Just as you feel like you can’t possibly descend another flight of stairs, you reach the bottom. Your flashlights play across a rusty blast door with SEARSGATE stenciled across it.
“My calves,” says Tiny Tim. “Ooh, the burning. Ooh.”
“I remember this place,” says Montgomery Burns. “Yes, I’ve been here before. You, robot! Open this at once.”
Caesarbot steps forward and wrenches the release handle down in a shower of rust. The door creaks threateningly as it’s hauled open, revealing an immense, tomblike space.
“You know, I successfully stole this technology and sold it to JCPenney,” says Burns conversationally as you step inside. “I wonder what they ever did with it.”
Twenty thousand years in the past, in what will later be Nebraska, stranded JCPenney time travelers successfully ambush a mastodon with fire-hardened spears. Their leader, once known as Pamela Markowicz and now as Pam the Destroyer, lets out a war whoop.
“This RULES,” she tells the rest of the former science team as they butcher the meat with stone tools. “I wouldn’t go back even if I could.”
“I suppose we’ll never know,” Burns muses.
“What’s this?” asks William Dyer, indicating a single, glowing light on a wall-mounted switchbox. He throws the lever, and suddenly overhead lights come on. A few flash and blow out immediately, but most stay lit. You cringe in the sudden brightness.
The room you’re in is a perfect cube, and at the center of it is a vast stone ring with a ramp leading up to it. Dusty computer banks around it come online slowly, displaying the Sears logo. The whole space burns with halogen light, reflected off hard concrete like you’re in brutalist heaven.
As your eyes struggle to adjust, Caesarbot shuffles up behind Nolan Austin and scans him with the EviSync that Dr. Smøps gave him for some reason. It says Nolan Austin is human! Maybe! Suddenly, a dark shape darts in front of Caesarbot’s overloaded visual sensors and runs the dentist through with a sword.
“Naponta legalább kétszer megmossa a fogait,” hisses Pontostárgy.
Nolan Austin, dentist (Jon Hamm’s John Ham) has died. He was a PARTISAN (vanilla town).
Caesarbot is gratified that at least Austin’s blood is red, which turns out to be the last thing it ever sees. A group of people sneak up behind it with magnets.
“Pizza,” says Caesarbot, powering down for the last time. “Pizza.”
Caesarbot 3000 (Flubba Gunto) has died. He was the EVISYNC OPERATOR (Investigator, 67% accuracy).
The serial killer, whose eyes adjust a bit before everyone else’s, shrugs and busts out the fire extinguisher. Time to kill the guy who wouldn’t stop singing.
“Why did I have to be a power slave?” asks the Powerslave as he crumples. “Slave… to the power… of death.”
Powerslave (Lord Stoneheart) has died. He was a PARTISAN (vanilla town).
About 10 more seconds go by before everyone else can see.
“Ah cripes,” says the Demoman, looking around. The Burger King pantomimes a frown.
Apart from the computers, the space is mostly empty. There’s a long-dead ficus in one corner, and its leaves disintegrate like century-old tissue paper when touched. A whiteboard on one wall is headlined with “Remember the 3 C’s of time travel,” but the rest of the text is illegible.
“Lookit!” says Tiny Tim, walking up to one of the computer consoles. He hops up on dust-covered swivel chair and hits a few keys. “I’m in, gov’na!”
The space inside the huge stone ring flashes over with blue light, and then stabilizes. A shimmering surface floats there. It looks almost like water, if water could hang sideways.
“Crikey,” says Crocodile Dundee II. He mounts the ramp and finds a length of rope coiled on the platform. “‘Ere, ‘old this while I go ‘ave a look inside.”
He tosses the end to Kitty Witless and William Dyer, who wrap it around their forearms and give him a thumb’s-up.
“‘Ere we go,” says Dundee, and steps into the Searsgate.
The portal opens into a room full of cops, which is never a good thing. They’re all facing a disheveled man at the head of the room who is wearing a bathrobe and one slipper.
“We’re probably going to be up to our assholes in murder soon,” he says conversationally, then notices Dundee and the shimmering circle of light. “The fuck?”
“Uh, hi,” says Dundee, awkwardly.
“Shit,” says the man. “You’re not here to take my consciousness yet, are you?” He’s holding a book that says NEKRØNOMIKØN on the cover.
“Nah, mate,” says Dundee. Honesty seems like the best policy here. “Matter of fact, I’m a time traveller. Where and when is this?”
“O” – the man burps hard – “slo, 2017. I’m Inspector Gert Rafto. You?”
“Mick, but my friends call me Crocodile.” The whole room of cops is staring at him. “I’m from 2063, sort of.”
“No shit. What’s it like there?”
“Not great,” says Dundee, “but I should really be getting back.”
“Wait!” says the man, as Dundee steps back. “Do we ever catch the copycat Snow-”
“Roight,” says Dundee, stepping back onto the ramp. “That definitely needs calibrating, then.”
“I’ll be sure to look into that,” says a sinister Canadian voice.
Dundee turns, and sees the rest of you on your knees with your hands on your heads. Q. Steve Dougson is standing over you with a machine gun designed to be mounted on a Humvee. With him is another MOSP, hull number 0000000001, and a strangely familiar dark-haired woman. She is dressed in a dark flowing gown studded with cut labradorites. She sparkles like a night sky under the lamps.
“Elias Wimbiscus,” continues the unfamiliar man in the MOSP. “Charmed. And this… must we do this every time, Ada?”
“Yes,” says the woman, crossly.
“This is Adelaida, Queen of the Warm Worlds, Highest Servant of Iadolanth.”
“I’m Q. Steve Dougson,” says Q. Steve Dougson. “We’ve met.”
“I’m sorry!” says a woman’s voice, and for a second Dundee can’t figure out where it’s coming from. Then Elias hoists a MOSP helmet up like a severed head. Inside it is Duodecima Wimbiscus.
“It’s really hard to drive a bus into a lake!” she says plaintively. “The motor cut out when I was only five feet deep!” She thumps her ghostly fists on the plate glass. “Elias, you bastard, let me out of here!”
“No, Deci,” he says, wearily. “You betrayed us to the resistance. Also you brought men to the house when Mother and Father said you shouldn’t. Don’t think I’ve forgotten about that.”
“I enjoyed love!” she yells. “Clearly you’re so much better than me because you loved this thing Father brought home from the sea. Who killed you. And put you in a shell.”
“That hurts,” says Adelaida, quietly.
“I should have crossed into the white light when I had the chance,” says Elias, scrunching his eyes shut. “Are we done here?”
“Radio the guard,” says Adelaida. “I want this device brought to the palace. As for these people…” she scans you, one cheek puckered up while she thinks.
“Shewt, I’m not gonna have to kill them, am I?” asks Q. Steve. “They’ve got spirit, I like that.”
“I suppose not,” says Adelaida, heavily. “Is this elevator working again?”
“I believe the guards fished the body out of the shaft, yes,” says Elias.
“They come with us. I want them to see this.”
The ride back to the surface is the longest 90 seconds of your lives.
One of the enormous glassy spaceships is hovering low over the parking lot. Inhuman guards in chitinous armor and respirators form a perimeter, but as Adelaida leads you forward, they fall back and kneel.
“I suppose you won’t have to destroy the rest of Rochester now,” says Elias, as a ramp opens up in the side of the ship.
“I might anyway,” says Adelaida, stepping onto it. “We’ll see after I take my bath.”
Q. Steve Dougson herds you up after her and directs you down a prismatic hallway to a room labeled PRISONER RECEPTION AREA. It’s actually kind of nice in there. You sit down on naugahyde benches and snack from the minibar.
“You’re not going to freeze us again, are you?” asks Kitty Witless. “I don’t know how much more of that I can take.”
“Nah,” says Q. Steve. “This’ll be a short flight. Enjoy your stay.”
He shuts the door and you hear it lock. You’re left alone with your thoughts, some old brochures about being reactivated in the new society, and a pretty good view. Some of you watch as the ship lifts higher and higher above Rochester, all without making a sound. Some simply lie down and try to get some sleep. The Demoman gets drunk.
“Rise and shine,” says a familiar, oily voice as the catering truck materializes. The space isn’t that big, so it’s clipped through the ceiling a bit.
“OH MY GOD,” says the living embodiment of “Let It Be.” “WHAT IS IT THIS TIME?”
“Imagine it were 2020 again,” says Vice, amiably. “If you could pack a shoebox, or a container the size of a shoebox, with items to preserve that year for future visitors, what would you include?”
(Today’s Event: Describe what you’d put in a shoebox-sized time capsule if you were making one this year. The best time capsule will win today’s catering truck item.
EXCITING ADDITIONAL THING: I recently purchased a pretty large Humble Bundle, and it came with a bunch of Steam games I either already own, don’t want, or can’t play because they require hardware I don’t have. I’m going to raffle them off to people in this werewolf game; both the dead and the living are eligible. Details below.)
Go to your QT and name as many of the following games you’d like, as well as whether you own a VR setup or a controller that works with Steam, and the country you live in if it’s not the US (since some of the keys may be region-locked). I’ll RNG between the entrants. Limit one win per person, unless not enough people enter or not enough people have the required hardware, in which case I’ll try to divvy stuff up evenly between those who do. Winners will be sent gift links in their QTs.
- Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons / Requires a controller
- DUCATI – 90th Anniversary
- PAC-MAN™ CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION 2
- HIVESWAP: Act 1
- World of Goo
- Tilt Brush / Requires VR
- Super Hexagon
The raffle will be open until the game day ends.
In her luxurious twin-size bathtub, Adelaida sinks beneath the bubbles and lights some candles. She fishes her copy of Vladimir Nabokov’s Ada, or Ardor out of the book rack next to the toilet, reads half a page, and throws it across the room into the sink. She dips back into the rack and finds Anne of Green Gables, then thumbs to the bookmark.
Anne tipped the vase of apple blossoms near enough to bestow a soft kiss on a pink-cupped bud, and then studied diligently for some moments longer.
“Marilla,” she demanded presently, “do you think that I shall ever have a bosom friend in Avonlea?”
“A—a what kind of friend?”
“A bosom friend—an intimate friend, you know—a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul. I’ve dreamed of meeting her all my life. I never really supposed I would, but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true all at once that perhaps this one will, too. Do you think it’s possible?”
Day 7 will end Friday, April 10, at 3 p.m. EST.
- E-Dog – The Demoman from Team Fortress 2
- Emmelemm – Kitty Witless
- Hohopossum – Tiny Tim and Astral Howeird Possum
- InnDEEEEED – William Dyer, Antarctic explorer
- Jake (#2, replacing Annanomally) – Crocodile Dundee II
- Owen1120 – The Burger King
- Sic Humor – Montgomery Burns
- Side Character – Chris Kirkman
- Tiff Aching – Living embodiment of “Let It Be”
- April LKD – Face / IADOLANTHEAN
- BannerThief – Harley Quinn / Partisan
- Cop on the Edge-ish – L.Q. “Sonny” Clemonds / RADIO OPERATOR (Investigator, 100% accuracy)
- DW – Arsene Lupin, gentleman thief / Partisan
- Flubba Gunto – Caesarbot 3000
- Goat – Gort 5.0 / IADOLANTHEAN
- Grumproro – Betty Grof / HARUSPEX (Vigilante)
- The Hayes Code – Nora, from Sanctuary Hills / Partisan
- Jake (#1) – Mick “Crocodile” Dundee / Partisan
- Jon Hamm’s John Ham – Nolan Austin, dentist in Sherman Oaks / Partisan
- Lamb Dance – Padparadscha / Partisan
- Lord Stoneheart – Powerslave / Partisan
- Louie Blue – Hieronymus Karl Friedrich, von Münchhausen, known to many as the Baron von Münchhausen / Partisan
- Mayelbridwen – Limited Edition Balloon Lady, leader of the Playmobil / IADOLANTHEAN
- Mr. I’m My Own Grandfather – Zap Rowsdower / IADOLANTHEAN
- Mr. Glitch / Partisan
- MSD – Robo R66-Y / Partisan
- Ralph – Steve Harvey / Partisan
- Robert Post’s Child – Captain Video / Partisan
- Sister Jude the Obscure – Mary Pickford / Partisan
- Snugglewumps – Joanna Lannister XIII / Partisan
- Spiny Creature – Crimes, clone of Grimes / Partisan
- Spookyfriend – Sharon Lastname, PTA President / IADOLANTHEAN
- Tyrone –
Chara8-bit Steve from Blue’s Clues / FREEZER BURN VICTIM (1st Serial Killer)
- Wasp – Wasp / Carol / Big Jim / Count Dorkula / Zaxaforian Candulor (working together) / Partisan
- Zecko – Dennis Reynolds / Partisan
- Tobias Morpheus
- Lovely Bones
- 7 Partisans (Town)
246 Vanilla Partisans 1 Radio Operator (Investigator w/ 100% accuracy) 1 EviSync Operator (Investigator w/ 66.7% accuracy)
- 1 Medic
1 Haruspex (Town Vigilante)
- 2 Iadolanthean Spies (Wolves)
61 Iadolantheans (Vanilla Wolves)
- 1 Iadolanthean Hierophage (Wolf Roleblocker)
1 Freezer-Burn Victim (Serial Killer)
- 1 Adelaida’s Thrall (Replacement Serial Killer)
- Plus 1 Iadolanthean Recruit, somewhere in the count above
Vanilla town message: Welcome Manitoba Cryonics test subject! You will be a PARTISAN (vanilla town) once you’re thawed out in the future, but shh, spoilers. Your only regular power is your vote, although you may also be awarded prizes from the catering truck.
- Each day will feature a day-long Event, which is optional. A prompt will be given in each day’s header, and participating players are to respond in their QTs.
- Do not publicize your Event responses (until the game is over; then it’s okay).
- The winner will be chosen by NPC Princent Vice, the Catering Truck proprietor, which is to say, the mod. I will endeavor to be impartial.
- Do not discourage other players from participating in Events. I want everyone to participate if they want to.
- Win conditions:
- The wolves win when they are equal to the number of town-aligned players left (if the SK is dead), or outnumber the non-wolf players (even if the SK is still alive).
- Town wins when all the wolves and the serial killer are defeated.
- The 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.
- Night actions:
- There isn’t a hard order that night actions occur in. This is to allow as many of them to go through as possible. Roleblocks will always take precedent over the actions of the targeted player, however. If the wolf roleblocker targets the medic, the medic will NOT be able to doctor their target.
- Operators (cops): All town forces and the SK come back HUMAN, all Iadolanthean forces come back NOT HUMAN. The Radio Operator will always get a true result; the EviSync Operator will get the truth two-thirds of the time.
- The medic cannot medic themselves or the same person two nights running.
- Day kill thread:
- You have the option to vote “No Kill” (or words to that effect). If that option prevails, no one dies at the end of the day.
- A majority vote for one player (or No Kill) will end the day early.
- A tied vote at twilight will result in no one dying.
- Catering Truck thread:
- The item with the most votes wins. If there is a tie, I will choose between the tied items for you.
- The selected item is awarded at twilight to the player who best completes that day’s Event to Princent Vice’s satisfaction. Event entries are made in QTs and must not be made public.
- Day kill thread:
- Instant death for the loser. Odds of winning 50%, as selected by RNG.
- There can be up to 2 duels per game day. The winner of the first duel can participate in the second.
- The first duel must be finished before the second takes place.
- You can’t duel yourself.
- You can’t duel Captain Video.
- Do not coerce third parties into dueling each other.
- There are no secret powers or win conditions in this game. Any changes I have to make to the mechanics will be announced publicly. Catering Truck items will always have their effects listed.
- If you maintain a game-related outside resource (like a spreadsheet or an in-character Tumblr), stop updating it after you’re dead.
- 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.
There are 10 games in the Rafto-Hovnatanian Cinematic Universe:
- WW44: The Snowman
- WW48: Heart of Darkness Pay-Per-View
- WW56: Zone Z
- WW64: Sears
- WW74: The House of Wimbiscus
- WW85: 191X
- WW89: Space Freighter
- WW98: Return to Zone Z
- WW110: Santa Fight
- WW120: Adelaida’s Planet
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