Dawn of the Dragon Invasion

In the week’s session of Dawn of the Monster Invasion by Randy Lubin, we portrayed six speeches to follow the invasion and response to an incursion of dragons across the world.

Our story begins with a backpacker in a National Park telling everyone she can find about the bird-bat hybrids she saw flying in the fog on the mountaintop. She describes the leathery wings and long beaks but is puzzled when she remembers the long tail. Later, a herpetologist at a scientific conference presents his findings from his efforts to find and identify the creature the hiker saw. He believes that it is a dragon, although he’s willing to entertain other words for the creature. He tells about the long scorch marks like a flamethrower shot through the trees, but the other conference-goers believe his lifelong obsession with dragons is clouding his scientific judgement. Some think he may even have manipulated his data to draw his desired conclusion. Surely, there is another, simpler explanation.

The Bounders live-streamer goes out into the Park looking to prove the reports true by getting the creature, whatever it is, on film. His commenters include plenty of skeptics, people who say he’s using a green screen and not even in the park. He shows the world around him to prove his honesty, but then sees something that frightens him. He sees a bird and follows its flight so fails to see the small dragon that flits between trees behind him. A gigantic shadow passes over him, and he looks up when he hears the flapping of giant wings. He screams and the stream goes silent.

At a PTA meeting in a school across the state from the park, a mother named Susan exhorts everyone to prepare for the dragons, and to build their own bunker. You’ll need as much canned food and toilet paper as you can store. She has a sealed, safe concrete bunker in her basement and ends up inviting the other parents to stay with her when they start asking questions. She says she has plenty of water and fire extinguishers for the stay. One mother insists on bringing a bevy of tutors for her daughter to prepare her daughter for college once we emerge from the bunker in about five years. Susan storms off when that woman starts claiming ownership of the bunker for herself and threatens to kick Susan out. We’re all left wondering if the invitation still stands.

Many months later, after the dragons have begun appearing all over, ever closer to populated areas, a group of investors has gathered in a lone conference room to hear the pitch from one James Weldon. James wants to steal dragon eggs, raise and domesticate them, and open parks for people to see these creatures up close. They might even be able to ride them. Most of us doubt his ability to deliver, what with him never before having found a dragon egg or spent any time training them. Others think his monetization plan is too narrow, when there could be many other, more lucrative applications for domesticated dragons. Meanwhile across the country, a group of government bureaucrats are meeting with a researcher who insists that the best way to destroy these pests is by introducing reptile pathogens into their habitats. The hope is if you infect one of the large enclaves that the disease will spread to other areas, weakening the creatures enough to make eradication easy. Any collateral damage could easily be contained through quarantine protocols, he assures them. If the military can procure some test subjects and he can build out his team of experts, we can have a working prototype in a few short months.

However, his plan apparently fails because our final speech is made by a lizard person, a humanoid with reptilian eyes and scaly skin. She explains that now that her people have aided humanity, as requested, by telepathically controlling and calming the dragons, they will continue to control things here on the surface. And it won’t be necessary for our destructive human civilization to continue. They will order the dragons to delivery anything we may need to survive, and may even leave us with our precious internet for entertainment. Some lucky few of us have lizard person blood and will receive special privileges, including activation and training in the use of our dormant psychic abilities. She orders us all to go home and to stay out of trouble.

Dawn of the Glitter Invasion

This week we played Dawn of the Monster Invasion by Randy Lubin on his storysynth engine. Our story centered around the arrival of sugar zombies, who crave and consume the sugar from people’s bodies.

Our story begins with a little known chemical researcher at a conference presenting his discovery of high levels of ambient glucose outside plastic factories throughout the United States. Many of his colleagues fail to see the significance and wonder why it would be worth wasting research dollars to follow this trail. Glucose is benign, they say, despite the rodents and flora around the plants growing profusely. Next we have YouTube glitter-expert Glitter Gilda on a livestream when her crew became enraged and went after each other during a routine stunt shoot. As she is on-screen responding to her fans comments, she begins to crave soda and there appears to be shimmer etches across her skin as she scratches herself obsessively.

Hand drawn pictures of some characters from our game.

At a new conference, the military commander of the states national guard response team tries to allay the fears of the public. Despite the eyewitnesses who’ve reported seeing an undead killer at the scenes of now up to 7 fatal attacks, the commander insists they have everything under control. They are unable or unwilling to answer the many questions about the glitter rashes and glitter bombs appearing everywhere, or of the sugar cravings that have left candy aisles bare. To capitalize on the sweets shortage, the wealthy owner of Whamo! candy ignores government warnings against consuming excessive sugar to announce a hiring surge at his factory to try to meet demand. Audience members seem more interested in getting their hands on some chocolate than on his announcement.

Late one night, Dr. Roberts from FEMA goes onto the radio in Buffalo, the epicenter of the crisis, to explain that the rumors are true. The government is suppressing information about the infection spreading through the country, an infection that starts with sugar cravings through glitter rashes to the rages in which the infected attack each other and people. He warns that sugar feeds the infection and calls for volunteers to come to his lab in Buffalo for his experimental treatment that seems to arrest the progress of the infection. An online sugar advocate creates counter-programming against Dr. Roberts, arguing that he is trying to trick them, a puppet of big vegetable. You should not fear and enjoy your candy, “Buy Whamo!”

Our story ends with a new video from Glitter Glinda with an impassioned plea for acceptance of the glitterati, those who were infected but who, with regular treatments, are able to live normal lives, free of the savage rages that characterized the infected during the crisis. She even volunteers to lead glitterati to work along the barricades that wall what’s left of society from the wastelands that could not be recovered from the sugar zombies. The glitterati are going on a Glitter Tour with Dr. Roberts to entertain with their glitter powers and talk about the role they can now play in our society.

Dawn of the Ghost Invasion

This week we played Dawn of the Monster Invasion by Randy Lubin to tell the story of how Orangetown becomes overrun by ghosts and other spirits. We get our first glimpse of trouble when a crank medium holds a reading where many claim to have seen ghosts across the town, but one patron is especially irked not to have seen his mother. The performance quickly gets away from him as the audience peppers him with questions he doesn’t have any answers for. Next we catch up with the mayor of Orangetown at a press conference trying to dispel the persistent rumors about the strange happenings in the town since they broke ground on a new shopping complex at an ancient burial site. The mayor stresses that there is nothing to worry about, that everyone should continue about their business (Keep shopping!), that the missing firehouse is sure to be found soon, and that the town has set up temporary housing for anyone whose house has gone missing at the abandoned mental hospital and the drive-in theater where the axe murder took place all those years ago.

At a book signing with an entrance fee at the public library, a local author and serial cryer of wolf about paranormal phenomena peddles his new book and answers questions about the haunting hitting Orangetown and nearby municipalities. While the crowd doesn’t trust him, he insists that the danger is real. Then we join the Prepper Channel where we learn about the importance of an underground bunker and how to prepare for a ghostly apocalypse. If your bunker’s not underground, your mirrors covered, and your shelves stocked with months worth of canned goods, then you’re not ready, so “Stay safe, stay underground.” In town, the local grocer has decided now is the time to double prices, but the locals ponder out loud whether a riot might be a better solution. The grocer does make a few sales of “ghost repellant” but has long been sold out of dog food.

Next we join Kaylaug4gh at a protest where she argues that the town is racist against Ectoplasmic-Americans and how we must learn to stop trespassing on their land. Many people agree with the sentiment and discuss the rumor that this is designed to get increased Ectoplasmic-American representation in Congress, until we learn about the many mistakes the medium made with an online ghost kit and an over-mustarded sandwich. With the local response completely ineffective, FEMA leads a National Guard effort to evacuate the town and sweep out the ghosts. The gruff NG Colonel leading the operation takes questions from all concerned locals and remains unshaken as long as the choppers are on the way. Finally, the ghosts have taken over and demand that we flee or bow before their collective might, with one particular ghost manifesting before the entire town. While many agree to leave, others don’t want to abandon their homes and try to negotiate the degree of groveling required to stay. When the ghost demands to be left alone, FEMA agrees to make the evacuation order mandatory and begins moving folks out of town.

Dawn of the Monster Invasion

Tonight we played Dawn of the Monster Invasion by Randy Lubin of Diegetic Games in which we created a monster movie in a little under two hours by holding six speeches or interviews.

Our story opens to the face of the night janitor at Physics Labs Inc., a middle-aged slob named Roger Stone, explaining into a television microphone how he just turned off a machine and a massive hole appeared in the floor of the quantum physics lab. The reporters are mostly skeptical, questioning his story and description of the hole and grilling him about ecoterrorists and the company’s pending sale. Next we cut to a local mall where Victor Jimenez is beginning his presentation at a small convention for monster hunters about his descent into the Pit at Physics Lab Inc. He describes the red fumes wafting from the opening and shows grainy footage of the claw marks along its walls, and the sticky blue ooze upon the floor when they stopped at what seemed to be an underground storage area that smelled strongly of sulphur and didn’t seem like part of the Physics Lab facility. Unable to repel down further, he returned with mysterious gaps in the footage of his GoPro and addresses questions from the audience regarding the blue ooze and rumors that it’s all a government trick. When asked directly what he thinks it is, he claims it’s probably the lair of a giant red saltmander, with its red chitinous shell.

Next we join a press conference being held by Lexi Weblock in the coffee shop where she works, describing her harrowing encounter with the beast in the local park. She keeps mentioning her Etsy shop, but mostly focuses on how everyone was running wildly from the park in fear of the beast eating them like it did that defenseless peanut cart and someone’s pet. She says she only escaped by ducking into a bookstore, where she got a good look at its face with five eyes, the swinging twin tails behind it, and the sidewalk hissing from its acidic drool. Next we have a live AMA with Rex Stiner of whosthemonster.com, who defended the creatures who’ve lived underground and in hidden valleys across the world peacefully until humans encroach on their lands and invade their space poking them with sticks and disturbing their slumber. If we’d only leave these poor creatures alone, they would leave us alone, so humanity ought to pull back into our human enclaves and leave the bulk of the planet to these creatures.

We come to the conclusion to our story by following the conversation on a Reddit thread started by Mr. Bananahands, who claims to have determined that the creature is allergic to peanuts, so we can ward it off with vast amounts of peanut oil, coating the town in it if needed. Many commenters are questioning the logistics and safety of such a plan, but it develops its own momentum by the end and a protest is planned at the governor’s mansion to get help in securing enough peanut oil. Our story ends with Mr. Bananahands after using the peanut plan to drive the beast into the cage, which sits behind the triumphant hero. The plan now is to study the creature before releasing it back into its home and sealing the hole. In the post credits epilogue, we see the monster being lowered into the original hole and hear its voice. It explains to its fellow monsters that humans are interesting creatures and dogs delicious, much better than boring peanuts, so perhaps the upper world is finally ripe for conquest.