overlimit: (That's not a moon.)
overlimit ([personal profile] overlimit) wrote in [community profile] damned_institute2012-08-20 10:07 pm
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Night 65: Library

[from here]

Rita practically threw herself into the Library, waited for Skulduggery to follow, then slammed the door shut behind them when both were safely inside. She remained there for several moments, her hands pressed against the door as if to hold off a great force... but nothing of the sort came.

"Did we lose it...?" she wondered as she finally allowed herself to catch her breath. There was no sign of the creeping strands of hair, of the corpselike girl who appeared to control it... Maybe they were safe.
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-20 09:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery very much agreed with Rita's earlier sentiment, especially when it appeared she could also hear the rattle. Not this again! Being attacked once was bad enough; suffering that attack for much longer than was strictly fair... That was really as bad as Skulduggery was willing to let it get. Nothing was in their path, however, and the instant they were both in the library, Skulduggery gave the entire room a cursory examination, making sure to illuminate each corner with the flashlight before turning back to Rita.

"I don't think it was there," he answered, glancing at the door. "I heard that same sound a lot earlier today. Hallucinations. Lingering effects, most likely. If anything strange happened to you during the day, that would be why."

With his breathing at least marginally back under his control, Skulduggery began searching for the sticking book. "We made it into the library this time," he tossed back over his shoulder. "I'd call that progress."
skeletonenigma: (closeup)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-22 02:42 pm (UTC)(link)
"There are certain... beings that can do that, yes," Skulduggery answered Rita's unfinished query. "Not just hallucinations, either. I found a fingernail with blood on it in my lunch." He paused as he passed the row that contained the Oxford Book of English Verse, one hand out to read the air currents despite his and Rita's flashlight beams both flooding the shelves with light. "That, and a ball of hair. Hopefully, it doesn't last much longer."

Rather than respond to Rita's - frankly offensive - question, Skulduggery reached out and tried to pull the thick tome off the shelf. Just like the other day, the book slid out only halfway and stuck. Unlike the other day, the book triggered a rumbling sound rather like stone moving against stone, and the wall at the other end of the aisle started sliding open.

If Skulduggery could smile, there would have been a self-satisfied smirk on his face. As it was, the satisfaction was only evident in his tone. "Would you look at that? You really should have more faith in me."
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[personal profile] damned_monsters 2012-08-24 05:31 pm (UTC)(link)
While the wall might have moved aside, seemingly providing passage, it was really only a trick, something to draw them in. Because, almost as soon as the opening was revealed, something slithered through and out onto the library floor.

Most of the enormous snakes that the institute housed remained outside in the fields, their bodies too long to work effectively in the narrow halls of the institute. But this wasn't any normal snake, even by Landel's standards.

Only one eye stared out from its head as the kida, colored a dark, blood red in color, started towards the pair. While it didn't seem to offer any immediate threat -- no fangs protruding from its mouth -- there was a different sort of danger hidden under its skin.

[Court]
skeletonenigma: (snap)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-27 01:43 am (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery didn't take his hand off the book when the snake slithered in through the revealed doorway. It went without saying that, even overlooking the one eye, it wasn't a normal snake - any more than the darkness in the Sun Room the night before had been normal darkness. Or normal hair, for that matter. Fortunately, Rita seemed to agree; she already had her weapon out and ready. Skulduggery made a mental note to later ask where she'd gotten it.

He slowly turned to face the snake, noting its lack of fangs, as well as how the knowledge wasn't a great deal of comfort. If anything, it put Skulduggery more on-edge. He flashed the light behind the snake, making sure there was only one, and noticed an equally-worrying stream of something black behind it.

"Whatever's in there," Skulduggery told Rita quietly, "someone doesn't want us to find it. Also," he quickly added as the deep red color of the snake glinted in the flashlight's beam, "try not to touch it." The black substance it was oozing could very well be poison.
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[personal profile] damned_monsters 2012-08-27 05:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Poison was something the snake did possess, but not the sort that the patients would be used to. What was most strange about the monster was that it was almost completely silent as it moved toward them. The only thing that made a sound was the way its body slid across the hard floor.

Without fangs, there was really only one way that the snake could try to hurt them, and that was through constriction. Of course, its true purpose wasn't to win or survive at all, but that didn't stop it from moving toward the smaller target, Rita.

Once it got close enough, the snake reared up, intending to snap itself forward so that it could begin to wrap itself around the girl's slight form.
skeletonenigma: (fightfire)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-08-30 10:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Moving now would do nothing but get in the way of Rita's defensive strike, so Skulduggery stayed back. He fought down the urge to condense the air and push the snake back, since he could apparently only do that once each night now; and without fangs, there wasn't any immediate damage the snake could do. If Rita missed and it began coiling around her, the creature would at least be easier to derail than the mounds of autonomous hair from last night.

That didn't stop the detective from pulling another thick book off the shelf, keenly aware of his lack of any sort of weapon. And in the few moments he had time to plan, Skulduggery quickly assessed the potential of a knocked over bookshelf. Probably not lethal, but damaging enough that they could perhaps stun it and slip past. It was certainly worth a try if a close-up attack didn't work.
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[personal profile] damned_monsters 2012-09-04 06:47 pm (UTC)(link)
The whip hurtled toward the creature, catching it right in the face. It hissed in pain and anger, pulling itself back at the neck for a moment as it considered the threats in front of it.

But it was made for this, to give itself up to the fight for what would in the end be a much greater threat. There was some blood dripping from its toothless mouth, but that was ignored in time.

It slid forward again, with greater speed, to try and work its way around Rita's ankles. She would be much easier to wrap up if she was laying down.
skeletonenigma: (snap)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-09-06 10:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery didn't need to be told twice. In fact, he barely had to be told once. The book was hardly a decent weapon, but it was all he had; and so before the snake had a chance to wrap itself too tightly around her feet, Skulduggery slammed the thick tome down, aiming for its triangular head.

Without waiting to see if the blow had landed - or even if it had missed entirely and come down on Rita's ankle instead - Skulduggery dropped both the book and the flashlight and gripped Rita's arm, pulling her back along the floor. At the same time, he snapped his other hand up and whipped as much air as he could manage towards the snake. The creature was even less visible now that Skulduggery's flashlight was rolling along the floor, but enough light bounced off the mahogany shelves to illuminate the deep red color of its skin.

The detective's control of air might not be as powerful as normal, but the snake looked light enough that it might be sent flying. Either way, Skulduggery was ready to hoist Rita to her feet and run.
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[personal profile] damned_monsters 2012-09-07 02:06 am (UTC)(link)
Between the kicking, the smashing of the book, and the strong force that came from a place the kida could not comprehend, there wasn't much that it could do to fight back. Then again, that wasn't what it was meant for in the first place, and so it almost quietly took the damage dealt to it. The wind ended up tossing its long body backward until it slammed into one of the bookshelves.

While the shelf shuddered and a few books came raining down among the monster, the shelf managed to stay standing. Still, the snake itself was dazed from the barrage of attacks, and was more than open to further assaults. The question was, would the two quit while they were ahead and run, or would they be tempted by the chance to down one of the institute's creatures?
skeletonenigma: (skulnoname)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-09-10 01:10 pm (UTC)(link)
"I don't know," Skulduggery admitted. "I've never come across a one-eyed snake before." The triangular head, however, meant it probably was. He instinctively snapped his fingers to summon a flame into his palm, then released it a second later when he remembered the flashlight. It had rolled toward the shelves opposite from the snake, fortunately, so Skulduggery snatched it up and shone the beam on Rita's ankle.

No fangs meant, predictably, no bite. But there were plenty of snakes with poison in their skin, and the symptoms of those could be just as dangerous. "Is it feeling numb?" he asked. "Any difficulty breathing?"

He kept a wary eye on the snake. Still though it may be now, incapacitating it had felt much too simple, especially in light of what happened last night. As reluctant as Skulduggery was to retreat when they could now see the staircase beyond the sliding wall, a positive response to either of those questions meant getting to a sink, and possibly making a tourniquet.
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[personal profile] damned_monsters 2012-09-10 06:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Instead of attacking, the two held back, and slowly the snake recovered. A few books fell off of its body as it lifted itself up again, sliding away from the shelf it had been thrown against.

While it was hesitant to go for a direct attack when it was clear that these two targets had firepower of their own, running was not part of its vocabulary. It either killed, or it died.

But the unstable shelf had certainly given it an idea. Not completely mindless, the kida backtracked and started to move down the aisle directly parallel to the one that the two patients were situated in. If it was able to reach the other side of the shelf and ram it hard enough, it might be able to knock it down onto them.
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-09-11 03:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery turned at Rita's question, holding his free hand out with the fingers extended to read the air. He hadn't heard anything, but with all the potential nightmares that could be hiding in the dark, he wasn't taking any chances. The snake was too simple a barricade; it could very easily have been a diversion.

The air currents, however, were mostly still, disturbed only by the snake's current and past movements. The area over where Rita had tried to kick it off her ankle was still settling, as was the path Skulduggery had dragged her along. But there was nothing else in the library.

"Apart from us and the snake," he replied, turning to face where the creature was moving on the other side of the shelves, "there's nothing here. What did you hear?"

Were hallucinations a side effect of snake poisons? That, Skulduggery did not know. But it was possible the snake had retreated not because it was a diversion, or giving up, or planning a surprise counterattack; maybe its work was done. It wasn't hard to imagine life-threatening hallucinations in a place like this.
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[personal profile] damned_monsters 2012-09-11 04:44 pm (UTC)(link)
They didn't give chase, nor did they run. These two really were a strange pair, not going by any instincts that the snake itself followed. But that worked in its favor, as it meant they were more or less sitting ducks when it finally reached the other side of the bookshelf.

Not giving its own physical state any consideration, the snake started to slam itself bodily against the shelf, which sent long, echoing banging noises throughout the library. The shelf itself started to shudder in place, sometimes teetering when the snake hit it particularly hard.

If it found the right spot, or hit it with the right amount of force, it might just be able to knock the shelf onto them. As things stood, some more books were already raining down from the impact.
skeletonenigma: (fightfire)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-09-14 11:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery might have tried to stop Rita from running, but she was actually probably safer away from the swaying bookcase. He didn't think she'd leave the library; whoever Estelle was, Rita was easily worried enough to stick around.

Hallucinations it was, then. Skulduggery would have to be careful not to touch the snake's skin himself.

Weakness from hunger was finally starting to catch up to him; Skulduggery wasn't able to get out of the way in time before one of those books caught him on the head. He stumbled back against the opposite shelves in a daze, the pain so much more intense than he remembered, before dragging himself together and getting out of the aisle.

The creature would be in the aisle parallel to where they'd just been. Skulduggery grabbed another book off a shelf on the way and set fire to its pages, trying to ignore the throbbing hum in his skull. The flames combined with the blunt impact might be enough to kill the thing.
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[personal profile] damned_monsters 2012-09-15 03:45 am (UTC)(link)
The two humans had split up, and that could be either a smart move or a very foolish one depending on how things played out. The kida paused in its banging, realizing that at this point that would only be a waste of energy. So who did it go after? The girl was already under its spell, chasing ghosts, and so the blood-colored creature started to slide down the aisle toward where it heard Skulduggery's footsteps.

If the timing was right, it could catch him as he rounded the corner, and constrict him while there wasn't anyone else around to help him get untangled.
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-09-16 03:11 am (UTC)(link)
The active banging against the bookcase had stopped. That was enough to slow Skulduggery down, to make him wary of where the unusually silent snake might be. It could always be heading for Rita, who was farther off in the library by now, but Skulduggery had never been particularly lucky. Besides, something told him it was finished with the teenage mage - Skulduggery was the only threat left to it now.

As the last few books rained down onto the floor behind him, Skulduggery crouched next to the shelves, just outside the parallel aisle, put the burning book on the ground, and waited with a hand outstretched, feeling the air. It was difficult to concentrate with the headache and the slight haze enveloping his mind, but Skulduggery could still make out enough to tell when the snake would be coming around the corner. Any second now...

There.

He shoved the book out into its path, hoping to catch the snake off-guard.
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[personal profile] damned_monsters 2012-09-17 06:44 pm (UTC)(link)
It didn't quite go as planned. After a few moments had passed and there was no sign of the human, the kida realized that it would need to make the first move. As it slithered out of the aisle, it sensed that its target was close, but it was in no way prepared for what Skulduggery had in store for it.

The burning of the book hadn't alerted it, as it had no way to smell, and so the makeshift weapon slid right into its body before it could react. The snake started to burn up as well, and while it didn't screech or make any pained noises, the way its body thrashed showed that it was most certainly in agony.

Death would be coming soon, and with that, the patients would have a new threat to contend with.