20 December 2013 @ 11:35 am
[From here.]

"I know, I know," Lloyd grumbled. Sheesh, couldn't he just be glad that they might not have to face those traps ever again? Although, it was weird how the door had changed like that, but he wasn't going to bother questioning it. If it worked and brought them closer to their goal, that was good enough for him.

The hall beyond was a lot like the other halls in the institute, dark and foreboding, an air of disrepair making everything seem a little more grim. The only thing that looked shiny and new was the lock on the door to the right of where they stood. In sharp contrast, a door on the left had a lock that looked rusted and weak. Lloyd thought they could probably break through if they wanted. The hall continued on until the dark swallowed everything beyond the edge of their light.

Left through the door, or right...? Lloyd frowned. Which way did they want to go? The door was right there, but what if the door they were looking for was just down the hall? "I think we should look around before we go through any more doors," he said. "We can always come back if there's nothing."
19 December 2013 @ 10:21 am
[From here.]

Castiel hadn't known for certain where they would end up. Logically, the last place they'd been had seemed like the right choice, but he refused to assume that. That was the best case scenario, after all.

But here they were, crammed into this tiny space once again, where he had originally found these cards that they had officially proved to be keys.

It was a far better outcome than he would have expected.

Castiel pocketed his key and turned to make sure the others were in one piece. There was only one door to go through, so it wasn't much of a question where they'd be headed next.
18 December 2013 @ 06:49 am
[From here.]

At this point they all knew the steps to get up to the third floor's entrance, and so Castiel didn't hesitate to step onto the escalator, expecting the others to keep up as it started moving.

As they made the short trip to the top, Castiel shifted around to look back at Kratos in particular. This area had been safe of any kind of monsters every time they'd been here, so he was willing to let his guard down at least enough to ask a question.

"How are you feeling?" He needed to assess what kind of state Kratos was in, so that he would be able to factor in how much or how little help he could expect him to be if they were attacked. Clearly Kratos could walk fine on his own, but being deprived of oxygen for so long still may have had some lingering effects.
17 December 2013 @ 09:16 pm
[From here.]

The library was dark and quiet - eerily so, in fact - and the row upon row of shelves would make it all to easy for something to hide in the shadows. Tense, Lloyd gripped his sword and tried to piece the dark with his eyes while Kratos went for the book that would open the secret passage.

He almost jumped when his light abruptly failed, then cursed under his breath. "Hang on." Fumbling for the lantern's crank, he tried to ignore his hammering heart. Damn, he was going to have to get used to this if he was going to use this lantern all that much. At least he had the light from the others' flashlights to see what he was doing.

By the time his lantern sprang back to life, Kratos had the passageway open.
17 December 2013 @ 08:27 am
[From here.]

The expansive room was as dark and as quiet as last night, but that didn't do anything to set Castiel at ease. He took a moment to tilt his head upward, trying to see if he could make out even the slightest sign of the third floor through the skylight. But somehow, even through sun streamed through that window every day, there was no way to make out anything above the second floor.

Some kind of illusion, maybe? It was bizarre, either way.

Castiel refocused his attention, shifting to step toward the library doors. They couldn't waste too much time here and risk getting attacked.
14 December 2013 @ 10:39 pm
[from here]

The main hall was not, in fact, full of people. There was a light down the hall, though, where a figure was obviously waiting for someone, and not especially patiently. She could do better than what looked to be a teenager, and settled up against a wall to wait.

If Ryuuzaki wasn't along in a few minutes, she'd call him on the radio, but she'd slept all day; she wasn't exactly the model of punctuality herself.

14 December 2013 @ 10:26 am
[From here.]

He hadn't seen any sign of Kratos all day. Lloyd hadn't thought his father had looked that badly injured after his ordeal in that chamber, but how did he know Kratos hadn't downplayed his injuries? Maybe he didn't even know the full extent himself. After all, who would have experience with what it did to a person to have the air sucked out of the room?

Maybe I just didn't see him. The thought wasn't as reassuring as it could have been. He knew how much he'd been trying to keep an eye out for the man, telling himself it was just so he could share his theory about the cards. It was still possible he'd been distracted at a crucial moment when Kratos passed by, so he stubbornly continued to deny the leaden weight in his gut as he settled into place to wait. He wasn't worried. Kratos would come just as he always did. He'd probably laugh if he found out that Lloyd had been (not worried) just... just concerned.

Okay, maybe Kratos wouldn't laugh, but still. He didn't need to see anything but Lloyd standing and waiting. Totally nonchalant. He could totally pull that off.

...dammit, he hoped they didn't catch him fidgeting when Kratos or Castiel finally showed up.

[For Castiel and Kratos.]
14 December 2013 @ 01:50 am
Night number God-only-knows, and Scar was promptly putting on his proper desert clothing and collecting his things to head out. He and Alphonse had agreed earlier to separate for the sake of stealth, so it would only be he and Lust tonight, which was far less objectionable than it would have been two weeks ago.

Two weeks? Had it really only been two weeks?

Scar set out into the night as he always did: alert and tense for whatever he could expect to come. But really, what could he expect here without it coming back to bite him in the ass?

[To here]
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19 November 2013 @ 09:53 pm
[from here, still technically later than Team Oven-Fried Dad]

The door opened unceremoniously onto a hallway.

By the length of it, it was one of the ones running north-south along one of the wings, with a tightly-locked door next to them and what appeared to be an opening onto the central hall at the other end. That was all she could tell with a flashlight and a quick look, but it was open space. Welcome. Except that it also laid them open to more traditional types of ambushes than being baked to death.

"I believe you said cards? Shall we rest on our laurels and call it a night, try doors at random, or see if our predecessors have found anything interesting?" It was just as clear which option she preferred. She wasn't opposed to the systematic approach, but they were pressing their luck with each step forward, and she wasn't sure it was worth it. Not when they could use their brains.
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18 November 2013 @ 12:46 am
[From here.]

Caught in mid-step when the warp pad flared to life, Lloyd stumbled once it had finished transporting him, his outstretched hand closing around empty air. Panic spiked even higher, worse than the realization that they'd been trapped. He whirled back around - there was Castiel.

Where was Kratos?!

"Dad!" Barely even registering the clean, organized janitor's room (such a sharp contrast to the last janitor's closet he'd been in) or the neatly stacked shelves and cleaning supplies, Lloyd lunged straight back to the pad. He might have still been lightheaded. He didn't care. Kratos wasn't here, which meant-

Strong arms caught him, jerking him to a stop before he could step foot back on the pad. "Lloyd, think!" Castiel snapped. "We can't go back to that room, or we're dead."

If that was supposed to convince Lloyd to give up, it failed miserably. The teen struggled against the older man's grip. "But Kratos is still back there! We can't just leave him!"

"Neither would he want us to return and die for his sake." Castiel's response came swift and sharp. "He'll be fine. He can take care of himself."
15 November 2013 @ 01:54 am
[From here.]

So they'd get through fast.

"I don't want to get stuck in here," he said, as they passed the threshold. He didn't break into a run, but he did cross the chamber in a few strides.

Nothing set up this way could possibly be good news. Even if they were already test subjects in a larger sense, there was a kind of testing that could be much worse than what they had already endured, more personal, more torturous, more final. It could happen; he wasn't sure that there was any way to say it wouldn't. There was a certain slope to the morality in this place, a direction in which it slid, and the limits weren't clear. He suspected they were flexible--maybe more flexible than they'd seen so far.

The condition of the animals' remains was present in his mind.

[Technically behind Lloyd & Co!]
[From here.]

Unfortunately for Lloyd, the moment he stepped through the door was the moment the light in his new lamp gave out. It didn't leave him completely in the dark; Castiel and Kratos were behind him, both with their flashlights out. In the abrupt dimness, though, it made it hard to see the contents of the room he'd stepped into. "Dammit," the teen cursed under his breath, fumbling with the lantern for a moment to see if he could get it to turn back on. To his relief, once he wound the crank for another minute, the lamp flickered back to life.

They weren't in a hall. It was a large, vacant room, almost empty except for a few metal carts and stacked plastic crates. What dominated Lloyd's attention, though, were two large metal... boxes? Houses? They were large enough to have doors, but surely they couldn't be someone's home. They weren't that big. The wall of each chamber had a window that didn't quite feel like glass when he touched it to look into the nearest one. Plexiglass, and bulletproof, though he didn't know either fact. On the other side of the glass...

Excitement sparked.

"Kratos, Castiel, over here!"

Through the window, he could see the distinct platform of another warp pad.
08 November 2013 @ 06:16 pm
[From here.]

The room they reached next was a drastic change in scenery compared to some of the more mundane places that they'd passed through before. The room with the metal detector was interesting enough, though it was only meant as a means by which to access something more important.

They'd made it to some kind of lab, and while Castiel only vaguely recognized most of the equipment here (and he imagined that was the case for Kratos and Lloyd, too), he could tell that it was meant for analyzing biological samples.

That was something he could usually do on his own without any use of microscopes or centrifuges or anything else, which explained his lack of knowledge.

"... We may want to search this area before we continue on, in case there's something useful here," he said as he stepped up to one of the refrigerators. He doubted there would be any food inside...
01 November 2013 @ 11:13 pm
[From here.]

Maybe during the day the room Lloyd stepped into would have felt homey, maybe even luxurious as far as apartment rooms went. There was a nice, wide bed, a desk with a chair, a boxy item sitting on top that Lloyd vaguely recognized as a computer, though its screen was completely dark. There was a small kitchen alcove and a bathroom adjoining the room, the sinks in both dark with grime. Lloyd grimaced at the thought of trying to get drinkable water from either faucet. He didn't even want to think about the tub, too far recessed into the alcove for him to see. Something about the whole place felt eerie, disturbing. Fortunately, that wasn't what he was here for.

"There's the next warp pad," he said, striding across the room with purpose. His nerves only twitched a few times now from the memory of electrocution. Shining his flashlight as he walked, just in case there were monsters lurking, he almost didn't notice the small case sitting on top of a nightstand in the corner of the room. He blinked, the red cross on the box seeming familiar somehow. Where had he seen something like that? "Hey..." His footsteps slowed, the memory nagging. "What's that over there?"
21 October 2013 @ 06:46 pm
[from here]

The door led out to another balcony, like the one on the second floor, where they could see down into the Sun Room below. There was a sheet of glass, however, that meant though they could see down, nobody could see up. ... Too bad for Landel that hadn't been enough to keep this floor a secret.

From here, however, there were a lot of potential places to go. "Normally I'd suggest starting at the end, but I guess it doesn't make much of a difference in this case," he said with a frown. They couldn't methodically check through every room in a linear fashion like that when there was no predicting where any of the pads they found might take them.
[From here.]

After stepping through the door, Sora didn't immediately find himself in another room. There was a few seconds where he felt like he wasn't really anywhere, or in some in between place, before he staggered out into...

Some kind of gym?

He blinked his eyes a few times, trying to dispel the dizziness. Sora had traveled by unorthodox means before, so he wasn't as thrown off as he could have been. Besides, the institute had decided to warp them around before, so this wasn't exactly new.

"So this is the third floor?" Somehow he'd been expecting something more... intense. Not an empty gym. But Landel probably didn't want them to arrive anywhere close to his actual location, so it kind of made sense.

He glanced back at the pad that they'd stepped off of, which glowed with a purple light. "So we have to find more of those, I guess." But for now, there were some doors they could go through, and that was really the only path available to them. Seemed pretty straight-forward.
19 October 2013 @ 05:56 pm
[from here]

The lights flickered on as Kratos entered; he quietly sheathed his sword and then walked onto the escalator after checking to make sure that Castiel and Lloyd had made it in after him.

"I realize our keys may not match," he said, mostly for Lloyd's benefit, as the escalator began its slow climb upward. "We have the radios, though, so if there are any issues, call." Both Castiel and Lloyd had easily remembered numbers; hopefully, they both recalled his.
18 October 2013 @ 07:27 am
[From here.]

The library was quiet and dark when Lloyd entered, barring the light from their flashlights. Lloyd let the light from his flashlight play across the books, the floor, even the ceiling for good measure. He hadn't forgotten the monster that had seemed to slither out of the darkness just a couple of nights ago.

"You guys see anything?" He kept his voice soft, barely above a whisper. If there was something in here, he didn't want to attract its attention. Not that they'd be able to avoid it once they opened that secret door, but hopefully they'd be able to get out before anything blocked their path.
17 October 2013 @ 09:38 pm
[from here]

Now she was definitely worried, too. There was no one waiting at this end of the larger hall -- though she could hear voices from somewhere up ahead, talking too quietly for even her sensitive ears. Had something happened? There weren't many of them left, but surely there were more than that.

Worrying about it wouldn't accomplish anything, but she could worry and move at the same time, so she did.

[to here]
16 October 2013 @ 07:32 pm
[From here.]

Even as Castiel took a few bold steps into the Sun Room, he didn't sense anything out of the ordinary. He hesitated for only a second or two, waiting for someone to inevitably show themselves, but when that didn't happen he nodded to himself and veered to the right, moving at a quick pace.

While he wasn't resorting to outright running, he was making a beeline for the library door. If Kratos and Lloyd knew what was good for them, they'd be fast on his heels.