair to reward it.

"All right, then," he relented, leaning forward over his forgotten french toast once more. "I didn't die when I was supposed to. Something went wrong, and I... came back, with the unfortunate side effect of my body already being reduced to bones. I thought you might know something that could hint at the cause, but that doesn't look like the case."
overlimit: (No one wants your manly musk.)

[personal profile] overlimit 2012-08-03 02:53 am (UTC)(link)
He… what?

Rita furrowed her brow, trying to process what the man was saying, but… “Th-that’s ridiculous! You’re trying to say you were some kind of… undead skeleton?” She stuttered a bit as she voiced her doubt; her shoulders were tense and she had goosebumps just from thinking about it. But it wasn’t because she found his story disturbing or even scary – not a chance!

“How gullible do you think I look? There’s no way…” Damn it. Between this and that corpse-like girl from last night, Rita couldn’t take much more of these seemingly-supernatural phenomena. ‘Seemingly,’ because supernatural things weren’t real. Absolutely not.
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-03 03:44 am (UTC)(link)
"Undead skeleton?" Skulduggery asked, amused. "Of course not. There's no such thing. I'm quite dead. Or was, before this." He glanced down at the flesh-and-blood hand resting on the tabletop in front of him. "But the skeleton part is very much accurate."

Skulduggery was used to a whole host of reactions upon being introduced into the world of magic, but skepticism was not one of them. Not as a talking skeleton, when you had all of the proof right there at your fingertips. Sure, there were some who believed they'd gone insane, but that wasn't quite the same thing. Faced with such adamant denial, Skulduggery could do little other than shrug. "You don't look particularly gullible," he replied evenly. "You asked. I answered. That's it."