The ‘Arcade’ is located just inside the North Sprawl, in a building that was abandoned long ago. From the outside, it looks cheery enough – given the surrounds. At the entrance, balloons are being handed out by a grinning clown and there are brightly coloured decorations.
People have been seeing the adverts for weeks – even when they weren’t expecting to. Digital billboards, emails, even direct messaging in feeds.
//Good old fashion fun//
//Put your cares away and just enjoy yourself for a few hours with the fun of yesteryear//
On entering the guests are greeted with the a very ‘retro’ looking arcade and music playing. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-diB65scQU) On the video screens around the place, the original music video is also playing.
A woman with brightly coloured hair greets everyone as they enter and hands them their tickets. “You’ll be needing these to have the time of your life…” she says. “Just through that door…”
The floor under their feet pulses different colours in time with the music. Everything seems ok doesn’t it?
Emi Long is suspicious about the whole thing. She doesn’t have her SHIELD badge on, but she’s kind of going in with the mindset that she’s going to see what’s going on. Going out there, she inhales sharply, and goes to steop in. DRessed casually, red skirt and white blouse, with white leggings underneath to keep from freezing outside. Taking her ticket, she looks at it closely really studying it.
Kenlaris is wearing his usual t shirt and jeans, hiking boots and brown leather bomber jacket. He’s eyeing the clown with a slightly creeped out expression. Sometimes he misses having his pockets filled with grenades. Not that he’d use them here! Just the reassuring weight of the explosives. That is what he misses. The curly haired man is sure his new bosses would not approve though and so doesn’t carry them around everywhere these days. The song is soothing at least and he perks up and starts looking around. Maybe there won’t be too many of those clowns in here. Ken tucks the tickets in the pocket of his worn grey shirt and smiles. “Thank you.” Maybe they’ve got some shooting games. Maybe he can win a giant teddy bear! He’ll give it to Samantha if he does. Anonymously though!
Raquel was curious when she got what amounted to spam emails- that never happened to her. The only marketing emails she got had to do with new products from Worthington- that someone else had been sending marketing material to her was most unusual. And that the area in question it was advertising was in the sprawl was curious to say the least.
Raquel steps in, though, and looks over at the woman with brightly colored hair. Her eyes narrow. Something was off about her- and it only took a moment before evolution took a hint from the unease that Raquel had felt stepping into the ‘Arcade’. “Curious.” she mentions softly, as her senses expand- organic brain activity suddenly registered in her senses through a few pores that had suddenly developed along her brow. “Which corp owns this business?” she asks of the ticket-giver.
Dance stepping up to the place, Shadow… /Ruby/ has a wide, cheery smile on her face, she has a small messenger bag on her side. Full of heavy foods, ones that have lots of carbs, as well as several pop bottles. The girl looks like she is providing all the food in the arcade, as she immediately pulls out some triple chocolate chip cookies after entering, looking about the place with wide eyes. Eyes almost comically wide, she looks at her ticket, even if she doesn’t like the music overly much. So headphones are on now as she moves easily towards one of the arcade games, a warm, dark sweater on under her ‘lil red’ cloak. Nodding her head in time to the music, she spies Emi momentarily but doesn’t go and bother her. Why should she, when there are so many games she can try? Or at least, she is going to, but she hears, right before she puts on the head phones… Something about a corp owning this business. Frowning to herself, she stays by the wall inside, not too far from the exit, and hopes she can hear something… Maybe she can, but probably not, even as she leans against the wall and makes sure there are no ‘no smoking’ signs
It would probably attract unnessesary attention to have blue hair after a certain recent event. But Kani just so happens to have a baseball cap, which is awfully convinient given the circumstances. The curiousity remains though, and the “Arcade” seems -too- well prepared. So there’s only one way to find out. But maybe Kani didn’t plan his outfit that well. The fairly new baseball cap worn backwards does not mesh well with the torn clothing he’s wearing. In this outfit, Kani steps in, takes the ticket, and also takes a look around.
Places like these are pretty rare nowadays, and so of course it begs to be checked out. Kara looks up at the front of the arcade, or rather //The Arcade// as she steps towards it. Her long black hair’s been pulled back into a ponytail, sunglasses perched over her nose and a purple scarf pulled up over her chin. She’s dressed in a black jacket and jeans tucked into calf-high black leather boots.
“Thank you~” she says almost as though trying to match the enthusiasm of the woman handing out tickets once she steps inside, but even then Kara takes her time, the lights reflecting off her sunglasses as she looks down to appreciate the colorful floor. “….I kinda want one of these for my place.”
The woman with brightly coloured hair smiles just as brightly at Raquel, nodding her head at the question. “Arcadia Inc is the owner of this business, Ma’am” she says politely. That’s the business name, not the Corporation – but that’s not so unsurprising really. Many businesses are owned under layers of business obfuscation. But it’s an answer that she can use later.
On initial observations there’s nothing to be worried about here. After all, the human populace seeks outlets to forget they are The Last and losing ones self in entertainment has become a past time. Entertainment or drugs.
“Right through the doors … please…” There’s no delay as the group is ushered through.
On one side of the are pinball machines – where they found those is anyone’s guess. Closer to the centre is a shooting arcade with little metal ducks cycling along the conveyor just tempting someone to ‘take a shot’.
Next to that is a ‘Whack A Mole’ game, mallets ready for someone to try their luck and on the other side of the room are old style arcade computer games which emit a ‘wokka wokka wokka’ sound.
It’s all so tempting – but which one do they choose first?
It seems like they’re not going to be a given a chance.
The ground tilts and members of the group may feel a sensation of vertigo. When the feeling clears, they’re no longer in the room, though the strains of the song they heard on entering can be heard. Instead, they seem to be in individual ‘rooms’, separated by a clear barrier from each other. Whilst they can’t reach the next person, they can see them and the person beyond and the rooms seem to be laid out in a 3 by 3 grid – leaving empty rooms on that grid.
Music starts playing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=serV18MirGg – and Emi feels the floor under her move, pushing her up to a hole in the ceiling. As her head clears it, something akin to a giant mallet falls towards her head.
The others – who WILL see this – feel the platforms under them vibrate and hum as if getting ready to lift the next … mole?
Emi Long wasn’t the most observant person, having been engrossed in the ticket. But fortunately the intern has some athletic ability, so when she gets pushed, she reacts. With a shriek, she ducks, putting her arms over her head, and ducking right into the hole, and falling to the side, not getting smushed!
“Ack!” Well, this is… Annoying. Looking around hurriedly, Ruby seems utterly confused for a moment… Until she see’s Emi go up. Taking two steps forward, she leaps a hell of a lot higher then she should be able to… Just to smack into a cover that she hadn’t seen. Despite the prodigal leap, she starts falling back to the ground, apparently having not noticed the cover until its too late, and falling back to the ground. Yet, with a surprising degree of flexibility, she lands on her palms and snaps herself back up to her feet with a easy twist before looking about. Questions, questions. Where does the answer lay… Oh, and she waves cheerfully to Emi.
After seeing the shooting game Ken is picturing the most adorable most fluffy and soft bear and a lion maybe for Kaylee, or a wolf.. would they have those? He’ll have to see and- Kenlaris suddenly finds himself feeling dizzy and puts a hand to his head closing his eyes. Weird. That doesn’t happen to him what.. and then he’s standing in another room looking around at people and a giant club thing trying to bop some woman and mercenary seems horribly confused. “What the hell?!” Not very quick on the uptake, is he? He frowns as he eyes the others and the rooms. What is going on? Where did the games go?! “Clowns. Never trust clowns.” He mutters fretfully. He’s not worried for himself but other people might get hurt!
What…just happened? Somewhat discombobulated by the sudden shift of her surroundings, Kara stumbles and finds herself against a wall. Four walls surround her, to be exact, and she’s pretty sure that hadn’t been the case a moment ago. Frowning, she pulls off her shades. “What the…”
She squints, pressing her face up near the wall as she looks through it at the others. A girl gets launched upwards towards the ceiling’s opening, leaving Kara to gape as she steps back from the wall. Uh-oh.
She turns about and then very nearly loses her balance again as the floor beneath her begins to tremble.
The ground starts shaking and Kani can’t help but doubt if trying to keep his powers hidden is worth what he’s going through for this. Kani finds himself in a room. Kani does not like being cut off from the sky. He looks up. o O (Oh. Um, maybe I should try to -not- crash into that.) Fortunately, Kani can fire powerful blasts, which can help him blast his way out. o O (So much for hiding powers.) *whoosh* Or not. Hmm…
Raquel takes a moment- she doesn’t fret or freak out as she begins to draw in her surroundings. Her breathing is slow, easy, as she just calmly takes stock in her new situation. Emotionally she’s cool as a cucumber- freaking out now wouldn’t be advantageous to her continued survival. The platform is vibrating. There is an energy cover above her.
“Everyone stay calm.” she states loudly, “There is a way out of this.” she continues, then whispering to herself. “Robotic bitch…” she grumbles.
Well this is a pickle, isn’t it? There are clear but obvious covers over the ‘holes’ in the rooms. Careful observation will reveal they flicker just before they open to let the next ‘mole’ pop through. What might also become obvious is that the platforms they’re standing on are circular, not square and there’s //just enough// space to get off them – if a person is careful and doesn’t mind scraped shins.
When Kara presses her face against the wall she can see the grid has definitive boundaries. The walls between each are clear but they are walls and for a moment she seems to sink into it – that is until she falls backwards. On the outside edges, she can see the edge of what looks to be a moving sidewalk and giant metal, flat, ducks flowing along it.
As Raquel takes a breath and looks around she may see Kara do that sinking that and her physiology might start to respond.
The platforms beneath everyone rumble again and this time, Kani is lifted and then Shadow in quick succession.
The mallet falls … again.
Falling as she suddenly goes on a platform that goes /up/, Ruby gets back up to her feet and then looks up, staring at the mallet, before she takes several steps back. All the way to one of the ends of the platform. Rocking back and forth momentarily, she waits for her moments… And then, in the split second before the mallet is about to hit the platform, she /moves/. Fast enough to cover a dozen ‘feet’ in the time it takes to blink, she jumps up and onto the mallet, sprinting off it… And then all of a sudden she’s normal sized, being approached by a brightly colored hair robot!… “Oops.” She mutters, before she looks at the arcade machine she just escaped from. Bad idea forming….
When the floor dips beneath her feet, Kara falls. The shifting lighting and the surreal ambiance isn’t helping at all. What did they get thrown into? Was this all a simulation?
Shaking her head, she tries to gather herself mentally and back on her feet, reaching out to the wall for support. She knows what she’d caught a glimpse of beyond, but it still doesn’t make sense to her. And then she stares as she sees movement, one of the others caught within the space, managing to get clear of the mallet and escape. Grow…
A frown creases her brow. Okay, that much is clear. Get out of this box, get out of this game.
Emi Long squeaks again. She doesn’t know where she is, or what’s going on. She just knows she’s being moved around somehow. But seeing a room, she shrieks again, and dives. Trying to turn into a rock and hide in the corner. She fails to turn into a rock, but she does manage to hide in the corner, curling up tight and continuing to try.
Kenlaris is disoriented and flailing about as the floor shakes and rumbles and geeze he doesn’t wanna see people get squished or whatever is going on here. He’s definitely regretting his lack of explosives. He tries to get off the platform and out of the way ignoring any discomfort it might cause to get down. Then he’s going to try to get his phone out and if he can, contact SHIELD and call for help. This is not exactly the calming evening he’d had in mind. What is even going to say?? “Heeeelp I’m being attacked by some weird room!” How did you get there Ken? “Oh I dunno, I was daydreaming and..” His shoulders slump. Maybe he can try something else. But what? This is not the kind of situation he excels in, where there is no clear enemy and no one he trusts to give him orders. Hey wait did that lady just get out?!
Raquel’s body has already started to change and move- to some it was rather odd to watch as her legs bend back on themselves and lengthen while she doesn’t actually seem to change height. And then, she jumps- a truly powerful jump that would guide her very far and quite quickly upward towards the hole above her head.
Gray eyes flicking towards the floor again, Kara moves closer to the overlap as whatever cover above remains closed. Only subtly darker then, but perhaps she can work with it. She looks up and through the wall at the neighboring cubical as her features begin to fade out into blackness, and she sinks into the shadows of her space, seeping through the wall and into the shadows of the neighboring one.
Kani_Aik is hit by the mallet. Mallets hurt. But he quickly returns to the air, because the standing on the vibrating ground is quite disorienting, and Kani doesn’t like being disoriented. Since brute force obviously isn’t a solution here, Kani takes a look around to come up with a plan. It looks to him like Raquel might already have a plan. Kani watches to see what it is.
As Ruby aims for that Mallet, she succeeds and her leap takes her through the portal into what looks like a cavernous area with //enormous// machines. It’s a fleeting impression and everything around her seems to shrink. And she finds herself back in the Arcade where they started, the woman with brightly coloured hair and even brighter smile bearing down on her. “Oh no, you can’t leave. We’re just started … ” she trills, throwing a punch in the shifters direction.
The mallet is dropped and topples precariously to the side of the game where Kani and Emi are trapped. There’s //crack// and spidery lines form on the walls of their compartments. Escape … maybe imminent.
Raquels leap takes her to the top of her room and her evolution allows her to hang on the wall. She can see the energy barrier as see the faint flickers of light through it. Then she hears it – the sound of her platform as it rises. The barrier flickers again and … disappears. Can she take advantage of this?
Kara slides through the wall into Kens compartment, where the Merc appears to be cowering. If a certain biochem saw him, she’d roll her eyes and bullying him into doing something – but she’s not here. It’s just Kara and the platform starting to rise – the energy barrier flickers out as they reach the top – they’re so close as well.
The music that had blaring during all this time fades out and everyone left on that grid hears the //thump// //thump// of what sounds like giant feet. For Ruby… it sounds like she’s been joined by two more.
Well, it’s not //outside// but at least she’s getting somewhere. Maybe.
Kara peers at Kenlaris whose compartment she’s just slipped into. She reaches over to tap him on the shoulder. “Hey guy. You gonna pack up and move in here or what?” she asks, brow arching before she thumbs upward towards the hole just as their platform begins to rise. Bending her knees a bit to keep steady, she looks up again.
“Get ready…” she prompts him.
Seeing someone galvanizes Ken into action or at least the attempt of it. That thumping doesn’t sound good. Kenlaris frowns. With Kara here he’s focused on getting out now. He frowns and eyes the platform. With a yell Ken starts punching and kicking it, as he moves up it, attempting to destroy it enough to find a way out or mess it up enough to stop it. He can almost hear someone else chiding him for his inaction once Kara speaks. He knows it’s his overactive imagination but still agrees with the now familiar voice in his head. “Sorry.” He tells her. “I’m freaked out! Just uh. Don’t my bosses Lady, Please!?” Then he can see the walls cracking and some kind of barrier opening.. “I’m gonna ki-uh.. arrest whoever is doing this.” He mutters.
Emi Long practically falls out when she pushes on the rock, having just barely noticed that there was an opportunity there. Hooray for taking action. Rolling and landing on her knee, she gets up, realzing what’s going on. “Who did this,” she calls out, her words bolder than her tone. Apparently not the only person with that thought.
Kani_Aik flies out the machine. Freedom. He is pretty happy about that. “So all I had to do was shoot a different wall,” Kani comments “and I didn’t have to go through all that?” And there seems to be a fight going on right now. Which means Kani doesn’t have any time to try to figure out what just happened.
“Oh dear.” Cheerful colors looks angry. And then the punch causes Ruby to try evasive maneuvers… which, in this case, means she simply leaps /up/, flipping over the robot, getting hit slightly in her left foot as she does a picture perfect side flip, landing on the ground behind the android and spinning in a short, quick circle, sweeping her right leg into the robots. It doesn’t go down, but one can possibly hear the impact of the girls foot on the machine, as well as a ruby with a small, cutesy scowl on her face, blowing her hair out of the way of her eyes.
Upward and outwards- Raquel’s first leap brings her to the ceiling-wall border and she sticks there not unlike a tree frog. Her fingers bulged at the fingertip as she begins to crawl out of the flickering energy barrier and out towards whatever lies beyond. Once she manages to get past, she’d jump onward- outward. Towards wherever it is lies beyond the opening above, a hand in her jacket to ready her pistol.
The WhackAMole machine lies on the floor, a ruined mess as the ‘moles’ escape one by one, or maybe that’s two by two. Kenlaris has to catch Ruby as they jump, the womans foot slipping; Kani and Emi showered in chunks of plassteel.
Raquel too emerges from the machine, a well timed jump just as the walls of the game collapse in.
It’s not quite over yet. As Ruby engages the bright coloured hair Android, the rest of the group are confronted with two more Androids. These are your standard ‘service’ type ‘droids, well they would be if it wasn’t for the weapons that are mounted on their arms.
Energy blasts spray the room, particularly in Kenlaris’ direction but also Kani and Emi. Seems the host doesn’t want them to get free – but really, after that experience, is this a true obstacle?
Ruby’s leg sweep connects with the Android, causing her to list and her next swing to go wide. Leaving her wide open to whatever comes next.
“Try not to damage the memory unit in that droid!” Raquel shouts out over towards Ruby, as she racks her pistol and starts to walk towards one of those energy-blasting machines with literally zero self-preservation in her stark-white eyes. Eyes which reflect the blasts and room around her as her body shifts towards getting ready to absorb energy blasted towards her. As she walks, she fires- the trigger snatched again and again. Her legs have already shifted back to their regular form- better for moving forward.
Emi Long bites her lip, and gathers herself. STaring at the Android, she realizes this is something comfortable for her. It’s a machine. “It’s just a machine,” she calls out, almost in a giggle. Then she leans forward, hoping her powers won’t fail her this time,, to shoot her hand in and hit that toggle.
Machine. MACHINES. All his recent confusion comes back Kenlaris shoves it aside to be replaced with rage. These ones are not people. And now they are shooting at them! He sets Ruby down and then whispers to Kara. “They can’t kill me I’ll try to distract them. Then he charges the closest droid, waving his arms in the air and screaming. It looks nuts but he’s hoping to draw all their fire. He’ll survive it. Serve as a distraction for the others to take down the bots. Huh. Order Lady seems to have a good point about the Memory Unit but Ken doesn’t have a gun anyway. Would ripping it’s head off, if he’s strong enough damage that? Geeze if Kaylee hears about this he’s never gonna get a break from learning about this stuff. “Over here assbots! I’m gonna get you!” Kenlaris yells. Then he launches himself at the nearest droid without any fear. This is gonna hurt.
Kara murmurs a thanks to Kenlaris as she’s helped out, and all at once everything’s normal-sized once again. Blinking at the man, she watches as he goes running off towards…oh gosh, what kind of maniac is he? Perfect for a madhouse like this, she concludes as she gets to her feet.
With shots of some sort flying everywhere, Kara dashes for cover, ducking her head. She glances in Raquel’s direction, flinching as she sees the woman get hit…? Except she’s still moving. “Wow…” Well, that’s a handy ability. Not something she can do nor will she attempt to try as she just wants to keep out of the line of fire. But she’s not one to just sit still either. Her eyes scan her surroundings before she once again ‘steps’ into the shadows, and the room is rife with them, shifting as they are in the lights. She reemerges behind the attacking androids, swinging around to deliver a roundhouse kick in the side of one while they’re distracted.
Blaster fire and a crazy guy yelling at them. Boy, lets go to an amusement park… Snapping up to her feet, she plants both of hers firmly against the ground before Ruby slams both her palms into the bot’s back, slamming it forward by several inches before she turns and sprints towards the closest exit she can find. Window, door, a particularly weak wall… She isn’t picky when it comes to picking between putting her face back together, and a couple bruises. And then she remembers… “Not my brownies! Nooooo!” Because food is neccassary, even as she exits like a bullet…. She can get more pizza later, maybe
Kani_Aik doesn’t like being imprisoned. Nor does he like the droids involved with imprisoning him. So Kani does the thing he is good at doing. He sends a blast of air at them. The first convienent thing is that the androids are a lot more vulnerable after his new companions knocked them together like that. The second convinient thing is that they are far better targets that what he was shooting at before. Reducing them to rubble makes Kani happy. The problem is that the nature of any area-affecting attack, such as the air blasts Kani is so fond of shooting is that they affect the entire area. Which in this case did not take it very well.
But two is a bigger number than one, so Kani calls it a win. Wait. There’s a second. He was so caught up in escaping that he forgot to pretend to be some kind of dragon. And pretending to be a dragon is fun. And the mallet knocked his cap off. Well, the score isn’t looking so hot now, but Kani calls it a win anyways. Because why not?
Lots of noise and light – and not just from the decoration of the Arcade and its machines. Foor a moment it’s hard to tell what happens.
Kenlaris and Raquel get hit with the blasts both responding very differently. Raquel basically ‘tanking’ the damage, and Ken – well once he’s finish tearing the head off that Android he might be feeling it.
Emi’s stretch deactivates the Android she’s going for.and whirs to stop, just as the brightly coloured haired droid spins into it. Kara’s kick moves the headless one into the bunch just as Kani opens fire with his energy blasts.
When the smoke finally clears, there’s a molten mess of what used Androids steaming on the floor, the sound of sick and dying Arcade machines filling the silence that doesn’t quite fall. Walls groan and bits of plasterboard falls from the ceiling. The place is a total wreck.
Raquel will be able to recover the memory units – it might take a bit of work and need some asistance.
But the six heroes are left standing – well, maybe – Kens probably not looking so good. There should be two questions left in their minds though:
//What happened here and who’s responsible?//
They’re just games in that amusement parlour that’s just popped up in the North Sprawl? Some might feel the ‘siren call’ to come and check it out. Others might just be interested by the rumours they’ve been hearing. Really, though, it’s just harmless fun, isn’t it? What could possibly go wrong?
March 22, 2051
North Sprawl - Chicago
Solo Immortal Merc For Hire
Double agent shapeshifter