BLACKOUT

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Annasiel
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BLACKOUT

Post by Annasiel » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:49 am

Silence comes before the storm. A pretty archaic adage, but useful nevertheless. It doesn't mean an actual storm, of course; more chaos, disorder, and havoc, cracking into being after a moment of peace. A lull pursued by havoc, catching even the most prepared off guard. That was the feeling of the first blackout. The lights never went full dark, even during night hours, so the pitch blanket that descended on Terminal was followed by a hush of shock. This was the calm.

The storm was the chaos that followed. Screams, gunshots, crashing hovercraft and shattered windows. Some took advantage of the havoc, but most merely reveled in their fear, certain the end of days had come and every breath could be their last. The lights, of course, came back, and the panic died, replaced by a mix of confusion and shame. Each blackout that came to follow was met by a little less fear, and a little more apathetic complacency. It was a scary thing, but expose humans to a scary thing time and time again, and soon they will accept it as yet another part of their frantic, messy lives.

Today, the lights went out again, and at first, nobody cared. They did their daily tasks as best they could, merely inconvenienced by the sudden darkness. After a few minutes, the thoughts began to come. This was a very long time. Had any others stretched this far? Counted seconds with bated breath, estimating, worrying. What if this was the time the lights stayed off forever? What if-

BOOM.

A massive wave of sound rocked through the entire city. No matter where in Terminal, all heard it, and all could see the enormous pillar of green light that shot from somewhere in the city's core ring towards the sky. Those close enough, or knowledgeable enough, knew where the flash had come from. The Nexus. But as for what that meant... nobody knew.

Setting: All characters are somewhere on or near 45th Street, a mainway leading a mile up to the Nexus. The lights are still out, and criminals are beginning to grow rowdy. If you were outside to see the blast, you would have seen a cylindrical pillar of light envelop the Nexus and erupt upwards towards the center of the planet's ring. A faint emerald glow lingered in the air for several minutes after, and all present can smell burnt ozone.

The lights have still not returned.
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Re: BLACKOUT

Post by Quirbles » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:24 pm

A little darkness isn't stopping me from getting a God-damn drink.

The glass of alcohol in front of Jacob was cold. What he was drinking, he didn't know — he could barely see the glass in front of him let alone the damn liquid inside it — but it was cold, and it most certainly was alcoholic in nature, so it did the job. Whatever helped him through these fuckin' blackouts.

The bar was relatively quiet. Hushed whispers and one-word replies had surfaced in lieu of explicit conversations that had faded along with the lights, and after a few minutes the only sound was the soft clinking of glass on the tables around the room. It was getting harder and harder to see, but the tension in the room was more than visible. It could be felt. People were getting restless; chairs shuffled, the air in the room grew heavier and heavier with a nondescript sense of malaise. This one was longer than the rest, and it had the patrons of the bar worried. Jacob, however, was content. Another minute of a Blackout meant another minute of rest from his job, the outside world, and —

THRUUUUUM

He'd spoken too soon.

Jacob sat up from his chair and turned towards the doorway, only to be partially blinded by the sudden influx of an emerald light. It took a second for his eyes to adjust to the scene, and a second longer for him to register what was actually happening; before any of the other patrons could stand up to see what caused the glow of green, the Jagercorp agent had already left the bar and stepped out into the street.

"THE FUCK WAS THAT?!" A voice screamed from somewhere down the road. The silence that Jacob was accustomed to was quickly replaced by a cacophony of murmurs and yells. Somebody shoved by him, almost knocking him down to the ground. Before Jacob could accost, the figure had disappeared into the quickly-filling street full of people.

The commotion on 45th street took on a largely different tone in the light, with many flooding out from safe buildings to view the spire of rich green light that had pierced their pitch surroundings. People who were once featureless silhouettes were illuminated, their terrified visages cast in a verdant afterglow once the pulse had ceased from Terminal's central tower. The Nexus. Jacob furrowed his brow. He didn't even know what to think. His entire life was spent in a world without the Technocrats' influence, replaced by a mythos of their exploits in Terminal. All of what he knew about them he learned from his father, including their eventual fall from grace and subsequent disappearance from the public entirely. If only Gregory was here to see this. He probably would've shit himself. 3 years short of a century of silence, and then this.

Yelling grew louder further up in the crowd, and from the migration of people down the sidewalks it seemed like fights were beginning to break out. Jacob turned on his heels and left with the dissipating crowd, acting out of instinct to report to the nearest Jagercorp establishment. Something was about to happen, he was sure of it. He just didn't know what that would be.

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Re: BLACKOUT

Post by UmbraSight » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:00 pm

Most feared the dark, no matter how big no matter how strong the dark held a particular sway over some archaic part of the brain. In the light it was easy to not feel the unease, but once you were in the dark? It was a matter of time then, of comparison, was this longer than the last time? Shorter? Was that a flicker of motion along the edge of vision? Was that a sound?

Lind never really found she minded it much, the blackouts. There could be frightening at times, yes, but that always seemed more a product of circumstance than anything else. It wasn't the fault of the darkness if she was winding through back alleys or through a less that favorable part of town when the lights went out. No, it wasn't the darkness that made those moments churn her guts, it was what she knew could be lurking within them.

So, no, Lind wasn't particularly unnerved when the lights once more failed as she was walking down 45th, a bag of groceries in one hand. Nor was she agitated as second turned to minutes, and minutes turned to ten. Then; something different happened.

Thankfully, Lind had been looking the other direction when a brilliant emerald shine flooded the streets. What commotion there had been, stopped then as the street turned to stare at the Nexus and this impossible spire of light. Lind wasn't certain how long she stared, around her people began to move, they bumped against her as they moved, some moving towards the spire, some away, and some just seemed to move simply for the sake of motion to satisfy an odd quirk of evolution. Lind remained static until the light had ceased, turned to a fading green shimmer and the smell of ozone assailed her nostrils.

Then her mind allowed her to think, and she remembered then that she was a lone woman standing in the middle of a growing riot. With a curse under her breath, Lind clutched the handle of her grocery bag tight, and started to move in the failing light.
//… and it was there, and her blade flicked out catching only air. She backed from the door, worn floorboards shivering with each misplaced step...// Fall of the Aelir Isles, Vol. III

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Re: BLACKOUT

Post by Snowskeeper » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:45 am

Behind his rectangular shades, Mr Jamison Benjamin’s blue eyes bulged with fear. The blackout had sent him scurrying into the back alleys like a rat, , when Virtue had finally come upon him; the chip in the recidivist delinquent's leg had given him away cleanly, and Virtue's own shiny flesh-sync body had given him all he needed to get the man's back up against the wall, a few feet off the ground, before he'd had a chance to do more than blink. The alley reeked of desperation.

"Mr Jamison, do you know what day it is?" Virtue asked, claiming tones from a dozen different audio programmes, stitching them together, and amplifying their intensity to uncomfortable levels.

"Hey! Hey!" the man coughed, struggling to keep his 'shades and suits' persona on his shoulders with a slick smile. The fear was still there, though; his voice held it better than his eyes. "I've got the money! I’ve got the money, man; it’s--at home; pay day was yesterday! You just need to let me go home! Or-or better yet, take me there! And then I can hand it over to you dire--"

Mr Benjamin had paid before. He’d already had his one warning, but making him into an example would be a waste, now. And giving him an enormous hospital bill would only make him even less able to pay. So Virtue dislocated his arm. The screaming was easy enough to cancel out.

"Sir, it is people like you who have led Terminal by the nose into this new, dark age," a popular talk-show pundit said, through Virtue's voicebox. He'd saved that line the moment he'd heard it, and he savoured its delivery. Jamison’s eyes had glazed over with pain, but that was alright. “Sir, it is people like you,” the pundit said, “who have failed to provide the fine men and women of”--and here the line clicked over, to the rant of another, anti-Selmie pundit--“Selmalite with the money they need to”--another voice; this one cheerful, bright, up-beat, lifted directly from a kitch Selmie ad--“keep the lights on!”

Virtue dropped the man, who had stopped screaming and started whimpering. He gave him a gentle kick, which sent the man rolling back into the wall. Might have busted his ribs, up, a little, but if his check really had come in, he’d be able to afford treatment. If it hadn’t, well…

“Next time, sir, take your money with you;”--he started in his own, personal synthetic voice, before hopping back into the ad--”because Selmalite has technicians working tirelessly all over the city! We’re always ready to meet your needs.” He turned, and, as he began to walk away, the horizon shattered in a spray of green light.

For several seconds, he felt as if he’d been blinded and deafened. The light and sound washed over him, cutting into his low-light-hunting-primed senses like screws; pounding like hammers. He could feel them trying to compensate for the sudden change in circumstances, but his brain didn’t much care; he could see and hear again almost immediately, but the pain took a lot longer to fade.

“Damn,” he observed, in the voice of an old video mine prospector. Mr Benjamin was screaming. Virtue began to walk back towards 45th, to find out just what had happened to the Nexus.
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Re: BLACKOUT

Post by PieHostage3_14 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:41 am

Next blackout, meet me at The Spit. Then you'll learn something interesting.

These words had been running through Jonathan's head all day, literally, as they had flashed on his ONIs for less than a 10th of a second 15 times now. He had no idea who this person was or what they wanted, but having hacked into his ONIs, they had to be good, at least Neuros level. Or was it a trap? Shit, could this be a trap by some Selmies to lure him in and take him out? Could it be related to that Selmie he'd let go last week? No, he'd told that bastard he would scramble his brains if he'd mentioned it to anyone. Best to take him out now.

Jonathan quickly went to his keyboard and let out a breath, his fingers flying over the keyboard, opening the program and accessing Ralph Strom, the Selmie he'd had a wonderful conversation with that just so happened to have an ONI, just like him. That was where the similarities had ended though. Ralph had always been a pest, a parasite. Feeding off his friends and families, those in better positions of knowledge and power than him. A bottom-feeder. No wonder he was one of Selmalite's hired thugs. He did give some interesting information about the progress they were making on the power grid. Unfortunately, it may not have been reliable. No matter.

As Jonathan finished entering the command, he hit the enter key, allowing the prompt to come up. He tended to act rashly, so he set up a two-step verification system in order to delete someone. His finger hovered over the 'Y', but he couldn't do it. What if suspicion fell on him? What if it really was a trap? As he debated this decision, the lights around him flickered once before crashing into darkness. A faint whir was just barely audible as his ONIs went into overdrive, picking up on the tiniest amounts of light that could be used. It was time. Jonathan threw on a light windbreaker and set off down towards The Spit.

He was about halfway there when a low noise suddenly surrounded him, like an incredibly loud and low drum had just been hit. As the noise washed over him, so did a wave of emerald green light. He turned and stared in awe of the giant structure, pulsing with green light, the home of the most powerful people in Terminal. As he did, a faint smile crossed his lips and a hushed voice emerged from his mouth. "Welcome back masters."

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Re: BLACKOUT

Post by Someguy500 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:00 am

45th was a relatively calm road to have an outpost on. Not like you could walk down the street with a blindfold and good clothes on without expecting to be mugged, but at least you'd last a minute or two before it happened. There was a mini-mart close by that was honestly mini in name only and a decent watering hole a bit farther off, all in all quite alright. The Jagercorp station was an oddity on the busy main street, exchanging marketable colouring and bright lights for an aura of order. Perhaps it was the reason 45th wasn't a hellhole, even if it was pretty empty right now. Luca sat at the front desk, tapping away at a routine assignment with half a mind, and continued to muse about his surroundings until it hit.

Like a switch was pulled, the world around Luca powered down, the lights going out instantly as the background humming of power quickly followed. The display on his spectacles flashed up a "No Signal" before shutting itself off. The talking and shouting outside started soon enough, and he took this cue to duck behind the desk, slipping on a vest from his pack and strapping pads onto his limbs. He might look ridiculous sitting on his ass, and the gear might get a lot of funny looks when the lights came back on, but he wasn't about to risk a burning hole in his chest because some thug was feeling lucky in the dark.

Tightening the last strap of armor around his leg, Luca got up to survey the situation outside, just in time to stagger from the ground-shattering boom as a column of sickly green light shot into the sky. It was coming from the Nexus, too. What did that mean? Deciding he'd seen enough, he ducked back inside stuck to his station like glue. Someone would come and report in soon enough, he thought as he unholstered his pistol.

45th was a relatively calm street.

Was.
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- Annasiel, April 2018

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Annasiel
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Re: BLACKOUT

Post by Annasiel » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:38 am

Her eyes opened, and not for the first time, she saw.

She remembered seeing before. Strange things she could barely recall, like shifting shapes in a dream. A man with a nose sharp as an eagle's beak, a woman with hair like woven gold. With them came feelings. Comfort. Peace. Longing. Then the sirens, and --- fear. Everything was fear. This was the same feeling she felt now, that gnawing pain in the core of her gut that told her to get up and move.

But where was she?

It was dark, darker than it should have been in a place like this. A crowded street filled with scattered people, running, shouting, tripping over their feet in their attempt to escape their own terror. She opened her mouth to join in with the screaming, but all that came out was a raspy croak. She coughed, rubbed her throat, and tried again.

"HELP!"

Well then, that wasn't what she wanted to say. What did she want to say? It was silly to try and speak before you knew that, silly to try and cry out before she even knew what she was crying out for.

Blackout.

The word hit her hard, and she staggered, hands splayed out in a gnarled reach. This was a Blackout. That meant... it was time. What it was time for, she didn't know, but she knew with absolute certainty that this unknown thing was happening now.

Two bangs from a nearby alley. Her head swiveled, eyes straining to see what it could have been through the dispersing crowds and blackened air. That was gunfire. That she knew.
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Re: BLACKOUT

Post by UmbraSight » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:57 pm

Pop. Pop.

Lind jerked to a stop, midstep. Those sounds she, like any who lived in the slums, knew all too well. Gunshots. She had no reason to be shocked, Lind understood, it was a Blackout. Even when most were thrown into a blind panic, there were always those who were more than ready to put this sudden change in fortune into their favor. If there was someone with a gun this way, then that is not where she wishes to be.

But the question was then, now where did she go? If she couldn't get back home then where could she go that was at least safe to some minor degree? The thought struck her soon enough as a ripple of recognition and fresh fear rippled through those around her. Gunshots were, after all, not the most subtle sounds. There was one place on this street she could have some modicum of safety, and she just needed to get there before some stray round caught her in the back.

She hurried onto the street, and made it all of three steps before her body collided with another, a blow which sent her stumbling to her right into another person and they both went down. The voice that yelled at her all manner of curses was male, with a sort of digital crackle underneath. Lind scramble up to her feet, or attempted to at the very least before it felt as if her shoulder had gotten snagged on something. Fingers, gripping tightly on whatever it was they could, she felt certain. Lind tugged hard against her own sleeve, and felt some measure of sweet satisfaction as the cheap stitching holding the sleeve to the shoulder gave way with a tear.

She did not wait to see what happened next, she ran across the street as quickly as her legs would allow.

She arrived at the door not but a minute later. A Jager outpost. She pushed against the door, glad when it slid open.

“Hello?” She called into the black.
//… and it was there, and her blade flicked out catching only air. She backed from the door, worn floorboards shivering with each misplaced step...// Fall of the Aelir Isles, Vol. III

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Re: BLACKOUT

Post by Quirbles » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:23 pm

Two gunshots, fired off in rapid succession. Even through the raucous commotion of the moving crowd, the distinct POP was easily recognizable from Strevian's position in the street. He paused for a moment, turning to look at the familiar outpost just down the street before weaving his way towards the alleyway the gunshots had sounded from. Blackout or not, it was his obligation to respond. The bureaucrats within Jägercorp would have his ass if he was charged with neglect of duty, and he wasn't too keen on spending a portion of his life trapped within the confines of a cube.

Jacob's hand initially hovered directly over the holster of his pistol out of a need to prevent panic from the crowd at the sight of a gun; seeing as the people around him were already scared shitless, though, he unholstered it moments later and used his free hand to keep pushing himself against the unstoppable tide of pedestrians. Civilians deflected off of him with varying degrees of force, and he found it necessary to stick a hand out in order to part the flowing current that was working against him. When he finally broke through to the alley, his ruffled clothing and hair made him look like he'd been in an electrical storm.

Breathing out, Jacob readied his pistol and tentatively took the beginning steps into the darkened tunnel before him. 2 gunshots, placed twice together. That meant a variety of things; 2 bullets meant 2 victims, maximum. Obscurity of the alleyway meant they might have been using the Blackout as cover, or had timed it with the peculiar eruption at the technocrats' tower. Though he didn't expect the perps to stay at the scene of the crime, he anticipated the worst.

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Annasiel
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Re: BLACKOUT

Post by Annasiel » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:33 am

As Jacob rounded the corner, a peculiar scene unfolded, illuminated in sharp relief by the headlights of a humming hovercar. Another Jagercop, an officer, was cowered against the wall, plasma rifle drawn in his shaking hands. A body lay nearby. What was left of a body. The corpse was barely recognizable, torn apart at every section possible. It's limbs lay strewn, either fully detached or hanging from sinew, and its head was only attached by a jagged spine. Bitemarks covered the length of the torso, deep punctures that had cut through the body armor like paper.

At Jacob's approach, the man looked up from the spot of air he'd been staring at.

"Run, you idiot!" he shouted, gesturing with the nozzle of the gun. The air above the body blurred, and the Jag's attention shifted back, his finger flicking the trigger twice more.

POP. POP.

The blur in the air shuddered. And something - shrieked. Glass on metal, knives on plates amplified to a painful crescendo, a wavering screech from something far from human. The blurry air seemed to melt in splotches, giving way to a black hide darker than the panicked street an alley away. The thing shot forward. The cop fired three more shots, then dropped his gun. No, his hands were still holding onto the stock, fingers tight with rigor, wrists ending in stumps that still spurted feebly.

The cop screamed.
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