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: (All men have secrets)

12:30 on

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-20 09:56 pm (UTC)(link)
[With midnight behind them, the chaos at the event center was at last beginning to subside, as all the supers turned up to eleven with terror gradually either calmed down or burned out. Qubit fell squarely in the latter category. To say he was dead on his feet would imply he could stand. He hadn't exactly been taking good care of himself to begin with, prior to the event, and now running with all systems at full-tilt for hours on end was taking its toll.

It was a huge strain trying to keep track of what was real or not when his brain literally could not tell. Tony was dead, but he was around every corner. Modeus wasn't here, but everyone looked like him. And then Bette and Citadel and Metalman - then the dead eyes, burnt bodies, children's skeletons, the distant sound of the ocean washing over Singapore - as if the past had materially followed him here, because it was there that his worst fears had already come to life.

Never again.

The gas hadn't really worn off yet at this point - his heart was still pounding as if trying to escape his chest, his throat was dry, and he could feel the beginnings of a migraine stabbing at the back of his eyes. But it was starting to, i.e. he was coming down from absolute panic with scattered moments of lucidity into a state that was equal parts both. He just... he just had to sit down, just for a minute. Get his bearings. Pull himself together.

Peggy would find him seated on a curb, head in his hands, looking like an absolute mess, his face and hands smeared with dried blood. He glanced up at her with a start. At least he was lucid enough now to hear what people were actually saying to him, but it was still coming through a distorted haze and everything sounded viscerally wrong somehow.]


Don't. I- I'm all right. [At least compared to the people who got it worse. She should be helping them instead, is what he's implying. But taken in isolation, he's clearly not all right.]
assays: ([15])

[personal profile] assays 2015-08-21 07:26 pm (UTC)(link)
[It didn't matter to her how badly each individual was affected by the gas. Every one of them needed help in some shape or form and Peggy firmly believed that. She wasn't in the best shape herself, tired from teleporting and nauseous from the small amount of gas she inhaled earlier.

The amount of blood on the man was a cause for concern and as far as Peggy could tell he didn't look severely injured- a closer inspection would be needed but that depended on him giving Peggy permission to examine him. At the very least she could get him to a hospital, somewhere safer than being on the streets and exposed.]


Are you sure? [Peggy asks softly, now getting down to his level but at a comfortable enough distance away to give him room to breathe. No sense in crowding him when he was in distress.] I won't hurt you, I promise. If you don't want me to look at you myself I can take you to a clinic or hospital.

I am a trained nurse and have been in this kind of situation before.
superposition: ((crossed arms))

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-22 01:17 am (UTC)(link)
Have you, now. [A biochemical terrorist attack where everybody goes crazy and turns on each other? What an oddly specific prior experience. No, he knew that probably wasn't what she meant. Qubit sighed and pulled his shoulders out of their slump, pushing some stray hairs up out of his face. He wasn't about to waste an emergency room's time, they'd have enough on their hands right now, but... maybe it'd be wise to rule out a concussion, at least.]

... Fine. Fine, just - keep it quick.
assays: (easycompany-agentcarter1x5-050)

[personal profile] assays 2015-08-25 10:19 pm (UTC)(link)
[Well, she did actually help to prevent a second biochemical terrorist attack from happening back home. But no, it wasn't what Peggy was getting at. She waited until he gave her consent to help, moving closer to him.]

Did you lose consciousness at all? [She doesn't touch Qubit but she does inspect the dried blood once more, looking at his face afterwards.] What about any pain you may be feeling?
superposition: (I'm too tired)

[personal profile] superposition 2015-08-27 10:56 pm (UTC)(link)
No, I didn't. [At least he thinks he didn't. He'd been high as a kite, sure, but he was awake for all of it.] A little banged up, but I don't think anything's broken. Probably. Gahh. [He rubs his eyes with his thumb and fingers.] That's right, bugger of a headache, too. Almost forgot that one.
assays: credit: <user name="gazgraphics"> (P99)

i think dw/gmail ate this notif. sorry for the wait!

[personal profile] assays 2015-09-03 07:14 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't have any painkillers on me, but I'm sure there is help on the way. [He seemed to be focusing just fine but Peggy would feel better if he got thoroughly checked over by someone in a hospital.]

Would it be all right if I made sure that nothing was broken? If it is, I would need to stabilise the area to stop it from getting worse. [And since she forgot:] My name is Peggy by the way. Can you tell me yours?
superposition: ((beings of strategy))

sall good! me, im just a slow butt :'D

[personal profile] superposition 2015-09-09 03:23 am (UTC)(link)
[Yeeeah he's not going to a hospital. In terms of a plan, he got as far as "1. help victims" before the plan-making part of his brain crapped out on him. Step 2 keeps defaulting to "PANIC" and it's mostly force of will that's keeping step 1 in front of it.]

Qubit. With - with a Q. [He's not sure why he feels the need to specify that. Maybe being pedantic is a coping mechanism.] Go ahead. I can still walk, if - if that helps.

[Still has both his legs. He lightly grasps one of his knees, as if to confirm it's still there. Code black, it's from Metalman, put it on screen, but it's nothing but four words in a gurgled scream- He realizes he's gone tense, shuddering, he can't breathe - that was months ago, why is it so vivid-?!]
assays: (P25)

not to worry!

[personal profile] assays 2015-09-13 08:53 pm (UTC)(link)
[She won't blame him for not wanting to go to a hospital and Peggy won't force him either.]

Nice to meet you, Qubit. I'm only sorry that it isn't under better circumstances.

[There's a brief smile from her as she keeps her eyes on him, checking for any signs of shock or even a flash of pain on his face. It doesn't take her long to notice the sudden change in his demeanour and Peggy reacts quickly.]

Qubit? Are you all right? I'm going to check you over but I need you to calm down for me first. Take deep breaths.
superposition: (And I'm feeling very sick and ill today)

[personal profile] superposition 2015-09-19 07:09 pm (UTC)(link)
[Her words do reach him, and he tries, pulling air past the tightness in his throat. He doesn't quite make it to the level of "deep breaths" just yet, though, still hyperventilating. It's bizarre, surreal. He feels detached from his own body, like it's reacting on its own - which is true, to be fair. Is this what a full-blown panic attack feels like?

He squeezes his eyes shut, forcing out a few words in the short gaps between breaths.]
S- sorry. It's - gas - I'm not - I'm not usually -

[I'm not usually this useless, is what he wants to say. He holds out a trembling hand toward her, palm first. Take it.] I'm sorry. Just for - if you could -
assays: (P91)

[personal profile] assays 2015-09-25 07:24 pm (UTC)(link)
You're all right. Just keep trying to take deep, slow breaths. I won't let anything happen to you.

[ Her voice is calm and soothing, trying to draw him out of his panicked state. Peggy has seen people like this before, soldiers caught up in gun fire, too scared to even move an inch. The important thing was to not allow them to panic more and distract them if necessary. ]

I promise.

[ Peggy doesn't hesitate in taking his hand when he offers it, her grip gentle as she holds onto it. ]
superposition: (I'm so sick and tired)

[personal profile] superposition 2015-09-29 08:45 pm (UTC)(link)
[Qubit draws in a pained hiss on contact, but holds on tightly. He knew it would hurt, was counting on it. The burning sensation lancing up his nerves is a constant, something urgent but stable that he can brace his scattered mind against. It's enough to help bring her reassurances through clearly, to pull him back down. But even then, focusing on the pain, her voice, and his breathing, it still takes him a few minutes to fully settle.

At that point, when breath is coming evenly and his heart isn't trying as hard to bolt out of his rib cage, he gradually relaxes his grip and lets go. At least the blood on his hands was dry enough he probably didn't get too much of it on her.]


Thank you. I- I'll be all right from here, I think. [He gets to his feet, still not completely steady, but steady enough to function.]
assays: (P60)

[personal profile] assays 2015-10-04 03:59 pm (UTC)(link)
[Peggy is relieved when he appears to be calmer now, but she still remains close whenever he releases his hand. There was no telling what could happen within the next few moments and she didn't want him to be out in the open and vulnerable, not with everything that was going on around them.]

Are you absolutely sure? I can stay with you until we find you a safer place for you to recover. I'm not trying to force you, Qubit. I am only concerned about your safety.

[If he is really insistent, Peggy will respect his choice and leave him to his own devices.]
superposition: ((walk between worlds))

[personal profile] superposition 2015-10-30 10:08 pm (UTC)(link)
I understand. I'm sure. [He nods quickly.] There are still a lot of people who need our help. So - do what you can for them, all right?
assays: (easycompany-agentcarter1x5-077)

[personal profile] assays 2015-11-03 10:52 pm (UTC)(link)
I promise to do what I can for them. You have my word. [She gets to her feet again, taking a step back from him.] Please take care of yourself.
superposition: (And why?)

[personal profile] superposition 2015-11-05 01:43 am (UTC)(link)
You as well, Peggy. And thank you.

[And off he goes, back into the disaster zone.]