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

Fearfest 2k15

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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: (So let it be known)


[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-15 11:33 pm (UTC)(link)
[Why hello there tiny science child! Not that they'd recognize each other, because text comments, but Qubit's been hitting up pretty much all the exhibits in whatever order they strike his fancy, and Hiro's is next. He watches someone else playing with the battlebots for a minute or two, but when they're done he comes over for a closer look.]

The Rock-'Em-Sock-'Ems of a new generation, huh?
microbrobotics: (come oooooon)

[personal profile] microbrobotics 2015-08-16 10:08 pm (UTC)(link)
[ That only gets a blank look. Hiro was born far, far too late to get that particular reference. ]

Uh ... I guess? I was thinking more of, like, actual botfighting. Minus the destruction part.
superposition: ((ponders the gate))

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-16 10:55 pm (UTC)(link)
[Oh come on, stop making him feel old :( He picks up one of the control headsets, turning it over in his hands with a critical eye. Of what's here, a neural interface is the most advanced (and the trickiest, he knows from experience).]

You made all this yourself? [-he adds with a glance back at Hiro. Not disbelieving or judgmental, just curious.]
microbrobotics: (so you're telling me)

[personal profile] microbrobotics 2015-08-16 11:30 pm (UTC)(link)
[ Definitely. The solid holograms aren't too shabby either, but the transmitters are the truly inspired piece of tech. All kinds of possibilities inherent in that. ]

'course I did. The transmitters was my project that got me into college.
superposition: ((assume i know something you don't))

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-17 12:10 am (UTC)(link)
College? How old are- [Wait. Waaait this is reminding him of something. Tiny, neurally-controlled robots from a 15-year-old.] Are you Hiro Hamada, by any chance?
microbrobotics: (dag man that's cool [suit])

[personal profile] microbrobotics 2015-08-17 12:10 am (UTC)(link)
[ He grins. ]

Good to know I'm getting a rep. Who are you?
superposition: ((but i submit...))

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-17 12:15 am (UTC)(link)
[And he gets a smile back.] Qubit. We spoke a little over a week ago, you were asking about nanotech.

[He nods to the battlebots, indicating them with one hand.] So are these the microbots?
microbrobotics: (sketchy)

[personal profile] microbrobotics 2015-08-17 12:26 am (UTC)(link)
[ He brightens a bit in recognition. ]

Oh yeah, I remember that! You gotta show me those some day.

[ But he shakes his head at Qubit's question. ]

Nah, these are just for fun. Battlebots with data projection for their outer coverings. More customizable that way.
Edited 2015-08-17 00:26 (UTC)
superposition: ((the implications))

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-17 12:52 am (UTC)(link)
Ah. Mind if I take them for a spin?
microbrobotics: (candy)

[personal profile] microbrobotics 2015-08-17 01:55 am (UTC)(link)
Sure, go for it. That's what this thing is here for.

[ With a flick of his wrist, he floats over one of the headbands. Telekinesis, or something close to it. ]
superposition: (I think I can rely on you)

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-17 02:29 am (UTC)(link)
[That's noted, but Qubit doesn't bat an eye at it. He puts on his own headset (which can be safely assumed to look really stupid on him, thanks to his weird Muppet hair) and mentally pokes at it to see which robot he got. The armored one responds by waving hello, and he has it try some other motions to get used to it.

It's interesting - he's made tech himself that takes psionic signals as input, but this is subtly different, like driving someone else's car. For it to do this from raw brain signals and still control so intuitively is actually legit impressive, especially coming from a kid his age.]

Rules? Or do they just keep going until someone's head pops off?

[Qubit no we've already established the kid doesn't know Rockem Sockems]
microbrobotics: (so you're telling me)

[personal profile] microbrobotics 2015-08-17 10:09 pm (UTC)(link)
[ Hiro, meanwhile, makes the squishy defensive one wave back. No need for a transmitter on his part - same power as the floating headband, presumably.

Hiro's transmitters are built to be usable by anyone, so there's a certain amount of blandness to it ... while also, y'know, being distinctly Hiro's. Lots of presets woven into the programming to make it feasible for anyone to get a decent result out of it, but not so much that the tool becomes constricting. A good balance. ]

Uh ... you could, I guess. There's a life bar. They'll drop after so many hits.
superposition: (Through hell and high tide)

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-18 03:08 pm (UTC)(link)
[Nod] Works for me.

[There's a brief moment where he wonders whether he's playing against AI or whether the kid is controlling the other bot directly, but then decides it doesn't matter that much. Qubit settles his hands on his lapels, and his bot takes a fighting stance for a second before they begin. (What board are we using? Lava pit? Lava's cool. Except it's hot)

Marshmallowbot looks like it'll just absorb anything that hits its body, so his target is its head. Best way to do that? Death from above seems like a good start. Armorbot zigzags in at speed, but halfway there it vaults into the air, intending to go for the divekick.]
microbrobotics: (dag man that's cool [suit])

[personal profile] microbrobotics 2015-08-18 10:57 pm (UTC)(link)
[ The little white bot can't move very fast - but it really doesn't have to. Instead, it just turns, moving to grab the more acrobatic bot in a judo throw. Use the other bot's momentum against it. ]

Having fun?
superposition: (So let it be known)

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-20 03:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Just getting warmed up.

[Yikes, though, his bot took more damage than he expected from that throw. Low defense really meant low defense. Armorbot springs back to its feet and zips backward, holding itself a little more defensively than before. Is Hiro gonna try to press the advantage?

(You know, he was just evaluating the technology, but now his competitive ardor has been poked. He likes winning, dang it.)]
microbrobotics: (space the final frontier [suit])

[personal profile] microbrobotics 2015-08-21 11:21 pm (UTC)(link)
[ Meanwhile, this little shithead is grinning his ears off. He has a practiced flair to moving the white bot - a lot of experience with bot fights. Enough to definitely follow up and try to get the other one in a bear hug. ]

Sure you are.
superposition: ((tight-lipped))

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-22 02:35 am (UTC)(link)
Hmph. [ok listen here u cheeky lil shit. But yeah Qubit's not a bot fighter, or indeed much of a gamer at all, so he's just kind of making this up as he goes. But he has an idea - if you don't know the game, play the opponent. Armorbot darts back away from that attack, just barely evading it; he's playing it safe for a second while he observes Hiro's style.]
microbrobotics: (ooooh?)

[personal profile] microbrobotics 2015-08-22 03:53 pm (UTC)(link)
[ He's relying mostly on a flashy, showy style - trying to show off the capabilities of the system, toootally not taking Qubit seriously a fighter. There's serious chops under there that he might fall back on - like that judo throw - but if Qubit attacks quickly enough, before Hiro realizes he has a legitimate fight on his hands...

Squishbot lumbers forward with surprising agility whenever Armorbot looks like he might have a landing spot. A little flourishing punch if he gets too close too. ]
superposition: (I think I can rely on you)

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-27 08:14 pm (UTC)(link)
[All right. That flashy style's going to be his undoing. Qubit's starting to get a feel for the two bots' relative capabilities, and to put together some tactics regarding them. He starts getting bolder with Armorbot's movements, dancing back and forth across the line of Squishbot's effective radius, like the sibling on a road trip who technically isn't hitting you. Squishbot shouldn't have the speed to react to every incursion, so Qubit's waiting for Hiro to pick one and overcommit to the response.]