Reinforced canvas ripped like ultra-cheap toilet paper as the straitjacket was completely torn off from the inside by violent fingers smoothly wrenching away, to then have the resulting shreds of fabric be tossed over a shoulder without a second thought. Flexing his arms at last able to move freely for the first time in months, Xander crouched to grip in both hands the steel chain connecting his ankle shackles. Another effortless tug shattered the link in the middle of the chain. Dropping the ends of the chain which were now dangling in two separate pieces from the metal bands encircling his lower legs, Xander straightened up in the reeking cell, bouncing lightly on his feet. A faint tinkling reached his ears, causing him to look down. The ends of the drooping chains were now rattling against the stained concrete floor, in the manner of some odd sort of loose shoelaces trailing along after him.
Xander impatiently shrugged at the trivial sight. He didn’t have time to finish breaking or prying off the shackes, so they and their remnants of chains would just have to be left alone until later. This minor hindrance wouldn’t impede all that much what he had to do otherwise right now, anyway.
Stepping forward to the locked and bolted door of the cell, Xander lifted his clenched fists up to head level. Uttering a savage “YAH!”, he then smashed down the bottoms of his fists in a double hammer-strike against the front of the shut door with all his newfound strength.
The door didn’t budge. There wasn’t a chance for Xander to be disappointed about this, since something else happened which worked out just as nicely for him. To be precise, the entire door frame blew off, propelled by that incredible wallop out into the corridor in an explosion of concrete dust and debris. Rebounding from the opposite corridor wall, the frame and its still-attached door with two massive dents in this panel then clattered to the floor.
Waving away from his thickly-bearded face the dust which had started drifting into his cell, a nude Xander gawked at the massive hole now displaying itself where his door had been there a moment before. He next promptly sent a very nasty mental message to a certain African beast inside his head, irascibly mentioning to Hyena that if she’d simply bothered to cooperate earlier, they could’ve been out of here a hell of a lot sooner.
An immaterial grumpy growl came back just as quickly. The Primal sulking in her thorough snit haughtily ignored her host’s rebuke to instead demand Xander start moving, since their whole urgent reason for joining together still applied. At that, the other possessions chimed in with their own speedy agreement.
Xander rolled his remaining eye in real exasperation while muttering under his breath, “Yeah, leave it to me to do all the hard work. I’m going, I’m going, already!”
A swift leap forward easily caried Xander several yards out of the cell in a single bound. He landed by the lower end of the wrecked door frame. The man still took a few seconds to glory in his freedom at last. In this sheer gladness was also the New Council troubleshooter’s reluctant acknowledgement of how the abilities donated by the various possessions -- their mystical strength, stamina, and healing powers -- had finally come together to liberate Xander Harris and allow him to also complete a crucial task.
Just when Xander was in the middle of feeling thankful the healing mojo had apparently been working all the time besides without him noticing, otherwise he’d probably be crippled or worse by six months’ close confinement, the possessions one and all desperately contacted their host. Staggering under the psychic uproar of four very different entities simultaneously doing something like shouting at the tops of their lungs straight into his ear, Xander further reeled in the corridor at the sudden horrible news he’d just learned from his cranium’s guests.
His basic innate magic-ness, the consequence of coming from a high mana dimension and in addition being the former native of a very high mana Hellmouth, was starting to rapidly drain away in a place without any kind of magic whatsoever. Worse of all, this inner depletion was taking the possessions along with it.
Ironically, both the Hyena’s seizure of Xander’s body and the clustering by Soldier-Boy, Swimmer, and Sineya around his magical core prevented this from occurring right after first appearing in this dimension. Xander’s personal supply of the mystical stuff had instead been hoarded as if a fire was covered or banked to save a precious spark for the future, limited throughout his imprisonment to unknowingly keep his body somewhat fit. The possessions themselves had never considered the danger either, merely attempting to maintain their own existence via extracting the man’s supernatural energies for themselves.
With his merger of the possessions, an unaware Xander had basically removed their protection. He was now burning bright all of his magic, and at the same time attempting to warm up an entire low mana world greedily absorbing every bit of the only thing capable of helping him to escape and possibly more.
Genuinely terrified, Xander whirled around and the naked man sprinted with incredible speed to the end of the asylum corridor. There, he skidded to a stop in his bare feet in front of a sliding door built of thick vertical and horizontal bars. This was one of the main obstructions throughout the building designed to prevent any kind of mass breakout or riot overrunning the whole facility. Ignoring the yelling orderly rising from his chair in the enclosed zone between two identical security doors on both sides of this small room, Xander grabbed at the bars an arm’s length away, and he gave an experimental yank to the steel poles.
The low groan coming from the metal, plus the distinct bending of these bars he then saw instantly shut up the vociferous orderly. Frantically trying to convince himself he hadn’t really seen the utterly impossible, the hospital attendant turned as pale as his white shirt and pants, backing up all the while until his body slammed unnoticed against the opposite wall. He remained there, pressing his sweat-dampened shoulders against this as if trying to vanish through the partition and continued to disbelievingly watch.
Xander still wasn’t paying any attention to the other awestruck man. Not when Soldier-Boy had just told his host how to open the door rather than waste time tearing it completely off. Bracing his feet, Xander heaved sideways on the door. Along the left vertical edges of this where the lock was, the inner latch snapped like a twig. With a grating screech, the door slid along its overhead track to slam fully open.
Five seconds later, the same thing was done to the second door. Xander again sprinted down the next corridor to his destination, carrying with him the sound of his still-fastened chains cracking against the floor at every loping stride. Behind him, an untouched orderly gaped after the escaping inmate until he suddenly remembered his specific instructions for something like this (however it’d happened, which was another story entirely). Lunging forward to the far wall, the orderly mashed his thumb against the button atop an electrical switch.
Throughout the Lennox House for the Mentally Insane, alarm bells began to ring at their loudest volume.