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The Game revisited

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  • The Game revisited

    In a dystopian future, the technology developed by Augustus Mason and Dilijan has vastly improved.

    Quickenings can be isolated, extracted and, given a suitable host, brought back to life.

    The secret is out and Immortals are now celebrities in a Game to entertain the masses.
    Some immortals volunteer to participate, others go in hiding.


    Hidden at the source of it all, is a weak, chained up, drugged immortal: Duncan MacLeod.
    May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...

  • #2
    "Procedure is commencing."

    The cold words of the machine interface cut through the tension as the drills positioned.

    "This is the 2nd extraction this week. Subject is showing weaker EEG, no physical decline."

    The procedure has proven to be a success as long as the extracted Quickening was prior to the last one the subject received.
    Extracting the last Quickening an immortal received showed a major decrease in cognitive function as well as skill.
    Not necessarily a bad thing but it does come with changes in behavioural patterns which in turn might influence skill or fandom, so some caution is required.

    There's a notion of an emotional component to the extraction procedure as well, but that kind of data is still being cross-referenced at the Watcher's headquarters.

    "Extraction of Michael Christian complete. Searching for suitable host."

















    May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...

    Comment


    • dubiousbystander
      dubiousbystander commented
      Editing a comment
      This is really a nifty concept going on here. I'm delighted, and intrigued! Our conversation has gone: Ooooh! Is suitable host another Immortal?
      Nicholas Ward Yes, or pre-immortal or genetically engineered human.
      Who would want Michael Christian?!
      Nicholas Ward The one wanting a skilled female immortal like May-Ling
      Ah. So if they get him out, THEN they can extract her. Let her save everyone
      Nicholas Ward If there's a suitable host, she might
      So can they take out Immortals whose heads Kell took? Get back Jin Ke? If they try for someone like the Kurgan, I hope that bites them in the asses.
      Nicholas Ward Possibly, but there are risks to extracting 'secondary' immortals. Going down the line is a more stable process
      hmm hmm So the host needs to be essentially flatlined. I wish there would be no pre-Immortals being found lately...
      Nicholas Ward The host just needs to be restrained for extraction.
      You did say the two systems were perfected. Dilijan built new personas on gutted minds.
      Nicholas Ward I said 'improved'
      Ah! Perhaps suddenly all mortal human babies being born are blanks now. They have to keep the child alive long enough to drop a Quickening into it. Someone discovers that this seems to be an effect of the process!
      Nicholas Ward All would be much. Suitable does not equal perfect and babies are not good gaming mechanic.
      Really interesting. All would be too much, yes I suppose. Well, if the babies are kept alive, they would become older. This needs real consequences, though. In the Big Finish, I think there was major weather disruption, as well as Immortals going mad?

  • #3
    Hosts aren't necesssarily babies. But I suppose they can be. Not much entertainment value in killing Immortal babies.
    May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...

    Comment


    • #4
      Originally posted by Nicholas Ward View Post
      "Procedure is commencing."

      The cold words of the machine interface cut through the tension as the drills positioned.

      "This is the 2nd extraction this week. Subject is showing weaker EEG, no physical decline."

      The procedure has proven to be a success as long as the extracted Quickening was prior to the last one the subject received.
      Extracting the last Quickening an immortal received showed a major decrease in cognitive function as well as skill.
      Not necessarily a bad thing but it does come with changes in behavioural patterns which in turn might influence skill or fandom, so some caution is required.

      There's a notion of an emotional component to the extraction procedure as well, but that kind of data is still being cross-referenced at the Watcher's headquarters.

      "Extraction of Michael Christian complete. Searching for suitable host."







      "Transfer complete."

      It hadn't taken long before a suitable host was found. Prisons would offer their inmates on death row the option of volunteering.
      The procedure would grant immortality to the host so many would agree to it. The general understanding among the public would be that one would still be part of the immortal after the procedure. The knowledge that it isn't true is not shared publicly for obvious reasons. The procedure does grant immortality to the body of the host but the personality will be completely destroyed in the process.

      And that was the fate of a longhaired punk kid that had robbed a convenience store with fatal consequences. A life for a life was a simple concept with broad support among the masses.

      And therefore a short time ago, gladiatorial death matches were held.
      However after some time, the most peculiar event had taken place in front of the thousands of people watching: The defeated fighter had risen up after being dealt a fatal blow and had killed the still celebrating victor. The research that followed had attracted scientists and engineers from large corporations as well as outed a secret organisation called the Watchers.

      Still, the newly created immortal had to be introduced and was scheduled for a fight next week.
      Should be interesting to see for which immortal the public will vote to pit him against...


      -------------------------------

      Michael Christian: An opportunist immortal with an attitude versus an opponent of your choosing!
      Cast your votes !






      May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...

      Comment


      • #5
        Did they put an Immortal in a pre-Immortal's body?

        Comment


        • Nicholas Ward
          Nicholas Ward commented
          Editing a comment
          Maybe...

          Pre-immortals might retain some of their personalities and even make the process obsolete if the transfer is successful.

          Feel free to add to the story any way you wish.

        • dubiousbystander
          dubiousbystander commented
          Editing a comment
          Perhaps someday I'll feel inspired!

      • #6
        Originally posted by Nicholas Ward View Post

        "Transfer complete."

        It hadn't taken long before a suitable host was found. Prisons would offer their inmates on death row the option of volunteering.
        The procedure would grant immortality to the host so many would agree to it. The general understanding among the public would be that one would still be part of the immortal after the procedure. The knowledge that it isn't true is not shared publicly for obvious reasons. The procedure does grant immortality to the body of the host but the personality will be completely destroyed in the process.

        And that was the fate of a longhaired punk kid that had robbed a convenience store with fatal consequences. A life for a life was a simple concept with broad support among the masses.

        And therefore a short time ago, gladiatorial death matches were held.
        However after some time, the most peculiar event had taken place in front of the thousands of people watching: The defeated fighter had risen up after being dealt a fatal blow and had killed the still celebrating victor. The research that followed had attracted scientists and engineers from large corporations as well as outed a secret organisation called the Watchers.

        Still, the newly created immortal had to be introduced and was scheduled for a fight next week.
        Should be interesting to see for which immortal the public will vote to pit him against...


        -------------------------------

        Michael Christian: An opportunist immortal with an attitude versus an opponent of your choosing!
        Cast your votes !


        Obviously the voting systems were rigged to ensure maximum entertainment value.
        Immortals with a knack for drama or performance were increasingly popular, and the facilities to hold them became more and more luxurious.

        With the help of the Watcher chronicles several immortals were persuaded to join the roster of arena fighters.
        Ex-military, thieves, mercenaries, priests. Some were defiant, but that was of little importance because interesting Quickenings were extracted anyway. Being defiant to the end only meant that the end came quicker. The larger part of the roster had no problems with one-sided fights, mocking the weak was fairly entertaining and would generate a nice build up for the head-line of an event.

        "Please select competitors"



        May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...

        Comment


        • #7
          First up would be the new fighters. Newly extracted/transferred immortals versus the recently volunteering/acquired ones.


          Michael Christian needed an opponent to see if he was a viable character in the Game, his watcher files didn't promise much apart from the persona of May-Ling Shen (who was extracted shortly after the transfer of Michael into a suitable host). Fortunately a volunteer had stepped forward in the form of Father Liam, who had provided shelter to a runaway thief. When confronted by the justice department of the Corporation, he refused to hand over the subject and resisted the agents with the clear intent of aiding the escape of the raven haired suspect. It was to no avail because the suspect was easily subdued with tranquilliser darts during her attempt to escape over the roof of the church.


          Father Liam Riley would thus become the first opponent of Michael Christian.
          Not much was to be expected of the fight but culling the weak was what the Game was all about.


          May-Ling Shen would fight the female thief that was arrested at the church of Father Liam: Jade.
          This would at least prove to be an interesting fight given the martial arts skills and athletic prowess of both females.


          The final of the event would be winners of both fights facing off, the winner securing a place in the roster and the right to challenge any immortal in it.
          May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...

          Comment


          • dubiousbystander
            dubiousbystander commented
            Editing a comment
            So they do have to extract one to extract those that person took. So the immortals do have a third choice: Giving no one an excuse to arrest them?

          • Nicholas Ward
            Nicholas Ward commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, but given the fact that the Organisation has access to the watcher files that's pretty difficult.

        • #8
          Originally posted by Nicholas Ward View Post
          In a dystopian future, the technology developed by Augustus Mason and Dilijan has vastly improved.

          Quickenings can be isolated, extracted and, given a suitable host, brought back to life.

          The secret is out and Immortals are now celebrities in a Game to entertain the masses.
          Some immortals volunteer to participate, others go in hiding.


          Hidden at the source of it all, is a weak, chained up, drugged immortal: Duncan MacLeod.
          Though, since you're using those, I think that the STD that kills should also come in. After all, her secret society isn't the Watchers. They take her head to put her in another Immortal, and the disease makes the jump to the human population. I mean, it sounds like the human population really deserves it.

          Comment


          • #9
            Originally posted by dubiousbystander View Post

            Though, since you're using those, I think that the STD that kills should also come in. After all, her secret society isn't the Watchers. They take her head to put her in another Immortal, and the disease makes the jump to the human population. I mean, it sounds like the human population really deserves it.
            Didn't the watchers secure patient zero atr the end? Hmm, I should re-listen the audio-book then.
            I figured that the condition the STD created made it possible to trigger a Quickening without a beheading, and therefore had it intended as part of the transfer procedure. (/spoiler)

            May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...

            Comment


            • #10
              Originally posted by Nicholas Ward View Post

              Didn't the watchers secure patient zero atr the end? Hmm, I should re-listen the audio-book then.
              I figured that the condition the STD created made it possible to trigger a Quickening without a beheading, and therefore had it intended as part of the transfer procedure. (/spoiler)
              Not the Watchers. Inheritors of the doctor who caused this. Her own dedicated secret society. Mmm. As far as their version of the story went, the aggression at a killing level destroyed the infected Immortals. Not a Quickening, just an erasure. If a clean Immortal takes her Quickening, they'll be the new carrier. The secret society imprisoning her theorizes that it's not safe for a mortal to take her head because then the disease would leap into the mortal population. My rather cold-blooded solution to the problem is pile explosives around her neck, put her at the bottom of a very deep hole, bury her under rocks and dirt and blow her head off.

              Comment


              • #11
                OK, let's go for your option then and praise scientific advancement for the basis of the transfer.
                May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...

                Comment


                • dubiousbystander
                  dubiousbystander commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Of course, as far as we know, she's never taken a Quickening. What if they extract her and then the virus becomes something infecting all of their systems, and thus every Immortal downloaded dies in fire leaving which results in no one getting to watch any cool duels and then the virus leaps into the human population because they didn't know what they were getting into?

                • Nicholas Ward
                  Nicholas Ward commented
                  Editing a comment

                • dubiousbystander
                  dubiousbystander commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Some of my favorite stories end that way... Hahah

              • #12
                Originally posted by Nicholas Ward View Post
                First up would be the new fighters. Newly extracted/transferred immortals versus the recently volunteering/acquired ones.


                Michael Christian needed an opponent to see if he was a viable character in the Game, his watcher files didn't promise much apart from the persona of May-Ling Shen (who was extracted shortly after the transfer of Michael into a suitable host). Fortunately a volunteer had stepped forward in the form of Father Liam, who had provided shelter to a runaway thief. When confronted by the justice department of the Corporation, he refused to hand over the subject and resisted the agents with the clear intent of aiding the escape of the raven haired suspect. It was to no avail because the suspect was easily subdued with tranquilliser darts during her attempt to escape over the roof of the church.


                Father Liam Riley would thus become the first opponent of Michael Christian.
                Not much was to be expected of the fight but culling the weak was what the Game was all about.


                May-Ling Shen would fight the female thief that was arrested at the church of Father Liam: Jade.
                This would at least prove to be an interesting fight given the martial arts skills and athletic prowess of both females.


                The final of the event would be winners of both fights facing off, the winner securing a place in the roster and the right to challenge any immortal in it.


                May-Ling Shen sat on the side of the simple bed in her cell. Shivering from the cold. Her thoughts went over the past few days. Her sudden revival, the eerie feeling of controlling a body that was not quite yours. She had been given a cell, but was free to wander the lower corridors and common rooms where participants in the Game could reside and mingle. Under strict supervision and unarmed of course.

                The first few days she had spent her time mostly meditating, which helped ease her mind and body. Her persona seemed to have slowly fit into place within her new body during that time too. It was a bit taller and not as trimmed as she was in her previous life but it was fit and clearly healthy when she came to occupy it. Through the meditation she had tried to see if there were remnants of the person before her but to no avail. The thought was both a bit saddening as well as comforting: It was her body now.

                After reaching that level of comfort, May-Ling decided to go to the common rooms and see if she could get some training done. The common rooms divided the several living quarters up into small groups. This was fortunate (but also intentional as she later found out) because the buzz from passing participants would barely be noticeable.

                Starting with simple training exercises during the day, she noticed an Elvis impersonator bickering with a priest which somehow amused her a great deal. Noticing her laughter, the men stopped arguing and went their separate ways.

                The Elvis impersonator had approached May-Ling and introduced himself as Vrej Ratavoussian, 'rising star of the Game'. Explaining how he had volunteered just after the announcement of the next event so he would have more preparation time to perform on the same stage as some of the biggest stars. Coming from Vegas he knew quite a lot of the entertainment industry and to maximise opportunities within it, or so he claimed. He showed May-Ling the announcements and explained how the Game worked. The pitting of immortals against each other in events, usually 1 vs 1, with winners progressing to the next brackets or set of events. There was also a scoring system, with points awarded for skill, style, brutality and, most importantly (according to Vrej), entertainment value.

                May-Ling thanked Vrej politely and had continued her training, wondering how the other immortals she only occasionally noticed kept their focus without leaving their cells.

                With her mind getting back in the present, she stood up from the bedside and picked her sword from the available options for beginners in the Game. Not that there were many options but the simple one and a half handed sword, sharp and light but well balanced, would do fine for the task ahead.

                She calmly awaited the outcome of the previous fight, watching on the screen in the waiting area, even though the puns of the announcer did occasionally make the audience roar (or groan, it wasn't always clear cut). May-Ling noticed the aggressive but crude attacking style of Michael Christian and the inconsistent defensive style of Father Liam Riley who clearly seemed to talk a lot.
                This went on for several minutes until a clever parry from Father Liam Riley left Michael Christian vulnerable. Severely wounding Michael Christian with his next move, Father Liam Riley disarmed Michael Christian but seemed to have no intent to behead his opponent. That changed when it was made clear that refusal was not an option and that a beheading would be executed by security personnel if necessary, using the popular vote of the audience. The expression of realisation that there was no other option for survival and the tormented, horrified look on the face of Father Liam Riley when he beheaded Michael Christian seemed surreal against the background of cheers from the crowd.

                Shaking the feeling of pity for Father Liam Riley, May-Ling now cleared her mind and went though the basics of her perceived strategy as she knew she would be fighting a thief and to fully expect underhanded tactics from her opponent.

                Jade entered the arena throwing kisses and waving to the crowd like she was Marilyn Monroe, whilst moving towards the centre of the arena. May-Ling took a defensive stance and awaited the moment that Jade would engage her.

                A sudden cartwheel by Jade marked that moment and May-Ling was immediately at a disadvantage because Jade had grabbed a handful of sand from the arena floor and propelled it towards May-Lings face. Her view obstructed for a few moments because she had to divert her face to avoid being blinded, meant May-Ling only parried the following attack partly and a clear cut on her left leg appeared.

                Jade twirled out of the way of the basic retaliation move May-Ling mustered through the sharp pain she felt cursing through her body. A body that was not used to that yet.
                Like a whirling dervish Jade danced around while entertaining the crowd and mocking May-Ling. May-Ling had to keep her composure to avoid falling into the exhausting trap of trying to follow Jade, so May-Ling waited, parried and looked for the opening that would allow her to tilt the fight in her favour.


                After a while May-Ling realised that Jade used her outfit of loose fabric to create an illusion. The illusion of a bigger target than she really was. So instead of trying to target Jade directly after deflections or evasions, May-ling targeted all that flurried around Jade. Suddenly on the attack, Jade was taken by surprise and almost lost balance when May-Ling cut through the fabric on her right side, revealing enough skin to cause an uproar in the crowd. Knowing her strategy was unveiled, Jade had to switch to another tactic and tried to use her acrobatic prowess to get the upper hand. Another cartwheel after getting some distance following a feigned attack resulted in a lethal wound to Jade because May-Ling, instead of avoiding the underhanded attack, pushed through it and stabbed Jade in the chest.

                Moments later the Quickening erupted, accompanied by a loud cheer of the crowd. It shattered May-Lings clear mind for a moment, rearranging facts, thoughts and memories. Blurry visions of a once good thief, passion and a familiar face. The face of a priest.

                When the Quickening subsided May-Ling was given mere minutes to prepare for the next fight.


                Father Liam Riley surprisingly went on the attack against May-Ling, forcing her back in defence. May-Ling quickly realised Father Liam Riley hadn't shown his real skills in the previous fight against Michael Christian and found herself struggling to stay upright while being forced backwards. Desperate to counter, May-Ling caught the overhead attack by Father Liam Riley with both hands, coming face to face with her opponent, risking being pushed backwards by Father Liam Riley. The push never came and the tables were turned with a swift kick that toppled Father Liam Riley. May-Ling now stood over her opponent, hesitating for the final blow because of the expression of her opponent.

                Father Liam Rileys face was not showing anger, nor fear. But a gentle, sincere smile.

                Father Liam spoke.

                And a slight jolt of sorrow surged through May-Ling, creating sparks that used to be, as she lifted her sword again.


                Moments later the Quickening filled the Arena in a great display of fireworks.

                May-Ling slowly returned to her cell. But felt no longer cold. The Quickening had kindled the sparks within.











                May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...

                Comment


                • dubiousbystander
                  dubiousbystander commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Oh yes. Father Liam, well done. May-Ling, well done. Question: Can't they re-extract? I think you said it has to be in order, so in theory they can extract Father Liam, and then Jade?

                • Nicholas Ward
                  Nicholas Ward commented
                  Editing a comment
                  They could. And indeed they could extract Jade. But not Father Liam because his was the last Quickening that May-Ling received and too connected to her persona (just a theory for now, but I'd like to have something in place that restricts extraction directly after a victory, because it would make the victory pointless) So if they wanted Michael Christian back they would have to grant May-ling another Quickening, Extract Father Liam and then extract Michael Christian.
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