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?
chasedtherabit: (All things have a price)

OTA

[personal profile] chasedtherabit 2015-08-15 07:48 pm (UTC)(link)
A: Around the tech center and mingle, pre-gas
[Mako is wearing her best outfit for the occasion, a plain blue blouse and pants that seem a little too big for her. She hasn't had much time to acquire a wardrobe here and back home she usually wore jumpsuits for ease of work.

Still, she was wondering the exhibits with a curious look on her face. It's been quite some time since she saw so many people working on such different projects. At home, everything is focused on advancing to take down the Kaiju. This is fascinating.

If you want to pull her aside, do so! She's friendly, if only a little distracted by the science.

When the mingle begins, she makes her way to the bar to get a glass of water and wanders the room looking for familiar faces or someone that looks like they might want to talk to her.]


B: After the fear gas release
[Her first instinct when she hears news of the gas leak is to try to usher people out of the building. It's part of her instincts, to find shelter for anyone. It's how things work in her world, an attack means the civilians find shelter.

It only takes a few moments for the gas to overpower her sanity and she stops trying to get others out, instead dropping to the floor with an anguished scream. Suddenly she feels like a child again and she's in an alleyway, crying and alone. Anyone who approaches will either be screamed at or accidentally punched as Mako relives the day her parents died and she was nearly killed herself.]
Edited 2015-08-15 19:49 (UTC)
superposition: ((the part where he kills you))

B

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-16 02:38 am (UTC)(link)
[By now, Qubit's a wreck, both physically and mentally. His hair's a mess, his clothes are covered in concrete dust, and there's a wide, smeared line of blood running down the center of his face from forehead to chin. That, at least, isn't as bad as it looks, but it looks pretty bad.

Meanwhile: the Plutonian has been loosed on another Earth ripe for the destroying; Modeus has propagated himself through the network and now there are hundreds of him; and neither of those things would have happened if he'd never come here, if he'd been more vigilant, if he hadn't lost track of his prisoner, if if if

and he's chasing Tony, shouting at the top of his lungs, trying desperately to talk him down, but there's nothing he can actually do to stop him and they both know it

and everywhere Modeus is watching him and grinning, he would follow Tony to the ends of existence and beyond and he has, he's found all the pieces, he put him back together and now

- there's a scream from nearby. Of course everyone is screaming, but here the voice is familiar enough to stop him, make him look. There he finds her, on the floor, weeping, dressed in blue, just like the last time he saw her alive.]


Oh my God. Bette?
chasedtherabit: (Default)

Re: B

[personal profile] chasedtherabit 2015-08-16 05:35 am (UTC)(link)
[Mako sobs just once, too lost in her own memories to process the words as a name.

When she says anything, a span of nearly a minute later, it's in Japanese.]


Get down! It will see you.
superposition: ((beings of strategy))

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-16 06:22 am (UTC)(link)
[Qubit leans toward her, extends a hand tentatively, then pulls it back. Bette was his friend, but - he'd stolen her chance, her one shot at redemption. He'd never spoken to her again after that. Never figured out what he would say if he did. And now here she is.]

Bette, it's me. I ...

[he what? "I'm sorry"? That isn't enough. "I need your help"? No, she's been affected too, she's the one who needs- Then she speaks, the words translated by the nanites and promptly misheard by his brain.]

"What... Qubit? How...?"

[How is she alive? Is that it?] I - I don't know. The Porter, it... [No, not now! He shakes his head.] Look, you have to get out of here, Tony is -

[He grabs for her upper arm, yanks to drag her to her feet. In reality he just fails to get a good grip, but what he sees is the arm coming effortlessly off at the shoulder. He freezes, staring at the severed limb in shock, as Bette turns her tearful, empty eyes up at him.]

"How could you?"
chasedtherabit: (Swing your heartache like a club)

[personal profile] chasedtherabit 2015-08-17 02:53 am (UTC)(link)
[The attempted grab spurs Mako into action, swinging one arm wildly at the attack, her instincts taking over. If anyone tries to touch you, make sure they regret not having your permission.

Her aim might be off, but wherever she connects with will hurt. She's trained for this - and that might be the saving grace.

This isn't an attack, and...]


Qubit?
superposition: (Flying bullet for you)

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-17 03:26 am (UTC)(link)
[The punch manages to connect pretty solidly with his side, and he stumbles back, dropping the arm he thinks he's holding. He grasps at the spot, pained, but makes no move to retaliate.]

... All right. I deserved that.

"Oh, that's not all you deserve. Do you have any idea what you did to me? Even the slightest clue?"
chasedtherabit: (Swing your heartache like a club)

[personal profile] chasedtherabit 2015-08-17 09:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Qubit! [Something is still wrong here, there's a cloud in the air that just reminds her further of the day she lost her family.

They have to get out of here. People are going crazy around them and it's not safe.]


Qubit, come with me.
superposition: ((the part where he kills you))

cw: suicide

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-18 02:25 am (UTC)(link)
[Qubit makes no move to come with her, only stares. Blood is pooling around her feet. He does know what he did. Modeus had been there, and what Modeus had seen, Qubit had seen. It had only been glimpses, snippets of another person's memory that he could barely recall now, sifted past for lack of relevance - but he'd definitely seen Bette there, pressing the barrel of her gun to her temple, her finger twitching on the trigger -

He did that. That's what he drove her to.]


"I had him. I could have ended it." [She chokes back a sob.] "You threw me under the goddamn bus, Qubit."

Bette, I never meant to - you don't - I know that, for God's sake! What do you want me to say?
chasedtherabit: (How a war might save us)

oh qubit :c

[personal profile] chasedtherabit 2015-08-19 01:24 am (UTC)(link)
[Mako stands still, listening and wondering what Qubit is remembering that is having such an effect on him.]

Qubit, whatever happened, we need to move.
superposition: (And I'm feeling very sick and ill today)

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-24 03:18 pm (UTC)(link)
[But the hallucination's rapidly getting surreal. Bette's movements, though subtle, are off, her joints moving in strange ways, as if... disconnected. Only they are disconnected, he realizes, it wasn't just her arm. She's coming apart. He takes a step back, his mind beginning to rebel against what it's seeing.]

No. No, no, no. This isn't possible.

"Why? I thought we were friends, Qubit. You could have found another way. That's what you do, isn't it?" [He sees her step toward him, but her legs are disjointed, her body follows at a delay, like an echo.] "You could have helped me. Like you were so dead-set on helping Tony. But you didn't even try."

This can't be hap- you're not Bette.

"I am Bette. I was always Bette. Modeus didn't kill me. I wasn't dead."

[Qubit looks on, horrified. The idea had occurred to him a couple of times, but it wasn't possible. Modeus wouldn't have left her alive, would he? But there was no way of knowing what was really going on in there, he'd killed all his previous hosts when he switched.

As he watches, Bette comes apart at the seams. Her limbs drop to the ground as if in slow motion, splashing soundlessly in her own blood. Separately, her torso. And finally, a thin red line forms down the center of her face, half of her head sliding past the other half-]


"Qubit... I felt everything."

[And then she's gibs.]
chasedtherabit: (How a war might save us)

[personal profile] chasedtherabit 2015-08-24 07:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Of course I'm not Bette.

[Mako has no idea what Qubit is seeing. All she knows is what he's saying, and what he's saying doesn't make any sense.]

Qubit? What's wrong?