((Asuka Takahara and Audrey Reyes continued from If That's Who I Am, Then I'll Fight Who I Am))
Predictably, they'd ended up doing nothing, fallen asleep in the corner of the room, as far from the corpse as possible. Asuka hadn't had the guts to move it, or to ask Audrey to move it. Nobody gave enough of a fuck to keep watch, and doing so felt like a violation of principle anyways. Even if they were playing, it wasn't like they'd be able to fight off anyone who tried to attack them in their sleep. Better to hope that any would-be killers who mistake them for corpses and not bother checking.
The sun didn't rise here and it was impossible to tell when night became day, but eventually her body decided it was time to wake up anyways. She had a blinder of a headache. Flicked on the flashlight, peeked out the door, tiptoed around until she could see a window. Naturally her body had been lying; it was pitch-black outside. What was she doing here, again? It's not like she was gonna be able to fall back asleep if it was still night anyways.
Asuka walked back to the room, her steps a little less cautious. Stupid risks were stupid risks; why bother mitigating them? Aside from the slow, rhythmic breathing of Audrey and her, all was silent. It didn't feel like Alvaro had died here just a night ago. It should've been years ago; the memories, intruding on the present like it had happened only yesterday--in a manner of speaking, anyways--rushing in, filling the quiet, peaceful space and imbuing it with otherworldly significance. This place was haunted as fuck. It was kinda the aesthetic she wanted anyways, though.
Somehow leaving a message for Audrey in blood on the wall still felt ridiculously kitsch. Scrounging up a pen took a really fucking long time, though, and Asuka wasn't gonna leave the room again over a stupid pen. She hauled a suitcase over, wrote "MEET IN BASEMENT" on the empty phone line.
Her idea was simple, stupid, and pointless for anyone except her: she would sit in each of the intensive treatment rooms for a really fucking long time. She would imagine a patient there, imagine a name, a history, a personality, when and how they died, and she would draw a decent analogy between the dehumanizing practices of a barbaric approach to mental health and this bullshit experiment or project or whatever the terrorists wanted to call it, she would sit there until she found the analogy meaningful, until she really felt it, deep down. She would sit there and she would stay there until she made herself cry.
Lucky that she picked the water treatment room first, she guessed: it was easy on the imagination. There was a corpse there, screwdriver in eye; the face looked vaguely familiar. She couldn't remember his name, what he was like, his killer.
Damn. Before, she'd felt free to imagine the person's life however she wanted, because the person would've been imaginary. Now she felt like she had to get it right.
Or maybe she just wanted an excuse to not hang around in another room with a corpse in it. Her mind wandered over to that room and the body in it, at any rate, even as she went into the room for electroshock therapy, sat herself in the electric chair, tried to imagine the electrodes being placed on her, tried to imagine her body coursing with electricity. All in vain; she couldn't even conjure up a face for the theoretical patient whose shoes she was trying to put herself into.
So. The kid in the other room. He'd died, and he'd never get a chance to know her, or her him. That was an irreplaceable loss, wasn't it? Did he have friends? Did they know him for who he really was? Was his family grieving, somewhere? Fuck, man, Asuka's sorry, she's sorry this bullshit eulogy or whatever it was was so fucking inadequate, she's sorry you had to be eulogized but someone who doesn't even know you well enough to remember your name, she's sorry for sorta being a voyeur, for pretending to try to understand who he was, she's so fucking sorry...
Asuka trembled, held her breath, waited. Her eyes were dry.
She was still sitting there when the announcements came on and
Oh. Damn. Damn him, he'd really gone and done it. Jerry had shot someone with her gun.
Who were you, Travis Lynch? Why, fucking why had you picked a fight with Jerry? She tried to picture the scene in her head, tried to imagine Travis, how he looked, who he was, but she already knew how this would go.
Sorry you're dead because of me. Sorry I feel more sad about the idea of your death, about the idea of a random, anonymous stranger paying the price for a stupid decision I made, than I am about the fact that you, whoever you are, are dead...
And so on. Minutes passed, or perhaps hours. Audrey showed up.
"Hey, so. Uh. Thought I would go on something of an adventure, seeing as we're pretty much in a haunted house. I'm sitting around and absorbing the aesthetic right now. Care to join?"
Audrey thinks about Alvaro while she goes on an adventure with Asuka.
(Asuka Takahara continued in Rivers of Sadness and Mutual Need.)
(Audrey Reyes continued in Roll Credits)