Werewolves 98: Return to Zone Z – Day 1

Fully provisioned, Clive shoos you out the door of the Northern Reach offices. There’s a plane in the parking lot.

“The airport is overrun with bears,” he explains apologetically. “This is almost as good.”

The pilot is standing next to the cockpit, trying to light a new cigarette with an old cigarette. She throws both of them down and waves.

“I’m Veronica.”

The pleasantries done, she gets in. You hear the whine of the electrical system powering up.

“She grows on you,” says Clive, herding you up to the painter’s ladder you’re supposed to board with.

The inside of the plane looks like a school bus, but less nice. There’s more duct tape than you really like to see on an aircraft, and sarcastic old lady bumper stickers cover an alarming amount of the windshield.

Clive climbs halfway up the ladder and sticks his head in.

“We’ve adjusted the program since the last time some of you did this,” he says, head just above floor level. “We’ll drop you dead center on Cryoliteville instead of the outskirts. That should speed things up.”

“What’s Cryoliteville?” someone asks.

“Mining town,” says Veronica into her headset. “I used to live there. Nice this time of the year.” She looks at her instruments, then gives the console a measured thump with the flat of her hand. “Clive, am I still using a bunch of lawnmower batteries hooked together? Half this shit isn’t working.”

“I dunno.” He pauses to think. “Probably.”

“Fuck it,” she says, and he closes the door. You sense they’ve had this conversation before.

As the plane revs down the parking lot, you think it’s not going to lift off before you get to the end. And you’re right. The plane thuds right over the drainage ditch and goes rumbling over an adjoining field. You hear the high grass brush against the fuselage. Out the window, you can see abandoned riding mowers, their cowls up, batteries gone. As the plane finally lifts off, you get a last look at the Northern Limit, and realize there’s only a single van parked outside the building.

Then you’re airborne, heading into the Alaskan bush. The plane has a single TV/VCR combo unit bolted to the wall, so you gather around and watch Wayne’s World. Every time the plane hits an air pocket, the VCR’s tape head gets momentarily knocked out of alignment, Wayne and Garth stretching sideways into static, then snapping back.

At some point, you must have fallen asleep, because Veronica is shaking you awake.

“GET OUT! WAKE UP! GET OUT!”

“Wait,” says someone, “Who’s flying the plane?”

“YOU LET ME WORRY ABOUT THAT.” She slams a wall button with a green light inside it. The light turns red and the back of the plane opens like the jaws of a whale.

“I HOPE THIS WORKS OUT FOR YOU GUYS,” yells Veronica. She coughs, the sound thin and human against the roar of the engines. “WE DON’T HAVE MUCH TIME LEFT.”

You grab parachutes from the back, look at each other, and walk toward the yawning sky. The last of you to jump looks back, where Veronica is cupping her hand around a lighter, cigarette in her mouth.

And you fall.

Below you is something so terrible that it takes you a good couple of seconds for you to process it. You are falling into a vast, iridescent dome, its edges stretching almost to the limit of the shrinking horizon. Swirls of color spin across its surface like an oil slick.

“AHHHHHHH,”  you yell, suddenly getting it “AHHHHHHHHHH!”

And then you pass through it.

A wave of oiliness washes through your very souls, and suddenly there’s a city below you. You yank your chutes and drift slowly down, into a ruin.

Far more than four years have passed since this place was emptied of its human inhabitants. But as you land, on a street shattered by tree roots, the cars are unsettlingly new. Most are only a few model years old, but the paint has been eroded down to the primer by the elements. There’s a Tesla here, its plastic bodywork hanging loose from the rotting frame. At a ruined gas station across the street, there’s a poster in the cloudy window advertising Mountain Dew Berry Lime as a tie-in for Call of Duty: Black Ops III. You see a deer inside, chewing on a bag of Doritos.

Further down is a post office. Some of the letters have fallen off the front, so it says CRY VILLE. Everything is quiet, except for the deer with the Doritos. Humanity has gone extinct here.

And, across town, a strange pink light radiates up from the ground.

PLAYERS

  1. E-Dog
  2. Spookyfriend
  3. Ralph
  4. Jake
  5. Louie Blue
  6. Sister Jude
  7. April
  8. The Hayes Code
  9. Mayelbridwen
  10. Hohopossum
  11. Goat
  12. Owen
  13. InDEEEED
  14. MacCrocodile
  15. Lindsay
  16. Wasp
  17. Grumproro
  18. Mr. I’m My Own Grandfather
  19. BannerThief
  20. DemyxDancer
  21. Mr. Plow
  22. Lamb Dance
  23. Lovely Bones
  24. Mr. Glitch

BACKUPS

  1. Josephus Brown
  2. DW
  3. Flubba

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STARTING

  • 18 Scientists (TOWN)
  • 5 Government Agents (WOLVES)
  • 1 Unaligned (SERIAL KILLER)

This count will NOT be updated as the game goes on.

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RULES
  • Everybody has a role. Roles can change. All roles will initially be secret.
  • There isn’t a hard order that night actions occur in. This is to allow as many of them to go through as possible.
  • This game, like the original Zone Z and the House of Wimbiscus, will feature Events. Events are real-time opportunities for the characters to change the story. They tend to be chaotic, so I went to reassure everyone that they won’t affect the basic werewolf mechanics of voting and night kills. They’re in a class by themselves.
  • Death in this game is not necessarily permanent. Check your QTs daily.
  • Town wins when all the wolves and the serial killer are defeated.
  • The wolves win when they are equal to the number of town-aligned players left.
  • Serial killer wins when it comes down to just them and one other person.
  • Additional win conditions may become available as the game progresses.
  • A tie at the end of day results in No Kill. A majority of living players voting for any one person (or No Kill) 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.
  • Last, and most importantly: Anything I (as moderator) say, from Day 1 onward, could be a lie. Use your best judgments to find the truths of Zone Z.
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Day 1 ends 1 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 7.