2010-10-31: Behind The Wall


Cloud_icon.jpg Connor_icon.jpg Heather_icon.jpg Mike_icon.jpg

Summary: While trapped in the basement things are revealed.

Date: October 31, 2010

Log Title: Behind The Wall

Rating: PG-13

Tegu-Haaz - Xavier's Insane Asylum for Adolescents (Basement)

Cement stairs wide enough to fit four abroad curve down to the basement levels of the Institute. Oil lamps line the walls creating shadows that cause the stairs to look deeper than they actually are. Once through the doorway at the end of the stairs it opens up wide hallway with four doors, two on each side. Each door is made from a heavy wood and can be bolted shut from the outside. There are a few dark stains on the floor that have set in to the cement over time. A heavy presence can be felt down here, as if a weight has been dropped on ones chest.

It's time to explore. Heather has her pickaxe gripped tightly and slung over her shoulder as she searches through the Asylum for any more information. She's been trying to be proactive in figuring out the world, but sometimes, it takes heavier digging than that which she's been doing. She walks slowly (for her at least), being careful to listen to any sounds and watch for any sights that tell her something out of the ordinary is happening. She's wearing her Hello Kitty pyjamas, now cleaned, having left her peasant robes behind for now. Having only two outfits is kind of a hassle.

Utterly fed up with the staff's inability to get them all back home so they can find a way to help his sister, Cloud has been spending his time looking for some sort of clue on how to get home, he has yet to find anything halfway useful but he's gonna keep looking, e's dressed in blue jeans, red sneakers, a red and white checkered shirt and his dark roots are beginning to show though his bleached blond hair, now his search has brought him to the basement of that asylem place and… is that Heather?

One might wonder why the wind-up man is here in the Asylum. He would, himself, if he had more capacity for introspection but at the moment, because his very clever mechanical clockwork brain can only sometimes and very randomly act without direction from outside, he's simply here because of a trick of the light, a spurious bubble in the flask of ink that gives him that tiny bit of unexpected action. Someone had mentioned Connor, and enough of Mike remembered him to be curious about how he was doing, though it's not clear WHICH Connor he's recalling.
He sees stairs. He sees a hall. He decides, 'stairs' … and steps onto the top of the landing. As the wind-up giant steps onto the top stair, something clicks, and they collapse into a flat slide, and the clockwork lands on its mechanical backside, sliding down to the bottom.

The aforemention Connor appears next to Heather out of nowhere, his hair thin and trimmed back somehow, looking immaculately neat from head to toe as if someone had taken great pains to make a Victorian gentleman out of him. From his pocket comes of all things… a Hello Kitty Flashlight… something pink, cheap, with the eponymous image on the side. He hands it to Heather, smiling the entire time, "Here… will this help? Will it?" But the moment the girl would take grip of it, it will lose it's charge and become useless once more. Until that moment though, he shines it along the way for the girl, speaking with a slightly stuffy Londoner accent, "I suppose it's too late to tell you how mad this place is. Isn't it… but then… I suppose you're mad too. Mad as a Hatter, Mad as the Magazine… Mad as a MAX!"
Connor then whispers to Heather, "Who runs Bartertown."

As Mike lands at the bottom of the stairs turned ramp, there's a loud 'bang!' sound as a large iron door slams down behind him cutting off any means of exit from the basement of the Asylum. The lights flicker on and off, dimming almost to nothing before coming back on, but who knows for how long. From behind the far wall the sound of scratching can faintly be heard.

Heather spins her pickaxe once in her hand at Connor coming out of nowhere, blinking a few times at that. She does take the flashlight, raising her brow slightly as it doesn't work. Her brow moves up slightly further as Connor supposes that she's mad. She shakes her head quickly and gives the boy a concerned look. Her wax case and knife are brought to the front, her pickaxe getting strapped where it was, and she writes, <You're not alright now are you?> She glances towards Cloud, gesturing him over, if only so she can keep track of her resources and tilts her head, "Wasst?" at the 'bang' sound. <We will investigate,> she suggests, showing the words to the mad Connor and the less mad Cloud.

Cloud does jump back a bit when Connor pops out of nowhere, but quickly does as he's told going over to join him and Heather, "Ok, whats up with him?", he spins round at the bang, looking round to see what it could've been, turning again slightly so he can see the other two he gives Heather a nod, "Ok".

The clockwork that shambles like a man finds, again, that his design is much sturdier than it seems at first, at least, as far as impacts are concerned. Let's not discuss fire or water. He's not damaged, but is disarrayed, sprawled out across the floor. He attempts to rise, but like a turtle, is not able to get leverage at first, and is in the process of pushing with his feet to try to reach a wall. Scrraaaaaaaatch, scraaaaaatch. Not unlike the sound coming from that far wall really.

Connor strides forwards in front of the group, and begins… singing?… and what could be worse is caught between the content of the ad-libbed musical number and the fact that it's sung to Barry Manilow's 'Copacabana'… "Her name was Heather… she was a mutant. With some really mussed up hair, and those pink pajama pairs! She would play mind games, and plan strat-a-gey… while she wants to say the day, Cloud was angry anyways…" He vanishes and appears behind them all, next to Mike, "Mike is a Clock-Work Man, who needs an oi-l can!" Fishing one from his pocket to feed to the clockwork one, "They got locked down in the basement, who could ask for more…"
The chorus is crowed out, "In the Asylum! Asylum basement… surrounded in ce-ment encasement…. In As-y-lum… Asylum Baaasemeeent… scratching and danger, familiar and stranger in the baaaaaaaaasement…" And it does to a growl, "Something dread comes…"

The scratching on the far wall gets a bit louder and doesn't seem to let up. The faint sound of voices, it's hard to tell if it's one or many, can be heard in the hallway. The first door on the right slams shut as a metal barricade slams down in front of it with a loud bang then shortly after the same thing happens with the first door on the left. It almost seems like the building is going into lockdown mode.

Heather tilts her head slightly at Connor's song. She can only kind of make out the tune in her speedshifted reality. As she confirms that Mike is alright, she speaks in her normal voice, "Can anyone here understand what I'm saying?" For most, it comes out as a high pitched squeak, which it's likely to continue to for these particular three. She writes in her wax, <Does anyone here know what that sound is? What should we be prepared for?>

Cloud raises an eyebrow at Connor's song, "Errm, Heather, can i recomend we knock him out for the good of everyone here?, wait!… did he just call that scrap thing Mike?", in reasponce to Heather's question, "Ouch, that is high piched", but he does read the wax, "I'm not sure, but it could be anything knowing this place".

"I. Have. Fallen. And. I. Can. Not. Get. Up. Please. Help. Me. I. Do. Not. Need. Oil. I. Have. Fallen. Please. Help. Me." The clockwork can't actually express distress, as each word is its own entity, and there wasn't any attempt to record emotions when he was "canned" so to speak. However, the feet continue flailing, pushing the clank slowly towards the nearest wall. It doesn't seem to recognize the screeching as speech; it may not even be able to hear it.

Connor immediately goes silent and begins helping Mike to his feet as best he can, the moment the word 'Help' was said, and then said again, he resumes his slightly effete accent, "Right then, old chap… let's get you upright once more… but bloody hell, Michael… I can't see if we'd need a clockmaker or a chirurgeon to assist." He is not fully capable of assisting, until he pulls a pry-bar from his pocket and puts it in Mike's hands to help him up. Looking back at the others, his voice and eyes are somewhat lucid as he says, "I say… haven't see you among the patients before. Are you new to Master Xavier's? Normally they give us nothing but jackets to don… but since I've been so well-behaved, they let me have my things back."

The last two doors slam close and the metal blockage slams down over each one at a time leaving the four locked in the small hallway with seemingly no escape. Again the lights die down and almost go out but this time they stay dimmed. It's barely enough light to see casting shadows over the walls that cover the bits of light they provide. The scratching and the voice(s) seem to get louder as if they're just behind the far wall.

Heather furrows her brow at Cloud and she writes on the wax case, for his eyes only, <Connor is a good friend of mine, and if harm comes to him, you will learn it's best not to cross me. He and Mike are victims of this world, not agents. I would never suggest striking your sister when she seems to be mad. And lately, that seems plenty.> The girl scratches a line through all this, as if that makes it illegible, and turns so everyone can see, <I'm just a visitor. Not yet brought to madness. Like you, Connor.> She approaches the wall from which she sounds come from, unafraid yet readied. Her wax case is hung from her shoulder and the pickaxe wielded.

"Sorry Heather, it was a joke, i was trying to lighten the mood is all", Cloud is even more confused than usual, Mike has gone all tin can and for some reason Connor is an insane British guy, "Heather, that might not be such a good idea, this is just plain freaky, they're shut in and Heather's about to go all Buffy on whatever's making that noise.

The pry-bar is useful. The clockwork pushes it against the floor and it gives a leverage point so it can roll off its back. Once that's achieved, it clumsily stands to its full eight-foot height, and says, "Thank. You." before returning the pry-bar. Nothing seems to be broken but its pride, but so far it looks like pride was not one of the optional mechanisms that was included. The machine looks at the others in the room and tries to remember who they are.
Tick. Tick. Tick. Ping. Tick. Tick. Ping! Fast-person, name not recorded. Boy whose sister is from London. Name is not Rush but call him that. Helpful person whose name is not recorded.
"I. Know. You. Hello. Rush. Hello. Fast. Girl. Hello. Helpful. Man."

The moment that 'Help' has been discharges, the madness begins to creep back into Connor's eyes as he says, "Oh no no no… you see the problem is… is that I'm SANE. You have to understand that none of us are real…" Motioning around, "None of this is real. You see people are watching us. People with old eyes, people from far away. And they pluck at our words like we're marrionettes. I know the truth, I've known it for years, but my parents said I needed to go to this place. Even now… you don't realize you're not thinking yourself. You're thinking someone else is thinking you're you." He then laughs a bit, "Isn't it great?!" As the scratching and the voices seem to call out, he puts a hand to his ear to listen, and then smiles as he says, "COMING!" Taking the prybar back to go towards the voices themselves.

The wall at the back of the hallway is rather ordinary looking. A plain gray stone wall with two sconces for the gas lamps only looking at them closely one is dim and the other seems to be out completely. The voice(s) that can be heard are definitely from behind the wall though what is being called out is muffled and hard to make out.

Heather furrows her brow slightly as Connor's madness starts up again and she approaches whatever insanity is occuring. She spins the pickaxe in her hands once again, readying herself for whatever might come. She furrows her brow slightly at what Mike refers to Connor as. Tentatively, she taps her pickaxe against the wall and then writes, <Help me destroy this wall.> Whatever they're going to have to face here, she decides, they will have to face eventually anyways. May as well get it over with.

"Oh my god!, that thing is Mike, what the hell happened?!", Cloud looks over at Heather for an explaination as she seems the least crazy, or at least he thought she was, "Wait you want to break though the wall?", sighing he reaches into his pocket and absorbs from the diamond, his body, clothes and hair takeing on a diamond-like quality.

Were Mike the Machine here instead of Franklin Stane, he'd be doing the same thing he would do if this were a videogame or a fantasy dungeon crawl: He'd be checking for traps and secret doors. Because the sconce which is out? That would probably be the one that opened the secret wall. But Frank M. Stane would be challenged to walk and chew gum at the same time — if he could chew gum. So the advice is not provided. Of course, he doesn't understand the directive to destroy the wall, either.

The man that was Connor gives Cloud an irritable look before saying, "What do you mean what the help happened, old sod… can't you see? I'm the Riff Raff, That's Magenta…" Motioning towards Heather, "This is Rocky… and you must be Brad." Sniffing once before affecting a lurch as he walks over to Cloud and around him, "It's just a jump to the left…" Then vanishes from his side and reappears on the other side, "And then a step to the right… ooh… and don't for get the pelvic thrussssssssst!" Grabbing Cloud's hips and banging him into him once. Suddenly he's gone again and appearing next to Heather as he begins to slam the prybar into the wall, yelling, "EDDIE! EDDIE! DON'T COME IN! DON'T!"

As they start to bang on the wall a few small chunks get taken out of it but that sconce that's out, it seems a bit on the loose side. The voice(s) seem desperate as the wall is hit as if someone on the other side can tell there are people there.

Heather grinds her teeth lightly as the voice(s) begin to seem more and more desperat behind the wall, so she swings with more vigor and confidence now, using her speed to give her extra force behind each swing. While Cloud's evaluation of Heather as the most sane person here may be kind of accurate, she's also always been insane to begin with. She does nod her head quickly when Cloud asks about Mike's condition though, pausing for just a moment to write, <World infected him. It's in the blood.> She places the case on the floor and swings one more mighty swing.

Cloud eyes widen in shock at Connor, "What the fuck is with this place, he is completly insane", giving one more look at what is now Mike he joins the other two to help deal with whatever is up with that wall, on Heather's otherside, Connor's really freaky.

The clockwork Mike knows without (complex) words that Fire Bad. And those sconces, if they're gas lines, could make Fire come out and go BANG, so one large clumsy metal hand reaches up to twist at that loose sconce. Perhaps tightening will keep the fire away. Franklin was, at one point, going to learn to be a handiman and fixer, like his father before he became a carriage-wright.
Of course as far as anyone else is concerned he might well be just fidgeting; he seems to fidget quite a bit, this clockwork person. Fidgeting with metal beads, fidgeting with lamp oil, twitching randomly sometimes. But not bleeding, despite what Heather says. He hasn't had blood for nearly a year now. Or five years. Not sure which. Tick. Tick.

Since he's only working off the madness, and not been asked to help anyone, Connor steps back and just stops moving… staring forwards, completely silent now and waiting, barely even breathing… but if anyone is to look at his eyes, there is a sudden look of stark fear and the kind of image one might assume they would see of someone who's trapped in a cage and is hoping someone passing by will free him. As Heather begins to take the wall out, each time she strikes it, he flinches and bucks as if he was the one struck!

The wall starts cracking and falling apart more between Heather and Cloud but it's not until Mike comes and moves the sconce that the stone wall starts to slide over to the left hand side. It stops about halfway and seems to jam from being hit, but there's about a three foot opening. On the other side of the wall is a dark room that smells of decay and days of human funk. There's a man curled up on the floor who seems to be wimpering, Cloud and Mike might recognize the face through all the stubble as Alaric Blackmoore. There are dead rats, some even seem half eaten, over the floor. One one wall, visible through the moonlight shining through one small window high above, words shine in red: Pray for your lives, Pray for your soul, Pray till your knees bleed.

Heather hisses softly at the odour, flinching back. She holds the pickaxe closely and looks towards Cloud. He is the least touched by the world, so she writes on the slate: <Read this out loud: Who are you? Are you alright? What has happened to you?> She knows that most people in this filthy man's state are unlikely to want to deal with a girl with an absolute lack of social skills.

Cloud does recognise the man behind the wall, "Hey, it's that mage guy, Blackfloor or something", he spots Heather's note, "Oh right, errm, Are you alright dude?, what happened to you after you got pulled undergound?", he leans forwards to have a better look at the man's condition, if he wasn't diamond, the smell would be making him slightly green.

Strangely enough Clockwork Franklin also seems to remember this man, and even stranger, he has the man's name in his limited vocabulary, though that might have changed soon.

"Alaric. Blackmoore. Hello." He doesn't try to go into that cramped little oubliette. Not that he even remembers that word at the moment.

Suddenly Connor pelts over to the sconce and tries to get it reset so he can close it once more, suddenly crying out frantically, "No no no! Close it Close it, don't let the demons out… don't let it free! Don't Don't Dooooon't!" And he's openly sobbing as he tries to get the thing to close and for Alaric to be locked away forever!

"Thank you." Alaric croaks out in a horse whisper as he hasn't had any human contact for quite some time. "Yes, I'm Alaric Blackmoore. I ended up here, in this room. You have to listen to me, you're all in great danger" He says before Connor comes running up and tries to fiddle with the sconce but it seems that the door won't close now that it's been opened. It could be it's jammed where it is cause of the damage done earlier to the wall.

Heather seems a bit alarmed at Connor's reaction, but she hardens to it. Connor is infected by the world, and the character might be afraid. Either that, or Alaric really is a demon. Either way, she decides, releasing him is the best bet. She puts her hand on Connor's should for just a moment before she nods at Alaric, presenting the wax case so that he can read: <Quickly. Why are we in danger? Come with me, we will leave this place.>

Cloud is about to say something to Connor when Heather handles the situation, "Ok, she's right you can tell us all about the great danger when we get you out of here, if you talk to our teachers we might be able to find a way back home", he takes a couple of more steps inside and holds out a hand, "Are you able to stand up?, or do you need help?"

The Clockwork man remembers, dimly, when he was salvaged and repaired, and something — he's not sure what, perhaps a dream — reminds him that he was called a demon, and worse, by angry people who thought him at first to be just a clever machine, but then realized that he was alive, inasmuch as one can be when one is cogs, springs, and metal. He steps back and stands against the wall, so that the others can lead Alaric out, if the passage out is still operable.

Connor screams once more, "YOU'VE DOOMED US ALL!" And suddenly goes stumbling off towards one of the walls, shouting out, "Master! Master! The sun is rising! Master! You must come back inside! PLEAAAAASE!" And as he runs into the wall, he teleports at the same time, and vanishes from sigh, his panicked echoes bouncing through the chamber as the young man goes to seek 'help'.

Alaric struggles to stand up and then nods to Cloud. "Pleas help." He says as he explains quickly what he knows. "I made a mistake and you are all in grave danger. If we don't leave soon this will all become permanent. We will all be kept her and become a permanent part of his world."

Heather's eyes widen at this revelation and she nods her head quickly. It's something she suspected, which is why she hasn't been content to wait for things to happen. She writes in her case to Cloud, <Help him out of here. We will talk later, find out more. I will hurt him if I touch him. I will go up, and throw down something you can climb the stairs.> With that, she gives a small salute action, runs around the room, and gains the momentum needed to ascend the slick stairwell.

Cloud steps right into the passage to help Alaric up, releasing his diamond form so he doesn't hurt him, he tries to pull the man up to put his arm over his shoulder so he can hold him up, "Don't worry, between you and our teachers we'll figure something out".

The clockwork brain that serves as host to the mind of Franklin Stane (and the mad wiles of Mike Drakos) manages to weigh the choice. Nobody ever asked Mike Stane if he wanted to be turned into a clockwork monster. He thinks, that he is not allowed to harm himself. He thinks, that he must help others in trade for fuel and keeping his springs wound. He isn't happy. He isn't unhappy either. There isn't room for feelings in his limited life here.

But he does decide: this is not where he wants to be. So he will help get this Alaric to someone who can help. And maybe that will help him.

Once Alaric is freed they would notice that the way out of the asylum basement has been opened and the lights have returned to normal. Alaric says one last thing before passing out from exhaustion and who knows what else. "I summoned him wrong."

As Cloud pulls Alaric along the corridor towards the exit, he has a vague recolition of hearing him say that before, back on that night, "You coming Mike?, with what this guy knows we should be able to cure you guys", he hopes.

The clockwork creature follows after, and though he's grateful in some abstract way for the lack of impediment on the way out, and some part of him is thinking that it's dream-logic again, most of him can't really say anything either way. He's just not built that way.

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