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Arthur Strickland

"Always look behind the curtain."

0 · 195 views · located in The 'Asylum'.

a character in “The First Signs of Madness”, as played by Zalgo

Description

Name: Arthur Strickland.

Gender: Male.

Age: 19.

Species: Human.

Power: Pan-Dimensional Sight.

Power Description: Allows him to see in more dimensions than the traditional three. This allows him to see things beyond their normally perceived dimensions and, when possible, bypass them. To explain with an example let us say he comes up to a large solid brick wall that would normally be an impassable obstacle for most people. Now when people build things, they build it in the dimensions that they can see. What this means is that a wall that is perfectly impermeable in three dimensions would have gaps in it that no one but those gifted with this form of sight would be able to even use to cross over to the other side.

To be clear, this power does NOT allow him to simply pass through solid objects by crossing along dimensions. He does not even leave the first three dimensions (Length, Width, Height) when he travels through these holes. He does not decide where the holes are, they simply are where they happen to be. He does not have to enter the holes either. He can choose to travel in his native dimensions alone in instances where traveling in higher dimensions would cause him to fall through the surface he is walking on or other such incidents. Not all holes are large enough to fit through entirely. They can come in any size. Generally the denser the material he sees, the smaller the holes tend to be. The size of holes on denser objects is not an absolute, it is a general correlation.

He cannot pass through the more important walls in the asylum as they are consolidated across all visible dimensions.

Appearance: Standing at 5'6", This man has disheveled black hair at the standard medium length for males. He has an unimpressive physical build. Thin with a little muscle. His eyes are a cloudy pearl white, a result of the cataracts that acted as the catalyst for his unusual vision.

History: As a child Arthur lived in Hope, New York. He lived a relatively normal life until he witnessed the most beautiful sunset he had ever seen. The hues of pink, orange, yellow and blue molded the sky into a scene most pictures only wished they could duplicate. He was transfixed on the picturesque glory of the sun. He felt no pain, no doubts in staring into this golden globe before him. It felt as though it could do no wrong to him.

Wronged he was. When his parents called, he returned home. That is when the spots began to set upon his sight. At first he disregarded the spots, didn't think too much of it. They continued to grow as the evening grew later. His parents knew something was wrong when they saw him struggling to find his way around the bathroom to brush his teeth. They rushed him to the hospital, breaking many traffic laws in the process, but the damage was done. The doctors examined him, performed many tests of incrementally more expensive costs. The diagnosis was that Arthur had damaged his eyes so much he stood a risk of living the rest of his life blind. The doctors offered a procedure in which they could operate on his eyes in an attempt to repair the damage but the cost was too great. His parents could not afford the operation, even if they sold their house and all their possessions.

Thus, from the age of six up until the age of eighteen, Arthur Strickland lived the life of a blind man. He got by as anyone who is blind gets by. It was not an easy life, but modern technology and societies design offers as much comfort and ease to everyone as it can. Even the disabled could enjoy life but it was never the same. To be denied the ability to see another sunset hurt much more than any troubles blindness could bring him.

However all was not lost. One day, traveling from his house to a job he got hired for, he was thinking deeply as he always did while crossing the street. As he crossed, on a curious whim, he removed his blind man's shades. The first thing that hit him was that he could see perfectly fine. This enough would astound him to the point of tears but what else he saw brought new layers to his excitement.

Layers of confusion and fear.

In the fabric of reality he could now see the holes. Gaps in the buildings and ground around him. Spaces that shouldn't even be where spaces are. The amount of new information his brain was absorbing was overwhelming him. People rushed to help him and call nine-one-one when he collapsed to the ground, holding his head and screaming as his brain struggled to comprehend this sudden reality distortion. Nobody, not even the doctors at the hospital could understand him. He rambled to them, saying strange things such as "There are holes, you cannot see them!" and "It makes no sense. It shouldn't be possible!"

They confirmed that he could now see but none of them could explain what else he had been seeing. They excused it as shock from having just seen the world again after so many years. Arthur tried to live as normally as before but seeing what he could see began to alienate him, push him farther from his family and friends. He withdrew from the world more than he ever did when he couldn't see at all. He did experiment with his new found power, examining the new geometry of his surrounding environment. He tried to explain it but no one would believe him. They called him crazy, dismissing his theories without even giving him the benefit of the doubt. At first he wanted to show them but he didn't know how. As time passed though he desired to show anyone else what he could do less and less. He learned so much but shared so little and talked to almost no one for the longest time. He even missed his own nineteenth birthday. He was fired from his job and his relatives and friends were starting to get genuinely concerned about his mental health. They were planning on holding an intervention for him to address the issue outright.

That's when he woke up here, in the asylum. With no knowledge of what happened or how he got here he tried to convince the staff that he was sane, that this was all a mistake. Of course he was treated no differently than the rest of the inmates who were "sane" and "didn't belong."

However, a greater concern for Arthur now is not the guards or the medication they force him to take. The concern is the asylum itself. The walls keeping him in the facility, the cells and some of the more important rooms in the asylum were constructed to be inescapable on any dimension he could see. The idea that he was trapped was not the real problem though. It was that someone had to have built this place to be dimensionally impregnable. It seems to him that it was almost as if they planned for his arrival. Worse yet, Judging from the age of the building, it would probably have been built before he even realized he could see... as if they knew.

A convenient coincidence or a dark omen?

So begins...

Arthur Strickland's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arthur Strickland

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zalgo
Elsewhere.
Days ago.


He stood in his room, staring at the unimaginatively painted white walls. His room was rather bare, sporting little more than a table with writing utensils, a bed and some speakers hooked up to his cell phone. When he was blind he needed very little. Of course now that he can see he has not needed much either.

His hand began to reach out towards one of the walls. He was about to reach through again but a knocking on the door interrupted his concentration.

"Arthur? Can we speak with you? Can you please come out?"

He heard the familiar voice of his mother through the door. He didn't bother replying. It was not important to him right now. They were often like this. Always fussing about him, asking why he doesn't come out often and worrying about him. Most days he kept a better patience but they interrupted at a particularly poor time today.

"Arthur, please open this door. We need to talk with you."

"I just need more time! I'll be out soon enough." He responded, his tone sharp with irritation. He was just about to try and understand the physical properties of these 'holes' in the walls again. He held his hand back up again, ready to test his realities boundaries once again.

"But Arthur, the last time we even got to see you was a week ago!"

"And things haven't changed since then. I suggest you wait the few minutes it will take me to finish this speculation of mine and then I will humor you." Their concern was beginning to irritate him now. They never understood just what he could see, they never really tried to either. Admittedly the concept was a difficult one to comprehend. The very idea of the universe and everything in it having more than three dimensions would of seemed impossible to even Arthur before that fateful day he regained his sight and so much more.

"Arthur, this is your father speaking! Open that door right now or I am going to knock it down!"

"Damn you! I have been more than patient with all of you! The very least you could give me is the same courtesy!" Arthur shouted back through the door at them. His parents, his girlfriend, his co-workers at the coffee shop, everyone dismissed him. They called him crazy, told him he was just seeing things, that everything he has seen and done since he could see wasn't real. He didn't care now. He wasn't going to let them interrupt this, not now at least. His hand was but mere inches away from the hole, away from the angles he was going to change. He was about to see if he could alter the holes like he would if they were three dimensional, but differently since they are not.

The loud crashing and banging on his door got quieter and quieter as the world grew dark. Before the door could open all was black.

Room 8.
1315.


He awoke.

Looking up at the magnolia ceiling Arthur rose from the strange bed into an unfamiliar place. He ran through his head trying to remember anything connecting that last memory to now. He was relatively jarred by this sudden change of scenery. "How... How did I-" He spoke out to no one in particular, pausing upon realizing a far more disturbing revelation. "The holes. Where are the holes!?" He was now in a panic. The walls, the roof, the floor, the door, even the barred window to this room were the same no matter what angled he looked at them. Looking down at himself he was a little relieved to see that he still had differences in shape in the other dimensions.

It didn't really bother him that he had been stripped down of all his clothes save for a dreary grey night-cloth. He went over to the door, still deeply disturbed by this most unusual room, and put his hands on it. Before he could search the door's frame for a gap to see through the door swung open sending Arthur stumbling forward into the hallway. After regaining his composure he looked forward to see four other similar cells in his wing. They were all impermeable like his own cell however not all the walls were so unperforated. The other walls had more typical geometries of the outside world as he examined the surrounding area more. Before he could see any more a female voice came on from the speakers.

"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen," "It is currently eleven-thirty in the morning on Monday the seventh of July. Lunch will begin in thirty minutes in the Dining Room, and all residents not confined to their rooms are requested to visit before twelve-thirty to receive their medication and meal."

This enticed Arthur's curiosity. He was beginning to put the pieces together, one detail after another. 'This appears to be some form of asylum.' He came to the conclusion in his head. The questions began to pile up in his head even more now that he had his answer. 'How did I get here? Why am I here? Who brought me here? Why can't I remember how I got here?' and many more questions were asked of himself in thought. The biggest question to stick out amongst them all was 'How are there no holes in those walls in particular?' He decided to check his door number so he'd have a landmark to navigate this facility by.

"Door number 8. I'll have to remember that for future reference."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aveline Mason Character Portrait: Devan Miyamoto Character Portrait: Arthur Strickland

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zalgo
Residential Hall
1310-1316


Arthur didn't have to turn around to know he was being scanned. To put faces to the eyes he felt watching him he turned and alas, his audience was revealed. A strange man who, even with his back to the wall, loomed over Arthur. Then again a lot of people loomed over him on a regular basis. The consequence of being somewhat short. From foot to head he scanned this stranger as he had scanned him, the intent behind this differing wildly from that of the resident in front of him. As Arthur's soft off-white eyes met with this man's dark foreboding gaze what should of been a cold, unnerving stare wasn't really so for him. The reason for this? He wasn't looking at the man at all, yet he was. The parts of the body his watcher wasn't aware of didn't sell the intimidation as well as this man's three dimensional self could. How could it be if he didn't even know it was there? It would be like trying to scare someone by trying to recite a poem that he never read or even knew about.

It clicked somewhere in Arthur's head that staring for anything longer than a fleeting glance would create unnecessary attention. The last thing he needed was to draw attention to himself right from the start. He looked aside to the opening at the other end of the hallway. As he started walking in that direction he came into view of the second viewer, a blue haired girl watching just out of sight of him initially. She was actually shorter than him, a first for him. Not too threatening but not exactly normal looking either. Nothing was truly normal looking to Arthur though. He has, in a sense, been blessed by losing the bias of judging people upon first seeing them. It wasn't that he couldn't see them in three dimensions normally but he could see so much more as well. Confusing? Definitely. It made talking to people in person almost impossible for the first whole month.

None the less if he wasn't going to start drawing attention from the wild haired man than he wouldn't provoke this girl into a conversation either. He did make eye contact as well though. Her eyes were a similar colour to her hair.
Intentional or serendipity? He thought to himself as he started to pass her. He made sure to put a measured distance between himself and her. Not far enough to make it look like he was outright avoiding her but enough to be able to get away without injury. He didn't need to break eye contact to watch her hands for a sudden reaction. It would simply show that he's expecting an attack and he didn't need to look down to tell if she was going to do something. Years living blind had taught him how to know what's going on without being able to see it. Being able to see as well helped a lot anyways but it wasn't necessary.

All this subtle posturing however was for naught as the expression on his face explained himself all too well. He was suspicious of everyone and everything in this facility, possibly even the facility itself. After all, he was no spy nor an actor of any sort. Pretending to be something he is not was never something he had to do much of. Had he known he would of been thrown into a situation like this he probably would of brushed up on that skill, although he probably would of attended to more pressing questions before thinking of that. He could hear talking in the distance. Not unexpected considering it was announced over the speakers that it was lunch. People were likely to be heading through here on their way to the cafeteria, which was where he would be. Not that he was hungry, not at all. His paranoia outweighed his hunger. He figured that on the way he could do some sight seeing while being on a definite path. Just wandering around in a place like this could get him lost and just as likely hurt...

or worse.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jack Rass Character Portrait: Kieko Harlong Character Portrait: Arthur Strickland

0.00 INK

Room 1
1320


Tori paused, albeit briefly, to look at the ceiling when the PA crackled to life, but he didn’t comment on it at first. Instead, he turned his gaze back towards Xavier, who he studied quietly before nodding, having apparently come to some form of conclusion. What, exactly, he was thinking was unclear, and probing into his mindscape was likely an exercise for the unwise.

“ Oh, I’m pretty sure I’m real. Definitely real. That’s not one of my problems. Not at all. I’ve never been worried that I’m not real. Who I really am, though… well, that’s a bit of a difficult question, don’t you think? Can you ever know who anyone really is? Seems to me we’re all just guessing away, day in, day out, making all sorts of silly, dangerous assumptions that get us killed or worse.”

White teeth glittered as Tori stretched his thin lips into a smile. “Like Icarus.” He snorted. “Doctor Solaris. Whatever she wants to call herself. She is who she is, but to different people she’s different things. I suppose what she is to me is very different to what she is to you. Or poor little Sarah. Or Jack. But that doesn’t change what she is. She’s still real, even if everything you think about her is a lie.”

Tori carefully made his way back towards the door, leaning right out to look down the hallway. “Did you know that Sarah has just wandered off with her little friends? Not that Japanese girl, she’s not out there at the moment, but she’s not vanished like the others. Do you know how many people have gone already? Nobody else has noticed, but you’re clever, Xavier. I think you can figure it out if you pay attention.

“But that’s not important at the moment. They’re going on an expedition, Sarah and her little friend Matt with the hairy palms. Probably looking for Jack. They remember him, even when they forget Kieko. And Karissa. And Elise. Don’t you think that’s odd? I think that’s odd. They certainly remember your sister, though. She’s a difficult one to forget. Ever so exciting.”

Humming to himself, Tori took a firm hold of the doorframe and leaned even further out, before making a startled sound and throwing himself back into the room again. “Oooh, naughty. Naughty! Icarus has let her little pet out. Ooooh, this is going to be fun.”

Residential Hall
1317


It was fascinating, Keiko decided, how Icarus liked to change the rules on a whim, despite the game being long since set in stone. It would likely drive The Instigator mad(er, because even if Trephan couldn’t read his mind, the man clearly had a loose screw knocking about in there) that his plans had been disrupted, but it would doubtlessly be entertaining.

Arthur had not been planned. Nobody had been commissioned to capture him, The Instigator had made no plans for him, but as the Asylum was coming together the boy had been delivered along with the rest and assigned a room as if it were already pre-arranged. The Instigator had blown a fuse, in his own enigmatic way, but Trephan hadn’t been to blame and had been quite content to watch sparks fly.

It was obvious (at least to a mind reader) that Icarus was to blame; Trephan didn’t need to see into her head for that, nor had he ever felt the desire to peek. He was very old, and very skilled, but there were some hornet nests that were better left un-prodded.

Stealing the mind of a young girl and taking over her body, however, was little more than a half-drowned bee-hive without a queen, and Trephan had done it without remorse and with relative ease, becoming Keiko with a sense of expectant delight. It had been quite some time since he’d been a woman; women were fun.

With fun in mind, as well as mischief, Keiko crept out of her room and headed towards Nurse Base. Sarah (traitor) had already apparently gone off without her, more focused on Jack than anything else. That was an interesting development to say the least; nobody had factored romance into the games, but it would be fascinating if some were to happen spontaneously between inmates. The Instigator would likely want to study it, if he wasn’t too busy buzzing about getting everything else done. If there was one thing the man had, it was a highly skilled sense of organisation.

Walking up behind Arthur, Keiko quietly cleared her throat, keen to seem small, anxious, downtrodden; inside, she was nothing of the sort, but inside she wasn’t even the girl everybody else saw her as anymore. Trephan, in the depths of her mind, smiled, but Keiko’s face remained a mask of uncertain fear.

“Um… are you new?”

Infirmary
1320



Despite its function, and the assumption that there would at least be someone on duty at any given time, the infirmary was empty when Sarah and Matt came through the door. The whole area, as a matter of fact, had the air of sterile disuse about it, despite the battle that had raged there not all that long ago. The Asylum’s cleanup crew, ever diligent, had reversed all trace of what had happened previously.

A risky venture, but one played out by experts; Jack, who had been stored lightly sedated until such a time as the stage had been reset, had been laid out beside the body of Trephan, now deceased, and given drugs to induce consciousness at ten minutes to one. He had woken at one. By five past one, he had flown into a panic and secreted himself in a laundry cupboard that had been skilfully lighted to draw his wavering attention. By quarter past one, the team that had been hiding in Intensive treatment had wheeled out the twin metal tables and replaced them with a slept-in looking hospital bed, table and locker.

By the time Sarah and Matt arrived, the room appeared to be deserted, though recently vacated by a patient, and the closet in which Jack was hiding was silent save for his deliberately hushed breathing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aveline Mason Character Portrait: Devan Miyamoto Character Portrait: Kieko Harlong Character Portrait: Arthur Strickland

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zalgo
Residential Hall
1317-1318


“Um… are you new?”


To say the sudden voice behind him was not a surprise would be untrue to say the least. A sudden twitch was his body recognizing this mild shock, signaling his immediate halt. Of course the natural course of actions would be to turn and identify the source of the voice before making further decisions so he did. Arthur turned about one hundred and eighty degrees on his heels, spotting the talker and with no unwarranted haste shuffled back until he was about twice his arms length away from the cyan haired girl and the one who just spoke to him.

The first thing he noted about the girl was that she too was just slightly shorter than him, making him feel a bit like Gulliver on Lilliput island. She looked Asian enough with the shape of her facial features and the almost typically Asian long straight black hair, but there was something else. Arthur took what little time he had before he should respond to think about it. "Her face looks... Worried? Uncertain possibly." He thought, contemplating the expression of her three dimensional figure. He could examine and possibly determine what she might be feeling by her expression but because of his gifted eyes he made very little if no judgement on her character at all based on her appearance. After all, everything looked strange and unearthly to him. He would consider her just as trustworthy as the tall man just down the hall and right now everyone was untrustworthy.

"Yes... I am." He answered her question, taking more time to contemplation.
"Seeing as she is from around here she might know more about this place than I do. Perhaps, but on the other hand, judging from her expression she might be just as confused as I am. Yes, I don't think I am going to get anywhere quick here. I need to move forward to find answers, not more questions." He concluded in his mind, setting his resolve on figuring out this bizarre prison over making alliances right away. Truth be told, Arthur didn't know where to start. Finding out what he could was all that he could do. To do anything else before getting the requisite info would be an uninformed decision, a foolish one.

Having made his decision without another word he slowly and silently backed away, turning his attention from the girls to the surrounding exits. One of the exits from the center area connecting these halls seemed to him to be the one exit that led to the next wing of the facility, where most of the service and utility stations would be or so he assumed. Hoping the girls in front of him were not planning on striking up a conversation he picked up the pace from a silent inching away to a mild shuffle. He proceeded towards the cafeteria area while his hands hovered uselessly to his sides, unsure of what to do with themselves.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aveline Mason Character Portrait: Xavier Mason Character Portrait: Arthur Strickland

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zalgo
Residential Hall
1320-1325


Arthur did not foresee the girl's intent on jumping on him. She collided with his back to his complete surprise. Not being the most muscular person around by far the sudden force as well as the suddenness of her actions caused him to fall. Reaching out with both he hands he tried to stop the floor from meeting with his face at the very least. He succeeded in that regards as instead he distributed enough force through his hands that after they buckled from under him the rest of his body hit the floor as his head did, distributing evenly. This sudden chaos and confusion was compounded when the girl for her own peculiar reasons decided to make a beeping noise in his ear before greeting him with a cheery hello. He couldn't really respond properly in this position as his stomach was on the floor with his head awkwardly angled against it but the girls arms and legs wrapped around him, trapping him in her hold. The one thing he figured he could do from there was to turn around in her grip. His thin build was the reason he was on the floor to begin with but it also served as the reason for how he was able to turn around in her hold so his back was to the floor while his head faced upwards, a much easier place to speak from.

Now face to face with the grinning young girl he chuckled a bit, nervously of course. "I take it this is the formal greeting for er... Newcomers here?" He jested in a deadpan fashion. His tone of voice really did sell the facets of his uncertainty by this point. Really he was just talking to kill the time until she got off of him. Now in a more comfortable position Arthur was not being pressed quite so seemingly hard from the girl basically grappled to his chest like before. After all, the girl didn't weigh all that much, just enough to knock him down.

He heard another person yell a name in his general direction. He knew the person wasn't addressing him so it, by process of elimination, was probably the name or possibly the nickname for the blue haired girl currently holding him captive. "So... Ave? I didn't catch your full name. My name is Arthur, um... good to meet you?" He formally, although stretching the definition of the word formal, introduced himself to his excitable new acquaintance. Although she was mostly inconveniencing him she did yield some useful information in her approach. From her mannerisms as well as the general tone of the surroundings he now knew what kind of hospital he was sealed in. A mental hospital.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarah Erebus Character Portrait: Aveline Mason Character Portrait: Xavier Mason Character Portrait: Jack Rass Character Portrait: Kieko Harlong Character Portrait: Arthur Strickland

0.00 INK

Residential Hall.
1320.


Arthur had the strangest of minds. It was the first thing that drew Keiko's attention upon speaking to the boy. She had met him before, of course, if only briefly; Icarus was a loose canon, but there was no way that even she could have snuck someone into the building without anyone knowing about it. Trephan had examined the boy while he was asleep, and declared him interesting, but now, awake and alert and vibrant, Keiko found him delicious. The Instigator would likely find him quite the opposite, but that would only make things more fun.

"Well, it's nice to- uh-" She didn't get much further, as Arthur rapidly lost interest in her and started to walk away. Keiko would have followed, but the sudden presence of the others was more than a little distracting. Devan clearly wanted nothing to do with them, but he was going their way; there was no avoiding the boy. Keiko didn't smile at him, choosing instead to fearfully duck her head in submission, as if hoping he would pass her by without notice.

It seemed to work, given that Devan gave them little more than a look in passing before trailing after Arthur. Aveline, who had been standing beside her up until this point, apparently was not satisfied with being ignored, however. Keiko very nearly smiled when she felt the idea pop into Aveline's head, but she managed to restrain herself, and even look shocked and appalled when Aveline charged forwards and launched herself at Arthur, crushing him to the floor.

"Aveline! That's not very nice! Don't hurt him, he's not done anything wrong!" Oh, if only she knew. There was a special little place in Trephan's heart for Aveline; his murderer. What would the girl say if she realised the man she thought she had destroyed was now possessing Kieko quite so expertly.

Her brother was clearly not particularly pleased with what was going on; Keiko watched him pass with interest, wondering if another battle was about to break out.

Room 1.
1325.


Icarus was a traitor. She thought she ran the game. She thought she was so clever... Tori glared out from the crack in the door, his mauve eyes alight with a fierce anger. Alone now, abandoned by Xavier and left trapped by his own indecision, he looked nothing like the confused but harmless young man that he had been only moments before. That spark of unusual, sharp insight had fanned into a razors edge- there was something dangerous in his expression.

"Sending out your pet, Icarus. That was mean. That was... naughty."

He watched as the others drew Xavier's attention, watched as the focus was pulled further and further away from himself. Aveline too- did she even remember that she had been his? That she was his tool, not a free agent any longer?

Tori closed his eyes, summoning up a strange, warping sensation in a dimension that Arthur could likely sense. "You forget, though, Icarus... people only remember you because you got burned."

To Arthur, it would be as if reality suddenly creased; a dimension of fabric space, running in a plane that overlapped seamlessly with the everyday world, was suddenly torn by expert fingers. Close, but not so close as to be on top of them, the tare widened, exerting a sucking pressure that built and built to a horrible level before suddenly stoppering closed with a jolt. The ripples left behind swirled and settled, but only for a moment before striking up elsewhere, this time with the impression that something had been pulled forth and set back in the physical world before the fabric space was stitched shut again.

Tori had vanished.

Infirmary.
1325.


In literally every sense of the word, Jack felt awful, and for once he remembered every second of what had happened to him. For so many years, he had begged every deity he could think of to let him remember, let the strange, alarming periods of absence leave him, but now, for the first time in his life, he wanted nothing more than to forget.

In one terrible moment, his entire world had shattered into fragments, the bedrock of his soul torn free and shattered. Vinny was gone. His parents were so far out of reach that they might as well be. His friends- his family- his career- in one fell swoop everything he held dear and everything that he had ever worked for had slipped like smoke though his fingers, and he couldn't get it out of his head.

He had woken feeling sick and disoriented, a sensation that lasted even now, hunched up as he was in the tiny, dark hideaway that he had selected after hurling himself out of bed and scrambling as fast and as far as he could away from the corpse he had been laid out beside. It was cramped and uncomfortable for someone of his height to crunch down into such a small cupboard, but it made him feel more secure than anything else had so far.

Sarah opening the door, on the other hand, was not so nice; the light slanted in and burned Jack's watering eyes, leaving him feeling even more nauseated than he had previously. But despite the fact that he was forced to turn his head away with a shudder, part of him cried out desperately for the few people that had become familiar to him in this nightmare.

"I- I don't think I'm ready to come out yet..." It would be a tight fit, with Sarah in the closet with him, but Jack couldn't actually think of anything he desired more than being held right about now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aveline Mason Character Portrait: Xavier Mason Character Portrait: Kieko Harlong Character Portrait: Arthur Strickland

0.00 INK

Residential Hall
1323-1328


Aveline was just as surprised as Arthur had been, but for a different reason. She had misjudged the young man, particularly in the strength category as he fell forward with her still on him. Oopsie daisy. She hadn't meant to knock him off his feet, but at least it was consistent with the first impressions she gave. The boy wiggled underneath her as he could not support her weight, much less move when she had pinned him to the ground and trapped him there unknowingly.

"I take it this is the formal greeting for er... Newcomers here?" The stranger was trying to be funny, but this did not register in the crazy girl's head. She shook her head, a few strands of hair brushing against his face. "Nope, I like to change it up. I poked whats-his-name in the throat but he didn't like that. Sarah and Jack don't like me either. I think Matt might, but he likes Sarah so probably not." The girl had not taken the hint that she should get off of the new boy. She was perfectly content to hug him on the floor. It was like she was a koala and he the tree. Or she could be a sloth, but they were so incredibly slow and-

"Aveline! That's not very nice! Don't hurt him, he's not done anything wrong!" While she knew the voice belonged to K Number 1, she wasn't overly concerned. She actually hadn't see her in awhile and given her stature doubted she could do more than scold her. And what did she know? He wasn't broken from what she could tell. No harm, no foul.

"Ave!" Oh rats. Xavier was here. Now she was in trouble. He quickly walked over and attempted to pry Aveline off of her new friend and/or enemy. But she held onto him for dear life, as if her twin was a hurricane trying to knock her from her tree.

The stranger, who had now identified himself as Arthur, introduced himself as best he could given the circumstances. He looked terribly uncomfortable and Xavier couldn't blame him. Aveline had once hugged him and wouldn't let go for six hours until she became hungry. That had not been a fun day for him.

"I'm sorry about my sister Arthur. She's a bit of a nutcase." All thanks to you. You really shouldn't have uses your gift on her, it drove her insane... a small voice in his head quipped. Now was not the time for guilt to creep into his head. Xavier looked at Aveline and told her sternly, "Let go." A frowning blue haired girl released her grip and let herself be plucked up from her new friend. As she glared at Kieko for yelling at her, Xavier lent a hand to Arthur to help him up.

"I'm Xavier and I see you've met my sister, Aveline." He briefly glanced at Kieko who stood back from the group. He thought of giving her an encouraging smile but figured it wouldn't transfer well. Xavier looked back at Arthur, trying to ignore Aveline as best he could. She had decided she wanted to play with her brother now and was tugging gently at his long black hair. "I'm sorry again, I probably should have kept an eye on her." He swatted at her hand behind his back, trying to tell her to stop.

Aveline frowned again and stepped out from behind her brother to speak to Arthur. She gave a friendly wave and smile, as if she had never tackled him. "Hello Arthur! Welcome to, uh, well I'm not sure. But lunch is soon. I like food!" She went to turn and run to the cafeteria, where she would surely encounter Devan and have her throat ripped out or something of that sort, but Xavier caught her arm and kept her there. He had forgotten how crazy she was and wasn't sure he wanted her running around all by herself. But then again he had done just the same and had his own fun adventures.

Interestingly enough, each of the twins had killed someone, though in different fashions and with different results. They had also both encountered Tori, who was on a different mission each time. It seemed that they were in need of a bit of catching up.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aveline Mason Character Portrait: Xavier Mason Character Portrait: Kieko Harlong Character Portrait: Arthur Strickland

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#, as written by Zalgo
Residential Hall
1323-1330



"Nope, I like to change it up. I poked whats-his-name in the throat but he didn't like that. Sarah and Jack don't like me either. I think Matt might, but he likes Sarah so probably not."

Already this was quite a lot of information. Nothing immediately useful however knowing who's who around this place was no resource to scoff at either. Aveline obviously knew more about the asylum than he did. Enough to know about the residents, although they could simply be characters she invented. Without any way to tell which truth that matter belonged to he simply put the question on hold until needed. She really did like holding onto him it seemed. Seeing her true shape gave him no first emotional impression of her, good or bad. In light of her actions she was still more trust worthy than everyone else he has met so far. For now.

"Aveline! That's not very nice! Don't hurt him, he's not done anything wrong!" The shy girl seemed rather upset by his current grapplers actions. So it seemed the two had met already. This made no difference in Arthur's opinion of the girl and even if he didn't think as much there was little say he had in the matter of his position.

The person who had been yelling earlier came over to assist him. The stranger pulled at Aveline to try and make her release him from her grip to no avail. "I'm sorry about my sister Arthur. She's a bit of a nutcase." The man apologized for his sisters behavior. The revelation that he was her brother came as little surprise to him. With his expanded sight no human form was no more eccentric than another. Quite frankly he was kind of like a foreigner to the human race at this point. All humans look alike, some just act differently than others.

At that point her brother had commanded her to let go at which instant Aveline begrudgingly obliged. After she was picked up he noticed her glare directed over to the shy girl from earlier. There was little time to dwell on that detail however as her brother had offered a hand to help him up from the prone position he was trapped in just seconds ago.
"I'm Xavier and I see you've met my sister, Aveline." He listened to Xavier's introduction of both himself and his blue haired sister. Arthur was about to reply

And then something changed.

At first it was subtle. He noticed all the angles in his field of vision suddenly bend in a single direction before resetting back to normal, like a flicker. A flicker alone could not of prepared him for the following distortion. A hole, one that threatened to swallow everything. The effect was reminiscent of something tearing through a cloth sheet. As it pressed through, everything stretched towards the point of impact. Reality, not unlike the example of the cloth, tried to bend around the object rather than tear asunder. At the point of ripping is where the metaphor of the cloth and this instance ceased to compare. While a cloth would relax after being torn through, the fabric of space's pull intensified around the aperture. He could see himself almost being dragged into this singularity as well, the whole room twisting at one end into a single point in the distance, the rest of the room behind him soon to follow.

Ignoring the helpful hand of Xavier at this point he backed away. Away from Xavier, away from Aveline, away from everyone. The whole asylum was a sinking ship and he was doing everything within his power to avoid falling in with it. He scrambled to the opposite end of the room and pressed his back so firmly against the back wall it would take a considerable effort from someone reasonably strong to separate him from it. As far as Arthur was concerned, a black hole had just manifested and was dragging everything near into oblivion.

Arthur would have lost his balance if he was standing up as soon as reality snapped back into place. It was as though someone placed him in a rubber band and stretched him back along it almost to the point of breaking before letting go. Luckily, Arthur cannot be fired through a solid wall, at least not like that. Just like that it all stopped. It was as though something just punched it's way out of existence. The entire time his mind raced like a mouses heart hooked to a car battery, not unlike his own heartbeat at the moment as well.

Among the thousands of questions that instantly jumped to mind was a simple "Why?" It was also the only question that was answered when a distant pulse registered in his vision. Something had just pushed it's way back into reality like a stone dropped into a pond. It was not nearly as close as the opening was so it's jarring effects on him were lessened. Less it's distance however was the fact that little could top the initial surprise that came with the opening breach.

No ordinary man would be able to so much as even compose one's self after witnessing such a disturbance. Arthur's psyche was greatly disturbed by the sudden occurrence of something so impossible. His face was pale enough to be the very mask of pure illness most grave. He was dripping a cold sweat which adorned his brow and lined his quivering palms. His jaw hurt from the intensity which he grit his teeth with. The adrenaline which was strong enough to almost poison him made it impossible to keep his legs still.

Despite all this though he had one thing to hold onto his sanity by. A feeling of familiarity, a sensation no different than when he first discovered that he could see this world expanded. To see something so impossible without having seen anything like it before had effectively incapacitated him before, rendering him screaming in pure shock with nothing to ground him to reality.To see something that defied all conventional expectations of reality was not a new feeling. It was amazing how powerful the sense of familiarity could be, no matter what situation it may be. He had not even cried out in shock despite the gravity of the situation that unraveled before him. He may not have been able to stand and face this threat but at least he could still stand and act if required.

He needed to take a moment to gather his wits. With this time he was able to string together what he saw and deduce the result from the effects witnessed.

It... Something bypassed this plane entirely and somehow moved to another location.

He concluded in his mind. Summoning up what remained of his strength he pushed himself up the wall, still resting upon it even while standing for support. The tensity his body had held made him surprisingly exhausted. He was breathing like he just jogged a marathon. It took him a moment to catch his breath before he was able to address the most likely confused bystanders whom were speaking to him mere moments ago. What felt like an hour to him was little more than the span of a few seconds, no more than thirty.

He looked up at the onlookers, his breath still shaking with him. If either of them had said anything past what he last heard than he clearly didn't notice. "S-sorry for that. Didn't mean to be rude there. It is a pleasure to meet you both, it really is." His voice ragged with tension still intoxicating his body. Pushing himself off the wall he managed to stand without falling over, his knees still shaking beneath him as though threatening to buckle all the while.

He briefly contemplated asking the two if they had seen what he just saw but quickly dismissed the thought. They were no different than everyone else. His whole life and no one could see what he could see. Every time he told someone about what he saw and each time was met with ridicule and unwarranted concern for his mental health. Now would be no different to him. It was him, alone, to carry the knowledge of what he sees what others cannot, or more correctly what he hoped others cannot. It was the possibility there was someone or possibly something else in this hospital that may know more about the holes know one else can ever conceive of than he did. It was a thought scary enough to chill him to the bones.

There may be a person here who knows more than me and is keeping me here against my wishes.

What do they want of me?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarah Erebus Character Portrait: Aveline Mason Character Portrait: Xavier Mason Character Portrait: Jack Rass Character Portrait: Devan Miyamoto Character Portrait: Kieko Harlong Character Portrait: Trephan Bethlem Character Portrait: Doctor Solaris Dae Character Portrait: Arthur Strickland

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Dining Hall
1335.


The Dining Hall was indeed shut when Devan arrived, but there were definite signs of life behind the sealed double doors. Lunch, as far as could be divined, was certainly in progress; the smell of cooking was drifting out into the hallway, and general noises associated with food preparation were audible.

The fact remained, however, that the doors were locked, and the sign affixed to the laminated surface declared that lunch would begin at 12:00, which a nearby clock stated would be in exactly fifteen minutes.

Infirmary
1330-1340


It took Jack almost ten minutes to get himself back under control again (seven to stop sobbing onto Sarah's shoulder, and three to get his abject, mortified embarrassment under control). Normally, he would have devoted a good hour or so to outright hysterics, but the longer he dwelled on what had happened, the closer to being completely out of control he felt. It was in the interests of self preservation that he forced his miserable panic down to a dull roar, and finally raised his head.

Still afraid to look outside the boundaries of his closet for fear of seeing a dead body, Jack started by cracking open a puffy, leaking eye and peered worriedly at the floor. Matt's feet were the first thing he actually ended up seeing, and it was such a blessed relief that he almost burst into tears again.

With a wet sniff, he looked up a little further, finally allowing himself to make eye-contact with the boy who had rapidly become his friend in this chaos. Matt looked happy to see him, which was comforting, but there was a little tag of something else lurking there that unsettled him; what had happened, while he had been unconscious (dead?!) in this horrible room.

"I- sorry." His voice was a wreck, and there was something that was probably mucus sticking to his face and Sarah's shoulder. Jack had never wished for a handkerchief more, but he had been stripped down to a gown at some stage. He didn't even have pants on, he realised, quite horrified given his current position ensconced in Sarah's arms.

"Uh." If his face hadn't already been aggravated to a blotchy red by crying, he was certain that he would have blushed right up to his ears. "Do, do either of you know what happened to my clothes?"

Residential Hall
1327-1335


Keiko watched with something akin to fascination as the scene before her played out in a chaos of emotion; a veritable riot of reactions and quick-fire responses. It was obvious that Aveline was following something of her own agenda, but that was okay; The Instigator might become irate at sudden and inexplicable changes to The Plan, but as far as Trephan had always been concerned, they were what made life fun.

This was a change of plan; Arthur, certainly, had not been arranged with The Instigator's grand scheme in mind, but there was something exciting about the thought that things were about to go stunningly off the rails. Well, more-so, because there was no denying that Aveline jumping all over Arthur, and Xavier having to wade into save the day were things going 'according to plan'.

Of course, things only became stranger a moment later, when Arthur suddenly paled to a frankly shocking shade of grey and staggered back into the wall. Drenched in sweat, shaking and sickly looking; to the outside, it appeared as if the young man were having some form of cardiac event, or at the very least a panic attack, but Keiko was not looking at the outside at all.

Possessing the unique skills of a telepath, combined with a genuine degree and ages-old observations of medicine through time gave Trephan, and therefore Keiko, a rather extraordinary insight into moments such as these. That was not to say, however, that she had any intention of letting that information slip to her fellows.

"Arthur? Are you okay? Do you need to sit down?" Apparently ignoring the previous animosity between herself and her companions given the sudden potential emergency, Keiko stepped up and addressed Xavier. "He doesn't look at all well. Should we call a nurse?"

It took almost a minute for Arthur to respond to them at all, which likely seemed much longer to those genuinely alarmed by what was going on. When he did, there was chaos in his mind, and if he thought he was fooling anyone by acting normally, he was sadly mistaken.

"Arthur, what was that? You look sick. We should call one of the nurses."

Control Room
1325-1340


"You twisted bitch."

Icarus didn't need the monitors that surrounded her to tell her that 'The Instigator' had entered the room, or that he would be in a towering temper. In this intricate, multi-dimensional game of chess that they were playing, this particular move had been started a very long time ago; he had simply failed to notice that he was being manoeuvred into check until now.

"Yes." She didn't turn to face him, choosing instead to watch him rage in the glossy black screen before her, his visage superimposed over a darkish image of the inside of a supply closet in the Infirmary. "Did you need something?"

There was a disgusted sound, inarticulate, furious, but it was easy to duck the wrathful swing he took at her; a simple matter of kicking off from the desk with just enough force to let the wheels on her chair remove her from his reach. The curse he spat out when his hand impacted with the corner of the monitor instead of her face was deeply satisfying; she let it show, knowing that it would only inflame him further.

"Your pet was not supposed to be here." It sounded like he was grinding his teeth, and Icarus was half-tempted to give him some off-hand advice about maintaining good dentition. "Not least now, when things are already so far off-schedule. Do you forget who is running this operation, Icarus? Or do you want to challenge me?"

As if he would stand a chance if she chose to challenge him; Icarus smiled, pushing herself back into place with her toes, mindless of the angry man currently dominating the room. "Challenge you in what sense? You really should be mindful of your words; given that it's something of your 'thing', you're not being all that eloquent right now. If you mean to say 'are you attempting to usurp my authority in this little game of mine, Icarus?' then I can honestly tell you no. I have no intention to take your toys from you."

Finally, she swung to face him, resting back in her chair and quite at ease, as the beginnings of chaos erupted on the screens behind her. "If you are suggesting that I'm upping the difficulty of things, however- well, you'd be quite correct. We can't have you getting complacent, now can we?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aveline Mason Character Portrait: Xavier Mason Character Portrait: Devan Miyamoto Character Portrait: Kieko Harlong Character Portrait: Arthur Strickland

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Residential Hall
1332-1338


Xavier watched with curiosity as the newcomer's whole demeanor suddenly changed, shifting from one of confusion to another of fear, anxiety. The change was sudden and very noticeable. Even Aveline stopped playing with her hair and looked at Arthur, puzzled by the abrupt change in his features. He was clearly startled, yet the source of this reaction was unseen to the others.

He shifted his weight, thinking of approaching the new asylum mate, but thought better of it. He might attack him in his panicked state. So Xavier made himself content to stand still and look watch Arthur for any other sudden changes.

Aveline on the other hand, comprehended that something had happened but had no idea what. Unless she had grown bat wings and turned into a grotesque demon, she saw no reason for Arthur to be backed against the wall as if the devil had come to see him to Hell personally. She looked around at the others, who had the same pondering look on their faces. Keiko's face had hardly seemed to change and Xavier was almost smirking. The blue haired girl tilted her head to the side, perplexed. Why was Arthur special enough to see something and she wasn't? She opened her pale lips to speak but was cut off by him. He tried to reassure them that he was fine, though it was quite evident he wasn't. He was about as fine as she was sane, not that she knew her sanity was serious question. The other two also seemed rather unconvinced by Arthur's dialogue.

Keiko then stepped forward as the shaking figure of Arthur rose, looking like a trapped animal. She asked if he was ok (which had an obvious answer to it) or if he needed to sit down. The twins both had the same thought- he had just been sitting down. If he needed to sit he would have kept himself propped against the wall. Xavier flinched a bit as he sensed his sister's similar thought. Twin telepathy, be it placebo or reality, seemed very real to them. Connected in thought at times, the two found that speaking the same words at once was not something foreign to them. In fact, it was highly amusing to them both.

The other girl next suggested that they call a nurse, addressing Xavier specifically. She then spoke to Arthur, asking him what had happened and if they should call a nurse. Had they not been in the asylum, the two might have agreed to this proposition. Unfortunately, neither of them liked the nurses here. Aveline found them too controlling and mean while Xavier liked to snack on them. Since nurses were not acceptable meals and would likely pin him as the cause of Arthur's panic, he was against the idea. He cast a sideways glance at Aveline, who was pouting at the thought of the mean nurses.

"I don't think they'll be of much help," the two said at once. They were completely indifferent to the fact that they'd spoken at the same time. Xavier proceeded to continue before Aveline opened her mouth to say something incoherent.

"The nurses I've encounter so far haven't been very friendly." Well, I did eat one so I can see why they don't like me, he reflected briefly. "I think food or rest would be the better way to go." His gaze turned to Arthur. "Lunch begins soon as I'm sure you heard. Perhaps you can entertain us by explaining what happened then?"

"Ooh, food!" Aveline chirped excitedly. The idea of eating was very pleasing as she had been banned from the earlier ice cream social and had no idea when she had last eaten. Forgetting about her brother and her new friend, she rushed around the corner and into the main hall. Xavier made no attempt to chase after her, as his main interest was now with Arthur.

Here she found the crazy haired and slightly psychotic looking Devan, also allured by the promise of food. She froze as she saw him, a split moment of fear crossing her face. Aveline would prefer not to be strangled by him and without her nurse eating brother to protect her she was at a great disadvantage. Knowing this, but also remembering her affair with Tori, she was torn as whether or not to approach him. For now, she remained standing in the hall with a blank expression.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aveline Mason Character Portrait: Xavier Mason Character Portrait: Kieko Harlong Character Portrait: Arthur Strickland

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zalgo
Residential Hall
1332-1340


"Arthur, what was that? You look sick. We should call one of the nurses." Arthur heard the timid girl from earlier speak up to him upon seeing his reaction to an event evident to him alone. Realizing just how panicked he must of looked he took a moment, closed his eyes and exhaled a few deep breaths. The harsh illumination in the room lightly hurt his faded eyes. He felt a bit calmer but his outward demeanor didn't reflect this as well as he'd hoped. He was about to reply when the other two seemed to take it upon themselves to do so for him. "I don't think they'll be of much help." Arthur couldn't agree more, simply nodding rather than interrupt what else they looked like they were about to say. If his suspicions about where he was and what was going on were as bad as he feared then the last thing he'd want was to appear on the radar more than he already has.

"The nurses I've encounter so far haven't been very friendly." Arthur listened to every word either of these two had to say very carefully despite the topic being on a matter that he could of taken an educated guess on with great accuracy.
"Lunch begins soon as I'm sure you heard. Perhaps you can entertain us by explaining what happened then?"
Here is where Arthur's and Xavier's ideas differed.

He knew very well that trusting any of these characters with anything could yield innumerable results, more of them for the worse rather than the better. Still, he did not want them to stop sharing their share of information either. If he wanted to learn more about this place without resorting to digging through files and exploring area's he would be supposedly barred from by the staff and whatever else lurks within the confines of this building then he would need to give something back in order to keep the status quo between them. At this current moment he would trust this Xavier fellow to some extent.
To say that this trust would last was an uncertainty only time could answer.

"Sure. I could use some food anyways. I don't know how long I was out for before I was brought here anyways."
Arthur answered Xaviers proposal. "Ooh, food!" Aveline quickly departed from the conversation and shortly after the junction they stood at. With her out on her own little adventure that just left himself, the girl who would continue to be a fly on the wall to him for the duration of this meeting and Xavier with his attention conveniently undivided for the time being. Seeing Aveline make her way down the same hall the gloomy looking figure went gave him an idea though. "Actually, before we go..."
He paused, walking over to the entrance to the hallway he had seen the tear occur.

He walked through, measuring the distance and direction that the tear appeared to had originated from. Room zero one, the very first room if the label on the door was to be believed. Arthur's knowledge of where the hole was ripped was shaky at best, especially seeing as how his only way of telling where it was was by it's direction and severity in relation to his position back in the main hallway junction, but almost every detail that informed his guess fit perfectly here. If the borders of the room in front of him were the same as his own room's measurements then even the furthest guess would still land the event that had transpired within the confines of that exact room.

"Do you know who stays in this room?" He asked Xavier, raising his voice but not quite yelling so that he could reasonably hear him from down where he was. Standing in front of the room's door gave him a sense of dread just from thinking about what could possibly inhabit that room and what possibilities lie within. The unknown dangers that could lurk within gave the door a foreboding aura to it. by standing in front of this door after going through the scare he just underwent by this point if he could Arthur would have goosebumps on his goosebumps. For now, he'd have to settle for goosebumps and a slight shiver.