freewill: (pic#6565601)
Castiel ([personal profile] freewill) wrote in [community profile] damned_institute2013-12-27 05:36 pm
Entry tags:

Night 74: Records Archive (Third Floor)

[From here.]

After having it built up so much, the Records Archive turned out to be a rather unassuming room.

It looked much like a number of the other rooms scattered throughout the institute. There were computer consoles all along the walls, interspersed with bookshelves that held countless different volumes -- journals, notebooks, and files, all looking to have been organized and cataloged in a very methodical way. There was a table in the center of the room surrounded by chairs; atop it were a few open journals, along with one large binder. Was this what Landel was referring to whenever he mentioned paperwork?

Castiel used his flashlight to take in the whole room, noting that there was yet another teleportation pad in the corner, but it was abandoned save for them. Maybe Landel hadn't expected them to get this far...

Other than the computers, though, this was the sort of thing that Castiel was comfortable with. This was research.

He turned back toward the others. "It looks like we have plenty of work to do."
forsworn: (Default)

[personal profile] forsworn 2013-12-29 06:25 am (UTC)(link)
The Records Archive, Kratos decided, was just as anti-climatic as the manner in which they'd just found it--though, what he'd been expecting instead, he had no idea. Perhaps a monster, or after last night, a lethal trap...

"So we do." He wandered over to examine the computers. While the amount of paper to go through was staggering, no doubt there was important information to be found on the machines, and between the three of them, he estimated that he was likely the most familiar with computers. A quick hunt yielded a power button; upon pressing it, one of the screens lit up.

While the computer booted up, Kratos looked over his shoulder at Lloyd. They were in for a long night of reading, and last time he'd checked, academic reading wasn't exactly one of his son's hobbies, let alone one of his strong suits. "Are you going to be alright?"
redcladidealist: (This isn't good)

[personal profile] redcladidealist 2013-12-29 07:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Computers and paperwork. Binders, journals, files. Lloyd should have realized what a records archive would hold, but somehow he'd thought it would be different, more dramatic, more physical. This room was supposed to hold the key to traveling between worlds. There should have been something like... like the room in the Renegade base that held the Rheairds, or maybe something like the Otherworldly Gate. There was nothing like that here, though. Just books. Lloyd's expression filled with dismay as it sank in what they'd have to do. The answer was here, somewhere, written on one single page in a thousand, a million, assuming it wasn't just in a computer where he'd never know how to find it. It was worse than looking for a needle in a haystack. He couldn't quite bite back a groan.

But this was important. Just as important as finding a cure for Colette's crystallization, only now there were more lives at stake. If he could stand to search through all the books the king of Tethe'alla had in his archives on just the hope of finding a cure, he could do the same here, now, for the sake of finding a way back to their worlds. Grim resolve settled on him like a blanket made of steel.

"I'll manage," he said. With deliberate determination, he made his way to the nearest bookshelf and skimmed the spines of the binders before grabbing the first one there. All of them were labeled with the letters M-U and some numbers, but without any kind of context, he had no idea if it had anything to do with their search. Only one way to find out.

Making his way to the table, the teen set his sword down and unhooked the small lamp from his belt. That would work for a light that they could all read by without having to hold their flashlights. He cranked the handle a few times for good measure, to make sure it didn't suddenly go out. Then he cracked open the binder and started to read.

It didn't take long for all the blood to drain from his face. "H-holy crap." His voice came out raw, filled with horror. "What- This is-" He flipped a page, then another. Page after page, all filled with the details of horrible torture and experiments. Halfway through the binder, he suddenly slammed it shut. "What kind of place is this?!"
forsworn: (i should take you for idleness itself)

[personal profile] forsworn 2013-12-30 01:00 am (UTC)(link)
Lloyd's response didn't exactly inspire enthusiasm, but at least he didn't seem to be complaining too much--yet. Kratos watched him walk over to a shelf and select a binder to peruse before turning back to the computer and the complicated task of extracting what he wanted off of it. As it turned out, the computer was easier to manipulate than he'd expected, and in a few minutes or so, he'd managed to access one of the available databases.

He scanned through the listings with a frown. It seemed to be a series of strange names, and then for a while, it simply devolved into a long listing of the word "Earth" with various numbers attached. A catalog of different worlds, then? (How many versions of Earth were there?) In that case...Kratos scrolled through until he reached "S"--ah, there it was: "Sylvarant". He clicked on the listing, and watched as an image of the planet filled one half of the screen, while the other half began spitting out various statistics and data about the first of two planets he considered, to some degree, his home.

Right as he was about to read further, though, Lloyd slammed his binder shut in obvious disgust. Kratos's head whipped around, eyes instinctively searching for a threat first, and then finally settling on Lloyd second. Unlike Castiel, though, he didn't say anything, but merely waited for his son to explain himself.
redcladidealist: (You really tick me off)

[personal profile] redcladidealist 2013-12-30 01:36 am (UTC)(link)
He wouldn't have to wait long. Lloyd glared at the binder with all the hate he possessed. "They do these... these things to us-!"

-a knife flashed in the dark, cut into his hand-

"-and then they write about it like they don't even care-!"

-Kratos's hand missing its Key Crest, a false crystal instead of his Exsphere-

"-like we're nothing but animals! Not even that!" In a fit of fury he shoved the binder right off the desk, not caring when a few papers fell out. "That whole thing was nothing but a list of torture and what it did, like it was just an experiment!"
forsworn: (honesty shall not make poor my greatness)

[personal profile] forsworn 2013-12-31 06:20 am (UTC)(link)
It was just an experiment, Kratos wanted to say, but he understood. It was not in Lloyd's nature to see evidence of evil and force indifference, as his father was wont to do - something Kratos admired, even as he dismissed the cold, dehumanizing tone of the experiment logs as simply a consequence of reality.

"And we are seeking to put an end to it," he reminded Lloyd gently. "Save your anger for the appropriate parties." There was a practical bent to his words as well: the last thing they needed was for something or someone unwanted to wander in because the volume of Lloyd's voice had attracted it.

Kratos turned back to the computer and noticed that Castiel had now moved on to the contents of his screen. Just as well, he supposed: although it was expected that Landel carefully account for all of his experiments, that didn't mean he or any other sane person wanted to read through all of said accounts. "This is...home," he said, and hated how his voice caught briefly - not so much because he missed Sylvarant (which he did), but because it had never truly been his home, a sentiment that dated back to the Kharlan War. "One half of it, to be more precise."

He returned to the listing and scrolled down to click on "Tethe'alla". "Its twin," Kratos explained as the next listing popped up. "The two planets are innately connected to one another." He sighed and lingered on the slowly revolving image of the planet before beginning to look through the data on the side. "...and apparently some several million light-years away." The term "light-year" was unfamiliar, but its meaning seemed slightly inherent.
redcladidealist: (Determined)

[personal profile] redcladidealist 2014-01-01 02:25 am (UTC)(link)
"I don't need to save anything," Lloyd growled. The anger wasn't directed at Kratos or Castiel, but it was still fierce and sharp. "I already know who I'm angry at, and I definitely know he deserves it!"

Even so, when Kratos brought up "home," Lloyd couldn't help but draw closer to the computer, only shooting one last hateful glance at the binder. The sight of those two familiar names, though, completely drew the rest of his attention. Something stirred inside of him. Home. He'd known he wasn't crazy, and he'd had Kratos to back him up, but seeing evidence of their world right in front of his eyes still loosened something he hadn't realized had started to knot tight. Not only that, but the numbers next to each name...

He reached out and pointed, touched the screen. "What do these numbers mean? How do we use this to get back to our worlds?" He didn't know what "light-years" were, either, and didn't know why there wasn't also mention of "heavy-years" or "dark-years" or whatever, but ultimately he figured that wasn't very important. What was important was how exactly they were supposed to use this new information.
forsworn: (there is left us ourselves)

[personal profile] forsworn 2014-01-04 09:45 am (UTC)(link)
Lloyd got the last word, but at least he had calmed down shortly thereafter, which was enough for Kratos. In the meantime: "Do you know anyone who might be able to decipher them?" he asked Castiel as he fished around for the pen he usually carried on him - not for writing, ironically, but for self-defense. As for paper, well, they were surrounded by a decent-sized quantity of it; Kratos ended up selecting the backside of a journal cover page and began scribbling down the coordinates in the most legible handwriting he could manage. "I'm afraid I'm no master of cartography."

It also occurred to him that perhaps they ought to record the coordinates of all other planets and "altverses" - the word, heard only once yet apparently firmly imprinted, had floated up from his memory - to disseminate to the other patients. The problem was the sheer volume of information. Although there were not nearly as many patients left as there were listed worlds, it seemed that Landel kept the information regardless of whether a person was still in the institute or not, which meant that there were likely to be many redundant entries. That was the price to pay, though: no one had bothered to label anything as relevant or not, and even if names had been attached, Kratos did not know everyone within the institute, as few as they now numbered.

"It might also be useful to write down the coordinates for the rest of the entries here," he said, gesturing to the screen, "in case anyone else is interested. Although, I could do with some assistance."
redcladidealist: (Look back)

[personal profile] redcladidealist 2014-01-05 01:36 am (UTC)(link)
Lloyd grimaced, eying the computer screen with another wash of dismay. The list was long. So long that Kratos hadn't been able to see all of the names without clicking buttons to take the screen to the next page. He wanted to groan again, would have protested if this had been homework, but if these were the numbers they needed to get back to their worlds, how could he justify skipping any of them? Everyone who'd been trapped here deserved the same chance to get back to their world, and who knew if anyone else would make it this far?

"I have a pencil," he said, fishing it out of his tool belt. "I brought it in case I needed to write something down for my map. I only have one, though." Which meant two things to write with between the three of them. One of them would have to sit by and wait while the other two copied what they could. "Castiel, maybe you could keep looking through the books..." He scowled doubtfully. What they'd found so far had been as useless as it was enraging. His hands clenched at the idea of having to read through more of them.

No, he knew which task he'd prefer. Following Kratos's lead, he pulled a piece of paper free from a different book, then tugged a chair over next to his father's. "You take the top half, I'll take the bottom," he offered. Then determinedly he set the work.
forsworn: (Default)

[personal profile] forsworn 2014-01-06 06:44 am (UTC)(link)
Kratos froze, halfway through writing down another set of coordinates, when Castiel pitched his alternative. His first thought was to reprimand himself for not having thought of that; his second was to remember that he had never used the radios before, so it would make sense if he were to forget about them. "That's not a bad idea," he said, bending down to reach for the radio at his feet. "I'm not sure how many people will respond, but that sounds like a reasonable place to start."

What was the public channel again...? Kratos fiddled with the knobs as he searched his memory, trying to recall the number he'd seen printed on the sheet that had been passed down a few days ago. It was something painfully easy, something that wouldn't normally be difficult to forget--ah, right. He tuned the radio to the appropriate channel, hefted the radio, and began his transmission.

Once he'd finished, Kratos set the radio back down. "We'll wait a few minutes to see if anyone responds; if not, we'll proceed with our original plan." He turned his head sharply as the door suddenly creaked, but the spike of alarm swiftly faded as one of the new arrivals quickly lifted her flashlight to her face to identify herself and waved. It wasn't someone he knew, but the face seemed familiar - a fellow patient. He exhaled slowly and turned back to the computer. "Speak of the devil," he said wryly. "Might as well ask them what their worlds are while we're all in the same room."
Edited 2014-01-06 06:50 (UTC)
redcladidealist: (What?)

[personal profile] redcladidealist 2014-01-06 01:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Lloyd's startled expression flashed across his face a lot more openly than Kratos's, then was followed quickly with chagrin. "I didn't even think about the radios. You can really use them to talk to everyone? Not just one person?" He hadn't realized that. He watched with interest as Kratos demonstrated, then quickly scribbled the public frequency number in the corner of his paper even as he did his best to memorize it in his head.

Once the transmission was over, he waited a breathless moment just in case they got an instant response. He wasn't expecting to hear the door creak open, and he jerked around, fumbling for the sword he'd left back on the other desk. Dammit, he shouldn't have been so careless-!

Oh. Alarm faded. It was just other patients. He'd seen the girl around, though he'd never spoken to her. The other guy, though... Lloyd craned a look. Even with the light of their flashlights and his lamp, the shadows cast still seemed to distort everything, but he was pretty sure that was the guy he'd spoken with just that day. He lifted his hand in greeting.
forsworn: (honesty shall not make poor my greatness)

[personal profile] forsworn 2014-01-07 04:39 am (UTC)(link)
Kratos nodded as Castiel got up to go speak to the two patients that had just arrived, and turned his attention back to waiting on the radio. It didn't take long before someone responded, and at first, Kratos hesitated, not entirely sure how to respond. Eventually, though, he decided that some information was better than none at all, and indicated for the man on the other end to continue.

"Take over for me," he told Lloyd once he'd finished. "I'll run the search." As the one with more computer savvy, he preferred to hunt through the entries himself rather than let Lloyd struggle through it, and Lloyd was better at conversation anyway. It would also hopefully keep him occupied so Castiel could talk in peace.
redcladidealist: (Did you just...?)

[personal profile] redcladidealist 2014-01-07 01:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Technology wasn't Lloyd's strongest suit, and he knew it. Knew it and was just as glad to leave that task to Kratos. He nodded, setting his pencil down for the moment. He couldn't write anything down while his father was running the computer through that search.

In the mean time, he fished his own radio out and set the knobs to the public channel setting. He'd relay any information Kratos needed to hear.

It was hard, though, to stay completely focused. His eyes kept darting to Castiel and the other patients. What were they saying? Had they found anything tonight that might help? Did they have any warnings about monsters elsewhere? He had to rein in the impulse to get up and go join them. Castiel was handling it, and Kratos needed him here.
forsworn: (i should take you for idleness itself)

[personal profile] forsworn 2014-01-08 06:49 am (UTC)(link)
It wasn't long before the man responded again; Kratos handed the radio over to Lloyd and scribbled "Amestris" - or, what was hopefully an approximate spelling - on the sheet of paper in front of him. He turned his attention back to the computer. There had to be some kind of search function; especially with all these versions of Earth, it was difficult to imagine someone committing all of the nuances to memory.

Eventually, though, he found the search function - handy, having a small hand lens icon for easier identification - and typed in "Amestris". The results had just popped up when Castiel came back, asking to use the computer.

"Do you need me to run the search immediately?" he asked. "Otherwise, if you write down the information over here" - Kratos pushed the sheet and pen in Castiel's direction - "I'll attend to it after this one--unless you needed to take care of it personally?"

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fourstonewalls: (flashlight beam)

[personal profile] fourstonewalls 2014-01-05 09:11 pm (UTC)(link)
[from here, after the other group]

The first thing Lana noticed was that they weren't alone. A group of three men -- two older, one younger -- was clustered near a lit computer screen, talking animatedly.

The second was that the records archive smelled like her office -- full of files and bound journals, all neatly arrayed on shelves, some going slightly musty. It wasn't a good time to relax, but the crawling, nameless feeling that had been plaguing her nerves all night was dissipating. This was all still likely a trap, but it was a trap she knew what to do with, and that was something, at least. Plus, they weren't the only group here; there was safety in numbers.

She turned her flashlight up to illuminate her face, and waved. She'd seen all of them around, but she wasn't putting a name with any of the faces. Odd, that, but she'd given up cataloging how many things here were odd.

"There's a great deal of information here -- but I seem to recall someone saying something about the security systems." Her voice was a low murmur -- the others could probably make it out, if they cared to, but it was clearly intended for Ryuuzaki. It was also a vast understatement; she had the notes tucked in a pocket, including their cryptic password. "How good are you with computers?"
Edited 2014-01-06 03:13 (UTC)
ryuuzaki: (hi there)

[personal profile] ryuuzaki 2014-01-07 12:47 am (UTC)(link)
Trepidation always came with opening a door for the first time, because you didn't know what might be behind it. If they were going to find the room occupied, it was a relief that it was occupied by Kratos, Lloyd, and Castiel. From the radio message and the fact that it seemed like they'd made themselves comfortable, it didn't look like they'd be going much further that night.

He offered the same kind of greeting to the others that Lana had, then responded to her with a straight look.

"Good. Hopefully good enough." The problem might be the lack of his own computer equipment, if it turned out to not be as simple as a password--that, and anything they might have to get past. He had a limited number of bullets and the brush axe was back in his room. "I don't think these are the security systems. The instructions seemed to be referring to different areas."

There was no time for further sotto voce exchanges: Castiel was approaching them.

They could coordinate things from here.
fourstonewalls: (badge is also prickly)

[personal profile] fourstonewalls 2014-01-07 02:29 am (UTC)(link)
"Ah, Earth. And Earth, as far as I'm aware, but if it's the same one we don't know anyone in common."

The amount she didn't know about Ryuuzaki was huge -- he could know her, and have said nothing. She doubted it, but it was less improbable than half the cases that came through her office, and she'd misjudged people before. "I'm Lana, the Chief Prosecutor of the Los Angeles Central District, and all the people I've known from home were at least tangentially related to the legal system there." She paused, thinking over what else differed from home to here. "It was December 12th, 2016 when I was last there, and channeling the spirits of the dead is something that, while I've never seen it demonstrated, I have reason to believe is possible."

Spirit channeling went against all of her rational views on reality, and she'd watched Ema tie herself in knots trying to explain it as a psychological phenomenon, but Mia had been adamant, and she'd been right about almost every other cause she'd championed, from her first case to the dogged pursuit of justice that had killed her. After all, that spirits were people and people could lie was just as simple an explanation as that everyone who'd ever consulted a spirit medium had been hornswoggled. Either way, it wasn't something she'd seen mentioned here, which made it a possible identifier.

"And if you'll excuse us, I think we'll be seeing where that transport device leads." She stepped towards it, though not onto it, waiting to see what answer Ryuuzaki had for his world.
ryuuzaki: (facepalm)

[personal profile] ryuuzaki 2014-01-07 06:17 am (UTC)(link)
The left side of L's lower lip disappeared between his teeth as Lana answered Castiel's question.

It was a reasonable and useful question, and one which he would have greatly preferred to research on his own--information he didn't want to give away. On the other hand, while he didn't exactly know them well on a personal level, he had no reason beyond the usual ones to suspect that any of the four people involved would wish him any harm.

Delaying the subject with a refusal to answer wouldn't be a good idea. Defeating Landel must be possible, but he wondered what would come of the Institute itself if were to happen. What if this archive was destroyed between now and whenever he was able to find his world's designation on his own? If the information became necessary to put him back where he belonged, and it went missing, he might never be able to go home.

As he considered the problem, he pressed two upper incisors and their neighboring canine against the surface of his lower lip and listened to what Lana had to say about where she'd come from.

Spirit channelling...? He made a mental note to ask her about it. It sounded ridiculous, but not really any more ridiculous than anything that had turned up in the Kira case, nor as absurd as the things that had happened to them during their current confinement, the impossible encounters and the harrowing near-misses.

He'd take the risk of giving Castiel the requested information. He kept his voice low when he spoke.

"Yes, it's also Earth, but I doubt it's the same." A sidelong, questioning glance at Lana before he continued. "Look for mention of the Kira case... everyone I know of who has been here has been related to it in some way. Light Yagami, Misa Amane, a few others. Yagami was most likely the killer, Amane was his accomplice... the detective on the case went by L. Shinigami existed, but if they're mentioned at all, it might be as 'death gods,' or words to that effect." And if you can find the world with this information, and names are listed at all, then my full name is almost certainly listed there. The staff has always known exactly who I am. He hated this, that they had been able to easily learn something that he had spent years taking every pain to conceal.

There was no need to mention Wammy's House, or Near and Mello's real names, but--

He hesitated before continuing, and the volume of his voice dropped even lower, so that it was very unlikely that anyone other than Castiel or Lana could make out his words. "It's very important that any names listed in the files other than Yagami's and Amane's are kept private. They needed the names to kill anyone--their murder method required it. Most of the other people who have been brought here were involved in investigating the case at one point or another, and Yagami killed at least two of them. There won't be any chance of changing that if he appears in the future and manages to get that information earlier than he otherwise would have."

He left out the fact that, if what he had been told was true, he was one of the two... it hadn't happened to him yet, and none of the others needed to know about his failure. There shouldn't be any mention of Ryuuzaki in the files at all, nothing that would tell anyone which of the people involved in the case he had been. But he supposed that some of them could probably guess.

His manner shifted. He withdrew from the discussion to end it.

"Keep your eyes open. If anyone is behind us, they'll be passing through this way unless they've been sent on a different route. But they may not be the only ones to come through that door. Good luck."

With that, he looked at Lana, and they stepped onto the pad together.

[To here.]
Edited 2014-01-07 14:47 (UTC)