Jun 26, 2019 4:29 PM
James wakes up alone in a room
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It doesn't really look like it. Maybe he's missing something? Or he could punch it. That might work.

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Okay good idea let's try that.

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He gets a good satisfying crunch against the wall with his fist—

—followed by blinding agony in the fist in question.

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ow!!!!!! Ow ow ow ow owwwww what the fuck what happened ow his hand!!!!

.......wait what was that noise. He's... sure it came from........

...........himself? With his unbroken hand he reaches up to touch his throat and notices it's vibrating a little. And there's a sound that's related to that.

(But unrelatedly: ow.)

As the pain fades he notices that the sounds he's generating stop, and he also notices some sort of proprioception-y feeling attached to that. He pokes that internally and opens his mouth, and startles himself by the new sound he makes voluntarily.

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His hand's broken bones quietly begin to knit themselves back together while he tracks down the mysterious source of the noise. Soon enough, it becomes perfectly whole, and accordingly stops hurting.

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Yeah he has long since stopped caring about the pain, this noise thing is fascinating and he can do all sorts of sounds if he moves his mouth and tongue just so.

This will keep him distracted for the next while.

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Eventually the door opens.

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"Bah?" he says, turning to look at it.

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There is a thin young man on the other side of it, equipped with spectacles and a clipboard. He's dressed in bright, flowy clothing, with about a dozen little strange baubles decorating his frame. He clears his throat nervously, paying more attention to the threshold than to who's contained inside.

"This, uh, this works, right, I'm not about to be burned alive for opening the door....?" he says to no one in particular, poking the air at the threshold with his pen. The pen encounters a silvery barrier of light and goes no further. "Right. Okay. Good, good. Uh."

His safety therefore assured, he starts inspecting the room and writing notes on his clipboard.

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Oh. Oh he recognises those sounds!!! They were words they meant things!!!!!!!

He... he can do that. He's sure of it. "Hhhhh?" he tries. "Aaaahhh eeeeee -" no that's wrong, umm...

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The man jumps, flustered.

"Oh! Oh my goodness! Uh, uh, subject is showing vocalization capabilities early after ritual, uh, hi, do you understand speech, you probably do but I kind of gotta check for, uh, scientific posterity."

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...he nods! Yes that is a thing that means a thing! He nods many times. But okay he was trying to "Hhhhhaaaaahhhh eeeeee rrrrrr hhhhhhiiiii hhhi hi?"

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"Oh, good job! I think that last one was even a word!" He scribbles this down on his clipboard, then looks back up. "Okay, uh.... darn it I don't have a script for this, uh, uh. Are you okay in there? Do you want some, uh, water or something? Do you remember your name?"

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Wait that was a lot of words give him a bit to process. Uh. He raises a hand? That's how you say "wait", right?

"Iiiiiii ohhhhhhh.... kay?" He frowns and starts furiously making noises with his tongue and throat and teeth and clacking and trying to produce other sounds, his hand still raised in the "wait" sign.

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"Or maybe I could get you like a chair or something, we'd have to fireproof it but it's so inhumane to have you just sitting on the floor and—oh, oh, sorry, waiting, yes." The bespectacled man obligingly shuts up and waits.

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He takes a few more minutes, but as he progresses he starts noticeably producing actual recognisable words, even if his vowel length and consonant strength aren't yet quite there. He clearly remembers language, though, he's going somewhere with this.

Then he stops, nods (mostly to himself), and lowers his hand. "Oh-kay. I aam oh-kay. Donnn't reemember name? Flooooor is nice. Warm."

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"Oh, okay, good. I'm glad you like the floor, the other subjects seemed to find it very upsetting when the whole room was warded instead of just the walls and ceiling, so it's really good to know that the change is making you more comfortable! And, yes, it is very warm in there, uh. Are you doing that on purpose or is that just... a thing that happened...?"

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He nods again. "Onn pur-pose. Warm is goood. Toooo warm is bad... thoough. Starteed hur-ting."

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"Oh good you feel pain! I mean, uh, not good, I guess, but uh, yes! Too warm is bad, I'm glad you can tell that it's bad and will kill you. Uh, you look fine, so it looks like you healed up nicely from it, does it still hurt...?"

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Headshake and smile. "No-thing hurts now. I am fine."

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"Good, okay! And you don't want to make it too warm again, right, just this nice stable level of warm that will definitely not kill you?"

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He nods. "Dying is also bad. Worse than pain. Means I'm gone."

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"Yes! Yes that is definitely what it means, good job, glad you understand that." He scribbles intensely on his clipboard. "So is there anything you, um, want? Or need? It's okay if you can't think of anything, I can come up with some kind of list of things you might want. Like clothes! Do you want, um, clothes?"

The young man looks like he would very much like for him to want clothes.

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"...do you want me to have clothes?" he asks instead, picking up on the man's discomfort.

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"Kind of yeah!" he agrees. "Look this is just a very upsetting personal dynamic, with you naked in a magic cage and me on the outside with a clipboard!"

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