[F1 Re:Esc] Beyond Apocalypse.

edited February 2008 in In-Game
(The rules for this game are also located in the first post of this: http://www.story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=5642)

The rules for this game are simple:
F1 Re: Esc is a game for people who are bored at work with just enough time to read a forum. The goal is to keep your creative juices flowing, shrug off the negativity, and escape from the grind.

No Homework accumulates in this game. Even if there’s a game in progress, all you need to do is read the Seed and the most recent Challenge. As the game goes on, there’s still never an obligation to "catch up" on the thread, or even to Claim a Prize.

The Seed starts the game; after pasting these rules, the OP writes 100 words and then issues a Challenge in 20 words or less. From then on each post should Answer, Cheer, or Claim a Prize.

Answer by writing a response to the latest challenge in 100 words or less. Don't Answer your own Challenge. Try to work in the same spirit as the seed, but there is no wrong way to answer a challenge. In the same post, issue a new challenge in 20 words or less. This challenge doesn't name a specific person, just what you want someone to make.

Cheer by quoting an Answer written since your last post and declare it a Winner. If you've never posted you can declare any Answer a Winner. Spectators and lurkers are welcome to declare winners even if they don’t post themselves!

Claim a Prize after someone has declared you a Winner. You Claim a Prize by writing, in 120 words or less, on any topic you want (but not issue a Challenge). Again, try to work in the same spirit as the seed, and again, there’s no wrong way to do it.

Crossposting with Honor If you find you have cross-posted with someone else, and your challenge appears below theirs, then your challenge is considered honorary – it can only be answered by a winner if they choose to answer it when they Claim a Prize. If you see this it’s a good idea to edit your post and show that your challenge is with honor.
Seed:
Apocalypse just came and left. Most of the earth's population seems to be gone. Food is scarce. It's up to those that are left to secure a future for themselves, and work towards solutions. Will humanity come back from the brink of destruction, through powerful choices? Or will it plummet even farther, driven by anger, spite, greed and desperation?

Challenge:
What caused the apocalypse? What events immediately preceded it? What form did it take?

Comments

  • edited February 2008
    No asteroid, ice age or plague destroyed this world. Simply madness.

    With global food disruptions and local climate events caused refugees to flood from the poorest corners of the globe, while in the richest corners the gap between rich and poor grew uncontrollably. The weak and desperate found solace in a hundred pages called "Apocalypse." Some believe the book was a memetic virus. With brainwashing, deprivation, and secrecy the cult reached critical mass and optimal penetration. Then they struck.

    The ugly truth: The distance between humanity and devastation was measured by a few missed meals and a book.

    Challenge: Make it worse without using biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons.
  • The book challenged its supporters to strike the targets of least resistance first. That started with their children, moved on to their friends, and eventually worked its way towards the wealthy and powerful. This "gutting" of society destroyed the economy and widened the gap between rich and poor even further. Suddenly, money meant nothing, and the only people left to appreciate the fact where those that had never had it, and those that had never been without it.

    Challenge: How were the cultists of Apocalypse stopped before humanity was entirely wiped out.
  • edited February 2008
    The Conflagration was the ultimate gathering of the cultists of the Apocalypse, where, having destroyed the holy sites of other religions, they came to watch the end of the world. The Conflagration was timed to a partial eclipse, and as the eclipse passed above the great gathering at Wyoming, the teeming multitude stared up, expecting the end. Instead, all were struck blind, their corneas burned permanently by the simplest natural optics. Elsewhere, the failure of the Apocalypse returned some to their senses; despair and suicide followed.

    Challenge: Advance the timeline and give an impression of what's happened as major institutions such as nuclear power generators go untended.
  • Twenty years later, people have begun to form communities. These communities usually form around a single asset, and asset protection and acquisition is a huge part of early stage group life. These assets are usually permanent infrastructure that double as resource provider and safehouse, such as a hydroelectric dam or a munitions factory. Once the asset is secured and inhabited, the group starts to realistically look to its own long-term survival, making decisions about how to pursue food sources, building supplies, clean water and news from the rest of the world. Some communities abandon their founding infrastructure, but most use it as a base of operations, sending forward caravans and expedition crews from the central point of their captured buildings.

    Challenge: Your community of thirty-two people has just inhabited an abandoned textiles factory. You lack clean drinking water and a means of external communication. What do you, as community leader, do with the people you have?
  • First we tried to dig wells, but found no water. We sent eight men in eight directions. Two days before our supply ran out, Andrew returned and brought news of a spring. A week later we had water flowing into our compound. Our truck had stopped running, but the radio still worked. Jerry was able to use it to send communications to a nearby compound who say they can sell us seeds. We are meeting with them tomorrow in a valley several kilometers from our factory. We don't want them to know where we are based until we trust them.


    Challenge: How will humanity grow with such tiny colonies? Will there be inbreeding or will young people be sent to live with other tribes? Will textile factory city survive?
  • Humanity will not grow, at least not soon; uncontained pollution and toxic waste leave a resource crunch for the survivors. Inbreeding is still uncommon, as some holdovers from old religions spread out culturally. Young people are often sent on Mekkas, where they must travel long distances to complete a spiritual quest. Mekkas are the main conduit of information in this age. Sadly, the textile factory shall not survive. Something lurks beyond the enclaves, and it wants to kill humanity wherever it can be found.

    Challenge: What evil lurks?
  • The mind waits; the mind hungers. Are you a cockroach? No? Then you will be killed. Unless you are a raccoon or a rat, which have alleged themselves to the mind. Are you a raccoon or a rat? No? Then you will be killed.

    The mind waits; the mind hungers. Between cracks in a collapsed wall. Between corpses in a pile of the dead. Between rotten produce piles at any abandoned supermarket. We are the mind, the cockroach fever, the collective superconscious that eats and breeds and survives radiation poisoning. Radiation only makes us stronger.

    Challenge: How does humanity attempt to interact with or avoid interacting with the devastatingly well-adapted cockroaches' psychic over-mind drive?
  • edited February 2008
    At first they didn't understand the deaths - the bodies stripped of their flesh, ragged organs hanging free, clothes untouched. They hid from the darkness, travelled in groups. They tried to stay safe, and told each other stories of what lurked in the shadows, waiting for them. But they didn't really know. It was a little girl who started it. It had taken her mother, her father, and her little baby brother. She was all alone in the darkness, and she could hear their scuttling legs. That's when she tied her cat to the board, and set it outside her door. It didn't yowl for long, and the little girl lived. When people heard her story, they knew what they had to do. But there were very few animals left alive.

    Challenge: How does the roach-cult grow?
  • Posted By: Simon CAt first they didn't understand the deaths - the bodies stripped of their flesh, ragged organs hanging free, clothes untouched. They hid from the darkness, travelled in groups. They tried to stay safe, and told each other stories of what lurked in the shadows, waiting for them. But they didn't really know. It was a little girl who started it. It had taken her mother, her father, and her little baby brother. She was all alone in the darkness, and she could hear their scuttling legs. That's when she tied her cat to the board, and set it outside her door. It didn't yowl for long, and the little girl lived. When people heard her story, they knew what they had to do. But there were very few animals left alive.
    Winner! This post evokes a sense of mythology, in my mind. The challenge which followed only embellished that. You rock.

    And now I answer your challenge:

    The roach-cult has two mandates: keep ourselves safe, and keep others safe. The former is a stabilizing force, the second is all about growth. The roach-cultists, through a mixture of worship and appeasement, manage to stave off the cockroaches. Whenever they travel, they carry with them enough bait to survive their own roach encounters as well as bail others out of tight spots. Whenever a cultist saves someone from the inevitable feeding, that person is willing to not only accept their strange demeanor, but adopt their survival customs.

    Challenge: But appeasing the great threat would never bring it to a halt. How did humans take the world back from the clutches of the cockroach hive mind?
  • edited February 2008
    Posted By: joepubThe mind waits; the mind hungers. Between cracks in a collapsed wall. Between corpses in a pile of the dead. Between rotten produce piles at any abandoned supermarket. We are the mind, the cockroach fever, the collective superconscious that eats and breeds and survives radiation poisoning. Radiation only makes us stronger.
    Winner. Such a winner. That's postapocalyptic, right there.

    Let's hear that one again.
    Posted By: joepubThe mind waits; the mind hungers. Between cracks in a collapsed wall.
  • Claiming my prize:

    Lucy was afraid. Very afraid. She'd never been alone for this long in her life. The doctors tightened then straps, administered something. Amidst their mumbling, Lucy fell into a deep slumber. This is Cyratech, the last functional research facility in North America. The only one not consumed by the hive menace. It was almost like the cockroaches left it there, hoping they'd discover something.

    Three hours of testing later, and two of the scientists committed suicide. The rest poured themselves gin. The results were undeniable. This little girl wasn't actually human. Things were a lot worse than they seemed. The first thing Lucy saw when she woke up was a bunch of drunk scientists trying to lug a pair of corpses out of the room.
  • Afterwards, they could tell us - why would they let humans live? What was there to gain from us besides meat? The hunger was unabated, the need to feed and breed. Hunger overwhelmed the roach hive mind, even as it saw well enough what became of the places it had gone before. Stripped of all resources, cold, and wasted. Letting humans live was the road to knowledge; how to manage resources. Then, like the rats and racoons before them, the roaches began to change the human psyche. This was the foundation of their collapse.

    Challenge: Describe the decline / fracturing of the roach menace and mention Lucy or her kind.
  • The roaches sought to observe and control the humans. They thought that the humans were in their clutches. Something went wrong. That bizarrely human mix of ingenuity, spite and opportunism sprang up. Humankind developed the rippling machines, and suddenly the cockroaches and rats and little things couldn't harm their territory. The occasional raccoon could still jump a rippling machine's effect, but it wouldn't last long without its mastermind backing it. The rippling machines isolated humans from their roach nemeses, and humans began to develop again. Eventually, historical ignorance would confuse the Conflagration Cult and the Roach Cult as being one and the same. The roaches would be blamed for the Apocalypse, humans would absolve their guilt, and they would move on to develop their societies once again. Except that this time, Lucy was with them.

    Challenge: Explain how Lucy, and her kind, were able to carry the threat of the roach into the newly recovering human age.
  • There weren't many of them, at first, and they kept to themselves. Quiet children. But they grew. They became quiet adults. They didn't talk much, not even to each other. But they found their way into the right positions. Never in front of the crowd, they were always standing just to the side. They made themselves indispensable, but they were never well liked. People looked in their eyes, and they saw something in there. An insect intelligence. Not feeling, not thinking, just acting, like reflex. A complex, unthinking pattern.

    There were disasters. Ripple machines failed. Communities were wiped out. Never in large numbers, never enough to cause a panic. Towns grew in the wilderness, and then were swallowed up again. Years would pass between the events. Human society grew, but always the roaches were there, and they could never quite be beaten. The humans remained isolated from each other, in small, frightened pockets. They were safe, mostly, but they were never powerful. Still, they were safe, and for most people, that was enough. They never realised they were being farmed.

    Challenge: Someone catches on to the roaches' scheme. Who are they and what do they do?
  • His name was Overpass Seven-Suns-Reynold. He was just another kid in another backwoods town. Caravans came through pretty often, telling stories about earthquakes, nuclear upsets, and... of course... the roach threat. Overpass was a keen and innately curious child. He saw through the roach threat within his own community, willing himself to do what others wouldn't: accept that it was human error that had gotten them were they were today. Responsibility could not be shifted.

    When he identified a roach person, he would begin testing them. Calling them names. Throwing rocks at them. Taking them to court on false molestation charges. Setting their houses on fire. He would test to see what they would endure and what would force them out of the woodwork. And in that, he identified their strengths and their weaknesses.

    They feared courage.

    Challenge: Detail Overpass's involvement in the Blood Fire episodes of New Boston.
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