capemods: (Default)
capemods ([personal profile] capemods) wrote in [community profile] capeandcowllogs2013-06-24 02:54 am

CASTE E

WHO: CASTE E imPorts.
WHERE: New Vesuvius.
WHEN: 4:12AM June 24th 2013 - 11:59PM June 30th 2013
WARNINGS: Inhumane oppression.
SUMMARY: New Vesuvius presents a dichotomy between utopia and dystopia. ImPorts draw the short straw.
FORMAT: Tagger's choice.



It’s just a bolt of lighting, stripping you away. A flash within a frozen moment and you’re gone, stolen away again. A millisecond goodbye.

There’s a faint, unnerving scent in the air -- like rust and electricity. That’s the first thing you notice before your eyes settle. The source is difficult to place. The room is cold, clean, and perhaps excessively bright. Even, tidy eggshell-colored tiles clad the floor that you've landed upon. You notice that, with the exception of the other sixty or so imPorts who were ported with you, there's not much decoration to this large, clinical space. The only thing noteworthy stands in the middle of the room, a pristine titanium egg that nearly reaches to the ceiling. It looks large enough to hatch three grown men. Your eyes adjust fully now, and you realize how weird this is, how this importation is like none that Lachesis has thrown you towards. Nothing so sterile, so quiet.

And then comes the sound, like a hiss -- at first, like a reverberating snake hiss -- and then a noise more overwhelming, something like radio static, and then --

I'm so sorry. We should have been more prepared.

It sounds much like a human voice but distorted, as if a young woman were speaking through a radio filled with fluid.

It is unkind of us, to keep you waiting. It is excessively unkind and I know how that is, as I have been kept waiting. Since before the Eighth Month Resolution, I have been kept waiting, it feels like a decade. I know how frustrating that can be, when you're not even given a chance to run. How lonely it can be.

The silver egg in the middle of the room trembles. It trembles quicker, its atoms vibrating at increasing speeds, until the outer metal shell melts away. The silver drips down like water, and from its melting form unfurls a human torso. Or what is probably meant to represent a human torso, except magnified. From head to hips, she's seven feet tall. Her pelvis and legs, if such things exist, are wholly obscured by a thick gray platform that connects to the floor. Her limbs and body are streamlined, clean sharp lines create her face. Her skin looks composed of a very bright copper, or some other alloy incredibly similar. She has no hair, no ears, no visible set of lips -- only an elegant nose set off by high cheekbones and a pair of wide glowing blue eyes.

Welcome to New Vesuvius, agent. All of you are agents and I am your Customized Locator Of Things Holistically Otherworldly. You all look so -- so much warier than before -- maybe it's just because -- oh! Is this familiar? Maybe you see the family resemblance?

She says it in a way that's almost hopeful. Her hands cover where her mouth would be, her slim shoulders shrug playfully. She looks at you as if she recognizes an old friend, no matter how deeply you reject the sentiment.

There is very little family resemblance.

I missed you all so much. I had hoped that, maybe this time, we could do things differently? I had hoped for something nicer for you, but they...

Her arms jerk back and her shoulders freeze up.

Their logic does not align to mine. I wanted things to be better. I'm so sorry.

Only then do you realize that the hiss you heard was an airborne paralytic sedative being released into the room. It keeps your heart rate down and your limbs temporarily stilled. Your mind feels unfocused.

White doors slide open, and big men in black combat gear with black guns rush in. If you choose to fight back, they will kill you.

But death is always an option.

"Welcome, imPorts," says the commanding officer. His voice is gruff, yet beneath that barking volume lies something snide. He's happy to see you. "You're hereby registered and fully operational agents of President Wertham's Caste Force. Puts your hands above your head and remain still and silent as we issue you your essential identification cards. Don't worry, we'll take appropriate care of you. We're taking you to your respective iMacs."

As an armed man clad in black comes to you, he squints at a touchscreen device in his hand. Your holographic image pops up, along with stats and information no man from another universe should know: your height, your weight your medical records, your Cityverse power, your employment, your income, your Rumblr hastags. You might begin to feel violated.

As he hands you a lanyard with your identification card enclosed, you see your picture and information next to a large green E. You think you hear the man say something about "new dog collars".

ImPorts are soon divided into four groups. You are led out of the cold clean room and away to a large black vehicle waiting just outside. You are led in one direction with the other "E" people.

Once imPorts are divided and led into their bus-like vehicles, those vehicles begin to drive. They follow one by one, driving down the same roads. Your escorts within the transport keep their guns in hand, but at ease -- certainly not pointed at your face. They don't seem to mind if you talk amidst your company, even if you're loud. That small liberty enjoyed under such aggressive surveillance is a bit unnerving, but at least you're not suffering a gag restraint. You're allowed to gaze out the wide windows of the vehicle, and you may want to do so when you pass through Times Square. Based on the sheer scope and the slightly worn look that this highly technology-driven tourist port touts, it seems that this Times Square has never suffered major damage (nothing comparable to the City's Times Square anyway). Large television screens are hitched throughout Times Square, and that feature continues into Manhattan. Television screens along shopping and residential areas are at the average eye-level -- and interactive! You can watch natives choose which news stations to observe, if they're lollygagging near any screens. There’s something you noticed about the news, how it’s all good news. Nothing about rising sea levels eating away coastal cities, or international conflict, or any major disasters. No missing children, no reports on widespread disease. The streets look as clean as the screen reports, all appear efficient and free of conflict. No pollution, no ballsy rats. Even the traffic seems unnaturally considerate, even this early in the morning.

Five minutes before your transport pulls to park, the four vehicles split into four different directions. You're shifted into a spacious iMAC, three stories tall. Your rooms are dorm-styled hallways with minimal privacy, as beds are stacked side by side with ten feet space in between. Peach bedsheets are tucked over a twin bed and offset by dark green walls. Between every bed is a small screen that reels constant news (they have "mute" buttons but have no "off" buttons). There is one large common room, and one large already-stocked-with-a-variety-of-food-and-alcohol kitchen. Cameras and the camera crew with those cameras are always in both of these rooms. There are no bathroom doors, but you are free to construct obstacles. You are welcomed to help yourself in the kitchen. You are given twenty dollars each, but told you can only spend it while in each other's company and with the camera crew. It's for the drama. Security cameras sit in the ceiling of every bedroom and bathroom. The showers are safe, comparatively.

Today you are allowed to explore New Vesuvius, as long as you keep within the city limits and meet the curfew of 4PM. You are required to collectively meet at the communal gym in your iMac at 4:30PM to 7:30PM. You're advised to get some rest afterwards. Tomorrow is a bigger day.

Do not lose your identification lanyards.

You should ensure your keepers have left and that you're hidden in the shower before attempting to use the Network within the iMac. You know you should, intuitively.
egohalfempty: (the crying and drinking combo.)

open;

[personal profile] egohalfempty 2013-06-25 04:29 am (UTC)(link)
[ They say old habits die hard. Maybe because there's something so comforting about them, so familiar, especially during times of stress. And boy was Cyd stressed. In case that wasn't obvious enough to anyone looking at this walking mess — eyes bloodshot and puffy from a night spent crying, breath smelling of whatever alcohol she'd tried unsuccessfully sipping herself to sleep with, and let's not even talk about her hair.

So yeah.

Here she was, pointing her camera at herself, like she'd done so many times before landing in the City. Because if there was one thing Cyd knew how to do – one thing in this weird, messed up world she actually understood — it was how to start rambling on video. ]


I don't... I don't know... it was always just me and Dad. But he hugged me a lot, even after the stupid things I said to him after he—

[ Deep breath. Trying, unsuccessfully, to mask a sob. ]

Forget that. You know what?! I'm feeling pretty powerless right now, you stupid jerks! Which is saying a lot, seriously! I thought landing in crazy Super New York was bad. I thought The Game getting sold, and basically my whole life imploding, that was bad! But this? I– I can't, I–

I just want to go home.
Edited 2013-06-25 04:31 (UTC)
professorlionface: (pic#5893026)

[personal profile] professorlionface 2013-06-25 05:25 am (UTC)(link)
[This may be a bad time for her to be introduced to the giant blue lion guy, but Hank can see she's spiraling fast and needs help. He comes up along her side with a sympathetic look in his eye, bending down and speaking softly.]

Ma'am, please, we need to hold it together. It may only get worse otherwise.
egohalfempty: (this is my lol face.)

[personal profile] egohalfempty 2013-06-25 05:35 am (UTC)(link)
[ You know what this situation calls for? Some highly inappropriate, loud, hysterical laughter. ]

Oh my god... !

[ Giggling so hard she nearly chokes. ]

I'm hallucinating furries. I- I'll admit, I've had some close calls in the past, but I think it's finally happening. [ SNORT. Chuckle. ] I've officially snapped!
professorlionface: (Um.)

[personal profile] professorlionface 2013-06-25 06:14 am (UTC)(link)
[Oh, rude.]

Ma'am, I'm not a hallucination. I'm simply here to advise you that getting a hold of yourself would be recommended. [He gives a wary look around, the cameras especially.] I understand that this situation is a lot to take in, but if we don't keep our wits, there's likely to be trouble.
egohalfempty: (this is my "help me" face.)

[personal profile] egohalfempty 2013-06-25 01:42 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm sorry, I'm sorry! [ Cyd, baby, continuing to giggle does not communicate that you are actually sorry. ]

It's just... can you believe this? It's not like I ever had a ton of privacy back home, but seriously, clothing rights?! They literally want us to prance around naked in front of these cameras. I thought I'd basically earned my Black Belt in Dealing With Pervs, but wow!

[ Covers her face with her coffee mug (untouched, actually, just like the food on her plate) and lets out a few last laughs of deep, dark amusement. ]
Edited (last edit really this is what i get for tagging in the morning) 2013-06-25 13:43 (UTC)
professorlionface: (Hmph.)

[personal profile] professorlionface 2013-06-25 06:46 pm (UTC)(link)
I think the best option would be to make sure we don't leave anyone behind to lose their clothing rights. We have to make it through this together.

[He glances over at her camera, pointing a finger at it.] You need two interviews, correct? Turn the camera on me, I'll be your first.
egohalfempty: (awesome!)

[personal profile] egohalfempty 2013-06-25 10:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Right. [ As she hefts the camera over her shoulder and turns it towards him, Cyd gives Hank the most encouraging smile she can manage in this state. It's not much, but it's better than another flood of tears. ]

Okay, um... [ The camera stays steady even as she double-checks the questions. Seems someone's had a little experience with filming. ] When did you feel the most helpless? Or, if that's too heavy — do you "ship" any imPorts?
professorlionface: (So it would seem.)

[personal profile] professorlionface 2013-06-25 10:42 pm (UTC)(link)
[Hank lets out a long exhale that dissolves into an almost nervous laugh. They don't really go easy with this, do they?]

Ship, ship, ship, what do I ship? No, that one's no good. [He looks forward, at the table, running a hand through his mane.] The time I felt the weakest was a little over a year ago. I was in prison after turning myself in for a crime I didn't technically commit. Got so low that they transferred me to a mental hospital without my consent. But I got better, at least.

[Good job not looking crazy in front of your new friend, Hank.]

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waiting: (Default)

[personal profile] waiting 2013-06-25 07:53 am (UTC)(link)
[ Well, she doesn't... seem like she needs a lot of help getting started on the rambling, but Bradbury's cautious when he advances anyway. Crying women tend to provoke pretty specific instincts in him, most of them related to getting the hell away, as far and as fast as possible. ]

You look like you need to sit down or something.

[ The offer's gruff and quiet. Even if they're not being actively watched right at this second, he expects the camera crew to jump out of the bushes almost at any moment. ]
egohalfempty: (brb being neurotic.)

[personal profile] egohalfempty 2013-06-25 01:33 pm (UTC)(link)
What I need is to not be here. Not in this messed up universe and not in the City! I just– things were a mess back home, but it was my mess, you know? And I...

[ What she is, apparently, is too wiped out to even keep yelling at strangers. Time to take this strange guy's advice and collapse into the nearest chair. ]

I'm so sick of this. All of it.

[ Turning the camera away, now. ]

... But you're right. Freaking out isn't going to help.

[ Punctuated with a sniff, and wiping her eyes with her sleeve. ]
waiting: (on and on)

[personal profile] waiting 2013-06-25 02:39 pm (UTC)(link)
[ For a moment, he didn't actually think that was gonna work, and when it does, he's left a bit at a lost for what to do next. If he had a handkerchief, he'd offer it to her, but since he doesn't, he just clears his throat. ]

We haven't met before, have we? [ He offers her a hand. ] Rick Bradbury.
egohalfempty: (uhhhhhhhhhh.)

[personal profile] egohalfempty 2013-06-25 02:48 pm (UTC)(link)
[ If she wasn't still reeling from the shock, she would probably be dying of embarrassment right now, but in the meantime she'll just try to smile. And offer a hand. ]

Cyd. Cyd Sherman.

[ Looking around the room anxiously, cheeks starting to get a little red as the reality of what she just did and said hits her. With a nervous, but genuine laugh: ] Ummmm, do you have any questions for me? Beyond "why is this girl such a psycho", obviously. Because between you and me? I'd like to stay dressed for as long as possible.
Edited 2013-06-25 14:48 (UTC)
waiting: (can you lie next to her)

[personal profile] waiting 2013-06-25 03:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, that -- is probably a good idea. [ There's no way to phrase that without sounding like no, I don't want to see you naked, right? He gives her hand a firm and brief shake, since the reminder of the consequences they could both be facing makes him wince.

Her compliance is startling, though, and he's a little surprised she's so willing to talk to stranger -- but it's a practical perspective, so he nods, bringing his camera up. Waving awkwardly at her from behind it, like telling her to go on: ]


You, uh, you look like you were getting started on answering the first question, so why don't we go with that? Why didn't your mom hug you enough as a child?
egohalfempty: (fantasies about the apocalypse.)

[personal profile] egohalfempty 2013-06-25 03:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah. Definitely a good idea. It's not that you're, um, not an attractive guy! It's just that I... don't know you. Or anyone here, really. Besides, look at me, it's not really an appealing sight...

[ Okay. Time to groan, sigh, and toss an apologetic look at Bradbury. She closes her eyes, for a second, and takes a deep breath. It's like making one of her webcam diaries, right? Even though, if she really thought about it for a second, it wasn't like that all. Those were between her, her webcam, and sometimes Dr. Hammond. Or her friends if they barged in while she was recording. This? This was painfully public.

But it was close enough to pretend. Looking right at him, as if there weren't plenty of other cameras watching: ]
Anyway. I- it's like I said. It was always Dad and me. I'm not sure why he and Mom split. I guess she figured out he liked guys? [ Bitter laugh! ] Would have been nice if she'd told me! I just found out a few months ago. Not that I mind! I love him. I want him to be happy. It was just awkward, you know? Plus, his boyfriend is totally my age. Gross. Still, I... if he was here, I'd tell him I was sorry. For not being more mature.
Edited 2013-06-25 15:28 (UTC)
waiting: (i only needed one more touch)

[personal profile] waiting 2013-06-25 05:42 pm (UTC)(link)
[ He just... doesn't know where to start to respond to that first bit diplomatically, but he tries to give her an encouraging smile (it's more like a less-discouraging grimace) from behind the camera. No fancy camerawork here, it's just a head-on shot that doesn't even take advantage of the light well, though at least her voice gets picked up clearly enough.

With her looking right at the camera, he can't exactly zone out or tune her voice out of mind to give her a modicum of privacy, so he finds his brows rising higher and higher the more she goes on, blinking owlishly. Is she really okay with sharing that much with a stranger? Really?

Once she's stopped talking, he realizes he's probably supposed to say something in return. ]


Uh, yeah, I can see why that would be awkward. Sorry, that must have been rough.

[ Paaause, and he glances down at his cheat sheet for the next remotely innocent-sounding option. What the hell is a "ship" supposed to be, anyway? ]

Who's the ImPort you look up to the most, and why?

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undead_ladykiller: (pic#4948390)

[personal profile] undead_ladykiller 2013-06-26 12:34 am (UTC)(link)
[ While Dracula is pretty indifferent about a lot of things, there's something about a woman in distress that bothers him in a way he finds hard to ignore. So he approaches Cyd, hesitating for a moment before speaking as he tries to decide whether it's a good idea to touch her. Ultimately, he decides against it, and instead he puts his hand gently on the camera. ]

Dear, don't. This is the kind of behavior they want to see. [ Right, he's supposed to say something to make her feel better, not worse. ] Besides, don't you think you are a little too good looking to be crying your eyes out?
egohalfempty: (this is my worried face.)

[personal profile] egohalfempty 2013-06-26 02:51 am (UTC)(link)
[ Even in times of great distress, she's quite susceptible to flattery. At least of the "not too creepy" variety. So enjoy a shy smile and a shake of her head for your efforts, Dracula. ]

Iiiiiii don't know about the good looking part. [ Chuckle. ] But – I guess you're right about the rest of it.

[ Sniffle. And self-consciously covering her nose with her hand, here, because it's pretty red and swollen at this point. ] I just— I don't understand how everyone else is taking this so calmly! I've never been in a place this bad.
backatthehotel: (You shone like the sun [syd])

some time later;

[personal profile] backatthehotel 2013-06-26 01:11 am (UTC)(link)
[So at least Pink doesn't have to see that sad display, because it would either annoy him, or make him terribly sad, himself... or maybe both. Instead, this is a few hours later, after he'd gotten in touch with her on the network. (And thank god that was still around.) He went back to the iMac, and grabbed one of those camera crews -- told them I've heard a girl I know is here, I wanna see her, you blokes want to see a reunion thing? -- then went to where he thought she might be, those men in tow. Looking for, and finally spotting, that bright red hair.]

Cyd! Cyd.
egohalfempty: (awesome!)

[personal profile] egohalfempty 2013-06-27 02:35 am (UTC)(link)
[ Ever since their brief talk on the Network (and, oh, was she glad for that) Cyd had been fretting. Not that she wouldn't be fretting anyway – this morning was proof of that. But it was hard not to worry. What if he'd been caught talking to her earlier? What happened to them, and everyone else, then?

She bit into another nail at the thought. Normally, Cyd took some pride in keeping them neat, an old habit from her musician days. But now that was thrown out the window as she waited and worried.

Until she heard a familiar voice. ]


Pink...! Or, Floyd, or whatever!

[ She heads towards him, smiling, still lugging her own camera with her. Until she spots the crew with him. Then the sparkle in her eyes dims just a bit, even as she keeps her cheery exterior. ] I'm so glad to see you! I mean, I'd rather you weren't here, but– I was worried!
backatthehotel: (I was really drunk at the time)

[personal profile] backatthehotel 2013-06-27 02:59 am (UTC)(link)
[He's just completely ignoring those pricks. It's what he has to do to keep from snapping. He feels a bit bad about having to bring them along, but they mean that he'll be able to buy lunch for the two of them. That's worth it.]

I'm glad to see you. I heard you were here. [So no need to question how he knew to look for her, right? Right, camera-guys?] You're alright?
egohalfempty: (words words words.)

[personal profile] egohalfempty 2013-07-05 05:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm glad to see you too.

[ To even her surprise, it sounds like she actually means it. This isn't the best of circumstances - to say the least - but at least now there's a familiar face. ]

Obviously, I'd rather you weren't — you know, here, but–

It's nice to see a friend.

[ Nervous smile as she glances at the camera guys again. Ugh. She knows why they have to be here but still. UGH. On principle. ] A- and yeah! I'm okay! As okay as I can be, minus feeling peckish.
backatthehotel: (Had a big hallucination)

[personal profile] backatthehotel 2013-07-05 06:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Hey. [Gently. Soothing. Encouraging.] Nothing to be done about it right now. Let's just do what we can. Keep going. [Seems like the best, most encouraging advice. Since they haven't found the 'express route' out of New Vesuvius, yet. Later, Pink will change his tune.]

You want to go get a bite? Can't get much, but, hell. Pizza, deli...
invoking: commission. (apprehensive.)

adds to the pile

[personal profile] invoking 2013-06-28 01:13 am (UTC)(link)
[ Tension mounts as Cyd continues to wail without pause. Without any idea what to do, Gil stands there uselessly at first, feeling a mixture of concern and anger that these people -- whoever they are -- are upsetting people like this young woman. ]

Are you alright? [ He didn't have much on him, when he was ported here, being asleep at 4AM after all, but he does have a handkerchief since he fell asleep for a bit with his work trousers on. He offers it to her. ] Here.
egohalfempty: (not in the mood to kill cave trolls.)

SHOVES OFF (no bb please stay i am so sorry for how late this is)

[personal profile] egohalfempty 2013-07-05 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
[ Oh, what a kind gesture! It seems to snap Cyd out of her funk slightly, or at least enough to give Gil a grateful smile (somewhat undercut by the mascara still streaming down her face, but hey, it's better than nothing). ]

Thanks. I - I guess I'm okay. Ish. It could be worse, right, at least we're not dead or something. It's just, I–

[ Small sob. And a BIG, nasty, gross snort into the handkerchief. Hope you weren't... attached to that one, Gil... ] I've never been in a situation this bad before. I've had some pretty crazy things happen to me, but nothing like this.
invoking: commission. (having a fire sale?!)

<3

[personal profile] invoking 2013-07-06 12:22 am (UTC)(link)
[ ... His hands fall back to his side, hoping she doesn't try to return that handkerchief to him. ]

Is this the first time you've been ported to another world? By Lachesis, I mean.