Wednesday, April 8, 2015

wideawake ep1 : Bliss Stage


Episode One
"Jazz do as you're told"

Bliss Stage

March 29, 2015:
Older people begin to fall asleep.  At first it targets only adults.  But as time passes, the weird sleep-sickness starts hitting the eldest, and move closer towards the youngest.   Oddly, people being to realize the bodies are not dying.  It is almost as if they were falling into a self-sustaining comatose state.

The eldest among the children remaining pool their skills and strength to begin the creation of places called Gardens, where all those who are asleep are moved to for safe keeping.  While the bodies do not die.

It is around this time, as well, people notice an incoming comet which suddenly comes to a full stop in the atmosphere.  The meteor becomes the focal point of panic and fear.  The popular term for it becomes "Wormwood."

All makeshift governments are now run by the children.  Nationalism (or at least a twisted sense of it) becomes a rallying point for many.  Race becomes a reason to distrust others.  Violence and desperation rise in frequency as some struggle to maintain a sense of order, while others embrace the supposed freedom they now have.   Reports have come in, of the likeness of these aliens, and of how beautiful they look.  They talk of golden skin, of beautiful faces, of perfect bodies.

They whisper of how those who had fallen asleep have slipped into Bliss.   That was the word.  The sleepers, they said, were happy.  The sleepers were safe.  And there was no denying that all who slept had somehow become... immortal.  They did not need to eat.  They did not suffer pain (or at least showed no sign of it).  They lived on, longer than life expectancies.  They ceased suffering from their illnesses.   They just... lived on.   In Bliss.

Then the drones came.  Great mechanical devices that hunted any of the humans that remained awake.  Their appearances varied.  Some were machines that resembled vehicles.  Others appeared in humanoid shapes.  And others, bestial.   But with their appearance, the tenuous order and systems that the children have formed fall apart.  Survival becomes the point of existence.  Not order.  Not unity.

Many dive into the darkness, hiding into the depths of cities to find sanctuary from the drones.  Those that do not... die.

The sole surviving awake adult with the help of a group of children succeed in the impossible: they had successfully brought down one of the remote drones.  It was the first victory against the aliens that lived only in the world of dreams.  And the aliens were now called the Rakshaka.

From the debris and scavenged technology, the group succeeds in a breakthrough: adapting the technology to work with a teenager's physiological and psychological makeup.  The device, after initially having disastrous consequences, eventually successfully allows its teenage pilots to project a presence into the dream world.  The call this an ANIMa.

The fight against the Rakshaka is now possible.

The dreamworld begins to leak into the real world.  In places where there are water, solid light images of those already in Bliss can sometimes be seen.  At times, one can see glimpses of those in the Bliss happily living wonderful lives in some other place.  At other times, more terrifyingly, there would be doppelgangers who would call out to loved ones, "Come here.  Join us." And those who would touch them would Bliss out.

Now, deep beneath Akihabara Station in Japan, the same resistance group has now gathered dozens of other survivors and created a sanctuary for what may just be the last remaining bastion of mankind.  In this final outpost, a council has been set up to maintain some semblance of civilization.  Solar panels and water-turbine generators are set up to gather energy whenever possible.  Food supplies are increased through hydroponic farming and the successful creation of underground animal farms.  And the original group of children, now trained to use the Creches, prepare for what they know is to come.

The final fight for survival has begun.

The Authority Figure: Chris
Painfully keeps himself awake somehow, but he has yet to show anyone what he does.
Seemingly always dehydrated.  Now 51 years old and the last still awake adult in the world.

The Children:Takeshi, the Veteran (17y).  Callsign: Darkwing.
Anchored by Krishelle (15y), who is tempestuous.

Christine, the Hedonist (16y).  Callsign: Animus One
Anchored by Miranda (12y), who is Saavy.

Katie (13y), the Innocent Sweetheart.  Callsign: Unicorn
Anchored by Jake (16y), who is Kind.

Kyle, the Rising Hero.  Callsign: Archer
Anchored by Gerard (16y), who is Comforting.

The Players:
Marc plays both Takeshi and Jake.
Meloy plays both Christine and Krishelle
Che plays both Katie and Gerard.
Rocky plays Kyle and Miranda.

The Supporting Cast: 
Mary Anne (16y) who handles one of the hydroponic farms.  Chipper personality.
Jude (15y) who works at Medical and tends to be pretty smart.
Pickles (11y) who is Christine's younger brother and tends to act crazy.
Kouki (14y) who is Takeshi's brother, and its a mecha otaku obsessed with technology.

The group's Hopes:
(Winning the War)
Defeat the Alien Leader
(Understand the World)
What's up with the Bliss
(Future of Humanity)
Better Civilization

The windup siren blares.  The four pilots hear the siren and rush to the Creches.  The base is threatened by Rakshaka scoutships closing in and the pilots hurry to launch and shut them down before they get too close.  Chris tells them that Archer succeded in an earlier mission and has brought back intel from the enemy, but they've noticed his escape.  Darkwing, Archer, Unicorn and Animus One launch immediately and set out to bring down all the scouts before any broadcast signals can be released pinpointing their sanctuary.  There are four incoming patrols of aliens and each pilot is assigned a compass point to bring down.    With the Creche's activated, elevator music plays to help calm down the pilots.

Each pilot quickly dispatches their set of incoming Rakshaka scoutships, save for Christine who falls into some complications.  

Darkwing's ANIMa is a black figure with violet details.  An extra pair of legs of satyr-like appearance grant him added mobility.  A gigantic eye with veins and two antenna flanking it serves as his sensor array.  And his main weapon is a spear of longinus, with intricate detailing.  Darkwing closes in on the four targets, and Krishelle constantly throws instructions on what Takeshi should do, like some backseat pilot.  With the weaponized spear forged from his relationship with his brother, Kouki, Darkwing yells at her to shut up and let him fight.  The scouts emit a low humming sound as they approach, with these laser scanner sensors swiping over the area.   Darkwing ducks under the beams and starts taking them down one by one.  "That was close, Takeshi.  Good thing you listened to me," Krishelle remarks.  She forcibly disengages the mobility array, despite Darkwing's protests.  Thankfully, that does not hinder him from completing the mission.

Unicorn's ANIMa is a pink and white figure with silver starts.  A pair of rose-colored sunglasses adorns her headpiece as a sensor array.  A magic wand like weapon topped with a star and globe is her main weapon, which fires out laser breams when engaged.   Unicorn faces two incoming scouts.  She fires lasers from her Magic Star Wand born from her feelings for Kyle.  She leaps and twirls with each strike, disabling the scouts with ease.  Jake fawns over her success, and already is thinking of how to celebrate her success.  She, however, finds herself thinking of a moment of curiosity of what it may feel like to be scanned.  Jake disengages the sensory array, telling her she doesn't need it against enemies this close. "You can do it!"    The mission succeeds.   Jake congratulates her for the win and Unicorn thanks him and says, "You are like the daddy I never had!"  Jake feels a single teardrop fall from his eye.

Animus One has a burgandy ANIMa that reminds her of fine wine.  Her main weapon is a bow and arrow that launches heart-shaped tips.  The scouts close in her direction, and Miranda reminds her that she cannot afford to miss.  Animus One admits it is hard not to gyrate while anticipating an attack.  Some past trauma, however, makes it harder for her synch with the ANIMa properly.  The arrows are launched, and hit each scout ship, then ricochet to hit the others as well.  But before they could relish the success, Miranda notices that one of the scout ships was transmitting that very moment it was destroyed.  "Oh.  Well, you've handled this wave pretty well.  You should be readily for the next one," Miranda casually says.  Animus One feels a brush of Terror as a heavier reinforcement comes into view: a larger vessel emerging from a sudden mirror window.   Miranda quickly asks Chris what the vessel is.  He turns to look and tells her, "Pull her back.  We will have to have Takeshi to fix this problem. Tell her she's aborted."  Miranda tells Animus One to pull back but she insists she has a huge ass arrow aimed already.  But Animus One instead "accidentally" launches the arrow and it thankfully strikes the heavy scout.  The scout fires its own short range Medium lasers.  The blast strikes Animus One, and the strike causes a feedback loop in the Creche.  Animus One's Terror intensifies and she almost loses cohesion in her ANIMa!  But the heavy scout crashes into the ground.  Animus One presses the abort button.  Miranda is already trying to slide her out of the Creche.  Animus One's ANIMa nearly broke!

Archer pilots a white ANIMa with blue and red accents.  A cape formed by ribbons trail behind him. His main weapon is a nested crossbow cannon which assembles out of his forearm when needed.   "You can do this, Rockstar," Gerard tells Archer as he updates him on the readings.  The scouts close in, swooping close in a low position parallel to each other.   Archer banks left and takes out the first one on the left.  The second one closes in and slows down to maneuver.  It seems to be receiving a transmission.  Gerard calls for Chris for guidance but he tells him he's busy and they have Animus One to thank for that.  A mirror window appears, and the scout is about to jump through!  Knowing he can't let it get through, Archer opens fire at the thing.  Believing he can do this blind, Gerard cheers him on.   Archer feels a Stress build on his relationships to Gerard and Kouki.  The scout is destroyed halfway through the mirror window.  The other half tears into being in the real world and hits the ground outside.    A zoom in reveals the scout ship's tech could be salvaged for an additional Creche.

Scanners show all clear.

Interludes: Takeshi's Trust Building with Krishelle

Takeshi flares up at Krishelle, telling her he needs a new Anchor.  She watches him walk away, but schemes to make things work out between them again.  He senses this wasn't the first time she's done this.  He feels he could be much better if he was not weighed down by a deadbeat Anchor.    Krishelle goes to Kouki instead, convincing him to work on Christine's ANIMa in order to misdirect Takeshi's frustrations to focus on his brother instead.   She then begins telling the other Anchors to stay away from Takeshi ("Give him some room.") and prepares to step in at the moment he's alone.  Takeshi realizes she's the main torso of his ANIMa and while he doesn't like what she is doing, he knows he is stuck with her for now.  He thought she would be a rock, which was why he chose her in the first place.  He visits Mary Anne and learns she's working on a new strain.  She grabs a nearby basket, and swings Takeshi an apple.  "Talk to you later. Don't forget to close the door."

He visits Chris and tells him how he feels his Anchor is holding him back.  He stresses that no one understands that when one is out there, he has to trust his instincts.  Chris explains the fact she's not afraid of him is why she was chosen to work with him.  "The crap she throws at you is probably what has helped you stay alive longer than you realize.  Just think about it."

Eventually Takeshi and Krishelle have a moment drinking beer as they watch the colony from a ledge.

Interludes: Christine's Trauma Relief

The Terror fades as she exists the Creche, turning into Trauma that she has to deal with.   Hoping to let go of the Trauma, she showers away the blue goop and finds Kouki at the locker room.  He looks way in panic realizing she's in a towel.  But she encourages him to show them... quite directly.  She leans against the young boy as he shows his sketched ideas.  She invites him to go to her room and show the artwork there instead.   Having cuddled before, Christine changes quickly, having long mastered the art of doing so in a quick slick move.

At her room, the two pour over the sketches he has created for the ANIMa improvements.   "Maybe you're right about the bow and arrow.." Christine tells Kouki as she cuddles against him and this causes him to panic and rush to the restroom.  For Christine, however, she feels satisfied with the sense of domination and control.

Interludes: Katie's Intimacy Building 

Katie and Jake celebrate, spraying goop around as they laugh about their success.  She tells Jake that she got this recipe from Christine of brownies that are made with grass and invites him to try it with her.  She runs off, still in her ANIMa suit, for her dorm.  He chases after her.

As she cooks, he asks her if she really sees him as a dad.  She tells him she does because he is so nice to her and always takes care of her.  She admits she does not remember her dad but imagines what Jake does is probably what her father would do.  Katie doesn't notice that Jake doesn't really taste the brownies.  Katie stuffs them into her mouth and eats them with a smile.   The moment is bittersweet for Jake, as this isn't quite what he wants, but at least they are having a moment.

Interludes: Kyle's Stress Relief

Gerard congratulates Kyle and asks if he wants some Joes (And I mean, coffee).  Kyle, however admits he feels the need to find Kouki instead.  He discovers the young boy isn't in his dorm, so he hits the noodle shop to check if he's there, but nope.  Almost giving up, Kyle ends up seeing Kouki on the walk back to the dorm.   He asks Kouki if he's had a chance to look at the Scout, but Kouki admits Chris hasn't given them the go signal to do so.  Kouki shifts the conversation to girls and asks if they are like that.  Kyle admits probably just Christine.  Kyle steers Kouki to focus on the Scouts and he stares what he can about them; about the two possible modes, scan or transmit.  Striking quickly might be best to shut them down when not sure.  He admits most scouts only have Light lasers and are not as dangerous as others.   When the discussion shifts back to Christine, Kouki wonders if she was getting close to him only because she liked his brother.  But Kyle counters that Christine probably is just really "nice" to everyone.

"Isn't that what you call a slut?" Kouki wonders.   "I don't think that is how it works," Kyle counters, "So maybe not."

Days Later

Chris calls them all.  The Pilots and Anchors gather to hear his update.  They gathered the ruins and reveals to them that they were able to recover a map.  He pulls a whiteboard over to show them the map, but farm animals have been added to the bottom. "Pickles!" Chris hollers and the young boy emerges from the shadows, laughing.  Waving at his sister as he runs out, Pickles runs smack into the door.  The others just opt to ignore him, even as slinks away embarrassed.  Chris tells them the scout ship was transmitting to this location, and Mary Anne explains that there used to be a Museum there.  Being close to a man-made bay that has long dried up.  There are times, after rainfall, when the basin is filled with water though.

Nothing has triggered the colony's defense systems in the last few days.  Chris, however, suspects that the Rakshaka are still probably trying to triangulate where the colony is based on the scout ships.  Chris needs two pilots to investigate the place, and two others to remain and protect the colony if need be.  The Mission is to be a quick Reconnaissance Mission:   Fly In, Gather Information, Get Out.  The Mission is meant to last only fifteen minutes, tops.   Chris thinks Takeshi should stay for base defense, and when he insists he's done such a mission before, Krishelle weighs in that Chris is right given how Takeshi has been reckless and disorganized lately.  Kyle is assigned the Mission and he admits he feels he was to blame for the scouts tracking them in the first place.  Chris asks if Takeshi really wants to do this, and he reminds him he's the most qualified pilot.  Krishelle counters that qualified does not mean capable.  Gerard reminds Krishelle not to push him too hard.  Chris admits Katie can't handle a Mission this stealthy.  "I can't have you in danger," Chris then tells Christine.  Christine shrugs (although deep inside feels thrilled Chris does care for her above the others).

Takeshi makes one thing clear.  He tells Krishelle that his instincts have kept him alive this long. "I'll follow whatever reasonable thing you say, but when it comes down to the fight, I will go with my gut."  Krishelle however knows deep down when it comes to that, she will deactivate what she feels she must.

Katie and Christine then are introduced to two newcomers.  A muscular jock steps in with a brooding woman.  Christine looks at the guy and wonders if she had slept with him before.  But then she realizes she knows him because he was the guy who used to be scrawny and short years back.  The girl, on the other hand, has thick glasses, a pony-tail, and seems shy.  Chris admits they don't have a fifth Creche yet, but the two will have to train in case any of them get decommissioned.  "This does mean while the others are in the mission, I'll need the two of you to alternate with them in the Creche.  Katie is upset.  Kouki asks which one is the pilot.  Katie thinks its the girl. Christine thinks its the guy and tells her the bet is up.   "We don't know yet," the brooding girl admits, "We just sort of figured we should try."   Katie tells them she knows they will do well.

Chris tells them the two dreamt they were piloting an ANIMa.   "They just met today, but they saw each other in their dream."  Takeshi wonders if they were near any bodies of water.  The guy admits his father used to work in the Navy.  The girl admits she doesn't like water.  "I see things in water and they always disturb me."

As the meeting comes to a close, Chris has another fit.  He hits the ground, convulsing, and Christine rushes to help him.  He coughs against Christine's shoulder and calms down and tells them he will be fine.  But Christine notices there's a small splotch of blood on her shoulder.    The jock as Jake if Chris and Christine are an item.  Jake admits its hard to say, since she's friendly with a lot of guys.  "Girls are like that," the jock admits.  "Not all girls," Jake counters.

"That's why I gave up on girls," the jock admits.

"I've heard of her," the girl with glasses mutters, "I hate her.  She's only friendly until she doesn't need you anymore.  Then she breaks your heart and makes sure you never forget."

"Oh great," Miranda mutters, "Another cheerful person."

The girl looks back at Miranda and hisses, "Whoopie."

"So Takeshi," the jock asks Katie, "He's the Veteran?"  Katie admits that he is.  "Then that would make Kyle... the cute one," he concludes.    Katie feels Mister Lazlo is cuter though, and she shows him her teddybear.   The jock smiles.


The retrieval team sees something outside, in the horizon, and hurries back to the base to inform the Council that the Missions have to be cancelled.  "There are storm clouds coming.  Heavy rain is coming."

[to be continued]

Ending Theme Song for game:
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