Werewolves 98: Return to Zone Z – Day 3

The IdaDyne Mining & Minerals Cryoliteville Cryolite Mine, as it’s officially known by the rusting sign on the fence, has decayed significantly since you saw it last. The complex of rock crushers and storage bins is heavily overgrown, and some of the smaller structures have collapsed entirely. But you’re not looking at any of that.

Beyond the infrastructure is the mine inself, an enormous, spiral bowl dug out of the earth. And from it comes the ground-aurora, which is almost too bright to look at. You shield your eyes and watch the coruscating pink light flow ever-upward to meet the iridescent surface of the dome, maybe half a mile above you.

You did it. You are at the heart of Zone Z.

There’s a guard booth, and NorahThief kicks down the door, then punches it a few times to make sure it stays down. The power is down, so you can’t open the gate, but the batteries in some of the walkie-talkies still work. You tune them to the same frequency as the units you found in the radio station. You now have enough for everyone.

Betty, Big Jim and the Ball Fondlers push the gate open, and Zap drives the truck through.  It immediately runs out of gas, and he reluctantly dismounts. You’re all sweating thoroughly now, even those of you who didn’t do anything but watch. It must be 80 degrees in here, and it only gets hotter further in.

The employee parking lot is full of cars, which are falling apart, just like the ones in town. Weeds are coming up in the cracks of the asphalt, and the nature of some of them gives you pause. In fact-

“Is this a palm tree?” asks Big Dawg.

Dr. Olivia Octavius crouches down to examine the slender plant, which is only about 18 inches tall. “Beccariophoenix alfredii,” she says, uncertainly. “I think.”

“Okay, but is it a palm tree?”

The ground here has more fractures, running parallel to the rim of the mine. On the far rim, you can see the the edge is ragged and partially collapsed.

“Stress analysis indicates high probability of further collapse,” says Gort, swiveling his head with a vrrrrr sound. “We should not get closer to the edge.”

“No,” says Dr. Octavius, standing up. “We have to get closer. I need to know what’s going on here.”

“That is a bad idea,” says Gort.

“We just killed an innocent nerd,” says PTA Sharon. “Do you guys really want to stand here and think about that, because I don’t.”

The first door you find on the main building says ADMISSION THROUGH FRONT OFFICE ONLY and NorahThief knocks it down before you can even finish reading that. Inside, you find a pretty standard office hallway – worn carpet, safety placards on the walls, general sad feeling. The first door you find is open, and leads to a meeting room with a bunch of dead office plants and a spectacular view of the mine. Most of you rush over to the windows, but Bill Moneysales stops to look at the papers on the table.

“Do you guys think ‘radar anomaly’ means anything?” he asks, looking at a page with strange graphs on it. “Ooh, motor pool costs were down this quarter.”

“We need to get out of here,” says Big Jim, turning away from the window. “This light is makin’ me nauseous. It’s like that time I boated for too long.”

There’s some consensus on that, and you all stumble back out into the hallway, shutting the door behind you. Bill tucks the various papers in his pocket for later, in case anyone asks what the motor pool costs for Q3 2015 were.

A four-way junction features a handy directional sign – straight for cafeteria, back for meeting rooms, right for offices, left for observation deck. SAFETY IS YOUR PRIORITY, says a placard.

“Actually,” says Sharon, but Liv is already headed left.

The windows on this face of the building have been smashed in something. You step gingerly over the broken glass and out onto the observation deck beyond. It projects a good distance out over the mine; you can see the light coming up between the cracks in the boards. Just beyond the railing is the aurora, too bright to look at, and close enough to touch.

You stagger forward, covering your eyes as best you can. The light makes a sound, up close; it’s an awful sound, like a heart the size of a stadium, thumping steadily.

“Fellas,” says Elaine Stritch, as Rum Tum Tugger covers his ears and yowls, “this can’t be good for us! Wikipedia says I died once; I don’t wanna do it again!”

“I want to know what this is!” says Liv, glaring at her. “We are scientists, and there is a LOT of science potential here!”

“I don’t know if I want science that bad,” says Lazer Floyd, hesitantly.

“Look!” yells Liv, picking up a shattered chunk of window. It’s held together only by a decal that says OBSERVATION DECK – LOAD 22 PERSONS MAX. “There are only 22 of us! This is safe. Being a scientist means being afraid!”

“Did you forget about me?” asks a strangely accented voice from somewhere in the crowd. You look at each other, confused.

“…21, 22, 23,” says Gort. “There are 23 people he-”

And that’s when the deck collapses.


 

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The pink light of the ground-aurora is hot, and becomes hotter as you fall. You feel it thicken around you to the consistency of blood. You close your eyes against it, and cover your ears, but the light is still hot and pink, and you still hear the steady drumbeat of a pulse all around you.

Some of your force your eyes open a crack. Everyone around you is falling, flailing, screaming, but you hear only the pulse. Just when you think you can’t take it anymore, the sound fades away, and the light dims. You’re still falling, but through an enormous crystal cavern. You feel weightless.

“CRUNCHTOWN,” yells Big Dawg. His voice rings strangely across the racing crystal surface. “I’M READY, BABY, TAKE ME HOME.”

The enormous geode you’re inside has tunnels branching out of it, dozens, maybe hundred. Pink light swirls around the inside of them like flame. Enormous crystal spars jut out, threatening to slash you as you fall.

¿Sigue siendo la droga?” asks Duo. But before any of you can answer, you realize you’re heading into one of the tunnels.

“Aw sh-” says the bunny, and you’re swallowed up by light and noise and heat again.


 

When you wake up, you are on the cool, wet ground. Above you are stars, with Polaris sparkling brightly in the center. You stare at it for a long time, waiting for something insane to happen. But nothing does, and you start to feel uncomfortably damp. You sit up, one by one, and look around.

You are lying on your backs in the parking lot of the Kmart. Strangely, the lights are on. Do the Veronicas have a generator? You don’t hear one.

Oww,” says Moss, sitting up. “Did I just die?” You all stare at him.

“Should I?” asks Sharon.

“I’ll do it,” says Evan. He raises a trembling finger. “You’re d-d-DEAD!

“I was afraid of that,” says Moss, frantically patting himself down. He seems alive enough. “Are you sure?”

Maurice Moss (Mr. Plow) has RETURNED.

“Ohh,” says Liv, clapping her hands together. “I get it now! The unknowable powers of Zone Z brought you back to life, and that’s why we had 23 people on the observation deck. Everything has an ex-”

“There are 24 people here,” says Gort.

“What the heck?” says Liv.

Pause. “Now there are 23.”

What the heck?

Gort looks as confused as a robot is capable of looking. “I am getting anomalous sensor readings. Recalculating. There are 22 people here.”

You look around frantically, and realize that Lazer Floyd isn’t moving, unless you count all the blood that’s leaking out of him.

“Somebody done took his liver!” cries E.B. Farnum.

Lazer Floyd (Mr. Glitch) has died. In his pockets, you find a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring and a paper bag that says LAMB. He was the CODEBREAKER and a SCIENTIST.

“21,” corrects Gort again, and then falls over. You find a cluster of old fridge magnets stuck to the back of him.

Gort v4.0 (Goat) has died. In one of his compartments, you find a Gut-dar brand portable radar unit and a paper bag that says HOHOPOSSUM. He was the RADAR and a SCIENTIST.

“I am very confused!” says Betty Grof. “It is unpleasant! Please stop!”

And there you are, stranded in a Kmart parking lot with no idea how you got there.

PLAYERS

  1. E-Dog – Evan
  2. Spookyfriend – PTA Sharon
  3. Ralph Waldo Wiggum – Peggy Hill / Implosionist and STATE AGENT
  4. Jake – Nick Furry
  5. Louie Blue – Oliver Bunny
  6. Sister Jude – Elaine Stritch
  7. April LKD – A voice on the wind
  8. The Hayes Code – Dr. Olivia Octavius
  9. Mayelbridwen – A swarm of undead undead flies
  10. Hohopossum – Astral HOWEIRD Possum
  11. Goat – Gort v4.0 / Radar and scientist
  12. Owen – Big Dawg
  13. InDEEEED – Nicholas Angel
  14. MacCrocodile – The Ball Fondlers
  15. Lindsay – Rum Tum Tugger
  16. Wasp – Big Jim
  17. Grumproro – Betty Grof
  18. Mr. I’m My Own Grandfather – Zap Rowsdower
  19. BannerThief – NorahThief Schuhart
  20. DemyxDancer – Bill Moneysales, Senior Director of Marketing for Windmill Real Estate, Inc., Ltd.
  21. Mr. Plow – Moss / Resurrected
  22. Lamb Dance – Duo the Owl
  23. Lovely Bones – E.B. Farnum
  24. Mr. Glitch – Lazer Floyd, Hyperphysicist and Supergalactic Man of Action / Codebreaker and scientist

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 3 ends 8 p.m. EDT on Monday, August 12.