anxiogenic: (Dread)
Dr Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow ([personal profile] anxiogenic) wrote in [community profile] maskormenacelogs2015-08-15 10:11 am
Entry tags:

Fearfest 2k15

WHO: YOU!
WHERE: De Chima University; exhibition center and campus grounds.
WHEN: Saturday August 15th, 4.45pm start.
WHAT: A registration at the annual technology fair, with a fireworks display!
WARNINGS: Non-consensual use of fear toxin, disturbing mental images, cannibalism and violence. Characters are going to be a psychological mess.




"A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid any more."
- John Steinbeck, East of Eden.


Disunity had been the aim of last month's game. Secrets and lies and truths in fiction. Suspicions in minds. Doubts on tongues. Gossip block-printed in rags. Newspapers, from tabloids to broadsheets, had carried the news; some left-leaning publications had made a greater dinner of the expose than others. Scandalous magazines and imPort celebrity weeklies showed versions of the same 'exclusive', and many daytime shows pandered to the demographic who believed there was nothing to worry about if you had nothing to hide.

The last swearing-in of the summer has people gathering in the Exhibition Center of De Chima University, where certain imPorts have worked before. Spread out over the campus, every imPort will rub shoulders with the local students and faculty of the School of Applied Technology. Inside they will see a staircase with an events banner strung over the atrium. Outside there are modern interpretations of classical statues, on square plinths, and inside there's metal sculptures of scientific and technological principles. Rules discovered by those who studied the world they lived in; procedures and concepts of both organic and inorganic forces. Next to them are standing banners flapping in the breeze, tied to weights, to which blue, purple and silver balloons have been tied with thin string.

The Exhibition Center, located next to the park, is hosting the annual highlights of scientific progress this Saturday evening. The spacious Exhibition Hall that occupies most of the interior space serves as the focal point for the annual technology fair, and expects a smart-casual dress code. The focus of this evening is on medical technology and the benefits imPort involvement can bring. People are free to wander in and out of the building as they wish. The forecast is for a warm, clear evening, with no coastal wind or rain to bring cool relief. People are also free to wander around the center to explore rooms and corridors not locked and bolted to the crowd. Everyone is free to investigate for troublemakers or to cut through the crowd - or to see what isn't locked down and there for thieving. But try not to be caught by the security cameras!

If you climb upstairs or catch a lift to the upper levels of the Center, you will be able to access the grand and expansive glass floor that gives you a bird's eye view of the Exhibition Hall far below - if you've got the guts! There's a stack of supplies stored behind a large exhibition banner attached to the far wall, and you may peek inside to check them out. There's nothing that seems suspicious. A couple of anti-flammable canisters, containing nothing more suspicious than foam. Just try to enjoy the sights beneath your feet.



MEDTEC - the National Exhibition for AMERICAN Medical Technology

With the minutes passing by, with hundreds of figures in the crowd moving between the Exhibition Hall and the various function rooms, the event seems to pass without celebration or accident. That is no promise the evening will be uneventful.


REGISTRATION - 4.45PM - 8PM


The doors are thrown open to the crowd, who are free to collect their passes in advance from any available kiosk, or by digital means; electronic tickets on their phones to hard passes collected from the mailman or the University's box office. For those last-minute registrations, passes are available just inside the doors. Feel free to arrive early or wander in ten minutes before closing. It's all good!


MEDTEC - 4.45PM - 8PM


Get out on the floor. You are free to watch any of the displays local companies and R+D have to offer. This is a good time to watch the crowds or to slip out for a visit to the rest of the center. If you wander upstairs, you'll find locked corridors and rooms. But feel free to wander towards the glass ceiling that's above the Exhibition Hall.

Companies who provide to both civilians and the military are here - though you'll notice a lack of high-level technology for the latter. There's a hexagonal stage at the back of the Exhibition Hall that's standing ready for the imPort displays coming later. Please do not touch the tech if signs say not to. But don't think that means you can't try.


IMPORT DISPLAYS - 6.30PM - 8PM

The stage is lit. You may want to head over if you wish to see what your fellow imPorts have cooked up - or even to put on your own show! You'll get an explanation about the cash prizes on offer, and the scholarships. Or you'll wonder why you're watching this ass-patting when there's hardly an inch of space anywhere around the stage.


DRINKS AND NETWORKING - 8PM - 9PM

The Exhibition Hall is closed. The function room next door is thrown open for imPort milling. Make friends around the tables and order free food and drinks from the bar. Sit back, throw your feet up and take a load off. Lighten up! You're here to let your hair down. Please listen out for the public address that announces the upcoming awards show in Conference Room 2, and the fireworks display that's scheduled at 9:10pm outside. You'll get a good view of it from the park.


UNIVERSITY GROUNDS - 8PM

To those exploring the grounds outside the center. Have fun. The balmy night is perfect for walking around without a jacket. Feel free to sling it over your shoulder and enjoy the hot summer air. How the hell is it this warm, anyway? Don't jump in the fountain by the park, kids. Don't put bubble-bath or soap in it, either. Go past it and check out the park, or not. 7You may like to step back into the city. Just be careful of the traffic.

You are free to avoid the main roads for smaller side-streets, but that won't help you. The trash bins hold too much litter. You may wish to investigate them, but will find nothing. But much of the urban area and parkland is turned to a new, sinister purpose. There are minute bombs hidden in drains, or in flower baskets. In every miniscule place in the corner of your eye that escapes your notice. Timed devices primed to detonate in sync with the green and yellow fireworks overhead.

At 9.30PM, the earth will seem to split open and rumble. People screech and shriek about a range of hallucinations; from finding their loved one's body in the city morgue, to being the meal for a pack of monsters, to a flock of crows diving from the railings and rooftops to rip them apart. Those terrified of spiders see nothing but; on the floor, in windows, crawling up the walls. Some folk cough and splutter. Unable to breathe, they suffer a heart attack and can die on the spot. Others are given to a frenzy by the gas, and some experience flashbacks to hideous crimes - except they are the lunatic responsible for murdering children, or the killer stalking people through the streets at night.

It smells of pollution. It smells of fireworks. It smells of street food. There's the sound of blaring horns due to the traffic. There's the smell of fire, caused by the delirious rioting, and blood spilled by those around them, whom they cannot see. The gas enters cars, apartments and buildings with their windows open; the chaos echoes indoors as much as out. Those driven to a murderous lunacy pursue other victims of the gas through a twisted, nightmare version of their neighborhood, and violently resist any calls to cease and desist.

The gas hangs heavy on the air and fills the campus, engulfing the streets, entering the university buildings and student apartments. People around you are panicking, violent, delirious. You might experience what they do. You might hear the screaming, the illegible yelling and see cowering people talking of spiders, ghosts and scarecrows. You might rush indoors to help. You might meet friends who you wish to kill. Or you might run off in a manic state - unable to realize you're running into open traffic. Oh dear.


AWARDS - 9PM

Celebration time. The University has arranged a judging panel that has deliberated on the technology imPorts put on offer - this is the hour where your contributions to local society are being noticed and celebrated. Between the floor and stage, to the assembled chairs and technological displays dotted around the vacant exhibition hall, there's little standing room. You're free to stare down from the glass ceiling high above, or to stand at the back of the crowd below, but don't crowd the doors.

At 9.30PM, with the judges leaving the hexagonal stage so the Head of Applied Technology can present the first award, you might hear a loud hiss of air. A gas leak! The particles are colorless till they meet the oxygen in the room and form a grey cloud that fills every inch of space, from the upper echelons of the ceiling above the glass, to the chairs and the floor down below.

It doesn't smell, and the effects are instantaneous. All noises and images will twist and warp. You might find the neon lights burn as hot as sun-fire. You might see the room on fire and hear the horrific screaming of those trapped and dying in the ruined building you now find yourself in. Perhaps you smell ashes. Or perhaps you smell saltwater and brine - you're drowning! Or you might be one of the few. The brave. The unaffected. Look around and you will see some in the crowd clawing their faces to oust whatever they think is wriggling beneath their skin. They scream and they cry. Others devour their own skin, suffering from hunger - or they eat the flesh of others. They turn on each other. They turn on you.

If that's not enough there's a different show in store. You might be unfortunate enough to be on the glass floor when it kicks off. Enjoy it or don't. It's all the same.



GOGO - 9.30PM - 10PM

At 9.30PM, you may think the metal warping around you is just another part of the hallucination. But it's real. The expo hall groans as the walls react to another power, and the displays twist as if a greater force is squeezing them and pulling.

Before too long, the smaller things rattle and jump back and forth across the room. Pens, instruments, small change, etc; even piercings will tug at the skin with increasing force until they may just rip out to join the rising storm of metal. You can stay and test your luck, dodging unpredictable attacks, or you can risk escaping into the night, out from underneath an increasingly unstable roof. Just pray the decoration in the hall doesn't crash into you as you flee.

At 10PM, the stress of the chaos is finally too much for the expo hall. The supports have twisted beyond recognition, the walls damaged by their own warping and displays crashing into them at force. There's a loud crack as one of the supports snaps under the weight of the glass ceiling and with a heavy shudder the whole network starts to unravel and sends the ceiling crashing down. Anyone on the second floor may be lucky enough to get out of the way before it drops, or perhaps they can grab hold of a railing that will creak under their weight.

Or maybe you are one of the unlucky ones who rides the glass from above, all the way to where it shatters across the floor.



FIREWORKS - 9PM

Ten minutes past the hour, as a loud bang echoes for each firework shot into the night, the sky over the park is filled with the sort of brilliance one would only see on the Fourth of July. You might ask what's a nighttime event without fireworks, anyway?

For that charming couple on their date, to the curious student, an extravagant display comes on the rocket-propelled tails of rockets and bombs and flares. Look to the sky and lose yourselves in the colors as they appear - crimson stars and butterflies, and the pink crackling comets that leave behind a tail of effects. A red geometric circle of lines and dots glitter and break apart into smaller circles, then scatter and disappear, their fuel and powder spent. Memories of the sight are left behind; the smoke barely visible overhead; the smoldering gunpowder - and the warm company of whoever you're with. Perhaps you're one of those unafraid to visit such events alone. Perhaps you have a brilliant memory and the sight has burned itself into your eyes. One display follows another till the last; the end of a 25 minute display mentioned over the public address and published in the brochure.

At 9.30PM, the fireworks fizzle out. The display is over. It should be over. Then there's one more show - a collection of rockets and flares colored in yellows and greens, the colors one associates with poison and sees in cornfields. The colors are sickly and nausea-inducing as they explode in the night sky. It's just another display, right? Then cracks appear in the sky itself! All the yellows and greens, blacks and blues run into the white, hollow emptiness.

Perhaps you believe those eyes in the firmament are real. Or you're part of the crowd who believes the entire sky is falling down. A stampede breaks out. The slow are trampled underfoot. Students, faculty and guests stand shock-still. Some are clawing at their eyes. Others cannot contain themselves and empty their lungs with unfocused wailing. From the sky fall shards of glass. A flood of color threatens a deluge, even as the smoke and particles of the toxic gas contained in those green and yellow fireworks are carried by the wind over the locality.


AFTERMATH - 12:30AM AND ON

There's a collection of police, emergency services and reporters in a boundary around the university area and affected streets. Safe on the edge of the gas cloud, they are evacuating the surrounding areas. Ambulances and stretchers are ready for the wounded; RISE and any relevant factions may be helping with the chaos - or caught up in it themselves.

You might be trapped within the gas, cowering in fear. You might irrationally run into the lights you see in the haze, not knowing what you are seeing or the faces that watch you scramble by, screaming illegibly. You might be directing others in the chaos. You might be one of the people driven manic by it all. You might emerge from the mist with blood on your hands. You might recall how it got there. You might not. But you won't forget this night, will you?
superposition: (But still I'd leap in front of a)

POST-GAS

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-15 06:36 pm (UTC)(link)
03-A. Fear Party

[He attends the awards ceremony largely out of curiosity. When the gas starts pouring in, his inital thought is fire, but there's no odor. Chemical agent? They're under attack, either way, and first priority is evacuation -

Gogo's appearance and subsequent freakout distracts him from that for a few minutes, though that's a story for a different thread. Afterwards he heads out into the fleeing masses, opening a large portal and trying to herd people through it (by bodily dragging them into it, if necessary; there's no time to explain anything to a panicked mob). It's supposed to lead to a safer location, a park about two miles away (which, luckily, happens to be outside the zone affected by the fireworks); but the electromagnetic interference from Gogo's unleashed powers is causing even his shielded devices to glitch slightly, so anyone passing through has about a 50% chance to end up not there but in a completely random location up to 40 miles away. The destination is the only thing glitching out, fortunately, so at least no one's going to be cut in half in transit. Also fortunately, the portal is set not to let the mysterious gas through, so there's that.]


Everyone, through the portal! Now!

[He manages to keep this up for a few minutes before the hallucinations proper take hold of him, and he'll resume doing it after it gets through his head they're not real, but in between...]

03-B. TL;DR Hallucinating

[It may seem on the surface like he's keeping a cool head, but internally it's everything he can do not to panic. His heart is racing, he's sweating like a pig, his hands are shaking. He can barely think straight. What's wrong with me?! Logically, he already knows - the variable here is the gas, it's affecting him somehow, really he's lucky his eyes aren't melting out of his skull. But in the chaos, girders bending, walls cracking, actual fires breaking out, it's hard to stay calm.

The other question in the back of his mind, apart from "what's happening," is "who's responsible for this?!" And his mind is all too happy to give him an answer.

From behind and above him, he hears a familiar voice, dripping with spite. A voice he never expected to hear again, and that makes his stomach churn.]
"Well, well, look who it is. Fancy seeing you here, Qubit."

[Qubit turns, and there he is - the Plutonian, in red and black, eyes blazing red.]

Tony...? [He shakes his head.] T-that's impossible. You're ...

"I'm what? Dead?" [Tony descends, grinning, uncomfortably close.] "That's what I thought, too. I never did thank you for that, did I? Let's fix that."

[He grabs him by the collar, and Qubit goes flying - in reality that's Gogo's magnets at work again, but it certainly adds credence to the illusion. The next thing he knows, he's crashing into the food table. He struggles to get up, while in the corner of his eye Tony approaches at a leisurely walk. Why hurry, after all? Meanwhile Qubit's ribs ache, his head's throbbing, his vision won't focus, and he can feel blood trickling down the center of his forehead.]

But... [cough.] But how?

"Darling, would you like me to field this one?"

[That voice Qubit doesn't recognize, nor the face it goes with. It's some woman he doesn't know. But he knows the tone, and his eyes go wide with the realization.] No...

"Ah, you've finally caught on, then?" [She smiles, cold, malicious.] "You always were a bit slow on the uptake, Qubit. Frankly, I'm disappointed you didn't see this coming."

Modeus. [He hisses the name through clenched teeth, and his hand goes for his watch-]

"I wouldn't try that if I were you."

Or what? What can you possibly do to me that's worse than you're already planning?

"Planning? Oh, you poor imbecile. Don't you realize we've already won?"

[And then Qubit realizes... everyone's staring. They're all staring at him, smiling that same icy smile. He can't breathe, and his stomach is just about ready to turn inside out on his shoes. In a whisper-] No.

"And to think, we owe it all to you," [Tony adds, visibly pleased with himself.] "After all... you're the one who brought Modeus here. You let him escape."

The network. [Of course. As soon as he'd gotten here, they'd installed a back door in and out of his brain. Why wouldn't Modeus take it?] You son of a bitch. You propagated yourself through the network!

"Very good. Someone give this man a gold star."

[Tony laughs.] "If you could see the look on your face right now...! Anyway, thank you, Qubit. Just for this, I'll kill you last. Enjoy your front-row seat to the greatest show in the apocalypse - act two." [He leans in close enough that Qubit can feel his breath.] "And this time, there's no magic bullet that can save them."


((Aaand here's where somebody else would come in! Feel free to find Qubit having a grand ol' Heroic Blue Screen of Death by the refreshment table he got thrown through. If approached he will probably think you are Tony or Modeus, at least at first, and he's attributing all the damage going on to the Plutonian.))
Edited 2015-08-15 18:43 (UTC)
deadtective: (thirty-three.)

3-b WHOOPS MAYBE THAT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE

[personal profile] deadtective 2015-08-16 06:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Move move move!

[Qubit's wonderful Mental Trauma Theater will find itself rudely interrupted by Hazel roughly shoving him out of the way with all the strength she's got. he hasn't moved far from where he was thrown, and standing still like that with things still flying around is more or less a death sentence.

the refreshment table splinters and breaks further as the projectile that would have crashed into him takes it vengeance on the furniture instead. Hazel's working on standing already, her peripherals trained on Qubit to make sure he doesn't suddenly explode into violence after being manhandled like that.]
Edited 2015-08-16 18:28 (UTC)
superposition: ((pushed to the brink))

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-16 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
[Caught off guard and mentally reeling, Qubit's not hard to knock over even if Hazel's smaller than him. He registers the impact of the projectile nearby, but doesn't make the connection that she just probably saved his life. What he does get out of this is that he has just been tackled to the ground by someone who can only be another Modeus, and when he looks up Tony's gone, leaving a ten-foot-wide hole in the ceiling, off to continue his rampage somewhere else.

So he doesn't suddenly explode into violence; in fact, he telegraphs pretty clearly that that's what's about to happen. His jaw clenches, and he scrambles to his feet, shouting as he goes for Hazel's collar with both hands - the intent being to slam her into the nearest column or wall or whatever, several inches off the ground. He's surprisingly strong for a guy with such a wiry build, buuut still not above human normal by any stretch of the definition.]


You genocidal maniac!! Do you have any idea what you've done?!
deadtective: (thirty.)

[personal profile] deadtective 2015-08-16 09:48 pm (UTC)(link)
[she lets it happen because, honestly, she's in a better position to kick at weak areas like this than she is on the ground. it's a moment or two of limited mobility, sure, but she doesn't need to breath and can't feel the impact of the column on her back. the tradeoff is acceptable, especially when she's confident that she can't get him off her should the need arise.]

I'm sure it was very awful and upset a lot of people. How about we take this somewhere with less collateral damage?

[her tone is dry and not even trying to play along with whatever delusion he's suffering under. Hazel's been playing at this damage control too long for that - and while she doubts he'll listen to her and get outside where authorities can corral him, she figures it's worth a shot. at the very least he'll be distracted.]
superposition: ((you won't like me when i'm angry))

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-16 10:41 pm (UTC)(link)
[Yeah, he's not really listening. What he hears is more like-] "I told you I would follow him to the ends of the universe. What's a little collateral damage?"

You idiot, he's just using you-! He doesn't love you, he's never loved you. Some "smartest man in the world," how are you too stupid to pick up on that?!
deadtective: (thirty-one.)

[personal profile] deadtective 2015-08-16 10:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh man, do I have a boyfriend in your head? This is a hell of a lot better than the last time.

[she was pretty sure the last victim she'd subdued had seen her as some kind of rampaging monster, if the bits and pieces of their screaming that was vaguely coherent was anything to go off of.

but it's clear that he's not going to cooperate even a little, and she really doesn't have time to waste with snippy one-sided banter. with no warning she kicks out at his midsection, using the fact that she's braced up against the column with nowhere to go to give her blow a great deal more force than it would have normally had. if she's lucky it'll knock the wind out of him and prompt him to drop her.]
superposition: ((beings of strategy))

lmao can i just mention i kinda love hazel already

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-18 07:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Oof-! [Yup, the kick connects solidly with his gut. While it doesn't quite knock the wind out of him, it does make him double over and lose his grip on her.]
deadtective: (three.)

awww thanks! she's certainly...something...

[personal profile] deadtective 2015-08-18 08:11 pm (UTC)(link)
[hey, she'll take whatever she can get. she slips to the ground and immediately puts some space between them, not wanting a repeat of that last chokeslam - kicks like that only really worked once.

there's a pause in the action now as she waits to see if Qubit will respond with more violence or peter off into something else; if he keeps taking swings at her she'll have to try and actually disable him somehow to keep him from redirecting that onto someone who can't take as much damage as she can. while Hazel isn't moving herself, her eyes are sweeping their nearby surroundings to see if there's something she can pick up as a makeshift weapon. no way her fists are going to cut this one.]
superposition: (And here is mine)

i believe the word you are looking for is "great" :]

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-18 08:42 pm (UTC)(link)
[Qubit doesn't attack again, just glares as he straightens up. Then there's a noise from somewhere, and he glances up at something only he can see, then back at Hazel.]

[venomously] Damn you, Modeus, I don't have time for this. Stay out of my way.

[And he takes off running in some other direction.]
deadtective: (two.)

pffft well i'm certainly not going to argue with you

[personal profile] deadtective 2015-08-19 08:59 pm (UTC)(link)
[ok, well, that certainly was...something else. Hazel watches him go and, even though this is a seriously dire situation, she can't help but cup her hands around her mouth and shriek after him:]

If I see you punching anyone later I'm going to kick your ass!

[there are more volatile people that need dealing with immediately; chasing after him when he doesn't seem prone to violent outbursts was a waste of time. still, it's always good to leave a lingering promise of retaliation should that change.]