Curioser and Curiosest

September 05, 2015:

The Titans look into the launch of a new augmented reality game… an old foe is behind the technology.



NPCs: None.



Mood Music: A very merry unbirthday

Fade In…

A launch event in Metropolis that has a freaky amount of viral buzz around it.

T-Industries, a relatively unknown game company, is launching their new T-Glass a pair of glasses that augment reality and immerse the users in a video game the company has created.

According to the buzz this won't just be virtual reality goggles, but rather it will totally overlay the world around you and merge it with the game. You will supposedly be able to play the game, anywhere, anytime, against other people wearing T-Glass as you go about the city. The city itself will be the game.

The game is a twisty Urban Fantasy where Faerie Tales are breaking into the world. The 'Narrative' is overwhelming the walls of reality and the players are the only ones who see the truth and can fight the Story. The danger is they are infected with it and lose themselves to it.

While there are many characters featured in the marketing from Brother's Grimm there are also other storybooks, like Alice in Wonderland. For instance one of the main protagonists is a twisted razer clawed cheshire cat girl, infected with that Story, pure fan service.

The line for the game launch party is a madhouse, people having been camped out in Metropolis for days to be first in line to get the new T-Glass.

"I still think I have to meet this cheshire cat girl," Gar says to Vorpal, "just to check for versmilitude."

He steps a bit to the side to get away from the inevitable swipe of claws. The game itself… If this were in Gotham he'd be totally freaked by it. But Metropolis? Shiny and high tech and not at all the sort of place where this would become a major threat. Oh wait. Yeah, it could. Well, he's still going to stand in line if necessary.

Narratives could be a dangerous thing, especially when too many people believe in them too strongly. This is a basic piece of knowledge that the Fae know- and therefore, something Vorpal knows.

He texted his fellow team-mates to check this thing out. Just in case. You never know. Surveying the long-ass line, the cheshire cat hmphs, arms crossed over the stylized cheshire grin logo. "Garfield logan you are just simply awful!" claw swipe, indeed. He glares at his fiance, "… all I am saying is that if you want that kind of fanservice, then you can say goodbye to the kind of fanservice I can provide. For at least a week."

Miguel is very hyped, unable to sit still for more than a few seconds. "Hermanos, I've been reading and watching and eating and sleeping this thing for months. It's going to change the world! Augmented reality games, dudes. And not just that! Just the apps it comes with are amazing!" Really, it's all he's talked about on the way over. And the last couple of days.

Jesana doesn't know anything about video games. It's possible, very likely even, that she's never played one a day in her life. What she is at the moment is lonely. So she's used her phone app to figure out where her team mates are and traveled to Metropolis. She's only been here once and is kinda staring a bit as she rounds the corner and sees the line of people. What are they all doing?

The pregnant native american slows for a moment. Hmm.. maybe there's some kind of awesome food in that building. She doesn't scent anything but she isn't up there yet, the wind is wrong and that is a loooot of people. Jes is still pissed over losing fifty bucks of junk food when being shot at. Scowling at the memory, brown eyes search through the line as she starts walking again, looking for the Titans.

Charlie wearing her civvies stands in line with the rest of the team, hands stuffed in the pockets of her hoodie. Said hoodie features a cute anime wolf that looks.. a touch like Fenris…. if you chibified him. "I am not sure about this game, I mean yeah augmented games are like totes the future but I am still not clear how you are supposed to fight them… or compete.. the monsters.. the video made it seem like your phone was your weapon pad still or something…. " she is probably just upset it isn't a first person shooter, which she is actually ridiculiously good at "I'm still going to own you in this Miguel." she grins at him.

The line is moving along and up ahead the Titans can see people exiting the game store that was taken over for the event. They are fitting sleek glasses on and fiddling with their phones as they disperse into the city.

Eventually the crew arrive at the front, plenty of time for Jesana to have found and hooked up with the others.

Inside the store there are a slew of characters from the game, or rather people dressed up as humans who have become infected with the Narrative. You have a Puss n Boots, a Big Bad Wolf, a Jabberwhocky working security, a Jack of Fables, a red riding hood, and an Alice.

Over sitting on one of the counters doing fan service is the cheshire cat girl, sharpening her claws with a manicurist nail file, and totally nailing the bored cat vibe.

Clerks meanwhile are taking money hand over fist and handing out kits. Metropolis is the launch site for this game. Eventually it will expand to other cities of course, but with the need for player saturation in the ARG it needs to have critical mass city by city.

Gar's going to spend money on this thing. He's even going to spend it on one for both him and Vorpal. He might even get some for the others, because why not. But he's definitely going to want to see it checked for safety. I mean, how many people are going to just wander into traffic?

As they approach the counter, Gar is also a catboy, but not cheshire. For one thing, he's green and for another, he's Siamese, and for yet another, he's got an annoyed Vorpal who is going to huff up and float like a balloon of rage in 3… 2… 1 ….

Vorpal gives Miguel a pinch, "Augmented reality my foot! I'm my own augmented reality game. And my apps are the best, aren't they?" this last is said to Gar with a look that says 'You had better roll 20s on your next diplomacy check, Garfield Logan.'

The fanservicetastic cheshire girl has clearly gotten to Vorpal, for some reason. Feline pride? Perhaps. But Jesana's food offerings do more than enough to mollify him, and by the time they get to the front, why, Vorpal is in a surprisingly sweet disposition, to the point that he's got an arm around Gar and being rather cuddly…

Until he catches a glimpse of the Cheshire girl. "… poser…" he mutters. Gar is spared the huff and the float… however, Vorpal does stroke a finger down Gar's spine and just to the base of his tail- because he's evil. "Seriously, Misfit, don't you think this game is dangerous? I mean, how do you know people aren't going to zonk out and walk into the middle of the street?"

Miguel hops to get a glimpse of where the line is once the registers start dinging, and he updates that view every little bit. At last a couple times a minute as they zombie-walk forward.

"I have no doubt, Charlie, but I vow to get in my licks before I go down! And I think it's more like anything is your weapon - the AR just overlays the look and feel of your weapon onto whatever you have in your hand." He hops up again. "Almost.. close.."

Having joined them, Jes still isn't sure what they are doing. Normally she'd ask, but everyone already seems to know and is so excited.. she feels a little dumb. She's also looking a bit green. Not Gar green, but, obviously not quite right. This is a lot of people. A lot of people who have been waiting in line for a looong time. Her ears are picking up way too much noise all at once and the scent. Oh good gods. These people need to bathe. And someone should tell them that spray cologne and deodorant only makes them reek worse. At least for her. Jes seems startled by the people in costume. It's not Halloween yet. "Ooh its a game!" Finally she manages to put it together. Wait what.. they're standing inline for a cell phone game?? Jes's phone is barely capable of texting and using the gps on it takes ten minutes sometimes. She shrugs. This is still better than sitting on her boat alone so what the hell.

Charlie nods to Miguel "Well yeah but … I mean I doubt they want you flailing sticks in the air as weapons.. and what if you want to shoot the infected. Pretty sure you use your smartphone and it overlays the effects… well I suppose you may make gun gestures with your hand gun.. hah…." she looks over to Vorpal "I doubt they will remove cars from the screens.. it is augmented not VR.. the world is still the regular world right it just adds stuff or alters it… removing cars or street lights would be nuts right…" she trails off and waaaaves over to Jesana having spotted her gesturing her over "Jes over here!" and once she has joined them well she grins "Glasses game not just selfphone game… it links to your phone." she peers at Jes's phone. "we may need to upgrade her phone Gar.."

The queue continues to zombie shuffle as Miguel would put it. Shuffle. The poser Cheshire cat girl pauses filing and looks over at Vorpal after his comment. No way she heard him mutter his insult right. Right? Her costume is really damn good though, if fan servicer.

Anyhow the clerks totally will ring up Gar "Nice costume…. not sure what story you are from though…. but cool cosplay."

The kits are actually really easy, you just unbox, link to your phone which will load the software, and bam put them on according to the pictogram instructions. Easy Peasy it seems.

Gar shivers at the scritch and turns into a passable imitation of a green McBark the Crimestopping Dog, or to be more precise, a canine-themed Detective Columbom just in time to hand over his credit card.

"Time to get rrrruff on evil!" he barks involuntarily, then twitches and shakes his head, and turns back into Siamese Gar, and says, "Sorry, it's a reflex."

He punches Vorpal on the shoulder lightly. "Quiddit. She's made of plastic. I can smell it from here."

He looks over at Miguel. "No way that this could possibly go wrong, right?"

Vorpal grins "Aright, alright." He does however, scritch Gar one more time.

For Evil's sake.

"Well, then, let's see what's what…" the cheshire cat mutters and, once the game has been paid for, goes through the process of unboxing and linking. No way this could possibly go wrong at all.

So why is his fae side being… twitchy?

Miguel shakes his head at Gar. "Heck no, they test this stuff," he says, getting his own set, pulling it out, and jacking it into his phone. "This is going to be awesome," he says, waiting as the first LOADING bar appears.

Jes is trying to follow the conversation. It's probably becoming obvious she is totally clueless about this thing. She's staring at Miguel's phone with a startled expression. It looks like a tiny computer. "I.. i lose my phones alot. or they break so I just always get the cheapest one..that's.." She stares some more and then looks around to see the others have similar phones. Huh. "So is this a thing that you guys do alot?" She's getting curious now. What kind of game is this?

Charlie makes sure that Gar … or someone with money.. Gar… gets Jes a phone that can actually run the game not just a pair of glasses. Rich friends. Then she is unboxing and linking her own. "Well I play games a lot.. I think this is the first game we have all tried as a team though…" she steps closer to help get Jes's setup if need be. Then she is slipping her T-Glass on. "Hey sending party invites…everyone accept so we group up.."

The world doesn't look immediately different. I mean certainly there are vivid purple cracks in the sky if you look up, the impact one would assume of the Narrative and Story breaking the barrier between worlds.

A Message box pops up in everyone's field of view "Agents. A band of infected are moving a cache of cursed relics including a .. spinning wheel… towards a hospital. You have to stop them before they find someone to transform into sleeping beauty and pull an entire block into the Story." ….. …. a glowing purple line appears on the sidewalk guiding to the mission.

"Yeah, just a quick reminder, do not load, update, or jack this into your Titan Comm, on pain of having to help Jay clean under the shelves," Gar says, fiddling with his phone. OK, app loaded, running in a virtual jail for the moment, because when you can have the top-of-the-line Daytronics phone for free, it's just worth it, and it has that really awesome virtual-phone feature. Also it looks like everyone else's phone but slightly cooler.

"I'm linked." He puts on the glasses. A lot more people begin looking furry. Or scaly. Or like an evil robot? Huh. There's a LINE! It's like the red dot but linear!

"Someone's been reading Terry Pratchett," the cheshire mutters. It's like reading Witches Abroad all over again. He had to give them props for that. "Right…. race you to the hospital, then!" he gives Gar's butt a slap and then he's off, vaulting into the air and swinging from construct trapeze to construct trapeze. He could use a Rabbit Hole… but that would be cheating, wouldn't it?

Miguel beams as he looks at this, and swivels his head around to look at how everyone else looks. "Oh, a mission!" he grins, as he nods to Gar. "Got it. But man, a quest line would really be helpful on that, too," he grins. He springs after Vorpal!

Jes seems simutaniously awed and freaked out and she takes off and puts on the glasses several times while staring around. She's not a technophobe, not really, but she did grow up in a place that was rather out of touch and date with this kind of thing. They hadn't even had cable. Or tv through an antanea even. She mumbles several exclamations in her native language as she studies their surroundings with the glasses on. "This is so weird!" Jes pokes at the line with her sandaled toes. "You guys are seeing this too right?"

Oops there goes Vorpal! Jes hurries to move with the others.

Charlie laughs "Come on… we are all on the same quest we grouped up…. " she makes sure Jes has it figured out and then moves after Vorpal.

Well, god knows what the rest of the gamers see as everyone races off like that, some like Vorpal using non-game powers. The real world though sees Vorpal of the titans doing some high wire act. Odd.

The group will totally see down the block where the guide lines take them a crew of .. people… loading a truck. Two of them. They look infected for certain, though only the Agents can see that of course. TweedleDee and TweedleDum. Hauling what looks like a spinning wheel out of a building nearby towards the truck. There is even a glittery pang sparkle effect off the super sharp needle.

Something about this seems a bit.. off… but thanks to the T-Glass it would be very hard to see the pair as the armor car guards hauling money from the bank. Also the Tetch-Tech makes it almost impossible to peel those glasses off.

A box appears >Arrived at the scene, stop them and save the Hospital. The Spinning wheel must be brought to the Vault to keep it safe.<

"Yep. It's like a game with really good special effects, Jes. Bunker! Hey! Give Jes a lift, if you can?" She's all pregnant and stuff, so making her run is mean.

Using powers at all is of course cheating, but Gar is not above cheetah-ing himself. So he does, body becoming much more speed-and-sprint structured, Siamese pelt giving way to a spotty coloration with a nifty muzzle speed line thing. It even goes well with the glasses. He tears off down the street, dodging around the occasional mundane and the more common other players. It's not Flash speeds, because no speed force, but it's also not even remotely slow. Still. Gar ends up having to do some wall-running and … that smells entirely wrong. This is not a hospital. Why won't his hand reach for the glasses? Uhm. What the heck.

"Guys?" he whispers, trying to raise his voice in alarm. "Something's wrong. Take off the … uff."

"Gar Logan, I am not going to take my clothes off," the cheshire cat jokes. He hmms, watching the scene, "Those are very convincing Dees…. so, what do we do? Bunk, Misf? How exactly do you do quests?"

There's… something odd. But it's just a game so far, right?

Miguel checks his glasses, nods, looks at the scene. "OK, we need to secure that, right?" he says. He's given Jes a lift on a plane of floating bricks, carrying her like a blocky flying carpet. "Team leader, come back, what was that about the glasses?" he says. He tries to tug them off but then hey, why would he do that, and the quest goal may be gone any second!

Jes is looking alarmed and slightly baffled. She hasn't had any of the problems of her first pregnancy with this one, but she also hasn't just been mauled to death this time. She can do everything she usually does, except she has to remember to be more careful. "I can ru-…wait.." She stops looking down at the bricks and stares ahead. These glasses still show everything thats in the world even if some fo it is different but.. "Gar?" She'd heard his whisper. "This doesn't smell like a hospital. And I don't see a single ghost, remnant or spirit… something is off here I think?" She isn't sure. Then she notices that Miguel and Gar both start to take their glasses off but don't actually do so. What…?

Charlie almost by reflex pulls her hoodie hood up and then runs along towards the Dees "What do we always do with Dees guys… we take them down. I uh… well probably if you just punch or kick at them it will register I think.. or something… anyways we need that spinning wheel to complete the quest." it should be to no one's surprise that Misfit has trouble thinking this is anything but an awesome game with those glasses on. Mental stability and fortitude of the mind is not her strong suit, though really she is handicapped with the amount of mental magic in place already, oh and Fenris's wolf mind in her mind. "Rar!" she calls joyously and charges the 'NPC' wonderlanders.

The Tweedle Dee and Dum drop the spinning wheel when confronted with Charlie charging at them and shout … well all the muggles on the street see the guards shoutin to stop. The glasses filter it to "Stop or we will shoot'.

Everyone sees them draw guns of course.

"Malice in Wonderland!" Gar says. "Time to trade places!"

He comes to a stop next to the Tweedles. Time to OVER ACT! "HO, Fine Fellows, We Need A Bit Of CHAOS! Cheshire Cat! TIME FOR DANCE PARTY!"

Yes. It's going to be expensive, having him Chaos Wave these glasses. PLEASE chaos wave the glasses.

Vorpal looks at Gar and…he grins. He has no idea why Gar is suddenly doing the Shatner, but hell… one of the reasons he loves the guy is due to his own unpredictability sometimes.

"Whatever you say, jolly green giant." He has actually called Gar that, once.

And the Chaos Wave busts out, as Gar suggests… too late, though, did Vorpal realize that it meant short-circuiting all of the T-glasses in the vicinity. AS well as any phones and similar electronics…

On the other hand, the newspaper stand decides to elope with a mailbox, and several manholes fly up into the sky and off into the distance, to be confused for UFOs later that day.
The cheshire cat blinks a couple of times, as the Dees become…

"Holy crap. We were going to…"

Miguel blinks, frowns, takes off the glasses. "Um. Dudes with guns are.. still there…" he says, looking at the glasses and then at the real scene. "I.. what?" he says as he looks at Vorpal, glancing back to his dead phone, then back to Vorpal.

Jes had jumped free of her ride and was heading quickly toward Charlie. Something is wrong here and Charlie looks like she's maybe going to kick those guys asses for them and they are real people!! Then the glasses short out as she catches the scent of Vorpal's mgic and slows to watch the newspaper stand and mailbox. Shit. That's weird. Jes laughs suddenly. She really can't call something weird anymore, can she she? Not knowing who she is. "Misfit!! Wait!"

Charlie's glasses short as well of course. Her eyes widen and she skids, vanishing in a burst of purple and pink smoke >pinkurple!> and reappearing behind Miguel back yonder "Holycrapwhat"

The bank guards look confused standing there by their bags of money. Gun wobbling "Isn't that the Titans guys…" one of them asks. The other responds "Is that mailbox running…." confused.


"Sorry, guys. The latest videogame seems to be a villainous plot," Gar explains. "Altered reality game, it had you guys as villains. I think … we need to stop their sales and stuff. Vorpal, you up to it?"

He looks around, checking to make sure nobody else is on this particular quest line, because if they are, he's going to have to fight with a Tetched Normal and that's always kind of painful.

Wait. The game on the phone. "Day. Freeze and lock GameAppOne, archive traffic."

The phone beeps and a gruff male voice says "Done." THAT will be evidence. They're gonna need it.

Nobody back at the ESU lab will mock him for giving his phone-assistant his dad's voice instead of some generic SiriCortanaPhoneBabe now. OK, they probably will.

Go Go Damage Control Titans! "What Changeling says- " the cheshire cat says, thinking on his feet. He pats Misfit on the shoulder. "We're going to go now and take care of it… if I were you, I'd get your payload in and safe…. ASAP."

Flashy cheshire grin. And he leans in to grab Gar "… you're a genious, by the way-" and smooch. BAM. Right in the kisser.

"Alright, Titans… I'm going to go and Chaos Wave the hell out of that store. The rest of you, contact Oracle and see if they can help you track down the T-glasses that are out there and take them out of circulation. There must be at least a hundred out there, so we're going to need some hackery from Oracle's part just as much as we need to physically restrain these civilians."

He adjusts the collar on his one-piece, exhaling, "And I'm going to see if I am in time to catch up with Miss Cheshire and see if she has anything to do with this," this will be satisfying, alright! "Now go! Time's a-wasting!"

A rabbit hole appears and Vorpal dashes through it- to get directly to the store. This is going to be a busy day.

Miguel quickly stuffs the ruined phone in his pocket. "What do we need to do? There's only like a million people in line, just back there…" he says, glancing back to the game store, concerned. He gives a quick nod to Vorpal, then takes a private moment to switch into his costume, pulling his cowl down as he comes back. "Right. Let's split up to the other quest lines we saw, and track them down," he says.

Jes thinks for a moment after removing the glasses and glaring at them. She would attempt to destroy them if she hadn't just seen how much Gar paid for the things. "I uh.. I'll go help I guess." More CHAOS magic.. which really is a lot similar to her Father's nature but.. Ooh but she gets to be all growly at a bunch of weird smelly people. Yes. This will be fun. They will leave and quickly. Grinning predatorily Jes lopes off after Miguel.

Charlie just sighs "Dangit I really wanted to play this game Gar…. this sucks! Why does everything cool have to be ruined by villains… or mad scientists…. damnit."

Meanwhile the server systems detect the hack, Tetch is nothing if not an evil genius and all the other players get a message that the system is going offline for an emergancy patch. With a heavy command to scatter and go home throughout the city, and to put them back on tonight at midnight and rejoin the game after the 'patch'. Crap.

What Vorpal finds at the Game Store… well it hasn't packed up and vanished. That should be exciting.

Gar frowns at the universe at large. "This was supposed to be a carefree and FUN outing."

He turns on his Titans Comm and taps it. "Open channel to Oracle. We're going to need someone who's better at hacking than I am."

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