It turns out sleeping in a box truck at night in a Florida summer is terrible. You all toss and turn, hearing the anole lizards skitter across the thin metal of the outside. The air tastes like socks. Outside, you hear a swarm of the lizards carrying away Ernest Cline’s body.
One of your number is distracted, however, having lucked into a Sears Network Controller. The SNC – which is pronounced “Snick” for who knows what reason – is a cross between a raygun and a graphing calculator. Normally used to price items, it will also tell the user who is and isn’t a loyal Sears employee. Bridgette didn’t notice you swipe it on the way out.
Dawn comes. You know this because, at 5:30, all the lizards group on one side of the truck to bask in the warmth. You crank the lift gate up and step out into a Florida June morning in 2009. It smells like socks out here, too.
“That wasn’t so bad,” says Big Jim. “I dreamt I was a tugboat.”
The rest of you are unused to sleeping rough, and walk out the cricks in your backs on the rapidly heating asphalt. The parking lot is empty. Out on the road, you see a Smart car with spinning rims roll by at 70 mph in a 40 zone.
“What time do shopping malls usually open?” asks Balloon Boy.
The Madisons open their mouths at the same time, but then Mel, the Other Assistant Manager, holds up a hand.
“Wait.” You wait. “Do you not sense that?”
None of you know what she means, but then E-Dog turns around and looks back into the truck.
“Aw shit, fam,” he says in an exhausted voice. You all look, and inside the truck is the body of Subsaharan. He never woke up. The note you find stuffed in his mouth says MR. SEARS, YOU SHOULD HAVE LET ME RETURN THIS SOCKET SET.
Subsaharan has died. He was a Searsonaut (VANILLA TOWN).
“This doesn’t sound like something JC Penney people would write,” says Reaganomics Lamborghini.
Big Jim shakes his head. “One of us must be an unsatisfied customer. I’ve heard tell of them.” He waves a hand, encircling the parking lot, the mall, the low vegetation off to one side, and the Geico billboard beyond that. “They roam the Earth, bringing pain to retail salespeople everywhere.
You all shudder in the gross humidity.
“Anyway!” says E-Dog, clapping once. “Where we eatin’? Can’t serve Sears on an empty stomach!”
Across six lanes of traffic is a 7-Eleven that is advertising 24 hour hot wings. You look at each other and leave, ignoring the lizards as they come for Subsaharan’s body. You fill up on wings and peach-flavored Fresca, eating in the 7-Eleven parking lot until the manager runs you out.
At 8 a.m., bright-eyed and covered in a thin film of grease, you report to the employee entrance, where you’re met by Bridgette and a rumpled but serious white guy who is introduced to you as Rick. Rick has been brought in from Chicago to help save the Lunapool Sears. He drove through downtown Orlando to get here, and thinks it’s tiny.
“You all need to clock in using this,” he tells you, pointing to a kiosk with a Windows XP computer in it.
“2009 sucks,” says Madison under her breath.
Bridgette has photocopied 19 contracts, counts you, and throws one in the trash. “You said you had training, correct?”
“Yes’m,” says Big Jim.
“Excellent,” she says, nodding. “Sign these and come with me. We’re putting you right out on the sales floor.”
- Sic Humor – Mr. Burns
- Hohodor – Howard Possum
- Jake – Madison
- D. Goat
PearlSheltie – Ernest Cline– VANILLA TOWN
- E-Dog – Jr. Manager E-Dog
- Elliot Thomas – Roy McAvoy
- Owen – Stephen Sebald, Appliance Tester
- Jon Hamm’s John Ham
- April Ludgate-Karate-Dwyer – Face
Subsaharan– VANILLA TOWN
- Hayes – Mel, the OTHER assistant manager
- Dr. Nick –
Big Jimuh, Balloon Boy
- Mac Crocodile
- Spiny Creature – Bea Santello
- Wood Sword – Barney
- Colonel Mustard – Madysen
- Platypus Basileus – Reaganomics Lamborghini
- 14 vanilla town (Searsonauts)
- 1 town-aligned jailer (Janitor)
- 1 town-aligned detective (Manager on Duty)
- 2 vanilla wolves (JC Penney Spies)
- 1 wolf roleblocker (Dr. Robin Þicc)
- 1 serial killer (Unsatisfied Customer)
- The investigator role (MOD) will always be backfilled from the vanilla town population. If there are no more vanilla town members left, the role will be left empty.
- The jailer cannot jail themselves, or the same person two days in a row.
- JC Penney forces (wolves) will show up as JC PENNEY on the investigator’s Sears Network Controller. All others come up SEARS.
- The wolves win when they are equal to the number of town-aligned players left.
- Town wins when all the wolves and the serial killer are defeated.
- Serial killer wins when it comes down to just them and one other person.
- A three-way standoff between the last town, last wolf and SK will result in a special ending.
- A tie at the end of day results in No Lynch. A majority of living players voting for any one person (or No Lynch) ends the day early.
- No editing posts.
- No quoting or screencapping from your QTs.
- If you have any other questions about rules, please ask in QT, and I will answer publicly here.
DAY ENDS: Midnight Eastern Friday (countdown)