Lies [Mk 3]

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Lies [Mk 3]

Post  Sennokazeni on Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:32 am

By now, you probably know the drill.  but let's pretend you haven't being paying attention for the last 5-10 years.  Here's a lesson in recent history.

It all started when a large biotechnology firm released a statement that they'd created a group of "super-beings" from a group of marines.  Videos were pasted all over the internet of men and women shooting fire from their fingertips, healing wounds and all manner of bizarre antics.  It was hailed as a massive publicity stunt, with many accusing the company of using special effects and whatnot.

This was until the company unleashed its "performers" on live television to fully demonstrate the capabilities of their new superhumans and nobody could quite believe what they were witnessing.  Their disbelief quickly turned to horror as several of the superhumans began to "malfunction" - wildly spewing fire, electricity and other weapons at the onlooking crowd, who scattered.  This proved to the world that these superhuans were very real.

The public was outraged.  They rallied, expecting the government do to something.  This went against pretty much every rule in the ethics books.  They were both unethical and dangerous - how had this company managed to sneak this technology under the radar until it was nearly perfected?  The answer from the government come as something of a shock to some, and a grim confirmation to others.  The project was government-funded.

This sparked further outrage, and the beginning of the end of life as we knew it.  Not at all gradually, the country descended into a sort of dictatory dystopia.  Curfews were established, jobs and schools were almost militarised to maximise efficiency, and gradually surveillance was creeping into people's homes.  Any unrest was quietened in a way that was often not quiet.  The spiral was sudden and brutal, leaving many people in a constantly dazed state ("when did this even happen?"  "What the fuck?")  

Some of the superhumans were paraded in the faces of the public, hailed as triumphs as technology advanced, leading to "safer" (easier to control) models.  Ones that were less likely to spontaneously explode, much to nearly everyone's satisfaction.  

Nobody really protested when they stopped using volunteers for the superhuman programme and started handpicking people from the general population.  It was generally accepted that these people had some sort of desirable quality.  What that quality was, nobody could really say.  There seemed to be not much connection between those selected, other than they were relatively fit and healthy.  This covered quite a lot of the population, who were kept quite on their toes regarding the whole "you might be removed from society at some point to be transformed into a superhuman" thing.

That brings us up to speed with the general situation, at least seen from those on the outside.  What happens to people who are enveloped into the programme is unknown.  What happens when out beloved OCs are yet again rebooted into this universe of major angst and tenuous science is yet to be seen...


Further details of life and rules on the inside to follow


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Re: Lies [Mk 3]

Post  Sennokazeni on Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:31 pm

So, our beloved ocs are being thrown into the world of the inside.  Good luck to them.  Here's some recapping of stuff that happens behind the closed doors of the program.  This is mostly worldbuilding.  I'll start it off soon.

Centres:
There are now many centres of varying sizes.  The newer ones are more uniform in their operations and the nature of their residents, the older centres tend to be of more significance.  The centres tend to be in remote or underground locations (or both)

The procedure:
The procedure that allowed normal humans to become less normal humans was first developed by a team lead by the previously unheard-of Frank Emmison, who soon rose to global fame.  His name was also given to the procedure (and to various forms of cursing by those who had undergone his transformative process (often shortened to "Emmy", which could be used as an insulting adjective or general expletive)).  It's been modified and refined down to a series of injections, and has been aided by the creation of healing (or body manipulatory) powers and is now relatively easy to perform.

Subjects:
Subjects are removed from their dwellings and are telepathically anaesthetised.  They are taken to centres (generally but not always their nearest) and transformed.  They then have their power level estimated and from this the relevant type and number of bracelets are attached.  Subjects are then released into a "school-type" environment in which they learn to control their new abilities, mostly to a destructive effect, although some are trained as performers.

Powers:
This...this is complicated.  Pretty fucking complicated.  To over-simplify it, the powers are manifestations of the manipulation of energy.  There's great variety in the abilities a person can receive, and no two people are exactly the same in the strength, combination and specific mechanism of their power.  There are, however, several specific powers that are more common than others.

Pyromancy
Ah yes.  The good old "shoot fire".  This is actually made of two layers - heat and light.  Put together, these two elements make fire.  Those who are weaker in this area (requiring one bracelet to control) tend to be able only to produce heat.  However, only one bracelet is required to control weaker fire-wielders (highlighting the weakness of those who can only produce fire, who are often mocked for this).  Stronger fire-wielders can produce flames at either a higher temperature or over a greater range. To produce light alone is not a measure of power but a measure of skill.  The same goes with a fire-wielder's ability to produce heat alone, which requires self-control.  Fire can come in a variety of colours (the most common being your usual red/orange).  It can be produced in a variety of methods - it can be projected from the person, typically from their fingertips, or can be created from a focus distant to the wielder.
Colloquialisms:

  • Flamers, pyros: those who can produce fire
  • Heatpack: those who can only produce heat, generally considered rude

Electricity
*Crackle crackle*.  As usual, there's a lot of variation regarding what these powers can achieve.  The most common manifestation is the ability to zap items with electrical energy.  Colour of ionised air can vary or may not be present at all (if the person is able to electrify something remotely without a direct flow from self to object - this is a high level skill).  Power level ranges.  Generally very unrefined form, however, if very skilled can direct small impulses, with some being able to control computer systems.
Colloquialisms:

  • Battery/powerpack: those with the ability to use electricity as their power
  • Bug zapper: low power insult
  • Computer: very rare person with the ability to control electronic devices

Telepathy
Another good ol' trope.  There are two branches of this skill - the ability to detect the thoughts of others and the ability to project though onto others.  Most telepaths have both abilities but with different levels.  THe latter is associated strongly with telepathic anaesthetics.  Telepaths (and some astute non-telepaths) can detect when another telepath is reading their mind.

  • Snoop: someone who is good at detecting thoughts (and is nosy)

Telekinesis
Omg - you can move things without touching them? Cool!  Often accompanied by a similar gesture to the real life action, telekinetics can move object of a range of sizes and weights.  Range of action can vary, as can degree of dexterity.  Can be used to emulate some elemental manipulation, although tends to be in a mass action (this is particularly evident with manipulation of liquids, which tend to kind of not do as told (like water through hands)
Healing
A complicated one, manipulating a person's energy (and often the healer's) into repairing damage. The healer may also be able to dampen or redirect a person's flow of energy to or away from use through the other person's power. For example, a healer may redirect a person's electricity powers by either using another less destructive power belonging to the patient (light etc) or draw the energy into themselves and redirect it as one of their own powers. The majority of healers require physical contact to influence the other person's energy. It is possible to siphon off too much of the other person's energy (and kill them), or redirect too much energy into the other person (and kill them). So it's a pretty fine art.

Air
Viewed (along with other "elemental" powers) as one as more of the more baser, less refined arts, control over air is often considered as a really useless version of telekinesis. This is, to a certain extent, true. The weakest of those with control over air can easily push over light objects or use air to directly manipulate (to varying degrees of dexterity) light objects. Greater power can come through greater strength or through greater skill (or both). Strong air-benders (yes I'm going to use that word now) can create massive hurricanes which is pretty badass. However, those who have uncovered the skill of air pressure... now this is a formidable art. Want to make something float? Sorted. Again, doesn't work well with liquids ("jeremy, why is there porridge all over the ceiling again").

  • Air-benders: We've all watched avatar here, so that's what they're all called. Didn't catch on with all the others. Ah well
  • Trumps: Really, really weak and pathetic air benders. Not at all a reference to anybody in particular.

Water
Another elemental concept, control of water varies greatly from person to person. Some can't manipulate anything that's not just water (good ol' h2o), whereas some can manipulate a desert with a drop of water in it somewhere (ok that's an exaggeration. sand is probably a no. but you get the idea). Doesn't work particularly well with living tissues - at least it doesn't leave the cells particularly intact. Don't try it on your lettuce - goes soggy. Don't try it on your pets either. Linked to water powers are ice powers which is pretty self-explanatory. Water normally has to be present in the surrounding to be manipulated - the water does not come from the person themselves (ew)
[list]
[*] Hosepipe - insult
[*] Tsunami - a skilled/powerful water controller
[*] Icer

Metals
Camouflage/invisibility
Superspeed
Strength
Teleportation

(Can you tell I've thought more about flamers than all the others? oops)


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Re: Lies [Mk 3]

Post  Sennokazeni on Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:43 am

Ahhh
Fate does not me to write this thing. I wrote a a bit then the page refreshed. Ugh. Anyway. Here goes. This is IT!

All in all, Miri had been having a pretty average day. She'd been to lectures, restocked her fridge, and finally gotten round to finishing that essay she'd been putting off (not that the end result was very good, but at least it was done. With a triumphant huff, she closed all the research-related tabs on her browser and opened Facebook. Not that Facebook was really the same as it had been 5 years ago - the context itself was monitored and doctored to the extent that you could be forgiven for thinking you were reading a government pamphlet rather than using social media. But there it was. At least there were still cute cat videos. Miri wasn't sure what she would do if the option of wasting hours laughing at cats jumping on lasers or destroying were to be taken from her. How would she procrastinate then?
She looked through her unread messages - nothing really of interest there, just a few acquaintances from her class trying to arrange extra study sessions. She replied noncommittally. Scrolling through her friends list, she pursed her lips. One of her friends who she'd been planning to go out for lunch with had vanished from the people available to contact. A quick name search yielding "no results" confirmed her suspicions. I guess that's a chance to meet up scuppered she thought.
Vanishing off the face of the planet usually indicated that someone had either been incarcerated for any form of misdeed, or had been recruited into the programme. The second option was more unusual, but Miri couldn't think of any activities that Alex might have been up to that would have merited being removed from society. Hell, Alex would even clean the dirt off the security cameras in the street on days she wasn't scheduled for community service. She was a bit of a suck-up like that, but a bright and kind person. Either way, it didn't do well to pry. 5 years ago, Miri might have been more upset by this, but now... well, it was just a thing that occasionally happened. The person, for all intents and purposes, no longer existed. They had never existed. Man, must suck
Like the god of dramatic irony swooping down claim the life of that person in a horror movie who's just confessed their love for someone then gone outside to investigate a noise having said "I'll be right back", Miri's doorbell rang.
Knowing better than to ignore it (whoever it was outside would definitely know that she was in), Miri got up from her desk. She know who it would be - neighbours and friends never came round unannounced. She opened the door with an impending sense of dread. Occasionally, government officials would come round, this was a thing that happens, she tried to reason with herself. It'll just be asking whether I've been keeping to rotas and being a good citizen, that's all. Geez, I hope I put the recycling out on the right day..
The pair who stood just outside her door looked amicable enough. They were both wearing similar garments - relatively plain dark coats with the only adornments being coloured bands around the sleeves. One looked at Miri and smiled. She had distinctly more coloured bands than her partner, who stood awkwardly without making eye contact.
"Miranda Sakamoto?" she asked.
Miri nodded unnecessarily.
"Could you come with us?"
Shit. "Did I do something wrong?" Miri asked, trying to keep the panic out of her voice. Maybe I did get recycling wrong again!
"Oh, no, not at all!" the first person said, raising her hands in a placating manner. As she did so, their sleeve slipped down a little to reveal what looked like several metallic bracelets. "It would be best if you just came along. We do not have time for you to collect anything."
Miri looked at the pair. It was beginning to dawn on her that today would be one of the most significant days of her life. The thought at the foremost of her mind, however, was I did that essay for nothing? . She nodded. Whatever was going to happen would not be anything she would be able to prevent. It would be easier and far less painful if she were to comply.
"Good!" the woman said. Her partner visibly relaxed. "If you would follow me..." She turned and walked off towards the road, where a nondescript car was pulled up.
Trembling slightly, Miri stepped out of her door for the last time. She turned to look at the place she called home, and said a mental goodbye. She then drifted towards the vehicle where the pair were waiting. She got in to the rear seat via the opened door, and fumbled with the seat belt. Even if the day was possibly going to end with an execution, trivial routines like safety measures were a small comfort. She waited for the door to shut behind her, but looked out only to make contact with the previously silent other visitor.
"I'm sorry about this" the person spoke for the first time.
Miri didn't have the courage to ask what. She felt a sudden drowsiness slip over her. As she fought to keep her eyes open, her last coherent thought was What day even is recycling day?


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Re: Lies [Mk 3]

Post  Sennokazeni on Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:40 am

"You did good, Ian"

"I didn't actually do anything, but thanks." Ian looked to his left at Amelie, who was driving the car.

"Hey, sometimes doing not very much at all is the best way to go about it" Amelie said with a hint of a grin.  "Had one kid with me that tried to do the talking on their first time, even managed to scare off the newbie that we were picking up.  Messy, that was.  Newbie tried to run off and had to have a day's memory wipe.  Good telepath, no common sense"

"I see," Ian tried to force his expression into one of amusement.  Although Amelie might find it funny, he was still cautiously treading water over his new status.  Another band at his sleeve was something he'd been looking forward to for a while, but something about picking up newbies didn't sit right with him.  The fact that he couldn't remember the day he was picked up didn't give good indication either - although it seemed very few people knew this.  "Did your helper do better then next time?"

"You could say that," Amelie said with a chuckle.  Ian didn't know how to respond to that, and shifted his gaze to look at the road ahead of them.  Not that there was much to see, they'd been driving in a series of underpass tunnels for the past half hour or so and by his guess there were still a few hours to go.  Amelie had spent the first part of the journey chatting with the higher-ups via a telepathic amplification device - not that he was privy to listen to the conversation (he knew he could have if snooped in if he'd tried but seriously, who was that suicidal).  The underground road network had been quickly implemented, vastly aided by an array of power wielders.  The new system was reserved for those with special permits, this of course including pretty much anybody of standing within the program.

His thoughts turned to their newest recruit, or affectionately termed "newbie".  She would be in for one hell of a ride, and he couldn't help but feel sorry for her - against protocol, being taken into the program was meant to be an honour that one should be grateful for, but he'd definitely had his ups and downs along the way.  His general subservience and efforts to keep out of trouble (even to the extent that he would go out of his way to be put into the good books) meant that he had gained bands at his sleeves quickly, even if the other people he had been newbies with now hated him.  He hadn't been given any information other than the new newbie's name - but of course background didn't really have any matter in life in the program.  It was baffling to try and work out how people were selected and he definitely never got any hints or tips.   Probably some computer algorithm somewhere he thought wryly.  Some people with powers were rumoured to be able to predict what powers untransformed people would acquire, and to what strength, but Ian was not one of those people.  Although a telepathic water-manipulating healer, he didn't have any powers that were considered particularly special or powerful - although if he did say so himself, he was pretty good at what he did.

"You looking forward to your first met and greet?" Amelie's question butted him from his train of thought.

"Ah..." he paused "I don't know really, I've rehearsed what I'm going to say and I know they'll all have their bracelets on but the paranoid part of me is still convinced someone's going to try and burn me alive"

"They might burn you alive with words, but safety-wise we have you covered" Amelie laughed.  She seemed perpetually cheerful.  "We'll be there as backup if you need us, but like I said you've really done well in the time you've been here.  You'll be absolutely fine." She drew out the word "fine" for emphasis.

"Thanks Amelie, clearly I've got great teachers," Ian said.  It seemed like the most appropriate thing to say.  It still felt a little odd to actually call Amelie by her name other than "Ma'am" as he would have done a few months ago, but in the time she'd taken him on as a personal mentor, he'd realised he'd been rather lucky.  Although occasionally unnervingly happy, she was nice to people she liked - who were mostly people who did what she said and kept to the rules.  He knew of a few mentors he'd definitely not rather have, it was sometimes difficult to believe that the mentoring system was voluntary.

"Flattery will get you nowhere, Stephens" Amelie said with mock severity.

"No of course not, ma'am" Ian said, dipping his head, but unsubtly waving his sleeves.

"Oh, don't be so smug" Amelie said, swatting him. Their playful banter was what kept Ian sane throughout his time in the program, and filled most of their journey to the centre.


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Re: Lies [Mk 3]

Post  Sennokazeni on Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:18 am

Wake up, lazy-ass

"What...?" Ian blinked as Amelie's voice drifted through his mind.  Amelie was just reaching down to switch off the engine.  They'd reached their destination, and he had fallen asleep along the way.  "Oh.  Good thing I wasn't driving"

"Could say that again. Honestly, sleeping on the job?  Anything could have happened!"

"What, like you accidentally hitting a coyote again?"

"Yes, exactly...but that was one time! You don't need to keep bringing it up!  Oh honestly, clear out my car."  Amelie made violent shooing gestures.  "Go supervise whoever's taking the newbie to the dorns, then go get some beauty sleep.  You need it."

Ian didn't mention that technically this was not Amelie's car, but one of the many owned by the programme, and promptly exited the vehicle.  Another recruit was loitering round the car, with only a few plain bands at his sleeves.  Ian smiled at her, attempting to put her at ease.  "You here to take the newbie?"

She nodded nervously "yessir"

Ian was the one to have a moment of uncertainty there, until Amelie said "Better get used to it, Ian", before shutting her car door and heading off. "See you tomorrow!" she sang over her shoulder.

"Telekinetic, yes? And jewellery?  Good." He didn't really need to ask, he was able to easily read and assess her superficial thoughts, as well as having the common telepathic skill of knowing what other people's abilities were.  Pretty useful plot device that was. and an icer too, goodness we are awfully too similar for comfort .  He leaned down to open the rear car door, where the unconscious newbie was still out cold, slumped against her restraints.  Out of politeness (the recruit could have done it herself pretty easily, he manually removed the seatbelt.  "All yours"

A small frown creased the recruit's forehead and her hands twitched, and the newbie began to rise up out of the car.  It wasn't awfully dignified, but it saved having to use gurneys (gurneys and stairs = nightmare).  Ian was mildly impressed, most telekinetics had to use full (often flamboyant) arm motions to get anything moving.  The recruit looked at him expectantly, with the newbie hanging upright, zombie-like, about a foot off the floor.   Oh.  He pulled his pager-device-tablet from his pocket and tapped a few buttons.  He knew vaguely which area the newbies were being taken, but a specific room number would stop him from looking like an idiot as he wandered aimlessly round the facility.

"Ok then," he said, heading off towards the dorms.  The ones for the newest newbies had been recently constructed (one could say newly built) and he did hope he was going in the correct direction. He wasn't sure whether to engage the recruit in conversation; he didn't want to break her concentration. A dropped newbie would not go down awfully well. So they walked in awkward silence for a few minutes until they reached the correct building (kindly, Amelie had used the nearest parking area. She was probably waiting for Ian to thank her. He made a mental note). He put his wrist, or more specifically, one of his three metal bracelets, up to the bar, and the doors slid open.

Inside was not too dissimilar to a hospital - sterile white walls and flooring, and plain doors either side. Ian took several turns before they reached the correct room, by which point the recruit was panting slightly. Again, he raised his wrist to the scanner and pushed the door open, regarding the familiar sight before him. Akin to student accommodation, this room was identical to all other newbie rooms. Although the carpet does look in better nick than mine was . The recruit, visibly relieved, arranged the newbie onto the bed with slightly less care than she had extracted the newbie from the car. He'd have to forgive her for that.

The recruit fished in her rucksack and retrieved a cool-box and a bag of clinking bracelets, and started fiddling. Ian turned to his subject. Giving a medical once-over was relatively easy, particularly if you had an entire medical history to look at beforehand, and it was only a few brief moments before he concluded that the newbie was ready for the procedure. He turned round to face the newbie "Everything ready?" he asked.

The newbie nodded. She still looked nervous, if not more so now. "New to this?" he asked, trying to ease the tension. She nodded again. "It'll be fine" he said soothingly. He was tempted to reach out and pinpoint why she was so anxious, but he felt that it wasn't really necessary in this case (dun dun duuuuuun you're so frickin' wrong there Ian). He never really liked personal mind-reading. Just functional. "Right. Let's get to it."



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